It's hard to believe that three years have gone by since we welcomed little Rusty into the family--the first grandson on both sides.
Mike and I have been friends with Donald and Laura for almost 20 years and were so excited when their eldest son fell in love with our oldest daughter. They got married and started having beautiful babies, our beloved grandchildren.
This past weekend, we got to celebrate Rusty's third birthday.
His parents threw a birthday party for him in their backyard. They invited friends and family to help celebrate!
The kids played games and we enjoyed snacks and birthday cake.
A New Bike!
Poppi and Lolly (Donald and Laura) got their grandson his first tricycle. A little red trike! He loved it!
In fact, Rusty loved all his gifts and had a blast opening each one.
It was so nice to see how excited and thankful he was, unaware of the price. He saw value in everything from little cars to a brand new trike.
It was so nice to see him playing nicely with his friends and little brother. What a blessing to have a good-natured grandson.
Let me tell you about the party theme.
Home School in the Woods is known for their beautiful timelines, maps, lap-paks, and hands-on activities to make learning history fun! I was so excited to review their American History Newspaper Collection, one of their A La Carte Projects products, especially since we're studying U.S. history next school year.
The American History Newspaper Collection includes 7 different newspapers to take students from the Age of Exploration to the 20th Century.
The newspapers are Explorer Weekly, Town Crier, The Daily Bugle, Westward Weekly, The Camp Kettle, The Industrial Times, and Frontline News.
Each newspaper has headlines with space underneath for an article, as well as ads and empty boxes for photographs. They are gorgeous! My whole family loved them!
We worked on the Town Crier, a newspaper for Colonial Times.
The newspaper came with headlines and we wrote a story beneath. There were also ads. You can see on our pages below we wrote out an ad for Caravel Cruises and Ye Ol' Apothecary. We enjoyed working on each paper. As a homeschool mom, I appreciated the depth of the headlines. There is something about King Philip's War on page 2 of our newspaper, which very few history books even mention.
Once the newspaper pages are finished, there are easy directions to put it together. We are going to finish the other American newspapers next year along with our American history unit study.
Easter is my favorite time of year! I get so excited when we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus who loved and died for us. I just have to worship!
Here are twelve of my favorite worship songs. These songs express the excitement and wonder of the Resurrection. I hope you will enjoy singing along as much as I do.
Here are 12 Easter Songs for Worship:
"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (Charles Wesley)
"Forever" (Kari Jobe)
"Victor's Crown" (Darlene Zschech)
"Resurrecting" (Elevation Worship)
"Christ is Risen" (Matt Maher)
"Resurrection Day" (Rend Collective)
"My Redeemer Lives" (Hillsong)
"Man of Sorrows" (Hillsong)
"I Will Rise" (Chris Tomlin)
"What a Beautiful Name" (Hillsong)
"Because He Lives" (Gaither Band)
"Up From the Grave He Arose" (Michael W. Smith)
So, set aside some time to worship the Lord this Easter. This songs will be a great start.
Enjoy! And Happy Easter!
I never understood as a little girl why Good Friday was called 'good' because of the torture and suffering Jesus underwent. Once I understood that He endured the suffering for me to pay the price for my sins, I called Good Friday 'good' too.
There are more songs than I could possibly share that are special, but here are my very favorite worship songs to sing to Jesus on Good Friday.
I hope you will enjoy these songs and enjoy worshiping the Lord who died for you.
Here are my favorite Good Friday worship songs:
"The Cross Has the Final Word" (Cody Carnes)
"This is Our God" (Hillsong)
"At The Cross" (Chris Tomlin)
"You Saw Me" (Hillsong)
"Here I am to Worship" (Chris Tomlin)
"Savior King" (Hillsong)
"Lead Me to the Cross" (Hillsong)
"Nailed to the Cross" (Rend Collective)
"How Deep the Father's Love for Us" (Stuart Townend)
The Old Rugged Cross (Old Hymn)
"Nothing but the Blood" (Old Hymn)
"Were You There?" (Old Song)
I hope you enjoy these songs and spend some meaningful time worshiping the One Who gave His life for you on Good Friday.
"Hey, does anyone want to listen to Taming the Lecture Bug? It's a DVD. I'm showing it during lunch." I was at homeschool co-op and wanted to hear from other homeschool moms thought of Parenting Made Practical's Tame the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think workshop. I also read the book Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think.
Five moms watched it with me. Our children range in age from 10 to 31. We all homeschool, love our children, and want to raise them to love and serve the Lord.
Joey and Carla link have been in ministry for 40 years. They have served on pastoral staffs at churches and with Growing Kids, Int. I loved the style of the workshop. It was conversational and kept my attention (I can get distracted easily!).
