Vintage Homeschool Moms

DIY Diets

DIY DietsDIY Diets

I wanted to find great DIY diets and there are so many out there – and so I set out on a search! With so many of the fad diets on the market since, well – I was young, it is a miracle we aren’t all super thin. Diets are one of the most researched, and over promised and underachieved results, in my opinion. There are many facets to dieting that we will take a look at this podcast as well as ways to make a DIY diet work for you!

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Alright—DIY diets, the idea of any do it yourself project is obviously to save money. Yes, there are a ton of packaged plans out there and we’ll discuss some of those later on but I wanted to diet on my own.

In these previous episodes, “Why Your Diet Fails,” and “Eating Well and Losing Weight,” and “Healthy Substitutes That Work,” the main focus in all is that if you don’t follow through it will not work.

I feel I was a pioneer of diets in my teens. I’d eat sparingly during the week disliking the cafeteria food in college and lived mostly on salads and proteins. I did love my melba toast and cheese. I absolutely love cheese and sometimes find myself craving it—which I read could be a calcium deficiency but living in Florida I get plenty of Vitamin D from the sun.

On the weekend when I went home –home was only thirty minutes away, I’d enter my Dad’s Italian restaurant and almost gain 5lbs on the spot. It was not hard to do with the wonderful foods he served. When I went back to school the pendulum would swing the other way and soon I was down 5lbs. I’d fluctuate 5-7-10 lbs and it was easy to lose back then! I could skip a meal and lose 5lbs.

Let’s look at the reasons you may want to lose weight:

  1. Health reasons
  2. Clothes are too tight
  3. You’ve gained weight through the years and those 5lbs a year (on average what most adults gain slowly over time) have piled up.

I will admit that the do it yourself (DIY diets) can have some pitfalls, but we can learn from those with storefronts and prepackaged meals. The main thing they do well is pair you up with a coach.

Here is a quick list of what you need in a diet partner or diet coach (who can be a spouse, a good friend or a professional you hire):

  1. No judging – you don’t need to hear, “You look fine, you don’t need to lose weight!”
  2. A cheerleader – someone who is encouraging.
  3. A helper – someone you can call if you feel led to cheat.
  4. No tempting – someone who will help you stay on your diet.
  5. Accountability—set goals with you and let them monitor you.

Five Good Tips About DIY Diets:

  1. Diets work best when you are consistent and follow-through. You, can’t give up if you do, you will slide back into your bad habits!
  2. Diets work best if they fit into your lifestyle. If you can’t make shakes at lunch with fruits and veggies using a blender switch to powder mixes. I like the 4-Life protein shakes here. Meal replacement shakes here. My daughter eats these on her way to school as a meal replacement for breakfast when she is on the run and doesn’t have time to eat. Invest in a good shaker bottle.
  3. Diets that taste good keep you on track.
  4. Diets that fill you up keep you on track – if you are hungry it won’t work!
  5. Diets that have results work! If you are not losing weight it is hard to stick to your diet!

Use these guidelines to help you in healthy food decisions. 

Don’t think you can commit to a diet right now? That’s okay! Use these guidelines to inform health food decisions:

  1. When it comes to losing weight and eating healthy, success starts in the kitchen. Throw out highly-processed foods and invest in a protein powder that you like. Be careful when looking at how much protein comes in a bucket and how big the scoop is, which factors into the servings per container.
  2. Top rated protein shake brands include— and Isagenix.
  3. Detox is a good way to begin. For me, I use a simple detox. I’ll drink the 4-Life Detox tea (if you have issues with detoxing—use a weaker form, 1 teabag to 2 x the water and drink only half).
  4. Don’t eat sugar or carbs. No fruits! No sugars for about 40+ days helped clear up my inflamed gums! No mint in toothpaste (visit for more info on homeopathic remedies) and her store here.
  5. Hydration is the body’s strongest defense to ward off hunger. Try increasing how much water you drink and you’ll not only feel better but you’ll find yourself not as hungry in between meals!
  6. The Keto diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and very low carb diet. The low carb part re-programs your metabolism to burn fat for fuel, rather than glycogen stored in your muscles.
  7. Exercise Apps that work – Podcast Link hereManual link here – a restrictive diet that works, I’ve lost 15-20 lbs in a month and kept it off! Helped to jump start my 5lbs that I recently lost. If you don’t have body fat it does not work

Choose a diet that works for you and your life. 

For those interested in packaged foods.

  1. The major selling point of the pre-packaged diets is that it takes the guesswork out of the process, as well as the temptation. But isn’t fighting temptations part of the process to healthy eating?
  2. So many of the packaged diets out there that are not DIY but are great for moms on the go, looking to lose a few inches off their waist. But, it comes at a price. Who has an extra $300/month just sitting around, especially when feeding an entire family, and not just you?! Even though it’s delivered straight to your door, the downside is you eat a lot of frozen foods, not fresh. It also encourages small meals throughout the day, which can be healthy but also dangerous.
  3. Use a grocery checklist to bring with you with approved and unapproved foods as well as possible substitutions if you are following a set diet.

