Finding Rest

It’s amazing how a simple word can be continually placed on our hearts, a constant reminder of what God wants us to do. The sermon at our church on Sunday wasn’t necessarily about the word “rest”, but our pastor did bring up Mary of Bethany. And when I think of Mary, I think of rest. On the radio, THREE times this past week, I’ve heard sermons and speakers talk of resting within Jesus. It’s obvious to me that I have chosen the right word for me… and then while at the women’s planning meeting at our church, our pastor’s wife brought up an activity we will be doing at our next event. We will be making little cards with our word of the year on them to display at home or in our bible’s as a reminder. It’s been a constant thing these past two weeks!

So, because of all these constant reminders I’ve been thinking about ways I can rest. How can I find rest in Him? How can I teach myself to rest and let Him take on my burdens? I started with prayer. I’ve been praying the word rest over my life, my family, my children’s education, all of it. Am I stressed and anxious? Well, yea, I don’t think that’s going to go away in the blink of the eye. Do I feel rested? Well, no… I have four children ages seven and under, one of which who still nurses ALL night. But I feel more relaxed. More even. More at peace.

The first thing I’ve been doing is making a habit of washing our dishes twice a day. I know that sounds silly, but this is the first time we haven’t had a dishwasher in a while. If I don’t stay on top of them, they pile up and then at the end of the day everyone’s too tired to do them and I wake up anxious and overwhelmed because there’s a giant pile of dirty dishes waiting to be washed. BUT, if I take the time to do them at least twice a day (and J will usually do them a third time), not only does the task get done and there’s not nearly as many to do, but I also have time to talk to the Lord. I can pray, I can sing, I can worship. My hands are busy, but my mind, soul and voice are available to worship!

The second thing I’ve been doing is relaxing about homeschooling. I’m a pretty strict routine follower, I like having a calendar of what we are doing, and a structured schedule. While I do have a tentative plan set for the rest of this semester, I’m relaxing about when/where and how we are going about our schedule. Today for instance, Boogie needed to finish up some spelling/handwriting tasks that we had planned to finish before our move before we moved on to the next lessons. Normally I’d have her sit and do them all at once and just get them done, which really she’s cool with, but this morning the three big kids were playing in the playroom and they were having fits of laughter together. Joyful, wonderful giggling and carefree banter between them. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have heard them play like that, lately it’s been a lot of bickering and fighting and screaming… but this was beautiful. So instead of sticking to our routine, I let them play… and did the dishes!

The third thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been working on getting more involved at church, I know this doesn’t sound like rest, but for me it is. Getting involved means making friends, blessing others, and having a life outside of my children. Because let’s face it, as a stay at home mom who also homeschools… my life revolves around the kids 24/7. It’s not healthy, and I have to take care of me as well. So I’ve been helping plan events and activities with the women’s ministry, I’m going to be starting up a mom’s group (so excited about this!) and I may be working on helping with the nursery and getting it running more efficiently. Beyond church, I’m hoping to take some classes on pottery… something different that I used to enjoy as a teenager when I went to summer camp. I think it’ll be fun!

The fourth thing that I have been working on is spending quality time with my husband. Relationships can get lost and pushed to the side when you have littles running around. It’s especially true when your life has been as crazy as ours has been the past few months. Now that Bear is a bit bigger and we’ve tested me being gone for a couple hours, my hope is that we can start going out and find some activities to try together. We’d like to do one of those paint dates, maybe a movie night (it’s been SO long y’all), a cooking class, a concert… whatever we find!

Have you thought about what your word for 2018 will be? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be praying for you and your word this year! God Bless!

New Beginnings

The old has gone, the new is here! How amazing is that? How wonderful is it that God can wash away all the old and spring forth new goodness and hope into our lives? We are officially NC residents again, we are getting settled into our new home and gearing up to get started into Boogie’s second semester of first grade and Bubby’s second semester of Pre-K. It’s been a hard few months, but we are HERE. God has truly been merciful to us, I’ve been reminded again and again to lay my burdens at His feet so that He can take on my burdens… it’s not been easy, but we made it through this trial.

I’m excited to start this year anew with some changes to what you’ll be seeing in the coming months on my blog. I have been taking a long break from writing really, with the exception of some reviews and random posts here and there because I really just didn’t know what I wanted to do with Mustard Seed Mommy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue or what I should use MSM for anymore. I love blogging, it’s always been a way for me to share family adventures with our friends/family who live out of state, it’s also been a way for me to share my faith and to share things that I love with my readers.

This past month I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about where I want to go with MSM and I thought, what better way to start this year blogging, then with my “Word” for 2018?  It’s something I’ve also been praying over, I wanted something that would push me this year… and it’s a word that’s been whispered in my ear over and over and over. Rest.

