Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Well, things have been busy as usual. Life is very full with everything there is to do, as many of you know and have experienced.

First off, my dear 8-year-old daughter, who is an animal lover, injured herself a couple weeks back. She was playing with her brothers upstairs in her bedroom and jumped from one of the top bunk beds like a FROG!!! Yes, no kidding, a frog. One of my boys came to get me and told me that she had hurt herself badly and was crying. So, I waddled upstairs (my hubby likes to raz me about the way I walk when I am pregnant)... and checked to see if the emergency was really worth a trip to the hospital. She was crying, a cry that I rarely hear her cry, and complaining that her heel hurt and she could not wiggle her toes or put any weight on her foot. I could not carry her downstairs... so, I went to the freezer, got out an icepack (one of those that is squishly and flat) and wrapped that around her heel stablizing her ankle & foot so that she could at least scoot across the floor. Then, she was able to get downstairs where I could better tend to her.

I, then, called my husband with the wonderful news. I waited until he got home (also making sure that my diagnosis was correct) to take her to the ER. Thankfully she wasn't in a lot of pain and was able to stand waiting a little while. He got home and shortly after we went to the ER.

Unfortunately there was no parking places in the ER parking lot (ugh) and I had to back our 15 passenger van out of the parking lot (because I couldn't turn it around). I, then, dropped her off to the ladies at the ER desk, and had to go find the parking garage for the hospital (which also included a bit of a walk to get back to where I needed to be).

After the x-ray, we were informed that she did indeed break her heel bone, close to the growth plate, and she needed a splint (half cast) until we could get an appointment for the orthopedic doctor. So, after our visit to the ER, we went to see the orthopedic doctor who put a full cast (to the knee) on her leg & foot.

Now the problem is how to keep an active 8-year-old busy with indoor activities that involve sitting. So far, she has learned how to crochet, she has been making bead necklaces, and she has been doing her latch-hook kit (of a golden lab puppy). Of course, there is also school (which has been extremely challenging these last couple weeks) and she also has been doing a lot of drawing. I am not sure how she is going to stand the next 3 weeks with a cast, but only time will tell.


Now for other things going on...

My boys are helping me to garden this year as I am not up to digging and using my garden claw, etc. Interestingly enough, one day I had asked my oldest son to dig a hole for me in the garden to hold all of our coffee grounds, egg shells and plant matter (for compost)... He was thrilled that I asked him to do this. SO... I made the comment, "You know, you can dig up my whole garden if you would like!" and this thrilled him even MORE!!! So, these last several weeks he and his brother have been digging up my garden plot for this year's garden, YEAH!!!

So yesterday, I gave him instructions to get some leaves and put on the garden as well... Leaves are not a problem with us anymore... as you can see in the picture below, we have an abundance of leaf matter where we live now as this whole plot of land is COVERED with trees. I will continue to have them get leaves until I have enough leaves to cover all of my garden plots. They also get the privilege of digging all of those plots up this year as our tiller is in need of repair. And the best thing is, THEY LOVE DOING THIS JOB!!!

Also, in regards to gardening, I have been learning about what plants to plant together as some plants actually benefit from others! This is called companion gardening (or plant pals) and there are several articles on the internet that talk about this. A few things that I learned is that tomatoes like to be planted with basil and carrots, strawberries do NOT like to be planted with cabbage, beans like to be planted with celery and cucumbers, and garlic keeps the aphids away from roses... It also recommends planting herbs around your garden to keep away common garden pests. But, my advice to anyone who is gardening this year for the first time is to DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! That is the only way you are going to have any success at all.

I am hoping to have a MUCH better garden this year, than last... though I did enjoy our tomatoes and squash, I would really like to have many more veggies than last year. However, one thing I have learned with all gardening is that you start small and work up to the garden of your dreams.... I don't know if I am starting small enough this year or not, but I have the will and determination to have a better garden than last year. My biggest thing this year is to keep up with those weeds, use the leaves, and lay newpaper down around my plants before the weeds take over.

So far, our expected crops are going to be strawberries (planted last year), blueberries (will plant this year in March), blackberries (growing wild), wineberries (like raspberries, growing wild), peaches (from the peach tree at the edge of the woods), herbs (from my herb garden planted last year) and hopefully many more fruits & veggies... like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, peas, carrots, radishes, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, pumpkins, canteloupe, watermelon, onions, beets, several varieties of squash, potatoes, and the list goes on.