Don’t think you can commit to a diet right now? That’s okay! Use these guidelines to inform health food decisions:

  1. Keep sugar intake low
  2. Increase fiber and protein intake to stay full or replace meals
  3. Limit dairy and carbs
  4. Increase water consumption
  5. Stick to healthy fats

Running Your Home Like A CEO

running your home like a CEORunning Your Home Like A CEO

Running your home like a CEO is possible, and even with heart! Wouldn’t it be great if you could take a cue from corporate America and run your home like a CEO? In this podcast, we are going to discuss how running several businesses have taught me that I can apply some if not all of these skills into running a more efficient, time-saving, and organized home!

What about “heart,” you might ask? Shouldn’t you have an idea of running your household with heart? With care about those under your watch— of course! I can’t think of any company head who doesn’t care about the success of the business or the people in it!

I decided to look at six areas that a CEO excels in running a company. Successful companies are run with goals and everyone knows the direction and works hard to achieve it, together. There is strength in numbers and this is an important element in running a home. No one person can do it all—and if they do, at some point there is burn out. You can not sustain that level forever.

A home is made up of family and the needs of a family. In the next  I focus on family, communication and dealing with behavior and misbehavior and encouraging your kids to be the best they can be in life given their talents. In this podcast I focus on the running specifically of a home.

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Running Your Home Like a CEO Checklist:

Here is a printable with the topics below to fill out: Top SIX Traits For Running Your Home Like A CEO

First, let’s look at some of the attributes of a CEO –

  1. A CEO is a leader

Everyone looks to the CEO for leadership, to follow and to obey. The CEO is the person in charge and an authority figure. Determine the CEO of your family. Is Dad the CEO and mom the President? This is an important distinction. Families tend to have too many chiefs and not enough Indians and this can cause all kinds of chaos and problems within a family. Knowing who the leader is and why we follow the leader is very important. That is not to say that decisions can’t be made together but that when there needs to be one person making the decision (and taking the responsibility) that person is designated.

2. Determines strategic direction

  1. Everyone should understand the direction
  2. Jobs focus on the direction
  3. Daily responsibilities combined to achieve success

3. Decision making, a CEO makes decisions based upon: (*don’t worry about how you are going to accomplish any of these ideals, just think about how you’d answer each of these areas.)

A. Needs–Each person in the family has different needs and levels of care. Assessing this care and determining who can help is important. I call this manning the troops. Sometimes we need help

B. Values–What is important for your family? What values are the line-in-the sand? The not to be compromised truths your families will be known for?

C. Goals– What are your objectives as a family? Daily survival or thriving?

A CEO determines and communicates the organization strategic direction – until that gets settled, making decisions about anything else in business is hard. Without this goal the company is a group of people pursing individual goals guided by their own agenda. Does everyone in your family wander around with their own cares – not worried about the family as a unit? Are mom and dad the only ones who worry about each other and the kids yet this isn’t shared by the rest of the family? If so, the issue can be the strategic direction, no one knows the goal or how to reach it. What is the goal for your family? For ours it is heaven and getting there is very important to us, living out lives pleasing to God and each other is important. If we don’t live our lives with the “end in mind” we’d be very different people. Do you know your direction?

4. A CEO is responsible for day-to-day management decisions

A. Implementing long and short-term goals

B. Organizing and delegating

C. Making sure the different departments works toward a common goals

5.  Liaison:

  1. The CEO communicates
  2. Is a liaison

Communication is important. Period. Communicating the needs to each other and to the family without being hurtful is important. Constructive criticism isn’t often taken well. Is your family relationship good, if so it will be taken better. Most of the time criticism is taken as being critical of behavior or poor decision making. Working on lines of communication will benefit the immediate household as well as the

  1. Resources:
    1. In charge of balancing capital and people
    2. Using resources to the optimum



30 Top Films For Middle School to Adult

30 top films30 Top Films

Family Films For Older Kids

Do you have a list of your top 30 top films for families with older kids? In this podcast, I interview Lisa Winton, who along with her husband started a popular Facebook group to discuss their favorite movies and chat about them with friends. Lisa and Randy Winton have homeschooled for 16-years. Join us for more movies to add to your growing lists!

Thanks to our sponsors! FamilyLife(R) and Kendrick Brothers bring us the family film, Like Arrows! Check it out for your family.

Lisa Winton is my guest and will share her top 30 family friend film for older children. Here are the questions I asked, listen to the podcast for more!

  1. Tell me about yourself and your family:

I am a lover of classic literature, classical art, classic films and the outdoors, I enjoy history and art museums, orchestral concerts, classical ballet concerts, running, and decorating my home in a shabby chic/vintage style. I just recently decided to indulge in some new interests, and besides taking ballet classes for adults and joining my daughters in their art lessons, starting studying homeopathy in a group setting.

I have been married to my husband Randy for 29 years and we have four children, two adult sons (one married with two grand babies one in college) and two adopted daughters, one with special health challenges and one with health issues/developmental delays and autism. I am in my sixteenth year of homeschooling and love reading about and implementing various educational approaches, and have spent the last decade researching autism along with related therapies and implementing approaches to help see my daughter with autism to become the best-functioning adult she is capable of becoming.

I began a Facebook page, “Inspire:  Rediscovering Classic Family Films” (will come up by searching Classic Family Films on Facebook) several years ago, simply to highlight some of our family’s favorite films over the years because I had met so many people who had never heard of the ones that we loved, and after borrowing them from us couldn’t believe they’d never heard of them before. I thought that might be the case with others and wanted more people to enjoy the films we had found for our family.

  1. What ages will we focus on in this podcast?

We decided to focus on titles for families with middle and high-school aged children.

We briefly discussed the Hay’s code that went into a self-imposed standard that the Hollywood industry of old began when it started to police itself for decency mainly to keep the government from doing it when faced with legislative censorship.

  1. Lisa share that her family criteria for movies is:

Strong and moving story, high production values (good acting, beautiful scenery, inspiring and moving story and score, satisfying ending)

Inspiring themes–triumph, courage and honor, perseverance in the face of difficulty, redemption of a character (like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol or the Beast in Beauty and the Beast)

Historical or story narrative to gain insight and understanding–what it was like to live in different time periods (through World Wars, the Depression, the War for Independence)

Stories that when we are finished viewing, we are better for it. Inspired to stand stronger, be kinder, love others more, not repeat the mistakes of others or the past.

Last but not least, that the films we choose line-up with our family’s biblical values, and though very few films are flawless, promote that which we want to instill in our children and be inspired by personally. I.E.–it’s OK to have a Nellie Olson in a story. We need to have antagonists and protagonists to have a good story, but the antagonist should be seen clearly in the story as the one on the side of wrong, and the protagonist on the side of good and right. Not everyone will agree with us. Some people don’t want their kids to view anyone who has bad behavior–but I’d rather my kids meet Nellie Olesons in the pages of a book or on film where we can discuss these issues in imaginary circumstances before they face them in real life. And they will

4. What do you think about movie ratings?

Yes–we find it extremely entertaining that many older Shirley Temple films are rated PG, and so many more modern animated or even live-action “kids” films these days rated G are not ones we would choose to watch. We also have seen many PG-13 films that are rated because of the themes and not for content but meet our criteria as a worthy film for our family to view.  For example, two movies released more recently, The Book Thief (PG-13) and Hidden Figures (PG) I would choose to show my older children hands down over MANY rated G films released these days.

5. I also want to discuss underlying themes … many times movie producers even in animations place subtle hints (homosexuality, gender issues, etc. in movies that parents catch).

This is something coming in more and more these days–I may have a position not everyone is comfortable with. Each family needs to discern for themselves. We watched Disney’s live-action version of The Beauty and the Beast, over which there was some controversy. It was not hard to see that they subtly included some propaganda I could discern as an adult. But in the end we felt the overall value of truth, beauty, good overcoming evil and prejudice, strong family affection and loyalty (Belle and her father) and redemption of the beast in the film far outweighed the objectionable elements they included which went right over my younger children’s heads. And as they get older, we will use those elements as jumping off points to talk about values that differ from ours and how to have judgment and discernment when approaching film and other viewpoints.

30 top films30 Top Films For Families Middle School to Adult  – those starred below are their family favorites.

  1. Little Women (June Allyson and Wiona Ryder)
  2. The Prisoner of Zenda (Stuart Granger)
  3. Night Crossing (Disney) *
  4. Miniver
  5. The Great Escape
  6. The Fighting Sullivan’s *
  7. The Long Gray Line *
  8. Little Lord Fauntleroy
  9. Anne of Green Gables & The Sequel
  10. A Man Called Peter *
  11. Sergeant York *
  12. The Agony & The Ecstasy * (Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel)
  13. Ben Hur
  14. Boy’s Town *
  15. Chariots of Fire *
  16. The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant)
  17. Smith Goes To Washington
  18. Edison: The Man *
  19. Madame Curie *
  20. Jackie Robinson (42 is also well done) *
  21. Pride of the Yankees *
  22. I Remember Mama
  23. Captains Courageous (Spencer Tracy)
  24. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Robert Donat)
  25. Miracle of the White Stallions (Disney) *
  26. Remember the Titans
  27. The Bode Thief
  28. Gifted Hands *
  29. Hidden Figures *
  30. Guns of Navaronne

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Like Arrows!

FamilyLife’s first feature film LIKE ARROWS, explores the joys and heartaches of parenting with a story that spans over 50 years. Join us in theaters across America for a special 2 night showing of LIKE ARROWS followed by exclusive after-show content with the film-makers, including celebrated faith-based film-makers Alex and Stephen Kendrick as well as FamilyLife Today’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine. You’ll leave encouraged and equipped with powerful next steps to make Christ the center of YOUR parenting.

