Category Archives: Family

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 11: Fire, Whales, and a Whole Lotta Jesus!

Hello Friends!

Today, I’m sharing the last HH post of 2016. I’m combining the last three lessons into one condensed post! This way I won’t be behind on sharing each week. πŸ˜‰

This lesson covers:

F is for Fire, W is for Whale, and J is for Jesus.

We reviewed the numbers 6-9.

Here are just a few activities that we did for these lessons:

Fire truck snack

Fire experiment

Making Shepherd’s soup!

A multi-purpose activity!

What are you working on this week?

<3 Anna

Saying Farewell to 2016!

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your families had a great Christmas! I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year! Today, I want to share my last post of 2016 activities. 2016 wasn’t a great year, but I’m happy that we were able to end it on a good foot.

On Christmas Eve, we had a lunch of Cornish Game hens, homemade macaroni and cheese, rolls, and brussel sprouts with bacon. I worked on lots of baking for the holidays and we enjoyed watching Christmas movies as well. Every Christmas Eve, we open one present which contains new pjs and comfy socks or slippers. We had peanut butter cookies for dessert. Yum!

We also had a hot cocoa bar. (We started this tradition last Christmas.)

Christmas Eve hot cocoa bar.

My sweet bug! <3

Christmas Morning is always exciting in the Leviner household and many households with littles. πŸ˜‰ Declan was very eager to see his Christmas gifts. He received several books, two new movies, a Dr’s unform/kit, a trumpet, a music play mat, and Legos. He also received many goodies in his stocking. Stockings have always been my favorite. πŸ˜‰

Christmas morning excitement!

Declan wasn’t the only one excited that morning! Sophie loves Christmas and loves receiving goodies in her stocking. Sasha also received a scratching post and two containers of kitty snacks. πŸ™‚ (She just isn’t a fan of getting her picture taken. ;))

Christmas morning with my loves!

Dr. Declan was on call.

We ended the day with a delicious Tri-colore Pork loin with apples and potatoes and Patti Sweet Potato pie. (Be sure to go to Walmart and get one next year! They are so good and taste like you made them from scratch! ;))

Our church had our Christmas service the Friday before Christmas on Christmas Eve Eve. It was a beautiful message reminding us of God’s love for us and messages from our church always remind me that we are the hands and feet of Christ and that we can be used by God for a much higher purpose. We need only to listen and be a willing vessel.

The next morning, we left for VA and had Christmas with John’s extended family the first night. We had a dirty Santa exchange and I got a beautiful picture frame (Much needed!) and a gift card. John received a nice thermos set. I’m sad that I didn’t get any pictures during our visit with John’s Dad and stepmom. My phone was very dead during that time and service is terrible in that area. :/ We enjoyed quality time with family, many tasty meals, and wonderful gifts. I received some cozy socks and new necklace and Declan got a fun dinosaur, movie, and nightly devotional from his Granddaddy and Grammy. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember what John received.

On Wednesday, we headed to John’s mom and stepdad’s house. We met the Hershman crew at a very busy Chic fil a for lunch. It was so great to see them and catch up. We are hopeful that we will see them again later this year! The kiddos had a blast on the play place. Declan didn’t want to leave, hence, his face in this pic. πŸ˜€

Nonna and Papa gave Declan a Peanuts comforter set, workbooks, a Brain Quest phonics book, a Jake book, and a new Thomas movie. I received several beautiful jewelry pieces and John received a Legos set to play with D and new shirts.

We had a great visit! We played Uno, watched movies, and just enjoyed time together. John’s friend Dean joined us for some of the festivities. Did I say it was a great visit?! πŸ˜‰

My boy

D playing in the leaves.

On our last morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground and we were able to see snow flurries. There is just something so peaceful about watching snow fall. I’m thankful I was given some peaceful moments to sit and watch. Declan was hoping the snow would stick, but sadly, it did not. He decided to improvise and play in the great leaves in Nonna and Papa’s yard.

Sophie had a blast playing in the leaves too!

