Family Photo Fun!

Have you ever tried to get that "Perfect" family picture? The one where everyone is looking and smiling and happy all at the same time.  Well, we tried that this year.  It was...well...complicated.  Our youngest son did NOT want to sit still at all!  He wanted to play!  Much to our chagrin.  Lets just say that I am glad that my husband and I have a GREAT sense of humor and roll with the punches!  And so did our photographer for Christmas photos.  ;)   Here are just a couple of pictures from our session.  Enjoy!

Schoolhouse Teachers Review

Many, many moons ago, when I was being homeschooled, my mom had very little resources.  There were a handful of curriculums available at the time.  There was hardly anyone within a 2 hour drive that was homeschooling.  It was becoming more popular though.

As the years passed and my sister and I were getting ready to enter our high school years, I remember her looking for magazines and such to help her as we started through those years.  The one I remember was The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  My mom kept that along with her Victoria magazines.  I loved to read her magazines.  I knew even back then I would be homeschooling.  I loved looking at the magazine.  The articles were always so encouraging and informative too. 

Fast-forward about 8 years, I was married, moved to Pennsylvania and started a family.  Our son was 5 when we started homeschooling and we had just had our 2nd son that spring.  That first year I used the curriculum that my family had used.  It was good for a year, then it had so much busy work that my son and I just got frustrated.

Over the past 6 years of homeschooling, our methods have changed from that very first year and even how I planned our homeschooling adventure to go.  I subscribed to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine about 2 years into our journey of homeschooling.  (took me a while to remember the name of it)

I have really enjoyed using The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  When it went digital (and free too), I had no idea what was coming.  Come to find out that the people who own/run the magazine had a GREAT idea for homeschooling families.  :)  That idea was the Schoolhouse Teachers website.

I have actually been a user of since it began.  I will say at first I didn't quite use it, but that was mainly due to having a new baby and taking care of her.  Once things settled down, I was able to look into it more.  I was really thrilled by all the content on there!  They had something for half of my children (I have 4).

We have been utilizing it more this fall and it has really added to what we are doing this year.  I don't use it as a complete curriculum, but to supplement what we were already doing.  My favorite thing is that I can download and print what I need, when I need it.  Something else that is great is that a lot of the past lessons are kept online!  So if you see something online you can access it at a later date.

One thing we did this late summer was study some of Africa.  One of the characters we were studying was David Livingston.  Well, I was looking on the SchoolhouseTeachers website and viola, what did I happen upon while searching?  A history lesson about David Livingstone!  Talk about perfect timing!  Since David Livingstone was mentioned in our Geography course, I was glad to have some History to tie in with it.  Life Lessons from Christian Luminaries: David Livingstone was the title of the course in SchoolhouseTeachers.  There was a short lesson (that is downloadable) and a page with discussion questions & additional research.  Plus a page called Share the Story Activities.  I really like this and used it to have my oldest son share the story of David Livingstone with me so I could tell what he had learned.  (We don't do many actual tests in this household)

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to lapbooking.  I had never heard of such a thing before.  I was so blessed to be part of a review team at that time for a company that produced lapbooks.  My children and I had such a blast work on them.  That is another thing that is part of Schoolhouse Teachers.  My boys and I are working on the December lapbook, Christmas in the Barn.  We are getting a late start (due to a malfunctioning printer) however, that was remedied this week.  I will update this post with pictures of our finished lapbook soon.  :)  They don't take long to do and are really quite easy to put together.  We absolutely love to do lapbooks!

Those are just 2 of the things we have utilized from SchoolhouseTeachers.  They have writing, math, science, spelling, economics, filmmaking, world views and SO much more!  On top of that, you get the 5 planners they have available!  (Parents, Special Learners, Primary, Intermediate & High School)  There are also FREE e-books every month and FREE Back issues of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Reading lists, craft ideas, games, copywork and too much to list!  This website is a wealth of information and can be used no matter what curriculum you are using.  You can also use it as a full program. 

SchoolhouseTeachers is $5.95 a month.  And right now you can get your first month for just $1.  :)  But it gets even better.  They are offering a special right now!  A 1-year membership for just $49!  (normally $64.26)  Plus there are a couple of bonuses for doing the yearly membership!  You can find out by going here.


