Saturday, November 25, 2006


  Bethani got to help with the bread making for the first time this Thanksgiving :). She finally got into it but she was hilarious at first. When I first dumped the dough out of the bowl onto the table she said, "Oh dear!". That's a phrase she has recently picked up and she uses it a lot. It is "so cute" and we tell her so often, which could be why she has started saying, "It's tute" quite often as well, haha :). When I started kneading the dough she said, "Disdusting!!!". And when I gave her her own she stuck her hand in it and said, "Ewww!!!". :) She is sooo funny!

The other two girls got a chance to make their own small loaf as well...

Now it's on to Christmas candies...or as Bethi says, "Yum!" ;).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why We Home Educate ~Part 3

Doesn't she look smart already?

Bethi- May 31, 2005

Here we come to a refuting of common arguments against homeschooling. I will only address a few, but there are many stumbling blocks to people who would really love to homeschool and I welcome questions and comments if anyone finds themselves in need of further encouragement. 

What about socialization?I tried to look up "socialized" in the 1828 Webster's Dictionary and the word was not to be found so I had to settle for an inferior version to even find the meaning! I found that a "socialized" person is: 
1.Made friendly, cooperative, or sociable. 2. Is put under group control; esp. to regulate according to socialistic principles. 3. Has been adapted for the uses or needs of society. 4.Takes part in social activities. 
We certainly have no problem with wanting our children to be friendly, cooperative, and also willing and able to take part in appropriate social activities but we have a real problem with our children being put under "group control" of the state or being "adapted to the "needs" of this Godless society. As far as the worry about how home educated children will learn to get along with others in "the real world", I would have to answer that our children will be much more prepared than the average government school attendee. While they are stuck in the same rooms every day for months seeing the same people, who are largely the same age, day in and day out, our children are conversing with their multi-aged siblings, their parents and grandparents, the elderly neighbor, the teenager at the fast food place, the middle aged cashier at Wal-Mart, and the various employees at Lee's store, etc. If on the other hand, you worry that if you home educate, your children will be "different" than their peers we would have to answer that that is a very possible outcome and if that concerns you watch a few minutes of MTV and then praise our Lord that by God's grace our children can be different from their peers! Please don't worry about socialization! Here is a statement made by John Taylor Gatto in a speech on January 31, 1990 while accepting New York City's "Teacher of the Year" award: "The daily misery around us is, I think, in large measure caused by the fact that, as Paul Goodman put it thirty years ago, we force children to grow up absurd. Any reform in schooling has to deal with its absurdities. It is absurd to be part of a system that compels you to sit in confinement with people of exactly the same age and social class. That system effectively cuts you off from the immense diversity of life and the synergy of variety; indeed it cuts you off from your own past and future, sealing you in a continuous present much the same way that television does...". 

Shouldn't homeschooling be outlawed, or at least heavily regulated, because there are people who, if given the choice, will simply not educate their children? Thomas Jefferson had an excellent answer to this concern, "It is better to tolerate the RARE instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.".

I can't afford it.
There are certain instances where this may very well be true, but they are truly few and far between. You may not be able to have cable or two cars if you home educate your children, but when it comes right down to it, can you really afford NOT to? Aside from the spiritual cost to your children, we haven't even yet touched on the declining test scores and essential "dumbing down" of the curriculum in the government school system. As our Lord said, we do need to "count the cost" of our endeavors (Luke 14:28) but as you do so don't forget that "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21. Is your treasure in things, or people? 

I could never stay home with my children all of the time!
This is such a sad thing to hear, especially when it is said right in front of the children! Are there behavioral issues? What a wonderful reason to homeschool! Bring them home and concentrate on character for awhile. Have you bought into the feminist idea that we women are "above" common child care? It is time that we were reminded that mothering has always been a world changing occupation in this world. We have a tiny dependent baby who hangs on our every word, we raise the future generation for good or for evil. Consider these quotes about mothers: 
"The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother." -Napoleon Bonaparte. 
"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." -Abraham Lincoln. 
"All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." -George Washington. 
Wow! What a calling to be walking in the footsteps of these women! Your children are a heritage and a reward from God (Psalm 127:3) and God makes "joyful mothers" (Psalm 113:9), ask Him to make you a joyful mother! Will it always be easy? Probably not, but the good times more than make up for the difficult ones.

