Wednesday, February 27, 2013

babies don’t keep

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust, go to sleep.
I’m spending time with my babies,
and babies don’t keep.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

dirty fingernails, this sounds like a complaint...but it is not...

i have tremendously dirty fingernails today. i remember when i used to pay to have manicures and carefully sculpted nails. they were pretty nails. and my hands looked great...
now, for the most part the nails are short and seem to stay dirty...not always. i do clean them. but, then i dig in the dirt again. this is a new phase of life. i love plants. i love to grow things. i love to take the seed and germinate it and watch it grow and gather a useful product for it.
about two weeks ago i went and got a pedi i had saved for a few weeks. it was my treat to me. i may not still get manis, but i still love the occasional treat of a pedi. other ladies there commented on why i would not get a mani. i responded there was no point, as my nails would be more than likely completely dirty by the end of the day. i wanted to get home to play in the raised bed my son had recently built for me.
currently, we have 4 raised beds now. two have items planted in them. two are being prepped for early spring veggies to be planted within.
one lady snubbed her nose at me for all practical purposes and commented how gross it would be to dig in the dirt. she asked if i had gloves. i responded in the positive, but then replied they often come off. she replied how she grows flowers and she never touches the dirt and that was what gloves and shovels had been created for. i went home aggravated by this woman and her comments. i was also saddened that working with the earth brought her so little joy. she has no clue what she is missing out on! poor woman!
today, i have planted some luffas, started from seed. planted some palmetto trees germinated by hand and tended to for two months. yellow pear tomatoes started were transplanted. peppers, spinach, cabbage, and corn was started, planted, or transferred. an aloe was repotted. wandering jew and other ivies were potted that had recently been rooted. some elephant ears were put out. mint that has grown awry was purposed into another direction. i moved the tipsy topsy planters on the rods to a better location. strawberry plants were started. the vines were prepped. beds for the spring were turned. my calves hurt and i am tired.
satisfied, but tired...and my nails are dirty...  :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Folding the Napkin: I AM not finished yet!!

Today in an email I received from a friend:

Why did Jesus fold the linen burial cloth after His resurrection?
I never
noticed this....

The Gospel of John (20:7) tells us that the napkin, which was placed over

The face of Jesus, was not just thrown aside like the grave clothes.

The Bible takes an entire verse to tell us that the napkin was neatly

Folded, and was placed separate from the grave clothes.

Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the

Tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved.
She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and I

Don't know where they have put him!'
Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb to see..
The other disciple
Outran Peter and got there first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen

Cloth lying there, but he didn't go in.

Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside..
He also noticed the linen
Wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was

Folded up and lying to the side.

Was that important? Absolutely!

Is it really significant?

In order to understand the significance of the folded napkin, you have to
Understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day. The folded
Napkin had to do with the Master and Servant,
And every Jewish boy knew this


When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it

Was exactly the way the master wanted it..

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight,
Until the master had finished eating,
And the servant would not

Dare touch that table, until the master was finished.

Now if the master were done eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his
Fingers, his mouth, and clean his beard, and would wad up that napkin and

Toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table.
For in those days, the

Wadded napkin meant, 'I'm done'.

But if the master got up from the table,
And folded his napkin, and laid it
Beside his plate,
The servant would not dare touch the table,


The folded napkin meant, 'I'm coming back!'

He is Coming Back!

The 5 Money Personalities

The 5 Money Personalities

Speaking the Same Love and Money Language
by Scott Palmer, Bethany Palmer
All couples disagree at some point and time in their relationships. Most arguments, at the root of them, are about money or how it was managed. It is important to realize what you believe about money, how you think about it, how you view it, to note how it affects your interactions with others, particularly your spouse. The book helps the reader to understand how they manage their money and how others understand money. The authors are known for identifying the money issues of a relationship and offering helpful advice and solutions to get past this issue and solve it. This is not a book about budgeting or money management. This book is more of a guide about relationships with each other and relationships with money. The book helps you to personally identify five money personalities and to detect your personal money personalities. The book helps you and your spouse to identify your money personalities so that you may work together to learn of the ins and outs/bad and good of these personalities to work together to strengthen your relationship. The authors do well to help you identify your personality and learn about personality view compliments and differences. I recommend this book to be used for couples or for individuals who are working to bettering their personal selves.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

not a legacy, but enough...

