Before the Beginning: Our Homeschool Journey

I was home schooled as a child. That was back when people asked if homeschooling was legal, when mom didn’t allow us to go outside until after the schools let out, and when our neighbors called CPS because they noticed that we weren’t getting on the school bus. That was also back when many curriculum publishers did not sell books to homeschoolers and there certainly was not any curricula written or designed for homeschoolers. I was home schooled back in the dark ages of homeschooling.

God used the amazing experience of my mother being diagnosed with cancer and given 6 months to live at the age of 35, to push our family into homeschooling. My mom was thirty-five years old and pregnant with her fifth child. I was the oldest at eleven.

My mom and dad were faced with the decision of what Mom should do with her final 6 months. They decided that she would pour her life into mine in a way and to a level that she had not done previously. They would pull me out of school and teach me at home.

My parents had heard of homeschooling before, but did not think it was for them. Even when they made the decision to home school me, my younger brother and sister remained enrolled in Christian school. Several months after deciding to homeschool me, my mom was in the midst of radiation treatments. One morning my younger sister who was then 7, was heart broken and crying because she had to leave for school and was unable to help her mommy. My parents discussed it and the next day gave my brother and sister a paper bag, told them to pack up all the things from their desk at school and to tell their teachers that they weren’t going to be coming back.

When you are faced with death your priorities are much more clear than during the daily grind of life. I was blessed to witness my parents as they traveled that path and it brought clarity to me. I want to make the same decision that they made. I wanted to pour my life into my children, my family. At the end of the day I believe that is what really matters.

I am able to look back on my mother’s cancer as one of God’s greatest blessings to our family. Don’t get me wrong, it was an experience I NEVER want to repeat. It was scary and horrifying and long and hard. I’m sure it wasn’t much fun for her either. However, it changed our family, brought us home and taught us much. It continues to affect my life today as I desired to home educate my children because I was home educated.

I relate this to help explain many of the decisions that my husband and I now make as we home educate our children. We want to be able to look back over our life without regret. We can not possibly do all the thousands of good things that there are to do, so we are unwilling to spend our time doing things that are merely good, we want to choose the best. We want to live each day and make each decision with purpose. Our family’s purpose is to “glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

One of the ways that we strive to accomplish this is by building relationships. Relationships where we learn to love others even as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us. So we attempt to pour our lives into others. One aspect of that is spending time, lots of time each day with our children; teaching our children about our God, talking with our children, holding and loving our children, and yes, enjoying our children. As we are faithful to do the hard work of parenting God blesses us and gives us joys without measure.

The best time every day is the morning when we are snuggled on the couch together reading our Bibles, or maybe it is in the evening when we gather around our table and talk and laugh over the days events, or perhaps when we gather in the family room for family worship, the little kids competing to get in their favorite big kids lap and the big ones asking to sit in mom or dad’s lap. This is life. This is what matters. The piano and ballet, soccer and logic are good, but so many families are so busy running that they don’t have time for what is best, time with their family.

So in our home school, we choose not to do a lot of the extra-curricular activities. We choose to learn together as much as possible. We choose activities that our whole family can enjoy together. We choose people and character over academics. Please don’t misunderstand me, academics are important and we believe that our children are getting a much better education than could receive anywhere else, but if it is a choice between helping those in need or doing our bookwork that day, we choose to serve and are hopefully training our children to do the same.

Did you think I was going to leave you hanging? I nearly did. My mother fought cancer for two years (?) (I was only 11-12 so my memory is a bit fuzzy.) before she went into remission. God answered our prayers that she would live to see her “children’s children” and my mother is currently waiting to meet her nineteenth grandchild! Praise the Lord.

Did you like this? You may also enjoy I’m a Foot: The Blessing of Adversity.

Read more about our homeschool.

Linked to Amy’s Finer Things.

