Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Without Saying a Word

Jesus commanded us to go into the world and share the Gospel, which also means sharing the Gospel right at home.

It is sobering to think about how Jesus left GLORY to come to us, lowly and humble, not demanding and forceful. He taught the multitudes by giving illustrations and asking them questions. I love, "Who do you say I am?" :o) For the most part He was kind and tender in His speech. Alot of us like to site the occasion when Jesus turned over those money tables in the Temple during His righteous anger to excuse our anger at people and their sin. When in reality His gentleness outweighed His anger greatly!

If we Christians would learn how to appeal to not only the lost world, but other Christians with an attitude of love and gentleness how much better off would we be? How many more souls could we influence if we showed love rather than judgment and criticisms? By no means am I saying we should be tolerant of blatant sin, God forbid. But we must be careful about holding others to standards that perhaps God has not led them to. And oh how often have we been in error over convictions in the past? It's called learning, being sanctified! It is the Holy Spirit that convicts our hearts, and some times it is our own self-righteousness!

Christians should strive to walk in a spirit of love with each other, yet so often that seems to be the crowd with the sharpest tongue!

In Scripture we are told about the Believing wife that lived with her unbelieving husband. Basically she is told that she can win Him over to God without saying a word, because we all know that it is actions that truly speak.

We can lead people to Christ more by example (humble service, love, kindness, etc...) than we can with words. And we sure can't influence them with a critical spirit.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,

if ye have love one to another.

John 13:35

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering,

forbearing one another in love;

Ephesians 4:2

Monday, April 28, 2008

It is SOOO Worth It!!!

OH MY!!!!! I know you are all sick of hearing me talk about the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, BUT! I have to tell you...IT IS SO WORTH IT!

The EXPO opened this morning and I have been browsing around, there several seminars that I am anxious to listen to, some I will even have my children listen to. After looking at all the speakers and their topics, I went to take a look at the Vendor Hall and Mommy Grab Bag...WOW... you won't believe all the give-a-ways!

I just want to give another plug, because it IS worth every penny!

Just a can listen to any of this when it is convenient for YOU! It is all online.

Make sure you take a look at all the goodies I am offering in the vendor hall and in the Mommy Grab Bag!

The Ultimate Homeschool Expo!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Birthday Pictures

Emma celebrated her birthday last week with some friends over for a movie night.

Guest were welcomed at the door and asked to choose which movie they'd like to view.

There were signs on all the doors of our house.
(Olivia did a GREAT job!)

This was pretty funny!

There was HUGE display of snack foods to choose from,
although they did not have to pay $5.00 for popcorn! :o)

Silly girls!

Emma is an animal lover, we often have to remind her that they are not equal humans!
Her grandma gave her a book about the Emotional Side of Animals. It has great pictures!

Here cake was chocolate on there anything else? ;o)

Each girl took home a bucket of goodies to share with their siblings.

Her actual birthday was pretty quiet. Her dad took her out on her birthday date, he does this with both of the girls. Then we went for a nice walk down to the lake/ was a beautiful day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

No Better Deal for Homeschoolers!

Just a quick reminder...

Next week all the fun begins with! If you haven't gotten your TICKET yet please do so! This is such an incredible DEAL for homeschoolers, well even for all parents that take educating their children seriously!

You want to know who the experts are? They are those that have been there and done that! Having a Phd. does not mean you are the ONLY expert! If your child is struggling in an area you'll learn more from a mom (or dad) that has been there and overcome it.

Remember you access this anytime, not just next week!

The Ultimate Homeschool Expo runs the whole gamut of topics!
There are over $2000 worth of freebies given away AND OVER 50 speakers!!!
I am offering these ONLY for EXPO attendees:

25% off our Basic Cake Decorating DVD

The first lesson of our five part online Quilting Class

A FREE copy of What to Do When Your Daughter Hates Being in the Kitchen ebook!


This also my Frugal Friday Tip! :o)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stay HOME!

