Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feelin’ Low

I’m feelin’ low tonight...like these clouds.  Nothin’ major....just sick again, and some children are sick; tooth hurts and I will probably have a root canal done next week on it; money tight and things broke; starting a new school year and prayin’ that I do what is best for the children...
and a little boy in China will go to bed and I wonder if someone kisses him goodnight and tells him he is special and loved...
gota run...

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Love Letter

Hey Momma,
I just wanted to write to you, I know you’ve been worried with me living so far away. I wish I could see you, Momma, I miss you. I miss getting your hugs and kisses every morning, I miss hearing you laugh at me when I did something crazy, I miss seeing you smile when I brought you something I made.
I want you to know I’ve been trying, Momma, to be the best I can be out on my own now. I know you were scared, not knowing if all those years of work would stick and I would grow up ok. But I sure have been trying, Momma, I just want to make you proud. All those days that I was mad about having to do chores, well now I just do them because I want to. I cleaned my whole apartment yesterday Momma, just the way you showed me when we cleaned the house. I scrubbed the bathroom, and made sure to get behind the faucet, I vacuumed, and made sure to start at the back of the room to not leave footprints on the clean area. I washed the mirrors, just how you taught me, and I promise I didn’t leave any streaks. I took my bucket of water and scrubbed the floors, just how you always told me to, cause its better then using a mop, I remembered you saying that. I folded and put up all my laundry, I promise its not just thrown in my closet. All those years paid off, Momma, I know I fussed and complained, but you taught me the value of a clean house, and now I try my hardest to do just as you showed me.
I’m doing good in school, Momma, I’ve got all A’s, and a few B’s, but I’m trying. Its not as easy as when I had you there teaching me, helping me through all the things I didn’t understand. School was so much fun with you, teaching and showing me so many exciting things. I’m gonna graduate soon, Momma, I’m almost finished, but I couldn’t have done it without you. I also remember all those things you taught me about being a gentlemen, how to open a door for a lady, and how much a girl enjoys some pretty flowers. I’ve been doing all this, Momma, just the way you told me I should.
I’m getting married, Momma. I asked her last night. She’s incredible, and so sweet, I know you love her. Well she said yes, Momma, I guess she sees something in me that makes her want to stick around, even when I don’t see it. She loves Jesus, Momma, and is sweet and caring, she looks after me and loves me, even when I mess up. She’s the one you always prayed for, Momma, the one you hoped would come around and stick by me. I couldn’t do this without you, Momma, all the things you showed and taught me about how to be a Godly man, I’m trying to remember all of them. You don’t need to worry, I’m being good and stayin of trouble, I promise. I love you Momma, always have and always will. Thank you, thank you for raising me the right way, loving me enough to spank me when I needed it, not spoiling me, teaching me what hard work and responsibility means. I have to go Momma, I’m picking up my bride to be, were spending the day together. I love you Momma,
Your son,

I know how much Moms worry when their babies moved away, wondering if they raised them right. But I know of one that did it right, and still does it right. My momma. Dont worry, moms, you did good. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Weight of Shadows-An Awesome Giveaway!!!

This book sounds so wonderful!!! If you want a chance to win it and some other goodies, visit Courtney at Storing Up Treasures!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our Big News-We Have A New Daughter

Jace put a ring on Karlie’s finger tonight.  In less than a year they will get married!!!  I love them both so much and I am so excited for them both!!!
Thank you for sharing our exciting news with us!

