Planning Little Hearts for His Glory – Organization and Pictures

I have been working really hard planning our upcoming school year. We will be completing Heart of Dakota‘s (HOD) 5-7 year old curriculum Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG). We planned it over 2 years so we are entering our second year with this curriculum. There will be 2 parts to this post. The first part will just be a brief schedule and curriculum plan and the second part will be a more in depth description of how I planned. Now I must post a disclaimer first. HOD’s curriculum is meant to be a pick up and go. There really is not a lot of planning involved BUT I am a planner and I have an insatiable appetite to plan and organize and make things cater to our needs so I have a hard time just opening and going. So none of this is required if you are deciding whether or not to pick HOD in your homeschool year. Just know you can just open and go and you will have a great time!!

Daily Schedule:

Kids of Integrity

Seeds Worship

LHFHG – History

Calendar Notebook

LHFHG – Rhyme

LHFHG – Alternating Activity

Snack

LHFHG – Motor Skills 

LHFHG – Math

LHFHG – Phonics

Extracurricular

LHFHG – Storytime at Lunch

After Lunch:

Amelia Read

Piano

Read Aloud

LHFHG curriculum is arranged in boxes on the page so you can really put it into practice in whatever order you want. I am a list maker and boxes don’t work for me so I created a daily schedule list so we can just work our way top to bottom and cross off as we go. If the task does not have LHFHG in front of it then those are the “add ins” I have put into our schedule to fit the needs/wants of our family.

Right now our weekly plan is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are school days at home. Tuesdays my oldest, who will turn 6 in October, will be in a homeschool enrichment day at a local school district. Thursdays every other week is our field trip day and we will go to either the zoo or museum. The Thursdays of the off week will be another regular school day at home. So we will have 3 or 4 days of LHFHG which is similar to last year and why we chose to complete the curriculum over 2 years. Side note: It was hard for my organizational brain to be okay with spreading the Unit plans over a couple of weeks. HOD is organized into 5 days per 1 Unit and now we are doing Days 1, 2 and 3 during one week and Days 4, 5 into a second week and then starting a new Unit in the middle of a week. I thought this would really bother me but it actually doesn’t!

Now for the extensive planning part:

Get some iced coffee and turn on some music (Family Life Radio is great!). Set up play doh, paints or beads for the kiddos! Prepare a few days in advance by purchasing printer ink, computer paper and any type of file folders, paper clips, etc. you may need for organizing. Mentally prepare yourself to let your house go for a few days. This took me a lot of time to think and print and organize but I know it will be worth it. For me the more organized and prepared I am then the more likely I am to follow through. Also take breaks if needed. If the kiddos are going insane because of all your attention to the computer then just take a break and go play for awhile. If you begin doubting everything you’re doing and feel like it’s not good enough or that it’s too much or that you just want to give up… then take a break! Get some fresh air, go to bed, watch a movie, anything… then start again the next day when you’re refreshed. Remember the Lord is the one directing you and He will provide.

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I use this file folder box ($3.47 at Wal Mart) and have folders for the months of the year as well as sections to put printed papers for Kids of Integrity, Seeds Family Worship, Seasonal and Holiday printable packs, etc. After we complete a week I put it into a folder with the Unit # and Name and file under the month we completed it.

1) I printed out a yearly calendar and mapped out how many days of school we’ll do as well as how many field trip days or seasonal/holiday learning weeks and how many homeschool enrichment days there will be.

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I made this on Microsoft Word. I like having 4 months to one sheet with room to take notes. I have 3 of these sheets to cover the whole school year.

2) I determined from there what to complete daily and what extracurricular subjects to include and on which days.

3) I laid out all of the homeschool supplies for the upcoming year that I have gathered and organized them into subjects and then decided what to use and what to leave out for another year/time. There are a lot of new things I want to buy for our curriculum but as finances are tight I knew the Lord would honor me digging things off our shelves that I spent money for in the past and never used!

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4) I printed out my LHFHG planning worksheet and began mapping out the weekly plan so I knew what projects/supplies to expect. I signed into my library account online and saved books I want to check out for each week under a “saved list” so I can just click and hold a few weeks before I need to pick them up. I printed the lists on the back of my planning worksheet to cross off as we read them and that way they are all right there on the same page.

This is another sheet I created on Microsoft Word as our Unit checklist.

5) I planned out our Kids of Integrity lessons. I determined how many bible stories for each virtue there are to see how many days we will study that virtue. Then I picked out crafts/activities from the lesson plan to complete each day as well as which bible verse to memorize for that virtue. I looked at the same library list maker and added books related to that virtue. I also consulted Right Now Media for any character building/virtue videos to watch on the tablet at the school table. I looked online for any coloring pages/scripture memory pages for the kiddos to color while I read the bible lesson to them.

6) I already had planned out Seeds Family Worship. It is pretty simple. We just picked which album to listen to and went to the BibleStoryPrintables website and matched up the album we picked out. I chose which handwriting worksheets and coloring pages I wanted and that’s that. So we listen to the song and color for a few minutes and practice reciting the verse.

7) BOB Books. This is what we are currently using for Phonics. I have been up and down and not sure what to do for phonics. Amelia is not really enjoying any of the programs we’ve tried (100 Easy Lessons) and she doesn’t necessarily enjoy the BOB books but we’re having more success with them than anything else. I really would like an official Phonics program and am looking into The Logic of English but will need to save up some money for that purchase. In the meantime I am continuing with the BOB books and adding in some fun activities and printables from these websites.

10) Extracurricular – US States Geography and Window on the World. We love our small geography time. We listen to the States CD. We pick an area (Easter border, Western border, etc.) and start coloring in the state on a blank US map. We color in the state for that area along with the song and then we look at our Atlas and our flashcard and just read for a few minutes about that state. That’s it! We are going to start a little into countries by working our way through the Window on the World book. We will look at the country and find it on a map and read about it in our Atlas and then pray according to the Window on the World book.

11) I then planned our field trips to the zoo and museum. I decided which exhibit to look at and looked online for printable packs, crafts, etc.  I also made library book lists online for books related to the subject. The weeks that we will go on a field trip I will substitute the printable pack papers into the motor skills, math and phonics sections of our daily plan instead of using the books that LHFHG calls for. Other than that change our week of learning will look the same but we will not cover any of the unit of the LHFHG manual.

12) I planned our seasonal/holiday learning weeks. This looks basically the same as the zoo and museum trips. I looked for printable packs online and crafts and library book lists. And again our week will look similar with substituting in the printable pack papers and not covering a unit of the LHFHG manual.

Here are some pictures of our room and our homeschooling day!

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Here is the view of our room from the kitchen. It is supposed to be a family/dining room but it is our multipurpose (school/play/office/dining room). We are so blessed to have this room! We do school at the dinner table in here.

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Here is a different view of our family room/dining room converted to a school/play/office/dining room!

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Here is the view of our “supply” room. We don’t do school at the little table but sometimes my 2 year old will sit there and play! And there’s my desk where all the planning occurs. The cubeicals to the R and L contain supplies, books and toy bins and our school box is on top of the cubeical to the L. I also have a small bulletin board with a blue and pink folder that I slip the completed work for the day into (1 for Josh and 1 for Amelia) and a small string with clothespins for any extra special papers to display. At the end of the week is when I collect the papers and file them away.

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And sometimes the baby sits and watches too!

No More Spiritual To-Do Lists

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9

When I’ve read this passage in the past I would get stuck on the first verse and turn it into a to-do list. Okay this week I need to work on diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. But God is showing me something great about only claiming to know Him and what growth in Him really looks like. Our church has been focusing on this the past two months as well. That in order to fuel your spiritual growth it is not about a new and exciting bible study or a to-do list of faith virtues or a stronger accountability session or finding a mentor. It is about remembering that we have been cleansed from our old sins (v. 9) . . . And what’s that? It’s the gospel. The good news. The news of Jesus and the power and purpose of His crucifixion and what that means for me.

When I meditate solely on that and remember that and allow that to invade my life then things like brotherly kindness and love and perseverance and self-control begin to flow out of me naturally because I am not barren or unfruitful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ (v. 8). If I am impregnated and fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus then these things are mine and will abound (v. 8)! This is so simple!

“I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2.

I Don’t Know Anything but Jesus

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

I often struggle with wanting to be more mature in specific areas of my Christian walk. I will focus on one thing and think about it constantly for a few weeks and maybe read a book and some articles on it and if I’m really determined I’ll pray for that area a lot. I will find that I do a little better in that area or at least I can pretend well but inevitably my flesh will kick in sooner than later and I find myself filled with discouragement that I am so far in my spiritual maturity and wonder if I will ever be a child of God that grows and pleases Him.

Take for example patience with disciplining my children. I will be convicted about my lack of patience and start praying for God to make me more patient and read some blogs about discipline and maybe start a book or two on discipline and each opportunity I will focus and try really hard to be more patient. I’ll do better for a couple days (or sometimes just a few hours depending on what the day brings!) but inevitably I begin to fail. I become impatient one or two times which opens the floodgates and before I know it I am more impatient than I’ve ever been with the kids! I then feel so discouraged and begin thinking of all the areas I’m failing and how in this world can I ever be a pleasing Christian to God and how will I ever grow and mature in my walk when I have so much to work on!!

What Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians is so encouraging and convicting. “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” If I keep my focus on Christ and His crucifixion and solely focus my time and energy and study on Him then I will naturally become more like Him. We can only resemble God’s character when we study it and know it. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7a. Not the fear of impatience is the beginning of knowledge or the fear of unkindness or unfaithfulness, etc. But the fear of the Lord.

And there is no disappointment in the knowledge of God. No days of discouragement. The more I learn about Him and what His death on the cross means for me the more encouraged I am and I begin to naturally live out the reality. I need to stop trying so hard to live holy because it’s not my strength or resolve that makes me holy anyways it’s Jesus’ death on the cross and His blood that makes me holy. Instead of feeling like this Christian walk is so hard and I’m never going to get anywhere I need to be encouraged that that’s never what it’s been about. If I focus my eyes on Jesus “the author and perfecter of (my) faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and less on me and my strength and my capabilities and my growth then this walk will no longer be exhausting and filled with feelings of failure but instead will be joyful and victorious. Praise God for what He did on the cross!!

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1 Corinthians 2: 1-4

Joseph Robert’s Birth Story

So Baby Jo is now 6 months old but I decided it was time to write out his birth story : ) I love having record of his story and I hope some day in the future it will bless all of the kiddos to have their story written down of how they entered this world.

Joseph Robert was born 6 days late on January 8th. I was torn the whole week before because we were thinking we were going to have to induce since he was already so late but I really wanted a similar birth experience to Lydia’s and actually experience spontaneous labor. Our Dr. was willing to induce us from the first day past our due date but I kept waiting per the suggestion of our previous Dr. with being a VBAC and allowing your body to naturally go into labor as opposed to pushing it along with an induction. So we kept waiting. Every day past the due date seemed so long and left me doubting and questioning if we should call to schedule an induction. I also had a weird battle because Adam and my anniversary is the 7th and I really didn’t want our baby born on the same day. It seemed like until that child was out of the house it would be hard to celebrate our anniversary on the same day as that baby’s birthday (I still think it will be tricky but God has His own plans and reasons for doing things).

Well we finally reached the max amount of overdue days and schedule our induction for the morning of the 8th. I still kept hoping to go into labor that night but no such plan happened. I was also remembering our scheduled induction with Amelia and how we showed up to the hospital an hour before and they sent us home because they had no room! I really didn’t want that to happen again… well… it did! We called at 5 AM and they said they were full and they’d call back when they were ready for me. Now since Joseph was originally due on January 2nd he felt all along like a Christmas baby… being told there was no room in the inn made it even more real!! I tried calling again after their morning shift change to make sure I wasn’t getting left behind and the not so nice nurse told me they knew who I was and would call me when they were ready just like they told me at 5 AM. Ugh! Don’t tell an overdue woman that it’s going to be longer! Well we dilly dally’d at home for a few hours and they called at 9 AM saying they were ready!!

We headed out the door and got checked in and dressed and ready to go. They broke my water at 10:30 AM to see if anything would happen naturally from that. No such luck. About 11:30 they started me on Pitocin as nothing was really progressing. They came in every 30 mins. or so and increased the dose to help my contractions get stronger and closer together. Around 1:00 I started getting pretty uncomfortable and had an epidural in place by 1:15 : ) I started relaxing a bit and closed my eyes for a few mins. Right around 2:00 I started feeling some pressure like I needed to push. I was just turning around to hit my nurse call button to have her come see where I was at when the nurse walked in and said she was looking at my contractions on the monitor and wondered if I was starting to feel pressure! She checked me and we were ready to go! My Doc came in and everyone got ready. I started pushing at 2:15 and by 2:30 this giant boy was out!!! What a blessing! Another quick and easy VBAC delivery!

Baby Jo came in a whopping 9 lbs 6 oz and 21 1/2″ long!

VBAC # 2 and almost 10 lbs. !!!

