Saturday, August 13, 2016


On Monday, we will start using the Time 4 Learning curriculum. I've spent the last couple of weeks setting up the accounts for the kids, taking a look at the curriculum, and deciding what assignments they will be doing.

So far, I really like it! It seems very easy to navigate. I do have to say that the games and cartoony lessons will definitely appeal to my younger two. I am not sure yet how my 13 year old will feel. He may be too "cool" for that. I really think he will be fine, but I would like to have him use it for a bit to see. I do need to invest in some ear buds for them because the sounds will certainly be disruptive to everyone else.

I am excited for them to get started! One, because they have been *slackers* this entire summer. Two, because I really think they will like it!

I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


After searching around, I found an very interesting online curriculum called Time4Learning. It looks like it could really work for us! I can't wait to give it a go. What is cool about this is I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. 

Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning. Message me anytime, and I will be glad to point you in the right direction!


This post kind of builds off of the post I wrote in January 2012, Forgiveness. I have been really pondering this stuff for a year. I can honestly say, I am struggling to wrap my mind around it.

Talking about mercy verses justice can get heated. We all have our own ideas on who deserves one or the other. A large majority of us believe that serial killers, rapists, and so on, deserve justice. How many times have we heard in response to a newscast about someone that has done something awful, "I hope s/he rots in hell!" Lots, eh? How many times have we heard the response to that same broadcast, "Oh Jesus! Please shower your mercy on him/her." Probably not lots, and maybe not ever.

We conveniently want mercy for ourselves, and justice for others. We rationalize it by saying, "Well, I would never do something so heinous." What about the person that lies? What about the 15 year old that covets his neighbor's new car? Do those sins deserve justice?

Just a some things that I have been thinking about. I definitely believe there needs to be a balance between the two. But, I am going to let Jesus decide who gets what.


Time for a quick update! It's been a while, I know. A long while, actually. I really enjoying blogging, and I really find it therapeutic to get some stuff written down to help me process things. It's my like my mind can't slow down, and blogging helps me to take a moment to sort it. So, here I am. Again.

So much has been going on - between my trips to China, homeschooling my kids, and enrolling in the community college to finish my degree, it has been a whirlwind. As I wrap up the summer semester for myself,  I really need to decide what I want to do with our homeschool.

Last year, we tried online curriculum. We used Monarch, through Alpha and Omega. We really liked the online aspect. It sure made things easier as far as record keeping and grades. It also really helped since my children are all in different grades - they could work individually, and I was around for support. We definitely want to go the online route again, but it seemed that Monarch was so glitchy. As they finished their assignment, and clicked the submit button, a "this page can not be displayed" error would pop up. When they would refresh it, or try to go back it, it never saved their work. They would have to start all over. If that happened a few times, it wouldn't be a big deal, but it happened to at least one of them every single day. It was incredibly frustrating for them, and me, and they often ended up in tears (now that I am in school myself, I completely understand their frustration). So we need to try something new. I really shouldn't have waited this long to start looking. I have to find something soon.  I'd really like to stick with online, because with our trips to China, Julianna can do school work there (well, you know providing the site isn't blocked, or if we have internet, or if we when we do have internet, we also have power).

So that is where we are. I also want to start (been saying this for a while) blogging about my studies. Kind of like a journal. I really enjoy looking back over the years of posts, and as I said, it helps me to collect and process my thoughts. Maybe along the way, I can encourage someone new to homeschooling. I am excited to get started again!

Friday, April 4, 2014


It's Passion Play time again. Actually, it's Passion Play time for the last time. This is our church's 7th year doing the play. It is really good, and I am not just saying that because Brad directs it. It truly is a wonderful performance. However, this is the last year we will be doing it. It's time to take a break. Indefinitely? Brad isn't sure. Time will tell, but for now, we are done. This is my all time favorite photo from a few years ago:

Here's one more:

Every year, this performance serves as a visual reminder of what Christ did for us. I am such a visual learner, so the play really speaks to me. Even though I know the stories, there is just something about seeing it. 

All of that being said, I am blogging to share about the time leading up to these plays.  I've posted about this before, a long time ago, but it's on my mind again. Every year around this time,  I find myself thinking, "What in the world is going on?!" You know how sometimes, you jokingly say to friends, "Is it a full moon, or what?" Things just seem to go crazy - sickness, things breaking, anxiety is at an all time high, relationships seem strained, the list goes on and on. Every year, it's the same thing. I truly believe we are in some kind of spiritual warfare. This year has been a doozy, though. It seems "they" brought out the big guns. Aside from our own family issues, this year Jesus has thrown his back out, one of the lead vocalists has some kind of laryngitis, countless people have a terrible tummy bug, the list goes on and on, again. 

