5 Things You Didn’t Know About…Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams

Welcome back to our 5 Things You Didn’t Know About… series; today, featuring Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams.  I’m so happy to introduce you to her!



I’m continuing our summer series just a little bit into the fall; I have some more amazing bloggers to connect you with, even though the leaves are now starting to change and the wind has begun to blow.  In 5 Things You Didn’t Know About…, I’ll be introducing you to some of my favorite friends from the blogging world.  Each of them will tell you a little about themselves, how they recharge, what they’ve read and done over the summer.  Just lots of fun in bite-sized quantities!

Today–meet Wendy!

  1.  Favorite summer activity:

Sitting in the air conditioned house. Just kidding 🙂 I really like going swimming with my kids. I also like doing Aqua Zumba workouts, although my local pool canceled them due to lack of participation (sad face).


In September, we take our kids to the state fair. My husband has been invited to be a speaker on “Author Day” for the past two years, so he takes our oldest son on that day, and we bring the whole family out a few days later – I think I would be overwhelmed with the kids (all boys, ages 13, almost 11, 5, and 21 months) all by myself in someplace as unfamiliar and big as the state fair.


  1.  Best book you’ve read this summer:

I do a virtual book club on my blog that with another blogger, Lori (whose blog is called At Home: where life happens). We read the same book (one per month) and then find traditional “digging deeper” type questions that we answer on our respective blogs. Doing this with another blogger pushes me to read books that I might otherwise not know about – or pick up at all. Lori and I have such different tastes that my book club would be very different without her. All that said, I think the best book I’ve read this summer is one that Lori picked: Women Heroes of WWII by Kathryn J. Atwood.


  1.  How do you renew your spirit/recharge your batteries?

My quiet time is mostly spent knitting. It’s my favorite hobby, and I find it so relaxing that it’s a wonderful time to just listen to the needles click-click-click and pray.


  1.  Something cool God has taught you lately, or a favorite meaningful quote:



We’re living with my in-laws at the moment, and it’s quite different (and slightly more difficult) than I expected. It’s taking us a lot longer to get everything ready to move out than I’d hoped, so I’m being continually pushed in the patience department on a regular basis. Plus, the town that they live in is a lot farther away from our normal “stomping ground” than our old house was, so there’s a lot more travel time, which further requires patience while we’re getting to where we need to go.


  1.  This year, you’re looking forward to….

Buying our first home! Paying off a few debts and saving up a down payment is why we’re living with the in-laws, so I really hope we’re able to make that happen sooner rather than later.


Wendy is wife to a cartoonist and homeschooling mom to 4 boys, ages 13, 10, 5, and 1. Her favorite hobby is knitting. She blogs at Ladybug Daydreams, writing about homeschooling (particularly curriculum reviews), knitting, and general life with boys.

Thank you for stopping by to meet Wendy!  Be sure to check out her author husband by clicking on the “cartoonist” link, and visit her blog!  I know you’ll love getting to know her better!

Enjoy!  –Wren

#Keyword Reading Challenge January: Charles Martin’s “Long Way Gone”

It’s time to check in with the #Keyword Reading Challenge 2017!




I’ve just finished my first book of the year:  Charles Martin’s Long Way Gone.  I recommend it highly!

I discovered Charles Martin last year when I read his phenomenal Water From My Heart.  He’s an incredible storyteller with a wonderful voice.  Mr. Martin deftly unfolds a story to take you places you never imagined that you would go.  His characters, and their stories, are captivating.  January’s #Keyword Reading Challenge 2017 keywords are Court, Fall, Of, Way, Deep, Thousand.  Lots of books out there with those words in the title…but I was thrilled when my copy of Long Way Gone arrived from the library.  Perfect timing for sure.

The story:

Long Way Gone is the story of accomplished musical prodigy Cooper O’Connor.  Raised in the Colorado mountains by his widowed father, Cooper spent his early years traveling around with his dad and Big-Big (their friend and coworker who’s also a former convict).  His father, an honest and godly man, preached the gospel in and around Colorado, and they traveled in the family pickup, listening to and singing along with the radio.  One night, during a service held under a terrific thunder and lightning storm, they discovered that Cooper was enormously and amazing gifted as a musician.  He joins in playing for the services with his dad and Big-Big, and life is good.  He revels in the opportunity to play with his dad, hone his abilities and skills, and praise God.

Yet as he grows up, he notices that he is the really talented one of the trio; the one that people really come to see.  He wants to sign with one of the agents who approaches him, but his dad tells him to wait til he’s older, and to know that the agents really just want what they can get out of him.  Rebellion grows in him, til the day that he takes his dad’s pickup, his favorite guitar, and all the money they have, and heads to Nashville.

