Re-open America

America MUST get back to work. Time is a luxury we do not have.

“The greatest tragedy left in the aftermath of this crisis may prove to be the the death of the American small business. MSNBC is projecting that 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing, right now. Market Watch reports that 43% of small businesses say they will be forced to close in the aftermath of this crisis. A full 90% of the American workforce are employed by the small businesses! These are companies with less than 25 employees, most often just 4 employees, that make up the local economy of your community.”

Sign the petition, and let President Trump know that you agree with him that America needs to get back to work.


Homeschool Planning Conference

An online conference for homeschool planning is coming up very soon!!!


Have you heard? You may not have, because Facebook is really loud these days.

My friend, Jessica of Homeschool Planning Mama said that the Intentional Homeschool Planning Conference is officially moving ONLINE! 

With everything that is going on, I know I could really use an encouraging reprieve and fellowship, if even for a moment, from our current world situation and focus on the future of our homeschool. 












So if you are looking for simple, yet powerful techniques, tools and tips for planning and simplifying your homeschool?

Join us for a unique and interactive Online Intentional Homeschool Planning Experience! 

Oh and guess what!? 

Dr. Melanie Wilson of Psychowith6: Homeschool Sanity is the Keynote speaker, so you know it’s going to be awesome! 

Register here right now, so you don’t miss a thing!


There are 2 options:

1-day ticket for the day of the event and 24 hour access to the videos:



All Access Ticket to everything plus lifetime access to the videos and bonuses:


Homeschooling in the Midst of the Unknown

Uncertainty makes it really hard to buckle down and concentrate and focus. It’s really hard to make plans when everything is in a state of limbo. It’s hard to even think straight when you don’t know what you will eat that day or where you will sleep that night. That’s the condition we found ourselves in about 14 years ago.

We had lost our house after my husband lost his job because of 9/11. We felt like the Lord was telling us to move to Arizona. So we left Ohio with just a few possessions. We had 8 children, including 14 month old twins whom I was still nursing! We only took duffel bags with 5 changes of clothes for each of us. We had a few of their favorite toys. Our 7 passenger van was stuffed to the gills! I had to sit in the back to protect our 4 year old, Morgan, from his brothers and sisters who would have killed him along the journey because he was at that obnoxious stage. I couldn’t see out the windows because of all of the bags stacked up on all sides and all the way up the back windows.

We were on the road for 4 months, looking for some place to call home. We were trying to find the place that God wanted us to settle. So doing any kind of school work was tricky, to say the least.

I had brought some books with us. It was the heaviest bag we brought! The kids did some school work in hotel rooms. But it was hard to concentrate and they didn’t have much time once we got into the room.

They did map work and geography by finding out where we were going next. Our oldest son, Shawn, who was 14 years old, learned how to navigate. He was in the passenger seat. Prior to that, he hadn’t done much with maps. But he had to tell Gary where to drive, so he learned really fast how maps work.

I had bought the kids disposable cameras, so they took pictures and did some scrapbooking. Through that, they did some art and writing and got to use their creativity.

We visited libraries in each place. I was able to check out books in some places even though we weren’t residents. I read aloud to the kids in the van.

We really didn’t have money to do anything extra. So we did some free things. We went to Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs several times! We really liked it there!

We learned about the states and regions and cities we passed through. We stopped at the Welcome Centers for the different states and read about the history and interesting facts about the state. We picked up brochures for attractions in the area.

We prayed together every day just to find out what to do daily. We learned to trust God and saw Him provide. The kids learned to take care of each other.

We worked on character and faith issues and taught the children to be givers even when they didn’t have much themselves.

I tried to keep things as consistent and stable as I could. I tried to use every place and situation as a learning experience. I did my best to identify and point out God’s help and provision every time I saw it.

We weren’t able to use workbooks much because they would have gotten destroyed in the press of all of the little bodies. Honestly, when I think back to it, I don’t know how we squeezed everybody into that van!

But we talked, and we sang. We learned how to give grace even when we were hungry and tired. We endured tight quarters, and learned to forgive quickly and not make a big fuss about accidental offenses.

The kids were very creative in their play since they didn’t have many toys or even common household objects to play with. They mostly had their minds and thoughts to occupy them. This was during the days before portable DVD players and such. At least before we had anything like that. There were no smart phones or anything. We only had one cell phone – my husband’s.

The kids did have paper and a variety of writing instruments.

They talked and made up stories.

Every day was a new adventure. It wasn’t exactly fun, because my husband and I were anxious and uncertain. But we knew that we were obeying God and He was taking care of us. Sometimes it felt like we had been forgotten, but God always came through in the nick of time with enough money for another night at a hotel. Or with some direction about where we were supposed to go next.

I prayed about the education of the children and always felt reassured that God was taking care of that, too.

He calmed my fears and set my mind at ease that the things they were learning were preparing them for their future and their callings. They would need this foundation of faith and trust to carry out His plans for their lives.

In the intervening years, my husband has been contracting, and we have moved to 4 different states. For a while we moved every time he got another contract, but it became impossible for us to do that, because his jobs were far away from where we had just moved to. We settled for 3 years in Kansas City. Then he got a job in Illinois. We all moved there. He worked there for 2 years, then got a job in Pennsylvania. He only worked in Pennsylvania for about 6 months before he got a different job in South Carolina. He worked there while the kids and I stayed in Pennsylvania. Then we all moved to Texas and thought things would settle down.

But we were wrong. We are still living in uncertainty. And we feel like we are in limbo. We live in a neighborhood outside of Houston. We want to live in the country in a less populated region.

