Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Review : Four Letter Words

From the ever changing stack of books on my nightstand, I am not sure you could figure out what I like.  Among the devotions books, the historical fiction, the biographies and the Apologetics, you might find a legal thriller, romance or even a book about Dinosaurs in the Garden.  With four kids, getting older every day, I am constantly trying to choose books that satisfy my hunger for knowledge and entertainment, but I am also longing for books I can share or pass along to them, which will strengthen their faith.

Four Letter Words

My latest find was Four Letter Words, by Bill Giovannetti.  I am not sure what exactly peaked my curiosity and caused me to request this book, but I am sure glad I did.  I was hoping this book would be a great tool to use with my oldest, almost 11, to help him get an early and gentle grasp of Apologetics.  I want to make sure that my kids are grounded in “their” faith, not mine, and that they can understand and defend it.  Those two goals are lofty ones at best!

FLW cover


Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up : January 27th


In my life this week…

School was hard, I seem to remember last week reporting that it was in a groove and good.  Ugh!!!

In our homeschool this week…

We schooled far too long EVERY day!  Ughh – again!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Character training is far more important that math, reading, science or anything else.  I believe this is truth, I have a hard time living it though.

I am inspired …

James – the book.  I am being blown away by Beth Moore’s study of this book.  And I am loving that I am living it with the ladies in this study and my kids.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We stayed home this week, well when you are schooling until 2 or 3 pm daily it is hard to run around.  Today though, I am heading up to Dallas and will get to stop at Whole Foods (woo hoo) and see a few friends (more woo hoo).

Book Review : Mornings With Jesus

Who does not want to start their day off on the right foot?  I would venture to say we all do.  However, no matter how much we want to start the day right, sometimes we struggle to figure out how to make that work.   The book Mornings With Jesus is a tool that will help us all start each day of 2012 off on the right foot.


I have seen many devotion books, used many.   What makes this book different from the others?  First, the contributors are a cast of current Christian Authors including Tricia Goyer.  I also really like that each devotion takes about 5 minutes to read through, who does not have five minutes to offer up in the morning?  Lastly, each devotion starts with a verse of scripture related to the topic of the day’s devotion and ends with a through provoking “Faith Step.”  I loved both!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Book review : The Sound of Red Returning

The latest book on my nightstand is The Sound of Red Returning byduffysm Sue Duffy.  I have not had the pleasure of reading anything by Sue Duffy before this book, but I look forward to reading more by her in the future!


The Sound of Red Returning grabbed my interest from the beginning.  This is a story about a woman, Leisel Bower, whose mentor  turns out to be a double agent for the Soviet Union and the US.  Leisel is a famous concert pianist, and her love of music is throughout the story.  After the murder of her mentor while in Russia, she is hoping to put her connections to that man and those involved in his murder behind her.  Instead, the KGB believe she knows something and track her down to get what they want.


This story takes place in current times, but there is a great deal of the book taking you back to her time with family growing up.  Leisel grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and she spent a great deal of time on the water when she was younger.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homeschool Find!

Who knew?  Well, I never really thought I needed it to ask.  But today I was skimming my yahoo group daily distro (not even sure which one) and someone mentioned how they love generating worksheets on WorksheetWorks – OH MY!!!
This is, like, brilliant and so amazing for this momma of 4 different grades, 5 kids (4 plus, really), at all levels in many areas!  Oh my!!

I am so excited because of one main reason.  My kids love learning cursive.  Yet, I do not want to make it a “goal” because then they will hate it and whine.  Weird, I know.  So I am trying to gently offer cursive lessons without making it seem like work.

This website  can print out their verses for them to copy in cursive and they can copy, or trace!  This may not excited anyone else, but it made my morning!


I also printed the verses my kids copywork (in print) for my youngest son, and a copy for my little girl.  And she sat and copied the same three her brothers did. 

This morning, my oldest (did not use this website with him, but he still copied verses) wrote his in print, but since I taught him cursive lower case b’s yesterday, all the b’s on his copy work sheet were cursive!  They are tickled to be learning, and I am thrilled that it is not something we are fighting about.

For simple letter practice I did use Donna Young’s site to print out a sheet for 2 letters and lots of room to practice. 



I do love her site – so many great tools there too!  But for copy work that I want to control, I simply love WorksheetWorks!!  There is more than just handwriting too – check out their math (great for review), geography, and lots of fun puzzle like things.  These will be great to use while we are travelling this year, for their notebooks to have in the car!!

