Thursday, March 2, 2017

Why We Do What We Do

This is a repost from May 2011, but it still holds true.  Now we are at the end of our 28th year of homeschooling and graduating our fifth child in May.   That will leave us with two children homeschooling...we have 10 years left!

Deuteronomy 6:  4-9  

Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God, the LORD is one!  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Many, many years ago Jeff and I were traveling I-20 from Mississippi to Texas on our way to visit Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to determine whether or not Jeff would continue his music and ministerial training there.  As we were traveling we listened to Christian radio and heard Marlin Maddox interview Raymond and Dorothy Moore.  They were discussing homeschooling that day.  Jeff and I already had one child at this point and we were intrigued with the idea of homeschooling.  Jeff asked me to write down the Moore's name and we decided then that if it were ever possible for us that we would like to homeschool.  At that time, however, it didn't seem probable as Jeff would soon be enrolling as a full- time seminary student.  In the next couple of years, I completed my master's degree in music education and we added a second child to our family.  When baby number two was just 6 weeks old we packed up and moved to Ft. Worth, TX.

Prior to moving to Texas I made various phone calls and sent letters and applications to the school systems in and surrounding the Ft. Worth, TX area.  Apparently, no one needed  a newly graduated master's level music teacher who was certified K-12.  After arriving in Ft. Worth, we began searching more thoroughly.  We also remembered that interview with the Moore's that we had heard two years earlier.  The desire had never really left our hearts, so we prayed that IF the Lord wanted us to begin homeschooling our four year old that He would close all the doors of employment for me.  And He did!  I had two opportunities open up for me.  One was teaching music in a K-2 day school.  The other was teaching in a day care.  Having heard and read the financial teachings of Larry Burkett, we knew to carefully consider the costs of mom being away from home.  After crunching the numbers we quickly realized that child care, a teaching wardrobe, travel, and convenience foods would demand all of the income and more.  What a blessing to see God's hand revealed!  Thus, we began our homeschooling journey.  Jeff did continue his full-time seminary training and, at times, worked 3-4 jobs as well.  He did well in his studies and even  received a few honors along the way.

God provided all we needed and so much more in those early years and I can say the same for today.  There have been days that have been extremely frustrating as I have tried to teach my children and there have been days that have been extremely rewarding as well.   There has only been one period in our homeschooling life that I have felt so discouraged that I could have sent the children off to school, but thankfully, I can see now that it was during a season of post-partum depression and God somehow sustained us all through that.  Homeschooling is never easy.  I really am convinced that you MUST take the command in Deuteronomy 6 to heart if you are to succeed.  Diligently teaching God's Word as you sit in your house, as  you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up seems to be a 24 hour a day job.  Yes, it can be exhausting but God has a precious promise for us in Galatians 6: 9.  "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."

Being with your children 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has to be one of the most humbling and sanctifying positions to be in.  My children see me for what I am....and I have to admit on some days what I am is not pretty.  The faults that I try to correct in my children are faults that they have learned from me.  How can I correct them when I continue to fail in the same areas?  Yes, God uses homeschooling to sanctify parents and especially moms who spend so much of their days working with and teaching their children.

Our homeschooling days are not always those days that bring tears of joy to my eyes as a child finally grasps a new concept or we have an extra special moment sharing the wonder of God's Creation.  There are many days that tears of frustration come as personalities clash, attitudes must be dealt with or a concept just seems too hard to learn.  There are times that LIFE gets so busy that the books need to be put aside for a time so that the life lessons can be learned.  Educating our children is definitely not limited to what we study from a book.  Some of the most important lessons come from what God is teaching us as we learn to live together.

Why do we home educate our children?  Because we truly feel that God called us to do so 23 years ago and unless He tells us otherwise we will continue on this course for another 17 years.  Why am I sharing this today?  I think it is because I needed to be reminded!  It is so very easy for me to get frustrated when LIFE prevents me from spending time working on MY lesson plans.  I need to remember that God's plans are always more important than anything I can plan.  Learning to graciously handle interruptions and little twists in our day will, in the long run, be much more helpful to my children than learning the details of the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, the greenhouse effect or unit multipliers.  And, I share because I hope to encourage someone else out there who might be struggling today as well.

 1 Thessalonians 5: 11  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Grandchildren and More


Jeff and I with Lauren's five children: in Jeff's lap is Aidan followed by Eli, Carolina, Chase and Ashtyn Claire; in my lap is Devin's son, Haddon.  Not pictured is Devin's step-son, Joseph. 

 Lauren's husband was sick the day we took these pictures and didn't join us.  Lauren is expecting twins, a boy and a girl, in May.  We are still in shock!

When I last posted, Devin and Justin had just gotten married...way back in November of 2012!

Jordan married Anna in December of 2015.  Anna has been a friend of our family since she was 5 years old!  She and Jordan are expecting their first son, Andrew Scott, in just a couple of weeks.

We are so very thankful for the new additions to our family!  God has blessed us with great children, sons-and daughter-in-law and wonderful grandchildren.  We are excited to see how God works in our family as we continue to grow.

