Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do Our Sons Need Prayer?


Do our sons need prayer?  Of course, silly!

You know I have a lot to say about that.  In addition to praying, we have been teaching our sons to be dangerous. 

Some think we are crazy for doing this.  I think it is fun to watch them grow into the way that God intended for them to live. 

If you have a son . . . and you love him . . . or you want to love him . . . or you struggle to love him . . . then you need to pray for him. 

Head on over to sign up to be in a group running from September 6-26th.  The ebook is free right now until 9pm tonight, July 30th, 2011.  Get it here!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Playing with Silk

It has taken several attempts to write this particular blog post.  Multiple times my pictures have mysteriously been eaten or deleted by either my computer or camera.

I think what I am about to share  with you must be important.  An answer to someone’s prayer . . . or a confirmation that this is what they are supposed to use in their schoolroom. Maybe it’s you.


Perhaps this post is God’s confirmation to you that Timberdoodle has the solution to meet your family’s needs. 

Who knows . . . I just know that often things that you have to work hard for . . . serve a great purpose. So may all the pictures I have taken and lost for you in turn bless you . . . and confirm your homeschooling or {grand}mothering play needs. 

We sure had fun.


Naomi was blessed to use a part of the Baby Timberdoodle Core Curriculum.  I would have easily been greedy enough to play implement the entire Baby Timberdoodle Core Curriculum.

Thankfully, the only thing Naomi is greedy about is her mommy milk.  So she was quite content to use use her Sarah’s Silk Playsilk . . . an item I have had my eye on since pre-motherhood. 

Whimsical.  Whispy.  Fairy-like.  A simple steroid for the imagination. A gentle addition to active play.


The fabulous fact about the Baby and Toddler Timberdoodle Core Curriculum is that they can be used with multiple children . . . thus saving you money.  And the playsilk . . . wasn’t just a favorite with Naomi . . . but her older brothers as well. 

I would show you . . . but the pictures have disappeared into a dead computer. 

How did we use our play silk?

  • peek-a-boo
  • as a pretend apron skirt
  • a leash on a cute Ezra puppy dog
  • perfect for a flag on a fort
  • hanging from a clothes line to run through
  • as a nursing cover
  • a shield in the car to keep bare feet warm
  • a knot doll
  • an impromptu tablecloth for a pretend tea party
  • a headscarf for our dog
  • a neck scarf for a fashion show

Now, you may be thinking . . . why does a baby need curriculum?

Well, have you ever asked the question, “What should my baby be doing right now developmentally?  Am I playing with her enough?  Am I stimulating his mind?  I don’t know what to do with my baby . . .”

Even coming from an education background . . . I asked these questions with my firstborn.  And I probably would have asked even more that first year we began homeschooling.  However, I had a few years of classroom teaching under my belt that took away that fear of “What do I teach?  Am I teaching enough?”

That is why packaged curriculums are nice. 

They take away the planning and guess work.  And that is why Timberdoodle created such an excellent collection of Core Curriculums . . . from baby all the way up to high school.

Be sure to check out what other families did with their Baby Timberdoodle Core Curriculum items . . . as you can see it is filled with more than silk!


Request a free Timberdoodle catalogue (I ummm . . . typically read mine cover to cover because the explanations actually include tips, hints, or possible topics to watch out for).  You can also find Timberdoodle on Facebook


Because Mom Said

(As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boy Mom Blog Hop

A little thing called a Boy Mom Blog Hop has got my fingers moving today. . . compelling me write a post that I have been meaning to write anyways. 

Mothers of Boys

Welcome to Granola Mom 4 God to both my new readers and my faithful old readers.  I appreciate all of you. I sincerely do.  The sweet “friendships” that I have formed with many of you (and the promising new friends to come) have been such a blessing and encouragement to me. 

To top it all off, some of you are IRL friends or soon to be (that is if you are going to Relevant).

So, you’re here:  Granola Mom 4 God


I am Jodi. 

By definition and life circumstances, daughter of El De’ot (the God of Knowledge), believing that Jesus is the Messiah and that I am thankfully His new creation in Christ.  For this I am grateful, because I have discovered that being a mom of four (three arrows of which are BOYS) . . . has shown me a need for a Savior . . . Someone who knows all . . . because I so don’t “get” boys . . . I make a lot of mistakes . . . and I say things that I shouldn’t . . . but I am learning. 

