Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creating Contentment Seminar

I've only been to 2 homeschool conventions in all the years that I've been homeschooling.  I will say, that without a doubt, they were well worth the time/expense that I had to give up to go.  HOWEVER, honestly, I can't afford to drive 3-5 hours and get a hotel room and meals and pay the convention fees and find a sitter.....not every year, not's been 6 years since I've been to the last homeschool convention (and it was 5 years before that for the other one). 

So I was very delighted to find out that Lorrie Flem was going to be hosting some seminars online. The topic for February was Creating Contentment.   Unfortunately, I wasn't available for the actual seminar BUT with an online seminar, you don't actually have to be available.  If you buy a ticket for the seminar (for $3 at then you can access the seminar at any time.  All the slides, the PDFs and the recordings!  This is completely set up to be convenient for ME (and YOU).

I struggle with contentment.  This seminar really blessed me and encourages me to rethink my attitude and be grateful for the things that God has blessed me with. 

Beginning March 15th, you can also purchase the next seminar, True Womanhood is Not for Wimpy Women.  More encouragement!!!!  I absolutely can't wait to dig into this information.  And I didn't have to drive, book a hotel, find a sitter, buy a meal.  No stress, no frustration, very budget friendly! 

For this and other wonderful resources for Godly Womanhood be sure to check out Eternal Encouragement.  Lorrie's mission is to mentor other women to be more like Jesus every day :)

***I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review as part of the Gabby Moms review program.***

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Blog Planner Review

Blogger?  Yep.

Planner?  Yep.

Blog Planner?  Hmmm.  Not really. 

I think I started this blog in 2006.  At first it was more of a journal.  Then it became a "homeschool" thing as I charted our homeschool journey.  Then it was mainly reviews.  Then it was a journal again.  Now.....I don't know.  Maybe more reviews than anything. 

The thing is, that I LOVE to read blogs.  Sewing blogs, knitting blogs, food blogs, homeschool blogs and "here is my life" blogs.  If you capture my attention I will be a faithful reader. 

My blog, here, has never really had a purpose.  Poor thing.  I just do what I do and hope someone reads it.  I love to write, about everything, so I felt constrained trying to give my blog a focus.

My blog is focus-less, at least until a time that I deem it otherwise necessary.  I have a little ADHD, you have to like it, or leave it.  I can live with it :)

Now, as most of you know, I am a reviewer for Mosaic Reviews.  I love to try out products and tell people about them.  I like to tell people about everything so.....

The 1st review I was asked to do for Mosaic Reviews is of a Blog Planner.


Well then.

I thought about telling them that I don't.    plan.     my.    blog.    but you don't want to irritate the people that have accepted you to be part of their review team, especially at the beginning of the process.  There were several to choose from so I choose the least.....hmmmm.....troublesome.  I don't mean that in a grouchy way, some of the blog planners were huge things that were really life planners that included blogging.  I have a nice little calendar planner so I didn't need anything like that.  I didn't NEED a blog planner, remember?

So, I found one that Confessions of a Homeschooler put together.  LOVE her website, by the way.  If you need inspiration, get a cup of tea and spend some time.  I'm digressing again.

I choose the lined format post planner seen above.
Very pretty, eh?  I thought so too.
Now, hmmm, what to do with it?  I sat down and wrote out the reviews I had coming up.  And then I scheduled in what I wanted to blog about.  And then sometimes, I even used it :)  Cool, eh?  So if you like the more regular blogging you've been seeing lately, the blog planner is to praise for that.
It is a tool.  I need to refer to it more.  But I honestly like it and I can see how it helps to have all the blogging stuff written down in one place for reference.
In case you think your blogging could use blog planner is available for FREE :)  So you can give it a try and see how it works out.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  I know I was.
***I recieved and reviewed this item for free (remember, it is free for you also!) as part of the Mosaics Review team.***

Monday, February 11, 2013

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning

When I was asked if I wanted to do this review it was just weeks after the death of my dear friend Erin;  I was still in the cloud of grief and was eager for anything to help me dig my way out.  By the time I actually received this book life was a little different.  My burden didn't seem quite as heavy and I wondered if I was the right person to be reviewing this.....however, this isn't just a book about grieving a lost loved one.  This is a book about grieving a loss.  It could be a relationship loss, job loss, financial loss, health-related loss or the loss of a loved one.  Since I seem to qualify in almost all those categories, I decided to give it a go.

I sat down and read it straight through.  IT IS NOT DESIGNED TO BE READ THAT WAY. I wanted to make sure that I got all the way through so that my review would be complete.

This book is meant to be a devotional.  The chapters are short, can easily be read in less than 10 minutes every morning. 40 chapters, one for each day, lead the reader through the valley of grief.  This book doesn't just speak to your emotions, it speaks to your spiritual life and physical life as well.  Each chapter has the devotional, reflections to ponder, prayer and a when you walk section.  The author, Alice J. Wisler, encourages her readers to get out and walk.  Meet the world head on, take care of your physical self and enjoy the wonders of God's beauty.

Beginning tomorrow, I am starting this book the way it was intended to be read.  Don't get me wrong, I gleaned much from it in one setting.  I can't imagine how God will work through this book when I have time to reflect, ponder and soak up the truth of His word. 

