Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Sylvia, at Christian HomeKeeper, is giving away 5 DVD’s from the Bulk Herb Store. Easy-schmeazy entry. Sylvia is very wise, so you may want to click around a bit and get some reading done while you are there. 🙂


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As the year draws to a close, there are so many things that I am thankful for:

1. My family. Of course. When you are faced with difficult times (relatively speaking, of course) there are few things that you can count on. I am blessed to be able to say that my family is together and that we are one. We don’t always get along, but we always stand together.

2. My faith. It truly is a gift from God. Sometimes, I hear myself tell people things (like, “Well, I’m just trusting God for that. If this is where He wants us, then this is where He’ll keep us. If not, then I don’t want to be here anyway.”) and I think, that was the Holy Spirit speaking and I praise You, Lord, for those words. Make them as true in my heart as they were in my mouth!

3. My freedom. I just can’t think – the thoughts don’t make it all the way through my brain – how some people live in this world. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I’m jealous of them. If I didn’t have the freedom that I have here in this nation, would I rely more on God than on myself? And yet, I am so thankful for the freedom to gather with my children, the windows uncovered, broad daylight, to study the Bible. I’m thankful that I can raise my children to love God, without fearing the persecution of man every single moment of every single day.

4. My provision. God takes care of us. Plain and simple. He takes care of us.

I am also looking forward to the new year. I am not making resolutions. I’m not even really setting aside goals that I will forget in the next two months (those of you who’ve kept up on my blog for a couple of years know what I’m talking about). I am, however, aiming for a few things. If I get anywhere near any of them, I will be thrilled with the year, come December 31, 2011.

1. Study the Bible. Not just read it, and not the whole thing. Study the Bible, book by book. I’m in Colossians now, and I want to move on and finish Daniel. Not sure what else after that, maybe Ephesians.

2. Make a quilt for Mr. Nutt. Ssshhh. It is going to be a log cabin lap quilt made out of patriotic fabrics. Along with this, finish F2’s quilt. I was blessed by a good friend who quilted it for me, now I just need to get the binding finished up (the hand-sewing part). It should only take a day or two, if I would just sit down and do it! I also have a quilt that I started quilting on (I was going to try to sell it to gather up money for school books) but was very disappointed in my quilting. I need to finish it up and give it, I think, to F7.

3. Scrapbook Project 52 at eNKay’s blog. I like the idea of having themes for each week, as opposed to just taking pictures on the fly and getting the same stuff over and over. I also love that at the end of the year, I’ll have a 52 page album that I can print off or have printed at Shutterfly that embodies the year 2011.

4. Become more active both with the local pregnancy resource center and maternity home. I will hopefully be going through the peer-mentor training at the pregnancy center and I have already been teaching basic infant care classes at the maternity home. I am so excited about both of these opportunities!

5. School with the kids. Yep, just keep plugging away. Get it done every day and mark down what we’ve done. I love Donna Young’s site for her record-keeping files. She really is amazing.

I think that’s probably enough to keep me busy for the year!

Be blessed as 2010 closes and be safe as we enter 2011. May God’s grace abound in your life, and may you truly know His love.

What are you thankful for this year? Any plans, goals, ambitions, resolutions? Are you good at maintaining these, or do you utterly fail like me?

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Over at Christian Homekeeper Network, my wonderful friend, Sylvia, has a meme with a little linky love. Each week she has some prompts to help us along in our blogging/journaling/thinking processes. Some weeks I think, I’d like to blog that. But I don’t get to it. Other weeks I think, nah, I’ll never get to it. This week I said, I’m going to get to it. These thoughts made me feel so…peaceful. I like to feel peaceful. Don’t you like to feel peaceful? Maybe it is the thought of Autumn and the preparations for cozying down. Not sure, but something in this particular meme called me to take a few moments and do the whole journal/thinking/blog thing. Enjoy, and join us if you would like. The linky love is at christianhomekeeper.org.