I am thinking about impact a lot lately. The other night, I remember thinking that if days were to end, I wanted my children to know that they had been enough. I know that might be a hard word to understand. Although, it explains it all: enough.

They do not have to be the best in life. They just have to be their best in God. They do not have to please others. They just need to be what the Lord has chosen for them. And, they will find that their lives are enough.

I want them to have enough to make them happy, enough to make them feel loved, enough to make them feel complete. Enough...Nothing more, no less. Enough.

I look upon their lives and the impact that they have made upon mine...and they have been enoughEnough to complete me. Enough to make me happy. Enough to make me know it was a life well lived, well planned, well sacrificed. Enough.

And, in reflection, I don't want to leave them a legacy. I want to make them a trail. I want them to have a spark. I want them ignited and on fire. I want them to have purpose. I want them to BE for the Lord.

On fire, on impact, and enough!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Breath of Dawn

The Breath of Dawn
ISBN-13: 9780764210426
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: 11/1/2012
Pages: 448

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review The Breath of Dawn by Kristen Heitzman. There were parts of this book that I loved and parts that I found to be a bit unrealistic.

A brief overview of the text follows:
Morgan is a business success and seemingly, a life success. Recently, his wife has died and he has to pick up the pieces to move on to parent his young toddler, Livie. Livie becomes the sole reason he exists after the death of his wife. Morgan meets Quinn and it appears she might be able to draw him back into existence again. But Quinn has a troubled past. Several years previous to Quinn meeting Morgan, she testified in a trial against a man and he was imprisoned. Now, he is being released and she is understandably alarmed. Quinn cares for Morgan and his daughter, and wants them to stay protected. Her the book takes a turn in what occurs after Quinn makes a request of Morgan. I will not continue, as I do not want to give away the entire plot.

The characters are strong personalities. Quinn has two sides to her. She keeps part of herself hidden from the world to protect herself and those she loves. It is her meeting of Morgan and Livie that changes her and draws her out some. This is also what makes her vunerable. Morgan does not think anyone can have a place in his life as his wife did and does not realize the impact that Quinn has upon him. He wants to be happy and wants those he cares about most to be happy as well.  Livie makes the book have a softer side.

I do think that Heitzmann writes well in this novel. Her wording arrangement is believable and the dialogue is well executed. The story of this novel is different from some of Heitzmann's previous works. The story does keep the reader on edge and the reader does see growth and change in the characters. There is much excitement and drama as the story unfolds.

Big Life : Ordinary People

A Big Life : Ordinary People Led by an E... 

A Big Life : Ordinary People Led by an Extraordinary God by Peter Hone

ISBN-10: 1613466471
ISBN-13: 9781613466476

I have completed a read recently on the book A Big Life: Ordinary People Led by an Extraordinary God by Peter Hone. Hone's book has been endorsed by Charles Colson and Mike Huckabee. In A Big Life: Ordinary People Led by an Extraordinary God, the central character John Heerema works with the guidance of the Lord to demonstrate that even ordinary people can live out an extraordinary life. This book follows Heerema's like journey of creating his Big Life ministry that is actively strong today. Heerema's Big Life ministry has reach believers in the thousands from all areas around the world. Heerema's work in the mission field has led others to carry forth on the promise of his ministry to accomplish all that he started and to bring the Word of Christ to others in a promise of salvation and the brotherhood of discipleship.
What I have found to touch me personally about this book was it reached me at my level. I have often felt that due to restrictions of travel with my child and a child with a disability, that I cannot travel to the far reaches of the world to make a global impact. At times this can make one feel inadequate in his or her ministry and mission attempts for not reaching far enough. This story of Heerema allows me to see that mission and ministry begins at home and spreads abroad. Perhaps my place is here. Perhaps my ministry is here. Perhaps my mission field is here. God sends forth some to send them out globally. God sends some out to mission locally. The learning impact it to recognize that the Lord is alive in each of us and can work through each person as an individual to make every life an extraordinary one.

