June 30, 2010

Ode to the Garlic

 "The role of Garlic as an antiviral and anti-bacterial agent is unsurpassed. There are no…repeat, NO…modern antibiotic drugs in the entire arsenal of medical science that even come close to doing what Garlic can do." -John Heinerman (Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices)

I am not at all anti-medicine, and we often check with doctors for help in many medical cases, however that said, I am a great fan of what garlic can do and prefer to use it instead of antibiotics or other manufactured drugs. I started to look into using garlic a few years ago when my kids, my husband and myself were getting sick quite alot. We had taken anitbiotics upon the advice of good doctors but we just did not like taking them so much. So when I read that garlic could be used instead I was ready to try it. We have never gone back. The sucess is 100% every time and no side effects, and our body remains strong and sickness free. Note these great uses:

Garlic has been found to be effective in treating a myriad of conditions in the circulatory, urinary, respiratory and digestive tracts by a remarkably simple mechanism. Its vast arsenal of sulfur-containing volatile oils are readily absorbed and transported throughout the body (except through the brain blood barrier).

Unlike proteinaceous and polysaccharide drugs, garlic’s oils can be effective against infections nearly anywhere in the body, which accounts for garlic’s versatility. Thus, garlic is effective against conditions in the circulatory system by lowering blood sugar, blood lipids, free cholesterol, low density lipoproteins and blood pressure while at the same time raising high density lipoproteins.

In the circulatory system, it eases bronchial secretions making it useful in the treatment of asthma.

In the urinary system, volatile oils stimulate (by irritation) the cleanse by purge mechanism of the kidneys, which results in a greater flow of urine.

In the digestive system, garlic stimulates the production of bile and thus aids digestion.

Recent research shows garlic to be an effective immune stimulant. When combined with anaerobic exercise, garlic has shown to increase the quantity, longevity and killing power of natural killer cells ten fold.

On top of all these properties, garlic produces a wide spectrum antimicrobial effect on gram positive and gram negative bacteria, fungus and certain worms.

Contains aromatic compounds that lower blood pressure, heart rate and blood cholesterol while increasing coronary circulation. These compounds also fight infections, reduce muscle spasms, increase immune response, promote sweating, increase the production of digestive fluids and decrease the thickness while increasing the production of mucosal fluid. Garlic has been used to treat colds, coughs, asthma, coronary heart disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, infections, inflammatory skin conditions, and hemorrhoids.- Nutritional Herbology

The real deciding factor whether you end up taking garlic for cures or not really isn't whether it is effective or not, it is how to take it and not hate doing it. And maybe more importantly how not to drive away everyone around you with your body odor. We have found some practical ways to get around this. One thing we noted right off was that after three days of 10 cloves a day (the general rule of thumb for us adults when we have any cold or virus is 10 cloves a day for 5 days; the boys take three cloves a day) there wasn't even bad breath. We suspect the toxins were flushed out by this time.
My husband takes it like a true stoic, he eats the biggest cloves he can find like an apple with his meals three times a day. He has convinved my three sons that this is very cool and they can all do this, though the boys are not as tough yet as dad they sure feel like men when they can match him. They may get down one or two but soon they need another venue.
I chop up the clove into swallowable pieces and take them like pills. For the boys I mince the garlic and add it to peanut butter or honey. They will beg to take this. We also have found that to saute the garlic is quite pleasent though the fresh crushed cloves have more potency. Can you find the garlic slices in our potatoes?

To learn more about garlic and it's benefits and uses I recomend this article. Or simply google garlic and you will find a wealth of information.

June 28, 2010

ABC Phonics Book

At the beginning of the year we were learning the ABC phonogram sounds. I used the flash cards created by Wanda Sanseri to keep me organized. I have discovered I tend towards curriculum materials that are basic and structural, so that I can remain on track whilst using my energies towards interesting flourishes. I use the basic materials like a map so I don't forget something along the way. As we are following the map we take side trails and mini vacations to do something interesting, then back to the map. I used the phonograms cards for drill mostly. Each morning I simply drilled them on about 6 letters. It took all of about 5-10 minutes. As they learned a letter I would drop it out and add another.  We did a variety of things pertaining to the letters we were drilling to re-inforce them and make them easy to remember. We did art work, handwriting, sort the pictures, musical phonograms, find the phonogram and the all time favorite..... flash light phonics. In this game I "hid" the phonogram cards in a dark room and then gave the boys flash lights. I would say one of the phonogram sounds, and they would hunt for it in the dark with their flash lights. Once they found it they would stand still shining their light on the correct card. Now that the year is ending we are putting all our work into "books."
They all made front covers that looked like this. Each picked their own font for the title and put the letter stickers on in their own way. This is T.J.'s cover.

