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Here’s to ’22!

Honestly, I really didn’t have any goals set for this year for a while. I had some ideas of some things I would like to do, and I kind of jotted them down. When I started typing this post, I decided to categorize them by the areas of focus in my life. That actually helped me to add a few to the list. Some of these things are just things that are kind of always my focus and priority so it’s kind of odd for me to add them to the list year after year… but for the sake of being well-rounded, I went ahead and added them here as well. 

I am going to keep the list simple this year, and I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details of how I’m actually working on each of these things. They are all different in their own ways, and I have various ways of tracking and working on each one. If you have any questions, though, I’d be happy to answer! 

Here are my Goals for 2022:

Spiritual Goals
Continue Bible Roadtrip with the kids, while reading the same chapters on my own, and listening to the Bible Recap podcast episodes that go along with them.
Continue praying scriptures over the kids at bedtime.

Marriage Goals
Attend our church’s marriage retreat this Spring.

Parenting Goals
Plan intentional family outings as much as our budget allows us to.

Financial Goals
Become fully debt-free by the end of this year.
Save up to get my wedding bands resized. (Why does it cost so much?!)
Save up for a family vacation.
Save up for ScoliSmart Bootcamp.

Health Goals
Try a new adaptogen every few months.
Do the things healthy people do.

Personal Development Goals
Read 6-12 books.
Organize, save, or print my phone’s photos & screenshots.

Leisure Goals
Be a good plant mama.
Water-color, doodle, and sticker-up my planner pages.
Go thrifting whenever I need a break from the house.

Ministry & Outreach Goals
Establish my group of Yes, Sisters and Cultivate those Relationships.

Work Goals
Work my business, as unto the Lord.

Home Goals
Purchase outdoor dining chairs for our table we’ve redone for the backyard.
Purchase a coffee table & set of matching chairs for the living room
Purchase barstools for the bar in the sunroom off the kitchen.


And for my word of the year…

I’m going with the word Centered

centered: well-balanced , confident, & serene 

I want to be centered… Centered and focused on what really matters! It’s always a goal of mine to live a balanced life. Juggling all of the many responsibilities that are on my plate is all part of my job description. I give myself grace as much as it’s needed, but I do think it’s up to me to learn how to manage the things in my life well. God has given me all of the things I need to be successful, and I just don’t want to be a hot mess mama. That’s never my intention, and I don’t want to make jokes or make light of this very important role that God has given me that I’m very grateful for. And of course, I want to be serene… calm, at peace, and I know that I can be at peace even if life can sometimes seem a little messy and chaotic. I have supernatural peace of Jesus that allows me to experience this serene life 24/7.

These are a Few of my Favorite Things (2021 Amazon Purchases)

I love sharing things that I’ve found to be useful with you guys, so I went back through my Amazon orders for all of 2021 and have listed them for you here, by category. You can see what the products look like and underneath the photos, I’m sharing with you how I’m using them. I hope you enjoy it and get some good ideas for organizing your home or maybe even some gifts or products you might love too!

**This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

Kitchen Organization


Floating Shelf with Paper Towel Bar or Utility Hooks – Keeping the counters in my small kitchen as clear as possible is important to me because I need all the work space I can get. I utilize wall space whenever possible, and this is one of the products that helps me do that well. This little shelf holds my everyday cooking & prepping essentials (Oils, Spray, Salt & Pepper, and our Butter Dish) We aren’t using the hooks that are shown in the picture, but that is one way it could also be used. We actually just use the bar for our paper towel roll so it’s easily accessible, but off the counter as well.
mDesign Plastic Storage Bins – I actually use these all over the house, but I have one in my fridge that I like to fill with fresh produce and a couple in my pantry to organize things there too.
Extra Large Tall Food Storage – I like to buy baking ingredients in bulk from Sam’s, (especially during all of my holiday baking) and these extra large bins are perfect for that. They are the perfect size if you like to buy in bulk, like me.
Magnetic Knife Holder, Ouddy 16 inch – Again, using my vertical space and keeping counters clear… I’m now using this instead of my knife block, and I love it!
Zevro/Gat200 Indensable Dry Food – While I love the look of this and how it does make it easier for kids to get their own cereal, it is pretty tall. It does fit perfectly on my counter, beneath the upper cabinets, but I’d really rather keep my counter-tops clear. It also needs to be low enough to be accessible for the kids, so that’s been an issue for me to find. It’s great, but I haven’t found a place for it that I really love just yet, to be honest. Give me that beautiful, dreamy pantry though…. and I think it would be just perfect!
mDesign Large Plastic Standing Can Organizers – I bought the large set of these because I also like to buy canned items in bulk when I can. Ideally, these would be organized by type of food like “Diced Tomatoes in one, Green beans in another, etc. but sometimes it ends up being a little more mixed together than that, depending on what we have in stock.
Over the Sink Dish Drying Rack – Hands down, this is my favorite thing I’ve bought this year for organization! It makes me want to hand wash all my dishes, seriously, because there’s a place for them all when I’m done. Vertical storage for the win again! I did add my own little bin from Ikea for utensils that I keep right on the sink ledge, but other than that, it’s been absolutely perfect. I don’t even feel like I need to put some dishes away because it always looks nice, and I can just grab them from here when I need them. If I had a small family and not as many dishes, I probably wouldn’t even use cabinet space for dish storage. I’d just use this. It’s seriously amazing!

