What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Torah School

I am very excited to announce a resource center especially for homeschoolers desiring to use torah as their base for school. When you click on each torah portion, you will find ideas and links for every subject from art to history to science.  Each idea is drawn from the torah portion.


 I suggest you read the torah portion together on Sabbath, and do any study together then.  During the following week, use some of the ideas to tie the torah into every subject.  Please don't use every idea in one week.  You'll never make it! Just pick the ones that are best suited to your family.  We want you to be able to come back next year and use some of the ideas you didn't use this year.  Also note that some suggestions are definitely for older children.  Keep records with notebooking pages or checklists, etc.

 Beresheet, though not complete, is ready to use.  Noach is also ready to go.  We will continue adding links and ideas over the next few torah cycles. We hope this will be a tremendous blessing to you and your family.  Thank you, Suzanne, for making this wonderful idea a reality.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Courtship Guidelines

I see many young ladies anxious to meet their prince.  Would you like to hear how I met my prince, and how we made it to the wedding altar to share our first kiss?  Read on!

It all happened eleven years ago.  I wore a childish denim jumper with sailboats on the pockets.  I just wanted to get this meeting over and get on with my life.  He was, after all, 30 something, and probably fat, bald, and short.  I was only 3 days past my 20th birthday, so this guy sounded ancient.  But then he walked through the door, and my life was never the same. 

Did I know he was the one right away?  I think I did deep down inside, where we don't often visit.  But I wanted to make sure I made a sensible decision, and then my heart could follow.

I "courted" because that was the coin phrase among homeschoolers at the time.  I don't care what you call it.  What matters is how it operates.  So here were our rules. 

1. Doug asked my parents permission for everything, including getting my phone number in the first place.
If a guy can't go through dad, he's got no right to the girl.

2. We were never alone.  Let me repeat that.  We were never alone.  We got a lot of flack for this, because it was thought that we wouldn't really know each other.  Simply put, they were wrong.  By the way, Doug made this rule, not my parents.  He did the dating thing, and knew himself all too well.  (Girls, I know your hearts are white as snow, and a bad thought would never even enter the room you are in.  But when a guy looks at you in a certain way, well, let me repeat this again.  NEVER ALONE!)

3.  We did not go on dates.  We didn't frequent restauarants, except for a double with my parents once.  We lived life together.  We worked together.  We built a ramp for my dad's shed.  We put a wood floor in the living room.  We baked cookies and pizza.  We spent our time in a home in a family setting.  To this day, our most precious time is the time when we work on things together.  It takes us back to those days.  Fathers can also spot a loser a mile away if he isn't willing to pick up a tool and get busy.

4.  We limited our time together.  Doug called me on Wednesday afternoons for 3-4 hours.  He came to my house and visited every Saturday.  That was it.  Emotionally, it was a tremendous safeguard.  I didn't lay awake every night thinking about the dreamy things he said to me.  By the way, when we did talk, we talked of scripture, abortion, speeding laws, how many kids we wanted.  We tried to understand each other.  To refer back to #2, we got to know each other quite well, because we weren't always trying to put our best foot forward and look good.  We were trying to determine if we should get married, not if we were a cute couple.

5.  We gave our parents full veto power.  Doug told his mom that if she did not approve of me, then he would walk, and he meant it.  I spent a lot of time talking to my parents, and asking them about this thing that Doug said, or that event that happened.  Our parents were our guides.  We trusted them to help us.

6.  In the end, the ball was completely in my court.  When Doug got down on his knee and asked me to be his wife, the choice was completely mine.  I could say yes, I could say no.  Just because we had courted, did not make it a done deal.  When I said yes, we considered ourselves betrothed, and simply had to get ready for the ceremony to make it official.  My parents had given their blessing to Doug, particularly my Dad.  In fact, when Doug called to "talk to Dad," Mom told him that Dad had a headache and was lying down.  "Don't bother him now!  I'll call back!"  So on Thanksgiving Day, my Dad kept saying, "Now's a good time, pop the question!" 

So of course I said yes.  (Actually I said Holy Cow!)  We enjoyed our first kiss at the altar.  The sermon was about Isaac and Rebekah.  And when we pulled out of the parking lot, we both looked in the back seat to see if my little sister was there.  Ten years, and many hills, and a few mountains, and five kids later, I love him more than I ever dreamed I could love a person.  Did YHVH bring us together?  I have no doubt. 

Could our rules be improved upon?  Certainly.  Could they be given more of a Hebraic view.  Absolutely, since we weren't Hebraic at the time. Each family is unique and will approach this slightly differently.  YHVH used this particular setup to give me a wonderful husband.  Sometimes he's not so wonderful.  Sometimes I'm not so wonderful.  But we're together and we're happy and serving YHVH together.  What more could you want?

Monday, September 13, 2010

TV free Days of Awe

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before YHVH. And, behold, YHVH passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before YHVH; but YHVH was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but YHVH was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but YHVH was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

(1Ki 19:11-12)

During these Days of Awe that we have just begun, we want to hear YHVH's voice.  He has been speaking to me in so many ways, but what of my children?  Can they hear His still small voice?  Or is the TV too loud? 
We are going to have a tv free Days of Awe.  We don't have any regular channels, but I do normally let the kids watch religious children's programming and movies that I approve.  But we need quiet.  We need stillness.  We need to be able to hear YHVH's voice.  My husband begged to be allowed God's Learning Channel, so we'll occasionally watch some Bible teaching.
Would you like to join us?  Did you have the idea first?  Please post a comment if you are doing something similar for the Days of Awe.
May we grow closer to YHVH as we listen to Him.  Shalom and Blessings!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feast of Trumpets Celebration!

