Parenting blog posts from Homemaking911

Town Day or Errand Day

 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Genesis 24:13 When I plan each week, I know that on days when I will be out of the house, I can sometimes squeeze in a quick errand here or there, so I try to keep track of this list each week and mark off things I need to do. Then, before I leave the house, I can glance and the list and see what I can do on the way. But some days, I really just end up doing a lot of errands. History has taught me to keep snacks in the car for everyone, and to bring along something fun for the children to listen to in the car. Moms with teens: You can also use this list for when your teen sweetly asks if you need any errands run. I know that my daughter still loves to drive enough she will gladly take an errand or two off my list each week.  I keep a list of what to do before errand day or town day, and all the possibilities for this day so that when it arrives I can grab my purse and children and head out the door quickly! Before Errand Day: Plan Menu plans Balance the checkbook Put grocery and shopping lists in my purse Pack the diaper bag Plan for car snacks Put all needed items in the car Plan efficient route Plan car activities for everyone (Book on CD if available) Lay out clothes and shoes for...

He Loves You, Part 8, Conclusion, He Loves You At ALL Times

I could go on and on sharing proof and stories of God’s love with you straight from God’s word, or from my own life, or from the lives of all the believers I know. But the truth of the matter is, my friends, He LOVES you at ALL TIMES.

He Loves You, Part 7, When You Are Hurting

I remember vividly the picture of her weeping in the temple. The exact words were: “In bitterness of soul Hanna wept much and prayed to the Lord.” Hannah was so heartsick because she had been unable to conceive a child. A little further in scripture we read that in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel saying: “Because I asked the Lord for Him.” Later she says: I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” The Lord loved Hannah through all her pain and despair, and eventual healing caused her to grow with such spirituality, that later in scripture she says:

“My heart rejoices in the LORD;

He Loves You, Part 6, When You’re Serving Quietly

47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” 48″How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” 50Jesus said, “You believe[a] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51He then added, “I tell you[b] the truth, you[c] shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

He Loves You, Part 5, When You Reject Him

This parable tells of God’s incredible ability to forgive, without judgement, or condemnation a son who ran away with all his possessions to a far away land where he squandered his family’s fortune in a life of sin. In fact, when this prodigal son returns, he is not just accepted. He is lavishly blessed. In Luke Chapter 15 The father says: “Quick! Bring the best robes and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. That is what awaits you if you rejected the father, and then choose to return to Him. You will be celebrated, blessed and accepted, never scorned or sent away in shame.

He Loves You, Part 4, When He Disciplines You

I have, after years of being a parent come to fully understand what this means. Parents know they are not doing themselves or their children any favors by neglecting to discipline them when necessary. In fact, the more I love my children, the more time and energy I am willing to devote to their training and discipline. I have witnessed parents, and at times been a parent who was so caught up in their own world, their own needs, their own issues that even basic discipline does not happen. This is truly a heartbreaking scenario. Children who could absolutely thrive under the proper love and discipline are left to their own foolish ways and end up on a lifelong path of self destruction. The Lord wants so much more for us!

He Loves You, Part 3, When You Are A Sinner

When I look at what I would consider God’s big Top Ten sins, I would most definitely include things like: Murder, Adultery, Lying. But really, any sins can fall into this category of things which separate us from God. Many of us believe that being separated from God means he cannot love us. This is not so!

He Loves You, Part 2: He Loved You When You Were Not Yet Born

Now, once you were conceived and became a living being in your mother’s tummy, the Bible tells us that even then, the Lord is with you. Psalm 139:13-14 tells us: You, Lord created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

He Loves You, Part 1, Before You Were Conceived

we wanted to know that *we* were special and loved by someone, even if that meant nothing more than someone who would sit by you on the bus, pass notes to you in Social Studies, or stand behind you in line when it was time to move from class to class.

I have great news for you! Let’s pretend there is this great big daisy in heaven just waiting for each of us. But this one is special because every single petal has the same answer. He LOVES YOU.

