Character Badges Back to School Sale Is Here!

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Character Badges Back to School Sale!

It’s the Character Badges Back to School Sale!!

For most of you, the new school year is just around the corner and many of you have already begun! (yay homeschooling!) We’re just as excited as you are, and to celebrate we’re having the biggest sale we’ve ever had!

Academics are the primary focus of any school year, but character training is just as crucial to the future success of your child. We designed Character Badges to help children build habits of sound character and to help parents be more consistent and creative in how they train their children. It’s a fun and effective addition to any school year!

Character Badges is a creative child training program

That said, there’s never been a better time to incorporate Character Badges into your classroom. Our back to school sale only comes once a year, and this year the entire store is 30% off!! Charts, stickers, coins, even complete sets – its all 30% off. Just use the offer code BKTOSCHOOL at time of checkout and enjoy some great savings!

This sale runs from today (7-20) through Saturday (7-23) at midnight, so hurry to take advantage of the biggest discount we’ve ever offered! Character Badge complete set

 

The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

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If you haven’t jumped on the podcast wagon, you might not realize how inspiring they can be, especially for the stay at home mom!  I started listening to podcasts when I was getting outside to exercise, and I realized just how much encouragement I had been missing by not tapping into the exciting world of podcasts!

The Ultimate List of Podcasts for Homeschooling and Homemaking Moms!

While every mom is busy, you still have a lot of opportunities to turn a podcast on. Washing the dishes, folding laundry, making beds in the morning, nursing the baby…just slip your headphones on, or put your phone on a speaker system and receive some instant encouragement!

Here are some of my favorite podcasts I’ve listened to, and then I’ll share some other podcasts that I’ve heard really good feedback on.

Cultivating the Lovely – Mackenzie Monroe makes me laugh, because she is in the mom trenches like I am. I can relate to her periscope because you might find her children crying, or a sudden emergency bathroom break in the middle of the show. Her show is on finding the lovely in everyday life, and topics such as organizing, homeschooling, mothering and much more! (FYI, Sean and I will be on her August Podcast together!).

At Home With Sally – Sally Clarkson is the Titus 2 Mentor we all wish we personally knew! I was thrilled when she started a podcast, and have been blessed by her encouragement many times. This is the podcast I listen to early in the morning while I exercise, and it helps me have the right mindset for when all six children wake up. 🙂  You can also find her podcast on her blog.

Read Aloud Revival Podcast

Read Aloud Revival – Sarah Mackenzie has become a very popular name in the homeschooling world, and it’s for a good reason! Her podcast is all about reading to your children. I have pretty strict standards for what I allow my children to read, so not all of her podcasts appeal to me (we don’t do science fiction, Harry Potter, etc.) but I’ve certainly found many to enjoy.

Your Morning Basket – Oh the morning circle time. Whether you have all littles, or you are a homeschool mom, the morning time can be such a valuable time. I really enjoy Pam Barnhill and her thoughts on Morning time (check out her Your Morning Basket ebook).

Your Morning Basket Podcast

The Homemaking Foundations Podcast – A really good blogging friend, Jami Balmet, puts this podcast together. She has some excellent topics on the podcast for busy moms who want to be a good homemaker.

The Inspired to Action Podcast – I’ve listened to a lot of these while walking, or working out at the gym. She has some excellent people on her podcast, and they are really encouraging!

Other Podcasts I’ve heard are good, but I’ve not listened to are:

Homeschooling Podcasts

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network – I’ve seen this one advertised at homeschool conventions. There is a wide variety of topics on this podcast!

Mason Jar Podcast

The Mason Jar by Circe Institute – I have NO clue where I’ve been! This podcast looks amazing, and it’s first on my list to start listening to! Cindy Rollins is the host for this podcast, where everything Charlotte Mason is talked about!

The Homeschool Snapshots – Do you wish you could sit and just chat with other homeschooling moms about different topics? This is the podcast you should listen in on! Pam Barnhill interviews different homeschooling moms about various topics, such as large families, the only child, teaching children to appreciate reading, character, etc. This is on my list!

Podcasts for Christian Women

The Busy Mom – Anything from spiritual living, homeschooling, marriage or motherhood can be found. The fantastic Heidi St. John does this podcast. I’ve had the chance to meet her and had such an encouraging talk with her!

Revive Our Hearts – Popular author Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth hosts this podcast where she addresses topics on the Christian walk for women.