Being Real - Home Education

I know that I said I would write more about Home Education Pillar III - Structure, however, I also like to write my post as they apply to my real days.  So, I’m going to move on to my Home Education Pillar IV - Trust.  
Like the picture above, I feel that I am walking across a bridge with holes in it.  Let me explain - I need to spend more time with my pre-schoolers.  So, I am trying to find a “curriculum” to help me structure more time with my little ones.  Then I have my 1st, 2nd and 3d grade darlin’s, each with different strengths and I would love to find a school plan that works for me to homeschool them all together.  Also, considering 12 year old Caresse and what she needs, and 17 year old Kalyn and her last few years of home education.  
Ohhh MY!  AND,  I have been sick every since Tuesday and instead of having special time to plan, I keep finding myself unsure, and fluttering around.  I honestly feel like a butterfly who is testing a zillion different flowers, but can’t find just the right one.  See, even my post is “fluttery”...structure, trust, bridges with holes, butterflies and flowers.  Are you completely lost?  I am!  The truth is I have home schooled for 16 years; I know what is out there, yet tonight I have spent 3 days and am still “unsure” about what my next school year needs to look like for at least 7 children, ages 6-17! 
So, where do you go when you get stuck?  
Because I have home schooled for so long, I have learned a very important truth that supports my home education, and that is why I call it my Pillar IV - TRUST.  I have really learned that I must trust the LORD to lead me in my decisions for the children’s education.  And in all this time, I can see that HE HAS FAITHFULLY LED ME.  Now if I where feeling better, I would look up the Bible Scriptures that completely support this truth, however, I am sitting in a hotel room, sick, with a wiggly 18 month old, and Steve wont be back till later....
So, sorry, no scriptures, just encouragement from one mother to another....He has always led me.  So even thought I don’t know what our next year is going to look like yet, I know that HE will show me when HE is ready.  Does that mean the last few days where wasted?  Not at all.  He knows my heart and He know that I am searching for HIS Home Education Plan for our children...so, I just have to wait. 
Any suggestions while I wait?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pillar III For Home Education - Structure

I tried, really, really tried to get to that laundry yesterday, however, for several reasons known only to my dog, I only got one small load done!! 
BUT, the good news is that I am in Greeley with Steve and Keshawn for the next few days.  While Steve works during the day, I will work here at the hotel getting my new school year planned out.  
This is what Kalyn threatened to do if the children are not good for her while we are gone (poor darlin’s...I gave them a good ol’ Texas size talkin’ to!!). 
O.K., no more procrastination...
"How do we, as home makers and mothers get the house work done and the school work; how do we still give time to our little children and how can we organize their time so that we can home school the older ones; how do we meet the needs of our families and can we balance everything?”
I am now more convinced than ever that we must ask the right question.  So often I have struggled to balance every thing and I’m not even sure what that means except to may be be super woman in every area, EVERY DAY.  There is no “perfect” here.  There is real life though.
I think that the right question is “How can I minister to the needs of my family and others today?”  Now I know that this is broad, so lets look a little closer.  I have some guiding scriptures to help me with my mission as a woman, wife and mother. 
The Bible tells us that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)  I like this...it makes me feel valued to know that the LORD has good work for me to do each day. 
I am encouraged to “see that I fulfill the ministry that I have received in the LORD.” (Col. 4:17)  I have a purpose - A MINISTRY from the LORD!
I have a call to bold endurance in my ministry - “For God gave me a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” (IITim. 1:7)
And my favorite promise to my mother’s heart - “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (bold from me - II Cor. 9:10-12)
I have found and truly believe that we will “succeed” better if we look at our days and times as seasons, just as a farmer does.  And that is where the 3rd Home Education Pillar comes into play.  We must structure our work.  My structure will look different than yours, but we all need structure to reach the goal of sowing bountifully and reaping bountifully (II Cor. 9:6).
Now to some “hows”.  
For the little ones....O.K., well, when the LORD blessed us with 4 children all practically the same age, I lost my mind, ummm, structure.  Lately though, I have looked at some ideas from Montessori and used some of those idea (or asked family to buy certain things for birthdays and holidays).  I bought trays and will set up “stations” at the table, where I can watch them.  One tray may have magnets, another beads to string, or buttons to sort.  I have bought those veggies trays at dollar stores so that the children can sort things into different compartments.  Of course, play dough is always a favorite, as is painting (which depends on MY mood, not theirs!).  I want to start reading to them more than I have been.  I have never start “school” till the children where 7.  I just give them tons of enriching things around the house to play with...puzzles, Legos, Play Mobile, pretend play, etc.  However, this year, I am thinking of doing a pre-school curr. with the little 4 just so that I can structure some time with them. I’ll let you know what I find. 
Honestly, it has been hard with so many little ones.  And I must remember to “meet their needs” also.  This is not easy for me, as I get really “flustered” by all the interruptions.  However, it is those interruptions that I need to see as signs to stop and look and my child, hold them if needed, or listen.  An older friend said something I have never forgotten.  She said us younger mothers get way to worked up about “what to do” with our children.  She said she just did life with them under her feet and included them in what she was doing.  I have always been encouraged by that.  
A sanity saving structure that I adopted a long time ago, and it has not changed in years is this; we focus on home education from around 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  We then have lunch, and the little ones must lay down for “nap" at 1:30 or 2ish.  They don’t always nap, but they do know to stay in bed and be quiet till about 3 or 3:30.  That time is my “quiet” time and the other 5 know to respect that, or they have to lay down too.  The older ones (usually the high school age children) do some more of their school in the afternoon since their education requires more time now.  I keep lots of educational and fun games around and the children are alway pulling those out.  I call that “informal” education...not really planned, but I purposefully keep enriching and “educational” things around the house for the children to do.  
Well, this is long again, so I will post more on structure in the next day or two.  I hope this is helpful to some of you.  Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Question I Dreaded (Hi Amy, Anita and Jodi)