We love our VA family so much and was so thankful to see everyone! We missed seeing Michael, Rebecca, and our beautiful niece, Abby. Β (As always, we missed sweet Oron.)

Declan’s thoughts on the New Year.

We arrived home on New Year’s Eve. Poor D was so tired that he fell asleep just before 7:30 and didn’t wake up until the next morning! John and I enjoyed good food and a classic New Year’s Frasier episode. We went to bed around 10:30/11:00 because we are old and tired. We woke at 1:00 am because Sasha was crying wanting to get into our bedroom where she is prohibited. We shared a belated New Year’s kiss and went back to bed.

How was your Christmas? Holidays? New Years? Sound off in the comments below. I always love hearing from my readers. πŸ™‚

<3 Anna

New Year. New Word. January Goals 2017.

Hello Friends!

This year I thought that choosing a word for the year would be a tough decision, but it wasn’t really that difficult. This is a word that I need to give myself more of in the new year. Grace. GraceΒ is such a beautiful word. My favorite song has always been Amazing Grace. I want to do better at giving myself grace and extending grace to others. I have high hopes for the new year, but I’ll need a lot of grace to accomplish and push forward on the hard days. My health will present challenges and will try to push me down, but I will always remember to get up because of Grace. Each day I pray for grace to parent my son and grace to get through the day ahead. Some days that looks like me accomplishing so many things and others it looks like me accomplishing one or two small things and then curling up in the bed with my heating pad. Regardless of what each day looks like, I’ll have grace to accomplish what I can and I’ll learn to find joy in each day no matter what my to-do list looks like.

  1. Do the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017.

I heard about the Read Harder Challenge at the tail end of 2016 and was bummed that I hadn’t heard about it sooner. I knew that I must participate for the 2017 year. This challenge is so great because it encourages readers to choose books in different categories that you wouldn’t otherwise read. Once the challenge is posted I’ll add the graphic here and I hope you all will join me! πŸ™‚

2. Begin volunteering with local retirement community.

I began correspondence with a retirement facility near my home. I’m hoping to hear back from the volunteer coordinator soon. (This goal is part of a much bigger goal that I’m really excited to share about very soon!)

3. Β Begin incorporating yin yoga and other stretches into my lifestyle as I work towards solutions to help with my muscle tension.

I was very happy to discover a set of stretches that I can do every day (even on my bad days). I’m now ready to add exercise back to my life and have heard wonderful things about Yin Yoga. I also recently discovered a kid friendly yoga channel that I’m very eager to try with D. He loves watching me do my stretches and often tries to imitate, so I know he is ready for this! πŸ˜‰

4.Β I think I’ve mentioned this one before, but I’ll be revealing a new addition to the blog very soon. I don’t want to give too much away, but Etsy Shop is a clue. πŸ˜‰ I’m looking forward to going LIVE with this later this month.Β 

So those are my goals for the new year. I hope that your final days of 2016 were filled with wonderful memories and that you are pumped for the new year! I’ll be sharing our Christmas post on Wednesday so stay tuned!

What is your word for 2017? What are your goals for January? How will you achieve your goals? Do you feel that having a word makes things less overwhelming?

<3 Anna

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 10: K is for King David and King Soloman

Hello all!

It’s been a little harder staying the in the groove with the holidays on the way, but it helps to just work around them and being flexible is key! ***Hopefully, this problem before this post goes live, but I was unable to upload pics for this post. πŸ™ ***

This week we focused on:

Theme: “K” is for King David and King Soloman

Letter: K

Number: 5

Day 1

Read about King David.

D worked on his Christmas Sticker book.

Teach K sound.

Look for #5.

Day 2

Read King David Psalms.

Add #5 to number line.

ReadΒ Dick and JaneΒ books. My grandmother purchased two Dick and Jane collection sets for D. These books are great for beginning readers.

D began his new chore chart this week! It has worked very well so far! He enjoys earning money to spend when we visit The Dollar Tree. πŸ˜‰

Day 3

Read King Soloman.

Review Letter K.

We made patterns with jewels.

Day 4

Read the story of Elijah.