A Big Life : Ordinary People Led by an Extraordinary God

by Peter Hone

ISBN-10: 1613466471 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Short Straw Bride

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review Short Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer. I loved this book. It seems like a rare moment when I can actually sit down to read a novel and enjoy my alone time. Most of my time is spent reading textbooks or reviewing textbooks for the universities I teach. I spend the remainder of my reading time in devotionals or reading/reviewing homeschool curriculum for parents and this blog. So, this book was refreshing for me.

Here is a YouTube overview of the book.

There is a book trailer available for viewing through the publisher at Bethany House (a division of Baker Books).

This book demonstrates how the love of the Lord can help anyone to overcome obstacles placed before them, no matter how insurmountable the odds may seem. Meredith is the main character in this novel. She is young and seems naive, but is actually quite astute. She has been infatuated, or in love, with Travis Archer for most of her life. She recognizes the character in this man, when no one else does. Meredith is compelled by a sense of right and a moral fiber that guides most of her actions and lands her in trouble at times as well. She is a hard headed woman at best. It is this same moral fiber and faith in Christ that is infallible in her and leads her through moments of trial and completes areas of her life.

I recommend this book to anyone. I was unable to keep it long at my home. Shortly after I finished reading the novel, my son's girlfriend had borrowed the book to read herself. 

I read this book and have provided an honest review for no monetary gain.

Friday, February 8, 2013

endeavors and blessings!!

been a baking/cooking machine today...made an apple yum yum and homemade pizza for dinner. made some banana bread for my younger son's homeschool social group tomorrow.

tomorrow my neighbor and her junior league are taking some children from the children's home to the marionette theater. i made some banana muffins for them to have. :0) yummy!! 

since i will be gone next week to the lda conference, i know my hubby and children will not be huge on cooking the veggies bought from the farmers' market and produce co-op. my younger son boiled all the corn after i shucked it. i flashed rinsed it and froze it for later. we flash froze the cauliflower as well. tomorrow i flash freeze the zucchinis. i am thinking of either eating the cucumbers or pickling them tomorrow. i am not sure what to do with the kale. i have 1.5 bundles of it. i thought of making crockpot apple and pear butter to use those up and canning the this weekend. i do not want then to go bad. 

i harvested some sweet red bell seeds today. i wanted to plant the sweet potato and red potato eyes today. it rained all day, so that did not happen.

i was able to get out for a short while today in the yard...i think i like doing so, as it is an avoidance for me to grade papers for the classes i adjunct online. ???? maybe???  the shitake mushrooms are starting to sprout. the leeks are sprouting. the onions and lettuce are growing well. the snow peas are sprouting. the cabbage and kale and garlic is growing. i love it!!

the lemon trees are getting huge and the orange sapling are doing so well!

from the american seed alliance, someone is sending me luffa gourd seeds. i am so excited about these. someone else is sending hyacinth bean vine seeds and someone else is sending wild rose hip seeds. my goal of making an edible landscape is starting!!  i love looking out to the box gardens my son built on the side of the house for me.

the next project is to cut some wood from the woods behind the house or use the fallen thicker branches to build an arbor to support the hyacinth bean vines and some more grapes. i will plant the pomegranate trees and vines in the next week or so that were cultivated last spring and are in their respective containers. i have raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and pomegranate trees in containers to plant and transfer. i also have a third blackberry bush of a different variety to transplant. it is quickly approaching time to do this, as the last frost is supposed to be in early to middle march according to the almanac.

