Protecting Our Hearts

I love wildflowers. You know, the weeds that grow naturally in nature and look so lovely alongside the road. But most of the time, we don’t want them in our yard. This is especially true if you have a rock yard. In Phoenix, rock yards are very popular. After all, who wants to pay to water their lawn every day when half the year is a blistering 100+ degrees? Not many people. During the monsoon and winter rains, it is common to wake up to a yard full of weeds. We left for a conference last January and came home to find that … Read more…

Three Simple Ideas for Quality Time as a Family

I am guilty of wasting time. Especially when I am stressed out about something. Everyone processes stress differently, and I close down under it and seek out escapes, usually in the form of books or TV. When I am stressed I feel the urge to just turn my brain off for awhile, and avoid reality. During these times, my husband and I share a lot of common time together–watching TV. And that is not always a bad thing, but sometimes it is more important to push through the stress and fatigue to create quality time. I think this is especially true in families. … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Cowl and “I am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak

  As I talked about last week, I have been working on easy Christmas presents. I recently finished this chunky cowl, or infinity scarf. When I hear “cowl” I think of Batman. It was SO easy and fun to make! I could not refind my pattern, sorry! But I found something similar, that I think I will like even more. I am going to try and make it soon. It is basically the same idea but bigger so that the infinity scarf can be worn more than one way. Check out the pattern for Pavement Infinity Scarf. As always, check out … Read more…

First Day of Autumn: Sharing a Love of Nature With Your Children

It is officially the first day of Autumn, my favorite season! I cherish something about every season: Summer’s recreation, Spring’s awakening, and Winter’s gusty, swirling snow. Yet, Autumn encapsulates so much of what I love: the way the first nip of cold comes sweeping in on the breeze; the coziness of breaking out knitted sweaters; clasping a steaming mug of apple cider as you sit around a fire; hayrides bumping around dry, sometimes shaved-to-a-stubble cornfields; pumpkin patches bursting with orange and red pumpkins and gourds, ripe for the picking; the smell of dry leaves falling; the color scheme of Autumn with … Read more…

Moms are Awesome, Agree?

I don’t want to start a who has the best mom battle. First of all, I am pretty sure mine might win. Secondly, most moms are pretty awesome. Sidenote: Awesome does not mean perfection. Perfection is an unattainable facade. But there are things moms do for us that no one else on earth would ever think to do. Like, mail a package of garden-fresh vegetables from Nebraska to Arizona just because. 😉 I have never been so happy about vegetables. This summer I struggled to find tasty vegetables. It seems like all the fruit and veggies in grocery stores “look” good, but … Read more…

Five Ways to Avoid Camping Mishaps

Mitch and I were married for six months when we decided to take our first vacation, which turned out to be a camping trip. I was set on going to my favorite place on earth, the Niobrara River Valley. As a result, he let me plan the trip. My church used to camp there and float down the scenic river lined with crags, cliffs, trees, and even herds of steers. My family also rented a cabin up there for what was one of my all time favorite vacations. I remember thinking, How hard could it be? I have this in the bag. … Read more…

Simple Crochet Projects for Christmas

  I realized the other day that I am hopelessly behind on Christmas gift making. I decided to look for some quick and easy patterns. I have a couple friends who want to learn to crochet and I thought they too may want to make some easy Christmas presents! I remember learning to crochet by doing simple hats, blankets, and scarves. I love “on project” learning where you master a new skill and have a finished product to show for it. I am hoping my friends will feel the same way. The scarf I am working on has many rows and … Read more…

Building Your Own Personal Children’s Library

Growing up, I adored my very own bookshelf. Not only was it handmade by my grandpa, but it had sliding doors, and it held my most prized possessions: books. I still love my bookshelves (plural now). As an adult, I am trying to collect a variety of genres and styles for our future kids. Here are some of my recent purchases: (In case you cannot tell, I almost always buy used books, especially children’s books!) I also tend to lean toward books with vibrant pictures and educational value. In fact, I am purposefully trying to find more “fun” books, so … Read more…

God Asks YOU to Pass on Faith to Your Children

  God asks YOU to pass on faith to your children. A lot of pressure, right? But let’s face it, you are influential in your child’s life, even if it feels like they listen to their friends more than you. While it is your responsibility to pass on faith, you are not alone. Church is a beautiful community of people who can help you raise your children to know and love God. That is the purpose of youth and family ministers and Sunday school teachers. I believe most ministers would agree that they love being a part of your child’s faith journey, … Read more…

Vacation Travels — A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A couple weeks ago we took an impulsive day trip to Flagstaff to get out of the Phoenix heat. Yes, our dog Hazel came along! It was wonderfully simple just to lay out a blanket on the grass, play music, read, and soak in cool weather! We also got to catch up with a couple college friends over dinner. However, the real reason I have not posted for over a week is because we were on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider this blog work! In fact, I really wanted to bring a laptop, but we did not … Read more…

Yarn Along Wednesday: Baby Presents and A Northern Light

I have a lot of pregnant friends. So I decided it was time to try my hand at crocheting baby clothes. I also have a lot of leftover baby yarn from past projects that I need to use up. This project is barely started, but I am excited about trying to make baby clothes. It will hopefully turn into an Angel Wings Pinafore. I also recently finished, wrote a blog review, and attended a library book club over A Northern Light. Great teen historical fiction novel. I would highly recommend it. 🙂   This was my crochet project from last week. I … Read more…

Teen Book Review: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

As promised before, I want to do a monthly teen book review. My goal is not censorship, rather awareness. If you are aware of the content in the books your pre-teens and teenagers are reading, it will allow you to have real discussions about the choices the characters make and the choices your teenagers will make. I also hope that this will help you decide what age to recommend these books to your child for free reading or for a class assignment. Because if we’re honest, maturity levels and reading levels vary from child to child. And that’s ok. A short overview … Read more…