Yea, you heard me. REST. I know what you’re thinking. Rest? Trust me, I’ve said no over and over again to that word for this year. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom alone, how would I have time to rest? Guess what? Through Him I find rest. It’s as simple as that. I have to strive to be like Mary of Bethany, to rest at the feet of Jesus, to choose Him above all else. I have to say no when I want to be like Martha, running around like a crazy person attempting to make my home spotless, my home perfect for my guests… I have to find rest in Him. Always. Every. Single. Day.

So this year, you’re going to find more posts about my family and our adventures. You’re going to find posts about homeschooling and my faith. Because those things are what keep me going. Family and faith. Homeschooling is part of our family right now and I am SO SO excited to share some curriculum with you this year. I’ve got some pretty cool things up my sleeve, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve also got some things planned for a mom’s group at our church that I’ll also be sharing, lots of neat things to come.

Thank you for sticking by me all these years, it’s a big one y’all…. April will make TEN years since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings. God Bless!

 

ESV Illuminated Bible Review & Giveaway

I’ve always loved coloring and outlining different verses and sections in my bible as I study and listen to sermons. I love that Bible Journaling has become a huge thing and that so many people are artistically coloring, drawing, writing, and adding life and color to their bibles as a way to enhance their bible study and quiet time with the Lord.

I received this amazing Bible to review called the ESV Illumiated Bible – it’s the Art Journaling Edition, and let me just say how GORGEOUS this bible is. It comes in a box sleeve and the cover is a navy cloth with gold lettering. The details just on the cover and spine are beautiful.

This journaling bible contains over 500 hand-lettered illustrations (also in gold ink) by Dana Tanamachi. Tanamachi is a renowned American artist who does lettering, graphic design, and illustrations. You can learn more about Dana and her work HERE. Below you can watch a video on how Dana helped create this gorgeous bible.

I have not been able to do any writing or coloring in my bible just yet (hello crazy fast move back to NC! More on that later!), but I just had to share some of the gorgeous pages that are found in this Illuminated Bible!

You’ll find fully illustrated pages with verses, you’ll find little snippets of hand lettering in the margins, and I love the way they left space on the sides for your own drawings and writing. I can’t wait to start journaling with my bible!

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You can purchase your own copy HERE or enter to win a copy below!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/Fly By Promotions int he last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

ESV Illuminated Bible – Art Journaling Edition

Matthew West – All In Album Review & Giveaway!

Have you ever given something your all? Given your family your all? Given your job your all? Given God your all? That is what Matthew West’s new album, All In is about! When writing this new album, Matthew’s goal was to not only encourage himself, but to encourage others to get up and really live out your faith.

I’m really enjoying this album and I can truly say that it is encouraging and a great group of songs to listen to when you feel like you need a push to live out your faith. My favorite two songs are Broken Things and All In (click on the links to watch a video about the story behind the song).

Matthew is challenging his social media followers to go All In (started 9/18), I’ll link his social media accounts after this paragraph so you can check it out! You can also head HERE to purchase a copy of your own or you can enter below for your chance to win a copy! It’s easy to enter and only takes a few minutes.

. Facebook . Twitter . Instagram . YouTube .

 

I was given a copy of Matthew West’s Album All In in return for a review. All statements and opinions are my own. 

1st Grade Curriculum for 2017-2018

I thought now that we are “officially” homeschooling this coming year, meaning we are registered and under an umbrella now that Boogie is 6 and old enough to be an official homeschooler, that I would share what curriculum we have chosen for this year. Then mid year I will do a little review and then an individual review of our favorites at the end of the year!

Since this is our first year using a full curriculum I wanted to piece together things and stay within a budget. While the big box curriculums were tempting, I just couldn’t spend that much on something we might not reuse in the future. For preschool and kindergarten we use Easy Peasy – this is a FANTASTIC site with full and free curriculum for every grade! All the way through high school! Boogie learned to read with Easy Peasy and Bubby and Bird are currently learning their ABC’s with it as well. I don’t however like using the computer for everything so 1st grade is the beginning of less computer time for my big girl.

Alright! So, this is going to seem like a LOT of curriculum, but some of these things will only be done on a once a week or two/three day a week intervals. Language Arts consists of four different curriculum pieces as I have separated them into spelling, grammar, literature and handwriting.

I have included links to where I purchased our curriculum, so I wanted to note that if you purchase anything from an Amazon link that I am an affiliate and do receive a small monetary percentage of sales from these posts. This compensation goes to maintaining this blog! The rest of the links are not affiliated. 

