Apr 1, 2015

New items from Penny Bennett Totes!

Penny Bennett is a sponsor of the blog and I want to let you know of some of the cool items she has for sale in her etsy store.

I don't have any sponsors on the blog that I don't absolutely believe in, and all of Penny's items are amazing.  The construction of all of her handmade totes are perfection. 

Have you noticed that the patterns match up exactly on the pockets and totes? That isn't something that happens by accident.

I've had my tote for well over a year now, and the handles are just as sturdy as when I bought it and the whole bag looks just as good as the day I received it all wrapped up in tissue with a sweet card.

But in addition to her bags, she also makes other fun and high quality items like:

zippered clutches

Bible clutches that fold over and tuck in to protect your Bible, plus they are super classy looking!

or writing clutches, the perfect size for your pens and pencils

If you didn't catch the first post about Penny, please take a look at how she makes the bags and runs the business.  Or just pop over to her etsy shop (click below or on the sidebar) and look at the dozens of items she has available to purchase.

They are definitely worth the investment!

Penny Bennett Totes

Mar 31, 2015

Books for April

Last month I finished 7 books (not all were started last month) and made good progress on the ones I didn't finish.

April's books include:
Book 3 of the Chronicles of Narnia.  So far my boys have said they LOVE this one.  I'm really enjoying it too, and doing the voices is always a lot of fun for me (though the boys give me sideways looks on some of them).

The Uncle Eric books on economy came recommended to me as a quick and easy read on economics.  Since my older boys will be studying this next year I picked up these used copies at our favorite homeschool bookstore, Exodus Books.

Mary Jones and her Bible is part of the recommended reading for my youngest son as a read-aloud book for our curriculum this year.  Right now, a few chapters into the book, I'm a little bitter about it because Mary is so hungry to learn how to read so she can read a Bible... that they can't afford or have access to.  It is hard to read to a bunch of boys who act like they could care less about learning and that it is more a form of torture than something they would actually strive for.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School.  This book, oh my gosh.  SO SO GOOD.  I picked it up from a recommendation someone made on Facebook about what cookbooks changed their lives.  I requested it from the library thinking it was simply a cookbook.  But actually it's documenting an experiment done by a chef who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu and it reads like a novel.  It is so warm and cozy and encouraging.  It is totally changing the way I think about cooking and am just about ready to throw out every pre-packaged soup, sauce, and box.  It is definitely going to change what our menu and meals look like (as soon as I finish out these 2 weeks I've already shopped for).  She makes fresh, simple, delicious food seem easy and attainable... and if 9 other women who couldn't cook at all can do it, so can I.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  Do not miss this book!

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry.  By the same author as above, about her time at Le Cordon Bleu.  Excited to start it after I finish the last few chapters of the one above.

You're Loved No Matter What.  A blogger review book.  I've read another book by Holly Gerth and she is very authentic and encouraging.  Can't wait to jump into this one!

Undone.  I follow Michelle Cushatt on her blog ever since I heard her on Michael Hyatt's podcast.  She is an amazing woman who has struggled beautifully through cancer and huge life changes.  She is so genuine and real that I feel I know her.  This book is going to be amazing.  Another blogger review book.

Love Does.  I hear so many good things about this book but have yet to read it.  April is the month!

Still working on Overcoming Sin and Temptation.  This book has so many underlines and highlights and margin notes, I'm sure it will take all year to finish.  It's so full of thought provoking passages that I'm really enjoying taking my time.  I'm going at about a chapter a week pace and loving it, while it kills and convicts me.

Let me know if you have any amazing books you are reading! I'm always looking to add more to my list!

**most links are Amazon affiliate links, your purchase doesn't cost any more, and helps this blog! Thanks!

Mar 30, 2015

Things to share--Quick breakfast ideas

Breakfasts around here have changed a lot over the years.  Last summer, I had the boys each be responsible to purchase and make and clean up a meal once a week.  It was great, but with school back in session, it just wasn't working. Especially for those days they had procrastinated all day and weren't even close to done at dinner time.

So for the school year, I changed the plan to once a week having them make a breakfast for everyone, and I would clean up the mess (they still clean up after dinner).  While it's not QUITE as good as the dinner plan, it's still keeping them in the kitchen and expanding what they can cook.

I still cook a few mornings a week, but I do it by cooking on the weekend and then reheating.  Makes my breakfast days so so much quicker!  Here are some of my go-to recipes for quick breakfasts.

My favorites to freeze for the boys:
I'll usually pick just one or two of these to make ahead.  I'll do it on my Meal Prep Saturday Mornings and make a bunch, cool, then freeze in ziploc bags.

French Toast--just make as usual, cool, and bag up.  Each slice can be heated in the microwave or toaster.