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Eternal Encouragement Magazine

Well folks, the time has come!  Eternal Encouragement has gone all digital!  WOOHOO!!  But not only that it is FREE!!  Now I know that I have been blessed to read the articles in the magazine and I know you will be blessed as well.  Lorrie and the other ladies have such a heart to help other women.  It is truly poured out into this magazine!  So check it out at Eternal Encouragement!

Cooking Extravaganza!

Ok, so this post comes the day we have eaten our fill of turkey, stuffing, potatoes of some sort, green beans, pie, pie and more pie!  ;)  The timing is purely coincidental! 

This month I got to review and utilize the Cooking Extravaganza bundle from Eternal Encouragement. :)  This bundle made me very excited as I love to cook!  I have been cooking since I was a little girl and my mom taught me the biscuit recipe she learned from someone who won a biscuit making contest.

I am always looking for new recipes, improvements for recipes I currently use and ways to improve my cooking experience and bulk cooking help.

Let me also say that I am a cookie-aholic!  I love cookies!  Chocolate chip is my downfall!  The Secret of Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies was the first one I read!  Then I tried!  Oh my goodness!!!  The tips in that book helped me make the BEST cookies!  They didn't last long at all in our household.  Granted we have 5 people who love cookies so that was no surprise. 

Next one I opened up was the Pizza.  My family loves pizza.  I haven't had a chance to make this yet (due to a lovely stomach bug that delayed things) but I am looking forward to trying out the crust and making my version of a Taco Pizza.  I will divulge the toppings once I give it a try with my family.  The crust recipe looks so super simple and easy to do and again the tips in the ebook are something I look forward to trying. 

Overall, I believe we will be attacking a lot (if not all) of the recipes at one point or another in these books!  Most of them seem fairly easy to do and I know my family will enjoy.  I am especially looking forward to trying the Chicken Chili, the Waldorf Salad, Chicken Bowls & Chicken Teriyaki.  (we like chicken a lot)  I will post those pics and what my crew had to say at a later date. 

This is a great bundle filled with LOTS of tips, great recipes and helpful ideas. 

In the Bundle you get 8 of Lorrie's books.
  • Bulk Cooking Tips & Tricks E-Book
  • Lorrie's Favorite Recipes E-Book
  • The Secrets of The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies Made Simple E-Book
  • Brianna's Pizza Primer E-Book
  • Fill 'Er Up - Ideas to Fill a Bottomless Pit E-Book
  • Sensational Salads E-Book
  • Healthy Sanity Savings Breakfast E-Book
  • What's for Dinner Mom? Printed Book
Normally this set is $52.97, but right now it is on sale for $19.97.  :)  GREAT DEAL! 

Also, if you would like a chance to win this bundle, head over to Randy's Rib to enter the contest! 
Cooking Extravaganza Giveaway

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

Yummy for the tummy!

Oh I am so excited!  First of all, I LOVE to cook!  I have since I was little.  Well through the wonderful world of Facebook networking, I am able to be a part of a testing group for a new cookbook being made!  :)  This cookbook deals with breakfast recipes.  Yummy!!!  Breakfast is one of my favorite times of day.  So I am going to give you a sample of the Recipes that will be in this book.

Bacon Enchiladas
Biscuits 'N Ham
Hashbrown Extreme
Biscuit Sausage Quiche

These are just a few of the recipes that I have had the privilege of trying with my family!  They are all so very yummy!  :)

Here are a few pictures just to show you the goodies!

Bacon Enchiladas

Biscuit Sausage Quiche

Bacon Sausage Quiche

Upcoming Reviews

Gabby Mom's
     Cooking Extravaganza

Tropical Traditions
     Coconut Oil

30 Days of Thankfulness

So I was scouring my Facebook feed this morning and saw the status of a friend.  It had the heading "30 Days of Thankfulness."  What a good idea!  Leading up to Thanksgiving and till the end of the month to post something you are thankful for.  This inspired me to do my own 30 Days of Thankfulness!  And away we go!

