A Simple Rainboot Make-over for Decoration Only

Twenty-two years ago, this little guy stole my heart. All 7 lbs. 1 oz. of him. And now, 22 years later, he’s made me a grandma and my heart is stolen all over again. I’m planning a baby shower for little Shalom that will be held this Saturday and yesterday I did a super simple project that I want to share with you. Hardly any time was involved, it’s easy and low-cost. All you will need is a pair of rubber boots that are ready to be thrown away. Like these. One of the boots has a 4″ crack where water can come in instead of keeping it out so it was perfect for this project. The first thing I did was put masking tape…

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A Western Style Farewell Dinner

This past Saturday we had a different kind of dinner here at the ranch. It was a farewell dinner for friends that our kids have almost all grown up together with. They’ve been with us through all our homeschooling activities, the Castle Keeper club, and the list goes on. So it wasn’t really a celebration but a dinner in honor of, since it’s kind of a sad time for all of us here. We’re happy for them but also sad that they’ll be moving 2,000 miles away. Because we were doing hamburgers/hotdogs, I decided a cowboy theme would be fitting.   The chalkboard sign is written in Spanish and says, “Until Later, my friends.” Remember when I rescued that furniture from the burn pile my…

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Recently I wrote a post about the pressure many of us feel to start our child’s formal education when they reach 5-6 years of age. I asked the question of why, at this point, do we feel we need to get formal with their education. Many times, especially if they’re boys, they are just not ready to sit at a desk for extended periods of time. But most mom’s do it anyways because of many possible reasons. Before I rewrite that post once again, why don’t you just go ahead and read it? So today I want to give you a incomplete list of things your child can learn that won’t require workbooks or long periods of time sitting. I’m not advocating that your child…

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When You’re Feeling Dejected and Discouraged

Sometimes when disappointments and discouragements are present in our life it’s easy to lose sight of anything good. This is something I have struggled with a lot in my personal life.  I’ve overcome it to a certain degree but then there are the days I have my set backs. It’s not wrong to feel discouraged but it’s how you and I handle it that determines whether we are going to let the trial or situation affect us adversely or if we’ll be overcomers. David also had his ups and downs as he shares in the Psalms – There were times when he was full of praise. “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.” “O give thanks unto the Lord;…

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Our First Grandchild Has Arrived

As of last night I am a grandmother! Little Shalom Adriel arrived somewhere around 7:32 p.m., weighing 7lbs. 10oz. and measuring 20 1/4″ long. Zachary is a very proud daddy. And the mommy… Audrey adores babies – loves to hold them, feed them, take care of them. She’ll make a great auntie. Justus kept checking his new little niece out. Was he marveling at new life, I wonder? First time aunts and uncle. The captivated Grandpa. Am I really a Grandma?? Shalom Adriel Shalom means “Peace” Adriel means “God’s flock, from God’s congregation” We are thankful for a relatively short delivery and a healthy grand-daughter!

Kids, Camp-Fire Cooking and Scary Spiders

I don’t know if I could survive more than 1 day in the woods with 9 kids between the ages of 7 & 12. They keep you BuSy! But it’s sort of like having a baby. You forget all the bad parts of labor and are willing to do it again just because those little precious babies are worth every bit of it. And that’s how I feel about these junior campers. I’m kept hopping pretty much from the time I get there till it’s time to go back home but I love seeing them getting out and experiencing nature and building friendships with each other. Here’s the group this year minus me and Wesley. Everybody always loves the jeep ride. Bouncy, wind blowing fun….

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Preparing for Our Annual Junior Kids Camp-Out

Although I had wanted to share with you things that you can do with your small children as I mentioned here, I won’t be able to this week! I have family coming for the day and tomorrow is our annual kids camp-out. I’m not so organized that I have posts planned ahead – I pretty much write the morning of… I’d really like to change that but it hasn’t happened yet.   I like trying new camping food. Last year’s food worked out pretty good which you can see here. Some of it I’ll be doing again but I do have new recipes to try as well. My new recipes will be Walking Tacos and Foil Packet Spaghetti. I’ll let you know how that goes. Now,…

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For many a new school year is here. Wee ones will be toddling off to their classrooms at the public school or the homeschooling mom will be getting her classroom in order in anticipation of a great year with her bright and curious students. But wait. Should your little one really be starting school? Yes and no. What is school anyways? From Dictionary.com  an institution where instruction is given, Children have a natural curiosity from almost the time they are born. They love to explore, examine, feel, taste, touch almost everything they come in contact with. And the curiosity continues as they get older. What 5-year-old child do you know that is ever bored? It just doesn’t happen unless parents have raised them on videos…

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Our Hope is in the Lord

Last week was rough. It was a week that caused us all to reevaluate how we live our lives.  My 23-year-old nephew was in a small plane crash, along with a good family friend (age 22) and two other young girls. They all perished. The shock and denial that it had actually happened reverberated throughout our minds for days. How could this be? These were boys that lived life to its fullest. Good kids – all 4 of them who loved the Lord and served Him each day. It is painful. It hurts us but the grief that the parents feel is so much more than anything those of us who haven’t lost a child can imagine. Time is a healer but that doesn’t help…

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The Lord is Our Refuge

I won’t be here this week. There has been a death in the family. Four wonderful people were killed this week and one was my nephew and another a very dear friend to our family. Please keep us in your prayers.