See, I would rather show you this...

...my happy campers...

...not this...

...unorganized garage and laundry..


...delightful, helpful daughters...

...not this...

...LOTS of dirty smoky coats.

...a serene, peaceful mountain photo...

...not this...
...overflowing LAUNDRY...

This is nice, don’t you think?

But, not this...

...yes, MORE laundry.

I will leave you with a “happy” picture!
I know that you are wondering, what does all this have to do with my title....”The Question I Dreaded."  I’ve been avoiding it, but I did promise that I would answer any “Ask Away...Children’s Education” questions. 

Here’s a hint from these three precious blog friends questions....

Amy said...

Well, honestly- I could use ANY help and don't even know what to ask because - I am THAT lost. LOL But I am going to try it anyway- gotta start somewhere right? Right now, just trying to figure out what I do with the little ones while working with the big ones? How do you manage to get all of the housework done AND the school work? Any tips on that? :) THANKS!
A. Gillispie said...

Yay! Second year homeschooler here, and we haven't found our perfect groove yet. My biggest issue at the moment is how to manage teaching time with my big ones (3rd and 4th grade) with my little ones (3 and going on 5)? It's complicated because I work from home (at least 6-8 hours a day). Not sure how to meet everybody's needs, so if you have any advise, I'm all ears!


Jodi said...

Shonni -Amazing!! 17 years - you must have begun homeschooling when you were 5! :)
How do you balance everything! :) With the possibility of jumping into HS my middle schooler, I am very nervous - any tips to keep him focused and interested in learning, would be great!! :)

Did you see the common thread?  The question that I have dreaded is “How do I do it all?"
So, as I was thinking about my Home Education Pillars (see here and here for pillars I and II), I knew that Pillar III is Structure!  Amy, Anita and Jodi brought up some very important things to consider in Home Educating our children!  How do we, as home makers and mothers get the house work done and the school work; how do we still give time to our little children and how can we organize their time so that we can home school the older ones; how do we meet the needs of our families and can we balance everything? 
Now, the reason I have dreaded the “How do I do it all question” is that I don’t want anyone to think that I have all the answers  - I don’t.  And each of us is different, with differing strengths and differing weaknesses.  What works for one doesn’t work for another. Believe me, I have tried to “do it” like others because it was working for them, and it didn’t for me, because my personality just couldn’t “do it” that way.  
However, I hope that my many years of mistakes and successes can help each of us find the structure that works for US in our families as we minister to them each day.
So, I promise, I will answer this question, but no kidding, I HAVE GOT to go start some laundry.  So be lookin’ back here tomorrow!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Going Bye-Bye

Keshawn’s little finger was crushed in a door today...it may be fractured, but he will be OK. 
We had a really big lightning storm tonight.  Steve was trying to fix the lights on the trailer but had to quit, so we are praying it can be fixed in the morning so that we can leave early to get down to the south Colorado mountains before to late. We are wanting to enjoy one more camping trip before it starts to get to cool here.  So the children are saying that we are going “bye-bye” in the morning.  I sure hope that we can leave before it is to late.
I had to share this “fairy lights” shot of Kiana with ya’ll.  I was trying to get the sun behind her and the light did this....isn’t it weird/fun?  I did not photo shop anything in this.  We told Kiana that it looks light fairies are kissing her...LOL.
Write more on Monday when we get back.  Praying for a good and restful family time together!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Motivation-2nd of 7 Home Education Pillars and Jean’s Question

