My Morning Quiet Time Basket


Several month ago I was listening to a great podcast with Pam Barnhill interviewing Jennifer Mackintosh about her Mother’s Morning Basket. While I already had some materials I used for my morning quiet time, the idea of a basket with a variety of materials really appealed to me.

So I put together a Morning Quiet Time Basket of my own.

Hopefully seeing what is included in mine may inspire you to put a basket of your own together. My morning time using materials out of my basket has become my favorite time of day.

Here is what I have in my basket.

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Spiritual Growth

  • My first Bible as a young Christian was the New King James Version of the MacArthur Study Bible. It is still my Bible of choice and holds a very special place in my heart. It is the Bible I read and study daily.
  • My monthly devotional book while I study the book of Philippians is Experiencing God’s Peace. This is the first of Elizabeth George’s studies I have worked through and I plan to add several more to my reading next year. They are very thorough and dip deep into the meaning of Scripture.
  • My Bible copywork notebook is just a plain composition notebook where I copy down sections of the Bible I am currently studying.
  • My index card books: one I use for a prayer journal and one I use for truth cards that go along with my study of Taste for Truth.
  • My Taste for Truth Bible Study book that I use for days when I am struggling with food. I have gone through this Bible study and finished it, but I keep it in there for the times I need a little extra encouragement. Years of dieting has been very destructive on my relationship with food, but this Bible study has helped tremendously.
  • My latest book review for the blog, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, also by Liz Curtis Higgs (I love her writing style- it’s like sitting back and listening to a friend tell you a story).
  • My current library book to read, which is The Life Giving Home. I absolutely love this book, and have decided to actually buy it so I can work through it this upcoming year, month by month. I also purchased The Lifegiving Home Experience.

Special Christmas Books

  • My favorite Christmas book, The Women of Christmas. This book always puts me in right frame of mind as the rest of the world experiences Christmas craziness.
  • Last year at Christmas we read Glenn Beck’s Immortal Nicholas, which was fantastic! So this year I am reading through The Christmas Sweater. Glenn Beck never disappoints as a story-teller.
  • My Christmas devotional, The Greatest Gift. No one can dive into deeply spiritual matters like Ann Voskamp. I highly recommend this book if you need a Christmas devotional.


  • My reading journal, which contains my commonplace journal (my favorite quotes from books I have read) and also has my list of books I have read this year.
  • My Book Darts. I can’t live without them. I use this with every book I read so that I can easily come back and copy my favorite quotes in my reading journal.

And that is about all my morning quiet time basket can hold. I love that each morning can be a little bit different depending on what I choose to read or write. The time I spend using materials out of my basket can be anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour. There are even some evenings when I take my basket out to do some reading. It’s just so flexible and enjoyable.

After the Christmas season, I will rotate in some more educational categories for reading such as history and science. I’m also planning on working my way through The Young Wives’ Guide 2018 Christian Reading Challenge. She has some great book suggestions that will definitely find their way into my basket. It’s amazing to me how much reading I was able to accomplish this year just by making my basket of books a priority.

I highly encourage you all to pull together your favorite materials and create a basket of your very own. And I’d love to hear what you put in it if put together your own morning quiet time basket.


Apologia Education Ministries: What on Earth Can I Do? {Schoolhouse Review Crew review}


Do you teach a Biblical worldview along with your regular Bible studies?  If this is something you would like to add to your studies, Apologia Educational Ministries has just what you need! They have just released the fourth book in their “What We Believe” series of worldview training. For this review I received the What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book), the What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, the What on Earth Can I Do, Junior Notebooking Journal, and the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book. The hardback book retails for $39 and can be used with children in grades 1-6. Both the Notebooking Journal and the Junior Notebooking Journal retail for $24. The coloring book is perfect for your younger children to keep their hands busy while they listen, and it retails for $8


Although this is the fourth book in the What We Believe series from Apologia, this is our first experience with them. I have heard of them many times before, but have never really looked into it. That was a mistake, because these books are wonderful! They are all meant to show your children how the words and actions of God are woven into our lives and into history. The main book includes 8 lessons, but these lessons can take weeks to get through. The suggest time for each lesson is about two weeks, but we have found working at our own pace instead of working within that time frame, has worked very well. The stories in the book are easy to read and easy for the kids to follow. There are wonderful pictures to go along with the stories too.


