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Thursday, 22 December 2016

Favourite Books of 2016

Always on the look out for new authors to read, and for the children to read. Quite disappointed at some of the secular book offerings, as they are in my opinion unreadable; having either way too much bad language, or just the general worldly themes, and acceptance of values that are completely alien to me! I like to be encouraged, entertained,educated or challenged in a book.
My favourite genre is suspense. Secular author I have discovered in the last year is Mary Higgins Clark. Her novels do not contain bad language, or unnecessary embellishments!

For Christian suspense I have been discovering more of Dee Henderson's books, but also other authors I hadn't read, such as Barbara Ellen Brink, Patricia Bradley, Dani Pettrey, and a new male author Creston Mapes.

For something a bit different; The James Rubart Trilogy. Hard to say where it fits, but definitely a message with the books, and an intriguing one at that. Definitely in the fantasy realm.

For humour, it has to be Gervase Phinn! I really enjoy the style of his writing, and humorous without resorting to the profane. I have been reading the School Inspector fiction series, and am on the last but one book.

Life stories: The Yorkshire Shepherdess, and The Vow, also The story of Martin Luther as told by Jim Cromarty.

Secular: Lesley Thomson's Detective's daughter books. Though, there is some language in, it is rare. I found the books rather different to what I had read, and definitely a twist. I guess you could say they fit in with Murder Mystery. I also rediscovered Agatha Christie's books, and will be reading more.

Devotional: Flavel on a variety of themes, John Mcarthur, and Spurgeon. I don't think you can ever tire of Spurgeon! Also, a must check this out is Francine River's new Earth Psalms Devotional- stunning pictures, and lots of ideas for reflection!

Feel Good and Seasonal: Debbie Macomber; fairly corny, but can be uplifting! Also, a nice Christmas one I enjoyed was A Miracle at Macy's by Hulsman.

Found a new horsey author for the girls this year; Mary Gervaise. The books are from the 1950's but colourful description with good use of language, and enjoyable story lines. Not easy to find stuff the girls like that actually isn't full of boyfriend's, and wordly themes!

Any book recommendations gladly taken. Please comment! This year I am doing the Virtual Theology Reading Challenge. I have to select a book from each section. Will post on what I have chosen, soon.

Monday, 12 December 2016


It's that time of year again, but are we just going through the motions like a robot?
Christmas cards.......tick.

Christmas has become far too commercialised for my liking, it seems it is all materialistic. Also, our Pastor even referred to a radio programme where they were asking Jesus or Santa? Erm, what???
I have shared before why we don't 'do' the traditional Santa idea. For us as Christians it is all about God's gift to us, and the most important thing is that we share that good news, but have we lost that special sense of what Christmas means?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, providentially being kept from being murdered. He lead a sinless life because He is God. Immanuel- God with us.
He pointed people to salvation which depended not on external rituals, and earning something. Salvation is free to all who repent of their sin, and believe.
Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and we can't grasp that. He was utterly forsaken at that moment, and darkness was all around. The darkness symbolic of the sense of forsaken-ness.
The curtain was torn in two- symbolic of us NOW having a way to approach God. There was no other way, as God is Holy, and he cannot tolerate sin. The only way was for Jesus to live a perfect life on earth, to die an agonising death on the cross, not just the physical agony, but the emotional agony. He rose again after three days, and this symbolises God's power. What God has ordained WILL come to pass. We know that when we trust in his atoning blood that we may die, but our souls will live on for eternity in heaven, and not be cast into the utter blackness, and darkness that is hell.
Are we thankful for His gift?
Do we set our hearts heavenward?
Are we yearning to just taste a drop of what eternity has to offer us?

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Importance of Martin Luther and the Reformation

Recently, I enrolled in a Ligonier connect course moderated by Tim Challies; the topic was 'Justification By Faith Alone'. It was an eight week course, and I wasn't quite sure what I would come away with, but I did actually learn a great deal.I have made an attempt to condense it into a nutshell; a nutshell, as there was so so much!

