Monthly Archives: July 2010

I Stink At Remembering Dates

But somehow, my body and my heart knew that it was July 25th.

I sat here and tried to find my way to sleep, but sleep wouldn’t come. I tried to do some needed things on the computer. I tried reading some blogs. I prayed and asked God to help me find my way out of the blues.

And then I read another blog about someone who had lost her father, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Blinking through the tears, I looked at the date on my computer, and then I looked through my archives . . . and I found the entry where I posted the date – July 25th – the day I lost my dad. The day of the phone call. Not long after Jon’s 1st birthday – eight years ago. The day that I felt like a very large part of me was gone.

Whether I’ve always liked it or not, he and I were a lot alike, and as I’m getting older it’s becoming even more obvious. And it just

makes me miss him even more.  The genetics, they run strong my friends.

I realized the other day how much I’m looking more and more like my dad as I’m getting older. And, while I have to admit that the getting older part feels like it’s getting the best of me somedays, I think about how handsome my dad always was to me. How I loved and respected him.

And if I see his eyes or cheeks or square jaw line when I look in the mirror, that’s ok with me. I’ll take whatever I can get.

I didn’t get to my dad’s house until the day after he died. That was a day full of making sad plans and shock. As I went to bed that night in my childhood bedroom, I had horrible dreams. In my dream, sadness overwhelmed me and in my dream, I began to just disappear.

I remember waking up and having to hug myself because the dream was so real and I wasn’t sure if I had totally disappeared. But obviously I hadn’t. And in reality, my dad hadn’t either.

He just moved on. To a better place. A place of no sadness or tears, no blues, no worries about weight, no wounds. A place of perfect peace.

But his love still remains with me. His words. His encouragement. His laugh. His hugs. His touch. And his stubborn strength.  I see my friends with their daughters and I think about the impact that a father has on his daughter, and I’m so thankful for the love of my father (and my Heavenly Father).

Loving somebody, really loving them, is as much physical as it is mental, spiritual, and emotional. It’s all tied together somehow.

And in some mysterious way, my body remembers the date even when my brain doesn’t.

But now that I’ve figured it out, I can rest. I can say, “I love you, Dad. And I miss you so very much, but I know that I’ll see you again. Thanks for being such a good dad. You loved me well.

Thinking about James

Rainbow, March 09

The other day, I read a blog entry by Mark Hamby that mentioned James 4:6 – God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

That verse truly jumped out to me. I’ve read it before and had even heard Mark mention it during a recent presentation at our state CHEK Family and Homeschool Conference, but for some reason I felt like God really wanted me to hear it again.

Since then, I’ve thought that I should go back and study the book of James a little more, and I thought that I would journal some thoughts about it here and see if any of you have insights that you would like to share as well.

James is writing to the early church. And it’s interesting to me that we still need much of the same encouragement that they needed way back then.  Many of us are facing trials – health, financial, or relationship struggles, and sometimes it’s easy to wonder why these things are happening.  Did we do something wrong? Is God disciplining us? Have we fallen out of favor with Him?

Yet, read what James starts off with in verse 2. Consider it all pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV

Here it is in the KJV: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1: 2-4 KJV

The trials are not a result of some sin. They come from the hand of God because He wants us to grow. Wouldn’t it be sad if God just left us to our own devices and didn’t care about our heart or character? The trials are to help us develop perseverance. In the KJV, it says patience instead of perseverance. And it also says to let patience have her perfect work.

We have to allow God to work in these situations if we want to move forward. Otherwise we’re just fighting Him and missing the blessing of becoming mature and complete.

It’s human nature to shy away from pain, to just wish that we weren’t in the midst of struggles. Some people even try to flat out deny when bad things are happening as if it is their Christian duty to live a trouble-free life.

Yet, what I think God wants is for us to embrace the pain when it comes. Don’t deny it. Don’t minimize it. Don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it isn’t there. Now, you also don’t want wallow in it and give into to self-pity or bitterness, but you have to at least acknowledge the situation in order to give God room to work in it.

What a waste it would be to just fight with God over our hard times and to miss the blessing of knowing Him more through them. God has shown me time and time again that He is gracious even in the hard times if I am trusting and watching.

What has God taught you through the trials that you’ve faced? Have you grown to know Him more and has it made it easier going forward as you face other hard times?

I’m looking forward to reading more in the book of James and (hopefully) hearing from some of you in the process. Let me know if you want to join me on this study. I’m not going to be too structured with it. I’m not a bible scholar or anything. I don’t know how long it will take, I don’t have a scheduled reading plan, but I just thought I’d take some time and see what God has to say.

I’m sure it’s going to be good.

Homeschooling in Kentucky

I just posted this message to my local homeschool support group and thought I would go ahead and post the information here to help people who might be googling homeschooling in Kentucky.

Christian County Schools start back August 10th. Remember that you need to send your letter of intent (notification) within two weeks of the new school year or it raises a red flag. Here’s a link the school calendar –

Here’s a link to the legal requirements on our PACHEK website, including a sample letter of intent and the addresses for some of the local Directors of Pupil Personnel.

I did notice that the Christian County Director of Pupil Personnel is now Kathy Hancock. We haven’t updated that information on our site yet.

It is recommended that you send it certified mail and get a return receipt and keep that for your records so you can always show proof that you notified the district.

Alternatively if you are an HSLDA member, you can log in to the members area of their website – and print a letter of notification on their letterhead. It takes a few clicks to get to it.

From the member page, go to Resources for HSLDA members. Then click on Kentucky in the state map at the bottom.

Then click on Private School Notice of Attendance.

Remember, only HSLDA members can get to those links. I just thought I would list them to help other HSLDA members find them. Your handwritten or typed letter of intent/notification accomplishes the same thing. It’s just important that you send it in a timely manner.

