Search This Blog

Saturday, August 21, 2010


For the longest time I desired to glean from books, I wanted to read hard books with deep meanings. I wanted to read non fiction books and not fall asleep or get frustrated in the process. God has opened my eyes and opened my mind to wonderful fabulous books. Books that are non-fiction. Books that are fiction, books with meaning and books with no meaning but are fun to read anyways. I want to read and think and then read some more and think some more. I want to ponder what the book might mean in my life and in lives of those around me. I want to explore the jungles of Africa and sail the seas with pirates. I want to know how others view love and life and God. I want to be mentored by great men and women such as C.S. Lewis., A.W. Tozer, John McArthur, Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin. I want to understand what seems impossible for my simple mind to grasp.

Such a book as Heidi challenged me to look at myself and to see if I wait patiently on God's timing or do I throw the towel in with him and say fine I'll do it myself. Do I trust him in his timing or do I rebelliously and ignorantly go my own way. Do I know my help comes from the Lord, even when I cannot see the mountains.

Another wonderful book is A Little Princess that challenges me to act as a princess everyday, even when I do not feel like it. How do I treat those around me? How do I treat the ones that treat me poorly, do I answer kindly back or retaliate?

The dearest book I long to be mentored by is the bible. To have the one who created me, who loves me the most, and longs to speak to me through His written word teach me all He wants me to know. To be comforted, to be given advice, to seek out which I do not yet know.

So many more wonderful things I have learned from both books and I can hardly wait until I turn the first page in the next classic that awaits me. Reading has become a journey I am ready and excited to take on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

my all, for the one who gave His all.

I had no idea what I committed to the day I said, "I do".
Full of ideas of love, laughter, fun and joy.
Was I ready, would I have ever been ready to give up my freedom?
But what kind of freedom did I want to keep?
The right to tell myself when, where, why, and how to do things?
Do I have that right anyways, is not that mindset only foolish thinking.
For Jesus is his name, I call him Lord of my life, the one who gave His all...even His own blood.
I had no idea what I committed to when along came one tiny life, then two more.
This I definitely was not ready for.
Now any hope of ever attaining any freedom I wanted back was down the drain.
Not knowing that every moment, every day, would require selflessness.
I do not come by selflessness on my own naturally.
Selflessness was not the easy virtue I was bestowed upon.
I have to work at remembering to serve joyfully.
Another day, another nose to wipe, one more PB&J sandwich;
one more bottle, one more supper, one more roll in the hay.
Mind, Body, and Soul zapped...
The freedom I long for, True freedom is this...
To be so in tuned with my savior that there is no resemblance of me left.
The image that others see is not me, but Him.
Not needing the compliments of the world;
A comforting shield of protection as the arrows of the world merely bounces off me.
Neither mattering, because what I know to be true of me, is what I know He knows is true of me.
Being able to give completely, freely, being able to give my all...for the one who gave His all to me.
Overwhelming and depressing is the life of a selfless one when attempted on one’s own.
It is not possible to be selfless on one’s own strength.
The result is bitterness, resentfulness, anger, emotions run amuck.
Selflessness when submitted to the Savior is possible.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Little feet, little hands, little eyes
little feet go where I go, little hands yearn to do what I do.
Little eyes want to see what I see. She believes me.
She believes me when I say I love her.
More importantly she believes me when I say Jesus loves her.
Oh Lord help me show her,
by my words and by my actions that I love you.
Little hands want to feel the pizza dough.
Little feet want to dance to a song only she can hear.
Little eyes want to see I love her even when she's disobeyed.
My little one looks to me for how to handle the big bad world.
She learns how to be angry from me. She learns how to love from me.
She learns how to communicate from me.
Oh Lord let me serve you by actions.
Lord I want so badly for her to see you in me.
Thank you for giving me your word which shows me how to live.
Thank you for showing me how to live so that I might show Maddie, Naomi, and Titus.
Little hands, little feet, little words, a little heart a sponge in the hands of my shaking hands.
Lord help me to soak my little sponges in your loving capable hands.
Let me make the choices that will teach my little one how to react.
How to love when wronged. How to persevere when under trial.
How to rejoice with others excitement.
How to trust the Lord when it seems He's quiet
and his direction unclear.
Let me soak my little ones hands, feet, eyes, and soul in you!!!

