Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Did You Teach Your Child Today?

Do you remember getting off the bus as a child, coming home to your mom and getting asked, "So what did you learn today?"  I do and typically, I would give some answer that explained what we went over in class.  Well my kids do pretty much the same with their dad.  He comes home from work and will ask them, "So what did you guys do today, what did you learn?" At this moment my ears perk up and I tune in hoping to hear my kids tell their dad all about the educationally stimulating day I planned out for them.  More often than not my kids will talk about a craft they did, a lap book perhaps, and sometimes to my horror my oldest will say I don't remember.

On those days, and especially the days we don't really get anything accomplished I like to remind myself my kids are learning, even when we are not strictly adhering to their curriculum.  So for you moms that might be down on yourself about what your child is learning think about the following:
1. Your child learned patience when you waited in the shopping lane while the customer in front of you had a million price checks and you did not once complain.
2. Your children learned perseverance when you didn't quit after trying to fix the their toy with a butter knife as a screw driver, because you couldn't find dad's tools.
3. The kids learned resiliency when you made two dinners after burning the first one.
4. Your kids learned to be charitable when you didn't snap at the cashier asking if you would like to donate a dollar to some cause.
5. Your children learned to have a good work ethic when you cheered them on as they helped you clean the garage.

I could go on and on.  The fact is that we are constantly teaching our children.  In fact, I would say the lessons that will take them furthest in life often will not come in the pages of a well thought out curriculum.  They will be embedded in their character as they see you respond to situations in your daily life.

Happy Homeschooling ...

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Perfectly Imperfect Life

Last week I had a conversation with my sister about blogs and how we just can't figure out how some moms just do it all.  Then she made the comment that if you look at my blog you get the impression that I have the perfect homeschool, the perfect clean house, and we take all of these perfect family field trips all the while making homemade bread and jam everyday.

It was all I could do not to control my laughter because perfection and me are worlds apart.  We always like to show the world our best but in doing so please rest assured that even as I write this post my laundry is falling out of the laundry basket, the kids are still sleep and homeschool should have started 10 minutes ago, and I have a pile of to do's waiting for me that I know I can't possibly get done.
I'm waiting for the laundry fairy to come and save me :-)
Wake Up!!!  School started 10 minutes ago...

Nobody's life is perfect.  Blogs help us put our best foot forward and are a great way for us to share what has worked in our homes with the rest of the world.  I can honestly say I don't think I would be able to do as much as I do if it was not for all the tips and advice I have read from other bloggers.

However, in showing the world our best I think it can be helpful every now and then to show the world that super mom does not exist.  She's a myth.  No one has it all together and nobody's perfect.  So please stay encouraged in whatever you are doing today.  Whether it is making your own homemade bread or thanking God for the drive thru :-)

Be Blessed ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God is In Control

"God is in control."
How many times have we heard this or even said it ourselves.  It is almost cliche, something we say in passing without giving it much thought.  We certainly don't act like God is in control and has our best interests in mind.  We go about our daily lives allowing fear to take the driver's seat more often than the faith we so proudly boast in.

I was reminded of this simple truth yesterday while at my daughter's gymnastics practice.  I was speaking with two other homeschool moms.  One with children close to my own children's ages.  The other mom has children ranging from adult to elementary age.  She is truly a seasoned mother with wisdom just pouring out of her every word.  As she listened to us discuss the reasons we homeschool and some of the challenges we face she simply and politely said we will truly understand our children are in God's hands when we realize we are not in control.  God is in control.

I am not sure why this hit me so hard yesterday.  Why this truth I have heard probably hundreds of times really stuck out in my mind.  Perhaps sometimes we really just need to be reminded from a gentle spirit that has been seasoned with experience.  So if you are allowing fear of what might become of your children or fear of the influence of this culture sit in the drivers seat of decisions you make concerning your children; give the wheel back to the Lord.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Happy Homeschooling . . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How to Make an Apple Pie and See The World - A Good Read for Children

Recently we read a fun book about a little girl that travels around the world to get the ingredients for her apple pie.  The book is “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” and it is a perfect read for this time of the year. 
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World   -     
        By: Marjorie Priceman

During apple picking time we took this book along with us on our field trip to Carter Mountain Apple Orchard in Charlottesville, VA.  We were embarking on our own little adventure and the kids were excited to go and pick their very own apples.   
We love when Dad joins us for a field trip

What was even more exciting was the apple pie recipe at the end of the book.  My oldest had her mind set on using our picked apples to make this pie.  And what a delicious pie it was!  About a week after the trip we gathered around with the book and baked an apple pie from scratch.  This was my first time making pie crust so I was a little concerned about how it would turn out but let me assure you there wasn’t a crumb left after we were done with it.  It was delicious!   

