Apples Can’t Be Oranges

I cannot believe we are only a week away from the month of July! And we are just now planting our little vegetable garden. Better late than never right?

My younger son was actually my inspiration for planting anything at all this year. He has recently taken to making pickles and recently decided he also wants to learn to make salsa. Not with the store-bought stuff but with tomatoes and peppers that he grows himself.

Since a wonderful homeschool family was kind enough to offer us a couple extra plants that they had I decided it was worth it to give it a try. And we headed to the local Garden store to get a few tomato plants too.

Now our garden patch is quite a mess. Last year we took the year off completely because we were working to landscape and we’re moving raspberry bushes and blackberry bushes about. 

Even if I hadn’t taken a year off of tending and sewing the soil every year it is a crazy math of weeds. Some beautiful and some not so beautiful. And I remember as I work with in the garden that if we do this well there will be fruit that will come from all of our hard work.

My youngest son is such a hard worker! He has a determination and an eagerness to do that just inspires me. I thought of my oldest son who is the complete opposite period he is not one for getting his hands dirty. He will go outside and help with yard work but only as long as he has to. His heart is in creating musically and artistically. He draws and sketches and builds things. He is my dreamer. My younger son is very much a doer. 

It got me thinking though. How often I confuse my two boys and my daughters too by expecting of one that of the other. An apple is not an orange nor can it be. It is unfair of me to expect my oldest son to work hard in the garden or to build a birdhouse out of wood. It is unfair of me to expect my younger son to draw amazing pictures and play various melodies on our keyboard or drum set. What is an apple and the other an orange. And that’s okay.

They need to know that it is okay. They need to be encouraged to follow their talents and abilities without feeling the need to be more like the other. Are we not all uniquely made in God’s image? We are His image bearers.  with that come gifts and abilities. As God purposes for each of us so he also equips us. None need to be the same.

I have been taking the last few weeks to read and to find the way that we should go. At home Hendon learning and even in leisure. And I have found again and again that is important just simply be faithful. To trust God. No good comes from worrying and posing tons of what ifs. Instead we need to trust the one who created us. The one who has the plan.

We need to know and always remember that even in the mess there is beauty. Even in the trials and the struggles there is a purpose. Can we see the struggles and tears and challenges and rise up graciously to meet them knowing that God is on our side. 

When Try is a Bad Word

How many of us like to tell our kids that they just need to try? 

I still remember my no 11 year old son telling me again and again but he can’t try.

Sometimes I think even though we probably don’t mean to we tell our kids to try expecting them not to succeed.
I know that there are times when it is good for us to encourage our kids to try. Even ourselves for that matter. Perhaps it inspires and encourages.  Give someone the courage to do something they might not have otherwise.

But those reluctant Learners? The rebellious ones? When I tell my oldest son that he needs to try I do believe that what he hears is me telling him to do something for a short. Of time. I believe that to him try simply implies a way out and not an opportunity.

Not long ago I added the word try to our list of words not to use. I know that might sound crazy but I have found that we just have a richer experience when I place something before my son and tell him we are going to do this.

I often think of how in the Word of God we are never told to try. Again and again however we are told that With God all things are possible. We are reminded that we are more than conquerors.

Shouldn’t we keep these truths in remembrance even as we work at things like reading and writing and math each day?

I often remind myself and my son let the Bible commands us to do all things for the glory of God. Certainly we can do that fast if we just determined to do that which is before us.

As I look for different ways to encourage and inspire my children I may seek out different programs or activities period but I also seek to speak life into them because so often I think we forget about the power of the words that we use. 

I will not tell my children to try but I will tell them to work well at what they are doing. I will encourage them to dig in to something new and exciting. My hope is not in success for all things but in them Having the courage and the determination to do well at any task set before them. Because the works that we do say so much about who we are and what matters to us.

How Often ….


How often do we sit and look at other posts on social media and maybe get down on ourselves? Just a bit? It’s so important for us to remember that we only see what others allow us to see. …How many of us are going to post photos of our messy homes or failed meals? Children in a tantrum?



