Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Project Organize- The Pantry

This was not going to be my next project, but a friend who has joined the madness mentioned she had done hers and I thought I better catch up!  ;)  I thought it would be fast and easy.  It is after all a small space with not much in it!  I thought wrong!

Here are a few befores...

Then, I pulled everything out!  Ah, look how nice it looks!

This is the mess of stuff that was in there.  Not all went back in.  Some went to the trash (this is a perfect time to check expiration dates, just saying!), some went to where it belonged in the first place, and then what was left over went back in a more organized manner.

The results...
Can you tell Kroger had a sale on Goldfish?
One of the few crackers I still let the kiddos eat!  haha

Much better.

Amazing, my hubby said.  (don't ya just love him!?)

Now, I do feel the need to explain the cans, since many of you have heard me say that we are trying to have a bar code free pantry.  Actually, what we are trying to do is eat bar code free meals.  BUT, we also feel strongly about having a 72 hour survival "kit" in our home.  No, not for a zombie invasion or anything drastic, but for minor emergencies like loss of power from a hurricane or snowstorm.  Should those things occur, we do not want to be one of the families that runs to the store in a panic making the problem worse.  We want to be able to survive in our own environment to allow those that really need supplies access without us being in the way. 

The problem I found with this theory is that a lot of my real foods have to be baked, ground (wheat), or specially prepared ... not helpful if we have no power and are cooking on a grill.  So for that reason we do keep some simple canned food on our shelves.  Well, for that and when mom needs a break and the garden is a flop!  ;) is off to the top floor of the house to tackle the sewing area next!  Wait 'til you see what ALP found to organize her fabric!  See ya back next Friday!  And please, we would love to hear how your organizing and decluttering projects are going!

Monday, January 28, 2013

No Spend January Thoughts and Results!

I can hardly believe that in three days the month of January will be over.  2013 is moving forward whether we are ready or not.   It all started with a simple idea to save money by spending less.  Spending less and saving more!  Great idea.  In theory.  But let's just be honest up front, it was challenging.  But not in the ways I imagined.

Here's how it shook out.  We budget each month in certain set categories.  For the month of January we decided not to spend in any of those categories except groceries, bills, tithing and gas.  In what I will call "savings" categories, our money went into those dedicated accounts as normal, but was not used.  Examples being, home maintenance, vacation, school supplies, etc. " Fun money" categories that usually get taken out as cash remained in our account- for example entertainment, clothing, and the allowances my husband and I give ourselves for pocket money.

I would like to say that we did not spend an extra penny outside the allowed categories.  That would not be quite honest so here goes:

We did spend about $45.00 to send two boxes of things to our college daughter.  She did not have enough room in her suitcase to fly everything back and so we had to bend here.  She did, after all, need her clothes!

I allowed my two middle kids to go to the movies one afternoon.  The deal was that they pay for it themselves.  My kids only go to the movies about twice a year.  Seriously!  We are just that strict on movies.  But this was one the older one really wanted to see and it was not going to still be in the theaters in February.  She spent her money and while I may have lost a few points with you all, I gained lots of points with her.  :-) Some things are worth it!

Other than that we have been faithful.  No lunches or dinners out.  No little treats at the gas station or food at co op.  No candy bars at the drug store.  Funny thing, the 5 year old seemed to miss it all the most.  He would ask if he could have a treat, I would look at him and he would say, "Oh that's right, it is no spend January."  Yep, I think he thinks that is really the name of the month.

As for me...well, I do not NEED anything, so I did not  feel like I really deprived myself of anything.  But, yes, I saw those 75% off Christmas sales or buy one get one free ads and felt a twinge of oh no, can't do that.  But really, guys, I did not NEED that stuff anyway.  It would have been just buying to buy...pointless and wasteful.  Shame on me!

 I did not do without things I NEEDED, I did without things I DID NOT NEED IN THE FIRST PLACE!

So where does that leave us?  About $500.00 richer!  And more content.  And empowered to make better decisions.  And challenged to change up our budget a little.  And crazy enough to declare a...


