Rugs are accessories that will make a powerful statement in your home. They are artistic accents that will allow you to define areas, add punch and playfulness, as well as coziness underneath your feet. Rugs will anchor a room and make the color palette in the space come together, so you should choose wisely!
There are so many different types of rugs out there that it can be really overwhelming to settle for one. Follow these tips to help you purchase the right carpet for your space:
1. Know rug's general characteristics:
Rugs can be hand made or machine made. Hand made rugs are usually high maintenance and more expensive. They are also beautiful pieces of art for your floors, great investments, and heirlooms. Some artisanal carpets are Oriental rugs, French rugs, Spanish, Moroccan or Navajo rugs.
Machine made carpets can be made by different methods: tufting, weaving, needle-punching or flocking, and can have different surface characteristics depending on the length of the yarns and the texture or design created by the uncut or cut yarns. Taller and thicker rugs will accumulate more dirt and will require more frequent cleaning than low ones.
2. Decide what rug material you would like to invest in.
This guide summarizes for you the basic rug materials out there and gives you some pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
Amy Parker's children's books have sold more than 800,000 copies, and after reading Night Night FarmI can see why. Parker was also the recipient of two Christian Retailing's Best award-winning books and the bestselling A Night Night Prayer.
This particular book visits each of the different animals on the farm and prepares them for their night of sleep.
A trot to the orchard and back For apples crisp and sweet leaves fuzzy foal all tuckered out, Asleep at Daddy's feet. Neigh neigh, horses.
And the last page ties the whole book together as all the animals say goodnight to God.
Mice and pigs, chickens and cows -- Squeak, oink, cheep, and moo ... Oh, the animals God has made! And, hey, He made me too! Night night God!
I, of course, especially love this book because we have our own farm. A great inclusion for our farm library. But even if you don't have a farm, this is a great book for your library. Made of the awesome "plush" cover that I love with sturdy board pages, this book will stand up to even the craziest of toddlers!
Okay folks! Time to sit up and take notice. We are doing a Bible program in our home via a review, and my boys are absolutely IN LOVE with this program. During the summer, we do a limited schedule, and I give them more control over what they do and when. Each time I present their weekly work, the first program that they want to do is THIS Bible program. They absolutely love it. What is it? My boys have been studying the New Testament 1: The Gospels with the Self-Paced Bible course from Veritas Press.
I could spend the entire post summarizing this AWESOME program, but I really think the best way you can see it for yourself is to participate in a sample lesson by clicking here.
You can also visit this company for yourself on all of their social media sites:
Here is a picture of Sidge working through this program:
I received online access to the New Testament 1: The Gospels with the Self-Paced Bible. This program actually includes 128 class sessions! This is absolutely amazing to me. My boys have worked through a few dozen and there are still over one hundred to go! This can totally be your Bible program for an entire year -- maybe even two!
Each lesson is so well done. When a student logs on, they then watch a video skit teaching about specific Bible stories. Then, they spend the rest of the lesson participating in games and answering questions about what they learned. They get help working through memorizing biblical names/dates/places while gaining and understanding of the Bible and receiving a solid foundation for further study.
Still not convinced? Check out this video below which shows even more about this amazing program:
I honestly only have ONE complaint about the program and that is the lack of minority representation. I really think that these people should look more like the people that we lived with in the Middle East. Again, this is a VERY small thing, but I do think it is worth noting.
Each lesson is told from the viewpoint of a man named Benjamin, a carpenter, and his apprentice -- a man named Jude. Folks, my boys are incredibly opinionated about their schoolwork. Complaining is not uncommon and there are many times that tears are shed because they don't want to do certain work. In addition, both of my boys have very different personalities and like very different thingsAnytime I find a program that both my boys love and actually ask if they can do just for fun! This is almost unheard of in our home. MY BOYS LOVE the New Testament 1: The Gospels with the Self-Paced Bible course from Veritas Press.
Please take a moment to check out the sample lesson, website, and included video. I promise you -- you will NOT be disappointed with this program and will love it as much as we have! It is sooooo good!
