My blog is about the everyday life of a large family. Homeschooling, decorating, crafting and ministry are my passions. I love my family and hope this blog brings encouragement as I strive to live for Christ.
I have been sick now for two weeks. I'm on antibiotics but licking this sinus infection / bronchitis has been hard. I'm not one to ever be sick so this has been tough. Saying all that to say my new blog is on the back burner until I have enough brain cells to work on it. Stay with me, it will be up soon... Here's a peak at some of my fall decorating.
It's official..... I have a name for our new home "Cottage on the Hill". When you drive to our home it sits on top of a steep hill. I'm thinking about starting a new blog and retiring Nooks and Crannies. What do you think? The new blog will feature our Tennessee journey. We hope to share all that we are learning about living life from scratch...cooking, gardening, raising chickens, homeschooling and more.
Ive got great plans for this back porch. Its really long. I couldnt get all the pictures to upload but on the far end is an swing that hangs very close to a door that leads to the master bath. I love to go out threre in the morning and soak in the cool air.
I thought I would post pictures of our new house. It is a year old. We have become friendly with the previous owners and they have helped us navigate our new home. The first pictures are of our front porch. (we have a back porch too) when we were house hunting I knew that whatever we bought had to have a front porch! There was another house that was nice but it didn't have a front porch.... it was so hard to walk away from that house but I went with my heart and am so glad that I did. Not only did we get a front porch but a back porch too! And it was 30,000 cheaper and newer!
My first attempt at decorating the porch for fall. The porch is really long...not easy to decorate the whole thing! In time I hope to have more items to display but for now this is the little decorating that I did with the things I had. The wagon is ours... I wasn't going to bring it but I am so glad I did. I did buy the little crow pick, hay, mum and some gourds... very cheap.... less than 10.00
Sadie loves the front porch... she likes to sneak off of it and hit the trail that is across the street! There are many empty lots around us and she likes to explore them!
We were able to get someone to look at the truck Saturday afternoon and I think we were on the road by 3:00. Turns out there was nothing wrong with the truck. It actually had to much transmission fluid in it! Sigh...
We were not on the road for an hour when we saw something flying back at us... It was coming from the camper. We called Mark and had him pull over. One of the tires was loosing tread! Mark and Joey changed the tire and put on the spare. We stopped for the night somewhere around Virginia.
The next morning we woke up early, had breakfast, and got on the road. Things were going well but I was a wreck! I was so worried we would loose another tire on the camper and not have a spare to use or worse..... We would get into an accident. Rain started to fall and it was coming down hard! Our caravan of vehicles had 9 children and 5 adults traveling and I was anxious that an accident would happen. I have never prayed so hard! One hour from our Cookeville exit we saw tread flying again! The camper was loosing another tire. We called Mark and he decided to drive it anyways because the hotel that my sister and brother in law were staying at was right off the exit. He was able to get the camper into the hotel parking lot! We made it!
We still had to worry about getting the camper into our driveway which is a bit steep.... I left that in Joey and Marks hands! They got it in the driveway and the drama was finally over! Now, all we had to do was unpack and get settled.
On the first day in our new home we had friends from Nashville come over and help us unload the truck. Not only did they help us unload the truck but they brought dinner! What a blessing they were!
So here we are. A month has flown by and it still feels surreal to be here. We are settling in and waiting for the arrival of Cristian and his family on Thursday. We are thankful for all that the Lord has provided and for his hand of protection.
I thought I would write a post on our journey to the south. Leaving Jersey was so hard... I've cried more tears than I think I have ever cried in my life...
We left Manalapan on Friday August 17th. I wish I could say everything went smoothly but there were many bumps and obstacles to overcome. First, not all of our things fit in the moving truck! We were forced to load the camper with things which I thought would be ok since we borrowed my dads truck to pull it to TN. ( my suburban couldnt handle the extra weight) When we went to hitch up the truck we realized our hitch wouldn't fit the truck. I'm not sure what Mark did but a trip to Home Depot and some last minute drilling in the garage and he was hooked up. We left for his brothers house around 5pm. I left first in the suburban and Mark left about an hour after me. Our plan was to sleep at Marks brothers house and leave early in the morning for TN. When Mark got to his brothers house he informed us that my dads truck was leaking transmission fluid. We would have to have the truck looked at before we could leave for TN! Major delay.
