Hello, It’s Me

I feel like I am walking into an old house, wiping away cobwebs as I go. I didn’t expect to write here anymore. So many voices online that it sometimes gets hard to think, and even harder to be heard. But I have come to realize something that many long time bloggers already know, we are not writing for you, but for ourselves. As I type, the words that appear are the words that I need to release. They are the stories and thoughts and contemplations that fill my mind, pressing for release. I am a writer and I express myself through written words. So here I am again, dusting off the old blog. Finding my voice after a time of silence. Not placing any requirements on myself other than to let the words find their way out.

Showers of Blessings

Showers of Blessings @jasminejlucero

I am sitting next to window watching the rain pour down as my new baby boy naps on my chest. Today has been such a good day after so many not-so-good days. We are in a drought here in Texas and the dryness seemed to penetrate every aspect of our lives. Today I am focusing on the showers of blessings.

After more than a year of not working, my husband just left to accept a job at a local tractor dealership. When we were first married almost 22 years ago, he was working for his dad’s tractor repair business. He made a whopping $800 a month, which we lived on the first year we were married. He joined the Air Force to pay the bills, but now that he has retired it is such a blessing for him to go back to doing what he loves.

I didn’t realize it until yesterday when he was offered the job, but I mentally put my life on hold. Not knowing what the future holds will do that to you. I tried not to let, really I did. I planted some tomatoes in the garden in an effort to “bloom where I’m planted”. And we even officially joined our church as members this month.

But there are those subtle messages that play in my mind. I haven’t opened up and fully embraced living here just in case we had to pick up and leave. There are very few pictures on my walls and I have made do with the living arrangement in the house.

Once he found out about the job, it seemed like a huge relief poured over me. Not only because we needed him to work, but because it gave us direction, a road map. I know that we never really know what the future holds, but at least now we on a path rather than floundering without a course to follow.

And as we were given a small window to see what lies ahead, our oldest daughter is also embarking on her own new path. She is being launched as a mighty arrow into this world for God’s glory. As she finished up her second year of midwifery studies, she has been given the opportunity to apprentice with a midwife near Ft. Worth. She will be rooming-in at the birthing center with another young apprentice.

As hard as it is going to be to let her go, what a blessing it is to see how the Lord is using her for His purpose. She has such a heart for God and His ways and a willingness to serve Him. What more could a parent ask for? All these years of training and teaching. All those moments of feeling like I was failing, and yet God redeemed what feeble attempt I made at raising a child.

And to further give testimony to what the Lord has done, my son walks into my room and lays down on the bed. He nonchalantly mentions that he made a “B” in his college algebra class. After I probed, he said he made an “A” in government. My son is 16 years old and took these classes as a high school Junior. This is a young man that was a hyper little boy who didn’t learn to read until after he was 10. He has struggle in school although I always knew he was super smart, he just learned different. I can’t wait to see all that the Lord has in store for Him. I pray that he would walk with the Lord all the days of his life.

Now that I am finishing this post, the rain has ceased but the refreshment it has brought is long lasting. I am anxious to see the new growth that will spring forth both on the earth and in our family. Ideas are swirling in my head as I start to plan for all the things that have been on hold during the drought.

Showers of Blessings
(beautiful hymn that reminds of the times we would sing it in Spain)
Dan­i­el W. Whit­tle

There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

There shall be showers of blessing—
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord!
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come, and now honor Thy Word.

There shall be showers of blessing;
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

There shall be showers of blessing,
If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing,
If we let God have His way.

The Christian Herbal Launch Day Giveaway!

The Christian Herbal Launch Day Giveaway!

From My Heart

The more I study herbal medicine, the greater my desire to share that knowledge with others. I am beginning to realize that I learn more when I am teaching others. Funny how God created us that way!

Anyhow, this website has been on my heart for many years now. There are so many Christians in the world who are now realizing the amazing gift that herbs are to us, but solid Christian-based herbal wisdom has dwindled to near extinction.

However, God always provides a remnant, and so it is with herbal teachers. Few and far between as they may be, the knowledge of herbalism is being spread and Christian families are once again able to use the plants all around us to nourish and doctor our families.

