Thanks for taking the time to stop by and visit our family blog.
This blog was originally created to post updates on our newborn daughter, which was 4 years ago. God has started using this blog as a ministry and outreach plus a way to record the journey that God is allowing our family to live.
To Our Lord, may He get the Glory and Honor!

Blessings from Shandee

Update: We have been led to further sharing our online journey with posts from the entire family. What started out as a simple blogging journey from a Mother & Wife's perspective has blossomed into a family journey. We now welcome you to The Childress Family Blog.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Duggar Family - Modesty

I was looking at the Duggar's Family website tonight and found this video on modesty. It lasts about 8 minutes, but it is very powerful. I thought it would be great encouragement as well with scripture! I posted on this very particular subject of modesty a while back. Feel free to read my past article also.

The Duggar Family - Modesty

Blessings, Shandee

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's Happening in the Childress Home

Good question.

And, I have a good answer.

LIFE and full of LIFE ;-)

There's life inside the house, there's life on the porch, and there's life in our field.



Growing Veggies.(image not from our garden)

Thankfully, we are enjoying this summer much more than last. We had repetitive sickness last summer so I am very thankful that the Lord is giving us a good season of health.

So, here's the scoop on us:

We are loving being free from some schoolwork.  I find myself drifting of thoughts for the new year, but remain focus on the present. We are trying to work really hard to get our house and hearts in order.

The girls are still enjoying their music lessons and inspirations. Two of them will embark on the Mountain Music School journey in  a few weeks and they are so excited that they wished they could go tomorrow  today. I saw a great confidence arise in my pianist today during her lesson. Peeking through the door, I noticed something different in her that I had not seen. I saw confidence and a comfortableness in her as she settled her self in her cushiony seat that her teacher so graciously allows her to have all to herself ;-)  I also saw how the piano seemed familiar to her and did not sense any fear of this big musical instrument. I was so proud and of course, she would not dare want to bring attention to herself so I can't say which one and I can't allow her to know when I watch. God has surely told me that in His time, she will bloom and it's going to be astounding. I am simply sitting back and soaking in the work He is doing with her musical talent and one day I will link back to this post when I recorded the word that He had given me just for her.  My oldest daughter is becoming quite the little worship leader in Children's Church. She will be leading the children on stage with a worship song before the summer passes. I am so proud when I hear the harmony of her voice and guitar fill the downstairs church. It is such a blessing to see my girls honoring God and using the talents that He is giving them. Wow, what a huge blessing!

We're continuing our journey of organic gardening and loving learning all that we can about it, including canning. We recently shared our Discover You Can, Mother &Daughter canning party. It was a sweet time of learning and fellowship. We still have tomatoes to stake and the never-ending job of weeding.

We're preparing for a Big Yard Sale this weekend. It's a lot of organizing and sorting through things that we have not been through in years. It is keeping us busy all week.

Potty training. I'm in no hurry to rush, but working with her at her own pace.

We are continuing to work with our daughter's blood sugar levels. She has been experiencing lows now for about one month so that is a new situation that we had not dealt with. We are believing for her healing and thankful that we do not have to make the trip to Knoxville next month!

We love the local Summer Reading program that started last week. Mrs. Sherry just makes it, we love her as much as the program itself! Thank you, Mrs. Sherry for all your work!

Training. I'm working on individual child training this summer. I'm doing this to focus on each child and the areas that need work as well as the areas to be praised. It's also a great bonding time! I told them they are attached to Mommy the week of training. They don't seem to mind it, instead looking forward to it.

Oh, the list goes on and I must end.  I am really convicted of the Lord's calling for me to get in bed earlier at night. I know God wants me to have an earlier bedtime so I am going to submit to this area. Speaking of that, it is time to go. I have a great resource that I'd love to share with you before I go. It is the best family resource that has blessed myself and my husband. It is a great tool and resource for the entire family.  There is no compensation for me, but I would suggest you check out the Maxwell's Titus2 Ministry. It is a HUGE blessing in our lives!!!    Visit the Maxwells. Comment and let me know what you think.

