Thursday, January 31, 2013


Yep that's right!  I have some HUGE, SUPER BIG NEWS for you!  I am joining forces with a sweet blogging friend to bring you a new weekly blog hop that is not just for homeschoolers!!!

Inspired Wednesdays came about because Amy, from A Nest in the Rocks, and I have noticed in our own lives that when we hit Wednesdays our energy is give out and we need to be inspired!

We do not want you to be washed up and blue we want to help you become inspired.  We want to help take the stress off of you by linking you up to inspiring blog posts that will include great recipes, fun cleaning tips, creative lesson plans, and so much more.  The best part is that YOU get to write the blogs and link up so that we moms can ban together and create a supportive network to become more inspired through the end of the week.  Who knows, we may even have a clean home with a home cooked meal on the table on a Friday evening! 

Starting next Wednesday, February 6, 2013, we will ask you to link up to a family friendly blog post that will inspire other moms get through there week.  Feel free to link up to ANY fun clean inspirational posts you have!  Get your posts together and come back next Wednesday to link up.  We will be choosing 2 links to feature (one per blog).  There may be a few fun giveaways going on too!!!  I will get a button ready for you to post on your blog or you can copy and paste the one here to your blog to show others that you are taking part in inspiring other moms!!!

Please note that your link must be from your own blog.  The post doesn't have to be published on a Wednesday just link up with us on Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Goal

If you have been around for a bit  you have noticed that I am not an avid poster.  I do not post everyday.  Sometimes I may even go a week without posting.


I am glad you asked!  I find it hard to find things to post about at times.  I do not want to keep posting the same things that others are blogging about.  My goal is not to be a blog for pinning or for tons of reviews and follwers.  I do love doing reviews and I will conduct them often.  I also love trying new things and hope to make some pinable posts - but that is not the goal of my blog.  I want to keep my blog real and relevant to my and things going on around me.  I want to keep a "scrapbook" of sorts of our homeschool journey with my blog.  I want it to be fun and ME!  

With all of that said, I will be starting a fun new link up soon with the help of a sweet friend.  I am very excited about it and look forward to it starting next month.  You will be asked to post fun links to my blog and hers and we will be choosing features to post as well.  I am hoping that this inspires more blog posts from me and that it helps you grow as well.

Thank you, each of  you, who stop by and read my blog.  Those of you who comment and pin.  Those of you who are here on accident.  Each of you have gotten to know a small part of who I am and who my family is.  You are welcome to stop by anytime and read some more.  You are also welcome to stop by and share your blog with  me!  Leave it in the comments below on any blog post.  I would love to follow along with you.  After all, isn't that what it is all about?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pardon the mess...

I'm redesigning. :) You knew I wouldn't leave it alone too long, didn't you?!

Learning to Crochet

Growing up I would watch my mom create beautiful granny squares and put them together to make mini afghans.  She is very talented and crochet is only one of her many, many skills.  I always wanted to learn.  She would break out the yarn and the hooks and try to teach me.  I got the chain stitch down very quickly and then my brain would stop and I couldn't absorb the rest of the lesson.  I put down the hook and tried to pick it up several times since then with very, very little success.  But let me tell you, I can crochet a chain like a boss!  ;)

Fast forward to this past weekend.  I was on Pinterest and pinning all of these adorable crochet patterns to my needles and thread board.  I kept telling myself that one day I too would take up the skill of crochet.

Then my life changed.  No joke!  It changed forever!!  I found it.  The blog post to end all blog posts on "how to crochet" (well for me anyway!).  I pulled out the one crochet hook I own and sat down with a skein of yarn, a tiny notebook, and my iPad.  I was ready!  I started on lesson one even though I know how to start I didn't want to skip any steps.  Boy am I glad I started at the beginning.   Dana has a great way of breaking down all of the stitches and steps to teach anyone.  Honestly, if I can learn from her videos I have faith that anyone can!

She goes over EVERYTHING!  Really, she loves nothing out.  She teaches about the parts of the crochet hook.  How to hold the hook and yarn.  She teaches about the different yarn fibers and what they work best for.  She even teaches about the ball band - yeah I had no idea what that was either!

