Hope in the Tough Times



As we enter into our very first week of Advent, I would like to take the time to consider Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Unless you’re Catholic (which I am not), Mary tends to be overlooked until Christmas rolls around, and even then I’m not sure we give her the respect she deserves as a woman of God.

Her faith is beyond many of the men mentioned in the Bible and her trust and hope in God is something to strive for.

Let’s take a look at the moment Mary’s name got etched in History.

Luke 1:26-38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.


That is what I call bravery!

Mary lived at a time when women lived with their fathers and mothers until they were old enough to be married.

Around 14 or 15 many young girls will enter into a time of betrothal.  It is a time of engagement, and preparation for marriage, but it is just as legally binding as the marriage itself.

This is where young Mary finds herself.  She was about 14 years old, betrothed for Joseph, and is being told by an Angel that she will bear the Son of God.

At 24 and unmarried I was scared when I found out I was expecting a child.  I was an adult, I was out on my own and I had a means to support myself as well as a family that would be supportive of me as well.

Mary did not have that.  By obeying God she risked being rejected by Joseph, and rejected by her family, friends, and neighbors.

Joseph was a good man and he stood by her.  He continued his betrothal and later married her, but not everyone saw Mary as a servant of God.

At the time she lived in Mary would have become an outcast, and only because Joseph stood by her did Mary, most likely, escape being stoned for adultery.

We see how much see sacrificed to obey God when it comes time for Jesus to be born.

When we think of the manger scene, we think of Mary, in a barn, holding her perfect baby boy, surrounded by calm animals, angels, wise men, and shepherds.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

As Mary and Joseph traveled to the land of Bethlehem because Joseph was of the house of David, they would have traveled to where Joseph’s extended family lived.

In the Bible, the word used for Inn in the story of Jesus’ birth is “Katalyma”.

The Katalyma was the private guest room, or upper room, set above the living quarters in a standard Israeli home.

In stories where Hotels or Inns are mentioned they use the word “Pandochion”.

When Mary and Joseph were told that the Inn was full but they could use the stables, they weren’t being turned out by a hotel owner they had never met before, but by Joseph’s family.

They were turned out by family.

And the private barn was most likely not what we imagine either.

Jewish Home

This is a picture of a display of an Israeli house in Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth.

Below the living quarters and the Katalyma are the stables and the court yard.  Jesus’ birth may have happened with a manger near by to use as a crib, but Mary might as well have been giving birth on the front lawn for all the more privacy she had at a very intimate event.

Mary sacrificed her good name, risked her marriage, and endured much to obey God.

She had so much faith in who God is and hope in what God would do with the child He was giving to her that she took it all on willingly.

Luke 1:38

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered.

“May your word to me be fulfilled.”

How I would love to have the faith and hope of Mary!  The only thing she faced that was harder than carrying the Son of God would be to watch the child she carried and raised die for all mankind, and she did both to honor and glorify God.



Year Long Dinosaur Unit

Teacher Tuesday



This year I am decorating my classroom in Dinosaurs.  One day a week (Fridays) we will be exploring one topic or Dinosaur.  This will last for the whole year.

Below I will share with you my Lesson Schedule, Dinosaur Journal Templates, Journal Answer Key as well as the activity and art craft that will go along with our study of fossils.


Dinosaur Journal

(Click Picture)



Dinosaur Journal Map (not included in Journal Doc)


Dinosaur Friday Schedule and Journal Worksheet Key


Dinosaur Map (Graphic Organizer) Completed


This will take you the the teachers pay teachers free download (where I found it)


To help with all we’re learning I also created documents labels and found photos of each dinosaur that can be printed out on card stock, laminated and displayed.

Dinosaur Photos

(Click Photo to access file)




Lesson Labels

(click photo to access labels)

I hope you enjoy these.  I know it seems like a lot for Kindergarten but spaced out over the year I do think it will be enjoyable for the students and they will learn some about Dinosaurs.

I’m curious as to what you think and what changes you would make or activities you might add (I haven’t planned many activities related to the subject).

Comment and Let me know!




Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Before I begin and share a recipe that is easily my daughter’s new favorite (it’s a cookie!), I want to apologize for being absent from posting.

I recently joined Thirty-One Gifts as an Independent Sales Consultant and have put much of my attention there. I am sorry to my faithful readers that I have not been keeping up with things here.

That being said, let me tell you a story.

Last week my daughter turned 5 years old.


At her party a dear friend of our brought us some Zucchini and Yellow Squash from their garden.   Now I love foods with Zucchini in them but I’m not a fan of zucchini itself.  I feel it has no flavor.  That, however, is the great thing about zucchini, it can become just about anything.

I got online and looked up some recipes and this is one of the recipes I settled on making.



Most people don’t look at Bananas and Zucchini and think


But when I saw the recipe online I thought, “that sounds yummy”.


