Thursday, May 28, 2015

Unoffendable by Brant Hansen {Review} & A GIVEAWAY!

We have all been offended by something someone has said or done to us or about us. It is a human reaction when we feel threatened. The bible tells us not to hold grudges or to retaliate evil for evil. It is so hard to do this and it takes lots of practice and prayer. Brant Hansen has written a book that gives us the tools we need to not be offended at every little thing. In his book, Unoffendable, he shares stories and practical advice on how to deal with this difficult subject. I have been blessed with a copy by Family Christian.

Brant Hansen has won Personality of the Year multiple times from his radio show. He has also worked with CURE International, that works with hospitals around the world to bring medical care to children as well as spreading the Good News of Jesus. Find out more about him by visiting or on Twitter @branthansen.

Giving up our "right" to be offended is life-changing. We do feel like we have a right to feel offended when someone hurts us or our family. We get offended if someone speaks ugly of our church, the type of food we eat, the fact that we homeschool (or public school), what house we live in, etc. There are so many reasons to be offended but Jesus came so that we could be free of these feelings and emotions. He came to take away the chains that keep us prisoner to these things and let them go.

In Unoffendable, Brant Hansen takes on this emotion by using comedy as well as the Bible. Part of being offended is anger. Anger stirs up so many emotions in our hearts. Being offended can turn into bitterness. Letting go of things that offend us makes us free to enjoy the wonderful things that life brings along.

I recommend this book to any Christian who has a hard time with anger, bitterness, and is easily offended. We have all been there so that may include all people. I loved reading this book and gaining fresh perspective from a fellow Christian.

Family Christian is giving away a $25 Gift Certificate to their store here on my blog. Please enter to win below!

I was given this book by Family Christian in exchange for my honest review. 

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Flight & Metamorphosis DVD {Review}

My children love everything about nature. We even have a nature box on our front porch where they can put things like feathers, shells, dead (and sometimes live) bugs, leaves, rocks, etc. Nature is in their blood. Science is their favorite subject. We spend a lot of time outside. We even name the birds that make homes in our yard (we have a Terrence (a cardinal), Stella (his wife), George Washington (an Eastern bluebird), Martha (his wife), and Blue Thunder (a blue jay). For review purposes we received a physical copy of Flight (The Genius Of Birds) and a physical copy of Metamorphosis (The Beauty and Design of Butterflies) (these are DVD’s sold by Review

These were two separate DVD’s that I received. Flight is about birds and Metamorphosis is about butterflies. Illustra Media produced these DVD’s for science purposes and learning more about different species of animals and insects.

How We Used The DVD’s:

  • Since these were appropriate for my children, we watched them all together. Even Baby Monkey (who is 2) joined in.

  • As we were viewing the movies my children would ask questions and I would pause to answer. Most of the time when I would push play again the question was answered. But, since they are so inquisitive I wanted to make sure their questions were answered promptly.

  • After viewing the movies we went outside to see if we could spot any of the birds or butterflies we had seen. This really made my children start looking for different kinds of birds, not just saying there’s a bird. They were asking me what the name of the bird was and then we gave them “pet names”. We have a butterfly bush that has not bloomed yet. We are hoping to get some great butterflies this year so that we can observe them.

  • When we came inside I had my children draw a picture of a butterfly with the thinking that each one was an artist and had to create their own version of a butterfly. It was wonderful and they came up with some fantastic ideas (I do not have pictures because I have been moving things around in my school room and lost track of them…grr).

  • They also drew pictures of their favorite birds. This absolutely love birds. I believe it is their favorite animal in the world.

  • Later, we read a few books about birds: About Birds by Cathryn Sill and John Sill, Birds, Nests, and Eggs by Mel Boring, and a field guide about different kinds of birds.

  • Then a few books about butterflies: From Caterpillar To Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman and Bari Weissman, The Life Cycle Of A Butterfly (a Bobbie Kalman book), and a field guide about butterflies.

  • We discussed the movies and what they learned from them and how they will help to keep the birds and butterflies safe. Review

What We Liked About The DVD’s:

  • The length of each DVD was about one hour (the Metamorphosis DVD has a bit more with bonus features). It was the perfect amount of time to hold my children’s attention. Any longer and they would have lost interest.

