Bulk Foods And Racing

After two weeks of being postponed, the Awana Grand Prix finally got underway this evening at our church. On the way, we were able to stop at the Amish bulk food store so I could stock up on some items. As I’m scooping up this tub of baking powder and that tub of thyme, I’m giddy at how much I am saving over buying these at the grocery store. But, as I discovered when I got home to my calculator, some are good deals and some are not. Aldi’s baking powder is 7.9 cents an ounce; A&D’s (Amish store) comes in at 8.1 cents per ounce. Still, I think I did well on the spices, and definitely on the rolled oats- 5 lb. for $2.75! Gotta love that.

We got to the church early to register the kids’ cars, and the races ran late, so it ended up being a much longer church night than usual. The kids are still operating on what ever time it was last week, so late nights don’t seem to affect them these days. The mornings are getting them, though- they feel like 7 is so early now. The girls had real pinewood derby cars, while the boys had Hot Wheels to race. Both S’s came out on top, the girl with a third place trophy, and the boy a new Hot Wheels car for first place. Head over to Luke’s blog for more details on the race. I am pleased with how sportsmanlike all my children were, whether they won or lost.

Home-Schooling and Home-Building

writing.JPGThe talk swirling around here today was about the right time and age to start kids in a brick and mortar (private or public) school, if it is desired to do so. Of course, it really depends on the child, and, I believe, it depends on if there are any viable options in the way of brick and mortar schools. As for Luke and me, public school is pretty much out of the question, so there would have to be a decent Christian school in the area for us to change course from homeschooling. I didn’t originally see us homeschooling the whole way through, but as I see the high school options diminishing, it may be the way we go. Time will tell. We only know what is working (and not working) right now, and can only plan for next year. Next school year’s plan is to be more traditional than in the past, where we wouldn’t be using K12 curriculum, or be enrolled in a charter school. We’d just be home-schooling. And that sounds good to this worksheet-weary mother! The only thing is, I wonder if I will stay on top of things if I don’t answer to a teaching authority, like I have had to in OHVA.

A big part of our decisions on schooling have to do with where we end up settling down. If it is as we hope, we’ll be out in the country where influences are minimal and where we have the freedom to homeschool indefinitely. Here is the latest on our house situation. Luke has given his house plans over to an architect to draw up, and we await the final product any day now. Next will be well, sewer dug, and foundation. Then a lot of time passes and other stuff gets done or approved or whatever (this is the semi-attentive wife’s version of events, see Luke’s blog for more detail), and by July Luke hopes to be in a position to spend the whole month building the house. If all goes well, we hope to be in the house by late fall. The key word here is hope, and I hope you will be praying with us for all these pieces to fall into place as God would want them to.



I think about how a person can be reasonably intelligent, yet still be simple-minded. Using myself as the best example of this, I can name so many times I have stumbled due to my own foolishness, my own lack of spiritual maturity. My behavior is noted over and over in Proverbs, and I’m not meaning in the 31st chapter, or the bits about the wise person. Still, it is an encouragement to me to know that I am a work in progress. One way I believe God is growing me is through parenthood. Consider these verses from 1 Timothy 2:

And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

I like to joke that I must need a lot of saving, because I’ve got a lot of children. gus2.JPGBut it’s completely true! I can see so many destructive destinations my selfish, willful self could steer this vessel, were I not continuously under the yoke of childbearing, and raising my children. It does hold me back. It does keep me from doing everything I want to do. But everything I want to do isn’t always what is best for me. His yoke is perfect for this simple-minded soul.

Sleepovers and Snow-Ins

We traded Oldest Son for Cousin C, so the girls could have a sleepover Friday night. They had a good time, and actually slept through the night, an improvement on C’s birthday bash. dsc02973.JPGThe girls were pretty good about entertaining themselves all day in the house. Here is a picture of C’s naptime creation- note the very inventive use of napkin bits for hair.

