Friday Friendship Feature, Number 3

Friday Friendship Feature #3, Creating a Morning Ritual or Routine

Friday Friendship Feature #3

Welcome to the Friday Friendship Feature #3! 

Today, on our Friday Friendship Feature #3, I am sharing an inspiring post that I ran across, written by another homeschooling mom. She shares on a very important topic: carving out your morning routine. She calls it a ritual, but to me that sounds hard! So I just call it a routine. You call it what you want!

Routines and Our Comfort

A routine or ritual is a habit that you make, that soon becomes just the way you always do things! I think that rituals/routines/habits become a comfort to family members, who learn to depend on them.

This post continues…click below.


Two Sabbaths and Two Meals…

What sharing a Sabbath meal means…

I am pulling this post out of the archives, because I think it deserves to be told.  A short account of our two Sabbaths in two different strange locations, and what it meant to us.

Five years ago, our family was on a work/road trip combined.  We stayed in our RV while my husband worked, and so that gave us some time to do some traveling, camping, and sightseeing.  I published this post back then, but decided to bring it back, because the lesson is a good one.

Recently, our family experienced some interesting contrasts, which we feel are important, and that we hope to learn from.

Sabbath #1

The first Sabbath, we and our friends went to a church in another city.  We drove about an hour, so took food with us to contribute to a potluck.  We had plans for the afternoon in the area, so did not plan to return home between church and the concert we were to attend.  Church was nice, and, as visitors, we received a loaf of bread from a local bakery  (“Raise your hand if it’s your first time here, and you’ll be given a loaf of bread”).  That was very thoughtful.

No meal…

When church was finished, we realized that this church did not have a Sabbath potluck, or fellowship meal, as they are more commonly called now.  We realized, to our chagrin, that we had so assumed that we could join the potluck, that neither we nor our friends had brought anything to eat our food with (We did bring food to share).   No plates or bowls, no utensils.


We discussed what we would do.  We had brought a crock pot full of chili, some chips, and we did have that loaf of bread that the church gave us.  Our friends had actually left without grabbing their food, and just had the bread.   While our family got sidetracked trying to catch one of the speakers to ask her a question, our friends decided to go ahead and leave, since we had to find seats at the next venue.

Just us, Guys!

We sat there, wondering what would be our best move, and actually left the church without anyone saying anything to us.  Kind of different.  I had someone speak to me between Sabbath School and church, actually two people, but Mr. Friendly had no one say anything to him the whole time.  That was very unusual for him!  And one of the ladies who said hi to me told me that she would invite us over, but she did not have anything fixed.  How many times have I thought that on a Sabbath?  Many.  Anyway, after church to have no one say hi makes you feel invisible, like you don’t matter.

Invisible Visitors

We know a man, a friend now, who came to the church we now attend, before we began attending.  He came and went with no one at all saying a word to him, and he never came back.  He’s not uncommon, but is maybe more honest than some people who wouldn’t tell you their experience.   But that’s all it takes for some people.

Back to the story

While we were still at this church, I sat down on a bench right outside the doorway, with two of the boys, in a little courtyard area, to wait for Mr. Friendly to come out (potty stop for a Little A).  There were clumps of people surrounding us, chatting, and several people glanced our way, but no one spoke.  We are not offended, we just felt a little funny.  

We all walked out together to our truck, not yet sure of what we would do for lunch, but still feeling a little invisible as other folks walked to their cars alongside us, still quiet.  It really made us think about our own church and our own observation skills towards visitors.

What did we do?

We contacted our friends, who had decided to stop by the roadside and eat with gratitude the one loaf of bread, shared between five people.  They quoted the verse that says “Bread will be given him, his water shall be sure…”  Thank the Lord for that one loaf of bread!

We followed suit and pulled off at a different location and thanked God for our feast–we ate chili fondue-style–that is, we ate our chili with chips instead of spoons, from the pot instead of bowls!  It was unconventional, but it worked, and it was tasty.

 I almost forgot–we also had cold scalloped potatoes that we shared too.  And, as we looked in the glove compartment, we found a few plastic utensils, left over from a stop at Taco Bell some time.  So, some of us were able to use one of those instead of just chip dippers.  🙂

Why do I mention this?

Is it because we felt sorry for ourselves?  No, not really.  We did end up with plenty to eat, and saw how God can help us turn lemons to lemonade if we are flexible.

I also mention it because I know that many of us, although we consider ourselves friendly, are really kind of unaware of others that we don’t know, and sometimes we like it that way.

 How glad I am for a husband who notices new people, and makes it a point to go out of his way to speak to strangers. Because he always does that!

It just made us think.

Another Sabbath in another place

This past Sabbath, we were in a totally different situation.  We had been traveling, and tent camping some of the time.  On Friday afternoon, we pulled into a new campground, and barely had time to make a fire and set up the tent before Sabbath began.

This time, we had no food prepared, which wasn’t a big deal since we’d been eating cold food anyway pretty much every meal.   Haystacks were the daily fare, and would be lunch today too.   Except that we were out of beans.   And chips.  And olives.  So, we had lettuce, plus plenty of assorted odds and ends that we could put together.  But it wouldn’t be too normal.

I think we decided that cereal would be the best option, or try another church and our luck at a potluck.   But I don’t really like to show up with nothing to share, and perhaps a few eyebrows would have raised over Toasted Oats at the potluck table.  😉

Day in Nature

As it turned out, when we woke up on Sabbath, everything outside had frozen, and so it felt way too cold for showers.  We all needed one (badly), but could not endure a wet head in that freezing cold air.   One look at ourselves, and we decided a day in nature would be a better option for us.   You know that feeling you get when you camp–like everything gets all smoky-smelling, dirt creeps under fingernails and makes you look and feel grungy, hair seems to do its own thing, etc, etc.  Plus, someone forgot to bring shoes besides snow boots, so getting “cleaned up” seemed like a hard undertaking.

Ocean Views

We drove to a beautiful ocean setting.  The drive was pleasant over rolling, hills that were so green that we were reminded of the Irish countryside.   The green hills ended abruptly at the rocky shoreline, again, reminiscent of Ireland.

We had to hike down to get to the ocean level, then just really enjoyed our day climbing over the jagged rocks, the boys collecting seashells, and all of us drinking in the beauty of the crashing waves.  We spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon at the ocean, and could have stayed all day except for the fact that our stomachs began to beg for attention  (they always do).

Continue reading…

Friday Friendship Feature #2

Friday Friendship Feature—A time to share an Inspiring Read

Sometimes I get to blog hop. I enjoy meeting new bloggers!

This week I stumbled across a wonderful post by Shannon, at From the Hearth.

The reason I enjoyed this read so much was because I see the truth of her words in our own family. I can say that our boys have been blessed with amazing grandparents. Our boys consider them to be among their very best friends. And that makes me very happy.

I really think you will enjoy this article, some of which I have included here. You’ll have to catch the rest over at From the Hearth, and while you’re there, you can see what else they’re up to!

Friday Friendship Feature #2

5 Things I’ve Learned While Watching My Parents Interact with My Kids.

We recently had the pleasure of having my parents visit for a little over a week. My kids adore their Grandma and Mebop (their name for grandpa), so it’s always special when we can all be together.

As I watched my parents interact with my kids during this last visit, I realized that there are a number of life lessons that I can learn from their interactions. Here are 5 of these lessons.


  • It’s often the little things in life that bring the most joy.

Post continues here

Merging Two Different Blogs

Two blogs merging–Lessons and Lessons with Ridge Haven Homestead

Well, Fine Readers!

I’ve been pondering this change for some time, and have decided to take the plunge. I am, and have pretty much accomplished merging two blogs!

merging two blogs

Why Merge Two Blogs?

As I began my blogging journey in the self-hosted world, I believed that it would be best to keep my main interests separate–homesteading seemed like plenty to focus on, and homeschooling seemed like enough to pursue on my original blog.

However, as I’ve been blogging for a couple of months with our Ridge Haven site, plus blogging with Lessons and Lessons (my homeschool blog), I often find myself in a quandary as to which blog to write which content for. Life on the homestead includes home education, so eventually, I realized that it would make more sense to just combine.  So, that means that I am merging two blogs together to make one super-blog!

Combining Homeschooling & Homesteading

homesteading homeschooling

Mixing concrete. Another homeschool day on the homestead.

