Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- A Special Letter

I love our country....

I happened to see this video today, and I just wanted to share it. I love how it shows the family-oriented, down to earth side of former President George W. Bush and how it shows his integrity, a man who many people now disrespect, but a man who deserves the utmost respect for leading our country for the last eight years. I also love how Jenna and Barbara tell the new "First Daughters," Malia and Sasha, to basically enjoy and soak up every single minute....this video just tugged at my heart.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Well, So Much For Plans

Well, so much for plans for this week. Monday morning, I started getting really sick, and yesterday spent all day in bed, literally unable to hardly even walk. Today has been a bit better, but I think if by the morning, I'm not better, it's off to the doctor I go. I'm thinking strep; I know, yuck, right?! I mean, we have been sick about the whole month of February so far. I'm so tired of being sick, either myself or Jaden!Ahhhhh! I have planned to go to Springfield for about a month now, and every week something comes up. We had so much to do this week, and it's driving me crazy! Have you ever felt like that? You know you have dozens of things to do, and it's killing you to just rest, but in order to get better, you have to rest, at least as much as a mother can? (And I have to say here that I am blessed by a husband who has helped me tremendously by being home more and even taking the boys with him; trust me, yesterday, there was no way; I had to lay in bed with a bucket beside me; Honey, I love you so much; you're the only one, besides Mom:), who would hold my hair....ew!). Anyway, the Lord brought a verse to my mind, and it is an encouragement, so I thought I'd share; I know this is probably familiar, but hopefully, you can find new encouragement in it too:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Monday, February 23, 2009...

Outside my is slowly getting light, and cars are starting to go by.

I am thinking...that I have so much to do and am hoping that God will answer my prayer to get me motivated in a big way this week.

From the learning rooms...we are learning about sharks in science this week; spring fever seems to be drawing near.

I am thankful for...a place to live....I may desire so strongly that we have a house of our very own (we rent), but I'm still so thankful for a roof over our heads.

From the kitchen...not sure yet for tonight; I forgot to get my chicken out once again....I'm telling ya, my brain is maybe I'll make some manicotti tonight. I'm also trying to go through my cabinet and freezers to take an inventory of sorts.

I am wearing...jammies and bathrobe right now.

I am reading...all kinds of seed catalogs and a few magazines; The Other Side of Love for a devotional; The American Patriot's Almanac for Thomas Nelson; I haven't been taking enough time (ok, any time) to just do something I enjoy, so I'm trying to start some things, one of them being I'm starting to read just a fun book every day....whether it be fiction or something I've been wanting to read for a today, I'll start The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson.

I am hoping... that Jaden's doctor's appointment can go well this afternoon; hopefully, the doctor can help dispel my fears just a bit. I think I'm just paranoid, though.

I am creating... trying to create a different atmosphere in our home, decoratively speaking. I want to switch things up a bit and take care of some things that need repair.

I am hearing... Dan's alarm go off and the furnace running.

Around the house... today is home blessing; and I really need to find a dresser for the boys.

One of my favorite things... not that Jaden being sick was a good thing at all, but one of my favorite things is being able to just hold him and calm him and just be there for him and Jacob. It's not restful at all having them sick, but it was almost calming to me having those rare moments in there where he would fall asleep in my arms, and I could just hold him and relax for those few precious minutes.

A few plans for the rest of the week...a doctor's appointment for Jaden this afternoon; a trip to Springfield on Wednesday afternoon with Dan and the boys; kickboxing at the gym; errands and library run; homeschool group on Friday; and I got a small writing job, so I'm hoping to get started on that; plus I have an assignment due for my writing course in about a week and a half, and I haven't even started on it yet. Yikes!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...(I would love to just sit on this bench in the summer air and feel the breeze)
For more, check out The Simple Woman.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Funnies

I love this Sprite commercial! It's so cute and cracks me up! It's like the dad and little girl are so lost in their own little world, that everything else is forgotten; so sweet!

This second video was more on the cute side and was actually kinda awesome!

For more Friday Funnies, check out Homesteaders Heart!

