Book Review for Erin Odom’s Book “You Can Stay Home with Your Kids”


I was thrilled to be invited to be on the launch team for this book. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my fair and honest review. Erin Odom’s book gives wonderful advice and tips on how you can stay home with your kids. From ideas to save money to making money, this book covers it all, the conversational nature of the book makes it one worth reading. The practical advice and tone make you feel as though you are sitting around a table with Erin listening to her wonderful advice. It is the perfect follow-up to her book “More Than Just Making It”. This book is definitely worth reading.

Roughly sixteen years ago, I was put in the position of having to stay home with my children because we were pregnant with our fourth child.  I wish this book had been around then.  Her tips are practical and useful.  She does an excellent job of expressing easy to follow steps that will help you stay at home with your children.  As a homeschooling family, we recognize the importance of finances and managing our money and our time wisely.  Erin Odom does an excellent job of giving helpful and useful tips and ideas that suit any family.


As part of the launch team for her book “More Than Just Making It”, I have to say both books go hand in hand together to show how you can stay at home with your kids while doing more than just making it.  You can check out my review of “More Than Just Making It here.

So check it out for yourself.

Review of “Hello Mornings” by Kat Lee


I was privileged to be on the launch team for Kat Lee’s book, “hello mornings”.  A year or so ago, I first heard about the website for hello mornings.  I began to participate.  The general principle is to do three simple things first thing every morning.  The three things are to interact with God’s Word, planning your day, along with fitness.  The concept is simple and straight-forward.

When I read about Kat Lee writing a book about creating a morning routine that builds a person up spiritually, physically and gets them hydrated all at once.  I knew I wanted to be part of this book launch team.  I was thrilled to receive a copy to review.  I truly found this to be a book worth reading.  The chapters are easy to read and kept my interest and attention.

So if you are looking for a book to help get you started with a good morning routine (even if you are not a morning person), I recommend this book.

So what are you reading?  I would love to hear from you.

Time to Start Writing Again


So for the past several months I have basically been taking a break from blogging.  We have been enjoying an extended Christmas vacation and getting some things done around our home.  Once I began the break, starting back to a consistent writing schedule has been a challenge.  It is not the easiest thing in the world to resume habits once a break has begun.

It is hard to decided what to write about or how to organize my thoughts. I know once I get back into writing, it will be much easier to continue.  The bottom line is I need to spend time planning and organizing a plan for my blogs and writing.  I also need to build in time to spend time on COMPEL and the training provided there.  I love this resource and find it extremly useful to my writing endeavors.

I need to create by writing.  I know this for certain.  It is just a matter of deciding to focus on writing and not get distracted by life.  I have numerous books and blogs I follow along with other resources to help me develop my writing.  I just need to decide to utilize them.

Deciding what to write about for each blog post sometimes comes easier than other times.  So how are things going where you are?  I would love to hear from you.

Not Being Very Consistent

Psalm 37 4

It has been a while since I have posted.  Time has just gotten away from me.  I felt like other things needed to take priority over my blogs.  But now it is time to get back to writing.  So this post will hopefully get me back into the swing of writing consistently.  I am privileged to be part of the Home School Review Crew this year.  I am really looking forward to trying out new curriculum choices and sharing with my reads on one of my other blogs Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy on WordPress.

I am really excited about one of our first review assignments regarding a Creative Writing program.  I plan on participating with my children, so some of the activities may wind up here on the blog.

I also plan to spend some time this weekend creating a plan for the next few months of what I want to blog about.  I know I plan on participating in the Blogging A to Z challenge as well as Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so I will be sharing my thoughts and ideas regarding both of those activities here.

I also look forward to sharing thoughts about books I am reading personally as well.  I love to read and have bookcases full to illustrate the point.  So that is just a little about what is going on in our world.  I would love to hear what is going on in your world.

