Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Urgent Prayer Request: Bad Car Accident

Friends of our family have been in a bad car accident. They are being transported in separate ambulances to the hospital at the time I posted this. Other family members are trying to get to them. Please pray for our friends and their family.

Update: They are OK. Their car was totaled, and they were bruised up with a few broken ribs. 

Little Snapper

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Snapping turtles that come into our yard are relocated due to us having small children who might forget their safety training. I really don't want a bunch of snapping turtles hatching near their playing area. This common snapping turtle paid us a visit in early June.

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Amanda demonstrating the right way to pick up a snapping turtle

Never pick up a snapping turtle by its tail. It can damage the spine, legs, and its ability to reproduce. Don't drag the turtle on the road because it can scratch the shell and make it vulnerable to bacteria and fungus.
You can gently navigate the turtle into a box with a broom handle or lift with your hand under the shell at the base of the tail and holding onto the tail for stabilization.

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Always keep your eyes on the snapper...

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unless your mother asks you to smile pretty for a picture!

I Timothy 5:24-25 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

Act Quickly: Free Subscription to Home Educating Family Magazine

Home Educating Family Magazine use freesub as coupon code. 
7/31 is the last day, so hurry!

Thank you to my friends who made me aware of this offer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect!

This story is worth your time to watch. It is about a self-serving, image loving adult who grows into a true man and finds real meaning in his life through his imperfectly perfect little girl. The person he thought the least of is the one who changed him the most, and to think, he almost missed it!!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

4 Out of 5 Youngest Hop on Pop

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The goal was to get him off the couch and onto the floor so they could "Hop On Pop!"
Hannah was sleeping.

Matthew 18:10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fickleness of Relying on Feelings

There is so much that affects how we feel. Hormones, sleep, health, experiences with other people, sunlight, and more all play a part in how we feel. We can wake up happy as a clam, and then one bad experience can turn our mood around for an entire day!

Sometimes we are certain God loves us, and other times we doubt that love. Sometimes we feel like praising the Lord, and sometimes we just want to complain. How we feel about God, or even how we think God feels about us is not an indicator of our faith. Feelings aren't an indicator of God's work in our lives either. He keeps His promises and does not fail us. 

Faith is believing in His promises even when we can't see our way through the storm. It's praising Him even when we are weary from being tossed around in the stormy seas of this life. Faith is consistently looking to Him for guidance and help. It's giving thanks in all things even when we have had profound disappointment. 

There are many things that can influence our emotions and how we react to something, but God doesn't change. He remains the same. And, aren't you thankful for that? Aren't you thankful He doesn't change in His love towards us like we do to Him and other people in our life? He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That is another reason to praise and worship His name. 

Psalm 34:1-3 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Article: 7 Things to Say and Not Say to a Grieving Person

This article has very wrong things to say, explains why they can be harmful, and also offers some better things to say.

I will add that as a Christian being reminded of God's promises of a reunion and the Biblical description of Heaven is very comforting to me.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Princess Trapper

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Amanda in the new dress she made. 
My tomboy "Princess Trapper" has grown into a lovely, godly young woman.
I am treasuring these days while she is waiting for her licensing to arrive.
I am going to really miss having her around during the daytime.
She has already turned down one marriage proposal.
Time, please slow down!

I Corinthians 13:13  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Christian Homeschooling Tip: Hiding the Word

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One of the most important things that we do with our children is teach them about our faith. God tells us we are to hide His Word in our hearts. We like to make Bible verse memorization fun and rewarding. Every year, I make up booklets with printed out verses. Then we challenge our children to learn and earn a later bedtime.

The reason we make them bring their Bible and the booklet is because we want them to see the verse in their Bible, and we get them to mark beside it the date they successfully learned it. As I can tell you from my own personal experience, these notes in their Bible will become very precious to them in their adult years.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Homeschooling and Trickle Down Learning

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Hannah 4: "Mom, I made abstract art!"

One of the best things about homeschooling is the trickle down learning effect. Homeschooling mothers of many who are just starting out wonder how they will teach them all. The first child is the hardest, but after that, it gets easier. They teach each other. The younger children overhear and absorb a lot by being in a very rich learning environment.