Day #12 - I am thankful for the job my husband has that allows me to be at home with our children.  It isn't easy living on one income and some days I contemplate the need to go back to work, but I know that my God provides!  He always has provided for us.  A little more than 5 years ago (shortly after the birth of Jordan), my husband was let go from his job.  I was also on my 5th week of maternity leave and had just applied for the FMLA so I could spend another 12 weeks with our 2nd son.  It was a shock!  I was upset, frustrated and extremely hormonal.  The worst part was that we both worked for the same company!  I felt betrayed!  I couldn't even imagine how Darren felt.  He had devoted nearly 9 years to the company.  However, we were struggling to make ends meet with both of us working.  In the end, it was 5 months before Darren got a new job.  We had a paycheck!  PRAISE THE LORD!  He also provided for us in the way of family and friends.  God knew our needs and He has met them each and every time.  The job is a good one and it provides what we need.  God is Faithful!  

Day #11 - I am thankful for my Father, Grandfather, Father-in-Law and all the other veterans who have fought and are fighting to preserve our freedom.  The sacrifice made not only by these individuals, but their families as well, will never be forgotten in this house.  It seems today that so many people think of freedom as something that is a free gift, but actually there are those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.  More than two-hundred years have passed since we first signed The Declaration of Independence.  We let the King of England know that we no longer wanted to be under his rule.  We wanted Freedom.  (insert William Wallace scream of "Freedom" here)  Freedom is not free!  We must NEVER take that for granted!

Day #10 - I am thankful for my 4th blessing, Cordelia Abigail.  She was such a surprise and when we found we were expecting.  Then the boys kept telling me that the baby HAD to be a girl.  So at the ultrasound the tech said she was fairly certain it was a girl, the boys yelled with joy.  I think it was probably the loudest crew she might have had that day.  We were so thrilled!  Cordelia is almost 1/2 year old and has already stolen our hearts.  She is loved and adored by all of us and her extended family.

Day #9 - I am thankful for my 3rd blessing, Josef Micah Gerald.  He is such a big boy, though he was my smallest in birth weight.  He is a muscle man and our little Hulk.  :)  He loves to run, climb, jump, swing, cuddle and dotes on his sister.  I can't believe it has been almost 3 years since we were blessed with him.  He is as smart as can be and I can't wait to see what he is going to do in this life!

Day #8 - I am thankful for my 2nd blessing, Jordan Matthew Gideon.  You are so full of energy and loving and caring.  You make everyone smile and can make me laugh even when I don't feel like it.  You have grown so much!  I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  I can't wait to see how much more you grow in personality, love of God and love of family.  I love you Jordan!

Day #7 - I am thankful that God blessed me with my oldest son, Jonathan.  Two months into our marriage, I found out we were going to be expecting our 1st child.  He was born 10 months after we got married.  I was forever changed by becoming his mom.  He is smart, sensitive, artistic, loving, caring and has grown into a great young man.  I love you Jonathan Michael Gabriel!

Day #6 - I am thankful for the Right to Vote!  The men and women who fought for that right would not want us to sit idly at home and not vote.  The elected officials make laws and decisions that effect us all.  If you don't like the way something is being done, VOTE THEM OUT!  If you just sit and do nothing then you have no right to complain.  So please, Vote.  Don't waste what was given to you.

Matthew 25:14-30
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

At Grotto Falls, Gatlinburg, TN

Day #4 & #5 - I am thankful that in October of 1998 I met Darren in an online chat room.  From that starting point we started talking on the phone and our relationship grew over the year.  We met in person in 1999 (gotta love long distance relationships).  He continued to either bus or fly down over the course of the next year.  In June of 2000, he proposed on my Birthday.  I was 19 years old.  A little over one year later we got married on my Grandparents Anniversary.  Just a 2 short months into our marriage I found out I was expecting our first child.  Jonathan was born in April.  5 years later we added our 2nd blessing, Jordan.  Josef was born less than 3 years later and this year we had Cordelia.  While the road has not been easy, I wouldn't have changed my partner at all.  I am so thankful that my crazy family didn't scare him away.  (should have known he'd be ok as he was #4 out of 6 kids)  He made me his wife, he gave me the blessing of having his children.  He is the leader of our household and a wonderful husband!  So thankful to God for providing this man in my life.

