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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!! 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Family Honor Plate Review #HonorPlate #FlyBy

Alaina is always looking for new crafts or craft ideas. She was so excited when we received the Family Honor Plate. Not only did we receive this plate, but we also received the Table Thyme Discussion Cards to go with it.

The Family Honor Plate is a fun craft that will bring your family together. The plate is full sized and says Family Honor Plate in the center with virtues written going around the inside edge. The craft part of the plate comes in by painting the raised edge of the plate. It comes with the ceramic plate, 8 different colored paint pots, 3 paint brushes, painter's palette, plate stand, and 7 discussion starter questions. The plate painting is recommended for anyone ages 2 or over.

The plate is easy to paint. The plate should be cleaned with alcohol prior to painting to ensure the plate is clean of all dust and particles. Next, you paint the plate and then bake it to set the colors. Once your plate has cooled it is ready to use. Now how to choose who gets to use the special plate.

This could be a special plate to honor someone at meal time. Has one of your children made good choices, been especially kind, good, or loving? Now is the time to notice those qualities in our children no matter how small they may seem.  It will open up conversations with our kids about their behavior and let them know that we are paying attention to them throughout the day. I think it is very contagious when we start noticing good qualities in people our children will do the same thing.
Alaina wanted to paint our plate. She chose the colors purple, black, and white. I have a very deep purple in our dining room and she thought it would be even more special if it matched our purple dishes and our room. She decided on her pattern and at first, she was worried she wouldn't have enough of those colors to make it all the way around, but she did. I think it turned out fabulous.
The Table Thyme Discussion Cards are a set of questions spiral bound with its own stand. The questions help you share and learn new things about each other. They give everyone a chance to be heard, create memories, and connect and bond with your family.

Some of the questions are more serious and others are more fun. They ask things about what everyone wants to do in life, where you see yourself later, what are you good at, what makes you laugh, what are your favorites. Each question ends with "Why?" to get everyone included in the discussion.

The Family Honor Plate and the Table Thyme Discussion Cards are great to bring the family together and honor one individual each mealtime. Right now you can receive up to 20% discount on multiple orders.

Communication with our kids is very important. If that line of communication isn't open with them on little things then how can we expect them to come to us when they have important questions or matters to discuss.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  I received the Family Honor Plate and the Table Thyme Discussion Cards free in exchange for this review and post. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

She Reads Truth Bible Review #SheReadsTruth #ReadYourBible

I love waking up before everyone else in my family, it is always so quiet and peaceful. This time of year is even better, it is still dark out and my Christmas lights just add to the peaceful mood. One thing I enjoy in those quiet moments is reading my Bible. Sometimes I will read straight through, sometimes I will study a topic or person. Lately, I have been reading from the She Reads Truth Bible which is the Christian Standard Bible version.

This Bible is very pretty!! It is hardback bound and comes in a slipcover. Each book has an introduction that includes a verse of scripture artfully written, a reading plan, and an introduction to the book. Some books include a devotional, colorful timelines, full-color maps or charts, and the margins are large for journaling or note-taking. This Bible also includes two colored ribbons and the edge of the first page in each book is colored according to its genre. There is also a section on how to read the Bible, a list of key verses, a genre guide, and a plan to read the bible in one year.

The key verses included at the beginning of each book are not only pleasing to look at they make an outline of the Bible when they are put together. I think memorizing these 66 verses are easier when they are beautifully written because it creates a picture in your mind of the words. The introduction of each book is brief but contains quite a bit. The charts are also very helpful. The chart that is at the beginning of Psalms contains verses that show verses in that book about Christ.

I have been enjoying using the She Reads Truth Bible. It is very pretty and my youngest daughter turns into a teenager next week and she has also been reading this Bible. She let me know that she would like to have it because it is prettier than the one she reads normally. She loves the color and we both think it is very pretty. I really like the timeline to put the pieces together in the order they should be.

The Christian Standard Bible is a modern English Bible translation of the Christian Bible. It captures the original meaning without compromising clarity. It blends accuracy and readability. She Reads Truth Bible is from Holman Bible Publishers. Their goal is to have women to read God's word every day.

This is a great Bible to use for your daily devotions or Bible study. There is a giveaway going on for seven She Reads Truth Bibles if you would like to try and win your own.

Disclaimer: I received the She Reads Bible free of charge to review for B&H Publishing by FrontGate Media.  No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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