Baby Wren And The Great Gift Book Review

The kingfisher can dive, the raccoons can do cartwheels, the sunfish can swim and splash, but what can baby wren do?

This is a delightful story of a young wren looking out and seeing all of the abilities that the other animals have and wondering why she can't do those things too.  How can she make the world a more fun and beautiful place?  She feels small and insignificant, until she looks around and realizes that she has a wonderful song just waiting to bubble up from inside of her.  She has a song to fill the whole sky as high as the eagles can fly!

Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, this is a story that never mentions God but is absolutely about discovering the gift that God gave each of us.  In the end, baby wren uses her gift to say thank you not only for her gift, but for the gift of each of the other creatures in the story.  The illustrations, by Jen Corace, are gentle and enticing.  This is the type of picture book that I can read every day without feeling irritated (or maybe I'm the only one who feels irritated that way about reading Dora for the tenth night in a row).  

In exchange for an honest review, I was provided a free copy of this book through the BookLook Bloggers program.  This post contains affiliate links, purchasing from the links helps me earn a small commission to continue keeping this blog (and my book habit) in operation.

How To Homeschool Through {Just About} Anything: Part Three


In this weeks installment of How to Homeschool Through {Just About} Anything we are going to talk about preparing your family for hard times.  I'm also going to cheat a little bit and direct you to a series of pieces that I wrote for Peanut Butter & Grace last summer.

The truth is that nothing can really prepare you for the unexpected and that is precisely what makes it difficult to deal with.  That being said, I believe that intentional family living (living on purpose for a purpose) makes a big difference when you find yourself (your family, your homeschool) feeling out of control.  When I am writing about intentional family living, I can say with confidence that the tools I share are very useful in supporting strong family relationships.  I can also say that at times we do a great job with this and at times intentional living (much like homeschooling) is left to the sidelines when we are simply hoping to keep our heads above the water. 

Note:  If you are currently in one of these periods of life and waiting for me to actually talk about homeschooling during them, don't worry.  That is coming next week.  Feel free to skip this week, because in the middle of the storm is not the time to work on these things.   To start with the first post in this series, click here.

{SQT} Things I Wish People Understood About Our Short NICU Stay


1.  Our NICU stay was still a NICU stay.

Our baby was still taken away from us shortly after birth.  We were not allowed to breastfeed or hold our son for a period of time.  In our case (and many others), our son was taken to a different hospital, and I wasn’t able to be with him at all for the first day of his life.  It was only due to a superb recovery that I was able to spend his second day with him.  There were times we couldn’t hold our baby and we didn’t get to make many decisions about his initial life experience.  No matter how short a NICU stay is or isn't, we can't have those hours and days back.

How To Homeschool Through {Just About} Anything {Part 2}

This post is the second in a series, click here to start at the beginning.

During some seasons, extra time to read in a tree is all that is needed!
What qualifies as {just about} anything?  Almost from the moment I started homeschooling, I overheard experienced homeschooling moms discuss the advantages of homeschooling during certain seasons.  Help from older kids when a new sibling was born, being able to travel and attend far away funerals of family, and more.  What I never heard anyone talk about was a time when homeschooling just wasn’t possible or needed drastic overhaul.

Occasionally I would hear about a particular child for who it didn’t seem to be a good fit, but never a time that it just wasn’t going to work.  Little did I know back then, how our own homeschooling journey would test the limit of that theory.  Times when homeschooling didn’t just take a back seat, but wasn’t even a flitting thought across my brain.

How to Homeschool Through {Just About} Anything

Hospital bedrest selfie with a sticky two year old!

I’ve been asked many times in the past several years how on earth I am still homeschooling.  Actually, I’ve also been asked how I am still standing, smiling, or any number of other versions of the same thing.  Between a house fire, more moves than I can count, Siena’s death, and most recently Tomas’ NICU stay sometimes I’m not even sure I have an answer for that question!  There are many days even now that I am {homeschooling, standing, smiling, etc} because I simply don’t see another choice.  

How Many Hours In A Day?

How many seconds in a minute?
Sixty, and no more in it. 

How many minutes in an hour?
Sixty for sun and shower. 

How many hours in a day?
Twenty-four for work and play. 

How many days in a week?
Seven both to hear and speak. 

How many weeks in a month?
Four, as the swift moon runneth. 

How many months in a year?
Twelve the almanack makes clear. 

How many years in an age?
One hundred says the sage. 

How many ages in time?
No one knows the rhyme. 

{SQT} Things I've Learned About Using Formula


Tomas has been on his new feeding plan for over a month now and things are really looking up.   See those chunky thighs?!?!  We've learned a lot and I'm hoping progress continues right up until his issues disappear completely (a mom must always have hope).  That being said, our adventures in feeding Tomas have taught me a lot about (previous-unused-by-me) formula.

1.  People do judge formula feeding moms.

From the looks at the store to health care providers to other moms and even grandmas, people really do look down (literally) at formula feeding.  Straight down into the cart with narrowed eyes and mmm..hmmm glances.  I thought (wished?  hoped?) that all of the things I've always heard about the judgmental attitude about formula was wrong, but's not.  Based on my own reactions, I'm seriously worried that I have been the one casting those nasty looks and making assumptions in the past.  It was hard for me to overcome my own formula-predjudice.  I really believed that I was a failure for not being able to do this.  I still cringe every time Tomas needs a bottle when we are out and about because I know that the looks are coming.