Park – Five Minute Friday

I know it is Saturday but Friday disappeared on me and I hardly know where it went! I still wanted to participate in FMF so I’m joining in a bit late this week. But that’s alright. This week’s word is PARK and you can find the linkup at Heading Home by Kate Motaung.



Today I think I have used the word park in a way that is common for a mom who is at her wits end: Park it right there!

As in, sit down, don’t move, don’t argue, let me calm down a bit and then we can talk.

Park it. It means all silliness is set aside and this is a serious conversation now.

Sometimes, God does that for us, too. He says “Park it right there! Now listen to me.” That is loosely interpreted as “Get out your Bible and see what I have to say about this problem you have going on.” “LISTEN TO ME!”

I have been terrible lately about finding the time – nope – setting aside the time to sit and listen to God, really listen to Him, through his word. I find that when I don’t have a dedicated Bible reading going on, it is way too easy for me to skip it. I need to settle on a new one so that I will “Park it” and listen to God.

How often do you “Park it?” What are you studying during your “park it” time? Give me some suggestions. I’d love it!


Okay – so I went about 30 seconds over, I think, but I really would love to have some suggestions or shares about what you are reading in God’s word while you are listening to Him.

At Home.

Edward Hicks Inspired Art Work


Recently the girls studied the American artist Edward Hicks in their art class. There were several options for created Hicks inspired works. Hicks’ most famous piece is probably actually more than one piece. He did a number of pieces he titled “Peaceable Kingdom.” In these, there were variations on the theme of all people and animals getting along. So his pieces all have lots of animals with a few people, often children, all getting along in a beautiful setting. The backgrounds, animals used, and people all change from piece to piece.


Miss E’s did a recreation of the Peaceable Kingdom by Hicks. She created her own background and then chose animals to add to it, showing the contrasts with the animals. Note the giraffe and the snake, the wolf and the rabbit. Contrast was common in Hicks’ works. This is done with colored pencil.miss-es-peaceable-kingdom

Miss J used a set of printed animals. She colored them and we attached magnets to the back. (We just cut up old advertising magnets and taped them on.) Then, using dry erase markers, she created a background and placed her animals. This allowed her to make several different variations on the Peaceable Kingdom. It is fun and she really enjoys playing with magnets.

Miss E also colored a set of the animals and cut them out to rearrange on a background.

I don’t think Miss L ever showed me if she chose to do a Hicks’ inspired piece. Sometimes she does them but doesn’t show me.🙂

At Home.

The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury ~ a TOS review


Funny . . . silly . . . full of fun. The The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury – Audio Collection will cheer your family this holiday season while ushering in the spirit of family fun. Brought to you by The Familyman, Todd Wilson, this collection of holiday tales will brings gales of laughter to the entire family.

The Christmas Treasury is a set of 6 holiday tales written by The Familyman himself. Available either on CD or as Digital Downloads, these tales will thrill the listeners as they giggle at the man in town who sits in trees and chats with squirrels, live through memories of Christmases past, quake at the sound of a knock at the door, or become a super hero who changes the world, and not for the better.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

The Familyman, Todd Wilson, is a well-known name. Focusing on the mission “to remind dads of what’s most important” is what The Familyman does. Whether it is through speaking, audio, or writing, Mr. Wilson’s humor, experience, and straight forward talk makes him a favorite. He has written books such as Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and appears as a guest with Focus on the Family. His wit and humor come through clearly in The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury.

The Treasury tales are Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster, Cootie McKay’s Nativity, The Stranger, The Bishop’s Dream, Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest, and Gladys Remembers Christmas. We also received It’s Called Christmas and The Secret of Snow Village. We received all of these as digital downloads and also Cootie McKay on CD.

Captain Chaos is a story of what you probably expect from the title: a superhero who is not so super and creates chaos for the young boy of the story at Christmas time. The story was fun and we laughed a bit, though it is certain to be appreciated more by boys than by my giggly girls. This story was quite a discussion starter and gave us a chance to talk about biblical salvation. We also had the opportunity to talk about denominations vs what the Bible says.

