Filed in Changed By Love, Journey | Post by Penney

  • Welcome to my world!

    I hope you’ll stay.

    Since Father’s love changed me

    I have something to say.

  • The One who loves me,

    See, He also loves you

    The things He’s done for me

    He will do for you, too.

  • So come with me

    As I follow the Lamb

    Wherever He goes.

    My life’s in His hand.

  • I trust Him and follow Him

    No matter the cost.

    Without His great love for me

    I would be lost.

  • The words that you find here

    I hope will breathe life.

    In each day and moment

    You’ll find His delight.

  • For surely His love for you

    Is greater than you know.

    Come with me now

    To His presence we’ll go.

    P.M.D.

  • York, Pennsylvania 2011

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    Katy, Texas 2012

    Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 25 years. We have been exceedingly and abundantly blessed with 10 children. They all belong to me and my husband. And to think that I was afraid I would never get married! I got a late start, but I guess late bloomers can blossom profusely once they get started.

    I blog for several reasons. I like to keep a record of what we’re doing in our homeschooling and share ideas for other homeschoolers or moms who like to work and play with their kids. I try to encourage families to keep Christ first in their homes so they can be all that they were made to be. I want to help others to draw closer to God. I hope to glorify God and give Him praise for all that He does for us.

    I am constantly learning, changing and growing. Sometimes I feel like a beginner even though I’ve been a Christian since I was 4 years old and I’ve been homeschooling for about 15 years. And I’ve been living for __ years (long enough!).

    But the Lord has been faithful to keep me and my family on an upward climb drawing nearer to Him in spite of our weaknesses and mistakes.

    He has led us on a crooked path across the United States and back and then some. (From Ohio to Kansas City to Arizona to Colorado, back to Kansas City to Illinois to Pennsylvania and now to Texas!) We are still looking for that place to call home. We hope to find it before the oldest chicks are ready to fly from the nest! But our desire is that they land somewhere near us even when that time comes.

    We are believing God for miracles of provision. We have already seen many. We suffered the loss of our home almost 7 years ago. Now we live in a big, fancy house, and my husband is making more money than ever before. But the money is beside the point. What God did in each of our hearts, convincing us of His reality and His love for us, is worth more than all of the houses or money in the world. But now He has enabled us to help others in need, and we are grateful for the opportunity to bless others.

    Our children are truly gifts from God. They learn from us and teach us so much. I would never have known even a fraction of how much God loves me if I had never had the opportunity to be a mother to my precious children. They are teaching me even more as they grow in wisdom and understanding and we share together what the Lord is teaching us.

    Family was God’s idea. Marriage was His idea. God has good ideas. His ideas work.

    He wants our families to be training grounds for children (and adults) to learn His ways and right ways of relating to God and to people. We learn how to die to ourselves when others are dependent on us, and when we have to learn to get along with the people around us in order to experience peace and harmony. The rough edges are rubbed off as we care enough to be honest with each other and humble ourselves to receive correction even from those younger than ourselves.

    God created us because He wanted a family. That’s more than a trite saying. He created us in His image so that He could have sons and daughters that would look like Him, act like Him and love Him. He wanted to be a father.

    He created you so He could love you. Receive His love for you. Let Him be your Daddy.

    I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Party 2012 at 5 Minutes for Mom. The second post on this page tells more about me and why I write this blog. If you’re a homeschooler, please read this first post and do whatever you can to preserve our homeschool freedom in this nation.

    I would like to challenge new homeschoolers to carry the torch of homeschooling without government interference. Please learn the history of homeschooling in the United States. Find out about what happens in other countries when people desire to teach their children at home so that they can impart their values to their children.
    See this story, for example. In most countries, they are persecuted and their children are taken away from them or forcibly taken to public school.