And, goodnight.

With Love,
Shandee for The Childress Family

Back to School Shopping around the Corner

Here's the question I am asking: "Didn't we just finish up for the school year?"

Simple answer. YES!

So, why are we thinking about the next school year?

Because we want to prepare and while we are at it, let's save some $ ;-)

If you know me, you know I'm all about the bargains.

SO, I wanted to give you a heads up to start putting back a little money for school shopping. You will get great buys on markers, blue, pens, crayons, pencils, papers, and usually 15cent notebooks at your hometown Walmart. Save up now so you can shop a lot later ;-)
Actually, in just a few weeks toward the middle of July.  Also, note that these supplies make great gift add ons or fillers for Samaritan's Purse-Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hold On

Tonight,  I snuggled with one of my older daughters.

Reality HIT me.

This child of MINE, now has bigger feet and hands than me, and probably longer arms.

It was sad.

She put her arms around me.

Then I remembered what it used to be like.

In a flash, I was back to the sweet, simple days of a snuggly baby with the fresh scent only a baby has. I could feel her head with little hair and see her tiny hands and feet-well, not so tiny for her age-she is a Childress for sure ;-) but tiny as in baby tiny. I imagined her tiny feet snuggled against my knee just as she used to so gently place them.

Where did the days go?

Where did my baby go?

How could it be possible that this nearly grown daughter of mine can wear my clothes and now give me her hand-me-down shoes?

Tonight, I felt almost like asking God to stop the time. Just to slow down so we could live in this moment forever so I"ll have my babies always.  But, God reminded me in my heart that His plan is for us to grow and my days and time that are spent with my children, is and will make an impact for His glory.

Dear Moms, Hold on a little while longer to your babies.  It truly is a blessing, even on the hard days. The days go so fast. Enjoy today, you can never get this time back.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

There is HOPE-latest findings on Juvenile Diabetes

My husband woke me up this morning to tell me great news that he had read lastnight. It's amazing because I have been praying for a way for the pancreas to be able to produce new cells and fight against the ones that are "lying" to her body causing it not to produce enough insulin. Check out the article!

I found a previous blog entry that I had written about believing for a healing!

Insect Repellant

During this week's dermatologist visit, our doctor recommended Cutter Brand Insect Repellant to decrease our daughter's chances of getting the bugbites. This link is a printable coupon for $1.00 off, we'll be trying it after we do our shopping trip this week.

Some of our children suffer from bullous arthropod reaction, which simply means severe reaction to bugbites. Last summer, we found out that our sweet infant daughter suffers severely when she gets a bugbite, the medical term-bullous arthropod reaction.

Canning Party

We had our Mother&Daughter canning party yesterday. It was lots of fun. Details later.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Canning Party

We're getting ready for our Canning Party. My girls are so excited, one even expressed that she could not wait to go to sleep so the party will be here. They are SO excited to fellowship and do the canning. I can't wait to share the goodies that Ball&Jarden has sent us! Thank you so much for the HouseParty pack!!

Pictured are some canning items that I used to purchase cans for the party. We'll be giving way the top pack of jars as a prize.

It is Well With My Soul Video

For the past month, the Lord has been echoing the sweet hymnal songs from my childhood. When all is calm, and we settle for a brief quiet time during the day, I have been singing these to my daughter as I soothe her to rest time. Today, I found this video and it really spoke to my heart. The author of this song, lost almost everything he owned, but in God's graciousness, the life of his wife was spared. Even in the midst of pain and sorrow, God is still faithful to His children.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tonight's blogging cancelled

We have storms passing by our area with frightened children and kittens so I'll catch up at a later time.

Blessings, Shandee

For storm coverage, I"ve been going to WCYB News 5's Website.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"7 Reasons Families Love Homeschooling"

Isn't it funny that the school year ended for most homeschoolers; and now, here we go again, thinking about NEXT year!!!  That's me... I was online chatting with Sonlight this morning trying to figure out how I can combine two of my students curriculum this year. It would be amazingly fun!!

