Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Goals...

In my last post, I talked a little bit about setting New Years' Resolutions for 2012.  I was really encouraged to learn that a couple of my friends also set goals for the up and coming year, that I'm not the only one!  Anyway, one of my friends is going to do a program called 'One Little Word'  ( ) in which she's selecting one word to focus on throughout the year, meditating on it, reflecting on it, and journaling about it regularly.  I'm definitely not explaining it very well nor very thoroughly, but have provided the link if you'd like to take a look at it.  All that to say, though I'm not signing up for the Workshop itself, I've selected 4 words to focus on throughout the year for myself... Grace, Love, Joy and Kindness, not necessarily in that order.  My plan is to pray on, memorize, meditate on God's Word, and journal on my 'One Little Word'. 

The rest of the goals:
Prayer- the Lord has strongly convicted me of my responsibility to pray for my husband and children, so I've selected a couple of areas in each of their lives to center my prayers around
Bible Study- this year I'm going through the Bible in a year chronologically; the boys and I are going to begin the year studying 1, 2, and 3 John...
Reading- I have a running list of books that I'd like to get through- I make it a point to read a marriage book, parenting book, and homeschooling book each year. 
Marriage- Oh where to start.  I've been really slacking on encouraging my husband, leaving him notes and the like... at least once per month is my goal- sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, notes in his lunch, etc...  :)
Family-  My weakness in family-life/homemaking is the 'Fun Department', so I'm going to make a concerted effort to 'schedule in' fun  and do more in the way of gaming (we have always done family nights, but I think I can up the fun-factor a bit).  I also want to seek out specific ways to create a warm, inviting, peaceful, and joyful atmosphere for my family.
Hospitality- this is an area God has recently brought to my mind and heart that I would like to work on... I'm not sure just what this will look like, I'm thinking once per month, maybe once every 6 weeks depending on the time of year.  I have on my heart (and I think my dear hubby does too) to open our home to couples we don't know well to get to know them a little better... I'll probably update at different times on this.
Household- Getting on and staying on a good cleaning schedule has always been difficult for me... but I'm going to give it a whirl again... I've come up with what looks like a good weekly schedule... do-able, that's what I'm working for.
and last but not least:
Health- What New Year's Resolution/Goal list would be complete without the ever-popular 'eat less, exercise more' goal?  This year I've had some noticeable changes in the way my body processes food, specifically sugars and unhealthy carbs... My energy level is very low- which ends up affecting pretty much every aspect of our home life including relationships.  Soooo, yes nutrition is at the top of the list, along with making it a point to go to the Y and exercise 3 times per week- which should be easy since the boys will begin their classes next week...

Wow, that looks like a huge overwhelming list!  But the fact of the matter is that much of this is a carry-over from previous years, the only completely new thing on this list is the One Little Word concept...

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You and may His face shine upon you in 2012


Monday, December 26, 2011

It's resolution time!

Although our Jesus Birthday celebrations have only just begun (we have 2 more to go one of January 1st, and one on January 7-9th)  it's time to nail down those resolutions for 2012.  It seems a little unreal to be thinking about and praying about this already, 2011 has gone by so very quickly, and yet here I am once again.  Typically I pray about those things the Lord would have for me to intentionally work on as a Christina, wife, mother, homeschool teacher etc. well before now, so that all I have to do is pretty much lay out what that looks like for me in books to read, and Scriptures to memorize & study.  However, I'm finding myself a little bit behind this time around.

Reflecting back on 2011, I can see how the Lord has shown me the depths of  which I've lived my life in fear.  That may sound weird, but I've thought quite a lot about my childhood, growing up in a single parent home, a father who wasn't involved at all, the child of an adult child of alcoholics, and a child of an alcoholic.  The Lord has shown me that pretty much all my life I've lived as a people pleaser, and as such I've been somewhat of a spectator in life versus a participant.  That also may be odd to imagine, since I'm a homeschooling mother and the essence of homeschooling is parental involvement.  Anyway, I digress...  So, in the interest of transparency, here's a Fear Factor to a different degree...
~  I have always shied away from playing games, because I know I'll not win, and if I don't win that somehow would mean I'm less than acceptable to those I'm playing with, and they wouldn't want to play with me any longer.  So, instead, I sit on the outside watching everyone, and laughing with them, but not sharing in the experiences of building memories with them.  So, I started over the last couple of months having a game night, inviting a couple or two over for snacks and gaming... my family loves this!
~  In ministry, I realized (God showed me, rather) that much of my involvement has been based on the fear that if I don't say 'yes' that the person asking will somehow think less of, not like, or shun me (now that's a LOT of me!  >:(   gag! )  So, when asked about being involved in ministry I tend to not say 'sure!' right away, but go to the Father and ask Him what would be His best for me.  (Do you see the shift in focus from the 'me-centered,' fear-based approach, to a confident, God-centered one?)  Sometimes I still find it a bit difficult and I have to literally say to myself and to the Lord, 'Okay, Lord, I'm choosing You over this person... what's Your best for me?'
The verse He gave me is:  "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."  ~Galatians 1:10 Sadly, I've done a lot of serving in the name of Christ, but really just to please people...  Anyway...

These are just a couple examples of how the Lord is working fear-based living out of me.  Please don't get me wrong, there is a balance.... I'm surely not saying that it's wrong to do things to please others- we are called, after all, to serve one another in love.  The difference is in the motivation behind the service- is it out of fear of rejection (or whatever) from that person, or out of a godly love for them and for our Lord?
All that said, let's get back to resolutions for 2012.  A couple of things that are on tap for the New Year is #1 to continue breaking 'The Fear Factor' in my life (we'll all be the happier for it, I'm sure).  #2 is something I've struggled with for many years, and that is taking time regularly to just play with and connect with our boys.  I've done better over the last year, but not to the degree I'd like.  Some of this is the 'Fear Factor' that has characterized my life for so long, and another part is just that, as a task-oriented person, I have a long to-do list every day.  Relationships with our children are so important, especially as they are growing through the tweens and into the teens, my desire is to cultivate strong relationships with them now so as they walk through that trying time of life, we have a strong relational basis for open communication.

Well, that's it so far... I'll probably post a little later this week a specific plan-of-action (PoA) for 2012... or knowing me, it'll be a couple of weeks before I have this written down...   :)



Sunday, December 25, 2011

While You Were Sleeping...

What are we missing while we are/have been 'sleeping'?  Are you spiritually asleep?  I am ashamed to say that there have been times in my walk where I have been asleep... oh, how I must have grieved my Father in Heaven!  At any rate, this is a great video to go with Casting Crown's song, "While You Were Sleeping".... 

May the peace of Christ be with you all during this celebration of His birth and throughout the year to come...

**(You'll have to stop the other music before watching this music video)**

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sweet Blessings..

