Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year at a Glance

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

What to do about Christmas?

Lately in the Gandee house we have been pondering all the commercialism and materialism surrounding this thing we call Christmas. It's not as if we have never pondered it before...it just seems like a different kind of pondering this time.

We may have pondered it in years past because the bank account was a bit low in many a late November or perhaps it was the "Company Christmas Party" that we dreaded. It might even have something to do with all those Christmas cards that I've felt somehow obligated to send to people that I hardly know anymore because the only time we speak is in a signature on a card!

This is my official notice...I'm quitting Christmas cards. There, I said it.

Why this pressure?! Why do I fear the questions and comments from family and friends? Over Christmas cards?! Hard to believe, but I will be asked to explain myself in a few short weeks.

Here's the thing. 24,000 children died today from starvation or preventable disease. People are starving, homeless, lonely, scared, sick, poor and lost and for some reason that's putting a damper on my Christmas shopping plans. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. Up to this point, the only thing I have bought is a gorgeous teddy bear that I found in the thrift store for a buck or two. My sweet Lorelei will take this bear in her arms and pour out her love on it and she wouldn't want anything more. She wouldn't need anything more. She has a family that loves and adores her and a no amount of toys could ever match that.

What about my boys? I am amazed at the level of maturity that they have displayed leading up to this Christmas. The talk around the house has been different. Oh sure, they still put that word in my ear about that XBox game or special something they've had their eye on, but they are beginning to see the truth. They are opening up their eyes to the world around them and the ME Monster is getting smaller by the second. He's a tough one.

So, what then do we do? I guess it would be a good idea to try to tear down all the idols and get back to the basics and that is to worship our Savior. Is it possible? I mean really? Can we savor the meaning and joy of Christmas and not get sucked in to the craziness of "Xmas"? I have to be honest. Christmas for me as a kid was the best day of the year. A big family reunion of sorts, continual feasting, and a ridiculous amount of gifts. It was just normal. That's what we did. It was Christmas. But Jesus had no place at our table.

Well, today, that just won't do. We can't do much, but we can do something to make a difference in someone's life, whether it's locally or globally. There are needs in right in our back yard and desperate situations all around the world Are we called to give people what they want or what they need?

Proverbs 19:17 
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 22:9
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.

Galatians 6:2
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Hebrews 13:16
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

James 2:14-17 
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The needs are all around. We've just had our eyes closed for so long.

Gospel for Asia Christmas Catalog

The Hole in our Gospel

Merry Christmas

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lorelei's starting to fly!

This is an amazing picture taken by an artist friend of Karissa's, Tom Sawyer.

And check her out; walking all over the place!! She really gets moving somewhere around 3 minutes!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We had a great time EARLY this morning at the Beat the Sheriff 5k in Inverness. Daniel came in 2nd place overall out of 197 male runners and was 1st in his age group. I think that's just plain amazing. Jaret ran his very first 5k and came in at 22:18 and was 4th in his age group. This was fast enough to beat the sheriff AND his mother at 22:26(I got 1st in my age group). Big Dan ran a new PR  with 25:43 and was 6th in his age group! It was extremely HUMID but a great race. 366 runners came out to this one!

A couple of shots of Karissa goofing around with the boys...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Babies, Books, Biology, Baths, Bible and Ball

It's hard to believe that 4 weeks of school have passed by already! I'm starting to get the hang of our new curriculum, Tapestry of Grace. I've realized that the Teacher's Notes are a MUST. This means a lot of reading ahead for me. Since it's been quite a while since I've read about Napoleon and such, I need to study up. But mostly, the boys and I learn a great deal together...at the same time, it seems.

I've mastered the art of ordering my books from the library at the right time in order to have them in our hands at the right time. Since our library doesn't have many of the books we need, they come from all over. So I need to order them 2 weeks in advance. I've grown very fond of World Cat. We're almost inseparable. The occasional PBS Biography on Netflix has been a great treat as well!

Our topics of study for the first 4 weeks have been about John Adams, Napoleon, French Revolution, Constitution, Industrial Revolution, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, William Carey and Thomas Jefferson. We're hovering around 1800.
All is well in Math with Daniel in Algebra 2, Jaret in Pre-Algebra and Ethan working his way through multiplying fractions.
The Science notebooks are being kept up pretty well.  The new microscope this year is sometimes a distraction because Ethan just wants to put everything he finds on the glass. It is pretty cool. Later comes the dissections...eew. Daniel's the official Biology student at the moment and he watches Catie Frates online. So far, I love her style of teaching. She makes it very interesting and she keeps us on schedule.

Life outside of the books is a bustle as usual. Jaret's quarterbacking for the first time for the Storm. He loves it completely. The first two games didn't go as planned but he loves it nontheless. Daniel's running cross country again this year. He's a junior this year and a fellow captain. He's working hard and is feeling ok after his knee surgery back in May. He still needs to get stronger to bust through his best times, but he's getting there. He can't wait to get back on the track in the Spring. My Ethan is still content to sit and read in his spare time. Although he loves football and he's a beast like his brother, he's still a bit too shy to get out there. I'm not pushing him. One less thing for me to do right now! I have no doubts that he'll strap on the pads one day.