One thing this course affirmed was that History should never underestimated, especially church history. Sadly the secular History books don't even mention Martin Luther. We have whole generations who can't even tell the difference between Roman Catholics, and Christians. Luther was the focal figure for change, and it was quite accidental on his part, although we no that God had other ideas!
Martin Luther was born in 1483 in Eisleben. It was his father's intention that he would become a lawyer, but he dropped out of that to become a monk, after a couple of disturbing episodes;the first in which he was walking, and the sword he was carrying for protection sliced through his leg causing a lot of blood loss. If that wasn't bad enough he was later struck by lightening, and was so shocked that if he called out, 'Save me St Ann, I will become a monk.'

A century earlier, a man named John Huss (meaning swan) was accused of heresy and condemned at the stake by the Roman Catholics. (His crime was simply that he elevated scripture above the churches' teaching! Many people today seem to think we get our authority and teaching from the church. No! The only authority the church has is The bible, and on that everything stands.) He said at his death, ''You may burn me, but there will come a swan that you won't silence.' These words were prophetical! Ironically Luther was ordained on the site where John Huss's body was buried!
Throughout these years it was obvious that Martin Luther had an extremely tender conscience. He was always confessing sins, even the most trivial. He never felt he was forgiven. He was extremely disturbed at the evil he saw around him. On a trip to Rome he witnessed prostitutes, filthy living, a love of luxury, and all in the very people who claimed to eschew all this! Of course when he condemned it, it didn't make him very popular. The Roman Catholics promoted 'Indulgences' basically Tetzel was one of the better known sellers of these indulgences, and basically if a person purchased these then they could be forgiven their sins. (This rather makes me think of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale, shocking that people could be so gullible, but it is actually going on today, in the sense that some claim their handkerchiefs, or water can heal, and make one wealthy!)Some of the items sold claimed to be parts of Jesus' robes, or Mary's hair locks etc.

As Luther was reading Romans, preparing a sermon one day (bear in mind only the clergy could generally read the Bible as it was all Latin, but Luther had access to the Greek and Hebrew also) he read, 'the just shall live by faith' The righteousness that God bestows by his grace. Imputation to the believer affected by faith. Imputation-God counts as putting trust in Christ, He has done the work. At that point he felt he was reborn, as he had realised that it is not as the church taught, which was Justification = faith + works. He began to see Justification by faith all through the Bible!
So, having discovered all this made him feel that the whole system of indulgences was wrong, and contrary to what scripture taught. It then caused him to nail his 95 theses to the door. Now, of course at that time that was the way in which you would raise a point to be discussed among the clergy etc, so it wasn't meant to be some huge world changing event! He basically attacked the idea that salvation, or forgiveness of sin could be purchased, and that Justification was by faith alone, not faith plus works. The catholics believed that salvation was only brought about through the church, and confession through a priest. Roman Catholics taught that baptism was a step in justification. Of course we know it is just a symbol of our faith- a public witness. They believe that faith is necessary for justification, but when sin is committed you lose that justification and now need penance: confession to priest, and works of satisfaction, and if you died with impurity on soul you would enter purgatory; which they believe is the cleansing period. Essentially they didn't have enough righteousness to enter heaven. We know that Christ was righteous, and that is why he had to live a perfect life on earth, so he could transfer that righteousness to us. His death on the cross and resurrection so important, propitiation, and expiation took place.
Expiation= Jesus removing our sins (by dying on the cross.
Propitiation= Settled demands.

The Bible appears to contradict itself in James, and Romans: In Romans chapter 4 it says that it was 'counted to him (Abraham) as righteousness.
This means that Abraham was justified the moment he put his faith in God.
In James it quotes 'faith without works is dead.'James 2:14. In context it means that if we are true believers in Christ we will do good works, not in order to be saved, but because we are saved!'If you love me keep my commandments.' This is a living faith, not a dead faith! I can only imagine how excited people were when they realised what true freedom in Christ was!
Obviously the message spread across the world, and the Pope who had control of much of Europe started to lose his stranglehold on these countries. Luther saw the Pope as the antichrist, as only Jesus, God has the power to forgive sins, and grant salvation. It seemed Rome's great wickedness had been exposed for all to see. No wonder they didn't want people reading the Bible!The Pope issued a death warrant for Luther, and all who help him. He eluded them for some time by being taken into hiding.

