Galatians 2:20 & 21 "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Menu's & Busy Week


We are back from GA and I am ready to get organized. This is our super, busy week at church. Our church's annual Living Christmas Tree is this weekend and the whole family is involved. The activities started yesterday with the kids finding out their places in the tree and running through a couple of songs, now this may not sound like much but it took 2 1/2 hours. If you have never seen a living tree, you may have no idea what I am talking about. This tree is built of risers and chicken wire, stretching from the floor to the top of the vaulted ceiling in the choir loft. All is decorated with lots of garland, lights, ornaments, and ribbons. Then you add in a choir of 100 or so folks and you have a living tree. It is gorgeous and I love the music every year. 4 of our 7 children are singing in the tree. Next week, I will have plenty of pictures to show of the tree. Our other children will be on lights, backstage crew or orchestra. Greg programs all the lights to make the tree "dance" & I am his assistant. Full, fun, busy week. We will be at the church Wed. night, Thurs. night, Fri. night, Sat. afternoon & night, & Sunday afternoon & night.
For the most part, the menu's this week are based on what I have, what can be eaten quickly, & what can be cooked in the crockpot.

So here goes....

Monday night:
Crock pot Pork Roast
Alfredo Noodles
Green Beans

Tuesday night:
Potato Soup
Cheddar/Garlic Biscuits

Wed. night:
Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Thursday night:
Chicken Strips with Ketchup or Barbeque Sauce
Cheddar Broccoli Rice
Lima Beans

Friday night:
Chili
Cornbread

Sat. lunch:
Hot Dogs/buns
baked beans
Chips & dip

Sat. dinner:
At Church

During the day, our goals for the week are to pack away the fall decorations & then Deck the Halls (I love Christmas!), finish up work for Co-op classes, watch History shows Dad recorded for us, start our December christmas movie marathons, & bake some goodies! Notice, I didn't mention math or language...we are done till after the New Year! Yippee!

To check out more menu's & holiday festivities please visit Laura at organizingjunkie.com. I checked this morning and there are already over 100 different menus posted! And many have great recipes attached to the menu's!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vision Forum

I don't know if you have heard of the company "Vision Forum", but I really like all of their products. They are a Christian company that promotes family values & Christian principals. They have many wonderful books for children, wives/moms, teenagers, & husbands/dads. We have many of the CD's and ordered more last week. If you have children, they have a great line of wholesome toys.

I signed up to become an affiliate, which means if you click on my link on the sidebar, you can place your order and I will get credit for the sale. I would appreciate your business through this company.

Also, if you order, please leave me a comment so that I can make sure the link works!

Thanks bunches, Donna

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has a wonderful day enjoying food & family!

Most of all, I wish to thank the Lord for the blessings he has showered on me And for sending his Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross and save me from my sins. We are so unworthy of this gift, but Christ took our sins upon himself so that we might live with him forever.

That is the greatest gift any of us could ever receive!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for our Brave Men & Women

I am so Thankful for the brave Men & Women who sacrificed everything for our country. From the beginnings of our great country to the present.

I cannot imagine leaving my homeland and taveling to a new land knowing that I would never see my family again. And not really knowing what waited on the other side of the "big water". Was the earth really round or were we going to fall off the edge? How would you pack or prepare when you don't know what to prepare for? What would you consider important enough to take or insignificant enough to leave behind? Would I even have the courage to leave everything and everyone and set off on this great adventure.

I love to study History through Literature with the children because we get to read some of the writings of the men & women who did just as I described above. These are not dry, boring books but History come alive books that tell of their struggles with leaving their own countries, of their longing for religious freedom and escape from the state church/religion, & of wanting to make their own way in the world for them and their children. They wanted more for their families and they were willing to do whatever it took to achieve this.

I also want my children to learn non-politically correct history. This country was founded on Christian principals by Christian Men. The United States of America is a Christian Nation. The founding Fathers of this great land were Christians. One of the battle cries during the Revolutionary War was "No King but King Jesus".

