Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let me tell you ... or ... maybe not

There are great benefits to listening to your husband share about his today. I will admit that when my husband shares about his day, most of it goes over my head. I am amazed at how right-brained I can be when someone is talking TOTAL left brain. Yet I do not consider myself creative at all. I will tell you though, I am my husband's BIGGEST cheerleader - whether I can understand all he is talking about or not! :D

So the other day my husband was sharing about how his day was going and what he had learned...

Wait, hold on, let me back up a few days to Friday. Friday was a terrible, no good, very bad day for my husband. You see, he LOVES to accomplish things at work. When he does not accomplish things, he feels miserable. There were a few things that I saw going on in my husband's life with his work that I knew if HE knew, he could change and have better days at work.

And BOY did I want to tell him what I thought he could change and be better and have better days. I knew he could not see it because he was too closely involved, being it involved HIM and all. :) But I felt God telling me to hold my tongue. So I prayed instead. I have learned to obey in that area and the blessing OH THE BLESSING that comes from obeying!

So fast-forward to the other day. My husband is telling me about work and goes on to share about these things he was learning. OH THE JOY I saw in my husband! Joy like he has not had in a long time. DIRECTION!!! He finally sees the direction that God wants him to go at this time for this season in his life! And the peace that all of this is bringing. PASSION he has for his work (that is a good thing for my husband - he used to be so passionate about what he was doing). And the JOY - did I mention joy already? ;)

Oh what I would have missed out on if I had tried to be the Holy Spirit in my husband's life!! What little strides, if any at all, would have been made. And the joy, if any had come, would have been short, VERY short lived. How do I know? Because I have been there before. I have tried to help my husband be better by telling him things rather than allowing God to tell him. And when I tell Brian, especially if I have NOT been led by the Lord to, then I notice it is like a band-aid on my husband. A temporary fix. But band-aids fall off.

When God tells your husband something it is like a complete and total healing! MUCH longer lasting. And at those times where there may be a little slip, God is there to catch him rather than ME trying to have to carry my husband.

I just had to share that. I hope it blesses and encourages someone.

PLEASE note that I am not saying I am perfect. There are many times when I don't even give the Lord a chance to tell me to keep my mouth shut. I just open up and start blabbing away at my husband. But this time, the Lord "interrupted" me before I could get going. LOL!! And I am SO THANKFUL He did! :D

Monday, April 27, 2009

Current Web Readings

Character First!
This looks like a GREAT character curriculum!! There is a free sample too!

Creation Club
OH how WONDERFUL this sounds! I so wish that we had one of those around here! I wish I knew enough to START one! :D But at least we will be doing a LOT more nature stuff this year!

Princess Lapbook - this is about being GOD'S princess. LOVE this!! :D

Daily Literature And Bible Study
LOVE this idea! I would love tips for how to do something like this without creating judgmental children. I know that in the past, we would point out and talk about bad character traits in books and movies, sadly to have my children start pointing it out and talking out loud about it in real life. Then I talked about discretion, but all that did was DISCOURAGE them from talking out loud, and in fact, encouraged my oldest to start reprimanding her sisters for even talking out loud about Jesus. I would LOVE tips about this!! THANKS!! :D

AA does not like to write but she LOVES to tells stories! I have finally gotten her to enjoy writing by writing STORIES! :D Currently she is writing and illustrating a book about the best pirate adventure ever. :D

Here are some GREAT ideas to encourage writing:
Picture Prompts For Writing
Having recently discovered this blog, I am in love! LOL!! And this post is no exception. What a wonderfully CREATIVE way to (inexpensively) encourage the child to write!

Princess Lapbook - Correspondence
While I have NOT done this yet, I plan too. And I am so thankful for being BLESSED to have received a hand written note from Lady Lydia! The handwriting is beautiful and elegant. So much so, that we kept the letter JUST to look at the beautiful letter! That really impacted my daughter. And when I mentioned one of the reasons we have her do copywork is to practice writing so she too can write as elegant and beautiful... she does her copywork with no fights now! :D I bet this lapbook will help too. :D

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Obedience Fun - NOTEBOOKING!

