In my life this week… We have begun “birthday week”. My kids are 5 days short of being 5 years apart. This makes for a very busy first of January. It’s almost like Christmas doesn’t end…at not the gift part. I do try VERY hard to get all the decorations put away so that we can focus on birthdays. Yesterday, the 5th my sweet Leah turned 8 and Wyatt will be 13 on the 10th. They are growing up so quickly. The exciting thing for me is that not only are they growing up physically but they are growing up spiritually too. It is so wonderful to see them have the desire to learn and grow in their walk with Christ AND I love to hear them constantly singing praise songs to the Lord. In our homeschool this week… We’re back in the classroom. I’ll admit that it was hard to get up and get going the first few days and we grew to accustomed to free time, meaning we’d rather do anything but school! AND the kids want both of their birthdays off so we compromised and worked extra hard on a few subjects on Wednesday and today so that Thursday would be light and it would be a day for us to just enjoy Leah’s birthday. Now that it’s Friday and the week is complete, I can say that things went pretty well. We are going to be doing How To Study Your Bible for Kids by Kay Arthur during our Bible time every day. I am looking forward to seeing my kids improve their Bible study skills. Who knows, it might just improve their overall study skills too!! Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… We’re using http://www.khanacademy.org/ for math tutorials on skills and practice problems. If you’ve never used this site, it really is a great resource. I am inspired by… The encouragement that I receive by reading the blogs of other women who, like me, are on a journey to raise their children, love their husbands, keep their home and continue to strengthen their daily walk with the Lord. This inspiration is not anything new but the “year in review” and New Year’s blogs have been especially encouraging. There is just something about knowing that I’m not alone in my journey. My favorite thing this week was… Looking through photos of Leah as she has grown up and changed over the past 8 years. Questions/thoughts I have… I’ve never had a “formal” reading list for the year; I just read whatever I come across that I think I would enjoy or that would benefit me in my walk with the Lord. This year I decided that I would like to have a formal reading list. I have many books that I’ve collected over the years that have never been opened. I also have a few that I’ve always wanted to read and never taken the time SO I am working on my list. I’d love suggestions of great books that you all might be reading. Things I’m working on… I am learning to use my Cricut machine that I got for Christmas. It’s so cool and will allow me to do so much more in my card making endeavors. I’m also making a quilted bag to keep my Kindle in. I’m reading … The Bible in a Year. I am doing this thru youversion.com on my Kindle. For sheer enjoyment, I also read Wagered Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher. I checked out the digital copy of this one from my library on my Kindle. Pretty cool. I’m listening to … Knowing God by J.I. Packer. I found it free on christianaudio.com and downloaded it to my Kindle. They have one free download a month so I look forward to listening to a few books this year. I’m cooking… Normal stuff but Thursday was all about Leah’s favorites – Bacon Wrapped Smokies, Cheesy Chicken, Twice Baked Mashed Potato Casserole, and Green Beans. These were her birthday picks! I’m grateful for… The opportunity to be the mom of two such wonderful kids. I love them so! And for my husband, who is a wonderful father. I’m praying for… The mind and attitude of Christ in my own life. A photo, video, link, or quote to share… “I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty, but as a profession that was fully as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it.”- Rose Kennedy (I thought this was appropriate in light of this being the week that I became a mom!!) Happy New Year!