June 30, 2010

Where to Find Perfect Peace

~ Isaiah 26:3-4 ~

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.

Trust ye in the LORD forever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH
is everlasting strength.

Holy Bible

And in light of this finding of peace,
I will be taking a blogging break throughout the weekend.
May each one of you, kind friends,
find true and lasting peace IN the only ONE Who can give it.

Many Blessings,

June 29, 2010

Cool Delight ~ Chocolate Shell Coating

Ever wonder how to make the coating for dipped cones without
all the scary "extras" that come in the bottled varieties?
I stumbled on this idea in the comment section of a friend's blog.
It didn't take long to get me experimenting.

The Results?

A "recipe" that is really very simple and sooooo yummy!
Without all the guilt (or at least less of it) ~
No need to buy the bottled stuff ever, EVER again!

AND it's so E.A.S.Y.

~ Homemade Chocolate Shell ~

Take 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and melt slowly over
very low heat in a heavy saucepan on the stove.
Stir in 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil (I use organic, cold-pressed).

**You MUST use coconut oil ~ do not substitute anything else.**

The coconut oil is what will make the coating harden up.
When melted and mixed together ~ but not HOT ~
pour over your dish of ice cream and let set for about a minute.
This amount of sauce will serve four fortunate guests quite nicely.
If you like LOTS of topping,
you might want to increase this recipe accordingly.


June 28, 2010

Cherish the Moments

We do not know how much time we will have with our loved ones.
The moments may be marked by years, or mere days.
The LORD has blessed us with parents that are all still living ~
We are so thankful!
Recently, Emma and I had the chance to spend some
precious time with Howie's Mum ~
It was a blessing!

"So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

We headed off on a bit of a journey ~
Emma and Grandma walking through the park hand in hand...

Passing the old church ~ old for us...established about 100 years ago.
We are a "young" country remember. :)

We made it!
The Old Clayburn Village Store ~ candy shop and tea room.

Getting our bearings...

"Just Looking"...

Waiting for our lunch to arrive...

Everything tastes better in a tea room! :)

Precious Mum ~ and the BEST soup! YUM!

The three of us together ~ a very special treat!

Drinking REAL tea like a REAL lady. :)



Resting for just a few minutes...half way home!

So the numbering continues ~ I am thankful for these...

621. That we can still have these moments together

622. And that Mum was able to walk BOTH ways ~
about two hours of walking! :)

623. Tea Rooms for memory making

624. Old-fashioned candy shops

625. "Good" days amidst the "Bad"

626. Less than 50 mile drive to Grandma and Poppa's house

627. That Grandma and Poppa are still able to live in a house

628. British traditions to enjoy together

629. Heritage to pass on

630. "Girl" moments ~ a treat!

631. The rain that stayed away ~ *smile*

Many Blessings,

June 26, 2010

Who Can You Trust?

Don't know where to turn?
Who to trust?
Where to get answers?

How precious God's Word is to us!!

~ Proverbs 3:5-7 ~

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Holy Bible

June 24, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschool ~ Pt. 2

Thinking of beginning?
If not, do not feel the need to read further.
If so, it's of the utmost importance to
get your "house in order" ~
First things first.

We belong to the LORD and our children are given to us for a very short time to teach and train
"in the way that they should go".

How can that best be accomplished?
Oh, the ways and means are many and there are so many options
that shout out for our attention!

What would be my first piece of advice to the propective homeschool family?
First, be sure you have prayed about this and committed it to the LORD.
Next, be sure that you and your spouse are
DO NOT venture out on your own!!


THAT is a recipe for disaster!
You will need one another to strengthen and encourage when the
"going gets tough"! :)

We wrote out a "pros and cons" list.
VERY helpful in the decision making process.
Once the decision has been made,
it is beneficial to keep that little (or big) piece of paper
for review every so often.
It will be a source of encouragement.
You will be glad you did it.

What is your end goal?
Is the reason for home education primarily so that your child can have a fabulous education? Enter college early? Have less (or no) homework at night? To develop sibling friendships? To open up opportunities for travel? To have control over what is (and is not) taught to your child? To instill a Biblical world view into them from a young age? To protect them from bullying or other difficulties found in schools? To see that they are given a safe environment in which to grow and mature BEFORE venturing out into the "real" world?
This list could go on and on.
Whatever the reason(s)...be sure you know WHY you homeschool.

