Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book review : George Washington Carver

Have you heard of him? 

Do you know the name, but forget the details? 

If you remember any details at all, you are beyond, where I was when I picked up this book.

george washington carver

Today, I stand in awe of a man I cannot remember ever hearing about.  This was not just a great black man. 

No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving something behind.
George Washington Carver

This was not just a great man who rose about slavery.  This was about a man who loved God so much, that he saw God in everything and had a passion to share.

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
George Washington Carver


Yes, he was a black man.  Yes, he rose about the life of the slave he was born into.  Those are not what stand out in my mind, what stands out is that he never looked back, those things never stopped him from doing anything.  He never missed a beat when he was told no, because of the color of his skin.  Instead he decided to prove his worth by simply being amazing.  He did not draw attention in the sense “look at me and all I have done, and I am black” he simply did great things for others.

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver

This book inspired me in so many ways.  It had been a long time since I read a biography, and this, I promise you, is the first of many to come! 

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God.
George Washington Carver

I was enthralled as John Perry led me through the life of this man.  I could not get enough information about George Washington Carver to satisfy my curiosity – I wanted more and more.  I could not keep it to myself either, I was constantly sharing with my dear husband and kids, telling them all about his as I learned it.  I would love to tell you all about it, but honestly I would not do this man justice, and I want you to read the book!!

When our thoughts - which bring actions - are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white, we are in a living hell. That is as real as hell will ever be.
George Washington Carver

I recently heard someone speaking about teaching leadership to our children.  When asked what books that speaker would recommend, he answered that true leaders, good leaders, do not read books on leadership, they read biographies.  When you read a biography, you not only get to learn about what a person has done, you see the character of who they are, you see integrity lived out, you see greatness come alive and it captures you.

Check this book out – or many others in this series of Christians Encounters and see what I mean about diving head first into a great biography!!  You will not regret a page of it, I promise!


Note : I received this book at no cost in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts are my own and sincere.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Does everyone struggle with this?  It would seem to me, that many of us do, too many.

I am nearing the end of a great book I am reading : A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.  As I am closing out this book for a review later this week, I was reading too  much great stuff to just leave it in the book.  I knew I had to share.  Maybe I had to share so it would take deeper root in my heart.

Renee talks so pointedly, in this book, about finding confidence in God.  She talks about triggers that spark our insecurity.  So true!  But not sure I ever look for those.  We need to be on the lookout for those triggers so we can face our issues head on, and see them coming.

Monday, August 29, 2011

“Farm” Life & Clarabell

sunset at the house

So we moved out here, we bought a few chickens. 

new chicks 2010

Then, we bought more chickens. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

How we do it {school}

This is how we do school (with some more detail)……

We head to our school building about 9am, after chores, breakfast, and devotion (Our 24 Family Ways).  Sometimes it is 9, sometimes 8:30, sometimes, when Dad is cutting down a tree it is a bit later…..

(the beauty of homeschooling)

We always start with Math – not sure why, but we have always done this and it works for us.

So, each student gets their math and starts.  Since we use Math U See and I have 4 working with the videos, I think I am going to have my boys watch their video on Sunday so on Monday, Ally is the only one who needs the computer to watch her video. 

Weekly Wrap Up : August 26th

homeschool journal


In my life this week…

We are in week 3/4 (3 for the younger, 4 for the older) and things are going well.  We did have day with the older ones out helping their father cut down a tree.  The time flew by for me with the younger ones!  reminded me of when we just did Year 1! 

We also trekked up to Fort Worth to see my Dad for his birthday this week.  Had a great visit, yummy lunch, and then we stopped and bought J some new pants (he has grown), jeans, and shoes. 

In our homeschool this week…

We are settling into our routine.  This is a good place to be with 5 students schooling in 4 different grades.  I think we have worked out most of the bugs and we are getting everything, I was us to, done.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review : Playing Hurt {for husbands}

If you are looking for a book about marriage, a book your husband might read, this is the book for you!

{See the $50 Amazon gift card give-away at the end too!!}

PH cover (2)

Does your husband watch sports, of any kind?  Did he play sports as a kid, teen, adult?  This is the book for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

walking in the Word



I love it when God speaks to my heart.  Sometimes I get it when he whispers, but really, there is often so much noise in my life I hardly know if I am thinking, hearing, or just being overwhelmed by something NOT from him.

So last week, I wake up at 4am – I choose to pick up tons of guilt to pile on my already tired shoulders.  Yuck.  I shoot out a prayer request to places far away and get a reply from a different time zone.  Then a call.  She has words of encouragement.  She tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.  Confirms what I already suspect but cannot do, yet.

But, still I wonder, is this God telling me to do “this” or is it my guilt, my will, or me?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day In The Life {NBTS Blog Hop}

Well, we are routine based, but not routine/schedule driven.  So, each day is a bit different around here, but the “Not Back To School” blog hop this week is Day in the Life – so here goes….