We post what we want to share….But there is so much we never see..Before we compare ourselves and beat ourselves up over all those things others seem to do, those skills and talents others share…remember those things that they do, and that there are many things they do not do as well






For example, I do not:

Meal Plan
Decorate my home in lovely ways
Keep an immaculately or well organized home
Wake early in the morning
Work out at a gym
Eat as natural as I should
Keep a schedule
Have quiet time (ever!)
Go on fancy family vacations
Have home birth
Keep my car clean
Play with my kids
Do arts and crafts
Sew or Knit
Keep my mouth shut
Show patience and an even temper 😛
Speak softly
Have a lovely garden



This list could go on and on but I think you get the idea. I actually got this idea from another wise lady!



We look inward so we know what to look to Christ for.



Can we begin to focus on what we actually do?


Keeping our eyes and our focus on Him and the Kingdom of God?



So many things we do may seem small and insignificant but are very powerful!




It’s all about Heart

My oldest son has always been a rather extreme boy. He is always gone one way or the other. In fact when he was three or four I remember a friend of ours from church commenting on that very thing. He were marked how he could see that raising this boy was going to be quite a challenge.

My oldest challenge in so many ways. Sensory issues. Attention and focus. A bit of that rebellious spirit. A desire to be in charge of himself. And he’s only 11!

Yesterday I went about changing passwords on all of the electronic devices in our house. I have read that for many children who have sensory processing issues screens are we really big thing. Unfortunately because obedience and showing respect and honor to others is also a great challenge right now.

As I was reading the other day it occurred to me but God repeatedly tells us that we are to love him with all of our heart and mind and soul and strength. Well we are commanded to love him we are also given the ability to choose. Will we choose to give him our heart and mind and soul and strength? Does God truly have our heart?

It occurred to me right then that perhaps my 11 year old son has not given his heart to anyone. Or maybe he gave it but it’s slowly taking it away. I need to have my son’s heart. Well he is not quite a little boy he is not quite a young man either and now is not the time for him to be contemplating who he should give his heart to.

Heart to Heart parenting. It’s what we do when we want to teach our children how to make good choices in their life. It’s how we take those ugly moments and turn them into Times where we grow and we learn together. I fear that I have not always looked to equip my oldest son with the tools which he needs to be responsible and make good choices. Perhaps more often than not I have demanded obedience without any teaching.

I take my rule as a mama very seriously. Who doesn’t? We want to see our kids endure the race to the very end. We want more than anything to hear Jesus say to our children well done good and faithful servant. Yet you know all of this work which we do are we about our work with faith or with fear? There are so many things that can make us anxious and cause us to worry and doubt. And God can’t work in that mess!

We need to find a new way and think about our children in a different way. We need to see them as stewards and as disciples. We need to love them as our neighbor because they are our neighbor.

I think of the many things that my oldest son loves. I think of those things that each one of my children loves really. These are the things that are feeding them. And not all of them I write things. Video games and movies and television…. these are nothing but junk food and our children cannot live on junk food. They cannot thrive on it.

There is much to do. Much work within every one of us. I think of times that I have said something I shouldn’t hear it those moments when an anger I have yelled and said hurtful things. Or perhaps those times when I just haven’t acknowledged his feelings the way I should. Perhaps those things he loves I have not shown enough interest in?

There needs to be a change pyramid 1st and me and then in him. Only God can change the heart and I pray that he will change mine and my son’s.

Never Not Ahead

We just returned from an amazing little vacation that my husband blessed our family with. We came home just in time.


I have a terrible toothache. Have I mentioned ever the anxiety and stress that dentists cause me? Out of nowhere, this constant throbbing on the side of my face; just one tooth causing so much trouble.

I remember that this could have happened while we were away; I kind of am thankful that all of this pain comes now that we are home.


Yet it reminds me that there always seems to be something…..repairs to do on the house; a bathroom that desperately needs renovation …. but there is always something. A kiddo needing glasses or braces… Seems no matter how we try we are never quite able to catch up.



I stopped being interested in getting ahead a long time ago; today it is just my hope that one day we can catch up. We can get that updated bathroom. We can fix the flooring. We can get what was once a kitchen, to look like something with purpose.



