Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Pardon the cobwebs.

I don't quite know what happened.

Summer happened, I suppose.

Baseball, swimming, projects around the house, new baby snuggles, walks and runs, downpours and gusty wind, piles of books to read and listen to, needed naps (sometimes received, sometimes not), changes, growing, late night talks, cleaning out closets, play dates and splash parks, reconnecting.

Busy, flying too fast summer days. Sometimes jam packed and sometimes bursting at the seams with "nothing."

Hopefully soon I'll return to those half written posts I started three weeks ago. Or, maybe summer will trap me in its hold a little longer.

What are you consumed with this summer? Enjoying it or just trying to catch your breath?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Posted this over on my homeschool network website, but had to include it here as well.

Keeping things light for the summer months? Here is a great video that will tackle Bible time and science all in one, and leave you in awe in the process.

Thanks to Michelle and her daughter for sending this my way.

It will take a few minutes of your time, but will give you a glimpse of how microbiology can show God's work in the details. Teaching my children to trust and obey Christ is an integral part of my homeschool, and to "stumble" on something like this, helps tie it all together.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blog walk week 2

I have the great privilege of being on the TOS Crew with some phenomenal other homeschool moms. And, because they have blogs, you can get to know them, too. Every now and then I will post 10 blogs from other Crew members. And, I hope you will find a few new friends this way, or maybe rediscover some old ones.

I find that I do not have time to read every blog I would like to, so I often will put one in my Google Reader, and remove it at a later time. Sometimes I find I have forgotten an old favorite. This weekly blog walk is a fun, bite size way to meet a couple hundred other bloggers and find a few new favorites.

Here's this week's 10 hosts:
1. Second Star to the Right and Straight On Till Morning - shares about life and beginning her homeschool journey with four young ones aged 7 months to 7 years.

2. Surviving The Testosterone - I have a special place in my heart for mothers of a handful of boys. Amanda blogs about life with her 3 little men, giving you a glimpse into her real every day life.

3. Family Style School - lots to read about learning and living. Also, check out the homeschool and curriculum links in the sidebar.

4. School Around The Bible -- Amy offers reviews and is embarking on the journey of homeschooling high school!

5. 1628 The Story of The Goebels 5 -- Andria shares some fun ideas and helpful pictures so you can follow along as she homeschools her young ones.

6. Morris Family Madness -- read about Angel's adventures as she homeschools six, she just shared about her homeschool room . . . it looks great!

7. Homeschool Musings -- need some motivation or ideas for organizing your home or homeschool, she's got some goodies!

8. Homeschooling (and then some!) -- learning from the past and looking to the future

9. Heartfelt Homeschooling -- Want to encourage another mom as she faces the big "4-0"

10. following Him home -- Apryl is an amazing photographer, even if you don't have a lot of time to read, enjoy the pictures

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

WFMW -- Summer activity plans

While setting goals gave us some purpose this summer, it still doesn't fill a day.

So, here is some of what we have found to keep a houseful of yunguns entertained, or at least occupied.

Cooking -- We have made things that we don't usually have time for (like soft pretzels) and tried new recipes. This has been a great time for enjoying old favorites and finding some new ones.

The Big Clean -- Spring cleaning doesn't seem to work around here at least for very long. So, summer is a great time to get some more serious cleaning done. We try to tackle one relatively big job each day, but realistically if we hit two a week I'm happy. Scrubbing floors, cleaning out drawers and closets, decluttering -- lots of stuff that doesn't get budgeted into the typical homeschool schedule.

Play dates -- Once or twice a week we have found time to get together with friends. We didn't need to wait for math lessons to be done. We could just pick a day, check the weather forecast, and make some plans. Loving that flexibility.

School -- Yes, we do still do school. Silent reading, Bible time, a few math and writing lessons peppered in here and there. Definitely not a heavy schedule, but enough to make me feel like we are doing something, but not so much that the kids groan (at least very loudly).

VBS -- I have almost considered checking out other area churches' VBS programs because my kids have such a blast at VBS and I know lots of churches really go out of their way to put on a good program for that one week. But, so far we haven't. We did have an over-the-top fun week at our church's High 5 (VBS) a couple weeks ago. The kids are still talking about it. And, I have loads of pictures that I meant to get in a blog post, but it has yet to happen.

Sewing -- My mom left the older four with the summer project of sewing the backing on their quilts. She got the started and gave them all the instruction they need, so now they just need to get bored enough that they get it finished ;)

Crafts -- My daughters absolutely LOVE crafts. So, at least once a week they search their favorite sites for some inspiration (another blog post in the making here). They have made foam flowers, origami, friendship bracelets, and a few other odds and ends of crafts, all from supplies we have around and ideas found on the internet.

Baseball -- Like it or not, this is still taking up our summer. I am thrilled that my son made the All Star team, but it does mean that we still get to "enjoy" baseball a few times each week. He's loving it, and it keeps him outside and active, so I like that, too.

