Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Wasn't Prepared

I wasn't prepared for what I read just a moment ago over at Lisa Notes.  She wasn't prepared either.  Her post hit me like a brick. Living in Nashville I see homeless people all over the place. I can't help but wonder if I'd been more prepared what could I have done in the past.  I just know that I'll take this idea and get prepared from now on.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Joshua Got His Green Belt in Tae Kwon Do!

I've got video and a few pictures to share of Joshua testing for his green belt and then the promotion ceremony.  He's thoroughly enjoying doing Tae Know Do and I'm excited at how good at it that he really is.  I look for him to go very far in this. His goal is obviously to get his black belt and then keep it. Here he is testing for his belt.

And here he is receiving his green belt.

Now I've got to buy sparring equipment! I don't know if I'm ready for that.  Here is a picture for his Meme because I know she loves the still pictures.
  Love you Mom, Dad, Fred, and Joan!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hello Mornings

Inspired To Action Button

I've followed Kat over at Inspired to Action on twitter and through her blog for quite a while.  I'm ashamed to admit how long I've been familiar with her blog yet never read there much.  A few weeks ago the Lord began to do some things in me and I found her blog and began to read.   I was instantly impressed for a couple of reasons.  1. She totally must have a camera in my house. 2. She has written some excellent things to help me and anyone else that cares to read them and put them out for FREE.  Now I have no problem paying for the work that people write or create but put quite simply money is very tight right now.  I can't express how blessed I am that her materials are FREE.  Did I mention they are FREE right now?  

One thing I struggle with is is going to bed at reasonable time and getting up early in the mornings.  I've always struggled with this and I hate that it's so hard for me to do what I need to do to take care of my family and myself properly.  I WANT to get up before the sun rises and have my quiet time with the Lord but I don't.  I WANT to be up and showered before the boys so that I'm ready to tackle the day with them but I don't. I DON'T WANT to be exhausted and short tempered with my boys and husband but I am.  I DON'T WANT to be consistently behind in house work and laundry but I am.  The answer is so simple.  Go to bed early and get up in the morning early.  By doing this I would have my sweet time with the Lord before the day. I would be showered and ready to cuddle with Jacob when he wakes.  I love having a few minutes to sit and hug him and discover what's in that brilliant little 5 year old mind.  If I woke early I could have Bible study with Joshua.

I've read so many books, blog posts, Cd's etc. on this very topic.  We as Christians and homeschoolers have multitudes of help out there to us and I've used facets of all of those materials.  But I never was able to make them my own, so to speak, and follow through with them.  It's hard to take someone else's specific answer to prayer to their own issues and make it your answer to prayer to YOUR specific issues.  If you know what I mean.  All the other materials out there have helped and I've used them in some fashion.  Kat's materials have been different.

So what made Kat's materials different for me you ask?  I'm so glad you asked!!  Kat kept things simple and gave step by step actions to take to help you begin to Maximize Your Mornings.  She doesn't cram her specific morning routine at you and tell you you are failing if you don't follow it to a T.  She includes forms for you to fill out that will help YOU develop YOUR OWN morning routine.  The best part?  Maximize Your Mornings is only 32 pages long!  I  was able to read it in one sitting and the forms were not time consuming in the least.  They were direct and to the point.  Time is of the essence for me.  If I'm sitting down not doing anything something is not getting done (I won't bore you with how many loads of laundry aren't done and how bad my living room and school room look right now). I needed straight forward and Kat gave it to me.  Kat has also graciously included calendars that will help you pray for your kids and husband and so much more.  Really!!  All FREE.  Did I say that already?  Be sure and read through all of Kat's resources HERE.

So this next week begins a NEW journey for me.  I'm going to set my alarm and get up early no matter what time I go to bed.  I'm going to do that until it's a habit for me.  I'm going to do my best to go to bed earlier.  If I'm up earlier and getting things done it should be easier for me to go to bed without feeling like late night is the only time I can get some things done....or feel like that's the only alone time I can get.

I know this will be hard.  I know there are days when I will want to just give up and go take a nap.  But I'm committed to changing things. I'm tired of feeling like a failure.

Is there anything that has motivated you to action lately?  Tell me about it.  I'd love to hear all about it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, I Don't Like What I See

It's 9:45 and the lights just went out.  I'm laying there with heart aching after reading about the suicide of Trey Pennington.  I'll ready admit that I didn't know Mr. Pennington.  I didn't even follow him on twitter.  What weighed so heavy on me was how hopeless he must have felt to make the choice to end his own life.  I thought of how hopeless I've been at different points in my life.  Many years ago I was very near suicide.  As the tears begin to flow I try to conceal them from my husband laying next to me.  I don't want to have to explain my shame if he asks me whats wrong.  I'm consumed with the children who are starving, dyeing of preventable diseases.  How hopeless must they feel?  That hopelessness eats them up from inside.

I'm standing in my (admittedly) small kitchen railing about the injustice of having to endure this travesty of a kitchen, house even.  I'm angry.  I'm fussing because there aren't enough pots and pans to cook the way I want to. My kitchen is the size of some families HOUSES.  I wish I could tell you I realized my own travesty right there in my kitchen and stopped dead in my tracks.  Sadly, I did not.

That night the tears flow hot and I look in the mirror and I don't like what I see.  Shame and disgust eat me up from inside.  I cry out to Jesus and tell him just what I think of myself.  I fully expect the disappointed silence.

His arms around me pulling me up into His lap, holding me tight, so there's no question Who has me.  He says "I know but I still love you." and I feel it in my bones.  I KNOW He does still love me.  Really?  This black heart?  You still love me?  INCONCEIVABLE!!  How?  Why?  "Because you hate the black Paige.  You keep pressing into Me so I can wash you white as snow."  I do?  I don't feel like I do.  I feel like I stand and spew black sickness all over my kitchen and house because I'm a self absorbed, whining, bratty child.  No more words, just arms so strong and safe I know the truth that is HIM. He need not speak.  I know and feel His truth in His all consuming grip.

You've probably noticed a bit of a focus change here on my blog over the last few weeks and even this year.  God wrecked my whole idea of life before Christmas 2010.  I've not known what to do with myself, this blog, since then.  The last few weeks the Lord has been making my call clearer.  Things carried from childhood are starting to make sense.  Things that didn't make sense before are getting clearer.  Praise the Lord!!

I'll still write about homeschooling and my family.  I'll just be sharing more about how I'm learning to live in this first world with one foot firmly planted in the third world.  There is so much He wants us to learn.  So much He wants us to do.  Life won't be dull if you'll step into God's story with me.  You won't be able to control it at all but in the end that's where the Life Abundantly will come from.

In honor of Shaun Groves new record Third World Symphony I'm starting a Third World Thursday meme.  What is Third World Thursdays you ask?  Every Thursday I will post something in regards to third world countries, the children and families that live there, their living conditions, how I'm helping a child or family in a third world, how I'm reconciling our first world with their third world, Compassion or any other child advocate organization, projects these organizations are creating to help release children from poverty, a child that needs sponsorship or clean water or food.  You get the idea.  If you are blogging about third world issues, children, needs, or even how to live more simply so that they can simply live, this is the place to link up.  The linky will be active from Thursday to Wednesday for each week.  Come and join me as I seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus for the least of these.

Ready! Set! Go!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meet the Newest Member of Our Family!!!

I can not tell you how excited I am to post this news!!  This was a long time coming for our family too!  Today Joshua and I ended up having a very serious heart to heart talk about many things but in the end we found ourselves at the Compassion website looking over profiles of kids that needed a sponsor.  I picked the country and Joshua set about looking over boys profiles and reading about each one.  He settled on this handsome guy and I immediately felt that this was the child the Lord would have us sponsor.  We prayed about it and we both agreed that this young man was the one.  So without further delay let me introduce you to....

Dawit from Ethiopia
Dawit is 12 years old and his favorite activities are soccer, swimming and singing.  Maybe one day we'll get to hear his sweet voice singing praises to the Lord. 

We'll be patiently waiting (yeah right) for all our paperwork from Compassion so that we can begin writing letters to Dawit.  I can't wait to tell him how much Jesus loves him and how much we love him too.  

Stay tuned as I hope to be able to share about Dawit and the work of Compassion frequently.

Praising Jesus!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Third World Symphony

I'm 2 days late for this and that truly breaks my heart.  On August 30th Shaun Groves newest album debuted.  Third World Symphony has been a long time coming for Shaun Groves.  You can listen to the whole album AND you can download for FREE the single titled All Is Grace.  Remember your purchase of Third World Symphony will help many a child be released from poverty.


Go on!!  Why are you still here?!?  Get on over there right now and check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I've Chosen Walls

It never fails.  Her words catch me and incise my heart.  I'm weeping before I know what happen.  She's talking about my life, right, otherwise this wouldn't chisel away at the hidden pain and reduce me to rubble.

I'm asking myself the same thing Ann Voskamp asked herself a few years ago.    "Do I count the times I have chosen to stare out at the obstacles, chosen obstructions, as my spiritual landscape?"

8 months into this year of New.  So many new things have already happen.  So many things still just the same.  The same because I chose walls.  I chose to look at the obstacles and believe that they win. The view looks impossible.  "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those the love Him."

  My heart shattered for "Jake" the motherless and fatherless child in China.
No money. A house already bursting at the seams. No medical insurance. My enduring failure to be the woman, wife, mother that I want to be.

Still no sponsorship of any of the millions of needy children in the world.  Struggling between each paycheck yet living a life so full of indulgence. Shame. Guilt.

Walls, created and chosen by me, lying about my view.  5 months left to choose my view.  5 months for the Lord remove this heart of stone and replace it with His heart.

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."    Ezekial 36:26

P.S,  If you are interested in more information about adopting "Jake" please send me an email and I'll put you in touch with the right people.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

HCG Diet Update, Bible in 90 Days, School Rooms etc!

I know it's been a while since I posted (as usual). As always life is crazy.  When I started my HCG Diet I was visiting my parents in MO.  My visits there are alot like vacation for me because I get to eat a lot of things that only my mother can make the right way :o)  Like potato salad and chicken and noodles.  I really shouldn't have started the HCG while I was there.  So after a few days I decided to stop and wait until I came home. Well I came home week before last. I've not mentioned it much on my blog but I really want to really long distances.  I got home and the next day I got an email Fleet Feet that they were starting a couch to 5K program THE NEXT DAY.  Have I mentioned how much I really want to run?  So I decided to jump in and do the couch to 5K with the Nashville Fleet Feet group.  So HCG is on hold right now while I train to kill myself run a 5K. A 5K is a little bit over 3 miles for the folks who might not know.  I can barely run for 1 minute straight right now.  This should be fun!!  So I'll see how much weight I lose training and see whether I need to do HCG after that or not.

I started the Bible in 90 Days today too.  If you would like to join in on reading the Bible in 90 days check out the specifics at Moms Toolbox.  For the most part I'll be using my Iphone's You Version app to read every day. If you are reading the Bible in 90 Days and you have an Iphone or Android phone check out the FREE app for reading the Bible.

Lots of things going on around my house right now too.  We are moving all but 1 bedroom to make room for a school room in our downstairs area.  I've tried to do school down there before but it's mostly underground so it's dark and moldy fragrant.  I started thinking about painting and making it all fun and inspiring.  My awesome husband just rolled his eyes but thinks it's a great idea. So I'm in the process of cleaning one room at a time as I get them ready to move around.  This will be a lot of work but well worth it in the end.  I'll post pictures because I FOUND MY DIGITAL CAMERA!!  Yay!! Now if I could just find the plug that charges the battery so I can use the camera I'll be doing great.  EDITED to add: I found the plug for the battery charger of my digital camera!!  See!  That's why happens when you clean a room from top to bottom (insert rolling eyes here).

Always chaos but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Now off to bed so I can get up at 6 a.m. and run...with Joshua....that's my favorite part of training.  He's training to run the 5K with me.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

HCG Diet Day 3

I weighed in at 153 this morning.  Down 5 lbs from yesterday already and I'm still fat loading.  Today is my last fat load day and I've decided to just eat what I want and not try to push eating.  I look less bloated in my face already.  I knew this was going to work but I'm shocked that I've already seen some changes with out doing the low calorie portion of the diet.  I suspect things are going to happen quick after tomorrow!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HCG Diet Day 2 with Links

Today was another fat loading day for me. I am really having to make myself eat.  I had several pieces of bacon and eggs fried in bacon grease for breakfast. I then had 2 cheese burgers and fries from McDonalds for lunch.  I've had a third of a bag of chips with dip and chocolate bars.  I'm also drinking coke's like crazy since I won't be drinking them much after this.  I've decided that even after the diet I won't go back to drinking them. I've long wanted to give them up but was just not motivated to do it.  I'm about to have some Breyers ice cream before bed.

I weighed in at 158 this morning.  I knew I would gain with all the eating I'm doing but I can already tell that the HCG is working. I'm not hungry at all.  I'm a bit surprised because I gained but my shorts were looser on me today and I had to keep pulling them up. I think I'm not retaining water like I was.  

We shall see how this goes.  I've got tunnel vision with this. I'm going to do this and follow it through.  I'm so ready to be done with this weight.  

Here are some of my favorite HCG links as this point.  

HCG Blogs I like:  This was the friend online that I talked to about doing HCG.  

A Good Source for HCG:

A Yahoo Group for HCG dieters:

You can find a free PDF copy of the Pounds and Inches book by Simeons at the yahoo group after you join and or at 

I hope that as I record my experiences here some of you might be inspired to make some changes too.

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day One of a New Physical Me

I know I've neglected to post anything for so long but life has been a bit on the crazy side lately.  When the Lord told me it was going to be the year of New boy did He mean the Year of Completely NEW!

First I was baptized on May 29th after loving the Lord for 21 years!. More on that later.  The first half of the year brought some serious trials and reflections on my walk with the Lord over these last 21 years.  It culminated in me finally being baptized.

Second, today I begin doing the HCG diet.  I've not been happy with my weight for several years now and I couldn't get started on any significant change no matter what I did.  I needed a boost and after many months of research I feel like this is the key to the boost I need.  I first heard about HCG when I ran into a lady I only new casually and she had lost many pounds.  She was large before she started and now she was really thin.  I looked into HCG then but didn't pursue it.  Some months later I came across an online friends blog where she had kept a daily log of her first 2 rounds of HCG.  I researched more this time but still did not pursue it.  That was in April of this year.  I'm in MO right now visiting my parents and when I come here to the NW Ark area I go to a Chiropractor that I really like.  I walked in Friday to get an adjustment and low and behold he HCG drops and info in office.  I STILL did not buy the drops but I went home with HCG heavy on my mind.  The next day Mom and I were going shopping and I got very frustrated because I didn't have any clothes that fit me and I felt I looked so bad in what I did have.  I work jeans on a 95 degree day because of how I felt my shorts made me look.  I decided that morning I was going to do HCG.  I went and picked up the HCG drops from my Chiropractor yesterday and began round 1 this morning.  I can do more than 1 round of HCG but I don't know if I will do 2 rounds or not.  It will depend on what happens with this first round.

I realize some of you may have never heard of HCG or know very little about it. Albert T. Simeons MD came up with this protocol back in the 1940's.  He published a book detailing how he discovered this information and who to treat those patients that were obese or needed to lose weight in a book called Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity.  You can read that book HERE.  I got my drops from my Chiropractor but once I go back to TN I will buy any more drops I need from Better Health HCG.  

This is so difficult for me to do but I'm going to put my beginning/before pictures up for you to see.  It's so hard for me to look at pictures of myself right now and the thought of those pictures being up for the whole world to see is a horrifying thought. But I feel that anyone reading this needs to know where I started from and where I end up at the end of this HCG protocol.

Aaaack!!! I can't tell you how embarrassed I am to show these pictures!!

The pictures are from my cell phone because my digital camera battery is dead and I haven't gotten a new one yet.  Sorry they are a bit blurry.  You still get the idea I think.  Moving right along...........

Day 1: Weight 155.  I am 5 foot 2 so this weight is staggeringly too high for me.  This a fat loading day so I will most likely gain a few pounds before I start to lose any weight.  You fat load for 3 to 7 days so that you will have plenty of reserve fat while on the diet since you won't be eating any fat or carbs while on the diet.  Read the links I gave above to learn more.

Big breath................ as I click PUBLISH POST.....................

Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity

The Final Summit is about a man named David Ponder who is summoned by the Archangel Gabriel to attend a "summit" to answer the question "What must humanity do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?"

Ultimately my feelings on this book are mediocre at best.  I felt as if the character portrayal of Gabriel was misguided.  Several times in the book Gabriel is portrayed as less than impressed with humanity.  While I truly can  see that God and Gabriel would both have every right to feel less than impressed with humanity I don't feel that either of them would act as portrayed in this book.

The idea that one man - David Ponder - holds the fate of mankind in his hands is disappointing to me.  No earthly man holds the fate of mankind.  Jesus Christ holds the fate of mankind in His hand.  No amount of talking about how humanity has diverged from the right path will change the path we are currently on.  This world needs Jesus and to suggest anything other than this solution is...honestly....drivel.

I will say that from a fiction stand point this book was interesting to read. I just feel that even though the book made me think deeply about some things in my own life the author could have pointed readers to Jesus instead of giving the impression that they, in their own ideas and power, can bring themselves to the right path.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Beautiful Heart of Dakota Catalog

I received the newest catalog from Heart of Dakota today and I just had to show you what a wonderful catalog they publish. It's a quarter inch thick and 80...YES 80 pages.  They also have new book substitution policies and reduced and free shipping options.

