Wednesday, November 19

Fall Learning Ideas

Recently, we decided to go outside and discover fall. The children took buckets and gathered all sorts of things from the yard. They found some interesting things...  Not everything they found was allowed to come inside... (They happened upon the bone of a deer leg that the dogs had carried out of the woods, lol. But we had a short deer anatomy lesson ;) ) 

As they were searching, I instructed them to keep an eye out for pretty leaves. 

When they came inside we made several crafts with the leaves including our friends above. They quickly learned the names of the trees in our yard by being introduced to "Mr. Dogwood, Mr. Red Oak, Mr. White Oak and Mr. Gum".

And to be honest, I know more about our trees now too! :) 

They discovered an abundance of pretty acorns, so we decided to watch a YouTube video of an acorn taking  root and growing into a plant- which later becomes a tree. Seeing that process in fast forward is incredible! 

Next on our agenda- cutting open these pumpkins:

We buy some every year at the pumpkin patch and use them for fall decor- then once it's time to decorate for Christmas, we cut them open, and learn how pumpkins grow... How to put up fresh pumpkin... How to make a pumpkin recipe... And how to roast the seeds. Yum!

How are you making fall part of your homeschooling subjects? I'd love for you to share! :)

Saturday, September 27

Tithing- not at all what I thought it was

A sweet young friend asked me this week what my opinion was on tithing. I thought I would share my answer to her with all of you. 


"Hi there! Funny you should ask that question, because I think my views on this topic have actually changed just this year. My whole life I've held a rather staunch opinion on not paying your 10% being a sin. I looked at it like an ordinance required of us, I suppose. I learned that from multiple sources. But, about 6 months ago Nick and I listened to this short video from the ministry No Greater Joy:

We highly respect this ministry and have gained so much from their books, tapes and newsletters. But, this was the first time I had EVER heard tithes explained this way.... And it made total sense to me. 

If I could sum up what God has been continuously teaching me the last several years: it's that my thinking tends to be very legalistic- very Old Testament. Now some people view a "New Testament" mindset as all that grace and love and liberty giving you some sort of license to sin. (They obviously have not read all of Romans!! :) 

To me, the New Testament is just the opposite. It doesn't destroy the old law, it fulfills it. It requires even more- because it requires your heart. No longer is it sufficient to perform these physical tasks and "keep all the rules". God wants every inch of our heart and our will. He wants our thoughts pure, our motives pure... He wants us to desire the best for our brother, and He wants us to give everything! If we are really invested in Gods kingdom, and want souls to be saved, and want to help the poor and needy and this is truly our hearts cry... We are gonna want to give SO much more than 10%.

Nick and I were paying our tithes, and when we heard this video, we decided we needed to start putting most of our funds toward paying off our debts- we decided that was the best stewardship of our money right now and would free us up tremendously for giving in the future. Our goal right now is to stop being a "servant to the lender" (as Proverbs puts it) and get debt free.

We still give special offerings and sponsor a little boy through Compassion monthly- but, we realize now that God is not going to be angry at us or punish us for not paying 10% every month. He sees our heart whether we are paying or not, and for once I think our heart is right on the subject.

We grudgingly gave for years. That isn't what God wants. He wants you so consumed with Him that giving is as natural and enjoyable as breathing."

*Dont forget to click the link above and watch the (entire) video. You aren't allowed to comment if you don't :D

Tuesday, September 23

CAN I TAKE THIS POLISH OFF YET?!?! -Jamberry 7 day challenge

Alright folks- here is day 7:

It truly pained me to leave it on this long, lol. It looked sooo tacky. But, truth be told, I have let my polish get that bad before... Several times, in fact. It's called: having 3 kids and having next to no time for yourself. ;) 

Jamberry is so cool for moms. Me and some were just reminiscing the other day about those moment where you are painting your nails... And your toddler decides to launch their body in your direction. :D 

My Jamberry sponsor Amber said she was putting her Jams on the other day and stopped to change a poopy diaper mid-manicure. 