Oh, and one little disclaimer on that...we are going on a date night for Valentine's Day, thanks to a gift card given to us at Christmas.  Just want you to know in case you see me out!  ;)
And for those who joined in with us this month, thank you!  I hope you were blessed and challenged a little as well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fun Friday- Final Read-aloud Edition

January is almost over!  Can you even believe it?  Where has time gone?

To wrap up our Read-aloud edition I want to give you a list of a few more books we have read or are planning on reading as a family.  Honestly, there never seems to be enough time in the day to read all we want to, and so I am going to start adding an afternoon reading time in for my boys.  While they snack after our quiet time, I will read.  Kill two birds with one stone and hopefully fill their tanks with momma time so they will go away, I mean PLAY, while I get dinner done.  ;)

Seed Sowers: Gospel-Planting Adventures

Seed Sowers:Gospel-Planting Adventures  This one is a new one to us written by a fellow TOS CREW member Gwen Toliver.  The Toliver family works with Wycliff Bible Translators and Gwen has pulled together a wonderful collection of missionary stories told to her by some amazing people she has had the privilege to meet.  For those of you that read our Growing Up Wild review and liked the idea, this book is for you. 

What Would The Founding Father's Think? by David Bowman- Another new one that I have the privilege to review.  My 11 year old and I are reading it now together and are loving laughing while learning through every page.  Look for my review on this one soon!

Wild Stories- Written by Colin Thompson, this book cracks us up!  ALL ages will enjoy the silliness, while a middle schooler would probably be best targeted for independant reading.  Each chapter is about a different animal, written by them and vary in length from several pages to the short two page story of Bob, the slug, who promptly gets eaten.  If talking animals and a whole lot of silliness bother you, this one you may want to skip.  Quite frankly, we read a lot of serious stuff, so this one is just a humorous break for us!

Also think about Little Women, Little Men, Little House on the Prairie, the Narnia series, even Star Wars.  The possibilities and choices out there are endless!

And of course- The Bible!  Nothing, in my opinion, is more important than reading the Bible together as a family.  As I have stated before, we have followed several different plans, but regardless of how we have done so, our nightly devotions bring us together as a family and remind us of the Lord's love for us.  Not a bad thing to teach our kids nightly, I think!

See ya back on Monday for my thoughts and results of our No-Spend January!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Project Organize- The School Stuff

We are already several weeks, and several carloads to Goodwill into our organizing.  Several of you have jumped on board and I am so excited.  It is fun to hear your stories and know we are not alone in our desire to scale back!  I would love for you to comment here with your latest victories so we can cheer you on.

So this past week I tackled our school stuff.  We have a lot!  Remember, I have been schooling our kids at home since my almost 19 year old was four!  That is 15 years of stuff and 13 grades of curriculum and all of the stuff that goes along with that endeavor.  As we have entered our last round of school, our youngest is halfway through kindergarten, I knew it was time to purge a few of the extras.  OK, a lot.  While I want to keep stuff for my kids to be able to use should they decide to homeschool their own children, some of the stuff was extra or had been replaced by newer things.  (YEA TOS CREW reviews!)

No judging please, but here is what several areas looked like-

And here are the afters-

A whole van load of stuff went to our co op to hopefully bless others and a few things went into a new and growing stack for Goodwill.  This project was hard for me, guys!  I love having the privilege of schooling my children and there are many memories packed up in those books and boxes.  BUT, I kept reminding myself that I can hold onto memories with out holding onto things!

Feels good!  Not to mention, we are probably one hundred pounds lighter for our move.  No exaggeration!  Yea me!  ;)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quilts and Ladders

Nope- this is not a new game or a new obsession.  My love for fabric somehow led to the love of quilts.  Or was it the other way around?  Either way, I like both and I own a lot of both.  Some of our quilts are store bought, some are homemade by me or others, but there are some in about every room in the house! (with 3 quilts in the process.  Yes, at one time.)

And then one day I saw something like this...