There are some fantastic journals to go along with the main book for your children to use. Caspian used the notebooking journal, Aurora used the junior notebooking journal, and the coloring book was for Moose. I love how these notebooks can bring the whole family together as they work to study the same topics. The notebooking journal is filled with comprehension and analysis questions, as well as crossword puzzles, word finds, and other pages to copy Scripture and take notes. The journal notebooking journal includes crosswords, coloring pages extra activities and book suggestions, and includes places to write prayers, copy Scriptures, and record praises.Both journals come with lesson plans at the beginning to instruct you on which activity to do in connection with your reading in the main book. The coloring book has several beautiful pictures to color for each lesson.


The main book does give you a suggested lesson plan, but I found it was best to read a chunk each day and not force our way through anything. There are so many great stories in this book and I didn’t want my kids to miss any of it! I will admit, when these books first arrived, I wondered how well my children would listen to the stories. But I completely underestimated both my children and the authors. These stories are written in such a conversational way that it is easy for them to follow along. They have taken so much from the stories we have already read, and we aren’t even half way through the book yet! The greatest sign of curriculum success for me is when my children bring up something they have learned when we aren’t even doing school work. This has happened several times with the What on Earth Can I Do book.


I really feel like teaching a Biblical worldview is so important for our children. Sometimes the Bible can seem so separated from our daily lives and our families are constantly bombarded with unbiblical things. It is so beneficial for children to hear and see that the works of God are woven into each moment of today and in history. From a Bunker hole in World War I to the Biblical days of Joseph and Potiphar, God has always been there, and he always will be there!


I love the view of God’s sovereign hand this book has brought into our home. The kids are seeing how important their relationship with God is, even outside of our home. Seeing how wonderful these books are makes me ready to try the others in the series. It has sparked some great discussions and has proven to teach some very powerful stories in a way that I could never have done on my own. If you have used the other books in this series, I am sure you will love this one just as much. And if you have never used the Apologia What We Believe series, it is one that I would highly recommend. I am truly grateful for the blessing these books have been to our family!

Click the link below to see what the other Crew members thought about What on Earth Can I Do?

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Bible Verses to Teach Children to Show Love {with a FREE printable}

Bible Verses to Teach Children to Show LoveI have been noticing a very disturbing trend lately. Everyone feels the need to judge everyone else. People are so quick to pass judgment on someone else before they even stop to take a second thought. So many feeling are hurt, people are driven away from churches, and the love of God is never seen. This is not the way I want my children to be raised.

We are surrounded by judgment, at home, in stores, even in churches. Teaching my children to share the Truth in a way that is not judgmental is going to be a challenge. We are going to have to go straight to the source and use some Bible verses that will help me teach my children to share the love of Christ and not jump to judging others. I have put together a collection of the Bible verses we will use in our memory work to help teach this.

*All Bible verses are from the English Standard Version Bible*

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…” Luke 6:37

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.” Galatians 5:14

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love goes not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also much forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-15

I pray that learning these verses will help my children remember that judgment is not the way to point others to Christ. Before anyone can be expected to follow His laws, they must first experience His love. I encourage you to find ways to show the love of Christ this week.

Want to print off these verses to use with your children (or even just for yourself)? Just click on the link below and print out a copy of your own!

Bible Verses Showing Love

How Praying with an Open Spirit Can Save Heart Ache

How Praying with an Open Spirit Can Save Heart Ache

I am going to share something personal with you today in the hope that maybe I can help someone who may be like me.

I am the type of person that gets hurt easily.

