Passing the Torch


I remember the first time I met Heather (Sprittibee). It was at the Relevant Conference (now known as Allume). I was a bit starstruck to be meeting such a “big blogger”. I can remember being a little giddy that she would invite me to write a guest post for her Homeschool Post site.

I was just as floored, when a year later, she invited me to join the team as a regular contributor. January of last year, we began a one year partnership that would end with me becoming full owner of The Homeschool Post.

The decision to come aboard was not taken lightly, and I prayed for almost two months before I finally said yes. I knew this was a huge undertaking, and I wanted to make sure it was the right move.

I can’t say that I have loved every minute of it, because I haven’t. My skin is thin. Big blogs get big criticisms and draw in nasty commenters. Learning how to handle them with grace hurt a little at first. I have loved everyone that has been on our team and all the great new bloggers I have met along the way! I have enjoyed getting to know the homeschool vendors and be introduced to the amazing products out there to support homeschoolers and their families!

In January, I began to hear a little voice tell me my time was up. Since selling something you just bought would be ridiculous, I did what most people do and I ignored that little voice. I assumed it was because we had just finished a busy award’s season and then Christmas and maybe I was just tired. Give it time, I thought.

As I recovered from my surgery, I could hear the little voice telling me that it was time to let go. I couldn’t imagine that God would lead me to take this on only to give it up just as it was fully becoming mine; so I prayed. I prayed a lot. Every time I thought I heard an answer or felt a gentle nudge, I prayed again. When making the decision was terrifying me, I prayed some more.

I decided that if I was supposed to let it go, then I need not be afraid. God would fill in the blanks and the pieces would go together. There would be peace at the end of my journey.

I was afraid of letting Heather down, or letting down the team, or letting down you – our beloved readers.

God filled in the blanks, y’all. This is going to be great!

As of last week, The Homeschool Post is under new management and has a new owner, Sara from Embracing Destiny! I know she will be a blessing to you and to this site. She has been a member of our team for a short while, but her writing has been so encouraging! Her personal blog is wonderful ( go add it to your reader!) I will be around as the brain to be picked and a monthly contributor. She has jumped in and taken this bull by the horns, her enthusiasm is contagious and uplifting.

Thank you for being so wonderful to me and to The Homeschool Post!

Lisa Baldwin (59 Posts)

Disciple of Christ, Wife, Mother of Four, Homeschooler, Crafter, Designer (Graphics and CSS/HTML), Blogger. I share too much, laugh at the wrong things, and fall on my backside regularly. Thank goodness Jesus ignores all of that and loves me anyway.

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Welcome “Grace” {Ellen} to The Homeschool Post Team


Who is Grace?

“Grace Tells Another Story” is the name of my little corner of the web. But many don’t know that my name isn’t Grace. My name is really Ellen. But somehow “Ellen Tells Another Story” didn’t have quite the ring to it OR the meaning behind it that I was searching for.

One of my favorite musical groups is the inspirational band “Mercy Me”….and they have a song by this same title. And when I saw the name of that song for the first time, it struck me…grace always DOES tell another story. You can examine more closely any story that you wish, and when viewed with the knowledge that God’s grace is bestowed upon those who ask for it and accept it, you will see something different than everyone else sees…IF you see what God wants you to see.

Grace….we don’t deserve it. And because of that, grace is one of the most difficult concepts for most to grasp. We can’t touch it, see it, smell it, hear it….and it completely depends on our faith in God. To this humble blogger, it was not a concept I understood for almost all of my adult life until several years ago. It’s like advanced Christianity, if there is such a term.

But once I got it…once I saw that grace was telling another side of a story that I had struggled with for many years, it gave me a peace I cannot even begin to explain to you.

And so now, I look at almost everything I see with different eyes…I try to use the eyes that God would use if He were here with us today. To remind myself that everyone gets that grace if they ask for it…no matter what the earthly price they will pay for their sin is, they still have grace.