There are also forms on there to use if you are withdrawing your child from school, a school verification and minor’s application for driver’s license, and info on child labor laws in case your child is interested in working.

Also, on that first member’s link, you can print your HSLDA membership cards. I keep copies of the teacher card in my purse (for educator’s discount) and another copy in a notebook on my desk with our homeschool records in case I ever have questions for HSLDA. I also print off the student cards for my boys to keep in their wallets so that they could show anyone that they are homeschooled if they are out and about during normal school hours.

Hope that info helps. If you aren’t an HSLDA member, I highly encourage it. It’s great peace of mind for you and helps to keep HSLDA going and support other homeschoolers.

Also, Tony and I started serving on the CHEK Advisory Board last year and I’ve learned SO much about the importance of being a CHEK member as well. CHEK founders are the ones who helped to establish Kentucky’s favorable homeschool guidelines. They are on the front lines of watching legislation which could possibly affect homeschoolers in Kentucky, answer homeschooling questions, provide information and resources for homeschool groups, host our state homeschool conference and work hand-in-hand with HSLDA. And they do it all as volunteers.

Homeschooling in Kentucky is what it is because of CHEK. HSLDA is awesome, but when it comes to homeschooling in Kentucky, CHEK is the organization that helps keep things going. HSLDA would be your attorneys in court, but CHEK tries to keep things from getting to that point by educating Kentucky homeschool families about best practices, presenting an organized, unified, educated organization for our state, supporting and providing resources for local homeschool groups, watching Kentucky legislation and spearheading grassroots efforts to contact legislators when needed, and working hand-in-hand with HSLDA . :O) Please consider joining CHEK this year as well. It’s only $25 and makes a HUGE difference to thousands of homeschool families in Kentucky.

If you are on facebook, you can keep up with CHEK on there.

You can get a group discount when joining HSLDA as a support group member. Contact your organization if you need a group number.

Happy Homeschooling!

Homeschooling and Working

This week’s Homeschool Minute has gotten some really nice feedback. It affirmed to me that more and more moms are finding ways to make homeschooling and working outside of the home work together, and that they need encouragement that YES, it IS worth it.  If you’re working or thinking that you may need to take on a job to help out financially, know that you’re not the Lone Ranger. We’re living in tough economic times and homeschool families are not granted immunity. We just need to encourage each other and remind each other that we don’t have to “do it all”. When you take on a new job, you have to find ways to cut back on some other responsibilities or let some other things slide a bit. Just keep your eye on the One who called you to homeschool and walk in His grace.

Even if Mom Has To Work Too

Years ago, homeschooling or working was pretty much an either/or situation. Yet a growing number of families are discovering that even if mom has to (or chooses to) work, they can still homeschool.

Is it easy? No. But working and putting your children into school wouldn’t be easy either. And when others don’t homeschool, they don’t realize that their suggestions that we “help the family” by getting a job outside of the home and put the kids into school, is not an option sometimes.

I’ve had many people suggest that I could make my life a lot easier if I would only put the kids in school instead of trying to work and homeschool. But they don’t realize that I’m homeschooling as a conviction and that I love it. I love being with my children all day, every day, and that the other sacrifices that we make so that I can homeschool the kids are worth it to us.

I used to be one of the few in my homeschool group that worked in addition to homeschooling, but a growing number of moms are doing it now too. Some work from home on the computer, some clean houses or babysit, some are nurses or speech therapists, some help their husbands in their businesses. Some work part-time. Others work full-time. All of them have had to find ways to juggle who is home with the kids, chores, household responsibilities, lesson plans, and more.

If finances are tight at your house and it’s starting to look like you may need to take on some extra work to help make ends meet, I just want to encourage you that you CAN do that and still homeschool. The two are not mutually exclusive. It takes some creative planning, everybody in the family working together as a team, and a whole lot of God’s grace, but it can be done.

God’s ways don’t always make sense to the world, but you just have to be obedient to what He has called you to do, and trust in Him. He cares for you and your family, and He will provide all that you need–including the energy and time to homeschool your children!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Enjoy every minute!

Nancy Carter

PS – TOS has the perfect E-Book to go along with this topic: HomeWork: Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance.  I just forgot to mention it in THM because ummm, I CAN’T do it all. I am NOT Superwoman and sometimes things get forgotten. But that’s the thing. I’ve learned that the little things don’t matter and most of my mistakes can be fixed. God doesn’t require perfection, just obedience. And that’s all I can do. I  just keep trusting and following Him.

I just wanted to toss that out there in case any of you think that you “can’t” keep up with work and homeschooling like other people do. The truth is that they probably aren’t keeping up with everything. They are just doing the best they can and resting in God’s grace.

No News Is Good News

Thanks for all of your sweet comments and prayers regarding my tests. It’s been weird just waiting to hear the results of them. I still haven’t gotten any official results, but the doctor’s office has told me that “no news is good news”. If the results had been bad, the doctor would have called. Otherwise they just send a letter to notify you of that the results were normal.

I’m not a huge fan of that system, but they didn’t ask my opinion. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a virtue.

I guess it’s just a character-building opportunity. :)

In other news, my voice is still a bit scratchy, but it is finally back. It’s quite a relief, although I hope the boys will still come running if I ring the bell on my iPhone. Laryngitis? There’s an app for that! I felt like a high-tech Carol Brady ringing my bell to get the kids’ attention while my voice was gone.

Oh, and while you all are here, will you give me an opinion on these two pics? I need a new one to go with my bio in the magazine. Which one do you like better?




My friend, Hannah Braboy, was nice enough to snap these for me, but I’m just not sure which one I like better. What say you?