Thursday, January 31, 2019

Goodbye 1st month

Blink and it's gone.  The month of January started off with a few of us fighting head colds and we slowly immersed ourselves back into some normalcy after the holidays.  Decorations were put away, new things had to find homes, books came out along with blankets, fuzzy socks, and hot cocoa.

I think overall we had a great month and many of the goals I had hoped to accomplish came together:

-:- start reading my Bible in 90-180 days / giving myself grace in the 90 day reading plan
 This was a top priority.  While I didn't read as much as I had hoped, I still made time and it took longer because I was studying between two Bibles.

-:- create/embrace "quiet" times 
Yes!  We have a rhythm now and making this a habit.  We are taking time after the lunch hour (our dinner time) to savor the quiet.  Reading a book, lighting a candle, listening to the rain...just listening to the silence speaks so much to my heart.

-:- do a puzzle - a quiet activity
I actually did two puzzles this month!  One at home and another one at my parent's house.  It was so enjoyable and I'm looking forward to another one soon, too.

-:- at least 1 date with dear husband
I'm sad to say this didn't happen.  I was gone with the girls and prior to that we either had illness or work or something.  I want to make this happen every month. 

-:- Disney with my mom & girls - week long trip
Yes!  We enjoyed 2 days at Disney and passed on more.  We were too sore, too tired, and then had a day that rain poured, thunder roared, and lightning flashed - not good for an amusement park.  It was full of special memories that we will forever treasure.  Besides Disney we had cousin, Auntie and puppy time, frozen yogurt adventures, and my mom and I enjoyed a few shopping trips together.

-:- find our homeschool rhythm again
We did have a good few weeks back to school and then ended the month with a planned short vacation.  We took books with us, just in case, but chose to just enjoy the visit.  The books can wait and family visits are priceless.

-:- give 10+ pieces of clothing to thrift store / declutter closet
I did get a chance to accomplish this task and even found more "stuff" to include.  I'm going to keep going as I am ready to "change out" a few things and get rid of the old.

-:- healthier eating & sleep habits (go to bed earlier and get up a little earlier)
Ummm....yes and no.  I was doing good until going on vacation and even then I didn't go overboard but certainly wanted to enjoy the moments and not fret over food.   I still haven't been sleeping too well this month and I'm feeling the exhaustion looming.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

slow moments - basket of kindling

...because this little basket is full of fire starters to keep the flickering warmth of wood burning.

...because this little washboard was darling but functional to help keep our keys from falling beside the washing machine.

...because dear husband made biscuits and gravy one morning.  

...because snuggling with a baby is so cozy.

...because a clean kitchen is comforting to me.

...because these little lives bring joy and smiles.

...because fresh cilantro is a favorite around here.

...because the 31-day Read Aloud challenge was successful and brought more reading into our home.

...because slippers and a blanket were comfy on a cold evening.

Monday, January 28, 2019

On the nightstand - 2019 books

... for several years now, I put aside book time for myself and chose intentionally to read primarily only my Bible and homeschool books.  It helped me keep priorities in order.

This year I feel ready to embrace a few books as part of my Quiet time. These are what I hope to read or re-read this year.  I'm off to a slow start, but I am happy to have put my reading time into studying my Bible first and the importance of its foundational premise to a good start this year.

 ...and I always refer to these for my quest to slow down and embrace the beauty of life around me.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

slow moments - Be Thou My Vision

...because in her free time, I found little H writing out our hymn of the month all on her own accord.


...because birthday girls love cupcakes and frosting!

...and so do baby sisters.

...because presents are part of birthdays.

...because the needed rain was an answer to our prayers.

...because the rain brought fog and gave a visual to the looming moments of grief that roll in unexpectedly.

 ...because the sun brings warmth and light after the cold storms.

...because fresh blueberries on sale become sweet frozen treats.

...because the hands of young ones making up the guest bed leave little stuffed friends peeping out of pillows.

 ...because freshly washed new flannel sheets and the warmth out of the dryer brings cozy to laundry chores.

...because new puzzles mean more slow and quiet moments are forthcoming soon.

"Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart"

Monday, January 21, 2019

Seasonal Home Journal - wintering at home

-living seasonally

It's cold and wet.  We've had 5 out of 7 days of  rain, snow, and freezing rain.  It's an answer to prayers for the ground is thirsty.  It's kept us mostly indoors because of all the mud and the frigid temperatures alongside the wind.

