Saturday, August 30, 2008

Blogger Friend School

Blogger Friend School is a meme I am planning on taking part this year. It is a group of homeschool moms who post answers on their blog to a weekly biblical based assignments. The purpose of this meme is to uplift one another and strengthen each others faith. Right now they are having a great nature homeschool package giveaway. Go check it out!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Memories


We haven't taken our summer vacation yet this year.  We will be going in September when most of the kiddos are back in school.  We like to take advantage of this because it is less crowded and busy.  But, I wanted to share some of the fun things we have gotten to do this summer.  

100_2970This summer we enjoyed our 6th year of playing in a Christian Children's  Softball League.  There are no practices and no pressure.  Just 6 weeks of Monday night games!  This year my friend and I organized the whole shindig.  I think the parents had just as much fun hanging out with the other adults as the kids did playing!

                                    100_2793                                                                   Another Summer Favorite-     

Who wouldn't enjoy running through the sprinkler on a hot summers day.  Well, we didn't exactly have the sprinkler hooked up, but when my kids are hot they can be pretty creative.  They just stuck the spray nozzle handle down and nestled it into the ground so that it would spray up.  I got this shot of Jacob doing a fantastic leap!!



Then there's all the fun you have when you hang out with your cousins!  Family get-togethers are always a much anticipated event at our house.  My boys love their younger cousins and can't wait to see them.  Sadly, we don't100_2920 get to spend as   much time with them as we wish.  But, each and every moment is special.







100_3081Our annual Fourth of July celebration is an event the kids always look forward to.  We just buy a box from the local Wal-Mart, but they really enjoy all the noise and light!



                                                                       Catching fireflies is another summer must at our house.  As soon as the boys see them flitting around the fields at night, they begin their begging routine.  So, armed with containers they head outside to see how many they can capture.  I let them bring them in and set them by their beds for the night.  Then they release them in the morning.



100_2904Summer just wouldn't be the same if you didn't climb a tree or at least a dozen or so!100_2817

And what about exploring the trees, weeds and grass for things that crawl, fly or hop?  Summer is a great time for nature study and we take full advantage of it.  Isaac and Lauren are investigating a brigade of ants climbing up the tree.


                                                                                                                    Summer just wouldn't be the same without blue lollipops.  Especially if it is the very first one you have ever gotten!



Finally, nothing says summer like a fun day at the beach.  Splashing and swimming, playing in the sand, digging moats and making sand castles, getting sand in every crevice, eating it in your sandwich.  Ya know fun at the beach!

We have had a great summer.  Hope you have, too!


For more spectacular summer memories visit Kristen's blog at We Are THAT Family

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Consider the Ant

"Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!" Proverbs 6:6

We studied this verse during our evening devotions the other night. We have been reading different proverbs for past week. Sadly, I wasn't prepared for this particular nights devotions so I just quickly scanned through a few and chose this one. As a family, we discussed the wisdom of this verse and the importance of not being lazy. We talked about the small, busy ant who seems to work tirelessly. Yet, the ant never stops, but keeps keeping on.

But, it didn't stop there! God had plans for family and it involved this verse! The next day we noticed the verse printed on Jacob's math page was the very one we had read the night before. Smiles spread across our faces and a few giggles escaped. We all knew at that moment that God was trying to get a point across! Later, when Isaac and I were doing his reading we read about ants and how they work steadily for the good of the colony (totally unplanned on my part!). I guess God really wants my boys and Joel and I to focus on the importance of working hard and giving their best!

We also studied the next verse: "It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest." Proverbs 7:7

This verse works perfectly for the problem my boys have been struggling with. Joel or I will give them a job to do (or it may be a required job that they do each day), but the job doesn't get done in a timely or proper manner. The ant has no commander barking out orders. It doesn't need someone watching its every move to make sure its work is done properly or on time. I am tired of following around behind them making sure every job is done properly and really I shouldn't have to.

So, I have been using the small and mighty ant as an example the past few days. When one of the boys starts slacking I bring up the ant! It seems to be working pretty good. We still have a few kinks to work out, but I believe we are on the right track.