The Letter "a" has actually three sounds but we did not include the "a" by itself.
This was a fun art project to do. We looked at hand drawn pictures of aliens, talked a little about what they were and then drew some of our own. This Alien was drawn by T.J.
This bee hive and bumble bees are images we found at Danielle's Place.
This bee hive picture was designed by Zak.

Here is an example of the handwriting sheets we were working on. We did one sheet for each letter. They are from ABC I Believe. Though the verses were good, we didn't really do much with them. This is T.J.'s handwriting page.
This is also something we did with each letter.We sorted the pictures by the first sounds. For letters like "b" which have only one sound I simply gave them pictures some of which began with "b" some which did not. Then they glued the pictures that began with "b" onto the "B" sheet. The pictures I found here.
For this page I pre-cut different sized circles and encouraged them to make designs with them. I encouraged them to overlap and leave some hanging off the page, to mix colors etc. This circle design was done by Max.
This was something the boys invented. I gave them a coloring sheet with this clown on it. They decided to turn the clown over and trace the image on the back. Turned out looking really great! This clown was drawn by Max.
Dinosaurs and dots! I pre-cut the dinosaur and they punched out dots using a hole punch and extra colored paper scraps. This dinosaur was done by Zak.
Hand writing page done by T.J.
By mixing white and black we made the perfect color for an elephant. Then the boys took turns dipping their hands into the grey paint to make this hand print dinosaur. I gave them "e" letters done in different fonts to decorate around the elephant. They cut out the light blue paper to make the ears. This one was made by Max.
Max did some free hand drawing of the letters. This is his "e" hand writing page.
Though you can't see it in this picture, under the egyptian coloring page I wrote the word Egypt in pencil and they traced it over with gold metallic pens. If there is any writing on any of these pages it was first printed by me in pencil and then they traced over it. We did a fun coloring race with this picture because the boys were getting a little bored with filling in pictures and I wanted to encourage them to use alot of color so I laid out all the pens and had them each pick one color. Then I timed them as they colored anything they wanted on the page for 30 sec. Then we changed pens and I timed them again etc. Max in particular loved this game. We did it many times more for other things. This picture was colored by T.J.

The flamingo I drew and they cut out. I provided them with pink foam sheets and they cut out extra feathers for the tail.  This flamingo was made by Max.

The giraffe (soft g) and the glasses (hard g) was created by tracing a drawing I made and they cut out glasses which can be found here. They added the grass in the mouth and did the coloring of the spots. This picture was done by Max.

Max and I designed this helicopter. He had the idea in his head and I helped him to draw it and cut out the parts. He also had the idea to trace the propellers and make it look like it was flying and to draw the man inside flying it.
The inch worm was found at Danielle's Place. But, you will have to have a membership to use it.
This was a fun project! I found this template for making your own jigsaw. I printed it out on card staock and the boys drew a picture on the blank side. Then I cut it out and we keep it in a ziplock bag attached to the page. This is T.J.'s puzzle picture.
Art Projects for kids has wonderful mural size paintings of famous artists for a mere $5. We used this painting by Kandinsky in a smaller format for our book, but some day soon we will do the wall sized mural. :) This is Zak's Kandinsky painting.
With many of the letters, not all, we used masking tape to make the letter forms and then either painted over the tape or colored with pens over the tape. Then very carefully we peeled off the tape and voila! a letter.
This "K" was done by Zak.
To make this lolly pop picture simply trace around jar lids of increasing size on colored paper. Then cut them out and create the lolly pop of you invision. The boys were not really into making swirls but it would be a nice effect. This lolly pop was made by Max.

