I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

What We're Reading in February 2021

Stack of kids' books on a side table

This past weekend while speaking at the annual North Dakota Homeschool Association conference, I received a lovely card from Wendy, a long-time blog follower, thanking me for creating this little community on the web. At the end of the note, she went on to mention that these monthly What We're Reading posts are her favorites to read. 

I hear that a lot. 

Turns out, people who like to read, like to read about what others are reading.

The Brave Homeschool Planner 2021-2022: A Planner by Homeschool Moms for Homeschool Moms

Looking at The Brave Homeschool Planner

Extras always seem to weigh me down. They require work, rob me of my energy, and breed unnecessary guilt. As a busy, work-at-home, homeschooling mom, I don't have time for that. I'd rather focus my effort on things that bring me joy and add, not detract, from my day. And so I purge all the extras, guilt-free. I prune away any non-essentials...of my time, of my home, of my school.

Some time ago, I made the decision to paper purge. For years, I used a popular homeschool planner. And while I was happy with the basic set-up of the planner, I always felt a wee-bit burdened by the pages and pages of extras that I never really used. FOMO sometimes guilt-drove me to fill in the blanks. But all the time spent logging unnecessaries seemed like such a waste.

Fifty 10-Minute Power Tasks for Homeschool Moms

carrying laundry basket

In Gulliver’s Travels, the Lilliputians assume that because Gulliver keeps checking his watch, it must be his god. While it's been a few decades since I've owned a watch, I do have a smartphone. And like Gulliver, I find myself checking it often. 

I wonder what the Lilliputians would think of that? 

Most of the time, I'm not using my phone to call (Who even does that anymore?) or text. I'm simply scrolling. As a work-at-home homeschool mom of five, I have several large responsibilities that occupy most of my day. But like anyone, I have small ten-minute cracks of time here and there to spend how I want--unscheduled moments that appear between one big responsibility and the next. 

What We're Reading in January 2021

Boy reading Viking Adventure

We're now deep into the first month of the new year and while my kids and I have started many books these past few weeks, we haven't really gotten to read very few pages from any of them. I blame The Great British Baking Show.

We discovered the show just after Christmas. Apparently, we were the only people on the planet who hadn't seen a single episode during quarantine. Since then, we've spent way too much time watching Season 1 in the evenings instead of reading. But, these are wonky times. And sometimes, weird days demand a change of scenery...or media consumption, as it were. 

Favorite Read Alouds from 2020

shelf of children's books

Our read-aloud time in 2020 was bittersweet. We read so many great books and made so many literary memories together, but we made most of them without my daughter. As a high school senior working at a local ice cream shop and taking dual enrollment credits from an area Christian university, she was rarely ever available to join us during the school day. 

With or without her, we carried on. And as always, we read some really great stories. Here's a list of our top 10 favorites from this past year.