Thursday, December 31, 2009

Who are you?

Life lessons are those things that God allows us to encounter along life's path that teach us a profound lesson that we need to know.  These lessons will help us later on in life if we learn from them.  They can come in the form of a direct impact on our lives or in the form of an example set before us (you know, this is what we don't do...type example).  We as a family had one of those life lessons recently.  Thankfully it was in the form of an example, not a direct impact on us.  The result had direct impacts on us but the lesson within was a good example of how we should behave.

As some of you may know we had to put our old dog Heidi down in November.  She was a German Shepherd and 14, which is very old for a German Shepherd.  She was a loving, loyal, kind dog who loved "her people".  It seemed most of the time she would do just about anything to please her people.  We hated to see her go.

We also had a cat who belonged to Chris before I came along and stole his heart!  Flash was 18, very cantankerous and ornery.  Chris was the one Flash trusted the most.  Anyone else he would hiss, and run from them.  He was having some health issues, had high blood pressure and had gone blind.  We had to say good bye to him this morning. 

With there being such a stark difference between Heidi and Flash (except for the obvious : dog vs cat) we chose to use this as an opportunity to examine ourselves.  Who are we when we meet or encounter people?  What type of person am I?  Are the contents of my heart what people see or hear?  Most importantly are they what Christ would like to hear?  Do I show Christ to others or do they see Lyn's efforts?

This week in my quiet time I found myself in Ephesians chapter 4. These verses came back to my mind today as we were discussing this life lesson we had before us:

Ephesians 4:21-32 (New International Version)

21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
 25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26"In your anger do not sin"[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
 29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

John 13:34-35 (New International Version)

 34"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

One nice thing about this command is that regardless of what we do, God still loves us unconditionally.  We may not always like a person or like what they have done.  Regardless of the circumstances God commands us to love them.  Even when they hurt us.  Sometimes that is hard to do isn't it?  So I challenge you, are you easy to love?  Or do you make it hard for people to love you?   Are you able to forgive and love when someone hurts you?  Something to think about, I know I am.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Schoolhouse Store has another great offer you cannot pass up!  Not only are they offering the $7.95, 1-year subscription and the $12.94, 1-year subscription plus current issue (U.S. only), we are also offering these 4 free gifts from the summer promotion:
·         Greenleaf Press - Handwriting by George
·         Sue Gregg - Cooking with Children CD
·         Daystar - $10 Gift Certificate
·         Wikki Stix – Sample of six different Wikki Stix and activity booklet.

What a great offer this is!  I cannot say enough about The Schoolhouse Magazine and how much it has to offer the homeschooling family.  It has been a blessing to me the 2 1/2 years I have subscribed to it.  There is always something that I can use or apply to our homeschool.  I can always find word of encouragement and wisdom from the editors of TOS.  Take advantage of this great offer right now so you can receive The Schoolhouse Magazine and these 4 free gifts! 

Check out this After Christmas Sale at The Schoolhouse Store!

Check out The Schoolhouse Store!  They are running a new contest . . . 11 winners per day for 6 days starting December 26! Each day, the first 10 customers in the store to purchase $15 or more win a gift package worth $122.38. In addition, the biggest ticket of the day will win the same gift package.
The gift package includes:
·         And Then Mama Said . . . It Takes Time to Learn to Read—value = $9.95
·         Homeschooling Methods—value = $14.99
·         Publisher's choice of a TOS audiobook—value = $17.95 
·         Daystar Gift Certificate—value = $10.00
·         Greenleaf Handwriting by George—value = $10.00
·         Sue Gregg Cooking with Children CD—value = $10.00
·         2-year TOS Magazine subscription—value = $39.00
·         Sir Kendrick & the Castle of Bel Lione from Perfect Praise Publishing—value = $8.99
·         The Mitten book—value = $1.50
Total value = $122.38
Besides the 11 winners per day, the store has over 38 vendors participating in a HUGE sale. Over 200 items will be marked 20%-50% off. If your looking for something to use this next semester you better hurry, the sale ends December 31!

