Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Home, glorious home!

It is really nice to be home. I loved loved loved my trip, but there is no place like home! I have a bunch of things to blog about, and even some pictures, but not a lot of time. There were so many wonderful experiences  there, but by far the very best was the time spent with individual people. What a blessing God gives us in friendships that surpass the world's timeframe. I am so happy to know I will spend eternity with certain people! Here are a few of them:



Kolbi, Jen, and I at a lovely lunch at the Gaylord Palms.



You may know her as one of the many Lisas on the WTM Boards, but I am now thankful to call her a friend! What a lovely human. I was tremendously blessed by her presence at the convention and am so thankful to have met her! Jen and I were wrapping up the convention at this point and we were quite worn out by this time. You can't tell that in Jen's face, but you can tell it in my own! I was tired! Too much laughter late at night brings dark circles in the day! :+)




This was our official booth on day one of the convention. We are still loaded with magazines (something we would absolutely run out of by the end of the last day!) Kris Price and her husband, Jim are on either side of Jen and I. As I have said in previous posts, they are tremendous people and amazing salespeople!


As I flew home in my supremely uncomfortable seat, I was hurrying the plane on to get home! I exited and almost ran to the area for "the public" since I was in the "safe zone." I saw my family at the bottom of the escalator and almost broke down. I was SO glad to be home! This is really what homeschooling is all about--it is getting to be with your family, all the time, learning together for God's glory. I was so grateful for the trip in so many ways; for the encouragement, the joy in friendships, and the amazing welcome we received while there, but most of all, I was grateful to return safely, to my precious loving family.


Thank you very much for your prayers!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Home Stretch

"I'm not talking to myself, I'm having a parent teacher conference!"


This was on one of the many homeschool-oriented T-shirts there. I really wanted it, but maintained control. I didn't want to give the children the right idea. :+)


This was another glorious, busy, encouraging day. I cannot tell you how much so. We had a fun lunch with some of our fellow HomeschoolBloggers as well as Amy from Amy's Humble Musings. She happened to have the cutest baby there and it was fun to see the other side of her face. :+)


We met up again with the publishers of Learning Through History magazine and they are such super people with great minds for great history. If history plays an important role in your homeschool this is a tremendous resource. My oldest daugther knew really quite a bit about the French Revolution before we studied it! She reads it for pleasure--it does not get better than that for homeschooling! :+)


We had a really wonderful chat with Doug Phillips with Vision Forum today. He was really encouraging with his many kind words about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and the work that we are doing here. I was really blessed by his words. God is so good to us and really blesses us with the words we need sometimes and his kindness was much appreciated. We have had so many people walk by our booth and call out to us how much they love the magazine and how much it ministers to them. That is one of the biggest goals--that we minister and most importantly, that we glorify God in all we do. 


I also ran into a wonderful company that ministers to families with special needs children. The company is called Heads Up! and they are just a gem of a company. For those of you have children with sensory issues or for those on the Autism or Aspergers spectrum you will appreciate this company a LOT. 


On the girlish silly side of our trip we had WAY too much fun in our hotel room last night with my dear friend Kolbi, Jen, Maggie Hogan and her two helpers. We chatted about ALL sorts of great things, laughed until our sides hurt, and just enjoyed one another. After Maggie et all returned to their own suite, Kolbi, Jen and I stayed up until two in the morning talking serious, then hilarious, and finally utterly ridiculous. I mean we were really having a great time--until we heard a knock on the wall of our hotel room! We were busted by the neighbors! It was all we could do to keep our silent laughter from exploding all over, but we did. We finally fell asleep and then the wake up call came all too early. :+)


We are heading back in a few hours and I should return around 11:30 am to my sweet precious family that I really miss! I love them all so much and while we have had a tremendous amount of laughter and joy being here amidst our work, it will be so wonderful to hug my family again. We would both appreciate your prayers for our safe return and thanks so much for your kind and funny words.





Friday, May 26, 2006

Day Number Two!

Wow, what a full day! There are SO many interesting people and things here! We met the nicest family here, the Mally's, who run Tomorrow's Forefathers. What a precious family full of kindness and beautiful relationships. They have what look like some really great books (two of which they gave us to review) called Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends and Before You Meet Prince Charming. Before You Meet is written by their daughter, Sarah Mally, and she is one sweet young woman. I encourage you to check them out because they are new to the homeschool market and I think they are most definitely worth our time. I always enjoy meeting vendors face to face because you can see so much in even a short time with them.


