Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Followers

Visits

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Faith Like a Child


Every morning we start our school day with reading the Bible and devotions. This morning we were reading in the book of Exodus and going over the laws regarding keeping the Sabbath holy. We get to the part about not even lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath and one child comments that we HAVE to light a fire as it is so cold out right now, and fire is our ONLY source of heat. Then my youngest says" but if we obey God, and do what He says, He'll keep our house warm for us!"

I first got a little chuckle out of it and thought he was pretty darn cute(and he is!) but then I started thinking about it, and realized not only is he cute, he's pretty darn smart too!! Sure, I most likely will light a fire this Sunday morning, but what if we DID obey God when he speaks to us? How often do we feel led to do something, but lack the faith to carry it out?? We SAY we believe and trust in God, but how often do we put those words into action?

Oh, how I wish I had faith like my child. There is not a doubt in his mind our house WILL be warm Sunday morning whether or not we light that fire.

Well, I am off to put my own faith into action, and do something I have felt led to do, but have been putting off due to my own lack of faith. Thank you Daniel for teaching me a valuable lesson this morning!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Life Lessons Learned From a Toddler....

My grandson recently started walking with the help of one of these:

Watching him today was a combination of both laughter and frustration, for him and us. You see our house is really tiny. There really isn't an open area for him to practice this new and important skill. He has to either go back and forth in the kitchen or living room. He hasn't aquired the skill yet of turning the walker for himself, so once he reaches the end of the walk area he fusses until we come turn it around for him then he is all smiles and laughs as he happily walks the length of the room again.

After a few times of this, he learned when his ride would end and instead of waiting until he completed his last few steps he would start fussing and crying five or so steps ahead of the finish line knowing the ride was soon to end. So several steps away from where he needed to turn he would just stand there and cry. He was so upset that the journey was about to end, even though it hadn't yet, that he couldn't enjoy those last few steps as the anticipation of it ending was so frustrating and heartbreaking that he couldn't find the joy in actually completing the journey.

Then I realized, I too worry so much about tomorrow or the next day or what might(or might not) happen that I can't enjoy where I am at right now. For the first time Matthew 6:34 really came alive to me. Isn't that silly how you can hear a Bible verse so often in your life and it has so little meaning then something a toddler does makes it come alive and speak to you?

While I try to teach my children(and grandchild) many lessons each and everyday, I am amazed at how often it is them teaching me!

So my goal for myself is to enjoy where I am at today and let tomorrow take care of itself!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Site Seeing

Well it's Saturday so that means it's Site Seeing day!! Today I thought we'd focus on something we can all use a little help with. SAVING MONEY!!!
The first book I ever read on the subject was Miserly Moms. I was then a working mom wanting to come home to homeschool my children. I still use that book to this day as it has some great recipes. I recommend this one over all others to moms wanting to come home. The author also has a website: Miserly Moms.


A great site that updates weekly is Dollar Stretcher. You can also subscribe via email. Each week is full of new and helpful ideas.

A great site for when times are really tough is Hillbilly Housewife. She has emergency $45.00 dollar grocery lists as well as $70.00 lists for when times aren't so tough. Each list also includes menu plans, recipes and a how to list! This site is VERY helpful. You must try the "magic" chocolate shake recipe. This is a frequent treat around my place. She also has links to free homeschooling resources. If you check out no other sites listed today, check this one out if your serious about saving money.

You've probably all heard of him, but I am going to recommend him any way. Dave Ramsey. His plan really works. You can also download free podcasts at Itunes.

A site that isn't necessarily a money saving site but worth mentioning is Laines Letters. Several of her letters do deal with the issue of money. It is amazing to me how she does so much with so little. I enjoy her "At My Home" letters as well. Several of her letters give great money saving ideas. She is such an inspiration to me! Lots of good, frugal recipes too!

One last site that I enjoy is Mary Hunts Cheapskate Monthly. Lots of great ideas and a wonderful newsletter. She has authored several helpful books on the subject as well.

I hope you find some of these links helpful and come back "site-seeing" with me next Saturday as well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hungry Planet

I saw this last year and was so intrigued I bought the book: Hungry Planet Please take a moment to follow the first link, it is VERY interesting. One thing that surprised me the most is how many countries, even small ones purchase soda pop on a regular basis. You will see nothing but burlap sacks of grain, yet there will also be a bottle of soda!



Another not so surprising sight was the amount of packaged foods and take-out in the more developed countries.


It seems so unfair to me that so many have so much, yet there are many more who don't have near enough.

The photo documentary is fascinating, but the book is even more so. It goes into greater detail and many more photos too!


I enjoyed this so much I also purchased a follow up Material World. This is just as interesting and shows many of the same families in their homes, examples of kitchens, bathrooms and favorite material possessions. For some the possessions were many, and for many very few. The bathrooms ranged from some that the toilets were all but encased in gold to a hole in the ground.



I think these are both very eye opening books for children and good reminders for us adults that not everyone lives quite as well as we do. I keep telling people, poor in America is WAY different than poor just about anywhere else in the world.


These books are not depressing or made to make you feel guilty they are just glimpses into the lives of others. I found them inspiring!

Both of these books make great geography and culture studies resources. I HIGHLY recommend them!
Speaking of Geography, here's a little girl(a VERY little girl) who KNOW'S her Geograhpy better than most adults, check this out: Lilly-The World

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Little Like Christmas...

Well maybe not quite like Christmas, but it was fun when my husband brought in the mail today. He had an arm load of books and DVD's from Paperback Swap and DVD Swap!! Best of all, it was all free!!


Here's what came today:
Now my biggest problem is what to read first? They ALL look so good(except the DVD I let DH pick) Of course I am already trying to read a handful off books(see sidebar) and it looks like I'll be reading a few more for a class I am taking on Monday nights. Too many good things to read and not enough time!!
Anyone who has not checked out Paperback Swap or DVD Swap, I HIGHLY recommend you do. These are all books I've been wanting but not able to get until now. Too much fun!!!






Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This is fun!!


I learned of this over at the Sonlight Forums. This is fun! See how well you know your geography.

Go here to play. Then if you want come back and let me know how you did!

A fun little quiz

You Are a Ham Sandwich

You are quiet, understated, and a great comfort to all of your friends.
Over time, you have proven yourself as loyal and steadfast.
And you are by no means boring. You do well in any situation - from fancy to laid back.

Your best friend: The Turkey Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Site Seeing

I thought Saturday's would be a fun day to take you all site seeing to some of my favorite websites. As I am seeking a more simple life I have come across a few interesting sites lately. So, today's tour will be dedicated to simple living, anti-consumerism and environmental sites. One I enjoy is Christian Simple Living. I have not spent enough time there to say whether or not I agree with everything, but I did enjoy finding a Christian site dedicated to simple living. So many seem more "New Age" and this site was refreshing for me!


I recently started using re-usable bags for grocery shopping(when I remember to pack them in the car!) I have a couple I bought at Henry's and the others are just canvas bags I have gotten free from book clubs or curriculum providers. If I wasn't trying to NOT buy new in '08 I would seriously consider buying these ones.

They even have some for the more fashioned minded.



This one is dedicated to Overcoming Consumerism Again, I haven't had time to go over everything there, so use your own discretion when visiting my links. But I did find lots of interesting information there.


Feel poor?? I know I sure do most of the time. Here's an eye opener for you!


Wondering what you can do to help the environment? Here are some great ideas from the WWF.



Speaking of the WWF, Today while wearing this shirt I got tons of compliments. I was only too happy to share that 1.00 of each purchase goes to the WWF. This and many others(I think I have one of each, bought in 07 of course!) can be found at JC Penny online and in some stores as well.



Well, that just about raps up today's site seeing tour. Come back next week and see what our theme will be!

Cookies and Muffins

I did most of my weeks baking today, as I will not be home to do it tomorrow. I wanted to share photos and recipes of two of our favorite treats.


