Tag Archives: Writing

Tips, Treats, Topics and Treasures (March 2014)

Tips, Treats etc, monthly round up March 2014 We are currently enjoying the cool of autumn’s arrival, after a long, beautiful hot summer. March is my favourite month of the year.  Last weekend’s berry picking left us with just a small bag of berries, as the last of the summer berries have finished.  Soon will be root vegetables and casseroles coming out of the kitchen.

On that note, here are a couple of recipes that I’ll be trying soon.

In the Kitchen

I really like the sound of these sweet and sour meatballs from the talented Danielle Walker (Against All Grain).  

And same website for these gorgeous 7 layer bars .  Don’t be scared off by the many layers – most have just a couple of ingredients each.  Yum!

What I’m Reading and Watching

Have a watch of this music video where the singer is photo-shopped in real time.  You’ll never look at magazine images the same again!

I’ve been wanting to read this book the moment I read the Amazon preview.  The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization by christian philosopher Vishal Mangalwadi.

And this one: Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothin.  Read the Amazon preview on this one too!

An article on ADHD that you’ll find interesting.  I’ve been reading this for years, and read a particularly great book by Phillip Day that said similar things.  

New Discoveries and Great Ideas

Food Matters TV is here!  Head over to their site and watch over 300 health and wellness videos on demand.  

How to Remineralise Your Teeth Naturally (an article at Wellness Mama):    And if this interests you, purchase Ramiel Nagel’s book ‘Cure Tooth Decay’ for extensive guidance on healing your teeth naturally.

On the Homeschool Front

We’re enjoying Supercharged Science at the moment, and I’ll be posting a review next week.  This week has been about minerals and genetics.  We love our Apologia Science. But I’ve found Supercharged Science has given us a fresh boost of inspiration and new knowledge and perspective that has breathed life into our homeschool.  Perhaps we’ll keep doing both for a while!

I found this a really great read from All About Spelling (the spelling curriculum we use) on Why Copywork Doesn’t Always Work’.    They also have this free ‘Phonogram Sound App’ for all 72 sounds taught in their spelling and reading programs.

Hidden Treasures (great reads in the blogosphere)

I love what Heather has written about learning the Word with her children, and also putting their efforts towards bible translation work: End Bible Poverty

A great read on what really matters: When You Can’t Give Your Kids Disneyland 

A few of my favourite things

I enjoyed this really neat music video of a couple’s bump to baby progress.  It had over a million views in 2 days.

This month I’ve been enjoying worship from the fantastic Josh and Amberley Klinkenburg, and All Sons and Daughters.  Josh and Ambs have released an EP called ‘Our Love’, which you can pick up on i-tunes.   And All Sons and Daughters have released a live album available on their site.

Have a listen – you’ll be blessed.

Quote of the Month

And finally, some brilliance from Bill Johnson of Bethel Redding:

“When our passion for God fails to find its expression in joy, it will often find expression in legalism.” Bill Johnson 

I hope you find some great things to read, watch and eat on this post.

Have a great week friends!


PS. Due to when the Review Crew due dates fall, you’ll be getting 3 days of nature study posts from me between 7th and 9th, then a science review on the 10th.  But then your inbox will have a 6 day break until the 16th.  I hope you don’t feel swamped!

This post contains affiliate links.

Looking Back and Looking Forward – 1000 Gifts

Looking back and looking forward

2013 was quite a memorable year.  We started the year with a few days holidaying with dear friends, and felt relaxed and full of hope for what lay ahead.  My word for the year: 2013 the year of joy.   I had my joy dares in hand, ready and eager to chronicle our joy gifts from the Father.

I quote this again, as it continues to speak life to my soul:

Joy is who God is.  Joy is the abiding atmosphere of heaven.  Joy is the expression of the kingdom here on earth. And therefore joy is an environment that we should be creating as a community and inhabiting on a personal level – in our homes, in our places of work, we can make those places like heaven. – Graham Cooke

Early February my precious family was hit with illness, husband included, and we negotiated our way through this for many months.  There were some scary nights in there, where I wondered if my children were going to take their next breath.  Those of you who’ve been through something similar know that it’s simply indescribable.

