Investing in Tools for our Daughters Posted on September 20th, 2013

Illustrating and Editing

When our daughters were little they had way too many toys – too many to count, actually. But that started to change as our ideas about family economy and industry in the home changed. Instead of buying toys, we began to invest in tools for our daughters, even at their young ages – tools that would help them cultivate interests, develop skills, and hopefully be a blessing to the home and economies of their future families…. Read the rest of the story over at Raising Homemakers.



Children’s Titanic Paper Dolls Giveaway 101st Anniversary Posted on April 12th, 2013

The story of the Titanic is such an amazing story of bravery, sacrifice, and love. Our daughters made a beautiful paper doll book featuring several of the passengers and the story of the Titanic last year. It was truly a labor of love to bring to life the real story of the Titanic and to tell the story of those who showed amazing bravery and sacrifice in the face of such a terrible event.

Our dear friends over at Deep Roots at Home are featuring a giveaway of a copy of the Children’s Titanic Paper Doll book. Hop on over to see the beautiful pictures of the book and sign up to win your own copy. It is truly a work of art. You will be blessed.



Letters from Home No. 6 – Books Posted on April 6th, 2013

Old Books

Dear Annie,

It was such a pleasure to meet you and your family over the holidays and get to discuss so many kingdom building ideas. Your children are darling and it is a blessing to see how thoughtful you are about teaching them about the Lord. I look forward to what the Lord has planned for our families as we come together to encourage each other.

You asked me what were some of the books that have influenced me the most? I have been thinking over that question and I have included in this letter some of the books that have stood out to me the most. This list is far from exhaustive, so know that I probably have forgotten some important titles and may have to write you more later to include those. And this list jumps around a bit on topics.

Without any question, the Bible would be the most influential book. I make every effort to read it daily, preferably in the morning. It is incorporated throughout our day in as many ways as possible, reading it aloud as a family, listening to sermons, singing it, making art with it, etc.

This first list is of books I have read and highly recommend and in no certain order:

“The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace
“Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss
“Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp

“For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham
“Charlotte Mason Companion” by Karen Andreola

“The Christian Home School” by Gregg Harris (his chapter on Delight Directed Studies is excellent)
“Health for Godly Generations” by Renee DeGroot
“Nutrition 101: Choose Life” by Rayburn, Johnson & Hopkins

“Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others” by Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock
“Large Family Logistics” by  Kim Brennemen  (no large family required to glean from this wonderful book)
“Educating the Whole-Hearted Child” by Clay and Sally Clarkson

“What He Must Be” by Voddie Baucham
“It’s Not That Complicated” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin
“So Much More” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin

“The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Schaeffer
“Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” by Jenny Chancey & Stacy McDonald
“For the Family’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

The following list is of books I am currently reading (yes, I usually have a lot of books going) and/or other family members have read or are reading and tell me that I need to read it because it is so good.

“The Gospel’s Power & Message” by Paul Washer
“Building A Godly Family” by William Gouge (first book in a brand new three part series)
“The Sovereignty of God” by Arthur Pink

“The Attributes of God” by Arthur Pink
“Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen
“By This Standard” by Greg Bahnsen

“Equipped to Love” by Norm Wakefield
“The Calvinistic Concept of Culture” by Henry Van Til
“The Institutes of Biblical Law” by R. J. Rushdoony

Matthew Henry’s Commentaries, 6 volume set
Calvin’s Commentaries, 22 volume set

The list of books could go on and on as I am sure your list could go on as well. I did just finish a book by Angie Smith called “I Will Carry You”. It is the story of Audrey Caroline, their precious little one who lived after birth for only 2 1/2 hours. The beauty of this book is about the willingness to accept God’s sovereignty and praise Him through it all.

I also like to keep a list of books that I want to add to our home library for future reading. It is a good thing to be always reading, but always pray for discernment and wisdom as you read.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Love,
Robin

P.S. I have a library board that has links to these books on Pinterest.



Choose the Better Things, Part 2 Posted on January 8th, 2011

Stories by the Fire  |  Art Print by BreezyTulip's Studio

Illustration Courtesy of BreezyTulip’s Studio

We have been given our assignment: the wise woman is to build her home (Proverbs 14:1a).

As I mentioned in Part One, this means “nurturing and training our family. Building relationships that will endure and thrive in this chaotic world. Making the Lord Jesus Christ the center of your home.” But how does that look……..

Continue reading at Raising Homemakers!



The Busy Homeschool Mother Posted on May 27th, 2010

Blossoms on a Tree

I obviously haven’t been blogging much, so what have I been up to?