The Cover...

Like I said it's about a quarter of an inch think

Full Color 2 Page Spreads showing everything from subject areas, sample layouts of each guide to detailed book descriptions.

The last page of the catalog gives you a nice sampling of their Notebooking pages...

Request your own copy of the catalog HERE. If you would like extras to share with friends just note how many you need in the comment box and they will be happy to include as many as you need.

The HOD catalog is prized in our house.  I'm going to order several more to give away too.  I'll hand one to anyone that will take one LOL.

Heart of Dakota Box Day!

Well admittedly our box day was a few weeks ago but I never managed to get the pictures up for it.  I was going back over pictures for our week in review and found the box day pictures and I just had to post those too!  Heart of Dakota is such a blessing to us and the rich literature is just outstanding.

Here is what I saw when I opened my box and pulled out the packing paper:  Beautifully packed!

Here are the History books that are the spine of our History studies using Preparing Hearts for His Glory.

Here are the Science books for Preparing Hearts:

Preparing Hearts includes an independent history study.  These are the books used for the independent history study:

We are already enjoying Preparing and I hope you enjoyed a quick peak into the rich literature of Heart of Dakota.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'll be Reviewing The Final Summit

My first review for Book Sneeze will be The Final Summit by Andy Andrews.  Check back on April 11 for this review.

I'll Be Reviewing Books for Book Sneeze and Tyndale Blog Network

As you can see in my about me section I love to read!  I applied to be a book reviewer for both Book Sneeze and the Tyndale Blog Network and was approved for both!  I'm very excited.

Stay tuned for my first book review coming very soon!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review of Time4Learing

I'm excited to do this review of Time4Learning.  Let me say that we had done Time4Learning previously with Joshua a few years ago so I was familiar with the basic idea of Time4Learning.  For this review I enrolled Jacob who is 4 years old.  He's about to turn 5 in April so I chose the Preschool level for him knowing that if we decided to keep with it I could move him to the Kindergarten level if the Preschool level was a bit too easy for him.

Time4Learning Preschool is divided into 2 levels.  Jacob completed approximately half of level 1 and maybe 1/3 of level 2.  To say he likes Time4Learning is an understatement!! He's really enjoyed the activities in the Preschool level and I have no doubt he'll enjoy the K level.  Here are the things I liked about the Preschool level.   There is a great deal of reading to the child and much of it contains rhyming which is a critical skill for little ones just starting to learn to read.  They also allow the child to "write" their own books by having them pick a subject and then asking them questions about it.  Their answers are then made into an online book about the subject that they read to the child immediately.  There are several activities with sequencing and patterns.  Both necessary skills for little ones.  There are activities where the child colors an online picture.  These are Jacobs most favorite things to play on Time4Learning.  Letters, shapes, vocabulary, numbers, patterns and more are all covered within the activities. Be sure to check out the lesson plans here to see what each activity includes and covers.

If there were any complaints from me I would say that I wouldn't mind having worksheet options at the preschool level.  We don't want to do many worksheets but having the option would be wonderful.  If worksheets are never added we would still enjoy Time4Learning.  Note: Starting in K through 8th grade there are worksheets.

To drive home how much Jacob has enjoyed Time4Learning he's sitting on the couch next to me while I write this asking me can he play yet. Can I play momma?  Can I play?  He's seen the Time4Learning character on the screen and is chomping at the bit to play.

To summarize my feelings:  I feel like Time4Learning is a cost effective online curriculum that is worth the money and does teach critical skills at each level while making it fun for the child.  With all the options out there for computer or online programs Time4Learning seems to be a great value considering that it includes all subjects for a low monthly price.

So after discussing it Adam and I have decided to continue our membership with Time4Learning.  We feel that it's a good investment since Jacob enjoys it so much and will also be learning while using it.  As Jacob starts Kindergarten in the fall we feel it will be a great reinforcement to our core curriculum to play on Time4Learning.

I hope this review has been helpful. As we continue with Time4Learning I'll also keep updating on the different levels we are doing.  In full disclosure I want to say that what I've written here is my own opinion entirely and was not written by Time4Learning.  I was given a free month in which to evaluate Time4Learning.  That is the only compensation I received.

We are enjoying Time4Learning. Check it out!