"What ought to motivate us to direct our children to open the pages of history, to observe the wonders of nature, to admire a painting, to appreciate a piece of music, to learn by heart the words of a hymn or a poem?”
Jesus’ words “Feed my lambs.” (K. Andreola)

In this post, I briefly talked about the seven pillars that Wisdom build for her house.  I became thoughtful of what my seven pillars are for my home education. I talked about Pillar I in that post, and I will talk about Pillar II in this one - MOTIVATION. 
I have always been motivated by the ideas of feeding my children nutritionally healthy foods for both their bodies, minds and spirit.  
So, in thinking of home education, I don’t want to feed my children “junk food”. 
As Karen Andreola says so well, “Curious children will learn for the sake of knowing, for the sake of growing. Feed your children well and they will grow in wisdom and favor with God and man.”

I was asking the LORD for a little motivation for me also this week as I have felt tired, overwhelmed, and then a little one broke my camera lens last night (I cried), and well...a little “poor me” party was happening.  
The LORD lovingly showed me this verse; “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the LORD.” Colossians 4:17. 
This ministry of mine is from HIM!!! What is that ministry? Specific to this day, the ministry I needed encouragement to “fulfill” is the ministry of educating my children.  I needed to be remembered of my “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope" in my Lord Jesus Christ.  (I Thess. 1:3).

Also, as I consider the education of my children I always want to be thoughtful of what motivates them!! What are the passions and natural learning strengths of the children, what’s just fun, how can I get us outdoors more, and keep our environment exciting?  Is there something I can do to make math a little less painful for this child, or bring in a few more learning games that they enjoy? 

Jean had a really great question I think falls perfectly in with this subject; so here is her note....

Jean said...
It is very helpful and I love all the sites you gave us- bookmarked everyone of them!!

My other question is this- Have you adopted any of your children at an older age? I know you have you new little 6 yr old coming from China.

I am finding it to be so different to educate our older adopted children because they need to start at the beginning- pre-k and move forward plus learn a new language. Each child is different and goes at a different pace. My natural desire is to hop into academics- that is where I am most comfortable BUT that is not their need- I need to be patient and walk this road with Jesus- it is challenging.

What are you thoughts on this topic?

As we consider how to motivate our children, one of the most important questions that we must ask is “what is their NEED”.   I have not adopted an older school age child, so Asher will be our first, however, I have educated a few children with “special needs”.  And I say that loosely, not because they didn’t/don’t have a special NEED, but, that doesn’t define the goal...teaching my children to love the LORD Wholeheartedly (Pillar I) and teaching them to enjoy learning within their God-given strengths at their present age and/or abilities are my beginning priorities.

It seems easier for me to write as if this is a note....
“Dear Jean,
It may be difficult to educate an older adopted child because of the need to learn and re-learn some things.  On the other hand, what a God given opportunity to have the freedom to educate your child at home where you can start her/him where they need to start; being aware that in all honesty, their number one need is not academics, but to become comfortable in a new culture, with a new language, and learning for the joy of learning, not because it is required!!!  Also, as they begin to enjoy learning, what JOY you will receive in the relationship that you and your child are building together.  So don’t worry about academics (for now), but make learning fun, connect with your child, be WITH him/her where they are at, and gently lead them.  Is there something that this child really likes?  Asher really likes puzzles, so I will be thinking of all kinds of ways to use puzzles to interact with and teach him.  Does your child really like animals?  You could build or find a unit study using animals as the foundation for learning.  Your child will “catch up” to where the LORD wants them to be.  It is a very exciting journey you are on Jean.  I am praying for you!”

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ask AWAY...Children’s Education-#2, Where Do I Start

Today, I a going to answer some more questions from you precious friends.

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

Hi Shonni,
Today, I a going to answer some more questions from you precious friends
17 years! Wow...that is something to be proud of! God has been laying it on my heart to HS my toddler duo (soon to be trio). Thank you so much for this opportunity. My questions are:

1. Is it difficult to HS at high school level? They seem to learn at a much higher level than I was taught.
2. Where do you find your cirriculum?
3. Any suggestions for material to teach preschool age about Jesus on their level?

Hugs and blessings,

Kara said...

17 years is an inspiration to those of us plugging away after you. I'm beginning to think about the high school years now that my oldest is in 7th grade, so any tips on those years would be wonderful. Your blog is beautiful, and so is your family!