  • The narrator did a wonderful job. He did not narrate the entire time. He helped the viewer to learn more and understand more about each topic.

  • The experts they had speaking on the DVD’s were great as well. There were zoologists, biologists, specialist for each species, and many more. These folks were very intelligent about each subject.

  • The actual video footage was phenomenal. They give you an up close and personal view of each species. They go where no human eye can possibly go. The footage is so close to the actual animal/insect that you feel like you are there.

  • The DVD also includes in-depth studies about each species. They go beyond the outer feathers and into each feather. They go beyond the outer later of the chrysalis and inside to where the butterfly is being transformed from a caterpillar. It was amazing to see how these things all worked together to make these creatures.

  • We enjoyed the music as well. My family loves music (though none of us are musically inclined). It was exhilarating and fun. Review

The only negative I have about these two DVD’s is that they touch on Darwinian Evolution in both of them. Though I will say that on both DVD’s the “experts” all agreed that these creatures couldn’t have been created without some form on intelligent design. I am a Christian so I do believe that God made every single creature including myself. When these topics came up on the movies I would pause it and discuss what our family believes. The next time they heard it they were ready and said “evolution isn’t what we believe, we believe that God made all things”. It was interesting that the experts all agreed that evolution really doesn’t back up some of the fascinating things that these creatures can do.

I took a lot of notes during the viewing process. I actually couldn’t write as fast as I wanted to. I learn a lot of new facts about birds and butterflies. For instance, the Flight DVD goes into great detail about the skeletal system, the feathers, and the muscular system. They give you the how’s, why’s, and what-for’s. It was a learning experience for me as well as my children. The Metamorphosis DVD goes very deep into detail about the process of metamorphosis and the migration of the butterfly. It speaks about the butterflies anatomy, the chrysalis stage, and how they migrate to Mexico each year travelling about 2500 miles.

In closing, I am giving my recommendation for these two DVD’s. Flight and Metamorphosis were great learning tools that I plan to keep in my home library. Though evolution is discussed, I feel that I can recommend these because it gives the parent an opportunity to discuss what others may believe and what a Christian believes (if you are a Christian). My children are six, four, and two and they thoroughly enjoyed these movies. Baby Monkey squealed with delight during the Flight DVD (he took a nap during the Metamorphosis DVD). These would make a great addition to any home library or school room.

For more about FishFlix and other materials they may have, please visit:


For more reviews about other products and these products please click the link below. Review

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wrestling For My Life By Shawn Michaels {Review}

When my husband and I first met we both loved to watch wrestling. Yes, that silly and crazy show. We even went to a live WWE event. It was so much fun...back then. I got to know a few of the wrestlers stories and started following them. I had my favorites throughout our watching years but after a while life happened. We no longer had time to watch wrestling. Shawn Michaels (aka "HBK" or the "Heart Break Kid") was very popular. He wrote a book called Wrestling For My Life and in it he gives his testimony of becoming a Christian in an industry that is not so welcoming of anything Christian.

I was given this book to review by Family Christian. They have many wonderful books on their website and in their stores. I was thrilled to be chosen for this review since I have a history of watching WWE wrestling.

Shawn Michaels was born in Arizona and knew he wanted to be a professional wrestler since he was twelve. His real name is Michael Shawn Hickenbottom but he changed it over the years to Shawn Michaels for his wrestling career. Since he was a small child he loved playing sports and doing anything athletic. He started his career very slowly but was recognized as a real talent in the wrestling business by many people. In 1988, he began his career with the, then called, WWF. He was immediately popular with the women and children. He and his partner, Marty Jannetty, formed the team "The Rockers" early in their WWF career's.

Shawn Michaels' career took off very quickly once he adopted the name "Heart Break Kid". With this fame came many opportunities to do drugs, alcohol, and become a womanizer. He started taking steroids and from there it all spun out of control for him.

In his book, he writes about those lonely nights in the hotel room in between wrestling shows. He says that he was in the room with just his thoughts and the TV. He didn't like being alone with his thoughts so he would go out and party and drink. During this time he also struggled with being addicted to pain medication and muscle relaxers. Wrestling takes a toll on the body and his was no exception. He became someone who had rage problems and was disrespectful of the backstage crew. He admits this and feels remorseful about it.