Through the providence of God Luther lived on till his 60's, and even married and had six children. I would urge you to read the story, it is a very interesting one. Yes, he was brash, and sometimes crude. He was what we would term anti- semetic, but you have to take it in context with the day in which he lived. One thing is certain- from this point on Christianity was not quite the same.

''Justification is the hinge on which everything turns.' John Calvin.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Conscience, Sin, and the Unbeliever

I have been wanting to write this for a while, as I have been concerned about errors creeping in, even among reformed, and especially among home educators.

Myth number 1: Unbelievers do not have consciences.
Romans 2:14 ' For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)'
There are many in this day who say that there is no such thing as right, and wrong, but with the same breath they decry murder as a horrible sin. This shows the error of their thinking!
The verse in Romans clearly states that we have an inborn sense of right and wrong. We are made in God's image and have His moral principles on our conscience.
However, having said this, it is possible through sin to become hard hearted, and this can lead to a seared conscience, i.e a reprobate who will call evil good, and good evil. They will even glory in their sin. I believe this is what happened to Judas Iscariot. He started with the sin of covetuosness, and stealing; this lead to the betrayal of Jesus, and it was quoted that it would have been better if he hadn't been born. Sad to think of such a thing. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have been in Judas' shoes.

1 Tim 4:2 'Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;...'

'When sin grows stronger, the conscience grows weaker.' Buchanan.

Of course there are those with weaker or stronger consciences, and those who give excuse for legalism. If something is in the Bible, and it is condemned, then we can be sure it is wrong to do it. However, there are plenty of blurry lines, and that is where it becomes a problem to impose that on others. There is certainly nothing wrong with us giving our arguments for something. We will find as home educators we will often give our reasons, and for my family and I this remains our conscience issue. In some parts of the world home education is banned on the grounds of conscience!!

It is important as believers to never condone, or dumb down sin, we need to call it out for what it is, and offer the Gospel to people. When Paul was stoned in Acts 14, it was because he failed to compromise with the peoples' sin. There was a wonderful healing performed, and the people thought the Apostles must have been gods, and they wanted to sacrifice. He urged them to repent, and gave all the glory to God.

Myth number 2: There is no such thing as greater sin and lesser sin:all sin is the same.
Yes, it is true that sin, and all sin separates us from God. Even in our 'best acts' we can commit sin. However, there are varying degrees of sin, and we will be punished accordingly if we do not have Jesus as our advocate. Only through Jesus' blood sacrifice on the cross, and repentance and trust in Him can we truly be free.

Our whole law system in this country gives degrees of punishment. If you murder you will get a longer punishment, than if you just stole a coat.

John 19:11 ' Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.' Jesus also said that it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than the Jews. Something to think about.
That verse is found in Matthew 10:15.

At the foremost we must always be commanding people to repent. Obviously we have to use our discernment, but it would be wrong to offer people the 'God is love', and an easy believism gospel without mention the Judgment of God. When we are saved, we are first convicted of sin. There are some evangelists who think they can get anyone converted just given enough time, and the right arguments, however it is God who convinces our hearts through his Holy Spirit. We cannot convince anyone, we can only pray that God opens hearts and puts in us the right words, etc.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Smarthphones? Why Mine won't be Having Them

Never before has there been so much temptation, especially for young people. Now, we know home education does protect children from massively condensed peer pressure, but I can see a big problem, and that is smart phones. Smart phones open the doors to unwarranted peer pressure, bullying, and worse porn. Surely that should concern us, especially as Christian parents? Be ye not conformed to the world springs to mind. (On a normal computer hub protections can be applied, but as far as I know smart phones do not operate any such thing).
I definitely feel I am the odd one out, in that I seem to be the only one on the planet who doesn't allow smart phones. The amazing thing is, they don't even want them! They laugh at people on cycle rides, and walks scrolling through their phones. People in town just sitting like zombies, friends meeting at cafes speaking to others in cyber space while ignoring friends and family around them. Are we going backward or something?
Yes, I know people will call me dumb. Well, glad to be dumb. Glad to have a life, and glad my children have a life, and real friends, and real experiences not just virtual ones. I am not saying the internet isn't important, but rather we shouldn't allow ourselves, or our children to be sucked into the whirlpool, which is almost impossible to climb out of. Also, when on earth do we reflect on God? How can we, if we are constantly entertained, and constantly distracted? I like to go for a walk to think, just to sit and hear the sounds of the birds. To be completely free from distractions. (children excepted, ha ha!)
One of the great perks of home education has been that children are free to be themselves without pressure. I fear with children ever younger on Facebook, and other sites this will be a thing of the past. Let's face it children are impressionable, and the younger the more impressionable. Let's keep them kids for as long as they ARE kids!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

