Posted by: Amber | August 13, 2007

New Blog Home!

Hi all~

I am now hosting my own blog.  You can find me at

Please update your links and your readers.


Posted by: Amber | August 4, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award!


Thanks Amanda!  I am honored that my pondering makes you think.  We will think together and I will pass it on:-)

Posted by: Amber | August 3, 2007

Eureka- I’ve Got it!

It has only taken me 12 years of marriage, 11 years out of college, 9 family moves, 6 years of parenting to 3 amazing children, and 3 self owned businesses for me to finally find a rhythm of keeping up my home.

In college, I was a neat freak.  It was very easy to keep my chores up to date when it was only me making the mess.  Then I got married (while still in college) to a wonderful husband who had a different version of “clean” than I did. (I know that is a shocker.) It was a good 5 years of working full time and trying to find out how to keep my house together..and how to let go of unrealistic expectations.  Then kids came into the picture.  Well, as you all may of guessed, the whole cleaning thingwent out the window. 

So how , do you ask,  have I cracked this nut? Firstly, Laundry.  Less stuff to wash is helpful.  I gave away 60% of our families clothes.  Now I do a load of laundry every day and put it away right when it is done.  That has helped tremendously.  No stress in the morning looking for clothes in laundry baskets is a very good thing!

With this little bit of experience I had a thought the other day.  What if I clean a little bit every day?  How would that work? Not picked up and straightened up but actually cleaned. So I have broken our house down into 6 zones for 6 days of the week.  Leaving the 7th day free for Sabbath rest.

So now I wake an hour before the kids to have my own time to workout and start the day with a God centered frame of mind.  The freedom within structure is holding true in my own life as well.  I have a plan to slowly and steadily do my work in a God honoring way, while including the children.  I must say it is very satisfying.  It is actually inspiring me to write something on our typical daily rhythm.  So look for that soon!

So what is your daily house keeping rhythm?  Consistent or nonexistent.  Feel free to tell on yourself in the comment section or let me know your thoughts on your blog.

Peace to all~ 

Posted by: Amber | August 2, 2007

Fumbelin’ and bumbelin’…

Ok -people.  I said in December of ’06” that I wanted to be more proficient with technology and not rely on my dear technologically advanced hubby.Well you know what… be careful what you set your mind to.  I am up to my ears in plug ins and the going for “hosting my own blog” route.    I feel like I can speak a whole new language….kind of.  But I have a plan for where I am going and I need to host my own space.  What have I gotten myself into?All I can say is pray for me:-) A little emotional support from the peanut gallery would be much appreciated!

Posted by: Amber | July 31, 2007

The poor and the marginalized.


Today is the end of the 40 day fast that Kat put on.  Take some time to stroll over and view all of the great causes highlighted there. 

Jesus said the poor will always be with us.  It is true in every corner of the world.  Isn’t it true that it is where we find Him most…with the poor and the marginalized?  I am still wrestling with how I can take part in that in my suburban context. I am reminded of  Hindsfeet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.  “Sorrow” and “Trails” were her two great help mates that lead her to the high places.  If you haven’t read that book I highly recommend you picking it up. 

I am highlighting Zoe Children’s Home. It is a fact the poorest and most marginalized people in the world are children,because the have no voice. Their voice is unheard unless an adult stands up and speaks for them.  In the states, we rush our children around to palydates and birthday parties.  Many have no idea that around the world, children are being rushed into sweat shops and brothels for money.  Childhood prostition or slavery is rampant around the world. They fall into two camps, sold into slavery by families who are desperately poor looking to make a few cents or those orphans with no family at all victimized for a buck.  It is nauseating. 

What do we do…here…in our nice cushy homes, with AC and all the modern amenities? You can send money to organizations lie Zoe Children’s Home and help support those working on the front lines.  You can pray that God would open your eyes to things that are going on right in your own backyard.  You may even be called to adopt internationally for the express purpose of raising a kingdom minded individual.  It is too much you say.  There are too many.  What good is helping just one?  Well, I would say, it is good for that one.

Posted by: Amber | July 31, 2007

Mama Bloggas July Group Writing Project Links.

The July Mama Blogga Group Writing Project has ended with 28 exceptional entries! Feel free to click on the links below to read other bloggers giving their mamas a little sugar.  This was a great process for me.  I suggest you process through this yourself.  You’ve got one life and you don’t want to wait until your mom is gone before you think this through.

Peace ya’ll

Posted by: Amber | July 30, 2007


Here is the nature blog as promised.  I think it is going to be a fun addition to our homeschooling rythm.  Jackson would love a comment or two, so Grandparents, please chime in:-)

Posted by: Amber | July 30, 2007

blog marketing

Mommy Zabs and MamaBlogga should love this! 

I am experimenting!  If you care about such things as page rank, than read along, and if you don’t then move on:-)

Posted by: Amber | July 30, 2007


This takes paying it forward to a whole new level.


Posted by: Amber | July 30, 2007

Why be ordinary!

My kids ROLLED on the floor when they saw this.  See if it makes you roll too:-)

Posted by: Amber | July 30, 2007


I have been in a process of asking God to reveal our children to me.  Not what I want to see or what I think I see, but what He created.  I want to understand what He sees so I can partner with Him on it.  A little insight or glimpse of their calling.  Little by little He shows me things that stun me.  I am aware of the privilege of parenting them.  I’m humbled by the responsibility.  I am deeply thankful that God is using our children to shape and mold us as people as much as he is using us to shape them.   So it with this understanding that I will be working on crafting our “why home school” statement this week.  I will also be working on a series of posts on finding Sabbath rest in the midst of the daily grind.  Good things for me to ponder on this week.

Peace to  you and all you love this week!

Posted by: Amber | July 29, 2007


So for those of you interested, the party was great! You can see for yourself! (Thanks to all in our local community who helped).  We took about 200 bucks and threw a “shin-dig”.  I met a new neighbor who just moved here to help plant a church. I also met a family form Peru.  My boys wore their Inca cola shirts and we meet Peruvians all over the place.  It is our calling card. They had all sorts of cool stories of how they are working towards helping Peru and the local Peruvian community. 

People were so thankful for the party.  The church planter actually asked me “Why did you do this?”  I was like “DUH” isn’t this what God’s people are supposed to do?  Be in the neighborhood, seeing what God is up to?  But I just said  “It’s what we do!”  Everyone couldn’t wait for the next one.  One family wanted us to put up a community bulletin board so we can stay more connected.  Another family suggested we have a little meeting to make sure our builders don’t leave the property without fixing everything that needs to be fixed.  Another neighborhood said “This is what makes a house a home.”

Overall good times.  Many baby relational seeds were sown and Mike and I look forward to seeing what God does through them.  So here is a challenge to  you.  Take some money.  Maybe your monthly tithe and do an experiment.  Take that money and plan a party and invite your neighbors and then invite your church community and see what God is up to.  You never know what you will find and others may just follow your lead.

Posted by: Amber | July 27, 2007

Par-Tay Time!

Many of you have asked about our community bbq tomorrow.  So I wanted to give you all the “digs”.   Firstly, Mike and I had a “spirited debate” about the manner in which information should be broadcast in our community.  I wanted to have 4 signs made (that can be reused) similar to the  garage sale signs that you see that I would put at all of the entrances to our development.  I thought, “Oh we could just throw a quick webpage together describing the party and that we would love to see everyone there.”  To me that would of been the easiest for me, but it was too programmatic for Mike. He wanted the kids and I to pass out invitations to all of our neighbors.  Have it be more relational.  It would be like “oh yeah your the family we always see at the pool, or we bought lemonade from your son type thing”.  So being the submissive wife I am, I agreed to do it his way:-) So last night we made invitations and the kids and I rode our bikes around the neighborhood.  The kids were excitedly knocking on doors, chasing down people as they got in and out of cars  and telling anyone who would listen, “Come to our neighborhood party.”  Mike was right.  It was more relational that way.  At least for the first one, although I do think the sign thing would work after we have a few. And yes, for the record, I did get “Oh you are the family we always see around the pool”. and “We bought lemonade form your son” and “We’ve been hearing about this and are so excited” and “oh we were hoping you were still going to do this!” Shocking if you ask me.  They have heard about it?  I did speak to a few people I saw at the pool through out the week about the party.  I did try to focus on “connectors” in the community.  I did want the word of mouth thing to work in our favor….there are a lot of houses here.  Almost everyone that opened the door to us said…”Thank you so much. I’ve been thinking I should do something like this but I just never have.”  Hmmmm.  I wonder how many people think about connecting with others and then just don’t?  So Mike and I are taking it seriously the  whole “Jesus becoming flesh and blood and moving into the neighborhood” thingy.  

