Ellen Lockhart, Author at Imperfect Homemaker

All Posts by Ellen Lockhart

Transitioning from Private School to Homeschool: Our Story

Transitioning from private school to homeschool

Should I or should I not?  Here are two reasons why we did:

  1. It was necessary – we moved to another state where there was not a school that we cared for them to attend and our finances did not allow for it at the time either.
  2. It was our preference  – At this time we had already decided to homeschool no matter where we lived, because there were so many things with which we were unsatisfied in the private school.
I have moved all of my homeschooling posts to christianhomeschoolfamily.com. You can go here to read this post at the new site.Transitioning from Private School to Home School: One Family's Experience
Guest post by Ellen at Joyful Abundant Life

What Can You Give Mom or Grandma for Mother’s Day? 50 Plus Ideas

Are you wondering what to Give Mom or Grandma for Mother's Day?

You can find 50 plus ideas below.

Special thanks to my mom for taking the time to post tons of gifts ideas for Mother's Day!  It's nice to get inside a Mother's head and know for sure exactly what she'd like!



I am blessed to be a mother. I am more blessed because my children love and honor me as they are taught to do from God's Word. I am even more blessed because I am also a grand mother. And I feel I am even more blessed because at this point, God has allowed all my children and grand children to be near me! Wow! Now what a responsibility I have to be a godly example to them and to teach them the things of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:7

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

By God's grace and mercy, I am blessed with children who love the Lord with all their hearts and are working at training their children to do the same. As Mary pondered all these things in her heart (Luke2:19), so I often do with wonder and amazement. I pray daily and earnestly that all my grandchildren will be saved and will have a deep and burning desire to serve the Lord Jesus with all their hearts.  So, children and grandchildren, are you wondering what special gift you can give your mom or grandmom  this year?  Give the Lord your heart and I promise, that will be a special gift and probably the best gift ever for your mother or grandmother.

Proverbs 23:24-25

The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Our children are the only “thing” that we can take with us to eternity and I am looking forward to all of them being there with me in the presence of our Savior. Have you, yourself,  received the greatest gift?  You can have that gift of eternal life today!   It is for anyone and everyone!

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

My children and grandchildren have blessed me with many other material gifts. Many of them are treasures to my heart. Why? Because they came from people who love me and are very dear to my heart. Below is a list of some of the things I have received. Perhaps, the list (more than 50 listed below) will give you some good ideas for a mother's day gift or birthday or anniversary gift. Or if you have another idea, maybe you would like to leave your comment below so it can be added to the list.

Mother's Day Gift Ideas


Gifts from my grandchildren

  • These gifts are usually Pictures and Notes and Paper crafts – I usually save these for a while and often display them in a card holder or on the frig. And then I take pictures of them and put them in a memory file on my computer. I cannot save piles and piles of paper. There may be a few that I will actually save and put in a physical file.
  • Some other gifts include: hand painted bird houses, little trophies and trinkets, clay hand sculptures, finger print oranaments, balloons and flowers, souvenirs from other countries (my son is a missionary to Brazil)
  • Here is a collage collection of some of the notes/ cards/ gifts/ that I have received from my grandchildren.

Mother's day gifts
Gifts from my children

  • Pictures and picture frames – I guess in a sense you can never have enough.   This would be a nice one!  And I really love this one given to me at Christmas

Framed Gift for Grandmother Count Your Blessings

  • Tea Pots – I used to collect these so have received several. I stopped the collection because I could not handle anymore, but I keep them displayed because they remind me of those I love and the love they showed to me.  Maybe you could find some Cute Teapots Here.
  • Scripture Plaques and Bible Verse Wall Art
  • Plants and Flowers
  • Scented Candles
  • Clothing/Accessories (that is purses or Jewelry)
  • Wall art – Until I backed up THIS SAYING with the Bible,  I really did not care for it too much,  but now I do!
  • Magnets
  • Dishes i.e. decorative type dishes, trays or bowls
  • Cards with personal notes
  • Personalized items as in door mats, monograms, or flags ( love my Grandpa and Grandma flag!)
  • Photo gifts such as pillows, afghans, mugs, mouse pads, and coasters filled with pictures of the grandchildren.  I received  a photo mug from my children who are missionaries in Brazil and really like it.  As I drink my coffee from it each morning, it reminds me to pray diligently for my children and grandchildren.  My daughter also gave me a photo pillow filled with pictures of her children.  I keep it on my bed and it has helped me to pray for them often.  You can see a similar produce here: Our Family Photo Pillow
  • Music CD's – Here is a special Music CD because it came from my daughter and her husband.  But it is even more special because it is Christ honoring music and it is obvious that that messengers in music were spirit filled as they were singing!  So not only am I blessed by listening to someone I love sing, but my soul is also blessed and uplifted!
  • Gift cards to favorite restaurants and stores