And on a side note...do you know what the phrase "seperation of Church & State" really means? Its not what everyone is spouting all the time now. It means that the State will not have a State Church (such as the Church of England). And thats it. Sounds alot different from what we hear in the news now! All of the early colleges including Princeton & Harvard were Seminaries, training men to preach and carry the Word of God to the far reaches of the new land. The intention was never to take church out of government, but to take government out of church. Things have certainly gotten twisted around in the last several hundred years.

I am thankful for the Men & now Women who are in the Military. Their service and dedication is amazing. They are helping to protect our country and helping others around the world to enjoy some of the same freedoms that we enjoy. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives for our country. Thank You to the military, both past & present.

God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful for my Husband

I am so very Thankful that the Lord blessed my life with Gregory Jackson! He is the best husband in the whole world!

He provides for our family, generously and abundantly. He is my "Dave Ramsey" geek & budgets, saves, and spends to indulge my wishes!

I love to spend time with him, just be in the room with him. I have even listened to his classes on engineering (on the computer) for his Masters Degree. I don't have a clue what the professor is talking about, but I'm still there!

I love to spend time with him in Honduras as cooks for our Mission Team. We have so much fun "shopping" and walking the streets of El Progresso. This is the week that he is the cook and I am the assistant. We have found some wonderful bakeries full of delicious sweets on our 3 - 5 mile walks everyday during the week!

I love to watch him and help when he creates the light extravaganza for our churchs Christmas musical production every year. Until I sat and watched him program these songs, I had no idea the work that went into each one. He loves doing this and can make those lights dance in time to the music.

I love to watch him interact with all the children, especially Amy. I didn't know that you could "catch" a sense of humor, but Amy has caught Greg's. She is becoming a little Greg and can hold her own with him. She is truly his daughter & several times a day he will say, "thats my girl". James & Allen are also very close with him and many times will confide in him before I ever know there is a problem. He is a blessing is their lives, they all really needed a Dad! And he is great with Katie, Will, Andy & Rob. It takes a special guy to be a great Daddy to 7 kids.

Greg is a great handy man and works on a number of projects for my Mom almost every trip to GA. She usually has a list and he tries his best to accomplish it. Will is becoming his apprentice in the projects both at Mom's & our own house.

He is everything and so much more than I ever dreamed of. I thank the Lord daily for this special man he placed in my life!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful for Children

I am so thankful the Lord continues to bless the world with children. I love them! Cute little babies with chubby cheeks & dimples...who can resist their drooly smiles! Toddlers running pell-mell to the next adventure (or disaster). Preschoolers who scribble impossible to decipher pictures and "read" you their stories. Early readers who read you the same book over & over! Watching the lightbulb turn on when one of them understands a math concept. Preteens & young teens who are trying to decide if they want to be grown ups or kids. Teenagers with their first jobs and earning paychecks. Praying fervently for my children the first time they drive away...alone! Boo Hooing at the graduations of my oldest children. Watching my little girls turn into young ladies. Parenting is a 24/7/365 proposition.

There are 7 children that are very special to me! Mine! James is 25. Andy & Rob are 21. Allen is 20. Katie is 16. Will is 15 & Amy is 13. I love my children and pray that the Lord will always be their "guiding light" and "anchor in a storm". These 7 blessings are all unique personalities and have varying interests. Our house is full & lively when all 7 are home. And they can put away some groceries! I look forward to college breaks & holidays when they will all be home. When we are blessed with grandchildren , my cup will runeth over!

There are 12 more children that have a special place in my heart...my neices, Becky, Megan, Bethany & Samantha. And my nephews Matthew, Brian, Billy, Ben, Bobby, Charlie, Ben Scott & Drew. Our families have been blessed with some great children~

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for Household Conveniences

OK, this will be a different post but something to make you think about household items you may take for granted. Ma Ingalls didn't have these goodies to work with in her home each day.....

I am thankful for.....

*Indoor Plumbing ~ pretty much self explanatory!

*Central Heat & Air ~ I thoroughly enjoy both expecially the air conditioning in the very hot Mississippi summer.

*Washer & Dryer ~ with 2 adults & 7 offpspring, these get used alot. Which also leads me into thankfulness for the homemade laundry detergent recipe because we have saved a bundle of money making our own! And my clothesline (yeah, Ma Ingalls had one of these), it gets lots of use on the hot summer days and keeps the house cooler not running the dryer as much.

*Television, Tivo, DVD & VHS players ~ There are some tv shows that we watch but the Tivo is great because we can fast forward through commercials. The kids and I use the DVD & VHS player daily. We watch lots of movies and old tv show series...Little House & The Waltons, how to videos on gardening, herbs, candle making, canning, sewing, etc, and our collection of Christmas movies.

*Sewing Machine/Embroidery Machine ~ fun, practical, creative toys (I didn't start sewing till 8 years ago...now I love it)

*Refrigerators/Freezers ~ Wonderful appliances for keeping food cold or storing/freezing bulk purchases. I love to find meat on sale and stock up...right now I've meat to take home & store from the Kroger 4 day meat sale here in GA!

*Oven ~ up until Jan. of this year, I had a tiny oven, definately too small for someone who loves to cook and cooks & bakes from scratch most of the time. Greg bought me a new stove with a convection oven and flat top cooking surface. It is wonderful to be able to bake multiple pans of cookies, muffins, or whatever at the same time.

*Dishwasher ~ the girls are very thankful for this appliance, they are my clean up crew!

*Wheat Grinder/Kitchen Aid Mixer/Wand Blender ~ The wheat grinder produces beautiful whole wheat flour. The only drawback is its so loud, but we can deal with it! Mixer if great for just about everything. My current kitchen aid mixer is about 16 years old and still going strong...when it retires itself (dies), I have picked out its replacement. Greg bought me the wand blender for Christmas last year. We have had a lot of fun with it...makes great mashed potatoes, blends down potatoes in my potato soup, and recently I used it in my homemade hot chocolate mix, it made a fine powder that dissolves easily in hot water!

*Mattress ~ So ultra comfy. Ma Ingalls had to stuff hers with straw or hay. I prefer my tempur-pedic!

*Radio, CD Player, CD's ~ We love music, its great to have it available at the flip or push of a button. We have listened to lots of the Adventures in Odssey CD's and historical & Christian home CD's from Vision Forum. Greg ordered us some more CD's from VF last night.

*Books ~ I love books. Fiction, novels, cookbooks, how to books, homemaking books, raising Godly children books, etc. However, if I could only have 1 book it would be my Bible. The Lord has the answers to all my questions about living, being a wife & mother, and following & obeying him! But I am tremendously thankful for my other books also.

*Computers ~ We can visit with people all over the country/world, look up information on anything (sometimes I think too much info is not a good thing), blog, Facebook, email, get new recipes, quilt patterns, etc.

I am sure that there are many things I am forgetting! I do thank the Lord for the household blessings he has allowed in my life and for my generous husband for providing these for me~

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful for Friends

I am very thankful for the friends the Lord has placed in my life. Friends come in many shapes, sizes & ages, they live in different states, they accept you for who you are & love you anyway~

I've got internet friends that I may never meet this side of eternity. I have found them "blog surfing" and am intrigued by their lives and lifestyles. We don't agree on everything but they will never know that I don't agree. Why comment on someones blog or Facebook post and be disagreeable? If you don't agree...then just stop reading their blogs, easy peasy solution.

I've got homeschooling Mom friends. It would be hard for a non-homeschool mom to sympathize, empathize or encourage and homeschool Mom. I said hard...not impossible. Sometimes you just need someone to say "that happened to me and this is what I did". We can talk for hours about unit studies, notebooking, history curriculums, etc. All while curled up on the couch with the kids running in and out and having a wonderful time together. What an awesome support!

I've got friends that I've had for years, several that I grew up with (in fact some of our parents grew up together too). These are friends that KNOW you, know your background, your mama & daddy, and are there for you & your family through thick and thin, sickness & health, etc. Since all the friends in this category live in GA, Facebook has been a wonderful way to reconnect with them!

Then there is my crafting friends. We talk about quilt patterns, smocking, sewing, scrapbooking, and whatever else catches our fancy. We shop at JoAnns, Walmart, Hobby Lobby or Hancocks for fabric, laces, threads etc. We share scrapbook paper and stickers. We laugh and cry together as something sparks a memory of a joyful or painful time in our lives.

