"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

August 31, 2012

Loving our new homeschooling schedule

Fellow Home School Moms,
don't you miss the days of elementary school when you finished school by noon? I do! And even though I've graduated one and have 3 teens, I'm still on that same continual quest to actually get a shower before noon like when they were little... LOL What is the deal with that?!
Minus the whole showering thing, we've got a great schedule going this year that we are all really excited about. : )

Looking back on the last two school years, I can see God's hand in the relaxed schedule we had. The kids were doing their own cooking and they became self sufficient in the kitchen...
It was a season where we cared for my brother-in-law, who is a stroke patient, who spent months at a time with us both years and the kids helped him with physical therapy exercises...
It was a time for training a new puppy...  (or maybe the new puppy trained us)
Our days started at 7:30 AM and usually ended around 4:30 PM.
They were long... and then we had homework at night.

This year's schedule is shorter and more focused. And we love it.
This summer, I heard a home school conference speaker say a couple of things that really struck me. The first being that our home schools should have one break time and not a bunch of them. (I've noticed around here that if one child is on a break, that almost insures everyone else getting distracted) : )
Secondly, our schools need to have a definite ending time. She said that kids cannot concentrate anymore after 2:00 or 2:30 so it was better to end the day around that time instead of stretching it out longer.
So, we changed things up a bit! -The beauty of homeschooling right? Do what works best!

If you want to take a peek, here's how our days look now: 

6:15 AM -My quiet time
6:45 AM -I'm making smoothies for hubby and I, and breakfast for the kiddos
7:00 AM -Kids breakfast/shower/etc
7:30 AM -school starts    
10:00 AM -take a 15 minute break and have a snack
10:15-12:30 PM -continue working on subjects (at 12:15 I start making lunch)
12:30-1:00 PM -lunch break
1:00-3:00 PM -work on more subjects.
Stop at 3:00 no matter what! : )
From 3:00-4:30 PM -is free time
(part of their day includes exercising for 30 minutes and this my chance to get in my workout)
4:30 PM -kids do chores and I start making dinner
After dinner we stay around the table for devotions which are led by the kids. (each of them has a night) They read a passage and then share with us what it means to them and we discuss it and then give that person a roaring round of applause. : )
7:00 PM which is our 'homework' time
9:30 -10:00 PM is Bible time, when all of us spend time individual time with the Lord.
(we used to have the kids do this in the morning but certain teen(s) ended up falling asleep, so we changed it to the evenings) : ) Gotta do what works, right?!
10:15 -Computers get shut off and we take away their iPods I mean, the kids give us their iPods. (and phones) Wish we'd have thought of this with teen #1!
10:30 -Lights out!

I'm enjoying making the kids breakfast and lunches. -I had to buy wheat berries to motivate me though. I love grinding my own wheat and baking. The kitchen is staying cleaner since they aren't cooking ; ) and I was able to shorten our lunch break so that we could really pull off the 3:00 ending time. The added bonus is we are eating healthier too! Yay!

My brother-in-law will be back to live with us again for part of this school year, and hopefully this schedule will continue to work. We'll see.

I hope you have a happy holiday weekend!
I'm looking forward to some free time to read in Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and a long overdue date with my guy and a trip to the beach with the fam!

August 29, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"After these things I looked and behold a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands and crying out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!' "

"For You were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God."

"To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with me on my throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

"Be faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life."

"I am He who searches the mind and the hearts."

"I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." 

"He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."

"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him..."

-Just a little encouragement from the book of Revelations today! 

August 28, 2012

A banquet, awards and personality tests

My hubby's company had a seminar and banquet on Friday night. It was held at a beautiful restaurant on the bay.
It brought back some fun memories of a college banquet we attended at the same restaurant back in 1988 when I had poofy 80's bangs and wore a turquoise dress and hubby-then-boyfriend wore a matching turquoise tie. I will spare you that picture and post this one from that night instead.

The families of employees were invited to come early to join in the team building seminar and take the the Myers-Briggs personality test, which we did and wow, was that an eye opening experience. We've done those types of tests before but the results of this one really blew us all away.

My hubby won an award for being the one in the company who most exemplifies "Respect: Treating others with respect and dignity." This is a faith-based company and all the awards are based on character traits.

My BFF and her hubby had a hotel for the night near by, so afterwards we headed there to visit and let all the kids swim in the pool. You know you are blessed when the love you all share for the Bible has you busy talking until midnight about the book of Jude. (such party animals!) LOL

Saturday morning, I woke up with the bug that Nathan had last week. So I spent the morning in bed jotting down the jist of what each of our kids 'results' were in the personality test to help me in parenting them more effectively. They provided me with some immediate entertainment and one of the kids decided not to talk to me anymore that morning. LOL
Here's why:
One child wanted to watch the Hunger Games and I said 'Let's wait until your brother gets home from work since he wants to watch it with us.' And he said 'No! I don't want to wait. Let's do it now.' And I smiled and said 'That is funny, because I just read that your personality type 'does not like to wait.' " And of course, I made him wait. ;)
Then another child came in and said 'I just drank 45 ounces of water and so I won't have a stomach ache today, like I did last night because water is a base that neutralizes an acid." And I had to smile again and say 'I just read that your personality type are scientists.'
Then I read another set of results of one of ours who wants to be either a christian psychologist or an evangelist. It said people with his personality type become psychologists and lean toward going into the ministry! Isn't that something?!

Another fun finding was that out of 16 variations of types my hubby and I have the exact same type except for the fact that he is the extrovert of that type and I'm the introvert of that same type. (no surprise there!) : )

On a serious note, I was just so humbled reading about the qualities that God has instilled in each of our kids and reminded of what a privilege it is to partner with Him during this season of their lives as He prepares them for their destinies.

August 26, 2012

Cheering on Frodo tomorrow?

We started our 15th year of homeschooling on Monday! Whoo-hoo! And it looks like we'll get some time off already...due to Hurricane Isaac.

 I grew up in southern California where we never had a 'snow day' and writing 'hurricane day' in our logs, still strikes me as really odd!

During the only hurricane that really effected our area, we spent the day enjoying a Lord of the Rings movie marathon. We were the only ones on our street with power! So, all these years later, our kids still associate hurricanes with LOTR and we joke that we can't watch those movies without one. ; )
We don't need a hurricane to quote our favorite lines though and Joy and Dad like to try and stump each other with which movie their quotes come from.

So, if the kids catch wind of the fact that the public schools are closed tomorrow,
I guess I know what we'll be doing!

One of my faves is "I am no man!" ~Eowyn, Return of the King


August 24, 2012

Our Bree

The cutest home security system ever!


August 22, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

I love praying the Word over my family.
Here's a peek at the verses that are finding their way into my prayers lately:

For the new driver in the family: "So the Lord preserved David wherever he went." 2 Sam. 8:6 (and he was fighting in battles which were worse than being on our highways right?) : )

For our kiddos with dyslexia: "God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom..." Dan. 1:17

For my hubby: I love to pray that he be like Bezeel whom "God filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding in knowledge and all manner of workmanship." Ex. 38:31
Also: "You surround the righteous with favor as with a shield." Ps. 5:12
"You are the Lord who teaches us to profit and leads us in the way we should go." Is. 48:17

For our children: Our "children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of our children. In righteousness they shall be established." Is. 54:13 And for several years, I've been praying these specific verses for them from Luke 2.

Thank you, Lord for being "The Lord of Hosts who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance"
because I need it! : )
 Is. 28:29


August 20, 2012

Last weekend of summer

Goodbye Summer! It was fun! We'll miss you, so hurry back!

In preparation for the new school year, here's how we spent our weekend:

-A day of cleaning the house
(which blesses this homeschooling mom's socks off)

-A day of yard work
 (we did not let the rain stop us and were a family covered in mud but with a better looking yard)

-A dinner with one of our favorite friends (Hi Carlos!) with one of our favorite meals, then a homemade apple pie and a silly movie!

I told the kids we were celebrating the end of summer. They thought that was a terrible thing to celebrate. lol
So, I said, 'Well then, we are celebrating that God is good all the time: summer, fall, winter and spring!'
Amen! : )


August 17, 2012

Happy moms!

This is an awesome post on how to be a happier mom.
I guess it was a timely word for a lot of moms, because Ann Voskamp's site crashed due to the number of hits!
Printing out a copy for my fridge. You can read it here: 10 Ways to be a Happier Mom


August 16, 2012

What's up

Our boys are back, yay!
Our oldest and his friend made a video of their travels to NC, which had us all longing to go to the mountains. I wasn't personally envying the tent camping part of the video, but my hubby was. They seemed to get a lot of rain and had to whittle wet wood to start their fires. -They also got lots of footage of an elderly couple who were hippies and were either doing some kind of worship to the sun early one morning outside their tent or a really freaky version of yoga...) LOL

Nathan's human video team came in 7th in the nation! Whoo-hoo! We picked him up at midnight on Saturday and he was brimming with stories of what the Lord did that week.

