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Please explain to me why someone, who is becoming a popular speaker on the homeschooling circuit, writes blog entries like the one dated from September 1?

Here's the link to read it for yourself. I first saw it on Thatmom's blog.

Kevin Swanson's Take on Sarah Palin

These are harsh words spoken without compassion, full of judgement and scorn. I'd hate to be his homeschooled daughter who comes to Kevin Swanson with the news that she's pregnant out of wedlock. With a response like that, I'd think that girl would see abortion as a better option than a public, graceless, tongue lashing from her father. Apparently, it must not make any difference if you've repented and turned from your sin. Fornication, working outside the home, I guess these are the unforgivable sins?

Bristol Palin is making the hard, humiliating, difficult choice. She's admitting her mistake, taking responsibility for her actions, and choosing to give her child life and her baby a father. Is that contributing to the "demise of the family"? I'd say that's showing the world how God can take something wicked (sex outside the marriage covenant) and turn it into something beautiful: a loving family with a mom and dad who are committed to each other and to the life of their baby.

And this is the face of homeschooling presented to the culture.

To say there's a tension in my mind right now regarding this pick would be an understatement...

To say I haven't been influenced by the Voddie Bauchams and Kevin Swansons in the world through all the literature I've read through the years about homeschooling would be untrue...

To say I haven't been influenced by 13 years in the public school system where I was told that I shouldn't be the nurse, I should aspire to be the doctor wouldn't be true either...

Yet, I LIKE Sarah Palin. I admire her tenacity. Her drive. Her decision to carry her baby to term and rejoice over his birth. Her support and love for her daughter who made a wrong choice, yet is redeeming herself by doing the hard, humiliating thing and carrying her baby and marrying her baby's father.

I understand the points being made about Deborah, the passage in Isaiah that talks about women being in leadership as judgement on Israel, about Titus 2:5...

I choose to be a keeper of the home in a narrow sense: I homeschool, I don't work outside this sphere.

But I think the better question among all of us is "What does it mean to be a keeper at home?"

Does it mean you can NEVER under any circumstances work for anyone else? Some would say it does.

Does it mean that your family cannot suffer because of your own ambitions? I think so.

Sarah's husband, Todd, completely supports his wife in her bid for the vice presidency and her job as governor of Alaska. From what I understand, he cares quite a bit for the children, as does their extended family. Is that wrong? She let go the chef because she wanted to cook for her own family. And I'm sure letting go the driver was a bummer considering how kids need to be carted everywhere these days...

If her husband is OK with this, then what right does Voddie Bauchaum have to say on CNN that she's being disobedient to the scriptures when the definition of "keeper at home" is not specific at all?

I just don't know, except that I hope she'll be an advocate for families in the White House.

It's no secret I LOVE TO COOK. I even love menu planning and grocery shopping. I think it's because I don't feel guilty buying food like I feel guilty buying stuff for my house or clothes or whatever. I mean you have to EAT.

With that said, I will divulge my system for organizing recipes I clip from magazines, the internet, and ones I write myself.

For many years, I had a computer program called Mastercook. When I only had a couple kids I was very disciplined about typing in recipes into their recipe form and then printing them off. (I actually make a cookbook for my friends when they get married to give them a head start in finding stuff their families will like to eat.)

I still type up recipes occasionally but the best part of my system are the plastic page protectors I slip all the recipes into. I then collect them in 3 ring binders. I'm a messy cook and they wipe clean in the sleeves. My collection of personal recipes has grown to include three binders:

1. Appetizers, Drinks, Desserts
2. Breakfasts, Salads, Side Dishes
3. Main Dishes

Now, I just pull out the recipes from magazines or from the internet and put them in my binder.

Works for me!

Gotta love it!

Magic books?

OK. I need a little feedback here. My son is doing the accelerated reader program at school for part of the day and our local library has put all the a/r books together on the shelf for your convenience. Yesterday, my son found a very thick book called Magyk by Angie Sage. I've read some reviews on amazon about it and most people just think it's a poorer quality Harry Potter. I've not read anything yet about anything inappropriate in regard to sex or violence. But as a Christian, I worry about reading books about sorcery.

YET, I'm now reading The Fellowship of the Ring and I freely let my children read C.S. Lewis books and fairy tales.

So what's the difference? Does it matter? What do you do? Is it worth censoring in this area or will that just provoke more interest on his part? I think he chose it because it was thick (and worth 7 a/r points) and had an interesting cover.

What?! Two posts in one day?

I suppose this might seem old fashioned in this new-fangled internet age, but I still love to send out snail mail birth announcements. I don't do photos in them since hubby has a wonderful family website that we use to share pictures, but I like to find something really cute to send out to people. I usually put our website on the announcement.

For the last two pregnancies I've ordered beautiful announcements from Inviting Smiles. I LOVE this company! You can pre-order your announcements and they will send you the envelopes, which I address and stamp ahead of time. Then, once I have the baby, I call and let them know the information for the card and within a week or so, they arrive and my mom (whose here by now helping me!) and I stuff envelopes and mail them. Finished! Now THAT feels good to have that done so quickly.

So check them out or tell a friend. The announcement here is the one we chose for our third baby, our first girl. I think I've found a couple I like for this next girl but I need to have hubby take a look, too.

Can you tell I'm ready to have this new baby? :)

Ladies, you all know I'm about 29 weeks along with another sweet baby girl and the two areas of my life that have suffered during this pregnancy have been gardening (I won't even post pictures this summer. It's TERRIBLE out there. Overrun with grasshoppers, weeds...shameful) and blogging.

I've also made a few changes in what requires my attention. I have bowed out of most ministry commitments at church not because I'm not interested or don't love the people, but because I'm only one person with almost 4 kids. Yes, everyone is busy but I no longer feel the need to "carry my weight". I serve in the church nursery and that's the extent of it. I'm friendly, I call folks for playdates or sometimes to come over for dinner. I make sure their pastor has enough time to prepare, I iron his shirt, I remind him of things should the need arise, I make him tasty meals and clean the house and teach the children.

My point is, fellow pastor's wives, I know I must very carefully decide what I'll commit to do. Yes, I will come to every wonderful MOPS meeting, but I cannot be the one posting flyers about it all over town. Yes, I'll attend every ladies' Bible study but I can't lead it anymore. Yes, I'll come to or suggest a women's ministry event but I can't be the one to plan it and carry it out. Yes, I'll come to church every Sunday and take my kids to Sunday School but I can't teach it.

There are lots of ways to show my support and commitment to our body of believers, but just because I'm married to the pastor doesn't mean I'm the go-to woman for every event. I've learned, slooooowwwlllly, that I don't have to be involved to some degree in everything that goes on. My ministry at this season of my life is to my family of small children.

Are there some days I wish I could do something "more" than that. YES. But I keep reminding myself of something someone said to me once, "The days with small children are long, but the years are short." Someday, when my children are grown, I'll be the one helping plan the picnic, the ladies' event, the Bible study, whatever.

But for now, I just can't.

And that's OK.

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