    We have the freedom to homeschool in every state in the United States – now. But it didn’t used to be that way. Chris Klicka and the wonderful people at HSLDA helped the early homeschool pioneers to fight to make it legal. Before that, people in the U.S. who felt that God was calling them to teach their children at home were treated just like those people in other countries are treated now. They were persecuted by truant officers. They were even thrown in jail. They had their children taken away from them. They had Children’s Services called on them. They had to hide in their homes and never go out during school hours, or they would get “caught” homeschooling. This was in the 1980’s and ’90’s. It wasn’t that long ago.

    There are books that tell some of these stories of the hard-fought battle to make homeschooling legal in America. One of these is Homeschool Heroes by Chris Klicka. There are interviews with early pioneers that tell of the harrowing experiences of being taken to court and threatened with jail time if they continued to educate their children at home. One that I know of is at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/watchtalk/2009/09/01/cultivating-your-childs-potential. This is an interview that Diana Waring did with Zan Tyler, who began homeschooling long before it was cool or accepted. The Lord led her into homeschooling and led her through the fire of legal battles and real threats to her freedom. Her stories are amazing and hard for us to believe in the atmosphere we live in now with the acceptance of homeschooling that we enjoy.

    But there are threats to our freedom to homeschool in the way that we feel led of the Lord. Many times there has been legislation brought up to try to regulate homeschooling. This has happened in state governments and even in the federal government. The homeschoolers of my generation knew that we were the beneficiaries of great sacrifice and work by the generation before us. Our local support groups and state organizations made sure that we knew that homeschooling is a privilege to be cherished. They told us to guard that freedom and not to be fooled by any attempts of the establishment to infringe upon our rights or to curtail them in any way.

    There have been several attempts to force homeschool parents to get a teaching certificate. Education falls under the auspices of state government, so the rules vary from state to state. Each of us needs to watch our state governments and see what legislation they are considering regarding our right to homeschool freely without any government interference. Each homeschool family should join HSLDA and keep track of legislation and threats to our freedom and cases where freedom is already being challenged by public schools and legislators. We all need to stand together.

    Please be vigilant about this precious right that we have and don’t hand anything to your local school district that is not required by the law of your state. Be careful and cherish homeschooling as the gift of God that it is.

    I linked this post at the BIG Family Friday Link Up at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling

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    JESUS DAILY
    365 Interactive Devotions
    by Aaron Tabor, MD

    A devotional based on Facebook’s #1 Fan page with over 26 million Followers

    This devotional goes beyond the Facebook page and creates a deeper experience for multi-million fans of the popular group Jesus Daily by using the author’s posts, fans’ comments and questions, and responses. The author will explore recurring themes found on the page such as:

    • Jesus is our #1 friend
    • Jesus is my relationship, not my religion
    • Jesus is my hero
    • Prayer is always the answer
    • Jesus is coming back for me
    • I’m proud to be a Christian
    • With Jesus all things are possible

    Creative design elements and interactive activities will make this devotional truly one-of-a-kind.

    Today’s devotion says:

    Priceless Inheritance

    We’ve all heard stories about people who receive legacies left by
    relatives whom they did not know they had. Maybe you’ve even received such an inheritance yourself. But for most of us, these kinds of stories remain the plot devices of fiction and fantasy. We may have received a legacy, but it came with the steep price of losing a loved one such as a parent, guardian, or partner.
    However, the most valuable inheritance we have comes as a free gift. And as the saying goes, salvation is free but it is not cheap. Our inheritance was secured by the ransom paid when Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We had an unfathomable debt we could not pay; God became man to fulfill our payment once and for all.
    As a result, we are heirs in an eternal reward. We have a priceless inheritance that comes in the fullness of joy—evidence of our Father’s passionate pursuit and unconditional love for us.

    It can be found here:

    JesusDaily_Devotional October 20

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Aaron Tabor, MD, is the CEO and Medical Research Director of Physicians Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a nationally recognized diet and nutrition company. He started the Jesus Daily Facebook page in 2009. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Tabor lives in Kernersville, N.C.

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    I was asked to feature this book on my blog today, and the subject for today just happened to be “Inheritance”. I recently received Dr. Dobson’s latest book for review, and it was all about “Legacy”.

    Once again, God is reminding me to be thinking about the spiritual and natural implications of our inheritance and legacy.

    My family received a surprise “inheritance” in October 2008. Our neighbors gave us a going-away present of $20,000 when we left Kansas City. They intended for it to be a downpayment on a house, knowing how badly we wanted a home of our own. Our journey has taken us to 3 different states since then, and we had to use the money for other things, but we know that it came straight from God. There were no strings attached, no questions asked, not even a follow-up to find out what we did with the money.

    Fast forward to October 2014. We are very desirous to settle down now, weary of all the moving. The $20,000 may be gone, but my Father is telling me that it was only an earnest of the inheritance that He has for us.

    He has a greater inheritance that He will pour out on us, both in the natural and in the spiritual.

    He has gone to great lengths to show me how much He loves me and delights in me. He has brought Ephesians 1:17-18 to life for me. I am His beloved daughter. He delights in me. I am His and He is mine.

    Dr. Tabor says in today’s devotion:

    “As a result, we are heirs in an eternal reward. We have a priceless inheritance that comes in the fullness of joy — evidence of our Father’s passionate pursuit and unconditional love for us.”

    I feel like God has chased me down and around and all over the place to catch me and hold me and tell me that He really loves me. The Holy Spirit came into my heart years ago and has been trying to open my eyes ever since to see how much my Father loves me.

    He was an earnest to my inheritance. And now I’m walking in more fulness of the manifestation of His love for me. When I worship the Lord, I feel His presence so strongly and experience His passionate love for me in such a way that I just can’t help but cry.

    This love I feel is worth it all – all of the pain and loss and confusion.

    And I believe that He is speaking to me now that the natural inheritance is about to be poured out on us, too.

    He is showing me that the $20,000 He gave us was an earnest (a guarantee or deposit) for the greater inheritance He is getting ready to give us.

    Our spiritual legacy flows out of this. We are raising up godly seed who have seen God’s hand of provision move for our family over and over again. Miraculously. Our legacy will be children and grandchildren who know the Lord, love Him, do His will, keep Him on the throne of their lives, and teach their children to do the same.

    Ask Him to speak to you about your inheritance. There is no greater inheritance than His love and peace. But He has other things for you, too. Ask Him to reveal more about the treasures He wants to give you as His child.

    Fathers love to bless their children. Receive His blessings for you.

    And teach your children to do the same.

    I hope this meditation has blessed and inspired you like it has me!

    Please check out Dr. Tabor’s devotional at:

    JesusDaily.com

    It will bless you every day.

    Morgan had just started taking violin lessons before we left Pennsylvania. He was doing so well, and his teacher, Mrs. Walsh, hated to lose him. I tried to find him a teacher when we first arrived in Texas, but I couldn’t really commit to the cost of lessons at first.

    After 2 years, he finally asked the patriarch of the Rovak family, friends of ours who have met many of our needs during the time we’ve been here in Texas, if he would teach him how to play violin. He agreed, so Morgan has resumed violin lessons! He loves working with Mike Rovak. They seem to be well-suited to each other.

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    Kelsey has been on a pumpkin spree. She made these pumpkin cookies and decorated them.

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    She made pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin bread pudding today. She made peanut butter fudge yesterday. Yum!

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    She put out our Autumn decorations and made a nice centerpiece for our table.

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    And we did some preschool activities that we got for free.

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    We had fun coloring the scarecrows on the counting cards. Even Mommy colored a few scarecrows.

    Scarecrow Counting freebie from Little Learning Lovies.

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    Capital and Lower Case Letter Matching freebie from Frugal Homeschool Family.

    And Morgan and Kelsey are continuing their study of World War II by watching on Netflix a documentary called “Nicky’s Family” about Sir Nicholas Winton who saved over 600 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia before the Nazis invaded. He flew them out of Czechoslovakia to England and matched them up with British families that fostered them until the war was over. It was a very touching documentary.

