Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up (Infograph)

I LOVE infographs. They deliver lots of information in an easy to see and process format. And this one has a ton of statistics…all very well documented.

I particularly love the “When they Grow Up Section.”

Are you glad you were homeschooled?

Heck, yeah!

Will you homeschool your own children?

Darn straight.

Pretty sure my girls would concur.

Anyway…here are the cold, hard facts.  Homeschooling rocks.

Homeschooled: How American Homeschoolers Measure Up
Source: TopMastersInEducation.com

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing

It’s hard. Someone you love is hurting. They’ve lost a loved one. They just found out they have cancer. They’ve lost their job. The circumstances don’t really matter, but the advice is the same. Think before you talk.

It seems like common sense really. But unfortunately, we don’t always exercise common sense when we are talking with someone who’s hurting. The fact is, some of us talk too much and listen too little. We talk when we get nervous…and I think hurting people make us nervous. So we talk. And when we talk, sometimes we say dumb things.

I heard a classic example of this tonight while Jim and I were on a date, eating our picnic dinner and waiting for the band to play. An older gentleman sitting behind us was talking about the funeral of his 90-something year old mother. Yes, I was eavesdropping. Anyway, he shared that at his mother’s funeral, someone “comforted” him with these words.

“It’ll be okay. You probably won’t miss her that much since she was so old.”

That is NOT comfort. That IS just plain stupid. Kind of like Job’s friends, this particular friend would have been better off keeping silent.

Tonight before the concert, Jim and I attended the wake of a 25-year-old man who was killed in a motorcycle accident. I felt at a total loss as I hugged his mom, his aunt, and his grandmother.  I couldn’t imagine their grief. It would have been silly of me to offer some kind of wisdom at a time such as this. They need to know people love them. And are praying for them. Words of wisdom can wait.

During my own battle with cancer, I was most thankful for those who offered the wisdom of scripture and the comfort of music. Some folks said very little. They just assured me they were praying. That was perhaps the greatest encouragement of all. So few words. Yet, so much comfort.

I read an article today that offered some great advice on helping a hurting friend. And how NOT to. If you have ever wanted to offer comfort and wondered what to say–or what NOT to–you will appreciate the wisdom here.

If you want to learn the lesson of “Comfort In, Dump Out”…read on.

“When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan’s colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn’t feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague’s response? “This isn’t just about you.”…(keep reading)

la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407-001

This Week in Pictures

It was a week filled with beaches and swimming pools, time spent with family and dear friends, and the laughter of crazy children. This is what summer is all about–I couldn’t ask for anything better!

(click image to view larger)

Recently Updated

TOP ROW: Crazy kids in the pool | Sunday afternoon at the beach | Good friends and sweet kids

MIDDLE ROW: More crazy kids | Road-tripping to Lake Geneva | New Teal is a Big Deal ovarian cancer awareness tank top | Jim with a sweet great niece

BOTTOM ROW: King and Queen of the sand pile | Quiet moments with a sleeping baby…ahhh | A not-so-quiet ride in the golf cart | Jimmy vs. the sand pile…the sand pile won!

God is Good…All the Time.

As soon as the shock of seeing a post from me wears off, all six of my regular readers will no doubt be asking why it’s been so long!  Actually, I have been blogging—just not here. But more about that in a minute.

On December 11, 2012, after experiencing some troubling symptoms for about 1 week, I went to see my doctor and she ordered an ultrasound. To make a long story short, two days later I had surgery and was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.  In a matter of 3 days, my entire world turned upside down. I spent the next three weeks enjoying (as much as possible) the holidays with my family, then began an 18-week regimen of chemotherapy on January 2nd.  Chemo ended at the end of April, and now, six months after being diagnosed, I finally feel like life is getting more or less back to normal.  Right after my diagnosis, we decided it would be good for me to “blog” about my cancer journey.  CaringBridge provided a great way for us to stay connected with family and friends through regular updates concerning my health and treatment.

chemo

Throughout my 4-month battle, writing about the ups and downs of facing a cancer diagnosis and the necessary treatment was exactly what I needed.  It gave me a place to share all that was going on in my heart, mind, and body, and to reflect on all the lessons the Lord was teaching me through it.  It also provided a means of sharing prayer requests and answers to prayer.  I was overwhelmed by the prayer and encouragement that I received from those who followed my story on CaringBridge.  But I am also so grateful that sharing my story allowed me the opportunity to be an encouragement to others.  Through it all, I was continually reminded of one single truth. 

God is good.  All the time. 

Below is an excerpt from my most recent post from CaringBridge, written on the 15th of June:

“The last six months have definitely been a trial.  But through it all, I have become more and more sure of this truth:

God is good…ALL the time.

He is good when things are easy.  But his goodness doesn’t cease when things get hard. In fact, if anything, it is when things get tough that his goodness becomes even more evident.

  • I have seen His goodness through His provision of outstanding medical care in an incredibly timely way.
  • I have seen His goodness through the amazing love, encouragement, patience, and humor of my husband, Jim. He has been with me EVERY step of the way…at times crying with me and keeping me laughing at others.  What a blessing!
  • I have seen His goodness in the way He comforted me through my most difficult days and nights.
  • I have seen and been encouraged by His goodness as revealed in His Word.
  • I have seen His goodness in the acts of love and kindness shown to us by His people.
  • I have seen His goodness in the words of encouragement shared with me by so many friends and family.