Spring Garden : In

new sign in garden


I love this part of the garden, not as much as the final product, but I still love the planning, the excitement of what we are going to put into the ground, the hope of what will spring forth from the ground in the coming weeks and months!!

planting onions

We had a wonderfully productive day on Sunday!  We arrived home from church, and after we ate some lunch we all headed out to work in the garden!  The weather was so nice, almost 70’s, even though the wind was blowing like crazy!

planting seeds

We planted 2 rows of three different kinds of potatoes, hope that is enough this year.  Then, we also planed lettuce (bibb and romaine), Swiss Chard (my favorite), radishes (a family, minus me, favorite), beets, onions, and some Pak Choi, not really sure what that is!

Everyone planted something, which is another favorite part – they are all so excited about getting seeds in the ground and planting things!  They love to watch their row grow and occasionally help weed too!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

kids in the kitchen

I am not so great with this…. this kids in the kitchen.  I mean, mine help a lot, and have for years, but letting them go?  Uhh, not so much.

In fact, when it comes to helping, they start helping, but when I need to hurry it along, or stir it “better” they quickly get disinterested and wander away. 

j mixing

This, my friends is why I love 4H.  I love it for many reasons, it gets my kids speaking in front of groups,  it encourages them to learn all sorts of new things, and it provides an environment to reward success.  But right now, tonight, I am loving that it has gotten me thinking that my kids need to be in the kitchen more without me interfering. 

They, all four, made something to show for 4H this Saturday.  They all made or helped make their dish in the past (aside from AG).  So this time, I sat back and supervised.  PJ made Spanish rice!  (Guess who is not making rice anymore?)  He is the new Spanish rice cooker in our home. 

{no picture snapped of him, I forgot…}

Book Review : Alienation

When books arrive here (which they do often) my oldest is always anxious to know when he will get to read it.

This book, Alienation by Jon S. Lewis, was no exception.

Instead of insisting I read it first, I let him go and he finished it the afternoon he started it!  Here is what he had to say about it:

I really liked it – it is a good book.

Q: What did you like about it?

A: There was a lot of action, and there were aliens living on Earth.

Q: Who was your favorite character and why?

A: Colt, the main character.  He was dealing with the death of his parents, and his Grandfather stepped up to be like a father.  His grandfather also instilled Colt’s faith in him.  Colt was injected with alien blood when he was six, and as a result has alien-like reflexes.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review : Then Sings my Soul

As a homeschool family that follows the Ambleside Curriculum, we have thoroughly enjoyed our study of hymns for the past two years.  When I was looking for a book that I could us for our study of hymns, I was not sure where to start.  Just any book is not ideal to help teach younger children about hymns and help them love them.


Recently I was blessed with a  copy of Then Sings My Soul  by Robert Morgan, from Thomas Nelson publishers.  I was so excited to read through this book and see if it would be a good book for our family to use in the future for Hymn study, and let me assure you, it is perfect!

Weekly Wrap Up : January 20th


What a glorious week we have had here in our little world.  School seems to be back into a good routine, the weather has been beyond fabulous, and we ended the week spending the day with some wonderful friends and catching up!  Does it get better?

In our homeschool this week…

we got back into a routine – and it feels so good!  We are enjoying a new chapter in our Apologia Botany Book – we are studying about fruits and seeds and all that good stuff.  Perfect timing as we discuss what it a vegetable and what is a fruit, because we are planting lots of seeds and vegetables right now in our garden!!

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

Relax and enjoy it, even when it does not go the way you think it should.  Good comes from even the bad days!

I am inspired by…

My boy.  On Wednesday at church he was talking with another boy who comes to our class somewhat regularly.  Then afterward this same boy was saying something again to my boy before we left.  I asked what was said.  On the way to the car he told me he gave his friend a $1 to get a cupcake at the cupcake sale.  I was floored.  He did this on his own, unbeknownst to me. 

Earlier we went to the table to get a t-shirt (he did) and pulled out his money to spend HIS money on a T-shirt for 60 Feet (see below) – and he saw they were $20 and he only had $9.  Well, I took his money and bought one for him.  I did not know what he did earlier.  a $1 would not have allowed him to purchase one either way, but he did not keep in in case.  Amazing.  He inspires me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It is over! {imagine me doing the happy dance}


I can finally have sugar again.  Can.  And yes, I will.  I am not sure when, how much or how, but I know I will be eating some sugar today and in the days to come.

