Happy Sukkot & a Little Bloggy Break!


This week our family is focused on celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles and enjoying the reflection and rest given during the time of God’s Biblical holidays.

Each holiday has it’s very own blessing and is covered in the truth of Yeshua Hamashiach {Jesus Christ} as the Messiah.  Our family also enjoys celebrating the birth of Yeshua during this week (many scholars believe this to actually be the time of Christ’s birth . . . We do too!).  This week we will enjoy some new and old traditions:

  • Build a little sukkah in the backyard (remembering the wilderness huts of the Hebrews during the forty year journey to the promised land)
I wish that our sukkah could look like this . . . but it won't. ;)
    Temple Emanu-El 3
  • Decorations for the inside of our sukkah – Make a fall wreath, popcorn strings, foil Stars of David
  • Complete our Homeless Care Bags for our act of tzedakah (charity)
  • Learn a new blessing for Sukkot
  • Reading of the Torah and the Book of Ecclesiastes

“Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.” Psalm 118:26

I have also decided to make this the official start to my “bloggy” break.  I love writing, but I am falling short on some family business commitments.  I will be taking a break during Sukkot and the week following to get these projects completed and rest my typing hands a bit.

I will still be posting on Monday mornings to continue our 8 Weeks to Becoming Fruitful series, everything else will get quiet around here.

Thanks for sticking with me, my wonderfully fabulous friends and readers.

The Joyful Socks Mom 
  • Take a journey through Notebooking Success! Best notebooking resource for home educators. . .and beyond.
  • Wonder Maps is the homeschool geography that moms and kids can both give an A+
  • HARMONY FINE ARTSThe best study for art and music appreciation!  Hard working moms with little time left will love this curriculum plan.
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Week 2: The Choice and the Truth - 8 Weeks To Becoming Fruitful

The hope and the future that Christ had promised seemed a far away, too good for me, kind of a dream.

Even His blessed forgiveness seemed at times to good for me.  
Slamming myself, again and again, into the wall of self-pity.

I was my own worst enemy.

When the LORD spoke to my heart, “You have not, because you love not.”

The danger in depression and living comfortably with that “mirror of inward focus” is the tendency to believe it’s just life.  Oh well, it's just the way it is.  

It is dangerous to live without expectancy. 

During the beginning of this study, I challenged you to choose, as I did, whom you would serve.

Hopefully you have made that choice . . . in fact, you wouldn’t be reading this at all unless you have already chosen.  Good job!  Forward progress.
The choice has been made.  Now What?

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” 2 Peter 1:5 (KJV)

Seeking with diligence.
Add to our faith, virtue.
To virtue, knowledge.
Turn my Darkness into Light
  • Ask

The LORD is good.  He wants you to seek Him in all things.  He stands ready to shatter your “mirror”, build your faith, virtue and knowledge.

He stands ready to make you strong to His task, once more.

Prayer and petition is the place of reignited passion and full restoration with the One who made you and loves you the most.

However, it is not just enough to ask.  Don’t ask because I told you to ask.  Ask because you need Him and you know it.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:3 (KJV)

Asking Him for faith, virtue and knowledge is a the cry of a desperate heart.  A heart that knows full well that it is self-seeking and wicked.  That heart knows it must be cleansed, alone, by the blood of Jesus Christ.


Do not follow your heart if it says you are right, or justified in your negative behaviors.  In fact, do not follow your heart at all!  It is wicked above all things. Period.

Follow God’s will and purpose for your life.

And depression IS NOT IT!

  • Seek

Seek Him and the help He sends, where it may be found.  This, again, demotes forward progress.  You must rise from the position you are in now and ready yourself to knock on His door for virtue and knowledge.

Would You Beseech For Light? 

Seeking the LORD in this area is not easy.  I know, I’ve been right where you are now.
Seek the virtue that Christ alone will give, also means facing the hard truth and standing your ground.

I will not go back.

  • Knock

I want you to knock now.  Expecting for God to open that door.  Ignoring all other forces, yourself included, that are trying to keep you from continually knocking on the only door that holds the answer.