The first is probably the BEST peanut butter cookies I have ever tasted:






INGREDIENTS:1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened1/2 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed1 egg1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon salt
PREPARATION:Preheat oven to 375°.Cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light. Add the egg and mix until fluffy.
Blend the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together well. Add these dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 375°.



The secret to these is the timing. If you cook them even minutes too long they end up crispy rather than chewy, yet if you don't cook long enough they fall apart. Ten minutes seems just about right. When the edges just start to turn golden, pull them out! YUMMY!!!



We also made a batch of pumpkin muffins. These taste really good, but better yet is the aroma that fills the house as they bake!

1 cup canned pumkin

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup canola oil

2 tbls ground flaxseed

1 tsp vanilla

1 2/3 cup flour

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3/4 cup chocolate chips

mix together and pour batter into grease muffin pan. Top with cinnamon/sugar mixture(3/4 cup sugar and 2tsp Cinnamon, save left overs for the next few times!)

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Delicious!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A Friday Funny

I've been discussing church music a bit lately with friends and family and it is interesting what differences there are in what is considered "Worship" music. Then I remembered a funny story I first heard at a Diana Waring conference. I looked it up online last night and found it posted elsewhere, but thought I'd share it here:

Hymns vs. Choruses
An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.
"Well," said the farmer, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns."
"Praise choruses?" said his wife. "What are those?"
"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.
"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.
The farmer said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you "Martha, the cows are in the corn"' - well, that would be a hymn. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:
Martha, Martha, Martha,Oh Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA,the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cowsthe white cows,the black and white cows,the COWS, COWS, COWSare in the corn,are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,the CORN, CORN, CORN.
Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise chorus."

The next weekend, his nephew, a young, new Christian from the city came to visit and attended the local church of the small town. He went home and his mother asked him how it was.
"Well," said the young man, "it was good. They did something different however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."
"Hymns?" asked his mother. "What are those?"
"Oh, they're OK. They are sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.
"Well, what's the difference?" asked his mother.
The young man said, "Well, it's like this - If I were to say to you 'Martha, the cows are in the corn' - well, that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you:
Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cryInclinest thine ear to the words of my mouthTurn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and byTo the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.
For the way of the animals who can explainThere in their heads is no shadow of senseHearkenest they in God's sun or His rainUnless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.
Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delightHave broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewedThen goaded by minions of darkness and nightThey all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.
So look to the bright shining day by and byWhere all foul corruptions of earth are rebornWhere no vicious animals make my soul cryAnd I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.'
Then if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.
Author Unknown

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Homeschool Humor

I thought it would be fun to share a few fun videos and emails I have come across lately. This video is just too cute: Homeschool Family
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM6uqj0_jQc
This video was done by Tim Hawkins, a very funny Christian comedian. You can watch more of him at his site: Tim Hawkins

Another that isn't quite as funny as it is cute: Homeschool Girl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxQ1qfDGoMg

A popular email making it's rounds that is meant to be funny, but sadly there is much truth to it:

For all those who know nothing about Homeschooling
1. Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is - and it is - it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals,would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now.Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun.Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is Homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by Homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of Homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we are religious, we must be Homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into Homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and- spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool, " we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education - and many of us prefer a more organic approach - we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as
annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled
.22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about Homeschooling, don't say anything at ALL!
I bolded all of the ones that really strike home for me! One that irritates me more than any other is the "quizzing" that people, even strangers think is appropriate to do! And sure enough they will choose to "quiz" the wrong kid on the wrong subject!! They will ask my math whiz about his reading(that sure enough he is behind on!) and my English/Literature buff about his math which he is repeating for the THIRD time!! And do you think they ever quiz my little Einstein about anything? Nope, never, probably because they know he's smarter than them!
Number 20 is a good one! I have one child who is VERY shy. Everyone likes to blame it on homeschooling. Ok, but how do you explain his little brothers vibrant, outgoing, overly active personality?? Hmmm....

Already Blew It!!!

Here we are only ten days into the new year and I already managed to blow my main New Years Resolution to buy nothing new in 2008!!! This wasn't even on my "exceptions" list, but I just couldn't pass this one up!! It is a new DVD set by one of my new favorites; Dr. Voddie Baucham: The Children of Caesar.





