Monday, January 16, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday- 1/16/2017

And, we're back with another Monday in the New Year. They sure are flying by. I am very tired today from being up in pain all night long (I live with chronic pain). Nothing new but I feel extra tired today. Not too much going on here. Just the usual Monday stuff.

Hope you had a great weekend...we sure did!

The weather:::

Cold and dreary. It isn't raining but it sure feels like it could. Last week we had over a foot of snow then 70 degrees at the end of the week. Ha! This week it will be in the 40s, 50s, and 60s with a chance of rain a couple of days. Not too bad.

On my reading pile:::

I am reading through the previously mentioned books (almost finished) along with the "Love Come Softly" series by Janette Oke. They are so good. I also started reading "The Courtships of Lancaster County" by Leslie Gould. I am on book #2 called Adoring Addie (the first book was amazing!).

On my TV:::

When I have time to watch TV during the day while folding laundry or while the kids have quiet time I am watching "This Is Us". Can I just! I love it. I am also watching The Hobbit series with my husband in the evenings (we watch them a couple times a year). I borrowed the "Love Comes Softly" DVDs from a friend from church. Those will be watched when the kids are having quiet time as well.

On the menu for this week:::

Monday- Crunchwrap Supremes
Tuesday- Baked Potato Soup with salad
Wednesday- Leftovers because I make a huge pot of soup
Thursday- Breakfast for dinner
Friday- Homemade pizza
Saturday- Grocery shopping for 2 weeks

On my to do list:::
Laundry- I have 4 loads to fold
Dishes- They are taunting me from the sink
Homeschool with the big boys
Tidy up the whole house

Looking around the house:::

It is semi-quiet as I write this post. The boys are all in their shared room talking and making posters. I cleared off the dining room table (which is where I am sitting). My husband rearranged the living room on Saturday and it looks much better. There are things to pick up here and there but it looks pretty neat and tidy.

From the camera:::

Something fun to share:::

We get to go bowling on Thursday. The boys don't know yet because they would drive me nuts about it. We are going with a homeschool group. I am going to have fun watching the kids play. I can't even pick up a bowling ball at all because of the chronic pain condition but there will be plenty of help there.

What I'm wearing today:::

Black leggings, a black t-shirt, and a long gray sweater with fuzzy slippers. Ha. I may or may not get out of this today.

One of my simple pleasures:::

I love reading church history. I know, sounds a little boring. But, for me it is interesting.

Bible verse, Devotional::: 

"Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday- 1/9/2017

Another Monday! It's the second one of the New Year and I am joining Diary of a Stay at Home Mom every week for Happy Homemaker Monday! Check out more on her blog.

The Weather.....

Over the weekend we got a foot of snow here in Virginia. It is very rare to get that amount of snow. My kids are very glad for it. It is very cold, only 32 degrees, but the rest of the week will be warmer: 40s, 50s, 60s, 40s, 50s. Ahh...the weather in Virginia. Very crazy!

 On My Reading Pile.....

I am currently reading an Amish fiction (can't remember the name of it and it's on my Kindle Paperwhite). I am also finishing the books from last week.

 On My TV.....

I am getting ready to finish up the last episodes of Hell on Wheels. I have watched all of them and they added a few more recently. Yay!

On The Menu For This Week.....

Monday- Italian baked chicken, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli
Tuesday- Taco soup with tortilla chips
Wednesday- leftover soup
Thursday- Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon)
Friday- Burgers and fries

On My To Do List.....

(Sunday I deep cleaned the pantry and fridge)
Deep clean the freezer and wine fridge
Catch up on laundry (it is piled up from playing in the snow all weekend)
School with the big boys
Grocery store for 2 weeks of food
Co-op on Wednesday (and Awana for the big boys)
Co-op on Thursday (Chapel Day)
Start cleaning kitchen cupboards

Looking around the house.....

There is snow playing paraphernalia all over but it will be cleaned up soon. The sink has dishes waiting to be washed and the baskets have dirty laundry ready to be washed as well. My children are happily playing with one another and driving me bonkers with the noise level. Haha.

 From the camera.....

Something Fun To Share.....

We watched it snow all day long on Saturday. We had a fire going in the fireplace and it was so cozy. We all went outside for a quick look around but decided it was way too cold. We came inside and defrosted by the fire with hot cocoa and warm soup. We spent the day having quality family time together. On Sunday, the roads were horrible (we are not equipped here in VA to keep up with snow on the roads) and church was cancelled. We spent another day just enjoying family time and getting warm by the fire.

One Of My Simply Pleasures.....

Watching cooking shows on Create TV. I love Martha Bakes, Baking with Julia, Jacques Pepin, and Cooks Country.

 Bible Verse/Devotional.....

"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
I need this verse daily as I struggle with chronic pain.

Be Blessed!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday- 1/2/2017

I have decided that in 2017 I will get back to blogging regularly. I am going to join in with Diary of a Stay at Home Mom again because I just love this series and adore her blog. Please visit her page for more Happy Homemaker Monday and much more!

