Skip to content

Homegrown Mom

January 21, 2010

Homegrown Mom

Please visit me at my new home, Homegrown Mom, this blog will be going bye-bye soon!

If you haven’t had a chance to update your subscription, please do so here, you can subscribe by RSS feed or Email: Subscribe to Homegrown Mom.

Please update your email subscription here

December 12, 2009

Hi! If you are an email subscriber and have not yet done so, please take a quick minute to update your subscription here:

Subscribe to Homegrown Mom I will no longer be posting to this blog, so please join me over at my new site!

Thanks 🙂

My New Site: Homegrown Mom

December 5, 2009

Hi friends!

Just a quick note to let you know that this blog has moved!

Please come visit my new site:  Homegrown Mom

If you subscribe through email, Please take a second re-subscribe here: Subscribe to Homegrown Mom by Email

If you’d like to subscribe via RSS, you can subscribe here

I’m also offering a free monthly newsletter! You can sign up for that here!

Please visit the new site and tell me what you think 🙂

I don’t make my bed and other confessions…

November 29, 2009


I am making many new friends here on my blog, so today I wanted to share a little about myself.

There’s something you really need to know if we’re gonna be friends.

I am a slob.

Yes, I love to make lists and come up with housekeeping systems for fun, but the truth is I need those lists and I need those systems. That’s right, after 32 years of life I still need a reminder to make my bed.

Even with the list, I don’t always make the bed. I also buy baking soda by the gallon because I’ve left wet clothes in the washer overnight too many times to count. I will walk by an empty plate five times before I stop to scoop it in the trash. I leave my blow dryer out on the bathroom counter long after I’ve dried my hair. As I write this, I am surrounded by the ads from Friday’s paper. It’s Sunday. (To be fair, they are Black Friday ads and I’m saving them for Christmas ideas!)

Why do you need to know this? Because if we’re friends for long, chances are you are going to stop by sometime unannounced. And when you do, I really don’t want you to be offended if you hear me moving around inside my house, shushing my kids.

I promise I don’t hate you. I just haven’t swiffered yet and am probably still wearing my pj’s. If we’re really good friends, I’ll let you in and you’ll have to scoot half-folded laundry over on the couch to sit down. That’s okay, ‘cause I’ll always be in the middle of folding that laundry when you walk in the door. We’ll just pretend it’s fresh out of the dryer and not three days old, okay?

Sometimes my real-life friends read my blog and call me a domestic goddess. Then I invite them over in the middle of the day when I haven’t had time to prepare for company. When they leave, they feel much better about themselves. It’s like a little service I do.

Aren’t I nice?

Do you feel better now, too?


photo by The Ardvaark

Thanksgiving Links

November 25, 2009

Some links for Thanksgiving:

Exemplify Online:  An article I wrote, A New Tradition for Giving Thanks

Scholastic: The first Thanksgiving.  This is an awesome resource I used with my girls last year.  There’s videos about the first Thanksgiving, life on the Mayflower, and daily life of the Pilgrims and Indians.  You’ll also find some printables here.

Simple Mom has a great article on Hosting Overnight Guests.  If you are planning on having guests this season, check here for some creative ideas to make them cozy and comfortable.

Life in Grace:  Shares her beautiful, yet simple table in Thanksgiving Tabletop


My favorite books for Thanksgiving:  I’ve added the books I read with my kids to my Amazon Shop.  Some of these are available used for as little as $3.50!  I usually try to get them from the library, but I am going to purchase them this year since we read them over and over again.




Yes, I’m a Christian. Yes, we do Santa

November 24, 2009



Raising kids is controversial. Homeschool or public school? Immunizations or not? Whether you’re talking about television, what you let your kids read, or whether they’re allowed to be online, text, or wear skinny jeans…there’s always a critic. I am tired of feeling insecure because of well-meaning moms saying horrible things about what I do or do not let my kids do.

I know I am tempting all kinds of good Christian women to send me hate mail by writing this post, but I am feeling rather opinionated lately. I’ve been responding to some questions on blogs and Facebook, and I realized I wanted to say it all at once, and I wanted to say it here.

So. Yes, I believe in Jesus and yes, I am a Christian. And yes. We do Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and Easter Bunny. Yes, I carve pumpkins with my kids and let them dress up as favorite characters and go to a harvest fair. Yes, I go to sleep each night with a clear conscience before my God.

There has been quite a little debate raging on Twitter lately about Santa. So far, I seem to be in the minority. In real life, I am considered normal, but online buddies are vehemently against the whole Santa thing. I don’t mind difference of opinions, that’s what makes life interesting. So the moms that bother me aren’t the ones who state their beliefs and reasons, but the ones who essentially tell moms who do differently that they are ruining their kids’ chances of growing up Godly.

Well. In the beginning, I said all the same things. I don’t want to lie to my baby. Christmas is about Jesus. And so on. Then my dad had my two year old for a day close to Christmas. She came home so indoctrinated and so excited about Santa that I threw up my hands and went along with it.

I was a young mom and went along with what my parents and in-laws said. I might have done it differently if I’d had kids in my thirties, when I started being more sure of myself. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because we’ve had great fun over the years with Santa. Our focus is always on Christ, and Santa is part of that celebration. It doesn’t take away from the true meaning of Christmas unless you let it.

I never had to convince my kids, or figure out reasons for parts of the story that don’t make sense. As soon as my oldest started asking questions, I told her the truth. And guess what? She is thirteen now and she is on fire for God, in love with her parents and tells her mommy every little thing. She trusts us. She believes in God.

This disproves the arguments I’ve heard, and I’ve heard it all. That our kids won’t trust us in the future or that they’ll end up thinking we’re lying about Jesus, too. Well that’s just silly. We might teach our kids about God, but He draws them to Himself. We show them the way, but they grow to know Him in their own hearts. Him—a real, loving God with whom they have a personal relationship. Not a random character that plops a Barbie on the fireplace once a year. How could anyone not see the difference?