There is a special group of Christian friends. They have been fellow church members, bible study participants, prayer partners, listeners, encouragers, & cheerleaders. They have supported my family and I through sickness, death, & discouragement over life changing decisions my children have made. They love me & my children (even though they know us)! They thoroughly and enthusiastically rejoiced when the Lord brought Greg & I together. They helped plan the wedding, serve at the reception, and cried when we said "I Do". They have blessed my life beyond comprehension.

The last group of friends is the most special to me. They are truly friends in every sense of the word. They are there for me in any and every situation. They didn't run when things got tough with one of my children 8 years ago. In fact, they understand more of what I went through than that child. They love me and my children. They pray for me and encourage me beyond anything I have ever experienced. This last group of friends is also named "My Family". I love you all and hope that I can bless your lives as much as you have blessed mine.

Praise the Lord for friends!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Blessings of Homeschooling

I've decided that in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I would like to concentrate on the blessings the Lord has given me. And the first one (to write about) is homeschooling. If you don't homeschool your children, you may not understand some of this. But, homeschooling isn't just about the schoolbooks and learning that takes place during the day, its much more.

1. Relationships

As I have written about before, we are a blended family. Since Katie & Will have joined Amy and I for school, we have gotten closer. We are all learning everyones different personalities and "quirks". This closeness would have been harder to achieve if they had stayed in a classroom for 8 hours and then come home to do several hours of homework. During the first 2 years of our marriage, they were still attending public school and I much prefer them to be at home. We enjoy spending time together and playing & learning throughout the day.

2. Practical Skills

To my knowledge, public or private schools don't teach practical life-long skills the children need to succeed. I don't think home ec is even offered in schools. My children are learning to read & follow a recipe, canning & jelly making techniques (we are learning this together), gardening skills, lawn maintenance, house cleaning, laundry, budgeting, grocery shopping, bargain hunting, nursing (helping care for one another in times of illness or injury), accountability, scheduling, etc. How about balancing a checkbook? These are important things that they wouldn't learn anywhere else. And some of these are things that should have been emphasized more with their older brothers.

3. School

Besides just the readin', writin', and rithmetic', we are enjoying an extensive history study, learning to do different things on the computer, typing, foreign language, science labs, etc. Public school teachers have to get so much done in a certain amount of time and they have to worry about the politics of making sure "no child is left behind". That doesn't mean the children learn or understand more, it just means they can pass a test at the middle or end of the year so the school gets their state/federal funding. We buy our own books, choose our own curriculum and can work at a comfortable pace for each child. I don't worry about "new age" philosophies or "politically correct" rewritten history. We are learning about what really happened and can dig into some interesting subjects. We have children working at all different levels and they really keep each other accountable for getting the work done. We can speed through a concept they understood quickly or slow down for additional help where needed. It is totally individualized.

4. Reading

I love to read. I read Christian novels (usually historical or amish), magazines, how to books, magazines, & cookbooks. I have found that schools teach you how to read but not how to enjoy it. We are learning to read for information, fun, and learning. Katie said she didn't like to read until she started to homeschool. I did find out that when her classes were assigned a book, each student was told what chapter (usually 1 or 2) to read and report on to the rest of the class, they didn't have to read the rest of the book. That is such a waste. Read and savor it cover to cover! Reading is an important part of the day for all of us and its a time I really enjoy.

5. Ministry Opportunities

We have been able to participate in many Ministry type projects during the day. We have packed "parent" bags for a childrens hospital (toothpaste, toothbrushes, mints, deodorant, etc. for parents who are sent from a dr. office directly to a hospital with their children), packed shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and shopped for toys for our churchs Christmas Store for families in need. We have also baked bread or meals and delivered them to families. And now our "Granny" ministry...whatever she needs, whenever she needs it.

