Favorite things: a group of homeschool moms share some of their best stuff

Please note: This post has been updated to include a few favorite things I forgot and the TeamPack has been corrected to TeenPact Leadership Schools. See below for more details.

This year, I’ve been faithfully attending the meetings of my local homeschool moms’ group. It’s a group that meets monthly and shares anything and everything from ideas on making faster, healthy meals on days that are just busy from lessons to extracurricular activities to which curricula has worked best for their children to a veteran panel of moms who have graduated kids, homeschooling all the way through. Also, this group coordinates field trips to places that will give us a discounted rate because we are an official “group.” It’s been a wonderful experience, and I am so grateful for the ability to actually attend the meetings this year.

Last night was the meeting: Favorite Things. We met for a potluck, fellowship, and then a one-by-one sharing of the best things each woman enjoys currently and why. I can honestly say that I was a little nervous to have to show-and-tell my favorite thing, but after we got started it was a whole lot of fun. Lots of chatter, laughter, and note taking. 

So even though I wasn’t planning on writing this post and I didn’t even take notes, I think I remember most of the items shared and I hope they will be interesting to you!

Here we go, the favorite things from LIFE group for 2016:

Contra Dancing: The Allegan Woods Folk Arts Cooperative presents live music & dancing at the Holland Contra Dance. One favorite thing shared was the fun of our local area contra dance. To find out more about dates and locations you’ll have to join the LIFE group. Click here for more information and to answer the question what is Contra Dancing.

doTERRA Essential Oils: Specifically the face care system, Breathe, and OnGuard.

The Bullet Journal: Journal by Leuchtturm 1917 (this truly is the best journal for the method – get the dots, trust me on this), method by Ryder Carroll. Check out my post on how I set up a Bullet Journal for homeschool planning and the post on how I use Bullet Journals for my kids. I didn’t get to mention this last night, but my kids’ journals are the single most important tool in our homeschool this year – we have been so productive, consistent, and not word fatigued (you know the feeling of having had to repeat yourself 1,000 times because they “don’t remember” what you told them to do? Yes, that. This system has solved that for us. Now when I talk to my kids, I can just check in, encourage, and come along side them while they work.)

Real Cinnamon: a local dollar store (if you’re familiar with Holland, it’s the one next to the Hobby Lobby on the north side) sells the healthy cinnamon. The difference between the unhealthy cinnamon and the healthy cannot be determined when it is a powder, but in the stick form it’s easier – the bad kind will not break and the good kind will crumble easily. The favorite thing about this is the real, healthy kind of cinnamon makes the most delicious tea. Just crumble, steep, strain, and enjoy!

40 Days of Decrease: A Different Kind of Hunger. A Different Kind of Fast. By Alicia Britt Chole this is a great book for Lent, and drinking more water using fresh fruit in hot water with an app for reminders (another mom threw in that there is an app for kids to remember to drink water called Plant Nanny.)

Modern Essentials: the companion guide to using essential oils.

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record by Gretchen Rubin (Times 2. This journal was brought last year to the Favorite Things gathering, and one woman tried it out because of the suggestion and it became her favorite thing for this year. Community and sharing are cool things to see come full circle. And these two ladies were sitting by each other too!)

EOS Organic Lip Balm Sphere, Sweet Mint (because it is just like Mint Tingle)

Incan Gold: Quest for Riches in the Ruins (great family time game)

Spontaneously buying paint supplies and canvas and announcing that they were going to have a family painting party.

Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah McKenzie. I brought this one, and I shared how this was used in my life to recenter my focus on keeping Christ and my calling at the center of what I do and why I do it. You can find the first three chapters free at TeachingFromRest.com

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes. These recipes don’t contain any sugar or processed food that this mama’s family actually eat, like all the time! She shared her favorite recipe: The Good Girl’s Moonshine containing apple cider vinegar, ground ginger, stevia, and water – it tastes like ginger ale and it’s good for you. Her boys drink it happily and get good apple cider vinegar into their systems. Win, win.

Jonathan Parks a creation science audio drama that is enjoyable for the whole family. BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) because it shapes their family.

(Brinkman Family Adventures was brought up here too. These are audio dramas of missionary stories that all fictitiously happen to one family. The missionary adventures are true but them happening to one family is not.)

BSF and Lamplighter Theater and the books by Nathaniel Philbrick like:

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Hershey’s Chocolate! A favorite many of us share. She also mentioned Team-Pack TeenPact Leadership Schools. The next LIFE meeting will be about all the local groups available for homeschooling families and she’ll be there sharing more about this group – so look forward with me to that!

Salad mix from Costco with Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, and dressing in one bag. She brought it to the potluck and we all agreed it was a great favorite thing.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I love stories from other moms of how they busted through the clutter in their homes to find freedom and peace. This favorite thing was truly inspiring to all of us.

Sleep! Who doesn’t recognize the power of a good night’s rest in order to be the woman they need to (and want to) be. This favorite thing was a good, clever reminder that the basics can be the favorites too.

So, what’s your favorite thing? Have you tried any of these? 

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5 thoughts on “Favorite things: a group of homeschool moms share some of their best stuff

  1. Thanks Cara! So glad you posted this from last night. I had to leave a bit early but I wanted to talk to you about the bullet journal. I looked a few things up last night and I can’t wait to read your posts! The one topic was regarding Teen Pact. Beth Timmer is the local organizer. Teens meet in Lansing for the week and get hands on experience with our state government. Thanks again!


    • You’re welcome Lindy! There are lots of info on Bullet Journals on YouTube and Pinterest too. But my advice is to stop searching about it when you have enough understanding to just start writing. 🙂 And it really works!


  2. That salad from Costco is my favorite too! It’s so yummy and fresh! I’ve never been super organized, or much of a journal keeper, but you’re getting me interested in bullet journaling!


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