We opted to try and trim the hooves of our sheep without a formal handling facility. Here are some pictures of our work. Eliza, JB, and I managed to get 7 of the 9 sheep needing trimming done together.
Eliza with one of our baby sheep that is a bit sick.
So firstly, in a big surprise in our home, tooth #16 in our home was lost by our little Abigail! It was her first lost tooth. She will turn 5 in July so we weren't expecting this quite yet.
I also wanted to show a picture of a hair-do I managed on Abigail the other day. I was pretty proud of it! I'm not a girly-girl mom, but I have done a lot of braids in my lifetime.
And the last thing I wanted to note was that Abigail was recently in a mini-recital at ballet this summer. It was a week long camp, and at the end they performed Jack and the Beanstalk. Abigail played the beanstalk and a person at the market place. Abigail's teacher, Ms. Lori Ann, does an amazing job. She encouraged me to put Abigail up into the 6-11 year old class. The girls were mostly ages 5-9. Abigail was the youngest but totally held her own and absolutely loved it. Here's a picture of the group after their recital. It's a bit blurry but is still a great memory for me:
I cannot even explain what it feels like to see my little girl come out of her shell and thrive. She has gone from so painfully shy to almost a bit on the outgoing side! It's absolutely amazing to watch as a mom.
I get a lot of questions about this life we now live. Do I like it? How am I handling it? Is it what I thought it would be?
The fact is, it is mighty different from the life we lead just over a year ago. I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale and had only been on a farm a handful of times. Scrubs was the first animal I ever owned. This life is completely foreign to me.
Now I live on a farm.
And help run a farm.
And have dozens and dozens of animals.
And I love our life on the farm.
Most of the time.
My biggest battle is The Plan "B". What I mean by this is, all the things we plan for and put into action, only to find that it doesn't work and we have to go back to the drawing board.
This week we put a hole in one of our fences. On purpose. We are planning on putting a gate there and really need access to the other side through this shorter way. JB and our current WWOOFer, Eliza, came up with an idea to create a make-shift gate to keep the chickens out and the dogs in.
All seemed to be going well. Until last night. We returned from Abigail's little ballet performance to find at least a dozen chickens in the yard. And not just in the yard. They were also in Eliza's newly planted vegetable garden.
We observed for a few minutes, only to discover that the chickens had taught themselves to jump the fence. Egads. This means that the makeshift fence no longer works. Like at all. This means that Eliza's garden was permanently impaired. And it means we have to spend the evening trying to figure out how to fix the problem that we thought we had fixed.
We come up with a feeding system for the animals and then discover it doesn't quite work right. They have outsmarted it. Or aren't using it correctly. You think you solve a problem and then the problem rememerges in a different fashion and you are left starting again.
Or maybe make that Plan "C" or "D" or "E" or "Z."
It is my farming nemesis. The thing is, I know it will probably happen until the day they bury me on this farm.
And yet I don't know how to not let it get under my skin.
Many, many months ago, I submitted a story to The Glorious Table.I didn't give it a title. I just wrote it and submitted it to my Editor and moved on.
Fast forward to our church deciding to do a series on Tell the Story and being asked to share our testimony for this series. You can watch our story below:
But then, today, my piece at The Glorious Table ran. I was so shocked when I opened up my email this morning and saw that my Editor had given it the title "How to Let God Write Your Story."
And so, here is this piece that could not be just coincidence:
By Wendi Kitsteiner
“I want your life,” she said. “I’m jealous of what you have.”
We were standing in my kitchen, looking out over the farm I have lived on for just under a year. Our husbands were out with the hens, moving them into a newly built egg mobile. My four kids were scattered around—two helping catch the chickens, one holding tightly to my leg, another practicing the piano.
My dear friend and her husband had just been dealt a shattering blow: another failed infertility treatment, this one most likely their last attempt. The odds were stacked against them. The doctors were telling them that trying again was almost useless. Miracles can always happen, though, and the potential for biological children had just moved into that category.
