Monday, May 29, 2017

Remembering-Memorial Day

We are so blessed to have men and women who have risked their lives for our freedom and protection. While we take advantage of this day with our BBQ's, family time, and etc. Let us truly pause and remember what this day is about.

Memorial Day is day to remember the fallen that fell for our freedom. May we thank God for their sacrifice, pray for the families they left behind, and pray for future brave souls to stand up for us.



Set aside some time (5 minutes to whatever you desire) to observe the REAL meaning for this day. Encourage your children to pause and thank the good Lord for these fallen men and women. Teach your family what this day means. It isn't just a day to be off from work, to sleep in and to grill out. It is a day to honor these soldiers who selflessly gave it all for us to be able to enjoy our cookouts, and freedom to celebrate with our families and friends.

Thank you Lord!

Chrissy

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kicking Summer Break Off Just Right

On the first night of summer break we did a movie night. We were going to set it up outside under the stars but it rained. They had a good time anyway! It was such a fun treat for them.
 
 




Yesterday we took a small hike on some local nature trails. The weather was very nice and the trails were shaded. It was a perfect evening walk!
 



If you have kids there are so many free and almost free things you can do . But I tend to lose my creativity so this year I made a plan. We are also taking advantage of our library. They have a lot of fun programs for the summer planned out. From reptiles, Lego fun, robot building, and learning how to protect the Earth. I am looking forward to using these programs for FREE to entertain and have fun with the kids.

I also have planned some frugal and free Random Acts of Kindness to do with the kids this summer.

I chose a few science experiments to do and some fun learning opportunities as well. What about you do you have any fun FREE ideas that you have done with your children during the summer?

Blessings,
Chrissy

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer Mode- Full of Living Water

Hello everyone! We have entered full summer mode here and I can quickly see rhythms are a must for our home. I took this whole week off to relax, read, and be lazy. Like a mini staycation at home. *Smiles*

Of course, a woman's job is never done and I still had to clean, do laundry, cook, errands, bills, and etc. It really is a job to say the least!  But I miss our "school rhythm already. I fill a little off kilter. I can tell the kids do better with a routine as well. I am not saying a strict schedule after all it is Summer but a rhythm to our day is healthy and we plan to begin next week. I usually always take the first week or two after school is over to just to have FUN and Laze about!

I have been digging deeper in the Word of the Lord and prayer now that I have a little more time and I have been pondering the words Living Waters over and over. I was reaching a place where I was parched feeling. I am thankful the Lord woke me up and led me back to the Well.



I have been reading the Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian and it is really been a nice addition to my time in the morning with the Lord.

What about you do you have any studies going on in the Word? Devotionals?  Do you dig deeper in the summer?  Any tips or neat ideas you'd like to share to Revive Our Quiet Times??

Let us drench ourselves in the Living Water especially as the Hot Summer Days come upon us! It is a nice reminder during this season how blessed we are to know Jesus and have access to a Living Water that refreshes and quenches our thirst!

Blessings,
Chrissy

P.S. I know there are many that read that are on the other side of the world and they are facing winter. Praise the Lord that no matter what season the water is free and living and flowing!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cleaning Closets & a Tip!

Hello everyone! It has been a bit of a different week here at Keeping Home. We wrapped up our school year this week. We had dental appointments and Hannah has been sick. It has been a little unique this week. My oldest son ran into a wall in the dark and busted his forehead open. He is okay but it really hurt him. He does have a big gash. It is healing nice though. I had to wake him up every few hours to make sure he was okay and it was not more serious.

I feel a little tired and wore down to be honest.  I have been resting though when I can.

After our dental appointments, a traditional trip for a treat for our last day of school, and some errands I decided to clean our closet. My side mainly. I packed up all my winter items and tried on many items and discovered new outfits out of ones I had. I also got rid of a lot of items that were TOO BIG! Yay!




It wasn't a huge mess but it was full of winter items and it was hard to find cooler clothes for our hot days we are already having. It was nice to also get rid of many items that were too big and not to small. *Smiles* It was a good chance also for me to see items I need to focus on looking for. I have a lot of everyday things but not a lot of Summer Church Clothes. I will have to keep my eye out.

A tip I wanted to share is whenever I get an appointment card or a coupon and I don't want to forget about those dates. I go to my calendar and paper clip the card or store coupon so I will be reminded of it. Today I got my new appointment for the dental cleanings in November so I flipped to November and clipped the card there.


I hope you have a good rest of the week. Not much left of it!

Chrissy

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Changing Things Up

We are almost finished with this school year. Just a few more days. Monday morning on my walk I was thinking how neat it would be to surprise my kids by taking them to the library to do school. We have never done anything like this before.

It was so fun. We packed some snacks, water, and our books and headed to the library. They quickly found their own table and go to work. We read books on the couches, laughed, and chatted. They took a walk on the walking trails the library has. It was a nice day.


I may try a different place tomorrow! I am not sure! We will see! It was neat to change things up.

Blessings,
Chrissy

Monday, May 15, 2017

Feeling Special~ From a Mother's Heart

My family blessed me so very much for Mother's Day. My husband and youngest son Kyle picked out a Pioneer Woman's cup and perfume for me. My husband wrote me a letter and it was probably the best gift I have ever received. He has never done anything like that and so it was extra special.



Hannah got me the cute box with a saying on it that I love..."Start each day with a grateful heart!" She also gave me some beautiful handmade coasters from India and a special candle.


My oldest bought me a gift card to Kirkland's which is my favorite home d├ęcor store that I rarely get to go to. I am super excited to use this card as I have a coupon!!! The younger children made me cards at art and that was super special!



My husband and I took a late night stroll before the night ended yesterday. It reminded me of our walks in Solomon Islands. Oh, how I wish we could go back for mission work there.

I read this wonderful piece today out of a book called, A Mother's Heart and thought I'd share.

"The role of a mother is to help teach children right from wrong, the need for obedience, the importance of togetherness, and having celebrations (traditions) in a family, the necessity of living right before the Lord, and the need for a well balanced life. In addition, mothers are instrumental in teaching children to show hospitality, to be generous, to have good manners, and much, much more!"
~Tanya S. Edwards

I mean this is the best way I have heard it put simply of what I roles are as mother's. Really no matter what stage of motherhood we can invest and inject things into our children's lives. Even in the young adult stage.

I hope you all had a great day!

Blessings,
Chrissy


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Started in a Gazebo in the Midst of a Rose Garden

I have wrote in my journal for a long time on Mother's Day. It all started many years ago on a Mother's Day in a gazebo in the midst of a rose garden at a local park. My kids were all tiny then. I just started homeschooling. My husband made me leave after our family time to get some alone time.

I went to a local park with a notebook, pen, and camera. Oh and a cold coffee drink. I remember singing a hymn to the Lord, sitting and enjoying the beauty of the rose garden. I took a walk and snapped pictures. Then I began to praise God for being a mom. It hit me then...I mean really hit me...the task that I have. The importance of it. The honor of it. The amazing fun and blessing of being a mother wrapped me up in that moment.

I took that journal and wrote. I wrote how I felt about the past year as a mom and what I wanted to change for that new year. Mother's Day that day kind of became a New Year's Day sort of. I set goals for my motherhood, changes, and dreams. I prayed over those things. Took another walk and headed home. To enjoy porch time with the family.

I have never forgot that day. It was the most memorable moment in my life. I am not sure why. But maybe it just was that "moment" that God brightened the light and allowed me to see and feel the beauty and responsibility to motherhood.

Many Mother's Day's have come and gone since that one. Some great and some difficult. Very difficult! I still kept the tradition of journaling about the day.

Today as my day comes to an end I opened my journal and recorded the day. I thought I would share a little here. For my memory purposes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today started as every Mother's Day does. Getting ready for church. The kids and my husband gave me their gifts they had gotten me and we took pictures. We headed to church. I taught Sunday School class for the 10-11 year olds. We put our little plants together for their mom's. Church service was nice. Pastor taught a wonderful message that makes me want to check my heart, renew myself to the purpose of motherhood, and vow to do all I can with Jesus to raise a child unto Him.

We headed home and my husband and we did our tradition of cooking out. Derrick made me a yummy pork steak. I cooked up pasta salad and some extra sides. Ethan picked up a chocolate pie that was so amazing.

