Move with me!

Just a reminder that you can now find me over at I’m still trying to navigate this whole blog world and learning as I go. I made a few wrong turns that didn’t allow me to use my new domain with this blog- so I just moved it over to another one. Join me over there! Also find Mothering With Grace on facebook now! Come “like” me!

10 Things about me that you might want to know…or I’m going to tell you anyway

1. I don’t remember anything. Well most things anyway. This works out well  for you if you have ever hurt my feelings or said something stupid. It’s not so helpful when I’m trying to remember your name. I’m so sorry if I have asked you it 4 times. I’m really working on that. When you see me staring intently at your face I’m really thinking “Sally-brown hair, big smile, dentist. Sally, brown hair, big smile, dentist”

2. My love language is acts of service and encouraging words. There is nothing sexier (oops, can I say that Winking smile ) than coming home and seeing that my guy cleaned the kitchen.

3. I am terrified of submarines. Or any device that might submerge me in water. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. It’s random, because I have never been on one or near one.

4. I’m not a planner. School planner- yes. Life, day to day- not so much. I hate setting up a schedule, filling in a calendar, committing to do something far in the future (see number 10 for an explanation) It’s usually because I am easy going, just tell me when and where and I will work it out. Oh, and remind me, because I probably won’t remember.

5. I’m not the gal I used to be. Or even the one I was yesterday. My past is my past, it’s what made me who I am today. Although I’m not proud of every deed done or word spoken I choose to live in the present, thanking God everyday that I am indeed a new creation and trusting that His grace covers all sins.

6. I used to be in the military. It was another lifetime ago it seems. Even I laugh at the image of me holding a M-16 now. Crazy.

7. I truly believe that I am living my dream, sure there are things that I would like to have or do one day, but if my life never changed from the present I would feel like the luckiest girl ever.

8. I am more sensitive than most people think. My feelings get hurt often, but I have learned to take those feelings to Jesus and move on.

9. I am a get it done kind of gal. A whatever it takes kind of gal. A suck it up and do it kind of gal. I will admit, that those who are not… kind of annoy me. {sorry}

10. I am loyal and dependable. I would rather jump off a cliff than say I’m going to do something and then back out. –If I have ever backed out on you, you can take comfort in that I am probably still drowning in guilt. And I hate to be late. Oh, how I hate to be late. My husband often reminds me that it’s not the end of the world to be late to a social gathering. Oh, but it is. It really is. 



If you want a peak into a few other great gals lives check out Many Little Blessings

Homeschool Mother’s Journal July 20th


In my life this week…

I have been a little scatterbrained, flittering from one mini project to another without completing much. We have also been enjoying the quiet and non-rushed moments of summer.

In our homeschool this week…

I am in planning mode. I’m working on having the first 6 weeks of school organized so that there are no excuses.

I am inspired by…

The word of God. I have been reading through the book of Acts and soaking up every word. I have also been very encouraged by the testimonies of friends about how God has been working in their lives.

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

We have spent some time with my family, visited the zoo, the science museum, and had the chance to do some swimming. I enjoyed a great night out at Starbucks with some friends and looking forward to traveling to Iowa next week to visit the other half of our hearts.

Questions/thoughts I have…

How do I balance love with the truth? I’m struggling with this right now.

I’m reading…

The Bible, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are , and the many magazines that have been piling up all year.

I’m cooking…

Nothing! We are having leftovers all day. I have a whole fridge of food that needs to be eaten from the week. I just can’t throw food away.

I’m praying for…

My heart is very heavy for the marriages of several couples in my life.


A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

I am fearfully and wonderfully made

birdbath1Photo credit Michael and Diane Porter

I must have been five or six, visiting my nana, I don’t remember much but I know she lived in a small two story house somewhere in the Northeast. I don’t recall going there often or even having been there before that time. It was winter, or maybe spring. I know it was wet. We had been stuck in the house for sometime and so when the sunshine made its appearance I hurried outside to play. I was quickly greeted by a neighbor girl who took no time in becoming my best friend. We laughed and giggled as we chased each other around a large white birdbath.

