Monday, December 30, 2013

Book List for 2014

Last year I really had a hard time reading and sticking with books. I am a lover of books. I have always been a book hoarder.  I have this magnet on me that draws me to all book stores or the section of books in any place.

I have missed having my reading time. I plan to add this back into my life. With so many new changes last year it was just not my season to cuddle up with numerous books and drift away into another land. I did read some but not like my normal and none that really made lasting impressions.

Here is my list for this year. I planned 11 books this year. One to read every month. I left off one month so I could have this for catch up or a break. I also plan to read my bible in the year program.

Bible- Bread of Life Bible Year Plan
One Thousand Gifts- Ann Voskamp
In My Father's House- Corrie Ten Boom
Charlotte Mason Companion Karen Andreola
For the Children's Sake- Susan Schaeffer
Drawing Near to God- Cheryl Craft
When Ye Give- Joy Haney
Handle With Care- David Reynolds
Raising Your Kids to Love the Lord- Dave Stone
Finding Your Purpose as a Mom- Donna Otto
Radical- David Platt
Tortured for Christ- Richard Wurmbrand

Some of these I have already read or have only partially and would like to complete these. I am really excited to also add some books on natural living and gardening this year. I also would like to learn more on herbs, green living, and whole foods cooking. But I haven't struck the right books yet. I will add them to the list once I read the other books. I already own these books above and refuse to buy or check out another book before these. Ok....I may be slightly stretching that. *Smiles*

Do you have any books you aim to read?


Special Dates With My Kids

One thing I wanted to do before the New Year was have individual dates with my children. Hannah and I went to have pedicures, Chinese, and antique shopping total girl day. We finished our day with a nature walk.

 Kyle chose bowling and ice cream so we headed to bowling and he had ice cream while I drooled because I am going sugar free. 

 Ethan wanted to go bowling as well so we had a separate date and had pizza and bowling. Then we headed for a country drive to chat.
 After all our dating I used our leftovers from Christmas to make a Ham Ring. These are so yummy and good. Not healthy at all or sugar free.

Leftover ham, Honey Mustard, cheddar cheese and 2 cans of crescent rolls. Bake at 375. 
We have enjoyed our holiday break but I am ready for order, structure and for a REAL clean home again.  This week is my planning, cleaning, and organizing week. So, I will be blogging my plans about converting our cleaning products to natural cleaners, and cleaning our kitchen out to make it a Whole Foods kitchen.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Getting Nourished friends. Over the last few weeks the word NOURISH keeps ringing my ears. It keeps coming to my heart and mind during prayer. I can be sitting with my coffee and the word...NOURISH....will pound my thoughts. It has been since Thanksgiving to be exact. It was on our trip to my mom's during my quite time how I began to feel that I am more hungrier and thirstier ever than before for the Lord and for certain areas of my life and family to be fully nourished by Him.
Last year the word was SEEK and believe me He sent me on a journey of seeking. I am still on it. But I learned so much by researching, studying, and applying that word seek to my life. I am thankful that I had the experience of a prayer retreat to help me focus on this and it was such FABULOUS TIME.  I can't say that I'll get that opportunity to go away and seek the Lord, but I can say that I will be really focusing and planning to learn more about God's Nourishment and as well as how to truly let Him teach me how to Nourish my mind, body, and soul.  These are all connected and so you have to have all areas nourished.
So, here is to getting Nourished!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Memories (2013)

We had a very lovely and simplistic Christmas. It was full of love, laughter, and giving. We had a great time creating memories of serving, giving, and receiving.

Happy Birthday Jesus. I couldn't have received a better gift. Thank you for your love and wonderful gift to the world. I am also thankful for the MASSIVE amount of love and blessings that you have showered me with by gifting me my family, friends, and church.

Jesus Is the Bread of Life...Giving this Season

This Christmas we changed up a few things. We really wanted to find ways to give this year and show Christ to others. We scaled back on our own gift giving to be able to give to those in need. This year we bought 2 chickens and 3 ducks for families in need through World Vision.

We raised $155.00 for Home Missionaries by selling and making (as a family) dipped oreos.  This was hard work but worth the effort. 

Our Church puts together boxes of Christmas Dinners to distribute to the needy in our community. A man got the burden years ago to do this and they have been doing such a great job.  We jumped in and helped in whatever areas we could.

This year we decided to pass out fresh loaves of french bread with an invitation for our Christmas service on it. We passed out 60 loaves of bread. IN THE RAIN! But it was worth it. Many people were so pleased.

 Some of our faithful servants below. They are the most hard working women I know.
 The man below is the one behind the idea of Christmas Dinner Boxes. He works very hard getting this together.

I don't say all this to boast of what we have done. I am just so thankful that God has opened our hearts a few years ago about the REAL REASON for this SEASON. I am thankful for the revelation. It has made our Christmas more meaningful.  My kids get 3 gifts for Christmas and we have a small budget per a child. My kids are so thankful for their gifts because they have seen others in so much more need than us.

I am thankful the pressure has been lifted off of us to keep up with others (as far as gift giving goes) and not having waste and clutter for things that take up so much space and never get used. I am thankful that our bank account wasn't drained for things! It is still low but it was used to bless others not ourselves. Although...Jesus birth isn't a solid for sure date...what a wonderful time to show His character. Our goal should not just be showing Christ during Christmas but EVERY SINGLE DAY and YEAR ROUND!

I pray we stretch ourselves to keep the "Season" in every "Season" no matter Summer, Winter, Spring, or Fall. Let us keep up the Christmas Spirit Year Round.

Chrissy and Family

Linking to Raising Homemakers

Monday, December 23, 2013

Celebrating 15 Years (Gatlinburg, TN)

My husband and I celebrated 15 years, December 12th. He surprised me with a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. The Great Smoky Mountains. They were breath taking. Our cabin was lovely.  We enjoyed a walk downtown, and dinner (courtesy of our youth group gifting us a gift card) at a Steakhouse. We did a 4D game where my husband one as the best cowboy out of everyone. Smiles. We went to a pottery store and watched a potter. It was such a wonderful experience. Had the best ice cream ever. Best fudge. Best taffy. get the point.  Below are the quaint shops we visited.

                    We watched and sampled fudge that was so warm and yummy.

 On the second day we were there we drove and hiked some of the Great Smoky Park. We hiked up to Laurel Springs Waterfall. It was worth the hike. The water was cold and delicious. Oh...yeah, I drank some!

We had a wonderful time. Most of all I was glad to have some one on one time with my best friend, soul mate, and lover. I am thankful for the blessing of him in my life.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowy Days (2013)

We were one of those areas hit with that Winter Storm a couple weeks back. It was yucky at times but beautiful as well. We enjoyed everyday of that snow.  It was a treat and I don't usually like snow. This year for some reason I appreciated it and even went on a nature walk to take some shots.

 My husband built a fire so we could play and then get warm. I am happy that I have a husband that can start a fire in the snow. Smiles! 

 Hannah modeling. Which is a typical thing when the camera comes out.

On one of the days we couldn't get out of the driveway we made Christmas cards for the Nursing Home that we went to visit with our Homeschool group.

Hannah and I took a nature walk one day. It was so refreshing. The beauty of God's amazing creation and the sparkle of the snow took our breath away. Hannah is a Nature Lover!!!

From Our Heart to Yours may you have a great day. The next time it snows take a walk. It will remind you that there is still beauty in a fallen world.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Couple of Highlights (November & December)

This is a minimal of what we have been doing. But I chose a couple of pictures to highlight. My camera is about to go to the grave so pictures are grainy and not the best. Sniff! 
We had a wonderful November.  We accomplished a good bit of school and I feel pleased where we are in school right now. We are on a break for the holidays for now. We are keeping up with Reading, LA, and Math a couple days of the week.
We enjoyed learning about Pilgrims, and Indians in November. My oldest is studying Colonial Times, but joins us for fun things at times. We made pilgrim hats out of oreos, chocolate, and icing. They were very good.
 In November, I hosted a Holiday Prep night for friends and opened up the church fellowship area to be able to craft, write cards, wrap gifts, and just have fun. I got a lot accomplished this night. It was so much fun. Hannah and another little girl joined us and they made ornaments.