Robin Russell - 4/24/2010

Passion Unleashed

I dance and hop around, certain the world will pick up the fever of the moment.
I turn around, all the while still dancing and realize not only are you not dancing,
but you cannot understand why I would dance.
There is hope, can’t you see it? Do you not know it?
There is a passion inside to great to well up.
A passion so great I weep easily, anger with a tiny spark, and dance in the rain.
How my heart would sore at the mere suggestion you wanted to waltz in the rain with me!
So passionate am I, that I must dance, sing, hope, see the brighter side of life
Or I must smoother my passions.
You see me dance about as carelessly as a child, foolishness you say.
Yet my heart says freedom, my soul is set free by this “foolishness”.
My passion drives me; it is the drive that forces me to see things through.
My passion is the force behind my hope and belief of conquering.
Conquering once meant climbing a high mountain, riding a challenging horse.
These days conquering is surviving a day with everyone still in smiles.
Conquering these days means my children have acquired a passion for being educated.
Success is in my children realizing the worlds they can enter in a book.
Can you see I must dance in the rain?
I must sing along to the tune of my heart or the tune on the radio, whichever comes first.
The rain calls to my feet, “come dance with me.”
The rain sings to my soul, “Come here and smell and taste and be free in the moment of silliness.”
My passion must soar as an eagle. It must taste and see and hear and touch the world around me.
Do not cover my eyes, nor shackle my feet.
Please do not cover my ears; I know I hear what others do not. But trust me what I do hear sings to me.
Take not the sweet nectar of the succulent world I long to taste.
Who knows perhaps snails will become my delicate treat.
I know I sing a different tune and March to a beat only I can hear.
My passion allows me to love when love should not be given.
My passion allows me to hope when all hope seems to be lost.
My passion allows me to conquer; it sets me free, and adds spice to life.
My passion and spice is God given. I have to dance for he calls me to it.
I have to sing for a canary he placed in my mouth.
All songs and all dances are an expression from me to him.
I am passionate; I am free because he paid a dear price for my feet to tap a fancy dance.
It would be dishonoring, disloyal if I did not show him my gratitude and gratefulness.
I can sing of my salvation and practice my dancing for the great feast in the great banquet hall….
My dancing, my singing, my tasting, and seeing is all in practice for that final grand day;
the day I enter paradise with my bridegroom.
I do what you do not understand and what you cannot see,
Because a passion greater than me is my driving force.
Robin Russell 8/18/2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Becoming an Herbalist?!, I"m excited to read through and digest (literally and figuratively) the ideas and remedies this site mentors you through. They want to get you to the point were you can do it on your own, but they are able to hold your hand through the learning process. They even have a kit to start out with if you really need hand holding like I do!
I love, love, love knowing that God has given us so many natural healing eliments in his creation. I love that when he created us he knew he'd need to make plants that would also heal our bodies, give us energy boosts, and he also made many of them that taste great on top of being great for us.
Example: While looking for natural oven cleaning solutions, one of the ingredients for cleaning was thyme oil...thyme is apparently not only for cooking but for cleaning too! But take note it says thyme oil not leaf thyme and I'm sure there is a difference.
Hurray for the world God made and all he put in it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Deeply Inspired!