Hurtful words and actions don’t bounce off of me…they stick. I can forgive, but I don’t forget. The words “I didn’t mean it” don’t work with me because my thought is: you said it or did it, so in some way you must have meant it. This is something I have worked on throughout the years but it can still be a struggle, even when it comes to my prayer life. Since my word for 2014 is prayer, I thought I would share a little bit with you all on how I deal with this.

I am guilty of sometimes praying with the expectation that I will get my way. When I don’t get my way, I am hurt. Why would God not answer my prayer in the way I wanted it answered? Selfish, I know, but I am just being honest here. After many years I have finally come to the realization of what I was missing the whole time. I was never praying with an open spirit.

How does a person pray with an open spirit? Well, I can pray in a way that I am open to the answer God gives to my prayers. When I am confronted with a dilemma, I can pray for wisdom. I can pray for contentment. I can pray that my heart will be open to the answers, regardless of what the result may be. God already knows where my heart is and which direction I want to go. But I don’t know His heart and what direction He needs me to go. I can pray to be open to the answer He gives me.

My heart-ache when it comes to answered prayers has changed dramatically all because of the way I pray about it. I no longer feel personally defeated when I don’t get the answer I thought I wanted. When I pray for a situation, I no longer say “God, I want it to be this way…”. He already knows that anyway. Now I pray “God, please give me contentment with the decision You make about this...” or “God, please keep my spirit open to what Your will is in this situation...”.

He knows where I need to go.

He knows what is best for me.

He knows The Right Way.

His decisions are always best.

He wouldn’t put me in a place where I wasn’t meant to be.

He will always be with us, wherever He may lead us.

Obviously this may not be true for every type of prayer. I am still going to pray specifically for certain requests. But most decision-making prayers can be prayed in a way where we are open to what God has to offer. It takes so much stress off of our shoulders when we come to the realization that the decision is not ours to make anyway. Less stress, content heart…now that sounds like something I want for my life!

So I encourage you if you don’t already, make your prayers those of submission to God’s will instead of prayers of pretending that we know what is best. We don’t know what is best and we never will. But there is One that loves us enough to provide us with what we need...always.

Spotlight on a New Favorite: The ABC’s for Godly Girls and Boys

Spotlight on a New Favorite the ABC's for Godly Girls and Boys

This week I am excited to share with you all another curriculum that has become a family favorite. It is so hard to find a Bible curriculum that meets all of your needs, mostly because different families need different things! But this one fits our family so well, and we are able to use it over and over again!

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The ABC’s for Godly Girls and Boys is a complete Bible curriculum that takes your children through the alphabet as they learn all about God. Lindsay, the creator of this curriculum has done such an excellent job of putting this all together, making it fun for the kids, and making it easy for the parents. The kids look forward to doing their Bible activities every day, and I love the lessons they are taking away (how can you not love a 5 year-old taking about how he can “edify” others?!).The ABCs for Godly Boys and Girls

Why do we love the ABC’s for Godly Girls and Boys?

-This curriculum can be used with children of multiple ages. The author suggests it can be used for children ages 4-10. We are currently using the girls curriculum with Aurora (8) and the boys curriculum with Moose (5).

-There are some great games, activities, and crafts that come with the curriculum. Each week there is an activity and a craft for the letter of the week. You also get a bingo game, a maze, flashcards of the lesson for the week, and copywork for the Bible verse.

-We can easy get the lessons done in a reasonable amount of time. The crafts and activities can all be done in about 20 minutes at the most.

-The combination of different types of activities each day is resulting in the kids retaining what they are learning. Hurray! There is such a sweet simplicity to this curriculum and I am so glad to have everything all put together for me.20140209-185441.jpg

How do we use the ABC’s for Godly Girls and Boys?

-Monday’s work includes reading the Bible memory verse and the lesson.

-Tuesday’s work is reading the Bible story for the week and reviewing the memory verse.

-Wednesday’s work is reading the extra Bible verses and reviewing the memory verse.

-Thursday’s work is the activity for the week and reviewing the memory verse.

-Friday is craft day! By this time the memory verse is pretty familiar to the kids. Even if they don’t have it perfectly memorized they usually understand the basic meaning of it.

