Preschool…on YouTube? Oh Yes!

This is post #5 in a blog series entitled At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy momYou can view all of the posts in the series here.


YouTube might not be the first resource that pops into your mind when you think of homeschooling or preschool, but I have found it to be an amazing resource for all sorts of educational fun!

Preschool…on YouTube? Oh Yes!  | At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom.

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You can find just about anything on YouTube, which in this case, means letters, numbers, phonics, story times, finger plays, kids songs, and so much more. Here are some of our favorite playlists: Continue reading

The best educational DVDs and Netflix shows for preschoolers!

This is post #4 in a blog series entitled At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy momYou can view all of the posts in the series here.


It’s no secret that my son watches a lot of TV. It has been one of my biggest concerns about his development and a huge guilt-stressor for me. But the older he gets the more I can see that it has been necessary for me as his mom (considering my health problems) and helping fill the gaps in entertaining him as he struggles with being alone and playing independently.

I firmly believe that Ezra is totally okay, even though he watches more than the recommended amount of TV. I also believe that Netflix is the best $8.99 we spend each month, hands down.

While Ezra doesn’t always watch educational shows, I would say that the bulk of what he watches and has watched over the course of his lifetime has been educational.

The best educational DVDs and #Netflix shows for #preschoolers | At-home #preschool resources for the very-tired, non-creative, really busy mom

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On #whitespace, staying home, and tomato suckers

Right now there’s a donut party going on at the children’s museum, free swim lessons being held at the pool, parks in our town we still haven’t visited, paved greenways calling out to mock my faithful fitness goals, and a gym membership I haven’t used in weeks.

I think it’s both the benefit and the curse of living in a bigger town. Opportunity is abounding.

Instead, we are here.

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Fight, make love…belong {Five Minute Friday}

I yelled at him, then went back inside, slamming the door on the way.

Then I went up back to our bedroom and sent him a text message that said, “Sorry for yelling. Just really tired. Should have gone to bed earlier last night.”

It was 6:30AM and he wanted my help with the trash and all I wanted to do was to go back to bed.

We stayed up late – way too late – last night. Watching TV together, cuddling, being one. It was much needed. I kept seeing the time tick on but we needed this time. I knew the morning was going to be less than fun but I put those thoughts out of my mind and reveled in being with him and doing things we enjoy.

We talked about our sex life and why it’s okay we might do things different from other couples and why it works for us.

We watched a TV show where two couples got married. The one wrote vows in which they promised “to love each other, even when we hate each other.”

I think if more couples entered marriage saying vows like that, more couples would stay married. Continue reading

Top 10 posts of the first 500

I am so excited to have finally reached my 500th post here on Beautiful In His Time!

I thought I would take this time to showcase my top 10 posts. I normally share the top posts of each year at then end of each year, but I continue to find it incredibly fascinating what posts from previous years remain in the top.

Maybe you are a new follower or maybe this is your first time here. Either way this list will give you a pretty good idea what you can expect to find here - which is a little bit of everything!

And now, in order from least popular to most popular…my top 10 posts out of the first 500!  Continue reading

Beauty in the Mess ~ Edition 07.08.14

Sometimes it feels like our transition out of the Army is going to take forever. We got out and then we needed to find a new job and a new home and then we moved to NC but then there was a lot of other stuff to take care of. Like healthcare and life insurance, a disability claim, caregiver benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and making sure that Russ doesn’t have sleep apnea or neurological problems (he doesn’t). Now, we are currently working with the VA about education benefits and looking into both short-term and longer-term career options for my husband who is having to start completely over, both vocationally and educationally.

In all of this there has been paperwork, appointments, tense discussions, more paperwork, and a lot of big scary grown-up decisions to make.

