Feb 112017

Disclosure: I received Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Reality of Art Projects

“Mommy, can we paint?”

In my head –  “Ugh.  Not paint. I will have to find newspaper for the table. And where did I put those shirts we were using for smocks? And then there’s the wet paint on everyone’s hands.”

What I say –  “Wouldn’t you rather play outside? Or color with crayons?”

“No, we want to paint.”

In my head – “I really should let them. Kids should be allowed to experiment with different art media. It’s ok if they make a mess. If they were in school, I bet they’d have more chances to paint.”

“OK, Give me a few minutes to get everything set up.”

15 minutes later…

“Everything’s ready. You can paint now.”

5 minutes later…

“Thanks Mommy! Do you like my picture? We’re going to play outside now.”


Art Time

Does anything about my story sound familiar? I want my kids to have fun doing art projects. I want to be a “Yes” mom. But extra work and extra mess goes against my nature. Sometimes I just say yes and deal with the mess. But other times I just say no. Not now. And that’s ok too. However, I have found a solution to those times when the kids want to paint, but I don’t want the mess..

Thin Stix by Kwik Stix

Thin stix

The solution is Kwik Stix! Kwik Stix are tempera paints in a stick. There are no brushes to clean and no liquid paint to spill. There is no need for smocks. It dries in 90 seconds so there’s no running, smearing or smudging.

I received a package of Thin Stix by Kwik Stix to review. I opened them up and gathered my review team. They immediately went to work creating a variety of pictures.

The paint goes on smoothly and evenly. The colors are vibrant and the stix are easy to use. You just twist up more when needed, like chapstick.

Is it painting? Technically, no. But it is art.

These are great for school projects like posters. It is so much easier to write letters with Thin Stix than a paint brush.

Interested in trying Kwik Stix? You can purchase at Amazon.com and select retailers such as Books A Million and Target.

Thin Stix Art Gallery

Abstract Art by Lizzie, age 10

Flower by Anna, age 16

Rainbow by Andrew, age 6

Bob and Larry by Andrew, age 6

Sunny scene by Anna, age 16


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Apr 202016

As a homeschool mom of 5 who works part-time from home, I have a lot to manage. Between working, keeping up with my teenagers’ schedules, teaching my younger children, and managing my home, free time is rare. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my lack of close friends. I’ve tried to analyze the reason. I realize I don’t often write personal posts here (OK, so I don’t often write at all), so bear with me as I share.

Why don’t I have close mom friends?

Part of my situation can be explained by moving. I had a couple of very close friends as a young wife and mother. I made those friends at a time when it’s easy to make friends. My husband and I were newly married, and we had no children. Our friends also had no children at the beginning of our friendships. We were free to do lots of things with our friends and spend many late nights, talking, laughing, and playing games. We continued to do so after we had babies. What are portacribs for, right?

Then we moved to a different state. We joined a church 30 minutes from our home. It was hard to invite people over. With young children it seemed harder to build friendships. Being new, everybody already had friends. But I tried, and in that season I made some pretty good friends. I went to women’s Bible study at church and developed some friends there. I was no one’s best friend, but I did have a few ladies that I could talk to. During this time I also had a neighbor that I used to chat with a lot.

Then we moved again, closer to the church. Ironically at the same time that we moved closer, we left that church and joined a much smaller church. I had begun homeschooling a couple of years earlier and it had gotten to the point where attending a weekly daytime women’s Bible study was difficult because we basically lost an entire day of school. Around that time I went through a very difficult time after being rejected by a friend whom I had been meeting with for prayer and fellowship. Desperate to feel like I belonged, I asked to join a group of ladies (from the former church) who had been meeting for a regular evening Bible study. They let me join, and for a while I felt like one of the group. However, after the birth of my 4th child, I needed to host the group in my home because my husband was working a second job in the evenings and I had no childcare. The leader rejected my request, so that was the end of my involvement in that group.

That was over 9 years ago. The sting of that rejection is still there. That group of women still meet and go on weekend getaways. I’ve fought against the sadness that rises up when their pictures show up in my Facebook feed. I’ve wondered for years, what is so wrong with me?

Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone

Better Together Cover Mom Friends

I was recently given the opportunity to review the book Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone. Since I had already been pondering the topic, I thought it might be a good read.

