Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Muppin!

This little girl is the most precious thing in my life.  God is so amazing how He knows just what kind of child would complete a family!  I am so happy to have this little girl in my life every single day!

Happy Birthday to my little Muppin!  We have been blessed every day of your existence!  The last 8 years have just been amazing and I am honored to be your mommy!  

Time for a Royal Birthday Party!

We love you Muppin!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Great Way to Connect with Your Kids

In today's day and age it can be very easy to lose our connection with our kids.  And it starts to happen at a younger and younger age.  I have thought about this a lot, as do many parents.  I have a 7 year old (8 in less than a week!).  And the thought that we may someday be separated by silence scares me.

So, with that thought and prayer I set out to come up with a way to keep us connected in some small way.  Something that would strengthen the bond we already have and I think it is a fun one at that.  Can you see me smiling?!

Journaling!  Now, to some this may originally sound boring.  Some people do not like to journal.  But hear me out.  This is not just any journal it is something that will be fun for both you and your kids.  It will also give your kids a way to say the things they would never say out loud!

First I set out to make something special.  I could go buy a new journal and so could you.  You can make it a date and pick something out the really speaks to the heart of your child.  My daughter is super crafty and creative.  UNLIKE ME!  I am not.  So I decided that I would create her journal even though it would be a challenge for me, because I knew it would mean a lot to her.

First I took just a small notebook I had and since I didn't want that white paper on the front that looks so boring I decided to add a cardboard front too it using rubber cement.  I forgot how stinky that stuff was!

After bonding the cover over the original I decided to draw on it what it was to be used for.  It was a journal for us so I put our names on it.  She helped me decide where the flowers and hearts went and decided when we were done drawing.  

Before I had put the front on and before she knew what I was up to I wrote a note inside the journal.  The note started out, "My dearest Charis! I love you so much..." and went on to explain what this journal was for and why I was doing it and then finally how to use it (we will get to that in a moment).

I can't explain to you the excitement in my daughters eyes when she read the words on those pages.  You could see that she was feeling really loved and cherished.  She was feeling like she was super important and that she was going to be heard and really listened to.  Now she is only 7 (soon to be 8) but being heard and understood is still important to her. 

My heart soared with excitement knowing that she was going to be sharing with me and I with her all the things that are important too us.  We were on our way to strengthening our bond we already have, making it unbreakable.

As for the practical use of the journal here is how you use it.  You give it to your child and after you read to them, do their devotionals, cuddle or talk... you know, all those bedtime things we do together?!!  When those are done and you have kissed them good night it is their time to write.  See, a lot has happened in their little day and this helps them get it off their chest.  They can write about what happened with friends, what happened with you, the family or the dog.  They can also write about what has upset them, made them happy or things that confuse them.  They can ask questions about God, boys, friends, or your family relationships.  

Most importantly when there is something that is too difficult to say out loud, they can write it here and not fear what will happen.  It gives them a sense of release and the sense of an open door.  They know they will be listened too.  Now when they go to sleep they put it on their side table, dresser or book shelf and go off to slumber land.  The next morning it is up to you to go get it, take it to a private place and read it.  

The most important thing you will need to remember I believe was something the Holy Spirit really wanted me to convey is to never act shocked, shaken, angry or freaked out over what you read!!!  I repeat, remain calm no matter what!  Or you have lost them.  This must always be and remain a safe place remember?!

Once you are done reading what they have written you then write back to them, answering all their questions, giving them advice kindly, and most of all telling them how much you love them no matter what they let you know.  

I have told my daughter that I might come talk to her about some things once in a while, but that it will always be out of love.  And if it doesn't sound like I am being loving she has my permission to tell me so.

Her heart was so filled with excitement.  She is ready to communicate and to connect.  This will be a lot of fluff for a while I am sure.  She is only 7 (soon to be 8) you know.   But as she gets older, and this tradition continues... How much more valuable will this be?

I would love to see your ideas on this... and pictures of yours.  Share your blog links and pictures and how things are working out for you.  Most of all... be blessed!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Abandoned, alone, what do I do?  My heart is beating so fast, what do I do?  It has been so long since she left.  I need help but no one is here and I don't know what to do.  She is crying and won't stop and I am scared that somethings really wrong.  She has needed a new diaper for so long and I don't have a new one.  I tried to clean it but it isn't helping.  She has red streaks going down her legs and her tears just wont stop coming.  God what do I do?  Something calms my heart for just a second, something brings peace.

"Sis you stay here, I will be back soon.  I am gonna go call dad.  He will come and he will know what to do.  Please don't cry no more.  I love you!  Just play with your baby.  I will be back."  As I kiss her head goodbye I feel how hot she is.  Fear jumps forward into my throat again and my heart beats faster.  I feel like I might be sick.

I turn and leave before I can change my mind.  It scares me to leave her alone but I have to call dad!  There is that peace again.  I am her big brother and it is my job to take care of her.  Where is mom?  Why isn't she back yet?  I hate when she leaves us like this!

It is a warm sunny day outside and I am scared as I walk up the alleyway looking for houses that might let me use their phone.  It is a scary neighborhood and we don't belong here.  Mom left us at a friends house but they haven't been home for a couple days.  I just start asking people if they got a phone and it takes a while before someone lets me in to use their phone.  As I walk into their home my heart jumps into my chest again.  What if they are really bad people?!  That peace fills me again and I wonder if it is God.  I call my dad as fast as I can because I know he will help and I am right.  He is on his way.

I run all the way back to where my sister is and go inside and scoop her up.  She is still crying and must have been so scared but seeing me seems to make it all better.  I hold her tight and realize how bad she smells, nausea washes over me.  I must have not noticed before because we were together in this small home for so long, or maybe I just blocked it out but the smell is putrid.  I notice now though and it makes me want to be sick.

This is not the first time I have been abandoned, we have been abandoned.  It has happened before, many times.  My mom works a lot and likes to party a lot too so sometimes she leaves us with different people.  Some people are ok, others are scary.  This time the people just disappeared.  Maybe they were with mom.  I wish she would come back.

I sit down with my sister and just wait for my dad.  Peace...   I can tell God is with me, comforting me.   God loves me even when those that are supposed to love me forget.  Because of Him, I can cuddle up with my sister and love her and forget the reasons I was afraid.  Once I was abandoned, but now... I am now saved.  Peace...

This story was loosely based on a true events and was written from an image prompt "Abandoned" from Free Write Friday.  To join the writing prompt click the button below and it will take you to Free Write Friday's page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Festivities!

It is fall again, my most favorite time of the year!  I love when the leaves change color and the mornings are crisp and foggy and then your afternoons are shattered with sunlight!  What a joyous time of year.

To start off our fall festivities this year we went to a pumpkin patch last week.  We got to play
with farm animals as well as go through a maze and ride a tractor drawn wagon out to pick our very own pumpkin.  

Of course no fun time at the pumpkin patch would be complete without your friend!!!

Then it was animal time!  First there were the cows, who really took a liking to my amazingly handsome husband!  I guess it's not just me that has a crush on my man!

Then there were the kittens!  There were six of them and boy did we want to take them all home!  We lost our Dakota and TeeTee this year and so this was a special time for our Muppin as she loved on the kittens.

Finally we were able to ride a tractor driven covered wagon out to the pumpkin patch and spend a good amount of time searching for the perfect pumpkin.  Muppin had such a blast and she didn't want to leave.  This whole day only cost $5.00, what an inexpensive way to create memories! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

No More!

No More!

NoMoreBadgeThere are so many people, young and old that fall victim to domestic violence, abuse, sexual abuse and rape.    Many of those victims are children!  It is time we said No More!  It is time to talk to our children and tell them what can happen, age appropriately of course.  

It is a difficult subject so many of us say nothing, even if we are adults!  But saying nothing at all is dangerous.  It leaves the person especially children open to for the pain of shame.  The pain of hiding what they don't understand, what they can't deal with alone, what they shouldn't deal with alone.

Join me in spreading the word about a new movement called No More!  Help educate people, parents and help children.  Help spread the word on how to recognize the signs of abuse.  Every human being deserves to live without violence!  Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Take action now and go to their website and see how you can help.  Say No More to violence!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where Do You See Joy?

God has been helping me see so many new things in so many new ways lately.  He has been prepping me, growing me and guiding me to those things that He would have me do.  One thing though that He always does, even when that growing and changing happens, He always shows me where the joy is.  

I find it in many things, in many ways.  One though that is constant is through the love of my daughter.  She is incredible and an amazing gift from God.  I am truly blessed to call her my girl.  I love you Muppin!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Welcome to Kindergarten

(This post has been written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!  The writing prompt this week is:  Let’s go on a little trip…to your first day of school!)

I saw this writing prompt and thought hmmmm, what is it that I am to write about?  I mean, it isn't as if I remember my first day of kindergarten.  I don't remember any of my kindergarten years nor the years to follow until I was older.  So I thought I must then make something amazing up.  Something that will thrill and wow the reader and make them wanting for more.  But what could I make up about kindergarten that would do that unless it had something of the macabre attached to it, or something ridiculously crazy?  So that option was out as well.

As I sat and thought about it, it was clear that the answer lied in my daughter.  I remember her first day of school as if it were a sharp knife still imbedded in my heart, every memory bringing with the pain the movement of that sharp knife would bring.  It was a horrible day... for me.

My daughter on the other hand felt like the world was just opening up and the excitement was so thick it was difficult to contain it and keep her from coming unglued altogether.  She is a very social little thing and loves everyone she meets, so much so that we have had to work with her on this issue.  It has been hard for her to understand why someone wouldn't want an hug, "they feel like the best thing in the world mommy, like God wrapping you up in His arms!"  Teaching her to ask if she could hug someone and tell them she loved them is still an ongoing issue, though not so much with strangers anymore.  But her excitement to be with others, love on them and be friend with all is still something that is deeply seeded in her.  So the thought of going to school and meeting a bunch of other kids she didn't know did nothing but energize her.

For me though, trying to be excited with her was a difficult and daunting task.  She was my baby, my 5 year old little girl and soon she was going to be gone all day long.  We were rarely apart and now it was as if she was being ripped from my life and my heart was falling apart.  As I took her to class I loved on her, told her to have a wonderful day and walked out of her room a changed woman.  I was no longer there to protect her and I was no longer her everything and that was something to get used to.  