A New Season

A new season brings change. This Autumn I have been home educating for 18 years. (Since the eldest was 4). The eldest is now in a permanent job, second eldest looking for a permanent job, and the third eldest started a BTEC in Electronical ,and Electrical engineering.
Why did he choose the BTEC?
Well,after getting through to the final interview stages of a top apprenticeship, and not being accepted it caused him to look at other options. Apprenticeships are like gold dust, and thousands apply with only a handful of places. Doing a BTEC means he gets the hands on and academic studies.-All in the career he wants to pursue. Leading to the equivalent of 3 A levels, which includes Maths. After that is either an advanced apprenticeship, or HND.
Why not university you ask?
Well, the cost would be at least £9,000 a year, which doesn't include living, and that is for four years. Too many employers complain that engineering graduates lack the hands on knowledge to be able to do the jobs required. So, this is a cheaper option, and a perfect balance. I know BTEC doesn't have a wonderful reputation in general, but I believe that is due to the subjects covered being broad; for example you can do a BTEC in hair dressing. It would be easy to argue that would not be the equivalent of A levels.
So, what do you need for a BTEC in Engineering?
At least 4 GCSE's grades C and above. These have to include two sciences, and English and Maths. The maths is really important, as you will be studying Maths to A level standard, and expected to work with complex statistics and equations.
It never stops really! I am finding this is probably the hardest part of my home educating years! Adult children are challenging in a different sort of way, and the added pressure of exams, whilst trying to still teach the youngest four.
Meanwhile, the next three are studying for their IGCSE'S in the sciences, maths, and English. At one point I was seeing exam papers in my sleep!!
So, if you are trying the apprenticeships route first, then do make sure you have hobbies that match the apprenticeships. My son was into turbo CAD software, and made a portfolio of projects. He also has his own oscilloscope, which he used on projects. Don't make the mistake of listing too many other hobbies, they will think you won't have time to work!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Delicious, and Decadent Coconut Cake

Recipe for Coconut Cake- serves 12
Ingredients needed:
275g self raising flour.
1 TSP baking powder.
100g dessicated coconut.
180g sugar.
275g margarine.
5 large free range eggs.
1 TSP vanilla extract.
4 TBS milk.
For filling:
Good quality jam (without fructose I use Mackay's)
Extra thick double cream 300 ml.
For top:
A bar of white cooking chocolate.

Cream the margarine and the sugar, then add in the vanilla.
Next, sieve the flour,and add the baking powder, and half the coconut,and add an egg, and a little flour each time mixing well until all the eggs and flour are used up. Lastly add the milk, and stir again.
Pour into two square cake moulds. Bake roughly at 150c for around 30 minutes, swapping shelves half way. It will be cooked when a fork comes away clean.
Leave to cool, and when cool spread the base with the jam, then sprinkle half of the coconut which is left. Add the thick cream, then put top on.
Melt the white chocolate, and spread on the top, and add the remaining coconut.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

"He Giveth More Grace"
by Annie Johnson Flint – (1866-1932)

He giveth more grace as the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as the labors increase,
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials His multiplied peace.

His Love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow'r has no boundary known unto men.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Amazing hymn. Amazing God we have.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My Thoughts Post Brexit

Obviously, if you have been following my blog then you will know I supported Brexit, and if you want to know why, then check out my previous post.
Last week I awoke on the day of the referendum with nervous anticipation. I was feeling hopeful. I didn't stay up to hear the results, as I was too tired.
On Friday morning I didn't need my alarm clock, as someone was ringing the church bells with gusto. I knew that meant the United Kingdom had voted to leave the European Union.

