Thursday, May 31, 2012

Decision Making {it can be a bit...stressful}

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This picture pretty much shows what I have been spending my free time reading lately. I think I have just about requested every homeschool curriculum catalog I could find! This photo is missing a few, since I am still waiting to receive them in the mail. Are any of you homeschool mamas out there like me? Do you tend to drive yourself just a tad bit crazy over choosing which curriculum is the right fit for your children?

I think the main reason  I am putting so much pressure on myself is because my daughter will be entering into Kindergarten this year and, well, that is a big milestone in a little ones life. I don't want to mess it up for her. Between reading and searching for the right curriculum to keep her engaged and wanting to learn, to looking up co-op information and other activities to get her involved with throughout the fall/winter, I am overwhelming myself...probably more than need be. And, on top of it all, I would really like to have everything chosen, ordered, and received, before the babys' arrival in July, so that I can start planning out our days and gathering up all the extra supplies we will need to start the year off right!

Yes, it's been a bit stressful, but at the same time, also a lot of fun! If you remember, my hubby used to have the attitude of "whatever you decide, I will support 100%", which was nice, but not really what I needed. I wanted his input and advice to help make this decision all the more easier. Thankfully, this year, he is all on board to read through each and every magazine with me , listen to me ramble on and on about why I like this particular curriculum over the other and so on, and really have an active role in which books and lessons we choose to use to teach our daughter with. And let me tell you, that is such a HUGE stress reliever. And I need all the relief I can get!!

Through the experience thus far, I have already seen how it has brought us a bit closer as a family unit. Learning together as a family. Planning educational, fun, activites to do together, and having it all centered around Christ and our beliefs as a family! That is the most important part to both my husband and myself and the main reason why we chose to homeschool in the first place!

So, no matter what curriculum I choose, what "extra-curricular" activities we may or may not be a part of, it is all going to work out just wonderfully. Emma, and essentially Caleb and our newest blessing as well, are not going to "fail" because I decided to teach them at home. For I am following God's plan for their lives and mine. And if He is in the plan, well then how can it fail?

I will continue to lift in prayer my concerns over what to teach and I know God will place the right curriculum on my heart and I will wonder why I ever stressed over it in the first place! We can be so silly, can we not?

I hope this little "pep-talk" that I just gave to myself here encourages some of you who may also be stressing over which road to take with homeschooling. It is not an easy decision and the choices are endless, but God placed the option on your hearts for a reason, a reason so important it must not be ignored. Give it all to Him and He will work all the details out for you! He will take away the stress and replace it with the joys of exactly why He wants you to homeschool to begin with - the precious lives of your children!

With Christ...you cannot fail!

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If you have any questions or would simply like me to pray for you as you make your homeschooling decision, please leave me a comment below, or you can email me at amysbooksnyarn@gmail.com. I would love to pray for you!

And, could I ask for prayers as well? Prayers that I will not stress and allow God to work in my life as we make this decision. Plus, that I won't worry about how it is all going to work out once we add a newborn to the mix! Thank you so much sweet friends!

::

Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. ~ Psalm 5:8

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yarn Along {12}

With the busyness of the past weekend, not much knitting got accomplished. I had all intentions of relaxing and knitting as much as possible, as well as reading, but the phone kept ringing and the invites kept coming, so, needless to say, I spent a lot of time talking it up with friends and family, and little time knitting! I'll take it, though! We had a wonderful time!

I am just about ready to cast off on my Watermelon Dress for baby girl. So cute! Cannot wait to show it off next week!

Once I am finished with the Watermelon Dress, I am planning to start on this cute Chevron Baby Blanket in hopes to have it finished before her July arrival. I ordered all 7 skeins of yarn and spent a little time Saturday morning using my new swift to wind it all up! Best birthday present ever! I have had my share of knots one too many times to go without a swift ever again! I even had  the pleasure of some little hands wanting to help as well. They enjoyed it just as much as I did!

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I decided on pinks and purples for the blanket and am extremely anxious to see how it all knits up!

While at the library a few weeks back, I came across the book, Chosen by Ginger Garrett, and checked it out. It is a fictional story about Queen Esther that shares a lot of Bible history throughout it as well. Very interesting biblical love story! I am really enjoying it and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Linking up once again with Ginny!


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For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~ Hebrews 4:15



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins {late day review/giveaway}

I meant to sit and write up this review over the weekend so it would be ready to post yesterday, but that never happened! Then I wanted to sit last night to write it and and have it ready to go for this morning, but again, never happened. Instead, we enjoyed our three-day holiday weekend, immensely! So, here is the post I have been meaning to get to...a little later than intended, but written up none the less!


Gone to Ground: A NovelGone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins is a suspense-filled mystery that truly keeps you guessing until the very end! The story goes through the lives of three very different women who set out to solve an ongoing murder mystery in their own, small, southern, town. Each women believes they know who the killer is...someone they are each very close too. A brother, a husband, the mayor...who done it?

Ms. Collins does such a remarkable job of taking us through each and every emotion in the lives of these women as they go through each day sorting out the details they know, trying to prove their own case. And through the heartache and pain, friendships are born, trust is restored and justice is served!

