Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Preserving Memories: Week of July 17

 A few memory pages I've made over the last few weeks! Several of these are from our 2015, 3-day trip to Disney with my parents and a couple are just random ones from other years.

I do this in the evenings and sometimes afternoons (only during the summer!). This is currently my one hobby I have so much fun doing. I can usually knock out a page in 45-60 minutes or even shorter if my internet is working fast enough!

Week in Review: July 17-21

Lots of good learning happened this week! But no pictures. I just got busy and the camera never came out. Oh well! 

The girls are working on lots of math, literature of their choice, a biography of their choice, and we are memorizing the states by region on the map as well as their capitals. We started in New England and they have mastered the first 6 with ease. We are enjoying working with some material we are reviewing and just in general having a great summer break from our "routine" curriculum. Experience has taught me that by mid-August the break will have served its purpose and we will all be ready to be back on schedule with Heart of Dakota.

These days are bittersweet in so many ways as my girls are getting older. Two daughters in double digits can make my heart squeeze sometimes, but we are also enjoying one another greatly. We are playing lots of games. Yahtzee is the current favorite. Our neighborhood has a pool and we are taking full advantage of that. Even with the wicked hot summer days we have been having the morning and evenings are still a good time to swim. We are laughing and playing and generally just having fun. This doesn't mean there aren't those moments

You know the ones. The ones when Mommy has to give the look, the ones when one of the three is angry at another, or when I have to say for the 4th time to do a very simple task from around the house. Those moments are still happening regularly, but I'm sensing a shift in the relationship with my daughters. They are still my little girls in so many ways, but more and more we are having deeper, longer conversations. I treasure these in my heart and when it starts to squeeze with the bittersweet thoughts of my girls growing up I push them away with prayer and memories of the sweet moments we are having.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trust Fund from Mapelle FIlms: A TOS Crew Review

Mapelle Films
My husband and I really enjoy movies. Our date nights are often in the evenings after the girls have gone to bed and we stick in a movie to watch together. We are incredibly picky about what we view and use a filtering system because most of the new movies out there contain quite a bit of material we just don't care to hear or see. We are always excited when a Christian puts out a new movie because we don't have to worry so much about content. It is exciting to see newcomers to the industry using their God-given talents to produce something that is honoring to Him. This is absolutely the case with Trust Fund  from Mapelle Films. We had a really nice evening-in one weekend while my girls were with my parents having dinner and watching this great movie!
Trust Fund Movie

Trust Fund is a modern, prodigal story. Reese Donahue, played by Jessica Rothe is the heiress to a fortune and is frustrated by her lack of success as a writer. As she approaches desperation we see Reese make some really bad decisions that will only serve to alienate herself from her family. 
  This movie is engaging and funny, and we both enjoyed it. While it is not the typical action and adventure feature my husband enjoys, it was a great date movie for the two of us. The acting was very good and the characters were completely believable in their roles. There is also an element of intrigue and adventure towards the end as well.
I enjoy a good romantic movie and this is one of the best I've seen in a long time. A big reason was there was absolutely nothing I felt uncomfortable watching. I also would be completely comfortable having my daughters watch along with us and plan to do so. I do think it may be a little grown up for all three of them in that they may not find it interesting, but I wouldn't be opposed to them watching it for any reason.
I was pleased to see an actress from one of my favorite miniseries, the BBC version of Emma. Louise Dylan (Harriet Smith in Emma) plays the role of the older, self-righteous sister just beautifully! I am personally drawn to a character who plays a good meanie or is at least a little gruff. There were several others I recognized as well and we had fun checking out in what other movies some of the cast were. 
Love Was Near BookFor older girls there is a lovely companion book, Love Was Near. This is book provides a deeper look into what Reese was thinking and why she made the decisions she made throughout. This is for ladies ages 12 and up. I did not review this title, but several of my Crewmates did! Make sure you check out their reviews on it! 
One more fabulous resource is a downloadable study guide for small groups or families to use to further explore the themes of the movie. While my husband and I did not delve into this, I was quite impressed. It is a lovely little printable booklet you could use with high school girls or a young adult small group with ease. I was also excited to see Scripture featured in this booklet.
My favorite aspect of this movie is that you won't find it to be in any way a preachy film. It is a great movie to share with friends who don't know the Lord and may even lead into some discussions for you. I consider this a modern day parable in every way, and just as Christ used stories to tell truths from the Word, you will find ample opportunity to do the same with this tale of what really happens when someone tries to find themselves. At the same time those who are watching it won't get the sense it is a move trying to convert them. I do however envision doors of opportunity opening wide for those who do view it with their unbelieving friends!
Grace, redemption, and love flow throughout this lovely story. You won't be disappointed.
Take a look at the trailer below! 

Make sure to check out what my Crewmates had to say!
Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, July 14, 2017

Week in Review: July 10-14

I'm starting a new feature on the blog called For the Soul! 

Well...we drove home from Florida on Monday. What a WONDERFUL time with family! We were able to spend a short amount of time with my husband's grandmother as well. We love her so very much but her mind is fading with some form of dementia. The times we spend with her now are so precious for all of us.

 The rest of the week was spent
1. unpacking and doing laundry
2. cleaning the house
3. catching up on reviews
4. catching up on scrapbooking

This morning we rewarded ourselves for our hard work all week with a field trip to the zoo. The girls had an adventure on the high ropes obstacle course! I was so proud of all of them, but especially Beth because she has a pretty strong fear of heights. They were so brave!

Next week will bring more regular school again. We won't be at "full school" yet, but we will be learning!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

For the Soul: I Married McGyver

Do you remember the guy from the 80s who could fix anything with...well...anything? His knowledge of physics and chemistry  paired with unconventional thinking always got him out of whatever corner he was backed into...as long as he had his Swiss army knife. My husband doesn't own a Swiss army knife, but he does own several rolls of duct tape. With duct tape in hand my mild mannered minister man suddenly becomes McGyver. (The 1980s one...the humble one. Not a fan of these remakes!)

"Honey! Where is the duct tape?" 
Those words honestly used to make me cringe...but with good reason. 

Back when my husband was a bachelor waiting for me to graduate from college so we could marry, he furnished his home with what he could afford. He bought a couch, end tables, and a coffee table from I don't know where. The couch was decent enough to begin with. The end tables and coffee tables looked to be matching gigantic spools with a Formica top. At the time I knew this would more than likely be our first home and I must confess I had a secret agenda to rid ourselves of those coffee tables as soon as I could! 

The couch was under my radar...until I came to visit and was greeted with duct tape cushions. The seams had begun to split and he did what he could to make repairs on his own. It may not have been as bad if it had been one of the new pretty patterned kind instead of the old silver standby....okay...yes. It would still have been as bad. 

As horrified as I was it was my first lesson in duct tape 101:
Duct Tape will hold anything together. 

Motherhood has taught me another lesson:  
Things are going to break. 

We have gone through countless ounces of wood glue, super glue, and hot glue and innumerable rolls of scotch tape, packaging tape, and...you guessed it...duct tape. Papers are torn, glass is shattered, and knick-knacks get knocked. Sometimes those things are fixable...sometimes not. Many objects in our home are sentimentally special to me....our wedding cake topper...an original painting created for us as a wedding gift...a music box I had when I was little...they are more than objects to me. They are moments in time, memories I desire to hold on to. Yet, I have learned not to be quite so heartbroken when something comes crashing down because they are things

 I'll admit it is not easy to hold my temper when the girls break something, but the consequences of treasuring my trinkets over my children are dire. They may be punished if their disobedience caused the calamity, but I make sure they know their punishment is for the disobedience, not breaking something. I never want my precious daughters to feel I have treasured objects over them.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21