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HAPPY NEW YEAR!  (On This Day...12/31/2014)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (On This Day...12/31/2014)

Outside my window… It is cold and the wind slices through like a sharp knife.  It is gray outside and when the sun rises, it will be a new year. I am thinking… So much has happened in 2014. We went to Chicago and Disney World.  Spent much time as a family, having fun ...

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(Not) DEFEATED.

(Not) DEFEATED.

I can hear the children bickering in the kitchen, while another empties out the clothes in the dresser.  I'm slumped over our homeschool grade book, wondering if I have done enough.  If I can ever do enough. Old wisdom says not to cry over spilled milk.  But, the kitchen floor needs ...

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Chicken And Dressing Divine (So Easy Your Preschooler Could Do It - A Recipe)

Chicken And Dressing Divine (So Easy Your Preschooler Could Do It - A Recipe)

Like, seriously.  Your preschooler can make this.  I mean, besides the putting it in the oven part.  It's THAT easy.  AND, it doesn't make a mess of your kitchen.  HALLELUJAH.  I'm not kidding.  I don't joke about these things. What you'll need: - Foil sheets - Frozen chicken breasts or tenders, one per ...

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Fun With Water Beads

Fun With Water Beads

We've been enjoying the fun that is WATER BEADS!  These little guys are hidden gems that have been around quite a while in the floral department.  Right now, they are getting lots of attention for creative play. The ones I bought look like these (at Walmart--they were a little over $3 ...

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2013-2014 Homeschool Year: What Worked And What Didn't

2013-2014 Homeschool Year: What Worked And What Didn't

What Worked: I may be way behind everyone else, but we just discovered Ticonderoga Pencils this year.  And. They. Are. Awesome.  The cheap and cutesy pencils are NOTHING compared to these.  They are just awesome. My homeschool binder.  I've used binders/notebooks/planning that I've spent some good money for, but my favorite SO ...

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As Of Today, January 23, 2015

by bosssanders on January 23, 2015 with no comments


*I think this photo is equal parts “creepy” and “funny.”  :)   I think it’s the glasses.

Outside my window…
It’s COLD – Golden grass and the sky, a blanket of overcast white.  Chilling breeze that cuts through, shifting leaves and branches as it goes.  There is no trace of the fluffy cotton-ball snow that fell earlier today.

I am thinking…

About creating a recipe/menu-planning ebook.  Every time I cook a dish my girls love (which is daily), they ask, “Mama, when I’m big, can I have this recipe, too?”  They’ve already decided that when they grow up and move away, they want a book filled with my recipes.  It makes my heart smile.

But, as many friends, family, and acquaintances have asked for recipe after recipe and menu ideas… I was wondering how much interest there would be in a menu-plan book complete with our favorite, tried-and-true recipes.  It would be under $5 and a fabulous help.  My system and these recipes have taken me a long time to compile and come up with, so I’ll be sharing YEARS of trial and error and hard work for just a few bucks.

I am thankful…

63.  for a local Church who believes in us and supports us and encourages us both.
64.  for an extra little smiling face who lights up our lives
65.  for artwork on the fridge by my darlings
66.  for friends who sit at the feet of Jesus with me
67.  for the opportunity to walk along someone else on the discovery to who Jesus is
68.  for a sound mind
69.  for giant floating snowflakes
70.  for warm, sunshine-y days

In the kitchen

I made my first loaf of braided Challah Bread:

And, for Home Ec, the kids helped me make some caramelized banana topping for our *fancy* cinnamon- raisin bread.  Yummy.

I am reading…

I just finished reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  It’s super good.  The kind that you don’t want to put down, good.


We/I am learning…

We are taking a break from countries and cultures for a bit and switching over to studying Creation to the Greeks.  We’ve been having lots of fun.

Around the house…

I’ve been implementing some of my goals for the New Year (you can see them HERE).  Scripture on some walls…


Bought this fun little chalkboard and will post some of my favorite verses.  This one has more color that I added to it after the photo was taken.

We’ve been working for a while now, with the kids, teaching them the fruit of the spirit.  When we saw this, we both new it belonged in our home.

