Monday, September 30, 2013

Vaccinations and Grace

Here's a little of what Matt Walsh had to say to a critical person unhappy who attacked him for his decision to not vaccinate against Hep B:

I am not a “no vaccines at all” type of person, but I don’t think you’re in a position to ridicule those folks if you’re in the “any and every vaccine is automatically OK with me, and I’ll let the doctors give it to my child without doing any research about it beforehand” camp. ...

Kevin, let me do you a favor and give you a tip for the next time you decide to valiantly defend the honor of prescription drug companies and their miraculous vaccines: If you want to convince people like me — that is, people who aren’t terribly worried about gaining the approval of the peanut gallery — you best abandon the “get vaccines for the sake of the collective” argument. Call me selfish or narcissistic, but I don’t parent my children based on what I think my neighbors might want me to do. Parenting isn’t a democracy. It isn’t up for a vote. Never in a thousand years would I force my children to undergo a medical procedure simply for the sake of being a cultural team player. If you see it that way, please email me the next time you take your kid to the orthodontist. I’m going to need a vote before you make any decisions about braces or retainers.

Clint and I have researched carefully and decided which vaccines we would allow and when we'd allow those to be given to our children. It takes time to pour over information, cross reference, and track down sources. It takes courage to walk into a doctor's office and tell them you are not going to follow their plans for your child. Our regionally renowned doctor was impressed that we took the time and cared enough to educate ourselves concerning our children's immunizations. He did not feel threatened by our refusal, but was encouraged that we were proactive, thinking parents. We are among the few that have his home phone number. 

Like Matt, I don't care what you decide to do for immunizations with your children, but I do hope you take the time to research, learn the benefits and the risks, and make an informed decision based on what YOU think is best for your own child rather than go along with a schedule made up by someone else. I know, it takes some time and effort, and you are already very busy, but it is your child's health. Time and effort sacrificed for the well being of your child pretty much sums up parenting, doesn't it?

If you decide not to do a few hours research, that is still your decision. Vaccinating or non vaccinating is a choice we have, and consciously choosing our family's healthcare should remain a choice. Please allow the same grace to other parents as you expect for your own parenting decisions. 

Go here to read the rest of Matt's response.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gorgeous View

 photo view3_zps17a071e9.jpg

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Today Was Isaac's Due Date

Thank You, Lord, for ALL of my children. Thank You for Brandon, Amanda, Joshua, Caleb, Bethany, Emily, and Hannah. Thank You also for Sarah, Rebecca, Josiah, Angel Noel, Abigail, Benjamin, Mary, and Isaac. How much joy it gives me to speak their names out loud to You!

When I had my first miscarriage, an older woman told me, "Your story shows that just because you trust the Lord with your reproductive life, it doesn't mean you will have a dozen children. God gives each of us a unique story and just the right family size if we trust Him enough to surrender that control." How often I have thought about those seemingly prophetic words! 

Thank You for the healing and perspective You have already provided. Thank You for those amazing moments when You drew close and comforted me by letting me feel Your Presence. Grief still sneaks up on me, Lord. Please continue to heal my heart with Your Love. Help me to keep my eyes on You. Please enable me to reach out to other mothers who have lost babies and give me words from You that will help them where they are. Let them see how very much You love them.

You are writing a story, YOUR STORY, through my life. Thank you for expanding my ministry this summer through the loss of Mary and Isaac. Their short lives did not fulfill the purpose I had hoped, but they are fulfilling the purpose You chose for them. I know it is better than anything I could have planned for them. Your ways are always good and righteous. I know Your love is perfect and endless, and there is no condemnation to those who believe and trust in You. 

Let my story reflect Your love to everyone who hears it. Let it speak to their hearts and draw them closer to You. Like the talents the master entrusted to his servants, this story of reproductive struggles, challenges, triumphs, and losses is entrusted to me. Please help me to use it in a way that is pleasing and acceptable to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen

To those who love and are concerned about us: Clint has someone sitting our home because he has taken our entire family away to play on the beautiful Rappahannock River. The timing is how God worked it out because we had hoped the paperwork on the house would be finished sooner. We will be together as a family, and there will be a lot of activity. God's timing is always perfect! While we are missing what could have been, we will be thankful for what is, and will be looking forward to what will be. We trust Him that this profound hurt of losing our babies will reap something good and beautiful because that is what He promises His children.

