Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Livin' Life

I miss my blog. And I have soooo much to say. But, alas, no time to say it.

Yesterday, though, I read the following passage in one of my favorite books, Understood Betsy. I love the book so much that this is my fourth time reading it. This time to EG. And the neat part is, I was reading this book to NG when she was 7. Right before EG was born. And the even neater thing is, I loved the main character soooo much that I named my baby girl after her.

Anyway, here is the passage:

This time Elizabeth Ann didn't answer, because she herself didn't know what the matter was. But I do, and I'll tell you. The matter was that never before had she known what she was doing in school. She had always thought she was there to pass from one grade to another, and she was ever so startled to get a glimpse of the fact that she was there to learn how to read and write and cipher and generally use her mind, so she could take care of herself when she came to be grown up.

So, the passage struck me in a very profound way yesterday. I have been struggling with the continued idea of homeschooling. It is hard and time consuming with little encouragement. But, that passage sums up why I probably chose to homeschool again this year. I don't want my kids to just learn for learning sake or to recite facts or to pass tests or even to progress to the next level. I want my kids to learn so they can use their minds! So that they can love learning. So that they can completely and thoroughly take care of themselves when the become grown ups! It isn't about a grade or a test score or even a recitation of mere facts. It is a process that we use to become engaging, competent and interesting and contributing human beings to society. Schooling is a process that appeals to the heart, soul, mind and body of a child. The passage was much needed encouragement from one of my most favorite books!

So, that is why I included these pictures too. School isn't just about learning for us right now. We practice loving and serving along with learning. We fill our minds but our hearts too. With the sweetness of what life is for us. Today.

So, today, we homeschool . . .

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


#GraceWins. I just loved the theme for this year's SonPower singing, recording and serving trip for my youth age girls! I am desperately trying to get one of the t-shirts to wear. The shape of the cross on the shirt is made up of words written in dark gray that name all kinds of sin. Adultery, anger, depression, coveting, jealousy, selfishness, gluttony. Just to name a few. But right smack in the middle of the cross, in red letters is #GraceWins.

Ok, so enough of that! ;) Now just a few pictures of my people doing their thing last week. Wish the pictures were in some type of order but I don't know how to move them around. ;(

(NG serving at a daycare)

(Nightly devotions. Many nights around 10PM)

(Lovely lunch buddies in the park)

(Matthew West came and performed for the kids)

(Sweet LM helping to clean a Christian grocery store that helps the homeless and low income families)

(LM doing ballet and volleyball at the same time)

(NG at the daycare with her new friend)

(No teenage trip would be complete without a selfie or two)

(NG working at the grocery store)

(The massive cross outside of the church they stay at all week)

(Where ballet meets volleyball.)

(Favorite pass time this summer - volleyball)

So, thankful for the adults who feed these kids and drive them around and guide them and protect them. And still have time to take a few pictures. Fun time had by all . . . . 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Youth Groups

Many moons ago I was a skeptic of church youth groups. I belonged to one when I was a preteen/teen and things did not go well. I never really fit in. There were a lot of different reasons for it but when you have unpleasant memories, you tend to make other decisions based on those memories.

Not to mention I just thought God made the family and dog gone it, we were going to do everything as a family. Enter in a Wednesday night worship service with a youth choir that my oldest would potentially be a part of the following year. Those teenage kids were singing their hearts out and for many of them you could just tell in their young faces they were praising Jesus with their voices. I really was blown away. Not just that, but when you watched them, all of them, they were just really great friends. And interacted so well with each other.

So, the following year, when NG entered middle school we allowed her to attend youth choir. Just an hour, once a week. That year she did her very first bike trip and sang a solo and friendships started to blossom. Hearts started to grow. Including mine. For those kids.

That following year, we allowed her, ocassionally, to go to the youth gathering which was right after the youth choir. Hubby would go up or I would hang around. We saw the kids and how they interacted. They included all walks of life. The older kids in the group would encourage everyone to participate in whatever they were doing. I liked what I saw.

The following year both girls were attending youth choir and youth group every. single. Sunday. This year they are participating in almost everything the youth kids do. We have watched first hand these kids grow, move on, and invest in each other, in their church and in their community. NG will be with some of the same kids almost every day for a whole month with camp training, VBS, out of town choir and then working at camp.

At first that would have terrified me. And it still does a little bit because my first born baby is growing up. But, all I have seen from her is growth and a desire to do the things that she knows God wants her to do. She cares for people, she realizes that she has a responsibility to be a good example. She makes mistakes but she is a little bit quicker to own them. She is beginning to understand that pretty much whatever she does affects some one, some how.

We, as parents, could have done most of it. Given life experiences. But, it has been such a blessing to have it reinforced by peers, other adults who travel and teach them, by older kids willing to invest their time and talents.

My babies are gone for the next week. And I know they have a ton of growing to do (don't we all) but I also know they will came back just a little bit changed. And most of it for the better . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Quite a few years ago, hubby bought a double kayak. It was a fun idea. The only problem was that it was for two people and at the time of purchase none of my little people were big enough to hold the front end down. And then paddle.

This last beach trip, the kids were finally big enough to go for a little ride. Obviously NG and LM were able to go further out in the water. Which made me super nervous because there were tons of boats zooming around. I thought I had a pictures of each kid taking a spin but I guess not. Those who were not kayaking spent their time fishing.

The kids had a great time going out. We have since sold the kayak because it spent more time sitting than actually being used. Go figure . . .