I am usually not a huge fan of mysteries, but reading this book may have changed all that for me. I was happy to read that this is actually Ms. Collins 23rd novel, which means I have 22 other options to look into for some great mystery reading this summer! I am sure I will not be disappointed!

This is truly a page-turner, cannot-put-it-down, type of book. Perfect for summer reading!

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**GIVEAWAY CLOSED!! The winners were #2, Heather and #4, Ruby! Thanks to all who entered!!**
Does this sound like a book you would enjoy reading this summer? Well then, how would you like to win a copy? BH Publishing Group has offered up two copies for me to giveaway! All you need to do is leave me a comment, stating you would like to win, beofre midnight EST Tuesday, June 5. Easy peasy, right?!

Thank you to BH Publishing Group and PR by the Book for supplying me with a copy to read. All opinions expressed are my own!


Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. ~ Psalm 105:4


Friday, May 25, 2012

Thankful for Dirty Dishes {guest posting}

We've just finished eating our third and final meal of the day and I'm carrying dirty dishes into the kitchen feeling like I never left it. Stepping over cars and trains that are scattered among Polly Pockets and My Little Ponies thinking of all that still needs to be done. Kids need bathed and laundry needs folded and I am standing in a mound of dirty dishes wondering why?

Why did my dreams consist of this?
Why did I want to live my life cooking and cleaning and nurturing all day, everyday?

What would it have been like if I was a fancy editor living in New York or a designer in Paris? How about a Lawyer or Teacher, Doctor or Nurse?

Why were none of those my dream; my plan?


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Our Family for His Glory

Today I am guest posting over at Our Family for His Glory! To read the rest of the post, stop on over and make sure to say "Hi"!


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. ~ Colossians 3:23

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lately...

The weather lately has been nothing but perfect and we've been outside enjoying every last second of it that we can!

The sky has been the most gorgeous shade of blue and the sun seems to have never shown any brighter around here. So much joy has been celebrated lately and thanks to my fun, new, toy, I have been capturing every moment of it!

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{cupcakes that my sister made...she really needs to open her own cupcake shop!}

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This past weekend found us celebrating a special little guys birthday as well as allowing me to enjoy a day of doing something that I just cannot get enough of lately - learning about alpaca's, sheep, and the wonderful world of fiber! We attended a sheep and fiber fest, my first, and let me just say that my experience there only confirmed even more how much I need to live on a little farm with some sheep and alpaca's of my own! My husband even commented that he never would have thought I would want to be a country girl - but I do sweetie, I really, really, do!

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{sheep herding}

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{my bag of goodies}



This is my life, right now. Anticipating summer's offical arrival, but enjoying this warm spring weather until then. Still trying, each and everyday, to simplify and enjoy life, just as it is, right where I am! For the future looks so bright, filled with so much joy, as well as new life and new adventures.
We cannot wait! It is only going to get better...
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yarn Along {11} :: Baby Things

Finally! I am finally able to get to the baby items on my "want to knit" list! I finished all the shawls I was knitting as gifts, and on time, so now I can settle in with some soft, colorful, yarn and create mama made knits for the little blessing due to grace our presence in a few short weeks! The nesting stage has begun, full force, and I cannot get enough of all the sweetness knitting for baby brings! I cast on, quickly cast off, and cast on another, right after the other! 

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I finished this cute hat and booties set in about 2 days! The striping effect of this yarn is just perfect for a summer babe! It reminds me of watermelon!

I am now starting on this sweet little dress using the same yarn, so she has a matching set! Knit in the round from the bottom up, it is proving to be an easy, quick, knit! And, it is seamless, which is a huge plus for me, for I dislike, greatly, having to sew up seams!

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I have to say, all this baby knitting is making me more anxious, than I already am, to meet our newest little blessing! I cannot wait to see the little hat on her head and the booties on her little feet!

My reading has taken a back seat lately. I am still reading, just not as quickly and as much as I normally do. The knitting, nesting, and baby fever, has completely taken over! However, all that being said, I am reading a wonderfully suspenseful mystery titled Gone to Ground. It takes place in the southern town of Amaryllis, Mississippi. Six murders have taken place in this small town in the past three years and three seperate women are convinced they know who the killer is. Someone each of them is very close too! It is a fast - paced read, which I love, that has me on the edge of my seat not wanting to stop reading for anything! I will most likely have it finished in no time!

Linking up once again with Ginny!


Watermelon Hat and Booties Notes and Pattern found here!
Yarn is Knitpicks Felici Sport in Picnic


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's on Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

It has been quite some time since I last participated in What's on Your Nightstand?, so I thought I would go ahead and jump in again!

It is a fun meme, especially for a book lover like myself. My TBR pile always grows significantly when I join in on bookish memes! I have discovered wonderful books as well as authors, some I would have never thought to read otherwise, through reading book blogs and participating in bookish activities!

