Choosing to give thanks

by jessicalieb on November 26, 2015 · 0 comments

thankful social media

Today is Thanksgiving and this holiday is specifically designed as a day to celebrate all that we are thankful for. But really, thanksgiving is much more than a holiday. Thanksgiving should be an everyday way of life.

Now, I don’t always get it right and I have tough days just like everyone else but there is one thing that reminds me to be thankful. Social Media. That’s right, social media. Social media allows us to see and express so many different opinions, thoughts and ideas. And because of the personal disconnect (you aren’t talking directly to 1 person) it’s easy to say things you might be thinking but wouldn’t always say out loud.

So how, you might ask, does social media remind me to give thanks?

About 2 years ago I noticed that a majority of my social media sharing was just complaining.
“The kids woke up too early.
I’m cold.
We don’t have any money.
I’m hungry.
The boys are destroying the house.
Joe didn’t do the dishes.”
It was really self preserving. I wanted people to feel sorry for me. I wanted people to agree with me and tell me that life just sucks. It was all so very tiresome. So, one day I made a conscious decision that I would only share things that were uplifting and edifying. Every time I logged on I had to make a conscious decision about what I was going to share. Would this encourage someone, make someone laugh, give someone hope? Does it honor my family, does it honor God? Will people feel better after they read what I’ve posted?

Now I won’t post something fake or forced. If I’m having a rough day I probably won’t post anything at all. Sometimes I may post a humorous take on a stressful situation (like the time Noah flooded the bathroom or when our car repeatedly broke). Occasionally, I may share some challenging things. Subjects I feel deserve attention, like homelessness, hunger, pain in the world… but I try to make sure the things that deserve attention are the focus of what I’m sharing… not my judgement or opinion.

Making an effort to be conscious about what I share on social media has helped me to have a more thankful heart. My social media practices have spilled over to my day-to-day life. As I’m washing the dishes I may roll my eyes and wonder why the boys have to use a new cup EVERY.TIME.THEY.GET.A.DRINK but then I remind myself how blessed we are to have clean and easily accessible water to drink.

We all have our differing opinions on politics, parenting, diet, lifestyle, etc… And we all have our passions. Passions are great but the way we approach and share our passions speaks loudly about the state of our heart. So this Thanksgiving holiday let’s make a decision to live a life of thanks… one easy way to start is on social media.


Make a Thanksgiving Tree

by jessicalieb on November 25, 2015 · 0 comments





I don’t claim to be crafty or artistic but my boys love arts and crafts so I do the best I can. This year we decided to make a Thanksgiving tree.

It needed to be a simple craft that I could do with the boys and very little prep. So on one of our daily walks I asked the boys to collect some cool looking branches and told them we would make a cool project when we got home. Jude found one really cool branch and that was all they deemed necessary for our project. At home I brought out some construction paper, scissors, markers, a hole punch, and string. I had the boys cut out leaf shapes from the colorful paper and then we wrote thing we were thankful for on each leaf. I punched a hole in each leaf and we used the string to tie each leaf to the branches.

Now we have a daily visual reminder of what we are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.


2 Must-Have Christmas Picture Books

by jessicalieb on November 18, 2015 · 0 comments

We love sitting around the fire at night reading Christmas stories before bed. Each year we read some of our old favorites and add in some new festive stories. This year we’re excited to be adding two great pictures book from Sky Pony Press.

The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story by Anne Margaret Lewis (author) and Aaron Zenz (illustrator) is a sweet and endearing story of relationships, adventure, and following one’s dreams.

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I adore this simple and colorfully illustrated book that follow Santa on a sight-seeing adventure around the world.

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And the boys are in love with this creative depiction of an all time classic Christmas story, The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story. Written by by Clement C. Moore (author) and Amanda Brack (illustrator) this is a fresh take on a holiday classic and is perfect for LEGO and Christmas lovers alike.


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Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 3.50.40 PM Both of these are great fun reads for this upcoming holiday season. I’m sure I will read each of these books so many time I lose count but joy in my boys’ eyes will make each time a special Christmas memory for our family.


The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story – $10.99

The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story – $15.99

I received the featured products complementary to review for this post. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the company.


World Vision is giving shoppers over 100 ways to join the movement to end extreme poverty by providing life-saving gifts through the 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog.

world vision 2015 gift catalog

You don’t have to spend a fortune to bring about tremendous social change. Gifts in the World Vision Catalog range from $16 to $39,000 and can be purchased in a loved one’s name.

World Vision’s Gift Catalog gives shoppers a tangible way to improve the lives of children and families in a varieyt of different areas such as: clean water, food education, sexual exploitation and job training, among others. Here are a few of my favorite gifts from this year’s catalog:

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Gift a Goat: You can give a kid to a kid with the most popular item in the Gift Catalog. One baby goat costs $75 and is a fun gift for friends and family and is a great way to share how one goat can support another family by providing healthy milk, cheese and yogurt.

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Sesame Street WASH UP! Kit: Help teach children in Africa about the importance of good hygiene. For $100 you can donate a kit with colorful printed material, engaging videos, and fun activties featuring Sesame Street’s loveable new Muppet Raya and her friend Elmo.

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Handcrafted Gifts: Make a donation to help where it makes the most impact and choose from a variety of handcrafted gifts such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, coasters and coffee. On of my favorite handcrafted gifts is this beautiful Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet($45) handcrafted in Indonesia. One creative community on the island of Java makes these unique bracelets to help provide a sustainable income and care for their children. The artisan group is led by a mother who pours her heart into her craft – what better way to honor a mother in your life than with this gorgeous bracelet!

To order from the World Vision Catalog visit

Since 1996, the World Vision Gift Catalog has given people the opportunity to better the lives of children, adults and communities in the U.S. and around the world through hundreds of gifts in all different areas of need. In 2015, more than 122,000 donors gave more than 297,00 items from the Gift Catalog helping more than 650,00 people around the world.

This holiday season consider giving a gift from the World  Vision Catalog.

One lucky reader will receive a Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet a $45 value (like the one pictured above). Use the Rafflecopter form below. US Residents only. Ends 11/30/15


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on November 30, 2015. The winner will be chosen using and announced on this post. Entrants must be 18 or older. Winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

I was provided a featured product free of charge but all opinions are 100% mine.


Outside School


When I was a kid we’d occasionally get to go outside and do our school work on especially nice days. It was the highlight of the week/month/year to get fresh air, soak up the sun and and enjoy nature while learning. Since we started homeschooling I’ve been trying to find our homeschool style. I didn’t […]

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Building with Scout – Build & Discover Tool Set from LeapFrog Review


The Build & Discover Tool Set from LeapFrog keeps busy little builders learning. The Build & Discover Tool Set Doghouse is easy to take apart and put back together using the 5 included tools and playful guidance from Scout.     Children learn skills like counting, color matching and more building songs and phrases. They […]

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ABC11 Science Club


As a homeschool family we are always looking for new resources to expand and make learning fun. I’m thrilled to share out newest resources, The ABC11 Science Club. The ABC11 Science Club, sponsored by BASF, is an interactive experience targeted to students in grades 4 to 6. Our goal is to make science fun, and […]

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Practicing Life Skills with the LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven


Simon (3) is the perfect age for the LeapFrog Number Lovin’ Oven. The Number Lovin’ Oven is great for developing life skills and early learning in young children. With 16 ingredients and tons of fun features, the Number Lovin’ Oven lets little ones explore in their own unique way. Open and close the oven door […]

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