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    Our Daily School Prayer

    Our Daily School Prayer

    I don't know about you but teaching school work is not my forte. I have very little patience and I get annoyed very easily. You can all judge me but I am keeping it real. So with knowing my own limitations and the fact that my kids will in fact be with me for the next several months, I decided I needed a plan that would combat my lack of skill and Jesus is always my first resort. 

    So we committed to praying this prayer EVERY SINGLE DAY, multiple times a day. Every time we sit down to do school work I will pray this over the three of us. I thought I would share it with y'all in case any of you could use a little encouragement yourself.  

    Here it is...

    This is literally what I have been and will prayer every single day before starting school time. So I and my children will hear it at least twice a day.  

    Dear Jesus,

    Let us work our very hardest to glorify you.

    Give us patience with ourselves and each other.

    Help us speak kindly.

    Thank you for the gift of this time together.

    May we glorify you with our school time, in our attitude and our work.

     

    We pray all this in Jesus’ Name.

    Amen

     

    I hope this encourages even one of you. We can do this and we will be better, stronger, and more refined on the other side of all this. As people and as families we will be better. Claiming that over my own life and yours. 

    100 things to do at home!

    100 things to do at home!

    100 items to do during your time at home!

    1. Mail letters to a friend.
    2. Build a fort.
    3. Draw an underwater scene.
    4. Build a box tower.
    5. Take a walk.
    6. Drive around your town and pray for your friends as you pass their homes.
    7. Write a note on someone’s driveway with sidewalk chalk.
    8. Bake a cake.
    9. Plant seeds for a garden.
    10. Build a Lego city.
    11. Bake your own bread.
    12. Watch a new movie.
    13. Purge a closet.
    14. Mail grandma a drawing.
    15. Hike in the woods.
    16. Learn yoga.
    17. Download a new educational app for your kids.
    18. Read the Gospels.
    19. Call a friend and talk on the phone.
    20. Paint a room of your house.
    21. Memorize scripture.
    22. Finish your taxes.
    23. Clean out the junk drawer.
    24. Learn to cook something new.
    25. Start a bucket list.
    26. Put on a bra at least once a week. Maybe do your hair and makeup as well.
    27. Pretend to take an airplane trip to your dream vacation destination.
    28. Watch a TV series start to finish.
    29. Read all the books. Or even just a whole book series.
    30. Paint the trim in your home.
    31. Weed the flower beds in preparation for spring.
    32. Clean the garage.
    33. Take a donation to the local shelter.
    34. Try a new workout regime.
    35. Draw out new landscaping for your house.
    36. Play a board game.
    37. Imagine anything with your kiddos.
    38. Purge and organize your DVDs
    39. Give up a nasty habit.
    40. Start running.
    41. Do a burpee challenge.
    42. Do a virtual book club.
    43. Stretch your body every day.
    44. Have a tea party with little sandwiches and fancy clothes. Action figures and stuffed animals allowed.
    45. Potty Train your child.
    46. Organize your pictures. (Digital or physical)
    47. Share what you are most grateful for each night at dinner.
    48. Open your windows or doors weekly to air the house out. Even if just a short period.
    49. Empty your pantry and freezer and see what gems you have to cook with.
    50. Wash your car.
    51. Do at least one of the pins on your Pinterest board.
    52. Smile at everyone you see.
    53. Mop your floors.
    54. Try worshipping online with a local church.
    55. Do a wall sit while you brush your teeth.
    56. Paint your kitchen cabinets.
    57. Build something with your kids.
    58. Play some silly video game your children love.
    59. Color. 
    60. Reach out virtually or over the phone to someone who may need a kind word.
    61. Wash your hands.
    62. Listen to tons of audiobooks.
    63. Actually dust your home on a weekly basis.
    64. Put down your phone.
    65. Rearrange your furniture.
    66. Seed your yard with grass seed.
    67. Do an online devotional with other friends.
    68. Stay in your pajamas all day.
    69. Plant a flower with your kids and watch it grow in the window.
    70. Play fetch with your dog.
    71. Snuggle your loved ones.
    72. Inventory your medicine cabinet. See if you have too much of something you can donate.
    73. Make your own hand sanitizer.
    74. Wash your windows.
    75. Enjoy your morning coffee outside on the porch.
    76. Play with playdoh.
    77. Journal your feels and emotions.
    78. Do a scavenger hunt.
    79. Order takeout from a local restaurant.
    80. Hang Christmas lights in your kid’s room and have a sleepover in their rooms. (Only your family of course)
    81. Post a picture on social media of something you are grateful for.
    82. Let your house get totally destroyed and don’t worry about it. Memories are being made.
    83. Use online platforms to connect with your small group or friends. (Zoom, Marco Polo, or Facetime)
    84. Do not allow your children to have a recorder for any reason. You will lose your mind.
    85. Build a bird feeder.
    86. Have a glow stick dance party.
    87. Drink a glass of wine and take deep breaths.
    88. Tell your kids one thing you thought they did awesome that day.
    89. Puzzles!
    90. Camp out in your own backyard.
    91. Watch morning cartoons instead of the news.
    92. Take a bath.
    93. Read the bible with your kids.
    94. Listen to music as loud as you can stand it. Sing, dance and be wild!
    95. Set timers and make your kids play alone without speaking for 15 minutes. (I may be doing that as I type this) wink wink.
    96. Take a mid-afternoon nap.
    97. Send someone a text letting them know you are thinking of them.
    98. Taste a new fruit you have never had. (wine doesn’t count)
    99. Try cooking potatoes in seven different ways.
    100. Count your blessings.