I'm sitting here thinking about the gifts we have for our boys this year, which have ended up being a couple more than we typically do (we usually do three gifts each in keeping with each of the three wise men bringing their gifts to baby Jesus)...but I digress.  They are ssssooooo very excited-which makes exchanging gifts all the more fun for my dear husband and myself.  But the best part of it all is that our older son (who's 10) admits he's so excited to open gifts, but that he is more excited about the gifts he's giving to others (he made several gifts for grandparents, and bought a few with his hard-earned money for us and his brother and some close friends).  That in-and-of-itself is one of the greatest gifts we could receive from our children... to help them to understand the blessings of giving. 
"It is more blessed to give than to receive..."  ~Acts 20:35 ESV
Like he's said, he is excited to receive gifts from others, this verse doesn't say anything to the contrary, but it does speak to the attitude of the heart, and the experience of the matter...
On a little different note, it was so fun watching our dear son #2 (who is 8 1/2) open his gifts from his grandparents-my Dad and Stepmom- (I couldn't really see my older son, who was hidden by the Christmas tree- long story).  Neither one of the boys received anything they would have picked out for themselves or put on a Christmas list, if asked, but did receive abundant gifts from my Dad (Dad has always expressed his affection through gift-giving).  Anyway, every time he'd open a gift he'd gasp in pure delight, mouth open, "Aaawwwsome!" he'd say, "What is it?"  I wish I could express through writing his tone of voice, the awe and wonder he expressed over each gift, from a tool set, to a pocket knife, to a pirate ship model.  The thankfulness and appreciation over his gifts- though none of them were things he has expressed a want of- was gift enough for me.
"Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good;  for His steadfast love endures forever!"  ~Psalm 118:1
But there is a greater gift that I received many years ago- 13 years ago, in fact...
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus..."  ~Romans 3:23-24a
God, Himself, is the great Gift-Giver...  So, in this season of gifting, let us all remember that God, gave us the greatest gift we could ever have need and want of - salvation through His Son Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who, through His birth, His life and ministry, through His persecution and death on the cross bridged the gap between God and man, that those who have a relationship with Christ, also will have relationship with the Father in Heaven.
Perhaps you haven't a relationship with Jesus... God has extended His great gift of grace to you... maybe it is something you haven't asked for yet, nor have been willing to receive... maybe it's time to reconsider...

Christmas Blessings


Friday, December 23, 2011

Celebration #1

Yesterday we travelled up to see my Dad and stepmom for our Christmas celebration.  It was actually quite a fun time- even the boys said it was awesome!  Never one to be predictable, my dear Dad spent quite a lot of time with the boys teaching them to use the new bow and arrows he bought them for Christmas...and according to my dear husband, even handled Son #2's hitting his garage door with one of the arrows very well.  This is such a new side to him that I've never experienced before... there's a softness to him and a comfortableness to him that hasn't surfaced very often.  I rather like it, although now I'm faced with needing to relate to him in a totally different manner.  I was very excited to see that one of the two of them is reading 'Heaven is for Real', a book about a boy's experience of heaven.  I think I'll read it and then try to start up a conversation about it... 

On another front, we're really enjoying our time off from school, even though the busyness of life shifted its focus from school and school-related activities to Christmas and Christmas-related activities, so I'm personally really looking forward to the week before New Year's Day which is when Celebration #3 will happen, and Celebration #4 will happen one week later.... phew!

Lots of celebrating lots of fun and laughter, but in the midst of it all we'll continue to fight to keep the birth of our Lord and our Saviour at the forefront of all the celebrations...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


During the hustle and bustle of this season- the shopping, baking, preparing, crafting, decorating, the list goes on and on and on- I'm feeling the overwhelming urge to seek out even more than normal time to just be still...  to be still and know that He is God... to cling to Him in the midst of it all. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Glory to God in the Highest!

It's Christmas Week!  We are all very excited here in our household and will be doing little things every day in celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
~Luke 2:8-21

May the Love, Peace, and Joy of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all during this most blessed of seasons...

In Him~


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Future Door... Review

They're Ba-aack!  In this second installment of the "No Place Like Holmes" series, "The Future Door" is a great Sherlock Holmes-style mystery that is sure to captivate the attention of Jason Lethcoe's tween-aged readers-especially the boys.  Detective and inventor Rupert Snodgrass and his young nephew Griffin Sharpe are quickly becoming the most secret and skilled detectives in all London.  Griffin's unique ability to observe even the most minute details of everything around him combined with his uncle's fabulous inventions make them an unbeatable team-- until Rupert's time travel device is stolen by the Moriartys, that is, and it will take Griffin's faith and inventive thinking as well as his uncle's mechanical genius to save London and their future selves!
   I have to say I- we - love this series!  "The Future Door" is a well written adventure-mystery with characters you love to love- like grumpy uncle Snodgrass, and his hope-filled inventive nephew with a strong faith- and those you ... well... don't.  My ten-year-old son just started reading the first installment, "No Place Like Holmes" and absolutely loves it, which is pretty good for a kid who prefers non-fiction reading.

**Disclaimer: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for my honest review.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Words, Words, Words...

Today is one of "those" days... one of those days when my attitude isn't what it should be, and my words aren't either.  One of those days (weeks) when my children have been bickering over the slightest thing- even seeming to try to find things to bicker over.  One of those days when I'm being put to the test- and failing miserably.  I often wonder if anyone else has "those" types of days.  As a homeschooling mother, I often find myself feeling a bit alone on this frontier, even though we're plugged in to the area's homeschooling group.  Perhaps part of my 'aloneness' is found because I'm ashamed to admit to my homeschooling friends my ongoing struggle with my words toward those I love the most.  (I could get on my soapbox about perfectionism and pride, but I won't.)  :)    Anyway, I ended up taking a break and pulling out a homeschool devotional book that I have, and of course, there was just the topic for me:  words, words, words.   One of my recent memory verses from Ephesians was the verse for that devotional topic:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may give grace to those who hear it.  ~Ephesians 4:29

After apologizing to my children and asking for their forgiveness, I was able to steal away for a few moments in prayer with the Lord, seeking His forgiveness for the sin in my heart, and asking Him to set a guard against my lips that my words would bring Him glory.

I'm finding that on these days when we are all a bit 'off' that I need to seek Him all the more diligently, slow my pace a LOT and focus on what's really important in life:  seeking and glorifying God, being the helpmeet my husband needs me to be (and who God designed me to be), and building a strong relationship with my children.  I definitely do NOT want to be the foolish woman from Proverbs, strive to be the wise.

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."  Proverbs 14:1



Monday, November 28, 2011


Finally it happened... for the first time in 40 years my father was real, though only just for a moment.  In that one moment I saw a hopeless man haunted by his past, quickly taking refuge in the only living beings that give him solace- his pets.  He is not a believer, and in fact has on many occasions has expressed his anger at God for the things he witnessed during his two tours in Vietnam, once even telling me there is no god.  He's getting older and facing the reality that he's deteriorating physically and changing mentally a bit as well.  My stepmother is worried about the beginning phases of  Alzheimer's Disease (Dad's uncle had Alzheimer's), and has recommended he go in for testing (to which he actually agreed-so unlike my very obstinate father).  Perhaps the most surprising aspect of all this is that for the first time I saw very deeply just how badly my father needs Jesus.  I've prayed for both my dad and stepmom over the years for their salvation, but I've never had a spiritual burden for them.  I do, now.  I'm ashamed that I've been so hard-hearted- toward my dad specifically- having had to wrestle through some of my own selfishness, anger, and bitterness toward him in my early-to-mid-thirties (yes, I'm a late bloomer when it comes to working through my baggage).  Now, though, my prayers carry and desperation and fervency that they haven't in the past for their salvation...  Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but by Me." ~John 14:6...  If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed ~  John 8:36

Grace and Peace


Friday, November 25, 2011

Week in Review & A Look Ahead...

