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Day with friend...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Had such a LOVELY day today! Wasn't what I expected this morning! I planned to do lesson plans, some organizing and work on my 'weight loss journey' scrapbook but gladly changed when my girlfriend and her daughter wanted to treat Mary and me to lunch and go shopping and then come back to her house for a 4 mile walk. It was SO fun!

GUESS WHAT!!!!! I think I'm officially in a size 10 jeans! All the 10's I tried on fit perfectly! I was very EXCITED! And I got some darling tops [I think at least 6] at the thrift store and 2 pairs of CUTE jeans for me. Got 2 pairs of shoes; one heavy duty for walking in the snow. Got a BEAUTIFUL scarf and 2 [personal] items, and 2 shirts for one of my boys. Oh, and a puzzle for Mary and a stuffed animal and I spent $15!!!!! YEAH for good deals! emoticon

Here are a couple of pictures of our time decorating yesterday. I won't post all of the activity but just a few highlights.

[my mother made all the stockings except mine. My Nana made these over 45 years ago…]
[our nativity: each piece has scripture written on it and tells the story of Luke 2…]

[this is our photo tree--it's SO fun to look at all the past pictures as we're adorning this tree]

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KADULAC 11/29/2010 11:56AM

    What a great day. Love your pictures. Enjoy your week.

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    Susan, what FANTASTIC deals you scored!!! YOU are my kind of shopper !! :)

And loved your Christmas decor photos. the fireplace is WOW! Will have to take some of my little home. I like decorating :)

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IUHRYTR 11/28/2010 12:31PM

    emoticon All of that walking emoticon is paying off emoticon. emoticon -- Lou

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JANETELIZABETH1 11/28/2010 12:02PM

    Glad you have a lovely day Susan and looks like you're all ready to celebrate Christmas too.

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TEACHINKIDS2 11/28/2010 11:37AM

    Beautiful pics! I love the decorations... Sounds like a wonderful day! Go size 10 go!

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PAMAPPLE 11/28/2010 11:01AM

    Your photos remind me of a lobby of a hotel up north Michigan and going on vacation! Don't you just LOVE Christmas! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Way to go in sidestepping your plans and enjoying your time with the girls!! And size 10 pants!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/28/2010 11:01:59 AM

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MONGO2TEN 11/28/2010 5:51AM

    Way to go on getting to a size 10:) Good job. The house looks great too.


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VISUALLYRICS 11/27/2010 11:55PM

    I love those beautiful your cozy home is!
emoticonon a size 10!!

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DANA_LEE 11/27/2010 10:51PM

    Congrats on getting into size 10 jeans and on all the wonderful bargains!

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    As always, I really enjoyed the photos! It's so fun to have such a friend as you! I just look forward to all your blogs, Susan! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/27/2010 7:20PM

    What a blessed and fun day! Love a good bargain. Size 10 rocks! WTG

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NEENSTER1 11/27/2010 7:00PM

    emoticon Wow! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. Got some emoticon deals and good company. emoticon walked 4 miles emoticon also emoticon for sharing your decorations and Nativty scence beautiful. Be Encouraged and keep up the good work. emoticon on getting to a size 10. emoticon emoticon

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Thanksgiving FEAST

Thursday, November 25, 2010

PRAISE the LORD for He is good and His mercy ENDURES forever!

We had a BEAUTIFUL day! I got my 5 mile walk in and my strength exercises! emoticon
emoticon I ate 3 small bites of stuffing, corn bake and mashed potatoes and had 1 of "Nana's Famous Fluffy Rolls" and turkey, broccoli salad and 1/2 of a sweet potato [by itself and SO delicious not saturated in ANYthing! emoticon] and about 1/4 cup of Sparkling Grape Juice so I could be part of the party! emoticon

I feel DELICIOUSLY satisfied! Tonight we will draw names for CHRISTmas. My second son is calling at 6:00 so he can be a part of our tradition. He ASKED to do that and it blesses me SO much! emoticon

Hope you all had an AWESOME day celebrating.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAL1512 11/29/2010 10:46AM

    And this is just the beginning of the holiday season!
Your family certainly knows how to feast!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KADULAC 11/27/2010 3:00PM

    We had a wonderful day too. We went to our pastor's house for Thanksgiving. Love your pictures.

