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Homeschool | Preparing for School



  

We spent the morning playing outside before it got brutally hot and now the kids are watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood while I scurry to get this post written. We have had a speedy summer and I am not quite sure where it has gone.  We completed the Declaration! eCourse and are still plugging through our bird unit using Thornton Burgess's Bird Book.  

I wanted to update you, in case you were thinking about including a study like either of those in your fall schedule.  I will give you a lineup of our fall curriculum later this month.  First, I wanted to share my thoughts on the studies we did this summer.  

The Declaration! course was great for us this summer.  Ella could grasp bits and pieces and enjoyed learning about our government.  There were a few topics that were a bit difficult for her, not because the course was lacking, but rather because the content was a bit abstract.  I printed off a student book for her and a teacher's book for me.  Both were provided with the course, so all I did was print and put in a 3-ring binder.  It required very little on my part as far as prep and we would spend about 30-40 minutes on the class/day.

The bird unit... well, I realized early on that we wouldn't get through all of the birds.  The book keeps the study interesting, but I did have to choose a select number of birds to make sure we could complete a narration journal on all of them.  I printed off black and white photos of each of the birds I chose to study and after we read about the bird Ella would paint the bird according to the description given in the book.  Then, she would write down the facts that were talked about to learn how to brainstorm for a writing project.  The last task for her was to take the facts and put them into sentence form and write them in an appropriate sequence to make sure her reader would understand the information given.  

A little tip with the bird book... when reading, give the different characters their own voice and personality.  When I was chatting with a friend, she said that helped keep her kiddos' attention, and it did for us, as well.  I usually do this when reading, but I was a bit exaggerated for this book so that the qualities of the birds could be easily remembered.  

Motherhood | Taking Time to Slow



This is the first slow week we've had in a long while.  Today was the first day we have left the house since church on Sunday.  Many would feel claustrophobic and antsy being home several days in a row, but it has been so refreshing for me.  I have had to say, "no," to activities and engagements, but it has been so worth it!  

Along with hunkering down at Casa Quick, we have lost our babe's sweet Lovie.  How does one lose something when they haven't left the house in days?  I'm not sure.  I went dumpster diving in our garage to make sure Lovie didn't get tossed by accident, looked in every nook and crannie, and searched drawers and cabinets more than once.  No Lovie.  No restful sleep for Jules.  

I have had to rock her sweet little body to sleep on a number of occasions.  For the most part, I haven't minded it one bit.  The Lord slows us when we refuse to be obedient to His gentle call to listen.  Not only that, but she turns two in a few days.  Two... my last babe.  It seemed like two was light years away when I was running on hormonal fumes and cuddling my milk-drunk Julia.  We would rock the night away and I would think of how slow I wanted this last one to go.  How I didn't want to rush a moment.  

Now, I am rocking an almost two year old and sleep is easier to come by.  As the Lord slows me, I think and pray on those that reside in these four walls.  I pray that the Savior would be praised and worshiped in the souls of those who do life here.  I think about the young girl from my hometown who is about to lose her eyesight.  When I was a senior in high school, I would help her first grade class during my study hall hour.  I taught them all of the tricks, like how to clean your pencil eraser on your jeans.  I think about how much my heart hurts for her.  I think about her mama and how I would feel if I were her.  I think about how grateful I am that The Gospel isn't limited by our earthly bodies.  How it can penetrate even when physical sight is absent.  The Holy Spirit isn't limited.  He follows the Father's leading.  Our Jesus isn't limited.  He saves those that the Father draws to Him.  How Jesus raises the dead with the power of His words, "Lazarus, come out!"  

Words.  That's all it took to make the dead come to life.  Words.  That's all it took to set this universe in motion.  The power of that- His words- is stunning to me.  

So, if it took losing a "Lovie" for my heart to think upon those things, then I'd lose Lovie a million times over.  If you are needing a little encouragement, this song has me praising Him all the day long:

Sweet Living | Camping






Y'all... it's been forever since I chatted here in this space.  I almost forgot how to even create a blog post.  It has been quite a full spring.  Full of goodness- sunshine, book reading, and play dates.  There has been some not so good aspects that have left me a little sluggish, which is part of the reason there are so many cobwebs collecting on my little blog.  I just do not like a full calendar.  I'm selfish with my " family" time and make no apologies for that.  I want it slow and simple, without a lot of hoop-la.

Anyway, that's where our camping adventures take shape.  We spend the week preparing slowly for our adventure.  Our home gets closed up and the blinds get pulled, leaving it cool, quiet, and dark.  We load in the car, many of us giggling with delight, and head out to the campsite.  It's always a new experience and the whole way I have to answer, "Are we getting closer, mama?"