I have already ordered the seeds and they should be arriving any day now. I plan to start my tomatoes and peppers immediately upon receipt and any other veggie that can be started indoors. The secret to that is to have the soil stay at around 65 - 70 degrees, I learned that lesson last year when my seedlings didn't do so well. I also plan on starting several flowers indoors as well... now is the time!!! I probably could have started a bit earlier, but our home doesn't stay as warm because we use wood heat only which means that the only room that really stays warm is the kitchen. This is fine for us as we have learned to layer clothing, but seeds DO NOT like it AT ALL!!!

Okay, that's my spill on gardening...


As far as everything else, this week our dishwasher died. That sure was disappointing as I had loaded it, as always, and went to start it and nothing happened.

So this week I have washed dishes 3 to 4 times a day by hand... I do this because I know how many dishes we go through with each meal. If I wait till the end of the day to wash them, I will be there for 1 1/2 hours. So, I basically take 15-20 minutes after each meal to wash up the items we used for that meal and "WOW!" everything is done in about 30-35 minutes (that includes putting food away, clearing the table and washing the dishes). If I included the floor sweeping, too, we are now talking about 10-15 minutes longer as my boys are not as efficient at sweeping as I am yet.

So, the good news is that our dishes pretty much stay clean all the time and the kitchen looks nice most of the day... the bad news is that my arms and hands are covered in a rash that itches and burns due to my sensitivity to Ajax handwashing dish soap. Sorry, haven't gone to homemade soaps yet as that requires a trip to the store and time that I just don't have these days. Maybe someone can offer me a quick solution to making my own soap FAST.... and with what I have on hand, I don't know. I just do what I know and have known for years... you can teach this old dog new tricks, but it has to be dropped in my lap so that I can stop long enough to notice it!

Well, that's my update for now! I think that lunchtime is calling, as are my washers begging to be emptied so they can be filled again... haven't had much time lately to do laundry, wonder why that is??? ;OP


Monday, February 16, 2009

FREE Ebooks and Audios!!!!

Well, I have known about this site for a while now... just having the time to blog about it sometimes seems overwhelming with everything else I need to do, but they are asking for some advertising on our blogs so that we can get the word out...

Here is what they are offering this week:

Monday, Feb 16th:
Great President's Day Resource Links! (links)
Want to make the most of President's Day? Check out these Lesson Plans, virtual tours, poetry & the actual papers of presidents Washington & Lincoln!

Tuesday, Feb 17th:
A Chinese Wonder Book (PDF ebook)
This fascinating collection of Chinese stories and legends, edited by Maggie Hogan of Bright Ideas Press, is a great literature-based introduction to the rich history and culture of China. Includes a read-aloud guide.

Wednesday, Feb 18th:
"Harriet Tubman & the Railway to Freedom" (MP3 audio)
A classic old time radio dramatization of the story of
Harriet Tubman and the activities of
the "underground railroad" during slave years.

Thursday, Feb 19th:
Blessed Is The Man: High School Unit Study Sampler (PDF ebook)
"Blessed is the Man" is a wonderful High School Unit Study
geared to Christian young men, and based on Psalm 1.
Today's resource is this extensive 74 page preview
of the complete four year curriculum - normally $10 on the
publisher's website - but yours to download today!
If you have growing boys in your household, DON'T MISS THIS!

Friday, Feb 20th:
Creatively Simple: How to Make Butter in the Blender (PDF ebook)
Learning to make butter is something everyone should do at least once.
This simple ebook by Penny Raine can teach you how, using items you
probably already have in your kitchen. Detailed instructions and lots of
You can get all of these on their respective days at

And if you are a subscriber you may get an extra bonus ebook or audio!!!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Yeah!!! They Passed!!!!

I am celebrating today (in my heart) because the portfolios that I turned in to the school district last Monday for my 5 school-age children PASSED!!!!

I had never done a portfolio before, so I was a bit anxious about the whole idea of having someone "approve" of the school work that my children are doing... Sometimes I just don't feel "qualified" as a teacher. I wasn't a education major in college nor was I one to read on my own, so I finally feel somewhat accomplished at homeschooling. But this Art Major did something right and I am so thankful to my Lord and King, Jesus Christ.