My blog is a collection of stories about family, our homeschooling journey, my faith journey (which was a work in progress over many years) my thoughts on everyday life, fitness and my Hashimoto’s diagnosis and treatment.

I considered so many other names that were references to the above topics, but in the end, I want my journal to be about so much more than just those three things….because WE as God’s children are about so much more. And I need all the reminders of that that I can get!

About The Real Me:

I have been happily married to my wonderful husband for almost 12 years, and we have one sweet young lady who will be 10 soon. We were a “later in life” couple, in our early 30’s when we met and married, which meant we had to join two very independent people together into one. Trust me when I tell you that this has it’s own very unique challenges! God’s love and grace has been with us from the beginning, with what I believe to be a very special touch on our marriage…so without fail we have made it through every challenge presented to us. He is a strong Christian man who loves his family, and would do anything in the world for both of us. Well, with the small exception of purchasing feminine products at the store…lol! But that’s another story!

I was born in Texas, and with the exception of about one year, have lived here my entire life. We attend a Southern Baptist church the Southeast part of Houston, right outside of our suburb of Pearland. We are blessed with a very strong network of all kinds of homeschooling support, from friends to outside classes and amazing teachers.

Our family consists of 3 humans and 2 fur babies, who are both very special to us. We love to spend time together at home, and enjoy entertaining our friends as often as we can. My daughter and I are both voracious readers, and my husband is a political audio book junkie!

I love a good movie, a chilled glass of wine, and a delicious Paleo approved meal to go with it! We all feel that fitness is important, and my daughter and I are doing an even better job of working it back in this year. I used to run four to five times a week, and she swam about the same amount of time. This last year saw a drop off in those activities, for several reasons…but we have rededicated ourselves to staying as fit and healthy as we can!

I’m a tea lover, but don’t share that with my southern friends…I take mine sans sugar! My morning routine consists of an 8 oz. glass of Kombucha followed by my first of many glasses of iced tea for the day. There are no coffee drinkers in our home..only tea enthusiasts! Praise the Lord for my Keurig!

Why Homeschooling?

We made the decision to homeschool Zoe in 2009, at the beginning of her Kindergarten year. She spent one week at the private school where she attended PreK-4, and then we brought her home to begin what I consider to be one of the coolest things we’ve ever done as a family! We had begun thinking about it at the beginning of the summer, but had decided to give her one more year of private school while I prepared to teach her starting in 1st grade.

A series of events, each quite insignificant on their own but when combined seemed much substantial, led us to make that decision a lot sooner than we planned. At the time, I knew we were jumping into something that was not quite considered mainstream….yes, we were going to have an enormous amount of opportunities and resources when compared to families that chose this way of life twenty years ago….but there would still be the sideways glances when we ventured out at a time when other kids were in school…and the questions from friends about socialization.

What most wanted to know was “Why?”

And that was not an easy question to answer…not because I wasn’t confident in our decision or secure in our reasons why…but because, like most homeschoolers that I know, there wasn’t just one.

Do I love the fact that our faith can be an integral part of our homeschool day, or that the worldview that we wish to impart to our daughter is not being assaulted on all fronts by a school system that is not friendly to it? Yes…I do. But that is not the entire reason that we chose this way of life.

I love the fact that I can tailor what we study and what level/intensity we study it with to her ability at that time.

I love how we can slow down, speed up or just flat out skip something if need be.

I love being able to indulge her love of art with a weekly online art class with an Emmy award winning cartoonist, a local homeschooling art class taught by an amazing art teacher who inspires her kids and a bi-weekly private art lesson with the same teacher….all within the school day…NOT after school, in the evening or on the weekends.

I love being able to pick and choose what we will study for the year. I love being able to engage in “parent directed” study….selecting teachers and classes for her where she joins with other homeschoolers to study science, creative writing, or whatever else suits her fancy at the time.