This is the hard work of swallowing your pride.  This is the effort of knowing that you do not know what is best for you, and admitting it.  This is where the rubber meets the road.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7 (KJV)

Jesus is ready to help you.  He is our King, yet our helper and greatest friend.  Accept the help he alone is willing to give to you.

I will continue in my prayers for each of you today and throughout the week.  Please leave your questions, comments or prayer requests in the comments below, that way I can join with you, my beloved sister in prayer.

Week 1 -------->Shattering the Mirror
Week 1: Encouragement & MASHING Your Faith

HOMEWORK FOR WEEK #2 ----> Now we are ready to take it up a notch.  Take a moment and download this week’s study guide, to help you along your journey this week as you Ask, Seek and Knock.  Complete the daily questions and journal your progress through this study.
8 Weeks to Becoming Fruitful Week 2 Study Guide

Next week we will continue our study.  Until then, believe God is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to you.

Prayerfully hoping for healing,
The Joyful Socks Mom 


Fun Family Activities at Home - No Really, Just Stay-At-Home!

Does anyone ever feel that it would be wonderful to be a stay-at-home mom that ACTUALLY stayed at home?  This is exactly what I am longing for this week!  This is my official executive decision of the week . . . no extra-curricular junk this weekend.  I am staying at home, with my kids, and my hubby. 

Now, I'm giving you permission to do the same!  And here are a few fun activities to enjoy as a family this weekend:
  • Have a hot dog & marshmallow roast in the backyard (in the grill counts too).
  • Water balloon fight.
  • Chess or Checkers tournament.
  • Play dress-up with the kids and put on a play. . . for those of you who don't do this on a regular basis.
  • Take an afternoon bike ride, but ONLY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
  • Go through the old family albums and put pictures in the new albums. (Hide the pictures of you from high school in combat boots during prom, Oh wait, that's probably just me.)

Map. Compass.
  • Nature Scavenger hunt in your backyard.
  • Set outside and go star watching.
  • Finger painting - even mom and dad may find this a bit of a stress-reliever!
  • Play hopscotch in the driveway. (Be sure to have a camera on hand for when dad gives it a go. . . may be a bargaining chip at a later date. Just sayin.)
  • Cook a batch of cookies for your neighbors.
  • Make a family tree.
  • blister in the sun
  • Mix up a fresh batch of bubbles and head to the backyard for some major bubble blowing.
  • Lay in the yard a look at do a little cloud watching. (if clouds are actually available)
  • Plant some mums in the front yard to enjoy this fall.
  • Make a treasure map for the kids and let them enjoy finding the treasure. 
  • Rake the leaves (this sounds like work) but now you can all jump in them to scatter them about again.
  • Play a game of "Simon Says" or "Red light, Green light" with the kids in the backyard.

  • Collect different leaves and compare and contrast the leaves.  Then bring them in to create these lovely Leaf Sun-Catchers.
  • Plan a talent show to show case your families many, um, talents. ;)
  • Create art and designs using sticks, rocks, leaves, acorns and seeds from around the neighborhood.
Okay class, those are your marching orders.  So get up, don't get busy and sit back down!  Enjoy your family.

Happy Homeschooling!
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where are we at?  
We are linking up at 3Boys and a Dog for Homeschooling on the Cheap!

Here are a few more resources that we like:
  • Take a journey through Notebooking Success! Best notebooking resource for home educators. . .and beyond.
  • Wonder Maps is the homeschool geography that moms and kids can both give an A+
  • HARMONY FINE ARTSThe best study for art and music appreciation!  Hard working moms with little time left will love this curriculum plan.


Mashing Your FAITH - Depression Week #1 Encouragement

Greetings and blessings in the Lord, Jesus Christ, to all of my fellow sisters in the faith!

I am excited and joyful about the brave steps of faith and longing that we are taking together in the LORD'S Holy Word.  Growing stronger together in the faith is an amazing experience, one I hope you will join.

