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Lessons From Our First Chapter of Homeschooling

Wrapping up this first season of homeschooling feels good.  It has flown by and I can think of so many things that I wish I would have done, or could have done better.  However, in the end, I’m just thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to try it out, for the grace of learning as we go, and for the time I’ve had to focus on my children.  I’m mostly excited I’ve had the chance to think long and hard about what I hope to develop in them through this process.

I’m sure that our rhythm will change bit by bit each season but there are definitely some key pieces that bring fruit and growth to our days, and I can see development for the better.  These are the things that I plan to continue on with in the next quarter.  These are things that can be done as a homeschooling family or a typical schooling family.  I was interested in homeschooling for two years before we dove into it and I enjoyed integrating a few of these values in even when my children attended public school.  You can always adapt things into your lifestyle if they’re important to you.

The hardest part about starting homeschool has been discovering so many new ideas and inspirations all the time.  There are so many resources that it can be overwhelming to try them all.  I’ve learned to start small and choose what fits our family.  I don’t try to do it all.  I try to choose what interests our family and go from there.  I thought I’d share the things we’ve done throughout this quarter that I’m really happy with and hope to grow more in.

I thought it might be easiest to see how I implement the things that we value and what it looks like in our day to day by showing our daily rhythm.  Our rhythm is super basic… I operate best this way, too many expectations make me crazy!!!  It doesn’t always flow this perfectly but this helps us keep on track and touch all the areas of need.  These are the priorities we feel best align with our vision at this time.  Our children are pre-k, first, and third grade levels.

Our Rhythm:

 

6-9 GOOD HABITS

(this time is for waking up, reading some bible, praying, planning and talking about our day/week/month, exercising, getting ready for the day, doing chores, and eating breakfast)

 

9-11 COLLECTIVE… CONSUME + CREATE

(this time is for math + reading, and writing)

 

11-1 OUTDOORS + FREE PLAY

(this time is also used for community activities on some days)

 

1-3 COLLECTIVE… CONSUME + CREATE

(this time is for art, handcrafts, and music + reading alone)

 

3-5 OUTDOORS + FREE PLAY

(this time is also used for community activities on some days)

 

5-8 GOOD HABITS

(this time is for eating supper, doing chores, getting ready for the night, stretching, reviewing and talking about our day/week/month, praying, singing some hymns, lullabies, or seasonal songs, and laying down)

About good habits…

I hope to give some perspective by sharing how highly we value good habits in the day and teaching and training our children to care for themselves and develop a strong sense of ownership in their day and life.  It was something I have always strived for even before homeschooling and believe can be done to a worthy degree even on a limited time frame like when public schooling.  I will say I struggled more with it then, because time was of the essence so much, but I think if you believe in it enough, it can be improved on even with the time constraints of heading off to school.  It can be adjusted and tweaked as needed to still achieve the goal.

We read bible stories from the Egermeier’s Bible and sing from an old hymnal we have that’s been handed down in our family.  The kids usually can get ready, make beds and do their exercising or stretching on their own. I put in the time in the beginning to train them as well as address it when needed throughout.  We typically make our meals together and do the daily chores together as well like dishes, laundry, plants, animals, sweeping and taking out the trash.

About collective…

Collective is what I use as the heart of our learning and experiences.  I’m a big believer in the create and consume philosophy and that there needs to be a rhythm in ones input and output.  I have applied this idea, as well as not applied it, and applying it just flows so much better, especially with children!  You can get so much more out of them when this is done well.

My planning is pretty simple.  I only have to prepare for the two collective times essentially.  I listen to the children’s interests as well as align learning with the seasons.   I plan block studies or some would say topic studies based on interest or season.  These last anywhere from 2-4 weeks typically.

In the morning I try to conquer the things that require more concentration and a fresh brain.  For reading, which includes social studies and science, I select 4-12 books per week (that’s 1-3 a day) depending on the length of the stories… we only school 4 days a week… I get most of my book inspiration online via ambleside and beautiful feet books.  I also love Jodi Mockabee’s book list from her new line of schoolhouse curiousities.  I will check what I can out at the library, purchase new books, and use many books from the collection we already have.  For writing, I choose a quote and a poem for each topic of study and the children practice memorization, penmanship, and grammar by completing copy work of the selected piece.  We use the method of notebooking to practice many more writing skills.  Notebooking is also my favorite way to document the children’s learning!  It has so many positive offerings, I can’t even begin to discuss them all!!!  So far, we have used math mammoth to help us stay on track with grade level math skills.

