Archives for January 2012

$50 Vision Forum Giveaway

~~~~~~~~~Congratulations Caroline!  You won the $50 Vision Forum gift certificate!!!~~~~~~~~~~

Last night my oldest daughter and I attended a meeting for her upcoming graduation. In just over 3 months my husband and I will be graduating our oldest daughter and first homeschooled student. I can’t begin to describe the emotions that fill my heart when I ponder this thought!

My mind starts to wonder and think of all the things I have not taught her, that I have somehow missed. Then I am reminded of one of my very favorite quotes:

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. ~Socrates

What a great metaphor used to describe our role as a homeschooling parent. How freeing it is to know that I don’t have to choose everything to put in my daughters vessel, I just have to kindle the flame. My goal is to teach my children to love learning!

This week we had the chance to review one of Vision Forum newest products, WWII: D-Day and the Providence of God Study Course. This history course covers much of the history surrounding World War II and the D-Day invasion. The study set includes 4 DVDs, 1 MP3, and a study guide with questions and Bible verses to memorize (that pertain to the learning for that episode).

When we received the course in the mail, the kids were a tad bit disappointed that I didn’t get the zip line to review.  I was excited because I have a 14 year old who loves making movies, especially “war” movies.  We haven’t studied much on World War II, so I was hopeful that this would fill the gap (here I go again trying to fill that vessel).

The older kids and I sat down to watch episode one (there are 7 in all), and I had to keep pausing the movie to explain or talk about different topics the film was covering.  I was surprised by how attentive the kids were and how thought out their questions were.  The film is shot in Europe, and I felt that this helped to bring the topics to life.  Having lived in Europe twice, it is such a different understanding when you can see the old cobblestone streets where prisoners were marched along versus the modern streets here in the states.  I loved that much of the series was shot on location.

We haven’t worked our way through the entire series yet, but so far the kids and I are learning so much.  Kendra was working her way through the Civil War, but after watching episode 1 she asked if she could pause the Civil War and learn about World War II.  She then went on to read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and Hitler by Albert Marrin (flames being kindled…I love it!).  Everyday she has something new to tell us about Adolf Hitler.

$50 Vision Forum Giveaway

I know that many of you would absolutely love this study course.  I am so thankful to Vision Forum for the opportunity to review it.  I am even more thankful that they are going to give one of you a $50 gift certificate!  $50 can go a long way at Vision Forum right now–there is a great sale going on until the end of January.

Entering the contest is easy…

1. Visit the Vision Forum website and tell me in a comment below which product you would like to get with your $50 gift certificate.

2. Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did so.

3. Like Ponder the Path on Facebook or subscribe to Ponder the Path by email (and make sure to leave me another comment to let me know).

Contest ends Friday, January 27th at midnight.  I will choose a random winner and announce the winner on Saturday morning.


Note:  The above links are my affiliate links.


Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 2)

Should Christians Use Herbs? @jasminejlucero

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 2) has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.

7 Tips on Letting the Lord Lead

On Friday I spoke a little about planting seeds, or putting ideas into motion.  As I mentioned in that post, I have a shelf full of notebooks where I write down all my ideas.  It seems that I am very rarely short on ideas, but my time and resources continually limited.  So what is a busy mother to do.  Obviously we can’t do it all.  And there are so many “good” things we would like to do!

But what we ought to do is let God lead.

The answer to our dilemma is very simple in theory, but can sometimes be difficult to implement.

I mean, how do we know whether it is the Lord’s will for us to be involved in xyz project?

1. Pray and search the scriptures – I put these two together, because I have seen so many people choose one over the other.  How many times I have heard “well, I prayed about it and have peace about doing it” when the very thing they want to do go against Scripture.  We must remember that the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) and we are to lean not unto our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

2. Seek wise counsel – This might mean talking to your husband about your ideas or maybe a Godly older woman.  You and your husband may need to seek further counsel from church elders or others in the field that your project pertains to.  Seeking wise council is different from just going around getting everyone’s opinion on what you should do.  Rather, it is finding people who will pray for you and honestly seek the Lord’s face concerning your situation.  Sometimes they may offer a solution very quickly, pointing out something you hadn’t seen before.  Other times it may take some time to discern where the Lord is leading.

3. Is there an open door? – What doors has the Lord opened for you?  There have been many times when I just felt like I needed to do something, but everywhere I turned it seemed that the doors were being shut.  I know that there will be times that we have to persevere and continue to push through hardships, but when we see a door that the Lord has shut we should not try to push through in our own strength.

4. Is it our season? – To everything there is a season.  Just because the Lord has said no at this moment, doesn’t necessarily mean it is no altogether.  Sometimes it is just not the right season for the project.  For me, I don’t do very good at keeping on top of things when I am pregnant.  I forget things.  I am tired.  I am sick.  I just can’t get things done.  I know that when I am pregnant, it is not a time for me to get involved in extra projects or activities, especially ones that require diligence from me.

5. Does the project build or add to our ultimate goals? – Many times I have had to ask myself this question.  Looking at the overall picture of my goals, either short-term or long, does this add to those goals.  There are times that choosing a project to do may not have directly affect our goals, but it’s impact may help us indirectly.  For instance, I am learning Adobe (illustrator, indesign, photoshop).  I don’t have a desire to become a graphic designer, but several of my other goals can be enhanced by the skills I am learning.

6. Will taking on this project cause me to not do the jobs the Lord has already given me, or not do them well? – This is a biggie!  I have several hats that I must wear.  If I add another job to my list, will it increase my load so much that I can’t get my other things done.  As I have thought about what direction to take my blog in, one thing has been clear to me.  I don’t need to create things to blog about.  I try to just write about the things I am already doing or working on.