I’ve been in a space of finding “God” in the not so nice things .  I have been thinking about the rotten real estate market etc etc. and realized yesterday.  None of us are going anywhere any time soon.  A perfect way to really get to know the neighbors.  Forced to stay put do to the economy.  How ironically lovely. I’ll post pics of our par-tay tomorrow.  If you think of us, please pray, “Lord Jesus – Let your kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Posted by: Amber | July 26, 2007

Mending as it relates to Sabbath!

 More thoughts from…..Death By Suburb.  I know, I know, I can’t help it. 

Mending is the key image for  embracing the Sabbath in the suburbs, letting us “experience the depths of Jesus Christ,” as the classic work by Jeanne Guyon puts it.  The trick for the lover of God is to learn how to become better at mending ones life, making small adjustments on a regular basis to avoid the speed and clutter of modern living.

Mending is a verb.  An ongoing action that is consistent and small.  Mending is a thing that reverses the affects of the fast paced business of suburban life.  It is a bridge that leads you to the thicker life.  The deeper life of Jesus Christ.  It is obedience in the small mundane things.  

Now this may seem bizarre to some, but for me right now, home schooling is mending my life.  Our family rhythm is decidedly slow.  There is no rush.  There is no fire to put out, no hill to conquer.  Just deepening of roots and building of relationships.  This is my Sabbath YEAR!  It is a lovely, yummy, comforting thing.  God is moving deeply in the quiet.  Maybe hovering is a better word.  Yes….I think hovering describes it well.

Find the Quiet today!

Posted by: Amber | July 25, 2007

Thanks Mom – Group Writing Project

You never really know how much you love your mom and how much she really does and did for you until you are a Mom yourself!  Thanks to Mammablogga and her group writing project for July, I get to expound on what makes my Mom so special.

Most Moms are biased of their children. (i.e. our kids are the best, brightest most talented children alive)  In healthy parent/child relationships, I think the thought holds true for adult children of their parents.  My mom is the best Mom in the whole world.She’s not perfect, none of us are, but she is generous, and funny (man can she make me laugh) and smart and encouraging,not to mention supportive.  There isn’t anything she couldn’t do if she put her mind to it.  I think she passed that on to me.

Growing up she worked hard, (she still does)  She went back to school for her masters when I was in high school and has had a very successful career. My brother and I learned the value of a dollar early, and we always had chores and responsibilities around the house.  Our family worked as a team and I am so thankful now as an adult for that chance to learn how to do real things early.  We grew up in an environment that honored God and followed Jesus.  She and my father instilled that in me.  I remember sitting at the desk in her bedroom one summer and teaching myself to type as she guided me along.  I just got to replicate that with my own son.  It is funny how times fades away in an instant inside those memories.

The neat thing is…she always gave me room….just enough room to hang myself if you know what I mean.  She let me sit with my choices and loved me through the bad ones. Now as a parent I KNOW how hard that is.  Even today she encouraged me to take 100% responsibility for myself.  She keeps me grounded with her parental experience.  She wishes she could of been home more, and constantly tells me time flies and that this time is so short.  Do whatever you have to to be home with the kids.  Take family vacations…build memories you’ve got one life with these little buggers.  Cherish it!

She is still a better cook than I am.  She can fix or sew anything and at 33 I still call her first when I am unsure about what temp to cook something at or if one of my kids has some medical issue I am worried about.  She still parents me, in a healthy way even now.   Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be.  Maybe we get to be the kid for a lifetime and even into the next.  Always having that bond that grows and changes through the years.  Will we ever stop worrying as parents, or stop wanting to help or stop wanting to deepen relationship with our children?  I hope not.  I hope I get to ask her advice when I am 55 and she is 78 and I want to know how to be a wonderful grandparent, or that just right ingredient to keep my skin soft.  She will know…and be sure of this…I will ask. 

Posted by: Amber | July 24, 2007

Blog Stickyness

I am ALWAYS finding myself stuck on Lindafay’s home school blog Higher up and Further In.  It is very comforting to read through her many years of home schooling experience for tips, ideas etc.  I have been slowly reworking my blogs organization.  It is becoming my home school dashboard.  Thoughts, wonderings, resources and other inspiring people to read found in my blog roll.  Jackson is on it as much as I am tooling through the resources.  He LOVES THIS! My hope is that one day this site would be an encouragement to a brand new home schooling mama who is excited and nervous and wondering if she can ever pull this off.  And then voila, she will find this blog and she will say to herself, “Oh my goodness if SHE could do it I will have no problem!”  So keep watching the links come in.  (I hope you find them as helpful and inspiring as I do) I will soon begin adding book reviews and the kids and I will be starting a nature blog here soon.  Their sketches are still scribble and I want them to have a place to see what they are recording.  I taught Jackson how to use the digital camera and he routinely goes out and snaps shots of local wildlife.  Mostly flowers and trees.  Yesterday we went to a little park called “Peanut Island”.  During the summer we go every Monday night with my parents in their boat.  We saw a spotted manta ray with a 5 foot wing span and 2 mini hermit crabs walking along.  I wished we had our camera.  So now we wont leave home without it.manta-ray.jpg    crab.jpg Speaking of blogging…I wish other really experienced homeschoolers I know (not to mention any names, Chenoa Styron and Carolyn Hanson) would start a blog like Lindafay’s so more newbie’s can bask in their wisdom.  It is such a gift.  I am thankful for their encouraging words along the way.  Anyway….no pressure, I was just thinking how cool it would be if I could scroll through their brain and not bug them all the time with calls and emails.

But until they do you can check out the 81st Carnival of Homeschoolin Teacher In Service Addition . Some very wise words.

Posted by: Amber | July 23, 2007

You are what you read! Think about it!

Mommy Zabs has tagged me for a web surfing MeMe! So here goes another MeMe! I think it must be MeMe week )  Have you ever heard the saying, show me your 5 closest friends and I will show you who you are. Maybe the same is true of blogs.

What websites (blogs) do you consider essential. After all, you are what you read. So just copy and paste the questions and fill in your answers.

What websites do you check out almost everyday? I browse my blogroll daily.  I am just now installed RSS feed so others can read my blog and I am using a reader myself to be a bit more efficient.  I only have so much time  and I typically get stuck on certain blogs.

What websites do you check out weekly? Craig’s List – you never know what you will find there.  You could get the deal of the century:-)

What websites do you check out monthly?  I don’t think I track it that closely.  So I don’t know.  Maybe the drudge report just for my husband.

What blog do you consider essential reading?  I read blogs more than I listen to nightly news. (Oh don’t be so shocked – you do too if you are reading this!)  The news is depressing. I am super relational and  love to learn knew things so blogging is right up my alley. With our moving into home school, I can read a broad range of experiences out there, to get a better grasp on what I do and do not want to do with our little home school.  I read a blog consistently that makes me think, or teaches me something.  A super sticky blog is one that is teaching me something I want to learn about.  Then there are those I keep up with because of the friendship behind the blog. I am always on the hunt for a new find and try to showcase them when I do through MeMes and tagging.

I am not sure who I am going to tag next. 

Kat at – I love her 40 day fast concept.  If you have not looked at it yet, please do so. She seems super techi and I would love to know what her blog digest consists of.

Posted by: Amber | July 22, 2007

Diva’s Do’s & Don’ts

Do rest, every Sabbath. 

Don’t run around like a chicken with your head cutt off.  Even if it seems like fun activites. 

I am really resonating with Death By Suburb – David Goetz’s comments on the Sabbath rest.

“This is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord.”  He quotes Heschel as saying “spiritual life begins to decay when we fail to sense the grandeur of what is eternal in time.”  Sabbath is “eternity in disguise”.  It’s a day not for furthering our opportunities and those of our kids but to liberate ourselves from the pursuit of such things.  He points out that this is a space, where all of Gods people, regardless of economic position enter as equals.  Able to feast on eternity one consistent day a week without a care in the world.

This is my space right now.  Slowly, steadily working with God on the small space of soil in my heart that has to do with time.  It is as if there is enough time in the world for things to “get done”, and yet such a small sliver of time to really purchase those things worth working hard for.  Namely relationship.

Mike and I are really thinking about all of this in regards to our home schooling decision.  We really want our children to grow up in a slow, easy, expectant of amazing things, joy of life type of way.  A deep since of wonder. Not shuffling around from play date to over done birthday party.  We are not even pursuing organized sports for them. Maybe one day, but not now.  Mike and Jackson did T-ball last year.  Mike had the opportunity to coach, and it was a way for them to be together, but we knew no one on the team.  Jackson was mildly interested, and the other kids and I stayed home because it was too much for them.  Not a way we want to use our time again, any time soon.   Even home schooling is a relaxed, gentle rhythm.  You only have to read a few lines of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy to begin to unwind and dig in. 

