Category Archives: Family

Friday Finds and Favorites #67 Father’s Day 2017

Hello Friends!

It’s been a long hard week, but we have finally made it to Friday! *happy dance* I finally feel like I’m becoming adjusted to my new meds and am feeling excited after a really good session last night with my therapist. She is truly a God send! I can’t help, but feel proud of myself for learning to take better care of me. It’s been a tough couple of years, but I’ve learned so much and being kinder to myself is helping me to better serve those around me. <3

Father’s Day is a tough holiday for me. I won’t go into all that here because I’ve done so in the past. What I will say is that others need to be mindful that not everyone has a dad they are proud of for Father’s Day. Some people have lost their dads too soon or their dad may be distant. There are many factors to consider. (The same goes for Mother’s Day!)Β I’m very blessed to have a wonderful husband to celebrate on that day. I also feel honored to be treated as a daughter by my father-in-law and John’s step father. There is still a hole in my heart that cannot be filled, but I am grateful for the family God has given me.

We celebrated Father’s Day by going out to lunch at Firehouse Subs, followed by frozen yogurt, and a round of mini golf. It was so fun, but HOT! (I’m so NOT a summer person!)

 

  1. A reoccurring dream I have….I don’t really have reoccurring dreams. I have had dreams in the past that have freaked me out. These were dreams about people that I didn’t know and horrible things were happening. I often wonder if the people were real and if I was unable to help them. I know, it’s weird! My dreams are especially vivid now with the meds I’m on. This doesn’t help with sleep much. I’m having to learn which ones to take at specific time to help.
  2. Turn lemons into lemonade.Β This is a phrase that is used often and it makes me laugh now because acid is terrible for my bladder. Lemons and lemonade would feel like battery acid to me now. I guess my phrase now would be “Turn lemons into blueberries.” πŸ˜‰
  3. Meal planning has been driving me crazy! BUT I’m learning a lot from Real Plans and am excited about finding new recipes to try and the convenience of the service mostly building my shopping list for me. πŸ™‚ More on that later!
  4. Lately, I have been watching too much tv. I fall into this pattern when I’m feeling bad/feeling depressed. I really want to get back into reading more. Last night, I turned the tv off and read for about an hour before bed. It was nice!

Now it’s your turn, friends! Link up your favorite posts of the week below! Please feel free to comment with your answers to the Friendly Fill-in’s. I would love to hear from you. Grab a button! (Optional) Also don’t forget that we are still looking for ONE more co-host to join our team! If interested, be sure to contact one of the hosts!

 



Wishing everyone a safe and fun weekend! Stay cool! πŸ˜‰

<3 Anna

Friday Finds and Favorites #66

Hello Friends!

Last weekend, we had a quick GA visit to celebrate Karson’s birthday. We arrived at the tail end of the party thanks to some very bad directions, but we made it! It was fun telling Karson that he had one more present to open. πŸ˜‰

My TWO Year old nephew and his beautiful momma!

After the party festivities ended, we decided to take a trip to the lake for an afternoon of water fun!

My little fish. I’m proud of how well he did. He is much braver with water than he was last year.

Karson saw some people “burying” each other in the sand and he decided he wanted to try it too. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mermaid Miya! <3

This week I have some really awesome episodes for my podcast play list. Be sure to check them out in the links below!

Podcast Play List

These four podcast episodes are all from the NEW season of Invisibilia. If you don’t currently listen to Invisibilia this is a great season to start. They are doing a new project this season and it’s unlike anything they’ve down before!

The first episode of the season is Emotions pt. 1, this episode will pull at your heart strings as it shares the story of a family who was in a car accident. The family loses their child and ends up being sued by the truck driver who was also involved in the incident.

Emotions pt. 2 shares the discovery of a new emotion and how a young woman learns about her emotions on a first date.

Reality pt. 1 This episode deals with perception. In the small town of Eagle’s Nest Township, some of the locals believe that black bears are gentle and even feed bears from their own mouths, while others are fearful. Should the locals be afraid or are they overreacting?

