The Intention of My Blog


Welcome, my beloved readers!

In case you're wondering, it's not a typo up there for you see the definition of goodly is:

used as an adjective to describe something
1. of ample or good size, ex: a goodly amount.
2. of a fine appearance, ex: a goodly young man.
3. Archaic. of good quality, ex: a goodly gift.

I am a mother who home educates her children; I would be pleased if you'd look around. You never know if I might have something to your liking. I've blogged about different topics. I hope you enjoy your stay here. May God bless you with peace, a renewing of your mind, and rest as you read my posts.

Please remember to subscribe to my blog, using any variety of methods, which are below to the right, including Facebook.

Thanks to all for your patience as I have been on the mend. I had double heart bypass surgery in February of 2013, and I needed to focus on my recovery, which has been in steady progress. Thanks for your kind consideration.


Thanks for visiting!



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Necessary Ingredients for a Successful Homeschool

My oldest child used a computer to learn--more than 10 years ago.


I still remember how I came to the decision to homeschool.  I had a friend who suggested I homeschool.  I had already done my stint at teaching in a public school.  I had decided after I gave birth to my first child, I would not be returning to work.  Since I had some background in teaching, I felt I had an advantage.

Once my oldest was of age to start learning academically, I began buying workbooks and educational software from Walmart and KMart.  Then, when we took in my tween-aged nephew, I had to think of more definitive curriculum.  That's when I turned to the following to help me decide what to use:

  
1. God - If there is anyone who can help with the decision to homeschool, it would be God.  Praying to God to see if that is His will in your life would be a great start.  God will truly bless your venture into homeschooling.  He will also provide the resources and people you will need along the way.
   
2. Spouse - Next, if the idea for homeschooling did not come from your significant other, now is the perfect time to approach him/her.  Having this person's approval and support can help you when needing to make decisions.  After all, this other person might be providing financially to the homeschooling adventure.  It's great to have the other person to bounce off ideas when there are challenges in the homeschooling.

3. Laws of the state - You have to be informed of what is required as far as content of learning material.  Some states are more lenient than others.  For some states, you need an umbrella school.  For some states, you need to keep a portfolio.  For other states, your children might need to take some tests.  For more information you can visit HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Association.

4. Support - This is one of the most important ingredients to having a successful homeschool.  I have experienced both local and virtual support.  I am very fond of the friends I have gained over the years.  Many of them have helped me in my homeschooling journey by listening to my challenges and providing suggestions on what to do. 

5. Internet - Through the internet, you can meet others who homeschool.  You can research for methods of how to teach and learning styles of your children.  You can compare learning material.  You can also buy material at a cheaper price.

6. Calendar - You need to consider whether you need to teach for a specific number of days during a school calendar.  You might be able to homeschool year round, too.  It all depends on your state.  I like to homeschool year round because it gives me more time to fit in the learning.

7. Guts - Homeschooling is not for the "faint of heart."  You need to have tough skin because there are critics who will question your homeschooling.  Are your kids socializing?  Are they doing as well as public school kids?

8. Money - Yes, you do need enough money to pay for your material.  There are ways, though, in which you can homeschool on the cheap.  I'm telling you that I've cut corners.  You don't always have to buy the most expensive material out there.

9. Curriculum - What do you need to teach?  Math, reading, language arts, history.  You can find the books, workbooks, software, and hands on material online, through friends, book swaps, and even yard sales.  Believe me; that's how I've done it for more than ten years.

10. Learning - You have to be savvy, yes, when it comes to homeschooling.  More than anything, you need to love to learn.  Sometimes, I've learned new concepts about teaching and learning.  Sometimes, I've learned material I didn't know.  Sometimes, I have learned through others who are veterans at homeschooling.

Remember this: If you enlist God in your homeschooling journey, He will provide everything you need.  It's up to you to take action.  Do the research and seek out the people you want to emulate.  Just know that none of us are perfect.  We veteran homeschooling parents are simply trying our best.

Well, thanks for reading this entry.  I hope I've given an idea of the thought process behind my decision to homeschool.  I hope this list helps those of you still holding out on whether to homeschool. 

How about you, my readers?  For those of you who homeschool, how did you arrive at your decision to homeschool?  For those of you considering homeschooling, what is holding you back?  Have you researched the pros and cons of homeschooling?  I ask that those of you who are homeschooling please provide your comments and advice.  You never know how helpful you might be.  
 