Gladys Remembers Christmas was a sad but thoughtful reminder of our blessings. Gladys was cleaning out her childhood home when unexpected finds brought joy to her life once again. This story of traditions and memories was a sweet reminder of how one small thing can spark wonderful changes.

The Stranger challenged us to live by Jesus’ words and example. One by one, the members of the church turned away the stranger who came to them. A door was finally opened to him on Christmas Eve and that brought suprises, beautiful ones, to that family. Miss J said, with heartfelt enthusiasm and relief, “I’m glad someone finally let him come in!” It was a lovely story about entertaining angels.


Cootie McKay’s Nativity was probably my very favorite. I listened to this hilarious story more than once and I laughed pretty hard each time. In this story, the town’s nativity needs replaced (the reason is hilarious so I’ll leave that for you to listen to) and Cootie McKay is the one to do it. What starts as a way to let Cootie know what is needed for the nativity turns into a study of the Biblical account of the nativity and a study that touches the heart. This story had several meanings for me: people rise to meet a challenge, there is great joy in God’s word, and do not underestimate the power of God’s word.

Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest was a beautiful story about how God touches our lives through others. When Harold Grubbs chooses to change his life and follow God, the whole town is surprised. His change touched everyone and his Christmas Vest became a yearly reminder of God’s ability to touch life. This was a very pleasant story and I enjoyed it very much. It is another opportunity to talk with our children about Biblical salvation.

These are wonderful family stories that will prompt laughter right alongside thoughtful discussions that will grow your family in God. Be prepared to discuss and correct Biblical teachings. There are references to various denominational churches and that salvation is received by “asking Jesus into your heart.” Because these are not Biblical teachings, we did not let the girls listen to these without a parent the first time so that we could guide and teach them according to God’s word.  These are teaching and learning moments so don’t let that keep you from considering the purchase of this collection of wonderful stories.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

The Familyman’s Christmas Treasure is a lot of fun; we have really enjoyed the stories and the laughter. This is a great product to bring your family some fun time together this holiday season.

At Home.

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The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
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Life Without The Crew


No, we aren’t leaving. Let’s get that out of the way. At least, I hope not. We are definitely reapplying!

That being said, I am ever so thankful that I don’t have to home educate without the Homeschool Review Crew. I don’t really even know what that looks like! You see, we made the decision to homeschool the girls at the end of a spring semester. I started blogging at that point, mostly as a way to document and share what we were doing and the fun we were having. We started their official home education in August of that year. I heard about the Homeschool Review Crew in October of that year – two months after we had started school. We were accepted to be a part and in November we were a part of the Crew.

So you see, I don’t really know homeschooling without the Crew. They are a lifeline for me. They are a support group for me. They are my friends, my co-workers, and ever so much more. They challenge me to be better each day. They challenge me to strengthen my blogging skills every single week. They read what I write and share their thoughts. They are my community and my online family. They are important.

The Homeschool Review Crew is currently accepting applications. I highly encourage you to apply if you are a homeschooling blogger. I truly had no idea what I was getting into when I applied and it was the best mistake I have ever made. I am all around much better because of this amazing group of women and one man.🙂

And we have been the recipients of amazing products. Check out this list of reviews we have done! Some have been a perfect fit and are still part of our daily or weekly school work. Others have not and that’s okay because we learned something and we found out something that doesn’t work for us. That is a huge blessings because it also shows us how it might work for other families.

This post from the Homeschool Review Crew details all the requirements but ask yourself these questions?

Do you homeschool?

Do you blog?

Do you enjoy curriculum?

Do you enjoy telling others about what works and doesn’t work for your family?

Do you like to write?

Do you like to share?

