Need help? Look Up.

Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith

Need help? Look up!

Recently I’ve taken to looking at the sky. It isn’t a normal for me. I’m usually preoccupied with the many things happening in my life. I see the sky, but I don’t really see it. What is typical for me is the daily routine of life that I motor through, you know, the daily chores, teaching, cleaning, working, cooking, and shopping.

I don’t often stop to smell the roses or look at the clouds.

At church I’ve heard many sermons lately about being thankful in all circumstances, especially those in which we have no control. Our pastor unfolds story after story with real examples about people who have no reason to be thankful and yet they are. One of my long-time friends is a pediatrician. She stopped practicing long ago to be a full-time wife and mother. Her children are now adults and she took up missionary work. This was short lived as she was diagnosed with cancer. (In remission now, please join me in praying for Mary.) Yet she praises God in all things! At coffee one morning she shared how touched she was by the splendor of God’s work in the beauty of nature and how she feels it is a gift just for her.

How thankful am I?

Colossians 3:15 says: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

And so I’ve been thanking the Lord for everything — and I mean everything. The fabulous days, and the not-so-fabulous ones as well. As a result, it is as if the blinders have been taken off and I’m seeing the clouds for the first time. I’m enthralled with the formations, the color, and the Lord seems to be blessing me with these beautiful arrays! Just as my friend shared, I feel that it is a gift just for me!


Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith Need help look up | homeschool encouragement through faith

The first photo was taken in the early morning. Isn’t that an amazing sky? I’ve never seen anything like it. Only the hands of God can create that type of pattern and beauty. The second is a late afternoon sky which is typical for this area.

By looking up, I see the beauty and majesty of God and it gives me time to pause and to wonder!

What ways do you combat depression– feelings of insecurity or general blah in your homeschool day? Please share your ideas and tips with me … or if you need help in a certain situation, let me know. Post your comments below.

Be sure and listen to Felice Gerwitz at Vintage Homeschool Moms podcast.

Unpleasant People at Thanksgiving – Post Election Edition – MBFLP 150


This has been a pretty divisive election season – the Gallup pollsters found in the days just before the vote, that nearly a third of us were voting against the other candidate, not in favor of the one we were marking! So there are a lot of stunned and stung people out there, and no doubt, some of them will be at Thanksgiving Dinner with you.

Now what?

Your feast of gratitude toward God doesn’t have to become a shouting match … but it may take some thought, some planning, and some grace-filled diplomacy to keep the conversation on track! This episode, we talk about some practical ways to show love to people you don’t agree with for the holidays.



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Celebrating Thanksgiving in Your Homeschool

tgivingCelebrating Thanksgiving in Your Homeschool

Podcast #15

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks about ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in your homeschool. Fun ideas and inspiration.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

Join us this weekend for  our– Special Needs for Struggling and Gifted Learners + College & Career Fair!


How Homeschoolers Can Express Gratitude

We all want to raise grateful children. But it can be a challenge to find ways to teach them to express gratitude. In this episode, I share groups of people who are deserving of our gratitude as homeschoolers and unique ways we and our children can thank them.

Unique Ways for Homeschoolers to Express Gratitude: Podcast


You can also read this podcast as a blog post.


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the homeschool motivation on demand podcast episode

2:1 conference

Grammar Galaxy

Which of these unique expressions of thanks do you want to make first? Let’s chat about it on Facebook.

Have a happy homeschool week!

MBFLP 106 – Teaching Gratefulness

MBFLP - Learning Gratefulness V

This Thanksgiving-week episode looks at the mandate to be grateful – it’s an expectation and a command in the Bible to be thankful people, people who aren’t marked by discontentment, grumbling, and strife. We’ve probably read and memorized lots of verses about that … but how can we teach it to our family? How can we live it ourselves? In a fallen world full of uncertainty and fears, can we find beauty, delight, and joy? Emphatically YES – join us and find out!

MBFLP 104 – Preparing For Christ-Centered Holidays

MBFLP - Preparing Christ Centered Holidays - V


As the holiday season comes into view, we’re reminded that Thanksgiving doesn’t make any sense if we don’t focus on the One we’re thanking — even more so, for the annual celebration of His birthday! But all the business and busyness leading up to the celebrations themselves often distract us from the meaning of the holidays. This episode, we’re talking about re-centering our family holidays – and having more fun with them, too!

Original Release: Monday November 9, 2015 – 9:00 pm Eastern

Resources we mentioned:

Pollyanna – a fun way to learn to be grateful

Christ-Centered Thanksgiving – our ebook full of unit studies, recipes, and planning charts
(get it free with a newsletter subscription!)


2:30 – Celebrating holidays is established in the Bible (Exodus 12)
4:55 – Feasting is Biblical, too (Nehemiah 8)
7:25 – Thanksgiving is specifically about thanking God
9:30 – The history of Thanksgiving and why it’s important to talk about
18:09 – How to manage the holidays so you celebrate, remember, and teach, too

MBFLP – Celebrating Thanksgiving

MBFLP - Celebrating a Christ-Centered ThanksgivingHolidays are meant to be times to remember and celebrate God’s work in the lives of our family and nation, but too often we let the celebration overrun the memory. This episode we talk about how to make your family’s Thanksgiving more meaningful – and more fun, too!

Is Jesus the Reason for the Season

Jesus is the reasonWhat is the reason for your season?

