Freedom Unused, Dies

“Don’t be thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It’s the same everywhere.” We heard this a lot, especially from ourselves, when we moved to Texas nearly seven months ago. (It’s harder to be disappointed when you have no expectations, right?)   I’m not going to lie and pretend this part of America and our previous home in Canada are the same. They simply aren’t; they are two different worlds. If freedom is a color,

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Yes To Better Things

  Today, we started another school year.   (My theory is that by taking advantage of the air conditioning inside the surface of the sun that is Summer in Texas, we’ll have more opportunities to enjoy the beautiful weather outdoors the rest of the year!)   I’ve never chosen a theme verse for a school year, but yesterday, I read Colossians 3, and it hit home for me in so many ways. Verse two was

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Cradle Rocking In The Nursery Of The Nation

The boys came with me to the post office the other day to get some things mailed. Behind us in line stood a real cowboy. Or at least, he looked that way. He had the boots, the jeans – not ‘skinny,’ the collared shirt, an oversized belt buckle and hat. His skin tone said he spent most of his days outdoors.  He told my boys how much he liked their boots. Said he wished his

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Tying Shoelaces Is Holy Work

  “A straw will make an impression on the virgin snow, but after a time, a horse’s hoof cannot penetrate it; so it is with the youthful mind. A trifling word may make an impression, but after a few years, the most powerful appeals may cease to influence it. Think of this, ye who have the training of the infant mind, and leave such impressions thereon as will be safe to carry amid the follies

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Homeschooling High School Charlotte Mason Style

Feeling overwhelmed by all the options for high school, I set aside my list of curriculum publishers and subjects I intended to investigate, and listened to my daughter figure out a new tune on her violin. She’d really like to join the homeschool orchestra in the Fall, so she picked up a violin for the first time about a month ago, determined to become a proficient member of the strings section over the Summer. We’re

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THM Blackberry Crisp | Keto, GF

Is it a THM blackberry crisp or crumble? You decide! It’s been *gasp* literal years since I’ve created a new Trim Healthy Mama recipe, but the backyard of the house we are currently occupying is exploding with some might good Texas-sized blackberries, and I couldn’t let them go to waist! I mean, waste.    And since I’ve re-committed to Trim Healthy Mama in recent weeks, I thought I’d try putting the blackberries into a crisp

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Keep Paring Down

We arrived in Texas mid-school year, and I figured we’d likely have to wait to join the homeschool sports teams, orchestra, co-ops and other such programs as they had already begun their semesters. That was okay with all of us. There was new a town to discover, a business to get off the ground, people to meet and connections to make. Friendships are developing and we are feeling more and more at home in this

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9 Years of Trim Healthy Mama: Back On Track!

As many of you probably know from Instagram, we moved our family of eight from Canada to Texas in the middle of December, almost 5 months ago.  We packed up our house, applied for a Visa, said goodbye to all we knew and loved, crossed the border at a time when it was almost impossible to do so, and drove 24 hrs straight to where we believe the Lord has led us.    To say

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Moving To Texas: 30+ Differences

Moving to Texas from Canada has been less of a culture shock than moving to most other places in the world, but there are certainly some notable differences! I thought I’d share some of things that have stuck out to us the most. For reference, we came from Southwestern Ontario and have moved to Northeast Texas. Moving To Texas: Differences Between Texas and Canada  – My change pocket fills up much quicker in a place

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The Milgrim Experiment

At a social event when I was six or seven years old, a girl, who I thought was my friend, told me to hit another girl with a wooden spoon. I had never done something like that, and knew it was absolutely wrong to do so. I said as much, but she persisted, bribing me with candy, and threatening not to be my friend unless I did as she instructed. Eventually, the pressure was too

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Mother Like A Jochebed

It has been a hard year to be a mother. How does a person parent when it feels as though the weight of the world rests upon their shoulders? Jochebed’s example has been an encouragement to me over the last few days in the mental exhaustion that is lockdown. Who would have faulted her for choosing not to have children in a world where, at the very least, they would grow up to be slaves like all the

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Hospitality: The Whole Point | Part 10

  Hospitality is a commandment from God that makes our theology practical, but it has other residual benefits that are not always quantifiable.   God often works like that, attaching blessings to obedience in ways we couldn’t possibly have predicted.   It’s easy to have people over who are exactly like me. If you’re a Mom who loves kids, books, food, gardening, and generally appreciates different aspects of homemaking, we have oodles in common to

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Hospitality: The Antidote To Euthanasia? | Part 9

Yesterday, our government passed a bill that expanded the current euthanasia law to include a new category of people eligible for killing: those who are nowhere near their natural death, but want to end their lives because they suffer intolerably. The plan is to expand this bill further in the next two years to also include those who want access to assisted suicide because of mental health reasons. Why do people want to die? Experts

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Obstacles To Hospitality: “It’s Illegal” | Part 8

There was one more obstacle to hospitality that I had included in my list of challenges, but I’ve been avoiding it because it seems to cause conflict, no matter how it is addressed, and I hate confrontation.  However, this is a very real and challenging threat to hospitality, and I think a healthy discussion about it is long overdue. I’d love to hear differing perspectives, too, in the spirit of iron sharpening iron, so please feel

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Obstacles To Hospitality: Introverted Personality | Part 7

My husband is an extrovert. I am an introvert.  He is refreshed by spending time with other people; I am rejuvenated by time alone. He works better with music playing; I need silence to concentrate.  He prefers talking; I’d rather write. He loves to plan adventures; I am perfectly content to stay home. He enjoys career changes; I love predictability and thrive on routine. He is naturally hospitable. Me? I am most definitely not cut out for

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Obstacles To Hospitality: Busyness | Part 6

“We’re too busy.” I had listed this as an obstacle to hospitality, and sometimes we really are. My husband and I have developed an accidental habit of cramming multiple major life events together at the same time. The births of our last two babies coincided with moving into a new home, changing careers, and physically injuries to either one of us. Life was busy, but it probably always will be with half a dozen kids. 