I have a few review titles and a library book, that has already been renewed once, to read first, so for the rest of May and into June, I am hoping to finish the following titles:

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Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins ~ Amaryllis, Mississippi, resembles the flower for which it's named---bright with southern hospitality. But poison lurks in its center. A serial killer is responsible for five unsolved murders. And now the blood of a sixth stains the town. Three terrified women are sure they know who the perpetrator is---but they all suspect a different man. Who's right? {description from cbd.com}

Chosen by Ginger Garrett ~ Her wit and beauty brought her the throne, and her compassion saved a nation. But what was hidden in her heart? Read the secrets of Queen Esther---from her days as a poor market wench through her marriage to the most powerful man in the ancient world. What really happened in Xerxes's palace? {description from cbd.com}

Break Through by Clinton Springle ~ "He's had a rough life." "It's probably my fault." We frequently excuse others' poor behavior. But when should we speak up? Helping you deal constructively with difficult relationships, Clinton and Springle show how to set respectful boundaries so you can protect yourself from the controlling, irresponsible behavior of spouses, parents, friends, and co-workers. {description from cbd.com}

Once I get through these, I am hoping to start on The Mysterious Benedict Society.{psst...if you are interested in this series, now would be a great time to purchase it since Amazon is selling the whole series for an incredibly low price of $14}

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I am sure I am going to need something a little lighter as well as something that can be read without too much thought being put into it once I finish the above mentioned titles and I am thinking that these books will be perfect for that.

What have you been reading lately?


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Celebrating His Life

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I never knew how much love my heart could hold until you were placed in my arms three years ago today!
My little guy...mommy's little boy! Oh how my heart swells with love for you!
You are the true definition of boy! Dirt, cars, truck, superheroes, you enjoy them all! And your energy...oh my! You climb just about anything that can be climbed, as well as things that can't! You love to jump no matter how high from the ground the object you are jumping from is! Nothing scares you, well except spiders. You despise spiders. All other types of bugs are just fine...but spiders? Forget it!

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You have that rough and tumble side to you, but you are certainly a sweet natured little boy! Always giving hugs to Emma and I. Wrapping your arms around my neck telling me you love me! Saying "I do it mama!" and trying with all your might to lend that helping hand!

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You sing, dance, and love talking to Jesus! Your favorite book is your "Bible Book" and for the longest time, it went everywhere with you! I didn't mind one bit!! Made me picture you as a missionary or preacher one day! You would climb up on the couch, "Bible Book" under your arm, and sit there, "reading" it while looking through the pictures on every page. I pray that your love for the Bible stays with you and you desire to read it the older you get just as much as you do now!

You have such a vivid imagination and I am loving every second of watching it develop more and more the older you get! You sit with blocks and your cars and pretend for what seems like hours! Never getting tired of it!

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You are a cuddler, a hugger, a soft-hearted, caring, loving, little boy!  Always finding my hand in the dark - I have to admit, that brings me as much comfort as I know it brings you! You make daddy and me so very proud!

Just like birthdays past, this, too, is a bittersweet day! For as much as I love watcing you grow, I wish I could keep you this little, forever! My little man!

But instead of dwelling on things I cannot change, I will embrace each and everyday -  good or bad! For you are a gift, Caleb! A rare and true gift indeed. Given to me and daddy by the One who loves us so very much!! More than I think we all realize sometimes!

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Keep Smiling, little one! Love Jesus with all your heart! Remember how much I love you and always will! But most importantly, remember how much Jesus loves you and how much He always will!

We love you Caleb!
Happy Birthday!!

::


"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day." ~ Psalm 139:13-16 {The Message}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blessed Everyday in the Miracles

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{Trying to get Caleb to smile and look at the camera at the same time can, at most times, be a trying feat. Hence the reason his tongue is sticking out in this pic and Emma looks upset that he will not cooperate!}

They make me laugh. Everyday!
Their little quirks and out-of-nowhere repeats of what they once heard mama or daddy say has me wondering most days, "how did they remember that?".
It is truly amazing to me how much their little minds are soaking up and learning, all on their own, each and everyday!
One day they start to crawl then walk and it's like, "how did that happen? I never taught them that!"
They start to talk putting sentences together right before my eyes. Helping themselves to fruit and juice in the kitchen. Feeding the dogs, making their beds, putting their clothes away once mama has them washed and folded. These little miracles growing up ever so quickly right in front of me.
And if I am too busy, I will miss it. Miss out on all the little blessings these little miracles give to me in one day!

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{I just adore this pic of my mom and sister walking with my kids!}

God gifted these children to me! I know they belong to Him and are essentially on "loan" to me, so while we are here on this earth together, I want to enjoy every moment with them. The good and the bad. The hard and the easy. The laughter, tears, triumphs, failures. Because they all exist in each and everyone of our lives. I want to show my children how to praise God in the good and the bad, as I am learning to do in my own life.

I want to be present through it all. Since I cannot have a video camera on 24/7 catching it all so I don't forget, I want to be available to witness it all - as much as I can - and cherish, saving the memory in my mind and my heart.

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Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones really kicking in, or the fact that we just celebrated Mother's Day, but I have been feeling extra sentimental towards my children lately and how truly blessed I really am. I am in awe of how loving and giving my Jesus is! Everytime I look into their little faces, I am reminded of just how much He loves me!

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Beyond anxious to meet our newest little girl in a few short weeks and experience a new set of blessings each and evertday!

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**hubby gifted me an iPhone for my b-day and needless to say, I am having way too much fun with it. all the pics in this post were taken and edited with the iPhone! Love it!!

**we had the pleasure of visiting the Detroit Zoo while visiting with my aunt last week. this is where these pics were taken at.

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"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." ~ Psalm 127:3

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventure and Virtues

I am spending today doing laundry and packing for our trip to see my aunt in Michigan. We leave tomorrow morning and the kids are excited...to say the least! They love going on adventures, as they call them, and besides, the hotel we are staying in has a pool! Kids and a pool...what could be better?

I am most excited about seeing my aunt, of course, and gifting her the shawl I made her, but I am also anxious to visit a yarn shop I found in one of the towns we will be visiting. I think I will be doing a bit of birthday shopping for myself while we are there!

But, my reason for writing today isn't just about my excitement over our trip, it is also about my excitement over the wonderful offers We Choose Virtues is offering this month!


For the whole month of May, We Choose Virtues, is offering 30% off their Parenting Cards with promo code SPRING30. Oh...it gets better! This is the time of year when homeschool parents start thinking about curriculum for next school year. Well, We Choose Virtues wants to help you out a bit and offer 25% off their Homeschool Kit with promo code HOMESCHOOL25! And...on top of all this, the whole month of May they are giving free shipping, both within the US and internationally!! No promo code needed!

As always, you can check my sidebar under the We Choose Virtues button, for all the latest promo codes and sales.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to We Choose Virtues and stock up on some great resources to help teach your children all about strong morals and virtues! We have enjoyed using their products and I know you will enjoy using them with your children as well!

I am off now to finish packing and calm my kids excitement over asking when we are leaving on our little adventure!

Have a great weekend!



Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. ~ Psalm 150:6


 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yarn Along {10} :: A Finished Piece

My Oaklet Shawl is blocking as we speak, but I had to get some pics up of it, even though it is not technically finished.

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I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially since I had to add a different color yarn for the border. I am just hoping that after blocking, it stretches out a bit more, since right now it is just sitting right over my shoulders and not quite wrapping around to the front.


We are leaving this Saturday and heading to Michigan to visit my aunt, whom this shawl is for. I am really hoping she is pleased with how this has turned out!


I am now going to cast on a shawlette for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. Hoping that the drive to and from Michigan allows me ample knitting time so I have it finished by Mother's Day. I decided on the Two-Step and Tango Scarf and Shawlette. I am using this gorgeous, hand-painted, yarn from Zibeline Knits. It was gifted to me about a year ago and sitting lovingly in my stash ever since. I think it will knit up into the perfect, little, shawlette.

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On the reading front, I am about 100 pages from finishing The Fault in our Stars. It is pretty good, but I am anticipating a teary ending. It's YA, which I typically am not drawn to, but lately finding myself reading a lot of. Once I finish this, I am hoping to start on The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I am really enjoying all the Sarah Addison Allen books I have read and am sure this one will not disappoint either.


What are you working on?


Linking up with Ginny

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

For you, sweet little one

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I have been thinking of you a lot lately.
It may have something to do with the constant kicking, but I honestly do not mind.
Kick away, little one. I like knowing that you are there and like to think that you are trying to kick your way out, because I know you are just as anxious as I to meet!

I have to tell you how blessed you already are.
God has given you an amazing big sister who has prayed for you long before we knew you were coming. She is just as anxious as, if not more than, I am for you to arrive! Oh the plans she has for you! Sisters are a blessing...a treasure! I love my sister, your Aunt Holly, and I pray you and Emma become the best of friends, as sisters should!
And Caleb...your big brother...oh what a joy! I always wish I had an older brother. So this, sweet one, is truly a gift indeed. He is so gentle and kind-hearted. I have a feeling that he is going to take you under his wing and show you how to do most anything. He is going to look out for you and be your protector, but most of all, your friend, just like a big brother should be.

Your daddy, is amazing! As you get a bit older, he will be the one with whom you will have all the fun with! He will chase you and do somersaults with you, wrestle on the couch, jump on the bed, and teach you how to laugh at just about everything. He will love you so hard and make sure that you know it each and everday! Emma and Caleb adore him, but I know they will gladly share him with you!

As for me, well, I am your mama. I will love you no matter what. I have prayed for you from the beginning...always knowing from way back when that I wanted to be a mama to as many children as God will bless me with! I am looking forward to seeing you grow and witnessing your personality; your likes and dislikes; and just how different, or alike, you and Emma will be! I can't wait to look into your eyes and see you smile for the first time - hearing you laugh and talk for the first time as well! I am anxious to see if you will end up with red hair, or the same light brown as Emma and Caleb. But most important, I cannot wait to teach you about Jesus and watch you fall madly in love with Him! For He loves you more than your daddy and I ever could!

Counting down the weeks...11 more to go! I cannot wait, baby girl!


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139: 13-14

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Decision Making {it can be a bit...stressful}

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This picture pretty much shows what I have been spending my free time reading lately. I think I have just about requested every homeschool curriculum catalog I could find! This photo is missing a few, since I am still waiting to receive them in the mail. Are any of you homeschool mamas out there like me? Do you tend to drive yourself just a tad bit crazy over choosing which curriculum is the right fit for your children?