My kitchen would be more inviting if …………. it didn’t have oodles of piles of stuff in it. I have this weird cutout area that I think was supposed to be a pass-through (for dishes, food, etc) but it just ends up making it easier for everyone to leave their “stuff” sitting there, rather than taking care of it. It would look better without the icky tile countertops, as well, but that is something that just isn’t going to get changed for awhile. Matching cupboards…but there I go again getting into the realm of a-long-time-from-now-changes.

My best tip for making a home seem more welcoming ….. Keep the doorway area clear and cleaned up. This is the first impression area – make your guests feel welcomed here and it will go along way to making them welcome through the whole house. Have a place for their shoes that obviously says “Take your shoes off” if that is the house rules. I hate when I walk into a house and don’t know whether to take mine off or not; I also hate when people come to my house and take their shoes off. My floors aren’t all “white sock” friendly. Having a spot to hang jackets or coats is nice, so the guest doesn’t feel like their pocket stuff is in danger of getting lost in your bedding when you toss their coat in your room. Now, does my house have any of this? Nope. My front entrance is an unfinished studwall maze of rooms. My way of welcoming guests is to hold the blanket that separates the finished part of the house from the unfinished, lol. But I am trying to keep that area neat and tidier so that my guests aren’t greeted with a total mess when they enter my house. Add all of that above to the “someday” category.

To give the feeling of warmth in my home I often ….. hmmmm. I don’t often do anything. This is a new one for me. I’ve honestly never thought about it. Although I’d have to say I think I bake. The nummy sweet aromas and the heat from the oven add a warmth that just says, “home”. I also like the idea of having lap-sized afghans and quilts tucked away for guests, so that if the house is cool to them, they can warm up under a cozy blanket.

In the cooler months, it is essential for me to ….. wear my slippers and sweaters. I have a cute fleece jacket that my auntie made for me several years ago, bright pink with koalas all over it. I love it! But it is getting pretty worn, as it is my go-to warmie during the cooler months. I may need to replace it soon with something else. I need to stay warm and adding on the layers is what does it for me best.

Some favorite Autumn/Winter recipes are ….. banana bread, chili, beef stew, lasagna, scalloped potatoes and ham, homemade bread. Cooler weather meals aren’t tough for me to find – anything that warms up the house! It is the summer meals that I have a tough time figuring out.

A Quick Tip for making your house more inviting …… Open the blinds/drapes/curtains, but be aware of where the sun is. There is nothing more irritating (okay, maybe there is, but this is what I’m thinking of right now) than trying to speak to someone and the sun is right behind them in the window and all they are is a black shape. If the sun is behind you, either shut the window coverings or move yourself. 🙂

Enjoy the meme!

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“Never re-evaluate in February. You’ll end up doing one of two things: buying a bunch of stuff that you’ll never use because it will ‘fix’ the doldrums you are in or you’ll send them to school. Just keep plugging away until the sun comes out again in late March.”

Sometimes, people give you advice and you think, “Yeah, I appreciate that, but I don’t think it’ll work for me.” Then again, sometimes the advice strikes such a resounding gong inside your head, you wonder that you still have teeth left. This advice, given to me several years ago by a seasoned home educating mama, was like the latter. I was sure I would need a filling or two replaced.

This is one of those school years where this particular piece of advice is singing strongly to me. We are operating in stress mode this year. Mr. Nutt is still out of work and we are living still on the re-re-re-extended unemployment. We had another baby (I know, I wasn’t blogging when all that came about, so you all missed it. I’m sorry). F8 is a sweetheart, but, as all babies do who come during the school year, he threw us off schedule. We started attending a co-op that is 20 miles away (30 minutes) and while we are enjoying a lot of it, the stress of getting all of us there by 8:30 am is a bit much. To top it all off, I’ve put F2 on an ADHD drug in an attempt to help him out. I fought it for a long time, but I finally decided to try it. I’m not sure yet what the net results will be, because we just started them a month or so ago, but I’m praying for a little improvement.

On that last note, I’ll get back to the re-evaluation idea. As F2’s doctor and I were discussing the options that I have available to me, the idea of public school was brought up. Now, don’t jump the gun on me here and assume that the pediatrician is anti-homeschooling. He’s not and has admitted to me that no one can say that homeschooling doesn’t work…most of the time. However, some of the time, it doesn’t and we need to have our options open. Dr. is of the opinion that perhaps I’m too close to the situation and that by becoming “homework helper”, as opposed to “teacher”, I might be able to get a different perspective on F2’s abilities. He also thinks that F2’s difficulties are exacerbated in our family environment and that getting him into the school would allow him to find others that he fits in with.

That’s what the doc thinks and of all months to throw the public school option at me, he picks February. Sigh. As I left the office, after promising I would think about his advice, I repeated to myself – no eval, no eval, no eval. Because I’m tempted. It is February, after all. The idea that someone else could take on the hand-holding, the agonizing, the teeth-pulling work that is educating my son who is too normal to be special needs but not quite with-it enough to be normal is tempting.

But only for a moment. Okay. A couple of moments. The fact of the matter is, no one on this earth cares more about my son than I do. No one knows him as well. The teachers in the public school, bless their hearts, though they try their best, simply do not have the time to give to F2. God put F2 in this family and, in spite of our struggles, we are a loving, open, and gentle family. So much would be missed by sending any one of the Fruit to school, but especially F2. He adds much to our day: joy, friendship, and love, for sure, but also some things that we need to learn. The old joke says to never pray for patience, because God will send you trials to grow it. That is something that F2 brings to us, not trials, but patience fertilizers. The other Fruit learn to control their tempers and give unconditionally. They learn not to judge a person by their appearance. Most of all, we all learn every day to operate as a family, just like God made us to be.

Based on those facts, I’ve thought up some changes we need to make, both in the physical and in the emotional realms. I’m praying through all of that right now, but I am sure of one thing – F2 will not be attending public school any time soon. We have been called to homeschool all of our children and that is what we will do. Any other re-evaluations can wait until the sun comes out.

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This guy is a ring-necked pheasant who has adopted our yard and family this fall.  He, along with another pheasant buddy of his, enjoy taking long dust baths in the holes they dig in the yard, pecking the screens out of the large sliding glass door, and staring at us through the dining room window while we eat our meals.  They follow the kids around like faithful dogs and stand next to mom as she relaxes on her bench on the front porch. 

We’re fairly certain they were hand-raised, then released into the wild to go it on their own.  They obviously miss human contact, because a better part of their day is spent begging at doors and windows. 

Unfortunately for us, they’ve got to go.  Since they are attempting to destroy the house in their effort to join us in our family fun, we can’t keep them around.  I also worry that they will try to jump on one of the kids or mom in their “friendliness” and hurt them with their talons.  So, we’ve made a call to the DNR and are expecting to see a guy in a green truck show up sometime soon to take the boys away.  We’ll miss them and their nosy little beaks pressed against the glass, longingly looking for some attention, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve gotta do.

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Today, since it is the end of the year, I am going to review what my goals were from the beginning of 2008. 

1) I would like to do more with my reading, so I’m going to make a goal to post 6 times this year to my literature blog. I need to do more communicating about what I am learning about in addition to the reading itself.
Well,  I think I did post over there at least six times, but only because I found a great meme about books and reading that I participated in every so often.  I only posted one book review over there during the year and not only didn’t do a lot of reading, but also didn’t write much about what I did read.  I added some new reading goals for today’s Booking Through Thursday meme. 

2) I am doing Starting Points: A Worldview Primer by David Quine this year…
This just didn’t happen.  No excuses.  It just didn’t happen.

3) I’m thinking about embarking on a part-time career that I need to do some learning about.
Yep, this didn’t happen either.  Sigh.  I’m still thinking about it, but financially, I won’t be able to do anything about it.  Maybe later this year, but certainly not right now. 