on a trip to florida in late october, we gathered some palm seeds from the palm in the yard of our time share. i have sprouted a few. this is so exciting. :)

the rain barrel is full to the brim and running over. i really need to get that second run over barrel over next to the original - sooner than later. the water runs fine through the faucets we installed on the barrel, but i think their is not enough gravity to push it through to the water container in the chicken coop. i think if it is siphoned to start it running, it will be fine. i just need to get it started.

one of the chickens has become an escape artist. she is hard to catch in the mornings. i just typically let her run around. she never gets far away from the chicken run/yard. we did however gather 7 eggs today!

we have been finishing homeschool earlier in the day lately and working more on home economic activities and scout stuff (at least he does). guitar lessons are going well. he is gifted in this domain. i remember when my grandfather would play. i miss him so much. i see him in my children all the time and am blessed to see his characteristics carried forth in them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Free Online Homeschool Curriculum Links

There are some great free resources available to use as curriculum. Below is a list of websites I have found that offer free curriculum choices, some complete with videos and lessons already written. I, in no way, endorse any of these sites. I simply list them here for others to peruse at leisure and see what they might find. One word about this site is WOW!! Everyone needs a link to this site. We use it in the public schools and share it with parents left and right. Bookmark this site NOW!!
Ambleside Online – This is a free Charlotte Mason-style curriculum, with a complete schedule for grades K through 12. Also contains the complete text of Charlotte Mason’s original homeschooling series, along with a library of free online books and a complimentary support group.
An Old Fashioned Education – A free homeschool curriculum that utilizes a combination of public domain textbooks and living books. Contains a complete 40-week schedule for Bible, math, science, social studies, language arts, literature and history for grades K through 12.
Core Knowledge - This free homeschool resource contains a comprehensive, detailed guide to what your child should know in preschool through grade 8. It can be used as a foundation for designing your own curriculum.
Free-Ed - Free online homeschooling courses and self-study programs for a wide variety of subjects. Also includes test prep for AP, CLEP, ACT, SAT and GED, and college-level courses. A truly amazing resource for finding free homeschooling curriculum!
Lesson Pathways - This free K-12 curriculum contains 36 full-week lessons for science, math, history, phonics and reading. This program relies upon a variety of reading materials, activities, games, and videos to provide a multi-sensory experience. It can be used as a core curriculum or as a supplement to an existing program.
Mater Amabilis - This free homeschooling curriculum for Catholics is based on the Charlotte Mason method. Contains math, reading, writing, English, literature, history, geography, science, foreign language and music studies for grades K through 12.
Garden of Praise - Free art appreciation lessons for elementary aged students, includes a biography, study sheet, print, online games, printables and links for further study.
French Assistant - Free online homeschooling lessons in French grammar, vocabulary, and language skills. Also includes audio samples for proper pronunciation.
FSI Language Courses - Free language courses developed by the Foreign Services Institute of the U.S. Government. Courses offered for over 30 different languages.
Hoagies Gifted - Contains an extensive list of places to find free online high school curriculum and courses.
AAA Spell - Free homeschool curriculum consisting of spelling and vocabulary lessons for grades K through 8.
English Grammar Revolution - Free online grammar lessons, language exercises, word lists, quizzes, and games.
Guide to Grammar and Writing - This website offers grammar and writing lessons that range from the basics, such as parts of speech and sentence structure, to essay writing. Also includes quizzes.
Learn to Read Free - A free, Montessori-style reading program designed to introduce children to 55 English words.
Reading Lesson - Free reading lessons, word books, vocabulary lessons, practice readers, flashcards, coloring sheets, games and progress reports.
Scott Foresman Reading - Free printable grammar and writing handbooks for grades 1 through 6.
Shakespeare Online - A comprehensive guide for studying the works of Shakespeare. 
Spelling City - Word lists organized by state/grade level, type or theme. Also features online teaching, practice and testing, and printable handwriting pages.
Splashes from the River - 30 free online spelling lessons for grades 7-9. Includes rules, lessons, exercises and dictation exercises.
Stairway to Reading - Free reading lessons, flashcards, reading materials and games for struggling readers.
AAA Math - Free homeschool curriculum made up of online math lessons, practice drills and games for grades K through 8.
Algebra Help - Free algebra lessons, worksheets, calculators and resources.
Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching - A free homeschool math curriculum for grades 1 through 6.
Number Nut - Free math lessons covering shapes and colors, computation, time and calendar, fractions, decimals, percents, estimation, ratios and money.
Biology Corner - Lesson plans, quizzes and labs for Biology I and II, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology and Physics that you can use to create a free homeschool curriculum.
Chem4Kids - Chemistry lessons covering matter, atoms, elements, reactions, biochemistry, and more. Also has sister sites for astronomy, biology, earth science and physics.
Kids Astronomy - Free online astronomy academy for ages 7 through 19.
The Lab of Mister Q – Free homeschool curriculum consisting of a 36-week Life Science course and textbook for ages 6 through 9.
MSNucleus - Complete science curriculum for grades K through 12, including daily lesson plans, online activities and storybooks.
National Parks Curriculum - National Parks curriculum and lesson plans from the U.S. National Park Service.
Free Typing Game - Free online typing tutor consisting of lessons, games and tests, including a timed typing test and a typing certificate test.
Good Typing - Free online typing course consisting of 27 step-by-step lessons. No download required.
Audio Books for Free - Free downloadable audiobooks recorded by professional actors and narrators.
Fairytales Collection - A collection of fairytales, myths and legends from around the world, and other free homeschooling resources. Also includes author biographies.
Free Classic Audio Books - A collection of free audiobooks that includes many homeschool favorites. Includes some text to voice narration.
LibriVox - Free, downloadable audio recordings of books that are no longer covered by copyright.
My Audio School - Classic books, old-time radio theater, historical radio and television broadcasts for a variety of subjects.
Project Gutenberg - Free e-books (electronic books) available to read online ordownload. A great source of classic novels, stories and fairytales.
StoryNory - Free homeschooling resources, including classic and original audio stories for kids.
Language Learning Library - Free homeschool resources to complement the study of Spanish, French, Italian, Portugese, German, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.
Live Mocha - Interactive foreign language program that features online lessons and facilitates conversation between language learners and native speakers.