When he retired from the WWF in 1998, the first time, it was because of a serious back injury. During this time, he met and married his wife Rebecca (a former WCW wrestler). He fell head over heels for her and they now have two children together. But, he also got into taking pills at this time and he struggled with his spirituality.

Reading Wrestling For My Life is such an incredible journey. It gives the reader an inside look of fame and fortune. It also gives the reader the down low on the behind the scenes activities. Shawn Michaels' testimony is so incredible. He became saved even through all of the darkness he endured. He became a follower of Christ and even made a comeback to the wrestling world.

The changes he made in his life made all the difference. His co-wrestlers noticed a huge difference and would come to him for prayers or just to talk. His wife is such a strong and courageous woman. Even through the storms and trials of his life she stuck by his side and encouraged him to seek a relationship with Jesus. His faith in Jesus brought him up from the bottom of the pit and now he is a great witness for the Kingdom of God.

I recommend this book because of the testimony included within the pages. It proves that God uses anyone, even those who have been to the bottom. At the bottom is where you find true grace and true love from God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

S is for Smiling Sunrise {Review}

I am always looking for great books for my children. Since I homeschool I have a bit of a collection that I call my “library”. I love collecting books that involve learning as well as being interesting to my children. I was selected to receive a physical copy of a new book called “S is for Smiling Sunrise” by Vick Wadhwa, as well as the teacher’s guide. It is published by a new company called WordsBright. It is a book about the “ABC’s”. It isn’t your typical alphabet book though (I will get into more detail below).

Smiling Sunrise Review

WordsBright is a new publishing company that was established in 2013. They focus mainly on children’s books that are educational and give the child a fun learning experience. WordsBright is dedicated to giving all children a way to learn no matter their circumstances. That’s what I love about this company. They give 10% of their net earnings to charities such as Room To Read (an organization that gives children in Asia and Africa learning skills) and Asha For Education (gives children in India the chance for a better education). What better reason to support a company who also supports the community and the world by changing lives through better educational tools. I just love this!

“S is for Smiling Sunrise” is written by Vick Wadhwa. Vick Wadhwa was inspired by his daughter to write this book and it is intended to be the first in a series like it. He wrote this book as a different way of learning the ABC’s. It is meant for young learners (Pre-K-3). He focuses on “Goodness, Beauty, and Wonder” as the themes for the book. Below I will give you my opinion and my children’s opinions.

Smiling Sunrise Review

How We Used “S is for Smiling Sunrise”:
  • When we received the book in the mail my children were so excited. They LOVE books. They can’t get enough of them. I told them it was a book about the ABC’s and they were even more excited because this is something they are learning and kind of know already.

  • I initially read the teacher’s guide on how to use the book in a teaching environment. I actually love the way it is set up (more details on this below). The teacher’s guide suggests that you use the book a different way than I did (start slowly and work your way up). I just went for it since my children have a small foundation in the alphabet. But, if your child needs slower….work slower. That’s the beauty of this book. Do it any way you like.

  • We dove right in and I read the book in it’s entirety. All three of my boys were listening very intently because they had never heard the ABC’s done in such a style as this book.

  • We then went back to the beginning and concentrated on the letter “A” for that day. We would read the entire book every day and then concentrate on the next letter as well.

  • The teacher’s guide gives you questions to ask your student/child about the book or letter of the day. There are also concepts that you can discuss such as “There are many different kinds of art. Art is often described as beautiful. Artwork is the process of making art….” (directly from the teacher’s guide). The author also gives suggested vocabulary words for that letter and activities to do to further their understanding of the theme and letter of the day.

  • I used the teacher’s guide and the boys understood the concept of the letter a lot better. They would even ask me questions in the process.

  • After doing the teacher’s guide activities my children asked me to read the entire book one more time. By the end of the alphabet they knew most of the rhymes all by themselves and would sing along.

  • Also, by the end of the teacher’s guide (doing all the letter from A-Z each day) my children could recognize the letters as well. That was a big step because they were having some difficulty.