Reality pt. 2 In this episode, a man name Max creates an intriguing app that allows him to learn about local events from random locations. This experiment helps him to get out of his own bubble.

Friendly Fill-In’s

1)I challenge everyone to step out of your bubble this week. Shake up your routine and meet new people with interests different than your own. We can learn so much from one another.

2) I regret disposing of nothing. Maybe it’s because I’m on a minimalist/downsizing kick, but I only feel freer when I get rid of stuff.

3)I have a difficult time admitting when I need others to lean on. Usually, if I get quiet and begin isolating myself—I’m dealing with hard stuff and need others to step in. The problem is that I’m not brave enough to say that I need my friends in those times. I usually end up inadvertently pushing people away because I don’t want to be a burden. :/

4) If I were given a psychic power, I would like it to be more trusting of my own inner intuition as well. I’ve always felt sensitive to people and situations.

That’s all, folks! It’s your turn! Link up your favorite memories and finds this week. Grab a button (optional!) and check out the Friendly Fill-In’s Hop as well. Also don’t forget that we are looking for one more amazing co-host to join our team. ❀ Contact one of the hosts for more info!



Final Thought:
This weekend is Father’s Day. I’m looking forward to spending this day with my amazing husband who is a wonderful father to our son. I don’t have a father to celebrate and my great grandfather (who is the closest person I had to a father passed away August 1, 2012), this leaves me with a hurting heart for those of us who don’t have fathers to celebrate. I think things are a little easier because I have the joy and privilege of seeing my husband with our son, but my heart still longs for a Dad that cares. I will never know the love of being a daddy’s girl. All this to say that, I understand the pain of this day. Sometimes certain holidays can be a painful reminder of what we don’t have, but I hope that those like me can find a way to enjoy the day even if that means staying away from social media. Self care is so important. Maybe this year can be the year that you create a new tradition. ❀ ❀ ❀

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!
❀ Anna

D’s Rainbow Koala Krate

Hey guys!

Today, I’m excited to share with you all D’s latest Koala Krate! D loves getting mail, so a monthly subscription box from Nana was a wonderful idea. He gets so excited when these packages come and if I let him he would do each project all in one day! πŸ˜‰

This month, D’s Koala Krate was Rainbow themed. Each crate includes materials for three projects (with instructions on how to complete each), and a magazine to expand on these projects. D and I have one last project to complete on this box. Later, today, we will make rainbow crayons. Stay tuned for pics!

In this box we made:

Stained “Glass” Art

This is proof mama isn’t getting enough sleep. He is holding the art work upside down and he put the shapes on the wrong side. :/

And there’s always time for a silly face pic!

Rainbow Dyed Tote Bag

He loved pretending to put out fires on the squares with the water dripper.

The finished bag!

Rainbow Cloud Pillow

As you can see, all of the projects are geared towards 3 to 4 year olds. (D will be 5 in September, so we won’t have too much longer with this age bracket.) The projects required minimal adult supervision.

Switching gears, You probably noticed in the background of these pics our ginormous and outdated entertainment system. I’m happy to say that over the weekend we got rid of it and re-purposed a book shelf we were no longer using. Β I’m so much happier with the new look and sometimes less really is more! <3

New living room set up! (We got rid of old entertainment center–it was ginormous! And re-purposed this old book shelf.We switched tvs and big tv is in our room and smaller is downstairs now.) We need to wrangle the cords and get a couple of dvd holders, but I’m loving the new look! Less is more! <3

Do you get subscription services for your kiddo(s)? What are you currently using? What is a small change that you can make in your home today to bring some happiness there?

<3 Anna

Celebrating Easter 2017

Hello Friends!

