Category Archives: Life & Home

Our life and all it’s ups and downs and how we make it through and stick together.  We live in a 1933 home, so we’re constantly decorating, always renovating and organizing, so feel free to follow!  Plus there’s all kinds of DIY’s, decor and decorating, gardening and not to mention I love throwing parties!

"I want to help you to grow as beautiful as God meant you to be when He thought of you first."
George MacDonald

Homeschool Dreaming Magazine

No doubt that some of you may have noticed something new on the left sidebar and you may be wondering what Homeschool Dreaming Magazine is. It’s my new project! And my mind has just been whirling with ideas! This is a dream that I’ve had for many years and I hope it can come to fruition. I’m trying to start a new kind of homeschool magazine for moms. One that will feature clothing as well as homeschool articles, beauty as well as traditions. It will be nothing like what is on the market at present. God is really sending me some great people and some great ideas for this magazine. At present, it will be online only and maybe someday it will be in print. Only God knows!

When I grow up I want to be………

What did you want to be when you grew up? Do you ever think back on it? Are you doing what you wanted to do or something that you never thought you’d do? Well, one day recently I made a mental list of all the things that I said I wanted to be when I grew up. Here is my list: a dance teacher, a teacher, a mom, a stay-at-home wife, a writer, a missionary, married to an athlete, fashion designer, and makeup artist, etc. Ok, so I could never make my mind up! But as it turns out, over the course of my life and I’m only 37, that I’ve done it all! How in the world, you may say. And no, I don’t constantly change jobs! Here’s how!

The guy I married is an athlete. He played sports in school and has continued to play softball and coaches our daughters’ softball teams.

A mom! That’s easy! I got married and had 3 wonderful kids!

I have the fortune of being a stay-at-home mom. My husband is gracious enough to work one full-time job, a part-time to allow me to stay home with the kids. I’m also a homeschool teacher!

As far as being a missionary, I prayed when I was young that God would allow me to be a missionary without having to travel. I’m terrified of airplanes and I don’t like shots! So, God has allowed me to be a missionary at home with my family. I also love working with the kids at church.

I also am a fashion designer and a make-up artist. I help design costumes for dramas at church and I get to do the actor’s make-up. I love doing special effects make-up!

I also have the privilege of teaching dance at church to girls that are kindergarten thru 6th grade.

And now for the final thing, a writer! I love to write and blogging has allowed me to do that.

Ok, by now you may think that I’m bragging. But, that’s the farthest thing from the truth! It just occurred to me one day how God has used all of those ideas I had, in my life. God says to come to him as a child, He also says that He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. I didn’t realize that I had done all these things. I ceretainly never thought I’d get the chance to do some them. Some of them I’ve done for a time and some I will do all of my life (like being a mom). How many of you wanted to be a teacher when you grew up and now you homeschool. You’re a teacher! You may not be paid, but you are a teacher. How many dads wanted to be athletes when they grew up? And now as adults they are coaches, or play for a softball team or golf team.

I never thought as a kid, I would be a writer or a dance teacher or any of those other things. But think about it. How many of the things that you do in a normal day are similar to what you wanted to be. Ok, maybe you’re not an astronaut or a brain surgeon. But, have dissected an insect or shown a child a star through a telescope? You may not have left the earth yet, but to your child, you have shown him another world. Take a moment and think about what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe God had a completely different idea in mind for you than what you wished for or maybe He’s already given you what you wanted and you just don’t realize it yet.

