My Favorite Podcasts

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Last fall, I subscribed to the Focus on the Family Magazine. I really enjoy reading the articles about faith, marriage, and parenting. Towards the end of every magazine, there is a list of upcoming Focus on the Family Radio Show topics. At some point, I decided that I really wanted to listen to one of the shows (I don’t remember what the topic was). I found the Focus on the Family App for my phone and started listening pretty regularly while I was making dinner.

I got out of that habit before the move to Pyeongtaek. But, after listening to the Online Homeschool Convention in May, I decided that I really liked listening to something while I was making dinner and doing the dishes. I remembered the Focus on the Family broadcast and thought that I might be able to find a few different things to listen to. I downloaded the Stitcher app for my phone and found several that I enjoy. One thing that I like about this app is that I can make a list of my favorite stations (podcasts) and when there is a new podcast added, the app will notify me.

I still listen to the Focus on the Family Radio Show. I just use the Stitcher App now instead of the Focus on the Family App.

I have two favorite podcasts. The first one is God Centered Mom with Heather MacFadyen. She is a Christian mom with four boys. I like the way she interviews her guests. I find out about really cool books and speakers from her podcasts. Her heart is for moms to know that they are worshipping Jesus just as much while they are washing dishes as when they are in church.

My newer favorite is Cultivating the Lovely with MacKenzie Monroe. A Christian homeschool mom of four, she has great guests as well. She just seems very real. And she reminds me a lot of my friend Mary back home so that’s a plus.

I also seem to be in the mood to listen to Dave Ramsey about once a week. Sometimes his guests ask crazy questions. But I like his no-nonsense answers about finances. I also appreciate that he comes at personal finances with a biblical perspective.

 

Online Conference Season

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As I mentioned before, I have really gotten into online conferences in the past year or so. I like that I can find life giving information that I can watch at my convenience. Most of the time, it’s even free!

When we lived in Daegu, the PWOC always did two simulcasts each year. Beth Moore in the fall and Priscilla Shirer in the spring. They were my favorite days of the year. I enjoyed a full day of “girl time” where I also had a chance to worship God and hear teaching without distraction (read- they are always Saturday so Clarissa stays home with Tim).

What I didn’t think much about before was that the simulcasts were also available to individuals. In April, I planned to have the Priscilla Shirer Simulcast be my last hurrah in Daegu, but the movers changed my plans. I was devastated that I missed the time with my friends and Priscilla. So I googled it and I found out that I could pay $20 and have access for a whole month on my own. So I spent some time each night of hotel life listening to the Simulcast. I was able to enjoy the worship and the teaching so I got a lot out of it. I did eventually get my girl time in as well.

I went to my first simulcast at Camp Humphreys on Saturday. You can still hear Beth Moore talk about vision until October 16 here.

The other thing I have really enjoyed is online conferences. These have all been free. The catch is that they will post a few sessions per day and they are only available for 24-48 hours so you have to prioritize what you listen to. Each session also usually has a website or some kind of freebie from the speaker. But it is possible to get your favorite sessions in for free because each session is less than an hour long and you can start and stop as you need to. And if I wasn’t really interested in a session once it started, I could just stop. They also have a paid option where you can have access to all of the sessions forever. Though I have really enjoyed the conferences, I have not tried paying for them yet. I spent a lot of time listening to things as I made dinner or washed the dishes Also, let’s be real. Clarissa didn’t complain about getting to watch extra movies on those days either.

Last year, I really enjoyed the Mom Conference. It was only three days and I listened to sessions about getting your kids to eat healthier/teach them how to cook, organizing your life, budgeting, marriage, and even traveling as a family. The Mom Conference is happening again soon. You can sign up now and the conference will be live October 17-19, 2017. It looks like some of the same sessions from last year but some new ones as well.

In May, I listened to the Online Homeschool Convention. I really enjoyed this one. It lasted most of May. It had 3-4 sessions per day that were available for 48 hours. I usually only listened to 1-2 per day. But it was really encouraging to hear from people I really connected with and just really encouraged me in my thinking. It was also helpful to hear from people I didn’t agree with to think about what I really want for our family.

There was an overlap for a Homeschool Summit during May as well so I didn’t really get to listen to most of this one. That one was mostly about curriculum. There is going to be another one that focuses on teaching from October 16-21, so I am going to try to listen to some this round.

Once I got into a rhythm of listening to these things while making dinner, I decided that I really liked that routine so I started listening to podcasts. I think I need a separate post for that though.

Make Over Your Mornings Take 2

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Last summer, I tried the Makeover Your Mornings course when it first came out. It did help me to have a more productive summer and fall. I really enjoyed a relaxing spring and then had a lot of vacation bible school work to do over the summer, so I knew that I wanted to do it again after our trip to Japan.

On day one she writes:

“The goal of this course is not to create productivity for the sake of productivity. As satisfying as it is to cross things off your to-do list, it is not an end in itself. Making over your morning is simply a way to ensure you have more time and energy for the things that matter most: caring for your family, serving in a ministry, starting your own business, learning a new skill, or taking the time to refresh and refuel yourself.”

Who can’t use more of that?!

I also like that she talks about how a simple evening routine can set your morning up for success. For me that means doing dishes, packing the diaper bag for the next day, and setting out my glass of water.

This course also really helped me think through how I should prioritize my time. In this way, I can have a more productive day because I think about what things are more important uses of my time. There were a couple of days devoted to goal setting, which really helped me prioritize my schedule.