As I walked to my car I remember clearly the feelings well up inside of me so strong that I knew that I would not be driving home for a while.  The tears began to fall and the weeping then began.  I felt as if I was all the sudden irrational because the thought kept washing over me that my poor baby girl has now embarked on a full time job!  She is five and she is going to school at eight in the morning not getting home until almost four!  How is that ok for such a little person?  How would she survive?  Where would her childhood go?  For me it felt as if she was being ripped from the clutches of childhood and her family and being thrown to the wolves and the never-ending work cycle of the American society.

These feelings didn't just last that day, but for weeks.  I tried my best to shove them down, especially when I knew she was having fun.  But of course that fun didn't last long because of the bullying by one special boy.  But that is a story for another time.  

I remember sitting that first day wondering what her day was like, wondering if she was going to have any troubles, if the teacher would have to call me to come get her or if she would be scared for life by the time I went to pick her up.  The opposite of course was true.  As I picked her up at the end of her first day she was all a buzz as to her proceedings of the day.  From the first thing to the last she gave me every bit of a detailed account she could remember.  She was so excited for the new friends and her teacher.  But what really melted my heart was how excited she was to see me.  She told me she loved school but she wished it could be with me because she loves me so much.  That moment was precious and I am so glad I was there to hear it.

My first day of kindergarten may not be memorable to me, but my daughters sure is, and that is all the matters.  To be there for her and to remember hers is a true honor and I am blessed beyond my imaginings. 

Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Road Less Traveled By

"Do you realize what you are doing?  You are going to ruin your child.  She is going to grow up without any real view of what the world is like!  She is going to be awkward and isolated because of what you are doing.  She is going to have difficulty fitting in, being happy, being loved, loving others. She is going to grow up not knowing what all the other kids know.  She is going to grow up not experiencing what all the other kids experience.  How cruel.  I can't believe you are going to subject her to that.  My heart breaks for her."

Those comments I have heard more than once, by more than one person.  Most don't bombard me with those things all at once but they do come.  I am a Christian.  I am also a Christian who has decided to homeschool.  And to some one those things is bad enough but to add the other means I must be some radical racist who must be hiding in my bunker just waiting for the end of the world.  I guess there is some tiny bit of truth mixed in that comment.

I am a Christian and I am radical... for the things of Christ, for my family, for people.  Christ loves us with such a radical love that he went all the way to the cross.  So I love Him regardless of the backlash I receive, even if it is from the very family I love so much.  I love my daughter so much that after she suffered abuse at the hands of another student (you know, that thing called bullying) repeatedly and suffered physical injury, and I watched her get terrible migraines at school whiles suffering emotional injury, and I watched her learning creep to a stop because of mental injury I could do nothing but remove her from that situation.

I didn't make this decision lightly, I did as much research as I ever have for anything I have ever done.  And if you know anything about me, then you know I tend to research something more than I probably need to. As I did my research all those comments listed above grew smaller and smaller and all the positive things that I found grew more an more.  See I didn't look into homeschooling because I was a Christian, though many Christians do homeschool.  I looked into it because I loved my daughter more than I love myself and though the thought of homeschooling terrified me and what that meant for the next who knows how many years I wanted what was best for her.

I saw the statistics and how most homeschoolers are much more well rounded relationally because they learn to talk to all walks of life and ages in everyday life.  They are not stuck in a classroom with a bunch of kids who are only their age.  They know how to deal with younger, same age and older people.  They have no fear of another age population which is sometimes rapid among kids.  I saw that their stress levels were much lower but their test scores were so much higher.  Their suicide levels, teen pregnancy levels,  drug abuse levels, as well as other risky behaviors were all much lower, because their families were a tighter unit, not because they didn't have the opportunity.

Since becoming a homeschooler I have seen that most are much more active in the community, in fun activities, in exciting opportunities most kids can't get because they are so busy with school and homework it leaves little time for anything else.  Most excitedly I see that they are free to explore their passions, become what they hope, dream and desire to be without being forced into a direction they would never desire to go.  

Just as Robert Frost did when he was homeschooled, he decided to follow the road less traveled and became an incredible poet, one of the countries most beloved.  And it was his homeschooling family, particularly his mother, Isabelle that inspired him to be a poet because of the rich literature they read on a daily basis in their homeschool environment.

I will continue to follow the road less traveled because I love my God and my family.  I am happy to hear those comments from others who don't understand and will always show them through actions that what they fear for my child, is what they will someday marvel at because they just did not understand the fruit that would come from the road less traveled.
(The above was written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!,  [ Writing prompt ~ Talk about a time you took the road less traveled and the differences it made…] Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog  for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Will You Do?

Tragedy struck today in a small town in Western Washington.  It was heartbreaking and made me reflect a great deal and think about my reaction to things around me.

As I made my way into town for a homeschool meeting, sitting on a mound in front of a public school was an elderly man.  I had seen this man before in the area and thought nothing of him really.  As I drove by him though, something was different, he was glaring at each and every car that drove by.  As we drove by he lifted his hands and pointed his fingers at us as if shooting a gun at us, silently moving his lips to mimic the sound of a gun as it is fired.

I was slightly disturbed and ask the Lord to help him but then moved on with my morning activities, not giving him another thought.  I mean, he was just an elderly man who probably had too much to drink or was just in a grumpy fowl mood.  He wasn't doing anything other than giving people dirty looks.

On my way home from my day's events I neared the school again, yet this time I was not allowed to pass.  I asked the man and police officer that was standing there on the side of the road if there had been an accident.  He replied that there was some old man running around with a gun shooting at people so the police had the area blocked off.

I was stunned and with my daughter in the back of the car I turned around to go the long way home and immediately began to pray.  I was praying for the safety of all involved and that the man would be stopped without anyone being harmed.  My mind was surely focused on this event and how close we came to being in harms way.

When I got home I decided to post about it on Facebook so that people would pray for the situation and quickly found out that the man had been killed because he had fired at the police and they had no choice but to fire back. 

My heart was broken.  It was broken for a man who had probably lived in his little house for that last 50 plus years with a wife and children.  Children that grew up and might have no longer visited because life is just too busy and dad is just too grumpy.  The thought of his death and what his family might be going through ate away at me and the thing that hurt most was that my spirit was convicted, deeply convicted.

How many times do we see or sense something is off and we move on without another thought, and if we do pray it is a quick cursory prayer that we did out duty.  It was a quick prayer so we weren't really bothered by it and the time it was take to really pray over the situation?  I was convicted.  This man was hurting and lost.  He was not in his right mind and I knew it and I had a bad feeling when I drove by him yet all I prayed for was that the Lord would help him.  Did I really mean that prayer?  Or did I say it out of that place inside that says, "I am supposed to pray!"  Not because my heart was moved to share my worries with the Father.

It was a great lesson to me.  It made me think of my everyday situations.  Do I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to know WHAT to pray?  Or do I just plow forth with no concern with what God wants?  If I had taken that time the Spirit might have touched me and asked me to pray for something very specific and it might have been something that would have made a difference.

I am not saying I am responsible for this man's death.  He died because of his choices and it is extremely sad.  But I am responsible to do exactly what the Lord calls me to do, and I think that would include praying for the lost and hurting, praying for this man.  The Lord LOVES HIM!  The Lord was grieved by this event today. 

What will you do next time you are given that check in your spirit that something isn't quite right?  Ignore it, throw a vague prayer out there, or turn to the Father, ask the Spirit to guide you and thank the Savior for giving you the ability to always have access to them for all your needs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Long after the sun goes down I spend my time wandering, searching, looking for what always alludes me.  As I wander the voices keep coming, soft and gentle, luring me further in to the depths of the forest.  What do they want with me and why do they keep calling?  Why do I keep following?

Goodnight on Fairie Swamp Garden
Goodnight on Fairie Swamp Garden (Photo credit: echoroo)
I can hear them now, their sound so gentle it almost lures me into believing I am so safe and so loved that nothing else matters.  Warmth flows over me, filling me with just joy I can't believe there is anything sinister in their calling.  It is almost as if sweet romance is in the air, calling and beckoning me to take a leap of faith and just fall all in... all into the peace and serenity and soft comfort of their words.

But their words are not all that leads me deeper into the forest, but the words give light!  It is a pure light, one can not fully explain but one that can only be felt.  It is a light that gives warmth and satisfaction every time you glimpse it.  It is a light that gives hope in the midst of the darkness.  It is a light that makes you feel safe and whole and free, one that never leaves you alone or forsakes you.

As I go deeper, wandering into the forest I am greeted nightly by this beautiful light and melodic voice and each night the outcome is the same. I find myself lying softly in a bed of moss staring eagerly into the sky waiting for them, knowing they are there because they beckoned me there this night, just like every other night.  I close my eyes and they surround me filling me with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... I have felt them before, and they are a welcome guest.

My spirit leaps with excitement and expectation, because they are there... bringing with them all I need and all I will ever want.  Without them I am nothing and never will be. Each night I go with expectation, and each night I am embarrassed because my expectation is never high enough to match the the moments that happen deep in the darkness of those woods.  My expectations are always so small compared to the gift lavished upon me.

Long after the sun goes down... the world quiets and only then am I free to go wandering, searching and looking for my true desires...  only then do I find them.

(The above was written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!,  [ Writing prompt ~ It’s after midnight. You find yourself in an eerie yet, magical swamp. You hear whispering and see flashes of light…what happens? ] Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog  for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!)

Monday, July 23, 2012


I just stumbled upon the most amazing site!  Actually Tammy at emailed me the link.  After taking a long look at it all, all I have to say is, How Awesome!

The site is thredUP and it is basically an online children's clothing resale store.  You can go and shop for clothing for a greatly reduced price and you don't have to go wading through tons of clothing at a used clothing stores.  That means you don't have to deal with going through rack after rack of clothing searching through the clothing that is not in good shape.  I have lots of allergies and sometimes the smell of used clothing places is difficult to deal with for me.  This is all online, each piece laid out nicely to look at.  So no worries there!

They only accept clothing that is in very good shape or like new.  If it has stains, cuts, hanging strings, or smells, they won't resell it.

You can send them your kid's clothing to sell too.  You just have to sign up, they will send you a bag, and the clothing that they feel stands up to their standards gets sold.  They will send you your money via Paypal, or credit you on the site.  There is a small fee for the bag, but as soon as you send them the bag with the clothing, they refund the bag fee to you.  

I also need to mention that if you go to the site and make a purchase using the link I have provided to  thredUP for you, then I will get $5.00 for referring you.  That is an awesome deal too!

This seems like a great way to get rid of the piles of clothing without having to deal with all the time consuming issues of selling them.  I wish I knew of one that was for adult clothing and other items!  If you know of one, please pass on the info and let me know!