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BIGMELITTLEME 11/26/2010 10:30PM

    Looks like a wonderful gathering of family. The food looks great but more than that you are looking good Lady. Have an awesome day.

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IMAVISION 11/26/2010 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

What a fine looking family you have, Susan! Your little one is adorable! They all are! Well, I can’t see your son sitting next to your daughter, but I am willing to bet that he is as cute as his brothers!

Viewing the photographs remind me of my family of origin. I am one of six children – plus I don’t remember many meals without an additional one or two ‘guests’ – always a crowd around the dinning table in our home. My mother went with the idea of setting an extra plate at the table just incase someone dropped by at a meal time.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SWIMLOVER 11/26/2010 2:27AM

  Susan, Everything looked delicious! Your family is truly beautiful! I am so glad you had a Wonderful Thanksgiving! We
did also.

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IUHRYTR 11/25/2010 11:10PM

    So happy for you that your day was a good one. Love the young guy with the glasses. What a handsome fellow he is and a terrific smile. -- Lou

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VISUALLYRICS 11/25/2010 9:45PM

    How Blessed YOU are dear lady...and I am Blessed to share in it with you...through your blogs! emoticon
You did wonderfully with your plan!!! emoticon
...and so did I!! emoticon emoticon emoticonWe Rock!! LOL! emoticon

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PAMAPPLE 11/25/2010 9:41PM

    Wow, Susan! What a beautiful feast and family to enjoy it!! You did great with self-control and being a wonderful example of a Christian wife and mother!! {{{hugs}}}

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    How I loved seeing your family all together like that! It took me back in time, and I remembered our times together and they were so GOOD! We were together tonight all except for our daughter and son-in-law who live in the Chicago area. NOBODY FUSSED! emoticon

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear, sweet friend! Lori emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/25/2010 7:57PM

    Looks wonderful. emoticon emoticon

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RUTGERSM0M 11/25/2010 6:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SKYHAWK195 11/25/2010 5:54PM

  Happy Thanksgiving!

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SKYHAWK195 11/25/2010 5:54PM


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Today I'm thankful for SP FRIENDS!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! "What shall we render to the LORD for all He's done for us….we will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD"

This has been a wonderful nine days of remembering all of God's blessings and I want to make TODAY the day I give thanks for my SparkPeople friends!

by Ron Carnell

It's so hard to find the perfect breeze,
One blowing none too hard nor soft,
Carrying a scent of wild flowers,
And moving clouds about aloft.

It's so hard to find the perfect sky,
One blue and deep and bright,
Carrying a sense of openness
With geese and wrens in flight.

It's so hard to find the perfect night,
One warm, quiet and unflawed,
Carrying a mood of solitude,
And a closeness to our God.

Yet no perfection's so hard to find
As that which you extend
And none I'll ever treasure more,
Than to simply be your friend.

It's only been FOUR months and yet my heart feels SUCH a bond with so many on SparkPeople! I TRULY give thanks for my SPECIAL treasures! This is the way I feel, "Whom having not seen, you love…" Truly I share a bond in the Spirit with many and it's a PURE joy to be a part of something so wonderful!

Blessings and MUCH love, my sweet and wonderful friends!

"A friend HUGS your heart…"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGMELITTLEME 11/26/2010 10:27PM

    We all think very highly of you as well.

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ABETTERSOUL 11/26/2010 3:11PM

    I am blessed to be counted as a friend and to getting to know you through spark. You are a blessing to me also. emoticon emoticon

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PAMAPPLE 11/25/2010 9:20PM

    Susan, you are a great friend in spirit even though we never met in person! Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Day! emoticon

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JANETELIZABETH1 11/25/2010 4:50PM

    emoticonback to you too Susan.
For me...that is what SP is all about...all the wonderful friends we make along the way.

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JULIEFRANCES112 11/25/2010 3:44PM

    I am thankful and blessed to have you as a friend Susan. Enjoy this day with your family. Happy Thanksgiving. God Bless you!