LIKE ARROWS will be in theaters for two nights only, MAY 1ST and 3RD. To view the trailer and find theater info, visit the link below. If you missed the movie in theatres be sure to check out the Digital, DVD and Blueray versions on the website,

Visit here to learn more.

Family Action Plan

family action planFamily Action Plan

Episode 265

Get your battle gear on, it’s time for a family action plan! Most of us enter into family life with a day-to-day survival mentality. Now is the time to kick that survival mode attitude and become proactive! In this episode, I discuss my aversion to details, planning and how life got the best of me most days, weary and defeated I fell into bed only to rinse and repeat again. Then an idea, a small seed that sprouted into what I call a family action plan – that I’ll share in this not be missed episode!

Thanks to our sponsor — Like Arrows 

As adults, we are responsible for our families. We have jobs, we figure out where we will live–we buy or rent a home, we decide what we will eat for the day, for the week or even for the month. But do we really plan and focus on what we hope to accomplish within our families? I felt the years were speeding by when my first two children sprung into their teen years. I had a little one and had started “life” over in a sense. I wondered what was becoming of our family, would I have enough time to spend with each kid, was anyone going to feel left out–and truthfully things I never worried about before started to creep in and concern me.

Let’s face it, having two kids was easier than five and having kids when I was younger with more energy was actually different then having children in my late 30’s because I was an experienced mom, and much more relaxed. My last three children got away with less since this savvy mom already knew what to expect!

Yet something was missing — a Family Plan!

My husband and I ran several businesses together. Being entrepreneurial was in my blood, if not his, and with some help and enthusiasm on my part, we began a construction and home inspection business that he works in, and I run my publishing business that consists of this network and books I’ve published. Our businesses have measures in place so they practically run themselves or if there is a problem, years of experience come into play. Why couldn’t we apply this to our family? Write a business plan for our family life?

And that is what I propose. Our goals and objectives will be different but some things are the same. Having a mission statement, goals, looking at our communication with our customers and employees, and keeping an eye on the future while planning for the unexpected. Yes, you can actually plan for things that might crop up without being Debbie-Downer! Of course, life can throw you a curveball, but if you have an idea of how you want your life to look it may actually help.

One of the main elements that has been our mainstay in all our years in business and family life is one main constant. Love of God, trust in God and His providence for our family, and looking to God for our answers before we find ourselves struggling! I may have shared with you in the past that I tend to get ahead of God. I get this idea and want to run with it, but when I stop, write it down and place it in my prayer journal I wait until I have peace I don’t move ahead with it…

So what are those top five things and how can you create a family plan of your own?

Click here to download the pdf file of the following for your own private use. Top Five Things To Do TO Create A Family Plan-handout

family action planHere is an outline:

  1. Top Five Things To Do TO Create A Family PlanMission:
    1. What is your family mission statement?
    2. Do you have your mission statement posted where everyone can see it?
    3. Does everyone understand your family mission statement?


    1. What are your goals and objectives for your family?
    2. Do I have priorities and are they in the correct order?
    3. How do I instill values and faith in my family?


    1. Do I have open lines of communication set within my family?
    2. Has there been a breakdown of communication? If so how can I fix it?
    3. Do I need to communicate rules in a better way?


    1. How do I anticipate my family structure changing in the future?
    2. Have I projected the financial needs of my family now and in the future?
    3. Have I considered savings, investments or college funds?


    1. Have I identified unmet financial needs?
    2. Have I identified unmet needs with my spouse or children?
    3. Do I have a plan in place for the unexpected (financial: medical, school, home)?

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Like Arrows!

FamilyLife’s first feature film LIKE ARROWS, explores the joys and heartaches of parenting with a story that spans over 50 years. Join us in theaters across America for a special 2 night showing of LIKE ARROWS followed by exclusive after-show content with the film-makers, including celebrated faith-based film-makers Alex and Stephen Kendrick as well as FamilyLife Today’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine. You’ll leave encouraged and equipped with powerful next steps to make Christ the center of YOUR parenting.

LIKE ARROWS will be in theaters for two nights only, MAY 1ST and 3RD. To view the trailer and find theater info, visit the link below. If you missed the movie in theatres be sure to check out the Digital, DVD and Blueray versions on the website,

Visit here to learn more.

Homeschool Burn Out

home school burnoutHomeschool Burn Out

Yes, homeschool burn out can happen to you, even the most die-hard or poster-child-for homeschool mom. You know you’re burned out when … can you fill in the blank? For me it began when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, when I dreaded listening to my children read because it would put me to sleep and when the thought of teaching another child long division made me cry. Basically, I didn’t care if the kids completed one page or ten pages in their book, and the questions were never-ending. In this podcast I deal mom burnout, especially homeschool burn out and ways to combat it with some real and doable suggestions.

Thanks to our sponsor, LD Entertainment and the movie the Miracle Season!

