Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Small Things: February

If we were to go for coffee, either in a coffee shop by ourselves or around my kitchen table, what would I tell you?  I would share with you about the small things in my life that are just making life easier or more joyful.
recap: JanuaryThe Small Things- Life with the Hawleys
Today on our coffee date, I would tell you about THREE of my favorite beauty products: face wash, mascara, & lipstick. 

For my entire life, or at least since puberty (ha!) I've been on a search for the best face wash.....I've found it! Young Living's Orange Blossom Facial Wash.  I absolutely love this natural face wash!  I know that it seems a little pricey, but I purchased a foam pump and diluted it (based on this suggestion) so that it lasts longer.  This cleanser is so gentle but also really effective.  I don't think my skin has ever been this clear.  I wash morning and night with this, and I love it!5136
Next up, the mecca of all mascaras: L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise.  Like you wear this & you will say: "MY EYES HAVE ARRIVED!" I lost a few of my lashes back in the fall because I used a cheap mascara- shame on me! Clumps started falling out....grossssss!  So I quickly started a marathon to find the best mascara to make what lashes I did have look good.  (Just ask my sister I think I text her 6 difference mascaras to rate for me) This mascara not only helped me then, but now that my lashes have grown back, they look so much better with this mascara.  It's also the drugstore "dup" for the ever-so-famous "Better Than Sex" mascara.  This picture is after a 12 hour day! 20180207_223505
And at the end of our coffee date, I would put this on before leaving and I would insist that you get a stick! I got this (Beautifully Bare Satin Lipstick) back in the fall and I wear it ev-er-y day! I think it is the perfect color and I love the matte finish.  I wear Touch of Berry.touch of berry
Okay, so those are a few of my favorite things that are small but bring me joy lately.  Any beauty products you've found that I just NEED to try???
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: I was not compensated for these products, I just really like them and wanted to share them with you :-)
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 26, 2018

Chain Counting + FREE Printable

In a couple weeks, when I get a chance to write it all out, I am going to share all of the things I keep in our "Busy Bag".  But as a sneak peak, this is one of the items that I keep on hand for when the world is melting down (according to me + the babies), and I don't want to resort to screens. Educational, fun, & easy, plus FREE....recipe for turning those frowns upside down!Chain Counting- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool

This is such an easy activity to prepare & have on hand just for when the going gets tough! Go here to print the FREE file! When you print it off, laminate it (optional), and punch holes over the black dot.  Then using these links, ask your child to connect chains to the card with the corresponding number, e.g. card 6, gets 6 chains, etc.  This is such an easy task to have ready in a ziplock bag to pull out to practice number recognition, counting, & fine motor skills.  Check it out and tell me what your preschooler thinks :-)DSC_0452

xoxo Darby

Friday, February 23, 2018

Philly Cheesesteaks- A Classic!

This is a definite go-to meal for us. 

We love it!

It’s fast to prepare!

It’s delicious!Philly Cheesesteaks- Life with the Hawleys

From the Kitchen of Darby Hawley


2 lbs ribeye steak

1 large onion, sliced

2 green peppers, sliced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

3 tbs butter, grass-fed

sea salt & ground black pepper to taste

sourdough rolls or french bread

wiz (if you’re going to do it, do it right!) I use HEB’s queso blanco for some added spice

peppers (optional for spice)


1. Freeze steak 4 hours before beginning.  I know this sounds so weird, but trust me, it’s the right thing to do and will make cutting better later.  When you’re ready for dinner, using a sharp knife slice the steak as thinly as possible and then season with salt & pepper.

2. In a skillet, y’all know I’m using cast iron for this, sauté onion, green pepper, & mushrooms in butter until soft and then remove to a plate.

3. To your skillet, add the seasoned ribeye and cook over high heat until browned.  Then stir the veggies back to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes.

