Monthly Archives: July 2011

A Bible App and Using our Womanly Influence

A Bible App and Using our Womanly Influence

I’ve just started a new Bible Study plan with a devotional on my iphone/ipad. It is in the Bible app by, which is by Youversion. I can’t believe how many different Bible reading plans they have, I think it is over 150. Many of them have devotionals to go with them! I looked through a few of them and decided to try out the 21-Day Plan for Busy Women. It goes through the Bible highlighting the famous and not-so-famous women of the Bible and asks questions each day to help you trade in your “just-get-through-it life” for the “rich and satisfying life” that Jesus promised us.

I just finished up day two.  (Yes, I made it to day 2! LOL)  Anyway, my purpose for this post was to talk about the influences that we (as women) have over people.  Day 2′s study highlighted Delilah and Jezebel.  Whew!  They had influence all right, but not the kind that they should be proud of!  I found it interesting that Delilah, through her nagging, was able to influence her husband to give away his secret to his strength.  As women, we have HUGE influence over our husbands and families (whether or not you intend to).

I have noticed that just how I react to a question my husband asks me will determine how he acts.  For example, when he asks me after dinner if I want to have devotional time with the family my response (or lack of one) will totally determine what we do for the evening.  If I am excited to do it and encouraging then we will have family devotions.  But the opposite is true also.  If I ho-hum or seem tired or put it off then guess what?  No family devotions that day.  That’s not good.  Even when someone has the best intentions, our influence can change that.

I am sure that this type of thing happens in all kinds ways each an every day. I know that I don’t notice them all the time.  Do you?  I want to be the kind of wife who has a positive influence on my husband and children.  Am I influencing my children well?  Am I excited about sports, reading, musical instruments, art, God etc? The things that interest me, or that I influence my children to like may be the things that they do.  They may all be good things, but are they the things God wants me to influence and encourage them in?

How about with our friends?  When our friend unloads on us about a situation with her husband, children etc how do we respond?  Our response could have a very large influence on how she reacts to a situation.  Be careful in what you say and how you respond.

Ephesians 4:29-5:2 says  29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I found some great advice on T-H-I-N-K ing before we speak.  We should ask ourselves these questions before we speak:

  • Truth of God’s Word – Is what I say going to line up with the Bible?
  • Helpful – Is what I say going to help someone or a situation?
  • Inspire – Is what I say going to inspire people?
  • Needed – Is what I say needed or necessary?
  • Kind – Is what I say kind?

I just want to challenge myself and you  to be aware of the influences we have on others and to make sure that they are the influences that God wants us to have.

Our Curriculum Choices for 2011-2012

Our Curriculum Choices for 2011-2012

It seems that I am having the same conversation with so many homeschooling friends right now. We all want to know what curriculum each of us are using for the upcoming school year! I really had a lot to figure out this year because I wanted the oldest 3 to all be doing some of the same things this year. This year I have 6th, 5th and 2nd grader to cover!


I knew I really didn’t want to be doing two different historical time periods. So, if you are familiar with Sonlight, we ended up skipping Core 5 (now F). It is really driving me crazy that they changed all of their Core names, but they didn’t ask me, and I do understand why they did it. We are doing Sonlight Core G with the older 2 (and hoping that Andrew can listen in to Story of the World with that) and Andrew will be doing Core B.  This way we will all be studying history starting from the beginning and moving our way through.  Thes Core B&C and Core G&H combinations cover world history over a 2 year period.  I am still debating (yes, with myself) if we should do them over a 3 year period to not go so quickly and to be able to add in the Story of the World Activity Guides!  One year with Sonlight and we are to cover Story of the World 1 and 2!  Whew!


We have been using Sonlight Science for the last 4 years so I thought it was time for a change and once again wanted to do something all 3 could do together.  While I was at the Illinois homeschool convention, ICHE, I stopped by the Apologia Science booth and asked them which one they thought we would enjoy (we have already done Botany).  Hands down they said Human Anatomy.  So there you have it.  We will know all the ins and outs of the human body before the end of the school year!


You guessed it, I wanted to all do something together!  After searching the internet and reading people’s questions and answers on The Old Schoolhouse Facebook Page (amazing resource, go check it out and like it) I found Bible Study Guide for All Ages.  It looks amazing and we got a jump start on one lesson to try it out!  Ages 3 and up can do it together with different age appropriate activity pages.  Time lines and maps and songs are even included!  I think we are really going to learn a lot this year and am very excited for the adventure!

Language Arts

We did Institute for Excellence in Writing last year and can’t speak highly enough about it!  Not one tear was shed last year during writing! not by the kids or myself!  This year we are going to try to do the Sonlight Language Arts and see how it goes.  IF we are having a hard time with it, we will switch back to IEW.  Along with Sonlight’s Language Arts programs come a few different workbook options (vocab and phonic etc) and grammar programs.  We intend to do what is recommended.


All 3 will be doing Horizons.  This year will be levels 6 and 3.  We have really done quite a few math programs over the years but have really settled into this one.  (We have tried Saxon, Singapore, and Math Mammoth)  Occasionally I let the kids only do 1/2 of the review problems because it can just be too much, but it really has help them to retain information!


I am really excited about this year!  On top of all the curriculum I have scheduled already we will be getting to try out and review curriculum  and other products and books pertaining to Homeschooling all year long for TOS Homeschool Crew Review! And you will get all the nitty gritty about what we try out this year.  Our first 2 products to review are in the mail and heading out to our home already!  One is from Apologia -How to Have a H.E.A.R.T.  The other is Civilize This from Griddley Games.  Both reviews will be posted the first week of September.

Have you finished planning for the upcoming school year?  When are you planning on starting?

