Reading moments – something has to give

ED9A4145-2The past week or two, we’ve had a few “fast” in the area of “smart devices” and TV. I think all the change in our life recently… the changing of our home three times in one year. From our Atlanta home, to the farm home, to now our current home. We have gotten a bit slack in the dept. of monitoring our kids “kindle time”… and therefore its become an issue. Our kids (the older 3) could seriously play their kindles for 3 hours straight if we let them. It seemed to be all they thought about… and we were constantly battling bickering spats between the boys. SO! We did away with them. The kindles are locked up in a secret location and I haven’t miss them a bit. Although, the 10 straight days of rain, did some what push us to let them have it “some…” since truly, after that many days inside, we ran out of stuff to do.

Still, less kindle time seemed to help the bickering.


I began reading a book this week called “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Macaulay.

Wont lie, when I was told to read this book, I did not want to. I have been struggling a lot with our home school year this year… and questioning continuing it… and she just encouraged me to start that book. So, I cheated a bit and got it on Audible. Got to love Audible!! and that afternoon listened to two chapters (its only 5). It encouraged me. Even just those two chapters… and while some aspects of it seemed a bit foreign to me… I could see where lots of what she spoke about made total sense. The way we educate in society is completely different than what was encouraged in this book. I think because of that, it is sometimes hard for us to bend towards that… but after 5 years home schooling the way “a school” would expect me to… I am realizing it may not be the best method… and it may zap some of the natural creativity and joy out of the experience.

ED9A4157-2So, this week I hope to implement some changes to our school room… and methods… and while I don’t expect it to change over night. I do hope these changes will better the experience not only for me (who has dreaded almost every school day this year haha), but also enrich my children with fun days of school, rather than duty-filled and boring.

I am so so thankful for sunshine coming… I look forward to exploring some with the boys… and getting outdoors more. Letting them use those imaginations, rather than stare at a screen all day. I firmly believe children today watch way to much TV… and have way to much time in front of a video game… or iPad/Kindle. I for one have been guilty of it, big time!

So heres to staying strong throughout the bumps of home schooling these boys… and trying to remember why I do it… not to dwell to much on how I hate English… and sometimes wish I had a moment alone… Time goes fast…. and I would hate to get to the end of my home school journey, look back and have nothing but dread, stress and bad memories. It shouldn’t be that way….


Thanks for all the comments and encouragement on Instagram too. I greatly appreciate those who reach out to me… We all need that interaction, lifting up and pats on the back from others who get it.

To those curious what sort of screen time I will allow from here on. At least for a season. NO TV at all… Only books… I will probably allow Reed who is only 3 (a brand new 3), to watch a TV show while I school the boys some… but I want to limit his screen time some too… even if it means allowing him to paint and make a mess in the school room instead. On Friday I will let the kids have kindle or TV time. They will be able to choose to play together (nicely) for an hour or so… or they can watch movies together as a family. I also may allow a TV show on Saturday mornings too. As far as weekly kindle time/tv time, for them, its no more. At least until we can get into a groove of being kind… reading more… being creative. Playing outside… and so forth.


Childhood goes fast. Why spend it in one spot.


Fall Essential Oil Diffuser List

A printable list of Fall Essential Oils you can DiffuseI think Diffuser is technically not a word. I could not think of what else to call this post though besides, Fall Essential Oil Diffuser List. :) Cause really, that is what it is. A list of oils you can diffuse during the fall season. So “correct” or not, its staying incorrect.

So with fall here, I have been IN LOVE with a select few oils… and I thought Id share with you what those are, in the form of a “printable” Diffuser list. This list is sized to be printed as a 5×7 – so if you save the file, you can tell your printer to print it as a 5×7. This to me seemed like a great size for the fridge, or to keep in your Essential Oil box, drawer, bag, etc.

Feel free to download, share, use as you please.

Before I get to the list, I thought it be nice to list out the oils I mention in this list, and share a few benefits from “some” of the oils. I wont go through ALL of them for the sake of time. :)

1st oil…
Cinnamon Bark

– One of my all time favorite oils. Not just because I love the smell of it… but because of its amazing benefits. Cinnamon Bark is a powerful purifier. There have been actual test showing that things such as viruses, bacteria, fungus, CAN’T live in this oil. It can be used to help treat many colds… flu bugs, respiratory infections and coughs. It is on of those oils that I find I use in A LOT, esp. when flu season is in high gear. Last year I put it on my kids feet (in a diluted blend), any time we went to a public place. I also put it into my hand sanitizer recipe (I plan to reblog this soon). Its just a great great oil that I think everyone should have.