Pancakes/waffles--just like the French toast, freeze and toast.

Muffins and scones--Just make up the recipe of either and freeze before baking. Freeze the muffin batter in a gallon ziploc bag, the scones I pat into the shape, cut into wedges and freeze in wax paper or a ziploc bag.

Breakfast burritos--I scramble eggs, dice bacon, sausage, or ham (or go meatless), add shredded cheese, roll, and freeze.  For the grown-up version, I love to add sauteed onions, peppers, spinach, or whatever else sounds good.  Also they are TO DIE FOR with a few dashes of Penzy's Adobo Seasoning.  AMAZING.

McMom's--I like to make super easy and yummy McMuffins at home.  Great to grab and go and add more to them after heating if you like (avocado, Adobo, tomatoes, etc.)  The Yummy Life has it all laid out for you here.

My favorites to make for Corey and me:

Smoothies--I like to bag frozen fruits in a sandwich bag and keep in the door of the freezer for quick smoothies.  BUT, I think this week I'm going to try this version from the yummy life.

Refrigerator Oat Porridge--In the summer we love these refrigerator oats.  It's almost time!

Granola--We love this with Greek Yogurt.

I LOVE fitnessblender.com and we all do their workouts throughout the week.  I loved this blog post they did on meal prep.

If you have any great recipes you love, be sure to share in the comments!

Mar 24, 2015

How do you take every thought captive?

This is an excerpt from the upcoming Bible study for 2 Corinthians.  It is a question that I've often pondered and wondered what, exactly, taking thoughts captive would look like in action.

As I was studying this section in scripture, and reading books on discipline (OUCH), I have discovered a few truths that are helping me.

How do we do it?  How do we REALLY take every though captive to the obedience of Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Mar 16, 2015

Things to share for the week

I found this video this morning when looking for the hymn for our homeschool morning and was so blessed by her voice and cover of Come Thou Fount.


I was SICK with the flu all week (ALL WEEK!) so didn't have much time to find stuff to share with you, so I'll share what I ordered on Amazon!  Isn't that fun?! 

Mar 13, 2015

When you wonder why your kids aren't as good as hers...

My homeschool NEVER. EVER. EVER looks like this.  

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But, I have to admit, many--no MOST--days, I think everyone else's homeschool looks like this (well maybe like this pic with a ray of sunlight cascading across the spotlessly polished table and bird song and a fountain bubbling in the background).

Mar 10, 2015

Meal pre-prep for the week

Because I REALLY don't enjoy cooking that much, and because I save a LOT of money the less I'm in a store; I go shopping once every two weeks (except for stuff like lettuce, fruit, and milk--that is weekly... because teens).  So Saturday is my meal pre-prep time.  I try to get as much of the work done Saturday mornings as I can, because I don't have the time or desire to cook from scratch every. single. night.  Doing it this way helps me take care of Future Me and is kinda like having a cook for the rest of the week.  This week I did a few meals from 5dinners1hour.com and a few of our family favorites.

I plan meals and clean out the fridge on Thursday, so Future Me can shop on Friday (and have a place to put the groceries), so Future Future Me can prep them on Saturday.

Mar 9, 2015

Things to share for the week

I love this list of the top 10 things girls should study.

I've found a book that I have marked up more than A Woman After God's Own Heart.  It's Celebration of Discipline.  This book is so very good, and painfully convicting, but in a very gentle and loving way.  Absolutely love this book.


Mar 7, 2015

Weekly Bullet Journal review and link up!

This week was a weird week.  I wasn't sick, but wonder if I was still recovering from that nasty virus I had last week because I had NO ENERGY(or maybe I was just being lazy).  So my Bullet Journal list grew and grew, and as you can see, next to nothing got done.  But the magic of the bullet journal is that I won't forget all the things I was supposed to do.  I just move them to next week and try again.

Mar 5, 2015

Books for March

The books I'm reading (or finishing) for March.

Overcoming Sin and Temptation is what I call THICK reading, but it is Oh So Good.  Very convicting and very VERY eye opening.  John Owen was an amazing thinker and man.  I am reading just one or two chapters a week since there is so much to digest and think about.  I purchased this book last year on recommendations from friends and after hearing a brief biography of John Owen.

Mar 4, 2015

Leaving a Legacy--7 simple steps to get you started

Last week on Wednesday evening, a family friend, Dale, was driving home after a normal day of work.  A drunk driver was on the road beside him, lost control, and swerved toward Dale... Dale hit a concrete overpass and was killed instantly.  One moment here on earth in his car, the next at home with Jesus.

Last night we went to Dale's memorial service.  The church was packed, there was so much love and so many lives the Lord touched through Dale's faithful service and devotion.  He will be GREATLY missed, but his work here on earth was done.  He was called home.