  • Included with the book is a MP3 with a sing-along that goes with each page of the book. It was very cute and my kids enjoyed listening to it during quiet time each day.

What We Enjoyed About “S is for Smiling Sunrise”
  • I love that it is different. I cannot tell you how many times I go to the library and look for a book about the ABC’s and they are all the same. There is no theme, no rhyming, no fun. This sweet book is written in such a way that each letter has a theme and the pictures are bright and beautiful.

  • Speaking of pictures, my children loved them. They would point and try to guess what each letter would represent (“U is for Universe” with a picture of all the planets in space).

  • The little songs and sentences for each day were different and sweet. We enjoyed the way they described each letter and used different words for that letter.

  • I, personally, loved the teacher’s guide. It is written very well and it’s very simple and easy to use. It is laid out completely for the user and it takes no time at all to read through beforehand. It is in color and gives clear instructions for each day’s activities.

  • The MP3 was wonderful to have. I actually had to listen to it a few times before I got the hang of singing the sentences for the day. I would read them to the children and the MP3 helped me to be able to sing them. This is available for download only on their website as well as the teacher's guide. I received physical copies of each of those items for review purposes.

I really recommend this book to any homeschooler or educator. It would work wonderfully in a classroom setting. Children will love this new and different way of doing the ABC’s and learning about different themes such as the moon, virtues, and flowers.

Please visit their Facebook page at

Go to their website and discover more for yourself or visit the link below for more reviews on “S is for Smiling Sunrise”.

Wordsbright Review

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Monday, May 11, 2015

How I Prepare For The Homeschool Convention {And A GIVEAWAY!!}

Convention season is upon us! This makes us homeschool  moms very happy. The only convention I have ever been to is the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) Convention. HEAV is so much fun. I have been going since I had my first son (he was a newborn). I have been enjoying it ever since. Going to a homeschool convention can be very exhausting if you don't have a plan. The first time I went I was in shock.

The exhibit hall has hundreds of people milling about among the hundreds of vendors (seemed like that anyway). There are so many speakers that you want to go to every single workshop. Planning ahead gives you a clear picture of what your day might look like and how to get the most out of the convention without stressing over every detail.

Here's How I Prepare For The Homeschool Convention: 

  1. I go to and look over all of the speakers and print out the workshop schedule a few weeks before the convention. This helps me decide which speakers I really can't miss hearing in person and which ones I can listen to on the mp3 download of all the speakers (you can purchase one of these in the registration hall). I usually get the mp3 because there is no way to be able to hear all of the speakers. So, having a printout of the speakers I do want to hear in person gives me a plan for my day. 

  2. Make a budget that you want to spend at the convention and stick to it. There will be many temptations. There will be many things calling your name, but you must resist...unless of course your budget is none existent. Then, you can go crazy. But, most homeschoolers are on somewhat of a tight budget. There are many needs to be met. You also have to remember that there is a Used Curriculum Sale. That's right! Used curriculum for cheap. Remember to budget in for spending a little money there as well as the exhibit hall. It is a lot of fun digging through the unknown and finding a treasure! There is also a Silent Auction...lots of wonderful things to bid on.

  3. I go back to and look over the exhibitors list for the exhibit hall. I find out which companies and/or speakers will have a booth and make a plan to visit them during my exhibit hall time. I schedule in my exhibit hall time in between speakers and workshops. It's usually around lunch time that I finally get to step inside of the exhibit hall. If you don't have a plan of where you are going and which booths you want to visit it can be a little overwhelming (included in your welcome packet upon registering you get a map of the exhibit hall). Make sure to schedule in enough time to really look around. Maybe a company and/or speaker will catch your attention. You don't want to feel too rushed if you are learning something new about a product. 

  4. Make sure to have a list of companies you are wanting to use for the following year. If you are looking for a new math program to use, do some research ahead of time to see if it may be worth looking at when at the convention. There are so many things you can see in person and it does make a difference if you have a sense of what you are looking for and what questions to ask the vendor. 

  5. Get plenty of rest the night before the convention. I live an hour away from the convention hall in Richmond, Va. so I have to get up super early to arrive in time for the first speakers on Friday morning. You can attend on Thursday afternoon for the free classes on how to begin homeschooling. They are informative and delightful. Afterwards, go to sleep. It will be hard to walk around this huge event if you are sleepy and exhausted. Also, eat a healthy breakfast. That is the key!