I think the main reason  I am putting so much pressure on myself is because my daughter will be entering into Kindergarten this year and, well, that is a big milestone in a little ones life. I don't want to mess it up for her. Between reading and searching for the right curriculum to keep her engaged and wanting to learn, to looking up co-op information and other activities to get her involved with throughout the fall/winter, I am overwhelming myself...probably more than need be. And, on top of it all, I would really like to have everything chosen, ordered, and received, before the babys' arrival in July, so that I can start planning out our days and gathering up all the extra supplies we will need to start the year off right!

Yes, it's been a bit stressful, but at the same time, also a lot of fun! If you remember, my hubby used to have the attitude of "whatever you decide, I will support 100%", which was nice, but not really what I needed. I wanted his input and advice to help make this decision all the more easier. Thankfully, this year, he is all on board to read through each and every magazine with me , listen to me ramble on and on about why I like this particular curriculum over the other and so on, and really have an active role in which books and lessons we choose to use to teach our daughter with. And let me tell you, that is such a HUGE stress reliever. And I need all the relief I can get!!

Through the experience thus far, I have already seen how it has brought us a bit closer as a family unit. Learning together as a family. Planning educational, fun, activites to do together, and having it all centered around Christ and our beliefs as a family! That is the most important part to both my husband and myself and the main reason why we chose to homeschool in the first place!

So, no matter what curriculum I choose, what "extra-curricular" activities we may or may not be a part of, it is all going to work out just wonderfully. Emma, and essentially Caleb and our newest blessing as well, are not going to "fail" because I decided to teach them at home. For I am following God's plan for their lives and mine. And if He is in the plan, well then how can it fail?

I will continue to lift in prayer my concerns over what to teach and I know God will place the right curriculum on my heart and I will wonder why I ever stressed over it in the first place! We can be so silly, can we not?

I hope this little "pep-talk" that I just gave to myself here encourages some of you who may also be stressing over which road to take with homeschooling. It is not an easy decision and the choices are endless, but God placed the option on your hearts for a reason, a reason so important it must not be ignored. Give it all to Him and He will work all the details out for you! He will take away the stress and replace it with the joys of exactly why He wants you to homeschool to begin with - the precious lives of your children!

With Christ...you cannot fail!

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If you have any questions or would simply like me to pray for you as you make your homeschooling decision, please leave me a comment below, or you can email me at amysbooksnyarn@gmail.com. I would love to pray for you!

And, could I ask for prayers as well? Prayers that I will not stress and allow God to work in my life as we make this decision. Plus, that I won't worry about how it is all going to work out once we add a newborn to the mix! Thank you so much sweet friends!

::

Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. ~ Psalm 5:8

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yarn Along {12}

With the busyness of the past weekend, not much knitting got accomplished. I had all intentions of relaxing and knitting as much as possible, as well as reading, but the phone kept ringing and the invites kept coming, so, needless to say, I spent a lot of time talking it up with friends and family, and little time knitting! I'll take it, though! We had a wonderful time!

I am just about ready to cast off on my Watermelon Dress for baby girl. So cute! Cannot wait to show it off next week!

Once I am finished with the Watermelon Dress, I am planning to start on this cute Chevron Baby Blanket in hopes to have it finished before her July arrival. I ordered all 7 skeins of yarn and spent a little time Saturday morning using my new swift to wind it all up! Best birthday present ever! I have had my share of knots one too many times to go without a swift ever again! I even had  the pleasure of some little hands wanting to help as well. They enjoyed it just as much as I did!

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I decided on pinks and purples for the blanket and am extremely anxious to see how it all knits up!

While at the library a few weeks back, I came across the book, Chosen by Ginger Garrett, and checked it out. It is a fictional story about Queen Esther that shares a lot of Bible history throughout it as well. Very interesting biblical love story! I am really enjoying it and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Linking up once again with Ginny!


::



For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~ Hebrews 4:15



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins {late day review/giveaway}

I meant to sit and write up this review over the weekend so it would be ready to post yesterday, but that never happened! Then I wanted to sit last night to write it and and have it ready to go for this morning, but again, never happened. Instead, we enjoyed our three-day holiday weekend, immensely! So, here is the post I have been meaning to get to...a little later than intended, but written up none the less!


Gone to Ground: A NovelGone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins is a suspense-filled mystery that truly keeps you guessing until the very end! The story goes through the lives of three very different women who set out to solve an ongoing murder mystery in their own, small, southern, town. Each women believes they know who the killer is...someone they are each very close too. A brother, a husband, the mayor...who done it?

Ms. Collins does such a remarkable job of taking us through each and every emotion in the lives of these women as they go through each day sorting out the details they know, trying to prove their own case. And through the heartache and pain, friendships are born, trust is restored and justice is served!

I am usually not a huge fan of mysteries, but reading this book may have changed all that for me. I was happy to read that this is actually Ms. Collins 23rd novel, which means I have 22 other options to look into for some great mystery reading this summer! I am sure I will not be disappointed!

This is truly a page-turner, cannot-put-it-down, type of book. Perfect for summer reading!