The kids and Derrick cleaned the kitchen and I have lounged a little, read a little, and wrote in my journal. I am half debating to take a nap but it is already so late. I will probably enjoy a movie. The kids are all out playing and relaxing. Derrick is getting a much needed time of relaxation.

As far as this past year in motherhood it has had its up's and down's. I can see a lot of areas I need to work on but I also thank God for helping me be consistent with a lot of things this past year. Even amongst many personal trials with my mind and body God held my hand and protected our family and helped me try to build this home the best I can in Him.

This year if I have one thing I want to work on between this day and next it would be to Embrace The Next Season I am entering. I am entering a season of older children and one preparing to leave the nest. Oh..my life is but a vapor. How quick it has been. This journey of motherhood really flies.

I have to be honest one of the struggles I have had this year is leaving the "little kid" season. I loved that season but my kids are entering a total different phase of their growth. I want to fight it and keep them small but I am now realizing how important it is to enjoy the season I am in. The preteens, the young adult and etc. It is hard. I keep forgetting they are older. There were so many things I wanted to do with them and I didn't. Oh, how I could tell a young mom to let go of things and just be present in those little ones lives. How I would encourage them to have fun with them. To let go of certain things and embrace the mess and sleepless nights. They are short lived.

This year I want to learn to accept the new season I am in with my children and learn how to invest in their hearts at this time in their lives.

Lord... please help me to do this. Please help me when I want to control and not let go. Help me trust you love them more than I and that you have their best interest at heart. Please quicken my heart to not be wrapped up in things and neglect investing in them like I need to. Let me also lay down my pride and my desires I have for them and help me watch them grow. Impress upon me to encourage them to find their purpose in you and teach them to be selfless by example.

Thank you Jesus...Amen!

Blessings friends and Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Need a Last Minute Mother's Day Gift?!

I saw an idea on Pinterest for succulents in a jar with a little saying on it. I loved the idea for my Sunday School class. I have to come up with something for the kids in our class to do for their mama's.

After searching I found these cute succulents already dolled up cheaper than it would have been for me to do jars and paint them. Plus, convenience is always a plus. We will use paper straws cut in half and the kids will tape the little quote on it and choose the plant they want. Then they will decorate a bag to place it in to give to their sweet mama's for Mother's Day. This gift costs under $4.00.

Here is the printable for free.


We are headed to spend the day with my Mother In Law for Mother's Day. My daughter and I found these super cute modest t-shirts dresses that are super comfy and flow. We both decided to wear ours.


Have a great day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Muffins, Books and What Kind of Plant is this?!

When I woke up this morning it was cloudy. I took a quick walk around the lake and had to head in because the rain began to drip drop. I decided to make muffins this morning while the kids slept in and the rain began. It was cozy, quiet, and the muffins baking filled the home with such a sweet aroma.


 The kids love Muffin days. We use to have Muffins every Monday. But since we are trying to eat a little different for breakfast they have become a treat.





I used this day as our SLOW day. I curled up with my bible and books after morning chores. All our school was finished for the week, laundry was going, and each kid had their things going on or shall I say some were still sleeping.

I caught up on some reading. I finally finished Monica Wilkinson's Slow Lane Book. This is more a Bible Study/Journal/ Devotion book and it took me a long time to get through. I loved it though. I love Monica and her wonderful blog...The Homespun Heart. The book nourished me and really the end was exactly what I needed. The story of Jonah came to life for me and I can see that if I am not careful I could be like Jonah.



I am starting a new book Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret. I am already wanting to devour it. Now that I am finished with The Slow Lane, which I used as a Bible Study for the year so far, I am pondering what my next study/devotion will be for the summer. I always try to do a study in the summer of some sort. I read my word all year and great books as well but in the summer I usually have more time to dig in to a more in depth study. Also... that cute little notebook I got was from a dear friend. I have been journaling my food and exercise. It is the perfect size.

Before I leave does anyone know what kind of plant this is?  We got this from the funeral of my husband's dad. It has three plants in one. I know what one is but the one with the bloom I do not. Any thoughts?



 Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Mother's Day!