Not to sound like an alarmist, but our country’s medical system is becoming so flawed that many Christians are looking for other options. And while we may not be equipped for medical emergencies and serious problems, we can take the small step of learning to build up our family’s health (prevention) and treat the smaller problems that come up in the course of living.

Launch Day Giveaway

With all that said, I am super excited to finally get this website up and running. There is so much information I would like to share! But as a homeschooling mom of soon-to-be seven kiddos, there just isn’t time in the day to get everything done I would like. So I will work diligently to do what I can, and I pray that others would come along beside me and join as teachers of the great gift of herbalism!

To officially launch The Christian Herbal, I have some great gifts that I would like to give to one of my readers. Several companies have stepped up and offered to donate prizes to the giveaway, and I think you will find them to be rather AWESOME!!!

Bulk Herb Store

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Prize: Beginner’s Herb Kit
Contains: Snooze Tincture, Less Stress Herba-Smoothie, Cough Tea, Double-E Immune Booster, Red Rooibos Spice Chai Tea, Peppermint Leaf Cut, Rise and Shine Tea

Mountain Rose Herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils @jasminejlucero

Prize: Classic Essential Oil Kit
Contains all certified organic oils of: Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary and Tea Tree

Trilight Health

Trilight Health @jasminejlucero

Prize: Trilight Liquid Herbs
$50.00 gift certificate toward the purchase of Trilight products.

Natural Herbal Living

Prize: 5 Issues of Natural Herbal Living magazine
Issues include: Rose, Ginger, Rosemary, Elder, Echinacea + Bonus: Approaching a Personal Herbal Practice, Herbalism Basics, and Safety Information

Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Botany

Exploring Creation with Botany @jasminejluceroBotanyNBJ

Prize: Exploring Creation with Botany plus Botany Notebooking Journal

The Christian Herbal

medical herbalism @jasminejlucero

Prize: Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back from a Break

I was looking for something on my blog the other day (I frequently do that–blogs make great areas to store all the things we would like to keep in our minds but don’t have the room for), when I realized that I hadn’t posted anything since August 31st. It’s been a long time! I feel like August 31st was a lifetime ago. Where has the time gone?

New Baby on the Way

For me, I have been working hard at many projects. The largest project is my growing belly. We are expecting baby #7 at the end of March. Right now the boys and girls are tied so this baby will be a tie-breaker. Will it be a boy? Will it be a girl? Everyone is anxiously awaiting the baby’s arrival to find out!

We are planning on having this baby at home with a midwife. The last 2 babies have been born at home…one unassisted and one with the midwife. I usually have fairly quick and non-complicated births so I am praying the same for this baby. Although I must confess that with each baby I seem to get a little more fearful as birth approaches. I don’t know if it is because I know that theoretically more problems can occur as you get older or what, but I really struggle to just lay it at the feet of Christ.

Shoulder bag @jasminejlucero

Projects Galore

This year’s Christmas celebration was full of handmade gift giving. The girls and I worked feverishly right up until Christmas day to get our gifts finished. I don’t even think I got pictures of most of them. But I thought I would share a few pictures that I do have.

This year I made 4 bags for some of the older girls in the family. I made a crayon roll-up bag and a knitting needle roll-up bag for 2 others. One daughter received a notebook cover with a sketch pad and drawing pencils. And the newest member of the family got a snuggly new baby quilt.

Knitting Case @jasminejlucero

After Christmas I cleaned up the sewing room and I haven’t sat down to sew since. It’s funny how things in life seem to come in waves. It used to bother me, because I felt like I was leaving some things unattended. As I have gotten older, the waves have become more comfortable. I don’t feel the pull of things left undone until the next wave comes again. And I know that when I am ready, the sewing will be there.

The Christian Herbal @jasminejlucero

A New Adventure

There is a saying, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you”. I feel that way about blogging and being active online. It can become so competitive and faces come and go. But if you are still reading, even after my absence, I feel as though I can call you a friend.

And as a friend, I would like to invite you over to a new little project I have been working on. Over the last few years, I have really felt a need to increase my herbal medicine knowledge and to share what I learn with others. I have written on Ponder the Path about herbalism and have always been met with a supportive response.