In the afternoon we are more relaxed and enjoy some type of hands on learning or experience.  I use the wild and free handcrafts book as a resource for making something interesting and meaningful with our topic.  I use art supplies that Jodi Mockabee lists in her note booking section of schoolhouse curiosities for our art efforts, and I use my playlists or pandora to introduce the kids to good music as we create.  They also play the dulcimer, zylophone, and harmonica some as they please.

About outdoor/free play…

A huge part of our vision was to allow the kids more time to enjoy the outdoors, use their imagination, and explore together.  The children get quite a bit of free play and outdoor time each day and to some it may seem too much.  Through my experience as an educator and with the research I’ve discovered it has become quite clear that the children can achieve a lot in a small amount of time that is focused and aided with my undivided attention.  If the child is ready they can learn in a short period of time.

That being said, the kids are able to be successful and get their work done leaving them with more free time.  Free time to wonder and explore is also where they learn.  Just like us, their free time is needed for their best production and often inspires their best production.

(A note referencing our community activities:  We are an athletic family and the children are involved in seasonal sports activities as well as private gym lessons and horse riding.  Sometimes  we are active in the evenings with these things too which influence our night time habits.  Our night time habits have to ebb and flow a bit with the seasons.  We also participate in a community group with other homeschooled children once a week.  I hope to include some type of music training one day but that will depend upon the interest I suppose.)

An Important Part…

I also thought it important to share my process for documenting our journey.  I use a small journal to write down a thing or two about our rhythm each day.  Mainly I note what was accomplished or not accomplished in each section of the day.  this is were I keep track of our state requirement of a time log.  I then use that to look back on when I journal about the kids individually once a week.  I have a separate field note journal for each child where I write something they did well, something that needs work, and something that has sparked their interest (also called a learning thread).  This is what helps me so much as I evaluate our progress and plan for upcoming learning.  I will try to elaborate more on this in a future post because it is truly vital!

One Last Thing…

The reason I believe in sharing this is to record our journey but not only that.  I know that every mother wants to help their child be their best possible.  I don’t believe that homeschooling is for everyone.  In fact, I would advise most parents who are considering it to check their heart good before committing to it as it takes a lot of grit.  I’ve found that you really have to want to do it in order to stick with it and to find success as with most things.  That being said, I truly believe that learning starts in the home and the first teacher is the parent.  It’s so easy to get busy and lose track of what you are doing with your child to develop them, but take the time to consider it.  You may be doing exactly what’s right for you and your family right now.  However, there could be some things that need some work still too?  It’s always good to assess things periodically and take some time to look at reality and address the areas that need attention.  If there’s an area that needs help try one of the ideas I’ve listed or search some ideas up.  I broke it down into different sections of the day so that if there is an area you need some inspiration or ideas for you could start by looking at that section in our rhythm.  I’m going to continue to do this each quarter as we go because it really helps me get a good picture of the place we’re in and the direction we’re going.  I hope it might be enlightening and give you a fresh idea of something to try as well.  If you have any questions please leave me a comment below and I’ll reply with my best answer.  

Best wishes to you and your child this school year!

Live for the most,

xx Kasey

 

 

 

Fall Traditions

The magic of the corn maze.  Each year we plan a fun family day at our local pumpkin patch/corn maze and each year we come and go with sweet memories made.

This particular  year we went at dusk which was so beautiful to watch the sunset behind the big red barn.  We played and laughed and snuggled close with hot cocoa as it cooled off down in the valley.

Family traditions are so close to my heart.  Growing up, my mom and dad made the small things special and I have so many cherished memories from it.  I leave you with a beautiful quote about living for the most and making memories and the most of each day.  It’s by the beloved Mark train who is a fellow Missourian.  He said…

Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.  Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did.  So throw off the bow lines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Go live life.

xx kc

Creating Culture

I’ve been wanting to write on culture for a while now, but I keep feeling like it’s something I’m still not good at…  Is it something we must strive for or is it the people we already are?