I can think of so many words that sum up this time of year, see if you can relate to any of these:

  • Stress
  • Harried
  • Busy
  • Rushed
  • Overwhelmed
  • Exhausted
  • Over-commited

Can you relate? Most of us are wives, mothers as well as homeschoolers and these days something has to go in our efforts to be jolly and happy and shop or make gifts for family and friends. And, for me this causes extreme stress which means I don’t do well with the day-to-day to-do lists. In other words I keep forgetting things! My daughter with her five little ones recently shared with me that during the pre-Thanksgiving week she forgot to return library book, pay bills or even {gasp!} do laundry! We both laughed because I knew better. In fact, I returned all our library book early because I knew I would forget to return them!

So what to do?

1. Listen to the audio by Meredith & Felice –

2. Plan ahead – be sure that whatever you need to get done do early if at all possible

3. Remember the real reason for the Season – if need be print out the poster and read it daily (see post above with the audio with Meredith and Felice for this handout)

4. Institute some type of family tradition – whether it is celebrating Advent with an Advent wreath and Bible readings and prayers, or do some type of charitable activity.

More so, make time for family and friends. Things are so transient and as my family ages it hits me more and more. My in laws who would host holiday events, now they walk with a hobble as they come into my home. It reminds me to cherish time with them and my dad who lives with me! And, I so appreciate all of you. You, my online family are very dear to me. I know it sounds strange but it is so true. I’ve gotten to know many of you through the years! Thanks for being here for me!

So, let’s talk about holiday traditions that are JESUS focused. Can you share some with me?

Holidays + Stress-free = Possible

Stress free holidays2

Short Cuts – Hints & Holiday Tips by Felice Gerwitz

How does Felice Gerwitz tirelessly entertain 20+ guests of all ages, use real dishes, cloth tablecloths & napkins with home-made napkin rings, and still remain sane after the last guests have left? With some careful planning, cooking ahead and getting some amazing deals and after holiday sales, Felice pulls off the Martha Steward look year after year.

Learn how to create a wish list and look for deals, bake ahead and freeze, enlist help from your family members and guests, make fresh flower centerpieces that look like you’ve slaved for hours and other tips that Felice has learned during the years. She enjoys baking and entertaining but most of all rejoicing in God and celebrating the special ties between family and friends.

Here is a handout along with a free printable to hang on your wall! Vintage Handouts Stress Free Holidays










5-Steps to Guarantee Thanksgiving Before It’s Too Late

Today I won't complain

Could it be too late?

Are you so bogged down that the thought of being thankful really takes a herculean effort? Wouldn’t it be truly wonderful if we could print out this poster and daily pledge to keep the promises, and just do it?

But, let’s face it real life gets in the way. In fairness real life gets in the way 80% of the time. There is so much to handle on a daily basis that without a real effort on our part we’d be in a heap in a corner somewhere. Yet, it is not too late! There is still that 20% of the time, right? What we need is a plan.

A Mommy S.O.S. intervention plan.

I spent a delightful hour with Meredith Curtis a good friend of mine on the “Lunch with Meredith and Felice” session of the Vintage Homeshool Moms. I asked Meredith to send me five points (the day before) she would like to use as encouragement for families to “guarantee” a spirit of thanksgiving. We both have extremely busy households. Meredith has both adult and teen children living at her home. Her husband is a pastor and she is a homeschool mom that teaches at a co-op, an author and is in the midst of planning her Finish Well Conference in Orlando Florida, in January for teens and their parents.

I on the other hand have three teens left at home with homeschooling needs. I run a publishing business, this website, and help my husband with his home inspection and construction business. My dad lives with us and so does my oldest son. Yes… I’m exhausted writing all of this out! So, how do Meredith and I maintain a thankful heart and spirit, daily? First, by the grace of God in prayer but also with a plan to purpose to thank Him.

Our topic was Five Steps to Guarantee Thanksgiving.

The Holy Spirit leads our conversations and this past week’s session it was no surprise that each of our five points seemed to dovetail and fit so perfectly. Doing any one of these suggestions is guaranteed to give you an attitude check. You can listen to the audio here, and print out the printable complete with poster here listing each of our five points.

So? What is the problem? Life.

I learn that while I have an amazing arsenal of ideas life gets in the way. It is difficult to be thankful when I need to pay bills or I have to take my son to the orthodontist today instead of finishing a lesson in Biology. You know when my plans are interrupted by the daily to-do list of life! These things tend to annoy me and I play right into the hands of the enemy. I begin to be discontent, annoyed and grumble. Not always outwardly but in my mind and to my Lord.

I’ve parented long enough to know that my children learn best through my actions. It is what I DON’T say that they learn rather quickly rather than what I SAY to do! My actions are absorbed into their being and that is why parents say things like, “My kids pick up all my bad habits.” Why? Because we model them so well and so often. We need to model the good habits and then we will see the results.

I praise God for a parking spot at the grocery store, thank him for allowing me to find the last shoe in my size, pants on sale for my daughter (that fit and were appropriate!). or a shoes on the sale rack that was 1/3 the price of all the others for my son. My children in turn praise God for little and big blessings as well. What a legacy! We detail more in the audio so I won’t repeat it all here but do know your are not alone. While both Meredith and I may have a bit more on our to-do lists than most families we still want to server our families as best we can. And do this while giving Him all the thanks, glory and praise.

Share one something you do to give thanks in the face of adversity… or anytime.