Summer break is winding down for most of us. Well, for us, it is winding down. We started back with a light load of homeschooling about three weeks ago. The boys are doing math and Bible for now. We are participating in a supplemental co-op this year that will involve a the hands-on parts of a language arts program, history, and science. We don’t start the co-op until the first week of September, so I am using this time to make sure everyone is on track with math. The cop-op days are designed to do a lot of the hands-on stuff, while the rest of the week we will spend teaching thecore parts of the curriculum from the same materials in our own homes.

I hope to take a beginning of year photo. I have a 10th grader, 6th grader, 4th grader, 2nd grader, and a preschooler this year. My daughter will graduate from community college at the end of this semester. I am still a full-time college student online, and I should have my bachelor’s degree around this time next year. (A lot of my “spare” time is spent on my school work, so my blog is neglected a lot.)

Here’s what we are using this year, in case you are interested:

high school – Apologia Biology, IEW Level C, AIG’s Western Civilization, Saxon Algebra 2, Lifepac Bible

elementary – Apologia Human Anatomy; IEW Level A; AIG’s Western Civ, Saxon (Grades 6, 4, and 2), Lifepac Bible

preschool – nothing structured planned. He hangs out with us most of the time. Lots of coloring, playdough, building blocks, and reading to him.

So that is the “scoop” on our school year. We are having a good time together —- learning, living, loving life.

Until next time,

My Story Bible: 66 Favorite Stories Book Review

This Children’s Bible Story Book was written especially for preschoolers. Each story is contained on two pages with an illustration and an easy-to-read paraprhase of the Bible story. This is perfect for the attention span of a preschooler. The stories are listed in the Table of Contents. And in the index the stories are listed with the corresponding Scripture reference. The illustrations are appealing to both young and old.

This would be a great book for a church, preschool, or home library.

Recommended ages: 3-6
Retail Price: $12.99

This book is available at and Barnes &

This book was provided to me for the purpose of a review. I was not compensated for this review. This is my personal opinion of this book.

Who Made the World? book review

Charming illustrations by the artist who developed the Care Bears. The story is written by Kathleen Long Bostrom who is a pastor. This book is written to address the questions young children often ask about God and how He created everything in the world. These questions are answered in a conversational manner. The second half of the books lists each question and provides the answer with a Scripture reference.The NLT version of the Bible is used. As a parent of six children, I liked the way that these questions are answered on a young child’s level.

This book is available at and Barnes &

Recommended for ages: 3-6
Retail Price: $9.99

This book was provided to me for the purpose of a book review. I was not compensated for this review. The opinion stated is my own opinion.

What is the Bible? book review

This preschool-age children’s book tackles the tough question, “What is the Bible?” As a mother of six children, I have been asked this very question. And it is a hard question to answer on a preschooler’s level. Kathleen Long Bostrom is a pastor, and she answers this question on the level of a preschooler. And it is very easy to read to young children. The illustrations are done by the developer of the Care Bears and enhance the book with beautiful pictures.

I liked how this book tells about where the Bible came from and why we have the Bible. There are Scripture references included in the second half of the book. The NLT translation of the Bible is used.

I have enjoyed all of the Little Blessings books that I have read.

It is available at and Barnes &

Recommeded ages: 3-6
Retail Price: $9.99

This book was provided to me by Tyndale Kids for the purpose of a review. I was not compensated for this review. This is my personal opinion of the book.

2010 – New Year and a new healthy lifestyle

2010 has been a year of change for me in many ways……..
I have lost family members; tended to family members who are sick; been a wife and mom;
worked part-time; been a full-time college student; been a friend;
been a teacher to my children;
I have started working out and running on a regular basis……………..
On Saturday, May, 1, 2010,
I ran in my first 5K.
Here are a few pictures and thoughts from the day…………..
Before the racepossibly wondering what I was doing…..
Getting close to that finish line
Oh, yeah, I am gonna make it
I can taste it now
Almost there
The feet speak for themselves going across that finish line.
I can’t believe I just did it!
TIME: 37.22.68!!!!
Yes, I did it in less than 40 mins!
Thanks for sharing in my successes!!!!!

I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

It has been a while since I did a review of a book, and recently a book came out that I wanted to read. I was not asked to do a review, and the book was not provided to me by the publisher. I am reviewing this book, because *I* wanted to do it. As you may or may not know, I am no stranger to the loss of a loved one. I have also lost a baby in a miscarriage. It is one of the most painful events in my life.

I have read Angie’s blog for some time now, so I knew the story of Audrey Caroline from her blog. But I will say that the depth that Angie goes to in her book, I Will Carry You, goes as deep as a mother’s love for a child and then some. I do not have a lot of time to spare in reading books, but I read I Will Carry You in one Sunday afternoon. And Angie spoke to my heart. She has a way with words that is simple and eloquent and shows her love. I can say that Audrey Caroline has touched my life, and I think that she will continue to touch lives through this book and through Angie’s writing about her on her blog.

If you have lost a child through miscarriage, still birth, or otherwise, Angie’s writing from the heart will speak to you. Her love for her child and her love for the Lord are apparent on each page of the book.

