It has been a long while since I posted. Once in 2012?  Really?  Once since 2013?  Wow.  Time has been flying by.  We added Catherine Margaret in 2013 and William in 2014.  Our oldest, Ana, graduated in 2014 and will be a senior at the university this fall, planning on her undergrad in Psychology and Masters in Educational Psychology.  Crazy how time just marches on….

A recent picture:


I have felt incredibly compelled over the past few months to begin writing again.  I’ve seen, in the last year, how young homeschooling mothers are coming forward and ministering to the homeschooling community as a whole and I applaud them.  The question has been asked on forums though…. Why?  Why are young homeschooling moms coming forward to teach the young mothers?  Where are the older women?  Why aren’t they teaching?

This thought dwells in my mind.  Perhaps it’s because the older mothers know how life has humbled them and are hesitant to offer teaching and advice?  Perhaps they know that young mothers have to find their own way, sort through their own crazy mess, walk their own journey.  I’ve always said I’d rather have close friends who can see my shortcomings than admirers I keep at a distance so they can’t see my failings.

So, when asked, what one tidbit would I want to gift young homeschooling mamas with?

Homeschooling is a lifestyle.

Exactly that.  Homeschooling is a LIFESTYLE.  It’s been said it is not school at home, and it most certainly isn’t.  I couldn’t emulate school at home if I WANTED to, but more importantly, I don’t WANT to.  I’ve been blessed to be the mother of my little tribe, the mother, not the teacher.  The public school system is a false world.  The family was / is the masterpiece of God Himself, created by Him, one man, one woman, together as one, gifted with a human child with souls.   They are created in His image.  The Christ child was part of a family.

Mother!  Don’t foresake the family for some poorer substitute.  If you are so very gifted as to be able to homeschool, EMBRACE that gift.  My littlest children will never remember the little school desk we had for Ana.  They will never remember an 8:00 AM start time, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and oodles of busywork.  They won’t because I’ve abandoned it for something better, something genuine.  I still wholeheartedly embrace a rigorous learning environment!  I just do it better than the way I was educated, teaching, learning, reading, sharing, throughout hours spent together in our home.  We homeschool, not between the hours of 8:00 and 3:00, but as a lifestyle.

We are blessed.


We’re HOME again.   While we loved our time in Oregon and adored the people we met, we are so grateful to be back in the Midwest.



It’s something created, by God, maintained, imperfectly, by people, to nurture and love and correct and grow people.    It isn’t just to grow and nurture tiny people… it’s meant to care for adults and seniors as well.   It is a long term commitment – the longest  you’ll ever make, from birth until death.

Relationships take an incredible amount of work, devotion, and effort.  I suspect distance has allowed me to view family relationships from a distance without as much effort and it has been good for me.   I’m grateful for the people in my life from whom I’ve learned.  Life is such a learning process.  I’m becoming very aware of how much I still have to learn.


Keep sanctifying me Lord.

Do you remember that June 2009 post?  Meh. Probably not.  But it was the year I left behind all of my former best laid plans and moved to file boxes and folders to organize the children.  (Of which there are now 10.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged.) 😉

Well, recently on The Well Trained Mind forums, I came across someone’s post outlining how she plans.  She mentioned she puts together spiral bound books of their work.  Genius!

Please, imagine for me if you will, a Monday where no mother has to hunt for workbooks, search for papers, frantically make photocopies, and then get everyone seated around the table (again) because Mama had to run off and do these things so they scattered to the far reaches of the house.   That’s right!  Plop down on one book and you are ready for Table Time.  Table Time is when the entire family (current baby included) sits at the table and works quietly.  It’s something to aim for, train for, achieve.  It’s not easy, but it’s worthwhile!

Without further ado, this is what I had yesterday morning:

Before photo planning_zpsb97641db.jpg

It was as simple as:

1. Make a resource list. List every subject you do and every resource you use for that subject.
2. From that list, make a list of everything that gets copied or comes in a workbook form.
3. This is now your list of what to include.
4. Now, pull out anything that needs photocopied and make detailed notes on a Post It. This should include how many copies, who it is for, and whether they are single or double sided. (Divide single side and double side into two piles.)
5. Design a cover page and dividers.
6. Are there additional resources you want pulled in?
Ideas might be: IEW checklists, math tables or charts, a reading log, assignment sheets, etc. We have a chart in there for All About Reading for consistency in the little kids’ books.