Of course, we never expected it would be plain-sailing, but I don't think anyone really expected the hate, tantrums, and finger pointing that followed. It was blamed on the older generation. Apparently they had spoiled it all. People seem to forget that the older generation are the only ones who really remember life outside the European Union, and remember what we fought for in the two wars. I have been living my whole life under the auspices of the European Union. What started as something relatively reasonable has encroached into all areas of our lives. We may as well be ruled from Europe, because everything in European law trumps UK law. It would only have been a matter of time before we joined the Euro.

Jeremy Corbyn was democratically elected by the members of his party, yet he has been blamed for failing. For what? Maybe for failing to indoctrinate the leave supporters in his party? Apparently, he didn't set out the economic arguments for staying well enough. Or, maybe that was because there isn't enough credible facts to support staying. So, they resorted to scaremongering. Worrying people that they would have less money, and all chaos would break loose. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly (After all the oldies know better than us) they didn't buy the argument. To be honest, I just didn't care. I realise that our nation has been drifting godlessly into an abyss, and the European Union has sped things up. If we want our Nation to be great again, then we have to repent and turn back to God.

Psalm 146:3 "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help."
We need to look to the Lord even more now, and pray for our nation.
Don't trust Governments, and those in power. Above all we need not fear, because God has everything in hand. He can change the hearts of any in government.He will always accomplish his Sovereign Will, no matter how much people scoff. Especially in the last days people will scoff, and shall think that the Second Coming will never occur.

Checkout Revelation 13: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

One of the heads was wounded. Makes you think, doesn't it, is this us?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Why I am Voting Leave

Next week we have one of the best opportunities in decades to make a difference. I will be voting leave next week, and here's why:
1) Obviously being a Christian I have to approach this from a Christian, and biblical point of view. Now, the European Union are blatant about mocking the bible. Consider Revelation; 17:3

It is outside the European parliament.
They are very anti home education in many of the countries, and have even imprisoned parents. Parents have charge of children under God, not the State!
2) Countries like Turkey joining; this will leave us powerless to protect our own especially given their poor treatment of women.(Not to mention bordering with Isis!)
3) Paedophiles have filled places like Cornwall, due to the freedom of movement. Some even fear to let children out of their sight it is that prevalent. If we had control, then they would be sent back.
4) Jobs. Ever looked for jobs recently? My children have been, and tbh the situation is not as pretty as the government would care to admit. We need controlled immigration from all over the world,so we can take who we need.
5) We need autonomy over our economy and businesses. It is not right that companies are tempted out of UK by Euro grants. M&S, Dyson, Hoover...just to give three. Did the Euro save Tata? No!! In fact, it impeded Tata Steel. The council couldn't lower their rates to help them when times were tough.
6)Our freedom to make our own laws. Speaks for itself, really.
There are all those scaremongers who try to scare us. How could we possibly be any worse off than we are at this present time??? How can getting so little back for our money be more important that giving up our valuable autonomy? These are just a few reasons, but I am not writing a book!
Join me, and vote leave next Thursday.

Friday, 29 April 2016

SATS and Home Education

For fun I decided to try the SATS tests given to 11 year olds. I managed to fail the Maths one (despite having Maths GCSE, and being good at Maths) I got 50% in the English one.
Why such low scores? Well, to be honest the English one was a whole load of English terms I was not familiar with. How soul destroying to have to label words and phrases with such ridiculous terminology! With my 11 year old I am working with her to be able to write in a coherent, grammatically correct and thoughtful way. Who the heck cares if what she has written is a conjunctive clausal phrase blah blah?! Yes, they know their adverbial phrases etc, but to go into even more technical detail at this stage is unnecessary.
Maths? Well, finding missing factors baffled me. Probably more awkward trying on a tablet. I have done it before on paper, but the point is; what good will that be in everyday situations? More importantly though, it seems school are ever focussing on testing, and performance in those tests.
Learning should be fun. When I enjoyed what I was learning I learned more. I still do! We seem to be going back to Victorian ideas of learning. The mere knowledge of word labels, and significant dates are not enough in themselves; we need to be able to apply that knowledge, and use it!
If you want to test your children in home education, then I believe the Richmond tests are still available. That is what we did with ours. However, not ALL of them did it. That is the beauty of home Ed,you can treat each child differently, and tailor their education. No such thing as a ' one size fits all' especially not in education!

