Story time at home in 3 easy steps

Tuesday at 9:00 our library puts on a toddler story time that we usually got to. This morning it was really cold out and both my kids were coughing so I decided it was best to keep them home. I started to put together a story time for them and thought it would be something good to share with you. I like to put together themed story times whenever we have to miss the one at the library. The kids like our routine staying in place as much as possible and it gives me something fun and educational to do with them.

  1. pick 3 books and a theme. I put these two things together because choosing the books is how I choose a theme. If I wanted to read a barnyard animal book I would choose 2 other similar books to make a theme. For example, I wanted to read the kids this really neat book titled The Black Book of Colors By: Menena that teaches kids about braille. I decided on the theme “black and white” and picked the board book Hello, Garden Bugs By: Julissa Mora and also an Usborne  book On The Space Station By: Carron Brown. It’s one of their shine a light books and every other page is black and white and you use a flashlight on the back of the pages to see a ‘hidden’ picture. E likes these a lot.
  2. plan a themed game. 3 books can be a lot for littlee ones to sit through so break up the time by playing a game between books. I cut out white squares that I wrote on with black crayon and placed the squares in our cube. Some of the squares had instructions such as “clap 6 times” or “sing the ABC song”. 3 of the squares I drew dalmatians on and the kids were to bark and act like dogs if they rolled one.
  3. plan a themed craft. Thinking about black and white one of the first things that came to mind was dalmatian. I printed off the outline of a dalmatian and showed the kids how to put their finger on a black ink pad and use their finger prints to make spots on the dogs. After I brought out the crayons and they drew a background on the paper. Easy!




The Promised One Seeing Jesus in Genesis By: Nancy Guthrie

I told you at the end of December that I had begun going through Nancy Guthrie’s Seeing Jesus in Genesis Bible study.

I finished it and I did enjoy it enough that I ordered the second book in the series The Lamb of God. It came in the mail today!

These studies are designed for a small group to do together. When I got to the discussion questions for each chapter I wrote down my answers. I’d suggest not skipping those parts just because you’re not in a group. Thinking through the questions will really increase your understanding of what you are reading.

There were a few different points, specific doctrinal stances that are heavily pushed in this book. I felt like that was okay for me because if something didn’t seem right it just furthered my Bible studying because I had to answer for myself why I didn’t think the scripture taught what she was saying. Either that or I learned something new!

There was some really good things in this study that left me chewing on new ideas all day. I ended up reading several portions of this to my husband and asking him what he thought. I like books like that, ones that challenge me and make me think.

I learned a lot of little things that I just didn’t see on my own. I’ve read the story of Jacob blessing Jospeh’s sons since I was a kid but I never noticed or thought it through that Jacob adopted Joseph’s two oldest sons right before his death or why he did it. (Genesis 48) Read it for yourself!


Our Reward and Shield

This morning I learned something new in my Bible study on Genesis that I thought was worth sharing. I’m going through a study titled The Promised One by: Nancy Guthrie. Right now I’m going through the section on Abraham. Nancy points out that after Abraham rejects the spoil and alliance offered by the king of Sodom chapter 15 starts off by God speaking to Abraham in a vision saying “…Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy great reward.”

That made my heart happy this morning to see that after Abraham rejected the counterfeit riches and protection this world offers that God promised him that He would be His reward and shield.

I need to remember this when my heart is tempted to look to fleeting and counterfeit fulfillment this world offers. Only in God is true and lasting fulfillment, reward and safety.

It reminds me of Psalm 62: 5-8 “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah”

On another note, yesterday I had shared my goals for the day and I’m happy to say I accomplished what I had set out to do! A few photos from our very messy hot cross buns themed lesson.


It’s another cold day, only 11 degrees outside. We had a little ice come down last night so I’m staying off the roads today and keeping the kids warm at home.