Do not feel as though you have to
to everyone you meet
(from the grocery clerk to the random people you pass on the street)
W.H.Y. you homeschool.

Only answer this question IN DEPTH
to those who CARE and really WANT to know! ;-)
Figure out a kind and concise way to briefly explain why you homeschool,
and use that reason every time you are asked by a stranger.
And do it with a SMILE!
Usually that will suffice.

If they REALLY want to know more and you have the time,
by all means, answer their questions.
They may look back on YOU as being one of the reasons
they chose to school their own children at home!

Now back to the "HOW DO I BEGIN?" Question...

Once you have established the WHY.
You can work on the HOW.

Be sure you and your children are in a regular routine/rhythm of life ~
spiritual disciplines, sleeping, proper eating, exercise and chores/service.
Bible reading and prayer is paramount and helps us all to focus on
what REALLY matters.
Giving first place to our Creator
in all of life is right and proper.

My dear friend ~ who happens to be a wonderful homeschool mother of
ten children ~ generously gave me precious doses of her time
and shared with me much of her wisdom in the early days of our journey.
She stressed the importance of having discipline and routine in place
FIRST...BEFORE academic pursuits.


A homeschool cannot run smoothly if there is an absence of order and routine.
The children MUST know what is expected of them and they must be obedient.
Even in the "small" things.
It will be chaotic if they are not.
They also need to be contributors
to the overall running of the home.
They need to know that they are NEEDED.
And, believe me, they ARE needed if you are going to do this! :)

She also suggested that we open the school day with Bible reading.
After morning devotions and breakfast and chores were done.
When we would gather for "school".
Remember that this is "over and above" the regular devotional times.
It is a methodical "reading through" of God's Word.
This was very good advice.
But it is very easy to let slip.

After all, we would have already had our devotions ~
Now there is WORK to be done!
Oh the FOOLISHNESS of this type of thinking!
Again, what is it we want to instill in our children?
One of our goals is that they would love the LORD and His Word.
We want them each to live a life of DEVOTION.
This practice gives the Bible preeminance in the school.

Remember in the early days of education that the Bible was primary?
It was held in high esteem.
Even those who were not particularly "religious" had respect for it.
In my early childhood there was Bible reading in the classroom!
Where, if not in the Christian homeschool, should it be most prevalent?
Bring back the Bible reading!

How do we do it?

When this was part of our routine, we would
read through the Bible at the rate of about a chapter or two a day.
My goal is to read through the entire Bible with the children in this format.
We began by reading Genesis and then we read Matthew.
I like to complete one book in the Old Testament and then read one in the New.
Each child takes a turn reading a verse (or a few) and this continues
until the allocated amount of Scripture for that day has been read.
If you have non-readers in your home, then let them sit in and listen...
it won't be long before they can join in.
An "almost reader" could be coached along with his or her
verse by dictating the words to him/her which they then say aloud
for the rest of the children to hear.

If there is NOTHING else you get from this post...
please know that THIS is one of the all time
BEST things we have done in our homeschool.

Oh, I do not take joy in saying that we have let this part of our routine slip.
I am ashamed of that, but how precious that the LORD gives us
new opportunities and "fresh starts".
My plan is to begin this next school year with Bible reading as the
"opening session" priority.
Before Math and English get tackled,
the Bible will be read aloud by us all ~
with the LORD's gracious enabling.
How precious to instill within our children the
importance of God's Word.

**Please do not get me wrong here ~ we are continuing on with Devotional times throughout
the summer, and year-round...
this is the "extra" Bible reading I am speaking of! :)

God is so gracious as He leads us along in this life, isn't He?
We are to be leading our children in His ways as well...I love how my blogging friend Susan has articulated her thoughts in a series of posts entitled Discipling Our Children. I would encourage you to prayerfully read through her articles on this all important subject. I agree with her that we are to be seeking God first and foremost, and then, when we have things in proper perspective, we can effectively guide our children in His paths, with HIS help and grace.

Two books that I can highly recommend for godly parenting advice were written by brothers.
"Shepherding a Child's Heart" was written by Tedd Tripp and it deals with parenting and
nurturing the heart of your child.
"Age of Opportunity" by Paul David Tripp addresses the many issues parents face as they seek to have an influence in the life of their teen. These books offer sound, biblical wisdom that we can implement in our homes and families as the LORD enables us to ~ for HIS glory.

If you are interested in the first posts on this topic,
you will find them by
clicking on this link.

The third installment can be found by
clicking here.

And the fourth and final post can be found by
clicking here.

June 23, 2010

Choose Your Love and Love Your Choice

I don't know where I heard this one, but it is so simple.
Love is a choice.
We choose who we marry.
AND then we choose to love the one we have chosen ~
By God's Grace.


How can we express that love?
Life gets busy.
Things crowd in.
But we need to make time for the important things.

The husband we have been given is ~


How can we show it to him today?

I Corinthians 13:4-8 are wonderful verses to prayerfully consider.
REAL love is defined there ~ it is not evidenced by feelings;

it produces

June 21, 2010

Corinne's Potato Salad

Corinne and I have been friends for most of our lives.
We met in grade one.
Many years ago we went on a picnic together
and she brought this salad along.
It was YUMMY!
She graciously shared the recipe with me and it has been
my "go to" potato salad ever since.
Everyone loves it ~ I'm sure you will too!
The "secret" ingredient is the pickles...
don't leave them out! :)

Corinne's Potato Salad

4 Hard Boiled Eggs ~
cooled and chopped into chunks

6 Large New Potatoes (Red or Yellow) boiled ~
cooled and chopped into chunks

4 Green onions ~ chopped

5 Red Radish ~ minced

5 Dill Pickles ~ chopped

Put all above ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Mix and pour over top the following dressing ~

1 cup Miracle Whip
(Or your own homemade mayonnaise)
1 1/2 Tbsp Prepared Mustard
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
Salt and Pepper ~ to taste

Mix together and spoon into a serving bowl.
Refrigerate and serve chilled.
Sprinkle with Paprika to make it look pretty.

June 20, 2010

"Everyday" Blessings

Thanksgiving ought to be a year-round event ~
a daily exercise...
a way of life.

If we profess to belong to the LORD,
we are to bear the fruit of thankfulness.

Is it difficult?

Is it rewarding?

Is it a burden?

As my list of thanks grows, I become more aware of the
MANY blessings in the "everyday".
And the numbering continues...I'm over half way!

The challenge was to reach 1000.

I anticipate the desire will be to continue counting,
numbering ~ joy-finding.

It is addicting.

601. All four children playing with Lego as they listen to a
children's CD ~ Scripture set to joyous music!

602. One child offering a place to sit on the floor to another ~
they are not always this amiable...is it the influence of the music?

603. The fort-builder!

604. The shoots of green and the promise of corn

605. Old pair of rollerskates for Emma

606. Neighbours who own ~ but don't occupy,
who allow a flower photo-shoot ~
mine aren't nearly as exciting :)

607. Random games of UNO without coersion

608. Boys that can walk to WalMart together ~
to look at Lego! :)

609. Coffee...very occasionally ~ yum!

610. Sea breeze benefits ~
in spite of the fact that we live a few miles away!

611. Lazy days of summer

612. Food for the soul

613. The shouts of "CAR!" from the boys playing street hockey ~
it's a Canadian tradition :)

614. Sound of the neighbour's lawn mower with firstborn running it ~
summer job generously given

615. Bengal Spice Tea ~ Oh Yum!

616. Singing through the Hymnbook with the children ~
wonderful hymns of the faith!

617. Home office

618. Supper all together ~ most nights

619. Beach walks as a family ~
sometimes Daddy is able to join in!

620. My brother's parking pass for free beach parking ~

Many Blessings,

June 19, 2010

Our "Life-Psalm"

Prior to getting married, Howie and I faced some obstacles.
Our loving Heavenly Father was so gracious to us and kept us by HIS power!
One of the encouragements to our hearts was this Psalm.
We made it our "Life-Psalm" together as a couple.
MANY times throughout our marriage we have turned to it for comfort.
It is such a blessing!
Might it encourage you in the LORD this day!

