Friday, December 31, 2010

One Funny Picture Says it All......

I was cleaning out my cupboards yesterday and I found these:
Well, forgive me, because I don't remember buying those......So I ask Will if he remembered.  He said: YES.  Hmmmmm....hopefully that was just a phase.  Maybe 2011 will be better.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Budget Decorating

I got this idea from  Emily Rose at

It's almost time to take down those Christmas decorations!  Thinking back on the course of the year, I was pondering that controversial posts about what holidays Christians choose to celebrate.   One of my friends who chooses not to celebrate Christmas made a good point.  Why not celebrate Jesus every day? I agree.

So, off to the Thankful Tree~

This was great Thanksgiving idea!  I have friends who have made a whole Thankful Wall in their house.  I love that.  So we are going to leave this little tree up for most of the year and see haw many thankful tags we can add. 

Look at this one:

I know you can't read it.  But it says MOM!  Emma made that.  I am thankful for her too.  More than she knows.

The best thing about this is that it didn't cost me a dime.  My hedge row not only has evergreen, it has deciduous bushed too.  I used scrapbooking paper and the same ribbon that was in my bathroom for Christmas.  I had a heart paper punch that was a pretty good size for my tree.

Bring on Valentines Day!

New Years Resolutions

Sadly, I haven't even thought of the topic until today.  I hate New Years resolutions because they seem like they are just setting you up for failure!  Haha.  What I will not promise myself:

  • My house will be cleaner
  • I will be more orgaized
  • I will lose weight
  • I will eat less chocolate.....
No, no.  It's not that these things are not good things.  It's just that they are my weakest points.   I have been dealing with these things for 38 years!  But I thought about it, and I should have resolutions. You know, to better myself.  We all need that. Right?  So here they are:

  • I will live every day in the light of God's grace, knowing that I deserve the worst, yet He reserves for me the best.
  • I will tell as many others about this wonderful grace that God has poured out on me.
  • I will try to treat others with the same grace ( me!) even when my feelings get hurt.  
  • I will remember that I am not good.  My opinion isn't the only opinion.  And I will try to love.  Always love.  
  • I will try not to complain so much!!!
  • I will be able to forgive myself when I fail any of the above.
I think that is enough. Sigh.  

What is your New Years resolution?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

With a Love That You Cannot Think of....

I got very little sleep last night.  I lay awake next to my little boy feeling the heat radiate off of his head.  He's been sick for 2 day.  I listened to his breathing and imagined the worst.  I prayed.  Not just for him but for all of the friends that I know right now that are struggling with sickness.  But when it is your child....

It is in these moments that I am awestruck of God.  I can't imagine anyone loving my child more than I do, yet He does.  I can't help but worry, yet I know he is in God's hands.  Because my love for him is so is simply unimaginable to me that the Creator of the universe loves me that much and more. I am humming...

I love you with a love that you cannot think of,
I am near you even though you feel far away....far away.
I rescued you and carried you and caused your world to stop,
Just so I could hear you say that you love Me too...

I do love You Lord.

Up and Running

Okay, my button is now up and running.  Feel free to share!

Under Construction

Wow!  I am learning so much about computers through this blog!  If you note the sidebars, I am working on a button with a grab box.  So far, I have not been able to get exactly what I want so please ignore them for the time being.  I don't want to erase all of the HTML codes.  :)  I have a friend helping me get it straightened out (thanks Andy!)  When it is complete, I would love for you to share my blog site with anyone you might think interested.  So for now......pardon my dust!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas my friends!  We will be taking this time to reflect on the greatest gift the world has ever received~ Jesus!  We celebrate this time of year because the God of the universe humbled Himself, temporarily gave up the comforts of heaven and was born a human child in order to redeem the children He loved.  We always remember that whatever we struggle through: sickness, death of a loved one, and even physical pain, He has felt too.  He loves us and desires us.  The one who made the stars and the planets loves YOU!! 

