A couple of years ago I was longing to hear God's voice. I was driving in our van with my kids, listening to the radio, and asking God, "Will you speak to me?"

I honestly can't remember now if I was asking about something particular (ie- if we were trying to make a decision about something, and I was looking for a particular answer from Him), or if it was simply that I wanted that kind of intimacy with Him.

Throughout the Bible, I see that kind of relationship with God and His people. Beginning with Adam and Eve, and then many others. One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Samuel as a young boy. He lies down, and the Lord calls him. He thinks it is Eli, so he runs to Eli to find out what he wants. Eli tells him it wasn't he who had called. So Samuel went back to bed. Again, he hears a voice, calling, "Samuel!" Samuel again goes to Eli. Eli again tells him to go back to bed; he didn't call. Samuel hears the voice again, and this time as he goes to Eli, Eli has figured it out. He tells Samuel it is the Lord calling him. He instructs Samuel: "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.' The Bible tells us that Samuel went and lay down, and "the Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening.'

And the Lord spoke to Samuel. Just like that. He called Samuel by name, and He had things He wanted to say to Samuel.

I wanted that, too. I yearned for that kind of relationship with the Lord. I knew that God had not stopped speaking to His people, so why wasn't He speaking to me?

So that day as I was driving in my van, I prayed, "Lord, will you speak to me? I want to hear your voice."

And instantly I had the thought: Maybe if you'd turn off the radio, Stacy, you could actually hear Him. I promptly turned off the radio. And I wondered: was that Him, telling me to turn it off? I wasn't sure. Now as I look back on that day, I think it was Him, speaking to me. Telling me to listen. Regardless, it was a wake-up call for me. I realized then, how foolish I was, asking God to speak and yet drowning His voice out with all the noise.

I think God is faithfully speaking, and we are not listening. We are not Samuels, quiet and ready: "What is it? Did you call? Speak, for your servant is listening." And another thing: I think that the Enemy knows this. He effectively adds more noise, because the more noise there is, the less we can hear God speak. Think TVs, radios, CD players, the phone, IPods, etc. Where is the quiet?

After that day, I began turning off the radio when I drove. Not long after that, I stopped watching TV. I purposed to be quieter, to spend more time listening, in case He wanted to say something. And do you know what? He did. He had things to say to me. He was faithful to speak as I listened.

Jim Cymbala, (pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle for over 25 years), writes:

The divine message that Isaiah spoke thousands of years ago applies at all times to all people: "Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live." (Isaiah 55:2-3)... God is a speaking, communicating God, but someone has to be listening on the other end.

Jesus wrote letters to seven different churches in the book of Revelation. The spiritual condition of each assembly was different, and therefore Christ's words were never the same as he addressed their unique situations. But it is noteworthy that he used the same phrase to close all seven letters: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2-3)

The Holy Spirit still speaks vital messages to God's people today, but we must have tender, attentive hearts to hear what he is saying.

When was the last time you and I could say that we heard from God? ...God is still pleading in countless ways, "Hear me, that your soul may live" (Isaiah 55:3) Don't all of us need to slow down and get quiet before him?

I did. I still do. I had a wonderful season of quiet. But the noise is creeping back into my life.

I am weary, and I turn on the television. I flip on the radio in the mornings as I clean the kitchen. I get into the van and on goes the radio. And once again, I know He's saying, "Turn it off, Stacy." So again I purpose to be more attentive. To be intentional. I want to be like Samuel, quiet and ready: "Speak, for your servant is listening."

(excerpt taken from The Life God Blesses, copyright 2001)

Three things

Last week I had a difficult day with the kids. It was so evident to me that each of them were falling into the sins they are each prone to. I am very familiar with them, those sin patterns.

For one child, it's whining, inattentiveness, and a slothfulness-- especially when it comes to obeying right away. For another, it's tattling, and a sly way of stirring up trouble with his/her siblings. As well as a tendency to argue and give excuses. For the other, it's a bad attitude. A very strong temper. Anger.

As I journaled about these things, a few things struck me:

One. The fact that these things have flared up in them in such a way that they did last week reveals a lack of diligence on my part. (Don't you hate that? I mean, yes-- I can attribute it to their fallen nature. But it also points glaringly to my lack in reining them in.)