After this, I felt like I was running on a deficit for the remainder of the year, and still am to some extent.  Life continued to bring what it does for many, and didn’t wait for me to be ready – financial challenges, health challenges, relationship challenges, heart challenges.

Maintaining my place of joy became much more difficult than I could have ever anticipated.

But through it all, there were so many beautiful, wonderful, hope-filled, incredible moments.

There were lots of firsts for my youngest child, and even with our third, they are no less special and worthy of celebrating.

There were treasured moments with each of my children, where my eyes were opened to see more of who they are created to be.  Precious.  I love being at home with them.

There were some really enjoyable learning times, and crazy fun-filled moments in our homeschooling.

There was authentic connection with heaven, with the Father’s grace and mercy, and with the soft and loving sound of His voice.

There were those moments with my husband, where we sat looking at each other, completely spent, sometimes in utter disbelief at the most recent wave of challenge, but unspoken love passed between our eyes, as did the firm resolve to never give up on ‘us’.  We have been shaken, but our love runs deeper than ever.

There was one incredible friendship that shone brighter than my worst days, and remains one of the most treasured gifts that I’ve ever received from heaven.  I’m still floored that I’d be worthy of such a tender-hearted, giving, sweet, loving, beautiful friend.

So although the ‘joy journaling’ faded as the year wore on, the overall purpose did not die completely, as today I can remember with thankful heart some ‘big’ joy gifts.  I am blessed.

2014 holds much hope.  I wrote on this just the other day – my word for the year: Spring.

I have little expectation of what might happen in our circumstances.  But I know the Father is already there, and His grace will be sufficient for whatever we will face, whether it be abundant and overflowing, or challenging.

The joy journaling is back at the fore, and once again I have my joy dares printed and ready to go.

Can I encourage you to read my simple and short post on Journaling Joy Gifts, in the hope that you will feel inspired to join the community of joy-seekers?

Be blessed.  And thankful!


[You may also like to visit ‘A Holy Experience’ and read Ann’s Grace Plan for 2014].

My friends with The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew are also writing on ‘Looking Back at 2013’ this week.  Have a read of some of their posts and be encouraged [Live on 8th January].

looking-back-at-2013{Linked up at The Homeschool Post – January Blog and Tell}

From My Family To Yours

Merry  Christmas

As I write this on Christmas Eve, Shawn is finishing the last minute painting on the children’s Christmas gift, my eldest is playing the piano, the little ones are occupied with books and paper, dinner almost ready to serve, and I am feeling so incredibly overwhelmed by the Lord’s provision in our lives.  We are truly blessed.

Thank you for joining me here and for sharing in a part of our story.  I hope you’ve been blessed by something here this year. I appreciate you, and pray that Christmas 2013 will be a special and memorable time for you.

You will have noticed a few things have changed on my blog as of late:  the look and feel has changed a little, and I’ve also moved from a free site to a self-hosted one that will give me more freedom and enable my site to grow better (a huge thank you to my brother-in-law who rescued me during the migration!).  It might all look the same on the outside, but there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes of a website – I’m sure I’m completely over my head on the technical side of things sometimes!

In recent months I’ve started using affiliate links in some places, as I’d like to start earning some income to cover the cost of my website, and if anything extra comes in over and above, it will be a support to our family.  Thank you to those who have already used these – it’s a blessing to us.  My main motivation for writing here will remain simply to encourage and pass on the things in my journey that I hope will benefit others.

I’ll be taking a blogging break over the Christmas period, although I have a few posts ready to publish so I hope you’ll check in and have a read.  I look forward to being with you in this space again next year – I have some super things planned!

Blessings from our family to yours,


LUKE 1 – Mary’s Song

“My soul glorifies the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be merciful

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he promised our ancestors.”

Homeschool Blog Awards 2013

HSBA Vote for This Blog
The Homeschool Post have opened voting for their annual Homeschool Blog Awards.

Some very nice people have nominated me for Best Homemaking Blog.  Thank you. 🙂

The prizes are really amazing and include resources from Apologia, Sally Clarkson, Rosetta Stone and All About Learning Press.  Winning something would be such a blessing to our book-mad family!

If you’ve been blessed by something you’ve read here, please consider voting for ‘Homemaking With Heart ‘and sharing in your social media circles so others can too.  Voting runs from today until Monday 18th November.