They got to the root of the issue. We don't necessarily struggle with drug use and sexual immorality in our children and teens, but we face attitudes and passive rebellion.
How do we respond to it?
All of the Moms that watched the lecture (I would call it a workshop, rather than a lecture because I felt included, not lectured to.) admitted to lecturing instead of dealing with root issues. Maybe not all the time, but at least sometimes or often. We were all challenged to ask questions to deal with the root issue instead of exploding to vent our frustration. Thank you, Joey and Carla.
All my children already know cursive and my grandchildren are too little, so I recruited my friend Mercy. She has not learned cursive yet, so we took the plunge together with CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack from CursiveLogic. As a bonus, we got a beautiful coloring book, The Art of Cursive.
CursiveLogic breaks learning to write in cursive down to easy-to-understand and apply steps. The Quick-Start Pack comes with the workbook and full access to the webinar for a year.
First you learn the Orange Oval shape and the letters that use that shape.
We worked on the orange oval shape,
This is followed by other shapes and letters that use that shape. Children go step-by-step in a sequence that makes sense to both teacher and student.
Wow! I love it! It''s a logical and easy way to learn the letters step-by-step, taking children from success to success to success.
It's almost that time!
The most important celebration on the calendar. The day we remember the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to bless you with a gift this season to make Holy Week and Easter morning meaningful.
You don't have to sign up for our newsletter, though you are always welcome to sign up here. (scroll down to the bottom of the page)
Celebrate Easter Deovtions is 16 days of Bible reading, singing, and a family craft or activity.
Starting the day before Palm Sunday when Jesus is anointed by Mary in Bethany, in preparation for his burial, and following the story day-by-day until his arrest, death, burial, and resurrection.
The second week of devotions follows Jesus 40 days in His resurrected body until He ascends to the Father in Heaven.
If you are looking for a way to celebrate Easter that will draw the entire family closer to Jesus, this is it! Download your free copy of Easter Devotions here.
Okay, I have to admit it, when I first opened the Magik Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc., my first thought was, "Wow! I love all the beautiful colors!"
It's true! I love colors! The Magik Stix came in a set of 24 in a handy-dandy clear carrying case. I was so excited for my grandsons to come over so they could try them out.
Rusty and Cooper loved the bright, shiny colors, too! They wanted to hold them and asked for paper.
I set them both up with markers and paper. Rusty began to color on paper, trying out different methods of drawing and coloring. His younger brother was enjoying experimenting in his high chair.
Within minutes we had lost several marker caps. After several minutes searching under the table, we found all but one. "Perfect," I thought to myself, "I can find out if the markers will go for seven days without drying out." Six days later, still no cap and the marker still made a beautiful green mark across the paper.
Drive Thru History Adventures homeschool video curriculum combines two of my favorite things: laughing and history! I love to watch Dave Stotts! He is funny and silly. All of my kids love to watch him, too. I said a "YES! Pick me! Pick me!" when asked to review Drive thru History American History Adventures from Coldwater Media, Inc.
My son loves all the different cars in the videos. All of us love seeing all the exciting places Dave visits. It's like going there ourselves.
Unlike a boring museum tour guide, Dave Stotts is funny, exciting, and full of interesting information. He travels to different places in an different vehicle and shows you historical sites while teaching you about history from a biblical and historically accurate perspective.
I had the privilege of reviewing the American history curriculum with twelve episodes. This series covers Columbus to the Constitution. Created for homeschoolers, this entertaining history video curriculum combines the best of everything: travel, video, humor, fine art (on the website pages), primary sources, worksheets, and answer keys. The lessons are simple and fun!
Another load of laundry to put in, a phonics lesson to give, and dinner to fix.
What Mom has time to read?
Another paper to write, a textbook chapter to read, and a test to study for.
What teenager has time to read for pleasure?
The lawn to mow, a presentation to prepare for at the office, and bills to pay.
What Dad has time to pick up a good book and read it?
Added to that, it is so much easier on the mind to turn on the TV and watch a show or movie.
So, why should we make time to read?
Reading is soothing, relaxing, and refreshing. When I spend time reading a book I enjoy, I feel stress melt away. It revives me.
Reading stimulates our mind like an aerobic workout for the mind. As I get older and can't remember things sometimes, I am glad for anything that keeps my mind sharp! I need that!
Reading increases our vocabulary, helps us to communicate more effectively, and gives us something meaningful to talk about. Isn't it fun to talk about a book you are reading?
So, how can we make time to read?
"I can't wait to move out on my own. I'll eat out every day and keep my apartment as cold as I want to," teenager Tom declared.