    We have also been reading a book called “Winston Churchill: Soldier, Statesman, Artist” by John B. Severance. It is a very interesting book.

    I am enjoying this study. It is the most thorough study I have ever done of World War II.

    I hope Kelsey and Morgan are getting something out of it, too.

    And tonight we made s’mores around the campfire.

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    This is how dark it really was to us. Without the flash of the camera. It was kind of hard to see what we were doing.

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    What a delicious ending to our week!

    As we’ve all noticed, all of us have different personalities. It sure makes life interesting, doesn’t it? And it makes relationships – umm – challenging at times.

    In the same way, we all have different learning styles. Which makes it difficult to teach our children until we figure out what their learning style is.

    Below is a chart that shows some of the different learning styles and how each style learns best.

    As teachers and homeschool moms we need to identify our child’s learning style and find materials that are geared toward that learning style.

    If you see that your child retains information better after listening to something, then he is probably an auditory learner.

    If you find that your child prefers to read about a topic and then remembers what he read, then he may be a visual or verbal learner.

    You must observe the child and try different methods and see what works best for him.

    Then once you have identified his learning style, you need to provide materials that are geared to that learning style.

    If your child learns best by listening, then you should use audio books, read aloud to your child, and include videos in your curriculum.

    If your child learns well by reading and seeing pictures, then the curriculum you provide could be comprised of workbooks, library books, lots of books to read – basically a lot of reading to obtain information.

    If your child needs to move around in order to really learn, then you need to put aside the traditional classroom model of a child sitting at a desk to learn and instead let your child move while listening or memorizing or telling what he knows, so that he can enjoy the learning process and get it down deep. He is most likely a kinesthetic learner. He may need to do things with his hands, actually touch and do activities instead of just reading about it, listening to someone talk about it, or even watch a video about it. If you try to make this kind of child hold still, he will be frustrated and will have a harder time learning the information. Don’t fight against your child’s learning style – work with it!

    When you find that your child is strong in a different learning style from your own, you need to adjust the way you think of “school” and find the kind of materials that match your child’s learning style.

    One thing you must guard against is setting up an adversarial situation with your child. Try to make learning a win-win situation. When the child learns the skill or information, everybody’s happy. Focus on the things that are done correctly, not the things that are done incorrectly. Try to use positive reinforcement as much as possible.

    Another thing you must be careful about is giving your child too much work to do. As homeschoolers, our children don’t need to do busy work. Once they have mastered the skill or learned the information, they can move onto something else or take a break or whatever. They are not limited by other students’ progress or time needed to complete a task.

    Many of my children are self-directed. I get their materials right at their level or even a little below so that they can do most things on their own without much help from me. Then I can concentrate on the younger ones who need lots of one-on-one attention from me.

    I find that narration works well for most of my children. I ask them what they just read or what they know about something, or I ask a few questions, and they can usually tell me a lot, and they get enthusiastic about sharing what they know. No matter what their learning style, they usually like to talk! And telling about what they’ve learned makes the knowledge their own. They process the information more completely when they have to think about it enough to actually put it in their own words and express it to someone else. Then the information is saved at a deeper level in their memory.

    Make sure that the stories you read to them or the information that you have your child learn is interesting and exciting to them so that they automatically narrate and share with others around them and have an incentive to mull over and talk about it with others so that the learning is very thorough and causes them to apply it and add on to it throughout their lives.

    Pay attention to what their interests are at the moment. Their learning style may actually change from one season to another. They may really like to read fiction at one time, and then they may go through a phase where they prefer non-fiction. They may even have different learning styles for one type of learning task than another. One of my sons is not really a kinesthetic learner, but when he was trying to memorize math facts, he had to walk around the table the whole time he was reciting them. He could not sit still and do it. He was very frustrated and upset until we discovered that he needed to get up and move in order to memorize them. He has also discovered that he is about equally as strong at auditory and visual learning. As they get older, your children will probably start to figure out what works best for them. But when they are younger, you need to observe them and watch for signs to figure it out for them.