I know there are many of you out there who would love to learn more about herbalism. You want to be able to nourish and doctor your families. You want to know more about the wonderful medicine God has provided.

I am so excited to announce that next week, I am officially launching my new website The Christian Herbal. I am slowly (did I mention I am 7 months pregnant) working on a curriculum to systematically teach herbal medicine. I should have module 1 up by next week. I also have some great interviews with herbalists, articles about Christians using herbs, and of course herbal recipes and remedies.

One important feature of the new site is the community forum. I have set up a forum so that as Christian herbalists we have a place to discuss herbalism with a Christian worldview. I invite you to please join me there, as I really would like to fellowship with other herbalists who think like I do (or at least little bit like I do 😉 ).

I am also looking for contributors to the site, so if any of you would write for The Christian Herbal, please contact me!

Until next time (whenever that may be), blessings to you all!

How to Homeschool When Life Throws You a Curveball

How to Homeschool When Life Throws You a Curveball @jasminejlucero

In the past 12 years of homeschooling, I have…

–homeschooled a second grader and kindergartener with a four month old baby while my husband was in Kuwait for 6 months

–homeschooled while moving at least 9 times including 2 moves overseas and back

–homeschooled 6 kids ages 17 – newborn (who was being treated weekly for club feet) while my husband went back to Spain for 8 months

–homeschooled 6 kids alone in Texas while caring for my terminally ill mother

–homeschooled through many of life’s curveballs including births, deaths, illnesses, miscarriage, financial hardships, and times of being alone

And what I have learned through all of this…

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

I have met many homeschoolers over the years that are what I like to call “fair-weather homeschoolers”. You know, the ones that will homeschool if they are financial able, and if their husband helps, and if everything is just perfect.

I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble and sound pessimistic–but if you hold out waiting for life to be just right in order for you to choose homeschooling (or continue to homeschool), you’re going to be waiting a long time!

The Lord didn’t command us to teach our children in the garden. He commanded it of us in this sin-tainted, death and disease stricken, life-is-hard world. I know that sounds a little harsh, but the reality is that we are to train up our children and teach them diligently even when life is hard…especially when life is hard!

And just how does that happen?

How to Homeschool When Life Throws You a Curveball

1. Keep #1 number 1.

Everything we do in this life should bring glory and honor to our Lord and Savior. He should be our focus during the good times and the bad. There were (and still are) many times that doing any school work was just too much. It was during these times that I would at least try to read from the Bible with the kids, or sing hymns or recite verses or listen to BBN. If I wasn’t able, my oldest daughter would read the Bible to the kids.

You may be so weak or overwhelmed that even this small task seems too much. I would encourage you to find some way to bring Jesus into the picture. If someone asks how they can help, have them read to you and the kids. Turn on an audio version of the Bible (there are some phone apps that do this) and listen from your phone. Call out to the Lord and ask Him make Himself known during this time.

2. Know that the kids are learning.

Sometimes it is easy to focus on academics and forget that true learning happens everyday all around us. And what better thing to learn than the character traits acquired during hardships. How many times my children have had to put other’s needs before their own? How much compassion did they learn as they brought water and food to a dying grandmother? How they have matured as they have given and served those they love!

If they had been in school all day, they would have missed out on the blessings that can only be received when we have empties ourselves of all our wants and desires and became the hands and feet of Jesus.

My oldest daughter is studying to become a midwife. I truly believe that allowing her to experience hardships first hand during her schooling years has allowed to to develop the skills she will need to do the job God has called her to do.

3. Know that this too shall pass.

Right now is not forever. Life changes in an instant, and though we don’t know the road ahead, we do know the one who created the road. He will carry us through this difficult time, and each one that comes our way.

Psalm 30:5
…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Life is like the ebb and flow of the ocean. There will be times of hardship followed by times of joy. I lost my mom last year to cancer, but was able to welcome her namesake into the world this week. Tears of joy flowed as I held my precious niece and thanked God for His mercy and goodness!

joy-in-the-morning @jasminejlucero

Final Thought

I guess I really haven’t given you an outline on “how to homeschool” when life throws you a curveball. Because, well, sometimes life is just too hard to homeschool. And that is OK. Just pull your children close and know there will be time for academics. Just not now. There will be time for reading and writing and arithmetic. Just not now. There will be time for the school learning, but now is the time to be still.