Quilts belonging to this bride's family were hung on a ladder and set atop hay bails surrounding the dance floor

Oh, my heart be still.  I. LOVE. THIS!
So, I put a bug in my father-in-law's ear since his passion is antiques and low and behold- look what I got for Christmas!

It is so tall we are going to cut it down and it needs some cleaning up and maybe a stain or paint (black maybe?), but I have plans! ;)
See all of these...

 They will have a new home soon.  Instead of in places and piles all over the house.
Can't wait to share the finished project with you.  February, maybe!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fun Fridays- Read Aloud edition and SNOW!

Good morning friends!  Typing today from a snowy spot so I just had to share a picture of our snow!  Remember, this family has spent most of our military time in the mid west and we love snow...and miss it! 

OK, a quick chat for our read alouds today.  Years ago we were introduced to the Maxwell family of Titus 2.  Many of you may know them from their books and conferences on Managers of Their Home, Managers of Their Chores and Managers of Their School and other Godly books.  We have had the pleasure of meeting them in person and attending two conferences they hosted and would encourage you to check out this amazing family.

Book 1: Summer with the MoodysThe oldest daughter Sarah has written a series of books that are great read alouds for elementary and middle school children called The Moody Family Series.   We have all but the last two and read them when the girls were younger.  At only $7.00 a piece they are a steal!  They are now in our queue to begin again with the boys.  A delightful telling of a sweet Christian family and their everyday life will leave you with a smile on your face and joy in your heart.  These books are unashamedly Christian and weave salvation and the Lord's love throughout, showing how the love of Jesus can bring a simple joy to a family living for Him!

Sweet, simple and lovely! 


Thursday, January 17, 2013

And the winner of The Reunion is...

Bob P.
Congratulations Bob!
Thanks to all who entered.  If you did not win, I encourage you to use the code a byu yourself a copy of this book!  It is one you will enjoy!  Blessings!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Organize- Kid's Toy Storage- Step 1 in Decluttering

Welcome to Project Organize!
 Let's face it, we will probably be camped out here for a while...but I hear through the grapevine that some of you have joined me on this mission.  I am thrilled to have you.  Leave a comment and tell me what you are doing and HOW you are doing so we can encourage each other!

I had grand visions when my oldest was first born.  Only wood toys.  Only educational toys. Only the book classics.  Only open ended toys.

ummmmmmmmm, right!  That lasted not even the first few months.
Then came the barbies, and the plastic toys and the electronics and the stuffed aniamls and on and on and on.  No wonder the grandparents laughed at my lofty ideas.

So I tried harder to limit.  OK, then only a few themes.  Yep, that didn't work either.  Do you KNOW how many Barbies are out there.  Or American Dolls?  Or My Little Ponies?  We wouldn't want to break up a set, you know.

Do we honestly think that playing with 20 of something is better than playing with two of them?  Even this morning my five year old built a "castle" out of pegs and rubber pieces AGAIN and used his dollar store army men as the characters.  Despite the fact that he has two brand name castles upsatirs.

Don't worry, I am not throwing it all out, but I am on a mission to pare down and organize
My solution for the 5 year old...

Yep.  That's it.

Easy.  Nine cubbies, nine toys.  (come on, they play with the same things over and over again regardless of how much they have and you know it!) You can pick which nine.  The rest are out of here.  Now, before you panic, there are a few bigger pieces that 'go" with these sets.  Those are now stored in his closet on the floor where he can reach them easily.  Pull out castle stuff and need the castle?  It's in the closet.  Playing cars and need a track?  It's in the closet.  Decide to use the animals?  The jungle tree house is in the closet.  You get the idea.  The little things hanging were a simple way for him to see what is in each basket.  He's five- he can't remember.  My oldest thinks it's tacky, I think it is really smart of me!  ;)

Our one exception-

Yes, the dreaded Legos.  We have tried to keep that stash small for the little guy, because honestly, at his age it is not about the building, but just the playing.  So he has a lot of cars and people mostly.  But I found that everytime we put them away at night into one of the baskets they came out a jumbled mess, and quite frankly the 11 year old was growing weary from having to come to mom's rescue and find the missing parts.  Now they all just get parked on the shelves each night.