But from this experience, I did learn a few "tricks of the trade." One being that I have to file all school papers away so that I don't have to go searching anymore for the "right one," I mean I dug through everything that we had trying to find what I felt was most appropriate for the portfolio. My 6-year-old daughter was so enamored with the idea of having a "folder" of her own that all the papers from the first part of the year she got into, emptied, and put new papers in... ugh. Thankfully I was able to gather those important papers together and file them away for the "real" portfolio, but if I hadn't been on my toes I would have struggled to find everything.

I can't remember if I explained the system in my last post or not, but now I have a much better system. Instead of filing things away in a 3-ring-binder, I have this paper bin from Sam's Club that I file all the children's papers in. Now I don't lose that "all-important" test that I want to use for the portfolio because it falls out of the binder before the school semester is up... the holes in the paper don't get worn out either.

I think this unit has 12 slots for paper, so I have 6 slots that I am using for each child... even my 3-year-old because she really likes to do school, too! I am hoping to have her writing her letters by next year (or maybe even this year), but I won't rush things as I want her to remain open to the whole schooling thing.

My other daughters ( 5 & 6-year-old) are really starting to "catch on" to letter recognition and phonics, as well. It is so wonderful to see them writing on their own, writing their names, numbers and letters... and for phonics, writing the symbols (letters) for the phonetic sounds.

Unfortunately, trying to stay completely on the schedule that I have created isn't as easy for me as it may be for others... you see, I am a finisher not a "stay on tasker".... I want to be able to let the schedule guide me, but I think, "What if I don't get it done tomorrow? I must do it today!" or "The lesson has to be finished!!!" You see, I have had the unfortunate experience of not being able to finish the book in a year... last year for example... We moved, and so we are just now finishing our math books from last year, ugh!

But I believe that my children need to learn to finish things that they start, else they may never get it done!

Well, again... time is short these days for blogging, for me, it just isn't the right "season" for blogging to long!

Blessings All!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Have I told you how busy life is?

I'm sure that I have! This school year has been extremely challenging and busy!!!

As far as the pregnancy... things are going well!

I did get to see the baby at 14 weeks by ultrasound due to an unfortunate trip to the ER for bleeding in December, but everything looked good and the doctor really had no clue as to what happened. But our holiday season was extremely busy and I DID overdo it. I made dress-up princess outfits for my 5 little princesses (a "gift" from my MIL...she bought the fabric and I sewed up the outfits).

Just yesterday I delivered our homeschool portfolios to the Public School Superintendent... Boy! I never knew that making a portfolio of school work was so time consuming!!! But I did it and now I just have to wait to see if it is acceptable. I'll tell you what I did learn... ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS file things away so that the children cannot get into their schoolwork. I have a daughter who just loved going into her school folder and snatching things.

But I did come up with a system. I have one of those $20 paper organizers from Sam's Club that I stash the children's school work in now. For now, my daughter hasn't figured out that I have done this, but when she does I will have to put this filing system up higher than she can reach.

She was enamored with the fact that I was making a portfolio of her work and I had to be really firm with her that she was NOT going to get into it. She didn't, thankfully.

I am so thankful for all of your sweet comments lately! They just keep coming in from time to time and they make me smile! For those who are new readers... sorry I haven't dropped by yet, I just don't have the time, but eventually (hopefully) I will get the time.

We just cancelled our Satellite service, partly due to the addiction that our children have to the TV and partly due to the financial burden it places upon our family. I'm fine with it, it just means that I will be making more time for Bible reading, sewing, meal planning, and all those other things that I have intended to get to.

My brain is hurting from thoughts of gardening!!! I want to start tilling the ground NOW!!!! I am so itching to get outside and pull weeds and plan my garden for this year. Last year was sort of a flop, but that was due to my hesistancy to plant not knowing what the deer were going to eat. Now I know where to plant things and I CAN'T WAIT TO GET OUT THERE!!!! But much of the work will have to be done by my boys and hubby as I am not allowed to do the heavy work due to my last pregnancy with the early delivery.

Anywho, my time is up!