Bloglovin’ {no more google reader!!}

Sad news in the blog world, google reader is going to be leaving us on July 1st of this year. Oh how I love google reader!! I have read all my favorite blogs on there for years now.

But, I saw a few people that recommended Feedly (checked it out) and then I found Bloglovin’ and think I like it better already!

I quickly imported all my google reader blogs right over to the bloglovin’ reader and voila! It was quick and painless!

You can follow me there, too! They make it really easy!! Try it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Follow on Bloglovin

And there’s an app for that! woo-hoo! I already have it on my phone and love that I can read all my blogs that way from now on!!

Here’s a screenshot of my own blog on the bloglovin’ app:

Looking back on 2012…highlights!

I’ve seen lots of bloggers posting about their Best of 2012 and so I thought I would join in! What a fun way to summarize this year and all the amazing things God has done…and is continuing to do!! Instead of looking back with regret (as there are always mistakes and things I wish I had done differently) let’s focus on the positive and see what good things the Lord is doing!

After I share my favorite posts & moments, I will share with you the posts that got the most HITS this year…the posts YOU liked best!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was blessed with the opportunity to go on TWO mission trips in 2012…

Belizeย in January

Southeast Asia in April

I did a {short} series on Motherhood…truth be told, I have a few more thoughts I was hoping to share, but life got ahead of me! ha!!

I hit 3,000 gifts that I’ve been counting!! Oh how He blesses us!!

My kids and I memorized all of JAMES CHAPTER 1!! That is HUGE!! Woot!
My word of the year ~ FAITH ~ was used by God in many ways to stretch me in 2012. ย The mission trip to southeast Asia was probably the biggest test of my faith in 2012.

My littlest brother and his family moved to Guatemala!! A big deal for our family…it was hard saying goodbye, but Skype and FAITH and TRUST in God’s goodness and His sovereignty have played a big part in each of our hearts.

Here are all 6 grandkids on my side a few weeks before they moved.

We have now finished over 100 days of our 2012-2013 school year!! We are excited about starting our 2nd semester in the next week!! It’s still hard for me to believe that I have a 5th grader, 4th grader and 2nd grader in my home!!

In October, I did a 31 day series on Praying the Psalms!!

I also finished the BIBLE in 90 DAYS for the 3rd time!! HUGE accomplishment!! I am so completely humbled that God would allow me this privilege to learn, grow and TRUST Him to do this in me!!

Thank you so much for stopping by in 2012…and I pray your 2013 will be BLESSED with continued and growing faith, hope and love.ย 

These are a few of my favorite things…

Last year I saw this fun idea on Nester’s blog…and while I never had a “favorite things” party in my home, I did share my favorite things here on the blog and lots of others did on their blogs too! So, we just had cyber space favorite things parties. ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought I would share my favorites again this year….it’s fun to find new favorites!

Here’s Nester’s link for the Favorite Things Party 2012!! {Is it ok that I stole your graphic, Nester, since I’m linking up? I hope so!} ๐Ÿ™‚

My favorite new socks. I love socks. I love cute socks. I know, I’m weird. On my birthday I got to go to a huge super target that’s over an hour away…and they had CUTE SOCKS ย on sale big time!! I was super excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

Found the links at Target! ย I got these and these and these. The sale at this Target was 5 pairs for $10! can’t beat that for cute socks! ha!

Another new-ish favorite to me is Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, dish soap and all purpose spray. This stuff smells soooooo good! Guess what? They don’t have it at our small town redneck walmart…but I found it at the huge super target on my birthday!! ๐Ÿ™‚ This hand soap in HONEYSUCKLE is amazing.

I am not trying to toot my own horn or anything (I didn’t come up with the recipe actually!!) But this new lotion I’ve been making is FABULOUS!! I have been using it consistently for weeks now, have made several batches and still love it so much!! I especially love that each jar is less than $1 when you divide up the costs!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And ya’ll, it literally takes MOMENTS to make this. I’m not lying. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve given quite a few as gifts now…I love giving homemade gifts!! This lotion really is one of my new favorites.

For our anniversary in September, we got a Keurig ! oh my, I never thought I would say I love a coffee pot. But, I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Along with our Keurig, I love the fact that we got the Ekobrew Cup, Refillable Cup. We do use the k-cups and have them on hand for company as well, but I try to use this refillable cup for my daily coffee. ๐Ÿ™‚ Less $$ this way!