Miscellaneous Home Organization

Jewelry Wall Organizer – I don’t have a ton of jewelry, and most of mine is just costume or fashion jewelry, not actual real pieces that I need to keep safe or protected. This is perfect for me because it allows me to see all of necklaces and bracelets at once. My stud earrings have a place. I keep my glasses on the little shelf, and the little drawers are perfect for smaller items like earring backs or charms, etc.
12 Pcs Plastic Mesh Zip File Bags – I originally bought these larger bags to re-organize all of our games. I got rid of all of the large (and mostly broken) game boxes and replaced them with these. Our games are still just as easy to find, but they take up a lot less space!
Sunee Multisize Plastic Zipper Pouch – Then, I decided to buy more, and I got the multi-size pack which holds the smaller game pieces, card sets, and we even use them in other places around the house too. I used them recently in my carry-on bag when we travelled.
Utopia Home Premium Velvet Hangers – We made the velvet hanger switch years ago, and I’ll never go back. There are a ton of options, but I would say – just make sure you get the ones with the bar across the bottom so that they can be used for both tops and bottoms. I bought more because I’ve decided that since we have extra closet space, I might as well just hang all of my Summer and Winter clothes at the same time… especially during these weird months where you don’t really know if it will be hot or cold out. It just makes sense.
50 Pack Children’s Velvet Hangers – I’m doing the same things for the kids as well. I pretty much have three different sizes of these hangers. I use the large ones for Justin and my clothes, the kids’ size for Lawson and Linkin’s, and the baby size for Layten and Lyndon. It makes it really easy when I’m putting away laundry too.
Hanging Closet Organizer, 4 Section – I bought this organizer for Layten’s closet to bring the bar down lower for her to reach. I still have room at the top on either side of the organize for “out of season” clothes or clothes that don’t fit just yet. The organizer currently holds extra blankets and play sets. She has all of her tops and dresses and dress-up clothes hanging on the bottom bar.
3 Tier Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer – I have two of these organizers in the boys’ closet. All 3 boys share a single closet, and this is perfect for them. Lawson’s clothes are kept on the top rod since he can reach it well, and Linkin and Lyndon’s clothes are on the bottom. This definitely promotes independence when kids can reach their own clothes. The shelf sections of the organizers are holding things like, soccer shin guards, football helmet, a football, and pull-ups for the toddler, etc.
COOGOU Bamboo Wood Garment Rack – We have this really big wall in our room that I really don’t know how to fill because I like how our room is arranged. We really don’t need the extra clothes storage, but I do like having my pants folded on a shelf, shoes displayed on the others, and I can pick out what I want to wear each week or use it for hanging space when I’m folding and hanging laundry because my bedroom is my favorite place to do laundry anyway. I also got this particular one because in one of the photos it showed it as a plant holder. Hanging plants from the rod and potted plants on all the shelves so I thought I might use it for that someday too.





Burlap 14 pocket Chart – One of my goals with decorating a School Room is that it would not be filled with all the primary colors. Instead, I love neutrals with just a little color mixed in, and I love that it’s now much easier to find things in your favorite styles, like these burlap pocket charts. We use ours mostly for Tot School Vocabulary Development, but it would also be great for posting your Daily Schedule or Tasks.
Teacher Created Resources Burlap 10 – This is basically my vertical filing system for our homeschool. It holds pages for me until I feel like taking the time to organize them better into my favorite disc-bound books or toss them. I also use it sometimes for future planning, where I print worksheets and things in advance and have them ready to go. This filing chart keeps them organized and easily accessible for when we need them.
Ticonderoga Pencils, Wood Cased – Our favorite pencils, hands down. We haven’t made the switch to mechanical pencils, and I’m just not sure if we ever will. We have a great pencil sharpener as well and these two work pretty well together.
Excellerations 2.5 x 5″ Pegboard – I love all the Montessori things for hands-on learning. This is mostly for my preschooler, Layten, and toddler, Lyndon, but the older boys have been caught playing with it from time to time as well.
Elite Montessori Hundred Board – Same story with this one. Layten and I are using it for counting to 100, but the older kids use it too.
Elite Montessori Wooden Moveable Letters – I love using this with the kids for spelling and dictation instead of having them have to write the words every single time. Linkin, especially, can get really overwhelmed if there is too much writing in a lesson so this helps to keep that to a minimum.
Meroco Montessoi Screw Driver Board – This is something I grabbed for Lyndon for Christmas, so we actually haven’t gotten to use it just yet, but I’m sure it will be just as great as the others.
Break Open 2 Jumbo Geodes – We used this as a supplemental activity with our study on Geology this semester. The Geodes are beautiful, and they are now displayed with our rock collection in our antique printing tray in the living room.
88 Pieces Plastic Mini Discs – I ordered this set of discs because our children are color-coded, and it’s perfect for organizing their school portfolios without having to write names on things.
Talia Discbound Covers 5pk – I just grabbed these clear covers, and they work perfectly with their colored discs. We also have one for each of our group subjects as well…. Bible, Science, and History. I think it’s fun to see the different levels of work from each of my kids from the various lessons, and it will be fun to look back on over the years.
Pilot Frixion Clicker Erasable Pens– These are my favorite pens for color-coding my lesson plans. I can easily tell which assignment belongs to which of my kids, and they are erasable so when things change, it’s no big deal at all.
 Magnefic Magnetic Squares, 1″ Tape – We use these magnetic squares in a few different ways. For the most part, I like to laminate different cards, especially with Tot School. We’ve got color cards, shapes, vocabulary development, and numbers. I usually will print two copies. One to keep as one page, and one to cut apart and add these magnets to the back. Then we use them with a simple Dollar Store cookie sheet like a magnet board / puzzle. The magnet just helps the pieces to stay in place a bit better, and it makes it easier for little toddlers and preschoolers.

