New Baby Girl!

/ Thursday, August 29, 2019



On Wednesday, August 28, 2019,
God blessed our family with a new baby girl!!
She was born at 10:14 am
7 lbs, 4.5 oz, 20 inches

This makes 8 children in our family: 3 sons and 5 daughters. My husband and I are so grateful for this newest gift from God, as only He can do all things well!

This year, there have been many changes for my family, lots of journeys, with enough twists and turns to qualify to be a reality TV show. I hope to update and share in this space again very soon! All in all, I know the One who is writing this story and so I will put my trust in Him.








On Wednesday, August 28, 2019,
God blessed our family with a new baby girl!!
She was born at 10:14 am
7 lbs, 4.5 oz, 20 inches

This makes 8 children in our family: 3 sons and 5 daughters. My husband and I are so grateful for this newest gift from God, as only He can do all things well!

This year, there have been many changes for my family, lots of journeys, with enough twists and turns to qualify to be a reality TV show. I hope to update and share in this space again very soon! All in all, I know the One who is writing this story and so I will put my trust in Him.





Continue Reading
THE TINY TRUTHS ILLUSTRATED BIBLE:
The Incredible Story of Who God Is, Who You Are, and Who You Were Made to Be

Created By: Joanna Rivard & Tim Penner
The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible is a great way to present God's Word to young children. I would say it is perfect for little ones between the ages of 2 and 7. All of my little ones in that age range flock to this book every time I pull it out. They LOVE the pictures! And the truth is, I do, too!! They are bright and colorful, and it's nice to see Biblical illustrations that are more culturally diverse.

{Although Biblical illustrations are not necessary, and none of them could be called completely accurate, what we do know is that most are grossly inaccurate. Most illustrations depict people of Anglo-Saxon, when the entire Bible takes place in present day Meditterranen, Northern African, and Arabic countries. That eats at me from a historical perspective. Anyway, the point is the pictures are surprisingly refreshing!}

This children's Bible is a collection of select stories, 15 from the Old Testament and 18 from the New Testament. Although is is heavily paraphrased, it is very well-written. In general, the integrity of each story is maintained (some discrepancies here and there) and the stories are clearly retold. I do wish that each story included the actual Scripture reference so that children know where to find the entire account in the real Bible, understanding that it was recorded there first. I am a firm believer that children's ears should grow accustomed to hearing the Word of God to build familiarity with it. Because of this, we use children's Bibles as supplemental only.

At any rate, this is a great supplement to family Bible time! Children will be drawn to the pictures and its simple narrative--most of my little ones can read it on their own. I'm glad we have a copy!

An excerpt from the back cover:
"This Bible connects each individual story to the next, clearly showing how all the stories of the Old and New Testament fit together to tell the one big story of God's great love for his children. The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible helps children discover:
-Who God is--the one who made everything and everyone
-Who we are--his children, whom he loves no matter what
-What we were made for--to love God and others"

Enjoy!



(I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Newest vlog is up and running! 
Husband can't remember what day it is and 
I've got the deep-conditioner under the head wrap look going on, 
but it's real life! 
This month's married folks topic: How's the money managed? 
Click below to watch!


How's the Money Managed?

by on Friday, February 01, 2019
Newest vlog is up and running!  Husband can't remember what day it is and  I've got the deep-conditioner under the head wrap l...


My sweet boy, 4th born, asked me the other day, “Mommy, how old do you have to be to be a big kid?” This, just days before he turns 7 years old. I told him, “You have to be at least 8.” And as soon as the words flew out of my mouth, his sweet life flashed before my eyes: my rainbow baby, the health concerns he’s been through and what he’s overcome, his bright smile and his sense of humor. I thought, “Here we go again, I’ve been here before.”

There is much ebbing and flowing in parenting. And much like the shift between infant days and toddler years, there’s an I’m-getting-older shift, too. I see it in my son: the I can take care of things attitude, the wittiness because he actually understands the joke, increase in level of ability and skill, beginning to turn the corner on reason vs. imagination. This may occur at different ages for different children, but like I said, I’ve been here before with my 3 children before him, and if God says the same, I’ll see it again with the children after him.