It's Truly The Little Things

I wouldn't ordinarily make a post like this, but I must! I wouldn't ordinarily praise God for something like this, but I just have to! I am simply praising God for halfway solid poopy diapers!!!! Yea!!!!!!!!!!! (Oh, I know....ew.....gross!) But if you're a mom, you'll definitely understand where I'm coming from! It's the little things that make my day. Yea!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- Cadbury Mini Eggs

For every season that the stores sell candy, I really think that Easter is the best. I love walking down that aisle and seeing those beautiful bags of delicious, creamy Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Mini Cadbury Eggs Pictures, Images and Photos

Yum! They hit my cravings head on with their crunchy outer shell and their creamy velvety chocolate insides! Ok, now I gotta go have one, or maybe two. Oh wait! I'm trying to lose weight! Ok, so I won't have them tonight, but maybe a couple tomorrow! I wonder how many calories are in them? :) Yum!
For more Things I Love Thursday, head on over to The Diaper Diaries.


Today is just one of those days where I just feel so restless due to being overwhelmed, so overwhelmed that I have no idea where to pick up and start. After being the nurse all week to Jaden and fervently praying that the rest of us would stay well, I don't know where to start. Ever have that feeling? You know you have to do stuff, and there is so much to do, but you're so restless, not knowing where to start, so you just want to either go to sleep (like that could happen with a toddler roaming the house) or plop down on the couch. Hopefully, some sleep tonight will refresh me and clear my head, so I can GET TO WORK!!! Seriously, if I can just start on one thing, maybe all of the other "piles" will start to look easier. Ok, I'm done; just needed to get that out of my system.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Even The Astronauts Knew

Even then on Christmas Eve in 1968, as the astronauts were orbiting the moon, they recognized the power of Almighty God and His wonder in creating this earth and the universe and everything within. Listening to them read through Genesis 1 just sends shivers up my spine, as I think to myself, "What an awesome God!" Even these scientists/astronauts gave the glory to God. Why can't people today see God through His obvious, most wondrous Creation? If you do not know God, please feel free to leave a comment or email me if you would like to know Him. Please don't pass up an opportunity to know the Creator Who absolutely loves you to the uttermost and created you for a purpose.

Movie Review- Miss Potter

If you want to see an excellent movie, then you have to see Miss Potter. If you are a fan of Jane Austen movies, or even the Anne movies.....then you will most likely love this movie. It's about the life of Beatrix Potter. I never realized how hard it was for her to publish her books, being a single lady in Victorian times. She persevered, though, and her books became some of the best known children's stories of all time. I think I had a picture in my head of Beatrix Potter (just from the stories I had read as a child), and what I pictured was far from the person she actually was. I also never knew that she was such a conservationist and preservationist. One thing I loved was that your kids can watch this movie with you; it's a good, clean, wholesome movie, which also involves a most beautiful love story. In fact, I've protected it on our DVR because it's one that I could honestly watch over and over. It is set in England, so it has some of the most beautiful scenery, truly breathtaking. I think that my dream home would have to be her HillTop'll just have to watch it for yourself....enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Even though this is hard for me to say, I am grateful for days like today, when my son wakes up retching in the next room. "Why?" you say. Because it makes days like yesterday seem heavenly. It makes me appreciate the good days even more. It makes me appreciate the good times with my children even more. It makes me appreciative that my children are overall healthy with few sick days compared to children with a life-threatening illness, such as cancer or leukemia. Days like this make me love my children even more. So, even though I may complain and may distress over days like this, it really is all good.
For more GratiTuesday, check out Laura's blog.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, February 16, 2009...
Outside My is dark and cold.
I am thinking...that I don't really want to be up this early, but it's worth it to have a little time before the boys are up.
I am thankful husband and boys; I love them so much.
From the learning rooms...we get to read some of Tales From the Arabian Nights this week in history, and we will be working on more cursive letters, writing our address, reptiles, drilling addition and subtraction facts, etc.
From the kitchen...will be simple meal of Chicken patty sandwiches tonight, since I didn't get my chicken thawed....and hopefully, I can mix up a batch of cookies to take to my nursing friends.
I am wearing...jammies and bathrobe right now.
I am creating...still working on my boys' baby scrapbooks; have also started a journal for my devotional as well as personal thoughts every day.
I am going...nowhere today, hopefully.
I am reading...Genesis; The Greatest Generation; The Other Side of Love; magazines and seed catalogs.
I am hoping...that Jaden wakes up feeling better today.
I am hearing...nothing but the furnace right now.
Around the is "home blessing."
One of my favorite Lake Erie.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: School; get to gym for kickboxing class; groceries & errands; Jacob to Tae Kwon Do; head to Springfield one afternoon to take cookies to the girls and pick up just a couple things; etc.
Here is a couple picture thoughts I am sharing...(Jacob was so excited to get his belt signed by Master Zack; and he earned his yellow belt that night!:))
Boy, could these two get high on their kicks!
For more Simple Woman, check out The Simple Woman.