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69 Responses to Before the Beginning: Our Homeschool Journey
  1. megan
    February 26, 2009 | 2:28 pm

    I love this story, it was heart warming and full of truth! GOD will bless you for honoring him…I wish some of your faith to rub off on me sometime’s I feel like he is talking to everyone else except me it makes me want to scream. Blessings to you


  2. Randi
    February 26, 2009 | 8:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your homeschooling story. I have considered it as well (I still have a little more time to think about it because my kids are so young). I love how your family has embraced the important things in this life : glorifying God, building relationships, loving, serving.

    I am interested to see some of your methods! πŸ™‚


  3. Homeschool Dawn
    March 5, 2009 | 7:19 pm

    What a wonderful testimony! Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful heart you have for your family, too. Glad I found your blog. Blessings.


  4. Anonymous
    March 15, 2009 | 12:16 am

    I am so encouraged by your blog…I have read through a couple of your entries…I LOVE the Family closet idea and will share with my husband tonight to get his thoughts:) We have 5 children…4 girls & 1 boy and another due July 23rd. We had our children going to a Christian school and have pulled them all out this past Jan. to homeschool.

    A friend forwarded me your blog today…the Lord knew I needed encouragement. Thankyou for your faithfulness , you have blessed my homeschool journey.


  5. Tania at Larger Family Life
    March 18, 2009 | 3:02 pm

    A wonderfully encouraging story. Thank you.



  6. Laurel
    March 28, 2009 | 3:31 pm

    GREAT post! Our thoughts exactly. This is our 18th year of homeschooling … so, we started in the “dark ages”. πŸ™‚ Our two youngest are in 1st grade, so I have at least 11 years left. I wouldn’t want to spend my time on anything else … family is the BEST.

    Mama of 13


    Kimberly Reply:

    Thanks Laurel,
    It’s nice to “meet” others who remember what it was like homeschooling before anyone else ahd hearda bout it.


  7. Gretchen
    May 28, 2009 | 8:26 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful story. It is truly inspiring. I really love your reasons for homeschooling and I really liked your post about public schools.


  8. hi-d
    June 11, 2009 | 5:45 pm

    Wow. What a wonderful story. I want to share this with my family & friends who ask why we home school. I will refer them here from now on because you put the words to how I feel about why I do it! Thanks!


  9. Amber
    July 15, 2009 | 8:29 pm

    What a wonderful story. I’m so impressed with your parents in making those choices that felt right for them and how you’ve obviously benefited from it so much. Thanks for sharing!


  10. Tracy
    August 26, 2009 | 9:38 pm

    What an amazing testimony to God’s goodness and plans. I am a six year cancer survivor myself. The cancer made me barren but our Glorious King has blessed me with two beautiful children through adoption. He is so good. Thank you for sharing your story and why you homeschool so beautifully. I recently found your blog and have been taking a moment to read a bit each day. It is a great encouragement to me.



    Raising Olives Reply:


    Thanks for sharing your testimony of God’s goodness to you. Congratulations on your children!



    Tracy Altubalil Reply:

    I am so happy your mom survived, that is AWESOME, My mom fought cancer for 2yrs also, it was such a hard time, I am blessed that I had her for so long and greatful she didn’t get it until I was about 37, she fought so hard, her main thought was to not leave us behind, her youngest was almost 30, she knew that no matter your age you need your MOMMA!!! she passed away, but is not gone she waits for us in heaven and walks with JESUS, I am so greatful for the time I had her, and GOD BLESS all that lose their mommas young, I can’t imagine how painful that must be, I am 40 now and I miss her so much.


  11. Lisa @ Me and My House
    September 5, 2009 | 12:42 pm

    Hi Kimberly,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Awesome testimony of our Lord and Savior.

