Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever just wanted to pinch yourself because things are just good?

After a perfect day with friends out yesterday we all crashed.  It was perfect!  Yummy food (amazing cobbler w/Cooper Farm Peaches thanks to Lisa), great fun  sliding (thanks to both families for bringing a slip & slide), fishing, running & playing, and just good times talking too!  It was just a perfect day!

This morning we woke up refreshed and the boys quickly hit the pond with fishing poles in hand.  I was given a few quiet moments on the porch reading my Bible, counting my blessings in my gratitude journal, and watching the chickens roam around.  It was perfect.  So much to be thankful for (here are a few):

0950 – boys fishing on the dock before breakfast

0955 – a sleepy little girl cuddling after waking up late

0959 – yummy cobbler from Lisa

0960 – almost to 1000 and starting again with a group of friends reading Ann’s book this summer

Most of all today I am thankful for a little boy’s heart who has chosen to turn it around.  A boy who had me pulling my hair out (or at least turning more of it gray)  just a few weeks ago.  We had a rough many weeks in fact.  Shooting the cat with a BBgun (at close range) throwing another in the pond, shaking the little tree with the bird nest and eggs, just to name a few issues.  So I attacked the heart issues.  Threw myself into Shepherding a Child’s Heart (again), Our 24 Family Way (Clarkson), listening to a Hive of Busy Bees, reading Tiger and Tom, and just plain talking.  Each time we talked though, he would clearly tell me he did not want to obey because he did not want to do hard things.  So then we talked over and over about people who HAVE to do hard things or the consequences they face.  Mainly talking about stories in the Bible where the people faces harsh consequences – Israelites, Jonah, etc.

It worked.  It was/is hard.  But it worked.  I was really amazed by how hard it is though, how much time it takes.  It was breakfast time devotions (consistently), it was talking all day long, it was listening in the car, me reading right before my bedtime, reading stories to them each evening.  It was fulltime – this character training.  It made me realize that I need to be doing it ALL the time.  Not just when we are addressing an issue.  ALL THE TIME.

But it has paid off.  I can see the fruit already in his sweet spirit.  He is so much more obedient and sweet about things.  He still has moments he is disobedient but I can see how he responds to correction is even different than it was.

So I just look at that boy and smile.  I can see God working in his heart and in his life.  I am so thankful for my friends who encouraged me while I walked through this.  The reminders of God’s grace, of his goodness, of the value of all that I was doing.  I know those reminders are what gave me the courage to stick with it all.  And today, we are continuing all those things – the books, the stories, the morning devotions.  I have learned!  I now know that this is an every day thing, not a reactive thing to problems.  The more I invest daily the easier it will be to tackle issues are they come up!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Sometimes I can let life get the best of me.  I can fill up our schedule and we can be running and I am left wondering what happened.  I wonder what happened to the peace in our life?  What happened to my kids being friends?  I wonder what happened to my time, to my sanity?

I love to be in touch.  I am a very social person and I love to keep in touch with friends, with family, with everyone. 

But every once in a while God resets my schedule.  It may happen by choice at times, it may happen by circumstance, or it may happen by pain.  I have experienced all those different types of resets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Love It

I love it when I stumble on something fun!

Love it!

Well, recently Sue from Homschool Chick mentioned Pinterest on her blog.  I was not sure what it was, but figured I could certainly check it out!  (let me know if you check it out & we can connect)

So I signed up after she sent an invite. And I wandered around a bit – like 20 minutes, saw some SUPER cute stuff! Great DIY ideas, cute sayings, and so on. Then today as I finished up a blog post I wandered over again just to bounce around before lunch time.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review : The Seraph Seal


the seraph seal

I love books that can weave some futuristic science fiction, the Bible and lots of action together to form an amazing story! I honestly think that Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner did just that in their book The Seraph Seal!

Multitude Monday

Another Monday to usher in the gratitude!   But honestly, I have been keeping my journal out, logging items each day these past few weeks, so while it is Monday, I feel no more grateful today than I have the past few days – it is a good thing!

But today is when I tally my numbers, track where I am and how far I have to go.  Almost there.  I broke 900 this week!  Woohoo!  To think that I have written down or typed 900 things I am grateful for, makes me feel silly to think I need more.  That I need more stuff, a different something, a newer that – you know.  More. 

I do not.  I can sit here every day and honestly count the many things to offer up gratitude for.  Don’t mistake my joy – my life is not perfect,

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : May 20th


In my life this week...

Depending on when you start your week, I will say that we started our week with a day, Saturday, of selling at the Farmer’s Market! My kids are selling paracord stuff, and I am selling bread, jellies & jams, and some handmade items. We had lots of fun and plan to head back as much as we can this summer!!

