march update [tuition savings]


march was an interesting month. we found out that we didn’t receive any financial aid for bryan’s last year of school. so, we had a long talk, went over some things in our budget and buckled down. more importantly though, god and i had a really awesome heart to heart.

can i just say that all that stuff in the bible is actually true?! he is the god of all comfort and the great provider who loves us so much. i haven’t forgotten that his true and perfect act of love is all i need, and yet he continues to provide more!

god is also the greatest, most gentle and patient teacher. he has been teaching me a bunch about his generosity and being open-handed with our money.

the morning before we received our financial aid notification, i was sitting in church, listening to the message and god asked me to give a certain amount to the summer missions trips. i said okay and talked to bryan about it as soon as i got home. he agreed to this and then we found out that we didn’t get any financial aid. isn’t god’s timing funny? we wrote the checks, even though it was hard. that whole week, god tested our generosity. he kept reminding me of the countless times we’ve benefited from the generosity of others [you know who you are!], and we both felt overwhelmingly that we should open our hearts and bank account to those in need.

it has been such a blessing to follow god’s leadership in this area. especially because i have had a particularly tight grip on our finances, especially since we decided to move to iowa city. but when has god ever not provided for his children?

i’ve been insanely encouraged by all of you i’ve talked to, or who commented on my last blog, or sent me emails of encouragement. thank you, thank you, thank you!

sorry for the long, heart-exposing blog, but it happens every once in a while!

here’s our financial update for march:

tuition for 2011-2012 school year: $9,654.00
savings at the end of march: $1,100.00
difference: $8,554.00
percentage saved: 11.39%
percentage left to save: 88.61%

we have progress! can’t wait to see what God does!

homeschooling 101


part one-the basics of homeschooling in my house


do you want to know how i learned to read?

well, i followed my mom around the house when i was 3 and begged her to teach me. despite my persistence, she only managed to sit down and complete the first few pages of the abeka reader with me, which mostly taught me how to sound out vowels. i guess i can’t blame her, she did have a toddler and my two older brothers who were actually supposed to be homeschooling.

however, those first few pages were all i needed to be on the fast-track to reading everything i could get my hands on. it kept me busy until i was supposed to start school a year or two later.

that’s how i learned to read, i basically taught myself.

and that’s pretty much how we homeschooled in my family. we taught ourselves using the materials we were given. my mom was a very relaxed homeschooler compared to moms who teach their kids latin and stuff nowadays. don’t get me wrong, i think that’s amazing, but if we do homeschool our children [which we probably will for a time], i’ll probably do things more like my mom.

hopefully you don’t get the wrong idea, i truly feel all 6 of us duvick kids got a pretty stellar elementary education and we all started public middle school with ease. my mom just didn’t stress about teaching us creative lessons or worry about how to explain things just right. she just made sure we knew what we were doing at the end of the day.

to be continued…

please comment if you have any questions about how we homeschooled, i have two more short posts written for the next two weeks, but i’d love to answer any specific questions you may have about how my mom homeschooled six kids through elementary school!

[photo credit]

‘member that time?


‘member that time when i decided i wanted to be truly evil? ‘member how i decided that the most evil thing i could do was to trick my brother mark into getting in trouble?

so ‘member how i took him to the basement and handed him scissors and told him to cut my dress? it took some convincing but ‘member how i finally got him to cut through about an inch of the hem of my dress and then i immediately ran up the stairs to my mom and yelled, “mark cut my dress!?”

she believed my brother and i got in trouble.

dang it.

ps: happy 21st birthday to mark in three days!