Menu Plan Monday

Here is our menu for this week. What are you having for dinner?

Monday: Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Corn, Rolls (Subject to change, seeing as I haven't thawed the chicken yet:)).

Tuesday: Chicken Napoli, Peas.

Wednesday: Meatloaf, Potatoes, Green Beans.

Thursday: Grilled Meatloaf & Cheese Sandwiches, Fruit & Veggies.

Friday: Manicotti, Sausage Bread, Peas.

Saturday: Turkey Chili (from Deceptively Delicious Cookbook).

Want to see more menu plans? Check out Laura's blog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time For A Little Honesty

Well, so far 2009 is turning out to be a year of changes and turnarounds. We are working on some things as a family; there are some Big changes in the works for us in the near future. Good changes, though; nothing to get worried about. Just pray for us that we will keep our trust in God. I am so excited!
As for me, it's time for me to get down to the nitty-gritty and just be honest. I set some goals for myself at the beginning of the year, and did I follow through with them? Not so far. So, I'm taking a step back and re-evaluating and becoming more realistic about them.
First of all, I have not been able to keep up with my One Year Bible plan; in fact, I'm so far behind, that it's become a little overwhelming to me, ok, so very overwhelming. So, I sat down this morning and decided to do a two year plan. I'm also writing in a journal things that I glean from the Scriptures, as well as things I am doing and learning each and every day. Sometimes I just expect too much of not only myself, but other people too, and this was one aspect of my life where I expected to just change habits overnight, and it didn't happen, which further overwhelmed me; but this morning as I stayed home with a sick baby, I had a chance to talk to God and set some things on a better path, one that is feasible and realistic for me and my family's situation right now. Life is so very busy, but I realized that without my time with God, my life was sorely lacking. God doesn't expect quantity so much as He expects quality. (Ruth, I'm hoping you can help keep me accountable to doing my devotions every day.)
One other thing I have "failed" in is physical fitness and exercise/proper nutrition. Yes, we've been eating good, but I eat way too many sweets, and I've just let my body go. So, I've decided to sign up for free at so that I can count my calories and stay accountable to exercising and keeping myself and my family healthy. My ultimate goal in keeping myself healthy is keeping my family healthy. My boys need to be taught what "healthy" truly means, and God expects me to take care of my body, for it is His temple. I can feel the unhealthiness oozing from me; it's just evident by the squeezing tightness of my waistlines and the guilt I feel after polishing off another bag of M&M's.:) Ugh....exercise can be so boring, but my husband said last night that he would exercise with me daily, and I have a friend that I will also be going to the gym with twice weekly, Jenn.

So, I'm hoping that by posting this, I can stay accountable, and I will keep you all up to date on my journey. I have a spiritual goal to read the Bible in 2 years, as well as a physical goal to lose 35 pounds before summer.

Well, there's some honesty for you. Keepin' it real.....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ralph Lauren Blanket Giveaway!

If you would love the chance to win a comfy Ralph Lauren blanket, head on over to Lisa's blog, Living My Life, Outside The Box. You may find you want to stay awhile; her blog is like a breath of fresh air. She just has so many great ideas and tips for decorating, and I always walk away from there with fresh ideas and new insights. So, hurry up! What are you waiting for? Go enter to win! You could soon be cuddled up in your comfy blanket with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate!

Received A Call Last Night....

Last night we were finally sitting down to eat supper after a very long day, when of course, the phone rang. You know how it is; you finally sit down for just a minute, and the phone starts ringing. Well, we answered, and it turned out to be a pretty cool thing. Walmart's store manager was on the phone wanting to talk to me. You see, I had sent in 2 emails to the corporate headquarters, complaining about issues we face here with the store, one of them being the store completely getting rid of our fabric, as you've read on here before. I had written in the email that I did not want to receive a corporate email back but made it clear that if they were going to answer me, to do so personally. Anyway, he was very nice, and we had a conversation, which started out by him asking me mainly what my issues were. I proceeded to tell him about the fabric situation and how this was a sewing community. He said I wasn't the first to voice concern, and he then proceeded to tell me how they were going to have a better wedding/party department in place, which I promptly answered that weddings and parties only come around once a year, if that. We use fabric every day. To make a long story short, he told me that he was going to meet with his supervisors over this and see what could be done. Don't worry; I'm not holding my breath, but I am actually kind of impressed that he took the time to call and just listen, which further leads to my one point: sometimes all someone needs is a listening ear; no judgment, no voicing of opinions or advice, just a listening ear. I guess we can learn something from anything because that's what I've gotten out of this whole thing. Maybe I need to listen more. Hmmmm....that's something to think about.

