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Oranges - bounty

Taking a Time Out

Time out for…
  • God
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Health
  • Me

Friends, I feel that God is leading me towards taking a break from the online world for the time being in order to focus more completely on the offline world – ie this thing we call Real Life.

In the meantime, you can browse my archives, and I will still be replying to comments as well as to emails {but don’t expect to see me on FB or Twitter} – however, I will be taking a break from blogging for a while.

If you want to be one of the first to know when I come back, be sure to use the form in the right sidebar to sign up for email updates – then, you’ll be in the loop when I return.

I am confident that I will have lots of stories and experiences to share – because when we follow God’s direction, we are truly blessed!

My people will be filled with my bounty. Jeremiah 31:14

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hammock tracks

Who Homeschools?

Ever wonder how other mothers (and fathers) come to the decision to homeschool? How does homeschooling look in other homes?

Well, my friend Savannah over at Hammock Tracks has started a project to answer just those types of questions, and I was honored when she asked me to participate in her weekly questionnaire, Who Homeschools?

So, follow me over there to find out our story – how we came to homeschooling, how we plan to continue, and what a typical day looks like.

While you’re there, don’t miss the other interviews – I don’t know about you, but I always like finding out how others are doing it. I just might get inspired to try something new – and, I always feel camaraderie because the great thing about homeschooling is that although every family culture looks different, there are also areas of overlap where we feel a sense of kinship with each other.

And, while you are there, definitely fill out her Who Homeschools? questionnaire – I know that I would love to find out what homeschooling looks like in your family!

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Been too Long

Hello, Friends! It’s been so long since I’ve really posted anything and I felt that it was time to apologize and let you know what’s been going on.

My granddaddy went to be with the Lord on June 11th, and to be honest, I just haven’t felt like writing much. I’m hoping that will change very soon as the Lord has really been working on me in a few areas.

So, I hope you will forgive me this time of inactivity as my soul rests and our family adjusts to the “new normal.” I hope to be back soon.

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Returning from Hiatus

Well, I’m back! Miss me? I feel so badly that I was absent for so long, but family life called and I answered. I know you’ve all been there and understand.

I’ve got some really great giveaways coming up this month. The first one will be live on Thursday, so be sure to check back to see the goodies for the month of May.

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hammocks in a tree

Relax and Renew

When was the last time you relaxed? Let your children relax?

No, I don’t mean the let’s take a day off of school {so that we can clean the house} kind of relaxing.

I mean total relaxation – letting all the cares slip away and just be.

No responsibilities.

NONE.

I ran across these girls celebrating their Spring Break.

Can you imagine anything more relaxing?

Now, I’m not suggesting that you necessarily need to run out and hang a hammock in a tree, but I did get inspired to try to take some real time off. Not that I would ever be guilty of that fake time off where I take care of housework instead. {Yeah, right.}

So, that’s my next assignment – plan a day {or maybe even a few days} of complete relaxation for the family.

What are some of your family’s favorite ways to cut loose and forget about all your cares? Tell me about it in the comments – we definitely need ideas!

Oh, and in case you’ve been inspired by these wonderfully creative young ladies, they told me that those hammocks are called ENO Hammocks.

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3 in 30: January Goals

So, you know that I’m participating in the 3 in 30 Challenge for this year, but the big question is what will those goals be, right?  There are so many (so, so many) things that I need to work on so the real challenge was narrowing down those choices to something that is attainable and will make a difference.

So, the three goals that I have settled on for the month of January are… {drumroll please}

Daily participation in 31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse Challenge

Daily participation in 31 Days to Clean {join me on Facebook here!}

Menu Planning: Plan for meals and snacks – 7 days a week

I know that it may look like I’m combining goals, and yes, I really am, but if I try to do too much all at once, I KNOW that I will crash and burn. So, these are my three goals for the month of January.

Join me over at 3 in 30 and post your 3 goals for the next 30 days.
Note: Post may contain affiliate links.  These links do not cost you any more, but they help me with homeschool costs – thank you for your support!

Review: Swish

We have recently added educationaI/edutainment games to our regular school day, so you can imagine how excited I was to be offered the opportunity to review Swish made by ThinkFun, and as an extra bonus, they provided a second game to give away to one of you lucky folks! So, a big thank you to ThinkFun for my very first giveaway opportunity!

Based on the description, this game looked like a good fit with our family, so I eagerly awaited delivery.

Swish is a spatial card game that challenges you to be the first to make matches, or “Swishes.”

First of all, I have to give big kudos to ThinkFun for awesome packaging.  The box is very cool.  Secondly, even though I read the description (obviously) before we received the game, I didn’t pick up on the fact that the cards are transparent – which was a fun surprise. The cards are very well made and seem like they will hold up over time and I LOVE that they include a drawstring storage bag for the game ’cause even though the packaging is cool, who really has room for all those boxes, right?