I love our little house. I love seeing it change and grow. I love being home with our children.  Sometimes though – I get stuck. I focus on those things that really do need to get done, and are seemingly impossible to get done. It seems to never end. We have a lovely new kitchen! Designed and built ~ We have to start somewhere right?


I am reminded of how on our own we really are though when I have any aches or pains…what about the kids? Have to bring them. Without close family or friends, where I go they go ..  I try not to go far, very often. Yet I remind myself often, it is this closeness, this needing one of another, that brings us closer. We have to rely on one another. And Jesus of course.




I am praying this morning. Asking Jesus to do something for me. At the same time, asking Him what more I can do for Him. I hate asking anyone for anything. It’s the thorn in my flesh maybe. Yet even so, I go before Him, I ask Him, to heal this awful pain. To take it away; to make this tooth new. If nothing else that it may glorify Him. I know He can; I trust that He will.




For now its coconut oil, sea salt gargling…Waiting. Patiently waiting. Enduring. Letting my children take the day to learn about their own things. Because this day.  I need a break. I need that break that I just cannot get. Not yet. But I know too that all things work together for His chosen ones and so I am so grateful that I am His.




Internship for High School with Apologia! {A Review}

My son is only 11 but he already has quite a few ideas about what he would like to be when “he grows up”. I remember when I was young, volunteering in a variety of organizations; this was such a blessing in helping to guide my steps. Because he is already thinking about his future, I was more than happy to have the chance to review Internship for High School Credit by Sherri Seligson, from Apologia Educational Ministries.



Apologia Educational Ministries



Apologia is one of a handful of companies that my kids and I just love. We have a number of their products and every single one of them is a winner. Again and again. The variety of subjects covered by their various materials is amazing; the fact that they all teach to a variety of learning styles is a blessing! And the way they weave the Word of God into all of this…I love it! My family loves it too! ❤



Internship for High School Credit


This is only about 100 pages but there is a wealth of wisdom within these pages. Like I said, I know my oldest son has a long ways to go before this is something he will have the opportunity to make active in his life. This is a one of a kind book walking you through the whole process one step at a time. What better way to get the right start then this? After all, a career choice is a big thing; with this we can make sure they have all the information they need to make a wise and responsible choice.



We received this shortly before my son went on his trip to our local humane society and wildlife rehabilitation center. The timing for this book’s arrival was perfect because he thinks he might want to work in this area when he gets older. So we dug into this one right away and were thrilled with the material included.  My son learned on his outing, that this organization encourages internships and allows volunteers even, at the age of fourteen. He learned about the positions he would be able to take on, the expectations and responsibilities and schedules. He even talked at length with a veterinarian about various educational paths to take when you have the interests he does.  I was blown away with all the information he obtained in the short visit.  And lots of the questions he asked he said he was inspired to ask by the little time he was reading the pages of this book before we left!  I wish I would have had this back in the day! ha-ha



With this book, you are inspired to really think about what you want to do and how you want to do it. Clearly outlining the benefits of an internship versus an apprenticeship; written to students, I love the reminder given, to pray and seek God’s direction for their life, as well as how God  made them, along with their skills and strengths. This book really encourages them to be creative; thinking outside of the box!


Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3


The pages within this book are full of examples of forms to use to track your internship, examples of student resumes; a letter of introduction to send to companies of interest, goals worksheets and lots more. There are even writing assignments and a sample thank you note to send to the organization that you complete your internship at. Can I say again how much I wish I had these resources when I was a student and an intern? These things are priceless; invaluable tools to make the most out of your time and experience.


This really is a book that will be of great value for students who are coming into this season of their home education. The opportunity to explore any career – gain experience in the field – is a wonderful benefit for encouraging and building hard working, satisfied young men and women. And whatever trepidation or intimidation you may feel when you think of the idea of taking on an internship; this book will ease your worries. Step by step this book will be your guide as you learn how to “Plan your work and then work your plan.”


Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}


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You Aren’t Generous

I have always thought of myself as a pretty generous person. I spent years working and social services before I came home to teach and train my children. And how could anyone who dedicates their life to serving the least of these possibly not be generous?
Then I was reading this morning and it was said:
“We are not really generous individuals when we give what we have more than enough of. When we have a lot of free time and give our time to others that doesn’t make us generous and when we offer money and other things to those with needs because we have more than enough it does not make us generous. What does make us generous is giving when we just can’t. We do not have enough money or time or energy. We are tired and worn out, yet we stop and take the time to give. When we do this we have truly become generous.”