To me culture is what we represent as well as who we are becoming.  It’s ever evolving…  right?  There’s a lot of talk on culture out there and it seems a buzz word lately, so it’s had me thinking.  Obviously culture can be discussed on a large scale or a small one, but I tend to gravitate towards the smaller concept of family or community culture since that’s the main responsibility present in my life, and one worth talking about in most people’s lives.

It’s so important to be thinking about culture in our daily lives because it matters, and big time!  You have the ability to create a thriving culture around you.  It’s about who we are and what we are passing on.  It’s goes much deeper than our values.  It’s what we do, how we act, and it’s ultimately a feeling or representation of our character that’s given to others.

When I think of the culture I pass on, I am mostly embarrassed.  How many times do I fail at showing good culture in the day to day?  A lot.  I want my culture to represent positivity and be life giving, but it typically doesn’t look that way.  It’s usually selfish and life stealing rather.  Sure, I have my moments of glory, but those are too few to keep track of.  What stands out, are those flawed moments I need to grow through.  It’s actually those exact moments though, that can be used in our culture, as our culture.

As I’ve started focusing on creating good culture in our home and being more intentional with it, I believe the only way to teach it is through our own character as we experience our individual journeys.  To show those around us who we are with our imperfections through humility, as well as who we strive to become with integrity and honor.  If we can do this, we have the magic.

Our humanity is our culture.  We must be able to rise above our own afflictions and while doing so be vulnerable enough to share those times, whether good or bad with others.  That’s where the heart of culture is.  People around us don’t expect us to never go through bad times.  Be open enough to let people walk with you and ask for help as you go.  I believe that is the true magic of culture.  And that is how we learn to be better and teach others from our lessons learned as well.  I now understand that old saying about honesty and hard work.  That’s really all it takes to be successful.  Be honest and work hard to do your best.  This simple theory is all you need to influence others and motivate a positive culture.  Will it always look perfect and run smoothly, no.  Will it always demand respect and admiration, yes.

I’m learning that in my own family, friendships, and community, you don’t have to have it all figured out to create a good culture.  A good culture is created in the presence of figuring it out.  It just takes an openness to learning, the ability to work hard at it, and the vulnerability to be kind and humble through the process. What kind of culture are you creating?  Remember to include laughter!  Good culture requires the ability to laugh at yourself also…  and often!  Accept grace and go get em!

If we want to see change in the world, it has to start small, with us.  An individual can change a family, a family can influence a community, a community can impact the greater and on and on.

Live For The Most,

xx kc

 

 

Braving The W I L D… Why Camping With Kids Is Worth It

It all started when we went camping on a whim this past summer.  We loaded up last minute and headed for the W I L D.  We were craving some unexpected and that’s just what we got!  

We were surprised to discover that camping really isn’t that hard.  In fact, it’s pretty free and easy.  We realized that it’s actually the perfect entertainment for young families.  Our kids were amazingly happy and well behaved… their little senses took it all in and they stayed busier than anything we could have possibly planned.  Pure heaven for us too!  Something about a breath of fresh air and a place to be W I L D + F R E E.  

A few things to remember are bikes, books, and a big ice cooler!  If you stay at a state park, they have amenities as well as fun seasonal activities to do.  We have camped at parks, private sites, and even in the wilderness of our own property at home.  

We have a list going of supplies we want to purchase including a bigger tent (we need some growing room.)  We believe that braving the wild is the best way we can travel with our kids during this season so we plan to explore much more!  We’d love to know tips and advice from family campers.  Where are your favorite places to visit?  What are your favorite ideas to do?

The photos below are from Devil’s Den in Arkansas.  The park had some fun and engaging activities that we really enjoyed.  I didn’t include many photos of them because we were so in the moment, but we played a community ball game with all the other families in the site.  We observed and listened to bats over the lake at night by sonar, and  we learned about reptiles in the park and got to watch them eat their prey!  The boys loved this one of course…

Here’s to new adventures and braving the W I L D!

Live For The Most,

KC  

3 Ways To Fight Resistance In Your Marriage…

Mostly it’s the man’s job right?  To fight for things and be the leader, to take charge…  Well this may be a surprise, but I don’t exactly agree with that!  Sometimes a man is not always going to be able to lead you in the best direction.  Remember, he’s a human, not a hero.  Sometimes he may need help in the fight.

In walks woman, the helper!  If you’ve ever been in need of help, then you’ve likely learned the value of help.  Never underestimate or undervalue it.  Help can impact and influence a situation greatly, and for good.

I say these things to lead into the concept that you have the ability to be a beacon for better.  You should be a part of the direction of your marriage and life.  If you are experiencing some sort of challenge in this direction, which all of us do, then you might want to consider these things that can help fight that resistance…

Fight Resistance With Ownership

When in a marriage or family, you are a part of a team working for the good of the team.  This being said you don’t always wait for the leader to tell you what to do.  Here’s the key – YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for knowing what the leader’s priorities and goals are for the team.  Don’t wait for them to tell you, and don’t make excuses for why you don’t know?  With the knowledge of the priorities and goals, you should be able to make good judgement calls for what best suits the team.  There should be no excuses if you have taken responsibility for what the expectations are.  If you choose to go against those priorities then have a highly persuasive reason to back your decision.  Take ownership of what’s good for the team.

Example:

We personally experienced a learning opportunity in regard to this principle recently… We have been working on making decisions together and being in agreement on things before we commit to them.  I made the mistake of committing to a family trip before checking with my husband.  Although I knew his overall stance on the type of situation because as noted before I had taken ownership of knowing his priorities and goals,  I still made a poor choice.  I was misguided by some things I thought were good exceptions to the rules.  Let’s just say he wasn’t thrilled with my decision making.  It caused resistance in our marriage and we were forced to talk it through and figure out where we went wrong and what we could do better next time.  Working to understand your teams priorities are essential to making good decisions and keeping resistance at bay.

Fight Resistance With Help

Prayer is good. Pray and cover things with prayer.  Something I’ve felt lead to pray about more in my marriage is how I can draw my spouse closer to God.  I used to pray that God would help him and that he would respond.  Those are great prayers that are needed and appreciated, but I realized that sometimes I could do a better job at lending to that rather than interrupting it.  – Do you feel me?  Often I found myself expecting him to handle things better.  I would get disappointed and angry when he didn’t.  Then, I would make matters worse by blaming him and putting pressure and expectations on him that I could have actually helped with instead.  It didn’t end in goodness.  Now, I’m learning to pray for HOW I CAN HELP.  I’m inspired by the bible’s teachings, and this aligns with woman’s created purpose perfectly.  It also takes the blame and pressure off the man as the leader.  God made women to help man.  He even said in genesis it’s not good for man to be alone.  Start asking how you can help?  God designed men to appreciate help and I’ve discovered that they are extremely open to our attempts at helping.

Fight Resistance With Belief and Humility

If you’ve read this far then you’ve likely felt and believe that resistance is real.  That means you likely have felt and believe that triumph and victory are real as well.  So this is a good time to remind yourself that there is good and evil.  As we walk through our lives we are going to face both.  It’s inevitable.  Therefore, it’s best to be able to step back sometimes and remind yourself of this truth.  It helps to give perspective on what your going through and give yourself vision and a correct mindset to approach the issue your facing.  If your feeling paralyzed, remind yourself of what you believe, and why you believe it, then it becomes much clearer for how to start fighting for it.  Also, use humility.  No good fighter has ever been too proud.  Stay humble.  We can always, always, grow and do better.  Look at each resistance battle you face as an opportunity to learn and develop.

I know this is a deep and difficult facet of life and I wish each of you reading this victory in fighting resistance.  I have prayed for you in this regard as I’ve prepared this post.  Fight the good fight friends.  

live for the most!

xx kc

 

An Evening Experience At Big Cedar… Top Of The Rock

Since I was a young girl I’ve always been influenced by my Ozark heritage.  Living in the hills through the changing seasons is something I treasure deeply.  I’ve traveled many places, but the beauty of this place is described simply, “like coming home.”  It’s warmth and comfort is unmatched.  The pine designs and rough cedar smells are nestled in my heart forever.  It’s hard to put to words the impression it has left on me.  The closest I can come is the feeling I get when I drive through the grand wooded entrance of Big Cedar Lodge.  It’s as if everything I have stored in my memory of life here in the Ozarks is tucked away in this secret special spot.

I fell in love with Big Cedar years ago and I come back as often as I can to embrace my background and remember where my roots lie.  Everything about my inner self has stemmed from the simplicity of these parts and when I get lost in this big wide world I can always count on nature’s beauty and the Big Cedar experience to ground my core.  It’s a gem, a true privilege to encounter.  I’m honored to share a little piece of my favorite place with you.  Welcome to the Ozark Mountains!!

I’ve included some photos taken from Top of the Rock which is a signature Big Cedar Experience.  It’s one of the highest elevations in the Ozark Mountains and offers majestic views of Table Rock Lake and the rolling country hills.  Top of the Rock sets a world class sunset scene, which many would come for alone, but it hosts a variety of other amazing activities as well.

You can take a cave and waterfall nature hike or adventure to the top via excursion.  At the top is a natural history museum with ancient ozark artifacts (one of our favorite parts).  There are three fine dining restaurants with unreal views and mouthwatering food, also a wine cellar for the after dinner palate.  At sunset, a bag piper plays and a historic canon is fired by civil war soldiers (another of our favorites).  If your getting married soon, they have the most beautiful chapel in the midwest perfectly placed on Top of the Rock.  You can even stay in the honeymooner’s cabin which is also complete perfection.  Top of the Rock is famous as well for it’s pro golf course if that’s more your thing.

Have you ever experienced Top of the Rock?  What was your favorite part?  If not, I hope you’re inspired to start planning a trip to visit soon.  Click here for guest details!

I hope you enjoy this visual and just pretend your tagging along for an evening experience at Top of the Rock;)

Live For The Most, 

KC

 

The Best Family Play Day… Fun Mountain At Big Cedar!

Big Cedar Lodge has always been our favorite place to stay in the Ozarks.  It’s America’s premier wilderness resort for a reason!  It’s nestled in the Ozark Mountains with views that take your breath away and adventures that leave you with lasting memories.  

The atmosphere at Big Cedar is the most family friendly and we are always beyond impressed with the impeccable service, culture, and hospitality offered.  They are the Disney World of the outdoors!  It is owned by Bass Pro Shops’ founder Johnny Morris, who’s passion for sharing the great outdoors and family enrichment spreads all over this magnificent place.  They are always adding exciting places to play and we recently went over to explore some of their new grounds.

We typically stay at the lodge, but Big Cedar invites guests to come on day excursions as well!  They have so many amazing family activities.  The new Fun Mountain makes a great play day.   With rock climbing, a ropes course, laser tag, a flip zone, a spin zone, bowling, golfing, an arcade, a playground, a restaurant, and seasonal excursions with themes like camping and archery… We spent a day enjoying all it’s goodness and then finished our time at Big Cedar with an evening at Top of the Rock!  I will be sharing another post of evening fun which includes sunset festivities at Top of the Rock.  

There are many varieties of quality family time at Big Cedar, we can’t even begin to squeeze it all into one trip!  We make it an annual getaway and try to focus on exploring one or two things each time we go.  This year we adventured at the new Fun Mountain, which was a blast, but I wanted to share some things we’ve loved in the past as well…  

  • Kid’s Adventure Club which offers interactive activities and learning experiences in archery, native americans, bb guns, camping, painting, history exploration, pond fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bonfires, lazy rivers, the list truly goes on and on and on… 

I’ve included some photos from our most recent getaway below.  Have you ever been to Big Cedar?  If so, leave a comment sharing your favorite activity?  If not,  get started planning your adventure here!  

 

 

Discipline = Freedom

Doesn’t it surprise you?  In all my days I never considered using discipline and freedom in the same sentence.  However, life is about learning.  When the pain or lack of freedom becomes so great that it motivates discipline, it inspires change.  Changing negative behavior to positive behavior leads to betterment and a more free lifestyle.  Hence, discipline = freedom!

Consider these examples:

The discipline of rising early allows you to have more time and get more done

The discipline of eating healthy and exercising allows you to be in shape and feel good

The discipline of saving money allows you to give or spend more freely

The discpine of doing what you need to get done like chores, allows you to do what you want to get done like fun experiences, or projects

The discipline of reading allows you to be smarter

The discipline of practice makes perfection… you get the idea now right?

Once this realization is reached it actually feels good to have the discipline to make changes and work towards freedom.  There is even freedom in the discipline because you start to feel confidence in what you’re doing and where you’re going as you build momentum.  Another key thing that goes hand in hand with this is something called delayed gratification.  It’s the best, and ironically, fastest way to smart discipline and freedom.

I first heard of delayed gratification when I was beginning to teach my children and self about money.  It’s funny how trying to raise smart kids can really slap you in the face and wizen you up!  Often my expectations for my children make me take a hard look in the mirror.

As adults sometimes we don’t hold ourselves as accountable as we do our kids and that’s not fair.  We apparently expect them to know right from wrong and toe the line while we get to behave badly.  One day they’ll see my mistakes and I want them to remember me as humbly trying to be my best as I taught them to.  I want them to see me striving for behavior that leads to positivity, goodness, and success.  I don’t want them to see a parent who trained them to do one thing because it was in their best interest but didn’t have the courage, discipline, or self worth to make it happen for myself.

Think about a successful person you know.  In order to become good and especially great at whatever it was they desired… they had to fail first.  An important thing is their determination to push past the shortcomings.  They had a goal that really mattered to them and they really really wanted to reach it.  They had to get over the pain of not having what they wanted and make a decision and plan for how to get there.  Did you catch that word… PLAN.  Planning takes discipline.  It also takes time.  You have to make hard decisions and sacrifices to make time to plan your path.

Once you’re on this path by the way, don’t expect the resistance and delayed gratification to go away… no, no, no… it still hangs around.  The good thing is, you are developing some side effects from discipline.  They are called good attributes like character, perseverance, and drive among many.

Take a look at those who always get what they want.  Have they ever had a chance to build up enough grit to endure inevitable trials that will come?  I’m saying we should actually go as far as to be thankful for discipline because you have the opportunity to become better.  Look at trials and sufferings as good things, and chances to grow and learn.  Humans often need to learn through experience and the reality is that some of our experiences won’t be pleasurable.  They will teach us a tough lesson.  They will leave us with a choice for what type of attitude or behavior we will choose to implicate in our future.  Hopefully we will choose integrity.

I say all these things to share how I’ve seen what it has done in my own life.  There have been many things Jared and I have accomplished personally, and in our partnership with having discipline to gain freedom, but the best thing yet is to be debt free.  We are at the end of the race as I type this.  Our plan has been to never have a debt again besides our mortgage and we hope to also pay for that early.  I know it’s boring to talk about, but it’s so important.  Our society makes it sound so horrible to wait for things and be happy with what you have.  It’s not common to see people do these things because they are hard.   

It seems the world has been against us from day 1.  It’s not right to blame everyone else though.  The reality was we had to get used to saying no.  To standing up for what our goal was.  To staying focused and pushing through.  To taking ownership of our problem and fixing it.  Making excuses and blaming others or giving in just didn’t get us there, we had to face reality and walk the line.  

 I share this to inspire others to take heart and achieve your dreams.  This method can be applied to whatever is crippling you.  We have and will continue to face many challenges and resistance in life, but we hope to encourage and inspire how discipline truly does equal freedom.  It’s something no one can take away from you.  It’s something that can help you as well as those around you.  Fortunately,we live in America which is a big advantage and we pay respects to that each and every day.   

We have the freedom to chase dreams and the choice and opportunity to win in life.  Therefore we believe in not wasting that.  We believe in working towards your goals and living for the most in life.  This of course doesn’t gaurantee us the perfect life but it does gauantee us a rich life in freedom.

Wishing you the all the freedom that your heart desires too!

Live For The Most, 

KC

Make Everyday Easier… A Simple Clothing Collection For Your Kids

 

Once I had three children I realized quickly that I needed to find out how to make things as simple as possible and I’m always on a journey to make our everyday easier!  Over the last year I’ve really lessened our load a lot by creating a small clothing collection for each individual in my household.  My mission was to have a set of clothes for each person that was comfortable, well loved, and suited for our lifestyle.  Another main goal was to allow the kiddos to dress themselves and learn to mix and match their pieces.   The kids are on the verge of self sufficiency and I’m all about encouraging that!  When all these needs are met it really makes a difference in our days.  Amen?

I’ve also come to love a simpler collection because it makes laundry a ton easier too!  (Note… we also wear our clothes until we see dirt or stains on them- ha!) 

A great place to start is to focus on 7 different pieces they could wear 7 different ways for up to 7 different days.  You likely need a few more pieces than that but it’s a good place to start building your collection.  I recommend sticking to clothes that are label or screen print free as well as things that go together.

 For example my boys have a couple jean shorts light and dark, and then a few other nuetral colored pants… gray, green, and tan.  I add some color or pattern with shirts.  I also keep their shoes pretty neutral so everything can be worn with basically everything and I don’t have to spend time helping them piece it all together.  

Here are some examples of the best basics for your babes…  these are some fav brands that I like to get a piece or two from and build around.  I wanted to share them with you and give you a good visual idea of what a good curated collection would look like.  You can piece your own together of course from a variety of brands and stores but keep a similar style and scheme in mind.

 

 Girl

2 tops

halter in coral

edith blouse in cream

2 bottoms

beach skirt big blue check

track short in deep blue

2 dresses

ruffle sleeve in clover

nona dress in citron

1 cardigan

cora blouse in cream

Boy

3 tops

stripe ringer tee

woven pocket tee

raglan henley

3 bottoms

flat front short in blue

destructed short

flat front short in khaki

1 hoodie

dyed zip hoodie

1 hat

denim cap

 

Are you ready to start simplifying your kids clothes?  Does this idea pull at your heartstrings?  It’s not as hard as you think?  Your babes can get by with very little.  I’ve made the mistake since starting this journey of purchasing more than I needed a few times, but with persistence I keep getting better at crafting our collection.  I also try to keep their shoe life laid back  too!  

happy days ahead friends!

kc- xx

 

How To Encourage Men

 

Since I was a young woman I have been attracted to men.  They are fascinating creatures made to appeal to us.  Why?  Because we need them.  Let’s get to the deeper point though… WHY DO WE NEED THEM?

We need them to be our partner, lead us in wise ways, and grow us into something more beautiful than we were before.  If you think about it, as women we long for a “soul mate.”  One who can romance us and tell us sweet nothings.  One who will protect and provide for us, never to leave us.  One who listens and offers us better advice than we can find anywhere else, helping us to discover and develop our best self.

Unfortunately,  We don’t always feel that we get all these things out of our men.  Likely, this is why so many marriages are no longer working out and women are trying to “take care of themselves.”  Too often it seems the better choice.  I believe it’s not too late though.  I believe in good men still.  I also believe that men are human.  Just like us women, we all make mistakes and are learning as we go.

Most men I know are hungry to be a man and provide a woman’s needs.  It’s simply in their nature.  As women we too often discourage their efforts though.  We need to recognize that most men are working on themselves just as we are and they don’t need those nagging reminders about all the ways they are not enough.  Encouraging our men is where our focus should be.  Building them up into all they were made to be!

As a wife and mother one of my highest priorities is to encourage the males in my life to be their best.  I’m always looking for ways to support them in their journey.  Here are a few ways that I believe help make a man feel like a man, as well as  grow into a great man.

  • Notice and encourage his courage… Is there a way your man or boys are being brave?  Tell them you admire them for it, and really admire them for it.

  • Give him praise for the things he does well or works hard at.  Also, say it out loud in front of others…  note: (admit how often we mention the ways he doesn’t do well then don’t find yourself there anymore;)

  • Ask him for his discernment or answers to deep questions or concerns you have… Be direct and let him have a chance to reflect with you and lead you to a smart decision.   (a good example is to ask questions about the bible.  continue this for some amount of days and it will bring about good conversation and challenge both partners together to seek wise council and sources.)

 

A couple of great resources for you and your man can be found here and here

live for the most,

kc  xx