Monday, December 15, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......finally!!

I was not feeling the Christmas vibe much at all a week or so ago and so as a result had NO desire to get the tree up or the house decorated. Well, The Principal would not allow the hum bug to set in and last Sunday we trimmed the tree, house and anything else that would stay still long enough. I am so glad we did - it helped run the hum bug off wonderfully ;-)

This morning while blog hopping I saw that BooMama is hosting 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes again this year and I was inspired to participate - I never do these Mr. Linky things because to be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure how they work - and truthfully, I still don't know, but I'm jumping in and going to give it a here without any further delay is our home as it sits ready to welcome those who bless us with their company as we prepare and delight in celebrating the birth of our Awesome Lord & Savior.......welcome.......the stockings are hung.....

I love our fireplace - I have never lived in a home with a wood burning fireplace and have always wanted to cuddle up by the fire with my sweetheart - now I can and it is more wonderful than I even imagined it would be. We completely re-did the mantle and tile on ours right before we were married - many happy memories are tied to this hearth ;-)

When we were looking at houses - I fell for a house that had these cute lighted niches but was otherwise not at all what we wanted - The Principal assured me that he could build me a lighted niche in any house we bought - and he true to his word he did - this is what happens in the niche at Christmas.

Now - this guy - well he does not make an appearance every year - last year he was on sabbatical - Wonder Boy was kind of creeped out by him - but this year I got the all clear - I think he is wonderful and I am glad to see him. Then there is this little man "Elfie" as he has come to be known over the years. He has held a place of honor on the top of my Christmas trees since I was maybe 3 years old - many, many years ago for those who are keeping track ;-) This timepiece is one of my favorite ornaments - no special reason it just makes me smile and feels like Christmas to me somehow.

Santa was given to me by a friend who I truly treasure so this is one of my Christmas treasures now and it has found a regular spot here each year.

This beautiful Christmas cactus was a gift several years ago from my dear sweet neighbor across the street - she called one late chilly fall afternoon and told me that "Grandpa" needed a home that she did not have room for him inside this year - I was proud to give him a place to live - his beauty is a gift that continues to give.

And last but not you have one of these in your tree? We had to re-locate our tree to the room with french doors this year - he's a trip ;-)

That concludes our tour....thanks for stopping by to take a look - please leave a comment and let me know you came by ;-)

May God richly bless each of your families with joy and peace during this wonderful, magical season.

Learning as I go,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is about the gift......the first gift

In our curriculum with Ambleside Online we read a new poem each day. Ambleside has compiled a wonderful collection of poetry which has become one of my favorite parts of our school day - allow me to share today's with you........

Christmas Carol
by Sara Teasdale, 1884-1933

The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine,
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.
The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old,
They brought Him little new-born lambs--
They had not any gold.
The wise-men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.
The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.
The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise-men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.
And Mary held the little child
And sat upon the ground;
She looked up, she looked down,
She looked all around.
The angels sang thro' all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.

Learning as I go,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Test Driving a New Coat

Does it get any better than getting a new coat one night and a snowfall the next morning when you are seven? Based on Wonder Boy's reaction I think not. We ordered a new coat for him from LL Bean which arrived over the weekend while he was visiting his Dad for Thanksgiving. You know the excitement of getting something delivered by the FedEx truck just for you when you are kid is almost uncontainable - well he had me checking the shipping status each day and when we realized that he would not be here when the coat arrived - well let's just say he was not thrilled. He asked us to please not open the coat and just leave the package for him on his bed - no problem son, done deal. SO....when his Dad brought him home on Sunday evening he was barely in the door before he ran upstairs to get his package and unveil his new coat. Great fit -looked sharp - now all he needed was some weather to take it for a spin and he was all set.
The following morning as we were finishing breakfast we were looking out the window and noticed the rain was getting solid looking - eureka!! MOM IT'S SNOWING!!!! CAN I GO OUTSIDE ????? Ok son, just for a few minutes we have to get started with school for the day (what an old stick in the mud I am I know - I grew up in Canada and really didn't understand how big of a deal this was at the moment - after all - it wasn't real snow). He was ready in a shot and out the door - he got as much snow as he could in the 17.43 minutes that it snowed and had the time of his life. He came in rosy cheeked and announced in no uncertain terms - "That is the most fun I have had in my seven years of life". Wow. If only I had known - I have access to snow and places to stay every winter - it's shameful - what kind of Mother am I?

3 in 1 from Coat LL Bean...............................$80.00
Snowfall from Heaven....................................Gift from Father God
Most Fun of Wonder Boys Life .....................Priceless

Learning as I go,

Monday, December 1, 2008

One More Thankful Thing.......

I know, I know, I am in denial !! It's time to prepare for Christmas....ok and I will BUT - before I forge forward - I just have one last thing to share. Wonder Boy is all about a party - the planning, the decorating, anything that he can contribute on a crafty or creative level - count him in! He did a great job coloring this pilgrim gal this past week during our mini unit study about the Pilgrims, the Mayflower and the roots of Thanksgiving. He really enjoyed learning about how the Pilgrims lived and about the Wampanoag Indians, but of course we had to "make" something that we could share - that is the most important part of the planning - there has to be a gift or a card or food of some kind to share with others ( I love his heart!!).....SO...we made these yummy Pilgrim Hats that Wonder Boy was able to take to his Dad's house and share with their family while he was there over the weekend. They were great for The Principal and I as well ;-) They are really good slightly cold from the fridge by the way!! OK - I'm ready now - look out Christmas here I come!
Learning as I go,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Abundant Thankfulness Abounds

If you know me or know even a little of my testimony you know that I am one of the blessed ones. God has painted a beautiful landscape in my life that echos what Joseph says in Genesis that what the enemy meant for harm/evil God will turn to His good purposes - I have seen it over and over in my life and I AM THANKFUL - for it is by His Grace Alone that I am who I am, doing what I am doing and living the life I am living ~~~~
In that vein let me share with you some of the many things for which I am thank filled to overflowing ~~~~
For a godly man who loves my son like he is his own.
For a wonderful man who leads our family in kindness and gentleness.
For a husband who loves me with the kind of love that every little girl's heart desires.
For a husband who gladly goes to work everyday to provide for our family.
For a husband who supports, encourages and embraces me being at home to take care of our family, home and hearth.
For a best friend who continues to amazes me in his ability to put up with me and my goofy ways.

