Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ode to My Home School Group

Today has been a good day!
Having Steve home and around is nice. We're adjusting somewhat to our new schedule. Somewhat is the key word. We carved pumpkins with our home school group yesterday and it was a blast! Some of the kids and one of the moms, she's almost 50 yrs old, have NEVER carved pumpkins before!
After the kids were done we had our usual mom time to chat about girl things, home school things, public school options, life with teenagers, life with college-age (I'm taking notes) and just enjoying one another.
The kids did their usual, the youner ones headed inside to the Lego room, we hosted the pumpkin carving, and the other boys tested one another's manhood by wrestling and then off to play some football. Speaking of football our season is over- we went out with a sorry record of 1 win and 8 losses- but... we had a blast!
Meeting again with most of the home school group to trick-or-treat tonight.
What a great group of women and children. The home school groups I've belonged to have evolved over the years. When my children were younger we sought out extra curricular activites, park days, field trips and play dates. I always enjoyed a support group that met regularly to talk about and hear from other more experienced, or more vocal, home school moms. We participated in science fairs, arts fairs, public speaking, PE, art, you name it we did it! Then, as the boys got older, our groups changed to include their peers, and boys, they craved boys! It changed and evolved into what meets now: 5 familes, 17 kids, 13 boys and 3 girls!
I love my group of home schoolers. A very diverse bunch- so that gives me more to love about them. We vary in age, I happen to be closer in age to 3 of the families oldest children than I am to the moms; we vary in our home school why; we vary in our methods of instruction, in our schedules or lack of, our standings on public school, dating, television, we have lots of views that contrast one another, what we don't vary on is our love for God, for His Son Jesus Christ; we see eye-to-eye on the fact that our children are better off being taught by us, imperfect, busy, still-trying-to-figure-it-out moms! We've talked about and learned not to compare. When we compare our home school, our children, our academic scores, we always fall short or stand too prideful. We often remind each other about our call to home school, our why- our unique why.
Our call. It varies, just as our children vary, each is a unique gift from God, with a unique form of education. To put any of them in a box is, well putting God's creation in a box. Our group has children who excel in academics and other in athletics, still others in compassion and love; but each one is just in the right spot where God would have them. We remind encourage each other of that.
We share our ups and downs, our ins and outs. We pass along book report outlines and cool events going on in the area. We laugh, we cry, we sit silent (not very often on the silent thing) We encourage one another with our past experiences and we get each other.
I'm thankful for this group of women and have only one question- why in the world do they hang with me??


Saturday, October 27, 2007

I get ticked when...

I get ticked when I watch commercials for credit cards
read the newspaper about mortgages going bad, along with every one's credit.

We need to live within our means people- why do you need credit? I say CASH ONLY!

I get ticked when my husband throws newspapers with the front page article called "H2Oh-no..."
then delivers the paper the next day with every one's sprinklers on, while it's raining.

Let's be waterwise people, we all have to do our part.

I get ticked when a kid gets yelled at and humiliated in public by his/her parent/guardian
when that humiliation, with a rootword: humble, was sadly what that child needed to defuse the situation.

Let's practice love and peace and teach it to our kids and encourage it in others.

For today that's what has ticked me off!


Boys of Summer

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Sitting here watching the Red Sox game, recalling a realization I had today in a conversation with Justin today. It went like this:

j:"I think I'm a southerner, I only lived in Oklahoma for 2 years and NH for 3, I've been in Florida 6. Technically, I'm a Southerner."

My heart stopped for a minute. What's a Yankee mom to do? Is this truly my chid claiming to b from south of the Mason-Dixon line? No, not MY son!

me:"Yes dear, but you've been raised by Yankee parents, so you're a Yankee."

j: "No, mom I'm a Southerner."

I know he's right so I give in. Then I remember the one bit of Yankee he does have in him.

me: "Who's you're favorite NFL team?"

j: "The Patriots."

me:"and baseball?"....with a smile.

"The Red Sox", he laughs and we all join him,

............darn it, as I've been writing this the Rockies just scored. Yuck!
We're still up 61, anyway.

So I learned something today, I learned that my Justin truly walks to a different beat and I love him. The conversations and laughs we had with him during this conversation is just one reason why I love hanging out with my kids; they're fun to be with!

I also learned I have a Southerner for a youngest son. I guess I knew it all along; I, being 1/2 Southern (mom) and 1/2 Yankee (dad), had a decent chance of having a Southern child- after all my oldest brother is a Southerner at heart.
ending only naturally with this quote from Cheryl Crow,

"Isn't it ironic? Don't ya think? A little too ironic, yeah I really do think."


Friday, October 26, 2007


So many of you have been asking what's going on with Sticks and Stones, the motel and us in general.

If you've known us for any amount of time you know our lives tend to take drastic, or sometimes-not-so-drastic, turns every now and then without any warning.

While this can pose as a chance for me to freak out, I'm learning to take every bend in the road with these two verses in mind:

Acts 17:26 26 "From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."


