November 11, 2014

How I'm trying to incorporate "missions" into homeschool

That encompasses so much and yet I want to bring a "heart for missions" into our homeschool journey. One thing I wanted to be able to do with my family was somehow incorporate "missions" into our home - now I, personally long for international mission trips but this isn't our season for that with small children. Instead part of our weekly Bible/mission studies for homeschool is monthly "prayer regions" - each month I have each of my kids (including lil sis) take the globe and choose a region to study for the month - changing countries/area each month.
They either look up info on the computer or we find library books about the areas/countries - we take the entire month to learn a little about the people/culture etc (usually reading 20 mins each day) and we *try* to pray often/daily for that area - for the gospel to be spread there, for the people of those areas, for any missionaries working there etc ~ the real challenge is getting sidetracked by all the information.
We then mark on the globe with lady bug stickers where we have studied/prayed.

I know as my kids grow and move forward academically they will study various regions/geography of the world but my goal through these "prayer regions" is to cultivate a spirit of compassion/heart for the world and mission minded hearts in my kids.

This would not replace local church mission or ministry opportunities we are able to get involved in as a family or community service projects we hope to complete - just another way homeschool is so flexible and adaptable to each family's goals/life.

We started last month and so far we have studied about:

Karamay, China
Shenzhen, China

New Zealand
Saudi Arabia

Anyone willing to share their ideas also?

October 28, 2014

Getting creative is our favorite

Im trying to incorporate two or three projects a week with the boys (& lil sis) to keep them excited about what they're learning.
Sometimes it's just simple little experiment for science or taking a walk and doing leaf /crayon rubs for fall.

Most recently I found with great video tutorials on drawing and fun crafts led by a dad and his son - it really has been cool for my boys. Plus they get tired of the "preschool" type crafts.

finally a rhyme to our homeschool days...

These photos are from last week - On Wednesdays we are having Charlotte Mason style learning. 

The following is from

"Based on Charlotte's firm belief that the child is a person and we must educate that whole person, not just his mind.
 So a Charlotte Mason education is three-pronged: in her words, "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

By "Discipline," Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits—and specifically habits of character. And Biblical character!
 Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts
So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.
The use of "living books" rather than textbooks and oral and written narration by the children to show understanding and mastery vs multiple choice/fill in blank answers.
She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with God's creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature.
She introduced the work of great artists and composers to her students and let them spend time with each, getting to know their works personally.
She spread before her students a feast of ideas from a wide variety of sources—from Shakespeare to knitting to Bible to tramping through field and stream to algebra to singing to foreign languages. And woven throughout it all, she emphasized the habits of full attention, best effort, and learning for the sake of learning."

Learning should be enjoyable and life applicable not a mere memorization of " facts " in order to pass the standardized test.

 I wouldn't say that we're complete Charlotte Mason method (her homeschooling style). 
who knew there were so many homeschooling styles? 
But there are. 

So far our schedule looks like this:
We do the majority of our academic book work on Tuesdays and Thursdays when lil bit is in preschool. Concentrated heavily on learning math and language arts at the boys grade levels.
-Bible, Science, History and Art are taught horizontally.

Mondays are a relaxed review day- still completing our academic work but adding in history and science and fun projects. 
Wednesday's are our "Charlotte Mason days" mostly spent learning outside, in nature, at parks.  With lots of read alouds and living books. Plus reading and reviewing our history and science from Monday. Also, the boys PE class with a local homeschool group is on Wednesday afternoons.
They also go to Awanas every Wednesday evening at church.
We complete Bible and scripture learning every morning after morning chores and breakfast.
Fridays are either field trip days, free days errand days or art class.  
Also, once or twice a month we join another homeschooling family for a community service project - right now a sing-along time at a local nursing home.
I imagine our schedule and days will evolve and change over time but the beauty of homeschool is the flexibility and the opportunity to let "school" match our family's pace not us matching the pace of a predetermined schedule.

October 16, 2014

Fall field day with Granny and Aunt Sheila

Yesterday was such a beautiful day the Lord blessed us with for our pumpkin patch / lunch in the park field trip but at home it was a sad day as we tragically lost our beloved cat Zoey and today is a tougher day trying to get back on track with homeschool work.
It was also a day that many little ones lost too soon were remembered, several had or are recovering from surgeries, and other tragedies were heard of that truly humble us.
It all causes us to pause and may we remember the promise God gave us....
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

October 14, 2014

One year later in photos

This was the day we landed home from China...

And now ---
My my how you have grown! Our lil bit MadelineYaZi Grace We love you SO!!!

Our first few weeks with homeschool

So I typed an entire post on all of this and then when I clicked "save" blogger  ate it so this post will only contain Photos ;(.

the end

August 26, 2014

Days like these...

