podcast series with Jim and Lynne Jackson from Connected Families, part two


In this week’s podcast, Jim, Lynne, and I talk about the “first time obedience” teachings that have become the standard of so-called “biblical” parenting in modern evangelicalism.  We also discuss the powerful game-changing quality of parental repentance. If you haven’t listened to Part One, let me encourage you to do so and be sure to leave a comment each time to be put into the drawing for a free book from the Jacksons! Let me also encourage you to visit the Jackson’s website and to follow them on Facebook!

October 4, 2014
Interview with Jim and Lynne Jackson Part 2.

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thatmom’s apple dumplings



This is one of those recipes everyone looks forward to having once the leaves start changing and we make a trip to the orchard for apples, squash, and cider!  I first made it the year we were married and it has been a favorite ever since! Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening (I like to use butter.)
1/3 cup ice water
6 medium apples, peeled and cored
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup hot water
Cut shortening into flour until there are coarse pieces. Add ice water and mix until dough ball forms. Roll out on floured surface. Cut six 6 inch circles. Place prepared apples into a greased 9 X 13 pan. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup sugar. Divide mixture and put into centers of apples. Dot with 2 Tbs butter. Fit pastry circle over each apple, barely tucking them under. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degree and remove from oven. In sauce pan, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, 2 Tbs butter, and hot water. Simmer on stove then pour over apples. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes or until apples are soft and crust is golden.
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can homeschoolers police themselves?


“As I listened to the discussion, it took me back forty years, to when parents were being jailed for their conviction to homeschool their own children. In state after state, moms and dads began building coalitions and support groups, linked together by phone trees and newsletters, all determined to assure our rights to educate at home. One determined mother I know drove from the top of Illinois to the bottom, sleeping on family room floors, while garnering a database of parents to call in case of pending legislation. We loved God, we loved our children, and we loved freedom.

Today, as it was then, that freedom is undergirded by the personal commitment we make to our own children and each other, being ever aware of how quickly it could all be taken away. I believe we are now facing another threat to those freedoms, this time from within……” Continue reading this article I wrote for Home Educating Family and consider subscribing for more helpful articles and insights written with you in mind!

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podcast series with Jim and Lynne Jackson from Connected Families, part one


Jim and Lynne Jackson, founders of Connected Families and co-authors of How to Grow a Connected Family and Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart, have over fifty years combined professional experience working with children, teens, and families. In 1990, after serving as ministry staff in two large churches and bearing two intense and lively kids, Jim and Lynne became very intentional about parenting, and then about helping other parents. Lynne became a pediatric Occupational Therapist. Jim became a director of a ministry to high-risk teens and their families. They added a third child, completing their AAA hat-trick (that is, adding a third child with ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies. Quite an intense bunch!). As Jim and Lynne toughed out those early years, they started developing numerous resources to inspire and equip parents for grace and truth in their relationships at home.

After serving hundreds of parents and thousands of kids it became clear more was needed. In 2002 Jim and Lynne founded Connected Families to partner with churches to build strong families. Their presentations bring real life to audiences through impromptu role-plays, transparent stories of their own successes and failures, and stories of the experiences of hundreds of parents they have coached over the years. They leave parents laughing, crying, encouraged and equipped to uniquely bring God’s grace to life in their homes right away! As Faith@Home coaches, Jim and Lynne work with church staff to create church-wide strategies to more effectively equip parents for discipleship in their homes. Whether in the trenches with parents as mentors, on the stage as presenters, or in planning meetings with staff, Jim and Lynne bring a wealth of experience, overflowing passion, and years of wisdom to their service.

Be sure to join the conversation and have a chance to receive a free copy of one of the Jacksons’ books! Just leave a comment after each podcast and I will put your name into the hat. One week after the podcast airs, I will draw a name from that week’s comments! Be sure to invite your friends…this is an awesome resource for families and I am so excited to be adding them to our podcast archives!

Note: You can also download this podcast directly to your Mp3 player by visiting thatmom on iTunes!

September 29, 2014
Interview with Jim and Lynne Jackson Part 1.

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are you a mom who can change?

duggar me

This was taken abut 25 years ago! 

The outward appearance is only a reflection of the change the Lord did in my heart!

“Researcher George Barna’s study on teens reveals many truths that moms need to understand. In interviewing young people from assorted backgrounds, he found that 75% of them felt that they were very close to their mothers and that as many gave her an “A” in parenting. In fact, less than 6% gave mom a “C” or lower on the mom final! However, the high grades do not reflect everything about their relationships and over 30% of them thought there were things they would like to have changed but didn’t entertain the idea of doing so because they didn’t ever see their moms changing!


In pondering why this is, especially when it comes to Christian homeschooling moms, I think we have besetting sins that drive our attitudes and that keep us from change. Sometimes those sins are part of the baggage we brought into our homeschooling journey. Sometimes they come about through the lack of discernment when it comes to approaching the Word of God. Usually conviction comes to us through experiencing the consequences of the emotional, physical, or spiritual damage our words or actions are inflicting on those we love. If we are in the 70% of those moms who are willing to change and honestly look at the choices we make in raising our children, we have taken the first step of receiving God’s grace in parenting. If we are in the other 30%, we must recognize that anything that falls short of practicing the one anothers of Scripture quickly becomes idolatry.” from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home

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the way we were

army life

“My friend, Sally, and I sat in our theater seats, sobbing and barely able to speak. Hubbell had left Katie for the last time, and as the credits rolled, we sighed. There was nothing more romantic to two college girls than the dashing, blue-eyed Robert Redford in uniform, indifferently walking away from the woman he loved, holding on to only a memory of the way they were……..”

Don’t miss my thoughts on returning to the organic nature of marriage, featured on the Home Educating Family website and in the marriage issue of Home Educating Famly Magazine coming out soon!

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cinnamon apple bread



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups apples, small-medium dice (granny smiths, approx. 2 medium apples)

1 cup chopped walnuts

3 eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a 9x5in loaf pan. Mix or sift flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla until everything is combined. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients and incorporate well. Fold in the apples and nuts so they’re completely covered and mixed in, and place batter in loaf pan. In a medium bowl, combine “Topping” ingredients and blend together. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, around 45-55 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and let cool. Run knife along the edge of baking dish to loosen the loaf.

This was adapted from a recipe I had tucked away in file. It would be really wonderful as muffins, too, and even drizzled with a bit of vanilla icing.

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be kind


 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”   Ephesians 4:32

“In the small church where I grew up, there was a dear older woman, Mrs. Thomas, who struggled with a variety of learning disabilities, some which were also shared by several of her children. All adults and some living at home with her, the family shared the pew in front of ours every Sunday morning, often making some of the church members uncomfortable. She talked loudly, and was suffering from some degree of Parkinson’s disease, which caused her to shake and read out loud about half a sentence behind everyone else during congregational responsive readings. My grandmother was always the first to greet Mrs. Thomas, to help her take off her coat or find the correct page of the hymnal. She spoke lovingly to each of the Thomas “boys” and often patted their arms as they spoke to her.

One morning during the greeting time in the service, I looked up, horrified to see that Mrs. Thomas was wearing a new dress and that the price tags were still dangling down under her arm! My grandmother also noticed and engaged her in conversation about her “lovely new dress” all the while carefully unpinning the tag and slipping it down into her own pocketbook. She was so proud of the dress because her daughter, a nurse, had mailed it to her that week and my grandmother, in her infinite kindness, made sure nothing could ruin the moment for Mrs. Thomas. It was such a simple gesture but it has left an impression on me still 50 years later. It demonstrated to me in a very real way what it means to be kind to someone, to show compassion, to be gracious.

Interestingly, the Greek word for kind in this command, chrestos, is the same word used to describe Christ’s yoke. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). It literally means that which makes something easy, makes another’s burden lighter, and has nothing harsh or galling about it. Our acts of kindness to others are to provide the same kind of respite from the weariness of life as Jesus’ yoke does for those of us He calls “weary and heavy laden!” ~ from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home

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show hospitality

H and Dot

Showing hospitality to others, especially our children, is not just a nice idea, it is a requirement if we are to live in God’s will; it is an act of worship to God.

Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples of this truth. Several times in the Gospels, it is recorded that the disciples argued over who was first in the kingdom, even asking Jesus who was greatest, hoping, I am sure, that He would list their names. Imagine the surprise they experienced when He told them that the one who serves is the greatest and then, calling a little child, said that unless these grown men became like little children they would never enter heaven! He reminded them that not only were they welcoming Jesus when they welcomed children, but if they harmed any child, they were in danger of eternal punishment.

Jesus set the tone for all of us regarding the importance of children in His kingdom, in His order of life. They are not the ones to be set aside and out of the way in our churches, placed somewhere so they don’t disturb the “real worshippers.” Children are not the ones who should be taught to always go to the end of the line or to sit at the “children’s tables.” Children are not the ones to be treated with disrespect and told ”children are to be seen and not heard.” They are not to be trained as dogs or frightened into compliance with “disciplinary” weaponry. Instead, Jesus “took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. (Mark 10:16). ~ from The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling ~ when the one anothers come home

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chicken pot pie


It’s back to school time and September and cooler weather are just around the corner. This delicious chicken pot pie is a wonderful addition to your fall menu plan. You can make extras for the freezer and the results are terrific! The reserved broth can also be frozen and pulled out for soup and sauces another time.

Chicken Pot Pie

Crust for 2- crust pie

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 chicken thighs, bones and skin on

¼ cup olive oil

1 sliced onion

4 whole, peeled carrots

2 whole ribs celery

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS coarse salt

1 TBS herbes de provence

1 TBS thyme

1 TBS parsley flakes

2 bay leaves

fresh ground pepper

Place all in crock pot and cover with 8 cups water. Cook on medium heat for several hours until veggies are soft and meat falls from bone. Drain off broth, reserving all liquid. Cool, take meat from bones and discard veggies and spices. Reserve the broth and freeze for other recipes.

Meanwhile, prepare white sauce. Melt ½ stick butter over medium heat. Stir in ¼ cup white flour, stir. Add 1 cup broth and stir until smooth. Stir in 2 cups milk and cook until hot and bubbly. Stir in 2 cups frozen peas and carrots, 2 cups pearl onions, 2 cups white potatoes, cubed and parboiled. Stir in chopped chicken. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Turn into pie crust, top with the top crust. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and crust is golden. (Can be wrapped and frozen before it is baked so make extra pies ahead of time and pull out on a busy day!!!)

For the perfect pie crust:

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 cu butter, solid and very cold

¼ cup ice water

I prefer to make my pie crust in my food processor. It can be made by hand with a fork but it will take longer! Place flour and salt in processor bowl and pulse once time. Cut butter into 4 slices and pulse until the texture of small peas. Drizzle ice water a tablespoon at a time and pulse. Shape into 2 balls. Roll out onto floured board. Take a close look at the picture to see the delightful flakiness of this amazing crust! (If using for a fruit pie, sprinkle with sugar right before baking.)

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