It has been Mark and I's goal for me to be a stay at home mom. This was both of our desires before we got married and before the thought of having kids entered our minds. With the birth of Maddie this was still our desire and for the first year or so I did stay home. I did try working but Maddie never settled in well when I did work. She would not sleep well, she would not eat well, nothing went well so I stayed home. Then Mark decided to go back to school and I needed to work in order for us to pay bills. When we found out we were having twins with our second pregnancy, going back to work was up in the air. Now it's pretty much off the table. First, there would be no money left after we paid for day care. Second, Mark and I's schedule does not work for only one of us to be with the kids so I can work. Third, we believe God has called me to stay home with the kids.
This book is not only good, it's GREAT! I have to say I am thankful that these ideas/way of life are not a total shock to my system. To some degree I am already implimenting some of these ideas, but she takes them to a whole new level! She has also given me a different perspective for reasons why she tries to save in the areas she does. I am so thankful the Lord brought this book into my life when he did. I'm thankful he choose to teach this to me now when my kids are still little!
"I look at saving money as a means to an end. It is a job I perform in order to afford my staying at home."
What she calls; "The Eleven Miserly Guidelines"
1. Don't confuse Frugality with Depriving yourself
*"My underlying goal of staying at home is more important than any guideline I try to follow. It is essential to my success."
*In order to make any idea in this book work for you, you must be very clear about why you are making the changes. Keep your goal at the forefront of your mind. Write it down and put it in an obvious place if you need the reminder.
Thought: I had not thought of my decision to stay home as a goal, something that need to be fought for and worked towards.
*Evaluate the things I think are needs because they may in reality be wants. If I give up these things I can put that money towards something more important. "We need to revisit the thinking of our elders who knew the virtue of saving up for things and doing without until they could afford them."
2. Remove little wasters of your money:
"We must program our thinking about money. It should never be used to make ourselves feel good or to be a measure of someone's love for us. Money should be looked at as a tool. It's there to get you to where you need to go. If you don't have a plan for it, it will be wasted. A budget is a plan for our money much like a date book is a plan for our time."
A. see where your money is going. make a list of expenses you have every month
B. list your usual source of income and amount of income for each month.
* use the base amount for essentials (rent, food, utilities, etc.)
* use commisions for savings for lean months
1.A suggestion she makes for staying in your budget is to put a index card in your check book. Have different columns for the areas you have budgeted for. For example for every grocery item you purchase you will write down the check number and how much the purchase was. When/if you have come to the amount you have decided on, you know you need to wait until the next time you have allowed yourself more grocery money. If I borrow from anothe column, I need to make sure I can do without that item before I borrow from it. (I really want to implement this idea).
3. Keep Track of Food Prices
She goes as far as pricing different grocerys at different stores. She breaks it down by the ounce, pound, gallon, etc. When she needs an item she looks at her list to see where it's the best deal. She goes a giant step further in knowing which store carries the best sale prices. She knows what is the lowest sale price she can get on an item she needs. She says she will drive within a 10 mile range, any further than that she says isn't worth it because you pay for it in gas. This is the challenge I am most excited at conquering but it's also the one I'm most intimidated steps, taking baby steps.
4. Don't buy everything at the same store
A.Plan= Making meals not by your random meal plan but making your menu by the sale items. The items in the front and back of the ad are called "lose leaders", because the store is loosing money on these items.
B. Coupons and Rebates=these are only good if you can use the coupon with an already on sale item. Also some generic items are cheaper than the brand name item you have a coupon for. Don't get hooked in with a coupon item. Check to make sure it really is cheaper to use the coupon! Coupon websites are,,
C. Shopping=Once the planning is done then she is able to go to the store and buy only what is on her list.
D. Types of Stores=again knowing how much things cost at the different stores such as sams, grocery stores, outlet malls, etc is important. it's going to help you know where you can get the best deal for the items you need.
6. Make your own whenever possible
"It wasn't that long ago that we made everything we needed. people even make their own baking soda. Recipes for just about everything you use can be found in some cookbook. The older the book the better."
One of her tips is whenever you make a meal double what you make. Eat one and freeze one. I love this idea because on the nights I'm too tired to cook anything, I'm running low on time I simply have to pull something out of the freezer and have a homemade "easy made" meal! We will not be as tempted to order pizza or go out to eat which would hurt our goal of having me be a stay at home mom.
She suggests buying meat in bulk. For example ground beef goes on sale fairly often. I would buy 20lbs of ground beef. When I get home I can brown a bunch of it ahead of time and put it in baggies in sizes I will need for meals. The other portions I can make into meatballs, meat loaf, hambergers, lasgna, the sky is the limit.
Buying produce and chopping up your veggies ahead of time for stir fry's, roasts, etc. Not only is this saving you money but saving you time. This kind of thing is not only money saving but critical time saving also. Supper like most families with little ones is crazy. Twins start fussing, Maddie's crying because she's hungry. Having meals I literally can throw together in a pan and now it will be ready in a hop, skip, and a jump is amazing.
I have talked this over with Mark and he has agreed with me that once a month or twice a month (which ever works the best) he will watch kids for me on a saturday so I can have time to get meals organized and ready. He knows sacrifing a morning or half a day will benefit all of us the rest of the month, etc.
Planning some meals that do not have meat is a huge money saver. Making such meals as bean and rice burritos, breakfast sandwhiches, egg bakes, etc. can pinch your pennies even further.
7. Eliminate Convenience Foods
* A resturant meal costs six to ten times more than one made from scratch.
* A frozen meal costs four times more than one make from scratch.
* A prepackaged mix costs three times more than one made from scratch.
* Precut foods (already salads, sliced carrots, shredded cheese) cost two times more than if you cut them yourselves.
A. Plan your meals, have a meal plan and specific shopping list. Make sure you aren't hungry when you're shopping.
B. become comfortable with our kitchen. Learn to cook some things from scratch.
C. buy items you use often in bulk. You are less likely to run out of your stock and rush to the store to get it and be tempted to buy other things you do not need.
The book has several wonderful and great recipes as examples of things you can make on your own. For the most part they are very easy and yummy. There are also easy and great craft for kids ideas! I plan on taking full advantage of these recipes. Everything from sidewalk chalk to finger paint, to making bird feeders for outside, how to make paper and that is only some of the great ideas!
There is even a section on teaching what you do and why you do it to your kids. Teaching them that we bargin shop because our goal is to have mommy stay home. But not only that but when we bargin shop we are also able to save up for vacations and to be able to do special things with our family. Teaching our kids to also bargin shop. Givng them a $1 or $2 and letting them pick something out while you shop. This will teach them to think about what they are buying, teaching them that they may need to put one item back in order to purchase another. She gives this example of teaching our kids the system. Her son lvoes a certain brand of ice cream that is very expensive. I normally don't buy ice cream unless it's a great sale or I have a wonderful coupon.One day I found him on the floor going through the sunday newspaper coupons. He found a great coupon for that brand of ice cream. he also saw that is was on sale at a local store. Eureka! At last he undersatnds! (And he got the ice cream). Those are the kind of moments I look forward to teaching my kids. Teaching them they are not being punished because we are being wise and careful with our money. But teaching them that because we are wise and careful with our money it allows us to bless others and to be blessed ourselves.
This is a long blog I know, but I gleaned so much from this book! I could go on and on and on and it seems I already. The key now is patience. Patience to allow the Lord to help me sort out all the lbs, ounces, gallons, etc. so I can make the best purchases that will save our family money. I am even going to try to stay away from malls, grocery stores when I'm not grocery shopping, even the salvation army and rummage sales are a great weakness to me! But I am confident I can do it! I'm so excited to start my family on a path to being extra wise and careful with our money allowing us to maintain and keep the reality of me being a stay at home mom!

Better now than later

I have been reading and reading and reading and reading some more. Reading about homeschooling, reading about Israel, God, and America, reading about how to live on one income. I am excited to read these, I'm excited God is teaching me now instead of teaching me it 20 years from now. I'm excited that I am being receptive to what God is wanting to teach me and that I am a well spring open to his outpouring. However, in this outpouring there is spiritual warfare. Satan, by no means want me to glean from what God is teaching me. He wants nothing more than for me to think I cannot do any of this. He knows my mind is my weakest part of me and that when he whispers things in my ear he knows I stop and listen and say is that true. Is it true I might not be able to do this, I won't ever catch on. How sneaky satan is to come in my mind and whisper exactly what he knows I will think of listening to! Can I stop spending money? For me this means not going to rummage sales, salvation army two of my great weaknesses. This means being fruggle with our groceries, it means being conscious of grocery sales and keeping myself in check!

