cream cheese sausage balls
smoked paprika and balsamic steak

our good life.


Becky Higgins' tag line is Cultivating a Good LifeTM. While she may have trademarked the phrase, she has not cornered the market on a good life. But, she does have some really good advice on cultivating a good life - and I enjoy every bit of her blog and love the success she has garnered through Project Life.

So many pieces of our own lives all combine to make it a really good life. In this new blog series I'm going to share those pieces that make up our good life and how we've cultivated a really good life. Some of these ideas are super simple to implement, some take forththought and planning, some just require some follow-through and some have fallen into our laps. First up is:

Cultivate a good life by reading aloud to our kids.

I imagine pretty much every family can say they've regularly read to their kids when they are little, and even through grade school. But, somewhere along the time kids learn to read and they move into lengthy chapter books, and find their own niche reads, or favorite types of books to read, reading aloud to their kids pretty much stops.

For a lengthy season I used to read to the family out loud at the dinner table. John and Jarrod were probably between the ages of 4-7 and the girls from maybe 12-16 or so. We read the entire Chronicles of Narnia series as a family. I think my family will remember those times forever. Those times solidified my love of reading out loud, but,

then nothing.

When we began homeschooling our twin boys in the 7th grade the main curriculum we used included a large selection of read-a-louds and readers of historical nature, both of which became read-a-louds. This began one of the ways we have cultivated a good life over the past three and a half years. 7th grade moved into 8th grade and I continued reading aloud to my boys. The boys moved into high school and I read our way around the world. This year we are in American History and American Literature so we are reading some very interesting books.

Typically, we read in the morning, depending on their other studies, I grab at least one book, sometimes two, and even three books reading aloud at one time. John and Jarrod grab blankets and snuggle in on the couch or chair ready to listen intently. I will read one of the books on their list of American Literature list and I've compiled a lengthy list of American History readers of historical nature and I read aloud one, or two of those. Our reading time can take anywhere from 1-2 hours of time. I'm always dry mouthed and in need of water by the time we are done but I wouldn't change it for the world.

If you were to ask John and Jarrod what their favorite time of homeschool is I know without a doubt they would say our reading aloud time with Mom. But, you know what? I treasure this time also.

It's all about cultivating a really good life.