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Homeschooling, read alouds, and why I put chocolate ice cream in my coffee!

Peek Into Our Week

We arrived home last night after a rather exhausting but oh-so-good weekend back in Kansas. While we dearly love the people there, we realized how much we already feel at home in Tennessee. It’s been amazing how quickly we’ve all adjusted and acclimated to our new life here. I know that is definitely a testament to many answers to prayer.

We’re getting back into the swing of homeschooling after taking a week off while we moved. Somehow, our kitchen table always “blows up” (see above) while we’re in the middle of our homeschool day! 🙂

One of the exciting changes moving and now working together is affording us is getting to choose our own hours and set our own schedule, instead of Jesse being tied down to court schedules, client appointments, and the daily responsibilities of running a busy law firm. This is allowing him to be a lot more involved in homeschooling and our daily life stuff — which we are loving!

Peek Into Week

We just finished the Imagination Station book #14 last week and started Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines. I’m already predicting our kids are going to love that book as they ate up the first chapter. 🙂

I loved reading Brother Andrew’s autobiography years ago and am excited to introduce him to my children now!

Peek Into Week

As you know, I’m all about making do and using what you have. So today, when I discovered we were all out of milk, I improvised and used chocolate ice cream in my coffee.

It was the best alternative to milk I could come up with — and truthfully, it was really yummy. 🙂 Plus, it saved me a trip to the store. That’s a win-win. But pretty much anything that involves chocolate ice cream is, isn’t it? 😉

How was your weekend and your day today?

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  • Megan says:

    We used to serve coffee a la mode when I worked at a coffee/ice cream shop….coffee with a scoop of ice cream balanced on the side of the cup, melting in. I have introduced it to many people throughout the years and it’s always a hit!

  • Denise says:

    Can’t wait to hear more about what you and Jesse are up to now! I can’t imagine having my husband and I both home all day everyday but I’m glad it is working for you guys!

    • We’re truly loving this new change of pace… a lot of prayer, planning, and thought went into this decision and we’re excited and grateful to see how well it’s working for our family!

  • Carrie says:

    Crystal, I just wanted to say how much I am loving your recent blog posts about family happenings, your move, settling into your new home, etc. It is really fun to get more glimpses into your daily life, like you used to post–really enjoying the way you’re “going back to your roots” in blogging. 🙂 Happy to hear you’re all adjusting well, and how awesome it is that you can work together/spend more time together as a family now!!

    I think coffee with chocolate ice cream sounds like a very good idea, too. 🙂

  • I love the homeschooling table picture. 🙂 I see that exact same thing at my house a lot.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Coffee and ice cream: a definite win-win! 🙂

  • Ginger says:

    Chocolate ice cream in your coffee?! I knew I liked you! 🙂 Love hearing about your daily life – and our dining tables look pretty similar during school hours! 😉 So happy you made it back safely!

  • Jacki says:

    My table is never cleaned off! Thinking about it, neither is the living room floor! My little one is sewing right now in the floor and the little lego girl has a pile of legos on the floor beside her. If they run out of floor space, they have been known to use my bedroom! I’m glad you have made a positive move for your family. We are considering it for our family as well.

  • I read my first trail blazer book to my children a few months ago after seeing one on a list of your read-alouds. I haven’t picked what book I’m going to start with the kids tomorrow, but I’m thinking I may have to snag another one (I have some on my kindle) as the selection.

  • Becky says:

    I agree – I’m really enjoying these more personal blog posts! Keep ’em coming! (And chocolate ice cream in coffee sounds great!)

  • Amy Lauren says:

    We don’t even have kids and our tables are always cluttered! I can only imagine homeschooling three kids at them :). Chocolate ice cream in coffee sounds amazing and maybe I’ll have to try that, even if i have creamer.

  • Shelly says:

    Our kitchen table often looks like yours along with our living room while we are doing school time. Today it even extended into the bathroom for some science fun.

