Category Archives: Reasons to be Strong

Our Future Home


Well, this is what the house looked like when we first saw it. We are still waiting for closing, but we are just about there! Please keep praying for us as we step out in faith that God wants us here.


Our Future Home


Well, this is what the house looked like when we first saw it. We are still waiting for closing, but we are just about there! Please keep praying for us as we step out in faith that God wants us here.

Vikings — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts

Vikings — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts.

We are studying The Vikings in World History this week. I am so happy to FINALLY be in the Middle Ages! Anyone have any other resources on Vikings or Middle/Dark Ages?

We are creating a MASSIVE time-line book as our final project. So far we are about to overflow a 3-inch binder. This is not just the line with little icons & dates. Agnes has been doing research on various people and events, creating “profiles”, writing original stories, and adding artistic projects to this book! I imagine we will need a few more binders by the time we get to the modern times… pictures to come!

We need an Apron (From a friend’s facbook status)

The History of ‘APRONS’

I don’t think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.

It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and… aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw. They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…

Constitutional Homeschool Studies

Hello All,

I get this great subscription e-mail every week. This company/family has a site where they make available PDFs, MP3’s, and other digital resources for homeschool. This is my subscriber e-mail… if you like itit please subscribe, too!

Dear Bridgit,

Hey there — We are back! Did ya miss us?

We sure hope so, because we are all rested up and ready to bring you a TON of great homeschool and family resources the rest of this year, starting with this week’s very special spotlight on…


It is the supreme law of the United States, and provides the framework for the organization of the United States Government. It is the most foundational document in American History, upon which has been built the greatest nation on earth.

So – do your kids know what is in it… what it’s all about… and what it means to them?

This week we are featuring a terrific collection of audio readings, dramatizations and resources to help your students will come to know and appreciate the importance and significance of this cornerstone of American democracy and freedom. Collect them all, and you’ll have a wonderful ready made Unit Study to go through this fall with your kids!


FINAL NOTICE! Our King-Sized Resource Archive Collections are onsale through MONDAY NIGHT! Save a bundle if you get yours NOW, and catch up on hundreds of our past resources, all archived on these great CD collections! See the huge list of stuff on these at:



Okay, here’s the rundown for this week:

Monday, July 19th


James Baldwin’s wonderful retelling of the events and problems that faced the fledgling United States of America, and how they were resolved in the creation of the United States Constitution. Both the MP3 audiobook as well as the PDF ebook version are available today.


Tuesday, July 20th


Why is the Constitution so important? And how does it differ from the laws of other nations? Find out in this excellent and amusing program on why the Constitution was needed to frame a government in which all the states could function together, which allowed the United States to become a great nation.


Wednesday, July 21st


(MP3 Audio Reading + PDF ebook)

An excellent word-for-word reading of the Constitution and Amendments, plus a complete transcription of the Constitution in PDF format. Let your kids actually see and hear the exact words that make up this foundational document in our nation’s history!


Thursday, July 22nd


A classic teacher’s guide that presents 25 excellent lesson plans to study the US Constitution, perfect for homeschool use! A complete and very well done vintage curriculum – Highly Recommended!


Friday, July 23rd


One of the most famous radio programs of the WW2 era,

by Norman Corwin – On the 150th anniversary of the Constitution, this program relates the meaning of the Constitution through history as well as through the eyes of average Americans… and how it affects us all. Stirring, thought-provoking audio, especially good for older students who care about history – excellent!


You’ll find each of these resources on their respective days at:

NOTE: If you ever have any trouble accessing the site with that link, try

…it works too!


And finally, here is this week’s “Subscriber Exclusive” Resource for you…


Take 10 minutes to watch this EXCELLENT video as Professor Philip Zimbardo conveys how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. Time influences who we, our kids and our families view relationships and how we act in the world. One of the most interesting takeaways is:

Be careful how much time you allow your BOYS play video games. See why in the video. This video also explains how and why our kids’ brains are getting “digitally rewired”, messing up their  perception of time and achievement. It is TOTALLY different than what we grew up with, and you need to be aware of these changes.

Highly, HIGHLY Recommended – but PG rated, due to some references to modern society. Parents watch first before deciding whether or not to share with kids.

And that’s it for this week! We are really looking forward to bringing you some great resources in the weeks to come…

THANKS for your support and for being along for the ride!