My child doesn't want to be homeschooled. If your child does not want to be home with you than you are losing/have already lost him or her and it is actually imperative for both of your sakes that you bring him or her back to the family right away!!!

In conclusion, it is no secret that we believe strongly in homeschooling, we have such a burden for this coming generation who will grow to shape the world that our children and grandchildren, and yours, will live in. There are many reasons to home educate but when it comes right down to it Isaiah 54:13 sums it all up...
 "And all your children will be taught by the Lord; and great will be the peace of your children.". Peace, isn't that what we all want for our children? Then let us strive to raise children "taught by the Lord" ...that they may have peace.


Why We Home Educate ~Part 2

It's never to early to learn ;).

Tori- November 11, 2002

One thing home educators seem to hear quite often is, "Well, MY school isn't like that!". Perhaps you do live in a "decent" school district but they are much fewer and further in between than many people would like to admit. That said, even a "decent" school district has its roots in humanist theology. I would like to use the next little bit to share some quotes with you from some popular figures of the past and present and let you see for yourselves where we have come from and where we are headed in the government school system.
Horace Mann has often been called "the father of public education". After he became the first secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education in 1837 he worked to establish a nation wide public school system. His desire was to create "a new religion, with the STATE as its true CHURCH, and EDUCATION as its MESSIAH". He also believed, "God will be REPLACED by the concept of the public good...". And this from a man who professed to be a christian! 

John Swett helped establish the state system of public schools and also served as state superintendent of California from 1863-1868. He believed that "the property of the state should be taxed to educate THE CHILDREN OF THE STATE". To clarify WHO were the children of the state he said, "Children arrived at the age of maturity belong, not to the parents, but to the state, to society, to the country." So, once we parents have completed the messy job of changing diapers and feeding infants, and our children have reached a certain level of maturity, the state will take it from there. What an uncivilized idea! 

And lest we think this is "all in the distant past", I introduce Dr. Chester M. Pierce who, in 1973, while representing The Association For Childhood Education International said, "Every child in America entering school at the age of five is MENTALLY ILL because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, TOWARD HIS PARENTS, TOWARD A BELIEF IN A SUPERNATURAL BEING, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. IT'S UP TO YOU TEACHERS TO MAKE ALL OF THESE SICK CHILDREN WELL by creating the international children of the future". Apparently, to Dr. Pierce, utopia consists of a Godless world government full of mechanical people...lovely. 

To change gears just a little bit I would also like to show you what some of the most respected men in Christianity had to say about education. Noah Webster said, "In my view, the christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed.".

Instruction in the Christian religion is certainly lacking in our schools today and that was prophetically seen as far back as civil war times by men like R.L.Dabney who realized that, "...the result of public education is to bring a larger number of children into primary schools, and reduce the illiteracy somewhat- which is a great delight to philanthropists. But the number of youths WELL EDUCATED and ESPECIALLY THOSE BROUGHT UNDER DAILY CHRISTIAN TRAINING IS DIMINISHED. So, the actual and consistant secularization of education should not be tolerated. But nearly all public men and preachers declare that the public schools are the glory of America. They are a finality, and in no event to be surrendered. WE HAVE SEEN THAT THEIR COMPLETE SECULARIZATION IS LOGICALLY INEVITABLE. CHRISTIANS MUST PREPARE THEMSELVES THEN, FOR THE FOLLOWING RESULTS: ALL PRAYERS, CATECHISMS, AND BIBLES WILL ULTIMATELY BE DRIVEN OUT OF THE SCHOOLS.". How sad to know that the current Godless state of government education was foreseen so many years ago and yet nothing substantial was done and here we are now, living with the EXACT conditions heralded so many years ago as the fate of our government schools should we continue down that current path. 

Martin Luther stated during the Reformation, "I am afraid that the schools will prove THE VERY GATES OF HELL, UNLESS they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.". Can you imagine a teacher diligently "explaining the Holy scriptures" in class. They would be fired! Separation of Church and State, you know. 

And that brings us to another interesting topic. Did you know that the phrase "separation of church and state" can be found NOWHERE in the constitution? It was actually penned by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist association. Amendment 1 of the US Constitution requires, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;", and this wording was requested by states WHO HAD ALREADY ESTABLISHED A STATE RELIGION!They wanted to be sure that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT couldn't affect their already existing state churches! Today the idea of the separation of church and state is allowing teachers to fold a little boys picture because it depicts Jesus as the Sustainer of the world! How utterly sad! And yet, a child who draws a picture of his "two daddies" is applauded as a symbol of "tolerance". Does this sound like the free exercise of religion that our founding fathers assured us?  

Why We Home Educate ~Part 1

Bri's first official science experiment

August 23, 2001

There are many different kinds of homeschoolers and we each have our own reasons why we homeschool. Here is our unique blend of reasoning that led our family to the homeschool decision: 

First, and most importantly, God requires through His Word to "teach them [His commandments] diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up." (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). We are to be imparting God's commands virtually all of the time, this would be greatly hampered if we were separated from our precious ones for hours every day. 

God requires Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). The word of God in Jeremiah 10:12 says, "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles..." or, as the NAS translates it, "Learn not the way of the heathen nations". Sadly, that is exactly what America has become. I think we can all agree that Sodom was a "heathen nation. God said in Jeremiah 23:14 that the prophets of Jerusalem "are like Sodom to me", what was it that made them "like Sodom"? "They commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers". The Bible also lays out in Genesis 19:5 that the city harbored homosexuality which is deemed "shameful" and "unrighteousness" in Romans 1:26-29. I will readily admit that there are good teachers out there- I have full confidence that my sister will become one of them! But, the bottom line is that even the good teachers are being held to a standard- that of a heathen nation. "A person who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." (Luke 6:40). Do we really want our children to grow up thinking and acting like the government school system which teaches evolution as fact and tolerance to homosexuality, yet becomes hostile at the very mention of teaching creationism and extremely intolerant of conservative views? Or, do we want children who love the Lord first and foremost? Raising godly offspring requires constant Godly input, not that of America's humanistic worldview. Timothy Dwight was president of Yale University from 1795 to 1817, he was also a follower of Christ who was educated at home. Dwight knew that: "Education ought everywhere to be religious education...parents are bound to employ no instructors who will not instruct their children religiously. To commit our children to the care of irreligious persons is to commit the lambs to the superintendency of wolves .". Hitler put great focus on Germany's youth and their schools. In his own words, "Let me control the textbooks and I will control Germany.", and he did just that. That sort of power should belong to no government, but just imagine the harm that could be wrought by a government devoid of God! 

We want our children to have real knowledge, not this world's counterfeit. "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7). We study science to explore this world God created for us, we are awed by the details and amazed at how EVERYTHING works together. We study history to see the hand of God- and as a warning of what can happen to nations who disown Him. We study math because it will help us to be good stewards of His gifts and to help us appreciate the order God designed into His world. Our children wouldn't learn in public school that, "by Him all things were created...He is before all things, and in Him all things consist." (Colossians 1:16-17). Just as important as learning the facts is knowing why we learn them, to bring glory to God. "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17), even education. 

We are to "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21). Our children are God's (You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols...Ezekiel 16:20-21), so how can we say, "Here Caesar (Public School System), have my lambs for hours every day, for years on end". Since we see homeschooling as obedience to the Lord we can not "sacrifice" our children to a heathen system, even for the "righteous" cause of "saving souls", as some feel is a Christian kindergartner's duty. Remember, "to obey is better than sacrifice" (1 Samuel 15:22-23). Please, "Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits." (1 Corinthians 15:33). More often Godly children are pulled down rather than the lost children being pulled up. 

We know "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child." (Proverbs 22:15), meaning that children are naturally foolish. How can any good really come out of a room with 20 hearts full of foolishness and one adult whose main objective is to do a job, not to raise God-fearing future citizens of Heaven. We desire to "Train up our children" (Proverbs 22:6), not let them marinate in foolishness. 

We love our children! We love being with them, reading to them, cooking with them, teaching them to read, having a steady supply of hugs and kisses, watching them love their siblings, and sharing our Lord and Savior with them. What a privilege it is to be able to homeschool. Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

His 1st Thanksgiving

Thank heaven for baby :).

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercies endurethforever." Psalm 107:1

May not and ought not the children of these fathers rightly say: "Our fathers were Englishmen which came over this great ocean, and were ready to perish in this wilderness; but they cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, etc. Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, and his mercies endure forever. Yea, let them which have been redeemed of the Lord, show how he hath delivered them from the hand of the oppressor. When they wandered in the desert wilderness out of the way, and found no city to dwell in, both hungry, and thirsty, their soul was overwhelmed in them. Let them confess before the Lord his loving kindness, and his wonderful works before the sons of men. ~William Bradford

"O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. ~Psalm 107:1-9

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone...

