Standardized Testing for Homeschoolers

(Ellie didn’t stay in for the testing. She’s very loyal to Sarah, so she came in while Sarah grabbed the pictures before we began.)

Some states require standardized testing or some other form of yearly assessment for homeschooling students. Our state does not. However, through most of our homeschooling years, we chose to do standardized testing.

Nathan and Melanie have begun down a similar path. Last year I administered standardized testing for Abigail using Iowa Basic Skills that we get through This year using the same, I administered standardized testing for Abigail (4th) and Bethany (2nd).

There is a sweet flow to that because for many years my parents administered standardized testing first to our children and the other children in our homeschool support group and eventually just for our children when the support group no longer offered the testing. Now I get to pass the blessing my parents gave my children on to my grandchildren.

Because of the girls’ grade levels, I can only administer the tests to one child at a time. Abby went first, and she was done in two days. Bethany followed in the same timing. We test for 2.5 to 3 hours with stand up stretching between tests and longer snack break in the middle.

Each granddaughter arrived at her testing with special mini-candy treats they know I likeAndes and York Mints.

After the testing, I give Melanie a report on how the girls did as far as working with the tests and working with me and things they said were hard for them when they had completed a test.

The feedback from Nathan and Melanie are that the girls really enjoyed the testing and Abigail was excited to do it again this year after last year’s experience. That makes me happy!

Trusting in Jesus,

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his
help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalm 146:5).

Delicious Vegetable Beef Soup

Remember when I multitasked and browned ground beef for something sometime? I was working in the kitchen doing other meal prep.

Recently, we put that ground beef to good use. All the kitchen helpers were going to be busy during normal lunch (which is our bigger meal of the day) prep the next day. We decided to make soup the afternoon before that could simply be heated up the next day.

We had available:

  • ground beef
  • a small ziplock bag of green onions that had been previously chopped and frozen
  • about 8 cups of frozen pork roast broth
  • frozen little smokies sausages
  • frozen tomato sauce
  • big bag of organic frozen mixed vegetables from Costco

The pork roast broth was a good amount of liquid for the amount of meat we were using. We just put it into a pot to defrost and boil. I dumped the ground beef into the pot along with the green onions. Then I sliced some of the little smokies sausagesan amount that seemed to compliment the ground beef as secondary meat.

When we tasted the broth that way, we decided not to use the tomato sauce since the flavor was already delicious.

Then we let that simmer a while before adding the mixed vegetables and boiling them.

We finished the seasoning by adding garlic salt and other seasonings to taste.

The result? Delicious soup! If your weather is anything like we’re experiencing in Kansas, soup is the perfect thing right now.

Trusting in Jesus,

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Psalm 34:8

Random Life, Spring back to Winter

As I look out the window at the white-covered landscape, I have to remind myself it’s actually Resurrection Sunday. Wow, from spring back to winter. The snow is a beautiful symbol of what Jesus did for us. His blood swept away our sins. Think about that. Our sins, which are red, are washed white as snow.

So here’s random life this past month. I love to see God working in our lives on a daily basis. It’s easy to see the big things, but do we look for the small items? For example, I sat down to review tax returns for several businesses I do bookkeeping for. It seemed overwhelming at first, but I prayed, and the Lord gave such grace and helped me. How often do we miss opportunities to thank the Lord for His goodness because we don’t ask for His help?


A friend came over to talk one afternoon and enjoy mochas.

You never know who might be here for a meal.


Lately, when we’ve had guests, we’ve expanded into the basement for seating.

Anna and Mary had quite the little group.

Dog training time.

Nathan and two of his girls for a day out.

Mary and Calia baking pizza.

A family field trip

An evening at John and Chelsy’s. Chelsy has done an amazing job at making their home so welcoming!

Cousins with matching glasses.

A whole bunch of cuteness packed into this little guy.

Holding babies during Sunday lunch.

Girls’ day out! Shopping for fabric here.

Taking a walk at the gorgeous Shawnee Mission Park near the end of our time.

These amazing sisters of mine took the little kids out to do puddle splashing.

I think he has some freckles, um, dirt freckles that is.

A picnic with friends.

Followed by a walk.

Mary with Elizabeth.

Game time with two nieces.

These adorable little guys are just waiting for a home. Yes, these are Anna’s creations lately.

Finishing with our snow walk on Resurrection Sunday!

Jesse clearing off the driveway before our family dinner

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Isaiah 1:18

Happy Resurrection Sunday

May the wonder of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice,
to pay the penalty we could never pay,
sink deep into our hearts.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)

“In whom we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of his grace.

(Ephesians 1:7)