Psalm 91

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD,
He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me,
therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high,
because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

Holy Bible

June 16, 2010

For Better or For Worse

When we said our vows, did we REALLY
comprehend the solemnity of the promises we made?
On our wedding day we were full of hopes and dreams.
We did not foresee calamity or troubles.
We anticipated only JOY.
And rightly so.
Every marriage ought to begin this way.
With JOY.

We cannot tell how long it will be before trials
or tragedies will enter our lives.
But they will surely come.
The only way we can keep the vows we make is
with the LORD and HIS strength.

We are not to become paralyzed with fear about the
"what if's" and the "worry".


But we do need to dig deep into the LORD and HIS WORD
to fortify ourselves against those potentially devastating
trials and troubles.

We need to GROW.

If we have a sound view of Who God really is.
AND we have a living and breathing walk with HIM.
AND He is our LORD and SAVIOUR.
HE promises that NOTHING will overtake us
and we will NOT be overcome.
HE will NEVER leave us nor forsake us.
**See Hebrews 13:5b**
It is all about HIM!

How precious to know that we will not be tested
above what we can bear!
**See I Corinthians 10:13**
What a sure foundation that is!
AND the LORD will carry us through those impossible times
as we look to HIM for the strength and grace to do so.

We, like most, have experienced some heartache and trials along the way ~
but we can testify that these things have only made us stronger...
in the LORD and as a couple.
Like the strong winds that force the roots of a tree to grow deep,
the trials of life are useful to fortify us and make us strong

If you are facing troubles and trials right now, do not lose hope!
Our Great God is the God of HOPE!
Look to HIM and seek HIM out...
study HIS WORD and seek HIM in prayer.

The following passages of Scripture have meant so much to us,
especially during the trials we have faced ~

Psalm 91 is the "Life-Psalm" we chose together ~
it is WONDERFUL to meditate on!

Psalm 40 would be a glorious Psalm to pray through.

Proverbs 3:5-7

Isaiah 26:3-4
Isaiah 40:25-31
Isaiah 41:10

Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Romans 8:26-39

Hebrews 12:1-3

How WONDERFUL God's Word is!
May the LORD use it to encourage each of us as we
seek to walk with HIM.


June 15, 2010

Brownies for a Crowd

Want a great recipe to take to a BBQ
this summer that will satisfy a crowd?
These brownies are
and they are SO EASY to make!


Large Pan Brownies

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oil
(I use 1/2 butter, melted and 1/2 olive oil)
4 eggs
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup chopped nuts
(I omit due to allergies)

Put all ingredients in mixing bowl in order given.
Beat on slow speed until smooth ~ Do not overmix.
Pour batter into greased 9x13 inch pan.
Bake @ 350* F for 30 minutes (no longer).

Cool and Ice.

**You could also skip the icing step and serve warm with ice cream ~
Super yummy option! :)


Melt 2 squares baking chocolate in double boiler.
(I use 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips instead).
Stir into it 1 cup icing (powdered) sugar,
2 Tbsp butter,
1 beaten egg,
and 1 tsp vanilla

Simmer gently and stir.
I do this for a few minutes to cook the egg.
Cool a little before spreading over the brownies.
**Make sure the brownies are fully cooled first,
or they will become soggy!

Oh. Dear. Me.
Try to share! ;-)

June 14, 2010

J.O.Y.S. of Summer

The idea and where it began ~
"The Thousand Gifts" post by Ann Voskamp...
Might it inspire you to begin your own journey of thankfulness?

One by one I count and continue to number the blessings.
They truly are "new every morning" and as long as I live and have breath,
there are countless ways to praise HIM.
Everything, after all, is directly from His loving hand.
How wonderful to call Him Father!

563. Spinning girl in summer colours...

564. Helpers in the veggie garden

565. Dirt movers ~ more of my gardening helpers

566. Stuffies at the end of the lower bunk ~ won't always be like this!

567. More stuffies at the end of the top bunk bed ~
don't we sometimes think they will always WANT them there?

568. The "welcome home!" of many voices after a short trip to get groceries

569. The many hands that make the work light

570. The boys learning to be men

571. Beginnings of a veggie garden ~ our first!

572. AND seedlings just showing their green! :)

573. The quiet moments (few and far between)

574. The boy who cautiously enters the room where I nurse
a headache and rubs my arm to help me feel better...sooooo sweet!