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Homeschool: Another Way to Learn Math Facts

Per request: The Gypsy Method

This is helpful to not only dyslexic and dyscalculia students, but also students who learn best through movement. If a child is not making progress with memorization, this might be useful.

Beauty in mathematics is seeing the truth without effort. George Polya

Video: Barn Swallows Feed Lost Baby Bird of Another Species

This sweet swallow video was posted by sonestafarms on She has other animal videos (mostly horse) you may be interested in seeing.

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

He Inherited It

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Caleb is taking apart his toys, making modifications, and improving on designs. Here, he has taken a solar panel from a solar experiment kit and put it on a Styrofoam plane which began life as a rubber band plane. The rubber band plane was using kinetic energy, and now it is using solar electric. Very cool!

Caleb reminds me of a certain cute teenage boy who use to keep all sorts of parts to toys, computers, and gadgets in several boxes under his bed a long time ago. I thought that boy was weird for keeping so much "junk," but he was actually very smart. He was developing skills that would pay off in his career later. I call that teenage boy "husband" and "best friend" now. His boss recently said "Clint brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to our workplace." I just smiled and thought about those boxes.

Within reason and with supervision, let your children experiment. Clint lets our children take apart the broken small appliances after the cord is removed.

Romans 15:5-6 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not the Power Women Were Looking For

"So, it seems that wearing a bikini does give women power, the power to shut down a man's ability to see her as a person, but rather as an object. This is surely not the power women were searching for. The power to be treated as an equal, to be seen as in control, and to be taken seriously. It seems the kind of power they are searching for is more attainable when they dress modestly. But, now comes the problem of modesty...."

This is very worth your time watching regarding how a man's brain works when they see scantily clad women vs modestly dressed women.  

"How will you use your beauty?"

No matter what man says or dreams up, God's way is always best.


Per request, I updated the post below about the swallows.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I Am Good at Finding Ways to Help

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Clint was putting up the ceiling in our bathroom earlier this month.
Me: "Do you need help?"
Clint: "Thanks, but I think I have it."
So, I tickled his underarm.
He laughed, therefore, I "helped" :-)!

Ephesians 5:18b-20 Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Expect to Hear it Demand "FEEEEEEED MEEEE!"

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I took this picture a couple of days ago. It's bigger than this now.
Amanda joked that it will break into the house and eat us while we are sleeping.

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There are potted plants lost under the gourd vine.

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It reaches out to touch you when walk onto the deck.

And to think, ONE SEED did all of that.

Luke 8:11-15 This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Habit is the Nurse of Sin

“Habit is the nurse of sin.  Every fresh act of sin lessens fear and remorse, hardens our hearts, blunts the edge of our conscience, and increases our evil inclination…Believe me, you cannot stand still in the affairs of your souls.  Habits of good or evil are daily strengthening in your hearts.  Every day you are either getting nearer to God, or further off…Oh, I urge you, dread the hardening effect of constant lingering in sin!” -J.C. Ryle in Thoughts for Young Men (click link to read a summary the book)

Do the right thing as soon as you know the right thing to do.

Romans 1:28-32 People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking. And so they do what they should not do. They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, greed, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst things about each other. They gossip and say evil things about each other. They hate God. They are rude, proud, and brag about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil. They don’t obey their parents, they are foolish, they don’t keep their promises, and they show no kindness or mercy to others. They know God’s law says that anyone who lives like that should die. But they not only continue to do these things themselves, but they also encourage others who do them.

Barn Swallow Update

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They were doing this yesterday morning. By afternoon, they were panting hard. We hosed down the top of the awning and the deck to give them some relief from the heat, but it wasn't enough. We know at least one died because it was hanging from the nest. Clint removed it. It was clearly dehydrated. There may be one to two more dead in the bottom of the nest. I could only confirm two living with the mirror. We will set up a shade canopy and a fan today to try to help them more. I hate seeing anyone or anything lose their child.