6. Flexibility

We can set our own schedules. Bookwork is usually Mon-Thur, Fridays are for co-op classes, house cleaning and errands. Our school year is normally Aug.-November and Jan.-June. We take off December and July. Greg has several travel opportunities through his job and we get to pack up the schoolbooks and go with him. When we travel to Wash. DC the schoolbooks stay home and we spend hours in the Smithsonian Museums. We all have our favorite museums and love to visit the city. Greg usually plans the route and we visit President's homes, battlefields and other places on the way there and back. When Katie and Will were still in school, we made our first trip to Wash., I notified the school ahead of time, got the work and they got it done. However, when we returned, I got a "nasty" letter from the county about their absences to which I sent back a polite, firm reply. I gave them a list of every museum we had been in, every jr. ranger project they had completed, every monument we had visited, every single sight we had seen and pointed out they would not have gotten this much "education" sitting in a classroom. This was a 2 page, single spaced letter. I never heard from them again!

This is my 14th year to homeschool. I didn't realize when I started in Aug. 1996 all of the benefits of homeschooling. Its not just about education, its about all of the above and much more. It is a lifestyle of loving, learning, and caring for each other. In 5 short years, I will work myself out of a job. Maybe by then I will have some grandbabies to love on!

Biggest compliment a homeschooling Mama can receive.....Katie & Amy have both told me they want to homeschool their children! Ahhhhh, that was wonderful to hear.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Trying to Find a Routine

During the summer I read a great book about developing a daily routine. The book is "Managers of Their Homes" by the Maxwell's. It is an awesome tool. We set our routine and have really enjoyed knowing what comes next. And every once in a while we scrap the routine and do our own thing...like the day we went shopping and found our .97 sale at Penneys. Last week the routine was shot to pieces, but that was ok!

We did schoolwork on Monday & Tuesday, drove to GA on Wed., and then the girls and I spent the next 2 days at the hospital with Mom. They went home at night. They brought their books and got some work done when I was with Mom in therapy. Greg & Will built Mom a handrail coming up the steps in from the garage. They also put a handicapped rail in the bathroom, installed a new water filter at the kitchen sink, and put together the rails to help in two of the bathrooms at the potties. So they have been very busy also.

But the routine is shot and I can tell a difference. I have 3 children "floating" around not knowing what to do next or what is coming up next. We are going to work on that this afternoon and try to establish some sort or a routine for the next 2 weeks. We normally "school" Monday-Thursday and leave Friday's open for cleaning up and games. So we will have 4 days of school this week and 2 or 3 days Thanksgiving week. Then no more "schoolwork" till Jan.! Yeah! When I set up our school schedule for the year, I realized that Thanksgiving was the very end of the month and the next week was our big Christmas musical Living Tree at church. Our whole family is involved in this and will take lots and lots of time that week. For those skeptics out there...yes you can take off the entire month of December and still get your books finished for the year. We usually finish sometime in May.

So we are going to establish a temporary routine to use at Granny's house. Rising, getting dressed, breakfast, schoolwork, reading time, lunch, afternoon activities, dinner etc. We will have a much better time if we can come up with something. It won't be set in stone however. We will also have to account for exercise time for Mom, dr. appts., physical therapy and home health care visits. The kids are really good about keeping on with their tasks if they know what to do next, so we will hopefully be able to carry on.

We are off to Walmart for a field trip. We are taking the wheelchair and the walker. The aisles are wide enough and the floor flat enough that Mom will be able to walk and get some exercise...we were doing this in the hospital. (Its a little more difficult to walk in the house because of going from tile to carpet to tile to carpet to tile again. And its a smaller area to walk in. She is however doing great making the transition to the carpet or tile) At the same time, we can pick up the few things we need for groceries and art projects for the week. Tomorrow, we will probably venture to the Beauty Shop so she can get her hair washed (no showers till after the dr. visit). Mom also hates taking the pain pills, so she is going to try tylenol this afternoon and see how that works. But, I think before physical therapy she will be taking a painpill next week...don't need to chance it too much.

Amy wants to go to Mall of GA sometime before Thanksgiving, so that will be in the plans too. There is lots and lots of available walking space there!