You’ll then have this:

 photo pile_zps6f293f5c.jpg

– Head off to the printer’s.
7. Decide the order in which they go.
8. Make copies.
9. Divide them up and put them together.
10. Drill and add spiral.

Finally!  You’ll end up with this:

 photo binders2_zps4f26003f.jpg

So far I have been asked the following questions and I’ll include them here for convenience sake.

Q. Is it all mixed up or in subject order? How do you find the exact page you want?

A. They are divided by simple pages that just have WEEK 1, WEEK 2, etc on them. I’m going to add labeled tabs so we can “quick turn” to each.

I didn’t go in daily work because there are days we don’t get everything done and then I get snippy and perfectionistic. I’m not setting myself up for that. So they are divided by weeks and by subjects for the little folk – 5yo, 6yo, and 8yo.

For the 9yo and the 11yo I am dividing by weeks, but dividing the subjects up into daily chunks within the weeks. I wanted to do it this way with the littles but I had been at the printer for HOURS at that point and wanted to be done. Now I can’t decide which I’d prefer for them but I know I want it like this for the girls mostly because they are more independent and can work through a day’s worth of work with minimal guidance from me. “Do the next thing” philosophy is kicking in on those workbook-y things that they can do themselves.


Love it!

Did you include your math and CLE sheets in there?

A.  Yes on the CLE sheets but no on the math.  When I make the switch to Math Mammoth (when it goes on sale next month at HBC) I will include them as well.  I wouldn’t recommend the CLE though – it did NOT play nicely!  The sheets are thin and not quite the right size so it took some effort to get them lined up.


Where did you get this idea? It looks fantastic!


The idea was in a planning thread from a few years ago where I caught that someone else had just put everything into one big book.


Those came out great!

One thing I also do is have my dd sign her book so I have a record of her signature.

My comment: Great idea!


Can I ask how you ordered the sheets?  By day’s worth of subjects, or by chunks of subjects?


I went to the UPS store yesterday thinking it would take an hour.  It took four.  So, by the end, I just grouped it by subject per week in the books for my littles – they are 5yo, 6yo, and 8yo.  So, for example there is a big blank sheet that says:  WEEK 1, followed by the WWE sheets (redone in StartWrite to have italics copywork), then all my CLE sheets, SOTW activity sheets, ETC, BibleScribe, Christian Kids Biology, etc in chunks.  I don’t like it and I’ll change it, but frankly I was exhausted.

I can still change it though – the spirals come out easy peasy so if I get motivated today while I do NOTHING but sit, lol, I can organize it better.

However, I have my 9yo and 11yo still to bind and that’s going in DAILY order, still divided by the weekly separation sheets.  They have the addition of weekly assignment checklists and a planner area that they record exactly WHAT they did that day.  It’s my goal of training them towards good record keeping.  My oldest DD tracks everything in Homeschool Tracker (she’s my Type A girl) and it’s just so much easier to have them be accountable for this.


Very nice! I am interested in more details too!  Did you take it somewhere to have it done or did you do it all on your own at home?


I did some of it at home.  I burned a CD of my downloads and went through them and found out what pages I wanted printed of each.

Some things, like Christian Kids Bio and SOTW, I needed everything printed of Units/Chapters 1-8 for Liz and for Rebecca, but I needed 4 extra copies of coloring pages for Tim, Abbie, Sarah, and Ella.  My post it notes made it SO much easier when I got to the copier.  Make notes of things like single sided and double sided and separate things that are both.  For example, in WWE 4, you have some pages that are double sided.  Those should be pre-pulled and marked double sided.  It’s a LOT easier to do before you get there. I took over one table and one copier.  You might call around and find out if anywhere in your area gives an education discount and ask for homeschoolers.  A very kind homeschooling mama told me about our local UPS store (one does honor homeschoolers and one does not) that does single side copies for three and half cents.  I was thrilled.   The girl behind the counter did my binding.  *But* apparently you can “drill” the holes all for free and the spirals are re-useable and cheap.  So, don’t let that be inhibitive.

