Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Though it is not Monday

It’s not Monday.  But a girl can still be thankful.



171.  It’s not Monday.  It’s Tuesday!  What a great day to start the week on!  I seriously am loving this.  It’s not Monday.

172.  Baptisms.

173.  Seeing my Dad’s profile from behind as he held my daughter.  It was like seeing a tiny reflection of my Grandpa.

174.  Having my dad come up to me at church, asking to hold Naomi.

175.  My parents coming to church with us.  (OK  . . . there is a theme running here.)

176.  A viewing of the movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, over Bravo’s Almond Encrusted Chicken Salad and sitting beside the handsome man who picked our dinner up.

177.  Reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe with our children each night – knowing that it was worth saving my childhood set JUST to read to my children one day.

178.  A three day weekend.

179.  Naomi’s jean skirt.

180.  Friends who send me honest emails and amazing books.

181.  A renewed passion to study my Bible.

182.  Chalk notes to read from my bedroom window.

183.  Antlers.  To chew.  For Ruth.

184.  Knowing where our milk comes from.  Knowing our farmer.  And reading his sometimes funny tweets.

186.  An insane amount of scrumptious time with the Engineer this past weekend.

187.  Countless peonies sans ants!  (Compliments of Asher.)


188.  a quiet afternoon with the windows open, an open Bible, 2 children sleeping, and an Engineer playing at church with his sons . . . being dangerous and wild.

189.  Getting to go to spin class for the first time.

190.  Spin class being OVER!

191.  Yogurt made with half-n-half.  Wow.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Motherhood Garden

I feel a little bit like my garden.  All winter it felt like my heart was cold and hard . . . filled with weeds.

Just like my garden. 


That is what happens when you ignore something.

As Indiana began to warm up, I found my heart thawing just a little bit.  At the same time, our garden began to transform with each day that we were able to spend outside . . .working in it.  Spending some time, attention, and care in it.

Investing in our garden, our soil.


With each soil amendment, my heart is getting nurtured.  Restored. 

I’m finding that I’m spending more time in my garden planning, preparing, weeding, and dreaming . . .and that in turn leads to more time in my heart doing the very same things.


A  crop is emerging. 


I’m so excited to discover what the produce will look like. 


What will my heart look like by the end of the summer?


The soil of my heart is being enriched with good doses of scripture (from my Precept Upon Precept study of Matthew), The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson with Good Morning Girls, 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae, and Warrior Prayers by Brooke McGlothlin. 

Only in the introduction, the words of Sally Clarkson are lining up with the Holy Spirit’s teaching in the book of Matthew

If I am going to provide “authentic strength that comes from the true foundation of a biblical world-view and a proper understanding of the real Christ who is worthy of worship,” then I too have to have a strength that comes from a true foundation . . . a foundation firmly grounded in knowing the Word of God. I have got to have a faith that is the same and looks real day in and day out . . . steady in any type of weather, around any type of person, or through a variety of circumstances.


I have been affirmed that my ministry (besides my husband) right now IS MY CHILDREN.  And that is OK. 


I don’t have to do all the things at church . . .women’s ministry, children’s ministry, VBS, etc.  Though they are all wonderful ministries . . . I need to make sure that I am tending to my home well

-- That my children know if we get in the car to go to church, mommy isn’t going to be yelling the whole way at them and then put on a happy face once that foot steps down on the church parking lot. 

Consistency.  Unconditional love.  Grace. 

Modeling truth even when we are in the garden.  The real garden.  Patience just to plant a seed.   Not blowing up when the entire packet is spilled, or a plant stepped on, or when my plant markers are snapped by inquisitive little hands.  Or when try as they might, little hands can’t get tiny seeds into a tiny hole.  Patience.  Grace when teaching.


In Matthew, I have learned that first John came to warn that the Kingdom of God was near, One was coming who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.   Jesus came announcing that He was the Kingdom of God.  Jesus then taught His disciples . . . and finally the torch was passed on to Paul.  Teach about the Kingdom of God.  Teach about Jesus.  Jesus is the Kingdom of God.