Psalm 139:16b "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

With these verses I know that my today was known long before I ever came to be. I like to think of it as if God journal or blogged about my life, and yours, long ago. So if He knew, He planned, He wrote, then who am I to worry or "fret and frown", as my great-grandmother would say.

I won't, I don't need to- why waste my time!

OK, so about the changes.

Sticks and Stones: has gone to wholesale, delivery only. We have eliminated much of our overhead and run the company out of our home. We can still hook you up with rock, mulch, soil and stone- just give us a call!

Motel 44: we're in the process of exiting out of our lease. This is more complicated but it's been clearly God's will to leave this endeavor.

Steve's schooling: Steve has gone back to school, he's currently enrolled in 2 classes for his master's degree at Liberty University. This has been a long time coming and since he had some military benefits for schooling that needed to be used by Oct '08- he saw this as the perfect time to go back. Although reading 8 books in 8 weeks is a lot, not to mention the writing. He would appreciate all your prayers I'm sure.

Steve's p/t job: Yes he has another p/t job. We figure he works like 80-90 hours a week. And honestly I feel like I see him a lot- so do the boys... oh the joys of working for one's self. Anyway, He's delivering the News Journal. Again another God thing, the events leading up to it were not of anything we could have planned- it was just meant to be. Although it was this job that required mt to get up at 5am and exchange cars due to a flat tire!!

As for me I'm still at the church and still homeschooling- which went incredibly well this week! Praise God! I hadn't had a "good" home schooling day in a long time! I've also had a few hours to spend in my garden, that's been a treat.

For those who cared, there it is.

Crazy this whole process is, you know, the refining one.

it hurts,

it burns,

it stinks and I often want to run out of the fire,

throw some stinkin' water on my face please!

It's worth it.

it's a rush,

it's fun,

it opens my eyes to things above,

it blurrs out the yuck and muck,

it's pretty cool!

I'm so excited to be part of god's kingdom!



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

no title

I wonder sometimes what our life holds for us.
We've had so many ups and downs, ins and outs, moves and job changes that I'm curious at times what's around the corner.
I wonder if we missed the boat at some point.
If God was calling us to something bigger, something smaller, something different, something more for Him and less for us.
Did we miss this? Somewhere along the line did we go right when we were suppose to go left?
The I am reminded that God knows planned my today.
That means where I am, where I'm at is where God wanted me.
Wanted me?
Then why?....
How come?...
No, it's here, it's where God planned. There's peace in that.
Knowing that God is ultimately in control and although I've made some lots of mistakes along the way, He's using them for His good, as part of His plan, allowing me to live and minister and encourage and be encourages and ministered to where I am at in Him today!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Having a tough time with my home schooling lately. I thought maybe it was a bit of burnout, but after prayer and reflection I realized it's not. It's more of a motivation issue. It's more of an issue of what I am putting my time, effort and heart into.

Home school burnout. I've experienced this before, overwhelming feelings of not enough time or not enough getting done. Nope that's not it for me right now.

It's a lack of interest on my part. This sounds horrible I know, after all I've been home schooling for 9 years and I love my kids very much. I am concerned with their well-being, their growth, their education. It's just lately home school and grading papers and sitting down with them has taken a back seat.

The problem needs fixing, if I've been called to home school my children then what's this issue?

Not seeking God. Not seeking Him for my strength, for my passion, for my desire to educate my children. So to start with I am seeking God in this matter. Asking for a renewed passion for home schooling, for the mindset to sit down and participate.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Peace in the Storm

Life has thrown our families a lot of curve balls this year.
We started a new business, expanded to a second then added a third.
Now, through God's leading, the first business is evolving into a more home based one, the second is still around but could easily be gone - again by God's doing, and the third... well the third we're unsure what is happening.
Crazy I'm sure for some of you to imagine this.
Are these people stupid?
How could they gain and lose so many businesses in a short amount of time.
I know, our families have though us to be crazy for many years now.
Here's the bottom line:
God's in control of this all.
This year has been a year of faith building.
It's been a year of bringing us closer together as a family and independently closer to the Lord.
I don't know what the future holds, what valleys we'll walk through, what mountains we'll climb and which will be moved; what I do know is this thus far the Lord has helped us and so tomorrow can be nothing but great!
Se these last few months have found me in new areas regarding our finances and also in new areas of ministry.
I've befriended 2 little girls who live in a hotel room with mom and dad, a prostitute who can't see how there could be a God with all that's happened in her life, a homeless man who sees no life outside drinking.
I've also been frustrated when I see drug dealers living fat on the system and old men with lots of money seek out the lowly girl who can't find her self worth in him or any other man.
I've seen the faces of people who society usually looks away from be puzzled at the love of Christ; I've seen hungry kids thrilled for home cooked food. I've seen Jesus though my husband and words soften the heart and countenance of even the hardest of people.
My eyes have been opened these last months and so the uncertainty my flesh desires melts away at the certainty of Christ's love and care for each and every one of us.
This storm of life throws me all over the place and when I look down at the waves I sink, but when I look up, when my mind is focused on Christ and things above the peace in this storm, well, it makes the storm not only bearable but a pleasant place to be.



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