Yesterday I shared about the obedience lapbook we are making.

Today I share on NOTEBOOKING!!! :D I am JUST learning about this whole notebooking thing. So bear with me. AND if you do notebooking, could you PLEASE share with me in the comments how you do it and some of your favorite web sites and resources (free or not). :D THANKS!!

AND you can combine the two!! :D That is next on my list to learn. If you combine the two, please share how!! :D

Free Character Habit Training Cards

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obedience Lapbook

This week our character trait is OBEDIENCE! :D

How To Make An Obedience Lapbook
A WONDERFUL example that you can make your OWN lapbook ANY WAY YOU WANT! You don't need templates or fancy put togethers.

However, that being said, there is a nice advantage to having the templates and then your children just cut and fill in and paste. :D

Hands Of A Child - Biblical Obedience Lapbook and Study
You can't go wrong with Hands Of A Child! This is a 40 page in depth study with 13 hands on activities that is a GREAT study to do with your kids!

And of course there are the free resources like the first one I shared. But this one has templates for you. Character Lapbook - be sure to scroll down to obedience. There are also some GREAT general templates at the top of the page that can be converted to do the same stuff mentioned at the beginning of this post. You can do it yourself or modify already made templates.

We did a combination of the first and the last. We also found the character journal entry on obedience to be helpful. And I just found this site with character notes and it has some GREAT stuff - even a game to play!

So what is up with the picture? It represents God's protection when we are under His ordained authority. So of course God is first, then the husband (or dad in this case), then the wife (maybe the hw stands for housewife?? LOL! I will have to ask EE about that one?!?!), then the children (all four of them are there, do you see 'em all??). This comes from a Bill Gothard seminar, but I was unable to find a picture online to show you. I did find something else, which I also like, which talks about not stepping out from under God's protection. A good read. :)

We are taking a bit more time with this lapbook because it is a bit more in-depth. The girls are having a blast and learning and I am learning a lot too!

Oh and I almost forgot. SONGS! My children learn well through songs (ESPECIALLY EE!). There is a great hymn called Trust and Obey. (You can find other hymns about trusting and obeying here.) Not to mention the song from No Greater Joy - Their song for E is Ephesians 6:1!! My children LOVE that CD!

I hope this helps you create a WONDERFUL lapbook on Obedience!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Well, BUSY! LOL!!! (edited to add: sorry for the LONG ranting post! I had a lot to share.)

First we have been VERY busy cleaning the house hoping to refinance. It is amazing all the hoops you have to jump through now a days with the economy the way it is. But the girls were a GREAT help and we had three AWESOME friends come and help us out to get the house in the best shape so it could appraise for as much as possible. Now, I have been busy ENCOURAGING and re-training the girls in how to keep house. It is so nice to have a clean house!!! A little bit of work every day keeps it looking NICE! It is the re-training that is taking the most work. :)

Secondly, I have felt very convicted about getting more of God and His word into the lives of my children. So I have been busy with the kids working on that as well as character traits. We are going through The Original 21 Rules Of This House. It is wonderful! We are also going through George Washington's Rules Of Civility. GREAT stuff there too!

I have also been doing a LOT of research on food and the role it plays in our life. I started on the journey of learning about food when my beloved's dad (my FIL) got cancer and was given 6 months to live. I owe a LOT to my in-laws because their research and FIGHT led us to start learning about food and the effects on our body. We went vegetarian, and they became macrobiotic. His body, to the glory of God, was healed. Then we went to vegan, to 100% raw, to 85% raw, to where we are today: a lot of raw, including green smoothies, with a Nourishing Traditions eating style.

We also learned a LOT from Dianne Craft about the role that nutrition plays in brain function and learning abilities. If you are a member of HSLDA, and dealing with a child with learning difficulties, you can call and talk to her for free! :D I was blessed to hear her speak at a local homeschool conference. So we have been working on dietary changes and supplementation in order to cleanse their bodies.

I am also dealing with my son JJ and his health which has now gone into environmental allergies and reactive airway disease. You may have noticed a REAL FOOD WIDGET on the left hand sidebar. I hope that you will take a look. It has some GREAT articles updated as articles are updated.

I also added a GREEN HOUR widget that has great articles (also updated when new articles are added). GREAT ways to enjoy the outdoors with your kids. Thanks to "the best gift ever" from a certain Aunt and Uncle (thank you!!!) we will be spending the whole summer outdoors! YEA!!! :D

I have also been trying to catch up on my fav blogs, get the finances back under control and get more JOY in our lives. :D Thanks for listening!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Current Web Readings

Homemaking As Art
BEAUTIFUL and encouraging post!

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
WHY should you use the 1828 dictionary over a more current version? Why do we? Read on.

101 Spring Things To Do
Enjoying nature during spring. :D

Quiet Time Bins
What a GREAT idea!! LOVE this! Although having four kids, I think instead of doing daily bins, I will number them 1-5. Then assign each child a number. You will start off with that number, and then every day you do the following number. When you get to five, go to one and start over. :D

20 Tips For Finding Your Routine With Kids
THIS IS GREAT stuff!!!

Brunch on a Budget
LOVELY post and a GREAT reminder on entertaining at any time. Oh how I wish I lived near Meredith!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Current Web Readings

Finger Puppets
The name of this blog is DOLLAR STORE CRAFTS - need I say ANYMORE?? :D

Front Porch
When it comes to tight finances and food, what do you sacrifice? This is a GREAT and very timely article that is a must read.

Homemade Snack Food
I am thinking of trying my own jerky this year for JJ (and the girls too). And good NON-soy recipes?? :D

Living Frugal Life With Children
GREAT ideas! Most I knew (and currently do). And don't forget about the Green Project - a great way to keep busy enjoying God's creation! :D

Creation Club
LOVING this blog!!!!!!! And especially this part about The Creation Club! GREAT for all the nature stuff we will be doing this year (thanks to some AWESOME gifts we got from Aunt Katie!)

House Guidelines
The Duggar's Household Guidelines

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Passover Lapbook and Resources

Yes, last minute AGAIN. I have been collecting these for the past two days. I hope you enjoy them!

Passover Lapbook
Links to various activities you can use in your lapbook as well as pictures.

Passover Lapbook Resources

A Passover Lapbook
An example. WAY cute!

Lent Season
GREAT collection of links!

Passover Printables for Homeschooling
GREAT printables!

Passover Fun and Games

Hands of a Child Passover Lapbook
This is not a free resource, but for those short on time (or just like everything all put together or a very extensive study).

Exodus: Plagues
REALLY great stuff for younger children AND older ones! GReat even for adults who want to learn more! :D

Good stuff for the plagues.

More great stuff for the Passover

Passover Coloring Pages

Kaboose Does Passover
GREAT site.

Pesach Paper Dolls

Passover Resources

Passover 10 Plagues Activity

(And an interesting article: Passover, Yeast and Fungus?)

We Interrupt This Blog....

I will admit that with the state that this nation is in and is heading, I have to wonder if people really are that ignorant or if it is all part of God's plan to move this world closer to His return.

Here Dave Ramsey talking about how our government is moving toward socialization/communism.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


As I mentioned yesterday. we do not give our kids an allowance. Not yet anyways. My husband and I each get an allowance our of my husband's paycheck. It allows us the freedom to enjoy things we want to that are not in the budget (like going bowling or out to eat). As the children get older, I suspect we might start including them in this allowance. It will not be based on work (heaven knows mine is not - I need to go and clean after this!) :D But most likely based on age. It is nice to have a little spending money. And if the kids want more, well.....

What do we do for our kids to be able to have some spending money? Two things.

(1) We have a list of extra jobs around the house that need to get done. These are jobs that are really Mommy's and Daddy's responsibility (like cleaning the garage, mowing the lawn, weeding, etc.) that the kids could do in addition to their other acts of service (i.e. chores, but I prefer to call them acts of service).

Now of course they have to have what they are responsible for done FIRST. Their clothes, their bed, their act of service and their zone. The acts of service are things they need to learn to do for themselves (like laundry, cooking, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc.). These switch around depending on the age of the child. SOMETIMES the act of service is teaching the younger child how to do their new act of service (in it's being passed down). :D


(2) We also encourage our girls to make things to sell.

AA is knitting scarves (very easy). MM is finger knitting headbands (more like ties) - they can also be used as belts (if that gives you and idea of how long they are. EE has made some crocheted mice (they look like balls with tails, but she calls them mice and they would make GREAT cat toys!).

Now I agree, my daughters have an unfair advantage. What mom can pass by a child's booth or stand and NOT buy something!?! Especially when they child is young (I guess mom's don't have the same sympathetic heart for older children as for younger ones). BUT, if you have a good product at a good price and of a good quality - it will sell. :)

What I do is have my daughters sit on a blanket in the living room and do handiwork while I read to them. It reminds me of a time when Pa Ingalls might be telling a story and Ma is rocking in the rocking chair working on her crochet, Laura would be knitting some mittens for a Christmas present for Carrie, and Mary would be working on some mending.

We want our daughters to learn where money comes from (that it doesn't just appear, but it takes hard work) and how to be responsible with money. It is amazing to see how much more my children respect something when they buy it themselves. We have learned this the hard way. We bought way too many things for our children as they were growing up. Most of it, sadly, has just be given away to Goodwill. I have sold SOME in garage sales, but most of it was junk to begin with, and that kind of stuff doesn't go at garage sales.

They are also learning the value of saving. I LOVE Dave Ramsey's children's books. I have all the ones that came in the Chick-Fil-A kids meals a while back. I bought most of them at garage sales. The kids LOVE them (which reminds me, I should get them out and read them again, it has been a few months - LOTS going on over here). AA is saving up for stuff she needs when she buys a house (she keeps saving like this and I have no doubt that her and her husband will be paying cash for a house)!

Life is just really good. :D You may not agree with anything I have said the past two days, but this is what works for us. And we are pretty happy with it! And the kids are too. :D

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I have read and heard many different messages on the whole rewards system. To reward the child for doing what they are supposed to be doing, or NOT to reward the child for something they are supposed to do - THAT is the question.

Of course because some messages were from certain teachers which I liked everything else they said, or they were popular authors/speakers among some of the women I most highly respect and admire, I would follow what their suggestions were.

And depending on what teacher I was into at the time, would determine pretty much what we did. But we have kept a few basic things that we like:

(1) We encourage the children to do their work as unto the Lord - just as if the Lord Himself had asked them and not Mommy or Daddy. We also encourage them NOT to seek our praise for the work they do. We want them to know that there is a heavenly reward and an earthly reward, and encourage them to desire the heavenly reward.

More on that in a moment.


(2) We don't do allowance. I know that sounds bad to some. We believe that a child should not be paid for something they are required to do. When they grow up and leave home, they will have to know how to cook and clean and do laundry, and no one will pay them for it. It will be part of their responsibility in caring for themselves (and prayerfully someday, a family).

More on that in a moment too. :)

But I had to think about it. I am training my daughters to be keepers at home. And while they will not get paid for it, and the rewards are much greater than anything on this earth... it is nice to be given thanks. It is nice to be appreciated. And those are things I want my daughters to learn too - thankfulness and appreciation. Not that we will always get it. And when we don't, we still need to work as unto the Lord. But I want them to learn how to show thankfulness and appreciation for others.