 In November for one our Homeschool Group field trips we visited The National Quilt Museum. This was my kids favorite trip so far. I was surprised, and it was soooo much fun. They learned a lot and got to make a craft project.

There are so many other highlights but I didn't want to photo overload nor did I have a whole lot of time to spare. We went to my mom's for Thanksgiving in Alabama and then my husband and I went to Gatlinburg, TN for our 15th Anniversary. We have been caroling, card making, and raising funds for Home Missionaries by selling cookies. It has been a great few weeks. Although, it has been great I am ready for some routine.  Our home isn't at its best (which is hard for me to deal with because I like order) and the kids are starting to be a little super hyper.  I am ready for ROUTINE!
Love you all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Alive

I'm still alive! I promise! But blogging has taken a back seat on this ride of life and I miss it terribly at times! My soul longs to journal! Blogging has refreshed me, reminded me of things we do by what I record, and inspires me to keep going! Unfortunately, it is not been on my top list of to do's! I do believe there are seasons in our blogging life that prevent it so with further ado...I hope I'm back for a bit! Be prepare for lots of pictures, and catching up!

I would like to add a pinterest pin to my blog does anyone have tips?


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lots of Catching Up

Oh my dear sweet readers...if you are still out there I hope to catch up here soon. I am sorry but life has really been full and as much as I love blogging and journaling our life online it hasn't been a priority. I find myself enjoying so much life and living to the fullest (there sure has been hard times as well) that I rarely pop in at blog world. 

I hope all is well with you all. School is going good. We are really plugging away and I am so thankful the Lord's guidance and sweet support He has showered us with. Our church is growing and going well.  The kids are doing good. I am feeling a lot better physically! 

Hope to catch up soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Finding Out What Has Been Wrong With My Body

Mercy precious readers....every time I get back on track with blogging, or pretty much anything in life my health continues to interrupt our life.  Ugh!  I am trying hard to keep upbeat about it but it does get old. Last year, I got horribly sick and ended up putting the kids in a local school for 2 months...that was a fail. It was a horrible experience to say the least but in some ways grateful because it made me realize even more our calling to homeschool. This is one reason I have been able to handle the frustration of my sickness again...there is no other option. God will equip us.

For years I have mentioned many times here how I have been under the weather with kidney issues, anemia, chronic fatigue, and even depression. These are just a few things...I have muscle problems, joint issues, and then began to have digestive issues and horrible pains in my left side of my abdomen when I ate. Then my roof of my mouth and gums kept swelling. I have been tested and I have gluten/wheat issues and they have been wrecking havoc on me.

I am in the process of going gluten free and it has been a journey. I am feeling a little better but still got a long way. 

As far as school we are a couple days behind but not too bad. We are going to plug away.  I find I have a hard time sticking to completing science and history. I do good to get all our main things done.

I hope all is well with you all.

Monday, September 9, 2013

One Major Thing Helping Me This School Year

This year is the 6th year of Homeschooling for our family.  I am very blessed to have this time with my children.  I have had many times that I have given into pressures due to many different situations and felt school (private and public) would be a better option...or so I thought! The Lord placed a calling on our lives to homeschool our child/children (Ethan was 4).  While we have had lots of bumps, turns, and breaks from homeschooling...I finally accepted that this is the Will of God for our Family and seeing first hand that this is the best and really only option (unless something happen God-Forbid) for us. 

There comes a point in all of our Christian Walk that we finally make the decision that there is no turning back and we are moving ahead.  We have locked our feet in and we will serve the Lord.  There came a point last year that I locked my feet in and declared that I would trust in the Lord on our schooling endeavors. 

One of the major things helping me this year is that I am trusting the Lord for our schooling endeavors. With that has led to a more relaxed approach to our schooling, and home life. Not relaxed as we don't do anything, but relaxed with peace, trust, and joy that the Lord is in control.