“The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.” ~ John Lubbock

To be honest, there just isn’t much I don’t love about it….including the amazingly supportive group of family and friends that have cheered us during our journey. And most of all, my sweet family….Zoe, who makes homeschooling easy and fun…and my loving husband….who is supportive in every way possible of all that is required to teach our daughter…he has never wavered from the beginning in his belief that not only is this something that I CAN do, but that she is better off with me than she is anywhere else in the world….I couldn’t do this without them.

And my favorite thing to tell people?

“Homeschooling is the coolest thing I’ve ever done!!”

I’m so thrilled to join this group of amazing ladies at the Homeschool Post, to share our stories with you, and hopefully encourage you in your homeschool journey!


Ellen Pool (2 Posts)

Ellen is a homeschool mom of one who blogs about homeschooling, faith, family and fitness at Grace Tells Another Story. She homeschool an "only", and they have a blast together!! Every day is "girls day"! She and her family live outside of Houston, Texas.

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Meet Chelli : Following God’s Plan Not Her Own

If God has a gag reel, I’m on it! I love to plan, I love to organize, and I love to make lists. Ten years ago nothing about my life now was in my future plans. At the time, Preacher Man (my husband) wasn’t a Preacher Man, but a Tree Man. Then one fateful day he walked in the door and said he wanted to become a preacher and quit his job to study for ministry. After I picked my jaw up off the floor {ME…a preacher’s wife!?!}, we began planning and raising money to attend preaching school.

That summer we packed up a moving van, strapped our eight-month old daughter into her car seat, and drove from my hometown in Arkansas to Denver, Colorado where we lived for two years before moving to a small town outside Houston, Texas for our first job. We’ve been here for seven years now, and Preacher Man and I have been married for ten years. I still don’t feel like a very good preacher’s wife, but I’m digging this marriage thing!

Homeschooling entered my life against my will as well. I graduated from college with a degree in secondary history education and certification to teach seventh through twelfth grades. When our oldest child was born, I quit working to stay at home. Preacher Man and I had already decided that I would stay home with the kids until they were all in school, then I would go back to work. While I was pregnant with our second child, I did some substitute teaching in our area schools and realized that I wanted more academically or my kids than they offered. I decided to give homeschooling a trial run with Chipette, our oldest, for preschool. Five years later, we are still going strong. Chipette is entering fourth grade this year, Magpie is ready for first grade, and Monkey is busy being three.

water strider

I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, mainly about our homeschool journey with some other things thrown in like recipes and spiritual thoughts. Blogging was never in the plan either, but initially came about for three reasons. I wanted a way to remember our homeschooling days, like a digital yearbook. I wanted a way to talk about homeschooling with someone other than Preacher Man whose eyes start to glaze over when I use words like “mastery math programs”, “Charlotte Mason”, and “lapbooks.” Finally I wanted to flex my writing muscles again since I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember.

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All of these “unplanned” things have been God’s plan all along and I’m truly blessed every day by His choices for my life. I am so grateful to The Homeschool Post for giving our family at The Planted Trees an opportunity to share with all of you!

Quick Facts About Me

  • My name is pronounced “Shelly”. Weird spelling courtesy of my mom!
  • I love to cook, read, travel, teach, spend time outdoors, and anything remotely related to having a good time with family and friends.
  • Although I’m tall (5’10″), I did not play basketball or volleyball in school. This question is always asked of us tall gals!
  • I have a literary crush on Mr. Darcy, but, really, what woman doesn’t?

Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Chelli (6 Posts)

Chelli has been homeschooling for five years and married for ten. She has three children Chipette (4th grade), Magpie (1st grade), and Monkey (3 years old). When she's not educating or blogging at The Planted Trees, you can generally find her with her nose in a book, cooking up something yummy in the kitchen, or if she's really lucky you can't find her at all because she's traveling with friends and family.

A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Share the meaning of Easter with your children with A Sense of the Resurrection: an Easter Experience for Families.***
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration.***