That old adage about more being caught than taught

AK Rambler:

Because this is so important, every single day, I’d like to share this again. I’d be grateful if you’d spread it around the web, as I hope these ideas – which are not original to me – will positively impact other families, as well as my own.

Originally posted on Dabblings and Ramblings:

There’s a poem written by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D., titled “Children Learn What They Live”.  You can find the book with the original work here, and a slightly different version of the poem follows below, shown on a lovely afghan:


A disclaimer belongs here – this poem is often viewed as being somewhat humanistic.  I cannot wholly disagree with any part of it, though.  Too often our pride causes us to lash out in anger at the deficiencies we think we see in our children.  What will others think, right?  What will others say about us when we aren’t around?  Our insecurities about what we see wrong in ourselves causes us to overreact when trying to shape our children into what we wish we could be.  Our criticism of any child – ours or others’ – could come from any number of things, few (if any) of them…

View original 263 more words up the Word, Colossians 3:19-20

Read your Bible.  Read it every day, in any order.  Just open it and read it.  

What I’m sharing here is my Bible study from this morning.  I like the SOAK method, which is also referred to as SOAP.  The “S” stand for scripture, the “O” for observation, the “A” for application, and the “K” for kneeling in prayer (or “P” for prayer).  If you want to learn more about this method, or color-coding what you read, a good place to visit is the Women Living Well site.

SOAK Colossians 3:19-20

Colossians 3:19-20

S:  Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.  Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

O:  Why must husbands be reminded to “love…and do not be bitter” toward their wives?  What form of love is being referenced here?  It is natural – though unacceptable – for a wife to take the lead over her husband or for a child to disobey.  Is the implication then that it is natural for a husband to be bitter, harsh, resentful, and/or unloving toward his wife?

A:  Being neither husband nor child, these verses don’t seem to apply directly to me at first read.  However, seeing what my husband and children are being instructed to do, I can support and encourage them.  I can encourage my husband in being loving by being generally lovable.  I cannot control his thoughts or feelings, but I can control my end and not make things difficult on his end.  I can also model discretion and gentleness in my speech as often as possible.  By being a consistent example in our home, I can set the tone for all of us to avoid being harsh toward one another.  As for bitterness, I suppose I can, in conversation and prayer, work through any feelings I have that might lead to bitterness, regardless of where or to whom they are directed.  That practice could lay the groundwork for my husband to feel safe doing the same.  Concerning the children and their obedience, I should always be a clear communicator, and make sure that expectations are age and ability-appropriate.  I should also be as consistent as possible, and ask for forgiveness when I make mistakes.

K:  My God, you are an awesome God!  You reign over Heaven above with wisdom, power, and love.  You are an awesome God!  I ask that you forgive my slip-ups and willful sins.  Forgive me for my impatience, for the times when I have considered taking the lead over my husband, in any form.  Please, forgive my lackadaisical and inconsistent manner of training my children to biblically obey.  I thank you for your daily providence, for your grace, and for your perfect example of what real love looks like.  According to your Word, I can ask you for your wisdom, and I pray you will grant it to me according to your Will that I may bring you honor and glory in all I do.  I pray for your protection over the hearts of my family, especially my husband’s at work, and my children’s as they spend more time among those who don’t follow you.  In the name of your beautiful Son, Amen.

Music that makes you feel good

Short post this morning to share what may be old hat to some of you.  I recently discovered the talented Lennon & Maisy duo, sisters who perform on the TV show “Nashville”.  I’ve never watched the show and have no intention of doing so, which is likely why I’m just now learning about these two.  Check them out folks, aren’t they something?  I could listen to them ALL day.  Their covers are like sunshine to me.

Another blog caught my mind

Yeah, the blog didn’t catch my eye so much as my mind.  I must have scrolled past a repost of the Facebook post of the blog or something, I don’t recall exactly where I found it.  I still have the page up in one of my browser tabs though, and I want to share it with the couple hundred of you who are so kind as to have my ramblings pop up in your reader.  So this guy, a Mr. Dazet, says that we – everyone – should stop telling hurting people that they should let us know if they need anything.  I was intrigued and read through his points.  I was not expecting the points he shared.  In fact, my little world stopped for a moment while I resolved to do the same thing that he resolved to do.  Read about it for yourself, and please share your thoughts with one or both of us.