I try to get up about 6am – this requires I get to bed sometime near the 9 o’clock hour

bible time

My first minutes are spent doing daily Bible reading (my plan), prayer time, gratitude journal entries, and I try to have a cup of tea with all of that

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review : Pieces of Light

If you are looking for a good Christian Fiction Book that will keep you wanting to turn to the next page, this is a wonderful choice. 

Pieces of Light

There is a strong Christian element in this book, maybe a bit stronger than I am used to, but solid and well done.  Julie Cave is very comfortable addressing issues of faith directly and thoroughly.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review : Amish Values for your Family

Hands down, one of the best books I have read this year, and I have read a bunch!



I love how Suzanne Woods Fisher writes this book, the chapters are easy and quick to read.  I enjoyed taking my time with this book so that I could process each chapter and the information it offered.  She takes one idea, that the Amish do well, and writes a story, a description, or an explanation in about 2-3 pages.  These chapters are designed to be easy apply in your own families.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homemade Yearbooks

So, I admit, I am mildly extremely addicted to Pinterest.  If you have not found this amazing website, be warned, and be very careful.  Once you do that  {click & follow me}


If you do that, you will find a world of great ideas, inspiring recipes, and beautiful pictures.  I love Pinterest.

My latest LOVE –> Yearbooks.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What’s Working

Parenting sure has it ups and downs.  Sometimes I think we notice the downs much more than the ups.  Sometimes as moms I think we fixate on the downs, we let them define us.  We fail to see the ups.

I remember when I was in the Army.  The worse our commander was, the closer the staff was, and the more I learned.  (Did you know that we learn more from someone who does not do something well, than from someone who does it well?)   The more notice I took of all my commander did, when that person was less than good.  I never noticed the right things they did, even if they were few and far between.  Frankly, none of us did. 

Thankfully God does not operate like that.  I am so grateful that although I fail daily, He does not see me as a failure!  What a blessing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review : Unveiling the Kings of Israel

I love adding more books to our library!  I especially love books with pictures that will draw my children into them. 

J looking over unveiling

And even more than that, I love books that will teach them about our amazing Creator!  This book has done all of that for not only my family, but my 1st grade Sunday School class too!

Unveiling the Kings of Israel


Monday, August 15, 2011

Student Photo Week {NBTS Blog Hop}

I have to admit, this year I have not been on top of my “picture taking” game.  I do, however, have my handy dandy phone nearby most days, and so I have snapped my fair share of Instagram pics, and iPhone pics in general, so far this school year.

So, as we are in week 2 of school for my Year 1 Gang (2 second graders & a Kindergartener) and week 3 of Year 4 (5th grader and 4th grader) – here are some pics I have grabbed during our day.

Warfare {& Beautiful Girlhood}

As I read through The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood I formed a picture in my head of Warfare. 

This is what it is.  We are in a battle for our children, it is as simple as that.  We are battling for purity, femininity, and modesty in little girls who will grow (too soon) into young women.  If we want to win this battle, we need to learn how to fight.

As a former Army Officer, I know a bit about warfare, even though I was not personally engaged in it.  We still trained, we planned and we equipped.  This book will help you do just that with your young daughter.  A successful warrior knows his enemy, has the proper weapons and has trained sufficiently with those weapons.  (Our main weapon is our Bible, and this book walks along with your Bible through each page of this book.)

Image for product 9780970027306The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood : This is our 32-week Girl's Bible Study for girls ages 9-13. Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide cover many topics specific to this age group focusing on character development. A perfect tool for Mother-Daughter Bible study that strengthens the Mother-Daughter relationship! Also can be used as youth Bible study lessons, Sunday school lessons, home school, and girl's Bible study.

This book is a weapon/tool in this battle.  There are four parts to each of the 32 chapters : Discussion, Bible Activity and Application, Journal Questions, and a section for the actual journal.  This book will help you navigate the book Beautiful Girlhood.  Instead of simply reading that book, this book will help you process through each chapter together, and really grasps each concept as you go.

I love any tool that helps us know what to say, or specifically where to turn in the Bible to support what we are teaching.  This book is an in-depth look at all the character traits we want our young ladies to possess.    The topics addressed in this book  include : friendships, dreams, home life, truthfulness, books, and many more.  I am sure this book will be a treasure to a little girl who goes through it with her mother, as they explore these principles and talk intentionally about so many vital topics, for a young girl today.

I firmly believe that after working through this book, the battle will not look the same to you or your daughter as they did before!  This is a great tool to teach our daughters all about the battles that will wage around her as she grows up, and will help equip her all the days of her life!

I highly recommend this book to all mothers of young girls!!

Note : Pumpkin Seed Press provided this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: The Colonel’s Lady


the colonels lady

I requested this book to review before I thought very much about it.  Had I thought, I may have missed out on a great book.  I am not one who prefers romance novels, however this book was delightful!

I started reading this book thinking it would take a while, I expected to force myself to finish.  Three days later, with tears in my eyes, I closed the book.

I loved the historical element that Laura Frantz wove throughout the story and the characters; her vivid descriptions of not only the frontier they lived in, also the type of  life they led and the food they ate, was captivating to say the least.  The amount of time and energy she invested into researching this story is evident in all the descriptive details and the depth of each of the characters.  The spiritual threads in this story are endearing and inspiring as the characters each learn to trust in God through their trials and struggles. 

