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Thursday, October 29, 2015

National Cat Day

Apparently November 29th is National Cat Day. While I tend to be more of a dog person we have somehow ended up with three cats.


When Skippy went missing for over a month and a half the kids talked us into a new little kitten. Two weeks later Skippy turned up again.

So now we are a crazy cat household. Sometimes it's more of a zoo than a house.

We have Buttons, our 13 year old three legged cat. We've had her since she was an itty bitty kitten and she is such a sweetheart. She will sit on my feet at night and keep them warm. She perched on top of the sofa right behind Jacob most of the time he was sick. When the kids were babies she would groom their hair and lie on the floor next to them like they were her kittens.
Skippy is still kind of a weirdo. He was Jacob's cat so we put up with him. He continues to be a bit more wild since he has turned up after his two month adventure. He now has a collar with his tag on it so he is allowed to go in and out of the house and seems to appreciate us more because of that fact. There are times that he can be loving and cuddle, but it has to be on his terms.

Mr. Bean is the new one in the house. He is such a calm little guy but has his own personality. He doesn't usually come when called, won't come up to cuddle, but will purr and rub against you when scooped up and hugged. He's so pretty and soft and loves to wrestle with Skippy and our dog, Chewy.  

Our vacuum cleaner gets used constantly around here and we really should invest in cat litter stocks and cat food shares. But it is amazing to see the different personalities that each creature God made brings to our life.

Friday, October 23, 2015


Grief is REAL.
It is STRONG. 
It is the price we pay for loving those who are no longer with us.
It is normal.
The only cure for grief is to GRIEVE.
It is okay to not be okay.
There will be good days and there will be bad days.
The pain, the sadness, the loss does not go away. Grief changes, depending on the day, the year, the memory but it will always be with you in one way or another.
It is messy. 
It is isolating. 
It is maddening.
It is painful.
There is only one finish line to grief.
It takes courage to go on. To get up each morning. To put on a happy face. To live without someone you love.
To try to mend that gaping hole in your heart.

The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief
1. I am so sorry for your loss.
2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
5. My favorite memory of your loved one is…
6. I am always just a phone call away
7. Give a hug instead of saying something
8. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
9. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
10. Saying nothing, just be with the person
You don't back away from a hurting friend.
You don't tell them that they are grieving wrong. There is NO wrong way to grieve.
You show up. You hurt with them. You hurt for them. You see when they are in pain. You try to bind their wounds. You are THERE - in the trenches of grief with them.
That is LOVE. That is healing. That is the only security blanket there is in a midst of pain.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Leaf Piles

"Amy, get out of the leaves. I'm not done with the pile yet!"
"Here, I'll help!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Time Chamber

I reviewed Daria Song's previous coloring book, The Time Garden, back in August. When I saw that she came out with another book I had to have it!

Just like the first, The Time Chamber is a magical story book combined with a coloring book.  
The story is about a tiny fairy who lives within a cuckoo clock and suddenly decides to explore the world outside.
I love the illustrations but also the story itself.

Adult coloring is so relaxing. While coloring with a friend recently two hours passed within a blink of an eye! She and I decided to incorporate coloring as a part of our book club and I'll be sure to bring this one along with me.

Coloring - it's no longer just for children!

 This book was sent to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I don't have a lot of pictures of Jacob between the ages of 5-8 where he looked healthy. He always looked happy, but the thing you usually notice first is the bald head or pale skin.  The dark circles beneath his eyes and the tired expression.

When I wake up from a dream like the type I had last night I feel desperate to look at some healthy pictures of my boy. I don't want to remember his dying days. The tests, the hospitals, the 50 days that he spent on our couch. The three years of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, blood draws, check ups, days in the hospital. Stem cell transplant. Ct Scans. Results.
I want to remember THIS boy.
The good times. The sweetness. The sunny smile. The brown puppy dog eyes. The small little hand that fit perfectly into mine.
The fuzzy hair. The peacemaker. The one who loved hamburgers and pop. Cocoa Wheats and Toaster Strudels. Animals and babies. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

If You're a Christian, Stand Up

At Bible Study study last night we watched a Bill Hybels DVD. In it the word righteous came up. It stuck with me.

  Dictionaries define righteousness as “behavior that is morally justifiable or right.”

The Bible tells us to stand up for what is righteous. Basically, stand up for what is right. 

Daily we encounter situations that we can either take a stand or try to fit in. Speak up if someone is being bullied. Step away if a conversation turns to gossip. Give to someone who says they are in need, instead of questioning that need.

Other times it gets harder. Stand up for the innocent who have no voice. Take a stand for Jesus and your faith. Be belittled and hated because of what you believe in. Yet, STAND, even if you are standing alone.

1 Peter 3:14    But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Own Boutique

For years I've dreamed of opening a children's boutique. With children and homeschooling that just wouldn't be feasible at this time. Not to mention that the high overhead of a brick and mortar store can mean little to no profit for years.

Enter the Kidizen app
It is a site to sell your children's outgrown clothes on. Sort of like an Etsy for children's items. 

There is a 7% fee, plus Paypal and shipping costs. Luckily, when you list an item in your shop the calculator will tell you the amount you will receive after fees. So you only have to figure in shipping costs to see what your net profit will be.