Friday Funnies- Ipod Anyone?:)

I realize this joke, which I received forwarded in my email, may seem gross to some, but it actually cracked me up....I could actually see someone doing this. Hope it makes you laugh!:)

"You are on the bus when you suddenly realize ... you need to pass gas. The music is really loud, so you time your farts with the beat.

After a couple of songs, you start to feel better as you approach your stop. As you are leaving the bus, people are really staring you down, and that's when you remember: you've been listening to your ipod."

For more Friday Funnies, head on over to Homesteaders Heart.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- Lake Erie

Well, I now have a love and appreciation for Lake Erie. We were up to visit some friends this weekend in Ohio, and I caught some pics of the frozen lake near the Eastlake area and the Headlands area. It was absolutely beautiful, and I can't imagine the beauty when it isn't frozen over. Enjoy!:)

Can you imagine sitting on this swing in the summer dusk with your hubby, just watching the waves come in and the seagulls soar?

For more Things I Love Thursday, visit Diaper Diaries.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Movie Review- Fireproof

fireproof Pictures, Images and Photos

Wow, I haven't been on in a while, and I'm sorry for that, but we've been in Ohio; we are visiting some really good friends from college and kind of getting to know the area a little. We are headed home tomorrow, though, so hopefully, I can get back on track with my blog. I'll have more news to come, but for now, I don't want to say too much.

Anyway, we all watched the movie Fireproof tonight, and I know you've probably all seen it. I've heard so much about this movie, and people have told me I need to see it, that it will change people's lives, more than one or two people. But I have to tell you; while it was a good movie (don't get me wrong there), I am a little disappointed in the way that they portrayed the couple having marital problems. The married couple in this movie were not saved, and while unsaved people do have issues in their lives like this, Christian people do too. Christian people actually comprise many divorces when it comes to statistics and rates. I kind of wish they had made this movie about actual Christian people who were struggling, because it seems that a lot of the Christian movies that are being made now are leading unsaved people to believe that if they accept Jesus and become a Christian, everything is going to be hunky dory. Everything will make a complete turnaround, and that's just not true. When you decide to follow Jesus, things can actually become a lot more difficult because Satan is going to try to wedge problems in wherever he can. Portrayals like this can also lead some Christian people, who are still weak in their faith and still newborn Christians, to become discouraged thinking, "Well, if I'm having this much of a problem, am I really saved?" As Christians, we are still going to sin, no matter what. It's not going to be all rainbows and butterflies.

So, while I did like the movie, I really think that, along with our friends, Nancy and Aaron who we discussed it with after watching tonight, we need to guard against using movies like this to draw unsaved people in. Yes, life is so good with God, and without Him we are truly nothing; but it's not going to be easy; the Christian life is a journey that we have to walk every day with Him, constantly guarding against the Devil's attacks.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Show And Tell Saturdays

One year when we were first married, and we didn't have very much money, Dan went out and bought me a 12 pack of my favorite soda, Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper, and he wrote a small note on each can with reasons of why he loved me. That has long been my favorite gift. But since I didn't have a picture of that, my next favorite gift would have to be a book that he bought me one Christmas. It's a book by Bodie Theone called First Light, but what makes it so special is that he got the author to sign it. She was in Springfield for a book signing, and he was able to get it, knowing she was one of my favorite Christian authors.So, there are my favorites.....want to see more Show and Tell Saturdays? Head on over to Homesteaders Heart.

Frugal Fridays- Homemade Vanilla

Jacob and I have been reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder every day in school. He is really enjoying it, and I have to say I am too; there is so much to learn from the way they lived back then. They had to make so many things themselves, or they just didn't have it. For instance, I read the other day how Almanzo's mother made her own Wintergreen Flavoring by taking wintergreen leaves and putting them into a bottle and then filling that bottle with whiskey and letting it set. Then she had that flavoring for different baking projects.

Recently, I had also read about making your own vanilla by taking vanilla beans and putting them into a bottle of vodka. You can read about a couple of different ways of making vanilla on Tipnut.