We’re still SLOWLY working on de-cluttering and organizing.  SLOWLY.  :)

Favorite Things…

My Erin Condren planner FINALLY came in (I was counting down the days!).   I chose my cover and turns out, it couldn’t have been a better fit.  A friend of mine suggested skipping E.C.’s pens and going a cheaper version and buying Paper Mate Flair Pens…


You can buy them HERE.  You can also buy at Walmart for the same price.

They are PRETTY and don’t bleed through the pages…always a PLUS!  (Sharpies DO bleed…even the ones that say they won’t.)

So, I have those and some washi tape in my pink pencil pouch from Thirty-One (already had it).  The little notepad that you see is my prayer list.  I flip through it over and over and it helps remind me what’s on my prayer list.

“Pray without ceasing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

The only other “extra” I bought was the silver band you see above to keep my planner shut.  Had they not been sold out of coil clips, I would’ve bought those as well.  I like the idea of being able to clip in invitations, etc to my calendar week.



As a mom to littles who is constantly moving, I really appreciate the thick coil binding.  Planners come to my house to die…but this one is NICE!  It also came with this little zip pocket (right) and the perpetual calendar…and a folder pocket (dual-sided).  The perpetual calendar is a great way to list birthdays so EVERY year, you just grab it and put those dates in your calendars.


As you can see, all of the months are tabbed.  Here’s a month-view.  I chose a page I hadn’t filled much in yet just because, you know, this is the internet!



Here are my weekly pages.  I go back and forth between one verse for the whole week and a daily tidbit from Proverbs (corresponding the chapter to the day of the month.)  For next week, I really want to focus on Philippians 4:8.

You can also see the “headings” right under the numbered days at the top.  I have my week split up into categories that help us stay on track.

There are 8 blue droplets at the top of each day, as well, to help me keep track of water consumption.

I also use these pages as a homeschool planner.  And, family planner.

I used to use paper-planners all the time until hubs convinced me to try Google Calendar so we could all keep synced.  It seemed like the easiest way to keep track of our goings-on.  Until it began to delete and change times of events *insert horrified gasp!*  I have to say, even before that, I missed being able to see the whole month and week at one glance.  I like the way paper feels in my hands.  (I also prefer the REAL books to kindle books.)

I’ve been super-pleased with this planner.  It’s a little pricier than what I normally spend on myself, but considering that it’s now taking the place of both personal/family planner AND homeschool planner… it’s a great deal!  (Hubby bought an ugly black planner from the Office store that’s beyond simple and it still cost $23 or so. )

Want your own Erin Condren Planner?
Use my referral link and we will BOTH receive $10 off future purchases!!  Here’s my LINK.  In order for it to work, you will need to open a new account after you go to this link (it looks like the regular link but it knows you came from here).  Open your account and then, wait for an email.  You will get a welcome email, and then a bit later, you will get a coupon code!  Apply it to your order.  To get what I got, select LIFE PLANNER.  Then, customize to your liking!  Change the cover up, add font, pictures…whatever suits you.

Oh yes…another plus?  The cover is laminated…so sippy cup spills or babies who spit up?  No worries, mama!

Another Favorite Thing…

My new swimsuit.  Photo is CLEARLY not me.  :)  It’s advertised as both a cover-up and swim-dress, depending on where you look.  It’s swim-suit material and has great coverage in the right places.  I’ve been looking for a much more modest swimsuit for my after-babies body and I REALLY like this one!  (If you like it, you can find it at Macy’s by Kenneth Cole)

Moments I Want To Remember…


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bosssanders

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (On This Day…12/31/2014)

by bosssanders on December 31, 2014 with 1 comment

Outside my window…
It is cold and the wind slices through like a sharp knife.  It is gray outside and when the sun rises, it will be a new year.