You can learn more about it here: The American Vision If you are not already familiar with Dr. Voddie Baucham, may I suggest you take the time to familiarize yourself with him. You can find information on him and his book here: Family Driven Faith. I HIGHLY recommend the book!



He has very similar thoughts and beliefs as my husband and myself that until recently we didn't think very many others shared with us. He has much to say on Christians in the Government Schools, dating, family worship, family integrated churches and more!



I feel he says so much of what needs to be heard today, but so many pastors are afraid to say, and most believers don't want to hear. Some things are uncomfortable to hear and own up to, but it doesn't mean we should ignore them. I wish pastors all over would follow his lead.

You can also check out some great video clips of him over at youtube. I highly suggest "Put the Baby in the Beamer and Family Driven Education(which can also be viewed in my sidebar) Grab your favorite tea or coffee drink, put the kids to bed or playing quietly in another room and spend some time watching and listening. If you feel like it, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back to the Books

After a two week long break we started back to school yesterday. I always swear after such long breaks I will NEVER take such long breaks again as it is SO hard to get the kids focused again. But after a couple of months of schooling, it is ME crying for the break! I just can't win!


I must admit our days to run smoother while schooling because we have much more structure to our days.


This week on top of our regular subjects we added a group Geography class. After watching the Kelly Pickler episode on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? I wanted to make sure my own kids would make the grade in that area!

We were anxious to get back to our read-a-louds; I am doing The Hiding Place with my oldest. Even at sixteen read a loud time is a special time. This book is so very special to me for many reasons and it is such a gift to get to share it with my son.

The youngers are doing Johnny Tremain. They are enjoying it very much. It isn't my favorite, but I just love how Sonlight(the main curriculum we use) combines all the readers, read-a-louds and history readers so well. As we're reading about the Boston Tea Party in our History book, we are also reading about it in Johnny Tremain, and we're learning about King George 3 in yet another assigned book.


While things have been a little stressed trying to get back in the swing of things my grandson offered some much needed comic relief as seen below: (note the cheese on top of his head in photo #2!)













Then of course not wanting to be left out of the act, my teenager decided to provide some comedy himself:

Teens and toddlers; is there really much difference???



Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sunday Savings

As I mentioned in my first post, we are in debt...lot's of it! We are really working at decreasing it as quick as possible so we can adopt from China, sooner than later.

The biggest problem(besides the debt itself) is we are in so much that the money needs outgoing are far greater than the incoming money. We aren't expecting any big windfalls of money anytime soon, so we are literally going to have to nickle and dime our way out of debt. Aside from the side work my husband does and the money I make selling used school books from time to time, there just isn't much of a way to bring more in. So for us the secret is going to be how to save on everyday things. Electricity, groceries, gas, purchases and so on. And then use those savings to apply towards our debt.

It sounds like alot of work to save just a little and apply just a little towards debt, but you know, for us it was a lot of little things that helped us get here to begin with. You know, the near daily stops at the corner market for a soda or the famous coffee place for those blended coffee drinks. Now, granted it wasn't a soda or coffee that put us nearly $50,000 in debt, but I can assure you 30 sodas at two bucks a pop, and 15 coffee drinks at nearly five bucks a pop each month add up!!

Another biggy for me is books. I LOVE books and until recently probably spent an average of 100 bucks a month on new ones! The library is a great savings there. They have online services where you can search all the libraries in your county and request any book be sent to your local library free of charge for you to pick up!!

Just recently I discovered PaperBack Swap(see link in my sidebar) It's great. You list books you want to swap and request books you'd like. All you pay is postage! Just today I ordered Gandhi and the Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, two books I have been wanting for a while now. Totally free for me as the sender pays the postage(of course when you send a book out YOU pay postage.) But it averages about two dollars, can't beat that!

AS for those little purchases, we just quit making them. I know we'd be saving more by not buying soda at all, it's no good for you anyway, but we buy in bulk for MUCH less than what we pay for one at the corner market.

