Category: Family

Happy Summer: Episode 20

Hello everyone and welcome to our Happy Summer Episode 20. It’s going to be short and sweet but meaningful we hope!


Amber and I have LOVED sharing Southern Joy with you over the last year. We just celebrated our one year anniversary with a Summer Book giveaway on Instagram and Facebook. Today we would like to leave you with a few ideas to make your summer Joyful AND announce our Summer Book Winner.


But first Amber will be leaving for China on May 30 to scoop her baby boy into her arms on June 4th. Be sure to follow her IG account @amberleggio and follow as she travels. I’ll be sure to share anything she shares with me on the SouthernJoyPodcast IG account. Stay tuned for Teagan Day!!!

Here are 5 things to Boost JOY through the summer months:


  1. Read! Go to the library, order one on your Kindle, or borrow from your neighbor. Just get your nose in a book and get away in your mind!
  2. Eat! Find some new recipes or try out all the ones you’ve pinned on your Pinterest wall. We know you have some! Even if it’s once a week, try something new! AND make one night a mom’s night off! Now THAT would bring me JOY!!!
  3. Walk! Find 20-30 min each day for a walk. Even if it’s at the crack of dawn before your house wakes up OR up and down your driveway while the kids play. Exercise will make a world of difference in your attitude, heart, and health!
  4. Sunshine! Get in the sun~ hopefully outside but if not, sit by a bright window and take in the warmth of the sun. When it’s back to freezing days, you’ll be glad you took time to soak in the rays!
  5. Enjoy! The ease of slower days! Try to keep your schedule free and lighthearted. Everyone needs downtime and it’s REALLY okay if the kids seem bored. Let them figure it out. Don’t rescue them. It won’t take long for them to find their own summer groove too!


We hope this gives you just the boost you need to focus on long, joyful summer days. Don’t take a single one for granted. Get up and embrace the day with a positive attitude.

And for the winner of the Summer Book Giveaway: Pagoo, Seabird, and The Burgess Seashore Book IS…

Sprout05: Jennie F. Yay Jennie!

PM SouthernJoy Podcast with your address and we will get your books out to you for the summer. They just might the thing to go along with your summer vacation!!!


Amber and I wish you a wonderful summer and we will be back this fall with a new season 3 of great topics. Until then, we wish you all the Joy in our hearts!!!


Writing with our Children Joyfully: Episode 19

Welcome back to Southern Joy Podcast. In this Episode we are tackling writing and what writing really is. We look forward to sharing what we do in our homeschool days with writing. Our hope is not to tell you how to teach writing, but give you some insight into our days in hopes you can glean something from this topic that may help you.
One of the toughest hurdles we face is changing what we believe writing is to us and our children, and to do that we have to decide what it isn’t…………
1.It’s Not the physical art of pencil to paper.

2. It’s Not handwriting

3. It’s not producing a perfectly polished piece
It is……….

— The thought formed in our mind and spoken out loud

— Can be written on paper by anyone

— Learned through hearing and copying beautiful literature

What do we believe about writing?

Sharon believes:

*I believe my children learn writing is possible by watching me write what they say/

*my children learn to read by sounding out and copying their own spoken words/

*stories formed in their own mind will be visited for many years to come especially if they are recorded

Amber believes:

I believe writing is the spoken word. If your children can speak they are writing. I believe heavily on cop ywork of great literature and dictation. Also having a rich reading environment where the children are hearing and reading the written word. All things from poetry, Shakespeare to Great Literature. These things all build and create great writing voices and then in turn great writers. What I have learned over the years is writing is not Grammar and spelling and perfectly written paragraphs. I have found that when you get bogged down in that the writing of your child gets bland and boring and monotonous because they are more worried about the technicality and not their writing voice. I think it was Julie of Brave Writer that said writing takes 12 years to learn. That means us mamas need to be patient with our children even through high school.

How to Implement?


~ Journals

~Nature Journals

~Photo Stories

Art Stories

~Lots of Read Aloud

~Writing Materials everywhere~ even in the car

~Copy work and Dictation

~Talk about everything and remember that conversation is writing

~Encourage them to read their own writing to everyone especially family~ get out their journal

~Book making area

~Author’s Chair

~Friday Free Write

~Share real authors and their stories


~Learning to draw: first shapes eventually making it to step by step books and then independance
~Mom scribes all the writing
~Mom writes and child traces right over the writing with any writing utensil
~Mom writes and child copies one word on lines drawn underneath called magic lines
~Child gives words and mom draws the lines for child to sound out words
~Child writes on their own
*IF A CHILD ASKS for a spelling~ GIVE IT TO THEM

Give them beautiful passages to copy and maybe dictate~ scripture, poetry, book passage

*TRUST the process for years~ they will take ownership for themselves but allow time and scaffold as long as they need it

Encouraging Success~

~Anything is good and right (no preconceived expectations)

~Tell them often they are writers (authors)

~Look and listen to their stories

~Let them see us writing lists, in our journals, on our blogs, and published blog books (which my children read every single day!)