Boy.   I have learned, that I can live without sugar.  I can.  But, since food is not my idol, nor does what I eat define me, I will not live without sugar. 

From today on, I plan to eat a Sugar-Less diet.  Not diet in the sense short term, but I plan to lessen the amount of sugar we eat as a family.  Robert has been wanting bees since before we arrived here, and I was always fully on board for getting them “later”.  Well, later is now.  I am not sure how soon now will be for us, but I am all for getting them as soon as we can.  If we can start to get our own honey, that would make sugar-less living so much easier!

But as a woman who loves God with all her heart, with all she is, I am a woman who is not defined by my body size, the calories I consume or by what I eat.  However, my body is a temple that God allows me to occupy for a set amount of time.  As I try to keep my house clean, and my kids healthy, I need to try to keep this body in the best shape I can as well.  So eating healthier is part of that.

Book Review : Small Space Organizing

By many  my house would not qualify as a small space; however when you have 6 people living in a 3 bedroom house, I think it could be considered a small space.image

I was fortunate enough to be selected to review Small Space Organizing by Kathryn Bechen this month. 

I am not sure about you, but it seems January is all about organizing, sorting and cleaning things out!  It seems that this is more than just me since just about every blog I follow is posting articles on the same thing.  I think with a new year we all just want things a bit more de-cluttered and organized!

I have enjoyed this book as I read through different rooms of the house and about various tips to help you get a handle on organizing.  While 1800 square feet of space is not small, 6 people and all their stuff can make just about any place seem small!  So I thought this would be a great book to help me get a handle on things.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

First Things First

It feels like the world around me has determined the word of the year to be First.  Maybe it is a new year thing, but this year I seem to be hearing it from all sides.

Yesterday on the Coconut Hut Radio show (and last week too) the theme was First.  In church, Nathan is preaching about making God first in our lives in all areas and how that would change our year and life.  In Bible study, as I work through James, Beth is talking about this same theme.

Maybe God is just doing this for me.  Or, maybe it is more than just for me.

But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given unto you.  Matthew 6:33

Great verse.  So often taken out of context.  In Bible Drill we are memorizing this verse from Matthew as well

If you believe, you will receive

whatever you ask for in prayer

Matthew 21:22

Book Review : Chasing the Mona Lisa

It is no secret I love all kinds of books.  Through reviewing books for a number of publishers I am so blessed to be able to read many more varieties of books that I ever would have other wise.

I love when a book can entertain and also teach, all at the same time.  I have really enjoyed some historical fiction I have read recently. 

This book, Chasing the Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey,  was one of those books.  I loved how this book told an interesting story while illustrating the possession of Art during WWII.  I knew that Hitler acquired many pieces of art, but I had not idea how he went about it. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Almost There!

I am about to wrap up my 2 week fast of no sugar.  I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I had no idea.

For instance, did  you know sugar is in just about every salad dressing? 

And Ketchup?  Crackers? Almost all bread?  Every yogurt I could find? 

When this started, I had severe headaches the first day.  The next few days I thought about sugar ALL day, when I say all day, I mean the thought was in my head every few minutes, if not more.  I could not think of anything but eating something with sugar.

A few days into it, I went to Whole Foods and stocked up – and this made my fast so much easier!!  I bought Stevia to put in coffee, tea, whatever.  I also got some amazing peanut butter that is so super healthy.  Not cheap, but I think may be our new go-to peanut butter.  It is loaded with flax seed, peanuts, agave nectar, and that is about it.  No sugar and instead full of super brain food stuff (flax seed).

At this point, I am ready to have some sugar.  I want a few things that I just plain WANT. 

But this brings me to the BIG question!  Why do we feel like we can have whatever we want to eat?  Let me clarify.  I know R rated movies are bad, the language is horrible, the nudity or partial is unacceptable, and the violence is over the top.  So we stopped watrching R rated movies.  Yes, this stinks when a great movie (looks that way anyway) comes out and we see it is R.  Oh well.  We skip it.  {I did make an exception for the King’s Speech, but the only exception in a LONG time).  Anyway…

We know this stuff is bad, so we avoid it.  We know smoking is bad.  We avoid it.  And yet, I know sugar is bad.  It feed cancer in your body.  It stops the white blood cells from doing their job (i.e. keeping you healthy) and yet – we jump head first into a life of sugar addiction.  This is one of the few area where we do not tell ourselves no.  We seem to think we are doing everything else okay, I deserve to eat what I want.  But what I want is based on what my body has become addicted to.  Check out Healthy Familes for God – read From All Natural to Class A Drug for some crazy mind-blowing info. 

