a blog about life, family, and faith

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Our Day of Firsts

Last Wednesday wasn’t just the first day of school!

It was Daniel’s first day of his last year of high school!


We’ve come a long way from this first day of kindergarten and fourth grade…

(in so many ways!)

First Day of School 2004 004edited

{insert momma tears here}

It was also Sarah’s first day of homeschooling!


In her words “It was fantastic!”

We started off the day with prayer and Bible time, worked on some math, began learning about Vikings, and spent a whole hour breaking for lunch while we visited with Daddy.

We even found some time to stand on our head…

and where else should we do grammar but under the table…

It’s just how we roll!


The next morning Daddy had a special surprise for us to celebrate a successful first day.

We love Daddy!


Here’s to a great school year for all the kiddos!


Living thru faith,



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The Heart of the Matter

Every year, especially during football season, my kids will ask me why I am not rooting for a certain player or team.  And I usually get a few eye rolls when I tell them it is because of their character.  How they play the game means more to me than their stats.  How they treat their opponent or the officials, how they respond to a bad call or botched play, how they walk off the field shows me a glimpse of their true character.  It shows me a glimpse of their heart.

I’m not looking at their outward appearance.  I’m not looking at the color of their skin, the tattoos on their arms, or the jersey they wear.  I’m looking at their heart.  I’m looking at their heart because my kids are looking at the person running those plays, making those choices, and setting examples whether they own up to it or not.  I’m looking at their heart because it is my job to help form the hearts of my kids.

One part of helping to form the hearts of my kids is to teach them to look past what someone looks like on the outside and to look at the person on the inside.  In light of recent events, that means teaching them that…

Just because someone is black doesn’t make them a criminal.

Just because someone is white doesn’t make them a racist.

Just because someone wears a uniform doesn’t make them a bad cop.

Just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian.

As parents it is our job to help our kids learn to make decisions and judgments on their own.  It is our job to teach our kids what to look at and consider when making those judgments.  It is our job to give our kids the tools they need to make those decisions.

We all have kids in our lives whether they are ours or not that look to us for examples on living life.  We even have kids we don’t know watching us.  The kid down the aisle in the grocery store is watching and listening.  They are watching how you react to the person blocking the aisle or listening to the words you are saying over the phone.  Even if you aren’t paying attention, they are.

So, do you want to make a difference in this world today?

Do you want to do something to counter act the evil like we’ve seen lately?

Then let’s get to the heart of the matter.

And while we are at it, let’s teach our kids how to get there too.

Living thru faith,


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Oh the Places They Will Go…

This summer has been a summer of college visits as both of the boys are looking toward the future.

Matt graduates will graduate in February with a marketing major and finance minor.  Daniel will graduate high school in May.  (It’s going to be a busy year!)

Daniel is thinking of teaching either early childhood education or high school English.  He is great with kids and he is also very creative, so we will see what he ends up settling into.

He, of course, had a tour of Louisiana Tech.



I have to say we were very impressed with their Education Program. They are doing some great training and mentoring programs that are moving beyond the traditional student teaching requirements.

I think for him it started off as the obligatory Tech tour (with the majority of our family being Tech alumni, we are kinda biased). However, by the end he was thinking twice about the possibility.

He also toured The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.  The campus is the perfect size for Daniel and is absolutely beautiful!  There are only about 1800-2000 on-campus students.  Williamsburg itself is a really small Kentucky town, but it has plenty of fast food restaurants and it’s own Walmart.  What else does a college student need?!


We were disappointed that we were not able to speak with an Education professor during our visit, but we discovered they do not have classes offered on campus during the summer so all the professors are pretty much gone right now.  We were impressed to hear a couple of the students talk about the small class sizes and the interaction between the professors and students.  Our tour guide was an education major and told us about several of her professors coming together and praying with her before she took her Praxis exams (state teaching exams).

We also took Matt & Shelby to Nashville to visit Vanderbilt.  Matt would love to take part in their MBA program.  It’s a 2 year program with an internship during the summer between the two yearly sessions.  Matt has always felt a pull to Nashville, so maybe one day…


Shelby graduates in December from Eastern Kentucky University.  (Like I said, it’s going to be a busy year!) She is planning to get her masters in Marriage & Family Counseling and is looking at a couple of programs as well.

Both Matt & Daniel have a couple other places they are considering, so there are more tours to come!

Living thru faith,



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A Heart Issue

Sin has been with us since Adam and Eve.

A heart filled with jealousy, is what drove Cain to kill Able.

A heart filled with lust is what drove David to commit adultery with Bathsheba.

A heart filled with fear is what drove Peter to deny Jesus three times.

Hearts filled with hate is what drove people to demand the crucifixion of Jesus.

As human beings we have had a heart issue from the beginning of time.

Many times we don’t even realize we have a problem with our heart,

which means occasionally we need our hearts examined.

And just like we need a cardio specialist in order to fix our physical hearts,

we need THE Specialist to fix our spiritual hearts.

Without realizing it our hearts can fill with jealousy and lust and hate and discontentment and anger and self-pity and…. the list can go on and on, we are human after all.

That is why it is so important to take a few moments and truly examine our hearts.

Because sometimes…

we need to undergo heart surgery by

the ultimate heart surgeon.

Is it time to examine your heart?

Are you in need of a little heart surgery?


Living thru faith,



This last week a friend’s daughter, Emily, reminded me in one of her Facebook posts of these verses in the book of Habakkuk.  As I read them, I thought how these words of old have never rung more true in my lifetime.

How long, O Lord, must I call for help,

but you do not listen?

Or cry out to you, “Violence!”

but you do not save?

Why do you make me look at injustice?

Why do you tolerate wrong?

Destruction and violence are before me;

there is strife, and conflict abounds.

Therefore the law is paralyzed,

and justice never prevails.

The wicked hem in the righteous,

so that justice is perverted.

Habakkuk 1:1-4

In these days where politics has sunk to new lows, where hate appears to justify killing, where fear rules people’s lives and darkness invades where light once shone brightly, we cry out to the Lord and ask “Why do you not listen?  Why do you not do something to stop this evil?”

But hear the Lord’s answer:


The good news is that the Lord does hear our cries.

He will answer.

In Habakkuk 2:3b the Lord continues His answer by saying of His revelation,

“Though it linger, wait for it;

it will certainly come and will not delay.”

God will answer.

In His perfect timing.

Until then, we will continue to cry out in the faith and knowledge that He is Lord.

He is on the Throne.

He has overcome the world.

He wins!

Living thru faith,


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Where Has Common Sense Gone?

Common Sense: 

sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence. (

plain ordinary good judgement (British dictionary,

Common sense tells you if you touch your hand to a hot burner, you will burn your hand.

Common sense tells you if you walk in front of a moving car, you will get hit.

Common sense tells you if you spend more money in a month than you have money coming in, you will be in debt.

Common sense tells you if you spend a day at the beach without sunscreen, you will get a sunburn.

Common sense tells you when a man (or woman) has a sexual desire towards children,  they should not be in the direct vicinity of a child in some form of undress.

Common sense tells you when a man has a history of sexual abuse towards women, they should not be knowingly allowed in a position to trap a woman in a place set off from public viewing and help.

Would anyone with an ounce of common sense tell a pedophile they can go into their child’s bedroom?

Would anyone with an ounce of common sense tell a rapist just head on in that locker room where a woman is putting on a bathing suit?

Yesterday, I learned of Target’s new restroom policy.  Because of where we now live, I rarely get an opportunity to shop at Target; however, yesterday I had plans to go there looking for one particular item.  As I’m heading out on my errands I’m processing this new information and wondering “Do I continue to shop there?  Is that a reason not to shop at a particular store?”  Those are questions to continue pondering in this new world we find ourselves living in.  All I can tell you is that yes, I did stop at Target and purchased several items (none of which was why I went in in the first place, but that’s a whole other issue).  However, I did schedule my stops so that I could go to the restroom in a place I felt safe before stopping at Target and I also determined that I would not have made that stop at all if Sarah had been with me.

This is not an acceptance issue.

It is not a religious belief issue.

It is not a political issue.

This is a safety issue.

By allowing men or women to enter any restroom and locker room they choose, you are setting up especially women and children for the increased possibility of ogling, voyeurism, rape, or molestation.

Even without these new policies, vile acts such as these have occurred.  Our nation’s jails are filled with men who have sexually assaulted women, molested children, or been involved in some form of child pornography.  Our jails are also housing women who have raped or molested teen boys or even abused their husbands.

The problem is you cannot monitor who goes into a restroom or their intentions once they get in there.  By making it easier for men, and women, to enter vulnerable areas, we are setting up scenarios for more and more issues to occur.  You are giving a free pass to predators to enter areas that should be somewhat protected. And it has already begun.  The University of Toronto is already having to suspend their neutral gender washroom policy due to voyeurism accusations.  Men accused of holding cell phones over the tops of the stalls recording women as they shower.

As a society we have to stop making decisions on the basis of our hearts and emotions alone.  We have to start balancing those reactions with our heads.

We have to use some common sense.

We have to use some plain ordinary good judgement.

Living thru faith,