Homeschool Mother’s Journal-week of July 17th

Homeschool Mother’s Journal-week of July 17th

In my life this week…Can we say HOT!  Yes, we are part of that horrible heat blanket, wave or whatever meteorologists want to call it!  IT is HOT and our poor RV air conditioning is working overtime trying to keep up.  We are just trying to stay inside as much as possible.  But that has been fun playing games, reading and watching the kids be very inventive!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… we headed out to St. Louis, MO and Carlinville, IL where my husband was performing.  In case you don’t know, he is a magician/comedian and we occasionally get to travel with him. We love getting to do this!

My favorite thing this week was…not having to cook much since we have been on the road.  Way to hot to cook in an RV!  100+ degree temps!

I’m reading…Things We Wish We’d Known by Bill and Diana Waring.  50 Veteran Homeschoolers Share on all kinds of topics related to homeschooling.  I am hoping to find some inspiration or tips!  I have only read one chapter so far but it looks like a great book, which is why I bought it when I was at the ICHE convention.

I’m grateful for…Being able to travel with my husband while he works.  I love that we all can hang out together and play together and work together.  I love TOGETHER!  You will notice this as a theme in my next post!

So there you have it for the week….if you want to see what other’s posted click here!  Scroll to the bottom of that page to see everyone else’s links! Hope you have fun!

How I Pamper Myself..or the little things I do for myself (Part 2)

How I Pamper Myself..or the little things I do for myself (Part 2)

This is part 2 on taking care of yourself.  I am talking about easy ways to pamper yourself during the day. If we don’t take care of ourselves no one will do it for us.  We spend so much time running around and caring for others that it is hard to stop and think about ourselves.  I know from my own life. I am really good at running around until I crash and burn!

Part 1 was all about my love for my Keurig.

Part 2 is my love for Pandora.  If you aren’t familiar with Pandora I want to tell you a bit about it and how I use it.  It is a free website, which also has an iPhone app.  I am listening right now to it while I am on the computer!  I have a love/hate relationship with music.  If  music is too loud or has too many words (I know that sounds silly but my head feels full) I can’t stand it.  Wow, as I read that back I am starting to think I sound really old. But if it is just the right music it really does have a great affect on my day!  I really enjoy listening to the Hymns 4 Worship station on Pandora.  I throw my iPhone in my pocket and listen as I walk around the house doing odds and ends, picking up etc.

The cool thing about it is that you can type in any song, artist or genre and it will create a playlist of songs similar to the one you chose.  My husband was giving the little girls a bath the other night and he typed in The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  The girls loved listening to all children’s songs similar to that song!  How fun is that? Do you like classical or broadway showtunes?  Just type one in and it will make a whole playlist of similar songs. Don’t like a song, just skip it.  You can rate songs with a thumbs up or down and it will remember than and personalize your list even more to fit what you like!

I have also enjoyed listening to it in the car.  I just hook up my iPhone to my car stereo and play whatever we want to listen to.  The best part about it is that IT IS FREE!

Here is what Pandora says about themselves:

When was the last time you fell in love with a new artist or song?

At Pandora, we have a single mission: To play only music you’ll love. (OK, we’ve added comedy as well so we’re also up for playing some jokes you’ll love.)

To understand just how we do this, and why we think we do it really, really well, you need to know about the Music Genome Project®.

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It’s the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken.

Together our team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well known and completely obscure – to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

You can create up to 100 unique “stations.” And you can even refine them. If it’s not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.

The Music Genome Project was founded by musicians and music-lovers. We believe in the value of music and have a profound respect for those who create it. We like all kinds of music, from the most obtuse bebop, to the most tripped-out drum n bass, to the simplest catchy pop tune. Our mission is to help you connect with the music YOU love.

We hope you enjoy the experience!

It really is amazing.  Hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!




1Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 3for you havebeen my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. — Psalm 61:1-3

We all go through times of stress, discouragement or feelings of being overwhelmed.  I know that as a mom with 5 children, who also homeschools, those feelings can creep up rather quickly at times.  Even in the summer.  We try to get all the things done that we let slide during the school year.  Oh, and we have to plan a new school year!  And now we also have to find some things for the kids to do or break up fights or run them to various other activities.  Maybe you don’t homeschool, but I know that you have your own list of things that can run you down over the summer.  Kids home when you aren’t used to them being home 24 hours a day?

What kinds of things do I do to combat them?  Well, I tend to try to do things myself….Doesn’t work real well.  Worrying about them doesn’t help a whole lot either, it just drains my energy.  Oh, or sometimes, I will feed my little pity party and get really grumpy….Yeah, that doesn’t work well either and now everyone is annoyed with me.  I am sure that you could list a few things you have tried to make things better that maybe didn’t work out too well for you.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a good way to cope with all the junk we have to deal with on a day to day basis?

There is….when I forget about myself and rely on God things go a whole lot better!  The Bible tells us the answer to worry is prayer: “6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).

Isn’t that cool?  When we are worried, discouraged, stressed, whatever…He tells us not to be anxious, BUT pray, let God know what you are going through…..God promises us something HIS PEACE WILL GUARD OUR HEART AND MINDS  through Jesus.  Wow.  That is huge.  I wish I could remember that all the time instead of trying all the things my worldly self goes to as a first attempt to solve things.  Wouldn’t life be easier? It’s funny all the stress we cause upon ourselves due to self-reliance.  I know it’s a lot for me.  We need to ask God for help to remind us to lean on Him and pray to Him continually.  I know I want to rest in God’s peace and have my mind and heart guarded in Jesus!  Don’t you?

PS.  There are a few things you should be doing to take care of yourself. Drink enough water, eat well, and get enough rest.  I know when I don’t do these things things seem worse than then really are!