On the start of this New Year 2017

This year’s notebooks- mine included, all loaded and ready to go for Monday.


I am starting my 13th year of homeschooling.  I am starting my first senior year. I began when my darling(now seventeen) was four and his eager, precocious mind will forever be bound with mine as I cherish the memories of wonder and everything new. We are knit together in stories, in words, in love, in life. It has been a journey we all take together. I am grateful.


This year, more than any other, I find myself apprehensive. I am finding myself purposefully having to turn my heart and mind. I am finding myself full on in a season I could have never predicted or understood. Just like every season, really- as I recollect.


The world is spinning and I am spinning with it. Forever. Unending.


I find myself crying. I find myself choked. I find myself stretching out and breathing in the boundary places the Lord has established for me. I find myself rising up, determining to keep living priorities of my heart.


No one could have/can prepare me for the college applications, the classes, the world expanding life of these years. No one could have prepared me for letting go. Is it easier because there is still so much life in this home to nurture, to educate, to raise? To disciple, to influence, to mentor? To build traditions, to strew beauty, to love? No. It is not easier. It is one hard, each day daily walk.


And as I let my heart expose and as I reckon all the feels-

I know the only place for me is in Him. Forever stable. Forever refuge. Forever known and to know. All the riches and treasures of life. In Him. No matter the season. No matter the year. No matter the day at hand.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 16:5-8 NIV

This year, I have been confronted with a life outside my own in new ways. I have seen the visual of a calling other than mine. And it takes a lot of will to turn my gaze back at the messy beautiful that is mine. And breathe deep. Embrace.


This year, I need a fresh infusion of vision and a single-eyed determination.


As I struggle with the weight of all my life, I need the wherewithal to be still and small at the Lord’s feet.


Homeschool Mama, be with me as we step into this new year?

It helps to know I’m not alone.


How are you feeling at the start of this new year?



Online Tutoring- Resources and Opportunity

(Note: this post contains referral information and links. I may benefit if you go through one of these links and become a contracted tutor.)

Work from home opportunities that can fit within a homeschooling lifestyle can be hard to find. For many years, I have cried out in my heart to the Lord for help in this area. I am thankful to say that He has answered abundantly! While I am still very new to everything, I have been so pleased. I am grateful for these opportunities.

I am sharing them here, on the blog! I have three opportunities to offer.

I have found wonderful opportunity as an English and Writing Tutor. However, Calculus, all Math, Science, Computer Science are all in high demand and actually receive a higher pay rate. There is also opportunity to tutor in career fields like nursing. So, if you enjoy teaching in any capacity, this might be an opportunity to consider!

The first is Varsity Tutors. I have been so pleased with this company. Their support is excellent. Their live, online platform is terrific. I have greatly enjoyed the clients I have worked with so far. They have a video interviewing process with follow-up phone calls and emails. I have found communication with this company to be reassuring and of the highest caliber. Varsity Tutors connects students in real life and also online. I use a headset for the online tutoring feature with this company. This company also has the best referral opportunity both for referring tutors and also students. You can also earn money by creating practice tests and quizzes. Very interesting!  From Varsity tutors: Great tutors across all subjects are needed. We have an especially high need for math, science, and test prep tutors, including SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT.

The second online tutoring company is called Chegg. This company also has a terrific online platform. Out of the three opportunities I am sharing, I have found it to be the hardest to obtain clients. I think this might be because of the subjects I am certified to tutor. They have a wonderful written lesson function that I enjoy as a Writing Tutor. I can tutor live online without the headset. This can be very convenient! They rely on a chat/message feature to promote communication between students and tutors. Once you connect with a student, you are to schedule or move to the live lesson space. All tutoring takes place in the live lesson space and payment begins immediately once the lesson begins. I have had a great experience with Chegg customer service. They are helpful, kind, and informative. They do seem to have a stronger focus on the STEM subjects. However, I have tutored in my expertise on their platform.

The final opportunity I would like to share is Brainfuse. I have found the most work, so far, with this company. I am contracted through their Writing Lab and also on their live, online tutoring platform. This platform is entirely chat based with a whiteboard and document share feature. The whiteboard has many components and there are all kinds of tools for STEM tutors. They only offer a referral fee if you refer them a tutor who teaches physics, calculus, trigonometry, geometry, or chemistry and teaches for them for two months. After the two months, there is an email process that has to be followed- so if this does work for you! Please let me know. 🙂  The live online tutoring is a great opportunity for working at home in the evenings or weekends. (Mostly 🙂 I am still getting used to structuring everything.) The Writing Lab is a feature where students submit essays, papers, and other works of writing into the system and tutors grab them and return them by the due date which is (usually) about 24 hours later. If you are interested in this, I would ask you consider contacting me and I can provide more information!

