Oct 29, 2017

Not So Picture Perfect Family

I love seeing posts with perfectly dressed kids all smiling inside a clean and organized home. I smile and think to myself, "oh how cute." Then I look up and see my 4yr old dressed in last years Christmas dress with jeggings under it. My son is wearing the same outfit he went to bed in, and my 2 oldest girls are in sweatpants with messy buns. Oh, and also my baby just pooped. My house is a mess with throw pillows on the floor leading to a blanket fort. I'm washing the same load of laundry for the 3rd time, and who left the milk out all morning?!

That is what you can find on any typical Saturday in my house. Sometimes I feel like an awful mom for it. I beat myself up and start to compare myself with those seemingly perfect Instagram posts. I become depressed, overwhelmed, and a bit annoyed. 

But then I take a step back. My 4yr old is proud of herself because she got dressed with no help. My son went to bed with that outfit on because he fell asleep in the living room watching a movie with his dad. My 2 oldest girls are actually getting along. My house is messy because I decided to hold my baby all morning instead of clean.  And you know what, there is nothing wrong with any of that.

I think social media can be used for good but often times I feel the enemy using it against me to plant those negative thoughts in my head about being a bad mom. Comparing ourselves to others can be a slippery slope. Being inspired by someone on social media is okay, but we should never compare ourselves. A picture is only showing part of what is going on. I bet those moms are also washing the same load of laundry for the 3rd time. 

The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)
This verse pops into my head when I start to compare myself or start to think bad about myself. It helps me to get back on track and keep my train of thought on good, positive things.

In short, we are not a picture-perfect family, and I doubt anyone out there is. We all like to highlight and share the best parts of our lives. And that is okay, but we are all a hot mess somewhere in our lives, and that's okay too!

Oct 22, 2017

Easy Nature Study

At the end of last school year, I started to consider doing nature studies with my kids. We have access to acres and acres of land behind our house. There's even a little creek that the kids often hike over to. Having access to all kinds of nature it only made sense that I start doing nature studies with them. 

Over the summer I picked up the book Pocketful of Pinecones. I love this book and its gentle way of teaching kids about nature. The book recommends getting the Handbook of Nature Study. This book is full of pictures and information to just about everything you could find outside. I highly recommend purchasing the Handbook of Nature Study.

To begin our nature study I put the baby in her wrap and we head out to the woods. I let the kids go to whatever draws their attention. It could be a leaf, a plant, berries, or even a bug. If it's something they can pick or put in their pocket I let them take it home with us. Once we get back to the house they explore their item and draw a picture of it in their notebooks. Aaliyah likes to look things up in the Handbook of Nature Study and will read aloud to everyone. A few weeks ago their Papa gave them Sunflowers. The kids took it all apart and explored all of its insides and picked off the seeds.

This is a simple and fun way to allow the kids to explore nature around them and learn things in the process. I plan to continue this with them throughout our years of homeschooling.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using this link.

Oct 18, 2017

Easy Halloween Sensory Bin

I have a busy 4yr old. She hardly sits still and always wants to be doing something. She often interrupts when I am helping one of the other kids during our school day. She is bored and wants something to do to feel like one of the big kids. One way to keep her busy is sensory bins.

This easy pumpkin sensory bin keeps her and her brother busy. She has lots of fun and it is working out those fine motor skills. I had her use tweezers to pick up each item and sort them into 2 different pumpkin containers. Here is a list of things I used to make this bin.

  • Plastic bin or some other container 
  • Big bag of rice. You can also use beans or noodles. 
  • Pumpkin candy
  • Candy corn 
  • Preschool tweezers (link below)
  • 2 Pumpkin treat containers 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using this link.

Oct 15, 2017

Candy Corn Poetry Tea Time

We have been slacking big time here for our poetry tea times. I try to do it once a week but we are in the process of purchasing a rental property. Things are a bit crazy around here so we did our tea time today.

It actually worked out well. We first did a nature hike and study and when we got back they wanted to eat. So I decided their snack would be our poetry time. You, of course, don't need to do anything fancy but I had everything I needed to make a fun treat.

I made these super cute candy corn fruit cups. I used pears on the bottom, peaches in the middle, and whipped cream on the top. To make it even more fun I put some candy corns on top. The kids loved it and they looked super cute in a wine glass.

On top of reading our poetry books (see those books here) we talked about the Holy Trinity and the three different parts. We looked at the candy corn and it's three different parts but how it all is part of the candy corn.

The kids had fun eating their treat and reading their poems. Even though things were kind of last minute it all turned out great. 

Oct 14, 2017

My Stillborn Story

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. For me it's a time to reflect back on my stillborn, Ava and my miscarriage. It's also a time to speak up about these issues and continue in the healing.

9yrs ago I had Ava. I had a normal pregnancy and was healthy. I didn't have any issues and neither did she. Ava was born at 34 weeks gestation. The cause of her death is still unclear, it caught us all by surprise.  It's a bit of a long story so I made a YouTube video telling it.

All of our lost babies have their stories. I think it is important to share our stories because it may help someone else and it can be therapeutic for some to talk about their baby. I encourage you to share your stories with others whether it be on public forums or privately to a friend. You don't have to live with this pain in silence and you don't have to grieve alone.

Oct 12, 2017

BookShark Presentation

BookShark Box Day

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a presentation at our local library given by a BookShark representative. I am so happy I went and learned so many things. I am in my 2nd year of using BookShark in our homeschool and feel that now I can better use the materials for my children.
(To view our BookShark curriculum click here and/or here)

If you don't know what BookShark is, it's a literature-based, faith natural, curriculum. It's a wonderful curriculum for children and teens to get soaked in good books that will enrich their education in all subjects. Our family loves this company.

Back to the presentation.

Our representative name was Lynne, also a homeschool mom. She touched on many key points like
  • Choosing appropriate levels
  • Effectively using the binder
  • Easy way to organize all the books
  • BookShark Level K Reader 2016
  • Tips and tricks

And so much more!
What I took away the most from this was the 20/10 rule. The 20/10 rule is when you homeschool your child for 20 minutes straight with no distractions. After the time is up the child can get up and go to the bathroom, get a snack, run around, anything that they need to do. Once the 10 minutes is up, it's back to getting school work done for another 20 minutes. I plan to use this rule for my younger kids.

All in all, it was a great presentation and I feel that Lynne did a wonderful job. I walked out of the library more confident about our curriculum choices and will be getting our 11yr old on BookShark ASAP.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend a BookShark presentation, GO! You will not be disappointed.

Oct 11, 2017

Dirty Thirty

This Monday I turned the dreaded "dirty thirty." To be honest I am not even sure how it crept up on me. Feels like I just celebrated my 25th birthday. Here I am, a newly 30yr old woman. Eh.

To celebrate this very special occasion, my husband threw me a 90's themed birthday party. Everyone had to dress up. It was hilarious dressing up and putting 90's makeup on. I had the blue eye-shadow, choker necklace, and Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt on. I was disappointed that my plastic butterfly hair-clips didn't show up.

My husband had a cake specially made just for me. It was not only funny but oh so yummy! A good friend of mine, Roxanne, made a dunkaroo dip. The dip was a huge hit and you can find the recipe here. (She also has a blog that you can find here)
It was truly a great night with lots of laughs. It still hasn't fully kicked in that I am now in my 30's and I suppose it won't till I'm 40. Haha!

Oct 1, 2017

How To Cloth Diaper

My husband and I decided we would cloth diaper our newest baby. I am so happy we made this choice! I love using cloth for all kinds of reasons.
Cloth diapers have come a long way over the years. They are now so much easier to use. In the video below I am going to show you how I diaper my baby.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payment if you make a purchase using this link.

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