And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. ~Psalm 35:28

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

She's a Writer!

I just had one of those cute, save-it-for-the-scrapbook moments. I got my first note from my five year old. Tori's been reading for several months but she's never written anything except her name on her own before. She has dictated letters and then copied what I've written but never before has she put a thought down on paper from start to finish all on her own. Here is the note she gave me:


 It's amazing what a little positive reinforcement will do ;). You see, my oldest daughter Bri recently started her own blog here and this morning Tori came to me and asked if she could have one. I told her that after she learned to write we would see about it...and three minutes later she handed me her note. I was especially amused that she spelled blog right, what a goose :). So, she is now officially a writer, I'll let you know when she graduates to blogger ;)...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The UPSIDE to Owning a Digital Camera...

Being able to share moments like this with Lee when he gets home from work in the evening :)...

See the flour on her cheek? She slaved away all morning... ;)

And having no fear of wasting film so I can snap away until I FINALLY get the picture I want, like I did for the first picture in this recent post :).

The Downside to Digital Cameras: A Sequel

I touched on a downside to digital cameras in this post, I have since discovered another...We have *one* printed picture of Andrew. We have digital pictures we can pull up on the computer, but we have only printed the one picture. We printed that one off to check how the coloring would print out, to see if it would do for the birth announcements, most of which have not been sent because I have no pictures to put in them... :). I finally decided that I'm just going to stick his announcements in Christmas cards, or maybe we'll just wait and announce his first birthday, depending on when I finally remember to get the pictures printed...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Inexpensive Gift Wrap

   Looking for an inexpensive way to wrap gifts? Pick up an end roll from your local newspaper office! They are often free and even where there is a charge it is usually only a few dollars for a good bit of paper! You can either give your children creative license to decorate the paper with crayons or whatever other craft supplies you have on hand, which makes the paper more special anyway, or you can tie the paper with raffia or even regular string to give it an old-fashioned look. And, best of all, you only have to store one roll of paper because your end roll can be used for any holiday from Father's Day to Christmas!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

I'm Six Weeks Old Today!!!

   Here I am in my first cap. Mom says I'm pretty cute! I've reached 12.5 pounds, none of my sisters reached 12 pounds until their fourth month! What can I say...I like to eat!

   Note: If you were on my mom's blog earlier and saw a bunch of posts that appeared to be nonsense, they were. That would have been my big 18 month old sister Bethani's idea of blogging... ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Looks Like I've Got Some Shopping To Do!

After nine years of raising girls we have acquired quite the collection of toys for girls; dress up clothes from prairie girl to princess, baby dolls, doll beds, doll strollers, doll...well, you get the picture. So, with this new little man we're practically starting from scratch! It has been fun to go baby clothes shopping again, just yesterday we had to go out and buy a 3 to 6 month collection of clothes, his toes were about to poke through his current sleepers!

Bri went through the toy boxes the other day to organize them (of her own volition! yes!!!) and in the process she pulled out all of the "boy toys" and brought them to me saying, "Here are all of the boy toys I found; a bunch of cars, a ball, and this thing.". "This thing" was a sheriff's badge ;).

There they are :). Aside from the set of blocks we own and some chunky legos, those are "Andrew's toys". Tori felt sorry for him so she brought me this:

"Here", she told me, "I made this for Andrew since he doesn't have much toys...". She made him a paper airplane :).

I don't plan on collecting a ton more toys, we have been going through the process of paring down the girls selection for a couple of years now and they still have too much! I think a few cars and some blocks is a pretty good start actually, especially considering that I have no clue where most of it came from! And I don't think there is anything wrong with a little boy practicing for fatherhood with baby dolls. We are planning on getting some "boy books" for Andrew for Christmas (the majority of our books have a bit of a feminine leaning as well. Of course there is always Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy, I can't wait to get to share that book with a little boy :). He isn't really complaining about a lack of toys right now but I'm having a hard time restraining myself from going broke with The Vision Forum's boys catalog :)...

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Christmas Shopping To Do?