Moving Forward


Philippians 4 13


I am still participating in the #Write365 challenge.  Although I have not been writing every day here on the blog, I have at least been writing.  Even if it was only in my Devotional journals, I have written every day for the past 35 days.  I am pretty proud of that, especially considering we are preparing for a cross country move as well.

We are preparing to head to Texas to find what will be our new rental home for what could be as long as five years.  At the same time, we are working to declutter our existing home and prepare for the invasion of the packers and movers.  It is always fun to watch military movers work.  Some teams, like the first one that packed us up in eastern North Carolina, work with incredible precision and technique.  Other times, like our move from western Pennsylvania to central Pennsylvania, teams come in unprepared – like sending two people the first day when the movers knew we were a family of six.

This time, we have been told they are going to pack and move all of our belongings in a four day window.  I am interested to see how this goes.  Of course, we have no room for any margin of error.  Tomorrow we have our first face to face contact with the team that will be responsible for our move this time.  The person will determining how many pounds of belongings we have.  This will help them determine what size team they need to send to pack our stuff.  It amazed me to find out that a military family, regardless of how many members are in that family, only receive a total of 2,000 more pounds than a military member who is single.  This just astounds my mind.  It is hard to imagine how they think a family of 4, much less a family of six, like our family would only have 2,000 more pounds of possessions than a single individual.

In our case, we have the fun of a front-load washer, a front-load dryer, two upright freezers plus our refrigerator (that is only a refrigerator).  Not to mention, the plethora of books we have with my husband being a seminary student plus an ordained minister and the homeschooling books we have acquired through the years.  Add to that my husband’s tools such as the table saw and such and we have a lot of weight.  This move we will simply have the two vehicles, our 12 passenger van plus our pick up truck to move things in, rather than having the added space of a utility trailer to pull behind the truck.  So this adds up to the excitement of our upcoming adventure.  I am curious to see how we make it all fit – since we have to take certain tools, the lawn mower, the chipper and other items with us personally.  Add to that seven people and their clothes and items such as laptop computers and it is going to get interesting.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.




Well It is Real….We’re Moving to Texas


AdTo every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven_d a little bit of body text1

God’s Word tells us that to everything there is a time and a season.  Our season of being in Pennsylvania is almost over.  We are starting to face our “lasts” – such as the last time seeing certain people, the last time traveling certain roads, seeing the last snow fall, and the last time going certain places.  In some ways it is bittersweet.  No more chances to build snowman, have snowball fights or make snow angels.  At the same time, a whole new range of opportunities will be available to our family.

For the next couple of weeks, purging and getting rid of things is going to be our focus.  Preparing to move 7 people can be quite the adventure.  Plus, knowing we need almost two weeks of things with us for at least two different types of climates adds to the adventures.  Then on top of that, we need to determine what we absolutely need to have with us to survive the time we are in the hotel – including some of our cookware and such.

On top of that we will have the adventure of finding a home in Texas that our family will fit in.  I expect that to be quite an adventure.  Knowing we have about two months to accomplish everything is enough to send me into hibernation.  But I know the Lord will provide.

Philippians 4 13

In the coming weeks, I will be spending extra time in prayer and in God’s Word asking for the strength and grace needed to get our family through the trials that I am sure will happen during this move.  But I also know,

Psalm 37 4

In this case, the desire of my heart is to find a house quickly and easily.  Plus, I want the move to go smoothly – meaning the movers are efficient, the weather cooperates and the travel goes smoothly.  Once we get there, I desire to find the perfect church for our family and  friends for our children.

So for the next few weeks or so probably most of my posts will focus on the excitement and chaos of our upcoming move.  I will be documenting our purging, organization and planning involved in our moving process.

So what is going on where you are?  I would love to hear from you.  If I can pray for anything for you, let me know.

Plans Gone Awry


So have you ever made plans and known exactly what you want to happen- such as plans to sleep late, or get something specific done, or  go someplace?  Well, last night I made plans.  I wanted to sleep in and start the day off with God on my terms.  However, my plans did not come to fruition.  Instead, I awoke to my husband’s cell phone playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” loudly and much earlier than I ever wanted to wake up on a Saturday morning.

