Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Little Things

I'd have to say the single most important thing in my life that keeps me sane and peaceful is my contact with HaShem. It is the air I breathe. There are a few other things that I rely on to get me through the day and keep me sane, and I thought I'd share them with you.

I wake up early and have alone time with YHVH

The Lord answered her, 'Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won't be taken away from her.'" (Luke 10:41-42)

There is something quite profound about quiet time, especially in a house always filled with noise, especially in the morning before I start my day. When I wake up before everyone, I can catch my breath, collect my thoughts, and most importantly pray—this makes for a saner day :)

I make my bed as soon as I get out of it.

There is something about a made bed that 1. makes the whole room feel a bit neater and, 2. reminds me I am up for the day. I am less likely to lay back down and more likely to keep the rest of the room cleaner. I can't quite explain why this works, but it does. Just try it {and let me know}.

I do something active each day.

If I do not watch myself, I end up being quite sedentary and lazy. I have seen the consequences of this choice, in fact right now I am cleaning up the messes of my laziness, and I know I feel better, look better and act better when I have exerted myself. The same is true for my children.

We do not watch t.v.

I could write a whole post on this topic alone, but to summarize: I have no intention of competing for my childrens' attention and loyalty with the flippant attitudes and gimme-buy-me-entertain-me attitude promoted by the media industry. It is hard enough to train my children to be righteous and pure with the worldly influences in our own lives; adding activities that support what I am working against will do nothing good. Now this is not to say that we never watch anything, I am just very choosy.

When I buy something I give something away.

By nature, I'm a hoarder. I love to acquire, accumulate and collect. I'm also quite scatterbrained. These two serve as a lethal cocktail poisoning all of my dreams of having a clean, organized home. So, if I must buy something, or my kids must, I discard something already in my home. Many times the new item serves as a replacement for the old, so the exchange is simple.

My children have chores.

I was raised to believe that I did not have to contribute anything to my family other than my charm and intellect (*wink). I had no chores; my room stayed messy until my mother cleaned it; I was only required to focus on school so work could certainly not interfere. I could not do my own laundry when I moved out. I could not cook, iron, pay bills, or do any of the things a wife and mother {which I was at this time} should know. And I am worse for wear. I am determined to not make the same mistake with my children. And, as they will one day be providers of their own homes, I must prepare my boys to have a good work ethic and sense of duty. And, of course- division of labor is a bonus-- more able hands make less work for Mama.

I pray for those I love (and those I'm having trouble loving)

I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer. Prayer is more powerful than any words spoken, punches thrown or wars fought. I am a worrier by nature, so prayer comes almost naturally—instead of worrying, I pray :) My mind is a breeding ground for all sorts of crazy and obsessive thoughts so I just give them to the Lord.

"This is the confidence we have in [YHVH's] presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - then we know that we have what we have asked from him." (1 John 5:14-15).

"Don't worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving. Then God's shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua." (Philippians 4:6-7)

I clean the sink before I go to bed.

I gleaned this from Flylady, and it really makes all the difference!

I set things out for the next day the night before.

I am perpetually late {a trait of DH's that has rubbed off on me}, so I can't afford to not have things together. Trust me, though, I spent years trying to fly by the seat of my pants. And sometimes I flew, but I did it with a stain on my shirt ;) I have just found that getting things together with plenty of time to spare saves more unnecessary headaches than you can imagine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kosher Menu Plan (pre)Monday #3

BREAKFAST: fruit smoothies (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, coconut, blueberries-- the options are endless ;)
DINNER: chicken squash bake
SUPPER: stuffed & topped baked potato (w/ sour cream, cheese, turkey bits), corn on the cob, garden salad

YOM SHENI (Monday)
BREAKFAST: blueberry muffins
DINNER: personal homemade pizzas
SUPPER: veggie burgers, french fries, fruit salad

YOM SH’LISHI (Tuesday)
BREAKFAST: eggs, apples and peanut butter
DINNER: bbq chicken sandwiches
SUPPER: beef stew, chef salad

YOM REVI'I (Wednesday)
BREAKFAST: breakfast tortillas (tortilla w/ turkey sausage, onions, potatoes, eggs, cheese, peppers)
SUPPER: grilled philly cheese steak sandwiches
DINNER: lasagna, garlic bread, salad

BREAKFAST: cereal & fruit
DINNER: homemade mac & cheese
SUPPER: orange or sweet 'n sour chicken, green bean casserole

BREAKFAST: yogurt with homemade granola
DINNER: turkey& cheese melts, veggie sticks w/ homemade ranch

salmon potato casserole

mozzarella stuffed mushrooms (or peppers)

caesar salad

Christian's chocolate mousse
BREAKFAST: challah french toast (*prepared ahead of time)
SUPPER: leftovers :)
DINNER: **fellowship dinner potluck**

BREAKFAST: challah french toast (*prepared ahead of time)
SUPPER: leftovers :)
DINNER: **fellowship dinner potluck**

Saturday, September 4, 2010

WHY? Planning Your Homeschool- Part Two

"These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up." ~Deuteronomy 6:6

Why do you homeschool? What beliefs, experiences and lessons do you want to impart upon your children? I invite you to enjoy a lovely post written for Keeping Them H.O.M.E. by Heather of A Titus 2 Woman. I hope you can glean from her 8 years of homeschooling experience. Be blessed!