We did not do much formal schooling, aside from math. Spent lots of time outside in the garden, a day in town dealing with property taxes, and a day working in the garage with Daddy, cleaning up!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little Disciples

It is amazing how when our hearts are filled to be poured out again, there is so much to pour out!

Sally Clarkson talked a lot about disciple-ing (training & leading) our children instead of just disciplining (punishing).  Sometimes I fail to see that as my role as much as I should.  I know I am teaching them about God, daily.  We read our Bible, we apply it, we talk about it all the time – it is a REAL part of our lives – we live it.

But when they falter, when they fail, when they sin, sometimes I get distracted (frustrated) and maybe look at it like I am just doing a job for so many years and then I will be done.  Their failure sometimes  makes me think I am failing them too.  I am not really but it feels that way sometimes.  Sometimes it is hard to see a boy – almost young man – fail. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Last week I was talking with a friend about our days.  How we spend them, choices we make and so on.  When she stated she did not want to be productive all day.  Made me think.  Made me stop and think, to be honest.  Made me think about it after she left, when I was weeding, when I was doing some other things, and then I still thought some more.

Then, I stumbled on an article about the same topic.  About what we are teaching our kids.

Made me wonder why I strive to be productive all the time – most often muti-tasking to improve my productive-ness.  Why?  Do I do it so I can feel that sense of accomplishment?  Do I do it because I have 4 kids and I cannot keep up?  Do I do it because so often I have been told what I do is not good enough, that I still hear it all the time in my head?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stand Back (take II)

So, since I shared my thoughts on Saturday, I have been chewing on some of the ideas I talked about and a few I did not mention.


broody hen

Coco coming out

potatoes from garden

turkeys on porch

Sometimes I can sense a little guilt creeping into my mind as I walk around our property.  As I sit and feed my chickens from my hand the spinach I just picked.  Or as I sit on the dock and feed the catfish, watching the sun set just behind the trees.  I feel guilty because I know so many people who want this kind of life.   But you know what?  God does not want us to dwell in guilt – at all!  And, this life did not come easy.  It was not handed to us when we were not looking.  We had to take the first step.  I know this is all from God – it was not something we earned – but we still had to make the first move. 

We dreamed.

We not only dreamed, but we gave life to our dreams. 

Gratitude spills forth

How do Mondays arrive so quickly?  The days seem to be flying by.  Of course when we spend hours out in the garden pulling weeds time does seem to disappear – but not the weeds!!

So much to offer up thanks for today.


{0868- 0886 of 1000 gifts in my gratitude journal}

- devotions with attentive kids in the morning

- color and flowers in the yard – makes me smile

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stand Back!

I forget sometimes who I serve.  I forget that He is known for great and amazing things and that my piddly requests are nothing to him, in the sense that it is easy to answer prayers.

Now, I know my God is not a genie, that I go to when I want something.  But, sometimes I forget He is my Heavenly Father, who loves me tremendously and would move heaven and earth for me.  little, me.

I mean, for goodness sake, his beloved son paid my price for eternity.  Wow.

So, I forget sometimes (okay, often) that He really desires for me to lay my burdens down.  To put them at his feet.  And to walk around a “free” woman.

I have not felt very free lately.

Book Review : The Final Summit


The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity


The Final Summit

By Andy Andrews

In this novel, a man named David Ponder is faced with the responsibility to lead a group of history’s best and brightest minds to find the solution that will save humanity from it’s current course of disaster. The Final Summit is a sequel, however I did not read the first, and was able to follow along just fine.

This is a gripping tale of characters, many of whom you know of and a few you have never heard of. Mr. Andrews does an amazing job weaving the characters together in such a way you feel close to them quickly and you can sense the depth of relationships between each of those in the book.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

English (via Latin)

I am sure you can tell I am pretty excited about school next year, I cannot seem to stop talking [blogging] about what we are learning now, what we are doing next year and so on.  This seems to happen every year, I start planning for the next and can hardly wait!

One of the subjects we are going to add (consistently) is Latin.  (I say consistently because this past year we dabbled with Critical Thinking’s Latin book, but it was too “work-booky” for me)  Next year we are using “English from the Roots Up” and so far it looks amazing!

English From the Roots Up 1 with Cards (Help for Reading, Writing, Spelling, and S.A.T. Scores, Volume 1)


I knew I was going to use this with my two older boys (10yo, and 8yo) but after reading the introduction to this book, I realized that I should be using it with everyone – 5 and up!  It is a very gentle approach to Latin & Greek which we love and seem to thrive in.  I love the concept of Latin too because this is the foundation for understanding our vocabulary. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Courageous Christians

Nest year, we plan to use the book Courageous Christians for weekly study. 