In the meantime, we are reluctantly sitting IGCSE's. Above is a picture of Israel's bedside charts. Bad enough having the stress of it at all, but it isn't every year! I think Israel's enthusiasm would have left him years ago.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Enjoying your Kids

If we can't wait to get rid of our children, then that is a sure sign we are not enjoying them.
Of course, they don't need to be entertained every second of the day ( that stifles children's natural creativity). However, it is important to have fun with them. I remember my mum; she was always willing to play games with me, (well, nearly always)and we were always going for cycle rides, and walks together. I can remember she was never too old to explore places and have a go on river swings.
Spending time with them builds bonds, and memories. This week we have been on cycle rides, and played Scrabble. We enjoy doing badminton together, and snooker, or maybe just reading a book. Tomorrow, I will do some baking with our recent birthday girl. I guess in a large family there is always someone to do something with! I hate being alone; it's too quiet, too boring. I am left wondering what on earth to do!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Pasta Sauce Low Added Sugar Cheap Healthy Option

Following the war on sugar I noticed on the news they were highlighting pasta sauces,which are high in sugar. Now tomatoes have sugar, but the sauces have loads of added sugar. A few years ago I ditched these, and decided to make my own. Simpler than you think, and at least a third of the cost.
Just sub for a carton or two of passata, or chopped tomatoes then add herbs.
For pizza just a thin spreading of pasatta to make the tomato base.
For bolognaise add half a teaspoon of sugar, basil, garlic, and dash of lemon juice. Do the same for lasagne,and consequently the white sauce is easy peasy: just heat some milk,and in a jug add some cold milk and cornflour. When the milk is boiled combine the two and return to the heat gently stirring till thick. I like to add a little cheese and garlic.
For chilli exactly the same,except the spices will be garlic, chilli,and for extra tasty bite smoked paprika.
This will also cure your storage problem, as no more bulky jars!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Those Bad Days

We all have them,but today has been particularly bad. Having a freezer full of organic lamb defrosting is somewhere at the top. Other things too, including preparing for a Maths exam next month and one child thinks the exam is written in a foreign language. Having to explain that, yes you do need algebra to solve problems with an unknown number.
Not feeling particularly well on top of everything else. Hard to find a reason to remain positive....but, as I have been learning in proverbs; there is a season for everything.
I love the part in Ecclesiastes which states:"He has made every thing beautiful in its time: also he has put eternity in men's hearts, so that no man can find out the work that God does from the beginning to the end." Ecclesiastes 3:11. That sums it all up. We are on this earth for a brief while, and it is eternity that we are aiming for. Thus ( and I sigh) these things seem so..*gulp* trivial.

Monday, 28 March 2016

23 Years!

Yesterday was our 23rd wedding anniversary.

It would be so easy not to reach it! So easy to think I am perfect, not see the faults in myself. Easy to look at the faults in my husband and become irritated.

Even the most perfect person in this world has faults. That is a biblical truth!

I think that is why so many marriages fail. When one becomes selfish it is bad enough, but two people? Well, explosive springs to mind.

Everyone says the honeymoon period doesn't last, and of course that's true. Who can deny it? The Bible condemns fornication, and has instituted marriage as to help prevent this. People think marriage isn't special, but it is a special commitment before God, instituted in Genesis. No man can change that. The trouble is with the new trend of people living together, is that it is so much easier to just move on to someone else when the going gets tough, and it is women who are often taken advantage of. There is not really any real commitment.

It hasn't always been easy, but the Lord has blessed us. We also have ten children. I would love more, but that just hasn't happened.

If I was to give one piece of advice this year it would be; laugh a lot, and laugh at yourself. Laughter is medicine, especially in marriage.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


One thing we have to remember as home educators is that we are not trying to replicate the school situation; rather we are trying to prepare and educate our children for life.

A major reason we rejected ACE. Why have children seated at desks where they can't see what is going on? At least in school I was able to look out of the window. Also, I have found a workbook only approach can be very dry.

I also like to change things sometimes. It can get tedious going through the same stuff with multiple children. Therefore I tend to look at the child's personalities and needs. For that very reason I have just started Singapore Maths with my ninth child. Refreshing? Yes.

