Thursday, April 30, 2009

Raised by Wolves

WeE-book™ $1.95!  E-Book: WeE-book™-I Was Raised by Wolves 


If you were approaced by a government agent who told you that you were required by law to hand your children over to the government for the bulk of the daylight hours, would you do it?  Would you willingly call your children to the door, place your hands on your son's or daughter's back and push them toward this stranger?  Would you send them off, not knowing what the children would learn, or be told?


It sounds like a scary situation right?  And yet, there are millions of families doing it every day.  Our schools are run by our government.  Nothing is taught that is not first legislated.  But even greater than the government is the peer group into which children are being sent.  From a young impressionable age, children are learning what they know of the world from other children their age and older. 


It is this perspective that Mrs. Suarez tackles in her essay, "I Was Raised By Wolves" which has been published by The Old Schoolhouse as part of their WeE-book line.  Without going into detail, she tells of the years of her public education and the thoughts implanted into her brain forever by her peers.  Mrs. Suarez reminds us that our children are a gift from God and are set-apart by Him.  Sending them into the public arena where they learn all the heinous things children from unGodly homes can teach them is simply not good enough for children of the King.


If you are happily homeschooling, pick up a copy of "I Was Raised By Wolves" for the ney-sayers in your life.  If you are struggling to homeschool, pick up a copy of "I Was Raised By Wolves" for yourself.  You will be uplifted and encouraged to continue this journey!

Getting Ready for Summer

You know, there's just something about the Spring that gets me thinking.  Usually I fast forward to the summer months.  Although we consider ourselves to be a year-round homeschooling family, our summers are much more relaxed.  We participate in the library summer-story-hour.  We spend long days at the pool.  We take walks through the cool wooded trails at the state park near our home.


I recently received a copy of "Beating the Summertime Blues"

E-Book: WeE-book™-Beating the Summertime Blues

This little 5-page treasure is part of The Old Schoolhouse's WeE-book line.  This book-line has a bunch of quick reads with great content.

  WeE-book™ $1.95!


This summer, we will, once again, be watching one of our boys' friends.  We tried this for the first time last summer.  We also watched another one of their friends one day a week.  As the summer progressed, I was constantly searching for new and fun activities to engage these boys.  I wanted our boys to learn but still have fun.


The ebook, "Beating the Summertime Blues" tackled summertime boredom with lots of great ideas for the idle months.  It was a very fast read, but chock-full of great advice, not only for activities to entertain your children, but also reminders to mom about taking some time for yourself this summer. 


Reading "Beating the Summertime Blues"  makes me eager to meet this summer head-on!  I've got big plans for the months of June, July and August!  Now, does anyone know where I can get a few 10-pound blocks of ice?

Home Work

Two things you should know:

1.  God has been leading me toward a home-based business.

2.  I'm a TERRIBLE non-fiction reader.


Before our boys were born, I had a small business in a field related to my career at the time (computer training).  After our first son was born, I lost all interest in being an entrepreneur.  For the most part, I have remained strictly a homemaker since then.  It has been a very quick 12+ years cooking, cleaning, and educating two yound minds.  I really wasn't looking to do anything outside of the home to earn money.  My husband always said that I was "busy enough" and didn't need to take a part-time job or seek other ways to  bring money into the family.  Then a few weeks ago, a girlfriend and I took a course  on how to take old sweaters apart for the yarn.  As I was taking the class my mind was filled with ideas about a recycled yarn shop on-line.  I began to wonder if God wasn't using something I'm passionate about, knit and crochet, to spur me on to business.


THEN I received a copy of "HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance"  an e-book by TOS.  Ugh...non-fiction!  Remember point number 2?  I'm a terrible non-fiction reader.  I usually think I want to read something to learn more about a subject, but then I get a few chapters into the book and I never finish!  I just can't keep my concentration on non-fiction.  But, I printed a copy of the book and dove into it.

E-Book: HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing

My first thought, "This isn't your typical non-fiction!"  HomeWork is a series of testimonies given by homeschooling mother's who also run home businesses.  Each mom's story is 3-9 pages long.  If you, like me, have a problem concentrating, this book will not be a problem.  You can read one mom's story at a time, or you can read an entire section.  Each story was so interesting that I found myself reading entire sections at a time!


