afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, blogging, daily life, Grammie

Exciting News

Our first grandchild, a girl, was born almost a month ago.  We are thankful to the Lord for her safe delivery.  She is a tiny little thing, weighing in at 5.15 lbs.  Michael and I call her “The Bean”.  Ever since we saw the first ultrasound that has been her name.   Michael is Grandpa and I am Grammie.  I don’t know if those names will stick or if she will choose something of her own.  I’m fine either way.

Sleeping Aribelle

I’m thankful that she is close by!  My daughter-in-law is very sweet and sends me pictures several times a day.  I can’t get enough of that lovely face and I look forward to every visit I have with her.  It has been fun to see my son in the role of “dad”.  He is very gentle and loving with her as I knew he would be.

In other news, I’ve decided to bring this blog back to life as it first started out:  a journal of my life here at home.  When I first started, I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mom.  Now I’m a stay-at-home wife…and now a Grammie!  I’m no longer homeschooling but my days are full, although much quieter.

I hope you’ll join me as I try to be more consistent here.  I do miss writing and I feel like Facebook has really taken away a lot of what I used to do here.  So, Lord willing, I hope to visit here more often!


afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, daily life, home, homekeeping

Here at Home/Friday


Fridays are usually quiet here at home.  Today was no exception.  The sun was out after 3 days of heavy rain and I think it washed most of the inch worms away.  Happiness and joy!!  They aren’t as bad as two years ago but close.  I’m hoping they won’t be back.

My days here at home are ordinary.  Cleaning, organizing, reading, working on crafts, Bible study, listening to music or podcasts, and many other things.  It’s not exciting work but I always remind myself of what Elisabeth Elliot said:  “Ordinary work, which is what most of us do most of the time, is ordained by God every bit as much as is the extraordinary. All work done for God is spiritual work and therefore not merely a duty but a holy privilege.”   I can do my ordinary work here at home to His glory.  Being a homemaker is a holy privilege.  It’s a high and holy calling!  And I can be thankful that He has called me to this and He has sustained me in it.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  (Colossians 3:17)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

afternoon of life, beyond homeschooling, daily life, home, simple living

Try to Catch Up or Begin Again?

It has been a long while since I’ve been here and my posts have been few and far between.  I think a lot of that is because I’ve been on Facebook.  I’ve come to realize that I miss blogging and that I’m spending too much time on FB.  Last week I remedied that.  I added Chrome Nanny to my browser and have FB blocked for most of the day and evening except for a couple of hours.  It has really helped! I also deleted the app from phone, which was a huge time waster.

I have debated whether to catch up everyone (those of you that are still here)or begin again.  I thought I would add some highlights from the last few months and then begin again with, Lord willing, more regular posting.

Now that I have a lot of free time, I want to use it wisely.  I especially want to help young moms.  To that end, I have babysat the children of two moms while they went out (on separate days). One mom went shopping for clothes she needed for a wedding.  Another mom went to the library and enjoyed the quiet.  I hope to do more of this in the coming months.

I took over 1,000 books to our local homeschool used curriculum sale and our state convention’s sale.  What a blessing to have those out of the house!!  I still have many more to go but our “schoolroom” (I’m going to have to call it something else now) looks so uncluttered.  A breath of fresh air!

Our ladies’ Bible study finished up The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife.  If you are in the afternoon of life (children gone, etc.), I highly recommend this book.  It helps you navigate some of the changes impacting your life and it does it from a biblical perspective.  The main premise of the book is pouring our life into others; now that I have time what am I going to do with it?  Serve self or serve others?

I attended some weddings, graduations, showers, and parties; had lunches with friends and dinners out with my husband; went to the movies with my girls, and shopping with my son.

I also had many quiet days at home where I am in the middle of various organizing/de-cluttering projects.  I’ve also been working on my embroidery.  I’ve decided I want to embroider quilt squares for our bed but I’ve purposed that I will not start it until I finish ALL my other projects.

I went to Williamsburg for a weekend retreat with our Women’s Leadership Team.  It was a time of planning for the fall.  We had a great time of fellowship, prayer, devotional, discussion, and food!

Michael and I took a quick weekend trip to NJ.  We went to Wildwood with my brother-in-law and his wife.  We rode bikes on the boardwalk in the morning and in the afternoon walked around and had all our favorite foods.  Good memories!

Well, that’s enough for now.  Lord willing, this blog will not be too quiet anymore!

beyond homeschooling, books, homeschooling

Books and Memories

I am in the process of selling off the books in my home school library.  I’ve been doing it little by little over Amazon but haven’t yet done a curriculum sale.  Well, tonight I am.  I’m taking 11 boxes and hope to sell a good chunk of them.  Whatever is left over, I’m donating to a local home school group.  I hope they will be a blessing to someone.  Our state convention is coming up in a few weeks and I think I’m going to sell the rest there and donate what doesn’t sell.  I’m at the point where I just want to get them out of the house!  

