Morning Musings: When I Rise

Nothing share worthy from my devotions stood out this morning, at least not without sharing the whole thing. But As I sit in the quiet of my room, soft sweet voices of my husband visiting with our children, I am blessed by this moment alone to ready my heart and mind for the day.

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus!

Have you seen the beautiful art work that includes quotes like this? I have and am often drawn toward them. But more often in the morning when I rise I’m instead seeking caffeine instead.  “In the morning when I rise, give me tea!” While everyone else looks at me “In the morning give me breakfast.”

Now let me be clear, I sit hear in this uncommonly extra relaxed state is not because I prepared for a restful morning. Its because my big two have learned how to make tea for mama and coffee for daddy. Its because my husband is giving me this extra time while he feeds them. (He actually does this often for me, but in my slow start mornings I often neglect that memory while nursing a funky attitude.)

But this morning, I’ve first taken the time to read the Word. I’ve managed to keep the habit from You Version #Biblefor21 and while I first reach for my phone, its now the Bible app I am pulling up instead of Facebook or Instagram. Most mornings.

If you want to know what I am currently readying via You Version, its a devotional called Glimpses of Grace. A 14-day devotional by Gloria Furman. Today’s reading was from Titus and gave me good things to chew on.

Our Fun-Schooling with Minecraft part 2

Y’all, the creators over at Thinking Tree have done it again! They have made another Minecraft Fun-Schooling Journal and this time is geared to the 6-8 crowd or younger readers.

While the first journal has a mining theme, this new one is an animal and farm theme. So for us this focus is extra awesome because now big brother gets to teach little Pastries about subjects they are learning about too.

I was given a copy of this new journal as a PDF for my honest review and let me tell you… I like it even more then the first journal. But maybe because it meets more of the needs my son. Plus this journal has way more colored pages!

This journal includes:

  • Reading
  • Handwriting
  • Logic
  • Spelling
  • Classical Literature
  • Classical Music
  • Mathematics (My son just about freaked out when he found out that he gets to not only use Minecraft but also “bricks” for math.)
  • Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication Practice
  • Animals and Habitats
  • Geography
  • Computer Skills
  • Building & Design
  • Creative Comics
  • Research & Library Skills
  • Unit Studies (based on the students favorite topics)
  • Poetry
  • Brain Games from Dyslexia Games A & B

I still suggest the PDF of this journal because of the beautiful color pages, ability to print for more then one child and adjust the lessons per your need. However they are also selling the journal HERE and in black and white on Amazon.

Disclaimer. I may receive a monetary compensation if our purchase this journal via one of the provided links.

Morning Musings: tea, them & Him

I’m trying something new, alright you got me I’m almost always trying something new but that is besides the point. YouVersion is having a devotional reading challenge and while I’ve vary irregularly used their awesome free devotionals I tend to not do them daily for long.

Enter something new!

I’ve asked my oldest two Pastries to choose one of the YouVersion Kid Devotionals for us to do together. They are enjoying making some choices for both of us and “playing” on mamas phone. I am enjoying that focused one on one time with each of them and the Holy Spirit fist thing over tea.

Yes, I am doing this with them before I even finish my first cup of tea! Yep, couldn’t do that if it were anything other then Gods Word. Mama needs her morning cup of caffeinated goodness!

Our Fun-Schooling with Minecraft

Let me admit right hear and now that I was FULLY against Minecraft for the LONGEST time! But after reading about all the cool ways folks were using it in the homeschooling community I started looking more into it and decided it was something good I would do with my son when we were done traveling.

Then I discovered this Do-It-Yourself Curriculum Fun-Schooling Minecraft and the Pocket Edition of Minecraft  (offline play yeah!).
The journal covers:
  • Reading
  • Handwriting
  • Creative writing
  • Spelling & vocabulary
  • Classic literature
  • Biographies
  • Classical music
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • History
  • World geography
  • Social Studies & current events
  • Computer skills
  • Building & design
  • Art, drawing and design
  • Creative comics
  • Research & library skills
  • Unit Studies (based on students favorite topics)
  • Lots and lots of fun!
And yes, it sounds too good to be true BUT it’s not!
I elected to purchase the PDF so I could print selected pages in color and print extra pages that I know would be a benefit for my son to have. Plus this way I can choose the order of the pages and put some of them towards the end of the book that he is not as ready for yet. However the journal is also available in print. (I love the paper they use to print the journals.)
The Pocket Edition of Minecraft is loaded on my son’s kindle, thanks to the expansion card we purchased for it. And soon will be loaded onto mine as well so we can play together from time to time. (His request!)
He tends to stay in creative mode even when not playing for lessons. (The zombies kind of freak him out.) And I found a whole slew of child appropriate how to play videos, on Epic! books for kids, that helped our learning process along.
Pumpkin and I are both big fans of using this as our core curriculum for 2017 and I expect that in a few years the younger kids are going to be fans as well. (Yeah for PDF!)
***This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links I may receive financial compensation. That means more books for me to review for you!***

I have more time…and less

When I started this blog, the road trip adventure, I expected to have so much more time to feed my desire to write. And while I have had so much more time it’s been spent in other ways.

I am the Navigator!
No not the Disney Movies of my childhood, however I feel like the Google map lady and I now have a similar relationship. My husband does the driving and I keep my eyes on the map…and the landscape.
There is so much to see that I’ve never seen before and I’ve been content to spend hours in the saddle so to speak enjoying the view and visiting with my man. (However, audio books do a good job of filling some hours on the road as well.)
I am the Chef.
We actually eat out more often as a family then we have in years and my husband is great about helping stock our cupboard with healthy quick cook meals; but I’m gluten free and lean towards a Trim Healthy Mama meal plan. So add all that to a family of 5 with not a lot of room for bulk cooking or freezing and it keeps my day full.
I am the Dishwasher.
When your family has one set of dishes and eats mostly from scratch meals that means a lot of time in the kitchen. And as long as I have my rubber gloves it’s not so bad…after all its just one set of dishes over after dinner over and over again.
(Shhhh….I have some plans in place to work me out of the above two jobs or at least cut my hours back.)
I am the Assistant.
My husband still works full time and there are plenty of times that I am enlisted to help. After all I am his help mate and he is also wonderful about helping me keep our home spit spot clean. Teamwork is a wonderful thing folks!
I am Teacher. I am the Mama.
I’ve always been a stay at home mom. But I’ve had more time then I’ve ever had to be along side my little people. More snuggle. More play. More exploration. And yes, I have had more time to teach them. (I don’t want to think of myself as their “Teacher” any more, nor do I want them to think of me as their Teacher anymore. There is a plan in place for adjusting this too.)
I am the Wife.
And I have more time spent with my husband now in all the time we have been married.  No more late work nights…unless you count being on the laptop while watching a movie. No more travel away from home, because home and the family travel too. Hours of conversation (that gig as navigator helps with that). It is delightful getting to hang out all the time with my best friend.
I am still the Introvert.
So when I can I eek out moments in each day to recharge I take them and often writing is the last thing on my mind. I have read quite a bit and that has been delightful for me. But even my Pumpkin is challenging me to write more so if they let me have a little more quiet time I expect I will be able to pen more words each day. And when I am writing- in that zone- I must admit that it recharges me pretty well to.
Well, we are heading fully into year two now and I know more about our family dynamic and quirks of living on the road then before. With that in mind I expect to share more of my rambling and book suggestions and so on as if you were joining me for tea.

Grateful Today

I have a game  I like to play with my kids when a strong case of the woe-is-me attitude hits. It’s called Tell Me 5 Things You are Grateful For. The first time we played it went something like this…

Me to my then 5 year old son: Tell me 3 things you are grateful for.

Him begrudgingly but trapped in a car seat so no choice but to play: Cake.

Me with uber enthusiasm: Oh, me too! Especially chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting and whipped mousse filling. That’s one, what else?

Him still a bit unsure: Ice cream.

Me, again with the enthusiasm turned up mega: Me too! Like, with hot fudge and whip cream and you take that first bite with the cold and the hot and the whip cream in the middle, hmmmm you are making me drool Pumpkin! What else?

Well, you get the idea, we continue this till smiles are all around and our outlook has improved. And I wish I could tell you that we do this all the time, but in fact I often forget. In fact, I even forget our nightly What We Are Thankful For Today habit my husband started with them…until one of my children remind me.

Generally I am so rushed and harried at the end of the day desperate just for a few moments peace that I forget to pursue peace and the One who gives it. Yes, I pray with them every night but often stories are left out and our “What I’m Thankful For” just sounds like too much time away from…me. Ouch!

So, imagine how I felt when I started reading How to Raise Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. It was like Kristen was reading my mail and it wasn’t pretty. Oh, and I have my list of who and what to blame my behaviors on and yep, I’m not on that list. Double ouch!

“Parents who want less entitled kids have to be less entitled themselves, and parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives.” Kristen Welch from her book Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

The buck stops with me. It’s my turn to play the 5 Things I’m Grateful For game. It’s my turn to pick up the habit of what I am thankful for. It’s my turn to point my kids to the goodness of God in our MY life. It’s my turn to live my life in a way that shows my kids how great it really is…and isn’t that easier said then done.

I’ve had the chance this week to get away just the kids and I, while my husband packs up our house, and the slower pace has been wonderful. Cut off from most technology and less house to clean has given me the time to develop some some new habits and I am GRATEFUL for it! I know it’s not possible for most people to “run away from home” and start over again but here I am with that chance! No, it’s not been perfect. Yes, lots of bugs to work out. But…

5 Things I Am Grateful For TODAY

  1. More time for stories.
  2. More time for play.
  3. More time sitting together and being present with each other.
  4. Swimming with my kids.
  5. And the chance to recognize how wonderful these things are.







Our Maiden Voyage: Part 2

Another night, this time prepared with an electric heater and RedBox. I mean, why drive back to our “sticks & bricks” on New Years Eve when I can spot more DUIs then gas stations. So instead of heading back late we boondocked again. And this time it was way easier! We put out the slides, turned on the portable heater and tucked the kids into bed.

Husband and I snuggled up with a Deep S snack plate (Trim Healthy Mama) and a little Mission Impossible 5 and before long we are both asleep and except for fireworks at midnight (been in the middle of no where) it was an uneventful night. However, the morning was less so.

Knock, knock, knock! Now it’s still pretty dark out and I know their is no good reason to be knocking at our RV door. So I wake my husband and here is some crazy guy (drugged out?) at our door. Safety one-oh-one, you DO NOT open your door to strangers. Especially ones who show up at your home on wheels in the middle of the night asking for directions. Ummm, where did he come from? So he leaves and as we are preparing to roll out, HE COMES BACK and starts walking around our rig! Fourunatly nothing bad happened, but it gave us a bit of a scare and a whole lot of wisdom to use even MORE caution when choosing a boondocking site. (Looks like all the folks we thought were hanging out with us were just parked, oops. Well, at least we got a good chuckle out of that.)

So we jetted out of dodge and found a populated grocery store parking lot to wake up in. The Starbucks and McDonalds with the HUGE Playplace was just a bonus. Glad to say the rest of our trip back to pack up the house was uneventful with only the delighted exclamations from the kids over the new views they get to enjoy.

Yep, that’s us. A family who doesn’t camp, who have never driven a motorhome let alone owned one, on our maiden voyage.

Oh, and THAT SOUND, super easy fix and we are enjoying heat once again!