So my brilliant beloved came up with a WONDERFUL idea! When the children exhibit a character trait that we truly appreciate (like being exceptionally kind or did a fantabulous job on their chores, or are the only ones NOT whining), he gives them a penny.

Please notice, in following with our above seeking a heavenly reward, we do not want to praise our children so much for the works that they do, but the diligence they showed in doing it, or the cheerfulness they had while doing it. We feel that it is so much more important to praise virtues than works.

Sometimes their work is not the best, but they TRIED their best. They were diligent and persevered while working on their handwriting for school. We want to encourage them to keep doing their best because then their work WILL look nice and neat and respectable.

We found a old gumball machine at a garage sale. My marvelous beloved talked her down to TWO DOLLARS! So they are allowed to take their penny, and put it in the gumball machine and out pops the candy of the month. Sometimes it is M&M's (peanut of course, gotta get SOMETHING healthy in there) or jellybeans or Skittles. Sometimes, if they have exemplified Christ all day they will get like three or four pennies. They LOVE plunking in penny after penny!

It doesn't happen everyday. Sometimes days go by and no one is getting pennies. That let's us know we need to work harder on character issues. The kids have not come to expect it. It i sporadic and random and the girls love it! It is just another way we show appreciation and thankfulness for the character growth and development of our children.

So instead of allowance, how do our kids get money? I will post on that tomorrow! :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Current Web Readings:

Clothes Pins
these are WAY cute!!!

Two Shirts
He who has two shirts, let him give one .... Are you able to give?

Complete Organizing Solutions
GREAT site!

Organizing Cash
A cloth envelope system! SO CUTE! And it solves the problem of the envelopes TEARING after so much use! I wonder if she has done a tutorial, or if there is a tutorial out there?? Anyone know? HT: Like Merchant Ships
P.S... this blog is GREAT! I am so loving it!!! take a peak around at more than just this post! :D

Parenting Follow Through
I love this! So many times I too wrestle with my laziness in inspecting something I have asked the kids to do. I ration is what they were to do that important. But I love how this author reminds us to look PAST WHAT they are to do to the character trait we are instilling in our children.

Mom's Smile
THIS IS PURE BRILLIANCE!!! It's not long, go and read it. Don't thank me. Thank the author!!! :D

Mom of Littles
Am I the LAST one to know that Crystal (Biblical Womanhood and Money Saving Mom) has another blog?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Sweethearts: Messenger

I LOVE playing messenger with my beloved. Mostly because the giggles we hear from the kids!

Brian will be in one part of the house, and I will be in another with all the kids. Then I will tell one of the children to go upstairs and give Daddy a message. It is usually something very funny, but still expressing my love and appreciation for him (see list of ideas below). He will then send them back with a message for me. This will go back and forth until one of us says something REALLY good or until it is time to end (like ok, tell Daddy dinner is ready).

The one thing to be careful of is to make sure each child is able to participate. Even my 2 year old son whose vocabulary is a very small few words says "me too!" and wants to bring a message to Daddy, and runs off to Daddy giggling all the way (although usually he goes up with the message and never comes back down! LOL!!

Some examples of things we say:

"Tell Daddy he is my prince!"
"Tell Daddy that I think he is hubba hubba!"
"Tell Daddy Momma needs some kissin!"

Some things my really creative and smart husband says back:

"You're so hot you make me melt!"
"Daddy hurts all over, can you kiss him and make it better?"
"You are a light-bulb and I am your switch and I know how to turn you on!" (that one made me blush and I sent the kids back with the message "Tell Daddy YOU WIIN!" :D )

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Spurred on by a comment on Meredith's post on traveling and food, I had to search out kimbap! We love sushi (we give it to our children starting at age two). We usually used cooked fish or vegetarian sushi. (Although we do get raw fish sushi when at a restaurant which has SAFE raw fish).

I had never heard of kimbap before. VERY cool!! we would most likely use sardines (maybe even anchovies) instead of the tuna (tuna is SO high in mercury!).

Here is a link to her recipe.