As I was going through the books one at a time and pricing them, I was overwhelmed with all the memories associated with them.  Especially all the books we read for history, using the TruthQuest Guides.  When they were younger, we used Beautiful Feet study guides.  What good memories I have of reading these books aloud and the children working on notebooks, projects, speeches, etc.  I’m so thankful that I spent the time to have a home library while we were home schooling.  It really was a blessing to be able to hand one of the kids a book on whatever subject they were interested in at the moment!  

As of right now, I only packed up most of our science and about one-fourth of our history books.  And about one-fourth of the fiction books.  I haven’t looked through all our picture books but I know I’ll be saving a lot of those.  Lord willing, I will read those to grandchildren one day!

beyond homeschooling, faith life, vacation

Road Trip!

Trish and I will be heading to Florida on Thursday to attend the 2012 Women’s Conference put on by The Gospel Coalition. We’re so excited!  I am praying that the Lord will use this time to strengthen our faith in Him, draw us closer to Him, and to learn more about Him so that we can share with other women.

This conference comes at a perfect time in my life.  (Of course, God’s timing is always perfect!).  I have been a former homeschooling mom for a year now.  This year has been one of transition and I’m not sure where the Lord is leading me.  While homeschooling my days had focus and purpose.  I miss that!  I don’t want to work outside of the home so I am resting in the Lord and waiting to see His direction in my life.

I have had the time to be involved in more of what I call my “encouragement ministry”, for lack of a better name.  I am now able to have lunch with ladies one-on-one to get to know them better and discuss things of the Lord…and other things, of course!  I’m also able to have a time of Bible study with them or just spend time together.  I’m thankful that the Lord has provided me with that time and the freedom to do so.

I taught a workshop on prayer a month or so ago and realized that teaching is not really my gift.  Haha!  I am much better with one or a very small group.  My desire is really to help ladies, especially young women, see that being a wife and mother is a high and holy calling.  I want to be able to help them live out the gospel in their home and to have a grace-filled home.  That is truly the desire of my heart and I am trusting the Lord to lead me to those women He would like me to serve!

I’m not taking my laptop with me but will post when I return.  See you soon!

beyond homeschooling, daily life, home projects, homekeeping

Catching Up

It seems that September has flown by and here we are a few days away from October!  It still feels like summer here with temperatures in the 80’s and the high humidity.  But…I looked at the forecast for the weekend and it’s supposed to be cooler.  And today I’m seeing out my window something that has been missing for the past few weeks:  blue sky!!  We’ve had 7.27″ of rain so far this month.  I wonder if our winter is going to be as wild as the rest of the year has been?
One of the things that I have been working on is my household notebook.  Now that I’m no longer homeschooling and my schedule has changed, I needed to make a new one.  I’m using a mixture of Mom’s Home Journal and The Intentional Planner.  I really like both of the forms in each of these!

I’m trying to hone my daily routines, meals, etc. since I am now at a different stage in my life.  I’m no longer homeschooling and have been devoting more time to what I call my “encouragement ministry”.  I really enjoy talking with women about the Lord and His Word and how we can implement it in our every day lives.  I want to be able to do my work here in a timely manner so I can be available if needed but I don’t want to neglect my family for other people!  It’s a different time now as Michael is out of town a lot, Julianne is in college and Jared is working and in college.  Mealtimes are not always a sit down affair but I want to be able to provide good food no matter what the evening looks like.
It seems on Sunday when I go to church that my week is pretty clear but by the time I go home, it’s filled.  This week is no exception.  Tonight I’m meeting a friend for Bible study; tomorrow is our monthly Lunch Bunch, I’m getting my hair cut, and our whole family is going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday; Wednesday I’m babysitting for a friend (4 boys!) while she goes to the doctor; Thursday I have a dermatologist appointment; Friday some of the ladies at church are going to teach us non-knitters how to knit scarves.  We hoping to make 120 by December 6 in order to take them with us when we serve the homeless.  Saturday is my day to clean the church and that night a bunch of friends are getting together for a potluck/get-together to encourage a friend who will be undergoing breast cancer surgery soon.  And Sunday evening is the Third Day concert in Charlottesville.  But as Cheryl over at Copperswife says, I have learned to “hold my plans loosely”.  To me that means to be prepared for God’s appointments, which we call interruptions.  To be ready to minister to those in need.  I don’t want to be so tied to my schedule  and my routine that I miss opportunities to serve.

beyond homeschooling, home projects, homekeeping


It was a busy week and started off a little stressful because of Julianne’s classes at college.  She did get the English class she needed and at the time she needed so it has all worked out.  We’re so thankful!!  Julianne starts her classes on August 22nd (Jessica’s 25th birthday).  I now have three children in college.  How crazy is that?

This past week’s project was the pantry and it is complete.  I emptied everything out, cleaned, discarded, etc. and now it is all organized.  I use this planner to inventory everything.  Hopefully now I won’t end up with 8 cans of cream of potato soup…which I discovered I had.  I also dated each item so I can use them before they expire.
Here’s what it looked like before (click to see larger):
And after:
It is such a feeling of accomplishment to get that room organized.  On my way to church this morning, I looked in and admired it.  Haha!!  
This week:  kitchen cabinets!