Our Snowy Day

***This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links at no extra cost or obligation to you. We only share¬†products we love or have on our own personal wishlist. It does not cost you a cent extra to buy through our link, but if you do buy anything on Amazon through our link, it greatly helps us out! ūüôā Snow days and nostalgia: no school, sleeping in, tromping through the snow, sledding with friends, and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate. To most kids, snow days equate to bliss. I still remember sledding the hill by my middle school, and of … Read more…

Confessions of a Writer and Recommended Book Purchases for High School and College Kids

I am hesitant to tell people I majored in English. People associate that with crazy things like being able to spell and use proper grammar. The truth is I struggle with both. I don’t think I am an awful writer, but I have to edit a lot. Otherwise, well, embarrassing things happen. Like, um, using the wrong grammar on the sign you scrawl out in 5 seconds for your announcement photos that you then post all over social media . . . Yep. That was not the fault our sweet photographer, Grace, that was all me.¬†” . . . then … Read more…

Walking The Broken Way to Abundant Life

I think our long wait for autumn may be over. I dug out my sweaters from storage and started wearing them.¬†Many trees¬†are in garbs of orange, red, and yellow. Still,¬†others are completely green. Rebekah and I keep examining our young Silver Maple in the front yard. It is holding out as long as it can before it turns red. This past week we’ve spotted a handful of leaves just beginning to turn. The red seems to travel up the stem then slowly encroach from the edges of the leaf. Catching a leaf in transition is one of my favorite things … Read more…

A Coloring Experience and Giveaway

We weren’t sure what the teens would think. At least the guys. Teen girls almost always love coloring, but boys tend to be “too cool” for such fun. But our teen guys took to it as readily as the girls. Maybe it was the cool designs that didn’t feel innately girly, like so many generic coloring books. The teens chatted as they chose their medium (colored pencils, crayons, or markers) and decided on a color scheme.¬†Even parents and volunteers joined right in on the fun.¬†The only complaint we received was that we did not give them enough time to finish. … Read more…

Jesus’ Vulnerable Life of Love

I’ve thought a lot about vulnerability over the past year or so. The concept challenges me, excites me, and terrifies¬†me. I know that the moments I am the most vulnerable yield the deepest connections and the most rewarding experiences. Still it is a process that lays me bare. It’s like one¬†of those dreams where you are¬†delivering a speech and realize you are completely naked. And I am the first to withdraw,¬†close up shop, and slip¬†back into my “everything is great” mask. And to be fair, oftentimes everything is great. Or fine. I’m not always lying when I say that. Just … Read more…

Motivation

This week¬†I sent¬†off Benjamin’s blanket with a prayer and good wishes. Lately, I’ve had endless¬†motivation to crochet. Mostly because in the evenings I avoided dealing with our taxes. I spent¬†months attempting to resolve the issues with our 1095-A before we could send everything off. (Last night we finally put on our “adult pants” and tackled them. More on that later.) This week I bordered¬†a light-weight receiving blanket for sweet Annabelle, our friends’ new daughter. She is all that is a sweet little newborn. We can’t wait to celebrate her birth at their shower this weekend. If¬†time allows I will crochet … Read more…

Inviting Imagination: Storytelling and Illustrations

Children are natural storytellers. They love to spin tales birthed in the purity of their imaginations not yet as tainted by harsh realities.¬†Stories also draw children into new worlds. Storytelling draws adults in as well. Why else would we bing watch shows on Netflix like The Office or Doctor Who? We connect and relate to stories¬†on a deep level. We compose them to preserve history and memories. Even throughout scripture, God uses stories to teach and preserve. Jesus’ utilizes parables to impart the wisdom and truths of heaven. Maybe God wrote¬†storytelling into our DNA. As a result, some children are … Read more…

Beauty in the Details

This past week has been full of outdoor adventures: Running barefoot through the grass or squealing as we dart through the sprinkler. I lather Rebekah and I with sunscreen every day. We both have very fair skin. And if she is anything like me, the sun will blister her skin¬†long before she ever tans. This Badger Balm Kids Face Stick SPF 35 – Tangerine and Vanilla works great and smells amazing.¬†Though it is a bit hard to rub in. I worried about finding summer sunscreen that would not irritate Rebekah’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, this face stick hasn’t caused a single … Read more…

Freebie for the Fourth: Weather Unit for Kids

Keep your kids learning and having fun inside and outside this summer, and all year, with this free weather unit. It is adjustable for age, with several different activities. I am slowly beginning to create educational units to use with our children as they grow, so this is the first of many. I can’t wait to share it with you, wonderful readers! I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here it has been rainy and stormy. So I thought, what better place to start off then a weather unit! I’ve created this weather unit complete with weather … Read more…