Meri & I when she was approximately 9m.
Day #3 - I am thankful for my sister!  Yes, you heard that right folks, I am Happy for my Sister!  She is my only sibling on this earth & I love her dearly!  She has been there through thick and thin.  Even after our fights.  I am thankful that my parents decided to have another child after losing 2.  The saying is true.  Your sister is your best friend!  I am thankful that she fed me Jell-O when I was dehydrated.  I am thankful that she doesn't hold the alleged flyswatter incident against me.  ;)  I am glad that she is always there when I have needed a listening ear.  I am glad that she is my sister.  Thank you Lord for this blessing in my life.

Daddy's safe hands holding me.
Day #2 - I am thankful for my parents.  I am thankful that even after losing 2 children that they still tried again and had me and my sister.  I am thankful for the example of Christ's Love that they have shown to me and how they set a great example for us.  I am thankful for their support.  They have always been there for me.  Thank you Mom & Dad for everything.  Thank you for knowing that all children are blessings and for trying after 2 losses.  We will be reunited with Anna and John Michael one day.

Day #1 - I am thankful for the Love of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am thankful that even though I am still a sinner, He still loves me!  I am thankful that when I repented of my sins, He forgave me.  I am thankful that even though I will still continue to mess up, He will forgive me when I confess and repent.  I am thankful for the Gift of Eternal life I have through Him! 

Power of a Postitive Attitude

We've all heard the saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."  So, have you ever noticed that when you are having a bad day that your kids seem to follow?  We are their examples.  They look to us to see how we handle things that come up.  Each day provides it's new challenges.  So how can we have a better day?  More importantly, how can we have a positive attitude?

Lorrie Flem, creator of Eternal Encouragement Magazine and author to many other helps for us moms, has a Brand New product coming out.  It is called Power of a Positive Attitude.  It is several audios and notes to help you discover 1 of several ways to have a Positive Attitude.  This session covers Gratitude.  Lorrie then breaks it down even further into 3 sessions.  They are Centered & Sane (this one was important for me), Growing Gratitude & the How To's of Growing Gratitude.

Each session's notes were great in helping me write down things that I definitely wanted to remember.  Sometimes I tell myself that I'll write it down later.  Then as things go on, I forget...Having notes is such a benefit!  Plus there are extra Bible verses and little exercises to do at the end of each session.

I think the one thing that really struck me was when Lorrie said that I am the one who sets the tone in my household.  There are many days when I feel grumpy and I have seen it pass to my kids.  And then I blame them for my grumpiness!  I am setting a poor example for my kids and then getting frustrated when they act the same way I do.  I have also noticed the polar opposite too.  When the day starts off right and things are going well, the kids seem to be happier and enjoyable.  What a difference my attitude makes!

I want to set the tone to have a good day and listening to these sessions by Lorrie and having the notes to fill in gave me a good starting point.

If you are interested in learning more and purchasing this product, it will be available November 1st.  :)  You can go to and purchase this product on November 1st.

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

Amazon Kindle Freebie

Just wanted to share this freebie with my followers!  It's the Updated version of Hope for the Weary Mom by Brooke McGlothin & Stacey Thacker! More added and updated!  I read the original version a few months ago before I had my 4th child.  What a blessing it was then.  I can't WAIT to see what all they have added!  Plus I like to share freebies!  So here is the link.  If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the kindle app for your computer and download it after you have installed it.  I have the Kindle app on my phone so that is where I read all my books.  :)

So you need a Schedule...

It has been more than 10 years since the birth of my first child, 5 for the 2nd, nearly 3 for my 3rd and 19weeks since the birth of my 4th child.  It has also been 11 years since my husband and I got married, and almost 15 years since my husband and I met online!  WOW!  Where has the time gone?  It seems like yesterday I was pregnant with my first child.  But as I see each of my child in various ages and activities, I realize just how precious life is.  It goes by all too quickly.

