Pregnancy is such a delightful time with a new life blossoming inside you and the thrill of a little one moving and kicking in your tummy.
Oh, wait, did I mention swollen ankles, varicose veins, exhaustion, and heartburn?
We don't always feel as beautiful as our husband tells us we are when we are pregnant. So, in an attempt to encourage all the pregnant and soon-to-be pregnant women out there, I have put together some pregnancy fashions that are comfy and flattering at the same time. It's true!
My model is Sarah Jeffords, a lifetime friend who is the mother of three. In fact, I had the privilege of seeing Hudson's arrival a few weeks ago. Hudson is in the pictures, but you can't see his face. He's hiding inside Sarah. Now, he's here, making his presence known far and wide. And poor Sarah isn't doing much sleeping, but she still looks beautiful.
I hope you enjoy Sarah's pregnancy outfits and they give you some ideas for flattering outfits that feel comfortable and look pretty, too.
A big thank-you to my sweet friend Sarah and my amazing daughter Shine who took the photos.
God bless you
Temperatures dropping, leaves showing off their beautiful hues, and watching football games means that fall is here. Here in Florida, we just pretend it's fall because, well, we are still wearing flip-flops and shorts. But we can dream.
Fall is a great time to celebrate! Here are some fun, easy, and frugal ways to celebrate the season. Some are completely free!
1. Rake a Pile of Leaves and Jump into Them
Fall means raking leaves, but who says you can't have fun, too. Rake the leaves into a big pile and then take turns jumping in. This sounds like a great photo-op.
2. Decorate the House for Fall
Even here in Florida, we can sprinkle autumn leaves (from Michaels(r) ) on tabletops. A basket shaped like a horn of plenty filled with gourds is always festive in the fall. Of course sitting a fabric scarecrow on a bale of hay and a large pumpkin on the stoop just says "Happy Fall" to the whole neighborhood.
3. Drive Around to See the Pretty Autumn Leaves
Just like you drive around neighborhoods to see all the twinkly Christmas lights, drive around to see all the pretty colors of fall.
Fall is here! Well, it's arrived in most of the United States, but here in Florida, we are still squatting mosquitoes. Fall usually arrives here somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but hey, I want to be ready.
Are you curious about what's trendy for 2018?
Well, sit back and enjoy the latest fashion fun. Don't worry. You can probably find lots of these things tucked away in your closet from yesteryear.
Fashion finds for Fall include leopard prints, cowboy fringe and boots, crazy color combinations, distressed denim, cropped pants with ribbed tights, lots of plaid, and cinch an oversized coat with a belt or ribbon.
Have fun trying out some of fall's new fashion finds.
God bless you.
Impressive! That's the word that came to my mind the first time I saw the Printable Books of the Bible Summary Sheets from Teach Sunday School. What a great way to teach our children the Books of the Bible at home or in Sunday School at church.
Okay, there is so much information at your fingertips with these Bible at a Glance printables. They are packed with information.
I love these sheets because they are a great resource for Bible teachers of any kind--Sunday school teachers, homeshcool moms, Bible study leaders, or pastors.
I printed mine and have them in a notebook for reference. So, here is the way I will use them in my Bible teaching. When I start a new book of the Bible, I will pass out a copy of these sheets to my children and we will go over the basic facts together that are on the sheet.
For the review, we each grabbed a sheet based on what we are studying in our Quiet Times and read it over. We all agreed that it made a significant difference in understanding the book we were studying.
God's Timing was perfect. Forensic Faith For Kids from David C Cook and Case Makers Academy came in the mail at just the right time.
You see, we are studying apologetics in our homeschool co-op and one girl was interested in taking the course, but the reading was just too hard.
I was so excited to tell her about the book and asked her if she wanted to read a chapter to see if she liked it.
She said down and read a chapter. And kept reading. She loved it!
When she left, she wanted to take it with her, but I told her I still had to review it myself.
A few days later, I sat down to review the book and couldn't stop reading. It was enchanting, delightful, and engaging. Okay, I love mysteries whether cozy mysteries for grown-ups or easy reading mysteries for kids.
I loved the people in the story. I love how they handled weaving in apologetics and I loved the little Corgi. Yes, I'm just a kid at heart. But, I'm also a pastor's wife with a deep desire to see children walk confidently in their faith. Forensic Faith For Kids is a great way to teach children the whys behind their faith.
