Sunday, March 26, 2017

Better Together

It's been about a year and a half ago now. I finally feel like I can share with you one of the hardest lessons that I have ever learned (continue to learn) as a wife. 
A little background information: there are times when I wake-up in the middle of the night with the urge to pray for something. Sometimes it is a very specific need, sometimes it is a person, other times I don't know what I am praying for, I just know that I am supposed to pray. I have always semi-joked that this is the only time of my day that is quiet enough for God to get my attention and have me really understand the urgency. This is also the only time that I have unlimited availability to pray uninterrupted.  

It was the middle of the night when I woke-up from a very deep sleep. I remember there was this incredible sense of urgency and panic that almost consumed me. I reach over to wake-up Thomas and realized that he wasn't there. He had picked up a paper route to help with holiday expenses that year. I knew that I needed to start praying for my husband. 

I cannot explain to you what my heart felt and where I was mentally in that moment. I just knew that I served an all powerful, all knowing God and that He knew and that was enough! I prayed until exhaustion took over and I fell in to a restless sleep. I woke-up to my husband coming home. I was relieved to see him, but that dreadful feeling wasn't gone. 

After he left for his normal day job, I sent the kiddos outside and I spent more time praying, begging, pleading with my Heavenly Father to protect my husband. At one point during my prayer, I remember saying, "Father, I know that you love Thomas more than I ever could, but Lord, I just don't want to know what it would be like to not get to talk to him everyday, to not share my world with him, to not have him by my side to raise our children." 

In that moment, I remember hearing God, I mean really hearing Him say to me, "That is how you should feel about me!" It was then that it struck me, I had made my husband my idol. I had elevated him to a position above God. I needed to repent. 

Over the next several weeks, I struggled with that sin. I took to Jesus. I know that He forgave me, but I still needed to work on rearranging my priorities. My prayers began to change over those weeks. 

There is one prayer that stood out, one prayer that remains my hearts cry even now almost a year and a half later. I prayed,
"Father, I know now that if You chose to call Thomas home, I could continue. I could lean on You and raise these children to love You and serve You. I would continue to walk with You, trusting you. I know that You are in control. But, Lord, I also know that You gave Thomas to me to be my friend, my companion, to walk this road of life with me side-by-side. I also know Lord, that Thomas and I, though great on our own, are so much better together. We can serve You better, raise our children better, love on people better. Father, please, let us continue to be better together." 

After that prayer, peace flooded my heart in a way that I cannot explain to you. I knew that I would continue to serve along side this wonderful man that God had given me and that we would become better together!

Last week, we were shopping for homeschool supplies in our local Mardel. I rounded the corner and saw this:

I cried. I was being reminded to not put my husband before my Father. This sign now hangs above our bed. It is a testimony of a time when God reminded me that He is to be first in my life. It is also a reminder to never take my husband for granted. Today, I cherish the moments. I know that at any moment God may call my Thomas home, and if He chooses to, then I will be okay. I will lean on my Rock! Until then, Thomas and I strive to be better together!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece- A Review

Last year at our homeschool convention, my husband saw this amazing online art program that he raved to me about for weeks months. The problem was he could not for the life of him remember the its name. Luckily for him, the Crew had an upcoming review product that would help us learn its name: Creating a Masterpiece. We were given the privilege to review their Monthly Plan.  Daddy T is the artist in our home and was elated to finally be able to try that infamous (to our family) art program that he had raved about for the past year. The kids soon joined in his excitement!

Creating a Masterpiece

(This image is provided by and is precious to Creating a Masterpiece. I thought it special to include it in my review. I think it is wonderful and shows what is possible in children of all ages using this program.)

As we began to scroll through the projects available, I tried to keep the kiddos in the Beginner's section. I lost that battle as soon as they found the Lessons in Colored Pencils: Tropical Clown Fish. I should have known. There isn't a child that I know that wouldn't have wanted to try it first. Since we already had the supplies needed to start this project, I relented. 

Daddy T, Popper, Brother Bear, and Sister were the first ones to try out the program. They got everything set up and chose to work on it while I was busy with dinner prep. I loved seeing Daddy T get to be involved with them!

We tried to work through one lesson a week. This would have been a perfect pace for Popper, but Brother Bear and Sister needed a little more time to work. We ended up having to pause the video for them to catch up several times. I have to say, I really appreciate that aspect of the videos, it definitely made learning and assisting easier.

I love the finished projects! We learned a few things through this first project. First, quality does matter. We used colored pencils that we had a home. Since then, we have purchased nicer ones for the next time we need them. Second, Brother Bear and Sister do not have very long attention spans. You will notice the extra drawings on Brother Bear's page. He got a little bored while Daddy was helping the other two. We learned very quickly that on the longer lessons we needed to split them up and complete them in two days instead of one.