Every time I walk in the grocery store I am so frustrated because EVERYTHING keeps going up!!! Jeff's mother was saying that she is spending the same about of money on groceries as when she had all four of her children at home (three of them were boys!) , it's just the two of them now. I have to say that it is the same here. We are now a family of four, we use to be a family of six, I see no difference in our grocery bill.

I am a frugal shopper, but there is only so much you can cut back on. Things I am going to try even harder at:

*Be more serious about gardening this year. We always put some 'maters (that is southern for tomatoes) in and a couple other things, but this year we're going to be more serious about it.

*More gardening means more canning!

*Limit my trips to town to twice a week. I am so bad to run into town just about every day. It's only 15 minutes one way, but if I go 5 times in a week that is 2 1/2 hours of driving time, which really calculates the GAS MONEY! So if I can just cut that time back. Plus we drive 30 minutes one way to church each week. How did those pioneer women handle going onto town once or twice a season? lol I guess they stayed BUSY AT HOME. The Bible actually says, "...keeper AT home", not ...keeper OF the home.

* Less trips to town means better menu planning...better everything planning.

We are such a wasteful generation!

I've been home more this week than I've been in a long time. I have found that I have gotten so much done and am more rested and at peace. I've been able to enjoy caring for my family and home more if I am not having to run here and there. :o) I guess it's all a matter of choosing only the best things to do (and not ALL the good things) so that you can pour yourself into the needful things!

Living on a Dime
has a great deal on their instant downloads!

Organic Gardening
This is another area we're going to improve on.

Anyone else making changes in their schedules to be more frugal?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Movies That Make You Think

We only get 2 and sometimes 3 stations on our TV, and most of that is not fit to watch. Renting videos can be expensive and after walking out of the video store I feel like I need to go repent or something because of all the trash you have to weed through to find something decent. We have been using Netflix since December. Netflix has thousands of movies, including a ton of documentaries and family movies.

I love to watch movies that make you think. Lately we've seen a few really good ones. Last night we watched Brother Son and Sister Moon. Now this movie has a real 60s, maybe 70s feel to it, but the story is beautiful. This is the story of St. Francis of Assisi and his rejection of a life of wealth and luxury, and his decision to live as Christ, helping 'the least of these'. There are a couple of nude scenes (back side), but it does show alot of symbolism. Our kids are older now, so we just asked them to close their eyes. lol This movie kept all of us still ***thinking*** and talking today!

Tonight after family worship, we watched The Mission. GREAT MOVIE! Another one that really makes you think, and most definitely makes you count your blessings. This takes place in 1750 South America, shot on location. There is alot of native nudity, so this is not for the young children. In the end you will be challenged in how you view service to the Lord. It also provoked good conversation after the movie about why there are times you must take up arms to defend and protect. There is an incredible redemption scene. The ending is heart breaking, but it is also part of why we are here! I'll bet we'll be talking about this movie for a few days.

We don't usually watch much TV, but these movies have really been a blessing. Now that our children are older our conversations are so much deeper. It is truly exciting when you see the light bulbs come on for them, and what is even more exciting is when they make connections that you missed. I miss my children being little, but I sure am enjoying this stage too! God is good all the time!

Preview Chats

Cindy has a great line up for the preview chats this week. I am really looking forward to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo starting NEXT MONDAY! We have been homeschooling for over 15 years and this Expo is probably the best deal I have ever come across! I have been encouraged and enlightened by the chats I've listened to. You can listen to my chat I did with Cindy last week about the importance of teaching practical skills HERE!