The book is broken down into the following sections:

HomeWork:  A Labor of Love

HomeWork:  Computer Based

HoweWork: Creative Writing

HomeWork: Business Support

HomeWork:  Tricks of the Trade


Although I was familiar with two of the contributing mom's, (Martha Greene wrote the prologue and I am familiar with Rebekah Wilson's "Hope Chest Legacy" as well as Jill Novak's products on writing and nature journalling) most of the mom's were unknown to me.  Their stories covered many areas of home business.  Some worked for others out of their homes.  Some supported other businesses out of their homes.  Some had started their own businesses and some were contractors for other businesses.  Each story was unique and presented me with a different aspect of home-based business to consider.


Another thing that I loved was their perspectives on home schooling while conducting a home-based business.  Most, but not all, of the authors considered their businesses to be a family outreach.  Their children were involved in the business even it if was to help with shipping product or answer the phones.  Running the business is an extention of homeschooling for most of the families represented in this book.  But they also talked about their homeschool days and how they do manage to get homeschooling, home-based business, and home making into one day.  If you enjoy reading those articles in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine where a family tells about one of their homeschooling days, you will enjoy HomeWork.  It is 16 stories from moms just like you and I.  They tell us how they get through their days and do as much as God has lead them to do.  Please note, I did not say they "do it all."  They don't.  And they told me, in the pages of "HomeWork", why they don't do it all and how they manage to do ANYTHING at all.  It was a great read and very interesting.


I want to leave you with my favorite quote from "HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance"  This was in the Creative Writing section of the book.  One of the four articles in this section was by Jill Novak of Remembrance press.  She wrote:

"What are you passionate about?  Is there something that you just have to share with others or you'll burst?  What creative discoveries or time-saving methods have you made while homeschooling your children that could help other homeschool parents on their journey?  Those are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself if you are thinking of writing a book or publishing any kind of homeschool curriculum.  Your products should be an outflow of the work that the Lord is doing in your life and the lives of your family members."


If you want to hear the stories, advice, pitfalls, and triumphs of homemaking, homeschooling, home working moms, get a copy of "HomeWork" today.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sinner's Supper

Tonight I tried a new recipe called Cheater's Potato Soup.  (It was bangin'!)  So what game did we play while we ate supper?  Why Liar's Dice of course!


What else would you play when you eat "Cheater's Potato Soup" but "Liar's Dice?"

A Writer's Workshop...WeE-book

I am not a great sleeper.   I can lay in bed for hours before falling asleep!  Let me tell you, there is nothing as frustrating as NOT falling asleep.  Lately, I have started reading for a few minutes before falling to sleep.  I climb into bed, turn on my reading lamp and read a few pages to quiet my mind.  One flaw with this plan, however, is when you have a curious mind.  Reading a chapter of an interesting book, leads to another chapter, then another, and another.  Before you know it, it's midnight and you've got a busy homeschool/homemaking day ahead, with a lot less sleep than is usual!


My solution to this problem?


E-WeE-book™ $1.95


Have you seen these books from TOS?  They are short, usually around 10 pages.  This keeps me from reading too much and staying up too late.  The subjects offered in the WeE-book line are vast and varied!  I have downloaded several and found them all very interesting.  It's difficult to narrow-down which book or books to download!


E-Book: WeE-book™-Writer's Workshop: Getting Children Excited

Last night, I read "Writer's Workshop" by Maggie Hogan.  I've read articles by Maggie Hogan in the past and, as usual, this e-book does not disappoint!


In this WeE-book, Mrs. Hogan describes her experience running a writer's workshop for her children and several other families in her area over several years.  There is even a quote in the book from her college-age son declaring the importance of those writer's workshops in his educational career. 


After reading this book, I am anxious to find a few families to include in our writer's workshop.  Having only boys, writing has never been our strong-suit due to their lack of interest.  But now, the boys are getting to an age where they are expressing themselves with the written word a little more enthusiastically.  How much more appealling would writing become if they worked among other students of all ages to craft a story of their own that would be presented formally at the end of the semester?  Mrs. Hogan gives all the information you need to begin your own writer's workshop.  Although she equips you with plenty of ideas for writing activities and lessons to use with your group, she also gives advice on how to keep the group organized, on time, and encouraging to your young authors.


I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.   Now my problem is, how do I get to sleep when my mind is racing through the writer's workshop I want to lead in the Fall?  Oh, well maybe I'll just go read "Writer's Workshop" again!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Book Review

I love Grace Livingston Hill.  I began to read her when I was nursing our oldest son, Big Mac.  I would exit our church service to nurse him outside the church library.  While walking through the library I picked up a book to read.  It was Grace Livingston Hill's "Christmas Bride."  Since that day I've read many of her books, she wrote more than 90.