We also met some other new vendors, and one of them stood out to us as unusual. Allen B. Wolfe from Balancing the Sword was very interesting and the curriculum looks pretty amazing. I have not seen it too deeply, but you can check it out on his website. What I did see was that it was an extremely thorough Bible curriculum that really just delves into the Bible. What a concept! :+)


Jen and I had a really fantastic conversation with Christopher Klicka and he is truly an inspiring man. I also enjoyed a conversation with Dennis Gundersen, from Grace & Truth Books, and he has a new book out too! (So many new books!)


Jim Hodges (Henty Books on Tape) and his wife are here and they are two of the nicest folks. If you are in the market for quality, unabridged Henty audio books, look no further. We have a bunch of their newer MP3 titles to review!! (Can you tell I am excited?!) :)


I did wear much more comfortable shoes today--thankfully--because we did a lot of walking, chatting, meeting and greeting, and people are just SO nice. What is really the very best part of being here is meeting all the wonderful people I only know from the web and spending precious (and rare) time with Jen and Kolbi. We have had such a great time and some tremendous conversations, and LOTS of laughter!! What a balm laughter is, and we have had so much. Kolbi has been helping us so much and also helping Suzanne at the Peace Hill Press booth! They have had a ton of business with the trillion people here this weekend. Kolbi has been amazing and Suzanne is a complete darling woman. Kris and her husband are just absolute GEMS and are the most incredible people to have run a booth! I mean really funny, warm, sociable, and friendly. We are so blessed to know these people!


Our booth has had so many lovely visitors and we were blessed with really special time with Lisa from Ft. Lauderdale. I recognize her from my time on the WTM Boards, but it was by Providence that we sat at the same table for the Ladies Tea yesterday. She is a true sweet human and I am grateful we met on this side of heaven. 


Well it is getting LATE and I am quite worn out with all my socializing. Even an extrovert gets tired sometimes! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What a DAY!

When one is up early (courtesy of my room mate, thank-you-very-much), showered and in heels early until 9:30 PM, yes, PM, makes one's feet wonder what in the WORLD I was doing all day in such a get-up! Heels are NOT the best choice for the vendor hall, but a gal sometimes has to suffer for her fashion. At least that is what I am telling myself. It is better than sitting next to French men. :)


Well, we met Maggie the Hogan today and she is one delightful woman. I mean warm, sweet, hug-you-right-away kind of friendly. It is wonderful to be welcomed in that way by a person I have only met through email! We chatted it up with another delightful man, Steve Clark of VideoText. One might think that a engineer type of fellow might not have the funniest stories (you know, like hey, Kate, did I tell you the one about the Geometry proof?) Well, no such thing with this math wizard. He is truly a humble, funny, kind, and incredibly intelligent man--with a really great product too! :)


The kind and generous Andrew Pudewa is here, and John Holt--both very nice men and then there is Carol Barnier.  She is SO funny; so clever, and really ministers to your heart! We got to hear her speak at the Leadership Tea and she really did speak to the hearts of these support group leaders--and to Jen and I too. What a warm and gracious woman.


I am surprised by the number of newer products as well as some newer companies being featured here. More on that in weeks to come when I get to take a closer look. I also got to meet, (and was greeted with another warm hug!) Katie from The Corps of Re-Discovery. They are by far, hands down, one of my favorite companies, period. They are creating new products too and what they have here is SO much fun!


OK, it is getting late, my dogs are T.I.R.E.D. and we have a long long long day tomorrow. Thanks for all your prayers for our safety while flying in--they meant a lot and I appreciated it!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Well, we're here!

Wow! What a day of flight and travel! I have visited, in the span of one day, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and now I am in Orlando! I have crossed the continent in a few short hours that took the pioneers months and months. Flying is a wild ride and my flights were no exception. You never know who will be your seatmate and I had several interesting ones from a Frenchman who cleaned his armpits in front of me with alcohol wipes (no, I could not make this stuff up) to my other seatmate who almost fell asleep snoring on my shoulder. Flying is quite the adventure!


I was able to do all the housework yesterday, and loads and loads of laundry, and cleaning, and packing, etc. By the end of the day all was ready, I was exhausted and tired and then I could not sleep for excitement! Soooo, I have not slept since last night and here I am at the Gaylord Palms at the FPEA Convention with Jen Ig! We are beyond tired and watching the late news as I type and enjoying spending some great mom time together. Tomorrow is the blast off date! We look forward to participating in the Leaders Forum with a lovely lunch and ladies tea.


We will both be blogging from this amazing convention and hope to share some great pictures with you. That will depend on the uploading capabilities here, but regardless, we will be sharing it all with you! With 170 vendors, and 12,000 people, there will be a LOT going on!