Wonderful questions Robin and Kara!  O.K.....here is my greatest secret...I have used this secret from day one, for all ages and all levels....
I learned a long time ago some of the “curriculum” and publications that I would say I trust.  I go to these each year and use their catalogs as my “scope and sequense” for what ever age and subject I am needing.  I make a list, pray and then choose what I feel will meet the needs of a particular child (or group of children) the best.  
However, I forgot the secret that comes before this....
I really pay attention to what my child(ren) has an interest in.  Usually, this doesn’t make itself completely apparent till age 7-10is.  Some examples-
Jace loved history, especially a certain time frame. So, I purposefully looked for books and educational choices that fed his natural, God-given passion.  Kalyn has a passion for biographies and missions, so again, I get her what ever I can get my hands on to “feed” this passion.  Caresse is passionate about herbs, medicines and the body.  So again, I focus on this for her.  Landon likes math and has a “bent” toward engineering, Kiana is a wonderful artist, and Garett is good at building things.  
For my preschoolers, I have liked My Father’s World. 
So, now, armed with a basic knowledge of my child’s passion, I turn to some of my favorite places and begin to look at what they offer.
Two of my favorites to start with are:
I am also a huge Charlotte Mason fan, and you can find info here and here if you are interested in that.
My FAVORITE AND MOST HELPFUL book to help me plan and keep my priorities in order is Sally Clarkson’s book, Educating The Wholehearted Child, which I’m sorry to say, the new edition will not come out from publication till around December. 
Now, I don’t follow EVERYTHING on the Sonlight curriculum (or any other curriculum suggestion), unless I want to. I use the suggestions as a starting place to “form” the educational goals for the next year.  I usually piece from different places what I want for that child or age group. 
Back to one of your questions Robin and Kara, Sonlight has a wonderful and very strong high school level curriculum and I would never hesitate to use it’s suggestions for any of my children and feel they they are “ready” for higher education!!!
Some other places that I love and trust for ideas is:
Beautiful Feet (In fact, we are enjoying their “Horse” study right now for our 8, 9, and 10 year olds).
O.K., so this is a lot of information, and there are still some very thoughtful questions that I will get to in the next few days. 
Please let me know if this is helpful, or if there is something else you would like to know?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Boy, Was She Surprised!!!

All of our family was invited to the mountains to meet Karlie (Jace’s girlfriend) and her family, who were on vacation.  They also live in Dallas, Texas, where Jace lives.
Well, last minute, Jace decided to fly up and surprise Karlie.  
When we were close to the rent house where Karlie and her family where, we dropped Jace off up the road so that Karlie wouldn’t see him in the van.
I handed her some flowers and told her “Here Sweetie, this is Jace’s surprise for you.”  Then I turned her around so that she could see up the road.  I think the pictures really tell the rest of the story!

Ya’ll have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This beautiful little girl is still needing a family....
do you know where they are...
is it you?Please take the time to look at her face 
and ask the lord to bring her family forward!!

Lisa ~ China

Age: 6 Years     Sex: F
Special Need: Mild Cerebral Palsy
Lisa's mental development and physical development is normal.
 Her speech is not completely clear, but she has normal intelligence. She is able to
read simple children's songs and poems, can recognize big and small, shapes, and
 colors, can count to 20 and write her name.
She can walk, jump, kick and squat, stand with one foot and go up
and down stairs. She takes things a bit slower than others her age.
She is a bit introverted, but likes to help younger children.
Lisa is a determined young lady and quite capable!
At the camp she performed a solo dance as well as reciting a poem by herself.
She is a happy girl and enjoyed all of the activities.

Ask AWAY...Children’s Education-#1 and Chris’s Question

There were so many wonderful questions from ya’ll.  Thank you for asking, and I pray to give encouragement and suggestions from what I have learned after all these years.  I will be including some of my favorite links later in the blog, 
BUT 1ST....
As I prepare for each new school year, the first thing I do is re-check my goals, motivations, purposes, and priorities.  In all these years, I have found that I begin to loose steam somewhere along the way.  
I was up early over the weekend, sitting outside with my Bible and praying and just thinking.  Oh, how I love to sit out doors and just “be” with His Creation!!!  I was enjoying the early morning sun, the birds singing their wake up songs, our rooster working up his voice to a full blown cock-a-doodle-doo, when quietly a little deer stepped into my view munching on the dew covered grasses in the field.  What a precious time.

