What’s for supper…

If you have read my blog for any time, you will know that this year held a few changes for our family. After 16 years of homeschooling, graduating the two oldest into college, the Lord opened a door for the younger six children to attend a small Christian school in our area. He also opened the door for me to have the privilege to teach there. I will not tell you that it was an easy transition, because it took us the first nine weeks to begin to adjust. Four of my children love school the other two would rather be home, but for now, this is where the Lord has us.

With all the changes this year the one thing I determined would not change was our evening mealtime. The crock-pot has become a good friend to me. I have always loved to use it, but now it is more important than ever. I try to have at least three crock-pot meals a week lined up.

Here are a few of my favorites that I have on my blog, and below is my menu for this week. I also still use emeals. There is usually at least one crock-pot meal on the meal plan each week.

So,what’s for supper this week…

Beef tips and rice – crockpot recipe

Stuffed shells – the only thing I change in this recipe is that I add mini pepperoni, and any brand of shells will do.

Chicken and Italian dressing – crockpot recipe

Baked Spaghetti

Meatloaf- crockpot recipe

Pork loin roast – I buy the sea salt and cracked pepper pork roast place it in the crock pot in the morning and let it cook all day.




littlesanctury on fb


I have recently been asked if littlesanctary had a facebook page. Up until this point, I only had my personal page, but within the last few days, I decided to make a separate page for littlesanctuary.

 If you come to my blog you will notice in the sidebar I use delicious to bookmark posts and articles that I find interesting. I also use my twitter account to post quotes, or scripture.

Life has gotten busy, as the children have become older, so my blog posting has slowed down quite a bit. However, I do write many blog posts in my head, I just cannot seem to get to a computer in time to write them down before I forget them. :) 

I am hoping the littlesanctuary facebook page will be a place to bring my delicious bookmarks, blog posts that I can remember to write, and twitter quotes all in one place.

So, if you are interested you can find littlesanctuary on fb here

Memories Around The Table…

This table is one of my favorite pieces of furniture in the house.  It has now become more than a place to share a meal. We have also laughed, entertained guests, schooled, and made many memories around this table. The children have grown up before my eyes here.  When we first bought the table some 14 years ago, the wood was softer than I thought it would be, so as the children did their schoolwork it would leave an indention. When I first discovered the softness of the wood, I have to admit I was a little upset, but now I would not trade those marks for anything.  Over the years, I have even discovered their names carved into what they thought was a secret place along the edge.

The Table

There is something very special about gathering around a table. God Himself will gather His children around a table for supper one day.

Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Revelation 19:9

May I take a moment to encourage the generation who is coming after me to make supper a priority in your home. If possible, protect this time. I know it can be hard with church and school activities, but with planning and preparation, whether supper is at four in the afternoon, or eight in the evening, it can be a wonderful memory maker for your family. Has your table become just a place to dump stuff? If so, may I encourage you to clear it off, and begin making memories around it, and please turn off the TV, cell phone,  iPod and talk to one another.

Church Called to Preserve Family Mealtime

 Power of family meals

 Magic of the family meal

 Family Dinners are Important

Family Meals: an eternal investment and teaching tool

Family mealtime moments

And if you need a little help planning mealtime try emeals. I have been using it for a couple of years and love it…


Around the web for the new year…

New Year’s Resolutions- the reality is that few smokers actually quit because of a single moment of resolve, few obese people have become slim and healthy because of one dramatic moment of commitment, few people who were deeply in debt have changed their financial lifestyle because they resolved to do so as the old year gave way to the new, and few marriages have been changed by the means of one dramatic resolution.

How Not to Read Your Bible -When it comes to daily (or not-so-daily) Bible reading, January 1 can be a welcome arrival. A new year signals a new start. You’re motivated to freshly commit to what you know is of indispensable importance: the Word of God.

Yet this isn’t the first time you’ve felt this way. You were entertaining pretty similar thoughts 365 days ago. And 365 days before that. And 365 days . . . you know how it goes.

So what’s going to make 2013 different? What, under God, will keep you plodding along in April this year when staying power has generally vanished in Aprils of yore? From one stumbling pilgrim to another, here are five suggestions for what not to do in 2013.

23 Reasons to Be Joyful-The book of Philippians has been my food for the past month, or so, in response to the encouragement of a faithful brother of mine. Having struggled my whole life with negative thought patterns, which come so easily—without any conscious effort—I am asking the Lord to train me in a pattern of joy.

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will. – Jonathan Edwards

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. – Burroughs

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord!” Lamentations 3:40

Dyslexia…the road I’ve traveled

The Lord has blessed me with eight wonderful children. Of those eight, two have Dyslexia, and I am suspicious that the five year old may also be dyslexic. Dyslexia runs in families, so it is an inherited gene. It can be mild or severe.  One in five people have some form of dyslexia.

In the 90’s I had suspicions that something was not quite right concerning the area of reading with my second born daughter. She had a very hard time learning to read, even with intensive phonics instruction. She also had a lot of difficulty memorizing her math facts.   I took her to a respected physiologist who administered several tests, at that time he determined that her issues were ADD related.  As her mom, I knew this did not sound right.  Not knowing what else to do I continued with phonics and comprehension skills throughout her school years.

When her younger brother began to have the same struggles, I started doing my own research, which was much easier now than it was in the 90’s with so much more information available on the internet.  I had suspected he might have dyslexia because unlike my older daughter he continued letter reversal well into third grade. I began to educate myself on the signs of dyslexia.  I then had him tested and I asked that a Woodcock Johnson be one of the tests administered.  This particular test will indicate if a child has phonemic awareness issues.   The test indicated he did indeed have phonemic awareness issues. With this information, I had my daughter who was now a freshman in college evaluated also using the Woodcock Johnson and with no surprise, she had the same issue.  I am happy to say she is now doing well and receiving the accommodations she needs so that she can be successful through college.

I want to encourage you that if you think your child might have a learning difficulty, or be dyslexic, it usually takes several tests to determine what the issue may actually be. You cannot depend on one specific test. My son had several tests administered and each corroborated the other. Because Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, or severe, using one single test is not recommended. Because dyslexia is hereditary, I knew what we were looking for with my older child.

Having a name to put on their struggles has set both of my children free. They now know they really are intelligent, they just learn in a different way. In fact, dyslexics are gifted in areas controlled by the right side of their brain. They are usually gifted in these areas: art, music, athletics, mechanical ability, great people skills, 3-D visual spatial skills and more.

As a parent, when one of your children struggles you will do whatever you can to help them.  The first thing I did was hire a Wilson language tutor until I could get the training I needed to help my son.  Little did I know at that time that I would have the privilege to use my training to help other students who struggle with the same issues.

If you have a child whom you think may have phonemic awareness issues a reading program based on the Orton-Gillingham method has research-based evidence that shows it to be very effective.  Orton-Gillingham is different from other reading programs because of  what is taught and how it is taught.  Dyslexia is not a maturity issue, Meaning a child with dyslexia won’t “grow out of it.” The earlier it is detected  the better.

Here are three Orton-Gillingham based programs you might want to consider.

Wilson Language Program– This is the one I use at a small Christian School where I am now the Reading Specialist.

All About Learning– I have not used this program, but from what I see online it is Orton -Gillingham based.  It may be a great home school option.

Barton Reading System & Spelling– This is another great Orton-Gillingham based program.

Here is a little more information about what dyslexia actually is. Most of my information came from Susan Barton’s site. She has a wealth of information.

What exactly is Dyslexia? According to the National Institute of Health…

  • “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin.
  • It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.
  • These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction.
  • Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Phonemes are the smallest unit of spoken language.  Children who do not have phonemic awareness cannot distinguish sounds within spoken words. If a child has phonemic awareness, issues they will have difficulty with letter sound relationships.

The NIH states…

  • The lack of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to learn to read.”
  • “Phonemic awareness is more highly related to learning to read…than tests of general intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension.”
  • “Phonemic awareness is the most important core and causal factor separating normal and disabled readers.”

Warning signs of Dyslexia.

Common myths about dyslexia such as dyslexics see words and letter backwards

Famous people with dyslexia.

When my Dyslexic children have a hard day, I remind them that God has made them for His glory. Their Dyslexia was not an accident. It is part of His plan, and He will use it for His Glory if they will let Him.

Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” Isaiah 43:7

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” Isaiah 55:8

Blessings~ Kim @

Additional articles on Dyslexia

Defeat Dyslexia by catching it early

Rethinking Dyslexia

Video from the US Dyslexia Congressional Caucus

Navigating School with a Dyslexic Child: One Mom’s Story

James Middleton: How I battled my crucifying dyslexia to read at Kate and William’s wedding  

Election resources for kids

Schoolhouse Rock Electoral College

270 To Win  is an interactive Electoral College map for 2012 and a history of Presidential elections in the United States. Since electoral votes are generally allocated on an “all or none” basis by state, the election of a U.S President is about winning the popular vote in enough states to achieve 270 electoral votes, a majority of the 538 that are available.

and just for fun…Duck for President

We lived to tell about it…

We lived to tell about it…the first term of school that is.

It has been an interesting fall. I have not blogged much about school yet because I wanted to get a good feel for it first.  The first few weeks I wanted to run home with my children as fast as I could not because of anything horrible, just because I missed the old routine.   My littlest one that is in K-5 had a rough start.  It was a big adjustment for her.  She is just now settling in and doing well.  She is the tiniest one in her class, but seems to be holding her own and has made friends. The two high schoolers and the 3rd grader love it there. The middle schooler and 5th grader could take it or leave it.

I am fortunate that my lunchtime is the same as two of my children, one of them being the five-year old.  Lunchtime together is a wonderful part of our school day.

I am also thankful  that I get to see my children multiple times during the day and receive lots of hugs as I pass them in the halls, or see them on the playground. I also pull two of them three days a week and work with them.

There are things I miss about homeschooling. Things like sleeping late, no homework, spontaneous field trips, not being tied to the school calendar…sleeping late … did I mention that I miss sleeping late. I have decided if I ever start a school it will begin no earlier than nine and only have class four days a week.

There are things I really like about our Christian School.  The teachers are all wonderful, and really care about the students. The administration is fantastic to work with, and very family friendly.  The curriculum is Biblically sound and they are using  my favorite Bible curriculum.  There is a strong emphasis placed on teaching the kids to have a Biblical Worldview.

The middle and high school had the AXIS team come in during the first term for a three-day worldview conference.  Preacher daddy and I had the privilege of having the team members stay in our home. It was great to get to know them and have our children interact with them outside of the school day. I am thankful to be a part of a school that will cancel classes for three days, so that an emphasis can be placed on Biblical thinking.

Overall, my children had a very good first term, and after receiving their very first report cards ever in their lives… I am proud to say, they made  A’s and  B’s. WooHoo!

My dyslexic child is doing so much better. I have been working with him three days a week using the Wilson Language Program, which is an Orton-Gillingham, based program.

As of now, I have nineteen students. I work with them anywhere from two to three times a week most of them see me for thirty minute, or hour sessions.  I anticipate as the school year goes on I will be evaluating and adding more students. This past week I added my own five-year old to the list of students that I will be seeing.  Dyslexia affects one in five people worldwide. It can be mild to severe and it is inherited.   Dyslexics can learn to read they just have to learn using a different method than students who grasp letters and sounds easily.  The earlier it is detected the better.

Right now, the school is remodeling a room that will be my permanent teaching home, since the beginning of the school year I have been sharing a room with the Spanish/Music teacher. I have so enjoyed getting to know her.  I know the Lord put us in the same room for this season. Her husband is a youth minister, and since preacher daddy was a youth minister for over twenty years it has been fun getting to know her and share youth ministry stories.

As far as being on staff at the school, I really enjoy it. I think the teachers are still trying to figure me out, but I am trying to keep a low profile.  I am not sure I want them to know I am a little crazy unusual.  They all seem kind of professional, and I’m just a homeschool mom who happens to have a degree in education, with three dyslexic kids, which forced me to find a way for them to learn.  Thankfully, they have not found my blog yet.  At least I don’t think they have.  They will for sure know I am crazy unusual if they ever discover it.

There are days I still think about returning to homeschooling, but for now, I know this is where the Lord has us.   Even though it is a covenant school that has many wonderful students, we still encounter several students daily who say and do things that are not Godly and are very much of the world.  I am thankful that my children have been able to identify the bad behavior and for now not emulate it. We still have ongoing discussions about what God’s standards are and how the enemy will try to trick  and deceive us. I pray they will continue to grow in the Word, do well academically, and enjoy their first year of “building” school.

So I guess for now to sum it up…we survived the first term…now three more to go.


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