Where are your eyes?

We now have four additional drivers in our house currently.  My oldest is experienced and independant, my second born  third born as well and my fourth is just learning the road.

We live in South Carolina and for those of you who do not know what that means, let’s just say the roads are twisty, turny, curvy and THIN!  Yes, often these back road make you wish you could put your vehicle on a diet, especially a certain 15 passenger van.


One of the hardest things for me is the night driving on these small, dark roads.  With the cars coming towards you and the glare shining in your eyes.  We instruct our children, when you get to where you can’t see, just focus on your line on the right.  Why?

Because you turn toward what you look at!  

If you focus on the glare of the car in front of you, your car will automatically pull towards that light.

And I got to thinking, is this not a biblical principle?

We will turn towards what we focus on.  

When Peter walked on water as long as Jesus was in his sight he stayed this way…but the minute he looked at the water, he sank right into it!

So, this begs the question…where is my focus?  Where is your focus?

As moms we can get so caught up in our daily duties we forget to keep our minds on Christ and our thoughts trusting in Him.  We get discouraged, cast down, and fatigued.


Sometimes this means we have to talk back to ourselves as David did and say “Why are thou cast down oh my soul, hope thou in God!”

When the glare of the world’s discouragement shines into your eyes, where are you going to look?  Where am I going to look?!

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and some of the things that are helping me on my journey of healing





Single Serve Brownie for One

Recipes by Jess is sure to please your palate and be a blessing to your whole family with these monthly wholesome, nutritious recipes!

When you are craving a rich and intense chocolate treat, this will be sure to satisfy!  This sugar-free, decadent and moist brownie is full of healthy fats, but is low-carb and sugar-free!  If you follow Trim Healthy Mama, it’s an S dessert.

Single Serve Brownie for One

  • 1  egg
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp THM Baking Blend (or, 1 Tbsp coconut flour)
  • 2 Tbsp THM Gentle Sweet
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp coffee extract (optional, can use vanilla or other flavoring)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  •  pinch mineral salt
  •   chopped nuts &/or Trim Healthy Chocolate Chips (optional)



    1. Stir all ingredients (except optional ones) in a mug or bowl until well combined.
    2. Top batter with optional ingredients, if using.
    3. Microwave for one minute (or bake for 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven) for a dense, intense, rich, chocolate brownie!
  • Notes:
    You can use any good size cereal bowl, or small pyrex type glass dish. A 2 cup size will work nicely to make your single serve brownie for one in!

 Jessica is a Christian homeschooling mom of five and married to her knight in shining armor for over 20 years. She loves to share her recipes while managing the huge THM online community. She personally uses Pampered Chef in her kitchen and you can find her website HERE. Some of the links in her recipes may contain affiliate links to products she uses and loves.  If you make a purchase, using these links, she’ll earn coffee money, which she promises to drink while creating more recipes that you’ll love.


DON’T FORGET  our Mary and Martha catalog party is still going on.   <——- THIS Grace for Today Dayspring dish is the giveaway item!! For every $30.00 order you get an entry into the giveaway! $60.00= 2 entries $90.00= 3 entries etc. Use Jenny Ervin’s shopping link: https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/MARTIN/shop/preshop.aspx

For the Messy Keeper at Home

“That they may teach the younger woman to be sober, to love their husband, to love their children  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”   Titus 2:4-5

     “Keepers at home…that the word of God be not blasphemed.”   Wow, that is a very daunting statement!   It shows the great importance God puts on us, mommas to be the managers of our homes.  While there is many responsibilities of being manager (child raising, meal planning, decorating) I want to discuss the cleaning and maintaining of our homes.

     Keeping up with house cleaning is a difficult task.  It’s a lot of work and often feels like it is never done.  There are some people (and I do believe they are the minority) that have a special gift that enables them to innately know how to maintain and clean a home.  You can walk into their home anytime and it always company ready.    Then, there is the rest of us who do not possess this gift.   We desire clean, and organized homes but have a hard time achieving this goal. It’s just sometimes overwhelming.

     Creating a cleaning schedule and developing daily routines can be a great help.  These tools provide the structure to maintain clean homes.  You can either develop a chore system of your own (sit down with a planner or calendar and get to it) or you could opt to use one of the many systems that others have already created. 

     There are many books and online resources (there are some on Pinterest) that have  ready-made cleaning systems at your disposal.  One very popular online system was developed by Marla Cilley, The FlyLady at the website, FlyLady.net. Her system takes you baby step by baby step to a clean house.  If you join her site she sends you daily email reminders to help keep you on track plus there is plethora of information available on her site, daily routines, advice, even has her own store of cleaning tools.  I find her very helpful and encouraging. 

     There are many other online systems and apps out there as well.  This morning a woman who is the administrator to the Face Book group, Organized Mom shared that she used the app, “Clean My House”, which is available in the Google Store.