However, I don't think they were the only ones God was trying to nudge! I was truly convicted, myself! I have never considered myself to be lazy. When I was 13 I worked in the corn fields of a local seed corn farmer. I detassled corn. I worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. It was hot, dirty and labor intensive work. The first few days, each year, I would wake up in the mornings with my hands so stiff I could barely move them. I got paid $3.75 an hour and if I was there every day they would add $.10 an hour to my wages. I did this job for 2 summers before we moved. What I learned from that job was how to work hard. And that the satisfaction you get from a job well done is well worth every ounce of sweat and grime.

However, this summer I forgot why it is good to work hard and accomplish much. I have been a bit lazy. Not overly lazy, but a bit slack nonetheless. We finished school up the first part of May and I just kind of felt blah. I didn't want to do my spring cleaning. I didn't want to do the regular housework. I let things go that I shouldn't have. What I did spend my time doing was blogging. I let myself get consumed by it. I still struggle with this, to be honest. I love writing. It is a passion of mine and a great outlet for this stay-at-home mom. However, I let it take over my life. I didn't attend to my duties. Looking back I can even say, I probably ignored my children a bit too. I think I was just burned out and looking for relief. I found it in the form of writing but at the expense of my family.

My new goal is to consider the ant. I won't quit blogging, because it has been good for me in many ways. It has brought me back to doing my devotions each day. It is helping me to journal about my life and my children's. But, I won't be blogging when my family needs me. I will be blogging on my free time. In the evenings or early mornings. I want to be wise with my time and I am hoping to make a change starting now. I really don't like to think of myself as a sluggard, so I will be trying harder to be like the ant!

*I know that it is important for time of relaxation. We won't be overlooking this. Just focusing on the daily work that is a requirement for each of us and giving it our best each day.

For more inspirational thoughts visit Celly B and read more Thirstin' For the Word Thursdays

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Late Days of Summer



I enjoy the late days of summer!  Right now I have all my windows open and I am listening to the hum.  The cicadas are singing, the crickets are chirping, it is a wonderfully comforting sound.  There is a soft breeze flowing through my house, filling it with the glorious scent of fresh, warm air.  What a beautiful, wonderful day!

Monday, August 25, 2008




For the past 4 years we have done a yearly science project each July/August.  We have raised monarchs.  A friend of ours, who is lovingly nicknamed, Mother Nature, got us enamored with these beautiful butterflies.   Once we got involved, we couldn't stop!  So, each year the boys roam our fields, their Great Grandma's pond, and their Grandpa's fields looking for Monarch caterpillars.  Last year we had a bumper crop of 42.  This year we are having a slower start.  We have found about 16.  But, we aren't finished yet!


Here is one of the caterpillars.  He is getting fat and sassy so soon he will crawl off to find a place to attach himself to.  Usually they choose my ivy, but this year they seem to like another one of my plants.  I'm not sure what it is called but, I think it is in the Wandering Jew plant family.


Once they find an acceptable place they secrete a white substance called a silk pad, that helps attach them to that spot.  Then they let go and hang in this "J" formation.  They hang this way for about a day.

100_3228Next, the caterpillar forms its chrysalis.  If you look really hard sometimes you can find the skin that the caterpillar shed as it made its new home.  These chrysalis' are a beautiful light green with gold dots

After about 10 days the chrysalis changes colors.  Before long it is black.  When you look closely you can see the orange and black colors of the butterfly's wings.


Finally, the butterfly emerges.  If your lucky you can catch 100_3263them just as they are coming out.  When they first come out their wings are all wet and crumpled.  But not for long.  Because God has equipped them with a special trick.  They pump fluid from their bodies into their wings which helps to straighten them out.  Once their wings have unfolded they hang like the butterfly in the picture below.  Slowly flapping their wings, so that they will dry.  If you look to the right of the butterfly you can see the empty chrysalis hanging on the ivy branch.


100_3277This picture shows the tag I placed on the monarch.  We obtain tags from an organization called Monarch Watch.  This helps them track the Monarchs when they migrate down to Mexico.


Finally, we let them go.  I like to place them on a flower in my garden and then watch them take flight up into the big blue sky!


Friday, August 22, 2008


Every time I read the first 2 chapters of I Samuel, I am awed by Hannah's story.  I can't begin to imagine what struggles she dealt with because of her inability to have children. 