By applying what I am learning through The Ministry of Motherhood, I found a growing Asher standing beside me wondering how I came up with the symbols in my Bible; so, I taught him.  Why did I put a crown around that word . . . kingdom?


Everything in me wanted to scream, “Go Away!!!!  This is my time!”

But held my tongue and we read through Matthew 3. 


“Mom, I really want to get baptized.  When can I get baptized?”

Fullscreen capture 5302011 21529 PM.bmp

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for using a little boy’s inquisitiveness to color in his Bible so that he would learn about baptism.  Affording him the blessing and opportunity of showing others that he believes in Jesus (despite ME!). 

And that in turn led to the Engineer getting baptized. too.

What if I had been harsh?  Shown frustration? 

Kind of like when you pull too aggressively to thin your plant transplants.  You kill both the good and the bad.

Thankfully, I listened.  I shared about the Kingdom of God with Asher.  What an amazing time for the nation of Israel!  1 Samuel speaks of the nation rejecting God being king over them . . . and now . . . here is Jesus returning . . . returning to be their King!!!!!  And though many rejected Him . . . many listened. 

Good stuff is growing here . . . good stuff. 

I am linking up with Jolanthe over at No Ordinary Moments for the Good Morning Girls and with the Homeschool Village to share how are gardens are growing . . .

By the way . . . here is a picture made from locally grown produce . . . but not my own . . . yet!


Friday, May 27, 2011

If You Have a Son . . . Please Read!

There is a lot of testosterone in my house.  A lot. 



Three boys.  One man.  And I have PCOS . . . so you can throw me in there too. 

When we found out we were going to have a son, then two sons, and then three sons . . . I really wondered what on earth the Lord was doing. 

Sons?  Gulp.  Aren’t they wild?

And then everyone at church was having sons too.  An influx of little men.  Talk about a busy narthex (can you tell my religious upbringing?)

I grew up with a sister.  I wasn’t around boys much until . . . well, until for some odd reason my two best friends in high school were boys.

Go figure. 

However, I think the Lord had me friends with the opposite sex to lead me to my husband.  The Engineer played football with my two best friends.  That’s an entirely different story.

Fast forward 18 years later . . . we have three sons.

Raising them up to be Godly men is a challenge.  It is requiring extreme creativity; patience; learning to accept mud, bugs, and pushes for hugs; and learning to communicate in a way completely foreign to me.  It requires that I consider how I dress, what attire my daughter wears, and the images that I allow my sons to see. 

I don’t get boys.  But God does.  And I know God.  I love God.  And I love my boys. More importantly God loves my boys.

So, I’m asking God these days to truly help me train up my sons so that when they are older they will not depart from the Lord, from the sure way.

I’ve recently discovered a GREAT resource and will be one of many moms hosting small groups all over the country . . . even world, using this resource --


What is this book, Warrior Prayers?  (Click on the link to hear directly from the author, Brooke McGlothin.)

It is a compilation.  A resource.  Your companion for 21 days.  Your guide through scripture to fervently pray for your sons . . . the little men in your lives. 

And you can take this sacred time and share it with other moms . . . for accountability and encouragement . . . starting June 8, 2011. 



How will it work?

  • Starting June 8th, each Monday hop on over to Brooke’s blog, Warrior Prayers and watch a video.
  • Each Friday, there will be an opportunity to link-up a post on your blog sharing about how the Lord is moving and working in your life and in the life of your boys here at Granola Mom 4 God (make sure you link up with me and over at the Warrior Prayers blog, so you can be eligible for any giveaways that may pop up along the way.
  • The challenge will be for 21 days straight.  No weekends off!!  If Satan doesn’t rest, nor should we!
  • You can purchase the book for only $5.97.  I skipped 2 Starbucks and it was worth it!  (Nope, I’m not earning any money through that link.)  But I would through this link . . . Warrior Prayers on Kindle. (Just being honest.)
  • You can anticipate a Facebook chat and Twitter Party to finish our time together.
  • And from me . . . a virtual home to relax in and discuss what  you are learning; an ear that will listen; a heart that will pray; and a person to hold you accountable. 

If you are interested in joining my group, please fill out this survey!  Don’t forget to purchase Warrior Prayers or leave a comment and win a copy of the ebook!

See you June 8th!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thinking Ahead: A Weekly Homeschool Planner Giveaway

I have to laugh at myself . . . we have 30 more days of school left and I am already contemplating 2nd Grade. 

Or rather, next year.

We don’t go by grade here in the Granola house.  We go by ability.  Learning and mastery are the goals, not days or hours or strictly following the book.

reviews tot school soup 014

So, yeah officially we have 30 more days . . . but the reality is that we will probably continue to take a laid back approach and school through the summer simply because . . .


However, being a teacher by trade, I am rather picky about the book that houses my plans or “the record of our plans” and activities.

This past year I found a great planning book.  I was able to divide the pages into three sections, one section for each child.  It looks real . . . well . . . not professional.




But that won’t work for next year. Not that Naomi will be “doing” school  . . . but she will have Tot Trays.  So four children on one page won’t work.



And the book didn’t really fit anywhere this year.  Additionally, it has no personality. It is a long floppy rectangle of pages.  Kind of reminds me of an overcooked asparagus.  Seriously.  But at least it was printed on post-consumer recycled pages. 

Enter Jolanthe.  (Isn’t she pretty?  She looks famous, too.)


Bless this woman.  She really keeps me organized and hopping.  (By the way, don’t you think she did a fantastic job of Naomi’s blog?)  I mean . . . I am already thinking about what planner to use and it is only MAY!!!!  I may get organized yet! 

You can join me in organizing and preparing for your school year . . . your next school year.  I understand that it is nice to take a break . . . but don’t take too much of one . . . staying up late at night in early August to begin schooling in the latter part of August or early September. Plan ahead.  Start school rested. 

Think ahead. 

I dare you.

Weekly Homeschool


Use Jolanthe’s Weekly Homeschool Planner!  I’m going to because . . .

  • I can write in it.  Well, my computer can.
  • I like the font she uses.
  • It is editable.
  • She is my bloggy friend and soon-to-be-IRL-friend.
  • Her planner works like my brain does.
  • It is editable. 
  • I can use it with multiple children.  Multiple ages.
  • I can use it over and over and over and over.
  • It is editable.  (Did I already mention that?)
  • It has a page (page 9) where I can make multiple check marks.  I like big red check marks. 



What's inside the fully-editable pdf planner?

  • 138 planning pages ~ 8 1/2" x 11" sized
  • 12 blank month-at-a-glance pages
  • 40 weeks of weekly planning and journal sheets: each page can be customized to the         
    subjects that your family studies and can be saved to your computer!
  • Preschool planning sheets
  • Field trip/Event plan sheets
  • Yearly curriculum planning sheets
  • Yearly planning and evaluation sheets
  • Yearly attendance tracking sheets
  • Daily to-do lists (Daily 6, anyone?)
  • Main dish menu planner
  • Customizable chore charts
  • Important contacts info
  • Additional note space
  • Standardized testing and yearly assessment result tracking
  • Homeschooling requirement planning


Wanna Win a Fabulous Weekly Homeschool Planner?

And be organized like me? Or we can try together?

Mandatory:  Leave a comment and tell me if you plan ahead for the school week or do you write what you did in your current homeschool planner. 

Optional Extra Entries – 1 comment per each entry.

  • Like Jolanthe’s Homeschool Planner on Facebook.
  • View a sample of the planner here and tell me what you like about it!
  • Tell me something that you learned this year that shocked you. 
  • Become a fan of my blog.
  • Subscribe to my blog.
  • Tweet about the giveaway, making sure to include @GranolaMom4God.
  • Write a blog post about your quiet times or your child’s quiet time and link up!

Giveaway Ends:  Thursday, June 2, 2011 @ Midnight.  Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Want His Chair . . . A Childs Quiet Time

Little eyes are watching.  They absorb what you say and what you do. 




This past Sunday, I had the privilege of sitting outside to spend time with God doing my Precept Upon Precept study of the book of Matthew. (And no, this is NOT an affiliate link.)




I was a bit distracted by this sweet sight.



Ezra sat content . . . restful . . . only moving his fingers to turn a page . . . for a solid hour.  And when he was done, he was so excited about being with Jesus!




Be sure to link up about your sweet spot on this post . . . please do share how you spend time with Jesus, even if it is just a comment or on Facebook.


Teaching Your Child to Have a Quiet Time --

Many of you have asked how to go about initiating “quiet times” with your children.  Good question. 

Initially, my goal is to establish a routine.


From a routine we create a habit.  The habit of being by yourself.  Being still so that that stillness can later be transferred to being still before the Lord.

I begin quiet times with my kids when it appears they are giving up their first nap.  By that time they can sit up and hold a sippy cup.  Umm . . . yea . . . I guess I also teach my children to have a comforting beverage with the Lord.

But seriously, think about it.  when you meet with someone . . . a dear friend . . . don’t you often meet over a Starbucks or a steaming cup of tea? 

I thought so.

So . . . at around 12 months or so we begin. 

The quiet time replaces the morning nap.  The quiet time starts before your little one shows signs of being a wee-bit tired . . . but not quiet ready for a nap. 

Sippy in hand, we climb the stairs to said child’s (ren’s) bedroom(s).  I help them into their crib or bed.  I pile a few books on their bed along with approximately 3 indestructible toys.  As they begin to play and sip their leche, I read to them from their Bible (see this post).



So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Then, I turn some soft music on and exit the room.  My favorite music for kids?  Anything from Seeds of Worship.  (By the way, Jolanthe (Homeschool Creations) is hosting a giveaway for some Seeds music right now.)



The typical length of my kids’ quiet times? 30 minutes to an hour, or whenever the CD is over.

They come to need it.  They crave it.  I also enjoy it.  Quiet descends over the house for a short bit each morning.  We all get refreshed.


As they grow older, their quiet times evolve.  Books change from cardboard to picture books to word books . . . but somewhere is always a Bible that is age appropriate.



And now . . . my almost 7 year old spends some of his time . . . not playing, but praying and reading his Bible.



Or looking at his Action Bible . . . which has some pretty cool pictures. 


How do your kids do their quiet times?

Do share . . . I’ll leave a Linky just in case . . . because this could be a great resource for moms who want to know how to launch their children into the blessing of a quiet time with Jesus!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

What Does Your Closet Look Like?

Where do you go to hide?

To find a place of quiet . . . of rest . . . a refuge . . . a place in which to hang your prayers on the clothes line or toss your sins into the laundry basket to be washed?


What does that place look like?

This thing . . . this quiet place can be called a Quiet Time, devotions, a personal time of reflection, or time with the Lord.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

Matthew 6:6

What do you call it?

What does yours look like?

With all the buzz going around about 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae, and the launching of the Good Morning Girls study of The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson . . . it dawned on me . . .


Does everyone know?  Do they know what “we” do?  We women who are friends with Jesus?

“We” have lingo . . . journals . . . coffee . . . . tea . . . . a special nook or chair . . . . but is that normal?

I used to not “know” how to have a quiet time . . . how to have the things that I need so that I could just sit . . . sit and talk to God . . . even have what I envision as a cuppa chai with Him.  There was a day when this concept was completely foreign to me . . . absolutely bizarre.


Even my kids kind of wonder . . . they have always thought quiet times were a time to play quietly in their room. 

Yes . . . right Asher.  Right Ezra.  Right Gabe.  Right Naomi.  But I am preparing you for something better.  I’m teaching you how to be by yourself first.  To be comfortable with the silence . . . so that you can really hear from The One who really matters. 

So . . . I think we should share.  Can we peak into your “quiet time?”  Can you take us into your prayer closet? 