So, I am online tonight doing some research and I came across this article that I have listed below from Sonlight's website. Enjoy.

Sonlight, you are the best, we love you and your support. It's really to cool to know that your family has been here in this walk of life!

(Article below pasted from Sonlight's website.)
7 Reasons Families Love Homeschooling
Have you seen it in the news? A story opens something like: "Abby Smith is your average high-achieving teenager. Except she's learned since Kindergarten ...from the comfort of her own kitchen table!"

Then you read, "The Smiths, like a growing number of American families, choose to let the yellow school bus pass them by. Their children learn at home."

And whether you think the Smiths are admirable or crazy, they've piqued your interest. What motivates them to go against the grain and homeschool?

Just ask a homeschool family why they do it and you'll probably get an enthusiastic bunch of responses.

Some of the top reasons we've found:

1. Influence
Homeschool parents can ensure their children receive the academic attention, help and challenges they deserve. The one-on-one tutorial style helps children thrive and discover unique gifts.

Who knows and loves your children more than you and your spouse? Why shouldn't you be the central influences in their educational and moral formation?

Think about the schoolteachers you know. Don't they have their hands full? They're typically supposed to teach 20-30 students at a time who have a vast range of abilities, learning styles, and special needs. But when children learn at home, they can receive the personal attention and freedom they need.

And consider the influence you could have in your child's character formation. You could deal with the fallout as your children learn values from peers and teachers with unspecified agendas. Or you could raise your children in a positive learning environment, with your own views of character development.

Homeschooling allows families to strengthen their personal family values, follow a curriculum that emphasizes specific moral teaching, and encourages their children to follow their dreams. And no matter what path they follow, families can weave meaningful discussions about faith, citizenship, service and character into everyday learning.

2. Close-knit families
Many parents rejoice in the close family bonds that homeschooling can facilitate.

Instead of just meeting (perhaps) at the dinner table between long school days, sports practices and piles of homework, homeschool parents and children learn side-by-side daily. They have plenty of relaxed time to actually get to know and appreciate one another.

As parents and children learn side-by-side daily, they often have plenty of relaxed time to actually get to know and appreciate one another.

Especially if families teach multiple children with the same curriculum, they spend their days building upon shared experiences and points of interest.

Homeschool families often spend considerable time reading together each day (especially if they use a literature-based curriculum). These precious times build lasting memories as children get lots of special time with Mom and Dad.

It's not uncommon to find homeschooling families "doing school" by reading out loud on the couch with Mom and the little ones cuddled up together.

As students get older, parents and students reap the rewards of having cultivated those close relationships. Instead of teenagers moaning about how their parents don't understand, those teens have spent years learning that their parents are a great source of life wisdom and direction.

3. Academics
Rhonda W homeschooled her children from preschool through high school. One son had serious learning difficulties that made reading and handwriting an enormous struggle. He would never have been able to keep up with classmates in school and he might even have concluded he was "stupid."

But through homeschooling, Rhonda worked with his difficulties and his strengths. She shared in March 2010:

I still tell people about my son whom we had tested for learning disabilities at the end of 5th grade – his reading, handwriting were at 1st grade level. But his content areas – science, history, even vocabulary (that one still blows me away) – were at or above grade level! All because I was reading aloud great literature to him.
What an inspiring story. Even with severe learning challenges, Rhonda's son was able to excel because of his time homeschooling.

Homeschooling tends to let children thrive academically, whatever their special gifts and needs are.

In public schools, teachers with full classrooms have to sacrifice certain academic goals simply to maintain order in the classroom. They often struggle to keep a large group of students moving along at more or less the same pace.

But homeschool families get to meet their children where they are academically.

Do you have an 8-year-old math whiz who struggles with reading? No problem. You can push him in math while making sure he gets the special reading time he needs. He might not even be aware he's ahead or behind.

Children with special needs and gifts are especially well-suited to thrive in homeschool. Classroom teachers—out of sheer, overwhelming workloads—sometimes view such children as burdens and struggle to meet their IEPs (Individualized Education Programs). But in a homeschool, all children can get the attention they need from their teachers.

Of course, children who are "little geniuses" can move as quickly as they'd like through homeschooling. Instead of getting in trouble at school because they're bored, they are free to fly at their own pace.

And for the "average" homeschool child? Many professional studies have demonstrated that homeschoolers consistently out-perform their classroom school peers.

The latest extensive scientific study on the matter shows that homeschooled students scored 34-39 percent higher than average on standardized achievement tests. In other words, while the national average for all students is the 50th percentile, "the homeschool national average ranged from the 84th percentile for Language, Math and Social Studies to the 89th percentile for Reading."

For the easy-to-read report featuring this study and other fascinating statistics, click here: Homeschool Progress Report 2009: Academic Achievement and Demographics.

4. Positive environment
It's no secret that the classroom school environment is toxic to many children. Overworked and underpaid teachers often struggle to teach too many children in one classroom. They are supposed to use one curriculum in one way to reach a hodgepodge of children: some with special gifts, others with special learning challenges, some exhibiting behavior disorders and others just learning English. And all of these children are supposed to progress at the same pace!

Does that make sense to you?

Bullies can make school a nightmare for those they persecute. The social pressure to "fit in" can cause even the best kids to make destructive decisions. And of course, many parents fear the school violence that seems to dominate headlines.

In light of these realities, do you really believe you are doing your children a disservice by giving them a positive, loving place to learn and grow? Or is the safe environment of your home a great gift to your impressionable young children?

Many families find their children are better able to gain life skills, genuine confidence and a strong work ethic through homeschooling than in a classroom environment.

Interaction with other students in homeschool support groups and co-ops, sports teams, church youth groups, music ensembles, volunteer opportunities, friends, neighbors and family provide plenty of opportunities—and mostly positive opportunities—to learn and grow alongside other children.

5. Religious and moral training
A 2007 survey by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that 36% of homeschool parents reported the main reason they homeschool is to provide religious and moral instruction.

Homeschooling gives parents freedom to educate their children through the lens of their faith. Families from many traditions (including Christianity, Judaism, Islam and New Age spirituality) value the opportunity to pass on their faith to their children.

Christians often homeschool because they desire to have a greater role in raising their children to become disciples of Christ. Proverbs 22:6 often encourages such families: "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."

6. Affordability
For many families across the US and around the world, the local public schools are simply out of the question because of poor academic standards, safety concerns, or a myriad of other reasons. In this case, the "obvious" thing to do is turn to private schools.

But private school tuition can range from $4,000 per student per year for "cheap" schools to well over $20,000 a year for elite schools. Many families simply cannot or do not want to commit such a large portion of their income to tuition.

Besides offering many academic and social benefits that private schools typically can't provide, homeschooling is much more cost-effective.

Even "high end" curricula cost only a fraction of one child's private school tuition. And some programs—Sonlight being one example—are designed for you to use one package with more than one student at a time. (When you're reading books that appeal to a wide range of ages, why not?) And if the age range is too wide, the right kind of package will permit younger students to use the same materials years after their older siblings first used them.

Many families find their choices narrowed down to:

Sending their kids to unacceptable public schools;
Having both spouses work outside the home in order to pay for private school tuition; or
Homeschooling, thereby foregoing expensive tuition and allowing one spouse to stay home with the children.
Whatever your circumstance, homeschooling really can be a wise and economical option.

7. Sleeping late
Homeschooling offers unparalleled freedom and flexibility. No one else is dictating your family's schedule and study habits.

Does your 7-year-old work best sprawled out on the floor? Great.

Do you want your kids to get enough sleep every night (compared to the rampant sleep deprivation among public school kids)? Wonderful. Start "school" at whatever time you'd like in the morning.

Instead of pushing through the morning sprint each day to get the kids dressed, teeth brushed, lunches packed and out the door in time for school, homeschool families can cultivate a more natural, relaxed home atmosphere.