Today, I have have chosen a new media form to encourage and inspire you, my sisters and readers, to continue your journey toward getting "depression" out of your vocabulary.  Below you will find a link to a Vimeo video.  This video will include an encouragement from me, Joyful Socks Mom, directions for starting the 8 Weeks To Becoming Fruitful Bible Study; resources for daily Bible Study and more about starting a new journaling endeavor in FAITH MASHING!  Hope that sounds as exciting as it has been for me, I'll explain in the video and blog a How-To next week.

Simply click through the video below for a personal message from Joyful Socks. (*If you are reading this through email subscription, YOU MUST click the Blog Post Link, taking you to this blog, in order to watch the video.*)
P.S. I limited myself to 12 minutes . . . it just didn't work out just like that! ;)

I have encountered a few "technical" difficulties with internet gremlins this week.  The Lord is with me though, and I will overcome!  I will be resuming our Bible Study on Sunday, which means you can expect it in your inbox (if you are one of my genius subscribers, that is) early Monday morning.  We will be examining scripture and I will have a Bible Study study guide ready for you to download then.

Until then ladies, rise up and press on toward the goal.  
Trust in the One who made you, brought you up and has you in His hand now.

Prayerfully hoping for healing,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at?


What We're Reading That You Should Read Too

The fall season is busy and underway, with many extracurricular projects and events.  The weather is turning cooler already, thank the LORD, and we are really plugging away at our literature schedule.  Reading living books and classics has ensured that we slow down and take time in our busy day to have our minds and hearts quietly shaped.  I love that about good literature!
open book
Here is a quick look at what we have read during the last 6 weeks of school and what is on the shelves (or Kindle) for the next term.  I am also posting a few comments from the "Mac Kids" on what they thought about some of what we have read.

BOOKS WE'VE READ 1st Term - - - - -

Family Reading:
Christopher Columbus and the Discovery of the New World by: Josephine Pollard * We have been using this book as a read-aloud during our Unit Study of Columbus.  ( Purchased a copy for my eReader on Amazon for about $2.99)

Columbus Circle

The Cabin Faced West by: Jean Fritz* This book quickly became something to look forward to, for both kids and adults alike.  Jean Fritz is a lively author of American history and we treasure many of her books.  If your family loves the Little House series, then you should try the Hamilton's of Hamilton Hill on for size.

The Bug says, "Ann is a prairie girl with a deer-skin diary that I liked.  She tried to be a teacher to her friend, and I thought that was nice." (8 years old)

The Bug - 3rd Grade:
Aesop's Fables 
The Adventures of Pinocchio by: Carlo Collodi
The Bug says, "I love that Pinocchio is trying to be a good son.  He tried to save his father.  The book is hardly like the old Disney movie at all." (8 years old)

The Scout & The Squeaker - 7th Grade:
Carry on Mr. Bowditch by: Jean Lee Latham *

The Scout says, "Nat is very smart and he is willing to try things.  He says there is always a way to do things, even when it seems impossible.  I would like to be like that some day.  Am I like that Mom?" (13 years old)

Rudyard Kipling's Verse, Inclusive Edition 1885-1918


Family Reading:
Pilgrim's Progress by: John Bunyan
Palm Sunday

American History Stories, Volume 1 by: Mara L. Pratt, M.D.
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower  * by: C.S. Forester

The Bug - 3rd Grade:
Five Little Peppers How They Grow by: Margaret Sidney
The Puritan Bible Primer

Bug's Free Reading: 
The Bug requires more to keep her going with reading.  Here are books that she and I have pre-selected for when she just needs a bit more in her school day. . . which is usually every day!
Anne of Green Gables by: L.M. Montgomery*, The Jungle Book by: Rudyard Kipling, Little House on the Prairie by: Laura Ingalls Wilder *

The Scout & The Squeaker - 7th Grade:
Around the World in 80 Days by: Jules Vern
Our Island Story by: H.E. Marshall

The Squeaker says, "Our Island Story has amazing stories to learn about kings and knights, and stuff like that." (13 years old) . . . This from the kid who doesn't like history?

In His Steps by: Charles M. Sheldon *

All Books Are Linked to a Free eBook or PDF version! when possible
Books denoted with * should be available at your local library or Half-Priced Books.