Gifts from my husband

  • Digital Frame  How fun is this!  I love mine!
  • Plants, Trees, Flowers (outside)
  • CD player This is a great gift for the one who is in the kitchen a lot!  Keep that good music going or your favorite radio station.
  • Electronics – This grandma loves electronics and I am so thankful for all I have – cell phone, lap top, tablet, desktop, mp3 player, digital camera, digital video camera, and even a Kindle!   Wow! I am blessed. I just need to be careful that I don't make idols of them and that I use them all for the right reason.
  • Ebooks – Now that you have that Kindle,  you will want to fill it up with ebooks.  Don't forget to get a copy of the Bible.  Then look for some other good books.  Often you can get many ebooks free!
  • Wall Decor
  • A New House 🙂 I am blessed to have a brand new home; My husband built most of it with his own hands.
  • Photo bookshelf
  • Appliances – HERE is one appliance that my husband got me that has lasted now for several years and I could not do without!  It is worth the money and pays for itself.  I use it daily several times a day!
  • Better jewelry – One of my favorite bracelets has the birthstones of all the grandchildren.  It is very pretty.  This one is similar to what I have.
  • Piano and keyboard

Here is another collage picture of some of my favorite things:



Gifts I have given my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law is the only mother that I have left on earth. My mom, grandmom, grandmom-in-law and great grandparents are all in heaven. I miss seeing them and giving them gifts, but I am blessed with the gift of the promise of seeing them all again one day and spending all eternity together.

Many of the gifts I give my mother-in law come from Christian Book Distributors.  I can order online and have them shipped directly to her.  She has been very happy with these items and they do offer some great gift ideas.  You can see some of the ideas in the pictures below.

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  • Purses/totes – She loves them!
  • Pictures/Digital Frame filled with family pictures
  • Clothing and Jewelry – Find out some of her favorite things. For instance, my mother-in-law loves cardinals so that always makes nice wall décor or even Christmas clothing.
  • Bird houses
  • Plants
  • Wall Decor – Something I recently made and gave her was this: You can read more about it HERE.


She loved it! She has since had more great grandchildren. The nice thing about this project is that I can print another one and she can easily replace the first one by swapping them out.

Below is a list of places you may be able to find a special gift for that special mom or grandmom in your life.

photo pillowFamily Photo Pillow Decorator pillow is also a photo frame and a beautiful gift to give. 9″ square linen and cotton pillow is embroidered and includes a ribbon-trimmed sleeve to display your best 4″ x 6″ horizontal photo.
chevron purseChevron Tote Bag – Patterned chevron stitch bag with faux leather trim and rolled double handles; zip top closure, interior slip pocket. Bag is fully lined; 14.5″ x 12″ x 5.5″; roomy and stylish; professional fashion accessory.
mom mugMom Mug – mug for Mom with printed Scripture verse in stylistic typography design. 14 ounces; white mug with blue lined inside. Boxed in color gift box.
95439: Door Mat, As for Me and My House GreyDoor Mat, As for Me and My House Grey Inspirational doormat for the Christian home displays the best-loved Scripture quote from Joshua 24:15, with decorative scroll trim and non-skid rubber backing. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord on polyester black felt mat; 27.5″ x 17.5″; may be spot cleaned. Upscale design for today's Christian decor, suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
126168: Mom I Love You Photo FrameMom I Love You Photo FrameUnique photo frame in bronze tones is perfect for mom's dresser, shelf, or any room in the home.Overall dimensions are 8″ x 5″ x .5″
511292: Mom, He Gave Me You Memo Pad and Pen SetMom, He Gave Me You Memo Pad and Pen SetUnique and special gift for mom, perfect for birthday, mother's day, or any occasion. Green memo pad with pen; front floral design with heartfelt sentiment. 80 page pad; measures 3″x 4.25″.Mom, I've learned so many things from you, what to say and what to do, but most of all you taught me who loves me even more than you. So thank you, Mom, for now I see how faith in God has strengthened me. I know how much He loves me, too, because dear Mom, He gave me you!
168307: Mother"s Daily Prayer JournalMother's Daily Prayer JournalClassy gift journal with the look and feel of soft leather is debossed just for mom, a keepsake place to record her prayers.Days are full and time is short, but it only takes a few minutes to fill in the date, the day's prayer requests and answers, plus a few lines for a thought or words of praise to God. Undated, so you can use on your own schedule, each page is banded in designer trim; an inspiring quote or Bible verse is displayed across each page spread.Book is 8″ x 6″, with satin ribbon marker; a beautiful gift journal worthy of a mother's prayers.
2091200: Quilted Purse, Joshua 1:9, Black and WhiteQuilted Purse, Joshua 1:9, Black and WhiteFashion tote bag, Traveler size, in quilted black and white print with double handles and roomy interior for all your essentials. Fastens securely with button flap over zippered closure. Features include two inside slip pockets, one secure inside zipper pocket and a zippered pocket on the back. 15″ x 12″ x 5″. Embroidered Scripture quote inside the bag God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9. Designed by Nicole Brayden; from the Contrast line at Divinity Boutique.
099483: Sing to the Lord Mini Mounted PrintSing to the Lord Mini Mounted PrintMounted art print with Scripture quote, elegant wall decor and home accent, has the appearance of stretched canvas and adds beauty to even a small area of your room. 6.25″ x 2.5″ x .75″; inscripted: Sing To The Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things. Psalm 98:1.
praise the Lord flagPraise the Lord Flag – Hummingbird flag design with Scripture verse quote, designed by Karla Dornacher in bright, contemporary design; Praise the Lord flag with Bible verse from Psalm 150:6. let everything that has breath praise the Lord..
wall letteringTrust in the Lord with All Thine Heart Decorative Wall Lettering– Add a decorator touch to your home decor with our inspirational wall vinyl lettering in stylistic font with heart embellishment Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5. May be applied to a window, wall, mirror, or just about any smooth surface!
022278: Vinyl Wall Expression, Cross, Names of JesusVinyl Wall Expression, Cross, Names of JesusAdd a decorator touch to your home decor with our inspirational wall vinyl lettering in stylistic font, featuring names of Jesus collage in unique cross design. May be applied to a window, wall, mirror, or just about any smooth surface! Approximately 24″ x 18″; removable; easy instructions included.