I like to think of it as a race. If you were running a marathon and you fell down and hurt yourself, would you give up and quit the race? Or would you hobble through the next mile, get your groove back, and finish the race you were called to run?

We are all going to hobble around a bit now and then, it is finishing the race that really counts!

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This post and many more are part of the Teach Them Diligently Summer of Encouragement Link Up series! You can read More about How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling HERE

Homeschool Encouragement Basket Giveaway

35 homeschool bloggers have joined forces in a
HUGE homeschool basket giveaway! Each blogger below is conducting her own giveaway, so make sure to visit each one for a chance to win!!!

Win This from Ponder the Path

Homeschool Encouragement Gift Basket

Included in my Basket of Encouragement:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ihn-currclick-promo

CurrClick is a sponsor of my gift basket. Be sure to visit CurrClick to learn more about their upcoming Open House, where you can receive discounts and win free classes!

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iHN-Back-to-School

(1) Back to School Toolkit from Milk and Cookies
(2)†Back to School Toolkit from These Temporary Tents
(3)†Back to School Toolkit from Spell Outloud
(4)†Back to School Toolkit from Great Peace Academy
(5)†Back to School Toolkit from Gricefully Homeschooling

……

(6) Back to School Toolkit from Raising Lifelong Learners
(7) Back to School Toolkit from WriteShop
(8) Back to School Toolkit from Preschoolers and Peace
(9) Back to School Toolkit from Starts at Eight
(10) Back to School Toolkit from Joyful Mothering

……

(11) Back to School Toolkit from Harrington Harmonies
(12) Back to School Toolkit from Ponder the Path
(13) Back to School Toolkit from Forever, For Always, No Matter What
(14) Back to School Toolkit from Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
(15) Back to School Toolkit from Habits for a Happy Home

……

(16) Back to School Toolkit from Curriculum Choice
(17) Back to School Toolkit from See Jamie Blog
(18) Back to School Toolkit from Beautiful Motherhood
(19) Back to School Toolkit from Sam’s Noggin
(20) Back to School Toolkit from This Reading Mama

……

(21) Back to School Toolkit from Teaching Mama
(22) Back to School Toolkit from Adorable Chaos
(23) Back to School Toolkit from The Pelsers
(24) Back to School Toolkit from Hodge Podge
(25) Back to School Toolkit from Sallie Borrink

……

(26) Back to School Toolkit from The Kennedy Adventures
(27) Back to School Toolkit from Flourish
(28) Back to School Toolkit from Our Journey Westward
(29) Back to School Toolkit from Meet Penny
(30) Back to School Toolkit from On Faith and Coffee

……

(31) Back to School Toolkit from Our Abundant Blessings
(32) Back to School Toolkit from Holistic Homeschooler
(33) Back to School Toolkit from The Encouraging Home
(34) Back to School Toolkit from Motherhood on a Dime
(35) Back to School Toolkit from The Homeschool Scientist

……

Be Encouraged Homeschool Mom

How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling

Homeschooling is tough.

It is an absolute battle.

Homeschool Beginnings

For many of us, we entered into this homeschool thing with visions of children sitting quietly at their desk working on their schoolwork. We just knew they would sit and play lovingly and kindly with their siblings all day. And because we are at home all day, we can keep the house clean and wonderful meals ready at 12:00 and 5:00 everyday.

And then reality sets in. Kids rebel, siblings fight, the house looks like a tornado came through, and we struggle just to get the kids a sandwich at 1:30. It doesn’t take long for the honeymoon to end and we realize just how hard it is to be a homeschooling mother.

Our Homeschool Journey

I remember when I first started homeschooling 12 years ago. My oldest daughter had gone to public school for kindergarten and 1st grade. We began homeschooling her for 2nd grade and her brother was preschool age. I spent hours, days, weeks setting up our schedule and planning how things were going to be. I planned that we would say a prayer, then the pledge of allegiance in the morning. Then we would sing songs and sit at the table while each child worked on their projects and schoolwork.

