Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homeschooling with a Newborn

A week ago, our family welcomed our newest little blessing into the world–baby Eliora Grace.
I hope to write a full birth story in the near future, but for now, you can read her birth announcement here:
Here she is again, with big sister Acacia, who prayed her into existence:
“I prayed for a baby sister, and God answered my prayers!” ~Acacia
As we have prepared for the arrival of baby #4, some folks have wondered aloud (or, under their breath) as to how I would manage homeschooling with a tiny one in the house.
It’s a good question, the answer to which can be summarized in two points:careful planning, and realistic expectations.
Friday, November 26, 2010

Disciple Like Jesus--We Have a Winner!!!

I know I've kept you all waiting, but little Eliora Grace has been keeping me pretty busy!

The winner of the Disciple Like Jesus book giveaway is...

Stephanie!!! (Comment #28) Congratulations!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

For those who didn't win, you can visit Amazon.com or Christianbook.com to get your own copy.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

By His Grace,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's a Girl!!!

Dear Friends,

Thank-you so much for your prayers!  Our latest blessing has arrived!

Eliora Grace

born November 21, 2010, 10:57am

6lbs, 3oz, 18.5 inches long

Another successful HBAC, Eliora was actually born at (get this) my midwife's

house! I hope to be able to write the whole story eventually, but in short,
my midwife had two women laboring at the same time (I, one week late, the
other mom, 3 weeks early!), and it looked as though we would give birth
within a couple hours of each other. After weighing our options, we (all)
decided that the better course of wisdom would be for us both to come to

It wasn't my ideal situation (I threw a genuine temper tantrum when Chris
said, "Let's get in the car and go."), but it all turned out really well.
Eliora was born 3 hours after this other mama's baby, and there is no way my
midwife would have made it to both of us in time! God is so good! We are
both healthy and doing well. She is my tiniest baby yet, and she came the
"earliest" too--only 8 days after her ultrasound due date, as opposed to 10,
11, and 12 days "late" for my other three.

Oh, and for the baby name fanatics out there...

"Eliora" (pronounced el-ee-OR-a) is a Hebrew name meaning
"The LORD is my light". 
We gave her the middle name "Grace" to finish the verse, 
"...and my salvation." Psalm 27:1

Again, thank-you so much for your prayers! I am feeling sooo blessed!

By His Grace,


UPDATE: You can read Eliora's birth story here: http://godmadehomegrown.blogspot.com/2010/12/eliora-graces-birth-story.html
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disciple Like Jesus--Review and Giveaway!!


In many evangelical circles, "discipleship" is a buzz word, and it can mean many things to different people.

Most American Christians think of discipleship in terms of programs:

Mens ministries, womens ministries, youth ministries, seniors ministries, couples ministries, singles ministries, and on, and on, and on...

However, as we face the grim reality that almost 90% of our young people walk away from their faith by the time they reach college age, we must ask ourselves,

"What are we doing, and why is it not working???"

If we examine the life of Jesus, we see clearly that for Him, discipleship was never about programs. It was a lifestyle--one that He lived day in and day out, pouring His entire life into His small group of followers for a brief but intensive three year period. (Yes, we get our children for a bit longer than that...and it's a good thing we do, seeing as we are not God Incarnate.)

WWJD--"What would Jesus Do?"--was a popular question in recent history. When it comes to discipling our children, though, a better question would be,

"What did Jesus do???"

Disciple Like Jesus by Alan Melton and Paul Dean does a fantastic job of answering this question.

The authors begin by outlining two training approaches--Jesus's training approach and The World's Training approach:

Two Training Approaches 

Jesus' Training ApproachWorld's Training Approach 
Follow Me only, a trustworthy TeacherFollow many teachers of questionable values 
With disciples all dayWith disciples in spare time  
Constantly teach bible, demonstrate how to live, glorify God (80+ hours)Constantly teach non-biblical information, (bible less than 5 hours) 
Send out adult disciples in twosSend out child disciples alone 

Priorities and Results: Two Approaches  
Jesus' Training ApproachWorld's Training Approach
Goal- Make disciples: followers of ChristGoal- Well educated adult, respected job, affluence, popularity
Goal- A few deep relationshipsGoal- Many superficial relationships
Results- Lasting eternal impactResults- Temporary self gratification
Results- 92% stay in churchResults- 6% to 25% stay in church

Then, in page after page of biblical insight, timely example, and practical application, they show you how to make changes and set priorities that will make Christlike discipleship a reality in your home and family!

I have to say that it has been a long time since I have been so deeply moved and challenged by a book. I was reminded that being home with my children and homeschooling them, while certainly good things, do not guarantee that I will disciple like Jesus. I can be in the same house as my children and still not be spending enough time with them. I can teach them the Word of God without them seeing the love of God in my life. I can educate them without discipling them.

The best part was that it didn't leave me in a state of guilt and anxiety (two pits that I am so apt to fall into). Instead, I left empowered and inspired. Each chapter gave me things that I can do practically--today!--to bring the discipleship of my children more into accordance with the example Jesus set forth for us in Scripture.

Perhaps you're not a homeschooling parent. Maybe your kids are in public school. Maybe you're a single parent, or a grandparent. Maybe you're married to an unbelieving spouse and aren't sure how this would work in your family. Maybe you are the parent of a rebellious teenager and are wondering if it's too late to make a difference. No matter where you are in your life or your walk with God, this book can help you!

I would also like to say something to pastors, teachers, and other church leaders. If you are concerned that the parents in your congregation "don't know what to do" or "won't do the job" when it comes to discipling their own children, this would be a fantastic resource to get into the hands of as many parents as possible.

On that note, I would like to announce my very first giveaway here on God Made, Home Grown!

The authors of Disciple Like Jesus have graciously agreed to give one free copy to a reader of this blog!

To enter, please leave a comment below letting me know what you think you'd like most about the book. (Visit www.disciplelikejesus.com to learn more).

For additional entries, you may do any and all of the following:

  1. Blog about this giveaway. (2 entries, leave two comments)
  2. Share a link to this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. (1 entry each)
  3. Subscribe to God Made, Home Grown via email. 
  4. "Like" Disciple Like Jesus on Facebook or follow on Twitter. (1 entry each)
  5. Post the Disciple Like Jesus button on your blog. (find it here.)
  6. Follow me on Twitter, Google, or Networked Blogs (1 entry each)
For each additional entry, you must leave an additional, separate comment telling what you did, and posting a link if applicable.

The deadline for entering is Saturday, November 20th, at midnight (central time).

By His Grace,


**The fine print. This is not a paid post, and the view expressed here are my own, honest opinions. Thank-you to the authors of Disciple Like Jesus for providing the two copies of the book for review and giveaway.**

Monday, November 15, 2010

Around the World with a Missionary

Last Christmas, my oldest son (currently 6 years old) received a globe from his grandfather. Taking its place in the middle of the dining room table, it has facilitated some great discussions about this world in which we live.
He was, and continues to be, so enchanted with it, that we take every opportunity to incorporate it into our homeschool lessons. You can read about some of the ways we have done this here.
Most people don’t think much about geography when planning lessons for preschoolers and kindergarteners. If our kids know their own address and can tell the difference between a five minute trip to the grocery store and a five hour trip to grandma’s house, that should do until they get a little older.
On the other hand, there is something to be said for opening a little child’s eyes to a world so much bigger than their own corner of it–a world filled with oceans, mountains, valleys, deserts, and people. People created in the image of God. People who are very different from us in many ways, yet the same in many ways.
People who desperately need to hear the gospel.
And so, we teach them about missionaries.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thanksgiving and the Self-Centered Preschooler

t’s that time of year again…
No sooner do the grocery stores and shopping malls take down their Halloween decorations, then they replace them with Christmas lights and holiday advertisements.
And, of course, the catalogs start coming in the mail. Mind you, I have, overall, done a pretty good job of getting our address off of these mailing lists, but still, a few sneak in here and there.
Maybe I’m prematurely aging, but I find the commercialization of Christmas more tiring year after year. Perhaps it is because it drowns out the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Perhaps it is because the retail media machine would like us to skip right over Thanksgiving and dive straight into “Black Friday”. These things have bothered me for years.
However, I think the reason my patience for holiday hype is waning at such a rapid pace is the fact that I have a house full of little ones who already have a hard enough time believing that they are not the center of the universe!
Last week, I wrote about a new thankfulness project that I am trying with my kids this year. We’re only a week into it, and it has certainly helped to change the tone in this household.
What about some other ideas, though? What are some things we can do as mothers and fathers of little ones who are in great need of recognizing how blessed they are?
Click here to
Monday, November 8, 2010

Nesting...and Trying Not to Panic

Baby #4's "due date" is a mere six days away.

Now, I have never gone into labor any earlier than a week-and-a-half past my due date. If I stay true to pattern, I'll be birthing this baby on Thanksgiving Day...

...However...I have suddenly been hit with the uneasy feeling that this baby may not come nearly as late as I expect...

...and I'm not ready.

I've recently been asked how I "do it all". I have to laugh because the answer is, "I don't". I have to make choices and set priorities just like everyone else does. Frankly, sometimes I do a lousy job of it. Time management is one of my biggest weaknesses.

Nevertheless, ready or not, here baby comes!

I take a great amount of peace in knowing that God is sovereign over my pregnancy, my labor, my birth, and my baby. He knows when baby will be ready to be born, and he will give me what I need to deal with what comes when it happens. I've blogged about this before. It is a truth that becomes more real and necessary to me as the calendar moves forward.

As I get ready for baby to come, my presence on this blog may be a bit more...well...erratic. My guess is that I'll be writing a lot over the next week or so, and then, I may suddenly disappear for a while. God has been teaching me so much lately, and I have so much that I want to say! On the other hand, I need to balance my work here with my responsibilities here at home, coupled with a healthy dose of rest before the "marathon". (I learned last time, after going into labor in the late afternoon of a busy day, that I should always leave some energy in reserve during these last weeks.)

Anyway, I'm still looking for a couple of guest contributors to this blog for during my "maternity leave". If you don't know how to contact me directly (I prefer not to put my email address directly into posts), just leave a comment and I will contact you. Topics may include Christ-centered homeschooling, child discipleship, and biblical womanhood.

Oh, and last but not least, "God Made, Home Grown" has been nominated in two categories in the HSBA 2010 Homeschool Blog Awards! I am pleasantly surprised and honored! Thank-you all for reading and for your nominations! Click on the link below to cast your vote!:

This blog has been nominated in the "Best Homeschool Mom" category and the "Best Encourager" category.

While you're at it, you can also cast a vote for On the Company Porch, the blog I contribute to on Monday afternoons, in the "Best Group/Family Blog" category. Thanks in advance!

Voting is going on right now, and ends on November 18th.

The only question now is, will I have a baby by then?

Stay tuned...
Friday, November 5, 2010

The Most Important Election of Your Child's Life

This week, our country made it to the end of yet another election cycle. Like numerous other home-educating moms, I took my children to the polls with me. I showed them the sample ballot, and explained to them how it was to be marked. In the days and weeks previous, we spent a lot of time talking about who Daddy and I would be voting for, and the values and principles guiding those choices. By the time I was handed my ballot, the children were pleased to be involved in what they were learning was a very important process.

It is always touching for me to see the smiles and friendly greetings my little ones receive from older folks when we go to vote. Perhaps this is because they know, even more than I do, that the choices we make in regards to who will govern us and how they will do so affect our children even more than they effect us. None of us can trust that our children will inherit a country that is as free and prosperous as we had growing up. We can, however, cast our ballots, praying for God's will to be done, and trust Him for the outcome.

It seems that, with every election, someone is saying that this is "the most important election of our lives"! And perhaps, at some time, they might be right.

However, there is a much more important election to consider. Would that people spent as much time contemplating it as they do politics!