She has you start with the chain, going into the chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, half treble crochet and treble crochet.  Once you do those you have a swatch to reference back to.  Here is mine...
My fancy schmancy swatch.  Never mind the drop stitch.  I see it, I know it is there.  I am learning from it!  lol

Then she teaches you how to crochet in the round.  It sounds like something odd, doesnt it?  Really it is just making a circle with the yarn instead of a squarish piece of fabric.  This is how you would make hats, booties, hot pads, etc...  Here is my swatch...

My swatch for crocheting in the round.  It is with double crochet.  I think it is quite nice.
Then we got to the goodies!  The part that I have longed to create since I have wanted to create with crochet - The Granny Square!  I continued with my orange and white yarn.  Mostly because I had a lot of both colors and because it was the easiest for me to see the stitches.  With the help of Dana I did it!  I created a granny square...

My VERY FIRST GRANNY SQUARE!  Not too shabby, eh?!
Mine has an extra row because I wanted it a bit bigger and I wanted more color.

I couldn't stop there!  I made 3 more.  One exactly like the first and 2 that were inverted.

Then I skipped ahead of the class (Sorry, Dana!) and got to the stitching part.  I was soooo excited to get them put together and create a small blanket.  I used her hook through stitching and then I added the same pattern of the granny square to the edges and came up with this...

My finished project.
A close up shot of my Granny Square.
I LOVE IT!  My plan is to finish the lessons this week and become a crochet graduate.  Then I will be buying yarn.  Loads and loads of yarn.  I want to create a granny square afghan for myself.  I am sure with my new found knowledge I can create it.  I am very excited about this new skill and plan to make some dish clothes and hot pads for myself as well.

Can you crochet?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ice Ice Baby

Last week we were hit with a snow storm. This week it came as ice. Lots of ice. TN has been declared in a state of emergency 2 weeks in a row due to Mother Nature. They are urging people to stay home and off the roads. I got the message loud and clear! I'm home and my family is too. Hubby was called early this am and told not to come into work. I was relived. I didn't like the though if him out there in that nasty mess. Here is what is looks like in my neck of the woods...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I wish I could homeschool my child, but...

I hear it all of the time!  I wish I could homeschool my child, but

  • I don't have the patients
  • I am not smart enough
  • it takes too much time
  • my children will resent me for it
  • I am afraid my children will not learn enough
  • my children will not take me seriously
  • my children will not do their work
And the list goes on and on and on.  

For each of those excuses above I have ONE rebut.  WE ALL FEAR THOSE THINGS!

Yeah, I was the mom who used to say some of those things too.  And then conviction fell on my heart to homeschool my children.  Sure there are days I cry out to God to send help.  Some days I want to run out to the yellow school bus and put my babes on it and go in and enjoy 8 hours of quiet.  But it wasn't for me.  You see, God did not give me the patients of a saint.  In fact I yell and have meltdown more often than I would like to admit.  (full transparency here, ok)  There are times I have to pull out a scrap sheet of paper to help with math or even look up a word in the dictionary to help out my child.  That is just fine.  We are in this together!!!  I can hit on each other point but I think you get my drift.  

You see, none of us are perfect.  Homeschooling moms have the same fears, concerns, wants, desires and needs as the public school mom.  We want our child to excel and do their best.  (I do know there are some who do not fall into this and for that I say "shame on you!"  they give homeschoolers a bad rap)  I am sure that most homeschool children are just as capable of carrying on a conversation as any public school child, but since they are out in the public(bit behind a desk all day) doing other things - with different generations, don't be surprised if they can carry on conversations with *gasp* adults and not just their peers.  

So next time you go to tell a homeschool mom that "you wish you could but..." stop and think about what it is that is stopping  you.  Search your soul and your heart.  Homeschooling is NOT for everyone and not everyone should do it.  That is why there is still a public school system.  Just don't think that us homeschool moms feel like we are better mothers or wives.  We are in this together!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When It Rains It Pours

And my bedroom floods.

