Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wise Woman Linkup!




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. " 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We would love for you to link up with us! Come and share your posts on building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!


I you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









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Monday, August 21, 2017

Our 25th Anniversary Celebration - Bed & Breakfast and Gondola Ride!

Our summer has been pretty full and I have been wanting to share a post about how we shared our 25th anniversary! We both wanted something quiet and relaxing since my husband has been working so much lately and we decided to to visit this lovely little Bed & Breakfast that was made to look like an actual villa in Florence, Italy.


I like going to bed and breakfasts because of the different experiences that you can get than when you stay at a hotel. They are more welcoming, interesting, and just fun in my opinion!


The lobby had this full size knight in armor waiting to greet us. It was pretty big and the picture doesn't do it justice.




The dining room was serene and if you look to the right of the fireplace they had a walk in safe. They served a spinach quiche with sausage and had a full buffet of fruit, breads, cereal, coffee, etc. 




These double doors led out to terrace that was once there with the original owners. I loved how this looked in person and the beautiful light that streamed in through it.



We had this awesome room with a king size bed and jacuzzi. SO comfortable and just what the doctor ordered! Right down the street of this Villa we were able to walk down to the house of President Benjamin Harrison. We took a tour and I will share that and all the pictures I got there in a post later this week.





(Benjamin Harrison home)

We also went to eat at Fogo de Chao which is a Brazilian Steakhouse where all the waiters run around with these large sized skewers of meat of all different kinds (beef, lamb, chicken, etc) hot off the grill and serve it to you.


See the red disk above? There are two sides---red and green. Green means you want more meat and when the waiters see that they will come one at a time and offer you what type of meat they have. If it is red like how it is above they will stop. We have been to one of these before in Chicago so I knew what to expect. They also have an amazing unique buffet that comes with it!

My favorite part was the Gondola ride! I have always wanted to ride one and since I knew I wasn't going to visit Italy anytime soon I was ecstatic to finally get to go on one!



The boat can sit up to 8 people but we opted for a private tour!



Did you know that gondolas were used mainly for transportation in Italy and not entertainment like how we experience them here?


I love how the gondolier sang--it was SOOOO romantic and everyone in the canal could hear him! It felt a little weird having everyone watch us and even take pictures but I was having too much fun to notice! Here is a little video of them:




The canal weaves through a little community where you can walk through and sit on benches and view homes and grab a bite to eat right by the water. I caught this romantic pic near a historic monument nearby.



I hope you enjoyed our pictures!

I will post about the Benjamin Harrison home in a future post this week!







Thursday, August 17, 2017

12 Ways to Ease Back Into Homeschooling




It is back to school time and we are gearing up around here to start school very soon. I am excited about this year because I really did a revamp on our schedules, classes, and projects. I just really wanted something NEW and FRESH this year. Can you relate? I have four teens that I will be teaching, two twins and a busy preschooler so I want to make this year memorable.

I spent many hours looking for just the right tools and share some of them in this post below--I think the kids are really going to have a special year this time around.

Here are a few tips to get you started if you are going back to school this year--I hope they are a blessing to you:


1. Pray - we need God's help, wisdom, and guidance to show us how to plan our days so this is always the first stop.

2. Go to Bed Early a Week Before - Ease your children into getting back to a normal schedule a week or a few days before so they get enough sleep and don't have a hard time staying awake.

3. Get Your Kids Excited - Before school starts I start telling them about the fun things I have planned and new fun school books we have this year.

4. Ease Yourself In - Don't try to be a drill sergeant and do everything on the first day as you bark out orders, hurriedly pass out long to-do lists and schedules and demand all classes to be done by noon. This is a surefire way to make them not enjoy homeschooling. Do a few classes or a half day or have something fun planned.

5. Have a Morning Routine - This helps get the day going smoothly. For my younger children I would write out a list of what is expected (washing up, reading their Bible, fixing their bed, starting on schoolwork, etc.) so that there are no misunderstandings. Make some morning time for yourself by waking up a little bit earlier if needed.