Friday, March 25, 2011

21 Days of Prayer for Sons

I stumbled onto this website tonight and I'm thrilled with everything I'm reading right now.  Being the Mom of boys can be so harrowing sometimes.  I pray constantly for my boys but lately I've been feeling the need to pray more specifically about the needs of my boys.  Enter 21 Days of Prayer for Sons.

Are you the mother of boys?  Would you make the commitment to pray for your boy/boys several times a day for 21 days during April?  If so sign up by clicking the button just above.

I'm looking forward to reaping the Lord's harvest by praying for my boys during the 21 Days of Prayer for Sons challenge.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

All About Reading is Available!!

I'm a bit late in announcing this but I did want to let you all know that All About Reading Level Pre-1 from the awesome All About Spelling is now available.

The new All About Reading program is unique because it begins with Level Pre-1 for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and it focuses on what we call the Big Five Skills. These five fundamental pre-reading skills include letter knowledge, phonological awareness, print awareness, listening comprehension, and motivation to read. It is this specific set of skills that helps pre-readers understand the basics of language and how it works, preparing them to learn to read. 

With All About Reading Level Pre-1, your child will play special games, enjoy little crafts, and engage in charming storytime activities--all the while absorbing these all-important Big Five Skills.

Be sure and check out the samples at the links above.  I trust you will be very impressed.  I sure am.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Miraculous Change After Only 2 Days

Yesterday was our first day back with HOD as our core curriculum.  It was a long day.  But it was a good day.  Joshua spent a lot of time saying he hated it but he was the happiest hater I've ever seen LOL.  It was our first day and I knew it was going to take a while for us to get into the grove of doing things in this new way.  I also knew we were going to have some heart issues to deal with but that is another post entirely.

I was still exhausted from the MidSouth Convention and ended up sleeping until 9:30 this morning.  Jacob also slept in and woke a few minutes after me actually.  Anyway while I was sleeping this morning Joshua worked on his independent work. We are still doing Reading through the BJU Distance Learning (I can not wait to start HOD Drawn Into the Heart of Reading this fall though) so he did that lesson and also did his Saxon math.  He also voluntarily completed his Independent History and Independent Science from the HOD Preparing manual.  This was approximately 3 hours of work without a prompt from me.

Now I need you to understand that this child has been one that could not follow a schedule or do any work without a constant push to do so.  He would rather be doing ANYTHING than school. ANYTHING!  Physical labor would probably get done without whining before school.  I hope you are understanding the depth of change that took place yesterday for him to do this this morning.  It truly was the first miracle of the day.

So I got up and got Jacob and I some breakfast and did some necessary catch up from waking late while Joshua took a break. Have I mentioned that Joshua is writing phobic?  Seriously.  Getting a sentence out of him has been like pulling my teeth out without a shot for the pain.............  So while on his break he decides he's going to WRITE A BOOK!!!!  And write he has done today.  I had to pull him away from writing after lunch to finish school.  Miracle #2 today!!

We are reading Grandpa's Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption for History right now and we read Ch. 2 today.  Joshua loves this book already.  After reading Ch. 2 our Preparing manual had read most of Romans 5 today and do the discussion questions listed in the manual.  Those discussion questions led into an hour long talk about the law, Jesus' gift, and whether or not we could keep the law.  It enabled me to share more intimately with Joshua why I follow Jesus and my relationship with him.  I explained to him that I don't love Jesus because I'm afraid of going to hell or anything like that.  I love Jesus because the law has shown me just how black my heart is and how much I deserve death yet God loves me anyway.  I love Him because He first loved me and continues to love me even when I sin.  I attempt to not sin because I love Him and I know it breaks his heart when I do sin. I love Him so I don't want to hurt him. Every motivation is based in love.

There were tears from both of us and Joshua made a confession to me about some sin in his life.  When I didn't directly address the sin he asked my why.  I told him that the Lord was convicting him and I didn't need to punish him any further.  I realized that he thought I didn't love him because I wasn't angry about the sin he confessed to me.  We had the sweetest time together talking about how, like Jesus, there was nothing he could ever do that would take my love away from him.  NOTHING! No matter what he does he's my son and I will love him forever.  I also told him that as much as I love him God loved him even more than me.

I am simply amazed at the miraculous change that has come after only 1 day with Heart of Dakota. I fully credit HOD with the new found creativity that Joshua is experiencing and for guiding us in a truly Jesus centered day that brought my son and I to a most wonderful place with Jesus. If you are feeling unsettled with your current curriculum or are missing out on time with your children having truly deep conversations about the heart of God then may I humbly suggest you take a look at Heart of Dakota.  I think you will be blessed if you do so.