Comment and Q.

The two threads I’ve seen about this are:



This would also work well with the infamous Filing System — I’m thinking of printing and filing by subject, and then making 2-6 weeks worth of booklets at a time, incase things don’t go according to schedule.

My Response:

I think my blog was one of the first to switch from WorkBoxes to Filing.


That was 2009.  It still gets a fair amount of hits, lol.  Maybe I should update? ;)

If you look at the first picture in this post, you’ll see I still have a couple of the file boxes, lol!

I was proud of myself for getting on this early, but apparently I always have.  That was June 30th. :D

Here’s my problem with the filing system – it’s too much for me.  It became too much bulk, too many folders, too much loose paper.  Now, granted, if you have 1-3 children, it might still work, ESPECIALLY if you want to file everything – three hole punch it and put it in binders a la TWTM book.   For me, a lot of those cute file boxes got used as step stools.  FYI, they don’t hold up great this way.  So, last year, in an effort to revamp, I went down to TWO file boxes with color coded quarterly folders and labeled them Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc.  It was okay.  It was nothing spectacular.  I still had a lot of loose paper.

So, something that’s relevant here:  I’m a clutter-phobe.  I have a serious issue with clutter.  This is really bad as a mom of ten kids, btw.  I think it makes me twitch to see “stuff” all over the place.  Not at other people’s houses, mind you.  I actually LIKE knick-knacks and pretty things at OTHER people’s houses.  Just not at mine.  I literally just packed away about 50% of the books I own so I don’t have to look at them this school year.  I’m thinking it wasn’t enough.  I have some nekkid bookshelves right now and I’m loving it.   It’s an illness, lol.  These books?  They’re my happy pill.

I wanted to share bits and pieces of a couple conversations I’ve had lately… I’m hoping it will be encouraging.


Some veteran homeschool mamas and I were chatting online and we have talked previously about the cycles homeschoolers go through.


August / September – I’m so excited!  I just KNOW a new schedule and X curriculum is going to solve the problem I had last year.

October – Keeping on.

December – Thank goodness for Christmas break.  School is still enjoyable, but just ready to take a break.

February – YOU WILL BE DISCOURAGED IN FEBRUARY.  And, strangely, it seems to NOT just be a PNW thing….  Many mothers switch curricula in February, convinced that the problem they are facing is definitely whatever they are using.

March  – Spring Break – you were planning on working through it in the Fall, but all of a sudden a little break seems like a good idea.

May – You work longer than expected in hope of finishing up something… Even the school system is guilty of not finishing the textbook you know.  Just sayin’.

July/August – The urge to start again is overwhelming. J


We’ve also noticed:


  1. You’ll know that one other homeschooler who always has it together at all times.  BTW, she doesn’t.
  2. You’ll know that homeschooler whose kids NEVER cause any issues, debate whether something is necessary, and her kids never dawdle.  First, she probably has been doing this for a while and has some tips to share, sincerely ask her to share and then listen to her.  Second, trust me, at some point in time her kids did dawdle, or debate something, or cause some kind of hub-bub. J
  3. You know the homeschooler who does it all and does a million outside activities as well.  It’s AMAZING!  She only has 24 hours in her day too.  Everyone has priorities.  Some of us do a lot in the home, some outside the home, but everyone has only been gifted with 24 hours.  Pray about what YOU should do with YOURS.  Our God is not a “one size fits all” God.
  4. Cover your decision to homeschool, or to public school, or to private school, or to co-op, or whatever YOUR family needs in prayer.  God can answer, “What should we do?”  Anxiety can’t answer that.  Worry can’t answer that.  Fear can’t answer that question.  God can.  And whatever HE says, obey.  His is not a spirit of fear or anxiety.  If you do not feel equipped or a friend is “advising” you, that is NOT relevant.  Only obedience is relevant.  Simply because God called a friend to do one thing does not mean He is calling you to the same.  See #3.


Finally, in a conversation with Kara the other day she mentioned Nehemiah and his task of building a wall.  She talked about how the people came to bother him, to keep him from his task.  But he had a task for God in front of him to complete.


This piqued my interest.  So this morning I looked it up.  I am sadly deficient in the OT.  I love Proverbs for teaching and Psalms for encouragement but I always find myself in the NT.  But this morning, I found myself in Nehemiah (thanks Kara) and loving it!