Captain John Smith looked dashing in a white shirt, maroon tunic, and purple cape. Pocahontas was lovely herself in a deer skin dress. Okay, it wasn't real deer skin.
It was American History Homeschool Co-op day. We had finished reviewing the Renaissance and Reformation. We had finished learning about the Native Americans and the Spanish explorers. Now, it is was time to learn about Jamestown.
We decided to add some drama to the day by acting out the story of Princess Pocahontas saving Captain John Smith's life.
The week before, we had made Native American vests and headdresses. The children put them on to become members of Powhatan's tribe.
The director, homeschool Mom Molly, read up on the story an reminded the children of the story before they started planning the drama.
We were so excited to get Heirloom Audio's newest G.A. Henty adventure, St. Bartholomew's Eve, and it did not disappoint.
I invited my young friends Hallel 17, Hosanna 16, Victoria 15, Peter 13, and Grace 11 to listen with me.
We all sat in my family room for over two hours listening. All of us were attentive because we wanted to know what happened next. Between CDs, we grabbed food and then popped the second one in.
Why were we so fully engaged.
This radio drama was excellent in every way. The acting, sound effects, and story line were amazing! We were drawn to the characters and cried when we lost some friends in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. There was depth to the characters and surprises in the plot.
This is a tragic, yet heroic tale from history. What a privilege to listen to radio theater together so we could really understand the events leading up to the tragic event.
"I loved it!" each child responded enthusiastically when we discussed it afterward. This radio drama was full of action and adventure, along with virtuous characters who honor Christ. Plus bad guys. How could we not love it!
Discussion that Followed the Audio
Fancy That by Esther Hershenhorn is a delightful picture book for children. What a great way to learn about American history in the early 1800s!
When a Limner, or Fancy Painter, and his wife die, they leave behind two daughters and a son who are doomed for poverty if they don't do something. The son Pippen Biddle decides to rescue the family by following in his father's footsteps. Loading up his supplies, he takes to the road to paint portraits.
Limners were very popular in the early 19th Century before the camera was invented. Limners painted portraits for ordinary folks and were often left unsigned. They painted their clients in a simple, flat style using oils, watercolor, ink, or egg tempera. The paintings of these traveling limners hang in museums around the world, remembered as American folk art.
The story traces Pip's adventures as he faces difficult clients who don't really want realistic paintings of themselves. He sends little paintings and notes home to his sister along the way. When he finally heads home, a bit discouraged, his sisters have a surprise of their own.
As a young homeschool mom back in the early 1990s, I read a book on how to create your own unit studies by Valerie Bendt. I was so excited, but I was too nervous to use unit studies for the whole year.
Light-bulb moment! What about starting with Christmas unit studies? I liked that idea and for several years we did "normal school" all year except December.
What fun we had in December. We celebrated Christmas in Colonial America one year reading lovely stories, making berry ink, writing with feather pens, trying out recipes from Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, playing "Made for Trade," and writing little stories set in the American colonies. Since hospitality was important in Colonials Days, we studied hospitality for our devotions.
We also learned to decorate and set the table Colonial style: symmetrical with pewter, silver, pineapples, greenery, and formality. We ended our studies with a colonial tea where the girls had all their colonial crafts on display. Their friends loved the tussie-musssie, wooden fans, and dolls. Of course, we had to dress up. We gave little booklets to family members for Christmas that year with their stories, poems, and colonial drawings.
That year led to more years. One year was cookies with picture books about cookies and Christmas. Of course, we made several kinds of cookies to freeze and later give away. We also made cookie mixes in jars to give as gifts. We had so much fun baking together and our studies included making gift tags, wrapping up plates of cookies festively, and delivering gifts to family and friends.
More Christmas Unit Studies
"What a beautiful book!" I said aloud as I pulled Alaska By The Way by Joy Budensiek from By The Way out of the brown package. Usually I put a new book in the review pile, but it was so pretty and it was a travel book, so I had to sit down and look through this lovely book from the By The Way Book Series. After looking at all the beautiful photographs and illustrations, I read the whole book in one sitting. I loved it!
Deciding it was too old to read to my three-year-old grandson, I put it aside. However, he found it and after flipping through the pages, asked me to read it to him. He stayed attentive and interested through the whole book. Several people read it (adults, older children, younger children) and every one agreed it was an awesome book.
Why was Alaska By The Way so amazing?
We get to join a family on their trip to Alaska. We join them on the ferry, visit coastal villages, and explore the world inside the Arctic Circle. We learn about Alaska history, culture, geography, and wildlife. The family visits cities and villages while enjoying the lovely scenery along the way, as well as the wildlife.
Since I love to travel, I was fascinated by the book and the children's adventures in the untamed Arctic land of Alaska.
Guess what? I am guest blogging at Cathy McIntosh's website, Embracing Joy in a Jumbled Life. What a breath of fresh air she is! I love her focus on JOY!
You can read my post here.
Check out Cathy's resources here.
That word just made you smile or cringe if you have children.
Either you have joy in your heart because your children faithfully do their chores, meaning that your work load is lighter so it's easier to homeschool.
Well, we shouldn't really talk about all the negative reminders, jobs that remain undone and bad attitudes.
If you cringed when you read the word "chores," I hope this article will encourage you. Don't give up! Children can change. You can change how you do chores in your family.
People often ask how we do chores in our family. This article is just me writing down all the questions I usually am asked and all the answers I usually give.
How we do things is not the "RIGHT" way, it's simply what works for us.
I was discussing Plimoth Plantation by William Bradford in the high school English class I teach at a homeschool co-op. One of the teens remarked, "Wow! Their life was so different. They worked so hard." Another replied,"Yes, but they seemed so much more thankful about everything than we are." So started a big discussion and we all concluded that hard work wasn't necessarily a bad thing and seeking pleasure 40+ hours a week isn't such a great thing.
My students confirmed what I have always believed: joyful hard work is a blessing to all involved. God created us to work hard and chores can be a little taste of the blessing of working hard. Yes, doing chores builds character, but they also build confidence, create a sense of satisfaction, and can be fun.
Okay, let's get to the questions.
Why Do You Have Children Do Chores Everyday?
If you read my book Joyful and Successful Homeschooling, you know about the "Curtis Cleaning Machine." I talk about how we did our family weekly chores together on Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning, we dusted, vacuumed, cleaned the bathrooms, mopped, and straightened the house.
Yes, we all worked together at the same time. Everyone had their own job, but we were all working. This set a tone in the house and everyone knew that there would be aggressive cleaning in progress. If my children's friends made the mistake of being at our house Saturday morning, they helped, too.
We set a time that the family gathered together in the family room. I made sure everyone knew what tasks they were responsible for.
Sometimes we set a timer to see who would finish first.
And the children or adults who finished first got to help out someone else.
You might imagine that everyone moped around. Nope. We had fun. We laughed. We joked around. It was actually pleasant. What?
Let's talk a minute about how to make work fun, rather than like pulling teeth.
Mom's Attitude Sets the Tone
"You are Mommy's big helper," I hear my oldest daughter say to her little boy.
I smile. That's what I used to say to her so many years ago.
Toddlers want to help you wash the dishes, prepare food, sweep, put away clothes, and tidy up. However, they often leave behind greater messes than they help clean.
Attention Moms! This is our window. If we let our children help when they are little lambs and praise their efforts, we are on track to having big helpers one day.
To cultivate the heart to serve, create an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Don't require perfection.
Our children do their "Five Things" each morning before breakfast. They start when they are toddlers and continue on, hopefully, for the rest of their lives. You can read more here.
Making the bed and straightening up the bedroom each morning is a wonderful lifetime habit for anyone.
I always helped my children make their bed and straighten their room each morning. One day, they would say, "I can do it myself, Mommy." I let them do it themselves. Certainly not the good job I did, but I praised them for their hard work and job well done.
We all worked together each afternoon to tidy the house before Daddy got home. We'd pick up all the toys and run the vacuum. It took about 15 minutes because we all worked together.
When the children wanted to help, I let them. We baked together, washed dishes together, and set the table together. When they asked to sweep, I handed them the broom. Later, when they were sleeping, I swept it again.
Praises were sung to Daddy when he arrived home of Mommy's big helpers. I lavished them with thanks for all they did to help. It made them feel so confident and needed.
From Helping to Chores