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Just a Mom                                                           May 4, 2011


Nancy Carter Picture 

Three wonderful times, God has blessed me with the gift of a son. I can remember the nervous excitement I felt when I felt those first baby kicks from within each time and how with each one, it seemed like I knew them before they were even born. With my oldest, there was always a sense of how strong and laid back he was, and for the most part, that's the way he is. He's our buddy, he's pretty go-with-the-flow, and he is not only physically strong, but he has strong convictions. When I was pregnant with our second son, he was always very active and there was a lot of joy. And again, he's still that way. He loves being active and he loves to laugh. And then there was my third. He didn't move around as much. My pregnancy with him was the most challenging of the three and I can remember how often the doctors would ask if he was moving around like he should and I'd always say, "Well, he doesn't move around very much. I think he's more of a snuggler." And ding-ding, I was three for three.

Each of these boys is a special gift to me in different ways. I feel like God gave them each special qualities that He knew would minister to me. When I was having a really bad day not too long ago, one of them hugged my neck, looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I love you Mom. You're the best Mom. Nothing you can do will ever change that." God knew that I needed those words that day and He used my son to speak them to me.


Nancy and Kids

I'm not a supermom. With all of my physical issues, sometimes I feel like I'm barely a mom. My boys or husband do a lot of things around the house that I wish I was doing. Sometimes my family has to slow down when we do family activities because of me . Sometimes I have to park myself on a bench and be a spectator when I'd rather be participating, but yet somehow these guys still love me. And my heart swells. To me, Mother's Day is about them. They are who make me a mom.

Last year, I started a tradition of writing my boys letters on Mother's Day. I don't think they quite knew what to think of it, but it was my way of making sure that they know how much I love them and what joy and peace they bring into my life.  I never want them to doubt it. I may not be great at a lot of things, but I want to do my best to make sure they know how much I love them and how thankful I am for them.

They are my Mother's Day gifts. I hope that each of you have a very blessed Mother's Day with yours.


Enjoy every minute,


~Nancy Carter 

Nancy Carter
THM Editor



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Deborah WuehlerMercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor

I have a splitting headache, yet I have three sick children to care for. I have a child who is not cooperating whom I have to deal with. I have a toddler who wants me to play baseball and teenagers who want to talk. I have to make dinner and it is after 7 p.m., I have a house that looks like a tornado, and I don't know where to start, let alone when. I certainly don't feel very virtuous. And, nobody cares about it all but me. At least that's how it feels sometimes, doesn't it? It feels like nobody cares about all that I do, about how I feel, or when I'll ever get rest. Welcome to motherhood. Doesn't sound all that glorious, does it?


The functions of motherhood are obviously important, but the main thing is that we give all glory to our God by how we respond to all these things that press on us. Giving Him glory in our everyday lives is what our children will remember and what matters for eternity. God will not say, "Well done-you were a good mother." But He will hopefully say, "Well done, you were a good and faithful servant and made my Son known to those I gave you."


Whenever we place too much importance on our office as mothers and our sacrificial tasks, the danger is that our focus becomes skewed and our emotions entangled. We begin to feel we deserve to be treated well, rather than the better focus of treating others well. We feel we deserve recognition for our sacrifices, rather than laying down our lives in response to the One who was made of no reputation and laid down His life for us. We feel we deserve celebration rather than pointing heavenward and saying that all glory must belong to Him, for there is no one good, not even one.


If we make it through one day in our own strength, we feel the right to shout, "Bravo!" But more often than not, our strength fails and we come to the end of our resources before we come to the end of the day. But if His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses and the excellence of His power has filled our earthen vessels so that we can not only make it through a day but come out victorious, we can shout "Hallelujah!"


So what is the danger of just one day of focusing on ourselves? For one thing, if all of these earthly "rights" of celebration are not met satisfactorily in our eyes, we are disappointed and sometimes even angry with those we are called to love and serve. However, if all is done for Him and through Him and with Him, then any day is worthy of celebration because it is He whom we celebrate. We can avoid all the trappings of anger and disappointment when we are not celebrated as we think we ought to be, and all the glory that rightly belongs to God is rightly given Him. For truly, without Him, we can do nothing.


This country applauds mothers once a year. But does heaven applaud mothers? Yes, it does, especially when mothers applaud heaven first. Does anyone really care? Yes, our Father in heaven cares tremendously and continually implores us to come to Him and find rest for our weary souls. But we must come.


A friend said to me today, "Plan the calm," and I couldn't agree more: Plan the calm by planning to spend time with your Father. Then, you will be the virtuous mother you desire to be, and God will get the glory.





Hey Mom--here's a GREAT Mother's Day gift for yourself!

Send your husband HERE!

The Schoolhouse Plnners

Attempting to plan without our planners is dangerous to your health. ;o)



Gena Suarez

Hey from Gena

Gena Suarez, Publisher of TOS   


Just a mom. This week's topic-MommyLand. I am in MommyLand myself. We have kids ages 21 to 1 year, with a new one on the way (number seven). Yup, MommyLand. Lots of giggles from the littles along with deep conversations with the young adults. I frequently hold Paulie on my lap for a snuggle and have Chloe wash the car-er, reverse that. He's the 21-year-old, and she's 1 (actually, I'd love to snuggle with Paulie right now-he's traveling and I miss him).