My Best Tip for Housework

Over the last few months I have been trying out various schedules and plans on how to keep up with homemaking now that we are homeschooling on a daily basis for the majority of our morning hours and now that we have added our fourth child leading to minimal time for basic homemaking (laundry, cooking, cleaning and tidying up). While I still haven’t settled on one plan/routine in particular that I really like I have found one thing that is changing my life! This was an idea straight from God’s mind that He knew would bless me and maybe you!

Two years ago I asked for an iPod Nano for my birthday and also bought an armband in the hopes I could use it for running. Well my days of running are pretty slim to none and my expensive iPod began to collect dust. I began wondering how I could make use of it again for a different purpose. I was enjoying listening to some podcasts in the kitchen on either my iHome or my bluetooth speaker connected to our tv but I found that during my homemaking times I would be all over the house moving around and had to keep pausing what I was listening to. One day it dawned on me to strap on my iPod and plug in some headphones and listen as I moved about. Thank you God!!! It sounds so simple and maybe obvious to some of you but it was a revelation to me. Now on most days I actually look forward to my time for homemaking so I can listen to my podcasts and audiobooks. I have so many books I want to read and just don’t have time to and this is a great way to get it in.

So here’s what it looks like for me. I usually reserve the folding of laundry, cleaning dishes and dinner prep, cleaning the house (sweep/mop, bathrooms, etc.) and any kind of decluttering chores for our afternoon rest time. So I put the kids to their allotted places and strap my iPod on and get started!

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Someone else there to keep me company on laundry day!

I love listening to:

Charles Stanley‘s podcast
Chuck Swindoll‘s Insight for Living podcast
James Macdonald‘s Walk in the Word podcast
Dr. Vernon McGee‘s Through the Bible podcast

Loyal Books has free audiobooks for download. They are a lot of classical novels which is a good way to catch up on your Jane Austen books!

Overdrive is connected to your local library account where you can check out audiobooks and download them onto your device. They have a pretty big selection of current books so you can catch up on your Hunger Games series! I am not able to put these on my iPod because it is an app and my Nano does not have app capabilities but I can put it on my iPhone and plug in my headphones there and listen.

Here is the armband I have for my iPod and I love it.

Listen and enjoy and let the homemaking begin!! And don’t forget to turn the baby monitor volume on high in case your littlest one wakes up for a feeding! I learned this the hard way!!!

Receiving Strength for the Task

“By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.” Hebrews 11:11

Have you ever been asked of God to do something that by yourself you thought there’s no way I can do this. I am not strong enough or I already have too much on my plate or I’m too old for this or whatever it might be that hinders you from obedience to the task or even belief that the task can be accomplished or that God’s even asking it of you.

I certainly have a number of times and may even be facing this right now.

This is such an encouraging little excerpt from Scripture. This is from Abraham and Sarah who God had promised children more numerous than the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5) and as the majority of their years were filled with barrenness they certainly had time to doubt God’s promise over their life. I’m sure based on this Hebrews passage that as Sarah’s age grew older she did question and doubt how she could hold up in a pregnancy so late in life. How would she have strength to make it through delivery? (Remember there were no epidurals and delivery aids back then!) And how would she have the energy to raise a young child in such an old age? I’m sure this was a great temptation to doubt God’s promise or at least her ability to fulfill His promise over her. BUT SHE RECEIVED STRENGTH TO CONCEIVE SEED, AND SHE BORE A CHILD. God met her where she was at and provided for her need and fear.

God will not promise something for us and ask something of us without supplying us the strength to accomplish it.

Are you weary and exhausted today and wondering how in the world you’re going to do it? He will give you strength … open your heart and receive it.

God is good all the time.

My Favorite Free Websites for Homeschool!

Bible Story Printables – Seeds Family Worship packets that include coloring sheets, mini books, copywork

DLTK Bible

DLTK Kids

Preschool Printable Activities

Turtle Diary

Coloring Castle

TLS Books

Math Worksheet Wizard

Coloring.ws

Kids Learning Station

Homeschool Creations

3 Dinosaurs

Teachers Pay Teachers

CurrClick

123 Homeschool 4 Me

Homeschool Share

Homeschool Classifieds

Loyal Books (formerly: Books Should Be Free)

Halfway Review of Little Hearts for His Glory

This review is a little less than halfway but I am at a point of re-planning and adding in some different things so I thought it would be a good time to organize and process through my thoughts and share them here.

You can look back at my first post here if you’re interested in more info on the Kindergarten set up of LHFHG.