Nehemiah Ch:2

Nehemiah is finding himself heartbroken because the wall around Jerusalem is broken down.  He asks permission from the king to rebuild it.


Then as you read through Nehemiah, you find that as Nehemiah is working on building this wall, the people are angry and they want to stop the work.


They come to him four times and ask him to come to the village to meet with him so that he will stop working on the wall.   And yet he keeps building.  Then they come to him, charging him with revolting.   Another distraction!  No, no, it’s a rumor; he keeps building.


Then Chapter 6 v9 – I LOVED this!

“9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”

But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

How could he not be growing weary?  Discouraged?  He is facing much discouragement and opposition, many distractions, and everything is threatening to tear him away from this wall!  His answer?  He prays for strength.


In v15 the wall is completed.  The work is done.

And then is verse 16:

“16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.”


In almost all things that are obedience to our beloved and living God, we will face opposition and hardship.


I hold tight to two verses:

~ James 1 ~

Consider it pure joy, my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”


The second verse is a gift to me from when we lost our daughter Hannah.  I learned that we can be comforted and that God absolutely used the comfort we have received to later comfort others.  I know this is absolutely true.

~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ~

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles,  so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are in distress, it is for your comfort and salvation.”

I know a few other truths:


  1. Homeschooling can be very challenging.  It is never, ever continuously easy.
  2. Parenting can be very challenging.  See #1
  3. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean stop IF God has called you to it.  This is why the decision to homeschool should be BATHED in prayer.  Have you heard the rule?  If He brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.
  4. Never do anything just because everyone else seems to…  Be it curriculum, outside activities, or anything else.  Pray.
  5. You’ll hit a wall.  Make cookies.  Take a break.  Breathe.  Pray.



I don’t believe all Christian families are called to school in the same way.  Nor do I believe all Christian families should look the same.  Our God must like differences; the sheer number of different butterflies is astounding! 😉  But I do know, that as Beleivers, we are called to three things:


Seek Him and His will


Give Him the glory for the wall so that others know He is God and He is mighty.



Hold tight to the truths.  There are days when you can’t see your path for the clouds and the fog.  (Also true in places other the PNW, lol.)  Those days you’ll desperately need to know those basic truths of why you are doing a particular task.  Because, had I been Daniel in the lion’s den I am certain I’d have been eaten.  After all, what lion doesn’t find a snack running around screaming, “This isn’t right?  This CANNOT be God’s will for me! I QUIT!” enticing?   Yum.


You’re going into a new school year.  Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Rest in the task God has given YOU.   Seek Him daily.   Pray.  Recognize that anxiety is NOT from God.  Recognize fear is not from God.  When you have a question, it is good to seek wise counsel.  Seek it, however, “season” that counsel with the knowledge that we are not all called to the same journey and, again, pray.   Moreover, when seeking counsel, seek it from the older woman, seek it from someone who has older children, and you’d want to emulate the wall they have been building.  Do not ask your closest friend, she may not be the best counsel.   See 1 Timothy 3 in what an elder should be like and Titus 2 in what an older woman should be like to decide whether this is a good person to seek counsel from.   You’re seeking wisdom, not just advice or empathy.


There… My .02 and a few bucks might get you a decent cup of coffee.


There were so many hard days when we started homeschooling! Some days are still hard, but  I know now  they will pass.  I do wish someone had told me these things though, admittedly I don’t know if I would have listened.   Now, it is easier.  Instead of asking, “What am I doing wrong that this curriculum doesn’t work for me?” I am okay with the “best” curriculum not working.  The best curriculum isn’t the “best” when it sits on the shelf, unused and unloved.  Moreover, what is “best” is fickle.  Curricula changes as often as fashion.


A nap can sometimes be time well spent.  Staying home does give you more time.  Nobody can do everything and be everything.  You will fail.  It’s okay.  Tell yourself what you tell your kids, “Get up.  Brush off your knees.  It will happen again but you will be OKAY!”  Then what do you do?  You love on ‘em and send them off stronger and more capable and willing to try again.  Extend yourself the same grace you would extend a beloved friend if she called you on the phone after a hard day.  Love covers an awful lot of shortcomings.  If you find yourself crabby and impatient, make hot cocoa, turn on praise music and dance with your kids.  Kiss your husband.  Be grateful.  Be thankful. Pray.  These days often don’t feel like a gift, but they are.