The Weather:::

It is about 50 degrees here in Virginia. It is also rainy and cloudy and kinda gloomy. Perfect day for staying inside and watching the Rose Parade. It will warm up a bit in the next couple of days to almost 70 and then by the weekend it will be back down to 35. Yikes!

On My Reading Pile:::

One of my goals in 2017 is to read more. I am currently reading Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie, The Unhurred Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson, Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst, and my Bible. I have tons more on my list!! I can't wait to dig in to more books!

On My TV:::

My husband and I are currently watching Sherlock on Netflix (the one with Benedict Cumberbatch).

On The Menu For This Week:::

Monday- Spaghetti with salad
Tuesday- leftovers
Wednesday- Orange chicken with rice (slow cooker recipe)
Thursday- Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast
Friday- Taco bar
Saturday- Grocery Shopping

On My To Do List:::

Organize the kid's Christmas gifts
Put away all Christmas stuff
Get back to homeschooling on Tuesday

What I Am Sewing or Creating:::

Nothing. If you follow my blog regularly you will know that I have a chronic pain condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. It keeps me from doing things like sewing and crocheting. I am currently in Physical Therapy with a possible surgery on the horizon. I hope to be back at it some time this year though. Stay tuned!

Looking Around The House:::

The Christmas tree is being packed away until next year. There is a load of clean towels that need to be folded and put away. The vacuum is at the ready for all the needles that fall off the tree (my oldest son who is 8 loves to do this). The Rose Parade is on the TV.

From The Camera:::

Something Fun To Share:::

We have just become members of a homeschool group called Homeschoolers for Christ. It has been around for years but I am just discovering it. A few of our homeschool friends are in it and we fell in love after our first visit. It is more field trip based and has a Chapel day once a month. I am thrilled to be a part of it.

What I'm Wearing Today:::

LulaRoe leggings and a shirt that says "Strong and Fierce". Not sure if that describes me or not but I liked it. Oh, and my cozy slippers.

One Of My Simple Pleasures:::

I love listening to Christmas music. I bought my husband a record player for Christmas and a few Christmas records as well as some Elvis ones too. I am loving the sound of music on the record player.

Bible Verse/Devotional:::

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." (Ephesians 4:7)
Grace is my word for 2017. I need to give more grace and I need more grace. I am working hard on this one!

Happy New Year! May it be an amazing one!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Beginner's Bible

My children just love when I read the Bible to them. We have "morning basket time" each day in our homeschool and Bible reading is a part of that. The most important part really. My oldest son is 8 and he is reading very well. I wanted to purchase a Bible that he could read himself and The Beginner's Bible came across my email as a review item. I was so excited. I immediately agreed. My son was thrilled as well.

The Beginner's Bible has been in publication since 1989 and has sold over 25 million copies. This new edition has been revised with new art that gets children very enthusiastic about reading the Bible. The text is easy-to-read and the illustrations are bright and colorful. There are more than 90 stories included in this book and each one introduces stories and characters from the Bible that are child friendly.

Although this Bible is geared toward very beginning readers, my 8 year old son enjoyed it very much. He confidently read it to his two younger brothers. He was a late reader but has turned a corner as of late. This new Bible has given him more self-assurance in his skills.

My children's favorite Bible story is Noah and the Ark. They have always loved that story the most and in The Beginner's Bible it comes to life with the beautifully designed art. My oldest son only needed help with a few words. His competence became a lot better and he actually started to initiate the reading himself instead of being asked to do it.

This Bible would make a great gift for any child. It is a beginner's bible so I would recommend from ages 8 and under although it can be used later on as well with ease. Children will enjoy reading about their favorite Bible heroes as they come to life on each page. It can be used as a read aloud for any home. Older siblings can read to younger ones. Parents or grandparents can read it to their children/grandchildren.

Here are many ways to learn more or purchase a Beginner's Bible for yourself or a loved one:

Official website:

Trailer / book trailer:

Link to Amazon :

I truly loved watching my children grow in their faith as they read this Bible. Their imaginations were running on high and the pictures helped to capture each story perfectly. Check it out for yourself. It is a New Year and there is not a better time to get into a new routine of daily Bible reading with your children.

*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Daniel Code (By: O.S. Hawkins)

We live in a culture that tolerates and praises sin. Violence is the norm and comes in the form of terrorism as well as crime. If a Christian stands up for Biblical values he is labeled "intolerant" or a "bigot". Christians are told to keep their "religion" to themselves and to "stop spreading lies and hate". People don't realize that God said sin is sin.

So, what are Christians supposed to do in a society that will eat you alive if you even speak God's name? O.S. Hawkins has written a book called The Daniel Code (Living our truth in a culture that is losing its way). He uses the Biblical example of Daniel to guide Christians on how to respond to the issues of today. Daniel was placed in a culture that cursed the One True God. Nebuchadnezzar was King of Babylon and wanted to be worshipped.

In this book you will find ways to engage our broken culture with strength and honor. Daniel survived a pagan, liberal, and difficult society. His story was written and included in the Bible because it has had significance throughout history. There will always be cultures who say "evil is good and good is evil". Studying Daniel's story can help Christians to grasp how to react and engage with non-Christians.

