Thursday, December 11, 2014

Finding Family Time

Spending more time with your family is a great goal to have, but what do you do if you are having trouble finding that time? Join me today at The Multi Taskin' Mom as I offer some suggestions.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Declutter Your Stuff, Not Your Memories

It's that time of year again when most people start thinking about cleaning everything and starting fresh. Join me at The Multi Taskin Mom as I talk about how we can get rid of clutter but not memories.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Day At Moss Mountain Farm

I was very excited to be invited to Moss Mountain to hear about the AR529 Plan, of which I will be sharing what I learned soon. (It is a very cool plan so stay tuned!) But today I want to share the beauty of Moss Mountain and the fun I had on my trip there.

I got to travel with two other Arkansas Women Bloggers:  Jessica and Alicia. (Check out their blogs: Life With the Bauer Bunch and Simple Words by A). 

We were a tiny bit excited and overwhelmed by the beauty we saw when we got there. Of course the texting, Facebooking, and Instagraming soon ensued. We wanted to share our whole day with all of  our social media friends!

One of the best parts of the day was meeting the fellow Arkansas Women Bloggers that I had never met before. They are a great group of ladies.

After shaking P. Allen's hand and shamelessly asking for a picture with him, we were able to tour his house. He is very personable. I felt that I could be myself and not worry about being "asked to leave" when he found out that my garden died before it even got started this year. 

One of our first stops was the sleeping porch. It is awesome! I think I could spend the entire Fall and Spring seasons on that porch. The view of the Arkansas River is very inspiring!


One of the fun things about the sleeping porch is that it includes a bathtub. This bathtub seems pretty popular with the blogger crowd, so of course I had to get a picture with me in it.

The film crew followed us around for most of the day. I think they thought we were funny. There is no telling where the footage of the Southwest Arkansas Women Bloggers will end up. Sorry Stephanie! :)

Oh and the cool thing about this cameraman--he went to Henderson State University!!  It's always cool to see a fellow Reddie!!!

One of my favorite places on the farm was the kitchen. I loved the simple, quietness of it. This is the view from the sink. I think I could just stand and wash dishes all day long! It is beautiful.

This is a pond with its majestic swans. Taking a walk or going for a run would not be such a chore if I lived here. I just don't think there is any way I would every get tired of the beauty that surrounds this farm. 

This is the Chicken Palace. Even the chickens are spoiled. I could live here even if I had to live with the chickens. 

After touring the home and the grounds, we were treated to a wonderful lunch that I still daydream about. The grilled chicken was so tender and juicy, and it was laid upon perfect sweet potatoes. But the best part was the Butter Milk Pecan Pie!!
Someone is going to have to make this for Thanksgiving!

After lunch we learned more about the AR529 Plan, which was the whole reason we were invited. One way that we learned about the plan was by playing Family Feud, hosted by P. Allen Smith himself!

It was a great day and I cannot wait to go back.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The "Smile and Show Gratitude" Game


 Since it is so close to Christmas, I thought I would share the “Smile and Show Gratitude” game.

Sometimes it is really hard for kids to be able to smile and show gratitude when they receive presents that they do not want or like.  When I taught preschool, we would play a fun game to teach kids to smile and say, “thank you.”  The game helped  children get in the habit of saying “thank you” when they received a gift, even if it was something like underwear. 

Here is an example.   I would ask, “What would you do if you got a tuna sandwich for Christmas?”  Of course they would laugh, but then they were to say, “I would say thank you.” I would always try to think of really crazy gift ideas.  But no matter how crazy the gift idea was, the children were always to say, “I would say thank you.” 

Being silly helped them want to play the game.  They learned to say thank you no matter what the gift was. It was also helpful teaching  them in a safe and comfortable environment. 

I now homeschool my two boys and I have changed how we play the game.

It now involves the boys going to find the strangest item that they can find and wrapping it or putting it in a gift bag.   Then they exchange the presents with each other.

The fun of the game is finding a funny and unusual “gift” and seeing if they can throw off the other brother.

The challenge of this new twist is to practice saying thank you without having a shocked look on your face.  It also helps kids learn to tell why they are grateful for that item. It is so fun that my kids play over and over again.

I love watching them play it because it is always interesting to see what ideas they can come up with for the usefulness of the item. My older son was once presented an old torn sock during the game. He said, “Wow, thank you! I really needed this so I can make a sock puppet.”

Monday, November 3, 2014

4 Reasons I Love My Roku

              * Payment is being received for the following post, but this payment does not sway my opinions. 

4 Reasons I Love My Roku 
I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now; so now that more people are asking about the benefits of a Roku over other ways to get television into their home, I thought this would be a great time to do so.

Here are 4 reasons that I love my Roku:

  1. It is much cheaper than cable or satellite TV.
      I cannot believe the expense of cable and satellite TV! We were able to buy our Roku for a small price. We also have a subscription to Netflix which is $21.88 per month. We are able to watch Netflix on our television screen through the Roku box. The rest of the channels we use are free. Roku has a great selection of free channels as well as subscription channels and they add new channels all the time.

     2. It is a great way to spend family time.  
    We use our Roku to watch old television shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and Leave it to Beaver. We also enjoy spending time together on Friday nights watching movies that we rent from some of the other channels that are available on Roku. It's great to be able to rent movies straight from our television without leaving the comfort of our cozy couch.
3. It has wonderful Christian content.
We love to watch GBN, The Gospel Broadcasting Network. It contains wonderful devotionals and fun children's programs. I am also glad to be able to watch Live Stream on my Roku.  Through Live Stream, I get to have an enjoyable Bible Study with a wonderful group of women.  Many churches also stream their worship services through Live Stream. 