6. Make Easy Meals - If meals stress you out then try to make meals simple and available. You don't always have to cook by scratch and most often times the healthiest meals can be easily prepared like salads and fruits--you can prep them beforehand.

7. Make Your Day Relaxing - With nine children in the house things can get loud and chaotic quickly.  I like to play classical music or a relaxing music station with no lyrics during our school day. We also try to make sure everyone practices self control during school time by being quiet for others.

8. Celebrate - We like to kick off the school year with a party--this year we are doing Minute to Win-It Games and some baking.

9. Add Something New - This year I bought new patterned school boxes (they usually get the plain), new exciting books like Graphic Shakespeare (it's like a comic book), Extreme Dot-to-Dot, and we will be adding in Poetry Tea Time (which I will share on the blog very soon) --we all can't wait to begin! I also changed their Grammar class (their most dreaded class) to Daily Grammar (super simple and only takes a few minutes a day) and adding in lots more learning game and project ideas from my Homeschool Inspiration Pinterest Board. We all can't wait!

10. Add Some Margin to Your Day - Planing this add flexibility and helps your day not to be rushed. It also helps you realistically tackle the things that do need to be done.

11. Have an Evening Routine - This helps too so they know what to expect and you don't forget anything--like chores, playing outside, dinner, baths, prep for tomorrow, etc.

12. Plan Ahead - one of the best things you can do is plan ahead. I like to have a calendar overview of the month along with notes of what I am doing that week and the next day. It helps me keep on top of it all and not wake up surprised or unprepared.


"Of all the joyous motives of school life, the love of knowledge is the only abiding one; the one which determines the scale, so to speak, upon which the person will hereafter live.

-Charlotte Mason



What would you add to the list?





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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wise Woman Linkup!




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. " 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We would love for you to link up with us! Come and share your posts on building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!


Now back to the linkup-- if you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









If you are reading by email, visit our blog to see the whole post. 

You can link up below: 
 
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF 342,000+  HOMEBUILDERS!






(Note: This post might contain affiliate links--thanks for your support!)








Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Mother Builds a Happy Home




“Mothers who recognize the value of homemaking see that there is an art to it.

A mother builds a happy home brick by brick, laid upon strong moral principles.

From her home the majesty of her inspiring leadership has a spiral affect.

Like a pebble dropped in a pond it spirals outward in ever widening circles.

Rather than society influencing the home it ought to be the Christian home influencing society.

Righteousness brings beauty of character. Character creates harmony in the home. Harmony in the home fosters order to civilization...isn't this what is meant by "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world?"

Therefore, let us remember our position, fulfilling our office of queen with a kind of friendly dignity. It is a noble, high, important, and sometimes difficult position...

 But God will guide our steps if we keep our eyes on He who appointed us. And we will find joy within the authoritative yet loving relationship we were meant to establish with our children."

~Karen Andreola

Oh ladies, I know that the work of building a happy home can become tiring, demanding and depressing at times if we are not careful to guard our thoughts. We can easy become disillusioned but we must keep our thoughts on the Lord--He is our Helper and our Comforter and will guide us through all of our difficult times and trials. My advice is not to become so distracted with the many voices in the world because the main voice we need to hear is God's. Open your Bible and fill yourself with truth until you are overflowing and be sober-minded instead of filling yourself with confusion and lies from the enemy who is a liar.

WHAT I AM DOING THIS WEEK

This week on the homefront I have been getting our homeschooling spaces reading for getting back to school. Our local schools start this week and some of the children are sad that summer is ending so quickly for us all. Honestly, this summer flew by in a blink of an eye and I am wondering where time went. We still have not gone to the beach yet! No worries, though, we are trying to fit it in within the next two weeks.

I am getting excited about school this year--I am adopting more of an mindframe of "if I were on a deserted island" or "if this was my last year to teach the kids ever again what would I teach?" this year. I am loving what I am picking out and the fun things I have been pinning on my homeschooling Pinterest board. We are going to have a ton of fun while learning this year!

