Category Archives: Grace

Happy 13th Day of School!

Yes, it is already Day #13 here.  We start early in order to take the month of December off…it makes for a much more enjoyable holiday season!

It is already our 6th year of homeschooling too.  Wow!  I can hardly believe we’ve been doing it for six years!

There have definately been “ups” and “downs” along the way, however some of the bumps are smoothing out as I figure out what works best for us and adapt.

We’ve tried various curriculum and even virtual schooling, but finally settled on these for this year:

Bible – “Who is God?  And Can I Really Know Him?”, Volume 1 of the “What We Believe” series written by John Hay and David Webb.  I’ve tried various short bible studies and devotional books with the boys.  We’ve also taken time to learn the books of the bible and just read bible stories, however the main goal in doing any of this is that they would grasp the concept of having a personal relationship with the Lord.  My prayer is that they would not only have “head knowledge”, but mostly “heart knowledge” of the Lord, His grace-filled ways, and the purpose for their lives.  Learning to see the world through a biblical viewpoint, rather than a worldly view, is something I was not taught at a young age.  Hopefully doing this for my boys will save them many self-inflicted trials and point them toward service to others and to God.

Lesson #1 and #2 have been very engaging so far.  The boys seem to grasp what the book is teaching very well.  It is written in plain, everyday language and includes activities and stories to which they can relate.  On top of that, they keep a notebook for recording vocabulary words, insightful opinions and expressions about different topics, and memorize scripture each week.  It was very encouraging once this past week to see my youngest have his first “A-Ha!” moment about satan and God.  I am praying that God would use the material in this book and in our schooling to reach his heart in such a way that I have not been able to explain.  So far, so good!

Art –  We’ll be doing various artsy type things.  One book I found at a thrift store is “Exploring Textures in Watercolor” by Joye Moon.  I will be painting right alongside the boys as we work our way through this book…..sort of a “perk” for me to be learning too, instead of just teaching!

Texas History – We are using “The Story of Texas” by Harcourt Brace along with “Discover Texas”, a CD based history program.  Also included in the plan are adding two smaller unit studies on Cowboys and Indians.  Each of the boys will be making a list of all the places we study in Texas.  Towards the end of the school year, they will be able to choose one place on the list to visit in person.  “Hands-on” makes the best learning!

This is a class easily combined for both grade levels.  I think public schoolers in Texas usually do it in 4th grade, so in comparison, one of mine will be a year early and the other a year later than their peers.  It saves me aLOT of time to be able to combine a few subjects.  I just adjust the assignments and activities as needed for each grade level.

Language Arts – Grammar          “Easy Grammar” by Easy Grammar Systems, Scottsdale, Arizona   We tested this last year and found it to truly be “easy”, yet still challenging.  I love the way it teaches prepositions first so that the other parts of speech are more easily recognizable.  Once you mark out the prepositional phrases first, it is easy to spot the subject and verb.  Also, although both boys are doing separate grade levels in this curriculum, the chapters are arranged similarly so I can usually teach both at the same time.

Language Arts – Writing    This subject, I understand, is a common sore spot in every homeschooler’s plan.  Even public school students and parents struggle with writing, mainly because they don’t do enough of it!  (my opinion)  Kids, especially elementary age kids, just. don’t. want. to. write!  We’ve had many struggles with it.  Although I love to write, trying to teach my boys to do it has been pretty difficult.  Til this year, what we’ve tried to do did not have organization or depth.  Now, we are trying a new curriculum shared by my friend that seems to be just what we needed.  It will teach writing concepts at a self-paced/mastery plan and the same concepts will be used to build upon all the way through high school.  Consistency in a long term plan seems the way to go in order for writing skills to be developed.  It is the “Institute of Excellence in Writing” program.

Language Arts – Spelling     Last year, we used a spelling program that had lots of activities and colorful pages.  It also seemed a bit expensive when paired with other homeschooling expenses we had.  This year, I found a year’s list of grade appropriate spelling words online and decided to use it for free 🙂  The word list came from K12Reader.com.  I simply printed the year’s lists of words, placed them in a folder, and then taped daily instructions on the front for spelling activities.  Each day, the boys grab their folder, complete that day’s exercises, and by the end of the week are prepared for the graded test.  Daily activities include reading the words to me, circling any unfamiliar words, writing the words, writing sentences with the words, using a dictionary to write definitions of words I preselect for vocabulary, and then taking a practice test.  So far, this has been a no-nonsense, no cost path to greater spelling!  Yay for free!!