Romans 12:1 I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.

Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you. Corrie Ten Boom

 photo 3_zps98e65cce.jpg

Friday, September 27, 2013

Urgent Prayer Need

9/16/2013: A friend of ours was in a very bad truck accident in Suffolk, VA last night. For my fellow Rangers, he is a FGH alumni.

From what we are being told: He flipped his truck and went through the windshield and then was air lifted to the best trauma hospital in our area. We know from Amanda's accident that 1 out of every 3 people in rollover accidents we can thank the Lord he survived.

He has broken ribs and a lot of cuts to his face. He had a lot of glass in his face. He lost feeling in his legs and feet. His nose was stitched back on and his lip stitched back together yesterday. They gave him a MRI due to the spinal injuries. He already had back issues before this, and those are complicating his injuries. The doctor felt MRI revealed 50% chance of paralysis and ordered emergency surgery. 

At the time of this posting, he is still in surgery. 

Please pray for our friend and his family. He is one of the nicest people you'd ever meet and has had a lot of hardship lately. Clint and I think a lot of him for his good-heartedness. Thank you very much!

Update: 10:15 p.m. His daughter says he is out of surgery and is able to move! He has a long, long way to go, but that is very good news!

Update 9/21/2013: From his mother: "He has made a very slight improvement. Paralysis has only improved to the point that he is moving arms and legs slightly. Still has no movement to fingers and toes. He is very high spirited at this time and wants to thank everyone for all the prayers and ask that you continue to pray for his complete recovery." Please keep praying. His parents, sister, daughters, and loved ones need prayer too.

Update 9/26/2013: He was moved to a rehab for physical therapy. Please keep praying. He has a long way to go.

Same in Some Ways but Different in Others

 photo 0924130906_zps26e041b6.jpg

Homeschooling is a lot like traditional school, but also different. We learn many of the same things, but will also study certain subjects deeper and include learning many life skills. We emphasize having the skills to research and use needed information in an effective manner. We do not follow a checklist, but pursue things that we find interesting and tailor those lessons to meet academic goals.

We may learn from a book or a computer, but we also learn from oral histories of watermen and soldiers, demonstrations by experts, advice from a singer or actor, a tour in a museum, our own doctors and dentists, warnings from a little old lady about to enter a nursing home, and explanations from an auto mechanic. We may do some lessons at the table, but we also learn on many field trips visiting historic buildings, in our back yard cleaning a deer, in a friend's barn watching a vet, walking through the park with a park ranger, in a boat testing water samples with scientists, on a mountain top with a cousin who oil paints, and beside a friend who works as a archaeologist.  We take every moment of every day and turn it into a rewarding educational experience for everyone. Even our homeschool graduates are still learning as we explore new people, places, and things as a family in conjunction with the younger children's lessons. Mom and Dad are always learning more and loving it too!

Very rarely do we homeschool with only same age peers, but our homeschooling environment is full of people of different ages, races, economics, careers, interests, and beliefs which as studies show produces excellent socialization results. Sometimes, a sleepy puppy dog is a nice buddy to have during homeschool lessons! Homeschooling is comprehensive, exciting, demanding, challenging, and full of fun memory making moments! 

My most rewarding moments as a homeschooling mother have come when Brandon and Amanda, our homeschool graduates, saw how much better prepared they were than their peers in college and the workplace. In different moments, they have both come to me to say thank you for the dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. They have done this over and over again after seeing for themselves the cost and the value of a homeschool education. With both of them being in the top of their classes and doing so well in their current jobs, they have said they plan to homeschool their own children too. 

Homeschooling is a different way of viewing life. Learning isn't compartmentalized into certain ways, hours, places or left to certain individuals. All day long, every where we go, everything we see, and everyone we meet becomes an opportunity for learning. What is even more beautiful is that every homeschool family is unique and finds their own way of incorporating learning into their day to day happenings.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Apology and Explanation

I deactivated my Facebook account for a few days for a few different reasons. Some I will share and some I can't.

