The family totals are in!  Collectively we have read over 40,000 pages of books.  This is quite amazing to me, as we essentially doubled our reading output from last year.  This was only possible through tremendous contributions from the children.

As a reminder we do not count partial readings, you must have completed the entire book to get credit for it.  This is the main reason why there are so few books under the "Family" heading because although we were well into many books, we just couldn't finish them.  Perhaps we'll wrap them up in early 2013 to give ourselves a head start.  We also do not count magazines or blog pages (sorry mom) but only books.

We currently have 5 readers in the family, but the numbers are increasing, Butter for instance just joined the readers club, so our totals should increase.  I have also decided to count audio books for littles because they want to be able to join in the family competition too.

The final results are as follows:

Belle: 15,185 pages

Belle doubled her output from last year, which staggers my mind.  This is her second year in a row winning.

Dad: 13,478 pages

We get double credit for bible reading, so that's where a lot of that came from.

Boy: 8,061 pages

Our son quadrupled his reading from last year.  I think he is just beginning to hit his stride, and his big sister better watch out.

Sis: 4,010 pages

Her first full year, in chapter books.  Staggering.  We allow the children to read along with an audiobook for credit.  Sis read in this style: Gulliver's Travels and Anne of Green Gables (over 700 pages combined!).

Mom: 3,158

Great job mom.  She spent half the year pregnant, the other half nursing, not to mention schooling the rest of the flock.  She did great.

Here is the full book list:


2013 Book PLAN

It has been said: With no vision, the people perish.  I had no plan for 2012, therefore I perished.  Lol.  I think I read 23 pages or something since we only get to count the pages of a book that was read cover to cover, and that just never happens for me.  Blog pages, no matter how awesome, simply don't count in my family contest.  Therefore, for 2012, I lose.  But, I have a plan for 2013.  Too bad, so does every one else...

Our 2013 year plan for reading is:

Dad- The Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol 1-3
The Millennium (Boettner)

Mom- Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol 1
Three Mrs. Judson's
Charity and it's Fruits
Biblical Trustee Family & Woman of the House

Belle- Feminine By Design
Eliza Lucas Pinckney
Loving the Little Years
The Family Daughter
Joyfully at Home
So Much More

Boy- Boyhood and Beyond
Practical Happiness
Life of David Farragut
A Peep Behind the Scenes
Who Saves?
Genesis (Rushdoony)

Little Suzy Stories
Flower of the Family
Little Pilgrim's Progress
Elsie Dinsmore book 1


First person to read all books :$50 book certificate, 2nd place: $30, 3rd place: $15

If I'm hiding in the bathroom, don't bother me, I'm reading!


No fluoride = No cavities

That's right, move over ADA... 

Based on my own research we decided we didn't think fluoride was a good idea. I know, I know. It was a crazy idea, especially since we had cavities every time we went I the dentist office. In fact, I had 16 fillings and gingivitis by the time my first son was born (yeah, I was 20) and my kiddos seemed to inherit my tooth genes. 

Despite such yuck mouth, I have always been a faithful dentist visitor. Everyone goes in every 6 months (almost). And every visit we had at least 2 cavities. Then we moved, and we purchased a Berkey and fluoride free toothpaste. When we transferred here we had to make new dental relationships. Our new dentist is a great guy, he has 8 children and a bajillion grandchildren, but was completely shocked that we don't use fluoride. I stated my case, but he said he'd have to see it to believe. (He thought I was a little crazy) So, we didn't go to the dentist for almost two years. I was ready for just about any prognosis, but he was shocked. That is right, all 9 of us, no cavities.

Do your research, check out what fluoride really is. Stop being a drone. We are each responsible for our own health! Don't trust the FDA, USDA, ADA, CDC- or any other alphabet soup- they DON'T have your best interest in mind. The government isn't your babysitter. The government isn't your Savior. ;-)

~just sayin


Piano Lessons with Baby

Biscuit is getting an early start to her musical education.  She obviously has seen how her siblings play...with gusto!  I think we sound amazing together.

Many blessings to you and yours this Christmas season.  May the Lord richly bless you in love and mercy.

~Mr. Pilot


Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Our tradition is to do a scavenger hunt for our Birthday celebrations, but Dad is the mastermind behind the riddles.  For his birthday, I hid his gifts in plain sight.

It was a total success!  When he went to get his morning reading, something was out of place...