Let me educate you about the true BLESSING of a big family.

Long story, but necessary…

A couple of weeks ago on another board the subject was raised that the poster wished that people would think NOT about having another baby, but about having another toddler or even (eew) another teen. In other words, babies are all nice and sweet, but they turn into children and we ought to think about that before we sign up for another one.

There is a common happening among those of us (I suspect almost all if not ALL) who have many little ones close together or even not so close together. We feel overwhelmed. We feel outnumbered. We struggle from day to day. The kids do something that is mole-hillish and we feel it is mountain stuff.

It reminds me of the part of Soul Surfer where she asks what the pictures are but you can’t tell because they are taken from a too close perspective… But once you gain a little distance you can see more clearly.

Mamas, we are in the thick of it. The diapers, the laundry, the day to day care, the “Be nice to your sister, don’t argue with your brother, someone grab that baby, noooooo, don’t touch that…” stage.

So I offer… Perspective.

The poster from the other board is right. We should *not* be thinking about whether we want a baby and stopping with that. Because she is right, the baby stage is INCREDIBLY short. It lasts about two years if you count your toddlers as babies. But SHE is short sighted as well. Because even the teen years last a mere, short, tiny SIX years. Let’s say they become fully formed, rational, full fledged adults at twenty or even twenty-five. You have adult children for about 40 years assuming you live a nice, ripe age of 85-90, God willing.

So, now, the perspective.

I come from a family of three. It’s a good family. I have a mother who cared for us, took care of us, was committed to my well-being. Did she do everything just as I have? No, we each had the opportunity to live our own lives and choose our own paths. (I think sometimes we think a person’s life reflects their own childhood. This was not so with us as far as homeschooling, religious beliefs, etc.) Most importantly, she truly cared for my siblings and me and sought to be a great mom. I had a father who was committed and who deeply enjoyed his children. He, also, was not perfect. They worked hard to make a good life and a good childhood for us.

They came from large families.
My mother had ten living sibling and a baby brother that died at birth.
My father had ten living siblings for a grand total of 11 kids.

My grandmother (paternal) is dying today. She has been on a slow decline with severe dementia for about six months. Two days ago she broke her hip and they have her in a medicated state. The stress on her body is going to kill her, most likely today, God willing. And that is hard, but it is okay. She lived a wonderful life and is ready for her reward.

Here is what I want to tell you.
Your life right now is hard. It seems insurmountable. It seems like all you do is care for babies, change diapers, correct children, clean houses, lather, rinse, repeat. The time will come when you will NEED your family around you.

That woman has had a visitor every day, EVERY single day, without fail, since the day she went into the nursing home. EVERY day her husband has visited her or at least ONE of her children has visited her. I have two uncles currently working in Canada. They came home monthly to see her.

She is ill right now and my grandfather is older than her. He is 87 and she is, I believe 79. Yesterday someone was with him all day long. One sister was in the Carolinas, two brothers were on their way home from Canada, and one sister was driving from a few hours away and yet he was not alone. On Monday he had three children able to help him with funeral arrangements. Last night, he was so weary. But he had three families that stayed with him and four children stayed with their mother and the rest went and recuperated so they could help today.

Today they sat at the hospital, loving one another, crying together, holding one another together, and allowing one another to fall apart.

We love this woman. We are committed to this woman. I am one of two (out of almost 40) grandchildren that cannot come home and it mourns us deeply. We are trying to permanently move home so that we can help Grandpa as our family is most suited to helping him on a regular basis.

My point of all this is, perspective.

I texted my husband today to tell him how very blessed we are.
God willing, should I live as long, I will be able to actively, sweetly be as involved in my grandchildren’s lives as she was in mine. My father took over the family farm when they moved to town so perhaps we were closer than many, but she was an incredibly HUGE part of my life. She was a huge part of Ana’s little girlhood, teaching her to embroider, cooking with her, and afternoon Jeopardy.

There is a lesson here.