What about favorite devotionals…well,ย Jesus Callingย is still one of my all time favorite books ever. God continues to speak to me through this book in amazing ways and I’ve been using it for over a year. But, this year, I have a new devotional that I have also been reading that is FABULOUS…a new favorite! If you loved the book,One Thousand Gifts, you will love this also. And these are new devotionals – same theme on gratitude, but it isn’t just excerpts from her book, if that makes sense! And in the back of the book there are journaling pages for counting to 1000 gifts!! As you know, I’ve been counting my gifts here on my blog each Monday and am at more than 3,400!! Wowzers!! But I started in this journal also… each morning I take time to be thankful. ๐Ÿ™‚

Honestly, counting these blessings…naming the gifts…has increased my faith and trust in God. To see in a tangible way the THOUSANDS of little gifts He has given me — oh, HOW HE LOVES US, friends!!

One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces (One Thousand Gifts Journal)

Pinterest for Sponsored Children??

As you know, I love Pinterest!
You probably also know that I love the Compassionย organization.

{Emily with a picture of our Compassion kid, Keneth}

Well, did you know that you can combine these 2 loves?? ๐Ÿ™‚

I have created a Pinterest board for my sponsored children!! Would you like to take a peek??

One of my FAVORITE things about the social media world {facebook, pinterest & instagram being my favorites} is learning how to USE THEM FOR GOOD!!!

I love sharing prayer requests on facebook.
I love sharing my scripture journaling on instagram.
I love pinning things on pinterest that will bless my family and others!
Now, I can pin things on pinterest that will help me be a better sponsor for my sponsored children!!

Awesome, right??

{Hannah with one of our recent letters from Keneth}

So, I’d love for you to follow along as I pin ideas for my sponsored children. You could also start one to help you with your sponsored children as well!! There is also a Compassion/Pinterest contest going on right now…check it out!

Welome to the Charlotte Mason Carnival!

Welcome, friends! I hope you are refreshed, encouraged and inspired as you cozy up for an afternoon read of these delightful posts from my Charlotte Mason friends!
Amanda shares with us a lovely metal embossing project that your children might enjoy!
~For Your Younger Students~
Jessica gives us some great tips on spelling with our young ones…the Charlotte Mason way, of course!
~For Your Older Students~
Linda Fay graciously shares with us her Year 7 book list in great detail for those of us needing help the year 7 age group!
Barb has some excellent thoughts and points to consider as you school your high school students entitled Charlotte Mason High School or Not?
Christy gives us her thoughts on the habit of attention, after reading from Laying Down the Rails.
Keri shares with us some thoughts on Charlotte Mason and memorization!


~Nature study and Outdoor fun~
Tammy shares with us about their summer vacation plans, or rules, I should say! Check out her great ideas for getting OUTSIDE more and watching television LESS.
Martha shares the beautiful process of metamorphisis with her children!
Cay shares an absolutely lovely day that she recently shared with her children!
Cindy has a fascinating start to studying mushrooms with her children! Check out these pictures!
Barb has a post that I love about nature study and what the main GOAL is in studying nature with your children! (Be sure and turn up that volume too, you’ll feel as though you’re having some nature study right there at your computer!)


~Lovely Living Books~
Molly gives us some fantastic tips on choosing great books!
Lizzie shares a sample narration from the classic, Pilgrim’s Progress.
My children and I have taken a lovely rabbit trail down the Beatrix Potter path. We had a neat lesson on observation the other day.
Katie shares with us her thoughts on living books and how to use them with various subjects in your schooling.


Finally, as most of us gear up for a new school year, be encouraged by these gentle reminders from Renae.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Charlotte Mason carnival and are inspired as you make your plans for the summer as well as upcoming school year! Be sure and head to Higher Up and Further In for the next edition of the CM carnival on May 26th! You can make your submissions here.
**I apologize for the spacing issues in this post! For some reason, my spacing goes wonko when I have lots of links or pictures in a post! I put in a space and it doesn’t show up, or I delete a line and end up with a big gap in my post! If you have any ideas on how to avoid this problem with blogspot, just let me know! ๐Ÿ™‚