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to provide help and instruction in the subjects of Writing and English. It has translated positively in my homeschooling, also. I have more confidence and the tools I use with online students have helped me tutor my own sweet ones.

Once again, Varsity Tutors is my favorite! I had a little bit of a struggle with a situation and they were available and kind throughout the process.



66 Books for this New Year

Happy New Year!

I am eager to share that I will be writing at Sixty-six books in a year, twice a month, on Tuesdays, this year. Sixty-six books is a Bible Reading Blog Book Club.

Courtney is a dear friend in real life and I am so thrilled to also be a part of something she has created online.

66 books is entering its 9th year.  Find out more about this special book club here, including FAQ, Contributors, and Reading Schedule.

In His Grace,


Then and Now (my pansies…)

-Anne wanted to do a hundred things first…hug everybody…run out in the twilight and gather some of her pansies…you found pansies everywhere at Ingleside… – LM Montgomery in Anne of Ingleside

-Rilla was leaning out of her room window, dressed for the dance. A yellow pansy slipped from her hair and fell out over the sill like a falling star of gold. -LM Montgomery in Rilla of Ingleside

-Nobody can keep on being angry if she looks into the heart of a pansy for a little while…-LM Montgomery in Emily Climbs

And they are so lovely, velvet soft and glint golden colors, happy faces that seem to smile as they raise plucky little heads up and about. Such richness!


Patch of Pansies house-side in the mountains of North Carolina


Barrel of Pansies house-side in the suburbs in Maryland

“We are all responsible to keep a light burning in our souls and that beauty is one of the most profound fuels for that fire. Creating a beautiful environment and appreciating the joyful moments in the midst of a fallen, sad world not only nurtures the light in our souls but also helps give light to others.” Sally Clarkson in The Life Giving Home Experience (March chapter)

As I knelt beside that barrel with my precious second born son next to me, helping me, I felt a deep peace and soul satisfaction work its way down in through my soul. It was good. It is good. It is good to create space for beauty. I hope for more. And every day throughout this season and the next two… we will smile and care and notice and tend these sweet pansies.

Pansies transplanted in my heart.


Morning Meeting 2015.16

Morning Meeting 2015.16 is actually Tuesday afternoon this year. 🙂 I am still working out the rhythm. I wish we could meet more than once a week.

Morning Meeting 2015.2106

  • Announcements
  • Hymn Sing(new and review) and Prayer Requests
  • 24 Family Ways
  • Gratefulness Journal
  • Scripture Memory
  • Poetry Focus
  • Poetry Review
  • Compliments
  • Fine Art Appreciation
  • Composer Appreciation
  • Benediction/Blessing



  • Shakespeare Study
  • Apologia Devotional
  • Making Brothers and Sisters
  • Health Topic (Horizons)
  • Read Aloud

Poems for Focus Study:

The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson

At The Zoo A.A. Milne

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls Longfellow

The Star Spangled Banner Francis Scott Key

The Eagle Tennyson

Love (III) Herbert

Scripture Passages for Memorization:

Psalm 23

Colossians 1:9-23

Ephesians 6:10-18

Philippians 4:4-13

Endless Gifts May Into June

May blew by. So fast. Two birthdays and Well-visits every week along with “catching up” us all with various other doctor appts…like the dentist. Full of enrichment activities and a bit more travel than we have been used to, along with more visiting… and I have found myself swimming a bit-
with picking up a truly full school schedule and with so much more “extras”… I feel a bit lost inside.
I need to find the balance and the center in the midst and I need, need, need
these priorities:
Three Priorities for this Homeschooling Mom
1.) Personal Bible and Prayer Time
2.) Journal/Writing Time (Gratitude Journal)
3.) Exercise
(and if I wanted to throw a fourth in there… I would say coffee!! )
or- I am just not really living… really.
And, I especially feel sad and dried up- if I find myself overwhelmed in chorework and disputes and fatigue- rather than- cupping the days and living intentionally in Jesus. In His Light, Joy, and Love.

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

…the Light of Life…

I feel almost foolish- just a little sheepish- because those three priorities often are just wishful thinking. And I am struggling with that- a bit, too.

I just recently read this post on the blog Preschoolers and Peace. I used to read this blog a lot. I have gotten away from it. This was actually from a link-up somewhere else. But-O, this was so encouraging.

