It has been a bittersweet week for us. We have spent the week preparing to put our house on the market.

All of our belongings are now in our new house up north and we are waiting for furnishings and for life to start in this new place.

Today my my girls were able to take part in their dance class’s recital. A wonderful time to see all they have learned. Enjoy how they have grown. And cry with their teacher as we say good bye for now.

It is all so bittersweet. All things new. So many emotions within so many of us as we close this chapter of our life.

Yet it isn’t good bye. We reminds friends that they are family. We tell them how we love them. How we will see them again one day.

Casting our cares and our anxieties on Jesus. Knowing He goes with us. These are bitter and sweet times. ❤️

Blogging through the Alphabet -B


For those who do not know my family recently packed up and moved from Racine to Marinette .

After 48 hours of going through stuff, boxing some up and throwing so much more into a dumpster, we may the drive up north.

We didn’t say goodbye to any of our friends because we will see them again I believe

As we settle in as best we can with very little furniture for the time, we consider a slower way of living.

I had hoped for a place outside of the city and with much more land but we still have visitors in our backyard as we learned the other day.

My oldest daughter has named her Bubbles. Unfortunately this girl took off pretty quick but what a pleasant surprise to see while scrubbing the dinner dishes.

It was so nice also to see a very old friend who brought us some freshly made soup and bread. It’s amazing the things you can do when you have more time.

The land we do have is quite beautiful. We have lilac trees and a magnolia bush. There are also apple and pear trees. I think grapevines and berry bushes. Yummy!

It is a time that is beautiful and also bittersweet. A new season for us all.

Blogging from A-Z


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Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Battle Prayers by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Do the unending obstacles you face make you feel like you’re in a constant spiritual battle? Arm yourself with 100 prayers that will uplift and encourage you during the difficult moments of life.

It can be difficult to find the right words when you’re praying through hard times. In Battle Prayers, find a classic model to lift your prayers to God, not only for yourself, but others.

Each prayer is woven together with Scripture, reminding you that the answers to your struggles can be found in God’s Word and by listening to Him. Battle Prayers:

1. Shows how the power of prayer can lead you to find lasting encouragement

2. Provides inspiration and theological accuracy

3. Offers prayers ideal for helping move the mountains that can sometimes stand in between us and God

Whether a gift or for yourself, this volume of 100 prayers features:

1. Specific Scriptures and cross-references to other prayers in the book for additional encouragement

2. First-person prayers addressed directly to God, ideal for reading aloud during morning, evening, or devotional prayer time

3. A helpful and encouraging Appendix: “The 10 Essential Qualities of an Effective Battle Prayer”

Prayer doesn’t stop with the “Amen,” and is merely the beginning of deeper, daily, more meaningful communication with our Creator. Find peace in stress, healing for broken relationships, and protection for your loved ones in this essential volume of prayers.

PURCHASE LINKS*:Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianBook | BookBub



My soul yearns, even faints,

for the courts of the LORD; 

my heart and my flesh cry out 

for the living God.

(Ps. 84:2 NIV)

Dearest Jesus, I bring before You what is both a request and a gift.

A request, because it benefits me. A gift, because it pleases You.

My heart’s desire is for more of You. I readily confess that my ceaseless wanderings have proven that, apart from Your presence, I am spiritually bankrupt. Only in You have I found eternal life and truth (John 14:6). Only in You have I found the way to the Father’s heart (John 14:6), and apart from You I have no good thing (Ps. 16:2).

You were the one whom the psalmist longed for:

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart and my

portion forever.

(Ps. 73:25–26 NIV)

Jesus, I desire only You because you are the strength of my heart and everything I will ever need— forever. My soul cries out for more of You, because only in You do I find true purpose and meaning. You alone fit perfectly the God- shaped hole I so often try to fill with worldly and selfish pursuits.

So, I echo John the Baptist’s words: May You increase, and I decrease (John 3:30). May You grow in me as I become less. And as I become less, live Your life through me. Only in that kind of life am I truly pleasing in Your sight.

Taken from “Battle Prayers” by Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. © 2022 Michael Klassen and Thomas Freiling. Derived from material previously published in Prayers to Move Your Mountains  

(ISBN 9780785286523, © 2000). Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Battle Prayers!

Battle Prayers JustRead Blog Blitz

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 23, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Battle Prayers: Blog Blitz

Is anyone else kind of feeling this way lately?

