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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Five Minute Friday Simplify #fmf #iamwriting

This weeks Five Minute Friday prompt is Simplify. I am a little late, but our internet was out for a couple of days. I could have went to the library, but I we had snow on the ground and it has been really cold, so I decided to stay home and work on a project which goes perfectly with the prompt this week.

This is so appropriate for me this week. I have been thinking about going through all of our books for a while now. My kids are all getting older and I know we won't read most of what we have again and I am more than happy to pass them along to other families to enjoy. I started my project last week and with 12 bookshelves in the house it hasn't been an easy task. As we clear each shelf there are so many memories for us all. I still read out loud to my family every night before bed and some of these books I have read more than a few times. We have collected so many books over the years...... mysteries, romance, vikings, both fiction and non-fiction. 72 Saddle Club books, more than 20 Children of American Heroes and about the same amount of Landmark books plus so many more. By reading these books aloud I have transported my children on many adventures around the world and introduced us to so many people that we will remember throughout our lives. We may not remember everything we have read, but we can remember the times we have spent together on our adventures not to mention the times they travelled these books on their own. I just hope that the families that receive these adventures and meet these people will appreciate how special they were to my family.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Five Minute Friday Motivate #IAmWriting #fmf

Now that the holidays are over Kate is starting the Five Minute Friday prompts again. The word this week is Motivate.

We all have different desires, goals, and ambitions in life. No matter what they are we have to have something to motivate us. What is it that motivates someone to run marathons, climb 14,000 foot mountains, write a novel, or to accomplish any thing in life they desire to do. Where does our motivation come from? Some people can motivate themselves while other people need someone to motivate them. I know people who live life to the fullest, motivating themselves to push their physical body or mind to its limits. I also know people that are barely motivated enough to get out of bed each day. 

I think we can all learn to motivate ourselves sometimes and I think we can all use some motivation from someone else every once in a while. I think it is easier if we keep a positive outlook on life. 

What about you? Are you a self motivator? Do you make lists of your short term and long term goals to help keep yourself striving to accomplish what you want or need to do?

Do you set out to accomplish great things, push yourself to its limits,  or are you content with living life? 

Thank you Kate for hosting Five Minute Friday!

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Photo by my daughter, Morgan. Follow her on Instagram.

With only one day left in 2017 people will be reflecting on what they have accomplished, what they should have accomplished, and making plans and resolutions for the upcoming year. I'm not one to make resolutions or set a lot of goals for myself. That doesn't mean I don't keep a calendar and schedule things out, or that I don't think about how to improve our household. I just don't bind myself to those ideas and time constraints.

When I first started to homeschool, way back before the internet and homeschool forums, our town had a very active homeschool support group. We all got together once a month for a moms' meeting to find out about curriculum and support each other in the journey we had all chosen for our families. I can remember several moms talking about having Bible verses for their lives and for each of their children, setting high school and life goals for their early elementary school children and they made me feel very inadequate. I can remember thinking to myself that I was lacking and that I needed to spend more time reflecting on what I wanted for my children. Fast forward 22 years and I wonder did those kids grow up to fulfill the plans that were laid out for them. With 2 homeschool graduates and three teenagers my kids have changed so much. Their desires and ambitions when they were younger haven't all stuck with them. They are continuing to grow into their own person by figuring out what is best for them just like I am still figuring out what is best for myself and our household.

As I reflect on the past and look to the future I hope that I don't make people I come in contact with feel inadequate with where they are in their life right now.

I wish you all a very prosperous new year!

Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Magic Stix Review #MagcStixCapTest #MagicStix

One of my daughter's favorite art supplies are her Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip. She loves to be able to take these with her and paint from anywhere. She was very excited to try the new Magic Stix Washable Markers. 

The Magic Stix are the same great product as the Kwik Stix only better. These new stix are magic. They are washable, odorless, non-toxic, and they will not dry out. Even if you leave the cap off for up to 7 days. Alaina loves this. She can create her art without replacing the cap every time she puts a color down for a few minutes. Another reason she loves them is because we baby sit my friends daughter on occasion and she likes to paint with Alaina. This way she doesn't have to keep putting the lids on and off for her over and over.

Of course Alaina wanted to see if the markers would not dry out if she left the lid off. So she left the red one open for 7 days and she was thrilled when it still worked. She said it felt a little scratchy when she used it, but it still worked.

Alaina created Christmas cards and birthday cards with the Magic Six. Her brother's birthday is this month and she wanted to hand make his card.

The new Magic Stix Washable Markers are available at Amazon in a 12 or 24 pack set. We have the pack of 12 markers and they are very bright bold colors. We gave several kids both friends and family sets of the Kwik Stix for Christmas. Now we will add the Magic Stix to our list of go to gift ideas.

Diclaimer: I received a set of 12 Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc. in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Traditions #gingerbreadhouses

We have a lot of holiday traditions. Some of the traditions I wanted to create with my own kids has grown to include so many more over the years. I can't remember exactly what year I started making gingerbread houses with my oldest son, but I'm pretty sure we have made them every year. 

At first, it was just my kids and I. Then I had some friends that wanted their kids to make one too. For a long time we made them at my house. My table seats 10 people comfortable, but you can get more when you are standing up working on something. One year we had so many kids and adults, that I had to schedule two different times. The next year I decided to make them at our church building. This year we had 31 people decorating a house. They ranged from toddlers to older adults. 
Every year I bake all the ginerbread and shop for all the candy. The last several years hasn't been that bad, because my kids are old enough to help me with that. Plus they love shopping for all the candy. 

Some people love making gingerbread houses and want to make one with us every year and some people never want to make one again. 
It is fun to watch everyone. Some people have to set their house up several times because they either used too much icing or they didn't let it set for a minute before adding a bunch of candy. 

Some of the houses end up with a lot of candy, and other houses have more icing for a more snowy scene. I actually like to sprinkly my house with a little powdered sugar when I'm finished to give it a fresh fallen snow look but some people don't appreciate taking those home because the powdered sugar tends to blow off. 

This is just one of our many Christmas traditions. What are some of your favorites traditions?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Gift #giftgiving

Every year we have a ladies Christmas party at our church. We get together and eat, play games, and exchange gifts from a $5-$10 value. I like to come up with fun ideas that are different from the things I have taken in years past. 

This year as I was shopping I came across this little glass dish with a dome. I thought it was so cute, so I asked my kids what we could put in it. Of course my chocolate loving daughter, Amber suggested a chocolate cupcake with ganache in the center, chocolate icing and a chocolate covered coffee bean on the top. I took her suggestion and made up a batch the day of the party and I think it turned out wonderful. It is so cute!! 

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