This blog is a hodgepodge of writings.  It started out as a virtual scrapbook then became a collection of how we do organic with some recipes thrown in and a review and giveaway every now and then.  You can actually read about us here.

I think my site is what you might call a mom blog, I suppose.  I write because I feel compelled to write.  Convicted to write because of what God has done in my life.  Drawn to it – online writing that is.  Relieved by it.  It’s how I process thoughts, remember life, and keep track of my recipes. 

I will keep blogging until the Lord tells me otherwise. 

And if you don’t know my Jesus, don’t stop reading.  You might be surprised by His personality.  His reality.  You won’t find me shoving Him down your throat like I would kimchi or kombucha . . . but you may find my God whispering your name every now and then. 

Which is why I want you to keep coming back.

I’m real.  I won’t always give you a pretty picture.  You will always find honesty here. 

So here is some truth for you.  I am married to my high school sweet heart.  I used to refer to him as the Hottie, but that was causing some issues for my friends and stirring up some strife especially for those who didn’t know that the Hottie’s name was Brian.  Imagine being at the dinner table and announcing that the Hottie just completed his first triathlon.  That doesn’t go over real well with the husbands FYI,  unless you are my husband. 


He is now the Engineer. 

We have four surprises.  Surprises because we weren't supposed to have any children due to me having PCOS

Here is the line-up:  for all practical purposes, we have a 7-year old named Asher, a 5-year old named Ezra, Gabriel my 3-year old, followed by Naomi our 9 month old. 


I am thankful for the purpose God has given me for my life . . . to train up these little’s in the way they should go so that when they are older they won’t depart from it . . . but it is a job that doesn’t come naturally to me.  But I’m learning.  And God dishes out a lot of grace, along with my children.

At our house we work on being dangerous.  In addition, part of my job involves feeding my kiddos lots of bacteria, washing cloth diapers, nursing, training up a Proverbs 31 daughter beside three Godly warriors, and growing a garden.  We homeschool the three oldest and work on deepening our knowledge of the Bible and Essential Oils.  (Shameless plug we were were encouraged to add . . . Young Living Essential Oils rock . . . and I both use and sell them . . . soon to host classes on them . . . )

I’d love to see you hang around . . . and I’d love to visit you.  Upcoming events here at Granola Mom:

  • the Essential Oils that saved our vacation
  • a review of the Timberdoodle baby curriculum
  • a review of the Fall Tea Collection
  • a recipe for countertop yogurt (that doesn’t have to be heated)
  • Who is in my in-box?
  • Intro GAPS diet menu plan
  • Our new way of composting
  • Why you haven’t seen Elementary Round Up (as promised) this summer
  • Tot School
  • books that boys read
  • Canada pictures (if Lindsey can fix my memory card!)
  • some book reviews . . .
  • and of course Multitudes on Monday, Wordless Wednesday, and My Daybook

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate

Trader Joes has some chocolate.  And we are just finishing up potty training Gabe.

Using Endangered Species Chocolate was getting to be a tad bit expensive . . . not to mention if felt like we were literally flushing it down the toilet.  {Sorry.}



So, I discovered that Trader Joes sells one pound of chocolate.  A gigantic chocolate bar.

It screamed, “Take a picture of me!”  So I did.  My model was very willing.  I paid him in chocolate.



Don’t worry, we are doing some healthy things around here – like counter-top yogurt (tutorial coming soon!}.



In fact, tonight Ezra asked if we were eating anything fermented . . . because normally we do and our tabled lacked some bacteria for dinner.  Plenty of local produce, free range chicken, and organic butter . . . just no kimchi or kombucha or water kefir soda. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Multitude on Mondays

There are so many simple things to be thankful for . . . and it is especially easy after returning from a vacation.  Two vacations . . .

  • walking barefoot on clean wood floors after two weeks of constantly having shoes on
  • a well-watered garden (thanks Christina!)


