Friday, June 13, 2014

It's Not the Hokey-Pokey

Hello, 2014-2015 School year! Oh, I know you're not here yet, but I just want you to know that I'm ready for you! Well...almost. There is that one last curriculum item that I haven't decided on.

But that's ok! I don't have to be as ready as you think I do.

Writing? Yep, we'll write.
Math? Got it. And all in our own time.
History? Absolutely! And guess what? History doesn't change! It'll still be there if we fall "behind" schedule.
Literature? Science? Spanish?  It's all good.

But hear this...all my T's and I's don't need to crossed and dotted in order for me to love my kids, listen to them, watch them, enjoy them, read and pray with them, and be there to help them heed the call that God has for them.

I am a student myself, really, in this thing we call homeschooling. God is the teacher, and I, along with my kids, am learning to love Him, trust Him, walk with Him, and wait on Him...through every season of schooling...every season of life.

That's what it's all about, isn't it? It's not the Hokey-Pokey, contrary to popular belief.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

FUN? At the Homeschool Convention?

May 2014... Heading into my 10th year of homeschooling and heading to the FPEA Homeschool Convention for umpteenth time.

A friend said, "Have fun!" I said, "If I do it right, I will."

I usually don't have fun. I want to have fun. But something takes over my mind and body that refuses to let it happen.

This time, I crushed that beast. I felt it creeping in on occasion... I walked through the crazy loud exhibit hall... It growled. I glanced around at all the other moms that looked like experts...It clawed. I tried to ignore the thousands of different curriculum calling out, "pick me and your kids will be doctors and lawyers and such!"...It screamed.

This year's convention was HUGE and it was awesome. It's always awesome. Each year that I go, I head straight to the workshops and speakers that I feel are going to convince me to keep on going. Those folks who have been at it longer than I have and seemingly have wisdom spewing from their pores.

And ya's never surprising...but always refreshing. They all tell me the same thing; the very same thing I have heard all along but have chosen to let the beast steal from me at the end of the first quarter of each new school year.

What I hear is this:

Pray. Pray. Pray....and pray some more.
...that God will draw my children to Himself.
...that He will show them the plans He has for them.
...that He will reveal to them their gifts and talents in His time.
...that He will equip them to do what He has called them to do.
...that I will submit all control of my life and my homeschooling to God.
...that I will not force something on my kids that God has not planned for them.
...that I will allow my kids to share their ideas freely with no judgement.
...that He will provide all that we need to follow where He leads.

But I argue along with the beast that has camped out next to me..."But it's all on me! What if my kids don't turn out right? How do I know if I am doing enough or doing too much? Am I ruing my kids? What if they end up hating homeschooling and hating me? What if they marry someone that dooest want to homeschool their kids? aaaahhhh!
growling, clawing and screaming felt like the beast had the upper hand at times, but not for long. As I sat and felt the hot, stinky breath over my shoulder, I closed my eyes, inhaled...exhaled...even shed a tear of release as I thanked God...

...that HIS strength is made perfect in weakness.
...for being in control of ALL things.
...for giving me the gift of discipling these kids even for a short while.

One of the greatest homeschool killers is the trap of comparison. I know this full-well. I have been so discouraged at times over the years that I was completely convinced that I couldn't make it another day and that I was a complete failure. Many exhausted days were spent in tears. So-and-so is graduating high school with 2 years of college complete, is going on a mission trip for 6 months, is fluent in 4 languages and has just published his new book.

I feel such a burden for the moms that are just starting out and will possibly go through the same swamp of despair as they allow the beast to whisper evil nothings in their ear. How I wish that I would have let the Holy Spirit do His work, so that I would have realized earlier that...

...I am me. husband is not her husband. family is not her family. kids are not her kids.
...what works for her may not work for me.
...there are no rules in homeschooling.
...God's idea of success may very well be different than mine.
...we are FREE to be what God has called us to be.

Free indeed. And ya know what?
I had fun at the convention.


Linkin' Up at:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chronicles of a Caterpillar: Day 3

 I think today is a special day! This is the first time he climbed the stick. I don't know what that means exactly, but it just may be the beginning of the big change!
 Before he climbed the stick, he went strolling around quite a bit. This also was unusual because all he did for 3 days was EAT!
I need to go do some research again to see how many days this will take! Change takes time!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chronicles of a Caterpillar: Day 2

Man, this thing can EAT! Initially I brought some of the sames greens in for him. By morning it was completely gone, so I doubled up on the next helping. Again...gone. It was hard to keep up with him!