Things that Help Me Manage my Home Better



Echo Dot, 3rd Generation Smart Speaker – I’ll be honest. We received one of these for Christmas a couple years ago, and we didn’t really know why we needed it. But we kept it. Thank goodness. And then I learned that it could be used like an intercom system in your home where you can “Drop in” to various rooms, and my mind was blown. So on Prime Day, I ordered a few more. We installed them in the Living Room and all of the kids bedrooms. Now, I can easily drop in to ask what they want on their sandwich or announce to all the rooms that dinner is ready. I can even set up “routines” where I have an order of events set up when I tell it to start. For example, we have our “Start School” routine that announces to all the rooms that it’s time to come downstairs to the school room, and then it plays the song “ABC 123” by the Jackson 5. I love it! It sets us in a fun mood and gives everyone time to stop what they are doing and make their way downstairs for school. We also have a routine set for our Chore Time where Alexa gives us an encouraging and motivating message to get us going and then it plays Shawn Brown’s Clean up Song which is the best clean up song I’ve ever heard. It what we used back in my preschool-teaching days.
Okay, and here’s the best part. Not only does it allow me to talk to my kids in different areas of the house without yelling, but I can even send a text from my phone in my Alexa app to make announcements as well! This is my favorite part, for sure, because I can let my kids know things or ask them to do something after I’ve already laid down in bed for the night.
Mirari OK to Wake! Alarm Clock – We bought this to use doing our afternoon Quiet Time. This is the time in our day where we all go to our rooms and either nap or work on screen-free activities quietly. The toddler naps. The middles play quietly, do puzzles, color, etc. Lawson usually reads. I do whatever I feel like doing. Sometimes it’s nap, sometimes it’s housework, sometimes it meal prep, sometimes I get my bath during this time. I do my own work during this time. It’s nice to have a couple hours during the day without any nagging or requests, and it’s good for them too.
I set the nap timer on the clock for two hours. We’ve been doing different versions of this Quiet Time for years, so my kids are used to it and two hours is a good amount of time for us all. After Quiet Time is over, they can get a snack, go outside, or have screen time.
Water Bottle Pump – This is the pump we used to make the play kitchen into a real, functioning kitchen. This pump pulls clean water from a 2 gallon container, and we have another 2 gallon container that the dirty water drains into. We simply drilled some holes into the existing sink, and it’s so amazing! The little ones have their own working sink that they can use to wash their little dishes, wash their hands, and even brush their teeth at. It’s just perfect and promotes so much independence!
Eco Frenzy Kids Bamboo Toothbrush – This makes my life easier because since my kids are color-coded, it lets us easily know which toothbrush is whose. I never good remember “Okay, which boy is super man, who is using the spider man tooth brush, etc.?” and even the colored ones I found in stores were mostly two-toned, and it was really confusing because they would be green and blue and that’s both Lawson and Linkin’s colors. So this really just solved that problem and contains exactly the colors we need. I’ve ordered it several times when we’ve needed to replace brushes, and it’s perfect.

Cleaning Products


Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover– Folex is one of those brands that I’ve seen people recommend for years, and I’m kind of late to the game at trying it. It works wonderfully!
E-Cloth Window Cleaning Pack – I especially love using products that are chemical-free, and this is one of those. I’ve had a set for years, and I use it for windows and mirrors. This year, I grabbed two additional sets to keep in each of the bathrooms for easily cleaning those mirrors on a whim. I love storing cleaning products where I actually use them, so I always buy enough for each bathroom to have their own.
Now Foods Lemon Oil – This is one of the ingredients I use in my everyday, homemade, all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. This is what I use every day to wipe my counters and tables to keep them chemical-free for cooking and meal-prep.
BBQ Grill Cleaning Drill Attachment – Work smarter, not harder. That’s what they say. I’ll be honest. Cleaning is NOT my best skill. Nor is it something I really enjoy. But I DO really enjoy having a clean home, and it’s something I’m working harder at to be more consistent with. The oven was something I could NOT clean, no matter how many green-homemade cleaning solutions I tried. (I’ve learned that oven cleaners are one of the most toxic cleaners out there so I’ve made the decision to not use them since this is what we are cooking our food in every day. It’s important to us.) Anyway, I found these brushes that attach to the drill and do the hard scrubbing for me. I just use my home made cleaner recipe, and the drill attachment does the hard work for me. It’s the only thing that’s worked really well for me – this combo!
Drillbrush 4 Piece Nylon Power Brush Attachment – I also bought one for the tubs. From using oils and salts and soaking in the tub, we had an extra layer of grime that needed some extra “elbow grease”. The bathroom attachments worked perfectly for that. When you look at the link, you can see what each of the different colored attachments are typically use for and decide what you need most.






Rael Acne Pimple Healing Patch– I was influenced to try these by someone on social media, and I LOVED them. I love putting them on at night and while I’m sleeping it draws out the yuckiness from my breakouts. Sorry if this is TMI, but I love them. I’ve since tried some store-bought brands, and they do not even compare and left the sticky film from the adhesive on my skin. Rael is the brand I’ll be using from now on, and I won’t waste my time or money on other brands anymore. I’m also interested to try their different packages.
DEYBBY Natural Beeswax Taper Candles – Justin actually ordered these for me, and I love having them on hand whenever we want to feel a little fancier or set a whole vibe in our home. It makes dinners extra special.
Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Dot Single 6– I stalked someone’s planner account on instagram to discover what they were using to make these awesome circles for checking off tasks. It’s basically like a circle stamp, and the pastel colors are perfect! I love using these in my planner!
144 Pack 18 Colors Jumbo Sidewalk– I bought this HUGE pack of sidewalk chalk at the beginning of Summer, and it’s great because you don’t have to worry about ever running out any time soon! If one breaks, you’ve got another to use. No biggie!
Buddy Biscuits Oven-Baked Healthy– Finley’s favorite treats… I love the gingerbread man shape, and I think it’s perfect for Christmas time, but he enjoys them year-round.
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein– This is the protein I use, and I grab it from Amazon when I see that it’s on sale. The vanilla is great because it’s versatile. You can add fruits to it or even cocoa powder to make it chocolatey if you want.
Smarties Double Lollies, 200 Count – I grew up enjoying these, but the selling point for me, now as a mom, was that there is no sticky mess when you have toddlers. Hoo-ray! We use them as “Car Treats” when they get right in their seats and buckle right away. (If you have a really slow toddler who takes his sweet time and/or throws tantrums about everything, you’ll understand this method of bribery.) We also use them to reward good behavior when we run errands in public places.
Nespresso Capsules Vertuoline – I don’t have coffee every day. I’m working to be caffeine free to support my hormones, but when I do I’m definitely a coffee-snob. Since I switched to nespresso, I no longer drink just regular cups of coffee. I just don’t enjoy them as much anymore. It’s either nespresso or a latte from a coffee shop. I really need to invest in some sort of portable Nespresso machine for when we travel because I want to enjoy the something hot like everyone else, but I just can’t make myself do it, knowing I’m not going to love and enjoy it like I do my Nespresso. These are my favorite pods. The strong brew blends well with my dairy-free almond sweet cream creamer that I froth and pour on top.