Blessings,
Chrissy

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Summer Planning, Laundry, and Stopping Boredom

Today's post will be a Hodge Podge of sorts.  I have started planning for summer. I will share why I do this in a future post. I have found some really great printables off the great PINNING site. *Smiles* Do you plan for summer? Even if your kids are grown do you set goals for yourself? Books, places to see, projects, and etc.?





I scored some yard sale goodies last weekend. A friend of mine and I were on our way to gets some plants from her yard to transplant into my yard (Free Plants..Yay) and we seen a yard sale. So, we did what most average people do we whipped up in there and bought others junk.



They had a bag you could buy for $8 and fill it up. So, I got a beautiful collection of wholesome books to read for the summer. YAY!!!! I found a cute little basket as shown below. I stuffed the books in the basket to fill my bag up more. *Smiles*



I also found a pillow for my deck, and some candle holders. Mainly though I stocked up on BOOKS! I am not showing all that I got in the pictures below for time sake. It was a good little haul for $8!

I also have been working on my summer wardrobe. I have lost 2 sizes since last summer. So, I had NO summer clothes. I didn't have a bunch of money just to go buy clothes. But I got basic pieces for every day and I am looking for church clothes now. I am looking for a swim dress but they are super costly. BaHUmBuG!

My son has been finishing his school work early and then complaining he is bored! I came up with a solution today! He was very thrilled. I suggested he clean all the light switch plates and doorknobs.



His face!!!! Priceless!!!  I love it!!!!! Can you hear me laughing??!!! I am rolling as I am looking at this picture!!!! HAHAHA!!! He literally cleaned them all!!!!!!

This is a daily and I mean DAILY to do here at Keeping Home. LAUNDRY!




Well, enough rambling!

Have a super day!



Friday, May 5, 2017

Typical Friday~Errands, Day Out with Our Girl, and Purses!

We usually take Friday off of homeschooling so I can do errands, appointments, and shopping. The last few Friday's we have had to school due to unforeseen situations. It was nice to use this Friday for things that I need to do.

I took a few walking laps around the neighborhood this morning, had my bible and prayer, and got dressed. I then headed to the Doctor. Then stopped for me a little breakfast, ran the car through the car wash and vacuumed it out.

Then headed to the grocery store and shopped for our two weeks worth. Headed home to unload. All before 10:30 AM. Whew!!!

I then surprised my daughter with a treat out.  After we put up all the groceries and supplies. I made the boys lunch and then her and I went to get our toes done. We then went to get Spring/Summer purses. We found name brand purses for over half priced off. This is will be my Mother's Day gift. *Smiles* Hannah saved up for her purse and we had a coupon for 15% off each item. So...she got a Lilly Bloom purse for $11.00! Originally $45. I got mine for $17.00. I keep my purses for years...YEARSSSSS! My previous summer purse was old, torn, and gross. I had it for several summers. I would just clean it up and make it work. It was time for a replacement.



I also found this cute soap dispenser for $3.00 and I love it!!! It just fits in my kitchen so well.


We ended our day with a late lunch together. We giggled and had a heart to heart. I try to take a kid out once a month but here lately it has been hard to keep up with. When I was grocery shopping I was thinking of all I need to do....Clean House, Clean House, and Clean House...Smiles.

But then I just felt I needed to spend some time with my daughter and that we did.

I am now relaxing!!! The younger kids are out playing and my oldest is at work. My husband will fly in tonight from a business trip.

Tomorrow I plan to clean the home, work in the yard a little, and then work on my Sunday School Lesson. I am also working on our Summer Plans.

How about you??? What has your day been like?  What are your weekend plans?

Lots od Blessings,
Chrissy

Thursday, May 4, 2017

A SLOWER Paced Day...Finally!


Kyle woke up earlier than normal. I went on my morning walk and when I came back he was curled up on the couch snoozing. I walked in the rain with an umbrella. I am determined. But I would have loved to have went right back to this spot for the whole day. Ahhh! Tis the Life of a Little Kid.


I got to making us breakfast since it was a SLOWER paced day! 


Perfect Breakfast for a rainy SLOW morning. Pancakes, strawberries, and cream. Yum!


Rain....Rain.... Rain!!!! Rain....Wind....Rain!!!! More on its way! Yay!


Welcoming some new people to our neighborhood. Warm Brownies!