575. The crunch of gravel and the stomp of feet as the boys run outside ~

576. The music school our children have lessons at ~
in the fall it will be all four in the same half hour!! :)

577. The last portfolio visit of the year! :)

578. Gracious Christian support teacher who
patiently guides and encourages ~
thank you Mrs. M! :)

579. Husband who helps and encourages and researches alongside me ~
how could I do it all without him?

580. Google Earth

581. Swim lessons

582. Teen Camp ~ put on by our church for the church kids

583. Dedicated Youth Leaders...blessings!

584. Grade Appropriate "fun" learning ~
on the computer...the kids think of them as games!

585. Dedicated "kid's" laptop computers in the schoolroom

586. Typer Island ~ Learning to type on the keyboard made fun!

587. Amazing resources...making learning an adventure

588. Good reads and a long summer in which to drink them all in!

589. Long days of summer...refreshing opportunites

590. Beach days with friends

591. Joys of Sun, Sand, and Sea

592. A Bucket and Shovel for the explorations

593. Blow-up row boat

594. Pool noodles

595. Boogie Boards

596. Biking adventures

596. Islands to explore

598. Ferries to take ~ journeys to enjoy

599. Local *free* outdoor pool

600. Waking in the morning to the songs of sweet birds

Many Blessings,

June 12, 2010

I Lay My Sins on Jesus

I lay my sins on Jesus,
The Spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all and frees us
From the accursed load.
I bring my guilt to Jesus,
To wash my crimson stains
White in His blood most precious,
Till not a spot remains.

I lay my wants on Jesus,
All fullness dwells in Him;
He heals all my diseases,
He doth my soul redeem.
I lay my griefs on Jesus,
My burdens and my cares;
He from them all releases,
He all my sorrow shares.

I rest my soul on Jesus,
This weary soul of mine;
His right hand me embraces,
I on His breast recline.
I love the Name of Jesus,
Immanuel, Christ, the Lord;
Like fragrance on the breezes
His name abroad is poured.

I long to be like Jesus,
Meek, loving, lowly, mild;
I long to be like Jesus,
The Father's Holy Child.
I long to be with Jesus,
Amid the heavenly throng,
To sing with saints His praises,
To learn the angels' song.

Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

June 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Oh Dear!

I can only make a half batch of these ~
they are that D.A.N.G.E.R.O.U.S.!!

I would advise you do the same unless you have
M.A.N.Y. people to share with...
they are too yummy!!

Chocolate Chip Cookies ~
Adapted from "Chocolate and Baking"

1 cup Butter at room temperature
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Sucanat (or Brown Sugar)
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups Flour (all purpose)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350* F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together sugars and butter until well blended.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Sift together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Stir flour mixture into the butter/egg mixture.
Add in chocolate chips and stir until blended.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto your lined cookie sheets.
Be sure they are well spaced as they REALLY spread!
**Note ~ If you want them not to spread so much add another 1/2 cup of flour.
When I made them that way, they were still fabulous ~ just a little thicker.

Bake in 350* F oven until golden brown ~
10 to 12 minutes.

~ Makes about 60 cookies ~

Let cool a few minutes on the pans until they firm up a bit.
Transfer to cooling racks.
Share while they are warm.

OH. YUM.!!

June 10, 2010

Thoughts on Homeschool ~ Pt. 1

Yes, we homeschool.
No, we haven't always.
W.H.Y. the switch?

Homeschool can be used to open doors.
And windows.

Were we selfish to make this choice?
Is anyone selfish to have a child in the first place?
God gives the gifts.
We are called to nurture HIS plants.
Help them to grow in the "way they should go".

I found it very difficult to thoroughly accomplish this task
in the few hours a day "left over" after the BEST hours had been used up.

That's just me.

Very dear sweet people in our lives are doing a
job "in the system" with those "few hours".

I wasn't.

God called our family to this.
He may, or may not, call your family to it.
It may be now or later, or never.
There are S.E.A.S.O.N.S.