Do you want to travel 6 months of each year? Pack your curriculum and go for it.

Do you move frequently? Live overseas? Homeschooling can make location changes smoother for children and parents.

Is your child a virtuoso musician, Hollywood actor or Olympic-level athlete? Homeschooling lets families pursue big dreams without sacrificing crucial academics.

Do you want to take Fridays off to hang out with other homeschoolers, go on field trips, or head to piano lessons? No problem.

With homeschooling, you decide what your family's routine should be.


Assuming you find the homeschool option attractive, you may feel overwhelmed as you try to figure out where to go from here. Before you fret about finding curriculum and starting school, why not simply dream about your family's reasons to homeschool? Grab a pen and paper and start listing your reasons.

Then get some guidance from homeschool moms and walk through the crucial steps of "How to Set Great Goals for Your Homeschool." [pdf]

You might also like "Why in the World Would You Homeschool High Schoolers?" or "The Two Best Ways to Connect with Local Homeschoolers."http://www.sonlight.com/reasons-to-love-homeschooling.html

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

The most important thing that a man can do for his family is to honor God in all that He does.
God has recently shown our Daddy in the house that his legacy is what matters most.
Blessings to all the Daddies today and to those that honor the Lord!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Early Summer Update

I can't believe that it was only last Monday when we ended our school year.

For those checking in on us, here's what we've been up to:

  • taking care of kittens, learning and loving them
  • cleaning
  • we have recently had family guests from out of town visit us
  • various ministries to others
  • gardening
  • treating skin reactions to bug bites
  • music
  • working on summer projects

It seems like we will barely have enough time to get our work done before school starts back!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Deals on Father's Day Cards

We discovered that Walmart does not carry these American greeting cards. CVS in Norton does, but we could not find any for $1, they were 99cents. If I find where to use this coupon, I'll let you know.

Thanks for sharing the coupon link, Southern Savers!  $2 off 2 cards.

This should make a good deal on Father's Day cards and Wal-mart does carry American greetings.
Try to find the $1 cards. The coupon does say that each card has to be $1 or more.
Happy Shopping.

 What plans do you have to celebrate the Father's in your world?
We're making our Daddy a real treat.

 And yes, he is involved in our blog so I can't say another word so I don't ruin a good surprise ;-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

What WHO Says about longer breast-feeding duration

This came as wonderful news to me because I've been wondering, why does my toddler still want to nurse...

Here's what the WHO-W(orld) H(ealth) O(rganization) says about breastfeeding:


As stated in the Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (WHA55 A55/15, paragraph 10):
Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed(1) for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health(2). Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.

See also in this connection:

WHA54 A54/INF.DOC./4 - Global strategy for infant and young child feeding
The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding
Provisional agenda item 13.1, 1 May 2001

More information

(1) ""Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as no other food or drink, not even water, except breast milk (including milk expressed or from a wet nurse) for 6 months of life, but allows the infant to receive ORS, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines).

"Predominant breastfeeding" means that the infant's predominant source of nourishment has been breast milk (including milk expressed or from a wet nurse as the predominant source of nourishment). However, the infant may also have received liquids (water and water-based drinks, fruit juice) ritual fluids and ORS, drops or syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines).
(2) As formulated in the conclusions and recommendations of the expert consultation (Geneva, 28-30 March 2001) that completed the systematic review of the optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding (see document A54/INF.DOC./4). See also resolution WHA54.2.

The Coupon Book

Only a true friend would think to MAKE ME A PERSONALIZED COUPON BOOK!!!! I could barely believe what I was seeing.

This is why I am no longer using the two coupon books I had posted about earlier.

What an extreme blessing and precious birthday gift of thoughtfulness!  Thank you my sister-in-Christ, Kathy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Baptism this weekend...

 It is with great joy that we will be celebrating a baptism tomorrow with a family member!  What a blessing and joy to be baptized in the river just as Jesus was. What a glorious day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oneness in Marriage

The more days that God gives me, the more wisdom I gain.