I used to really hate that question. My standard answers would range from "Haven't you read Deuteronomy 6?" to "I can't imagine doing a worse job than some public schools" to "Ummmm......."

But, as I have homeschooled through the years, (we are starting the 8th year!) I have learned a lot of things. Humility, for one. And let me tell you how much that hurts some days! I don't have all the answers like I used to think I did. My children spend most days teaching me now, and I love it.

My oldest, who is 12 and would be just entering 7th grade this year came to her father and I one night with her laptop and a list. She had spent time researching requirements for graduation in our state, and came up with a list of classes for an "honors diploma", as well as a plan for completing those 47 credits in the next 4 years. We were astounded, to say the least! While most girls her age are worrying about the latest fashions, cell phones, or the opposite sex, my daughter was thinking about her future!

My oldest son, who is 10, recently went on a discovery flight in our area, where he spent 1/2 hour flying in a Diamond plane. He has spent his days since then doing math on his own, studying airplanes, piloting techniques, and researching which branch of the armed forces would be best for being a fighter pilot. (so far, he's all Navy...)

My youngest child, who just turned 6, has been taught math by his older brother. He knows all his addition and subtraction facts, and has been drilled on his multiplication tables as well. Hard to think that this would be kindergartner knows 3rd grade math like the back of his hand and is learning binary math and PHP programming from his father! Doesn't have much interest in reading on his own yet, since having his siblings read to him is sooo much easier, but he knows and uses words like "interesting" and "quizzically".

My children have also seen their mother all day, and have come to appreciate what I do for them on a regular basis...laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping, ect. They have learned first hand how to budget, grocery shop, compare prices, and even put things back when the amount has gone over. They have seen their father work hard at his job, and yet still have time for them whenever they needed him. They have seen both their parents hit their knees during good times and bad, and rejoiced over answered prayers.

They have and are learning how to run a house with their chores, manage money with their allowances, and learn responsibility with their schoolwork. I know that all kids can learn that, regardless of where they go to school, but the difference is that they are learning it right beside me, day in and day out. I would miss this chance to help shape and mold them if they were in school for 8-10 hours a day. (figuring busing, school time, and after school activities). I have been blessed to be able to homeschool them and watch their faces light up in wonder as they learned new things and grasped them wholeheartedly. Most importantly of all, I have been able to teach them my faith, and learn things about the Lord together. I have witnessed my children grow and learn more about Yeshua, and do it on their own. That has been the best!

And that my dear friends, is the WHY of "Why I Homeschool"....

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have loved you since I first met you. You are so special to me, and I am incredibly blessed to be your Mommy. You have brought joy to my life these past 8 years, and I look forward to many more years of snuggling, laughing and enjoying life with you. I love you more than you could ever know, my lovey boy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our 2010 Home & School Plan

Our 2010 Home & School Plan

This is the basic outline for our year. It is not set in stone, and, as always, YHVH has the final say. We just try to live our lives to serve Him, using everyday duties and experiences to learn vital life skills. I try to involve my children in my life as much as possible as I teach them the joy that comes from serving and loving one another. I am not perfect, and many days I truly feel like a failure, my house and spirit disheveled, but our Elohim is faithful, and by His grace we get by.

I use many resources I've found free on the internet. There is such a wealth of information out there, and if you enjoy public domain texts (older, copyright free), you will find you have TONS of resources available to you.

Christian (7/99)

Bible- daily Scripture study- Torah Explorers, weekly Torah Parshat at gdashdcast's youtube channel

Proverbs study: Hidden Treasures, Plants Grown Up

Language Arts- Writing Strands 3, Daily Grams, daily journaling, letter writing

Math- MCP D Mathematics, modern mathematical applications with Daddy (building, fixing, mechanics)

Science- Outdoor Hour

History/Social Studies/ Geography- living and learning ;), This Country of Ours written & audio & America, The Story of US

Spanish- Hooked on Spanish!, Spanish learning videos on youtube

Hebrew- Hebrew 4 Christians, youtube Hebrew learning videos

Independent Reading List: Number the Stars, Robinson Crusoe, Tom Sawyer, Oliver Twist

Following his own interests:

computer programming/website design, drumming, animal husbandry


Keegan (9/02)

Bible- daily Scripture study- Torah Explorers, weekly Torah Parshat at gdashdcast's youtube channel

Math- MCP B Mathematics, modern mathematical applications with Daddy (building, measuring, weighing...)

Science- Outdoor Hour

Language Arts- Writing Strands 2, Grammar-Land, daily journaling, Scripture copying, phonics workbooks

History/Social Studies/ Geography- living and learning ;), Pilgrim's Progress- audio & text ,This Country of Ours written & audio & America, The Story of US

Spanish- Hooked on Spanish!, Spanish learning videos on youtube

Independent Reading List:

Farmer Boy, Five Little Peppers and How The Grew, Boxcar Children

Following his own interests:

comic book creation, chemistry


Dalton (1/06)


learning alphabet, numbers

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons


I hope there is something here from which you can glean.

Shalom B'shem haSar Shalom

Peace in the name of the Prince of Peace