You will reap what you sow. The farmer doesn’t reap a harvest when he plants. He plants with faith and waits for those tiny little leaves to reach heavenward. And when he sees them, he rejoices, but he knows there is still work to be done. He faithfully tills and works with the faith that there will be a harvest. He DOES get tired. It IS hard work. But if he can just persevere, he will reap a harvest. More than that, a HARVEST THAT LASTS. It will bring him joy for years to come.

We are blessed.
I know that the world does not recognize this. I know that if you read the news you think to yourself, “What kind of world am I bringing children into?” I know people think you’re crazy. I know children are expensive. They wear you out. Some days are just HARD.

But the world lacks perspective. They want an easy and quick return. THey look at the baby stage, they look at the teen years, they look at the hard work, they don’t see things in an eternal light.

Your Lord God has a plan for your marriage if you just let Him work. As in all things, He allows for Free Will and we have the opportunity to let go and let God or to control things within our will. He is amazing. He can surpass what you can imagine.

I have trusted for twelve years now. I did not see with clarity through most of it, just kept walking, shoulder on the wheel, trusting, but not seeing.

The last two days I have a perspective that is far wider.

It is tragically unfair that so many of you did not grow up experiencing a family like mine. That you cannot hear the stories in the hospital room right now as they re-call “tragedies” of a childish nature and laugh together while they cry. I am just certain they are talking about good, hard, well-earned spankings wink and little songs sung while baking, and stories of sisters & brothers doing dreadful things to the poor cat, and the ponies, when Anne came in and announced she had found baby squirrels and everyone wanted to see but alas, they were catepillars… And most definitely the favorite story, that time that Joe went into the cornfield and found a skunk….

My grandmother has talked to me about how HARD their childhood was… She had eleven children in THIRTEEN years. There is no sugar coating that it was hard. She was 32 when she had her last baby. It was hard. She would get sidetracked into a book and her mama would come on weekends to help her catch up on laundry and iron her sheets. grin

But I am telling you, to be witness to, to be part of, such a family as this one is a blessing beyond belief. And I am sobbing sometimes today, but would rather go through the pain of losing someone in my beloved family 100 times over than have never experienced something like this.

I have been busy these last few weeks… Researching, cutting, snipping, sewing, attaching elastic! 🙂 A sweet friend of mine has had a baby girl and I haven’t made diapers in a quite a while! I enjoyed playing with some new fabrics and some new materials I’ve never touched before.

Her little Miss Ella and my sweet Livvi are getting a few new diapers each. I’m tweaking, tweaking, tweaking…

I have nine diapers cut so far and inners from Zorb for 12. I completed one this morning and am hoping to finish at least ten more by the end of the weekend. I thought it would be useful to share a few links and a few pictures so I’ll update soon.

In the meantime, KAMSnaps is offering a $20 giveaway on Facebook so you may want to check them out. I am using KamSnaps along with my husband’s drill press rather than owning another gadget. It works beautifully! Plus, I only had to buy a die set rather than a die press or those little pliers that wear out my hands! The best thing about KamSnaps? Why the COLORS of course!

We converted DH’s drill press to a snap press… Temporarily, of course.

An update!

Olivia Serene joined our family at the end of June! She is sweet, beautiful, and healthy. I do believe she is the sweetest tempered baby we’ve ever had!

Had a thought this morning…. I’m rereading a few of my favorite homeschooling books in the hopes I’ll find my perfect game plan….

The thought?

I am worried about many things but only one is needful. Should I do all that I can to introduce my children to this man, Jesus, my life and purpose will have been well sever. For if I success in that ONE thing, I can consider motherhood a success. If I should succeed in MANY things but fail to teach them about Him every single day with love and devotion I will have failed. It will not matter, ultimately, how well they read Latin or if they’ve read the “Great Books.” None of it will matter one bit.

Be mindful mothers. Be anxious for nothing. Only one thing is needful. Cast your eyes on Him daily and walk forward.

Okay, so if you’ve heard any of this and I’ve been running across more and more blogs on the Anti-Patriarchal movement from former quiverfull and pro-Dad / anti-feminist families/wives then you might know there is a pretty servere backlash against quiverfull families going on.

It’s been pegged as the Anti-Patriarchal movement.  This morning on the RGT forum, someone offered up this link.

