• Freedom isn't free

    The Fight For Freedom Deserves Our Last Ounce Of Courage

    The evening began with bowls of warm chili and trembling, nervous tummies.   True, my kids had spent the past few weeks in great anticipation of this Chili Dinner and Talent Show, but now that their turn to perform was quickly approaching, they were having second thoughts.   “What have we gotten ourselves into?” they wondered aloud. Their apprehension was palpable.   The time soon arrived.   All three of them nervously gathered around the piano to perform their piano trio, which went off without a hitch.   One down, one to go.   Next, they approached the stage with high hopes that all would go as planned.   My oldest daughter began the performance by sharing the following with the audience. She had…

  • A Celebration Of America

    Celebrate America: Patriotic Roundup

    July will be here before we know it and with it a desire for those in America to celebrate the birth of our nation—-Independence Day! Below are links to my favorite resources to inspire you and your family during our most patriotic month. Enjoy!   ACTIVITIES Celebrating America On Independence Day: How an activity I threw together in a pinch turned into one of our favorite holiday memories   What better time to ensure Safe And Happy Neighborhoods than during the summer months?!   FASHION  This ADORABLE patriotic vest and bowtie onsie by AllThatGlittersBaby on Etsy ** This post may contain affiliate links. You can find my disclosure HERE. HOME DECOR   Our Flag Box Sign   Pledge Allegience Box Sign    Patriotic…

  • Simplify the season

    Restore The Wonder

    The holidays are approaching—a time for family togetherness, love, laughter, wonder, and the making of special memories. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Not long ago, however, I made a surprising discovery—the wonder of the holiday season was missing from the eyes of my children. This discovery saddened me and I immediately set myself on a mission to restore the wonder—the sense of anticipation and joy—to the eyes and hearts of my children. To read more about my mission to restore the wonder of the season, CLICK HERE to visit the Simplify The Season Blog Party where I am guest posting today and sharing some of our family’s favorite holiday traditions.    What holiday traditions bring…

  • The Joy of Hospitality

    The Joy Of Hospitality: A Reluctant Husband’s Perspective

    My husband has never been what I would call hospitable. While he lovingly supports my efforts to invite people into our home and around our table, it has always made him feel a little uncomfortable. He prefers to reach out to others behind the scenes, where it feels a bit safer, a bit more…well, comfortable. When it comes to reaching out to others, he prefers to be ‘up and doing’, rather than sitting around a table.   For me, it is a kitchen table chair that fans the flame of my hospitality. Our family of five sits at a table built for six. The empty sixth chair sits, glaring at me, directly across the table. “We should make more of…

  • Hope for the downhearted heart

    Hope For The Downhearted: A Story Of Life, Loss, and Hope

    The Downhearted   “What’s going on?” I asked my neighbor, startled at the sight of emergency vehicles lining our street. “It’s Bob,” he said, shuffling his feet in the grass.My heart fell to my stomach like an anchor in the ocean. My head, my heart, my stomach suddenly felt heavy, so heavy. “Oh, no, not Bob.” I thought to myself. “Not Bob,” I repeated in a whisper.The heavy feeling intensified, as a tear slipped down my cheek.I felt like I was drowning. Life Memories of the past 10 years swirled around in my mind and, like an undertow, pulled me into a seemingly endless abyss of heartache and regret.Bob had lived in our neighborhood for as long as I could remember. He…

  • Fall Round Up: Recipes, Activities, Home Decor, and More

      Check out these fun and fab fall ideas from a variety of creative bloggers, and let the MAGIC of the holiday seasons infiltrate your home beginning TODAY!   RECIPES: How To Feed Your Fall Apple Addiction Frosted Maple Cookies A Healthier Apple Crisp 5 Fun Fall Food Ideas For Kids Jumping Into The Fall Mood Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins (Photo Credit: justasimplehome.com) Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes Apple Harvest Muffins Caramel Apple Cider Homemade Pumpkin Pie    ACTIVITIES: How To Make A Nature Press For Everything There Is A Season {Bible Journaling} 15 Ways To Enjoy Nature During The Fall Season How To Plan A Spirited Football Party (On A Budget) 50 Ideas To Make This Your Best Fall…

  • Fall Food Ramekins

    5 Fun Fall Food Ideas For Kids

    Listen. I know what it’s like to have picky kids at the dinner table. Not. Fun. Do yourself a favor and check out these five fun fall food ideas that will have even the pickiest of kids asking for more! Owl Veggie Tray Pull out a large cutting board and let the kids put together a vegetable owl. They are bound to eat some veggies in the process! Fill ramekins or cups with vegetable dip, fresh pesto, or salad dressing. A nibble here, a nibble there, and the veggies will be gone before you know it. (I’ve seen it work with my own eyes!)   Fun and Colorful Ramekins 2. Don’t just serve up cobbler in fun ramekins. Try serving soup…

  • Fall Season

    15 Ways To Enjoy Nature During The Fall Season

    Fall is my favorite time of the year! Pumpkin season. Sweater weather. Nature at its finest.   My goal this year is to enjoy each day of the fall season, whether it be taking a walk in the cool air, making apple butter in the crockpot, adding fall details to the home decor, or burning a vanilla-scented candle. Being stuck in the house all summer due to the high temperatures in our area, fall time is the perfect time for me to get out of the house and enjoy nature. Perhaps these ideas will inspire you to spend some extra time outdoors this fall:   1. Take a nightly stroll with your family. 2. Plant a fall garden 3. Have a…

  • Celebrating America On Independence Day

    My children love to celebrate holidays. All holidays. But especially Independence Day. Yesterday, when my daughter realized it was the day before the 4th of July and I (shame, shame) hadn’t put up any decorations, she immediately went to work searching the house for anything red, white, and blue. She was determined to celebrate! She found an appropriate-colored  tissue paper banner, which she hung over the door. A red and white-checked, fabric-covered wood star was removed from a shelf and placed in a wooden basket on the kitchen table. Her sewing kit came out, along with a pair of scissors which started snipping away at some rusty red fabric. “I’m sewing a flag,” she said, with determination in her voice.…

  • American Flag favorite

    My Favorite Things: 4th of July Edition

    The 4th of July is approaching and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few of our favorite Family Night movies, Family Read-Aloud books, and games that motivate our family to remain actively engaged in protecting our freedoms: *This page contains affiliate links. You may read more about that here.   MOVIES: Last Ounce of Courage Description: A powerful movie about claiming our freedom and standing up for our rights. It will have you wanting to shout from the rooftops by movies-end. A family favorite!   Monumental Description: Powerful and moving documentary about the Pilgrams role in the birth of our nation.   A More Perfect Union Description: “A thoughtful, quiet, and moving dramatization of the 1787 Convention in…