Then we started school.

No one was ready on time. Everyone was grouchy (especially me). Attention spans were short. 2nd graders did not like preschoolers to mess with their things and preschoolers screamed because they couldn’t mess with 2nd graders things. By lunch time, Mama was exhausted and hadn’t even thought about what to eat for lunch.

Read-alouds were scheduled for after lunch and most days Mama fell asleep reading and missed doing all the afternoon lessons she had scheduled.

In short, I felt like a failure.

For many years.

Being Discouraged

I had the fierce desire to homeschool. I knew that it was exactly what the Lord wanted us to do. I just didn’t realize how hard is was really going to be. I didn’t understand that it encompassed your whole being. Physically, emotionally, spiritually–they are all impacted by homeschooling.

And to make matters worse, I had to keep all my frustrations, my fears, my failures locked up inside. I couldn’t let my husband know how hard it really was because then he wouldn’t believe in me. He had only reluctantly agreed to homeschool after my begging and pleading. It wouldn’t have taken much for him to change his mind and send them back to public school.

So I plodded on, day by day, hoping to make some progress. And the Lord filled in all the gaps I had missed. He gently taught me and I in turn taught them. My husband came around and realized the benefits of homeschooling. And we graduated our first student last May.

I wish I could say “and I never have hard times anymore”. As we enter our 13th year of homeschooling, the battle has become even more fierce. There are now more children of all different ages. The “newness” of homeschooling has worn off and the reality of a life of teaching your children has set in. There are new challenges and obstacles to be faced each and every day.

Encouragement from the Lord

I am in continual need of encouragement.

Definition of Encourage @ponderthepath

The first definition Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives for encourage is “to give courage to”. It takes courage to keep your children home and attempt to teach them. It takes courage to step out against the grain and say “we are going to dare to be different”. It takes courage to put aside your own desires and dreams and embrace the dream the Lord has for you.

Many times when I think of the word “encourage”, I envision a pat on the back and some nice words letting the person know that it will be alright. And yes, this can be encouraging. But I really think encouragement is so much bolder. When we give encouragement to someone, we should be giving them the COURAGE to get the job done!

Definition of Courage @ponderthepath

I love 3rd definition of courage here, where the Webster’s 1828 dictionary says that courage is “that quality of mind which enables men {and women} to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits! WOW! That is what I need. The ability to face the difficulties of homeschooling with firmness, without fear, and without depression of spirits!

How many times have I let fear overtake me and become depressed because homeschooling was so overwhelming? Too many! As a homeschooling mom, I need to be encouraged {given courage} to get the job done.

Did you know that in the book of Joshua, the Lord tells Joshua at least 9 times to “be strong and of a good courage”? Joshua was headed into battle. God didn’t tell him that there wouldn’t be difficulties. He didn’t downplay what Joshua was going through. He didn’t give him an easier route to take. Instead, he imparted courage to Joshua.

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This same commandment is given to us, homeschooling moms!

Be encouraged!

Don’t be afraid or disheartened!

The Lord is with you wherever you are!

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This post and many more are part of the Teach Them Diligently Summer of Encouragement Link Up series! You can read More about How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling HERE

Disclosure Policy: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Cloth Diapers

Fuzzi Bunz @ponderthepath

Our little guy turned 2 in April and has been showing signs of being ready to potty train for some time.  With a recent move and the busyness of settling into our new home, I have had to put potty training on the back burner.  In the mean time, I thought I would share our diapering experience.

We have used cloth diapers (Fuzzi Bunz) off and on for the last 8 years.  I started using them with my 4th child.  At the time, we lived in base housing and didn’t pay for utilities.  We used cloth diapers exclusively with her and had a very easy time potty training her at 2 years old.

With our 5th child, we started with cloth diaper intending to use them exclusively, but moved to Spain when he was 5 months old.  The washers/dryers in Europe a made to wash clothes for a family of 2…teeny tiny.  And one load of laundry takes about 3 hours to wash and dry.  I was always backed up on laundry and the cost of running the washer and dryer so much was outrageous.

Something had to give and I ended up using disposables most of the time.  Right after he turned 2 we move to Texas and I started using cloth diapers with him for a couple of months before potty training him.