Make your own list -- My kids made a list of other miscellaneous ideas and projects that they wanted to accomplish this summer and when "I'm bored" begins to erupt, we pull out the list. Then, they find enough to keep busy as they build forts, put up the little tent, paint, swim, play with Legos, etc.

With all this to do each week, this summer is almost going too quickly. But, at least that means we are having fun. And that works for me.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Verse of the week -- John 14:27

Peace Panel Giclee Print


The very word seems to calm and dispel anxiety.

The world craves peace. International peace, peace on city streets, peace in homes, peace on a universal and individual level.

Sometimes I mistakenly assess peace based on outward appearances. Words spoken, gestures made, promises vowed, apparent situations. But true peace is in the heart. God-given calm.

The world can only promise peace based on some mistaken, temporal, external standard. God's peace is wholly other as He promises in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

I find His peace when I stop striving for world-based standards. His peace comes from His consistency. Peace needs a stable foundation, not a handshake with fingers crossed or mumbled exceptions. Peace must be eternal and unconditional to be true peace.

The peace that God gives does not in any way rely on us either. Its depth of power comes from His depth of stability. He does not need anything from us to be any more of who He is.

Peace from others or from the world is often contingent peace. It is not true peace because it is punctured with "ifs." We will have peace if we have financial security. We will find peace if we succeed in business. We will discover peace if our house looks like a magazine cover. Peace will come if we are physically fit.

Fortunately, God is not a God of "ifs" He is a God of "just because." Just because He is who He is and has already accomplished it all.

He is patient just because, not if we try harder.

He is loving just because, not if we seem worth loving.

He gives peace just because, not if we have muster up enough faith on our own.

That's true peace.

Thank you, God, for your amazing peace that passes understanding, that fills every crevice left by our doubt, that walks through every valley and faces every challenge with us. A peace not dependent on us, but completely wrapped up and explained in Your character. Thank you, Lord. ~Amen

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
~John 14:27~

Enjoy other's verses as they Walk with Jesus.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

random ramblings

My mind is nothing if it is not random these days, so I had to jump on this opportunity:

What color are your socks right now? White with green toes and heels. Mostly hidden though in my gym shoes.

What are you listening to right now? the whoosh of the air conditioner, and random household noises -- opening and closing doors, murmurings of conversation, and I think I hear a baby stirring, so I better hurry.

What was the last thing you ate? Teriyaki chicken and potatoes

Can you drive a stick? Yes! I learned on stick, and have one story that I wish to forget from those days (involving my first and only accident, albeit a small one).

Last person you spoke to on the phone? A fellow Chicago area homeschooler, one I have been friends with since our college days.

How old are you today? 37 (it sounds older each time I say it)

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Any that my husband or son are watching. I don't like watching for the sake of watching, but just for the time spent on something that interests them.

What is your favorite drink? Water. I hardly ever drink anything else, but I do like a good vanilla cream soda now and then.

Have you ever dyed your hair? Oh yes, once upon a time. I played the role of Anne of Green Gables in a high school project and had red hair for the occasion.

Favorite food? Just about anything ethnically interesting

What is the last movie you watched? Tooth Fairy. Not the best movie I've seen, but not the worst either.

Favorite day of the year? Christmas, and all the days leading up to it.

How do you vent anger? Breathe, breathe . . . and quoting Scripture -- a soft answer turns away wrath.

What was your favorite toy as a child? A little people tree house that popped open and shut and was oh so cool.

Favorite Season? Definitely fall. I love the beauty of the season and the cooling off after an often too hot summer.

Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries as long as they are fresh. If they are canned, frozen, or in a pie I'll take blueberries definitely.

Living situation? Hmm, full? Right now we have our six younguns and my MIL and FIL living with us. Enjoying the extra family time this affords.

When was the last time you cried? Toy Story 3, any one else? I could not believe I was bawling over a kid's movie!

What is on the floor of your closet right now? well, I don't have a closet, so I guess nothing.

What are you most afraid of? small animals and rodents, even dead ones for some reason

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Swiss cheese, and mushrooms and onions if they are available

Favorite dog breed? I should say yellow lab since that's what we have, but more honestly I would have to say none. I am an animal tolerator.

Favorite day of the week? Thursday. We get a jump start on the weekend with pizza and a movie.

How many states have you lived in? just one -- Illinois. I have also lived in the Bahamas, but when I have been stateside, Illinois is always home

Diamonds or pearls?Pearls. I'm not big on diamonds. Even my engagement ring is a sapphire.

What is your favorite flower? Just about any. I love bold colors in flowers and love the smell of roses.

Did you get an H1N1 vaccine? No.

I saw this on Amy's blog who got it from Marsha, who got it from Meredith, who got it from Melissa... will you be the next?

Let me know if you join the fun!