“You can have my life,” I said as we made our way to my kitchen table, her hand curled around a cup of tea. “But if you want it, you have to do exactly what you are doing right now.”
To read the rest of this piece, please jump over to The Glorious Table by clicking here.
After reading Grace Thornton's I Don't Wait Anymore, I am still trying to figure out whether I liked the book or not.
While I was reading it, there were a ton of little amazing nuggets that would pop out. Things like:
We don't even know what we're missing by not craving Him as the one thing worth trading everything else for.
Or this great statement:
A blank slate becomes a whole different deal when we realize the pen that's writing this wild and beautiful story is the hand of a God who loves us and is creating a plot with huge payoff at the end.
In I Don't Wait Anymore: Letting Go of Expectations and Grasping God's Adventure For You, Grace Thornton is challenging her readers to find their calling and purpose from God aside from the things that we are taught will make us happy: a great love, wonderful kids, a good job, the perfect home.
She kept waiting for her life to turn out the way she had expected, but kept finding He was taking her in a completely different direction.
This book is a sort-of story, a sort-of devotional, and a sort-of diary. There are blank lines to write your own thoughts at the end of each chapter. Like the one that says:
Describe how in your life, you have either view God as someone you're striving for, or someone you have in your pocket to ride with you through life.
So why am I not jumping head-first on the "I love this book" train?
Well, her writing for one. She is an excellent writer but her words were often a bit twisted and rolling and hard-to-follow. She was telling the story of her own losses, but it was so woven in with her encouragement and findings that I often couldn't tell which was which. I found myself flipping pages to get through sections and knowing that I really wouldn't miss anything that would prevent me from reading.
I wanted more of her story. And then I wanted less of her story. I'm still not sure ...
I do think this is a fantastic book for a young person in your life (16-22). It really reminds young women that love and kids and a family is not what you should be striving for. And like I said, those nuggets she intersperses are really amazing. If it wasn't for the fact that I want to pass the book on, I would have been highlighting all over.
So I conclude this review, still a bit confused as to whether I liked it. I guess I will say this: as a novel, it would not have been my favorite. As a devotional, it hits the mark. The problem is, I'm still not sure what the book is!
I don't know how you feel but it seems to me that we are on our way to get some rooms in good decorating shape. Let's recap! In the last weeks, we've talked about decorating styles, color palettes and furniture lay outs, all of which are very important factors of your designing plan. In the weeks to come, I'd like to spend some time chatting with you about Home accents.
Decorative accessories are the brushstrokes of individuality to your ornamental masterpiece. They are the finishing touches to your design that speak something special to you. Accessories are also the way you show your personality and make the room uniquely yours. They are defined by all of those settled or emphasized details that make the room come together following your particular vision of how the space should look like. So, what type of adornments are we talking about?
Decor accents will fall into one of these categories:
Before we start digging deeper into each category, I'd like to introduce this section showing you what other fellow homemakers like you, with no professional training, have accomplished in their lovely homes to make their spaces beautifully and personally theirs. You, as well as them, can do great things. The sky is the limit!
Jennifer's home accents
1. What makes your house a home?
Effort, daily, to fill our house with love is what makes our house a home. Otherwise, it would just be a house. Yes, I have fun making it feel cozy with candles for ambiance, air fresheners for a lovely scent, plants for a sense of life, fun lamps as accents, printed pillows to personalize, and lots of different colors and textures for style, but it is the relationship with my husband and boys, and our friends too that make it feel like home sweet home.
2. What is your decorating style and why do you like it?
I'm not sure if I have a defined style, I would called it warm. I simply like to buy only "pieces" that I love, instead of a matching style.
3. What accessories are a "must" in your home?
Pillows. For me, the feel of a room can be so personalized with the colors, prints or embroidering of the pillows.