I have had a tremendous amount of work to do. I thought not having messages to respond to for a week or so would help me manage the workload. Well, I learned a lesson. I got many MORE calls and texts than normal, so it didn't help. 

While we have had many things to celebrate, this has been a difficult month for me for a few different reasons. One of those is that my stillborn son, Isaac, was due to be born on the 28th. As someone who loves people and loves helping them, I became very drained while handling my own heartaches. As an introvert, I recharge and find healing by being alone with the Lord. I needed more "quiet time" than usual.

On top of all that, it was pointed out to me today that I had just posted a prayer request about Bethany's injury. Then, I deactivated the account for a break. Some people did not see the comment I left saying she had no vessel or nerve damage. What resulted was emails, phone calls, and texts to make sure Bethany and our family was OK.

Also, I am getting our gang ready for a nine day vacation we scheduled back in June. Starting this Saturday, while someone sits our home, we will be on the northern neck. We do water sports, biking, skateboarding, and yard sports, etc so the stuff we pack for nine people is extensive. It's a big job! Brandon and Amanda are not able to help pack this year because they have full work and school schedules. I have tried to keep homeschool going. I am bulk cooking what I can for the trip because it is easier and less time consuming to work in my home kitchen. I am cleaning our home thoroughly for our caretakers and preparing our farm and animals. I also had to get all of the grass and yard work done. 

It was not my intention to alarm anyone. 

Due to me being away from the computer and sharing a phone with my 3rd born, I did not answer every contact and that caused more worry. So then people started contacting Clint. He hasn't had time to answer because he is on call this week and is helping me pack when he is home. Him not answering caused more alarm! Whew! One little action on my part made a big mess!! Clint and I were getting hammered by phone, email and text, friends were contacting friends, our prayer group thought we had abandoned them or had major issues going on, etc. 

It bothers me to know I made people worry. I am very sorry for that. I should have thought through how that spur of the moment decision would affect others rather than think about what I needed. If I dare to do take a break again, I will try to remember to post a message on Facebook and on the blog first.

In case I forget and do it again, 757-272-8952 is me. I will take this down in a few days because I don't want everyone to have it, so save it now. I can't think of anyone I have ever known or had contact through the internet with that I would not appreciate receiving a "Hey, you OK?!" long as you tell me who you are first. 

And, thank you for caring. In this harsh world, sometimes it is easy to believe the lie that no one cares. It was a nice reminder that we are loved.

Bethany: She has a bit of infection we are keeping a very close eye on. Per her doctor's instructions, f it progresses, we will take her to see him. Other than that, it looks pretty good.

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, we could have lost Amanda in a rollover vehicle accident. One in three people involved in those types of accidents die. A few weeks after her accident, a man rolled his truck in our immediate area. He did not make it. We feel very blessed to still have our daughter.

You can go here to see the stomach dropping scene I walked up on that day. Those pictures still get to me. We have had several people tell us Amanda was "lucky" or that "someone kept her safe" because "by all rights, she should have been hurt or worse." What we haven't shared before is that there was a 30 lb object on the floor of the truck that went right by her head on its way out the driver's window. That alone could have taken her from us. Her heavy textbooks flew everywhere, but did not harm her. God protected her and increased her personal testimony of how God answers prayer during times of crisis. 

When Amanda was younger, she had the diagnosis of a "severe sleepwalker." She has woken up in a police station (11 years old) and in the middle of the woods at night (14 years old). This accident makes three times Amanda has cried out to Him and has been safely delivered from very terrifying situations. When Amanda shares about how afraid she has been and how God comforted her immediately and provided a way to safety, people listen. She is only 18, but has already had some amazing faith journeys.

If you are one of the people who walked with us through that very scary day or someone who prayed for us, we thank you again and ask you to do one more thing: 

Please join us today in giving praise and glory to the Lord for keeping her safe! Say a prayer of thankfulness, praise His name out loud, or turn on the radio and sing worship songs to Him. He is worthy!