  6. Bring plenty of water and snacks. I know a lot of folks pack their lunches because they bring their entire families. I do not pack lunch and treat myself to something from the cafeteria because I am on my own for those few days. It is a treat for me and I budget it in. But, I make sure I bring some healthy snack such as nuts, granola bars, carrot sticks, or an apple. And, did I mention to bring plenty of water? If you don't stay hydrated you will feel tired quickly.

  7. Bring a rolling cart or suitcase. I did not do this my first year and regretted it terribly. I didn't even buy much that first year but there are so many booklets, catalogs, free samples, free pens, tote bags.....I could go on and on. Bring something to put it all in that rolls. It will make a huge difference for your arms and back! 
For those of you who are homeschooling and have all preschoolers AND it's your first time attending the HEAV Convention you can get in for Free! That means that you get to attend the convention and get all of the benefits as anyone else. How fun is that? Also, on Thursday, June 11, you can attend the free "how-to-begin" workshops as well. Just make sure to sign in at the registration table in the lobby.

The HEAV Convention is such a tremendous blessing for me and my family. Now, it's your turn to enjoy the blessing. I am hosting a GIVEAWAY for a Family Pass (for the full three days including workshops, exhibit hall, and used curriculum sale) to the HEAV Convention (June 11-13, 2015). Please enter below on the Rafflecopter and please spread the word!

Note: Please click on the link below. I am having some technical issues that won't allow the Rafflecopter to show up on my blog. Sorry for any frustration (believe is frustrating). 

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

How To Get Dressed {Review}

I am utterly hopeless in the fashion department. I can barely put an outfit together. Though I do get compliments once in a while on an outfit, I find it terribly difficult to put a great outfit together with classic pieces as well as a few trendy ones as well. Alison Freer has written a book called How To Get Dressed. She gives us the run down on what to wear, what not to wear, and how to become a fashionista.

Alison Freer is a costume designer living in L.A., though she is originally from Texas. She dresses people for many appearances including music videos, TV, and commercials. She is also a writer for She wrote this book in order to give ordinary people a sense of style by letting us in on her secrets to dressing well.

"She provides real-world advice about everything style-related, including:

   • Making every garment you own fit better 
   • Mastering closet organization 
   • The undergarments you actually need 
   • The scoop on tailors and which alterations are worth it 
   • Shopping thrift and vintage like a rockstar 

Instead of repeating boring style “rules,” Alison breaks the rules and gets real about everything from bras to how to deal with inevitable fashion disasters. Including helpful information such as how to skip ironing and the dry cleaners, remove every stain under the sun, and help clueless men get their sartorial acts together, How to Get Dressed has hundreds of insider tips from Alison’s arsenal of tools and expertise."

What I found most interesting about this book was the chapter on "Dumb Fashion Rules That Were Made For Breaking". She demystifies the lies that we have been told our whole lives. For instance, the lie about not wearing white after Labor Day. She says that this rumor originally began as "don't wear white shoes after Labor Day". Alison gives us the low down on how and when it is appropriate to wear white clothes and/or shoes after Labor Day. There is also the lie that tells us we cannot wear denim-on-denim. You actually CAN wear denim-on-denim and she gives us the tips and tricks on how to pull it off successfully.

Here are a list of chapters from How To Get Dressed: 

  1. Movie Magic: Or, Why Movie Stars Look Like Movie Stars
  2. Fit: The True Enemy Of Great Style
  3. Alter Your Clothes, Alter Your Life
  4. Be Your Own Costume Designer
  5. Dumb Fashion Rules That Were Made For Breaking
  6. Wardrobe Tools To Keep Your Look Together
  7. Dressing For Success Is Dead
  8. Closet Hacks: Store Your Clothes Like Wardrobe Girls Do
  9. Underthings: You Really Only Need A Few
  10. Laundry: You're Doing It Wrong
  11. Shoe Care For All Your Footwear
  12. Old Stuff: A Guide To Shopping Vintage And Thrift
  13. Dudes, This One's For You

There is also a section on stain removal of all kinds and fabric care for many different kinds of fabric. This section is especially helpful for this mother of three boys. They stain every single thing they wear. 

