Category Archives: Family

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

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.

Check!

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

2) Get Christmas pics done.

Check!

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.

Check!

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.

Check!

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