Two. As the mama of my children, I know them. I see their strengths and their failings very clearly. And I believe this window God has given me into their lives comes with a great responsibility. A responsibility to be faithful in prayer for these areas.

Three. And the most obvious, of course: I have the same problem. I, too, continually fall into the same patterns of sin. James 1:14 says, "..each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed." I have my own areas: my pride, anger, impatience, unforgiveness, and my tongue, to name just a few off the top of my head.

I need You, God. Will you strengthen me to be diligent with them? Give me wisdom from your vast supply. Equip me so that I may parent them as You desire me to. Fill me with Your tender, gracious spirit for my children. May I be poured out for them. May I die to myself and allow You to reveal Yourself through me to these You have entrusted to me. And, Lord? Remind me to pray for them; for these areas of sin in their lives. Even a quick prayer, at the time of correction, with them in my lap. Transform me into Your image. Continue to shape me and change me. I want to please You, God. I want my days here with these little ones to bring You glory and honor. May it be so. In Jesus' name, Amen.


The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

~Luke 10: 17-20

I am ashamed to say it, but as I reflected on these verses this past week, I realized that I take this precious truth for granted.

Jesus tells us to rejoice that our names are written in heaven. How often am I joyful over that fact? The Greek word for rejoice is chairo, and it means: "to rejoice exceedingly". (Which begs the question: When was the last time I rejoiced exceedingly over anything?) But this. How often am I celebrating His lavish gift of salvation with exceeding joy? Not often enough.

I've asked God to imprint this truth afresh upon my heart. May I delight in His gift of salvation. J O Y ! My name, Stacy. Written in the book of Life! God has reserved a spot in heaven for me. He has rescued me from death. He has invited me to be with Him-- for eternity. My life here on earth is but a breath; it is that short. But heaven? An eternity.

A refrain has been in my heart these past few days. And a number of times I've just had to burst out in song. It's the beginning of the chorus from a song by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. (I wish you could hear it with me, because these few words don't quite do this exuberant song justice.) Nonetheless, here they are:

Hallelujah! I am saved!


Still more from my list:

praying with my mom
my crockpot
sweet forgiveness from my children when I've had to apologize
storytime before naps each day
little legs that have kicked off the covers in sleep
velcro shoes for little feet
the individual personalites of each of my children
rearranged furniture
heavy eyelids that urge me to put the book down and sleep
Isaac's bold displays of love
his grateful heart
Ella's early-morning self: groggy, quiet
how they run and greet daddy at the door
Isaias on his tiptoes to peek out the window
how Isaias tucks his hands between us with I'm holding him
how Isaac gets his colors mixed up
the sound of his feet padding up the stairs in the early morning hours
that Isaias calls, "daddyyyy" now in the mornings
Ella positioning all the nativity figurines-- at home and at my mom's-- to look at the baby Jesus
lunches around the table with Amy and her kids
how Isaias says "mama" when he wants to show me something
Ella learning to write words
coconut macaroons
that Mark takes over when I can't balance the checkbook
Ella affirming her brothers
framed 8x10's of my smiling children
earnest prayers for a baby in mommy's tummy
Mark's TLC when I'm sick
Mark, like a little boy, intent upon some baseball cards
or legos
or puzzles
knowing You
and trusting You
great-grandpa Jake
Mark unloading the van after Costco trips
and loading the fridge and cupboards for me
doing something to make the kids giggle
banners and signs made for big events
the sound of raindrops hitting my face
the feel of them
Migee and Donto, Isaac's imaginary friends
Your law, Lord

I'm wrapping up this list. I've got about 40 more to go to get to 1000. Early on, I wondered if I'd ever be able to come up with an entire 1000! But it really hasn't been difficult at all. It's just a matter of taking the time to stop and consider. There are so many.

Why in the world?

Does this kind of conversation happen at anyone else's house?

My daughter: Mommy, I have to go potty!!!
Me: Okay, honey. Go.
Daughter, now hopping in place: But I have to go reallllllly baaaad!!!!
Me: Okay, then. Go. Go right now.
Daughter, now sitting. On the floor: But I have to goooo!
Me: I know you have to go. So go, honey.
Daughter: But I have to go really, really bad.
Me, completely exasperated: Ella, I know you have to go potty. You're five. You're a big girl. You don't need mommy's help (she doesn't). So, you'd better get in there before you have an accident. Go.

