Uncategorized

Teachers, mothers, and nurses, oh my!

 

I’m not sure how teacher appreciation week, mother’s day and nurse appreciation week ended up being all in the same week, but I know it should never happen again!
Whew! Talk about a busy week.

mother's day cookies

teacher box

teacher appr

teacher boxes

Oh, and did I mention that I also had my very first vendor event in the middle of all of those orders? No, I’m not crazy. Just trying to get my business out there.

vendor event

It wasn’t as successful as I hoped for, but it was a great experience and I now know what to expect at any other events I end up going to. I also was able to take all of my cookies to the store that I sell them in and they were sold out the next day. It turned out to be my most profitable cookie week so far.
Hmmmm…..maybe teacher appreciation week, mother’s day and nurse appreciation week should be all in the same week again after all!

 

Dessert First by Nicole

Snowman Cake

When I saw¬†this snowman cake on The Cake Blog, which is one of my favorite blogs for cake inspiration, I knew I had to attempt to make it. It was soooo cute and I knew the kids would love it. It was also a very appropriate time to make this snowman cake. It was made during a blizzard! That might not be anything special for you, but where I’m from in the south, we don’t have blizzards. Actually, I think the last time they had a blizzard here I was 4 years old and of course I don’t remember it. So yes, I was as giddy as a 4 year old while experiencing my first blizzard.

Anyway, moving on to the cake.

The cake was a strawberry cake with strawberry icing and coconut on the outside.

coconut cake

 

The eyes and nose are made out of fondant.

fondant

The scarf is just a piece of ribbon I had and the gloves were printed off the computer from a good search and glued on to skewers. It turned out super cute, the kids loved it, and it was a great way to celebrate my first blizzard! ūüėČ

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Dessert First by Nicole

Winnie the Pooh and Tiger too!

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Don’t you love when you agree to do a last minute cake order and it turns out to be one of your best?! That’s kinda how this Winnie the Pooh cake went. It was a short notice order and the client didn’t really have an exact idea for the cake other than it needed to be Winnie the Pooh themed. I actually even procrastinated and gave myself an uncomfortable, small amount of time to get it done and then when the pressure was on, BAM, I felt like I knocked it out of the park!

Do you ever surprise yourself like that? Do you ever say yes to something and then stress about it and almost regret saying yes, but when it gets down to the wire your inner most creativity comes out and you actually do some of your best work? Funny how that happens, huh?

 

 

 

homeschooling, Uncategorized

How Morning Time Saved Our Homeschool

Morning Time

I was discouraged. I was frustrated. I was close to giving up.

I had no idea how homeschooling four children, all different ages, was supposed to work out.

And then I discovered morning time.

I actually learned about the idea of a morning basket on Pam Barnhill’s blog. I spent about a good hour on her blog just soaking in all of the awesome information and great ideas she shares. I subscribed to her blog and her podcast. It’s awesome stuff!

I then went and got all of our curriculum together and organized. I created our loop schedule and I began our new way of homeschooling the next Monday morning.

And it was such a blessing.

That Monday was the first smooth running homeschooling day that we’ve had in a while. No chaos, no yelling, no running from child to child.

The main idea of morning times is to start your homeschool mornings learning together no matter your children’s ages. We all come together (ages 9, 6, 5, 3), at our dining room table after finishing our morning chores, to start our school day. We start with our Bible reading time, Scripture memory, and prayer. We then move on to calendar time, IEW, and math. We do all of these together at the same time.

My 3 year old begins each morning with us and makes it to somewhere around handwriting or math time. He will then usually say he’s all done and go play with his toys.

After finishing our morning time, we then take a short break for snack and then I do reading individually with each of the older children. By the time they’ve all had their individual reading time, it’s time for lunch and another short play break while I clean up the kitchen and do a few chores.

Afterwards, we regather at the table and work on our loop schedule. Our loop schedule includes art, music, history, science, and geography. I’m really loving our new loop schedule because I don’t feel like I have to rush through all of these subjects each day. By doing 1 a day we can really take our time and enjoy learning about each subject.

By this time in our day we’re usually ready for another break (yes, in this ADHD family we take lots of breaks) and then we have our daily tea time each afternoon.

This new schedule and specifically morning time, has truly saved our homeschool. I actually look forward to mornings with my children and I’m enjoying homeschooling again.

If you are becoming discouraged in your homeschooling journey I encourage you to give morning time a try. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Do you begin your home school day with morning time?

Uncategorized

S.O.A.P. Bible Study Method

On December 1st I started an online Bible study through Love God Greatly and I am really enjoying it. It is an advent Bible study called The Road to Christmas.

One thing that I am really enjoying is the SOAP Bible study method. Believe it or not I have never heard of this method for studying the Bible until now. I heard of SOAP when I was in massage school for taking client notes, but never in Bible study.

The S.O.A.P Bible Study Method

S. Start with scripture. Write it down. Whether it is 1 verse or 10 write them out on paper. Writing scripture down helps me remember it and really think about.

