Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Blessings

Wow! Where did March go? It has been a busy month for our family,but also a blessing. God has been so faithful to us and provided in so many ways. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. Having a productive day
  2. Getting more packed
  3. Pop Tarts for $1
  4. Family meal night at CG
  5. Meeting new people
  6. Working on some needed projects
  7. Monkey bread
  8. Starbucks gift card
  9. Getting to see Jim at work
  10. Becca getting home early
  11. Talking through issues
  12. Getting joint school work done
  13. Time to pray together
  14. Getting out of town on time
  15. Becca getting breakfast
  16. Kids doing well in the car
  17. Getting to see the whole family
  18. Pizza for dinner
  19. Gabriel and Sam napping hard
  20. Having fun with family pictures
  21. Big family dinner
  22. Everyone being together
  23. Getting to journal on a Sunday morning
  24. Seeing many Brothers and Sisters at FBC Smyrna
  25. Great discussion in Sunday School
  26. Being encouraged in our family
  27. Great sermon on missions
  28. Getting a 12-passenger van
  29. God's provision
  30. Kids loving the van
  31. Daddy getting to go with us
  32. Good drive home
  33. Finding a McDonald's with a playground
  34. Closing out our CD
  35. Getting Memoria ordered
  36. Beautiful weather
  37. Talking through suffering 
  38. God moving
  39. Napping
  40. A day of school we weren't counting on
  41. Lillian getting salad stuff for me
  42. Getting pictures uploaded
  43. Getting things done 
  44. Staying on top of things
  45. Gabriel singing "I thank Thee, Lord"
  46. Working through things with God
  47. Writing
  48. Blog posts
  49. Kids Book Club
  50. Kids meeting new friends
  51. Snuggling with Lil
  52. M&M milkshake
  53. Mission house warming party
  54. Catching up with friends
  55. Jim getting lots of work done
  56. Restful afternoon
  57. Gabriel helping out
  58. CG hangout time
  59. Getting to church on time
  60. Nap
  61. Taking pictures of Sam
  62. Swagbucks
  63. Amazon gift card
  64. Friends coming over
  65. Jamey helping Lillian with math
  66. Jim working extra and coming home at 3
  67. Norwex
  68. Book Club
  69. God's continual provision for us
  70. Spending time with the Fishers
  71. Getting to be outside in nice weather
  72. Seeing Jim for a few minutes
  73. Talking to Jessica
  74. Getting comfortable with driving the new van
  75. Jim being home
  76. Jim getting errands and school work done
  77. Setting up stuff for Norwex
  78. Date Night in
  79. Working with Jim
  80. Work getting started in our back yard for lead removal
  81. Being more present
  82. Prioritizing activities
  83. Kids cuteness and napping
  84. Time with Jim
  85. School and lunch outside
  86. Getting some extended time with God in the Word
  87. Going on mom's retreat
  88. Leading the morning devotional
  89. Time to hear from Ashley
  90. Prayer
  91. Connecting with Sisters
  92. Reminders of grace
  93. Getting through Sunday with Jim working
  94. Subway!
  95. Productive afternoon
  96. Prepping for 1st business week
  97. Fun field trip
  98. Successful launch party
  99. Learning
  100. Getting packed for inside work
  101. Getting packed and out of the house by 8:30
  102. Refrigerators
  103. Time at the part
  104. Catching up with friends
  105. Free dinner at the hotel
  106. Making it through the day
  107. The flexibility of co-op
  108. Restful afternoon
  109. Free dinner again!
  110. Date night out after 3 weeks!
  111. TV and cable we don't pay for
  112. Cheaper Chick-fil-A
  113. Making it through a whole day in the hotel without another adult
  114. Great online launch party
  115. Kids doing well
  116. God's amazing mercy and blessing us more than anyone deserves
  117. Surviving 2 days in the hotel
  118. Catching up with Anna
  119. Making it to the Good Friday service
  120. Getting to move back into our house
  121. Clean kitchen
  122. Getting some cleaning and organizing done
  123. Time to spend with Jessica
  124. Learning and encouraging
  125. HE IS RISEN!!!!!
  126. Easter Sunday
  127. Relaxing afternoon at the McMillin's house
  128. Kids playing well together and outside
  129. Yummy food!
  130. Going to bed early
  131. Sleeping until 8:15
  132. God's grace for a better day
  133. Doing joint school time
  134. Being with the kids
  135. Reaching 1st Norwex goal!
  136. Sam praying
  137. Getting our van sold for more than we expected! 
  138. Seeing the baby
  139. Scheduling 3 appointments out
  140. Getting party closed out
  141. Good doctor appointments for Jamey and Nehemiah
  142. Going to CG after 3 crazy weeks
  143. Fun last day of co-op
  144. Free Chick-fil-A
  145. Cheaper gas
  146. Getting to see Jim at work
  147. Doing some April planning
  148. Becca finding out what's wrong with her stomach
  149. Sara being able to watch the kids
  150. God's great grace in everything