Amazon Baby Registry- FREE GIFTS WITH REGISTRY

  For a limited time, when you create a baby registry with Amazon Prime, Amazon is giving you some very special bonuses. $35 is bonus sample products and gifts! PLUS: You’ll also receive the following bonus gifts: Free Parenting eBook 20% off a Tiny Prints order 25% off maternity purchase 25% off prenatal vitamins purchase This is in addition to all of the other existing perks for creating an Amazon Baby Registry An automatic 10% completion discount (or 15% as an Amazon Family member) Amazon Assistant which allows parents to add anything from any website to their registry Up to 15% Savings on Subscribe and Save Items (Love this feature!!) 20% off diaper subscriptions as an Amazon Family member Free 90-day returns!! Free shipping on orders over $35 (or FREE two-day shipping for Prime Members) Easy accessibility from any device Easily share your registry via text or social media Registry gifts can be shipped straight to you, without revealing your address to the purchaser Thank You List feature that conveniently tracks registry purchases and who they are from...

How long should I keep my tax information?

  When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?   Mark 12:14 Every year, as I start getting ready to do my taxes, I look at the files from taxes from previous years. Lots of years. And while it is fun to look back at old tax returns and laugh. If I think money is tight *now*, I am not remembering what it was like in 1990, when we were in college, had a baby, and both worked several part-time jobs to scrape by. BUT, the fact remains I really don’t need to have 25 years of receipts to relive those memories. The front page of each tax return would be more than sufficient to keep “for old time’s sake.”  In case you are unsure, here is what the IRS says you need to keep: The length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income or deductions on a tax return until the period of limitations for that return runs out. The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund, or that the IRS can assess additional tax. The below information contains the periods of limitations that apply to income tax returns. Unless otherwise stated, the...

Seminar: Homeschooling for High School and College Admissions

For all those parents who still have questions regarding homeschooling for High School, I will be giving a presentation at Highview Baptist Church, Fegenbush Campus, Room 101. THIS IS THE SAME PRESENTATION AS LAST WEEK. We are having another session to accommodate a different day and time and also because I had to turn people away last time. Address: 7711 Fegenbush Lane, Louisville, KY 40228 I will be covering topics such as: Options for outside classes Dual Credit College Admission Class Credits Options for PE Social Opportunities Community Services Successful College Applications Preparing for the ACT College Admissions for student with learning disabilities Seeking Scholarships for Homeschool students For those who don’t know me, I have six children, ages 3-25. One daughter is graduated and grown. Two of my daughters, Sarah (17), and Anne Mary (15) are entering college in the fall and I have a ten year old, five year old and three year old. I have been homeschooling since my oldest was 10 when we removed her from school in the first few weeks of the school year. Each of my children has had a different path to high school graduation, and I am still learning as we go! What works for one child, does not always work for another. Date: Wednesday, February 17th Time: 10:00- 12:00 Place: Highview Baptist Church, Fegenbush Campus Cost: I will not be charging any fees, but I am requesting a $5 donation for copy costs. Here is where you register: I can take up to 40 people, that is the comfortable seating capacity of this room. Also, as you email your...

5 Top Ways We Use Essential Oils

We’ve used essential oils for years. At first, we just had one or two that were “tried and true.” But over time after hearing more and more friends who loved the benefits of oils, we slowly grew our collection. At this point, we use them daily for many different purposes. Here are our top five ways: First sign of illness If anyone has an upper respiratory (cough, stuffy nose and runny nose) we begin using a blend we love called Breathe. We put this blend on the chest, or in the case of the younger children on the insides of their wrists (pulse points). This often offers relief within a couple of minutes, making breathing easier and helping clear excess mucus. For tummy maladies we use Chamomile, Frankincense or Lavender (blended in coconut oil) directly on the tummy. Aches/Pains Duncan and I are getting old!  Sometimes it’s the knees. Sometimes it’s the feet. Sometimes it’s the back and shoulders. We use a blend we purchased from an Amish doctor as our first line of defense. It that does not do it, we also try Deep Blue. It’s a rub. It has a cooling effect and a minty smell. For runners, you can try using a little Cyprus on your feet before a run for an energy boost and to help with achyness as a preventative. TMJ- I will use or Lavender in the jaw area and area behind my ears at bedtime before going to sleep to help me relax and prevent clenching. I don’t do this all the time, it’s usually a sign I need to reduce stress...