  • grocery stores that are open at 10:00 PM  . . . otherwise we would have had nothing but kimchi for breakfast the morning proceeding our evening arrival home from Family Camp (see what we learned).  We were “supposed” to pull into our driveway at 5:38 PM according to the GPS . . . try something closer to 9:00.  At least when you travel with potty training kids . . . your legs never get stiff!
  • ginger . . . the lid for stomachs that frequently want to dump themselves when traveling in the car . . . not that I had to pull over beside a field in Canada or anything. 


  • Great-Grandpa holding his 13th great-granddaughter


  • free oils that make water taste yummy


  • walking laps in the pool with Naomi while the boys swam with the Engineer
  • sweet weeks of fellowship with both sets of grandparents
  • the jiggle of the doorknob . . . the same doorknob I used 30 years ago


  • a patient great-uncle who taught my son how to fish


  • living out of my comfort zone to impress my sons


  • a perfect start to rock jumping with my dad . . . and the boys (kind of)


  • passing memories on to my children


  • a quick processing of passports
  • leaving surprises for others to find and contribute to


  • a perfect Saturday . . . staying home
  • the Engineer
  • receiving texts from the Engineer while hibernating in Canada – the wonders of technology when I was so far removed from electricity


  • finding Gabe . . . twice
  • how my mom brings hospitability to the woods with morning lattes
  • kayaking through a field of lily pads


  • kayaking alongside the Engineer while he swam a 1/2 mile
  • that at least I have my dad’s and uncle’s pictures of our Canada trip
  • the generosity of Ezra’s teacher to loan me a memory card while at Fort Wilderness
  • Nana who was willing to tote Gabe’s potty wherever he wanted to sit
  • a late night canoe ride with my dad
  • sunsets


  • moon rises



  • strong arms and close proximity for when a motor drinks all of its sustenance


  • daily coffees delivered to me at Fort Wilderness Family Camp compliments of my MIL
  • having the majority of my Young Living oils with me to reduce fevers, soothe stomachs, stop ralphing, annoy bugs, calm itchy bug bites, dress burns, eradicate headaches



  • amazing weather


  • fresh Canadian blueberries at my doorstep

Guidecraft Bead and Water Blocks

You know I’m a snob for wood toys.  And the Guidecraft Bead and Water Blocks didn’t let me down.  They are keepers.  These wooden blocks are open-ended and easily ushered us into the world of imagination.



Combining balance with beauty.



Entertaining simplicity and structure.




Fortitude and collaboration.



Modeling architecture that rivals Frank Lloyd Wright.



And I haven’t even shown you all of the educational things you can use these blocks for . . . but you would have to visit Mama Jenn for that . . . .

Or just try and win a set of both the Guidecraft bead AND water blocks over on Jolanthe’s blog, Homeschool Creations until 8pm tonight (July 25th!)!


But if you don’t win. . . you can buy them through Guidecraft for $32 each.  The last I looked the Shimmer Water blocks were $24.97 plus free shipping on Amazon.  I found the Crystal Bead Blocks for $26.88 from a toy store who used Amazon to fulfill their orders . . . which means free shipping for you!


Guidecraft Mom Blogger

(I was provided with Crystal Bead Blocks and Shimmering Water Blocks as part of my participation as a Guidecraft Mom. I wasn’t paid for this post nor was I bribed with a vanilla latte.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

If You Read My Tweets . . .

If I had a SmartPhone you might have “heard” me tweet . . .

But I don’t have a Smartphone.  Just a little red texting phone.  My brain, however, is used to thinking in tweets.  So, while on vacation recently I began to compile the statements my brain tweeted to my consciousness. 

I actually wrote them down.  I reasoned that this was probably safer than texting on my phone anyway.

Most of my paper tweets came from long moments behind a steering wheel.  Over 20 hours of long moments.  Not really.  I was in a car for 20 plus hours by myself with four children in tow.  We traveled up to Canada, across the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan – of which I am in love with now), and down into Wisconsin.



If you desire to get caught up on my Tweets, this if for you.