"He (Elkanah) had two wives' one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah.  Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.  And because the Lord had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year.  Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival (Peninnah) provoked her till she wept and would not eat. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.  And she made a vow, saying, 'O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'"     

I Samuel 1:2,6,7 & 10

In verse 10 it is written that the Lord had closed Hannah's womb.  How interesting is that piece of information!  We don't know the reason why he chose for Hannah to be barren, but my guess is that it was because he had great plans for her.  I believe he was preparing her heart for what was to come.

God heard Hannah's plea and blessed her with a son whom she named Samuel.  The baby boy's name had significance for Hannah and she choose the name Samuel "... Because I asked the Lord for him." (verse 20).  After she had weaned him (which I do believe was at 3 years of age) she took Samuel to the temple to live with Eli, the priest.  Hannah fulfilled her vow to the Lord. 

This story convicts me every time I read it.  Hannah new that Samuel was a gift from the Lord.  I know that my children are gifts from the Lord.  The difference between Hannah and I is humbling.  Hannah knew and remembered that Samuel was truly the Lord's child.  She gave Samuel over to the Lord, not just mentally and emotionally, but physically.  Oh, how I struggle with this.  The love I have for my children is so deep that I tend to hang on to them- tightly.  I want to control what happens in each of their lives to keep them safe, happy, healthy.  These are not bad things for me to desire, but it becomes a problem when I shut God out.  My children are HIS.  I need to remember to give them back to Him.  I know He loves them even more than I do (my mind knows this, but at times it is hard for my heart to remember).

How hard it must have been for Hannah to leave her little boy at the temple.  She couldn't just stop in to see him whenever she wanted.  Her visits to the temple only happened once a year.  Which suggests the temple was quite a distance from their home.   My heart just aches when I read that part of the story.  Could I do that?  I think I would fail miserably.  I know I need God's grace and strength when it comes to giving Him the control of my childrens lives and futures.  I can't do this on my own.  God is going to have to help loosen my grip, because at times I am clinging so tightly to them.

Hannah on the other hand, is amazing!  She doesn't lament leaving her son, but in prayer, praises her Lord.

"My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.  My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.  There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

I Samuel 2:1-2

Having a mothers heart myself, I am sure her heart ached to leave her precious son at the temple.  At the same time she knew that it was what the Lord wanted for Samuel, because God had great plans for her little boy!



You are my rock, my strength.  Your love and beauty surrounds me.  Your blessings abound.  I pray, that I may be more like Hannah.  Help me to loosen my grip.  I desire for you to raise up my children to love you wholeheartedly.  Guide me and use me to raise them as You desire.  Help me to follow the path you have laid before us, because I know you have great plans for us. 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Simplified Guacamole

If there happens to be avocados sitting on the counter and Lauren spots them then I hear a repetitive chant of Mole-ees, Mole-ees, Mole-ees! The girl loves her guacamole! I started making this for her when she was about a year old. I simplified the recipe for 2 reasons- 1) to make it easy and quick to make 2) so that it would be pleasing to her young palate! I had to omit any jalapino peppers, because she suffered with pretty intense reflux.

Now when I make guacamole, I have to either hide part of it for myself, eat as quickly as is humanly possible or resign myself to not getting a whole lot!

Lauren's Guacamole

1 large avacado

1 roma tomato chopped or 1 med. tomato peeled, seeded and chopped

1/8 cup finely chopped onion (if I'm in a hurry I omit this)

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic minced

Remove the pulp of the avacado and place in bowl. With a fork mash it up. Add lime juice and continue mashing the avacado till it is somewhat smooth. Stir in tomatoes, onion, salt and garlic. Sometimes I add water if the consistency is too thick.



100_3211 100_3212

See, I told you it was good! And look she has stolen the serving bowl! It was all I could do to get my fair share! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008


It is a good thing I've learned to flexible. No, I'm not talking about back bends here! I had our first week of school all planned out to my liking, but life has its own set of plans for this week! My brother and his wife are coming to stay at my parents house for about a week. They live about 8 hours away from here, so we only see them a couple times a year. Plus, they will be leaving for Bangladesh in January. My brother will be teaching math to missionary kids. They plan to stay for 6 months. Every moment we can spend with them this week is precious. So, we will be shortening our days. We will be focusing on Bible, Math and Reading. The rest I will add in next week when things settle back to our normal daily routine.