*Emmie Manor Independent Norwex Sales Consultant

March Evaluation

  • Spend at least 10 minutes praying daily- I've been able to do this most days, growing in more directed prayer
  • Spend at least 10 minutes reading and reflecting on the Bible daily- Been able to do this most days, 
  • Memorize verses with the kids - working on this during school time
  • Have extended prayer times 4 times during the year- Jim had had 1, I had my first one this month
  • Read Christian books (Jim- 1 (not school related), Emmie- 3)- Have not started any yet
  • Pray together daily- YES! (except for the 1 night I was away)
  • Go out for a date once a week- Not this month. It's been crazy and have had to have some date nights in
  • Go on a night away once this year- Need to plan this
  • Read 3 books together this year (read one day a week)- This did not happen
  • Discuss plan weekly on Saturday afternoon- This was harder this month for a variety of reasons
  • Spend 15 minutes of one on one time with each child every week- I need a good way to gauge this. This did not happen as much this month for various reason
  • Special Outing Alone twice during the year with each child- None this month
  • Family fun activity once a month- During a nice day we went to the park and ate Taco Bell! We also celebrated Easter with Ryan's family and enjoyed hanging out with them
  • Write in individual journals at least 3 times this year- Did some writing, but am behind currently
  • Finish Jamey's 1st year Scrapbook- No work was done on this
  • Keep up with cleaning schedule- NO!
  • Keep up with my calendar- Getting better
  • Being fully present when with my family- Back and forth, some days I was able to do this well, other days it was really hard
  • Try 12 new recipes this year- (4) Did not add to it this month
  • No TV 2 days a week (watching)- I know this happened a few days, but not as much as I wanted
  • Begin gardening in the spring- There is work being done in our back yard and hoping to get on this after it's completed
  • Continue sending out Prayer List- Yes
  • Read a book a month for myself- I've been doing some reading, but did not complete any books this month
  • Jim read one fiction book- not yet, this month has all been school
  • Journal 5 days a week- Yes! God is gracious
  • Jim Journal 3 days a week- YES! This is a huge improvement and blessing for him
  • Edit novel to prepare for publishing- No work on this
  • Book Club once a month- Yes! Love these Sisters
  • Continue to meet once a month with writing group- Did not happen this month (really, March has been insane)
  • Blog 1-2 days a week- Yes! God has been gracious in this
  • Mild Exercise twice a week- No!
  • Maintain weight until birth- With the insanity I have gain some. Hoping to get back to healthier eating this week.
  • Lose weight after giving birth- 
I can't believe we're already at the end of March! This month has been very busy for our family with schooling, co-op, a family trip, and various activities with different groups. Our family also ended up living in a hotel for most of a week, which made the end of the month quite interesting. But we are now in a lead free house! God also provided me the opportunity to sign up to be an Independent Sales Consultant for Norwex. I love the products from Norwex and am excited to jump into this. It's a little daunting, but God has been working to help me launch well. If you would like to know more about these great products please ask! So yes, March was a whirl wind, but God has been gracious and provided for us in so many ways!