We are all enjoying some quiet at my parents' house right now so I thought I'd share some photos.  Our gathering was rather small, all extended family, but we enjoyed ourselves very much.

Reading the torah portion together as well as an article about Yom Teruah

Sadie coloring a picture of shofars


Gramps blowing a ram's horn shofar.  Doug made it from one of our rams.

Gramps and Doug announcing Yom Teruah to the unsuspecting neighbors!

The voice of the next generation

Mommy getting in on the action

Marme gets a sound out of the shofar too!
(Just a note: All shofars represented in these photos were made by Doug.  Another hobby of his lol!)

Okay, this is just a really cute photo.  Feast days are fun!
Happy Yom Teruah everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Feast of Trumpets!

Wow! This must be a record for me.  Every stitch of work I can dream up is done, the bills are payed, the food is put away, the kids are bathed, and everything is ready for our Yom Teruah celebration tomorrow.  We're just watching "Annie" while we wait for the new moon.  Tomorrow we are off to my parents' house to celebrate Yom Teruah.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day and I'll be back tomorrow evening with some pics.  Off to enjoy my family!

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Yom Teruah!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I just wanted to show a couple of pics today.  In the background you can see the roof on the sukkah.  In front you can see my new tichel from Sowers of Hope.  Thank you very much!  Elisha wanted to say hi too.

Happy day, everyone!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My husband's hobby - Sukkot!

In the last four years, Doug has become completely obsessed with Feast of Tabernacles.  He tries to improve and design a better sukkah every year.  It's a challenge here in northeast Michigan.  We've had rain, flooded tents, mud, "smoke" issues, freezing temperatures, flat air mattresses, etc.  And we've never had more fun!  We look forward to the day when we can keep the feast at home in Israel with warm temperatures and a sukkah made of palm branches!

Until then, we are looking forward to this year.  Here is a picture of our progressing sukkah.  The roof is now on, but I don't have a pic of that yet.

It also doubles as pioneer practice for school!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Bible is our textbook

We all say it, but is it really true?
Can we teach our children everything with our Bible and perhaps a few reference works? I thought I'd do a little experiment with next week's torah portion and find out. Here's what I came up with.

I am assuming a methodical math and reading curriculum.

Ha'azinu Deuteronomy 32

history of publishing
American court systems, compare and contrast with Torah court system
learn about inheritances, write a will leaving all your possessions to various family members
ancient idolatry
use of arrows
dragons, legends and truth
Israel's exile to Assyria
geography and topography of Jordan River and Mount Nebo

study ears
rain and dew
how to survive in a desert
eagles, particularly how they raise their young
oil and how it is harvested/used
dairy products
magma, lava, volcanoes
poisonous snakes
carniverous animals
nourishment of breastmilk
body's need for water, dehydration

define foolish with only bible verses
ask your father about a sin he struggled with in his youth and how he overcame it
define abhor
learn about and practice caring for the elderly
learn about YHVH's ability to heal

I don't know about you, but that would keep us busy for way more than a week. How much more will be found in next week's torah portion?

Torah is definitely relevant to education, and I think there is real potential for it to be our very base to what we teach.

Have a great school week everyone!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Healing, Part 5

I have really been grappling with the connection between sin and sickness. Last week's torah portion included Deuteronomy 28, 68 verses of blessings and cursings. If you obey you will be blessed. If you disobey, you will have miscarriages, plagues, terrible itch, boils, etc. It really makes sense when you think about it. The best way to get my attention is to make me feel yucky or in pain. I'll think twice about doing something if I know it will bring discomfort to me.

So YHVH sends us sickness, disease, pain, when we sin. I have been discovering sins and repenting for two solid months, and I thought I was a good person. I feel lighter and more confident in the throne room with each sin I discard. At first, I set out to get my C-section scar healed. I am still seeking that, but what I have gained as I repented is far better.

I thought I'd list some sins that I had to deal with. If you are in a position where you are also seeking to clean house, perhaps this list will trigger something in your life, too.

Unforgiveness towards my husband
Unforgiveness towards other people that mistreated me
Violation of the niddah laws
Inappropriate entertainment, ie movies
Lack of a daily relationship with the Father
How dare you attitude
Blaming others
Failure to apologize

Okay, that's enough. These sins caused physical problems in my life. Now that I am dealing with them and forsaking them, those physical problems are leaving or improving. And I'm scared to return to those sins. I don't want headaches that make me nauseous. I don't want my legs to hurt so much that it's hard to get out of a chair.

I hope that we all can come out a little purer as we prepare our hearts for the fall feasts. The feasts are more than blowing a shofar and building a sukkah. It's about becoming a pure and holy bride, ready for the bridegroom. The Father is so merciful. He gives us so much time to repent. But when we delay, we are only hurting ourselves.

Create in me a clean heart, O YHVH; and renew a right spirit within me.
(Psa 51:10)

Shabbat Shalom and happy heart cleaning!

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