Jill Savage and her adult daughter, Anne McClane. do a great job analyzing the different levels of friendship and the various types of friends. The book has helpful tips for meeting new people and getting to know people. There is a mothering personality inventory and a variety of creative ideas for ways that friends can share each others’ burdens in the busy seasons of life. These include swapping baby sitting or having freezer cooking get togethers. One that I had never  thought of was working with a group of friends taking turns meeting at a different house to do a project with the friend that needs help.

Better Together is a useful resource, especially for those in women’s ministry leadership. It helped me to think through the hurts of my past and admit that one of the reasons that I haven’t made close friends is a fear of rejection and bitterness over past hurts. I also realized that another reason is that I am a bit selfish. I don’t often offer to help others and I’ve failed to invite people over because I’m too busy with my own family.

Important Reminders

Even though I can identify reasons in my own behavior to explain why I may have been in this season of lacking close friends, I  also remind myself that God is sovereign. He knows that I’ve been going through this, and He could have sent a close friend in spite of my friendship flaws. Instead, I have learned more about contentment. In my loneliness, God has been faithful to draw me closer to Himself.

I’m reminded of a quote by Elisabeth Elliot,

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”

So while I agree that friends are good for moms, I can’t fully agree with the subtitle of this book. No, we’re not meant to mom alone, we’re meant to mom alongside a dad. Having close friends is a bonus.

Nov 292015

Kwik Stix Logo Christmas

I’m sure I’m not alone. I want my children to be creative and have opportunities to be artistic. But finding time to do art projects with my younger ones is tough. And letting them have free access to paint? No way.

So most of their art consists of coloring with crayons or colored pencils. I’m not saying that I feel guilty about that, but well, maybe a little.

Kwik Stix 12 packThat’s why I jumped at the chance to review the new Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint. It’s tempera paint without the mess. No liquid to spill. No paint brushes to clean. Sign me up!

Kwik Stix are about the size of a glue stick. They’re easy to use and dry in 90 seconds. The colors are bright and the coverage is good. While it’s not the same as painting, it does have a different feel than coloring with crayons. I think they will be especially handy for making posters for school projects.

Kwik Stix would also make great stocking stuffers. They are available directly from The Pencil Grip, Inc. and from Amazon.com. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post.

My two youngest children, Lizzie and Andrew (9 and almost 5) were very excited to try out Kwik Stix. And yes, they are wearing pajamas.


Here are their completed creations.

Kwik Stix artwork 1


Green hillside

Green hillside

Sunny day

Sunny day



***Disclosure: I received a free package of Kwik Stix in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Jun 092015

Homeschool moms are busy. We have a lot to manage with educating children, laundry, cooking, housework, and even jobs. I’ve seen homeschoolers proudly announce that they have mountains of laundry to fold piled on the couch, or if someone comes to their house they have to run through the house wildly hiding piles of books and other clutter. But then they justify their lack of housekeeping by the fact that their children are more important than a neat and tidy home.

It’s not that I don’t agree with that. Our children are definitely more important than temporal things. No argument there, but sometimes I almost feel guilty for desiring a neat home because that means I’m spending less time on valuable pursuits, and I’m wasting my time cleaning and organizing.

And yet decluttering and organizing is a hugely popular topic on-line. (Just look at Pinterest if you don’t believe me.) It seems that people do crave organization, but want to justify their lack of it.

Giving Your Children WingsI was recently given the opportunity to review Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours by Tami Fox. I was happy to discover that Tami and I agree that having a neat and organized home (at least relatively) is important. In her book Tami explains how we can have a neat house WHILE spending time with our children.

Messes and disorganization cause stress. Every person is different and the level of neatness that some require is going to be different. And that’s OK! We’re actually helping our children by having routines in our home and by including them in these routines. It’s also less stressful to us if we teach our children to share in the housework because when they get older, that will actually mean less work for us! (Sometimes in the middle of training a young child, it does seem like it would be easier to just do it yourself. And in the short run it often is. But the long term benefits outweigh the short term trouble of training children.)

In Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours, Tami shares how she personally uses the Flylady system to keep her home clean and clutter free. I wouldn’t consider it a how-to book on setting up a system, but more of an encouragement to find a system that works for you and your family and to stick to it. Tami is open and honest with many of her personal trials and how she has overcome them.