Each day seems to go by quicker than before.  Between school, extracurricular activities, Church, group activities, cleaning house, laundry, driving to and from places it seems like every minute of the day is spent doing something.  But is it being done effectively?  Are you managing your minutes effectively?  So many days it seems like I am doing something but nothing gets done!  That is quite frustrating for this mother of 4 children.

Lorrie Flem, a mother of 8, also had to deal with managing her minutes.  She wants to help mothers so much that she wrote a book about time management.  "Managing My Minutes.  Do I Really Need to?" was written to help give guidance to moms about how scheduling will help you accomplish more with your time.

I can't tell you how much I needed to read this.  It gives so much inspiration and hope that I know I can do it!  But it won't just be through my own strength, it will be with God's help!  For it says in Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who strengthens me." (NKJV)  I have struggled with schedules and routines.  Reading and coming to understand that I am not the only one is refreshing.  Not that I delight in others troubles, but knowing I am not alone is somewhat helpful.

Lorrie gives some GREAT Biblical advice and support for schedules.  You maximize your time when you are on a schedule.  She explains the difference between schedules and routines and how to implement them.  I feel so much better having read this and am now ready to tackle the scheduling of my family.  This is something that we shouldn't be afraid to do.  It will not only benefit you but others as well.  When everyone is on track there seems to be more time.  I can't WAIT to get the rest of this bundle so I can work on my schedule!  :)

"Managing My Minutes.  Do I Really Need To?" is part of Lorrie's Scheduling Bundle.  The bundle has 3 parts to it and this is just one of them.  It is due out in the Eternal Encouragement store SOON!  As soon as it arrives there I will post the link for the actual product.

UPDATE:  The product is now live!  :)  Here is the link as promised.

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

The Unexpected...

What happens when the unexpected happens?  We started school back in July.  With 1 subject at a time we slowly introduced a new subject every 2 weeks.  Well on Sunday, August 19th, I suffered a major gall bladder attack.  I wound up going into the hospital on Wednesday.  What I thought was going to be a simple gall bladder removal wound up being 6 days and 1 surgery.  My extended stay wound up being due to liver and pancreas issues as well as my gall bladder.

Needless to say, our school schedule went absolutely out the window.  Friends and family rallied to help us with our 3 boys that needed to be watched as I was in the hospital with my husband and Cordelia.  Our school plans that I had worked on got derailed and now I am in the process of re-evaluating and organizing.  I think from now on I am going to plan maybe 2 weeks at a time.  To quote the late John Lennon, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." 

Today is our first day back and we are going slow.  But that's ok.  I am only 3weeks post-surgery.  Still have to take things easy.  My husband has been great!  My kids are adjusting to the schedule and necessary things they need to do to help around the house.  It has been a challenge.  We had things we planned on doing this summer that just haven't worked out.  Life goes on.  We are adapting.  It's good to be flexible.  I applaud my family for being so resilient. 

So in the end, if life throws you a lemon, make the lemonade and enjoy it.  Work through the challenges and changes that are thrown your way.  Do what you can to be flexible. 

The Sugar Creek Gang - Swamp Robber FREEBIE & Discount Code

I received The Sugar Creek Gang story "Swamp Robber" on CD for my family to try out.  I had seen the Sugar Creek Gang books in many catalogs and had been wanting to purchase them for my son, Jonathan.  So when the opportunity came to do an extra review as a Gabby Mom, I was thrilled!

The Sugar Creek Gang books have been around since 1940.  I had actually never read the books, but as a mom of 3 boys I felt that they would be good for them.  My oldest loves to read but also loves audiobooks.  The boys have several on the iPod in their playlist at night.  My oldest loved it! He didn't even want to fall asleep till it was over. 

I got to listen to it the next day.  It was very well done.  I almost felt that I was there with the boys on their adventure and could see why my son stayed up to finish the story. The mystery definitely kept his attention.   As a mom, I loved the character lessons also taught in this story.  I believe that is important for a child to learn good character lessons in life.  They are important in all stages of life. 

Now that we have had a chance to try these cd's, I know we will be purchasing more of them. They are great to listen to and will be something to treasure for generations to come.

So, who wants a FREEBIE!  I am so excited to share with you the "Swamp Robber" story of the Sugar Creek Gang!  For your freebie, click here.  It is about 1/3 of the way down the page.