This apple pie was so delicious!

Since then I have been trying to bribe my husband to take some sales calls in Charlottesville and while he is there he can swing over and get us more apples.  This was a really fun field trip and a really cool children’s read.

If you would like to learn about a homeschool mom with some really great ideas for this book visit:

Happy Homeschooling!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There is Power in the Blood

God is so good.  It is such a privilege to share his goodness with our children and to teach them that he is strong and powerful.  He can do anything!

Yesterday my middle daughter suddenly experienced terrible pain in her belly.  One minute she was fine and the next she could barely walk.  I always become alarmed with her because she had medical conditions when she was a baby and had a hernia for a very long time.  I told her to give it some time to see if it would go away.  I thought maybe it was just pain in her stomach.   However, she was in excruciating pain.  I then asked her is she could make it upstairs to my bed and she said no she would go to the couch.  I left her, thinking I would give it more time while I take my shower because we were already running late for a program at my son's preschool.  Upstairs God asked me why I had not asked him to help her.  Well what can you say to that?  I am always trying to teach my kids to put God first and to ask him for help.  How quickly we forget when it's not in the framework of our bible lessons.  So I went downstairs and called my oldest daughter over.  My middle daughter was basically in the fetal position in pain.  She said it was not getting better but worse.  I told my oldest that God instructs us to pray.  We laid hands on her and confessed "by his stripes we are heal", "when you are sick call the elders of the church ...", and any other scriptures that came to mind.  Both my daughter and I prayed over her and stood in agreement.  The blood of Jesus is powerful!

I left her on the sofa still in pain and ended the prayer saying by faith we believe you have healed her.  I went upstairs to finish getting showered and dressed.  By the time I came back downstairs she was up smiling and playing with her brother and sister.  I asked her how she was doing and she said, "Mommy it went away."  I smiled at her and said "isn't God good?"  She smiled back.

This is what it is all about.  We have to show our children God is real.  Not someone allocated for Sunday mornings but he is concerned about every detail of our lives.  Christ shed his blood so we could have life and life to it's full.  Please be encouraged today to go to God with your children's problems and afflictions so they will also get to know and trust our wonderful Savior.

Below is a song I grew up with that was in my heart this morning.  Please be encouraged:

  1. Would you be free from the burden of sin?
    There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
    Would you o’er evil a victory win?
    There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
    • Refrain:
      There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
      In the blood of the Lamb;
      There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
      In the precious blood of the Lamb.
  2. Would you be free from your passion and pride?
    There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
    Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
    There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
  3. Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
    There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
    Sin-stains are lost in its life-giving flow;
    There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.
  4. Would you do service for Jesus your King?
    There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
    Would you live daily His praises to sing?
    There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

Be Blessed ...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Cure for Being Overwhelmed

PrayerNo matter who you are and what you do in life most of us are a few steps away from becoming overwhelmed.  It is a symptom of our present day society.  It is a state of being that far too many people have conceded to as being their normal.

This should not be and this is not God's best for us.  If you are feeling overwhelmed please don't be condemned by this statement.  It's just a matter of fact.  So how do you get from a state of being overwhelmed to finding a sense of contentment and peace?  There is so much information out there that will tell you to prioritize, get a plan, make a budget, slow down, and the list goes on and on.  All of these things are really good and things you should do.  But what do you do at that moment.  You know the moment when you are desperate.  You can barely keep it together and you feel like a pressure cooker about to blow your top.  The moment when the budget is a bust, the schedule has been thrown out the window, and every kid in your house has an emergency that demands your attention NOW!