Clove Bud

Printable Fall list of Essential Oils to Diffuse

– Ginger is one of those that I think people with any sort of digestive issues, should own. It is great for treating many digestive issues including indigestion, nausea, gas, motion sickness, diarrhea, and morning sickness. It can also help you treat loss of appetite. It helps stimulate your immune system.




Orange & Lemon

– Both of those are great oils for cleaning! but also have many other benefits. Also two of the cheapest oils you can buy… so def worth getting. I use them in my surface cleaner and hand sanitizer too… as they are great disinfectants.

Some of the oils at the time of my writing this post are out of stock. Be sure to click the option for RMO to notify you once that oil is back in stock.

To download the Diffuser List, just click the image to the right :) or CLICK HERE.

A PRINTABLE Fall List of essential oils you can diffuse.

Now to end, be sure to check out the FALL Sale RMO is having right now. HUGE discount on their Fall Oil set. Some of the oils aren’t in the above “blends” to diffuse, but I actually own all of those oils mentioned except for Blend of Vanilla… Oregano is probably one of my favorites in the bundle, besides Ginger Cinnamon and Clove. Great sets. Would make an awesome Birthday gift or Christmas gift to someone new to oils. :)


Disclosure: The Above post does contain affiliate links to Amazon and Rocky Mountain Oils. This in no way affects my opinions on this post. Affiliate links help to generate a small amount of income for our family of 6. Thank you for your love and support. I truly enjoy blogging things that work for our family. Everything I share are things that I do personally and I would never share something I wouldn’t purchase or use myself. Thanks so much :)

Oil Cleansing & why I love it!

Oil Cleansing and why I love it.I get A LOT of questions from blog readers about my skin care routine. I must admit that with lots of trial and error I have without a doubt found a routine that works for my skin and for that I am thankful. I have never been a confident person when it came to being bare skinned (meaning without “some” make up)… I always felt the need to cover my imperfections before meeting up with friends. Before answering the door to a neighbor, etc…etc.. It even bothered me to go on youth group trips in my late teens, knowing Id have to more than likely be seen without “my face” done up. What a difference a few years can make… Now at 32 I have such freedom with this area, it was a huge hurdle for me. I am proud to have over come. While I know perfection is never the goal… feeling “comfortable” in our own skin, for me, was the goal. Also realizing we are each created so uniquely and beautiful. Some have flawless baby skin, others do not and never will.  “Beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30 – a verse I cling to and remember often. So hopefully those reading can hear my heart, and know this post is to inform, not show off a clear face… cause truly, my skin isn’t perfect, but my skin has done nothing but thanked me since switching over to cleansing with oil. Ditching harsh chemicals and saying hello to natural goodness and a method that truly works.

FOR YEARS I battled breakouts and at certain points in my life I even had spats of cystic acne. My heart breaks for those who have to live with severe cases of cystic acne… because the few months I had to deal with it during my 3rd pregnancy, it was so hard. It was also painful… blemishes that would last for weeks and would not go away… your face would feel pressured, oily, itchy, tight, uncomfortable. It was very defeating for me…

Many months ago I wrote up a post called “Clear Skin with Oil” and love the response I got from it. Because I have gotten such a great response, I reached out to Rocky Mountain Oils recently to see about getting a special coupon for my readers, in hopes to help them on their journey to clearer skin. Mind you, I am no doctor and no method is full proof… these are just my experiences and things that work for me.

I have a new addition to my “skin care routine” I want to write about very soon. A natural astringent I use in addition to everything I wrote about on THIS POST... This week though isn’t going to yield the time to write that… so It will have to wait until next week. Keep an eye out on my instagram and facebook for that post soon.

The Oils that I can save you 10% on are the following (I am going to copy and paste a bit of information from the Rocky Mountain Oil website to help list out some of the benefits and uses of these oils. I own and use all of them in my cleansing method as well as many other uses.)

Sacred Frankincense

“Frankincense is an incredible immune system builder. It helps treat lymph congestion, which helps your immune system run smoothly. It can help you treat issues like asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, colds and flu. It will also help you treat infections and inflammations and fevers caused by infections.

An excellent skin oil, it will help you treat skin ulcers, blemishes, and scars. It is an excellent addition to your skin care regimen, especially if you have dry and/or mature complexion. It helps smooth out wrinkles, and is an antiseptic tonic to all skin. It balances oily skin and is a good tonic for normal skin.