I am not advocating a life of no sugar, but I want to know what I am eating and the consequences it will have on my body.  If we ignorant of what is going on we have no way of doing something about it – and this is not good.  Ignorance is not bliss!!

We start the day with it (unless you are an eggs and bacon eater, but watch out for what you put on toast…..) we include it is our drinks (juice, sweet tea, soda, etc) we eat it at lunch (think : peanut butter and jelly) and then if not in our dinner (but again, condiments are loaded) we end the day indulging in some ice cream, cake, or generally something sweet.

Now, stay with me.  I will repeat, I am certainly not advocating a life without sugar.  While this 2 week fast has been okay, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to get there.  I want to be able to have some things that, unfortunately, contain sugar.  But, I think I want to stay off the Sugar-Addiction bandwagon.  I want to be aware of what I am letting my kids consume.  Because if I know it is bad for me, think what it is doing to their little bodies!  They need much more in t he category of nutrition that we do, and that sugar is replacing some much needed nutrients.  I do not want to raise 4 kids to grow up to be the sugar addict that I was.

Image Detail

Will this cost more?  Take more time?  Be hard? Yes, yes and yes.  It will.  Let’s be honest, healthy snacks take prep time, they do not come in a fun box you open ad serve.  It is more to buy things like healthy peanut butter and sugar free jelly.  But think about all those DR. bills.  If I avoid a co-pay I am saving $25 and that can buy a lot of even healthy peanut butter!

So for me this is my plan for 2012 & food:

1. No Candy in the house – if any, just the best and very little – otherwise NONE.

2. Peanut Butter – mostly, if not all, the good stuff

3.  Have more hummus, veggies and other good stuff for sandwiches

4.  Drink more smoothies with real (unsweetened) fruit

5.  Make granola every other week (enough to last); cut up veggies for snacks each week

6.  Make jelly lower in sugar (find a recipe to do this) – only eat homemade jelly

7.  Make cookies that are healthier (see Healthy Families for God)

8.  Make sweet tea with honey instead of sugar – drink less often; drink more water

9.  Be aware of the sugar we do eat (knowing is half the battle)

10.  Have dessert on celebrate days only – and other snacks other nights (nuts, popcorn, fruit, etc)

I know this is not what will work in every home, and I am not saying it should.  But we need to be advocates for our children and not just allowing them the candy they want because it is easier to say yes than no.  We can all attest that the more candy and junk they eat the more cavities and hyper-activity.  All is bad.  If we cut out candy almost all together, they would still be great, happy, healthy kids.  They would learn to deal with it.  It is possible.

There are so many options out there today, and this is a blessing.  It is possible to be healthier, it just takes work.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friends & Fun

What a great day we had with sweet friends!!

Our friends jumped in the car this morning about 8:30 and headed out.   3 kids, 5 year old Layla, 3 year old Solei and 8 month old Sawyer.  I did not get enough pictures, but we had tons of fun!

We played with the doll house & construction set inside by the warm fire!  We had some yummy tea.

more construction

Here is the results of his creation – trust me, this was very hard to do with lots of practice !!


Then we went out to see Clarabell and offered some yummy mustard greens (happy cow = lots of time petting her).  Next was lunch.

Then the kids bundled up and walked Polly -  braver than me, it was cold out! 

bundled for a walk

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sugar-less Eating

Well, we are a week (plus a few days) into the sugar free living.  So far, this week has been much better than last.  I still would love to have some sugar, but I am no longer craving it.

So a few successes we have had, for dessert tonight I made a frozen treat that we all enjoyed.  I used frozen bananas, almond milk, ice, natural (sugar free) peanut butter, and some stevia chocolate flavoring.  It was really yummy!

waffle mix

On Saturday night I whipped up Blender waffles from Passionate Homemaking.  I was really not sure what expect with these, but it was worth a try for me.  I also and not the one who makes waffles, so the recipe was new and the use of the waffle iron was new.  The kids loved them, and everyone requested seconds.  We had maple syrup on them, so we still avoided all processed sugar.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review : The Shadow of your Smile

I started this book on a lazy day here (those are few and far between) and I finished it the next day.  This was a delightful and inspiring story. 

