Sunday, December 27, 2009


likes her bone so much she is smiling about it!
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Joshua on the Guitar Praise

We wanted something with Christian lyrics for our children and Guitar Praise fit the bill!

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000587: Guitar Praise: Solid Rock on CD-ROMGuitar Praise: Solid Rock on CD-ROM

From the creators of the hit game Dance Praise comes Guitar Praise! You can grab the guitar and play along with some of Christian music's top bands. Pretend you're right there on stage with your favorite bands as you handle the guitar controller and play the notes they're playing. Or you can add your own unique sounds as you shred those riffs or blast the bass by using the whammy bar. Watch out, though--if you can't keep up, the artists stop and take a break, and you'll have to start all over!

You'll get a USB Guitar controller (requires 4 AA batteries that are not included), the CD-ROM Game, wireless adaptor, and guitar strap. To play, press the fret buttons and strum on the strum bar in time the color-coded cues as they scroll across the screen. If you tilt the guitar at the right time, you'll activate spinner bonuses for maximum points. There are 4 different levels, so beginners can start slowly, while experts will have their fingers flying as they use all 5 fret buttons while playing the chords and burning through the riffs!

Guitar Praise supports 2 guitar controllers so you can play alone or with a friend. Each player can play the same track, or one player can play lead and the other play bass. You can even send surprises to your opponent to mess with their playing. Keep score and earn enough points to get a new guitar with richer sounds and different effects. Best of all, this game has over 50 songs from some of today's top Christian artists like 12 Stones, tobyMac, Stellar Kart, Skillet, David Crowder, Hawk Nelson, Superchick, Caedmon's Call, Lincoln Brewster, Relienk K, Whitecross, and many more. The lyrics also display on the screen so that you and your audience can sing along as you play. Recommended for all ages.

Note: item ships in manufacturer's packaging.

00631X: Guitar Praise: Expansion Pack 1Guitar Praise: Expansion Pack 1

Looking for more music for the game you love? Don't fret! In this blockbuster compilation, you get 25 top-of-the-chart hits from your favorite Christian artists. Praise the Lord as you strum along to tunes from tobyMac, Stryper, the Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, Sanctus Real, Lincoln Brewster, Steven Curtis Chapman, and more. Windows XP/Vista or Macintosh 10.3.

New Toys

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

We hope that you and yours had a wonderful Christ-a-must!
We had so much fun being together and celebrating the birth of Christ!
Our plans for the weekend are to sit on the floor and play with our children!
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Free Chocolate Kisses

Brandon told me "Dont' worry Mom, it wasn't your GOOD chocolate!!" :-)

Clearly Hannah had a little bit of help from her older sister Emily, who had very little chocolate on her!


When Clint walked back into the room, Emily (2) ran to the couch and struck "I'm a little angel" pose.

Hannah was SOOOO proud of herself!
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Laughing at the Siblings

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Lovin' the Frosting

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1st Birthday

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Hannah's Birthday

We are celebrating Hannah's first birthday today! She will be one 12/22.
This is the cake Amanda and I made for her party.
I am so thankful God brought Amanda home safe from the sleepwalking incident so I can have these moments with her.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Need an At Home America Rep?

I've known Tammy since she was a darling little girl riding our school bus to Suffolk Christian. She is related to other friends of mine who also attended SCS. Tammy helped us when Amanda was missing by giving us info on procedures that needed to be followed to get resources opened up to us. I will always be grateful to her for doing that.

At Home America has some neat gifts. A sale starts @ 6 tonight where you can find items for 75% off. Sale runs through Dec 31. If you see something you want, grab it before someone else does because these sales will not be repeated...once an item is gone, it's gone!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Need a Longaberger Rep? I met Jenn in high school and you can not find a sweeter Christian gal anywhere! If you are a basket fan and want to help support someone like Jenn, then be sure to save this link for the future. Check the site often for sales and special deals!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hannah and Emily

enjoying the new bathtub Clint installed.
Hannah is 11 months. Emily is 2.
If you click on the picture, it will enlarge and you can see Hannah's swollen gums from where she's about to sprout two new teeth!
That is pure delight on Emily's face. She is such a water bug!
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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Updating the Blog

I've been really bad about updating the blog, but there are a lot of changes going on in our household.