Clothing & Accessories


Fake Hoop Earrings CZ Cubic Zirconia – Justin actually ordered these for me in gold, and I feel like they are the perfect accessory with little commitment. 🙂
Bingerlily Womens Casual Longsleeve Sweatshirt – He also ordered me this sweatshirt, and it’s definitely a favorite.
Ouges Women’s Long Sleeve V Neck – This dress is SOOOO comfy! I have it in brown, and I especially love the long sleeves.


Personal Development


Atomic Habits – This is something I ordered for Justin, actually, but I love that I can benefit from the things he has on his list from time to time as well. I listened to the audiobook version.
Atomic Habits Workbook – But the workbook was perfect for me to really be able to apply what I learned in the book.

Just for Fun & Nothing Else


Disney Princess Royal Collection, 12 – We ordered these on sale on Prime Day to put up for Layten’s birthday. She’s getting into Barbies now, and she absolutely LOVES all of the princesses so this was perfect!
2 Pack 6 Inch Premium Decorative Plant Holder – Plant mamas have to buy a few necessities from time to time, and this is one that I got for a couple hanging plants in my living room.







[Ep. 018] – Glean & Tweak

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, it does give us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support!

This episode is not sponsored, but we do have sponsorship opportunities including pre, post, and mid-roll as well as instagram and facebook. We would love to partner with sponsors to support their brands while helping our listeners find products and resources that help improve their lives as well. Contact for more information about potential sponsorships.

Show Notes –

In this episode of the podcast, we chat about how we can take things we glean from social media, podcast episodes, our friends, and other places and tweak them to make them work for us.

In This Episode:

  • Welcome / Intro.
  • September Special! The doors to my online course are now open for a limited time… You can find out all about it and grab your spot here!
  • If you’re interested in Home Organization Services (including Virtual Organization, Home Consults, Small and Large Organization Packages, and even Regular Organization Maintenance Services), you can fill out a form here or email me at
  • What it’s like for us when my bestie comes over and brings her kids for a playdate… how we are open and honest with each other, challenging each other in different areas of our lives
  • Money-Saving Tip I learned from my friend for make-ahead freezer rice that saves time as well
  • What does it mean to “Glean and Tweak”?
  • Our Go-To Response when we are challenged in an area is to console ourselves with phrases like “I’m doing the best I can” or make excuses for why we can’t grow in this area
  • The area my friend challenged me in that I will be working on in the coming months
  • What if you don’t have a friend like this that can encourage and challenge you in this way? — I want to be that for you! Sign up for a one-on-one Strategy Session where we can work through the areas that are challenging you the most. We can meet in person if you’re local to me, or we can do a Zoom call, and you’ll get Text Support from me throughout the month as well to coach you and help you through the things we’re working on. You can do it for just one month or as long as you feel it’s needed! Scroll down to find the One-on-One Strategy Session here. **Limited Availability**

Additional Links and Resources Mentioned:

The doors are opening this month for the “Plan your Purposeful Life” Online Course!
Save your spot with our September Special!

Be sure to check availability for the One-on-One Strategy Sessions mentioned in this episode!

Find Laney:

My Purposeful Planning Facebook Group
My Purposeful Planning Community on Patreon

Listen to the My Purposeful Planning Podcast –

Not Back to School 2021-2022

Because we are home-schoolers, we are
“Not” Back-to-School.

(We’re basically just at school all day, every day around here.)

This will be my fourth year of this “Not Back to School Series”.
To see posts of how we’ve done things in previous years, you can check those out here:

“Not” Back to School 2020-2021
“Not” Back to School 2019-2020
Series Intro.
Our Homeschool Organization & Space
Our Homeschool Yearly Schedule & Terms
Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices 
Our Homeschool Daily Schedule & Routines
Homeschool Planner 
Our Story of How We Decided to Homeschool
Our Favorite Homeschool & Educational Resources
Summer School

Today, I’m here to give you an update for this school year. I get asked ALL the time about what curriculum we are using, and since we use a variety of things… not a boxed curriculum – it’s much easier just to put it all in a blog post! I also love sharing the resources and supplies that have become our favorites over the years.

**This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I do earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support!

