Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Turtle Time {Nature Study}

The girls got a chance to do some impromptu nature study on our walk a couple of days ago.  We found another turtle!  So far we have found at least 4 different ones that live in our yard.  Kayley started naming them and marking them so we can identify each one as they pass through.  So far we have Fred and Dandelion... 

The girls discovered that box turtles do not eat daisies but they gobble up dandelions.  This one, aptly named Dandelion, ate several while we watched.  He really isn't afraid and when you pick him up he kept on trying to walk.  It was pretty funny.  It is fun to enjoy nature in our own yard!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Christ-Centered Home by Emily Belle Freeman

In the hectic scramble of a world that asks us to do everything, be everyone, and make it all look easy, we often lose track of the experiences that really matter most—quiet moments in our homes with our families when we feel the peace of Jesus Christ.
The lessons Jesus taught in the homes of His followers were simple. They were basic. And they were—and are—essential. In The Christ-Centered Home, you will discover how to fill your family's hearts with the principles Jesus taught in the most sacred of classrooms: the home.
There is a humility that comes when we invite the Lord into our most private spaces. Within the hush we hear the gentle whisper of His voice, we experience the touch of His hand, and we feel the prompting to rise. Invite Him in, and experience the added measure of peace, strength, courage, and hope that comes when Jesus Christ becomes the central focus of your home.

I have been blessed to read several of Emily Belle Freeman's books in the past.  Her books about Easter and Christmas have been wonderful additions to our home library.  I was excited to see that she had a new book out!  Called The Christ-Centered Home, this book offers readers a 12 step/lesson process that will help you to have a calm, peaceful home that is focused on the Savior.  Each lesson is a single chapter sharing New Testament stories, various scriptures, simple talking-points for discussion, and helpful, challenging ideas to implement these steps in your family.  Did I mention she has a recommendation for treats?  Yum!  The idea is to spend one night a month focusing on each Christ-like attribute, then spending the month continuing to work on developing the habit.  Use it as a family home evening!  It is more than a jumping off point, it offers "conversation, connection and celebration."

For our first month we have enjoyed studying about Love.  The lesson we did together told the story of the 4 men who brought their friend to Christ.  The man suffered greatly with palsy and the 4 friends knew that Christ could heal him.  Unable to get in the door they climbed up onto the roof and lowered him down through the ceiling.  How hard that must have been!  I have never put that much thought into that story, but what amazing friends they were!  How they got a bed-ridden friend on the roof is beyond me...and then they would've had to take the roof tiles off (heavy and hot work) and once they managed to open it up...they then carefully lower their friend through!  Wow!  Those were good, dedicated friends.  And because of their faith, Christ DID heal the man.

How much are you willing to do, to bring your friend to Christ?

To finish up our evening, we discussed ways that we can do likewise.  It really was a great lesson for my kids who are elementary age and the treat of oven-baked smores was a real winner!  

If you are looking to make a difference in your home, check out The Christ-Centered Home.  I know for us, we will be using these 12 attributes for the next 12 months for a family home evening!  
The Christ-Centered Home can be purchased wherever books are sold.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thanks so much!  :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

London Calling

We took advantage of Gramma and Papa being here a couple of weeks ago and stopped off at London Calling in Springfield.  Located off of Glenstone I have been wanting to try it, but was timid about trying a "food cart."  I'm glad we went!  It was a neat experience and the food was really good.

Not only are they delicious but you get to eat them ON the big red bus.  
That was a treat within a treat!

London calling is a "pasty" company...  What's a pasty you ask?  Well, a pasty is basically described as "a pot pie, without the pot."  They are SO yummy!  Historically pasties probably originated in Cornwall where the tin miners needed an easy meal to take with them into the mines but nobody knows for certain.  We do know, that while the history of the pasty is unclear, you can read about pasties in everything from Robin Hood to Shakespeare!  And, even better, the pasty survives to this day!  Only, now - you can get them in tons of flavors!  Everything from original (basically beef stew in a crust) to chicken enchilada!