With so many young people (and some older people) living so freely (even though they are not that free) with sin, we need to know how to captivate others for Christ's sake. The Daniel Code gives an in-depth study of the book of Daniel and how he overcame the ungodly society he was placed in. The author gives tons of background information as well as very detailed scenarios that happened during that time.

When I think about how my children will have to grow up in this crumbling culture, my heart breaks. But, with Godly examples such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we have all we need straight from the Bible. Speaking the truth in love is what we are called to do. People NEED to hear God's truths. If we hide them for ourselves, who are we helping? If we don't speak up, who will?

When sin infiltrates a society and becomes the norm, Christians need to stand strong and speak up. Live out your life in a Christ-like way. Always point back to Jesus and His love. Most importantly, always show love. If Christians shout down other people about their sins, they are not going to hear you. They only see judgment, intolerance, and foolishness.

*Thank you to BookLookBloggers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Charlie The Tramp by Russell Hoban (Review)

From the authors of "Bread and Jam for Frances" comes their newly re-released book "Charlie the Tramp". This sweet children's book is written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, a husband and wife team. "Charlie the Tramp" won the 1968 Boys Club of America Junior Book Award and has been praised over the last 50 years as one of the best classic children's books ever written.

Charlie is a beaver who lives with his mom and dad. One day his grandpa comes for a visit and asks what he wants to be when he grows up. Grandpa Beaver expected Charlie to say he wanted to stay in the family business of cutting trees and making dams. Charlie has other plans. He wants to be a tramp. He wants to wander here and there and do odd jobs for his food and living expenses.

His family is disappointed at first but decide maybe they would give him the chance fulfill his dream. So, they send him on his way the next morning. Charlie has a grand day of adventures and sleeps under the stars that night. He does come home the next morning and works for his breakfast.

Off he goes after breakfast for some more tramping around. He begins to build a dam without even knowing it and his family is well pleased. He turns out to be one of the best dam builders they have ever seen.

Little Charlie represents what all children truly want to do when they grow up. They just want to have adventures and do silly things and be free. Sometimes, though, those adventures end up becoming a dream job or a dream life.

My boys (ages 8, 6, and 3) loved this book. I am sorry to say that I had never heard of this classic until recently. But, I am very glad to have been given the opportunity to review it. What a sweet and interesting book. As I was reading the story to my boys they all giggled and asked questions. They felt like they could relate to Charlie and his dream of becoming a tramp and tramping around. I did have to explain what a tramp was and they thought it sounded like something they would love to do someday. Haha. So innocent and sweet.

This book has been re-released for it's 50th Anniversary and this time around it is hardcover. It's just in time for the holidays too. It would make a great gift for a grandchild, nephew, niece, friend, cousin, or your own children.


*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*

Friday, December 2, 2016

Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas CD (Review)

I absolutely LOVE Amy Grant. I also LOVE Christmas music. It makes me feel so cozy and warm inside. It brings so much joy to my life. Amy Grant has released her new album (including some old favorites) called Tennessee Christmas. I mean, who hasn't heard this beautiful song??

I just think the world of this album. It will be dearly loved by my family over the years. The album includes:
  1. Tennessee Christmas
  2. To Be Together
  3. Christmas For You And Me
  4. Melancholy Christmas
  5. December
  6. White Christmas
  7. Joy To The World
  8. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
  9. Baby, It's Cold Outside (feat. Vince Gill)
  10. Christmas Don't Be Late
  11. Still Can't Sleep
  12. Another Merry Christmas
  13. O Come, All Ye Faithful
Okay, I cannot tell you how excited I was to hear Amy Grant with her husband Vince Gill singing "Baby It's Cold Outside". It was one of the best and sweetest versions I have heard. Their voices singing together is such a delightful sound to hear.

Of course, my favorite song on the album is "Tennessee Christmas". It just brings back so many memories from my childhood. No matter how old I get, it will always remind me of simpler times. I have never even visited Tennessee (even though I live in Virginia) but it makes me feel like I have been a thousand times. Did you know that Amy Grant actually helped write this song? Wow!

In a few of the songs Amy Grant talks about different Christmas memories. Hearing her talk about real life stories that have happened in her life felt inspiring. It gave the album more character.

Some songs were written by Amy herself and others are age-old classics that still give you the sense of Christmas. I liked hearing new and old songs together. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the older, more well-known songs that I forget other songs are out there just waiting to be heard.

Here is a sample of one of the songs on the album:

Amy Grant and her team are using the hashtag "#TNChristmasSurprise!" to form a video of real life people surprising their loved ones this holiday season. If you have a video of you surprising your loved ones this Christmas, post it to any social media outlet using the above hashtag and it could be selected to be in her video. How exciting is that?

Here is an example of a video:

Tears!!!! Just a warning. Haha.

You can purchase the CD from iTunes:

I pray that this CD blesses you as much as it has blessed me. It truly is the sweetest album I have heard in a while.

*Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing me with a copy of the product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.*