After a few minutes of us running, we stopped to catch our breath and she turned to me and asked me why my skin was so brown.

I believe it was one of those defining moments in my life. I remember looking down at my tanned colored arms as if looking at them for the first time, and not knowing the answer to this question, I shrugged.

I can’t tell you how the rest of our play time went, or if there was any more discussion of the matter, but my next memory is of my little body pressed up against a white pedestal sink in my nana’s little bathroom with my arms stretched out in the water and a bar of white ivory soap. With childlike faith I believed that if I lathered up enough white soapy foam onto my arms, my skin would turn the same color as this little neighbor girls.

This isn’t a painful memory, although it’s an uncomfortable one. It used to bring many questions about who I am, and I used to wonder if my skin was all anyone ever saw. Did others too have questions?

Often when I look at my oldest daughter, that memory presents itself. I see her beautiful brown eyes and the same tanned skin and I wonder, will she too encounter a little girl that will unknowingly ask her a question that will forever haunt her? Will she too feel imperfect? Suffer from the same insecurities?


For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139

It’s a verse we talk about often. It’s the one, once I knew Christ, that I found comfort in. I love the diversity of God’s creation; I love the rich history that comes from our differences. I love that God knew before we were even formed in our mother’s womb that we would be all that we are. He paid special attention to our every attribute and chose our personalities and the Bible even tells us he took the time to place us exactly where he wants us in history!

I can only pray that these truths would be steeped deep in her heart. And if/when she is asked the question she can say with confidence; I am who I am because this is who God created me to be. And she can know in her heart that God doesn’t make mistakes.

A DIY Headband holder and some Pinterest Love

Oh, how I do love summer. {have I mentioned that before?} I can enjoy not being a slave to schedules and activities, I can sit around be productive in ways that I don’t have time to be during the school year. Surprisingly, although it has been hot, it hasn’t been nearly as miserable as last summer. Last year at this time we were working on beating the record for the most 100 degree consecutive days. I think we missed it by one or two! All that to say I have been much more motivated to work on little projects here and there. I managed to clean out the girls room, and that was a PRO-JECT! I was determined to make it more efficient and give a place for every thing…and everything a place {I feel like saying that in a Mary Poppins voice, for some reason} It has long been out of control.

One of the projects I made at craft night was a head band holder to help control all those unruly hair accessories that were taking up space in their room. It’s working beautifully.

DIY headband holder

headband holder

All I needed was an empty oatmeal container, some cute fabric, and a glue gun. It took less than 10 minutes! I especially love that I can hide all those little pony tail holders inside.

And just to be sure I don’t neglect Pinterest, Here are a few things we have enjoyed of late.

cookie dough dip 

This is Cookie Dough Dip, and I swear it’s so addicting. it was brought to craft night and although I restrained myself I think if I was left in a dark room alone, I would have licked the bowl clean.

no bake energy bites

I made these energy bites, and they to were really good, and very easy. They only took me about 5 minutes to throw together. I almost hate that I’m posting them though, because I changed up several of the ingredients, just to use what I had on hand, and Steven suggested adding crushed up pretzels, which I think made them even better.

And Last but not least…

Taco Pizza

Taco Pizza. We have been slacking in our Friday Night Pizza nights, so when we saw this pizza we knew we had to try it. It is easy and very yummy.


Again, the Pinterest pictures are not my own, which is clearly noticed by mere observation Winking smile

We love our Kindle Fire

Let me start off by saying I don’t usually get caught up in the hype of fancy gadgets, I’m not a jump on the bandwagon type of girl, and I tend to be cheap frugal. But we have had our eye on the Kindle Fire, , ever since it made it’s appearance. When the holidays rolled around we decided that we would use our Christmas money to purchase one.

We have not regretted it one. single. bit.

I love how versatile it is. It’s easy to carry around I can download books to it, browse the web, play games, listen to music, watch movies, there is so much packed into this mini electronic device. If you have been considering getting one I would highly recommend it. We ordered ours off of Amazon but my sister-in-law walked right into Wal-Mart and bought hers. And then my mother-in-law got one too! Seriously we love it.

I have read several of Francis Chan’s books on it recently and I’m reading Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit right now. It’s so good.

I’m sure I don’t even use half of what is available on it, I see lot’s of other homeschool moms out there using it in their schooling, but besides looking up videos and a few game aps, it hasn’t made a regular appearance in our school day.

I don’t have any experience with the Nook, but I understand it’s similar and a friend of mine who owns one loves it.

If you own a Kindle or other reader what books do you have downloaded on your “to read” list? Or do you have a favorite app?

At home Art Gallery

I love summer. Who doesn’t, right? I love that it lends itself to relaxing days with no where to go, nothing pressing, and the opportunity to just play. I especially love when that time doesn’t involve anything that gets plugged in or ran on batteries.

I don’t like messes, and that little OCD part of me cringes a little when my children ask if they can play with play dough, do a science experiment- or bring out the …paint. But I also love seeing my children doing anything creative. So it’s worth the sacrifice of cleaning stuff up off the floor, the chairs, the table, the door, themselves, the dog…yes even the dog sometimes. So this past week, I threw caution into the wind and let them paint.




In regular {my children} style. They can’t just create without a purpose, so they thought up the idea to set up an art show. After working hard all afternoon on their creations and hanging them up, they made a ticket for their daddy that they hung on the front door explaining that he had to slide the ticket under the door for entrance into the gallery.


He is such a good daddy and always indulges them in their adventures.

Oh, but then they felt that the ticket wasn’t going to be enough so when he got up the stairs to our family room there was a sign


It says “soy, open art musem relly loud if you want it to open”

He happily obliged.

And then he was greeted with about a million {only a slight exaggeration} art artifacts.




I spared showing you the {a few less than a million} pictures. They also have since added a few more.

It was a productive day, they painted and used their imagination, collaborated to create an art show and took great pride in their work. If I had let the bother of cleaning up a little paint get to me, they would never have had the chance to express themselves in such a fun way.

Looking towards next school year

I wanted to participate in this weeks Top Ten topic of “Ten reasons I am excited about this new school year” But to be honest {and I feel horrible in saying it} I’m just not that excited about it.

Maybe because I’m still not entirely over this year. I still have the baggage of unfinished curriculum and the fact that some of that work is still sitting in their workboxes in our school room waiting for day when I dredge up enough gusto to go re-organize or convince the kiddos that schooling in July is fun.

But  most likely it’s because last year was such a struggle with Zack and school. Everyday it was like pulling teeth to get him to do his work. It didn’t matter that I was practically standing on my head juggling sight words, phonics games, math facts and read alouds to get him excited about learning. He just wasn’t.

The thought of dragging him kicking and screaming through the school day doesn’t excite me.

I have even daydreamed about putting him in school {wince}. I’m just being honest. Of course I don’t believe this is the “magic fix”, but at least I wouldn’t feel like I was to blame for his lack of love for learning, I wouldn’t feel like… I was the failure. {sigh} All those careful eyes that have silently been watching me, already questioning my judgment could turn their focus elsewhere- (If those eyes even exist). Of course I would never dare…or would I?

I take this before the Lord almost daily. I know we will get through it,  I can already hear the words of countless wise women, women whom I respect and love sharing their encouraging words and thoughts with years of homeschooling or childrearing behind them -reminding me that he is still young. I have time. Don’t stress, he will come around.

And I know that they are right. He doesn’t have to love school, as much as it kills me to say that and hurts my pride just a little…I’ll admit. But I want him to love learning. I want to find what he delights in and give him the opportunity to grow that. That will be my project for the new year.

So although I haven’t mustered up the excitement about the new year –just yet, I’m trusting that I will come around. After all, who doesn’t like a fresh start?


Linking up with Many Little Blessings 10 Reasons I’m excited about the new school year.

I’m Moving! Blogs that is.