Podcasts for Homemakers

Domestic CEO – This is another one that looks really good, so I’m going to start listening to some of them! Whether you are an experienced home manager, or living on your own for the first time, the Domestic CEO has easy tips on keeping your home in tip-top shape. The Domestic CEO will explain everything from how to decorate your house on a budget, to organizing a playroom, so that you can make your home life the best it can be.

The Simple Show – From the description “The Simple Show is a podcast where we explore unconventional ways of living and making the most out of things like work, travel, and family. I talk shop with other people about what that looks like for them—food, travel, writing, books, parenting, work, fashion, and everything in between. It’s fun!”

a slob comes clean podcast

A Slob Comes Clean – This is a super popular blogger who blogs and podcasts all about keeping up a house. The topics on this podcast are very practical issues that face every homemaker.

The Mom Hour – I know nothing about this podcast, but the topics look interesting. I’m not sure if this is a Christian podcast, so I’m putting it under this section. It’s hosted by two moms of 8 children total.

Homemakers By Choice – Again, where have I been? This looks like an amazing podcast with topics that will encourage the christian homemaker.

There you go! This is enough podcasts to surely keep any mom busy for awhile, and hopefully you will receive plenty of encouragement! I’d love to know if you have any favorite podcasts yourself! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day, and A Tribute!

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My sister wrote this tribute to our mom yesterday and said I could share it here on the blog. Mother’s Day is now painful and beautiful, all mixed together. I go shopping for a Mother’s Day card, but it’s for my step-mom. I see all these cards I would like to buy my mom, and just wish I told her enough how much I loved her, and cared for her when she was still here on earth.

To those of you with children, Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy your blessings.

To those of you without children and struggling with infertility, all I can say is press on. Don’t give up hope that God has a plan for your life. I’ve watched the raw painful journey of what infertility looks like, and seen that person continue to trust God over and over again, even though there are still moments of tears. God is faithful, despite trials.

To those of you who are missing your mom today, I understand. Those feelings are raw, and you never truly understand them until you have experienced it. I’ll never forget the horrible feeling that came over me when my best friend, my mother took her last breath. I was alone with her in the room, and I desperately wanted to somehow bring her back to life again. It’s almost been six years now, and God has been there to comfort me, and helped me through the tears and heartache.

Here is what my sister wrote.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed.” Prov. 31:28

Mother and daughter

My mom with my sister
I miss my Mom every single day. This is a photo of my Mom helping me when I was a little girl. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood. My Mom was always watching out for me, helping me, teaching me, loving me, trying to encourage me to follow Christ. From my youngest years I remember seeing her face just light up when she smiled or laughed. She loved being with people, cared about them, enjoyed visiting, and was just in general such a happy outgoing woman. If Mom was happy, our entire family was happy. I remember thinking as a little girl how beautiful my Mom was. I hoped I could be like her when I grew up. 

Mom and daughter

My mom and myself (Caroline). I treasure this picture as I received hugs like this constantly from her. She was always there to comfort me, no matter how sick or tired she felt. 


My Mom was my best friend. I watched my Mom walk through health issues and other serious trials for most of the life I knew. She had Lupus for the last 17 years. I remember the days she almost died, I remember the entire year she spent in bed being so ill when I was 16. I remember ambulances, hospital stays, blood draws, more doctor appointments I took her to than I care to remember. She lived through such heartache. I wondered how she could possibly have the strength to go on. Truth was she told me, she didn’t have the strength. She had to cry out from the depths of her soul to God, and He gave her what she needed time and time again. He threw her a life jacket in the storms of life each time she thought she would drown. I watched her cry, I watched her fight, I watched her stand back up. Finally, I watched her die. I learned what really matters when you are about to enter eternity. I learned how to put life into true perspective. I learned I don’t want to waste the life God has given me.


My Mom taught me what it meant to have charity, the true love of Christ, for others. My Mom taught me to forgive. My Mom taught me there was nothing on earth more important than my soul and where it was in connection with God. My Mom taught me to be strong. My Mom taught me to look at people’s hearts, not just the outward body that was seen by my eyes. My Mom taught me to love the scriptures, to love beauty, to love listening to birds singing in the trees, to love being outdoors, to love music, to love singing praises to God. My Mom taught me to honor, respect, and care for those who were ill, elderly, and weak. My Mom taught me to be thankful for life itself. My Mom taught me to be grateful for the health I enjoyed. My Mom taught me what joy was. 

Mom and daughters

A happy mom with her two daughters! 

I wish so much I had told my Mom more often what she meant to me when she was alive. I wish I had talked to her more, asked her questions I never asked, hugged her a million times, told her I Love You all the times I didn’t.