Above all - a man who loves God and seeks him in all things.

For a child who gave me the courage and drive to fix what was so sadly broken in my life when giving up seemed the easier option.
For a boy who makes me laugh when I feel like I have no laughter left.
For a son who has me chasing my tail most days but getting up ready to do it again each morning.
For a little boy who loves his Mommy with the kind of love that God seeks to receive from his children.
For a son who gives silly a whole new definition;-)
For a living breathing example of God's miracles in my life each day.
For a child whose heart humbles me and makes me know that I am called to a much higher purpose than laundry and cooking.
For a child who had taught me that Mommy's hugs and kisses really can heal all kinds of boo boos.
And last but certainly not least for my family - the kind I never had, always wanted but never dared to hope for - I am so blessed and oh so very very Thankful ;-) God is so good, so very very good!!!

Learning as I go,


Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold Mornings & Hot Love

With temperatures dipping below freezing mornings are c-o-l-d here in the sunny south (being Canadian I ought to know) it's time to break out the heavy artillery to fight the cold - not many things work better than a little hot love on a cold morning.......

Hot Love

A hot bowl of hot love is a great way to chase away the morning worked for us this morning ;-)

3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium Granny Smith (or other tart variety) apple, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cups 7-Grain cereal (the flaked variety works well)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons flax seed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bring water, salt, apples, raisins and cranberries to a boil in a large saucepan. Add cereal. Stir and reduce heat to medium. Stir in walnuts, flax seed and cinnamon. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.Makes 4-6 bowls. Serve with brown sugar and a little milk. Refrigerate leftovers.
Now I for one tend to not follow a recipe exactly - I use them more as a guideline - so I would add to this recipe and say - throw in anything else that sounds good. We like a little milk and brown sugar or maple syrup on top - this will keep you fueled through the morning!!
Learning as I go,

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Tybee Birthday

You need a little background to understand how we ended up in Tybee Island for my 44th Birthday - counting backwards the last 4 birthdays have been .....well to be honest pretty lousy for one reason or another. The Principal has tried so hard to make them happy and memorable - they have been memorable -but well, I'll leave it at that. It seems something always finds a way to spring up and attack on that "special day" so this year The Principal decided to take matters into his own hands and get us out of town - distraction being the method that would lead to a successful natal day !!
We like lighthouses - Tybee has one. Wonder Boy had never been to the ocean - Tybee has one. We love to Letterbox - Tybee has several - it was a done deal - the plan was in place - I was going to turn 44 yrs. old in Tybee Island, Georgia ;-)
We spent 4 great days on Tybee Island - we climbed the lighthouse - which was a blast - what a great view of the ocean - makes you aware of how small we are and how big God is.We visited Fort Pulaski and Fort Screven (the first photographed baseball game in the US was taken here during the Civil War) which date back to the Civil War and of course snuck a little homeschooling in while we were in the area ;-)
Tybee is a really neat place - time almost stands still - it is very unaffected by modern day USA if you knw what I mean - life seems to be very simple and self contained on the island. There is very little influence from large corporate America, the homes are funky, people ride their bikes everywhere - I almost felt like I was not in the United States at all. One other thing we noticed as we explored around the island was the huge population of fat happy cats that seemed to greet you everywhere - well not really greet you so much as look at you while lazing happily in the sun on porches and verandas all over the island.
On my actual birthday we did some letterboxing and shopping and while we were in one shop we met a little fellow who was to become a member of our family. A lady who owns a gift shop in Tybee takes in strays and adopts them out to homes across the country - she says that cats have gone as far as California and that there are cats all over the USA named Tybee & Savannah (which is about 18 miles from Tybee). Over the next few days I could not get the story of the 2 kittens that had been found in the marsh after what they think was an alligator attack on Mom and the rest of the litter. I made a few comments to The Principal - well not really comments so much as "meows" and remarks like - "don't forget we need to stop on the way off the island to pick up my birthday present". This went on playfully for a few days and I really was only half serious - still I could not shake the thought of the kittens and their story. Apparently I was not the only one, because the morning we were leaving when I made a comment with only a note of seriousness in my tone - The Principal surprised me when he said "We can get one of those kittens if you really want one" - picture me standing there in a shop with my mouth hanging open and trying to smile at the same time. We didn't even know if they were still there but after a brief discussion we determined that if we were supposed to adopt one they would be waiting for us when we left later that morning. Well....they were both there and funny as it seems now (I really wish sometimes that we had gotten them both) we took the "girl" and headed to Huntsville, happily with "Tybee" in our care. It is with great pleasure I introduce to you - our little boy Tybee ;-) Yep turns out she is a he - good thing Tybee works both ways - we had a hard enough time calling him him when we found out!! lol
He has completely captivated us in the few short weeks that we have been home. He is the best cat I have EVER had - sweet as he can be and fits in like an old pair of favorite blue jeans. This is by far the best souvenir /birthday gift I can imagine!!

Learning as I go,

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yogurt Making Adventures

After being away I suspect it will take a little bit for me to get my blogging groove to return - in the meantime I thought I would share some short posts and just let you know some of the things that have been eating up my time. I have learned to make yogurt!!! Really - I know that sounds nuts to some of you, but in my continued effort to change our family over to a healthier way of eating in 2008 I have determined to cut out artificial sweetener and make things from scratch with whole foods and wholesome ingredients where I am able.
I have been baking all year and have only bought a few bags of hot dog and hamburger buns from the store. I keep fresh baked muffins (now made with homemade yogurt) in the freezer for The Principal to take for breakfast at the office - now I am sending him with yogurt for dessert at lunch. I do have to tell you he was VERY skeptical but told me just this evening how much more he likes my yogurt than the store bought. I have made peach yogurt with fresh peaches that I froze back in the summer and have pureed them to flavor the yogurt and then used either agave nectar or pure maple syrup to sweeten it. I have also made sour cherry vanilla and sour cherry almond both using sour cherry preserves that we got when we were in Amish Country last fall - all have which have been great!!
This machine was just over $20 and whips up a one quart batch of yogurt in 4 - 6 hours depending on your tartness preferences. It really is easy and oh so much healthier. The adventures around here never end.......

