Dec 9, 2014

Christmas Break

Just wanted to let you all know that I am going to take a brief break for a few weeks as I enjoy celebrating Christmas with my children and family.  I likely won’t be back to blogging til after January 6th (the last of the 12 days of Christmas).

Wishing you and your family all a wonder holiday season, and may God bless you and your families!


The Sheppard Family

Dec 2, 2014

The Kindness Elves Have Arrived!


We are so excited to be joined by the delightful Kindness Elves this holiday season!  I first heard about them on the brilliant blog, The Imagination Tree, last year and knew right away that I wanted to do it myself this year.  So, when I discovered these adorable little guys at my local Dollarama in early November (gah!  Christmas stuff in early November!), I immediately snatched them up.  They were soft, cute and cheap — perfect for my intended purpose.

We don’t teach “Santa” in our home — we have discussed it with Naomi and explained to her that Santa is another name for St. Nicholas.  So she knows that it’s just me playing a game with the elves.  Nevertheless, it’s been fun to wake up to their antics.  The first day of their arrival, she found them sitting on the stairs, with a little note asking that she give them names.  She named the Red one “Red” and the green one “Purple” (she does know he’s green, she doesn’t have any trouble with colors or naming them).

This morning, Red and Purple asked her to help them come up with a list of names of people she loved that she wanted to show kindness to, as well as some ideas.  It was fun to come up with names of all her friends and family, though she did specify the ones she was shy of and we discussed ways she could be kind to them that she would be comfortable with.

Are the Kindness Elves coming to your home this Advent season?  How are you sharing their fun and antics?  Tell us about it in our comments section!

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Nov 27, 2014

The Good Sheppard Homeschool: Circle Time

Good Sheppard Homeschool

Naomi turned 4 this past May and I was thrilled. This meant that in September of this year, I could begin “homeschooling” her, or rather, preschooling her. I was so excited. This had been my objective since before I met Michael. Finally, I was able to start the grand adventure of homeschooling my children.

Based on our beginning understanding of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy on education, I knew that preschool for us wouldn’t involve a lot of worksheets or readers, but rather a gentle routine that would allow us to grow and develop a passion and love of learning together. I did some research into what a Charlotte Mason preschool should look like, and created a general routine for our days, and I would love to share that routine with you in this new series.

Our homeschooling begins first thing in the morning, before we even get up.  Naomi usually comes into my bed after Michael leaves for work in the morning.  We cosleep with Jude, and she usually snuggles in beside me and we sleep for an hour or so longer after he leaves.  Once we do wake, it’s a wonderful snuggle and cuddle, and we discuss what the day holds — appointments, errands, visits, etcetera.

Photo Source: Pinterest

The first thing we do in the morning is say our morning prayers.  I have a list of prayers I wanted Naomi to learn this year, although I think it will likely be fewer this year than I expected.  We began with the Hail Mary, as Naomi has a deep love for the Blessed Mother, and after she had that one pretty well mastered, we moved on to the Our Father.After we’ve receited our prayer, we discuss what else we should pray for — a special request, something we are grateful for, a sin we need to confess, etc.  We then pray together, my special girl and I.

After that, we read a story from our 365 Read-Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories book.  Because we only read these on school days, we are not getting through it as quickly as we might like, but to be honest, that’s okay.  I enjoy that this book gives a very basic version of the story, which allows me to elaborate, explain and discuss it in further depth as I see fit for Naomi to understand.  It also gives me the opportunity to bring in other resources, such as episodes of Adventures in Odyssey, as I did with the story of Esau and Jacob.  By the time this is over, we have discussed some very important topics in a fun, loving environment and we are ready to begin our day.  So we get up, make our beds, go get dressed and brush our teeth, and are ready to go downstairs to get the house straightened up and breakfast ready.

How do you begin your homeschool mornings?  I’d love to hear about it — share in the comments below!

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Nov 26, 2014

Your Child’s Car Seat: One Of Your Most Important And Most Neglected Safety Tool

Source:  Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Sometimes, a piece of information comes up on your Facebook feed that grips you — that just challenges you and convicts you thoroughly.  On Monday of this week, I had one such experience.  This blog post appeared in my News Feed and after reading it, I sat and cried.  The story of a poor little boy who lost his life due to an improperly installed car seat was gutwretching, and I couldn’t stop myself from thinking all the different “What if” scenarios.  I have a very precious little man and little girl that ride around with me in our car, and while I felt our seats were safe, I am very convicted about it and determined to improve.


Cuddles and apples go well together. #somuchlove #siblings

A photo posted by Nada (@nadasings) on

The truth is, I should not be alone in this — according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3 out of 4 car seats are not safely installed into their vehicles.  That’s chilling.  And horrible.  And just further motivates me to make sure my children are safe in our vehicle, as safe as they are in my own home.

I had asked for my and Michael’s family to chip in to buy Jude a new car seat for his birthday this year — one that would convert from a rear facing seat to a front facing seat when he was older, but I hadn’t gotten around to it.  I am now more determined than ever to get our car a new car seat, hopefully by this weekend, and install it properly.  Naomi’s car seat is still adequate, but I know now that we faced her forward too early, and in fact, she is just now the size and weight she should be for forward facing.  I am so incredibly thankful to Jesus that we have never had to go through any kind of vehicle accident or injury, especially where our children are concerned.

I have contacted some local baby stores and organizations to see if there is a car seat safety workshop put on anywhere in my community.  Til I know more, I will be studying and learning from various videos and making sure that things are safe.  If you’re looking for resources for proper purchase and instillation of car seats, please check out the following links.

How To Find the Right Car Seat

How To Install An Infant Car Seat

Tips For Installing Car Seats

Installing A Car Seat

Car Seat Instillation Videos Playlist from The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (English and French)

Please make sure your precious babies are safe in your vehicle!  Let’s never have any other mother and child have to go through what Cameron and his family have gone through.

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miniMOMist is an account of Mike, Nada, Naomi and Jude's journey into realistic minimalism, with the goal centered around simple living, and enjoying each other rather than things. We are a faith-based family and blog about our belief in God regularly. Our love for one another and our passion for a simple, minimalist life brings us much joy and pleasure.

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