I know that, as Christians, we don't want to buy alcohol, but this could be a frugal way to become just a wee bit more self-sufficient. And who knows, we may figure out a way to make the best flavorings that outdo even the best brands in the stores! I'm kind of excited to see what other kinds of flavorings I could make on my own. Have a great Friday!

For more Frugal Fridays, head on over to Biblical Womanhood!

Friday Funnies- Gladys

I know a lot of people, like myself, don't approve of Ellen's lifestyle and what she stands for, but her show can give some great laughs, and this video was posted by a friend on Facebook, so I just had to share. Gladys will definitely make you laugh.

For more Friday Funnies, click on over to Homesteaders Heart!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I'm Innocent....Really, I Am....

"Aw, Mom, here, take Elmo! But please let me keep my colored pencil. I wasn't chewing on it, I promise! That blue around my mouth? That's nothin, here, take Elmo.":)

(The pictures really just don't do justice to the blue and chunks of blue on his mouth....when I caught him with the pencil, his lips and chin were nothing but blue and chunks of blue....sigh; what can I say, he's my adventure....never know what he will do next. I sure do LOVE him!!!!)

Things I Love Thursday

There are so many things that I love and use every day, but I have to say that there is one thing that, as a busy mom, I LOVE! Now you can say I'm shallow after this if you want, but I will not deny loving this particular item. I love my DVR. Yep, I said it; I love my DVR. The reason I love it is because we just don't have time (unless we're sick) to watch tv, and it gives us a way to record all our favorite shows and movies and be able to watch them at a later time, all the while fast forwarding through those annoying commercials. So, that's my first item today. But..........

There's one more. This item is a little more practical, and I use it every single day. It's my Tough and Tender, along with a scratch pad. Not only can I use this to clean up spills and messes, but I can use it with a scratch pad to get those tough stains out of our countertops. We live in an old house that has those 70's style white countertops with all the gold specks in them. I constantly have stains from fruit and drinks and anything with color in it. No worries, anymore, though, because all I have to do is take out my spray bottle and scratch pad, and it's as good as any magic eraser. Plus, it's completely safe for my kids, and it can even be used to wash fruits and veggies, which makes it an all purpose cleaner for sure.

So, there are my things that I love today. What do you love?

Want to read more? Check out Things I Love Thursday over on Diaper Diaries.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Need a Chocolate Fix?

Today I decided to explore the bloggie world a little bit and happened upon Lana's blog. As I scrolled down through her blog, all of a sudden, that hunger craving monster arose in me. You know the one I'm talking about; it's kinda like that Weight Watchers commercial that's on tv right now, which cracks me up every time I see it. Anyway, she had a recipe on there for "The Best Chocolate Cake... Ever!!!!" So, you know me; it's chocolate, and I'm instantly drooling. I ended up in the kitchen making this cake after only a few minutes of fighting my cravings. That's right; I caved, and oh, am I glad I did. This cake has to be the best chocolate cake I've had in a while. You have to try it!
(Psssttt....I'm not a big cinnamon and chocolate fan, so I left the cinnamon out....still a thumb's up!)


Gods grace Pictures, Images and Photos

Grace: a seemingly uncomplicated word, but sometimes I wonder how to apply it to my own life or wonder at the way others use the word. I used to work with a wonderful Christian woman who used to tell me basically to let the grace of God do the work and get me through the day and to handle things through God's grace. I miss her....Anyway, I came across this article last week in The Old Schoolhouse Support Newsletter, and it really breaks the word grace down into pieces that we women can more easily apply to our lives. One of my favorite parts was where the author, Jessica Van Roekel, talks about how we think we have to be to a certain point in our Christian walk to even serve God, and that's just not true. I let my perfectionistic attitude sometimes take over, thinking everything has to be perfect, when, in all reality, it's not going to be; God wants to use me now; that's how I'm going to grow, is by letting Him use me now, imperfect and flawed as I may be. Anyway, read on.....I hope it can give you a moment of inspiration and reflection as well.

From Our Readers: Grace - How Beautiful By Jessica Van Roekel

This has always been a word filled with a mystery and beauty that seems unattainable yet it draws me in. I have been told it means undeserved favor or merit, but I long to know a deeper meaning than what I have been given and I long to know how it plays out in my homeschool and life with my family. I long to be a gracious wife, mother, teacher of my children, and friend to those around me, but I must confess I don't quite understand how it all is supposed to work out practically.