Have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why Home School? Part 3 Teach Them to Love God

 DISCLAIMER:  I am not writing this to try to talk you into home education.  I Don't believe it to be the only way.  I have written this because of the frequent of question of why I decided to home school, and to answer the occasional criticism of my choice.  Home education is what I believe that God is calling me to do.  I am simply answering that call!

You might be asking yourself right now:  Does she think I have to home school if I want my kids to love God?   Most definitely not.  Parents who love God generally have children who love God.  BUT, when your child has so many things competing for his or her attention, where will God be on his priority list?  Where will you rank?

When children are taught in Sunday School that God saved part of our race through Noah, and then learn at school that there was never a word wide flood, confusion reigns.  Children look up to their teachers.  And why not?  They have a college degree in this stuff...right?  Well, the truth is, evolution and secular humanism reigns supreme in the public school setting.  Both are the equivalent of a religion, yet the are pushed as indisputable truth while the idea of an intelligent designer is laughed at.  Neither of the theories have be scientifically proved, yet the school system still shuns one for the other.  This doesn't have to be.  We can home educate our children about Darwin, evolution, and all of the world religions and still instill in our children a Biblical worldview.  But a child will most likely believe what the teacher is telling them to believe.  Therefore, is it not appropriate to place your children under someone who believes the same as you do?  My children have learned about Confucius, Buddha, and Muhammad just this year.   They learned to origins of each line of thinking and where it departs from Biblical Christianity.  They have learned that all of these religions have good things about them, but they are missing one thing...Jesus.

I am not saying that you can't teach your kids truth if you send them to school.  I am saying that without a doubt, it is much harder to do.  I have friends at church who say that they do not even have time to work with their kids on memory verses for the sheer lack of time and the mountains of homework the kids have every night.  God's Word falls to lower priority when you have to live on someone else's schedule.  But when you wake up and have your kids next to you, when you take them along with you throughout the day, when you spend your days and evenings with them, it is much easier to fulfill God's command in Deuteronomy 6:7 "You shall teach the diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."  It  is our responsibility to teach them.

And then there is the issue of friends.  1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits."    We know this is true.  Even adults are affected by those they keep company with. How can we expect our kids not to be?  So all of the time and energy that we put into our kids character training could possibly be sabotaged by the fact that they see their friends more than they see us.   Most likely, they will have a strong desire to be liked or fit in.  It is hard for me to remember that it doesn't matter what my friends is much harder for my kids.

There is the common argument of "salt and light" among Christian families.  We are supposed to send our kids out into the world to be little missionaries for the Gospel.  Unfortunately, statistic show that more Christian kids are evangelized by the world than the other way around.  In the book Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can do to Stop it."  by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, it is estimated that some 85% of evangelical youth will leave the church at some time or another.   This really tells me that our kids are not being salt and light to the world, but rather, they are losing their "saltiness" and having their faith trampled by the world.  The authors of the book think that the solution is to teach science at church.  I sincerely disagree.   There are many great thinkers out there in the Christian community that disagree over certain areas of science, creation, etc.  For the most part, the things that they disagree on can never be proved.  But if we simply endeavor to grow our kids with a Biblical Worldview, then they will learn to filter everything through God' Word.   There are incredibly smart people out there doing research in the areas of creationism providing us with scientific data compatible with the Bible.

But far more insidious than creation versus evolution is the idea of secular humanism.  Secular humanism is the idea that man is inherently good, and can do without a God. It rejects (supposedly) anything that is taken on "faith" and only accepts that which can be proven by science.  It is a more subtle form of anti-Christian philosophy.   I say that it is anti-Christian because the Bible teaches the absolute opposite. We are all sinners, we are all separated from God, we all need a Savior.  Jeremiah 17:9 say that our hearts are desperately wicked.  Secular humanism also teaches that human life is no more valuable than any other form of life.  Man has dominion over nothing.  As you can see, this is very contrary to Bible teaching.  As a matter of fact, secular humanism rejects anything supernatural or based on faith.  For the Christian family, this is simply not an option.