I pray that God helps us all, whether we are homeschooling or are thinking of homeschooling.


May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace, as you teach your children.

This has been an entry for Thorough Thursdays.  Hope you liked it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seven Ways to Gain Self-Control: My Contemplation of Verse 33 of the Tao Te Ching

Dr. Dyer's book is Change your Thoughts--Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.

Today, I am delving into verse 33 of the Tao Te Ching:


One who understands others has knowledge;
one who understands himself has wisdom.
Mastering others requires force;
mastering the self needs strength.

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.

One who gives himself to his position
surely lives long.
One who gives himself to the Tao
surely lives forever.


What do you do when someone insults you?  What do you do when someone argues with you?  What do you do when someone infuriates you?  Do you turn the other cheek?  Or do you bite back?

This verse, 33, is telling us we need to do to deal with others.  Here is what the verse explains:

 
1. We need to understand ourselves.  We need to look within for the answers to our problems.  What makes us tick?  What is our personality?  What do we need to function in this world?  Why do we keep making the same mistakes?

2. We need to understand others.  We need to understand that we are all of different walks of life.  We all have baggage.  We all have our hurts.  We are all trying to heal.

3. We need to stop attempting to control others.  It is worthless to attempt it.  Others have their own thoughts about life.  We have different motivations for doing what we do.  How can we truly know the problems of others, which affect their behavior?

4. We need strength to control ourselves.  Taking the focus away from others allows us to concentrate our energies on our growth.  We need the power to continue to advance in life.  We should turn to God for help.  Only He can provide the supernatural strength to control our responses to others.

5. We need to realize we have enough.  We have enough possessions.  We have enough smarts.  We have enough people in our lives.  We have all we need to live successfully.

6. We need to give ourselves to God.  We need to let God's wisdom guide us.  We should allow God's love flow through us.  We need to work through those areas in our lives which God reveals to us as needing improvement.  Only then can we move forward in our lives.

7. We need to give ourselves over to our vocations.  God has a special job for us.  Some of us are parents.  Some of us are helpers.  Some of us are leaders.  No matter what the job, career or calling, we need to fulfill what God has put us on earth to do.


God equips the called.  God provides all we need, even the ability to control ourselves.


Let's consider these tips to help us control our lives.  We can't control others.  If we turn to God, our lives can improve.  We can't blame other people for our problems.  We need to take control back by choosing a wise manner to respond to others.


Thanks for reading today's post.  
I appreciate it.  
I hope this post blesses you, my dear readers.

I've got some questions for you: Are you still trying to control the people in your life?  Or are you trusting God to help you gain self-control?  Do you understand that God is the source for all we need, including the ability to deal with others?  I pray we all trust God to guide us.  Let's not lean on our own understanding.

May God bless you, my beloveds, with His wisdom and peace, in Jesus' name.  Amen!

This has been an entry for Wisdom Wednesdays.

I am currently drawing inspiration from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book and the 81 verses of the Chinese wisdom book the Tao Te Ching.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

L is for The Learning Company




I'm currently participating in 
an ABC's for homeschooling challenge.  
Since it falls on Tuesdays, 
I am adding a technological slant to the challenge.  
I hope you stay tuned and enjoy my entries.
 
 
The Learning Company has a website.
 
I still remember learning about how to use technology in the classroom.  Back in the mid 1990's, the educational software was simple but limited.  The memory in a computer could not hold the progress my son would make on Amazon Trail.  Every time we played it, we would try to get as far as we could before losing.  
 
With time, technology has changed.  Our computers, and the available software, can do so much more.  For example, The Learning Company has amassed quite a few titles of educational software to choose from.  According to Wikipedia, this company was founded in 1980.  Its parent company is now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  Here are some of the software that we personally own:


Adventure Workshop Preschool-1st Grade

The series above (Preschool-1st Grade) includes:  Paddington The World Mystery Tour; Reader Rabbit Personalized Reading; and Millie & Bailey Kindergarten.  

The series below (Preschool-1st Grade) includes Arthur's Computer Adventures (which is not in picture), Little Bear Rainy Day Activities, and Dr. Seuss Kindergarten.  

The blue CD below is Reader Rabbit Preschool for ages 3-5.


Adventure Workshop Preschool-1st Grade
Adventure Workshop 1st-3rd Grade

The above series (1st-3rd Grade) includes: Cluefinders Mystery of the Monkey Kingdom; Reader Rabbit's Reading Ages 6-9; and Reader Rabbit Personalized Math Ages 6-9.  