So, after a nearly complete failure at last year’s goals, you ask…are you setting goals again this year?  Well, yes, I answer.  I am.  They are:

Daily Quiet time with God to include at least 15 minutes of Bible study and 20 minutes of prayer time.

Exercise (walk on treadmill and Core exercises) for 45 minutes daily.

Put in two or more hours of personal study time.

Put in two or more hours each day of school instruction to the kids.

Spend 30 minutes with dh daily.

Pretty simple this year.  Nothing extraordinary or outlandish.  Just stuff I should be doing anyway. 

For the next 90 days, I’m going to make sure that I have my measurable quiet time.  Doesn’t that just sound awful?  That I have to measure my quiet time with my Lord?  I think it does.  This is God we’re talking about, and I have to force myself to get in fellowship with Him.  But that is what the world does to us.  It calls out to us, keeps us busy, keeps us putting out fires, calling for relaxation, calling for rest which does not refresh.  We need to train ourselves to hear and heed His voice, to abide in Him.  That is what the next 90 days will be all about for me.  I will be training myself to abide in Him.  As a reward to me, besides having excellent fellowship with my Lord, I will spend an entire afternoon at the library, all by myself.  But if I miss even one day during the next 90 days (and I’ve told the Fruit, so they will hold me accountable) I will be grounded from the internet for two weeks.  You all know, right, how much of a dire consequence that is to me?  I’m following a plan from Donna Partow which will guide and encourage me to complete these goals.

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FOR TODAY (December 30, 2008)…
Outside My Window…is dark.  Patches of grass is showing through the snow, but it isn’t supposed to last much longer.  More snow is on the way.  Earlier today, the Fruit were out ice sliding on a patch of ice.  It looked like fun…if I were sixteen years younger.
I am thinking…so many different things, I can’t keep them straight.  Foremost in my mind is my need to establish goals for the coming year.  My top five goals for 2009 are: 1)Daily quiet time, to include at least twenty minutes in prayer and fifteen minutes in Bible study.  2)Two hours spent in personal study time each day.  3)Two hours spent with the Fruit in their study time, to include at least a half hour reading aloud.  4)Walk on treadmill for thirty minutes and do Core exercises for fifteen minutes daily.  5)Spend at least a half hour with Mr. Nutt daily, alone.
I am thankful for…good friends.
the learning rooms…we’ve been enjoying studying our own pursuits the past couple of weeks or so.  F1 has been in his lab, experimenting with alum and electricity.  F2 has been continuing on his quest for Medieval information.  F3 has been reading and writing stories, as well as emailing back and forth with her favorite author.  F4 through F7 have just been playing and being core phase kids.
From the kitchen…we’re almost out of leftovers from the Christmas dinners.  I actually made dinner tonight – spaghetti and garlic bread.  I really, really want to make a chocolate cake I have sitting on the counter and I also want some nummy sugar cookies. 
I am wearing…my tennis shoes, socks, jeans, navy blue turtleneck, and a heavy maroon sweater.  I’m warm.
I am creating…still with the website, although I think I’ve got most of kinks worked out.  Now I’m just waiting for information from the pastor that I need to put on it.  Same with the pamphlets.
I am going…to Stuffmart and the Thrifty Acres, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day.  Not sure yet, but hopefully nowhere any time soon.
I am reading…Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana.  Still.  I gave it to F1 to read a part that I didn’t understand, because he wanted to see if he could get it.  He lost it.  Sigh.
I am hoping…that my friend can come over tomorrow.  She lives in TX, and we last saw each other during the summer.
I am hearing…F1 and F7 play peek-a-boo. 
the house…Laundry is done, although not completely put away.  Christmas decos need to come down.  Children need to finish their chores.
One of my favorite things…is baby laughter.  F7 has been is such a good mood the past couple of days.  She has the sweetest laugh!
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Visit with friends.  Women’s meeting for church.  Let everyone know about women’s meeting for church!  Clean the kitchen.  Clean my room.  (Do those last two sound familiar?  They should, they were there three weeks ago.)
Here is picture thought I am sharing…

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