My girl is proof that a kid can believe in Santa and still end up being a Christian.

My guess is, several of those angry moms are proof, too. They admit their parents did Santa for them. So while I understand their reasoning, I do not understand the need to condemn moms who choose differently. It’s the same thing at Halloween. Carving a pumpkin does not make me a pagan. And, just so you know, calling someone a pagan does not make you a better Christian.

Now that my youngest is six and will probably learn the truth too soon, I am nostalgically reminiscing of the days when both my little ones went to bed in anticipation of the unknown. Of slipping candy in stockings and hearing relatives ask all day long, “What did Santa bring you?”

It’s part of our culture, our country’s traditions and my family’s, too. So, please. Can’t we agree to disagree? I promise not to tell you you’re ruining your children, and you can leave me alone, too.

As long as I’m being controversial, here are a few more tidbits. I don’t let my kids read Harry Potter. They’re not allowed to wear anything with skulls, or watch most television. But we do love iCarly and SpongeBob is a household favorite. I let them wear pretty much whatever they want, (besides skulls) as long as not too much skin is showing. We love makeup and shopping and sometimes have cookies for breakfast.

I’ve spanked. I’ve skipped church for no good reason. We’ve slept ‘til noon and stayed up ‘til 2am. And here’s the big one: I homeschool my kids and I teach them that the only way to heaven is through Jesus.

You can disagree. That’s okay. Just don’t tell me I’m not a good Christian because my silly rules are different than yours.

What are some things you’re sick of being criticized for?

SpellQuizzer Winner…

November 17, 2009


Thanks to all of you who entered the SpellQuizzer Giveaway!

I went to and the winner is….

Barcelona Red!  (Comment #26)

Barcelona will be emailed and then she has one week to claim her prize.

If you didn’t win, consider heading over to SpellQuizzer to download their free 30 day trial.  I am now an affiliate, which means if you buy one through this click, I get paid!  Of course, the trial is free, so I would suggest that if you’re not sure.

Congrats, Barcelona!

Multi-tasking Workboxes

November 17, 2009

If you’re looking for a creative way to use workboxes that teach your kids life skills and cut down on your to-do list, read my post today at the Homeschool Classroom.  Parents that don’t homeschool might also like this idea!

Singin’ a New Song

November 16, 2009

rainy day pshan427

It had been an annoying morning. Nothing earth shattering, just a few people in a row that happened to be a little on the insulting side. I reminded myself that I am not going to let things get me down anymore. No more sweet, sensitive soul, ‘cause that’s been looking too much like a doormat lately.

I am womaaaan! I hummed. Hear me roar! I don’t know the rest of the song, so I stopped there, but I continued my little pep talk. I don’t need those people to validate me! I’m strong, I’m invincible…I am woman!

Then it happened. Mid-roar. You are my strong tower. Another song, this one by Kutless. Hmm. I switched songs and began to smile.

You are my strong tower
Shelter over me, beautiful and mighty, everlasting king
You are my strong tower
Fortress when I’m weak
Your name is true and holy
And your face all I see

This song reminded me of Psalm 61:3: For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

Probably a better message to send myself. God’s strength, not mine. Yeah, definitely.

Have you ever had an epiphany and wondered how you possibly lived your whole life without knowing what you just realized?

I have always chosen music based on my mood. I have a CD mix entitled “Sad Songs” for when I need a good cry. I have pensive music, angry-girl music from the 90’s, and love songs for when I’m feeling mushy. I felt pretty safe about my choices. I mean, there’s no gangsta rap in my playlist.

One little whisper from the Holy Spirit and I realized that I have been so, so wrong. All those times I spent sobbing with Celine in the background could have been spent with my God, in His comforting presence.

Instead, I bought into the lie perpetuated by girl magazines and chick flicks…that a pint of ice cream and a sad CD is a perfectly normal ritual that we all need once in a while. That a strong woman has all the strength she needs…right inside herself.

Not so. I don’t believe life is hopeless. I don’t believe that we are to be self-sufficient. I don’t believe many of the messages that the songs I love are sending my brain, and ultimately, my heart.

Music affects my soul. A simple song on the radio can catapult me back fifteen years or more to a happy, sad, or confusing experience. The right song can list my mood as easily as the wrong one can send me into a downward spiral.

Why not, then, turn to music that points back to the truth, God’s Word? I’m not saying I’ll never again be moved by a secular song…and probably some Ben and Jerry’s too.

I’m just going to be more careful about the songs I listen to, because—like it or not—they eventually move from my brain to my heart.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

Got any good song recommendations for my new mix?

photo by pshan427

Homeschool Hop and The Homeschool Lounge

November 12, 2009

Working together

Are you a homeschool mom in need of support, encouragement, or friendship?

There are two online communities I have joined in the last couple months and I’m really enjoying getting to know some of the moms.

Homeschool Hop is a smaller community, and I like that people there are eager to connect. The owner of the site, Pamela Jano, has a real heart for God and loves to work with and support homeschool moms. HS Hop is definitely focused on Christian Homeschooling. Their membership is also open to dads and teens. This site is newer and still growing, and I encourage you to check it out.

The Homeschool Lounge is another such community, but much larger. They just reached over 10,500 members. It’s not quite as intimate, but they have several groups you can join to meet like-minded moms. The site is not exclusively Christian, but the owners are Christians, and the majority of members are. Only homeschool moms are allowed to join, no dads or homeschool-curious moms allowed. Their chat feature is pretty active, so if you like to chat, you can always find someone.

I recommend them both! If you do sign up, find me and add me as a “friend” and we can get to know each other!