When I first started homeschooling 8 years ago, I was a horrible

box checker. I felt that I had to accomplish every little worksheet and book that I had planned to do with Isaac. Boy, was I wrong! I have always liked structure and feel I do best with a strong organizational plan. However, this just doesn't work on each and every one of our schooling days. I have had to learn to let go of that structured plan and go with the flow of the day or the child, which ever it may be for that given day.

What I find awesome about homeschooling is that I am still learning! I am a work in progress as a homeschool mom and teacher. Each year I change something or many things about how I teach or what I teach to my children. Since Jacob has dyslexia it challenges me to find the best ways to teach him. His needs are so different from what Isaac's are. And Caleb is so good at independent work, which is a blessing, since Jake needs so much one-on-one. Maybe that is part of what draws me to homeschooling. There is a different challenge that needs to be figured out at every turn.

Schooling schedule not on track. No problem! I've got that challenge tackled. Now on to the next one!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


With our school days starting back up on Monday I will have less time for blogging.  I will miss it terribly.  It is my outlet.  However, I know that I can't let it take precedence over my children's education.  So, I will post when I can.  I am hoping to work on my posts in the evenings or early mornings before anyone gets up.  I am not a morning person.  But, I would like to get up at 5:00 when Joel does, do my devotions, spend time in prayer and then with anytime leftover hit the bloggy world.  This is my goal.  Pray for me!  It is going to take God's strength and strong prodding (a strong cup of coffee won't hurt either) to get me out from underneath my warm blankies each morning.

Anyway, I hope you will stick with me throughout our school year.  I will be keeping up with your blogs, but maybe not commenting as much as usual.  So, I am begging, please keep checking up on me!  I don't want to lose the new friendships I have just found.  I have learned so much from each of you.  Each and every one of you is unique and brings a different set of insights into my days.  God Bless each and every one of you!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Homeschool Goals

We will be begin our 8th year of homeschooling on Monday.  I have been busy the past couple of weeks working on the boys schedules and organizing our school supplies.  Today I will gather the books we will need for the next couple of months and I will familiarize myself with Jacob's newest set of reading books.

Every year I like to make a list of goals for our schooling days- something we can strive for throughout the year.

Juniper Hill Academy's Homeschooling Goals 2008

1. Giving God our best each day

2. Showing respect for one another

3. Focusing on the work laid before us

4. Listening carefully to instructions

5. Finding delight in what we learn

6. Attending to our school work with cheerful hearts

7. Taking more time for art/craft activities

Jacob's Homeschool Goals

1. Make his own light saber

2. Get A's in math

3. Improve on reading books

Caleb's Homeschool Goals

1. Do good on his 1st grade books

2. Continue to learn how to read

Isaac's Homeschool Goals

1. Get better in math

2. Learn as much as he can about science

3. Do school work more efficiently

My Homeschool Prayer

Dear Lord,

Lord, I thank you for the opportunity we have to homeschool.  It is a blessing to our family.  Thank you for making it possible that I could be home to teach our children.  Thank you for this time in our lives, when we as parents, can come alongside you as you teach us how to love and guide our children.

I pray that you will help us to honor you in our school.  Help us

to put you first, to look to you each day and ask for guidance.  Lord, give me wisdom and knowledge as I take on the momentous task of teaching my sons.  Grant me patience and understanding so that I may help my children learn.  Bless me with insight so that I may guide my children in their learning.  May I see each child's individual needs and learning styles so that we can achieve the maximum out of our days.  Lord help us to have the proper attitudes each day.  Give us cheerful hearts. Lord above all help us to glorify you with our lives and help us to be a lights shining for you.

Bless our homeschool!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea-billows roll:

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

"It is well, it is well with my soul."


Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul


My sin- O the bliss of this glorious thought,

My sin- not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


And, Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight,

The clouds rolled back as a scroll,

The trump shall re-sound and the Lord shall descend,

"Even so"- it is well with my soul.



It is well (it is well) with my soul (with my soul) it is well, it is well with my soul.


The above hymn was written by Horatio G. Spafford in 1873.   Mr. Spafford was a prominent lawyer in Chicago.  On October 8, 1871, he and his wife Anna were grieving over the death of their son, when the Great Chicago Fire occurred.  Horatio had invested heavily in the real estate and the fire took almost everything he owned.