     There are plenty of home maintaining books out there.  I have read quite a few myself.  Just now looking quickly through my shelves I found four books by different authors.  You would think that with all I have read on the subject that my house would be immaculate.  But unfortunately that is not so.  You have to do more then read about cleaning systems, either online and/or books, you have to implement them.

     A system that worked well for me many years ago (a system I am currently trying to implement again.) came from an older book.  Not even sure it is still in print but it is still available online.   The book is called, Sidetracked Home Executives:  From Pigpen to Paradise by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (the slob sisters).  It’s a humorous book that explains their 3×5 index card system.  It’s a bit labor intensive to set up (you have to write down every house chore on a separate index card and then you file them in you index box by what day and month you plan to do that specific chore) but it is very adaptable to your own home situation.  (I mention this “card system” in my video about our chores systems that I posted awhile ago.~Jenny

     Having a cleaning system can be very freeing.  You have a plan to get your cleaning done.  You don’t have to worry about when it’s all going to get done.  You just have to worry about the chores you have planned for the day knowing that you have a plan in place to get to that overflowing closet next week.  Also, then there is an end to your cleaning for the day.  Once you have crossed that last chore off your list you can go do something else without any guilt.

     So, it you are having a hard time in this area of being a “keeper at home”, I highly recommend adding a cleaning plan and daily routines into your life.  And if organization and making schedules are not your thing there are plenty of resources and systems out there for you to try.  If you try one and it doesn’t work for you, try another.  Just find something that works for you and helps you fill our obligation of being “keepers at home”.

Jennifer Hanley is a Christian stay at home wife to Brian and a mom.  She has 3 daughters ages, 15, 20, and 25. She lives in NJ and currently has started a blog of her own  at www.bloominginthetwilight.com



DON’T FORGET  our Mary and Martha catalog party is still going on.   <——- THIS Grace for Today Dayspring dish is the giveaway item!! For every $30.00 order you get an entry into the giveaway! $60.00= 2 entries $90.00= 3 entries etc. Use Jenny Ervin’s shopping link: https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/MARTIN/shop/preshop.aspx

How I take 7 Kids Shopping–and Survive!


Going shopping with young toddlers these days is an arduous and painstaking process. There are the carseats until they are 8 years old, in which everyone has to be buckled, the 2 hour plus long trips through megastores like Wal Mart and Target. No matter how good of a mood everyone is in when you start out, by the time you are finished, you are wrestling the wailing toddler and praying for sanity. Some people may be able to take both parents or have the one parent who is not taking care of the kids do the bulk of the shopping. Because my husband is often putting in 12 hour days, I am usually on my own when I shop.This is how I manage it.

When my 3 kids ( 3 and under) were able to say basic phrases, we began a mantra before we went in the stores and while we went through the stores, which I still use now for a reminder at times. “DON’T TOUCH THE STUFF, STAY WITH MOMMY, DON’T HIDE IN THE CLOTHES, AND DON’T PICK YOUR NOSE.” We would chant this through the store, remind them when they reach out to touch that towering stack of canned goods, when they ran ahead of Mommy, you name it. It covers the basic principles of store shopping, except for the picking the nose, that we tacked on for certain children.🙂 Once my oldest 4 were trained, the other 3 followed most of what their brother and sisters did, with occasional reminders.

But what about boys? My oldest son, would race through the store as I was beginning to shop and before I could say“ stay with mommy” he was off. Here is what I did with him. I had to pick up bread and milk once, and my husband was able to stay home with the others, so I took him through the store, and before putting him down ( he was 3) I told him he had to hold onto the side of the cart and not let go. I helped hold his hand onto the cart for the first aisle.We practiced that reminding him up and down the aisles all the way through the store. After that, he did much better and remained holding onto the cart probably until he was 4 or 4 ½ and could control his ability to stay with me.

The last thing I do is look constantly around me , probably every 30 seconds while moving to make sure that all my kids are still with me, especially when I turn a corner, or pass the toy section ( or something incredibly interesting) then I check every 10 seconds until we pass the distracting area.🙂 We also do our bulk grocery shopping once a month. For a great tutorial and awesome grocery list visit this blog: https://www.raisingarrows.net/2008/08/once-a-month-shopping/ .

Are we perfect? No. Do I let my kids sit and touch the toys in the checkout area, knowing they have the full knowledge that they will never get anything, but it keeps them quiet while I unload a month’s worth of groceries with my kid’s help onto the conveyor belt? Yes I do. ( Except for the one time when the toddler walked off with candy and we came back and bought it because he was already eating it). Parenting is NOT easy! And toting 7 children 10 and under into 6 hours worth of shopping and 7 stops is not a picnic, but it can be done!


24826241_1524592284242674_104482287_oJanelle is a homeschooling mom to 4 of her 7 kids. She loves encouraging other moms in the overwhelming world of parenting and homeschooling! Her kids make her laugh and shake her head in horror on a daily basis! She uses her Norwex business to help them clean up the messes they leave behind!



Just a reminder to check out our Mary and Martha online catalog party we are currently doing, take a look directly and see all the amazing things to add scripture to your home!