    We too began in the dark ages, when our oldest was 9. 23 years later we are still hs-ing our littles that weren’t even born yet then – 4 hs grads and 6 still at home, ages 5-17. I have more regrets in my life than I’d like, but homeschool is not and never has been one of them. It is a blessing we are daily thankful for, and plan to continue for the next – at least – 13 years.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Lisa – thank you for sharing your encouragement and experience with long term homeschooling. So far our oldest will be 31 when our youngest graduates, so as of now we won’t have as many years homeschooling as you have.

    How has homeschooling changed for you? Are you tired of it? Any advice as we head into what will probably be the last half of our homeschooling life?


    Lisa @ Me & My House Reply:

    Hs has mainly changed in that we went from 5 girls, generally eager to do get “seat work” done quickly and get on with life, to adding boys (and another girl.) Some of our older ones were graduated by the time the boys began more academic learning. I had to restructure. Things such as active breaks after each short-timed seat work lesson, so we don’t “finish” the seat work time until later now.

    I’m not tired of hs-ing at all. Although I am tired some days πŸ™‚ and more children can bring more challenges. In addition to the active needs of little boys, we have one who is a struggling learner. But God didn’t call me to a life of easiness; He called me to a life of faithfulness.

    So much of what you said is our thoughts also. The snuggling and together, building relationships. People taking precedence. The reading the Word, discussing it, studying, and working together. We do most lessons as “family studies”. With boys my dh has added much more outside activities than I prefer, as I don’t like the ramifications of them. Way too much running and such. But sports are important to him.

    The best advise I can give is to keep the vision in mind, why you do what you do. It will keep you going on those hard days. Even if you never want to quit, there will be days when you are just tired or it has just been a hard day. We do what we do to honor God, we are faithful to persevere. We look to the hope of the future.

    Although our structure of schedule may change over time, our teaching does not. We know what is important and non-changing. We teach our children at home, so they can develop a biblical perspective of all of life that they can apply in their own lives, wherever God may lead them. Our focus is to teach our children to love God and obey Him, to love one another and to serve others, and to learn how to reason biblically and apply it to their lives, and to love to be a lifelong learner.

    Thanks for asking. I love to share God’s goodness and grace in this area.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Lisa – Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom with me. I do see our homeschool changing as our boys have begun more formal academics. I appreciate knowing that that will continue to be different.


    Lisa @ Me & My House Reply:

    God never allows us to be stagnant, constant change for our growth. Be blessed on the journey! πŸ™‚


  12. celee
    October 29, 2009 | 5:36 pm

    What an inspiring story! I didn’t get cancer at 35, but I had a sober revelation that I, too, want to spend every day with my kids for as long as the Lord gives me life. What a blessing it is to be home with my children. I cannot imagine if God had not turned my heart back home and we had not had our more recent baby. I’m so glad I’m not in the rat race of academia any longer! My husband and I also value character above education. We want our kids to have a heart for the Lord first and foremost. Secondly, we want them to have a grasp of history and science so that they can praise God for His work. Finally, we want them to be able to communicate effectively so that they can always be ready to give a defense of their beliefs. We do lots of activities, too, but that’s just icing on the cake!


  13. Kacie
    January 5, 2010 | 5:54 pm

    Your story gave me chills! Very inspiring indeed. I’m new to your blog and I’m looking forward to digging through your archives.


  14. Gabrielle
    January 17, 2010 | 1:34 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more. You helped me to want to also choose what is best!!


  15. Kim
    February 16, 2010 | 3:47 pm

    That is an amazing and heartwarming story. I thank you for tell it.


  16. Liberty
    February 16, 2010 | 4:03 pm

    Thanks for this. So so encouraging and so much heart in it. Which there has to be in order to run this race. I wish we’d met at Blissdom….maybe next time!


  17. Shelby
    March 5, 2010 | 9:15 pm

    Oh my goodness…I just got major chills reading this post! Thank you so very much for sharing your reasons and your story! I discovered you through Smocity and I plan on following your beautiful, inspiring (blessed) family!

    Thank you!