One major thing I have definitely learned over the years is to be be free and relaxed. Not to worry too much about how much, or what they cover. Maintain your priorities. For the Christian home educator this will be putting God, and the Bible at the centre. A reason why I get extremely uncomfortable when people mention autonomous education. To the Christian, the word 'autonomous' should be a major flag; basically meaning the child is in control, and they answer to self. No! We are answerable to God only. The Bible says that children are young, impressionable, and that foolishness is bound up in the heart of the child. Proverbs 22. Now, whether or not you believe in corporal punishment is irrespective; children need correction and guidance. They need to learn discipline.

So, what do we do? Well, they have set work they are expected to complete, but when they are older they get to concentrate on specific subject areas. Now, for one son this has been the sciences, Maths, English, and Engineering. For another it has been English, story writing, composition, and film making. It really does vary. Remember, every child is different! Don't be afraid to mix and match curriculums, scrap book work in some areas, and take hands on approaches. I am quite strict about Maths and English,and Bible studies so require their bookwork in that area. However, the other subject are more free. After all, anyone remember how we used to walk around museums, as children with clipboards? It killed my enthusiasm. Dead.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Anyone for some Tea?

Now, if you know me, then you will also know that we all drink tea.Green tea, herbal tea,'s all good.
It is also good for children. I was brought up on tea. I didn't really drink squash. In fact in those days the colourings made me feel sick, and sometimes be sick.
I have decided for years that I would rather give my children tea than squash, and a few years ago I actually banned it. Why? I hear you cry. Well,I have good reason; squash either has loads of sugar, or sweeteners. (Until recently sweeteners were banned for children under five, and we don't know the long term effects, but I do know they make me and my son very ill.)
I am often met with surprise when the children ask for tea to drink. I guess it is seen as unsuitable for children. However, let's look at the facts:
1) Contain antioxidants.
2) Especially green tea contains free radicals, which are known to fight cancer and such.
3) Low in sugar. (As long as none is added, and if you have sweet tooth try Tetley green tea with passion fruit, and add milk)
4) With milk added (I even add it to herbal tea) it I a source of calcium, B vitamins, vitamin D,protein, iodine, and iron.
What's not to love? Especially when we are consuming way too much sugar.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Exam Encouragement for Home Education

Recently, I posted about taking exams as a home educator. This was all new to us, and new in our home education walk.
We didn't really have the extra cash to splurge on tutors, so decided to just press on as best we could. After all home education is also equipping your children to be able to research and study themselves. Physics was the one that made me most nervous, as I didn't take Physics in school. However, I needn't have worried too much, as whatever he was stuck on he was able to find online.
I was fortunate too, as they didn't need to be badgered to study too much. One of the great advantages to home education; you teach them self motivation.
We had our results last week, and my science orientated son got an A in Physics and English. My writing daughter got an A* in English, and my son who hates writing got a D. I believe he would have got a grade C if coursework was allowed, but it was all exam, and they threw in an extra writing excerpt for good measure! Be prepared for the unexpected.
Anyway, I hope this encourages someone, as at one point I was lead to believe that you don't attempt any exams without tutors and online courses. Yes, these can be a life saver, but are most certainly not imperative.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Memorising Bible Verses

Recently I was given an adult colouring book, and I have since discovered that it is great for memorising bible verses. Ha, don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but before Christmas I had the idea. I write the bible verse to memorise (King James version is so much better, esp for memorising) and then colour while meditating on the verse.

I don't have more than a few minutes time free for colouring each day, but this way I am memorising scripture. I find after a few days I have memorised the verse.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mango Fool

Here is a lovely quick recipe to make in a blender, and can be done with fresh, frozen, or canned mago pulp.

Ingredients needed:
Serves 12
500 ml Greek yogurt
300 ml carton double cream
3 ripe mangos chopped, or half a can of mango pulp (Tesco Indian aisle), or a packet of frozen chopped mango. ( also Tesco)

Put the mango in blender, and then add double cream. Whizz till it slows, then add the yoghurt. If you use the normal mango you may have to add sugar to taste. I found it sweet enough with the mango pulp. Oh, and the mango pulp makes a great cheesecake topper, but two of mine don't like cheesecake, hence my deviation. All the children enjoy this, though.
It is a nice touch to add some mango to the top of it.