4. Serve meat in toasted (& buttered) rolls with cheese & peppers on top.

5. Enjoy!DSC_0428

xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I Found Fruit

There are moments as a mother that I pray for, but when they actually happen, I’m never ready for.  I’m always blown away.  This has happened twice since right before Christmas.  I always pray that what I’m doing as a mother is effective.  That the things I’m saying over and over and over again, are sinking in.  That who my children are exposed to are pointing them to Christ.  On the rare occasion, because toddlers are not the best at communicating their own character development ;-) I have been given the gift of seeing the fruit of my labor.berries-1546125_1920
Right before Christmas our church had a live nativity for the kids during their Sunday School hour.  I wanted to see my kids see the manger scene with the live animals; I wanted to see their reactions.  The Mr. and I stood behind a tree to watch them see the manger scene (we didn't want them to know that we were spying on them hehe).  There were people acting out the nativity and singing songs while the kids sat in front and watched.  Then they asked the three year olds, who was Mary carrying, and who did she give birth to.  All of the kids just sat there, but my precious Dutch stood up and shouted “Jesus!”  When he sat down, his friend Judah, leaned over, hugged him, and said “way to go Dutch!” To some this might be so small, but as a mother to see that not only was he familiar with the story and knew the answers to the questions, but that he was so enthusiastic about sharing, was so reassuring to me.  It was a moment I needed to affirm that what I have been pouring into my kids is working.

Then in late January, I was driving the kids to a play date.  We drove by our church & Dutch started asking questions about the cross out in the front of our church.  I told Dutch that Jesus died on the cross.  Dutch then asked me if the cross squished Jesus.  I said no that He died so we could go to heaven and live with God forever.  Then I asked Dutch if he wanted Jesus in his heart and he said yes and that he would give Jesus a new cross, a little one so it would fit in his heart.  I’m well aware that this is not my 3 year old coming to salvation, but it is a sign to me that he is interested, that he is starting to grasp the concepts, & that he IS paying attention.

These two moments have truly been gifts for me as a mother.  How encouraging it has been to be able to hear him say these things and reaffirm my efforts that my work is growing fruit. 

Thank you Lord!!!  Please allow me the great privilege to continue leading these blessings you have entrusted me with to Your Kingdom.
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 19, 2018

Vintage Children's Artwork Display

It's been a little bit since I posted a DIY around here, hasn't it?! Well this is an easy one y'all!  For the longest time I have posted the kids artwork on the sliding doors to the backyard, and the Mr. was not a fan of that at all. lol He likes to look into the backyard but the school work was so thick he couldn't see at all.  It was like a wall & there was no sunlight coming in.  I had to agree with him too; it was beginning to be a little too much but there was no way that I was cutting back on that school work.  Sooooo I had to move it.  I researched so many ideas on Amazon & Pinterest, but nothing was fitting my style, so I had to get creative.Vintage Childrens Artwork Display- Life with the Hawleys
Hawley HomeschoolThis was a really super easy & cheap DIY (my favorite kind!).  I purchased gold & white bakers twine, wooden sewing spools, & mini clothes pins. I asked the Mr. to screw 4 spools into the wall of our school room to make two rows where I could hang school work.  Then I just tied the bakers twine to each spool and clipped on some of the mini clothes pins. Done! 
This is the wall of schoolwork blocking the backyard. So I guess this is the "Before"
Isn't that so easy?!?!?! I love the vintage look of this artwork display, and it can surprisingly hold a lot of weight! Win-Win!!!
How do you display your kids artwork & school work at home?
xoxo Darby

Friday, February 16, 2018

Testing Dolls- For Comprehension

Serendipity plays a huge roll in the curriculum used in this house.  hahaha I keep a basket of activities that we use in the morning between breakfast & independent play. Many people do this, & there are various scholarly reasons why people use a morning basket, but for me, in my honest opinion, my favorite thing about it is that it sets a manageable tone for the day in our home.  One morning I had planned on using these dolls in the morning basket just as a tool to occupy my kids while I finished breakfast, but it became a great tool for assessment that I now use on a regular basis.Testing Dolls For Comprehension- LIfe with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
Santa brought these wooden magnetic dolls (pretty much paper dolls) to the kids for Christmas, and they come with so many outfit and accessory options as well as a male and a female doll.  Alone they are a great toy or gift for someone.  We have a regular set, as well as a sports set.DSC_0485
What I do during school time or reading time, while I read I give the dolls & pieces to the kids.  As I read they dress the dolls and "act out" the scenes in the book.  This has been such a fun & interactive way to really evaluate what they are comprehending as I read.  For my kids, it really brings a story to life, but for me, it leads to great discussions about what we're reading, what they may or may not understand, and character issues.  I'm so glad that this activity serendipitously fell into my brain.  I highly recommend trying this with your toddlers to see what they are learning from your reading :-)DSC_0484DSC_0477DSC_0474DSC_0476
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Color Clip Matching + FREE Printable