I am so thankful.”  (Read more…)

And I continue to be so incredibly grateful to the Lord for all he has accomplished in my life through this trial.

Life is returning to normal—albeit a “new” normal.  My embattled body is feeling better and stronger every day.  I am adjusting to a new (and wonderful!) job with All About Learning PressI am getting used to a new diet and exercise regimen prescribed as part of a 2-year long clinical study for ovarian cancer survivors that I was invited to participate in.  I am also learning to live with the reality of the unknowns that lie ahead.  And that is only possible as I cling to that simple truth:

God is good.  All the time.

And now, once again, I blog.  I realized when I was writing my CaringBridge posts how much I had missed blogging.  So here I am resurrecting my long-abandoned blog and hoping that the Lord will use it to encourage those who find their way here. 

Thanks for reading…I hope you’ll be back!

You say “ancient history” like it’s a bad thing.

It’s confession time.  Ancient history is not my thing.  And even worse I have to admit that as a homeschool mom/teacher, I managed to instill the same apathy toward the study of ancient history in my children that I have always possessed.  Imagine my surprise and delight when a recent blog post revealed that my firstborn has begun to overcome this gap in her homegrown education.  And even more surprising is the fact that with her post she’s actually managed to plant a seed of interest in ancient history within me.  I actually want to read some of the books she recommended.

Here’s an excerpt.  But if you want to see her reading recommendations, you’ll have to click over and read the whole post.

“In fact, one thing I saw this year for the first time is how, from the world’s perspective, the story of God and His people is actually pretty tiny. In the books about ancient Rome, the land of Judea is simply one place in a list of many places under Rome’s thumb. At the time, it wasn’t considered “special” to the Romans. In some of the books we read this year, it isn’t mentioned at all. Similarly, the Romans crucified thousands of people. In their records, Jesus is just one of the many who died that gruesome death, probably not even bolded or footnoted. How much more amazing is it, then, when we realize God’s story is anything but tiny? A tiny baby born to insignificant parents in an insignificant town, barely a blip in the timeline of human history, became the entire purpose – the point – of all human history. The rest of the world’s history pales in comparison.”

Read more of “You say “ancient history” like it’s a bad thing..”

A Prayer of Thanksgiving


(For paper Thanksgiving Pumpkin Craft click HERE!)

As I sit and reflect over the many things that I am thankful for, my heart and my mind are drawn to the words of so many songs that I have sung through the years. So often it seems that this musician’s heart is moved to praise you in song. Thank you for this precious gift! And so as I say thanks to you today, Lord, I borrow the words of others and join my heart with theirs as they sing their praise to you. I love you, Lord!

Thou Life of my life, blessed Jesus,
Thou death of the death that was mine,
For me was Thy cross and Thine anguish,
Thy love and Thy sorrow divine;
Thou suffered the cross and the torment,
That I might forever go free-
A thousand, a thousand thanksgivings,
I bring, blessed Savior, to Thee!

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Was nailed to the cross and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow:
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ‘tis now.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes.
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious—Thy great name we praise.

To God be the glory-great things He hath done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro’ Jesus, the Son,
and give Him the glory-great things He has done!

Jesus, our Savior, Shepherd, Friend, Our Prophet, Priest and King;
Our Lord, our Life, our Way, our End, accept the praise we bring.

Weak is the effort of our heart, and cold our warmest thought;
But when we see Thee as Thou art, we’ll praise Thee as we ought.

Lord of glory, we adore Thee,
Christ of God, ascended high!
Heart and soul we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky:
Thee we worship, Thee we praise,
Excellent in all Thy ways.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee with sweetness fills my breast;
But better far Thy face to see and in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame, nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than thy blest name, O Savior of mankind!

O Lord, from my heart, I do thank Thee
For all thou hast born in my room,
Thine agony, dying, unsolaced,
Alone in the darkness of doom
That I, in the glory of heaven,
Forever and ever might be—
A thousand, a thousand thanksgivings,
I bring, blessed Savior, to Thee!

Field Trip Friday: Lincoln Marsh

A gorgeous fall afternoon just begs a trip to Sunny Acres Farm and a walk on the walking path at Lincoln Marsh!  What a fun and relaxing morning!  Have you taken a fun field trip this month?  Did you take pictures?  Write a post and link it up to Fantastic Foto Fieldtrips @ The Homeschool Post!

Saturday Morning Soccer

It’s the activity that moms everywhere love to hate.

It’s Saturday mornings sipping coffee on the sidelines of a cold soccer field.  It’s the comedy of watching 12 little boys follow a white ball around the field in a beehive like formation.  It’s the joy of seeing the look of excitement on a 7-year old’s face when he “almost makes a goal”.  It’s the anguish of seeing the ball get by the same little boy wearing the green goalie’s jersey.  And it’s the satisfaction of seeing a team of boys take pride in their accomplishments and show good sportsmanship despite having never won a game.

It’s the activity this mom loves.  Period.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

September 11, 2011: Jim Cornelison’s National Anthem…

Jim Cornelison’s singing of the National Anthem and the fans’ reaction to it never fails to amaze.  Here he is singing at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 for the opening of the 2011 National Football League season and in commemoration of the lives lost on September 11, 2001. This was broadcast live at NFL stadiums all over America. They couldn’t have chosen a better performer for the task.

Breathtaking.