I have often relied upon 2 Corinthians 9:8 which states: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." For some reason I remember to apply that verse to situations outside my family, but often forget within myself and my family. Too often I think I need to do all this mothering and teaching on my own, in my own strength-after all, God did place these children in my care; He has led me (us) to homeschool so that we can develop a passion in their hearts for Christ and His ways and His word-so then it must be up to me to get it done. How prideful. How foolish. How human.

Humility must play a part in grace. After all, grace is undeserved favor and merit, with the key word being 'undeserved'. How humble I feel when I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination simply because God chose to bless me. How unworthy I feel when He chooses to use me anyway. I help with worship every other Sunday morning and we had quite the Sunday morning with one of our children from the time this one child woke up until we left for church so it was about an hour with one thing escalating after the other. This was a real test of patience. I had quite the time holding my tongue and my tone and I have found that when I am feeling so close to losing self-control that I just shouldn't speak aloud at all. However, I had plenty to say to the Lord. Comments such as, "How can I help lead worship when I am feeling such anger at this child?" "Couldn't you have had this child wake up in a better mood?" "How am I supposed to be an example, when my heart is filled with such frustration?" "I am a horrible mama, how am I supposed to get up in front and sing with my whole heart to You when my heart is filled with such dislike for this child?"

I got a glimpse of grace that morning. No-it wasn't in dealing with this child, but in God dealing with me. How foolish of me to think I needed to be a certain way before He would use me. I felt Him whisper, "I don't want you worthy, there is only One who is worthy and that is My Son so praise Him today. Don't look at your failings, look at My greatness." I lifted my voice and let my love for Him flow through me and out of me despite feeling like a failure in the one great calling He has placed on my life-that of motherhood. That morning of worship was so sweet. I felt so humbled that He would still desire to use me to minister to others.

What a beautiful word. I love to look at it. I love to say it. I want to seek to understand it more. I am beginning to think that homeschooling is one of the aspects God is using to teach me about grace. Homeschooling is big enough that it makes me feel small, insignificant, and completely overwhelmed by all that it involves yet on the same hand I feel energized by the challenge of it and by those small glimpses of seeds taking root and growing in the hearts of my children. I have learned that it is by grace I am saved, by grace I am called, and by grace I will finish.

"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." 2 Corinthians 9:8. I want to offer this as a challenge: look at your homeschool as more than a learning time for your children; look at it as a learning time between you and the Lord. Take all the little pettiness throughout the day, the frustrations over learning, the worries, and cares that strip the day of its joy, and turn them over to the Lord and let Him pour His grace into you and through you and you will see little gems of grace sprinkling about your day. Little gems that bring you joy.

Grace. How beautiful.

Jessica Van Roekel is from Northwest Iowa. She and her husband have four children ages: 9, 7, 4, and 2 and are in their fifth year of homeschooling and find the journey to be challenging, but sweet.

Reprinted with permission from The Schoolhouse Support e-NewsletterCopyright, 2009, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLCSign up for our e-Newsletters here:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Today, I got to thinking about things that I am so thankful for, and I thought of something that we oftentimes just simply take for granted. They are four things that are integral to everything we do. They are four things that we use every day but often fail to thank God for. They are four things that were wonderfully and beautifully made by a loving Creator Who absolutely has all of our best interests at heart. Today, I am thankful and grateful to have my arms and legs. I'm thankful that I can feel my arms around my husband, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to hold my children. I'm thankful for my hands that can clean and work and prepare food and even play. I'm so thankful for my fingers and hands that can type this post right now. I'm so thankful for two feet that get me to where I need to be, that can run to my children's cries, that can feel so relaxed when I put them up after a long, hard day.

A long time ago, I was watching Oprah (yes, I watch Oprah:)), and she had a woman on there by the name of Monica Jorge. Maybe you've heard of her. Oprah called her a "Mother Warrior." And that she is. Very shortly after giving birth by a C-section in August of 2007, she came down with a flesh-eating bacteria that required all four limbs to be amputated, along with losing several other organs. All of this after having a baby that needs constant care and attention. It is amazing that she even survived this whole ordeal, but what I couldn't imagine as I watched her and listened to her was that she could have such a "spirit" of survival after enduring such a trauma. I don't know if I could have such a spirit. She is truly an amazing person. Simple household tasks that would have taken only minutes before, now take hours.