Katie, Will & Amy are doing great with helping with the nursing duties. They can help get Mom off the sofa...it sinks down. But that was the most convenient spot to set up the electronic knee bending machine the dr. wants her to use for 6 hours a day. Katie and Amy have both learned how to hook that up. Will is helping with lots of errand running and fetching. Greg also assigned them all the job of painting the garage this week. So, even if all the schoolwork doesn't get done, the "helping Granny get better Ministry" will be taking place all the time~

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Playing Nurse

My dear Mama had knee replacement surgery on Tuesday of this week. She is doing really well and is happy that the surgery was not as bad as she expected. Her therapists are pleased with her progress and we are making plans to go home tomorrow.

Greg drove the kids and I to GA yesterday so we could play nurse for her recovery period. I stayed at the hospital with her last night and am doing so again tonight. However, you don't get any rest at night. No sirreeee, the nurses were in here doing vitals, checking on her leg moving apparatus and helping her to the restroom every 1 1/2 hours...all night long! There was one stretch during the night that I slept 2 hours, from 4:30 - 6:30 am. I must have been really exhausted because I slept through the "vampires" coming to draw her blood at 5:30 am.

Katie & Amy joined me for daytime nursing duty and got in some math & history work too. Greg & Will are building Mom a handrail from the garage into the house and put a handrail in the shower and something at the potty. They also bought us a gallon of sweet tea from Chick fil A and we have been drinking it all day! Gotta have that caffeine to stay awake!

Therapy is very interesting. You can tell who wants to get better and is working toward that goal. Mom is in that category. She is doing everything and is gaining back alot of strength in her leg. We are walking laps around the halls--today we have walked 6 laps. She also walked up and down a set of 4 stairs twice today. She has 3 stairs from her garage into the house, so she needed to learn how to do this. She also has to give herself shots of blood thinner so hopefully we avoid clots. We are learning lots of new stuff. Tomorrow we will delve into the world of home health care and home therapy. (Just found out she will have to do the shots for a couple of weeks)

We would appreciate everyone's prayers for her continued progress and return to health.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Woman's Rules to Live By

I found the following while visiting different blogs the other day and loved this message. It says everything I want to say but sometimes can't find the right words.

Many thanks to Candy at www.keepingthehome.com for giving me permission to copy and publish this on my blog. She has lots and lots of good info and links on her site!

You could say this is part 2 of my post from yesterday...

Rules for the Wife at Home

1.- Overlook husband’s faults, and instead focus on his better side.
2.- Never nag, or try to manipulate your husband into doing things your way.
3.- Trust God, and trust your husband. Pray for him daily.
4.- God first, husband second, children third, house fourth.
5.- Submit to your husband’s authority, and allow errors in his judgment.
6.- Allow him to provide for the family, and appreciate the money he brings in, and the provisions he provides for his family, no matter how little or how much.
7.- Spend your husband’s hard earned money wisely, and be frugal. Never sneak expenses behind his back.
8.- Do not wound his masculine pride. Instead, compliment him on his manly accomplishments, and show your appreciation of him every day.
9.- A modest, feminine appearance is important. As is feminine manner, nature, softness, gentleness, and a spirit of sweet submission and dependency on the husband.
10.- You have a God-given career that can bless you abundantly. That career is in the home.
11.- Cook delicious healthy meals, keep the home clean, and take wonderful, loving care of your children.
12.- Your duty is to be a “homemaker,” hence, your job is to make your house a home.
13.- Above all, the wife at home is to exude an attitude of happiness and joy. Rejoice in the Lord for the wonderful family He has provided for you, and never take your family for granted.

Wasn't that great! 13 very concise, clear guidelines! What a blessing this would be to all husbands if their wives followed these simple suggestions!


Monday, November 9, 2009

I Am a Wife & Stay at Home Mama

Before I elaborate on my title, let me fill you in on a few facts about me. My first marriage ended abruptly on Nov. 18, 1996 when my first husband died. We had a good marriage, but had many struggles. Our greatest accomplishments and sources of pride were our 3 wonderful children, James, Allen & Amy. For the next 9 years, I was a widow (hate that word) and a single Mom. For most of those 9 years I prayed and asked the Lord to show me what I could do differently as a wife if he chose to send me another husband. I prayed for specific qualitites that I wanted my Prince Charming to have...my list was very specific. I also prayed that the Lord would just drop my Prince into my life, I wasn't looking. And yes, over the years, I reminded the Lord several times that I was still waiting. I had friends praying that the Lord would send someone to me. Some of Amy's little friends prayed that God would send her a daddy. (She was 7 months old when her Daddy died, so she really didn't know anything about Daddy's) Besides praying, I was also reading the Bible about being a wife. In the spring of 2005, I saw a book advertised online named "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl. I felt like I was supposed to order and read the book. Its really hard to explain, but I did. (The book is great, I don't agree with everything Debi says, but alot of it)

Also, during that spring I was corresponding with a dear friend of mine (since I was 3) whose wife had been killed in a car accident. In one of his emails, he asked me what my kids reaction had been when I dated. I told him about my prayer and waiting on the Lord. I had not gone out with anyone. Can ya guess what happened next? My next email was a date invitation! And I said yes! We went to 6 Flags with 6 of our 7 children as chaperones and had a wonderful time. The next day, we went on a long drive and had a serious talk about our future together. We both agreed to pray about it and keep discussing where we thought the Lord was leading us. 2 weeks later, Greg proposed and we were engaged! My friends were thrilled and knew that our prayers had been answered. We were married on Sept. 3, 2005.

Mine and Greg's relationship and marriage is completely different than what I experienced the first time. I know spending almost 9 years of praying and seeking the Lord on marriage was a great benefit to me. And I was 23 when I was married the first time and almost 45 the 2nd time. You do learn from experience that some issues are just not important, you get your priorities in line. Greg and I are best friends. We are each others strongest supporters and encouragers. We love each other and truly enjoy spending time together. We love to do things together...I have gotten up at 4-5 am to go fishing with him, he has walked the aisles of JoAnn's with me looking for fabric, we have walked the streets of El Progresso, Honduras grocery shopping on Mission Trips, we pray together, work in the yard together, share ice cream sundaes, hunt for shells, go to National Parks, plan homeschool lessons, plant the garden, and watch tv. We love to do things together.

I also, relish the fact that I get to stay at home, keep house, cook meals, and homeschool our children. We are growing and learning and bonding as a family together. I like to have everything done by the time he gets home from work, so that we have time together at night. He is gone all day and likes coming home to clean laundry, a somewhat clean home and dinner. I say somewhat clean because we do LIVE at our house, all day long. The beds are made, most of the homeschool stuff put up and we are ready for him to be home. We also discuss decisions, purchases, budgets, & business ventures. I am pretty convinced that I am living in the wrong decade because most of these things are not important to wives and families today. The way we live is reminiscent of how families lived many, many years ago.

But what happened? Why did families change? Did they change for the better? Is keeping up with the Jones' and Smith's the reason families don't do things together?

I really like Proverbs 31. That woman did it all! She kept her home in order, made their clothing, shopped in town, kept the servants (in our case, children) in line, planted a vineyard, etc. Talk about achieving alot during her day!

I know that many folks don't agree with our lifestyle. But its our lives. We are happy and we feel like what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord. Every family is different and they live according to their own convictions.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homeschool Field Trip






I have planned many field trips in my 14 years as a homeschooler. Some were successes and some were not. Todays field trip was a huge success. I had 70 people (count them seventy) sign up. It was unbelievable! I was thrilled with the response!

I planned a family fun morning at our local paint your own pottery place. The idea was for families to come together and work on Christmas ornaments or gifts for the holiday season. From the enthusiastic response, I would say that everyone was ready for some fun. We reserved the pottery place and filled up the tables and chairs. When we arrived, they had the tables completely set up...paint, brushes, water, paper towels, etc. Just ready and waiting for our families. Our hardest decision was which projects to work on. Children picked ornaments, mugs, plates, piggy banks, figurines, angels, etc. Some will be gifts for fathers or grandparents, some will be added to the families ornament collection, and some will be special treasures to sit on a dresser!

The children and adults had lots of fun. Our youngest painter was 2 and our oldest was...well, lets just not go there! We got to enjoy each other and the morning. There were lots of homeschool discussions between Moms while the children were occupied. I really don't know if any other Mom's painted but I did.