Ok, so 10 things.

Plus books in a basket.
And a few stuffed animals.

And a new rule- No toys bought unless it is your birthday or Christmas!

At least one of us is going to bed happier! ;)

Monday, January 14, 2013

College Transition - Hers, not ours!

Having successfully made it through a semester of college, mom asked me to share some things, mainly what I have learned.  So here goes.

1. The first week is the hardest.  If you can make it through the first week, you can make it.  Trust me.

2. Take pictures of things you want to remember on your phone.  Seriously, this works for anyone, not just college students.  eg. I have no idea when the library is open, but I do have a picture of the hours in my phone.

3. Sometimes you have to find a "paper place" (Or a reading place.  Or a devotion time place).  I cannot write long papers in my room, even when it is quiet.  Just doesn't work.  I'm not sure why.  But sitting in my dorm lobby, at that table (see it down there, with all my paper writing essentials (junk) on it?), there I could write papers.  (I think I took this picture in the throes of writing a very long counseling paper.  Note the earplugs and gum wrapper, both essential items for sure.)

4. Speaking of papers, parents - please make sure your child is familiar with the basic paper formats such as (but not limited to) (linked for your viewing convenience) (Don't you just love parenthesis?)  MLA, APA, Chicago(Turabian), etc.  Prospective college students, try to figure out what paper style your college or department uses, and practice writing in it.  That just didn't occur to me so I only learned to write in MLA.  Well, the Bible department at my school uses Turabian, not MLA.  Guess who had to learn to write in Turabian?  Right, me.  Trust me, it is much easier to learn a paper style before you use it rather than as you attempt to use it.  (Hey! Hey, Turabian is cool because you use footnotes.  And footnotes take up room.  So a six page paper becomes more like a 4 page paper once you have footnotes. Just sayin.)

5. Keep your stuff clean.  This applies to everyone, but especially college students and siblings who share rooms.  Makes life easier.  And cleaner.  You don't have to be a minimalist (not that I am or anything -cough- sarcasm) but get rid of what you don't like/don't want/don't use/don't wear.  (Just don't get rid of what your roommate doesn't like/doesn't want/doesn't use/doesn't wear.  I can't see that going over too well.)  Hang up your clothes.  Put your shoes in a basket or one pile.  Stack papers, gather up your books, and make your bed.

See, isn't that clean looking? -->

Just kidding, that was my closet before I put my stuff in it. =) 

6. As tempting as it is to go out and buy twenty million coordinating (did you know that word used to be spelled and pronounced "co-ordinating"? Seriously, we now say it like there is a W in there but it used to be two separate sounds. Sorry, bunny trail there.) Anyway, don't buy twenty million co-ordinating items for your dorm room.  Use what you have and, if you can, wait to get to college and then make a run to the store with the large blue sign.  There is no need to have a bath mat if your roommate has one.  Same things applies to an iron, curtains, lamps, Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera.  (name that movie)

7. Be creative.  I have a top bunk, and consequently, no bed side table.  So, he who shall not be named (my dad) suggested I hang a shower caddy on the wall.  It works perfectly!  It holds my Bible, chapstick and odd accouterments perfectly.  'Tis cool.  I thought I had a picture...but I don't.  So you will have to take my word for it.
Imagine a cool picture of my bedside thing here. 

8. Take time.  I took both of the photos below on two different days while walking back to my dorm.  Are they gorgeous photos?  Nope.  They are from my phone.  But they were things I noticed when I slowed down for a minute and looked around.  Otherwise I would have missed a gorgeous sunset and how the light perfectly outlined the tree.

9. Sit in the front in classes, and preferably slightly to the right or left.  If you sit in the front you can see and hear better and the professor will be more familiar with you and thus more willing to help you out if you need it.  Sit to the side so you have a diagonal view and can see the professor and white board/screen, instead of staring at the person's head in front of you.