No problem whatsoever!! No polish on the floor, no smeared nails, and no having to rub your kid's leg with that {oh-so-toxic} polish remover, because you accidentally touched.

Speaking of polish remover- if you are wondering how you take off your jams- you CAN use acetone or polish remover to ease it off... But you can also use coconut oil or olive oil... Really any kind of oil works. I LOVE that Jamberry eliminated even more chemicals from my life!!!

Ok, so wanna see what I'm sporting now??? (My consultant kit came in yesterday with all my free wraps!!!!!)

I know- pretty loud and crazy :) but if styles like this aren't for you- don't worry! Jamberry has over 300 designs and something for everyone!

Check out my website at

Happy Jammin'!

Friday, September 19

Jamberry ruined me for life!!!

It's true. Jamberry ruined me for life. I can longer be satisfied with normal nail polish for as long as I live.

Yeah... You knew where this was going didn't you? ;)

And, I'll be honest- I was definitely rooting for this product! But if it weren't AMAZING, I would tell u so. This mommy of 3 doesn't have the time or energy for a time consuming short lasting nail care routine. 

... Which is why I was complaining to my friend Amber at VBS about my chipping nail polish. Over the summer I had decided to start researching and trying out new top coats. I like my nails painted. My husband likes my nails painted. But I was having to re-do them every 2-3 days!!! 

  Perhaps you are asking why. Perhaps you are not as rough on your nails as I am. That's great! That means Jams will last even longer on you!!

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. (As usual)

Ladies and Gentlemen: 
this is Jamberry!!

Uh, I mean: this is Jamberry on my ring finger. You see the cute leopard print one that could never be achieved that perfectly with polish? Yeah, that's Jamberry!

And the other {chipping} red nails are my favorite polish... ONE day in! (My pointer finger is always the first to go.)

On that fateful day of VBS, my pal Amber asked if I had heard of Jamberry nail wraps. {a nail what??} I hadn't.

"Yeah!" She said. "I haven't tried them yet myself, but I hear they are non-toxic, chip free, no drying time, last for up to 2 wks on fingers and 4 wks on toes... Maybe longer! Oh, and they come in over 300 designs and you can create your own."

Say Whaaat?!?! Why hadn't someone invented this sooner?! 

No drying time?!?! So, you mean I don't have to wait until all my kids are asleep to paint my nails just so they'll dry without getting messed up and destroyed?!?!

...just to do it again a few days later?!?!

Okay, so you can see this product is clearly for me. Really it's for a lot of people. It's for nail biters who want to stop, it's for people who haven't the time or money for the salon, it's for mommies and others who have their hands in water constantly... The list goes on and on.

So a few wks later, (after trying the product and becoming a consultant,) Amber asked if the business opportunity was something that interested me. I immediately knew it was.

At first I knew I wanted to do it as a hobby. After all, I wanted to buy every nail wrap design they had!! But, then I realized how amazing the compensation plan is. (But I'll post more on that later.)

SO friends! If you want me to mail you a sample...

Or if you want information about working from home...

just email me at

Check out my website at

Buy 3 nails wraps and Get One Free
Or Click Host a party to get lots of freebies!! 

{this is your face right now right?}

And STAY TUNED!! I will post pics of my nails on day 7 to show you Jams actually do last!!!


Click here to see how you apply these fabulous nail wraps:

Saturday, August 30

DONATE!! Just maybe not to ALS...

Challenging people to have buckets of ice water dumped on their head seems fun right?! Well, apparently not everyone thinks so. When I first found out about this phenomenon, (rather late,) I couldn't help but laugh at some of the killjoy reasons people online were citing as to why they disapproved of the ritual. Here are some of my personal favorites:

1. It may be dangerous/damaging to your health

(Um... ok?? And so is taking a bath I suppose...)

2. It is a huge waste of water

(Say goodbye to your swimming pools folks!)

3. It created a vacuum on donations that would have otherwise been spread among other organizations. (Uh, no offense to my FB friends, but I'm pretty confident that most of these people were not originally planning to make a donation of any amount last month to a charity. Most people do not donate on a regular basis. Sad, but factual.)

But here is the response that truly shocked me:

To sum it up: part of the donations made to the ALS Association are helping fund embryonic stem cell research. As a Christian, I believe human life is precious and I believe life begins at conception. (And I believe conception happens at fertilization- but that's another subject entirely.)

Whether the embryos are harvested or being utilized post abortion, I am completely convinced that this is an immoral practice. 

It sickens me to consider how many pro-life born again believers have unknowingly contributed to an institution that will fund this unethical research and lobby for it in the future. But, as we know: Knowledge is power. And now that you have this knowledge, you have the power to make an informed decision.

So if you have yet to make your donation... Here are some of your options

1. You can specify on your check/donation that you do not want your funds used to support embryonic stem cell research. 

(I personally do not trust an institution like this to honor my request... But apparently Dave Ramsey does.)

2. You can donate to a different organization that does similar research minus the unethical part. (See the John Paul II Medical Research Institute website for an alternative.)

3. If you simply wish to participate in charitable giving, (and therefore obey the Scriptural command to help the poor and needy,) but don't have a preference as to the cause, perhaps I can help. 

Here are a couple of organizations who have a superb history of good stewardship of funds, and who are meeting very real, very important needs- both physical and spiritual. 

Compassion International

Sponsoring children in need is breaking the cycle of poverty

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

This organization is promoted by numerous Christian music artists who have been able to travel with and see/be apart of the inner workings of this ministry. Their tax information is available on their website. We have sponsored a child in Tanzania through this program for the last 5 years.


BACK 2 BASICS MINISTRY is a non-profit 501(c)(3) ministry that brings the love of God to forgotten teenagers that live on the streets, in shelters, RTC’S foster homes, mental facilities, by providing consistent healthy, loving relationships, and addressing individual spiritual, emotional, and material needs.

I am personally acquainted with the founder of this organization, and have had the opportunity numerous times to volunteer at their events. They are meeting a need that some are completely unaware of, and they are changing lives. I know they would appreciate your support!

My church and my family have had a relationship with the founder of Mission in Action for many years. They are doing a marvelous work for the kingdom of God, and are also showing Christ's love by meeting physical needs of the ones they serve. Please visit their website for more info on this awesome ministry!

I am so glad that someone else's blog post encouraged me to be responsible with my charitable giving and to support organizations that line up with my own convictions.


Tuesday, July 1

Our EXTREMELY tiny new home ;)

I've heard stories of people doing this before... Moving into an RV in order to get out of debt or build a house mortgage free. It sounded brilliant and crazy. Definitely not something I was considering doing!

But, then one day (after running the numbers,) Nick and I looked at each and said, "What on earth are we waiting for?! Let's do this thing!" 

Becoming debt free wasn't happening as quickly as we wanted, and our dream of building a house in the country seemed so far in the future... Who wants to build a house for their family just before they all graduate, get married and move away? If it was gonna take that long to accomplish our goals I really didn't see the point. So... We decided to sell most of our possessions, rent out our home, and move into a travel trailer on my parents property. 

Not having to pay our mortgage alongside the profit from rent each month is going to enable us to reach our financial goals about 10 times faster. It's exhilarating! (A feeling extremely necessary to inspire one to move their family of 5 into a 8' x 28' dwelling.) :D

We got a sweet deal on a used travel trailer and love it so much we have no plans of selling it after we build. The interior was so much more beautiful than anything could have hoped for- but the fabric was not to my taste, so, of course, I did a little remodeling!!! 

So, if you are like me, all you really want to see is PICTURES! Here are some before & afts:

Bedroom Before:

Bedroom After:

Having a window directly over my head while sleeping felt odd to me, so I removed the cornice and covered the window with a headboard I built specifically for this space. Tip: when building things for an RV, your goal should be to keep things as light as possible. I used thin pine wall paneling as opposed to 1x4's for this headboard. Total cost: $12.

Here's another view of the bedroom:

Kitchen Before:
(This kitchen totally sold me on this rv!!!)

Kitchen After:

The cabinets and flooring were already great (thank goodness!) so mainly what I changed was all the fabrics inside and the wallpaper border. I left the cornices in the kitchen and covered them with a blue geometric fabric. (I bought 1 curtain panel from Lowe's and cut it up to make all my curtains. I actually did no sewing on these- just gluing and utilizing the hems already present.

 I applied this border directly over the old one:

This is a paintable wallpaper border I purchased at Lowe's (which I just left white.) I felt it had a wood moulding sort of a look and really dressed it up without any added weight or difficult application. It was $7 a roll (I think) and I used a little over a roll. A friend if mine used this exact stuff on the fronts of her stairs and it's gorgeous! Can't tell at all it's not wood!

Here's the Living area Before pic:
(And my little cutie checking out the place :)
See all the green?? And tan?? And ugh?!
Yeah, I had to change all that.

Living room after:
I removed the cornices in here and put up small brushed nickel curtain rods (cheap ones from walmart.) I slip covered the dinette cushions with canvas drop cloths purchased at Lowes. That was the most time consuming part- but I'm glad I did it! Still thinking of changing that light fixture...

Here's what it looks like with the table in: (which we don't use all that much except for school. I just prefer it as an open couch type of space)

The table folds down and the dinette makes into a bed which is where the kids sleep. Most of time I just remove the edge cushions and they sleep like that with Gabe's playpen slid in that middle section (perfect fit!)

Here is another angle of the living space:

The toilet room:

And here is our bathroom area and shower (this is a before pic, but not much has changed in this area. I am considering doing a peel and stick backplash at the sink...)

And here is the outside:
(Which I was pleasantly surprised to find out after we had purchased it- has an outdoor shower!! Perfect for hosing off muddy kids pre-bath :)

Well, that is all. I may do a video in the future explaining where we keep our stuff and how we function in this small space. I've learned a lot from rv living Pinterest boards. 

Bye for now!!

Thursday, March 20

Homeschooling 101: Methods I use

Alright sooo.... I did manage to fix the mirror image problem I was having, but it seems as though I have a new issue with the audio being fuzzy... sorry about that! I will eventually be a pro at this... hopefully! :D

What is the Charlotte Mason method?

What is the Unit Study method?

What is the School Bus approach? (Teaching multiple ages at the same time)

Click here for the Creation Booklet idea from Pinterest

Thursday, February 27

Learn the Ten Commandments

I know, I know. I'm a total slacker :D I promise to make another home school video next week- honest! 
I have several topics lined up that I've been getting a lot of questions about.

But, in the mean time... I wanted to share a little gem with you! 

2 weeks ago we commenced learning about the 10 commandments. I searched and searched online for a song, but still don't have one I "love, love"... I did, however, find this cartoon YouTube video with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. It's short, it's captivating, and it WORKS! Not only have I *finally* memorized the order of the 10 commandments, this video also helped my 4 year old to memorize them in a REMARKABLY short time. Check it out!

Thursday, January 23

Homeschooling 101: Memorization (& the Importance of Books)

Hi guys! So I hadn't realized until this video that my photo booth app on my mac is recording me as a mirror image... meaning you are see a flip of the actual image. I will work on figuring out how to change this so you can actually read the book titles and things that I hold up. :) So sorry about that... this is all new to me!

If you have questions or are wondering about a specific topic, please message me or leave a comment so I will know which content will be most helpful for me to cover next. Thanks for watching!!!