"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Apologies...

To my dear blog readers,

It is necessary that I forewarn you and apologize for the agony you are about to experience. (Don't feel alone, I've already had this conversation with my children as well.) You will be the bearer of my experimenting. This is the point of no return, this blog will never be the same again. Keep reading...let me explain.

Thanks to incredible success with my business with Thirty-One, I have been able to fulfill one of my dreams and upgrade our point and shoot camera to a DSLR (don't ask me what that stands for, but I think it means seriously cool). One of my favorite things that we own is our pictures. Little pieces of paper that capture the sweet and not so sweet moments in life. Pieces of paper that help me remember the things I want to but can't. Moments in stories to tell my children when they are grown and older. This camera is so ridiculous, I feel entirely unworthy of it. But, I will attempt to read the manual regularly, solicit as much advice from friends as possible and seek out bloggers willing to share their knowledge. Once I learn how to use an aperture, shutter speed and white balance, maybe I won't have so much to apologize for but in the meantime...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

birthdays that are happy...

Happy 8th Birthday J.J.

Let's have a ball!

Thumbs up for bowling!

The RAINBOW cake

Boys (and a girl) will be boys!

So how does it feel to be 8 years old?

Monday, November 15, 2010

This one's for the Grandma's and Grammy's

This post goes out to the proud and loving Grandma's and Grammy's to the J family!  We love you and miss you. (((hugs)))
The newest addition of pictures...

enjoying nature at Camp Tejas

What do Captain America, a monkey and Jengo Fett have in common? A cat for a mother...

Baby J, first time riding facing forward!

The two boys headed out for a day at their classes

Not the best picture but you can see HE'S WALKING!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Dedication

(these sentiments were written for the baby dedication service)
Austin Michael Jorgensen was born on August 5th, 2010 to Ian and Angie Jorgensen. We chose the name Austin because we wanted a good ole’ Texan name and the name Michael comes from Angie’s stepfather who lovingly committed his life to raise her, and her siblings with their mother. Austin has two older brothers, Jacob and Nathan, who he is extremely fond of.
The Jorgensen family has been growing in an awareness of the pain of sin and how much that separates us from God. We understand the need for an exchange made on their behalf because of that sin. And we celebrate and rejoice in the incredibly good news that Jesus is that Savior. It is our prayer for each of our boys that they would come to know Christ as their Savior and live their lives to serve Him and proclaim the Gospel. We ask that this church body hold us accountable, encourage and pray for us as we strive to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. A special verse to our family is "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Prayer for our Children
Bestow, dear Lord, upon our young,
The gift of saving grace;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.
Grace is a plant, wherever it grows,
Of pure and heavenly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit.
You careless ones, oh hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love;
Your youth is stained with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.
True, you are the young, but there's a stone
Within the youngest breast,
Or half the crimes which you have done,
Would rob you of your rest.
For you our public prayer is made,
Oh, join our public prayer!
For you the sacred tear is shed,
Oh, shed yourselves a tear!
We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit's power to teach;
You cannot be too young to love
That Jesus whom we preach.
Adapted from John Newton's "Prayer for Youth"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

COUSIN time!

Here we are. All 12 of us in our two families! We were so honored to welcome Ian's brother Phil, his wife Leilani and their 5 children to visit us here in our part of Texas.  They left their beautiful home state of Hawaii to come and visit us.  Both of our oldest children share a special bond as they spent their early days as a baby together traipsing around Europe.  We once spent lots of time together since then, different positions and jobs have brought our families into separate parts of the world but alas, back together again!  The cousins didn't miss a beat.

Affectionately known as "the big kids"

The Dudes (with new shirts thanks to Uncle Phil)

All Together

Found these two 4 year olds up first one morning, working on a Batman sticker book together while everyone else slept in.

Threw this in because he's so STINKIN cute!

Monday, September 6, 2010


We're back...sigh...

We had an incredible vacation and regret to say...we have returned to real life.  First and foremost there are so many people I want to thank.  A big huge thank you to my in-laws, Frank and Kathy, who came and took care of not one, not two but three little boys so we could get away.  A very special thank you to Mark and Charon who took care of the other members of our family, Glory (the dog) and Shadow (the cat).  And another shout out to the friends who delivered meals, took the boys for play dates and offered to be on call while we were gone. We're blessed with incredible friends and family and we love you.
Now on the to the good stuff

We thoroughly enjoyed every moment of lounging on the cruise, sleeping in and staying up late, eating to our hearts content and having no agenda. I'm glad to report that the sea bands I brought worked like a charm and only had a momentary bought of sea sickness when I removed them for a moment.  So here are a few pictures from our excursion...
just call him "Popeye"

the shark we swam with...eeek

what we left behind :(

Formal Night

on board

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Love My...

Just arrived yesterday at my doorstep was the Thirty-One bag I ordered for our cruise next week. And I LOVE IT!

I ordered it in Onyx Medallion with a "J" embroidered on it in silver.
I'm going to stuff it with the book I'll be reading, my ipod, my identification, suntan lotion and lipgloss. All the essentials for a cruise :)
It will be great even when we return because the crossbody style will work well when I do grocery shopping and need my hands free.  This bag would work well for college students as well who spend a lot of time walking across campus.
If you would like one, head over to my website.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

what's so fun about the beach anyways?

I'm always amazed when we head south, how much fun one can have in a day at the beach.  How is it children are completely occupied, entertained and content for an entire day?  Well there is...

To the dismay of their not-so-brave Mother, the boys fearlessly caught a jellyfish in their bucket. They affectionately named him "whitey" and wanted to bring him home as a pet.  But ended up setting him free to be with his friends in the ocean, even though Dad said they should have just let him die.  Their compassionate hearts couldn't stand the thought of the poor jellyfish being without his friends!

What's more fun then wrestling with Dad,  anywhere? Enough said.

Napping In A Towel

Of course this only works when you're one year old.

Hanging Out With Your Brothers

                                                                                                                   The best part!

Friday, August 6, 2010


I can not fully convey to you my excitement about my new project!  A sweet friend of mine introduced me to a company called Thirty-One.
After much prayer and debate (mostly about the quantity of my available free-time) I decided to become a consultant for the company.
My first step was to sign-up and order an enrollment kit. Easy. The next step, plan parties. Who doesn't like a Ladies Night? Easy.  Now my job is to seamlessly intertwine both my duties at home and invest time in a job I love. Needs more work.
One of the things I love about this company, and there are so many. Is the big, hot pink box they send you when you receive an order from them. And I do mean HOT PINK.  Even my seven year old boy was excited to see what was inside.  
The boys call it my "beauty stuff" 
Well, I won't keep the excitement to myself. Here are a couple of items I found in my hot pink box. 

email me at beautiful31bags@hotmail.com if you'd like to see more or host a party for your friends!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Contemplating Truth

    Today is our official last day of summer. I will miss the laid back beginning to each day, the time spent connecting with friends, the carefree decision making, the freedom for extra projects, and the hot summer sun. Actually, I won't miss the latter part but, we do enjoy our summertime!
    So as I think about another school year on our doorstep,  what am I excited about?

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also,  and he praises her; 'Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all'.  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31: 25-31

"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on  toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" Philippians's 3:13-14 

"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." Proverbs 24:3-4

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Notes From the Practicum

Last week I attended the Classical Conversations Practicum here in Houston and was immensely blessed.  Thanks to some amazing friends who stayed with my three boys (and their own children) I was able to benefit from all the conference had to offer.  It was a blessing to see friends from our past campus, current campus and to meet new friends as well.
I thought I would share a little bit of what I learned there.
"Children are souls to be nurtured, not a product to be measured" was the overall theme to much of what we learned about.  That as home schoolers, we are to consider the nature of children as we teach them the art of learning.  Proverbs 22:15 says "foolishness is bound up in the heart of the child".  As such, we must be educating to their nature.  So are you home schooling in freedom or fear? Psalm 78:72 uses David the shepherd as an example for us "with integrity of heart, with skillful hands he led them".  That is the goal.  Also, we teach so that our children will "use knowledge and understanding to discern beauty, goodness and truth".  Dorothy Sayers believes in a modern education, "they learn everything except the art of learning".  So we must strive that they see the relevance in everything.  And everything points back to God.  We must contemplate the nature, purpose and propriety of everything.  
All this and more was incredibly helpful to encourage me for another full year of educating my children.  Lastly, Andrew Kern said "Why are we wasting our time with knowledge and power when we could have wisdom and virtue?".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says, 'Alas! Must I rock the baby? wash its diapers? make its bed? smell its stench? stay at nights with it? take care of it when it cries? heal its rashes and sores? and on top of that care for my spouse, provide labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that? do this and do that? and endure this and endure that? Why should I make such a prisoner of myself?'

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.  Its says, 'O God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its mother. How is it that I without any merit have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will? Oh, how gladly will I do so. Though the duty should be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor will distress me for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight.'" --Martin Luther qtd. in The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot, p. 87
 Quote from Girl Talk

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Choosing Curriculum

Each year, this time of year, I spend a lot of time contemplating.  My time doesn't go to thoughts of world peace or current economic politics but to something far greater.  I spend the summer thinking over the teaching and training of my children in the admonition of the Lord.  Specifically, home school curriculum.

There is so much material available for home school families, for which I am grateful.  But the overwhelming choices make it difficult to decide which is the best tool for our family.  There is no such thing as the perfect material, only the best tool to meet your families individual needs.   There are a couple questions I ask.
Does the curriculum...
1. meet my children's educational needs?
2. give a God-centered, not man centered, view of the world we live in?
3. is it appropriate for their specific level, not necessarily grade level but skill level?
4. is it worth my time and money?

I find the answer to these questions in different ways. Sometimes it's plain old research, word of mouth or browsing through the material itself.

So this is some of what we ended up with this year...

We are going on our third year of using Veritas and absolutely love it and recommend it.  A friend of mine was using it with her family and let me browse the material before I purchased our own.  After using the phonics museum kit to successfully teach my son how to read, I was grateful for it. Here are some of the things we liked about using the program...
~it was very easy to follow and teach
~my son enjoyed the activities and lesson plans
~the artwork included with the lessons exposed him to something real rather than a cartoon image
~it was a full bodied curriculum in that alongside of the phonics we worked on spelling and handwriting as well
~the primer books are some of the best children's Christian history books you will ever find
I could go on and on but I have used it with my eldest son and plan to use it with the next two.  This year (second grade) we are using more and more of the veritas material. From their Bible time lines to their reading comprehension programs, I don't think you can go wrong. Veritas pretty much is the standard for excellence.  My nieces were enrolled in a Christian academy the last couple of years and Veritas is what they used at the school, so I know it's trusted by many professionals.
So this year we ended up with a study of the Bible timeline, a spelling program, a cursive program (using practice from books of the Bible and catechism questions) and a beginning Latin program.

We have used Saxon math for the last three years and this year I'm introducing Nathan to it.  It's a firm foundation for math that a lot of homeschoolers and private schools alike trust it.

In addition to our enrollment in a classical conversations community, we'll be working through Story of the World workbooks this year.

Whewwwww...I'm officially tired and the school year hasn't even started!