    ** I realize you can’t have much time with such a large family but I thought I’d link to my post as to why we are HS’ing

    You have inspired me after peeking around your blog!


  18. Sam
    March 8, 2010 | 2:11 pm

    I just found your blog a few days ago. I love reading it during my daughter’s nap time.

    This story about your mom is amazing. I’m the youngest (by a lot) and my mom was diagnosed with cancer at 53. It went into remission and came back 3 years later and she passed away. I was 10 when she died.

    It is truly a blessing that your mom is a survivor. God’s plan for everyone is different. I’m saddened at times that my mom isn’t here but I do know that she is with Jesus in heaven.

    Thank you for sharing your journey and your family with everyone. I hope someday to be blessed with many children as well. For now I’m blessed with a really great daughter who just turned one.

    Thank you again.


  19. Lorie
    March 30, 2010 | 11:07 am

    OMG! This is the most amazing story, not about homeschooling but about your mother. I was afraid you were going to leave us hanging. Not that the hs story isn’t important. I think you may be influencing me to hs. We have some friends we go to church with, the husband has been diagnosed with a rare form of esophageal cancer. No one has ever seen a case like his before. It’s spread to his abdomen & lymph nodes. They are fighting as hard as they can knowing that there may not be much of chance for him on this Earth. They’re ok with him dying, knowing he will be with our Father, it’s those that will be left behind that they’re most concerned about (they have a 2yo son). And even though he’s confident in his faith, he still struggles with the pain this cancer is causing. The story of your mother is giving ME hope for them & I hope it will be encouraging to them as well. Thanks so much for sharing.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Praying for the family in your church.

    Homeschooling was one of the greatest gifts that my parents gave to me. (The first being teaching me of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.)

    Homeschooling my children has been one of the greatest gifts that my children have given to me. I am so thankful for that time and relationship with my kids.


  20. Kerry - Kid Giddy
    April 5, 2010 | 9:55 am

    What an amazing story! Prayer really works! Patience and longsuffering and enduring to the end blesses us for eternity! Thanks for sharing this! I often wonder if I should be homeschooling – but I lack the patience and the faith to do it. With the right prayers and guidance – I’m sure I’ll do what is asked of me – when it is asked! -kg


  21. Melissa
    April 15, 2010 | 6:49 pm

    Your story is amazing – thank you for sharing it and Priase to GOD for healing your mom.


  22. homeschool public school
    April 30, 2010 | 5:41 pm

    […] 30, 200912 Comments This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Why We HomeschoolWhy We HomeschoolBefore the Beginning: Our Homeschool JourneyWhy We Homeschool: Public SchoolsWhy We Homeschool: GoalsHomeschool vs. The ClassroomHomeschooling […]

  23. Martha
    May 4, 2010 | 12:47 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a 35 year old mom of a 7, 5, and 2 1/2 year old. I was diagnosed with a pretty fatal form of cancer and had a stem cell transplant less than a year ago. I have been home schooling through it all, and it is very encouraging to read of someone else who did it. Praise God for healing your mom. It is amazing and encouraging to see what a profound impact we can have on our children. This gives me a much needed boost in confidence!


  24. Mrs. Armstrong
    May 24, 2010 | 2:21 pm

    I was so anxious to read what happened with your mom. I let out a breath of relief when I read that she is waiting for her 19th granchild. Whew! Praise the Lord. This Story made my day (Lord willing, I will homeschool my 14-month-old daughter and future children as well)!


  25. Tami Lewis
    June 21, 2010 | 11:20 pm

    please tell your mother that A)i am praising God she is still here awaiting another grandchild and B) her story spoke volumes to me and solidified what i felt God telling me.