OK, so down to the game – how was it to play is really what you want to know, right?  The rules were a quick read, and then we got down to business.  The kids picked it up really quickly and I must confess that they beat me every time.  That’s one of the great things about the game – age is NOT an issue – your skill level is going to be based on how your spatial abilities – the ability to imagine moving or flipping the cards around. And, yes – you must IMAGINE because there is no touching of the cards until you have called out “Swish!” to let everyone know that you’ve got one.   And, lest you be concerned that your lack of spatial ability will be a problem, I was very pleased that by the third round my ability to be able to “see” what needed to be done to make the matches was already improving.


Another cool aspect of the game is that it is really fast moving and everyone is always playing – searching for matches.  This may be a downside if you have a wide range of abilities playing together, but I’ve already been contemplating ways to make it a “turn taking” game if necessary.  With all the creative moms out there, I’m sure that this small fact can be worked around so that everyone can play and have a good time.  This game is definitely being added to our school rotation! (It would also be a great family night game, but we tend to play our games during school.)

ThinkFun is also very excited that Swish was nominated for Educational Toy of the Year (click here to vote) and Tilt has been nominated for Specialty Toy of the Year (click here to vote).  I will definitely be voting for these products!  (I must confess that I haven’t used Tilt, but Swish is our third game from ThinkFun so I have no doubt that it is phenomenal just as their others have been.)  You can also help them out by clicking on the links to vote as well.

As an added bonus, ThinkFun is offering 25% off of any 3 (different) games PLUS free shipping on any order over $25.  I already have 2 of their newer games on the way from their previous promotion, Knot so Fast and Cartoon It!, and I will be sure to let you know how we like those as well.  We are definitely a ThinkFun family!

Now for the knitty-gritty rules of the giveaway: Just leave a comment below answering either of the following questions – or you can answer both for 2 entries (must be separate comments) with a maximum of 2 entries per person.  Also, please be sure to leave a way for me to contact you – either by e-mail or your Twitter name.  Your entry must be received by Midnight ET on Thursday, December 8th to qualify.  I will use Random.org to choose the winner. I will notify the winner within 24 hrs, and they have 72 hrs to respond.  After 72 hrs, at my discretion, another winner may be chosen.

The questions: 
What is your Favorite Family Game? or/and After looking at their website, which of ThinkFun’s games (other than Swish) would be a great addition to your school day?

Giveaway Day

Disclaimer: I was provided Swish for my honest and unbiased review.  Links within the post are affiliate links – thank you for your support!

Curing a Spending Problem through Accountability

We’re gonna get real REAL today.  As my friend, Sister Lisa, is adament about, it’s necessary to be honest about who you are.

I have a problem with spending money.  It tends to run through my fingers just like water – and sometimes it is on actual things, but more often than not it’s on restaurants (and truthfully, it’s mostly fast food.)  I’m not sure why I have such a problem is this area, but if I leave the house I want to go through a drive through – plain and simple regardless of whether or not I am hungry or it’s necessary.

Later, when I’m trying to figure out where all the money went, I realize how quickly it adds up – and, yet the very next day I will think “$1, $2, $3 isn’t that big a deal – that’s not going to make any difference.” And, then a week later, I am right back where I was!  I’ve prayed about this issue – oh, how I’ve prayed, but it still always comes down to me thinking that that little bit doesn’t matter.

So, in an effort to try to make myself remain accountable, I decided to put how much I spend each day on the calendar – and, possibly even more important, to list exactly where I spent said money.  But, then as I was about to start, I stopped in mid air thinking but I don’t want Moon Doggy to see this! If he sees it, then I really can’t do it – HE WILL KNOW! I suppose that I could choose not to put the information up there, but then it is more like intentionally choosing to lie.  It’s completely different if I just don’t volunteer the information than to choose to hide it.

This is why I think all of the gurus out there recommend having an accountability partner when you are trying to make a change – because it really is a game changer.  The idea that I can’t hide it anymore and it’s not up to me to keep myself in line – it really did give me pause.

But, I did put that information up there – granted I can still choose not to write it on the calendar – but, hopefully I will and just that little bit of shame – of knowing that I will have to share my behavior publicly – will keep me from making that all too common trip through the drive through lane.

God Breezes in Ordinary Places

Have you ever met a family that just inspired you to be a better version of yourself?  I recently met just such a family – in person – not a TV or online family – and I was just so – well, I can’t think of another word – just so INSPIRED! This was truly a needed God Breeze for me.

Recently we were told that the local soup kitchen was not a good place to take our children and discouraged I listened and didn’t pursue the idea.  But, do you know what this family did when they met the same resistance? They found another path and have had no problems at all even with their 5 sweet daughters working beside them.  I realized that I need to be persistent like that – if I feel that it is a worthwhile venture, then I need to find another way.

I am so thankful that I ran into this lovely lovely family on a routine trip to the library – I found out that they are active in the local Homeschool Association which we just joined, so I am looking forward to learning more from and enjoying fellowship with this God centered family.

Vaccinations – Do You Know Everything You Should?

This weekend, I happened across this post called What Would Make Me Vaccinate Again? and I was thrilled to see how thorough her research is.  Reading her article reminded me that I had never shared our Vaccination Philosophy.  Of course, you probably have a pretty good idea of which side I come down on because people who vaccinate typically never even think about it – and they certainly don’t say that they have a “vaccination philosophy.”  They just do it because the Dr recommends it and because it’s what everyone else does.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you do NOT have to do it just because everyone else does. And, I encourage you to research it extensively before you decide what is right for your family.  I don’t believe for a second that our decision is right for everyone – but, I do believe that it is a parent’s job to research the pros and cons and not allow other people to make decisions that you as a parent should make.

When our children were about 2 and 4, we came under a conviction that we were not to vaccinate them anymore.  We’ve done extensive research on the subject and have further decided not to accept any vaccines for ourselves as well.  Occasionally, we’ve wanted to participate in an activity that requires a Religious Exemption to allow you to opt out of vaccines.  Below you will a link to our conclusions and the reasons why we don’t vaccinate.  At times, I admit that I get a little wordy, but sometimes you have to make sure you close all the loopholes so that people don’t argue with you.  When your mind is made up – it’s made up….no ifs, ands, or buts.

You are welcome to read our Religious Exemption Statement and use parts of it if it fits your situation, but I really do encourage you to write your own statement.  It helped to make me more clear on exactly what our objections were and why we were taking this stand for our children.  But, wait before you go…I need to tell you one more thing.

I think that there should be a special note regarding clean vs unclean animals. I believe that the coming of Jesus did away with the “law” of not eating unclean animals.  I don’t believe that it is a sin to eat pork. However, I also believe that God gave those guidelines because they did have issues with cleanliness.  So, will I eat pork? Yes – does that mean I want parts of a pig inside of me? Nooooooo And, yes I know that may be bad logic, but really given the entire scope of the argument, that is really such a small part that I could easily leave it out and still have a well rounded case.

Now, once again, here’s the case we’ve made against vaccines and why we won’t use them (and this includes the flu vaccine and any other “specialty” vaccines they come up with.)  Please also make sure to read the article that prompted this post – she’s linked to yet another article.  As you follow the breadcrumbs, you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about vaccines.

Oh, and just in case all of this wasn’t enough to scare you off of vaccinations – did you know that the vaccine producers aren’t held accountable for the quality of their products?  If something goes wrong, and there’s a bad batch, guess who pays out to those inflicted?  Not the companies….nope – the US Government…in other words, YOU and I get to pay to clean up the mess when they make a mistake.  How’s that for personal responsibility?  Find out more about how The USA National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has been paying out for Vaccine Autism Compensation Awards.

PS Don’t try to tell me that we should be doing it for the good of “society” either – I won’t sacrifice my children for the good of the many – sorry…..not gonna happen….

Help – I Have a Teenager!! or Do I?

How did this HAPPEN?!? It seems like just yesterday that I was bringing this beautiful little baby girl home from the hospital, and today she turns 13–the beginning of the end, to some.  Today marks the beginning of me starting to let go of my “little girl”, and say hello to my “young lady.”

Have you ever heard someone say “oh, you have a teenager” and they say it in that tone – yes, THAT tone – filled with pity and…..and I don’t even know what.  They’ve turned “teenager” into a dirty word.  Well, I will say right now for the record that my goal is to raise a young person – not some unique species called “teenager.”

I must admit that this is not an original thought, and it was first introduced to me by a great article on TJEd discussing the Youth vs Teenager and how this phenomenon has taken place.  I encourage you to read it as it challenges the idea of raising young people as they start to let go of their childish ways and grow into the adults that they will become.

 Right now we’re reading The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood together as we discover the plan that God has laid out for her and equipping her to fulfill that plan.  I’m looking forward to getting to know the beautiful young lady that I’m sure she is destined to become.

Friends: Homeschooled Kids Seek Same

We are joining the Homeschool Association.  I know that might not sound like a big deal to you, but it’s a VERY big deal.  I have never had any real desire to join – mostly because I know me – and, I know that I can easily get wrapped up in all the activities that are available.  Apparently, according to my sister, I have even been known to say such things as “I have enough friends.”  How very young and foolish I once was!


Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Since joining the homeschool blogging community, I have come to realize just how much it can mean to have friends who are going through the same experiences that you are.  Also, I’ve decided that my children would benefit from having more peers available whose lives are similar to theirs.
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We’ve tried to get together with other kids, but their schedules are always different than ours… so, it’s time to dive in to the local homeschool association and meet who we can meet.  My friend Amy at Raising Arrows wrote a great post on Finding Godly Friends for Your Children, and I am praying that God will send friends into our lives that will enrich my children’s lives and be a good influence for years to come.

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