If I can get something & use it a bazillion ways, I'm thrilled!  This is one of those activities that you can do with your child at any age level, and I've made it into a FREE printable for YOU!  And the best part is, is that you can customize it to your child's interests to make learning more fun and something that they want to do.Color Clip Matching- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
The first thing you need to do is go HERE for the free printable.  You will notice that they are blank, and that was not an accident.  When I made these cards I wanted to practice matching with colors; however, you could practice matching other things.  You could print off images, stickers from your child's favorite show, color stickers, shapes, even sight words, or letters/numbers.... basically anything you want.  I used these sticker dots to just stick on the cards and then I laminated them.  I gave my kids these little clothes pins to match the color.  This is such an easy way to customize a task for your child where there is self correction.  Please go print off these cards here and have fun matching :-)DSC_0453
xoxo Darby

Monday, February 12, 2018


February is still the beginning of the year, right?  Everyone has their “word of the year” that they posted about back in January, but I never got around to writing about mine.  Excuse my tardiness, but I’m about to peel back some of my onion layers for you; consider yourself warned ;-)

I typically like to pick a word based on a verse of scripture every year.  The past few years have been challenging words/verses that have pushed me beyond what I thought I could handle with words like perseverance and rerooting (2015, 2016, 2017, 2017 response).  These phrases & verses have required me to make some really tough & uncomfortable decisions over the years.  I have to say, despite being extremely challenging words, they were verses of Truth that were woven through all aspects of my life and guided (and continue to lead me) on a daily basis.  While these have been challenging words, they have truly sharpened me all year long, and I’m grateful for them.  The past couple years have been my absolute toughest (hands-down!), and like most years I have gotten nervous towards the end of the year as I thought about what I might face in the new year.More
I felt a pull for my word of focus for 2018 back in October.  And like most years, it has taken some time for me to adjust to a new way of thinking.  This year I am focusing on MORE, based on Ephesians 3:20.  Let me quickly add, that I’m not seeking to add more things to my life or gain more financially or anything like that.  This is not a plea for materialism.  Instead this is a shift in thinking, to seek broader thoughts; that there is always MORE going on than what I can see.  Me, small me, cannot possibly see or understand the scope of what God is doing, or why He allows certain things to happen in my life and in the world around me.  Instead of being disappointed or feeling bitterness or discontent I have to practice understanding that there is MORE going on than what I can see or understand.  And the God of all creation does not owe me an explanation for His work.Ephesians 3-20
Additionally there is MORE to me than what I see in myself.  While I do not know all of the plans the Lord has for me and I often feel like a failure, lacking empowerment, & broken, there is some redeeming quality that the Lord wants me to pursue; that He still has MORE work for me here. And while I cannot wrap my mind around it, the daily struggles I have are for good and His glory.Romans 8
Sometimes I think that I have been focused on Christ but have still slipped into the water.  But I have to remember, constantly remind myself, that there is MORE in this ocean of life and I can’t see it all right now (Matthew 14:22-34). I just have to keep focused and pray for good and that I can see good in myself.IMG_20171028_160704_269-2
I got this necklace back in October, and you may have seen me wearing it, as a reminder for myself every time I get a glimpse in the mirror, that there is far MORE going on than I realize or can see in my time.  In years past the beginning of the year with a new word has been challenging but by the end of the year, I have felt stronger in that arena.  This year has been the same.  I have struggled to believe this.  If I used my “friend voice” I of course would say this to others, but it has been a real challenge learning to apply the concept of MORE to myself.  I have done poorly here, & have even bucked at the idea that there are any redeeming qualities in me.  I hope by the end of the year as I work in this area with not narrowing my focus so much on what is lacking that I will learn what isn’t lacking, that there really is MORE going on around me.Isaiah 55
xoxo Darby