Language Arts – Reading      I use LOTS of different materials to encourage reading success.  One area of concentration this year is comprehension.  Using an old Scott, Foresman reader, “Wheels and Rockets”, the boys are required to read certain stories and then answer the comprehension questions in complete sentences.  We are working on changing a question into a complete statement and then answering the question.  For example:  “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  Answer:  “The chicken crossed the road because. it needed to get to the other side.”  Rather than simply write “to get to the other side”, the boys are equating their answers to complete thoughts and proper speech.  I also frequently require them to record the page number of where they found the answer by each question.  This helps force them to look back at the story for correct information.  Sometimes they do well, other times they confuse parts of the story, but we always talk through the answers and why something else might have been a better choice.

We do lots of silent reading as well.  They are required to read silently for a certain amount of time.  Sometimes I assign the material to read.  Sometimes they get to choose. Sometimes they choose at the library.  Sometimes I let them choose from a preselected group of books I put together before the school year started.  I try to have a variety of reading levels, books and magazines for them…anything to keep their interest!

Language Arts – Handwriting    I know, I know! This is a “lost Art” for many now a days.  Call me “old school” if you want, but I still believe there is value in legible handwriting!  Chances are that neither of my boys will be doctors, so I just assume that their boss will want to be able to read what they are writing, despite the Keyboard Age.  To challenge them more, we also work on cursive writing!  Doing cursive has actually made writing more exciting for them.  They take greater pride in their assignments when forming the nicely slanted letters.  This year, I’m not using any particular curriculum…..just notebook paper, starting with the ABC’s and moving towards mastery in connecting letters and words.

Science – “Exploring Creation with Zoology 2:  Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day” by Jeannie K. Fulbright   After years of using her curriculum, I cannot imagine going to anything different!  Thankfully, she has written even High School level science curriculum that we can look forward to.  So far, we’ve completed Astronomy, Anatomy, and Zoology 1: Flying Creatures.  She also sells spiral bound notebooks that accompany the study and I highly recommend them.  They are interesting, creative, and provide the perfect place to record the course’s observations and for use in note taking.

Math – Teaching Textbooks   This is a computerized math program that we started last year.  It is a little behind the advanced curriculum we were using previously, however, it’s animated and fun for the boys to learn.  It teaches, reinforces, quizzes, and challenges.  It. even. GRADES!  (Woo hoooooo!  Oh how I loathe grading assignments, lol!)  Anyway, I told the boys they could work at their pace (at least completing one grade level per year), but also can work ahead in order to stay challenged.  We actually skipped a grade level for the youngest because the placement test he took showed he had already mastered 3rd grade concepts before this 3rd grade year had started.  They love it!  I love it!  It’s a “win-win” math program that will take them well through any high school math requirements!

Music – This year we will be participating in a co-op music class. It will be taught by a very dear friend whom we have known for many years.  (Hiiiiiiiiii Kariiiiiiiiii!)  I’m so excited and know that outside the public school setting, she will be free to encourage the boys to use their talents for the Lord!  This is going to be GREAT 🙂

Study Skills – One of the things I have learned in homeschooling is that kids do not naturally know how to study!  Discovering this has changed alot in our daily plan.  Now, we learn about strategies for memorizing information.  We engage in conversation to spark the sharing of ideas and higher level thinking.  They use “Brain Pop”, an online program for learning new things and practicing test taking as well as multiple choice answering, etc.   We do crosswords, map studies, dictionary work, and even play thought provoking games like chess and scrabble.  I just usually try to have some type of study skill building activity each week to encourage them toward self-controlled, well-prepared, study habits.

Physical Education – Although somewhat lacking in our plan right now, I know we will be active.  We do sports like soccer and basketball.  We also do Wii fit and other indoor activities.  Probably not what we SHOULD be doing, but I will continue to look for opportunities for physical activity and act upon them.  Now that we are also working on the farm, they should get lots of exercise! (and me 🙂

Other Co-op classes/activities – We will be meeting weekly with a dear group of friends who all homeschool.  At last count, there were at least 40 kids participating, probably more.  This will allow us the opportunity for more socialization as well as participating in group type classes.  Co-op subjects we will be participating in are:  Astronomy, Music, Citizenship, and US States.

