Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Press Release - Church Rescue

                                                     "Church Rescue"

     Struggling Houses of Worship Get a ‘Faith Lift’ In the New National Geographic Channel Series CHURCH RESCUE

     Three Business-Savvy Ministers Help Religious Leaders Make Practical, Common-Sense Changes That Free Them Up to Spread the Good Word
CHURCH RESCUE is in many ways like Extreme Home Makeover - except instead of rebuilding homes, these guys are rebuilding churches. The show follows “The Church Hoppers”, a team of ministers specializing in helping struggling sanctuaries get back on their feet. After being contacted by pastors looking for a helping hand, The Church Hoppers dig deep to uncover the church’s problems and then provide them with solutions – a faith lift, if you will.   :+)   Over the course of the first season we’ll get to know The Hoppers as they answer their calling to revitalize churches across America inside and out.


New Series Premieres Monday, November 11, at 10 PM ET/PT on

the National Geographic Channel

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grandbaby #10

On August 23rd,  2013, our 10th grandbaby was born!!  Penelope Grace Benedict.  A beautiful, tiny little girl. She's such a good baby for her mama and daddy.  We love her so much, and of course, this grandma wants to hold her as much as possible!   :+)

Monday, August 12, 2013

One AWESOME Blessing

     Do you have something that you feel has been, or is, an AWESOME blessing to you?!  Or in OUR case 9, soon-to-be 10,
blessings!!!  Who are these blessings?  Our grandkids!!  I am so blessed to have them in our lives!  People used to tell me that the proof of how successful you have raised your children, is by looking at your grandchildren.  I used to think, how did that make sense?  But now I see it.  I see how our little grandchildren, all under the age of 7, are copying their mamas or daddys by doing their chores, helping around the house, helping with their siblings...many of the things that we taught their parents, I see duplicated in our children's children.  And many of the phrases we used with our 9 children, they are now using with our grandchildren.  Phrases like, "Because I said so!" or "Patience is a virtue!"  So many people have said that "Just when you think you cannot love anyone, any more than you can love your own children, suddenly you have grandchildren, and your heart melts again, and your mama bear protective mode goes in to high gear!"  They were so right!  Now this is a true blessing from God!! 
                               One of the BEST yet!!!

A Quest for Silence or Simply Just Shut My Mouth?!

 Silence is defined as, the “absence of sound or noise.”

 Antonyms = quiet, peace, calm, hush, lull, stillness, quiescence, noiselessness

I am a person who loves details.  It’s what helped me all through school while growing up.  It enabled me to be on the newspaper staff, as well as the yearbook staff. I excelled in my English Comp classes, and poetry writing.  I love English (writing and talking)!  Details have helped me do book reviews for different organizations and authors.  It enables me to write articles for different newsletters. And in return, it also is what helped our three older daughters excel in their writing while growing up as homeschooled children. 

However, the question remains…Why can’t I “just keep quiet? Skip the details? “Shut up?!”  Why do I bog down my husband with detailed talking?  He truly hates listening to me talk. He only wants a shortened version, if that, of whatever I am talking about.  Perhaps my voice actually grinds on his nerves?  After 26½ years, you’d think I would remember this and have learned by now. I have nothing to say that interests him.  My life revolves around our children, grandchildren, home schooling, and church.  Once you’ve heard it all, you’ve heard it all.  He does different things daily at work.  Each and every day bring new challenges and opportunities.  He is an important asset to the company.  He sees other people all day.  He eats out with different people all during the week.  He has numerous phone calls with other adults during the day.  He is an incredibly smart man.  What am I, but a wife and mother?  YES, I am greatly blessed by this!!  But, I feel that to my husband, I am nothing more than a person “doing my job.”  “What I am doing, is what I am supposed to do (as a wife and mother).”  To him, it is a tedious job.  So, he tires of hearing about it.  Insistently, I go on, doing what I do, wondering why I can’t get this one specific thing right…”quietness.”  Why do I persist at trying to tell him about things?  I don’t know?  Sometimes, I believe, it is in hopes of peaking some interest from him in something, anything that I do, or say. 

So maybe I should look at what “Silence” is from a Biblical point of view…  "Silence" in spirituality is often a metaphor for inner stillness. A silent mind, freed from the surplus of thoughts and thought patterns, that are both a goal and an important step in spiritual development. Such "inner silence" is not about the absence of sound; instead, it is understood to bring one in contact with the divine, the ultimate reality, or one's own true self, one's divine nature. Many religious traditions imply the importance of being quiet and still in mind and spirit for transformative and integral spiritual growth to occur.

Maybe I should put my goal toward this kind of quietness?  To grow spiritually if not in other ways.

Ironically enough, these two phrases have become popular throughout the centuries;
          "Silence is a woman's best garment."
“Speech is silver; silence is golden”

   Perhaps I either need to work even harder to learn from these phrases, or if nothing else, it is time for society (and maybe my husband), to see women over-all as someone with worthy words to share, details to adhere to.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

One Mom's Journey Through Homeschooling

     I remember watching my children struggle. They were much younger then; we were living in New Jersey, and my fourth and youngest child was not yet born. My two eldest children were in elementary school at the time.
     My older son was being persistently scolded for his inability to sit still; I was once called in by his teacher and told that he was sometimes so active that he would knock others over. Meanwhile, my daughter, who was in kindergarten, was getting into trouble for gathering children in her class and reading to them.
     Clearly, something was not working.
     When you watch your children grow up, you start to recognize their personalities, their individual quirks. My older son, fidgety as he was, was never more content than when he was pulling apart an old, broken television and putting it back together.
      My youngest son, on the other hand, liked to observe things and was obsessed with anything visual. He even refused to wear more than one color at a time — he seem perpetually perplexed by the idea that he could wear shirts that weren’t blue with blue jeans.
      It wasn’t long before I started to understand why my children were struggling in school. Their personalities overwhelmed their learning, and public schooling didn’t have the time, means, or opportunity to account for those individual personalities.

     The sheer number of students in each classroom stamps out the possibility of any recognition of distinctive learning styles. Private schools would be more likely to accommodate my kids as individuals, but, truth be told, we could not afford that for our three children, and the fourth was on the way. Neither the private nor public schooling systems was providing us with what we needed.

I grew up surrounded by educators. Both of my parents were teachers and one of my grandparents was a public school superintendent. That made my next choice seem all the more radical to me: I chose to homeschool my children. 
     When I made the decision to homeschool, my oldest son was eleven years old and my youngest daughter was a newborn. Back then, there weren’t the resources there are now — internet or computers even — so I went in to the experience rather blindly. I originally went for the traditional schooling idea, buying the usual textbooks and workbooks; I reasoned that that was what my children were already most used to. Eventually, however, it seemed like my children were in need of something radically different.
     My youngest daughter was in a phase where she loved watercolors. I say ‘phase’ loosely, as that’s really how she’s been her whole life. Once, she even painted the entire back of a chair we had recently reupholstered! It brought me back to thinking about how my children’s related to the world in completely individual ways. For my daughter, it was through watercolors and art. For my older son, it was through breaking things apart and putting them back together.
It wasn’t long, then, before I figured out that these were their learning styles: my oldest son and youngest daughter were kinesthetic learners, and my middle daughter and son were visual learners.
From then on, I knew the best way to help them learn would be to play to their strengths. I was lucky enough to have only two different types of learners in my family, so I only needed two different ways of approaching subjects.
     Visual learners, like my middle children, work perfectly well in a traditional school setting: they are good at reading and writing, and even enjoy them. The difficulty with them is trying to get them to apply what they learn from what they’ve read, asking them, “okay, now what do you do with that information?”
     My kinesthetic children, on the other hand, did not at all flourish in a typical school setting. Besides their inability to keep still, they, my son in particular, have a harder time with reading. On top of that, they can easily start to feel inadequate when they aren’t understanding something that their visual peers are easily grasping. My son was always an optimistic child, so he never let it get him down, but my daughter always got frustrated when she saw her siblings understanding something she simply couldn’t decipher.
     Their education needed to be tailored to them: their needs, their personalities, their strengths, what they liked and disliked. I let my son continue to take broken TVs and remote controls apart and put them back together, but instead of letting that be it, I would have him write about exactly what he did. After that, he would read aloud what he had written, and eventually, his struggles with reading passed.
     Awareness of the way my children learned, and helping them to understand they learned, helped my children become captivated by education. They would no longer feel inadequate when they didn’t understand something, they would no longer feel frustrated. Instead, they learned to play off their own strengths, and the strengths of their siblings. They understood how they worked and how to work together, and that understanding has shaped their lives, even to this day.
My oldest son is now 30. He never let go of his desire to move and play with things; in fact, he now owns an extreme sports clothing company. My oldest daughter, one of my visual children, is now a manager at H&M and designs and sells things on Etsy. My youngest son, also one of my visual learners, is a published author, and is about to start an MFA program at Chapman University. My youngest daughter is now 19, and is currently studying at UC Santa Barbara.
What was the best takeaway from learning how my children learn? It was their reignited passion for learning. Even to this day, they continue their education in any way they can, looking for learning opportunities in everything they do. The experience and new understanding even helped me rekindle my love of learning. I started studying at a culinary institute, and have not stopped my quest for education since.
     Understanding how a child learns, and catering to that, making education interesting and involving for them, can make all the difference in a child’s life. It can reshape them to love education. Take your child’s education and personalize it; it can change their life forever.
About the Author: The author resides in California but is a Texan by birth and has lived in seven of the fifty states and homeschooled in three of those states. She received a degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin and later followed one of her passions by attending culinary school in her thirties. This fueled her desire to learn to speak French and Italian and these endeavors are still works in progress. You can find Gaye at: gayemarkham.com

Aaron K. Harris
Tutorspree: Co-Founder and CEO


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Accept the Diognosis, But Do NOT Accept the Verdict That Comes With It

     What is a "chronic" illness?  Many people believe it is all in the mind of the other person, and because they can't actually see signs like you can with someone who perhaps has cancer.  There are still many people and even a few doctors still think "It's all in your head."  That is so NOT a true statement.
      A chronic condition has been defined as something that "is prolonged, doesn't resolve spontaneously, and is rarely ever cured completely."   When you say you are doing well, that doesn't mean you are cured; instead it refers to your ability to cope and make needed adjustments.  It's learning to live 'In spite of" your chronic condition. They may not be something "curable" (unless God provides you with complete healing), but they are also not deadly. 
     So what are some "chronic" illness's???  Well there are a few that
are most "common," such as; Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Sleep Disorders, COPD, and more.  A "chronic disease is not contagious, and no the person may not "look" sick at all.  That does not mean that they are not sick, or in pain, or depressed about this "new you that you have had to become."  They do, however, have real feelings, still are in pain, and when family and friends act like they are "faking it" or psycho about having a chronic illness, it hurts in such a way that it makes the person who is suffering to either pull away, or go to the opposite extreme, overdoing things and pretending for the sake of others who don't believe them, that nothing is wrong, even when it truly is!!!
     So what do you do?  You hang on to hope, keep having faith, and concentrate on what you are able to do.  You learn how to turn your life over to God's loving care and seek HIS comfort, strength and healing.  You are not fibromyalgia!  You are not lupus!  You are not chronic fatigue!  When you say these things, you aren't recognizing your God-given talents, skills, personalities, and characteristics.  You need to separate your illness from whom you really are!!  Remember when you attempt to hide your situation from others, in a sense you're letting them control your life and who you are at that very moment.

To read more on "Chronic Illnesses," read the book "Coping with Chronic Illness" by H. Norman Wright & Lynn Ellis

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Having recently gotten 3 Persian kittens (my 2 males just turned 5 months old on St. Patrick's Day & the little girl is only 10 weeks), I am compelled to encourage everyone, unless you are a clean, professional dog or cat breeder, to be a RESPONSIBLE pet owner.  How many, many times do we have a pet that was so "cute" as a baby, but the newness and excitement has worn off?  Maybe you are running late to an appt., or to work, and figure, "Oh well I'll feed them when I get home."  Well you get home, you are hungry yourself, tired and want to just sit, relax and watch a little TV before bed.  That's "okay" you tell yourself. "I'll feed them in the morning."  Well the morning is hectic, you're running late, and once again you say, "When I get home..."  And never mind the fact that your pet has had no water for what...Two, Three, or Four days now.  Plus, the fact it rained yesterday and your dog was on its chain with no chance to get any shelter, or get away from the thunder and lightning that it's something that scares the stuffing out of your pet!!!!  But that is what I am hoping to make a point about.  These are supposed to be your pets!  