For our second project we chose to work as an entire family and complete the Lessons in Acrylic: Caribbean Lighthouse. We purchased everyone a canvas, made sure to get good quality acrylics, and we began. When we started we used cans to prop up our canvas. However, the next weekend I found great easels for cheap at a thrift store. These proved to be extremely useful!

We really enjoyed working on this as a family! Once again, I will brag on the fact that we could pause the videos to catch up and help each other when someone missed something or got a little behind. There were some great memories made during family art time. We want to make this a permanent thing at least one night a week! 

We learned another lesson with this medium: acrylic paints take time to dry. The above picture was after the first night. If you'll notice we were all at different points. The littler ones attention spans were shot, we older ones were helping the younger ones. Needless to say, we had to back track a bit the next art night to get us all together before starting the next lesson.

Drying time and attention spans made my plans go straight out the window. I wanted so desperately to have this one completely finished to show you a final product before I posted my review. Since that wasn't an option, and I did not want to rush these beautiful creations, I am simply going to be able to show you our work in progress pictures. 

We still have 2 more full lessons to complete before this picture is finished. After working through this program the past several weeks, I am learning to appreciate art even more. I understand what artists go through to create masterpieces! 

I cannot say enough good things about this program! Daddy T and I have decided that after our 6 month subscription is finished, we will absolutely be purchasing a year long membership. There are so many great projects to create. I love seeing each child's personality come out in their artwork. 

You can connect with Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook.

Other members of the Crew reviewed this as well. You can read about their experiences and view the projects they chose to complete by clicking the link below:

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring is in the Air!

If your family is anything like ours, spring is the busiest time of the year. This year is even busier than usual for the Crunchy Household. We are planting our gardens, establishing new flower beds, and knee deep in a kitchen remodel!

I have always loved rustic farmhouse style kitchens. White cabinets, reclaimed hardwood counter tops, fresh herbs planted in the windowsill. Since I spend 90% of my day in my kitchen, I have dreamed about my ideal kitchen for as long as I could remember. However, when Daddy T finally said, "Ok, it's time to tackle this kitchen. What colors do you want?" I panicked a little. I mean, here I have been dreaming for years, but in a dream the color can change. Now, I have to choose the colors and finishes that I am going to look at everyday for many years to come. That, my friends, is a lot of pressure!

What if I pick something that looks gorgeous on the paint chip or in the kitchen on TV, but I hate it in my kitchen? This has been the battle for the past few months. This past week, I finally chose the cabinet color, the hardware, and the look I want on the counter tops! Daddy T is calling it a true victory!

I know that there is still back splashes, wall color, and flooring to choose, but those will come in time. For now, we are busy painting cabinets.  I am learning patience in this remodel. My kitchen is a wreck! I am constantly searching for things in boxes as I try to get dinner fixed. I cannot wait until it is finished.

I am enjoying this time too! I love seeing my husband work with so much love for our family. He strives to make sure the boys get to help. There are some precious memories being made in our house. I cherish these times, storing them away in my heart. 

I can't wait to show you the finished project. But for now, I need to go paint a cabinet or two before bed.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Home School Adventure Co.-A TOS Review

When I was younger, any time someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always tell the 'a wife and mommy.' Of course, that answer would cause a giggle and the question was reworded to ask what I wanted to go to college to become. I eventually learned to answer, 'a teacher.' This despite the fact that I knew deep down my true calling was to be a wife and a mom.
You can imagine my excitement when I was given an opportunity to review the book I'd Rather Be Your Mommy? by Home School Adventure Co. What a beautiful truth to teach my children. What a great way to remind me and my children that this is a true calling! They also included I'd Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Editionwhich I knew Sister would simply adore, and I'd Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set.

I'd Rather be Your Mommy Book

I received a pdf version of all 3 products and I could not wait to print out my new treasures! I could only imagine reading this book to my babies and coloring along side Sister. I just knew this would be a well loved book in our home.

I just have to say, this book was more beautiful than I expected. From gorgeous illustrations to simple truths that I want to remind my children of everyday, this was the book that I needed. I needed to be reminded that this mom life that I have chosen is exactly where I want to be. It also helped to share with my children that there is NOTHING else I would want to be, but their mom!

Of course. Sister enjoyed the coloring book version so much. I was able to read it to her more times because of this added resource. As we colored together I was able to share my dreams of having children with her. I was able to tell her how special she is to me and how much I love her. I took this time to help her understand that she can be anything that she chooses to be and to never let anyone negate that! 

I loved the prints that were included as well. I chose to print them off and display them by the children's bedrooms for them to be constantly reminded that there is simply nowhere else I would rather be and nothing else that I would rather do than be their mom!

This book is a great way to share with you children just how special it is for you to be their mom. I believe that it helped to reinforce the precious role that God gave to us as moms, and to remind us just how special our calling really is. This is definitely a new favorite book in our home!

You can connect with Home School Adventure Co. online:

My friends on the Crew had the opportunity to review this and a few other titles from Home School Adventure Co. You can read about their experiences by clicking the link below:
Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer