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Worth – Five Minute Friday

It is Friday again. That means it is time for me to spend five minutes writing about one word. This week the word it Worth…wow…this will be tough!

For me, my worth is a lot. I want to be worthy of my children. I want to be the mom they need. I wonder and worry everyday if it is enough for them.

I want to be worthy of my husband. I want to be the wife he deserves. I want to honor and respect him and be worthy for him.

But most of all, I want to be worthy of God. I want to be the child of His. I want to show that He means so much to me. I want my worth to be in God most of all.

When people think of me, I want them to say, she is a child of God. She loves her husband and children, but most of all God.

The month of July, I am taking the time I need to show myself the worth that I have in me. I plan to focus on my kids, my husband, my relationship with God, and our homeschool. I want my kids to know God like I know Him so they can find their worth in Him as much as I strive to.

So, when it comes down to my worth, I hope that I can show that my worth is in God and is passed on to my family.

Check out more Five Minute Friday posts on Worth right here:

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2 Hearts – Inspirational True Story (Movie)

I am always on the lookout for great movies. I love watching movies whenever I get the chance, but I also like the movies that have so much more in them.

2 Hearts Movie

I have checked out the trailer for 2 Hearts, a new movie that will be coming to theaters September 11th. This is a movie based on a true story. It is one that provides purpose, inspiration, hope and miracles.

If you are a fan of I Still Believe, Miracles from Heaven, or Courageous, this will be a movie you want to check out!

Check out the trailer here and see what you think for yourself.

Keep an eye on the blog. I will be previewing this movie and sharing more with you soon!

If you want to find out more check them out here:





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How – Five Minute Friday

I am getting myself back into blogging. I know, I said this before, but I am serious this time! I want to keep sharing with everyone about our journey, homeschool and live in general! So, what better way then the Five Minute Friday blog to help me out!

This week the word is How. I have five minutes to write, no planning, no nothing…just write. So, here I go…


Wow, what a word…one that I ask myself everyday. How do I make it through the day? With homeschooling, working from home, taking care of a disabled husband, taking care of myself. How do I do it?

Not only that, but I have others ask me, How do you do it? I don’t know. I don’t think about it. I just do it. But when I do think about it, I do know How.

The only way on How I do what I do, is because of my faith in God. I rely on Him for my strength, my willpower, my everything. I could not do what I do without Him.

I love what I do, I love my family, and I would never stop homeschooling or stop helping my husband. They are my why, so when people ask me How, I guess I am surprised. I don’t worry about the How, I know that will be taken care of by God. If He didn’t want me to be in this life, He would not have put me in this life.

I have to remind myself, when I ask myself How, when others ask me How, I need to give the glory to Him for giving me the strength to do what needs to be done!

Do you want to find others who took the time to write about How for five minutes? You can find them here.

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The Color Wheel in Nature – No Sweat Nature Studies

**Affiliate links have been used in this post. Check out my disclaimer here to find out more.

Over the years of homeschooling, I have learned about all the different styles of homeschooling. I have tried many of them and failed. The one I keep coming back to is the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling. This includes Nature Studies.

I have never been great with nature studies. I have high hopes and they quickly fall apart when I try to make them happen. That was until I learned about Our Journey Westward and the No Sweat Nature Studies. This is a new lifesaver for our homeschool!

Ray Ray has been the one who has been using the No Sweat Nature Studies, and he just completed the study on The Color Wheel in Nature. This was something new for him, a life class with a teacher that wasn’t me. Ray Ray has been homeschooled by me his entire school life. Having a new teacher was a challenge, but one that I loved for him.

Cindy West is a great teacher. She homeschooled her kids, and still homeschools. She is a very child-friendly teacher and loves to interact with the kids during the live lesson. This really appealed to Ray Ray. He enjoyed the fact that Cindy was interacting, and loved to put some input when he could.

During this study, he learned about the color wheel in nature. How plants and animals used the color wheel in their design. I didn’t interact with him much during the lesson, so I was happy there was a replay option for myself.

Cindy taught the kids about the color wheel and had them drawing and coloring as they went along. They even left the lesson with an assignment to finish. Ray Ray was a little upset by his drawing, so I made the decision to make it easier for him. Instead of making him copy the image, he was to color, I let him trace it. The coloring was the most important part, so I figure letting him trace was just fine.

Ray Ray doesn’t like to add color to his drawings. He thinks they ruin the drawing. He is a black and white drawing type of child. I told him he had to color his drawing, he was a little upset but did it. I am very impressed with his addition of color and love it. He now has his first sheet to add to his new nature journal!

The No Sweat Nature Studies are a hit in our house. We can’t wait for the next one about caves. You can find out more about that right here. And the yearly membership is great. With the yearly membership, you are able to hit up the archive of previous nature studies and can always go back to the ones you missed. We will be checking those out over the summer!

Do you include nature studies in your homeschool?

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Our Summer Reading List

Our summer reading list for the whole family, plus a link-up!

I have always loved reading. Growing up, you could always find me with my nose stuck in a book. My kids have grown up this way also. With lots of extra-curricular activities not being able to happen this summer, we have found ourselves reading a lot more books. Check out what we have on our summer reading list!

Green Ember Series

This is a series I have wanted to read for a long time. Now that I have the full collection, we plan to read this for our family read-aloud book. I am excited to join in on the fun that I hear about from everyone else. I think my kids will love it as well!

The Dream Traveler’s Quest

This is a new series for me. I happened upon this series and I am thrilled that I grabbed them. I plan to have Ray Ray work through these four books. They are based on a boy about the same age as Ray Ray who is going on a quest to find the Five Seals of Truth. This is based on the five truths of God. I also plan to read through them quickly before I hand them over to Ray Ray.

Dork Diaries

Now this is a series way off from the first two. This is a series that Little Miss is into. She loves them and the style they are written in. They are fun and simple for her to read. I am happy that she has found her series. Seeing her grab a book and go out and read is one of my favorite things in the world.

Picture Books

Picture Books on our summer reading list

Baby Girl is in a stage, actually, she has been in a stage for a long time, where she loves to have me read her books. She is not interested in the big chapter books, so we focus on picture books. With the library here offering curbside pickup, I am able to pick up a bunch of picture books to add to our collections. This month I am excited to share with Baby Girl some of the classics that I grew up on.

Books for Mom

I have two physical books in my possession that I hope to read. This does not include my list of books on Kindle. The two physical books that I want to read this summer are Before We Were Yours and Sold on a Monday. These two books have been talked about by friends of mine. If I can get through two books, I would be grateful! I used to read all of the time for myself, now I read for the kids. Mom wants some mom reading!

I am linking up to the link-up on the Homeschool Review Crew. Share your posts, new and old, evergreen content is welcome!

Join us in the Homeschool Review Crew Social Media/Blog Challenge!
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Our Favorite Summer Recipes

summer recipes

Summertime is fast approaching. The weather is getting warmer and with that comes the summer recipes! I love summer and the recipes that I can now use more than in the winter months. We also try to avoid a lot of heat in the house, so our menu changes between the seasons.

One of my favorite things about summer is using the grill. We use this all year, but during the summer months, we use this as our primary cooking tool. We love that we can cook any protein we want on the grill. From chicken, steaks, hamburgers, or hotdogs and brats, grilling becomes essential in the summer for us.

summer recipes

One of my favorite summer recipes is my grandma’s tuna salad. This recipe is one that I crave every summer. It rings summer to me! My husband loves this salad, but he loves it when I switch the tuna for canned chicken. We rotate the protein in this salad and make it both ways throughout the summer.

Burgers, Ray Ray calls these the steak burgers because I fry up onions and mushrooms to go on them. They taste like a steak on a bun. These burgers pair nicely with tuna salad. Just the smell of them gets everyone excited for a good meal!

Brats. There are so many kinds of brats available now. We have a local meat market that sells brats of all flavors. We can pick between gummy bear brats, chicken alfredo, and egg roll. Having the option to switch up the flavor of the brat makes it that much more exciting for us. I love adding some homemade sauerkraut on them. I can make my great-grandpa’s sauerkraut with the tools I got from Frementools. I cannot stand store-bought sauerkraut, so knowing I can make my grandpa’s recipe in small batches makes me happy!

Lettuce salads are another favorite during the summer. You can take any protein you grilled, and you can put it on top of a salad. Have extra steak from the night before? Add it to a salad. Extra hamburgers? Add them to a salad with Thousand Island dressing and you have a Big Mac Salad. Extra chicken? Grilled chicken Caesar. There are endless possibilities with salads and grilled proteins.

summer recipes

I have also started making the famous Italian Salad. This was a salad that I used to make from a box, however, that box changed, and the kids did not like the change. So, I pulled out an old recipe and made it my own. While I am still tweaking this recipe to make it my own and one that the family loves, this is one that is a favorite for the summer months.

What are some of your favorite summer recipes? I would love to hear about them!

summer recipes

I am linking up at The Homeschool Review Crew. Join us over there, find some recipes, and share your own!

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Teach Writing with Picture Books – A Review


*I have used affiliate links in this post.

Getting Ray Ray to write is a struggle! Fighting with him to come up with ideas, put those ideas on paper and make them make sense. I was at my wit’s end when I found out about the Masterclass, How to Teach Writing with Picture Books from Cindy West at Our Journey Westward. Oh, what new excitement I have now!


Our homeschool journey has included looking at and trying the different styles of homeschooling. This year we have come to realize that we really enjoy and thrive in a Charlotte Mason style of homeschooling.  Cindy does this same style of homeschooling and it is exciting to listen to her talk. But…not only that, I have a new way to present writing to Ray Ray. Let me tell you more about it.

How to Teach Writing with Picture Books Masterclass is an online class, once you pay for it, you have access to it forever. I love that I can rewatch it later when Little Miss is ready to start writing. When the Masterclass goes live, you can join in on the live video and ask questions at the end, or if you are like me and have something come up, you can watch the replay.

Cindy starts off by letting us know that formal writing shouldn’t start until the middle school ages. This is because they are more able to form the structure needed for writing. Also, at a younger age, they may not have the ability to write a full paper. This gave me assurance that I wasn’t falling behind with Ray Ray and that part of his struggle could be the fact that I was pushing him too early on.

As we go through the class, we find out the three uses for using picture books for writing. We also find out different books to use with the four types of essays. She gives great examples of how she used this technique and how we could also.

But why picture books for middle and high schoolers?

This was a question of mine for sure. Well, yes your child can read chapter books and those are great books for them with great authors. However, do you expect your child to write a 200-page essay? No way! We are only looking for about 5 paragraphs. With picture books, those authors are masters at taking a story, using a small number of words to convey their message and demonstrate the different literary techniques. This is what you want from your child also.

teach writing

So, was it worth it?

Yes, a thousand and one times! I learned so much about how to take the fun books we loved when Ray Ray was younger and use those to help teach him more about writing. I am already pulling together a list of books that I want to use starting next week to help him with writing. I love that I can take what I learned and apply this to anything that I want Ray Ray to write. I can use these techniques for his current writing assignments with our current spine curriculum. It is easy to apply and a fun way to teach writing skills.

Who should use this?

Anyone and everyone! If you have a child struggling with writing, poor writing skills, or they just don’t want to write, this will make it fun for them, and you! You can use this with your middle and high schoolers. Take the skills you learn and help them learn skills that will help them with their writing for years to come.

Don’t make your child hate writing, let them have fun while you use picture books and the skills you learn from How to Teach Writing with Picture Books Masterclass.

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New Year, New Curriculum

We are starting the new year on a new foot. This year we are changing up our curriculum, like big time. We are dropping everything, but math. Want to know what we are doing? Let me tell you.

After years of trying different things. Thinking we found just what we wanted, I got tired. I got tired of going between children and trying to help them. I got tired of the struggle of getting school done every day. So, I decided to gather the children around and start using Gather ‘Round Homeschool from Homeschool On.

I want to let you know, in no way at all was I compensated for this post. I just want to share with you what we found when we decided to start using it.

After years of book bags filled with a book for every curriculum, we are down to a basket for everyone’s folder and a shelf for their math books. We won’t get into the library book situation, because honestly, that hasn’t changed! But My time is mine again, all because one mom wanted to make things easier for herself and shared it with the world!

We are slowly working our way through the North American Birds Unit Study from Gather ‘Round, and I say slowly, only because we got hit by a nasty cold bug that is taking its time working through the house. Yes, we still take sick days, and we also take slow days. Those are the days when we are not 100% but we still work on some school.

Gather ‘Round allows that to happen. We have one main topic that everyone learns about. After we go through that, everyone does their workbook pages appropriate to their age. I am not spreading my time between 3 kids, rather we are all together and helping each other through the lesson.

I love that we are all together at the table at the same time. I love that I am doing one lesson for three kids, and I love that the kids are learning how to help each other with the workbook pages. We cover everything we need to within the unit study, language arts, social studies, science, and history. We only need to add math.