Show Notes: Homeschool Burn Out

When you are stuggling with burn out the last thing you want is a know-it-all-mom to tell you one more thing you need to do to overcome burn out. I mean, the reason you feel burned out is you are overwhelmed, right? I know. I’ve been there. you see I had a really cushy life. My husband made a good living, provided for our family and is loving and kind. I’m blessed. I had two children, a house on a couple of acres and lived in a place with perpetual summer and spring weather. I began a publishing business right before I found out I was pregnant with child number three. The publishing business flourished and so did my fertility. I had number four, and number five in my 40’s. So, homeschooling highschool, having little ones while running a publishing business became an amazing feat. Something had to go!

Do your kids ask:

“Mom, what do you want me to do first, math or reading?

Mom, can I go to Jimmie’s house after our field trip?

Mom, I can’t find my math book!”

If I had a penny for each time a child lost a school book or for the number of times my name, “Mom” was used in a sentence that ended in a question, I’d be very rich! There was a time in the not so distant past when my business became very profitable at a time when my husband’s business took a sudden downward turn, due to the economic decline. It was a blessing to be sure, but juggling little kids and little, constant problems with launching a new branch of my business became very tough. On top of this, I was dissatisfied. I was sad I didn’t have more time to complete my homeschool tasks, I was sad my house was a mess. And, yes – I was just plain sad!

I needed a break but I didn’t have anyone who I could trust to babysit nearby or even friends to trade with, in fact, I felt selfish for even thinking of leaving my kids alone for any period of time. I realized years later I was my own worse enemy. I had all these rules, these do’s and don’ts and no way out of the mess I had created.

Yes, sometimes there are things out of our control. The washing machine breaks, there is a hurricane and no electricity for two weeks, this has happened to us three times while living in southwest Florida, and yes I still live here. There are those unaccountable and unavoidable things that happen in our life. But that doesn’t mean we quit. I’m going to share with you my life raft tips, those things are sure to help you with homeschool burn out!

List: Life happens. We need to realize that every day isn’t going to be perfect, everything on our list will not be checked off and we need to be okay with it!

Important: What is the most important thing to tackle that day? The one thing. You know the one thing that if completed will make me happy. If there isn’t one thing you are not fine-tuning your list enough. Take a few moments to think about this each day, or better yet the night before an make a plan.

Fear: Fear can be crippling. It can come from many sources but in order to overcome fear you must identify it and call it out for what it really is, fear is debilitating and crippling. It can make us sick! I pray this prayer each time I am fearful: Dear Lord, by your death and resurrection you have conquered fear and death, and I ask that you bless me, my family and friends and in the name of Jesus I cast out fear since you are love and perfect love casts out all fear! 1 John 4: 17-18 – In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear involves

Easy: A office supply company made an entire marketing campaign around the “easy button,” the premise was based upon the ease of completing a task only took hitting the button, and it was done. We make things so complicated and difficult. We are either perfectionists and that holds us captive or we are lazy and leave dishes in the sink, piles of clothes all over the place and we complain that our kids never help us! I admit it, there are times when I am lazy when I don’t want to do the dishes and every one of useful age is gone! Guess what? Kids grow up, they leave home and those pesky dishes are still around. It really is easy. Take turns, make a schedule or ask your kids to split up chores. I did that one year when the schedules were not working any longer and everyone selected jobs they liked, and guess what? Yes, you guessed right, no one complained about doing the job because they didn’t mind it. Easy!

Reality: Sometimes we will be sad and on overload. It’s okay. Really. We have this false sense that we are allowed to complain or that no one cares. I care. God cares. Your kids care even if you don’t think they do. Sadness on occasion happens and typically because we haven’t accomplished that goal. Be realistic, look at your goals. Are they attainable? If not why? If so, then how are you going to make it happen. If you don’t have goals, write them today!

Anger: Burnout is when you get angry at the smallest, littlest, inconsequential things. Burnout happens when we are angry and don’t really have a reason for it. Anger doesn’t make us feel better. It makes us feel worse and when we lose control, it can be horrible for all involved. Everyone has been angry from time to time. If you feel you are losing control get help. Don’t try to fight it alone.

Forgive: Forgiveness begins with yourself. Forgiveness isn’t easy! I invite you to listen to this podcast on forgiveness and this one on asking for forgiveness.  If you’ve hurt your children with unkind words set the example and ask them for forgiveness as well. Happiness and joy will come from this, I promise!

Truth: False thinking is one of the reasons we can’t face the truth. You are not a horrible person, you are not a failure, you are not terrible at everything you do. How do I know? Because you are listening to this podcast and you don’t want to suffer from burn out!

Burnout is a very real thing. It means it’s time for mom to take a break. A short break, but one nonetheless. When things become insurmountable it is time for help. I pray this podcast has been a help to you. I want to leave you with this thought.

Even in our worse moments at home, we are providing for our children that we genuinely love. There is no one out there who will love our children as much as we do. No one.

At one time or another, we’ve all questioned our ability to homeschool — we are doing a horrible job of homeschooling, our kids will never get the education they need or as good as the schools. They’ll never get a good job or go to college. Believe me, they will. I’m graduating my last child of five this year, and they’ve all succeeded. Some in jobs and three in college.