Over the past couple of months our family has taken two trips, realized that some members of our family need to be on a gluten-free diet, learning how to cook gluten-free, and over-seeing some new projects.

And….coming to the end of being an active homeschool mom. Yep. Emily Rose is finishing her last year of “official” home education and will be graduating.  However, I will always be a homeschool mom. I am not giving up that title! It has been such a wonderful title, I think it should be on my grave stone someday as well. Something like, “The Lord blessed her by allowing her to be a homeschool mom.”



Busy with their hands Posted on February 3rd, 2009

I have been asked why I would have the girls keep busy with their hands while I read to them.  There are several reasons for this; some are noble, and others are down-right selfish. 

My favorite chapter in The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola, is chapter 3, "What is Education?".  She begins this chapter by discussing what the world commonly refers to as education, something for teachers to teach, something to study and major in in college, something to plan on doing. 

Charlotte Mason’s ideas of education where far different.  Her focus was on bringing up children by training and nurturing them.  The most important training would be in the scriptures and teaching them to know and love God. 

Our children (and ourselves) are inspired by relationships.  These relationships can be formed by the people we know, the books we read, the places we go, the things we do.  We are not inspired to grow as a person by studying for that multiple-choice test. 

Charlotte believed that each day your child should have the following:

~Something or someone to love

~Something to do

~Something to think about

The question I am going to address is related to the second item – Something to do.  I believe that having them work with their hands while I read would help them to enjoy our reading time more.  I also believe that it helped them at times to focus on the reading.  Our minds can wander all over the place and this helped bring some focus to the rest of their bodies so they wouldn’t be so squirmy.  And lastly my confession of selfishness, if I was going to read to them I felt they should be doing something to and not just sitting there.  How bad is that?  This should be "confessions of a selfish homeschool mom."

Now that they are older, they have admitted it is at times hard to just sit, they need to be doing something with their hands.  Maybe that is a good thing after all?  Training them to redeem the time!



Handiwork Posted on April 23rd, 2008

One year for Christmas, I wanted to make my mother a cross stitch picture.  I found just the right pattern, it was the words of Amazing Grace with a lot of delicate border work and it was going to take quite a bit of time to make.

I gathered all the different colored threads and material that I would need for it, and with much anticipation, I sat down to begin working on it.  All of a sudden, both girls were on either side of me leaning over the material watching me work with thread and needle.  Now they had seen me do different projects before, but for some reason, this project fascinated them.  They were 5 and 3 and wanted to be very involved in it.

The problem was, this was for a Christmas present and I didn’t have a lot of time to do it in.  Every time I picked up the cross stitch, the girls were right there wanting to “help” make it.  I let them do a couple of stitches, thinking that it would satisfy them, but it did not.  They just wanted to do it again.  After a few days of this, I realized something had to be done.

I decided I would make them their own little sewing boxes and they could sew every time that I sewed.  I found a couple of shoe boxes and rummaged around in my sewing supplies for items to fill them with.  Things like buttons, felt, ribbons, embroidery thread, scrap material, burlap, yarn, scissors, sewing needles, straight pins, spool of thread, etc., all went into the boxes.

So the next time I sat down to work on the cross stitch and the girls were leaning over my work, I told them I had a surprise for them.  I pulled out the boxes and presented them with their own little work baskets.  I wish I had thought to take pictures.  It was precious.  They were so excited to have their own sewing boxes, they didn’t care that it was a shoe box or that everything I put in there were scraps and leftovers.  It was their own and they loved them.

I put my cross stitch away for awhile and we examined their boxes together and talked about all the different things they could do and make.  There wasn’t any planned thing for them to make, I just wanted them to play around with the needles and thread and see what they could come up with.  I pulled back out my cross stitch and the girls sat on the floor by my feet and we all happily sewed.

They made all sorts of little things. They sewed little pictures onto the felt, sewed buttons all over little pieces of material and made little pouches.  It was so fun to see them work on little projects with no set plan, just their imaginations.  The stitches were all different sizes and directions, but they were still so proud of the things they made and so was I.  There was the usual little dramatic scenes when the thread tangled or got knotted up, but we just stopped what we were doing and tried to fix it the best we could.  I showed them when my thread would get tangled or knotted so they would see that it happened to me too. I was able to get the cross stitch done in time for Christmas and the girls started a lifelong love of working with their hands.

When we started to officially homeschool, anytime I read aloud to the girls, I would have them quietly work on something with their hands.  They could sew or draw, later adding in crocheting or knitting, whatever they wanted to work on, sometimes they just made things with legos, just as long as they were working on something with their hands while I read.  Their skills have improved dramatically with time and they don’t always need to have a pattern to come up with what they have in their minds.