I am thinking…
So much has happened in 2014.
We went to Chicago and Disney World.  Spent much time as a family, having fun and enjoying each other.  We learned so much from homeschool.  Z and Ro learned to read and are now rockstars!  We had lots of FIRSTS.  We lost loved ones.  We lost one of our own (miscarriage).  We have had the opportunity to love and stand in the gap for others’ children.  We have loved big and offered ourselves up.  And, at times, we have cried hard – because loving big requires sacrifice.  My computer died.  And, I discovered another part of me and worked furiously to better my gifts to use for His service.  We waited on pins and needles to hear answers that we weren’t sure we were ready for…and then were relieved to find out I did not have cancer.  It’s been quite a year.  A year of hope, a year of LOVING BIG, great loss, FIRSTS, and a year of WAITING.  A year of learning and a year of discovery.

I am exhausted :)   We did well.

Each year, I like to sit down and look at the previous year.  Think about what we did well, what we didn’t, and how to improve myself and how to just do things better…self and family.  Usually, I have some things I want to experience or learn.  Like…new hobbies.  Or, places to go.

And, now, as I sit here with notebook in hand…I wonder if this will be the year that God answers two heartbroken prayers.  Or, if it’s a year of waiting and pruning.  I’ve felt really “off” for the past few weeks… these last few weeks have really spun me around… death of a dear family member, waiting for tests results (cancer and heart), test results for my little girl, computer crashing and losing over 300 files, etc.  It’s been a LOT.

But, I wanted to set some goals.  So, here’s what I have so far…

1.  First thing in the morning… I want to spend more time in God’s Word.  Lately, I’ve plugged it in whenever I could.  Sometimes, I missed.  I will start reading AT THE VERY LEAST … a Proverbs Chapter a day in the mornings to give me something to hold onto.  I need it like I need water.  Then, I will ALSO add in more in-depth study as I can, when I can.  (Which will still be 3+ x a week)
2.  Move more.  At least 5 minutes of yoga or stretching or exercise of any kind.  First thing in the morning.  Every morning.
3.  Be more consistent about my daily 3 things.  This is something I already do when I feel overwhelmed.  I make a list of 3 things I MUST DO that day.  If all else fails, I’ll have done those 3 things.
4.  Pick up/organize/trash 30 things each day.  Every little rubber band counts.
5.  Work on organizing my house.  And, cleaning.  After the holidays, it always feels a little “AHHH!” in here when it comes to the new clutter of “things” collected and boxes and trash and glitter.  I will work on one room a week in addition to our normal straightening and chores we do.
6.  Count my glasses.  Water glasses, that is.  8 8oz glasses a day is what I need.
7.  Get my stickies out.  When we lived at the other place, I had scripture SURROUNDING us.  We had to.  It was as important as air to us.  I will be getting those back out and placing them around the house.  I will work hard at memorizing scripture.  Because it matters.
8.  Stay unplugged for certain hours of the day.  I will check my phone/email in the morning, midday (approximately), and once in the evening.  I will give myself certain times to make phone calls/texts (social).
9.  Admire beauty.  My goal is to get outside more.  Every day.  At least once a day…even if it’s just to walk around the yard one lap after the kids are down for a nap.  Fresh air is good, and it’s great to be able to admire God’s creation.
10.  Go back to my “task days.”  I have a system for when I get overwhelmed… a day for laundry/cleaning (actually…one day and a half day), a day for creativity, a day for bills and sending cards, etc).  I want to do this more regularly.
11.  5 minutes midday quiet time with God.  Every day.  It may be more like 1 pm here.  But, just to sit in His presence.
12.  Create a daily celebration…something to make each day special.  I’m not sure what I want to do, yet.  Maybe light a candle after naptime for an early-evening snack and some pretty music for the kiddos?
13.  Take time each day to work on what God has called me to do.  (Writing.  Podcasts.  Teaching.)
14.  Add 3-5 things to my THANKFUL LIST each day — will be able to do this in my new planner!
15.  Prayer List Cards.  I was doing this faithfully but then slacked off.  I write prayer requests on a flip deck of note-cards and pray them constantly throughout the day.
16.  Take more photos.
17.  Learn some great hymns to sing as we go.
18.  IF we are still in this home… some paint and decor in my sad, dark bedroom!
19.  More of this:  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  –In my speech, in my thoughts, in my day to day activities.
20.  Grow in patience.