Friends, you are doing a better job than traditional schools! Recently friends pulled their children out of school because the administration or staff decided to run drills on mock school shootings. They will pretend there is a shooter in the school and then not let the children know it is a drill. That fear is crippling! Like a fire drill is good practice, this could be as well except for the fear factor of not knowing if it is real or not! This could cause a lifetime of psychological damage! My friends decided the home was preferable.

I believe I’ve been blessed with the perfect amount of children, and my children have taught me so much! I’m working on a podcast on what I’ve learned from my children, and it is so much!

I know you’ve got this and  you are not alone. When burnout comes creeping in, banish it but don’t think you have to do it alone. We have a facebook group for the purpose of small group discussions – if you are in need, reach out. We are here for you! You are qualified to teach your children! And this podcast network is dedicated to help you! Listen to the many wonderful broadcasts on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network, and I pray this podcast was a help!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

Top 50 Christian Films

top 50 Christian filmsTop 50 Christian Films


In this episode of the top 50 Christian Films, I explore past favorites along with some new and promising film companies who are currently making Christian movies into mainstream theatres. These movies are ones I would recommend however with any recommendation comes a caution to parents. The information is provided as a base for your own favorite list, watch these first before allowing your children to view them, unattended.

Show Notes: Top 50 Christian Films

Praise God and Hallelujah, the recent filmmaking industry has vastly improved in their creations of productions with a Christian theme. It was difficult to convince my young children to watch anything not animated or humorous. As my daughter often reminded me, Christian themes are sad because Jesus dies. Yes. But, He also rises from the dead!

All of these movies obviously have religious undertones or they would not be on this list. Some have been viewed by me, or relatives of mine that I trust! If I have not bolded the title, I have not seen the movie. Please watch any movie you wish to show your young children or even teens. Listen to this podcast for more details.

There are more than 50 here, those with an asterisk* I’ve seen, the others are recommended.

These are broken into the following categories: Religious-based fiction; Fiction with religious undertones, Fiction with sports content, Overcoming Hardships, Documentary, Catholic Religious Films.

Religous based fiction:

  • The Nativity Story**
  • Jesus of Nazareth**
  • The Robe**
  • Parables of Jesus
  • Road to Emmaus
  • Polycarp
  • The Bible**
  • Apostle Peter and the Last Supper
  • The Gospel According to Matthew
  • *The Gospel of John – word for word adaptation
  • The Passion of Christ ** (caution, graphic!)

Religous Based Undertones

  • God’s Not Dead ** (God’s Not Dead 2)
  • The Encounter
  • Heaven is for Real
  • Grace Unplugged
  • Soul Surfer 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia*: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Threader 
  • War Room
  • Unstoppable
  • Letters to God*
  • Faith Like Potatoes
  • Miracles from Heaven*
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • East of Eden
  • Ben-hur
  • All Saints
  • The Blind Side
  • Help

Overcoming Hardships

  • Before All Others
  • Indescribable
  • A Cross to Bear
  • Unexpected Places
  • Corrie Ten Boom
  • 94 Feet
  • The Encounter

Animations Christian Theme:

  • Veggie Tales!**
  • The Prince of Egypt*
  • Old and New Testament: NEST *

Documentary Christian Theme: 

  • Shroud of Turin- 3 DVD**
  • Journeying with Jesus
  • Tomb of Jesus
  • Case for Christ
  • Hillsong: Let Hope Rise*
  • Tim Tebow: On a Mission

Sports Focus Religious Undertones

  • Champions of Fath **
  • Milltown Pride
  • Catching Faith
  • One Hit From Home
  • Pitching Love
  • Jackson’s Run

Catholic Films:

  • Joan of Ark*
  • Pope John Paul II*
  • The Song of Bernadette*
  • A Man For All Seasons*
  • The Mission*
  • The Trouble with Angels*
  • Going My Way*
  • The Bell’s of St. Mary*
  • Therese*
  • The Sound of Music*
  • The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima
  • Come to the Stable *

Releases Upcoming: Previewed the ones with **

  1. Ice Dragon — in theaters March 24, 2018 **
  2. Miracle Season in theatres April 6, 2018**
  3. Like Arrows –in theatres May 1 and 3, 2018 **

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

Faith and Homeschooling

faith and homeschoolingFaith and Homeschooling

Episode # 262

Is faith and homeschooling a part of your life or are faith and homeschooling compartmentalized? In this episode, we explore why our faith should be an integral part of our homeschool day, and integrated into our lives. Our children learn best by example and what better way to show our children than through the experiences in a well-rounded homeschool curriculum.

Thanks to our sponsors!

Show Notes: Faith and Homeschooling

Homeschooling is a lifestyle with learning coming easily in our daily experiences. In this way, my children recognize the opportunities presented to them as part of what we do, but also part of their school experience.

