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

June 27, 2009

When time flies

It just seems like yesterday that I began my homeschooling journey...

I have a vivid picture of the beginning of this journey in my mind.
I was teaching phonics to my firstborn son on our patio.
I had a preschooler nearby,
a two year old napping and a baby due at the end of the school year...
I remember glancing over at my neighbor's quiet house. Her children went to school and her housekeeper was sweeping her porch...
I remember trying not to covet her clean house. ; )
~Little did I know that having your house look like a bomb hit it during school hours, was all part of the package.

And then I blinked ....and that same boy, who is now much taller than I am, is preparing to take the PSAT! How did that happen?!
One thing is for sure,
I wouldn't trade our homeschooling journey for anything.


June 26, 2009

In color or black and white

My youngest kiddo just can't seem to remember that I actually had color television when I was a child and I always pretend to be offended.
Today he said:
"Mom, I know that you were born in color
(Too cute! Yes, in living color...)
but you said your favorite show was I love Lucy!"

Well, that explains it then. : )


June 23, 2009


I love the slower pace of life that summertime brings to our days: There is time to stop and smell the roses:

play with Legos and listen to a 26 hour audio book:

Do crazy projects like quilting a map of the United States:

Find a lizard with two tails:

Play our instruments more:
Study for Teen Bible Quiz Nationals:

Knit hats for those in need:

and time for having fun!
Have a happy summer!


June 21, 2009

A birthday surprise

If you think my dog is something else, then you should hear about my elderly neighbor. ; )
I'm teasing...But let's just say that she is a character.
We've been neighbors for almost 15 years now. She says her neighbors are her family. She never married and she doesn't have any family near-by.

Sunday was her 80th birthday!
My family and our next-door neighbors put together a little surprise party for her. She doesn't leave her house for long, so we decided to bring the party to her...
All ten of us, trooped across the street with a cake, flowers, a card and a sign.
We had to knock on her back door more than a few times...
When she finally answered it we all started singing 'Happy Birthday'
and she stood in her doorway crying.
It was a special moment and she was SO surprised.
Then we all crowded into her little house for some cake. -We had to move her urn to make more room for the celebrating.

My next-door neighbor is from Italy and he is SO funny. He had her laughing SO hard it looked dangerous! I'm not sure when the last time was that I had seen her belly laugh like that.
I think he may have put off the need of that urn for a good while since "A merry heart doth good like a medicine." : )
-Here's what he said: "If your health gets a little better this year, we'll take you to the mall and find you a boyfriend. lol


June 14, 2009

Angry dog = new purse, again

There is a difference of opinion among our kiddos about our parrotlet. Some are sure he is "possessed" and others say "he's bipolar." lol

But they ALL agree that our golden retriever, Honey, is 'practically perfect in every way.'

We are all crazy about her. She'll be turning 11 this year. She's starting to mellow out after being quite hyper all these years. : )

She is a wonderful dog except for a wee bit of a vindictive streak that comes out every couple of years or so when we least expect it...

She is so intelligent! And she likes to retaliate when we somehow upset her. It amazes me how precise she is about it too. Here are some examples:

~One day when my hubby was gone too long, (in her opinion) she snipped the cord to my hubby's cell phone charger.

~The first year that we participated in our church's VBS we were away from home from 4:30-10:00 pm every night which she wasn't used to. By Thursday she had enough I guess, because she went into our laundry room and found our VBS shirts and ripped holes in them. Only in the VBS shirts, mind you. And she had NEVER touched another piece of our laundry before that and never has since then.
~One day our son, the drummer, corrected her for something she did. When we came home later in the day we found that she had snipped the cord of his electronic drum set.

Guess what she snips if she's upset with me? The handles of my current purse! I would say in the almost 7 years we've owned her, she's been the reason for about 4 or 5 new purses.

Sunday, I didn't let her come with us when we walked down the street to a surprise party for our neighbor...