Today my goals include:

  1. preschool with the kids. Today’s theme is Little Bo Peep and includes a math game, making a puppet craft, and pretending to be sheep while listening to the poem on CD.
  2. make a big batch of low carb waffles to keep in the freezer for a quick healthy meal (maybe we’ll have breakfast for dinner tonight!)
  3. I want to slowly clean the living room room on my one good foot and one healing foot including vacuuming the carpet
  4. yesterday E was disappointed she couldn’t play in the glue and shaving cream mixture so I told her today they could play with shaving cream. This means they’ll have to go straight to the shower after!
  5. pack for my trip this weekend.

My kids are starting to wake up so I’ve got to go! Have a good day every body!

Picked up an old hobby and learned something new

I haven’t crochet in a while, not really since my daughter was born but since I’ve been sitting with my foot up I asked my husband to pick me up a crochet hook. I really had fun! I made a cream colored baby blanket for a friend who is expecting. I don’t think she knows about this blog but I guess if she does she’ll be surprised to learn it is for her.

Yesterday we drove my niece home who came and helped me this week. While visiting at their house I asked my other nieces to teach me how to cut T.J’s hair. I can’t stop looking at his cute face in this photo! He did really good and was a sport about sitting still while I slowly figured out how to cut it. I think he liked the attention of the girls crowded around him saying how cute he was. 🙂



I also got to snuggle with my littlest nephew Chet. Isn’t he precious!?

Chet was named after Chet Bitterman Jr., who was an American linguist and missionary working in Columbia when he was kidnapped and martyred in 1981. I had never heard of him until my nephew was named. Here’s a video telling a little bit about him.

My husband was off yesterday and after visiting with his sister and her family we went out for Mexican and then drove to the church my nephew plays piano at and visited with them some more there while people from the church had a time of singing and playing instruments. It felt sooo good to get out of the house although by the time we got home my foot was pretty sore and swollen. It was about a 2 hour drive home from the church and there really was no way for me to get my foot comfortable in the car.

I did have a good time riding in the car though because on the way to my nieces house I read aloud from C.S Lewis Screwtape Letters and on the way home since it was dark we listened to someone reading it on youtube. I’ve never read it before. It’s entertaining but also really convicting as I saw all my own sins being shown for what they are! My favorite part of the book so far is when Wormwood is reprimanded by his uncle for allowing the struggling new convert to have the pleasure of reading a book he enjoyed and going for a walk. He was reprimanded because pleasure is a gift from God and in enjoying good literature and creation the “patients” spirit was revived and he drew closer to God and even repented of sin!

Have a good weekend everybody! What kind of hobbies are you interested in right now?

Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By: Frederick Howard Taylor

I’ve been listening to this biography on Hudson Taylor this past week titled Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By Frederick Howard Taylor originally published 1932. It’s a riveting read! It’s hard to pause the audio and go do anything else when I want to hear what happens next!

I was wondering how someone could write such a detailed biography on Hudson Taylor until I looked at the authors name again and realized it was written by his own son!

Today is my nephew Hudson Taylor’s birthday and I’ll have to tell him I’ve been learning about this great missionary he was named after.

I got interested in learning more about Hudson Taylor and his ministry after reading Safely Home By Randy Alcorn which references Hudson Taylor’s work often.

When my kids get older, maybe mid to upper elementary school age I plan to read them this book! Hudson Taylor’s life and writings have been growing and challenging my faith and trust in God and I know it will yours as well!



Making plans to study the Bible in 2018

This year I read through the Bible using this Bible reading plan;

This year I’d like to slow down as I go through a smaller portion of scripture. Searching around the internet I found the study below written by Nancy Guthrie. I’ve read some of her stuff before and what I’ve read has been both solid and encouraging.

If I go through this 10 week study and decide I liked it she has several other books including The Son of David (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in the Historical Books, The Wisdom of God (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in the Psalms and Wisdom Books, The Lamb of God (A 10-week Bible study) Seeing Jesus in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and also The Word of the Lord (A 10-week Bible Study): Seeing Jesus in the Prophets 

I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’m done.