And finally she heads to the bathroom.


This seriously baffles me. And it happens regularly. It's like she has to give me this three-minute-long frantic announcement every time she has to go potty.

Holding my youngest

My youngest son came running to me for comfort today after he'd been hurt.

As I knelt on the floor beside him to give him a hug, it struck me:

It wasn't always this way.

When Isaias first came home to us from Guatemala, he was nine months old.

I would hold him in my arms, on my hip, and-- his response? He leaned away from me. He arched his back and turned away, wanting to be out of my arms. I wondered at the time if he responded this way because he wanted to get down and play, or if I could attribute this to a lack of bonding between us.

When he was sad, I drew him into my arms so that I could reassure him. He struggled to get free.

When he got hurt, I gathered him into my arms to comfort him. He fought it; he wanted down.

When I put him to bed at night, I followed the same routine I had with my other two. I held him, facing me, my hand behind his head, his head resting on my shoulder. And I rocked him. I sang to him or prayed for him. He screamed. And he fought me. He pulled his head back, flailed his arms, trying to turn away from me.

You can imagine how difficult this was. What should I do-- force him? Somehow that didn't seem right, but then, what was the alternative? Let him go without this affection from his mama? Or did I just need to give him time? Many weighed in on the "give him time" side. Mark and I agonized over this. And we prayed for wisdom. We finally decided that we had to train him to receive affection from us. We chose to gently but firmly persist.

From then on, when I held him in my arms and he wriggled to get free, I kept him there, holding him. It was at my will- not his- that he was able to get down. When he was hurt or sad, I held him for comfort. Oh, it wasn't comforting to him at first-- he wanted no part in it. But I persisted. And at bedtime-- oh, bedtime was the hardest-- I held him against me and he screamed as I sang softly, crying as I sang. And I prayed earnestly that God would soften his heart towards me; that he would be able to rest in my arms, not struggle against them.

There were a few evenings, in frustration and tears, that I did not persist. I felt weary of trying. There were times I let him have his way. I began our bedtime routine, he began screaming, and I gave in. I laid him down and promptly walked out of the room, feeling rejected, hurt or angry. There were times I told Mark, "I can't do this." And I would pass him off to Mark to put down for the night. And then Mark would come to me, hold me in my hurt, and remind me: He just doesn't know, Stacy. He's learning. Be patient with him.

I honestly forget how long it took. But I do remember the first time I rocked him before bedtime and he didn't scream as I sang to him. He still pulled away, but he didn't scream. I came out of his room, jublilant, and told Mark all about it.

And then another night, not long after that one, I held his head against my shoulder as I rocked him. But I carefully removed my hand from the back of his head and he kept his head there on my shoulder. He picked his head up after a moment and I waited, frozen, to see what he would do. And then he laid it back upon my shoulder, content to rest there without my hand directing him.

Today when he came running in to be comforted by his mama, I remembered all that ache in my heart so many months ago as I tried to hold him and he did not want me to. And I realized that God answered those earnest prayers of ours-- for wisdom and for bonding.

Now Isaias reaches for me, constantly. When he is hurt, he turns to either Mark or myself, whoever is nearest. When he is sad, he wants to be held. When I am cooking dinner, he is standing nofurther than two feet away from me, watching intently, periodically reaching up to be held. When I leave the room, he follows me. When I mention bedtime, he comes to me. He lays his head on my shoulder many, many times a day. When I hold him, he snuggles with me. Oh, just for a minute. Then he really does want to go play. He wraps his little brown arms around my neck tightly and he kisses me, hard, on the mouth. Each time I sit cross-legged on the floor, he comes and turns around to sit in my lap. When I read books, he climbs up onto my lap.

God is *so* good. I am thankful today, for this.

One more thing I thought of today: I think we do this with our Father sometimes, too. He wants to teach us something. He is loving and gentle but firm. And don't we resist sometimes? We pull away, not wanting to learn that particular lesson. We fight Him, thinking that we know best. We complain and grumble about our circumstances. We want to retain control. But He lovingly persists. He does not walk away from our stubborness. He does not grow weary with us, and He is slow to anger. And He knows what we do not know as we fight Him: that we need it; this lesson. Just like little Isaias needed that loving affection from me.