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Obstacles To Hospitality: Exhaustion | Part 5

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1  Exhaustion is another obstacle to hospitality; a very legitimate struggle that God often allows in our lives, perhaps to keep us from believing that we are His greatest gift to mankind.  When we have nothing left to give, we are tangibly reminded of the greatest news in all the world: our salvation does not depend on what we can do

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Obstacles To Hospitality: Food | Part 4

Food is often integral to hospitality (an aspect I truly enjoy), but sometimes it can be hurdle, even if you’re experienced in the kitchen! Increased cost, limited availability of ingredients, lack of time, and another’s food sensitivities or allergies can cause us to hesitate offering a bite to eat to someone who stops by unexpectedly. Consequently, we often miss out on the accompanying conversations that naturally occur around the table. The goal of this post

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Obstacles To Hospitality: A Messy House | Part 3

  Personally, a messy house is my biggest hurdle to showing hospitality, and the root of it, if I’m honest, is pride.   I want people to think we’re cleaner than we are, that I’m more organized than I really am, that our kids are obedient children who have learned to put things back after they take things out – that I’ve got it alllllll under control.   (And I don’t want the toothpaste in

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Obstacles To Hospitality: House Size | Part 2

This past Summer, we were abundantly blessed to move into a house that was intentionally designed for hosting people, but that hasn’t always been the case.  Our last house was so small, we lived without couches for nearly a year to give us a little more room elbow room. The master bedroom and the toy room were one and the same (the basement), and one of our kids slept in the couch-less living room. The

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Hospitality Is A Commandment | Part 1

There always seems to be a reason not to show hospitality. Our house is too small. (I felt this many times when we were living with 8 of us in 758 sq ft!) Our house is too messy. (I have worn this excuse ragged.) We’re out of groceries. (It’s the day before my grocery run! What on earth can I make in a jiffy with minimal ingredients?) I’m too tired. (I have no energy to clean

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The Value of Self-Education

One of our girls loves to hand sew doll clothes.  By her own admission, her first few pieces were rather unrefined and sloppy, but she is learning a lot, and each new outfit is progressively better than the last.   The first skirt she made taught her that she needs to sew the wrong sides of fabric together for a polished seam. The second thing she made taught her that needs to leave a seam allowance

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Weaknesses or Strengths: Where Should I Direct My Attention?

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably picked up on something about me: I am a terrible speller. I can assure you it’s not for lack of trying.  I clearly remember trying at least six different spelling programs as a child, as my poor mother struggled to find a method that would work. In every Spelling Bee I participated in, I was always the first or second one out.

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Where To Start? A Charlotte Mason Companion Review

  The Charlotte Mason Companion has a special place in my evolving personal list of Top 10 Transformational Books.   (The list is subject to change, but I am certain this book will always have a spot on it.)   It helped take me from hanging-on-by-a-thread homeschooling to homeschooling from my heart, which has made a world of difference, not just in the level of enjoyment we get out of learning together, but in the

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The Secret To Improved Retention May Be At Their Fingertips

Before we started using living books and narration, I was entirely opposed to letting our kids pursue their personal interests while I was trying to teach. I thought that whatever was in their hands would surely distract them from the lesson. Narration gave me the opportunity to test my hypothesis about multitasking during school, and for most of our kids, it turned out to be incorrect. Four of our kids assimilate more when they do

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The First And Last Prayers Of Continental Congress

The kids are I are reading Profiles of Valor: Character Studies from the War of Independence by Marilyn Boyer and Grace Tumas as part of our Morning Basket Time. (I’m planning to write a full review of this book when we are finished, but suffice it to say, this gem is quickly becoming one of our favorite living history books of all time.)  A few weeks ago, we finished Chapter 5, which told the story

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How Do We Teach Our Children What Truth Is?

In a world where you can find data to support any narrative, where one ideology is perpetuated by mainstream media and the other is censored, where committees have been appointed to rewrite history, and where very few take the time to give both sides of a story fair consideration, how do we teach our children what truth is?   One religion states there is no absolute truth, and determines what is right or wrong by

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A Better Rhythm: Changing Routines For a Smoother Day

I am not a morning person, but one of our children most definitely is. (I used to be a morning person, but I suspect 7 pregnancies in 9 years may have had something to do with that change.) Regrettably, I’ve wasted much time lamenting lack of sleep. I had convinced myself I needed a tight 8 hours to get through the day, and often rolled out of bed grumpy when I didn’t get it. Truth

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The Art of Paper Quilling | Handicraft Spotlight

The art of paper quilling  was introduced to me when I was about 10 years old. My Mom had received a little thank you card from someone with a single quilled flower on the front. We had never seen anything like it before, and she kept the card tucked into the frame of her bedroom mirror above her dresser.  I remember looking at it every day and wishing I knew how to make something just

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Living Book List

At long last, I’ve compiled a Living Book List that reflects our family’s personal favorite stories! This list contains nearly 250 titles on a wide range of interests, and it will continue to grow as we discover more great literary works and add them to our personal library.   (I am always open to recommendations!) This Living Book List has been the most requested post by readers, and while it’s not complete (no living book list

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