We brainstormed rhyming words with King.

We added K to the treasure map.

We continued working on our Christmas cards for the grandparents.

The curriculum that we use only goes through Thursday, so Friday is more of a laid back day. We usually read through a Highlights magazine and do some pages in our Brain Quest Workbook. ?

What are you and your kiddo(s) working on this week?

<3 Anna

Remembering to Give Back during this Season and Beyond! :)

Hello Friends!

This is such a wonderful time of the year! It’s a time of gratitude and remembering to give back. This is one of my favorite posts to write each year because I think it’s so very important to get our kiddo(s) involved as early as possible. Each year that passes, D is able to participate even more than the previous year and it’s exciting to watch him learn and understand the importance of giving to others.

The following are just a few ideas of how you and your family can give back this holiday season:

  1. Operation Christmas Child (This has already happened, but there is always next year!)
  2. Donate to your local library.
  3. Donate to your local Humane Society.
  4. Make cookies for your neighbors and mail man.
  5. Put money in the red kettle for the Salvation Army bucket.
  6. Sing Christmas carols at your local retirement home.
  7. Leave $ in Dollar Tree toy aisle to brighten a kiddo(s) day!
  8. Buy new coloring books and crayons for hospital or doctor’s waiting room.
  9. Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  10. Serve at a soup kitchen at Christmas.

This is all wonderful, but what about the other days of the year? Why limit this to one specific time of year. D and I found this wonderful idea and it’s a great reminder to remember others throughout the year!

We decorated a box on St. Nicholas Day. This box is to remind D to remember to be giving no matter what day of the year it is. It really touched my heart when he immediately ran to his room and added his Chic-fil-a cow to the box. <3

What are you doing to remind your little(s) that it is better to give than it is to receive?

<3 Anna

Merry Christmas 2016!

Hello Friends!

I’m so excited to share our pictures from our Christmas/D’s 4 year photo shoot today! These pictures were taken by Karlee Kirby. (You can learn more about her and her budding photography business here!)

Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stay tuned for the last three posts of the year!!!

<3 Anna

Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 9: R is for Rock (David & Goliath)

Hello Friends!

We are very excited about the Christmas season and have so many fun activities planned!!! (You can check out all of our adventures on our IG account.) We will continue to do our lessons each week and then take a break for Christmas. So be sure to grab your favorite beverage and stay tuned each Wednesday for our HH posts! πŸ™‚ Β I didn’t get pics this week…whoops! :/

This week we focused on:

Theme: R is for Rock (David and Goliath)

Letter: r

Number: 4

Day 1

We read the story of David and Goliath.

We made a paper plate face of Goliath and stood on step stool to get an idea of how tall Goliath was.

We learned the letter sound for R.

We looked for the #4.

We learned how to sort silverware.

Day 2

We re-read the story of David and Goliath.

We gathered pom poms for the pouch.

We learned how to play rock, paper, scissors.

We add the #4 to the number line.

D reviewed how to unload dishwasher.

Day 3

We reviewed the story and used the pom poms and pouch to illustrate the story.

We learned to count by 5s and 10s. (This will be some that we continue to work on.)

We highlighted the letter “r” in a newspaper clipping.

Day 4

We added the R map piece to our map.

The curriculum that we use only goes through Thursday, so Friday is more of a laid back day. We usually read through a Highlights magazine and do some pages in our Brain Quest Workbook.

We didn’t get to the library this week, but I will return with our library picks once we fit in our next visit!

Resources from these lessons:

Homeschooling Curriculum

What are you and your kiddo(s) working on this week? Share in the comments below!

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #54 (December Goals)

Hello Friends!

I can’t believe we are at the end of the year. It seems time continues to fly! I’m happy to report that most of my goals were accomplished for the month of November. Let’s check out my progress first and then it’s on to December goals!

Last Month's

1) Finish purchasing gifts for GA Christmas.


We celebrated Christmas with our GA family over the long Thanksgiving weekend. All presents were accounted for! πŸ˜‰

2) Get Christmas pics done.


We also took care of this over the Thanksgiving break.