My Favorite Verses for Working With College Bound Teens

When working with teens on the college application and scholarship submission, We were often frustrated or unfocused or bored on this extensive, ongoing task.  One of the best things I can do in this matter is to pray, meditate on scripture and speak truth into their lives. Here are my favorite verses that help keep me focused. Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Joshua 1:9 – “…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Isaiah 40:30-31 – Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, sluggard; consider her...

Give Loving Gifts – Valentines or Any Times

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Matthew 2:11  For Valentine’s day this year, think of gifts that you can give that show your love to those around you. Here are some quick ideas to get you started. Let the love of Christ shine through you! Give handmade gifts to members of your family. Use your creativity to make each gift specific to the recipient’s hobbies, interests, or character traits. Deliver a home-cooked meal to an elderly couple or individual in your neighborhood.   Decorate the packaging with hearts and flowers, and slip in a scripture verse about God’s love. Gather your whole family and go to your local homeless shelter to serve meals. Take your kids to the store and allow them to pick out a gift they would like to donate to a shelter.    Have them make a handmade Valentine’s card to be delivered along with the gift. Offer to take your elderly family members or neighbors to do their grocery shopping. Or if they can’t leave their homes, offer to do the shopping for them.   Slip a “love note” in with their groceries. If someone close to you is involved with a charity, make a donation in that person’s honor, or ask them how you and your family can donate some time. Let them know that their generosity has been an inspiration to you. Invite a person who has no children to...

Free Wedding Planning Checklist

She said ‘yes’! FTC Disclosure: Our posts contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy here. Now is when all the planning and excitement starts! When I was married, almost 25 years ago, we spent hours flipping through huge books of samples at the printers, searching for the right invitations and ordering them after a painstaking draft/approval process. Modern brides get to do all this from the comfort of their own homes. With beautiful online ordering options there are so many ways to personalize and view them before you ever pay a penny. Then, with a few strokes of the mouse, your invitations are on the way! But you still need to get them in the mail on time. What is the current rule of thumb on wedding invitations? What if you’re having an engagement party? And of course, the thank you cards. If you’re in the beginnings of planning a wedding, I’ve got exciting news: Wedding Paper Divas is offering a store wide sale of 30% off everything you order for your wedding! * And before you spend a penny, print off their free full month-by-month wedding checklist. This gorgeous picture is from my Aunt’s wedding, 60 years ago. (Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. ) *Offer expires 01/26/2016 (11:59 P.M. PT). Save 30% off using the code WINTERSALE at checkout. There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. Offer is not applicable to previously placed orders, shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, photo books, calendars and personalized postage stamps. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on weddingpaperdivas.com and is...

The Lazy Mom’s Way to Teach About Elections : FREE DVD

I love teaching certain subjects. I love teaching elementary history, middle and high school science and English. But teaching government concepts have always been important to me, but not terribly interesting.  I think every eligible citizen should arm themselves with knowledge and vote. Some are even called to be highly involved in the political process. I’m not one of those. But I DO want my children to grow up and vote, and to understand the voting process. So, for that reason, I am THRILLED to find out about Learn Our History’s FREE DVD about the election process. If you want a copy, here’s a link to go grab one for...

An Open Letter to Liz Curtis Higgs, An Encourager by Anne Mary Russell

This was written by my 15-year-old daughter, and was originally Posted on: NotesOfAllTypes.com, Anne Mary Russell’s personal blog. My beloved sister, The first time I met you was in Bad Girls of the Bible. I was inspired by your careful, word-by-word study of scripture. I loved how you applied the seemingly distant Bible stories to life now, showing me how the Bible is relevant just as much to me as it was to Rahab or the Woman at the Well. The second time I met you was in the Lowlands of Scotland. The biblical story of Jacob and Leah and Rachel came alive to me. For the first time, I felt invested in the story. I cried multiple times over the sin and pain of the characters, and rejoiced in their eventual return to righteousness and redemption. The series convicted me of my own sin, of my lack of forgiveness to others, and showed me clearly the Lord’s mercies toward desperate sinners. Your books and blog posts have pushed me forward in righteousness. They showed me the truth, and lifted me up in the joy of salvation. The Lord has given you a gift of using words to encourage others, and you have used it to His glory. Thank you for giving me joy in reading Christian Fiction. Thank you for inspiring me in my walk with Christ. Thank you for being my friend and mentor without ever knowing my name. You have blessed me beyond words.   -Anne Mary...