You can find the recipe at  Inside BrewCrew Life 

The recipe makes approximately 24 cookies.  It’s fun when your pile of cookies looks like this:



These are kid approved.  Yes, my daughter eats most veggies with broccoli being her favorite. But she actually likes these better than regular chocolate chip cookies.  I know, she told me so.


If you try out this cookie recipe, let me know if it was as much a hit for your family as it was mine!





Updated Math Wall

Teacher Tuesday


I posted previously about having walls that worked in the classroom.  Making them interactive rather than just pretty.

This was what my math wall looked like….




I decided this year to redo it so that everything was uniform and yet still held the same idea.  I have uploaded my files to Google Drive and I am going to share them for free.

My inspiration for these changes came from various sources on Pinterest. Here they are….




I took a few ideas from each of these and made my own special to what we will be working on in our classroom.

Math Wall 1 (School day count, place value and add)

(use number cared with this)

Math Wall 2 (Labels for subjects)

(plan on getting two decks of Trends 0-100 # Flashcards with number on one side word on the other)

10 Square (to go with “looks like”)

Piggy Bank

Clock Recorder

And this is the clock I plan on making to use with my classroom.




What else would you add to your math wall to make it the best it could be?


Baked Cheesy Tomatoes

Meal Plan

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This recipe is incredible easy and can be altered to catered to preferences.  I’ll even include some of my changes I have made over the many times I have made this dish.


2 Tomatoes

4 Slices of bread (I have also used two slices of Italian bread broken in half)

Shredded Parmesan Cheese




Cooking Oil



1.) Slice Tomatoes and lay them out on a baking sheet




2.) Sprinkle on salt, pepper, oregano (to taste), add cheese (as much or little as you want) and drizzle with oil (I often leave this off)

  • I substituted Parmesan cheese with Mozzarella cheese
  • I have also used Italian seasoning instead of oregano (i think I like this better)




3.) Bake at 425 degree Farenheit for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted somewhat like this….





4.) Toast bread and add tomatoes to bread.  A piece of Italian bread can hold one tomato per half (so you may need 4 slices of bread to have toast for each slice of baked tomato).  Regular bread can hold two slices of tomato per slice of toast.

In the end you have something like this….




It’s healthy, it’s tasty and I would encourage any of you to try it.

If you do please come back and share your variation with me.  I’d love to try some new versions of this basic dish.

Being a Good Friend After Becoming a Mother

Surprise Sunday


It’s no secret, I am a mom.  These are my children….


park fun


They keep my life interesting. I spent most of my evening returning MY tennis shoes back to where they belong because my son feels the need to bring them from the doorway to the dining room and place them on the dining room table.  My daughter was a little more subdued and spent the night coloring (she loves art).

What I am realizing is that I am a horrible friend. I feel guilty having to share my attention between my friends and my children and so often I shy away from gatherings where that is needed.  That normally means if I have my children (ie. they are not home with their father or off with their grandparents) I tend to neglect my friends.

Sometimes I have gatherings at my house and my friends come, and I don’t feel as guilty because this is where my kids live and they should here.  But that isn’t fair to my friends either.

I know I need that adult interaction, but, as my husband tells me, I’m not good about asking for help.  I get it stuck in my head that is is my responsibility,  and I suck it up and I try to take care of it.  I feel guilty even asking my in laws (my kid’s grandparents) to babysit because they’re my kids, they’ve all ready raised their kids and shouldn’t have to take care of mine.

They offer a lot, and I normally take them up on the offer.  I don’t have a problem accepting help, It’s just hard for me to ask for it.  I always feel like i’m shirking my responsibilities when I do.

Isn’t it lazy to ask someone else to do something that I can do?

But how much longer can I do it myself? How much longer can I take on the world before I crash and burn?

How do I balance work, being a wife,being a mother, taking care of the house, having time for myself and still being the friend i should be for my friends?

I have some wonderful friends who are very understanding.  They were supportive of me when i was a single mother, they celebrated with me when I got married and added another child to my family, and it feels like sometimes the best I can do is give them a facebook shout out.

That’s not a good friend.  I miss making connections with people.  Being online keeps people in contact but not connected.

I know I have lost friends after becoming a mother.

Some could not handle that my life was different.  That I wasn’t free to go out at nine when they called at eight.

Some, we just drifted apart. They began a family of their own, or moved away, or they put the same energy into advancing their careers as I have put into caring for my family.  That is the nature of life.  Not all friendships last forever.

But the friends I still have are special, and I feel like I am neglecting them.  I hate that feeling.  But I don’t want to neglect my family either and I know I can’t do it all.  So what gives?


Hey moms!  

How do  you balance all of this?  

How do you make time to still be a good friend while still being a good mother?

Am I the only one who struggles with this?  

Leave me a comment and give me some advice!