Frankincense has helped many women treat reproductive and urinary difficulties. It also helps tone the uterus and relieve uterine hemorrhaging and heavy menstrual flow. When used during childbirth, it can help ease labor pains and decrease postnatal depression.”

Lavender (This is a staple in our home, I use it daily for diffusing, my skin and more)

It is excellent when treating skin conditions like acne, and dermatitis/eczema. One of the top oils for treating sunburn and other burns. It helps minimize scarring and stretch marks. Is safe enough to treat diaper rash in babies.

One of the top oils to treat insomnia. Brings deep relaxation. Works great for meditation as well.

Because of its calming and relaxing nature, Lavender will help you treat many heart and muscle issues, including bruises. Will help you treat tachycardia, phlebitis, and high blood pressure. It relaxes tight muscles and helps treat muscular aches and pains. Reduces inflammation and lessons pain and helps treat muscular cramps, especially abdominal cramps. Can be used to treat sciatica, arthritis and rheumatism.”

Blend of Rose

“The top use of this oil is for the skin. It is most often used to prevent scarring, and to revitalize and rejuvenate dry, sensitive, or aging skin. Rocky Mountain Oils’ Rose is great to use for some skin diseases, like eczema, herpes, and shingles. It is excellent for helping prevent wrinkles. It helps soothe the scalp and is excellent for fine hair. It can also help fade age/liver spots.”

Use the coupon code: DW10 for 10% off on all 3 of those oils. THERE IS NO LIMIT to how many times you use the coupon. Coupon expires Nov. 1st, 2015


Again do read my Oil Cleansing post to read how I got clear skin using Oil. If you have ANY questions at all feel free to contact me.

Also another great recipe that goes along with my Oil Cleansing, are my lotion bars. I use these daily and love them. In fact I sold some to a sweet lady back in Atlanta… she came back about 2 months later and told me that my bars were better than her Botox! I was so excited she loved them so much. They really are great and do wonders for the skin.

I will link that post below…

Simple and effective Lotion Bars for your face. Using natural ingredients and Essential Oils.

Disclosure: The Above post does contain affiliate links to Amazon and Rocky Mountain Oils. This in no way affects my opinions on this post. Affiliate links help to generate a small amount of income for our family of 6. Thank you for your love and support. I truly enjoy blogging things that work for our family. Everything I share are things that I do personally and I would never share something I wouldn’t purchase or use myself. Thanks so much :)


ED9A4091If you live on the east coast, you are probably experiencing some rainy days. At least we are here in SC. I think today is day 5 of rain. Its almost to the point its becoming depressing… although I am thankful for the cooler temps. Still, after 5 days of constant rain and mist… you do sort of become a bit dreary and done with rain. :) I totally believe in seasonal depression… and Im like “man. Where is the sunshine..” cause I need it.

With things already wet, one evening our boys spent their time getting soaked on the trampoline, adding more H2O into the environment, spraying each other with the water hose.

I am sure if anyone was onlooking on these dudes, they thought I was either crazy, not watching them, or really cool. haha. They had fun and the giggles were adorable to watch.

I still do not feel totally into routine yet here in our new home. I will be honest, moving, no matter when, why or what prompts the move, its always hard. Adjusting to new routines. Learning a new area. Connecting and creating new friendships… No matter how many times I do it, it really never gets easier… you really just adapt and kind of know what to expect.

Hope everyone has a great week this week. Hopefully by the weekend the sun comes out.




& to end, my boys made some more youtube videos trying foods. Def check out their Channel “The Wood Knots”

Homeschool Co-op

ED9A4046I have been home schooling since Caleb was 5… and hes now 11. So around 6 years. In all that time I have yet to join a co-op type group. Although one year we did participate in something called Classical Conversations… and while I liked parts of it, it just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t like feeling bound to a specific curriculum’s “time schedule…” sounds weird, but I like the freedom of controlling things… and CC for me, hindered that. It also was very expensive… The one year we did it, it was a shock the final cost. Still, one of the things I did miss about CC, was the social interaction. So when we moved to SC. I knew, being new, we needed to find some sort of home school group to join.

I am thankful that I found one that has been a great fit.

It is located about 12 minutes from our home. It actually meets at the sister church to ours. The church we meet at, planted our church. So I thought that was kind of cool. The cost was minimal compared to some co-ops I had debated joining back in Atlanta… but just could not afford. For the whole semester, supplies included and even child care for Reed was under $100.00. You just can’t beat that! That is so cheap for three boys, 4 classes each. I am so thankful that this co-op was affordable… seems like many co-ops forget that larger families can’t afford to pay $75.00 a class… or 100’s per kid. At least I can’t. While I realize expenses and time goes into putting all of it together, I sometimes think things are way over priced… I never want our home school to be a financial burden. Ever. So we’ve def. had to pick and choose what we do, depending on cost. Thankful this one is within our means.