First Fruits

We are the proud parents of a garden! This may not sound very exciting to you, but to our family, we’re thrilled! We started our first real garden this summer. My husband and I will be married for 18 years on the 23rd and this is our first one. We are so excited! What still keeps surprising me is how our kids are responding to the garden.
They are just as excited as we are. You’d think we have a baby in the house. Todd goes to work at 5:30am and checks on the garden before he leaves for work. We check the garden in the mornings when we get up, at lunch and again in the evening. Then when Todd gets home, he checks it again. Every little change is noticed, every blossom on every plant is noted and praised. My kids are 14 1/2, 12 1/2, and almost 10 years old. Most of their friends could care less and don’t get their enthusiasm. Emily is so proud of her garden that she wants to have her 10th birthday party this Saturday in a tent right beside of the garden. So, we are having her birthday party at 10:30am so it won’t be so hot.
Yesterday, we picked our first vegetable from our garden, a squash! We were so excited that we had to fry it up immediately at 10:45am. It was the best squash we’d ever had. But, why all the excitement you may ask? After all, it’s just a garden and I grew up around gardens. Was I that excited about gardening when I was a kid? I thought about something my grandfather told me when I got married or should I say asked me year after year. Where is your garden? Have you started it yet? You’re not really living until you have a garden.
So why are we so excited? First fruits! The Bible talks about giving our first fruits to God. Whether our first fruits are vegetables, our kids, or ourselves, we’re to offer them up to Him daily. We’re to give Him our best and I think that’s why we’ve been so excited around here. We have prayed and prayed over our little garden and now it’s producing.
It’s the same raising a family, you start with hope, love, some seeds, add water, good fertilizer, pull the weeds, get rid of anything that robs your little plants, get rid of the bugs, and watch it grow till harvest. Plus add a ton of patience! Also cover it with prayer and then right before your eyes you have your first fruits that you can offer to God!

Homeschool Dreaming Newsletter!

About a month ago I made a newsletter, called Homeschool Dreaming. I’ve been trying to figure a way out to put it on my blog so that it would be available to you to print out, save or just read. Well, now that I’ve signed up with Homeschool Launch it’s possible. Just click on the link in the purple box on the left and it will take you to it!

In the newsletter there is a project, a recipe for a spring or summer picnic and some things that I wrote that you might find interesting. For example about making the most of going to a homeschool conference and some other things. I hope you enjoy it!

The Simple Life… Continued

Our little seeds that sprouted just a few weeks have been transformed into our first full-fledged garden! Now my youngest daughter and our whole family are parents to lots of plants. Every morning my kids go outside to see what changes have happened since the day before. At lunch they go out to see changes since morning and in the evening they go again. I never thought my kids would be so fascinated in watching a garden grow. After all, my mom has had 2 small raised gardens for years that they’ve helped with. But, this one is all theirs! They are so excited when they go outside a see a plant that’s popped through the dirt that wasn’t there in the morning. Or how much they grow in a day! They are like proud parents!
This year God has been speaking to me about simplifying my life. I thought I had done that before, when I had stopped do this or that. I left teaching children’s church to concentrate on my dance team at church and the other ministries we were involved in. Wasn’t that enough? I guess not.
This past summer, as I’ve wrote before, began with my reading the Charlotte Mason Companion and some of Charlotte Mason’s writings. It spoke to my very soul and became a Bible study for me. I found myself looking up verses about family and spending time in prayer over what I had read. I even journaled, which for me is a hard thing. I realized God was speaking to me about making our family’s life simpler. Which meant my life need to be simpler and more focused. I needed to make sure that I had the right priorities and they were in line.
With every year, my children get busier. Our whole family gets busier. My kids play homeschool sports, some rec. league sports, and participate in various ministries of our church and we’re active in our homeschool group. We’re just like alot of homeschool families we know.
But, I’ve noticed something with myself this year and it has been overwhelming at times. God has been trying to slow me down. I didn’t realize alot of my stress and overwhelmed was coming from my own church. I love my church and everyone there, so don’t misunderstand. But at times this year, I’ve felt our priorities were out of whack.
Over the past couple of years there have been more requirements put on us leadership to attend more things, participate in more things (everything that was planned by our church). Now that doesn’t sound bad until you add up all of the things we do at our church, including our kids, and the outreaches, and the meetings, and so forth. I was facing burnout! Then when one more ministry requirement came, I said “Enough!” This event would have pulled all of my kids and myself in several different directions. It took me a month to realize that I was even stressed out about the idea of doing it. I love the ministry idea they had, I just decided that I couldn’t take on one more thing. I had already planned my summer! We were going to finish school, grow our garden and go to my friends to watch and play with her new baby chickens.
How many “one more things” do we take on for the sake of ministry? I quickly remembered that my first and most important ministry was to my family and I’ve only got one shot at it. If I blow it, there isn’t a second chance. There will always be another chance to participate in ministry, but not at raising my family.
Ever since making the decision, the world has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel so good about not doing this particular event. I never thought that God would tell not to do an outreach. But in order to do outreach, we have to do an inreach.
So, now I’m back to my wonderful, God-laid summer plans. Sowing seeds (vegetables, flowers, and spiritual) and watching them grow to full-grown plants. Can you imagine the harvest of living a little simpler? Talk about heritage plants!

