January 7, 2015 Edition 
Getting Back to School After the Holidays
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family



I was trying to figure out this week why I was feeling so downcast right about now. Maybe it was because these last holiday weeks:


  • I've been sick with a cold and nasty cough.
  • I've had lots and lots of visitors.
  • I've had some painful relationship issues to deal with.
  • I've had my plans and to-do lists laid aside.
  • I've had the tension of starting school after this break.
  • I miss my loved ones who live far away.
  • I am still recovering from all the crazy holiday events--so is my house--and my body.
  • I've gained weight over the holidays ... again.
  • I have tons of unanswered email and more to add to the to-do list.
  • I am missing my routine of prayer and study times.
  • I feel like no matter what I try to do, I am not really achieving anything of purpose.

Okay, I just realized that the focus of that whole list was: me! Hmmm, perhaps that is the real reason for my blues. Let's see if I can change that perspective a bit:

  • God has given us food, clothes and a warm house in which to live and laugh and love.
  • God has always provided enough to share with others.
  • God continues to give me strength for one more day (and children in helper training).
  • God has provided a bounty in His Word so my soul can delight in fatness.
  • He's given me friends who encourage me to eat everything else in moderation.
  • Jesus was afflicted by men, rejected and reviled by men so that I might live and move and have my being in Him (especially in those difficult relationships).
  • God has sent friends and strangers and maybe even "angels unawares" to my house that He might draw them to Himself, and teach us all to be servants.
  • The Holy Spirit is doing His work in the hearts and lives of my children and teens as I find help at His throne of grace.
  • God gives me the freedom, the desire, and ability to do His will, in spite of my plans while teaching me the grace of flexibility.
  • Jesus is worth celebrating every day, all year round, no matter the boxes!
  • God has blessed me to keep my children home all day to train for His purposes.
  • He has given me the privilege of participating in their instruction as we discover what they were created to do for Him.

Real life can be discouraging, especially now, and our hearts can be easily overwhelmed. This is when we need to get a higher perspective from a safe, strong place:


Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. Psalm 61:1-3 


He knows our frame, that we are but dust, but He is the Excellency of power that dwells in us and holds us together. Cry out; He hears. To Him be the glory, and the power, forever and ever, Amen.  




If you are still wondering if you are even achieving anything, anyway, check this out.    


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Raising Real Men    
Wow, what a hectic season we had! Like most homeschoolers, we suspect, our normal routine just went right off the rails for a few weeks. Now the calendar's turned and it's time to get back on track ... how do you approach it?

  1. Embrace the new beginning. The Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is both a time of rejoicing and a time of reflection. As we start our new year, it's a good thing to remember how God has dealt with us the past year, and consider the opportunities He's opening for us in the months ahead. Our family actually sits down for meetings to review and plan!

  2. Set goals but be realistic. Everyone's going to be fidgety when we start school again. Allow time to regain your routines. And make sure everyone gets some recess time outside, if at all possible!
Consider making resolutions for just a month. Start small and achievable, and when you reach that goal, evaluate and set a new one. It's more encouraging that way!
    3. Remember a slip is not a collapse. Have you ever relapsed on a diet, and then decided since the day was "ruined" already, you might as well finish the pie? Don't throw in the towel if the day starts bad or you find your students napping instead of studying. Adjust your day's goal if you must, but keep going!
    4. Make this a year to keep better records. Hal has kept a journal for several years; it may be just a few sentences a day, but at the end of the year, it's one of our family records--and a memorial of God's faithfulness day by day. It's probably time to do a reality check on your school records, too. Your state may not require much paperwork for elementary grades, but everybody needs good records for high school. Don't put it off! 

Your friends,

Hal & Melanie Young


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The Familyman 
I don't know about you, but it's hard getting back into the saddle after the holidays. It doesn't help that my family was sick and missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and part of New Year's. In fact, I don't even feel like we had much of a holiday.

I got gypped and feel like protesting and taking today off.

Thankfully, we homeschool and can. Actually, I'd encourage YOU to decide when YOU want to start back up. After all, we homeschool 365 days of the year, and even the days we don't have formal homeschooling, my children are in school ... probably learning even more than when their little faces are buried in school books.

I don't write that to convince myself, because I don't need convincing. I already believe it with all my heart. I'm writing it for you and my wife, because sometimes you all forget that. You believe the lies that "educational experts" spout off so effortlessly.

Remember, you know what's best, not only for your children, but also for you (their teacher). If you need a few more days before starting back up, then take a few more guilt-free days of playing, cleaning, and gearing back up for the great privilege of homeschooling.

Be real,

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Contest Corner 
For the month of January, 2015

 Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure (book and guide) 


Trouble with Treasure 


The fifth book in the Circle C Adventure Series, Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure is a glossy softcover book of 141 pages, with additional pages at the back displaying the first four books available in the series with synopsis. (. . .) With her usual wit, Susan K. Marlow continues to offer an excellent read to an age group often left to struggle between reading material that is too easy and subject matter that is too intense. This book finds Andrea Carter, the main character, placed in a dangerous situation during what should have been a vacation with her older brother and best friends. If you are new to the series, you will quickly get to know Andrea ("Andi") Carter, a tomboy growing up in 1880s California. 

The start of Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure offers a one-page letter from Andi that serves as introduction to her family and to the series. This particular adventure has the reader following Andi on a horseback ride into the California mountains hoping to pan for gold while her brother, Mitch, is traveling to a meeting on business. The story begins at home, where Andi and her friends meet the new local deputy, who actually puts them in jail over horseplay at a water trough! (. . .) As with other books in the series, the author consistently points to God, good morals, and the basic value of life. There is never a dull moment in any of the Circle C Adventures, and Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure reaches the high standard the series is known for. We enjoyed this book, as our family has grown to love the ever-exciting Andi Carter!


YOU can WIN the book and lapbook!


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Andrea Carter" for a chance to win* the these two books for your family!


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