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Friday, October 5, 2012

The young man who was helping make fruit kabobs and humming slightly out of tune is now guiding his spaceships toward their secret landing pad somewhere in the living room. From one glorious moment to a tense emergency; such  is the life of one that I love. And such is the blessing of motherhood.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Gift of Gab

It helps to have chatty friends. Bethany, who can  be chatty, typically is quiet. A sweet friend called her today and asked her about owning a hamster. Bethany's hamster, Dusty, died about a month ago, but Bethany was eager to share anyway.

Bethany did all kinds of reading before and during her ownership of a hamster. She also saved most of the money to maintain a good life for her hamster. Bethany paid for all of her food and bedding and extra toys that made Dusty's life special.

This momma was thrilled when someone called who was interested in Bethany's learned expertise. I especially enjoyed observing Bethany so at ease in her conversation.
The one and only Andy Williams died today. I loved his voice as a child. It seemed to have a quality and an essence that I'm challenged to put into words. His Christmas shows had me spellbound. Here is his recording of "Moon River."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

From the perspective of pure numbers, here's a picture of homeschooling, compliments of the HSLDA, Homeschool Legal Defense Association. Homeschooling by the Numbers [Infographic]

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

One of the wonderful parts of homeschooling is the opportunity for trust to develop between child and parent. Here, they can share their frustrations and insecurities. 

I don't always have the answers, I don't know why summarizing a story is hard for one, but not for the other, but I can encourage them and say, "You know, I don't know why it seems hard, but we're going to get this. Let's keep trying! You can do it." In doing this, I teach and make every effort to reflect God's heart toward this one He created. What if they never *get it*? I truly believe it's going to be alright. The Lord will give us the wisdom we need to go another way if that's what's best. This brings His peace to both of our hearts as a result. 

It's not always been this way. I've had to learn that this is His response for our household in this hour. It could be another exhortation altogether tomorrow. As I draw closer to the Lord today, He is able to help my heart hear the words He would speak were He sitting there with us in person. This is my on the scene testimony for today.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, My Father.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Praying for Strategy

As a mother, I try, try, try to never discipline out of anger. Anger erases the margin of perspective that is required to keep the God-honoring approach to child-rearing. I've asked the Lord for a portion of desired wisdom today:
in the midst of anger. Frustration. 
Because my emotion is still a bit on high, I've chosen the "all-day cleaning and school tomorrow" approach for my son. The momma button has been pushed, and this is the best I know to do.

The principle of honor and mutual respect, especially between brothers and sisters, is high on my list of how our day ought to go. When one transgresses, especially if they physically hurt the other, then my world stops, and the deeper training begins. There is scripture, there is prayer, and I do all of these, but  sometimes it just has to be an unpleasant day for the one who commits the offense. As I go, I pray for my own heart to be firm with a shade of tenderness at the right time. This one knows my love is there for them, but for today,  discipline will be the brightest color on the page.

My prayer:
"Jesus, give me wisdom that glorifies you. Work in the life of this one to bring about Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.  Amen."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Read THIS (at your own risk provided you're not homeschooling). It is one of the most succinct and compelling articles on homeschooling that I've read, and it's written to non-homeschoolers.

Here is one of the more convicting paragraphs I've read in a long time:
1. I think the Bible encourages us to admonish one another. We are a BODY. We are members connected to each other. What we do affects us all. My choice–your choice to educate our children is HUGE and it is not an isolated choice. If my hand is injured, the rest of my body suffers from it. I believe the church universal is crippled, largely, because of our choice to let the state have such a powerful influence on our children.
My heart has been so torn this week as I've viewed many "back to school" photos on Facebook. I share a measure of excitement and pride for the parent and the child, and  yet have an accompanying sorrow that goes along with it. This article says nearly everything to explain the reservations and concerns I would share with someone who is not willing to consider and pray about homeschooling, or who has the desire and willingness to homeschool but is battling serious fear over the matter. (And how I could write on that matter!)

If you are able, take some time to read the comments left after the initial blog post. It may answer some of your own questions.  From the comments, someone shared an acronymn of the word fear that was worth the price of admission, and it is:


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

While I Was...

Thank goodness homeschooling is a marathon and not a sprint. In fact,  after having viewed some recent Olympic event highlights, I'd call it more of a steeplechase-type marathon . So, while I was under the influence of a short night's sleep and seemingly caffeine-free coffee, things were still buzzing and humming around the house. God's grace led me to observe the following, which I've attempted to capture with the camera.

 Someone was reading about weather.

 Someone was reading about Christians under the weight of communism.

 Someone was reading about Captain John Smith, born in the 1500's. (But were they upside down when they were reading, or was the photographer sleepy???)