Here are some things I really like about LHFHG (also keep in mind my kiddos are 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 and both started right before their 5 and 3 year old birthdays).

  • I love the bible verse memorization and found a lot of great printables here. I love printing the verse on cardstock and putting it in our photo book for easy review.
  • I love the Hide ‘Em in Your Heart CD to coincide with the memory verses.
  • I love the assigned storytime. My kiddos absolutely love reading through Thornton Burgess’s stories and it’s one of our favorite times of school (we usually do it after we’ve eaten our lunch and wrap up our day with this).
  • I enjoy the Art, Science, Thinking and Dramatic Play activities… these are things I usually don’t enjoy doing with the kiddos because I don’t think I’m very creative but they force me to go outside of my comfort zone and the kiddos LOVE doing these activities.

Here are some things I’m a little disappointed with about LHFHG. Now my disappointment does not mean I wouldn’t recommend it, it just means I have found some ways to supplement because of it. I also think it can be different for each family so you have to go by what works for you and your kiddos. For my kiddos these are some things I was hoping to have more of and it might be their age and interest calls for it.

  • I am actually a little disappointed in the Bible Study section. I was hoping to go through more of the Devotions book each week but it only shows up once or twice every couple of weeks. Aside from listening to the memory verse and practicing saying it and a short Bible story each day that is it for Bible Study. I think my kiddos have gotten familiar enough with the bible stories that they need something a little extra. I went back to Big Truths for Little Kids and have been reading a section from that each day they do not have a Devotions reading. I also will throw in their Awana story for the week on one of those days.
  • I’m also a little disappointed in the Science aspect of the guide. I am not very good at science and don’t really know how to teach it and maybe that’s why they don’t lean very heavily on science in this guide is because of the age for Kindergarten. Maybe what they have is just what they need. I think I had hoped someone would push me to add something in and LHFHG definitely doesn’t do that but that might be okay. To satisfy my guilty mom feelings we are utilizing our museum membership. We go to the museum every other week and pick one exhibit to focus on (i.e. dinosaurs, mummies, gems & minerals, etc.). We read books about that exhibit the week before we go and I usually can find some cute printables and coloring sheets for the kids to work on during the “fine motor skills” section of the manual. This has been great and I feel like we get a good portion of science in.
  • We dropped the 100 Easy Lessons for our phonics as it was just not vibing with Amelia. We went on to the Bob books and she has really liked those but it was still a struggle to get her excited about doing phonics. I started wondering about the early readers books and we picked some up at the library and now do that for phonics. She gets to pick any fun book she wants (usually frozen or some disney princess) and we read 1 or 2 pages each day. I just have her sound out each letter and put it together slowly then faster and faster until she’s sounded out the word. This is what I am thankful for about the 100 Easy Lessons because it taught me as the teacher a good method for teaching reading. Now she really looks forward to phonics and has been practicing sounding out words and word recognition everywhere we go!
  • As far as the Handwriting book and the Rod & Staff books I would say you could easily find the equivalent online. A lot of it she has already been familiar with and while it is easy and nice just to go page to page through the workbook I feel like you could find some critical thinking papers that maybe catch your child’s interests better through the internet. I also am not too impressed with the Handwriting book. Amelia had a lot of practice doing the copywork pages for the Seeds Family Worship songs and I don’t think this book teaches anything real different. I am almost tempted to have her do copywork of bible verses for the weekly memory verse and maybe will switch to that here soon.

So here is a review of our daily schedule: (We do school at home right now 3 days a week and we do 1 day a homeschool enrichment school day away and 1 day a field trip day to the zoo or museum)

  • Bible and Devotions/Big Truths for Little Kids
  • Scripture Memory and Music
  • Calendar Notebook (see post here)
  • Rhyme
  • Alternating Activity
  • Snack
  • Motor Skills
  • Math
  • Phonics
  • Chapter Book (we read through Amelia Bedelia or some other big chapter book)
  • Spanish (just learning flashcards and numbers, etc.)
  • Geography (see post here)
  • Storytime at Lunch (this is the Thornton Burgess books)
  • Piano after Rest Time (we just started working through this book)
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We made this school book box out of a diaper box. I hot glued scrapbook paper to the sides. I love using it because it is nice and strong and holds a lot and even has handles on the side!