So, today, I'm grateful that I still have my arms and legs. I'm grateful that God has seen fit to bless me in such a way, knowing that there are countless others out there who do not have the same blessings that I do. Sometimes, I get to feeling sorry for myself, and being grateful requires looking beyond myself and seeing others' pain and reaching out, all the while thanking God.

So, for today, thank God that you can cook that meal and wipe up that spill and change that dirty diaper. Thank him that you can click that mouse to read this post.:) Have a wonderful day!

For more GratiTuesday, or if you'd like to participate, check out Heavenly Homemakers.

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

My kids absolutely love this recipe, which it isn't really a recipe; it's just sort of a put together deal, but it is really tasty. Not so much healthy, but very tasty. My grandma and I used to make these with canned biscuits, but they are even better with the croissants.

Pigs in a Blanket- Croissant Style

2 cans refrigerated croissants

3-4 pieces of cheese

1 pkg hot dogs

You take your croissants and unroll them; tear your pieces of cheese into fourths. On each croissant, put 1/4 piece of cheese and one-half of a hotdog. Then, roll up croissants as directed on package, and place on cookie sheet. Bake at the temperature directed on the croissant cans. (Hint: These are really good with the Butter Croissants). Mmmmmmm............enjoy!

For the real recipe for "Crescent Dogs," you can go to

For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, head on over to Lisa's site.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I Heart Faces- Mr. Jaden

My friend Jenn, over at Classless and Lovin' It, is participating in the I Heart Faces contest, and it looked like fun, so here goes. I know there's a little red eye in this one; but Jaden is always so happy to go get in the bathtub, and he was having the time of his life this night. If you'd like to participate, head on over to the I Heart Faces blog, and join in!

Motivate Me Monday

I had honestly struggled with what to write here this morning, so I waited. As Jacob and I were doing our devotional for school this morning, we read a verse, and this verse just spoke to me; it spoke to me of our situation right now and everything that God is trying to teach us. I hope that it will encourage you and speak to you as well.

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

This tells me that no matter what sickness we may be facing, no matter what housing or job situation we may be facing, no matter what situations we face with our children every day, no matter what it is.....God is there, and He will renew our strength, and He will help us to fly through it. Isn't God good?

Menu Plan Monday

Here is our menu for this week:

Monday: Cheeseburgers, Fruit, Veggies.

Tuesday: Aloha Chicken Kebabs; Homemade Mac & Cheese; Peas.

Wednesday: Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Bacon; Tomato Soup with Pepperoni and Cheese. (Thanks, Nancy, for this great idea!)

Thursday: Fettuccine; Chicken Fingers; Peas.

Friday: Classic Hero Sandwiches; Chips; Fruit or Veggies.

Saturday: Corn Chowder; Biscuits or Crackers. (Thanks, Lisa for this recipe; I can't wait to try it!)

And that wraps that up! For more Menu Plan Monday, check out Laura's site!

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, February 2, 2009...
Outside My Window...the ice and snow is slowly melting and dripping off the roof.
I am thinking...that I am glad we are almost done with our morning lessons.
I am thankful for...good friends who let us come to visit.;)
From the learning rooms...we are working hard on cursive letters, and we are learning about pyramids in history, and we will be studying anacondas and cobras in science.
From the kitchen...hopefully will be cheeseburgers and veggies for supper.
I am wearing...jeans and a t-shirt with a long-sleeved shirt and hot pink socks.:) They're my warm, fuzzy socks.:)
I am creating...still working on that organized space and also working on my baby book scrapbooks.
I am going...nowhere today, hopefully...still trying to get better.
I am reading...The Well-Trained Mind; Vienna Prelude; and a good variety of magazines.
I am hoping...that I will be better by the end of the week and that all of these vitamins and supplements I am popping for this will help.
I am hearing...Jacob playing Narnia right now, and Jaden is watching for now; kinda quiet for now....hmmmm....very unusual.:)
Around the house...hopefully, I can get the house dusted and vacuumed today and maybe start decluttering in my dining room this week.
One of my favorite the sense of accomplishment I can feel when I just start a project. That, in itself sometimes, is another hurdle I make it over.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I so want to get better; school, school, school; catching up from being sick; possible library run; possible trip to see friends and do a little "scoping out."
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...(Red cape and all! I'm so glad he didn't actually make a flying leap off the table.)
For more Simple Woman, head on over here, and check it out!

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