10. I miss my family.  Still.  But that is ok.  Missing means loving!  And while I love college and have fun and learn while I am there, I would still rather be home.  And that is ok too.  (This is where I would insert a fancy, out of context verse about home or something, but I don't have one.  Sorry.  Feel free to insert your favorite verse here.)

11. There isn't an 11, I just wanted you to thank you all for praying for me and for reading my mom's fabulous blog! =)
             Blessings, ALP

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fun Friday- Read Aloud Edition and a Giveaway!

Happy Fun Friday!  Don't you just love the start of a weekend?  For me, the excitement starts on Thursday after lunch.  We are done with co-op then and I come home and breathe a sigh of relief.  No more things we have to do, just one more day of school (which is often a lighter schedule), and then time centered around family.  LOVE IT!


I am excited to share with you this week our newest read-aloud.  This one came to us by surprise, as I was asked to review it by an outside source.  So exciting!

The Reunion, written by Rachael McIntire, and published by Elisha Press, is a lovely little book written in response to the author's need to find good, quality books to read to her own children.  It's subtitled- "A story of redemption for the whole family to enjoy together."

Indeed it is.  The book begins with a four year old little girl desperately praying for a little sister and unfolds with how God hears and answers her prayers.  Throughout the book we see the faith of a little child grow steadily into the faith of a pre-teen in such a natural way, guided by the deep love of her family.  Dotted with good manners, moral situations and a sweet old-fashioned simpleness, we were delighted to be able to read this together.  Some of the chapters are quite short, making reading several at one time completely do-able.  That and the fact that the boys often wanted to know what would happen next!

Because this book is centered around the world of adoption, it is now dear to our hearts.   It is hard for us to finds books about adoption that are done well.  Often incorrect terms are used, families seem to be "saving" a child, or they are just downright hurtful. The one time I did have a concern was with the use of the term "real" parents in reference to biological parents.  This may just be a case of us being sensitive to politically correct wording because we are an adoptive family, but we encourage the use of "birth" parents as opposed to "real".  Real implies to me that I am fake.  Otherwise, the loving way that Rachael approached adoption as a gift warmed my heart and I think really pulled in our 5 year old adopted son.  More than once he said "just like me" with such excitement.

After each reading time we spent a few minutes talking about the characters and what they said or did that really stood out in our minds.  Some of my favorites were the kids noticing how naturally the family prayed together, that the parents were kind to their children and the children were well mannered, without seeming fake.  Because two families are highlighted, one Christian one not, it was an opportunity for us to discuss how each handled situations that arose and what our family would have done in a similar situation.  Our favorite line was, "Julie, you need Jesus in your heart!" (page 19)  We giggled at that response and had fun imagining how someone would react if that was our response to one who offended us. 

The other discussions we had were about the meaning of words.  Some were from public school references, so the usage was lost on my youngest especially.  Other times, we had to discuss meanings of some of the vocabulary used, therefore I would say that this book is written for slightly older elementary children and up if it is going to be read solely by the child.  For us, it provided a good opportunity to discuss some new words and ideas.

Good read alouds equal good conversations!  And The Reunion was  a book that sparked many conversations among our family.  I pray it will do the same for you!

As a bonus for Family, Faith and Friday readers, the publisher has offered a special code for $2.00 off your purchase of The Reunion through the end of February.  After that the code will be good for $1.00 off.  Please type in REVIEW-FRIDAYS when ordering to take advantage of this gift.

We were also given an extra copy of The Reunion to giveaway to one lucky reader.  Use the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.  This will close next Thursday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

THANK YOU McINTIRE FAMILY for the privilege of reviewing your book!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Time to Let Go and Move on!

We are renting a rather large-for-us house right now.  Not what we had planned nor where we had planned, but it fell into our hands at just the right time and because of fear, we jumped.  Into a much too large-for-us house.  In many ways it has been a blessing, don't get me wrong, but in MANY more ways - a burden.

People have said to me, "Oh, you will miss all of this space when you move."
Maybe.  Maybe not.
I hope not.

My hope is that I will crave simplicity more than I crave space.  And for sure more than I crave stuff!  Because no matter what kind of space you have, you WILL fill it up.  We have.

I want to crave people more than stuff ya'll!  My prayer- Lord, let this be enough.

Piles here.  A stack there.  A box in that closet.  A hodgepodge in that drawer.  Is it just me?  Can you close your eyes and see it?  Does it weigh you down, heart, mind and soul?  It does me.

Some needed, a lot- not!
And I want to know where it all came from.

OH!  Me!

OK, maybe not all me, but a lot me!
And I really am not that big of a spender.  We are on a budget after all.  So I just spend what's in each category.  'cause it's there.  But with our No-Spend January rule (final update to come at the end of the month) I am seeing how I could save even more money by limiting the spending in some of our categories or even getting rid of a few.  Gasp , I know!

Forget do I want it!  Do I NEED IT?

As I take carloads of STUFF to the local Goodwill Store, it literally makes me sick to think of all the money attached to those things that I am so readily giving away.

Stuffed animals x $10.00= $$$
Doo-dads x $5.00= $$$
Clothes x $30.00= $$$
Books x $6.00= $$$

And that's conservative, my friends.

"Wow, how did you fit all this stuff into a smaller house?"  I don't know, but we did.  At it was OK.  Things just expand to fill a space, remember?  But I am tired of filling those spaces.  I long for a small space with only the people and things I love and use surrounding me.  Emphasis on the people.

So we are in downsize mode.

When we move this summer I want to see the bare minimum going with us.  No extra stuff.  No clutter.  Just the people and things that I love.  When each thing comes out of a box on the other side of the move I want to know exactly why I have it and where it is going.  That's it.

When Jesus calls us to do something big for HIS glory, I am pretty sure He will not be calling me and my stuff.  And if He takes us to Heaven tomorrow, I can guarantee this stuff is not going with us.

I am pretty sure Jesus does not care that much about my stuff.
I don't want to either.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where theives break in and steal.  But store up for yourseleves tresures in Heaven...for where your tresaue is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:19-21


Coming next week-  Guest post from my oldest about her College Transition and Kid's Toy Storage-Step 1 in Decluttering!
See ya back on Friday for a Fun Friday Book Giveaway!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What ARE You Wearing?

Just a little disclaimer before I begin.  This post may make some of you mad.  If so, please know it was not my intent.  But, if it makes you stop and think, well, that is the goal.  We all need to reevaluate occasionally and I do believe that friends should challenge each other to do better.  That being said, I always welcome honest, lively discussion, but no ugly or ill-intended comments will be posted.  It is my blog after all and words of affirmation is my love language.  ;)  So here goes....

Have you seen what children and young adults are wearing these days?   I mean, seriously seen it?  OH. MY. WORD!  I know that I am slightly on the conservative end of the spectrum, but honestly, every time I go out I am appalled.
 Skirts up to here, shirts down to there.  What are they thinking?  I really want to ask them sometimes- did you look in the mirror before you left the house and think, yes, this looks OK?  It bothers me...A LOT!  Where is their pride, their self-respect, their class, their brains?

But here is the next thing I think- where is their mom and/or dad!  And did they take a look at their child as they walked out the door and say, yes, that looks OK?

Who wants their child to look like a street walker?
Who really thinks it is OK for their child to show all of her cleavage?
Who thinks it is OK to see their child's underwear?
What father wants men to stare at their teen girls, or worse- middle schooler,  and think words like provocative, hot, sexy or even cute?

Where are these kids' parents?
Who allowed them to buy these clothes?
Who paid for them?
Who drove them to that store?
Who let them out of the house like that?
Who did not step up as a parent and say, NO that is not OK???

Really, I want to know.  And believe me, I have heard the arguments already-

1.  That's all that is in the store.
      Sorry, not convinced.  Keep looking.  Maybe if we stopped buying trash they would stop  making trash!