and lastly…

7. Have a willing heart – If you get into a project and realize that it is not where the Lord would have you, have a willing heart and be ready to give up the project.  There is no shame in bowing out gracefully when the Lord has made it clear that this is not for you.  Sometimes the Lord allows us to get involved for a time, and then pass the torch on to others.  Sometimes we have just made a mistake and gotten in to something we shouldn’t have.  Whatever the case may be, we need to be willing to follow the Lord’s guiding.


Need more tips on letting the Lord lead? Check out the other High Five Moms and see what they have found to help them…

Brandy at The Marathon Mom

Keri Mae at The Happy Home

Stacy at A Delightful Home

Andie at Happy Andersons

Why I Want to Go to the 2:1 Conference

Do you have a shelf to put your brain on?  I do.  I call it my “thinking shelf”.  It is full of notebooks and binders filled with my thoughts.  I don’t journal, as that would take steadfastness and routine.  I am working on keeping a schedule and persevering to complete the tasks I begin, but it doesn’t come natural.  So I don’t journal.

No, this shelf is more random.  When the thoughts start pouring into my head, I try to capture them on paper and then (hopefully) put them in an appropriate binder.  I have binders on my “thinking shelf” organized pretty much like I have my blog organized.  I have herbal notebooks, soapmaking, quilting, ponderings, homeschool–all filled with ideas.

I would love to have the time to bring all these ideas to fruition, but right now these ideas are seeds.  I have stored them away, hoping to plant them one day.

Over the past few months I have been blogging, the Lord has allowed me to take out a few of these seeds and plant them tenderly in the soil of Ponder the Path.  It has been so exciting to see the first tender shoots appear.  Seeing life spring forth from the ideas you have planted.

There have been times though, that I want to plant more, but I must be patient and nurture the tender plants that are before me.  There are times I get discourage as I wait on the plants to bear fruit, but then I remember that I must wait for the plants to become strong or they will not be able to bear the weight of the fruit.  There are even times when I look around at what others have planted, and I long to see the growth in my own garden, but I must remember that they have planted long ago.  They have nurtured and cared for and learned to tend to their gardens.

2:1 Conference Button

Why I want to go to the 2:1 Conference?

Titus 2:1  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

As a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and now a blogger, it is very important that the seeds I plant bring glory to the Lord.   As I become an “aged woman” (and what a blessing it is!), I want to make sure that my behavior becometh holiness, that I am a teacher of good things, and that I don’t blaspheme the Word of God.

Proverbs 27:17  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Blogging is a new realm of teaching for me, and I need to be sharpened.  I need to be challenged and encouraged by other “aged woman” (pardon me for calling you all “aged”–you look beautiful!).

So I am praying that if it is the Lords will and timing, I would be able to attend the 2:1 Conference this April.


Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 1)

Should Christians Use Herbs? @jasminejlucero

Should Christians Use Herbs? (part 1) has been moved to my new herbal site, The Christian Herbal.

Tutorial: Quilt Binding (Video)

Having trouble binding your quilt?  In this video I walk you through binding a quilt.  You may also want to check out my earlier post on quilt binding here and here.

Learning to Ride a Bike (without pedaling)

Years ago with our first two children, we did what most parents do. We bought them bicycles with training wheels. We followed them around as they tried to master pedaling the bike, trying to keep them from falling over each time they hit a bump with the training wheel. Then when they were “ready”, we took off the training wheels and ran behind them as they wobbled along.

When our third child was three years old, a friend showed me a bike she had bought for her son. It was some kind of European training bike. It was basically a small bike without any pedals. She said the idea was to let the kids learn to balance first, without having to think about pedaling. Once they learned to balance, they can ride a regular bicycle without any problems. The proof was in the pudding, as it wasn’t long before her son was riding around on a regular bike without training wheels.

I told my husband about this nifty (and expensive) bicycle. Being the handy man he is, he quickly whipped up our own model. In no time at all, our three year old was riding around just like a big kid! Same story with child number 4. Now child number 5 is learning to balance. Although he is not thrilled about us taking off the pedals. He thinks he needs pedals to go fast like Lightening McQueen. It won’t be long until he gets them back.

The Great Cheese Ball Link Up

One of my favorite memories of Christmas time is the cheese balls my grandmother and great-grandmother would make every year. Us kids would sit around snacking on them, waiting on Christmas dinner to be done.

There were two cheese balls that I remember very distinctly. One of the two I make every year for Christmas, or any other time we need a special snack. I changed up the recipe a bit from my grandmother’s recipe. I added in the cheddar cheese to give it a bit more substance–and to make it last longer!

The other cheese ball I grew up eating was a mystery cheese ball. I asked my grandmother for the recipe a couple of years ago, but she didn’t have it and couldn’t remember how to make it. This Christmas I was determined to find a recipe for the mysterious cheese ball. I googled and googled. None of the recipes sounded like the one I remember.

Then one day I received an email from my aunt saying she thought she had found the recipe online at Homesick Texan. This would make sense, as I am sure this recipe was probably passed around the state where I grew up.

By omitting one of the ingredients, I had found the winner!

Seeing as how I love a good cheese ball, I thought it would be fun to collect cheese ball recipes throughout the year (in preparation for next years festivities!). If you have a cheese ball recipe, please link below so that we know where to find the recipes. Make sure the link goes to the recipe post and not your homepage.