Friday, February 9, 2018

Little Firefighter Unit

If you've seen ANY of my pictures on Facebook or Instagram lately or my Honestly Hawley posts, I'm certain that you've noticed that I live with a fireman.  Yep, I do. His name is FIREMAN DUTCH (and yes, this is how he introduces himself to friends, family, & even strangers.  Ellis even refers to him as this now lol).  So when I find something we like I capitalize on that to make learning fun & enjoyable (for everyone lol).  If you want to do a small topical unit on firefighters with your little one, it is a great opportunity to talk about fire safety (how to avoid it & what to do in case of an emergency, & what firefighters look like to prevent fear, etc.) Here are some resources that FIREMAN DUTCH would suggest to you:Fire Fighter Unit- Life with the Hawleys-1
Hawley Homeschool
FIELD TRIP!!! The easiest, & probably most important, objective to a lesson on firefighters would be "Stop, Drop, and Roll" and "When smoke goes UP, we go DOWN".  Additionally, I would recommend visiting your local station so that your child knows what firetrucks looks like in person (they are bigger & louder than toys) and meet the fire fighters, so that, heaven forbid, anything terrible happen you want your child to see a fire fighter as someone that is trying to help and not scary.  We've been a couple times to our fire station (Thank you Mr. Ben!) and we always check them out at parades & the grocery store.DSC_0204Firetruck Field Trip-1Firetruck Field Trip-2

Our Favorite Firetruck Activities: I knew that my littles LOVED firetrucks so I really used that as a medium for learning.  This past fall I used firetrucks as we learned the letters L (ladder), T (truck), and F (fire).  I could use one topic for several letters & it provided a lot for us to talk about & really use those letters in learning & play.
Firefighter Play Dough People (FREE Printable)- I laminated mine & Dutch plays with these after breakfast some mornings.DSC_0403DSC_0039
Create-A-Scene Firefighter- We have several versions of these play sets and not only are they fun and let my kids work on creativity, but they are also helpful in that one child can play with it while I work on something with another child.  Lots of fun in general, but with a firefighter theme Dutch is all-in!
Fire Fighter Printable- I love this pack & I have printed it several times.  It has so many great topics to teach with a fire fighter theme (numbers, counting, letter recognition, sight words, phonics, patterns, shapes, handwriting, etc).  We use these a lot with our dot markersGet a packet here!DSC_0040
The following are a list of manipulatives & hands-on activities we have used to talk about firetrucks:

Our Favorite Firetruck Books: I have said it before, and I will say it again, I will NEVER stop buying books.  In my opinion, there is no such thing as too many books when you're trying hard to help your children develop a passion for reading and learning.  In this case, less is not more ;-)
The Fire House Book ~ You Can Be Anything! ~ Muddle & Match Jobs

Ready, Set Rescue! ~ Noisy Fire Truck

Our Favorite Firetruck Toys- If you know  me at all, or you have followed LTWH for a while, you know that I will always pick a wooden toy without lights or sound every. single. time.  I can't resist the opportunity to invite the imagination to play & I love to watch it blossom.  This wooden fire station was a hit as a Christmas gift.  DSC_0031
I'm sure y'all saw this set back in October from Halloween, well we're still wearing this set on the reg around there lol


Santa brought this firetruck, and it actually got stuck in the chimney because it was so big! Can you believe that?! ;-) HUGE hit in our house Christmas morning.  This was the "Major Award" in our house this Christmas (name that movie!!)DSC_0755DSC_0759
We also have been playing with these smaller trucks:
 Wooden firetruck with firefighters ~ Green Toys Firetruck ~ Lock & Key Emergency VehiclesFirefighter Toys
Between field trips, activities, manipulatives, books, & play we have learned so much and developed such an appreciation for firefighters.  It's no wonder our oldest has renamed himself FIREMAN DUTCH lol  I hope I've given you a lot of ideas on things that you could use for a unit on fire fighters with your little ones!  If you come across something that I need to bring into our classroom *PLEASE*  let me know.  I know a little boy, I mean firefighter, that would love it!Fire Fighter Unit- Life with the Hawleys-2
xoxo Darby
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