Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Missing Your Loved One at This Time of Year

During the holiday season is a fun time for most people. Those however who have lost someone very close to them in the past few years may not think so. It is a hard time as we remember what that loved one like to do over Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.

Our middle son Brendon loved Christmas. (He's in the stripy shirt). Thanksgiving was a holiday he never really enjoyed as the food was not to his liking. He spent most of the Thanksgivings he can actually remember in the hospital or unable to eat. I guess that was only two really. For me not being born in America, it kind of still has not sunk in but I am trying to celebrate the freedom that we have to live here and worship the Lord freely. I am conveying that to the boys. I think my husband does realize this too.

All I can say is 3 years and 1 month today a precious part of my heart disappeared to heaven and is missed every day, and more during these 'happy' times of year. Reach out and touch someone physically or with a phone call this week who has lost a precious loved one, or even those who have lost a job or home. They need to know they are important. Don't try to tell them everything will be okay, as sometimes it is not. Sometimes it takes a very long time for life to turn around and be okay.

Thanks for hearing my heart today. Brendon we miss you and we love you darling. Your smile will live in my heart forever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ultimate Homeschool Special Needs Expo.

Hello my friends,

Life has been busy for our family. Once again I wanted to share about the Ultimate Homeschool Expo but this time there is an Expo for those with Special Needs. I do not advocate any of my children as having an abnormal learning ability but I must admit there are some challenges for me weekly.

I am learning from this Expo that I need to be teaching my Right Brained child a little differently. This Expo is introducing me to people who are trained in this area. I am learning how to challenge my children in their school days without them being bored any longer.

Click on over and take a look please. The price for the Expo at the moment is $19.97. After you have a ticket you will have access to at least 50 audios and other information included in the price. When you attend live you can enter for prizes too.

You can listen live during the Conference and chat with other Moms in the Chat room on the homepage. Come and join me in the mornings or afternoons this week for the Special Needs expo.

Click the title to this post to link  through for more information.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Living in the US of A

When I first moved here I thought it would be awesome to live in this free country which is so full of things I am able to get. I now say so many years later that most days I wish I could raise up our family in the 'freedom of Africa.' Do not get me wrong I am happy in the USA but there are so many simple things of life that are not here that are in Africa.

My children would be reasonably free to run around a huge yard, be it fenced for security reasons, but not too fearful of strangers. My children would be playing out in the sunshine and running through the bush with tackies on their feet and probably digging up chongololos (big black centipedes) with their fingers. Yes they can do that here but sometimes touching bugs eeks them out, not me. How did that happen? My children would be full of more questions about their world than just watching a DVD or video or looking it up on the Internet. They would grab a book and use it.

My children pester me to go online or to watch TV. I don't remember doing that too much in Africa. It was a major privilege to watch TV and even a movie every now and then. I grew up without Color TV too.

What would happen if you had to revert back to no TV, no computer, no Internet and computer? What would I do or you do? Would you know what to do, would you know how to survive? It is so easy to become sucked into this world's frame of thinking that you need all these things, and stuff and food etc. No you don't. How would your children learn? How could you contact someone? Have you ever thought of writing a letter? Do you know what kind of impact a card can make on someone's day across the country or world?

The Lord has been teaching me that what is most important is Him, and how He can change our world, our every moment, every day and He is watching, He is longing to be with us all someday. Yes I have made many bad decisions in my life. He is bringing me back to my first love with Him from when I was a little girl sitting in a garage listening to Uncle Lynne tell me Jesus loves me so much, and am I willing to give my heart to Him. Yes I did.

The books of James and Galatians have been my focus lately and through some teaching from those books I see I do not really 'need' all these things to build the world for our family. I need Him. I need to love Him more than anything. He should be my Ultimate friend on a moment by moment basis. Am I there yet? No way. This is just the new beginning for my heart?