Next, I began navigating through the site, and found another post which piqued my interest.  At one time or another many of us reflect on how we order our days.  When did you last contemplate your priorities?  Another way of phrasing this would be to choose your “life themes”.  (Last year I spent some time thinking over and writing out my life themes, at least for my current season of life.  One of these days I’ll get around to putting together a post on all of that.)  Dazet poses some questions to himself, then concludes in part with the following, “Look at your schedule:  What you see is what you value.  And what you don’t see isn’t getting your attention.”

So what do you say?  Will you try something new in you relationships?  Will you give your daily tasks a hard look and see what they are telling you?  Let me know if you do.  I’d like to hear how it goes. :-)


While trying out a funnel cake recipe (see below) in my cast iron this evening, I was thinking to myself (as I often do) about the whys and hows of being a unique mama to my unique children. Every human being is just a bit different from all the others, and no matter how much we tend to group and re-group ourselves for the purposes of belonging or collecting data, we will always be amazingly unique individuals with our own special journeys. The recipe that follows is something I created while standing at the stove tonight. While it may not apply to all, I feel it follows certain patterns that if we pay attention, are fairly common amongst families.

Recipe for encouraging rebellion in your children’s hearts:
1 part rules (hold the reason)
2 parts hypocrisy
1/2 a slice of disrespecting their personal space
1 part passive disapproval of their changing personality
Sprinkle on responsibilities, making sure to withhold the appropriate privileges.
Pour quickly into a hot (hormonal) pan, and hold over the fire until it breaks or causes damage to your home.

Have you seen this in your life? Perhaps there are other “recipes” you are familiar with, maybe even ones that produce something more positive. I’d be ever so grateful if you would share them with me in the comments below.  Last, but not least, here is the funnel cake recipe I pulled from the Food Network website, which lists Robert Irvine as its author.

Funnel Cake with Powdered Sugar
Ingredients: 1 liter canola oil, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 eggs, 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
Directions: Heat oil in deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (I used a deep cast iron pan). Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in eggs and milk. Pour 1/2 cup batter through funnel into hot oil, moving in a circular motion as you do so, to make each spiral-shaped funnel cake. Fry each spiral of batter until golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove with tongs and lay on paper toweling to absorb oil (I spread paper napkins under a cooling rack). Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar through a sieve onto top of hot dough. Serve immediately. Here is a collage of one of mine as it cooked.


If I Wasn’t My Husband’s Wife

For those of you who don’t know my family, my husband’s name is John.  John is a pretty special guy.

A loyal husband and adoring father, he is determined to provide for our family, both materially and otherwise.  I know this for a fact, because in the time between leaving military service and being handed a lucrative job that took him away from us for 8 months a year, he began interviewing for entry-level jobs that he would then stack in order to continue our homeschooling lifestyle.  My husband is a provider.

I know that he is loyal to me, because there was a time when I had all but given up on him due to our inability to communicate and connect.  He never gave up on me, though, and we have grown stronger through the years by relying on the third person in our marriage – Jesus Christ.  My husband is loyal.

I know he is a great father, because I have seen him grow into that role.  He knew he had always wanted children, and he also knew that he had no idea how to be a good father.  He knew what kind of father he didn’t want to be though, so that is where he began.  He knew nothing of screaming infants and diaper changes, but after his initial anxiety he became a help in some of those times.  He flourished as the father of preschoolers, for his forte at the time was creating magical and hysterical stories off the top of his head, dressing up and playing make-believe, and playing at playgrounds as though he wasn’t a full-grown man.  He is hesitant for the final true years of childhood, because we are realizing more and more that being a young adult these days presents more and different challenges than we were faced with when we were going into middle school and high school.  Also, because we choose to follow Jesus as our Savior and example (don’t get me wrong, we fail every day), our standards for morality tend to be higher, as our culture continues to lower its own standards.  We  keep making an effort to pull together as husband and wife, showing our children that we are a team that often disagrees, yet remains unified.  My husband is a loving and devoted father.

But what if he wasn’t my husband?

What if I wasn’t his wife?

I would be hoping for a man like him.

Knowing what I know about him – the circumstances of his youth, his journey in becoming a man, his failures and successes – I would want to be his wife.  I would know that no matter how many times we failed each other, he would always be there, wanting to try again.

At this point in my considering his qualities, I am feeling humbled.  Am I still making the efforts that would be necessary in winning him over were I not his wife today?  If he and I were to meet today, would I have made enough effort in my conversation and appearance to encourage his getting to know me more deeply?  If I had to win over my husband today, could I?

On a practical level, this is how I am putting these musings to use…

In thought – Speak truth, seasoned with love, patience, and kindness.  Use discretion in speaking about others, and use words of encouragement.  If I am always negative of others, or putting others down, or using harsh/embarrassing speech, I could easily cause harm to his reputation or speak about him in the same way.

In deed – Before marriage, much thought went into outward appearance.  When getting ready each day, some of that effort should still be there, for he is still worth attracting.  Before marriage, much effort went into practicing good manners and learning to anticipate his needs and desires.  While those tasks can be exhausting and all but impossible while going about the day raising children and keeping our home, I can still try whenever possible.  He is worth whatever love-filled attempts I can muster.

For the wives reading this, I hope you will be encouraged to continue making an effort for your husbands, whatever that may mean to the two of you.

For the husbands reading this, consider what it might take to get your wife’s attention today, and what you would be willing to do to make her yours.  Then perhaps take small steps toward some of those things.  Surely she is worth it.

As always, please leave your thoughts below, I love reading them :-)

The Chicken Chronicles

Last spring, we bought three Norwegian Jaerhorn chicks from one person, and three Barred Plymouth Rock chicks from another.

Their first (protected) foray outside.

Their first (protected) foray outside.

We named them, which everyone will tell you should never be done if you eventually plan on eating them.

This was Astrid, before we found out she was a he.

This was Astrid, before we found out she was a he.


This was Bertha...she became Bert.

This was Bertha…she became Bert.

Liesel, the only female of the Barred Rock bunch.

Riley was the most beat up looking of the Norwegians, but is now full grown and the strongest of the three.

Riley was the most beat up looking of the Norwegians, but is now full-grown and the strongest of the three.


Not only does my hubby work more than full-time, not only is he finishing his Master’s degree, but he also built a coop from mostly scrap material in his spare time.  With no prior building experience, I gotta say, not too darn shabby!

Working on the frame.

Working on the frame.

A visitor, inspecting the somewhat finished product, before we painted and added a run.

A visitor, inspecting the somewhat finished product, before we painted and added a run.

A couple months old, enjoying their run.

A couple of months old, enjoying their run.





Being in the market for eggs only at this time, we gave away the cockerels.  So from six, we are now down to four.  They should begin laying their first eggs any day now, and I am looking forward to the experience of cooking truly fresh eggs for my family.  If all goes reasonably well, we will triple our flock next spring to keep our family – and occasionally our friends – in fresh, nutritious eggs.

This morning, I shall rant, then I will get on with my day.

My response to this ridiculous FB post follows:


Cigarettes slowly suck the life out of their users and those who are habitually smoked around. A child who holds their smoking parent’s hand has to eat with those ashtray-smelling hands – the smell doesn’t always come off so easily in one washing. A child who sits in a car or lives in a home with a smoker who smokes inside will smell like stale bar air at school, and is often thought of differently because of this. Young lungs can and will develop breathing issues that can follow them into adulthood, affecting their quality of life. All so a parent can nurse a stupid addiction. Budgets are stretched further and further over time, money spent on foul death rather than on new shoes, a special dinner out, or even paying off a bill sooner rather than later. Why? So an adult can feed their legal addiction. A loving and dutiful spouse will kiss that mouth that tastes like the bottom of an ashtray, and caress the face that bears the signs of death chemicals working their way through the system of the addicted. The loved ones that watch teeth and nails turn a sickly yellow-gray will want to say something, even plead with them to try to kick this awful habit, only to have their own imperfections and humanness thrown back in their face or be scoffed at for caring for the life of someone they love. Innocent, stinky little habit? Much more than that. Too much more.

No business should be required by law to put pictures that oppose their product on their own packaging. Include ingredients on packaging? Absolutely! But not photos and statement that detract from what they are trying to make a living selling to the public.