Don’t clean it out.  Be real.  You can see the toys strewn across my altar.  The used water glasses piled up beside my bed. . . perhaps the dog in her kennel, so as to protect my Bible.

012(The location of my quiet time if it is late at night.)

For the past several months I haven’t had  one place where I consistently read my Bible.  We moved last August . . . and I have struggled to find my place of respite. 

Sometimes it has been the kitchen table.

Sometimes it is the coffee colored couch.

Sometimes my quiet time is homeless.

Until today. 


This chair is in my bedroom.  It used to be my mom’s or my grandma’s . . . some woman I love at least.  My daughter was born in this corner.  Above me resides the Engineer’s and my marriage vows and beside me a place to wedge my coffee or chai. 

I can prop my feet up.  I can look out my window.  But I am tucked in a corner . . . and I love that.  It’s like my own den.

If I get around to it, I plan on ordering an instant water heater, or something like that, for tea.  I saw my friend, Sarah tweet about it.   Because if I go downstairs to make coffee or brew tea . . . any hope of a quiet times goes down the toilet.  My computer will distract me. 

Yes, I lack that much discipline.  I’ll be honest.

To make it happen, I keep everything together.  That is a must.  Because if I have to go searching . . . well, I will get distracted.  Very distracted. 


I have a binder.  An old college binder.  I made the cover really fancy . . . it is attached with packing tape. 

Yup.  Classy.  But it works.

Inside my ancient binder are my Bible study tools . . . 31 Days to Clean, the Good Morning Girls schedule and S.O.A.P. notes, the Mission of Motherhood, Warrior Prayers, a pen, and my study of Matthew.  Stacked neatly on my binder are colored pencils (which is a must for any Kay Arthur study) and my NASB Inductive Study Bible

My journal should be there . . . but if I blog, I typically don’t feel the need to journal. 

I want to add my Thanksgiving journal to the pile . . . but it usually sits by my computer.

The less things to keep track of for my quiet time . . . the better.

What about you?  Can we peak? 

Here are some things to think about . . . and perhaps share:

  • Why do you have a quiet time?
  • Who taught you how to have a quiet time? 
  • What “must” you have so as to not be distracted? 
  • Are you children around? 
  • When do you have your quiet time?
  • Where do you have a quiet time?
  • Do you listen to music?  Who?
  • Must you have a beverage?

Please link up and spread the Word!  Be sure to link up using your exact URL post and be sure to mention where your readers can find out about how to have a Quiet Time!  (Here is your link:  http://www.granolamom4god.com/2011/05/what-does-your-closet-look-like.html


P.S. If two Linky’s show up, use the first one.  I can’t get the 2nd and sometimes 3rd Linky deleted . . . even when I edit my html code.  Sorry!


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Elementary Round Up


Summer is just around the corner.

But alas, this school will not be taking much of a vacation. Though part of me . . . is longing for a summer break.  Freedom to be relaxed.  Maybe slightly lazy.

However, our times of being laid back happened over the winter . . . when Asher's newborn sister became a baby. With Naomi being awake more during the day (and often at night), it makes for a tired mommy and a very distracting, pretty baby to snuggle, stare at, an play with. 

So, if you need us this summer -- we will be here . . . having an elementary round up. 

Even if you are taking a break, tell us what you did.  Document your summer . . . because even fun can be a learning experience.

The highlight of my first grader this week. . . going to work with Daddy!


The Engineer is part of a group (EWRI) that does engineering stuff. 

This volunteer group has designed and implemented a series of rain gardens at local elementary schools to be used as learning tools, but also to help the schools use their run off rain water productively, instead of dumping directly into the sewer system. 


(Learn more here.)  It also helps to make Indianapolis a tiny bit more sustainable. 


After helping the Engineer at the rain garden, Asher got to go downtown and finish his school work while Daddy worked on a few things involving numbers, emails, and fellow co-workers.

Definitely a perk of homeschooling . . . he got to learn through a life experience.  And spend extra time with the Engineer . . . understanding how our world works, what Dad does, and how to put your faith into action.


What has been going on in your school room?

If you don’t have a blog to link up with . . . leave a comment and tell us what your family did in the Learning Room!


  1. Write a blog post about your elementary aged child(ren), first through sixth grade, comprising the activities you did the prior two weeks.  You can include pictures, bullet points, tools used, learning gained, God moments, etc.
  2. Be sure to include a link back to my blog.  By doing so, other like-minded readers can hang out in a central location if they are looking for Elementary School ideas.   Publish your post and then head back to my site. 
  3. Provide the exact link (URL) of the Elementary Round-UP blog post you wrote, not your blog’s home address, through the provided MckLinky.
  4. Optional:   I would love it if you grabbed my blog button over on the side.
  5. You can combine this with other meme’s if that helps you to save time (as long as it is OK with the other blog owner). 
BIG IMPORTANT HEART MOMENT:  This isn’t a blog post to WOW other moms . . . the point of this is to help YOU document on YOUR blog what you and your child(ren) are learning.  My link-up is only to provide some accountability.  I won’t come and leave nasty comments on your blog if you don’t link up. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Springtime of the Spirit: A Review

Oh . . . I struggled a bit with this “vacation read.”  I got mad at the main character, Annaliese Duray.  She just didn’t make wise decisions. 

Neither do I.  But still.

And I was REALLY bothered by Mareen Lang’s lying lips character, Jurgen.  That man . . . ewwww . . . that man.  He really disturbed me.  But I know men like him exist.  I just don’t like acknowledging it.

It still bothered me.  I don’t want him in my “vacation reading.”

Part of Maureen Lang’s, The Great War Series, Springtime of the Spirit, takes place in Germany after the war.  Hope is ready to grow and sometimes lands in the wrong hands.  Annaliese Duray attempts to fight for her people . . . but ends up being misled.  Thankfully, Christophe Brecht, childhood friend, stands by her side largely because of his strong faith.

Find out what happens.  You might be a little bit shocked by the ending.  I was!

Thanks to Tyndale House for sending me a copy to review.  I was not paid for this post nor do I have to return the copy!

The Girl in the Gatehouse: A Review

The Girl in the Gatehouse, by Julie Klassen, is quite possibly the best “vacation read” I have shifted my eyes left to right on in quite some time.

Reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, it is no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely piece of fiction. 

Who cares that Mother’s Day has passed, give this book to a friend, your mom, your grandma, or yourself because you need a mini-mind-vacation.

Found in Klassen’s book is this ironic quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “All women, as authors, are feeble and tiresome.  I wish they were forbidden to write.”  This theme runs throughout the novel.  Main character, Mariah Aubrey is banished from her childhood home due to a very grave sin.  Her father, more concerned about appearance than restoration, throws her out and hides Mariah in an abandoned gatehouse.

In this gatehouse, Mariah creates a new world filled with writing (under a pseudonym, not that I have ever done that . . . ahem), helping others, getting right with her Maker, and truly learning what it means to live and forgive.  

Get it. Find it on Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap..  Ask for it.  Check it out from the library.

Thanks to Bethany House for sending me a copy of The Girl in the Gatehouse to review.  I was not paid for this post nor do I have to return the book.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mr. Smiley is Three

A celebration in pictures . . . mostly.

Breakfast . . .


Coconut flour waffles with maple syrup from Ohio and blackberries, if you must know. 

Lunch . . . no pictures . . . . but he requested beef hotdogs.


Almond pie crust made by Nana . . .


and filled with tomato asparagus quiche. 


Yes, I made my 3 year old quiche for his birthday.  It seemed a little weird to me . . . but if he likes it, why not?

Feed me, Mommy!


Hold on, buddy!  I need to finish your birthday cake!

Creating powdered sugar from evaporated cane juice,


  while the cake waits patiently for its pristine white coat.


Hold everything, Mama and Papa are on the red phone!


Finally . . . .


Followed by quite possibly the best chocolate cake I have EVER made . . . maybe eaten (thank you Tropical Traditions).



and topped off with Wahoo, the nicest dog we own!