Of course, I thought about going back to sleep since it was not even 7 am yet.  But my plans once again failed – instead I wound up staying awake.  So I read my YouVersion Bible plans on my Ipad and then read my 3 devotional books.  It allowed me to spend some quiet time with God.  So even though my plans failed, I know God’s plans were perfect as always.

I need to spend some time planning this weekend for our menus for the next several weeks.  I have found the perfect tool to use for planning our menus and today I discovered another perfect use for it – my blog planner.  What tool is that?  The perfect tool is the new planner from  Ruth Soukup and  Living Well, Spending Less.  I plan on using my Corie Clark planner as my “take-everywhere” planner and love that it is set up as a daily planner.  But the Living Well, Spending Less planner just lends itself for being my blog planner and Menu planner.  There are columns for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the right-hand page,  along with 2 larger squares on the left-hand page that will be perfect for blog planning.

Here are some pictures of the planner.

First, here is the cover.  I added scrapbooking pages and embellishments to  it.

LWSL Front Cover

Then there are two pages for monthly goals that I believe would be perfect for identifying particular themes or blogging events for particular months.

Here is a sample of the weekly spreads.  The Left side is where I believe I will record blogging information including any pertinent information.  While I will use the right side to do my menu planning.  Since my husband and I  are following the 21-day Fix, I think this is going to be a perfect place to keep track of our meals as well.

I will be sharing more about this planner in a different post.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.  If there is anything you would like me to pray about for you, let me know.

#Write365  #PlannerHappiness

2016 is almost here


As one year winds down, another year approaches.  It gives us all the opportunities and possibilities of working towards making old or new dreams  come true.  The door is open wide for us to step out in new directions or return to old flights of fancy.  Just as Jesus entered the world as a newborn baby with the promise of greatness to come, we have the potential to make our dreams come true.  We need to think about what is important to us and focus on those dreams.

It is time to focus on setting goals and writing them down.  It is time for planning and focusing on what is truly important.  This year I want to focus on writing and living out my dreams.  I am participating in a new group called #write365.  I can’t wait to get started.  It is going to be fantastic to have a wonderful group of ladies to help keep me accountable and to share my successes with online.  I also plan on being more active in the COMPEL community by Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I want to start building my platform with dreams of speaking and writing in my future.  Recently, I submitted a piece Chicken Soup for the Soul for one of their upcoming books, so we will see where that leads.

Changes are coming my way.  I have always lived on the East Coast, but now we are preparing for a move to Texas in the new year.  I am interested to see what possibilities and opportunities this move brings for our family.  I plan on continuing to lead a small group on Facebook for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies, but am sitting out the first study because of our move.  Then I plan on starting my life coaching courses through Liberty University Online once we get moved.  Our oldest will also start his college work through correspondence once we move.  Homeschooling will still be actively operating in our home for our younger three.  I am trying to treasure every minute I have with our children.  I know the days of having them all home are fast disappearing.


In this new year, I want to actively pursue building on my relationship with God and the time I spend with Him.  I also want to spend more time memorizing Scriptures and working on Bible Art Journaling.  I want  to actively participate in His Kingdom Come and my other Art and Journaling groups.  One of my goals in 2016 is to be more focused on  becoming more Christ-like.

Once we move I plan on finding a church our entire family can become involved in and enjoy attending.  Being with a group of like-minded believers is so important.  This season we have spent having church at home with my husband leading us has been a tremendous blessing.  But I recognize once we move, a new season needs to begin.

A new state, a new city and a new unit for my husband brings opportunities and possibilities for us all.  There are so many things I want to do, see, create and achieve.  The only thing standing between me and them is myself.

So how is your 2016 shaping up?   What dreams do you have?  What goals are you setting?  I would love to hear from you.