  26. Our Hot House | Raising Olives
    June 28, 2010 | 8:16 am

    […] more about our background here. Like this? Share it with […]

  27. vanessa thompson
    July 27, 2010 | 1:42 pm

    God just moved in amazing way through you in this moment. I was only searching for homemade chalkboards, & came across your site. I was planning to homeschool my 2 children when I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd & decided not to. 4 days after our 3rd child was born, our oldest daughter was dianosed with leukemia. It isn’t a good idea to have her exposed to so many children, so I will be starting her Kindergarten year homeschool. I knew deep down that God had put that on my heart & that was what He wanted for our family. I feel as though people think I am a bit crazy because I talk often of how her cancer has drastically blessed our family in many, many ways. No mother wants to see her child suffer & we have been in places that I NEVER want to relive, but God has also moved in our lives drastically & radically over the last year & a half since she was diagnosed. She is doing very well & I am certain that she has been given her own ministry through her circumstances. I know that she will share her testimony with hundreds… impacting lives & bringing people to Christ… she already has.
    As this school year approaches, I am getting nervous & still continue to ask God, “are you sure you picked ME to do this?! If you did, I’ll do it… but are you sure?” haha. I am feeling anxious, intimidated, & most of all, nervous! Reading what you wrote about your mother’s cancer being a blessing that lead to homeschool was like God Himself coming to me & saying… “you see, I chose you indeed! & stop feeling so crazy about proclaiming my blessing through the storm. You know I turn what’s intend to harm you into good!”. Reading your words was almost like reading my own! Through this fight, our family has learned what matters & my husband & I have goals for our family that we may have never discovered during the “daily grind”. We want our children to love & serve a faithful God (who has shown that to our entire family), to value this family unit, to be close, to serve others, & have a heart for the Kingdom.
    Thank you for this post. It honestly was as if God used you JUST to speak to me in a dramatic way. I look forward to following your blog.
    God bless!


  28. connie
    August 6, 2010 | 2:11 am

    Hi, I have been enjoying your blog these past few days! Thank you for sharing! This post about your mom was so special to me, I am so thankful that she is still here and also for their choice to homeschool, back then. I was diagnosed 8 months ago (age 37) with breast cancer and continued to homeschool my kids throughout cancer treatment, although our “schooling” looked different, it was so meaningful and I would not have wanted to do it any other way, nor did I feel called to do it any other way. Please know that people asked why would I not place them in public school during my treatment however, that was so clear, from the point of diagnosis, to both my husband and I, that that would be the worst situation for our kids. Instead, we traveled the journey together and my hope is that we are/will be better because of it πŸ™‚
    Again, thanks for sharing! Blessings to you! ~C


  29. […] thing that I learned from being homeschooled is that for our style of home education, most learning will take place where our family lives.Β  […]

  30. Marla
    August 21, 2010 | 3:40 pm

    Oh my,what a wonderful story.I am crying!I am so glad your Mom is still here.What a absolute miracle.God worked miracles in your family,in so many ways.Good for you to embrace this,with your own Children.You are a remarkable family.I am blessed,to be able to read about it.Thank you.Blessings,Marla Grace


  31. Stacey
    September 2, 2010 | 1:59 pm

    What a beautiful amazing story about how God can use the trials in our life to move us in an entirely new direction!

    Thank you for sharing this today with the HS Village! I am inspired beyond words!


  32. SomewhatCrunchy
    September 2, 2010 | 3:01 pm

    I remember reading the story about your mom a long time ago. It was amazing then and it’s amazing now! Thanks for linking up!


  33. Sherry
    September 2, 2010 | 8:06 pm

    WOW! What an amazing story! I’m in tears. Praise God that the Physician healed her to see her children and children’s children. That is absolutely awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing!


  34. Beth
    September 16, 2010 | 5:52 pm

    What a truly amazing story. Praise God! I’m so thankful your Mom has lived to see the fruit of her personal ministry into your life.


    I’m new here. I’m so glad I found your blog.


  35. Sue
    November 9, 2010 | 10:42 am

    What a touching story! When I got to the part that your mother is alive and remission, I broke out into tears! So glad she is still here! Thanks for sharing.