Reading this book gave me more confidence in my style as well as a better sense of how to put together a great outfit. I am still learning and will keep this book close to my closet. I truly found this book easy to read with many diagrams to go along with each topic. The visuals, for me, were what helped the most. I can read something and not quite get what the author is trying to perpetuate. But, having clear diagrams and pictures were the key to getting the suggestions to stick. 

If you are like me and not that in to fashion, then this book is for you. If you just need a little extra boost of confidence for you existing wardrobe then this is the book for you. 

I was given this book for review by Blogging For Books. All opinions expressed here are solely my own. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tiny Bear's Bible {Review}

Since Monkey turned two in March I have been searching for a bible that he would love. The big boys have a couple of bibles but they seem too big for Monkey. When I saw Tiny Bear's Bible I grabbed it up quickly. I am so glad I did. It is a sweet little bible and the pictures are just precious.

It comes with a cover that is soft and furry like a Teddy bear. You can cuddle it and sleep with it. Monkey just adored having his own bible. He carries it everywhere and likes to pull at the ears on the bible. Throughout the book there are pictures of Tiny Bear and his family. For instance, on one page will be an illustration of a bible story and on the adjacent page is an illustration of Tiny Bear doing something that correlates with that bible story.

Tiny Bear's Bible is small enough for little hands to handle and the pages are board-book material. So, they are thicker and won't tear very easily. This is a wonderful aspect for me because I have three boys who are rough on books.

This book was written by Sally Lloyd-Jones who is also the author of many other books including another one of my favorites, The Jesus Storybook Bible. My older boys have that one and it is their favorite. I just love that Tiny Bear's Bible is now Monkey's favorite book.

It is illustrated by Igor Oleynikov who has published many children's books from around the world. He lives in Moscow with his family.

Each day I read this book (sometimes several times a day) to my children. They study the pictures and ask questions. They are very curious boys. The bible stories are written in a poetic and sing-song kind of way so that little ones can better understand what is being said. God's love shines through in this wonderful children's bible.

Here is what others had to say about it:

"Tiny Bear's Bible is a WARM, FRIENDLY, FURRY Bible for preschoolers with an irresistible message: GOD LOVES his children.
An adorable story Bible for kids 6 and under written by bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones. Tiny Bear's Bible is a warm, fuzzy reminder of how God loves his children - in a format that kids can cuddle. Together with their friend Tiny Bear, children discover eleven Bible stories in a book they can carry with them wherever they go. The closing story leaves us with this loving reminder: "No matter what, no matter where, God is with us, Tiny Bear." Sally Lloyd-Jones presents some of the most familiar Bible stories to children, which provides parents and grandparents lots of teachable, cuddly moments as they explore God's love together."

Tiny Bear's Bible is written for preschoolers so that they can better understand God's love for them. It engages their attention for just the right amount of time. Small children have a short attention span and this book kept my children's attention and got them asking more questions about God, Jesus, and the bible. 

I was given this book for review by Book Look Bloggers. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Romance {Review}

Romance. It seems like it would come so naturally to a married couple who love one another. But, as most married folks know, it is a struggle. A very real struggle. Add in homeschooling several little ones (and/or big ones), careers, and the messiness of life and you’ve got the perfect equation for NO romance at all. In her book, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Romance (published by Real Life Press), Heidi St. John gives many tips on how to nurture your marriage through those tough homeschool years. I was given a physical copy of this book for the purpose of this review.

Real Life Press Review

I have been following Heidi St. John on Facebook for a few years now. I have also heard her speak at my local homeschool convention. She is incredibly talented as a speaker and writer. She has written many books and bible studies as well as The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide To Romance. She is the owner of Real Life Press. She and her husband, Jay, have been married since 1989 and have six children, all of whom have been homeschooled all the way through school. I just adore her sense of humor and her wittiness about all things related to homeschooling and raising children in a Christian home.