I laughed as i overheard a group of teens talking about how fun it would be to move out. I wanted to interject: "Don't you realize how expensive it is to live on your own?"
Maybe it would be better to show them.
And that is why I added the apartment project to my economics class.
It is one of the most popular assignments we do! The children have to choose an apartment to move into. They must find out how much rent is and what down payment is required. In addition students have to figure out the average electricity and water/sewage bills for the average renter. This will require research and phone calls.
Of course, if you move out there are moving expenses. Oh, and you have to furnish your new place. The sky of course, is the limit! Buy whatever you want. Just keep track of everything you spend.
Students loved shopping online or in store, taking photos or downloading pictures to print.
Each apartment was furnished and decorated just the way the students liked.
In addition, they made a monthly budget and from that budget, figured out how much money they would have to make each month to pay for their dream apartment.
It was so fun to see how everyone decorated. It was more fun to see their faces as they totaled up all their expenses and figured out how much money they would need a month to support their hearts' desires and how much money they would need to move into their dream apartment. No words required on my part about how expensive life is.
What delightful years I experienced in the first years of motherhood as God blessed me with baby girls first.
As we walked to the playground, we would pass the big yellow school bus. My heart would freeze. I would miss my children so much when they started school. Just thinking about it made me so sad. Why should someone else get to spend all day with them? They were my babies!
At the same time, I was passing the yellow school bus several days a week, I was meeting homeschool families at church who impressed me with their poise, confidence, good manners, and love for Jesus. I had to check out homeschooling.
As I prayed about the possibility of homeschooling with my husband Mike, we felt God stirring our hearts. We sensed He was calling us to ministry! The ministry of educating our children. Wow! What a high calling and privilege! Excitement stirred in our hearts back in 1990 and the following year, we took the plunge. Since then, we have never looked back.
Why do we homeschool?
Because God called us to homeschool!
We have been blessed to see so many blessings and benefits to homeschooling.
"Can we borrow it now?" little Gracie asked, staring at the green CD cover in my hand with the Saxon man and woman on the cover. Inside was Wulf The Saxon on two CDs with over two hours of non-stop audio drama and adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions.
"We have to listen to it first." I shook my head sadly. I hate saying no to little children. Both of our families love listening to audio dramas. My older children grew up on Adventures in Odyssey. We loved hearing our audio friends having adventures at Whit's End. So, I was so excited when I heard about Under Drakes Flag, a G.A. Henty novel turned into a radio show. I listened to it and loved it!
When I was asked to review Wulf the Saxon, I was so excited! Another G.A. Henty book brought to life!
I started listening to the CD by myself, but was soon joined by interested family members. Everyone agreed! This was a great story! More than that, this was a great dramatization of a great story!
One of the most important battles in history, the Battle of Hastings, comes alive in this dramatization. English history takes a turn that will entwine England and France together. We see the story unfold through the eyes of Wulf, a young Saxon man.
This story gripped our hearts. We traveled back in time to eleventh century England and were caught up in the struggle for the throne. Would the Angle-Saxon king retain his throne or would England be ruled by a foreign invader? Of course, Wulf is noble, loyal, and filled with courage whether it's capturing a Welsh castle rescuing his shipwrecked king, or fighting Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
We are studying Africa this month in our homeschool geography co-op, so we kicked the month off with a feast from Africa.
We each chose a dish from a different African country and had a blast trying some very different foods.
"What are you doing?" my daughter Jenny Rose asked me as I stirred a large glob of peanut butter into a pan of soup stock and half-n-half.
I laughed. "I'm making peanut butter soup."
She scrunched up her nose and made a face.
"Do you want to try some?"
"Um, um, I'm not sure," she admitted.
Along with the peanut butter soup from South Sudan, I made Bobotie from South Africa.
What is Bobotie? Well, it's almost like a meatloaf with almonds, dried apricots, and raisins in it. Very unique, yet delicious.
In fact, most of the food we ate was unusual for us. The combinations were unique. It was an adventure!
"When will I be loved?" our hearts cry out when we are young.
We seek our one true love, believing that romantic love will fill us with happiness forever. Then we marry someone who isn't perfect and we are still seeking to be loved and appreciated.
If only our parents had loved us more. If only we had better friends. If only we had a boyfriend or girlfriend. If only our children appreciated us.
Why are we always seeking more?
We had a need inside us to be lavishly loved. Our hearts cry out for it.
We long for words, actions, attitudes from others that communicate love, kindness, warmth, and understanding. We long for others to place high value on us.
There is a problem, though. People are flawed. No one loves perfectly. No one can be our all in all.