Her books can be formulaic.  There is usually a hero and a damsel in distress.  Sometimes the roles are reversed.  Usually one of the main characters is a Christian and the other is not, or is back-slidden.  The wealthy rescue the poor, and the saved lead the un-saved to Christ.  They are always uplifting and encouraging to me.


I don't feed on a steady diet of Mrs. Hill, but I do return to her every few months for a bit of a respite from other books that may not encourage me as much as she always does.


Last week was no exception when I read "Sunrise."  This was the story of a few families in a small town.  A scandal rocked the town and the crime was pinned on two young men who were innocent.  The families were struggling to believe in their boys, and the women who loved them were on their knees on the young-men's behalf.  God brought these boys to the middle of the ocean to get their attention and bring them to Him.  It was a great read!


Here are some quotes I've copied from the book.  They spoke to me as I was reading.  If you haven't read any of Grace Livingston Hill's books, pick one up.  Be encouraged!

All quotes are from Sunrise by Grace Livingston Hill, Grosset & Dunlap 1937:

'I'll find a way to stop it or I'll disown him!'

'Father!  You know you wouldn't do that!  Even God doesn't do that! Not to His real own children!'

p. 9


"Over across the pastures Hannah Parsons got out the hardest task she could find and sat down to work late.  She always did that when there was hard sailing ahead-something to fear or something to bear--she looked for the hardest task she could find and worked at it with all her might.  it seemed to make the time go faster.

p. 41


She longed with all her heart that her son should be a true knight and go on the right kinds of errands, but he was young enough and eager enough to mistake values, and to think a matter of vindicating his own or some friend's rights a sufficient cause for sacrifice.

p. 42


What would he have wanted her to say about his departure?  Oh! she must rather ask herself, what would God want her to say?  And she could trust God to teach her waht to say.

P. 58


'Father in heaven, I'm putting my trust in you!' breathed Hannah softly in her heart, and turned her quiet eyes on the man who questioned her.

p. 59


She brought him white bread of her own baking, and butter of her own making that smelled of the clover from which it was brewed.  She brought a comb of honey from their own hives, and a dish of her yellow tomato preserve, a foaming glass of milk from their own cow, a piece of custard pie and some cottage cheese to which their own hens and cow had contributed, and contentedly he drew up his chair and ate, slowly, deliberately.

p. 89-90


Our Father knows just how we feel, and He's putting every one of those tears down in His book, and the time will come when He'll have them in remembrance and make it all right!

p. 96


The night might be dark now, but Day was prmised and their Guide could see in the dark as well as in the day, and 'He knowethe the end from the beginning.'

p. 97


What a leveler death was!  How it suddenly took the power from villains and brought their evil machinations to an end!

p. 37


Her tenderness was more like the overshadowing of a bride for her beloved, than the fussing of an elderly married woman over a sick husband.

p. 231


The captain was a man who used oaths as crutches to get him from one word to another...

p. 259


When once a man takes Jesus Christ as his Savior the personal relationship must be kept close and vital at all costs or that man is going to show a mighty inconsistant Christan life to the world...

p. 267


How careful parents ought to be to teach their children not to have fellowship with unbelievers, not to choose their intimate friends from among them, not to marry them!

p. 296


...weeping over disappointments and not looking up for God's way, and God's appointments.

p. 296



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kite Day!

Today was "Kite Day" at church.  After a ROCKIN' worhip and sermon, we all headed outside.  We munched on hotdogs and french fries in the gorgeous sunshine and then we hit the fields.  There were a lot of kites available.  Of course, our boys gravitated to the stunt kites.


Here's Big Mac flying a stunt kite that was cylinder-shaped.  It spun as it flew and it was SO COOL!




And here's T-bone flying a traditional kite.  It was so powerful it almost pulled you off the ground!



And, finally, look how the Big Dog flew his kite!


Although it was unseasonably warm, we saw 90 degree temps in April, it was a beautiful-beautiful day.  God gave us quite a gift to be outdoors and together flying kites after worship.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Last night was the home opener of our AAA baseball team.  It's been sort of a tradition in our little family to go to the first home game of the season each year.  We missed last year because we were all sick.  But this year, we made our annual trip!  I packed a picnic lunch.  Big Dog bought the tickets in our favorite spot.  Take me out to the ballgame!

The weather was gorgeous!  Temperature was in the high 60's until the sun went down.  The ballpark has undergone some rennovations since last season, so everything was sparkling!  For this game, the Harrisburg Senators (our team) played the Reading Phillies.

Here's the Big Dog all ready for the game!