    I cannot wait to hear your ideas! Let's celebrate all we get to do rather than focusing on what we aren't able to do. 

    Coronavirus Task List and Butternut Squash

    Coronavirus Task List and Butternut Squash

    Good morning world! With all the sickness, sadness, fear and pain that is currently permeating this world, I am committed to blogging at least two times a week. I have so many fun, light, joyful and easy ideas that we currently do that I want to share the joy! Partially because I think we can all use some new recipes, fun kid activities, and house projects but also because it will be good for my brain to focus on the good things my little family is getting to do in this season.

    With my kids home for the next three to eight weeks, I am totally focused on the fun. You will not find a color-coded chart of our day here… I am realistic and know that will never work for me. We do have daily tasks that have to happen at some point! They are as follows…

    • Move our bodies in an active way.
    • Breathe fresh air at least once.
    • Do 30 minutes (am and pm) of some kind of learning.
    • Something creative.
    • Screen time! Because we all like to just sit and watch a fun show sometimes and that is ok.
    • Read our bible together.
    • Eat food.
    • Be nice to one another!

    Ok, let me break these down just a bit more.

    1. Move our bodies! This will be intentional but not look the same day to day. We will walk, dance, run, yoga, stretch, these all count! As long as we do it together and give it our best it counts!
    2. Breathe fresh air! I am hoping we get an hour a day outside but with Indiana weather in spring, that is most likely not going to happen. So even if it is means on our front porch in the rain for one minute, it counts! I just want us each to take a deep breath of outdoor air!
    3. Learning time! 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon. This can be an app, reading books, writing spelling words, practicing patterns, etc. My kids are 3 years apart so it varies for each of them. I have no curriculum, I just know I will spend two hours each day, with kids teaching them something. I need this number mentally for myself, more than for them. Also, I know lots of you will do more, will say this isn’t enough, or just will roll your eyes at me, but I know my strengths…teaching is not one of them. I will focus hard for short periods of time to “teach” them but I believe very strongly that my kids learn through lots of activities that don’t look like school. Already this am my son has written and drawn a comic book. The other is writing his letters constantly making up words. All this is learning to me but doesn’t fall in the time frame I mentioned above.
    4. Something Creative! Baking, cooking, beads, colors, paint, sidewalk chalk, fabric, stickers, lego cities, who knows… This area has lots of room for flexibility. We will make sidewalk chalk cities, draw tattoos all over our bodies with washable markers, paint our own food monsters, who really knows. I just want to make sure they are thinking outside the box a little each day.
    5. Screen time! Because we all like to just sit and watch a fun show sometimes and that is ok. Let’s be honest, momma may need a little breather and I am totally cool with admitting that. Also, don’t think I don’t love a little kids tv every once in a while.
    6. Bible time can mean a long time discussing or literally me reading a verse over them while they play and don’t even acknowledge me. I just want to make sure we are reading it, hearing it, and trying to focus on it daily.
    7. Food! Because let’s be honest. We need it to live and it tastes good.
    8. NO MATTER WHAT, we will do our very very best to love each other well within the walls of our home. We will take deep breaths, think about our words, and fingers crossed speak kindly to one another.

    There you have it. My very unofficial, official plan for our house. No schedule, just a list we plan to accomplish each day. Are you a strict schedule kind of person or are you more footloose and fancy-free like me?!? No matter the case, let’s just do our best.

    With all this time at home, as I said, I have lots of fun to share with yall! I commit to blogging AT LEAST TWICE A WEEK! I am starting with this recipe! That was a lot of words to get here. Haha. Welcome to life with me. All the words, all the time.