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**GIVEAWAY CLOSED!! The winners were #2, Heather and #4, Ruby! Thanks to all who entered!!**
Does this sound like a book you would enjoy reading this summer? Well then, how would you like to win a copy? BH Publishing Group has offered up two copies for me to giveaway! All you need to do is leave me a comment, stating you would like to win, beofre midnight EST Tuesday, June 5. Easy peasy, right?!

Thank you to BH Publishing Group and PR by the Book for supplying me with a copy to read. All opinions expressed are my own!


Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. ~ Psalm 105:4


Friday, May 25, 2012

Thankful for Dirty Dishes {guest posting}

We've just finished eating our third and final meal of the day and I'm carrying dirty dishes into the kitchen feeling like I never left it. Stepping over cars and trains that are scattered among Polly Pockets and My Little Ponies thinking of all that still needs to be done. Kids need bathed and laundry needs folded and I am standing in a mound of dirty dishes wondering why?

Why did my dreams consist of this?
Why did I want to live my life cooking and cleaning and nurturing all day, everyday?

What would it have been like if I was a fancy editor living in New York or a designer in Paris? How about a Lawyer or Teacher, Doctor or Nurse?

Why were none of those my dream; my plan?


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Our Family for His Glory

Today I am guest posting over at Our Family for His Glory! To read the rest of the post, stop on over and make sure to say "Hi"!


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. ~ Colossians 3:23

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lately...

The weather lately has been nothing but perfect and we've been outside enjoying every last second of it that we can!

The sky has been the most gorgeous shade of blue and the sun seems to have never shown any brighter around here. So much joy has been celebrated lately and thanks to my fun, new, toy, I have been capturing every moment of it!

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Uploaded with Snapbucket



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{cupcakes that my sister made...she really needs to open her own cupcake shop!}

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Uploaded with Snapbucket

This past weekend found us celebrating a special little guys birthday as well as allowing me to enjoy a day of doing something that I just cannot get enough of lately - learning about alpaca's, sheep, and the wonderful world of fiber! We attended a sheep and fiber fest, my first, and let me just say that my experience there only confirmed even more how much I need to live on a little farm with some sheep and alpaca's of my own! My husband even commented that he never would have thought I would want to be a country girl - but I do sweetie, I really, really, do!

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{sheep herding}

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{my bag of goodies}



This is my life, right now. Anticipating summer's offical arrival, but enjoying this warm spring weather until then. Still trying, each and everyday, to simplify and enjoy life, just as it is, right where I am! For the future looks so bright, filled with so much joy, as well as new life and new adventures.
We cannot wait! It is only going to get better...
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yarn Along {11} :: Baby Things

Finally! I am finally able to get to the baby items on my "want to knit" list! I finished all the shawls I was knitting as gifts, and on time, so now I can settle in with some soft, colorful, yarn and create mama made knits for the little blessing due to grace our presence in a few short weeks! The nesting stage has begun, full force, and I cannot get enough of all the sweetness knitting for baby brings! I cast on, quickly cast off, and cast on another, right after the other! 

FCDBB534, Uploaded with Snapbucket

I finished this cute hat and booties set in about 2 days! The striping effect of this yarn is just perfect for a summer babe! It reminds me of watermelon!

I am now starting on this sweet little dress using the same yarn, so she has a matching set! Knit in the round from the bottom up, it is proving to be an easy, quick, knit! And, it is seamless, which is a huge plus for me, for I dislike, greatly, having to sew up seams!

F46C3EF1, Uploaded with Snapbucket

I have to say, all this baby knitting is making me more anxious, than I already am, to meet our newest little blessing! I cannot wait to see the little hat on her head and the booties on her little feet!

My reading has taken a back seat lately. I am still reading, just not as quickly and as much as I normally do. The knitting, nesting, and baby fever, has completely taken over! However, all that being said, I am reading a wonderfully suspenseful mystery titled Gone to Ground. It takes place in the southern town of Amaryllis, Mississippi. Six murders have taken place in this small town in the past three years and three seperate women are convinced they know who the killer is. Someone each of them is very close too! It is a fast - paced read, which I love, that has me on the edge of my seat not wanting to stop reading for anything! I will most likely have it finished in no time!

Linking up once again with Ginny!


Watermelon Hat and Booties Notes and Pattern found here!
Yarn is Knitpicks Felici Sport in Picnic


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's on Your Nightstand?

What's On Your Nightstand

It has been quite some time since I last participated in What's on Your Nightstand?, so I thought I would go ahead and jump in again!

It is a fun meme, especially for a book lover like myself. My TBR pile always grows significantly when I join in on bookish memes! I have discovered wonderful books as well as authors, some I would have never thought to read otherwise, through reading book blogs and participating in bookish activities!

