Sunday, December 15, 2013


Looking for something that will write on the heart of your preschool - early elem. children or grandchildren?   These books do an amazing job of that!  Each over-sized volume has several stories in it, so you are really purchasing a small library of Bible stories (there are approx. 160 pages per volume!)  I know we all have Bible stories on our shelf, but these are really special.  At first glance, they are not the type of illustrations that I am normally drawn to.  I love beautiful, realistic illustrations.  These are large, and somewhat abstract... but kids are drawn them to them!   And the simple story style of the author, Ella K. Lindvall, is rich, informative and engaging.  My children asked for them literally, over and over and over...   I have read these books to my children for 20 years, and I was so glad to see them still available.  Since my children have finally outgrown them, mine have gone safely into my "Grandma Box", to bless the heart of the next generation.  I highly recommend you get a set while you still can.  You can read more about them or purchase them at at CBD (Christian Book Distributors) .

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sarah, Plain and Tall

Another sweet series we read and then watched the movies of, is Sarah, Plain and Tall.  This is a rare case where I enjoyed the movies as much as the books... maybe more.  The books are thin but the story is a good one, telling about how a woman from Maine, answers an ad from a widower in KS who is looking for a wife/mother for his kids.  Sounds kinda creepy, but it's not.  Set at the turn of the century, it is a touching, heartwarming family book/movie series.   If I had to choose between the books or the movies, I'd choose the movies.  The three titles for the series are "Sarah, Plain and Tall", "Skylark" and "Winter's End",  and I believe they can all be found at the library.   It is so difficult to find appropriate, family films that I was thrilled to offer these up for Family Movie Night 3 weeks in a row!



Saturday, October 5, 2013



Sweet poem about how fast our children grow up and the importance of allowing yourself to relish the moments you have with them. Those of us who have grown children, know this is just way too true. So those of you in the thick of the early years… trust us. J

For This Child We Prayed…  

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dust pan, poison the moth
Hang out the washing and butter the bread
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo)
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo)
The shopping is not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo)

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Friday, October 4, 2013

Misty of Chincoteague series

Looking for a good book series to read with your children?  We just finished the Misty series, by Marguerite Henry and they were very heartwarming stories.  Even though my children are not devoted horse book fans, these stories were very enjoyable.  I think it's because the stories are about more than the horse, but about family relationships as well.  Non horse lovers will enjoy these books too. 
    I liked them because they are more fact than fiction, and all the characters are real people and the events were real, etc. The author takes some liberty with the timeline of events, but most of the circumstances and events actually  happened.  Sometimes when reading, my kids will comment about a particular event or ending in a book... "It happened that way because it is a story".  But in this case, it is a story, because it happened that way!  Rich east coast history, sweet family relationships, sensitive and respectful of God's creatures... all found in these books.  We laughed and cried ( okay, I cried) and enjoyed every chapter.  So many books marketed to kids nowadays are either twaddle or trashy.  It was refreshing to read good children's literature and based on a true story as well. 

  The sequels to Misty are Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague and Stormy: Misty's Foal, and they continue with the same themes., and are available at the library.  

One more thing... the movie Misty is available on DVD at the library as well.  It is a cute movie from the 1960's and I sure appreciate being able to watch a wholesome film with my children.  But like many movies based on books, it doesn't compare to the actual book, in character develop, life lessons learned, or heart and soul.  Nice choice for a Family Movie Night for the whole family, but not til after you read the books.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

This Privilege Called Homeschooling...

Well, it’s here… the beginning of another school year. Welcome back to the trenches ladies. Glad to have the company. After 17 years, I can say that I never feel "ready". I am always scrambling to get organized, trying to prepare in ways that will make the year a bit smoother… copies made, a rough idea of lesson plans, reading lists done, etc. In the end, I’m never totally prepared, and I just take the plunge. I tend to start our school late August or early September, taking it slowly. This gives me a couple of weeks to add in new subjects or activities over a little stretch of time, and is not quite so overwhelming for us. But I know others that start right up with a full subject schedule and that works great for them. Gotta love the flexibility and individuality of home schooling!