All in all writing is a belief in self that:

~ what our children say is important

~can be written down

~will be enjoyed

~will last for always

Our Favorite Resources:

Brave Writer

Beautiful Feet


Pencil Sharpener

Book Holders

Dry Erase Boards

Our Blogs: Both of us blog about our writing experiences at these two addresses…

Fairytales and Firetrucks

Growing Whole Hearts

Medical Miracles: Episode 11

Amber and I polled our Facebook page and Instagram followers for questions to answer on the podcast.


We had several people ask questions, and we categorized them for future podcast ideas.


The first we chose to tackle was all questions medical.


  1. Our first question comes from Elise asking us to share our children’s special needs.
  2. Our next question comes from Stephanie: What about the medical side of things? What to tell kiddos, or what not to tell them as you prepare for scans, appointments, and surgeries? Tips for getting through big surgery weeks. How to organize and handle the paperwork, phone calls, appointments?


Please visit No Hand But Ours for a long list of special needs complete with explanation and families with children home with these needs. Excellent resource!


We hope this podcast gives you insight into our daily lives with special needs kids. We would love to answer any questions you might have after you listened so leave a comment.


We would love for you to find us on Instagram at Southern Joy Podcast and on our SJ Facebook page. Also leave a review on iTunes and allow others to find us too.


Have a Joyful Day!!!


Schooling Rhythms: Episode 10

Today we want to share what our new school year looks like now that we have a couple of months behind us.

We are year round schoolers choosing to take breaks when we need them along the way.

This is our 10th podcast so we should celebrate right??? We have both been rereading Sarah McKenzie’s book Teaching from Rest and thought it was the perfect thing to give away (With a little surprise thrown in as well).

If you have left us a review on Itunes OR a subscriber to Southern Joy Podcast then you are already entered. If you haven’t taken those two steps, now is the time! Head over to Itunes and add a review or subscribe right here to get our podcast dropped right into your inbox. Also if you comment on this post on the blog or on our IG post, you will be entered as well so there are ways to get extra entries don’t you know!

We will announce the winner on October 1st via Instagram so be watching and get your entries in!!!

NOW to the podcast notes~

Our calling is teaching our CHILDREN not a curriculum. It is only the tool that helps us along the way.

It may take a few tries to find what you love and feel confident using to teach your kids.

We have tried LOTS of different things and still second guess on a weekly basis. {Sarah McKenzie says in Teaching from Rest~ “The resource will be our servant, not our master”.

Here are a few spines we have used. {Very important to me that several children be able to sit together for parts of the day}

Show Notes:



The Child’s Story Bible

Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide

Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, Vol. 1 & 2

Seeds of Faith



Math U See


Language Arts:

Brave Writer

A Gracious Space

Growing with Grammar

Queen Language Lessons

Lamplighter Books



Beautiful Feet Geography

Five in a Row

Simply Charlotte Mason

Maps from Etsy



Beautiful Feet American History

Simply Charlotte Mason


Boxed Curriculum:

Heart of Dakota: Beyond Little Hearts




Mystery of Science

Science in the Beginning

Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book 1

DK Eye Witness Books

The Way Things Work









Videos to Watch:

55 Things I Didn’t Do in my Homeschool

A Gracious Space


Homeschooling Harmony: Podcast 9

Even though we school year round with regular breaks and the freedom to take days when we need them, there is something SO fun about Fall and the newness of a school year/season.

We had thoughts about sharing WHAT we are using to teach this year but thought it might be good to share encouragement and motivation  to new homeschooling moms and those that might be in a schooling rut.

  1. We ALL have been a newbie and just starting the homeschool journey and the nerves can be louder than a confident heart.
  2. We all have days, months, even seasons where we second guess what we’re doing.
  3. One of the best encouragements you can find is SOMEONE doing this too and share ideas/struggles with them often!
  4. It’s not about the WHAT (curriculum) and it is the WHO! Curriculum is a dime a dozen. Read great books and discuss things creates a great homeschool environment.
  5. Learn to enjoy your children slow down it’s not a race. Knowing your children and how they  learn and encouraging them in who they are. Focusing on the positive of their strengths is key.
  6. Do not compare your children to other children nor your family to another homeschooling family. We all have unique family dynamics and children. God made you the mom your children need. Press into the Holy Spirit for guidance in this.
  7. Do not give into Fear!!!!! We can glean wisdom from one another but ultimately trust who God made you as a teacher.
  8. Part of homeschooling is not grade but students level. We have to get out of the mindset of pushing our kids through. Giving them a rich education and love for learning is key.
  9. Whether just starting out or starting again, add one thing at a time. There is no advantage in drowning the family on the first day or even week.
  10. Do what YOU love and learn right along side your children.
  11. Kids aren’t going to remember what you do as much as the the time you spend doing it. Relationship is most important.
  12. Just show up everyday to do the work after starting your day with Jesus and let Him be in charge of the results. He will take our effort and make it enough. 

