Do you shop online? A friend turned me on to this site- which pays cashback by percentage for shopping online. The concept is that businesses pay small percentages for "click-throughs" on advertisements- and Ebates gives that to consumers as cashback. It only takes a moment to go to their site first and get cashback and frequently free shipping or other discounts are available as well. Check it out! Inspired online shopping- just in time for the holiday shopping season. : )

American Girl Doll Bed/Trunk Combo Recommendation

I wanted to pass on this bed/trunk combo for American Girl Dolls that I found last year. I ordered one for Hope's birthday last year. I paid for the trunk, Grandma bought the bed, and Oma bought bedding--- altogether- very affordable and a very nice keepsake. I started looking for this because Kirsten was being retired last year, and I had always thought I would buy the trunk to keep the dolls in until they had daughters. With it being discontinued, I thought I'd better get on that. However, if you've looked into them, they're VERY expensive- and- by October- they were sold out. So, I went looking online and found this one for a quarter of the price! We got it and LOVE it. The bed actually fits inside the trunk- and the doll can lay on the bed and clothes can be stored underneath the bed. The man who makes them was quite willing to work with me on customizing it, too- which I appreciated.

Without further ado...the link to the Bed/Trunk Combo. : )

Also, if you have these dolls, may I also recommend the Beautiful Girlhood Collection at Vision Forum? Particularly the historic dresses and books. To get all 4 books and dresses is about $100 but they can be purchased individually. We have really enjoyed the books. I can't recommend all the clothes- we were very disappointed with the Medieval Princess Doll Dress--- the Velcro destroyed the dress the first time we put it on the doll- and it didn't fit very well. That said- the historic dresses were much better. Books were GREAT! : )

10 minute meals?

When you're in a BIG hurry or kids are SUPER hungry, what can you fix in a flash?!?!?
Bean Burrito- {Can of refried beans, put some on each tortilla (flour or corn for GF), half a piece of cheese on top, nuked. Can of corn makes a quick side or chips/salsa}

Guacamole- to some, not a complete meal- {1 or more avacados (soft- peeled and mashed), 1/4c. or so of salsa, dash of lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, etc - mix. If you're in a big hurry- just the avacado and salsa is good... it only gets better incrementally with the spices.}

Beanies and Weanies- Do I dare admit this? Yes, hotdogs chunked up in pork and beans or baked beans. A variation- ground beed (if you have leftover or have it in pre-measured frozen packets) in baked beans.

If you can spare 15 minutes to get it ready...

Red Beans, Rice, and sausage- {I keep the boil-in-bags of brown rice on hand, and cook in micro in covered pyrex for 10min- cook (if you cook rice in broth- has lots more flavor!), add can drained kidney beans, and any kind of sausage (I keep turkey kielbasa in the freezer), and a small can of V8 adds nice flavor and makes it saucier. A small can of tomato sauce with spices would do, too.}

Mexican Mix-Up- {Do the rice in broth in the micro again, add drained/rinsed cans of black beans and corn, some spices- cumin, cayenne- stir w/ salsa, sprinkle shredded cheddar over top- and a dollop of sour cream if you have it. Serve alone, over crackers, or wrap in a tortilla for a fancy burrito!}

What do YOU fix when you're in a hurry?!?!?! Let us know... it seems there are more rushed meals right now than there should be as we all adjust to the new schedules of fall.

God bless your cooking and your eating!

Some "fresh coat" improvements...

I've made some fresh updates and improvements to the blog...

*An updated "bookshelf" carousel of what's on my bookshelf

*A new look- thanks again to Leelou Blogs

*New worship music added to the Playlist

*A new picture slideshow with summer and beginning of school pictures- coming SOON!

Thank you for coming to visit the "Inspired Life"--- I pray that you ARE inspired to walk hand in hand with the only One who inspires me,



Hi friends! In case any of you are going through a transition of any sort… new to homeschooling, new job, transitioning after a move, transitioning to an additional child in the family, etc.- I thought you might find this helpful. It was sent to me by my good friend, Heidi Lewerenz, of


To me, life transition often feels like the transition in child birth...  To say it's intense is an understatement.  While I'm in it, I can think of nothing but getting out of it.  Often, in transition, I vow "never to do this again".  I often yell, cry, try to keep breathing...surviving. 

Even though I've had a few births, I always forget that transition is the shortest part.  I often lament "I can't do this ANY longer!".   But, somehow I do.  Transition is the relatively short - not so sweet-  necessary part of birthing anything new.  Are you in transition?

Survive the transition.  Embrace it if possible.  It usually means something beautiful is coming.

Back to Homeschool Tips

As we started back to homeschool this morning, earlier than most in our area, I thought I might share a few tips for a smooth transition. I hope you find them helpful- and I hope to keep them at the forefront of MY mind by writing them down!

  1. Start with prayer : ) beforehand and with them.
  2. Keep lessons SHORT. It will take to build up the attention span and learning stamina again.
  3. Stop while they're still having FUN! If you do it until they're tired and bored, it won't be as appealing tomorrow.
  4. LOTS OF PRAISE! Focus on the positives as you get back. Make necessary corrections, but keep it light.
  5. Use incentives if you think they might be necessary. We have for a few years had a "cheerful change" jar at the beginning of school. They start out with one or two of each coin. Complaining or whining brings the largest valued coins out of the jar and back to mom first. What's left when work is completed is theirs to keep. You probably know what will motivate your reluctant pupil!!!
  6. In a multi-age setting, have older children help younger children on a simple task or two for 15-20 min. Joshua had help with letters and sounds from Anya. Josiah had help with penmanship and health from Hope. They all seemed to enjoy that time together! (Again, keep it short and stop while it's still fun!)
  7. Don't forget to take a picture.

Enjoy your year- and remember- what is not learned today can be learned tomorrow…you are building a solid foundation through which all learning and Truth can be built.

God bless your teaching and their learning~


Learning about prayer from a 3 yr old

I must start with this passage from Scripture... Luke 11 (Pasted from

1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

2He said to them, "When you pray, say:
" 'Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.' "

5Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

7"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

You may be wondering how this relates at ALL to my 3 yr old. Well, he is the most persistent little man! (Spending ANY time with him affirms this truth.) Josh will ask a question, then while you're deciding how to answer, he'll ask three or four more times. Should you be, for example, writing an email or talking on the phone, he may ask five to eight more times before you can REMIND him that he may not receive an immediate answer- ESPECIALLY if he badgers. But, this habit of his always reminds me of the Truth taught here in Luke 11 especially in verse 8.

8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

How often do you think that Joshua gets what he needs? More than he ought. Not because "he is a friend"- but because of his boldness. May we each continue with perseverance before the throne of grace- believing that our boldness before our loving God will be heard, and in His time, answered.

Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
~ Genesis 32:26

Thank You, Lord

I am so grateful tonight, for the diversity of the Body of Christ and of fellowship in His Spirit. There is just something about being able to fellowship in the Spirit. I thank you, Lord, for not making us all the same and for CHOOSING to use our uniqueness, individuality, personalities, etc. to minister to each other, within the church, and to a lost world.

Fear of the Lord

Hi cyber-friends : )

Just a quick note to say, I've had some SERIOUS prodding from the Lord to explore the idea of the "Fear of the Lord". So, I am. I would just like to put it out there to all of you, though, first, for your own consideration, second, to ask you to share with me- what does that phrase mean to you? What Scriptures come to mind? Have you read any books or articles that dealt with the topic? Heard any sermons or other teachings? I have encountered it SEVERAL times in the last few weeks (hence the prodding)- but the first was in the teaching Bruce Van Natta (Sweet Bread Ministries) did at a healing service at Trinity. I have been trying and trying to get that teaching up in the sermon archives for Trinity. If I ever succeed, I'll post a link. (the video is very large and my computer has memory issues... and that's just the beginning- but I digress)

I appreciate your input! Don't be shy :D

P.S. Has anyone read the book "Fear of the Lord" by John Bevere or "The Joy of Fearing God" by Jerry Bridges? Both in my Amazon cart and would love to have feedback on which one to start with.

Camp Homeschool: Picture of My Life

Mom friends... I was inspired by this perspective at a fellow mom's life. If you're from the Rapids area- maybe you know Jen. If you don't, be blessed by this real-life look at what life should "look" like. Click the link below to jump over to Jen's blog and read some inspiration...

Camp Homeschool: Picture of My Life

Love is Worth Fighting For

Go hug your spouse or write them a note of love and appreciation! Guard your house, friends... it's worth the investment, right! (May we not get lazy or slack off... the fight is always on for our homes...)
Love you all!
Katherine <><

Undeserved Blessings

I am having a good reminder this week of how we don't deserve any of the blessings we have or receive- but our Father longs to give good gifts to His children (Luke 11:13) - He longs to be gracious to us (Isaiah 30:18). In fact, I've got to show you the whole context of that verse:
"18Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!

19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." 22 Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"

It's always a bit of a surprise when Scripture is so graphic- but- you understand the point, right? Menstrual cloths or idols are not something you want to keep around. I am brought to the realization time and again, that the pet sins I let lurk around become idols-detestable to the Lord. I turn to them to get through the tough part of the day- I allow them to be my comfort, my escape. But, they need to by defiled and THROWN AWAY! And, Lord- may they become as detestable to ME as they are to you!

I am being blessed this week, with something I desperately need, but do NOT deserve. I have not earned it. I could only have dreamed of it. It reminds me of the verse from Romans 2:4, "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" His kindness to me this week, is leading me to repentance for being stuck- for allowing myself to live the UNinspired life for the last couple months. For allowing pet sins to hang around like a STENCH. But, I feel the cool breeze of renewal blowing. I hope that somehow this can be a reminder to you as well- that whether life is good or life is bad- it's not because we've earned it or deserve it. Well, sometimes bad choices do equal bad consequences- yes, from my gluttony I have put back on the few pounds I lost last year- that's a consequence- a direct result of MY actions. But what I mean is- we didn't earn the snowstorm, or our kids being sick. And, where ever we are... our Lord longs to be gracious to us. Take a moment, to ask Him to show you how He is being gracious to you- how He wants to give you more of His gift of the Holy Spirit- how He is being compassionate to you. He will. And allow His showing you, to woo you out the lull and slumber of a spiritual winter- if you're there- and feel the excitement and renewal of spring. If you need a way, like me, to show Him your gratitude, check out the song "I'm amazed by you" in the playlist on the right side of this page. It's a great song to worship Him with. Blessings, friends!

States and Capitals Song- from Animaniacs

Animaniacs - 50 States And Capitals .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

Another Song- have to purchase, but it's pretty good. Follow the link to listen to the first bit of it.

Audio Memory geography (we have this!) and state and capitals.

Just in case you're learning the states and capitals like we are... here are a few options for your learning ease! Happy learning :-) And congratulations on training up a good, responsible citizen!!!