I am a perfectionist and I demand more of myself than is reasonable. I expect myself to be able to sew the hardest pattern even though I've sewn hardly ever. I expect myself to automatically not be a spender when I am a spender. I expect myself to be patient, kind hearted, and servant hearted all the time. God expects me to do this too but he also knows I'm human. He knows I won't do all of this perfect, he also knows some of these areas I'm learning will always be just that learning. I will have to learn and relearn and then relearn again. However in my brain relearning is humbling, it's not relearning it's failing and failing is something I don't do well. When Iworked at camp and I did something wrong my boss Becki knowing I was already beating myself up use to say oh my goodness you failed and live to tell about it! She was joking but was also serious. If I fail while there are consequnces sometimes no one will die. Thankfully God is big enough and is prepared to love me and help me through those consequences.

Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out. This I am confident that He who began a good workin me WILL be faithful to complete me! I'm being completed to the glory of Christ Jesus! Remembering I'm not completed helps, knowing I am a work in progress and always will be is amazing freedom in knowing I will conquer and understand what God wants me to in His timing!

sad but comforting thought

I have heard of a few ladies lately that have been diagonised with breast cancer and other cancers. The women with cancer range from young to old. Some of these women have kids Maddie, Naomi, and Titus age. This caused me to pause and think what if something happened to me, what would that mean for my kids. I am by no means ready to leave this earth, as awesome as heaven is and as awesome as it would be to be at peace forever with Christ, I want to raise my kids. However, if Jesus comes and takes me home to heaven I am confident that Mark, my family, Mark's family, our friends and family would step in and help raise our kids. I am confident that those around us would speak of Jesus's love and speak of my love of Jesus and of my love for my kids. There is no doubt in my mind that my kids would be mentored and loved through life! I am thankful that if Jesus takes me home when my kids are young (young doesn't matter if Jesus took my mom home today I would miss her dearly. I need her to mentor me through raising my kids! I'm not done being raised and I'm 30!) that they will be taken care of mind, body, and soul!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dueteronomy 11

Command: vs 1 You SHALL therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep his charge, his statues, His ordinances, and His commandments. vs. 9 SO that you may prolong your days on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey."

What should we teach our children:
vs. 18-21 "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth."

We have heard this once before early in Deut. 6, I'm interested how many more times Moses said this to the people.

Vs. 26-29 "See I am seeing before you today a blessing and a curse: he blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; If you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known. It shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing mount gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal."

There are blessings when we follow and do what God has asked us to do, there are curses and consequences when we do not. Consequences that are self inflicted because of my rebellion not to listen to him.

Dueteronomy 7:26

Moses is warning the Israelites about idols, he's warning them not to covet the gold and silver in the graven images so that they will not be drawn away from the Lord.

He says; "You shall NOT bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall UTTERLY DETEST it and you shall UTTERLY ABHOR it, for it is something banned."

I have been praying and will continue to pray and ask the Lord what abominations we have brought into our house and will then confess and ask the Lords forgiveness. May we strive to have nothing that would detest and abhor the Lord our God.

Dueteronomy 6

Why does God want Moses to teach the Israelites the commands?
vs. 2 & 3 "So that you and your son and your gandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statues and his commandments which I command you, all the days of your life and that your days may be prolonged. o Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly."

A continued theme throughout Deut. Vs. 5; "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."

If the Lord finds it nessacary to say it over and over we'd better pay attention! Beacuse apparently we don't get it the first time the Lord says something.

He goes even further and tells us:
vs. 7 you shall teach them diligently (not when you have time, not if you feel like it) to your sos and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and whenyou lie down and when you rise up.

vs. 8 you shall bind hem as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

vs. 9 you shall write them on the door post of your house and on your gates.

Why is this important? Because when riches come and we are well taken care of we forget the land we came from. We forget who brought us into our riches and who brought us into the land of milk and honey.

vs. 10-11 "Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build and houses full of good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you shall eat and be satisfied.

Caution: vs. 12 watch yourself that you do not forget the ord who brought you fromt he land of Egypt out of the house of slavery.

When our Children ask us why we pray, why we worship the Lord our God, we are to say because he brought us out of the land of slavery and brought us into the promise land. I may not be an Israelite, I may not have been a slave in Egypt. But I have been a slave to my sin, I have been a slave to temptations, and things that distract me from my relationship with God. God has brought me out of the bondage of slavery and lies into a new journey towards the promise land...heaven.

vs. 22 Moreover, the Lord whoed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharoh, and all his household; He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which he had sworn to our fathers.

It is commanded to me to speak of the wonders of the Lord all day, everyday. To be ready to answer there questions of why we follow him, why we do what we do.

Back up the Deuteronomy Bus

Some context for Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy was written by Moses; "to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Supha, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab."