A man I know

Let me tell you a little about a man that I know.

He is first a lover of God. And he loves God's word.

He is a wonderful husband. He is attentive, tender, supportive, patient, encouraging, complimentary, romantic, faithful and pure. He is always willing to step in and give his weary wife some rest. He tells his wife she is beautiful-- many times a day. He's the best listener. He writes cards and leaves notes in the shower. He is selfless. He is tall, lean and handsome. He makes me laugh, and he holds me when I cry. He is my best friend. Yes, this is my husband.

He is crazy about his children. If you were to frequent our home on any given night, you would find him lying on the floor, wrestling with our boys. Or on all fours, chasing our children around the house. Or sitting beside our daughter, playing dollhouse. Or on the couch reading stories. Or playing the seventeenth game of hide-and-seek. Or with music spilling from the stereo, a child in his arms, dancing happily around our living room. Or he's making badger masks for the kids (because we were learning about badgers). Or, after expressed interest in dalmatians, he painted little faces, hands, and feet with white paint, and added black spots. And then he took pictures. When bedtime rolls around, he gathers our children around him for a Bible story. But he doesn't just read the story. If you peeked into the room, you would spy some earnest little actors. Daddy is the director and sometimes-actor, and our children get to act out the Bible stories. If a child calls out, fearful, in the middle of the night, it is his name that is called: "Daddy!" And he goes at once; reassuring and secure. He prays, sometimes sings, and the child is tucked back into bed.

He is one who loves others more than himself. He is continually looking for ways to serve others, and he serves without desire for recognition. He gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. He does not keep a record of wrongs. He is absolutely trustworthy. You can count on him for an honest answer, always. He has a great sense of humor. He is thoughtful and kind. He is generous. He is compassionate. He feels deeply, and is not afraid to let a tear slip down his face. He is full of integrity. He is one who others listen to. They trust his counsel and his opinions. I am so proud of him.

He is a good man, this man. And he is mine. Oh, I realize that Mark is His, but He has seen fit to give him to me for these years. And I am so thankful for my beloved husband. For this father of my children. For this godly man God has blessed me so richly with.

Happy Birthday, honey. I love you.

My new favorite blog

I must tell all of you, dear readers, about a blog you simply must frequent. Elise over at A Path Made Straight (formerly Joy In the Morning) writes beautifully. Here's something from her archives that I read this morning.

Go, already. Scoot.

Click on the link above. And read. You will be encouraged.

But then come back to read the rest of this.

See? Doesn't she write lovely things? That post so encouraged my heart this morning.

Elise also has Children's Book Mondays, where she reviews a book. She writes a great review, and the books she has recommended that we've checked out from our library are excellent. Who doesn't like a good book recommendation for your children?

So, add A Path Made Straight to your Bloglines list or your favorites page. You'll be glad you did.

Another snowy morning

The temperature around here has been in the teens. Far too cold for my liking. It snowed last week and since then it's just been this solid mass of ice. So this morning when it warmed up enough to snow, I was thrilled. And of course all morning chores were laid aside so that we could go out and play. Usually I drag my feet a bit on going outside in the snow. It generally takes me about 30 minutes to bundle everyone up for all of about five minutes-- when they insist on going back inside because they're too cold. But we've been so cooped up and the snow looked so appealing. And they seemed pretty earnest about going out. So... out we went. And they lasted an hour and a half! :)

Here's the snow mama and baby we made...

And this is what my youngest did for 90% of his time outdoors. I am not even exaggerating.

And no, he did not fall down.

He's just eating snow.

On another note, I won't be posting for the rest of the week because my dear friend Michelle and her youngest son Micah are coming (from Indiana!!!) to visit! WOO HOO!!! We can't wait. I met Michelle during our adoption process, and am so grateful that God saw fit to bring this sweet friend into my life! :)

Honey-baked chicken update

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Honey-Baked Chicken, one of our family favorites. I've made it for years according to that previously-posted recipe, but recently I've started making it differently.

Instead of baking the chicken, I now use my crockpot. And it's so much better this way!

Honey Chicken
Place 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your crockpot.
Add 1-2 cups of water, not quite covering chicken.
Sprinkle with salt and a bit of pepper.
Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
Drain water.
Remove chicken and cut into pieces.
Place cubed chicken back into the crockpot.