Guess what? I came home and found out that not only do I need a NEW purse (and for the first time, I was actually glad for the excuse to buy a new one) ; )
but that I also have a chunk eaten out of the leather cover of -my BIBLE! And I LOVE my Bible!!! Boo-hoo!
It's a really good thing that on most days, Honey is 'practically perfect' like Mary Poppins,
otherwise, she'd be in the dog house for sure. ; )


June 13, 2009

Some almost free summer fun

Visit Kids Bowl Free and see if there is an AMF bowling center near you! They are offering two free games a day for children 15 and under! (the shoe rental is $4.00 per person though)
We went yesterday and had a good time.
The bumpers are still a good thing for my gang. : )


June 11, 2009

A Science Review

Our Thames and Kosmos: Elements of Science kit arrived last week and it did not disappoint.

Our two youngest were thrilled!

You may remember me mentioning (here) that my youngest son is sick of studying mammals. When he saw this huge kit, he said "Now, THIS is science!" -Too cute! : )

Maybe I should start my review by saying that science isn't my favorite subject...

There are two things that disgruntle this home school mom when it comes to science experiments:

#1 When an experiment calls for 'everyday household items' that I don't happen to have. ~That has happened to me so often that it makes me wonder if maybe I don't have an 'everyday household' or something...lol

I was very pleased to see that I actually HAD everything that was not included in the kit for at least the first five experiments. Yay! (that makes for a happy home school mom)

The manual has the items you need to supply italicized, which I appreciated. This kit comes with a TON of items so you are definitely not asked to supply very many. It also has a picture in which all the items are labeled which is super helpful, especially when you are wondering what a 'pipette' is. ; )

#2 When an experiment doesn't turn out right. ~That's not to say that you can't learn from mistakes, but it does tend to be a major let-down for the kiddos. I'd rather not spend time trying to figure out what we did wrong...and did I mention that science isn't my favorite subject? So, I'm happy to say that each of the experiments we tried turned out perfectly! My excited kiddos showed the results to each brother who walked by. I really appreciated the section in the manual after each experiment called "What's going on?" This gave us the scientific reason for our results! The kids enjoyed writing this down in their own words in their notebooks.

I think this is an excellent science kit because my happy kiddos kept redoing the experiments long after I left the table! That just shows how much they enjoyed them and for a mom, that really says it all! : )

My special thanks to All Children's Furniture for the opportunity to review it. Check out their great site! The Arts and Crafts section has several kinds of Thames and Kosmos kits.


June 9, 2009

Love these lyrics

Yesterday, as I was driving one of my kiddos to and from fine arts practice,
(I call this the 'chauffeuring season' of my life, let me tell you!)
I put this song on repeat.
It really ministered to me. Each time I played it a new line blessed me. (even though rap is not usually my thing.) ; )

by Worth Dying For

I’m a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power.
I’ve stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I’m a disciple of His.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sidewalking, small-planning, smooth-knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly-talking, cheap-giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, position, promotion, applause or popularity.
I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience.
I’m uplifted by prayer, and labour by power.
My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my God reliable.
My mission is clear.
I cannot be bumped, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of my adversaries, negotiate at the table of my enemy or ponder at the pool of popularity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, preached up for the cause of Christ.

We will fight for You
We will die for You
We will go
For You

Check out Worth Dying For. They are an awesome worship band and my family's new favorite.


June 8, 2009

This gave me a laugh

One of our kiddos said: "Mom, is that a new shirt? It's cute!"

Me: "Thanks! It was only $3.99!" (gotta love clearance sales!)

Kiddo: (in all sincerity) "Wow, it looks like it cost at least...


~Isn't motherhood fun?! : )


June 5, 2009

We may never eat grilled cheese sandwiches the usual way again...

I know I just shared some recipes the other day, but I just have to share another.

Our boys said it was "the bomb!"And you know a recipe is good when your HUBBY who doesn't like to cook, wants the 'secret' to it just in case I don't make it for him again soon enough. : )
~Only a certain picky child asked for the "peanut butter and jelly option." But 5 out of 6 isn't bad!