-The mazes and bingo games are saved for afternoons and weekends. We don’t currently do the copywork since we have other things to practice handwriting and I don’t want to add too much writing into our day. 🙂

-Some weeks Aurora and Moose work together because their lessons are the same (like “D is for Disciple”). But Lindsay does a great job adding things that are different. When Moose was doing “B is for Bravery, Aurora was doing “B is for Beauty”. I love the combination of sometimes doing group work and sometimes doing individual work.20140209-185431.jpg

What materials are needed?

-Once you have purchased the curriculum, you can choose to either print off the lessons or use it on a device like an iPad. We have our books in iBooks on the iPad. That way we can click directly to the links posted for different songs and activities.

-There are some materials you will need for the crafts, but they are mostly materials that you would already have in your home.

-You need a Bible to read the Bible stories and verses. Sometimes with Moose I will read the story from a children’s Bible instead of reading it straight from the Bible since he seems to retain it better that way. Aurora does fine reading straight from the Bible.

-If you are going to use the flashcards and copywork you will need a printer.

Do you have a favorite Bible curriculum you use?

If you would like to check out some of our other favorites, just click on the links below.

Miquon Math

more to come soon!



Monthly Spiritual Growth Goals (FREE Printable)

Monthly spiritual growth goals printable

Do you set spiritual goals for yourself? I’ll admit, setting spiritual goals has never been something I have put much thought into. I have my prayer time, I do my Bible reading, and just assume I am growing. But maybe I should have some goals. If we make goals for things like weight loss and healthy eating, why not set some spiritual goals?

This past weekend at church our pastor gave an excellent sermon on spiritual growth. Just as we can measure physical growth, we can also measure spiritual growth. Our goal each year should be to grow closer to the Lord and to be more like Jesus. Our growth can be measured in our thoughts and actions. Yes, we will slip up from time to time, but we need to be headed in the right direction.

I thought of 6 areas in my life where I could set some goals for growth. I have always been the type of girl who needs to write things down so I created a chart to fill in each month. Why monthly and not yearly?

I know that things change from time to time. Our prayer time may not be working anymore, or we may need to make more time for it. We may find a sinful habit creeping in that needs special attention. There may be specific Scriptures that are helpful to memorize to encourage us in our current situations. We may find that we need to work on a different fruit of the Spirit. Because of these reasons, monthly seemed like a good time frame for me to set these goals.

Have you ever set spiritual goals before? What method did you use? I would love to hear what works for you!

If you would like to try the chart I created for setting my spiritual goals just click on the link below…

Monthly Spiritual Growth Goals

*This post marks my 200th post on this blog!!! Thank you all for joining me on this journey! I hope you are all encouraged by it as much as I am encouraged and inspired by you!*
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FREE Printable Prayer Journal for Moms


FREE Printable Prayer Journal for Moms
Have any of you had a chance to use the Prayer Journal for Kids I shared last week? I am so excited to see the changes taking place in our home, all because we are adding in a lot more prayer.

Just this week I was looking for some small paint brushes that I had “put away”. Aurora says to me, “Mom, did you pray that you would find them?” I answered that yes I had prayed for help to find them. She said “then you will find them!” Sure enough, a few minutes later I found them. We both immediately said “Thank you, Lord!”. So we are seeing the Lord work in our lives in even the small.

We are also seeing His hand in the big things. Right now we are trying to make decisions as far as where we are going to live long-term, whether that means staying put in our current home, or moving out to the country (which just happens to be very close to grandparents!). I know the answer to our prayers of clarity in where our home should be will come. So much pressure is off of me now that I am daily reminding myself that these are not my decisions to make. It is so freeing to walk in God’s path instead of paving my own.

Our prayer journals are proving to be great reminders of the big and small things we need to pray for. I put one together for moms, with a few more pages than the journal for the kids. Just click on the link below to download your free printable prayer journal.

My Prayer Journal for Moms

How has prayer worked powerfully in your life lately?