The Battle is Not Yours, but God’s

“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord…
Then Jehoshaphat stood… and said,
‘O Lord God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven,
and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations,
and in Your hand is there not power and might,
so that no one is able to withstand You?…
Here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession
which You have given us to inherit…
For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against  us;
nor do we know what to do,
but our eyes are upon You…’
Now all Judah… stood before the Lord.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel… and he said…
‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,
for the battle is not yours, but God’s…
You will not need to fight in this battle.
Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord,
who is with you…
Do not fear or be dismayed;
tomorrow go out against them,
for the Lord is with you…’
Jehoshaphat stood and said… ‘Believe in the Lord your God,
and you shall be established;
believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.’ ”
2 Chronicles 20, selected verses

The Lord showed me some amazing things through this passage in regards to a battle I am in the middle of. The context behind this verse is King Jeoshaphat was coming up on a battle against the Moabites and Ammonites. There was a great multitude and he was afraid. The battle seemed too big for him and his nation and he did not know what to do. So he feared the Lord and remembered the amazing things God had done in the past and confessed his position of helplessness… and then he waited. Not only did he wait but all of Judah waited and stood before the Lord. And guess what… the Spirit of the Lord came. They waited and God showed up. And God gently reminded them that the battle is not theirs but His. He will fight for them. But they must believe Him. God didn’t ask them to stay inside and just hope for the best. God told them to position themselves so they may see the salvation of the Lord. They still had to go out against the army, but God would show up. And God did show up. In fact He ambushed the armies… no one had escaped.

He will fight for me. This was one of those still small voices moments for me about 2 years ago. God whispered this in my heart and brought the rest to my weary soul that Scripture talks about. In those 2 years I have often tried to take control of the battle myself and in doing so have experienced the weariness, stress, anguish and anger. These emotions come when the battle is clearly too big for me and I don’t know what to do. Instead of fearing the Lord I just keep trying different tactical methods all the while excluding God and just trying to get by on my own. God used this passage in 2 Chronicles 20 to remind me that the battle is not mine, it is God’s. He will fight for me. I just need to recall all the things He has already done and then believe on Him to show up and bring salvation.

Are you in a situation where you feel like you need to muster up all you have and fight for something… maybe to stay home with your kiddos, to earn more money at your job, to convince a loved one to believe your position about something, to instill obedience into your children? Have you been weary trying all you have to get these things to go your way? Are these battles too big for you? Let me encourage you… that battle… it is not your’s, it is God’s. He will fight for you… but you need to let Him. I don’t need to scream and yell and claw tooth and nail to try to get my voice heard and opinions changed and to try to advocate for myself… God will do that for me. I can do my part in sharing my voice and sit back and let God fight for that voice to go where it needs to and to affect what it needs to affect. I just need to stand before Him and believe Him and wait. All the while I will be resting, knowing it’s in His hands.

” ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,

for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ ” v.15


“What do you want Me to do for you?” – Jesus

“As He (Jesus) went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.’ And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.”

Mark 10:46-52

I went to church this week and found myself to enjoy our main service but God used my time volunteering in children’s ministry to really speak to me. Faith like a child, right? Sometimes it’s the simple messages that speak profoundly to us. This is what the children’s ministry message was about… blind Bartimaeus. Now while they focused on Jesus having power over sickness God spoke some great things to me.

I often feel like Bartimaeus. Not physically blind but spiritually blind. When God brings me a revelation about my sin or my relationship with Him and He opens my eyes I am in shock and amazed at how blind I was before. Bartimaeus knew he was blind. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t know how spiritually blind I am. Sometimes my sin is so extensive and complicated and overwhelming that I don’t know what to pray for and I’m left feeling somewhat blind to it. So I begin calling out to God to give me wisdom to see things clearly, to give me strength to persevere in victory over my sin and just like the multitudes told Bartimaeus to be quiet, the devil and my flesh and the world all tell me the same. Shhhhh. Don’t ask Jesus for something like this. He’s got bigger problems on His plate. You should be able to handle your sin on your own, after all you probably were the one who got yourself into this mess in the first place. And often those messages get the best of me and I begin to silence myself. God doesn’t want to hear me come again and again to Him with the same thing.