It is something that I have been working on for over a year. But because I’m computer illiterate and the fact that I keep having babies i.e. No time in my life, I haven’t had time to sit down and really mess around with this blog. But today I did it. Long story short, I moved this blog over to my own domain and that is where you can find me now. So please change my address in your favorites/blog links and if you are following me please go follow me there as well. If you stop by here and find me…absent, I will be hanging out at

I have learned all kinds of things about importing and exporting and I had to re-learn a bunch of things that I haven’t had to think about since starting this blog years ago. {insert, lots of head banging against the wall} but now I have arrived in the {dot} com world. Ha! What will I do next? {said in my evil, take over the world voice}

My Advice {for what it’s worth} to homeschool newbies

If I was honest, the first day of every school year is met with a lot of trepidation. I begin to wonder if we are doing the right thing? I wonder if this is really what God wants for our family? And the all important, will my children feel like we held them back from something better? You can read how I really feel about this here.  All of this might be partly due to all the hype that happens at the beginning of every school year. The talk of school supplies, new teachers, new clothes, new, new, new. And for us it’s just the same. same. same. Thankfully I can usually pull it together in order to get on with the year…or at least the first day of school. It also helps that I have such a wonderful support system. Which brings me to number one on my list of advice for new homeschoolers;

1. Find some support, you will need it. This might come in the form of a few good friends who are also homeschooling, a homeschool group or even some online buddies. I couldn’t imagine not having someone to laugh, cry, share fears and shamelessly complain to about a bad day. Not to mention there are just things that only another homeschooler can understand and offer advice on.

2. Make sure your spouse is on board. It is hard enough to homeschool without the support of your spouse. If the two of you can’t agree on the issue of homeschooling, it might not be where God is leading you right now- I think this is especially true if the spouse that doesn’t agree is the husband, much prayer is needed if this is the case.

3. Don’t spend a lot of money on curriculum your first year, or any year for that matter.  You never know what will or will not work for your children and you will just be upset if half way through you find that, that expensive curriculum you bought isn’t working for you. There are so many used curriculum stores you can visit in store or online, as well as Ebay, Craigslist, friends, and even garage sales that you should be able to find just about any curriculum out there for a good  price. If you decide you love it then you can always buy it new for the next year.

4. Along with number 3, it’s ok to stop doing something that’s not working for your family.  If you and your child are miserable don’t be a martyr to the curriculum.

5. My Well Planned Day Planner had an article in it this past year that I thought was great. It reminded us that God worked 6 days and rested on the 7th. The suggestion was to for us to work 6 weeks and take a week off. I loved this idea and began to incorporate it into our schedule. This gives all of us time to rest, take a break and gives me time to plan for the next 6 weeks. We will be doing this again this next year. I didn’t calculate how many days in the year that gives for actual schooling so if your in a state that requires you school a certain amount of days you might need to add that up.

6. Give yourself a break. Sometimes life happens and things don’t work out the way we expect them to. School might not happen every day and that’s ok. We are teaching our children to be flexible. 😉

7. School needs to be a priority. I know that sort of contradicts the last point but it should at least be a priority in the sense of it should come before friends, hair appointments, phone calls, house work, etc. Not that those things are not important, I love a clean house- but there will ALWAYS be house work. It’s so easy to be distracted and before you know it you have lost half a day to unimportant things and it’s hard to get the kids back on track.

8. Don’t compare your children with other homeschoolers…or other children at all for that matter. Our children are all unique, they will all learn to read at different times, have superior musical abilities, be good at sports, etc. We put undue stress on ourselves when we are comparing what our children are doing to our friends children.

9. Know when to get help. Don’t think you have to be the all in all for your children. If they need speech therapy by all means get it for them. If they are struggling in math get them a tutor. We can’t be experts at everything. Being part of a co-op is a great way to help lessen the burden with tougher subjects.

10. **** Make sure your spending time with the Lord regularly. Without the grace of God to sustain me I’m not sure I would make it most days. I know I’m not the only one that feels this way… can I get an amen?

I’m linking up to Many Little Blessings 10 tips for New Homeschoolers