The Shadow of Your Smile (Deep Haven)

In The Shadow Of Your Smile, the main character Noelle Hueston and her husband are strangers living in the same home.  After so many years of this life, Noelle is finally ready to face the unavoidable divorce in her future.  However, all those options change when she has an accident, hits her head on the ice and forgets the past 25 years.  When she wakes up she thinks she is still a college student and she is wondering who the stranger in her room is, and where her parents are.

As she tried to figure out just who she was, she gets a chance few of us ever get, a chance to start over without any of the baggage of her past.  While she is trying to figure it all out, she becomes a different woman, one who is not as hurt and damaged as the one who fell weeks earlier on the ice.

To say I enjoyed this book is to put it mildly.  I thoroughly enjoyed  so many of the other characters as well.  Noelle and Eli have their owns sons, and daughter – then there is their daughter’s best friends’ family.  I love how these different characters, in this small town, are all intertwined.  I loved the story line involving the teenage children and how this situation with Noelle affected them all.

I was immediately drawn into this story and was reluctant to stop reading.  I thought there were many things you could take away from this charming story and apply in your own life.  I would highly, highly recommend this book.  While this is a fiction/romance story it is a story that will encourage you and inspire you, it is a story that has the potential to help you see your own marriage in a different light.

NOTE: I was able to download an electronic copy of this book, at no cost, in exchange for an honest review, by Litfuse.

To read what other reviewers have to say see the schedule for the Blog Tour HERE.

About the book: The Shadow of Your Smile

A beautiful blanket of snow may cover the quaint town of Deep Haven each winter, but it can’t quite hide the wreckage of Noelle and Eli Hueston’s marriage.

After twenty-five years, they’re contemplating divorce . . . just as soon as their youngest son graduates from high school. But then an accident erases part of Noelle's memory. Though her other injuries are minor, she doesn’t remember Eli, their children, or the tragedy that has ripped their family apart. What’s more, Noelle is shocked that her life has turned out nothing like she dreamed it would. As she tries to regain her memory and slowly steps into her role as a wife and mother, Eli helps her readjust to daily life with sometimes-hilarious, sometimes-heartwarming results. But can she fall in love again with a man she can’t remember?

Will their secrets destroy them . . . or has erasing the past given them a chance for a future? Read the story behind the story here:

About Susan: Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book review : The Keeper (& Contest)

I am not sure if it was the topic of bees (we are hoping to get some this year) that endeared this book to me, or the Amish characters, or the simple life they lead.  Either way, I really enjoyed this sweet story!

Keeper, The (Stoney Ridge Seasons)

The Keeper written by one of my favorite Amish authors Suzanne Woods Fisher, is simply a delightful read!  I loved the characters in this story, Julia is the eldest daughter of an ailing father, who is caring for him and her sisters and brother.  She is due to marry within the year, that is until the Bee Man arrives.

I did love the Bee Man, even though he caused the wedding to be postponed, and stirred up some other trouble along the way.  The Bee Man is his own man, Roman, he does not really answer to anyone, and when things get tough he hits the road with his Bees.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What’s cookin?

It seems my stove or oven are always on.

As I am not eating sugar right now, I guess I am coping with comfort food.  Today I roasted 2 chickens (we hatched, raised, butchered & plucked – wow!! I am still shocked), cooked Beef bones for soup (see recipe below), and made beef & barley stew.

I have some more beef in the fridge that will be goulash tomorrow – which I cannot wait for!

But let me tell you, if you are into making your own stuff, you NEED to trust me and try making beef broth with soup bones.  I received these last winter when we bought and “processed” a cow.  I had no idea what to do, so I turned to the wonderful world wide web!  I found out that with some time you can make the most amazing broth!!

So here is what I do….

Homemade Beef Broth

thaw your bones (if you need to)

raw soup bones


put them in a roasting pan for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

After 45 min put some onion, celery, carrots – whatever – in with it and roast another 45 min.

half way with veggies

Then dump everything in a pot and cover with water, I usually cover about 2-3 inches above bones. 

all together in pot

Simmer for about 2 hours – with lid off a bit to steam.