I'm just a mom, but I'm pretty fulfilled/content/happy/blessed. And tired. Sometimes my voice hurts-I talk too much. And it's hard to write this right now because I have one child texting me, another who just ran out the door for bowling, another probably with her nose in a book, one preparing for work tomorrow (Luke, 19, wants to be a real estate broker, so he's got a full-time job working to that end), Chloe's with her daddy, and the 3-year-old (Sani) is asking me if I like snakes and informing me that caterpillars and ladybugs are "bugs" and that they're all different. And that snakes are actually "long bugs." No, I'm not really partial to snakes, thanks for asking. And I agree, they're long. But not technically bugs. Oh man, and a baby on the way-I must be nuts. Who is texting now? Paulie. I love that kid. Wish he were home. Sani now has the iPhone and is doing her phonics. (Yes, we're weird-we homeschool on the iPad/iPhone sometimes.)


I'd love to write all about this week's topic of being a mom. But . . . I'm a bit busy being one. And I'm hungry. Paul said he'd take me out for coffee, and I am SO not passing that up. Being pregnant makes me crave weird stuff . . . or just any stuff. Gotta go. (I know you moms know the craziness I face-and my hat is OFF to you, my kindred spirits!)




Because You Know What Matters Most


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Todd Wilson The Familyman
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries


Just a mom. That's what I would like on my tombstone. No, not the mom part . . . but the phrase, "Just a dad." No apology, no explanation, no justification, no tongue-in-cheek defense . . . just three wonderful words. Just a dad.


Listen here, Mom. Relish those three words. Don't define them, defend them, or justify them. Just bask in them. Especially this Sunday.


Happy Mother's Day,



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It's Just Common Sense

Ruth Beechick, Curriculum Specialist 


Debbie Strayer, Homeschool Consultant 


For me, Mother's Day is a great reminder and opportunity to count my blessings. I had a wonderful and loving mom who went to be with the Lord when I was a teenager; but I still remember her love, her tender-hearted kindness, and the devotion she generously gave our family. Though I have missed her many, many times over the years, I can still think back to all she meant to me and I am thankful. I remember hoping and praying that I would have the chance to have my own dear ones someday.


Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the precious gifts God gave us in our children. From the time they were young, I realized that a deep satisfaction and joy had come into my life that I had never known existed. As all you moms will attest, who knew you could love so completely and give so freely? As if just raising them wasn't enough, then the Lord brought homeschooling our way, and my opportunity to know and love these children in such a personal and special way grew even more.


With each passing year I would say to myself, how can it be any better than this? When they were young, every day was an adventure. A song, a cookie, the sight of a butterfly all led to "oohs" and "aahs" of excitement. As time went on, my wise, mother-like mentor, Dr. Beechick encouraged me to observe my children--to know and appreciate God's workmanship, and so I did. She encouraged me to work with God's plan, not to create a plan of my own, to trust Him to lead and guide me, and He has been faithful. 


Now that my children are grown and dear friends, all I can say once again, is thank you, Lord. You are good beyond my wildest dreams and I have been abundantly blessed. Every step of the way you have given me the gifts of love and when I look around me, I see so much to be grateful for. Today, dear friends, take a minute to look around you and count your blessings, for truly, God has been good to us. 


~ Debbie 

Read more from Debbie at


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Contest Central  

For the month of May, 2011   


The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education


Leigh Bortins, the founder of Classical Conversations, a classical homeschool teaching community, has written this new book, a thorough look at how all parents and educators can apply classical methods to their students' educations.


The Core is composed of two main parts. Part One discusses the merits of classical teaching in today's society in three chapters titled "What's Wrong With Education Today," "Why We Need Classical Education," and "How Classical Education Can Help You."


The lack of meaningful relationships between student and teacher, government replacing community as the force behind education, discarding memorization (with repetition) as the main tool of learning, declining literacy rates, and therefore leaving today's children out of the "great discussion" are the problems with today's education system: "We have rejected the historically successful model of rigorous, classical education in favor of entertainment and job training."


Part Two describes the classical method for the grammar-stage child as it applies to reading, writing, math, geography, history, science, and the fine arts. How parents or teachers of various kinds (single, double-income, after-schoolers, non-classical educators, and homeschoolers) can apply these ideas makes up the last chapter. (...)


Read the rest of the review here. Win this book for your family!



Email Deb with your name and mailing address and the subject "The Core" for a chance to win* this book!


19 Gifts Coming Your Way!
*Disclaimer and Legal Notice:
The Old Schoolhouse
Magazine, LLC ("Company") is sponsoring the May Contest Central contest running from May 1, 2011, to May 31, 2011. You must be 18 years of age or older and follow all rules to participate. Entering the contest constitutes full and complete acceptance of, and a warranty that the entrant has read, understands and agrees to, all contest terms and conditions, including without limitation all of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC Contest Rules ("Official Rules") and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Writer Guidelines and Terms and Conditions for Submitting Queries. All Official Rules apply. Entry also constitutes full consent and unlimited permission for Company to print, publish, broadcast and use all intellectual property and personal information submitted as part of the Contest entry on the Internet and in any and all Company publications in accordance with the Rules. Entries become the sole property of Company and will not be returned. Employees and independent contractors of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, Contest sponsors, individuals or entities furnishing Contest prizes and their family members may not participate in this contest. Company reserves the sole, discretionary right to determine contest winners and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the contest or the Rules at any time with or without notice or cause, subject to applicable law. See Official Rules for details.

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