Art – World’s Greatest Artists (Vol 1) : This curriculum was created by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler. We have used her Preschool curriculum as a supplement as well and she truly makes some fantastic resources! We are planning to utilize this, from what I’ve scheduled so far we should cover 4 artists this year. We will rotate each year between these and her World’s Greatest Composers sets until we finish them all!

Bible – Jesus Calling for Kids and Awana : I love Jesus Calling for Kids devotional. We will be utilizing this daily as well as doing some scripture copywork to go with her handwriting practice. I’m also considering sending Boogie, Bubby and Bird back to Awana as a little extra. We’ll see how that goes, it was rough last Fall because I was pregnant and we were rushing out the door when J got home from work, but it may be easier now that I know the area we live in better now and I’m not suffering from morning sickness, ha!

History – My America and My World and History for Little Pilgrims : Boogie has had lots of questions since this past presidential election, so I thought we would cover American History for 1st grade. First semester we will be using the first half of My America and My World since for Geography we are learning about the world and it includes some history of other countries as well. Second semester we will utilize History for Little Pilgrims, it reiterates some of the things we will learn in the first book, but has some great information I think she will enjoy as well. So you will see a review of the first book at the end of first semester, and then the second book at the end of second semester.

Language Arts (Literature) – Classic Literature Unit Studies : I went ahead and purchased the entire set of volume 1 literature units from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I’m in love with this curriculum. It’s going to be so fun and I know Boogie will really enjoy this. We are going to start with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then we will move on to Black Beauty and start Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She has several different volumes, and I will definitely be purchasing the other volumes when we finish this set. I’m excited to dive into some classics with Boogie, we might even do some read alouds with this during lunch for everyone!

Language Arts (Handwriting) – Writing with Phonics (Manuscript) Grade 1 : We will be using this workbook for daily handwriting practice as well as doing scripture copywork. We didn’t focus on this much this year because truly, Boogie isn’t into it. She’d much rather read a book (or lots of books) then write. But it’s something we need to work on, so we’re diving in! She won’t have much daily writing with this, so I’m hoping she will enjoy it just a little…

Language Arts (Spelling) – K12Reader : I did not want to pay for a curriculum for spelling… no thanks! So when I came across this I thought it would be perfect! No work on my part to write up our own spelling words for the year, I just had to print everything out! You’ll find that a lot of homeschool moms don’t bother with spelling, but I personally feel it’s important. Yes, she will gain spelling knowledge from reading books, but it will not only help with how she writes and spells words, but also help her sound out and identify trickier words when she is reading. So we will be using this awesome site, and if it works well for us, they have spelling worksheets for all the way up to high school!

Language Arts (Grammar) – Scott Foresman Reading : This is another subject I wasn’t interested in paying for, I think this free resource will do nicely and I can pair the worksheets with youtube videos and/or my own teaching. Grammar is so important… I think social media makes this very obvious. So, as we move on to higher grade levels I will definitely look more into a more in depth curriculum for this. But for now, this will work for what we need! There are printables for Grades 1-6 on this site.

Geography – Expedition Earth : Yes, another Confessions of a Homeschooler curriculum! I told you I loved her stuff! This is a really neat curriculum for learning the geography of the earth, I love that it includes all kinds of fun info and even some fun Christmas Around the World Activities for December! It even has a section for animals you will find in each country so there’s a little science thrown in as well! I also purchased the Road Trip USA curriculum to use next year.

Science – NONE! We are going to use the outdoors as our teacher this year. We will utilize the zoo, the aquarium, the museums, and our own outdoor adventures to learn about nature. We have our sketchbooks ready and a library waiting for us to dive into books about nature! This is going to be so fun!

Math – Math Lessons for a Living Education : So technically I haven’t ordered this yet, but I’m pretty sure this is what we are going with this year. I love how colorful everything is, I love that with these math lessons your child is learning “real life” math and that it doesn’t take all day to complete your daily work. I still need to give Boog her placement test to make sure I’m choosing the right level before I order as well… and we have a curriculum sale to go to tomorrow, so this could absolutely change (but probably not… because I think I’m pretty sold). I’ll keep you posted on this one.

That’s it! That is Boogie’s curriculum for first grade! Yikes, I can’t believe my big girl is already gearing up for first grade, does that make her officially a big kid? I’m hoping that we can get into a groove come July (yes, we are starting in July… kind of going with a year round schedule with a 4-5 week break during the summer) and that I can get her doing some independent work while I work with the littles as well.

Keep an eye out, I’m thinking about posting a video or maybe doing a live video over on my Facebook page to show you how I’m organizing and scheduling our school year. I think this will help a lot with independent work now and in the future. I’ve gathered some ideas from fellow bloggers and created my own ideas as well! Thanks for reading!