Humble thanks from me!


The Art of Writing a Thank You Note

art of writing thank you notes

I used to be great at writing thank you notes and never missed an opportunity to send one.  In fact, sometimes I send a thank you for a thank you card received.  I love the opportunity to tell people how much they are appreciated and loved.

And then… enter the busyness of motherhood, hundreds of other things to get done today, and let’s not forget nowadays that a quick Facebook message to say thank you electronically seems to suffice.  I feel I’ve lost the art of writing thank you notes and messages of appreciation.  Perhaps you can relate?

So this is my next area of being intentional.  There’s nothing quite like a homemade thank you card, sometimes a small gift of appreciation, and some thoughtful words tucked away inside your card.

Here’s a random list of ideas for reviving the art of sending a thank you note.

  • Say thank you for anything, no matter how big or small – thank you for time given, a gift given, words given, love given, friendship given.
  • Send your note as soon as you can after receiving something.
  • Hand-write the words instead of typing it.
  • Use a calligraphy pen to write your words.
  • Say thank you, and why you’re thankful.  You might like to include what you intend to do with your gift, for example.
  • Be appropriate for your recipient – if it’s a business thank you, or someone you don’t know well, choose your words wisely.
  • Try not to exaggerate, but say enough to be specific and genuine.
  • Keep your words concise and don’t ramble.
  • Handmade cards and notes can be extra special – you could even re-use scraps and bits that would otherwise be thrown away (eg. paper dollies, cut-outs from old cards and magazines etc).
  • Model this with your children, and encourage them to write thank you notes for when they receive birthday gifts.
  • Don’t forget to actually send them!  As I write this, I have 2 cards ready to send with stamps on them, and one finished card that still needs an envelope.  I’m determined to see this through!

And now I must remember to follow through on all this myself!

Family History Projects for Children

family history projects for children

We love to incorporate family history throughout our homeschool learning.  You don’t have to wait until your children are writing essays or old enough to research online.  There are plenty of ways to bring family history into your learning and create a desire within your children to know their story.  In fact, I think starting young is ideal.

Here are a few ideas for that are suitable for younger children.

  • Story-telling:  Have a story-telling session and pass on stories of your own childhood and those you remember being told to you.  Children love stories, no matter how simple they may seem in the telling: camping trips, how their parents met, favourite places to visit as a child, stories of friendships, baking with Mum, what your childhood home was like, fixing a bike with your grandfather, how you became a Christian, and so forth.
  • Interview a family member: Choose an older family member to interview.  You might like to use Skype, letter writing, or e-mail if you can’t speak to your family member in person.  Have a list of questions ready to ask before interviewing them, and perhaps consider setting a length of time as well.  I did this with an older family member and used the questions in this journal, jotted the answers verbatim on scrap paper, and then carefully wrote her words neatly into the journal during my own time.  We did this over a series of conversations.
    You might like to ask permission to record them also.
  • Create a Family Record: If your child is writing competently, create a journal with them of different members of their family, both living and deceased.  Include vital information such as births, deaths, marriage, descendants, but also other information such as occupations, places of residence, and whatever interesting facts that can uncover through talking to you and other family members.  There are lots of family history record sheets online you can print off to record this information and add a photo or two (here’s a free one that we’ve used).
  • Write a Journal: Encourage your child to keep their own journal where they can record their thoughts and dreams, favourite things, friendships, prayers, and whatever else they would like to preserve in writing.
  • Timeline: Include family events on your timeline if you keep one (and consider keeping one if you haven’t!); be it births, marriages and deaths, religious events, immigration and naturalisation, military campaigns they were part of, and other important dates.  This makes for a fun exercise for your children to see what else was happening in the world at the time.
  • Geography: Map ancestral places of interest on a large markable map.  Trace the route(s) taken for your different family lines to arrive at the place your family now lives in.  Discuss how borders have changed for different countries.
  • Unit Study: Choose a topic to complete a unit study on, be it a person of interest, place, occupation, or historical period (to name a few).  I’ll post on this another time, as we’re about to start one on an ancestor.  You may like to choose a ancestor that you have plenty of information on, or simply someone who lived during an interesting period of history where you can look into their occupation, standard of living, and historical events taking place.
  • Visit a local historical place of interest: Take a field trip to visit a local historical place, even if it isn’t directly part of your family history.  You can still talk about what was happening in your family at the time, and also about the relevance to the local you now live in.
  • Visit your local library:  Look at old newspapers together.  Older children could undertake a specific project, such as what life was like 50 years ago, or how a particular occupation has changed (eg. building, baking or dairy-farming).
  • Art:  I’ll write on this one in depth another time.  But here’s a handful of ways to include art: photograph local historical landmarks; create a folder of newspaper front pages; make a collage of a family group which could include copies of photos and letters, and decorate with scrapbooking embellishments, newspaper scraps and drawings of heirlooms; make a large family tree poster with a giant tree in the centre and include ancestral relationships up the branches (include parents, grandparents, great grandparents).
  • Family Mealtime: Help your children create a meal that your ancestors might have eaten and include an accompanying lesson on mealtime etiquette.
    You might have a special cake recipe that’s been handed down. Or you could simply put together a meal that your ancestors are likely to have eaten – on a special occasion, my English grandparents enjoyed  roast beef with yorkshire puddings and gravy, and bread and butter pudding with custard for dessert.