I was pondering Proverbs 9.  The picture is of Wisdom preparing her home to reprove, instruct and teach. And who was all this preparation for?  The simple.  
She “hewn her seven pillars” - or built beautiful support and structure for the roof (protection).
She “has slaughtered her beast...” - or has prepared nutritional and filling “food”.
She “has mixed her wine...” - something enjoyable and pleasant.
And she “has set her table.” - a place that is beautiful, inviting, welcoming.
Last, she has sent out her young women to call to the simple...”Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (vs. 6 and be sure to read 7-9 to find out about “reprove, instruction and to teach).
Verse 10 finishes with “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
As I was thinking on this I also read Deuteronomy 18:13 “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God,”.  The hebrew word for blameless here is tamin which means “wholehearted”.  So, I would read the above verse “You shall be wholehearted with the LORD your God.” The Lord was telling the Israelites that “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.” (Deut. 18:9).  The word tamin adds a deeper meaning to being wholehearted.  “In our relationship with God, tamin means being wholehearted, resolute, and entirely committed to walking “with” Him in His Word.” (From Hebrew 4 Christians).   I believe the LORD is still saying these things to us and our children...we are in a “land”, (not just in American, but world wide and until Christ returns), that follows abominable practices and peoples that worship “other gods”, and we are NOT to learn to follow them.  The LORD’s answer to this is be wholehearted with the LORD our God!  We must prepare our children to also live in the “land”. 

Thinking on these things I see that my number one goal as a mother and home educator is; to prepare our home with supportive pillars (I’ll come back to this in the future), nutritional “learning” that is enjoyable and pleasant (haven’t figure out completely how to do that with math...); and a learning environment that is welcoming and inviting.  And these goals are for the purpose of the most important thing to teach my children - to be wholeheartedly devoted and entirely committed to walking with the LORD.  This would be my 1st and strongest “pillar”. 

Careful though....there is still a great deal of wisdom to be found in the Bible, so before we go forward, we must go back to some thing that will destroy all of our pillars if we do not listen! 
We mothers really do want to do the best job for our children!!  However, even in home education, there is a “law” that we can fall into.  You know the one...  
“YOU, mother, must give your children the best education possible.  They must be the best Christians, the best at all academic subjects, able in all life skills, complete, obedient and perfect in every way.”
Here’s the Bible’s response to this;  
“...and be found in Him (Christ), not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith...” (Philippians 3:9).
We cannot make our children “righteous” or perfect!  Wait though...remember Wisdom from Prov. 9?  We are wise also when we prepare, plan, build and present an education that leads them to “the righteousness from God that depends on faith”.  
We can teach our children the beginning of wisdom (to fear the LORD) and give them insight (the knowledge of the LORD).
AND we need to pray for their hearts ...
We must not cease to give thanks for our families, remembering them in our prayers, that the God of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give them a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened, that they may know what is the hope to which He has called them, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe... (paraphrased from Ephesians 1:16-19). 
Are you overwhelmed?  I hope not. 
Practically, with this #1 priority in mind, 
we begin our day with Bible Time, and this is what that will look like this year.  I TRY to start school time at 8 a.m with Bible Time.  We all sit with our Bibles and journals (if they have one), and have 15 or so minutes of quiet reading time.  The littles ones are trained (believe me, trained, as in every day) to sit quietly with their picture Bibles and look at them.  Then those that can read out loud take turns reading from a book in the Old Testament.  If I feel there is something to talk about or something to teach then I do.  After that I read from the New Testament and talk about what we are reading from that. We then recite the Shema (Deut. 6:4-9) and the Avinu (The Lord’s Prayer - Matt. 6-9-13).  Then we pray/offer thanksgiving and then I send the older ones off to start something while I read some Bible Stories or devotions that I will pick from Sonlight to the pre-K and K little ones.   
I might also use this Bible Study Tool with all of my Elementary age children.  I want the children to have a firm foundation in the WHOLE Bible, so I study the Tanakh or Hebrew scriptures (all of the Old Testament) from a Hebrew view point as much as possible so that I have a more accurate understand to teach the children from. I have used recommendations from Heart of Wisdom (see below) and Hebrew for Christians (mentioned above) for my studies of this (and believe me, this is worth your time because it is SO interesting!!!!)  If you want me to recommend a few of my favorites, just ask in the comments section!! (I’m already afraid I might be over doing this post, but I just couldn’t stop-sorry).


Chris said...

I would love to know what Phonics program you've like the most/had the most success with.
Chris, thank you so much for reading and asking this question.  I started Jace out with Sing, Spell, Read and Write and liked it.  Kalyn came along with Dyslexia and I had to do many special learning activities before she was able to read.  With Caresse, I needed to simplify so I bought TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ IN 100 EASY LESSONS, after I heard so many good things about it.  Let me put it this way...I have now taught four children to read with this book (I have had to buy it twice because we really used the 1st one to pieces).  I don’t know why I would use anything else.  I only do the extra stuff it mentions if a child needs it.  Once they master that book, I move to young readers and from there we go!!!  HOWEVER, I would also recommend looking into the Sonlight reading programs....I have really learned to trust Sonlight and use them as a valuable resource when in doubt!!

Now for some other favorite links...... 
-my first link for you and one of my favorites is Heart of Wisdom - this link is to the blog. LOTS of great info here so take your time and ask the LORD to lead you. 
-here is an encouraging article by Robin from Heart of Wisdom called - An Easy Way to Make Homeschool Decisions
-O.K., one more wonderful post by Robin...just to get you started (LOL) - God Has a Plan for Your Homeschool
Take time to read these and pray...you’re on an awesome adventure and it can be so fun!!!!  Keep your questions comin’ and we will walk through this together!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bullet Points...

I have never done just a bullet point post...
sometimes, we all know, life gets the best of us.
*Garett is doing great, except when a sibling forgot and hit him in the shoulder; but tonight he seems to be doing good...
*My front cap broke over the weekend, and I spent way to many hours in a dentist chair this morning...tonight the nummy is wearing off and I don’t feel so good...
*I love all the questions I have received about “You Ask...Home Education" and I can’t wait to get to posting my answers....thank you all for asking. I truly feel honored and pray that I give helpful answers...
*Landon has had fever and is feeling yucky...
*Keshawn waved goodbye to me when Kalyn took him for a go-cart ride...oh my, I love that little guy...
*Honestly, I love my camera and lens...this is strait out of the camera....no editing, which is good, I don’t have time to edit...I don’t have time to think right now....

*and, remember this cute girl pictured here with our son, Jace....she is on vacation in the Colorado mountains and we get to go see her and her family tomorrow...really excited to see my “Karlie Girl”.
That’s all that is coming to mind for now...I will try to write a better post soon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

ASK AWAY...Children’s Education

It’s the time of year when all home educating mothers are preparing for the next year.  I haven’t written much about our home education because there are so many wonderful blogs who address home education and there is so much helpful information out there.  
However, I began to think that I have been home educating for 17 years now, have graduated one, and it might be helpful to share some of what I have learned in all those years. 
But the way I want to share is to ask YOU TO ASK ME.  What would be helpful to you? What are you wondering about?  
I’ll spend several post in August answering any questions that you have and spotlighting some of my favorite resources.  
I can tell you now, we all are created differently by the LORD as a family and our home education should reflect what we feel like THE LORD wants it to look like.  It wont and should not look like mine.  Mine doesn’t even look like mine...it has changed often with the seasons of our family.
That said, that are so foundations that have kept us strong, kept us going, and kept it fun!!!
So, ASK AWAY....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

So Much....

My little Garett broke his collar bone.  Poor guy...but he is doing good.  There is really nothing to do but be careful and let it heal for a few weeks.
I feel behind!!!  I have been in town 3 out of 4 days this week and I really DON’T LIKE to have to go to town that much.  It really messes with my home schedule.  So things that I wanted to put up on the blog will have to wait....
except for one thing....
this really is one of the most important things.
If you look to the right you will see something new...a slide show of precious waiting children in China.  You can learn more about each of these children at ASIA’s blog spot.  This is the agency where we found our precious Asher.  There are (I think), 30 children from this last camp who are waiting for their forever family. And this seems the perfect place to share something that was on that blog here a while back...