Real Life Press Review

Having a solid foundation for your marriage is so important for families. If the husband-wife relationship is not flourishing the children take notice (whether you think so or not). Little eyes are watching every single move you make, listening to every word you say, and repeating these actions/words. Parents are to be Godly examples of how to treat others and live the Christian life. So, before you can have a solid foundation with your spouse, you must first have a solid relationship with God. Heidi St. John explains how having a “quiet time” with God every day changed her life. In the first chapter, we learn that in order to have a lasting relationship with our spouse we must accept that only God can fill all of our deepest needs. Expecting our spouse to do what only God can do will make for a bad marriage.

“If you want to gain insight
into your marriage, carefully
consider how dependent
you are on the Lord
in your personal life.”
-Heidi St. John

The next relationship we should look at is with ourselves. Heidi St. John talks about “That Girl”. She refers to “That Girl” as someone from the past. The girl who we forgot how to be. The girl who dreams, lives in the moment, sees herself as beautiful (and not a stretch-marked, flabby mom), flirts with her husband, and is generally joyful. With the business of life and children and families, we forget how to be “That Girl” and become someone we never thought we would become. Trying to get back to the girl my husband married is something I wrestle with often. I am not the same person (and not in a good way). I am cranky all the time, in yoga pants constantly, never have time to “flirt”, and am neglectful of my marriage in general. In this book, she speaks about getting out of that rut and becoming the woman God created you to be.

Homeschooling takes a toll on families. It is a huge blessing to have the freedom to homeschool but it is also hard to find time to do anything else. Homeschooling takes over everything, your life, your living room, and your heart. Putting ones husband above homeschooling is the key to getting back to “That Girl” your husband married. She is still inside your heart. But, letting go of some of the day-to-day issues can release you to become more of what you used to be to your husband.

I love the way Heidi St. John explains her feelings about her marriage, homeschooling, and her relationship with God. With so many things battling for our time and attention, it is easy to get distracted from our one, true purpose…to love and serve God and to tell others about Him. She is so real in her writing. I felt like she was sitting beside me just chatting about her life and what she has learned. She states that carving out time to just be with your husband is very important. Get to know what makes your husband tick. Get back to the basics of romance and forget all the other “fluff”. Sometimes simple is better.

The choices we make affect how we act as well. If we choose to say “yes” to everything and stay completely busy all the time, our lives will be so cluttered there will be no time for romance. No time for girlfriends. No time for God.

“Our choices reveal
what we love the most,
what we fear,
and what is of
greatest value to us.”
-Heidi St. John

We get to choose where we invest our time. We can choose to be hurried and busy. Or, we can choose to put the Kingdom of God first and give our children and husbands the mother and wife that they need. God’s desire is for us to know Him more deeply. Giving our children and husband the best of us is a great way to serve Him better. When we are choosing to stay busy, what are we busy doing? That is a big question. Are we busy doing the wrong things? Are we serving idols instead of God? Prioritizing God, your husband, and your children lead to a more peaceful life.

I am constantly trying to compare my life with other homeschooling families. What a mistake! No two families are alike. Every homeschool family looks completely different. There many be similar styles of teaching but it’s never quite the same. Comparing myself to others is a good way to be unsettled and unsatisfied with the life that God has given me. Heidi St. John writes about when she began homeschooling and the struggles she went through. She struggled with scheduling time for everything. Including time with her husband. We must live WITH our husbands, not parallel to them. We must intersect and exist…together.

In this book, I loved the section about “a cord of three strands”. This cord consists of you, your husband, and God. In Ecclesiastes 4:12 it says “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Oh how I love that verse. Sometimes I forget about the others in my life, especially my husband. Getting back to a relationship with God is the place to start. It is the heart of all other issues.

It all comes back to having a relationship with the Living God. Put Him first and the rest will fall into place. It takes work. It isn’t easy but with God anything is possible. Just as stated above, little eyes are always watching. Leaving a legacy for your children is so important. Will you leave a good legacy of a lasting marriage or will they see your marriage as a failure?