Learning as I go,


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Where Oh Where Have I Been?

I had a friend ask me at church a few weeks ago "Are you ever going to blog again?" So to answer your question dear friend - I am - I'm back - and it is good to know that my absence was noticed ;-) So where have I been ? Well you know that thing called Life? It has been consuming my time - can you imagine?!?!?!
We started 2nd grade with a new approach through Ambleside Online and it took a while to get our groove - now I am pleased to say we seem to be grooving ;-)
The other main contributing factor - can I be terribly honest with you all? I have not been too chipper and just haven't had it in me. Refer back to that "Life Thing". So everything is all better and my chipper is back in alignment right? Nope. However, I have found my way far enough out of the pit to realize that the enemy of my soul is delighting in my funk and I cannot allow that to continue a minute longer!! I make no promises other than to say - I'm going to make an effort to make an appearance a little more regularly again ;-)
To those who have checked and found me gone - please keep checking, and should you find me gone - check again - it's good to be accountable ;-)

Learning as I go,


Thursday, August 28, 2008

SHE Revolution - Seeking His Embrace

Ladies, can I take just a moment to invite you to the women's conference at our church in a few short weeks ? This year we are stepping into new territory and I KNOW that God is going to show up!! I hope you can too!
SHE Revolution is destined to be a life changing event - join us September 12th through 14th as we link arms and Seek His Embrace !!!

Lifting His Name for His Glory,


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Movie With A Message of Value

Having grown up in a single parent, and in later years a home struck by divorce, it should come as no surprise to you that I have a divorce in my life. I spent a period of time as a single parent and thought that was ok - that I would do what I needed to do to raise Wonder Boy the best I could on my own. It wasn't until after a few years of marriage to The Principal, that I really, I mean really from the depths of my soul really understood the impact and sanctity of marriage and what a truly precious God given gift it is.

In all honesty (and hindsight) I should not have married my first husband - it was for all the wrong reasons - Wonder Boy is the blessing that defies explanation through the pain and trials of that marriage and consequent divorce. I don't think it was a "mistake" as much as it was a training ground - God was growing me up and teaching me things that would later equip me to reach out in love and be able to minister to those women who were in hurting abusive situations and be able to love on them with a heart of understanding and not judgement. I guess what I'm trying to get to here is to say this - Marriage Matters!!! Our society has perverted and cheapened marriage to be something disposable and even ungodly by in some places being recognised between two members of the same gender. Marriages - between a man and a woman as God designed them are worth saving !! Our fast paced society with it's "feel good, me first mentality" has forgotten that. Fireproof brings that reminder home it would seem. I applaud anyone or anything that takes a stand for the family as God designed it in this day and time. Even though we rarely go to the movies (aside from kid's movies and even those are few and far between - I cannot honestly tell you what the last adult movie I saw at the theater was) - I told The Principal tonight that I want to reserve a date night at the end of September when this movie premieres. Get the word out - let people know - there is a movie in the theaters worth supporting!
One of the things that I came across in reading a little about this movie really impressed me - Kirk Cameron (of Growing Pains fame ) who plays the lead role in this film, out of honor and respect for his vows of marriage to his wife Chelsea, has committed not to to kiss any other woman while filming a movie. Cameron brought this commitment to the makers of this film who respected his conviction and had Chelsea put on a wig and stand in during the kissing scene. So when you watch this movie, rest assured Cameron is kissing his real-life wife. I think it's stand up that the makers of this film are "walking the walk" .... if only that were contagious in society today - part with a little hard earned money to support this film - I don't see how you can go wrong!!
Stepping down from soapbox - until next time !

Friday, August 22, 2008

Adventures with Paddle-to-the-Sea

We are using 3 different Holling C. Holling books this year as part of our 2nd Grade Geography. Our first adventure begins with Paddle to the Sea - we are loving this one and imagine my delight and Wonder Boy's excitement when I stumbled on this great looking "Paddle" look a like - last one , on clearance at Target a few weeks ago!! I love a great find - but it's hard to beat a great find at a great price!! We promptly made the necessary adjustments to our beloved Paddle as you can see - it worked out pretty dog gone well.

I don't know about the rest of you homeschool Mom's but let me tell you - this was a big coupe for me. We are really enjoying the story, while learning about the Great Lakes and Northern Regions of North America- Wonder Boy gets a little history thrown in by yours truly as the story begins in Canada, and being the son of a Canadian transplanted in the Southern US there are things he ought to know - so I am getting my time and money's worth out of dear sweet Paddle. The next adventure takes us to Holling's book Tree in the Trail - any suggestions would be most welcomed ;-)
Blissfully Homeschooling Today,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The "It" Factor - Need to be Encouraged & Inspired ?

I received this opportunity via email and just had to share it with you gals!! Kathy Butryn (who incidentally hails from my hometown of Toronto, Ontario, Canada) is hosting a complimentary (yes ma'am free) online seminar this coming Saturday August 16th. Kathy is a Life Coach, Speaker, Writer & Instructor who loves her Heavenly Father and does all she does under His guidance and anointing.
The seminar which will take place in 4 sessions throughout the day is to help you -women- wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends to - Discover Your Goals; Stick to Your Priorities; and Build Organization into your life - sheesh who can't use help in those areas!! I have "attended" several of these online events and have come away recharged and refueled every time without fail. SO.....if you have a little free time to pop in and join in on Saturday, and I hope you will, I know you will be glad you did ;-) Everything you need to get involved is located here. Godly women getting together to encourage and edify one and another - personally, I think it makes for a great Saturday!!

In Him,

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Are You Ready For School to Begin?

Ready for the New School Year?

