Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit

In a recent reprint of Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit, Joseph redesigned the cover. The inside content is still the same, but the cover has a fresh new look. In addition, we decided to go with the special matte lamination that Sweet Journey has.

Sometimes at conferences, a mom will point to the book, and say that she loves it and reads it every year! Mom writes from practical experience, and this one is no exception. She has been in the trenches homeschooling since 1985 and understands the issues moms face. A special thanks to you moms who are pouring out your lives into the education of your children. It is a sacrifice! I am so grateful to my mom for all she has invested in my life.


“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

–1 Peter 3:4

Joseph’s Birthday in Pictures

The morning began with Nathan, Joseph, John, and Jesse lifting weights. They decided to do a team workout. In honor of Joseph’s 23rd birthday, as a cumulative total, they lifted 23,000 pounds. (Cumulative total means you add the amount of weight each person lifts multiplied by the number of times they lifted it above their head. Then you add everyone’s subtotal together to get the cumulative total.) I didn’t get pictures on his birthday of the workout, but I took some Wednesday.

Then, we had morning Bible time, which was wonderful. At 8:15, we did a family breakfast of pancakes (thanks, Anna!). I decorated the door earlier, with a “Happy Birthday, Joseph” and a Scripture verse. I also put strawberry fruit leathers in the shape of the numbers “23”.

Yes, Joseph is really sitting on a stability ball. Some in our family have begun using them for chairs. Do your own research. It’s actually good for your back.

Mom had a full day, so she worked on meatballs in the morning.

Joseph was at a place in his work he could take it a little easier on Tuesday, so he and Dad went on errands mid-morning. They stopped at Starbucks, and Joseph enjoyed a mocha.

Anna has been helping Melanie out in the mornings, so the little girls showed up at our house when Anna was on a walk with them. A and B love guinea pigs.

Okay, so the guys do rope climbs. I don’t know all the logistics of it, but I do know they carry out a rope, and attach it to something in a tree, and then they climb it. Tough stuff! They wanted to make sure they had a chance to climb before lunch.

Joseph worked all afternoon, so you can reference the third picture from the top for a refresher.

Chocolate frozen custard was made for part of his dessert.

On Monday afternoon, Anna and Mary helped the little girls make signs for Uncle Joseph’s birthday.

So, here are pictures from Monday’s sign-making party.

Okay, Bethany didn’t draw that picture. That was Mary’s handiwork.

The girls and Mom did a lot of meal preparation.

We had a great family party, including GiGi and Grandad. We did miss Christopher and Anna Marie, who had gone to Arkansas for a few days.
Swedish meatballs over rice and noodles.

Brownies with fudge sauce and chocolate custard for dessert: Joseph’s choice.

Having little ones around again, spot-sweeping is necessary for some meals. It’s all great!

Grandpa reading to Bethie.

After dinner and dessert, we had family Bible time.

Joseph received one major present, a group gift, which was a special set of headphones.

Pardon Abigail’s shirt. Yes, it’s big, but the chocolate dessert attacked her white shirt, so we had to find an alternative. Uncle Joseph is looking at her card she made him.


“… for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.”

–Nehemiah 7:2

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

It’s Joseph’s 23rd birthday today.

What a joy you are to us!

  • Your love for the Lord Jesus
  • Your desire to serve Him
  • Your willingness to jump in and do whatever is needed
  • Your enthusiasm for life
  • Your work ethic
  • Your love for your family
  • Your joy in sharing with young people across the country
  • Your excitement for sharing through ITonRamp

Is a shining witness of Whose you are and Who you live for


Happy Birthday! We love you.

“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

–1 Corinthians 8:3

Cleaning Time, At Nathan and Melanie’s

Friday mornings, about 10 a.m., we girls head over to Nathan and Melanie’s to clean. This has become a weekly tradition for the last several months.

Melanie is still hanging in there. Thank you so much for praying. She’s now 8 weeks out from her due date.

Come along as we clean their house. Nieces add such a sweet spark to an ordinary task!

To begin with, Abby wanted to put a flower Daddy gave her in a vase.

Time to take the rug out with Aunt Anna, and oops, watch your step.

Bethie likes to help “MayMay” dust. MayMay is another word for Mary, in Bethie’s vocabulary.

Taking the chairs out of the dining room to prepare it for a good cleaning.

But, you really can’t have chairs in the living room without a game of train. Bethany is the conductor here.

She still maintains the conductor’s spot, but it looks like Abby has moved to the sleeper car.

Trash time! I did hear talk at one point, by a certain niece of mine, about being a Moody character. That girl loves the Moody books!

It was too hard to get a good “in action” picture, so we opted for a posed one.


Whoops! Something is on Abby’s foot.

No worries. A washcloth takes care of it.

Bethany brings in a little treat for Abby, two little pieces of candy. Bethie is potty-training, and when she is dry, not only does she get two pieces, she wants to bring two pieces to Abby. Sounds like a good deal to me.

Bethie entertains herself.

Sweeping up time!

Soon enough, she wanted a job. Anna gave her a wet rag, and Bethany “cleaned” the freezer.

Sweet Anna.

Bethie went downstairs to Nate’s office. It is such a joy for Nathan to be able to work from home several days a week with ITonRamp. His latest class for Computer Essentials just started Tuesday, and he has an awesome group! Anyway, back to where we were. “Knock knock,” Bethany said in her half-way baby voice, before proceeding to ask if she could come in. Permission was happily given, and she trucked into her little corner of the office. There resides an old keyboard, positioned on a pair of old speakers, and a phone. What happy times for a little girl as she pretends to be busy.

Bethany loves to vacuum with Mary.

So precious.

Aunt Sarah did most of her cleaning early, so she could take pictures.

Here is Abby’s ChorePack. She already did hers before we came over. Abby’s CP is an everyday morning one. Hmmm. Maybe we need to add on a Friday morning ChorePack? What do you think, Mommy?

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

–Proverbs 17:22

Bunnies and Baskets

We have had a few blog commenters question why we don’t do Easter eggs, bunnies, and baskets. Instead of answering privately, or in a limited way on the blog, it seemed worthy of doing a complete post that addresses the subject because there may be others who are wondering with an open spirit. I’m assuming these were honest questions, and since they weren’t labeled as private, I list them below.

“Steve, with all due respect, what is wrong with the little girls having Easter baskets? You can focus on Christ and the Resurrection but still have baskets and Easter hunts. Millions of devout Christians do it. I’m glad I got to do both as a kid. May Day is coming up. Maybe the big girls and Sarah can help the little girls make May baskets, put flowers in them, and share them with the neighbors, or the folks at the nursing home. I don’t think this would be sinful.” Reader A

“I notice that you’ve stated that you try to focus on Christ. That’s definitely the reason for the season; but, I’m curious what’s wrong with having Easter baskets or sweets? You share gifts at Christmas. . .” Reader B

Christianity is not a democracy, and if millions of “devout” Christians exercise their faith in a particular way, it doesn’t necessarily make it pleasing to the Lord. Living one’s life according to the Bible should be every professing Christian’s desire and practice. I do understand that many churches have bunnies and baskets to perhaps reach the lost. Each person/church’s conduct/choices are between them and the Lord.

Have you ever tried to look at two things at once? If they are any distance apart, you really have to choose to look at one or the other. Bunnies, baskets, and the Lord Jesus are light years apart — there’s no biblical support, not even a natural tie-in or segue between them. Generally, I’ve found the more desirable something is to the flesh, the more likely it will be the one that wins. Give children the choice of bunnies and baskets versus Jesus, and I can guarantee you what most children will choose to anticipate and remember — the morning discussion of Christ’s resurrection or the fun candy filled egg hunt outside? When they get older will they make the right choice? Hopefully, but why set up our children to be double-minded? “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)

Next, if a Christian’s walk is determined by only things that aren’t wrong, they are missing much that fills a walk that is pleasing to the Lord. They really aren’t seeking God’s best, just avoiding outright sin. Would you rather have a child who just didn’t disobey (according to their definition of disobedience), or one who truly wanted to please you? From my observations, many “Christians” spend empty lives doing things they consider not sin, while missing a fruitful life that is dedicated to following the Lord. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Frankly, not doing bunnies and baskets would hardly even qualify as denying oneself or taking up a cross.

The argument for doing something because it was done as a child and was enjoyable is similar to why many participate in Halloween, which is one of the most wicked “holidays” there is. Yet, scores of “Christians” do. Regardless of what one did in the past, shouldn’t the decision for today be made as to what pleases the Lord? Those who share that the bunnies and baskets are fond memories for them, probably lack similar sweet memories of a family who celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His redemption of fallen man. The bunnies and baskets memories will be paramount.

I want my children’s memories of Resurrection Sunday to be Jesus Christ crucified, risen, and coming again. When they are eighty, I want them to think back on their childhood Resurrection Sundays with praise and joy in their hearts for a God Who loved them so much that He gave His Son for their salvation. Those are the memories I am attempting to build in my children’s lives.

Having an egg hunt for the family on Resurrection Sunday is similar to celebrating Mother’s Day by the family watching basketball, when Mom hates basketball. Resurrection Sunday is a day that is to be all about Jesus!

Regardless of one’s intentions or motives, the Lord does look at what we do and say. Consider when Jesus had just told His disciples He was going to the cross. They knew that meant a horrible and painful death for Jesus and the loss of the One they loved and had given their lives to. Peter’s intentions were wonderful, but his thinking was worldly and not according to the Lord’s will. When Peter protested against Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus responded with this statement: “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23). We see that personal evaluations such as “It’s only harmless fun” or “I see nothing wrong with it,” don’t seem to gather much credit with the Lord unless they line up with God’s will.

There is such blessing in seeking God’s will in things and foregoing man’s ideas. Notice we didn’t condemn those who choose to do baskets and bunnies. That is not for us to do, but each will give account for their actions — even every idle word. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).

Nathan is responsible for whether his girls receive bunnies, and baskets, and I’m pleased they didn’t for reasons mentioned here.

I’ve never given May Day any thought as an outreach. One could put a track in each basket with the flowers and candy. Not a bad idea. Why don’t you do it, and let us know how it goes?

We do give gifts at Christmas, but have nothing to do with Santa Claus. I think a fictitious Santa Claus is a better comparison to an Easter bunny as Santa Claus has as much to do with Jesus’ birth as an Easter bunny has to do with His resurrection.

My encouragement is: know the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, know His will, obey Him, be at peace with yourself and other’s decisions, and bask in His love. That’s a formula for no regrets!


“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

–1 Corinthians 10:31

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

He is Risen! Hallelujah!

This morning, during my personal Bible time, I read the account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. My heart grieved at how the Lord Jesus was treated. My heart was amazed at “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:23-24

My heart was filled with wonder over Joseph, who boldly asked for the body of his Lord, and tenderly buried Him. My heart was joyful over Jesus’ victory over death!

He is Risen Indeed!