Monday, May 25, 2020

Review: When My Mind Winds Up: A Pull No Punches Approach to Anxiety

I have been greatly blessed by Jennifer Ervig and her book, When My Mind Winds Up these past few weeks.  So many people deal with anxiety and/or depression, but they feel that they shouldn't talk about it. Some feel that it's a weakness and they aren't as strong as others if they admit they have either of these issues. I personally have dealt with depression for well over 10 years. I've tried to be pretty open and honest about it because I want others to know that they aren't alone. One of the things that Jennifer talks about in her book is that everyone goes through stuff. We often tend to focus on the negative and that our "stuff" is worse than what anyone else is dealing with at that time. Comparison is a bad street to head down and typically puts us more into the negative thought process than just accepting that we all deal with things.  I've read many books over the years that I would consider as self-help and many of them have left me questioning what I got from this book. I need people to be real and honest in order for me to get great things from what they are saying! Jennifer is so open, honest and real about her feelings, her emotions and her love for God. We can handle so much when we are focusing on God and putting him as a focus in our life.  I love the way the book is written because each chapter follows the same structure and therefore you know exactly what you are getting.  There is the introductory thought, scripture verses, the main writing in the chapter and then finishing up where Jen Says Own it and Make it Real. I really loved delving into the scriptures that went along with the chapter and then having the thought provoking questions at the end to help me get the most from the chapters.  

I got so much out of this book that I took 8 pages of notes on things that I wanted to remember.  I didn't really label my notes by chapter, so I'm just going to list some of what really stood out to me 🙂 

* Pain is selfish

* Anxiety is not about you. It's an attack on you

* Conviction leaves you feeling cautious, but with hope. Condemnation fills you with dread, guilt and helplessness.  

* Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

* Stop insulting God with worry!  When I worry about what's happening in the present I am proclaiming that I am not sure God is in control.  

* When you feel down look for someone to serve. Pray for Joy, Peace, Health and Good Fortune for someone else

*The good stuff takes time.  The true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy stuff needs nourishment

* Life can SUCK, but the Life Giver brings hope and promise....of a new reality

* Mind over matter people.....every time

* Happiness is an emotion or a mood, but joy is an attitude.  The most joyful people have gone through the worst circumstances.  Being "joyful in spite of" does not mean we deny our discontent or stuff down negative emotions, BUT we throw it at the feet of Jesus. Jesus is the person who has experienced the worst the world has to offer yet has more joy than anyone ever has or ever could. 

* Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  

* James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.

* James 1:6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea

* Doubt is often closely entwines with emotions.  Emotions are fickle. Doubt can be an indicator of something, but it doesn't mean it's indicating truth.

* Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward

* Rather than ask why me? ask why not? When you ask why me? it doesn't offer a solution, but hinders you and makes you a victim. When you ask why not? it sets you free and turns you to God.

* John 11:35 Jesus wept 

* Tears mean you are passionate. Tears show you have the heart of Christ. Don't let anyone look down on you because of your tears

* Proverbs 29:11 Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end

* Don't let fear and anxiety immobilize you

These are just a "few" of the things that stood out to me as I read this book. So many suffer from anxiety and/or depression and don't realize how many others are out there. When we are real with people like Jennifer has been with us then people feel more comfortable. For example Jennifer tells us about how she uses meds in her life. Does everyone need medicine for anxiety or depression? No, but that also doesn't mean there aren't people that do. When your life is affected so greatly then medication probably is a good thing. I didn't realize for a long time that I needed medication. It just never crossed my radar that I might need it. When I look at the times that I've been off it and on it I realize the difference in me as a person, mom and wife. Do I need it the rest of my life? I don't know, but I know that at this time in my life I'm a better functioning person because of it. If saying that helps one person feel that it's ok to take it then I'm glad I shared. When we are open and honest with others, especially women, then we all can learn and grow. 