There are two ways to use this, you can do 4 weeks at 5 days a week, or 5 weeks at 4 days a week. This also does not take into consideration, sick days, or squirrel days. What are squirrel days? Oh, you know. That day when you find something on a side path that you want to look more into. It is not on the lesson plan, but you spend time learning together because something caught your eye. Yeah, that is a squirrel day, and those are recommended!

So, after falling in love over and over again with a curriculum that has me running all over the house trying to find supplies and get kids to get the numerous things done, I have finally fallen in love with a curriculum that encourages us to gather around together and be a family.

While we don’t need to add more than math, I do foresee myself adding some other things in. Mainly a nature study. I want my kids to get out more, so that is the only reason why I would add that.

I plan on updating you as we continue to work through the North American Birds Unit and what we plan to do as our next study with Gather ‘Round. Keep your eyes on the blog for more!

Monthly Homeschool Round Up - January 2020 {Homeschool Collection}

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Bible Studies for Mom – January

This year my word of the year is Focus. I want to spend time to make sure I focus on what I am doing. So, to start the year off right, I am putting my focus first on God and the Bible studies I have available to me.

I really want to focus my time on spending more time with God this year. That means I must focus on my Bible studies. Which ones I want to do first, how I want to do them and how I am going to spend time on them each day.

bible study for mom

I have to say, I am one who loves to start something, but I don’t finish it. This is true with my Bible studies also. I start them and get sidetracked. This is not what I want for 2020. I want to make sure to finish these, and I will be telling you about them each month throughout the year.

For January, I am focusing on two studies. And I don’t even know if the second is really a study versus a class. Let me tell you more about them.

I did a study at church on The Sermon on the Mount by Jen Wilken. During this study, I fell in love with Jen. I craved hearing her speak. This is a sign of a good study. When this study was over, I missed hearing Jen speak. I wanted more. So, I researched her. I found that I could get some of her older studies free on her podcast, so that is what I am working on this month.

I am currently working my way through the book of Exodus with Jen. This study is a step by step study. I was able to print the study book from her podcast at Flower Mound Women’s Bible Study. After the introduction, I have daily readings and studies to do. Every week I can listen to Jen explain what we read through and hear her view on it.

Jen Wilkin Bible Study

I am on week 2 of this study and really focusing on finishing this study. I will tell you more about what I am learning as I learn it. Please, keep coming back to see what I am learning!

Another study/class that I am working on this month is the Unbreakable Faith course offered by Pilgrim’s Rock. This is a high school course, but one that I really want to take. I got access to this course through my leadership position on the Homeschool Review Crew, so you can get my input and that of the crew members using this in their homeschools.

This is a course that I didn’t think I would need, but after devouring The Box within 2 days, I figured maybe God was telling me to take this course myself. This is a course that gives you unbreakable faith in a world that wants you to doubt your faith at every turn.

Unbreakable Faith Bible Study

I figure, raising kids in this tough world, this is a course that I should take, not only for myself but also for my kids. If I can have unbreakable faith in the God that I love, I can pass this faith unto my kids.

I also have a line of studies lined up for me to work through as I finish these. They are great studies from what I have seen so far. I can’t wait to tell you about them as I get to them.

Please check back later this month and see how these studies are going for me and see what I am learning.

Monthly Homeschool Round Up - January 2020 {Homeschool Collection}

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Five Minute Friday – Direction

FMF Direction

It has been a long time since I did a Five Minute Friday. These are one-word writing prompts that you spend five minutes writing about, create an image, link up here on Kate’s post, and encourage your link neighbor.

Today’s prompt is Direction.

I sit back and wonder about the direction that I am going most days. I feel like I get up and go. I don’t have time to think. I have many things on my list, time with God, being a wife to a husband with many health issues, homeschooling  3 of our 4 kids, taking care of the house, and trying to fit in time to work and blog. My direction is changing every day.

One direction that I want to be in control of, is my direction to focus on God. Focus is my word for the year, with an emphasis on focus on God. No matter what direction I go, I pray that I go to Him. I want to be close to Him in all I do.

My directions are changing every day. I have a lot on my plate. But, with my focus on God, my direction will be guided by Him. That calms my mind in the busiest of times. Knowing that He will guide me if I listen.

Whether my direction is up, down, left, right, or any other way, I pray that God will guide me. I pray that my direction will be guarded by Him. I pray that my direction will delight and please Him.

FMF Direction

Wow. My Five Minute Friday is short this week! I know that if I keep doing this, I will be able to focus more. Keep watching for more of my Five Minute Friday posts!