I admit I had to chew on that one quite a bit. As a mom to four little ones I have to admit that some days they are my excuse. 

I wish I could help but… if only I had more time…. money is really tight right now…..

Certainly these are things that we have all said at some point in time. And they are reasonable enough right? After all we are responsible to keep our home and to train up our children. How can we do that if we are constantly stopping to give and do?

And then my mind flashes to my oldest son who have really been struggling with as of late. He has gone from a sweet and helpful child to one who is brooding and very reluctant to help anyone other than himself. I showed her but I have to wonder… has he learned this from his mom or dad? How important it is for children to see us reaching out and serving others even at those times but aren’t so convenient for us.

I think of how a few years ago a wonderful old man stopped me in the parking lot because there was a hole in my shopping bag and something fell out. It was such a simple little thing. No big deal period yet it was such a big gesture. A wonderful show of character. 

I have to admit my children and I could do well to slow down. I remember reading somewhere and I do not recall who said it, that those interruptions in life are simply opportunities. If we are willing to see them.

K5 Learning Fun {Review}



My sweet little daughter has recently decided that she really wants to learn how to read and write like her brothers. So we were really excited to get the chance to try out K5 Learning,  an online supplemental math and reading program.  Since we are all about encouraging a love of learning in our children, a program like this, both educational and entertaining, is a wonderful introduction to “school”.


K5 Learning

K5 Learning is also recommended for those with special needs and ESL learners too because of its individualized, self-paced design. If we need to fill in some gaps; perhaps we simply need to keep that learning going throughout the summer, or winter break even! This program offers plenty of fun, interactive opportunities for our kids to have a blast while they gain critical, necessary skills.




The moment this one arrived my daughter sat down excitedly to do her assessment. I love that this program offers personalized lessons and even worksheets to go along with what they are learning. They have assessments for both math and reading; their program covers Kindergarten all the way through grade 5.




Since three of my four are all learning at different levels and different paces too, this was a wonderful opportunity to allow them each a bit of independence in their learning. And in such a way that it doesn’t seem like learning at all.  In fact, this is a wonderful program to use for “summer school”; those times when we want to take a break but still want to encourage some reading, writing and arithmetic 🙂 Each account can have up to four students and they offer monthly and annual subscriptions to the site.





I had my two older sons both complete the assessments in reading and math; this was a nice opportunity to see where we have learning gaps and also to get a better idea of their reading abilities so as I plan for the coming year,  I can better meet their needs. I was impressed with how complete the assessment is too; each one takes about 30 minutes to complete. It’s great how they have a variety of levels of material in these; all so that the program for your children can be completely unique to their learning abilities.




My younger son really enjoyed the math portion of this program. The activities that he completed were fun and engaging. The lessons for all the perfect length for him too. Since he is my struggling reader, we spent quite a bit of time in that part of this program. The best part of this program for him, was how he was able to start over, per se, with reading and letter sounds. Really go back to the basics so we could make that foundation a greater one for him.  We really liked that there were worksheets for him to complete as he went along. For whatever reason this little man of mine really likes doing worksheets.





With my oldest son this was a wonderful addition to fill in those gaps particularly in the area of math. I especially appreciated the worksheets but I think helped him to firm up his understanding of certain concepts. He also would use the spelling and vocabulary portion of this program. And of course doing a little bit of reading each week was a must. He tends to be my very reluctant learner right now so again, the entertaining and fun way these lessons are put together really was encouraging. It is rare as of late that he wants to work on any thing – This was very helpful in inspiring him to learn because the lessons really are so much fun! I have to admit I even logged on to my kids accounts to try my hand, for review purposes of course, at these activities. Fun, fun!






All of my children especially enjoyed the joke of the day. Since there was a new one every time they logged in some days I would hear my kids teaching each other the joke that they learned on their account that morning. My younger son especially enjoys sharing these jokes! There is such an amazing variety of material for our kids to learn on this program. You can even get a free trial if you aren’t sure that this is your thing. I am so glad that we were given the opportunity to use this though; we will definitely be continuing with this through the summer.  It’s a great (and fun) way to really strengthen skills in so many different areas!