Today was quite out of the ordinary, with church canceled on account of snow (a rarity!). That, and we never really knew what time it was all day, because we haven’t changed our clocks forward yet. There was nowhere to be, so it didn’t matter anyway. The whole weekend was a laid-back affair with the snow keeping us put. I didn’t mind the break at all.

A New Direction, Again


There hasn’t been much going on to blog about. Or, I should say, there hasn’t been time to formulate huge blog posts about the things going on in my head, so it appears there isn’t much going on. Instead of waiting for bigger chunks of time, I’ve decided to try treating this like the journal it is, and chronicling the day to day happenings in our family life for a while. Unique, fresh concept, I know. Some days may be short and boring; I’ve got to settle for that if I’m to get any of it down. Each evening I’ll try to add the day’s events. Here is a recap of last week:

-I found some House Beautiful’s, Southern Living’s, and a big fat Real Simple in our library’s Great Magazine Downsize of 2008. I was a couple days late for any Martha or BHG. Oh well, they’re giving me some neat ideas for the Great House Project of 2008.

-we were able to get a fair amount of school done each day

-we had a warm day midweek that the kids could go outside, bolstering us for the Great March Snow of 2008 to come on the weekend

-the three year old continued to work his way out of diapers

standing.JPG-the baby is crawling, and many attempts made to stand up are met with failure and injury. We now enter the baby phase of ‘perpetual bruised forehead’.

-after months of being in ill health, I’m considering a new weight management/detox scheme called the Fat Flush System. Part of the plan entails drinking water with a bit of pure cranberry juice in it. Well, let me introduce you to my new favorite thing! I put the juice in my tea, too, and it is fabulous. Very sour, but that’s the way I roll. The price for a 32 oz. bottle is outrageous, but after a little searching I think I have found where it is cheapest. Can’t wait until cranberries are back in season, then I can boil my own juice for much less.

-I may have to postpone the Great Spring Clean of 2008- this snow has me wanting to do nothing but curl up on the couch with my cranberry green tea.

A Lapidary

dsc02923.JPG“God has given us the task of being a lapidary (a cutter and polisher of gems). It is the lapidary’s art to reveal the gem. Sometimes we may feel it is a hopeless job. But we must never give up hope. There is a jewel in every child of God. There is a precious jewel in every one of our children that waits to be revealed. We must see it by faith. We must pray it into being. May God give us vision, patience and understanding as we fulfill this great task. It does not happen over night. It is painstaking and time-consuming.
There will come a day when God will make all His jewels into a crown. I am thinking of the hymn we used to sing as children…

When He cometh, when He cometh
To make up His jewels,
All His jewels, precious jewels,
His loved and His own.


Like the stars of the morning,
His brightness adorning,
They shall shine in their beauty,
Bright gems for His crown.

~Nancy Campbell

Read the entire devotional here.

Twila Paris has an excellent rendition of the above hymn on this album. I have it if anyone local wants to borrow it. 🙂

“Tread With Extreme Care”


“Parents should seek, prayerfully, to become worthy leaders with understanding, wisdom, and love. They should also consider very carefully whether a particular institution- be it school, camp or other- will be the right place for their child. Children are able to understand that there are many people who do not believe in the framework of God’s morality. We do them no favor if we shield them from the generation in which they must live. But we must tread with extreme care when we hand over to others the delicate task of providing for large chunks of the growing time of our children.” ~Susan Schaeffer Macauley, For The Children’s Sake

The Great Spring Clean of 2008

dsc02951.JPGDirty house got you down? Come along with me as I attempt to get our house tidied in the coming weeks. I plan to document goals and work done here on the blog, to serve as accountability and motivation. Making something shine is all that much more enjoyable if I post a picture for you all to ooh and aah at, right?

Right. Here is a rough outline:

Week One

Office Area/Pantry, Breakfast Nook and Kitchen

Week Two

Living Rooms

Week Three


Week Four

Bathroom, Coat Closet and Deck

dsc02953.JPGWeek One is the most ambitious; might as well tackle the toughest and least desirable jobs first. 🙂 Wish me luck.