If you still intend to send your kids out into the school system, I would encourage you to evaluate their beliefs closely and keep close tabs on what they are learning.  It is important to know that these subtle philosophies are creeping in. 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."   Psalm 1:1-2

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Star of Bethlehem

We own the DVD that this website is about.  I encourage you to check it out.

How fascinating it was to find that the star was not a huge super natural astronomical event, but rather something the Magi found in the night sky.  King Herod didn't even know of the star's existence until the Magi told him about it.  The star was present to lead the Magi to the Messiah after his birth, not on the night of his birth.  The software the writer uses traces the date of the star to ......get this.... Dec. 25th! 

I wanted to share this website with everyone, and I highly encourage the DVD too.  As the author says, Such poetry!  God had written it in the stars!

God's Word says He loved us before the foundation of the world.  Amazing love!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why Home School? Part 2 What About Socialization?

DISCLAIMER:  I am not trying to convince you to home school, or even saying that it is the only way.  I am answering the questions of those who have asked politely, and those who have criticized.  These are the reasons why I made my decisions.  I believe that God is calling me to this, and I am simply answering the call.

 It is an inevitable part of any home school parent's life.  I totally understand all of the questions.  I had them too at one time.  And let's face it, TV shows like Law and Order do their best to portray the darkest side of anything- including home education.  People tend to think of home school families as Amish-looking kids that neurotic parents hide away from the world.  When public schooling has become the "norm" it is normal for people to have questions for those of us who choose a different path.

So, this is the BIG question. "What about socialization?"  Almost everyone I talk to asks that question eventually.  I want to encourage you to look at the issue in a different light.

First of all, most home school families do not hide their kids away from the world.  They may socialize in different circles than you do making it seem like they never come out, but they do.  My kids have friends at our co-op, at church, and in our neighborhood.   They have even made "one-day friends" with a girl at the mall.  (We ended up having lunch with her and her mother that day-I had never met them before..)  My kids all go to the grocery store and anywhere else I need to go with me.  Chances are, they see much more of the world than their government educated counterparts.

A couple of years ago, I had a friend attack me a bit.  She was frustrated with the personalities of those around her and told me that I wasn't adequately preparing my kids for the real world.  She told me that they needed to deal with difficult people in order to survive.  I can understand her point of view, but I believe that it was quite short-sighted.  When I was young and had to deal with friend "drama," I didn't come home and share every detail with my mom.  I really had no constructive guidance on how to deal with issues when they arose.  We have all read Lord of the Flies right?  We do know what happens when kids are left to govern themselves.......right?  Without close parental supervision and intervention, even siblings can end up being the worst of enemies. I have stories to tell!

It doesn't have to be that way!!

I don't claim to have any magic formulas.   I don't know how to cook a kid so properly that they never argue or complain.  I do know, however, that there are people out there who actually enjoy their kids teenage years.  We are so accustomed to thinking of teens as moody, argumentative, and unpleasant, that when we see kids that aren't that way we think them weird!  I will tell you what I suspect is up.  Ask me in 8-10 years and I will tell you if I was right.  I have already said it.  Kids need supervision.  The don't grow up to be stellar people all by themselves.  But, if you are away from your kids 8 hours a day, 9 months a year, you might have very little idea what is really going on in their lives.  I can tell you from experience--my mom had very little knowledge of what was really going on in my life.  Only what she saw.  On the contrary, if you kids grow up with a wise parent guiding them through almost every situation, things might be a little different.  Before compulsory education, this was the norm.  We would be ignorant to say that respect and manners in kids have improved over time.  (what planet would that be on?)