A hand printed octopus, a paper moon, and an ocean putting all three sounds of "o" together into one page.
This "o" page was created by Zak.

This Picasso style portrait was inspired by Art Projects for kids. I drew an outline for them to begin with, then they took off with their own colors. Max added lines for design instead of filling in the spaces with one color. Sort of looks like a spaghetti Man. I love it!

Some of the letters with one sound we used these bowls for pockets.
The quilts were a lot of fun. I cut out the colorful shapes and they arranged them on the green square in a design. Then we added stitch marks. This quilt square was made by Max.
The race car was the page the boys liked best. Go figure. Each had a slightly different shaped car which I found here. They cut the car out and Max had the fun idea of adding the door. We glued down the letter "r" to define where the door would be then I cut it out with an exact-o knife. We pasted a piece of yellow paper on the back and the boys drew in the little people.
This is T.J.'s car.
Another letter page with the bowl.
S is for strawberries and storks! For this page we cut up our handwriting page for letter "s" and put the letters on the big S which is part of the ABC I Believe package.
S also says ZZZZ as in please.
T.J.'s turtle. I never did get around to making the quilt that this pattern comes from. It is adorable with turtles all around the edge. The pattern had alot of little pieces we omitted. They went a little wild with the free hand drawing.
T.J.'s handwriting sheet

Letter "U" has three sounds.
I did all the drawing and they put in the mosaic pieces.
The mosaic pieces were old watercolor drawings we had made experimenting with different colors of blue.
Max's handwriting sheet. We did alot of Valentines crafts this year but none made it into the book.
Max's watermelon for letter "W." "W's" for seeds.
Zak's "Xlaphone"
This Yak has a movable tongue! The "Y' sound on the bottom and the "I" sounds on the top
Last.....Max's pushmi-pullyu zebra. He had just read Doctor Dolittle when we did this page.

Many of the ideas for these ABC pages were inspired by the Crafty Crow. They also have some fun ideas for activities and snacks that go with the ABC letters.

June 26, 2010


We came up with a new game that helps us to practice addition facts. I had a bunch of left over flash cards and number cards so I arranged them in such a way that the boys could compete with each other or just themsleves to practice those elusive facts. Here is how the game is set up.
The answers to the addtion problems were set up 1-18 infront of the boys along the edge of the floor couch.
 The boys were given 10-15 addtion problems on cards.
They have counters to use to help them work out the problem. Once they know the answer to the problem they run to the answer card in front of them, and place the card with the addition problem on it under the answer card.

Once they have finished all the problems on the cards they have won!
The first time we played, they competed against each other. Since Max is older he got a four card penalty. However it was too stressful for the twins, and Max even though penalized won by a long shot. So, the next time we played I put a treat in a bowl in front of each of them beyond the answer cards on the floor couch. Once they finished their cards they got to eat the treat. They were still competitive. But this is the way with boys.
 I have read, mostly from Charlotte Mason that competition is bad and I should discourage it. I understand the caution, I don't really like competion myself. However, I have found some others who think differently and who have taught boys, and they found the competiton has made learning more interesting and the facts actually stick better than without competition. Hal and Melanie Young, Authors of Raising Real men say this about teaching boys:

"Boys tend to learn better under stress. When a boy-or a man- is concentrating hard he will bite his lip, or stick out his tongue; it is a mild discomfort which seems to focus his thinking. It is another area where mothers and sons do things differently; mom's actually try to reduce stress, when it actually may be hampering progress.

Mom: Son you don't need to be timed on that worksheet. Take all the time you want.
Son: (dies of boredom)

The stress of working against a deadline introduces competition back into the equation. It makes the task more interesting, and more profitable in the boy's eyes." Pg 197

Viva la differance!

June 25, 2010

Stock Full of Goodness

Chicken Noodle Soup
About three years ago I got my hands on Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook full of wonderful ideas. The gist of the book is based upon the research of A dentist, Dr. Weston Price, who lived in the 1900's. He suspected that the increase of processed foods in the diet of people then was contributing to more caries and tooth decay.So he took his life savings and did some traveling around the world to see what isolated traditional sociteies who did not process their foods were eating. He discovered that not only were the people healthier in significant ways, they often had similar ways of preparing foods even though in very different parts of the world and isolated from most everyone else. The findings are interesting. Here is an excerpt from the Weston Price Foundation website.

Characteristics of the Tradition Diets

1.The diets of healthy, nonindustrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or lowfat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins; or toxic additives and colorings.

2.All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal food, such as fish and shellfish; land and water fowl; land and sea mammals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects. The whole animal is consumed­--muscle meat, organs, bones and fat, with the organ meats and fats preferred.

3.The diets of healthy, nonindustrialized peoples contain at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins found in animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2--Price's "Activator X") as the average American diet.

4.All traditional cultures cooked some of their food but all consumed a portion of their animal foods raw.

5.Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, dairy products, meats and condiments.

6.Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid.

7.Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30 percent to 80 percent of calories but only about 4 percent of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, legumes, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

8.Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

9.All traditional diets contain some salt.

10.All traditional cultures make use of animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.

11.Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich animal foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.
Sally Falon the Author of Nourishing traditions took Dr. Prices findings of a traditional diet and created 675 pages of information and recipes on cooking traditionally. More than being healthy these recipes are delicious. Our first and most favorite recipe is for stock/broth...mostly chicken stock but I have tried fish and beef as well. This little secrect is the difference between ok soup and wow that is fantastic soup.
I heard about this book when reading a book review on it at the Bulk Herbs website (see sidebar for link) Shoshanna, the author of Bulk Herbs, says this about broth in her article, Healthy Broth 
"Old fashioned broth is packed with important minerals that have disappeared from the American diet. They have been replaced with the discovery of monosodium glutamate (MSG). What is MSG? It is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. You might think you do not use MSG, but it is in bouillon cubes, canned broths and soups, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners, most restaurant food, condiments, and more. Fast food restaurants could not exist without MSG. Enough about MSG; this article is about broth.

Okay! So, what is broth? “It is a flavorful liquid resulting from slow cooking bones, hooves, knuckles, bird feet, eggshells, meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables in water. This process pulls nutrients from cartilage and tendons, like sulphates and glucosamine, which is used as a supplement for arthritis and joint pain.” It all might sound a little disgusting, but, believe it or not, it is delicious. The benefits for the body are amazing, as well. It is an herb in itself, healing and strengthening the body’s digestion. It contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, gelatin, and trace minerals.
Broth has been used to treat arthritis and joint pain, peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, cancer, help cure colds, and even put in babies' milk to aid digestion. Broth is also used as a thyroid strengthening substance. Not only is broth great for health purposes, but it is a MUST in cooking. I use broth for cooking vegetables, noodles, rice, sauces, soups, gravy, stews and more."

Below is the recipe I use from Nourishing traditions.

Chicken Stock

1 Whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 lbs of chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
2-4 Chicken feet, (optional)
4 Free-range or organically grown egg shells
4 Quarts cold filtered water
2 tbsp vinegar
2 Carrots peeled and chopped, if organic do not peel
3 Celery stalks chopped
4 Whole garlic cloves
1 Onion chopped
1 tsp pepper corns
1 Bunch parsley

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 6 hours or as long as 48 hours.

"Good broth resurrects the dead." A South American Proverb

June 17, 2010

Your Opinion is Valid

A n encouraging word from Christine Miller, Author of the Classical Christian Homeschooling site
To encourage means literally to put courage inside you.

“In our society, we venerate expert opinion. I would venture to say that as a society, we put more weight on expert opinion than on truth. And we certainly put more weight on what experts say than on what we observe and discover ourselves.

Where would we be today if Martin Luther or John Hus went along with the expert opinion of their day instead of being willing to be the sole voice “crying in the wilderness?” Each one of us has the Teacher of Truth, the Holy Spirit, indwelling us. What we discover on our own, through our reading and the teaching of the Holy Spirit in our lives, is valid. One beauty of the Reformation is that it returned the validity of individual Bible reading, study, and prayer to a person’s spiritual growth.

A natural extension is the validity of individual reading and study to a person’s intellectual growth. In other words, our minds can learn. Surely, if we can read the thoughts of God, as written in His Word, and be taught by them, when His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways not our ways, then we can be taught when reading something much less majestic, such as The Republic, On Christian Doctrine, and Institutio Oratoria.