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 1:10-11

The most important election in our children's lives has nothing to do with senate seats or gubernatorial candidates. It has everything to do with their eternal destiny, and it is a choice that God himself makes.

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide..."
John 15:16

Have my children put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from the punishment they deserve for their sins? Will they be in heaven with me when they die? I confess that this is the question most likely to keep me awake at night.

Some people may wonder why I, the unapologetic Calvinist that I am, trouble myself at all with this question. After all, if God made his choice "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4), what possible good does it do for me to pray and weep over this issue? Why am I so fanatical about my children's biblical literacy and understanding of the gospel? Why can't I do as the rest of the world does, and look at my children as little cherubs who will surely grow out of their bad behaviors, instead of seeing them as sinners in the hands of an angry God, whose hearts are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), who desperately need a Savior?

Why can't I just send them to Sunday School and trust that all will work out okay in the end? Why can't I just pray with them at mealtimes and bedtime and call that "good enough"? Those who have known me for a long time might say, "Tiana, you're sounding like a neurotic perfectionist again! This can't possibly be good for your mental health!".

Maybe not, but echoing the words of Martin Luther, my conscious is held captive by Scripture. I cannot ignore the convictions the Holy Spirit has pressed upon through His Word.

"And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

All day, every day. I am commanded to be teaching them the Word of God.

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'"
Matthew 28:18-20

Most of us, when we hear these words, think of foreign missions. We emphasize the phrase "all the world". Yet, the emphasis is really on the phrase "make disciples". I am to make disciples as I go, wherever I go. And starting with my own children only makes sense. They are my mission field!

Not only that, but I don't think we as parents think enough about what God's purposes for our children's lives might be. Most of us think a lot about college and career, but very little about calling. When Psalm 129:4 speaks of children being like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior, I picture sending my children out, grown up and mature in their faith, to be of great service to the LORD in His purposes on this earth.

"For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, 'Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?'

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."

Romans 10:13-17

Parents, you are your child's first and most influential preacher! Are they hearing the gospel in your home, consistently, clearly, daily? Do you think you can rest easy because your child has been made a profession of faith, "prayed a prayer", or been baptized? I don't know about you, but I can't. The stakes are just too high.

To just sit back and assume that, because God is sovereign, everything will be alright and I can do nothing, ignores the means that God has laid out in His Word by which people believe and are saved.

Friends, this weekend, let us take some time to think and reflect upon these things:
  • Are my priorities and schedule consistent with the goals I have for my kids?
  • What about God's goals and priorities? 
  • If I am to make the eternal salvation of my children a top priority, what changes might I have to make?
  • Do I need help? Who will help me?
Let us commit to praying for each other in this as well. Leave a comment and let us know how we can pray for you as you disciple your children.

By His Grace,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reformation and Thankfulness

We had a Reformation Day celebration at church yesterday evening, and it gave me a great idea for a craft project you can do with your kids.
What??? A craft idea from me? Ummm…not exactly.
This craft was literally handed to me by another experienced homeschooling mom; it’s just one more reason why you shouldn’t go it alone. If you surround yourself with other parents who are further along on this journey than you are, you are bound to get ideas that you never would have come up with on your own.
This craft will help you count the days between Reformation Day (October 31st) and Thanksgiving (this year, November 25th). It will add some continuity to the season–almost like an Advent calendar for Thanksgiving–and will help to brighten your home as the days get colder and darker.

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About Me

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

My Writing Elsewhere...

Fixing Your Heart on Titus 2

Did you pray for your
husband today?
Monday--His Work
Tuesday--His Integrity
Wednesday--His Mind
Thursday--His Purpose
Friday--His Health
Saturday--His Protection
Sunday--His Faith

Carnival of Homeschooling

Carnival of Homeschooling
Features God Made, Home Grown

Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival

2009 Nominee!

2010 Nominee!

My Wired Style

My Wired Style
Success is not learned. It is discovered and nurtured. What was your child born to do?

Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

Disciple Like Jesus

Disciple Like Jesus

Raising Homemakers

Raising Homemakers

Quiverfull Family

The Modest Mom


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