    This recipe came about because I went to a baby shower for my gorgeous friend Heather and my talented friends Kelly, Bridgette, and Courtney hosted. Super yummy food and even better company. Needless to say, they served this butternut squash dish I couldn’t stop thinking about. Several ingredients were mentioned but I didn’t get the actual recipe before I left. So…here we are. One random trip to Meijer and I snagged a butternut squash and decided to give it a go.

    It actually turned out great! You will need to play with the ingredients to fit your liking. I got it as close to theirs as I could. I may add a little more salt and honey the next time. I hope you enjoy and tag me if you make it! I want to see if you and your kids liked it. One of mine did…the other not so much. Ha.

    Happy creating. Wash your hands, stay home, love your people, and God Bless! 

    New Year...Same Me, More Water

    New Year...Same Me, More Water

    Happy New Year!

    Yes, I know we are half-way through January but I can still talk about my goals, right?  This year my phrase is “surprise yourself!” I am looking forward to seeing how that happens but I have also planned to set myself up for success in little ways. The good, tried and true ways of being healthy…up before my kiddos reading scripture and praying, moving my body and drinking more water.

    While all of those listed in one place does feel a little overwhelming, I know I can do it. To make sure it happens I have done some little things, like the project I am going to show you to make sure it is as easy as possible to make those goals happen.

    I joked on Instagram that this is the easiest DIY you can tackle this year. I am not even sure it counts as a DIY, it is that easy. All you need is a jug and a sharpie. For mine specifically, I wanted a glass jug and an oil-based sharpie so it would be permanent on the glass.

    You have all seen those jugs on the internet like this one, this one, and this one. I made my own version last year with a gallon water jug from the grocery store and a normal sharpie but as I mentioned earlier I really wanted mine to be glass. I often put oils, lemon juice or fresh fruit in my water and specifically the oils can draw toxins out of the plastic. That issue, among others, prompted me to get this glass jug.

    I love this for many reasons. First off it is better for my overall health to use glass. Secondly, it is better for the environment that I can reuse this indefinitely as it will hold up longer. Lastly, it was nearly half the price of the less sturdy plastic options. So for less than $20 I had my own custom glass water jug.

    The jug itself was less than $14 and shipped for free thanks to amazon prime. You can get the single marker at Walmart for $2.50 or a multi-pack online for around $7.

    So for less than $20 and 15 minutes, it can be filled, chilling in your fridge and ready to point you to better health in 2020. Ha. Ok, so maybe that is a lot of pressure for a little glass water jug but I did say I was trying to make the journey to health easier for myself so I am claiming this little guy is going to help me in big ways.

    My favorite part of this project was that could customize it to me. Call that selfish but I like that it has wording that fits my day in particular. For example, I know that all I want from 2-4 is sugar, EVERY SINGLE DAY, so my note on that hour reminds me that I am working hard to avoid that. For you after dinner may be the trigger time, or maybe you just need to be reminded that you are beautiful, strong and need to stay the course to better health.

    Before I jump into the actual instructions here is a list of reasons to drink water. Of course this is not all of them, just a few! Better skin, less wrinkles and zits (I mean this alone is worth it), aids in kidney and other bodily functions, helps with weight loss (who doesn’t want this), lubricates the joints, delivers oxygen to the body, helps in digestion, regulates body temperature, maintains blood pressure, and did I mention less wrinkles and weight loss (just sayin’).

    The only negative to drinking water is that nobody will ever see your beautiful clear, wrinkle-free skin, see all the pounds you are dropping, or know your bones aren’t creaking because you will spend your whole day on the toilet! Ha! All joking aside, of course you will spend more time checking out the local bathroom décor but it will be worth it to feel better in your own body.


    Ok, we get it Abby, get to the point already and tell us how to make this thing.

    There isn’t a tutorial for this y’all. It is that easy. You can use tape to mark it off or you can get really crazy and eyeball it all. Nobody will know the difference unless well you post it to the internet (which I would love for you to do, so I can see that I am not the only one using the bathroom ALL DAY LONG.) If for no other reason, I would love to see the messages you left for yourself throughout the day.

    I kept mine very simple.

    7 am- mornin’ beautiful

    9 am- start with intention

    11 am- nearly lunch

    1 pm- drink up

    3 pm- no sugar! Chug H2O

    5 pm- stay the course

    7 pm- almost done Abby

    9 pm- Surprise Yourself!!!