With our 6th child, I again started using cloth diapers intending to do so long term.  Another move and a difficult “washing dilemma” caused me to use disposables throughout most of his diaper wearing years.  Now that we have moved back to Texas, I am in the same situation with him as I had been with child #5.  I put him in cloth diapers with the intentions of potty training soon.

Why Cloth Diapers

  • Cheaper – Generally cloth diapers have a great cost savings over using disposables.  The cloth diapers I purchased were not the cheapest ones, but they are very well made.  This has allowed me to use them with 3 children now, and they are still in great shape (in case I need to use them with more).  

    There is an additional expense in water/electricity, but depending on your situation you might even save money washing and drying.  For instance, our water supply is well water, so we don’t have a water bill.  There have been times we have used a clothes line to dry our diapers (it is actually better for them) to save on the cost of electricity.

  • Healthier – Cloth diapers do not contain chemicals that can both irritate baby’s skin or get into their urinary/reproductive tracts.  I always cringe when I have to wipe off gel pieces from my baby’s bottom knowing that they just can’t be good for them.

    On the other hand, with cloth diapers you really have to makes sure that they get thoroughly washed out so that there are no harmful bacteria left in the diapers. With my 5th son, he had thrush and a yeast rash as a baby. I washed his diapers thoroughly and added apple cider vinegar to the wash to make sure all the organisms were killed.

  • Simpler – Some may snicker at the thought of cloth diapers being simpler, but really they are. Yes, they can be extra work, but honestly, I find it to be rewarding work. There is just something so inherently simple about diapering your child in the same way they have been diapered for thousands of years. Everyone may not appreciate the nostalgia but I happen to like it.

    Yes, I do have to work harder. Yes, there are times that cloth diapers can be messier. And yes, sometimes they are downright inconvenient. But there is something so sweet about seeing your little one toddle around in their big bulky cloth diaper, knowing that it was the work of your hand that keeps that diaper on their bum.

Baby with Fuzzi Bunz @ponderthepath

Cloth Diapers and Potty Training

I have found that using cloth diapers before potty training has been such a tremendous help in facilitating the training. Although cloth diapers absorb the wetness, they don’t completely wick away the moisture like disposables do. Consequently, the youngsters “feel” the wetness against them.

In my experience, this has helped become more aware of the entire act of going potty. By the time my kids are nearing 2 years of age, being wet or dirty really starts to bother them. They will often take off their diaper after they have gone (not always the best thing, but at least they are learning).

Another benefit with the pocket diapers is that you can remove one or both of the inserts (I use 2 inserts for diapers) to use them as training pants. I have also been able to slip the diapers on and off like underwear leaving them buttoned up. Or if they have gone in the diaper, you can always lay them down and unbutton them to avoid the mess of pulling them down.

How-to’s of Cloth Diapering

I try to keep things as simple as possible so that cloth diapering is doable for us. When my babies are little, I try to have about 24 small diapers. As they get older, I move them to size large and just put them on the tightest snap. With the first child I cloth diapered, I used medium when they were young and moved to large. (However, I gave the mediums to a friend, so when I went to buy diapers again I just bought small.)

All that to say that you can get by with just 2 sizes. For the larger size, I keep about 18 on hand but generally just use 10 or so by the time they are 1 1/2 to 2.

What I do is keep a bucket/tub/trash can (I have used all 3) on the dryer. When they wet their diaper, I toss it into the bucket. If they dirty their diaper, I take it to the toilet and get as much off as I can using toilet paper. I then put the diaper in the bucket.

I like to wash diapers every day because they start to smell (worse than normal) if I take longer than a day to wash. To wash, I hold the diaper by the front corners and shake out the inserts into the washer. Then I toss the diaper in as well. I wash the diapers once with cold water/no detergent just to rinse them out and get all the yuckies off. I then wash a second time with hot water/detergent. I use Charlie’s Soap to wash my diapers (I use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save to get my Charlie’s soap cheaper). Once the diapers are washed, I rinse them a second time just to make sure the soap has all been rinsed out. Then I toss them in the dryer to dry or hang them out.