Happy Birthday to a very special Father, Husband, and Man! We are so blessed to have you and we love you because:
  1. God gave you to us!
  2. You provide for us nourishing food, and a plentiful home.
  3. You take us special places, and do fun things with us.
  4. You send us postcards, gifts, and letters when you have to be away.
  5. You make us videos so we can feel your presence when away.
  6. You tuck us in every night that you are home.
  7. You make our family table important, and you make it a priority to share every meal with us.
  8. You cause us to grow in conversation, thinking on challenging ideas
  9. You make us laugh, sometimes even too much!
  10. You teach us the importance of hard work.
  11. You help us with our chores.
  12. You play games with us.
  13. You make us smile, even when we feel sad.
  14. You read to us, and by your example, help us foster a deep love for good books.
  15. You remind and challenge us to read.
  16. You foster a love of music in our home.
  17. You teach us, and practice music with us.
  18. You provide for us to take music lessons.
  19. You help us recognize and use our talents for God's glory.
  20. You provide for us the best education.
  21. You never stop learning.
  22. You cause us to never stop learning.
  23. You value marriage and you love our mom.
  24. You, by your constant example, show us the importance of reading God's word every day.
  25. You teach us about God's word.
  26. You help us understand God's word.
  27. You call for us to recognize our sin.
  28. You correct us and show us our need for Grace.
  29. You show us God's grace, and forgive us when we are wrong.
  30. You lead us in humility by admitting your faults and asking for forgiveness.
  31. You stand up for what is right, even when it isn't popular.
  32. You love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and with all your mind.
  33. You are you!


What is Christmas About?

Many people celebrate this season with no idea what it is even about.  For many people the last months of the year often come revealing greed, heaps of stress, grief and extraordinary amounts of debt.  Take some time today and remind yourself what Christmas is really about.

Be Blessed!


Scripture on Your Doorposts- Marriage

I know this is sort of a repost, but I'm sharing again anyway.

We believe marriage is important.  We believe God says marriage is important, it is the beautiful picture He painted of Christ and the Church.   Marriages fall apart all around us, and our own almost did not survive it's first year.  We are so thankful for God's grace and we want our children to see in many different ways that marriage is vital.  It is a covenant.

 So for our anniversary this year my husband surprised me with a beautifully framed gift of our marriage certificate, a picture of us, and this scripture:

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
(Malachi 2:15 ESV)

Doorposts is having a contest!

Scripture on Your Doorposts

I bet you are wondering what is with all the posts of pictures of my walls.
Doorposts has some of the best parenting helps, including the well used "Brother Offended Chart" that has adorned our wall in the last 5 homes (even the travel trailer) where we have lived.  I think any family would benefit from it, and any of their other resources.

They are having a contest based on the scripture in Deuteronomy:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

 So I am sharing with you all how we write the scriptures on our doorposts.  Thanks for looking!

It's Beginning to Feel a lot like Sickmas!

Er, I mean Christmas!

I absolutely love the holiday season.  October begins with several birthdays and carries right on through with Thanksgiving, more birthdays, Christmas, and then more birthdays until the end of January.  It is one celebration after another in our house full of warmth, feasting, and fun.

It is also full of fevers and coughs and long nights.  With this many coming in and out of our home, and  a pot luck or party every week, I suppose it's inevitable.  I am learning to roll with it.  I realized this year that as the Christmas decorations go up, one of us goes down.

I have a huge pot of homemade chicken stock on the back of the stove, plenty of garlic to go around, and vitamin C galore.  
Today we are going to throw out the schedule and cuddle on the couch while reading Christmas books. 

The littles need to nap and recuperate from the flu.  Mom just needs to nap.

What are your family traditions during the flu season?


Sayings of Old ~ Scripture on my Doorposts

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
                    (Psalm 78:1-7 ESV)

This is our Reformation Wall.  Although you can't see it from the picture, we have a framed timeline that is a "hall of fame" highlighting many important men God used to recapture the Word of God for his people.  The Reformation is one of the most important historical landmarks in the church's history, and we want to remind ourselves, as well as remind the children, the glorious deeds the Lord has done through ages past.

Mr. Pilot had this timeline framed recently, but it wasn't until this season that we put up the Bible shelves.  He wanted to make sure our family and our guests understand that the men in this picture,  some of whom are represented with books on display, built their foundation for a global revolution upon the Holy Bible.

We would like to remember these men, never forgetting the mighty things the Lord has done, to bring us to the times we enjoy today.  And also to give us hope, that we can build our lives on the same foundations as those who have gone before us.