    Others I would include might be…

    • Stop putting trash in your body
    • Make better choices
    • You have done harder things than drink this much water in a day
    • Just keep swimming
    • Do you like feeling crummy?
    • Don’t take a nap, move your body and drink girl
    • You have consumed so much water at this point, you are basically a mermaid (Yes I know mermaids, whom are not real-I might add, do not actually consume water. It is just a little silly to get you through the day. Just go with it folks.)
    • I am so proud of you!


    So what is something that you can do that will set you up on your goals for this year? I would love to hear what some of your goals are and how you are tackling them. Also, I’m not kidding, what are some of the phrases you would use on your jug to encourage you? I want to know!

    Well, I am off to drink my water, sit in the bathroom all day and work towards being more healthy! I hope you have a joyful week!

    Top 10 Lifestyle Book List!

    Top 10 Lifestyle Book List!

    As fall has finally come to Indiana I find my desire to snuggle up to read as well as prepare my home for the many gatherings we host over the holiday season in a constant battle with one another. Hence this list! I can do both. Enjoy a good read the sparks some inspiration for my own home as we enter snuggly weather and a season filled with all manner of people in our home!

    I feel like there are so darn many good books out lately and I want them all! There are so many wonderful home interior and entertaining book so I am focusing specifically on those for this post. There is no particular order as honestly I really love them all! 

    1. Fraiche Food, Full Hearts- Jillian and Tori are two of my absolute very favorite influencers to follow! They are so genuine, authentic and filled with amazing content! I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I have pre-ordered and I am hoping it arrives on October 1! Having family and friends in my home is my absolute favorite thing in the world and I am excited to try these recipes and be inspired by the beautiful photos and how I may bring some of their look into my home. It has vegetarian, nut-free, vegan and dairy-free options with most recipes which I am thrilled about since several close friends and family have some dietary restrictions. 

    2. Mary's Household Tips and Tricks: Your Guide to Happiness in the Home- Who else loves Mary Berry?! She is the literal best! I randomly came upon her book at the library the week it came out! I couldn't get enough. There are amazing tips, tricks and of course stunning pictures. I have loved her for years since watching her on "the Great British Bakeoff" and now I get to learn from her further from the pages of her book. 

    3. Beautifully Organized: A Guide to Function and Style In Your Home- I cannot remember how I found Nikki but I am so glad I did. She has a very clean and crisp style. I cannot wait to see the pretty space inspiration tucked away in these pages. 

    4. Eat What You Love- I am no health food blogger but I love food and good food that makes me feel good. Danielle Walker's Stuff is some of my favorite. They are actually manageable recipes that taste good and my family will eat. Her story is incredible to me. It makes me feel like I can actually make more healthy choices for the sake of my body and for the sake of my children's future health. 

    5. Cozy Minimalist Home- I know I am late to the game on this one but I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! I have thumbed through a friends copy but I cannot wait to have my own. Since I am about 70% of the way through my own massive purge I look forward to using all her tips in my new design aesthetic in my own home. 

    6. Pull Up A Chair- I mean I loved Kelly Kapowski as a kid and I love her all the more now that she is a kick-butt food and lifestyle blogger. Tiffani, her family and home look like a real-life dream come true. She keeps it real and beautiful and it inspires me on every level. I love this book and all the recipes and themes it lays out! it is categorized by the event which makes it super helpful.

    7. Homebody - I know. I know. The whole world has read this. Well, I have not. It made my list because well JoAnna does everything well so I am sure it is wonderful and I do love her simple, classic style. I am hoping to get a copy and read through it this winter. 

    8. Cozy White Cottage- If you have not been following Liz then run and start! She is such a gem. I am amazed at all the content this little lady manages to put out each week. She has a very cozy (hence the name) and casual, layered farmhouse look. She and her family are too stinking cute and it has been thrilling to watch their journey. I look forward to the inspiration the pages of her book will hold. 

    9. Whiskey in a Tea Cup- I was gifted this book a year ago when it came out and I read it in one day! I could not put it down, like I stayed awake for hours past when I usually go to bed just to keep reading. I loved it! I grew up in the south so I enjoyed her stories very much. It has already inspired so much in my life and I know you will enjoy the pretty pages as well as the stories and yummy recipes. 

    10. The Home Edit- I started following the home edit on Instagram I am sure around the same time the rest of the world did. Their photos are like pure eye candy to my organization loving mind. I am sure this book is filled with helpful tips and tricks. I love that it allows us "common folk" to learn from people who work with stars like Khloe Kardashian, Katy Perry, and Reese Witherspoon. 

     I hope you love these books as much as me. There is something about fall and the cooler air that makes me get excited to bake, cook, entertain, and gather. Do you have any of these books or do you have others in this same genre you recommend? I am always looking for more books!