Mary Pride’s book has been targeted as one of the “initial” books in the patriarchal/quiverfull movement and it’s been a very long while since I’ve read it, way back in 2001.

However, her rebuttal is worth reading.  I thought it  well written and on topic.  It made me think.  Perhaps your little girls are a long way off from teen years yet, but let me tell you, about 14/15 you start to hit a panic mode.  TRULY panic mode.

Essentially it goes something like this:
I want her to be well prepared.  I want her to be well educated.  For what?  Oh dear.  I don’t know.  For anything?  If I push her out into the wide world of Academia are we going to lose her heart to the feminism/liberalism that exists and is crammed down student throats at even Christian colleges?  Do I want her to stay home & be married & have babies?  Really?  What if she never does get married?  Is she then still serving God or is she just serving her family and not using any of her gifts?  WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN AND HOW DOES IT EQUATE TO MY FAMILY?????

I wasn’t terrified 2-3 years ago.  Aware, yes.  Thoughtful, yes.

But, now, with three years left of my “prep” work, terrified might just be the better word.  Then I look down the line.  Okay, one son – that’s easy.   Whatever he does, he’ll have to support himself or a family.  And so he is prepared through work, service, and education.  Then Elizabeth.  Then Rebecca.  Then there’s Tim.  Phew!  Same thing, one standard. Then Abigail, Sarah, Daniella, and Baby Dassah.  Wait.  ((Did I say that?!?  Right, like I’m going to get that name, lol.  – Sorry, got sidetracked.))

It is possible I’ve overthought it.  I mean after all, all I REALLY need to do is pray, love God, and obey and serve.  Preparing my daughter academically does NOT mean turning her into a raging liberal feminist.  Gasp.  As a matter of fact, it turns out that intelligent, beautiful, well spoken, academic minded young women CAN exist to the glory of God.  And it doesn’t mean she must ever be career minded.  Moses REALLY didn’t need a plan for getting the Israelites free of the Egyptians.  He didn’t.  He just needed to love God with his whole heart, be willing to serve, and obey what God told him.  He could not have foreseen the parting of the Red Sea or anything that God did for them so that they could be free and begin the tremendous plan God had for them.  As a matter of fact, without prayer, love, and obedience to God, he would have mucked it all up.

Eight girls to raise up to the glory of God.  Eight.  Some days I truly want to ask God, “What were you thinking?!”  I’m a long shot from Suzy Homemaker, not even the greatest helpmeet even if I’m awfully attached to the husband He gave me. 😉

Ana is in her freshman year of high school.  So what are we preparing her FOR?

My mom asked me a month ago, “So what does Ana want to do?”  I smiled and said, “Well, she’d like to eventually get married, have babies, and homeschool them with the curriculum she’s working on.”

My mother, bless her, seemed to freeze for just a moment.  I think she wondered if I was serious or making a joke.

She and I grew up in different scenarios, made life choices that have colored our perspectives and have set us on different life paths. We have a shared respect for each other’s choices and, I think, most certainly a respect for who the other is as a woman. I love her dearly and I know she loves me.

Ana’s back up plan is studying law.  That is what she calls it too, lol.  Her back up plan.  She doesn’t want to be a lawyer.  She wants to study constitutional law and write papers in defense of those things she feels passionately about  – homeschooling being first and foremost.

An interesting job choice really.    Is there even such a career?

But I do go back to what MY obligation is to my daughter through all of this.

I, as her mother and as God’s daughter, must love Him, I must obey Him, I must be willing to serve.  I must prepare her for life as best as I can in according to the gifts He gave her.  And then, some day, I’ll stand by and watch prayerfully, as He parts the waters and makes the path more clear.

A discussion on DiaperSwappers:

Is your house ever really clean?

Let me interject here by saying that if you should drop by my house without calling it may appear not so clean. But generally it’s clean every day, at least once, for a little while. 🙂 Granted it may only be the hour between 5:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. but I still consider that an accomplishment. 😛

My answer:
I have also gotten rid of a TON of STUFF over the years.

I’ve found I feel happier, more content, more peaceful with LESS stuff.