Quick Tips for incorporating faith into you homeschool:

  1. Incorporate Bible into your daily homeschooling routine. Kids watch us, are we praying? Do you use a journal in prayer? Do you study the Bible? I created the course, Homeschooling with Proverbs– because I wanted a family Bible course with all of us on the same page. Homeschooling and faith in our family are intertwined, although it didn’t begin that way. Listen to the audio as I share my beginning of the homeschool journey.
  2. Make prayer a large part of your day – faith in practice. We pray as a family and still do this today, even with grown kids in the house, kids home from college, kids who work and live at home. Daily prayer keeps our family focused on the real meaning of life – a life with God. Prayer has been answered in abundance in our home, by keeping God first in our lives.
  3. Use curriculum that is Christian faith focused. Do you use a curriculum devoid of faith or one that encourages your faith journey? My daughter and I wrote a series of Creation based novels that are still popular today. You can find them on or on Amazon: Novel 1- Missing Link Found, Novel 2- Dinosaur Quest at Diamond Peak, Novel 3- Keys to the Past Unlocked, along with study guides. These novels have a Christian focus and the children are homeschooled (of course!). We also studied the creation vs. evolution discussion and studied a series I also wrote on the topic. How do you incorporate faith in your homeschool? My kids have gone on to college and be able, successfully to present scientific evidence for creationism in the college classroom and with professors in private. This came from years of homeschooling and study.
  4. Celebrate feast days, make it part of your homeschooling curriculum. I love to celebrate the names of my children and the days on a religious calendar – you can find information here
  5. Visit places that are notable, churches and shrines. I share a testimonial about doing this as a child with my family in Italy when I toured the Vatican and Sistine Chapel in Rome as well as a friend who came to know God through the churches in Europe.

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

Movie Spotlight The Miracle Season

 movie spotlight miracle seasonMovie Spotlight The Miracle Season

A movie spotlight: Miracle Season – this is an unusual undertaking for me, but it’s been a long time since a movie has impacted me in this way. From the beginning I was captured by the essence of love, the love a young girl showed her parents and her friends and her community. This story is about the fragility of life and the impact we can make in each other, through love and kindness. These are the topics we’ll explore in this podcast.

Thanks to our Sponsor! The Movie – The Miracle Season





We want our children to live like Line – that is the theme of this story, that one person can so impact another’s life that even after death the example of their life lives onward.

While this movie is a sponsor of this broadcast, I am not paid to say I like it. In fact, there are elements I’d change like bringing the Lord more into the forefront instead of having to hunt for the impact of the love of God in the small and somewhat hidden scenes between the pastor and the grieving father. This story impacted me in several ways. One, I have kids that play sports and it hit close to home. Secondly, the fear every parent has once their children are mobile and can drive. We give the Lord our fears and pray for the protection of our children but we don’t know the day or time when they will do something dumb (case in point in this film), or be the victim of someone else’s carelessness.

There is a death in the movie although it is not graphic or shown, other than the outpouring of love by the placing of flowers and stuffed animals at the site. I’d recommend this film for twelve and above, not for little children due to the elements of grief and anger portrayed. They might not make the correct connections. The film is rated PG.

Without giving away the movie plot, because I highly suggest you watch the film, I’d say that the example of Caroline as portrayed is something we should all aspire to, and that is love. She gave love freely. She assured those who were hurting not to worry, she had their back – she was there for them – they could count on her – she would not let them down. Can we say that we do that in our lives? Do we look to our children and expect them to lift us up or do we do all the heavy lifting?

In life, we are given multiple chances to make good come out of bad, and how do we do this? The movie is an example of this theme, turning a tragedy into a lesson that will last long after the movie credits roll. It is more than a feel-good movie. it is sad and happy at the same time. The impact of one person can change the attitudes of many. To raise children like that should be everyone’s goal. To raise children who love the Lord, because where else does that unconditional love come from?

Caroline’s life was lived with love. Her short life impacted her teachers, her team and in the face of unbelievable odds, they changed their focus of winning for Caroline for living life as Caroline lived. This was inspired by her father who came to grips with her loss through the help of his pastor and God.

Can we teach our children to live life for others, to strive to give our all in everything we do, to rise above mediocracy and aim for the top even with impossible odds? I can only hope that in viewing this type of film we can have an open discussion with our children. In this world of people who do the least possible at work and students striving to do the minimum, we can hopefully use The Miracle Season as an example to our children, an example of faith, hope, charity and the greatest of these, love.

Questions to discuss with your children.

  1. How did Caroline live life?
  2. Name each person Caroline touched with her life.
  3. Doing our best is always a wonderful goal, how did the girls band together during their hardship?
  4. The goal was to win, but how did that change throughout the story?
  5. What changed Caroline’s father’s mind?
  6. If you could change anything in the movie, what would you change?


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.


Read The Book Or Watch The Movie First

read the book or watch the movie firstRead The Book Or Watch The Movie First?

Episode #260

Read the book or watch the movie first? The difference of opinion can be surprising. Depending on the book or the movie the answers can vary. It depends on who you ask and for some, the answer may be, “I never gave it a thought!” In the past, I was what I considered a “purist,” if there was a book that a movie was created around I’d always go for the book first. However, I never read the entire trilogy of Lord of the Rings, yet I watched the entire series multiple times. In this podcast, I’ll explore the pros and cons of this debate and the best ideas for encouraging book and movie discussions with your children.