Combine and pour over cubed chicken:
2/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
2/3 cup honey
4 T prepared mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder

Turn crockpot to LOW, and cook for 1 additional hour.

Serve chicken and sauce over white rice.

Mmmm. It is so good. The chicken is so moist and the sauce is truly delicious. Try it. You will LOVE it. Really.

Question at the door

Yesterday morning. We're inside, gathered near our front door, getting ready to meet the snow on our way to the van.

Boots? Check.
Coats? Check.
Mittens? Check.
Scarves? Check.
Diaper bag? Check.
Milk cups? Check.
Purse? Check.
Keys? Check.

I think we're ready. I open the door.

Ella asks, "Mommy, are there still people who want to kill people who have black skin?"


It took me just a moment to determine where this was coming from. A hand-me-down book about the Underground Railroad in the 1800's. My daughter perused this, some months ago, and asked questions about the pictures. We talked briefly about slavery-- how there were people who did not know Jesus who did not love black people and hurt them because of the color of their skin.

I answered with a question, "Why are you asking, honey?" But I knew.

"Because Isaias (her little brother) has black skin."

Oh, my sweet girl.

There is so much I want to shield my children from. It would be so much easier just to say, "No, honey. There's no one like that." But sadly, there is. It is times like these that I think about this world we are raising our children in: the evil, darkness, hatred, false pictures of love and beauty, greed, love of self. It's enough to grip my heart with fear. I just want to protect her eyes and ears and heart from all of these things. But the fear that comes in then just as quickly goes away. Because I know this:

When I am afraid, I will trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?

~Psalm 56:3-4

And this:

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song.

~Isaiah 12:2

And this:

God has said,
"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

~Hebrews 13:5-6

So I said, "Yes, honey. There are still people like that. We don't know any of those people, but there are people like that. They don't know Jesus yet. But honey, you don't need to be afraid for Isaias because his skin is dark. God is always with us. And he is stronger and bigger and smarter than any man could ever hope to be. You don't need to worry."

And we don't. Need to worry. We do not need to fear evil, because he is with us. Oh, I am thankful. Thank you, God, for the truth of Your word. Thank you that You are light in this dark world. Thank you that we can rest under Your mighty hand.

Isn't it a good place to be?


It's snowing here again today. This kind of day always makes me want to curl up under my cozy down comforter with a cup of hot tea and a good book. Mmmm...

I've decided to keep track of all the books I read in 2007. Here's what's happening so far in the reading department:

Just finished: Forgiven ~Karen Kingsbury

Christian fiction. Quick read. Kingsbury is no Francine Rivers (who is a favorite Christian fiction author of mine), but... still good.

Now reading: House Divided ~Ben Ames Williams

This is a 1500-page novel about the Civil War, copyright 1947. I am about 1100 pages into it, and it's very good. There was just one section of the book that was tedious-- I got a little bogged down in all the details of a particular battle, so I did do a bit of skimming, but it was only about 100 pages. Other than that one section (which would be my husband's favorite part of the book), I am really enjoying this book. Great character development.

Next up: Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology ~Eric Brende

I can't wait to read this one. MIT grad Eric Brende and his wife move to a community for eighteen months and do without a car, stove, refrigerator and running water. And he writes all about it here.

What are you reading?

A new site: The Sacred Everyday

Two gifted writers.

Ann, who writes at The Holy Experience of Listening


Tonia, who previously wrote at Intent, and now writes at little old house on the hill in the woods

...are joining to write at a new site called the sacred everyday. I've been eagerly anticipating the unveiling of this new blog, and it's now up!

I will be peeking in there frequently. I encourage you to read there, too.

Quilting: A first

Remember my first sewing project? This was my second.

I used a pattern from this book (which I checked out from the library):

And using this fabric:

Ended up with this:

Let's just say that I have GREAT admiration for all quilters, everywhere. I actually really enjoyed the process-- especially choosing the fabric and seeing it all come together. But for a perfectionist like me, it was difficult to have it turn out, well... imperfect. BUT I learned a lot and I kept telling myself: "It's a blanket for a doll." And my daughter loves it.

Next time I would like to make a twin-sized quilt for a child's bed, so if anyone has any suggestions, I welcome them.

Amy's baby news

Can you tell?... Boy or girl? What do you think?