I am going to research spiritual warfare. I really don't know much about it, other than the weeks leading up to the play are bad. I remember when we were in our adoption process, it seemed very similar in nature. There is definitely something going on - the bible warns us about this very thing:

Ephesians 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Even though the bible specifically warns us, it's still very hard for me to wrap my mind around it. Jonah being swallowed by a big fish? Sure. Great flood? Absolutely. But this Ephesians verse rocks my world. I guess it goes back to the visual learner thing, I don't know. It definitely is something I need to spend more time studying. 

Hopefully soon, things will calm down. In the meantime, please pray for the play - the cast, director, and the people coming! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CHINA 2012

I never really took the time to share about my trip to China in 2012. I blogged a bit leading up to the trip, but never really shared all about the things we did! I thought I would write about that today. The memories are still so fresh in my mind, and I know that won't always be the case.

We spent the first few days sightseeing in Hong Kong and Guilin. Such beautiful cities! We had a great time, and we really enjoyed each others company. On Saturday afternoon, we traveled from Guilin to Yangshuo. I have never seen such beautiful landscapes in all of my life.  The mountain range there is so unique. When we arrived in Yangshuo, we met up with the International China Concern staff. Shane, my cousin, was scheduled to be the guest speaker at the ICC staff retreat. We spent the next several days getting to know the ICC staff and enjoying the retreat. On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to travel to Hengyang where one of the ICC projects are.

Getting to Hengyang was quite the adventure. The ICC staff took care of all the arrangements for us, thankfully. The first time I traveled to China, it was completely catered to Westerners. However, this time, it was much more of an authentic experience. We hired a driver to make the 7 hour trip. We packed ourselves a lunch, knowing that food on the back roads of China would probably not be what we wanted. HAHA!  We really enjoyed the potty breaks. HAHA! We got over our fear of the squatty potty pretty quickly.  It actually was quite a pleasant ride. There was so much to look at, the 7 hours flew by!

We arrived in Hengyang around dinner time, and checked into our hotel. Now that was quite a cultural shock. The room was $15 US dollars a night. Does that tell you anything? I still giggle thinking about it. They didn't even have an elevator. The room was big, it had a/c, and internet access - so in the grand scheme of things, it was just fine. It was in a super convenient location, right next door to a large department store, very similar to a Walmart. Of course, Walmart doesn't carry live chickens, snakes, and frogs in the meat department, but whatever.  LOL. They had Snickers and Lays, I was happy.

The next morning we went to the welfare center to see the work that ICC does. I have been involved in the Chinese adoption world for some time. I have read a ton, and researched it extensively. There was no way to prepare myself for that visit. I knew there was disabled children living there, but I didn't understand how severely disabled these children would be. Not to mention the disabled adults living there. It was shocking.

ICC has really done an amazing job making a better life for these children and the adults. You could see the love there. I will share in another post exactly what ICC has done. It deserves a post all on it's own.

We only had a day and a half there, before it was time to go. It was difficult to leave, but at the same time, it was almost like I couldn't get away fast enough. I know that sounds terrible. It took me a while to process all that I saw and experienced. I can tell you, I left changed. The faces of those precious lives are forever ingrained in my mind. I long to be back there. Julianna longs to be back, too. She connected with those kids. She jumped in with every ounce of her being. She served those children with no hesitations. She didn't care that it was dirty. She didn't care that she was out of her comfort zone. She didn't see their physical defects. Not once did she ask me about their disabilities. She just wanted to love on them. And boy did she! She was 7 years old then. 7. The maturity she showed those days in Hengyang still blows my mind. God is going to do something huge in her life, I just know it.

We left Hengyang on Friday with a quick stop over back in Hong Kong, before we journeyed to Singapore. I have to say that Singapore is one of the most beautiful, manicured places, I have ever been. It was like a different world after being in Hengyang. Plus, it is always summer there! 365 days a year - SUMMER. Can you imagine? Glorious.

So this turned out longer than I expected. I even left out a ton! It truly was an amazing trip. I really had a great time with my group. God really used this trip to open doors for us with ICC. We will be traveling back to Hengyang in October. This time, we get to stay two weeks, not two days!

I love to see God bring beauty from ashes. Adoption may not have been His plan for us, but orphan care sure is... I am so thankful!


I have had my blog in the back of my mind for some time. So many thoughts that could be better processed written down... and yet, I just can't seem to get there. This is my feeble attempt in sorting through that.

The first thing I want to write about is our adoption journey. A year ago, I blogged that the pain was still fresh and raw. I really doubted that I would ever be over it. I have to say that I am finally seeing the good that came from that broken journey. My heart has healed. Completely.  I am content with the outcome of it all.

It has been a tough two years for me in other ways, however. I won't go into it now, but I have truly seen some of the darkest days of my life. That was part of the reason for me resurrecting this blog - I need an outlet. A place to collect my thoughts and try to sort out the bad from good. Maybe writing them out, not only can I sort them, but I can bury the bad ones.

Plus! In the fall, I will be traveling back to China. I am so excited! I will be taking a small team with me this time, and I can't wait to share all the details here!

I won't disappear again. I need to be here.