These "pets" deserve to have the same things that YOU need to survive!  That is food, water, shelter and most of all...LOVE!!  Take care of them, feed them, get them their rabies shots and other vaccines. and get them SPAYED and/or NEUTERED!!   If there is even the slightest chance that you won't have time, money, and patience for that "cute" little kitten or puppy, PLEASE, DON'T GET IT!  There are hundreds, upon hundreds of thousands of neglected and abused "pets" out there!  Let's work together to be responsible pet owners!!  And if you see or know of any abused animals out there, call someone and turn them in!  Love yourself enough to love your pet just as much as they unconditionally love YOU!

In the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, there is a wonderful, inexpensive place called The Leid Spay/Neuter Clinic that is actually on the property of the NE Humane Society in Omaha.  They will neuter your cat for $30, and Spay your cat for $40, and for your dogs it is $55 to neuter your male, & $65 for your female to be spayed.  Set up an appt. today!!!!  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

37 Characteristics of Dyslexia

  • Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
  • Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "behavior problem."
  • Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting.
  • High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
  • Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
  • Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
  • Seems to "Zone out" or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention; seems "hyper" or "daydreamer."
  • Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

Vision, Reading, and Spelling

  • Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
  • Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
  • Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
  • Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
  • Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don't reveal a problem.
  • Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
  • Reads and rereads with little comprehension.
  • Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

Hearing and Speech

  • Has extended hearing; hears things not said or apparent to others; easily distracted by sounds.
  • Difficulty putting thoughts into words; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.

Writing and Motor Skills

  • Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
  • Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness.
  • Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.

Math and Time Management
  • Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
  • Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can't do it on paper.
  • Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
  • Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.

Memory and Cognition

  • Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
  • Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
  • Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).

Behavior, Health, Development and Personality

  • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
  • Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
  • Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
  • Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
  • Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age.
  • Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
  • Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
  • Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.

              (© 1992 by Ronald D. Davis.)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dyslexia - Why do MY Children Have It?

     Let me start out by saying that out of our 9 children, 3...possibly 4, of our children have dyslexia.  This did not stop our 3rd oldest daughter from going to college where they gave her help for what they call her "disability," nor did it stop her from becoming a Certified Nurses Assistant, a Photographer, as well as a wife & mother.  As well, we will not let it stop our younger children who struggle with it on a daily basis, from doing what they want to do too.

What is dyslexia?     Dyslexia is a specific developmental disability that alters the way the brain processes written material.  According to The International Dyslexia Association (IDA), dyslexia is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.  Studies show that individuals with dyslexia process information in a different area of the brain than do non-dyslexics.

     There is no single pattern of difficulty that affects every dyslexic person.  Dyslexia can cause a variety of issues.  I found a wonderful checklist
here called 37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia.   

What causes dyslexia?
     Dyslexia is thought to be an inherited condition. It may be genetic, but how and if it comes to be varies considerably from individual to individual. Sometimes dyslexia can be attributed to a wide range of environmental factors, like birth trauma, problems during pregnancy, brain injuries, infections and toxins. However, although considerable progress has been made, the exact mechanism that causes genes to contribute to the multi-faceted dyslexic condition is still unknown. Research shows dyslexia affects about 10% of the population.

Is there a cure for dyslexia?
     According to the Mayo Clinic website, there is no cure for dyslexia. It's a lifelong condition caused by inherited traits that affect how your brain works. However, most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

      Dyslexia is a medical diagnosis. Therefore, public schools don't test for it and often don't have programs to address it.

                  Thank you to Melissa's research at:

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Place of My Own

     Have you ever  wished you had somewhere to go that is peaceful, quiet, where you could read a whole paragraph in a book if you wanted, or think without being interrupted, or even just pray outloud and totally keeping your eyes on Him, our precious Lord???
     Don't get me wrong...I LOVE kids and babies!!  My own, our soon-to-be 10th grandbaby, our foster kids through the years...  Flat out, I love kids!!  All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother from the time I was in about 2nd grade.  My first babysitting job was for my 4th grade teacher every day after school so that she could go to her second job.  I took her son to Cub Scout Meetings, made him supper and had him ready for bed when she got home.
     Now fast forward...I am sad to say, I am now 47 and now I can concentrate a little less on everyone else (though we still have 4 children in the nest and one grandbaby we are raising), and ask myself, "What do I, Kelly, want?"  Well, I wanted a room I can go to, my own little hideout if you will," and something I can go to, enjoy, and yet still be able to see what is going on, and be able to supervise the kids still at home.  So, my husband turned one of our bedrooms into a "my room."  Yes, my room for my kittens and I.  I have a radio, TV, my Bible, a notebook, and 'pretty' things in there.  But to be able to still see and supervise what is going on, I needed something I could see through, but still not have all the noise.  So, I got the idea of an all glass screen door!  Yes, it might seem corny, but it works perfectly!!  My hubby did a great job!!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Persian Beauties

     Is there a difference between a regular house cat vs. a Persian??  The answer is...YES!
     Don't get me wrong, cats have been part of most of my life since I was a little kid in maybe 2nd or 3rd grade.  I love the cats I have had!  They have been some great cats!  However, I was blessed to meet a lady with a cattery who breeds Persians. 
     Persians have a long flowing coat with luxurious full, soft wooly undercoat hairs with longer coarser guard hairs and a chunky body which is often referred to as 'cobby.'  Their legs are thick and stocky.  Persians typically have round eyes set in a sweet round flat face. 
     Persians are gentle (not hyper), quiet cats.  They are calm and undemanding and can be very affectionate.  They are very placid and unlikely to scratch anyone.  Because of the Persian's serene nature they usually get along with other pets, and are great with children.  They are not noisy, nor demanding, and can give their owners much love and devotion.  If you want a loveable, adorable Persian kitten
please email Sharon at; oldetyme3@q.com



Friday, March 1, 2013

Hermit Crab Cramped Quarters

What an awesome home school experience we had yesterday!!  Our youngest son at home (age 11),
decided that he wanted a Hermit Crab after seeing his nephews.  So we researched Hermit Crabs, and
and he used his savings to buy one.  We actually got to watch as his crab felt around until he found the new, bigger shell he wanted, and saw him move in to his new shell!!  It's rather ugly out of it's shell, but a fascinating miracle of God!

Designer Kennels - Pomapoos, Toy Poodles & Rat Terriers

Our good friends, Jean & Brian have redesigned their website. They are the ones who got me into the business and taught me soooooo much! The sell toy poodles, pomapoos, and rat terriers. They are excellent dog breeders if you want a wonderful dog!! Check out their website!!

"Hi everyone,
We have our new website set up and running... still adding stuff. Here it is: www.designerkennel.com"

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Chance to Win a "Girls of American History Unit!"

     What a breath of fresh air!!!  We have been blessed to try a new curriculum that is based off of the eight American Girl Collection.  It is a multisensory learning program that is not only fun and educational history wise, but for a family with 9 children, 4 of whom struggle with Dyslexia, it is a perfect combination!  In everything you study, they try to follow the pattern of "Read it, Hear it, See it, Write it, and Do it."
     This is not a curriculum for only girls as there are male characters in each book, as well as crafts and suggested field trips that will entertain and engage boys, keep them interested and teach them history in a fun, educational way.
     If this sounds like a curriculum you'd like to try, or one that will fit your family, they are having a contest starting on March 1, 2013 - March 10, 2013.  It will only take minutes to enter, and it will be worth your time!!!  :+) 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Why Do WE Homeschool

Why Do WE Homeschool?
(One reason is...)
These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My New Kitten's Brother

My husband surprised me with getting me my Persian kitten's brother!!!  He is a Dwarf Persian, though they are litter mates, full brothers, but you would never know by looking at them. They are absolutely precious, have tiny, quiet meows, are very gentle, kittens/cats that are very intuitive and loving.  They are so different from your average house cats, but I can't do them justice in explaining.