What was your March like?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

They Are Watching You

“O be careful little feet where you go.” Does anyone remember that song from Sunday School? As I was thinking about how to end out the semester, this song and the increased implications of it came to my mind. The warning in the song is because “the Father up above is looking down in love”, which is important to remember. But as moms we must also remember our children are watching us too. They are watching to see if we are doing what we say. Believe me! I will sometimes get so upset because my kids won’t clean up or can’t stop watching the TV to do something, and then I remember, I do that too. Our words are important, but so is acting on them.

This is especially true in our faith. One thing God has impressed upon my heart lately is praying for forgiveness in front of my children when I’ve sinned against them. I’m not very good at this, but God has shown me that if I want them to know how serious sin is against God I have to model it.

It’s easy to think we’re supposed to be perfect and act in a way that says to our kids I’ve got it together so you need to too. But the truth is no one has it together and your children need to see that far more than a perfect mom. They need to see that you sin, you repent and you ask for forgiveness. They need to see you go to God when you’re happy, sad, angry, frustrated, thankful. They need to see you living out your faith. I do not mean this in a Pharisaical way, but in a way where they Holy Spirit is pouring out of you in the way you live your life. This will look different for everyone as we have already talked about being who God has created us to be. So live out your life for your kids to see and know that you follow The True and Living God.

In Titus 2 the older women are told to teach the younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (v 4-5). The implication is so that those outside will see and want to know the Gospel, but I would argue it’s as important for us to live this way for our families as well. If we are not living this way our children will know and so the Word of God is dishonored before it ever leaves our house.

Let us, then, encourage one another to love our families and to live out our faith before our children so that they will know that Jesus is alive and true and that it is worth everything to follow Him.

How can you encourage someone today?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Why I Love Norwex!

If you're visiting my blog and do not know me, my name is Emmie Manor. Recently God opened a door for me to become an Independent Sales Consultant for Norwex. I'm just starting out and want to share with you why I love Norwex so much.

When I first heard about Norwex, I was skeptical. Then just under a year ago I ran into my friend Jessica who told me about it more in depth and decided to give it a go. I've have never been so impressed with the cleaning ability of a product. And best of all, all that is needed is a Norwex cloth and water!

I have 6 children outside of the womb with another on the way, so lots of cleaning always needs to be done. With Norwex, I don't have to worry about chemicals that are dangerous in pregnancy or for kids to swallow. If I need a child to do something, they can wet a cloth and go clean!

Because of the way Norwex is made, when used as directed it picks up 99% of the contaminants on surfaces and the silver in their material cleans the rag killing the germs on the rag. As a science person, I never really thought this possible, but last winter as soon as a child got sick, we cleaned everything with Norwex, and stopped the exposure with the 3 people out of 9 who had already been exposed! That was all we did differently.

I have also been able to clean spots off of walls that had been on my walls since moving in and could not get off with anything else. As soon as I tried Norwex I was sold and the more I've used it, the more I love it.

I'm grateful God has allowed this product to be made as I believe it helps in so many ways. It saves time on cleaning, it saves money on cleaning material, it saves health by not having so many untested, unhealthy chemicals in the house, and it helps with the environment as we are reducing the amount of plastic in landfills.

Have you tried Norwex? Share your experience below. 

If you have not and would like to learn more please contact me at

You can also visit my Independent Consultant site or check out the catalog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Beginning of Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111:10

Wisdom. How much we need wisdom in this life! As wives, mothers, homeschool teachers, we need wisdom to get through this life loving well and making the best decisions. So how do we get wisdom?

This verse tells us that wisdom begins by fearing the Lord. What does that mean? To fear the Lord means to revere Him and give Him the honor and glory He deserves. We show fear of the Lord by following His ways. As this verse says, “all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” When we follow God’s ways and God’s call for us we’re showing fear, reverence for Him.

How do we know what God’s precepts are? By reading His word and knowing it. We can hide God’s word in our hearts so that we know what God’s ways are (Psalm 119:11). Beyond this, because of Jesus, we can ask God directly! James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

By God’s grace, because of Jesus death on the cross for us and the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can now have God’s wisdom poured into and flowing out of us! This does not mean we will do things perfectly, but it does mean that we can follow God without fear as we seek to follow His ways. And when we fear the Lord we can follow Him without fear of man and what they will say. God calls us to the life He has for us and that is the life we are to seek.