Update 7/22/2013: The last two baby swallows are doing great! I walked out the door early Sunday morning and when they saw me, they opened their mouths for food like they do their mama! I spoke to them, and they dove deep into their nest. I just stood there a minute and one started slowly up to see if I was still there. We played peek a boo for a few seconds. Our family named the last two "Mercy" and "Grace." It is through God's mercy and grace to us that we can extend it to these small creatures. 

The aluminum awning heats up very quickly. The deck absorbs and reflects the heat which makes it worse. I put a reflecting blanket on top of the awning, set up a shade canopy on the deck, and put a divider between our window a/c unit and where they nest. I also fill up two 40 gallon water containers and hose off the awning and deck. I set the fan blowing from the cool water onto the nest. On the days it is near 100 degrees, it only takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to lower the temperature, and it helps them be comfortable for a little over an hour. On the days where the temp is in the mid to lower 90s, just the fan and shade works if I fill the buckets once around noon. It's not much trouble, and we get to observe wildlife closely. It's also very satisfying to help them. If you have outside animals, these tips can be modified to help you keep them cool in the worst of summer's heat.  

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looking through our front door

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much cooler
Other pictures of the swallows.

Psalm 145:9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Study shows extreme form of pregnancy-related morning sickness could be genetic

If you have or had hyperemesis gravidarum with your pregnancies, you may find this 2010 study to be interesting. 

"And for women with sisters, mothers and grandmothers on either side of the family who have experienced extreme morning sickness during pregnancy, the risk of HG may be heightened, according to a new study led by researchers from UCLA and the University of Southern California."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Joshua and the Little Old Ladies

Joshua, 13, had something happen to him recently that really made him appreciate the blessing of having cultivated a spirit of helpfulness.

Joshua was in a thrift store looking at electronic toys. Two little elderly ladies were looking at a toy to purchase for one of their grandchildren. They could not figure out what it was or what it was suppose to do. Joshua stepped in and explained the toy and its many functions to them. The ladies thanked him.

As he walked away, he heard one say to the other, "That nice kid really helped us." The other replied with emphasis, "That wasn't a kid. That was a YOUNG MAN."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It Really Is A Priviledge

Next time you're offended, act on your privilege to forgive, not your right to an apology.- Mike Donehey


I added two new pictures in the post below so you could see how the baby swallows look today. 

When God Puts Something on Your Heart

When God clearly puts something on your heart to do, He doesn't want you to wait until circumstances are in your favor. Pride makes us think we know a better time than He does. He doesn't want you to hesitate while you build your confidence. Doubt makes us question. Your doubts, hesitations, and delay tactics are nothing more than sin. Once you know what God's will is, anything less than action is disobedience. Disobedience doesn't get us any closer to God's will and the blessings He intends for us. Only obedience does that.

"Don't ask God to guide your footsteps...if you're not willing to move your feet." ~unknown

"Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that we do not want to do it." Peter Marshall 

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Not the First Time It Has Happened

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Somehow the children broke a piece in my collection of handmade Italian ceramic pottery.

Life happens!

Like other things over the last 18 years, it now makes fine pothole fill for the driveway. I first learned of the practice of filling in driveway potholes with old ceramic, shells, broken tile, asphalt shingles, etc from my grandfather who used it in his driveway the entire time I was growing up. We turn the points down so they don't damage tires. Once the car goes over them, they are crushed into smaller pieces. When we tore out the chimneys in our house, we filled the driveway potholes with the bricks. You can't see them now, but there are 2.5 chimneys in our driveway...and tons of things that the children have broken over the years. :-)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Barn Swallow Update

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When I saw the daddy staring into the nest, I knew something had changed.

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So while she was hunting, I grabbed a mirror for a quick peek.
Their first baby hatched on July 4th.

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On the morning of the 6th, I took another peek while the parents were sunning on the electrical wire and found all five had hatched!
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Here they are looking fuzzy and content on the 8th.

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See them peeking over the top?

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You can just make out the pin feathers on a wing tip in this picture.

7/16/2003 New Pictures:

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I had been hoping I could get a picture of all five of them.
It is amazing how fast they have grown.

