Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Be like Jesus...

... very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, "He has been with Jesus." Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father's will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure."

~Charles Spurgeon

Oh how I want to be like Jesus....and how very short I fall...each. and. every. day. I am so thankful that His strength is shown through my weakness. The only way to be more like Christ is to spend time in His Word and to *know* Him. Reading about Him, studying Him, talking to Him...these are the ways to know Christ more. It is the only way to be more like Him. Of course, we cannot do it all in our own strength either...but thankfully He gave us the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to do His will. I am so grateful! I encourage you to not only study the Scriptures but to also spend a little time reading words of great men of old who imitated Christ...who loved Him and wanted to make Him known! Men like Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, Matthew Henry, William Wilberforce and more! :) 

I am praising the Lord for the beautiful weather He has given us lately! It's February and usually in Western Pennsylvania we have snow and freezing temperatures! Instead it is in the 50's and spring-like! Oh it is absolutely glorious friends! Yesterday before heading off to our homeschool co-op day I hung out a load of freshly laundered towels! Line-dried towels are my favorite and how glorious it was to use one after a shower! :)  

My sister and her children are coming to town today (YIPPEEEE!) and actually coming *here* to my house! Our aunt's birthday is coming up so a few of us are getting together to celebrate! We're getting pizza and cake and celebrating another year of life for her (good thing I exercised hard last night! haha!). They should be arriving soon....but I wanted to share a few photos of what has been happening lately! :) 

Madelyn got a small *job* at our YMCA doing childcare a couple of hours one day a week. On her first "work" day the boys and I went in too. I exercised while they played basketball and cards...

 Egg salad sandwiches for lunch on Valentine's Day...

A Valentine's Day game at lunch...

I don't usually do disposable plates and napkins. I prefer reusable ones....however, I found these cute Valentine's Day ones at JoAnn's for 70% off! I couldn't beat that awesome price! :) It made the day a little more festive! Chris took me out for supper that evening too! We *never* go out together so it was nice!

Jaxson working on some of his drawings...

X working on some schoolwork...

 It's that time of year again....seed time!

 Madelyn practices on the piano every chance she gets!


This week is a busier one for me...but that's a good thing because it is all enjoyable things going on! I hope your week is enjoyable as well! Remember to be like Jesus...always! And the *only* way to truly be like Him is to *know* Him. The only way to *know* Him is to be reading His Word! :)

Thank you for stopping by friends!

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Monday, February 13, 2017

Home & Life Lately...

Good morning friends! Happy Monday! 

It's gray, cold and snowy here in Western PA. How's the weather where you are? We have been keepin' busy around here. Schooling keeps us the busiest...plus the normal duties of life (chores, exercise, meals, grocery shopping etc.). The children's music lessons have gone well and they are improving their skills each week! We try to visit a friend of ours, with small children, each week to enjoy fellowship and also, so we can help them out if needed. Friday evenings are spent playing church volleyball. Although our team has only won one match, we have a great time and cheer each other on. My husband started to play too and he is *good*! That man is truly good at whatever he does. He never ceases to amaze me! :o) 

 I have a small cold but it isn't anything major. Unfortunately, though, the other night I somehow got a knot in my lower back. It is quite painful. I stayed home from church yesterday as even doing simple things,like walking, hurt! Today it feels a little better...but the pain is still there. I am going to attempt going to Aldi for groceries and then later tonight, teach spin! I hope I can do those things. Not being able to function properly can drive one crazy! You never realize how thankful you are for the different functions and body parts the Lord has given you until they don't work correctly!

At this very moment, the boys are air-popping popcorn (to snack on while they work on their schoolwork) and Madelyn is up in her room working on her school. I have been doing laundry, balancing the checkbook, paying bills and the like. :) Stella-Cat is keeping me company...laying beside me as I type! It is so relaxing to pet a cat. She has the softest fur too! Anyway...now I am rambling! I have a few photos to share of around the house below...

In the mudroom (I found this great outgoing/incoming mail basket holder at TJ Maxx)...

The basket below hold cinnamon scented pinecones...it makes walking into the mudroom appealing as the slight fragrance hangs in the air...

Out the mudroom window you can see the back yard (and raised beds)....covered in snow...

In the living room, I found the baskets, on top of the entertainment center, very inexpensively at Goodwill one day!

And you know me and my candles ~

This photo (below) was taken without a light on in the living room this morning. It is truly dull and grey out. I always try to just remember that spring will be coming *some* day! :)

I hope your weeks have been going well. Through the good and bad of life, God is molding our characters to be more like His Son. How we choose to behave during the different circumstances of our life can either reflect Christ or not. If you desire to glorify God and magnify Christ ~ make Him your focus. Not yourself...not your circumstances. And when times are glorious...praise Him in the midst of it all! :)

If you haven't read my post on my latest book finishes...you should check it out HERE. They are on biblical womanhood and selflessness. Two books that I highly recommend! Right now I am reading The Faithful Parent by Martha Peace and Stuart Scott. So far it is really good...focusing on the gospel which is key! I will be sure to share a post on my thoughts of it when I am finished reading!