Well, it's been a little while since my last post, but as it's Friday evening, I thought I'd review the week and take a look ahead at the one coming up.  I've been so very blah lately... lately... actually it seems as though it's been much longer than lately... my passion, that burning fire within me has mysteriously vanished!  My passion for home educating our children, my passion for teaching/helping in children's ministry, my passion for plugging into our homeschool group and helping out, and my passion for keeping our home... all of it - gone.  However, this week has been such a relief as we've taken it mostly off from our formal lessons (except for math), and we've been able to concentrate on cleaning, baking, a couple of crafts and overall preparing for Thanksgiving and then Christmas decorating.  I'm continuing to pray that the Lord will guide me through this 'funk' that I'm in, and I will continue to serve Him faithfully and completely through it... 

Next week we're back at it full force, and we'll be studying the Names of Christ for our devotion time between now and Christmas:  Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.  We have a field trip on Tuesday morning at the Library for the kids to learn about the inner-workings of it all, Awana on Wednesday night, and cleaning and piano lessons on Thursday. 

In Him


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Well, it's official... winter is here and Thanksgiving is only one week away.  It's the time of year when we all dwell a little more on the things we're thankful for, and many are participating in a 30-ish days of thankfulness on Facebook- present company included.  While it's true that I'm very thankful for our everyday conveniences like running water, the physical ability to bend over and put on my socks, our dog (yes, it's true, I love our dog so very much, she's a part of our family and the best dog every), our vehicles and the many material items the Lord has provided;  and while it's true that I'm grateful to the Lord for bringing me my husband, and giving us our two boys (though we would have loved it if He would have blessed us with a couple more), for my parents and in-laws;  and while it's true that I'm so thankful and humbled by the fact that salvation was granted to a sinner such as myself, the thing I'm most thankful for is the peace of our Lord that surpasses all understanding. 

I love this verse from Romans 15:13 ~  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

It's a peace that comes directly from God, the God of hope.  Without it, I know for certain I wouldn't be able to live this life the Lord has planned for me.  The love God has for His children, that He would give us such a precious gift as His peace, joy, hope, love, is so dear to me... I don't even have words to describe it.
So anyway, as I move into this holiday season with all of its hustle and bustle, the shopping, traveling from one family function to another, wishing for everyone to be happy, I'm so very thankful for the peace of God which surpasses all understanding.  Romans 15:13, that is my prayer for this season of life.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter1:2)


** Photo provided free by GeekPhilosopher.  GeekPhilosopher: Instant download of free stock photos, images, backgrounds, and desktop wallpapers. Pictures can be used for personal and commercial web sites. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Yes!  I'm so excited... my dear husband and I came up with our Christmas gift plan for our 2 boys!  Several years ago, my dh was out of work so we had to be very creative with the few gifts we gave our boys...  I have to say the Lord has blessed us with so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who gifted our boys that year... anyway, I digress.  That year one thing we gave to our boys was a book for each of them that I had written.  They love those books to this day and have no idea that I wrote them only because we couldn't afford to give them much else.  (For several years now we've had the opportunity to pay it forward to other needy families, and to gift our own children as well- I'm so very thankful for both of those things!)  For the past couple (at least) of years for Christmas and birthdays the boys have been asking me to write them another book, but I just haven't been all that inspired to do that- a severe case of writer's block is what I've been plagued with- on top of the fact that they aren't 3 & 5 anymore, so the story lines have to actually make a little more sense than they did all those years ago.  :)  This morning just before I got up, it hit me... the beginning and ending of one of the books I'll write this year... I even think I might, just might, try my hand at illustrating as well.  Where did this sudden burst of inspiration come from you ask?  (Or maybe you didn't ask, but I'm going to tell you anyway...) 

The Lord uses all different means of communicating to His children, you see...  So, I was reading a blog post written by one of my favorite homeschool authors, Sally Clarkson, in which she was writing about how their family had put together 'Memory Boxes' for each of their children.  In these Memory Boxes were kept favorite cards, drawings, small keepsakes, photos- anything special to that particular child.  These boxes were to represent the child's history, to tell their life stories and to be pulled out when the child was sick, or down, or whenever it would be fun for him/her to take a stroll down memory lane... and so is born the concept for the books I'm writing for our blessings from Heaven.  I'm toying with the idea of writing the stories as historical fiction... they are boys who love and desire a large dose of adventure...



Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Week in Review and A Look Ahead...

Looking back, it's been another amazing week...  The Lord is ever faithful and the physical evidence of His tender mercies on His children never cease to amaze me.

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the clouds. ~Psalm 36:5

I purposely scheduled a light school week for the boys, mostly because I knew that I'd be a little stressed with my Mother's surgery this week and would have some added responsibilities.  So, they had a 3-day week of Math, Writing and Language Arts, and Reading time and that's it... actually, it was good timing for a long weekend for all of us even though we're coming up on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

So that was our early part of the week.  Thursday found me unrested, but with enough energy to deliver my dear Mother to the hospital safely.  I have to admit that I was hoping to find a nook or cranny w/ a couch so I could take a nap, but that was not to be.  :(   I was very thankful to our awesome Pastors who came up and visited w/ Mother and me and prayed over her.... I just can't wait until I'm standing before the Lord and He shows me all the ways prayer impacted my life either directly or indirectly...  I ended up leaving the hospital around 4p.m. or so, after Mother was snugly tucked in her bed and ready for a would have thought I would have slept well that night, but not so... I ended up with a terrible migraine- truly I thought my head was going to explode.  Anyway, Friday morning, was a quick throw together dinner in the crock-pot for my Step-dad & his mother (who lives with them), then back up to the hospital (an hour away) to bring Mother home...  Saturday was a fun-filled day, our 8y/o had football at the Y, grocery shopping, and then a few awesome games of Settlers of Catan w/ friends.  All in all it was a good, yet very busy, week.

A look ahead...

I'm looking forward to this being a much more relaxed week... or at least 'normal' (whatever that means).  :)  Mother isn't supposed to drive for the next couple of weeks, so I offered to come and get her if she needed to head to church to get some work done (I'm really hoping she doesn't try to drive) which would probably be Wednesday...did I say 'normal'?   :)



Thursday, November 3, 2011


It's going to be amazing (to say the least) someday standing before the Lord when He reveals to us all the wonderful prayers He's answered... all the disasters we were protected from...all the sweet blessings He's bestowed upon us just because He can...
Mom had her back surgery today, went through it wonderfully, and was doing very well after she was taken to her room  - all of which she attributed to the many prayers on her behalf...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Women Shouldn't be President...

What?!?!?!????  In today's world who would actually have the audacity to say/think such a thing???  Well, let me tell you a little story...

This year for history we're studying early American History up through roughly 1865 (though we seem to be stuck in the 1700s and just can't break into the 1800s as of yet... HELP!!) with TruthQuest History.  I'm loving the relaxed schedule TQH provides.  Anyway, I digress.  During lunch we were reading "So You Want to be President", which is a children's book covering our many Presidents and their many differences and similarities.  Toward the end of the book, it said that there have been no women that have run for/been elected President.  True, though Hilary attempted in 2008.