..and another special thank you to my friend Carla who prayed for me upon the Lord's prompting and took the time out of her day to tell me about it and expressed her concern for me a day or so right before the accident. In the midst of that scene and my fear and confusion, I thought "THIS is what God had Carla praying for!! He already has this covered!"

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Counting My Blessings

 photo blessed_zpscf3ef437.jpg

This is my beautiful view at mealtimes.

While someone sits our home, our family is heading to the beautiful northern neck for our nine day fall vacation in our new little haven.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Don't Assume

I Kings 8:39 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know every human heart),

We are called to analyze situations or actions as right or wrong in light of Scripture (Luke 17:3-4). If someone who claims to be a Christian does something wrong, we have a Biblical obligation to say, "What you did is wrong," but we should not assume what any person is thinking or feeling. When we do, we will not get it right. They probably weren't thinking what we thought they were at all. We all do this, but it is very arrogant (prideful) of us to believe we can correctly judge the motives of others when God's Word clearly tells us that only HE can. The Bible tells us to keep our minds on what is true and just. We can't do that if we are passing judgement on other's thoughts and intentions because we honestly don't know what they are thinking. If we are going to "think on what is true," then we have to deal honestly with others and ourselves. God says He is the only one who knows the hearts of people. That should discourage us from doing two things: 
  • pridefully assuming what is in other's hearts and 
  • trying to hide/deny what is in ours in an effort to avoid the work we need to do there.
That's what it all comes down to, isn't it? We are magnifying their sin to keep from dealing with our own.

Colossians 3:5-10  So put everything evil out of your life: sexual sin, doing anything immoral, letting sinful thoughts control you, and wanting things that are wrong. And don’t keep wanting more and more for yourself, which is the same as worshiping a false god. God will show his anger against those who don’t obey him, because they do these evil things. You also did these things in the past, when you lived like them. But now put these things out of your life: anger, losing your temper, doing or saying things to hurt others, and saying shameful things. Don’t lie to each other. You have taken off those old clothes—the person you once were and the bad things you did then. Now you are wearing a new life, a life that is new every day. You are growing in your understanding of the one who made you. You are becoming more and more like him.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Thanks to a kind gentleman in Lancaster County, we found a small boat our boys can handle on their own. Thank you!

Matthew 14:27 Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 

Knowing God's Will Quote

99% of the time we can find God's will for our specific situation directly in scripture. But since we desire our own will so much, we deceive ourselves and say 'God's will is so hard to know, and scripture is so hard to understand.' Our problem is not understanding God's word, our problem is obeying it. Anonymous

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trickle Down Help

 photo nobodyasked_zps475caac3.jpg

Hannah, 4, saw a spot on the floor and decided to sweep it up on her own. In addition to trickle down learning, trickle down helping is a benefit of large homeschooling families. Remember: If you want cheerful helpers, you have to model cheerfulness in your own work.

Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Guinea Jubilee Schedule 2013

Jubilee Events

found at:
September 27 - 28, 2013
Subject to Change – Please Check Back Often

Friday 3 – 10pm

 3:00 pmArts & Crafts and food booths openFestival Grounds
Children’s Rides
 7:00 pmEntertainment: The JanitorsMain Stage
10:00 pmBubba Takes Darlin’ Home!

Saturday 7:30 am – 9:15 pm

 7:30 amCrab Walk/Run and Shad Run RegistrationBuck’s Store
 7:45 amPedal the Loop Bike RideMarvin Crane’s Office Building
 9:00 amArts & Crafts and Food Booths openFestival Grounds
Children’s games
Children’s rides
Car Show  (9am – 3pm)Abingdon Fire Department
10:00 amParade Line Up StartsUnion Baptist
12:00 pmAbingdon Firemen’s ParadeGuinea Road
Route: Union Baptist Church to Abingdon Ruritan Club Grounds
1:00 pmFlag Retirement CeremonyIn from of the Main Stage
1:30 pmAnchor Throwing and Crab Pot PullingPlatform to the left of the Main Stage
2:15 pmParade Trophy PresentationBarn Stage
2:30 pmKaraoke (please sign up early)Barn Stage
4:00 pmEntertainment: Something Different with Brad Sindle and Ashley WennerBarn Stage
6:00 pmEntertainment:Crazy X BandMain Stage
9:00 pmFIREWORKS!!
9:15 pmBubba Takes Darlin’ Home!