Malia’s Favorite Books from 2015

You know I love reading.  Some books you read for a break, or for inspiration, or for education. Some books you read for the sheer joy of the book. Here are the books that I have used, read, re-read and loved in the past year. Getting Things Done – This is the only goal-setting/business organization book I have ever read more than twice. I think I went through it a 3rd time this year. It’s not his fault. I just have so many fluid things changing all the time, and every time I read this book I get inspired to adjust and improve things. It’s effective, it’s a pleasant read. And you can probably find it pretty cheap on Amazon because it’s not a brand new book. Fringe Hours – This is a sweetly inspirational book that helped me understand the importance of feeding my own soul on occasion. As a result of this book, I’ve started writing again, I started playing piano (a very very little, please don’t ask me to play) and I have been allowing myself to read more for pleasure. Which leads me to the next book: Pioneer Girl An Annotated Autobiography – I bought this book because I absolutely love the Little House on the Prairie Books. This is a book that includes the original book as it was first written, before it was heavily edited to change it to children’s book. Even more, every fact, every name, every editing mark is footnoted and verified, and expounded upon. I have read every single footnote in the book. It’s fascinating. I love it. This is...

Review: SchoolhouseTeachers.com

This month I have been reviewing the SchoolhouseTeachers.com  Yearly Membership. If you are unfamiliar with SchoolhouseTeachers, it is an affordable, diverse way to quickly expand your homeschool’s resources at a very reasonable cost. There are classes offered across numerous disciplines for all ages-preschool to parents. With classes such as Science, Art, Music, Computer and Technology, Foreign Languages, Nutrition, and a whole host of topics to help parents with various aspects of education.  This is an online product with printable elements, classes and videos. Many classes offered there are appropriate for multiple ages. This month, my children have been taking the elementary art class. How we used this curriculum: I asked my 15-year-old daughter, Anne to work on this with my 5-year-old son, Daniel. They were having so much fun that before long, David (10) and Rebecca (3) joined in as well. For this 12 week class, each week has a one page summary, telling facts about a particular artist, followed by some fun projects the child can do to help them remember what they learned. In week one, they covered Michelangelo. After looking at pictures of the Sistine Chapel, they tried to simulate doing art on their backs by taping paper to the bottom of our kitchen table. This is where all the other kids suddenly got interested and started to try it as well.  The next week’s lesson covered Picasso, where they made abstract art from cut up pieces of construction paper. They also enjoyed finger painting another week. Basically, it’s more than just coloring sheets or a book with facts, it’s a brief historical lesson, completed by doing some fun art. This...

Word of the Year 2016: Transitions

Every year is filled with it’s excitement and challenges and transitions. Some years, though, you know are going to be a roller coaster ride. This year the children are ages: 25, 17, 15, 10, 5 and 3. Let’s start at the top, shall we? My dear oldest daughter, Christina, is expecting our 2nd grandchild in February. What a joyous time of transition this will be for her little family. This will be our first grandson. To type those words, I have to fight back tears.  I almost can’t believe it. See, I was on the phone with her after one of many miscarriages. I’ll never forget the words that crushed this mother’s heart: “Mom”, she whispered, “I don’t think I can do this again. I don’t think I want to try again to get pregnant, only to have to go through this again.” My heart crumbled with those words. I knew that feeling. I’ve lived that feeling. And my silent prayer was that at some point, she would heal enough to try again, if it was the Lord’s will for her family.  Here we are, six or eight weeks from meeting this newest member of our family. This one I dared to love, even before we knew for sure there was a beating  heart, or what color blankets we would be buying.  A tiny little creature, capable of causing so much excitement, so much exhaustion, so many aches and pains, so many hopes and dreams. I am sure there will be sleepless nights, worried nights, joyous moments, lots of Facetime phone calls, lots of miles on our cars as...

College at 14? Here’s how we did it.

