"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

June 30, 2008

The Christmas gift of 2006....

is finally finished!!!

~And it will be really useful in July in Florida, don't ya think?! ; )

It's far from perfect.
Here's hoping that our dear friend Carlos just sees lots of stitches made with love!


I'm so thankful...

for A/C !!!!

And not just because it is blazing hot right now either! : )

I actually have a brand new A/C unit to be thankful for today because of our dear friend Carlos. He didn't like the fact that the unit we had wasn't big enough for our square footage since we added on to our house. We however, were happy to use an inefficient system and have a family room that was as hot as an oven. Our plan was to just keep using it until it gave up the ghost....
But, he wouldn't have it...
And there is absolutely no talking him out of something once he decides to do it either. : )

He bought a big one and determined that he and my hubby and boys would install it themselves!!!
It didn't matter one bit to him that he and my hubby have no A/C experience.
We haven't come across anything that Carlos can't fix or build eventually.
We joke that our appliances tremble in fear of him and don't dare not work when he is around. LOL

As we have seen him do on many occasions when adding on to our house or remodeling a bathroom or a kitchen, he prayed for divine wisdom on HOW to do it.
And the Lord blessed it! ~At 11:00 pm Saturday night we had cool air blowing out of that unit!

He and my guys were up til 1:00 am every night this weekend doing duct work which meant spending HOT hours in our attic and getting full of fiberglass! Bless their hearts. I called it a night and went to bed when I saw water pouring out of the attic on the wood floor. ~About the only thing I did to help was not complain about the heat. (not sure I even pulled that off, actually) I did resist the temptation to go and spend the night at a hotel. ; )
Our house has totally looked like a bomb hit it for the past 3 or 4 days! Now, I have plenty to do. The kids and I have been working for hours today to get it back to normal and we are almost there. Yay!

Now this was grueling and most of these projects they've done, have been! But the male bonding that occurs is just another added blessing because they all truly have a BLAST together. It's a lot of fun to watch. They joke the whole time.

My hubby was raised in a 'call the repairman' type of family. He has become quite the handy guy over the years with Carlos as his best friend. Our boys have learned some priceless skills from him too. More than I could ever list. It's really pretty amazing to me how confident and handy they are with tools of all kinds. I highly doubt our boys will ever call a repairman when they have their own homes someday. Carlos' example has made a big impact on us. He reminds us that just because you don't know how to do something doesn't mean the Lord can't show you how!

Thank you for EVERYTHING, Carlos!

June 27, 2008

What an awesome list!

You have to go here and read how valuable you are to God.
You'll love it!


June 25, 2008

The message that ends all discussions

Remember the tape recorder I mentioned that is built into the driver's side visor of our van? The one that for some reason records and saves 30 second messages....

Well, I thought I would use it for grocery lists but I never remember to.
I recorded a prayer for safety while driving, on it which seemed like a great use for it.
My hubby recorded a really sweet Mother's Day message for me on it.

Then he had a great idea for another message. We were talking while we were driving and
I had just said "You were right and I was wrong."
He got all excited and asked if I would please repeat that. I knew what he was up to so I was almost laughing too hard to repeat it.
He pushed the record button!!!
And now he can hear "You were right and I was wrong" whenever he wants to. ; )

Voila! The message that ends all discussions. LOL!


June 23, 2008

A whole lot of miscellaneous

I absolutely LOVE summer.
What home school mom doesn't though? ; )

I love seeing the kids do creative things that they don't have time for normally...
I love the phases of interest that they go through.
When the summer began, they had a Monopoly addiction and played it for a week or more.
And then they spent a week with LEGO'S spread all over the place.
Joy spent days making all kinds of cute potholders.
Last week, the boys and my hubby started writing a song and so we heard lots of music in the house.
I've been working on my quilt and it is actually almost done and boy, do I get teased for how long it has taken me to make it. ; ) And I totally deserve it.
This week I'll have to spend a lot of time getting ready for our evaluations which are at the end of the week. And my printer is on the blink. boo-hoo!

We've been cleaning out both of our attics which has been some huge amount of work. This turned out to be really good timing. We didn't think we would have much to donate to the TBQ garage sale fundraiser this Saturday, but it turns out that we DO! Lets hope someone thinks our junk, I mean 'stuff,' is worth buying!

My dishwasher has been driving me crazy and leaving an awful white residue on everything... I pretty much stopped using it and then I found out that because of that we saved $25.00 on our water bill. Woo-hoo! Not bad!

This recipe is a great summer main dish! My hubby loves it.
Pizza Pizzazz Salad (from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 package field greens

4 cups of grape tomatoes (I used roma because they were cheaper)

1/2 red onion

1 15 oz. can of cannellini beans rinsed and drained

1/2 a package of pepperoni slices

4 oz of crumbled blue cheese


And a herb dressing that I was too lazy to make ; ) so I purchased an herb Italian one.