Here is this week's line up (you can listen LIVE at the time shown, or listen to the recording later!):


Balancing a Home Business with Homeschooling
Terri Johnson from
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 10AM CST

Copywork! Your Key to More Than Just Handwriting!
Cindy Rushton from
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1PM CST

The High-School Transcript: It's Easier Than You Think

Janice Campbell from
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 3PM CST

Tips for an Organized Homeschool

Maridel Willer from
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 5PM CST


Haircuts for Little Men

With Nancy Baetz from
Wednesday April 23, 2008 8AM CST

Homeschooling the Developmentally Challenged Child
Stephanie Guertin from
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 10AM CST

Homeschooling on a Shoestring
Cindy Rushton from
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1PM CST

Evaluating Student Writing: You Don't Have to Be An English Major!
Janice Campbell from
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 3PM CST

Why Critical Thinking is Important to Your Family
with Kathy Danvers
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 5:30PM CST

Excelling in Handwriting

Martine Cox from
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 8pm CST


As You Walk in the Way: Learning the Natural Way, According to
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Lynda Coats from
Thursday, April 24, 2008 10AM CST

Character for Mommies
Kathy Butryn from
Thursday, April 24, 2008 1PM CST

Joy for the Journey
Lucia Claborn from
Thursday, April 24, 2008 3PM CST

E-books ... Making the Most of the Blessing
Michelle Geffken from
Thursday, April 24, 2008 8PM CST



Grab your ticket NOW!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Celebrating 14 Years!

Today is Emma's 14th Birthday!

The whole time I was pregnant with her I prayed that God would use her life is a powerful way. Of course I was thinking along the lines of a missionary or something like that. :o) But early on God showed me that He is using her NOW in MY life! Emma has so much determination, some may call that a strong will. This determination coupled with the deepest since of compassion I've ever seen makes for a mighty arrow in our quiver! The Lord has used her to refine ME so much! I did not realize that I was the one that needed so much 'ministering' to (read between the lines here...refining!). :o) Children can teach us so much about ourselves, good and bad!

Not only is Emma's compassion (which she gets from her Dad) a much needed character trait in our home, but her sense of humor keeps all of us on our toes. She has a way of saying things that most of us cannot get by with, and she leaves us all laughing. I wish I could make people laugh the way she does. And speaking of laughing...she has one of those hilarious laughs that MAKES you laugh. I pray that she will use her ability to make people laugh to bring God glory. This world needs more holy laughter. :o)

She had a party Friday night but the camera was left in Grandma's car, so we won't be able to post pictures until this weekend. :o/

Friday, April 18, 2008

More on Socialization

April comments on What About Socialization:

I have never read your blog before, but stumbled upon it today. I enjoyed and agreed with a lot of what you had to say, but I was troubled by your comment about sending your son to school with all the heathens. My husband and I have looked into the possibility of homeschooling once we have children, for various reasons. So I have no problem with homeschooling. Where we need to be careful is in our attitude toward it. Are we keeping our children home so that we can train them up in the way they should go, or to keep them away from the heathens? While I don't agree with some who would say that you have to send your child to public school so that they can be missionaries to the other students, I do agree with the life of Jesus. It was the religious teachers that he rebuked, and it was the sinners that he loved and reached out to. He did not condone their sin, and he did not join them in it. But he did not take the disciples and camp out in a cave to hide them from the sinners. He sent them into the world, to be a light, and to proclaim the gospel, and to make more disciples. Remember, the heathens are not our enemy. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I hope I have not offended anyone in a personal way--my intent is to speak the truth in love.

My heart breaks for you and your son as he struggles with his faith. I have been in his shoes, and they are very uncomfortable. I will pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to pursue him as He did me.


April, Thank you for leaving a comment!

I would like to clarify, I did not say" sending your son to school with all the heathens". I said, " As if sending him off with with hundreds of heathens everyday would make him know God". I think there is a pretty big difference. I am not saying that all government school kids are no means! But the government school system is Godless.

We chose to homeschool our children because it was/is OUR duty. We have never camped out away from the ones in need. We have been relief parents for a children's home, we have had exchange students in our home, we have been part of many outreach programs and we even have lost family members we spend time with.

By no means do I think we should hide our candle under a bushel. If you are a Christian you will want to engage your culture, you want everyone to have the peace and joy you have, you want them to know Jesus!!! BUT you do not want to be part of the culture, such as handing your athority and responsibility concerning your children over to an atheistic system with books and activities that are anti-God. There is a difference between ministering to the needy and conforming to their ways. And if you want to make a passing grade in a government class room, you better be ready to conform and answer the questions the way they want, not what is necessarily truth.