It's from the latest issue of Family Circle.

Ham and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese

1 lg. onion very thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. sugar

pinch of salt

4 tsp. spicy brown mustard

3 tsp. horseradish sauce

2 tsp. honey

8 slices of whole wheat bread

12 slices of ham

4 slices of Swiss cheese
(I doubled it for my gang)

Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray (or butter -yum!) Add onions, sugar and salt to skillet. Cover and cook for 10 min. Stir occasionally.

Stir together mustard, horseradish, and honey. Coat 4 slices of bread this mixture. Then top with 3 slices of ham. Place some caramelized onions on top of the ham and then a piece of Swiss cheese. Top with a plain slice of bread. Spritz both sides with nonstick cooking spray

(or butter -yum!) Cook over medium heat until cheese melts.


P.S. One our boys suggested something that he thought would make these even better and I think he's right. Banana peppers!

But aren't all sandwiches better with those?!

Have a great weekend!
And three cheers for SUMMER VACATION!!! : )


June 4, 2009

A crazy night

I've never been one to buy sugar cereals for my kiddos...And so I don't know
what came over me. ; )

~Not only shouldn't you shop when you are hungry but apparently in my case,

hungry + exhausted =
-Which I've never bought before! lol

I came home and told my kiddos that we were having a late night Captain Crunch party!
They were in a mild state of shock. : )
One of them quoted the line from the movie Bedtime Stories when the kids ate hamburgers for the first time...


(but not something I'm planning on making a habit of)


June 3, 2009

More from Oswald...

Here are some of my latest favorite quotes from Oswald Chambers:

"It is much easier to DO something than to trust in God' we mistake panic for inspiration. (Yes, Amen) That is why there are so few fellow workers WITH God and so many workers FOR Him. We would far rather work for God than believe in Him."

"We act like pagans in a crisis, only one out of a crowd is daring enough to bank his faith in the the character of God." (ouch!)

"God's love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God's love to me. Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed. (now there's a cute word)
I get huffed because I have a peculiar person to live with. Just think how disagreeable I have been to God! Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time?"

"It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details or our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us. Have you ever noticed what Jesus said would choke the word He puts in? The devil? No, the cares of this world. It is the little worries always."

"Your god may be your little Christian habit, the habit of prayer at stated times, or the habit of Bible reading. Watch how your Father will upset those times if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes."

"Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you." Amen!


June 2, 2009

Making a child smile

We've been blessed to be sponsors with Compassion Intl. for many, many years now. We think they are wonderful!

We've had 2 children who dissappeared from the program because their countries had a civil war... That was sad. The first one that happened to had been our 'child' for such a LONG time that is was really hard not knowing what had happened to her. Our other child hadn't been 'ours' long when the same thing happened again to him in his country. But, I'm happy to say that our third child has been ours for a number of years now. : )

As much as we enjoy reading our child, Dayana's letters, we are really bad at writing back! I always have guilt because I really stink at the correspondence aspect of the program. (I do remember Christmas gifts but I just don't write regularly) -Until lately!

I think what changed things was when my hubby got really energized about having us pray for her. Then we all started writing her together with everyone adding some imput. When her letters arrive, we read them while sitting around the dinner table. So, we are finally getting better at this after ALL these years!

Our latest picture of Dayana arrived recently and really touched all of our hearts. She wasn't smiling, at all. Her smile became our prayer.

And God answered it we believe. It all happened with something as little as a page torn out of a coloring book! One of our kids had the idea to send one of those in our last letter to her. The next letter that we received sounded like it was from a different child. She sounded so happy and she sent us her love (which she always has done) but this time she added her "kisses." It was so sweet. I hadn't thought about how something so simple could bring her such joy. (maybe because we have SO much and they have SO little)

I'm looking forward to meeting her one day, in heaven where I KNOW she'll be smiling all the time.