Thanks for visiting me here today! Until next time, Lord willing...

Katy :)

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Monday, February 6, 2017

Planning in My Bullet Journal in February

Hi friends! Here's a quick look at how I have been planning out some of my days now in my personal Filofax bullet journal! I also have an Alice in Wonderland themed Plan With Me in my Erin Condren Planner that you can watch HERE if you would like! (It's not long). I am also on instagram now so you can see photos of home and my planners on there too (you can find my link to my IG account on the right sidebar).

Planning out my days really helps keep me organized and helps stop me from stressing while trying to figure out what I need to do in a day. If I have it written down then I know I will get to it! :)

Here's a look at the stickers I used for the Alice in Wonderland theme in my ECLP!

This week is going to be a busy one for me. I hope to post again soon though! I hope you all have a great week! Thank you for visiting me here! 


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Monday, January 30, 2017

Biblical Womanhood in the Home

Hello friends! I recently finished a couple books and really wanted to share them with you. They are full of great wisdom and truth! I am totally sharing these from my own desire to....this isn't any sort of sponsored post or anything! :)

"Wives, in light of the Lord's instruction to us, we have to ask ourselves the hard questions on a regular basis: Do I care for my home in a way that helps my husband or serves me? Do I manage my time in a manner that assists my husband or serves my own agenda? Does the way I serve others support my husband or promote me? Do I ask for my husband's input before committing myself to a plan? Am I oriented to him and the work to which God has called him? We honor the Lord when we minister to our husbands in ways that enhance our God-given roles as companions and helpers." 
~Carolyn Mahaney

Biblical Womanhood in the Home is edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth (although it was made before she was married). It has contributions written in it by her, Susan Hunt, Mary A. Kassian, Carolyn Mahaney, Barbara Hughes, P.Bunny Wilson, and Dorothy Patterson.

It is such a great book and ranks right up there with "Homemaking" by J.R. Miller and "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace! It covers having a biblical view of femininity and beauty, being a woman used by God, a wife's responsibilities, the joy of submission, raising feminine daughters, and older women mentoring younger women (and MORE)! It is definitely not a *dry* read...especially if your heart yearns to glorify the Lord in all you do! :)

"God is glorified through thankful, trusting, obedient, compassionate, serving, virtuous, joyful, feminine women who reflect to our world the heart and character of the Lord Jesus Himself. As we are filled with His Spirit, we radiate His beauty and make the Gospel believable."
~Nancy Leigh Demoss

Sometimes, I can get caught up in my appearance (especially as I battle my weight) and wanting to be beautiful...but really...where is my mind focusing then? (which is why I read the second book that I will share in a bit). I think women have the tendency to focus on *self* so much...with a lot of focus being on outward beauty.

"Do our thoughts and actions regarding our appearance reflect a cultural standard or a biblical standard?....God exposes our pursuit of the perfect figure and beauty to be idolatrous...Nowhere in the Bible are women instructed to wish for, ask for, or strive for physical beauty....our beauty 'should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight'....Our culture defines beauty by how we look on the outside. God defines beauty by what we are like on the inside."
~Carolyn Mahaney

You can find this book for *great* prices at amazon: HERE  (It is there for .01 cents...plus 3.99 shipping!) That is not an affiliate link or anything...just a link so you can find the book quickly if you are interested in it! I have so many things underlined, highlighted and circled in this book! One more quote before I talk about the other book I want to share.

"The redeemed helper will be a woman of prayer....The redeemed helper whose convenant sensibilities have been honed understands the importance of the virtue of domesticity [a devotion to home life] and the ministry of hospitality...The redeemed helper is not inward-focused....She knows that submission has nothing to do with status. Submission has to do with function. It is the way God has ordered life in the kingdom, and it is good because He is good."
~Susan Hunt

The second book I want to share is a short, little book by Tim Keller. It's called: "The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness". It has less than 50 pages. It is worth the quick read (and maybe re-read!). I struggle because I don't want to be selfish. I want to be *selfless*...but the more I focus on trying to BE selfless...I end up still focusing on *self*! Ack! It's like an unending, circular struggle! It drives me crazy! I cry out to the Lord in prayer. I am thankful for His Word and also this little book which just gave me some extra things to focus on...to keep my mind *off* myself! Quotes below are from Tim Keller...author of the book. Any emphasis given is mine. :)

"True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness brings."

"This is gospel-humility, blessed self-forgetfulness. Not thinking more of myself as in modern cultures, or less of myself as in traditional cultures. Simply thinking of myself less."

"A truly gospel-humble person is not a self-hating person or a self-loving person, but a gospel-humble person. The truly gospel-humble person is a self-forgetful person whose ego is just like his or her toes. It just works. It does not draw attention to itself. The toes just work; the ego just works. Neither draws attention to itself."

You can find this book HERE. It's a quick and easy read and really points you to Christ and serving others and away from self! :) If you read it (or Biblical Womanhood in the Home)...I would love to hear your thoughts on it! If you are looking for good, quality, gospel-centered books...these are for you! Biblically and wisely they point you to Christ and how to reflect Him in our lives! :o)

Thanks for stopping by today friends! Have a great week!

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims and The Modest Mom blog

Friday, January 27, 2017

Plan With Me Video Using Sweet Kawaii Design Stickers!

 Hi Friends! For those who enjoy these videos: here is one using Sweet Kawaii Design stickers! I watch for big sales and only purchase a few things inexpensively. Purchasing stickers can be expensive. I mostly make my own but like to support other small businesses from time to time! :)

I really enjoy planning (and some days, do so without stickers...they are just an added bonus!). I love to have my days mapped out and organized and a TO DO list to check off throughout my day. It motivates me to get things done and helps me to remember things I need to do! :o) 

Today, the children and I went into the Y to workout this morning and practice volleying the volleyball (since we have church volleyball tonight). Now they are working on schooling and I have chores to get done! :) I think we will watch a movie this afternoon! I hope your Friday is going well and thanks *so* much for stopping by! 


Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Bit of Organizing

Hello friends! :) 

It has been a busy day here today...and I am quite ready for bed. We have another busy day tomorrow though so I wanted to get this post up tonight. We have been having such mild temperatures here in Western PA lately! In the 50's! It has been dreary though...and the mud....oh the mud! But...I am *not* trying to complain. I wore flip-flops the past couple of days! Yes, you read that right! It was glorious! The bad thing, though, is that the skunks seem to think it is time to wake up from their hibernation...then they try to cross the road. They aren't very successful. I hope they realize they need to go back to bed! 

Since it is late and I am *quite* ready for bed...I just wanted to share a quick bit of organizing I have done lately. I rearranged some bookshelves and organized the children's schoolwork...

The "mail sorter" system I had used to sit here (below). It worked *wonderfully* and I loved how it kept things neat and *in their place*. However, the slotted shelves I had purchased were made of thick cardboard and with some of the weight of the children's schoolbooks, over time, it started sinking and sagging in places. I was disappointed! So...I put on my thinking cap!

I used this ugly old book shelf/cupboard from the front "official" school room (but we don't do our school in there. We did at one time but now it is easier to do at the table or somewhere comfortable) and brought it into my office/library area (aka: the old living room beside the dining room)...

I found an inexpensive *smaller* slotted shelf for the boys' books...

Madelyn keeps most of her books in her room. But the top shelf of the cupboard is hers to keep books or notebooks...

The bottom shelf keeps some finished workbooks and workbooks yet to be used...

The very bottom (with the doors) is where I keep my sticker paper for my shop.

The bookshelf/cupboard is not pretty at all..but it serves us well right now! I love when something functions in a way that works best for my family!

So there you have it! :) A little organization! I hope you enjoyed and maybe found something that may benefit you and your family as well. In my next post, I plan to share with you all a couple fantastic books I have finished. They aren't long and oh my ~ they are *full* of wisdom! So definitely come back soon to see that post! You'll be glad you did!

Thank you for visiting!!

Link to my latest Plan With Me video in an Erin Condren Life Planner: HERE (to see bullet journal PWMs see my sidebar or check out my youtube channel!)

This post linked up to: Strangers & Pilgrims and The Modest Mom

Monday, January 16, 2017

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song...

...above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." 
~ J. R. R. Tolkien

Today hasn't been my day. I ate terribly (and feel the affects of it) and have just felt sad and *blah*...it's quite terrible. I even went to the post office to mail something (totally forgetting it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day...thus the PO isn't open). I just feel so discombobulated. Instead of making a sad-sounding post, I thought I would just share a few pictures from the past week...

I made some veggie beef soup in the crock pot and some easy homemade bread last week.

 The boys and I worked at checking their school work one evening...

A look in my planner...

I made myself some new planner dividers. :)


and Stella...

So, that's all I've got! :) I've tried to do another Plan with Me (in an Erin Condren Hourly Planner ~ you can watch it HERE if you would like!)...but it's a lot of work...plus, I feel like I sound silly and just don't do well at it. So I am not sure that I will continue making them. I feel like I am making myself too busy and then I am not focusing on what is *most* important. I need to take a step back, slow down and breathe a bit.

Thanks for visiting me here. I'm sorry this is a less-than-joy-filled post!