I am a creature of habit, so this is a big 180 for me.  Letting go and allowing uncertainty to creep in is counter to my personality.  There has been something so sweet about our camping time, though, that has me loving it more and more.

When we set off, I leave behind all of my regular 'to dos' that keep me from connecting with my kids.  I get to spend time looking them in the eyes and saying, "yes," to their requests to go ride bikes, or go look at the tree stump in the forested area, or go play at the play set.  We turn our phones off and roast s'mores not worrying about how sticky or gooey our hands and clothes get.

Camping isn't something that I would have pictured myself doing as an adult- packing in my four babes and taking to the road hand-in-hand with my fella.  It has been a nice, quiet surprise for me.  There's just something about being crammed in, sleeping the night away right next to one another, and then opening the doors to nature first thing in the morning.  It's quite lovely.

Style | Spring Wardrobe

For the past (many) years I have had a changing body- pregnant, post-pregnant, "not your 18 year old body" body.  At that point, I had decided that I was going to buy less expensive clothes since my body was constantly in a state of change.  Now that my figure is a bit more predictable, I decided that it was time to have fewer clothes, but have better quality pieces.

I want my clothes to fit well and suite my figure- cover my arms, tush, and cleavage.  I also don't want to have to worry about the hems and seams coming loose.  That has been such a problem for me with the cheaper clothing.  They don't last and I end up frustrated that I spent the money on them.

So, along with better quality clothing, I need less clothing.  Our move last fall resulted in a shared closet that is quite a bit smaller than I was used to.  Before the move, I donated an obscene amount of clothes (some from high school!!!) and pared down to just those items that I love and wear often.  Still, the closet is packed and I can't see the clothes that are available.  The solution was a Capsule Wardrobe for each season of the year.

A Capsule Wardrobe is where you have 5-10 pieces of each type of clothing (5 pants, 5 nice tops, 5 shoes, 5 dressy outfits, etc) in your closet to wear and they ALL fit great and wear well.  These items are those that you wear every day and are items that can be worn with one another and mixed.  I was worried that I would be discontent with the "less clothing" process, but it is actually quite freeing to get rid of those items you think you will wear and then four years later, never have. It also makes it so easy to get ready in the mornings.

I put together my wardrobe and wanted to share it with you as well as a great place to shop (from your home!!!) for high-quality clothing for a fraction of the cost! Yay!  For me, I needed transition pieces.  Springtime in the Midwest can range from the 30s to 70s.  I needed layering pieces that were easy to put together.  Here are a few ideas to inspire you and your capsule:


Top: Banana Republic- c/o thredUp
original price: $39.99 thredUp price: $15.49
Jacket: Tulle- c/o thredUp
original price: $78.00 thredUp price: $12.49
Jeans: Target
Shoes: TJMaxx

Top: UmGee c/o thredUp
original price: $60.00 thredUp price: $18.99
Sandals: ShoeMint c/o thredUp
original price: $80.00 thredUp price: $13.99
Pants: Kohl's

Top: UmGee c/o Farm Girl Boutique
Booties: Popsugar
Hat: Target

Kimono: UmGee via Fancy Free Shop

and... because I need a 'yoga pant' day. ;)
Top: We the Free c/o thredUp
original price: $36.00 thredUp price: $11.99
Pants: Albion Fit

ThredUp is the best place to get quality clothing for a fraction of the cost.  They are very honest about the quality of the clothing and I have yet to receive an item that I wasn't happy with.  Another thing I love about thredUp is that the clothing are name brands (Nordstrom, Anthropology, Ann Taylor, Zara, Madewell, etc) that I wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.  I can feel put together and have lovely clothes without feeling guilty about the price tag.  This is so much better than sifting through racks of stained, worn out clothes.  I get to sit, sip coffee, and peruse the aisles of thredUp! :)  

And, for you... if you want to try out thredUp, click here to get a special $10 offer for your first shopping experience!  I hope you enjoyed this quick capsule wardrobe post.  Let me know if you wear a capsule and what you love about it!   

Oils | Fitting them into Your Life


I get asked about oils almost on a daily basis.  Many women and mamas want to incorporate oils into their daily routine, but are unsure of how to do so.  They are overwhelmed and feel like it's a daunting task.  Luckily, I am on a team that has so many different support systems in place and that has made my oily journey pretty seamless.  

One thing I always encourage new oil users to do is to start with one oil, usually Lavender, and get comfortable with that one oil.  Once you are, then gradually add in more oils to your daily routine.  The best way to dip your toes into oils is to diffuse oils in your home.  It is such a gentle way to begin and get your feet wet.  