I know I say this often, but this year is flying by! In light of that, I didn’t do much of a countdown to Easter this year. Instead, we read books and we bought An Easter CarolΒ Β to watch after our church service. I did find two really cute ideas that I will be looking into for next year though. πŸ˜‰

One thing, I really love about our church is that on holidays we don’t necessarily hear a sermon about the resurrection or Christ’s birth, but it always relates back to the topic or we are reminded of God’s unconditional love for us. It’s refreshing to have sermons that breathe life into you. I’m so thankful for our church home. <3

After our Easter service, we had an egg drop on the baseball field behind the school. (Our church services take place in the school building, but we have had so much growth that we will soon have 2 service times. Easter was the kickoff for this, but we won’t officially start the two service times until some time this fall. This is our next step before getting our own building.) This was also the first year that D was able to be present for the Helicopter Egg Drop, to say he was excited would be the biggest understatement of the year thus far. πŸ˜‰

He looks waaaay tooo grown up here. :’)

Helicopter egg drop!

Cheese with the sun in his eyes., ;)(

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, it was a little warm, but not miserably so. D got plenty of eggs and we were able to enjoy the remainder of the day remembering God’s love and promises for our lives.

I was just working on Friday’s post and I realized that with all the pictures and the Friendly Fill-in’s hop that I’m now participating in…It’s just too much for one post. So I’ve decided to do my Podcast list on Wednesdays from now on. (I’ll add my Wednesday links to the hop for those who enjoy seeing the podcast list. ;))

Podcast Play List

1) Code Switch, Sanctuary Churches

This post is about sanctuary churches and how hundreds of churches are choosing to provide refuge to illegal immigrants.

It was interesting hearing the different perspectives on this topic. This is a great episode if you want to learn more about this idea.

2) Snap Judgement, Personal Jesus

This episode sounds like a piece of local folklore, but it’s very interesting! There was once a man called the North Pond Hermit. He lived without any human contact for 30 years! (Can you imagine?!) This episode follows the mystery man and the only man who was able to get an exclusive interview with him.

3,4) Radiolab, Shots Fired Pt. 1 & 2

In the first episode, you will learn about statistics and cases of police involved shootings in the state of Florida.

In the final episode, you will hear about a police encounter gone horribly wrong and how miscommunication/lack of communication can have deadly consequences.

These were very powerful episodes. Though, I did not know my grandfather he was a deputy sheriff of the small town I grew up in. He was a good man and I’m sure had to deal with some alarming circumstances. I also think that everyone should have a right to get home or to be jailed instead of being killed. (Although, I’ll be honest—I have had misgivings about prisons for quite a while. (Then I read Incarceration Nation and it opened up my eyes even more!)

5) Snap Judgement, Born Identity

What if everything you knew about your identity was false? This happened to the young man in this episode. Brando Skyhorse was raised to believe that he was Native American. He later found out that his mother was so desperate for him to have Native American roots that she would stop at nothing to keep the truth from him, even lie.

I found the mother went to great lengths to keep this secret from her son. She even had a native american man pose as Brando’s father. It was only until many years later that he discovered that his father was actually a Mexican man who abandoned their family when he was very small.

 

Do you listen to podcasts? Any recs.? Do you celebrate Easter? If so, how do you celebrate? If not, do you celebrate spring?

<3 Anna

Sleepover at Nonna and Papa’s House

Hello Friends!

In March, we went to Virginia and had a fun visit with Nonna (John’s mom) and Papa (John’s step dad). We were very excited to learn that Michael and Abby were also coming up the same weekend! It’s rare for most families to be able to coordinate schedules, so this was a very nice surprise!

We spent the weekend eating great food, catching up, and playing games like Uno. πŸ™‚ Here’s a few pics, I snapped on the visit.

Sweet Cousins

Flowers from Abby <3

Aunt and Niece Selfie

An Abby in the Box

Abby is such a good artist!

Morning Snuggles!

Weekends like this remind you of how precious time really is. I’m so glad that we got this time together and I look forward to our next visit. <3

What activities do you like to do with the grandparents?

<3 Anna

 

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