embracing life and letting God


Sunday's Sense and Sensibility - Perspective

Grace-Gift. Thanksgiving. Joy.

"The world I live in is loud and blurring and toilets plug and I get speeding tickets and the dog gets sick all over the back step and I forget everything and these six kids lean hard into me all day to teach and raise and lead and I fail hard and there are real souls that are at stake and how long do I really have to figure out how to live full of grace, full of joy - before these six beautiful children fly the coop and my mothering days fold up quiet?  How do you open the [inner] eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral [sanctuary]?  ...Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing."- Ann  Voskamp one thousand gifts

To SEE deeply - unafraid.

To THANK deeply - unhindered.

To FEEL JOY deeply - uninhibited.

Freedom.  Real. Passionate. Unrestrained. Spontaneous. Natural. Unreserved.

"I want to see beauty...I hunger for Beauty...more of the glory of God." ibid

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.

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This is our life...Welcome

I just want to Welcome all of the The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew today as you Blog Walk through my site!
Bless you all for coming and have a Superb week.

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
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One Thousand Gifts

#25 to #53

Happy Valentines Day  
Today I name the moments, my list of thanksgiving to The One.  The Only.
From my heart, my journal of thanks, to you...

"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen."
- Martin Luther

#25 Princesses love of dancing with her daddy to the music at the end of a movie
#26 My 'story'  - the pages are written daily
#27 The song "Shout to the Lord" - changed my heart for worship like no other. 
#28 My Emmaus Walk
#29 The truth in the meanings in the Names of my children and husband - they speak volumes
#30 Memories that invade my emotions through all of my senses
#31 Watching a favorite show with my beloved and laughing until we can't breathe
#32 Blankies that calm and soothe
#33 Feather pillows lulling me in comfort and sleep
#34 Old fashioned tradition
#35 Rhino teaching himself to tie a tie, improvising on the 'not-just-rights'
#36 Dot - to -Dots
#37 Blogging my one thousand gifts, I smile
#38 Snuggling - peace
#39 Coloring, relieving stress with every stroke of the crayon
#40 Captain Awesome bringing us lunch when I don't have energy to make another meal
#41 Spell check, most of the time
#42 The way my children tell a story in their own special way
#43 Princess, "I think we should raise our hands for no reason", with mischievious smile, so she can tickle each one of us
#44 Modern medicine
#45 Tratitional, medicinal herbs
#46 Homeopathic remedies
#47 Books, lots & lots of books
#48 Truth that sets you free
#49 The Word of God
#50 Cooking a favorite meal
#51 Challenging literature
#52 Snow. Baptizing. Purifying.
#53 How Princess says, 'Pail Nolish' for nail polish

I am linked up with A Holy Experience...

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The Curiosity Files!




we are exploring the odd and the fascinating in
The Old Schoolhouse's new series

The Curiosity Files
Professor Ana Lyze

"Explorations With Professor Ana Lyze—Expert in Outlandish Oddities"


an·a·lyze [ ánn'l iz ]

study something closely:
to examine something in great detail in order to understand it better or discover more about it
break something down into components:
to find out what something is made up of by identifying its constituent parts
examine structure:
to study the structure of something or how its constituent parts are put together

Zombie Fire Ants
On Sale for $6.95
Find out more information and Sample Pages here.

We were given the opportunity to review The ZOMBIE FIRE ANTS Files. 

Let me just say it, we had NO IDEA!  It has been some of the most fascinating [and gross] information we have learned in science yet.  It wouldn't seem there was much more to learn about to these small, painful little creatures - Fire Ants.  Did you know that they don't belong here in the US? Well this study explains it all and more.  Fire Ants have always been a  nuisance in our own home state here in the south. OH, And Zombie's?  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, you will just have to get this study for yourself. 

As we have studied the life of the Zombie Fire Ant, we have discovered their origins, natural habitat, life cycle, natural enemies and more!  The lessons come from the perspective of  Professor Ana Lyze and her research team.  They relate relevant questions and answers about the when, where and how's of Zombie Fire Ants.

All tied up in these new discoveries is God's plan for it all.  When The Lord created this precious planet He had a Flawless Plan.  Every thing has a perfect habitat.  Therefore, once the natural habitat is spoiled or changed He then shows us the way by providing the key to restoration through His original plan.  He is giving scientists wisdom to combat an imbalance through natural means not destructive chemical solutions.

Included in this wonderful study is math, language arts, history, geography, handwriting lessons, spelling/vocabulary lists/activities, science experiments, crafts, recipes, additional information links, middle and high school work/information. 
We decided to make the ant habitat.  FUN and Funny! I ordered the ants from antsalive.com.  You wouldn't believe how 'itchy' everyone felt once the ants arrived in their little test tube.  They were all in agreement the ants DO NOT belong inside.  Once we 'cooled' them off in the refrigerator everyone felt a little more at ease knowing we could control them a just a bit. 

Though we have an abundance of these little critters in our own back yard, it's winter and they have taken to lower, warmer ground.  Using Mason Jars we started with just one jar [each child], placing the sand and ants in the jars.  They immediately set to work moving the sand, tunneling. [Can you see the tunnels?] We are in search of a larger jar to put the smaller one inside of to make the habitat the way the e-book suggests.  You can see the ants better using their example. 

"Explore with 88 stunning and colorful pages of Zombie Fire Ants adventure!"

We highly recommend the Zombie Fire Ants Study.  You know it's a good one when the children ask you if they can do the lesson.  Fun, never boring and full of information and activities.  Try it
Now on Sale for $6.95


"Professor Ana Lyze and her research “spy” team specialize in the obscure, the abnormal, and the bizarre. With The Curiosity Files™, children will become mesmerized and thoroughly educated about many subjects they’d probably never come across otherwise."

Included in The Curiosity Files collection is

Cicada-Killing Wasp
On Sale for $1.00
Woo-Hoo! Only $1!!!
Find out more information and Sample Pages here.

Blue Diamond
On Sales for $6.95
Find out more information and Sample Pages here.

Blue-Footed Booby
On Sale for $6.95
Find out more information and Sample Pages here.
Dung Beetle
On Sale for $1.00
Find more information and Sample Pages here.

On Sale for $1.00
Find more information and Sample Pages here.

Puffer Fish
On Sale for $6.95
Find more information and Sample Pages here.

On Sale for $6.95
Find more information and Sample Pages here.

Red Tide
On Sale for $1.00
Find more information and Sample Pages here.

You can also find the entire 9 e-Book Bundle
Instant Download for $46.00 here
CD's for $49.00 here [shipping soon]
 The Old Schoolhouse Store suggests "A FUN unit study for kids ages 8 to13."  Truly these studies are for ALL Ages.

From My Heart to Your,
Mindy B.

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Perspective - One Thousand Gifts

Book Club for Women

I am blessed to be journeying with Ann Voskamp author of One Thousand Gifts as well as (in) courage Book club ladies, Angie Smith and Jessica Turner.  We have begun Chapter 1 'an emptier, fuller life' with Ann, gleaning even more depth into her 'story' and of how Gratitude is key to a fuller life.  It was emotional and full.  You can find the video here.

If you have not read the book and don't want to learn too much don't read any further ;-)!

First, I have to say the first chapter is gut wrenching, difficult to read.  I found myself, several times, stopping to just catch my breathe, to press on.  I don't deal with pain and loss very well.  To be honest, my default is sometimes Resentment towards God when I lose someone I love to tragedy or terminal illness or the such.  My words and my emotions are opposing..."Didn't God hear my prayers?" 

One of the challenges from the ladies was what, was the seed that was planted in me as I read this chapter?...

Simply put...


... was the seed that was planted as I read the story concerning the death of her two nephews [4 months old and 5 months old, respectively] some 18 months apart of the same horrible disease.

Ann's perspective versus her brother-in-law's perspective. Which one am I?

Ann's point of view was, in the face of tragedy, much of what I truly feel on the inside... 

"Does God really love me? If He truly, deeply loves me, why does He withhold that which I believe will fully nourish me? Why do I live in this sense of rejection, of less than, of pain?  Does He not want me to be happy?"

"One life-loss can infect a whole of a life."

"How do you keep breathing when the lungs under your fingers are slowly atrophying."

"If it were up to me...I'd write this story differently."

Her response was
"so, No, God."

Her Brother-in-law's, the father of these two babies, was simple faith in spite of pain... This is what I [do or want to] confess to the world, minister to my children.

'[As farmer's] you are faced with it every day.  You control so little. Really.  It's god who decides it all.  Not us.'

'We're just blessed.  Up until today Deitrich had no pain.  We have good memories of a happy Christmas.  That's more than we had with Austin...Tiffany's  got lots and lots of pictures.  And we had five months with him.'

And then he relates the story of King Hezekiah the his son Manasseh, who eventually became king.  Manasseh was known for leading the Israelites in more evil than the heathen nations around them. 

'Just that maybe...maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending holds.'

The result of his faith is Thanksgiving to God for the Gift's He did give them.

So today I am beginning my One Thousand Gifts list.  These are simply my celebrations of my Gifts from God. This first list is a biggie due to the fact that I am discovering such a freedom in seeing God's Gifts in all situations. 

#1 - #24
  1. Rhino 1 working hard to earn his history & Kata stripes in karate
  2. When  my children's comments make me laugh-out-loud
  3. Exercise that tires me, even presents to weaken me, but truly makes me stronger
  4. Realizing, I don't always have to be in 'defense mode', I can enjoy life
  5. Princess 3 and Daddy having a special date to eat, dance and sing together at the Father/Daughter Banquet
  6. Eagle 1 persevering, reading all of his Merit Badge information
  7. Rhino 1's initiative  in practicing daily to become a better basketball player - making two baskets in his game, helping his team win
  8. Eagle 1 standing strong in the face of bullies and rude teenagers, standing up for what is right
  9. Nikon D-90 that seals our memories into forever
  10. My husband, who loves to kiss me and I love to kiss him
  11. Writing from my heart
  12. Miracles
  13. Aunt C's good report - "Go live a normal life"
  14. Aunt S's good report - "No lung cancer"
  15. My Friend's good report - "No breast cancer. No surgery."
  16. Feathered eyelashes of my sleeping children
  17. Persistence, stubbornness and courage
  18. Innocence, determination and strength
  19. Beauty, creativity and tender, sweet love
  20. My husband and daughter dancing
  21. Imperfect, interrupted Bible Study and prayer time
  22. When my Princess says 'dadda'
  23. Princess 1's imagination during communion
  24. Communion
From My Heart to Yours,

Mindy B.

I am linked up with:

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Just One of Our Days...




Crime prevention

sleet &

ice &




giving from the heart




"I did it!"

Zombie Fire Ants, Cooollll but ewwww!

Reading....for hours on end

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.

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