Thanks to our sponsor! And check out the movie trailer for Ice Dragon. A great animated film for children.

Show Notes: Read the Book or Watch the Movie First?

Pros: For Reading the Book First

  1. Reading the book gives you an insight into the richness of the characters.
  2. When you read the book you know what some of the characters are thinking.
  3. Books contain a fuller plot line than the movie.
  4. Use your imagination to “see” the story in your head.
  5. Interpretation of the author’s motivation.
  6. You know the ending of the book before you watch the movie.

Cons: For Reading the Book First

  1. The movie never lives up to your expectations.
  2. We build up the characters in our mind and if we really like the book the movie always falls short.
  3. We will compare the book to the movie, often the book is better.
  4. If the book deviates from the movie we get upset.

Pros: For Watching the Movie First

  1. You know what the characters look like
  2. You understand the basis for the plot but it will be shorter
  3. You are drawn into the story with special effects and the music
  4. You can decide if you want to read the book.
  5. If you’ve read the book you have an idea about the plot of the movie.

Cons: For Watching the Movie First

  1. The characters are portrayed through dialogue only
  2. You see the character’s through other’s eyes
  3. The plot and the storyline is way shorter
  4. Much of the book is changed to fit into a rigid time allowance
  5. Often characters are changed or embellished to add suspense to the plot
  6. Sometimes new characters are introduced that are not in the original book

What do you think? Is it worth reading the book first or watching the movie? For me it depends. If the book is a classic I think reading the book first is a must. There is no way the movie can come close to the wonderful sense a book gives you of bonding with the characters, they are your friends (or enemies) and the movie tends to fall short. A book is a place of reference and truly they are two different entities. A book is the long version, captures the author’s intent and is the original story. The movie is an adaptation of the book, often produced with the permission of the author but not necessarily the consensus on how the book is portrayed. Does that mean I’ve never watched a movie first? No, I have to admit I watched the Lord of the Rings before I began reading the books — and I’m still not finished! Some books are meant to be read and savored…or parts skipped, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying them.

Comparisons happen and rarely can I say a movie, is better than the book. If you think there are movies that are better please share those with me, I’d love to watch them!



Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly Adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24 and 26 only. If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.



Visit here to learn more.



Easter Celebrations On The Cheap

Easter Celebrations On The CheapEaster Celebrations On The Cheap

Easter celebration on the cheap includes fun and easy ideas. Celebrating Easter on the cheap doesn’t mean skimping on our favorite time of the year, it means celebrating in style and saving money along the way.

Remember, it’s about Jesus not the candy! Remind your children about the true meaning of Easter which is the Ressurection of our Lord. This is what you are celebrating.


  1. Potluck
    • Ask family to bring a side
    • Delegate ice or drinks
    • Baked ham goes far and is a favorite
    • Little kids love chicken fingers
    • Cold salads – make ahead.
  2. Reuse and repurpose – eggs
    • Those plastic eggs should be saved each year
    • Fill with coins instead of candy – redeemable in the store (see below)
    • Use as decorations
    • Have little ones hunt for specific colors, or count how many they collect
  3. Easter store – order online or dollar store (Explain easter egg hunt Gerwitz style)
    • My niece began this tradition years ago, she purchased dollar store “finds’ and used this to set up a store. The children trade change they collect from their Easter egg hunt for toys, coloring books, etc. They love it!
  4. Shop sales, for everything.
    • Candy bars, candy kisses, everything is a mini.
    • I look for candles at odd times, discounts on decorations after the holiday, etc.
    • Store under the bed in plastic bins or farm out to a family member with more storage space
    • Less is more. I like minimalistic decorations. The more understated the better. Fresh flowers with outside greenery is wonderful.
  5. Make your own –
    • Create your own dips or salads
    • Rolls are very cheap, easy and fun to make. Kids love to help.
    • We love chocolate. Many of our treats are chocolate based such as trays of brownies and dipped strawberries (hint: I use 2 cups of chocolate chips with a spoonful of unflavored coconut oil, helps it to harden – this is so much cheaper than buying them!), make a big cookie – use disposable (can be reused) round pizza trays. Be sure to leave room for expanding dough.
    • Easy appetizers: fresh fruit with marshmallow dip, salsa, and chips, melted cheese poured over chips, cream cheese and packaged dressing for an easy dip (add mayo to liquify if needed.)
  6. Decorations – Easter egg tree from kids “blessing others”

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


The animated feature, ‘ICE DRAGON: LEGEND OF THE BLUE DAISIES,’ blooms on big screens nationwide for a two-day family-friendly Adventure. Take an amazing journey to an enchanted world that holds a secret…where hope is in a song! In select cinemas nationwide March 24 and 26 only. If you missed the live event, purchase a copy for your home library on Blue Ray, Digital or DVD.


Visit  here to learn more.

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