My favorite quote from the book is this –

“We have all heard the saying, ‘If Mama ain’t happy, no one is happy.’ You can turn this around to, ‘If Mama is happy, everyone around her is happy, too’ A positive mood is contagious.”

I am guilty of feeling discouraged about everyone’s attitudes and being grumpy about it. That really makes no sense! My mood can, and often does, set the tone of the whole house.

If you’re looking for encouragement and ideas for cleaning and organizing your home while homeschooling, you should read Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Disclosure: I received a free electronic version of this book in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review and the link to Amazon.com is not an affiliate link.


Feb 252015

Everyone knows that homeschoolers love the library.

And sometimes they share their record-breaking library overdue fines. Whenever this happens, there are some who mention that they have stopped using the library because they have spent more money on fines than would have to buy books.

While I am a huge advocate of having a large home library, I also utilize the public library. A lot. And I have very rarely had a book overdue.

Here are the keys to my system for organizing library books.

1. Store library books in a central location in your home.

I do NOT recommend a shelf. You need 2 containers. One for books that people are still using and one for books ready to be turned in. I use a tote bag for the ready to turn in books because then the bag is already loaded and I can pick it up when I’m ready to drop off books. I used to require that all library books be read in the living room where I keep the basket. I have relaxed that rule, but if you have a child who habitually loses library books, you might try implementing that rule at least until better habits are developed.

library books


2. Pick a library day.

This doesn’t have to be the only day that you ever go to the library, but pick 1 day of the week that you typically have time to stop into the library as part of your routine. If you’re close to a library, you can be more flexible with your choice then if you have to drive a distance to the library.
library books

3. Set up an on-line library account if you don’t already have one.

Set up accounts for every member of your household. I prefer to use 1 library card for all our books. However, we have a very high limit of books we are allowed to check-out. If your limit is lower, you’ll probably need to use children’s cards as well. Make a computer document with your library card numbers and passwords so you don’t have to search for your cards every time you need to log on.

4. On library day, log on to your library website and renew everything that is due that day or anytime in the next 7 days.

Yes, you read that right. I renew everything that is due unless the system won’t let me. If there is a hold on a title or I’m out of times to renew, it won’t let me renew. I then look at the list of books that HAVE to be turned in that day and put those in the library bag. The bag already holds books that we’re done with. I drop those books off at the library that day. If there is nothing that has to be turned in and nothing that I have waiting for me at the library, then I don’t have to go the library that week.

5. Set a weekly reminder to renew library books.

library books

It is important to remember to check the library account and renew all the books. Maybe you’re the type who will just remember to renew the library books every Tuesday, but if you are that type, then you probably don’t need help with keeping up with library books. So you need something that will remind you to do this task weekly. You can use an on-line calendar like Google calendar to remind you. If you have a smart phone, I highly recommend the Todoist app. You can also use Todoist on your computer. I am using it to organize all my repetitive tasks that are not quite repetitive enough to ensure that I remember them. Plus I get a thrill from marking things off a list. If you’re a paper planner kind of person you can just write it in your planner. The trick is to remember to copy it in every week. That’s why I love the Todoist app so much, I get all the great feelings of accomplishment that I get from making a list without the task of writing repetitive tasks on my list every week.

How many library books do you have checked out right now?

What’s the highest library fine you’ve ever paid?

How do you keep track of library books?

Jan 142015

A lot of people, including me, make New Year’s Resolutions to declutter their home and to simplify. But I bet not as many people resolve to declutter and organize their computer files.

Organizing Computer Files
Photo credit – Marcin Wichary

Keeping Your Computer Organized is Essential

You may not realize it, but keeping your computer organized and decluttered can save you both time and money. How much time do you waste looking for items you’ve saved on your hard drive? How many times have your looked for a computer file and not been able to find it? Or how many times have you forgotten that you had a great freebie or even purchased a resource and didn’t use it because you had forgotten about it?

January is Clean Up Your Computer Month

Here’s a free checklist with short daily assignments to help guide you through cleaning up your computer in 3 weeks. This checklist was provided by SingleHop, a cloud storage company. Click on the image to download a copy.