Laura Frantz’s writing is very poetic, and her words create vivid pictures in your mind.  While this story has a strong romance aspect, there is some mystery and intrigue as well, which keeps you turning pages, and possibly up all night.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite my expectations and I would highly recommend The Colonel's Lady to anyone who enjoys a great story with some history, romance and intrigue all wrapped in one.


Available August 2011

@t your favorite bookseller from Revell,

a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Note: Revell book did provide my copy at no cost, in exchange of an honest review of the book.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chicks (and more on the way)

ED and chick


ED and his chick

Book Review : Family Illustrated Bible

We are coming to love and adore New Leaf Press and Master Books!  The latest book we have fallen in love with it The Family Illustrated Bible.

While we have many Bibles in our home, we have not had a “family” one that I wanted to keep out, even on the coffee table.  This is the one! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

little boys and Superman

As I am trying to teach my kids Godly characteristics, I wonder if I am teaching them right?  Am I teaching them to strive for these qualities?  Or am I teaching them that the only way they can live them out it to depend on Jesus to fill them up?

We are called to live so that we

continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as [we] were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6b

We are supposed to be strengthened to do everything through HIM.

I am hoping they will figure out that they are not going to choose kindness, forgiveness, compassion, honesty – first.  Not in their own efforts or strength. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Little {Growing} Girls

Oh how I wish I could stop the clock.  I would, honestly I would.  I would stop it and just savor my little girl where she is.  She is our youngest, so I think that is part of it, but she is our only girl too and that adds to my issue.

My issue.  She is growing too fast.  Too Fast!

I remember hearing a woman say that each phase of her children’s growth was her favorite.  I can start to see that.  (I seem to be a slow learner)  I can see how each phase has it’s own wonderful parts, sweet moments, and blessings!  I am not sure every part is my favorite, but as I struggle to keep my little girl little, I am loving who she is growing into!

But, as I want to stop the clock on one hand, I so want to do the time, I cannot stop, right.  I want to raise her with the important things in mind.  I want to look back and know that we did our best, and everything we could.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where we learn {NBTS Blog Hop}

How do I exactly describe where we “school”?  It looks like our front yard when we study nature.  It looks like our kitchen table when we study character and pray and read the Word.

It looks like my children’s bed when they read living books like Black Beauty and The Run-Away Children.  It looks like our living room couch when we savor family read alouds like Queen Sheba’s Ring or The Children of the New Forest.

But, I guess I make more of a question that what is asked.  This is school room week, so here we go…..

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eggs & Chicks

One of  the beautiful aspects of homeschooling is that it never ends.  When we walk we are schooling, when we sit and read we are schooling.  Well, today we experienced some living science!!

We built an incubator about 3 weeks ago.  We were saving eggs for many days, not sure how  many were fertilized (and I assure you they are not all fertilized since many stink).  Then we put them in the incubator and started the clock.  21 days.  That is how long a momma hen sits on her eggs.  So 21 days in the incubator and we should have a chick or two.  Estimated Date : August 9

I expected failure.  Not sure, exactly why.  I forgot to flip them one day and read that was disastrous, so I expected nothing.  I still felt panic at 5 am when I realized that they were not flipped.  But they seem to have survived despite me (there is hope for my kids yet!).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Country Life

File:Country life 1518.pngIt’s been almost a year since we moved out here.  I thought I would share so thoughts….

You know you live in the country when:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up : August 5

Summer-Edition mother journal

In my life this week…

It was up, it was down.  It was good to have some early betimes and that allowed for earlier wake up times.  I love to get up early and have a great good quiet time, and I had that opportunity several times this week.

We started school!  YEAH!! 

We started this week to get things kicked off and give us a week of normal school just us, before A joins us on Monday.  I had low expectations, really just trying to get back into the routine.  It went well.  We hit the ground running, with just  a few bumps.  So, so far, so good!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Courageous {The Book}

If you have not seen the trailer for the movie Courageous, well, you must either live under a rock, or you do not own a tv set or watch movies.

Every time I see the trailer, I cry.  Every. Time.  Here is your chance if you have not seen it….

Why am I talking about this movie? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

marriage and family

Lately I have been thinking about who my children will marry. Maybe it is because I sometimes often get pulled in to watch that silly show Bachelor or Bachelorette. I watch these men or women bring home the girl or boy of their “dreams” and watch the family offer their opinion. As I watch I realize that does not always happen these days, in real life.

File:Wedding rings.jpg

Yet, my heart longs for just that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

NBTS Blog Hop : Curriculum


Oh my!!  It is “Not Back to School” today for me!  Well, really it is back to school.  But not away. 

So today is our first day of school for 2011-2012.  Yeah!! I am so excited!! I can hardly stand it!

But, this Blog Hop is not assuming everyone is insane like me and that many are still prepping.  But I want to join the fun, so I will still share all the goodies we are doing this year!!  WooHoo!  I love schooling these little blessings!!


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