-thinking deeply

I've probably been thinking too much and letting things weigh heavily on my heart.  My brain has been having a hard time shutting down at night and thus drifting into sleep has been difficult.

My quiet Bible time is going well and I'm enjoying the study notes and learning quite a bit.  

-turning pages

We've been chugging along with homeschool and enjoying our journey through American history.  This week we are finally stepping into the establishment of colonies, leadership, and the beginnings of the foundation of our country.   The girls have been working hard on their 31-Day Read Aloud Challenge and have finished a book each and working on more.  They have both already shared that they noticed a huge difference in how they sound when reading aloud. 

Turning the pages of our storytime/read alouds included:
The New Americans ✓
The Buffalo Knife ✓
John Audubon - just started

✓=completed this week.

Hopefully next month, I'll be able to find that extra time to read the books I have waiting in a stack.

-establishing rhythm

Currently our rhythm is staying home and doing school.  We've enjoyed the blessing of slower winter days to keep us home.  Hot cocoa and wrapped in blankets with a fire burning is daily routine during our afternoon reading time.  Love this.

-cultivating simplicity

I've been using the crockpot several times a week to prepare meals.  We've enjoyed chili, taco soup, some Japanese curry.

-creating beauty

I've been trying to add some new "vintage" touches around our home.  I felt like I needed a bit of change and it has been fun to hunt down a few things to add that rustic beauty that speaks to my heart of simpler times.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

slow moments - Love, Do, and Think About

...because putting away Christmas decorations means creating new displays - something to "LOVE".

...because vintage reminds me of simpler times.

...because music speaks to the heart.

...because doing a puzzle gives slow with something quiet to "DO".

...because homemade chili in the crockpot was warmth on a cold day.


...because homemade granola just felt like cozy in the kitchen.

(We tried this recipe instead of our usual - it's soo good!  Only switched up using olive oil for the coconut oil and only honey in place of maple syrup.  It's really sweet, but with the egg whites and butter just seem to make it a special treat.)

...because the Bible and quiet gave something to "THINK ABOUT".

Friday, January 11, 2019

Glazed Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Glazed Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Oh my!  This side dish was introduced to us by family friends and it's so good.


2 lbs. (approx.) Brussel Sprouts - cut off ends & cut in half
½ lb. chopped raw Bacon
Olive Oil
Maple Syrup
Salt & Pepper


Stove top-
In heated skillet, add a brussel spouts and bacon and drizzle very slightly with olive oil.  Season with a little salt & pepper and stir fry on low heat until brussel sprouts are softened.  Drizzle maple syrup to your "sweetness".  Serve hot.

Preheat oven to 425ºF degrees. Place brussel sprouts & bacon on baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Drizzle with maple syrup. Stir to mix and coat sprouts. Bake for about 45 minutes or until sprouts are softened. Serve hot.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

10 on 10th - Random things about me

 Ten on the 10th of the Month

January - Random things about me

 1. I love having a vase of fresh flowers displayed - hydrangeas are one of my favorites, but I love beauty among the wild flowers, too. 

 2.  Strangely, I pick up accents of those I'm around and talking with.

 3.  I drink at least 1/2 gallon of herbal decaf iced tea every day.  I used to drink regular brewed tea, but with some health issues, I gave up caffeine. 

 4.  I do not drink any soda or alcoholic beverages.  I just don't like them, but I love to cook with wine in my sauces.

 5.  I do NOT allow hot dogs in our home - absolutely hate them!


 6.  I'm crazy scared of bees/wasps - seriously I run!  It makes for interesting nature walks.

 7.  I live with chronic pain from herniated discs in my lower back.  I had back surgery at age 19.

 8.  I sleep with the television on, both for noise and light.

 9.  I am not a morning person.  I used to be more of a night owl, but the older I get I find myself going to bed by 11pm and like to sleep until 8am.

10.  I've never tried a cigarette/drugs and don't ever plan to.

Counting it all Joy! - January 10th

273  | "I love you" written in the dust
274  | my full heart
275  | safe holiday travels
276  | progressive glasses
277  | a quiet New Year's Eve
278  | a puzzle on New Year's Day
279  | a blank calendar
280  | homemade potato & leek soup
281  | a full propane tank
282  | a study Bible
283  | homeschool rhythms back in place
284  | erasers - yes, I still need them!
285  | rain
286  | wooden spools - a vintage love
287  | a set table


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