That's one happy mama and her baby...


Ava was born on January 4th and is healthy and beautiful, as you can see! She was 7 lbs, 5 oz. So far she's nursing like a champ and everyone is delighted to have a sweet little girl around! :)

I know Amy reads this blog (or will, when she has a spare moment!) so if you want to leave a Congratulations comment, that'd be fun! :)

The new year in a nutshell

So, my weight loss program for the new year has been really successful. I have lost 6 lbs and I haven't even had to count calories. Or exercise. Or anything of the sort. How, you ask? I've had the stomach flu. I know.... Ew.

Thankfully, I'm feeling better every day and no one else in the house has come down with it. Whew. There is much I've been thankful for this past week, actually-- depsite this flu bug. Like the get well cards (yes, plural) I get from my daughter every day, many times a day. Like this one:
For those of you who don't know, I HWP WU FY BDR MOMMY can be read: I hope you feel better mommy. And for anyone who's wondering, Ella is there on the left, Isaac is next to her, and the one in pink? That would be me, lying in bed, holding onto a saltine cracker, with the bag of saltines beside me. But then she remembered that she'd wanted that arm to be reaching for my glass, so first arm was crossed out and new arm (light blue, reaching way, way up) is now extending to reach my glass of water. My arms aren't quite that long.

And aside from the sweet cards, my husband brought our children in a couple times a day to gather on the bed, lay their hands on me, and pray. Each time Isaac earnestly prayed, "Please make mommy all better." And then he'd promptly open his eyes and exclaim, "Now you're all better, because I prayed!"

One afternoon Mark took the kids for a walk to the library. They came back with with books AND a bouquet of flowers. Mark let each of them choose a flower for mommy. And Ella wrote the card to go along with the flowers: MOMMY I LVE YOU .

And Mark brought me saltines, water, 7-UP, and Pepto Bismal at regular intervals (I actually like the taste of Pepto Bismal, believe it or not). And this wonderful man of mine took care of the kids, cleaned the house, did laundry, and everything else for days on end.

And my mom brought dinner two nights in a row. And then my sweet friend Diana the next night, and then Stephanie the following night.

So, really. Much to be thankful for. Oh. AND Amy had her baby. Announcement to follow. (I just want to ask her if it's okay, first. I'd hate to post it here and find out they hadn't yet gotten around to telling just everyone yet.)

Blessings to you all for a happy (and healthy!) new year!

An interview with Amy!

For those of you who have been reading Reforming Motherhood for any length of time, you'll know that until recently, my dear friend Amy blogged here with me. Don't we miss her? (I assure you, I ask her frequently if she'd like to start blogging again, and her answer is always a firm NO. :() Some of you have asked about her in comments or emails, so I thought I'd conduct a little "interview" of sorts with her so that you can be updated on what she's up to.


Hey Amy! Thank you for joining us. First and foremost, (because I know everyone wants to know) how are you and that baby? Give us as many details as you can about this pregnancy and your precious little one.

Hi guys! Long time no write. I don't usually do interviews with anyone less famous than Oprah, but since it is my dearest friend Stacy who asked I am happy to oblige (for a small fee). I am happy to do it as I am a regular lurker on all your blogs but (I must confess) do not comment that often.

I am so happy to report that the baby in my womb and I are doing well. I love to feel the strong kicks and am so thankful that everything is and has gone as well as it did with my three boys. I am scheduled to be induced THIS WEEK! We do not know if it is a boy or a girl. (I am dying to know of course and can’t wait until I find out!)

I have contractions all the time and the baby is really low (it feels like the baby is between my knees) but I am not worried as this is how it went with my last baby. It just means (for me) that when things do happen they happen really fast and pretty easy. Nice, huh?

That is pretty much all there is to report on that… you know how it is at the end of pregnancy. I have a million little complaints and it is hard to be patient, but as God so clearly points out in His word, we do not know when labor will happen! And in the meantime, I get to thoroughly enjoy sleeping through the night!

Thanks! I am SO with you on the "dying to know" part. :)

Now, will you tell us how your first year of homeschooling is going? What curriculum are you doing, and what has your favorite subject/resource been?

With our oldest, (who just turned 6 at the end of October), we are doing a mosaic of things and I am really happy with our choices. We seem to have found the things that work best for Aidan. As far as what level, he is doing a mixture of Kindergarten and First grade work.