Enter my Dear Son #1 who is 10 years old...

"Yeah... I agree with that... I don't think it would be a good idea for a woman to be President."

Now, realize that I was raised in a single-parent home during the 70's and 80's at the height of 'girls can do anything boys can do and do it better,' and I believed it through and through.  A femi-Nazi is what I guess you would have called me.  (I've been a recovered femi-Nazi for 13 years now, bye the by.)  But in that moment, when my precious 10y/o son said that he didn't think women should be President, that old femi-Nazi started to rear her ugly head!  I don't know what surprised me more, that or my 10 y/o's very definite ideas of gender roles.  Anyway, I very calmly asked him why he thought that.  (I also don't think a woman would be a good choice for President, but that's a discussion for a different day.) 

"Well, Mom, because they need to stay home and do the dishes and cook and stuff like that." 

'Is that all he thinks I do all day?' I thought as I resisted the temptation to give him my laundry-list of "accomplishments". 
But what I said was, "But what if the woman didn't have a family to take care of?"  Thinking that might change his mind just a little (of course I was wrong about that). 

"She'd still have to do all those things..." he said nonchalantly. 

At this point I realized that my intelligence was at risk of being insulted, so I asked him, "So, do you think a woman is smart enough to be President?"  (That was really the root of my issues with all this.) 
To which he replied, 'yes, I just don't think it's a good idea.'  Phew!! 

As I was sharing this conversation with my dear husband, I was marvelling at the power of the home atmosphere and how that impacts our children's outlooks... I mean, it's not like we've ever discussed Biblical authority in terms of whether or not a female should or should not be elected President.  But somewhere along the way, in our day to day homeschooling lives, those unspoken things shine through...  now I'm wondering just what other things are 'shining through'....    :)

Grace and Peace


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week in Review and A Look Ahead...

This has been quite a week.  It seems that no matter how I try to keep a 'normal' schedule, it just doesn't happen... actually, something happens... LIFE...  The week started normally, Monday was a great day with our morning and afternoon lessons and a break for lunch.  I have to confess that those days when all I have to worry about is school, meals, and household chores are my very most place to go, no outside responsibilities, just hanging out with my guys.  Tuesday I took my older son back to the doctor to get his ears flushed out (poor kid had major issues), Wednesday it was Young People's Theatre Series day!  We'd been looking forward to this  for quite a while- the musical group Song of the Lakes performed an adaptation of H.C. Holling's Paddle to the Sea, and it was awesome!  Thursday was cleaning day at Mother's and Piano Lesson day, and Friday we took the day off in celebration of Daddy having a day off... 

So, it's Saturday and I forgot about Jacob D.'s football class at the Y...  >:(   He's so gracious and quick to forgive me for it without expressing his deep disappointment at having missed his class- he really loves it so very much.  But on the bright side, we went shopping for new shoes for the boys.  Caleb busted out of his tennies (I am amazed at how quickly he's growing!) and literally had a huge hole in the bottom of his shoe....  sigh....

Looking ahead to next week, I've scheduled a very light week for school- just the basics.  Math, Language Arts, Writing, and Reading.  Mother is having her back surgery on Thursday and I'm going to take her up to the hospital (an hour away) either the night before or that morning (depending on what time she's scheduled).  My continued dilemma is, as always, child care for the kiddos while my hubby is working.  I really don't want to take the boys to hang out in the hospital all day Thursday.  That means probably no school Thursday for the boys, and maybe Friday, too.... although I may assign them a couple of writing projects, but we'll see how the week shapes up.  I love that with homeschooling we have the flexibility to be there for our family members when they are in need of help, that with a little extra work we can keep caught up with our lesson plans.  Truthfully, I'm looking forward to a lighter schedule this week.  It will provide me with the opportunity to focus on spelling for one of my guys.  For some reason, my creative, right-brained child has a difficult time with spelling, and the traditional method of teaching spelling really doesn't work for him.  At any rate, a while ago I listened to a presentation from Diane Craft, who specializes in teaching children who have mild to severe learning glitches, dyslexia, dysgraphia, or just are right-brained enough to need to be taught differently.  She had some really great and creative ideas for teaching children things like spelling, math facts and the like which I am excited about working into our daily routine... all that to say this will be a great week for putting some  of those things together...  :)

How was your week?

Many blessings ~


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Three Cups...

We've been teaching it to our boys (now 10 and 8) for years... everything they 'have' really belongs to the Lord, he blesses us with many different types of things from money to toys and clothing, to food, shelter, and transportation that we may take care of it, use it and bless others as He would have us do.  We've taught them that when they receive a monetary gift, earn money from odd jobs, or receive an allowance, they are to give back to God first, then to their savings fund, and lastly to their spending fund. 

I was so excited when I had the opportunity to review the book "Three Cups, A Lesson in Life and Money for Children" by Tony Townsley and Mark St. Germain.  This story is a great and gentle way to introduce the concept of Godly money management, both for parents and for children.  The beautiful illustrations are sure to keep children engaged as they learn these important financial principles.  The story centers around a 5-year-old boy who receives 'an adventure' for his birthday...imagine his confusion when he opens his gift to find three ordinary old cups-from their own cupboard, no less.  His parents then explain to him the adventures would come in time...and they did.

One of my favorite features of this book is the Getting Started Parent's Guide at the end.  It takes the principle of the "Three Cups" and breaks it down into 10 easy steps for getting started.  I would highly recommend this book for all families with younger children, or even older children... it will be well worth the investment.   :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Future...

This morning was one of those blessed mornings when my husband was home (he works late tonight), so Jacob and I had a date.  So we went out to breakfast and then to the Y to play a little together.  While we were there, a lady came up to me and asked if I homeschool;  of course I said yes, and she went on to share that she homeschooled her children until the mid-highschool years when she felt she couldn't do it any longer.  She shared that she loved the relationship she had with her children during those homeschooling years... But what she said next pained me greatly... she said that once her children (who are now grown with children of their own) went to traditional school, their relationship changed dramatically, she's never been able to gain it back, and how much she missed it.  I see this woman quite often around the Y and typically she's with her daughter, so I know there's a relationship there, but apparently it's just not the same type of closeness as they once shared. 

As our children grow from boys to men I know our relationship will change and grow as we do, but I always want the closeness my husband and I share with our boys to remain the same.  I've often thought about what we'll do in the highschool years, if we'll put them in a traditional school (whether public or private) so they can benefit from the music and/or sports programs, mainly;  or if we'll keep them home their entire schooling career.  While that remains to be seen, one thing I know for sure is that I will always remember that conversation and take her testimony into consideration when the time comes...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Good, Better, Best...

I loved the following post from the Homeschool Classroom website.  If I didn't know better, I would think she was looking in my windows observing our life here in Fulton-land...  I recently have been thinking over the concept of 'Good, Better, Best'... like what's Good Enough for our family, what's the Better part and what's the Best that I can give in the areas of being the wife God intends me to be, schooling and parenting our boys, creating relationships with them, and homemaking.  Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did... lots of food for thought...

Grace and Peace


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

These are the days...