As I recall all his squishy baby days, all the neck cuddles, all the sleepless nights, all the times I held him or wore him in a wrap around the house, I must be careful. . . careful to embrace his growth as God’s will for his life and not wish for all the days gone by. Time passes so quickly and I try so diligently to record as much as I can (hence this blog and Instagram). As much as it tugs at my heart that his little boy days are beginning to slide into his older boy days, I know more blessings await.

The older children have taught me the beautiful combination of laboring and harvesting years. When they were little, there was a lot of time spent laying foundations, lots of seeds planted, lots of watering and weeding. But those three, who are now 15, 13, and 11, have shown me some good, ripe fruit for the labor. And there is still more laboring yet to do, but what a blessing their lives are! Not only are the cute little baby days a gift from God, but these "teenagery" days have been a delight as well.

What a thought: I delight in my teenagers! Counter-cultural? Yes. Gift from God? Absolutely!

They are like a new set of friends, talking with me for hours on end about everything imaginable. They share new experiences with me, have supported me through some very sad days, give me random hugs just because, and let me tell you, the laughter, the singing, the dancing--just a gift. Then there are their thoughts on life, about the world, about their Faith, about others; these are when I feel the most grateful, to hear that their perspectives are God-fearing.

Now, lest you be hoodwinked into thinking that I think my children are perfect, I’d be the first to say, that is not the case. Again, more watering and weeding with lots of prayer. But what I am saying is that the older years are a delight as well. They present us with new challenges and unknowns for sure. However, I reject the notion that somehow because my child is in double digits or has “teen” in their age that they are no longer enjoyable or that this gives them the license to behave unruly. God’s Word is true, children are an inheritance and reward from the Lord, and are to be trained in the ways of righteousness, with the expectation of obedience, regardless of age. {Psalm 127:3-5; Proverbs 22:6, 6:20-21; Ephesians 6:1-3} These blessings and responsibilities apply to teens, too!

Anyway, if you see me somewhere, smiling through my tears, it’s because there’s a shift happening and I’m so blessed to be a part of it.

a belated post
from the archives of my heart


As Our Children Grow

by on Saturday, January 26, 2019
My sweet boy, 4th born, asked me the other day, “Mommy, how old do you have to be to be a big kid?” This, just days before he turns 7 ye...




Many homeschoolers have enjoyed taking a break from school to celebrate the Birth of our Lord and New
Year's Day with their families and friends. After all the special memories made, fellowship, good food and
merriment, it can be difficult to get into the swing of things again. January stretches out before us, a roll of
endless winter days. Most of us know that we have all the way until May or June before the closing of the
academic year. How do we get back on track??


Know Where You Left Off
I know I am guilty of and declaring at the end of one our school days, We’re finished until such and such
date! And I haven’t always stopped to check every assignment or subject because we are all in break
mode. So, to begin again, it starts with me. I have to take one or two days before resuming to note where
we left off. I get caught up with any assignments that need to be checked so I know exactly where each
child will begin in each subject.


Ease Back into the Routine
I do NOT recommend just jumping back in, feet first, full-steam ahead with sit-down instruction. Instead,
take a couple of days to gently practice getting back into a basic time routine, minus the school work:
waking up at regular time, putting nap times back in place, having meals at their regular times, chores and
housework, bedtime is back on schedule, etc.


During school breaks--and especially when my husband is off from work--our days and nights run into
each other. We love the fun and out-of-the routine adventure that Daddy brings with a school break. So,
we enjoy every bit of it. Sometimes breakfast isn’t until 10:00 am and bedtime isn’t until midnight. Some
days we are out getting yummy treats or visiting family, and on others we are playing games and watching
movies all day. As relaxing as it is, I have learned over the years to ease back into our normal routine by
simply getting the times right beforehand.


A Few Subjects at a Time
This isn’t a new one to homeschoolers as we usually begin our academic year this way, so why not use
it after a long break? Instead of teaching all subjects to all children on the first day back, we start with
Math and some language arts combo, like spelling and reading. We add in another subject or two every
other day or so until our homeschool is fully operating again.