Taking advantage of a SLOWER paced day. I cleaned the fridge and freezer. It is all clean, organized, and so nice!! Can you hear the sigh of relief???  Ahhhhh!


Simple lunch for kids today. We don't do this often but every now and then nuggets and fries.


I was intentional today to make sure we had a SLOWER paced day! After homeschooling, chores, and reading aloud to Kyle I curled up with popcorn, and some reads. I am almost finished with Slow Lane. Almost there!!!

I have homemade veggie soup in the crockpot and I will add some French Bread to it with a salad or maybe do French Bread sandwiches. We will play a game tonight and I might try to watch The Victorian Slums series.

Blessings,
Chrissy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Welcoming Front Door & New Kitchen Look

Hello everyone! We have had a rainy cloudy day but we have to have those days too! I usually love to curl up and read or rest during dreary days. No luck for me at the moment. Busy is my season these days. 

I wanted to share with you some things around our home.


This wall in the kitchen used to have our homemade dry erase board.  We loved it. I used it for school, scriptures, and schedules. But I bought some dry erase markers from Dollar Tree and they were not Dry Erase. I couldn't get the marker off no matter what I used. While cleaning the board I bumped it and it fell and shattered. I couldn't find a frame I wanted. I honestly didn't have time to make another one. I came across these things and they were all super frugal prices and I put it together. The name of our school is Arrows Christian Homeschool.  I love the arrow.


I am trying to increase our fruit and veggie intake. This was what was left over after morning snack. Just the core!!!

I am plucking away on my daily bible reading. I have some skipped days but I have been more consistent than I have ever had.

These are leftover flowers from my Father In Law's funeral last week. I can't believe it has already been a week! Last week this day we buried him.


I love a welcoming front door!!! I just love it! I love this wreath. I have had it for years. I got it on sale for like $8 at Joann Fabrics.




My husband spruced up our front bed. All of them will spread out and grow. But this is the beginning stages.

I hope you all have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Simple Things....A Candle Flickering

Psalm 18:28 says.....
For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.

What a beautiful thought. Sometimes we have dark days. Some days we just need a little more light to shine in our lives. To be the Lamp unto our feet. The Light unto our paths. Sometimes we need that light to brighten dreary days. Sometimes we need the candle lit and flickering so bright to penetrate the darkness we may have in our own hearts.

There is nothing like a candle lit. I love the glow of a candle. The flicker. The illumination that a candle gives.





What is your favorite candle sent? I like fall smells usually year round. Cinnamon Roll, Apple Cinnamon, and things of this nature. But I also do like a nice lemon vanilla smell. I like vanilla smells too.

Blessings,
Chrissy

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Little Catch Up

Hello my dear friends. I appreciate all your prayers you have lifted for me and my family. We are sad to see my father in law go but the Lord knows and so we have to have hope in that.

I wanted to posted some pictures I snapped for Easter and such. Very delayed I know but I still wanted to share and have for my memory keeping purposes.










We had a nice Easter. It was hard honestly because that week my father in law went into hospice and my mother in law came to stay. It was an emotional week but we made the best of it and tried to focus on the true meaning of it all. I made a big lunch following church and we went to sit with my father in law afterwards. He was not really aware of us but it was nice to spend the time with him.



At the funeral I got almost all the grandkids together minus one and the great grandchild because they are serving in Uruguay for missions.


This box represents that we are almost finished with school and the new school books are coming to the door daily for our next year. I have now homeschooled over 10 years. I use to order all our stuff around this time and it was so helpful to have it somewhat prepared before summer so I could enjoy summer. But due to finances the last few years I had to wait. This year I went ahead and ordered most of it all and we are excited to turn a new page in our schooling. We are changing curriculums. I haven't done this in YEARS!!!!!!!

But I felt that it was a year that we needed to change, add, and take away some things and we are excited (the kids actually are) to shift into a new direction. I may regret it next year...*SMILES*!!! But I really don't think so. God has helped me in all the choices I made.

It is so good to catch up here. I hope to be more regular on and off. I know summer is approaching us and some years that means I can have more blogging time and some years it means I have NONE. We will see how this summer rolls. *Smiles*

Blessings,
Chrissy