Dan has been working at BathFitter now for a while. All is well and God provides. He is good. Dan has been teaching a class on Wednesday nights at Cornerstone based on the book "Radical" by David Platt. We're on the 5th chapter already and the class has some wonderful discussions and great insights. He's really enjoying this first teaching gig. He's also taking classes with Liberty online. He's swamped, but happy.

Me, I'm mom and that's what they call me. I run around like a head without a chicken most days and lay my head down on my pillow thanking God that he gives me the daily strength to keep going. Still enjoying my runs and I'm working towards a half marathon in November.
The grandbabies are 11 months old and 6 months old now. Had them for a bit last week and I can't get enough.

 We did eventually let them out of the cage after they were done watching Veggie Tales! :)

Just plain worn out.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Secret Church

Dan and I are considering a drive to Birmingham, Alabama for 6 hours of focused Bible Study. This takes place at The Church at Brook Hills with David Platt. There are many "house churches" around the world who meet for hours at a time under severe persecution at times. The time they have to fellowship together in small gatherings to study the Word of God is precious and they take it seriously. "Secret Church" is a challenge to step away from our comfortable weekly church experience(music, big buildings, programs) and to spend time in God's Word and in prayer for the church around the globe. We are told it is not for the faint of heart, but for those who want to know God more deeply and to know His church more fully around the world. I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A visit to Grandma's

Of course, it's not a full scale Gandee invasion without Rusty.

Lorelei and Mommy.
Lorelei LOVES the blocks that Grandma made!

...and they're tasty, too!

Grandma Donna and Lorelei.

Thank you, Grandma for all the love!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Library, home away from home

We're just two weeks away from the 2010-11 school year! Yippee! Am I ready? Not quite. But what I lack in readiness I make up for in eagerness! I love summer just as much as the next gal, but I also love a schedule, busy kids and the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day! I've had my fill of late nights, sleeping in and lazy kids!

Here are a few things I've decided regarding the next year. Daniel will take Spanish 1 on Florida Virtual School.  We need the deadline for Spanish, otherwise it gets thrown by the wayside. We'll use Catie Frates online for Biology, but do all the fun dissecting stuff here at home. I love what I see with Video Text Interactive for Algebra. We've used Math-U-See mostly and it's worked out just fine up to this point but Video Text is awesome for Algebra. It's very visual.

The newest and most challenging decision will be Tapestry of Grace. This is a curriculum that combines history, literature and writing. It's heavy reading in regards to Church history and worldview as well. All the boys will be studying the same time period in history, but their reading and writing assignments will be geared toward their own level.

If you need me, I'll be at the library...til May.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Glory of God-David Platt

The Glory of God-Part One of Four....well worth the time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cool blogger stuff

I'm having so much fun searching out all the blogging tips that are available. I can't believe I'm still up at this hour(12:41 am) That's ridiculous for me and I'll regret it in the mornig. My husband says I'm a little obsessed with it all and he's probably right. I'll get over it.

I'm not really sure why I spend time here. I really don't think there's a whole lot of people out there interested in what I have to say. In fact, I really don't have much to say at all! I keep to myself and my family most of the time and I enjoy the quiet when I can get it. I think I enjoy this blogging thing the way I used to like scrapbooking. It felt good to create something. I don't consider myself very "computer savvy" but I guess like to figure out how to make things work.

Well, for a couple of days I've been trying to master the drop down menu up there. So far, so good. I also added a widget for links at the bottom of the posts that would direct the reader to other posts of similar topic. I've been spying on a homeschool blogger mom at www.mama-jenn.blogspot.com. I just stumbled upon it one day and was amazed. I never saw a "blogspot" look like that! She has some good ideas and tips and she seems like an awesome lady as well.

So, I'm off to bed. The bed that I will drag myself out of in the morning!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dan!

Dan's mom came over today after church to celebrate Dan's 45th birthday (which is the 7th). She brought with her a couple of little sweethearts that we haven't seen for a while, Amanda and Tucker, our niece and nephew from Alabama. They made our day special!
Here the whole bunch...and the dogs, too. (Kariss'a dog, Lucy, is on the left...doggy-sitting!)
Ethan and Tucker

Dan loves his momma.

Tucker wants to learn the guitar!

Tucker just had to be taller than Daniel!
Enjoyed the Fireworks last night at Liberty Park with the gang...a very wet evening. The Firecracker 5k was wet as well. I didn't run, but Daniel did and the wet socks gave him a pretty nasty blister.
Dan and his buddy, Darrell
Hope you had a fabulous Fourth!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Well, just pray for me, would you? This past week has been a strange one. I haven't been feeling that wonderful...extremely tired, headache, back ache. Had a stomach virus mixed in there just for fun. I'm feeling much better at the moment but something tells me that I'm not 100% yet. I do believe I'm getting old. Quickly.
The fam is watching The Book of Eli again. I'm working on getting some stuff sold on Ebay...getting some bids as we speak! I still have quite a bit of school shopping to do for next year. I'm gong to be trying out "Tapestry of Grace". Check it out. I think it's awesome. I just hope I can pull it off. It's mainly using books, real books, not textbooks. So, I'll live at the library pretty much.
I need a new camera desperately. My grandbabies are getting bigger by the minute and I'm not getting pics! My battery door won't stay shut and it's a pain.
I'm just rambling...

Friday, May 21, 2010


Last Sunday I completed my first two online college classes with Liberty! Old Testament Survey II(because 1 was filled) and Systematic Theology I. They ran for 8 weeks and took quite a chunk of my days to complete. I'm glad I did it and I'm thrilled to say that I passed both classes with an A! Dan also passed with A's; no surprise there! We had a good time competing with each other and I have to say he sure did keep me on track with the deadlines! I absolutely hate the pressure of deadlines! It's been a long time!
Dan's continuing with 3 more classes during the summer. He's a more serious student and is going for a degree. I think I'll pick up again in the fall. I need my summer for planning my next home schoolong year...and I need a break!
I know I can speak for Dan when I say we both learned a great deal over the 8 weeks. The kings, the splintered kingdom, the canonizing of scripture, prophecy. Fascinating.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Well, Dan and I are coming to the end of our second week of our two classes, Old Testament Survey and Theology. I can't believe how much I've learned in such a short period of time. I didn't realize how little I actually knew about the Kings of Israel, the Splintered kingdom and such. It's been very interesting and I'm so glad that we chose to take the challenge. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough time to get all the work done, but I think it'll all work out!
This is the LINK to our studies!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grandbabies are taking over!

What an awesome time we've been having! Having grandbabies is a lot of work! Don't let anyone tell you any different! Oh sure, I didn't have to carry the baby, give birth, breast feed, change diapers....but I spend so much of my waking hours just floating off into space daydreaming about my little princesses! I have a very hard time staying focused on my tasks at hand and that makes my job a whole lot harder!

School, laundry, dinner! Who's got time?! I have grandbabies to drool over!

God is GOOD!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Born Again--Dan's Band

Dan's band is called Born Again. They play a wide variety of Christian music and are committed to bringing people the Word of God through their music. They play at many different venues: A concert at The Assembly of God Church, Youth Events, "Feeding the 5,000"(Thanksgiving Meal Give-Away) , The Citrus County Fair, to name a few. Their regularly scheduled gig is at Seven Rivers Church in Lecanto at the Celebrate Recovery Ministry. you can find out more about them at http://www.bornagainband.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 1, 2010

Here's my best shot at the whole "About Me" scenario.

   The only true image I have of myself is the one given to me by my Heavenly Father. I am an adopted daughter into the Family of God, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He has blessed me endlessly on this earth with an adoring husband, 5 beautiful and amazing children and three granddaughters! Every breath I have been given is His alone and I wish I valued every breath as I ought.

    My days are filled with the endless, monotonous tasks of the "American Housewife". At least, this is how it may appear to many. But as I reflect on my "duties" here, I can see that God has called me to exactly this, at this time in my life. He has allowed me the honor and privilege to love and cherish a wonderful husband and to nurture and grow children to follow after Christ. I can't believe that He lets me do what I do.

   This season of my life has me home educating my 3 boys. It is an incredibly challenging endeavour and I am on my face begging for help every day. Those of you who know me, know that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. It has been an amazing journey of education for myself as well as my kids. I believe that one day as I look back on these years, I will truly be able to say that it has been the most rewarding and memorable time of my life. God has provided all we have ever needed to carry on; the grace, the finances and the much needed patience to continue the day in and day out of it all.

In the "my time" of my days I may spend it on the road with my running shoes or just curled up with a good book. I have an artsy side that I feel is sometimes "on hold" while I raised my men but occasionally it manifests itself in a photo, a blog, a sketch or some home decorating project. I find myself immersed in a project until its completion, sometimes to the detriment of my family because of my "close attention to detail"! But I'm a work in progress.

The love of my life is Dan Gandee. We were married in 1992 and have experienced the incredible ups and downs of married life and are still here to tell the tales and hopefully to be an ecouragement to others. God is the glue that holds us together; without Him it is hopeless. I am blessed with a husband that loves Jesus above all else and who takes the job of leading his family seriously. This father's deepest longing is to know that his children walk with the Lord. I am a lucky woman.

Considering the fact that I am really a quiet person, not one to speak in front of crowds or socialize at parties or large gatherings, I find it ironic that I do this blog thing. What goes on in my heart and mind doesn't come through very well "in person". Maybe I'm just shy and insecure, I don't know. But I love the Lord, I want to please Him with my life, and if this is one way that I can do that, so be it.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow...


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