  • I just passed a Rudolph crossing!  (There was a deer crossing sign on the interstate that had a bright red dot on the deer’s nose.)
  • Watch out!  Windmill blade on the road.
  • Windmill blades are ji-normous!
  • Gabe thinks his light saber is a candle.  He has no clue what Star Wars is.
  • I ate at McDonalds.  {Sigh.}
  • When applying peppermint essential oil to your tongue while driving, avoid bumps. 
  • Gabe . . . will travel with potty.
  • Whenever I hear, “I want to go to my room,” then I know Gabe has to go potty.
  • My plan backfired.  My children do like chocolate covered espresso beans. 
  • It appears that much of Michigan is uninhabited.
  • Only 6 more hours till we rendezvous with the Engineer in Wisconsin!
  • It’s Christmas!  (In Michigan, that is . . . Christmas, Michigan.)
  • I could live in the UP . . . on Lake Superior.
  • I’m beginning to feel like a nag and slightly irrational. 
  • There are as many pine trees in Michigan as there are stars in the sky.  Just kidding.  Kind of.
  • New family tradition: scream “thank you, Jesus” before you leave.
  • Glad they let me back into America.  Wondered where the Engineer was.
  • I feel awkward carrying a toilet into a bathroom.
  • Just noticed a stranger debating whether or not to help me.
  • Hello Marquette.  Aren’t you quaint!
  • PTL for Geoffrey the Giraffe!
  • I have a new respect for single moms.
  • Moose crossing! 
  • I feel like I’m in Colorado, but it’s the UP!
  • Listening to Under the Olives.
  • Campers and the like should have their own highway.
  • Where is a passing lane when you need one?
  • Toby Mac to the rescue!
  • I just discovered Wisconsin is pretty.
  • My camera just ate all 150 pictures I took in Canada.  They are garbled.
  • Getting ready to jump out the window into the Engineer’s arms while the car is still running.
  • Here.  Hello Fort Wilderness.

There you have it.  Two weeks worth of tweets.  Not you don’t have to feel like you missed anything. 

Lessons from Family Camp

We left our cozy incubator.  We were given the chance to test the waters and experience the world beyond our home and church. 

It was hard.  But good.  It wasn’t always pretty --  but their was growth.

As a family, we placed ourselves in a situation that we thought would be easy . . . but proved otherwise. 

We went to family camp.  Fort Wilderness – to be exact.  (Highly recommend the place.)



A place filled with fun things to do . . . where complaining isn’t allowed because there simply isn’t time.  Why complain when there is swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, nature classes, gum making, panning for gold, archery, and riflery . . . to name a few?  A boy’s taste of heaven topped off with a happy mom who doesn’t have to cook or do dishes.



Yet somehow we managed to whine.  I’m not sure who murmured more -- the Granola Children or the Granola Parents.

Normally boasting of well-behaved children that show kindness and respect in public, I was surprised to find ourselves in the center of  a fish bowl . . . experiencing a feeling similar to embarrassment.  The object of attention. 

Often it was because of the chubby, smiling blot of pink attached to my hip in the sea of blue.


DSC_0055  (Naomi was a fan with many of the Summer Staff at Fort Wilderness.)

I would wager, though, that most of the time it was the line of testosterone following me.



Perhaps other children were behaving like mine, but I failed to see any other manic children during the six days of our family camp experience.   Our inexperience at doing family camp must have been advertised on our foreheads due to the mass amounts of complete strangers coming up to us inquiring, “How are you guys doing?  This must be hard for you.  Especially having a baby.”

Was it that apparent? 



Or was it the fact that twice we lost Gabe to his joy-rides on his Strider? Maybe it was the free WWF fight the two eldest had in the dining hall?  The fact that we were late to E.V.E.R.T.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  if we even showed up probably didn’t help.    Perhaps it was my son screaming that we were bad parents?  No, it must have been how we had to use a forklift to drop a few of our children to class . . . forcing them to learn how to make friends in a foreign setting.

The Engineer and I contemplated leaving.  A vacation shouldn’t be filled with so much strife . . . sleepless nights . . . complaining . . . . but here we were thick in the middle of several hearts in much need of a good weeding.  Or spanking.

To leave would be a sign of weakness.  Not to mention a huge waste of money.

I know that is it profitable to take my children out of their learning rooms and practice.  I just had no idea how hard it would be to maintain structure, allow for play, eat according to schedule, and practice kindness while sleep deprived. 