I have quit selling books and we have been taking thousands out of the house to the landfill. I have tried to give them away or recycle them to no avail. One lady at the county dump tells us we can recycle them there while another tells us it has to go in household waste. Depending on which person is there determines where they end up. We still have several truckloads to take to the dump. eBay changed a policy that would have had me editing by hand (their tool would not work) 350+ listings. I wrote them and asked them for an alternative, but they would not come up with a solution for long time sellers like me other than doing it by hand. I simply did not have that kind of time, so I decided to give it up and enjoy more time and extra space in the house.

I have listed many books including used school curriculum on Paperbackswap where you trade unwanted books for books you need. I have received many nice quality books for my children's education for the cost of shipping another book for $2.23. You can also purchase credits for $3.75 or so and buy a book that way. That $3.75 is shipping INCLUDED! You can't beat the deal! To start, you have to list 10 good condition books you can part with and you will receive three credits. is my referral link. If you list 10 books, I receive a free book credit.

We are concentrating on establishing a kennel for our chihuahuas. We have developed a good reputation for raising healthy dogs with wonderful dispositions. God dropped this in our laps and we weren't quite sure of it when we started, but it has been a blessing. We meet so many people and have been able to start many off on the right foot to responsible dog ownership.

I have stopped making and selling the goat's milk soap. We only have three goats left and I do not plan to breed them. Little May can live out her life here and then we will be done with goats, I think. I will still make it for our friends with special skin needs, gifts and for our family. With my two little girls, extra time is not easy to come by right now.

We are looking to raise calves this spring for grass fed, organic beef. I may get a cow for milk too.

Clint has had many late nights at work this fall and winter. His weekend work has picked up some too.

The bathroom project is ongoing. Without much free time, Clint has managed to install the toilet and the bathtub/shower in the downstairs bathroom. He plans on working on the closet and sink now. We are contemplating a long planned (pre-Hurricane Isabel) addition, but will seek the Lord for a while first.

We are still working towards getting Brandon's driver's license. I understand now why so many homeschooled children decide to just wait until they are old enough to get one without all of the hassle. Hopefully our experience this time will make it easier for our other children to obtain theirs. Or, maybe the laws will change so homeschooling parents/students don't feel like they are being punished.

Ida (storm) caused us a lot of preparation work. Our yard and barns flooded, but nothing was damaged. The lowest part of the house (also the oldest part of this old farmhouse we love) came within 1/2 an inch of flooding. I walked in and out of this house many times during that storm measuring the water level and could not fathom why the floor stayed dry. With the waves going higher than that and the dream Clint had, I honestly feel as if God worked a miracle and supernaturally blocked the water. God is awesome!

Homeschooling is chugging along at a steady pace and we are getting a lot accomplished which was my prayer for this school year.

We had strep (I think) before/over/after the Thanksgiving holiday. Big families will get the before/over/after part! :-) Clint and I were sleep deprived when Hannah was waking up to nurse for comfort 3-5 times a night. We are just now getting back to our normal routines from that.

We've managed to do all of our Christmas shopping except for the goodies I will put in the Wise Men Bags (Christian alternative to stockings). I plan on baking cookies, making Rice Krispy Treats and filling the shaped treat bags from Michael's with homemade granola and trail mixes. I also want to supply each of the older children with a comb/brush, fingernail clippers, flashlight, school supplies, etc.

We've also been blessed to get together with friends new and old recently which has been so much fun!

Homeschooling Moms, I am praying for you! I want you to not only succeed with well educated children who are firmly rooted in Truth, but also to enjoy the wonderful ride with your most precious blessings...your children! When you are having a hard time, that is when God is calling you to turn to Him for help. When it is challenging, remember, you are being stretched and grown as a Christian, wife, mother and woman!!

Cost Saving Homeschool Tip

This set of older first grade books I have can not be replaced. The reader can be reused easily, but the workbook was meant to be consumable.
To solve the problem, I folded the workbook in half and slid a clear page protector (found @ Walmart in office supplies) over it. I have the children fill it out with a dry erase marker.

