Friday, October 31, 2014

Always Have a Plan(ner)!

There is no doubt this family has been on the go, go, go, high speed railway for the last two months! Some of it's good, and some, well...stressful.  I have a tight full schedule that seems neverending, but November brings me much needed relief; November smiles on me, thankfully, with a couple much needed weekend breaks.

One item that has been a literal godsend to me, especially since I began working, is an 18 month calendar planner.  Yes, I know there's plenty out there.  My pastor even gifts me with one each year, an ecclesiatical one, so he and I can be in sync with our schedules.  That one is kept opened to the week, near the phone at all times.

The beautiful and inspiring planner I purchased came from Christisnbook.com. and it's quite lovely as well as practical. Mine is called the 18 month Wildflower "With God All Things Are Possible" planner.


I love this planner because it's packed with inspirational verses and quotes throughout.  It gives me encouragement in my vocation and job and helps me to plan carefully.  It's one of my favorite things!

If you don't yet use a planner, I recommend it.  I carry this one with me so I can see at a glance my schedule.  Christianbook also carries many other beautiful calendar planners.

May God bless all your plans -- keep HIM in your plans always!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Look to Him and be Radiant: Finding Truth in Halloween

Hat tip to my friend Michele for finding this gem - it's a nice little booklet that can be printed out for instruction with your children, or PSR program.



Look to Him and be Radiant: Finding Truth in Halloween: It's almost Halloween. Will you be decorating with skulls or cornstalks? Dressing your kid as a zombie or St. Francis? Teaching abou...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Autumn Wedding Memories

Today we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. It was a similar day, only a little more colorful and blustery....and it reminded me of how quickly time passes, and yet how some things remain the same. Maybe that's a good thing, eh?

My spouse and I owe each other a dinner out...with his work schedule, life is all too busy at the moment. But we had a nice exchange of gifts and cake with our children and enjoyed a quiet evening.

Later tonight, I prepared everything needed for our co-op. I'm teaching guitar/singing this year to a couple of lovely twin young ladies, and we are really enjoying ourselves. We have a regular Dixie Chicks kind of thing going on :) The ladies have introduced me to one of their favorite current songs, 6'-2" by Marie Miller, who I discovered is a lovely folk Christian artist from Virginia, and attended Christendom. I've been teaching her song to my students, and it's been wonderful to sing this sweet tune. I introduced the gals to my favorite Colbie Caillat songs, Brighter Than the Sun, Bubbly and Fallin' for You, and we've learned three patriotic songs, three traditional hymns, and are working on four Christmas songs among our repertoire. It's been a delight to have extra singers along, so a total of five voices and three guitars. I love to have others playing a singing. It a joy to teach my western guitar picking and strumming and tips and tricks to a new generation.

So, as I close down the technology for the evening, I leave you with this lovely video of Marie Miller and the song we've come to love and sing each week.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Bliss

Where do I begin…..my wish is to stay comfortably in bed, with my coffee and any of the several good books I’m reading….All. Day. Long.   That would be heaven to me!   It is bright and sunny and inviting out…yes, and two festivals, for which I’m torn between, are in motion ….one right here in town, and the other out of town at my children’s college.  I must go to the college ArtFest as my oldest son has a booth and his art on display, and for sale today.  It’s been a while since I ventured to the campus, and they have redone so much of it, I’m interested to see the new and vast updates.

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But not all is bliss on the home front…..unfortunately while I stay snuggled in comfort and wishful thinking…..my husband stresses every day now since his employer of 37 years passed away (in March).   While the news seemed uplifting at first, (the company was left to my husband and four other employees, and there’s stock, etc.), it couldn’t be more stressful and difficult.  The lone survivor, a cousin, who became executor of the estate and part owner of the business, has made himself president of the company and is making all decisions and going through the money quite quickly.  It’s very heartbreaking and while my husband has spoken to several lawyers, it’s of course, costing us money, without much result of stopping this….no real changes can be made while in probate….and the probate process will take quite a while….at least and year and half, up to two years to be settled.  Can my husband stick it out that long?  Will the company fold before that?  He has another job lined up in that case.  I know his original employer, a very fine business woman, would have never wanted it to end up this way, although her intentions were very good for her small staff:  basically win-win.  Own the company, the shares, and keep it going, be paid, retain your health insurance, etc.   Or, ask to be bought out.   She set it up, so every one would still either be employed or walk away with revenue to help them move on.    But to get to that point…..and will there be much left after this executor has done his damage to the company? 

So, indeed we could use prayers.  We are trying to keep our heads up and be optimistic that it isn’t as bad as we think….but, all the signs are there, a paper trail of written checks, and decisions made, minus the other part-owners of the company. 

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On a brighter note, our bible study starts this week, and my husband and I could really use the support and prayer time together and with others.  We have two wonderful birthdays to celebrate, my own youngest son’s, and my mother's!  AND our wedding anniversary, soon arriving……So, hopefully this week will add some cheer to our otherwise stressful lives at the moment!

So, yes……why I would yearn to just stay in the comfort of bed with a good book and a good cup of coffee…..and say some prayers of both gratefulness for all God has blessed us with as a married couple, and in hopefulness of what He has in store for us.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Last Day of Summer…

Oh, how I dread seeing that in print!  How I long for more summer…but I will say this month, this very transitional month has been very lovely indeed, peaceful, and beautiful.  The September air is so fresh and fragrant, and how I love to be out in nature with my children.  The beginning of our home school venture, 19 years ago, began with a Charlotte Mason bend to it, and that has never left us.  I believe children do best with plenty of out doors, exploring and exercise, authentic literature whenever possible and true education, (versus trendy), classical education integrated fully with the teachings of Christianity.  I have found that wonderful blend of Charlotte Mason, true education and classicism with Mother of Divine Grace.  It is brilliant and provides a quality classical education in the home, as well as accountability and an accredited transcript.  Even more excellence: Modg has their own chapter of the National Honor Society for which one of my children is eligible with his 4.0 GPA.  We are very excited about The Pope Leo XIII chapter of NHS.   It’s wonderful how home school study programs just keep getting better and better.

And so today as we bid farewell to Summer, we also celebrate my father in law’s 92nd birthday!   Such longevity, good health and out-living his 8 siblings.  The German heritage and tenacity is certainly persistent in this fellow.  I have always found him to be such a hearty example in both mind, body and soul.  My husband’s family and ancestors are incredible people and I’m so glad to have married into such an excellent clan.  They are an enormous family, extremely prolific and absolutely all related….from here in the Midwest to California, they are one in the same.

Also, keep me in your prayers this Monday,as I do things I need to do, and my son with anxiety must endure.  I pray for his strength and a real miracle that he will stand strong against the anxiety issues he faces, and be courageous and reserved, calm and at peace, that the power of the Holy Spirit and love of Christ will warm and comfort him, and the evil one will not overcome him whatsoever.  In Christ’s name, Amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Three weeks down….who’s counting?

And so here we are approximately thee weeks into our home school, and our co-op.  I made an edit on my Friday Daybook post, as I forgot to include a few important classes the children participate in at our local co-op this year.

First, I want to thank the fine mothers who volunteer to share their talents and know-how for such courses.

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My youngest son is delighting in taking American Sign Language with a real specialist in it.  Two actually.  They are doing such a great job of teaching two groups of K-3rd, and 4-6th. 

This son is also taking an earth Science course, right now covering atmosphere (weather systems); and has learned so much already.

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I somehow forgot to add our oldest son’s ACT Test Prep course to my Friday Daybook ramblings also.  The mother leading this is such an expert in ACT prep.  Her older daughters did AMAZING on the ACT tests, and this mom is using her favorite resource for success for the students and I’m thrilled my son is able to take this class.  I just thought of this course as my son was doing the homework for it, and I was grading it.  I thought how marvelous it is he is doing this and how the instruction will benefit him so much.  I know he can do excellently, IF his anxiety doesn’t get in the way. It likely won’t take place until fall of the next school year. So we have time. Thus far, in home school this son has done very well indeed; an A on his first geometry test,(Euclidean geometry – not just any geometry);  A on first Latin test, A on first religion essay….he’s off to a great start!

His little brother is quick behind on……A on his first Saxon Math test!..and A on his first science test. 

After home schooling for 19 years, it doesn’t get more exciting than this!  It’s really exhilarating (and down right nerdy, eh?) to enjoy and marvel in every detail of their learning.  One is reading Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and one is reading the authentic Iliad, Homer….it thrills my heart with deep satisfaction that they are learning in deep layers and thriving. After all, this is all I do raising our children and teaching them….our life is all about education in this home.

God bless you with a beautiful home school year!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday Daybook

On this lovely feast day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), we find ourselves nearing the end of two weeks of home school.  It has been a rush, to say to the least, but sweet as sweet can be.  I am very grateful for the freedom in this country to keep my children home and educate them in the manner we as parents see suitable; especially as I see the world around us suffering from violence and hatred and war, and huge groups of Christians displaced as refugees.  May our own Mother Teresa intercede before the throne of God for peace and healing to these nations.

So, yes, our home school is moving along – we had our first co-op day yesterday and it was very nice indeed.  I have the privilege of teaching two beautiful twin girls guitar this year (picking up where their former teacher left off).  They are seniors, entirely home schooled and their mother wished for them to continue with their guitar this year before heading off to colleges.  All I can do is make them rock stars, or country maybe  :)  Ha ha…I am terrible at music theory anymore, especially since my eye sight is so bad, so I’m teaching them every strum and pick on the planet, tips and tricks and many many new pop songs, gospel songs, traditional and seasonal. 

So, our actual courses are looking like this:

Sophomore Son’s line-up:

Religion 10 (Sacraments & Apologetics)

Ancient History & Geography with integrated Ancient Literature

Ancient Literature

Jacob’s Geometry (on line class w/LS through Mother of Divine Grace)

Physical Science (BJU high school text, through home school co-op)

Natural History (Science)

Mod Design 1 (programming with Java – on line course)

Cambridge Latin Unit 2

ACT Test Prep (through our co-op)

FIFTH GRADE son

Religion 5 (Faith & Life: Credo)

Saxon Math 65 (w/Adaptation workbook)

Learning Language Arts through Literature (Purple Book) this is great for this son as it is encouraging him to read literature.

Science Concepts & Challenges in Earth Science

Science 4-6th, also at our Co-op

American Sign Language (Co-op)

US History & Geography (& Literature)

Latina Christiana 1

New American Cursive

Fine Arts / Music

We have a full year indeed, but this is all I do.  Educate my children, help at our church educating the children, consult to other families educating their children and participate in our local home school co-op for the sake of educating the children.  Yes, this is all I do!

God bless you with all you need today!