The setting is this: Moses is giving final addresses in the last days of his life. The Israelites where getting prepared to go into the promised land. The people were facing war, temptations, and a new, settled way of life-all under the unproved leadership of Joshua. This generation of Israelites had not personally experianced the red sea or the giving of the law at Sinai. Moses was reminding them of God's power and God's laws.

application: If God found it nessaccary to remind his people twice and is written down twice in the bible, I had pay double attention!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Does my vote count? That is the question many ask, some are positive it does, others are hesitant and even wonder if it's worth voting. Many vote in hopes that indeed it allows them to have a voice, while others choose not to vote because they think it won't matter. I follow under the catagory that I'm not sure my vote counts, but I vote because I hope that it does matter. I vote because I want to know that who is in office shares the similar if not the same values as I do. People would like to seperate politics from their beliefs but I'm not sure that is possible. How can you make huge decisions without your convictions and beliefs! I'm sure there are those who have a sound reasoning from keeping church and state seperate but no matter the God you choose, they cannot but help influence your choice in politics.
As I stepped up to the voting booth yesturday I was reminded that there are those in other countries that would LOVE the chance to have a say in how their lives are run. There are those in other countries who desire to have the change of power be switched without an army on both sides ready to duke it out. I was reminded that our country is unique.
But I do not agree that we are completely the land of the free. If we are the land of the free why must I be told I have to have my kids in a car seat and I have to wear my seat belt. Is it safer to do so, yes, but is this something I have to do? If we live in the land of the free then why must I have a four year degree to homeschool my children if that is the best thing I believe is for them? Why are my rights as a parent being infringed upon more and more? They infringe upon my rights in the name of helping and knowing what is best for my kids. How can someone who spends no time with my children know what is best for them? Because something is true of most of the children in the rest of the world, does that mean it's the best for my children. I believe the answer is no!
If we live in the land of the free then why is it ok to teach our kids that homosexuality, abortion, and all the other hot topics are to be tolerated and embraced but the word christianity and anything to do with God is banned?
We like to think we live in the land of the free and compared to other countries we have a lot more freedoms! I am thankful we are still allowed to worship freely the God we choose and can worship without having a military come in and put us in prison or kill us. But we are not truly the land of the free. I know and realize this more and more as I research and pursue homeschooling my children.
We are not as free as we think we are...little by little there are people inching closer to taking more and more "freedoms" from us.


I have wanted to study Deuteronomy ever since my boss in Colorado had me study it as a bible study. I have always wanted to reread it, pick it a part and glean as much as I can from it. Reading Thomas Jefferson education has inspired me to not only see the bible as a classic which there is much to glean and learn from. But to be faithful to be mentored by the one true mentor, my creator, the one who literally knows it all! Deut. 8:3; "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord."

If we live by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord and if the Lord speaks to us and teaches us from his word, then if I am not talking with him, reading his word everyday I can be nothing but dead.

With that said here's what I gleaned today from Deuteronomy 10:
vs.1 What does the Lord require of me? To fear the Lord my God, to walk in all His ways, and love Him, and to serve the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul. To keep the Lord's commandments and His statues which he commands me, for my good.

I learned of his Character:
vs. 17 He is the God of gods, the Lord of Lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, he does not show partiality, nor takes bribes. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

vs. 18 He reminds us to show our love for the aliens for we were also aliens at one time.

We are to:
vs.20 Fear the Lord our God, serve Him and cling to Him, and swear by his name.

Because he is:
vs. 21 Our praise, our God, who has done great and awesome things for us! Which indeed I have seen with my eyes!

Application to my life: God tells me to do things not to hear himself talk but because it's for my own good (vs. 13). He loves me enough to tell me what to do, where to go, and how to go about it. He is my one true God, he is Lord of it all, I am to not put anything in his place. I am to serve orphans and widows. I am to not only fear the Lord, serve him, but I am to CLING to him! not simply hold on during the ride, I am to cling to him as if being rescued from the dangers out there. If I am not clinging to him I am vulnerable and an easy target. I am to remember what I have seen the Lord do in my life and not forget them.

I'm excited to see what tomorrows chapter holds!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

I am reading books on different ways to learn. This was one book I was looking forward to reading. I was a frustrated that they had less application and more science behind the reasoning. While both are important, I think they could have gotten to the punch lines quicker. Also the author refers to evolution instead of pointing to a creator. The book did have good things to draw from it and good ideas.

Let the buyer be ware:
I did love the idea that they were adamant that you do not need to buy your kids fancy toys, gadgets, and learning devices. They suggest when buying toys or something to help your child learn to do your homework. They use music as an example. Most of us have heard classical music helps make babies smarter, this is not true.

"you could just as well sing lullabies, play Simon and Garfunkel, the Indigo girls, or any other band you like. Music is wonderful. There is no doubt about it. But the evidence from research says that listening to Mozart, Madonna, or Mama Cass will NOT make your child a math genius or building architect, or even increase his general intelligence." pg. 33

Think outside the box-literally:
"Your child will learn more when you play with him than when you buy him fancy boxes containing self-proclaimed "state-of-of-the-art: devices with exorbitant clauses to build his brain." pg.150

In other words you can buy all your kids the fancy toys in the world but there is more benefit to watching your child and noticing what they are interested in and using that as a jumping point to teach your kids. Watching for natural opportunities to teach your kids. Making brownies with them, playing with a bar of soap in the bathtub, reading books, and tons of other ideas.

Switch up what you are watching:
Repetitive movies while boring and sometimes annoying to parents is great for kids because it's how they learn. When Maddie brings me a book to read that we have read 100 times and she wants me to read it to her again, she's gleaning new things from it every time we read it. It's how kids learn. Noting that limiting how much TV our kids watch is also important.

Plan a field trip to your own backyard:

The best place to explore can be right where you live. Exploring what bugs, animals, birds live in your yard. When you close your eyes what sounds do you hear. What things can you smell. Are there sticks and stones to make instruments? What sounds do rain drops make? Your own back yard provides hours and hours of learning!