I think it’s fun everyone of us. We honestly are not getting much done lately and while part of me worries about that crazy thing called “falling behind” another part of me recognizes the need for a break.

It is finally starting to get nice outside here in Wisconsin

I’m not sure exactly how long it will last but we have bicycles and scooters and rollerblades sitting out because we need to enjoy the fresh air as much as we can. It’s only February and I am sure Wisconsin still has something up its sleeves. Haha

What to do when you feel restless and weary and uninspired.

My kids all flock to their screens and I want to scream but….

We all have our outlets I suppose. Yet how much is too much?

I found some videos on finger knitting that I thought would be so very fun. Something to enjoy. Hopefully to inspire.

There are some coding lessons online for my boys.

My oldest is baking and decorating a cake.

Spanish and Mandarin stuff for them to explore. Languages always are so much fun.

Yet in all of this we rest because it is necessary. Learning happens. I don’t always recognize it but it does.

As for Momma, I have plenty to study and enjoy myself. Perhaps I can even get back to watching The Chosen. Television is not my thing but this is something that inspires.

Let’s perhaps today, instead of require, inspire!

Feeling the Blahs

It’s been quite a while since I have come here to write.

I would say that we have been busy but that is not completely true . There is always time for what really matters.

If the truth be told I have done feeling a little empty.

When I feel that way all I can do is say fill me up Lord 😀

He is always good at answering that prayer.

So what have we been up to? So much inspiration and encouragement.

My middle school son is spending lots of time online learning all about programming and computer building. He is my gamer and while I have never been a fan myself it is encouraging to see how much he is learning as he plays. And his team is winning a few hockey games!

My oldest som is focusing more on completing his high school education. We are currently using Penn Foster. Pretty intense! He is hoping to complete that soon and also to complete his drivers education. Once he has that done there is an auto body shop that is just waiting excitedly to take him on as an apprentice.

My older daughter is very much enjoying spending time at the local farm where her brother works. She has become a real helper for the older lady who she has adopted as grandma. There is nothing that brings her more joy than learning all she can about the animals that are there and seeing babies born and watching them grow. She has also developed an interest in photography and making videos on Roblox.

As for my youngest we have been just focusing on reading and writing and math. She loves helping in the kitchen also so there is much to be learned as we cook and bake. Plus since she has some digestive issues and we are working to see if there are food allergies or sensitivities also it is a good opportunity for all of us to learn more about natural healing and eating the right foods.

As for myself I recently took a part-time position writing and editing for a small local magazine called Prairie Neighbors.

In addition to that a friend and I started not long ago Hygge Homeschool group and watching it grow has just been amazing! On any given day we can have as few as 20 or as many as 35 children running and playing.

It really is a season of contemplation and inspiration for all of us I think. We all need one another and good friends can be so hard to find. What’s more it can be hard to establish those relationships in this current climate we live in.

Without good friends and Jesus I think we lose faith and we lose hope. So in all that we are doing right now the focus really isn’t connecting. Developing. Together. The greatest blessing of all perhaps.

Not Forgotten

DISCLAIMER:  I received this complimentary product as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew

There is so much that we can learn, so many ways that we can grow when we are learning music. Having spent many years of my life making music and performing, there was much that was gained from these experiences musically and otherwise. For that reason I am so glad that my two boys have wonderful teachers who inspire them in their learning of the guitar and the drums…Yet my two girls tend to be less interested in developing musical skills.

While I do not want to push this on them, I also am certain of the love they would have for making music if they would just give it a try. So along comes Practice Monkeys offering affordable, virtual training for our whole family with  3 months of classes to any (or all) of the programs that they offer.

This is an amazing and very full program that provides online live and previously recorded, lessons based on the Suzuki Method for violin, piano, cello, and guitar. They also offer a self-defense program which is based on Brazilian Jui-Jitsu wrestling (Gracie University).

Monday through Thursday there are fifteen-minute group lessons for each level of instrument. The students attend the lesson and are expected to also practice independently throughout the week (at least 2x for 15 minutes). Should your students be unable to attend the live classes there are recorded lessons for them to view. They can also access all sorts of helpful resources in their “treehouse.” Since my older girl has days, now and then, where she just doesn’t want to quit practicing and playing, I love that she can head to the “treehouse” and just fill up on all sorts of good things!