Romans 12:12

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

I have lost much in this life and been through much affliction, BUT GOD held me in the palm of His Hand and nourished my spirit and soul even when I did not want it. Some days I still do not want to walk the way He has shown me. I do look around me and see hurting people who just won't choose Him as they know they will have to change. Change is a way of life. I have lived in 3 different countries, I have moved countless times in those places and all through these 'moves' and 'changes' the Lord has been right there. Staying in contact with my friends has been a priority since living in the USA. I do use Facebook as it is easier and cheaper but also depend on staying in touch by phone and snail mail to those places without such luxuries as Internet.

Do people know you really care? Have you sat down and written to them after thinking about what they really mean to you? I am preaching just as much to me as I am to whoever may read this through. The people I am sending this to have made an impact on my life for a short or long time. I do love you too. Please hear me - I'm just sharing this so you know how I am doing. So many of you ask me from time to time.

I am determined to make this life one that is full of fun, laughter and love for my Saviour and Redeemer, as well as to share His love for me and His creation with others.

I have quoted this before on Facebook and will do this again:

"The only option confronting the contemporary Christian today is you either master the culture, or the culture master's you."  Moody Radio, Chicago, IL

I love my dear sweet husband Walt and my precious boys - all 3 of them. Thank you Lord for all the trials and afflictions and for working out my salvation through them. I'm sure there will be more during the years to come.

I am on the road to discovering more of the Mission God has for my life as I don't want to end up Somewhere without a Purpose. I came to the US of A to serve Jesus and I will continue to do that wherever the road takes me.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ultimate Homeschool Convention Online!

You need to be there. You can stay home and be there! check it out. If you are busy then you can purchase a ticket and download the audios and articles at your leisure!



Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fresh Local Foods and it's Growers! :)

My dear sweet Indiana friends. Please visit the Showcase below especially if you live on the East side of the city.

Hancock Harvest Council
802 N Apple Street
Greenfield, IN 46140
Phone 317-462-1113
Fax 317-462-2424 Contact: Earl Smith
Phone: 317-727-0113
Press Release

Buy Fresh Buy Local® Membership Showcase

Greenfield, IN, April 12, 2011: Hancock Harvest Council is sponsoring a Buy Fresh Buy Local Membership Showcase on April 30, 2011 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Hancock County 4H Fairgrounds, 620 N Apple Street, Greenfield, Indiana. The event will be held in the 4H Exhibit Hall and will include 8 speakers and members available to answer questions about their operations and most will have products for purchase or will take orders. The event will also include, Doug Addison of Rusty Truck Catering, who will be preparing some local foods for lunch as well as some samples. Hancock Harvest Council is using this event to kick off the market season and allow people to get to know our members and what products are available locally. There will also be several activities for younger participants. Young participants will be able to plant a flower to take home; participate in corn hole and a scavenger hunt and other fun activities.

The schedule of events for the day includes the following speakers and topics:
10:00 am - Growing Christmas Trees Hillcrest Tree Farm
10:40 am - CSA’s – Are they right for you? Weaver Produce
11:20 am - Alpacas – Uses and Products Hoosier Homestead Alpacas
12:00 pm - Beekeeping J & T Honey Farm
12:40 pm- Buying Local – Making informed decisions Earl Smith, President HHC
1:20 pm - Gardening – plant tips Mitthoefer Produce
2:00 pm - Berry Production Hidden Acres Fruit Farm
2:40 pm - Canning and Food Preservation Extension Homemakers
3:20 pm - Poultry Production Brushwood Farm
Come enjoy the day, sign-up for a CSA if interested. Place orders for your Thanksgiving Turkey and much more. Additional information can be found at,  , the Harvest Council Facebook page or by calling Earl Smith at 317-727-0113.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring and School

We are only 11 weeks into our curriculum as we started schooling from January to December. I am proud to say my 3 almost 4 year old is writing, yes writing his whole entire alphabet out in Uppercase letters. He is amazing me. I just sit and watch as he dives into his 'schoolboxes' each day with enthusiasm I have not seen in a long time. I am praying for my spirit to be renewed to devour God's Word like that each day.

We just took a 2 week self imposed Spring Break. We needed time to organize, take care of some family business, and refresh our relationships too. Chicago was busy and cold and lots of time spent in the van listening to the Melendy family on Spiderweb for Two.  This is part of an audio series we have been listening to for 2 years on our vacations. Google it and find it on sale. It is a marvellously entertaining series of audio books.

My 9 year old and I are travelling on the Eastern Frontier in history and learning about Franklin, Washington and Lincoln, the great names of American history. I am loving this history and geography woven together and am learning so much about this adopted country of mine. I look forward to next year and learning Biblical history with him too. I studied in Africa at my Bible school but the knowledge needs to be refreshed. 20 years ago it was new to me but not now....

Science experiments with the added help of learning bird calls off the Internet have been eye opening and fun for both of us. God is revealing His creation to my son in a new way, and not just through Mum taking us all out in the cold for a Nature Walk. I recently downloaded a wonderful resource off of Homeschool Freebie of the Day from Homeschool Radio Shows website : Handbook Of Nature Study. This book is amazing. I am still longing for a paper copy and added it to my list of 'likes' on my book list. We are using this book as a supplemental resource for our nature studies on a weekly basis.

Old books, classic books are still my favourite and remain a stable in my reading diet for both myself and my children.

I will also be attending the Ultimate Homeschool Expo Conference online in a few weeks time:  . This is an online conference for homeschoolers and other parents who would like to attend and it's online. You don't have to leave home. All the action takes place online and one you've bought your ticket you have access after the conference to over 100 audios, many articles from the speakers and freebies from the organizers and speakers.  The ticket is $24.95 per person or if you order with a friend $37.95(+- $19.00 each).  I attended a session on Tuesday night in my PJ's and it was fun. There was also a Twitter party after the audio session and folks won lots of neat prizes - books, e-books and such like.  You can try the conference out for free by visiting the website and maybe attending one of the live open sessions coming up in April. Click on over and find out. If you want to team up with me for a ticket - Please email me.

Spring is Surely Coming

This is the season of new things. I look around our city and see the daffodils and tulips popping out of the ground. It makes me so thankful for seasons. When I lived in Africa there was 2 seasons - summer and winter(only 3 months long and not really cold). The Lord created the harshness and coldness of winter to temporarily silence plants and animals. Sometimes humans too. During the ice storm this year there was lots of time for reflection. God provides these resting times i nour lives so our spirits can be renewed.

Did we use the winter season wisely? Did we spend more time in His presence and Word? I certainly did not. I became caught up in the 'things' that needed to be done so we could have more time to enjoy the nice seasons.

Did you snuggle with your children in front of a log fire and just read for the entire day! Mmmm. I read lots of books but they were scheduled ones msotly. When I did stop and read the fun and exicting, mysterious ones I had my family's attention totally. These are my favourite times during the day. I can hold the attention of 2 wriggly boys who would rather be making noises galore with their cars, trucks and trains.

Are you wondering if I am healing from my grief in the past 3 years. Well yes and no. I do not get sad every day, just occasional moments during each week. I am blessed to realize that. Mourning is so exhausting. Grief can envelope your brain, spirit and soul, and eventually your physical health. My health is gradually improving. Praise the Lord.

Gluten Free, Sugar free and additive free has done wonders for my physical awareness, and my spirit too. You see the Lord is healing me both inside and out.

The photo above is our precious Brendon taking at a photo shoot in spring time before he got cancer!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nourishing Traditions/New Ways of Eating Healthy

It has long been on my heart to share with folks about healthier ways of eating and have neglected to put information or links on this blog. I recently was reading a blog I follow and she linked to one of my favourite sites through this post ( ) . The link is placed here below for those who are interested in reading a version of "Nourishing Traditions" but it is smaller and in PDF format and able to be read on your desktop. Once you have read this little book you may then see why it is better for you to eat this way! Then you can save up to buy the thick book called "Nourishing Traditions" which guides you into all the reasons why we should be eating soaked grains, bone broths, grass fed meat, chicken and eggs, raw milk and so on.