We're Back

I can't believe it's been over four years since I've posted here at Busy Hands Busy Minds.  There have been many changes within our family...mainly the additions of more grandchildren and a daughter-in-law.  We now have 7 grandchildren and three married children.  Three more grandchildren are due this spring...a first child for our oldest son and twins for our oldest daughter.

I hope to get back here much more frequently to share what we are learning in our homeschool, kitchen and in life.  God has been so good to us!  I'll be updating the sidebar information in the next day or two and hope to have another post to update you all on the past four years.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Menu

How many of you have already planned out your Thanksgiving menu?  Are you taking advantage of great sales prices to stock up.  Butter, cream cheese, turkey, ham, and cranberries are just a few of the items I have been finding at great prices right now.

This year my oldest daughter, Lauren, has decided to host Thanksgiving dinner at her home.  They also live out in the country and have a nice lake just out their back yard.  I'm sure some canoeing and shooting will be going on as well as eating lots of good food and chasing little ones.  I am so thankful that both of my married daughters live close enough for easy visits and we can still be together for one of our favorite holidays.

Our Thanksgiving menu rarely changes through the years.  I'll be baking a turkey and ham, a sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and a dessert that my food allergic boys can eat.  Devin will be making our sweet and sour beans and another dessert.  Lauren is going to try her hand at dressing this year.  She called yesterday wanting the recipe.  Does anyone really use a recipe?  Years spent watching my mamaw and my mama make dressing and being the taste-tester taught me how to make it.  I made a few changes here and there, but we love our dressing.  She'll have to get experience and make it her own.  She also mentioned a caramel apple cheesecake.  Oh, my!!  Grandmother will be bringing rolls and our traditional cranberry/apple casserole.  Here is a link to some of our favorite holiday recipes.  I would love for you to share some of yours with us!!

Chocolate chess pies, blueberry cream cheese pies, sweet and sour beans and cranberry apple casserole recipes are here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Menu for November 11-17

A little late, I know!!  I'm trying to reduce some of our meat consumption on a daily basis while adding in more vegetable dinners.  Some of my guys are not liking the changes....and I am not surprised.  I suppose I have been changing things up a lot with our foods, but for years I have cooked almost two seperate meals at times trying to make sure my food allergy kids had plenty to choose from.  Now I pretty much cook one main dish that all can eat and fill in with sides.  That means most of our dishes no longer have any dairy, egg or wheat products.  We still consume dairy and egg, but not in our main dishes for the most part.

Breakfasts this week are baked oatmeals (I do make two with no dairy or egg and one with)...this morning's has some blueberries added in.  GF DF EF pancakes, bacon, sausage, eggs and grits.

Lunches are leftovers or soups....beef stew, French onion soup, potato soup, chicken soup.


Sunday-after our small group book study we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant

Monday-lentil rice casserole, roasted root veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabaga and turnips), roasted red potatoes and onions, green beans and turnip greens

Tuesday-white bean chicken chili with tortilla chips and salad  (making a few variations with the recipe...using a whole shredded chicken, dry beans and homecanned chicken stock)

Wednesday-ground beef hash and green beans

Thursday-stir fry beef and broccoli with rice, egg drop soup

Friday-homemade pizzas and salad

Saturday-chicken pot pie, English peas and salad

Sunday-pinto beans topped with chopped onions, shredded cheese and sour cream, corn cakes and salad

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Few Wedding Snapshots

We are trying to get back into a normal routine with school and home.  Devin and Justin are back home from their honeymoon and both will resume teaching today.  Here are just a few snapshots from the wedding.  Hopefully we will have some more by the end of the week.  We had two great photographers taking pictures and are very pleased so far.

Mr. and Mrs. Justin Treadaway

Devin and the wedding ushers, Ben Riley, Jordan, Devin, Aaron and Nathan Bagget

bridesmaid bouquets made by Lori Corbin, my dear friend down-the-road

wedding cake made by a lovely church member, Sandy Morris

Jeff and Devin before the ceremony

Jordan giving Devin a good-bye hug after the wedding

Jordan, Aaron, Lauren, Jackson, new son-in-law Justin, Devin, Kaelan, Caedmon, me and Jeff

Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan for October 29-November 4

Well, here we are in our final week before Devin's wedding.  As you can imagine we are finishing up final details,  putting on final touches to our wedding attire, hauling decorations, food and more to the church, decorating the sanctuary and cleaning the house.  I'm trying to make our meals as simple, but as nourishing as possible as I don't want anyone coming down sick.  I did buy a boxed cereal for our breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday morning.  My family couldn't believe it!  We needed something very quick for those two days, so there you go!!

b-sausage, eggs, grits
l-cheese pizzas and raw veggies
d-vegetable soup, flatbread and salad

b-baked oatmeal
l-cheese cubes, sliced meat, fruit and chips
d-baked chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions and butterbeans

b-cinnamon bread, sausage and eggs
l-leftovers and popcorn
d-baked potatoes with trimmings and salad

b-baked oatmeal
l-spaghetti and salad
d-pinto beans, sweet potatoes,  corn bread, raw veggies and apple crisp

b-pancakes and bacon
d-rehearsal dinner

Saturday (wedding day)
l-meat and cheese tray, raw veggies, crackers
d-ordering pizzas

Sunday (Jordan's 20th birthday)
l-garlic lime chicken, baked sweet and white potatoes, green beans, English peas, sauteed squash and onions, sweet potato and chocolate chess pies

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ramblings for October 23

-There are eleven days left until Devin's wedding!