4th Grade

2nd Grade


  • I really don’t know what “grade” we would consider Layten to be in. She’s only 4, but she’ll turn 5 in October. She LOVES school and begs me to do it with her, so how can I say no? We started My Father’s World Kindergarten last year because she already knew her letter sounds, and she did amazing with it, so we’re just going to keep going I guess.
    She will be finishing up My Father’s World Kindergarten and then moving on to My Father’s World First Grade. We’ll likely do the Bible portion of this as a group because I want the boys to get this Biblical overview that this curriculum offers as well. 
  • Religion ~ My Father’s World Bible, but she also usually joins us for our Group Subjects as well
  • Memory Work ~ My Father’s World Bible Truths, but she also usually joins us for our Group Memory Time as well
  • Math ~ Counting and Ordering Numbers Practice with our Hundred Chart, Life of Fred
  • Reading ~ We check out books from the library each week to go along with My Father’s World unit study themes. She’ll get to read from her own little Bible reader when we start First Grade, and I’m excited about that!
  • Vocabulary ~ N/A
  • Grammar ~ N/A
  • Spelling ~  N/A
  • Composition Writing ~ Writing Workshop (She draws a picture and then dictates her story, and I write it for her. Sometimes she likes to go back and trace what I write. I’m telling you – she loves ALL THINGS SCHOOL!)
  • History ~ She’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from her.
  • Geography – She’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from her.
  • Science ~ She’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from her.
  • Art ~ Free Art with Craft Supplies and Drawing Books
  • Handwriting Practice ~ Writing Workshop, The Good and the Beautiful Handwriting Workbook
  • Elective ~Ballet, Tap, & Acro

We’ll continue to review letter sounds with these See,Hear,Do Books. I’m convinced these books are what actually helped her to remember the sounds that the letters make. (Remember we’ve been going over them since she was 2.) Either it was just time after all of the multiple and meaningful exposures she’s had, or these books really work. I’ll let you decide.

Note: It looks like they’ve updated their books a bit, or maybe I just never noticed how they were ordered. We’ve done the Uppercase Level 1 Book with the coloring and writing practice. We’ll do Lowercase next and then move onto the others. They have a ton available now!

See, Hear, Do Book Learn to Read Uppercase Letters Level 1
See, Hear, Do Coloring Book
See, Hear, Do Tracing Workbook
See, Hear, Do Learn to Read Lowercase Letters Level 2 
See, Hear Do, Learn to Read Blended Beginning Sounds Level 3

My Father’s World Kindergarten

My Father’s World First Grade

Tot School

  • Lyndon is 2, and he’ll turn 3 in December. We’re using the same Tot School Printables that I’ve used with all my children and several others. Each week we work on a letter of the alphabet, an object that begins with that letter, and there is a theme that surrounds it as well. For example: Aa for apple, and we learn about different fruits. Naming the different fruits and matching them up is the Vocabulary Development that I LOVE! We practice counting, shapes, colors, simple tracing, and coloring. I try to make it more hands-on by including Dot Markers for searching for our letters, hand-made puzzles to match up shapes and colors, and I’m trying to create VERY SIMPLE sensory trays this time. Basically, I just want to start buying little Toob sets that go along with the themes to give him a visual aspect and little toys and manipulatives to play with that relate to our themes. I don’t really assess anything or require anything from him at this age. It’s just (M&Ms) multiple and meaningful exposures to learning concepts, some of which he’ll retain – some he won’t. This is basically just what we do for “intentional play” to begin our day. He LOVES it. I give him little “invitations to play” by introducing the activities, and I follow his lead for the rest. When he’s done, we’re done. Then he’s usually good to go off and play on his own so that I can work with the big kids.
  • Religion ~ He’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from him.
  • Memory Work ~ He’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from him.
  • Math ~ Shapes,Counting to 20
  • Reading ~ We check out books from the library each week to go along with Tot School unit study themes. He also usually joins Layten for her read alouds as well.
  • Vocabulary ~ Tot School Vocabulary Development
  • Grammar ~ N/A
  • Spelling ~  N/A
  • Composition Writing ~ If he wants to tell me a story, I will dictate it for him and let him color, but I won’t require it. Sometimes my little ones are excited to do this too, so I feel it’s good practice. His language skills are exploding right now, and he talks pretty much nonstop!
  • History ~ He’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from him.
  • Geography – He’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from him.
  • Science ~ He’s usually with us for Group Subjects, but I don’t require any of it from him.
  • Art ~ Color Wonder Markers and Coloring Book & Free Art with Craft Supplies
  • Handwriting Practice ~ N/A (He’s just practicing with different writing tools at this point.)
  • Elective ~N/A

Our Favorite Home School Tools & Resources…

  1. My Levenger Planner Cover
  2. My Levenger Disc-bound Planner Divider Tabs
  3. My Editable HomeSchool Planner
  4. Our “Notebook Paper” Assignment Dry Erase Boards
  5.  Our Pencil Sharpener
  6.  Our Favorite Pencils
  7. Frixion Erasable Colored Pens – I use these to color-code my lesson plans.
  8. Frixion Erasable Colored Highlighters – I use these to highlight through what we’ve completed in my lesson plans.
  9. Erasable Colored Pencils
  10. Our “New” Favorite Watercolors – They come in several varieties – SO MUCH better quality that what you’d find in most back to school sales.
  11. Disc-bound Covers -The kids use these with their printable curriculum.
  12. Metal Discs – We use these with our printable curriculum.)
    **I like this option better than bulky binders or having the pages bound because the spirals always seemed to come undone throughout the year which would drive me nuts. This way we have the “customizable” flexibility of a binder by easily being able to take pages in and out and also the ability to flip it around like a spiral-bound book. It’s the best of both worlds, in my opinion.
  13. Laminator
  14. Dry Erase Markers
  15. Wet Erase Markers
  16. Printer
  17. Label Maker
  18. ESV Children’s Bible
  19. 365 Great Bible Stories
  20. 66 Books One Story
  21. Window on the World
  22. Large Notebook (We use this for note-taking in our group subjects or in anything we’d use a chalk or white board for, except we get to keep it and refer back to it if we need to.)
  23. Spelling Power Student Record Book (This has been a game changer for our spelling lessons this year!)
  24. The Homeschool History Book of Centuries
  25. Rand McNally Historical Atlas of the World
  26. The Student Bible Atlas
  27. Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets
  28. Wooden Easel (We originally purchased this for Typing, but we use it for so much more than that actually! I love to display a book we’ll be reading or something fun like that.)
  29. Teaching from Rest Book
  30. Your Morning Basket Podcast
  31. The Homeschool Solutions Show Podcast
  32. The Homeschool Sanity Show
  33. Raising Arrows Podcast
  34. Nature Study Hacking Curriculum
  35. Julia Rothman Books
  36. Montessori Hundred Board
  37. My favorite Planner Dot Markers
  38. Burlap Wall File
  39. Montessori Peg Counting Boards
  40. Burlap Pocket Chart

Our Home School Wish-List:

Just ask any teacher out there… every single one will have a wish list. Whether it’s written down or just in our heads, there’s always something else we’d like to add – whether supplies or resources. I personally LOVE adding on supplemental resources and hands-on activities with our core curriculum! The kids enjoy it so much more too when it’s more than just “busy work”!

We always prioritize the most-important things, of course. These things haven’t made the cut… yet. (This is more of just a reference for me to have and come back to when I’m looking for ideas. You’ll probably slowly see me add these things in to our home school as our budget allows as I’ve done in years prior.)

Kids Cook Real Food
Preschool Fall Video Art Lessons
Fall Video Chalk Art Lessons
Classical Collection History Art Lessons
Hymns Video Art Lessons
Illustrated Nature Journaling
LovEvery PlayKits: Lyndon
Panda Crate: Lyndon
Koala Crate: Layten
Kiwi Crate: Linkin
Tinker Crate: Lawson

Alright, I think that’s all for now. I’ll be sure to re-evaluate everything throughout the year, and I’m sure we’ll make some changes. I’ll try to add updates throughout the year if I can remember to do so.

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll be sure to get it answered for you. I absolutely love homeschooling, so it’s a thrill for me to get to talk about it whenever I can!

Gina’s Laundry & Storage Room Organization (Part 1)

I’m so glad that I have been able to meet Gina and work with her! We had a home consult last month where we walked through her house, and she told me her story and what she needed from me. She lost her daughter almost six years ago and now that her son has also moved out, they are basically empty-nesters. She’s now ready for a refresh in her home, and it’s time to move some things that have been in the same spot for the last six years since Carmen died.

I knew that working with Gina could potentially be a really hard process emotionally, so I suggested we start with something “easy” that didn’t feel so taxing emotionally. We started in the laundry room and a storage room off of it. I absolutely LOVE it when a client’s space already has amazing cabinets and shelves to work with. It makes my job really easy!

We basically moved out most of Tyler and Carmen’s memorabilia for the time being. I actually ended up with some empty boxes and some extra shelf space so the might eventually be able to sort through those boxes and bring them back into the space, but for now, my goal was to make these spaces functional for them, more than anything else.

I sorted and categorized everything, thought about how they would best use things, asked questions, changed things, and I think we found a way to make it all work.

Gina has been a pleasure to work with! I’m so proud of her for the progress she’s already made with parting with some things, and I really hope she enjoys her new space!

#BeKind #HelpAStranger #HaveAGodlyAttitude

Let’s Check out the Before and After’s of Gina’s new space!

This is what you see when you first walk into Gina’s back door. We cleared this counter top, emptied the cabinets and drawers, reorganized everything, and we even made use of the vertical space she has above the cabinets, but now it’s functional storage that’s also appealing to the eye.






These are the upper cabinets in this space. I corralled many of the smart item groupings in these clear, acrylic bins. It’s so nice to be able to see at a glance what you have and what you may be running low on with these. We also gave Gina two bins for her “Fragrances”. I wish you could smell the inside of this cabinet because every time I opened it, it smelled AMAZING!

We tried a few different things for the laundry and cleaning products, but this is basically the “back-stock” of extra supplies so instead of containing them in bins, we left them lined on the shelves.

The “Laundry Box” on the top shelf holds all of the smaller laundry-related items like clothespins, patches, safety pins, etc.

These are the “Junk Drawers”. Yall know we all have ’em! But now you can see exactly what you’re looking for and easily find what you need!


These are the lower cabinets which we organized into bins of cleaning supplies, separated by category. There’s also a couple bins for electronics.






Women’s Worship Nite

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2021 Yearly Goals

Alright. 2021 is here, and I’m finally sitting down to type out this post. I penned it several days ago, but it’s been a busy and fulfilling week for me. It was a post-holiday week / homeschool break week, and I used it to catch up on some home projects of decluttering and some work tasks.

If you didn’t hear, those work tasks I’m referring to were The Plan Your Purposeful Year Webinar AND the Plan Your Purposeful Life Online Course which has been in the works for what seems like forever, but it’s really only been a little over a year. Haha. 2020, you guys. It was a doozy!

Anyway, the doors to the online course are now open and will remain open through January 8th at the Founding Members’ Price. There’s also a Special Bonus Offer if you sign up THIS WEEKEND through Sunday, and I’ll send you the entire download of the Deluxe Purposeful Life Planner to use with your course registration OR you can take $20 off any Physical Planner from my shop if you’d rather do that option. Get signed up while the bonuses are available, and the price is low!

Okay, so now that the announcements are all out of the way – Let’s talk New Year’s Resolutions or Yearly Goals for 2021! I shared last week (or maybe the week prior) about my Word Choice for 2021, and it was, honestly, not a word I would’ve ever imagined myself choosing. But when it came to my mind after seeing a post on Instagram, I KNEW it was the perfect choice. It’s a good word, you guys. Like a REALLY GOOD WORD. It’s actually one of the top words in the history of all the words ever to be spoken. And I don’t know what 2021 has in store, but I do know that I want this word to be my top pursuit above all things, and I know that it also means I’ll probably need this word more than anything else as well.

It could mean that there is a hard year ahead. I really don’t know, you guys. But I have been the one to shy away from challenges and hardships, as I’m sure we all have. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter what I choose anyway. God is sovereign and He ALWAYS uses those things for good anyway, so it ends up being worth it in the end.