Deep roots come from deep rest.  Deep rest is a choice.  It is a discipline regardless of the debt, or the schedule, or the lists.  It is a decision to stop one day a week and really reorient yourself around the kingdom of God.  In His kingdom there isn’t a care in the world.  The joy is knowing God and being known  by Him.

So get off the computer.  unplug the phone, go into your room shut the door and be quiet, with the one who made you.  With no need, or question to be answered.  Just listen, and make room for his inner workings.  I promise you will feel much better when you do.

Posted by: Amber | July 21, 2007

Weeding Out!


It is a great word picture for my life this year.  I am in a process of calming down, simplifying, and learning all about how to REALLY be and not do.  I completely believe that there is freedom within structure.  So I am shaping up my housework, finishing up that “decorating” that I never get to, lacing up those running shoes and hitting the gym with consistancy, nurturing my artistic side, and feeding the need to read “deep and wide”.  A general overall weeding it taking place.  Bad habits (like too much TV and rewarding myself with sweets) haven’t formed over night and they will not be gone in a day ether.  Day by day, I move onward and upward and I hope I inspire you to do the same.

Here are some things I have recently reintroduced into our lives.

1. ABSOLUTELY NO TV UNTIL 5PM DURING THE WEEK. In the past I have used TV to medicate my kids when they have no clear direction on what to do next.  Bad habit…I admit it.  I started pulling way back in April.  I didn’t think we watched TV very much.  The sad thing is, in reality we didn’t, but it was how I was using the TV that was not the best.  Mike and I had no TV for years before kids.  Once I was pregnant with the second, and “sick as a dog” we reintroduced it to help me out with escaping the reality of my life. Now I don’t want to escape anymore.  Embrace the race is my motto. So now the kids only watch about 30 minutes of monitored TV a day.  We even drove all the way home yesterday (4 hours with only a 30 minute DVD) We played site seeing games and counting games the rest of the way. ( and they slept some too.)

2. Early morning exercise. ( Me time before the rest of the family is awake.)  Thanks to a great work out buddy and good old endorphins, I can’t wait to wake up early. – This is a big switch for me.

3. Reading at least 2 new books a month. – I used to read like a nut.  I think I piggybacked through seminary on Mikes old Theology books.  I got through second grade by reading all of the Nancy Drew series once I finished my work. (I was soooo bored, another reason I was drawn to home schooling our kids – bored kids are kids who get into trouble.)

Those are the first few.  I will keep adding to the list as I am inspired. 

Grace and Peace to you and all you love!

Posted by: Amber | July 21, 2007

One Word Meme

This is from my friend Betsy. I thought it would be a way for some of my readers to get to know me.  If you read this and feel the need, then consider yourself tagged.  Let me know in the comment section so I can get to know you too:-)Simply cut and paste these questions onto your blog, answer them and then find other blogs to tag! It’s fun and easy and something a little different!You can only answer each question with ONE word. I did use some hyphenated words, so maybe I cheated a little.  Give me a break it is early!
1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Relationship? Married
3. Your hair? short
4. Work? Home
5. Your sister? none
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream car? paid-off
10. The room you’re in? Foyer
11. Your shoes? None
12. Your fears? little
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? wise
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Leah
15. What are you not good at? golf
16. Muffin? none
17. One of your wish list items? family-travel
18. Where you grew up? Florida
19. Last thing you did? slept
20. What are you wearing? clothes
21. What aren’t you wearing? Make-up
22. Your pet? none
23. Your computer? HP
24. Your life? fun
25. Your mood? Good
26. Missing? Nothing
27. What are you thinking about right now? Family
28. Your car? Mini-van
29. Your kitchen? Clean!!!
30. Your summer? Relaxed
31. Your favorite color? ALL!!!!!!
32. Last time you laughed? Thursday

33. Last time you cried? unsure
34. School? UofFlorida
35. Love? Mike

Tag – You’re it!

Posted by: Amber | July 17, 2007

What a day!

Today, I got to pretend I was a Mom of 5 who were 5 and under. It really wasn’t bad at all.   I do so much better with out all the birthing, and nursing and sleeplessness etc. etc.  That and I have a rhythm down and I am not trying to figure out the whole “how to be a mom thing”.  So that has some to do with it.

I am off to Gainesville to have  a week with my girlfriend from college.  She and I knew each other before husbands and kids and our friendship has survived and thrived with the addition of both.  Bonus is her van can fit all 6 car seats without a problem!  

Pray for my drive tomorrow.  4 hours is a hike by myself, but I am timing it over nap time.  Hopefully that will take some of the bite out of it.

I wanted to leave you all with one quote form Death by Suburb before I go.

“Mature Christian faith discerns God behind all the circumstances in life that conceal God – from the mundane to the tragic.”

He quotes Bonheoffer (One of my favorite Christian theologians)

“It is good to learn early that suffering and God are not contradiction but rather a unity, for the idea that God himself is suffering is one that has always been one of the most convincing teachings of Christianity.  I think God is nearer to suffering than to happiness, and to find God in this way gives peace and rest and a  strong and courageous heart.”

Peace to all! 

Posted by: Amber | July 14, 2007

Capitalism ain’t so bad!



The Following is a conversation between our 6 and 4 year olds! (enjoy)

A little context.  We have never talked to Jackson about owning a business or creating a lemonade stand.  This is all something he initiated and we allowed because of what he would  learn through it.

J: Come on Chloe let’s squeeze some lemons to make lemonade.

C: Why?

J:  Because it is my business.  We need to make some money for some poor people!


J: Mom can we make some lemonade?

Mom:  Why son? 

J: Because we need to make some money for poor people to help them be like us.

Mom: Well how are we Jackson?

J:  We are in between rich and poor.  I won’t give any money to the rich people they have enough.  We need to get the poor people to have enough money too!

Mom: Let’s wait until a little later.

J: But Mom the workers are outside and they are very hot.  If we do it now we can give them some of it.

Mom: Go ahead but make sure you are quiet and don’t wake up your brother.


I was a few feet away doing some work on the computer while the two of them prepared to make homemade lemonade.  They busy themselves in the kitchen, cutting lemons, squeezing them, and making the drink.  I reminded Jackson to make sure not to put too  much sugar in the drink.  He said he wouldn’t.  He was right!  When I tasted it was way too sour.  I asked him how much he put in.  He said 1 teaspoon.  I reminded him that good chiefs’ taste their food before they offer it to people to make sure it tastes good.  1 teaspoon isn’t enough for an entire pitcher of lemonade.

Once Dad was home they moved the self made stand to the pavilion where all the mailboxes are housed.  And there he waited.  Mike came back inside and we waited to see what would happen.  I was preparing to tell him that  business was hard and that you don’t always make sales when you want to etc. etc. when to our surprise he made 57 cents.  He sold 2 glasses to the boys riding their bikes.  He was determined to stay until he had sold out.  A few minutes later we decided to make sure he understood that he needed to offer some to people and not be upset when and if they said no.  He was actually doing a fine job of talking to our neighbors. He sold 2 more glasses to some generous souls who gave him a dollar a glass.  He made $2.57 cents and was over the moon. 

Then after counting his money, he sat down and wrote a letter to Josiah our sponsored child in Peru with Compassion International.  He sent him the 57 cents.  He lovingly taped it to a piece of paper and drew him a picture.  He said, “Mom this is a lot of money in Peru right?”  I agreed.  I was able to get the letter away from him just  before he mailed it.  I don’t think Compassion International takes change, but I will call to see.  God help me if we don’t get that precious 57 cents to Peru.  It was earned by a little boy with a big heart.

Who knows, maybe Jackson will grow up and be like JC Penny who lived on 10% of his income and gave the rest away to the poor.  Who knows how this little small space of time is empacting him for eternity but I am glad we got to be a part of it.

Encourage your kids to go for their dreams.  You get to change the world through them!

Posted by: Amber | July 13, 2007

Home Grown Kids!

 #1 Biggest misconception about Home schooling:  That you have to be a gifted and trained teacher to do a great job at home schooling your kids.

No, not really, if you can read, you can do it.  You just have to be willing to work on yourself in the process.

This was my BIGGEST fear about home schooling.  Now a few months into this I have “seen the light. ” All of my veteran “home schooling diva” friends are chuckling at me.  Lovingly of course.  One of the reasons we are home schooling is to help our children think.  Think critically.  I am sorry no matter how you slice it, that is more important than grade point average, extra cirr. activities or anything else.  If they can think they will thrive wherever God has them.