Do you have goals made for studying God’s Word in 2018? Would you share them with me? Have a Happy New Year!

Books I Read In 2017

This year I kept a list of the books that I read and also included some of the mini book reviews I did on some of them. Enjoy looking for your next read!


Heaven Touch Points By: Randy Alcorn

To Kill A Mockingbird By: Harper Lee

Tell Me About Heaven By: Randy Alcorn

Grit the Power of Passion and Perseverance By: Angela Duckworth

For The Children’s Sake By: Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Gianna Aborted, and Lived to Tell About It By: Jessica Shaver Renshaw

Year of No Clutter By: Eve O. Schaub

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel One Refugee’s incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival By: Melissa Fleming

Illegitimate How A Loving God Rescued A Son Of Polygamy By: Brian Mackert

What Is Man? By: Mark Twain

Happiness By: Randy Alcorn

Hand In Hand The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice By: Randy Alcorn


The Holy Bible KJV

The Pursuit of God By: A.W Tozer

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name By: Sally Lloyd-Jones



And several hundred children’s books of course! What did you read this year that you enjoyed? What books encouraged or challenged you? Do you have any books you want to read in 2018?


Edit to add: since I published this I squeezed in one more book for the year!

Hinds’ Feet On High Places By: Hannah Hurnard

And again, since I’ve had my foot up healing I’ve read one more! It was a good one, I really recommend it!

Safely Home By: Randy Alcorn

And another one! I listened to this one on Audio…

Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret By: Frederick Howard Taylor





The Pursuit of God A.W Tozer

I recently finished another Randy Alcorn book titled Hand in hand. In it and other of his writings he references the writings of Aiden Wilson Tozer. This past Wednesday at the library I checked out The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.

I just finished the end of chapter 3 so I’m not very far in but I wanted to share with you a few things.

One, his prayers that he ends each chapter with are really inspiring. Inspiring as in I want to make them my own prayers! At the end of chapter one which is titled Following Hard After God, he prays,

O God, I have tasted your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscience of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, The Triune God, I want to want you; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me your glory, I pray you, that so I may know you indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow you up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Chapter 3 is titled Removing The Veil. I won’t write a summary of it I just want to share a hymn it reminded me of. A brother in our church introduced us to this  hymn written by Charles Spurgeon. It is to the tune of “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”

Amidst us our Beloved stands,
And bids us view His pierced hands;
Points to the wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the Crucified.

What food luxurious loads the board
When, at His table, sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
Oh, may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face!

Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy present smile Thy grace imparts!
Oh, lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy glory see!

Think about these words, read them slowly and worship The Bread of Life asking for your eyes to opened to see Him!


Morning Basket Time

If you’ve done any amount of reading on blogs about incorporating the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason into your homeschool day you’ve probably heard of morning basket time.

When I googled “Charlotte Mason morning basket” this thread came up with a whole bunch of ideas.

I choose an Amish made basket we bought on the side of the road several years back. It’s pretty and I’ve also brought it places with us when we’ve gone out. It’s a picnic basket so the top on it keeps everything inside. I keep it on a shelf on the bookcase in our living room.

The morning basket is a tool to help keep your routine flowing in your day. For example, over the last few weeks we’ve fallen into a loose routine of breakfast then chores while listening to classical music then morning time basket. It’s a good chance for me to sit down and catch my breath and pull my children in close for some snuggles. (They are 2 and 4).

Another huge benefit of the morning time basket is that there is no planning or thinking required. It’s all there. Just open the basket and begin. After about 3 weeks of doing this each morning the kids are in a habit of doing it. I also find the break between chores and the rest of our morning makes the morning go more smoothly. After I’ve spent that time with the kids they are more likely to play independently for a little while.

I choose to put just 3 things in the basket which we do every day. As I add more stuff I’ll probably go for more of a loop schedule with it where we pick up on the last item we left off on and start from there. I don’t have any plans to change anything right now though, this is working really well.

My four year old really likes to sit and be read to so this isn’t something I’m making her do. She enjoys it and most of the time my 2 year old sits through it getting up and down to play as he feels like it. We read one Beatrix Potter story. This is great for vocabulary building- there are words in here I have to look up! The stories are engaging and the illustrations are beautiful.

Every day I’ve been singing the same hymn to the children “This is My Father’s World.” I’ll continue with it until they learn it or at least learn some of it. E knows the name of it now and when I ask her what the phrase “his hands the wonders wrought” means she can answer that it means God made everything. Both the kids also point to their ears when I sing “and to my listening ears.” E has picked up on the tune a little bit, I know she can recognize the song now.

We also read one story from The Jesus Storybook Bible. E always asks for one more story from the Beatrix Potter book and this one and the answer is always, “tomorrow!” I figure limiting it will keep it interesting. Plus, Beatrix Potter stories are long and my mouth gets tired!

I’m curious- do you have a morning basket or a similar morning routine? What’s in your basket?



Some perspective on a “bad day”

Yesterday I was discouraged. I was sad and I was starting to feel sorry for myself. It wouldn’t be appropriate to share here but I received some news that was really painful for me to process and understand. I was mopey and I didn’t feel like trying to cheer up. I didn’t want to clean house or care for the kids. I just wanted to be alone and mope really. I thought to myself that I would somehow have to find a way to make it through several bad days before I started to get over it. Have you ever felt like that?

I opened up the book I’m reading “Happiness” by Randy Alcorn and read these words on page 378-


Jesus said to his disciples, “When you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10, NASB). He’s saying, in effect, “Lower your sense of what you deserve.”
God told Adam and Eve what would happen to them when they turned from him and chose sin: “You will surely die” (Genesis 2:17, NASB). Based on that text alone, all we deserve and should expect is death. Only when we acknowledge this can we rejoice in the promises of life in Jesus, who said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
If we realize we’re utterly undeserving, suddenly the world comes alive. Of course life under the Curse is hard! (That’s why it’s called the Curse!) Instead of whining about everything that goes wrong, we’re thrilled at God’s many kindnesses, and our hearts overflow with thanks that we who deserve nothing but judgment, death, and Hell are given deliverance, grace, and eternal life. Day after day, God favors us not only with leniency but also with beauties, delights, and privileges we have no right to expect.
People who receive a paycheck for services rendered can’t be as grateful as those who are given a pardon that know they don’t merit. Jesus said of the woman who gratefully poured oil on his feet, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47).
Doesn’t knowing that you deserve eternal Hell but instead will live in Heaven, in unending happiness, put any “bad day” in perspective?

This edification from a brother in the Lord through his writing was exactly what my soul needed at that moment. A moment of being reminded of the horrors of hell and remembering that I should be there but I am not is cause for being happy! Happy because I know I deserve to be there, as my sin has made me a rebel against a holy God but God made a way of escape for me!

I thought about how every breath I breathe on this earth is an undeserved gift from God. I should not be enjoying the gift of life right now, I don’t deserve it! But God in His mercy bought my soul with the blood of His very own Son. Everything good in life really is a marvelous gift all over again when I readjust my googles of perspective through the big picture of scripture.

After reading that last night, my salty sweet buttery spaghetti squash tasted better. I mentally contrasted in my mind what I deserve- hell- to what I was experiencing. Dinner around a table clasping hands with people I love praying to a God that provided a way for me to talk to Him. Instead of the hell I deserve I slept in a soft bed in a safe home and awoke to another day of God gifting me life and breath.

I’m thankful today and I’m happy because I have been given both grace and compassion from God Who I have sinned against. A few weeks back a man in our church said, “Compassion is like sparing the rod and grace is giving us better than we deserve.” So rejoice today Christian that you are an heir of God, free from sin, walking in the light and life of Jesus free from condemnation! Let that truth seek deep into your spirit and revive you and make you to sing joyous praise to our God!

Psalm 136:1 “O give thanks unto the LORD; fo the is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”