And with all that eating, comes "You know what"! This is "Frass" aka caterpillar poop! I can't believe it, but people actually use frass to make tea! I don't even want to go there. But you can, if you like.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chronicles of a Caterpillar: Day 1

Heading out for a walk with Lucy this morning...


I nearly stepped on this lovely creature...

Perhaps you don't think it's lovely. I can understand that.

I posted my near mishap on Facebook (why not) and a friend of mine suggested I take her in. I can't believe it, but I've never done that before.

I accepted the challenge!

I scooped her up ever so gently along with the very leaves that she was gnawing on (they must be her favorite).

We set her up in a nice roomy tupperware container with her favorite greens, dirt and sticks and a wet cotton ball (this was the setup that my quick Google search suggested...and Google can't be wrong...right?)

More research will be done by the Gandee scientists to make sure she makes it to adulthood!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cheesy Enchilada Stack

Everyone in the house agrees! YUMMY!!

1 lb. Lean ground beef
2 (10 oz) can Red Enchilada Sauce
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (8 oz) bag Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 (16 oz) can refried beans 
2 (4 oz) cans diced green chilies
1 bunch green onions

Cook the beef in a skillet over MED-HIGH heat until well browned. Drain off fat.
Stir 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in the skillet with the beef.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1 tortilla onto the baking sheet.
Top with 1/3 of the beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.
Top with 1 tortilla, half the refried beans, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, 1 can drained green chilies, and 1/4 cup cheese.
Repeat the layers one more time.
Top with 1 tortilla, remaining beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.
Top with remaining tortilla.
Cover the stack with aluminum foil.
Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes or until the filling is hot.
Uncover the stack and top with remaining enchilada sauce, cheese and green onion.
Bake 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Cut the stack into 6 wedges.Enjoy!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Steve Saint interview with Joni

A new Update on Steve Saint:
This is an interview with Joni Eareckson Tada that aired yesterday on her radio program.
You can find my previous updates on Steve's condition HERE:

Steve Saint Interview

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Steve Saint Update

My heart just stops as I watch this story unfold. The forgiveness, redemption, love and commitment just continue to spread throughout this family.

Steve appears to be healing well from his accident a few months ago. Mincaye and his wife were here in Florida visiting the Saint family a few weeks ago. Steve tells us that Mincaye really thought that Steve was going to die and he wanted to make sure the Ginny was going to be ok.

This is a precious video. All the grandchildren adore Mincaye and his wife, Ompodae. They truly are family.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Steve Saint Update

This is the latest video of Steve Saint's condition that I-Tec has put on their website.

Apparently, I missed the Moody radio program where Chris Fabry interviewed Steve Saint on September 14th. This is the latest update I can find. He can't feel with his hands yet and it feels like he's walking on pins and needles, but he's so grateful to be able to hold Jenny's hand and to walk!

You can find the entire recorded interview HERE.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Steve Saint Update

I am so glad to hear about Steve Saint's recovery, however slow and gradual. If you haven't heard about Steve's accident, you can catch up here at his website. It was a heart-breaking and tragic accident that left him and his family wondering if he would walk again. He has since walked and after 6 or 7 weeks, he has finally left Shands to return home to continue his recovery and rehabilitation. 

I'll never forget our field trip to meet Steve and his staff at I-TEC in Dunnellon, FL. We live just a short distance away. He is a wonderful, sweet and caring man with a heart for the lost and for missionaries that serve them.

Continued prayers for Steve and his family are MUCH needed! :)

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

The first time I bit into this cookie I was hooked. They were decidedly the best chocolate chip cookie I had ever had. Thanks goes to my bestie, Kate!


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) lightly salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


    1. Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.
    2. Whisk the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl.
    3. In another large bowl, mix the butter with a wooden spoon to lighten it a bit and then mix in the sugars.
    4. Add the water, vanilla and eggs to the butter mixture.
    5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips.
    6. Using two soup spoons, drop the cookies 2" apart onto two nonstick or greased cookie sheets.
    7. Bake for eight minutes, rotating the sheets after four minutes.
    8. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool, and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sweet Deal

I've been finding that couponing is not what it once was. Oh, I still think it's wise and worth the time to watch the BOGOs and use the coupon match-up websites (sooo helpful!), but the Freebie days at CVS and Walgreens are pretty much over.

But I had a very sweet deal cooking at the local Family Dollar the other day! It all worked out as planned and I was plenty satisfied with the results!

This bunch of stuff came to a grand total of $28. Which means if I divide 28 bucks by 30 item, I can say I spent an average of 93 cents on each item. As good as that is, I like to still focus on the reality that I got the shampoo almost free and those Hefty plates for 2 cents a plate!

The coupon scanning system at Family Dollar is not the greatest....had a few folks behind me...appearing to be very patient...

These sites are fantastic for helping with the coupons!  (my favorite)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My first Home School graduate!

I can't believe it! My firstborn son is 18 and will be graduating with the FPEA Grads in Orlando at the end of May!

I love you, babe!

Daniel Joseph Gandee
4-Year Letterman * Track and Cross Country

Mom's Bragging Section:
Daniel's Personal Records: 400m - 51:00 800m - 2:03 3200m - 17:46

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Defeated to Victorious

Whitney over at Good Morning Girls described my week incredibly well. How did she know?

(From Whitney):






But she gently reminded me that I am not who I once was.

Ephesians 4:22-24

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

Tobe made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new slef, created to be like God in true righteousness and hominess.”

No matter what kind of garbage I may be dealing with…sickness, brokenness, pain, jobs left incomplete, plans cancelled, cranky kids…I know that I do not need to respond as my “old self” would respond. (like that big ugly list above)

My “new self” desires to be more like Christ,

To see Him

To hear Him

To obey Him

To Love Him

But Oh, how I run…back to my


Hearing only myself

Doing things my own way


God has promised to make me more like His Son.

2 Cor. 3: 18

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

So, I repent and believe…again.

My justification before God is forever right…this does not change. But I need to be constantly aware that my old nature desires to NOT believe the Gospel and to follow my old ways. MY ways.

He never tires of my repentance….and this is sanctification.

He promises me that the ugly list above will be turned to the beauty below:

(also from Whitney):







UPDATE from the last post:

He lied.
It was worse.

Maybe he just didn't have all the info...about my extremely curved roots and such. He had to reschedule some other cranky patients in order to finish the work. I felt bad for them.

It hurt.
Nerve endings zapping.

He explained why I was feeling some pain, but I have no recollection of what he said.

Truth be told, I walked out of the office, called my adoring husband, and sobbed into the phone.

I love him.
He's going to take me out for steak tomorrow.

A few Crummy Days

This morning greets me with a scheduled visit to the dentist to finish up a root canal that they began last week. At the moment I have a blue molar; I'm not sure why. Last week's episode was just as terrifying as I had expected, but Doc tells me that today won't be as bad.

He seems like an honest man. Time will tell.

On one hand, the complainer in me wants to well up. Waaa! I don't like people burrowing to center of the earth through my skull....I really don't. But on the other hand, I am so thankful that I live in a time and place where I have the option to keep my mess of a tooth instead of just treating it like cousin Eddy and kicking him out!

Also, very wonderful is the fact I don't have to pay 100% of the torture bill. However, I actually had to wait one year before I could get the tooth fixed because the insurance company's loot didn't kick in yet. Hence, the root canal. Had I been able to take care of the silly thing when my big ol’ filling came out, it probably wouldn’t have needed a root canal!

Makes me say, hmm.

The past week has been less than pleasant...the whole gang had the "stuff" (in the belly) and it was ugly. When it was my turn, the world seemed to shut down for some 24 hours. Shades drawn, not sure what time zone you’re in, head pounding, stomach churning kinda deal.

We’re all better now. It’s as if it never happened. All evidence to the contrary, however. One day of not doing my” daily duties” and it’s as if the dirty clutter monster came in and threw a party!

I don’t like him.

But, Oh! How I love this:

"Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

The sun just keeps coming up. He gives me the grace and strength to face the day. My soul can indeed say, "It is well."

Pressing on,

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 Gifts Found

I'm jumping in a little bit late to the Joy Dare for March...but I'm jumping nontheless:)

I love watching for the gifts (because they keep on coming), accepting the gifts and then naming the gifts. Sometimes, though, it doesn't actually make it to the paper or the blog list. That's ok, course.

Thankful hearts have been around much longer than Blogs and pens-

He is our All Knowing God.

But my heart at the moment is feeling a bit “queasy”. As I write this, my son is in the "other room" tossin' his cookies. I have a feeling our cookies are next. One down...four to go.