But Jesus stood still and called Bartimaeus to come to Him. Jesus had somewhere to go. He had people following Him who were now forced to stop and wait before they could move on. But nonetheless Jesus stood still. He stopped at the voice of Bartimaeus. Why did He call Bartimaeus to Him? Why didn’t Jesus just go to Him? Jesus may call us but if we don’t stand up and walk away from our old stuff and walk towards Him then we can’t receive what He has for us. Come to me Bartimaeus. Come all you who are weary. Come. Come. Jesus is there with an endless supply of whatever we need whenever we need it… but we have to come. This is where the victory or defeat comes. I have experienced both. I have chosen to stay put. Jesus I want you to come to me. I don’t want to take any steps and get up and do anything. Can’t you just change things from where you are and then I’ll get up and come to you? I want to be more like Bartimaeus when I am calling out to God and He answers and asks me to come to Him… “throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus.” He did not want to sit back and miss his one amazing opportunity to interact with Jesus. Bartimaeus knew Jesus had the power to heal Him. He had heard about Jesus and was thrilled that Jesus was walking right past him. This was it. The moment he had hoped and dreamed about for who knows how long. There’s no way he would just sit back and let Jesus pass. He threw aside what he was carrying and came to Jesus when he called.

“What do you want Me to do for you?” Hmmm. I’m pretty sure Jesus already knew. Why did He ask? I’m sure there are many reasons and one sticks out to me for how it relates to my walk and experiences. Humility. It’s along the lines of when we ask someone to forgive us. Forgive us for what? We need to tell them what we did wrong and ask them to forgive us. Not just “I messed up will you forgive me”. When we are specific it gives power and victory over those words. It lets us and those around us and Jesus know that we know what we are asking and what our expectations are. “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” He could’ve asked for more money when he begs. He could’ve asked for a comfortable covered home. But he knew Jesus was bigger than that. Heal my blindness! Bartimaeus had never seen the light of day. How audacious of him to ask that of Jesus. But he did and he should have and I’m glad he did.

“‘Your faith has made you well.’ And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.” Can you imagine how Bartimaeus must have felt?!? Seeing for the first time and now a part of the multitude that had shushed him up on the side of the road. Walking in step with Jesus not even knowing where He was going and what they were going to see. Have you ever had your eyes opened from spiritual blindness? There is a power, a freedom, an excitement. I can see! I get it!

I am praying from this message that God will help me to earnestly call out to Him for my blindness and that I will shush up the world, the flesh and the devil when they tell me to be quiet and stop calling out to God. I am praying that the second Jesus calls for me to come to Him that I will throw aside what I am clinging on to and come to Him. I am praying that I will ask Jesus specifically what I want Him to do for me (according to His will) and that when He does it that I will receive it and follow Him.

It Is a Privilege to be a Nurse

This week I went back to work. Going back to work seems like the right and only thing to do to supplement our income and fill a financial gap that needs to be filled. I will only be working one night shift each week which is very manageable. I was very hesitant about going back to work because I didn’t want another thing on my plate and since my job is not a mindless job I knew it would be quite taxing even if only one night a week. But I am trusting the Lord to provide for me what I need by means of energy, strength, patience, trust and even knowledge for my profession and for running my home and homeschooling.

I have had numerous thoughts back at work this week. Let me just begin by saying I am a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s. I spent 5 long and very hard years at a great University getting my degree and I worked very hard for 4 years with my degree before I entered the arena of a stay at home mom and a homeschool teacher and have since been back and forth with working a little here and there for financial reasons. I absolutely love nursing because of this. When I go back to work it’s not Mon-Fri 9-5 and there goes our life. There are so many different areas of nursing and different schedules and different shift requirements. How many professions will allow you to work one night a week? When I am not working I struggle with my desire to be a nurse. I believe God brought that to my life and has gifted me in certain areas to be a good nurse and has maintained a desire in me to be a nurse. But it seems in the stay at home/homeschool world that it can be very frowned upon to work outside of the home. I have found opinions all across the spectrum but it seems more often than not there is a “oh I’m sorry” type of response if a mom talks about their work outside of the home. Because of this I felt a lot of guilt when I would even think about working and working because I wanted to instead of because I needed to. I don’t want to work to get a “break” from my kids or “do something for myself finally”. Although at this point in our lives I don’t get to go out and do much on my own as my children are with me all day every day every where I go (which is not a bad thing but it is true that for sanity purposes a mom does need a good coffee date with a friend once in a while or a date night with the husband or just a quick solo grocery trip).

I actually love being a nurse. I worked very hard to have the privilege to walk through the hospital with a stethescope around my neck and a badge clipped to my scrubs and to enter into the very personal lives of my patients and be there for them in ways more than medicine can define. And it is a privilege. It is not a right I received because I hold a degree… it is a privilege. This is my third time starting a new job in a new hospital with all the ooohs and aaahs of a new place and this is my second time going back to work after a period of being home full time and one thing never leaves me… this feeling as I walk through the hospital floors and enter various departments and pull medications out for my patients and touch very important medical equipment and devices that are saving the lives of these beautiful souls God created (some in the moment may not seem so beautiful but they are nonetheless God’s creation!) and it always hits me what a privilege it is! How thankful I am! Not just anyone off the street can walk through these halls and touch these things and know what’s happening. It is an honor and a privilege. I love being a nurse. I love being granted this privilege. I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear medical talk or get to assess a patient and get to see some amazing life changing medical procedures… even something as simple as an IV line.

I am so blessed and so thankful for what God has provided for me. I am so thankful that my parents instilled in me the importance of a good education and what a blessing that God used them to financially provide for me to attend a great University to get a really good education in this field. What a blessing that God showed me early in my life (and actually before I knew Him personally) that I wanted to be a nurse so I could enter straight into it before marriage and before kids and focus solely on it. I am so thankful I took that route that God provided for me so I wouldn’t have to balance family, work and school in my later years.

I am truly blessed and thankful and it is a great privilege to be a nurse.

The Discomfort of Grace

I don’t like to be uncomfortable.

Most of us don’t.

We try to correct situations where we feel discomfort. Pillow top mattress, a jacket in the winter, tylenol for a headache, a bigger house, a new car.

Grace makes me uncomfortable.

I try to correct that feeling. Working to earn it or refusing to accept it and rather opting for self inflicted punishment of shame and guilt. Because that’s what I know and sometimes what we know may feel comfortable just because we’re used to it. New things take time to get used to, no matter how good they may be.

Why not embrace the discomfort of grace? After all embracing the discomfort makes us all the more aware and grateful for the remedy. Once you choose to embrace the discomfort of trying something new, with time and devotion and trust that new thing will become a part of you. It will become your normal and while you may have hesitated at first because it felt awkward and you didn’t think it fit you or looked good on you, it will eventually become you and characterize you.

Think of becoming a mom or a wife. Or even a nurse or a college student. Or a licensed driver or an employee at a business. At first you may excitedly but hesitantly proclaim your new title. For me I struggled with unbelief that this was actually me now. How blessed am I?!? I still feel so young and not even worthy for these titles and this happened so fast and what if I mess something up, etc., etc. I was initially a little uncomfortable with the new title. But once I embraced it fully it changed everything. It squandered all my doubts and gave me the confidence to boldly proclaim my new title. And not because I worked so hard to earn it but because God gave it to me, allowed it for me, blessed me with it.

I want that for grace in my life. I don’t want to be hesitant to accept it or give it. I want it to be me. My new comfort. My title. I want my initial discomfort of embracing grace to become comfort and be replaced with a discomfort when I am disgraceful. When I choose in moments to not receive or extend grace and suddenly find myself uncomfortable with that and needing to find a remedy… and that remedy being the comfort of grace.

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

The Prodigal Son – Luke 15

Stuck in a Rut

I am in a rut. Have you ever been there? I know this rut that I’m in is because I am choosing to be there and my choosing is walking in disobedience. Disobedience to some actions I know God is asking me to take, disobedience in my attitude I know God is asking me to change, disobedience in my view of Him and trusting Him and in His promises that I know He is asking me to believe. I am trying to do this thing on my own and it is just digging a deep deep rut.

This morning God showed me a foundation of this rut… my pursuit of Him.

Why do I pursue God? Well… I am pursuing Him (if you could even call it that) to get something for myself. I want the external blessings. I want to pursue Him and walk in obedience so that my marriage will get better, so my husband will start treating me better, so that my kids will be more obedient to me, so that God will provide finances so I won’t have to consider working again, so that a best friend will just pop up on my doorstep for me, so that we will find a church that is awesome and has everything we’re looking for, so that, so that, so that… How selfish is that? If my pursuit of God is dependent on my external circumstances changing and then they don’t… well, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that equation. I will stop pursuing God. It just simply doesn’t seem worth it. If my life isn’t “feeling” and “looking” any better then what’s the point. After all it is a lot of work to pursue God. To try to mentally remember all the things He’s teaching me and all the areas I’m falling short and then the lists of what I need to do to fix those areas and make them right. And in the midst of that I’m breaking up sibling rivalry, and failing in teaching my daughter to read, and my husband and I just had another fight, and another woman I thought could become a good friend doesn’t have any time for me, and I burned dinner. What’s the point to all of this? Maybe I can do this thing better on my own instead of trying so hard to get things to change by God’s path and it not working.

Failure was never His plan.

Frustration was never His plan.

Ruts were never His plan.

Perfect external circumstances were never His plan.

Easiness was never His plan.

Okay. So God what is your plan? What is the point in all of this? What do I do and where do I go from here?

“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.”

Psalm 27:4

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
                                                                       To see Your power and Your glory.                                                                        Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.”

Psalm 63:1-8

So what is the point in all of this? Jesus. It has always been Jesus. Jesus never promised an easy life. He promised hardships and exertion and persecution. While I would not say I am being persecuted in the name of Jesus I would say my life does not meet up to the world’s perfect standards or my standards for that matter. So I need to stop pursuing that and instead pursue Jesus, simply for Jesus.

I want my soul to long for Jesus. I don’t want to long for a perfect homeschool day, for a full time gig at home, for a husband who always acts and responds perfectly. Because we live in a sinful fallen world. I will face disappointments EVERY SINGLE DAY. If I long for that then I will constantly be dissatisfied and discontent. But if I long for Jesus. In the morning when I rise if I ask for Jesus, He will show up EVERY SINGLE DAY and Jesus does not disappoint.

Then when I am faced with my little petty trials every day I can turn to Him to receive what He has to give me… strength in the moment to press forward when I want to give up (Phil 4:13, Romans 5:3-5, Isaiah 40:31), contentment when I am wishing for bigger and better or more (2 Peter 1:3-4), patience when the kiddos are pressing every last minute and the lock button on my bathroom door seems to be broken (Phil 4:13), a satisfied belly and a thankful heart when making yet another PB & J sandwich to save a little money (Matt 6:25-34).

Car Organization with Multiple Kids

I have been putting together a system for our car to keep me organized. We often will randomly decide to go to the zoo or to the park or somewhere that’s over an hour away from our home and I used to get really panicky and anxious that I would forget some important things (which I usually did) and I didn’t want to overstuff my diaper bag or pack a million other bags to take with us. I have had this dilemma multiple times and finally decided to look at an overlooked area with potential organization excitement… the car! We drive a Suburban and there are multiple little nooks and crannies to be filled! Even though we have 4 kiddos and often take our 130 lb. Great Pyrenees on trips with us, it is amazing how much you can pack in!

So I am going to share with you some tips and maybe it will be helpful. These are things that stay in my car all the time. And the very important thing to organizational success in the car is to make sure when you get home that you take everything out that is extra that you brought in (water bottles, diaper bag, food wrappers, etc.) and if you made a dent in any of these organizational areas in your car (snack bag, swimsuits, etc.) that you replace them ASAP. That way you will be ready for ORGANIZED SPONTANEITY!!! Often when we get back from a long road trip I take an empty laundry basket and go from door to door and throw stuff in it. Then I take it inside and sort and clean up. It’s best to do it ASAP so things don’t start growing!!!

Here is my dashboard. The gadget to the top R on the air vent is a $5 Target Spot phone holder. It is great for GPS when needed. The other little doodad is my bluetooth connector. It’s a little bit of a pain to use it everyday for your phone but if I’m on a long road trip and want to talk to a friend for awhile then I’ll connect it. Otherwise I use it to listen to audiobooks or kids music that I might not have cd’s for. Check out this post on my favorite free audiobook website and how I can catch up on my Jane Austen novels while cleaning the house! I keep gum, hand sanitizer and lotion in the bottom compartment and try to keep the other ones empty for anything I might need it for later.


This is the glove compartment. I got a pencil box holder and put a tire pressure gauge and one of those window hammer things if your car goes in the water and a small flashlight. I also have one of those small accordian fold folders that I put our registration and insurance as well as a vehicle maintenance log and my tire receipts for when I get our free tire rotations from Sam’s Club. I like it being in the box because then it’s not floating all over the compartment.


I try to keep our cupholders empty and add my coffee and water as I go : ) in between the cupholders are some pens/pencils and a nail file : ) I keep one of these wipes containers because it seems I am either always needing a wipe or needing to hand one to someone. When we get to the zoo or somewhere I take it out and strap it to the handle of my stroller for easy wipes access!


This isn’t very pretty but this is what’s inside the center console… At the back is an envelope with coupons and the front right is a small bag for garbage and I have a ziplock bag of suckers/hard candies to keep me awake if we’re driving for a long time and our blue zipper bag holds quarters and extra change for horse rides at the grocery store!!!!


This is a viser organizer from thirtyone. I downsized my wallet to a Vera Bradley wristlet which means I don’t have room for all the cards I own so I keep the extra ones that aren’t for everyday in here (IKEA member, walgreens, kids library cards, etc.). In the large zipper pocket I keep an extra charger for my ipod/phone/pad and one for my Kindle with an extra wall plug that can be used for both cords. This is nice if we stay the night somewhere then I don’t have to pack extra cords and worry about forgetting them. I also keep a pen that has a nifty pen light at the top and my chapstick.


Right behind my seat I keep extra disposable diapers for my 2 youngest as well as an extra changing pad. I have used this so much as I usually use cloth unless we go for a long day somewhere then I like disposables as I can go longer in between diaper changes. This way if I forgot to put some in my diaper bag and only have cloth then I can count on my car to provide! Underneath the seat houses all the straps and bungee cords that we use when we travel and need to strap things on our hitch hauler or bike rack or the roof. These have to stay in the car but are far less annoying when put in a bag and hidden under the seat. In the bright blue box houses socks for the kids, a light pair of gloves and snow hats for each kid (even though it’s summer let’s face it… it’s Colorado and we have on more than one occasion used them!) I also keep a light sweater for each kiddo here and a small blanket for Baby Jo. This box gets utilized a LOT!


There’s an up close of the blue box and Baby Jo’s little toy box next to it which is handy when he gets a little fussy.


Another view of our middle row.


This is another nifty organizer from ThirtyOne. I keep an extra water bottle on each side pocket and the pocket to the right is for wipes and has a nifty compartment where the wipes can hang out. I usually put sanitizing wipes here instead of regular ones. In the big compartment I try to keep fairly empty and end up filling it on long road trips with random things but there’s always a bottle of honey roasted peanuts for some snacking if needed!


And here’s just a view of our third row being utilized by our two oldest. We keep this one seat in the middle row folded down for easy access in and out of the car and then when Meema or Beepa or anyone visits and needs a seat it is really easy just to pop up.


All 4 kiddos’ seats


And now for the trunk : )

This is why we opted for a Suburban a few years ago… even with the third row up we still have all this flat trunk space! It’s great for our doggie!!


The green bag on the L houses an extra swimsuit and baseball hat for all the kiddos for random splashpad adventures! The green bag on the R houses extra paper plates, plastic utensils, bug spray, sunscreen and a quick first aid kit with tweezers, bandaids and neosporin. These bags are nice since our headrests don’t pop off but the bags are big enough I can just slip them off and hook them onto my stroller so I don’t need to take all the items out and put somewhere. Or you could sew some cute ones if you want to be crafty! The black bag is our snack bag with granola bars, PB crackers, fruit snacks, goldfish packages, etc. We use this bag ALL THE TIME. We seriously end up with crazy days and lots of random roadtrips and you never want to be out with hungry kiddos and no options so this is a MUST!! (Keep in mind not to pack with meltable items in the summertime!). The big green box on the left houses my bigger first aid kit as well as 2 fleece blankets (handy if you end up driving at night and the kids want a blanket to go to sleep with), my cloth grocery bags and my zippable picnic blanket. The red box in the middle has extra windshield wipe fluid, a gallon of water for refilling purposes, my on the go stroller bag from thirtyone, our zoo/museum maps and extra grocery bags. And that funky black thing is our Power Station… this sucker has jumper cables and can put air into your tires and has a large flashlight attached to it… it’s supposed to be able to jump your car so you don’t have to wait for someone to rescue you! And I always keep my umbrella stroller in the car. We have a single jogging stroller and a double stroller which do not stay in my car but get added in depending on what we’re doing. And you can’t see but behind all those things is a large golf umbrella and our snow scraper/brush. These never leave my car no matter what season!

0145b31aba5e83105a9191630d8562a1bf96ffc335  And there it goes. Happy car organizing!

Oh I must say that some things will change for the winter… my swimsuit/hat bag will probably house some more snow items like waterproof gloves and maybe snowboots/pants. We will see!

Planning Little Hearts for His Glory – Organization and Pictures

I have been working really hard planning our upcoming school year. We will be completing Heart of Dakota‘s (HOD) 5-7 year old curriculum Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG). We planned it over 2 years so we are entering our second year with this curriculum. There will be 2 parts to this post. The first part will just be a brief schedule and curriculum plan and the second part will be a more in depth description of how I planned. Now I must post a disclaimer first. HOD’s curriculum is meant to be a pick up and go. There really is not a lot of planning involved BUT I am a planner and I have an insatiable appetite to plan and organize and make things cater to our needs so I have a hard time just opening and going. So none of this is required if you are deciding whether or not to pick HOD in your homeschool year. Just know you can just open and go and you will have a great time!!

Daily Schedule:

Kids of Integrity

Seeds Worship

LHFHG – History

Calendar Notebook

LHFHG – Rhyme

LHFHG – Alternating Activity


LHFHG – Motor Skills 

LHFHG – Math

LHFHG – Phonics


LHFHG – Storytime at Lunch

After Lunch:

Amelia Read


Read Aloud

LHFHG curriculum is arranged in boxes on the page so you can really put it into practice in whatever order you want. I am a list maker and boxes don’t work for me so I created a daily schedule list so we can just work our way top to bottom and cross off as we go. If the task does not have LHFHG in front of it then those are the “add ins” I have put into our schedule to fit the needs/wants of our family.

Right now our weekly plan is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are school days at home. Tuesdays my oldest, who will turn 6 in October, will be in a homeschool enrichment day at a local school district. Thursdays every other week is our field trip day and we will go to either the zoo or museum. The Thursdays of the off week will be another regular school day at home. So we will have 3 or 4 days of LHFHG which is similar to last year and why we chose to complete the curriculum over 2 years. Side note: It was hard for my organizational brain to be okay with spreading the Unit plans over a couple of weeks. HOD is organized into 5 days per 1 Unit and now we are doing Days 1, 2 and 3 during one week and Days 4, 5 into a second week and then starting a new Unit in the middle of a week. I thought this would really bother me but it actually doesn’t!

Now for the extensive planning part:

Get some iced coffee and turn on some music (Family Life Radio is great!). Set up play doh, paints or beads for the kiddos! Prepare a few days in advance by purchasing printer ink, computer paper and any type of file folders, paper clips, etc. you may need for organizing. Mentally prepare yourself to let your house go for a few days. This took me a lot of time to think and print and organize but I know it will be worth it. For me the more organized and prepared I am then the more likely I am to follow through. Also take breaks if needed. If the kiddos are going insane because of all your attention to the computer then just take a break and go play for awhile. If you begin doubting everything you’re doing and feel like it’s not good enough or that it’s too much or that you just want to give up… then take a break! Get some fresh air, go to bed, watch a movie, anything… then start again the next day when you’re refreshed. Remember the Lord is the one directing you and He will provide.


I use this file folder box ($3.47 at Wal Mart) and have folders for the months of the year as well as sections to put printed papers for Kids of Integrity, Seeds Family Worship, Seasonal and Holiday printable packs, etc. After we complete a week I put it into a folder with the Unit # and Name and file under the month we completed it.

1) I printed out a yearly calendar and mapped out how many days of school we’ll do as well as how many field trip days or seasonal/holiday learning weeks and how many homeschool enrichment days there will be.


I made this on Microsoft Word. I like having 4 months to one sheet with room to take notes. I have 3 of these sheets to cover the whole school year.

2) I determined from there what to complete daily and what extracurricular subjects to include and on which days.

3) I laid out all of the homeschool supplies for the upcoming year that I have gathered and organized them into subjects and then decided what to use and what to leave out for another year/time. There are a lot of new things I want to buy for our curriculum but as finances are tight I knew the Lord would honor me digging things off our shelves that I spent money for in the past and never used!


4) I printed out my LHFHG planning worksheet and began mapping out the weekly plan so I knew what projects/supplies to expect. I signed into my library account online and saved books I want to check out for each week under a “saved list” so I can just click and hold a few weeks before I need to pick them up. I printed the lists on the back of my planning worksheet to cross off as we read them and that way they are all right there on the same page.

This is another sheet I created on Microsoft Word as our Unit checklist.

5) I planned out our Kids of Integrity lessons. I determined how many bible stories for each virtue there are to see how many days we will study that virtue. Then I picked out crafts/activities from the lesson plan to complete each day as well as which bible verse to memorize for that virtue. I looked at the same library list maker and added books related to that virtue. I also consulted Right Now Media for any character building/virtue videos to watch on the tablet at the school table. I looked online for any coloring pages/scripture memory pages for the kiddos to color while I read the bible lesson to them.

6) I already had planned out Seeds Family Worship. It is pretty simple. We just picked which album to listen to and went to the BibleStoryPrintables website and matched up the album we picked out. I chose which handwriting worksheets and coloring pages I wanted and that’s that. So we listen to the song and color for a few minutes and practice reciting the verse.

7) BOB Books. This is what we are currently using for Phonics. I have been up and down and not sure what to do for phonics. Amelia is not really enjoying any of the programs we’ve tried (100 Easy Lessons) and she doesn’t necessarily enjoy the BOB books but we’re having more success with them than anything else. I really would like an official Phonics program and am looking into The Logic of English but will need to save up some money for that purchase. In the meantime I am continuing with the BOB books and adding in some fun activities and printables from these websites.

10) Extracurricular – US States Geography and Window on the World. We love our small geography time. We listen to the States CD. We pick an area (Easter border, Western border, etc.) and start coloring in the state on a blank US map. We color in the state for that area along with the song and then we look at our Atlas and our flashcard and just read for a few minutes about that state. That’s it! We are going to start a little into countries by working our way through the Window on the World book. We will look at the country and find it on a map and read about it in our Atlas and then pray according to the Window on the World book.

11) I then planned our field trips to the zoo and museum. I decided which exhibit to look at and looked online for printable packs, crafts, etc.  I also made library book lists online for books related to the subject. The weeks that we will go on a field trip I will substitute the printable pack papers into the motor skills, math and phonics sections of our daily plan instead of using the books that LHFHG calls for. Other than that change our week of learning will look the same but we will not cover any of the unit of the LHFHG manual.

12) I planned our seasonal/holiday learning weeks. This looks basically the same as the zoo and museum trips. I looked for printable packs online and crafts and library book lists. And again our week will look similar with substituting in the printable pack papers and not covering a unit of the LHFHG manual.

Here are some pictures of our room and our homeschooling day!


Here is the view of our room from the kitchen. It is supposed to be a family/dining room but it is our multipurpose (school/play/office/dining room). We are so blessed to have this room! We do school at the dinner table in here.


Here is a different view of our family room/dining room converted to a school/play/office/dining room!


Here is the view of our “supply” room. We don’t do school at the little table but sometimes my 2 year old will sit there and play! And there’s my desk where all the planning occurs. The cubeicals to the R and L contain supplies, books and toy bins and our school box is on top of the cubeical to the L. I also have a small bulletin board with a blue and pink folder that I slip the completed work for the day into (1 for Josh and 1 for Amelia) and a small string with clothespins for any extra special papers to display. At the end of the week is when I collect the papers and file them away.




And sometimes the baby sits and watches too!

No More Spiritual To-Do Lists

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9

When I’ve read this passage in the past I would get stuck on the first verse and turn it into a to-do list. Okay this week I need to work on diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. But God is showing me something great about only claiming to know Him and what growth in Him really looks like. Our church has been focusing on this the past two months as well. That in order to fuel your spiritual growth it is not about a new and exciting bible study or a to-do list of faith virtues or a stronger accountability session or finding a mentor. It is about remembering that we have been cleansed from our old sins (v. 9) . . . And what’s that? It’s the gospel. The good news. The news of Jesus and the power and purpose of His crucifixion and what that means for me.

When I meditate solely on that and remember that and allow that to invade my life then things like brotherly kindness and love and perseverance and self-control begin to flow out of me naturally because I am not barren or unfruitful in my knowledge of Jesus Christ (v. 8). If I am impregnated and fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus then these things are mine and will abound (v. 8)! This is so simple!

“I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2.

I Don’t Know Anything but Jesus

“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

I often struggle with wanting to be more mature in specific areas of my Christian walk. I will focus on one thing and think about it constantly for a few weeks and maybe read a book and some articles on it and if I’m really determined I’ll pray for that area a lot. I will find that I do a little better in that area or at least I can pretend well but inevitably my flesh will kick in sooner than later and I find myself filled with discouragement that I am so far in my spiritual maturity and wonder if I will ever be a child of God that grows and pleases Him.

Take for example patience with disciplining my children. I will be convicted about my lack of patience and start praying for God to make me more patient and read some blogs about discipline and maybe start a book or two on discipline and each opportunity I will focus and try really hard to be more patient. I’ll do better for a couple days (or sometimes just a few hours depending on what the day brings!) but inevitably I begin to fail. I become impatient one or two times which opens the floodgates and before I know it I am more impatient than I’ve ever been with the kids! I then feel so discouraged and begin thinking of all the areas I’m failing and how in this world can I ever be a pleasing Christian to God and how will I ever grow and mature in my walk when I have so much to work on!!

What Paul writes here in 1 Corinthians is so encouraging and convicting. “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” If I keep my focus on Christ and His crucifixion and solely focus my time and energy and study on Him then I will naturally become more like Him. We can only resemble God’s character when we study it and know it. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7a. Not the fear of impatience is the beginning of knowledge or the fear of unkindness or unfaithfulness, etc. But the fear of the Lord.

And there is no disappointment in the knowledge of God. No days of discouragement. The more I learn about Him and what His death on the cross means for me the more encouraged I am and I begin to naturally live out the reality. I need to stop trying so hard to live holy because it’s not my strength or resolve that makes me holy anyways it’s Jesus’ death on the cross and His blood that makes me holy. Instead of feeling like this Christian walk is so hard and I’m never going to get anywhere I need to be encouraged that that’s never what it’s been about. If I focus my eyes on Jesus “the author and perfecter of (my) faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and less on me and my strength and my capabilities and my growth then this walk will no longer be exhausting and filled with feelings of failure but instead will be joyful and victorious. Praise God for what He did on the cross!!

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” 1 Corinthians 2: 1-4

Joseph Robert’s Birth Story

So Baby Jo is now 6 months old but I decided it was time to write out his birth story : ) I love having record of his story and I hope some day in the future it will bless all of the kiddos to have their story written down of how they entered this world.

Joseph Robert was born 6 days late on January 8th. I was torn the whole week before because we were thinking we were going to have to induce since he was already so late but I really wanted a similar birth experience to Lydia’s and actually experience spontaneous labor. Our Dr. was willing to induce us from the first day past our due date but I kept waiting per the suggestion of our previous Dr. with being a VBAC and allowing your body to naturally go into labor as opposed to pushing it along with an induction. So we kept waiting. Every day past the due date seemed so long and left me doubting and questioning if we should call to schedule an induction. I also had a weird battle because Adam and my anniversary is the 7th and I really didn’t want our baby born on the same day. It seemed like until that child was out of the house it would be hard to celebrate our anniversary on the same day as that baby’s birthday (I still think it will be tricky but God has His own plans and reasons for doing things).

Well we finally reached the max amount of overdue days and schedule our induction for the morning of the 8th. I still kept hoping to go into labor that night but no such plan happened. I was also remembering our scheduled induction with Amelia and how we showed up to the hospital an hour before and they sent us home because they had no room! I really didn’t want that to happen again… well… it did! We called at 5 AM and they said they were full and they’d call back when they were ready for me. Now since Joseph was originally due on January 2nd he felt all along like a Christmas baby… being told there was no room in the inn made it even more real!! I tried calling again after their morning shift change to make sure I wasn’t getting left behind and the not so nice nurse told me they knew who I was and would call me when they were ready just like they told me at 5 AM. Ugh! Don’t tell an overdue woman that it’s going to be longer! Well we dilly dally’d at home for a few hours and they called at 9 AM saying they were ready!!

We headed out the door and got checked in and dressed and ready to go. They broke my water at 10:30 AM to see if anything would happen naturally from that. No such luck. About 11:30 they started me on Pitocin as nothing was really progressing. They came in every 30 mins. or so and increased the dose to help my contractions get stronger and closer together. Around 1:00 I started getting pretty uncomfortable and had an epidural in place by 1:15 : ) I started relaxing a bit and closed my eyes for a few mins. Right around 2:00 I started feeling some pressure like I needed to push. I was just turning around to hit my nurse call button to have her come see where I was at when the nurse walked in and said she was looking at my contractions on the monitor and wondered if I was starting to feel pressure! She checked me and we were ready to go! My Doc came in and everyone got ready. I started pushing at 2:15 and by 2:30 this giant boy was out!!! What a blessing! Another quick and easy VBAC delivery!

Baby Jo came in a whopping 9 lbs 6 oz and 21 1/2″ long!

VBAC # 2 and almost 10 lbs. !!!