Tuesday, November 29, 2016

FREE Christmas Devotional Booklet

I am so excited to share my latest project with my readers and homeschooling friends!

I have put together a FREE e-book of one of my favorite traditions that will be available DECEMBER 1st!!!
  • It's a Homeschool Christmas Devotional book for short and sweet, daily homeschool lessons during the holidays, 
  • OR a Devotional Booklet for any family that would like to implement family Christmas devotionals as part of their yuletide celebrations.

What are Homeschool Christmas devotionals?

Each year at Christmastime, I used to feel over-whelmed at the thought of continuing a full home-schooling schedule. 

But then, I found that if I combined an old family tradition of nightly Christmas devotionals with our daily "Table Time," I could still be consistent with covering some learning basics.

This idea also enables me to simplify our daily lessons, help my children build their testimonies of Jesus Christ, and allows us to enjoy the festivities and lovely feelings of this very special time of year.

The booklet will have SEVENTEEN devotionals that you can use between December 1st and December 23rd. That is enough devotionals for 5 days a week from the beginning of the month until Christmas Eve.

This new resource will come directly to the email boxes of those who subscribe to this blog. 

To do that, fill in the "Subscribe" box on the right sidebar. >>>

How do the devotionals work?

There are several options for each day's devotional-- and the beauty is that each family can choose what to include in their own devotional, and what they don't need. But the options are there for them!
For our family, I like to include:
  • A scripture for copy-work (handwriting practice)
  • A Christmas carol to sing together
  • A beautiful piece of artwork to study and discuss or replicate
  • A short story or poem to read aloud
Another great thing to add is a chapter book that the family is reading aloud together throughout the season. (See the booklist of suggested Christmas read-aloud books at the back of this booklet for some ideas.)

I hope you will enjoy these devotionals as much as our family does.

Don't forget to subscribe to this blog in the right sidebar to get yours on December 1st!

Lots of love,
Mama Rachel

Monday, November 28, 2016

25 Days to Light the World

Can you imagine a world where millions of people are looking for ways to help and serve others in need?

Can you envision how it would feel to get involved in loving and assisting your fellow men in small, simple ways for just twenty-five days?

Can good people everywhere put the needs of others before their own for just one month?

Can God's children try their best to follow the example of His holy, perfect Son?

We CAN! And it's happening, beginning this December first.

The idea of this thrills me to me to my very core.

Millions of individuals will be making the world a better, more loving, more giving, more holy place in the Christmas season to come.

Will you join us???

You can #LighttheWorld , too.

With love and hope for a BRIGHT December,

Mama Rachel

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Strong and United Families

Even when we have struggles, when a child goes astray, or outside difficulties cause despair, we can still be united in love and kindness as a family. 

In fact, it is the LOVE we have for each other that carries us and brings us together as a powerful force for good.

If we daily repent, keep praying together, share the word of God with one another in order to keep the Holy Spirit in our home, and then love UNCONDITIONALLY, we can still have an STRONG, UNIFIED family!

Even though I have have a struggling son, he knows that we love him and that he is always welcome in our home. He continues to be an integral part of a family who needs him.

And that is making all the difference in the healing of our relationship.

Mama Rachel

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

So Many Great Things

Halloween at Dad's work party

 It has been quite some time since I last updated this blog with all the personal goings-on at our house, and for that I apologize. 

Honestly, I have been busy this last year trying to figure out what the Lord has planned for me, and what I should be focusing on. 

With our baby now being over age two, and no more babies seeming to appear on the horizon-- not to mention learning to navigate the world with adult children-- I have been doing quite a bit of self-examination. 

Here are some of the questions I've been pondering:

  • Who am I, now that I am moving out of the "having-babies" years?
  • Which of my too-many projects should I focus on?
  • How do I give up on some of the projects I have started?
  • Should I really try to turn any of my projects into businesses?
  • Which ones?
  • Which projects should I abandon?
  • Why do I make my life harder on myself?! (HA!!!)

Great Thing #1

In the meantime, I have had to put off answering some of these questions, because our oldest son recently had something GREAT happen to him:

Down on one knee...

He has been dating an adorable girl that he has grown to love, and just over a week ago, he asked her to marry him!

Amanda + Brennan

The wedding is set for January 13th in the Gilbert, Arizona LDS Temple. YAY!!! 

*much rejoicing all around*

Thus, planning a wedding has become my newest, most immediate project. Funny how the Lord answered that prayer for clarification, huh?

Great Thing #2

My darling 18 year old daughter

My second daughter (fourth child) recently finished something very difficult that she has been working on since she turned twelve years old. In our church, our young ladies in the Young Women's Program can earn an award similar to the Eagle Scout for boys, but the goals and achievements are focused more on their relationship with God, and their self-improvement in many areas of life.

She received a medallion necklace charm that she can wear throughout her life to remind her of God's love for her, and all she has learned and become in the past six years.

This is an enormous accomplishment for our daughter, and we are so grateful for the good she is doing in her life!

Great Thing #3

So grown-up!

Last week, our sweet eighth child turned ELEVEN YEARS OLD!

I can hardly fathom this fact, but there she is above, looking more pretty and grown up than ever.


She didn't ask for any toys on her list, but I couldn't bear to have one of these last few birthdays before teenage-hood happen without toys, so I did buy her a doll.

And she loved it!


Great Thing #4

My husband and I at Halloween
This last "Great Thing" has been affecting me even more personally than all those other great things above, and it is the most difficult thing for me to talk about.

Ever since I became a teenager, I have struggled with my weight and my self image.

And finally this past year, I have been personally working through my Church's twelve step program because of my addiction to food.

It is very difficult for me to share that so publicly, but at the same time, it is silly for me to pretend that I have not had a healthy relationship with food for most of my life.

After spending the summer working through the first few steps of the program, I heard a podcast interview with a lady named Susan Peirce Thompson

After hearing her talk extensively and scientifically about food addiction, my husband and I did all kinds of research on her and her program to help people overcome that addiction. He was ready to begin adding Bright Lines to his eating habits, but I was still not ready.

After a month of watching him, pondering, praying, and studying the guidelines for health found in our religion's Word of Wisdom, I decided to set some Bright Lines for myself.

Though we have not purchased a program, or using any special ingredients or products, this new way of eating has been going VERY well for both my husband and I; he has been tracking his weight, and has now lost more than forty pounds! I have not been tracking my weight, but I have had the brain fog lifted from my mind, better health and looser clothes and even shoes. 

I know we have a long was to go, but it has been so helpful to support each other on this new path. Even more importantly, we have found that as we follow the Lord's plan for our health, and ask for His almighty help in prayer, we can literally overcome the food addictions that have taken over our lives for many years! 

I am excited to share part of my "Great Journey Out of Addiction" here with my wonderful readers, as well as the other "Great Things" we have coming up.

Much love, my friends!

Mama Rachel

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