Of course we sat in the top of the Big Red Bus!  

Served in "newspaper!" 

So, if you are in the area, check it out!  
I thought the London Calling Pasty Co. was pretty good!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Branson's Butterfly Palace {Homeschool Field Trip}

We took a break on Tuesday to go to the Butterfly Palace in Branson with some homeschool friends!  It was great fun...although it got a little warm in the rain forest.  LOL.  :)  The girls had a great time and I think us Moms did too.  It was nice to chat and let the kids play.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I'mPossible by Jeff Griffin {Book Review}

As Lao and Confucius once said, “A journey of one-thousand miles begins with one step.” My story is about inspiring you to take your own journey one step at a time. It's about dreaming and accomplishing the impossible. It's not only about aiming for the sky and reaching for the stars but enjoying the journey along the way. 
Begin your personal journey today, press forward to the top, and don't you ever stop. As you move toward your dreams, there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way; don't be afraid. You can get to the top of your world by following the signs and guide posts within these pages. You can do it with others! You can do it with me! We can do it together, one step at a time! 
I'mpossible! - Jeff Griffin

Wow!  What an opportunity I was given to review this motivational book by Jeff Griffin.  His story begins many years ago when, at the age of 22, he was painting a large barn with a friend.  In one, swift, moment in time, his life was forever changed when he fell over 20 feet from the scaffolding. Landing in what he called "a perfect 10," his L-1 lumbar shattered and T-12 vertebra severely compressed.  After spending several hours receiving x-rays and waiting for the diagnosis, the final blow came when the doctor told him, "You'll neither walk, nor move your legs, again."

Succumbing to self-pity only briefly, Jeff did what many of us would find impossible.  He stopped thinking about only himself, abandoned his self pity-party, and got to work.  "Don't Quit and Stay Positive" became his battle-cry as he worked into a routine of shots, therapy, resting, and doing it all over again.

Fast forward to the present where Jeff is here to share the story of his trials and his subsequent triumph.  Using Mt. Everest has a backdrop Jeff points out that "We all have a handicap or a Mount Everest to climb."  Granted your handicap may be much different than Jeff's or mine.  It could be physical, social or spiritual...a handicap being anything that makes progress or success difficult.    Jeff said,
"Whatever your individual handicap is it can be conquered!  These disabilities can be either debilitating or liberating.  They can hold us back or lift us up.  They can remain our weakness or they can become our strengths.  I hope by sharing my story of big dreams, grave disappointments, and euphoric triumphs it can help in some small way to lift you closer to the light that lifts....Remember, there are no excuses when it comes to success!  You're possible!"

Today Jeff Griffin is a motivational speaker based out of Utah.  While his life didn't turn out perfect, he is perfectly content with how his life turned out.  He turned his trial into his life's work.  His passion is to help people take the steps needed to make change, find success, and live a satisfied and happy life, following 3 fundamental steps:  Desire, Dream and Do.

When asked how his message can help other people, Jeff responded,
"I understand that my message will not resonate with everyone but I do know from experience that when I see or read about someone else who overcomes great odds or challenges It gives me hope. I’m motivated to be better, to do more, and to give more. It shows me that if someone else can do hard things then I too can overcome hard and impossible things. Not only that but that life can be cherished and enjoyed even with hardships and heartache. My message is a raw exposure to my heart and soul."
I really enjoyed reading I'mPossible!  Each chapter is set up with "Mile Markers" at the beginning to help you as you move through your journey and critical thinking challenges at the end that encourage you to DO something before moving into the next mile.  It was hard to put down and I pressed on quickly...anxious to find out what happened to Jeff in the end.  But, toward the end (and I'm not going to spoil it - you should read the book!) I discovered that all happy endings do not look the same and that the only the beginning.

Interested in learning more?  You can download the first chapter of Jeff Griffin's book, hire him to come speak to your group, or receive encouragement on his website at  The book is currently available on Amazon in both soft and hardback.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to review this book!  I received I'mPossible free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  
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