Recently, God has showed me his plan for Oneness in Marriage in so many areas of my life.

It is amazing what unity in marriage can accomplish.

I realized that when I am in Oneness and complete unity with my husband that I am actually a much stronger  and brighter woman in this world. I am a better mother who is gentle, I am a woman who is blessed to minister to other women and families, and my home is full of peace.
When we are One with our spouse, God is able to accomplish much greater works in us and through us!
The very last verse that I shared below states "so that nothing will hinder your prayers." We must fight for our marriages, we are truly in a battle today.

New International Version (NIV)
1 Peter 3

1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Free Printable Label Template

Thanks to GingerbreadNook.com!

Today during quiet time

I'll hold her for just a bit longer because she is growing up like the rest...

"I've got joy like a river" video

Monday, June 6, 2011


We made some household changes yesterday. It was a big job, Daddy did most of the hard work!
It was bittersweet and now a work in progress. I'll tell you more later with pictures.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Forwarding a great article from Titus2 Ministry...this is gold to families

Dad's Corner - May 2006

Mama Gets a Hard Hat

There is a store in Kansas City that I greatly enjoy walking around in while looking at everything they sell. I don't go there unless I have a "need" because it is forty-five minutes from home. In addition, when I'm in that store I think I like looking around too much. Frankly, I know I'm not alone, in that most men reading this Corner would also want to spend time in my favorite tool store.

It is amazing how men love tools. There is good reason for this too because the right tool can save enormous amounts of time and effort on a project plus improving the quality of the outcome. Perhaps every man's appetite for tools begins when, as a child, he falls in love with his first hammer. A little boy sees strong Daddy pounding away with a hammer, and of course, he wants to be just like his Daddy.

If men are quick to appreciate and value their tools, are they as quick to recognize their wives' need of domestic tools? Homeschooling moms have a tremendous amount of work to do in a given day, and having the right tools may mean the difference between success or failure in keeping up. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). Am I honoring my wife as the weaker vessel and seeing that she has the tools to do the jobs that she needs to do?

There will be different seasons for a family when one tool is far more important than another tool. A family with four children under the age of six years old may have an indispensable need for a quality dishwasher compared to a family with two children ages ten and twelve. Not that a family with older children can't use a dishwasher, but I expect it would be more critical for that young mommy trying to maintain a home with very young ones and no help. We visited a family last week with older daughters in the home. My children were amazed when three dish dryers had a difficult time keeping up with one daughter who was a lightning-fast dish washer. Cleanup was completed in record time, and the girls had wonderful fellowship in the process. An automatic dishwasher would be far less important to that family as compared to other kitchen appliances such as are used for canning and making bread. Each family is different and will have various needs.

Teri received her first clothes washer and dryer as a college graduation present from her parents. That set lasted for almost twenty years, and as our family has grown those appliances have become even more important since they process several loads of clothes every day. After that original set, the next washer and dryer, although purchased new, gave us nothing but headaches. Just a couple of years later, I was faced with a difficult decision. Teri's need for reliable clothes washing won out over my desire not to get rid of a significant financial investment that should have lasted many years longer. We vote by our decisions. If I say I value all my wife does and want to help her in keeping up, I must demonstrate that by spending money for tools to help her.

Our family has been making fresh whole-wheat bread for over sixteen years. We knew it could be a difficult transition from soft, store-bought white bread to whole wheat bread because of the finicky palettes of our children. Therefore, I wanted to make it as easy as possible by having whole-wheat bread that was not heavy. That meant a mill that would grind the wheat berries very fine and a mixer that was capable of kneading the bread well. Teri was busy enough with homeschooling and one new little one, and I didn't want to add that to her plate so I researched the mill and mixer to purchase plus taking on the bread baking responsibility until Sarah was old enough to make bread. I know some valiant souls who hand grind the flour and knead the bread, but I didn't want to invest the time to do that so we purchased the mill and the mixer. I have not regretted for a minute what we spent on those tools. I'm pleased to report that my children's finicky palettes have also learned to appreciate the taste of Sarah's wonderful bread.