We are also joining the local 4-H club this year.  Archery will be our main project but we look forward to learning more about raising animals as well as participating in other projects and community service events.

Hmmmmm…..have I covered it all?  It sounds like alot.  Ok, actually it is, but thus is the challenge in homeschooling:  attempting to expose our kids to the best education in order for them to be well-rounded, responsible individuals.  I also believe homeschooling affords the greater opportunity to share Jesus with them in every area of life as well.  If they can see Jesus in a math problem, then they are more likely to include Him in their thoughts and actions as they grow up.  They will have a biblical worldview, as our bible curriculum calls it, and know the need and blessing for serving others.

Each year, God seems to equip me with what we will need to make schooling successful, and for that, I am so thankful!  To God be the glory, from me and for my sons who will hopefully one day surrender their all to Him.

  Just out of bed on the first day of school and he writes this message on the board.

  Now, if I could just convince them that starting back to school doesn’t HAVE to be bad, lol!

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Filed under Bible, Bible Study, Blessings, Children, Family, Friends, God, Grace, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Jesus, Job, Joy, Life, Morals, Obedience, Parenting, Prayer, Priorities

A Distressing Spirit

Book, Chapter & Verse

1 Samuel 16:14 says “But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.”  v 23 also speaks of this distressing spirit and says, again, that it was “from the Lord”.  Several times in 1 Samuel we see that this spirit was distressing and also “from the Lord”.

It makes me wonder more about depression.  Obviously Saul had issues that led to his falling out of the Lord’s favor.  It’s interesting to me, however, to think about depression coming to someone specifically from the Lord.

How can we understand why the Lord would purposefully make someone depressed?

Depression is a horrible way of living.  I can only say this because I recognize that in recent years, there have been times in my own life where depression was obviously present.

Not wanting to get out of bed, the inability to…

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Tornado Clean Up, Day #2

Today, we went back to the Diamond Creek Subdivision.  What was a gorgeous neighborhood filled with nice brick homes, a new elementary school, and beautiful lake now has parts that are trash-laden and literally covered with debris.

Our newest friends, also homeschoolers, joined us for some hours of work.  It was amazing to see just how much had been done in one day.  The community of Forney should be extremely proud of its’ people, volunteers, firemen, policemen, church congregations, businesses, etc.  I am amazed to see how many came from outside of the city.  They pick up trash, rake fields, deliver water and food, encourage each other, and all the while fighting the scorching sun, fire ants, nails, glass, and weeds.

Amidst burning skin, cuts, and sore legs the people still come and work.  And work.  And work.

It’s no easy chore.  Even picking up trash is exponentially difficult due to the small size and type of each item.  It is seriously like a war zone in places.  Fields are littered with debris — roof shingles and plywood that have been reduced to sizes averaging around three or four inches in diameter.

We worked with one crew to fill trash bags for a while, but when the bags were gone, we began scouring the field for larger items to place in one big pile.  Our thinking was that the crews would be able to more easily scoop up the debris if it were in a pile.

There has been so much work done, but there is SO much more to do!  Help is still seriously needed.

Even with clean up being done, I made the comment today that it would be a while before any children could play in the beautiful fields surrounding this neighborhood.  There is so much glass and nails it would be extremely risky.

The elementary school sustained roof, window, and air conditioning damage, but I hear it will be reopened next week.  Still, the children will surely have limited play time as there is no playground equipment anymore.  Even most all the fences that surround the schoolyard have been destroyed.  Again, I can only imagine what may still be in the grass next to the school.

Our little group of six worked until our bodies wouldn’t keep up with our will.  We passed out bottled waters, filled three or four bags of trash, and then made what we thought was a pretty big pile of materials in the field.

Unfortunately, the pile is in a big messy field.  It’s hard to see in these pictures because the grass is tall, but from a distance, the field looks relatively clean.  However, when you begin walking through it, there are huge boards, car pieces, metal pieces, housing materials, fence posts,….more than you can imagine just laying everywhere within that tall grass.  Add to that the millions of smaller roof shingles, insulation, paper, etc and it will be a while before it is all picked up.

All this mess from a very powerful EF-3 tornado, and yet I am still absolutely humbled by the fact that there was not one loss of life.

 A stop at the local ice cream parlor rejuvenated us.  There’s nothing like ice cream to keep a group of silly boys going!