For history and read-alouds, we are using Sonlight, and I am happy with the books and schedule.

For our readers and phonics we use the Phonics Museum from Veritas Press. At first, I was not super happy with it, but I've learned to just pick and choose what I think he needs to do instead of trying to do what the teachers book says. Since I've made that change I'm really happy with it. The readers have really captured his attention in a way that other books (like Dick and Jane, for example) would not have.

For math, we are using Math-U-See and I love it! Aidan loves it but I really love it. I cannot believe that I did not learn math this way! It has taught me so much already and I am so thankful to have found this program!

Our church has an awesome catechism/Sunday school program, so I haven't added a Bible curriculum as I feel the lessons and memory work are enough for right now. We just daily work on Bible memory and catechism. In addition to going over it at breakfast I have him write out his verses to practice his handwriting. I am happy with this.

I guess I can’t say what my favorite is because I am happy with it all for right now! (Is it because we are only on week 16? :))

Give us a peek into a day of school with Aidan. What is your schedule? And what are the younger boys doing while you're schooling Aidan?

I have been amazed at how intuitive homeschooling has been. Maybe it won’t be when we are doing more and at higher levels, but I thought that once I "really" started school I would be constantly checking lists and schedules and working hard weekly at charts etc. Instead, we go about our week plugging away at each subject and at the end of each week I am pleased with what we have accomplished.

And of course much of what we do is ripped off from you wonderful homeschooling moms who are so gracious as to blog about your homeschooling life. I wonder if part of our ease is because I have been reading and observing how other families do it for the last six years!

Our schedule goes like this: At breakfast we go over our memory work. If it seems the boys are rowdy I have them do their chores. If they seem calm and happy to stay at the table, I have Aidan write out his scripture verse (only a part of it at a time) and I give Luke (4) a worksheet. Ethan (my VERY BUSY 20-month old) gets to color or have a snack or a toy (hopefully still in his highchair). This does not last very long, but long enough so that at the end of the week Aidan has written all of his verse. That is my simple goal for him in this area right now.

After I have cleaned up the kitchen and started laundry or whatever I needed to do, we all go upstairs for our school time. We begin with Ethan's "school", and we all do it together. We sit on a mat and sing a song we learned at the library and then do an action rhyme or song (like Going On a Bear Hunt or something).

For Luke, we read his "school" book from Picture Book Preschool. We are only doing this because he really wants to "do school" when his big brother does. I am amazed, though, at how much he is learning by simply being around while we do school with Aidan. While we're doing Luke's school, Ethan either stays with us for the book (if he is doing well) or goes into his room with a gate (if he his not).

Finally, we do Aidan’s school. Aidan gets distracted really easily so we all separate for this. Ethan is in his room with toys; Luke does either an activity in a bag or some other "station." This is when Aidan reads out loud to me. He reads six pages a day and we try to do it every day. At first, I was trying to do the whole book and he hated it (and I hated nagging him to be diligent), so I reduced it to ten pages. One day, my husband did school with the boys while I was at the doctor and he thought I only did five pages and it went really smoothly for them. Mike told me five was enough and so we made the change. Aidan was no longer grumbling about it! He immediately began to enjoy this part of our day. Then when he turned six, he informed me we should change it to six pages. (I will not be surprised on the day he announces he wants to do the whole book again!)

After Aidan's school time, the boys go outside or around the house for some active play.

Before lunch (if it works time-wise) we do the table work (if we had not done it after breakfast) or we do math or reading comprehension. Luke and Ethan either do worksheets for fun or play dough or something.

Right before "naptime", I read from Aidan’s read-aloud and/or from his history.

After naps Aidan and I do math together if we had not done it earlier in the day.

Any additional thoughts before you go?

I am really thankful that actually "doing" this homeschool thing and not just reading about it has only strengthened my resolve that it is the right thing. No one else would or could pay this much attention to what works for my sons and what is best for them. In the end the younger ones get a better deal, too. Most of the time when I am "doing school" with these sweet boys it is with their arms around my shoulder or mine around them. And that's exactly how I want their childhoods to be.

Amy, thank you so much for taking the time to "stop by". I know our readers will love hearing about you and your full days! :)

I love you, my dear friend.