Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm thankful for time.  Quiet time with God in the mornings, time with my kids before they are grown up, time with Ben to laugh and snuggle, time with friends for coffee, time to "just be".

I'm thankful for the freedom and ability to homeschool.  It's a good feeling to know that I am in control of what my kids learn and when they learn it.  I don't homeschool to shelter, but I am thankful for the protection of their innocence that comes along with it.  I am thankful that I have a supportive husband and that we have been blessed with an amazing support system.  I never, ever thought that I would even consider homeschooling my kids. 

I'm thankful for Amazon.  I know, this seems superficial but it's true.  I am thankful that I can find good deals and have them delivered to my door for free (in 2 days!!).  This year I've decided that I am NOT going to stress about getting out to shop and remembering everything, buying too much b/c I see something else in the store that I think someone needs, etc.  My goal is to do 75% or more of my shopping online so that I can enjoy more time at home with family.   I think we let Christmas become too stressful sometimes!

I'm thankful for new things.  New friends, new opportunities, new days (his mercies are new each day!), new recipes, new books, new ideas....everything new!!!  I like old things, but new things are exciting!

I'm thankful for my kids.  I love that God has trusted me with them (although, what was he thinking??).  I am thankful that I was able to easily become pregnant, something that I don't take for granted.  I have quite a few friends who long to be moms or to be pregnant, and I know that it is a blessing that I shouldn't overlook.
I'm thankful that even though some days I feel like I am at my wit's end, I have 3 kids who make this life so much more exciting!

I'm thankful for "social situations".  I am a VERY social person (if you know me then this isn't a shock!) I love to talk and to just be with people!  If I'm sad or stressed, I just want to talk and be around people!!!  I never meet a stranger. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Butternut Squash Fries

I came across a recipe a few weeks ago and I just had a chance to try it.  I haven't cooked much with butternut squash. I'm not sure why because I do like it a lot.  I think I'm just not sure what to do with it!

These turned out really good.  Next time I will definitely cut them thinner (maybe get a fry cutter--is it worth it?) and cook them a bit longer.  Another option I might try is frying them in coconut oil on the stove top!


2 small butternut squash 
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
 1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 400°.
Peel the squash with a veggie peeler. Slice the ends off of the squash, slice in half, and then remove the seeds. Cut into "fries", about 1/4-1/3 inch thickness.

 In a large bowl toss with coconut oil, salt, and sugar. Bake for 1 hour on cookie sheet. 
 You can use a spatula to turn them about halfway through to help get both sides crispy. 

If I were being honest here, I'd tell you that once these were done I sprinkled them with a bit more coconut sugar.  Just keep that to yourself :)
Here is a good article on the benefits of coconut sugar.  It's pretty much the only sweetener I use besides stevia.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

New Favorite Author

I have a deep love of reading just about anything I can get my hands on.  About 9 years ago I was introduced to Christian Fiction and my love for books grew even more.
I can still feel the emotion I had while reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.  I stayed up until 3 am to finish it and woke up with "crying eyes" the next morning.  Amazing book.
I've worked my way through almost every book written by Karen Kingsbury and Beverly Lewis.  I have many favorites that span across quite a few Christian authors.
Back in June I picked up a book that had been on my shelf, sitting among a few pass-alongs from my mom.
It was this book:
Oh my goodness, I could not put this book down!!!  I worked through the entire series (4 books) in a week.  We won't talk about the laundry situation during this time!  This is also the part where I could tell you that I had to beg the library to take me back so that I could check out the rest of the series--I think we could set a record for late fines.
The Heirs of Montana series follows a widow and her children as they move west with a wagon train to join a family member and start a new life.  The hardships that this family endures on the journey are heartbreaking, yet you can always feel the power of Christ working through the author's words.  Don't you just love that, when the story is so alive and you can just feel the emotion of the characters?
I won't give too much of the story away, but let me say that this was by far one of my favorite series ever.  I love the writing style of Tracie Peterson.  She portrays the characters and the landscape in a way that puts you right there in the midst of it all.  I never thought that I would be so enthralled by historical fiction and was surprised that I enjoyed this so much!
I have since read 6 more of her series and a few stand-alones.  I have not been disappointed by any of them!  If you're looking for an inspirational page-turner then this is the book for you!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hands On Grammar!

Yesterday we needed something fun and distracting for school time.

 Do you ever have those days?  Everyone is grouchy and complaining and we're struggling to get through our work.  Sometimes I just throw in the towel and call it an off day, but we already had one of those at the beginning of the week (don't judge).

I had seen something similar to this on Pinterest and decided it was just what we needed!
We sat with a pumpkin and the kids had to come up with as many adjectives as they could to describe the outside.

Natalie writing her adjectives for the outside

Then we cut the top off of the pumpkin and dug in for the real fun!  The kids had a blast getting their hands dirty and it was fun because as they were talking and having fun, I was able to catch words they were using and write them on the "inside" paper.  It was a great way to show them just how much we use adjectives!



Check out Wyatt's face--this was definitely what we needed!!