If you have stuff, you must maintain said stuff. It’s a rule. I hate the rule, but it’s a rule and it’s true. I don’t have time to maintain STUFF. I have to maintain people. If I didn’t have little people, I could have time to dust knick-knacks, keep plants alive, vacuum twice a day (and have it stay clean), alphabetize my bookshelves, stack dishes neatly, etc. But I DO have little people. And they DO need maintenance… Pesky little things like cuddles, and snuggles. Sometimes the littlest ones even want NURSED or FED! Oy! And the diaper changes – can you believe they need MORE than one a day?!?!? Clean clothes, healthy snacks, read to them, and I guess, if you keep them home, you’re supposed to TEACH them too?!?! You can see how much time they take to upkeep!

Nope, no time for maintaining both the little people AND the stuff. One of them had to go and the State really frowns on you dropping off the little people at Goodwill. So, the stuff had to go. It was a shame. I was attached to some of it….

In other news, Doorposts has a new blog!  They are also doing a huge giveaway.  While I would LIKE to be the winner, it would be greedy of me not to share this news… Plus it gets me another entry.  One has to wonder if the link share is greedy or compassionate???

An interesting discussion and link was posted at the WoodShed this week that has stolen a bit of time from my mind.

Why One Mother Walked Away from Motherhood

Honestly? It made me feel angry, but more than just that, it was frustrating. First the end of the fathers… Now the mothers?! Who will ever think of the children? It feels like we’re banging our head against a brick wall in this society. Just because the children can keep up appearances does NOT mean they are okay. And my response to it was just bitter frustration. However, there were apparently some compassionate mothers on the board who could see the sadness in her. I admit I think I missed it. Anger and/or frustration can make us miss some of the not so apparent nuances of life. Interesting, isn’t it?

Another mama, Samantha, wrote this:
“This woman was so desperate to fill the hole in her heart that she *left her children*, and really, there is not any way she can be happy that way, b/c only Christ is going to bring her real true lasting happiness.”

Hm. That made me really stop my gut reaction and think about it. Anger works NOT the righteousness of God.

My thoughts:

“This made me think. You know, I was a little shocked to find she had been married for twenty years. They waited a very long time for children.

My guess is that she chases “happiness” thinking the very next thing will fill her up. Got married, spent years building a career, hoped finally children were the missing link perhaps? Had two. Found out they weren’t “filling her up”, opportunity entered her life. Thinking THIS would be the happiness she’d been chasing, she turns directions. Heads off in another direction, to leave her husband and her children to chase it down. Years later, begins to write THIS book, assuredly THIS will be the happiness she’s given up so much sacrifice for.

In a way… In a way, and I don’t mean it cruelly, but in a way, I hope she wins this award. If she doesn’t win it, she’ll assume all she needs to feel fulfilled is to write ANOTHER book and WIN. If she wins it and it is nothing but emptiness and vain glory, she will have epitomized her career and found out it was all for naught.

You’re right. When we follow something other than Christ, when we chase after something other than Christ, it is empty.

It is this way for career women, for mothers, for quiverfull mothers, for homeschooling mothers… Anytime we’re trying to fill ourselves up with THINGS, or REWARDS, or VISION, but it isn’t Christ, there will be that deadness, that pointlessness of life that always feels empty.”

And it clicked. Truly, this resonated with me. I understand, I think, WHY this mother made this decision.

And so what makes that blog worthy? Let’s face it, lol, I don’t blog often. But there is a lesson to be learned! Oh, yes, even for those of us who are committed mothers, or occasionally mothers who should be committed. 😉 Those of us who think we’d never abandon our children, or our families, or our responsibilities. But there are far more of us who hide from unhappiness… Seeking out one thing or another to distract us from our shortcomings. Admit it. There are those of us who feel we can hide from a cup only half filled… Filling it with froth and nothingness (hobbies, computers, time outside of the home, the telephone, a new class, etc. ) rather than the Living Water. If you are always running on empty, it’s because you truly aren’t filling the tank. And the tank isn’t filled by filling/serving OURSELVES. It is only filled by Christ.

Thank you Samantha for the reminder. I needed that. There, but by the grace of God, goes I. And woe to those of us who truly believe it cannot happen to us if we do not prayerfully stand guard to our motherhood and marriages. We must be vigilant to watch over ourselves and our families.