It was a fun morning with 65 of our homeschool friends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thank You

The words "Thank You" have such a powerful impact when you say them and when you hear them. But, it seems like many people have forgotten to be appreciative.

Have you ever cooked dinner for company and not gotten a "thank you for the meal"? Even if your company is family, a thank you is a nice gesture. It means they appreciated the effort you made to cook a meal, whether they like the food or not.

Or have you made or bought a wedding/baby gift for someone and never heard thank you? Or if the gift was mailed, never got an acknowledgment of any kind that it was received? I am not even talking about a thank you note, what about a phone call or email or even a text.

Thank You is so easy! Its great to say! Its a blessing to hear!

Do we always remember to thank the Lord for all he has blessed us with? Our families, homes, clothes to wear and food to eat? Or do we just go our merry way and forget about being thankful?

I am very thankful for the gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my dear husband and 7 beautiful children. I am thankful for my warm home, heat and electricity. I am thankful for my freezer and pantry full of good food. I am thankful for the appliances that make my job easier as a homemaker. I am thankful for the freedom to homeschool my children and share in their day to day lives. I am thankful for Greg's job and his willingness to be the "head of our family" and take care of us, so that I can be a stay at home wife and Mom. I am thankful for my craft supplies and my books to read that fill many happy hours. I am thankful for my friends, both here and in GA. I am thankful for my computer, I get to explore, read and get to know other folks through my blog and theirs. I am just plain THANKFUL!

What about you? What do you have to be thankful for?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chocolate

Who doesn't love chocolate? (Well, there is James and that whole milk allergy thing, but we won't count him) Amy and I are both self-diagnosed Choco-holics...I think we can get Katie to join us too. But I am not joining any Choco-holics Anonymous group...I don't want to be cured! Many years ago, I got an email justifying Chocolate as a Vegetable...but I can't find it now. It made perfect sense to me! I just googled "Chocolate is a Vegetable" and found the following. Not exactly what I had read before...but this is still logical and well-thought out (at least for chocolate lovers). Hope you enjoy this educational blog entry!



Chocolate is a Vegetable

Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans.

Bean = vegetable.

Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar BEETS.

Both of them are plants, in the vegetable category.
Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.

To go one step further,
chocolate candy bars also contain milk,
which is dairy.

So candy bars are a health food.

Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries,
orange slices and strawberries
all count as fruit,
so eat as many as you want.

Remember:"STRESSED"
spelled backward is"DESSERTS"

Now its time for breakfast, guess I will go make some hot chocolate and start the day off on a healthy note!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Being Content

Are you content? Are you happy (content) with your life right now? Do you spend too much time and energy trying to attain more of anything? Can you slow down and be content with your life?

Sometimes, I think we all spend too much time, energy and money working & planning towards the future and don't spend enough time enjoying right now. I am not pointing any fingers, I am guilty of this also. Our lives are too hurry, scurry to "stop and smell the roses". I don't think there is anything wrong with planning and doing as long as we aren't consumed with it.

I know lots of folks who want the newest and the best of everything. Their kids are involved in many different activities and wear the latest fashions. They have a closet full of designer clothes and shoes and a driveway with the newest vehicles. They eat out everynight. And have a maid come and clean their house (the house they are never home to enjoy). They want and want and want...and unfortunately are in hock up to their eyeballs to pay for it. It is a vicious Merry Go Round that is hard to jump off of.

Why do we live like this? Are we really happy? Owning more goodies won't really bring us happiness. Our kids playing another sport will bring us one more thing to work into our already busy schedules. (And do they really want participate or do you want them to?) I think we would all be better off learning to be content with what we have and how we live. Eating dinner as a family, watching a tv show or movie together, or working on a project. How many times do you turn off everything and just read a book or play a game? Listening to books on tape is a fun way to share a story, it reminds me of everyone sitting around the radio to listen to their favorite shows.

Lets slow down and enjoy our lives right now. Our children grow up way too fast, lets enjoy them now.

Psalm 188:24 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Ecclesiastes 8:15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for men under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.