• Family & Homeschool

    Getting Started with Homeschooling

    We’ve been homeschooling since our oldest was 4. She’s turning 17 this March. Crazy! We’ve been doing it for a long time, but it seems like just yesterday that we decided homeschooling was the right thing for our family. Luckily we’ve loved <<almost>> every minute of it. Over the years we’ve had a lot of people talk to us about homeschooling. Some are curious and want help getting started. Some are skeptical and think they could never do it. Some praise us and others criticize us. But, I think overall, most people admire us for our decision to homeschool and have seen how it has benefited our children. I’ve put…

  • Leadership & Personal Development

    Motivation–Guest Post

    I’m super excited to introduce you to our guest–our son, Ephram. Jonathan and Ephram have a weekly commitment in which Ephram reads from a classic book for 30 minutes a day for 3 days, then writes his thoughts on what he read. He specifically looks for leadership traits in the characters. As a reward, Ephram gets 30 extra minutes of screen time. One of the books he has been reading recently is called Edge by Chris Brady and Orrin Woodward. It is full of short articles and stories and pictures and quotes that are designed to teach young people the principles of self-improvement. This post is one of the papers…

  • Leadership & Personal Development

    7 Steps to Set You Up for SUCCESS

    Last week I went to see Rachel Hollis’ Made for More documentary with some girlfriends. First, I love hanging out with my friends, and I realized I don’t do it enough. This year I want to make a better effort to get together with them. Second, it was an awesome learning experience! Rachel puts on a personal development conference every year and, because she gets that not everyone has the money or the ability to attend her 3 day conference, she provides some hi-lights in the form of a documentary. It’s for anyone who can get to the  movie theater and buy a ticket. She wants everyone to have a…

  • Leadership & Personal Development

    Leaders Play Hurt

    I remember vividly sitting around the TV with my family in 1993 watching the Phoenix Suns in the NBA finals against the Chicago Bulls. Two things stand out most about this memory. Firstly – my mom screams while rooting for athletics. She can be a rowdy fan! Secondly was the awe I felt while watching Charles Barkley rise through an injury to lead the team. This memory really stands out, because Charles Barkley was originally very excited to come to the Suns, hoping he wouldn’t have to be the team leader like he was for the 76ers. He was looking forward to being a strong support for Kevin Johnson and…

  • Family & Homeschool

    Best of 2018

    At this time of year people usually reflect on the past year and make plans for a successful new year. I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever reflected, but this year I decided to do it. And I asked my kids to do the same. The way we did it was to go back through our Chatbooks. Chatbooks have got to be the greatest idea ever. Chatbooks is linked to my personal Instagram account, and whenever I add a picture to Instagram, it automatically links to Chatbooks. When I have 60 images, a book is generated and mailed. It’s a super simple way for me to document our activities.…

  • Family & Homeschool

    Acts of Service {free printable}

    This year we did an awesome thing! Back in January, I set a goal that we would complete 50 acts of service as a family before the end of the year. And we finished on Monday. Yay! 50 acts of service in one year breaks down to about 1 act of service every week. I created a chart for us to keep track on and we brainstormed some ideas. There were some weeks when we did nothing and had to play catch-up. Even with our list of ideas, we had times when we couldn’t think of any way to serve. I asked friends and searched Pinterest. Some of our acts…

  • Leadership & Personal Development,  Other

    Helping your Mental Development

    We are taking the week off of school. (That’s one of the benefits of homeschooling.) It’s been nice. We’ve gotten a few projects done, had some time to volunteer, and spent time doing Christmas activities. It’s been a little hard on my oldest, though, because there isn’t a real schedule. She thrives on a schedule. I like schedules, too, but this week I’ve just been creating a to-do list and chuncking my time. Our morning routine has stayed the same. Meals and bed times are the same. But everything in the middle has been free time and project time. I’ve gotten a lot done. Her? Not so much. Because I…

  • Family & Homeschool

    My Favorite Christmas Tradition

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the gift that we give to my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Several years ago they told us that they didn’t need any more stuff. So in lieu of a Christmas gift they asked us to perform an act of service in their name and tell them all about it at Christmas. It has become one of our favorite parts of the holiday. One reason I love this tradition is the spirit it puts us in. We think more about giving than receiving. And our focus is more on Christ. Over the years we have done some great service projects. One year my sister-in-law had…

  • Leadership & Personal Development

    Journaling to Write Better (free printable)

    I’ve mentioned before that I started blogging as a way for me to practice writing. I know that sharing the things I’ve learned is part of my mission, and writing is one way for me to share. This blog is a place for me to share the things I write and it holds me accountable. (Thanks for reading as I learn). I soon realized that I needed more writing practice. As a homeschool mom, I’m a firm believer that reading and writing make you a better writer. I am already a strong reader, so I decided to start writing in a journal every night. I’ve kept journals off and on…

  • Leadership & Personal Development

    25 Ways to Show Love

    It’s a basic human need to love and be loved. And everyone has a primary way of showing and receiving love. Like spoken languages, we all have a love language—a language we “speak” to show affection. Gary Chapman has written a book all about the different languages of love called “The Five Love Languages”. It is a must read for anyone looking to win at the game of relationships. Gary believes that there are 5 ways people communicate love—Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. He says that typically a person will express love the same way he receives love. There’s a story of…