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Story

It dawned on me the other day that even though I have had this blog for almost 8 years I have never shared my story. The story of my new life in Christ. My story is part of God's story and that is soooo amazing to me. My pastor said that basically God created me and my story so uniquely and that it is meant for me to share some one else or a bunch of someone elses out in the world.

So this is my story.

My mom became a follower of Christ when I was in my late teens. I was not living with her at that time. I remember receiving letters in the mail. And at the end of every one, she would always say she was praying for me and that I should read my Bible. At the time, I did not pay it much attention. I was a graduating Senior in high school. I had other things on my mind. But she never gave up.

Fast forward a couple of years and I was back living with her. We would attend church regularly. And one Sunday morning her prayers were answered. I was listening to the preacher share the good news of Christ's life, death and resurrection and at that moment I knew it was true. That God had sent His very own Son to live a sinless life, to die on the cross for the ultimate penalty of my sins and then rise from the grave and ascend into Heaven. Just like His story, the Bible. It just all made sense. I believe and I trusted and put my faith in Christ as my Savior.

I was definitely changed on the inside. God has said He wipes our slate clean once and for all when we put our faith in His Son and what He did. What He still does. When God now looks down upon me He sees me clothed in His righteousness. Amazing. Grace.

I am not perfect. Most days I have committed some type of sin by 8AM. But, I am a work in progress and thankfully He is not through with me yet. . . .

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Beach Day 3 and 4 Maybe

Yup. That is right. I haven't finished posting pictures from our beach trip last year. And we are already (or at least I am) thinking about this year's trip!

Some might be duplicates because it has been so long since I took them!

We went to the beach during the day once or twice. But we made it a point to walk on it every night at sunset. Nothing beats a great beach sunset . . .

Friday, April 1, 2016

Sledding in GB

One of the other things I definitely wanted to do when we were in Wisconsin was take the kids sledding again. When we were in GB the last time, they had sooooo much fun. This time it was suggested we go to Baird's Creek which is where I would going snow skiing when I was in high school. I was super excited to take the kids to a place I would hang out at when I was NG and LM's age. I have so many great memories from that place.

I owned my own skis and we would go on a week night or on a Saturday. The hills weren't all that big and we would ski without poles. It had a tow rope and it was super cheap. All my friends would be there and they had a lodge or chalet you could go into and warm up. Just so many great memories.

Anyway, we got to the creek and it was just how I remembered it. Except now they had a place where you could tube sled and it was huge! We paid a couple extra bucks and we could ride the tow rope up to the top. The kids never stopped. They would come up the rope and run to go down again. Especially EG. She was not the least bit afraid. From up top of the hill, we could see her grab her tube and run for the tow rope to do it all over again. Daddy and I had a great time going down as well! Definitely thrilling!

I had a chance to walk through the chalet and head over to where the skiing use to be. That night it was mostly snowboarders. I didn't see one single skier. Things change on the slopes as well, I guess.

I think the kids would have gone up and down and up and down until they could barely walk. But the hill closed at 8 and we still had not had dinner. Gpa and NK had come out for a little while to watch us sled. But then left to gather us up some great bread and hot soup and it was waiting at their house for us. Perfect ending to a perfect night. . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! The following are some words of Truth from a song we sang this morning at our amazing Easter service. I am soooo grateful that Easter ain't about the bunny. I'm alive, I'm alive, I'm alive forever. Hallelujah, amen . . . .

Let the children sing a song of liberation
The God of our salvation set us free
Death, where is thy sting? The curse of sin is broken
The empty tomb stands open, come and see
Let my heart sing out, for Christ, the One and only
So powerful and holy rescued me
Death won't hurt me now because He has redeemed me
No grave will ever keep me from my King
I'm alive, alive, alive, hallelujah!
Alive! praise and glory to the Lamb.
I'm alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!
Alive! Forever. Amen

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sweet Sleep

Last night we didn't get home until after 10. And this happens more than it probably should. No wonder she doesn't sleep all night in her bed. We have worked out a deal that if she stays in her bed all night for 7 days she will get a fish. That was almost a week ago. And it hasn't happened.

I think now she said I don't have to lay down with her at night. And she will sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor when she comes in in the middle of the night. Renegotiating the fish deal.

When we were traveling many years ago, she fell asleep on the couch of the hotel room, with her booty straight up in the air. I guess the bonus of this is, she can fall asleep anywhere. I love her . . .

Monday, February 22, 2016

In Prison

Yesterday I had an amazing opportunity to sing with our church choir at a woman's correctional institute nearby where I live. It was a little disconcerting standing in the courtyard waiting to get in. High chain fences topped by Constantine wire. Hearing the clang of the locks on the double doors we would eventually have to go through.

I just wasn't sure what to expect. But, as I stood there my mind and heart going a mile a minute, God reminded me that there was no difference whatsoever between those women and me. Just a sinner saved by the grace of God through the blood of Jesus Christ, God's own Son. In God's economy, as He looked down on us, all praising Him together He did not see a difference. He saw His creation worshiping together.

The message was so clear. We all our sinners. We all have fallen short of the glory of God. But, through our acceptance and belief in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ, we are saved. And we will spend an eternity together. No matter what are past looks like. We have the common bond of the blood of Christ.

It really was so amazing to worship together through the universal language of music. After the concert, so many of them thanked us for coming. And we had the opportunity to pray with them. I was grateful to have been given the privilege with such an wonderful group of people . . . 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Christmas Eve eve

A tradition that the kids have enjoyed has been spending Christmas Eve eve with Sissy. They have great fun because they watch movies and make cookies. I have great fun because it is a night I get to be Santa's helper . . . .