Now, I have to get to sleep or tomorrow will be a wash! :+)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Schooling Is Not Education

That would be the title of a very interesting and encouraging article by Mortimer J. Adler of How to Read a Book fame. I am curious if you all will find it so. I just love my job as a mother-teacher, and am always happy to read words from intelligent people that support my way of thinking on education. Not that I think I have arrived in the area of thought on education! Far from it. But I do believe in what we are doing here and that says a great deal for every day motivation!


Speaking of motivation, I am going on my second yearly pilgrimage to the Florida Convention with Jen Ig. Last year we had more fun than two grown women with 11 children between us should rightfully have I think. We are going on behalf of  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and will be meeting up with my dear friend, Kolbi, as well as Kris and her husband (who will all tackle the booth business) and all sorts of Florida bloggers we have met here at HSB and beyond! My dearest husband will be Mr. Dad and Mr. Mom for four days so I can get re-energized for our little private school at home. God is so good to us!


We would all really appreciate your prayers for flight safety and for His blessings on our trip. We hope to glorify Him in all that we do.


Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In His Hands

A dear precious online friend who I have written about before has updated her tiny son's situation here. It is heartbreaking and she needs your prayers. She needs to be upheld by the body of Christ. May He be her rock and her shield in this present time of terrible distress. May He be glorified in all. Please pray for Carrie and for Q.


"The news of a baby is reason for celebration of God's manifest grace, reason to hope for humanity, renewal, even if it's less "convenient" than one's original plans."




"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

James 1:17

Sunday, May 14, 2006

What a gift...

This woman must have tremendously mixed feelings on this mother's day. I can only imagine the joy and the fear all mingled together--and the same feelings for the daughter. I am thankful that I have the husband that I have. I am thankful that he understands what a covenant before God and man is. I am thankful that he knows the Savior and believes as I do that our lives are forever joined together. I am so thankful he would never do that to me. It is what I teach my children all the time--choose wisely for your spouse. Do not wander foolishly down unknown roads.


Their father is a good model for my daughters of what a husband can be--we understand each other (for the most part!) and we enjoy each other. We both have serious committments to our Savior and understand His hand and rule in our lives. We also understand that we are in need of that Savior for all of life--for all our marriage struggles and for all our children. We know that they are a gift from Him, given for a time into our care, but not lightly.


To be a mother is a wonderful gift, but not something that should be looked at in a lighthearted manner. Being a mother is a huge responsibility, and should not be taken on lightly because those newborn babies are so darling. Those babies turn into older children who need and require much from us--training, love, time, attention, schooling, feeding, clothing, almost all of us really we feel sometimes! Then they turn into young adults, who then really need their parents--perhaps even more than they did as little ones.  All along much is required of us; and much of ourselves is given.


Do we celebrate our roles as mothers? I am not sure what that means really. What is Mother's Day to you? I mean *I* do what I do not because I am selfless, but because it is my job, or my role that I took on when I became a mother. When I had a child I immediately took on the many roles and responsibilites that came along with it. Would I change it? Oh no, but I don't really know that I think that I should be celebrated for doing what is really my job to do. I appreciate the kind sentiments in my children's card to me:


"Dear Mama: Happy Mother's Day! I love you very much! You are the best mama I ever know." 


"To the perfect mother. God has blessed you with many gifts."


"To the mother that loves and understands me and always cheers everyone around her! I love you more than words can say!"


"Dear Mama: I'm soo sorry I lost the shoe. Would you forgive me? I love you soo much and tomorrow I will write you a letter."


These are all precious sentiments to me, but I know the real me inside. I know I was really angry this morning because my daughter lost her nice church shoe. I was angry that yet again I will have to search high and low through the house to find it--if indeed it can even be found. I know I was testy and frustrated and angry this morning. Not much worth celebrating there. Wow, Mom, thanks for the great greeting in the AM--we sure love you too.


See, and there is the rub. I really don't deserve to have a day in celebration of ME because I know who I am deep inside. I know that I can be terribly selfish and irritable, and that I do what I do sometimes because I have to do it, not because I have a selfless heart. I am a mother by default some days and that just isn't right. I want to have that selfless heart that is so lauded on Mother's Day. It is not me though. What is me is a person who is not worthy of my five beautiful children, of my husband who would never steal my children from me, and not worthy of my Savior's love, the blood He shed for me so many years ago. Yet, I have it all. I have all these things and am UNWORTHY. But He gave them all to me anyway because He loves me--truly selflessly loves me--even me.