There is another great irony beneath all of this.  I have had people tell me that their kids were failing 3 subjects in school because they do not care about their school work, all they care about is their friends, and in the same breath ask me "what about socialization? How do you socialize your kids?"   Really?  If we think about this, I should have been asking them, "what about education?"  Socialization can be negative at times.  I remember sitting in Mr. Sly's chemistry class in high school praying he wouldn't call on me, all the time thinking about what I was doing Friday night, what so and so said about me, I can't believe he likes her...etc..  I did terrible in chemistry and hated the class.  With my past and most of my friends behind me, I took a college chemistry course and got the highest grade in the class.  I could have done that in high school.  I just didn't care.  My social life was much more important.  I do wonder from time to time what I could have accomplished had I really tried. 

I have saved the most obvious for last.  My kids will never be exposed to drugs, alcohol, or lewd behavior in my home.  It is not that they won't understand what these things are.  We have already had a talk about Miley Cyrus and her "bong" incident.  They know Elvis and Micheal Jackson both died of drug overdoses. They know that alcohol affects your behavior and destroys your liver.   They know that this is not normal.  They know it doesn't glorify God.  It is most likely that they will not have friends who encourage them to try these things.  I'm not saying that they will never face the temptation, but hopefully they will confront it when they are old enough and mature enough to know that it doesn't matter what their friends think.  My prayer for them is the Christ will be their best friend, and that they will seek to honor Him. 

I realize that everyone is different.  I know there are home-school families with kids who have problems.  I will say with all boldness--it's not because they are home schooled.  I am honest enough with myself to know that when my kids behave badly it is a reflection of me.  In this day and age, people want to blame everything on a disorder instead of taking responsibility. (yes, there are real disorders out angry mail please...)  It is pretty plain to me that those who discipline their kids have well-behaved kids and those who don't--well, don't. I want my kids to be well-disciplined.  I want them to care about what God's Word says about their lives and how they should behave. 

All of this to say:  socialization isn't an issue.  Kids who have good role models by their side day in and day out will do just fine without all of the "issues."  So next time you tell me about your kid and their school, don't be surprised if I ask you.....what about socialization??

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is Christmas Pagan?

I wanted to share a link with you that I found interesting.  I still believe that what we celebrate has only to do with what is in our hearts.  If our hearts are bent toward God, then we can celebrate Him whenever and however we want.  Almost anything in our line of view can claim pagan roots.  It is impossible to not be surrounded by symbolism.  But consider that God made it all.  It belongs to Him.  Satan has no day or season that belongs to him.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Why Home School? Part 1

 DISCLAIMER:  These posts are simply an attempt to explain to you why we chose to home school.  They are not an attempt to try to convince you to do the same, nor are they criticizing your choices.  This is God's call on my life.  I am answering it.

This is a question that I answer almost daily.  As you can imagine, when I meet new people, or when people I know find out that I home school my kids, I get a range of responses.  My favorite response is: " Wow!  That's great!  I admire you for that!"

I do get that from time to time.

But most of the time it goes more like this:  "Why in the world did you decide to home school?"  and  " I would rather have my kids in school, they would drive me nuts if they were home with me all of the time."  or " I just don't have what it takes to teach my kids everything they need to know." or my least favorite: "What about socialization?  How do your kids learn socialization skills?" 

I can surely understand all of these responses.  I probably had the same thoughts when I first heard of home education.  I try to take the time to explain my reasons, but there are so many, sometimes it is hard to know where to begin!

I think the logical place to start in my case would be a better education.  No, I am not so arrogant to think that I am better than all of you teachers out there who have studied the ins and outs of education.  But I will say with all of the confidence in the world:  I know my kids far better than you do.  I know their strengths and their weaknesses.  I am able to spend one on one time with them daily.  I know when a certain curriculum is not working.  I spend a lot of time trying to analyze learning styles and attempt to adapt my teaching style to each of my students.  You have to admit, this is impossible in a class of 30 or so.