Wow...I know I am off on a rant here, but I want you to understand that I do not hold ill feelings towards government schooled kids...NOT AT ALL! I do hold disgust for the system.

I so appreciate your gentle and KIND spirit in your writing. It is obvious that your faith is real. Please feel free to comment anytime. I enjoy your perspective!

btw...I do see that God is moving in my son. God is faithful! Thank you!

We Hate Children

I have had a wonderful morning ironing and cleaning and listening to a couple sermons by one of my favorite preachers.

One of them is We Hate Children

THIS is a FANTASTIC sermon. Probably one of the very best I have ever heard on the topic of children. I urge each of you to take some time and listen to this. I promise you, it will ENCOURAGE you!!!!! Or at least convict you!


Click on Weekly Sermons, then i-tunes will pop up and click on the sermon We Hate Children, which was preached 10/07/2007

Where will our children hating culture lead us? Beware!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Less is Best

Jeff has had a couple of days this week available to get the new flooring laid in the kitchen and repair a place in the kitchen ceiling. I figured I needed to give the cabinets a coat of paint before he did that, which means all the trim needs a coat... then I figured the pantry needed to be painted too. Jeff needed to add a board to the back of the pantry...then I had the GREAT idea..."Honey, can WE just take those shelves out and make a wall?" He hesitated, but got busy doing all of that...then we needed to add new sheet rock. Anyone share my HATRED for sheet rock dust??? Because of the new wall I had to go get paint to match the rest of the kitchen...I only needed a quart. The lady said she couldn't mix "that" in a quart. Needless to say I changed the whole color and we had to paint the whole kitchen again...those that know me know this is no surprise. lol

So a simple little job like laying floor covering turned into a HUGE job that all of us have worked ALL day...all week on. Emma has become quite the painter. It is so great that our children are now old enough and skilled enough to do the work of an adult! Many hands makes the load light!

I am convinced that the less stuff one possesses, the more one can enjoy in their home. I love pretty things, but it takes way too long to keep them in order and clean. A few much loved items in an orderly, clean home is better than a dirty and cluttered house where there is so much STUFF that you cannot enjoy the beauty!

I think I will wait about approaching Jeff to "paint" the sewing/computer room! :o) At least until the memory of this week fades a bit! I love my man!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cake DVD Review

I recently received a review from Susan of Keepers of the Faith. I was very humbled by her kind words about my Cake Decorating DVD. My husband and I led a Keepers group for about 7 years. I greatly admire all the work that the Zakula's have done to encourage families!

Basic Cake Decorating Review

My grandchildren had earned their cake decorating badge in their Keepers at
Home Club, and they all just loved cake decorating. When I saw Kathy's DVD
on cake decorating, I thought it might be just the thing to further their
interests and increase their skills. I was not disappointed! Kathy did an
excellent job in both explaining and demonstrating the skills. Kathy's DVD
will help anyone to learn to decorate a cake. It was well done!

Susan Zakula

Keepers of the Faith

Listen in!

You can listen to my workshop/preview call

Teaching the Good Things: The Importance of Knowing Practical Skills

on the The Ultimate Homeschool Expo


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pre-Release SALE!

We received word yesterday that our
next instructional video is on its way here!!!

This video will teach you how to do all of the basic stitches and how to read a pattern.

You will lean about different types of yarn.

The difference in hooks.

How to make a scarf.

How to make the much loved Granny Square

AND how to change colors! to make a dishcloth!

This DVD will be available for shipping
Monday, April 21, 2008

The regular price is
but we are running a

Pre-Release Sale

where you can buy this for

Plus shipping with is about $2 in the US.

This sale ends Sunday April 20th at midnight!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Cup is Empty and My Coffee Pot is Broke!

I know most of us are looking forward to finishing up another school year and especially if you homeschool you are ready to put the school books away for a few weeks.

Cindy Rushton gave me permission to give you a sampler of one of her free gifts that is included on the Ultimate Homeschool Expo site. It is an audio and e-book set that she actually sells on her website, but she is giving it away on the EXPO Site.

Oops! My Cup is Empty and My Coffee Pot is Broke!
Audio Workshop Download With Cindy Rushton

Tired? Weary? Find yourself overwhelmed by the tremendous load of motherhood? Do you consider this one of the most demanding, yet rewarding roles you will ever fill…yet that send shivers down your spine? Join Cindy as she exhorts you in your high calling. This workshop shares Cindy’s heart as she shares about those good days and bad days…sweet memories and rather bitter moments that have made life so precious all along the way. Taking you on a journey back in Scripture to meet Hannah, Cindy will share God’s answers to her heart cry during times she has found her OWN cup empty while “everything” continued to hit all at once!! The biblical insights are sure to draw YOUR heart to your Heavenly Father AND to those you are pouring into. Join us as Cindy ministers encouragement and direction straight from the Word of God to your heart, soul, and mind!

Download by Mp3

You know the saying that a picture captures a thousand words,well...what about a gift like this??? And, just think...this is only ONE of the awesome gifts included on the EXPO site. There are hundreds more!

Take my word for it, you will WANT a ticket to this event and access to all of the wonderful resources. Grab your ticket here:

Ultimate Homeschool Expo

You see one of the neat things about the Ultimate Homeschool Expo is that everything is ONLINE. Cindy builds a private, exclusive site that includes everything from the UHSE in one place--it has audios (from all of the sessions and from the bonus gifts that her speakers give to us), ebooks, complete unit study guides, articles, printable notebooking pages, cookbooks, on and on. I can't believe all of the things that we receive for only $40. It is truly ULTIMATE!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Ruby Rebel


My friend Kelly has a good thread going on over at her blog. If you want to be challenged and encouraged on your views of being a wife head on over to her BLOG!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ultimate Homeschool Expo

Have You Heard about the Ultimate Homeschool Expo?

Just a quick note to let you know about some big news. My friend, Cindy Rushton, is hosting her Ultimate Homeschool Expo again. It is time for the weekly Preview Chats. They are fantastic!

A Preview Chat is an online seminar where you get to listen to the 2008 speakers. Those are free each week. If you have never joined an online class, don't toss this offer! Join us--I will be there! You will love it! I'm actually going to be a speaker this year...yes, I am pretty excited and nervous!

Each session features a free seminar by one of the speakers. You can listen to the speaker on your computer or you can also "text chat" with other moms. It is hard to capture all of the fun in words. You have just GOT to join us! Get the details here:


Monday, April 7, 2008

Multiply it By 10!

I am a bit of a visionary person, meaning I have LOTS of ideas, and a few really good ones too! ;o) But I can become so overwhelmed because I want to do everything, I want to go everywhere, etc...

Then reality hits and I remember I can not do everything. :o(

I started our crochet video over 2 months ago, thinking it would take me a couple weeks and I'd have it ready for publishing. HA! Then life happens, you know, hubby needs attention, house needs cleaning, school work needs oversight, tornadoes hit, shopping to be done, stomach bugs, colds, holidays, birthdays, etc... I've decided that how ever long I THINK it will take me to do something, I need to multiply it by 10!

I have been trying to get the voice overs done on the crochet video for about three weeks, thinking I only had about 3-4 hours left of work on it. It has taken me ALL DAY to finish it, but is finished! I just need to edit a few subtitles and it will be off to the publisher! Can you hear the shouts of hallelujahs?!~

Pre-release special price to be announced soon! I'm planning on figuring that up this evening...but you know how my time schedules go! :o)

Friday, April 4, 2008

But What About Socialization?

Emma working on the fund raiser quilt.

We try to volunteer at least one Thursday a month at the Quilter's Guild, which I am president of. Our usual days are Tuesdays, but there is so much activity then that it is hard to concentrate. Our guild is committed to be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and two Saturday's a month. Thursdays are usually pretty quiet.