Add all the ingredients and cover and chill for 6 hours. That I didn't read until just now. ha ha

So, take my word for it, its still wonderful if you serve it on the spot. It is awesome as leftovers too!

Joy and I had a blast at the girls retreat! This bunch of girls from our church are as sweet as can be! She and I wore our matching outfits that we bought for the Mother's Day mother/daughter tea. ~She is almost as tall as I am!

The food was great!

The activities were a blast!

But the weather did this every time it was time for the silly string fight...

The speakers were a blessing and the presence of the Lord was there in a big way. What a blessing to see little girls worshipping God and getting touched by His Spirit.



June 19, 2008

Weekend fun!

Joy and I get to spend part of our weekend with a hundred or more women and girls at the Stars Retreat with Missionettes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lots of girly, giggle, godly fun!!!

We are excited! Last year was an absolute blast! I think I'm going to avoid being in the dunk tank this year if possible. Those girls have a good aim! LOL!

We are going to have to miss out on this weekend's TBQ fundraiser which is a painting project. ~And one little girl I know is rather happy about that. ; )

And Sunday,
Nathan and Joy have been asked to play and sing Agnus Dei with a youth choir at another church. Wow!
They would like Nathan to quote a chapter and then share about the TBQ ministry and how and why he memorizes the scriptures.
Would you pray for him about this? Thanks!!!

Have a blessed weekend!

June 18, 2008

Wednesdays in the Word

I love this verse!

"Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another." Mk 9:50

"Lord make us salty! May we influence and preserve the world around us and not loose our flavor."

"For everyone will be seasoned with fire and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves and peace with one another."

June 16, 2008

Our dinner game

A few days ago, when our kiddos were in a great big hurry to eat dinner and go play, my hubby suggested that
we play "Best and Worst."
He wanted a little more table time fellowship with them and this game makes that happen.

We hadn't played it in a long time! I can't even remember where we first heard about this game but its fun.

What you do is take turns going around the table telling what the
"worst thing" was that happened to you that day and then what the "best thing" was that happened to you.

You'd think that since we home school and see each other all day, that this game would be totally boring but it isn't. ; )

I enjoy the window it gives me into each person's heart and how they perceive things.

I think the kids enjoy their turn in the spotlight.

I know that we all enjoy getting a deeper look into Dad's day! His "best thing" is usually coming home to us, which is really sweet. Or sharing the Lord with someone at work, which we may not have heard about had we not been playing this. : )


June 10, 2008

A few of our favorite (homeschooling) things

Here are some of our favorites no particular order:

~I have to start by saying that unit studies are my all time favorite thing!!! I used to make up my own and that was the most fun I've ever had homeschooling. You can't beat studying things your kiddos already get excited about.

~The Little Britches series
One of our favorite read-alouds.

~The Incredible Machine on c.d. rom
Great fun plus its perfect for a unit on simple machines. And don't ya know boys love the chance to do chain reactions that lead to explosions! Yes they do! ; )

~How to Win Friends and Influence People on audio cassette
Whenever I saw this book advertised, I thought it was for salesmen or something. : )
Then our pastor said it was required reading for his children and I had to get it!
Strangely enough, two of our boys will tell you that this is one of their very favorite books on tape!!! Its such a good reminder of the practical ways to 'love our neighbor' and get out of ourselves. Great historical stories that are really enjoyable. We've listened to it twice so far and I think we may do it once a year.

~The Chronicles of Narnia
Our all time favorite read-alouds. We also enjoyed using Roar: A Christian Family's Guide to the Chronicles of Narnia. Right now, we are enjoying Narnia all over again with Focus on the Family's Radio Theater productions of the series. Awesome sound effects and voices! Great fun being loaned to us from a dear friend in JBQ.

~Freckles and the sequel Girl of the Limberlost
Sweet stories. We listened to these on tape. I confess that these weren't my kids favorites but they were one of mine! : )

~The Classical Kids music series on c.d.
My sister in law blessed us with these one Christmas and they kicked off a fun unit that we did on famous composers. These c.d.s are a great way to get to "know" the composers and their music. The series includes these titles:
Mr. Bach Comes to Call
Tchaikovsky Discovers America
Vivaldi's Ring of Mystery
Mozart's Magic Fantasy
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
(We didn't enjoy Vivaldi and Mozart's as well as the others)

~Beethoven's Wig on c.d.
We discovered this fun music c.d. during that study of the composers. It's a great learning tool. One side is famous pieces and the other side has the pieces with silly lyrics added to them that tell who the composer was and something silly that will help you remember that. Now my kiddos know their famous composers and some goofy lyrics to boot. I recently purchased it, not because we are still studying composers but because its so much fun to listen to. (we didn't think the 2nd c.d. was as good as the first)

~Monet and the Impressionists for Kids: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities Great book for a unit on famous artists! It made their techniques come alive and the kids loving trying them. We were drawing willow trees reflected in a near by pond and floating construction paper lily pads in our bathtub. ; )

Those are all that are coming to mind right now. I'd love to hear some of yours if you want to leave a comment or a link!