I've been busy lesson planning for school which starts on Monday. I'm going to try something revolutionary this year....cooking my family breakfast and lunch! ; )
I'm not really a breakfast cooking mama. I'm a grab-yourself-some-cereal-and-get-started-on-your-school-work mama. When I told my oldest son who happens to be an I-hate-cereal-kind-of-guy my plan, he said "I'll believe it when I see it." ; ) Hubby won't be eating the breakfast and neither will I, which takes some of the fun out of it, but we are still on our fruit smoothie kick.
 I love to start a new school year with a tight (probably unrealistic schedule) and some lofty goals and plans to make our year better. So, we'll see how long this lasts, I mean, how well it goes! ; )

I've been having a blast teaching the high school girls Bible study. I rotate with another dear woman, and so I get the next 6 weeks off while she teaches. And I'll miss them!!! They are such a fun bunch. Last week, our lesson had us laughing til our sides hurt. It was on Witnessing and how we can turn conversations toward Christ. (which is awesome) But the lesson said that if a friend of theirs was hurting because she'd broken up with her boyfriend, they could say:
 "Its OK. Jesus was rejected too."
 Ummmm, no!
That would not go over well at all.
After we got over the shock, we were rolling!

Happy new school year, Friends!

August 15, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

"For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them, but it was Your right hand and Your right arm and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them." ~Ps.44:3

This verse means so much to me. What a humbling week and what a great God I serve!
My "own arm" was not able to "save me" and then God stepped him with HIS "right arm" and moved some mountains! Whoo-hoo! And to sense and witness His "favor" in such a huge way reduced me to a puddle of tears. He is amazing.

"In God we boast all day long." v.8

Let's do some "boasting!"

August 9, 2012

Updates from the boys

This is where our oldest is! -Linville Falls, NC.  Gorgeous!

I'd say he's having a good time!  

And Nathan, who is at Fine Arts Nationals in KY is having an exciting time!
The worship band he was on scored an Excellent and his human video team scored a Superior and got a call back. (which is amazing!)

Love and miss these sweet guys!!!

August 8, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

These verses have been resounding in my heart this week and they will certainly make you think twice about being caught up in materialism especially when you picture everything we seem to put so much energy towards melting.

"Therefore since all these things will be dissolved,
what manner of person ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,

because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." ~2 Peter 3: 11-13

I've heard it quoted often that 'People are the only thing that will last forever,' so may we be godly and holy in our conduct and love those who need to know the Savior. 

"Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity." ~Col. 4:5


August 7, 2012

Not a couch potato

This made me laugh the other day.
Here is Joy's creative way to exercise on the treadmill:

 while playing a video game! : )

August 6, 2012

Summer is winding down

This week, the fam will be pretty spread out...

One of our sons is going to Fine Arts Nationals in Kentucky to compete with his human video team from church. (I'll try to post a video after the competition) This is the week they've been working towards for the last 8 months!

One of our other sons is going on a road trip with his best friend. -Two college guys hitting the road in a Honda! : ) Their destinations are Ashville, NC, Nashville, TN and Savannah, GA. They plan to do some tent camping and stay with his friend's grandparents. Should be fun.

The other two kiddos are pretty sure that they aren't going to know what to do with themselves this week without their brothers around. -One day soon, life without those two will be the norm. (Boo-hoo, times they are a changin')

I sure know what I'll be doing this week: prepping, cleaning, rearranging, organizing, ordering books and planning for the new school year! The 20th is just around the corner and that is when school starts at our house! I also hope to savor as much of the summer as I can before it ends. : )


August 3, 2012

You know your fam loves the Olympics when...

-One of the clocks in your kitchen is set on London time.  : )

-When your house still looks like this:

-Your kids run up to the TV when the Fab Five win the gold and take pictures of the TV screen!

-When you cover your eyes during the news so that you don't see that day's results and end up staying up WAY TOO late!

Go Team USA!

August 1, 2012

Wednesdays in the Word

During a rough week, these verses blessed my socks off:
"For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge until these calamities have passed by." Psalm 57:1 -Love it!
And this one:
"I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me." v. 2
And then I got really excited about that last part and being all Type A-ish and since I had several things,
I decided to make the Lord a list of all the things that I wanted him to 'perform' for me. : )
Not all of them were for me though, some were about things facing our friends.
Guess what?
 At the end of the day, I learned to trust and I got to watch the amazing ways in which He 'performed.'
     -You know the Lord is intervening for your son when a college admin office is closed and you just happen to meet the woman you talked to yesterday in the empty parking lot and she offers to help with your paper work in the office that is CLOSED. Whoo-hoo! 
At the end of the same day, I had fun checking almost all the items off that list... Amazing!
And I was reminded that the verse says "UNTIL these calamities have passed by" meaning they aren't here to stay,
even if it looks that way! : )

"For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens and your truth unto the clouds." v. 10