Praising Jesus for the presence of His Holy Spirit today and for finding Heart of Dakota!

Monday, March 7, 2011

MidSouth Homeschool Convention Highlights

I attended the MidSouth Homeschool Convention this past weekend in Memphis and there were some great highlights for me.  The first and foremost was getting to meet Carrie Austin, the author of the Heart of Dakota curriculum.  It was such an honor to meet her and her sister Julie.  They have been an inspiration to me and it was my privilege to spend time with them.

I spent a great deal of time at their booth and to top it off they were next to Rainbow Resource's booth!  What a win win situation for me LOL.  I mentioned in my last post that I was leaning towards Saxon for Joshua's grammar.  After spending so much time at HOD's booth I got to looking at Rod & Staff for grammar.  One thing I've learned about Carrie Austin is that she picks what she recommends within her curriculum for a reason.  I've also learned that it's usually best to trust her and go with her recommendations first. Then if it doesn't work look elsewhere.  So I went with Rod & Staff English for Joshua.  After really looking it over I feel very good about it. It is scheduled within the Preparing manual so I don't have to think very hard about scheduling it either.

I also decided to put Jacob in Little Hands to Heaven right now. I hadn't been doing anything structured with him at all and I knew this would be a great start to "school" for him.  Today was our first day of LHTH and he had so much fun!!

I attended 2 workshops while I was there also.  I heard Ken Ham speak and it was excellent as usual.  I ordered his workshop on CD in fact.  I also went to Art Reed's workshop.  Listening to him confirmed my decision to use Saxon for Joshua. I highly recommend Mr. Reed's book and if you get a chance to hear him speak about Saxon math you should.  I'm still strongly considering using Saxon for Jacob too.  I'm still weighing things. Carrie recommends Singapore math. I'm seriously considering each of these and I'm grateful that I've got some more time.

One other change that is happening is in regards to Joshua's phonics work.  We have been using Saxon's Phonics Intervention. It's strongly focused on learning to read but does include spelling along with a great deal of other skills.  Joshua is reading well and his reading level has jumped several grade levels in the last several months.  He still struggles with his spelling though.  After praying about this I've decided to go back to All About Spelling with him.  The approach of AAS lends itself well to helping Joshua with any phonics holes he may have.  It will better address his spelling struggles also.  We will also be using the dictation in Preparing which also includes some spelling words.

Well those are the highlights and changes I made after attending Convention.  We are set to go now and I am really looking forward to our Journey using HOD as our core curriculum.  Our first week of Saxon math also went well.  Joshua says he doesn't like it but I know that's only because he's truly having to work at it LOL.


Monday, February 28, 2011

A Few Changes & Next Years Curriculum

Just a quick update on what we are using right now and what the plans are for next year's curriculum for both boys. We have been using BJU's Distance Learning classes with Joshua.  It's going very well but when I started BJU math with Joshua I knew he might not thrive well with it.  Since I had to pay for the complete grade kit for the BJU Distance Learning classes I wanted to give it a try.  I've learned that Joshua does much better with incremental lessons and consistent daily review of those concepts.  Mastery based math just doesn't seem to be enough review for him. So we decided to move him to Saxon math.  We are also using Teaching Tape Technology dvd's with the Saxon books.  With the English he was doing ok but again he seemed to need the same constant review of grammar concepts that he needed in math.  I learned that Saxon had a grammar and writing curriculum also so I took a look at that and have decided to move Joshua to Saxon for grammar also.  I will be picking up the Grammar & Writing at convention this coming weekend in Memphis so we will start that the following Monday.  If all goes well with it we will continue with it for the next level.

My research for next years curriculum brought me back to Heart of Dakota.  We have enjoyed BJU but I wanted to shorten our school day and I've always wanted to do HOD with Joshua. I just couldn't seem to make it work for us in the past.  I knew that we could go back to using HOD for next year so I began looking into the Creation to Christ manual.  I was completely sold on coming back to HOD for both boys starting next year.  It hit me one day that I could do Preparing right now with Joshua and it would help him with the skills he will need for CtC in the fall.  We will receive our Preparing materials on Tuesday and get started on that for Bible, History, Geography, and Science.  We are really looking forward to Preparing and HOD in general.

For Spelling, Reading, and Cursive Handwriting we are continuing with the BJU Distance Learning classes. Next year for Reading we will be doing HOD's Drawn Into the Heart of Reading. I'm really liking BJU"s Spelling. As we get closer to fall I'll make some final decisions regarding Spelling but at this point I'm leaning heavily towards doing BJU Spelling again only teaching it myself.  Joshua's cursive is coming along very with BJU right now. For next year he'll do all of the writing & copywork required in CtC in cursive to serve as his handwriting.

I'm also considering enrolling Joshua in an IEW writing class taught by a licensed IEW instructor.  IEW stands for Institute for Excellence in Writing.  If I don't do a class then we will get the Student Writing Intensive dvd's for him.  I'm leaning towards a class for accountability and to start giving him an idea of what high school might be like.  I likely will make use of tutorials, etc. in high school and I want him to start understand what it's like to have to do work and turn it into someone other than me.

Jacob is turning 5 in April and he's doing so well with "school" type stuff I feel confident in going ahead and doing K with him in the fall.  He will be 5.5 years old at that time and he's already chomping at the bit to learn his letters and numbers. Right now he enjoys playing on Starfall, doing Abeka's ABC 123, Readiness Skills, and Art workbooks. I'm also using Learning at Home by Ann Ward with him.  I plan to start him in Little Hearts for His Glory at half speed in the fall for K.  I will be going half speed so that LHFHG can be used his K and 1st years.  I will be using the appropriate levels of math and phonics for him each of those years. At this point I plan to use Saxon Math and Phonics for him. We'll see how that works out.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Well this went much longer than I had planned. If you stayed with me bless your heart.  I really appreciate it!

I hope everyone has a wonderful school week!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Meet Emilda

Emilda is an 18 year-old Compassion sponsored child with the mental capacity of a three year-old.  She lives in a squatter community in the Philippines. And she's FAST!

In 2009 Emilda competed in the Philippine Special Olympics and she performed well enough to qualify for the World Special Olympics in Athens, Greece this Summer.  But she needs your help to get there.

Emilda's parents are unable to pay her way to Greece and neither is the Philippine government. Her beginning need to get there was $19,837.  Thanks to people just like you all she needs now is $10,000.  A gift in any amount will help.

You have the opportunity to send Emilda to the World Special Olympics! Just think what this would mean to Emilda and her family.  

Pictures and more information about Emilda are available at The Making of a Special Olympics Champion

To make a donation to help send Emilda to the World Special Olympics go here:
Donate to Help Emilda

Please prayerfully consider whether the Lord would have you donate to help Emilda.  You can make a difference in the life of this impoverished child.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Read the Bible in 90 Days Update

I've been neglecting my blog again.  Sometimes it just seems there aren't enough hours in the day.  I wanted to give a quick update on reading the Bible in 90 days.  I was not able to keep up with the reading.  I want to be honest and transparent so I'll say that there are two things I believe hindered me in my reading.  The first was that I started a day late.  I didn't find out about it until the end of the 1st days reading.  I really thought I could catch up but that brings me to the second reason I wasn't able to keep up.  To do the days reading takes about an hour to read each day.  I just wasn't prepared at the last minute to add that amount of time to my day.

Moms Toolbox will most likely repeat Read the Bible in 90 Days again during Summer.  I plan to join in the next time they begin the process. This time I will be better prepared and can give this reading the time it needs and not start from behind at the very beginning.  I am looking forward to it.  The days that I did read in this attempt were a blessing beyond measure.

Will you consider joining in the next time?  I hope so.

Time4Learning Review

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used as an online homeschooling curriculum or for afterschool enrichment. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Read the Bible in 90 Days

Today I signed up to read the Bible in 90 days.  Won't you join me?  It started today so there is still time to join in with me.  Hop on over to Moms Toolbox to learn more.  

I look forward to reading with you,

The Year of New

I have never named a year before or given thought to one word for a new year before.  I had never even heard of it until this year.  This last year has been hard.  For many many reasons.  For the first time in a long time I am happy to see 2010 go.  As I have prayed about my one word for the coming year the Lord kept bringing up making all things NEW.  I need new this year.  I need a new everything.

A New Body
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.. Colossians 3:9,10

A New Heart
"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and i will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

A New Song
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD. Psalms 40:3

A New Covenant with my Savior
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." Luke 22:20

Even a New Heaven & New Earth if it be God's will.
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind." Isaiah 65:17

Are you READY for something NEW!!
"Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:9

I don't know about you but I spent some time in the wilderness and desert this past year.  I need the Living Water. 

Get ready!  God is doing something NEW!

Happy New Year!


Related Posts with Thumbnails