I won't hold this against my precious granddaughter whose been tossin' all week, poor thing!

What do I add to my list today?

Today we are to list 3 Gifts Found:

Sometimes it’s not so clear to see, but I think I’ve found it.

1. Thank you, Lord, that You have found the monster making war with my son’s insides and YOU are getting it out!

There's always something warring with our insides, isn't there?

2. How amazing you are that You have found a way to still allow us to love and care for each other when we get sick because we "seem" to get sick one at a time!

There’s always someone there to rub the back and say,

“It will go away soon.”

3. So eternally thankful that You have found me. I was lost, but You came to seek and save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

In the very real spiritual world, Satan is that monster. He has indeed declared war against God and His children and he doesn’t back down easily. Oh sure, sometimes he “upsets” the balance, but he cannot win.

The victory has already been won and it is Christ’s. (1 Cor. 15:57)

May we trust in God’s absolute and unfailing love. He is control of all things and may we hear Him and trust Him when He rubs our backs and says,

“It will go away soon.”

Linking Up at: A Holy Experience The Better Mom Write It, Girl

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 Book Give-Away

I've just entered this book give-away at The Encouraging Home .

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paul's Urge to Be Eager

As I read this passage this week, two words jumped out at me:

Urge (verb) and Eager (adj).

I know I’m a dork for pointing out the parts of speech, but I’m a Home School mom; that’s what I do.

But there’s a reason I’m pointing it outJ

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Eph. 4: 1-3

To me, these words stir up some emotion, some passion. It tells me that what is being said is important and there needs to be some action taken toward some goal. There’s action here…he’s urging and we’re walking. But what’s the big deal? What is Paul urging us to do?

“To walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”


At first glance this sounds like an impossible task. Am I to behave in a certain way to gain God’s favor? How can I walk in a manner worthy, when I know I’m not worthy?

That’s precisely why I need a Savior!

I love the way John Piper puts it:

“This does not mean that we should try to deserve our place in God's favor. It means that we should recognize how much our place in God's favor deserves from us.

This helps me.

I’m a wife, a mom, a friend, and all the other “hats” that I wear might label me as something else. Each of these different areas of my life “call” for my very best because these are high callings indeed.

A wife, mother and friend are important jobs and are worthy of my full attention, commitment and heart. (though sometimes I may not give it my best, I am called to do so…Col 3:23)

I must strive to do my best with what He gives me to do, not to be loved by Him, but because I am already loved by Him and I desire what He desires.

How much greater is this call of God that Paul speaks of?

But what is this “calling” anyway? Back in Ephesians 1, Paul tells us:

1:4 - God chose us for himself before the world was created.

1:5 He predestined us to be his children -- and that means heirs of all our Father owns!

1:12 says, we are destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory."

And 3:10 speaks of the unity of the body as we walk this walk to which He has called us: He has given us the mission as a church to display his wisdom even to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.

In this particular scripture, what does this worthy walk look like?

“with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Another word for “bearing” is “enduring”?

It seems all we can do sometimes is just endure each other! This is a wonderful truth, though, because what it causes me to do is realize that as much as I think I’m enduring others, they, in turn have to endure ME…and that’s no easy task.

The more I see clearly my own sin, the more I am able to bear with others… with all humility, gentleness, and patience.

But why do we need to bear with each other? Can’t we just live and let live?

Here comes the other word:


eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” Eager?

We are eager for what we desire aren’t we?

How eager I am for the things of this world! Material possessions to gain, places to go and people to see! I know that I place way too much value on things that are temporal and have no eternal value whatsoever. I wish it were not so.

Am I eager to maintain the unity of the body of Christ?

This is the calling!

· Do I edify and not tear down? Eph 4:29, Js 3

· Do I think of others before myself? Phil 2:3

· Do I gossip and slander? Js 4:11, Lev 19:6

· Do I sow seeds of Peace? Js 3:18, Mt 5:9

We are the Body of Christ. “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4-6

We are called to love one another to advance the kingdom!

Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jn 13:35

There’s the motivation!

There’s the Urgency

…the Eagerness

I am Eager for the day…

“that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to God.” Phil 2:10

Here are some great resources for deeper study through Ephesians:

John Piper

RC Sproul

Mark Driscoll

I'm "Linking Up" with:

Good Morning Girls Deep Roots at Home and A Holy Experience J

Still walking,


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