Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Look what I tripped over and found by accident....

Yesterday, while I was posting my pictures, I though I'd better
check to make sure I was remembering the title to my song.
When I started looking around for the lyrics, this little video popped up.
I was so surprised to see it was sung by a little girl with Type 1 Diabetes.
She does such a great job and it tells her story, as well as ours, very nicely. I thought I'd share it with you.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

This lovely lady is a personal friend of mine,
and I would love for you
to see what she does!
She is a wonderful missionary lady,

and has the most amazing testimony of the trials and blessings
the Lord has brought she and her husband, and their 8 children, through.
She is always an
inspiration to me,
and I know she will inspire you too!!

Meet her here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

I have met today's super Mom only once, but
my husband and his family have known her family for many years.
My mother-in-law has only the BEST things to say about her.
I find her just amazing.
I think you will too.
Visit her blogs here and here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

This lovely recipe is so easy and child-friendly, that I knew I must it share it with you.....
in case you might be inclined to whip up some delicious home-made cookies
for your family this weekend.

I do want to add this disclaimer: it's not exactly a perfect fit for a family with
many children as I doubled this recipe and it still only made EXACTLY
3 dozen. My children could eat 3 dozen before they were completely
cooled from baking. It uses LOTS of peanut butter
(because there is no flour in this recipe)
so it's a tad bit expensive too, unless you get a good deal on peanut butter
at the grocery store.
Nevertheless...these are so quick to make and DELICIOUS to eat!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Start by preheating your oven to 350'.

Then, gather together these four ingredients, pictured below:

You will need:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
(as you can see, I used the regular size chips)


In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, and egg. Stir in the chocolate chips.
The batter will be stiff!!

Scoop level tablespoonfuls and roll into balls. Place on UNGREASED cookie sheets.

Flatten with a fork.

(Here you will see pictured my delightful "Personal Assistant."
She has taken on this role of her own accord and is at my side managing every detail
of my life like the professional that she is. She is adept at everything I ask her help with, and she has the MOST cheerful disposition.
No, I'm afraid I cannot hire her out, no matter the price.)

Bake at 350' for 15-18 minutes or until browned.
Note: As I mentioned before, I doubled the recipe and ended up with exactly 3 dozen.
I might triple or even quadruple it next time.
Yummy, yummy, YUMMY!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday's Super Mom

There are several mom's in my mind whom I would like to share with you
that I believe you will find as inspiring as I do.
This first lady I do not know personally, but I've been following her blog
for some time and have always enjoyed the things she talks about.
Though I don't agree with her on everything, I think she is amazing
and has learned how to let the Lord have His way in her life.
Would I like to have as many children as she? Ummmm....no.
But she still inspires me and gives lots of encouragement to women trying to live their lives for Christ and be the kind of lady God created her to be.
Read about her here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

This recipe came to me from a friend (Thanks Jen!!) a long time ago, and I have modified it ever so slightly for our family.
My children find this quite yummy, especially our 16-month-old, who eats gobs of it!!

Tator Tot Casserole

1 lb. ground turkey
2 large cans (28 oz.) green beans
1 can (15 oz.) cream of mushroom soup
1 can (15 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 bag (32 oz.) tator tots

Let your oven preheat to 425' while you brown your ground turkey, seasoning to taste. Dump your turkey, green beans, and soups into a 9 x 13" baking dish. Stir all together until well blended. Pile on frozen tator tots and spread to cover the rest of the casserole. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes until tots are browned nicely and it's bubbly hot. Let cool before you serve, unless the wonderful smell overtakes you and you can't wait!!

I'm serving this tonight with fresh, sweet, juicy strawberries paired with
some fabulous chocolate whipped topping!!

Note: You can double the amount of turkey if your family is particularly carnivorous....mine is not.
And if you are really amazing and have a garden, you can of course substitute
your own garden fresh green beans or you can use frozen also.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why do we homeschool?

This is a fun question because it always stirs up passionate conversation. There are many reasons why parents homeschool...ranging from conviction to lack of options. I'm going to share
with you the reasons why OUR FAMILY homeschools, which may not be the reasons another
family would necessarily homeschool.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it always the easiest way to educate your children. If you're passionate about your childrens' educations, you've taken the first step. On the other hand, it is not for those who have a
tendency toward laziness. It should be a very personal decision made between Mom, Dad, and the Lord.

Our journey to homeschooling began six years ago, when our oldest child was ready to start school.
I knew in my heart that I did not ever want my children to go to public schools. I do not have a problem with parents who do put their children in public schools, and I'm not necessarily "Anti-Public Schools". I just know for me, and my family, it is not the right decision.

So then, if the public schools were out of the question, our next option was a Christian school.
I wanted to find a school that, first of all, held to the same faith and values that our family has.

I was also looking for something that would fit inside my husband's salary. At the time, he was on staff at our very small church, so his salary was not extravagant, to say the least. I quickly became discouraged when I realized there were not many Christian schools in our area of like faith and practice. But what sealed it for us, was the cost. We simply could not afford it.
So, now what was I going to do. I had thought about homeschooling, but really did not know where to begin. I have a Bachelor's degree, but it certainly wasn't in education.
So I began reading some books, talking to people, researching the requirements for this in the state of Texas, and discovered that I could indeed do this.
But then once the decision was made, the grueling process of finding the right curriculum began. I was a bit overwhelmed as I looked through the internet and homeschool stores. But once I learned how my child enjoys learning and how I enjoy teaching, it made the process easier to find the right one. Once that decision was made, I was very excited about it. For the first few years everything went fine and we had so much fun. As we've added more children to our little schoolhouse, and discovered some learning issues, it has gotten more challenging.