As I begin another school year, I spend some time renewing my commitment to this calling on my life called "homeschooling", asking the Lord to renew my vision for my family and to equip me to be faithful. And I have a confession. I love the home schooling lifestyle and I enjoy my kiddos. Oh, some days are harder than others and not so much fun, but deep in my heart, I love our days together and the opportunity for discipleship and fellowship and relationship. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I have another confession. Even though I do love home schooling, sometimes I get weary or lazy or distracted from this precious task. I then have to ask the Lord to turn my heart back to my home… to my husband and children and tending to their needs and "keeping" my home. Can anyone relate? Do you sometimes struggle with staying on task too? It’s not that I don’t want to do it. It’s just that there are so many distractions… a To Do List or a phone call or housework or scrap booking (HA!) or my computer is calling my name. So I am praying for focus for this year, and straight priorities, and the skills to manage my time and a "first things first" mindset.

Okay… I have another confession. There have been seasons in life… a crisis of some sort, health or financial issues, difficult relationships, broken hearts, selfish thoughts… when I don’t know if I have enough in me to do a good job. Truthfully, I’ve never considered putting my children into any form of public school. That is the equivalent to the "d" word in my marriage. We just don’t go there. It’s not an option. But I have felt depleted. At those times, I have no choice but to take the next step, do the next thing, in spite of how I feel. And ALWAYS, for 17 years, the Lord is Faithful. He renews my strength. He brings clarity, direction, motivation, and eventually restores my joy and appreciation for this calling. Yes, on our best days, home schooling is a "calling". On our worse days, it is "obedience". But always it is a blessing.

Wherever you find yourself regarding homeschooling this fall… enthusiastic or intimidated, excited or exhausted, raring to go or reluctant, I pray you will join me in committing ourselves to our children and our families as I believe God has asked us to do. Let’s pray that our hearts will be turned towards home and that those things that try to rob us of a good attitude or time with our children will be seen as just that… a thief. Let us appreciate with grateful hearts, this privilege called home schooling.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Better Land Than This

Even with all its faults, I'm thankful to live in the US.  

Happy 4th of July and may God Bless America!

No Better Land Than This
By Edgar Guest

If I knew a better country in this glorious world today
Where a man's work hours are shorter and he's drawing bigger pay,
If the Briton or the Frenchman had an easier life than mine,
I'd pack my goods this minute and I'd sail across the brine.
But I notice when an alien wants a land of hope and cheer,
And a future for his children, he comes out and settles here.

Here's the glorious land of Freedom! Here's the milk and honey goal
For the peasant out of Russia, for the long-subjected Pole.
It is here the sons of Italy and men of Austria turn
For the comfort of their bodies and the wages they can earn.
And with all that men complain of, and with all that goes amiss,
There's no happier, better nation on the world's broad face than this.

So I'm thinking when I listen to the wails of discontent,
And some foreign disbeliever spreads his evil sentiment,
That the breed of hate and envy that is sowing sin and shame
In this glorious land of Freedom should go back from whence it came.
And I hold it is the duty, rich or poor, of every man
Who enjoys this country's bounty to be all American.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


I've been browsing Edgar Guest poems all morning, and just couldn't decide, so I'm posting 2 today.  Enjoy this beautiful poem - it is one of my absolute favorites.  What a glimpse at what it means to our husbands to have a home where they are honored and appreciated.  I am inspired to try harder when I read this. 

Edgar Guest

When day is done and the night slips down,
And I’ve turned my back on the busy town,
And come once more to the welcome gate
Where the roses nod and the children wait,
I tell myself as I see them smile
That life is good and its tasks worth while.

When day is done and I’ve come once more
To my quiet street and the friendly door,
Where the Mother reigns and the children play
And the kettle sings in the old-time way,
I throw my coat on a near-by chair
And say farewell to my pack of care.

When day is done, all the hurt and strife
And the selfishness and the greed of life,
Are left behind in the busy town;
I’ve ceased to worry about renown
Or gold or fame, and I’m just a dad,
Content to be with his girl and lad.

Whatever the day has brought of care,
Here love and laughter are mine to share,
Here I can claim what the rich desire–
Rest and peace by a ruddy fire,
The welcome words which the loved ones speak
And the soft caress of a baby’s cheek.

When day is done and I reach my gate,
I come to a realm where there is no hate,
For here, whatever my worth may be,
Are those who cling to their faith in me;
And with love on guard at my humble door,
I have all that the world has struggled for.

By Edgar Guest


Happy Father's Day to all the loving, diligent, hard working daddys out there.  Neither my own dad nor my husband had fathers to mentor them or love on them.  Both were victims of divorce and absent dads.  Yet, while they are far from perfect, they are both loving fathers, examples of how God is a Father to the  fatherless. Because of Jesus, they are determined to leave a different legacy for my children and offer an example of a diligent, faithful, family man.  And I am grateful for them both.   

Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race,
Bringing little of gold or fame,
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come, and to hear his voice.

Only a dad, with a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more.
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and the scorns of life,
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.

Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd
Toiling, striving from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way,
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.

Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen,
Only a dad, but the best of men.

By Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Little Hands, Little Man

We aren't quite through all of these seasons with our oldest, but we're through enough of them that I can sure relate.

by Victoria Brake
Proverbs 31 Ministries

Little hands to hold so tight.
Hair to comb, and tears to wipe.
Little feet that grow so fast.
Teeth to brush and bedtime baths.
Little cups that must be filled.
Teething rings that must be chilled.
Clothes that come in green and blue.
Doing things boys love to do.
Time is fleeting, oh so fast.
What was just here, is now the past.

Little hands that needed me.
Now need me less, I start to see.
He ties his shoes and combs his hair.
Picks out his clothes, knows what to wear.
We hunt for bugs and play with cars.
Draw pictures of the moon and stars.
We're at the park, we play pretend.
He tells me I'm his favorite friend.
Who, what, when, where, why and how?
He needs to know these things right now.
So full of life, so full of love.
This gift sent from the Lord above.

He's older now, my little man.
No need for him to hold my hand.
Fishing, camping, baseball games.
Collecting worms after it rains.
Each night I ask the Lord above,
to help me teach him how to love.
There's so much that he needs to know,
and I'm still learning as I go.
Please, Lord... PLEASE help me get this right.
I beg, as I lose sleep at night.
Precious soul, undefiled.
Lord, guide me as I raise this child.

What just happened? Can it be?
My little boy is now a teen.
I stock the fridge to keep him fed.
Make sure he still fits in his bed.
Try not to let my worry show.
This happened fast, where did time go?
Help me to listen patiently.
As I instruct him, Lord guide me.
May my words be gentle and kind.
Loving, sincere, pure and wise.
His time at home, will soon be gone.
It sure did fly, but it was fun.

His bags are packed and by the door.
He's off to face a whole new world.
It seems like only yesterday,
as I would rock him… he would say.
Just one more story, pretty please?
Please would you read one more to me?
Then I would tuck him in his bed,
and kiss him on his precious head.
No more karate, no more ball.
No more measurements on the wall.
Today he'll leave this cozy nest,
and spread his wings, and give his best.

Five years later, this handsome man,
will take a wife and give his hand.
A beautiful bride, for my son.
I've prayed for her since he was one.
Thank you Lord, for hearing me.
For growing now, our family tree.
Two young lives will now be one.
A new love story has begun.

Two years later, waiting room.
A child will be here very soon.
Tiny bundle, wrapped in blue.
My boy, he knows just what to do.
He holds his son so tenderly.
An instant bond that I can see.
I run my hand through baby's hair.
The tears they fall, without a care.
His child held gently on his chest.
The years ahead will be his best.
It's true, he may not know it yet.
But he will soon, that I can bet.
Little hands to hold so tight.
Hair to comb and tears to wipe.

Way Cute!

For animal lovers everywhere... this is just way cute.  : )

Sunday, April 28, 2013



TUESDAY,   JUNE 18, 2013   10:00am - 2:00pm
(Please see your newsletter/email for location and registration details)

A favorite event is coming in June...a Used Curriculum Fair!... where oodles of resources (curriculum, books, educational games, puzzles, etc.) will be available to browse and purchase. 

If you are looking for books, curriculum and other resources to purchase for your upcoming school year...

If you have books, curriculum, or Jr. handicrafts made by your family to sell, PLEASE JOIN US!

If you want to sell, now is the time to start going through your resources, deciding what to part with.

If you plan to shop, it is a good idea to start thinking about what you will need for next year, and make a list. Of course, there is always an abundance of resources available that we never think to put on our list, so come on out and enjoy browsing and getting your hands on lots of items.

Whether you are a veteran or a newbie, a curriculum fair is always a fun place to enjoy catching up with or learning from other homeschoolers. So, we hope to see you there! : )

Thursday, March 14, 2013


               Hosted by CFHE

Attention area homeschoolers...
You are invited to attend a FREE, one day Homeschool Conference, sponsored by Christian Family Home Educators (CFHE). While there will not be a Vendor Hall this year, the conference will feature local workshop speakers (including Your's Truly), offering tools and encouragement for the many seasons of homeschooling. There will be workshops during each session specifically for moms, dads and teens, so bring the family (please note that there is no childcare available). Don't miss this opportunity to gather with other homeschoolers, renew the joy and vision for homeschooling your children, and get equipped for the job.

In addition to the workshops, information will be available on a variety of local resources for homeschoolers, including support groups, co-ops, music lessons, sports activities, upcoming curriculum fairs, etc. And of course, there is the unique opportunity to connect with a large number of homeschoolers and homeschool leaders to both offer encouragement for this journey and to ask questions and glean nuggets of wisdom and ideas from others.

If you are new to homeschooling or considering this option for your family, you will find many answers to your many questions, from How-To advice to curriculum and method recommendations and ideas. If you are a more seasoned homeschooler, needing fresh ideas and encouragement to continue into the next season or finish this race, you will find the encouragement you seek as well as practical ideas and resources to make the Jr. and Sr. high school years rich and successful (or at least doable!!). And if you are about to throw in the towel... you definitely need to join us! : )

If homeschooling seems just too hard, then you need to hear our message of hope and freedom, and consider different methods and models for teaching your children, because Jesus said His yoke is light and His burden is easy. Yes, homeschooling can be difficult to follow through with at times. And we do encounter seasons of growing weary. But God's Word offers us encouragement to not grow weary in doing good, and offers us this promise: "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary." Isaiah 40:31

Mark your calendar and plan to join us on April 13, as we come together to help equip each other for this calling the Lord has placed on our lives.

Registration details and more information coming soon, so watch your email!

Redeeming St. Patrick's Day

      I enjoy "Irish-ness", especially the music.   St. Patrick's Day always brings out the festive Irish emphasis everywhere we go, and I kinda enjoy that.  But I also think it is important to offer our kids a look at the history of the day, and point to a different emphasis... Jesus and the spreading of the Gospel.  While I don't know a whole lot about this "missionary", St. Patrick, and don't want to get into a discussion on church history or doctrine, I do appreciate these words below, credited to St. Patrick.  I have also heard my friend (you know who you are), sing this, and it is just so pretty.
     By the way, I learned recently that St. Patrick's Day, March 17, is believed to be the day of his death.  I knew he wasn't Irish, but read that his parents were Roman! (Didn't know that... a little trivia for ya!)  Anyway, enjoy this lovely writing, as we think of Christ on St. Patrick's Day.   

“Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.”
― St. Patrick

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Email for CHEE

CHEE Families,

   Just wanted to let members know that our email crashed and the CHEE contact list was completely lost.  We have been rebuilding that email contact list for the last few weeks.  Hopefully, you will receive an email from CHEE in the next week or so, with details about Reading Is The Ticket and other announcements.  Please note that future emails will most likely come from a different email address than previous emails from CHEE.

     I had a printed copy of most members' email addresses, but not all and therefore I am unable to recover some of your email addresses.  So, if a week or two goes by and you don't receive any email from me, please send an email to the address found on all previous email correspondence from CHEE, requesting to be added again to the CHEE contact list.

  I apologize for any inconvenience, and am doing my best to get things fixed ASAP.  Also, please let others know of this situation, and encourage them to send an email to that same email address.  For privacy reasons, that email address is not being disclosed on this site, but can be found on old emails that you have received from me/CHEE in the past.   Thank you for your understanding.