I have a few review titles and a library book, that has already been renewed once, to read first, so for the rest of May and into June, I am hoping to finish the following titles:

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Gone to Ground by Brandilyn Collins ~ Amaryllis, Mississippi, resembles the flower for which it's named---bright with southern hospitality. But poison lurks in its center. A serial killer is responsible for five unsolved murders. And now the blood of a sixth stains the town. Three terrified women are sure they know who the perpetrator is---but they all suspect a different man. Who's right? {description from cbd.com}

Chosen by Ginger Garrett ~ Her wit and beauty brought her the throne, and her compassion saved a nation. But what was hidden in her heart? Read the secrets of Queen Esther---from her days as a poor market wench through her marriage to the most powerful man in the ancient world. What really happened in Xerxes's palace? {description from cbd.com}

Break Through by Clinton Springle ~ "He's had a rough life." "It's probably my fault." We frequently excuse others' poor behavior. But when should we speak up? Helping you deal constructively with difficult relationships, Clinton and Springle show how to set respectful boundaries so you can protect yourself from the controlling, irresponsible behavior of spouses, parents, friends, and co-workers. {description from cbd.com}

Once I get through these, I am hoping to start on The Mysterious Benedict Society.{psst...if you are interested in this series, now would be a great time to purchase it since Amazon is selling the whole series for an incredibly low price of $14}

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I am sure I am going to need something a little lighter as well as something that can be read without too much thought being put into it once I finish the above mentioned titles and I am thinking that these books will be perfect for that.

What have you been reading lately?


God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Celebrating His Life

Christmas2009

I never knew how much love my heart could hold until you were placed in my arms three years ago today!
My little guy...mommy's little boy! Oh how my heart swells with love for you!
You are the true definition of boy! Dirt, cars, truck, superheroes, you enjoy them all! And your energy...oh my! You climb just about anything that can be climbed, as well as things that can't! You love to jump no matter how high from the ground the object you are jumping from is! Nothing scares you, well except spiders. You despise spiders. All other types of bugs are just fine...but spiders? Forget it!

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CalebAllWrappedUp

You have that rough and tumble side to you, but you are certainly a sweet natured little boy! Always giving hugs to Emma and I. Wrapping your arms around my neck telling me you love me! Saying "I do it mama!" and trying with all your might to lend that helping hand!

SummerThanks-3

SummerThanks-2

You sing, dance, and love talking to Jesus! Your favorite book is your "Bible Book" and for the longest time, it went everywhere with you! I didn't mind one bit!! Made me picture you as a missionary or preacher one day! You would climb up on the couch, "Bible Book" under your arm, and sit there, "reading" it while looking through the pictures on every page. I pray that your love for the Bible stays with you and you desire to read it the older you get just as much as you do now!

You have such a vivid imagination and I am loving every second of watching it develop more and more the older you get! You sit with blocks and your cars and pretend for what seems like hours! Never getting tired of it!

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You are a cuddler, a hugger, a soft-hearted, caring, loving, little boy!  Always finding my hand in the dark - I have to admit, that brings me as much comfort as I know it brings you! You make daddy and me so very proud!

Just like birthdays past, this, too, is a bittersweet day! For as much as I love watcing you grow, I wish I could keep you this little, forever! My little man!

But instead of dwelling on things I cannot change, I will embrace each and everyday -  good or bad! For you are a gift, Caleb! A rare and true gift indeed. Given to me and daddy by the One who loves us so very much!! More than I think we all realize sometimes!

Summer2011-19

Keep Smiling, little one! Love Jesus with all your heart! Remember how much I love you and always will! But most importantly, remember how much Jesus loves you and how much He always will!

We love you Caleb!
Happy Birthday!!

::


"Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day." ~ Psalm 139:13-16 {The Message}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blessed Everyday in the Miracles

Emma zoo, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Caleb boy, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Kids polar bear, Uploaded with Snapbucket
{Trying to get Caleb to smile and look at the camera at the same time can, at most times, be a trying feat. Hence the reason his tongue is sticking out in this pic and Emma looks upset that he will not cooperate!}

They make me laugh. Everyday!
Their little quirks and out-of-nowhere repeats of what they once heard mama or daddy say has me wondering most days, "how did they remember that?".
It is truly amazing to me how much their little minds are soaking up and learning, all on their own, each and everyday!
One day they start to crawl then walk and it's like, "how did that happen? I never taught them that!"
They start to talk putting sentences together right before my eyes. Helping themselves to fruit and juice in the kitchen. Feeding the dogs, making their beds, putting their clothes away once mama has them washed and folded. These little miracles growing up ever so quickly right in front of me.
And if I am too busy, I will miss it. Miss out on all the little blessings these little miracles give to me in one day!

Kids seal, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Family, Uploaded with Snapbucket
{I just adore this pic of my mom and sister walking with my kids!}

God gifted these children to me! I know they belong to Him and are essentially on "loan" to me, so while we are here on this earth together, I want to enjoy every moment with them. The good and the bad. The hard and the easy. The laughter, tears, triumphs, failures. Because they all exist in each and everyone of our lives. I want to show my children how to praise God in the good and the bad, as I am learning to do in my own life.

I want to be present through it all. Since I cannot have a video camera on 24/7 catching it all so I don't forget, I want to be available to witness it all - as much as I can - and cherish, saving the memory in my mind and my heart.

Emma beauty, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Caleb handsome, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Maybe it is the pregnancy hormones really kicking in, or the fact that we just celebrated Mother's Day, but I have been feeling extra sentimental towards my children lately and how truly blessed I really am. I am in awe of how loving and giving my Jesus is! Everytime I look into their little faces, I am reminded of just how much He loves me!