Show Notes:

Teaching from Rest

For the Children’s Sake

The Three R’s

The Charlotte Mason Companion

Writer’s Jungle


It is our great joy to encourage the harmony in homeschooling with anyone!

Please comment right here with any questions you might have.

What’s bringing us Joy right now?

Our Super Husbands: Part 2~ Podcast 8

When we recorded this Super Husband session, we had no idea it would turn into 2 episodes but awesome Joe was able to split it up for your listening pleasure.

For Part 2 we polled FB and IG followers to see what questions they might have for Scott and Joe. Thank you to brave friends who sent us questions! We loved them and hope you find the answers helpful!

Always know we would LOVE for you to comment here on the blog with your questions, comments, or suggestions.

Without further ado, have a listen!!!

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

{Show Notes}

Ankerich Adoption Video

I Like Adoption Video

Our Super Husbands: Podcast Episode 7

… You husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together.
I Peter 3:7

If you think we do all this with our Super Woman cape on, you would be half right. Standing right beside us are our Super Husbands. I’m married to Scott and Amber is married to Joe. We couldn’t be more blessed to have husbands supporting all the crazy ideas we come up with.

Our husbands have our backs. They support our stay at home status, help with the chores, parent the children, say yes to adoption, step-in to help with the schooling, and cherish us just like Jesus. Marriage is hard work but we know it’s through our faith mixed with grace and mercy that spurs us to love each other well. If there is a disagreement, we talk it out. If there is a problem, we work it out. If there is a hard season, we pray it out. Never in our wildest dreams did we see ourselves delving into podcast world but these two men did and we want to introduce them to you!!!

When we recorded this episode, it was a little longer than the others so we divided it into two shows. The first episode features questions WE had for our husbands. The second will be questions we took from other adoptive friends on FB and IG. I believe what is shared may help other couples find their way to adoption and maybe homeschooling.

You can listen to this podcast here on the website or go to iTunes and listen. Either way please give us a review and know you are giving two southern podcast girls encouragement as we help you find Joy in family, adoption, and homeschooling. We give all the glory to Jesus. May He be glorified in everything we do!!!

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

{Show Notes}

Ankerich Adoption Video

I Like Adoption Video


Post Adoption Nitty Gritty: Podcast Episode 6

Post Adoption is no joke. I have been home with our newest love for about six weeks. There is much to discuss when it comes to the cocooning period. It is the thick, hard, and redemptive part of adoption. There are many things we can do to help with bonding and attachment be more successful.

We hope something we share will bring joy to the place your joy resides. Whether you are just home with a new child or have been for years, we can all band together encouraging each other in this most holy work of adoption.

Show Notes:

The following link if FULL of great resources concerning adoption:

Top Adoption Books and Resources: A Not-To-Be-Missed List of Recommendations

You can also find awesome information at:

No Hand But Ours


Fun Family Culture: Podcast Episode 5

I was chatting with Amber Friday morning and she mentioned they were going for cupcakes for Friday Family Night. I thought talking fun families would be a great topic!

Today we are sharing ways we build a fun family culture with traditions, celebrations, and family nights. From birthdays to Chinese holidays to Family game night. Having a fun family builds a positive environment, makes kids want to be home with their family, and gives everyone something to look forward to.

You can listen to this podcast here on the website or go to iTunes and listen. Either way please give us a review and know you are helping two southern podcast girls encouragement as we help you find Joy in family, adoption, and homeschooling. We give all the glory to Jesus. May He be glorified in everything we do!!!

If you have questions please shoot us an email at

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

{Show Notes}

Every Year On Your Birthday

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes

What Brings You Joy:
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissam

Glory Over Everything: Beyond The Kitchen House 

Big Family Living: Podcast Episode 4

Today we are sharing 10 Things you should know about large families. Between the two of us we have 15 kids and Amber plans on more. Right Joe? Scott and I have one grandchild and KNOW more of those are sure to come!

Maybe you’ve seen us pull up at Target or church and wonder how many more children will exit the vehicle OR you’ve seen us with kids galore hanging on the cart eating popcorn while WE get some shopping done. We are not gonna lie. There is an art to raising a large family and we are sharing some of our crazy JOY with you! Number 1…

You can listen to this podcast here on the website or go to iTunes and listen. Either way please give us a review and know you are helping two southern podcast girls encouragement as we help you find Joy in family, adoption, and homeschooling. We give all the glory to Jesus. May He be glorified in everything we do!!!

If you have questions please shoot us an email at

…..Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Philippians 2:2

 {Show Notes}


Our go to for groceries

Thrive Market


Sharon’s Blog

Amber’s Blog