Rachel's home accents
1. What makes your house a home?
I always feel more at home when I don't have a cookie cutter furniture but rather a lot of different textures and wood tones in each room. Most significantly, I love to surround myself with the things that mean the most to me. When completing a room, it's always a must for me to add some personal items-family pictures (put in a variety of interesting frames), something we picked up on a family trip, framed art work the kids made, items to keep necessities organized, like a big wicker basket for cozy blankets, some favorite quotes or scripture , a scented candle, a comfy blanket and last a few of my favorite books on display. None of these things need to be expensive, or one of a kind, they just need to have value to me!
2. What is your decorating style and why do you like it?
I like to think of my style as modern country. I love clean simple lines, yet the character of distress wood, and cozy accents. I like this style because it allows me to try out new, current design themes and ideas but allows me to keep that homey feel that encourages family and friends to want to relax and put their feet up when they visit.
3. What accessories are a "must" in your home?
Lighting can complete a space and make a room so inviting. I love mixing a few different lamp styles in each room. I definitely need pictures of my family, in all different formats, old and new, black and white, color, canvas print, wall prints, professional of just snap shots. I try to incorporate them all, putting a few in each room. I love to do an accent wall that showcases a favorite theme or group of artwork, like the wall in my kitchen! Last I need functional storage. I firmly believe that there is a place for everything and everything must go in it's place. This has been especially true since having kids. It brings peace into out home when our kids know where things belong, and know where to find what they are looking for! it also makes for a happy momma!
Alicia's home accents.
1. What makes your house a home?
Our house is a home because it is where we are most comfortable, where we enjoy time together with each other and where we welcome our family & friends.
2. What is your decorating style and why do you like it?
I would describe my style as eclectic. Personal. The decor in our home includes both antique and contemporary, family heirlooms and new pieces. I like the freedom from trends and the flexibility to incorporate a variety of styles and things that are truly meaningful. 3. What accessories are a " must" in your home?
Definitely nicely framed family photos. After years of living far from our families, we cherish the reminder of special moments with our loved ones. I couldn't imaging our home without art and books. My husband and I both appreciate fine art and although our collection is small, the pieces we have are carefully chosen and enjoyed every day. Our family loves to read and books are found in every room in our home. A more transient accessory that I value for their effect are throw pillows. I change them often and they offer a big impact for a small investment.
Jenn's home accents
1. What makes your house a home?
One of the things that make my house a home are the special things inside our house. Over the years we have gathered decorations, pieces of furniture and artwork from the different places we have visited. All of them have special meaning and remind us of a day trip or vacation we went on as a family. The things in our house tell a story of who we are and where we have been. 2. What is your decorating style and why do you like it?
I would describe my style as cool laid back stye mixed with some modern and traditional elements. I love this style because I can really mix many different things together and come up with a unique look that's my own.
3. What accessories are a must in your home?
Some of my must have accessories for our home are photographs of my family and friends, comfy pillows and blankets, candles, baskets that bring texture to a room, and different types of white flowers throughout the house.
I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse of my friend's decorating sense and are getting excited to learn more about accessories. Until next week, keep having fun making your home personally yours!
From the time I was a teenager until I was 36 years old, I didn't drink much soda/pop/coke* at all. I cleaned up eating and drinking majorly as I worked out to prepare for my college scholarship. And not drinking soda was top of the list. I rarely drank it. Maybe once a month. Maybe a few times a year.
And then, following Hannah's birth, I started having terrible migraines. I had always had them now and then, but hormonally, they got really bad after she was born. Like debilitating. They started with blurry vision and ended up leaving me sick to my stomach. Trying to avoid narcotics (and yes, I tried nearly every migraine medicine known to man with no help), I started a cocktail of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Caffeine during the week each month that I would be plagued by these terrible visitors.
It didn't keep me migraine-free, but it allowed me to function through them and continue being a mom. I didn't have the luxury of lying in a dark room for hours.
However, at the same time, I stopped being able to nap regularly. Up until Hannah, I had napped every afternoon. (I called it my wipe-your-own-butt-time.) But four kids had prevented that possibility. So I started using the Caffeine to get me through my mid-afternoon hump as well. Now I was using soda for migraines and lack of sleep.