Still need more ideas?  There are some great ideas HERE.


Well, I guess that about wraps it up. As I walk through my house I am overwhelmed with all the lovely treasures that have been bestowed upon me, but once again, it makes me thankful for the love that is shown to this mother through all of them.

Proverbs 31:28

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.


Thoughts from The Imperfect Grandmother

I am honored to have my mom posting some things from her heart today.  And while she wrote this from a grandmother's perspective, there is so much that we young mothers can learn from this too!  (Titus 2:3-4   The aged women likewise…that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…)


I sure wish I were closer to perfect than imperfect, but unfortunately, the closer I get to heaven, the more I realize that I need the Lord to help me through each phase of life! In fact, in some ways it gets harder as life goes on because now not only do I have four children to be a godly example to, but now I have 15, (soon to be 17) grandchildren to pray diligently for and be a godly example to.
My daughter recently gave birth to her fourth child and we were privileged to keep her other three while she had some R & R after the birth. Throughout those three days, the Lord was showing me what I can learn from keeping these precious grandchildren. They are not necessarily in any special order, but just random thoughts.

Child Training
1. They need love, attention, discipline, and did I mention that they need love, attention, and discipline, and oh, teaching. Teach them diligently. Teach them the Word of God in the Way. Use every day incidences and objects to teach and instill the Word of God in their hearts. Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

2. Focus on them, not yourself. They are your main mission. Meet their needs, physically, emotionally, and Spiritually.

3. Don't be too quick to judge them expecting them to act like mature adults. Remember they are very young.

4. They need to see Christ in my actions, not just hear about Him in my words.

5. They may claim to be saved and only God know their hearts. If they claim to be saved, teach them as though they are, but always giving the gospel so that it becomes clear in their hearts and minds. Pray that you will see evidence of their salvation or that God will reveal to them that they are not saved and that they will see themselves as a sinner and accept Him.

6. Often as I see my grandchildren do many wicked things, I become angry and frustrated. I remind myself, what if God became so angry and frustrated with me every time I disobeyed or did so wickedly. While thinking back, I remember many wicked things I did after salvation, yet God in His mercy still loved and forgave me and gently led me on.

7. Forgive them as God forgives you.

8. Teach them God's Word and how to live a victorious Christian Life.

9. Never give up on them.

10. Don't break their spirit, but don't give in to their will either.

11. Be merciful and kind. Oh how merciful and kind God is toward me. What if He screamed at me every time I sinned or rebelled or disobeyed? What if He punished me unmercifully without love and thought?