Lynda says it so well.  “I don’t know about you, but I find this to be freeing for me as a mother who must wear many hats in daily life. I don’t have to be ‘gifted’ in teaching in order to adequately educate my children.”

(For my parents in law you can read till your hearts content on her website about Charlotte Mason method)

Posted by: Amber | July 12, 2007

Death by Suburb!

  (Thanks to Dolly Mamma for this!)I live in the “best little” planned community this side of Disney world.  People here drive fast, live large and have little time to really get to know anyone.  Of course this is a huge generalization, but the prevailing thought here, is stick to your self, buy your plasma screen and consume until you can’t feel any pain.   I just spoke to someone on the phone the other night who found our church website.  We related experiences and he said “It is good to hear I am not crazy and that we are not alone in feeling this way!”  

My husband is reading Death by Suburb by David Goetz.  I plan to start it once he is finished with it.   It addresses how to keep living simply and holistically in a suburban context.  A great topic we should address. 

So we are going for it.  Throwing a huge Par-tay for our community.  A place where few know their neighbor.  We are hoping to bust that notion wide open.   I walked into the sales office yesterday to get a list of addresses here, and the woman looked at me like I was from mars.  She said “Where do you children go to school?”  I said I home school.  She said “Oh I understand. I guess it is hard for you to make friends.”   I didn’t even reply, I smiled and said thank you. 

Pray for our family and our faith community as we dive into the suburban wasteland of south Florida with laser focus looking for what God is doing and advancing the kingdom of God. 

July 28 is the day!  Block party is the context, advancing the kingdom is the goal.  I encourage you to throw a party of your own.  See what God is up to in your own backyard!


Posted by: Amber | July 12, 2007

My Personal Top 8!

Bev tagged me for a top 8 game, so I thought I would play along.   

Here are the rules:

A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.

B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Here we go:

1. I love to travel.  My husband and I want to take our kids on a home school adventure around the world.

2. I love to read.  I was  history major in college.  I learned to read “fast and furious”.  Right now I am reading Graham Cooke.

3. I love/hate to run.  I ran a ton when I was younger and I am just now picking it back up.  Wow what a difference 10 years make.

4. I love our church.  Me familia. 

5.  I used to hate laundry, but for some reason now I enjoy it.  I think I enjoy the order of having laundry folded and put away not so much the process.  I also think, it is due to the fact that I purged our clothing inventory to 1/4 of what it used to be.  Much easier to stay on top of!

6. I hate being pregnant.  It was pretty much “hell on wheels”.  You know how some woman say “Oh you forget.” Not me!  I don’t think I will ever forget.  Kind of like POW’s who are tortured.  It just stays with ya!  All I could think the whole time is “Dear God, how do women in third world countries go through this, and still have to do manual labor, in the heat and sleep on straw mats?”

7.  I love being a mom.  That makes the pregnant thing bearable because we have three beauties out of it.

8. Painting.  I have not picked up a brush in 3 years and I will do it before the year is out.  I need to get some canvas going, but you wait….just when you least expect it, the paint will start to fly.

Now  I need to tag a few.    Mammablogga, Mommy Zabs , The Day of a Mom ,

I think I will think a little bit and tag some more tomorrow.  Have a good night!

Posted by: Amber | July 11, 2007

Rookie Mistake!

….at least I am big enough to admit it!

So for all of you out there who don’t know….never leave a pair of children’s scissors unattended with a 2.5 year old around.  Bad things happen.  My homeschooling diva friend (who is starting home-school high-school this year) said last night.  “It’s OK.  things will happen.  You can’t control everything.”   Good advice form a veteran. 

 In other news, my cell phone was thrown into the pool and is inoperable.  Nice!!! I have tons of numbers on that phone that I did not have anywhere else.  Hope the SIM card still works once the new phone arrives.  Thankfully it was free. My computer is doing something weird and only opens in DOS, so I have strict instructions not to touch it until my husband can look at it.  I am writing from his lap top which is like driving someone elses car.  The seat and windows are all out of place.  I am still working on my list that Bev tagged me with.  I will get it up soon.

Peace to all!

Posted by: Amber | July 10, 2007

Does Coupon Clipping Work?

I wonder? ……….Most Homeschoolers need to pinch their pennies.  I was just turned on to a great idea from a new friend I just met through my buisness forum.   Buying Coupons on ebay!  I remember seeing this when my kids were babies but I never purchased any coupons for myself but I am rethinking the idea.  The Grocery Game is another tool that you can combine with eBay coupons and save significantly.  I am just now looking into this to really make our dollar stretch.  The woman in front of me at the grocery store was “all a buzz” about it and told me of her savings.  I have never been able to make the savings work with the actual items we buy.

The problem is, if you buy tons of fresh foods and little prepackaged items then it may not be cost effective so I am looking into it all. Look into it with me and see if it is worth the time!  It would be fun to see how much money we all could save.  I’d love to hear your saving stories.  We all could encourage each other to spend less, save more and live simply!

Posted by: Amber | July 9, 2007

Embrace the Hardness!

I am at a point in my life that where I am embracing the hardness of things instead of complaining or praying them away. (Prayer doesn’t work that way, but that is another blog)  I figure, they are there for some “omniscient” reason to train me more in Jesus’ kingdom ways.   

I want to learn.  Learn form past mistakes.  Enjoying my own individual training.  I am embracing the hand print of God in my life.    I don’t want to miss some treasure in this season, because I was too fearful to take a good long look.  So I am looking good and long at why I do certain things or say certain things.  A non-emotional look.  Just looking honestly and saying “yeah, that’s pretty yucky”. 

A few years ago, during my last pregnancy I practiced Lectio Divina regularly and it was such a good time of listening and learning.  I would sit with one of my dearest friends every week and do a lap labryinth and practice the art of listening for listening sake. (Christian meditation is not practiced enough these days if you ask me.)  I think some Christians tend to tell God what they want more than they sit silently and ask what He wants.

I am adding back into my life simple daily disciplines that keep me connected to God. It is funny that exercise is one of them. I always know I am right siding again when I regularly exercise. I didn’t realize adding a third into the mix would throw everything into such a tail spin, but at last I have crashed and burned on the side of a glorious mountain.  Nothing here to do but sit and wait, and waiting is good. God is speaking.  I have perspective that I didn’t have before my glorious wreck. I highly encourage having a wreck of your own.  God is so present in the midst of the mess.

 Enjoy the labyrinth. 

Posted by: Amber | July 7, 2007

Two Things I hate!

Maybe you hate them too!

Here is the scene. You are out and about at a restaurant, the grocery store, any place that there is someone working who is supposed to be “helping” you! As you are checking out, etc. etc. a woman who is about 18 years old chomping gum and wearing WAY too much makeup calls you “Hun”.  Like “Thanks Hun” or “Here is your bill Hun”.  Hun?  Hun?  I am NOBODIES’ Hun let’s just get that straight right now.

The second equally as condescending and degrading or disrespectful is when you are in  the same situation and a 65 year old (or older) woman says “dear”, and not in an endearing way.  Like today. “Punch enter dear” as the lady screeched at me because I was not moving fast enough with the debit card thingy and my kids where needing my attention etc. etc.  Like I am a ding  bat or something.  Does that make them feel better about themselves by doing that?  I would like to know. 

Maybe I should work on formulating a pat answer so that when that happens again, I have a quick witted response that signals to them, “Stop doing that!”.  Would it be too honest to say “I really hate it when strangers say that to me…it is really rude?” Yeah you are right, probably, but at least I feel better getting this off of my chest.  I can go back to cleaning the kitchen.

Posted by: Amber | July 6, 2007

Laser Focus

We were counseled before our home schooling journey to think big picture about who we wanted our children to become and what type of education did we want them to have.  I keep that vision in front of me daily.  It helps me NOT to “lose the forest for the trees” if you know what I mean. 

Do my interactions, my body language,  my tone of voice, my consistency with the very things that I am requiring of them etc….what is all of that saying to them?  How is it shaping them?  After correcting/disciplining our children, I strive to have an “eye”  moment.  Where we look each other in the eyes and I tell them how much I love them.  How much I want them to be people who are respectful of all people and the world around them.  That God gave me a job to do, and I need to be obedient to that job.  Our oldest gets that.  Our youngest does not…but he will. Our middle child is just starting to grasp it.

With our oldest our “correcting” episodes are less and less frequent.  After they happen and we talk about why I had to discipline him etc. I have this huge big picture view of where I am guiding him. With our younger ones, I know it is just a matter of time.  For that reason, I now enjoy the correction of our children.  It keeps me in touch with where we are going.  These are not arbitrary corrections so that I can “rule the roost” or have complete order in the home.  That is a possible byproduct but what it really is, is “training for reigning” as Dallas Willard puts it. 

What I have found through it, is a calming of our children when we are home together.  They understand the drill, they know I am not caving and that I don’t act emotionally (most times) it is just “steady as she goes” rhythm that keeps a well oiled machine moving.  I am not perfect, or have it all together.  Our children are not perfect ether.  We are still working on how to discipline when we are in group situations, but we are getting there.  I have found when the focus is not on them per se or me per se and the day to day grind, but the big picture goal, we move past the hardness, tedium, and constant repetition of daily correction into training.  And now I wonder, how can parents do that well, having their children away from home 7-10 hours a day especially when they are little?  There is no indictment in that statement if you have your children away from you, it is just an out loud wondering question that I am mulling over.

Anyway, Peace to all!

Posted by: Amber | July 5, 2007

Preschool Activites for Homeschoolers

I readily admit that a good friend gave me this idea.  She doesn’t blog so, I will post it here.  If you are home schooling mixed aged children (who isn’t?) and have those that are 3 and under, create a busy box just for them.  We now call it “Hudson’s busy hand box”  he sits on my lap as long as possible for family reading and copy work time. He has his own pencil and paper and we work on the “sand paper alphabet” when the older children are doing their own work.  Then when he can sit no longer, I take out the box of “busy things”. (stacking blocks, a Thomas train, silly putty, floam with appropriate tools, small hard books that he loves and a sorting work.)   That usually keeps him busy for some time.  Everyday, I set our sink up with one side clean water, and the other side soapy water.  The family puts their dishes in the “soapy” side all day and one child or another invariably comes to wash the dishes.  I have a sponge wand and a dish drainer and a drying towel. They have all had a “dishwashing lesson”. They love it and so do I.  This gives me enough time with the older children and helps our youngest feel connected to what we are doing.  As Martha says “It’s a good thing!”

Posted by: Amber | July 4, 2007

If you need a little laugh!

My kids love to watch this! 

Posted by: Amber | July 4, 2007

Enjoy the day!


Posted by: Amber | July 3, 2007

Love the color!

I must say that I lingered a little longer on Mommyzabs site than normal because I was scrutinizing the color of her walls.  I love it and I must have it.  Now if she will only share it with me:-)   Please all beg her to give me her secret color!  That and I have to clear it with my dear husband. 

Honey, do you like it too?

Posted by: Amber | July 3, 2007

The Diva’s Reading List

Emerging Grace has a list of her 7 favorite books going.  After I read through her reading list, I knew I liked her.  So, today, I will give you my 7 books and tag you to do the same. Firstly, 7 is a bit much for me at one time.  I do have three little kids, a business, a house, and am trying to fit in home schooling so my reading has declined a bit:-) I will say, I was just talking to some friends about how I want to get back into reading more stories and not just theology.  I will read a ton with the CM home schooling method but I also want to read more just for me. So here are my 3!

A Severe Mercy: by Sheldon Vanauken (recommended by my home schooling diva friend who unfortunately for us does not blog.) I am just starting it but it is described as a “real-life love story, full of wonder and hope.

Crafted Prayer: by Graham Cooke  – this is a really helpful guide to prayer. It really tackles peoples unhealthy need to pray out of emotion instead of what God is doing.

The Charlotte Mason Method in Modern EnglishThis is helping me get my head around the CM method without having to pour through her Victorian language.  If you are thinking about home schooling and not sure where to start, this is some good food for thought. 

So Grace has me beat with 7, so I will have to wait for her cliff notes on all her wonderful choices!

So if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.  Leave a comment with your reading list.  I need to build my reading list and I need your help people!

Grace and Peace to you!

Posted by: Amber | July 2, 2007

Some things to think about!

Your life can continue  the same way it does now simply because you haven’t heard.  Or maybe you will hear about this and something inside will break and you will say to yourself “I must do something even something small because now that I know, I can’t just sit here and pretend that I don’t”


There are many things I am passionate about.  Most of them having to do with children.  We love and support Compassion International .  I think organizations like this are Brilliant as well.  But a few months ago, I heard David Batstone speak on his book “Not for Sale” and I was horrified.  I was particularly horrified to hear of what happens to children, orphaned girls all over the world.  For that reason alone I choose, Zoe Children’s Home to fast for on the 31st of July.  Please join me as we pray for the poor and the marginalized around the world.  You can check the 40 day fast link on my blogroll daily to see all of the other causes that bloggers from all over are praying and fasting for. 

Posted by: Amber | July 1, 2007

“Mamma you are getting shorter!”

“No son, You are just getting Taller!”

 So has anyone found a cure for this yet?  I would be much obliged!

Posted by: Amber | July 1, 2007

I Love Blogtipping!

Blogging is a great medium to not only share your thoughts on life etc. but to learn from people all over the world.  Today I am focusing on blogtipping other DIVAS whose work I enjoy and learn from.  I hope you learn from them too! In no particular order! 

Diva #1:  Higher up and Further In – is an inspiring CM homeschooler in the middle east.  Her blog is a wealth of info.  I have already picked up several things from her site and I am sure you  will too. 

DIVA #2: Yielded has a blog that really gives a ton of nutritional “food for thought”  (Excuse the pun:-)  ) and some home schooling highlights thrown in.  You will get some tasty recipes from her!

DIVA #3: The Truevyne has some funny home schooling stories.  She loves CM, Montessori and Cavaletti.  When she posted about The Forty Day Fast I new this Diva has some serious Social Justice “kickin” and that inspires me.

DIVA #4 Hidden Art Jumps right in and comments away.  I think it is one of the most interesting things about blogging…the interaction!  So Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, I will try to reciprocate:-)

 Diva #5: The SecretlifeofKat   I found her through the truevyne. She is a soccer mom who actually plays the soccer.  What do you know about that.    I think it is funny.  I first read of the 40 day fast through the true vine who took me to Kats blog.  I then see her linked to Brant who is part of our faith community and a very smart Blogger too…even though he is not a DIVA.  Blogging is a really small world.

Ok – people so there you go…go and learn a thing or two, or three or how about this, just never stop learning!

Peace to all!

Posted by: Amber | June 29, 2007

Blogg tipping day is Sunday!

Bev turned me onto this and now I am addicted.  So if you don’t know what it is, tun in on Sunday and find out. 

Be prepared to be tipped people!

Posted by: Amber | June 29, 2007

Good Rainy Morning!

A thunder storm woke us all very early this morning.  Our daughter is suffering from growing pains and we are all cranky:-)  We finished our work early this am and I was thinking, holy cow we can be done with schooling easily before lunch and play the rest of the day.

You just can’t beat that!  Because on cranky days  like today, we all need to play!

Posted by: Amber | June 28, 2007

PLEASE Classify Me Now!

Ok – you can now classify me as a home schooling, home business, organic eating (as much as possible), breast feeding (when they where younger) simple church, composting, recycling DIVA.

***Warning I refuse to grow my hair down to my butt or part it in the middle.  Mike and I made a VOW to each other in college to NEVER where Birkenstocks and I will not be joining NOW. (even though I believe woman can do anything they put their mind to, just not sure if Everything is the best for them.  Ok – that is another post)

So I have recycled off and on for years now, but never really calculated it.  Now with home schooling it is a teachable moment. Because of the layout of our house, I needed to come up with a new recycling arrangement in our kitchen.  So I have 2 trash cans, one for trash and one for recycles.  This week alone, our trash  creation went down 2/3rds.  I started composting our kitchen scraps…out in the woods near our house and every week I have a trash load full of recyclable  objects. 

I think as someone who follows Jesus, I need to seriously consider our families actions and how they affect the Global community.  This life isn’t about me and what I need. So I  am thinking more about conserving and less about consuming.  More about simplicity and encouraging others do the same.  So do a little experiment and see what one weeks worth of recycling does for your family.

Posted by: Amber | June 27, 2007

If I had a quarter….

mom-cartoon.gif  For every-time someone who sees me out with our three children says “You’ve got your hands full”  I would be rich!  Then I would be doubly rich if I had another quarter for every-time someone asks me “You go grocery shopping with ALL of them?”  Honestly, what do people think? No people, I leave them at home and go live it up!  Geez……

Posted by: Amber | June 26, 2007

Worth the price of admission!

You can read the entire 20 Principles of CM education in my previous post. This one is GOLD! 

20. We teach children that all truths are God’s truths, and that secular subjects are just as divine as religious ones. Children don’t go back and forth between two worlds when they focus on God and then their school subjects; there is unity among both because both are of God and, whatever children study or do, God is always with them.

Posted by: Amber | June 26, 2007


My husband has a brilliant post on following “the voice”.  It will keep you right where you are supposed to be.  It isn’t always safe and secure but it is good.  I look at this whole journey into home schooling and see the whispering that Jesus has been doing.  The timing, the trusting…how so much of this is really about me and not so much about them.

Earlier this year, I was going through a rough spot with my business.  I was praying at the computer and in the midst of my prayer, I felt the impression that God was rescuing me.  And indeed He has.   I am at a really good place now and I am excited to learn new things. 

Some simple observations this past month with our kids.   I think this whole home school process is about really getting to now our kids and not manage them. Does that make since? You manage so much when they are little you miss the small quiet moments of inspiration.  Things that send their hearts soaring.  So I am not managing anymore. I am on a treasure hunt to see what God is doing in them.  I could mess the whole “curriculum” thing up and still have an amazing relationship and insight into our kids that I would of never had if I had not sat down with them everyday in attempt to expose them to something. 

So, the wild west was fun.  We are moving into the ocean and then probably launching into the Charlotte Mason method in August.  It really fits our family rhythm already and lines up with our overall educational/life vision for our kids.  I am still exploring but I am fairly intuitive and this feels right.  Sorry for all of you analytical folks. So I will keep you updated on all of that.  Meanwhile, I keep a painting, and cleaning and organizing and exercising….it occurs to me that I have a lot more time to just be without running the kids to school every day and then errands and then all the other things that crop up in a day. is Good.  Hope your’s is too!

Posted by: Amber | June 24, 2007

Diva’s Do’s & Don’ts

Do – read stimulating and engaging material.  Read as much as you can as often as you can.  Let great work inspire you to dream, laugh, cry, or maybe even get angry.  Learn to love to think.

Don’t– read the above mentioned material after 11:00pm.  You will be up for hours thinking and thinking and….thinking, and wake the following morning a bit groggy.

Posted by: Amber | June 24, 2007

12 years ago….

we got married. It seems like a lifetime ago and then again it feels like just yesterday.  Mike and I were dreaming about what our life would look like in another 12 years.  It will be here in the “blink of an eye”.

It is true what they say….”time flies when you are having fun.”

Posted by: Amber | June 24, 2007


“The quieter you become the more you can hear.”
Ram Dass

Posted by: Amber | June 21, 2007

Special Call

I got a call today from a friend “jus because”.  Just to see how I was etc.  Nothing needed, nothing to ask or check on or anything like that.  It was like a hug over the phone.  It was nice.  I need to learn to call more often, just for a moment, just because, not to do, or see, or check on or anything else.  Some times I can be too “task mode” and forget “just because”.Give a ring today, just because!

Posted by: Amber | June 20, 2007

Great tips for your first year homeschooling!

Here are some great thoughts for first time homeschoolers here.  When I read this article, I heard my friend Chenoa’s voice.  Honestly, I can say I have about 100 friends who home school.  OK that is a bit of an overstatement but she was the first who said, “Don’t read another thing about home schooling, or ask another friend.  Go ask God what his vision for your childrens life and then go from there.”  That was a slam dunk.  It got me right over my fear and right into inspiration!

For some years my husband and I have been relearning and redefining how to be a disciple of Jesus in our whole life and not just for a Sunday morning service.  I’ve had LOTS of work thinking out of the box, so that part of home schooling is coming very naturally. We are learning with our whole life.  I think one of the things that feels the best right now, are the looooong kisses my littlest gives me all through out the day.He is so happy to have his brother and sister home. To be honest…..I am too.   That……. and my kitchen is cleaner. 

Posted by: Amber | June 20, 2007

This is sadly….


Posted by: Amber | June 18, 2007

Free is the Key!

This goes along with my previous post about slimming down.  It really applies to my whole life.  Simplicity is the predominate theme right now, so I am cleaning out in every way I can.  I kind of felt like 2007 would be that type of year for me.  

I have mentioned before that we have moved 7 times in 5 years. (I don’t know what I am complaining about.  Laura Ingles Wilder moved 5 times in 6 years via covered wagon, so I need to get over myself!)  It is a long story that I can tell later but let’s just say we will be in a current home for at least 5 years.  Famous last words right:-) Anyway, I have moved 10 gallons of paint from 3 houses now intending to paint at some point.  Well NOW I am painting away.  Along with hanging things that have been in boxes or in the garage for years.  Not to mention my mom just moved as well and she is cleaning out and I am the proud owner of her wonderful cast offs so I plan to decorate with little to no money spent.  I will post picks of my progress and I move along. 

So what you are doing reading this?  Go clean out a closet or something!  Grace and Peace to all in the house! 

Posted by: Amber | June 18, 2007

Learning to Live!

I am amazed that I dug my heels in for so long about home schooling.  I guess I was not sure of how it would look for our family.  Now, all I can say is, I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner.  There is timing for everything and now is definitely the time for this. 

 As I move forward into this, I have read about and heard about tons of different approaches to schooling.  I have friends who do everything from unschooling to classical approach so I was a bit lost as to what was best for us.  Well, I still am feeling this out, but I can say that Charlotte Mason has got my ear.  I have been very drawn to Montessori for so many reasons.  There are some places that it gets a little too child centered, but for the most part it resonates with us.  It seems that Charlotte feathers nicely into that philosophy, so I will keep reading and learning right along with our kids.  Something about those gutsy turn of the century broads that inspire me. Add Sophia Coveletti to the list as well.  Talk about having a strong voice:-) For now the one thing I know for sure is that we are all  “Learning to Live…one day at a time.”

Posted by: Amber | June 16, 2007

Slimming Down

OK – I am on a crusade to lose some wight.  I really need to lose about 20 pounds and I aim to do it by the end of the summer.  One of the things I just started doing is exercising with a friend almost daily.  I know I do so much better when I have someone doing it with me.  I am also using the weight loss forum to help me stay committed and motivated.  Less calories, more activity and more accountability will help the weight melt off for sure.  Check out the fitness boot camp in my links.  Good well rounded stuff.

 Hold me to it people.  My jeans are too tight!

Posted by: Amber | June 16, 2007

Preschool Activites Everyday

One of my hero’s  just started a new blog to help you along with your preschoolers.  Go check out her daily activities.  I know I will be trying a few for sure!

Posted by: Amber | June 16, 2007


That is one benefit I see of keeping your children home.  When they are little they don’t play with each other so it is hard to conceive having your kids home all day.  But I have just crossed the threshold, where all of my kids play with each other.  Mostly without any incidents.  I have noticed that ever since our family schedule has slowed down, our children are bonding.  Our youngest have always been close, but I now see our oldest and youngest boys are playing  like friends.  I think it helps now that Hudson can talk, swim and keep up with them.  It is a fun process to watch. 

Now, I just need to figure out how to make sure I give Jackson challenging enough stuff.  Preparation is key so that is what I am working on this summer.

Posted by: Amber | June 12, 2007

and we’re off……

So I thought that after we returned from Peru I would just dive into homeschooling now. Why wait?  I have the motivation and want to start establishing a rhythm so no time like the present.  

Besides EVERYONE who I have ever known who home-schools has said…”We take many breaks throughout the year.”  Homeschooling is a way of life.   The less stressed I am in this whole process, the better off we all will be.  Plus we will learn “mo bettah”!  How is that for proper English.  OK – so I am doing the “Wild Wild West” for June and have lots of fun things planned.  I will keep you posted on how we do.

Posted by: Amber | June 11, 2007

Protect Your Daughters

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Gardasil update -PLEASE READ!! Reply with quote

As a nurse for over 30 years I keep a pretty close tab on what is happening medically. The newest “assualt” to our children comes in the form of the “new” cancer vaccine the drug companies want you to vaccinate your daughters with. My research has shown that its not as great as the drug/media/commericals have been promoting. Now there is new evidence from the FDA that supports my humble research. Please read and avoid allowing this vaccine to be given to your daughters. I received this updated reserach article from my fab doc Dr. Erika Schwartz.

“The public interest group Judicial Watch has just reported 371 serious adverse events in patients who received Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil, including three deaths.

You may remember I exposed this HPV vaccine earlier this year as “an act of aggression against our daughters who are becoming victims of pharmaceutical greed.”

In February I wrote: “The HPV vaccine has only been tested for five years on possibly as low as 100,000 ten year old girls in Africa. No one knows what will happen to those girls or our girls in the five, 10 or 20 years after the vaccine has been administered. The only science here is the real live testing about to be done on our daughters, who are technically, like the African ten year olds, the guinea pigs. Remember Lyme vaccine? What happened to that cure-all? It killed a few people and was quickly taken off the market.”

Merck invested hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying and marketing the drug and almost persuaded Texas and some other states to mandate its use on sixth-grade schoolgirls. Only a revolt by parents and community groups put a stop to this insanity.

As of May 11, 1,637 side effects were reported to the FDA through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), the group said. Judicial Watch received the information through a Freedom of Information Act request. Approximately 77 percent of the adverse reactions were typical, including pain at the injection site, itching, fever, nausea and dizziness, the group noted.

However, one female patient died of a blood clot three hours after receiving the vaccine, the group said. A 19-year-old patient died of heart failure partially caused by large blood clots two weeks after getting the vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both patients were taking birth control pills, which can cause clotting. In addition, a 12-year-old patient died of heart complications six days after receiving Gardasil, according to the VAERS reports.

Eighteen of the 42 women who received Gardasil while pregnant experienced adverse side effects, ranging from spontaneous abortion to fetal abnormalities. Clinical trials used in the FDA’s review of Gardasil last year showed five cases of birth defects among women who received the vaccine within 30 days of conception. Gardasil is not recommended for pregnant women, according to the product’s label.

Merck recently submitted a supplemental biologic license application to the FDA to market Gardasil to prevent vaginal and vulvar cancers.”

Posted by: Amber | June 8, 2007

Diva’s Do’s & Don’ts

When traveling abroad in a country…oh say like Peru…. there are a few fundamental things you may want to consider.

  •  #1 – Never underestimates the altitude.  Altitude sickness can and will knock you on your butt if you are not careful.  Some of the biggest men in our group went down for the count.
  • #2 – In large groups…it is best not to use your limited Spanish as if you were a pro.  Otherwise you may say something embarrassing like “my husband is easy”.  Best not to do that.and last but not least
  • #3 Never, I repeat never leave your groups truck unattended.  In Peru they hire people to watch their car when they are indoors. Tonight we did not do that and someone stole our tires!  Yeap..never a dull moment.  All the men are running off like Magnum PI in search of said tires…….with armed guards no less.    I told my husband to be careful.  I don’t need any heroes on this trip.  But they need those tires.  They cost $500 American for new ones, and these particular tires are only 2 months old.  Lee, one of the missionaries here prayed for money for months and someone just sent him money for new tires…so no banditos are going to get them tonight. 

Those are some of the Diva’s late night tips.  Keep them close at hand, they could prove to be helpful right when you least expect it!

Posted by: Amber | June 6, 2007

Pure Comedy!

Today I rode in an Arequepinian taxi, with  a  Peruvian driver who spoke no english.  He could however sing word for word the U2 song “It’s A Beautifal Day” in english.  I guess U2 trancendes language barriers:-) 80’s music is “the bomb” here.  It is funny, riding along seeing such extreme poverty listening to “Wang Chung Tonight”.  The ironey! 

Amanda asked what I was teaching on and what instrument I played.  I play guitar and I will teach on Jesus and his “way” and the pronuncment of the kingdom of God.  Good stuff:-) 

Posted by: Amber | June 6, 2007

Peru Update

I love getting outside of my day to day surroundings and being a part of what God is doing around the world.  I started traveling overseas for missions work when I was 18 years old and it changed my life forever.   Pray for me…on Thursday.  I get to teach and lead worship for a gathering of local woman. I’ll try and post some more pics later but for now…. here are some pictures of Peru.  Enjoy them!

Posted by: Amber | June 3, 2007

Safe and Sound!

We are here.  Our flights where cancelled and shuffled around but we ending up getting here 7 hours earlier than originally planned.  Today we were able to be a part of the baptism of two wonderful friends.  The Andes are amazing.  I will post some pics soon. 

As far as homeschooling thoughts go…I had an epiphany on the flight down.  You know what…I DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT WITH THIS!  For me a recovering perfectionist, that is a huge realization.  I will learn as I go.  My kids will learn with me and my friends will help guide me along the way.  

 That’s all from south of the border. 

Peace to you! 

Posted by: Amber | June 2, 2007

At least it is not a hurricane!

ok – so a “mild storm” has turned into a tropical depression over night.  Nice…. the day we are to leave for Peru the weather is crummy.    I am preparing for the red eye to Lima and here are a few of my tips.

Things to bring on the plane for an international red-eye.

  1. one neck roll – to try to sleep with.
  2. one pair of ear plugs for those who snore or choose to talk the entire flight.
  3. one sleeping blindfold. – I used to have one but I don’t know if I can find it after our 7 moves in the last 5 years
  4. two Tylenol pm.  In case all else fails I will sleep tonight. 

The last redeye  I took was a nightmare because I was unprepared.  I wont’ make that mistake again.  Yes, I will arrive to the airport in a outfit that looks very close to PJ’s because like I said before..I am preparing to sleep.

A few other things….

  1. hard pics of the kids.  Now that everything is digital I always forget to bring pics of our kids to show them off. 
  2. my passport……thanks to FEDEX and the Federal Building in Miami.  Again note to self….never let your passport lapse.
  3. My vitamins – I need to make sure I keep up my energy.
  4. my journal – God always gives me things to think on while I am out and about and I want to write them down so as not forget them.

Ok – Off to make the beds, take out the trash, fold that last load of laundry.  We are playing a travel game so stop by and join the fun.

Peace to you this rainy day!

Posted by: Amber | June 2, 2007

I few hours left to blog tip…

blog-tipping-small.jpg  Ok – I have a few hours left to blog tip.  Rebekah tipped me so off I go with a few minutes left to blog tip.  I read of it first over at Bev’s blog and forgot this month.  Shame on me!

Firstly, the Dolly Mama   I am sure if we lived within driving distance we would be thick as thieves…and anyone who has 6 kids, home-schools and is a WHAM gets a huge hats off from me.

Secondly, my new find Firmly Planted  Another Homeschooler who has a strong voice.

 Last but not least….  Day of a Mom. Because she is as passionate and driven as I am.  Actually she makes me tired at times but she only has 2 kids so she has an advantage over me.  I love her to pieces and she makes our business better just by being her!

You can check them anytime in my blog roll.  I am on the hunt for new finds who have a stong voice and are saying something the world needs to hear.  Look out you may be next.

Posted by: Amber | June 1, 2007

Nurturing Your Own Voice

Here are some questions to think about.

What do you do to nurture your own unique voice

(apart form your husband/wife)?

Do you think it is important to do so?

How does your husband/wife help you develop that uniqueness?

I have been thinking lately about my own “unique voice”   Like I mentioned before one of my main fears with homeschooling has been…”Will I turn into someone who only knows how to talk about kids and home-school?”.  I really want homeschooling to add to me and not become me if that makes since. 

I know there are plenty of seasons in life and God uses all of them to shape, and transform us….if we let Him.  And there may be some that seem completely con-summed with one facet of their journey because that is where God has them.  I have recently been reminded that balance is so important.  Being out of balance takes a toll.  Or I will say It has on me so the pendulum is swinging back towards the center.  It feels nice.

The reason I ask about how your husband/wife nurtures your voice is because I realize what a huge role my spouse plays in nurturing my unique voice.  Here is an example. I remember being newly married and Mike and I having our first fight!  We had been married for 4 months or so and I was really steamed that he left and played golf for 5 hours on a weekend when he could of been hanging out with me.  He explained how important it was for him to have time to himself and golf was a non negotiable for him.    He was very good (and still is) at encouraging me to stay close to my “girlfriends”.  He didn’t want the pressure of having my whole world revolve around him.  I am so glad we had those really hard conversations when we are first married.  It really helped me continue to grow as an individual and not as “Mikes wife”.    Now 12 years later, we are interdependent not co-dependent, or in-dependant. 

I bring all of this up because this blog is another extension of me developing my voice.  I want to know what you are doing to develop yours. 

Leave a comment poeple.  Share the love. 

Posted by: Amber | June 1, 2007

Tips to help your kids work together!

Tip #1 Give them a roll of tape and some paper.  It will keep the busy for hours.  Seriously! Chloe just now used 50 pieces of tape to make her foot look like a mummy. 

Tip #2Give them 10-12 empty boxes of various sizes and it will keep them working together building things again…for hours.  Warning, you may want to advise them not to start throwing said boxes as to keep glass breakage to a minimum.

Tip #3  Use ice-cube trays to separate paint.  It is much easier than muffin tins.  After 5 years you think I would of already  come up with that one.  I was just getting some paint ready today when I spy-ed the 3 ice-cube trays in the back of our cabinet I used to use to freeze their homemade baby-food.  I used to put their paint in throw away muffin tins, but they are kind of big and clumsy.  Ice cube trays work great!  They can even mix colors without a ton of mess.  OK – the mess is minimized if you instruct them to use paintbrushes only instead of hands. My 2.5 year old thought he would finger paint. He then painted his face to look like William Wallace from Brave heart.  I wish our camera wasn’t out of batteries.  I would of had a picture of that and posted it for sure.