 Do you have any ideas you’d like to add?

{You might also be interested in my other posts on Family History}



Happy First Anniversary to Homemaking with Heart

YoungChildsPlay Linda Young

Child’s Play at the Jersey Shore – watercolour by Linda Young

This week WordPress advised me that it’s been one year since I began this blog.

What a fun and rewarding journey it has been so far.  I’ve bumped into some fantastic people along the way.  Thank you to all those who have been following our family’s journey.  Thank you for your encouraging messages and comments.  I really appreciate the opportunity to offer what I have to others, in the hope that I can help and bless.

I thought I’d share some of my most popular posts to date.  I hope there’s something here that will bless you today.


Faith and Missions:

Health and Wellness:



Beautiful Mama Blog Award


I was very blessed to receive two nominations today for the ‘Beautiful Mama Blog Award’.  Thank you to both Ellie at New Creations Ministries and to Amanda of The Coers Family Blog.

The best thing about this is that I get to share with you all some of the neat women that have been a blessing to me and also to many others.  I hope you’ll take a moment to stop by and visit their blogs.

  • New Creation Ministries – Ellie has already been a wonderful encouragement to me.  She has a blog that records her journey in discovering biblical-based wellness, and shares with honesty and thoughtfulness.
  • The Coers Family Blog – Amanda is blogging about all things homemaking, including food, faith, homeschooling, parenting, and life with six children.  My favourite part of her blog is her thankfulness posts.

I have to share 3 things that I love about motherhood.

1)  I love discovering who my children are.  In the early years of motherhood, we found ourselves saying all the time ‘which one of us does she get that from?’ as though each trait was somehow found in one of us.  But now it’s rarely heard, as we have three very unique children, sometimes similar to us in various ways, but mostly they are completely their own little personalities.  I love the way they surprise me all the time with the things they say and do.

2)  I love the hope that comes with raising another generation who will make a differenceThis is something that I try and keep before me, as the daily tasks can seem overwhelming sometimes and I can lose sight of what we are really doing.  I’m raising children to change the world simply by being in it and being themselves.  I hope they will carry great capacity to love from the Father’s heart. Like Bill Johnson says, I pray that my ceiling will be their floor.

3)  I love cherishing each of my children and having them feel like they are each so incredible special and valued.  For us, this has meant intentional choices such as breastfeeding on demand, responding to their needs, not leaving our babies crying in their cots, prioritizing them and what matters to them, home educating them, listening to their cares and concerns, grace-based parenting, and pouring out my affection in as many ways as I can. I’m assuming at this time that they are all five of ‘The Five Love Languages’, so I don’t miss lavishing love on them in every way possible.

Here are my nominees for the Beautiful Mama Blog Award, a bunch of super ladies who have inspired and encouraged me in many ways already.   Thanks special ladies.

Please do the following things if you’d like to pass this fun blessing onto others:

  • Click the above award image, save it and use it in your post.
  • List 3 things you love about motherhood.
  • Nominate other deserving Mums; you may choose as many as you like. Be sure to make their day and let them know of the nomination.

Enjoy your children!