Like the prodigal son, Cooper has a hard road ahead of him.  Poverty.  Digging in the trash.  Loss of the things he holds most dear.  But he also has opportunity, in the form of another singer who’ll be the song to his instrument, and he meets her in the form of Daley Cross, up-and-coming star.  The two of them together might just change the music world forever…if Cooper can survive what’s coming.

What I thought:

I was hooked on this story from the very first chapter, where an older (and somewhat wiser) Cooper sees an older Daley (in the form of a hitchhiker).  Life has left a mark on Cooper, and it’s a mark that seems very likely to steal that life from him.

It’s not just Cooper’s story, though.  We come to know his incredible, faithful, loving father.  Big-Big, who got a second chance from Cooper’s dad and held onto it with both hands.  Delicate, trusting Daley, who’s enormously gifted but oh-too-malleable in the hands of others.  Is redemption possible for all of them?

You’ll have to read Long Way Gone to find out.  But I can tell you that I would read this book again and again.  In fact, I blew through it so fast the first time, because I just couldn’t put it down, that I’d read it again just to lovingly wander through Cooper’s story once more.

I think, when you read it, you’ll feel the same!

Hop over to January’s #Keyword Reading Challenge 2017!

Scores of other bloggers will be linking up and reading other books that have this month’s keywords in it.  Click on the button below so you can find some more awesome reads to add to your own list!

Enjoy!  –Wrenkeyword-challenge-january


The Liebster Award!!

So…our awesome friend Brenda from Counting Pinecones nominated finchnwren for this really cool blogger award, called the Liebster Award!  Brenda is a fellow blogger that I met while we were reviewing together for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  She is an amazing woman who inspires me so regularly.  She’s faithful, strong, fun and funny….and a fellow Texan, y’all!  Thank you, Brenda–we really appreciate it!


Now, here is the embarrassing part.  (HUGE blush here.  And I do mean HUGE.)  Brenda nominated us for this a year and a half ago.  Clearly, I was supposed to post about this ages ago.  I just completely dropped the ball!  One of the cool parts about Liebster is that the winner gets to nominate three other neat-o blogs and mention them on her own blog.  So we did do that–well, the selecting part anyway.  But life in all its craziness and unpredictability interfered.  And I have never posted about this!

Forgive me, Brenda!  You are so awesome and we so were blessed by your kindness.  I just totally dropped that ball.


Finch and I would like to nominate several of our blog friends for the pay-it-forward portion of the Liebster Award.  Each of these gals are women I’ve (Wren) served alongside on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, meaning that we’re all homeschoolers who reviewed curricula for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  These are amazing women; I encourage you to check out their blogs!  We’ve selected:

  • Julie from Little Bits of Life.  Julie is just an outstanding woman.  She is a devoted, passionate mother to two little gals.  She can also build a car engine!  And make soap.  And lots of other cool things.  I have seen her go through incredible difficulties and she just keeps on chugging and persevering.  Go, Julie!
  • Katie from Katie’s Daily Life.  Katie is also incredible…and oh, the challenges she has faced this year!  Terrible pain, several surgeries.  She is cheerful, positive, and, like Julie, an amazing perseverer (is that a word? You know what I mean!).  She has been in horrible physical pain yet she has faithfully continued in homeschooling and motherhood, as well as being a supportive daughter.  Katie, you are truly amazing.
  • Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams.  Wendy is the mom of 4 boys from age 13 down!  So you know she is busy at her house.  She homeschools the kiddos, knits BEAUTIFUL projects (and is crafty in other ways), and has even taken up ballet!  She is encouraging and so fun.  She’s also married to her high school sweetheart (who’s also very creative and artistic.  Clearly that must run in their family!)  I don’t know how she keeps all her balls in the air…but she does, beautifully.

Now, here are the questions we are answering!  We’ve split them into two so you get to learn more about each of us!

From Finch:

1. Do you have pets? Two Bengals, a Pug and a 7 month old German Shepard

2. If you could do one thing over from your past, with the knowledge you have now, what would it be? Surround myself with people that have my best interests at heart.

3. What are your three favorite comfort foods? French fries, Spinach and Artichoke dip and Pizza.

4. Do you prefer ebooks or regular books? Regular hardback!

5. What is your favorite piece of jewelry and why? My diamond cross; my husband surprised me with it for Christmas one year and I never take it off.

Now, tell us 6 things we may not know about you.

1. I’m 95% Vegetarian, 5% Pescetarian

2. Avid reader (at least 4 -5 books per week).

3. I love to dance (but rarely do it).

4. I’ve been married to the love of my life for 11.4 years

5. I’ve donated my hair to locks of love twice (a total of 24”)

6. Love to swim laps

And now, from Wren!