I just briefly glanced through this book this morning and it gives you an excellent outline on how to change over to this way of eating. You do not have to buy all organic everything either. That gets expensive as our family knows all too well.

For the health of you and your family take a peek. The download is free for you to have anyway. Most libraries have copies of the "Nourishing Traditions" Book too.

Keep our family in your prayers please as we have a case of regular flu, stomach flu, arthritis and knee pain, as well as some extended winter blues going on here.

Thanks - Julie

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Be Innocent of Evil

Romans 16:19 says "Be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil" "And the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet" (Taken from a song I used to sing in Africa. )

Are you watching things on TV/Internet or listening to music or looking at books/magazines that are innocent of evil? God can not crush the enemy on your behalf if you are participating in evil. Strive to be excellent at what is good.

Don't let your children follow the likes of TV/movie stars or famous sportspersons if you don't really know who those people are in real life! The Lord is convicting me today - can you tell?

He sure has got me thinking. Praise the Lord!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time Goes By

This is the title of one of my favourite British TV shows that I used to watch in Zimbabwe. It is also an expression of what our lives have been like since October. We have been so crazy and so busy that time just went by. I have looked at my blog but did not have the heart to update as it has been a busy, sad, festive time all at once.

Some friends who read this may know what I am talking about, others not. Well when you have lost a member of your family who used to be a part of your everyday life for so long, and especially of your family celebrations it is hard to adjust to those times without them.

Christmas does not have the same allure for me as it once did. Besides not being the real actual time of year that Christ was born, and the outlandish publicity of it all, our last Christmas with our son Brendon was so special and we had no idea it would be our last. We decorated all out with our 7 foot Christmas tree and lots of presents, decorations all over the living room, and special treats to eat. Each year Christmas has come upon our family way too quickly, but my husband and I are glad to see it go.

If you are wondering if we celebrated. Yes we did that. I will say though that as the years go by we notice the gap between the boys more and more. Our oldest tries to be more understanding to his three year old brother but some days it just drives him crazy! He does like to take over and 'guide' him wisely into how to do and play certain things. This makes the parents nutso too. Can anyone understand this?

We celebrated by decorating a very small tree we purchased last year for the boys room. We moved it to our living room and had a nativity scene set up as well. We read Christmas books during the month of December. I even conceded to "The Night Before Christmas" story on Christmas Eve as we were snowed in and unable to attend church. We do not celebrate Santa/Father Christmas. Our personal feeling is not to introduce something that we have to tell them to forget about getting gifts from in the future. I may switch to celebrating St Nicolas earlier in December this year though. He was a real person who blessed others during the winter months.

We had a quiet day at home with family coming over for dessert in the evening. However I did notice that not everyone was content with what they received. I need to remind my children a little more often that there are others who would appreciate just a portion of what they have once a year. Thankfulness and Gratefulness are so hard to teach young children some days when they focus so much on themselves and pleasing their will.

Scriptures we are learning in our homeschool are about Character this year, not just relating to the Bible characters, but those in our history, adventure and story books too. Who, what, and why did the characters act and say the things they did? It is a challenging one for any parent or child to learn this way.

I will post pictures of Christmas in the next post. I wanted to ask you to continue to lift our family in prayer as we may have found a church home we want to stay at. It just so happens to be the church my friend Mrs Keller attends. It was a surprise to find out this very sick little chap recently diagnosed with cancer (same kind as my son had) does go to the same church we had been visiting for a few weeks. Is it coincidence - I don't know. We shall find out!

2011 is full of new things for our family. We are still dealing daily with the past. Brendon will always be a part of every day. I know of a family in TN whose son died 10 years ago, and they still think about him daily, and what an impact he left on the world.

Don't Give Up would be on Brendon's lips if he were on earth to say it, but he whispers it in my heart most days!