[it’s ‘member that time monday at the van voorst‘s blog!]

knitter’s bag


this is a cute little knitter’s bag for my friend shea. i gave you a sneak preview last week and now it’s finally finished. i’m pretty happy with it.

the goal of the bag is to keep their kitties from attacking shea’s yarn in that oh-so-iconic way. i think it will serve her well!

you can’t see it super well in the picture, but yes i did add piping to the bottom seam-i told you i was addicted. : )

it’s like they write it just for me!


even though i’m not pregnant, sometimes my intense food cravings make me think i am. for the last few months that i haven’t been pregnant, i’ve been craving eggs. all the freaking time. i’ve been eating at least 1/2 dozen eggs a week, all by myself. and this has been going on for months! i blame it on the switch to organic eggs, those things are so darn good!

other things i’ve been intensely craving are tuna, yogurt, bananas and weird vegetables like kale. what can i say, i’m on a healthy food craving kick!

well, once again, real simple has tapped into my mind, and said, “let’s write another magazine just for lisagrace.”

in this months issue, they had a whole TEN ideas for eggs! it’s a beautiful two pages in the magazine.

i’m trying out their recipe for spaghetti with herbs, chilies, and eggs [sorry, it’s not on their website, email me for it or pick up the april issue of the mag], and their awesome egg in a hole idea.

oh how i love you, real simple.

when in doubt, sack out.


i was planning on tackling “homeschooling, ami style” this week, but it’s taking me longer to say everything i want to say about it.

so in an effort to produce high-quality blogs, i’m going to work on it another week. this week, i’ll explain yet another ami quote. [check out the new ami quote tab at the top!]

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“when in doubt, sack out.”

my mom chose not to vaccinate us [another post to save for later], and we never had anything like that hateful tylenol stuff in our house. that would be an abomination! [catch the sarcasm, please] instead, my mom put onion juice in our ears for ear infections, and lathered us up in melaleuca oil when necessary. essentially, my mom was into homeopathy, though i never recall that word being used.

but mostly, and more specifically, my mom’s mantra was that sleep could heal almost everything, and that sickness was your body’s way of telling you to slow down. it seemed to work well for our family.

“mom, i don’t feel very good.”
“take a nap.”

“mom, i have a fever.”
“go to bed with extra blankets.”

“mom, my stomach hurts.”
“drink some water and take a nap.”

get the idea? oh yeah, my mom’s second favorite thing is water.

water and sleep, they can cure the world.

so the next time you’re feeling ill, just remember, when in doubt, sack out.

[photo credit]

‘member that time?


‘member that time when my baby sister was born on my six and halfth birthday? and i was just so excited to finally have a sister?

‘member how my grandma was all like, hey lisagrace, let’s get some new clothes for your sister at target, could you help me find it? and i was all like, yeah, i’m six and a half, i can give good directions to target.

‘member how i knew where the first turn was, but i just could not figure out where the second turn was and i kept telling my grandma to turn right one block too early? ‘member how we went in like six circles before my grandma just stopped at a gas station and asked where it was and the dude was all like, yeah, it’s just like a block over.

and now when i’m lost, i always go further then i think i should.

[it’s ‘member that time monday at the van voorst‘s blog!]

in progress


did you doubt me? were you worried that i’d fallen off the crafting cliff? i’m sure you really didn’t care, but i have a craft update for you anyway!

i’ve been crafty as usual, i’ve just been lazy about getting pictures up to complete my crafty blog posts. sorry! i don’t have any completed projects from this week, but i have some progress pictures.


this is almost finished, it’s a knitter’s bag for my dear friend, shea. it’s not perfect, but i think it coming along nicely, you’ll likely see the finished project next friday!

speaking of knitting, can anyone guess what this might be?


i’ll give you a hint, it’s from the book i just finished reading: a knitter’s home companion.

still no clue? i guess you just have to wait and see!

happy crafting, and sorry for the late posts!

there’s a doll named after me

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from january until last week, i took louis [my cousin’s one-year-old whom i watch on tuesdays and wednesdays] to this class every tuesday called music together. it’s a pretty adorable class, and though i can’t see myself paying for such a thing with my own children, i’m happy i know some of the songs from it!

there is a cute little girl in the class named naomi. she’s usually pretty shy and sticks with her dad who brings her to class. but apparently, she’d been admiring me from afar, because it turns out she named one of her dolls lisagrace! how cute is that?!

i almost cried it made me so happy! okay, i did cry.

yep, that’s all. this is just one of those braggy blogs about how children love me so much. : )

[photo credit]