On day nine, she actually has you come up with a morning routine. I appreciate what she says:

“I don’t maintain my morning routine perfectly every single day, but I keep coming back to it because it has borne such good fruit in my life and in my family’s life. Remember, a good routine will help simplify your morning rather than create new anxiety about perfectionism.”

Day 12 talks about how having routines can help streamline your day and eliminate decision fatigue.

On day 13, she says, “failure is evidence that you are trying.” She talks about reevaluating your routines every 21 days to see if they are still working for you.

I like the format of the Makeover Your Mornings Course. Each day there is a short video, a couple of pages to read, and an action step or two. The whole process takes about 15 minutes of your day. The beauty of it is that since you have access to the videos and reading all the time, you can take more than 14 days to finish. There isn’t a date tied to your access. So you can take two or three days for each topic if you really like it or need more time (or get too busy and don’t get to it on a particular day).

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you order Make Over Your Mornings  through this post, I will make a small commission. However, it does not add to your cost

Super Healthy Kids

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A few months ago, one of my mom friends kept sharing recipes on her facebook page. Most of them were from the Super Healthy Kids blog, so I decided to check it out. The blog is great. They post recipes daily. Good recipes. Healthier alternatives to processed foods and desserts that most kids love.

I have made a few of the recipes so far and Clarissa actually likes them (so do I). Sometimes they use banana instead of flour. I have converted a few normal recipes to gluten free. But many times they already have gluten free or dairy free recipes posted.

In addition to recipes, they post other articles about keeping kids healthy. There was an interesting discussion on suncreen recently. And they talk about eating healthy while traveling.

Ten Dollar Tribe

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I have blogged about Crystal Paine and Lisa-Jo Baker before.  Both women have really encouraged me,  even though I have never met them in person.

Recently they traveled to South Africa together to see what Take Action Ministry does firsthand for the poor communities of Maubane and Reagoboka.

Crystal and Lisa-Jo have teamed up to start a Ten Dollar Tribe. This is simply a group of people who commit to give $10 per month towards this ministry. The cool part is that 100% of the funds from this project goes towards ministry.

Ten dollars doesn’t seem like a lot. But your money goes farther in South Africa.

  • $10 will buy 100 bowls of porridge for school children
  • $10 can provide 7 cooked meals
  • $10 can supply a month’s worth of school supplies
  • $10 can buy 2 weeks of cooking fuel for a local family.

And get this — $10 is a Caregiver’s full wage for a day!

Another thing I really appreciate about this is that the ministry is being accomplished by local leaders. I really think that God uses local people to reach their communities in amazing ways that foreigners can’t accomplish.

Ten dollars may not seem like a lot to us, but when a lot of people give ten dollars it really adds up. Plus I think about the Bible stories of how God uses little to do big things like using one little boy’s lunch to feed thousands.

 

Advent is for Mommy…this year

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I don’t remember when I started following Amanda’s blog. I think I was working at the church, but it was before I was pregnant with Clarissa. I think that if we met in person, we would be fast friends. She used to be a children’s pastor. Now she is a homeschooling mom who wants to help other moms teach their kids about Jesus.

A few years ago, she wrote Truth in the Tinsel . For 24 days in December, she gives you a scripture passage to read, discussion questions, and an ornament craft to tell the Christmas Story.

I have been looking forward to doing this with Clarissa. I figured that at 15 months, she is a little young for crafts. So I downloaded the printable ornaments to make it easier. I bought twistable crayons so that they would be harder to eat.

So on Monday, we started our adventure. I really enjoyed the scripture and the thoughts about Jesus being light of the world. I tried to get Clarissa to color her ornament. But, mostly, she tried to eat the crayons. Tuesday was a little better.

By Wednesday, Clarissa was more excited about playing with the crayons than coloring with them.

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By Friday, she had forgotten about the crayons (actually that is not true, she threw them on the floor). She decided it would be more fun to eat her ornament.

I was ready to give up on ornaments this year but this morning was our best yet. I didn’t take a picture, but she actually colored her ornament with a pen happily this morning. There is hope for us after all!

We will continue with our Truth in the Tinsel. I really look forward to the scripture readings and the different pieces of the Christmas Story. Amanda makes me think about things in a new and fresh way. If nothing else, I am planting seeds. They might mostly be in my heart. But that is okay!

I also got a few books from the library to make the Christmas Story more real to Clarissa.

God Gave Us Christmas is about a little bear who asks his mom if Santa invented Christmas. Little Bear wants to find Santa, but instead Mama Bear takes her to find God. They see God in things like the stars in the sky.

A Christmas Prayer is about a little girl saying her bedtime prayers. She looks at her nativity set and takes the time to thank God for each part of the Christmas Story (the angel, Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus).

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase Truth in the Tinsel by clicking on the link, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Money Saving Mom

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Another blog I really like is Money Saving Mom. Crystal is a Christian, homeschool mom. But, she has an army of other women working with her. I enojoyed reading today’s post about her journey the past ten years as a blogger.

There are several new posts each day. There are coupon deals, store deals, recipes, and encouraging stories about real families and finances each day. You can choose to subscribe by email or you can just follow her on facebook. I have been following her on facebook for a few months now. Tonight, I decided to subscribe by email because I am going to try and not be as addicted to facebook, but I like that I don’t have to figure out all of the grocery coupon deals myself. When I subscribed, I discovered that you can also subscribe for individual store deals! So I can just get the stores that I want. There was a list of 100 stores, so wherever you live, you should be able to find what you need.