*It's been forever since I posted on this blog - Instagram kinda killed my blogging for awhile*

Our days certainly look a lot different already than they ever have during this traditional "back to school" week ~ because....

We have chosen to homeschool our boys this next year!  

So today instead of packing us all up at the crack of dawn to drive to the local school they attended previously, they helped each other make breakfast & completed their morning chores. Followed by writing activities, a walk to the park, their kid devotionals & prayer time at the park followed by goldfish snacks and sword fights - a lot like continuing our summer days. 

We will not start academic study curriculum until next week & lil sister will start 2 full day church preschool where the boys attended at her age.  

This (homeschooling / educating at home) is overwhelming and SCARY for me, very "out of the norm", definitely "uncharted territory" for us. We have wrestled, talked, researched and PRAYED a lot. 

It was NOT decided lightly and frankly has been on our hearts for a couple of years. 

I am learning with each new journey in our lives when we are willing to not stay stagnate, not always seek the comfortable , The Lord WiLL stretch you and yet ALWAYS provide a safety and security net of His strength and peace ~ 

I CERTAINLY do not have this all figured out - and I am planning on taking it one year at a time and certainly not saying THIS way or that way is THE right way- just what we feel The Lord is currently calling us to. It will give us more family time, more time to travel like we want to, more time to prepare for some mission trips we feel lead to take. 

We are claiming 

John 14:27 ~ "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."


Psalm 105:4 ~

"Look to the Lord and his strength;

    seek his face always." 

Many Blessings 

May 15, 2014

So I guess I'm a bandwagon jumper...

I discovered young living & essential oils last year in the fall
sometime before we traveled to get lil bit, but it wasn't the time
to purchase them and I wanted to research them more also.
I have always been drawn to natural ways to help care for us
and our home. The YL oils sounded promising but I wanted to
find out more. So I waited and I did research them as I had time
and decided to give them a try and so I signed up to purchase them
(And sell them maybe in the future).
So after having the #yloils for a few weeks now ~ I find ways to use them a lot in our daily routines. The friend I signed up under is a NICU RN and we've discussed several times ways we can try to naturally care for our families and home but we also won't just use something because it sounds good so these are merely my opinions on using them. So far *i* feel like the essential oils we use have helped: ~decreased night time allergy flareups with my kids (sneezing/coughing/turn into colds yuckies)~ helped lil bit and us sleep THRU the nights (diffusing peace & calming and used behind the ears), calmed nerves/tension/stress during stressful family/sporting/celebration events by using stress away oil on wrists, helped ease hubs chronic back & shoulder pain using pan away oil in coconut oil rubbed onto back & spine, eased (unplanned ��) sunburn pain with lavender oil (2drops) to coconut oil & aloe Vera gel, naturally cleaned kitchen and bath with lavender & lemon oils added in spray bottle with water. 

I am still weary of ingesting oils although I have used the peppermint and lemon in water to reduce acid reflux issues - but recommend everyone do their own research on ingesting oils or anything for that matter- even though YL does recommend and say it is perfectly safe !?! I dunno?  I know prescribed drugs we all take and OTC meds contain all sorts of toxins also!? 
That's my .02 

I appreciate the opinions of other real life mamas out there trying to find ways to care for their families, so if anyone has other ways they have found essential oils to help I would love to share ideas.

Sometimes things work & help and sometimes they don't
Again these are merely my opinions and not backed by any medical proof ;)

March 19, 2014

Happy 6months together lil bit

This weekend we celebrated six months together with our sweet lil bit - from that first meeting in China in her fancy white dress they put on her to meet us to now - wow!!!
I attempted to make her a fabric doll this morning and it looks a little silly but she loves it! And we love her and are so grateful for her and this time together.
I wish I had more time to keep these posts up and make them more interesting with memories and stories of her and our adjustment and her bonding and adoption.
Which is all going so great - we have so much to be grateful for and we are! That's why I'm too busy to write/post. We are living life together, enjoying the journey of life and praying for Gods direction for our future. We also have baseball season starting for our 2boys and friends who are fighting some
 big life battles (and that's on my mind and heart a lot) and we are keeping up with schedules etc. Maybe we will be looking into starting another adoption journey soon/the needs and the number of orphans waiting does weigh on our hearts or maybe something else? I don't know yet. But I hope
everyone is doing well that reads this also! God bless!!

Lil bit got her first American haircut

She sat still and let the stylist cut and shape her hair and even got her ears pierced. She just touched her ears afterwards. No tears - such a sweet and brave baby girl! I know the jury is mixed on piercing ears so young or wait till older - we made our decision quickly and don't regret it ;)