  36. Melinda
    November 14, 2010 | 2:56 am

    I am new to reading your blog. I’ve been looking around and found this. I’m teary, reasons. I had gone through a few seasons in life where I prayed to God that I never had to go back to school (I had Leukemia as a child and depression as a teen). I so longed to just be home with the people I loved. I now homeschool my 2 boys (5 and almost 8) and I LOVE it…but lately I have been feeling like we’re missing something. Reading this, the second reason I’m teary is because I’m afraid I’m missing the mark. I do NOT want to do school at home but I find myself slipping back into that pattern without even realizing. I’m afraid that it’s happening at the expense of relationships. My almost 8 year old doesn’t really focus without my constant direction (and really I feel like that is fine in theory, yet I find myself yelling at him to “just finish. already!”). He “hates table time” (our name for the writing and math part of our learning). It’s a struggle almost everyday. I feel some of this is just an obeying problem. My 5 year old is eager to do his own work so I have math and phonics and some writing work for him and he is progressing quickly.

    I would LOVE and o appreciate some advice on how to protect the relationships and still have some progression in our work.

    Thanks for sharing your story!


  37. Kimberly @ Raising Olives
    January 3, 2011 | 2:24 pm

    Pray, pray, pray.

    Accept God’s standard for education, that we should fear the Lord and not the world’s standard of tests, evaluations, checklists and subjects. I’ve written a lot about this in various homeschooling posts.

    I appreciated this article taken from the book “Teaching the Trivium” as a good guide for children younger than 10. They advocate delaying some of the formal subjects that most people introduce at age 5.

    May the Lord bless you as you learn alongside your children and as you all grow in the love and knowledge of Christ.


  38. Wendy Gunn
    January 26, 2011 | 1:04 pm

    A powerful story, powerfully written. Thanks for not leaving us hanging! Having had cancer, I know that, “When you are faced with death your priorities are much more clear than during the daily grind of life.” I, too, would say that I am very thankful for having had cancer, but also that being thankful doesn’t mean I ever want to repeat the experience! However, thankful I am. I have so many thoughts after reading your story–too many to go into a comment box…
    You were 11. That’s old enough to have been huge for you. I was 11 when my sister died, which followed my grandparents dying and my niece dying, and preceeded my brother-in-law being missing in action in Vietnam. Ok, enough about me. This piece thrust me back into my own history, thinking, remembering.
    I would love to meet your mom.
    Thank you for sharing your history in such a beautiful way. God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
    Abundant blessings to you,


  39. Michaela
    March 19, 2011 | 8:22 pm

    Wow, wow, wow. Your story has made me tear up. Bless your Mom & bless you for sharing this story!


  40. jul
    March 23, 2011 | 7:19 pm

    oh – good Lord. i’m so grateful for your last paragraph. in one short entry, you have reached my heart, and touched upon so many of the things that are behind my heartbeat. seeking the ‘best’, and not getting wrapped up with the ‘good.’ family. doing the really important things. not missing opportunities to serve and minister. i’m not easily moved to tears, but i didn’t even know what suspense i was in reading your post to find out about your mother. i’m so grateful to the Lord for sparing her, and i don’t even know you. thank you for this story. i’m further spurred in the original pursuit that landed me on your site. how can i teach all these children and hit the truly important things? what plan can i come up with to really get us there with a solid education and a sane mommy? how can i end each day knowing we’ve honored the Lord, ministered to our children’s hearts, and really furthered the kingdom . . . accomplished the important things? anyhow, don’t know when i’ve left a comment somewhere before, but wow was i moved. and, Lord bless your brother. my hubby and i were both active duty; he deployed when we were firt married. so, we know . . . at least a little.



