Thursday, December 31, 2015


Dear Friends,
I have been thinking a lot about endurance lately.  There are many people I love, including myself that need encouragement right now so I decided to write a love note of sorts, to us all.  Someday, we will all to sit at the feet of Jesus and praise Him.  O, What a reunion that will be!
Initially, here are a few scriptures to ponder.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NKJV)
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: ‘For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.  Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has not pleasure in him.’ (NKJV)
In a world that wants everything right now and wants to throw everything away, the concept of endurance has been lost.  What does endurance mean?  How can we apply this to our lives?
In order to increase the endurance in our lives, we must learn to work hard.  Not all things in life come easy.  In fact, I would venture to say that most things that are worth accomplishing require a lot of hard work to attain.  If it were easy, it would not be so valuable. Both verses above state that endurance comes from doing the will of God.  Do you know what His will is for you?  When did you last study and apply His will for your life?  We must be constantly reading and studying to know what His will is for our lives.  For me, this time in my life is one that is very hard.  It is hard to raise children, transition some to college, and be caring for aging family members.  These are all things that he calls us to do in his Holy Scriptures.  God never promised us that the road to heaven would be easy, in fact just the opposite. Think about all the challenges that have taken place throughout the centuries, in the name of Christ, starting with Christ himself.

Another thing that we need to increase our endurance is patience.  We live in a world that wants everything now, but really they wanted it ALL yesterday.  As Christians looking to His will, that may mean we need to make a different choice than the world.    ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV).  If having whatever you want NOW distracts you from seeking God first, then you must learn to be patient for endurance to come.  Ask yourself these questions:  Is whether I get this now or later going to make any difference on the day of judgement? How will getting this now glorify God?  How will God be honored if I practice patience in this decision? Sometimes it is just spiritually heathy to practice patience.  ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law.’ Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Finally endurance requires never, ever quitting.  Ralph Waldo Emmerson once said, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall’.  Life is going to provide us plenty of opportunities for falling.  It is what we do with those opportunities that create endurance, or not.  There is only one perfect one and that is not you or I.  In my life, imperfections help me to realize how reliant on Christ I must be. God basically promised us that we will sin (John 3:23) it is what we do with that sin that creates endurance.  Do we wallow in it, beat ourselves up, talk about how we are such a failure and will never make it to heaven OR do we pull ourselves up by our boots straps, repent, pray fervently, and go on doing better today than we did yesterday.  Believe it or not, the latter is much more effective for spiritual growth.  We see both responses in Jesus small group of apostles.  There was Judas and Peter.  Both responded to sin in their lives in a different manner.  So which are you?  Judas? Or Peter?
There are probably many other facets to endurance.  These are just three:  Working hard to do things that are often difficult, being patient in life and never, ever quitting, no matter what.  Let us all keep our eyes on the goal…HEAVEN.

In Christian Love, Suzie

Monday, June 30, 2014

So Much New

Throughout our lives, there will always be change.  Our family has gone through our share of changes this past year. Sometimes it takes my breath away with all the a whirlwind!

In September, my mother moved from her home in California, to live in the house next door to ours. It was somewhat traumatic as she sold my childhood home but it has been a wonderful experience having mom right next door.  She has never really gotten to spend much time with my children and now they are there all the time.  It is a very special time for our family.  We  knew the day would come when her eyesight would be so frail that she wouldn’t be able to do the things that most of us take for granted and that gives us an opportunity to serve her.

Another big change is that I have entered the work force.  I am now a licensed RN and practice at a local hospital. It is very bitter-sweet.  I will always be a Titus 2 woman.  I love being at home!  My schedule allows me to work 3 night shifts a week and be home the rest of the time.  Because of this change, we are doing some non-traditional home schooling (is that an oxymoron?).  The children are taking several classes each through and their remaining schoolwork, my DH and I are sharing the teaching responsibilities.  It is quite a change for all of us.  The children are doing well with the added responsibilities.  I am the one that is having just a hard time with my ‘babies growing up’.  I believe that my DH is very wise in creating a ‘distraction’ of sorts for me as we empty nest.

Lastly, for this post, but certainly not least is my newest pet additions.

Our chickens have their own oasis!  We ordered fifteen rare breed hens from in February and this is their home.  We gave a few away to friends and have 11 left.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunate, one of our hens was a rooster.

Meet Zabra - a Silver Laced Polish Rooster...isn't he BEAUTIFUL!

Now meet the hens

These are the ones I call my 'old biddies'.  They are hens that give me eggs and we have had for a bit.  They are mostly rescued or hand me downs.  From left to right Blackie, an olive egg-er, she lays an army green colored egg, Autumn is a Rhode Island Red, Bambi is an Americana and lays a turquoise colored egg but not every day, and lastly Mrs. Feathered is a Production Red, laying a brown egg every day.

Next for the new hens, who have not started laying yet.  These are all 'rare breeds' It was so much fun deciding what breed of chickens we had as we had ordered an assortment of day old babies. You don't get to pick which breeds they send you...its just the 'leftovers'.. 

This is Buttercup-She is a Cecilian Buttercup

This is Queenie, a White Crested Blue Polish and behind her is Mars who is a Buff Brahma

The dark brown one is Brownie, a Partridge Cochin.  The white/grey one in front is Rainy.  She is a Blue Orpington.  The tan colored one is Peaches.  She is a Buff Polish and the one behind everyone is Fluffy.  She is a White Cochin.

I don't know what it is about chickens but I can sit on the stump in their coop and talk to them and all my cares go away.  It's like a little piece of tranquility!

I so enjoy my chickens, can you tell.  I believe it is one more blessing that God has given me to take care of myself during this time of transition..

May God provide you with blessings that assist you through the changes in your life.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights...
James 1:17 NKJV

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We Are All Going Back To School

Our family has not been exempt from the current economic downturn, and so this fall, we have all returned to school.  Yes, I have joined my children in an educational journey.

Prior to being a mother, I was a nurse.  I thought my years of nursing were over when I had children.  Being a mother was everything I dreamed it would be and more.  I cherish time spent with my children.  The are growing up very rapidly and soon will be going away to college, yikes!  On top of the financial help, I think this journey will help me transition to an empty nester.  Shortly, I will have my license reinstated and return to work.

David began an external pre-engineering course at the local vocational school this fall.  He goes away to school every day  for two science and engineering courses.  He is continuing his home studies as well.  I miss him a lot but the independence and self teaching is very good for him.  He is learning a lot of time management skills, ie:  he has a lot on his plate!

I have had several well meaning people assume that the children be put in public school since I am going back to work.  Let me comment that public school or homeschool is a very personal decision for each family and ours has decided that public school is not an option for our family.  I know that sounds kind of strong however, we feel that sometimes the easiest decision is not the best one.  We are committed to seeing our children succeed in their education and life.  My dear husband has become more involved helping with Naomi and Joshua's school work.  It is good that he and I are working more as a team in many areas of our home.

Even though life seems so chaotic right now, I am thankful for many things: all the freedoms that we have in Christ and our country, the Word of God that guides each and every decision that we make and for family and friends that support us in our decisions, even though they may not agree with them.

May You Have a Thankful Day,


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

Since our last post, we have discovered a fruit and vegetable co-op  called 'Bountiful Baskets' . It is a frugal way to purchase fruits and vegetables.

Every week at 12:00PM CDT we go online to and purchase 2 baskets. (You can purchase up to 3 baskets. For our family of six, 2 baskets is plenty)  Each basket costs $15.00. When you send in your order, you will receive a receipt in your e-mail telling you when and where in your local area, you can pick up your basket. This co-op program came to our local community a few years ago. Check the website to see if there's a pick up location in your area.

The contents of our basket changes every week. We usually get our basic fruits and vegetables such as lettuce, apples, bananas, etc. Other then that, the items in your basket are mostly seasonal totaling $30-$40 when bought locally. We are always learning how to cook new delicious foods every week. 

You can also purchase add-ons which are large quantities of in season fruits and vegetables. The prices are very low. For example, 2 weeks ago we purchased 20 pounds of Roma tomatoes for $12.00. With these tomatoes we made fresh homemade salsa. See recipe as follows

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained
2 1/2 cups onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups green peppers chopped
1 cup jalapeno pepper, chopped
6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp white sugar
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato powder (dehydrated tomatoes blended into powder)
2 can (or equivalent cooked from dry) black beans
4 cups frozen corn
Mix all ingredients in large pot.  Lightly boil.  Pack hot salsa in sterile jars.  Process in water bath 10 minutes.  Makes 7-9 pints to 4-5 quarts

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering  kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, 
self-control. against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

Blessings as you add more fruits to your life

Friday, October 12, 2012


This week has been an interesting one.  We arrived home from vacation to find that we had two funerals to attend, one today and one tomorrow.  As I pondered the two people who we would be remembering, I contemplated how different their lives and deaths were.  One was an older man who had a long chronic condition that lasted for several years.  The other was a younger lady who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It has made me think a lot about the subject of opportunity. No matter what type of opportunity, physical, spiritual, financial or other, it never lasts forever.  There is a window when it is open and then it goes away.  Procrastination is when you put off your opportunity to the point that you lose it.  Procrastination is not a good habit to have.  I think of the parable that Jesus told of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, where 5 of the virgins were prepared but the other 5 were not.  When the bride-groom came, the 5 ill prepared could not get their lamps going because they had not prepared for a lengthy wait and thus were not able to go into the wedding feast. Those who were prepared got to go into the feast.  Verse 1 says that this parable is a likeness to the kingdom of heaven.  As long as we are alive, we all stand somewhere on the 'opportunity spectrum'.  If you have not obeyed the gospel, you can study the safety chain here.  It is just a group of verses that you can read and teach yourself how to become a  Christian.  Now is an opportunity to do that.  If you are a Christian, your opportunity comes from a different perspective  It is your responsibility to share the gospel with others.  Often that window of opportunity is rapid and short lived.   I think of the chorus of an old hymn that says, You never mentioned Him to Me, You taught me not the light to see, you met me day by day and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me. Often times we go about our daily lives and never talk to anyone about their souls. Is that the person that on the day of judgement will say, Why didn't you talk to me about Jesus?  As we ponder this, let us talk to someone about their soul today, it may be the last opportunity that you have.  

And He said to the, "Go into all the work and preach the gospel to every creature,  he who believes and is  baptized will be save; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16 NKJV
Blessings for many opportunities today, Suzie

Friday, August 31, 2012

Apologia Biology Module 1

This year, we are studying Apologia Biology for our science curriculum.  We have a couple other families that are doing the labs with us on Friday afternoons and today was our first lab.  We invested in this wonderful microscope and digital camera so we could share with you all our discoveries.  It was very exciting learning about our new tools of discovery.  Look at what all we saw.

This is an inner cheek scraping of oldest son, 40x with Methylene Blue contrast.

This is Millie the cat's hair at 40x

This is a grouping of youngest son's sloughed off skin cells from his head (frequently called dandruff) at 40x

This was our basic sewing thread, 40x

We all got to learn about the microscope, how to prepare a wet slide, mount it on the microscope stage and bring our objects in to focus.  It is going to be a great biology year.

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.  The earth is full of Your possessions- Psalms 104:24 NKJV

Blessings as you ponder God's Wonderful Creation! Suzie

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homeschool Priorities

If you have home schooled for any length of time, I am sure you experienced what I did last Friday night.  It was our annual back-to-school night for our local home school group.  We all brought our covered dishes, ate, visited, caught up on the summers' events and then settled down to look at all the activities that are being offered in our home school group this year.  WOW!  What a plethora! Band, co-op, volleyball, soccer, Keepers and Contenders Clubs, moms meeting, field trips, etc.  You name it, and it could be done with this group.  All of it is very wholesome and good things for our children to do.  Many of the co-op classes are God-centered, Soccer includes scripture memorization, and all volleyball practices start with devotional and prayer.  These are all really good things.  I got caught up in it all these things last year just about drove myself and the children crazy doing all these 'good' things.  There needed to be a different way.  When our term ended last year, I determined to figure out what the purpose of all the good things was. The first question we asked was 'so why are we doing this thing called homeschool?' Dear husband and I reconsidered our homeschool priorities and decided on the following parameters for our extra curricular activities this year.

1. All extra curricular activities will take place preferably in the afternoon, and evening if necessary.  Most evenings need to be kept for family and Bible study.
2.  God's Word is primary, next,  musical instruction outside of the home will take priority over all other extra activities.
3.  We will not participate in any activity where amount of time required is left open ended.  We have had a couple of activities in the past that were like time robbers.  Just when you thought you had prepared for that activity, you needed to spend more time preparing something else for it. 
4.  We decided that we need to do things in small groups with other friends, rather than in large crowds (ie: co-op classes).  This would provide  more flexibility.  Thus, we decided to do a small group for Biology Lab.  There are only about five children...nice!
5.  We also decided to do away with curriculum that required a lot of teacher preparation.  That is time that I was taking away from my children to prepare their schoolwork.  

Then I went to work on a master schedule.  To give you an idea of what it looks like see the pictures below.

Now let me explain that a master schedule is a guide, I don't let it master ME!  It is simply an organized way for me to keep track of where we need to be at different times during the day.

I did a lot of thinking and researching over the summer as I really wanted to know the value of giving my children extra curricular activities. Was this important?  Why was this important?  I went to a book called Home Educated and Now Adults, a book of research done by Brian D. Ray, PhD.  The copy write date on this book is 2004 and the people participating in the study were all recent  home school graduates, which means these children were being home schooled in the 1980's and 1990's when no one really knew what homeschooling was and there certainly wasn't many other home schoolers around to do activities with.  My big question was, 'Are my children going to grow up to be normal, productive, Christian, citizens able to interact in everyday society even if I don't subject them to every type of social situation imaginable?"  The resounding answer supported by research is, yes!  In fact, they will be better prepared.

"The Home-Educated adults in this study were more civically involved than the overall national population" (pg 75)
The last page of the book, labeled 'Final Comment' states, "In summary, the home-educated adults in this study were very positive about having been homeschooled and toward homeschooling in general, actively engaged in their local communities, keeping abreast of current affairs, highly civically involved, tolerant of others expressing their viewpoints, attaining relatively high levels of formal education, religiously active and wide-ranging in their worldview beliefs, holding worldview beliefs similar to those of their parents, and largely home educating their own children." pg. 85

After much prayer and meditation on scripture, we  have done away with a lot of activities and replaced them with activities at home and with family.  Several classes are done as a family (Biology and Writing) and I like how the year is going.  I am spending time with my children.  This is how I always thought homeschooling should be.  I am learning to do my best and trust in the Lord for the rest.  He will take up the slack.

'I will love You, O Lord, my strength, The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.'
 Psalms 18:1-2   

As you are planning your school year, may you trust in the Lord to guide all your ways. You and your children will be blessed.  Prayers and blessings for a fantastic year,  Suzie