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Here is the front/side of the box. I also wanted a way to display the current bible verses we were learning and I really don’t have much wall space and thought of doing this! So there’s each of their Awana verses for the week and the LHFHG verse for the week. You can see I cut down part of the front of the box to make for a little easier access to the books. We’ve been using it now for 8 months and it’s still standing strong!

DIY Bible Cover

About 8 years ago Adam and I went to a local church who was hosting Hank Hanegraaff for the night. We LOVE Hank so we didn’t want to miss this opportunity. While there he was selling his Legacy Study Bible so we decided to pick one up. He also signed it for us! We later got it engraved on the front to say “The Jardon Family Bible”. It is in the NKJV. I absolutely love this bible and have been reading out of it for about 5 years now. We left the original package box as the cover because the bible is so nice I didn’t want it laying around uncovered but that original box is pretty beat up after 5 years of use. I began looking to buy a cover but didn’t like all the generic looking ones and this bible is so big I didn’t necessarily want pockets and whatnots. I don’t know what I came across on Pinterest but it gave me the idea to look up a tutorial to make my own cover! This was my second sewing project (the first one being DIY throw pillow covers which I will post about later). I am pretty excited about how it turned out! There are quite a few imperfections being my second project and I think because I used quilting material it made it a little tricky to measure my seam allowances and ensure my sewing was hiding the edges of the material so the quilting inside wouldn’t seep out. I also forgot to sew on the strap I wanted until the very end which made it near impossible to sew via the sewing machine so I had to hand sew that part… lesson learned there!

Here it is! I loved this material so much! I wasn’t planning to use quilting fabric but I have a newfound obsession with Vera Bradley and loved how this fit the theme for her bags. I also loved that it was double sided so the part I used for the strap was just the other side of the material. That means I didn’t have to buy any extra fabric. And this was 40% off so I bought 1/2 yard for $7 at JoAnns!!

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Here is what the flap looks like on the inside. A lot of tutorials had you pick out a different fabric and sew it to the outside fabric. I’m not sure why because it seemed to make more sense to just sew it as one piece with the flap folded over. I mainly followed this tutorial here.

0188b19b62710b7931883cd200ed14f02abaec5c2dI love the strap : )

I also loved the idea of sewing on a button and then a snap closure. It looks so clean and crisp and will protect this bible for years!

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It looks great with my new Vera Bradley bible study tote! I loved Merle Norman at the mall because of their 50% off retired prints section!!!

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Book Review: 1,000 Gifts

Book Review: 1,000 Gifts

by, Ann Voskamp

photo credit

This book was a pretty quick read for me. The way Ann Voskamp writes is so different and very enjoyable and it helps to read a book quickly. I felt like I was inside of her head and she was a good friend describing things in a way only good friends can and I really appreciated that. I loved how humbly she wrote. You can see that this book was written alongside a journey she took to understand and learn the content. She wasn’t preaching to anyone but simply fellowshipping and writing so we could all journey along with her. This also was a challenging book and really opened up my eyes to seeing our circumstances with a thankful heart.

“His [God’s] intent, since He bent low and breathed His life into the dust of our lungs, since He kissed us into being, has never been to slyly orchestrate our ruin.” p.17

“That was the fall! Non-eucharisteo, ingratitude, was the fall – humanity’s discontent with all that God freely gives. That is what has scraped me raw: ungratefulness.” p.35

“Jesus offers thanksgiving for even that which will break Him and crush Him and wound Him and yield a bounty of joy… Do I really want this way?” p.36

“…moving the ink across the page opens up the eyes, that he may not understand how it sheds light, focuses its lens, but he only knows ‘that there are eyes in pencils and in pens’…the picking up of a pen isn’t painful and ink can be cheap medicine.” p.49 (first part is a quote from John Piper’s When I Don’t Desire God)

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry.” p.65

“But time is not running out. This day is not a sieve, losing time. With each passing minute, each passing year, there’s this deepening awareness that I am filling, gaining time. We stand on the brink of eternity.” p.77

“But awakening to joy awakens to pain. Joy and pain, they are but two arteries of the one heart that pumps through all those who don’t numb themselves to really living.” p.84

“You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies – though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet [God’s] beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.” p.125 (as quoted by Jean-Pierre de Causade in Reuben Job’s A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People)

“When I choose – and it is a choice – to crush joy with bitterness, am I not purposefully choosing to take the way of the Prince of Darkness? Choosing the angry way of Lucifer because I think it is more effective – more expedient – than giving thanks?” p.126

“Only self can kill joy. I’m the one doing this to me.” p.177