"...on this Rock I will build my church, and Gates of Hell will not overcome it."
Matthew 16:18

Do you write scripture on your doorposts?  You can enter the Doorposts contest here.

Scripture on my Doorposts

In light of all our Thanksgiving preparations and study, I wanted to sing out my thanks to the Lord for all He has done.  But I wouldn't want you to have to cover your ears.

Instead, I convinced my husband to help me wrestle down this project idea and make it happen (at 1am Thanksgiving morning, which is the best time!  He thought so too.)


   Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting 
to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
             (Psalm 103 ESV)

Do you write scripture on your doorposts?  You can enter the Doorposts contest here.

Giving Thanks, Thanksgiving Everyday

I think we should celebrate Thanksgiving every day, all year long.  Perhaps not the feasting part, but the heart part.  We are surrounded by a culture of ingratitude and entitlement, and it can be easy to fall into the trap of discontentment.  This year my husband wanted a feast of remembrance.  So a feast we had!

We saw a rainbow out back, reminding us of God's promises.

Everyone had to pitch in to make this feast happen.

Our friends from Mississippi sent us this recipe.  It was always a hit at potlucks back there, and happened to fair just as well in Washington also.

The Thanksgiving Table

Hot Potato, Hot Potato

A place for everyone.

We were grateful to have many friends join us.

This is Butter's good friend that she insists on sitting with at church.  She's telling good stories too!

These boys have been friends since birth...

Here gleaning wisdom from friends.

Fellowship with friends around the table, is so special.

Belle and her friend.

Young Gentlemen

A lady-bug-bucket enjoying some...everything.

Though we are sad that we don't get to see our families very often, we are still thankful for the wonderful family God has blessed us with here in Oak Harbor.

Praying that the Lord blesses you also this wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season.


How do Babies Worship God?

If you are a little girl, and you can't sing the worship songs....

Then you do whatever you can to participate.


Special Deal, Plus Free Shipping!

This fancy up-do took me less than 30 seconds!  Isn't it way better than a pony tail?

~ Lilla Rose ~

Just stop by my website to shop for beautiful clips! Then shoot me an email or leave a comment on my blog and one lucky order will receive a FREE GIFT!

Plus, if you order in the next 3 days, there is free shipping!

(FREE SHIPPING offer is good on orders over $20.00 USD for 3 days from 12:01AM Thursday November 08th to 11:59PM Saturday November 10th 2012 Pacific Standard Time.)


School Supplies ~ Must Have Items

As you can imagine with seven children we need a never ending supply of socks, underwear, pencils and paper. And since my children truly prefer things like books, animal encyclopedias, puzzles, and maps, over toys and gadgets, school supplies are a big deal in our house.  You won't see my children more excited than when the UPS truck pulls up with our new school books and supplies for the quarter.  That is awesome.

If someone had told me when I was a young girl that as an adult I could take out stock on pencils, markers, and construction paper, I probably would have rolled my eyes or made some kind of snarky comment.

Fast forward and imagine that I just spent an hour researching reviews for a good pencil sharpener that would hold up to 643 sharpens per day 6 days a week, and perhaps work in a van as well? (is there such a thing??)  I wouldn't care to admit how much $ I spend on pencils, erasers, and wide ruled paper.  At least 5 times a day someone yells out "where is my pencil?" and at least once a week I yelp as I accidentally sit on a pencil lost in the cushion of the couch.

I am so glad we save money on back-packs, school clothes, and gym uniforms, all we need are pajamas, right? snicker

We don't actually wear pajamas all day, and we do use back-packs (we do school in the van often)

I absolutely LOVE homeschooling!  Our dining room is also our school, the living room is the library, the kitchen is the art room, and bedrooms are offices, my van is the bus. We are pencil experts and love trying new products.  Every day is an adventure filled with the love of learning.

Here are some School Supplies of which we can't get enough:

These are the best pencils- they seem to hold up the longest and the lead doesn't fall out as much as the others.  We tried mechanical pencils but there are eraser-eating-gremlins in my house, and without an eraser, the lead dumps on the floor.

Our Favorite (disappearing) Pens

Printer Paper

Primary Paper

Cursive Paper

Construction Paper


Colored Pencils

Bands for keeping our drinks straight

Dry Erase Markers

Here are some "Dream Come True"  items we would love for our school...