I have also noticed that if I don't have things in place to use oils conveniently, I won't use them.  They need to be accessible and ready to go!  A quick tip is to set up oily stations in your home.  Have everything ready to use and then you will really see the benefits of the oils in your home.  Above is an example of an oily station.  It has a diffuser, three oils that I am loving, a jar to pour the water into the diffuser, and a sweet succulent- just because. ;)  It is a no-hassle system and makes oils simple. 

Another easy tip is to create oily roller bottles.  I have diluted roller bottles for myself and my kids.  The kids can grab the bottles and put them on their scratches and bumps without me having to cater to them.  They are accessible to the kiddos and perfect for them!  I also have roller bottles for myself is convenient locations.  I have Progessence Plus and Frankincense oils in my bathroom vanity since I am more likely to use them when I get ready in the morning.  Stress Away is in my kitchen cabinet and ready to go when I am in the midst of little people, homeschooling, and lunchtime.  It's all about making it convenient!


This month, my team is celebrating The Clean Home- Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils.  I am blessed with a creative and supportive team of women who invest in one another.  If you are interested in Young Living oils, shoot me an email and I will get you started!  When you join, you will get a link for this month's ISSUU giving detailed descriptions of how to use Young Living oils in your cleaning routine.  It was creatively curated by women on our team and is exclusive to us!  We would love to have you, too!!!

You can find me on:


Style | The Perfect Glasses

otto frame

Glasses can be the pits to pick out.  You head into a store packed with frames covering the walls and you are supposed to pick out a pair on the spot.  You don't get time to mull them over or see what they look like with different hairstyles (or no makeup... eeek!).  

When I found David Kind glasses I was so impressed with the process.  You pick out a few frames that spark your interest and you gravitate towards.  Then their professional stylists pick out three frames that they think would look fabulous on you.  The process really is so easy:

+ Upload a picture so the stylist can see your face/eye shape
+ Fill out a short questionnaire about what you do and don't like- color, shape, etc
+ Their stylist will match you with the 3 frames they think would compliment your face

otto frames

The awesome part is that they ship you the frames and you get 6 days to try the glasses and see which pair you like the best.  Once you decide, you fill out a little card and ship them back.  Your glasses are then made and shipped to you.  You don't even have to leave your house (except to go to the mailbox!).  


baldwin frame

One of the first things I noticed when I picked up the frames was how sturdy and substantial they felt.  That is kind of important when you are being mauled by four kiddos all day long. 



Your glasses arrive in this case with all of the frames tucked neatly inside.  Try them on. Wear them for a day or two. Pick your frame. And enjoy!  It really is that easy.  


You can find more out about David Kind glasses any of these places:

Do you struggle to find glasses you love?  Let me know what you think about the "bring the glasses to you" thought process.  I think it's brilliant!



Home | Out With the Old Lights

We are slowly making updates to our outdated 90's ranch.  This home is full of yellow/orange oak, metal blinds, heavily spackled walls, and stained, off-white carpet. Although, we can't change the knock-down on the walls we are taking small bites at the rest of the home.  Painting has really helped lighten up this place and give it a fresh, clean feel, but there's so much more to tackle.

I had already updated the light over the kitchen table and our foyer lights, but the can lights in the kitchen were really messing up the aesthetic.  I didn't know how I would change the lights without needing an electrician to come and do it for me, which isn't really in our reno budget, so I was thrilled when I stumbled across Worth Home Products.  They provide instant pendant lights and let me tell you... they are so easy to install!

Take a look and make sure you check out the discount at the bottom of this post and a few "before" pictures!





  
To install these fixtures, you unscrew the can light bulb and screw in the pendant- that's it!  They look nice and give it the rustic-industrial feel I was going for.  I replaced one can light over our kitchen sink with this fixture and our bar top lights were replaced with this fixture which is a little less substantial compared to the kitchen sink fixture.  
 


 These three fixtures made such a difference to our kitchen space and I have had so many people ask about them, so I wanted to blog the details for everyone.  If you are wanting to make quick updates to your space without going overboard- check out these lights!!!

I'm excited to share a sweet deal with you all!  If you are wanting to purchase a few fixtures from Worth Home Products I have a discount to pass along.  When you call (713-660-0025) and order over the phone and mention The Quick Journey blog you will get a 15% discount on all of their products!!!  So run fast and grab this great deal!  If you have any questions, feel free to shoot them my way and I will answer them as best as I can!

BEFORE:


 (forgive the mess... keeping it real!) ;)