Saturday, June 18, 2011


Just wanted to let you know that I've moved over to Wordpress and have a new address.

Read the new Postcards from the Promised Land .... HERE!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Favorite Speakers from this Year's NCHE

I'm excited to share today some of my favorite speakers from last week's NCHE conference. Sometimes, just even hearing the title of a seminar will inspire and encourage. At the end of the post, I'll let you know how you can listen to all of these seminars on audio yourself!

The Downers - Phil (Dad), Paul (Son), and Anna (Daughter)
Website: DNA Ministries

First off, isn't it great to have a homeschooling family including graduated children speaking for a homeschool conference. The longer I homeschool, the more I appreciate those who have reached the finish line of schooling their children. And these children have turned out pretty well.

Paul (the son) Downer's seminar on parenting the strong willed child (entitled Homeschooling the Strong-Willed Child–I Am One!) was very enlightening. It allowed you to have the child's perspective and yet, filtered through the perspective of maturity. In a practical sense, he mentioned how his parents, and especially his mother reached his heart and guided his steps.

Bert enjoyed sitting in on Phil's seminar "The Keys to Godly Discipline", as well as Anna's (the daughter) seminar entitled "Perfectionism and Grace in the Christian Family".

There were two seminars that we couldn't attend due to scheduling conflicts that we bought on audio entitled, " Teaching Your Children How to Work with Godly Diligence" and The Homeschool Marriage, from Surviving to Thriving!", so I'll share in a few weeks our thoughts on these.

Mark Hamby
Website: Lamplighter Publishing
If you're not familiar with Lamplighter Publishing, they republish classic books from centuries before that teach character and faith. The books are captivating for young and old. This year, we also purchased our first Lamplighter audio story and I was enthralled, along with our children. I was especially impressed with the audio quality - It was like you were listening to a movie.

One of the seminars I sat in on was "The Education of a Child—The Wisdom of Fenelon". Francois Fenelon was the priest who was charged with educating the grandson of Louis XIV. This young man, apparently, was quite the handful. Hamby's words were very challenging on how to win your child's heart.

In a separate seminar, he also spoke on the role of media ("A Great Awakening: the Mind, Media and Moral Imagination") and basically said that TV is turning us into vegetables. The talk was not profound, but a good reminder about the reasons why we don't watch much television.

Tomorrow, I'll share more about writing, nature, and the biology of learning - All topics I learned about at the conference.

In the mean time, if you would like to purchase any of these or one of the many other seminars and key notes from the conference, you can go to Manna Recording and click on their Online Store.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Gratitude for Saturday, June 4th, 2011

#141: Sprinklers
#142: Sonlight boxes that turn in to castles
#143: Considerable progress on my grandmother's house thanks to my parent's hard work
#144: A wonderful homeschool conference
#145: Shared time over pizza with friends
#146: Insightful Speakers
#147: An extended holiday to get settled after the trip
#148: Another level of swimming lessons passed
#149: A new pet fish on its way home
#150: A super husband who puts up with me

Read about the original One Thousand Gifts list from Ann Voskamp HERE.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Interesting Links

Since we've been gone to the Homeschool Conference and are still getting settled back here at home, here are some interesting links for you to check out for the holiday weekend!

Extraordinary dams built to save homes in Mississippi

15 fun and frugal ideas for the summer (Thanks to Keeper of the Home)

Teaching Children to Pray (Thanks to the Gospel Coalition)

Teaching your Daughter to make Cinnamon Rolls (Thanks to Homegrown Mom)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gratitude for Saturday, May 28th, 2011

#131: Time with good friends over pizza
#132: Seeing my hubby learning and growing
#133: Spits and gurgles from
#134: Leapster
#135: The discovery of chess
#136: YouTube documentaries on Rembrandt
#137: One of our new favorite restaurants - Red Bowl Asian Bistro
#138: The start of summer
#139: Cuddles with my oldest
#140: Little Lego builders

Read about the original One Thousand Gifts list from Ann Voskamp HERE.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gratitude for Sat, May 21st

Thank you, Lord, today for ...

#121: Encouragement from my dear sweet hubby
#122: Legos
#123: Homemade tomato soup
#124: Crockpots
#125: Land's End swimsuits for little girls - TOO CUTE!
#126: Rolling babies
#127: Unleashing the little mermaid inside my girl
#128: Plans and hopes for a new school year
#129: New mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23)
#130: First babbles from a sweet little voice

I Thess 5:18 (ESV)
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Read about the original One Thousand Gifts list from Ann Voskamp HERE.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Frugal Friday: Dave Ramsey

We are so thankful to have discovered Dave Ramsey. He is a financial advisor who is honest, to the point, and wise. We took Financial Peace about 5 years ago at our church and it dramatically changed the way that we look at our finances. And not only just ours, but our extended families' as well.

You can download Dave Ramsey's radio show through Itunes or find him on the radio in your local area. It will change your life!

Here are the baby steps that Dave teaches to "change your family tree":

Baby Step 1
Baby Step 1

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is for those unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for: the loss of a job, an unexpected pregnancy, a faulty car transmission, and the list goes on and on. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen; it’s simply a matter of when they will happen. Learn more
Baby Step 2
Baby Step 2

Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

List your debts, excluding the house, in order. The smallest balance should be your number one priority. Don’t worry about interest rates unless two debts have similar payoffs. If that’s the case, then list the higher interest rate debt first. Learn more
Baby Step 3
Baby Step 3

3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

Once you complete the first two baby steps, you will have built serious momentum. But don’t start throwing all your “extra” money into investments quite yet. It’s time to build your full emergency fund. Learn more
Baby Step 4
Baby Step 4

Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

When you reach this step, you’ll have no payments—except the house—and a fully funded emergency fund. Now it’s time to get serious about building wealth. Learn more
Baby Step 5
Baby Step 5

College funding for children

By this point, you should have already started Baby Step 4—investing 15% of your income—before saving for college. Whether you are saving for you or your child to go to college, you need to start now. Learn more
Baby Step 6
Baby Step 6

Pay off home early

Now it’s time to begin chunking all of your extra money toward the mortgage. You are getting closer to realizing the dream of a life with no house payments. Learn more
Baby Step 7
Baby Step 7

Build wealth and give!

It’s time to build wealth and give like never before. Leave an inheritance for future generations, and bless others now with your excess. It's really the only way to live! Learn more

What do we do differently?
We try to "live like no one else so that (in the future) we can live like no one else" (D.R.). Our focus is on purposeful spending and directing of our money now so that we can live purposefully in the future.

On a daily basis, we avoid using credit cards. We have cancelled many that we had (even though they had no balances). We are actively trying to pay off what we have left.

We do crazy things like ...
pack lunches
get water instead of sodas/tea when eating out
Have treats at home instead of going out
Limit gifts for ourselves and our children
Have garage sales
Say "no" to ourselves

Some things that we have learned:

Keep doing the right thing over and over to achieve your desired results.
Right choices must be made daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
Stuff, many times, is a curse. We are happier with less.

Some other great resources we use or have used:

Crown Financial Ministries

Crown Mvelopes - online budgeting software