The picture to the right is a dress I will be happy to sell in a couple months when it is too small.  It is in beautiful shape!  It will be fun to see if my Muppin wants to get rid of stuff to earn money for herself too!  This could be fun!

Blessings and happy shopping!

Monday, July 16, 2012

My First, My Last, My All

First, I was going to make this a 3 part series but I just couldn't do it.  I didn't want to hold off on any parts in fear you may not come back and finish, leaving you with only part of the truth.  So forgive me but this is long.  :)  My God pressed upon me to share and so share I have done.  Grab your coffee or water and let yourself see what the Lord has for you today.

Our pastor, Pastor Jon Cobler, spent about 3 weeks talking about that thing that most people hate to hear about the most in church, money and tithing.  Most of us when we hear a preacher on TV or in the pulpit tend to tune out when it comes to hearing about “our money” and what we are supposed to do with it, in particular, tithing.

I must admit that there were times in my early years of marriage that I didn't want to hear those sermons either.  They were always labeled with "supposed to" statements and comments riddled with guilt. As if I didn’t already feel guilty enough!  We may not remember the exact words used but we sure remember how they made us feel.  And that impression can surely sower a person to the concept of tithing very quickly. 

I have always wanted to know how the tithe is truly to be looked at since there is a difference between the Old Testament Covenant & Law and New Testament Covenant & Grace.  I am not happy to just be spoon fed and I love to dig deeper and find the truth in the midst of all the laws put upon us by modern day Pharisees.  So this study was perfect.  Of course a lot of what I will be sharing with you is revelation shared by my pastor, but it wasn’t shared by me until I spent the last couple weeks going over every verse he gave us as well as reading much more on the subject that I came to the conclusions I am sharing with you now.  And the conclusion I have come to is that I am to give Him my First, my Last and my All.  Let me explain.

I have been a faithful tither for many years but what does it really mean?  Is my idea of faithful the same as the Lord’s?  Are my reasons for tithing the right reasons?  God clearly tells to us to give with a cheerful heart. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  Then there are these questions… Do you tithe before taxes, after?  Do you tithe on money you make on tax returns, interest earned?  You know… these are all the questions that will help you to justify keeping more of "YOUR" money and give God less.  How silly considering that all we have is only given to us because it was HIS to give to us in the first place.  We wouldn’t have it if it weren’t for His grace, mercy and love.  He is surely the true Cheerful Giver.

So for me it was wonderful that Pastor Jon really went deep into Old & New Testament and showed us a more meaningful and Godly way to look at tithing.  Let’s look at some things I learned and I pray that it will touch you the way it touched me.  First we will look at the Old Testament then the New Testament. 

OLD TESTAMENT (Testament means Covenant)

Definition of the Biblical word Covenant: 
  • The conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
  • The agreement between God and the ancient Israelites, in which God promised to protect them if they kept his law and were faithful to Him.
In the Old Testament according to the promises made by God to man, men were to give their first-fruits and at the end of a harvest give 1/10th (or a tithe) of the full amount that they made.   

First-Fruits ~   At the time most people were either farmers or shepherds or a mix of both.  For farmers it meant the first crop that was harvested went directly to the Lord.  For shepherds it meant that the first born was given as a tithe. 

The Tithe ~  For the tithe, at the end of a harvest for the farmer they would gather all they harvested and give 1/10th of that harvest over to the Lord.  For the Shepherd it was the same, whatever they owned at the end of the year they gave 1/10th of their livestock.

The Tithe was put in place to protect God's people from their own greed.  By worshiping the Lord with our tithes then we are keeping God central, instead of our things.  Think about it, how many of us put our things first?  Would we give up our stuff for HIM?  Would you give up your big screen TV to feed children that are homeless?  God may not be asking you to, but if He was, would you?  Or do you worship those things more than you worship God?

The tithe was also to pay for the ministry of the priests and Levites (Numbers 18:21).  They continually did the work of the Lord and therefore could not work outside of the ministry of the Lord to make money.  This helped them do what the Lord asked as well as sustained them.  It was also used for celebrations through specific feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16-1717). 

Another use was to provide a resource for those who didn't belong to the church, as well as for widows and for orphans (Deuteronomy 26:12).  It was to be used this way so that the world would see how generous the Lord’s people were and know there was something different about them and come to know our Lord.  It was to help provide for those who couldn't provide for themselves, the lost, the broken, the hurting.  That is the true heart of God.  

So, do most of us tithe like that today? Do we give to the poor, widowed, and orphaned?  Do we care more about showing the world who God is through our love for His creation, or do we horde our belongings as if we acquired them all on our own?  As if we could!!  All we have belongs to HIM!  Shouldn't we at least give Him true praise by offering back to Him some of what He has already given us?  Just imagine… would there be one hungry person if every true believer tithed the way the Lord asked?  I think not.

I think many are good at giving the tithe (1/10th) at the end of our paycheck.  But what about honoring Him with our first?  And as far as the tithe goes, do we really honor him with a full tithe, or are we always looking for ways to hold back even there?  I know my worries sometimes push me to think about how much better it would be with that extra 10%.  However the real truth smacks me right between my eyes before I can get too far with that thought.  I know that without a doubt we should not be able to make ends meet right now.  Things keep breaking down and we keep trying to figure out how to pay for things.  But we do!!! That is because our God is taking care of our needs when we honor Him with what is rightfully His.  

NEW TESTAMENT (Testament/Covenant)

In the New Testament Jesus made things easy, the definition of the quantity of our tithe is...


In Romans 12:1-2 Paul writes to tell them/us to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."  In the New Testament we are to start with everything we are.  To me that means all our money and things, as well as our time, and deeds.  Giving of our money is difficult but we recognize that as tithe.  Sometimes giving of our time can be just as difficult.  Again we are selfish, we need our “me” time and heaven forbid if we don’t get it.  When that person at the grocery store starts a conversation with you are you loving them back by conversing with them, or hurrying away so you can do that next thing on YOUR To Do list instead of thinking maybe that person was on God's To do list?  And deeds, will you clean your neighbor’s house when they have that surgery?  Will you fix the washer when your mother-in-law is too poor to call someone else to do it?  Will you spend that extra time with your child when they are craving you, or will you once again tell them you are busy?

Jesus made it clear that in order to be a believer of Him, we needed to confess our sins, turn from them and to follow Him.  If that is the case, following Him needs to mirror His life.  Jesus gave away more than He ever received.  He cared for everyone, the disciples, the followers, the unwanted, the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, the tax collector, the prostitutes and even the Pharisees...  What one of those categories do you fall under?   It doesn’t matter, God Loves YOU!  And as a follower of Christ, so should I!

I believe I am a disciple of Christ, therefore my accountability is much higher than most.  And what I may have not known before this sermon is now before me and I will be held accountable for what I choose to do or not to do in light of this new information.  I don't want to stand before my Father and have him say, "Why didn’t you give my love to everyone you met?"  I believe my sins are absolutely covered by the blood of Jesus, but I must first confess, then I must repent.  And that means I must do my very best to do things the way they should be done according to His Word, not my wishes. And not because my works get me anywhere, but because I love Him and want to live for Him the way He wants me to.  

Love is in the midst of it all.  1 Corinthians 13:1-3  goes on to say that if you do all these wonderful things in this world, but have not love than it is for nothing, and profits me nothing.  Can we truly say we are tithing because we LOVE?

So where do you fall today?  Do you tithe?  How much and why?  Is it out of obligation or out of worship?  If it is the first, I task you to sit and think and pray with the Lord to change that.  Take your money before you tithe in your hands; tell the Lord how grateful you are for the opportunity to give back to Him.  Thank Him for all He has done for you.  Then offer up your tithe, your time, your hands and feet.  Show him that you love Him by listening to Him and finding out how He wants you to be used today.  Make your whole life a living sacrifice to Him who died for you, for He is so faithful to you regardless of your obedience.  

I have been doing this and sometimes I have cried, pouted and gotten angry.  But it was only because of what I found in my own heart…  Selfishness, fear and pride.  After many hours of prayer I am honored to say that I choose in love to give Him, my glorious Father… my First, my Last and my All.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

I am proud to be an American and pray that God blesses our country and especially those who work hard to protect our freedoms and sacrifice so much doing so!  

Have an amazing yet safe Independence day!

Happy July 4th!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal 13


This week was kind of a blurr I would say.  We are finishing up a few little things for school and trying to enjoy the couple of 60-70 degree days that we have had.  This Spring has been so cool and wet that when we have a sunny day we just can't seem to believe it!  We love it and wish it would last a bit longer.


This week we went to the WHO (Washington Homeschool Organization) Convention and enjoyed looking at so many different teaching tools!  However, if you don't go with a plan it is sure to be overwhelming.  That is what happened to us last year (my 1st year homeschooling) and I wasn't sure I ever wanted to go back!  But this year I kind of knew what I wanted and was glad that I had prepared because it went much better than expected.

I came home with the Language Arts and Math curriculum that I had expected too plus a Bible study curriculum I wasn't planning on at all!  I am doing a lot of Notebooking next year so I wasn't looking for curriculum for Bible, History or even Science.  My plan is to get a lot of library books, read, learn, and write about what we learned, draw about what we learned and who knows what else.  But just have fun doing it without textbooks!

So when we came upon this Bible curriculum I was amazed to say the least.  It is called "The Picture Smart Bible" (TPSB) and it is so much fun!  TPSB is a see, hear and do program that uses all parts of the brain, creating a learning experience that is much more deeply seeded and memorable.  It would take me way to long to explain so I hope that you go to their website here and read up on it.  It is truly amazing and I am hoping to do a write up on them in a completely different blog post where I can be more complete in my explanation. I am so excited to do this with my daughter, but as well as for myself!  Our whole family is doing it together!  You can see a picture of the Book of Daniel that you create together to tell the whole story of that book in the Bible.

Great videos about the Picture Smart Bible~  Click here!


My life group women at church.  Life group is the same as home group for some churches I suppose except we do not have a specific Bible study we do.  We get together each week and just read the word of God together and talk about what we received from it.  It is also a place where we can be ourselves, receive wisdom, friendship and love that Christ tells us to show towards each other.  The ladies in my group are just amazing and I am thankful for each one of them.


For our debt to be paid and an increase in funds so that we can do all that is on our hearts to do for the Lord!

Oh!  And Happy Summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Incredible Photographer!

Wow!  Life has been busy!  I have not had the chance to sit and write in far too long and I am glad to be back at it.  What I find funny is that the last blog post I wrote about was how to use tools to help you keep on track when blogging!  Goes to show that even with the best tools possible, if you are super busy, life takes over.  

Well, as I get back into things I really wanted to share with you a wonderful photographer with great talent that I recently had the pleasure to work with.  Well, work with is not really true, she worked and I watched ;)  

Recently she called and asked if she could use my Muppin in a photo shoot she wanted to do.  Now, I have always thought that in no way would I ever let my Muppin do modeling of any kind, never!  Modeling can be a slippery slope with lots of dangerous ledges for some people.  Well, once again I realize you should never say never!  I guess I didn't even think twice about saying yes because of the person doing the shoot! She is an amazing woman that I have had the honor to get to know over the last few years and I have no doubt about how she would treat my daughter. 

The photographer is Heather who owns Elements Photography!  To say the least she is incredible!  In few years I have known her I have seen her artistry just blossom and turn into something truly beautiful.  Heather is a a natural light portrait photographer and all her sessions are done on location, however, she is working toward a natural light studio and I can't wait to see that when it is done.

Heather's primary focus is children and high school seniors, though she does photograph newborns, families, maternity and boutique.  I have seen examples of all her styles and love her artistry within each area.  Her love of color is truly captured and there is a vibrant essence of mood and soul and she easily captures a true reflection of the individuals spirit and character.  Her motto is "Life in Focus" and I truly believe she captures that.

Recently Heather was featured in Dreamer - A Creative Sketchbook which is a collaboration between Shannon Sewell and Julie Martin (owner of Zozo Bug Baby clothing).  This is the feature that my daughter was blessed to be part of.  I am both proud of the kids and Heather for putting together such amazing work and sharing that talent with the rest of us.  If you follow the link at the beginning of this paragraph you can look through Dreamer and find Heather's work about halfway through.  Her work is titled "Ice Cream Social" and is on page 41-46 and the shoot turned out really amazing!  You can tell through the pictures she is truly great with kids.

If you live in the South Puget Sound area in WA State I highly recommend Heather with Elements Photography!  Follow her link to her website here and enjoy her works of art.  Her fees are also listed there and are very good prices.  Thanks Heather for your amazing talent!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Blog Post Organizer

Last week I was on Homeschoolin Mama's Website and came across the most amazing post about organizing your blog posts!  A tool that I desperately need since I have so many things on my plate.  I am going to share with you my finished book and then you can click her website button at the bottom of this post to find the tools she has to offer for free right now.  But don't wait, she wont be offering them for free for long!

First you can see the awesome cover that she created!  I love how bright it is.  I may change it someday, but for now it is perfect.  I like these kinds of binders because when you are tired of how they look then you can create a new cover and just slip it into the sleeve!  

Next you can see the Weekly Blogging Schedule and I love this at a glace page.  I know what day I need to get what done and it has a great spot for things I need to be working on for next week too!  

I think my favorite page is the Brainstorming My Blog Ideas page.  I already have 7 pages of ideas!  Too much to ever get done, but enough to never have no idea of what to write about!

I also love the Blog Post Research page.  It gives me a place to put my notes for a specific blog post that I need to remember.  It is super handy!

There are more pages and I have them filed further back in my binder.  I hope you will go and check out what she has to offer because I love it and I know you will love it too.  It has already helped me stay on top of things (other than last week when we had family, ballet and tap rehearsals and recitals, lol).  I am already blogging more and that is awesome for me!  Thanks Homeschoolin Mama!!!

Homeschoolin Mama

First Dance Recital

We had a big event last week!  Our Muppin had her first dance recital!  She had taken ballet and tap all last year and here at the end of the school year was the big day to see if she had learned anything, but more importantly to see if she truly had fun and enjoyed what she was learning.  I just have to say, she was amazing!  Yes, I am her mom and I know that makes me biased but she really was amazing!  I loved watching every second of her performance.  Here are a few pics of her.  We did take video but that will be uploaded later.
Here she is peeking at herself in the mirror, very excited to see that she is looking more and more like a real dancer!  She was over the moon happy with her outfit!  A true princess she is.   

She is so excited on the drive there.

 Ready and waiting for her first dress rehearsal!

 Beautiful and beaming after the show!  Mom, dad, grammy and poppy all very proud of our little Muppin!  I can't wait for the next time!

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Daughter, Writer and Illustrator!

My daughter is a lot like her daddy and her mommy in many ways.  First she has the love of drawing that is definitely like her daddy.  My husband is an amazing artist and writer as well and he loves to share his love of drawing, painting and creating with her all the time.  It seems my Muppin can't do anything without drawing or doodling to help her get done with a project. Oh, and don't forget the singing, wiggling, fidgeting, and dancing!

I love to write and so does my husband, so she was destined to love writing too.  Just like drawing and painting, writing is a creative process and she does such a great job.  She has now written at least 10 books and she has illustrated them as well.  Her newest one is called "Best friends forever."  It is about her and of course her best friend.  She loves her best friend like crazy and when she thought of making her a book nothing was going to stop her!

She captures in each picture all the things they love to do together and it is amazing to see the things she notices about herself and about her friend that are the same and different, and it is a blessing to see how she celebrates both those things. 
As far as homeschooling goes there couldn't be a better project for her to work on.  I guess it is kind of like notebooking, a method of teaching that gets the children thinking about what they have learned and putting it on paper, instead of having them just answer questions to see what they have forgotten.  She is thinking out the parts of the story she wants to tell, working out how many pages she will need, then drawing the pictures.  Once that is done she writes her story on a notebook page and I go behind her and correct her spelling and punctuation and she has to rewrite it correctly.  Once it is all correct and it says everything she wants it to say then she has to write it on the pages of her book.

What a fun way to learn about grammar, spelling, writing, penmanship and story telling.  Someday she wants to have her books published and I believe she will.  We may even do a study on how that happens one of these days too!  

Does your child love the artsy side of life?  What is their favorite way to express their artistic side?

Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Friday, May 25, 2012

Homeschool Mother's Journal 12


This week we have been home a lot, which is nice.  We have been catching up on school work and I have been catching up on much needed blogging, doing a book review, creating a Proverbs study and getting organized in more than one area of my life!

I was able to go to a brunch yesterday with some ladies from my Bible study group and what a blessing that was.  God is so good when He puts Godly women in our lives to share your dreams, excitements and worries with.   God is good, all the time!


We are running around trying to get things done.  We have about another month of school left before we are done and that is if we work hard!  My Muppin wants to be done so she is doing a great job helping out and still getting great grades.  I was never a straight A student, but she sure is.  I do have to work on her perfectionism though, it can be a bit unhealthy, especially if she gets something wrong.  I am constantly telling her that no one can get everything right and she is doing a great job.  Then she quickly reminds me, "No one can get everything right except Jesus, right mom?!"  That's my girl!  Find a way to bring it to Jesus and be right at the same time. LOL


NEVER do school work at 3:00 in the afternoon!  Just DON'T DO IT!!!  ;)


I am inspired by our Pastors, Jon & Fawn Cobler.  He is an amazing man of God with a vision for himself and our church that is out of this world and I truly believe he is changing our church from one of some doers and many sleepers into many doers and just a few sleepers.  And watch out sleepers because we are coming to bring you on board with us so you experience the joy of the Lord in a way that you never have before.  Pastor Jon is not only an amazing Pastor, but also an amazing example of a husband and a dad.  We are blessed to have him!

His wife Fawn is a pure blessing for all the women at Living Water.  She is soft spoken, but not in the least bit meek.  She has power behind her words and wisdom to match.  She is beautiful on the outside but that pales in the comparison to who she is in Christ.  She has a real love for the women of our church and our community and it is an honor to have her lead us.  She is an incredible wife and mother and her fruit shows in her children.  They are a family after God's heart and that alone is a true blessing.


We are going to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium today! We are super excited.  They have baby Clouded Leopard cubs (Chận sung and Suksn) and we are hoping to see them while there.

We are also excited to watch "Captain Adventure vs. Dr. Do-Nothing: The Quest to Get Outside!" in the Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater.  It should be a blast.


Have any of you done Notebooking?  I have just started researching this and it seams like a great thing.  If you do it, how extensive are you with it?  Do you just do it with some subjects, or all?  I would love some feedback!


I am working on my writing.  Learning, reading and writing.  Making the time to do what I love!


I am praying God shows up in our finance and everyday life in a supernatural way!  I know he can!


When we got to go to Northwest Trek last week, we were able to make friends up close and personal with a couple racoons.  Here is one of them.  Isn't he a cutie!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review "Keeping His Way Pure" by Tammy Wollner

Keeping His Way PureKeeping our kid's way pure is difficult at best.  We are in a spiritual battle.  "Many of us live each day as if we are in natural circumstances, when in reality - the trying circumstance that appears in the natural is a war being waged in the supernatural."(Tammy Wollner)  The fight for us and our children and our purity is supernatural. 

I loved reading this book and Tammy makes it clear that, "We as Christians need to wake up each morning, put on the armor of God mentally and spiritually, and be ready to do battle with Satan at any point in our day. Most of all, we need to train our children to practice this." (Tammy Wollner) I could not agree more.  We have a difficult enough time doing the right thing without a war raging around us.  Add to our own weaknesses and disillusioned desires, plus the desires of the enemy, and we can never go without our armor.  His Word needs to be buried deep within our hearts so we have the ammunition needed to fight the sworn enemy of our soul.

Keeping His Way Pure addresses how this can be done with a great four step plan.  Psalm 119:9 says, "How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word."  That is where Tammy's four steps come in.  The steps are easily laid out and give great pictures through experiences of what each step would look like.  I also like that these things are not just her thoughts on what needs to be done, but that scripture is pulled in many times to show that it is God's word not hers that shows us how to live a pure life.

Along with the four steps Tammy offers sections for when the steps are not working and spiritual warfare.   We all know that even if we do all the things that are right by God's standards, things can still go wrong.  Our kids have a mind of their own and a will of their own.  And this book doesn't forget about that and leave you hanging if the four steps don't work.

What I like most is that while this is written specifically for son's, it can be used for our daughters and for our own lives.  Everyone is called to live a pure life and all of the things taught in this book are excellent things to do for ourselves as well as our daughters and sons.

This book was a great blessing and wonderful surprise.  I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to make sure their children grow in the Lord and live a life of purity in all things.

I was asked to do this review and though I was given this book I was not paid anything for my review.  This review is truthful and honest and given freely.  Thank you so much for the opportunity grow and learn while reading this book.  It was a pure blessing, God Bless.