Move from malls to tennis balls:
Instead of buying expensive toys, using pots and pans for a symphony, a laundry basket on it's side makes a great place to climb in and out of, making tents out of the kitchen table. For babies making a drawer they are allowed to go and explore in. Changing out the toys and objects to keep it interesting.

"Never underestimate the power of ordinary objects when examined with a child's eye. For children they are not ordinary at all."

The biggest thing they are promoting is using everyday experiences, use what you have to teach and play with your kids.

"If you do what comes naturally in your day, you will build number skills in your home. You need not buy anything extra or worry about getting the edge over others."

To help your children learn to write their name you could write their name on a piece of paper, then give them stamps and have them find the matching stamps and they can stamp their name. They also suggest starting to teach your kids to start making up stories. Sit beside your child and ask them to start a story or you can start one saying once upon a time or there was a lady with a purple flower and let them finish the sentence and story. Write down what they say, then read it back to them so they can hear what they are coming up with. Play word games. For example you could use the letter A and come up with as many letter A words as possible.

Stress effort, not achievement.
"Your child will miss 100 percent of he shots they don't take. If we are critical and face-driven, we're teaching our children not to take those shots."

Playful moments are really learning opportunities in disguise. This is probably the biggest thing I am going to take away from this book. Play =learning, learning=play! I was encouraged to make it a point to make sure I have played with my kids at least some point in the day. Not being so busy with doing stuff. Playing with my kids allows me to see how they learn, what they are interested in, what their brains are thinking, allowing me to guide and shepherd them in both their education and interests which can also be one in the same. Learning that buying our kids all the learning toys in the World does nothing compared with the practical learning that everyday brings. Bringing them into the kitchen and baking brownies, watching soap float in the bathtub, finding shapes as we drive by road signs, learning letters and numbers by the world around us. Discovering bugs, flowers, trees, and other amazing things in our own backyard. It's exciting to know and be assured that by playing Maddie is learning, she's learning her way, she's developing and experiencing life and learning as she was meant to. So exciting! is my cousins view and perspective on the same book. It's fun to read another blog on the same book and say yes I agree with that too!

Achieving Balance, the three R's:
Ask yourself, why am I enrolling 3-year-old Maddie in this calls? Does she really like dance? Do I feel pressure to make sure Maddie has a let up on other children her age? Am I trying to make every moment count? Would we all be happier and less frazzled if we had some extra time for unstructured play?

"It takes courage to resist forces that tell us faster is better. We hear out friends as they bast about their children's new found talents discovered (at some cost) in Melanie's music class. We live with the anxiety of knowing that while we are at the park, Janie took Ralph to art classes and sue had Phyllis at Chess for Cherubs! Resist. Play=learning!

"Think back to the teachable moments you learned. These are teachable moments not just for my kids, but also for me. Each time you engage in a teachable moment-each time you play with your child-you are seeing child development in action. You are connection in a new way with your child and have become a more sensitive and responsive parent."

"It's not what you know but how you know that will help build creative thinking and problem solving in math, reading, and language. And your children will even be happier with some downtime so that they can connect with you and with their friends."

woop, woop!

Tonight Marks the seventh night of the twins sleeping through the night! It's amazing what sleeping through the night will do for soul, body, and mind! Titus is teething to beat the band and his poor nose is running like crazy, poor bubba. Naomi is settling into eatting more solids and is becoming a much more content baby since sleeping through the nights and eatting more solids. Hurray for babies getting into a routine!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Basics of Homeschooling

The book that gave me a deep sense of yes I could do that, let me rephrase that, yes God could do this through me. Was this book The Basic Steps to Successful Homeschooling. She literally takes your hand and walks you through the steps that make it easier to homeschool. She covers everything from getting organized, state laws and possibly facing being taken to court by our school district or other government agency, to curriculum. She shares what she has done and also what other homeschool parents have done that has worked.

She also suggests for $100 a year you can retain HSLDA If you are challenge with your right to homeschool and you have retained them you are able to call them up and they will take your case for no extra cost. Mark and I are highly considering doing this because if we are ever faced with a moment where our parental right to homeschool our children is in jeopardy we want the people with the right tools to come in and fight for us. They have been around since 1983. They also keep an eye on legislation both federal and state wide insuring that parental rights that would jeopardize our right to homeschool are not infringed upon.

She even talks about walking your kids through learning chores. She says for example if you are dusting have your child follow all the places your rag goes. Do this for a couple days, then reverse it, you follow your childs rag everywhere, reminding them if needed where they missed. But being careful to allow them to do it there own way, not just your way. She said then let them do it on their own, check it. After awhile continue to make it a game so they stay interested, she suggested using pennies, as they dust they find the pennies. They get to keep all the pennies they find, however if they miss a couple of places you get the pennies and they dust where they missed. I tried this with maddie dusting her room and she thinks it's a very fun game. She even comes and asks me if we can play follow the leader with the rags! She is learning to get them out, get them wet, wring them out, and then be able to dust her room, and put the rags back where they belong.

I do not feel qualified to homeschool Maddie, but God knows that and he is equipping me with all I will need. He has allowed others to walk before me both friends, family, and in books. What the Lord puts into motion, he will see through.