As you can see, our seats give us a really great view of the field and home plate!  This is the pitcher bunting.  But, he did have a nice base hit later in the game.  The Senators won 8-2!  We missed the end of the game, however, because we had an almost 1-hour drive home and the Big Dog gets up at 4:30 AM for work.

And here are our boys.  They loved the game.  We've been taking them to these games since our oldest, Big Mac, was 2 years-old.  This was the first year (they are 12 and 10) that they REALLY were into the baseball part of the game.  Going to these games is a blast because there's some sort of entertainment, game, or contest between every inning.  That has always kept the boys interest while the Big Dog and I are there for the baseball.  But this year, our two boys were very "into" the baseball game.  It was a lot of fun for all of us.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Camera

If you've followed this blog for the past few months you know that we broke our digital camera several months ago.  We can still take pictures, but you can't see what you've taken.  So we take bunches and bunches of pictures, download them to the PC and get surprised to see what we've taken!  For Big Dog's birthday we have pictures that cut his head off, but have all of the cake; pictures with all of his head but cut off the cake; but NONE of the Big Dog AND the cake!  It's fun.


Well, on Monday, OfficeMax sent out a notice for a great deal on a Kodak digital camera, and we bought it!  I was so amazed, but it arrived yesterday.  And this time, I actually read the manual.  So I'm hoping to take some fabulous pictures.  I'm in the process of crocheting and felting a case for it.  Watch my other blog for more info on that!


Here's the second picture I took.  I have to admit I'm pretty proud of it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Did List

The other day I was talking to the Big Dog and I said, "You'd be amazed by the number of things I get done in a day."  Then he said something revolutionary.  He said, "You should write down everything you do for one day.  It would be great to see." 


First, I was thinking about how long that list would be if I really went into detail.  Instead of "Made lunch."  I could write, "Boiled hot dogs.  Dished potato salad.  Poured 3 glasses of milk."  This would be quite a long and detailed list.


But, the more I thought about this list of things I've done, the more I realized there would be a much deeper reward to listing the things I've done in a day.  Are you ever overwhelmed by your To Do list?  I am.  I pray over what I need to do and I make a list, but invariably, that list is rarely completed by the time I lay down at night.  So, I start the next day with a list already started that I add to as the day progresses.  In other words, I begin the day "behind the eightball" many days.  This can be overwhelming.  I also have a master "to do" list that I keep in my organizer.  It seems that no matter how much I do in a day, I rarely cross very much off that list.  All of these To Do lists can leave me feeling as though I don't accomplish much.  As I mentioned earlier, it's overwhelming.


So, as I thought about the "Did List"  I realized that every now and then, it would be nice to look at a list of the things I DID accomplish.  This list would be an encourager, not a discourager.  Writing a did list could give me the sense of accomplishment I seek from crossing off items on my To do list.


So, below is my "Did List" for today.  Why don't you try one of your own?


Completed a chapter of my bible study.

Made breakfast.

Did two loads of laundry.

Played Monopoly, Scrabble, two games of Scrabble Scramble, Mancala, Mr. Big Mouth, WWE board game, and two games of ASAP.

Made popcorn for afternoon snack.

Made lunch.

Made supper.

Swiffered the kitchen.

Made the bed.

Straightened the bedroom.

Emtied the filing cabinet.

Answered emails.

Left a facebook birthday greeting for my neice.

Talked to my mother on the telephone.

Wrote a note to a sick friend.

Wrote a letter to my neice in MN.

Wrote a letter to my MIL in MN.

Wrote this blog.

checked the moneysavingmom blog.

Scooped icecream.


Did my hair.

Got dressed.

Got out steaks to defrost for supper.

Wound some blue jersey strips into a ball.

Loaded the dishwasher.

Finished a magazine.

Read a magazine article to my boys about decluttering.

Sorted the mail.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Dog!

In just under an hour, we are off the The Farm Show in Central PA for the state indoor archery shooting competition.  But before I go, I wanted to share some pictures of our birthday boy from yesterday.  Yesterday was my husband's, the Big Dog, 45th birthday.  We showered him with presents, one first thing in the morning, one a few hours later, one after lunch and the final present just before supper.  We had his favorites for breakfast lunch and supper.  AND there was pineapple upside down cake (again, his favorite) for dessert with a 4 and a 5 candle lit in it.  Enjoy the pics!



Big Mac brought him his cake as we sang, "Happy Birthday!"


We have to laugh because we can't see the picture we're taking in our camera.  So we take lots of pictures and hope for a few good ones!


We call this the blow-fish picture.


How cute is the birthday boy?  Don't answer that!