So begin with Jesus who followed God’s ways perfectly and teaches us to fear God and follow His ways. Put your trust in Him alone and grow in wisdom as you follow Him. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rejoice that Your Name is Written in Heaven!

How easy it is to get bogged down in the craziness of everyday life and ministry. Husbands to help, children to take care of and teach, houses to clean, ministry to get involved in, business to run. Life is full and hard. It can be so wearisome to just make it through a day.

Then there are those moments where life is good and things are going well. You’ve found your rhythm. You’re in the Word daily, you’re loving your husband and kids well, the house is in order and you have a great system to get things done, ministry and business are smooth. Life feels like the way it’s supposed to be.

Whatever your current situation, remember this: Your name is written in heaven.

Jesus sent out 72 disciples to preach the Gospel. When they return they are so excited because they were able to cast out demons and Jesus says this to them:

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  Luke 10:19-20

What powerful words! These disciples had seen some of the most amazing things of their lives, and Jesus humbly says, “That’s great, but rejoice in your salvation, not in the power I have given you.”
If He says this to those who have just returned from doing His amazing work, walking on cloud 9, how much more does He say this to us? To the weary mom who has only her faith in Jesus, rejoice, your name is written in heaven. To the woman who has everything going for her and is receiving blessing upon blessing, rejoice, your name is written in heaven.

When we put our faith in Jesus alone for our salvation and hope, we can rejoice that our name is written in heaven, and because of that everything else in life can be put in perspective.

Are you rejoicing in your salvation, that your name is written in heaven today? Take a moment and thank God for this amazing gift, then step into the day with renewed strength and vigor. Your name is written in heaven and that is all that matters!

*If you are reading this post and you do not know Jesus and His amazing grace, please contact me. I would love to share this amazing news with you so that your name, too, may be written in heaven.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The House at Pooh Corner

This book was part of our Sonlight Core A curriculum. As a whole I do not like this book. I understand the creative license that Milne took and the imaginative elements, which make it good for kids. But it is an awkward book to read and I really did not like reading it out loud. The way things are spelled and said just drive my editing English mind crazy! I've also never really been a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh throughout my life, and this continues that dislike. I know people who absolutely love this book, so don't take my critique alone.

I'd give this book 2.5 stars

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Grain of Rice

We read this book this week as part of our Sonlight Core A curriculum and also enjoyed it. It is an interesting look into ancient China and the customs there. We see the issues with class as well as the cleverness that can belong to anyone in spite of their background. It was fun to read this to the kids and ask them questions to see if they recognized the cleverness of Pong Lo.

I also appreciated teaching my kids some of the Biblical principles we can find in this book, particularly in how to pursue or wait for pursuit, and working hard with a joyful spirit. Though these are not spelled out in a book placed in ancient China, it was good to talk about these qualities in light of God's Word and how He has made us.

4.5 Stars for this book

Friday, March 11, 2016

No Children, No Pets

This book is part of the Sonlight Core A curriculum we are currently using. It was such a fun book for our family to read together. Even reading it again after only 2 years, I was delightfully surprised by it again. My kids also enjoyed reading it and Lillian shared it at a kids book club we had today.

I really appreciate the simple style of writing that is also full and rich. My kids would readily ask me what words meant so their vocabulary was built as we read. The story takes this family from Pennsylvania to Florida when they inherit an apartment building from their great uncle. The two rules, No Children, No Pets. This family has both. The kids go out on adventures to figure out the mysteries of the building and try to figure out how to stay there and not go back to Pennsylvania. The book is just a good story with interwoven stories throughout.

I would definitely recommend this book.