Organizing Computer Files

Organization is something that is individual. It needs to make sense to you, so there isn’t a single right way to organize your computer files. However, here are some questions to guide you through the organization process.

1. What do you save on your computer?

Do you use your computer for running a business? Do your children use it for school works? Are there pictures and ebooks on there?

2. Think about the general categories that you use your computer for and create folders for them.

I have folders for Home, Homeschooling Resources, Work,  and Blog. I also have folders for each child that uses my computer occasionally.

3.  Go through your documents and move them to the appropriate folder.

As you’re moving files, you may notice that you need sub-folders. I have sub-folders under Home for Recipes and Cleaning. In my Homeschooling Folder, I have folders for various subjects like Math, English, etc.

4. Delete documents that you no longer need.

Also create an archive folder for things you should save, but don’t need to access often (or maybe ever, but need to save just in case.)

5. Organize pictures by date or event.

Pictures are tough. I honestly don’t have a good system for my pictures.

6. Backup your hard drive.

You can do this with an external hard drive, cloud storage, or both. I like to use Snapfish for photo storage of images that I want to print, but I don’t save every image there. They do require an order every 12 months to use their service.

7. Maintain your organization system.

When you save something, go ahead and put it in the right folder. Go through your files at least monthly to see what you should move, archive or delete. Make a backup!

Hopefully these tips are helpful for organizing your computer files. I’d love to here about how your organize your files! (Especially for pictures. I need help!)

Aug 252014

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Have you ever requested a book to review and you were expecting one thing, and it turns out it was entirely different?

I have.

Mother’s Book of Home Economics is one of those cases.

The title suggests that it might be a training manual of sorts. A “How-to Train your Daughters” type of book. It might have step-by-step lists of projects to do, or maybe a home economics bucket list i.e. “Things to do with your daughter before she’s grown.”

All those sound like great books. They are ones I’d be interested in reading.

But that is not at all what Mother’s Book of Home Economics is.

The sub-title provides more insight.

Remembrances, Letters, and Essays from a New England Housewife

So if you’re looking for a practical how-to book this isn’t it. Not that what Mrs. White shares isn’t practical. It’s just so much more.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. I’m starting my 12th year of homeschooling. I believe completely that motherhood is a calling. We have made great financial sacrifices in order for me to stay home. So a book that’s a call for homemaking didn’t seem to be something I needed to read. But I was in for a surprise. This book really made me think. I was convicted many times.

First, let’s think about the shift in our society. Now we call ourselves stay-at-home moms or in my case, a homeschooling mom. The focus is on being a mom. Mrs. White reminds us that the focus used to be on being a wife. The old term was housewife. There was a dual emphasis on house and wife. Certainly the children are important and a major part of what our job consists of, but when they’re gone is our time at home over? Is there no purpose for us to stay at home once the children have moved away or should we just stay at home with our children for a season?

Those are interesting questions.

Mrs. White challenges women to work at keeping their homes neat and clean. She encourages cooking for our families. These are all things that to an outside observer, I do a pretty good job at. Relatively speaking anyway.

But the difference is in attitude.

“There is joy in dusting and polishing. There is pride in cooking for the family. There is happiness in creating a pleasant haven in our homes….

Ironing is done in a slow and careful manner. It forces one to be peaceful.”

Mother's Book of Home Economics

Ouch! I’m usually rushing to iron on Sunday morning and grumbling all the time. Or cooking and feeling irritated that no one appreciates all the work I do for them.

“A wife who does not complain is a virtuous asset to her husband.”

I do make an effort not to complain, but I’m usually complaining on the inside and patting myself on the back for not saying anything.

What about this?

Being quiet. . . We often talk too much, worry too much, think too much, and want to multitask every minute away! Being quiet and content takes effort, but it will bring peace and gentleness to the family.”

In other words, we shouldn’t be martyrs, Sighing and weary of all our work. We should feel weary but not of working, instead we should feel tired in a good way from working hard to keep our home. How can we do this? It is only with strength from the Lord.

If you’re looking for encouragement for making your house a home and learning contentment, I recommend Mother’s Book of Home Economics. You probably won’t agree with all of Mrs. White’s ideas on the topic, but I bet it will make you think about your attitude towards cooking and cleaning.


Mar 062014

Despite the fact that I get a lot done, I do not consider myself a high energy person.

So I wasn’t really concerned with how tired I have been. At least not at first.

I homeschool 5 children, work part-time from home, do the housekeeping, cooking, laundry, etc. It’s a lot of work. Being tired at the end of the day is a sign that it’s been productive.

The problem is being tired all day long.

I noticed that I wasn’t feeling refreshed when I got up in the morning, even after a relatively good night’s sleep. I am not a night owl. I’ve been going to bed at 10 or 10:30 most nights.

Another thing that I’ve noticed over the last 9 months or more is that I’ve had periods of depression. They seemed to be somewhat cyclical, so I figured it must be hormonal.

But I didn’t do anything about it. I tried to make sure I wasn’t doing “too much”. Get rest. Tried to exercise some, but I was so tired, that didn’t happen much.

I have yearly visits to a dermatologist for a skin check and while I was there I mentioned that I’d had a lot of hair loss. She thought it would be good idea to run some blood tests.

It turned out that I have both a Vitamin D deficiency and Iron-Deficient Anemia!

No wonder I’ve been tired.

I should mention that I have never had anemia before. I’m not sure about the Vitamin D deficiency, but I suspect that it’s due to some dietary changes that I’ve made. In my efforts to eat more whole foods, I’ve cut out some processed things that were enriched with a lot of vitamins. (Carnation Instant Breakfast was my daily breakfast for approximately 20 years, I’m embarrassed to admit.)

I’m not going back to the processed foods. I’m taking Vitamin D and iron supplements for a while to increase my levels. I’ll be adding more foods that contain iron to my diet.

After less than a week on the Vitamin D, (I’ve just started the iron) I am already feeling a little better! It’s very likely that the Vitamin D deficiency was the cause of my more severe periodic depression. That’s my working hypothesis at least. We’ll see.

I know this sounds weird, but I was happy to find out there really was something wrong with me. (Especially since it was so simple.) I was afraid that it was just how things were going to be. And that was depressing.

Jan 172014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

In November I happened to see a post in my Facebook feed about signing up for a chance to be on the launch team for Crystal Paine’s (Money Saving Mom) upcoming book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. Based on the title alone, I decided to sign up. At the time, I really felt like I was hanging on by a thread. We had finished with the very busy fall cross country season. (OK, a month earlier) and there’s something about getting through a major busy time that leaves me feeling let down. So I felt blah but without direction, and  I wasn’t making any progress on anything.

Thankfully, I was chosen for the team. I started reading and found myself agreeing wholeheartedly. The first chapter was Stop Trying to Do it All. Honestly, I’ve always prided myself in not over scheduling. I felt like I had kept our schedule pretty open. But in this season of our homeschool with my oldest in high school, we are involved in several outside lessons and classes. And they’re at an all time high this school year.

Time doesn’t expand limitlessly. When I say yes to one thing, I must say no to something else.

I’ve definitely said yes to a lot of things this year. What have I said no to?

Consciously, nothing. But certain things were not getting done.

Things like –

  • Regular Exercise
  • Meaningful Bible Study
  • Going over lessons with my children
  • Some housecleaning tasks (like ironing and mopping) – OK, so I don’t mind skipping those.

But then came the part where I was supposed to write down my own personal priority list.

And I froze.

I’ve never been one for open ended questions. And trying to come up with 4 or 5 concise statements of my priorities in life is overwhelming.

But I knew I should do it. I couldn’t go on without doing it. But I couldn’t do it. But what if the rest of the book hinges on those priorities?

Finally after being stuck without reading, I decided to keep reading.

OK. On to Chapter 2. Say Yes to the Best. Oh no, we’re going to be using the personal priorities list! Just keep reading.

Pretty soon Crystal got to topics that are more comfortable for me: things like dividing your time and  setting up a routine. Those are more my style. That’s how I think naturally. I haven’t been doing them though. I wonder why not? What happened?

The book progresses from thinking about the big picture of our goals and priorities to more practical ways to organize specific areas of our lives such as finances, the home, and giving. Crystal’s writing is informative and engaging with a good mix of personal stories and practical tips. But it’s not an exhaustive organizing book with how-to’s on organizing everything under the sun. It’s more of a big picture book with practical tips to get you started.

I kept getting called back to that big picture. What are my priorities? Why am I doing the things I am doing? What am I doing with my time? With the new year approaching, it seemed an appropriate time to be pondering  all these things. As a result of reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode  I started to implement some major changes to my schedule.

The biggest one is my no computer times I have set up every day. I have determined that I cannot do a good job with homeschooling while I am also checking e-mail, browsing Facebook, and working on my job. So I am requiring that my laptop stays shut and put away from 8-11 am every weekday. And in order to spend more focused time with my husband in the evenings, we have both agreed to no electronic devices between 6-8 pm.

Without me bringing it up, my husband suggested that we set some goals for the year and think about our priorities. Isn’t that an amazing coincidence? (I don’t think so. I love how God in his sovereignty oversees even the seemingly small details like my getting “randomly” selected for a book launch.) If I hadn’t read Saying Goodbye to Survival Mode, I wouldn’t have been prepared to set goals with my husband. I would have felt like he thought I was failing, and I needed help. But I was finally ready to admit that I did need help. And I came up with the no computer time idea. My husband had thought of that long ago, but knew better than to suggest it to me. Some things we have to see for ourselves. And I foolishly thought I could handle all that multi-tasking. And I continued to sink further and further.

Things are looking so much better. No, my life of homeschooling 5 children, keeping house, and working part-time is not suddenly easy. But I finally feel more in control. I still haven’t written out my priorities, but I’m going to. I have set aside a lot of the things that were wasting my time (mainly computer related), and I have been much more productive. Do I owe it all Say Goodbye to Survival Mode? Well, maybe not, but it certainly came at the right time and helped me to get out of the life boat and back onto the ship.

So take a look at the book. Right now it’s still pre-order only, but there are some great freebies that come with it. But hurry if you want the free stuff because the book will be released on January 21!

Disclosure: I received an advance electronic copy of this book in order to complete this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.



Dec 302013

It’s hard to say it without sounding cliche, but time really does fly. Even more so the older that I get.

As I reflect upon another year, I hope that I have grown. I know that I have, but it’s sometimes hard to see in the midst of the day to day trials. I still worry. I still lose my temper. I still complain. But I have a hope. I know that God is not finished with me. I know that Christ is my righteousness. Thankfully, I don’t have to rely on my own!

I looked back over my blog posts for the last year, and I chose 1 per month to share. I did not include any reviews, so there were some months that I left out.


The word of the year is Joy.

Hmm. I may need a do-over.

It was tough, but it was good.

I might see a theme developing.


B is for Books and C is for Capital.

We had a nice, but freezing trip to DC for spring break. Ironically as I write this on the first day of winter, my children are outside playing in short sleeves.

Pinterest Fireplace Makeover

This is perhaps my favorite post of the year. Not because of the post itself, but I am so happy to see my improved fireplace everyday.

Here are my plans for my middle son’s 5th grade year.

We’re not exactly meeting our goals. Not even close. Sigh.


Here are our 10th grade plans.

Those are going a bit better.

Here’s my Defense of Busyness.

I’m not sure what my excuse is now that cross country is over.

If you’re feeling Blah, you can check out my Blah Blog Busting Post Ideas.

I have unfortunately not implemented these as much as I’d like.

Finally, there’s a little tutorial for December – Making Catalog Christmas Trees.


More 2013 end of year posts.
2013 – a messy but blessed year by April E. @ ElCloud Homeschool: Busy Minds, Busy Hands, Busy Feet

2013: A Look Back by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Five Revelations From 2013 by Clara @ A Slice Of Homeschool Pie

2013- A Reflection on our Year by Jennifer @ Conversaving

Where Did 2013 Go? by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Embracing the Bright, Shining Moments and Growing in Our Struggles by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Saying Goodbye to 2013 by Tess @ Circling Through This Life

I’m the Mom of three teen boys, and other highlights of 2013 by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter

Looking Back Over 2013 Adventures In Homesteading & Homeschooling by Kim @Homestead Acres

2013 ~ The Good, The Bad, And The Beautiful by Audra Silva @ Simply Audra Marie

Real Moments of 2013 by Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm

It’s a Beautiful Life–2013 Edition by April B. @ Coffee, Cobwebs, and Curriculum