You get your own little shop (again, similar to Etsy!) and the selling process is easy. No fees to list, only if you sell an item.

The better brands mean more sales. But I have seen bundles of Carter items sell as well. It all depends on what someone is looking for.

Basically, I have my own little shop on Kidizen and only spend a couple hours a week posting items, packaging, and mailing them off. And since I started my shop in June I have made a profit of over $1,000. I sell about 6-15 items on average a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Most are my own children's outgrown items, but every once in awhile I find a great brand at a thrift store that isn't in my child's size and pick it up and list it. For example, some $4 sandals that I sold for $40. 

It's a fun way to make a little extra money, without needing to spend 40 hours a week at an actual storefront.

Now if only I could stop spending a portion of my proceeds at other stores on Kidizen! All my purchases through there have been amazing experiences and I find great brands and fun items that I have never heard of before.

This is not a sponsored post...I just love being able to make a little money as a stay-at-home mom and delve into my passion for children's clothing! It also makes my hubby happy, because he no longer rolls his eyes at a dress purchase of $20 when he knows I can make MORE than that reselling after our child wears it. There are some brands that just retain their value more than others, if not become worth more once it's a past season purchase that is harder to find.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Do What You Love

Where have the days gone? I look at the calendar and can't believe that it's the 8th of October already. I think I have so many irons in the fire that my life has been a bit of a juggling act recently.

My mornings are filled with school with the kids. Week 7 and we've seemed to hit a routine that works (most days) for us. 

The kids have lots of activities that they are involved in so that is lots of go, go, going but it's something I've prayed for (more opportunities for homeschoolers in the area) so I won't complain one bit that the prayers have been answered.

My Etsy shop is up and running again. It's the custom orders that are popular this year. I'm working on some new products before the Christmas rush hits.

I've always dreamed of being the owner of a children's boutique. You all know my obsession with kid's clothes! That dream has finally come true, in a round about way! I'm working on a post about that for later this week.

That is life lately. Busy, busy, busy but loving it because it's with all things that I love.    


Tuesday, October 6, 2015


(A Rosary blessed by  Pope Francis while he was in the US, given to us by a friend who traveled to see him.)


Quoting a speech of St. John Paul II from 1978, the Pope stressed that “error and evil must always be condemned and opposed; but the man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved.

The Church, he said, “must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock.

I love the above quote from Pope Francis, as well as the one from St. John Paul II. THIS is how Christians should act...standing up for their beliefs but not belittling those who fall or err. Because we all do from time to time.

But it also means that one does not need to accept a sin in order to be loving or compassionate. Faith is not politically correct. "Such “apostolic courage,” he said, “is not intimidated by the seductions of the world which tend to put out the light of truth from the hearts of men,” thereby leading them away from God.
I love that even non-Catholics are listening to what he says and that he is drawing more people back to the church with his compassion, without actually changing any of his (the Church's) convictions. He does a great job of explaining the Catholic Church teaching, so that even if one does not believe that themselves, they can understand the beliefs of others.     


Sunday, October 4, 2015


My first baby turned 12 today! She is such a beautiful, sweet girl and I just can't believe how quickly these past twelve years have gone.

We enjoyed a nice brunch out as a family. 

She wanted to go hiking afterwards so we walked off all that food on a two mile park trail in the woods.

When we arrived home Becca helped me make her cupcakes (she chose strawberry with vanilla cheesecake frosting). She took a bike ride with her friend and then returned home to help me cook supper - her choice of taco salad.

A friend messaged me as we were about to eat her cupcakes. She casually mentioned that she got another Coke bottle today with the name JACOB on it so decided to make a donation to St. Jude's in his name. She sent me the little confirmation notice of the donation, saying "Not sure why that notice says Happy Birthday!" I then told her maybe it's because it's Becca's birthday and he is wishing her a happy one. She couldn't believe it - she did not know it was Becca's birthday and there was no reason for that little "Happy Birthday" notice to be on the donation note. 

How awesome is that?! Becca beamed when I told her about it. I think she truly knows that her little bro is with her always still. Especially on her birthday.

Happy birthday, sweet Becca, from ALL of us.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Remember the Heroes

 The school shooting yesterday makes my heart ache. For the families. For the injured. For our nation. The violence and mental illness in this country is escalating. 

This article is a great one, reminding us to "Forget the zeroes and remember the heroes." 

I also saw this quote in the comments and had to share it as it is exactly my thoughts.

"Special recognition and praise are due to those young people who did not deny their faith in Christ. When the armed killer demanded Christians identify themselves, several stood up pretty much anticipating their fate, and were killed! 

The Bible tells us no greater love has one than to give his/her life for their fellow man. I am certain that is multiplied many times over when your life is given for Christ. God Bless the families of these young martyrs, and know that they safe now and very happy in the arms of the Lord!"


Thursday, October 1, 2015

We Are All Human

"Never discuss politics or religion in polite company."

We've all heard that been said.

I'm beginning to believe it. 

With the presidential election gaining steam I'm hearing the political talk everywhere. And with politics comes religion and beliefs. While I do believe:
I also believe:
The discussions I'm seeing do not involve courtesy nor compassion. 

It's become vicious. Pure hatred for fellow human beings that have differing opinions. 



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