3) Get Cards ordered and sent out by the first week of December.

My plan was to get these pics done and have cards ordered. (I’m writing this on November 22.) So I know the pics will be done, but I’m not sure what we have worked out for the cards yet.

Half Credit! πŸ˜‰

4) Plan Thanksgiving menu.


I decided to have a White Lazy Day Lasagna on Thanksgiving Eve. πŸ˜‰ D and I had a baking day earlier that day and made apple pie, pumpkin pie, and gingerbread cookies. Yum!

5) Develop and implement self care plans.


I don’t always stick to everything on the list, but I’m using it as a guide and learning to take better care of myself. πŸ™‚

December Goals

1) I’m hoping to finish my Christmas shopping by December 11. (The sooner the better!)

I truly want to just enjoy the holiday season and be able to remember what the true meaning is behind it.

2) Read The Mistletoe Promise

I started a tradition back in 2015 of choosing a fun Christmasy read for December. I like to find a warm fuzzy cheesy read or a lovely Christmas mystery. I’m looking forward to diving into this book. <3

Β 3) Complete and Share Christmas Countdown list!

You can follow our journey on Instagram!Β 

Day 1 Make cards for Grandparents.

Day 2Β Gather food to donate to Food Bank at Church.

Day 3Β Put $$ in Salvation Army Bucket.

Day 4Β Free hugs!

Dec 5Β Make Christmas Centerpiece(s).Β (I’m not sure we will do this exact thing, but great link for inspiration.)

Dec 6 Learn about St. Nicholas

Dec 7Β Make colored ice sculptures.

Dec 8Β Make gifts for church friends.

Dec 9 Donate meals to No Kid Hungry.

Dec 10Β Gather and donate books to the library.

Dec 11 Gather clothes for donation to those in need.

Dec 12 Buy socks, beanies, mittens for the homeless.

Dec 13Β Make blessing bags for the homeless.

Dec 14 Buy new coloring books and crayons for doctor’s waiting room area.

Dec 15 Make gingerbread house.

Dec 16 Make salt dough ornaments.

Dec 17 Pick up litter in neighborhood.

Dec 18Β Leave $1 bills in Dollar Tree toy section.

Dec 19 Make cookies for neighbors and mailmen.

Dec 20 Make bags for people who work on Christmas.

Dec 21 Go see Christmas lights.

Dec 22 Have a dinner picnic next to the Christmas tree.

Dec 23 Gather and donate toys.

Dec 24Β Let’s shop for homeless puppies and kitties.

*Bonus* Bake cookies and read Twas the Night Before Christmas.

4) Plan Christmas menu and items to bring to VA Christmas.

I’m super excited about Christmas food planning. I’m a total foodie, so I enjoy watching the Food Network and scrolling Pinterest for great recipes. This will be fun! πŸ™‚

So what are you working on this month? How does the holidays effect your goal setting? Don’t forget to grab a button (optional) and link up below!




<3 Anna

Giving Thanks 2016 and Homeschooling Happenings! Lesson 8: Thanksgiving Unit!

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was such a fun weekend for us. I’ll be sharing more on that later in this post, but first, our Thanksgiving unit!

This week we focused on:

Theme: Teaching Thankfulness

Day 1

We read about Jesus cleansing 10 Lepers.


We made Thanksgiving meals with paper plates and food cut out from sales paper.

We worked on tracing and counting with Thanksgiving inspired worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

We discussed visiting relatives and appropriate greetings. I encouraged him to remember body autonomy and that he doesn’t have to give hugs or kisses. He can give high fives, fist bumps, wave, etc.

Day 2

We discussed the Psalms of David.


We made hand turkeys.


We worked on counting with a graph and matched colors with pies. πŸ˜‰


We also worked on patterns.


Day 3

We read about Paul’s Thanksgiving for his Friends.


We made Thanksgiving finger puppets.


We made a turkey and did a few coloring sheets.

D helped mommy bake and prep for Turkey Day!

What did you and your kiddo(s) do for Thanksgiving week?