The boys are taking classes like Architecture using Minecraft. Reptiles by the River. Art Creations. Fun with Letters. PE. Music. etc.etc. Basically elective type classes. It is also a time for them to be independent. Navigating the hall ways to their different classes. We also have a gym devotional time where the kids can spot and sit with their new friends… have snack… and so forth.

After co-op (it ends around 12:30) many of the families do a picnic style lunch at a nearby park too.

I am on the year book team and snagged a few photos this week. Thought Id share a few favorites here on the blog. :)

Here is Caleb in his Reptile class. I help in this one.

1st Period class I am with middle schoolers, teaching some fun art skills. Right up my ally.



Owen (who is 5) has done great learning the ropes. (he’s the one in yellow here)


How adorable is this baby turtle!


& of course, any class that involves lego’s – its awesome.


The Co-op has over 100 families involved. Pretty massive :) & encouraging to see so many home schoolers.


To end…

A few things I have learned this year home schooling.

1. Teaching 5th grade English is horrible. I almost wanted to throw in the towel. Call it quiets… give up. I am awful at english. Beyond awful. I do not comprehend it fully myself and therefore to teach it, was even harder. My blog is evidence of how bad I am at english (with proper grammar, spelling and so forth). It just is not my thing… and the curriculum we had did not offer any dvd lessons and walk throughs, like Caleb’s math offered. We use Saxon with Teacher DVDS for his Math and that has been a life saver for me! Having a curriculum that explains things well to my child, is huge… I need that help. So when we would do english lessons and struggle badly… I lost it. I am so thankful my husband has been willing to help… and so he is taking charge and does English with Caleb. I thankfully am able to understand 3rd grade English haha… so I do teach Taite his english just fine. I know as my kids age though and get into higher grades… if the curriculum does not offer dvd help, I will not be able to teach them well. Call that a lack in confidence in myself… or just pure honesty. “I am not smarter than a 5th grader” holds some truth. It just creates in me a push to find ways to make it work… as I do feel home schooling our boys is important.

2. Kindergarten should be done slowly… if schooling your 5 year old is resulting in insults… or fuming tempers… you need to step back. Preaching to myself here… Owen who is a new 5, just like my other boys is having trouble with phonics. Math, writing, no problem. Phonics… its rough. I remember facing this same situation with all my boys and realizing that around age 6-7 something just clicked in them… and what use to take them hours to retain, took minutes. So I am reminded from that but also encouragement from friends… to take it slow. Give grace… and dont fall to the temptation of social pressure to get a kid reading by age 5. I think its nuts that schools expect ALL boys (esp) to understand and grasp reading well by age 5… I for one, wont belittle or make reading so unenjoyable that they hate it, just so they can say they read by a certain age. My older boys are evidence that learning to read later, will in no way slow them down. They are doing fantastic :)

3. School in shifts. With four kids, all different ages. You cannot school everyone at once. At least I can’t. So we school in shifts. Most mornings I try to get the older two to do math 1st… they can for the most part do this without my help. I sometimes have to do a lesson with our 3rd grader… but Caleb who is 5th grade, does every bit of it on his own using his laptop program and work book. It takes him a solid hour though. Saxon is hardcore :) but solid. While they do math, I may work on Owen with his workbooks. Reed may play iPad. While I work on Taite with english, Owen may play with Reed. While we do Science/History together (I do this with my older two, both at the same time). Owen may play something alone and Reed may nap. Its all about balance and finding time to focus on one thing… if I tried to do everything at once, I would loose my mind! I even try to add in a 20 minute time span where I can workout… and focus for just a few moments on MYSELF. We moms are worth that 20 minutes… and our children should be able to leave us be for at least that amount of time.

4. Offer incentives and rewards. I created a new chore chart system. Each chore gives the kids “screen time.” If they complete certain chores, they get a certain amount of time… one of those chores I added was “Do your school well and quick.” If they do this, they get an additional 35 min. screen time! A huge amount compared to their 5 minute screen time chores :) – I also have a treasure box. filled with goodies. At the end of a week. If they ace their spelling/math test, etc… they get to get a toy or goodie from the treasure box. This has always worked well for us… and its very inexpensive. Dollar Tree has lots of great options.

and… I think thats it. Each year I learn more and more ways to make schooling work… each year brings its own challenges… and at times doubts. Its a year to year thing… and we make it work. Thankful for the ability to home school… It is a blessing.

Healthy Whole Grain Belgian Waffle

I tried a new Belgian Waffle recipe this weekend and had to share. Any time I cook something that actually turns out well, its worth blogging it. :) This one was a hit and we had no left overs. That also is evidence its worth cooking again. So enjoy!

Super easy Healthy Whole Grain Belgian Waffles with coconut oil and flax. My kids loved them!

Healthy Whole Grain Belgian Waffle


  • 1 1/2 cup freshly ground white hard wheat (any wheat flour will do)
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1/4 cup sucanat or sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups raw milk (whole milk or non-fat milk/almond milk works as well)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (do not reduce!)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, flax, sucanat (sugar), baking powder and salt.
  2. In another bowl, mix together your wet ingredients. The milk, eggs and vanilla.
  3. You then pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until combined.
  4. Add in the coconut oil last, mix again (do not over mix)
  5. Pour roughly 1/2 cup batter into a preheated waffle maker. The amount of batter will depend on what size waffle iron you have. :) So just do what you feel works best. Allow it to cook until steam rate slows down coming from your waffle iron, or until waffle is a crisp brown. I have found with waffles, cooking them a little longer is key to getting a crispy outside. :)

*A tip for Flax Meal… I buy my flax in a seed form. It to me is the best way to use flax. Grind it using a coffee grinder to ensure fresh and nutritious flax meal. Its SUPER easy to do and IMO a lot fresher tasting too. Store your seed flax in a fridge though, do not store it in the pantry.. it goes bad way to fast if you do. I buy my Flax from Aldi right now. VERY inexpensive and easy to find. Here is a great post that explains WHY you should do this and the benefits of using flax in your food.

Hope you enjoy the recipe :)

Super easy Healthy Whole Grain Belgian Waffles with coconut oil and flax. My kids loved them!

Recipe original source

Taite & Owen’s Room / Playroom

Thought Id show you all what our middle boys room looks like. Taite (age 8) and Owen (age 5) share a room. This was how it was in Atlanta as well. Even though Taite and Caleb are closer in age, we found that putting Owen and Taite together worked better than Caleb & Taite. We also knew once Reed became older we’d probably want him to be with his older brother for a few years… at least until Reed was old enough to know not to get out of bed. I remember that being a huge battle at age 2 for all my boys. To the point we’d have to put a baby gate up to lock them in their bedrooms. I am sure any mom of a 2 or 3 year old knows the battle well. Owen was the worlds worst at falling asleep by the gate. :) Memories haha.

So Taite and Owen share the back FROG (finished room over garage). It is HUGE!!! in fact its to big IMO. I prefer smaller bedrooms… (not complaining tho, space is nice!) If I had to design a house though, Id much prefer MORE bedrooms, than one larger one. Then again, having a larger room for boys is fun. It allows for lots of space to wrestle and play. This room seconds though as a playroom/entertainment room. Its towards the back of the house upstairs too, so if you shut the door to it, its actually pretty good at keeping things quiet downstairs.

I use to be the anti-TV mom. So let me explain why theres a HUGE one in this room. :) The TV that is in their room is not hooked up to any cable or TV… its merely for when they want to watch a VHS movie (yes we use a VCR haha)… or if they want to play the Wii. They of course are not allowed to use this at night without permission. My parents gave us their old larger flat screen, so this TV was our old flat screen in our living room. Its quiet big! It is nice to be able to tell the boys to go play Wii or something upstairs, out of our family room. That way if we want to watch something together, they can have some entertainment on a friday night, or something like that. Great for when they have friends over. So while I am not the type to let kids veg on TV at night or all day in their bedrooms… I have now become the type to love my boys having their own entertainment space.

Eventually, once Reed is bigger, I would love to put him in this room too. We have the bunk beds “de-bunked” at the moment. If and when we put bunks back up, we will have to invest in some new ones. This old set is on its last life… the railings on the top bunk split and are broken… so we can no longer use it as a bunk bed safely.. its tipsy too. Lets just say, we’ve had TREE of our boys fall off the top bunk… :-\ So, a good bunk bed with workable railings, is a must for safety. haha…

Enjoy the tour :)




To those curious where the electric ball light came from. That came from my childhood! My mom kept it over all these years. My brother and I use to love that thing :) – its still working great almost 2 decades later. I tell you, they do not build things like they use to! Seems like stuff like that you buy today, breaks in 2 years. So sad. Quality just isnt the same today.