Check out Cindy Rushton's New Organized Mom Super Set!
Great ebooks Audio Mp3's Planning Pages
Plus! When you purchase your set you get MORE help with record-keeping, organization, and setting up your home to learn--you also get access to Cindy's Organization 911 Seminar Set and her newest seminar set, Let's Get Organized for the New School Year. Yep! Both! Complimentary! Get your set here:
If you are anything like me - you welcome all the help you can get when it comes to being organized and on top of things for school !! Cindy has so many wonderful resources that will bless your homeschool and your life - visit her website and look around, you will see many goodies to add to your wish list I'm sure!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Breakfast For Two / Breakfeast Pour Deux

We had a lovely little(petite) breakfast this morning I just had to share with you because it was so much fun and I would not ever want to be a fun hog!! First of all, we started French the other day and what fun we are having - my poor little boy - French with a southern accent is going to be a little bit of a challenge. I took French all through school growing up in Canada that is just what you do ;-) So this is a refresher course for me and I pray I am able to impart some of the pronunciation that I was always good at in my younger days - I am a little rusty and a little southern myself at the moment but have no fear I will parlez vous francais like an old pro in no time!! OK - on to the breakfast. This was our last morning alone - we pick The Principal up in just a few short hours (WOO HOO - I have missed him terribly and have been praying and thinking about all the wonderful things that he contributes to our lives - just by way of a side note - hee hee), so anywho, I wanted to make this morning some special Mommy & Wonder Boy time. I had a DVD that I borrowed from the library yesterday with several of Robert McCloskey's books on it - Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal and several other classics and I wanted to make a living room friendly breakfast that we could nibble while we watched the DVD. I saw this somewhere in my travels and really don't remember where, but it was in the memory banks somehow and I was able to retrieve it this morning to make for a lovely and memorable time for Mother (la mere) and son (le fils).

This gastronomical delight included red (rouge) and green (vert) grapes as well as fresh peaches, cheddar cheese chunks, golden delicious apple and raspberry yogurt for dipping. This would also be great for lunch, with veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, nuts, dried fruits - the possibilities are limited to your imagination only. It would be a fun way to put salad toppings on the table so everyone could customize their own salad - kind of like a portable salad bar. This idea would also lend itself well to picnics - all kinds of great little munchies would work great in here! I'm thinking if such a thing as a pretty muffin pan exists and I'm sure it does this would be a fun way to serve appetizers at a casual type gathering - but what I think would be wonderful, really is ice cream toppings for your next ice cream sundae party - not only will you win favor with the party theme but you get extra points for cute presentation!! Just a thought or two - these things swim around in my brain and every once in a while I need to release some pressure - that done I feel better !! Please share any muffin pan plans that you may have - no telling the creative, wonderful ideas that are out there and because of this post I now have some room for more!

Bon Appetite !


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Challenge You !!

The Principal is going to be going out of town on business - he will be gone almost a week - the longest we have been apart since we have been married. I miss him already!! In thinking about him leaving and being filled with all kinds of emotion I of course have resolved to keep him covered in prayer while he is away from home. I pray for him as part of my regular prayer time, but not the kind of prayer that I would classify as "out of town, away from home prayer". This has gotten me thinking - one of the largest contributing factors to the breakdown of healthy whole families today is the lack of men stepping up to their role as head of their households. As women we instinctively nurture in most cases, but men have in many homes been emasculated and dishonored in their roles of husbands and fathers. This is, in my opinion a generational curse that is at the root of many of the problems that we suffer from in society as we know it today!! Ok - that is a pretty bold and loaded statement but one I believe to be true. I feel that there is a call from the Lord to bring men back to their God destined roles as head of their homes. As women, what can we do ? What role do we play? Oh my, the possibilities abound!! We are called to under gird and support, to love, honor & cherish (that should sound familiar) and to be help meets to our husbands. Life gets busy and our days are full, but if you really stop and break it down and think about it - how can we have a godly home without the leadership of our husbands in their rightful place.

SO....the challenge ? Pray - really pray- daily, everyday - "out of town, away from home prayer". I came across a website that challenges a 30 day period of prayer, during which time they will keep you encouraged and inspired via email. I have signed up. I challenge you to do the same. Just think about what could happen if wives would pray for their husbands, rather than complaining about them to their friends and family members ( this by the way seems to be in epidemic proportions), if we lifted them before our Heavenly Father daily and sought His favor on their lives. If we were encouragers to them, if we did little things to inspire them to seek to grow in their roles of husbands and fathers. Ladies, are you with me here? Can you see what this could lead to? Healing, wholeness, strong families, my goodness, the potential is limitless!!

So please consider my challenge, and if you do choose to join me and I pray that you will, please let me know that you are standing with me on this - what a blessing that would be if we can encourage each other in our prayer journey!!
Our role as wives is well defined......The Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

Thank you for allowing me to share what is on my heart, I pray it stirs you to action ;-)

Seeking to Reflect His Goodness,


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mothers .........Be Encouraged

In my inbox this morning was a wonderful message of encouragement from Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies - a message I felt led to share with you here. If you are not familiar with this ministry - I would strongly suggest that you visit their site and look at the wealth of information and resources they offer. This ministry has been an enormous blessing to me in the years that I have been home with Wonder Boy and learning to follow and answer the call that God has placed in my heart. Above Rubies publishes a wonderful magazine which you can request via their website as well - it is free and you can request additonal copies to share with others - I cannot tell you how I delight in a new issue and how many times I return to old ones to look up something I have read or refer back to for one reason or another.
By Nancy Campbell

Revelation 3:11, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

When God appeared to Moses as I AM THAT I AM out in the backside of the desert, He commissioned him to deliver the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt . But Moses was fearful to take on such a task. He had no strength of his own to accomplish it. God then said to him, "What is that in thine hand, Moses?" (Exodus 4:2).

What was in his hand? A shepherd's rod. Nothing fancy. Nothing powerful. Just a simple rod he used each day to guide, prod and protect his flock. God took that plain shepherd's rod and made it a mighty weapon in Moses' hand. Whenever he stretched forth the rod mighty miracles happened. It released the plagues upon the Egyptians. It showed forth God's mighty power.