As our family grew, it became necessary to cook in increasing quantities. One does not have to spend a fortune on cookware to enable Mama to make larger batches to meet the current demand plus more that can be frozen and reheated later. We cook the filling for burritos every three or four months and freeze it so it is available for our Sunday noon meal. (This is the link to our family recipe.) Over time we have purchased increasingly bigger pots in which to make our burrito filling.

Dirt-cheap, eclectic kitchen knives were what we got by using for the first thirty years of our marriage. Only recently when we began eating lots of vegetables did I give Teri a nicer set of knives for Mother's Day. They have been an appreciated improvement but nothing we absolutely required like some of the other tools I feel Teri has needed. Again, this will vary from family to family.

Our family has always struggled with vacuum cleaners. It isn't that we are hard on them, but we do use them frequently. I have had to adjust my expectations to the fact that a vacuum just never seems to last very long and that there is no one perfect vacuum that does bare floors and carpet well. The other problem we encountered almost yearly is what do you do when the vacuum is in the shop being repaired? We finally settled on having two vacuums, a canister for bare floors and an upright for carpet.

For many years Teri has sewn clothes for the girls, and in the more recent years, Sarah has taken over that job. Early on, the sewing was for matching outfits for the ladies, but it is becoming a necessity these days because it is increasingly more difficult, if not impossible, to purchase modest clothes. Sewing machines and sergers are not inexpensive, but if one shops around, it is possible to find usable machines at reasonable prices. Also as a side note, I have found, that Dad's understanding may be necessary because there can be wasted time and material since all sewing projects don't turn out as intended. Is that any different than for us dads in our projects? Over the years, I've made numerous trips to the lumber yard to replace materials that didn't quite measure up after they were cut. May we be loving and gentle with our wives' mistakes as we consider our own mistakes.

In addition, the proper tool is important. Teri's first sewing machine worked, but it had tension problems and seldom made a button hole properly. She would invest time and money on a project only to have it ruined or marred by an ineffective tool. When I purchased a better sewing machine for her, she no longer had sewing projects messed up because of a poor quality machine.

Originally in the planning stages of this article, I had not even thought of mentioning these next two tools. However, because of the tremendous impact Managers of Their Homes (MOTH), has made in thousands of homes, as I was writing this Corner, I realized I had to recommend two tools. Many moms do fine in keeping up with their responsibilities, but, as a homeschooling family adds children, a mom's skill set may not be sufficient to get it all done. Then she can be worn out and discouraged as she falls further behind. We have "bankers' boxes" filled with testimonies of how MOTH has helped to turn chaos into order and discouragement into peace. Can it work for every family? Yes, because MOTH is dependent on the creativity of the Lord Jesus as He directs the schedule being designed. When a mom cries out to Jesus for direction and seeks her husband's counsel as she makes her schedule, her schedule will work.

We have also recently introduced Managers of Their Chores (MOTC). This tool helps moms manage the work that needs to be done in the home. It will help your children learn important skills around the home and teach them responsibility in the process. The feedback from homes that have begun using it has been most encouraging because moms no longer feel guilty about having children do chores and a very effective chore system is actually included with the book.

MOTH and MOTC are limited in one way. Just like all the other tools mentioned above, they are not robots. A tool will not work unless it is used as it was designed. A vacuum cleaner will not clean the house unless someone picks it up and uses it properly. It is the same with MOTH and MOTC.

Remember, tools are not substitutes for my physical help in our home. Everything in the home is my responsibility. My wife is my helpmeet, and she is merely helping me to fulfill my responsibilities before the Lord.

There are many more useful tools in our home beyond the samples I have shared here. My desire is to encourage you to consider how you can bless and equip your wife for the way she is serving the Lord Jesus, your children, and yourself in your home. I'm so grateful for all of Teri's work that if there is a tool that will help her and the Lord provides the funds, I will get it for her. May we do whatever is necessary to help our wives be successful.