For every level there is a checklist of skills and songs that the students should be learning and developing. Students are moved into the next level when they successfully pass an assessment (private, paid for separate from monthly fee) done privately. Of course the instructors are glad to help students to prepare and help determine if it is time for an assessment to be done. This way you can be sure of how your child is progressing and know for sure when it is time to have them move up. I know just saying assessment causes my girl to be a bit anxious so there is always a comfort to knowing that “you’re ready.”

The instructor is Mrs. Van Kleeck: experienced and enthusiastic; bringing over 26 years of experience in teaching via the Suzuki Method, she is so energetic and fun and engaging as she interacts and inspires her students. Miss Sarah believes (as do I) that one must seek virtue in every area of life, and strives to teach in a way that does just that. With a background in Classical and Charlotte Mason Education, 13 years of mothering, and 9 years of homeschooling.

The following classes are currently available:

  • Violin Classes through Book 7 Suzuki
  • Piano Classes through Book 3 Suzuki (Books 4–7 are in development)
  • Guitar through Suzuki Book 2 (Books 3–7 are in development)
  • Cello through Suzuki Book 3 (Books 4–7 are in development)

Practice Monkeys’ program contains everything our kids need to develop musically. This includes: Technique, Poetic Knowledge, Habit Training, Ear Training, Theory and Reading Development, Sight-Singing, and tons and tons of fun! Learning simply MUST be fun!

This program is super simple to get started with – no musical instruction required on your part – Each instrument has a page that tells you exactly what you need so your children can get started making melodies in their hearts. 🙂

My son, using this with his guitar mostly engaged in the “treehouse” videos. He is just not much for musical instruction online – it doesn’t help that he has a teacher he sees on a weekly basis so if he doesn’t feel a need for something he is not very likely to apply himself to it. But he certainly did enjoy exploring the videos and firming up some of his technique. I think his teacher appreciated seeing some extra development as well in his abilities.

My youngest daughter (6) was initially going to explore violin a bit as a friend had offered us one that their son grew out of but unfortunately that was just not to be. Suffice to say she decided to explore the piano a bit along with her older sister. This is a super affordable and flexible way to encourage a love of musical learning in my more hesitant children. Without a doubt, if you are looking for a program that will not only teach musical ability but also engage your children in technique this is definitely what you need.

We will certainly be continuing to use this with our children and perhaps as time allows we will be able to delve in more deeply because there really is so much this program offers. If you just aren’t sure do consider registering for one of their free classes. If that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will. 🙂

Practice Monkeys on Social Media:


Make sure to click on the graphic below to see what other Crew Members thought about this program as well as the different programs that they used!

Online Lessons for Children: Violin, Piano, Cello, Guitar, and Self Defense

Practice Monkeys {Review}

Words have the power to create and the power to

destroy, and God in His wisdom determined that His gospel was going to be communicated through words. Through words. Do you ever think about how odd that is?

It’s always kind of interesting to me how the Christian community eagerly awaits the release of every new Christian film that comes out. I think in particular of movies like The Passion of the Christ, where when that movie was coming out (and I’m not making a judgment call either way on the movie—I’m just looking at the reaction that people had as it was coming out), people were like, “Finally! Finally, people are going to go to this movie, and they’re going to see what happened, and they’re finally going to understand.” Right?

Except that when you say that, what you’re indicating is that for millennia—for a long, long time—God was sitting on His hands, eagerly awaiting for the video camera to be invented, so that finally His words would be in a comprehensible form and people would understand it.

Have you ever heard that expression, “The book is always better than the movie”? It’s never been more true. So I think some of us have a little bit of a self-confidence issue around believing that these words will do what God has said that they will do.

My words have power, yes….His Word . . . oh! It has a power that is undeniable and unfathomable, and we have only to be responsible enough to show up and open it in a sober-minded way.

There’s a quote by St. Augustine that I absolutely love, that I think captures the tension that the teacher lives in. He says this:

You are my God, my Life, my holy Delight, but is this enough to say of You? Can any man say enough when he speaks of You? Yet woe betide those who are silent about You. For even those who are most gifted with speech cannot find words to describe You.”

Words, Words, Words

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.