This not only saves money, but allows us to use the materials we like the best regardless of when they were published.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Don't Want to Raise Successful Children

written by Lysa TerKeurst, shared with me through Amy Morris

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

I don't want to raise successful children. That's a shocking thing to read, and a shocking thing for a mother to type. So, let me clarify.

I used to define success according to my child's report card. Good grades and academic achievement would surely equal a good child with great potential in this world. But then several of my children wound up being average students with average grades. Though we carted them off to tutors and spent many a late night at the kitchen table helping them, they remained average. And I remained concerned and frustrated.

One report card day I found myself facedown in the fibers of my carpet crying and wondering, "Where have I gone wrong as a mom?"

I dug into Scriptures. I begged God for wisdom and discernment. I prayed for God's perspective with each of my kids. Finally, one day it dawned on me - what if I simply chose to embrace the natural bent of each of my kids as God's way to protect them and keep them on the path toward His best plans for their lives?

What if my A student needs academic success to prepare her for God's plans while my average to below-average student needs to be steered away from a more academic future? What if my sports star kid needs that athletic excellence for his future assignments by God, but my benchwarmer kid is being protected from getting off course by her lack in this area?

And that's when it finally dawned on me. My job isn't to push success for my kids. My job as a parent is to recognize the unique way God created each child and point them to Jesus at every turn along their journey toward adulthood. Yes, I want my kids to learn and thrive and grow up educated, but it's not a flaw in me or them if they don't have straight A report cards and trophy cases full of sports medals.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (NIV).

I am challenged to ponder these words, "... in the way he should go." Are we training our kids that the "way he should go" is to chase worldly achievement or to chase God? Whatever they learn to chase as a child, they will chase as adults. Therefore, we must be challenged to honestly assess the way we are pointing them to go.

My daughter, Hope, is one of my average students. She has also warmed many a bench in the sports she's tried, and can always be found hiding on the back row of the stage during school concerts. Using the world's benchmarks for achievement, Hope wouldn't be seen as a child positioned for success. But God...

This past January, my 15 year old Hope, shocked me when she announced she wanted to go to Ethiopia with some missionary friends of ours and live in the remote African bush for the summer. Yes, she may not have trophies and straight A report cards but she does have a heart of gold. And because she's not entrenched in sports and academic pursuits that could have created obligations for her summer, she was free to go to Africa. Free to chase God in a really big way.

One of the first e-mails she sent me from Ethiopia read, "Mom, I've fallen in love with the AIDS orphanage children. They rushed at me when I held my arms out and I tried with all my might to hold all 30 of them at once. I love it here."

Now, don't get me wrong. I do expect Hope to return to her studies this fall, give 100% effort, and finish her high school career having done her very best. She will most likely then go to college. But she probably won't be delivering the valedictorian address or wearing the honors cords and medals. She'll be the one with a vision of a dying AIDS orphan pressing against her heart ready to chase God's plans to the ends of the earth.

So back to my original statement, I don't want to raise successful children. It's true, I don't. Though Hope's sister coming behind her is an A student and can always be found on the front row of school performances - we don't chase after success for her either. I trust God that she needs those things in her life for the plans He's unfolding in her life. We train with that bent in mind. But, we don't chase it. Just like Hope, we point her in the direction of God at every turn and pray like crazy.

I stand by what I said and I'll say it again, I don't want to raise successful children. Because--- raising God-honoring adults who will set the world on fire for Christ is just so much more rewarding.

Dear Lord, being a mom is a really tough job. Please help me, teach me and show me how to define success for my kids. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

My Very Tired Husband

Clint, Brandon, Amanda and I spent Wednesday picking everything up in the yard, barns and the lowest room of the house.
We had to move all of the animals too.
We also moved all of our vehicles except the pickup to a lot up the road from us.
We had to sleep around the tide cycles as the baby allowed us.
We didn't lose anything, PTL!!!
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Smile Shanee!

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I Know How to Make Her Blush :-)

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The Lap Dog

Shanee was happy to be out of the storm.
She still thinks she's a lap dog!
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Side of House during Ida

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