It does seem like somewhat of a process, but really when you get a system down it is not bad at all. I usually wash the load on the small load size setting, so it doesn’t take as long to fill up with water.

Disclosure Policy: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Battle is On

Lion 1 Peter 5:8 @ponderthepath

I was on the top rung of the ladder painting my living room ceiling when the conversation started. You know the one where I start talking to the audience in my head. “Ladies, we must be vigilant. Our adversary, the devil is walking around like a roaring lion seeing whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).”

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The longer you homeschool, you realize how seasonal homeschooling can be. Some years are planting years, and you spend your time getting the fields reading and planting the seeds. Other years are harvesting years when the fruit of your labor is gathered up.

The last couple of years have been a time of winter for our family. We have suffered hardships and have survived on the previous seasons bounty. And just as I am always so thrilled when the first hint of spring arrives, I have recently been renewed by the warmth of a new season of homeschooling on the horizon.

And with the dawn of this new season comes a strong zeal to do away with complacency and press forward with purpose and reason. We are in the midst of a battle and we are training up warriors for this battle.

The Battle

This weekend, I watched a rather long YouTube video of a recorded chat between 4 atheist. The reason for the chat was their concern with the fact that so many Christians (mostly homeschoolers) are teaching their children that God created the world in 6 literal days 6,000 years ago. One of the ladies stated that she felt that it was “immoral” for parents to teach this as truth.

We live in a society that believes women should have the right to kill their baby’s in the womb, but should not have the right to direct the learning of their children. We have millions of Americans fighting for same sex marriage stating that it has no effect on Christians (“their marriage doesn’t effect you”), and yet they want to dictate what I teach my child because finding a cure for AIDS depends on my child learning “real science”.

The Warriors

Back in 2006, there was a speaker at our church that was talking about creationism and the book of Genesis. I had never heard of the speaker before, nor had I heard anyone put all the pieces of the puzzle together like he did. He answered questions that I had had for years concerning dinosaurs and the different races of people and how animals change over time.

He presented information from Christian men and women who were scientist in all different fields. And he showed that each time true scientific methods are used, the truth of the Bible is always made clearer. Science never contradicts the Word of God and will always prove what the Bible says is true.

Over the years, I have listened to this man speak many times and am so thankful for men like Ken Ham who stand and speak the truth even when faced with adversity.

The Victory

Ken will be speaking at a homeschool convention this summer, where the aforementioned atheist group will be protesting. Their hope is to silence those of us who stand for Biblical truth. I am hoping to attend the convention, not because I like being in the middle of turmoil…I don’t.

In fact, I could very easily stay at home and think to myself, “This is a free country. They can’t tell me what to teach my children. Homeschooling is legal and always will be.” But the fact is, our freedoms will only remain intact if we are vigilant in standing up to the enemy. Hard earned freedoms will only remain if we work hard to keep them.

Should we fall back because of fear? Jesus tells us in Revelation 1:17 to “fear not” because He is the first and the last. How can we trust that the Lord will be the last, unless we believe with all our hearts that He was the first. He was the Creator God who spoke the world into existence in 6 literal days 6,000 years ago. And He is the one who holds the world in His hands and directs the paths of men. And because we know this, we can rest assured when He tells us to “fear not”.

Staycation Destinations

Year of the Staycation - Austin @ponderthepathAs promised, here is your list of almost 100 staycation destinations!

Mid Atlantic

NW (or all), Connecticut :: Parenting Miracles
Boston (or all), Massachusetts :: Maven of Savin
Central, New Jersey :: Our Good LIfe
Adirondak Mountains and Central, New York :: For This Season
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York :: Ann’s Entitled Life
Syracuse, New York :: I am THAT lady
Erie, Pennsylvania :: Growing Kids Ministry
Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania :: Family Balance Sheet
Hershey, Pennsylvania :: Good Deal Mama
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania :: Beyond the Cover
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania :: The Coupon “High”
Poconos, Pennsylvania :: Bucktown Bargains
Scranton, Pennsylvania :: Bucktown Bargains