What are you and your family enjoying reading together today?

Happy Homeschooling & Reading!
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where are we at?  
We are linking up at 3Boys and a Dog for Homeschooling on the Cheap!


Heart For Remembrance

Words fail to comfort this day.

Year after year, I choose to remember.

God alone gives His comfort.

Remembering this day stretches the limit of my human mind.

Remembering still, I hear Him whisper . . . 
"Trust in my Providence.  I am the One and true God.  Justice belongs to Me."

I choose to remember.

I choose to find His promised peace.

I choose to trust He is STILL the God of this nation that I am thankful for.


Keeping the Purpose: Menu Plan Monday

Eating with purpose has continued in my home, and I am loving it.  I have long considered myself a healthy eating mom, but consistency has not been my strength with eating healthy.  Well, God is changing all of that!  This is my fourth straight week of eating with purpose and exercising.  Praise the LORD!

I feel better.  I feel stronger.  I feel as though the LORD is rebuilding my temple.  I hope you will be encouraged and enjoy our menus as we grow healthier and stronger to the glory of the One true GOD.

Here is our menu for this week, followed by the lunch menu at co-op for week #5.


Monday -
Lunch: Chicken Quesodillas, Salad and apple slices with almond butter
Mom's Meal - 3 oz Veggie burger, 1 cup healthy apple cider cole slaw, 1 small apple, 1/2 small banana & 1 cup Vanilla honey Greek yogurt, water with lemon

Dinner: GF Turkey meatloaf, salad, green beans
Mom's Meal - 1/2 cup albacore tuna, 1 slice GF toast, herbal tea

Tuesday -
Mom's Meal - 1 cup cheese, 1 hard boiled egg and 5 GF crackers

Dinner: Chicken spaghetti with rice noodles
Mom's Meal - 3 oz albacore tuna, 1 cup raw broccoli, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Wednesday - 
Mom's Meal - 1 hard boiled egg and a slice of GF toast

Dinner: Turkey Cobb Salad, Tomato Mozzarella bruchetta
Mom's Meal - 1 Veggie Burger, 1/2 cup apple cider cole slaw, 1/2 banana and 1 cup Greek yogurt

Thursday - 

Dinner: Grilled Zucchini Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
Mom's Meal - Eats regular meal

Friday - 
Lunch: Baked Potato Bar, veggies
Dinner: Grilled Salmon, asparagus, brown rice pilaf
Grilled Salmon
Mom's Meal - Eats regular meal

Saturday -
Lunch: GF French toast sticks, cinnamon apples, hard boiled egg, cheese chunks

Dinner: Left overs
Mom's Meal - Eats regular meal

Sunday -
Lunch: Chili & Cornbread

Dinner: Fish Tacos, Salad, Black Beans, Cilantro lime brown rice
Mom's Meal - Eats regular meal

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
This is a weekly update post for those of my readers that attend the S.H.A.P.E. Academy homeschool cooperative.  For my regular readers, this is a local Christian classical cooperative in our area.  I cook there, as the "healthy" lunch lady, 3 days a week.  I serve the students hot, fresh meals and my kids get to eat with their friends.  (Just in case my readers are going, huh?  Now you know.)

Greetings to all you S.H.A.P.E. families staying healthy with us in the Lunch Room!  Here is a look at the lunch menu for week #5 at cooperative:

MONDAY, September 18, 2012

Fish sandwich, tater tots, tarter sauce, salad, fruit

Fish tacos, tartar sauce, tater tots, salad, fruit

Fish tacos with mango salsa, black beans, salad, dark chocolate square

WEDNESDAY, September 19, 2012

2 Slices Pizza (Pepperoni, Hamburger, or Cheese)
Cinnamon Chips
(Extra Pizza - $1.00 for 1st 2 slices, $1.00 EACH additional slice)

Crust-less Pizza (Pepperoni, Hamburger, or Cheese)
Cinnamon Chips

Chicken Caesar Salad, Fruit Smoothie

THURSDAY, September 20, 2012 

Chili, corn chips, cheese, salad, yogurt
Cottage Chili

Chili, corn chips, cheese, salad, yogurt

Taco salad, salsa, cheese, black beans, baked cinnamon apples

Bottled Water, Sweet Tea, or Milk

Please message me with a comment below and I will send you my mailing address so you can order before school begins.  ORDERS received ON the day of lunch purchase will be charged a late lunch fee.

