A time to step back, to go deep, to rest…

There's a time to rest, to still the noise, to listen...

A time to rest, a time to still the noise, a time to listen…

There is a time for everything under the sun, and God has made it abundantly clear that this is a season to embrace going deep – with the Lord, with my husband, and with my children.  It is a season to still the noise, a season to rest.  I’ve felt this need for a while.  Some ongoing health issues make this break vital. I laugh when I think about how I keep saying, “But God…” and He faithfully brings reminder after reminder to rest in Him and to step back from the online world.

My job: listen and obey.  Starting tomorrow, I’ll be going “dark” for the most part.  I’ll be logging on twice a week to mail out orders of my book and new preschool cards. But other than that, we’ll be settling into our new routine for this upcoming semester, reading, relaxing and just “being”.  I’m excited.  This is about as close to a sabbatical as a mama of 4 can get and I’m taking it!

So what does this mean for the blog?  I have so much I want to say, so many ideas swirling.  I’ll be back.  I’m praying about what that will look like.  I’m intrigued by the idea of podcasting or maybe sharing more videos.  What I love more than anything is when I get to interact with you all in REAL LIFE and not just through the written word or social media.  I’d appreciate your prayers and if you have specific things you’d like to see me address, let me know.

For those of you in the south or up in Minnesota, I’ll be travelling to Birmingham, Alabama to speak at the Refresh Homeschool Retreat in February and up north to Duluth for the MACHE Homeschool Conference in April!  I look forward to seeing some of you there!

“My plan” {ha! I’m learning to hold my ideas lightly these days.} is to take August to step back from all online engagement and then inch back into interacting on Instagram or Facebook in September.  As long as the Lord doesn’t direct otherwise, I hope to be back sharing in this space in October.  1

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite posts from the archives!

A collection of articles on living cultivated lives as we integrate faith and learning into everyday living.

Intentional Parenting

Intentional Parenting Means Raising Daniels

Intentional Parenting Means Setting Goals with the End in Mind

Intentional Parenting Means Setting {Bite-Sized} Goals

10 Adventure Books that Inspire a Boy’s Faith

A Time to Hold, A Time to Let Go

A Frugal Approach to Building Biblical Literacy

Read Thru the Bible as a Family


Inspired Learning

10 Ways We Cultivate Learning

10 Books that Inspire a Lifestyle of Learning

What Does a Typical Homeschool Day Look Like

Home if Where It Starts: Our Classroom, Our Mindset

How We Utilize Brain Breaks in our Homeschool

I’m Not Patient Enough to Homeschool… And That’s OK

Homeschooling: Why Socialization Matters

How to Support Your Wife in Homeschooling

When Curiosity Hijacks Your Day, Run With It!

Preschool Learning Resource Page

Satan, Burping, and Reading Readiness

Created to Create: Finding Our Inner Artist


For those who have asked, we are settling in well in our new Texas home!  We surprised the boys last week with a trip to the Cowboys stadium.  The highlight was getting to play football on the field.  I think they could have stayed all day…  We are loving the big trees and living in a little red brick house that is so very different from Arizona.  We are looking forward to fall and putting down roots as we continue to seek out and build relationships with friends here in our new city!

Something for my preschooler & yours too!

{30 Finger Play and Preschool Song Cards} Convenient and Effective! They help develop so many critical preschool skills. Reading them in book is good. Repetition is even better.

I love the preschool years. When my oldest was in that stage I delighted in crafting literature and sensory rich learning opportunities to do together.

But now that I’m on number 4 and so very busy “officially” homeschooling the older 3, I needed to streamline and make finding those special moments with my youngest actually happen.

Vintage Preschool - embracing the power of finger plays and nursery rhymes!

VINTAGE PRESCHOOL to the rescue!

So I’ve gone old school – vintage, really. I’ve turned to the way our grandmothers and great grandmother’s taught so many essential preschool skills. I’ve embraced the power of finger plays and rhymes.

I did this with my oldest because I had time and drive to pull out nursery rhyme books and read.  I’d then spend time surfing the internet in search of those finger plays that I vaguely remember from my own childhood. But I’ll be the first to admit that it didn’t happen with the next two boys. Since Greta has had some speech delays, I knew that helping her in this area was paramount. So I set out to collect my favorite finger plays and preschool rhymes and this time make cards for everyday use; Because if I had an easy to grab ring with cards where I didn’t have to pull out books, where I didn’t get side tracked by my phone, I knew I could make the most of this simple, yet powerfully effective tool.