Limit Disruptions
For the first few weeks after a big break, I try to keep our outside commitments to a minimum. We stay
at home most days for the first couple of weeks. I like to focus my children’s attention without being
pulled in different directions. The slow pace and restful days of the wintertime are perfect for that.


These are the things that I apply, not just after holidays, but any time there’s a break from my normal
homeschooling routine. Happy schooling!


How do you resume homeschooling after there’s been a break from your routine?
What helps you get your homeschool going again?




Ooops!!! I've been a bit tardy in posting our videos here on the blog for the last 2 updates of the year. . . as most families do, we have lots going on. Check out our updates below!!

So, we managed to squeeze in our November family update the other day, which marks one year of making videos! Thanks for sticking with us!
.
Check out Husband's new nickname and where we eat for family night.
Also, putting an offer on a house, Thanksgiving recap--complete with a little football commentary, and end of semester goals.



Hey Y'all! The last video of the year is up and rolling. Small life updates,
plus the latest discussion topic: Married couples choosing a church home when the two of you are from different Christian traditions.
**BONUS: The Train Game!! Play along if you remember how this one goes!**


Enjoy the kindness and love of the season as many Believers around the world celebrate the Birth of Our Lord during this time. May you enjoy your family and friends and loving times of fellowship. I pray that we would all do well to carry the fruit of the Spirit of love, joy, peace and gentleness in our hearts, not only in this season, but the whole year through.

Glory to God in the highest, Peace on earth, Goodwill toward men!


I am still plugging along in the book of Exodus in my daily Bible reading and wanted to share a bit of what I'm reading. I read through Exodus once with my children and I am visiting it again. I previously read through Deuteronomy, in conjunction with the book of Hebrews, to gain more understanding of the loving Law of God.

**Interesting note: anytime we read in the New Testament of someone quoting Scripture or referring to Scripture, they are talking about the Old Testament because the New hadn't yet been formed as something to refer to.**

I am on a little quest to understand the Old Scriptures as much more than "something we don't do anymore since we have Jesus." While that is very much true in many regards, that thinking can lead to a dismissive attitude and a disregard concerning the Old Testament. That only gives way to a lack of understanding of the Father and His character. There's a reason all of Scripture was preserved for us, down through the ages (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Graciously, the Lord is deepening my understanding of the beauty of the Old Testament Scriptures as they relate to the New Testament, the unfolding of one Word of God. I'm just soaking it in, bit by bit, hence how long it has taken me to ready just 3 books of the bible--almost one year!

Any way, here is a beautiful passage of Scripture I read from Exodus 33 and I keep returning to it again and again. The back drop for this passage comes after the debacle in the wilderness where the children of Israel make a molded calf while Moses is meeting with God on Mt. Sinai. The Lord says earlier in the chapter that he will send His Angel to lead them into the Promised Land, but He will not be in their midst to go up with them, lest they be consumed on the way for their grievous offense (see vs. 1-3). Moses entreats the Lord on behalf of the people and this is the exchange:

Then Moses said to the LORD, "See, You say to me, 'Bring up this people.' But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.' Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people."

And he said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

Then he said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth."

So the LORD said to Moses, " I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name."

And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."

Then He said, "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live." And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." 


Ladies, I cannot express just how great the love of the Father is. Oh, His mercy is abundant and He lavishes His grace upon us, even though we deserve far worse. There is so much that is evident here: friendship, loyal love, humility, grace, forgiveness, prayer, holiness, favor, blessing, protection . . .

And as usual, a few songs come to mind. Of course that timeless hymn: "Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee" and then a song my Grandfather would hum at any moment of any day: "If I could I surely would stand on that rock where Moses stood". . . All of these "Rock" references point us to Jesus, who is the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone. The old saints would sing: "Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, He's a Shelter in the time of a storm."

Be encouraged; stay in His Word; cling to the One who is Faithful and True.

What are you reading in your Bible? What verses do you return to again and again?



The Promise of God's Presence

by on Sunday, November 18, 2018
I am still plugging along in the book of Exodus in my daily Bible reading and wanted to share a bit of what I'm reading. I read thro...
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