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5 Things I’m Loving This Week (+ one really big bonus!)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

1) Time Around the Table Every Morning

Every morning, we start out with a cleared off table. By the end of our homeschool Morning Time, it looks like this — or worse!

But it’s worth it for the discussions we have, the creativity it encourages, and the different worlds and periods or history we are transported to through story. (I think kids listen better when their hands are busy, so I always encourage the kids to draw, color, sew, or build while I read aloud.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

2) Going to the Ninja Warrior-like Trampoline Park

Things I learned:

  • I will not be trying out for American Ninja Warrior. It might look cool on TV, but um, looks can be deceiving.
  • I do not like taking risks. At all. One attempt at the warped wall was more than enough for me.
  • My post-kid bladder does not mix well with trampolines.

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

3) This Adorable Coloring Page

Did you see this adult coloring page printable that CreativLEI made? I just love it… Even though it feels a little weird to have colored my own quote and then have it displayed on my fridge!

(You can print your own at

5 Things I'm Loving THis Week

4) A Mommy-Daughter Date to the Mall

Kathrynne and I went on a Mommy-Daughter Date last week for her birthday. We went to the LEGO store, of course. Because this girl can never have too many LEGOs. And as long as she keeps them neat and organized and uses them to build cool Puzzle Boxes and other contraptions, I’m all about supporting this hobby of hers.

She decided to hit up the Pick a Brick section because that’s “the best use of your money” at the LEGO store, she tells me. You fill up a canister for $15, and I totally cracked up while watching her carefully fill each and every nook and cranny of her canister to make the money go as far as possible. She’s so like me in so many ways!!

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

We also went to the candy store where I found this. It gives a whole new meaning to, “I only ate one.”

Now I will always feel cheated out when I eat a regular-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

(You may be surprised to know I used incredible self-control and put this baby back on the shelf… Only because it was $19.99 and I’m cheap and practical like that.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

5) Our New Creative Writing Program

One of my goals for 2016 was to go through a creative writing course with the kids this year. Many of you asked which one I’d chosen and, after some research and looking at a lot of different options, I chose Story Starters by Karen Andreola.

We’re two weeks in and we are just loving this book. It’s not only a great way to teach creative writing and practice handwriting skills, but the we’re having a lot of fun with it.

(It’s written from a very Charlotte Mason-style approach, so if that’s that your thing/style, it’s probably not a good fit for you. Me? I’m all over Charlotte Mason — which is why we adore so many, many aspects of the Sonlight curriculum.)

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

Bonus: A Girls’ Weekend with MacKenzie

I had a very, very fun gift of getting to spend the weekend in Washington State with MacKenzie from Bold Turquoise. It was such a treat, such a refreshing time, and such a reminder of why it’s important to make friendships a priority. (You can watch the Periscope broadcast we recorded while we were together here.)

5 things you should know about this picture:

1) We were standing by this gold rhino… Only we could not, for the life of us, get a selfie that showed our faces and the rhino at the same time. You’d think two bloggers could possibly do better than that, but nope.

2) We are like two peas in a pod. We like so much of the same stuff, we think so much the same way, and we even seem to pick out similar clothes! Except MacKenzie drinks DECAF coffee. I mean, seriously. I don’t even know how to deal with that sort of travesty.

3) We thought we both looked similar in age (we’re only three years different in age!), but when we went to get manis and pedis, the lady asked if it was a Mother-Daughter outing. We both instantly replied in a very appalled manner, “Which one of us looks like the MOM?!?!?”

4) We had planned to take more pictures of our weekend, but we were so preoccupied with sharing our hearts and getting to know one another on a deeper level that we kept forgetting! #fail

5) We are so grateful to both of our husbands for the many sacrifices they made for this Girls’ Weekend to be possible for the two of us. We both came away feeling so refreshed and renewed and re-energized.

What are YOU loving this week?

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  • Swapna says:

    Best part of my week: We went to Ikea to buy a new bed for my daughter who’s outgrowing her crib. We bought a pink expandable bed for her and the she was so excited to buy the bed and sleep in it this weekend.

    The look on her face when she first saw the bed made my weekend!! 🙂

  • Kaye Edwards says:

    Mother – daughter???? No way!

  • Maura says:

    You can get those really big Reese’s peanut butter cups at Target for $10 around Christmas time. It might be worth it to see if they have any in the candy section during Valentine’s too.

  • Jessica says:

    The weather- it was 60 degrees in Columbus, OH yesterday! The kids rode their bikes and we went to a metro park and did some geocaching!

  • Davonne says:

    The mani-pedi girl probably sensed the fun closeness and asked that without really looking at you two 🙂

    One of my favorite things this week was moving into our new office! My husband & I started out in a tiny room with just the two of us nearly 11 years ago and we’re now a fully staffed computer service company leasing an 1,800 square foot building. It is SO much fun to have a real store front and be able to make the place our own!

  • Julia Reffner says:

    We’re reading Johnny Tremain right now, too, for Sonlight Core D.

    I’m reading and loving Lifegiving Home and the companion guide and the Living Brave semester I’m taking with Brene Brown.

  • Victoria says:

    Oh I bet that employee felt awkward after the “mother and daughter” comment.

    5 Things I am Loving This Week

    1. I rock at being a tree, and a flamingo! (yoga, learning new poses each week)

    2. The warmer than usual winter weather.

    3. Homemade peanut butter bars smothered in chocolate.

    4. Time spent with friends on Sunday.

    5. A foot injury that is finally showing signs of healing.

  • Renee says:

    5 Things I’m loving this week.

    1. I received the book Fervent in the mail as a surprise gift from my sister-in-law. She didn’t know that I had been wanting it, and I didn’t have a birthday, it was just a surprise.
    2. Nice, warm weekend just hanging out with my hubby and our 2 kids.
    3. Morning devotions with my hubby.
    4. Evening devotions as a family.
    5. Homeschooling.

  • Abigail H. says:

    Crystal, you are not cheap, you are frugal….love your stories 🙂

  • Deborah says:

    How fun to have a friend weekend!

    The coloring page is awesome and special memory-making time with kiddos always rocks! 🙂

  • Glad you had such an awesome weekend with MacKenzie! I’m so excited about that for you guys. 🙂

    What I’m loving this week-
    1. power came back on.
    2. I’m wearing flip flops and the ice is gone
    3. I’m going to see a live show this weekend with my awesome hubby!
    4. I’m having a friend over for a morning together
    5. I get a work/coffee date with my husband this week.


  • Carisa says:

    I totally agree with kids listening better if they have something to do while you are reading to them. This has been especially true for my 16 year old (our 6th and last child) since he was very young. We still do some lessons with me reading out loud while he is doing something with his hands. He is definitely a right brain learner. For more info about right brain learning check out

  • Jennifer says:

    I am loving the fact that you mentioned that Sonlight curriculum was styled after the Charlotte Mason method. My oldest starts Kindergarten next year and I have been struggling to find a classical curriculum that I don’t have to piece together myself. I also have a toddler and will have a newborn in July, so I’ll be contending with that while trying to homeschool, so I was not thrilled about having to cherry pick my own curriculum. Thanks so much for the tip!

  • Carol says:

    Crystal just wanted you to know that they had those same Reese Cups at Aldi during Christmas you might find them on clearance now. Just saying!!!!

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