For those of you who would like to purchase this and other sets, I have a discount code for you!  :)  I love giving good deals and freebies!  Use this code "Lorrie12" (minus the quotes) to receive a $12 discount.  Gotta love discounts!  I hope you enjoy your freebie and use the discount to get some awesome audiobooks.

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

Authors & Artists - A Gabby Mom Review

I want the best for my children.  I want them to be strong & healthy, to have a sense of right and wrong, to be able to make good choices as they grow older.  As a mom I try so hard to train them up in the way of the Lord.  To have good character traits.  It isn't easy and there are so many options out there. 

This month I received ARTISTS & Authors by Lorrie Flem.  This is such a great idea for character training and I absolutely love how simple it is to use.  When I received this in the mail, my oldest (who is 10), was practically chomping at the bit when he found out it was for him to use.  He is my artist (though he loves to write too) and to encourage that natural ability, I chose this particular book for my review. 

I could have also chosen AUTHORS & Artists which focus' more on the writing aspect rather than drawing. 

The lessons in this book are short but easy to understand.  I share the lesson with my boys and ask a couple of questions then let my oldest do his drawing.  The book is labeled by theme so that way if you want to focus on something, such as honesty or forgiveness, then you can work on those first.  It also has themes for the holidays and their birthday.  In glancing over them (cause it's not time to do them yet), I am excited to see what my son draws for them.  :)  

I can't wait to see how he continues to grow as we work through this book.  I definitely plan on getting another one for my 2nd school aged son.  :) These books will be a great treasure for years to come and I am excited to have this in our tool kit for character training.

Now for the fun part!  There is a giveaway for EACH book over at Lorrie's Blog, Randy's Rib.
Giveaway for ARTISTS & Authors -
Giveaway for AUTHORS & Artists -

You can also purchase ARTISTS & Authors from the Eternal Encouragement website.  It is a great value at $9.97!

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure - A Revisit

Well last November I was blessed with the book, "Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure" by Lorrie Flem.  I always felt like I was yelling at my 3 boys.  Now granted I was also a hormonal ball of nerves back in November due to being pregnant.  But that isn't an excuse.  It was an underlying trigger that would get tweaked quite often.

Lorrie's book, "Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure" was very important to me to read.  So much so that I actually had purchased it before knowing I would be reviewing it.  The days spent yelling at my boys outweighed the days not yelling.  I noticed my two younger boys even yelling when they got frustrated/upset at little things.  It broke my heart to see the example I was setting be lived out by my children.  I knew SOMETHING had to change. That something was ME. 

There were 11 tips of advice from Lorrie that helped me identify what needed to be done.  I won't give them all away cause you just need to read them for yourself.  It was very eye opening and humbling for me to read but also very kind in the way that Lorrie approaches the subject.  She wants to help us mom's and does so out of love for us.  God gave her a gift of reaching women.

So an update on my "yelling" problem.  Have I stopped yelling?  No, not completely.  Am I following the steps suggested by Lorrie?  Yes, as much as I can.  I need to do better and I am working on each step.  #1 is the most important one and I will give that one to you.  Pray to your Heavenly Father.  He loves you more than you will ever know.  He knows how you feel and wants to help you.  Give it to Him. (this is hard for the control freak in me) 

I am trying to wake up in the morning before my children so I can exercise and have some Bible time.  I need to do though and not try.  The scene from Star Wars Episode V comes to mind.  "Do or do not.  There is no try." ~ Yoda.  That said, it is a struggle for me as I am a night owl, have a newborn who nurses before bed and 3 boys who want to wake up at 7am.  (though sometimes earlier)  But those are excuses.  If I REALLY wanted to, I would be in bed earlier so I can wake up when I need to begin my day the right way.  This is essential and the days that I have been successful in waking up and spending time with the Lord have gone SO much better.

On top of trying to start my day with the Lord, I have found myself trying to use a quiet voice so the children have to quiet down to listen to me.  I also take a breather before I respond to them unless it warrants a quick action (like seeing the 2yo with scissors and running).  Something else that you wouldn't think helps is exercising in the morning!  It puts me in such a better mood because I did something for myself (and essentially my family).  I feel better and thus it impacts my day.  Now granted, if the kids push the right buttons, I can spew but I am picking up on what causes the spewing/yelling sprees and trying to think before I speak.  These are just a few of the things I am doing. 