For the last two years, I've been going on and off soda. I'm not drinking a ton, but I am probably, on average, drinking 4-5 Mountain Dews a week. I have always prided myself on not drinking my calories.
And now I am doing just that.
This part of the country has a terrible problem with obesity. And when I go shopping, people have soda just exploding in their cart. They are drinking it all the time. I don't want that for myself or my kids. And so I have decided that as of today, I am done.
I would really like to lose the last ten pounds that has not come up since Hannah. I am getting tons of exercise. But I can't get it off. And I know that these extra calories are to blame.
I have decided that no headache or fatigue is going to allow me to keep doing this. We do not allow our kids to drink soda at all. It is actually one of our only hard and fast parental rules. We decided to do this because soda seems to be a learned taste and because we truly believe, unlike junk food, soda is addicting. So every time I drink it, I have to justify to them why it is okay that I do it this time but not okay that they do it.
This morning I told the kids I am done with soda. And if I drink one, I have to pay each of them FIVE DOLLARS out of my personal blow money envelope. I've also set up a reward system for myself. If I make it a week, I get a reward. If I make it a month, I get a really great reward.
So that's it. I am blogging about it because I want accountability. I am going to do this.
*I have found that you know what people call soda/pop/coke by how they describe a machine used to buy it. Do you call it a soda machine? Then you use the word "soda". If it is a pop machine, then you are a "pop" word user. And of course, then there are the coke machine people who call it all Coke even if they mean they want a Mountain Dew.
My most recent review comes from LearnBop. My first grade boys were giving the opportunity to use LearnBop for Families. Because I have two boys in the same grade, we received access to the Family Plan (access for 2-4 students).
This is an online subscription starting as low as $14.95 a month and allowing cancellation at any time. This means that you can try the program for a small amount and not continue it if you don't like it. I really love this idea because committing to an expensive program or curriculum is often just too much for single-income families (as most homeschool families are.)
However, this is not just a program for homeschoolers! If you have a student who is struggling in math, than you can try this at home during the school year or during the summer to help fill in the gaps of what is being missed.
Each math problem has step-by-step guidance from award-winning experts built into every problem which basically brings personalized math support right into your home. What this means is that Isaac sits down to do a math problem on LearnBop. If he gets the question incorrect or doesn't know how to solve the problem, the program automatically walks him through what he is doing wrong so he can learn as he goes.
However, while this program can be used for children as low as kindergarten, and I did it with my first grade boys, my personal feeling while participating in this program is that it is much more appropriate for the age group the website is really targeting: 3rd through 12th grade. My boys were just a tad young for the program. They definitely could do a lot of it, but much of it was just a bit over their heads.
Here's how it works. You set your 3rd-12th grader on a "Road Map". You can choose a "Road Map" by grade or by subject. When you log-in, you can choose to do:
"Roadmaps by Grade" (choices include 3-8th grade)
"High School Roadmaps" (HS-Algebra I, II, or Geometry)
"Roadmaps by Subject" (which includes grades 1st-8th) and includes the following topics:
Operations & Algebraic Thinking
Numbers & Operations in Base Ten (This was one we spent a lot of time in!)
Measurement & Data
Number & Operation-Fractions
Ratios & Proportional Relationships
The Number System
Expressions and Equations
Statistics & Probability
Here is a photo of one of my 1st graders working on one LearnBop:
I actually really like this product, and I think that it can be a fantastic tool for people looking for help with math. I definitely encourage anyone interested in the product to try it for thirty days first and make sure it is a good fit for your family.
Here were some of the things we liked:
The program is visually stimulating and well-done. It is organized and looks modern and up-to-date. This was not thrown together. This is an incredibly in-depth and well-designed product.
There are lots of rewards and encouragements that my boys liked.
My boys did not dread it ... which is saying something. They are really vocal when they do NOT like something, and there will even be tears. No tears with LearnBop.
There is a lot of feedback for the parent as to how the kids are doing and lots of options for control of what they are learning.