I needed to model correct behavior . . . so that my children could do likewise. 

But how could the Engineer and I expect to be role models, when we weren’t diving into the Word of God?  We weren’t allowing ourselves to be under the Master’s leadership.  Submitting.  Yielding to the work that God wanted to do in our life while at family camp.

Evidently the Engineer and I had failed to unpack everything.  We sat under great teaching about the prodigal son . . . but we failed to graft ourselves to the Vine at family camp. 




Thus, we suffered and our children suffered. 

Sally Clarkson puts it eloquently in her book title The Mission of Motherhood,

 . . . eventually my children must attach themselves to the Vine, not to me.  Only the Lord can draw our children to himself.  Only he can give salvation to our children.  And only he can convict them of their sins.  I can and must love my children, nurture them, comfort them, teach them.  I can and must model for them what life as a “branch”  looks life and show them ways to stay “attached” through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other believers, and so on.  But I cannot be their “vine,” and I cannot play the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

As my children have grown older, this realization has actually  been a comfort to me.  I cannot be with them everywhere they go.  I cannot be right next to them the rest of their lives to tell them what to do.  Even if it were physically possible to do so, such hovering would cripple them in their own abilities to become strong and wise.    My children must learn how to walk with the Lord without my help. (pp 130-131)

Rather than giving in to the path of least resistance, which would mean leaving . . . we chose to stay.  By leaving we would only be punishing our children, not training them.  We reached this decision through a very candid discussion. 

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

Proverbs 14:4 states, “Where the oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox.”

It was time to place the yoke upon ourselves and make our thoughts and desires obedient to Christ.

Change #1:  This would begin with reinstating quiet times.  Just because we were on vacation, didn’t mean that we should stop reading our Bibles!!!  This became evident when one night I discovered a very distraught almost 7 year old . . . it was late, way past his bedtime when it dawned on me . . . had he read his Bible?


“Mommy, can I please stay up and read?”

How could I say no to that?

And that “allowance” made an impression on this young boy. 

He found solace in Psalm 23.  In fact, he was amazed by the words, the beauty, the comfort. 

The following day, I discovered Asher’s brothers following suit.  In fact, the whole family was doing their quiet times . . . not out of obligation but out of necessity . . . we needed to be with Jesus to be with each other. 

Change #2: Stop complaining.  I would imagine that I was the chief of sinners regarding this often overlooked sin of ingratitude.  Throughout the week, I found myself in a dark room maintaining an almost a monk-like silence so that dear Naomi could get her beauty sleep.  I missed out on craft making, paddle boat rides, surf board stunts . . . etc. 




I only got to hear stories of the fun. 

But what did I gain?  A well rested daughter.  The knowledge that I chose to prefer someone else over myself.  My selfish sacrifice was  her gain . . . and eventually mine.  I was able to have 2-hour quiet times, read my camera manual, write, and engage in some “vacation reading.” 

Sure my time won’t make the photo album, but it wasn’t a waste. 



Change #3:  I met with the chief instigators.  There ensued a discussion on practicing thankfulness, serving others, and eliminating strife.  We acted out different scenarios.    We practiced helpful words.  Of course it didn’t hurt that we did this over coffee and creamosa’s. (Family Camp at Fort Wilderness has some big perks – like a coffee shop!  Did I mention that they serve real butter and fresh fruit?  No kimchi, though.)




In summary, the simple fact is that vacationing as a family is more than likely going to involve some strife, especially if you have some little’s along with you.  Here are the bullet points of what I learned:

  • Keep the vacation simple and your expectations low. 
  • Don’t pack your day with activities
  • Get rest . . . even if that means missing an afternoon activity. 
  • Don’t forget your Bible and fellowshipping with your Creator. 
  • Choose to be thankful. 
  • Don’t potty train on a vacation. 
  • Try to eat familiar foods . . . but don’t stress if you can’t.
  • Try Fort Wilderness Family Camp.  God is working there.



Would I go back to family camp?  You bet.  (And I’m hoping to talk some others into joining us.)



Besides Wisconsin, you can also find Fort Wilderness on Facebook.