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CELEBRATELIFE1 11/25/2010 1:24PM

    I love you too, Susan. This is a special group. I'm thankful for SP.

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DETERMINEDJANET 11/25/2010 12:16PM

    I'm glad to be counted as one of your Spark Friends! Have a wonderful holiday.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/25/2010 11:46AM

    Just enough time to tell you I am so thankful for you and for your friendship!!! What a BLESSING to have found such a friend as YOU! Thank you for blessing my life! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THINIWILLBE21 11/25/2010 11:25AM

    And I am thankful for you and for your sharing your pictures and stories so freely with all of us!!

May you and your family have a most happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!!,


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VISUALLYRICS 11/25/2010 8:58AM

    I feel the same way...."Whom having not seen, you love…"!!!
Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/25/2010 8:35AM

    Love you my friend. May your day be blessed and full of memories and love. emoticon

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TAZZ46 11/25/2010 8:03AM


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SWIMLOVER 11/25/2010 7:41AM

  Susan, You are a special treasure!!! I am very Thankful to The
LORD that HE brought you into my life. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your beautiful family!

Comment edited on: 11/25/2010 7:42:51 AM

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Feeling a little blue

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I was using the SparkRecipe calculator to put in all my Thanksgiving recipes, and feeling a little 'BLAH' at the thought of how many calories and fat are in my traditional recipes. So I decided to do what I KNOW to do, and what thrills me to the bone--EAT MODERATELY!!!!!! emoticon

This time is a time to feast and enjoy all of God's goodness to us and to eat until I have that wonderful 'satisfied' feeling in my tummy…but not beyond!

I feel SUCH hope now! God is the GOD of hope and he causes us to ABOUND in hope by the power of His Spirit! I will CELEBRATE tomorrow with joy in my heart because He is able to keep me from stumbling and to make me stand in His presence with EXCEEDING joy! emoticon

In ending, I have to share this cute little poem that my friend posted:


And Nehemiah* continued, "Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGMELITTLEME 11/25/2010 7:32AM

    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are feeling more cheery today!

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IUHRYTR 11/25/2010 1:44AM

    I saved some calories from yesterday as a partial cushion. But, moderation is the way to go, now matter how good everything tastes. Hope you have a pleasant day. -- Lou

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BLESSEDMAZARS 11/24/2010 11:32PM

    Everything done in moderation! I truly loved the poem. After working so hard today, I pray that you can kick back and enjoy the day! Blessings, Tambi

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PURPLELVR7 11/24/2010 5:18PM

    Hope you have a very Happy (and healthy) Thanksgiving.
I know you can do it

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KADULAC 11/24/2010 5:16PM

    I figure it's one day a year(two counting Christmas). I'm not going to worry too much about calories, but I'm not going to overindulge either. Love the poem, and Nehemiah's words.

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    That's what I do too for the holiday meal. Just choose the things I really enjoy and only take small portions. That way I don't feel like I'm "on a diet" if you know what I mean. I'm in charge of the sweet potatoes and green salad for the meal we are attending. Now how does one make sweet potato casserole without calories?! LOL

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MSJULES01 11/24/2010 3:19PM

    I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. Remember to get in plenty of water. It also helps you stay full so you eat less.
I plan on taking my Wii controllers with me to play with the nephews after dinner at my parents house.

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PANSYLADY2 11/24/2010 2:21PM

    Moderation!! YEAH!! Found out today that I'm committed to not one but two Thanksgiving day meals--lunch and dinner. That should be interesting!
Be blessed with family and friends!

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JANETLP 11/24/2010 2:11PM

    My family, at least the ones I'm cooking for tomorrow, have never been traditional people when it comes to Thanksgiving foods. We have done pork roast and prime rib roasts before just because- our extended families (Church family included) have always had the traditional meals.

Love the idea of learning to eat moderately. We live in this world where we will face these holiday dinners 3 - 4 x's a year. We can't always change it up to fit our tastes and dietary needs.

God planned those feast days as mentioned. He wants us to enjoy them. But, all the other times- We are to eat wisely!

Enjoyed your blog! Yes, I too thought I'd offer some "cheer"! But, none was needed, it seems.