I have decided that I want to start reading classics and Heidi happen to be the first classic book I found at the salvation army. I was suprised to find how different it is from the movie. While it's been a while since I've seen the movie, the book is different than the movie.

The first difference is when the grandfather receives Heidi. In the movie the directors depict him as mobing about not knowing what to do with the girl, ignoring her, and making little or no conversation. Needing to warm up to her. However in the book this is not the case. The grandfather while annoyed at Heidi's aunt for bringing her in the manner she did, but he doesn't seem directly unaware of what to do with Heidi. He allows her to jump about outside and look at the trees, listen to the wind. They then go in and he asks her to get another bowl and other things they will need for their meal. It is quite late so he then tells her she can make her bed where ever she likes and she of course decides the hay loft would be the best. The grandfather is kind and compassionate towards his granddaughter. It seems he needs no warming up to her.

I was surprised to read at how jealous and distrusting goatherder Peter was. Anyone who drew Heidi's attention from him was a target for his wrath.

The other surprising find was how God was brought into the book. He was brought in by Peter's grandmother, but he was also brought in by Klara's grandmamma. Heidi's aunt come's back for Heidi to be a companion to a rich man's little girl. Her aunt tells her she may return home any time she'd like, however Heidi soon learns this is not true or so it's what the house keeper tells her. During her stay with Klara, Klara's grandmamma comes and stays with them for a long while. In this time the grandmamma realizes that there is something wrong with Heidi. Heidi then tells the grandmamma that she cannot tell for it is a secret (that is what the house keeper told her). The Grandmamma told her about God and that you can tell anything you want to him and he hears you and answers. Well after a time the grandmamma asks Heidi how her prayer was going and had it been answered. Heidi replies; "I have decided to stop praying because it seems that God is too busy, with all the people in frankfurt I can understand why he doesn't have time for my prayers." The grandmamma goes on to tell Heidi that because God has not answered her prayers it does not mean God has not answered. He may have said no for right now, it is not the best time for your prayer to be answered. If her prayer were to be answered right now Heidi may come to wish God had not said yes to her prayer at that time. During this time she learns to read, write, arithmatic. After a time Heidi becomes so homesick it becomes physcially dangerous for her and she is sent back to her grandfather. After being home on the alms for a while Heidi realizes had God answered her prayer when she wanted she would not have learned all she had and would not have been able to teach goatherder Peter to read. She then realizes that God does answer prayers and to trust his timing.

Heidi then also is able to take what the grandmamma has taught her and is able to help her Grandfather restore his relationship with God and with mankind down the mountain. Her grandfathers heart is softened towards God and human kind. She tells grandfather that from now on they will pray everyday and give thanks so they will not forget what God has done and so God will not forget them. Grandfather asks what if we forget him, Heidi replies then God lets the man go his own way. If he complains no one has pity on him for he forsook the Good Lord first, now his is forsaken of God, who alone could help him. Heidi then goes on to tell the grandfather of the prodical son and how the father welcomes back those to come back to him. Grandfathers heart is softened and he returns back to God.

I love the way the Alms have a healing power. Schwanli, one of the grandfathers goats, gives the most nourishing milk. Grandfather even knows where to go to get the herbs to make schwanli's milk that much more nourishing and life giving. I too have found healing in the mountains. Not in the way of goat milk, but none the less God too meets me in the mountains and whispers life giving messages to me, eternal messages of his power, his love, and of his faithfulness to me.

I desire to know the way of the land as Heidi's grandfather did, I desire to be compassionate and observant as Grandmamma is, I want to not be jealous and covet like goatherder Peter, I want to trust the Lord for all things like Goatherder Peter's grandmother, and I want to always remember what the Lord has done for me, so that I will not forsake the Lord, so that he will not let me go my own way.

A Thomas Jefferson Education

Mark and I are convinced that as of right now we are called to home school our kids. It is very overwhelming realizing that our children's education and training is our responsibility. But we also believe that God has equip us and will continue to equip us with everything we need to accomplish the race he has set before us.

One book that has inspired me and given me a jumping off point is "A Thomas Jefferson education" by Oliver Demille. His approach to education is using a method called classic/mentor Education. Through reading the classics Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Seuss, and working your way to more complicated readings, and so on. This type of education is to create students who think for themselves. Who dissect what they are reading and talk about it with their mentors. What did the characters go through, how do we apply what we read to our own lives. The mentor guides the student through what they are reading, helping the student digest, think, and apply what they are reading not only pertaining to their lives but also how it pertains to them in the world.

"There are two types of great teachers which consistently motivate student-driven education: mentors meet face to face with the student, inspiring through the transfer of knowledge, the force of personality, and individual attention. Classics were created by other great teachers to be experienced in books, art, music, and other media." TJE pg. 20

Side thought:
I firmly believe I was one of the students in the public school system that passed under the radar. I believe that I did well enough to keep getting passed until I graduated, but I don't believe I was educated. I do not believe I was well equipped with what I needed to know. I still stink at math, English is better but still difficult. I clung to what I needed to know at the moment and as soon as I was done with it I chucked it out the window. I have to say what I did retain was because my parents worked long hours with me at our dinning room table. Also the first book I ever read was called "Will you be my friend", which my dad taught me to read. I had a mentor but it was my parents who took the time to help me grasp what I needed to grasp. Who encouraged me, challenged me, and loved me through the tears of learning. If I had been able to learn at my pace, if my environment had not depended on tests and how I should have been doing compared to my peers, but focused on educating me and giving me a desire and passion to learn I believe I would have accelerated beyond what I would have even imagined for myself. I also had a couple teachers who did not know how to teach something in a different way. So it was my fault for not understanding what they where trying to teach me. I was not a behavior problem, I tried to do my work, I tried to pay attention, I really honestly could not understand what they were teaching...and to them it was my fault.