By My Side

 photo baby_zps67b58f04.jpg


 photo maggie_zps5d0072a0.jpg


 photo smartypantsandruffy_zps30b0a2b1.jpg

Smarty Pants
Ruffy, Hannah's stuffed dog, which has many birthday parties a month

"A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent." John Calvin 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lizard Hatch!!!

 photo 2_zps976a41c7.jpg

 photo 1_zps7847d125.jpg

On the morning August 30th, Caleb came running back into the house like he had big news!!!


I told him, "Go grab my camera, and I will get you pictures so you can remember this." We walked to the building where the incubator is kept. Joshua announced, "There are TWO!!"

It is hard to imagine how that much lizard was crammed into those tiny eggs.
You can't touch the lizards at this point. They need time to absorb the rest of their yolk.

 photo 3_zpsc796e289.jpg

The two crumpled looking eggs on the left side of the picture are where the lizards hatched.

You can see how the eggs are darker and mottled looking. That happens right before hatching.

The egg next to the hatchling has the boys talking about its size.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quotes on Sin

I send my phone toting family members a Bible verse and sometimes a quote every morning when I tell them I love them and hope they have a good day. Here are a few of them on the topic of sin:

Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest. John Flavel

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Ezekiel 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Proverbs 14:9 Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.

If you truly believe you need to repent less than everyone else, you'd better repent more than everyone else. Anonymous

Though we may now think some sins light and little, if the Lord awaken the conscience, we shall feel even the smallest sin heavy upon our souls. Matthew Henry

Worldliness is what any particular cultures does to make sin look normal and righteousness look strange. Dave Wells

First we practice sin, then we boast of it, then we defend it. Thomas Watson

Spirit filled souls are ablaze for God. They love with a love that glows. They serve with a faith that kindles. They serve with a devotion that consumes. They hate sin with fierceness that burns. They rejoice with a joy that radiates. Love is perfected in the fire of God. Samuel Chadwick

About willful sin: "The scariest thing for a man on judgement day is when he's accounting for his sin and the Lord asks him if he knew what he was doing, and then he has to say, "Yes." Anonymous

Maturity comes from obedience, not necessarily with age. Leonard Ravenhill

The greatest hindrance to effective prayer is sin. Dick Eastman

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Treadling

 photo treadle_zpsf7782204.jpg

Clint finding parts for the 1899 pheasant decal Singer treadle sewing machine in the original tiger oak table which a kind lady passed along to us. She can remember seeing her great grandmother and her grandmother using it. She said they made most of their household linens and clothing with it. Her mother sewed a lot too, but she herself never enjoyed it. It has sat around unused for a long while, and she wanted to see it used again. Clint is going to get it running for my birthday. After Clint replaces the missing bobbin, I will use it to sew with my children, and Lord willing, my future grandchildren.

Treadle machines are safer for small children to learn to sew on than the electric machines. There are about four stitches per pedal push. You can also convert other tools and equipment to work with the treadle. I like them for the history, durability, quiet operation, and because the pedal motion is relaxing. (We have another pheasant decal treadle sewing machine and cabinet with a 1927 treadle machine. Clint is planning to restore or part them out.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


 photo turtles2_zps473b3c91.jpg

For feeding time, we place the turtles in a shallow pan of water and the add food. This keeps the food from making their tank water dirty. They are too little for a tank with a filter yet. They could get stuck on the inlet tube and drown.

 photo turtles3_zps02df2d33.jpg

This is called a scar. A scar on a turtle's plastron is where the yolk sac was attached. The yolk nourishes them as they develop inside the egg. They absorb the rest of the yolk shortly after hatching. It will eventually be unnoticeable. I am holding the turtle vertically with the head up. Current herp thinking says you should not hold a turtle upside down for more than a few seconds because it puts pressure on their respiratory organs.

Since I took these pictures and made this post, I have been gifted another turtle. We shall name them after our favorite four movie turtles.