So I am still homeschooling in the midst of the unknown. My husband’s contracts have averaged 6 months to a year during the 6 years we have lived in Texas. He has had long periods of unemployment in between jobs.

I continue to make the best of our situation. We go to the park often. I use the library like crazy! We don’t spend a lot of money on curriculum. I buy lots of art supplies and paper and writing tools.

We haven’t even unpacked all of our boxes because we have been expecting to move at any time. It has been six years now!

I have lots of school books and supplies that I can’t get to because they are packed away in boxes that are buried in the huge pile in the garage.

So I re-buy some things that I know I already have, and I make do with what I have in the house.

I haven’t been able to homeschool the way I used to. This isn’t what I had pictured our lives would turn out like.

But with God’s help and with my best creative efforts in spite of my desires for something different, we have been able to carry on. The kids have become very independent and resilient and inventive.

Homeschooling can be done under the harshest of conditions. The most turbulent and disturbing things that can happen to a family don’t have to stop you from homeschooling. You may have to adjust the way you do things. You may have to take a break from formal learning for a very long time. But trust the learning process. People learn from life. They learn as they process previous knowledge and add new information and observations to it. So discuss topics with your kids. Light the fire of curiosity and help them find out more about topics they are interested in. Take advantage of teachable moments. Take advantage of free educational opportunities. Take advantage of the library! Make sure you provide resources, manipulatives, books, videos, etc. to facilitate their learning and set an atmosphere that encourages learning.

And trust God to cover for the things that you feel like you’re not able to do because of the way things are. He will make sure your children get the knowledge and skills that they need for the future that He has planned for them.

Safe Haven News from Home (House Arrest)

Safe Haven News from Home (House Arrest!) April 2020

Well, what do you think about all of this? I think the shelter-at-home quarantine lockdown house arrest is an overreaction to say the least.

But the Lord is still in charge, and He is doing amazing things during this time of “Pause”. Families are spending more time together. They are discovering that they don’t really need so much activity, and they can enjoy time with each other at home.

Unfortunately, some families are experiencing friction and discovering relationship problems that had gone unnoticed because of the busyness of their normal lifestyle. It’s good that these problems are being unearthed and addressed. But it can get worse before it gets better. My husband and I have a regular broadcast on Facebook each Friday night where we discuss marriage and parenting and many family topics. We have been talking about how to handle being at home all the time with your mate. If you would like to join us live, you can find us at my Facebook page, Penney Hawkey Douglas, username penneymarie. Or you can find us at Gary’s Facebook page, Gary W. Douglas. Our program is called Relationally Speaking.

And we have just started a YouTube channel for our Relationally Speaking videos here.

Another benefit of this time of forced sabbatical is that many people have more quiet time to think and seek the Lord. It seems that many people are taking the time to watch the services from their church and others that are streaming on Sundays since they are forbidden to go to church during this time. I believe a lot of good things are coming out of this because God works all things together for our good, for those of us who love Him and are called by Him. And what the enemy intended for evil, God uses for good. For such a time as this!

Gary and I have been attending a free training called “The 4:14 Challenge” which is based on Esther 4:14 which says basically, “We have been brought into the Kingdom for such a time as this.”

This training is for Kingdom Entrepreneurs by Pedro Adao of 100X Acceleration. Pedro is a very successful entrepreneur who has a passion to teach others how to be successful using the internet. He is a marketing expert, and he is totally sold out to the Lord and committed to doing business with integrity. He uses Kingdom principles to serve people, meeting their needs and teaching them how to be successful in business so they can be blessed to be a blessing. He believes, as we do, that God has raised us up for such a time as this to bless our nation and our family through the businesses that God has called and equipped us to do.

You can find the 4:14 Challenge here.

Looking for simple, yet powerful, homeschool ideas to apply right away, not only for planning your year, but techniques, tools and tips for simplifying homeschooling?

Check out this amazing conference that is coming up next week!

There are two different levels you can join at. For only $12 you get a one-day ticket with:

1. Access to the live conference on April 25th.
2. Access to the digital swag bag.

3. Access to the Vendors Hall.

4. Be able to participate in the giveaways and door prizes on the day of the live conference.

PLEASE NOTE: You will have 24 hours to watch the replays in the Facebook Conference private community page after the conference is over. 24 hours after the workshop went live, the videos will be removed from the group and you will not have access to them anymore unless you decide to upgrade to the ALL ACCESS Ticket.

You will be given an opportunity at the conference to upgrade to the ALL ACCESS Ticket.


For $27 you get:

All of the above — AND —-

3 Bonuses

Bonus 1- Mama’s Heart Journal ($6.00 value)

Bonus 2- Encourage My Tween’s Heart Printable Kids Christian Character Building Pack ($5.95 value) by Lee Felix

Bonus 3- Kids Prayer Journal & Habit Tracker ($7.00 value) by Forest Rose

And you will get lifetime access to all the workshop videos after the conference!


So how are the Douglases doing?

Our family is doing well during this Covid crisis. Most are furloughed or unemployed, but a few are still working. Our daughter Anna just got married last month, but she has been working from home – our home for the last several weeks. I have loved having her here. We had a birthday party for her today!

We have another wedding coming up! Next Thursday, April 23, our oldest, Shawn, is getting married to his beloved.

So life goes on for the Douglas family even in the midst of this crazy time.

The Lord is providing for us abundantly, even though Gary has been unemployed for almost 4 months. We are very well taken care of. As in, we have more money in our account than we usually have! God is so good!

Well, I just wanted to check in with you all and share all of these good things with you.

Thank you for reading and rejoicing with us!

May you have Fair Winds and Following Seas,

At Safe Haven Homeschooling