I’m not complaining, because the fact that we have access to a system that is taking amazingly good care of our needs as a family is worth it. But it’s been…well, like I said – grown-up stuff that we have had to take care of and sometimes that’s very overwhelming when there is severe anxiety going on and a 3-year-old boy underfoot. Continue reading

Exhale {Five Minute Friday}

I breathe in and exhale. I do it multiple times a day, whenever I feel the heart racing too quickly or my body tensing up. I’ve learned that the physical reaction to stress comes first – and disarming it is the key to true relaxation and dealing with the mental and emotional ramifications.

Sometimes I exhale the stress of a moment. Other times I exhale the stress of a lifetime.

I’m learning that recovery is a long process, and that I have to be easy on myself. Whitespace means not even reading a book, not even trying to process things mentally, just giving myself a break. Exhaling.

I have six months to go of whitespace and I already want to renew this word again for next year. I am a better person for letting go, cooking less, stressing less, blogging less, doing less, being less.

I am a better person for breathing more, resting more, relaxing more, healing more, giving myself more,…exhaling more.

For a long time I’ve been frantic to get to a place of wholeness. I want to be better and I want it now. I’ve learned that it simply isn’t that easy.

So for today, I’ll settle for resting. For whitespace. For exhaling.


Linking up today with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Bloggers are given a writing prompt (topic) and told to write for five minutes. “No editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s topic is “Exhale.” 

Our favorite educational books for preschoolers {and a giveaway}

This is post #3 in a blog series entitled At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom. You can view all of the posts in the series here.

Our favorite educational books for preschoolers {and a giveaway}|At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom

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I have a confession. I’m a bit of a children’s book buying addict. Whenever I venture into a consignment sale, Goodwill, or Once Upon a Child, I will invariably walk out with a stack of children’s books purchased at far below their value. I now have gathered quite the collection of books that I use on a regular basis to teach Ezra basic concepts at home. Continue reading

11 love songs to help you through a rough spot in your marriage

There’s a purple home-burnt mix CD that I keep in my car. Scrawled in permanent marker are the words “See Me Through” – the title of the first song on the CD. It’s that CD I put in when I’m angry, frustrated, hurt, annoyed, or just tired of being married. It’s been there since our very first year of marriage, and it has seen me through many ups and downs and fights and hurts.

On the CD are songs that mean things to me and Russ, songs that remind me that this love is worth fighting for, songs that make me feel like we can get through whatever we are going through. Sometimes music can be such a therapeutic tool to process our negative emotions and be encouraged about the future.

Here’s a list of some songs that I hope will encourage you wherever you are in your marriage.

11 love songs to help you through a rough spot in your marriage Continue reading

A few random things {because if I don’t blog I just might go crazy}

Right now I’m hungry, sunburnt, craving a nap and a cup of coffee (not necessarily in that order), and a little bit cranky and irritable.

I haven’t written in about a week and didn’t even realize it. And then it hit me and I got the urge and itch to let my fingers fly across the keyboard and just say something…ANYTHING… I can’t seem to formulate a decent string of thoughts, let alone anything worthy of an entire post. So for now, here’s some randomness.


1) Homemade chemical-free sunscreen is for the birds…er…the lobsters. If you are human, you might want to use the stuff with chemicals that will actually keep you from looking like one.

2) While we are on that subject. Seriously…can we just STOP posting about how this, that, or the other thing is going to kill our children? Thank you very much.

3) There are no pictures on my walls even though I’ve lived here nearly three months and I’m totally okay with that…because…#whitespace. (Also, because when I hang pictures they are always crooked and drive me insane.) Continue reading

Imprints on my heart {a post about pregnancy and early miscarriage}

I was 21 and nervous. There were no signs or symptoms, no charts or basal body temps. I was just a girl who was late.

He was playing basketball on post, and I told him I was going to go grab some snacks. In reality, when I came out of that shoppette on Fort Hood, my first pregnancy test was hidden in the bottom of the bag. Somehow I snuck it into the house, under the bathroom sink.

I didn’t know anything about hCG levels or evaporation lines. I got the digital test. The one that spells out the word for you.

And six years ago, today, Wednesday June 18th, I found out I was pregnant.

Imprints on my heart - #miscarriage #infantloss Continue reading

All about preschool “tot-packs” (and the good and the bad of using them)

I am starting this series here, because it’s where I started – not necessarily because I think it’s the best place to start.

It was through seeing posts on social media about tot-packs and preschool packs that I realized I wanted to start teaching Ezra things at home. I looked at the posts of others and said, “I could totally do that!”

All about preschool “tot-packs” (and the good and the bad of using them) | Beautiful In His Time

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Basically, a “tot-pack” (otherwise known as a “tot-book” or a “preschool pack”) is a themed preschool unit study on a certain topic that teaches the basics of letters, numbers, counting, colors, and shapes. The creators take the basic concepts and then use a common theme that preschoolers might enjoy to teach the content. Continue reading

At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom

I’ve had this series of posts sitting in my queue since January. And very recently I have almost scratched it completely.


1) I’m trying to spend less time blogging, not more

2) We sent our son to preschool and are sending him back in the fall, which even though it’s been a great thing for him and me, is never what I in my idealism wanted

3) I don’t want to guilt anyone who is just letting their kids play until kindergarten and not worrying about education or home education for their 2, 3, or 4 year old. Because we need to let our kids be little and sometimes preschool moms really lose sight of that. (*points finger at herself*)


It’s only the third week of summer and I have SO enjoyed letting Ezra just be a kid and play…and play really hard. We aren’t doing a lot of preschool, and I’m totally okay with that. I used to pour a lot of mental and physical energy into preschool activities, but now I’m just searching for whitespace and improving my skills in the art of underachieving. And I’m just very at peace in this place.

But, as of right now, there’s nothing else in my queue, my head, or my heart to write about; and I feel like this is a topic my readers can benefit from because I’ve had a lot of people ask me questions, so I guess this is what I’m going to do.

At-home preschool resources for the very tired, non-creative, really busy mom Continue reading

Never let your kid take a 3 hour nap… (and other musings before 8am)

It’s 6:39 a.m. and I’m thinking about karma.

Now, let me be clear - I don’t believe in karma. But, it has become a popular part of our society thanks to modern television and internet memes.

Karma, seemingly means everything from the textbook Hindu definition to simply the fact that there is a balance to the universe and if good things happen then eventually bad things will happen too. Balance. Yin and Yang (or is in Ying and Yang?)

Anyway…not really a believer.

But, if you look at Ecclesiastes 3 – the wisest man who ever lived shared something strikingly similar. A time to live, a time to die; a time to kill, a time to heal; a time of war, a time of peace; etc. etc. etc.

So this idea of balance in life – bad and good coexisting and happening to all who live, I guess you could say I believe in that.

Which brings me back to my life.

Because the last 24 hours are pretty much case in point.

(I am also pretty sure that they were in the deleted scenes of Mom’s Night Out, but you’d have to ask Sarah Drew about that.) Continue reading

New Blog Series: Faithful Fitness Fridays (co-hosting at Wonderfully Made)

I know that Friday is just about over, but I wanted to take a moment to share with you an exciting new blog series that I am going to be co-hosting over at Wonderfully Made.

Katie and I started talking about fitness (and our specific struggles and frustrations with our bodies and fitness in general) several months ago. I mentioned that I would be interested in guest posting for her at some point in the future. Then a few weeks ago, as the weather warmed, we decided together that we would try to incorporate fitness and healthy living into our daily lives and be accountable to each other.

It quickly morphed into us planning this blog series, Faithful Fitness Fridays.

Katie and I both are approaching this as moms with chronic health problems and food allergies as well as moms who have extenuating life circumstances (Katie, being a special-needs mom and I being the wife of a combat veteran).

This series is not about comparison or making moms feel guilty for not overcoming the “excuses” that keep them from maintaining a more healthy lifestyle. Our only goal is encouragement and rejoicing in the fact that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by God – flaws, life circumstances, health problems, and all.

Faithful-Fitness-Button-Busy-moms... Continue reading