McDonald’s doesn’t create obesity. An individual’s choice to eat that trash more than they eat good, clean food, and a lack of meaningful physical movement creates obesity. Not every cosmetic company tests their products on animals, and we as consumers can choose better companies for our cosmetics, or make our own. Alcohol is not a problem for a great number of people, and not everyone drinks to get drunk. Wine can also be used for cooking, and there are limited health benefits with certain uses. Every politician is also a human being. We are all liars, terrible sinners, selfish jerks, if not on the outside then at the very least in the darkest parts of our minds. To plaster the faces of our voted-in legislators on our paperwork is absurd on more than one level, and would likely result in decades of slander cases being seen in court. Not every politician is a scheming shyster. BUT! But, every cigarette draws you closer to your demise, and you aren’t the only one who is affected. Every single awful cigarette rips through the inside of your body and screws with your mind, creating a dependency that is very hard to shake.

Let’s not attempt to legitimize this filth by calling out every other possible poor choice a person could make. Two wrongs, or 4 wrongs, or 117 wrongs, don’t make any of them right. Your right to smoke yourself into oblivion is your right alone, and no one else should have to pay for your poor choice.

Exploring Creation through Zoology

Genesis 1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.


Last school year, I made a last-minute curriculum change decision. Instead of teaching through Apologia’s Exploring Creation through Astronomy, I thought we would try something new, something that looked “kid-friendly”. Meh. I chose a Christian Kids Explore text (used) that covered Earth and Space. I won’t go into details lamenting the entire textbook and lackluster experience. Many people seem to enjoy the series, and that’s great for them. I think we should all find what works for our families and stand by those decisions. I ended up piecing together short units based on the subjects in the text and hardly using the text at all. My advice? Get your hands on things before implementing them.  We did some neat projects throughout the year, as you can see…

Measuring melting rates and movements of pure ice "glaciers" versus "glaciers" full of sediment.

Measuring melting rates and movements of pure ice “glaciers” versus “glaciers” full of sediment.


Showing the earth's layers.

Showing the earth’s layers.



On the upside, I have gone back to Apologia. I wanted to try something new, see if there was something…better? Anyway, the Young Explorer series offers everything we need in a rich science study, and God is glorified in the process. To ice that cake, Pinterest has become a homeschooler’s goldmine, offering up everything from applicable Netflix suggestions to corresponding art projects and where materials can be had for less money.  The kidlets have created their binders already, and I have the first lesson printed out, with each lessons taking two weeks to complete, topped off with an experiment.  Once I purchase my lesson planner, I’ll scribble in the lesson plans and get to focus on the best part of all – gathering experiment supplies and LEARNING TOGETHER!



For two days, I’m doing a mini cleanse.  There are so many types of cleanses one might do, and many people fast as part of their cleanse.  I have decided, this time, to do a fruit and veggie cleanse.  I’m drinking diluted fruit and veggie smoothies twice a day, eating gigantic organic salads with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and slices of avocado, and taking Super Cleanse by Nature’s Secret.  If I start to get fidgety, I’ll have a cup of plain tea or a few nuts.  Most importantly, I’m chugging 9-10 cups of water each day.  Want to try your own smoothies but can’t decide what to choose?  Give this handy little chart from Good Clean Health a shot.



The rhythms of our seasons lend themselves to helping us create habits out of spring and fall cleansing as our bodies prepare for different circumstances.  Those dandelions in the yard bugging you?  Pull the leaves (provided they haven’t been sprayed with weed killer) and add them to your salad to aid in cleaning out your bloodstream after a winter of heavy, starchy foods.  April showers got you down?  Let them remind you of thoroughly cleaning out your digestive tract, replacing filters around your home, and cleansing your sinuses with a Netipot.  The heat and added activity of summer?  Drink lots of water.  As crops and bushes begin to produce, we are blessed with good nutrition if we eat them fresh.  When the temperatures begin to drop, we add spices to our cooking, which in turn helps our bodies to warm up from the inside-out.  Cinnamon in particular is helpful (to diabetics as well) to aid in the use of sugars in our bodies.  Cloves aid in cleaning the air we breathe (steaming or diffusing), numb topical pain (think toothaches), and are antimicrobial (how helpful in the cold and flu season)!  If we work with the seasons and rhythms of life rather than fight against them, we can learn so much about ourselves and God’s creation.

Need a little more inspiration to begin the summer eating energizing, clean foods?  Try the link below for so much deliciousness that you may very well jump out of your chair, jump into your car, and buy out the produce at your local farmer’s market or grocery store!