So Thanksgiving was craziness, but so much fun! We headed down to GA Thanksgiving day to enjoy a wonderful meal with our Ga family at my great-grandmother’s house.


Sweet babies watching the 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade!

I didn’t get a lot of pictures this year. My family has tagged me in a ton on my FB page if you are curious. πŸ˜‰ It was nice to just be in the moment, though I’ll admit it wasn’t an intentional decision. πŸ˜‰


My boys <3

On Friday, we had Christmas breakfast and exchanged gifts with my Great Grandmother and Grandmother. Later that day, we dropped D off with his Aunt Jessica and he, Karson, and Miya had a sleepover there. John and I got most of D’s Christmas shopping done. I had to order his toy trumpet and books online for Cyber Monday. It feels great to almost be done with my Christmas shopping! πŸ™‚


On Saturday, we went to pick up Miya and Declan from Jessi’s and then had pizza for lunch before getting read to go to a nearby park for our Christmas pics. We had so much getting our pictures done. I’m excited to get our CD in the mail. My eyeballs will be on the mailbox for whole week. πŸ˜‰ After we finished up at the park, we headed to Matt and Danielle’s house (great friends who live in the area) and enjoyed visiting with them and their sweet boy. I can’t believe their little guy, Levi, is crawling now! We then met up with my mom and sisters at Cracker Barrel Β for our family Christmas dinner and then dessert and gift swap followed. We played games late into the night until the kiddos got restless. It was a great night. It ended too quickly!

On Sunday, we got up early and left around 9ish. We made a pit stop in Greenville to have lunch with our besties. It was great catching up with them and stretching our legs for a bit. We then made the long trek home and were reunited with Sasha.


***Update*** Karlee is the winner of our Where Jesus Slept Book giveaway! Congrats, girl! πŸ™‚

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory? Sound off in the comments below! I always love getting comments. πŸ™‚

<3 Anna

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (November Edition)

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I’ll be sharing my post on Wednesday, so be sure to stay tuned! This year has gone by so quickly, I feel like I had my surgery in October and I’ve been struggling to keep up ever since. :/ It’s a good lesson in letting things go and making the most of your time. <3

The Good

We have a new addition to our family!

Meet Sasha!

Meet Sasha!

Sasha followed us home just before Halloween. Declan and I were going on our daily walk around the neighborhood and I heard this little mew. She followed us all the way home and we searched for her owners. No one claimed her and we didn’t have the heart to turn her away. So she is now ours. I tell people when sharing her story that she found us. Cat hair is usually a problem for me, but benadryl and keeping the floor vacuumed seems to be keeping that issue down.

Declan absolutely loves Sasha. He loves having a little sister to boss around. ;)

Declan absolutely loves Sasha. He loves having a little sister to boss around. πŸ˜‰

Sasha misses her daddy while he is away, so she loves to snuggle with his slippers and socks.

Sasha misses her daddy while he is away, so she loves to snuggle with his slippers and socks.

Caught mid-meow!

Caught mid-meow!

We've been busy with our God's Little Explorers Curriculum!

We’ve been busy with our God’s Little Explorers Curriculum!

Playing on the computer at the library.

Playing on the computer at the library.

He made me a heart. <3

He made me a heart. <3

Washing windows

Washing windows

He was sad because he couldn't take his toys to Nana's house.

He was sad because he couldn’t take his toys to Nana’s house.

D helped mommy clean his play space.

D helped mommy clean his play space.

D watching tv with mommy.

D watching tv with mommy.

She knows she isn't allowed on the table. I caught her bird watching. ;)

She knows she isn’t allowed on the table. I caught her bird watching. πŸ˜‰

The Bad

As I said before, time is a sneaky thing! I’m still playing catch up!

I also haven’t been reading as much. I’m currently actively trying to get back on track. I enjoy reading too much to slack on that!

The Ugly

The surgery hasn’t helped much at all. I’ll be heading back to the doctor for a check up soon. I hope that she will have some better suggestions for me. :/

Share your Good, Bad, and Ugly moments from this month! Sound off below!

<3 Anna