Tis the season to be thankful…falalalala As the holidays draw near, I feel like it is so important for us to take a step back from all of the commercialism, all of the worldly stuff that it is so easy to get caught up in and to bless the Lord. The Bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights – We are also told that God loves a cheerful giver. Perhaps now is a good time to revisit what it means and how we can be that cheerful giver. WorthyKids has developed a wonderful way to do just that with The Giving Manger.

So what exactly is The Giving Manger and how does it work? This is a super sweet set that comes with a hardcover book, a manger, straw and a Baby Jesus. We can help our families to shift the focus from getting to giving as we seek out those opportunities to be a blessing to others. For every kind deed that is done, we place a piece of straw into the manger. What a beautiful tradition to begin with your whole family. Maybe even some close friends!

The storybook, written by Allison Hottinger, shares with our children how much joy can be had from giving. Follow Anne and Ben whose family doesn’t have much financially but always enjoyed a special gift each year made by their father. One morning their father announced their new tradition – the gift of giving – developing the heart of a servant. Just like that of Jesus.

While in the beginning this giving manger didn’t seem like such a wonderful thing to Ben and Anne – as we walk with them we see how both begin to learn and grow. As straw filled the manger, eyes were opened to how simple it is to give – folded laundry, a hot meal to eat, a kind note to a sibling. As they begin to give, they experience a joy within that grows them all the more into the image of our loving God.

Every day beginning on the first of December, look of opportunities to do a kind deed or look more closely for your children’s kind deeds being done to others. Keep the manager in an open space, a reminder of the heart off the Lord, finding ways to bless others wherever you may be. Not sure how to give? In the back of the book explore Manger Moments. This is an amazing list full of ideas that can really help our kids (adults too) to get those giving juices flowing. 🙂

Matthew 25:40 says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Having grown up in a home which service work was simply a part of what we did, I know how powerful those experiences can be. To take time, to go out of our way some days, to be a help to someone in need. Certainly this has become much more challenging in our current political climate however, this is the time that it means so much more to offer someone your time and your service. Thinking outside of the box, we can be sure to find many ways to reach out to others, showing the love of Jesus.

We have read and continue to read this book together! I love how much my youngest daughter especially enjoys this story and the lovely, simple illustrations in the book. One example is a recent connection with made with the director of From Home To Heroes, a small but love filled project to give to our service men and women. We are working with our little hygge group to become involved in this one!

But it doesn’t always have to be about the “stuff”. With so many distractions, we must be intentional about how we spend our time and our money. For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness and joy and peace. There are simple, powerful ways that we can share that every day. Without a doubt materials like this can be enjoyed all year round. We may even keep this out as a vivid reminder, all year long, that to give is better than to receive. ❤

Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

The Giving Manger Giveaway!

WorthyKids is eager to bless others with a giveaway of The Giving Manger kit to one of my blessed readers! Click on the link below to enter! Open to those in the United States Only!  

Don’t forget to click on the banner below to read reviews from other members of the Review Crew who had the chance to use this wonderful set.

Start a New Christmas Advent Tradition with The Giving Manger

The Giving Manger {Review}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

There is nothing that I enjoy more than a good book! When it comes to my children, I love books that help them to see faith in action. Life can be challenging at times, especially for those who are still developing their identity in Christ. For that reason I was so very excited to receive a copy of Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith from Tommy Nelson Books. Written by Pastor Levi Lusko this book is recommended for children ages 6 to 10, helping our children to navigate some of those difficult topics our kids face. We received a physical copy of the book – 90 days of devotions to help grow a courageous faith!

As we try to develop in our kids, the habit of Bible study, Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith is a fun way to help them engage with the Word of God simply and honestly. Each devotion is two pages long that includes a little teaching as well as a simple prayer.

Our favorite thing of all is the sidebar: Did You Know? There are so many really cool details in this! Whether sharing information about shields or the heaviest fish ever caught (2,664 lbs off the Australian coast) there are lots of great opportunities for our kids to follow some rabbit trails. One even encourages our children to get in the kitchen and bake up a tasty treat.

Can I add that it was super fun learning about the history of hide-and-seek? We got curious after reading a bit about the topic of hiding and seeking. After searching things out a bit, we found that this game originated from a Greek game called “apodidraskinda.” Kind of cool to know.

Within these pages there is inspiration, encouragement – an invitation to live that bold life that we are called and set apart for. Between the colorful and fun illustrations and the down to earth easy to relate to stories these are not only blessing our children with direction but also provide a great opportunity for discussion.