The Holy Spirit understands completely what Plato was trying to say, and Augustine, and Quintilian, and even better, He knows completely our own family, children, homeschool, strengths, weaknesses; and, most importantly, He knows the plans that He has for our children’s future, and what will be their proper and necessary preparation. He can tailor Quintilian et al to our homeschool, to our individual children. I know this to be true, because I have asked Him to do it for us, and He has -- that is to say, He is continuing to do so. We are in a constant state of learning and application, and that learning and application has grown as we, as homeschooling parents and Christians, continue to grow in our own self-education.

So what is the place of experts in our homeschooling? And I include Classical Christian Homeschooling in that question. I believe it should be: Listen to what they have to say, and then sift it through, as the Bereans did after hearing Paul (Acts 17:10-11). No single homeschooling expert or group can be a perfect fit in every application in your life and homeschool, because no single person or group lives in your family’s shoes. Take from CCH what seems good, and meld it with you have learned from the other homeschool and classical education experts, and Quintilian, and Augustine, et al that seems good. And meld it even with what was said that was true by a non-Christian like Richard Mitchell -- if it’s true, then we want it, no matter from whose mouth it came. God has spoken through donkeys before.

And as we grow and learn, we will need to adjust -- which is perfectly okay.”

Christine Miller

The Seven Laws

I am starting a book called the Seven laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory. It is recommended to all the teachers that teach at the Logos School in Idaho. This is a Classical Christian School. I purchased the book last year but have just not gotten around to reading it until now. After completing one year of schooling it seems fitting to digest the ideas in the book and see what could be useful for next year. I think I will need a whole summer to chew on this little gem.
It comes with a study guide with essay questions and practical exercises to apply the cool nuggets of truth in the book. John Milton Gregory wrote the book some time around 1919 so he is an old writer with old style words but really timeless helpful hints on teaching. Honestly it is taking my mind a while to get into his style and vocabulary. I hope to be finished with the study guide/essay questions soon and then mull it over a bit before writing about it here. Anyone want to join me??
Just to tantilize you, here are the seven laws......naked and unexplained.
The Seven Laws of Teaching

1. A teacher must be one who knows the lesson or truth to be taught.  (Know thoroughly and familiarly the lesson you wish to teach; or in other words, teach with a full mind and a clear understanding.)

2. A learner is one who attends with interest to the lesson given.
(Gain and keep the attention and interest of the pupils upon the lesson. Refuse to teach without attention.)

3. The language used as a medium between teacher and learner must be common to both. (Use words understood by both the teacher and pupil in the same sense – language clear and vivid alike to both)

4. The lesson to be learned must be explicable in the terms of truth already known by the learner. (the unknown must be explained by the known.)

5. Teaching is arousing and using the pupil’s mind to form in it a desired conception or though. (Use the pupil’s own mind, exciting his self-activities. Keep his thoughts as much as possible ahead of your own, exciting his self-activities.)

6. Learning is thinking into one’s own understanding a new idea or truth. (Require the pupil to reproduce in thought the lesson he is learning – thinking it out in its parts, proofs, connections, and applications till he can express it in his own language.)

7. The test and proof of teaching done – the finishing and fastening process – must be a reviewing, rethinking, reknowing , and reproducing of the knowledge taught. (Review, review, review, reproducing correctly the old, deepening its impression with new thought, correcting false views, and completing the true.)

June 16, 2010


I was able to sit with a mom a few years back who had been homeschooling her kids for many years. She spoke about the benefits and many of the great resources I could get that would help me do a good job, and then she said, “It is absolutely the best thing for your kids. Never doubt that….but it will be the worst thing for you. It will bring to the surface all your inadequacies and you will need to face them.” Since I had not begun yet I wondered just how would that really look in my own life. This last year has been very good being the first year of homeschooling and I did have many inadequacies to face. Was I enough? plagued my mind most often. who do I think I am? was there as well, and “ooops I should have done that differently’ raised up many fears of whether or not I was the right person for this job. Christine Miller whose online classical curriculum we stop into most often for help and direction says this,

” We are the first generation recovering classical education. We are starting from a public school education (most of us). We have a double job to do. Will we do it perfectly? Possibly not; probably not. I know already that the classical education of my children is imperfect. While we strive for perfection, we cannot escape the reality that we will be weak somewhere, most probably; we will fail at times; we will not perfectly do all.

But remember that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9.) Lean on the Lord, listen to His voice; have faith and trust in Him, our Teacher and Shepherd, to help us in all He has called us to do.”

Is that not amazing?? My weakness is a perfect house for His strength! I have learned this not in words only, but in everyday practice this year. For the first time in tackling a new thing, I am not worried about me. I know somewhere deep down I AM dead and hid with Christ....I am no longer living but He is living in me. It was faith first when I read about it in the Bible (romans) now it is reality in my homeschool and in my life as I have chosen to walk in this freeing truth.
In walking in this great freedom from myself it did not matter if I was good enough, or if I was very good, it mattered if Jesus was good enough. I found it oddly refreshing to not be the central focus...to sort of be on the side lines watching. He was there with us while we lived each day. I now understand why Jesus often promised us that he would always be with us......He can't stay away. Why He loves us so much I don't understand, but He does and it is the most constant and most faithful love I have ever known. So I learned to invite Him in more and more each day. “God, where do we go next in this phonics program?”, God, I am at a ten on the stress chart today be my patience with the kids.” God, I need a break please orchestrate a restful spot in my day.” "God isn't that flower magnificent!" "God thanks for the break, thanks for the idea" This sort of talking with God has become a habit to know  His presence, His guidance, His great strength. God never failed me once. He was there when I was drowning and sharing in the joys when I was succeeding. God is for us....he wants us to succeed. "I came not to condem but to save." - Jesus

Christine Miller continues.

"When my children were small, I found it nearly impossible to maintain a separate daily prayer time as had been my want. The demands on my time and energy were just too great. I learned to speak to God while washing dishes and hanging laundry on the line; I learned to listen to His voice while cooking and settling sibling disputes. I found my daily relationship with Jesus deepened rather than compromised when I took Him out of my prayer closet, and included Him in the diaper-changing and rocking the little ones to sleep. I found that rather than being aware of Him and being in His presence for one hour daily, I was now aware of Him and living in His presence for twenty-four hours daily."

“The task is bigger than us, but not bigger than our God. We can take our children as far as we can humanly take them, with the help and grace of the Lord, and then with that let us be content. Our children will be starting with their own children farther down the road than us; they will have the opportunity to recover even more. Our children will be farther down the road than if we had not tried, no matter how imperfectly we complete the task; every little bit of truth in their lives will help, every progress we can help them make will more solidly place them on a foundation of rock.

Rather than be discouraged at the enormity of the job in front of us and our inadequate preparation for it, let us give thanks to the Lord for all that He enables us to accomplish for Him in our children’s lives.”

Thanks to God for the wonderful books he has provided for us, thanks for the sweet times we had together, thanks for the victories we secured in learning and overcoming bad habits, thanks for timely words of encouragements via others, thanks for the continued supply of faith and inspiration for the Bible, thanks for support and faith from my husband and family back home, thanks for the cool things we found in nature and the friends we made with books. Truly God has blessed our year and been faithful to keep us. We are not where we were when we started. THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

Christine again.

 "And finally, we have to realize our limitations. In homeschooling, we have committed to two full-time jobs: teaching and homemaking. Each one by itself is a full-time job, so it’s no wonder that we get tired and discouraged. We need the Lord’s strength in order to do the job. We cannot do this job by relying on our strength; it’s too big for that. Our strength, our resources are not adequate. But the Lord’s strength and His resources are more than adequate! He is generous and willing to give freely. His help is available. So how do we “get” it? Ask and receive by faith through grace, just as we “got” salvation. “We have not because we ask not.” If we can’t get organized, then we need order. If we are discouraged, then we need encouragement. If we are overwhelmed, then we need help. If we no longer care, then we need motivation.

The Lord is able to order, encourage, help, and motivate us, and provide anything else that we are in need of, if we only ask Him." -Christine Miller

Jesus, what a friend I have found! Thank you for living your life in ordinary me.
Whatever it is.....ASK!