If you want a book that I believe can truly help you like it has been helping me (as I am still a work in progress), I definitely recommend this book.  It has been a true help to me.  I believe it can help you too. 

So, how do you get this book you might wonder.  Well, I bought it as an e-book/pdf from Eternal Encouragement.  But it is no longer available there.  Now relax.  I wouldn't leave you hanging like that!  Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty, The Cure is now available on the Kindle!  WOOHOO!!  If you have a PC, Smartphone (Android or iPhone base), iPad or other tablet you can download the Kindle app.  Of course if you have a Kindle you can use that too.  ;)  The book is $4.99 and is worth every penny!  Now, I am a frugal mama and do I have a surprise for you!  The book is going to be FREE on Tuesday, July 24th!  See, I knew you would like that.  Free is always a good thing.  Also, if you are on Facebook, stop by the party hosted by Eternal Encouragement on the topic of Yelling and Parenting.  These parties are so much fun!  You get to meet moms who go through the same things you do and offer idea's to help.  This party is also on July 24th.  It begins at 2pm.  I hope you will join us there.

Eternal Encouragement Party!

Who LOVES to party?  I do!  I especially LOVE Facebook parties.  The discussions, prizes, making of new friends is so much fun!  Well I wanted to invite all my readers to join Eternal Encouragement for their upcoming Facebook Party!  :)  To Yell or Not To Yell: That is the question in Parenting is being hosted by Eternal Encouragement.  It is Tuesday July 24th at 2pm.  Join us as we discuss parenting without yelling and also find out the details for Lorrie Flems first Kindle Book!  Yelling: The Cause, The Casualty and The Cure.  This is her 1st e-book that will be available on the Kindle format!  WOOHOO!!  :)  I should also say that on July 24th the book will be FREE!  Yes, you heard me right!  A FREE e-book!  WOOHOO!!!  (can you tell I Love free??)  It is only FREE on July 24th.  So don't forget to stop by!  :)
Lorrie is a wonderful woman with a heart for ministering to mothers.  She is honest, funny, kind and uses God's word to help us through our challenges.  So join us on July 24th for what I am sure is going to be a great party!  :)

Mom, what's for dinner?!?

Mom! What's for dinner?!?  I can't tell you how many times I hear that in a day.  It starts early too.  Right after breakfast one of my 3 boys will ask me what I am planning for dinner.  Typically I tell them "I don't know" or "I'll be deciding that soon".  It gets frustrating not having something planned or prepared for the evening meal.  (or even have a plan for lunch)

So, this month, I got to review Lorrie Flem's book, "What's For Dinner, Mom?".  There are 2 parts to the book.  Part 1 gives several different ways to cook in bulk and freeze it.  How to get organized and not feel overwhelmed. Lorrie describes what has worked for her & what hasn't worked for her, but leaves it so you can choose the best option for you because we are all different and like different things.  She also has a great sense of humor and personality that shows in her writing.  I really enjoyed part 1 because of how helpful it was to see that I am not alone in being slightly intimidated by the thought of preparing 1 months worth of meals.  It was good to read how it can be implemented to save time and can help make things smoother in the evenings.  I am actually excited to give this a try!

Part 2 is probably the best part.  You may wonder why, or you may know.  The recipes!  She has meatless, chicken, beef, pork and many other recipes.  Not all are freezer meals, but are relatively easy to cook.  And I love to cook.  My mom gave me that love early.  I also love to make up my own concoctions.  It's something I enjoy a lot.

So why haven't I tackled once a month cooking before?  Probably the fear of making so many meals.  I have several books about it, but the thought can be overwhelming.  Lorrie definitely helps with her tips, thoughts and recipes.  Even the tips from the moms who tried out the recipes were good to have.  I love that she had friends help her out in this book writing adventure.  It's good to see others advice. 

I must say that while I am still somewhat nervous about cooking for a whole month, I do feel better equipped to do so. 