Thank God that where I am weak He is strong. Thank God that when I am weary of well doing that He never grows so. That God that He gives me all that I need in Himself. I am blessed over and over and over. Thank you, dear precious Lord, for all these precious gifts today.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sell Your Stuff Here!

If you are looking to sell those items that Ebay will no longer allow you to sell, click HERE and find out how!


Thanks, HSB!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Don't Forget Our Uniformed Soldiers!

The following story is not for children or for the faint of heart, or for those who do not wish to know what is going on in Iraq. We need to remember to pray for those serving over there. May God go with them!


'Life and death every day' for Iraq medics
By Cal Perry
Wednesday, May 10, 2006


His glazed eyes focused on an Army chaplain kneeling over him. There was blood everywhere.


A roadside bomb that exploded next to his patrol vehicle sent shards of metal into his body and catapulted him from the vehicle.


He, like so many of the gravely wounded soldiers in Iraq, was rushed to the 10th Combat Support Hospital, where minutes or seconds can mean life or death.


"Am I going to live?" he asked, in a pleading, rhythmic voice.


"Hell, yes, you are," replied Lt. Col. David Steinbruner, one of the doctors.


Moments earlier, the soldier asked the medics to keep his leg from falling off the gurney as they hurried him into the emergency room. The blast tore the flesh from the bone. His left hand was just as bad -- a "near amputation," according to one of the doctors.


Less than 5 feet away, a friend and fellow soldier lay dead, his body placed in a black body bag and zipped up.


"It's life and death, every day," said Lt. Col. Bob Mazur, another doctor.


These men and women -- doctors, medics and nurses, many of them just 20 or 21 years old -- have saved the lives of numerous servicemen and women who in any previous war may have come home in flag-draped coffins.
(Rest of the story)

Monday, May 08, 2006

In Memory of a Fine Missionary

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." (Job 19:25–27)



As we walked into church on Sunday we were handed the bulletin. Inside was the news that one of our OPC missionary men was killed in a motorcycle accident. He died on the way to the hospital with his wife by his side in the medical transport.


His name was Rev. Matthew D. Baugh and he had five young children ages 10 down to 2. This hit me right between the eyes because you know, missionaries should not be accidentally killed, right? I mean they are doing God's work in often dangerous foreign lands. He certainly was--he was in Haiti. I said to my husband, "It is a good thing I believe in the sovereignty of God because otherwise this would not make any sense at all."

My eyes well with tears for this family who will never more know their earthly father, for this wife who will never more know her husband's embrace. My heart aches for the next few years of struggle for this family. May the God of all comfort go before them, pave the way, hear their prayers, and heal their wounded hearts. My He be their living light.


Please pray for this family, our sister and her children in Christ. Please lift up the Baugh family with me to the One who knows all, sees the ends of all, and knows the plans He has for us.



Saturday, May 06, 2006

She *is* my daughter!

I had a lovely evening out with my charming eldest daughter last week and we were discussing all sorts of things from sibling relationships to home schooling. I asked her what she would like to study next year and her response blessed my history-loving heart!


"Besides history you mean, right?"


That's my girl! It is an immense blessing when I see they see the bigger picture and that history is not some disconnected boring textbook subject. When they beg me for another chapter of our history, or they ask me to continue the historical fiction book I am reading, it makes all that research beforehand, the time and patience it takes to teach it all worthwhile. I love homeschooling and would not trade it for the world. I mean that. I love the time we spend together, I love seeing the lightbulbs go on. I love being with my children as they grow. 


Not every day is easy, and not every day will we have this type of joy, but every day is a gift from God to me, a blessing I need to remember that will never come again.


Enjoy those little ones! 


Roman Ruins Found in Paris

Construction Reveals Roman Ruins Beneath Paris
Saturday , May 06, 2006

PARIS  — Deep beneath pavement pounded by tourists on Paris' Left Bank lies an ancient path — a 2,000-year-old Roman road recently excavated during construction work.

Remnants of private houses rigged with baths and ingeniously heated floors were among the findings, now on view in a stunning dig. Over the next few weeks, however, archaeologists will rip up the ruins to make way for a research center.

The archeologists gradually remove every layer of ruins until they reach the geological stratum — the original ground — and eventually draw a chronological diagram.

"Excavating is destroying. We dig into historic layer after historic layer," said Didier Busson, scientific supervisor of the archaeological site.

The discovery, during construction work on the Pierre and Marie Curie University near the famed Sorbonne, offers a window onto one of the many layers of history underpinning this bustling capital.