    It’s so good to hear you are settling in to your new home. I know I’ve been praying for you and your family. It’s good to hear how well everything has been going for all of you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  • Kimberly says:

    I love these posts! I’ve really loved reading about your move as my family is getting ready to move to Kansas from California in a little over a month. Nervousness and excitement all around. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  • Julie Carns says:

    Can you share more about what Jesse is doing with you during the day? Is he the “behind the scenes” person of MSM now?

    • Jesse has always been involved in the business/legal aspects of MSM and he’s going to continue doing that. However, we are now pursuing some other new opportunities together — things we’ve considered for awhile but just didn’t have time or space in our lives to invest time and energy into. We’re really excited to have more flexibility in our schedules and to be able to work together much more as a family unit!

  • alison says:

    There is an Italian dessert drink called affogato where you pour hot espresso over ice cream or gelato. You just did it in reverse. It’s all good to me!

  • Lety says:

    Hi, Crystal! I had to take some time off from blogging and keeping up to date with the blogs I love. Now that I am back and catching up on your posts, I am so very happy to read you are all adjusting so well to your new home. 🙂 I am especially excited for your children and all the new friends they have made so quickly. May you continue to be so blessed and may all your plans work out just as you envision them. I will have you in my prayers <3

  • I love putting ice cream in my coffee. Whenever there’s a little leftover in the coffee pot (not enough for another full cup), I put it in the fridge to mix with ice cream as a snack later in the afternoon when I need a special pick-me-up. 🙂 I didn’t realize you guys had moved! Now you’re in my neck of the woods 🙂 You’re so blessed to be able to have your husband home with you now. That’s a dream my husband and I aspire to fulfill one day *hopefully* before the kids are grown!

  • Rachael P. says:

    You guys sound so relaxed! Just curious, do you still use MFW for the kids’ school or have you moved on? My oldest is getting ready to do MFW 2nd grade and we’re getting ready to do K with the younger one too!

    • This was our first year to vary from it… we loved it so much, but it just wasn’t meeting Kathrynne’s needs/desire to be challenged more academically. We used Switched on Schoolhouse with her this year and, while it was a change, it ended up working really, really well for her. We’re going to use Switched on Schoolhouse for both girls this coming year and then I’ll be doing Alpha Omega with Silas. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Tami says:

    Glad your move went smoothly. I’ve been a long time reader, but I think I missed something. Why did you move to TN? I’ve searched the archives and didn’t find it. Did Jesse get a job with Dave Ramsey?

  • Kim in Cali says:

    OH YAY, Crystal!! When you said you were moving I was afraid you were going to have to part with your table 🙂 Glad to see it is still a part of your family as you have posted about loving it in the past. No wonder you all feel at home right away.

    Ice cream in coffee sounds like a perfect match to me. What’s not to love! That it is chocolate ice cream is just a bonus 🙂

    • One of the chairs broke beyond repair recently and it made me realize that we are probably going to have to part with this table at some point since eventually it may break, too… but for now, we’re so happy to have such a well-loved piece of furniture in our home! 🙂

  • Roxanne says:

    Did your children see you put ice cream in your coffee?

    In my house that would set a dangerous precedent.

    The next morning we were out of milk, instead of eggs, my son would ask for oatmeal with ice cream on top and my daughter would ask for cheerios with melted ice cream!!

  • Amy says:

    Great idea for your coffee – although I’m afraid I might have a hard time going back to milk if I try it!

  • I love all the recent personal posts! It’s great getting a glimpse into your family’s life.

    Our table often looks like that in the middle of school as well. Thankfully, it’s all cleaned up pretty easily.

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about the Trailblazer book. I’ve been looking for something about Christian heroes that is a little easier than the Christian Heroes Then and Now series. I’m hoping the Trailblazer series might be a better fit for my kids (the oldest three are 7, 5 1/2 , and 4).

    Oh, and chocolate ice cream in your coffee sounds delicious!