Monday, September 16, 2013


 photo boat_zps90a71090.jpg
a perfect seat for dangling legs in the water

 photo boat91_zps3e0d3151.jpg
Contented Captain

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. Genesis 1:28

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Quote: We Shall Thank God For Every Storm!

"If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything smooth in our journey to heaven. We must count it no strange thing, if we have to endure sicknesses, losses, bereavements, and disappointments, just like other people. Free pardon and full forgiveness, grace by the way and glory to the end – all this our Savior has promised to give. But He has never promised that we shall have no afflictions. He loves us too well to promise that.

"By affliction He teaches us many precious lessons, which without it we should never learn. By affliction He shows us our emptiness and weakness, draws us to the throne of grace, purifies our affections, weans us from the world, makes us long for heaven. In the resurrection morning we shall all say, 'it is good for me that I was afflicted.' We shall thank God for every storm." ~ J.C. Ryle

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance;in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

White House Lego Set On Sale Today

This is a very nice set. This model could be used with studies on US Government, US History, and Architecture. It could compliment studies on elections, presidents, and national symbols.

A JoyFULL Noise (and Some Silliness) in the House

 photo playing2_zpsa7bf368d.jpg

 photo playing_zps81f6249f.jpg

 photo playing3_zps9b8a7f07.jpg

 photo playing4_zpsf87a66fc.jpg

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Turtle Joke

 photo determination_zpsf0fd472d.jpg

Author Unknown

Three turtles, Joe, Steve, and Poncho, decide to go on a picnic. So, Joe packs the picnic basket with cookies, bottled sodas, and sandwiches. The trouble is, the picnic site is 10 miles away, so the turtles take 10 whole days to get there.

By the time they do arrive, everyone's whipped. Joe takes the stuff out of the basket, one by one. He takes out the sodas and says, "Alright, Steve, gimme the bottle opener"

"I didn't bring the bottle opener," Steve says. "I thought you packed it." Joe gets worried. He turns to Poncho. "Poncho, do you have the bottle opener?"

Naturally, Poncho doesn't have it, so the turtles are stuck ten miles away from home without soda.

Joe & Steve beg Poncho to turn back home and retrieve it, but Poncho flatly refuses, knowing that they'll eat everything by the time he gets back.

Somehow, after about two hours, the turtles manage to convince Poncho to go,  promising they won't touch the food.

So, Poncho sets off down the road, slow and steadily. Twenty days pass, but no Poncho. Joe and Steve are hungry and puzzled, but a promise is a promise. Another day passes, and still no Poncho, but a promise is a promise.

After three more days pass without Poncho in sight, Steve starts getting restless."I NEED FOOD!" he says with a hint of dementia in his voice.

"NO!" Joe retorts. "We promised." Five more days pass. Joe realizes that Poncho probably skipped out to the Burger King down the road, so the two turtles weakly lift the lid ,get a sandwich, and open their mouths to eat. But then, right at that instant, Poncho pops out behind a rock, and says, "Just for that, I'm not going."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

God Says Don't Worry About It

If you watch the news regularly, it can be hard to believe there is any good left in this world. All you see are people sinning against God and each other. Many times the perpetrators seemingly get away with it. On this day, we Americans are reminded of the worst examples of mankind, the type that can mass murder innocent civilians. God says "Don't worry about it." He tells us to do what we are suppose to do and not to worry about those who do evil.  

Psalm 37:1-3, 8-9 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Homeschooling Article: What If All Homeschoolers Suddenly Enrolled in Public School

When you are ready to bad mouth parents who are fully involved in their child's education and care enough to sacrifice in order to pay for it out of their own pockets, think about how they are making other children's education better because of the tax money they aren't using. Paula Bolyard has some valuable  and often overlooked insight along those lines in What If All the Homeschoolers Suddenly Enrolled in Public School?Who would foot the bill for all those kids?

Monday, September 09, 2013

Turtle Hatchlings

 photo hatchling2_zps2e3ce28d.jpg

 photo hatchling1_zps4b47b811.jpg

A few weeks ago, three of the six pet turtle eggs hatched. 
This is one of the neatest things we have done in our homeschool.
Watching these little guys grow is going to be fun.