You can get this book one of 2 ways.
#1 visit the Eternal Encouragement store.  It is nearly 200 pages and is $12.97.
#2 comment on this blog and leave your e-mail address for a chance to win this helpful book!  :)  The winner will be chosen on June 23rd. 

 ** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.

A Journey to Clean

Hello to my readers.  You may have noticed I have been away for a while.  I took some time off to have our 4th child.  Cordelia Abigail graced our lives in the middle of May.  She has been a true blessing to our family.  Her brothers are SO protective of her and so loving toward her.  That said, I didn't get to blog about the product I was given for May before the end of the month. 

You may be wondering about the title of my post.  How many of you struggle with keeping up with everything that needs to be done around the house?  I know I do.  I have 3 wonderful boys, but they can turn a clean room into what looks like an F5 tornado ripped through it.  It is absolutely amazing how quickly it happens.  Then the moment I ask them to clean up their mess, they disappear!  It's like magic!  Who knew boys (and girls) could vanish so quickly.  ;)

I struggle day to day with keeping up with 4 children (ages ranging from 10yrs to 1month) and the day to day chores.  I am a perfectionist at heart, but my house doesn't show it.  In fact, it often times looks more like a war zone than something out of Martha Stewart Living.  But as the magnet my sister and I got my mom says, "Martha Stewart doesn't live here." 

I was given the opportunity to choose which bundle from Eternal Encouragement I would like to review.  Because I often lament about my out of control house, I chose the Chores bundle.  Chores: Many Hands Make Light Work has 2 E-Books, an E-Booklet, and 4 mp3 audios.

In reading Neat & Tidy, I came across the section called first-born overload.  This section alone was of great value to me.  My oldest son, Jonathan, often complains about how he is "always" cleaning up after his brothers.  We have tried to explain it as good as we can but really never get through to him.  Lorrie's story of how she explained to her oldest son that God intentionally puts people in the role of the first-born was a blessing to me.  I am hoping that when my husband, Darren, and I share this with him as well as go through the Bible with him with scripture to back it up, this will help him realize how important he is to our family and that he is put in this position by God.

I am so glad that in the E-Book "Turn Housework into Fun & Games" Lorrie reminds us that consistency is key to teaching our children.  Whether it is homeschooling or chores, we need to be consistent.  I don't need to tell you how hard it is to be consistent.  I do know that being consistent when training your children works and is worth all the blood (figuratively), sweat, and tears.  She also reminds us that deadlines and consequences are necessary when training our children.  There is a creative idea for creating excitement to do chores that is also rewarding for the child but also used in helping our children understand deadlines and consequences for not completing chores.  The Marble Method (actually mentioned in Neat & Tidy) is something that I am going to implement in our household.  With 3 boys (10, 5, 2) I know this will work wonders in our house.  I am EXCITED to be able to see the results.  :)

Lorrie then gives some great advice for cleaning with less toxins.  This section was great to read.  I have actually been doing many of these things already and the things I didn't know I am planning on trying. 

The 4 MP3's are great to listen to.  I uploaded them to my iPod and listened to them while walking, nursing the baby, doing laundry and other tasks.  I got so much encouragement and tips.  So many tips in fact that I can't even begin to list them all.  But I will say that they have helped me to start saving time, get organized and feel less stressed.  It may right now be only 5 minutes, but that 5 minutes can be spent with my kids.  :)

So now for some info about the Chores Bundle.  It includes the following:
  • Audios
    • God Blesses This House, But He Doesn't Clean It
    • God Blesses This House, But He Doesn't Organize It
    • 12 Super Simple Time-Saving Tips
    • Cheerful Children and Challenging Chores
  • E-Books
    • Neat and Tidy Tried and True Organization Tips
    • Turn Housework Into Fun and Games!
  • E-Booklet
    • Keep It Clean and Toxin-Free

It retails for $24.97 but the value is worth much more than that! 
Head over to Eternal Encouragment for this and many other books, mp3's, bundles to encourage you on your walk of being a mom, wife, woman, teacher and daughter of God.

** I was given this product in exchange for my honest review of the product and was not compensated in any other way.