About Me

100_4166(rev 0)My family is really at the heart of what I do and who I am.  In 1989 the Lord joined together two high school sweethearts for a life of adventure and challenges, triumphs and losses, joys and sorrows, and many blessings.  At the start of our marriage, Randy wanted 5 children.  I thought 4 would be perfect.  The Lord delights in giving us the desires of our heart and so He blessed us with 9 children.  Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

When we began our homeschooling journey, none of our friends homeschooled.  We were on our own to figure out the laws and find curriculum.  As the years went by I collected books, curriculum, and catalogs from every flavor of homeschooling imaginable.  Of course, challenges also came with a growing family, a husband who traveled, a strong-willed child, and all of those life events that shape who we are. When I say we had our challenges, I really mean it. I am one of the few homeschooling moms who has expelled a student! My husband likes to say, “Remarkable stories start with remarkable disruptions.”  As we shopped curriculum for the child I had expelled , we came up with the idea of starting our own online curriculum business, Pennywise Learning. We had no idea how this little business that started in our basement was going to grow.

100_0387(rev 0)The Pennywise years were busy, sometimes crazy, and a whole lot of fun. We really enjoyed working with customers and helping parents pick the right materials for their children.  We loved having our older children work for us.  In the middle of it all we homeschooled, had babies and even adopted internationally. We also had UPS coming twice a day, semi-truck deliveries, local pick-ups,  and employees hard at work in our home. Thankfully, Lord provided a charming antique building a few miles away to house our expanding business.

100_0338(rev 0)In the meantime, the Lord had called Randy to co-pastor our church. The church began to grow and was in need of a full-time pastor.  We had a big decision to make.  We came to the conclusion that we could not continue to operate our business and full-time pastor at the same time.  After much prayer, we made the decision to see if CBD was interested in buying Pennywise. The sale is a testimony of what God can do. Randy received his pastoral credentials the very day we signed the purchase agreement.

Following the sale of our business, I must admit to being a bit at a loss of what to do with myself. I still had a passion for homeschooling and helping families.  Master Books happened to attend our local homeschool convention. Our family has always loved their books. This “chance” meeting was the Lord working together a plan. Little did we know how big that plan was.  After a few years of working with Master Books as a consultant and curriculum writer, an opportunity opened up with NLPG (The parent company of Master Books) for Randy to work in the field he loves, marketing.  Randy took the job and we packed up all of our belongings into two huge moving trucks and landed here in Arkansas.   We love it here!

100_3705-1(rev 0)The Lord has blessed our family. We have graduated 4 of our children. Several of our older children are married and we have the sweetest grandchildren.  Among the five still homeschooling is our special needs child. We discovered after his adoption that he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Every day life can be a challenge for him. In addition, we have a gifted child who began multiplying and dividing in Kindergarten. Talk about diversity! Thankfully the rest of our children are more on the average end of the homeschool spectrum.

It is hard to believe we have homeschooled for about 20 years. It has been an extreme blessing to have worked with thousands of homeschool families through the years between leading a homeschool group, running Pennywise, working conventions, helping out local homeschoolers, and now through Master Books.  I am looking forward to many more years of supporting homeschool families.

God Bless you, your family, and your homeschool!

Kristen