Enjoy your holiday!
God Bless

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 11/24/2010 10:16AM

    My family has made it very clear that I had better NOT be cutting corners on THEIR Thanksgiving meal, calorie-wise! emoticon emoticonSooo, I will oblige them and make it traditional, and like you, I'll do my best to remember to eat moderately! emoticon

HOWEVER... If we eat a little more than normal, that does NOT mean we're failures! It just means that we deemed it worth working a little harder and longer to lose the consequences of it for tradition's sake! emoticon

Anyway, that's MY story and I'm stickin to it! emoticon emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/24/2010 10:02AM

    Last year my kids said, "Don't Mess with Thanksgiving!" so the DILs did most of the cooking (we were at a condo in AZ). I ate smaller portions, and skipped stuff that is available everyday like dinner rolls. I took a walk in the morning and played outside with the grandkids in the afternoon. I didn't stuff myself, but enjoyed a little of the things I really like. Didn't go back for 2nds. It was a grand day, and I felt like I'd enjoy all aspects of it.

Tomorrow I am 'lightening' the dressing a little, will use brown sugar splenda in the topping of my sweet potato casserole, and probably eat a small piece of the sugar free pie instead of the regular one. I'm making some Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pumpkin Muffins (with cranberries) to enjoy for breakfast, but will make sure I get some protein, too. I am SO THANKFUL that I am satisfied/full with smaller portions nowadays -- I couldn't eat the quantity I used to if I tried! I don't like the 'over-stuffed' feeling I used to have so often. God gives us such an abundance -- it's Healthy choices for me -- with No Regrets!

You have a wonderful attitude and I'm sure you're going to have a wonderful day! If you go over on calories, I'm confident you won't slide back into "Oh, whatever..." mentality. You'll get up on Friday and look for healthy choices to fill your day! God Bless, my friend! Love You Lots!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 11/24/2010 9:08AM

    I LOVE what Nehemiah said!! What a Blessing to read this today!!

....for Thanksgiving for me is not about the food, but the fellowship, and reaching out to those in need of food to "sustain" them. The hot meals I am delivering today are truly a "feast" to these families....they don't see food in these quantities throughout the year. It is my privilege to break bread in laughter and joy with them for they are such a blessing to me!

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ABETTERSOUL 11/24/2010 9:05AM

    Susan, we definitely should rejoice and celebrate in thankfulness. As you said moderation is the key. I am having a houseful, so I will be lucky to even sit down and eat--probably will pick all day. Same here-I will be making traditional recipes. I just love having all the family here, that is what matters most to me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, I enjoyed the poem. Love, Karen emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HALOSEEKER 11/24/2010 9:03AM

    Susan, you fooled me. I read the title of your blog and came here to offer encouragement and lo and behold you have a wonderfully positive and uplifting blog. I will also be eating moderately and have a non traditional meal. Thank you for your posting.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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SWIMLOVER 11/24/2010 8:51AM

  Susan, We should enjoy the day in The LORD! We should celebrate
with our friends and family. I am also going to eat moderately
and actually walk a little more tomorrow or maybe dance a little

PS: I love that poem!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/24/2010 8:37AM

    Due to the high calorie count of our traditional foods I don't have the option of eating moderately as just a bite or two would really begin to add up. My goal is to enjoy some turkey and maybe some green beans. My mom is going to add a ton of oil to the beans so not sure if I'll eat them or not. I would have made some of our favorites more healthy but the family put out the word ahead of time to not change anything. emoticon

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IAMWINNING 11/24/2010 8:14AM

    emoticon emoticon Susan, You inspire me to do well tomorrow, too. I was sorta dreading the eating part of tomorrow - I mean, the calories, fat.... My DH and I will be celebrating w/our out-of-state dau and her family, so I wasn't dreading that part of things. emoticon

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thankful for home schooling...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Before I was married, I worked in a church and we had an 'umbrella' school where those in the church who home schooled their children would come weekly for 'Co-op' day. There were many enrichment activities and it was SO nice! Through talking to many of the moms, I decided that I really wanted to home school the children I would have someday. Then I met my husband and he had the very same desires! So we began our adventure. I became pregnant 4 months after we were married and started reading EVERYthing I could about homeschooling. I remember one day talking to him while he was in the bathroom. I really felt we should buy this phonics curriculum [remember I'm only PREGNANT! emoticon] to which my husband says, "Maybe we could wait until the baby is at least talking…" We both burst out laughing! That was in 1990 and we've been going at it ever since!