To see what else Jennifer has written check her out on AmazonInstagram and/or FacebookI'll also be posting a review soon for As My Mind Unwinds: 31 Day Devotional - Reflectional - Confessional Ride

** I received this book free for my honest review. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Week Ending 5/23/2020

I hope you all have had an amazing week! We had a TON of rain this week and typically that makes most people stay home, but my husband and I seemed to be out every day (LOL) Haven't done any work in the yard and that is going to be a big negative when I weigh in on Monday (LOL) I guess if I hadn't been totally off the Weight Watchers wagon this week I wouldn't be so worried. Then again I didn't gain the wait overnight, so I just have to keep pushing forward :)

This rain has been amazing for most of the plants in our garden, but also for the weeds :( I imagine I'll be weeding for a few days this week :) I was super excited when I went outside and saw the first of the peas as well as the tomatoes. The onions are looking good as well. My green peppers don't look to me like they have grown much at all :( I did some research and saw a mix of water and Epson salt, so I tried that today. The area I planted most of my tomatoes and all my peppers in is not an area I'd usually use for gardening. I wanted to get a garden going asap when we moved, but I knew that clearing space wasn't top priority with all that my husband needed to do. I cleared two small spaces myself to the left and right of the front door. I figured if that's all I had at least I had something. Shortly after that my husband started working on a space for a garden because he felt it was a priority. We worked for weeks clearing the area, digging up roots and whatnot. We still have a small patch to finish, but I'm incredibly proud of us all for the hard work it took to clear those areas. The soil might not be amazing this year, but so far things are looking good. Here is a peak at some of what's growing here :)



Pineapple Sage

Another crop of radish plants





Tomatoes, Lettuce and Cucumber

More Tomatoes and the Green Peppers

I had pot cucumber seeds and started them last week, so we'd hopefully have plenty of cucumbers. This week we found some picking cucumbers at Lowes the other day, so we bought 3 containers. I love to make pickles and have never seen the pickling cucumbers before. I was able to clear a spot and get those planted today. I also planted more lettuce seeds a week or so ago in hopes that "maybe" depending on the heat we can have plenty of lettuce through the summer. I actually planted those in pots, so that I could move them around or even bring them inside :) I also started cauliflower and we'll see how that turns out. I've NEVER grown cauliflower and I think I was a little late starting it, but I figured it never hurts to try :) 

I had posted last week about all the "junk" I mean tile and bricks that we found in our yard (LOL) One of the things we are also finding are pieces of fencing as well as about a half dozen tomato cages. I'm going to try painting them with some spray paint we have sitting around and see if that jazzes them up a bit :) 

I'll be honest that my husband and I have run so much this week that Issac and I haven't done much school :( We've got several great review items we are working on and I can't wait to share our thoughts with you all! I hope you all have a great week. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Review: Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any way. 

Issac and I have been working our way through Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses by Beyond the Stick Figure Art School.  This is a video based program that includes downloads for many of the lessons to help your student learn the basics of drawing.  We've been having a great time working on some of our basic drawing skills. Do you know how hard it is to draw a perfectly straight line? I think we all say we can do that, but when you sit down and do it they typically aren't straight. I found that I tend to rush when I'm drawing things like straight lines or circle. There really IS a skill involved to make those things look great.  One of the great things about this program is that is geared for those 5-95, so really pretty much any age.  

Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course starts out teaching the very basics.  There is first a nice little welcome message as well as a message just to the moms and then a basic supply list. I like knowing ahead of time what we might need in the next few weeks, so that we can be prepared.  We started off working on straight lines, squiggly lines and circles. One thing that the program suggests is that you work on small sections of paper. Take a regular sheet of computer paper and cut it into 4 sections. That way you use a smaller area and your child, or you, won't feel so pressured. I found this to be both good and bad. For my son it helped with him feeling overwhelmed, but as we moved further through the lessons many of the printed worksheets were harder for him because they were a smaller space. When I felt he needed it we just tried drawing the shapes on a larger scale for him. That's the great thing about programs like these that they give you the basics and then you can chose how you use them.  The drawing part of the program was divided into 3 different sections with multiple lessons. The lessons all build on each other working from the basic shapes, outlining them, coloring them and then putting them together to form other pictures.  After all the drawing sessions were done there is a nice little "How am I Doing" section that I really enjoyed. It's got a little rubric that you answer and see how many "points" you earned during the session. The max is 12, but it was just a little feel good section I thought that would help build students up.

As we moved into the pen and ink lessons we learned how to draw with a pencil and trace over it with a permanent marker. The main goal here is to draw with the pen/marker. We used an even smaller section of paper than previously to do a nice little pen drawing and then learned about watercolor washes.  For me I thought it was nice to be able to look at a small square that I drew and feel that I did a good job. The lessons then move into a further detailed drawing that included learning more about tracing.  Again at the end of this section is another rubric to check in and see how you are feeling about your progress.  

As you move through the program your student learns to use watercolors, acrylics and venture into 3d design.  We learn what basic materials we need to do these projects as well as how to use these. There are different ways to use watercolors as well as acrylics and we are taught the difference in the program. We have spent most of our time in the drawing sections, but I'm looking forward to the acrylics and the 3d. This program builds on each previous lesson, so you must complete all the initial drawing sections before you can move on to the next session. This is both a positive and a negative I think. It helps the students learn step-by-step, but then if you have a child that is naturally gifted it's harder to jump ahead to where they would feel more comfortable.

This is a nice "one size fits all" type of program in that you can use it for your entire family as well as learn different methods of art.  The lessons are taught through video and you can easily see what lesson you are working on or which lesson comes next.  Once you purchase the course you have access to it for life! There is also a 30 day money back guarantee as well as great customer support if you need it. 


There were a few things I didn't really care about in regards to the Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses. The price is a little intimidating for me, but after breaking down the entire cost by the amount of lessons that I received I felt much more comfortable about the price.  My main concern was that you can't seem to skip around in the program. We had to do each lesson from each area before we could move on to the next. While I mentioned earlier I think that's great to help build on skills it was a little frustrating for my son because he felt we spent too much time drawing the same thing. I would like to be about to move about without having to complete each lesson. The other thing that was a bit of a struggle for me was the printing of the worksheets to use in the lessons. There were usually 4 sections of each type and I felt that we didn't use all of those and it was a bit of a waste of paper. I know that it's recommended to practice, but many of these lessons my son didn't want to do any further practice.  

All in all we've enjoyed our time spent with Beyond the Stick Figure Art School. I've learned that it's really not as easy ad I thought to draw a straight line, but when I take my time and do things step-by-step I can draw a pretty nice flower :) This is an especially great value for those with several children at home and you are wanting to bring more art to your schooling. I like that the lessons are available for lifetime as well. There were 80 families reviewing this program, so please go check out the drawings that were done by the other families.   As always for more information check out FacebookInstagramPinterest and Youtube.  

Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course {Beyond the Stick Figure Art School}

Friday, May 1, 2020

April Book Updates

For some reason this past month I didn't seem to want to read as much. I don't know if it was because I read so much in March or if I worked outside so much more and was just too tired (LOL) Either way I ended the month with 9 books read which is still pretty decent.  I had a nice little mixture this month I think, but I still tend to read the same type books. Then again we probably all have preferences and kind of stick to them. Reading for me is usually relaxing and an escape, so I tend to pick books I don't have to think to much about when I'm reading.

The Tea Chest ⭐⭐⭐

From Away ⭐⭐

Westering Women ⭐⭐⭐⭐

darling Rose Gold ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Finding Georgina ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Moving Target   ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My favorite book this month was Finding Georgina. The rest were all great books too, but this would grabbed me from the very beginning and helpd me until the end. I am already looking to request other books by this author.

What was your favorite book you read last month?

Review: Roar Like a Lion

Raising kids has always been a hard job, but with technology the way it is now I think most parents would say it's become harder.  We al...