But it is bittersweet again because my oldest son is a senior this year. Time has gone by so quickly and somehow when a child is a senior I sometimes get heavy hearted picking out their curriculum for their last year. Can you mama's out there relate?

I am so grateful for homeschooling because the time goes by so quickly and before you know it that time is gone. You look up one day and see a young man (woman) about to start his (her) life. I am so grateful I was able to spend so much of their childhood right along side with them!

Now as I gather pencils and paper--- I am reminded that I am nearing fifty. I now know what matters and what doesn't matter as far as my children are concerned and I want to spend this coming year focusing on what matters to God and not what others tell me to do!

THE CHALLENGE QUESTION

This week, ladies, I would love for us to focus our hearts on the Lord. Is there anything distracting you from Him? Your phone, social media, Netflix, too many unnecessary activities? Be still and fill yourself to overflowing with His Word.  Don't go onto the battle ground without your battle gear. His Word is what sustains us and guides in times when our flesh is weak. Use your time wisely and build a happy home that brings Him glory!


How will you build a happy home this week?

Share in the comments below!




Note: This post contains affiliate links--thanks for your support!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wise Woman Linkup!




A Wise Woman Builds Her Home is a place to be encouraged in your high and noble calling of role of wife and mother and daughter to the King and we want to encourage each and every single reader out there to build up strong Christian homes to the glory of God.

"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. " 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

We would love for you to link up with us! Come and share your posts on building up your home, homemaking, character, hospitality, femininity, family, tea, recipes, parenting, marriage, homeschooling, and whatever else you'd like to share that would encourage our community. Feel free to also share more than one post!


Now back to the linkup-- if you do join our link up we only require one thing-- PLEASE share the image below on your blog and link back so that others can find us and join in the fun or just simply paste and copy the code into your blog sidebar or at the bottom of the post that you shared here:









If you are reading by email, visit our blog to see the whole post. 

You can link up below: 
 
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY OF 346,000+  HOMEBUILDERS!






(Note: This post might contain affiliate links--thanks for your support!)








Monday, August 7, 2017

5 Best Tips for Potty-Training Your Child




Many of you know that I had little Isabella in my 40's. She was such a blessing since we had not had a girl born in our home for eleven years prior to that! It was so nice to go out and buy all the girl things and pink outfits again (especially after having five boys).

But what I forgot about was the potty training business--it had been almost a decade since I had done the other 8 children so I had to brush up on my potty training skills!

Now not every child is the same--some learn faster and some take longer. I think what makes a whole world of difference is moms attitude going in.

If you want to know the truth, it used to be something that I dreaded--something I wanted over as quickly as possible but I now know that my attitude can make or break the whole process. I had read somewhere about looking at this time as a special time spent with your child and I was determined to make this time around special with my daughter this time around.

So we are a week in and she pretty much got the hang of it after day 2. She is still working on going #2 (many children actually take longer in this area). But it has been such a fun time and I am so glad that we tackled this now before school begins.



HERE ARE MY 5 TOP TIPS FOR POTTY TRAINING YOUR CHILD



1. PRAY.

This is the biggie---we can do nothing without God, not even potty train! I always pray that God would help us and make it easier. That He would give me wisdom and have patience with my child when the going gets tough (or when #2 hits the floor and I have to clean it up). He is good and faithful and has never let me down.

2. ARE THEY READY?

Now just because your aunt told you to potty train your child when they turned two or one or whatever, that doesn't mean you have to listen to them. The big question you need to ask yourself is if your child is ready.  If they are not ready, your efforts could end in a big fail so it is better often times to wait if possible. Another question I ask myself is does this fit my schedule right now.  If I am very busy or it is a stressful time in life I will put it off until it is more convenient for me and when I am more available to be home to give potty training my all. I have found that for me, waiting until my children are three helps the training to go quicker.

3. PREPARE

Now that you are ready and they are ready you need to buy all the stuff. Here is what I got:

-A POTTY CHAIR (or two)



We used this Fisher Price Custom Comfort Pink Potty Training Seat. It is adjustable in height and has been working fabulously for her. It might be helpful to have two for another level of your home or to take in the car as a travel potty or for outdoors. When I potty trained the twins we had two and set them side by side while I taught them both! You can also get the kind that attach to the seat as well. 