Your Friends,

The Erskine Family

Mission Devotional #3

I am a couple of days behind in this mission trip devotional, but this part of ‘Devotion 3’ is really cool. I think I will use it as a separate Bible study for the rest of the Summer.  Check it out: 

Are you aware . . . ?

• That Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are interceding for you before the Father at this very moment?            (Romans 8:26–27, 34)

• That our omniscient God already knows what tomorrow will bring? (Job 38–39; Psalm 139:1–10)

• Of the needs of those around you? (Philippians 2:4)

• Of the joy of the Lord, and of the fact that that joy is your strength? (Nehemiah 8:10)

• Of the miracles God has worked in your life the last 24 hours? (Job 5:9; Psalm 77:14)

• That God’s peace is yours? (John 14:27)

• Of the fact that your Savior, Jesus, is crazy in love with you?      (Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; John 10:14–15; Romans 8:31–39; Ephesians 2:4–5; 1 John 3:1, 16)

• That Satan would like nothing better than to dampen your passion, steal your joy,  and destroy your desire to follow God’s will? (1 Peter 5:8)

• Of the power of God’s Word? (Psalm 119:11, 89, 105; John 17:17; Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16–17)

• Of Immanuel’s presence in this place? (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Matthew 1:23)

• That the hope that comes through Jesus can transform even those things which appear hopeless?                (Jeremiah 31:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–14)

• Of the spiritual battle going on around you? (Ephesians 6:11–12)

• That God has entrusted to your care just the talents you need? (Romans 12:4–8)

• That your Father knew you before you were born? (Psalm 139:13–16; Jeremiah 1:5; Ephesians 1:3–4)

• Of how powerfully the Lord works in response to our prayers? (James 5:13–16)

• Of God’s complete forgiveness? (Hebrews 8:12; 1 John 1:8–9)

• Of the Holy Spirit’s renewing and transforming power? (Romans 12:1–3)

• That Jesus’ perfection covers all your imperfections? (1 John 1:7; Revelation 7:13–15)

• Of your ability to do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you? (Philippians 4:13)

• Of the power of Christ’s resurrection? (Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:7–11)

• That God has used others to encourage and strengthen your faith? (2 Timothy 1:5–7)

• Of your full potential in Jesus? (Jeremiah 29:11; John 10:10; 14:12–14)

• That the prayers of many others envelop you? (Ephesians 6:18)

• That the “ministry of presence” can be transforming? (Job 2:11–13)

• Of Jesus’ voice speaking to your heart through his Word? (John 10:27–29)

• That Jesus is truly the only way to heaven? (John 14:6)

• Of God’s grace surrounding, comforting, and upholding you?                              (John 1:14–17; Romans 5:20–21; 1 Corinthians 1:3–4; Ephesians 2:8–9; Philippians 4:23)

From Adventures in Faith  by CTA, Inc.

Emergency Bible Numbers

We have a great list of passages you can turn to in any situation.

via Emergency Bible Numbers.

This list is complete with hot links to the Bible verses.

Mission Trip Devotional

I am starting late, but if any ladies want to join me in this devotional I am going to be doing this between 9am and 10am the next 4 days… until the boys are home. I will be catching up on the days I missed by doing those lessons in the evening between 9pm and 10pm.Post any comments, prayers, revelations, etc.

Here is the website for the 7 Day Mission Devotional:

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid?

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid? If you are honestly married to your husband because you love him, and you are honestly a good, faithful wife, then you shouldn’t need to get paid for the honor of being the number one supporter of your soldier. There is a spouse that started a Facebook group about this, and people expecting to get paid just for being married is one of those things that gets me steamed.

Yes, the Military Wife life is hard, but what about the Firefighters wife? Cops Wife? EMT’s wife? Boarder Patrol’s wife? Ok, their husbands are coming home after their shift to possibly help with kids and the regular household junk like homework, housework, balancing the checkbook, and bills.. They don’t have to deal with everything for months at a time without their spouse being there, but they deal with sending their husband’s out to various degrees of danger every day. They don’t get R&R, and they don’t have all the resources that are available to military spouses. (Check out Military One Source, MWR, Family Life Counselors, Strong Bonds marriage retreats, CYS childcare during deployments, and the good things that have come out of our local Army Family Action Plans.) Their husbands don’t get any extra pay for going out into life threatening situations every day. Members of the military get “deployment pay” and even though it doesn’t always get paid on time, service members get paid to go to schools (TDY) for their specific jobs (MOS), most of the time.

Yes, we have to deal with “Military Intelligence”, (which is even more oxymoronic than “Jumbo Shrimp” more often than not) but why should you get a hand out from your government just because you think you have it harder than if you and your hubby went to work for Corporate America? Hmmm? Do you think that dealing with your husband’s boss and co-workers is any easier in the civilian world? If your husband is a manager, he might not have to go bail his worker out of jail, but he would be the one responsible for either covering the shift, or the one in trouble for not getting the shift covered. And do you realize that in this economy it is almost impossible to “fire” a soldier (unless he/she does something REALLY stupid) until his contract runs out. Some soldiers are even retained (Stop Loss) because they are just too valuable to the military. What other job offers you that kind of security?

And what about school? There are so many programs, especially for enlisted families, to help with both spouses and dependants (children) of military members get college degrees and certificates, it is overwhelming! The Army even helps your soldier go to college on their dime, if you are willing to do the paperwork, and get decent grades… It is like an Army scholarship, but different.

There are so many FREE programs that are offered to the military families. If you want to get something other than the love and respect of your husband and family, and the respect and admiration of so many other Americans, go to your post/base MWR office or to and find out what programs are offered near you.

If you want to get paid but don’t want to work for someone else, start a business from your home. So many spouses on post here at Ft. Wainwright have Pampered Chef, Avon, jewelry, candle, or other home-based businesses with web-based ordering, that we really need a directory of all these. Hmmm… Someone could publish one of those, and sell ads to make money, or they could have a web page that would list all these businesses in one space, and have people pay to be listed. Or you could give up the privilege of being a stay at home mom, and go get a job! That’s what most people that want to get paid do!

I am not going to apologize for my opinion about trying to get paid for doing nothing, or for thinking you deserve something for being in a certain demographic. I have been in a position where I could have gotten a government handout for just being me in the situation I put myself.

There are times when assistance is appropriate. If you are really in need, you don’t have a family or a church family that can help you get back up, if you don’t qualify for the emergency loans that the military offers, but you are trying to get back up out of a pit, and just cannot do it… YES! That is when you should get some help. But as hard as marriage can be, especially a military marriage, it doesn’t deserve a government stipend. If you looked at your situation, and took advantage of the programs around you, you would see that you are not doing anything that generations of women have been doing without the benefit of a paycheck.

This is totally my opinion as the proud daughter of a 30+ year Active Duty and Reserve Navy Veteran, the proud wife of an Active Duty Army NCO, AND a proud Homeschooling, stay at home Mom of a teenager. ( BTW- I don’t get paid for any of the above.)

Spending Time

Agnes and I had a wonderful day today! I actually enjoyed shopping! I know, those of you that know me well, know that I usually spend as little time in a store as possible. I go in for exactly what I need, pay for it, leave. That’s how I shop. Oh, I might comparison shop for groceries, but clothes… nope. When I find a pair of pants or style of shirt I like, I buy 2 or more, maybe in red, white, blue, occasionally a green or yellow, but then I am outta there!

Today was different. Agnes and I spent some real quality time finding clothes and pocketbook/purses for each of us. It was needed. We have both outgrown some of our clothes. She has grown up; I have grown out a little. We both got new portable computers from Darren for Valentine’s Day, and needed a way to transport them. We did comparison shop, but we also talked and spent time strengthening our bond. Now that I am sitting here, washing the new clothes and their coordinating older companions, I am thinking about how I can compare the time I spend with my daughter to the time I spend with my Heavenly Father.

I try to spend time with my Father in prayer. I try very hard to make this time with Him a sweet pleasant time, but sometimes I find myself just crying on His shoulder. Sometimes I can feel his hand patting me on the back, comforting me. Sometimes I can almost hear Him saying, “I told you that was not the way to go.”

I have felt like I have been spending a lot of time lately with my daughter doing just that. I have not been as fair to her successes as I have been focused on her training. How would I feel if God spent more time punishing and scolding me, than forgiving me and blessing me? Would I thrive and grow, or would I just want to sit and cry?

I don’t think I would be as happy as my daughter is. She is an incredible young woman with an amazing heart for forgiveness. She is truly one of the greatest blessings God has given me. I have not been a very understanding mom these past few weeks, but she has blossomed anyway.

I thank God for making Agnes just the way she is, and I ask God to guide me as I learn how to follow His example, as I learn how to be a better parent.

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