No, we’d never intentionally choose struggles and hardship…
but the lessons we learn from them?
The growth and maturity that can only happen once we’ve gone through those things and persevered through them? Priceless. Worth it.

And so, yes, whatever God has in store for my 2021… to teach me, to grow me, to mature me… I want it.

EVEN IF it’s hard. And those are really really hard words to type out. It’s almost like a superstition or something, but I don’t really believe in those anyway so it’s all good.

Alright, so if you haven’t already clicked over to see my Word of the Year Choice for 2021, go ahead and do that first. Then, meet me back here. Read that post here.

So if you know me and you’ve followed me any length of time, you know that my yearly goals aren’t going to be a simple list of a few good ideas. I used to do that, sure… and I did an okay job of reaching some of them from time to time.

But Nope. I’m done with those. I am a purposeful person. God has spent the last several years inspiring me and teaching me, and I’m not letting any of that go to waste. I want to use every thing He’s given me. All of the tools I’ve found. All of the the resources I’ve stumbled across. I want to steward this life well. The Time that I have. The way I spend me days. Yes, all of it. I want to LOVE LIFE. I want to actually like my life, and the blessings in it. I want to notice the good things, appreciate what I have, and be present for all the things that really matter to me. In fact that was last year’s word and focus…. Immerse. It was the perfect word choice for 2020, and you can go read all about that here.

This list is going to be broken down into mini goals and action steps, because I believe that’s how you actually make things happen. It’s not just a list of good ideas…but it’s the strategies to follow  through and actually find success in these goals. That’s the way I do it. I don’t set them and forget them. I come back to them and review them often. I set goals seasonally, monthly, weekly, and even check things off daily to make sure I’m on track. No, every day is not perfect. Certainly not. There were SO MANY DAYS that I didn’t even open my planner this year! 2020 – what a year to design a planner?! Haha! It’s so funny to me looking back, but I’m still proud of it, and it’s been my most helpful tool!

When I start my purposeful days with a to do list which stems from the yearly goals I’ve set, my life vision, and the things I prioritize the most… that’s how I find success in reaching my goals. I’d love to prove this to you, too. Today, I’m sharing my goals and strategies for 2021. I’m going to be working on a 2020 Goals post to update you on how the year actually went for me and what goals I was able to find success in and reach…. despite this doozy of year that it was. That’s coming soon. Stay tuned!

But without further, ado.. here they are – my 2021 yearly goals! 

#1 (Spiritual Goals) – Connect more with Christ.

Connect was one of those words that I was considering for my Word of the Year. It’s one that I felt challenged by, so I knew that it would probably appear somewhere in my yearly goals as well, and I was right about that.

I used something from my Quiet Time over the past couple weeks to form a list of focus areas for the first few months this year for this goal.

Mini Goal 1 – Focus on Prayer in January.

Obviously I already know how to pray, but I just want to focus on this, specifically, for the month of January as I seek to Connect More with Christ. It’s a great place to start!

1. Prayer List
2. Prayer Journaling (I’m going to use a journal I received for Christmas for this, I think. I know it may sound strange, but I’m going to set a timer for this, and journal a quick prayer for 1 minute. Then, every day I want to add 1% to that. So by the end of the year that’s 365% better, and if I did my math correctly (which I probably didn’t… haha), I should be able to journal and pray for a little over twenty minutes.
3. Habit Tracking my Purposeful Prayer Time – Using Daily Habit Tracking Page & The Habit Tracker on my Weekly Page in my Planner

Mini Goal 2 – Focus on Daily Bible Reading in February.

I already have a Quiet Time habit established, but I’ve been reading through a devotional recently, so my plan is to get back into my Bible reading plan during February.

1. Reading Plan – Mostly Likely I’ll continue where I left off with the Bible Recap in 2020 because I didn’t completely finish it with other studies and plans I did in between.
2. Habit Tracking and Goal-Setting my Daily Bible Reading – This will be noted on my Daily Planning Page and Weekly Page as well as tracked with my Daily Habit Tracking Page.
3. Note-taking on what God speaks to me or what I learn using the Quiet Time Purposeful Quiet Time Pages

Mini Goal 3 – Rely Constantly on the Holy Spirit.
(Currently, I’m planning for this to. be my focus for March.)

1. Do a study on this.
2. Prayer Language
3. Practice Listening / Being Still

This is what I have planned for now, but these could change as time grows closer.
I’m sure I’ll also have more to add to these. It’s still months away. 

Mini Goal 4 – Be an Obedient Christian. (Possibly the focus for April?)

Mini Goal 5 – Be a Witnessing Christian. (Possibly the focus for May?)

Mini Goal 6 – Be a Wholesome Christian. (Possibly the focus for June?)


#2 (Relationship Goals) – Connect more with my family.

Mini Goal 1 – Pray for and with them. (See how this lines up with my first goal also?)

1. At Bedtime
2. Spontaneously
3. Journaled Prayers 

Mini Goal 2 – Be intentional on their “Birth” Days each month.

1. Make their favorite foods.
2. Go on a date with them.
3. Play or do something they like to do with them. 

Mini Goal 3 – Adventure Challenge

Mini Goal 4 – Seasonal Family Adventures or Outings

1. Aquarium
2. Water Park
3. Zoo
4. Pumpkin Patch
5. Christmas Tree Farm 

#3 (Ministry & Outreach Goals) – Connect with others.

Mini Goal 1 – Lead a small group.

Mini Goal 2 – Have someone (probably another mama and her kids) over to the house during our HomeSchool Break Weeks and/or once a month.

Mini Goal 3 – Reach out to extended family members.

1. Ask “How are you?” but in different ways
2. Send texts, photos, food, etc.
3. Visit as much as possible. 

Mini Goal 4 – Connect with people in my business.