My Mom is gone from this earth now, but I have her memory with me every day. I recognize and understand as a mother myself now just how blessed I was. I had such an incredible Mom! I hope in some way I can be a mother like her to my children. I love you Mother Dear!

A wonderful, godly grandmother!

This picture is a few months before she passed. The Lupus had gone to her brain at this point, but she still showed such beautiful radiance and joy, as she daily learned to keep putting her trust in the Lord. So thankful she was able to meet 4 of her grandchildren and enjoy them! 

In Which I’m Brutally Honest About My Mothering Journey

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This mothering journey can be complicated at times. I thought I’d be brutally honest, and share with you a recent experience I had!

I invited my sister and her family over for lunch on Sunday morning, but I extended the invitation at 10:00 on Saturday night (normally the way I work!). The house wasn’t horrible, but I wanted it cleaner for them to come over. I knew if my children would get up Sunday morning and quickly pitch in, they could get it tidied up while I got lunch going in the crockpot.

In which I'm Brutally Honest About This Mothering Journey. It's not for the faint at heart!

It all sounds good in theory, right? Cheerful children, a happy mom singing as she cooks, a husband downstairs diligently preparing his Sunday School class (he has taught a class on the book of Acts for the last 2 years at church!).

Home from church after teaching Sunday School Class for two years!

Home from church, with a big smile because his class of 2 years is finished! 

The only problem is, my children don’t always catch my vision. 

Instead of it taking 15-20 minutes, I spent the entire morning asking 2 of my children to keep working. Thankfully I had 1 diligent helper, but the rest of the morning I was scrambling by myself to get the parmesan chicken in the crockpot, baths done for two of the girls, clothes ironed, girls dressed and makeup on. There was no time for breakfast, and the girl’s hair was fixed at church.

It’s real life over here. I wasn’t yelling at the children on the way to church, but I was very firmly talking to two of them, and grounded one of them who really struggles with laziness.

I arrived at church in a funk, but was hopeful that things would improve. It wasn’t meant to be though.

My 12 month old fussed all through Sunday School class. I walked all over the church building, gave her a bottle, tried to entertain her with a neat book, a squishy block that she normally likes, but she was having none of it.

Sophia drinking a bottle

Our first baby to be on formula. Yes, we are done breastfeeding. It’s a long story! I’m at peace though. 

Finally, I just gave up. My husband was finishing his very last Sunday School class, and I really wanted to hear it. Instead, I choked back tears, got in the van, and went home with the baby.

She was laid down for a nap right away, and I threw myself on the couch. A number of things popped in my head that I would like to do, but I decided to read the last chapter of Acts myself. At least I could finish the 2 year long journey that way.

It’s always amazing how the Lord can turn rainclouds into blessings.

I turned on some music, and enjoyed the quiet house. I’ve been working on keeping the house cleaner, and putting more effort into cultivating a lovely environment for my family.

Wildflowers given to me from my children!

Wildflowers given to me by my children. 

Instead of the paper plates I was planning on using, which would be served on our old, desperately needing refinished table, I got out the new tablecloth I had just found at Target. My husband had just blessed me with a brand new set of dishes, and so I unpacked those and set the table.
Table_set

Lunch ended up being a success, and I was able to bless my sister with not cooking for a change, and to enjoy a pretty setting herself.

Dinner table set with new white dishes and a tablecloth from Target!

It was a short moment of encouragement. The baby woke up, fussy and in a bad mood again. But the Lord had given me that brief period of time to be refreshed.

We are tempted to think we are all alone in this mothering journey.

Discouragement can weigh us down, and we begin a pity party. Our children will never behave the way we want them to, the house has never in the past, or will never in the future be clean, we are destined to live our lives with clothes that have spit up, food (and worse) on them. Our life feels like it’s over, because it only consists of baby toys, how long do we have until we nurse the baby, change a diaper, or hear the next argument taking place.

Don’t believe the lie that you are alone! I’d love to encourage you, by sharing with you a short series of free videos that two mommy bloggers put together. It’s real life conversations between two popular mom bloggers, who have 8 children and 20 years of mothering experience between both of them!

Here’s another brutally honest statement. I didn’t get anything out of the first video when I first tried to watch it. However, I turned it on again when I was really needing some encouragement, and I did receive a big pick me up from watching it. So give them a try, you can watch them here.

*FYI – you will want to watch all three videos, because something super, duper special comes at the end!