THIS YEAR (2015), I want to GROW DEEPER.  Deeper in church (involved).  Grow in my spiritual gifts.  Deeper time with my kids and my husband (separately).  Grow in patience.  Deeper in community (relationships and service).  Grow deeper in the relationships I already have and those I hold dear.  Deeper in personal study, prayer, and peace.  Grow deeper in making our home a home full of love, peace, and acceptance…and hope.

I am thankful…
51.  For “supper club” friends and great conversations around the table, eating delicious food.
52.  For do-overs.
53.  To not have cancer.
54.  To have amazing doctors…and friends…
55.  For people who talk me down from my proverbial “ledges” when my “freak-out” starts to show up.
56.  That we were able to save so many files when my computer crashed… photos of loved ones and many files with hard work
57.  Laughing so hard that tears creep from the corners of my eyes
58.  Health of my babes
59.  for a husband who tries mighty hard…over and over again.
60.  For a husband who thinks I’m funny and laughs at my jokes.
61.  For a husband who forgives easily.
62.  For people in my life that inspire me.

In the kitchen…

Chicken is in the crockpot, to be shredded and refrigerated for tomorrow night’s Chicken Pot Pie.  Tonight?  Nachos, Jalapeno Poppers, Pizza, and Chicken Wings it is.

I am reading…

Hubby and I are reading this together in the mornings.  We alternate between topics often.  We enjoy growing “together.”  Really helps us stay on the same page.

We/I am learning…

Ro and Z are finishing up their first grade reading stuff.  La is learning multiplication facts (BLAH!  I have them down but hate drilling her as much as she dislikes being drilled.  Yet, it’s something I really want her to know!)  Mimi got the big 3 IXL as one of their Christmas gifts, so we’ve had fun practicing math online and earning points.

We calculated behavior points and grades for December and Ro earned student of the month!  We are super excited.  (When a kid is student of the month, they get a prize.)  A little extra incentive to get rid of some unwanted behaviors we saw creeping in…as well as enticing certain students to do their work…and TRY!)

Around the house…

It’s New Year’s Eve and yet, it will probably be an EARL Y night for us.  I think last year (or maybe year before?), we were all sick and in bed by 8pm!  So thankful we are not sick, but we may still hit the hay early!

A favorite quote…

One of my favorite things…

Erin Condren Life Planners!  These are so PRETTY and neat!  They have TONS of styles.  I ordered one for 2015.  They are a little more than what I’d typically spend on your average planner, but these things have lots of room to write and I plan to also use it for homeschooling, so win-win!  You can personalize them, choose different fonts/quotes/designs and even add photos of your family!  SO STINKIN’ COOL!

Want one?  Click HERE.  You’ll get $10 off for using THIS link (and so will I!)!

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bosssanders

Thoughts on Ferguson

by bosssanders on November 26, 2014 with 2 comments

I’ve not said much at all regarding what’s going on in Ferguson.  I don’t want to hurt or dishonor my friends and family of all colors, my law-enforcement friends/family, or any hurting hearts.  And, the truth is… I don’t feel like I have a complete picture.

You see, I don’t know what was going through the heads of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson (the cop).  I don’t know their motives or thoughts as they acted and then, reacted.  Sitting here, in the safety of my home, I can’t even imagine the fear or surprise or even, anger.  I can imagine what I’d do if I was in perceived danger, but I also know that when it comes down to it, when adrenaline and fear cloud in, it could play out completely differently.

Because I’m a white woman, I know my words may carry no weight for many.  But, at the same time, I don’t want my silence to be mistaken for not caring.

But, what I do know is this:

Many lives were changed on August 9, 2014.  A young man died and a cop’s life (and the family of M. Brown) was forever changed.