Children who do not bring their lunch will be given a Sacked Lunch: PBJ Sandwich, apple and bottled water - $2.00 will be billed to the parent.

Please let me know if you have any menu questions.  I will be happy to help.

Have a super eating with purpose week!
The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at? MENU PLAN MONDAY


Shattering The Mirror - 8 Weeks To Becoming More Fruitful

 I am humbled in every way as I prayerfully come to you, my sisters in Christ.  Today is a day of obedience to God and His whisper into my heart.  I am stepping forward to share my testimony and victorious journey from the perilous road of depression.  I hope to edify and encourage each of you during this study, and pray the LORD would make you fruitful for His glory.

To begin, let me say that depression, is an old friend.  One that has been a close family friend to many of the women in my family, and a few men.  Both of my grandmothers, maternal and paternal, lived with severe depression.  In fact, during their thirties they were both hospitalized for depression and attempting suicide, ultimately leading to them BOTH receiving electric shock therapy.  The deep roots of depression have long existed for me and my family, through generational pain and hurt.

How did (does) depression manifest in my own personal life?  Illness.  Physical pain.  Emotional outbursts.  Disengaged parenting.  Sadness.  Laziness.  The reality of depression can be a slippery slope for me.  There have been times, some as recent as two months ago, where it is hard to recognize when I have allowed myself to slip into the deep waters of depressive behavior.

I can recall, easily, many moments where my husband or children have needed me to serve and I blamed illness and disengaged.  I have personally spent three days in bed, unable to move from pain.  Pain ,that I now believe, was manifested in my body due to the unquenchable sadness that I allowed to take hold of me.  Daily.

How did I become "Joyful Socks" again?  How did God begin calling me back to a more loving relationship with Him and to receiving the help He was ALWAYS ready to bless me with?  The process began here . . . 

2 Peter 1:4-9 NKJV

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

For these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see far off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

I examined this scripture and asked God over and over, "LORD give me more faith!"  This seemed a noble and heart-felt prayer.  I receive silence as my answer for weeks.  I prayed again, "LORD give me a pure heart."  Again, noble-sounding, right?

Finally, I received an unwelcome answer from the LORD . . . "But the greatest of these is love.  You have not, because you love not."

Depression, at least for me, meant slipping from the road of righteousness and love for others into the trap of self.  Depression, as it begins to manifest, begins with self-pity.  Selfish-thoughts.  Depression is truly the mirror of inward focus.
The End
God is not interested in your comfort or happiness.  I know that it sounds terrible, but please hear me out.  God's Providence, His great and perfect will in your life, will trump your own comfort every time.  God is interested in your character and heart, not your comfort and feelings.  His goal is to make you like Christ.  Simple.

Okay, now that we have reached the root of the depression issue, how do we get back to the abundance promised to us, as God's chosen?  Every journey begins with a first step.  This will be ours . . . 

Joshua 24:15 NKJV

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Will I serve the LORD? - or - Will I serve my emotions and my feelings?  Will I crucify my flesh on this issue today and lay it before the cross, or will I continue to live in bondage?  

You do not belong in the chains of depression, any more than I.  Let us take this step together toward God's "exceeding great and precious promises".
Let's begin this week with some prayer and petition.  Take a few moments this week to examine this focus scripture:

2 Peter 1:4 NKJV

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust:"

1.  What "great and precious promises" do you want to partake of?
List the scriptures that you found your promises in.

2.  Choose one scripture each day to pray over your life.

3.  Journal how you are hoping the LORD will move you out of depression.

4.  Check back in at the blog on THURSDAY for a video encouragement from Joyful Socks.

Know that I am praying for each of you today and throughout the week.  May the joy of the LORD be your exceedingly abundant strength today and everyday.

The Joyful Socks Mom 

Where we are at?