At age 2, we thought she might be slow. She spoke very little. She was quiet and still. At age 2.5 she wrote the entire alphabet. In crayon. Upside down and backwards. The way she had memorized it sitting across the table from her older sister as she was writing. At age 3.5 she began shouting out the answers to her older sister’s math problems. At age 4 she begged me to teach her to read because, “Everyone in the house can read!!!” In two weeks she learned up to 2nd grade reading level. I stopped teaching her to read. She no longer needed me. We bought her her first math book. She completed two years of math in a couple of months, then moved on to 3rd grade Saxon Math. As the years progressed, we realized she had something different in her. She was driven to learn. For several years, we held her back, trying to keep her at or below her older sister’s school work. It seemed wrong for her to soar ahead. But after a few years, we gave up. I would just hand her the next year’s school work when she completed one year. And then another and another. I did not teach her. She taught herself using the textbooks we provided. I graded her w ork and her tests.  We started her on memory work, memorizing large portions of scripture, eventually memorizing whole books of the Bible. Ask her to recite one sometime. She went on her first mission trip. By age 13 I realized she was at the end of the high school curriculum....

Kentucky Hot Brown (well, sort-of)

If you love the richness of delicious Kentucky Hot Brown, you are not alone. I love it too. It’s creamy, yummy, hot goodness should be on your “try” list if you’re visiting Kentucky. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Bluegrass State, you know this recipe originated from the Brown Hotel. In fact, if you want the recipe the way they made it, their website has the original recipe for all to see and reproduce. However, when I was growing up, Hot Brown was made with TURKEY AND HAM AND BACON. Not kidding. All three. It was perfect for leftovers after a party. Furthermore, I have a daughter with a tomato allergy. Years ago, Masterson’s restaurant here in town used a canned peach half on their Hot Brown, rather than the original fruit: the tomato. At the time I thought it was a fun change, now it has rescued this recipe and made it Anne Mary friendly. Here’s the recipe, the way I made it, with my changes. The original is just as amazing, and if you’re ever in KY, this is a MUST TRY recipe. The Legendary Hot Brown 3 tablespoons salted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup 2% milk 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for garnish Pinch of ground nutmeg Salt and pepper 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick 14 oz, cooked ham, sliced thick 7 slices of Texas toast (crusts trimmed) 7 slices of bacon 7 canned peach halves, stored in juice, well drained Paprika Parsley In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined to...

Guest Post: Our Adoption Story by Mandie Lynn

Our Adoption Story – Lynn Family By: Mandie Lynn If someone would have asked me 4 years ago if I would ever add to my family through adoption I would of told them they were crazy as we already had 4 children and thought our family was complete. Oh boy, did God have a different story for our family. God started placing families in our path who had adopted children, especially from foster care, and it began to resonate in my heart. Three and a half years ago I spoke with my husband, Brian, and we talked it over with the older 4 kids about becoming foster parents with the intention of growing our family through adoption. Everyone was on board and Brian said we could start classes to become foster parents. He said we would take it one step at a time as to see if this is God’s will for our family and if we should proceed down this path past completing the classes. Anyone who knows me knows that if I set out to do something I am all in and my dear sweet husband gently guides us through the process of things, I am the gas pedal and he’s the brakes. During the process of becoming certified by the state to become foster parents God was working on our hearts. The journey to adoption is not easy one but one that is worth every minute. By the time you get to the end of the classes they tell you to sit down and discuss with your spouse the questions you will ask once you get a placement call and what criteria you will go to base...

Special Needs Homeschooling. Or Not.

  This is too personal to share on my blog. It’s too big and too hard and too embarrassing to discuss. So, I’m going to pretend you are not a stranger stopping by, but instead a mama coming for a visit. I must start by saying that my daughter, who is 17 has given her blessing entirely on me sharing this part of her life with you, my dear friend. Because we hope our story (her story plus my story) can help you. Plus, it’s kind of therapeutic to just put it all out there. Let me start by saying I have six amazing children, each with their own special strengths, weaknesses, talents and challenges. Just like your children. But at a fairly early age, we realized one had some behavior differences from the others. The usual discipline and training methods were ineffective. She puzzled us, and worried me greatly. She was often a joyful delight- making friends easily, a hard worker. She was super-bright. But….she could not spell. Not even very basic words.  She could read. In fact, she was reading early- by age four, like most of my children. SO when I was looking for help for her, I kept trying to figure out a better way to teach spelling. I won’t go through the extensive list of things we tried, because frankly, none of them worked. And one of them might work for you, so I don’t want to send the impression that the products were faulty. They were not. She simply could not spell. She could not conjure in her mind how to spell words. She...

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