Thank you, Angie and Todd for sharing Audrey Caroline’s story with me. I am one life her story has touched.

Always seem to be working within a new normal


February has been a busy month for me. I am helping with caregiving for my in law’s when I can. I am also still homeschooling full time, and I am a full time college student. And I am still running my online business. There are not a lot of spare moments in the day. I am thankful that I have a lot of energy and strength. I am using both every day. I also finished up a 12-week workout and weight loss challenge with some friends. And I lost 10 lbs in 12 weeks. I can handle that!

Hope you are having a great day! I find that I am living each day as best as I can.

The last week has been rough…..

We have had an unusual winter this year. We had snow in December, and we had snow in January (last week). Tonight, we have more snow coming. For my friends in the north, snow is not a problem. Here in the south, we are just not set up to deal with snow easily.
Add to this, my father-in-law was put in ICU last Friday. Today, he is still in ICU. There have been improvements, but there are still more things that he needs to be able to do in order to go home. My mother-in-law has ALS, so we have coordinated 24/7 care for her in her home.
I also homeschool my children and run a business from home and am a full-time college student. To say that life has been busy is an under-statement. But God has been good in all, and today He is working on many fronts for me and my family.
The picture above is my driveway earlier in the week. In the morning, I expect to wake up and not see the gravel or grass. But that is okay. God will see us through whatever comes.
May you be blessed today!

Special announcement for the Estes Family

Today I have a special privilege to tell you about my friends, the Estes family. Several years ago I “met” Kate Estes on an email group for Christian self-publishers. In the summer of 2006, several of us were expecting. In July of 2006, I gave birth to our 6th child.. And a few weeks later, Kate gave birth to her 7th child, Noah. Her delivery was nothing short of miraculous. God spared both her life and Noah’s life. In February of 2007, I was honored to meet the entire Estes family in person in the Western North Carolina Bookfair in Asheville, NC. Even though we were both vendors that day, we found time to talk and get to know one another. Noah was this sweet little baby in a hand-crocheted sweet pea baby bunting. One thing that struck me then was how small Noah was compared to my own baby.

At that time, the Estes family had concern about Noah’s size, but it was not until he was being considered for a feeding tube in April of 2007 that they found out that Noah had serious medical issues. His internal organs were not in the normal placement for organs. He was not a candidate for certain feeding tubes due to anatomical issues. Further testing over the course of months and years eventually gave the Estes family a diagnosis for their precious son. Noah was diagnosed with a progressive and ultimately terminal condition called mitochondrial encephalomyopathy. Since I do not have a medical degree, I will not go into a medical explanation of mitochondria. As a mother, I cannot fathom hearing that my child has a terminal condition. My heart has been heavy for Noah throughout his journey. I have prayed for him and his precious family for a long time.

Noah’s condition would be considered fragile. He has had many, many hospitalizations during his little more than 3 years of life. He has seen many doctors and specialists. And his parents have learned how to do many medical procedures at home in order to keep him at home as much as possible. Their family has been blessed with another child since Noah’s birth, so their family now has 10 members. It is very important that Noah’s parents are available to take him to the doctor or hospital on a moment’s notice.

A few years ago, Noah’s dad, Jeff, was working for a company and his position was downsized, and he was laid off. In this economy, most of you know how hard it is to find employment. He was able to do more with their home-based business, Hands and Hearts. But there were changes to federal law last year that forced them to shut down their business for several months. They make hands-on history kits, and the kits are for children aged 12 and under. Since then, there has been a temporary stay on this federal law, and they are once again operating Hands and Hearts from home. But it has not recovered back to its former level of business. The economy has been hard on many homeschool publishers.

Noah’s condition is so fragile that he is often in the hospital with Kate caring for him and Jeff at home caring for the other children.. So while God has worked many circumstances out to provide financially for the Estes family. God has also used many of us to bless the Estes family. That is why I am writing today. The Estes family has been working with many Christian self-publishers to provide a special package for anyone who donates a minimum of $39 to the Estes family. This would enable them to take care of financial obligations and allow Jeff to continue to run Hands and Hearts from home while also starting an additional business that he can run from home. From personal experience, running a business from home requires a lot of time and attention. And Kate can do some of the Hands and Hearts operations, but her focus is to care for her children and Noah’s medical needs. Jeff is really the backbone of Hands and Hearts. They are both prayerfully seeking God’s will for their lives and the lives of their children.

There are few people in this world who have stood firm in the faith during trials as Jeff and Kate have stood. They have always given praise and glory to God even when the situation was dire. There were many times that I expected “the call” that Noah had gone Home. God has plans for this special child, and He has brought him back from illnesses that doctors did not expect recovery. There will be those who read this who have something negative to say to the Estes family. They really do not need that type of “attention.” You can leave any negative comments here on my blog, or you can email them to me. I know this family is the “real deal.” My life has been blessed and enriched from knowing them. And I know many, many people can say the same thing. Please prayerfully consider if God wants to use you to bless this family. While there is a suggested minimum donation, any donation is appreciated. For the special package made available by the self-publishing family, you are asked to make a minimum donation of $39.

For more details, here is the page you need to visit: