Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway!

EDITED TO ADD: Tuesday Talks is on hold for this week, because of the giveaway. But, be sure to check back for Tuesday Talks next week and have your reviews ready if you're willing to participate!


We are hosting a give-away here at Stay-At-Home Daughters! The winner will receive this beautiful apron!

Here is a picture of the detail:

To enter, simply leave a comment below! We will use a random number generator to select our winner at noon CST on February 2nd! Please leave your email address in your comment and enter only once, we'll delete duplicate entries.

For more great giveaways, visit Bloggy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Talks

Today is Tuesday Talks!

My review today is on "Experiencing the Joy of Young Womanhood", by Sarah Maxwell.

I can't even tell you how many times I have listened to this CD. Filled to the brim with practical insights and suggestions for young women, this is one of my favorite things to listen to!

The description reads:

"Young ladies, what are your goals in life? Are you waiting for something to happen? Courtship? Marriage? An exciting opportunity? Sarah, age twenty-one, shares truth from Scripture and true-life testimonies about the importance of God-given goals for your life and resting in Jesus. She gives practical applications for joyfully serving the Lord. This session is great for young ladies eight on up."

One of the things I loved was an example Sarah gave about goals. She said she had always wanted to get married and have lots of children, but that her Dad had brought up a good point, asking her "what if she didn't get married?". Sarah said that she immediantly began to re-evaluate her life goals, and one of her new goals was to become a woman after God's own heart.

I don't want to give anything else away, but I can't recommend this CD to you enough!

This CD is available through Titus 2 ministries.

If you would like to participate in Tuesday Talks, leave your link below:

I look forward to reading your reviews!
~@~Courtney~@~, for all the Stay-At-Home Daughters!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dealing with "The College Issue" and Other Difficult Questions

As a follow-up on the last post, I'd like to address how I deal with difficult questions from family members and nosy neighbors. ~wink~

The most popular questions I get are:

The college question: This comes in the form "What college are you going to attend?", and more indirectly, "What are you doing after you graduate?"

For all questions I follow a simple rule of thumb: if the inquirer is genuinely interested in my convictions, I answer gratefully and sincerely all of the questions they ask. The purpose is then to benefit the inquirer. If, on the other hand, the inquirer is asking for the simple reason of trying to question my sanity, be rude, or they simply think it's their responsibility to make sure I "get started in the right direction", I answer briefly, change the subject, or "smile, nod and back away." I find with most people, when I state that I'm staying home after I graduate, they can't change the subject fast enough.. (My mother wrote a wonderful post on answering questions here.)

I usually answer with, "I'm staying home after I graduate and furthering my education on my own." and leave it at that. I have very rarely had to expound, because most people don't care. (my thoughts on this issue can be found here, here, and here.)

Testing: This is when someone tries to test me and my siblings by asking various academic questions. This is usually only performed by those who are against homeschooling or want to make sure my mother is doing what she should. I never answer these questions, it's simply not their place to test us. I have had to intervene when my siblings were being tested before. I never want to be rude, but I usually say lightheartedly that they get enough testing in school. It aggravates me that people try to mess them up by putting them on the spot. Most often, my parents intervene before this goes too far.

So, what do you do?: People ask me this question now, since I'm not bombarded with extracurricular activities, and I'm sure I'll get this question much more after I graduate. I answer truthfully with all of the things I do to help my family around the house. There is quite a lot when you think about it! Courtney wrote a lovely post about this very question recently.

"When are you going to get a job/your driver's license/etc.?": This comes from people who are quick to assume I'm not content at home. Once again, I answer with discernment, depending on what exactly their intentions are and I let them know that I am perfectly content to be at home with my family. (I am going to get my driver's license soon. But, the reason for having a license is not to be "free" from being tied down to my home, as most assume.)

Sometimes I get a snide comment which I have to answer. For example: "I know you just can't wait to get away from all these kids." (talking about my siblings). Most of the time, I ignore snide comments completely.

Whenever I know I'm going to be around those who are not like-minded, I prepare by reminding myself why I believe what I believe. Though, it's not very often that I get questioned thoroughly, always being prepared is a help to me. There was one evening when I stayed up very late into the night studying and reminding myself how to answer tough questions. I knew I was going to be around my extended family for a long period of time, and I was very glad to feel prepared. I never want to be prideful when asked questions like this, nor do I want to feel disheartened.

I don't answer correctly every time. When I was first asked to defend my convictions I made many fumbles and embarrassed myself continually. I was always too passive. I had to practice and learn to stand firm in my beliefs, without being rude, and now I can answer much more clearly and confidently. I still make mistakes from time to time, but I trust the Lord when I'm feeling inadequate.

Some very wonderful answers to some of these questions (namely the college question) can be found here at Visionary Daughters, the blog by the authors of So Much More and the documentary, "Return of the Daughters".

I hope this has been a help to you! God bless you as you live for the Lord as a Stay-At-Home Daughter.


Cultivating Convictions

My convictions were cultivated in me by the grace of God. When I began to think back to write this post, I realized that so many circumstances that seemed very random actually worked together to shape me into who I am today! My parents certainly played a large part in this. Their example has always been wonderful and I know it's been because of their prayers and discernment that they have been able to raise me in the way of the Lord. I was always taught to be like the Bereans by searching everything out through the Scriptures.

Ever since I was a little, little girl I wanted to have a lot of children and be a mother when I grew up. While all my public school friends were deciding they wanted to be doctors, or teachers I found myself frustrated. I didn't want to be any of those, I wanted to be a mother with lots of children. This was long before my family's convictions changed or we even had more than three children. I remember my friends teasing me because I once said that I wanted to beat the world record for most children born to one mother (at the time the world record was 69, by the way. That included 4 sets of quadruplets and 16 sets of twins I believe. =D). Babysitting was (and still is!) my favorite past-time. Whenever a baby was around, I stuck like glue. One of my friends gave me a charm bracelet with a baby carriage on it, because I was the one who wanted to break the world record. Something funny happened to many of those friends. Though none of them wanted to be the world-record holder, they all talked about how they wanted to get married and have lots of babies when they grew up. Now, they not only want little to no children, but many of them don't even want to get married and have turned more toward a feminist mindset. I believe I didn't go in that direction due in part to my family's decision to homeschool.

I was in public school during kindergarten, first, and second grade. Even at my young age, I remember some things very distinctly about public school. There were always the "popular" girls and two girls who feuded every year. I don't remember doing schoolwork in public school. I'm sure we did it but I don't remember it at all! When we started homeschooling I was eight years old. I didn't know the reasons why my parents decided to start homeschooling, but I knew that I never had to get up and go to that awful school again and that thought delighted me! We moved to this house and I was so excited as the basement was transformed into our schoolroom. My mother had previously been a teacher so she created our very own school at home complete with colorful posters, bulletin boards, and desks. I didn't know the spiritual benefits or the Scriptural commands about educating your children at home until much later.

Good literature has also been a key element in shaping my convictions. Some of the most important ones were So Much More, Raising Maidens of Virtue, Beautiful Girlhood, Mother, etc. (You can see and purchase any of these in our Astore in the sidebar.) So Much More really opened my eyes to the whole issue of attending college. Scripture is quoted throughout the book and I found myself with a lot of "Aha!" moments. Why didn't I see it before? The Lord was opening my eyes! My conviction about women and college started with me before my parents even considered it. When I was about 14, I decided I never wanted to go to college. In fact, I was scared to death at the thought of being out on my own and having to fend for myself (part of this was because of a phase of unbelievable shyness that I was going through at the time). My parents just laughed and said I'd grow out of it. When I read the college chapter in So Much More, I was mostly relieved at the fact that I had found an excuse to stay home! I joyously went and showed my mother. But now at nearly 18, this is a heartfelt conviction rather than an excuse. My parents read the book and their convictions changed dramatically.

My heart has always been at home, and I believe that every little girl has this desire from birth. It is only when the combination of bad parenting and her flesh take over that the world is filled with radical feminists and the likes of Britney Spears. I am completely content at home with my family in this season of my life. It's such a blessing and when I think back over what the Lord has done for our family, how He's changed our convictions and given us discernment, I am in awe. My calling as a godly daughter pursuing biblical femininity is the most rewarding place my life could be right now.

I'm so blessed to be able to enjoy the freedom of life in Christ rather than the shackles of the world!

"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." Romans 8:10

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tuesday Talks: Goodbye is Not Forever

This Tuesday I want to review an excellent book called, Goodbye is Not Forever by Amy George. It's an amazing true story about a Russian family's trials and sufferings during World War II.

The story follows Amy from her birth. Her father was arrested before she was 3 years old and taken to a camp in Siberia. Amy and her siblings were raised solely by their mother during the devastating war. So many things happen to Amy's family as they are moved and tossed about by Hitler's officials.

The most incredible part of the story is how Amy is led to the Lord and is able to see her entire family saved as they are reunited! Amy sees how the Lord's providential hand was there throughout the hardest periods of her life.

Disclaimer: Being the recollections of the horrors of war, there is some graphic content describing what Amy witnessed and was subjected to as a child.

I don't want to give away anymore, but I loved this book and would definitely recommend it!


Have you read or watched something that you would like to review?

Leave your link below!

For rules and information on "Tuesday Talks", see our link in the sidebar.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So, what do you do?

Hello there!

I hope that this Friday finds you well. I know that our day has been lovely.

Several people have asked me about what kinds of things I do while serving here at home. I thought I would answer some of those questions tonight.

First of all, a typical daily schedule for me looks something like this:

5:00 -I get up for the day and I do my Bible/quiet time, and then start my school work, and continue school until 7:00.

7:00 - Make bed/clean room/get dressed, and if Mom hasn't started a load of laundry, I start one.

7:30 - Straighten zone (my zone is the kitchen, and I usually use this time to clean glass, wipe out the refrigerator, dust, etc.)

8:00 - Eat breakfast/kitchen clean up, swap laundry out (I usually just load the washing machine, most of the time my younger siblings take care of loading/unloading the dryer),and I usually do some school reading here (currently it is Tithing and Dominion, and it is a great book!)

9:00 - Read-alouds/school work

10:00 - School hour with little ones (I do the music lessons and phonics lessons)

11:00 - Piano practice

11:30 - Violin practice

12:00 - Eat lunch/kitchen clean up/straighten house quickly, and do some school reading

1:00 - Finish school, start web work (my family owns several web based businesses)

3:00 - Straighten house, and then we usually go outside for a little bit. I usually to some school reading here as well.

After that, we usually cook dinner and do a nice evening routine(including spending lots of time with Dad when he comes home from work)

This is a very loose schedule. In my spare minutes, I finish any leftover chores or school, help with the laundry, help my Mom with anything she needs, hold little Jon, spend time with my siblings, work on house renovations, sew or craft, blog, bake little goodies, enjoy corresponding with several pen pals, do additional music practice, and all sorts of things! We also have scripture cd's, lecture cd's and other misc. school cd's while we are cleaning or not doing sit down school work.

It is very easy to stay busy at home, which is my Biblical place. I enjoy helping my Father in business, helping Mom with the children or the house, etc.

Some of the questions I get are:

Do you ever get tired of being at home? Wouldn't you rather be out with your friends?

First of all, I never tire of being here at home. It is the best place in the world for me! There is always a batch of cookies to make, a neighbor to visit, a new pattern to sew, a bathroom to renovate, or a home business to help with! My house is the most exciting place in the world!

What about a job? Don't you want to have a job so that you can support yourself?

Why would I want to further a stranger's business, when I could be furthering my Father's business instead? I find great pleasure in helping my Dad with our businesses and being entrepreneurial with my family.

Which leads me to the next question,

What do you actually do for your business?

I learned to program HTML and ASP last year, so my brother and I are in charge of a lot of the background operations on our websites. I also help to take the pictures for the websites, and I am currently working on several Ebooks to be launched in the spring.

Well, helping your Dad is nice, but what if my Dad doesn't have a business?

There are lots of ways to help your Dad, even if he is not in business in a way you can help. Ask him about his vision for your family. Ask if there is anything you can help him with outside of doing business. When we were renovating the mstr. bathroom in my home, my Dad and I hung the cement board for the tub surround. It was a nice time simply to talk to him and ask him about things we planned to do for the next year or so.

If you have any questions for me, you can leave a comment below, and I will get back to you asap!

Wishing you a good night,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition!

Today is Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition! Faithful readers, can you help me out?
My question is:

How Do you Make the Perfect Pie

I have tried many different recipes and I still haven't found a homemade one that comes out right! What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions? I know y'all have bundles of fabulous recipes and tips, please leave a comment below!
Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more of Works for me Wednesday: Backwards Edition!

Tuesday Talks

Today is the very first Tuesday Talks!

My review for today is for Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends. Written by a sibling trio, Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally.

This is a wonderful book, filled to the brim with good advice, practical applications, and a heavy dose of good humor!

Each chapter is divided into sections, including Sarah's Section, Stephen's Section, Grace's Section, I'm Perplexed..., HIS Story Applied Today, and A Self Evaluation Quiz.

If you are looking for a great book about building sibling relationships, this is the one! My brothers, sisters, and I have been reading through this book after school everyday, and everyone is enjoying it!I am definitely looking forward to applying the principles in this book.

Have you got a review to share? Link to us using the Mr. Linky below. We look forward to reading your reviews!

For information, scroll down to the "Information and Rules for Tuesday Talks" post!


Friday, January 4, 2008

Information and Rules for 'Tuesday Talks'

I thought I would take a minute and explain our new weekly feature, Tuesday Talks, to our readers.

This is a wonderful opportunity to gain some knowledge on what kind of entertainment is unsuitable and get some great recommendations as well! Tuesday Talks is a reader based feature where you post your reviews on your blog/website and link back here. Every Tuesday, you'll write a review (as quick, or as lengthy as you'd like) and post your link on our blog with help from Mr. Linky.

Review and share your opinions on anything you've experienced, whether it's the latest book or a classic movie!

Just a few easy rules that we request you follow:
-Link back to in your review post.
-Please don't elaborate on graphic or inappropriate content in your review.
-Review books, movies, music, or theatre. No television shows, etc.
-No spamming.

Thanks so much, and we hope you will participate this Tuesday!
Feel free to use the Tuesday Talks graphic!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New in 2008!

We hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Year! We would like to share some topics that we are planning to cover and some exciting new features in store for the Stay-At-Home Daughters blog in 2008! We are also opening up the comment section for discussion and suggestions: what would you like to see at Stay-At-Home Daughters in 2008?

Here are a few topics we are going to cover this year!
  • Handling "the college question" graciously
  • Hope Chests and what should go in them
  • The blessing of a simpler life at home
  • Staying productive at home during the single years
  • The High School Graduation issue
  • Being a blessing to your siblings
  • Contentment in every season of life
  • Ways to bless your parents
  • The fruits of the spirit (this will be a long series on each fruit individually!)
  • Practicing hospitality
  • Feminine Modesty (a checklist)
  • Tips on keeping siblings occupied and happy
  • How To Start and keep a Homemaking Journal
  • Feminine hairstyling
  • Simple plans for quiet time
  • The art of letter writing
  • How to make a perfect cup of tea
  • Starting a home business
  • Tips on memorizing scripture

You can also expect some great new features!

  • A new weekly feature called, "Tuesday Talks"
  • Tutorials for sewing and other homemaking skills
  • A Week In Skirts (documented by each of us)
  • Open discussions (where we ask the question and you offer your advice and expertise)
  • An official monthly Stay-At-Home Daughters podcast! (Set to launch this February)

And of course, we'll continue to document our family life, and post recipes and encouraging quotes, poetry, and articles from outside sources.

This year is looking like quite an exciting one!

Now it's your turn! All of you lurkers please leave a comment below and let us know what you'd like to see this year on Stay-At-Home Daughters!