Also in the picture is Arthur's Wilderness Rescue, which is for, as the CD says, building"critical-thinking and problem-solving skills."


Thinking and writing software by The Learning Company

Mission: T.H.I.N.K. provides problem-solving challenges for ages 7-12.   

Ultimate Writing & Creativity Center is for ages 6-10.


Carmen Sandiego and Clue Finders

Above to the left is Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?  Mission One

To the right is The ClueFinders 6th Grade Adventures: The Empire of the Plant People.


The extensive listing above is just a sampling of the educational software we own that The Learning Company has developed over the years.  I have to be honest, I am very partial to Amazon Trail.  We have that in the third edition.  I don't really know if it works on any of our computers.  I also liked the Carmen Sandiego series, too.  That one also has the Carmen Sandiego Word Detective CD.

 
 
Well, thanks for reading this entry.  I hope I have provided a fun way to teach your children.  The Learning Company software provides a wonderful, fun-filled way for your children to learn.  Next week, I will be covering the letter M.  Stay tuned!


How about you, my readers?  Are you a fan of educational software?  Would you use educational applications for an iPad or an iPhone for your children?  I believe using educational software, including that of The Learning Company, can be helpful.  I encourage you to expose your children to education through technology.

I pray that God gives you all, my beloveds, His wisdom and peace.

This has been an entry for the Technology Tuesdays series.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Five Things I Need to Cook Successfully

My kitchen is small but functional.

Throughout the years as a mother, I have cooked many a meal for my family.  Yes, I'm not perfect.  I don't cook everyday.  I try to make the best of my situation with my ongoing illness and energy levels.  Having the right cooking tools to help my health quest is important.

Now, I know what you're thinking?  What does having an ideal kitchen have to do with a health quest?  Well, I'll tell you.  Like the saying goes, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

Having the tools I need is very important to me.  I get very upset if I can't find my tools to cook.  Take, for example, my garlic press.  I used that thing until it broke.  If you don't believe me, ask my hubby who had to fish out some metal pieces out of a batch of Fideo I recently made.

What are some of the tools I need to cook successfully and happily? 

I need water all the time.

For one thing, I need water.  It's not only for cooking some meals; I'm always thirsty.  It could be my health that requires it.  It could be that the heat makes me dehydrated.  I just know that I get thirsty when I cook.


Pots hang in my kitchen.

Second, I need my pots, pans, and their lids.  The right pan can make a difference.  I have a wok for stir fry foods.  I have pots to boil water for tea and soups.  I have flat pans for my pastas like rice and Fideo.

This is my recently organized food pantry.

Third, I need my food ingredients.  I think you must understand that having the food to cook is necessary.  What is equally important is having it organized.  It doesn't matter if it is spices, canned goods or frozen foods.  We need to know what we have before even starting to cook a meal; there is nothing more disheartening than to find out that something is missing when some of the ingredients are already mixed.


Specific cooking utensils are important to me.

Fourth, I need the right cooking utensils.  Sometimes, I need to cut things.  Sometimes, I need to spoon things around.  Sometimes, I need to transfer food from one pot to another.  Sometimes, I need to measure liquid or powdered items.


Music puts me in the mood to cook.

Finally, I need my music.  Music gets me going.  Have I ever mentioned that I hate the idea of stopping what I'm doing to cook?  Well, when the music is switched on, I get going.  Once I hear my favorite music, I dance while I cook; I get in the mood to cook.

Well, thanks for reading this entry.  I appreciate it.  I had fun putting it together.  I hope my kids enjoy reading it because I made it for them.  After all, who bothers to tell children what makes a cook happy in their kitchen?  I hope my kids enjoy cooking in my kitchen, too.


How about you, my readers?  What do you absolutely need in your kitchen?  What tools do you need to cook?  Do you have any quirky needs to be able to cook?  I encourage you to consider what you need to make cooking a pleasant experience.  You just might find out a way to truly enjoy cooking.

This is an entry for Medical Mondays.  For past entries, click here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints that I discussed here are just my opinions.  Please consult your physician before altering anything relating to your health.  I am only suggesting here to take charge of your health.  Don't just leave your health in the hands of your doctors; become your own advocate.  You know best how your body is doing.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to Deal With Trials


The Bible teaches how to deal with trials.

 2 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.   James 1:2-4 New Living Translation

Do you enjoy trouble?

Does anyone enjoy trouble?  If you are sane, you don't.  I know that I don't.  All I know that is that trouble is inevitable.  We can't always avoid trouble.
Why does the Bible ask us to think of trouble as an opportunity for joy?  
Our faith that everything will turn out all right, gets tested when we are in trouble.  When trouble comes along, it is an opportunity to trust in God.  Does that always happen?  Do we always trust God?  Or do we try to solve our problems with our limited knowledge and resources?  Wouldn't it be better to trust God who is bigger than our problems?  When I think of God, I think of Him as being outside of a box.  What do I mean by that?  Well, I like to think that we are in a box trying to deal with our troubles.  He's outside of the box looking inside.  He can help us, but we need to turn to Him.
When we trust God, turning our troubles to Him, He is faithful to us.  He helps us.  When we stick it out with the troubling situation, our patience grows.  We are able to endure our troubles (trials).  
I don't know about you, my wonderful readers.  I know that, for me, I choose to turn over my troubling situations to God.  If someone does me wrong, why should I try to get even with him or her.  It's much better to leave it in God's capable hands.  I am limited in my human knowledge and abilities to handle a troublesome person.  It's better to leave that person in the hands of God, who knows what that troubled person has been through.
As you gain endurance (patience), or the ability to handle the tough situations in life, your stamina is ready for whatever lies ahead.  You can confront people and circumstances that come your way.  Sometimes, that comes with age.  Sometimes, that comes with experience.  The great thing is that if you have God on your side, and your trust in Him is strong, you can face the challenges that come your way and move past them.
That's the important thing to remember--to move past those experiences.  Let's not dwell in the past, except to learn from them.  Let's remember all the trials that God has helped us through.  When you can't think of how you will get past your current circumstances, be they of an economic or relationship nature, know that God is on your side.  He's always waiting for you to turn to Him.
Here's how I view my sweet Daddy, God, when I pray (or talk to Him):  He's sitting at a throne.  I go humbly before Him.  I thank Him for providing some favors.  I tell Him that I have a situation that needs attention.  I ask Him if He can do something about it.   I invoke the name of His son, Jesus.  That gets Big Daddy's attention.  He tells me that He will look into it.  He then allows me to sit on His lap as He strokes my hair like an earthly daddy would his young daughter.  I feel confident that He will help me in my predicament.  It's that easy!
Thanks for reading today's blog entry about dealing with trials.  I appreciate you taking time to read it.
How about you, my readers?  How do you view God?  How do you deal with your problems?  Do you turn to God?  Do you have faith in God to help you when you are in trouble?  Or do you simply try to solve all your problems yourself?  I hope you take time today to thank God for all that He's provided for you.  Go to Him today and ask for His help to solve your problems.  I promise you that He will listen and do what He thinks is best for your situation.
God bless you all, my dear friends, with His wisdom and peace.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!
This has been an entry for the Spiritual Sundays series. 


To compile this mini- bible study, I visited: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
 
 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

How to Make Mexican-Style Fideo (Vermicelli)

Fideo is a delicious leftover.

I loved my mother's Fideo!

My oldest child recently told me he loves Fideo (vermicelli).  I love to hear this because it encourages me to cook.  It also lets me know exactly what he is willing to eat.  After all, how does a mother get to her child's heart, except through his stomach?  I decided to take it one step further.

I decided to blog about how to make Fideo so he can have this as a guideline when he spreads his wings in the cooking arena.  Hint, hint: I want my son to make Fideo for me someday.


These are the ingredients for Mexican-style Fideo.

Ingredients for the Mexican-style Fideo are:

--1 box of Vermicelli (Fideo)
--2 tablespoons of Olive oil
--1/2 a small can of Tomato sauce
--1 teaspoon of Garlic
--1 tablespoon of Onions
--1 teaspoon of Cumin
--a few dashes of Black pepper
--1 teaspoon of Sea salt
--3 cups of water

Optional ingredients:

--1/2 of a can of Diced tomatoes
--1 tablespoon of Green bell pepper


This is a closeup of the main ingredient--Vermicelli.
These are optional ingredients for making Fideo.

Oil is poured into pan.

First, swish the olive oil inside the pan.  Make sure the sides get some of the oil.  Then, wait until the pan is warm enough before adding the Vermicelli.


Fideo is ready to be saturated with oil.

The next step is to push the Fideo around, making sure all of it gets soaked with the olive oil.  Keep at it because the temperature will get hotter, causing the bottom Fideo to burn.  It's important to push up the browned Fideo to the top, allowing the white fideo to fry.  Don't be afraid to turn down the pilot so your Fideo won't burn.


Fideo is browned.

Now, the Fideo is ready for two cups of water.  I used to take the pan to the sink to fill it up.  I no longer do that because of safety.  Arthritis sometimes affects my strength to carry a heavy pan.  Also, the splashing and possibility of the pan falling on someone is too dangerous.  

I grab a measuring cup full of water and pour into the pan, very slowly.  The oil sometimes splashes up.  I must mention that I turn the burner off before pouring the water.  Don't want to start a grease fire!


The rest of the ingredients are added.

After the water is added, all of the other ingredients are poured into the Fideo.  The onions and garlic (and bell pepper), whether in powder, fresh, or freezed form, is tossed in.   Fresh diced tomatoes can be added, but I mostly use canned diced tomatoes (which I ran out of but later bought to add to the leftover Fideo).  Cumin (comino) can come in powdered or seed form, but I used the powdered version this time.  I have also been using sea salt instead of the iodized form.


Fideo is covered.

Once the ingredients are mixed with a spoon, allow the Fideo to boil.  Then, reduce the temperature and cover.  Having it covered will let the Fideo cook evenly and more quickly.  You can time the Fideo at about 7 minutes to simmer.


Slowly, the water will cause the Fideo to increase in size.

Never stir any pasta or rice without adding water.  The stuck food will be hard to stir and stay stuck to the pan.

Uncover after the 7 minutes.  You will notice that the water seems to have evaporated.  Do not stir at this point.  Pour about a cup of water and then stir.  Cover again and cook for about another 5 minutes.  At the end, the Fideo should be soft.  Don't worry if it needs a little more water or more time to cook.  It's all about finding the rhythm of cooking Fideo.


Well, thanks for reading about how to make Mexican-style Fideo (Vermicelli).  

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it up.
 
What about you, my readers? Have you ever eaten Fideo? What would you add or subtract from it? Would you add meat? I hope you will try some Fideo, if you haven't.  It is truly delicious.  My kids love it.

May God bless you with His peace and wisdom, my beloveds.

This has been an entry for Saturday Spreads. I hope you enjoyed it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Connect 4 Game

We enjoyed playing Connect 4 game.

I love playing Connect 4.  I love playing with my kids.  My kids are nice when they play and even when they win.  I still get excited when I win.  They get excited, too.

I love spending time with my kids.  Many parents say that time goes fast.  It sure does.  I already have a 15 year-old son.  That's why I took some time this week to play with my two babies, Kaelyn and Rafael.

We took turns playing Connect 4--which is a strategy game.  If I won while playing with one child, I then played with the other one.  It was the same with the children; if they won, they'd play with the other person.  That way, it was fair.  I had fun.

I did not let my kids win!  I don't believe in letting them win.  I didn't even let Kaelyn, the six year-old, win against me.  She won on her own.  I think victory is much more sweeter that way.

Here's how well Rafael did, while playing against me:

Rafael used the reds. I used blacks.
What choice did I have?
Rafael was guaranteed to win.

Here's how our last game played out:


We played almost all of the chips.
Rafael beat me again!

In this final game, we played almost all of the chips.  (I suspect that there were some red chips missing.)  I had no choice in this game play.  I had to put a black chip in the sixth vertical line.  That allowed Rafael to place his final red chip above my black chip.  That meant he created a red diagonal line of four chips.  

Rafael beat me...but he did not brag about it.  He was a pleasant winner.


I love all my babies, and they know it.  I've said it before: I don't have favorites.  Today, I wanted to show how simple it is to spend some time with your kids, away from the teaching.  As homeschooling parents, we can get caught up in teaching, teaching, teaching.  Let's spend some time with our kids in having fun.

Thanks for reading this entry and viewing the pictures.  I hope you enjoyed it.

How about you, my readers?  Do you play games with your kids?  Do you take time to just play with your kids?  Let me know what you do.  I encourage you to play the UNO game with your whole family.  You can discern how well and fair your kids can play with each other.
 
May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace.

This entry has been part of the Family Fun Fridays series. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Preparing Teens for Their Career Choice

Career Match available through Amazon.com

I'm so excited about this topic!  

I've been wanting to address career choice and what it means to our teens.  I've also been wanting to share what I found out about my personality and what it tells about my ideal career.

I became concerned when I realized that my oldest was entering high school.  I thought, "Gee, I need to prepare my son for the big world."  I began to search in my mind about how to get my son on the right track.  That's when I did a search online for material that could help.  I found the book, Career Match: Connecting Who You are with What You'll Love to Do, by Shoya Zichy with Ann Bidou, at www.Amazon.com.  

I read through the reviews like a good potential buyer should.  I weighed whether to buy it.  I took the plunge.  When the book arrived, I must admit that I administered the quizzes to myself.  I read through the results.  I was surprised about the conclusions.  I decided to tell my kids about the book.

I administered the quiz verbally.

Basically, a person takes a ten minute quiz, which is broken down several times.  It's set up to lead you to check a series of questions.  You end up with two colors and figure out whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.

I tested my kids.  First, I tested the oldest.  He tested totally different from me.  My teen daughter turned out just like me.  

Then, my youngest son, who is 11, wanted to be tested, too.  He needed definitions to some of the words within the questions, but we got valid results.  I really do think his came out accurately, too.  It said that he needs order and a stable environment.  He also strategizes the order and manner of any given task.

I was the most surprised at some of my results.  It said that I belonged in the artistic arena.  I don't paint or draw, but I do love to write.  I did see that the results did pertain to my teenage daughter, who is into drawing.  What I did see is that our personality is spot on; we are both introverts.

I tested as a person like Diane Sawyer.  I like to observe and listen to people.  I also like to look at the big picture of things.  I also am non-confrontational.  I've always had a high respect for Diane Sawyer and am honored to be compared to her. 

As I read through the more specific colors, I came out as a good teacher.  That seems realistic because I homeschool my kids.  To be honest, I wouldn't mind if my kids later asked me to homeschool their kids.  I hate, hate, hate politics within the workplace.  In fact, I even quit my teaching job because of it.

The book further says that my personality would be the one to enjoy this book the most.  I also scored high on the need to write, and I had already started a writing course before I bought this book. Of course, I'm also blogging everyday.  

It is also true that I try my best not to push my ideas on others; yet, I can outline my stance on any situation.  I can take initiative on a job if given the opportunity.    As an introvert, I often go off alone to rest away from others.  I also enjoy managing my household, with patience and fairness.

Yes, I'd say that this book has described me very well.

As for my oldest, for whom I bought the book, he scored as an accountable person, and he is indeed my second in command.  When I give him orders, he needs me to spell out step by step how to do something.  I don't care if it is to fetch me something or to cook.  I think he does well once he has figured out the steps.  I think that's why he will be a good cook--he can follow directions.

It's no surprise that he is also an introvert.  He does need quiet when trying to go to sleep.  He is usually quiet at the dinner table, too, but I know that he listens.  As for the specific colors, yes, he scored right on.  He does look out for others.  He will let others eat their choices before eating his share.

He does have a strong work ethic.  He does his school work the night before.  He folds and hangs his clothes without having to be told.  My son also likes history and respects authority.  I rarely see him upset or combative.  


Well, thanks for reading this entry and viewing these pictures.  I enjoyed sharing this.  I hope I've given you an idea about how to lead a teenager into his/her possible careers.  The idea of directing a child into their potential career path can be daunting.  I'm glad we can turn to books like Career Match for help.

 
How about you, my readers?  Have you considered helping your children on the path to their careers?  Would you consider using simple quizzes like the one in Career Match to guide your teenagers?  What have you used to help your children to get on the right path to their ideal jobs?  We, as parents, must take the time to help our children to foster their sense of direction, especially as it pertains to career choices.  Please consider career counseling with your children, whether they attend public or private (home) school.


May God bless you all with His wisdom and peace, as you teach your children.

This has been an entry for Thorough Thursdays.  Hope you liked it.


For more information about the book, including the contents and sample pages, you can find it at Career Match through Google.
 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going With the Flow of the Tao: My Contemplation of Verse 32 of the Tao Te Ching

Dr. Dyer's book is Change your Thoughts--Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.


Today, I delve into verse 32 of the Tao Te Ching, especially these portions:


If kings and lords could harness them,
the 10,000 things would naturally obey.
Heaven and earth would rejoice
with the dripping of sweet dew.
Everyone would live in harmony,
not by official decree,
but by their own goodness...

Rivers and streams are born of the ocean,
and all creation is born of the Tao.
Just as all water flows back to become the ocean,
all creation flows back to become the Tao.


My hubby recently installed our large, inflatable pool.  We enjoyed it by ourselves.  Our children had already gotten in the day before.  I mounted my inflatable chair and let go.  I allowed myself to float around.

It was sweet bliss.  It was great to spend these few minutes not worrying about anything.  I just flowed with the moving water.  I got lost in the greenery around me.  I watched the birds fly around.

In short, I experienced one of the most pleasant moments in my life because I allowed it to happen.

To understand this verse, you must understand two things.  First, the "10,000 things" refers to all creation.  Second, "Tao" is the Source of everything or the Way.  Now, if we look at the words, you can see that life would be so easy if our leaders could just harness all of creation.  All the inhabitants of heaven and earth would celebrate.

If we just stopped beating against the tide of situations, we would all be happier for it.  Bad things happen.  We can focus on that or we can realize that circumstances, whether positive or negative will occur.  How about going with the flow of things? 

All bodies of water connect at some point.  Who created the bodies of water?  You guessed it, the Tao or the Source of all creation.  

Check this out: Water flows back to the ocean after it has rained.  It's a cycle.  

It's the same with us; we flow back to the Tao or the Source of our lives.  We cycle from life here on earth only to return to our source of being.  Why not let God control our lives?  Let's step out of the way and let God guide us in our decision-making.  I know I've said this before, but sometimes we need to hear a message several times before it sinks into our being.


Thanks for reading today's post.  
I appreciate it.

How about it, my friends?  Are you still trying to control your lives?  Or are you trusting God to control your lives?  Do you fully understand that God is the source of your life and all of creation?  I pray we all trust God to guide us.  Let's not lean on our own understanding.

May God bless you, my beloveds, with His wisdom and peace, in Jesus' name.  Amen!

This has been an entry for Wisdom Wednesdays.

I am currently drawing inspiration from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book and the 81 verses of the Chinese wisdom book the Tao Te Ching.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

K is for Knowledge Adventure



I'm currently participating in 
an ABC's for homeschooling challenge.  
Since it falls on Tuesdays, 
I am adding a technological slant to the challenge.  
I hope you stay tuned and enjoy my entries.
 
 
Knowledge Adventures website
  
Over the years, I have used software to teach my children.  Actually, I have just bought and made available the software, which has been of educational value.  My children have learned their numbers and alphabet, among the many concepts they've had to learn.  Some of the CDs from the beginning were so simple and then they have progressively become more difficult.  Yes, my children, from my fifteen year-old down to my six year-old, have had their introduction to the use of computers in this way.

According to Wikipedia, the company, Knowledge Adventures, began in 1989.

Knowledge Adventures free website

Knowledge Adventures Store

Sample of offerings at the online store

The Knowledge Adventure Store sells by age, subject, brand (ex: Blasters series), and type (method of delivery, example, PC computer or Nintendo DS).  Jump Start covers subjects, such as math, reading, and spelling; it also covers material by grade.  There are CD's called Math Blaster, Spelling Blaster, and Reading Blaster.

Our family has used Jump Start and Math Blaster, too.  I think it's important to present the subjects in different manners.  Yes, we need textbooks and workbooks; however, we also need to present the information in different formats.  Even when I took a driver's test, it was computerized.  It wasn't written down.

There are lots of advantages to educational software.

The colorful pictures in the games appeal to a visual learner.  The audio of the games instructs the children.  The audio also encourages and rewards the child as he/she gets the answers right.  The software also shows the progress of the child.  The child can also pick up where they left off.

 
Well, thanks for reading this entry.  I hope I have provided a fun way to teach your children.  The Knowledge Adventures software is a wonderful, fun-filled way for your children to learn.  Next week, I hope to cover another company, The Learning Company.  Stay tuned!


How about you, my readers?  Are you a fan of educational software?  Would you use CD's and educational online games for your children?  I believe using educational software can be helpful.  I encourage you to use a fun way to teach your children, every once in a while, especially in their free time.

I pray that God gives you all, my beloveds, His wisdom and peace.

This has been an entry for the Technology Tuesdays series.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How's My Vegetable Garden?

This is our garden as of yesterday--2011.

On Saturday, April 16th, we had planted this garden.  We had planted tomato and bell pepper plants.  What you now see above is the cucumber plants that are creeping out of the square garden.  We had planted the cucumbers as seeds on April 24th.  Cilantro did not fare well inside so I need to try a different method of planting that.

Vegetable gardening is something we've been doing for a few years already, for our health.  If you want to know how we did it this last time, you can view the entries by clicking the above highlighted blog entries.  Some of the plants were bought and some we had planted from seeds and transplanted.  I can't claim to be an expert as my cilantro seeds bear out this truth.  I can say that I am not a quitter and will continue to do new experiments and projects, as far as gardening goes.

Garden planted on April 16th.
Cucumber seeds planted on April 24th.
Cucumber plant grown from seed--date April 30th.

I thought I would update you all on how our garden is doing, since our garden is for our health.  Yes, it's thriving, thanks to my hubby.  He's the one who's been watering the plants everyday.  We live in Texas and are experiencing a drought.  Our city, San Antonio, is currently at stage 2 water restrictions.  


Pretty soon, we could be experiencing 
stage 3 water restrictions.  

I'm gonna show you what that means to our plants:

My shadow encircles a light green tomato.
A green bell pepper is hiding.
This is a closeup of one unripe tomato.
Crunchy leaves manage to still hide our growing tomatoes.
A visible tomato is at the bottom of picture.

Well, you can see that our garden is coming along nicely.  Yes, it is hot in Texas.  We are fortunate to have a long growing season.  With the daily watering, my hubby has kept our garden alive.  I do think we need to add mulch because it might get hotter in the summer months.

San Antonio has experienced 100 degree weather already.  How much hotter is it gonna be in the official summer months is anybody's guess.  I want our garden prepared.  I'll update you all again.  I might even try some other experiments for cilantro, as I did some research about that.

Incidentally, we ate two bell peppers, from our garden, in our cheese enchiladas yesterday.  They smelled and tasted wonderful.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this many-pictured blog entry. I enjoyed compiling it for y'all.

What about you, my readers?  Are you gardening?  What are you growing?  How's the weather where you live?  Is the weather helping or hindering your gardening?  I hope you will consider growing something at least as an experiment for your children.  It's a lot of fun.

I pray God grants you all His wisdom and peace.

This has been part of the Medical Mondays series.
  

You can view the related blog entries at:

Gardening Vegetables and Fruit

Planting Cucumber and Cilantro Seeds

 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to Put Away the Old, Bad You


The Bible tells us to renew our way of thinking and acting.

 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.  23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.  24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness -- righteous, holy, and true.  25 So put away all falsehood and "tell your neighbor the truth" because we belong to each other.  26 And "don't sin by letting anger gain control over you."   Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry,  27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.  28 If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need.  29 Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.  Ephesians 4: 22-29  New Living Translation


I think it is important for me to say this: I'm not perfect!  Nobody is perfect.  We know that God is the only person who is perfect.  That is not to say we shouldn't try our best to be the best we can be.  The Bible, in many instances, shows us how to conduct ourselves.

The Bible verses in Ephesians chapter four show us how to behave.  Before you can find out how to be a good person, you must know how the bad you really is.  Then, you can know the opposite is what you should strive for, in terms of good conduct.
 
Bad Nature
 
--lusting after what others have
--lying
--stealing
--cursing
 
Good Nature
 
--being truthful
--not stealing
--doing good work with your hands (gardening, woodworking, sewing)
--speaking words that will encourage others

Why do we have to put the old self away?

--evil nature is rotten;
--we need to renew our attitudes and way of thinking;
--we are a new creation, and should reflect God's nature;
--we belong to one another;
--we need to put away anger, which causes the Devil to have a way to destroy our lives;
--we must help each other; and
--we must use positive language to build each other up.


I pray this has been informative.  May the Holy Spirit (God's spirit) counsel us about these Bible verses.  I love breaking down the meanings of the words, piecemeal, in order to understand what I am reading.  I hope it helps you all, too.  Thanks for reading what the Lord has revealed to me about putting away our old selves.   How about you, my readers? Have you put the old you away?  How are you conducting yourselves?  Have you been unsure of what to stop doing?  I think the Bible verses in Ephesians 4 spell out how we are to behave towards one another.  Let's try to be an example to those around us of what a true Christian should be.   I pray that God gives you all, my beloveds, His wisdom and peace.    
 
This has been an entry for the Spiritual Sundays series. 



To compile this mini- bible study, I visited: http://www.biblestudytools.com/
 
 

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