(And going, and going, and going….lol!)

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Oh Lord…

Oh Lord,

My leg is hurting.  I’ve stretched my tendon and it just aches.  I really want to work out but it won’t let me.

Oh Lord,

I couldn’t sleep last night…..again.  Yes I stayed up too late watching television and shouldn’t have, but then when I really wanted to sleep, it wouldn’t come. 

Oh Lord,

I’m worried.  There’s so much to worry about.  It seems at any moment our “castle” could come crumbling down…

I know to some people, these sound like petty concerns, but it reminds me of something one of my friends posted on Facebook the other day:  “It’s all so “black and white”….until you’re in the middle of it.

Oh Lord :/

I’m so grateful you healed Brett from seizures…but there’s Natalie, Lord.  There’s Natalie….such a beautiful girl.  She just wants to stand at her school desk without losing her balance.  The effects of Friedreich’s Ataxia keep her from doing that.  Lord, please heal her.  Please ease her pain.  Please comfort her Mom and Dad and each one of her brothers and sisters as they go through this journey knowing that as of now, there is no cure.  Having a sick child is heart wrenching.  Having a child with an incurable disease is life altering.

“It’s all so “black and white”…..until you’re in the middle of it.”  People just don’t understand.

 

Lord,

You know the other day when my child got mad at me?  I just don’t understand.  Oh how I try to be a good and loving Mom. ..but I failed that day.  I failed that day and many other days.  Sometimes I just fail.

Oh Lord,  help me not fail so much.  I love my kids so much — more than I can even explain in words.  However, being a parent is not easy, and sometimes it seems that no matter what I do (or don’t do)…..I just fail.

It’s all so “black and white”…..until you’re in the middle of it.”

Lord,

Just wondering what you’re going to do about selling our house?  Lord, you know we’ve been trying.  It is so important to us to be out in the country enjoying your clean, green environment.  It’s important for the boys to live the “country life”.  It’s really important, Lord — to us anyway.

But then there’s my two sons-in-law…

They are both overseas willingly putting their life on the line for who?  — People in the USA who don’t even appreciate it?  — People who have no idea the sacrifice military families make, and many of whom don’t care. 

Lord, I care.  I see the care in the eyes of both my daughters who miss their husbands so deeply.    I see that our friends care when they take time out of their day to encourage our daughters, or to spend their Spring Break helping us move one back home after her husband deployed.  I care.  They care. 

There are some that care.

My sons-in-law aren’t roaming through beautiful country right now.  They aren’t smelling the fresh clean air.  They are “enjoying” sand, and extreme temperatures, sleeping in bunks, traveling through very dangerous areas, being shot at, missing their spouses and children, and yet doing it for all of us, without complaint.

“It’s all so “black and white” because it is their job and expected as soldiers in the Army of the good ole’ USA…. except that they are in the middle of it.

Oh Lord…..nevermind.  I dont’ really NEED to move right now.  We’ve done enough of that recently, it won’t hurt us to wait for our “dream” home a while longer.

Lord, today I will try to be the best parent I can be … once again.  I will try to just remain grateful for these good times like yesterday when I was surprised with a wonderful visit by both my daughters and my Granddaughter.  Lord, that Granddaughter!!!….she just makes me smile!  🙂 🙂 🙂   See?!  I even have to add “smileys” here when I think of her!  I get even more excited knowing that there is another grandchild on the way!  Two grandchildren, Lord!  Two!  (and I’m still young enough to enjoy playing with them!)  Thank you Lord.  I love my family 🙂

Speaking of family…. I will never forget the work you have done for us healing Brett’s seizures.  Lord, you know how hard of a time that period of years was for us….feeling so hopeless to do anything for him…daily missing opportunities to enjoy life because of the fear of additional illness.  He didn’t even get a chance to play at McDonald’s as a toddler!  Definately too many germs there to risk. 

However, Lord, he is now healed!  You performed a miracle no one else could even do.  Twenty-one seizures over a period of 2-3 years now “history”, thanks to you!  No doctors can explain it.  No hospitals found conclusive reasoning, but you, Lord!  There’s no doubt that you took care of it!

…and now, I know it’s possible for you to take care of our friends. I believe, Lord, that you can heal Natalie if it serves Your will and purpose.  Please help her family get through the “gray” times, like You did for us during Brett’s illness. 