Steve Maxwell

Written by Steven Maxwell, co-author of Managers of Their Homes, Managers of Their Chores, Managers of Their Schools, Keeping Our Children's Hearts, Just Around the Corner (Vols. 1 & 2), and author of Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. He also has a two hour CD album on family Bible time, Feed My Sheep: A Practical Guide to Daily Family Bible Time.
Steve Maxwell is the father of eight children, grandpa to one. His family began homeschooling in 1985. In 1997, the Lord brought Steve home to run his own business, and he now enjoys the privilege of working with his three grown sons and one grown daughter. Steve is a homeschool conference speaker and has been writing monthly articles of encouragement for dads since 1990.

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Funny Comments

These are some highlighted comments from the week...

"Do you all have a volleyball pit out there?"  Our new neighbor was referring to our planted garden!! How funny!

"Are all those children yours TOGETHER?"  The phone nurse was referring to our family and wondering if these children belonged to myself AND my husband alluding to the fact that perhaps they were from different marriages. How sad that in today's world, one would even consider such a thing. Lord help us protect our marriages and families!! I am so thankful for movies like Fireproof.

Natural Remedy to keep pests from eating your garden

I read that a good natural remedy to keep pests from eating your garden plants is to scatter human hair around the edges on the outside perimeter of your garden. I used hair that is from loose strands that fall out after brushing our hair. After gathering the hair, I take it to the outside garden area and start clipping it which allows it to loosely fall on the grass area. This procedure camouflages the hair while ridding pests of eating your crop. Hope this helps! Happy Gardening

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Large Families

I see it in my youngest daughter's eyes!

There's a gleam.

A twinkle.

A motivation.

Life Bursting About! Everywhere!

It's the gift of having a large family. A true gift.  I know that God sometimes allows our families to stay small while others seem to continue expanding. The true gift is that you are walking in obedience and in peace with His will, submitting to what He wants for your family. Don't try to figure it out yourself, that will never get you peace.  Instead, ask Him, what do you want for me to do as a woman in waiting for my mate? Or what is your plan for me as a wife & mother?

 I thought I had it all figured out when I was pursuing the world's direction, but when I let God choose His path and let Him guide me, it has been pure peace. You know, His word promises that,  Phillipians 4:7 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Today, the children and I were at the local garden nursery and it just hit me from nowhere. God allowed me to have these children and chose for me to be home with them  because I submitted to His will.  There's a sweet lady employee that is precious to our family and I probably would not have came to know her at the level I do if it was not for my children. She is amazed at us. It seems that the girls always bring a smile to her face and she genuinely is happy to see us enter her shop and very generous to let us do our yearly spring field trip when the children plant flowers. As we left today, she called, "Bless your heart."  It made me kind of sad because she somehow felt sorry for me. There is nothing to feel sorry about because I am fulfilling my calling in life and through it bringing glory in His name, raising a little army for Him. I am earnestly seeking to being the best helpmeet that I possibly can to the man God has   blessed me with.  God does not make mistakes and His timing is always perfect for His plan and purpose, not really allowing us an easy way out. When we walk in His ways, our hearts are filled with peace and I've seen God use this in many other large families.

I'd like to share with you some links to family blogs that bless and minister our family. I think you'll be encouraged as well :-)

Duggar Family

Moore Family

Maxwell Family

Generation Cedar

Lee Family

Campbell Family

and Yours Truly, The Childress Family

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Today was our first day out of school at home!

I am so proud of us. What did we accomplish?

  • We did the following; removed all food from the pantry, fridge, and lazy susan and thoroughly cleaned each space!  Woohoo!
  • Removed debris from tree landscaping area and freshened the mulch
  • Removed debris from our flower garden and freshened the mulch
  • Cleaned off our front porch
  • Laundry
  • Weeded the vegetable garden

(Flower garden photos taken by my oldest daughter)

Remember when we were working on the cakes?

I have uploaded pictures, so now I"ll share them with you.

Teamwork by: Rick&Shandee