Let me encourage you to:
Praise God
Worship God
Get an Eternal Perspective
Invite God into your Overwhelmness (OK I know that's not a word but you get my point)

Please don't stop reading now and think oh no not another pie in the sky put God first post.  I need help now! I've tried those things and I still feel overwhelmed.

Think of it this way.  Remember as kids we learned that when there is a fire you should STOP, DROP, and ROLL.  It was ingrained in our heads over and over again to the point that it would be automatic if we were ever in an actual fire.  Suppose you were in a fire and you stopped, dropped, and rolled twice but your clothes were still burning.  You stand up and say oh well I guess that didn't work I am doomed and will just have to burn to death.  That's crazy isn't it!  No you would be so desperate for relief that you would roll around ferociously until the fire was exhausted.  

Let me encourage you to do the same using the 4 points above.  Praise God for who he is.  I love Psalms 145 - 150.  Speak them out loud so your voice will drown out your feelings.  Get a good book of prayers or confessions.  I love Joyce Meyer's little purple book entitled, "The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word."  Say scripture over and over again so in those moments of despair they are already ingrained in your spirit.

Play worship music and invite your kids to sing along.  Stop your homeschool lesson, cleaning, whatever you are doing and put on worship music.  If you are close to a computer go on YouTube and find some great worship videos.  I love songs such as Yahweh from Kari Jobe or He Loves Us from Jesus Culture.  If you can't get to music sing a hymn in your head.  Get to know some old hymns.  They are powerful.  Get an old Baptist Hymnal book.  We consider these things outdated but let me tell you I thank God for all those Sunday's growing up with the hymnal in my hand singing "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus."  These songs are easy to learn and often have a rhythm that is almost like a nursery rhyme in that you can memorize them easily. They don't need live music or a band because of their simplicity of truth.

Get an eternal perspective.  I love Phillips, Craig, and Dean's song "When the Stars Burn Down."  Read the lyrics of this song.  Go to the book of Revelation.  Read the last chapters about the new Jerusalem and the coming of Christ.  Live in light of eternity.  Reflect on trials of the past and see how you are still here and standing when you should have fallen.  In Revelation 21:4 the bible says, "He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain.  These things of the past are gone forever."

Invite God in.  At this point ask Holy Spirit to help you invite God into the moment.  Speak in your prayer language (it really helps to quiet your soul).  Physically kneel to pray.  Raise your hands to heaven in an act of surrender.  I have even clenched my fist and then physically opened them as a physical act of releasing the situation to God.

Please be encouraged.  Nothing lasts forever.  Even these things listed above can be done in a matter of moments.  It doesn't have to be a long drawn out process.  If you are still feeling overwhelmed please keep at it.  Don't give up.  Never give up until you have God's peace and rest.  Then ask God to help you get to the root of your feelings.  This is where the practical steps come in such as trimming down your schedule, planning, cleaning-up, whatever you may need to change.  But before doing all that put God first and see how he can help you in the midst of your moment.

Be Blessed ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, involve me & I learn"

"Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn" - Benjamin Franklin

I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin.  It rings so true and many of us who drive our kids from one field trip to the next know that reading something in a book does not even come close to experiencing something in real life.  This is one of the awesome privileges of home schooling.  We get to go and do and not just read about something or watch a movie about it.  It also rings true in life.  We should be involving our children in all aspects of life.  They should be involved in the managing and upkeep of the home, community service, and other activities that get them out of the role of simply being a spectator.

Last month we visited Yorktown and Jamestown during their home school weekend.  This wasn’t our first trip to Jamestown but it was our first chance to go to Yorktown.  What an awesome adventure!  The lives of the revolutionary war heroes as well as ordinary people come to life in such  incredible ways.  The children get to really experience what life was like and understand the whys and hows of the war. 
My middle daughter dressed up as a little farmer at the Yorktown Victory site. 

We even had a chance to hang out on the York River - History, Science, and Biology all in one day!
At Jamestown we learned about how the women dried their food in preparation for winter months

Below is a link to Jamestown and Yorktown.  They offer wonderful programs throughout the year.  In addition to the victory center the area itself is historic and offers tons to do.  I am looking forward to keeping this as a permanent annual field trip.

Happy Homeschooling!