  • Jennifer says:

    Do you think you will be posting the “Super Saturdays” shopping posts and link up again? When I first started following your blog that was my favorite part! I guess I am just nosey, but I loved to see the deals other women were getting. Many times I would find out that something was on sale I totally missed. Even if you don’t I will still love your blog:)

  • Meredith says:

    I’m loving your website again!
    Did I see this week’s menu plan yesterday? I can’t find it today. Thanks!

  • Lori S says:

    I love vanilla ice scream in my coffee. SO good! But I only do it once in a blue moon–trying to watch sugar intake. But it is so good!

  • Michelle says:

    Girl, I will put just about anything in my coffee so I can still drink it! Love that you got to have such a little treat this morning (it’s the little things, right?) We homeschool also and I always think it looks like our bookshelf threw up on our table during school hours 🙂 Glad you’re getting settled in…I’m from west TN originally and LOVE your new neck of the woods!

  • Tiffany says:

    Wow! That’s the second reference I’ve seen to Brother Andrew today. What a powerful story he has! Now, what is God trying to tell me?

  • Jessi says:

    Glad to hear that everyone is adjusting well!! I’m very happy that you will be doing more “personal” posts again..I really enjoyed those and found so much encouragement on your blog. I am curious, why the move to TN to be able to do the things that you guys wanted…I have seen a few blog posts about the move but not why you had to move to TN to do those things 🙂 Couldn’t you have just stayed in KS ? I’m just curious! Love your blog so much and look forward to more posts about your adventures 🙂

    • Great question! There were a number of different deciding factors (and a lot of prayer!) that went into making the move, but suffice it to say, moving here made it much, much easier for us to pursue the opportunities and doors opened to us than staying in KS would have. We’re so grateful for the clear direction God has given and how He continues to bless this decision!

  • Bethany M says:

    Hey Crystal! What age group is the Imagination Station books good for? And are they good for read-alouds?

  • Aleyr says:

    Last weekend I made coffee punch for a party and it was a hit all it is, is a pot of cold coffee with a cup of sugar mixed in then poured over chocolate or vanilla ice cream! You can add a cup of vanilla creamer to it if you want. It was amazing and went very fast! Everyone loved it.

  • Jennie says:

    What a fun post! I love connecting with you in these personal glimpses into your life. It’s pretty awesome to see “real life”. Gotta run…out of creamer…but I know we have ice cream!

  • Mackenzie says:

    I am so excited for you and your sweet family. It is such a testament to all of your years of hard work and time crying out to God for the desires of your heart. He is so good, and His plans are always so much better than we could ever imagine! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Your new life of working from home with your hubby and homeschooling together sounds so much like ours. I completely understand why you’re loving it!

  • Hey! I recognize the top book in the first photo – We use a lot of Rod and Staff stuff. Simple, inexpensive, nice.

    I found out about Rod and Staff because we used to attend a Conservative Mennonite church – like head coverings, cape dresses, and the whole works.

    Chocolate ice cream in coffee – time to open a shop!

  • We love Imagination Station books!

  • Mrs. Zoo says:

    We went to the coffee shop on board a cruise ship and I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so the barista gave me a double shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Delicious!!

  • Jessica says:

    I have followed your blog for a long time…thank you for all that you do. I am looking into homeschooling our son after he finishes private Christian school which would take him through fifth grade.

    Can you share why it was important for you and your family to homeschool or give me a reference to a post that you did share why? As any parent I feel a strong pull to do this but have doubts too. So I do what I always do….read, pray and do some more.

  • Ron says:

    Very interesting post Crystal. Ice cream in Coffee? ? That definitely sounds like a combination I’d have to try out. I think it’s pretty cool that you homeschool your children. It’s a great way to bond with them. However, I’m not sure the table in that picture is enjoying itself with the amount of stuff on it lol. I bet it wished the children attended public school. ?

  • Emily says:

    Why is it that I never thought of putting chocolate ice cream in my coffee? I put milk and sugar in it! Isn’t that basically the same thing?!?! Thanks for sharing this with us. I have dreams of homeschooling but I’m not sure I could ever make the jump.

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