2.  But she looks so cute.
     Maybe, maybe not.  But is that that what I want her 12 year old classmate to think when he sees her in class? Or the 17 year old that sees her at church?  Or the old man that sees her at the grocery store?

3.  But all his friend dress that way.  
     Get him some new friends, I say.  Or at least encourage him to be the trendsetter that raises the bar a little.

4.  But she's got such a cute figure.
     Go back and read number 2!  Encourage her to share her cute body with her future husband- not the world.

5.  That's the only thing that she/he will wear.  I just don't want an argument every morning.
     Me neither.  Say no, walk away.  You are the parent.

6.   We all can't dress "Amish".
      That's not at all what I am suggesting.  One of my daughters chooses to wear only skirts.  Another one doesn't.  Not the point.  I am just suggesting a little modesty- at the very least, good taste!

I am not advocating we all walk around in turtlenecks and long skirts, really I am not.  But I am challenging moms and dads out there to, as my children say, cowboy up and be in charge!  Help your children out by saying no. Yes, as with any discipline, sometimes it is hard but that is your job.  Don't fail your kids in this area.  I am sure there are people who are more modest than we are that think we have a long way to go.  This is not about judging others- it is about striving to do better.  Start young!  What you may think is cute on a three year old will look a lot different to you in a few short years.  Trust me on this one!

Let's teach our girls that when your skirts are a little shorter you have to be careful how you sit and that you cannot lean over at the waist without bearing it all.

Let's teach our boys that a belt is a useful object to keep your pants at your waist, not your knees.

Let's teach our kids if they want to be respected by others they first must respect themselves.

Let's teach them dignity, self-respect and pride.  And please, send them back to their rooms to put something else on!
Please excuse the lack of pictures...they are lacking for obvious reasons! ;)

Linking up with Amy at Raising Arrows!

Welcome Home Wednesdays

Linking up today with Caroline at The Modest Mom!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Fun Friday- Read Aloud Edition

Do you read your children books?
At what age do you stop?

I would dare say that many of us read to our children without hesitation when they are young, but somewhere along the way of them growing up, the habit wanes.  It happened with us the past few years, but recently I have been convicted that I must once again pick back up the habit.
Our family loves books- so this month's Fun Friday are all about read-alouds.  Before you tune out and log off, hear me out.  At a young age, reading out loud to our children is so natural- it helps develope speech, vocabulary, listening skills, imagination and so much more as well as facilitates bonding.  But there are many benefits for read-alouds for older children too- my favorites being family interaction  and memories created.  Instead of sitting down in front of a TV and just co- existing that requires little to no interaction, joining together for a time of reading can be a time to reconnect, laugh together and even share a journey.

I want to share with you a few books, series and publishers we have found enjoyable but don't let this list limit you.  Keep in mind we are still reading to a five year old, but there are plenty of good books out there to read with older kids.  Think of books like The Hobbit, Star Wars, books by GH Henty, biographies, mysteries and so on.  If you are enjoying it and it is age appropriate, read it as a family.

My first series up- The Farm Mystery Series, a set of 10 wonderful books published by Castleberry Farms Press. Owners of this small family owned publishing company, Steve and Susie Castleberry have written this particular set of mysteries and several of  their children have other books on their site as well.  Each of the books stand alone and can be read in any order.  We ordered our first one a few years ago and my oldest son and husband read them together.  Now that CJ is a little older I plan on reading them again.  They are fun  mysteries about a homeschooling family, following two brothers and their adventures.  "Just happy and wholesome Christian family life, with lots of everyday adventure woven in." - from the website

In the age of electronics and fast paced madness I love being able to read of a simpler lifestyle, kids with good manners and morals and with no fear of questionable content.  I highly recommend them and hope you enjoy them as well!

Tell me, what read-aloud are you using this month?

See 'ya next week for the next book and a giveaway to help add to your library!
This post is our personal opinion.  We are  not affiliates with Castleberry Farm Press and were not asked to endorse their product.