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A Peek Into My Life This Past Week (+ win a stack of books from me!)

Welcome to my weekly Sunday post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

I told you last week that I had BIG plans for this week — to not only commit to getting up at 4:30 a.m. every morning, but also to bring back my much-requested morning Periscope show.

I’m so thrilled because not only did I get up around 4:30 to 4:45 a.m. every day this past week, I stuck with , too.

AND, best of all, I got so much done this week and had a lot of breathing room in my life for the most important things — like relationships!

It was so successful, that I’ve decided to continue it for at least this next week, as well. No promises after that… I’m just taking this one week at a time! 🙂

This week, I’m also going to work on doing a better job of actually getting in bed before 9 p.m. — something that I struggled with this past week, mostly just because that’s at least an hour earlier than I usually get to bed! I know it’s very doable with our current season of life… I just have to, you know, DO IT. 😉

What I’m Reading

I haven’t been doing as much reading recently, but this week, I did a better job of at least getting in a little reading time every day. Hopefully next week, I’ll be able to report that I actually finished some books.

Right now, I’m reading:  (an old Christian reprint),  (a spiritually encouraging book),  (a story-driven book), and  (a book on life improvement).

{See my Reading Goals for 2017. Also, see .}

{Psst! In case you noticed that my rug is off-centered in this photo, .}

What I’m Watching

We’re continuing to really enjoy and are also watching together as a family.

What I’m Listening To

This week, I listened to episodes of podcasts from and . I also watched/listened to the entire What’s 4 Dinner Challenge that is going to be part of the upcoming Homemaking Bundle (more details on the bundle later this week).

What I’m Loving

I’m absolutely loving the new raglan shirts we launched with Cents of Style this week. And if you saw me this week, you probably saw me wearing one! 🙂

As you well know, I’m LOVING the Slow Cooker Menu Plan from Eat at Home and am excited to continue sharing the recipes I’m making on this menu plan

One Thing I Accomplished This Week

I’m a Marie Kondo failure when it comes to the whole folding clothes thing. I read the book, I looked at blog posts on it, I watched the videos… and I really did try. But my drawers were just in constant disarray.

I got tired of digging through clothes, having to spend extra time looking for what I needed, and feeling discouraged every time I opened up my drawers.

So I decided it was high time I try something different… because clearly my current non-system wasn’t cutting it.

I pulled everything out of my dresser, hung up almost everything (including nicer tees and jeans), and (workout clothes, leggings, pjs, socks, etc.).

It makes me SO happy to open up each of my dresser drawers and see a neat and tidy system and space in each drawer!

I kind of just want to keep opening each drawer up to look at it and admire it! (Okay, I might be weird! ;))

I didn’t stress over getting them folded all perfectly since I’m just going to be pulling it out and wearing it, and it’s not Marie Kondo approved, but it works for me!!

What I’m Celebrating

Moms, it’s sometimes easy to forget what our kids are capable of. I’ve been working on trying to divvy up the household responsibilities even more instead of just doing things myself because it’s “quicker and easier.”

It may be quicker and easier in the short-term, but in the long run, it means that we are missing opportunities to let our kids learn new things, take more ownership, find the fulfillment that comes from accomplishing a task successfully… and it means we end up doing a lot more work than we need to be doing!

Case in point: I was getting ready to make some bread for dinner a few days ago when I realized that Kaitlynn could probably learn how to make bread and I had time to teach her.

She was so excited about making it, but then surprised me by asking if she could use a recipe she had found in her homemade gifts book.

It was her first time to make bread and she made the entire recipe herself with almost zero help from me. The end result was this amazing sourdough-like bread that wowed us all at dinner!! And the loaf lasted all of about 15 minutes!

She made it again the next day, too. I think I could get used to this. 😉

A Word of Encouragement for Moms, Especially

“I’m trying to get up by 7:30 am and had been feeling good about that. I just read your post about getting up at 4:30 am and now I feel pathetic!”

Someone left the above comment on and I wanted to reach through the screen and hug that woman and celebrate the fact that she’s getting up at 7:30 am.

You guys. Please remember that my kids are 12, 9, and 7. They are sleeping through the night. They can bathe and dress themselves. They can get their own breakfasts. They can even buckle themselves in the car! (Oh how I remember the days of 3 kids in car seats who all needed my help getting in and out of the car!!)

Also, please remember that my husband gets up early and has a very flexible schedule, so this works for his schedule, too.

Please remember that I’m a morning person.

Please remember that this 4:30 am thing is an experiment.

Please remember that what works for me won’t work for you. And what works for me in one season won’t work for me in another season.

Please celebrate where you are, who you are, the season of life you’re in, and the schedule you have. Please don’t feel discouraged by me and the crazy things I do over here sometimes.

Please do you and what works for you. And know that even if you get up at 11:30 am every morning, if that works for you and your family, there is no shame or guilt there.

You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!

A Photo I Had to Share

This photo moves me at a deep level. You see, this boy struggled for three years to learn how to read.

Both of his sisters started reading pretty easily at 4. He just couldn’t get it in preschool like they did. He couldn’t get it in kindergarten. He couldn’t get it in first grade.

We tried one curriculum. Then another. Then another.

Nothing worked.

He was frustrated because there was so much that he couldn’t do by himself without being able to read. He wanted to learn to read so badly and it just wasn’t clicking.

When he started going to school in the fall, we had him take first grade again — because we knew he really needed to be reading independently to move on to second grade.

We found out later that he pulled his teachers aside and told them that he couldn’t read and he didn’t really want the other kids to know so could they help him.

They were so amazing to quietly work with him and help him — without the other kids knowing — and then to do class reading exercises that were specifically designed to help Silas. They said within just a few weeks, he was able to be a part of the class reading groups — which made him so proud!

He has since really taken off with reading and spelling and, a few weeks ago, when we had parent-teacher conferences, his teachers told us he is reading and writing at first grade level!!!

I snuck this picture of him one morning this past week when he wasn’t looking. It’s of him reading the Bible verses for our morning breakfast/Bible reading.

He loves, loves, loves to look up the verses and read them all by himself. And my mama heart is just so proud of him for how far he’s come this year. But mostly, it makes me heart thrilled that he loves reading God’s Word!

In Case You Missed It

Want to win this stack of books?

I thought it would be fun for me to do a giveaway here every once in awhile on Sundays — giving away some of our our products, items I’ve been sent two of, books I’ve already read and want to pass on, or other items I have that we no longer need and would like to pass onto a great home!

To win this stack this week, leave a comment letting us know what you are currently reading or what is your favorite book that you’ve read recently.

I’ll choose one winner from all of the comments and will email that winner personally + post the winner next week on my Peek Into My Life This Week Post.

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  • Julie says:

    I just finished Looking for Lovely on vacation and I loved the encouragement to look for things, not just to expect the world to be lovely!

  • Maegan says:

    I’m reading and working through two books right now: The Total Money Makeover, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Trying to get myself out of debt and learn to stay that way! And also learn how to be a more responsible person in general 🙂

  • Betty Miller says:

    Becoming me by Stasi Eldridge

  • Karie says:

    I am reading In a Pit with a lion on a snowy day

  • says:

    I absolutely love what you said about the rug. Here’s to embracing imperfection!

    I’m currently reading The Beach House for light and fluffy and Fringe Hours and AHA for not light and fluffy. 😉 A recent favorite was The Women of Easter.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I am currently reading “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines – and loving it so far!

    I always enjoy your Sunday posts, Crystal! 🙂

  • Jenny Kemper says:

    I’m reading Before & After Getting Your Puppy and FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience 😀

  • Jill McKenzie says:

    Fervent by Priscilla shirer

  • Debra Oliva says:

    Hi! I just finished The LifeGiving Home as recommended by you… loved it!! I am now reading The Blessed Woman by Debbie Morris. I would love to win this stack of books!!!

  • Cindy says:

    I’m actually reading a NOVEL for the first time in quite a long time. I usually read self help, Christian theology books, or textbooks. Of course, I have read all your books and many that you have recommended. 😉 The book I’m reading now is “Small, Great Things” by Jodi Picoult. I’m also leading a weekly Bible study with a group of 10 women: Kay Arthur’s “Lord, I Want to Know You”–a study on the names of God–absolutely life changing! As well as listening to Lysa Terkeurst’s “Unglued”. Happy Mother’s Day, Crystal!

  • Bethany H. says:

    I’m really wanting to start reading for ME again (I have 4 kids under the age of 5 so I’m a busy momma!!) I am slowly listening to The Life Giving Home in the van, and I am wanting to order Teaching From Rest because I hear SUCH great things and I want to read it BEFORE starting my homeschooling journey!

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