There is one log-in for the family, and the computer automatically remembers my boys. This means that they can just choose their name and jump on in -- without having to enter separate passwords each time.
However, there were a few issues for us that I wanted to discuss:
The program is still being "refined" which means there were some glitches. Sometimes it would say something was wrong that was right. You can "report an error" but this doesn't solve the immediate frustration that can result.
My boys would sometimes got frustrated by how much they had to go through if they got a problem wrong. Each time you get a problem wrong, it walks you back through step-by-step to understand what you did wrong. Isaac would call me over to help with something and actually say to me, "Please don't answer unless you are sure you are right Mom or we will be here all day."
They were just a tad young. I personally think this program is better geared for kids just a little bit older than mine currently are. It says you can do it as young as 1st grade, and they definitely could participate quite well, but I think it would be better to start at about 3rd grade.
There were a few math problems that presented explanations in ways that I was not familiar with. There will be times that the solution and how it is worked out does not match how you taught your children. I could not find a place to skip a problem or avoid a topic, but it would seem to be helpful to allow a parent to override a problem that doesn't match with your particular curriculum style.
That being said, I really liked this program and would absolutelyconsider using it as a supplement to our math curriculum when my boys are just one or two years older. I definitely think it is worth trying for a month to see if it is a good fit for your family. I actually think it would be great if you could do math a little "younger" than where you are with LearnBop. So for example, when my boys were in fourth grade, I would have them go through the third grade program and let the program fill in some gaps.
With this groundbreaking step-by-step learning system, LearnBop for Familieshelps students to learn to solve math problems ON THEIR OWN which is HUGE! It is basically like having a math tutor right in your computer. In addition, it has been scientifically proven to work. Students using LearnBop have showed 7-9 points more growth on post-assessments compared to students not using LearnBop.
Still not sure? Check out reviews by other members of the Crew by clicking the link below:
Today is 18 years since I married my best friend. We've lived in four states, three countries, and three continents. We now have 4 children, 19 sheep, 8 pigs, 9 ducks, 5 geese, 84 laying hens, 22 guinea fowl, and 150 broiler chickens. :) We also have a ton of wonderful memories and have had, despite some hard times, a fantastic life. I can honestly say that I love my husband more today than ever.
Here is a look back at some of the blogs I have done on our anniversary since I started the Blog back in 2006:
I have been struggling to find time and energy to exercise. So I decided to put on a pedometer and see how many steps I am getting on the farm. I have heard that 10,000 is considered a good number of steps. Yesterday, I got 15,000. This solidified the idea that I am okay just doing my farm work and not adding exercise. This is hard for me, an "athlete" to accept. That being active is the same as actually exercising. But I am getting there. I am therefore making it my goal to get my steps and not stress about getting a run in.
Here are some images of what has been going on around our farm recently:
Our new WWOOFer Eliza took this photo of our farm. I am continually amazed at all the different angles that represent our life here on the farm. This is a "look" I don't remember ever experiencing. Love this picture.
Speaking of Eliza, here is a silly picture of her. We were testing out the new sheep waterer, and she wanted to see what happened if she opened the valve all the way up. Her left leg displays the dousing she got. Eliza is hoping to buy a farm in a year and is spending this year traveling to different farms and trying to figure out what it is she would like!
Abigail rode her first horse this past week! This didn't take place on our farm but on a ranch that our church rented out for a summer bash. I was so proud of her for doing this!
Isaac also rode his first horse. Equally proud of him for trying. (Sidge also rode but he has rode before at our friend Karen's farm.) Hannah wasn't interested.
Yesterday was one of the busiest days I have had on our farm. It started at 6am when I did animal chores and then headed out to water about 60 trees. We have not had ANY water on the farm and had to get our new trees watered. Ritter came with me. We would put a hose on a tree and then have five minutes to kill before moving to the next tree.
My line of trees. While the work was a little "boring" it was a beautiful morning and not as easy as it sounds. Moving that huge hose around was no easy task. And the trees that weren't reached by the hose, I had to water with the 5 gallon bucket.