Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Web of Support

It's important to surround your family with people that love you.  Parents need the support and prayers as they raise their children.  Spouses need the support and prayer as they try to love each other well.  Kids need the support and prayer as they navigate life's challenges.  We've tried to weave a web of support around our family through extended family, neighbors, church friends, and our small group.  It takes vulnerability to let people into your life - because they are sure to see the messiness!  But it's totally worth it!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review & Freebie: Defy the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn

I just finished reading Defy the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn.

The publisher describes the book this way:  "In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference.  In 1941 France is still "free." But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives. Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette's job. And she asks Magali to help. Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger."

I asked the authors (a mother-daughter duo) how they chose to write a book about this topic.  I thought you'd like to hear their answers:

Lydia says: "When I was researching the events of World War II in France, I came across a book about the aid workers (almost all young women) who rescued Jewish children from the camps, and later, took them out of other dangerous situations to places where they could be safely hidden. I was so impressed by the courage and devotion of these young women, that I wanted their story to be told, alongside the story of the town of Le Chambon, which had first inspired me to begin this series. That was my inspiration for inventing the person of Paquerette, who embodies something of the experience of many of these aid workers."

Heather says: "After Mom asked me to be her co-author and revamp How Huge the Night (our first book) for her, and that worked out well and got published, this sequel was the second manuscript she had that needed a rewrite. So for me it was a question of "Here's this story, do you want to work on it?" Well, I wanted to help Mom, but there was more to it. The plot was good, and the history was truly fascinating. I found it interesting that you have these women doing this very heroic thing but the day-to-day actual work of it is largely childcare--as opposed to the usual strong & heroic girl character in fiction who's not considered impressive enough unless she fights. So I liked the chance that gave me to play with some interesting themes. And then there was Magali herself. I didn't like her at first--I identified more with the shy friend she's kind of mean to, actually!--but she just had this voice. I was out weeding strawberries one day and she just started talking to me. She said, "I just didn't know war was going to be so boring," and I had to go write it down. That settled it! I wrote Mom and said I'd do it."
I've never read a book about this time period, so their writing was very eye-opening for me.  The book was written with powerful descriptions, and I found myself feeling the character's emotions.  I could identify with the shock, fear, shame, courage, desperation, determination, and so many more feelings the Munns described.
There are so many good life lessons woven into the book.  Selflessness, service, vision, courage, taking a stand, utilizing your gifts, forgiveness, empowerment, family, devotion...
I would highly this book for anyone age 13+ that wants to learn about this era.  I would recommend reading it with a friend or a small group where you can discuss the character's struggles. It would be a great companion to a study unit on the war.

Finally, a SPECIAL for you!  You can download the book FREE today, and for $1.99 for the rest of this week.  Visit this site for more info -
I received this book as a gift from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Celebrating 1001 posts!

I've posted 1001 posts on this blog.  Wow!  What started as a way to catalog my favorite mothering and homemaking resources, has grown to far bigger than I imagined.  Just had to celebrate with you!   :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jenga Fun

How long has it been since you played Jenga?  Fun for all ages!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Penny Jars and Little Bankers

My dear hubby started collecting this pennies when he was a young boy.  He told our children that they could have the money, if they counted the pennies in the jug.  Our 7 and 9 year olds got busy on the task last week!  We've been counting and filling coin holders together, and they've counted $12 for their deposit so far.  They've really enjoyed the process, and they're getting great bank training!

Giving them a financial education is really important to us, so this fits well into our goals of teaching them to earn, save, give, enjoy and invest their time, talents and treasures.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


My friend Susan gave this little plaque to me.  I need it.  Sometimes we run too fast, and I need to remember to slow down and breathe.  Remember my priorities, say yes's and no's accordingly, and guard our family well.  Do you need space to breathe today?  What can you do to find space to breathe and protect your family from life's chaos?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Happy Crazy Fun

You've probably seen similar pictures on pinterest.  I love it, because it reminds me that no matter how loud and crazy our home gets, that we are mostly up to a lot of happy fun in our home.  Sometimes I need that reminder, because chaos is hard for me.  I have to remember to take a breath and see the big picture happening in our home.  It's all about loving relationships - teaching kiddos to love God, love each other, and love the world around us.  And that's messy and loud!   :)