The Simple Life

Saturday was one of the simplest days our family has had in awhile. If you don’t know anything about our family, then here is a small tidbit about us. Our family is a mobile family, we should live in an rv instead of a house for about 9 months out of the year. My kids play basketball, baseball, softball, dance, cheer and we homeschool. So that means field trips, park days, etc. My husband also plays softball currently for 2 teams and is on a golf team. By no means am I complaining. But, I am ready for the slow down at least for a while. And I got a taste of it on Saturday. We had only one game to go to!

But, my youngest daughter and I got to do something so simple, yet we had so much fun. We planted seeds. Yes, seeds! We planted hundreds of little seeds in a seed starter, in cups, in tin baking ware. Whatever we could find to put dirt in, we did it! I couldn’t believe how after one afternoon of planting seeds, I felt so refreshed. No wonder kids like to play in the dirt!

Now, she is a momma to hundreds of little seeds that are already bursting through! Then I started to think. What kind of seeds have I been planting in my kids lately? Emily and I planted, lima beans, sunflowers, cantaloupes, zinnias, alyssum, marigolds, lavender and rosemary. We planted vegetables (food), flowers (beauty) and herbs (flavor). I guess if you think about, that’s how we could plant seeds with our families. We need to plant things that make our kids grow like a love of Jesus, memorizing scriptures things that give them food. We need to plant character, sweetness, manners, a heart for seeing how beautiful Jesus is, and a constant reaching for Christ like how flowers stretch toward the sun. And the herbs could be the seasoning of life, enjoyment, also learning to take the bitter with the good. I could go on and on with comparisons.

Have you planted seeds lately? If not try planting some and watch them sprout!

A Wise Woman…

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible:
“A good wife is a great blessing to a family. By a fruitful wife a family is multiplied and replenished with children, and so built up. But a prudent wife, one that is pious, industrious, and considerate, the affairs of the family are made to prospers, debts are paid, portions raised, provision made, the children well educated and maintained, and the family has comfort within the doors and credit without; thus is the house built. She looks upon it as her own to take care of, though she knows it is her husband’s to bear rule in, Esth. 1:22.2. Many a family is brought to ruin by ill housewifery, as well as by ill husbandry. A foolish woman, that has no fear of God nor regard to her business, that is wilful, and wasteful, and humoursome, that indulges her ease and appetite, and is all for jaunting and feasting, cards and the play-house, though she come to a plentiful estate, and to a family beforehand, she will impoverish and waste it, and will as certainly be the ruin of her house as is she plucked it down with her hands; and the husband himself, with all his care, can scarcely prevent it.”
Emily and I have been doing a Bible study for girls and the above was today’s lesson. I thought it was so poignant for today as in 2008. I think that this spoke to me as much as it did her. One of the many things God is working on with my family this year, is organization and making sure my family comes before all of the busy things we do. So, when I read this, it touched a nerve. But a soft, sweet nerve.
So many moms today were not taught how to build a house. A wife is a blessing to her family! That is how we build a house! But, have we fallen short? I took this line by line to see. Try to take it line by line yourself. Are you putting God first and teaching your children to? Are you helping to make sure the debts are paid by not spending too much? Are your children well educated and maintained? Is your family comfortable in your own home? That doesn’t just mean is your home clean, but also, is the atmosphere comfortable. Is your husband the head of the household or do you run him? Do you look at your home as a privilege to take care of instead of a burden? Hmmm…..
Is it making you think? It sure made me think. I asked Emily in our discussion how you could be a wise woman and she said, “Letting people respect me and letting them know I respect them. ” Then I asked her how to keep from tearing a house a down and she replied, “By being loyal to God, not being mean and a big list of stuff.” I thought it was really neat that even at 9 years old she was able to put today’s study with respect, loyalty and being kind with being a wise woman.
But, it is up to me to demonstrate this everyday to her and my family. I have to show her how to be a wise woman lest she pulls her own house down with her hands.