Mark and I were sleeping in the camper with the baby while the kids stayed at my sister in laws. When we got to the camper we realized it was FULL of so much stuff that we could hardly get to the bed! Then there was the air conditioning! We could not get to it due to all the STUFF! It was so hot and humid. Mark decided to literally climb over stuff try and get to the air conditioning switch. He was my hero! Some how by the grace of God he got to the switch. We removed the stuff from the bed and climbed in.... All 3 of us! We froze that night! Unable to regulate the air conditioning, we had to deal with the freezing temperature! Then there was the issue of going to the bathroom! Yup,a detail we didn't think about! Did I mention it started to storm and rain! I had to use the bathroom and I didn't care what it was doing outside! We were sleeping in a church parking lot but fortunately there was a grassy area that was hidden behind the camper and moving truck. Yup! You guessed it! In the pouring rain I did my business and not only once but 3 times! needless to say, I did not sleep the entire night! My anxiety was sky high! I was freezing and used what blanket I had for the baby. I was also afraid of her falling off the bed so I stayed awake to make sure that didn't happen. This was only the beginning.
Are these not the cutest jars in the whole world!!!! I got them from partner( in shabby chic decorating ) crime... Mrs Scovell ! She up cycled them from empty candle jars. I have eight of them... 6 large and 2 small . They are in the wonderful colors and textures that I love. I can't wait to put them in our new house.
I love home made gifts from talented friends! She knows what I love and every year always gets me something special. I will treasure these jars and think of her every time I lay my eyes on them.
I love how they look on this shelf. Right now the shelf lives in my downstairs bathroom. I am thinking of putting it in the master bath of the new house and then filling the jars with toiletries.
since we studied Medieveal history this year I thought it would be fun to go to Medieval Times! We went there with two other homeschool familes and had a blast! I cant believe how much my kids loved it. The food was really good and the entertianment amazing. We took a lot of pictures but I wont bore you with all of them. Here is a few. We were the Green team... rooting for the Green Knight.
Creating a Fairy Garden with Isabella. I had pictures with her next to her creation but some how they got deleted from my chip! I ran out and took some more pictures before the rain came.
We had a great time painting furniture and picking out flowers. We made the chair a little larger because fairies come in all sizes!
Don't you just want to live there!
Some bird seed
Here is another very small version but instead of a fairy we have a little gnome. I think I had more fun than she did. I can see us making a lot more of these! I am making a huge indoor one for a friend of mine whose daughter is graduating high school. You are never to old for fairies!
We have had times in our lives when we did not have cable and we would watch videos for some down time. I have been a member of Netflix for years and love the variety that it offers. (Honestly, I could live with out TV.)I have tried to teach my children discernment in this area. For the most part they pick things to view that we approve of and line up with our beliefs. I enjoy popping pop- corn and sitting with them to watch a movie as a family but I must admit that selections are getting slimmer and slimmer.
I thought I would list some of our favorites but I'm going to refrain from that. I know that everyone's criteria is different. There are things that I may choose that may not be conservative enough for your family or maybe too conservative. What's important is that you sit down with your husband and decide what you will allow and what is totally off limits.
Ok.. Maybe I'll just mention a few favorites!
Little women ( my very favorite)
Christy- this series is excellent and even my boys love it!
Dr. Quinn- here's where it gets a little hard. There is a bar and prostitution in the series. You can skip those scenes. My kids learned a lot about the time period and medicine.
Faith Like Potatoes
Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oak
Wives and daughters
Little House series
Anne of Green Gables
The old Batman series with Adam West
My boys LOVE super heroes.. Batman, Superman, Spiderman etc.... I waited until they were an older age before they were allowed to watch the more adult kind of films. In other words.... They were not 4 years old when they watched them.
Going to stop there, after all I did say I was not going to give titles right??
Today I want to talk about audio! I LOVE anything audio and am a bit of a collector. You can throw a CD in the player on long car rides and the kids don't even know that they are learning! I also will let them listen to audios at night when in bed or during the day when they are done with their school work. We have taken the audios camping with us and spend hours listening to wonderful stories that build our faith. Here our some of our favorites:
1. Your Story Hour~ These are probably the tapes (now they have them on CD) that got us started. They are wonderful! Each volume has a different theme. There is one that is all bible stories called "Bible Comes Alive" you may be tired of hearing me say this but I have used this for Sunday school! The stories are told in a drama format. They are accurate and easy to listen to. You can facilitate a discussion after the story and then read it from the scriptures. Some of the other volumes that they sell are historical. They have stories about George Washington, Henry Ford, Fanny Crosby, and MORE. There are also stories that have to do with a character trait like honesty. I believe CBD (christian book distributors) sells this series.
