Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homeschooling is a Calling

Well, I now have an official website at! Actually, it's a work in progress, but if you go there you'll see a pic of me, and a link to this blog. That's a start, right? I've been mulling over my choices for the New Year, and I plan to blog at least once a week. I can't call it anything cutesie like Juesdays with Jalana. Just doesn't make the cut. I'll just post and see where it goes. Hopefully, we'll see a little bit of traffic, and I'll be able to post more often. At any rate, I wanted to post about homeschooling today. For some of you that homeschool, there are reasons, very good reasons, for teaching your kids at home. For me, it is a calling. I struggled with the idea for almost three years before I really took action and did something about it. I always wanted my mother to homeschool me, but she always said she couldn't. When I became a teacher, I thought that would be great to have kids and take them to school with me, and for a while, it was. But God began to speak to my heart, telling me that He wanted me to be at home with my children. Of course I ignored the suggestions for a while, telling God that He didn't know what He was talking about, you know, me homeschooling. I'd have to quit my great job that I loved, and go home to a bigger job with no pay, no insurance, and no retirement plan. Could I really sacrifice what I wanted for what God wanted? Evidently, not yet. I continued to give God all the reasons, or excuses why I couldn't do it, but still He nudged. I really thought that if I got my husband, Keith, "on my side," that God would be outnumbered, so I just talked to Keith one day, telling him about the nudges from God. Keith's reply? "So quit your job and homeschool. Just do it." Just like that. I lost my edge. I could hear God laughing at me, saying "I told you so." With Keith on God's side, I had to come up with other excuses. "What would we do for groceries? I mean, we have five kids. Food doesn't just "appear." What about clothes for 5 growing children? Insurance? I continued working, knowing that God wanted me at home. One day, I saw a book at Goodwill, and it jumped out at me. It was titled, "Women Leaving the Workplace," by Larry Burkett. Larry will never know how that book spoke to me because he died three years before I read it, but God spoke to me through that book. If you are reading this, and thinking of becoming a stay at home Mom, you need to find a copy of that book! Making a long story shorter, the end of the schoolyear was fast approaching, and I had a decision to make. I had shared my thoughts with only a handful of friends, but somehow, the principal at the school I taught at got wind of it. The day after the last day of school, he called, telling me that he'd heard I might not be coming back. He really needed to know in order to balance his teacher budget for the coming year. So..... I bit the bullet and told him I wasn't coming back! He told me that he hated to lose me, but I had to do what was best for me. I hung up asking God what we would be eating since I'd just kissed our grocery money goodbye. That call took place at 9:30 am. At 11:30am, the mail lady pulled into my driveway and began honking her horn for me to come out. I went to her vehicle, and she handed me a certified letter. I signed for it, thinking in my head that it was some bill I had forgotten to pay. My stomach was in knots as I turned the letter over, and the mail lady pulled away. The return address was from Keith's former employer from two years before. He'd been laid off. I called Keith at work, and he told me to open the letter. Lo and behold, he'd been called back to work, officially, two days before. The great thing is that the job came with full benefits, and the salary was twice what he'd been making. We would have grocery money after all..... The moral of this story is: When God tells you to do something, don't make excuses or question His decision. He knows what He has in store. He takes care of His children, and He has a plan. You just have to follow it and obey. It's that simple. And we still feel that if I hadn't "bit the bullet" that day, we never would have received that certified letter in the mail. I had to step out in faith, just as God had been nudging me to do all along........“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner!!"

For the drawing on my blog, Tina is our winner of the five books by Christian authors. And from Lena Nelson Dooley's blog post about me, Michelle from MO won my little Sweet Pea doll. Congratulations to both of these ladies!! Tina tried to leave a comment on my blog, but it wouldn't let her, so she sent me an email instead. Thanks so much to those that participated in both contests!! And I hope to have more in the future. Stay tuned. . .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Ditty About my Doll-Making Hobby and a Chance to Win one of Them!!

It all started when my daughters saw a reborn doll and decided they had to have one!! I did lots of research, buying paints, supplies, and vinyl baby parts. I painted dolls for each of them, and a hobby was born! My babies are painted to look real. They all have personality, and have been mistaken for real babies on numerous occasions. I took one of my babies to the ACFW conference for a donation to the Silent Auction. In the airport, I put the baby in the bin to go through the x-ray machine. A security guard tried to stop me, looking very distressed. He had to actually touch it to believe it wasn't real!! And on the same trip, people stopped me over and over, asking about my baby. Imagine their surprise when they realized it was a doll! The dolls are painted with details such as veins, fingernails,eyebrows, etc. I hand root the hair and eyelashes, strand by strand, and fill the soft body with glass or poly pellets for weight. This gives the baby a "real feel." They are dressed in real baby clothes, and are usually given a pacifier, toy, and blanket. My mother helps with the painting, and making clothes fit!! Sometimes I take orders, but mostly I just sell the ones that I complete. Mrs. Lena Nelson Dooley, an award-winning Christian author, has ordered a doll from me, and I've almost completed it's hair. She has red hair, and wanted curly red hair on her baby. It's turning out really well. Lena also hosted me on her blog today, where we are giving away one of my painted babies. It's called "Sweet Pea." She's asleep, and is so adorable that I may have to paint another one for myself!! So if you would like to win a beautiful hand-painted doll from me, visit Lena's blog at and leave a comment!!! AND if you follow my blog this week, and leave a comment on this post, I'll enter your name in a give-away from my blog. I'll be giving away a package of 5 books from bestselling Christian authors, one of them being Lena Nelson Dooley!! But remember, you must become a follower, and leave a comment!! Thanks!! Here are some pics of my babies. The third one is the giveaway on Lena's blog! So hop on over there and get yourself in the contest!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sixty Acres and a Bride by Regina Jennings--My Take On It

First of all, let me say that I LOVE this cover!! It really goes with the character, and the colors and design are gorgeous!!! This is Regina Jennings debut novel, I've been told, and she has done an excellent job of pulling me into her story. It's a tale of woe that turns to love, as two people learn to trust again. Rosa is a young Mexican widow, and Weston is her husband's widowed cousin. In this stirring story, the two are constantly thrown together, making it virtually impossible for a few romantic encounters not to surface. Weston feels compelled to protect his cousin's beautiful widow, and she, in turn, feels indebted to him as well as drawn to him. But there's always Molly, who is constantly throwing herself at Weston, and there's the back taxes, and the fiend of a man who is threatening to take the farm for his own. With plenty of conflict and just enough romance, this book is definitely a winner. My only con is that there were times where I couldn't tell who was talking. Past that, I give Kudos to Regina Jennings for a great first book!!! I love Rosa and Weston, and found myself rooting for Weston until the end. If you like Historical Fiction, this is definitely a book to add to your list!!! I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.