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The parents are constantly working to feed their brood.
This is the mama bird.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What An Amazing Promise!

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purple roses and white calla lilies

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Images of a 19 Weeks Gestation Baby

We lost Josiah at 19 weeks and Issac at 21 weeks. Our six other child losses were earlier in gestation, but were still very significant to our hearts and lives. There is not a day I do not think of them. 

If you want to see a baby in the same gestational range as our Josiah and Issac, you can read the story of Walter Joshua Fretz. His mother desires for the world to know that at 19 weeks, her son was fully formed. She has a disclaimer on her site about the pictures, but Walter is absolutely beautiful. 

Lexi, if you find your way here, thank you for sharing the story and pictures of your beautiful son. God is using him to impact lives. You took a difficult part of your life and offered it up as a sacrifice to the Lord, and He is using it. I am very sorry for your pain and know how the arms can ache. You will see Walter again. Not only that, but you will know him, love on him, and hold him again. I care and am praying for you and your family. While we both know very well that children are not interchangeable, I am praying the Lord will bless you with another child to hold and love soon. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Real Enemy to Living a Great Life

"The enemies to a great life are not tragedy, heartbreak, and hard times. The enemy to having a great life is to simply lead a good life. A life where you seek comfort and ease above growth. A life where you avoid the risk of taking chances with God. We live in a fallen world, so no one can avoid every pothole in the road of life. You will have hard times. You will get bumped and bruised, but you don’t have to get bewildered. Say yes to God now. Say yes to whatever He brings your way. Seek Him wholeheartedly through it. Ponder what He is teaching you. Surrender what He is requiring from you. And know that He is working out His wonderful plans for you right now behind the scenes.” ~ Lisa TerKeurst in What Happens When Women Walk in Faith

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


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A man gave me his box turtle because he couldn't keep her any longer. I named her Buttercup and put her with my other turtles. She had not seen any of her kind in a long time and seemed happy to be with them. She loves the protected outdoor space where she can get sunlight. She readily gobbled on the strawberries..and an earthworm....

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She is a rehabilitated turtle which had been hit by a car a long time ago. Her shell is growing back together, but there is still big hole. Wild box turtles are vulnerable to an attack by insects or rats during hibernation when their box doesn't close up completely.

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If my grandmother saw any creature hit on the road, she would get quiet, shake her head, and whisper "poor thing." I love that my grandmother had compassion where most people have none and didn't overlook any of God's creatures. She remained tender to a loss of life where most are very calloused. 

My grandmother's nickname is "Buttercup."

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

"time heals all wounds"

"A common phrase used in the world of healing is, “time heals all wounds.” I have found this to be more false than true. As a pastor, I talk regularly with people who are still carrying hurts from 30 or 40 years ago. The real truth is, time often makes things worse. Wounds that are left untended fester and spread throughout the entire body. Time only extends the pain if the problem is not dealt with." Kenneth Squires

"If you hug to yourself any resentment against anybody else, you destroy the bridge by which God would come to you." Peter Marshall

Monday, July 08, 2013

Homeschool Day 1 Year 18

Today starts our 18th year of homeschooling! I started teaching Brandon preschool in 1995. It has been an amazing and extremely rewarding journey! I have no regrets whatsoever about the path we have taken for our children's education. The fruit of a closer family, great academic test scores, and strong character in our children far, far, far outweigh the extra work of homeschooling. 

By time all of my children graduate, I will have in 30+ years! I look forward to the many memory making learning moments. I am so thankful to have had all of that extra time with my children and for knowing them on the level that I do. What a precious and rare gift in today's society!

When Clint first told me about homeschooling, I was uncertain. God convicted me that I had taken the time to find a Christian man to marry and raise a family with, but I wasn't trusting him to lead. I had many questions and took those to the Lord. For every question I had, God had an answer. Here's a few:

How will I do such an enormous task? "You won't do this. I will do it through you." Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

What will everyone think? "You should only care what I think." Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Galations 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

But don't I need to work too? "I provide for my children." Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Won't our family and children be different from everyone else? How will we fit in? "You aren't suppose to fit in because I have called my people to stand out as different." Ezra 10:11 Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We are in the reaping stage. Almost every where we go, we receive compliments on our children's behavior, academics, work ethic, or some positive character trait. Our family stands out...for good things for God's glory.  