Help us to remember and help others recognize that there’s no “black and white” during hard times like these, except for Your love.   It is the one thing we can count on everyday. 

A friend, Josh King, once stated “The bible is not situationally ethical.  Man colors in the gray; God is always black and white.”  I wrote this in my bible on October 21, 2006 so that I could remind myself that You are never failing, Lord.  It is only us that colors in the “gray“.  We get so messed up in the head, confused by worry, fear, hurt, despair, desperation, anger, concern, doubt, etc that we take our eyes from You and spend all our energies trying to “fix it ourself”. 

Desperately we lash out.  Desperately we blame others.  Desperately we do things that make no sense logically (as our friends are ordering our padded room and straight jacket).  Desperately we sometimes even blame you, Lord…

…but in all actuality, You sit there, patiently waiting.  Your love is still there, wishing we would just quit flailing our arms and reach out to what you offer through faith.  If we would only learn that You are truly in control, and have our “back”, we would fare so much better.  If we would only learn…

Thank you for your consistent, never changing love Lord.

One more thing, Lord…

Writing all this now, I realize that having a sore leg isn’t so bad after all.  I’ll just try to push through the pain and work out today anyway.  I’ll “suck it up” and tell my friends I’m back on the road to fitness, even when I know I may not be quite ready to run.  I won’t let the “gray” suck me in for today, Lord.  I’ll focus on You instead.  Your “black and white” love is so much more appealing that my “gray“. 

…and when I look around and see someone else struggling, I’ll remember…

It’s all so “black and white”  … except for the thing they are in the middle of.

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Faith, Family, Febrile Seizure, Friends, God, Grace, Life, Parenting, Trials

Confession is good for the soul

Today I read Proverbs 28.  It said in verse 13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”  The Lord began pointing out the need for confession so I decided to make it a day of confession. ..even wrote down all some of my shortcomings as the day progressed.

As a nice hot shower cleanses the body, so does a time of confession does for the soul.  It’s nice to look clean, AND smell clean!  I only smell that way, however, because I am bathed with the breath of Jesus.  His love and sacrifice became the mercy I needed for such a day as this. 

Because I try to be transparent, I don’t mind sharing my list with you.  This is me…the good and bad, loved and full of mercy, before God our Creator, as I am.  For those of you who might think I am always “rosey”, well…..let’s just say the Lord isn’t finished with me yet! 

Lord, help me to spend more time loving and caring for my husband!  I have been selfish, have given into depression at times, and allow worry and anxieties to fill my day.  I have been financially irresponsible lately, allowing the accumulation of some credit card debt for things we really didn’t need.  I enjoy eating a little too much!  Gluttony is sinful, and I should take better care of my “temple”. 

With worries and doubts and anxieties come lack of self control at times when I should be more focused.  Lack of motivation to be productive, keeping walking “forward”, and manage my household duties has been a problem at times. 

I have not stayed “in Him”.  I need more of His Word daily. 

My children suffer when I am down and depressed.  I sometimes only give them 1/2 of me…..1/2 of my attention, 1/2 of my best teaching during school, 1/2 of the love they need and deserve.

Sometimes I just. do. not. care.  I give in to bad times, bad days, and just don’t try. 

Drudgery of the “same old, same old” enters my mind as I rise in the morning, and again when I finally go to bed at night.

This week, I brought our dog indoors against my husband’s wishes!  I cook too much chicken and fish when the Hubby wants beef!  (Poor guy…..he just wants a steak, lol)

Lord help me to not give into despair.  Help me to give the anguish and hurt of the lack of some family relationships to You.

I need to better guard the eyes of my children.  Prime time television does not innocence make!  What enters our home through feet or through wires should meet godly standards.  Our children know when we make godly choices and when we don’t.  There used to be a day not so long ago, that I stood firmly against watching “Nemo” because one of the main character voices was from an openly homosexual lifestyle.  Lately, I have caught myself inwardly justifying watching a prime television show that is promoting the same thing.  What a hypocrite I am at times?!

I still struggle with letting “busy-ness” take over priorities.

Although I try to live in honesty and as much righteousness as possible, I need forgiveness for thinking I don’t have much to confess….even unintentional sin is sin.

I forgot to pray before lunch today.

…and the list will most likely go on and on.

Yes, I am low sometimes….a dirty, rotten, scoundrel as might be described in our western world.  I try to be good, but the “good that I would do, that I do not”! 