Wandering Jew...

These are pieces of ivy that I am rooting to transplant and pot soon. The green ivy is from a plant I have at home. The purple and green striped leaf ivy is one that was thrown away, discarded, left unwanted.

On the trip to Home Depot to buy the rain gutters for the rain barrel project recently, I walked through the garden center. There were two pieces of this striped ivy laying on the concrete flooring. It was somewhat withered. It was left laying to just die.

Yes, I understand that the people that work at HD don't have time to be concerned about a few leaves or a simple piece of ivy that falls from a larger plant to the floor. I felt different. I felt compelled to pick it up and save it. The worker saw me and sort of made a face. Anyhow, I brought it home and put it in the jar with my piece of ivy to root as well. I did not know the name of the type of ivy.

This past week, I was at a friend's house to gather our produce co-op foods. My friend had some of the same ivy rooting in her windowsill as well. I asked if she knew the name/type. She told me it was called "Wandering Jew."

It made me think of the Jewish nation. They wandered about walking to their home. It was taken from them. They were/are abused, trampled upon, cast aside, left to whither and die. But, the Hebrew people are of strong stock. They are resilient. A little bit of sun and water and time to heal and they grow strong. They rebound. They start to grow roots.

At first the roots may be little and small and seem to be not so significant. But once they are planted firmly somewhere, the root takes hold. The Hebrew will grow and multiply and make a home where once they were not wanted, but have always really belonged.

And now, each time in my kitchen, I glance to the window and look at the Wandering Jew and smile as it takes a short rest in the water and sun. I smile as I know it is building roots. I smile to know it will be transplanted soon and become strong again.

It will be resilient and bounce back, strong and hearty...all because I cared enough to pick it up and carry it home. The Hebrews are resilient and will bounce always rebound, strong and hearty in the grace and love of the Lord.

I like my Wandering Jew!