Furniture Rescue

Three roll-off dumpsters filled with junk were sent to the dump. I was okay with that, after all my son was cleaning up his new rental home. The owner had passed away and he must have had very eclectic interests for there were stamp collections, coin collections, books, silverware, all kinds of things.  He had it all. Things were going to the dump, wood was being unloaded in our scrap pile and then there were the collections that were being brought home so that research could be done to see if there was any resell value. But then just 2 days ago I was going by the scrap pile and I saw… I saw things I shouldn’t have seen for now it makes me wonder…

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Simple Recipe for Making Liquid Soap

This is one of those projects that you plan to do… plan to do… plan to do and then forget about it. What’s up with that anyways? Why do we procrastinate? That’s a thought that might be a little heavy for me this morning considering I have many of those types of projects around here so let’s just focus on this bright thought… I did the project! I didn’t have to order any supplies since I’ve been planning to do this for years quite some time (cough, cough) and had ordered them eons some time ago. Sigh… The supplies you will need to complete this project are: 22 ounces coconut oil 4 ounces castor oil 1 ounce jojoba oil 16 ounces water 6.25 ounces potassium…

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Youth Camp 2014

We are home after a 3,000 mile odyssey across the United States to Indiana where we attended a church youth camp. And lest you think it was us that were the campers, it was our children. We went as workers. It was a wonderful time. And since some of you might enjoy seeing pictures of our trip, I’m going to share just a few of the over 200 photos I took. We didn’t drive the church van this year but took along 3 extra passengers in our Suburban which has almost 300,000 miles on it! We drove 24 hours and landed in St. Louis for an overnight stay. Then we took a tour of… do you know what? The St. Louis Arch St. Louis –…

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A Message for You Concerning Your Treasure

Don’t underestimate what you as a mother does every day for your child. When our culture’s message makes us feel that we are not living up to our true potential, don’t believe it.   We take for granted what we offer our children – love, security, and the caring not only for their physical needs but their emotional needs. These are not things they can live without. It is vital to their lives.   I just finished reading a gripping book by Laura Schroff called The Invisible Thread where she tells of the friendship she developed with an 11-year old black boy who was a panhandler on the streets begging for money so he could eat. Ms. Schroff made a difference in Maurice’s life, not because…

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Limitations in Our Homeschool Day

Only so many years to have our children home Only so many days Only so many hours   Sometimes we put too many things on the schedule and then struggle to keep to it. We cannot possibly do it all but we valiantly struggle on determined to succeed or burn out trying. But we have limitations. Just like the poet who writes a haiku.   I have been reading the book The Power of Less by Leo Babuata and in it he writes about the haiku form of poetry. The poet must write his poem in 17 syllables which he can quickly write so he can be finished or he can carefully choose the most powerful words that will convey his thoughts. The moments we…

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Kids Need Exercise!

When I was a kid and in school, recess was the time to run around and be active. Then we would have P.E. where we learned new sports, ran and exerted ourselves. But I’ve noticed that homeschoolers tend to ignore this part of a child’s day. Even myself. And it disturbs me. It disturbs me for a few reasons. 1. your body’s bone mass has reached it’s peak by the time you finish your teen years 2. your heart is a muscle and you know what happens when your muscles don’t get used (shhh, they get flabby!) 3. it’s good for their mental health Giving our children a good education is wonderful, gives the mind nourishment and is necessary for them to get along in…

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Bubbles & Bows

The Castle Keepers and Defenders met yesterday for their final meeting for the 2013/2014 year. The girls made hair bow holders (painting picture frames)and hair bows. There were some very beautiful ones! Here’s one of them up close. The girls wearing our club colors and t-shirts we designed.   While the girls were busy making hair bows, the Castle Defenders and I were outside doing a few things ourselves. First on the agenda was to make sun tea. Then we blew some bubbles. …and then we did a few experiments from http://www.hometrainingtools.com/a/super-soap-bubble-solution/.  After blowing a bubble on the lid, the kids would insert different objects into the bubble like this plant… …and these scissors. It was pretty interesting. Then we attempted to make giant bubbles…

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Choosing What Really Matters

Twenty-four hours in a day. What will we do with them? We cannot possibly do everything, therefore we must choose the essentials. We must set limits.  I was given this thought by Leo Babauta who wrote the book, The Power of Less. In the first few pages of the book he speaks of the haiku style of poetry. The haiku poem usually is nature related, has limits of 17 syllables and is written in only 3 lines with the first line having 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables and the third line 5 syllables. These limitations causes the poet to consider carefully what words they will use to express their thought. I was challenged in my thinking in just a few paragraphs. Oh, to…

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Eliminating the Boredom Issue in Children

Have you ever heard the words, “I’m bored,” or “There’s nothing to do.” from a child or teenager? Why is that? Being bored is a good indicator that a child has been entertained too much and most usually from the following: videos, television, video games or activities away from home. When you’re constantly being entertained in the passive way that videos, t.v. and video games do, your creative side suffers. You are unable or hampered in thinking of activities that appeal beyond more of the same. We like being entertained and don’t want the work of doing it ourselves. Activities away from home can also be detrimental to our children’s creative thinking if they aren’t the right kinds of activities and besides kids need downtime….

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When I was somewhere between 15-18 years old, my parents bought me my hope chest. Mom is a big fan of putting things away for that very special day in every girls life – their wedding, and she always helped each of us girls with our collection of things for our future homes. So when I married I had many sets of tea towels and bath towel sets. Being the 3rd born, I did get way less than my older sister (I had to tell the truth, sis. ). My big sister had so much but the sad thing is most of it stayed in storage and the mice enjoyed all the things made of fabric (like towels) before she got to. Edited: My sister…

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