I have two graduates:
Nicholas in 2009:

Nate in 2010:

My oldest son is going to the University and my second son is living in Wyoming apprenticing as a carpenter. They are SUCH blessings!

I have 6 more to go and my prayer is continually that God will give me grace to finish strong. I HONESTLY can't do this without Him. I give thanks that He entrusted me with this call, but as a dear SP friend quotes, "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called." I certainly DON'T feel adequate for the job, but God's strength is manifest in my weakness!

This Thanksgiving season, I give thanks for the privilege to educate my children at home...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIGMELITTLEME 11/25/2010 7:28AM

    I home schooled April for a couple years during middle school age. They always seemed to be the roughest. I am sure you will do fine. They seem to be great kids.

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KADULAC 11/24/2010 5:32PM

    Thank you for sharing this. Congratulations on the two successes God has given you, and praying He gives you six more. Happy Thanksgiving.

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    I laughed along with you when you wanted to buy the curriculum while still pregnant with #1! We shopped early for our homeschooling years too...Maegann was only 2. I too can only do this big job with God's help. He certainly fills in where I am lacking!

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THINIWILLBE21 11/24/2010 11:51AM

    WOW!!!! Thank you, Sue, for all you do for God and His Kingdom!!

Thank you for homeschooling your children and for sharing stories from that experience with us!

You & your husband are too funny about the Phonics program while you were still pregnant!! emoticon

Thank you for sharing your life and your experiences with the rest of us. I am blessed when I read what you have written -and- when I see the pictures you post.

emoticonon getting your first two sons graduated!!

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 11:53:22 AM

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PAMAPPLE 11/24/2010 10:46AM

    Good for you in deciding to homeschool your children, and that hubby was supportive, too! Wow, you have two that have already graduated!! You are creating such a legacy for your children!! I only have one child so we thought it would be best for her to have the experience of going to a christian school for socialization... It is well-established and has been there since 1957... the year I was born! She has been going there ever since K-4 and LOVES her school friends dearly!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and God bless you, my dear friend!! emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 11/24/2010 9:04AM

    I KNOW that God will give you and I both the grace to finish strong. emoticon

What an honor - 2 graduates!!!

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BL3SS3DWITHLIF3 11/24/2010 9:02AM

    Your blog made me cry! I am so thankful for it to. I am thankful I became a Christian before I had kids so they never spent 1 day in public school. I think teaching my kids to read is rewarding and am glad I am doing it! I cant wait to see mine graduate! (well I can, but I cant wait to have a homeschooling graduation for them!)

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 11/24/2010 8:05AM

    It is a blessing for sure. I was one that was not going to home school but God had other plans. emoticon I'm so glad he did.

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SWIMLOVER 11/24/2010 7:51AM

  Susan, I am not sure if I told you that I had Home Schooled my
daughter. She graduated from Home Schooling in 1997. Even though she is now a Preschool Teacher, she says that when and if
she gets married she will want to Home School her children. I
really believe in Home Schooling. You are so right, people cannot Home School without The LORD! Actually, we cannot do anything without The LORD!

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 7:53:01 AM

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BLESSEDMAZARS 11/24/2010 7:36AM


There really is a greater sense of blessing when the children are being taught at home. My oldest DD went to public school in kindergarten, mainly, because I didn't know there was another way. At the end of that end, they shut her school down because of numbers and budget cuts, but it opened a brand new door for me. The door of homeschooling! Now I'm a vocal homeschooling mom for the past nine years and I don't plan on stopping.

Training up a child in the way he should go is one of my main priorities, homeschooling just fits right into that. You've been blessed with how far your children have come so far and the greater blessing is still yet to come. Have a terrific Thanksgiving with your family. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/24/2010 7:37:39 AM

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