Alice also has Writing the Heartache  workshops that are geared to help others discover the benefits of writing from losses.  Alice lost her 4 year old son, Daniel, to cancer after 8 months of treatments, so she speaks from experience and wants to help you get through your loss and back on the path to living your life to the fullest.

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning is available for $11.05 on Amazon.

For more encouragement you can visit Alice's blogs: Broken Psalms and Alice J. Wisler's Patchwork Quilt Blog.

***As always I received this book for free in exchange for a fair review :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finished Reading Feb. 10th

Edge of Apocalypse and Thunder of Heaven by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall
If you liked the Left Behind series then you will like these.  I read books 1 and 2 of the 3 book series, book 3 is on my nightstand right now.  I enjoy them very much. 

Getting Out of Bed in the Morning by Alice J. Wisler - review following

TEACH Magazine Fall 2006
This issue was about the power of prayer.  As always, great, convicting articles about the theme with some cute stories and humorous analogies thrown in for good measure.  I always come away from each issue of TEACH with encouragement and inspired to be a better woman of God. 

Monday, February 04, 2013

Be the Hands and Feet

"Momma!  I NEED you!!!!!"

Those are words I hear from Miss Abby daily, sometimes multiple times a day. 

"What do you need Abby?"

"Momma!  I need YOU!"

What she means is she needs her "love tank" filled up (a term we used with Bear when he was her age).  She needed to snuggle, hug, kiss and be reminded that someone here loved her.  It takes less than 10 minutes and then she is a happy little girl again.

Sometimes, like today, my love tank runs low.  Norman has been working 16 hour days.  In the end, it works out really well for our family because he gets more days off a week, but for those days he is gone, I'm it.  Sure, I've got teenagers.  But they are usually too busy trying to kill each other to have a coherent conversation with good-ole-mom.  Bear and Abby love to talk and tell me all about their adventures and the things they saw on TV and the birds outside.  As long as I am HERE their world is all good and they can live their lives, you know, like little kids do.

A 2 year old and a 5 year old aren't supposed to be concerned with their mother's mental and emotional health (and believe me, they aren't lol).  Honestly, there isn't anything really wrong with my mental or emotional health.  Not anything that doesn't happen to every mother out there, possibly daily.

I'm lonely.

I miss adult interaction.  I don't always want someone to NEED me (I know I will miss that but we are talking about NOW).  I would love to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee and a few chapters of my current read without 15 interruptions.  I KNOW these days are short and I should enjoy them and all that, I got the memo.  Believe me, I know.  I've got teenagers, remember?

I imagine that I'm not alone.  So, I've been trying to think of ways that I can recognize these "symptoms" in other moms and be a Jesus hug to them.  Jesus is LOVE, but WE are His hands and feet here on earth. 

Look around at your circle of friends, your neighbors, the new people at church.  Let's think of ways that you (and I) can be an encouragement to them. 
*send a random "glad you are my friend" or "thinking of you" card (or text/email if you are out of cards)
*plan that playdate  -----  I know that I almost never get out of this house without at least 1 child so friendly coffee get-togethers don't work for me.  Playdates do :)  Your friend won't care if your home is a mess.  She will just appreciate that you took the time to connect with her.
*make the phone call --- I am the worst about this.  I hate talking on the phone.  There is always someone here wanting something or bothering me and I always worry that I'm bothering the person I called, but sometimes a call can be such a bright spot in my day!
*be a blessing  ---- Do you have a hobby, skill set or talent that could bless someone in your life?  Use it!  God gave it to you for a reason!!!

I guess the most important thing is to CONNECT with the people around you.  I know that without my 2 besties I would be lost! 

It is February, so it is "Random Acts of Kindness" month.  Don't forget to connect with those around you....a smile, a kind word, the littles things add up to a hug, they really do make a difference!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

It's a Hodge Podge

I'm reviewing a blog planner  :)  Soooo, I've been using the blog planner.  As most of you know, if you've been around a while, my blogging is sporadic at best.  I always have fantastic intentions but they tend to fall by the wayside.  I forget to take pictures to go with the post or I don't do what I was wanting to post about or........   You know how it goes.

Anyway, back to the blog I have written in that I would blog about my knitting projects.  Hmmm.  Well.  Didn't take pictures (see how that goes) and they weren't terribly interesting.  This week I finished 3 scarves: 1 camo/blaze orange for Lee (a request - when teenage boys ask you to knit something for them, you do it, quickly!) and 2 ruffle scarves for an upcoming vendor fair. 

And that's all I really have to say about that.  See?  Not very interesting. 

I've been reading, almost daily, but haven't finished anything.

I haven't sewn anything remarkable.  I did rearrange my sewing room.  Alone.  Last week.  That was a job.  I have a large solid wood L-shaped desk, a folding table, a huge, long, solid dresser and a few smaller shelving units in there.  And my sewing maching desk.  It didn't have to move.  The room is maybe 10x10 and I moved that furniture all over.  It looks so much nicer now.  It will never be a room on pinterest but it is much more useable.  I worked on Lee's quilt for a while last week :)  Much more useable!

Ha!  This is a terrible picture of Abby modeling one of the scarves I made.  Bear is playing video games in the background.

And, the most important news of the week!  Abby got her ears pierced on Friday.  Daddy took her so Mommy wouldn't cry.  I hear that she was very brave and she loves her new pink butterfly earrings.
Hopefully I will make it back tomorrow to post on my Bible study topics :)