Another trick we've recently learned is turning our water heater off to vacation mode at night. We do the old trick of shutting lights off in rooms when no one is in them, and have switched nearly all of our lights over to fluorescent. The upfront cost is more, but you WILL save on your bill, and it is much better for the environment as well.

We cook pretty much everything from scratch. Sunday is usually my big baking day. I make the weeks worth of bread, cookies, muffins and snacks to freeze for the week. Today I made breakfast sandwiches. I use canned biscuits although you'd save more if you made your own, veggie sausage patties(you can use real meat if you choose) eggs and cheese. They are even better than the fast food ones, and healthier too! I made a week or two worth of those along with french toast sticks using homemade bread and pancakes. That way when the kids want breakfast, they can just go pull what they like from the freezer. Alot of work on Sunday, but what a time and money saver during the week!!

My crockpot is my best friend. I start dinner in the morning and don't have to worry about that last minute dinner rush which often would end with us ordering an expensive pizza delivery.

We do lunch much like breakfast. I make ahead and freeze large batches of pizza pockets, burritos and other such items.

Perhaps later today or tomorrow I will try to post some of the recipes.

We buy our flour, grains, and legumes in bulk for a rather large savings. An example is Cream of Wheat. We love the stuff. AT the grocery it is 2-3 dollars a box, I am not sure but I think it is a one pound box. At the health food store you can buy in bulk for 39 cents a pound! That's a pretty big savings if you ask me!! See how those little things can add up, either way? It can make or break the bank if you have alot of these little things.

Those are the main things we're working on right now, but each Sunday I will try to post some things we saved on during the week and any new tips or ideas we learn. I Will also share any progress we are making in the area of our debt and share if we had any set backs! Hopefully it will all be good news!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Trying to Balance it All....

Welcome! I originally was going to start two blogs here at Blogspot, one to share our journey into becomming debt free and living a simpler life in hopes of adopting a daughter from China in the next couple of years, and another to share our daily life and adventures as a very busy homeschooling family.

Then it occured to me: Why do I keep trying to seperate my life and different parts of who or what I am into so many different areas? I wear many hats: Homeschooling mom and teacher, wife, grandmother raising grandchild, enviromentalist, yogi, vegetarian, many more hats, but most importantly Christian.

Many hats, many things to balance, yet I am one person wearing all of those hats. So therefore only one blog.

My hope is to share our journey as we begin to chisel away at our debt and start the adoption process. I hope to share with you how we do our part to help the enviorment, one of our biggest new projects this year is buying nothing new in 2008. A bigger challange than I first thought of when I publically announced this as one of our (my) New Years Resolutions over on my MySpace page.

Of course there will be some exeptions to the buy nothing new rule, such as groceries, tolitries, and the childrens school workbooks. I will aim to buy their texts and teachers manuals used though. My husbands exeption is new chains for his chainsaw and any auto parts that he can't quickly or easily find used. So check in often as I will share how we are doing on this new project and the challenges we meet along the way.

Debt is such a personal thing and hard thing to share publically. The truth is we have lots of it! Some is our own doing. Wanting now, not thinking about the long term consequences of pulling out that card. But the majority of it is just circumstances. My mother became very ill and died. During that difficult time we make weekly trips from one state to the other to be with her, and took over her bills as well as our own. When her house finally sold and money was cleared we were in more debt than what was made on the sale of her house and probate.

I hate the debt, I hate that it is keeping us from being able to adopt our daughter from China, but if I had it to do again, I would choose the debt in exchange for those last months I spent with my mom. Sure, I would try to do somethings different to not end up this far in debt, but I would not have spent one less day with my mom.

I will share our joys and trials of homeschooling. We have been on this journey for 11 years now, and have many more to go. We have good days and plenty of challenging ones as well. Now with my grandson added in the mix, it brings a few more of both joys and challenges!

I hope to share much with you, but I will close for now as if you made it this far in this novel length post, you deserve an award!

They wont all be this long, I just wanted to welcome you and share a bit about what this blog will be all about. Mostly me, trying to balance all of these hats on top of my head and doing it with a certain amount of grace and dignity, although that may not always be the case!