-FUN UNDERWEAR



There are so many cute types of underwear for small children--this helps them to "feel" when an accident happens and get them out of diapers quicker. Make sure you have enough to get through all the mishaps of potty training!


-PULL-UPS (training underwear)





Many moms feel that pull-ups can confuse your children but all of mine have done wonderfully with them and it gives me peace of mind to know that there is easy cleanup and no mess as well. I am so grateful for them! I was surprised to see that they now sell a "cooling" pull-up (when the child goes he will feel a cooling sensation), but I personally wonder how safe they are so I opted not get them.


-LEG WARMERS




If you are potty training in cool weather it might help to have leg warmers for your little one so they don't get cold while they are sitting and waiting to go!





-WATERPROOF MATTRESS COVER



You will want to buy a mattress protector if they are using a regular sized bed and not a toddler bed. Just make sure it is 100% waterproof--you definitely want to protect it from getting wet!


-A POTTY TRAINING BOOK



This Princess Potty Time book was a cute tool to help her get started--it is interactive where you pull on tabs to "pull" down the toilet paper and "lift" the lid of the potty and so forth. I also let her watch some cartoon videos on Youtube while she was sitting and waiting so that would reinforce what she was learning to do--I believe it helped immensely!

I would also have some cleaning spray and towels/wipes on hand to clean up accidents. I am trying to go more natural in cleaning products so I use Seventh Generation since they have it at my local store and is only a few dollar a bottle.



I put a little toy bin next to her potty to hold her little books and special toys for her to look at while she is sitting on the potty and waiting to go.




Don't forget the toilet paper! Just be careful they don't go crazy with the toilet paper and try to wrap their whole bodies in it while you are not looking (ask me how I know)!

- A STOOL


Don't forget a child size stool if your child is using the adult toilet and it comes in handy for washing their hands afterwards too. 


I also like to use my iPhone as an alarm 20 minutes or every hour to place her on the potty--that has been so helpful to remind me to stop what I am doing and get her on the toilet before she has to go. An online mom told me about this little gadget called The Potty Watch to help your little one. I had never seen one of these before--they are supposed to help remind your child when to go. I suppose that would help if your child tends to get really distracted while they are playing and ignore the signs that they have to go.




Has anyone here tried it?

Now back to the points:


4. HAVE PATIENCE

Yes, I did mention this already in #1 but this is the biggy because you will definitely want to rush it. Just try to be patient. Have fun with it. Talk to them. Enjoy them. Take the potty outside into the living room or other rooms if you need to. Let them watch a potty video on a tablet to help the time to go by.  And remember that this won't last forever!

5. REWARD THEM

Now I have heard conflicting views on this but I have to say that I always reward them! I like to give little M & M's each time they go and smother them in praises. Three if they go #1 and a few more if they go #2.If you don't want to go that route I know that other moms like to do stickers and charts.

If you need more tips or encouragement on potty training I highly recommend the book Potty Train in a Weekend:




Are you ready to potty train your child quickly and with success? This best-selling book is the answer. Becky Mansfield, child development expert at YourModernFamily.com shows you exactly how to do it successfully. It is the only complete guide to potty training that you will need. You can train your child earlier and faster than you thought possible! 

In this book, you will learn... 
*Signs of readiness
*The secret to potty training in three days
*What to do when they won't poop on the potty 
*How to handle regression
*What to do when your child is not at home
*Should you use charts and rewards?
*What is the best way to potty train a boy?
*How to potty train at night 

You will not be going back and forth between diapers, pull-ups and underwear anymore. This book has been marked as the best potty training book by multiple speakers around the world. It has been read by tens of thousands of parents and they all say one thing: It is the only guide you will need for potty training success. It is filled with all of the information and tools that you need to start potty training and complete it in three days.

                                                                   YOU CAN FIND THIS BOOK HERE. 

























I hope these tips are a blessing to you!


What tips would you add?

Please share them in the comments below!


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