Welcome to This Journey of Love

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  • 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.

  • Changed By Love and Still Changing

    York, Pennsylvania 2011

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    Katy, Texas 2012

    Mary Jo Peckham Park

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    Katy, TX 2013 Mary Jo Peckham Park

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    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2014

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    Katy, TX Honey Farm, 2015

    Hi, I’m Penney Douglas. I have been married to my precious husband for 28 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 19 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 10 years ago. Now we live in a different state, 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.

    An Open Letter to the New Generation of Homeschoolers

    The second post on this page tells more about me and why I write this blog. If you’re a homeschooler, please read this post and do whatever you can to preserve our homeschool freedom in this nation.

    liberty's torch

    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

    Spontaneous Nature Study

    I spontaneously decided to read some books to Emma and Abby that I had checked out of the library. They were both nature-themed picture books. Nothing too unusual about that. But the ideas they inspired and the energy and motivation to carry them through were nothing short of divine. I suddenly thought of going to Nelson Water Gardens and knew that we should go there. I asked the girls if they wanted to go, and they enthusiastically replied that they would love to. So we got in the van and headed toward the Water Gardens, and the thought came to me that it would be great if they had Nature Notebooks to draw pictures of the plants and fish and whatever else we would see there. So we went to the grocery store near there where I found the perfect little notebooks for them that were composition books with primary writing lines and a blank space at the top where they could draw a picture. The notebooks were discounted and the last two like that. I got them colored pencils and regular pencils, and they were as excited as if it were Christmas.

    We continued on to the Water Gardens, and everything was lovely as it always is. I usually just admire the lily pads and lilies and all of the fun garden ornaments and beautiful pots that they use to make the disappearing fountains that they are known for. I started to think that maybe I could actually buy something this time. I looked around at the plants they sell and wondered if they had any Tropical Milkweed. I had just told my kids that morning that I wanted that for Mother’s Day. I found some and upon closer examination of one plant found that there were quite a few Monarch eggs on it. I asked a worker there how much it was, and he told me how much, I told him I wanted it, and he carried it to the front for me. When we were done looking and enjoying the gardens we went in to pay for my plant, and the clerk used a 40% coupon on it, so I got a great deal on my Mother’s Day present which came fully loaded with butterfly eggs!

    Then we went to the park. The girls hung out by the pond for hours. I read and took pictures of crazy squirrels most of the time. The girls found a duck egg and took it home to try to hatch it.

     

    On the way home, the moon was a beautiful shade of pink. We called it a strawberry moon. Then the girls saw a shooting star. What a glorious day in Nature that started with reading a couple of picture books!

    A Great White Egret

     

    Lots of ducklings following the mama

     

    Lots of ducklings following this other mama

     

    The Great White Egret and a duck behind in the picture doing the “bottoms-up” position. What are they finding to eat? I couldn’t see small fish in the water, but there was some plant life near the edges.

     

    Abby feeds the squirrel a walnut.

     

    Squirrels look so cute when they sit up and eat and hold the nut in their little hands.

    This squirrel came right up on the table where I was sitting.

     

    He kept creeping closer and closer to me. I started to get a little frightened by his lack of fear and his nearness.

     

    And then this happened! Too close!!!

     

    And then this crazy squirrel flattened  himself on the bench beside me…

    Let’s go back to the cute ducklings.

     

     

    Abby and Emma love the ducklings.

     

    The duckling tells us what he thinks about the tight grip Emma is holding him with.

    Now let’s go back to the Water Gardens.

    Emma and Abby are working in their nature notebooks drawing Coi.

     

    The blues of these pots are so pretty. And the little girls are beautiful.

     

    Nature-inspired Art, Writing, and Science Learning through Nature Notebooks

     

    Those Coi are BIG fish!

     

     

     

     

    Nature Notebooks give kids a reason to write.

     

    I sure love these little girls of mine. I’m so glad that they love to explore nature. We have lots of fun together!

     

    This spoke to me – “Home of the Brave”. I love Americana! And I’ve been feeling brave and full of energy for the first time in a long time. For which I praise the Lord and expect more and more as the Lord heals and restores what the enemy  has stolen.

     

    A Homeschooler Gets His First Job

    Morgan has been wanting a job for a long time. Since before he turned 16. Really ever since he graduated from Modeling and Acting classes two years ago. He turned 16 on New Year’s Eve, so he has been eagerly seeking a place that will hire a 16-year-old. He interviewed at Old Navy but didn’t get that job. Then he applied at Papa Murphy’s where Kelsey works, but they never got back to him. So he found out that La Madeleine, a French country cafe, was hiring and decided to apply there. He has been studying French for a while and thought it would be a great place to work.

    Morgan and I had quite an adventure in applying for the job and then a wonderful day actually eating there and getting the big news.

    https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1lDxLjvNwRyGm?

    What’s Your Philosophy of Education? Here’s Mine

    A Philosophy of Education that is working for my family:
    Charlotte Mason believed that education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life. In a similar vein, I see homeschooling as a lifestyle. Homeschooling is integrated into every part of life when it is viewed this way. I call it family schooling, because the whole family is educated together and hopefully learns how to build strong, healthy relationships.
    And we have a lifestyle of learning. Most of us love to research and share what we learn with each other and share information, ideas, opinions, experiences, and thoughts with each other.
    We live life together. Using this method makes learning natural and enjoyable, fun and lasting.
    We follow our interests and learn more about the things that delight us. We dive deep into a subject and learn as much as we want to know about it and spend as much time and effort on it as we deem appropriate or adequate.
    Then we rather naturally move on to something related or totally unrelated that somehow strikes our fancy or in some way comes to our attention.
    I see this philosophy of learning as very similar to what Charlotte Mason taught. I also view it as a way to make homeschooling sustainable since it is more natural and organic and uses our interests and delights to direct our studies.
    So there is less stress, resistance, and control that occurs, and the learner and the teacher (or facilitator of learning, as I like to call myself) are working together to make learning happen instead of having an adversarial or authoritarian relationship that can stifle learning and happy relationships within a family.

    Give a Kid a Job and Let Him Figure Out How to Do it

    I asked my 13 year old son, Garrett, to put the towel rack back up in the bathroom. I gave him a few tips that I thought might help him figure out how to put it up. I don’t really know how to do it myself. He took it from there, got 10 year old Emma to help, and voila, they put the towel rack up perfectly. Then they went on to put the toilet paper roll holder up, too!

    His ingenuity and willingness to try really impressed me. I’m proud of him and glad that he was able to help us with this project and successfully complete it. It made him feel successful and proud of himself, too!

    https://www.periscope.tv/penneymaried/1ZkKzyMwAAoxv