About Marilyn

Marilyn is wife to Rick, Mom to 14 children, Nana to 16 grandchildren (and counting!) and homeschooler for 37 years. She and her husband own Character Concepts which they started for the purpose of helping others raise children with a strong, godly character and Biblical worldview.. They have developed character curriculum from preschool through high school, based on what they found worked when teaching their own 14 children over the years. Her passion is to help young moms raise kids of character and enjoy the journey!

Part 3: Obedient Hearts: Obedience- It’s Not Always Easy (a true story illustration)

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Character-Concepts-Alvin-York

Sergeant York – Obedient Heart in Action 

“… A great story to illustrate to your children how obedience may be hard for the moment, but will lead to greater good in the end.” ~Rick

If you’ve ever seen the wonderful 1941 movie, Sergeant York you’re already acquainted with the story of the Tennessee mountaineer, a hard-drinking, brawling, straight-shooting country boy who became the most famous American hero of World War I.

Continue reading Part 3: Obedient Hearts: Obedience- It’s Not Always Easy (a true story illustration)

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Setting Your Kids Free

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Do you feel bound by your curriculum? Do you feel guilty if you don’t do every problem? Are your kids overwhelmed, bored, or frustrated on a regular basis? I want to encourage you to free your children and free yourself, too!

A simple tip to remember is to give your child enough practice to challenge them, but not so much that you overwhelm them. I wish there were a simple rule for how much to give them. I used to think the textbook writers knew this and what was provided in the curriculum is exactly what every child needed. Boy, did I ever find out the hard way!

Continue reading Setting Your Kids Free

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How to Make a Poodle Skirt

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Shhh. It’s a surprise! I wanted to show you what the granddaughters and I are making for their little sisters for Christmas, but you’ve got to promise you’ll keep it a secret!

Back when Kelley and Kasey were little, I bought a big piece of pink felt and some iron-on applique poodles to make them poodle skirts, (you know, the kind that were popular in the ’50s) just for dress up fun. My kids LOVED to dress up.

Well, I never got around to it!

So, this year I’m teaching the older grandkid girls to sew and make these skirts for their little sisters (who love to dress up too!)

Maybe you would also like to know how!  It’s really pretty easy:

Continue reading How to Make a Poodle Skirt

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Josh’s Story – Losing a Child to Leukemia

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I realize the title of this post is not a pleasant one. It’s not something we like to think about. But, for many, it’s a reality. 20 years ago it was our reality.

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the home-going of our 17-year old son, Josh. I thought I would share this post with you in hopes to encourage someone who may be going through a similar situation.

God is ALWAYS good. God sees the big picture. We are so limited in our understanding of life. This I know, with all my heart, that God only allows things to happen that conform us to his image and that work for the ultimate good. Although this was extremely crushing to go through, I KNOW that God views all that happens to us in light of eternity. 

This post is much longer than usual, but I found it difficult to divide the story up into pieces. I pray God continues to use Josh’s story for His good purposes….

It was about 11:15 on a warm, sunny September morning when my telephone rang. It was Gene from the doctor’s office. He asked me if Rick was home, and I said no, he was at work. He told me he had some bad news and perhaps I should sit down. I told him I was sitting, and he proceeded to tell me that Josh’s test results had come back, and although he wasn’t positive, it appeared that Josh had leukemia. At that very moment, my life changed drastically, although I couldn’t comprehend how much just then. I was stunned. I don’t remember too much else that he said, except that I should get in touch with Rick and have him call Gene. He would schedule us with an oncologist that afternoon to confirm the diagnosis.

Continue reading Josh’s Story – Losing a Child to Leukemia

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Pumpkin Bread

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Don’t you love the different seasons… and all the good food that accompanies them?

My grandson, Adam, was over the other day and he wanted to bake something. He flipped through my recipe book, Homemade with Love, and this Pumpkin Bread is what he decided on making.

He got out all the ingredients, followed the recipe to the tee and made us all a delicious fall treat. Grandad really loved it!

This pumpkin bread is wonderful for autumn breakfasts and can be made into muffins, too!

Continue reading Pumpkin Bread

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 4

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Encourage Communication 

When we talk about building loving relationships in our family- it’s not just the relationship between siblings that need nurturing. The relationship between parent and child is so important, as well as easily damaged. It takes careful attention to cultivate it so it will grow.

 

When we experience problems within the family, our natural tendency is to shove it under the rug, so to speak, and hope it’s just a stage someone is going through and it will go away. Instead, we need to train ourselves to run toward our problems, not away from them.

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 4

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 3

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Spend time together

The way society tends to do things is everyone participates in activities with kids his own age and although a family lives together in the same house, their social spheres are totally separate from one another. I remember this as a child. My sister, who was eight years older than I was, lived in our house, but our paths often never crossed.

One day I asked each of my children why they were glad they were homeschooled. I love what my son Matt said. “I got to really know my family, instead of just meeting up with them in the evening.”

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 3

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Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Did you miss part 1? Read it here

Appreciate each other’s differences

One thing that promotes close relationships within families is to teach your children to appreciate each other’s differences.

In a family, there should be a spirit of cooperation fostered rather than a spirit of competition. God has uniquely shaped each individual within your family as a special part of his creation. We’re not all supposed to be alike or do things at the same time or the same way.

Point out each other’s strengths and tell your children how God created each one of them to fulfill purposes that only they can accomplish. God took precise care in all the specific details of personality, talents, desires, that uniquely make up who each of your children is, and God makes no mistakes. Even in homeschooling, you will find one child learns certain subjects more easily and struggles with something else. This is normal.

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships in Your Family – Part 2

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Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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Laying a Strong Foundation

Everyone desires a home that is filled with healthy, loving relationships. Indeed, one of the biggest advantages I’ve seen from homeschooling my family has been the lasting relationships that have been built over the years. My kids are each other’s best friends. But getting to this point is easier said than done, right?

What can we, as parents, do to nurture good and loving relationships in our homes? Well, that’s what this series is about. So, let’s start at the beginning.

You may wonder what some of these first points have to do with building loving relationships within your family, but notice I titled this section “Laying a Strong Foundation”  That’s because there is some groundwork to be laid- foundational principles and concepts that will help grow godly relationships. A good verse to remember is Psalm 127: 1, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it:”

Continue reading Building Loving Relationships Within Your Family- Part 1

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True or False? Signers of the Declaration

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In 1776, 56 men signed their names on a document that they knew might well mean their certain deaths as traitors to England.

 

Standing on principles of faith and liberty, these men forged a powerful call for freedom and human dignity still resonating today in America.

 

Yet, historical revisionists have distorted or attempted to wipe away every trace of this nation`s Christian heritage, including the heartfelt faith of these founding fathers!
 

We need to arm our families with the TRUTH about the founding of our country and provide the knowledge to be able to authoritatively speak to those in your sphere of influence. The founders were prolific writers. We don’t have to wonder what they believed! It’s available to teach our families so we can be thoroughly equipped to spread the truth. It was never needed more than now. Our freedoms are eroding quickly, and we need to be able to have the wisdom to protect our the freedom we enjoy.

 

So, let’s play a little game!

 

Here are 4 statements that you commonly hear about the founders of our country, specifically the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

 

Do you know if they are true?

 
Continue reading True or False? Signers of the Declaration

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