What is important, though, is that I am ABLE to confess, and I know the Lord HEARS and ANSWERS!  The next step is to “forsake” the sins I have confessed.  It is a struggle…..day to day, hour by hour, minute by minute….because of my weak flesh. 

Thankfully the Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and rich in love!  I am wretched, but He is WORTHY of all praise. 

I write this to you with love, and while experiencing the forgiveness of God.  It feels good!  Now I look forward to starting tomorrow clean and fresh!   When is the last time you took time to confess and forsake?  God is waiting …..

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A Letter to My Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

This letter is to ask forgiveness for the late night interruption of your deep sleep.  I, too, had found that place of wonderful rest when I heard him.  My dog.  Barking.

Barking, and barking, and barking.

And barking.

The more I tried to ignore it, the louder and faster it came.

Finally, realizing that something had to be done, I rose from bed, ready to give “it” to him for getting us run out of the neighborhood. 

On the way to the door, I notice my whole family is STILL asleep.  How can that happen with such a ruckus going on?

I get to the back door, and it sounds like he is on the porch, barking his head off, literally.  He’s NEVER done that before.

My mind starts to race….”Is he trying to protect us from something?”  “Is there something or someONE on the other side of the door trying to break in?”  “Should I even open the door at all?!”

Finally, I get the courage to open the door, and see that he is going BEZERK over something that is cornered between the air conditioner unit and the wall of our house.  I yell at him, tell him to stop – but he is NOT listening to me at all…..growling and barking all in the same breath…nonstop, running from one side of the a/c unit to the next and back.

I decide it is probably a cat, but go back to the bedroom to grab some shoes and a flashlight.  On the way, I pass the daughter asleep on the couch, the sons asleep in their room, and the husband snoring away.  Really!?  I mean, the world is falling at this moment, what sounds like WWIII is going on right outside our house, and now the door is open so the sound is even MORE amplified….and they are ALL asleep!? 

Oh well, I guess it’s up to me to save the world…

So, still in my nightgown and flip flops, flashlight in hand, I open the screen door again, and aim the flashlight at the suspected area, and this is what I saw….

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

This face, exactly…..teeth, eyes, pointy nose and all!!!  Scare-y!

I instinctively turned away from it once I realized there was evilness looking at me.  Then, when I turned back for another look, I guess it distracted it long enough for my dog to go in for the “kill”.  His big powerful jaws closed down on its’ neck and then all I heard was the sound of his footsteps as he ran off with it. 

He was like a “shadow”…gone with the possum in a flash.  I didn’t know where, I didn’t care to look either!!!

So, please, dear neighbor, forgive us today.  Know that if a possum invades our community, Toby the Lab will definately protect us from it.

Yours Truly,

julie

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Thankful Thursday

Wow!  I really have alot to be thankful for this week…

  1. God, who loves me beyond measure.
  2. Tears spilt for a soul, a reminder that His cause is still deep in my heart.
  3. The look on the boys faces when Daddy came home for lunch yesterday.  (He is working mostly in our town now, instead of driving the 140 mile round trip each day)
  4. Rain.
  5. A sweet, loving dog who so appreciates being let inside during cold and wet weather.
  6. A great first overnight sleepover for my son.
  7. Seeing my son and his friend do their bible study together.
  8. Whatever Wednesday — it made me laugh, really hard, for the first time in a while!
  9. The ladies of our church family who minister and seek God together.
  10. Donna – for the time and effort she has made for the Father/Daughter Banquet.  What a great testimony for Cornerstone to encourage building that relationship.
  11. My Daddy and the time I had with him…sure wish he was here to take me to the banquet {{sniff, sniff}}.
  12. The opportunity to take pictures for all the little girls and Dads as they enjoy their unforgettable evening.
  13. My daughter’s comments on the Life’s Work post.  
  14. God’s financial provision.
  15. The opportunity for the boys to play at the park this week with other homeschoolers.
  16. Seeing the dad of those homeschoolers take his four children to the park alone.  You could tell he truly enjoyed the time with them.
  17. This blog — there’s been over 25,000 hits now.  Wow! — Truly amazing that there are that many people who want to know what I have to say, lol!
  18. Anoop is still on AI — for Noah.
  19. Pam has begun to blog again.
  20. Kenya got home before midnight last night 🙂 

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