4.5 Stars

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Be Yourself

Throughout my life I feel like I have always had someone telling me there was something wrong with me, whether from outside sources or from my own mind. It seems to be more and more prevalent that we’re being told how we have to think, look, dress and act. We are told what is acceptable as a profession and hobbies. There are a lot of rules. (Reminds me of the Pharisees.) Obviously, to some degree we are told these things by God in how we are to love Him and love others. But the older I get the more I realize there is a lot of gray in the specifics, and God has made us each differently. We have different body types, coloring, talents, thoughts, callings and jobs that are not right or wrong. They are just part of the vast diversity that God has given to His people.

“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” 1 Corinthians 12:17

When we try to be the same, we lose the purpose of how God created us, to work with others to bring Him glory. The beauty in the Body of Christ is the diversity in it. The beauty in us is living out the roles God has given each of us to live. So be yourself, your redeemed self as my husband says. We live under the Lordship of Jesus, following the rules He has given us to live by through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. And in that we live out the person God created us to be.

So who has God made you? Seek with Him to figure that out and don’t stop living the life He has called you to for His Kingdom and His glory!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Emmie's Hommeschool Day with a 7, 5, 4, 3, 1 and 8 Month Old

I am linking up with Simple Homeschool blog to share what a typical day in the Manor homeschool looks like.

This year has been more challenging as we are formally schooling 4 and have a busy 1 year old who wants to do everything his older siblings do! Our aim is to be up by 7 and eating breakfast. We start the morning with individual Bible reading and breakfast. After breakfast we do a quick clean of the kitchen and prep for school time.

We aim to start our formal school time by 8, but with so many little ones this usually does not happen. As soon as we can, we gather for Bible time found in our Sonlight curriculum. We do calendar/time and recitation. After our joint time, the older 2 have their lists to work on what they can by themselves and I work with the middle boys using the Memoria Pre-K curriculum. My middle boys love their school time. My 1 year old often sits in during this time. After doing a few things together, the middle boys enjoy doing their own work in their workbooks.

Usually by this time we are getting ready for lunch. During lunch, we do joint history and have read a-loud time. After lunch I attempt to do some one on one work with the older 2. When my husband is home it's easier, but sometimes this does not happen with the little ones running around. We do our best to leave the TV off, but at times, the middle 3 boys get to watch a Leap Frog movie so other work can get done! During good weather they will often go outside to play.

At 1 we have a rest time. The younger boys always lie down. For the older kids this time changes and we're still in process of figuring out what works best most days, but it usually consists of reading, drawing, coloring or building with Legos. Sometimes we have to do more school work, but I do my best to be done with everything by 1, even if we're a little behind because other days we will have more time and get caught up or ahead by 1. I use this time to read, write or do other needed things.

Rest time is officially over at 3, but sometimes naps go a little longer. From 3-4 is free play time. I encourage outside time, especially if it's nice. Energy often needs an outlet by this time.

Around 4 one of the kids and an adult start making dinner. This is great hands on learning time for the older kids. Then dinner, free play or movie, family Bible time and prayer. Then bed.

I have no great insights into schooling so many with littles and I'm constantly evaluating how to help things run more smoothly. The thing I find helps the most is consistency. The past couple of months have been chaotic in our home and we need some consistency. I hope to get back to this regular schedule soon.

So that's a good day in the Manor home school.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

At Every Stage It’s Hard, So Press On

Life is hard. Can I get an “Amen”!? Everyone knows that it’s hard. And the stage that you’re in right now is the hardest you’ve ever been in, especially when it comes to raising kids. I don’t know why this is the case, but it is. Each stage is different, but it’s still hard.

In spite of what culture tells us, we know that nothing will make our lives easier, except having Jesus by our side. And even with Him at our side, we suffer as He suffered. It’s the nature of living in a fallen world. Everything is working against us. Our kids, our homes, our possessions, everything. We were told this in Scripture, that life would be hard even following Christ.

But we’re also told that everything works together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We are more than conquerors through Jesus and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39). And all of this suffering is good. Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” This is why life, even after salvation, is hard and we must suffer; it produces Christ-like character in us.

So no matter what hardships or suffering you are going through, know that God is using it for your good and it is bringing Him glory. Press on, Sister. Let the Spirit fill you and help you one moment at a time.