Emma loves cats, Uploaded with Snapbucket

Beyond anxious to meet our newest little girl in a few short weeks and experience a new set of blessings each and evertday!

::

**hubby gifted me an iPhone for my b-day and needless to say, I am having way too much fun with it. all the pics in this post were taken and edited with the iPhone! Love it!!

**we had the pleasure of visiting the Detroit Zoo while visiting with my aunt last week. this is where these pics were taken at.

::

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him." ~ Psalm 127:3

Friday, May 4, 2012

Adventure and Virtues

I am spending today doing laundry and packing for our trip to see my aunt in Michigan. We leave tomorrow morning and the kids are excited...to say the least! They love going on adventures, as they call them, and besides, the hotel we are staying in has a pool! Kids and a pool...what could be better?

I am most excited about seeing my aunt, of course, and gifting her the shawl I made her, but I am also anxious to visit a yarn shop I found in one of the towns we will be visiting. I think I will be doing a bit of birthday shopping for myself while we are there!

But, my reason for writing today isn't just about my excitement over our trip, it is also about my excitement over the wonderful offers We Choose Virtues is offering this month!


For the whole month of May, We Choose Virtues, is offering 30% off their Parenting Cards with promo code SPRING30. Oh...it gets better! This is the time of year when homeschool parents start thinking about curriculum for next school year. Well, We Choose Virtues wants to help you out a bit and offer 25% off their Homeschool Kit with promo code HOMESCHOOL25! And...on top of all this, the whole month of May they are giving free shipping, both within the US and internationally!! No promo code needed!

As always, you can check my sidebar under the We Choose Virtues button, for all the latest promo codes and sales.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to We Choose Virtues and stock up on some great resources to help teach your children all about strong morals and virtues! We have enjoyed using their products and I know you will enjoy using them with your children as well!

I am off now to finish packing and calm my kids excitement over asking when we are leaving on our little adventure!

Have a great weekend!



Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. ~ Psalm 150:6


 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yarn Along {10} :: A Finished Piece

My Oaklet Shawl is blocking as we speak, but I had to get some pics up of it, even though it is not technically finished.

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I am pretty pleased with how it turned out, especially since I had to add a different color yarn for the border. I am just hoping that after blocking, it stretches out a bit more, since right now it is just sitting right over my shoulders and not quite wrapping around to the front.


We are leaving this Saturday and heading to Michigan to visit my aunt, whom this shawl is for. I am really hoping she is pleased with how this has turned out!


I am now going to cast on a shawlette for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. Hoping that the drive to and from Michigan allows me ample knitting time so I have it finished by Mother's Day. I decided on the Two-Step and Tango Scarf and Shawlette. I am using this gorgeous, hand-painted, yarn from Zibeline Knits. It was gifted to me about a year ago and sitting lovingly in my stash ever since. I think it will knit up into the perfect, little, shawlette.

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On the reading front, I am about 100 pages from finishing The Fault in our Stars. It is pretty good, but I am anticipating a teary ending. It's YA, which I typically am not drawn to, but lately finding myself reading a lot of. Once I finish this, I am hoping to start on The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I am really enjoying all the Sarah Addison Allen books I have read and am sure this one will not disappoint either.


What are you working on?


Linking up with Ginny

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

For you, sweet little one

meandbaby001

I have been thinking of you a lot lately.
It may have something to do with the constant kicking, but I honestly do not mind.
Kick away, little one. I like knowing that you are there and like to think that you are trying to kick your way out, because I know you are just as anxious as I to meet!

I have to tell you how blessed you already are.
God has given you an amazing big sister who has prayed for you long before we knew you were coming. She is just as anxious as, if not more than, I am for you to arrive! Oh the plans she has for you! Sisters are a blessing...a treasure! I love my sister, your Aunt Holly, and I pray you and Emma become the best of friends, as sisters should!
And Caleb...your big brother...oh what a joy! I always wish I had an older brother. So this, sweet one, is truly a gift indeed. He is so gentle and kind-hearted. I have a feeling that he is going to take you under his wing and show you how to do most anything. He is going to look out for you and be your protector, but most of all, your friend, just like a big brother should be.

Your daddy, is amazing! As you get a bit older, he will be the one with whom you will have all the fun with! He will chase you and do somersaults with you, wrestle on the couch, jump on the bed, and teach you how to laugh at just about everything. He will love you so hard and make sure that you know it each and everday! Emma and Caleb adore him, but I know they will gladly share him with you!

As for me, well, I am your mama. I will love you no matter what. I have prayed for you from the beginning...always knowing from way back when that I wanted to be a mama to as many children as God will bless me with! I am looking forward to seeing you grow and witnessing your personality; your likes and dislikes; and just how different, or alike, you and Emma will be! I can't wait to look into your eyes and see you smile for the first time - hearing you laugh and talk for the first time as well! I am anxious to see if you will end up with red hair, or the same light brown as Emma and Caleb. But most important, I cannot wait to teach you about Jesus and watch you fall madly in love with Him! For He loves you more than your daddy and I ever could!

Counting down the weeks...11 more to go! I cannot wait, baby girl!


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~ Psalm 139: 13-14

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