This has helped me as a mom/wife/woman be more open to just letting my kids be kids, explore their interest, explore my interest, embrace the day full of learning while other things slide, loving the giggles, snuggle time, and wrestling matches. Soaking in the kisses and laughter during math lessons, pulling out those crafts I used to dread cleaning up, enriching our days with love, learning, and laughter. This is what it is all about for us.

I want my kids to shine, be who God created them to be. I want to be who God fully intends me to bring Him Glory.

Trust the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding........


I am linking....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homeschool Weekly Wrap Up (2nd Week)

 We went to tour the Replicas of the Nina and Pinta and it was a whole lot of fun. Ethan (oldest) was the only one that said he would love to live on the ship! Of course, he is my history buff.  It was very educational and they really enjoyed it. 

 The trip didn't take as long as I had thought so on our way home (it was a hour and 15 min drive) we stopped by the Kentucky Dam. That was wonderful. I think my youngest and I enjoyed it the most. Although, they all did we all had our favorite moments.

How would you like to iron with that iron above?  You fill the middle with hot charcoal.  I am very glad for modern appliances!!!

On the home front we are plugging away at our school. We are studying Continents, Our Country, and the Earth. They have enjoyed making flags, coloring flags, and working on our Bible Notebooks.

 My son who wanted to make a weird face on purpose...Gotta love this age!
 All my pretty pillow and throws were being traded to make fort adventure!  They love this! They even ate their lunch in it. 
Here is a couple things we use as far as curriculum...

Reading Instruction and Phonics (both younger kids)-

Explode the Code Books, Hooked On Phonics, and Bob books. This is a great combination and they work well for us. Especially... since the light bulb is beginning to click for my daughter who has had visual perception issues.
We also use a Spelling Book and Dolche Workbook that has been super helpful to us. I purchased these at a Teacher Supply Store.

Language Arts/Lit/Writing-
Ethan uses a program for this called Complete Curriculum, certain workbooks I have purchased, Daily Grams, and Daily Writing Prompts.


Hannah uses Math Mammoth.  We love this!!!!
Kyle uses Life Pac for Kindergarten because we already owned it and it works for him but when he is done we will solidly use Math Mammoth as well.
Ethan uses Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra!

Social Skills/History-

The younger ones use Abeka 2nd Grade History Reader.  I use this as a spine and then do a deeper study with certain topics. For example, we are learning about the Flag, so we are learning about different ones over the time, Betsy Ross, and we craft our own flag that we plan to enter in next year County Fair. I basically go through it and section off the topics, find crafts, books, activities, worksheets, and so on to dig deeper for each topic.

Ethan is also studying Early American History using a curriculum called Complete Curriculum that I also add books, videos, and notebooking to deepen the lessons. We also use History Pockets!!


All my kids use Elemental Science. This year we are studying Earth & Astronomy!  We love this program so far. It has a classical education approach with notebooking and it is very good for us.


We use a very hands on and deep study (I believe) it is called Bible Road Trip, made by another homeschool mom. It is free and worth a look at. Google it and it will take you to her.  It has a Classical Education Approach with notebooking!

Of course.....if my kids get on a whim and something interest them I take advantage this learning moment and we dig into it. I call this the Delight Direct Learning moments and we go with it. My kids are crazy about wolves. Anything wolves. So...I got books from the library, movies, and hit wonderful Pinterest for ideas on wolf crafts, and color pages. We begin a full day of fun learning on these things.

I will admit this week at first has been rough due to my health (again) and I could use some prayers that the cause of my illness be resolved soon. We had to work extra hard to stay on track this week between Dr. visits and myself being couch bound!!

God is good and He really helped me so much. My husband taught for me one day and that was a super amazement and help. They all pitched in with chores, and my husband even brought me fresh flowers tonight. First time in years!!! 

I am pleased with our 2nd week. We are looking forward to next week. My kids are counting down days to our Skate Day with fellow Homeschoolers' this week!  I am anxious to catch up with some special ladies from the homeschool group as well.

I hope your week was filled with joy even amongst stressful moments there really is a silver lining of joy!

Chrissy T

Linking up to

Homeschool Mother's Journal Link Up