Thursday, May 31, 2012

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Monday, February 6, 2012


I just finished reading Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream, by David Platt. I found the book very motivational. The author calls readers to follow the call of Christ to forsake all for His sake. Contained within the book are countless illustrations of God's work in surrendered Christians.

Platt ends his work with a challenge for readers to change their priorities for one year in the following ways:

1) Pray faithfully for the gospel to be spread in each country and culture around the world. Concentrate specifically on each area until you have prayed for each one fervently. To this end, readers should learn about the needs in each area.

2) Read through the whole Bible faithfully for a year ( a familiar goal, but a worthy one). Platt guarantees readers that time spent in the Word will change their lives (and all Christians should be familiar with scriptures to that effect).

3) Challenge yourself to live on a minimal amount of your income, giving your surplus to a Godly cause, to spread the Gospel and support the poor and destitute.

4) Spend 2% of your time (works out to one week, approximately, in a year) outside your comfort zone, outside your city, doing the work of the Lord. Many examples are given of Christians who visited poor countries or did disaster relief work in the US, or even donated their time in an inner city outreach. By personally participating in the sharing of the Gospel and following our admonishments in the scriptures to care for "the least of these," Christians will find their hearts and priorities changing personally.

5) Become an integral part of a Christian church community. Participate joyfully, forming strong bonds with brothers and sisters in Christ. Serve with a generous heart, not grudging any time or commitment that may require.

Despite the title of the book, I don't actually find the challenge all that radical. I honestly believe most Christians should do most of this based on the commands in the New Testament.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Okay, so it comes Monthly, not Weekly.

At least I'm blogging!

In my life this week…

I had heart-to-heart conversations with 5-6 of my favorite people. Sometimes I feel so isolated, but this week has been a good one on the fellowship front!

In our homeschool this week…
Andrew wrote a thank you letter to Uncle Norm and Aunt Gretchen for his Christmas gift. He is working on physically multiplying numbers in math.
Joshua aced a placement test for AOP Lifepac Language Arts. He has been
begging to try a "canned" LA program for several years. I think I will let him try one workbook at the end of the year as an experiment. If both of us agree, it may be our sixth grade LA choice.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
I've been doing our history read-aloud during breakfast! Multi-tasking makes me feel like superwoman. Plus, when the boys' mouths are full and they're not fully awake they are less likely to interrupt the reading.

I am inspired by…
My parents. I hope I can be as understanding and unconditionally loving when my sons are my age as they are for my brothers and me.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Joshua is part of an Upwards basketball team, so that takes up a large part of Saturday. This week I was excited to attend another age level game with my best girlfriend. Then she and her son stayed to see Joshua's game and my mom came as well. I'm never more content than when in company of my mom and my best girlfriend.

My favorite thing this week was…
Above mentioned basketball game outing.

What’s working/not working for us…
We dropped a history story about King Philip's War. We got the gist of the motivation, setting and some battles and found we were dreading slogging through the remaining battles. Children of the Longhouse, by Louis Bruchac is a big hit, though!

I’m reading…
"Radical- Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream" by David Platt. So far it's a page-turner and very inspiring.

I’m cooking…
A Thai noodle bowl was the big hit this week. I have to say, though, I much preferred today's incredible treat and being taken out to eat to a local authentic Mexican restaurant.

I’m grateful for…
The grace of God. I have never been more mindful of Calvary and its accomplishment giving us the power to become the children of God.

I’m praying for…

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Gabriel sings Twinkle, Twinkle.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trying a Weekly Template to Record our Homeschool Journey

In my life this week…
I am doing my best to keep the homeschool fires burning while the Christmas spirit engulfs us and tries to make accomplishing anything laughable.

In our homeschool this week…
Joshua is writing a personal narrative about his trip to the state fair with his best friend. He begged to make the narrative into a Powerpoint presentation, to which I naturally agreed. He spent an hour on the rough draft and churned out 6 slides, which roughly equal 2 pages single space. I'm impressed!
Andrew is toughing it out on renaming to tens and hundreds places. The roughest part of this new venture seems to be the addition facts above ten, which have been under-exercised thus far. I foresee introducing the Math Bingo game I bought last summer for just such an occasion.

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…! Seriously, that is my biggest discovery in the past 4 years of homeschool teaching and planning.

I am inspired by…
My husband. Whenever I feel as if I do nothing but work, I look at him and see that he is working harder and longer.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We have a field trip to Kaviar Forge this week, which is very exciting to me. Joshua has a Homeschool Student Council Christmas party, which sounds fun. John and I are invited to a business Christmas party this week as well! So exciting! I think it has been 5 years since we had one to attend.

My favorite thing this week was…
Having my parents visit us Sunday afternoon. John and Joshua were gone, so having company spared me a whole afternoon of missing them.

What’s working/not working for us…
Joshua has determined that he needs to take his spelling instruction under his own control. To that end, we have abandoned Dictation Day By Day by Kate Wagenen and he is speed-studying the lists at for spelling. He's a gifted speller and I well remember the agony of studying lists of words I already knew when I was his age. I am cheering him on and admire his progress.

Questions/thoughts I have…
I find that our appetite and saturation points for learning wax and wane, along with the seasons. It makes sense that our brains can tolerate more activity at regular intervals. I am learning to let our school be more organic and less forced. While I still have a "To Do" list going on all the time, I become less frantic if I find that we are only able to digest 10 pages of a history text rather than the 14 I arbitrarily assigned.

I’m reading…
Devotionals--- Oswald Chambers and A.W. Tozer.

I’m cooking…
Oh, wow! has revolutionized my meal planning and shopping. I told John I could never go back to tacos, spaghetti and pizza each once every week. I'm actually using fresh herbs, like rosemary, cilantro, basil, and Italian parsley! I've chopped and seeded my first, second and third jalapenos! I am totally jazzed about this program.

I’m grateful for…
Peace. In the midst of uncertainty and change, there is a deep abiding sense of rightness about my life right now. For this I thank God.

I’m praying for…
Wisdom. The more years I live, the more I realize my own limitations and need for wisdom.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This has spoken to me so plainly over the past week. It takes away all uncertainty and fear. For loved ones, for my questions: Only believe. Those who believe SHOULD NOT PERISH. Praise His Holy Name.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cub Scout Pinewood Derby

A good time was had by all! Joshua took second place in his den, while Daddy and Andrew participated *after* the cub scouts were finished.
Pinewood Derby

Fourth Grade WinterPromise LA

Another homeschooling mom asked me to scout this LA program for her. The photos are a bit blurry, but you can use the magnifying glass option to get a closer look.

Winterpromise stuff

I especially like the creative writing exercises. There was no 4th grade spelling book to preview, so I took pics of the 3rd grade one. There are samples of SpellWell C and CC available at Christian Book Distributors ( and Rainbow Resource ( I think.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Belated Christmas Slide Show

Here you go! Location: Louisiana at John's parents' home. Also present: John's brother Stephen and his wife Esther with 1yo Jonathan.