  1. What is your number one tip to make the mornings easier?   Get up early enough to prepare for your day.  I wake up, blearily make my way downstairs, and get a cup of coffee.  Once I’m awake and aware, I have a quiet time and look over my day’s schedule.  I’d like to start tucking in a little exercise too!  The morning is such a great time for me to just get my head in the game for the day.
  2. How did you choose your blog name?   My sister and I chose it together.  We just really liked the combination of the names together, and we’ve stuck with it!
  3. What made you decide to homeschool?  We actually had planned on a great local charter school and got our son on the list within a week of his birth.  However, God just sort of directed us toward homeschooling little by little.  We did a lot of reading, nature stuff, field trips, and before we knew it we were homeschooling and loving it!  It has been a great lifestyle for us.
  4. Do you do meal planning by the week or month? Or not at all?    I TRY to do week-by-week.  The last month of the fall I only did it about half the time.  Things got very busy.  But things work well for us when we have a planned meal schedule to work from.
  5. Do you have a favorite book or movie that you just can’t imagine never reading or seeing again?  So many!  So I’ll only tell you one.  The 6-hour BBC “Pride and Prejudice” with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.  “Mr Darcy, as he calls himself!”

And now…5 things you might not know about Wren!

  1.   We struggled with infertility after we married…for almost 4 years!  We were thrilled when I finally got pregnant with Jackson.
  2.   I love, love, love teaching art.
  3.   I also love giving gifts!  You could say it’s my love language.
  4.   I have been a volunteer in some form or fashion all of my adult life.
  5.   I had to travel to a foreign country to meet the love of my life….whom I married almost 20 years ago!  🙂


So….that’s the Liebster Award!  A little about us, and a little about the neat bloggers we’re nominating.  Go check them out:  Brenda (who nominated us), Julie, Katie, and Wendy!  You’ll love them!

Enjoy!  –Wren and Finch




Some new things about finchnwren

You may have noticed that we’re at a new blog address! We have switched to finchnwren.wordpress.com. If you were an email or WordPress follower, you don’t have to do anything! If you’re a new follower, you’ll just see a tiny difference in our actual blog address. Everything else will be pretty much the same.

If you’d like to follow us via Bloglovin’, you’re now able to!

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18362337/?claim=u8r6zqsnguf”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Thanks and enjoy! –Wren





Looking for Some Great Educational Apps?

Then you’ll want to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog this week for its Round-Up!


Our favourite Apps for Homeschooling iOS and Android27 of my fellow Crew mates and I have linked up posts on our favorite eductional apps (for both mamas and kids) at App Schooling – iOS and Android Apps.

And they are awesome!  You’ll find cool educational apps on so many subjects, including:

  • math
  • science
  • geography
  • Mom organization
  • art
  • and so much more!

So, hop over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.  I know I’m planning to hit the App Store myself for some of these neat extras for school!

Enjoy!  –Wren

finchnwren wins! :)

Finch and I had an incredible….as my son would say, “epic,” discovery this morning.

finchnwren.com won The Homeschool Post‘s “Best Family or Group Blog” in their 2014 Homeschool Blog AwardsThe Homeschool Post is a wonderful blog, authored and edited by several amazing homeschoolers (including my friend Sara from Embracing Destiny).  Its blog articles cover everything from family life, to curriculum choices, to encouragement for homeschoolers and moms.  And, they host the Homeschool Blog Awards every year!

There are 20 categories in the Blog Awards, from Current Events, Homemaking, Crafts and others.  We are so thrilled and humbled to have won “Best Family or Group Blog!”

Homeschool Blog Awards winner #hsba2014 at hsbapost.comCan you believe it?  We are so excited!!

Several of my blogging friends also won this award, in the following categories:

Check their blogs out….they are wonderful women with fantastic (clearly!) blogs!

We are very, very grateful for each one of our followers, and for our dear friends and family.  Bless each of you and thank you for voting!

Hugs!  –Finch and Wren

We’re Up for a Blog Award!

The Homeschool Post

Finch and I are so excited!  Every year, the wonderful bloggers over at The Homeschool Post host The Homeschool Blog Awards.  I’m kind of shocked that we were nominated….but many thanks to the kind person who submitted finchnwren!

Our blog, finchnwren, was nominated in the category of Best Family or Group Blog.  This category is for bloggers in a family or group who blog about homeschooling and other stuff.  Which, as you can see, definitely describes us!

Voting opened on Monday and will be open through Monday night, December 29, 2014.  If you’d like to vote for us, we’d be thrilled!  Here is the link to the Best Family or Group Blog .  They’ve listed us as Finch N Wren.  But it is us!

You can vote once per day.  And if you head over there, check out some of the other neat categories!  You might find some new blogger favorites among them.  Some of my faves are there!

Enjoy—we sure feel blessed!  –Wren

Affiliates, disclosures and disclaimers

In accordance with FTC regulations, we are providing this Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in our posts are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, which will never cost you anything. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

Thanks to all our loyal readers.  We hope you continue to enjoy our blog as much as we do! Finch & Wren