Wait on HIM in prayer and go forward in today and serve
HIM in whatever HE calls you to do.
That is F.A.I.T.H.F.U.L.N.E.S.S.

Being teachable.
Being available.
Being willing.

D.A.Y. by D.A.Y.

If you want to read the first post with this "theme"
click here.

You will find Part Two by
clicking here.

Part Three can be found by
clicking here.

And the final installment in the series
can be found by clicking here.

June 9, 2010

Homeschool ~ Why Did We Begin?

We are not a perfect family. We are not perfect parents. AND we do not have perfect children. BUT we DO have a perfect Saviour! The Lord Jesus Christ IS perfect ~ and He does ALL things well. How graciously He leads us along. How patient He is with us. We are constantly in a state of change (hopefully for the better) and He NEVER needs improvements ~ HE is perfect! What a wonderful thing to REST in His all-sufficiency...we certainly need HIM each step of this journey!
AND it is because HE has redeemed our lives from destruction
that we desire to raise our children for HIM ~ only HIM.

Where did our journey to homeschool begin?

We began (prior to having children) in the "public-school-is-best" camp.
That was how both Howie and I were educated ~
consequently we assumed our children would be educated in the same way.

No question!

No worries!

No further thought was given to the matter.

When our first baby came along, we began to question, to worry and to think more on the subject. We had five years before it would become an issue ~ which, at the time, seemed like an eternity! Meanwhile, friends of ours began homeschooling their children.
We knew some on this path already, but it didn't grip our conscience.
We thought they were all CRAZY!
AND we thought that God would NEVER call us to do such a thing! :)

When the time came for Kindergarten, we enrolled our fistborn in the little local Christian school.
This, we thought, was the very best option for our family.
In the background, my heart was pulled in the direction of home education. Quietly and steadily I was being drawn, but Howie was not. He was in no way leaning toward homeschool.
It was not an option.

Babies continued to be welcomed into our home. At the rate of about one every two or two and a half years. I was always either nursing or expecting ~ demands on Mum were high. Year after year our children went to the little Christian school. Year after year I was relieved, but NOT settled. My heart strings were continually being pulled. I was being prepared. AND along the way and through the years Howie was being changed.
The wisdom of it all was dawning on him.

Austin was 11 and we realized how quickly those 11 years had flown by.
How much more quickly would the next 11 pass?
He would be 22!


Would he be ready? Would we have taught him all that we desired to? Would we have instilled within him the REAL REASON for life and living? The time was flying by and we wanted to capture some of those teachable moments that would soon be behind us!

One of the things that frustrated me the most as a Stay at Home Mum with kids attending classes at a physical school building away from me was the mountain of chores the children left in their wake. They would get up, we would have devotions and breakfast and RUSH out the door.
A HUGE mess was left behind.

I also was committed to bringing the children home for lunch. It was very important to me as long as it was feasible. So I cleaned up and prepared food for the lunch run ~ snatched up the baby and the toddler and rushed out to retrieve first and second born to come home and eat together. Off to school again and rush home to another MESS. Get toddler and baby to nap and up for pick up and bring oldest two home for a couple hours of play, supper, devotions and bed only to wake up and do it all over again. The weeks and months and YEARS melded into one and it felt as though we were on a never slowing TREADMILL.

Do I believe that ALL
should home-educate?


Do I think you are a
bad parent if you don't?


Do I see the
"other side"?


Is it a personal
choice and conviction?


Are there "seasons" that the LORD leads
us through in our journey?


This is just our story.
Yours may, or may not, be different.
We are all still "in progress".

More to come (Lord-willing) on the "how" of our homeschool
and a few other thoughts on home education.
May the LORD guide us all in this journey of parenting ~
for HIS glory!

For the next post in this series ~
Click Here.

Many Blessings,

June 8, 2010

The BEST Burgers EVER!

WE do not BBQ throughout the winter months.
May is about the time we begin.
AND what else would be more appropriate than burgers to
kick the season off with a bang?

This recipe has a history.

Long ago I was a devoted pre-formed,
frozen hamburger patty girl.
Ease of operation was my motto.

BUT...something happened to change all that!

We innocently stumbled upon the Best Burgers
E.V.E.R. while visiting with friends
one summer day a few years ago.

My sweet friend kindly relinquished the recipe and
life has not been the same since.
These are now the staple burgers served around here...

N.O.T.H.I.N.G. else will do!

The patties can be made ahead of time and frozen
if you are after convenience without sacrificing taste.
OR a batch can be whipped up on the day of the BBQ.
Whatever you choose to do will not alter the results ~
requests all around for the recipe.

AND you have landed in the right place to acquire said recipe.


Adapted from the Looneyspoons Cookbook (I think it is this one)...
remember, I got the recipe from my friend!

Esther's Hamburger Patties

1 lb Lean ground beef (organic grass fed, if possible)
2 Tbsp. Onion ~ minced
2 Cloves garlic ~ minced
1 Egg (organic, if possible)
1 Tbsp. Ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp. Chili powder
1/2 tsp. Celery Seed (do NOT omit)
1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Salt (I use sea salt)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black peppper

Mix together all ingredients except the meat.
Add the meat and work together well.
Form into four 1/4 inch patties and separate with parchment or waxed paper.
Set in fridge (or freeze) until ready to grill.
If grilling from fresh they will take about 5 minutes per side on a medium hot grill...
be sure they are thoroughly cooked!
Fix up with your favourite toppings and enjoy the taste of summer! :)

June 7, 2010

Reflections ~ Ghana and My World

I have been reflecting on the many benefits
we daily enjoy in the Western World in light of
our niece's humanitarian trip to Ghana.
This week's list of thanks will include some of the things
I have taken forgranted, but are virtually
unknown in many parts of the world today.

I am ashamed to think of the many times I have complained when
things didn't go "my way" and yet the people our neice is
encountering are amazingly content in very adverse circumstances.
Oh that we may be a thankful people...
known for our contentment in whatever state we find ourselves!

In the compilation of this week's list I have become a little more aware
of how spoiled I really am!!
Oh that I would live up to the following statement from Scripure:

"Not that I speak in respect of want:
for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content."
Philippians 4:11

526. Indoor plumbing ~ for all kinds of tasks....

527. HOT and Cold Running water ~ INSIDE the house from MANY taps! :)

528. Filtered water!!

529. Waking up in the morning clean ~
rather than covered in a layer of dirt

530. Not required to get water from a shared community well

531. Ability to get medical attention in a timely manner

532. Clean medical facilities

533. Medicine if needed

534. Blood if needed

535. Variety of food ~ in abundance

536. No fear of famine or drought

537. No need to hand wash clothes

538. Ability to take a hot shower rather than use a bucket

539. Safe ride in our minivan ~ as opposed to the same size vehicle
with about three or four times the occupants

540. Clothes to dress our children with ~
in abundance...not to mention clean!

541. Electricity in our home

542. Heat in the winter

543. Air Conditioning in the summer (or at least a fan)!

544. Dishwasher! (A luxury I do not have at the moment) ;-)

545. Appliances and machines to simplify our work

546. Basic "necessities" of life

547. Choices...what to eat, what to wear, where to go!

548. Internet access within our home

549. Ability to call loved ones far away with ease and little expense

550. Church to attend within a do-able distance

551. Vegetables to buy that are clean and within easy distance ~
Our niece had to travel 2 hours to get some veggies after not eating ANY for about a month!

552. Clean mattress to sleep on ~ WITH sheets!

553. People who understand the language I speak!

554. People who know what time it is and abide by the "rules" of time!

555. Cultural "norms" that we take forgranted

556. Reliable phone connections for a great price!

557. Generator for back up power in the hospital ~
imagine surgery without it when the power goes out
in the middle of the procedure!!

558. No need for a leprosy colony in our town!

559. No children coming up from the sewer beneath my feet
(who were there looking for food)!

560. All I "need" and more within a very close (mostly walking) distance

561. Variety of teas just waiting in the cupboard for my choosing

562. Chicken (without the "extras") to feed my family...our niece isn't quite sure what she has been eating lately!! AND yes, it is upside-down...I roast it that way to keep the white meat from drying out. :)

Many Blessings to you all!