I am so thankful my husband followed God's leading on this even when I was hesitant. Clint led us to where God was pointing even when everything else was pointing us in the other direction. It offended people. Some were openly harsh and critical. Lean times came and went. We kept our eyes on the Lord and worked hard together. 

I would not have wanted to miss this journey for anything in the world! It has given us great joy and has shaped our faith, marriage, family, and children's lives for the better. 

The best part is that we are seeing results in our adult children while we are still educating our younger children. This motivates and encourages us to work harder and do better. The rewarding journey is not over, but now we see where we are going!

Thank You, Lord! Thank you, Clint!

He Caught a Bug

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Hannah-Bug came into our room giggling and hopping on her knees saying "I'm gonna bite yooooouuuuu!"
Clint jumped up and said "Oh yeah?! I'm gonna catch yoooouuuuuu!"
I love watching him play with our children.

Psalms 127:3-5 "Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court."

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Many Are the Afflictions of the Righteous

"God does not come to us in nicely defined, rationally explained, thought categories.  God does not fit Himself into our theological text books.  The Hebrew God breaks all the rules.  He is near, yet transcendent; clothed in human form, yet holy; more terrifying than can be imagined, yet compassionate; invisible, yet revealed; judging, yet merciful; sovereign, yet humble. No matter where you look, God breaks the molds." Skip Moen

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him from them all.  Psalm 34:19

Then I would be comforted by this one thing: Even through all this pain, I never refused to obey the commands of the Holy One. Job 6:10

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Free Beginner Sewing Lesson Print Outs

I mentioned to my friend Susan S. that I was going to teach the little girls how to sew. She told me she learned to sew when she was little by sitting by her mother and operating the machine by hand (unplugged, spinning the balance wheel while punching holes in paper. I thought that was a great idea for my youngest girls. When I was looking online for beginner sewing lessons for my middle children, I found printable sewing lessons incorporating the same idea. I also included a printable chart of sewing machine parts

Sewing Maze by Skip to My Lou

Sewing Practice Sheets from Education On Your Own teaches straight lines, oval, and corners

Sewing Machine Parts Diagram from Clothing Repair How To

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Amanda has been sewing since she was 8. She just recently made herself a summer dress.

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Bethany started sewing a few years ago.
She has made pillows, stuffed animals, purses, doll clothes, etc.

Friday, July 05, 2013

How to Find Inexpensive Fabric Remnants

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I paid $2 for everything in the two pictures above.
I found it all in a thrift store. The thrift stores with the best prices will be the small, local charity stores. They will not be as organized as the larger charities, like Goodwill, but there are bargains to be found if you don't mind taking a little more time looking. Sometimes, you can haggle on the prices. Because I know their resources are very limited, I try to straighten their shelves or racks as I go. They really appreciate that and give me additional discounts from time to time. Being considerate pays off!

You can repurpose fabric from used clothing, sheets, pillow cases, curtains, tablecloths, etc. Large stuffed animals can be cut up to use the fur for smaller stuffed animals. The polyfill can be reused. You can take out zippers and elastic from worn clothing and reuse them. I have purchased a dress just to get the decorative trim off of it because it was cheaper than buying the "by the yard" trim. I have been cutting the buttons off of every garment we wear out for over two decades, so I have many jars full of them. Several years ago, I cut off the unworn sections of an old couch to make some very durable throw pillows.

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homeschool lesson for five
We teach our girls how to work on cars too.
A skill is a skill. Since the boys wear clothes and use linens, it is useful for them to know how to make a repair.