I see so many people saying so many ugly things and doing even worst things.  And, my heart aches and my soul cries out.  We, as a nation, are so busy pointing fingers and using our tongues to slice each other up, that WE ARE MISSING IT.  Don’t you see?  We are so caught up, that we have forgotten what we are fighting FOR and now, we are just fighting.  We are hurting each other in the name of JUSTICE and PEACE as we violently commit injustice to one another.  We’ve gotten so caught up in the hurt and anger that we’ve forgotten that this battle is against something beyond ourselves, and instead of banding TOGETHER to fight, we have turned on one another.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  –Ephesians 6:12

I don’t know if Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown BECAUSE he was black.  And, honestly, neither do you.

What I DO KNOW is

-Racism does exist.  Sometimes it’s subtle.  Sometimes it’s in-your-face.
- Racism exists both ways…all ways.  Both are bad and heart-breaking.  One does not excuse the other.
- Not everyone is racist.  Not every injustice is BECAUSE of race.
- But, some are.  And, again…it goes both ways.  And, it’s wrong.
- People are hurting.  I see my black friends hurting because they live in a world where they could easily be “sized up” because of the color of their skin – in some areas, they will be unfairly searched and manhandled and assumptions will be made about them by some (but not all) people…and many times, they will have to go the “extra mile” just to prove themselves.  Some of my white friends are hurt because it feels like assumptions have been made based on the color of their skin – that they must have inherited racism like some sort of disease, and that no matter what they do, it’ll be perceived as a “race issue” and they will forever be blamed for a history they had no part in.

What I DO KNOW is that this is not a war against flesh and blood.  That is where we’ve focused our energy, but this is much, much bigger.  If we ever truly want peace and justice, we must all put down our pointing fingers and realize that it begins with US.  We can’t change history – and blaming others for something the people before them did is not only not helpful, but also unfair.  We can, however, change the NOW.  We can stand up; we can listen.  We can mourn TOGETHER for a life that was ended (regardless of what he did or didn’t do… he was a man).  We can sympathize with a cop, whose life has been changed and will forever have to live with the scars that come from something like this.  He will live with both the guilt that comes from taking a man’s life (warranted or not), and fear of the possible backlash that comes from something like this.  We can refuse to trade injustice for injustice and violence for violence.  We can realize that our actions and words will further people’s opinions of us as both individuals and as a group – for the good and for the bad.  We can begin to knock down and erase some of the things that have brain-washed and fed to us generation after generation, erasing fences and building bridges towards others.  We must learn to work together, to learn each others stories and hearts instead of making up our own hateful judgements without ever truly knowing.

I refuse to be ashamed of my white skin because it is white.  Yet, I did not choose it, no more than my beautiful brown son chose his.  And, I know there are days coming, when my son will be out and he may be treated differently than other young men.  And, I am saying that this craziness must stop.  From both sides.  We MUST learn to love hearts and not skin.  We MUST remember not only who we are, but WHOSE we are (God’s children!)!  And, that there IS a war, but we are in this together.  We are on the same side!  This is not a fight against flesh and blood, and if we remain distracted, we will not change this world.

Today, let us remember that both the Brown and Wilson family have lost much.  The Brown family has lost their son and the Wilson family has lost much, as well.  The fact that ANY of this had to happen – a young man lost, an officer put in the position he was – is a tragedy.  Taking a moment to focus on these families and grieve beside them does NOT mean you agree with what happened or how it happened.  You don’t have to.  When we love others, despite what they’ve done or not done, we are not saying we AGREE… we are simply saying… THIS MATTERS.  YOU LOST SOMETHING/SOMEONE, AND THIS WAS A TRAGEDY AND WE WILL MOURN WITH YOU.

I’m standing here, without a “side.”  I’m standing here, palms open, waiting for walls to come down.  I’m hopeful for the future – one where individuals will realize that the way to peace is through Jesus and His love for ALL.  Will you join me?

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bosssanders

Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans – A Review

by bosssanders on October 2, 2014

When we have children, it’s easy to get caught up in the checklist of all of the things we “ought”…

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Vulnerable Love

by bosssanders on September 8, 2014

Once upon a time, a little baby was born.  Not just any baby, but the Savior of the world. I…

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As Of Today, August 18, 2014

by bosssanders on August 18, 2014

I am thinking… My brain is running through a bunch of different courses right now.  You really don’t want a…

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