“Just as surely as my
grandparents’ marriage affected
me, your marriage is affecting
your children and the
lives of those people
around you.”
-Heidi St. John

I truly gained so much from The Busy Mom’s Guide To Romance. I loved reading this book and felt like Heidi St. John hit the nail on the head with this one. Her insight and wisdom gave me a better understanding of how to enjoy my husband more and not depend on him solely for my every need. Only God can give me the deepest desires and needs of my heart. Only God can quench the thirst for more love, joy, and peace. My husband was given to me as a companion, friend, and partner. Remembering that we (myself, my husband, and God) are in this together makes a huge difference in the relationships I have in my life. Romance is so much more than lingerie, flowers, and chocolates. It is building a lasting marriage based on the foundations that God has given to us in the bible.

I highly recommend this book to any homeschool mom who is struggling with finding balance in her life. I am struggling with this same thing and reading this book is giving me the courage and strength to do the hard things and enjoy the wonderful things. It is a great book and I loved reading every word of it.

You can find out more about Heidi St. John and her other resources by visiting:

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Spring Cleaning To-Do List

Today I am sharing my Spring To-Do List:

  1. Clean and organize my school room~Every homeschooling mother knows that you accumulate books, magazines, and curriculum. Especially if you are new to homeschooling. You collect any and everything you can get your hands on thinking you will need it someday. Well, this mama is done with that. The homeschool convention for my area is next month and I am selling about 70% of my books and curriculum in the used curriculum sale. I am also going to re-organize and rejuvenate the whole room. It needs an overhaul and I am motivated. 
  2. Go through the books in the rest of my house~I have tons of books. I mean TONS. Some people might now think so but I know so. They are taking over everything. It's not that it is a bad thing to have lots of books but when you have no room for anything else it becomes a problem. Especially if you have a husband like I do. He likes things neat, tidy, and organized (a place for everything and everything in it's place). Now, he's not a perfectionist. We both realize we have three growing boys living in our house. But, if we can get certain parts of our home down to a minimum, it helps so that the rest of the house doesn't look so bad. I am going to sell, donate, or get rid of any books that I don't read, want, or is damaged. 
  3. Go through my Grandmothers things~My family recently went through my Grandmother's home (she passed away over a year ago). All of the children and grandchildren went into her home and got special things that belonged to her. Her home was in very bad shape so my Uncles, Dad, and Aunt are all going to remodel it and rent it out. I got some wonderful treasures from her home. One of my favorite things I got is a family Bible. She also had so many old dishes (milk glass, pyrex, depression glass). I will treasure these things forever. But, they need a place in my home. I will find one soon. 
  4. Organize the "tupperware" cupboard in my kitchen~Yes, we all have the dreaded "tupperware" craziness in a drawer or cupboard. Mine is about to burst at the seams. I feel like that's all I do is shove more things in there. Well, the straw that broke the camels back happened a few days ago. All of the kids plastic cups came tumbling out onto the floor. I was undone about it. So, it is going to get a good cleaning and I am throwing out things without a lid or that I don't need. 
  5. Clean Monkey's bedroom~He is two now and no longer needs small baby items. I have been using his room for storage (I know, pretty sad). He has no place to put his toys and games. My goal is to donate any items too young for him and get a toy organizer (like the Ikea one everyone always has) with bins. 
  6. Clean Bear's and Ducky's bedroom~Yep, theirs is a mess too. Too many toys, stuffed animals, and the Legos...the LEGOS! I love Legos but goodness. These boys have more than their fair share. I will go through their Legos and organize them into bins with labels. I am also going to get rid of the huge plastic tubs of toys that they NEVER play with. We will be keeping good toys like wooden blocks, Hot Wheels, train sets, Legos, and their hard plastic animal collection. But the rest of it is history!
  7. Get out summer clothes~It is that time again to go through all of the clothes and bring out the next season. I hate this daunting task but it has to be done. Monkey's will be easy because I just donate all of his small, last-season clothes and put in the newer and bigger clothes from the bins in the attic. But, Bear and Ducky...that is more than a task. It takes at least two people, if not an army. We have to go through every single piece to check for stains, holes, and rips. Then, we put the old clothes in a bin for the next season and next person (they all share clothes and pass them on). After that, we get the new clothes out and do the same (check for stains, holes, and rips). Most of the time we find out that Bear doesn't have any clothes because he is the oldest and doesn't have someone who passes clothes down to him. So, we go shopping at the consignment store. 
That is just the short list. But, it's a start! What is on your Spring Cleaning To-Do List?