Joining the guild is one of the best things we have done. We have been members for about 4 years. Not only have we learned TONS of quilting skills for a very small cost, but all the money that we raise goes back into the community and we give to a wide variety of groups.

Most people that don't understand how home schooling works usually will ask first, "But what about socialization?" As if THAT is why we send our kids off to be *educated* by the Government. I think it is BECAUSE we home school that our kids are very well socialized. Our girls had no trouble jumping right in and and being part of the guild. They already knew how to talk to people of ALL ages, and they knew how to do their part in any work. The same goes when we volunteer at the Fire Dept. activities and fund raisers. Josh was a Jr. Fire Fighter at 15 with his dad. We do everything as a family and we are involved in our community. THIS is how we witness (attempt to evangelize) our culture.

It's not so much what we say to people, but instead it is what we DO to show what Christ has done!

All that being said, our young adult son is struggling spiritually right now. I promise you, that is the deepest pain a parent can know. We have had more than a couple of people say to us, "Well, if you would have sent him to public school he wouldn't be making the choices he is now." I honestly cannot believe the ignorance in this statement. His choices are because of his sin nature, not because he had a family that loved him, taught him about God and know how to work. As if sending him off with with hundreds of heathens everyday would make him know God. As parents, we are responsible to do all we can to train them in the way they are to go, the results are up to God. As long as there is breath, there is hope.

So what about socialization? True socialization is to be able to love thy neighbor.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Looking for Family Reunion Ideas

We live in Alabama, most of our family lives in upstate New York. We have not been to a family reunion in about 20 years, and it's been awhile since the folks up there have gotten together. Several of us have decided to get the reunions going again. So, I am looking for ideas. I've put up a website for our family to share pictures, names, events and reunion info.

If you have any good ideas for family reunions please leave me a comment.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Die Quickly

Elizabeth Elliot:

To hold onto something with a desperate grip is not the way to die. Death is a painful process, and restoratives offered to the dying wretch bound to his wheel only prolong his agony. There are times when the thing to do is simply to die. I am thinking, of course, of dying to the self. We clutch so tenaciously to our rights, hopes, ambitions, something to which God has perhaps said a plain no. If would-be comforters offer us consolation and sympathy, if they assist us to strengthen our grasp when it should be loosened, they do not love us as God loves us. The way into life is death, and if we refuse it we are refusing Him who showed us that way and no other. The love which is strong as death is not only willing to save the beloved, it is willing to seem, if necessary, pitiless, insensitive, unloving, if that is what will help the beloved to die--that is, to be released from the bondage of self, which is death, and thus enter the gateway of life.

Archbishop Fenelon wrote to the countess of Montberon, "You want to die, but to die without any pain.... You must give all or nothing when God asks it. If you have not the courage to give at least let Him take."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Obama Says He Doesn't Want His Daughters Punished with a Baby

"When it comes specifically to HIV/AIDS, the most important prevention is education, which should include -- which should include abstinence education and teaching the children -- teaching children, you know, that sex is not something casual. But it should also include -- it should also include other, you know, information about contraception because, look, I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at the age of 16. You know, so it doesn't make sense to not give them information."
- Obama
Read the rest of it HERE.

Sad that he considers babies as "punishment". Unfortunately, a great number of Americans feel the same way, or at least they view children as burdens.

After 25-30 years of "giving kids the information" teen pregnancy, murdering unborn babies and STDs are still high. Why? It's NOT a lack of information!

The Quiet Family

I made these for my sweet little friend Channie-Mae, for her 2nd birthday.
They are The Quiet Family.
They are snuggled in their little quilted bed.
Notice their eyes are closed and they have no mouths.
This means they are only played with quietly,
like at church or maybe when big bother and sister are doing school.

Here they are out of their beds.
This family somewhat resembles their real life family,
six kiddos including their adopted baby from Liberia.

Put them in their beds, roll it up and tie it.
One thing I'd do differently is sew a ribbon connecting each person to their bed
so they don't run off when no one is looking! :o)

I saw this online back in the fall and for the life of me cannot find it again.

I'll post a tutorial for this in a day or two.