Home education has come so very far in the past 25 years.  There are so many resources out there to help almost any parent educate their children effectively.  In fact, my Rainbow Resource catalog is bigger than my last phone book!  There are also resources for children who have been labeled as learning impaired, ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc.  These children can be extremely brilliant, yet not thrive in a school setting.  Each  and everyone of these kids need one on one instruction with someone who loves them and are firm yet extremely patient with them.  I have one child who could possibly be labeled ADHD if I would let the medical establishment get a hold of her, but I am also aware that she is extremely bright and needs a firm and patient touch.  She excels in areas of math and science, and I am proud to be able to encourage her on in her interests.

When I talk about education, I can't help but be a little greedy.  I am desperately enjoying teaching my children history.  I hated history as a child because I found it as dry as cardboard. History now happens to be one of our family's favorite subjects.  We make history come alive with maps, projects, and recipes from certain time periods and cultures.  I am learning so much ~right along side of my kids.  That is just priceless to me!

Many people ask what we do with subject that we do not feel confident to teach.  This is where the home school co-ops come in.  I know that there are mothers out there who have done a fine job without co-ops, but they can be a big help in some instances.  My children attend co-op classes once a week during the school year.  This year, they are both in art classes taught by a trained artist.  They are also each in science classes.  As they get older, they might transition to a high-school oriented co-op where they can take literature or science with the necessary labs.  It might seem like this defeats the purpose of home education, but consider the fact that they are home 4 out of 5 school days. 

Last but certainly not least is the time and training that my kids get in God's Word.  I have heard so many parents of school kids complain that they do not have the time to spend in the Bible with their kids.  Homework, extra curricular activities, parents work schedules, are all reasons they list for not being able to help their kids memorize scripture.  However, our first and foremost priority to our kids is to teach them about God.  The Bible commands that we as Christians instruct our children in the ways of the Lord!  How can we do this without spending time in His Word?  We love the AWANA program at our church and use it as a guideline for scripture memorization.  This is not our sole resource, but our kids enjoy it very much. 

Stay tuned for my next post when I will tell you what I think about socialization.  :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I heard this quote on the radio yesterday morning:

"Every relationship is a perfect storm without the Gospel"

I got to thinking about it, and I find it to be so very true.  Even with the Gospel (not taken seriously) our relationships can be quite tumultuous.  Two differing opinions, coupled with uncontrolled emotions can be quite disastrous.  The gospel message, however, should help us to realize that dying to self is important in any relationship.  If you are struggling in your relationships, maybe it is time to stop complaining and start giving.  Instead of complaining, stop and think about what you can do for that person to make them feel loved. You might be surprised at what you get in return.

Think about this:  Jesus Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago to save a race of whiny little brats who stamp their feet at God and proclaim NOT FAIR!   He could have said, Nah-they don't deserve me (we don't) but, instead He pursued us.  He loved us.   In the act of ultimate sacrifice, He gave His life for us!  A model of what perfect love should be.

Christmas is all about giving.  Relationships are all about giving.  Give the gift of yourself this year.  Especially if you are struggling in your marriage or any other relationship.  We can be thankful that Christ didn't give up on us, but rather, He gave it all for us.  May we strive to emulate His perfect love!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

I have been cranky with my kids today.  It has been a tough week, and I am tired.  It promises to get tougher in the next three days.

Life can be tough.  Things don't always go as expected.  In a perfect world, we would never struggle with finances.  In a perfect world, I would be able to stay home from work 100% of the time.

What have I to dread? What have I to fear?

But God is good.  All of the time.  He sustains me.  His grace is perfect, sufficient.

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

In the midst of struggle, He gives me a peace in knowing that this is not my home.  He is preparing a far better place for me.  In the meantime, He continues to provide day by day.  Maybe there is no excess, but by definition....excess is not needed!

I have blessed peace with my Lord so dear.

I have everything I need.  Thank you Lord for trusting me to be a mom.  Thank you for allowing me to be a wife.  Thank you for not giving me my every whim, but rather giving me what I need .

Leaning on the everlasting arms. 

Sing it with me!
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