Endless Gifts May Into June
234. Watching Praise Baby with my babies… and her little hand, grasps me. Love. My sweet babies. And I soak the worship and their sweetness.

235.Puddled color lighting up my bedspread, softest, gorgeousness
of hand-made afghans for my girls.
Heirlooms hand crafted by their great Aunt Amy, my own dear Aunt Amy.
The preciousness catches in my throat. Their vibrant color… their amazing softness. Endless Gifts…

236.A friend whose book list might actually outshine mine… and O! the joy of the kindred heart.

237.Jesus. My truly desperate need.

238.Piano playing again.

239.Baby Signing Time, and how they learn to sign, their little hands! Her fingers, so expressive-
And blondie- even a note of music in the air; she dances.

240.Baby Signing Time and the friend who sent it…total God thing.

241.Entering a season of a more established twin bed-time. More time. But, O, I miss the sweet nurslings. I struggle hard with the unexpected weaning.

242.Her kisses. Her kisses for her Ama, her kisses for me. Soft and baby wet. Love.

243.Productive school rhythm. Each student considered; satisfying. Making memories and Learning.

244.Our “new to us” erg…

245.Loving all things girl and “girliness” as I delight in two very , distinctly different, twins

246.Hummingbirds taking shelter during thunderstorms… and

247.Thunder rolling in and the wind blows wet and chill and we are not afraid. There is no tornado swirling in its midst.

248.Our chimes singing, singing

249.The “band of brothers” in my home and suddenly I ponder, O- how I want them to all be as iron sharpens iron… please Lord, let it be and show me what I can do to train and help this…

250.Plans. Plans, plans, plans.

251.Sweet, sweet card in the mail- and O, Lord, Thank You for all the people who took the time to share personal, heart-felt comfort and experiences with me. And I mist thinking…thinking.

252.Ama and Grandad being here, in this house, holding babies and lovin’ on grandkids. ❤ Inexpressible grace wrapped up in that visit.

253.Playing with *my* babies during free floor time in the evenings

254.Caribou with my three year old- so soon turning four Little Boy

255.He finally figured out how to manage the *big* potty!!!

256. Her sweet Melodee voice, little twirls and twists and lilts

257. Her little growly ways, deep little inimitable baby growl from the chest

258. Arms full of babies

259.Coming home from haircuts with Abi, and finding them on the porch, in their playpen, two li'l baby heads, two happy girls, watching all the boys wash the car, fresh air and sunshine in the shade.

260.Memorial Day feasting and dinner with a candle, music, and contrasting salad plates, ice, and napkins. Sparkly kitchen and all made from scratch… and kiddos off for a brief, fun sojourn at a dear friend's house (and creek) and home to shower and a home atmosphere I hope to cultivate more.

261.Renewed sweetness in Family Bible Time

262.Todd reading aloud to the kids. Reading Aloud Moody’s…and the laughter floating up the stairs…and the Moody’s become like real family friends…part of our conversations and providing real life pratical helps.

Easter Love Baskets

Easter Love Baskets

Easter Love Baskets, a new tradition…
Ephesians 5:15-16
New International Version (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

This Scripture came to mind when I was pondering creating these Easter baskets. I want to make the most of every opportunity to minister to my children and impress God’s love and truth upon their hearts. Easter is a wonderful opportunity to love my children in Christ’s name and for His sake. Our house is currently very cluttered and messy. This made me want to focus on cleaning and not on preparing gifts for the children. But then I remembered- my children will remember the memory and love of this day. They will not remember the clutter and untidiness and what memories and images did I want to impress upon their hearts and minds? I chose love.

I attached a Scripture to each of the main ingredients in their baskets. I also thought about a meaningful Scripture for each child and printed it and handwrote an encouraging note on the back. A dear friend of mine was kind enough to share some things with me about their Easter baskets and celebrations and I felt inspired in the Lord.

Our “main ingredients”
Empty Tomb Biscuits
Matthew 28:5-7 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.”

Lamb of God Chocolate
John 1:29 The next day he (John the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Tulips- Beautiful New Life In Christ
2 Corinthians 5:27 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.

Tasty Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Golden Eggs to Remind of us of the Precious Gift Christ is- we need only to receive Him!
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I was very pleased with their beauty, simplicity, and meaning. I also made homemade peanut butter cups for our children this year- and they were so easy and delicious!! They are so much more healthful than the store-bought alternative. They are also safe for our food allergies! 🙂 They are definitely a new tradition.

Happy Easter! Blessed, Blessed Resurrection Day.