No Spend Month, Marriage, Menus, & Miscellany - Collage Friday

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January is no spend month in our house. What does this mean?

It means we're not spending unless it's a necessity or an otherwise planned expense. No eating out. No impulse buying. No buying books on Amazon (this is HARD!). No grabbing a Starbucks on the way to piano lessons (ouch - I usually do that).

So, this is me, brewing my own fancy coffee at home and taking it in the van to piano lessons. 

I've felt convicted since I returned home from Ecuador that we need to be more diligent with our money. I am so blessed to have a husband with a good job, good insurance, a nice home to live in, and a nice van to drive. We don't lack for anything, and after seeing so many precious children who DO - let's just say I haven't been sleeping so well at night. 

It's all about teaching my children to be thankful, good stewards of their blessings. 

When my good friend Melissa proposed the no spend month I jumped on board for her challenge. It's also fun that my friend Jen is joining us, too! As my husband said - there is never a good or "easy" month to do this, so why not start right now?

Now, I realize this next section wasn't part of the no spend challenge - but in my defense, we had this wedding scheduled for a long time.  :-)  

A Wedding To Remember

Last weekend we had a fun getaway. 

A sweet young lady from our church was getting married. I've always seen a lot of myself in this particular friend of ours... she loves music, went to college for music, and just reminds me of myself at that age. She used to help me with the Cherub Choir several years ago in our church.

We've enjoyed watching her grow and mature, and were so pleased to be able to attend her wedding. 

The weather was COLD. We snapped a picture of them from our hotel room before the ceremony. They were taking pictures in 30 degree weather. Brrr....

The ceremony was traditional - yet had a contemporary flair with they hymn sung. The bride processed to "It is Well With My Soul", and recessed to Copland's "Simple Gifts". Perfect. 

A friend and I remarked that we were so happy our kids got to see marriage between a man and a woman... a ceremony that incorporated the instructions for the wife to obey  her husband and for the husband to love his wife. There were so many nice touches. 

This was all about teaching my children what MARRIAGE is - what a GODLY marriage is.

It was also fun to enjoy an event like this with friends from church. Our church is an integral part of our lives, and I feel that I have been encouraged through this community to actively LIVE my faith.  

So - congratulations Andrew and Cherise. Thank you for including us in your day!


 Cold Weather Ensues

I'm sure we weren't as cold here as many parts of the nation, but getting down to 7 degrees in Atlanta surely was some sort of record! 

We did venture out one day (when all of the local schools were closed) on a field trip to the museum.

Did you see my post about that day? It was one where I realized homeschool is WORKING

We also played a lot of games, built a lot of LEGOS, and crafted.

I have to admit I am NOT a game player, but my husband is. The list of favorite games to play includes:


 I'm patting myself on the back right now - just to give you a visual image.

I haven't been great about cooking consistently and well the past few months. I vowed to myself in 2014 I would change that, and I'm using Plan to Eat to catalog my recipes and plan good meals for my family.

One thing I love about Plan to Eat is that you share recipes with friends. The Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini that I made was from a friend of mine on Plan to Eat. This soup is a winner! 

I also made a great BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta, and Avocado. Yum. 

Other goodies from the week included Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Salisbury Steak, and a Breakfast Casserole (which we had for dinner one night).

This is all about teaching my children to care for their families and to gather for dinner each night as a family.

Oh - don't you love the cute little sign I printed for my kitchen? These were free printables from The 36th Avenue

Reading Update

There's been a lot of reading going on here. Here's what each child is reading and what we are reading aloud:



SQUILT for Classical Conversations was released on Monday and will be on sale for $4.99 until Monday, at which time the price will go up. It is my prayer that this volume can help moms expand upon the musical selections in Cycle 2.

I am hard at work on Volume 3 - The Romantic Era. This era is full of so many great composers and HUGE works, so I'm anticipating it will be more involved that Volumes 1 and 2. It should be out by the end of the month.

If you aren't studying music in your homeschool, you might want to consider SQUILT. I've had a lot of notes from users telling me how much their children love the lessons and how the listening activities are making their children more acute observers of musical concepts. I LOVE this!


In the middle of all of this busyness of life my husband's company is going through a merger (lots of extra work), my mom begins radiation very soon, and my dad is facing a surgery at the same time. I realize that each day is a gift, and we aren't promised that life will be easy, but we know God is good, and He takes care of our every need. 

I'm thankful for the chance to come to this place each Friday and read so many encouraging words from all of you, and then visit your blogs and read about your weeks, too. It's my favorite time of the week.

I do hope you'll join me!  

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