Homeschooling high school

What I learned this year:

~Homeschooling high school is not as scary as I imagined it would be

~It is excellent practice for college

~Christian songs from iTunes make great rewards for a diligent school week and a great attitude (for only 99 cents!)

~Teaching Textbooks is my mathematical lifesaver!

~Sonlight's Core 100 is great if you have a kid who loves a schedule and wants to work on their own and LOVES reading

~I am spoiled because I have a highly self motivated high school student to practice on ; )

~Co-op type classes aren't for us right now

~Online courses from the school district offer great electives but are MAJORLY time consuming. Never take more than one of those classes at a time

~If a free language course from the public library IS ever offered online again, print out all the tests because you never know when that language course company will cancel the library's contract without notifying any students and you will be left high and dry with no records to show for the work accomplished

~Free time is precious and spent wisely

~I wouldn't trade these years with my teen for anything!


June 8, 2008

My heroes

Joy and Nathan, you both did a beautiful job at your recital on Saturday!!! : )

~Their recital was held in a music store because some students had learned concertos and they needed two pianos.
Nathan played Agnus Dei, (the Michael W. Smith version)
and Joy sang along. It was beautiful.
Nathan loved having the opportunity to play a clavinova. (am I spelling that right?) He said he'd give his left arm to own one. But he'd better not, or then he couldn't play it. ; )
It made Joy's voice sound like she was singing a duet. Very pretty.

They are my heroes! So calm under pressure! (unlike me)
And with hardly anytime in our crazy, busy life to practice, and still they did an awesome job.
Add to that, having to spend a good part of the day in the sun at the car wash fundraiser...
You guys always bless my socks off!

Watching gas go up

Saturday we had a TBQ car wash/bake sale fundraiser for the trip to nationals in WI!

It was hot but fun. The TBQ families are a sweet bunch of people to hang out with even if you are sweating to death. : )

It was kind of a slow morning...
Not too many folks wanted their cars washed. Maybe because they were paying so much for gas...
At about noon a tanker came and refilled the station and then we stood around watching as the owner changed
the price from $3.87 to.....

AHH! It was the first time we had ever seen regular at $4.00!!! And it was rather sad!
When my hubby asked one of our kiddos why he was just sitting around and not holding up his sign anymore, he said "Because I'm mourning the price of gas." ; )
I think I was too!

Now, this turn of events sure wasn't good for our fundraiser!

It became a ghost town and we didn't have anything to do....
When someone did actually stop they usually did buy some baked goods or make a donation which was really sweet.

Now, across the street things were really hopping!
Because the price was....

One of the moms went over to that gas station and talked to the manager who gave the kids permission to sell their baked goods there! Wasn't that sweet?!

It was great! And people were really friendly and generous. (maybe because they were so thankful they weren't paying $4.01 !!!) A couple of people even asked the kids to quote for them.

They ended the day making $270.00 towards the trip. Woo-hoo! Those baked goods were a big hit.

And the minute our fundraiser ended we were one of those happy folks across the street paying $3.85 a gallon. : ) Hopefully, not for the last time.


June 4, 2008

Back from the beach

We spent one night and two fun days at a hotel on the beach with our dear friends the L family this week!

We ate too much junk food and got WAY too much sun...
We played in the pool then on the beach,
then in the pool, then on the beach.....
And then did it all over again the next day. : )

They also spent two nights at our house. So, this week has been like one big party....

The best part was fellowshipping with these precious friends of ours. We love each other like family and you'd think all our kiddos were cousins...

Here is the scoop on our families:

My grandmother and A's grandmother were good friends who went to the same church. Our dads were best friends as teenagers. A is two days older than I am and we've known each other ever since and we were raised in the same church! His sister and I were best friends as teenagers... I think that is part of the fun of seeing how much our kids love each other... A and my (future) hubby were great friends after he became a Christian. When my (future) hubby and I were going to college at a small Christian college in FL, we met M. I wanted to be her friend the minute I met her because she was so on fire for Jesus! There were some people who thought A and I might end up marrying each other someday, but God had other plans... And when M came to visit me in CA during the summer, I told her there was a guy she just HAD to meet...And it was just about love at first sight for those two... It wasn't long after that that the four of us were in each other's weddings! As well as being a preacher, A works for an airline and so we are blessed to see them a least a couple times every year.

I feel so blessed to have such special friends who have known and loved us for such a long time.