A Globe

Electric Pencil Sharpener

National Geographic Kids Magazine

World Magazine

Sentence Practice

Math Manipulatives

If you make any purchases via these links above, our family will earn a few pennies that we will use toward our school supplies.  We appreciate your support!

Homeschooling friends, what are your favorite school items?  

P.S. check out my new tabs at the top of the blog, this one will stick!


A Broken Record

Time is flying.
                              Time is flying.

                                                        Time, is flying!

I can't say it enough.  The moments may be long, but the days and months seem to flash before my eyes.  Sometimes it takes my breath away.

Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.
~Psalm 144:4
Wasted moments, there are too many of them!  Each day is a battle of choosing what is important over what seems urgent, choosing what lasts forever over what only lasts a moment.

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the LORD is from
everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
~Psalm 103:15-18

Time is Flying and I've been busy trying to catch it.


Mr. Pilot's Trip to Guam - Part 1

Well, yes, I was actually in Guam for the past two weeks.  And while the trip was every bit as complicated and tedious as you'd expect, I did manage to get about 2 whole days! off to visit the area.  

This is the view from the hotel that I was staying in.  It's a fairly nice view, and I did go down to the pool (below the picture line) and to the water the first day I was there. Honestly, I was busy every single day after that till next Sunday, and it 'looked' wonderful.  Since I did little more than wade in it, I can't speak for any of its other qualities, but the view was spectacular.

Since I was working so much I only had a little bit of time to 'see the sights', naturally I went to the local yokels...

I'm just kidding...Actually these are the fellow saints I met from Faith CRC on Guam.  A delightful looking group.  They were kind enough to drag along a tourist on their hiking expedition for what we were informed (by our officially 'un-official' National Park Ranger guide, think fishing hat) was not technically called spelunking but cave exploration.  We weren't sure if spelunking technically meant wearing more gear, like helmets???  


  : the hobby or practice of exploring caves


[MOVIE TRAILER NARRATOR VOICE]: Here our adventurers are preparing for an incredible spelunking journey into the abysmal Guamese abyss'sses. 

Unsure of their fates, knowing that God was their determiner, they make preparations to meet the Maker at every turn...

The preparations for this intrepid expedition is about to could cut the tension with a hankie.

[ADVENTURERS]: Is this gonna be 45min? 1 hour?  2 hours!?!  

[ME]: I better get some more trail mix... 

[NARRATOR]: It doesn't matter if you describe this adventure as spelunking or not!  They bring gloves, headlamps, snacks, and water. Armed with all the trimmings of danger and DEATH!  Prepared for anything...almost.

They fearlessly journey into the pits of doom and despair, never sure if they would return to loved ones again!  

Gut wrenching silence...

[ME]: BOO!

[NARRATOR]: Eerie sounds bellow from the great deeps.


[ME]: Oops, that was me!  Where's my trail mix?

[NARRATOR]: The view from this perilous cliff could only be accessed by braving some of the most aggressive and persistent blood sucking insects in the galaxy...

Don't be fooled by the look on their faces, they have suffered mental anxiety and physical exhaustion on a level few mortals have ever lived to describe.  It is only because of their fearless devotion to their cause, and desire to inspire comfort in their loved ones that they make a good show despite the proximity to mortal death...

Down into the depths they descend.

Each adventurer knows that the only path to survival is dependent on their ability to congeal into a team.

Down they descend...

Up they climb

And then back down...

And then back up...


Awkward Silence...

Here they pause to gather themselves.  And tell tales to inspire each other.

It is here that the guide and others tell them that they are actually "out in the boonies"... An urban term to most, rooted in the islands of Micronesia. This is all too familiar territory for our weathered guide, his success in leading numerous parties through the Boonies is only surpassed by his love for the dramatic and dangerous!  Both of which he seeks and encounters on this adventure...(Foreshadowing)

But these explorers have little time to relax and tell stories, important as morale is, they know death is waiting in the next venemous spider's bite.

[ME]: What did you say?

Our undaunted travelers return from the journey through the first of many deadly caves.  There is no turning back now...The only way to salvage a chance at returning to civilization is by continuing on a monstrous assent up the slippery walls of doom!

[ME]:  Hey look...a frog!

The journey has become so hazardous that they must gather food at every juncture, never sure when the next meal will avail itself.

The kids are gonna love this!  Hey guys look, I caught a frog!

Tune in next time for the continuation of:

The Perilous Journey Into and Out Of the Abysmal Guamese Abyss'sesssses

[ADVENTURERS]: Did you eat that frog...?