Our children can explore who they really are; each page shares real life examples of what it means to be courageous, to be compassionate, to be faithful. They see and read scriptures that are related to the topic, there for them to see. Because our kids need to know and see how the answers for all things are within this one book. Especially when it comes to identity, our kids need to know who they are in Christ Jesus and the authority they are to walk in when they are covered in His blood and filled with His Spirit. There is a way that is right and our kids were born for such a time of this – Let’s be sure to equip them well!

Find Tommy Nelson on Social Media:


Roar Like a Lion {Review}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Anyone else have a deep passion for reading? I know I do. Yet my four kids seem to struggle with really loving reading. My oldest is 16; my youngest is 6. They are all in different places and spaces – this can make it really hard to know what they need – unless you have a really cool program! I really do consider LightSail for Homeschoolers to be exactly that! For this review we received one year of access for all four of our children. While there are a few different options to choose from, we focused on the premium subscription for our family. From reading and writing to vocabulary and fluency this is one of those programs that can make a huge difference in not just what we learn but how we learn it!

Where shall I begin? This is one of those resources that is full of all kinds of amazing things. That said, it is definitely not something my younger kids are able to navigate on their own but my older kids definitely figured it out quickly. This program is This program is an adaptive language arts platform for students from K-12th grades. LightSail for Homeschoolers seeks to build and grow language arts skills in every age and stage our kids are in, using the four pillars of LightSail: reading, writing, fluency, and vocabulary

As our kids work through the content, there are dozens of modules, hundreds of features, all of this content helps to develop the four pillars in them. After all, every one of those is a vital, necessary skill for lifelong learning.

Once we received access to this program we were required to complete an assessment to determine their Lexile level. This is a pretty long assessment so my kids broke it up into a couple days. Once it is completed they are assigned a score and you are then able to assign books to them. As I explored books for each of my kids I appreciated seeing that in some cases I had to approve a book for them to be able to access it. And do they ever have books to choose from!

Lerner Sports! This is recommended for grades 2–5 who are looking to learn and grow their knowledge of various sports. I have a couple boys who love sports. From hockey to martial arts to football – even my daughter enjoyed exploring materials about gymnastics, the olympics and equestrian events!

Love those unit studies? I think these are a fabulous way to encourage some child led learning. They have so many to choose from. Eco-Gardening was just one of the many that made my kids curious! There were curated books and videos for them to explore as they learned about all sorts of things related to gardening – composting to insect control to container gardening and lots more!

Of course you can also do a general search of all their content to see what comes up. My older daughter did that for ballet and for veterinarians – I was quite impressed with the amount of material that came up. There were Ted Talks, audiobooks, regular books as well as interactive books – with parental control I was able to see and approve whatever materials they wanted to explore. They even have Augmented Reality and 360 Images kids can explore (finally a hot air balloon ride – virtually).

LightSail also partners with the World Book Encyclopedia so you have thousands upon thousands of up to date, tested articles you can enjoy. These include fill-in-the-blank assessments, a full dictionary, read-aloud ability, lots and lots of timelines and other related content. You can easily explore any and every area of interest.

There is also an area just for quotations. I especially like to use this for Biblical studies because it provides not only scripture references but also parent/child instructions to help us better guide along the way. As you choose a topic there are also additional, related materials in a sidebar so you can easily read even more should you want to explore all quotations related to “strong emotions” or the “armor of God” to read even more, As one who was diligent for many years in keeping a Commonplace Book, this is one of those areas that is near and dear to my heart.

Are you a fan of memory work? This site has plenty of those for you to choose from – or you can make your own! Premade lists range from Classical to Charlotte Mason style homeschool. As firm believers in the value of memorizing (especially scripture) this is one of those tools that we find invaluable for every one of our kids at every age.

With all of these phenomenal resources at your fingertips, you are bound to see your children not just growing but truly thriving as they learn. As a parent you have so much control over the content your children are able to see and over the assessments they take. There is such an abundance of content to grow curiosity in our kids as they find their passion and develop necessary skills.

Try LightSail for FREE for up to 7 kids and you will get instant access to thousands of exciting books. Sign-up today! 


LightSail for Homeschoolers:


Be sure to click on the banner below to see what other members of the Review Crew thought of their experience with LightSail for Homeschoolers.

LightSail for Homeschoolers {Review}