... to remember...  I know the weather is really yucky, with the wind howling, rain pelting the house, cold... but it was a wonderful day!  We stayed home all day (sometimes it's refreshing when the kidlets are not feeling well) and took a leisurely stroll through our to-do list from breakfast and family devotions with warmed spiced cider, to schoolwork and resting/reading time (for the ill child), to housework and chores, watching a movie together, reading together, dinner, showers, one-on-one playtime, together playtime, prayers and bed...  It's days like today when the weather is so very unpleasant that I am reminded of just how very blessed our family is.  I'm so thankful for God's amazing provision, for who am I to deserve all that He's given me?  I'm such a 'pit-dwelling sinner' (as Beth Moore would say), how is it that He cares so for me? 

Humbly and Graciously Yours,


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thunder Dog

I remember it so vividly, just as if it were yesterday... I was sitting on our couch looking at our precious eight and a half month old son playing on the area rug in our livingroom wondering what we were going to do that day.  Then I did something I NEVER ever did before... I turned on the television to the NBC morning show with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric.  The camera shot was looking out their studio window at the twin towers in the background when a plane crashed into the North Tower.  The commentary of the anchors was shock and disbelief...actually I thought it was a commercial for another lame end-of-the-world type of movie.  What was next rocked me to my core when a short time later the second plane struck the South Tower.  It has been ten years since our country experienced the most horrific terrorist attack in its history.  Thousands of people died, many heroes risked and gave their lives for the saving of many more.

"Thunder Dog; The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero" by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory is a touching and insightful first-hand account into the tragedy of 9/11.  But more than that, this book gives an in-depth portrait of what life is like for a blind person and the relationship he developed with each of his guide dogs... not just any blind person, but one who courageously and boldly faced each challenge and conquered it... from riding his bike through his neighborhood (much to the dismay of his neighbors), to driving a car, to maneuvering his way through Manhattan to the Twin Towers for work every day.  Yes, you read this right- when Michael was a boy his parents let him ride his bike- without their constant supervision- crossed streets and all.  His is a truly amazing story of how he developed his other senses, even learning to use echolocation. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone, though sometimes the details are a bit tedious, it's a great book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Myths of the Homeschooled

I was going through some papers earlier today and happened across this list I entitled Myths of the Homeschooled (which I may or may not have posted here in the past).  Anyway, it made me laugh.  I am such the extreme people pleaser, and as such I have struggled all through our homeschooling years with trying to not place unfair (not to mention unrealistic) expectations upon myself and our boys.  Here are some of those expectations:

1.  As a Christian homeschooler, my children will always speak, act, and work with the same diligence, peace, and patience that Jesus did.
2.  My children will love every moment of their school lessons and always ask to do more,
3.  My children, after their schoolwork is completed, always are excited to get to their chores and do them in perfect harmony,
4.  My homeschooled children always get along, never argue or disagree and work together on everything without incident
5.  I am always energetic and excited for every day of school,
6.  My hair is always well groomed/perfect, makeup done and I'm dressed up every day,
7.  My house is always spotlessly clean, neat and tidy with everything in its place,
8.  My children always beg to be helpful, always want to spend time with our family and never desire to play with anyone else,
9.  I am always the joyful, patient Proverbs 31 woman God created me to be,
10.  My children are always well-behaved in public, never speak out of turn, and demonstrate their intelligence in every public outing...

Okay, well, let's get back to the real world here...  My children are just that... children.  And they will act like children.  My house is typically messy until Saturday (or for a few weeks after a week-long camping trip), and I sometimes love to just hang out in a baggy, worn out t-shirt & jeans.  (And yes, I throw my hair in a very unkempt ponytail and wear no makeup!)  Our boys argue frequently, and aren't afraid to just be themselves when in public (though I admit it would be nice if they'd just stand there and not move if I'm busy with something sometimes).  We all love homeschooling, however, we do get tired and worn out and all have days when we'd love to be doing just about anything other than another math lesson.  Over the years, the Lord has grown me through many of those expectations (though He's still working on some), and I've learned to let go of it all and rely upon Him to guard my heart and guide my days...    

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


One of the things that is most frustrating to me as a parent is the lack of self-generated initiative in my children... I mean really, that shoe you just tripped over?  Yes, that one- PICK IT UP!  It really struck me a couple of weeks ago when I was frantically trying to get the house in some semblance of order before our camping trip just how far down the wrong path I'd gone. 

My dh was in the livingroom working on some things for our trip as I came in and began picking up the boys' legos and various other toys laying all over the floor.  "Why are you the one picking up their things?" he asked ever so gently, yet with a slight air of reproof.  "Because it's just easier and much faster if I do it myself.  Because if I tell them to come and do it, they're going to freak out... so I'm just going to do it to get it done!"  

Seriously??!?!?!?!  I think I was the victim of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!  I would never say something so ridiculous in all my life!  I've never been the person to take the easy road, or to go out of my way to make sure I am comfortable- in fact, I tend to go out of my way to keep things just a little bit difficult.  I'd become my own worst nightmare!  Something MUST be done about this treachery!  Here's where we are currently:

Every year we pray through and come up w/ annual goals for our boys (and me too) and just how we're going to shepherd them in those areas.  Guess where we're starting?   Responsibility!  I broke it down into four areas I want the boys to work on (and me too):

1.  Responsbility to our Lord (which covers pretty much everything else)
2.  Responsibility to our Family (chores)
3.  Responsibility to their Work (school)
4  Responsibility to their Self (hygiene & possessions)

I'm still in the phase of seeking out Scripture applicable (there are a lot of Scriptures on diligence v. laziness) to the situation and our point/reward system.  (Another area I said I'd never explore, but the Lord rewards us for our obedience, so we're going with that.)  My prayer through it all is that new and good habits will be formed in my children (and me too), that their hearts and minds would be touched and inspired...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When paper towels are a luxury...

I was looking around our blessed home the other day... at all the wonderful blessings the Lord has provided.  What caught my attention was our role of paper towels, which I had just told one of the boys to grab one to clean up a spill.  It occurred to me that not too many years ago paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, facial tissue, plastic baggies and the like were all luxury items in this blessed household.  I reminisced about that era when my husband had lost his job and was working at whatever odd job he could find to provide for his family.  We had $35 per week for groceries- and that included diapers, baby food, etc.  All through that season, God proved faithful to provide for our needs- food, shelter, clothing, heat, and our faith in Him and who He is grew by leaps and bounds.  I wouldn't trade that season of life for anything, although it was so difficult at times.  Well, as time passed, my husband was found a job that has provided everything we 'need' and many things we 'want' as well... I still remember that first shopping trip when I felt the freedom to purchase a roll of paper towels just because it would be handy to have them.  I'm sure that other shoppers thought I was weird as I pulled them off the shelf with a goofy grin on my face (I mean, really, they were $0.75).  It has been a few years since that day, and we are still so very blessed at the Lord's provision of our want's as well as our needs, but as I look around it is always the paper towels that give me the most satisfaction and remembrance of God's mighty blessing...

Praise the LORD.

I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
~  Psalm 111

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Prayer for Today... and maybe every day...