   Here's something to think about for Christmas presents:

   Halloween costumes are really being discounted by now! If your little one is a future nurse wannabe or if you would just like to build up their store of dress up clothes, scout out the Halloween costume clearance! One of my oldest daughters favorite Christmas presents was a nurse's playset with a costume we picked up for 3 dollars (originally almost twenty!).


The Princess and the Prince

One of the ladies who works for Lee brought a couple of princess costumes for the girls to play dress up with and Bethani floated around in this one all day the other day. With her big blue eyes and curly hair it was even harder than usual to hold her accountable when she pulled something naughty ...

I am so glad that the whole Halloween thing is over. It never ceases to strike me as hilarious that the homes in our neighborhood who normally spend small fortunes to be the most beautiful, spend the month of October vying for the label of most gruesome. Tori especially hates the Halloween season, from the arts and crafts store to the pediatricians office there are witches, skeletons and flying bats everywhere. Last year she literally screamed in terror when we passed a motion controlled witch in the craft store as she was trying to bravely walk underneath the flying bat (she has since refused to walk anywhere near the flying bat...poor girl). We did the trick-or-treat thing until about four years ago when we switched to the trunk-or-treat thing. Eventually we realized there was no difference between the two down here where we're at. The cars are decorated like spooky graveyards and ghost, goblins, and that character that was made famous by the movie Scream are everywhere! And that Scream thing totally scares me. I am not kidding, that things gives me goosebumps and makes me nauseous even just seeing it on the rack at Wal Mart. So, now we just stay home and use it as an opportunity to witness, we get over two hundred children where we live now! That is quite the opportunity! The original purpose for the christian holiday of All Hallows Eve was to tell the pagans that evil was real and Jesus is the only alternative, so that's what we do. For the last few years we have made up goody bags with a sticker, a piece of candy, a Jesus loves you pencil and a tract to give out. The children love the pencil, it's so cute, and only once in the last few years have we heard anything negative. We didn't do it this year because Lee had to work late and I wasn't comfortable opening the door all night to strangers while I was home alone with four little ones, we get a lot of grown up trick-or-treaters here as well, are we the only ones who thinks that's a little odd? We watched a DVD and had a popcorn and M&M night instead. Bri asked if we could just do that every year because it was nice not to have to open the door to all of the icky costumes. I explained to her that those are often the sort of people who need a real relationship with Jesus the most. Evil is all around us all of the time, it just puts on it's true face on Halloween. I guess that makes Halloween a good reminder of the war we're waging, not just on Halloween, but on every other day of the year as well...

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:  (For the weapons of our warfare are not , but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 

Friday, November 3, 2006

I Got It!

Just moments ago I accomplished something weeks in the making, I caught an "Andrew smile" on camera :). It isn't as big as they get but, hey, beggars can't be choosers you know ;). He is such a serious little guy anyway that you have to catch him at just the right moment to get a big smile and on top of that he is extremely interested in that little black thing (the camera, of course) that mommy keeps sticking in his face and he instantly changes from goofy to analytical trying to figure out what it is :). Anyway, here it is...

Yep, he loves his big sister :)

Here are a couple of others just for fun. These were taken a few weeks and a couple of pounds ago so he's changed a bit since then :).

See that analytical look? If he could talk I believe he would be saying, "What exactly are you doing father?" ;).

I can't believe how much he has already grown :(

I am completely in love! I know I'm "biased" but isn't he sweet :)!? He's easily found his way into all of our hearts and we all have our own special bond with him as well as our own special names we call him. To Lee he is most often "buddy" or "little man", I am more apt to refer to him as "mother's little man" or my sonshine, he is BeeBee to Bethani (she's grown out of calling him "bobby", sniff, sniff...), Bri calls him "little Lee", and Tori has come up with something pretty cute and original herself, she calls him "my little mister" :). And no, he's not going to be spoiled in the least ;)...heehee...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

My Treasure of Children

Bethani had fun with the pictures :) can you tell...

Well, that is until we actually started taking pictures of them all together. After the first one of those she decided she had had enough :).

I first saw the term "treasure of children" when I read a letter Abigail Adams wrote to her husband dated September 2nd, 1776. It has since stuck with me, what a beautiful reminder of the importance of our children and the meaning of motherhood, every mother is truly a "treasure keeper" :). I don't think there can be anything on earth more important to a parent than the souls of their children, what an important calling it is to keep this very special treasure pure and undefiled for Him.