2. Focus On the Family Radio Theater~ another wonderful theatrical audio. I pulled the Father Gilbert Mysteries series off my shelf. This particular series is a little scary but not at all inappropriate. It is a mystery that gets solved at the end and will keep you at the edge of your seat. They have many titles that you can choose from. Some of the ones we own and have listened to are Chronicles of Narnia, Bonhoeffer, The story of Anne Frank, and my favorite... Child Of Promise... which is a great story about the apostle Luke.
I am sure many of you are familiar with" Adventures in Odyssey." I believe this was Focus on the Families first audio series. They are excellent and even my older children enjoy pulling those out and listening to them. They are very much a charecter teaching series.
3. Jonathan Park~ This is our children's new favorite. It is the story of a family that learns about creation by experiencing many adventures! This is a great way for our children to learn about creation and also be able to refute evolution. You can get this from Vision Forum. or http://www.jonathanpark.com/
We have a lot more audios on our shelf but those are the top 3 that have really impacted my kids. Tomorrow I will talk about Video!
It was a pleasure to speak to the ladies at Calvary church this past week! I also had the priveledge of delivering my message to the women of my church on Sunday! I promised I would list some of the resources that we have used as a family for our times of family worship and bible study. My encouragement is to make it consistant and be creative.
Reading the bible is something I want my kids to learn to do on a daily basis. Family devotioanl time can be dad and/or mom reading a chapter of scripture and everyone discussing it. We have done this and continue to do it when we are not useing a devotional book. The first resource I am gonig to list is great for reading through the bible.
1. Balancing The Sword~ These book comes in two volumes. The books are designed to help you grasp the meaning of scripture by asking you questions about what you have read. Virtually all major points of the chapter are highlighted. The book also contains maps, tables, some pictures, and answer key. If you have never done family devotions this book is a great starting point to get you into Gods word for both children and adults. You can purchase this book from CBD for 54.49. that price includes both volumes.
Advice~ even if you do not homeschool go on line to CBD and look at their homeschool catolog. They have great selections for bible study.
2. Boyhood and Beyond, Created For Work, and Practical Happiness~( each title is a book) these are my FAVORITE devotional books. They are geared towards boys but they would be fine for a girl too. They are written by Bob Schultz. At the end of each little story are questions for you to ask and discuss with your kids.
3. Christian Manhood~ by Gary Maldaner. This is a great study to do together if you have a brood of boys like I do or each boy could do it on their own. You read sections and answer questions that are very practical, biblical and are great for helping your boys form their christian world view.
4. Jotham's Journey~ by Arnold Ytreeide This is a wonderful devotion for Christmas time. You start it on the first day of Advent and finish it up on christmas morning. It is a story that is fictional but is set in biblical times. The story leads up to the birth of Christ. This book will keep you at the edge of your seat! excellent! (there are a few books in the series but right now this was the only one I could find on my shelf...I think I lent out the other title but I seem to remember it being something like... Bartholomews ____???? )
5. Right Choices~by Kenneth N Taylor. a wonderful book for children 5 and under ( you could use it for older children too.. it really depends on the child) I have used this book for sunday school and also as a read a loud for my children when they were young. It helps children to start thinking about the choices that they make and teaches how to make biblilcal choices. Great book for charecter training.
6. Great Truths For Little Children~ this is a book I am reading with my 7 year old daughter right now. They are stories that have been reprinted from the 1800's. Good for children 3-6 years old. Full of great wisdom!
7. The Big Book Of Questions and Answers About Jesus by Sinclair B Ferguson~ this book is a favorite of mine. I have used it to teach sunday school to elementry age children. It is so practical. Children will have a great understanding of Jesus when they finish this book.
8. Children Bible Basics: What Happens When You Die, The Holy Spirit In Me, Who is Jesus, What is a Christian, What is Prayer, Who is God. Each title is a short book. Excellent for teaching little ones these spiritual truths. My father~ in~ law bought these books for my oldest son and I have used them for all 5 boys and even for Sunday school. They are wonderful. Next year I will start them with my 7 year old daughter. They are published by Moody Press.
9. Thoughts For Young Men~ by JC Ryle If you go through the Davis Home School Academy this is a must read prior to graduation. I have my boys read this book in 9th grade. It teaches boys great truths on how to become men of God.
10. Hero Tales~ by Dave and Neta Jackson~ This is another book I have used for Sunday school. It will teach your chidren about the great Heros of our faith. Heros like Gladys Aylward, Amy Carmichael, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and MANY more! Excellent.
OK.. that is part one of resources. Tomorrow I will discuss some of our favorite Audio materials that we have used.