Next, strain the stuff out from the broth.  Then if you can, let sit overnight in your fridge.  (If you let it sit overnight the flavors develop more and then you can skim the fat off in the morning.)

This will result in super healthy homemade, low sodium beef broth.  And the Beef and Barley stew it goes into will knock your socks off!!  As will whatever you make.

I do think you can get soup bones from the grocery store – if you cannot find them ask the butcher – I suspect they are cheap.  They are worth every minute you spend doing this!  But know that it takes hours to get great broth – do not rush it.  Just plan to be in the house and doing other stuff!


Book Review : 101 Bible Adventures

With 3 growing boys in the house there is never a lack of adventure or energy!  We love books that share that same sense of adventure.  We also love reading our Bibles and most books that go along with or support the Bible.

101 Bible Adventures: The Ultimate Quest for Truth!


Recently I was given the opportunity to review 101 Bible Adventures – the Ultimate Quest for Truth, by Tyndale House.   The boys and I agree that this is a great Bible Story book.  It goes beyond the children’s Bible story books that the younger kids have.  This is a great book for a child who enjoys reading and can read well on their own.  This would be a great tool for daily devotion time for a boy or girl to read on their own, they could then discuss with mom or dad, or even journal a few thoughts after each devotion.

The author Carolyn Larson has compiled the top 101 stories from the Bible, using the New Living Translation to tell these stories in a captivating way that will demonstrate the adventures throughout the Bible, as well as teach character building lessons.  With each story, she begins the passage with an overview to give an idea of what the story is about.  And at the end, there is a “Now What?” section where Mrs. Larson has provided a thought provoking paragraph for the reader to ponder. (this would be a great section to use to jump start your reader to journal about what they read)

If you have a strong reader in your house between ages 8 and 12 I think this book would be a great tool to have. 

Note : I received this book at no cost, in exchange for an honest review, from Tyndale House Publishers.

I Review For The Tyndale Blog Network

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Review : That’s My Girl

My latest book to read has been That’s My Girl by Rick Johnson.  Rick is the founder of Better Dads and is very successful speaker on topics relating to parenting and marriage.  Check out his blog at Better Dads to find out more about him and his ministry.

That's My Girl


This is a book written for Dads, to help them navigate the often confusing journey of parenting a little girl.  Rick is a father of a daughter himself and shares a great deal of insight into his own parenting style with his daughter and many stories about this lives together.

I enjoyed how Rick began the book by giving a more scientific explanation about the make-up of girls.  While I have read some of this before, as you are raising them you can forget what is making them tick.  I enjoyed an overview of the chemical effects going on in our little girl’s minds and bodies.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sugar Free & Balance ???

I had no idea.  I mean, I knew it was not so good for us.  I knew I should cut back, but oh my!!

I have been feeling a little desire to cut out some sugar, so when a friend posted that she was going 2 weeks no sugar starting Jan 2, I thought I would join her.  Little did I know.

I knew I would hate it – but did not expect headaches on day 1.  And cravings, like I never {thought I }  felt before.  Ugh.

Then another friend sends a link to a blog about going sugar-free, and I can honestly tell you I think I am scared of sugar and what it is doing to us.  I encouraged (to put it mildly) my husband to join me on this 2 week (hopefully 4 week) endeavor.  But after reading some of this stuff, I think I am bringing the kids along too.  Crazy stuff out there about sugar.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Beginnings

How I love a new beginning!  I love Mondays, the beginning of the week, I love new months, and new years!  I love having it all before me to “start again” and leave the yuck of the past behind us.

Today was a good new beginning, we kind of dabbled with school, got the juices flowing in their little heads and started to get back into our routine.

We also cracked open our Bibles, got the year off right with day 1 under our belts of our Bible reading.  Manna Church has not put out a new schedule for this year, as of this morning, so I printed out the one from last year and we are going to follow along with it.  This year I am printing one plan, and many blank calendars, a copy for each child.  I am going to have them write down what they read, I think this will help them keep better track of what they are actually reading.  We will see.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Farewell 2011

For the final day in 2011 we all worked hard

The men cut wood -

work day and clarabell

lots of wood – about 3 times this amount…

wood in trailer

We had a few helpers moving the wood (not happy helpers but helpers none the less)

We even had helpers offering cold drinks – cute huh?ag and tea



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