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Lessons from My Grandma on Her Birthday

My grandma taught me so much about simple. Today is her birthday and if she were still alive, she would be 95 years old. Boy, do I miss her.

We often laugh with such fondness at so many memories of her, and the one thing that I always remember is her simplicity. She didn’t need much. She didn’t want much. But she sure loved much.

We always joke at how no matter what she did that day, she always ended the day with, “Didn’t we have a wonderful time?” She was always looking for the positive. She was excited about the little things.

Life is so fleeting. This summer I have been reminded, and have even struggled with, just how fleeting this life is. How things we take so seriously, don’t  really mean that much…and how we need to really understand our life is just a vapor. Here today and gone tomorrow. I look back at my Grandma’s life and remember her saying how fast time goes, and how you never know what each day will bring. She was so right.

Time truly flies. Days pass quicker and quicker. I am continually reminded that this life is temporary. Heaven is eternal.

“You can’t take it with you,” is another thing that she taught me. As my Grandma got older and I was preparing to be married, she would give me things. Knick knacks, kitchen things, material items, house stuff.  She would say, “I may as well give it away because I can’t take it with me when I’m gone.” While I have some of those items still, I am reminded of the things that I DO take with me from her…and they were not material. They were the memories, the lessons, the spirit. The love.

The things that carry from one generation to the next are not things at all.  Besides the hand me down bowls I have…it is the lessons we teach the next generation.

To love. 
To truly live. 
To not get so caught up in the here and now, we forget that this life isn’t what we are living for. It is the next one that will last forever.

So Happy Birthday Grandma. Thank you for the lessons you taught me. Thank you for the LOVE you ALWAYS showed me unconditionally. Thank you that you live through me into the next generation….and they may share that same grateful spirit and simple heart.

And may we always end everyday with the positive attitude of what wonderful time we had.

May I end my life on this earth someday knowing I lived it well…with a grateful heart.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved



A Trip to Gettysburg!

We just returned from a fabulous trip to Gettysburg, PA. We learned so much and it provided some much needed refreshment and renewal.

My kids love historical stuff and we have previously visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, and Plymouth. So this year we decided to head out to PA and visit Gettysburg. American History has always been one of our favorite things to study in our homeschool.

I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of Gettysburg. We were surrounded by such beautiful fields, hills, and farms. Gorgeous. The Gettysburg National Park Museum was incredible and we spent time doing the auto tour of the battlefields. Amazing.

We stayed at The Lodges at Gettysburg, which I would highly recommend for families. They have unique “lodges” that are all private. Inside our lodge (which was named “Georgia”- each one is named after a different state) was a large main room with a sleeper couch and double bed, chair, and large furnishing including period style dressers and a cedar chest. Then there was a beautiful kitchenette with microwave, Keurig, table and chairs overlooking that gorgeous view, and all dish ware was provided. We also had another bedroom with a double bed, writing desk (which I loved!) and a very large bathroom that was gorgeous! The shower was all stone and simply beautiful.

We also had a back porch with Adirondack charis that overlooked the most gorgeous views of the battlefields. The sun rose straight over them every morning and was breathtaking.

To top it off, there was a lake for my husband and boys to fish in each morning. They LOVED that. There are also acres of hiking and biking trails on the picturesque property. It was very quiet and serene. We had almost stayed at a hotel in town, but I am grateful we chose the lodges instead.

 I was once again reminded of how little we really need. This “tiny house” was perfect for us. Even though we had all the modern amenities, we loved the simplicity of just the few rooms and the views. I could see living in a house this size and being just content. 🙂

I recommend Gettysburg if you are in the area as a great family vacation. Since we do love history this trip was especially exciting for us. It was educational but relaxing all at the same time.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


Simply...Family, Simply...Living For Him

Simple {Unplugged} Summer

Simple {unplugged} summer. Live it. In the moment. Don’t waste it.

Unplugged means being truly in the moment. No distractions. Connecting.

Build a fire.
Jump in the puddles.
Roast marshmallows.
Ride your bikes.
Star gaze.
Run through the hose.
Plant flowers.
Grow flowers.
Smell flowers.

Run through the grass.
Look at the clouds.
Listen to the birds. Really listen- their songs amaze me!
Read. Read. Read.
Write. Write. Write. 😉 (my favorite)

Just be.

Unplug. Turn off the noise.
Life looks so much brighter without all of the distractions.

Truly immerse in life. 

Simple. (Unplugged} Summer.

How are you unplugging?

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool is also available for $0.99

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved


Simply...Family, Simply...Living For Him

Simple {UnPlugged} Summer

I am enjoying the simple summer days, now that they are in full swing. I’ve been thinking a lot about keeping my kids unplugged as much as possible. We’re usually pretty unplugged as it is, in that we have iPad time earned by reading, video games only on the weekends, and no cable TV.Yet, it still creeps in.

Unplugged time is so important. The brain needs to be used, and it also teaches that there is not always immediate gratification. Anything worth doing, takes time.

A garden is planted, cultivated, harvested over time.
Part of the enjoyment in the gardening for me is the work it takes to get there.  I want my kids to have that work ethic. To know that God created us to work hard. So many places in the Bible it teaches we are not to be lazy, but diligent and not idle with our hands.

We recently went fishing as a family. My husband explained that it isn’t about catching the fish, but the process. The waiting, the patience, and the time it takes are important. It’s very much like life. We often are waiting on God’s timing for things….and He has been known to make us wait very long sometimes!

I also recently bought some wood burning kits on clearance. For $5 my boys spent an entire rainy afternoon working with the wood  and making intricate designs. One of them was much more impatient, and I explained how a beautiful piece of art takes time. It is not always about the product but what we learn when we get there.

Being unplugged teaches us that. Video games, computer, TV…they all supply instant gratification for little or no effort.  Consider the process of things. Work, gardening, fishing…whatever it is. They all have purpose in the process, not just the outcome.

Enjoy being unplugged this summer. Don’t look for immediate gratification, but simply enjoy the process.

To read more about simplifying, Simply Homeschool is now just $0.99 for download or for Kindle at  Click here for more info:

Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool is also available for $0.99

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved