Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Beginning of Our Home School

Unbelievably and outrageously, against all of my adamant motherly protestations, my oldest child turned 5 this summer. Cue the sobbing. This little girl is getting way too big, way too fast. 

We've planned to homeschool for quite awhile now... and with that first fifth birthday comes the first timid steps of our homeschooling journey. Gulp. 

While I'm not going too heavy on the academics this year {S's birthday is late enough that we could wait a year to start kindergarten if necessary}, I am determined to get started. With that start comes a million anxieties and uncertainties. I recently wrote a post about those fears and how I'm navigating them at My Joy Filled Life. I'd be honored if you headed on over there and gave it a read!

What fears have you experienced at the beginning of your children's school years? I'm sure homeschooling and non-homeschooling moms alike have them! What advice or inspirations helped you to work through those fears?

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Bible Reading Plan for Little Ones {Back to School Edition}

With the start of a new school year fresh upon us, I thought it would be beneficial to focus on wisdom and knowledge {primarily found in Christ and His Word!} for this month's Bible reading plan.

If you're new to these printables, here's how they work: head to this link and print off your free copy. You will find short passages to read with your family each weekday, Monday-Friday, for four weeks. I've included excerpts from both the Old and New Testament to encourage familiarity with the Bible as a whole. Next to each reference I've written a brief description of the main point we're trying to drive home to our kids.

My family generally does this Bible reading at meals. The goal for this month is to read the passage at breakfast, before we dive into our homeschool for the day {my kids are still pretty young, so school time is pretty short, sweet, and simple}. We will also review it with Daddy reading it again at dinner.

I hope it will be a blessing to you and your kids as you seek to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God. As always, please send me any feedback {comments. questions. concerns.} at Thank you for choosing this resource!

Get your copy of the Back to School Bible Reading Plan here.

P.S. Tips for reading the Bible to small children.

Or, click on a previous month's plan to use instead:
The Love of God
The Death and Resurrection of Christ
The Attributes of God

Who is Jesus?
God Cares for His People

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Few Things About Kansas

We've been in Kansas City for just about three weeks. As usual, my overly optimistic nature underestimated how long it would take to get settled :). But bit by bit, little by little, things are settling into a somewhat normal rhythm. I still have to figure out a decent grocery shopping routine {at least there are a million Aldis!}, get the bedrooms functionally organized, and it would be nice if the kids would start sleeping well again... but we're getting there.

Initial observations of Kansas City, Kansas:

1. There are lots of bugs here. Like, lots and lots. Fortunately they are all outside instead of inside, like in our Pennsylvania home ;).

2. It's very loud. Day or night, step outside and you are greeted by a deafening chorus of cicadas. See point 1.

3. It's also quite humid. Bonus, almost every home has central air. Despite the humidity we've remained very comfortable!

4. You can get okra in the frozen vegetables section. This was a new one for me! I bought a bag, because when in Rome... but it didn't go over well, so we probably won't avail ourselves of the trend.

5. People are very friendly. Of course we are missing very many friendly faces in Pennsylvania, but it helps that everyone here has been so welcoming!

Thoughts on our new home:

1. We have a fenced in back yard!!! This is saving my life. Every day. W is in heaven.

2. I have a dishwasher!!! For the first time in 8 years of marriage. This is also saving my life. Every day.

3. Basements are wonderful for storage. All of our tubs of kids clothes, suitcases, treadmill, and Christmas decorations are no longer cluttering up our living space. Glorious!

If you've missed me {ha ha}, please feel free to head over to My Joy Filled Life and catch up on my last two posts there: Quick Light and Cool Summer Dinners, and Ins and Outs of Baby Led Weaning.

That's what's new here. What's new with you??

Please accept my apologies for not posting an August Bible Reading plan! I really tried, but just couldn't swing it. Hoping to get one up in time for September. For now we are going back over the ones we never finished. You can check all 7 previous plans out here!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Blast from the Past

We spent last week with my family in Madison, Wisconsin. It's where I lived until we moved to Oregon when I was 12, and all of my siblings were together for the first time in several years. Since my parents and the four of us live in 5 different states, this was no small feat!

Green Bay Packer horse at the famous Ella's Deli?! Of course!
My parents booked an AirBNB home in our old neighborhood, and it was a blast revisiting the old parks, walks, and restaurants we used to frequent. More fun was watching my kids play on the same park equipment, and running around my grandparents' farm, and watching the 4th of July parade that I watched nearly every year of my childhood. My mini-me's played with my cousin's mini-me's, so in a lot of ways it felt like coming full circle.

I don't get back to Madison all that often. Yet I was amazed at how familiar it all was, and how I actually knew my way around enough to not get lost. I'm notoriously bad with directions, and we moved long before I was old enough to drive.

It was a great week of reconnecting with my sisters and brothers, and reminiscing over our childhood. All of it felt extra poignant as I'm wondering what my children will remember {if anything?!} of Pennsylvania...

...Because one week from Monday, we are moving to Kansas City, Kansas. 

It all happened so fast. The Lord started stirring in my heart, then my husband's... we decided just to take the first step. Then the next, and then the next... and much more quickly then we could have ever imagined, there was a solid job offer and all kinds of "yeses" that seem the clear direction of the Lord.

I'm very, very excited to see what He has in store for our family. I'm excited to be only two hours from my parents, and for Niall to have a job that really interests him. I'm also feeling devastated to walk away from the friends that have been so life-shaping for me. I gave Pennsylvania all of my 20's, and it's all my babies have ever known.

Hang in with me- once we've arrived and settled in and I have no local friends {boo!} I'm sure I will have more time to blog. Any of ya'll in Kansas? Because I'd love to meet some kindred spirits!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Bible Reading Plan for Little Ones {God Takes Care of His People}

A new month is upon us, and with it comes a new free, printable Bible reading plan to share with your kids in family worship. I'm sorry to be posting this so late! Our family has had exciting things happening behind the scenes that I can hopefully share with you all soon. It's been busy and a little out of the ordinary in my real life... which means this space is the first to get neglected ;). 

This month we are looking at God's tender care for His people- His provision, loving kindness, and ultimately, salvation. The goal is to show our kids what God is like, what He does, and why we can trust Him, resting safely and securely in His care. I started the month with passages related to physical provision and God's work in the world at large, and hone in more specifically on salvation and redemption as the month progresses.

I hope it will encourage both you and your little ones! Both children and adults need to know and remember that God is good, bigger than me and my circumstances, and infinitely trustworthy. My prayer is that these scriptures will sink deep into your souls, enabling you to experience the peace and joy that comes from knowing and trusting Him in the ups and downs of daily life. God takes care of His people- perfectly, beautifully, fully. 

As usual, there is a mix of both Old and New Testaments. One passage for each week day, for four weeks. Your feedback on the plans is always appreciated! Hope you enjoy this. 

We try to read ours at meal times. On a really good day, I read and discuss it with my 2 and 4 year old at breakfast, and my husband goes over it a second time at dinner. But we miss many a day, go through times of consistency and inconsistency- we by no means "have it down". 

The goal is to keep trying, and to keep sowing seeds of the Word into our children's hearts. They might wiggle, they might not seem to be hearing... but we keep reading, explaining, and praying, trusting the Lord to work through His Word in His way and time.  

You can print your copy off right here

If you'd like to use any previous month's plans, here's the list. Click on the link and print and read away!

The Love of God
The Death and Resurrection of Christ
The Attributes of God

Who is Jesus?
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