Someone did some fancy baking in the kitchen with no help from Mom!

( Note: this is Bethany's cooking apron that she made a couple of years ago. I don't know if you can see it or not, but it highlights countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.) 
I love it that all of this happened without much direction from me. It's not a day I want to repeat as far as hands-on teaching goes, but it does bring me comfort to see that my children know how to be productive and choose things to do and books to read that are worthwhile. It's o.k. to not be 100% every single day. For that, there is grace!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Observing Her

Bethany loves critters. She loves the kind that creep, crawl, purr, bark, and cluck. She loves them all, truthfully, and if she had it her way, we'd have a farm where she could spend her days enjoying all that God has made.
This is a stock photo of the baby bird we found.
Yesterday, we found our 3rd bird of this summer season. It was under a tree limb which had broken off during a wind storm. It was obviously a little baby that couldn't fly. Bethany found a box for it to stay in until we could get it to our favorite bird rescue organization, Fallen Feathers. Using her Birds of Arizona Field Guide, she was able to correctly identify the fledgling as an Inca Dove. Her thoughts were confirmed by the volunteers at Fallen Feathers. This was an Inca Dove.  Fallen Feathers is about 30 minutes from our home, but were it not for that, they would have a new volunteer in Bethany.
We love this guide!

Bethany also has her Daddy's navigational abilities. She's grounded. While that's not a good term as a pilot, which is her Daddy's profession, it's a strong compliment for a 12 year-old girl. We were on our return trip home from the bird rescue home when I decided to explore an alternate route, also known within the confines of our Honda Pilot as  "creative driving."  The children always know that when I use that term, I'm probably not 100% sure how we're going to find our desired destination. When we got to a certain point where railroad tracks paralleled the street, Bethany said, "Let's take that road. Railroad tracks go near the park where we have homeschool park day, so that should take us close to home." I took that as my cue as her idea made perfect sense.  Guess what. She's got a built-in compass. Based on my own lack thereof, that will serve her quite well.

 So, here I am, momma to two, one of which is Bethany. Though she's sure to have a few of my attributes and characteristics, she's so like her Daddy. He's a navigator, she's a navigator. If he doesn't know how to do something, he tackles it anway. If Bethany doesn't know how to do something, she works at it until she has it.  God put some wonderfully special things inside my little blonde package of a daughter, and daily life unwraps one special detail after another. I have the best seat in the house, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Going Solar

We do, after all, live in Arizona. So why not go solar, the old-fashioned way, and hang out our clothes to dry!

We're using some electrical cable that Danny said we could use until we have an opportunity to obtain a bonafide clothes line.  Imagine my satisfaction when son Daniel was in the throws of his funny but irritatingly incessant comedy routine: I simply held up a pair of his little underwear and said, "Look, these are going to be hung up on a clothes line. Now I can either do that in the front yard or the back yard!" My remarks were followed by Bethany's beautiful laugh and comment on how clever that was of me. And that, my friends is the rest of the story.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Simply put, this is my kind of diagram. It's interactive and informative, and of high interest within our household. Wycliffe Bible Translators has provided this link on their Facebook page to demonstrate the journey of translating a Bible into a given language.

This fits so well in our study of countries and cultures with My Father's World (which, I might add, we are thoroughly enjoying!).

Part of our cultural studies include biographies of missionaries published by YWAM publishers, written by Geoff and Janet Benge.  These stories have stirred up our interest and love for learning of their lives abroad, and the God-details that fit so well together as He leads us through the events of every day life.

We'll end up taking longer than prescribed to complete our study because we took some time off from Geography to complete our co-op responsibilities as well as my Homeschool Group co-director role duties. But, we've decided not to skip or chintz ourselves from the joy of learning about the world God made and the heart He has for the people He's created.

It could be said that we as a family  are experiencing our own "Road to Transformation." In summary, that's my kind of schooling!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Making Lemonade

After spotting the most loved and well-worn teddy bear in her bed during a walk about, a heart-weary momma says to the cutest boy on the planet {who is behind a closed door running the bath water}: "Seems to me a small teddy bear has reserved his spot in my bed for the evening!" Cute boy giggles and says, "Yes, please!" Heart-weary momma on a proverbial lemonade run after a lemony-sort of day says in a most official sounding voice, "Accepted!" Cute boy replies, "Thank you!!!"

With Danny's piloting and an overnight stay in Philadelphia, said mom with lemony-sort of day nearly behind her decides to allow youngest to overnight in his parent's quarters. That's always a special treat to Daniel. May I always have the strength to ask God for creative ways to show love to the very one who has tried my soul. How I love our two.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I'd Be Missing Out On

Everyonce in awhile I stop myself in my own tracks and ask myself, "If I weren't homeschooling, what would I be missing out on right now?" Today, I had one of those times where the question answered itself before I realized I'd even asked it.

I love candles and had decided to light not one, not two, but three candles. My son, age 9, who loves candles also, (and loves to light them) asked if he could light a candle. "Yes," was my reply. That was it. That was the instant that I was reminded, "If I weren't homeschooling, I would've missed that moment with Daniel." Is it a big deal? Is lighting a candle a big deal? No, not really. But.....we wouldn't have had that minute together. It would have been a period of time, although brief, that we would've missed out on. I'm not willing to give those moments up. There's waaaay too much conversation, too much precious living and loving that I would miss out on, that WE would miss out on. Homeschooling is the "layered look" of the Christian life, family living, and academics, that when combined, embodies who we are. It creates the setting for memories that seem unimportant, but can become everything! I believe that each moment does indeed count for eternity. The repercussions of our calling and decision to homeschool is designed by God to have a lasting impact for many, many generations, and I take it seriously for that reason.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today we'll be watching this video for homeschool co-op on grinding corn.

And this one:

And these will be our snacks as we celebrate Agriculture and Industry on Arizona's 100th Birthday.

Here's the link for the recipe:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sorry in Advance

I'm apologizing in advance for this:

Where you can try out some slow-cooker desserts like this!

Pictured is the Butterscotch Cake. Hello!!!

Under the Table and Dreaming is a website I enjoy perusing and looking about at their bursts of creativity. I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Where Will You Spend the Night Next

Bethany and Daniel, I love listening to you play. Bethany, you drag out your animals of all sizes, and Daniel, you move your Lego men and your control station into Bethany's room, and then the dialogue (or monologue) begins. It's complete with accents, international travel, and high drama! I love listening to you play. The first night you spent the night in the Czech Republic. Of course, you also traveled to Serbia, and your children complained about having to eat smoked salmon again, not to mention the fact that none of you speak German! The part I also like is that you know how to make Daniel laugh, and every now and then you both laugh it out together. I wonder where you will spend the night next!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Europe and Norway

Our homeschooling adventures "around the world" find us in Europe. While in Europe we'll study Norway, France, and Germany.

Today, we're reviewing the physical and politcal maps of Europe. We've colored the flag of Norway and are listening to Peer Gynt. Peer Gynt is a play whose music is composed by Edvard Grieg(15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907), Norway's most famous composer. Here's the link we're currently listing to, and by which we also are eating our lunch!

You should take a listen! I think you'll hear some familiar music.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Marked for Life

"Marked for life." I turned and met the glance that went with the words I had just heard from behind.These were the exact words of an older gentleman in a restaurant today as he and his wife waited for a friend. Bethany and I were standing side by side waiting for the restroom to open up and he'd spoken as an observer. I was somewhat taken aback by what he said. What he was trying to say was that there was no question that, the way he saw it, we resembled one another closely, and that she was, as a result, "marked for life."

"Marked for life." I heard so much more than those words. Truth be told, I believe he saw more than what he said. There is something about Bethany that is pure and clear and full and ready! She is totally alive, and in her is a destiny that is not yet known, but certain! She is so lovely. She is so FUN! She brings sunshine to our home and our hearts. She is an amazing and devoted friend. Small children are drawn to her. She makes everyone feel special. She's talented and brimming with potential that has yet to be tapped. Best of all, she's unaware of much of this. She would not even describe herself in such complimentary ways.

As a mother who prays steadfastly for her daughter, this man spoke words of high impact. Bethany, you are marked for life. You will live, you are alive and living in Christ because His name is on your heart, and His presence fills you up so full that His essence flows from you. You are indeed, marked for life. Christ has a plan for you, a destiny, His name is on you, He's after you, He prays for you. You will be like a well-watered garden whose waters do not fail (See Isaiah 58:11). You ARE marked for life because of Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The strangers words will be mulled over in my spirit for days to come as I consider what it means to be marked for life. I will be thinking and considering, exactly, how do I measure up to these words? Is Christ's presence so evident in me that someone would see me and say I was "marked"? Owned? Possessed by another and not living only for myself? I think I will be wrestling with this. Whose mark is on me? Is it indeed the mark of Christ, Himself?

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Cor. 6:19-20 KJV

"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." 2 Corinthians 2:14

These are a handful of verses that have come to my mind as I think about what it was in Bethany, besides her resemblance to me, that this gentleman saw. This picture was taken the same day as this story took place.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

God Says....

I am aiming to cooperate with God: Co-with AND operate-function. To co-operate, or function together with God, I must first know what He thinks, be in agreement, and then act accordingly. I found this picture on facebook that I think captures a part of what it means to co-operate with God. Did I mention this means dying to self?

Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."