Gathering Around Inspirations: Losing Yourself in a Good Book

This past week has not been my most productive. At least not in the practical sense of productivity. I have always loved reading, so much so that I have to be careful it does not consume all my free time. I could lose myself in a good book for hours. And this past week I have become totally sucked into good books. It started with¬†Because of Winn-Dixie¬†(affiliate link).¬†I’ve read this book several times, but I decided to start reading it to Rebekah while nursing her. It is a quick read and hard to put down,¬†even on your fifth time reading … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Spring Learning Activities

I need to get outside ya’ll!¬† Spring is in full swing here, and I love it so much I could just cry with joy! To be fair, I love every season. But when winter turns that corner into spring, I feel consumed with excitement. It is like the whole earth is waking up and unfurling before our eyes after its long winter slumber. The birds are singing all day long, the grass, trees, shrubs, and bushes are all the richest of bright greens, the weather is that perfect 75 degrees with a light breeze, the rain makes everything bloom, the … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: The Life Giving Home

When you walk into somebody’s house and feel at home,¬†what is it that makes you feel that way? Is it the physical environment? Probably not, though that can contribute to it. That feeling of home that embraces you like a warm hug is often a combination of things. But most of it is relational in nature. Casting a vision for your marriage, family, and home is crucial. We all need direction and focus. Without it, we wander aimlessly. Meandering about letting our days and precious moments with our families slip away from us. To recapture and engage the hearts of … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: A Special Gift of Love

I grew up knowing most of my extended family on my mom’s side. And I am talking¬†extended family . . .¬†like 4th and 5th cousins extended. Growing up we always went to family reunions and annually gathered at my great-aunt Margie’s for Memorial Day lunch after placing flowers on the graves of extended family in Arnold, Nebraska. My husband has always marveled at the interconnectedness of my family. Even in Phoenix, we had the blessing of getting to know my mom’s cousin (so my second cousin) Doris really well. In fact, on most family vacations we would visit some cousin … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Unpacking My Childhood

I don’t have much to share by way of Yarn Along Wednesday, except a dream I have to crochet Rebekah a light yellow dress for this summer. I crocheted¬†a darling little yellow flower for a hair clip to match her Easter dress, but I failed to get a fantastic picture of it. Now that she is walking, she is a busy body. I don’t walk away with many pictures that are not blurry. And our Easter family picture was a bit mopey. Rebekah was on the brink of sleep when we took it. As always, remember to check out more … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations and Yarn Along Wednesday

Today I am blending¬†my Wednesday feature with my Tuesday feature–sorry! However, I think that they fit together very well. I often talk about what I am reading during Yarn Along Wednesday, and what I was going to talk about this week is also one of my favorite “read-together books.”¬† After discovering what fun it was to crochet boot cuffs, I decided to make some more. This green pair is going to a friend who is having a rough time.¬†It is my prayer that they brighten her day and let her know that she is thought of and loved. If you … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Poetry

In case you missed what Gather Around Inspirations is all about, let me fill you in. It is about introducing¬†quality literature (but also art and music) into your home. Looking for a good book to read as a family? I’ve got you covered! Through¬†Gather Around Inspirations, I am sharing some of my favorite (past and present) read-aloud books. I believe we cannot effectively pass on a love of reading to our children by nagging them to read more. Instead, we need to be willing to come alongside them and share the joy of reading with them, together. Which leads me … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Tap the Magic Tree

I love to wander the aisles of children’s books at the library. I always come home with way too many picture books. And I have the unfortunate habit of picking out books that I think look awesome, rather than thinking of what Rebekah would like. Right now, we are mostly reading aloud from Heidi while nursing, or enjoying board books together (which I often don’t like to get from the library because every baby chews on them). She loves turning the pages of board books and will sit while we read several. She does has a few picture books she … Read more…

Gather Around Inspirations: Heidi

As a young girl I dreamt of a loft bed of hay with a little window over looking the mountains and fresh goat‚Äôs milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I always remembered how¬†Heidi ¬†is described in the book and the vivid descriptions of the mountains and her loft bed. My mom had this old, large, edited¬†version of Heidi. I can still see the blue cover with a picture of a small girl in her thin, white smock. I don‚Äôt know where that book ended up, but I hope I can find it again. As a pre-teen at a scholastic book … Read more…