I learned to sew as a child and have always had a machine. When I sew, my four daughters want to sew too. I wasn't able to get much accomplished sharing one machine with all of them. So, I asked God to provide sewing machines. The next day, I found an old Brother in a case at a local charity's thrift store for $15. I spent another $15 getting the part it needed and had a quality made working machine. Two days later, Clint found three more, two came with cases, for $7 each. They all run just fine and only took $21 out of our pocket! We invested in a $10 bottle of machine oil since they had probably not been run in a long time. God provides!

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They just needed some dusting off and oiling, and they were good to go!
If I haven't bored you yet, go see the sewing machine that makes me smile.

Thursday, July 04, 2013


"May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right."-Peter Marshall

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Random Thoughts about Hardship and Mothering

My middle children want you to know these pictures were drawn before they began their art course. These were drawn while I was on bed rest with the purpose of cheering me up! I got several from each of them every day! I would rest all day for the evening so I could spend a little one on one time with each of my seven children. Clint would guard the door and only let one child in at a time because I'd get overwhelmed easily.

God will use everything in your life...if you let Him. If you let pride or fear make you hide it, He won't use it. It takes humility and courage to share the things that hurt, shame, and challenge us the most. You have to give it to Him and share it with others before great things can happen. Sharing the difficulty turns your hardship into service and your life a sacrifice to God. You'll wake up one day and realize God really helped others through you and gave you a deeper healing because of it. Your relationship with Him will become more intimate, and others will see this in you. Being able to reach more people for Him, impacting lives in ways we couldn't before, understanding God in new ways and growing deeper in the relationship with Him...makes hardship a blessing in the life of a believer. Don't focus on the "Why me? Why has this happened?" but focus on the "How can I use this for Your glory? Show me how to take this Lord and use it to draw them to You." Then get busy doing it.

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Bethany drew this cheery scene for me.

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Hannah drew her dog Ruffy for me. Ruffy is black and white but somehow my 4 y.o. made her technicolored. I love it!

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Emily entertained me by telling me a story she made up to go with this picture.

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Caleb colored the plane for me.

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Joshua knows me so well. I like the coffee, have a passion for helping all types of turtles, and really, really miss having my old Ford.

I am glad the children are happy with the job I am doing as a mother, however, that isn't that important to me as what my Father thinks. I pray daily that the Lord will give me the strength, the determination, and the commitment to be the best mother I can possibly be. This job has eternal significance. "Don't let me fail You in this," I plead frequently. My love for Him and my love for my family makes me determined to get it right. I know that can only happen with His help. I sincerely want to glorify Him in the raising of the children He has given me.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


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I've kept several turtles for years both indoors and outdoors in various set ups. I am very excited about my new tank topper with basking space and a viewing window for my 75 gallon tank. It's not finished yet, but it's going to be great!

When I see a turtle, I think about how the Bible says one of the fruits of the Spirit is long suffering. Turtles can live a long, long time. You can't look at a turtle's size and accurately tell its age because they grow more during good years than lean years. Turtles know how to endure hardships and survive. I am also reminded how the Bible says the race is not for the swift and how we have need of endurance to receive what God has promised. 

Monday, July 01, 2013

Regarding Special Needs Children and Adults

John Knight of Desiring God's Blog shares:
"In fact, God describes the so-called weaker member as being his choice in bringing him glory:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27–29)
Three times Paul tells us that God chooses those we would not naturally choose. Let us pay attention as it has profound implications for how we think about cognitive disabilities.
For example, my son operates at the intellectual level of about an 18-month-old child, depending on the tests. He is also very short in stature.
He has been known to sing praises to God at the oddest of moments — during school therapy sessions, in the grocery store, or at a restaurant. People, thinking he is much younger than he is, will sometimes say, “out of the mouth of babes you have prepared praise.” They are quoting Jesus from Matthew 21.
But what many people don’t realize is that Jesus is referencing Psalm 8:2:
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)
So if this is the case, and I believe it is, my weak and disabled son — with all his limitations — is part of God’s plan to still the enemy and the avenger. And that makes him an effective warrior against a vile and spiritually violent enemy, equipped by God to do what those who are strong and proud cannot do, no matter their physical or intellectual giftings."
Its worth the time to read the rest here
I have a previous post that shares the same thinking.