  41. Letisha Reese
    March 25, 2011 | 10:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story. My Mom was diagnosed with cancer last July. We were given weeks, maybe months but definitely not years. She is giving through chemo, tumors are shrinking, and she is getting stronger!!! God has taught us so much through it. To God be the glory is her theme! Thanks again. So good to hear about your Mom, and how God used cancer to work in your family!!!


  42. Cathy Williams
    April 7, 2011 | 9:18 pm

    Oh, how I wish you could see the smile on my face! I read each sentence with intensity and rejoiced in seeing the words of the final paragraph! You see, I am a mother of five precious blessings that has been fighting stage 4 cancer for what will be six years at the end of this month. My home is walking a very real journey with faith in Him who is above all. My home is also experiencing a very real presence of Him who loves us more than we can comprehend! We have seen fantastic miracles during these years as He defies medical statistics! We stand trusting for His perfect will to be . . . no matter the outcome. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I have been encouraged! So many facets you shared of your family structure are the same in my home. We cherish each moment the Lord gives and daily strive to focus on what He has planned for us! Thank you again!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:


    I grieve with and for you while at the same time rejoice in God’s goodness and sovereignty that He has blessed you and your family with this difficult journey.

    I pray that God will continue to bless you with life and that God will bring you and your family ever closer to Him.

    As hard and strange as it may seem, I believe that my mom’s cancer was one of the most precious gifts that God gave to our family. I do not wish to walk that path again, but am able to recognize the graciousness of God even in cancer. I pray the same for you.

    With love and prayers to you and your family from ours


    Kari Anderson Reply:


    From one cancer survivor to one who is fighting, May God bless you & keep you, may His face shine upon you & give you His peace. I continually marvel at all who manage to fight cancer. Mine was a mere Stage 2, but so God was good to me. Your faith inspires me, as all Cancer fighters inspire me. Truly trust in Him & He will see you to the end of your fight, whatever that end may be. (And I will pray for you that that end will be remission! πŸ™‚ ) God bless you! <3


  43. Judy
    April 15, 2011 | 9:58 pm

    Wow! Your family’s story is incredible…it’s amazing to see the blessings you have found in your life despite the heart-wrenching cancer that led to them.


  44. oh amanda
    April 16, 2011 | 8:32 am

    Kimberly! What an amazing story. Yes! Staring at death changes you. And then to see the miracle of your mother today. God is awesome.

    Beautiful, beautiful story!


  45. Misti
    May 6, 2011 | 9:11 am

    Your testimony made me cry!! Praise God that your mom is doing well, God is so good.
    I appreciate your tone and how you explain your values and beliefs. Our family is not into extracurricular activities either, but you put it into perspective in a way I had never examined. Thank you for your ministry and God bless you and your family!


  46. Frances
    May 31, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading your story about home schooling. I love how you show the love for the Lord and for your children…so genuine. Thank you for sharing.


  47. Kari Anderson
    June 15, 2011 | 9:05 am

    I have had a similar journey, although my journey with cancer has been my own. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2006. I did not start homeschooling right away, but it was the beginning of a spiritual journey for my husband and I that led us to begin homeschooling our oldest in 2009. We then pulled out our youngest two for the last quarter of the school year this last year. What a journey this has been all starting with that infamous day when the doctor said, “Your biopsy said you have cancer”, August 10, 2006. I will be in full remission (five year mark) December 16 of this year. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness!


  48. Suzanne
    August 5, 2011 | 2:48 pm

    I have been enjoying your blog for what seems like a couple of years. It wasn’t until I clicked “like” on facebook that I saw this post. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing one of your “why’s” behind how you live. So inspiring!


  49. Kayla Garcia
    September 4, 2011 | 9:16 pm

    Wow. What an inspiring story. My husband and I are still undecided on whether or not we will home school our kids. This is a good perspective on it.