    As teachers, we should try to make learning as pleasant, enjoyable, and effective as possible for each child. We can individualize the curriculum for each child since we are in more of a tutoring situation than a classroom situation.

    In all of your homeschooling efforts, remember that the goals and expectations you have for your child should be realistic for your child. Not all children develop at the same rate. If they’re not ready for a certain skill or to understand a certain concept, then you should not push them. If you do push, then they will develop a negative association and will resist learning. What we want to engender in our children is a love for learning. When you do this during their early years, it will become a lifelong attitude.

    And they will be constantly learning and becoming the person that God meant for them to be and able to accomplish the things that He put them here to do.

    Patrick has a job as a pool guy – correction: a chemical analysis engineer – and he found a turtle in a pool and rescued it and brought it home. The next day he found another turtle in a pool and brought it home.

    So now we have two turtles! Timothy and Tammy. Katie keeps making arduous trips to the lake to get more water for them in their tank. We don’t trust our tap water. They seem to be doing well. The little girls love them and talk to them. I heard Emma talking to them after she got in trouble this morning. I think they must have calmed her down, because she seems to be behaving better now. The turtles must be “Emma Whisperers”!

    And here they are!

    Katie says they are Red-eared Sliders. She has been researching them to find out about their feeding and care needs.

    I’m glad she’s doing it because I have been busy with other things. Like keeping everybody moving along in their studies.

    And calling repairmen about appliance breakdowns. And helping with jumping car batteries. And going to church just about every day for noon prayer or services. I feel like I don’t do much until I start writing it down!

    Well, speaking of keeping everybody moving in their studies, I need to start reading a book about Winston Churchill to Morgan and Kelsey.

    Oh, speaking of Morgan and Kelsey – Shawn has been taking Kelsey to the YMCA where she has taken up swimming laps by the hundreds again. And Morgan is taking violin lessons now. He had his third lesson yesterday. He learns violin from Mike Rovak, while Anna learns piano and ear training from Mary Rovak.

    And Morgan has started lifting weights with his dad at the YMCA.

    Busy, busy, busy! No wonder my head is spinning! Today Shawn and I are trying to get Patrick’s new Camaro ready so Shawn can take the driving test in it. Everything works fine except for the horn!

    So this wrap-up kind of covers stuff from last week and this week, but who’s keeping track? :)

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    Just had to add this:

    Morgan was helping Abby with her Math while he worked on his Wordly Wise Vocabulary workbook. I’m so proud of him!

    Filed in Marriage, Uncategorized | Post by Penney

    We’re in this thing for the long haul – that is, forever! That’s how my husband and I feel about our marriage. I hope you feel the same way about yours. Your vows may have included “Till death do us part”. Ours did. So we have to stay married until one of us kills the other, right? Tee hee.

    But we should try to make this the most pleasant experience we can so that it is easier to keep our vows. Does that sound like a good idea?

    I have some ideas gleaned from 25 years of marriage and many books I’ve read about marriage over the years for sustaining and enhancing the relationship that is known as marriage.

    First of all, we need to understand what marriage really is. What does marriage mean to you? If you see marriage as a contract, like a legal contract, then you will think of it as an agreement that you will do some things if the other person does certain things. If they fail to do what they promised, then you have the legal right to cancel the contract and get out of the deal.

    But if you see marriage as a covenant, then you make a commitment to fulfill what you promise to do, no matter what the other person does. So if you promise to love, honor, and cherish your mate, as long as you both shall live, then that is what you will do no matter what. Until death parts you.

    Read more at Voiceboks.com, where I am a guest blogger this week.

    Yes, I’m a guest blogger! A published author! Please go read my article there and other great articles about parenting and marriage. And leave lots of comments! Thank you.