O. O is for observation. What do I see? This is where I reread the scripture and write down what it tells me. If there are words in the verses I don’t know I look them up and write down the definitions.

A. Application. This is the hard one. Writing it down is not hard, but living the scripture out is. I ask myself during this step, “What is God’s Word saying to me? How can I apply that scripture to my life today? Are there any changes that I need to make in my heart to be able to live this out?

P. Prayer. The best part. Isn’t it awesome that we get to talk to God? I write my prayer down according to what I wrote down in the application step. I pray that God would help me to live these scriptures out. If I did see that there were changes I needed to make (and usually there are) I pray God would give me the strength to make those changes. Also, pray God’s word back to Him.

Here is an example of what I did this morning with Psalm 25: 8-10.

S. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His testimonies.”

O. The Lord is good. He instructs sinners in the way. Not perfect people, sinners. He leads the humble in what is right. Not the proud! He teaches the humble his way. All the paths and ways of the Lord are constant, loyal, reliable, in love, and faithful for those who keep His commands.

A. Because God is good He will instruct me. Most importantly God instructs me knowing that I am a sinner. God knows I am a sinner. God knows I will sin. But He will lead me in what is right and He will teach me His ways IF I am humble. Humble=low in my own spirit and heart, submissive to God. Knowing that I can do nothing without God. And IF I keep God’s commands He will lead me. The path God leads me down will be a path of love and faithfulness. To keep his commands I need to know His word! And when I know His word I need to OBEY His word. And then I can trust in His ways and trust that no matter what happens in my life He will be guiding me with love and faithfulness.

P. Father God, thank you for being good, especially when I am not. Thank you for leading me even though I am a sinner. Thank you for Jesus and for providing a way back to you. I pray that I would accept your instruction and not push away from it and try to do things my way. I pray that you would help me humble myself and live a humble life. I pray that you will lead me in what is right and that you will teach me your ways and how to live them out. I thank you that all your ways are loving and faithful. Please God help me to trust in that and live that out.

in His name, Amen

If you have never tried the SOAP Bible study method before I really recommend you do. It helps you do more than just read the scripture. It helps you dig down in to them and also helps you dig down in to your own heart.

cooking with kids, preschool activities

Teaching children about Lottie Moon.

lottiemoon collageSo tomorrow starts the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at our Church. Do you know who Lottie Moon is? Lottie Moon was a missionary to China for nearly 40 years. She taught the people of China how to read and write.

She often made tea cakes (cookies) for the children. The children would eat the cookies and then take Lottie to their mothers where she would then share the gospel with the family.

Since we are starting our Offering at Church tomorrow I wanted to do an activity with the kids to learn about who Lottie Moon was. I searched for information and found this story about Lottie and a recipe for the cookies she used to make.

First we read the story.

Then we made the cookies.

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After making the dough we rolled it out and cut the cookies.

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Then we popped them in the oven. They only take 5 minutes to cook!

I found  coloring pages to go along with the story so while the cookies were cooking (and while we ate them) they colored the pictures.

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Well, the bean cut his.

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Then we ate them! And they were really good.

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So there is a really neat lesson for children (and parents) about Lottie Moon.

And it was a lesson for me. I learned what a tea cake was and that they are pretty good. And very quick to make!

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motherhood

The lesson I learned from my Thanksgiving pecan pie.

pecan pieI have made pecan pie before and it turned out really good, but this one did not. I think I left it in the oven a little too long. It came out of the oven and the crust and pecans were a little on the well done side.

I went to cut a piece to check the middle and it wasn’t burnt. It was ooey gooey.

So I tried some.

And it was delicious.

So I ate some more. And so did my mom and husband.

After we had finished digging out the center of the pie I began to think…

That pie wasn’t perfect, but it was good.

Kind of like life and motherhood.

As mothers we are not perfect (at least I’m not). Sometimes my edges and life’s edges feel a little burnt. Things get hard, I’m overdone because I have put too much on my plate and I become stressed and become a little rough around the edges.

But I don’t give up. Why? Because it’s the middle that matters the most. The center. The heart. My heart.

In my motherhood journey I’ve come to accept that hard days are inevitable. I’m human. I’m not superwoman and that’s ok.

I have bad days. We all do and I don’t fill myself with guilt at the end of those days. I take a nice relaxing bath. I pray. I ask God to forgive me for the things I said and did that did not glorify Him and ask Him to strengthen me in those areas where I am weak.

The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

If God, the creator of the world, the One who created me, who knows I mess up and will continue to mess up, can give me new mercies each morning, then I can give myself new mercies each morning.

My days of mothering are not perfect. And yours probably are not either. But let’s not focus on those hard, burnt edges, let’s focus on that ooey gooey middle because that is the part that is oh so good!

preschool activities

A little longer.

Today I got my laminator back out. It took 30 minutes to find and it ended up being in my 7 year olds bedroom, but that’s a whole nother blog post.