#4 (Personal Development Goals / Leisure / Work Goals all lumped into One) Be. Belong. Breathe.

Be. Be who I am. Know that I am enough. Be still. Belong. There is a space specifically for me. Breathe. I am not a failure. Do what I love. Be happy. Love my life. Appreciate all the little moments and blessings.

1. Gratitude.
2. Observations
3. Journaling
4. Notice “the manna” in my life
5. Connect with my feelings
6. Affirmations
7. Read good books, including 2 fiction choices this year. (Make a reading list.)
8. Wellness Check-ins

#5 (Home/Environment Goals) – Cultivate our Dream Home.

Right now, this is it. Declutter. Organize. Make it homey. Decorate. Be creative. Love it. Be proud of it. Take care of it. Use it for God’s glory. Finish some design plans and ideas as our budget allows for it.

Mini Goal 1 – Finish the Master Bedroom Decor.

1. Rug
2. Accent Pillows
3. Artword
4. Small Decor Pieces
5. Jewelry Organizer
6. New Hamper Basket 

Mini Goal 2 – Finish the Master Bath.

1. Wallpaper
2. Paint the closet
3. Peg Hooks
4. New Shower Curtain
5. New Towels

Mini Goal 3 – Check off some other things in the Home Design Plan as the Budget Allows for It.

1. Family Photos on the Walls
2. New Living Room Furniture (Maybe?!) 
3. Barstools
4. Gray Table Cloth
5. Candle Sticks for Dining Room
6. Outdoor Furniture
7. Grill
8. Office Chair
9. Rug for Office
10. Rug for Sunroom

#6 (Health / Wellness Goals) – Push towards health.

Be intent on doing “what healthy people do”. Aim for fitness. Strive for strength. Pursue wellness in all aspects.

1. Workout. (Plan after Plan… Line them up, because that’s what works for me right now.)
2. Log Meals. Just be mindful and balanced. If you can’t log it, don’t eat it.
3. Look into “Eat More to Weigh Less”.
4. Build muscle and strength.
5. Go back to Crossfit Classes at some point this year.
6. Drink water. 

#7 (Work Goals) Teach. Develop. Share.

I don’t really have mini goals for this one just yet, and I don’t know that I’ll share them publicly when I do. This is my goals that I set for my business, my social media, my blog, my podcast, my online course, and anything else that will fall into this “Work” Category for me. I find purpose in it. I find fulfillment, and it’s just an ongoing category that I will continue to work in.

I just want to remember and remind myself that I have something that people need. I need to put it out there and make it available to them. There’s always a tendency in me to not feel like I know enough or feel like what I have is good enough. I guess we all do this to an extent, but it causes me to delay and put things off when I need to just do them. 😉

#8 (Financial Goals) Follow the map we’ve made of our Financial Plans.

Our goals in this area will pretty much stay the same as they have been. I recently turned over our finances to let my husband run them for our family. That was a big deal because it’s always been something that I’ve liked having control over. It’s been a learning process because we use different systems and methods, but I was finding it overwhelming, both mentally and emotionally. I needed to relieve some of that pressure I was feeling. I feel so much freer now, letting him make those calls and decisions. I feel like he’s doing an excellent job, which sometimes means saying “No”, but that’s okay. It’s good because I had a hard time making those tough calls sometimes. I struggled to say ‘No’, and then I struggled to re-adjust after we’d spent too much in one category or another.

Mini Goal 1 – Work our monthly budget and continue to work to steward our finances well.

Mini Goal 2 – Pay off debts. (Our more Long-Term Goal in this area is to be debt-free in 2023.)

Mini Goal 3 – Eliminate excess and unnecessary spending.

Mini Goal 4 – Continue our Christmas Sinking Fund.

Mini Goal 5 – Begin Sinking Funds for additional categories this year.

And there you have it. Eight areas that I’ve set goals in. Mini Goals and Ideas to go along with each one. I know this may seem way too detailed and overwhelming to some, but it’s the whole process of thinking through a goal and how I’m actually going to accomplish it. That’s what makes this whole thing work for me. I keep coming back to these things again and again throughout my year, and I DO REACH MY GOALS. It is amazing to see the goals and resolutions that I’ve set over the years and how I’ve reached them. This process works. It’s proven. If I can do it, I promise you can do it too, and I would absolutely LOVE TO HELP YOU!

2021 Word of the Year Reveal

Well, you guys… I’ve been thinking through my Word of the Year for 2021. Usually, I have my word by now. Some years, God has pressed it upon my heart as early as October, usually mid November for sure. But this year? Nothing. I looked up some inspiration for popular word choices, and I made a list of several that jumped out to me.

I defined each one, looked at synonyms, even looked up scriptures that might align with them. Usually, I have a word and a scripture that goes along with it too. Not this year.

This year, my process has been a little challenging. I just haven’t felt any clear direction on which word to choose. I had three words (Be, Breathe, and Belong) that I was kind of leaning towards for a week or so. But then, I felt that these were words that wouldn’t really challenge me in any way. Not that I always need to be challenged, but I didn’t feel settled. I had a couple other options come to me, words that would take me out of my comfort zone a bit and give me a direction of study and for goal-setting… Those words were Feel and Connect, two things that I often find difficult… but are pretty important in life. I think these might be two words that I do come back to with my goal-setting this year.

But then I stumbled upon a graphic a friend shared on Instagram, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Yes. This. This is going to be my word. It trumps all other words that I could’ve chosen. It challenges me. It gives me perspective. It’s where it all should start and end anyway.

I can’t tell you anything about what 2021 will hold. I don’t know if it will be any better than 2020 or if things will get worse. I just know that I know where I want my focus to be… and that’s Jesus. I’m sure I’ll share more about this as I’m inspired, as I’m planning and goal-setting, and as the year goes on. But this right now is all I know… Jesus. Just Jesus.