  50. Judie
    October 19, 2011 | 11:09 am

    What a blessing you are to this Grandma!I also home schooled my 3 children in the “dark ages”. What great stories to remember back then. I now have the wonderful blessing of watching my 2 daughters home school their children. As a grandmother of 12,I am ever amazed at how God loves to bless us through our children and grandchildren and to encourage us with moms like YOU. God bless you as you continue to train up your precious children in Gods ways!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. God is so very good to us.


  51. Tracy
    November 15, 2011 | 7:49 pm

    Wow…. I ran across your page after following links on And… I just want to say THANK YOU! I appreciate your tutorials, and I loved reading your first post.


  52. Samantha
    November 25, 2011 | 1:30 pm

    So thankful you did not have to experience losing your mother at that young age.

    When I was 12 yrs old, I woke up one morning and found my mother had passed away in her sleep after seeing my dad off to work. It was horrendous and awful and my heart still wants to break thinking of it.

    Praise God that your mother is here and seeing her beautiful grandchildren!

    Love Samantha


  53. nina the mom
    December 20, 2011 | 10:34 am

    WOW! What an amazing story! I followed the link from SweetCheeksTastyTreats and I’m so glad I did! Lots of wonderful tutorials and encouragement for me and my future endeavors. Thank you!


  54. Tammy
    May 5, 2012 | 11:25 pm

    Praising God that He healed your mom!! Also praising God that you are able to share parts of your life with us to help us enjoy God too. Love your site!! Wish I could ask you a thousand questions to learn what works for your homeschool. I am interested in learning more about your methods. It seems to work and makes me want to know how and what you guys do on a daily basis. If you are able, please post more on your homeschool day. Thanks again for sharing!!


  55. Melissa
    August 2, 2012 | 2:09 am

    Thank you for this. I use to follow your blog closely. The past year has brought our family a great trial. The Lord has been faithful through it all! I have let myself become so overwhelmed with the fear of falling behind academically that I have neglected the real needs of my family. Thank you for reminding me that this storm is to draw us closer to Him, not worldly expectations. Thank you!

    Living in His Mercy,


  56. Marilyn
    August 15, 2012 | 11:17 pm

    wow, this is such an inspiring story. I came across your blog yesterday following links from Pinterest. My life has changed a lot in the last 2-3 years. I used to be a full time working mom. Now I am a SAHM because I feel that God has shown me that my purpose in life is to be a full-time mom and wife. You got me interested at first because you are open to life and God is working with me on that as well. Currently I am expecting my 5th child and honestly I am a bit scared to let God be the only God in my life but little by little with HIS help I am getting there…does that make sense? Your blog and your wonderful words have helped me tremendously. I have been able to see the glory of God in your life. I have been thinking about homeschooling but I am too undisciplined and disorganized (trying to change that too)…so I don’t know if it is for me yet but something deep inside my heart tells me to find out more about it an I can’t stay away from blogs that talk about homeschooling…anyway, I thought I’d say hello and thank you for sharing your life with us!



  57. Cheryl
    August 20, 2012 | 7:24 pm

    I’m just starting my website. I also have eleven kids so people call me the old lady in the shoe ~ thus the name of the website. I would like to put a link somewhere on my site to your site. Is that okay?



  58. Brenda
    May 7, 2014 | 6:30 pm

    I actually started crying as I read this post. In high school I had late stage cancer, and wondered if I was to live or die before I could legally enjoy a glass of wine. The disease wreaked havoc on my small family and turned everything everyone knew on its head. Ultimately the experience resulted in my coming to know and love Jesus. Since I have few times wondered what would happen to my family and children if I ever had cancer again and God calls me to Heaven before my kids are grown..then I quickly changing the subject in my mind before the impulse to throw up gets too strong….I have never thought about that without being able to see anything but an absolute nightmare. Though I doubt that aspects of your experience prove that it was anything less than a nightmare, there was something beautiful…a gift God gave you. I know that God gave me many gifts during and as a result of my cancer, but it never occurred to me that a situation like yours as a child could also contain gifts! What a beautiful perspective. Thank you.


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