Anyway, this laminator is the best thing I have ever spent $30 on. I bought it a couple of years ago, but it has been a while since I used it.

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I found this letter practice page on Pinterest and printed it out and laminated it for the princess.

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She loved it! As she was working on it she said, “Is this what I’m gonna do at the homeschool?”. Funny. She sure does pay attention.

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Tonight while I was putting the little bean to bed I stayed with him a little longer as he was talking and talking. About what I don’t know. He doesn’t talk very well yet, but whatever it was he was excited about it. I just laid in his bed and watched him as he jabbered away.

He is my hardest one, but he can also be my sweetest one.

I also began to think about all those Facebook post I’ve seen recently about how time goes by so fast when you have little ones and how you should cherish these times. And it’s true. There are so many nights where I have rushed to put the kids to bed so I can finally have “me” time. And there is nothing wrong with “me” time as long as you have those moments with your children where you do stay a little longer to listen to them jabber away.

These times do get tough. Laundry and dishes feel like they are never ending, but I know that the days I have with little ones running around here will end before I know it.

Lessons I learned today.

I need to have a serious talk with my kids about touching things that are not theirs!

To not always be so rushed. To look for those moments that I can stay just a little longer in and cherish them and really take them in because I will never get that exact moment back.

Books

Being Intentional When Life Gets Mundane.

This was a post I wrote about a year ago when I did a Proverbs 31 Bible study on What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst.. I highly recommend the book.

Today is the Blog Hop I’ve been so excited about! So excited that¬†I started this blog!!¬†For the Blog Hop we are to write about one of the topics that are given to us through the Online Bible Study. The one I chose asks the questions:

What are some action steps you can take each day to become more aware of God’s presence?¬† How can you intentionally pursue God even in the middle of “life’s mundane activities”?¬† (Oh, how I struggle with that!)

The very first thing I can do each day to become more aware of God’s presence is to pray. I can pray in bed before my feet even hit the floor for God to help me become more aware of His presence.

Also, I have to keep myself in God’s word to be able to discern His presence in my life. If I do not know His word, then I will not know His will and I will not be able to be aware of His presence.¬† When I have hard decisions to make or the daily tasks I have to complete I must remember to be intentional and to be aware of His presence.¬† I am to glorify God in all that I do.

Sometimes my daily activities do become mundane, but if I keep myself in God’s word, whether it is in the Bible, at church, in¬†a book (like the awesome one I’m reading now, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God”), or with Christian music, it helps me to be able to do those mundane activities with a purpose.

For example, if my child wants a snack AGAIN for the fifth time today, it makes it easier for me to happily get off of my comfortable couch and get them a snack. If I am surrounding my self with God’s word it makes it easier for me to do because I know that God tells me to do everything without complaining. He tells me to treat others as more important than myself and His word tells me that He opposes the proud, but favors the humble. And ultimately everything I do is suppose¬†to be done to glorify God even if it is something as simple as happily getting my child a snack, AGAIN.

If I haven’t been in God’s word, Oh how easy it is for me to groan and complain all the way to the kitchen about how these kids want to eat all the time and how they always want something when I’m trying to rest for 5 minutes!¬† So, whether it’s fixing snacks, doing laundry or sweeping the floor, I have to keep saying “Yes” to God and do everything I do to glorify Him.

Verses to meditate on:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your strength.”¬† Deuteronomy 6:5

“Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”¬† Matthew 5:16

homeschooling

A crazy(er) week.

I am definitely a summer girl, but there is something about a rainy, cold day with candles lit inside of a warm, cozy house and soup in the crock pot for dinner that makes me happy.

This has been a crazy(er) week than usual. All 3 little ones have been sick and for us that almost always means trips (several) to the doctor’s office, breathing treatments (on more than 1 kid), and possibly a visit to the Emergency Room (which did happen this time).

So yes, this has been a crazier week and that is why it’s been over a week since my last post. Not exactly how I wanted to start off in this blogging world, but life happens.

Since my last post I did get to order a couple of  things for homeschooling. I ordered the free Classical Conversations catalog and the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann.

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I was hoping to go ahead and begin using this with my 4 year old, but after looking through it I decided that she really needs to know all of her letters better. I know, duh!

She is working on her letters in preschool, but I am going to start supplementing more letter work with her at home.

The Classical Conversations co/op is something I’m pretty sure I’m going to put her in next year. Registration begins in January so I still have a little longer to think about it.

I also ordered my self a couple of books which I am super excited about. The first book is The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeuryst.

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I love her books and a friend of mine and I will be doing a study on this book in the beginning of the year with the preschool moms at our preschool which is also our church.

The second book I ordered is the iBlog e-book. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I ordered this one in hopes of it helping me out with his blog. I really¬†hope it does because I have no clue what I’m doing.

Lessons I’ve learned in the last week. (The ones I can remember)

The stridor noise kids make when they have croup is scary and never normal.

I have put off reading a book for myself way too long.

Olivia needs to work a lot more on learning her letters.

What Classical Conversations is.