    4. It has educational channels.
    Since we homeschool our children, the educational channels we get from our Roku are very beneficial in supplementing our curriculum. They even have pre-school learning channels.

      Bonus- Free exercise channels! 
     There is a large variety of  free exercise channels on the Roku. You can choose from pilates, yoga, belly dancing, maternity, weight lifting, martial arts, and more. Whatever your exercise needs are, there is a fun exercise program for you. 
     The Roku has been a great benefit to our entire family. I encourage you to get one for yourself. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homemade Costumes

This is one of my favorite blog post that I have done. I love thinking of all of the memories that we have made while making costumes. I also cannot wait to share with you our costumes that we made this year!
Check out our past costumes at The Multi Taskin Mom.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How to Have a Productive Day

I originally  published this in January, but it is so helpful for me I wanted to share again.

Routines are very important. Even if you do nothing else all day, routines help you feel grounded and accomplished. 

·         Why I needed a daily routine:

1)      I wanted to start and end my day with a plan already in place.

2)      It freed my mind to focus on other things.

·        What daily routines I have:

1)      Morning Routine

2)      Afternoon Routine

3)      Night Routine

4)      Homeschool Routine

5)      Children’s Routine

(The boys’ routine is posted in the hall. It helps them to be able to do things on their own and to keep focused. )

·        How I decided what to include in my daily routine:

1)      I made a list of what I thought would be great to accomplish every day.

My list includes things such as:

Bible Study




Family Time

Reading a book

2)      Then I decided when it would be the easiest to accomplish each thing.  For instance, I knew I wanted to pray every morning and read a Psalm or Proverb so I assigned that to my   morning routine.                           

3)      Then I figured out how long it would take for me to accomplish my goals that I had set and adjusted my bedtime and wake up time accordingly.

·        How my days have changed:

1.      I am more intentional with my day.

2.      I get more accomplished.

3.      I have more energy.

4.      I have more patience.

5.      Our home is more peaceful.

6.      Our home has more consistency.

7.      Our home is more organized.

Extra Tips:

·        It is good to add fun and/or relaxing things to your routines.  For instance, I found that stretching a few minutes when I wake up and before going to sleep really makes me feel good.  So I added that to my routine. I also have lots of books that I want to read, so I added a few minutes of reading time each day. 

·        Make sure to write your routines and keep them in a place that you will see them. This will get you in the habit of doing it every day.

·        Try to schedule the same routine around the same time each day. This will help with consistency.

·        If you have a baby or toddler, you can still have a routine.  You just might have to be more flexible with it. I always felt better having a plan in place when I had little ones, even if I could not follow my plan exactly. You can add activities such as :

1.      Reading a book to your child

2.      Playing together with toys

3.      Free play

4.      Mommy/baby exercises

5.      Craft/or bake with your child

I am glad I decided to add daily routines in my day. Even when I do not get around to my to-do list for the day, I know I have accomplished a lot just by completing my daily routines. Also, with routines you are also living each day to its fullest potential!

What are some activities you will add to your routine?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I Am Taking the Challenge!

That does it! I am so overwhelmed, and  it’s my computer’s fault!!!

Actually, it’s my fault because of the amount of time I am spending on the computer. I can tell that I feel drained and stressed when I stay on the computer for hours at a time.

I always feel so much better when I am away from the computer, even if it is to do something as simple as laundry.  So why do I stay plugged in?

Read more about The Unplugged Challenge and why I decided to take it.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Turn Your Closet Into A Homeschool Room

This is a guest post I did in January for Teach Beside Me. I thought it would be a great time to post again since everyone is getting ready for school. This post is about how I turned a walk-in closet into a school room. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Simply Shakespeare Lego Challenge

                                                           Please be aware some links are affiliate links. 
We at Simply Shakespeare are excited to introduce a fun challenge and an exciting way to learn about Shakespeare.  My boys love Legos, so when I began introducing them to the plays of William Shakespeare they decided to use their Legos to make the characters and sets. This process has worked really well for them because it has helped them learn things that boys their ages are not normally interested in. I know it is sticking in their brains because they have started quoting the different plays that they are working on.

Our goal for this challenge is to teach you a couple of different ways to make stop action Shakespeare Lego movies. We are going to go one step at a time so that no one gets overwhelmed. We hope that once everyone understands how to make the movies that they will share them with us on our Simply Shakespeare page.

And as Rachel Ann Rogish says, "The purpose of Simply Shakespeare is to make the plays of William Shakespeare fun and accessible to all families of all sizes and ages everywhere! No matter where you live or what previous exposure you have had with Shakespeare, your entire family can enjoy the acting process together as you learn life lessons from the timeless tales Shakespeare gave to us over five hundred years ago."

Check out our first video here to get you started: Shakespeare Characters

You can also see us on The Roku Homeschooling Network.

If you have not already done so, please consider getting a subscription to Schoolhouse Teachers.  
 Classes range from PRESCHOOL to HIGH SCHOOL and include CORE SUBJECTS along with ELECTIVES.
 Classes can be started ANY time on YOUR schedule. You are NEVER behind.

                   Please enjoy our new Simply Shakespeare media ad!