So the question arises,
"If I had the option of sending my children to a Christian school, would I??"
I don't think so.

In this journey, I've traveled from the point of homeschooling because my options are limited to homeschooling because this is best for our family and what the Lord has designed for us.
I'm so glad I listened to the Lord's leading and didn't push for something that maybe I really just wanted.
This school year has been a revealing one to us. It has become crystal clear that two of our children have some learning challenges. On top of that, our second child was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. The care for this disease is very complicated and time consuming and we've heard stories of schools where the staff know nothing about this, and are unwilling to care for a diabetic child properly.
The Lord knew this. He knew way back in 2002 what was coming to us and what would work best for us. I'm so glad I listened!
The bottom line is we followed what the Lord was saying to us!! We did our research, we talked to people, we looked to God's Word for direction, and did what we felt He wanted and not someone else.

In Deuteronomy 6: 5-7 it says, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
It seems pretty clear to me that the Lord asks us to be diligent about teaching our children HIS principles, HIS character, and HIS worldview every opportunity we have. I want to have as many opportunities that I can get to influence my children about the Lord and to teach them to love and serve Him.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
I firmly believe that it is the primary responsibility of the parent to train their children
in the ways of the Lord......not the church youth group, not Sunday School, not the teachers
at a Christian School.
If you want to have the heart of your child, if you want to prevent rebellion in your child, you MUST have a relationship with your child. To have a healthy relationship with your child, you have to spend time with them.
Is that something that I always enjoy? Not always. Sometimes they are grouchy or belligerent,
but they still need to know that I love them....even when they are not fun to be around.
It just made sense to me that to produce the type of relationship that I wanted
with my child,
I needed to be around them.....and be responsible for the majority of what they learn about life. I don't want them to be "sheltered" or "naive", but I do want them to learn wisdom and character, and to see things from their Designer's point of view.....to help them discover their true purpose in life.

Our journey is certainly not over and will definitely take some twists and turns here soon, but it's so exciting to follow the Lord's direction for your family and to see Him do miracles in the middle of it all.
It is for these reasons that we feel homeschooling is the BEST option for our family.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Boredom Busters on a Budget

Since the summer season in Texas begins in May and drags on through the middle of September,
I've learned that I must have a plan of things to do for those months.
I consider the summer here to be like the winter months up north because it gets so hot that
the children don't like to play outside at all.
So, if there isn't a plan in place, things quickly deteriorate at my house and boredom sets in. That is swiftly followed by petty arguing, then slapping, then full-fledged hitting and throwing things, or things like you see in the above picture!
So as the school year is coming to an end, I pull out my calendars that I've printed from www.janbrett.com (which is a whimsical website with tons of fun things to print out), and start looking around the internet at our local churches to see when they have VBS scheduled. I have sometimes had as many as 5 different weeks of VBS to take my children too, and they LOVE it. Living in the Bible belt, there are lots of churches in our area that are of like faith, so I feel very comfortable taking my children to these churches. Since we've been doing this for awhile, they have begun to see many of the same children there every year, and make new friends. Then they come home with all these neat little crafts. I have discovered that when 4 children come home with the same craft, I have way more than I can display. So we tuck away the sturdiest, cutest, most useable ones and use them as Christmas gifts for the Grandma's and the Grandpa's. My children LOVE to give gifts, and they look so delighted to share something on Christmas morning they made for their grandparents.
Another great resource for us is our local library!! I can't say ENOUGH about the children's programming at our library. Every summer our children's librarian has a whole slew of activities planned that are absolutey free. Every Tuesday night there is some kind of program that is entertaining as well as educational. Last night it was "Professor Brainiac", and what a terrific show full of entertaining science experiments. He had the dry ice a smokin', and the toilet paper flying through the air, and the kids were lovin' it!!
Then there are free craft times at three different times during the week so you can choose
the time that best suits you, and the crafts are really good too. More for the grandparents!!
Best of all...we have participated in the "Texas Reading Club" every summer. We read either 25 books (for the younger ones) or 25 hours (for the older readers), and log it all on a book log. When we complete this, there are great "prizes" like certificates for Sonic
and Whataburger, and a free skate at the ice skating center. We save those until the beginning our of school year, and use them as a field trip.
I've also found that when we are cooped up in the house during those hot months, it's a great time to pull out all the craft supplies we've not used up and just let the children have at it. It's a great time-filler and they have lots of fun.
Finally, we also have a wonderful Sonic eatery (I wouldn't exactly call it a restaurant since that eludes to an eat-in kind of place) that has a big 'ol play place full of sand. Every day is half-price drinks AND slushies, so we coordinate play dates with our friends at Sonic once a week or so and have slushies and play in the sand. It's so fun....until it gets TOO hot of course.
So......what does YOUR family do to beat down summer boredom??

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let me explain......

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do....."

Okay, so I don't relish the idea of calling myself "an old woman," nor do I like to give the impression that I'm completely out of ideas, but I think the image here fits me on particularly challenging "mommy days". The Lord has blessed my husband and I with 6 gorgeous children and to be honest, it isn't always easy. Obviously, some people must think it looks like I have some idea of what I'm doing because I often get comments like, "I just don't know how you do it." So, I've been thinking of creating a journal of ideas and thoughts and trials/errors, to shed some light on "how I do it." It ain't always pretty and it probably won't work at your house. But my thought has been that maybe I can share some little bits of organization or household tips that might encourage you as you try to manage your family. I'm always looking for a new idea, and maybe you'll find one here that can make things easier for you too. I also thought I'd like to keep a record of things that we do in our house for our children to look back on and remember and then eventually be able to incorporate into their own families.
So, come with me, walk with me for awhile, and see what it's like walking in my shoes.