Sunday, September 08, 2013


 photo rubythedayshedied_zps90f1b55e.jpgBefore we buy a car, we stop and pray for wisdom and God's leading. After we buy it, we ask God to bless our family through the car. In doing this, we have had some incredible deals on cars come our way. We have also had great success with the life of our cars.

Clint bought our red Escort years ago. The previous owner had all of the maintenance records and the CARFAX on it. A company had spilled paint on the car while he was working, so the company's insurance had paid to have it repainted. He used it for business only. The inside was in great shape, and the car had been maintained on a strict schedule. He wanted to get a newer car for his business. Clint paid less than the Blue Book value on it. 

Shortly after, Clint was sideswiped by a man who fell asleep at the wheel. The car received a small dent in the front left fender. The very apologetic man insisted on paying for repairs. He was very generous. Clint was given the price he paid for the car less $200.

When Amanda needed a car, she said she'd like to have the Escort. So, Clint and she worked out a deal. Amanda named the car Ruby. 

 photo 0621130737b_zpsda9d003f.jpg

A couple of months ago, Amanda wanted the truck for a beach trip so she switched vehicles with Clint. Her car was rear ended while Clint was sitting in line at a stop light. The damage was more extensive than it appeared, and the car was totaled by the company's insurance. Somehow, Amanda ended up being paid more than the Blue Book value on the car. They gave her several hundred dollars more than Clint originally paid for it. We have looked at the numbers on the paperwork several times.

Clint bought car from the insurance company with the intention of fixing the trunk and using it as a work car. He and Amanda kept driving it and had a plan to go to the scrap yard to buy parts soon. With both accidents, even after figuring in regular maintenance, we were at a profit on a car that gave us no trouble. 

On August 16, Amanda was getting ready to meet Brandon for lunch. She went to her car and came back in looking worried. "My car started, but then it cut off. Now, I can't get it started at all." I said, "OK, let's look at it and learn what we can so we can give Daddy the best information. Maybe it is something he can talk me through on the phone." I was able to start it. 

Clint has wrenched on cars since I met him, and I often kept him company. I've learned a lot through him over the years. Amanda's car was making a LOUD racket I distinctly remember hearing before. Sigh. I did not want to tell Amanda Ruby was no more. She saw my face and became worried. "Amanda. Honey. I use to help your Daddy work on his cars before you children came along. I am sorry, but I fairly certain this is fatal." She said, "I am thankful it happened her instead of on the interstate."

I called Clint and told him I was 99% certain the motor had thrown a rod and asked him to start looking for a car for Amanda because she needed one asap. We have four drivers with daily commitments and were down to two cars. Before Clint left work, he had a dozen possibilities lined up. When he came home, he listened to the car and confirmed my diagnosis. Then we went to look for a car.

On the first stop, we found an incredible deal we could not pass up. Like us, the people had been through a recent loss. The car belonged to their loved one. The family had originally wished they had known someone they could give the car, but they didn't know anyone so they listed it in the paper. They touched our hearts by giving us an incredible deal at less than half of what they were asking for it and about a third of the value of the car. Clint and I bought it as a commuter car for him.

Then, we looked at three more cars before we came across the fourth which was the right one. It is the same model as what she had with all of the added features but newer and in very good condition. The man we bought it from is a retired mechanic who buys repossessed cars to resell. We enjoyed visiting with his wife, guest, son, daughter in law, and brand new grandson and may meet up with them soon at a local family racetrack.

 photo amandanewcar_zpsa88c3937.jpg 

That's not the end of the story. God is still providing through Ruby. Brandon and Amanda can use it as a parts car for their cars. Eventually, Clint will scrap it which will put a little money back into his pocket. The timing was a blessing too. It happened before Clint and Amanda purchased the parts and did the work to repair the trunk on Ruby. 

If Ruby had not been rear-ended,  Amanda would have lost her money in the car when the motor blew. Because it was wrecked, she was given back more than the value of her car which contributed towards her next car. All throughout the life of that humble little red Escort, we see how God provided for our family.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.