Midwest

Des Moines, Iowa :: Make the best of everything
Aurora, Illinois :: A Savings WOW!
Central, Illinois :: The Homeschool Scientist
Chicago, Illinois :: Chicagoland Homeschool Network
Naperville, Illinois :: The Sensible Mom
Schaumburg, Illinois :: Ravings By Rae
Fort Wayne, Indiana :: Simplified Saving
Indianapolis, Indiana (Metro Area) :: In Good Cents
Muncie, Indiana (Central IN) :: the daisyhead
Northern Indiana :: So Dough Savvy
Kansas City Area :: Kansas City Mamas
Metro Detroit, Michigan :: Saving Dollars and Sense
Grand Rapids, Michigan :: Give Me Neither
Oakland County, Michigan :: Bargain Shopper Mom
Minneapolis, Minnesota :: Creative Couponing
Rural Minnesota (either Southern our Lake Country) :: Mommysavers.com
St. Cloud, Minnesota :: Frugal Finders
Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas :: Kosher on a Budget
Springfield, Missouri :: Getting Freedom
Cincinnati, Ohio :: Family Friendly Cincinnati
Columbus, Ohio :: Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio :: Savings Lifestyle: Dayton
Mansfield, Ohio :: The Traveling Praters
NE Ohio :: Raising Lifelong Learners
Northeast Ohio (Canton, Akron, Cleveland) :: Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Black Hills, South Dakota :: Little House Living
South Dakota :: Moms Mustard Seeds
Oshkosh, Wisconsin :: Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom

Mountain

Phoenix, Arizona :: Mom Endeavors
Scottsdale, Arizona :: Saving For Someday
Tucson, Arizona :: Desert Chica Ramblings
Colorado Springs, Colorado :: The Greenbacks Gal
Denver, Colorado :: Bargain Blessings
Helena, Montana :: The WiC Project
Omaha, Nebraska :: Mom Endeavors
Reno, Nevada – Lake Tahoe (Northern Nevada) :: Saving in Nevada

Pacific

Fresno, California (Central Valley) :: NerdFamily Blog
Los Angeles, California :: Savings.com
San Diego, California :: Good Cheap Eats
San Diego, California :: Life as MOM
Portland, Oregon :: Frugal Living NW
Seattle, Washington :: Thrifty NW Mom

South Atlantic

Arkansas :: Discovering Arkansas
Washington, DC :: Kidventurous
Clearwater Beach, Florida :: Bargain Briana
Jacksonville, Florida :: Saving The Family Money
Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers area) :: Chaos Is Bliss
St. Augustine, Florida :: Simply St. Augustine
Tallahassee, Florida :: SwagGrabber
Atlanta, Georgia (metro area) :: Hodgepodge
Atlanta, Georgia (metro area) :: The Couponing Couple
Annapolis, Maryland :: The Happy Housewife
Hagerstown, Maryland :: Cheryl Pitt
Asheville, North Carolina :: Paradise Praises
Charlotte, North Carolina :: from our front porch lookin’ in…
Raleigh/Southeastern, North Carolina :: Upside Down Homeschooling
Upstate South Carolina :: The Tween & Me
Charlottesville, Virginia :: How to Have it All
Richmond, Virginia :: Teachers of Good Things
Smithfield, Virginia :: Walking in High Cotton
Virginia Beach, Virginia :: The Coupon Challenge

South Central

Coastal Alabama :: Meet Penny
Huntsville, Alabama :: The Traveling Praters
Northern Kentucky :: Simply Sherryl
Chattanooga, Tennessee :: Living Chic on the Cheap
East Tennessee (Smoky Mountains, Knoxville) :: Finding Joy on the Journey
Nashville, Tennessee :: Montessori Tidbits
Arlington, Texas :: Grocery Shop For FREE
Austin, Texas (Hill Country) :: Ponder the Path
College Station, Texas :: How to Homeschool My Child
Dallas, Texas :: Surviving The Stores
East Dallas, Texas :: Funky Faith Girl
Fort Worth, Texas :: Coupons & Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas :: MomsToolbox
Houston, Texas :: MyLitter
Katy, Texas :: Moms Confession
McAllen, Texas (Rio Grande Valley) :: iLoveMy5Kids
San Antonio, Texas :: Melissa’s Bargains