In 1873, the Spafford family decided to take a holiday in England where Horatio's friend D.L. Moody would be preaching.  Horatio was delayed by business so his wife and their 4 daughters Tannetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie, went ahead without him.

On November 21, 1873, the ship that they were traveling on collided with an iron sailing vessel.  Two hundred and twenty-six people lost their lives, including the Spafford's four daughters.  Anna, alone survived.  Upon arriving in England she sent a telegram to her husband starting with "Saved alone".

Horatio took a ship to England to be with his wife and in the process passed the spot where his daughters had lost their lives.  While he was on the ship he wrote the words to the above hymn. (Information found on Wikipedia)


Every time I sing this song, I think of Horatio Spafford and his amazing faith.  What an awesome testimony for us all.  It alludes me how he could write this amidst so much grief.  I don't know if I could respond with such faith.  Would I be able to say "It is well with my soul", if I lost all of my children.  This hymn touches my heart so deeply, tears run down my face, when I raise my voice to sing.  It makes me think about my life.  At times I feel it isn't well with my soul, but when I sing this song I realize that I have nothing to complain about.  This hymn reminds me to take my eyes off myself and turn my gaze back to Lord.  God sent His son to die on the cross for me, a wretched sinner, so that it would be well with my soul.


Psalm 119:71 says "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees." We discussed this concept in our Sunday School class a few weeks back.  Can we be a willing vessel in service to the Lord if God hasn't brought us to our knees first?  Do we fully rely on the Lord if we haven't dealt with some sorrow in our lives.  I know this is true for myself.  If I hadn't had to deal with my illness when I was 24, I would never have taken the focus off myself.  That illness helped me to become an empty vessel for the Lord to fill up with his love, mercy and grace.  I am now a more willing servant for the Lord and am continuing to learn the lessons He has for me.


"Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.  Psalm 116:7


Lord, please help me to see you clearly.  Help me to turn my eyes to you.  Horatio Spafford lost so much yet, he was able to praise you and find peace in your love.  Lord, I pray that I will not focus on the difficulties I face.  Help me to give my life fully to you, so that I can say "it is well with my soul".

For more inspirational thoughts about our God visit Celly B for Thirsting for the Word Thursday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Learning Not To Cry Wolf

I have let a disagreeable behavior, with my 6-year-old son Caleb, go on to long.  I should have dealt with it a while ago, but I didn't have the insight on how to squash the problem. 

Caleb tends to over-react when he is hurt or upset.  He will set up a good wailing and crying session at the drop of a hat.  This isn't a quite pity party either.  It is loud and demanding.  In the past I would tell him to get control and quiet down so that I could assess the situation.  I would remind him that he didn't need to bawl and howl when he was upset. This did nothing to stop him the next time someone or something upset him.

The other night he set to hollering over something Jacob had said to him.  I had them both come upstairs and I decided what the punishment should be for them.  It had been a long day and I told Caleb he could brush his teeth and get into bed.  Of course, he didn't like that, since it was only 8 o'clock, and he started bellering again.  I stood my ground and sent him on his way. 

About 10 minutes later I went in to talk to him.  As I was trying to explain to him why he didn't need to caterwaul every time he got upset, an idea popped into my head.  I asked him if he had ever heard the story about the boy who cried wolf.  He said he hadn't so I began my version of the story with all the action and a few voices mixed in.  I had his undivided attention!  After the story I showed him how he had become like the boy who cried wolf.  I told him that he cried and wailed so much that I didn't even pay attention to it anymore.  Tears started to fall down his cheeks (silently!).  I asked him why he was crying and he said it was because he had been crying out when he really didn't need to.  I did emphasize that it was okay to cry out if he was hurt that way it would let me know if he was hurt.  I also let him know it is okay to cry if he was sad, but he needed to keep his tears at a normal noise level.  After a sincere prayer and lots of hugs and kisses, I left him to go to sleep.

The lesson I meant for Caleb, turned into a lesson for me too.  It reminded me that he isn't the only one that can sometimes blow things out of proportion.  I am guilty of this myself on occasion.  My children have seen me loose it when things get stressful and out of hand.  I use the old standard crutch-"not right now, I am having a bad day" or "I'm too tired".  Yes, there are times when these statements are true, but I realized that maybe I have been relying on them a bit too much.  Not a pretty thought- I, too, have been crying wolf.

"Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies"  Proverbs 20:15

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

7 Things About Me

I've been tagged by Amy from Little Toes and Cheerios.  If you would like to use this meme as post consider yourself tagged!

1) I am a very organized person.  I like it when I have a place for everything and everything gets put in its place.  Clutter bugs me!  I have trouble relaxing if things get to messy.

2) I dislike being late!  So, I always try to make sure we are out the door with a few minutes to spare.

3) When I was 15, my dad started a veterinary house calls practice which he ran out of our home.  He had a surgery room and kennels in our basement.  The basement was also where my sisters and I had our bedrooms! We often fell asleep to our doggy visitors yipping or howling.  At times we were veterinary assistants.  Helping with c-sections or holding kitties while dad removed grubs from their heads.  One night I sat up holding a miniature schnauzer who had been attacked by a larger dog, resulting in punctured lungs on the schnauzer.  There was nothing dad could do but keep it comfortable.  So, I held it most of the night until it finally passed away.


4) If I'm staying home I don't wear make-up. I go with the natural look or at the very most a bit of powder, blush and lip gloss.  If I go out I add a bit more.  I like to keep my make-up to a minimum.

5) I can play the piano, but not proficiently.  Even so, I enjoy sitting down a plunking out a tune now and then.

6) I came to know Christ as my Savior when I was eight.  My dad led me in prayer.

7) I was very shy and timid as a child.  I have outgrown some of that, but still feel unsure of myself in certain social situations.  However, at least now I can answer the phone without feeling my heart drop to my toes!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Miss Sticky Fingers


What do all these things have in common?

lotion rubbed into my CD players speakers

a whole pump bottle of liquid soap smeared on counter-tops and in the sink

dozens of drinks, in sippy cups, with lids mysteriously removed, dumped down the front of pretty pink outfits

a small body covered in Picasso like drawings

gum wrappers and bits of chewed gum littering the floor

a whole bottle of hand sanitizer dumped over chubby legs

A mischievous, curious, pig-tail-wearin', blue eyed, 2-year-old,



*Sorry, no pictures of the above events.  I've been too busy cleaning up!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Blessings From a Generous Neighbor

I have been blessed this summer, by a neighbor. He is a bachelor beginning his little homestead. He has chickens and turkeys, but its the chickens that have been a blessing. His chickens lay 8-9 eggs each day. He can't use them all so he has been giving them to my mom and dad (for free) who then pass them out to all the neighbors. This has helped us so much. I have a strict grocery budget and with rising prices this has freed up a few dollars that I can spend on other needed items.

But the blessings don't stop there! Yesterday, my mom, dad, Lauren and I picked these off of our neighbors peach tree. Yes, you guessed it, for Free! I haven't been able to can peaches for 2 years because of the horrendous price they charge per bushel. I got more than a bushel this time and we will be enjoying these on our dinner table this winter.


It never ceases to amaze me how God provides. Whether it is a bit of over-time for Joel, socks and undies for the kids bought by the grandparents, $50 slipped into an encouraging card by a dear friend (you know who you are my friend), or eggs and peaches from a generous neighbor. It just cements in my heart and mind that I am to be home with my children not out teaching in a school setting. I am to be home teaching them, loving them and building everlasting bonds with each precious child. I know that God will provide for our needs because He does so again and again.

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Thursday, August 7, 2008


What is joy? Is it happiness or something more? Does being happy mean I am joyful? I believe that joy is totally different from happiness. Joy is much deeper and meaningful. It is God given. I think happiness is an emotion that those who don't know Christ strive to find. We aren't always going to be happy. I don't think that is what God intended. I do believe He wants us to feel joyful. He has given us proof of that is His Word. In the New International Version of the Bible the word joy can be found 217 times!

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines JOY in this way- to experience great pleasure of delight; to rejoice

"Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

Our LORD wants us to rejoice and be glad. Only when we lift our souls up to Him can we feel the joy He wants to fill our hearts and lives with.

"Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music." Psalm 98:4

When I read this verse it reminds me of the beauty of nature. Even the very earth, which God created, sings to Him. The flowers shout for joy with their brilliant scents, colors and intricate petals. The birds praise Him with their beautiful, individual songs. The sky and clouds give Him glory through their rich color and beauty . The freshness of a breeze reminds us of his gentleness. And the sun warms us like God's everlasting love.

"Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart." Psalm 97:11

This verse really speaks to me. If I have an upright heart I will feel joy. Living for the Lord, glorifying Him with my life, serving Him, loving Him, all of these acts will fill me with great pleasure and delight.
In a word- JOY!

For more inspirational words visit Celly B at Busy at Home

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Simple, Quick Decorating Tip

Easy Nursery Decorating Tip

When I found out I was pregnant with a little girl I was so excited. I couldn't wait to decorate the nursery. I wanted to keep it simple, the walls uncluttered. At first, I had thought about making large quilted daisies in various pink fabrics and attaching them to the wall above the crib but before I started that project I received some beautiful crocheted items. I suddenly had an AH-HA moment. This is what I decided to do-


I would love to find some old antique baby hangers, but until I do these pink ones do the job. The walls are a soft yellow which doesn't show up well in the photos, but the pink sweaters compliment it well. I have to throw in here that my mom made the quilt and a matching wall hanging that I just love!


This is a simple, quick and affordable decorating idea for your babies nursery. It worked for me! Maybe it will work for you or someone you know.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Daddy's Girl


I love this picture! It speaks a thousand words in just one captured moment.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Vision

When my first son was just a year old I became very ill. I even had a 40% chance of dying. That illness changed my life. It forced me to look at my life and the future of my son. I realized how far I had strayed from the Lord. It really hit me then that I was responsible for another life besides my own. I decided then that I would not return to teaching in a public setting. I realized more than ever I needed to be home for my son and any future children. Most importantly I gave my heart and soul to the Lord fully. I wanted to live for Him. I wanted to glorify Him with my life. That month of severe illness back in 1998 laid the foundation of the vision for my family and I have been building on it ever since.

Vision #1- As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. This is the most important goal I have for my children. I want them to wholeheartedly serve their Lord and Savior. We home school and the curriculum we choose to use has a Christian world view. My boys learn about many different countries and their beliefs. We study missionaries. We pray for those who don't know God. We learn about what it really means to serve the Lord.

We also save our loose change in our missions jar. When we get about $100 we send it to a mission of our choosing. We take in meals to the sick and elderly in our church. These are just a few ways we serve the Lord in our house. I am always improving or altering this vision. There are so many ways in which we can serve the Lord. I want my children to learn that there isn't just one standard way, but many ways to give to the Lord.

Vision #2- Learning and Apply Godly Character Traits. We study character traits year round. Right now we are working on Kindness, with a focus on our words. We all memorize verses that deal with the tongue and then we quote them. Here is an example of just one of the verses we have learned lately-

"Pleasant Words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24.

Often all I have to do is start quoting one of our verses and the unkind words fall short on the lips of the guilty party. This tactic has worked quite well in our family and I even encourage my children to sing to me when they catch me losing control of my tongue.

These are just a couple of the visions I have for my family for more Family Visions from other blogger's visit Natalie for other At the Well posts on Family Vision.

A Little Get Away

Last week the boys, Lauren, my mom and I spent a few days with my sister Marisa.  We had a great time spending time with one another.  My sister and I have always been close.  We were pretty inseparable as little girls and our hearts are still bound together even though many miles separate us.


I learned a few things while we were there:

A) This country hick can drive in rush hour traffic in a big city!

B) 11:00 AM on an 86 degree day with high humidity is probably not the best time to take 3 toddlers to a beautiful arboretum and butterfly house!


And finally-

C) Pack-N-Plays are not mommy friendly.  If you want to see two 30-something girls succumb to a fit of giggles.  Make them partially disassemble a pack-n-play at 11:00 PM, and try to fit it through a doorway- quietly.  You would think between the two of us we could have accomplished this, but every time we tried to head out the door, we bumped up against the trim.  We played out the scenario of bumping against the doorway, backing up, re-adjusting the sides of the pack-n-play, then moving forward again, only to hit the trim.  We did this about 6 or 7 times before one of us had a brainstorm.  We finally got out the doorway and down the hall, but not without much laughing and teasing.

Love You Sis!

Friday, August 1, 2008

1930's Wife


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

How do rate as a 1930's wife? This was quick, easy and fun to do! I guess I am a bit old fashioned! Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have 4 children, love to cook and enjoy being with my husband. Take the test and find out where you stand compared to the 1930's woman.
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