family life

Hi there, New Year! {let’s catch up!}

After a couple of weeks away from blogging to enjoy the holidays with my family, it’s time to catch up!

First of all, I updated a few blog-related things. Notice my header with a new girl that looks even more like me? Love her! I moved my feed, too, so I hope my subscribers are getting my posts; I don’t want to lose anyone! {Hello? Are you there, friends?}

We celebrated Christmas.

{over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go!}
to grandmother's house we go
{fun gifts and family time!}
Christmas fun

{a new tradition: Christmas day lunch at Waffle House}
Christmas Day lunch at Waffle House

We built a fence.

Actually, we aren’t finished because the weather has been wet, wet, wet. And did I mentioned it’s been really rainy? But we’ve been working on this big project for a while now so it deserves a mention. Kathryn was out in the cold working alongside Ken every day; Lindsey helped some (when she wasn’t working); and I used my concrete-mixing skillz from all those years watching my talented brick-mason dad.

fence building

One lesson learned: if I ever move north, I’m going to need a new, fleece-lined wardrobe because I wore layer upon layer and still stayed cold!

We welcomed the new year.

Both the girls were away so Ken and I just enjoyed spending New Year’s Eve together at home (as Lacy huddled in the corner, terrified of the fireworks), and then spent January 1st going out for lunch, taking down the tree, and being glad we weren’t digging fence post holes or mixing and pouring concrete for a change!

I went a little bonkers with cleaning/decluttering.

{My 2013 motto: Simplify.}
I warned my family if they stood still long enough, they’d be cleaned, organized, or put in the give-away pile. I even sanitized my washing machine! I’ll be writing more about my simplification plans in the coming weeks; I’m hoping to simplify everything from kitchen wares to social media and all sorts of things in-between!

Kathryn is away for another few days of holiday time at her dad’s, and Lindsey has been at the Passion Conference this week, so we won’t start back to any sort of schooling until next week. In the meantime, I’m taking a carload to Goodwill, checking things off my to-do list, and working on upcoming blog posts — including the one explaining that teaser from just before Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But for now…
how ’bout a few inspiring links from around the web?

Linking up with:
~ Collage Friday hostess Mary at Home Grown Learners
~ Homeschool Motherโ€™s Journal at iHomeschool Network
~ Weekly Wrap-Up hostess Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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Eddie - The Usual Mayhem

The new header girl is super cute!

I’ve been decluttering too; I have a van full to take to the Salvation Army this weekend. Not that it makes any visible difference, but at least I know it’s gone. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jennifer Janes

I am working to simplify around here through decluttering and reorganizing too! I had hoped to be much farther along after a three-week break from homeschool, but my plans were derailed when illness hit, so that project is ongoing!

Good luck getting that fence finished!

Jennifer Janes

You’re right about that!

Nancy Mosley

Yes, as a GA girl now in MO — what I say is bitter, my husband simply states it is just chilly. I have fleece leggings that I got from Modest Mom blog and love them! I have needed them up here. It actually has been a mild winter so far, but the last week has been very cold in the mornings (in the teens but can feel like the single digits). I cleaned out my closet yesterday, took some clothes to a local shop and traded them in for a couple of items and then donated another bag full.… Read more ยป


You’re building a fence?!? I’m so impressed!
Your new header looks fantastic! It looks like some created a cartoon of YOU! Too cute!
Oh and thank you for the link to sanitize your washer. I was just thinking about how I should do that but wasn’t sure where to start! Happy {clean} New Year!

Zephyr Hill

Fence-building is hard work! So is concrete-mixing! Those are my husband’s department, although putting in farm fencing, he doesn’t need concrete–just a PTO powered post-hole digger on the tractor! I don’t think your neighbors would approve, though! ๐Ÿ™‚ De-cluttering! I love it (in principle) although clutter seems to spontaneously regenerate, doesns’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚ My current occupation is the opposite of de-cluttering: I’m unpacking 600 or so children’s books that have been in our hay barn since we moved here 4 years ago. I’m having to “de-mustify” them with 91% alcohol. Then comes the fun part–alphabetizing them on the new Ikea… Read more ยป

Jessy at Our Side of the Mountain

She does look like you! LOL I’ve been so eyeing other blog headers and who does them. I’d really like to give a gift of a new header this year. If only I could decide how I’d like it to look! LOL Cold? Oh, boy, it’s been cold! We’ve been getting down to -2 to -12 at nights. I’m done with it! Bring on the positive digits! And I’m totally with you on the simplifying! I’ve been on a roll with that! I’ve decluttering the upstairs. It’s looking quite bare and I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’ve stuck to a… Read more ยป


I love your word. It is freezing here ~ at least by North Carolina standards.
Blessings, Dawn

kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

Love the “new girl” she does look like you more – but you’re cuter – We always sing the “over the river and through the woods” song all the way to my mom’s ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy New Year!


Jamie ~ first, let me tell you that your site design always makes me happy and calm. It’s just so CLEAN and inviting. I woud love something like this for my own blog. I feel like a change. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also love your one word for 2013 — that was mine for 2012, and I think I achieved a lot of simplicity.

I’m glad our daughters are following each other on Instagram. I think they might be good friends if they lived just a tad closer, but I definitely think we need that Valentine blogger/daughter meetup in ATL, don’t you??


Wonderful photos! Waffle house, yum!


I just love your new header, it’s so darn cute but not too cutsey, good work! I keep feeling like my word for 2013 is Give, I’m just not sure what that means exactly! We don’t really have Waffle House restaurants in MI, but we have been in FL this last week and they are everywhere!! Glad you enjoyed the holidays.


Love the car picture! I also love the word simplify. I think that’s a great way to start a new year!

Heidi @ Home Schoolroom

I look forward to following along as you simplify and hopefully getting some ideas. I have a tendency to make things more complicated rather than simplifying, but I’ve been working on that. And I live with a couple pack rats, too. And then there is my craft supply hoarding problem…

Zephyr Hill

Jamie, I have a question for you. I took to heart your encouragement to remove Captcha’s from my blog to make it easier for people to comment. But in the past couple weeks I’ve been inundated with spam comments, frequently five a day–and I almost never get REAL comments! I get email notifications about the spam (that’s how I know if I get a comment from a real person, too), and the spam comments are getting fouler and fouler. It’s impossible not to see them when I go to delete them (even though Blogger almost always catches them), and it… Read more ยป


Love, love the family photo in the car! So cute:)

We’re starting the new year with remodeling projects and decluttering too…though you are way ahead of me by sanitizing the washing machine!

Simplify was my word for 2012- great word for the new year. I chose a verse instead this year- Joshua 3:5, “…Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”

Blessings to you and yours this season!


I’d love to be decluttering and thought that with both my boys out of town I’d have the perfect chance. But Miss 12 has a badly broken arm and can do hardly anything – even reading is tough with just one arm to hold a book – except play games. And you need someone to play against !

Nancy, aka Mrs A

I love to de-clutter! I love having my home decorated for Christmas, but I feel better when it’s clean and simple ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to tackle drawers next ๐Ÿ™‚

I love your blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

God bless!


Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Your header is adorable! So “Jamie”! Love seeing your family work together to build the fence. Happy 2013.

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Celebrating New Year with your love ones is very memorable thing. I could see that you and your family had enjoyed a lot on those times.

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