K5 Learning




I love the variety of learning! For my littlest one there’s phonics and basic number and operations skills. For my oldest algebraic thinking and geometry and how to analyze data. And because this program adapts right along with our kids it is always just what they need. Well, maybe it isn’t always exactly what they need, but they have a wonderful and very helpful staff that is quick to fix whatever you need. Move a level up or down. Schedule an additional assessment. There is so much to be gained from this one. 🙂 




K5 Learning {Reviews}


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A Book of Trees {Review}

Memoria Press is one of those companies that I could shop endlessly in. I love so many of their materials! If I could fill my house with their books I certainly would.  My son recently purchased a really nice pair of binoculars which has resulted in us being out and about a lot more than usual. Since I love nature, even though I know so little about it all, we were so very blessed to get the chance to review The Book of Trees.





This is meant for students in grades 6-8; it is a wonderful introduction to botany, through the study of trees. For this review we received:




They also recommend having a copy of the Peterson First Guide to Trees. We really have just started to enjoy having field guides and so we had to get ourselves one of these to use.  However if you purchase this as a complete set, they include the field guide. 🙂







My oldest son is 11; my younger son is almost 8. I should have purchased an additional workbook for this so both could work together because younger son was really interested in the work that we were doing with this one. Since my oldest son tends to be rather reluctant in doing any book work as of late, I had to chuckle a bit when this arrived and the very first chapter in the reader spoke of Why Study Trees?


My younger son really loved all of the illustrations throughout the pages of this book. It was an excellent way to study more his seeds in their sprout and grow because he was able to read with us all of the things he was seeing! Pretty cool!

This also opened up a for for folklore as my kids were all fascinated with the idea of people using trees symbolically through the years. It is always wonderful to be able to study something so beautiful, something that is all about us, and see and understand even more the value they bring.


Do you know the difference between a fibrous root and a taproot? I had no idea there was more than one kind of root to be honest. Then there was pith and wood; heartwood and sapwood. We even learned about the various shapes of leaves flowers and fruit trees.  Then how to observe trees! 

 There is also a section for Advanced Work in the reader; this covers things like photosynthesis, has the Periodic Table of Elements and a chapter on respiration. These pages made my head spin just a bit truthfully! So we read over these together but this is definitely something we will come back to in the future. I have to say, I was amazed at all the things I was learning myself, just in the pages of this reader!



The student book is a wonderful resource! I love how there are not smooch multiple choice or true or false questions but activities that really make you think. You have the opportunity to label diagrams. There is memory work to do. As you study the root system you are encouraged to look at real roots (we have lots planted indoors waiting for warm enough weather to plant outside). 

As you go walking outside, classify the plants you see according to stem type or colors and textures of the bark on the trees. There are pages for sketching leaves, flowers, fruit.  There are pages for you to identify and then research a tree. From learning and recording average height, to interesting stories associated with the tree and the Latin name and meaning of various trees there are tons of great ways to learn more than I ever imagined about all of these trees surrounding us. As he gets older I can see us doing so much more with the pages in this workbook that cover chemical equations and photosynthesis.


Some of the lessons and reading did go a bit long for my son, but overall we really enjoyed this one! While my oldest is not one for workbook work, this program makes it so enjoyable, it didn’t seem like work at all. And when he does finish this program, what an amazing nature journal of sort he will have, with all of his newfound information about trees! Certainly this is one to hang on to and enjoy even after it has been completed. And again, there was so much more we learned from this making it a program that covers so much more. 🙂


Between all of the reading and questions; the activities (some experiments too!); and test/quizzes within this set students are guaranteed to know lots about these tall, majestic trees that are so symbolic to so many throughout time and around the world. I really cannot say enough how pleased I was with this one! We all appreciate materials like this that help to make something really come to life through lots of hands on learning opportunities!  And if you are looking or something else perhaps? The Crew reviewed so much more than just this one Memoria Press set so be sure to see what else they offer. 🙂

Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}

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