My prayer for today, and maybe every day hereafter...
Oh, my LORD, my God... would that my heart may thoroughly enjoy You... would that I may not give in to my selfish fits of passion, but grow each day in Your amazing and abundant grace, mercy and love... to live out my days in complete devotion and worship to You, O my God, would be my greatest joy;  that I could be useful to You, to love Your people- Your children- as I ought and bring them joy and encouragement... yet how much like a baby I am, Father, in giving in to my many insecurities, fears, hurts, all of which do You no honor or glory.
Oh LORD how You reign, robed in majesty, Your throne is established from of old, You are from everlasting..  Thank You, O my God, for who You are!  Mightier than the thunder of many waters;  Mightier than the waves of the sea, You, O LORD on high are Mighty!
How I long for more of You, to know You more deeply... How I long to be rid of this wretched sin that is so ugly in Your sight... remove it from me, Sovereign Lord, that I may have a pure heart before You...  I love You, Abba.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Dry Spell...

It seems as if I've hit a bit of a dry spell in writing- both here and in my personal journal (not that I've ever been totally faithful in posting a ton here).  It's not that my heart isn't full of lots of stuff to write about- it's completely full and my mental meanderings are plenty, the Lord just hasn't provided me the words to give voice to all that is there.  I surely wish He would, I just know it would be a liberating experience to be able to get it all out.  Let's see.... there would be random musings on Family Camp 2011;  thoughts, fears, hopes, etc. for Fulton Homeschool 2011-2012;  on parenting;  on marriage;  on waking up at 3:47a.m. and NOT being able to go back to sleep!;  on 'Stepping Heavenward';  my recent physical limitations in working out;  and oh so much more. 

So, we start school in 2 1/2 weeks!  Our school room is not anywhere near ready-weriously, we still have to get the boys' new desks and chairs put together not to mention this year's school books put in place.  YIKES!  But, first things first we're having a wonderful yard sale this weekend and then I'm free!

Hopefully the Lord will soon give me the words to put to all that is in my heart SOON!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Waiting Place...

The Waiting Place:  Learning to Appreciate Life's Little Delays by Eileen Button is a nice book recounting Ms. Button's life experiences from her past up to her present.  She very eloquently writes of her experiences and feelings as she was standing over her grandfather's grave site - before he was in it, as she was getting her hair done, as she gave birth to a child with health issues and so much more... Her accounts made me go from laughter to tears as I reminisced about my own 'waiting places'. 

I must say, that while it is a nicely written memoir, it did not appeal to me personally, as I typically prefer books of a more devotional style, or those that challenge me in my walk with Jesus.  With that said, I was left thirsting for God throughout the entire book.  He was present, to be sure, she did not leave Him totally out, but I had expected that through Ms. Button's 'waiting places' she would share how God blessed her, what He taught her through each experience, as well as personal encouragement and Scripture to apply in my own 'waiting places'. 

So, if you're looking for an easy, heart-tugging book to read, The Waiting Place may be for you...if, however, you're looking for a devotional-style book, I would suggest looking elsewhere.

{Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [...] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."}

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random Non-Sensical Ramblings...

It's been a while since I've posted anything, so I thought I'd stop by for a visit before heading on to the  rest of my day...  My heart is so very heavy at a recent turn of events in the life of someone we know, and quite honestly, I'm not really sure just what to do other than pray... of course, that's the primary thing for this particular situation.  A young man- well kid, he's nowhere near being a man, though he's trying in all the wrong ways... anyway, this person has declared he is 'not a Christian, and never was', he has declared that he's been lying to everyone and 'the joke's on you'...   My heart aches for him, he's choosing to take the way of the fool and has no idea of the implications of his decisions, and he obviously doesn't understand who he is in relation to who God is...

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God".  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.  ~Psalm 14:1

Anyway, Independence Day is almost here- already!  I remember the days when it seemed to take forever for July 4th celebrations to come, and now here it is.  Then it's JD's b-day party, Family Camp and BANG!  Summer's over and the school year begins again...  AAUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!!  Yet I will not worry about tomorrow for today has enough trouble of its own... Thank You Lord for your comforting Word!  I just love how God's living Word washes over me and quenches this dry and parched land within- Jehova is SO Amazing!

Do you ever wish you could just go out and buy something you want just because you want it?  I mean without having to put in all the effort of searching out the best deal, looking in second hand shops/yard sales, planning & saving forever to buy it, praying for the Lord to bless you with it and then waiting for that blessing?  To just take the easy road and go buy something brand new (in the words of my children, "and nobody's even worn it before!" something they were very excited about).  Like, for instance I really want two dressers for the boys' room (it would make a little better use of space in there for them and be more user-friendly than what they currently have), and a slightly larger dresser for ours (it's the dresser my mother used when I was a 5-6 year-old kid that she bought for $25 at a yard sale- space is currently an issue and has been for 11 years)... Do we need these?  No, of course not, but it sure would be nice!  Okay, what else would make my life perfect?  Oh, yes, if I would have no more headaches, and this stupid chronic muscle/back thing would just magically go away so I wouldn't have to spend any $$ on doctor's visits...  :)

Now, that I've effectively complained about everything...  I've recently (within the last couple of months) been praying that the Lord would take me to a deeper level of submission to my husband and show me the deeper meaning.  So, being ever Faithful, God has provided opportunity.  :) 

"Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find;  knock and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened."  ~Matthew 7:7-8

So, I don't remember the exact conversations/situations at this point, but twice- yes, count them TWICE - Jon and I have been talking over situations and I do off and do my 'Wendy' thing where I come up with all kinds of ideas and plans for implementing them (this would be a great place for you to feel very sorry for my husband), when my dear husband pipes up ever-so-gently (he's always sensitive to the way he says things to me so as to not hurt my feelings)  "... you're trying to be the boss... and you just need to stop..." Well, that shut me up right then and there for sure... most of the time (in my flesh) I would feel rather offended at such a rebuke, but to my added surprise, I actually had a deep sense of joy and excitement at his stepped-up leadership!  :)    I should probably tell him this- I'm sure he'll think I'm totally a weird-o...  :)

Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is Himself it's Saviour.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  ~Ephesians 5:22-24

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Happens When Weariness Sets In...

Sometimes I just get weary... weary of the endless amount of dishes... weary of the endless amounts of laundry... weary of teaching and parenting my children... weary of striving to be a godly wife... weary of ministry...  even weary of striving toward the faith, even though God says:

'...I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the faith.'  ~ Jude 1:3b

It is at these times when I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father who is my strength and my refuge... I find such comfort in the ever loving arms of my Lord.

'Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant.'  ~Psalm 119:76

Thank You, Father God, for your many mercies;  for these times of refreshing when I can just be still and know You;  for the great work You are doing in me ever conforming me to Your Son's image...

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Memorial Day...

It's Memorial Day 2011... Another holiday whose meaning has been diminished by so many to mean a parade - candy - and a cookout with friends.  To Some.  But to some it means much more.  Oh So Much MORE.  My dad is one such person.  To him it is a day of rememberance and fighting yet another war, an unseen war that no one would ever know is raging on and on and on...and that is the war within.  He was but a young man when he signed up to serve in the U.S. Navy those many years ago.  He entered the U.S. Navy with great courage never dreaming of the reality of what was to come.  He as a boy dreamed of being a hero... a hero like his dad and all the other men and women who faithfully served during World War II who were celebrated when they returned to their homeland to cheers and praise.  But this was not to be his reality.  He found the harsh realities of war in Vietnam not as glamorous as he'd dreamed.  There was nothing that could have prepared him for the many horrors he would witness during his two - yes two - tours in Vietnam.  He left his hometown a young man of innocence, courage, eagerly anticipating his future, looking forward to being celebrated as a hero when all was said or done-whether alive or dead.  But he and so many others were robbed not only of their innocence, but their dignity as upon their arrival home they were spat upon, cursed, brutalized by the very people they were defending.  He left a proud American.  He returned ashamed... broken.  The war he continues to fight over 40 years later will continue to haunt him until the day he dies... and if you were to ask him if he'd do it all over again, he would probably tell you 'in a heartbeat'.  You see, he was part of one of those great generations of the past who had a great sense of allegiance to these United States of America, a true sense of duty, responsibility to the freedoms it offers.  He would still give up his innocence, put his life in danger- die if necessary- and watch his brothers die beside him all for the defense of his country. 

He is a hero.  A True Hero.

Today, the servicemen and women are engaged across the sea in a war all their own, with its own horrors to behold, and yet they fight on for the freedom of people here in America and all over the world.  They will return home to celebration and praises and honor - all of which they've earned - some of them will return to their families alive, yet broken, and some will return to their families in a box having given their very lives...for me...and you.

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

~John 15:13

Thank a veteran today. 

Thank the families of veterans who have also paid a great price. 

Thank the servicemen and women who are on active duty.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I just don't know...

I just don't know... I had in my head & heart what I was going to write about... but it just wasn't coming out the way I thought would best be a blessing... so hmmmm...  I began reading a book yesterday (surprise, surprise) called 'Raising Real Men-Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys' by Hal & Melanie Young.  This couple has 6 boys- yes SIX!  And educated them all at home.  For most Americans that would be total overload, apparently we've been conditioned to think that having more than 2.3?? children is a lot (though I've never met anyone who has three tenths of a child)... actually, the average number of children per household in 2010 was 1.9 according to wiki-answers, and no, I haven't met anyone with nine tenths of a child either.  :)  But seriously, 'children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward,  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth.  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!  He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate'. 
~ Psalm 127:3-5
How did we get so far away from this, even as Christians?  I hear so many people talk about what a burden their children are- even when their blessings are standing right there!  Don't get me wrong, parenting isn't an easy task, it takes everything you've got all the time to raise these sweet blessings, and we all get tired and weary... and sometimes we need to share our struggles we're having with our children with a confidante or two.  I'm not talking about the occasional sharing of parenting woes, but about those parents who consistently talk negatively about their children- their blessings from our Father...

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  ~Proverbs 12:18

I'm so continually challenged by this as I tend to talk a lot, and don't always do so with the true intention of bringing life to those whom I'm speaking.  It breaks my heart to see children whose hearts have been hardended by the words spoken to and about them by their parents, though I know all too well just how easy it can be for those hurtful words to come spilling forth from the lips. 

Anyway, I digress... what was my point again?  Oh right, I didn't really have one, I'm just rambling...  Okay, six boys. Right.  That sounds heavenly to me- I wish the Lord would have blessed us so greatly, though I am - as Jon is -so very grateful for the two we have and the freedoms that come with having only those two.  But still, as I look upon those who have it easy and can 'plan' when they want to have children, or those who have been given a sweet 'surprise', that little twinge comes back, making me think, 'just one more Lord?'  though I'm rather certain that our quiver is quite full...  :)   
Rambling done...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sweet Blessings...

I am continually amazed at God's loving faithfulness toward His children... toward Me- yes, sinful, selfish little ol' Me.  Sometimes He chooses to show His love for me via His Holy Spirit but more often than not He chooses to use random people in my life to bestow His wonderful blessings.  Today was just such a day... it was cleaning day at Mother's so the morning was a flurry of activity as I rushed to get everything finished so I could be home before my dear husband had to go to work this afternoon.  When I came in, Jon was sitting at the table looking over the latest plans he and Jacob D. had come up with (yikes!) and I happened to notice a pot of beautiful flowers in the middle of our table.  So of course I ask the obvious, "What's this?"  all the while thinking he and Jacob went to the store and picked them up for me.  Lo and behold he says, "You didn't buy them?"  Uh, no...I didn't.... I stood there looking at him with that look that says, 'you're trying to pull one over on me, yes you really did buy those flowers for me'... but actually, he didn't.  Enter Jacob D. hearing that we were talking about the flowers, he said, "Miss Brianna brought them over for Mom."  Miss Brianna is our neighbor, a sweet young (to me) lady who blessed my day with not one, but TWO pots of gi-normous begonias-simply lovely.  So, I thank the Lord for this sweet blessing today, He always knows just when His children are in need of a little pick-me-up...   :)

No Place Like Holmes

I am so excited to write this book review of  'No Place Like Holmes' by Jason Lethcoe.  Though written for tweens ages 9-12, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this detective story.  When young Griffin Sharp travels to London from America to visit his estranged uncle for the summer, he envisions a summer filled with adventure with none other than Sherlock Holmes himself.  But upon arrival to his uncle's home at 221A Baker Street, he is met with a big surprise... his uncle is not the renown detective Sherlock Holmes (who happens to live next door at 221B Baker Street) but a second-rate detective yet brilliant inventor named Rupert Snodgrass.  Griffin's strong faith in the Lord helps him to eventually win over his bitter, stingy uncle as they investigate together the case of a lifetime.  Now I don't want to give anything away lest you think you shouldn't have to read this book... I definitely recommend this to you and your children- I, for one, can't wait for my 10 year-old to read it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 23, 2011


As my dear children are quietly doing their reading time, I'm finding a moment to reflect on where we are and where we're going... I've recently stepped down from a leadership position that has consumed much of my energies leaving little creative energy for my own little schoolhouse (much to the dismay of my children)... there are a few loose ends that need tying up in that ministry before summer hits and as I was emailing the ministry director, I found myself in that role I so easily slip into, and it goes a little something like this: "Oh, and it would be great to put this together, and then this could happen;  it would be easier if we could do this thing like that and so on and so on....  I just can't seem to help myself!!  Will it never turn off???  When I get in mode, the ideas come as easily as the rain falls from the sky... I so need to put that energy to use here in our own little school... my husband keeps telling me I have that 'leadership' gift, quality,whatever you want to call it...I can't really see that, I'm so bad with people, that is, I'm good at telling people what they should be doing, but not so good at the relational side-which is what keeps people and attracts people to ministry.  Anyway, it seems good to not have the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders, and am looking forward to what the Lord would do with this that I just can't seem to turn off in our own family/home (maybe my dear husband will wish I hadn't stepped down- lol)...

On another note, I've been reading 'Stepping Heavenward' by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss (an e-book free to read on  It's written as a journal begun by a girl-Katy- who has just turned 16 and walks through the next 30-ish years of her life/spiritual journey...  As I read this, though I don't struggle with the same types of things this 16-year-old girl does, her selfishness mirrors my own.  *sigh*  The Lord is ever showing me my selfish ways, and I so do wish that it was more natural for me to seek out ways to put my family and others first...  I heard a series of devotionals last week that centered on "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength."  This week I'm meditating on that particular verse, I certainly have been very lazy in loving the Lord as of late....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gloomy, Grumpy Gusses...

Wow,  we've got a bad case of the Gloomy, Grumpy Gusses around here lately, and for no apparent reason.  Lots of 'he just wants to be first!' and 'Stop it!', scowls, furrowed brows and pouty lips.  But in any case, this is the day the Lord has made- even singing that to my precious lovelies didn't do much to cheer them up.  So, in the face of my beloved list of things to do, it's one of those days to take a step back, slow down, cuddle up on the couch and do a little extra reading from 'Little Men' (one of our favorite books).  There's nothing like a little cuddle time to cure the Gloomy, Grumpy Gus in all of us.

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! 
(Even if we feel like a Gloomy, Grumpy Gus)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Truth About Dating, Love & Just Being Friends...

"I was looking online at some incredible photos of some of nature's most scenic places.  A ."waterfall in Africa, the ocean vie in the morning, peaks of mountains at sunset, lovey dove, blah, blah,blah, neato pictures, right?  But after a little while, I kind of felt deceived.  Here's why.  One of those picures was of a place that I had actually been to...So up on this mountain ridge, it was great.  Amazing views!  Unbelievable scenery!  And I'm glad I did it.  But seriously - and I'm not kidding here - it was some of the grossest and nastiest back country you could ever step foot in...The pictures look great... But in reality it was one of the most unnerving places that planet Earth could offer you...Dating can be like one of those pictures.  It can be great.  It can offer great views, a fun journey, and great memories.  But if done without care, intelligenc, and planning, it can also be treacherous."
And so it goes throughout Chad Eastham's book entitled "The Truth About Dating, Love & Just Being Friends."  In his conversational, witty style, Eastham covers the good, bad and ugly about relationships for teens.  It is salt and peppered with references to God, with no real Scripture mixed in and so would be a great read for those who are non-Christians and Christians alike.  Case in point, "It's good to be aware of other people and how they see us.  But it's not good to live our lives for them.  There is a huge difference.  I hope you will consider God the person that you perform and live your life for.  He is there to encourage you, not simply give you a score.  He's your number one fan."  - page 166.
 As a Jesus-following parent, I would probably select a different book on the subject of love and dating when my children get to 'that' age.

I received this book free from Tommy Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze Book Review program.  I was not paid to write a favorable review.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The 'Olden' Days

I absolutely love the 'olden' days.... you know what I'm talking about... the days beautifully painted for us in the tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder or Jane Austen, or Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Little Men.  I dream about those days and have often thought & joked that I was born in the wrong era.  Of course, the Lord created me for 'such a time as this,' and has not mistakenly put me in the latter 20th-21st centuries.  But I still long for days of a simpler, more classical nature.  In my mind, I would be the wife and mother who never wearied of serving her family-even though she was maybe physically tired, who never was impatient with her children-even though they may give her 'reason' to be, who never turned away someone who needed an ear to listen, or a warm meal- even though time and food were scarce... I could go on and on, but I won't.  You get the picture.  When I visualize the atmosphere of our home and family, it always reflects the warmth of that era...  Happy children, patient, loving Mother, strong but gentle Father...  Mother patiently and lovingly educating the children in matters of Faith as well as academics, seeing well to the ways of her home, the family gathered around the fire after dinner and evening play time, Daddy leading evening Bible study w/ the family whilst the children are gathered in his lap w/ Mother sewing/crocheting/knitting in her chair... (notice the lack of intense media input here?)  Honestly, the atmosphere painted in the book Little Men is exactly what I've always envsioned my life to look like, right down to the scads of boys sliding down the bannister on Saturday evenings and the keeping of the Sabbath... Unrealistic?  Perhaps in total... but a set-apart life must reflect in part a little of that peaceful picture.  The Lord is the center of it, for without Him as the Rock, this bright, vivid, peaceful portrait would wither away as quickly as a sun-scorched flower and become nothing more than a greyscale sketch of hustle and bustle... I will struggle against that greyscale sketch all the days of my life, I think, as the pressure to succumb to all the busyness around me tries to crowd in...through it all I will cling to the Words of my Lord,
"I have said these things to you, that in m you may have peace.  In the world you will have tibultion.  But take heart, I have overcome the world."  John 16:33
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Phil 4:7

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blessed Week...

Aaahhhh.... Thank You O Lord for this beautiful week!  This has been the best school week that we've had so far this year- and it's only Wednesday!  Thank You, Lord, for giving me a vision for what You want for our school days, and for what is best for each of our boys-they are so different.  I'm so in awe of You and Your love and tenderness for your children!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I was wondering how long it would last...

It was great at the beginning... I've never really known what it was like being included, but it felt really nice.  I actually felt like I was liked a little bit, worth something... but I wondered just how long it would last.  It was nice while it did, I had that warm fuzzy feeling - you know the one I'm talking about.  And actually, it lasted longer than I thought it would.  I tried to, in my way, contribute what I thought you wanted or needed, never really knowing if it was right, but trying anyway without trying too hard (I mean, if I tried hard, then it would be even more painful when it was over).  It seemed to me as if you searched me out because you thought I was 'somebody' and therefore had an expectation of what you could get from me/I could contribute... I'm sorry to disappoint.... I'm just me, plain and simple (or not so simple as the case may be).  Now you've grown weary of that plainness & simplicity with all it's issues and have moved on... maybe I shouldn't have let down my guard quite so much, and tried to be the 'somebody' you thought I was... but probably not.  I was created by our heavenly Father uniquely, and though I don't say things in a way that truly expresses my heart- well, actally, I guess it does- it expresses my fear of people & their judgment/expectations of me...
Well, anyway, even though you've moved on, and I've felt badly about that, I thank you, Dear One, for teaching me to guard my heart, even when with trusted brothers and sisters in Christ, to not let my guard down for even a second no matter how comfortable I am, but to seek giving Him glory every moment, for teaching me to just be who God created me to be, and not seek to please man, but please Him and not succumb to my natural, fleshly fears of man.....  for all this I thank you.... I still love you and will continue in prayer for you and maybe someday the Lord will bless me with what I am seeking in His perfect time...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The American Patriot's Almanac... Review

Which president was born with the name Leslie Lynch King Jr.?  Hint: he was born July 14, 1913, in Omaha, Nebraska...
Who was Betty Zane? 
What was the Lost Colony of Roanoke? 
Don't know? 
You'll find the answer to this question and many others in "The American Patriot's Almanac" by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb.  An amazing devotional-style book, there are 365 daily readings with special sections at the end of each month featuring songs of American Patriotism, the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, Prayers for the American People, State Flags, Facts, and Symbols and much much more!  Interwoven in these stories of great Americans and events is the heart and soul of America... Andrew Jackson, the National Park System, D-Day, the kite that helped freedom fly of 1752, Phillis Wheatley, and 9/11 are just a few.  I can't say enough about how excited I am to have this resource for our family, it will aid ours - and all - families in instilling a sense of true American Patriotism in their children during a time when the original heart of America is being lost with each generation, as well as remind adults of the true spirit on which America was built...

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How Long...

How long, can you hide behind your smile...
How long?
How long before your sorrow seeps through...
How long?
How long will you keep up your deception...
How long?
How long before your secret is exposed...
How long?
How long before you realize that though man may not know your deception, God does...
How long?
How long before you turn your heart back to the Lord who can heal your brokenness...
How long?
He's waiting for you...