Have you been watching the news?  The weather?  Then you have probably heard about the crazy wet weather that TN is having.  Part of the state is covered in snow and ice and the rest of us are under water.  So far in the last 14 hours my wonderful hubby has vacuumed up over 70 gallons of water.  {He is a great man, I love him!}  His constant vacuuming has kept the water from rising - literally!  So far we have had minor damage.  Just a couple loads of wet clothes + one bag of wet clothes that ended up needing to be trashed.  Some wet odds and ends and we are hoping that the rest will dry out.  I know that it will take time and a lot of effort but I know that it is not more than we can handle.  I am resting in His arms and taking heart in the fact that God is with me even when I feel so helpless.

How is the weather in your neck of the woods?

Monday, January 14, 2013

For the Love of Horses

S is a horse lover.  She loves miniature horses, ponies and large breed horses.  She loves black horses, brown horses and spotted horses.  She loves horses in fields.  She lovess horses in barns.  She loves coloring horses.  She loves stuffed horses.  She loves those odd robot horses they sell in the department stores.  She even loves making horses out of building blocks.  But her most favorite thing to do is to draw horses.  We go through lots and lots of paper around here while we sit around and draw horses.  She doesn't do this alone, OH NO!  She has her brother and I drawing horses with her.  We have an instructional book (purchased at Hobby Lobby for around $5) on how to draw different breeds of horses.  We sit for hours and draw.  I treasure these moments.  Here are some of our creations...

S's Latest horse drawing.  She is working on shading.

My drawing of a horse.

N's horse drawing.  He is 5 but has a great eye for detail.

N's unicorn drawing.  I LOVE this sooo much.

S and her horse themed birthday party last December.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Pray

I am on January 11, of Jesus Calling.
Today it talked about praying.
I was never taught how to pray.  I was always told that I can and should take everything to the cross and leave it there.  I was just never shown how to do that.  I would just pray and *hope* things would get better.  I would *hope* God would hear my plea.  Today I am so thankful that I have it laid out in front of me.  How I can take my burdens, lay them at the feet of Jesus and walk away!  Here is what I took away from today's reading on how to pray...

  1. Speak candidly - Really, God already knows everything that is in your heart and on your mind.  You are not going to shock Him by telling him your secrets, your wants or desires.  He is there.  He already knows.
  2. Pour out your heart. - Let Him know what you want.  Let Him know what is bothering you, what you desire.  Again, you are not going to shock Him.  He already knows!
  3. THANK GOD for answering your prayers before worrying about the answer. - I have always heard to pray with thanksgiving.  I never really thought about it.  I just thought it meant to thank God for what he has given us.  I am learning now that it really means to thanks Him for what he has done and what he WILL do. (Yeah, that was a HUGE eye opener for me!)
  4. When you think back on the things you have prayed for, thank God for answering them and move on. - This is the whole "leave it at the cross" part that was so foreign to me.  I always wondered how we could just lay down our burdens and walk away.  We are only human and tend to dwell on things (or is that just me?!).  This is the part that is so great!  This is the part where we can sigh and move on with life.  This part is called FAITH!  We have called upon the name of the Lord.  We have showed him the desires of our heart.  We have thanked him for answering our prayers.  We have been waiting.  We think back on those unanswered prayers but instead of worrying over the outcome and dwelling on the "what if's" we offer up a prayer of thanksgiving for what the Lord is doing in that prayer already and we leave it there.
  5. Ask for all things in His Heavenly Name.
I am not a new Christian.  I was saved at 14.  But I am just now learning how to pray and turn my troubles over to the Lord.  I no longer have to hope that things are going to fall into place.  I can now have peace in my heart knowing that God has already been here.  He has already seen what is about to happen and has already prepared a way for me.  He has already answered my prayers I just have to wait on His timing.

Maybe this will help you.  I know it sure has helped me!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Whispers...