These are all indications that you might fit in well with the Crew. Head over and check out the application process. It is open for a couple of weeks but don’t delay. Do it now so you don’t miss that window of opportunity. If you are like me, if you put something off and say “I’ll make time for it later”, it is likely that the deadline slips by and you don’t even notice until it is too late. Don’t let that happen with this opportunity to apply to join an amazing, encouraging group of homeschooling bloggers. Your support community is awaiting! Don’t delay.

Not convinced it is for you? Or maybe you are convinced and just want to get even more excited? Read about what others have to say regarding their participation with the 2016 Homeschool Review Crew.

What being on the Crew means ...At Home.

God Is So Good

Today’s song is running through my head, over and over. So, instead of trying to explain it, I’m just sharing it.

God Is So Good

Lyrics: traditional, though some attribute the first verse to Velna A Ledin (1933)
Music: traditionalgod-is-so-good
God is so good.
God is so good.
God is so good; He’s so good to me.

He cares for me.
He cares for me.
He cares for me; He’s so good to me.

I love Him so.
I love Him so.
I love Him so; He’s so good to me.

He answers prayer.
He answers prayer.
He answers prayer; He’s so good to me.


This song is beautiful, peaceful and speaks simple, plain truths. Many verses have been added to it; too many to include here. But, God is so good. He is so good to me.

At Home.


Mail – Five Minute Friday

Today’s Five Minute Friday topic – Mail. Just writing for five minutes, free flow, no editing. (Well, I can’t help editing mistyped words. Sorry – just happens.) And linking up at the Five Minute Friday post over on Heading Home.



Mail. My girls love to go get the mail. We live in one of those places that have the very impersonal mail service. Remember my Dear Postal Worker post a while back? Yes. I don’t even know our postal worker’s name. Partly because I seldom see her and partly because the person seems to change all the time. I guess it is hard to keep someone in that job.

Our mailbox is down the road a bit. You know – one of those big grey boxes with lots of little locked doors on it. Very impersonal. Very, well, sad. Because I grew up knowing our mailman and finding joy in talking with him. We knew exactly when he was coming and I can remember racing up our long driveway to say “hi” to him. Even now, having been away from home for 20 something years, I know the name of my parent’s mailman.

Kind of makes me sad that we don’t have a clue if our mailperson is a man or a woman.

The girls still love to go get the mail. Part of it is independence. Part of it is seeing if anyone felt they were important enough to write to. The girls write to their friends that have moved, past teachers from public school and church, and family. They love it when mail comes with their name on it. They feel loved.

Don’t we all feel loved when we get a handwritten letter with our name on it?

So, I’m challenging everyone reading this – grab a card or a piece of paper and handwrite a short note to someone. Make them feel special. Let them know they are appreciated. Or loved. Or missed. Just let them know you are thinking about them.

Your moment will make a difference.


At Home.


A Giggly Girl Favorite – Banana Bread

My giggly girls LOVE banana bread. I mean, you would think I had hung the moon today when I threw it together. Took me about 5 minutes to whip up the batter and then it cooks for an hour. And I have gotten tons of love out of it from two of my giggly girls. So, if you are looking for love, it is evidently found – in part – with banana bread.

Banana Bread (from my mom)

1 C sugar
1/2 C shortening/butter/margarine
2 C flour
2 eggs (have successfully subbed in applesauce and baking powder for these)
1 tsp baking soda
1 T milk
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I often use 2 since that is what we have getting over-ripe)

Throw everything together in a bowl and mix it up good. I often don’t even bother mashing the bananas; they mix up well if you are using an electric mixer. Pour into a loaf pan that is lightly greased on the bottom and corners but not the sides. (You want it to kind of cling to the sides as it rises while baking so you have a taller loaf. It tends to collapse on itself a bit if you grease the sides.) Bake at 350°F for an hour. If you are at higher altitude or have a cooler oven, it might take an hour and a half but check it at an hour so it doesn’t burn.

Then cut and enjoy. The giggly girls – and At Home Dad – couldn’t wait until breakfast so we had to cut it tonight.

At Home.

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