Courageous Christians: Devotional Stories for Family Reading


We will choose one person each week and read the story in this book and we will fill in our notebook page (see link at bottom).  I hope to take a few days each week to talk about that person.  A day to introduce them, maybe write their name out on the notebook page, look at their picture, talk about when they lived and what was going on.  Then, the next day read half the story?  I like to leave them thinking and hanging a little.  I want them to want more – to finish it.  But I want them to wonder how it ends.  I want them thinking about that person, trying to guess what choices they made and the results.  For at least a day or so. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Multitude Monday

It is a grand Monday here!  Lots on the “To Do” list but lots of time to do it. 

We have shut the TV off for a month.  That was my Mother’s Day request.  Not sure everyone in the family is thrilled with that, but they will survive.  Surprisingly, Robert was on board the first time I suggested it.  I suspect some tough days will come up but I am excited to see how God teaches us to use the time freed up by the TV being off!!

Still working through all the great stuff I learned this weekend – the speakers encouraging seminars, the books I bought, the wisdom poured into my brain.  I need to take some quiet time today to gather my thoughts, focus the points I want to implement, and pray about where God wants me to go with what I have learned.

For now, as the day gets going I am still counting, counting the good (and sometimes the bad) and reflecting on the many, many blessings poured out over my family every day!  Will you join me in counting?


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reading to Children

What a weekend we have had!!

First, the best part in my opinion, was running up to the Metroplex for the Arlington Homeschool Book Fair!  My oldest boy (old enough to volunteer) went up, spent the night at a friends’, and had a blast!!  We made it to a movie (Soul Surfer), we took a picnic each day (stuck to our “No Eating Out in 2011” commitment), and we saw so many of our friends it felt a little like a reunion!!

Upon arriving I saw a familiar face pull in the parking space behind me.  But our past 2 years has been so crazy I could not figure out from where I knew this face!  Well, Melissa sweetly reminded me where we knew each other from, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear she was thinking about homeschooling her son next year!  Always exciting to see a “new” or “potential” homeschool mom!!

So we talked a few minutes, I gave her MY advice :

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up : May 6th


homeschool journal

In my life this week...

We had our typical week : unpredictable; in the sense that with Robert home some days, we get thrown off schedule.  But I am starting to think there may not be a schedule to be thrown off.  You know?  Like how many times do you need to be off schedule before you consider that the schedule is to be off?

Anyway, we got some school done – we played – and we worked!

In our homeschool this week...

We are wrapping this year up quickly.  We have worked ahead on a few books so we are breezing through these last few weeks before we wrap up for the year. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Multitude Monday

It’s already Monday.  This Monday feels a bit like a Saturday though, since Robert has been working all weekend and is now home for a few days.  It can be confusing around here.

Regardless, today is laundry day, school day, and get back to routine day. 

So it is already after 9:30 and I am not dressed, kids are still “cleaning” their room (its been hours, it seems already), breakfast dishes are waiting and school is yet to start.  Oh well, it will get done.

  We have caught some news this morning, because you know – Osama is dead.  Found that out minutes before we headed to bed last night.  Amazing.  So many men and women have put their lives on the line to stop this man, and many have lost their lives.  Families have been torn apart as a result of stress from this war.  So, today as I celebrate the end of Osama’s life, I mourn for the cost to our troops.  I am so proud of them, all they have done and continue to do for this amazing Country!


Sunday, May 1, 2011


I love to watch my four kids walk down our driveway, leashes in hand, dogs in tow, dragging sticks, or holding rocks.  It is a sight that melts my heart just a little.  They look like a team embarking on a great adventure armed with weapons and animals, albeit a bit disheveled, but still sweet!

Getting this process started can be a bit annoying, honestly, how many times do I have to remind you “we” (you) walk the dogs every day after lunch?  But, once we get past the, “right now?” or the “ahhh, mom” – they merrily go walking down the driveway all together.   They choose, only 2 are expected to go, but the other two rarely miss out – they could hardly stand it if they did miss out!

They love to go walking down our road – they usually take about 45 minutes to go about 3/4 of a mile.  Kids speed.  Investigating time factored in.  And lots of fun.  Sometimes I feel guilty for their chores, not sure why – I mean we all have chores.  No matter our age.  Why not start them early understanding that and taking some responsibility for the world around them? 

Book Review : Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World

Here is another book review for your reading pleasure!

What a great book!

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World


In “Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World,” Dr. David Jeremiah addresses the unrest going on in our country, and really, around the globe, in this amazing book that ultimately points our peace and attitude back to God. He asks “What on earth should we do now?”


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