Parents worry--that's their job, right? That's what I"m doing as I care for my daughter who has a high fever. Parents do whatever they have to in order to care for their children and help them heal. Who worries when Cherry, Quentin, Mark or Anna spikes a fever? They are sent to the infirmary where they are treated by a nurse, who they may or may not know. If the condition is serious, they go to the hospital where they are left without anyone they know. No one sits with them, worrying and caring for them by their bedside. They are left to their own fears and to fend for themselves in the hospital. I know how important it is to have an advocate at the hospital, even here in the U.S. Nurses are overworked and don't stay on top of pain medication. In China, pain medication is not widely used, so an experience in a hospital is indeed a scary thing. Many of these children have conditions that are easily correctable or treated here in the U.S. These children deserve to have parents by their side helping them through these experiences. Even if you don't speak the same language, compassion and love are univsersal languages. Where else can I look to find the families that will treat these children with compassion and love and help them reach their full potential? Do you see potential in these faces? Could you be a parent to one of these children?

Could one of these children be yours, or may be a child of someone that you know?
And, important information about waivers, which is the special blessing that helped us.


Do you think you may not qualify for China anymore? Is there just 1 requirement you do not meet? CONTACT ASIA IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN ANY OF THE HOPE JOURNEY CHILDREN!! CCAA may be more willing to grant waivers for families adopting boys!!! So help us find those families for those boys! We have a process for getting waivers, so just contact us for more information. We have lots of boys available!!!!marcisk@asiadopt.org 
Spread the word:-)

Blog Hop 2010

Once again, Pensive Robin is hostingBlog Hop ‘10 for those not attending BlogHer.
The goal of this blog hop is to introduce bloggers to one another. Just like at a party where you meet new friends, you have a chance to mix and mingle by visiting the other bloggers signed up on the Mr. Linky and finding new bloggy friends.
It is always fun to meet new friends, so join in if you can!!!
I have been marred for 21 years to my best friend.  I’m a stay at home mom to our 10 darlin’s, age 1-17 years, and mother to 11.  Our oldest son is 20 and lives in Texas. We are excitedly awaiting to bring home our newest son from China.  
We are passionately living each day to “Declare His glory among the nations...” (Psalm 96:3) as a family and praying to encourage others to seek the LORDS adventure for them. I am passionate about the Bible, family, enjoying the beautiful mountains of Colorado, photography, herbs, home education, orphan ministry and especially mothering.
If you are here from the blog hop - WELCOME and thank you for visiting. I look forward to meeting you also!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

6 Things I Love About China....

O.K., no more teasing....

1. I have always loved the art of China.  This picture to me captures such an old tradition in China culture.

2. MOUNTAINS...hey, I live in Colorado for a reason!!!

3. The ancient culture of China is absolutely fascinating and I never get tired of learning more about it. 

4. Who can resist these guys...they are completely adorable!

5. The country side is so exotic, surreal, and just breathtaking!!!  

6. And besides the fact that our 3rd daughter was born here, we now have A SON waiting in China for us to bring him home!!!

I’m so glad that ya’ll let me play around before I told you this exciting news. It is definitely a love story we didn’t see comin’.  His name will be Asher Eli, he is 6 years old and of course we are in love.  I can’t wait to show you pictures, but trust me, he is ADORABLE.  I will unveil more of our journey to him as I can. For now, would you all keep us and Asher in your prayers.  

Surprise Appointment....

I’m sorry that I have not been able to write.
I am feeling much better!  And we are rushing around for a VERY important meeting....
it was suppose to happen tomorrow, but needed to be changed to tonight.
So in 30 minutes our social worker will be here,


That is the tease I have been dragging out, isn’t it...

But we do need a home study....
More as soon as I can!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What I’m Learning While I’m Sick

I got some beautiful things to play with in my PSE from Polka Dot Potato but had not had time to play around with any of it.  I don’t really scrap book anymore...I just don’t have the time, but what can I say is...I LOVE photography, and some of these new digital toys are amazing.  So while I have been sitting here sick now - going on my 3rd day - I have been playing around.  I couldn’t resist showing you these two.  Now, ANYONE who knows anything about digital scrap booking can probably see that I REALLY DON’T know anything about digital scrap booking...LOL, so if any one has any suggestions PLEASE DO share.  I love to learn new things. But for my first attempts, I hope these are at least “eye” pleasant.
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