Sometimes you wonder what you are doing in your home. Your friends have high-powered careers and are raking in the money. You are trying to make ends meet from day to day. Your family remind you that you are wasting your life and your education.

But what is in your hand? It is the rod of motherhood. It may look insignificant, as Moses' rod did, but it wields a mighty power. Motherhood is the most powerful career in the nation. As a mother, you determine the course of the nation. You are in God's hands preparing your children for the purposes God has laid out for them before the foundation of the world. This is a top notch job. It is high powered!

Mothering is your crown. It has been invested in you by God himself. It is your anointing of womanhood. It is your authority. Do not take off your beautiful crown of motherhood to allow someone else to mother the children God has given you. Never let your crown go. Hold on to it. Lift your head high and be proud of your divine calling.

You may be going through circumstances that cause you to feel like giving up. You feel an utter failure. This mothering business is not working out. Your children are giving you heartache. Do not give up. Do not take off your crown. Rise up in the anointing and authority that God has given you as a mother. Do not let your circumstances rob you of your crown.

Do not let other people rob you either. Do you notice that this Scripture says that man will try to take it from you? Those who are ignorant of God's heart for children will speak negative things into your life. Those who are deceived by this world's philosophy will try to lure you away from your high calling. Do not be swayed by what people say. Do not let them take your crown. Hold on to it tightly.

Do not for a moment be intimidated by your antagonists! (Philippians 1:28)



"Lord, I thank you that you have given me the crown of mothering. Help me to see that it is a crown to wear and be proud of. When I wear this crown I am walking in your perfect will. Amen."


Mothering is a crown I wear with dignity.

I pray that this message encourages and blesses you today as you answer God's call for your life and continue to grow into everything He created you to be !!

Much Love,


Monday, June 23, 2008

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

Do you ever feel lonely? In the busyness of our lives with the crazy schedules we keep and the demands that are put on us as wives and mothers it seems ridiculous that we would ever be lonely. I have been pondering this for several days now. I believe that God is walking me thru a lesson(healing) on friendship. I recently walked thru a whopping lesson(healing) in humility, the wound is still quite raw actually, but My Father knows what I can bear and it seems He has chosen a 'time such as this' when I am humble and pliable to work on me a little more in an area that healing is needed. I have friends, don't get me wrong, like me, many of them have busy lives and for a variety of reasons we are no longer able to connect the way we once were and I find myself lonely and craving that kind of connection more and more lately. God is faithful and he knows the desires of my heart and in that he is stirring things in me that will lead me to where he wants me to be. I wholeheartedly believe that the Lord brings people in and out of our lives in his timing and we need to be obedient to what he is working on getting in us and through us in the people that come and go in our lives.
Sometimes, we are hurt in friendships when we are not valued the way we feel we need to be or want to be and that is hard, sometimes, we are more anxious to pursue a friendship than the other person, whatever the hurt we may suffer - God places in us a desire to be in fellowship with others. We are called to edify and encourage each other and I think that if we view friendship as ministry to others rather than what it can do for us the blessings of friendship will be abundant and life long. When we are children, we grapple with the intricate balance of maintaining friendships, being liked and accepted in the cruel world of school - that could be confusing and not a whole lot of fun at times. We all have stories of hurts that we have suffered at the hand of thoughtless or selfish classmates, on the flip side we all have sweet memories of friendships that were monumental and life changing - that is God's plan!!!
So as I get ready to venture out and follow what My Father is stirring in me to do, I am uncertain but know that He has it all well in hand and I will give it all I can to embrace the adventure and be a blessing to those whose paths cross mine - they may need it more than I do ;-) The saying that keeps coming to mind goes something like "you have to be a friend to have a friend".
I challenge you today to reach out in the love of friendship to let someone you care about know they are precious to you - they just might be lonely and need a lift!!

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiples kisses.

Proverbs 27:6

In His Love,


Monday, June 2, 2008

Daily Homeschooling Freebies - All Summer Long - WOW !!!

There are some things that it just isn't right that we keep them to ourselves - this is one of them!! In my blogging travels today I came across a homeschool blessing. Free Stuff ;-) Sound too good to be true ? Maybe this is one of those rare times that is not the case - check it out for yourself.....

Here’s how it works........Every weekday, Monday thru Friday, a new freebie is posted on the site. These freebies will include things like games, lesson plans, unit studies, samples, classic books, audio programs. Many of these will be products that you would normally pay for on their regular websites… but at The Homeschool Freebie of the Day they are 100% free… at least for that one day! Just download your copy and enjoy! It’s as simple as that!

I just downloaded a 52 page pdf file A Beginner's Guide to Birdwatching - A Quick Start Guide for Homeschoolers - that was today's what are you waiting for - go see for yourself.

Be Blessed in Your Homeschool Endeavors,


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Goodbye 1st Grade - What Mommy Learned

I wish I could tell you that we were done with school and ready to kick summer into full swing - sadly that is not the case. I have been the target of a "con" - you may have fallen victim to it in your homeschool from time to time as well - it sounds something like this "Mommy - can I do these sheets later?" spoken so sweetly with that blue eyed freckle face pleading for all it's worth. There are times when resistance is futile - so we have a little more to do before we put 1st grade to rest. Wonder Boy may have won this round - but I have learned much this year and he better come at me with more than sparkling eyes and toothless grins next year - this Mommy Teacher isn't budging an inch next year. If it's on my lesson plan for the day it is getting done by golly !! Ok - I don't completely believe myself either - tee hee - BUT- I will not let it slip as far. I mean look what I'm up against - these are powerful little puppies!! So with just a little bit of work to finish I am so looking forward to summer vacation - we are going to do some F-U-N stuff at our house this year!! We are going to clean out closets, paint rooms and re-organize our school set up - Wonder Boy is a very blessed child - what a shame there are no siblings to share in the joy!! I really do have big plans to get organized for the year ahead so that we are ready for even greater successes in 2nd Grade. At long last I have my curriculum decisions firmly in place and am ready to go forward - all I have to do is get organized. Oh and work on my book - yes I am working on a book - how's that for accountability posting it on my blog? Stay tuned on that one....once all the painting is done, files are filed, lesson plans prepared and pencils organized and sharpened, oh and I finish my book, I plan to have some quality Mom & Wonder Boy time.

