Saturday, August 27, 2011


Last night Liberty read her first book to me. It was one of those BOB books for beginning readers. She just pulled one out and started sounding out the words on her own. You should have seen the look on her face when she realized she was reading words…like a light when on for her. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. After she read the book to me, she read it to Daddy. Then she had to Skype with Memaw and read it to her. We are so very proud of our girl. Now I wonder…how did that tiny new baby turn into a 5 1/2 year old who is figuring out how to read?!

Here is a pic of her reading the book to Daddy:


We are planning to start school with Libbs on Monday. She and Leila have been begging to be able to start their school work (we got Leila a preschool workbook), so we moved our start date up a week.

And just for fun, I’ll add a couple of pictures of some socks I just knit for a sweet friend’s birthday.


Gosh I love knitting!! I’m also finally starting to pull my sewing machine out again now that I have found a friend here who likes to sew. I had her and her kids over last week and our kids played while we each worked on our own projects. I cut out the squares for a rag quilt for Nadia.

That’s all for now. Blessings to you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


…I will be a homeschooling mama! Well, I guess I already am, but we’ll officially be starting on September 5 (yes, I know that is Labor Day, but we aren’t doing anything for the weekend so why not start?). I can hardly believe that my first baby girl will be learning to read!

So, why did we choose to homeschool? Several reasons…I will list a few:

1. Because we can incorporate God and Scripture into everything we do, all day long. I think that is so important…to give our kids a strong spiritual foundation…the most important thing, really.

2. So we can choose our own curriculum and choose NOT to do certain topics if we so choose.

3. To keep our girls under our care a majority of the time. (I don’t know about any of you, but I can hardly stand the thought of someone else taking care of my kids for the majority of the day). To be able to monitor the influences around them in a much better way.

4. The schools here haven’t done very well on their state testing in recent years.

5. Most importantly, we have prayed about this and know God has led us in this direction (I know this isn’t for everyone, but it is for us!).

6. We can work at our own pace.

I am actually pretty excited about getting started. And just today Liberty and Leila were both asking if we could start tomorrow! They are excited, too. (I ordered Leila an awesome preschool workbook because I know she will want to do school work when Liberty does).

We are starting out Liberty with ABC’s with ACE and Christi. The first part of the year we will do that and Word Building Paces to work on reading. I found the instructor manuals on ebay for a steal and then ordered the paces from the Christian Book Distributor website. I love how the program and the paces include a Bible story and verse every day. Everything points back to God and you just cannot get that in public school.


For the second half of the year I plan to get the English, Science and Social Studies paces from ACE. I will also do Math with her, but I haven’t yet decided if I will use Saxon or Math Mammoth.

I have some good friends here who also homeschool, and I have gotten lots of great advice from them. And we will also be a part of a local Christian homeschool group that does field trips, holiday parties, science fairs, and even year books. Our first meeting for that is September 1. There is a lot of support here, and for that I am thankful.

For those who are concerned about the socialization of my kids (and really, that isn’t the most important matter, I don’t think), if you know me, you know we are involved in things here and have made a lot of friends. We do story time at the library every week, along with a group called Mommy Matters. We are involved in a local church. And we have play dates with our friends often. I think my kids get plenty of socialization : ).

Anyway…I am so excited about all of this, but I am also really nervous and would so appreciate your prayers as we embark on this endeavor.

And here are a few recent pics of the kiddos just for fun:

009Libbs with her new haircut (she decided to cut her own hair, so I had to chop off a bunch to fix it up).

013Leila, playing in the rain.

004Nadia and Leila with painted nails.

015Leila and Libbs. The girls love to play on this window seat!

Blessings to you!

Friday, August 12, 2011

of elephants and bears and puppets and keyboards…

Yesterday my mom called to say she hit the motherload of polly pockets at a yard sale. Lots of polly’s, lots of clothes, even a big ship for polly with all the pieces…all for around $5! Of course my girls are elated! They cannot wait until their new toys from Memaw come in the mail. This morning I told the girls they should go through their toys and pick some to get rid of to make room for the new ones. Libbs got right to it (she’s the most excited, as she just loves polly pocket). She made me a pile just like I asked. This is where the hard part comes in. I have to be able to let them get rid of toys they choose…even if I like those toys. Which was fine until I saw 4 things…

1. The bear I made for Nadia’s 2nd birthday. I told Liberty that even if they don’t play with their bears I’ve made for them…they are special and can just sit in their beds. I hand made those bears, for goodness sake!

2. A puppy puppet that was mine when I was a baby. Liberty got upset with me when I said I didn’t want to get rid of that…I explained why it meant something to me and said I would keep it in my own room.

3. The last tw0 I will combine into this one…those are the elephant and the keyboard (and yes, I have blogged about the keyboard before). These two things were gifts from my dad. The elephant was a Christmas gift for Leila when she was a baby. The keyboard was a birthday gift for Nadia when she turned one. I know that things are just things…but for some reason it feels like getting rid of those things is throwing out my dad. I know in my head that is not true…but my heart isn’t agreeing. It’s such a silly thing, really. (If you don’t know, my dad passed away suddenly in May 2010). Thankfully Leila came to save the elephant…but the keyboard…well, all the kids want to throw it out because it doesn’t work anymore. I completely understand their thinking…it makes total sense. Even though I have the memories, getting rid of the stuff is harder than I thought…


I miss my daddio so very much.

dad me mac

Found this pic of my dad and I recently in an album I was looking through. I’m not sure exactly when this was…maybe the summer after my freshman year of college? We were going to Mackinac Island for a school board conference (my mom was on the school board at the time).

Monday, August 8, 2011


I read this quote about friendship today:

“Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” ~Cicero

Isn’t that so true and beautiful?! I’m so incredibly thankful for the friendships in my life…each one is a gift from God and truly brings more joy into my life (and help bear the hardships). Thank you, Lord, for the gift of friends!

On another note, I’ve been teaching the high school Sunday school class at church for a friend for the last two weeks (and will be again this coming week). I’ve been using a study on Jacob & Egypt by John MacArthur about the sovereignty of God. It’s really a very good study. The teens seem to be enjoying it as well. Studying those chapters in Genesis about Jacob really does show God’s sovereignty. Have you ever thought about how dysfunctional Jacob’s family was? Jacob was tricked into marrying the sister (Leah) of the woman he really wanted, then was later able to marry the one he wanted. Jacob favored his children from Rachel, the woman he truly loved…which caused major jealously issues with Leah’s children…so much anger and jealousy that Leah’s children conspired to kill their younger brother Joseph. That was not a part of God’s plan so Joseph ended up being sold into slavery instead (see how God’s sovereignty intervened?? If God hadn’t put a stop to Joseph’s death, his family would not have survived the famine later on, and God’s plan would not have been fulfilled…amazing really). And many other things happened with the children of this family as well…go ahead and look it up in Genesis!

Anyway…what a dysfunctional family! And yet, despite the dysfunction, God used that family for a greater good (don’t you just love that?! it gives me so much more hope that God can and will use me despite of myself). Even when everything seemed to be going wrong and some of those family members were doing wrong, and it didn’t seem like God’s hand was in this at all, IT WAS!!  When you read later on in Genesis, you see God’s plan coming together. God is always faithful and He can use the dysfunctions of this world (the dysfunctions in you & i) for good…just like it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all tings to work together for good to those who love god, to those who are called according to His purpose.” That is not always easy to remember or trust, but aren’t you so glad it’s TRUE?!

The lessons have also talked about suffering and hardships and reminded us that as followers of Christ, we will be called to suffer…and suffer greatly sometimes. But remember, no suffering (or evil) is permitted in our lives unless God allows it…and when he allows it, there is a reason (like strengthening us, or purifying us, or so we can help someone else through a similar time, or to bring the wrongdoer or others to Christ, or to make us more like Christ). It’s all to bring glory to His name.

Those lessons are not always easy to remember or to follow…but aren’t they worth it? Isn’t following Christ worth it all?!

I am so enjoying this study and learning so much. There are a lot of other things I am still “chewing on,” so to speak…thankful God is growing me and teaching me new things…even when it is hard.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Artifical Red Dye, etc…

I’ve been hearing and reading articles about how Red Dye #40 (and other artificial ingredients) can affect a child’s behavior. I heard about it a while back and just tucked it away in the back of my mind. For whatever reason I have been thinking more about lately and today I came across this article. This really has me thinking about Liberty in particular. She is so sweet and loving and good and fun…but sometimes she is so out of control (emotional, aggressive, wild) for no apparent reason. And I wonder…could it be partly due to this Red Dye #40 (which I read is PETROLEUM based…WHAT?!)? I know for sure she gets wound up and such after eating some things with that dye in it…so I think it’s a real possibility.

Has anyone else heard or read about this issue? I’m thinking about trying to cut Red Dye #40 out of our diets. Any thoughts?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Never say never…

Since I’ve been married, I have told everyone we will NEVER have pets. Jonathan and I were in agreement on this from day one. Then a few months or so ago Jonathan started bringing up possibly getting a dog…which of course got talked about even more once we bought our house with a nice fenced in yard. He wanted a dog, I still didn’t.

While we were in Michigan, Jonathan found a mini-pinscher for free and picked him up. Not the kind of dog I wanted. I had been telling Jonathan that IF he could talk me into getting a dog, it had to be a basset hound (because they are lazy and laid back and good family dogs). But Gunther (mini pinscher), being free, was a shoe-in, I guess. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for me), the dog kept running away and finally never came back. The girls got to see Gunther on skype…but he wasn’t there when we returned home. Of course they were disappointed and Daddy promised to find them a better dog soon.

This is how we came to find Butch. We are fostering him with the intention of adopting from the Wyoming Basset Hound Rescue. They think Butch is between 18 month and 2 years old. He will be getting fixed and having shots at the vet tomorrow, so they will give us a better estimate on his age maybe. I let myself get a little excited about getting Butch (which is weird for me)…but of course now that he is here, I’m not a super fan of him or anything. He’s cute. He’s ok. The girls and Jonathan, however, are in love!  And he is really good with the kids so far. He needs some training to not beg for food, to not jump on people, not not jump on furniture. And to listen better. Other than that he is good. He has not gone to the bathroom in our house yet. He obeys the commands “sit” and “stay.” Oh…and he keeps trying to play with the girls’ toys. Need to find him one of his own!

Anyway…all this to say…never say never!!


*this dog in my yard must show just how much I love my husband and daughters!! Winking smile