Archaeologists said it was the first such site discovered in the city — known as Lutetia in pre-Roman and Roman Gaul — from the reign of Roman emperor Augustus (63 B.C.-14 A.D.).

Items from daily life such as flowerpots, ceramics, bronze chains and drawer handles were dug out and will soon be exhibited in museums.

"We are trying to find out about the foundation and founders of the city," Busson said, adding, "It is exceptional that a Parisian site be so well-preserved."

Archeologists are divided over the background of this neighborhood's builders. Most contend that a Gallic aristocracy, recruited by the Roman army to fight in their civil wars, probably came back from the battlefield and settled in the area.

The Romanized returnees built the city according to Roman norms, but used local materials. They were wealthy enough to own a private Roman bath — the jacuzzi of the era — found in one of the houses discovered beneath the university.
Rest of the story...)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Great Photo Blog

Meanderings by the Brook is showcasing her trip through the Revolutionary War historical sites. There are some very interesting pictures (and some funny faces on her children too!) I hope you enjoy. Thanks for sharing, HappyMaineMom!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mount St. Helens Pregnant Crater!

I don't know about you, but Mount St. Helens has always fascinated me! Here is an update on a potentially explosive situation.

Massive Rock Slab Growing at Mount St. Helens Crater
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Associated Press


If the skies are clear as forecast, volcano watchers who turn out for the reopening of the Johnston Ridge Observatory on Friday will get a spectacular view of a hulking slab of rock that's rapidly growing in Mount St. Helens' crater.

It's jutting up from one of seven lobes of fresh volcanic rock that have been pushing their way through the surface of the crater since October 2004.

The fin-shaped mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 feet to 5 feet a day, though it occasionally loses height from rockfalls off its tip, said Dan Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

It began growing last November, steadily moving west and pushing rock and other debris out of its way as it goes.

Mount St. Helens has been quietly erupting since a flurry of tiny earthquakes began in late September 2004. Scientists initially mistook the quakes as rainwater seeping into the hot interior of the older lava dome.
The rest of the article plus a really cool picture...)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I am clearing shelves! Updated with a few more without pictures...


Hand of Providence: The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan

by Mary Beth Brown


Hardback, dust-jacket, nice condition, $7.00 postage PAID




The Greatest Generation

by Tom Brokaw


Softcover, large print edition, used condition, $6.00 postage PAID




Theodore Rex

by Edmund Morris


Hardback, dust-jacket, nice condition, $7.00 postage PAID




Morning and Evening Devotions

by C.H. Spurgeon


Hardback, leather-look cover, $7.00 postage PAID




Lectures to My Students

by C.H. Spurgeon


Hardback, leather-look cover, $7.00 postage PAID



Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing



Hardback, nice condition, $12.00 postage PAID, media mail.


Charlotte Mason Companion

By Karen Andreola




softback, nice condition, $12.00 postage PAID, media mail.


Art School How to Paint and Draw

Drawing ~ Watercolour ~ Oil & Acrylic ~ Pastel

by Hazel Harrison



Softcover, full-color, 256-page book full of information on how to paint!

Cover has a crease, but otherwise in very nice used condition.


$13.00 postage PAID, media mail


Singer: The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing

1100 Full-Color How-To Photos



Harback, in very nice used condition

$12.00 postage PAID, media mail


Sewing the New Classics

by Carol Parks



Softback, nice used condition.

$6.50 Postage PAID, media mail

Painting Fresh Florals in Watercolor

by Arleta Pech



A lovely hardback with a dust jacket and all the techniques inside.

$12.00 Postage PAID, media mail.

Color Mixing The Van Wyk Way

A Manual for Oil Painters



Hardback, dust-jacket in nice, used condition.

$10.00 postage PAID, media mail

Essential William Morris

by Iain Zaczek



A lovely full-color book of beautiful artwork.

The spine on the top of the book has a black pen mark about 1.5 cm long. Otherwise the book is in lovely used condition. 

$13.00 postage PAID, media mail

Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework

Embroidery, Quilting, Rug-making, Needlepoint, Patchwork, Lacework, Knitting, Macrame, Appique, Crochet



Harback, nice condition $12.00 postage PAID, media mail


Please email me with questions or interest at underthesky@gmail.com


Paypal or money order only, please.

Thank you!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Great Thoughts

Dan Phillips has shared his thoughts extremely well about the blog post by the pastor (below). I appreciate his insight a great deal and highly recommend you read it. Thanks, Dan, and thank your wife for her insightful comments too.