I pray for God to speak to me.  To guide me and show me how to live my life according the purpose he made me for.  In the last several years I have been rather upset that my life hasn't gone according to my plans.  I want and long for things that are just out of reach and it makes me sad and sometimes you can find me hosting my very own pity-party.  I know - it isn't healthy!  Last night while I was praying about our circumstances I told God that I know he has me where He wants me and that I know I should bloom where I am planted I am just not sure how.  My heart was heavy and burdened.  I felt as though I was letting God down because I wasn't blooming here.  Then he whispered deep in my soul... "before you bloom, you have to grow."  WOW!  Maybe these pity-party sessions, depression, and loneliness isn't against where he has planted me.  Maybe it is a part of the growing process that I have to go through in order to bloom.  In order for me to reach out to others and share with them what God has done for me in my life.  Maybe the trials I am facing are not about me, maybe they are a tool for others.  I felt God's presence with me so deeply.  I felt him comfort me and be with me.  It was a wonderful moment.  I truly feel better about my situation and where I am planted.  I may not be blooming yet but I am growing!

Monday, January 7, 2013

This is what I am learning...

I am just now learning that I MUST be thankful in all circumstances.  I used to read this verse and think that "for this is God's will for you" meant that He willed me to be thankful.  Today, however, it was placed on my heart that "for this is God's will for you" lead back to the circumstances that I am to be thankful for.  He lead me to where I am and placed me in that circumstance and it is up to me to be thankful for those things no matter how much joy or sorrow they bring.

*Photo taken and edited by me.  

Reading Inspiration

S is not a huge fan of reading.  She is getting very good at it she just doesn't want to practice.  I have been looking for things to do to help her get more into it.  The past few weeks she has been really into tea parties. That gave me an idea!  She has a reader called Howies Tea Party.  This is what I did...

I added a note to the front cover telling her that if she finishes the book she and I will have a tea party together!

We do not start back with school until tomorrow but I am sure this will have the desired effect.  

I also bought some fun stickers to add to the back of each of the books she finishes reading.  I found them in the $1 bin at the Dollar Store.

I would love to hear if you have any other creative ideas.  We have tried reading logs and rewards.  So far they haven't really helped.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let the reading begin...

I really want to try to read more in 2013.  I am starting with a few devotionals and time management books and hopefully a novel or two.  Here are a few...

Jesus Calling - I want to use this as a daily devotional.

Where is God When It Hurts - I have been going through a season of depression and our country is becoming a darker place to live in each day.  I think this book may just help me out!

Unglued - I bought the paper back of this book on the day it released.  I hope to go through it again with the devotional that was just released and deal with a lot of those raw emotions.

Tell Your Time - Who doesn't need better time management?  Right?!

These are just a few of the selections I have right now.  I hope to start more novels and deeper reading as I can.  I would love to know what you plan to read in 2013.  I will add to this list as I can!

PS these are not affiliate links.  Just where I bought my books.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mr. Poppers Penguins

The kids and I will be hitting the books again come next Monday.  I have been making some plans.  I have decided that we will start reading Mr. Poppers Penguins and work on penguin crafts {PINTEREST BOARD HERE} and do penguin study for science!

 I still have to get things laid out and get our time frame down but I am excited to have a start of a game plan!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This is the plan, Stan!

In case you are unaware it is 2013!  It is the beginning of a new year.  A new chapter in my book is ready to be written and boy am I ever glad that it is.  You see, last year was not a great year for me.  I suffered through a serious season of depression through most of the fall.  Depression is no stranger to me.  I have battled through it on and off most of my life.  I try to make it no secret that I suffer with depression.  I know some who do.  The reason I put it out there is because I feel that there is no shame in depression.  It is a real, raw emotion that, I am guessing, most mothers live through at one stage of their life or another.  It is hard.  It is sometimes all you can do to stand to be around yourself.  I know there are days when I feel like the worlds worst mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, etc...  I am making plans.  BIG plans for 2013.  I have been a lot of soul searching.  I have been doing a lot of praying.  The Lord has opened my eyes to some areas of my life that need changing.  The biggest one being the clutter in my life.  I am not just talking the paper that is taking up residence on every horizontal surface of my home, I am talking about the emotional clutter that is taking up residence in my heart and mind.  It is keeping me from being me.  I like me!  I haven't been that "me" that I like in a long time though.  I think she ran away and hid during this dark time.  Hey, who blames her?!  So I declare 2013 - Cut the Clutter - for me and my home and my family!  This is not a resolution.  This is a life change.  This is the plan to finding "me" again.  The me that I know and love and miss.

What are your plans for 2013?