Back to the book:
The solution to the American Education Question is to focus on great teaching rather than education. Each semester at George Wythe College I (the author) am moved by a new class of young people who literally come alive during four months of coming face to face with greatness in mentors and classics. Suddenly learning is magic, like falling in love; doors and eyes open and students become thinkers, creators, and leaders. pg. 25

Demille says there are three types of education:
I. public education: which tries to prepare everyone for a job, any job, by teaching them what to think. This includes rudimentary skills designed to fit them to function in society.

a. historically the primary goal of public school's, the reason they instituted was to educate the poor so they could get a Job and take their place in society (the middle class already had private schools and apprenticeships, and the wealthy were tutored at home.

b. Public schools come with a down die. consider three successful cases: ancient Rome, Eighteenth century Germany, and nineteenth Century Britain. Each instituted Free public schools to educate the poor, and the standard of living increased. But eventually the professional and leadership schools deteriorated because they simply couldn't compete with free, government-subsidized schools.

II. Professional Education: Derived from apprenticeship and trade schools to law, medical and MBA programs-which creates specialists by teaching them when to think.

a. private schools arose from the apprenticeship tradition of training youth for specific trades or professions.

b. The purpose is to get them into college or technical school, then trade or law school, and then law school, CPA or MBA school, medical school, etc.

c. this type of training allows you to be an expert at whatever you choose to do, however it only works in an interdependent system where other experts tell them when their knowledge is to be applied and what to do outside the scope of their expertise.

III. Leadership Education, which I (the author) call "Jefferson Education," which teaches students how to think and prepares them to be leaders in their homes and communities, entrepreneurs in business, and statesmen in government.

Leadership Education has three primary goals:
1. to train thinkers, entrepreneurs and statesmen-individuals with the character, competence and capacity to do the right thing and to do it well in business, government, church, schools, family, etc.

2. to perpetuate freedom, to prepare people who know what freedom is, what is required to maintain it, and who exert the will to do what is required.

3. teaching students how to think.
a. Those who know how to think are able to lead effectively and are able to help society remain free and prosperous.

"Those who know only what to think or when, no matter how valuable their contributions to society, are not capable of maintaining freedom or leading us to real progress without additional leadership skills. the success and perpetuity of our society depend upon leadership education."

He also talks about schools being a conveyor belt. Setting up school systems like factories. You enter kindergarten, you continue on to 1st grade, 2ND grade, and so on. Then you graduate. Then you continue on the conveyor belt when you enter college. You then are stamped with a guaranteed to be educated. Anyone can basically get on the conveyor belt to do just well enough to pass and be done. But with the conveyor belt comes conveyor belt professionals. We are no longer taught to think outside the box but we are taught that anything outside the box is nonsense and sometimes crazy.

I love the thought of teaching Maddie to be a leader, not someone who gets on a conveyor belt and does what she's told, because she's told to do it. I want her to think is this right or is this wrong. I want her to not think or do, because it is what you do (in the eyes of other people). I want her to question. I want her to bring it before God, to compare it with God's word to see if aligns with His word and go from there with her though processes.

After talking with Mark we agree that we both love TJE. We also agree we believe we do not want to use this alone when homeschooling our kids. We believe that incorporating various types of learning is also beneficial to out kids. We believe this because one we need records to show the state here is what we are doing and here is where are kids are on the learning journey. But we think it is beneficial for our kids to have experience being taught in different ways.

Do we have it all figured out, of course not. We are still reading, learning and when we are in the middle of school I'm sure we will still adjust and change with the way our kids learn. I'm excited, timid, but not discouraged that homeschooling is a path we are to take. I'm excited to explore with my kids the world of learning. I'm excited to be guided by the holy spirit as to what will spark our kids to love learning, to seek out learning, and continue the life long process of learning.

I have begun to look for the classics at the salvation army and rummage sales. I have recently been given many fabulous books that others have passed on to me. For example I found Heidi at the salvation army for $.49! I was given Grimm's fairy tales, we've been given a couple of different kids bibles, and the list goes on. I love opening up a world of learning to Maddie simply by reading to her!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I have been searching for ballet classes for Maddie. We have found a dance studio that has christian values, has their dancers dress tastefully, have tasteful music, and tasteful dance moves. All things that are important to Mark and I. We are also excited that she will be learning that she is not dancing for the sake of dancing but she is dancing before her Creator and saviour. Her lessons will also not cost us an arm and a leg. She has two recitals one in December and then one in the spring! She is so excited and I know she will love it! We are now on the hunt for ballet shoes, tights, and leotard!

All nighters

We have officially moved the twins into their own beds. We started with nap time yesturday which went well. Then we did it at bed time and they both slept through the night...yes all night! we put them to bed at 9 and they slept till about 7ish. Awesome! We had a repeat last night. Naomi woke up once but we let her fuss for a bit and then she finally went back to sleep! hurry for sleeping babies! We are thankful for two nights of sleep and for babies learning to sleep through the night!!!