We are currently "living like no one else so later we can live like no one else" so our summer fun is going to consist of lots of creativity and good ole fashioned frugal fun. Wonder Boy loves crafts and artsy pursuits that we don't always have time for - we shall paint and sing and play this summer, we shall laugh and dance in the rain (in fact today my neighbors if they happened to be looking probably confirmed their suspicions about the weird homeschool family when Wonder Boy & I were out in the front yard as a rather nasty storm was moving in circling our beloved birch tree like 2 carefree airplanes - complete with sound effects) and on the rainy days when we choose to stay dry - there is the Free Family Film Festival - does it get any better than that???

Now - I personally would not recommend every movie in the summer line up - but there are a few that I hope hit on rainy days. Take a look and mark the site - just in case you get your closets get finished early likemine are going to !!

Here's wishing you and yours a summer filled with fun, laughter, memories and just the right amount of accomplishment.

In Him,


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We Are Trying Something New....What About You?

Let’s Try Notebooking
By Cindy Rushton

Notebooking … ahhh, just the thought makes me hyper! If I could ask every homeschooling family to do just one thing, it would be to just give notebooking a try. This is the one technique that pulls everything together—studies, research, real life, personal interests—everything! It reaches even the most reluctant writer! It makes homeschooling fun and easy! Who wouldn’t want to try that?

Not just that! Everything that normally clutters up the busy homeschool home can be tucked away into a notebook! All of those precious narrations can be safely protected in notebooks. All of those daily copywork lessons can find their home in notebooks on each of the topics that your children love so much. Even those awesome handouts that you have piled up from field trips can find the perfect home in your notebooks! Homeschooling is recorded. An heirloom is built!

Want to Give It a Try?

Getting started is as easy as ABC. Let me take you through the easy steps:

1. Gather your supplies. Your supplies can be as simple as a three-ring binder per child, plastic sheet protectors, and a pencil per child. You can make this as simple or as crafty as you like! Over the years, notebooking has worked so wonderfully in our home that we are constantly on the lookout for different and fun supplies during our daily notebooking time. By doing so, our daily lessons are as fun as a scrapbooking party—every day! If you have no idea where to begin, see our shopping list on for quick ideas on supplies that work great!

2. Make your supplies accessible. Set aside a place for your material and a place for your children to work. There is something wonderful about having a place fore everything and everything reliably in its place. The work in the beginning is well worth the time during the school year. We have a shelf that contains books that I find along the way with great copywork that I would like for my children to add to their notebooks on those “no ideas are flowing” days. Just having everything there, ready to go, is such a blessing on those busy mornings. Plus, I have learned over the years that this is the best way to really utilize the resources that I have on my shelves.

Just file away any pages or pictures in either manila envelopes or file folders. If the children know where they are, they are more than likely to use them on their own. Also, you will want to use anything else that you have in your home. I keep our paints, papers (plain and colored cardstock and 20 lb. paper; writing paper, etc.), glues, templates, cutting utensils, rulers, markers, pens, pencils, etc. on a shelf and in plastic bins by our dining table (where we do our daily lessons). They are in their spot and that spot is close by. If we want to encourage our young writers, we must give them free access to the best materials.

3. Turn your children loose! Yep! This is all that is left! Inevitably, when I teach workshops on notebooking, I can almost see the brains of mothers clicking away with one tough reality—“If only I had more time to do this!” Oh, beloved! Notebooking is not another thing for you to do! The hard part is learning what this is all about and how to get everything together so we can turn our children loose!

When we began notebooking, I copied a Bible verse a day as a model for my son to copy. As he copied his verse, he would place his page for the day in a plastic sheet protector and add it to his notebook. The next day, his page for that day would slide in behind that page. The next day, he would add another page in another page protector. We built the entire notebook; not specific divisions or subjects. We chose not to divide by subjects because we wanted a nice full “product” built over time. As we added to the notebook each day, I could see the delight building in my young writers. they would sit and just flip through the pages. They loved seeing success. They loved seeing the notebook build up.

As time went on, my son began to find and copy poems that he liked, songs from the church hymnal or from his history lessons. He began a collection of art prints. He added maps that highlighted journeys. At the end of the first year, we had a bulging notebook and a young writer who had gone from reluctant to really excited! The notebook quickly became “his own” notebook. At the end of the year, we divided our notebooks (there was no room to add anything else) into obvious divisions. We had a Bible notebook, a history notebook, a poetry notebook, and another copybook. All of these have continued and several have divided into other notebooks through the years (he now has four history notebooks—Great Men and Women of the Civil War, Battles of the Civil War, Military Notebook, and World History Timeline Notebook! And that is just history!). As your children dig into their interests, they may have other notebooks that develop. Let them go! You will learn more about your children as they learn more about topics and writing!

So, What Do You Think?
Want to give it a try? If I could ask every homeschooling family to do just one thing, it would be to just give notebooking a try. So, think about it. Pray about it. Then, get those supplies. Set aside a spot for your supplies. Then, turn those budding young writers loose!


About Cindy Rushton…

Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, the very first online homeschool convention. She is recording Preview Chats for the Ultimate Homeschool Convention RIGHT NOW! Join her wonderful guests FREE for the next weeks as they count down to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo (April 28-May 3, 2008--BUT! NEVER ENDING because it is an ONLINE Convention!). Get your ticket NOW and receive her awesome A Quick Start for Notebooking Mini-Set FREE today! Check out all of the details here:

I have been so blessed by Cindy Rushton and her ministry that I have decided to partner with her as part of her affiliate program. Cindy has made some of her teachings available to her affiliates to share with our readers -this one about noetbooking is just a small sample of what she has to offer - Wonder Boy has recently started his first notebook and is having a blast - he spent an afternoon in a tree in the field behind us sketching so he could put the drawings in his new notebook - how cool is that!!
Notebooking is just one of the many many things that you can learn more about and glean from some incredible godly homeschool moms at the Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2008. I can highly recommend the $40 price of a ticket to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2008 - I personally have listened to several of the teachings and workshops and with dozens more to go have already gotten my money's worth and then some!! There are tons of goodies and freebies that are included in the ticket price (which if I am remebering correctly will go up to $99.95 in the not too distant future) - you will be feasting on these things for months to come!! I have been so filled and refreshed already and I still have tons of goodies to enjoy ;-) Take a look at what this unique opportunity offers by following the links in this post......hope to see you there!!

In His Love & Service,


Friday, April 25, 2008

Setting Up Your Home to Learn! By Cindy Rushton

Homeschooling? Thinking about Homeschooling? BUT…do you have to turn your home into a school? No, my dear friend, you do not need to turn your home into a school. Your home can still be a HOME. A home ready to learn! Ready? Ready? This is EASY as ABC...
--> Find a good nook! It does not have to be huge. Certainly does not need to be expensive. All that is needed is a place that invites your children (and YOU!) to think, work through the studies (writing, reading, studying, proofreading, projects, experiments…). Ask yourself, “Where do they gravitate toward to print?” Keep in mind that each and every student in your family will be very different during the learning process, but most will appreciate having all of the supplies and equipment in a safe, quiet, comfortable place to study. When deciding on a spot, make sure that the spot has good lighting and a good, solid, clean, work surface. Make sure it is a good spot to think AND work on lessons.” Set up the area with a nice table or desk with plenty of work area...comfortable distractions…shelves for books and for a computer and printer...convenient power for you to sit down and work with them during their lessons…and a specific spot for organizational bins that will hold supplies.
--> Get supplies together! You probably have supplies ALREADY in your home. Use our list to remind you of which supplies you will need to gather for homeschooling. Gather them and organize them so they will be ready to use when your children can snatch time to dig into their studies.
--> Give easy access to materials and supplies! Don’t just gather supplies, give your children easy access to those supplies! Nothing else can encourage your children to dig deeper into studies like having the materials needed to learn AND free reign to use them. Gather the supplies you will need and store them in clearly marked plastic bins and containers. There are SO many options available. Find what will work for you and your family. Get paper and printable pages together. I have always stored ours in our school materials so the children had their materials on hand as they needed it. A quick glance can remind me that we need more. I buy all of our paper, ink pens, pencils, 3-ring binders, etc in bulk at Sam’s Warehouse. During the school breaks, many stores have supplies and paper in bulk for better prices than all year round. That is when we also stock up. We store it on our school shelves and have what we need as we work.
--> Invest in the best tools! It may seem to be an added expense, however tools make all of the difference in the world! For example, you can buy a cheap stapler for under $5.00 OR you can buy a long-arm stapler for $29.95 at an office supply store. The difference? Well, we have bought SO MANY cheap staplers. They simply do not last. Plus, they are limited in what they can do. Now, contrast that with the long-arm stapler? They are built to last. You can use those for making any size booklet and for regular stapling. Just watch your most reluctant writer when they figure out ALL that they can do with one stapler! $29.95 will be the best investment ever! J Buy the best as you can. The investment is more than just for equipment, it is investing in your child’s education!
Need MORE Help? Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Expo! When you purchase your ticket you get MORE help with record-keeping--you can immediately download two Bonus Gifts that will help you today:
Let's Get Ready for the New School Year Super SetA Quick Start for Notebooking Mini-Set!
Yep! Both! Complimentary! Get your ticket here:

I have purchased my ticket and plan to soak in all that is available to finish out this homeschool year well and prepare for the best year yet in the year to come !!! Hope you can join me!!

Blessings to you in your homeschool endeavors,


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Three Hearts & The Walls of Jericho

Ok - can I be honest with ya'll ? I think my husband tried to kill me on our anniversary!! Can we talk about The Walls of Jericho?? OH MY WORD!!! That was by far the most physically challenging day of my life ! 7 miles + 1000 ft. elevation drop + 43 yrs. old & out of shape = ouch!!!

In all seriousness, we had a wonderful day but it was exhausting !! We found a great spot for our letterbox and got it planted and yesterday I got it posted online for all perspective finders. So here was the plan - The Principal carved a stamp which we chose to call "Three Hearts" in honor of our 3rd anniversary. We had fun putting this box together and have decided that we will find a new spot to adventure and plant a letterbox for as many anniversaries as The Lord allows us. We hiked all the way in to the end of the trail before deciding where the box was going to be planted. We chose a spot about 2 miles that I think will be a great hike for those who are interested. This is what it looked like for those of you that may be interested.

Wonder Boy was with us and did a fantastic job of "Hanging with the Big Dogs" for the day. There had been some light sonwfall in the area the day before and a light dusting remained on the ground so Wonder Boy was able to make a few small snowballs and have some fun - he seems to be a pretty good aim by the way ;-)

It was cold when we started out and here is a little evidence of just how cold it can get in the sunny south..... Wonder Boy loved this - kinda pitiful really that a child of a Canadian should be so worked up about a little snow & ice - but alas - Wonder Boy is Southern born and raised....a taste of his roots was in order I suppose - literally!! I ate many icicles in my youth in the Great White North !

The hike itself was beautiful - it truly is a gorgeous tract of land and we were not disappointed for our efforts - the views were spectacular and really even though it was a little on the chilly side it was a perfect temperature to accomodate our efforts - easy to cool off when we got overheated!!

There were a few pretty cool adventures that we can add to the memory book fo r the day as well as eating icicles, Wonder Boy & Co. were able to drink from a mountain stream and swing from a huge vine over an open gulley - Wonder Boy & The Principal were the vine swingers - someone had to be able to go for help if need be after all - so I of course felt led to sacrifice for the greater good - that's what Mothers' do right?

The last thing that I want to share with you my bloggy friends is this - God gave us an anniversary gift that day - as we strolled along at one point in one of the few level areas, The Principal looked down and saw this "Heart Rock" , which we have brought home with us as a keepsake of a beautiful, wonderful, God given day filled with love, learning and God's beauty and abundance - Thanks for taking a few minutes so that I could share it with you - God is good - all the time!!