Nature, wild edibles, even some of our homeschooling and homesteading activities are similar and overlap. Since we are (sort of–we are kind of on temporary hold) building, that has become a natural part of our home education, because it’s great hands-on, real-life learning.

More about that on my post on Apprenticeship, and a different post about “You Might be a Homesteading Homeschooler

I have had a hard time deciding if I talk about nature, does it go better with homesteading and the lifestyle that we are following, or does it go better with home education? See what I mean?

Got Overlap?  Why not merge?

I have had to conclude that home educating and homesteading are not tidy boxes. You just live your life. When we homeschool we are often very much involved with our homestead project.

Cleaning My Blog House

merging two blogs

Cleaning House

Therefore…what previously you could find on Lessons and Lessons, you will now find here!  (Actually, you’ll find it by clicking the link below). Yay!  I will be working in the next week on tidying up my categories from the home educating blog to fit better into the present menu structure. I’d gotten a little informal with my categories and created a bunch!

The Process of Merging Two Blogs

If you’re curious what process I used for combining,

Keep reading this article…

Simple Edible Play-Dough – Lessons…and lessons

Edible Play-Dough!! Simple, All-Natural, Gluten-Free

Let’s make some Edible Play-Dough!

During our early years of home educating, a friend shared the simple recipe for edible play dough with me. We have made it many times over the years, altered it a bit at times, but the basic simple recipe has remained.

Simple, Natural, 3 Ingredient, Edible Play-Dough

I have recently seen plenty of recipes for edible play dough, but few of them use normal, natural, readily available ingredients. I consider NORMAL to be stuff I’d normally buy at Walmart or the grocery story. Not filled with words I can’t pronounce. Not expensive. Normal.

For children, especially, and for all of us, I hate to use artificial flavorings, food coloring, and fake ingredients (like artificial sweeteners). Yet, many play doughs use these as a staple.

When our oldest son was little, we saw a direct connection between artificial food colors and flavors and his hyperactivity and acting out. We made a commitment to follow the Feingold Diet, which eliminated these things, and preservatives as well.

You may read about the Feingold Diet here. Interestingly, when my husband was young, his parents also put him on the Feingold Diet, something I didn’t know until our son had been on it for awhile.

Article continues, please click to keep reading!

— Read on

Speaking the Language of Encouragement, Part 2

Learning to Speak the Language of Encouragement to our Children

Last time I visited this topic, I shared an overview of what the Language of Encouragement is, and how it applies in our homeschools and families. If you missed my first post on this, please see The Language of Encouragement, Part 1

I will remind you that this series of posts will reference the very helpful (free) talk given by Maria Nebblett, with the same title. You can find that talk at the Nebblett family’s website. Scroll down until you see the talk entitled The Language of Encouragement. You will find other encouraging talks there as well. If you prefer to watch the talk, you may watch it for free online.

Language of Encouragement

A promise that is giving me hope is this one:

Gather up the rays of divine light that are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take hold of the work of helping your children to serve God, the most provoking trials will come; but do not lose your hold; cling to Jesus. He says, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” Isaiah 27:5. Difficulties will arise; you will meet with obstacles; but look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now? If you refuse to fret or scold, the Lord will show you the way. He will help you to use the talent of speech in so Christlike a way that peace and love will reign in the home. By following a consistent course of action, you may be evangelists in the home, ministers of grace to your children. – {Child Guidance 478.3}

The Home a Battle Ground

In our home, I can certainly see the war. The more we ask for the Holy Spirit, the more we see the opposite spirit. I think this is so that we will just give up.

Never Give Up.  Never Stop Trying.

Language of Encouragement 2

Thankfully, we can fight back! We don’t have to give up! Nor do we have to give in! Giving in means not choosing to fight against irritated thoughts and words.Giving in is natural and easy because it doesn’t require any thought or planning. We automatically spew out whatever comes to mind.

In her talk, Maria shares Five Habits for parents who want to learn the language of encouragement can begin to put into practice. I will be sharing the first two principles from the talk today. These are taken directly from the talk.

Habit 1: REFRAIN

In her talk, Maria speaks about our need as parents to refrain.

Refrain from what?

Article continues here…