Did you know that finger plays and preschool songs go a long way to:

** Develop Fine Motor Skills
** Develop Gross Motor Skills
** Develop Listening Skills
** Develop Self-Regulation
** Develop Numeracy Skills
** Develop Vocabulary (single greatest predictor of school success)
** Develop Phonemic Awareness
** Develop Syllabication Awareness

Most people don’t realize the power tucked in these simple rhymes and songs. I explain more about each of these key early childhood developmental areas here!

Reading them in books is great. Repetition is even better.  Remember when I shared about why we need to read children the same book over, and over, and over again?  Well, the same principle applies here.  Learning is cemented through this kind of playful, fun repetition.

Vintage Preschool - embracing the power of finger plays and nursery rhymes!

It’s crazy to think about how they learn counting, sequencing, and hone fine motor skills simply by singing “1, 2 Buckle My Shoe.”  The “Eensy-Weensy Spider” is full of fun vocabulary and is crazy effective at developing fine-motor skills.  They learn self-regulation by singing “Open, Shut Them,” when they have to strategically pause and hold their bodies completely still. As we sing out the rhyming words they are developing important phonemic skills that not only help them with speaking now, but also lay the foundation for learning how to read later. By moving their bodies, the brain is being wired to learn. As we’ve been using this over the last year and a half, I’ve realized that this really was a baby sister to my Brain Breaks book.  Movement wires the brain to learn and in the early years movement, plus song packs a powerful punch in also developing oral and pre-reading skills!  And I’m just loving the simplicity in embracing this form of vintage preschool prep!

A must-have for every mother of young children: 30 amazing finger plays and preschool songs right at your fingertips!

So here you go…  The benefits of repetition without the work of pulling it together. {You’re welcome!} This set of 30 cards comes professionally printed, hole-punched with a ring so you are ready to go!  All of the words and motions right there at your fingertips.  Here in our home, we pull this out every morning to give some focused attention to Greta!  You can see how she feels about her “school” time!

I’d love to share a special coupon code just for you!  Simply use SING to get 20% off anytime before August 7th!

You can check out the official information page for ordering information!Buy NOW
I also want to give away a copy to one lucky winner.  Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter through Saturday August 1st! If you already ordered the cards, I’ll issue a full refund or I’ll ship the winning set to a friend of yours!  Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This set of 30 finger plays and preschool songs includes classics such as: “Jack and Jill,” the “Eensy Weensy Spider,” “Five Little Monkeys,” “Head and Shoulders,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “London Bridges,” “Old McDonald,” “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” and many more…


Series: Integrating Little One’s into the Homeschool Journey
A Different Kind of Brainy
Why Kids Need the Same Book Read Over and Over Again
How to Make the Most of the Preschool Years

What is Discovery Learning?


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Intentional Parenting Means Raising Daniels


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Jesus and Jell-O: A Sky Jell-O Tutorial


We piled onto the couch earlier this week to read our book, Jesus Returns to Heaven, in preparation to celebrate the Ascension this week.  My kids wasted no time in asking, with excited, baited breath, if we could make Sky Jello again.  It is amazing … [Continue reading]

Hands-on Discipleship Moments: Ideas for Celebrating the Ascension


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A Time to Hold and a Time to Let Go


As dusk approaches, my oldest and I slip out to the trail behind our new home for a stroll. The birds chirp as a slight breeze rustles through the trees - music to my ears. He looks at me with a special smile and grabs my hand. Both of us are lost … [Continue reading]

Rainy Day Art and the good/bad of moving…


Rain pours down.  We are former desert dwellers and still get giddy at the sound of the pitter-patter, so we head outside with newly unpacked umbrellas to run and romp in the rain, explore muddy ravines, and make all kinds of observations on our … [Continue reading]

An Easter Devotional for You {COUPON CODE ALERT}

    So I'm on blogging break because I'm packing like a mad-lady, but I had to pop in and share about this really quick. The weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday (aka Easter) are some of my favorite - not only when I was a girl, … [Continue reading]

Why We Stopped Homeschooling >> BIG CHANGES


Change is inevitable. Sometimes it is incremental and sometimes it is dramatic. For our family change is coming in epic proportions. (But then, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that.)  It is a wild ride right now and I'm praying for … [Continue reading]