-Audio books are our friends.  Jackson teared up when we came to the end of My Side of the Mountain.  He didn't want it to end, so I put the CD back in!  ; )  I came across a free My Side of the Mountain Project Pack by Hands of a Child that I think we will work on next semester and we will read the two sequels together as well.  They are not as good as My Side of the Mountain, but this will definitely fit into our planned study of the KONOS Attentiveness unit.

-This morning the little boys were listening to Kipling's Just So Stories.  The reader has a strange voice and Caedmon was scared.

-There are eleven days left until Devin's wedding!

-We have pumpkins....lots of them....80 large pumpkins to be exact.  Yes, we will use them to decorate for the wedding, but I am also putting some of them up.  One pumpkin made about 15 cups of pumpkin puree yesterday.  It's in the freezer now.

-We have become relaxed homeschoolers or maybe even unschoolers.  Why?

-There are eleven days left until Devin's wedding!

-We've been getting very crafty lately.  Saturday three fall wreaths were made as well as 11 boutoneires.  This week we need to make sugar scrubs, salt baths, 7 bouquets and some other items as well.

-Our church is doing a study on Thomas Watson's All Things for Good.  Jeff is leading one of the small groups on Sunday evenings.  As we have a 30 minute drive to church on Sundays some of us redeem the time by reviewing the chapter on the way to church.  Daddy sometimes reminds the children to redeem this time.  This Sunday we were surprised when Jackson asked to read the book.  He is doing very well in his reading and will finish up level 2 and 2 1/2 of Explode the Code this week.  Thomas Watson was a Puritan.   It's a big stretch from Dr. Seuss to a Puritan writer!

-There are eleven days left until Devin's wedding!

-I need breakfast help.  Some of my family members are not happy about our wheat free diet.  Some of them are out of the home every day and are NOT on a wheat free diet. at. all.  I need some ideas for wheat free breakfasts.  My very spoiled family is used to homemade biscuits, pancakes, muffins and cinnamon rolls...every day!  Help!!

-Please share some of your favorite bread free breakfasts and/or a favorite audio book or series for the under 10 crowd in the comments.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Menu Plan for October 22-28

We made it through a crazy busy week!  I don't think we were all home for dinner at the same time last week and there were two nights that there were only four of us sitting down at the dinner table.  Praying that this week is a little slower as we relish Devin's final days at home with us.  Less than two weeks to go before her wedding.  We made some great progress in wedding prep last week and I hope to have pictures of some handmade items we will be using for the wedding soon.

Here is my menu plan for this week....minus lunch!  Lunch will be leftovers, homemade pizzas, popcorn, fruit and salads.

b-apple/cranberry crisp, bacon, eggs
d-little saucy meatballs, rice, roasted broccoli

b-corn meal mush with syrup and sausage
d-pork fajita nachos with sauteed peppers, refried beans and all the trimmings

b-baked oatmeal
d-homecanned chicken soup for Caedmon and chicken tortilla soup for the rest of us

b-apple oat muffins
d-fried steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans

b-corn meal mush with syrup, sausage
d-chicken pot pie, baked sweet potatoes, pinto beans and corn bread

b-breakfast in a bowl--country style potatoes with sausage, eggs and cheese
d-grilled chicken, rice pilaf, grilled corn and broccoli

b-baked oatmeal
d-vegetable beef soup and corn bread

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apples Apples Apples

We've been enjoying lots of apples around here lately.  I buy them by the forty pound case at our local fruit and vegetable market.  Last year we started making our applesauce in the crock pot and then canning it. We still love our applesauce muffins in that post, but now we are making them gluten free.  We've been experimenting with gluten-free baking and as two of the boys are deathly allergic to eggs our baking can be a challenge.

I have also been dehydating apples which I used to make fried apple pies before we went gluten free.  They were absolutely delicious.  We also snip the dried apples up and add them to our homemade granola.

For breakfast and dessert we are enjoying apple crisps.  Sometimes I toss in a cupful of frozen cranberries for a wonderful fruity combination.  For the breakfast version, I decrease the sugar.

I have also been making fruit leather with our applesauce and with pureed strawberries and peach butter.  All natural with no added sugar, Caedmon loves the apple fruit leathers while my grandsons and son-in-law are partial to the strawberry.  It's so rewarding to see them enjoy a good healthy snack that is so good for them!

Here are a few other apple recipes that we have enjoyed through the years.   Do you have a favorite apple recipe you wouldn't mind sharing?  I would love to add some more variation to our apple menu!

*words in bold print are links to recipes
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