Sunday, June 7, 2015

I did it!!!

In February 2014 I took a step and joined Ava Anderson Non Toxic as a consultant. I was interested in the products, loved the starter kit, and the discount was nice.

Fast forward 15 months and I've grown with a team of 22+ consultants, many new friends, a home full of products that I LOVE, and in May I reached EXECUTIVE consultant!!
The first in the state of MD!!!!

This company is a blessing to work with.  Ava and her mom Kim truly believe in getting the nontoxic message out there, they are so supportive and encouraging, and I love my team!!!

Ben and I are setting goals together for my business.  I know that God has truly blessed me with this opportunity, and I thank Him daily for what he is doing!!!

It's pretty cool what can happen when you take a chance and just go for it!!

Breaking Hearts

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 34:18

Right now my heart is breaking for a very dear friend.  A friend who longs to have a house full of babies, who has a big heart for adoption, and who has a loving husband who feels the same way.

They are devastated this weekend by news that they have been scammed by a birth mother.  An adoption that seemed to be done, with no way of anything going wrong, and their worst fears have come true.

Please, please pray that tomorrow morning something can be done.  Pray that the family who has been told they are getting a new baby girl, will find out that my friend and her husband have been preparing for this baby for six months.  Pray that they have the heart to let her go.

God has worked big miracles in their life already, and I know he can do it again. I just pray that it's in His will to do so.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cutting Back

Do you ever just feel so overwhelmed that you want to hide in your house and do nothing at all?

That's sort of where I've been lately.  I feel like I can't say no, I find myself volunteering for stuff so that I can make others happy, and I just feel drained.

It just so happens that for my birthday I was given this book, and at church our pastor has been doing a sermon series using this book.

I have been taking an "inventory" of what is replenishing my soul (and my family) and what is draining.
Now, by draining I don't mean that it's a bad thing to be involved in.  I just mean that it's not a good thing for ME and my family.  It's likely not somewhere God wants us right now.

I have prayed and decided that for now, we need a break from our homeschool co-op.  I love the people, I love what we've gained from it (many friends and a lot of confidence), and I love how much we've grown there.  We just need a break.  So we're taking a semester off.
This was such a hard decision to come to, but it's right.  For now.

I'm also learning to re-arrange my schedule so that we only have appointments on a certain day of the week.  No more running all week to random things.

Ben and I are making date night a priority, even if it's just twice a month.  I'm working to plan at least one fun "family night" once a month.  We need these things.

Just these small (yet big) changes are going to make a big difference for us.
Also, if I tell you "no" when you ask something, it isn't because I don't want to.  It's because I just don't need to.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back To Writing

We started back with IEW writing two weeks ago, and I must say that I was really surprised with how much my kids retained!
I was so intimidated by this program a few years ago, but now I'm sold!!

We did not practice writing over the summer (I know, I know...we got busy with summer stuff!).  

We jumped right back into class (remember, my friend Michelle is teaching the kids) and there was no fighting (that happened our first few weeks last year) and they knew exactly what to do.  

It's amazing how much their writing improved over such a short time.  

Their key word outlines are better, their grammar is improving (I use their rough drafts to see what we really need to put more focus on) and they are so proud of what they are doing!

Now, we started small last year (with the last section of PALS) but I think that was good for us.  It really gave them the basics without too much pressure.  Michelle suggested starting there and I'm glad we did.  Wyatt thought it was silly at first, but then he realized that he had a lot to learn!  We struggled with some difficulties with one of the kids early one (dyslexic tendencies, late reading) and so the writing process wasn't a big focus.  

Now we're on to Student Writing Intensive Level A.  I'm excited to see how much they improve this semester, and I'm pretty sure their confidence will only grow!  

Maybe I'll upload their first paper last year and then the last one this year--that would be a wonderful comparison!

What do you use for writing?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crockpot Jambalaya: Trim Healthy Mama (S)

I am so excited to share this recipe!!!
I was given this recipe for jambalaya about two years ago. The original calls for cooking in the oven, but I like it much better in the crockpot!
 It quickly became a family favorite and Ben has been asking for it, but I was hesitant to make it.  If I did, I would eat it.  This is a problem because the original has one ingredient that isn't on plan.

Yesterday I decided to try riced cauliflower in place of the rice, and it worked!!!!  Oh, it was so good!  
Ben had 3 bowls!!

To "rice" cauliflower, use a cheese grater or food processor and "process" the florets until they resemble rice.  I do mine in a Vitamix!

Trim Healthy Mama Crock Pot Jambalaya (S)
(Printable Recipe)

*1 pound frozen shrimp (no tails)
or 2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie works well)
*1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
*1 onion, diced
*1 bell pepper, diced
*1 cup celery, diced
*3 cups beef broth
*4 cups "riced" cauliflower
*1 can ro-tel
*2 bay leaves
*1 stick butter
*1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper
*dash of tobasco
*1 bunch green onions

Combine everything in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I've decided to postpone the start of our school year until September 2nd.  Why?  Because I can :)

We are switching up almost all of our curriculum this year, and I am determined to have a good battle plan in place.  So, I'm taking an extra few weeks to make sure that plan is nice and strong!

I ordered this awesome planner in the hopes that I can stay on track. 
 I love the motivation it has in it, along with scripture and accountability each week.

Now to convince Ben that I need a whole day sitting at Panera with my laptop and planner!

Friday, July 25, 2014


Why is it every year this sneaks up so quickly? 
 It doesn't help that school is barely out before stores are stocking shelves with notebooks, pencils, backpacks, and such.

Our plan had been to school through summer, but that didn't happen (hardly ever does). 
I ended up setting some goals for each kid to accomplish by the time we start our new school year, and that's going well.
For the older two it is mainly to learn all of the states and capitols.
  They are doing great thanks to Sheppard Software.  I love this site.
Mason also plays on this site, strengthening his letters and numbers, as well as some basic math skills.

I also grabbed a new Hooked On Phonics kit from the library.  It's okay--I didn't love HOP when I first used it with Wyatt, but it's a good supplement and the newer ones are more fun.

We're trying to soak up some of the nice, cooler days and hoping to get started with day one of school on August 4th.  Starting early so we can take plenty of days off through the year!

When do your kids start school?