Reallykeep reading I am sure I will come up with at least 3 more today……………

Posted by: Amber | June 1, 2007

Check out the blog roll

I’ve just added a blog about a boy in Peru.  He and his sister live with the Styrons and it is about his journey.  I am building my links to those I enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy them.

Posted by: Amber | June 1, 2007

The boys are on the loose.

Jackson has been mumbling to himself all week.  “I can’t wait until Friday, I can’t wait until Friday”  Why you may ask?  Because Daddy said he was old enough to go here.  The men in our church have gone as a group several times and these are some of the highlights.   You may think it a bit “much” considering we are leaving for an international trip within  6 hours of their return.  But Mike really wants the bonding time with J-man.  We’ve been working on taking one child at a time on “dates” with one of us.  This is a “Daddy/Jackson date” and it wont be missed.  Meanwhile, I will be having a “packing date” with Hudson and Chloe.  You laugh but those 2 love to help in anyway possible.  To tell them to help me with these 2 huge Rollie things on our living room floor will be like Disney World to them.

Ok – people I’ve got to go… things to do and people to see:-)  Have a great day!

Side rant:  You know how many people in the self help arena say “Make it a great day” instead of “Have a great day”.  I understand that there are things that you have control over,  but I am choosing to say “Have a great day” as in I am completely thankful and overwhelmed with the good gifts that God has given me and that I am content to go where he leads me and not where I choose to go.  I am not making any judgments on what anyone else is lead to do, but me I am going to “Have a great day”!

Remeber – Be and not do! OK – that was  a freebie.  I will chew on that one today!


Posted by: Amber | May 31, 2007

Please Pray

Hi all,

My passport has not arrived yet today from Miami via FED EX.  As you know it is crucial for me going out of the country. It was supposed to be here this am but is yet to be shipped from Miami. I leave Sat. evening and I don’t want to have to drive all the way back to Miami again and possibly miss it in route.

 Pray it in with me!

Posted by: Amber | May 31, 2007

Great Thoughts on Homeschooling

Firmly Planted  has some great thoughts today on how she got started homeschooling.  I think it is very interesting how God is calling so many home to be with their kids.  I think in general God is moving his people to a more integrated, holistic life rhythm.  Life long learning in regards to education as well as how we live and practice our faith is a common thread I see popping up all over.  I am happy to have “clued” in now.  As my friend Chenoa says “God really squeezed you into a corner with this!”  Yes, He did and I am happy about it!

Posted by: Amber | May 31, 2007

It’s A Beautifal Day!

Que u2 People!

Yesterday was hard (emotionally) as I mentioned.  But we got through it.  Today is the first day of summer and the beginning of new rhythms at home.  The kids stayed up extra late last night with our church family.  We have “comon meal” once a week to stay connected usually at one family’s home or another.  We hosted last night.  The kids LOVE having their church family over. I must say it was nice not rushing to get them to bed or get them up this am.

New, New, New. It is amazing what a good night’s sleep and some productive work will do.  Now, to pack and organize for Peru.  I have got some business deadlines to meet before we leave but we are cruising through them.  I need to buy the supplies at Walmart.  I really hate the Walmart here by our home. It is so diorganized and understaffed.  I hang on to the kids for dear life.  But we are stockin gup on brown sugar, choclate chips an dother fun things they can’t get down there.  I think we will fill our suit case up with coffe for the road home.  If you want to place your order for some amazing coffee beans send me an email. 

Posted by: Amber | May 30, 2007

I take that back….

ok – I said before that I wondered why I wasn’t more sad at the  thought of our children leaving our local Montessori school.  Today was their graduation.  I was sad. It was hard for me watching Jackson graduate.  I think it was even harder knowing that Chloe wont have the same experience.   She has been thriving there.  I know she will thrive at home with me as well, but somehow not giving them both the same is hard for me.  It would be easier if we were leaving because we were not happy or something major happened but the reality is, it is too expensive to continue on for all of our children.  The financial stress on our family is not worth it. It is easier to make the break now than later.  It reminds me of one of my life’s goals to open a christian based Montessori school that real people can actually afford.  Maybe that isn’t possible I don’t know, so for now I keep going where God is leading me.  If I keep following Him it will all be ok.

Posted by: Amber | May 30, 2007

Life’s Mission Statement

I have been reading Jack Canefields book “Success  Principles” since last fall.  It is very interesting how it has helped me clarify what I want in life and what I don’t want.  It also helped me put in writing some things that have been in my heart but not clearly articulated.  So since this blog is helping me develop and nurture my own unique voicee, I thought I would put my life’s mission statement here.  I encourage you to craft your own.  You will be amazed at how it will help you weed through the  baggage in your life.  Slim down on what you should do and what you shouldn’t be doing.  Anyway…

“My life purpose is to use my passion and my drive to encourage and motivate others to dig for their unique God given calling and spend their lifetime pursuing it. “


So I guess homeschooling fits pretty well into that:-)

Posted by: Amber | May 30, 2007

Encouraging Friends

It is interesting how this process has gone for me.  I have had people tell me that I am not the homeschooling type or actual homeschoolers tell me how hard it is.  It is kind of like before you have kids or teenagers, those parents that do tell you to get your sleep or that you don’t know what it is like until they are teens etc.   I am sure it will be challenging but like anything there will be great days as well. My work at homepartners and my husband have been very supportive.  I’ve enjoyed learning new and helpful things from them all.  I named this blog “homeschooling diva” for courage.  Every time I log in and see the name and look at the picture I find rest and courage.  It may sound weird to you but its not your blog so there.  Friends who encouarge me to go for it are a special blessing.  I pray that I encourage many of you to go for it….whatever “it” may be.  Life is short so don’t live it in fear.  Embrace it!

Posted by: Amber | May 30, 2007

Building Business

So have I mentioned I love building business?  I have been doing something on my own one way or the other for the past ten years.  As I move into schooling our children, working from home will be KEY.  On-line, virtual, web-based business is so much fun to build.    I love being a work at home mom.  I am praying that our trip to Peru will be helpful in helping the crew down there build a business on-line that will bring in some cash.  Pray with me for that too!

Peace to all in the house.

Posted by: Amber | May 29, 2007


Tomorrow is the last day at our local Montessori school.  I thought I would be much sadder than I am.  I mostly feel a sense of moving in the right direction.  It is funny, I am picking up some things again, I thought I was done with.  I am teaching again at the Jupiter Academy of Music  I am having to pick up some classes for a teacher that is ill and wont be able to finish her scheduled session.  I may have to do the summer session as well.  I hope to begin getting things in order for school this year.  I am still not sure I am going to purchase an exact curriculum for our first year.  I may change my mind in December but this year is all about de-stressing and just having fun learning together.  If no set curriculum starts to get stressful, then I will purchase sonlight probably.  Lots of friends have used it and recommend it. 

My work partnershipcontinues to be exciting, challenging and just enough to keep me engaged but not overwhelmed.   Mike and I are off to Peru on the 2nd so I’ve got tons to do to get ready. I look forward to learning more from Chenoa about her homeschooling adventure.  She has schooled 3 kids who are now starting home-school high-school.  She has completely empowered me to do this and have fun along the way.  More to come….

Posted by: Amber | May 28, 2007


There have been many reasons that I have not wanted to home-school over the past few years.  Firstly, We had three children in a short amount of time and that alone was overwhelming.  Now I have my feet under me…a stable rhythm.  Our oldest is 5 going on 6 in August and the hum of our life is enjoyable.  I now have the mental clarity to think about things other than, sleep and time to myself.  My main hesitation (for both myself and my husband) has been not wanting to lose myself in the process of homeschooling our children.  Would I be a frazzled, school marm with no since of passion or calling outside of homeschooling?  This last year has been a year of awaking for me.  I am starting to remember who I am outside of parenting. I have the space to work on me again, and so now I can enthusiastically move into home-school with balance.  This is a one year at a time plan. I am not adamant about anyone way of schooling except that this year my kids need to be home with me.  Maybe that will change in time.  Up until this point they have had Montessori education and that has suit us perfectly but now it is time to change and expand our horizons.  I am learning to BE and not DO.  To rest and not strive and to capture every treasured moments (even the hard ones) because the one thing I do know is that “time is the only thing we really own and relationship is the only thing we can buy with it”.

Posted by: Amber | May 27, 2007

Life is Short…Why not?

Ever since our first child was in the womb people have been asking me if I am going to home-school.  I have gone through the gamut.  Yes, no-way, maybe and overwhelmed.  We are moving into the home-school journey and at this stage in my life I am excited for the new challenge.  Life is short and I don’t want to wonder my whole life if I should of done it, so here we go! This is my story and  I invite you along for the ride!