12. Remember how often I act like a 2 year old when God is dealing with me. I am so quick to forget what He told me and to go my own way without a care at all.

13. God definitely made younger women to care for children. Yes, Sarah and Elizabeth had children in their old age, but they only had one. But God does give grace and strength and joy in it all!

14. Sit back and enjoy them! They are great entertainment and can really give you a good time.

15. Snatch any quiet moments to be alone with the Lord in His Word and in prayer. While keeping grandchildren or your own children, there may not be a long length of time that you can sit and meditate on God's Word, so learn to recognize and be prepared for any small windows of quietness that God may give you. In the quietness of your heart, meditate on Scripture and pray without ceasing. Be thankful for any quiet time that God gives you. Use it for getting to know the Lord better through His Word and for praying. Pray continually for your grandchildren.

Summary: It is a privilege to be a grandmother. I desire that my grandchildren see this in their grandparents:
Proverbs 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Remember: Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

Psalms 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children…

What imperfections do you need to weed out from your mothering or grandmothering?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How Does Your Garden Grow


1. For a garden to grow, there must first be something planted. Has that seed of righteousness been planted in your heart? This comes only from Jesus Christ for He has said I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Jn.14:6) You may say, “I already have that seed. I have been saved, washed by the blood of the lamb and know that I am a child of God.” Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Wonderful! The seed is planted and now your garden is ready to be cared for so that seed can grow.
2. Gardens need lots of sunshine. Jesus is your “Sonshine”. He gives lots of light through His Word, the Bible. “The entrance of thy Word giveth light” (Ps. 119:130) Daily spending time in God's Word is what helps your garden to grow. But Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16) If you don't take time to get to know the Lord better every day through daily Bible study and prayer, then your garden is going to die.
3. Gardens also need rain. Rain is not always a pleasant thing. Too much rain can even be a bad thing, but God knows just how much rain we need in our lives. Trials and problems are often allowed by God to help you to grow and God has promised to bring good out of it. Romans 8:28-29 says that ALL things work together for GOOD to them THAT LOVE GOD…in order that we might be conformed to His image. These things will cause you to be more like Him. So thank God for the “rain in your life and keep on doing right. The rain will come to pass and you may see tremendous growth in your spiritual garden.
4. You also need to check for weeds and bugs in your garden every day. What is hindering your growth? Is there sin in your life that should not be there? God's Word says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Are you putting off the old man in order to be renewed in the spirit of your mind? Are you putting on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness? (Ephesians 4:22-24). As you do these things, Christ will be reflected in you and you will see fruit in your garden.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5).
5. Fencing in your garden will help to keep intruders out! How we need to guard the garden of our hearts daily! Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.
6. Why not transplant some seedlings in order to extend your growing season? You may find your garden rich and full from reproducing. Share God’s Word for you never know when the seed may be planted in someone else’s heart so another beautiful garden can begin to grow. Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
7. Just as the fragrance and beauty of a garden attracts wildlife, the fragrance and beauty of your spiritual garden will attract others to the Lord. Psalms 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

So how does your garden grow? Is it? Check up on your garden today.  Do you know Jesus? If so, is Jesus your daily “sonshine” through daily Bible reading, prayer, and practicing what God says? Are you allowing the “rain” of life to conform you more to His image? And are you keeping bugs and weeds out of your garden? Put on the new man every day and live a holy and righteous life. Share the beauty and fragrance of your garden so that others will be attracted to it. God can produce a beautiful garden in you.

A New Year – Refresh and Organize

Refresh and Organize

1. Prepare an habitation for the Lord and ask Him to direct your steps. We cannot do this unless we know Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour. He alone is the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
2. Plan your method of organization and stick with it. However, if plans need to change, don't stress over it, but accept it as God's divine intervention. His way is best! Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
3. Put your husband and children before your home. Don't be so focused on organization and decluttering that you neglect your wonderful family that God has given you. They will vanish quickly. Pay attention and ask God to show you what/who is important. He can help you to set your priorities. Proverbs 31:27-28 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
4. Pay Attention to God's Word and meditate upon it. Here are some Scriptures to think upon:

  • Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
  • Psalms 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
    • Psalms 132:3-5 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.

5. Place a song in your heart. Consider some of the following songs regarding God's Guidance and your devotional life.

Summary: Do you want to be refreshed this year? According to Webster's Dictionary this means to give new strength to; to invigorate; to relieve after fatigue; as, to refresh the body. As we give our day to God He will strengthen and invigorate us for the day. Do you want to be organized this year? Psalms 71:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Trust the Lord to direct your day. He is ever faithful and will never leave or forsake you. May you have a refreshing and organized 2013!