And to you Sweetheart........I look forward to the adventures that The Lord has for us in the years to come - I love you so much - Thanks for Three Hearts of Love!!!

Basking in His Goodness,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart

My Husband aka The Principal is truly my Prince......tomorrow is our 3rd anniversary and we have quite the day planned - we are planting our 2nd letterbox at The Walls of Jericho and spending the day hiking - I think it is a 7 mile (pray for me) hike so it will be a full day! Of course there will be pictures and a post to follow, but today while I am home I wanted to take this opportunity to honor my wonderful Husband publically and thank him for the last 3 fantastic years - who knew marriage could be so great??

He has taught me so much about love and friendship over the last three years - and even before that I am forever grateful to God for blessing me with such a precious gift. We have grown into a very solid little family unit over the past three years and I am often reminded of Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. This has been so true for me and our life.

I have spent much time in sweet thoughts of where we were 3 years ago and remembering the cherished memories of that day barefoot on the beach in Ocho Rios, Jamaica when we made our covenant before the Lord - Thank You Honey for taking Wonder Boy and I under your wing, for being such a fine example of what a man is to our son and for loving me like Christ loves the church - you are one of life's greatest blessings and I pray that this is one of many many more Happy Anniversaries to come - I Love You Deeply........


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meatball Alert

Before I go any further I just want to know - has anyone ever been warned that making meatballs could be dangerous ? I have been racking my brain and accessing the "meaty" file on kitchen rules - do's and don'ts and have not been able to locate any meatball information whatsoever!! I guess this should make me feel better that I did not blatantly disregard any long standing kitchen wisdom - however let me officially enter this one into to record books for the generations of young women to come - never make meatballs while talking on the phone.
Ok - now - let me tell you what happened - yesterday after Wonder Boy and I finished lunch I began preparation for dinner - I was trying a new recipe from this amazing cookbook that I have made about 10 or so recipes from and every single one of them has been great - but I digress - rabbit trail be gone - ooh no - the ADHD is contagious??!! SO I was prepping the meatballs to load them up in the crock pot when the phone rang. Wonder Boy was taking a break upstairs while I got dinner going so I actually has a few minutes to catch up with a friend. We were chatting and I had the phone cradled on my shoulder and held in place with my ear and head crooked to the side - you know the position. I was happily giggling, chatting and rolling out cute little porcupine meatballs, when all of a sudden I must have put a little too much twist in my rolling and I wrenched my back!! The pain was instant and awful!! I could not take a deep breath or move very easily at all - I set the phone down and tried to stretch it out - nothing. Needless to say I got off the phone and finished the rolling process with much more care and attention. I was in pain!! After an hour or so things had not improved at all and I called the woman I teach with at church on Wednesday nights to let her know I was not going to be there. I got a long hot shower and that felt better while I was in it but it really didn't provide any lasting affects. So I stayed home and took it easy last night while the men folk went to church - I watched bad tv (I have to remember to repent for that today - wife swap!! puhleeze!!) and lounged on the sofa. When the boys got home I made us a mug of hot chocolate and we went outside to watch the lunar eclispe - sadly there were too many clouds for us to see much. I was not able to get much comfort in bed and this morning although it feels a little better I still am in some discomfort and pain if I am not cautious in how I move.
Ladies, in the spirit of Titus 2 I feel it my duty to encourage you in one of the little know facets of kitchen safety - meatballs are serious business!! Give them your full attention and range of motion - unless of course you are equipped with a Blue Tooth........;-)

By the way - the Porcupines were pretty good.
One last thought - nothing normal ever happens to me by the way - stay tuned !!
In His Care,

Monday, February 11, 2008

Letterboxing Lessons 101

I love how God can take a simple day and turn it around into an extraordinary one without warning don't you ? We had a field trip with our homeschool group last week to the Hands On Science Center in Tullahoma, TN (which was a wonderful surprise that the kids really really enjoyed by the way).

At the conclusion of the field trip we said our goodbyes to head off in search of hidden treasures ;-) The Principal had plotted out 3 letterboxes hidden relatively close to where we were going to be - the first 2 boxes were hidden in the same wooded area on two separate hiking trails. It was a beautiful crisp winter day and we hiked along talking, laughing, sometimes having to get on to Wonder Boy for attacking an innocent tree - you know what I'm talking about. Toward the end of the hike, after successfully adding 2 more stamps in our logbook, we were on our way back to the trial head, I was in the lead and everyone was quite - I was thinking about how blessed I was to be here doing what I was doing. Hard as it is for me to imagine, it had only been a little over 3 years ago that I was a single Mom, working full time and doing the best that I could to keep things together from day to day.......and now.....hiking on a beautiful winter afternoon - a Friday - a work day no less and with my wonderful heaven sent Husband and Son, whom I am now blessed to be homeschooling.
God has been so faithful in my life even in the times I did not honor Him as I should have because I was caught up in my own "stuff". Moments later Wonder Boy whizzed past challenging the Principal to a foot race - I smiled and gave Thanks for the bond that has been established between Father & Son as the two of them raced past me and the silence dissolved into laughter and testosterone.
Back in the car we warmed up and made our way to the last site for the day as we followed the clues in hand. We were on a back country road and could not imagine much of anything being where we were - the above picture was taken at the trail head where we parked and look at what we found as we followed the clues that led us to the final box of the day......

There she stood at the edge of the cliff overlooking the water below - we approached from behind her and had to climb around her to see what she looked like. She seemed to welcome us and watch over us as we climbed down the incline to the hidden treasure below. This was such a beautiful place and I can only imagine how pretty it much be when things are green and lush - we will likely visit her again - she just made me happy ;-)

So, what started out as an ordinary day doing the "field trip thing" turned into a small glimpse of God's Hand in my life and a precious reminder of all the wonders He put here on this earth for us to enjoy and behold each day - and the best part of all is that He orchestrated it just for me because He loves me so much - I can't think of any reason it could get any better than that!!

Wrapped in His Blessings,

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