Monday, December 28, 2009

So when do I start walking again?

Let me just say that I have eaten so much lately!  One of my goals for 2010 is to loose some weight!

I wanted to bake so bad this Christmas and give some to our neighbors.  At first I didn't thaink I was going to get to bake much at all, well, I did.  I baked and baked and baked!  Thankfully as were my original intentions I was able to give some to our neighbors and we got to meet our new neighbors as well.  That was a blessing! But not only did I bake, but a dear friend of mine baked some goodies an brought them to us!  They were soo good and sooo many to try.  I had to try atleast one of each kind...   Then my sweet Momma baked a carrot cake and magic cookie bars....Mmmmmmm!  It was all sooo good and I couldn't keep my hands out of the platters!  Well hopefully in the next week or two my walking buddy and I can hit the trail and walk some of this extra weight off.

Chris took some time off from work last week, it is always so nice to have him home!  Today was our first day with him back at work, boy did we miss him!  Here I am trying to get him to take another day off this week.  We spent a lot of our time resting, playing games, and watching movies.  There was probably plenty that needed to be done but we let it go and spent some good quality time together.  I love it when the three of us spend time together, it blesses me so much.  Especially when Riley would rather stay home than be out somewhere, that lets me know we are doing something right.

This week I have a list of things that I need to try to get done before we start school back up.  I have accomplished one of them, I started a quilt!  I have wanted to start quilting and kept putting it off for no good reason really.  My mother had given my some "fat quarters" of red, white and blue plaid and striped material.  We both thought it would make a nice quilt for Riley, it has that boyish look about it.  So I found what looked to be an easy block to make.  It is a 9" square block.  So far so good.  I cut it all out yesterday and sewed the first 5 blocks together today.  I notice something didn't look right when the blocks were not the same size...I had misread the instructions and cut one set of blocks too big.  That's O.K., it's an easy fix, all I have to do is cut them down to the correct size.  I got that done and sewed them back together this evening.  Woohoo!  I got my first quilt block started!  I'll have to post pictures later.

Next I have some serious cleaning and organizing to do in various places in our home.  I guess tomorrow will be a good day to start.  Our master bedroom is first on the list.  This is a daunting task but has to be done.  It has become our catch all room since we had our carpets cleaned a couple of months ago.  It will be good to have it done though. 

My goal for the new year is always to get organized to some degree and somewhere along the path I either forget or give up.  I hope this year is different.  So far so good.  I guess maybe I need to be thankful for having accomplished one item on my list, shouldn't I?  I am, but I look forward to accomplishing others!

Have a good night all, I'm off to do some research on quilting.... :-)  Till next time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We are so thankful for this time of year.  It is such a blessing to be with family and friends.  To be with the loved ones in your life that mean a lot to you.  The  most wonderful part is to be able to focus on the One who came to save us all, the miracle of His birth and the wonder of God's miraculous plan.  I am so thankful for my salvation and what Christ has done in my life.  I am thankful for what He has done in my husbands life and the spiritual leader he is in our home.  I am thankful for what Christ is doing in our son's life.

Isaiah 9:2-7

2 The people who walked in darkness
      Have seen a great light;
      Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
      Upon them a light has shined.
       3 You have multiplied the nation
      And increased its joy;[a]
      They rejoice before You
      According to the joy of harvest,
      As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
       4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden
      And the staff of his shoulder,
      The rod of his oppressor,
      As in the day of Midian.
       5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
      And garments rolled in blood,
      Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.
       6 For unto us a Child is born,
      Unto us a Son is given;
      And the government will be upon His shoulder.
      And His name will be called
      Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
      Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
       7 Of the increase of His government and peace
      There will be no end,
      Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
      To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
      From that time forward, even forever.
      The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

His love for each and everyone of us is so vast and powerful, so perfect and free.  He came to us as a child and became man so that He could live among us and teach us His ways.   There is life in this Savior that is free for every single person on this planet.  As we celebrate the birth of our Great Savior, if you do not know Christ, I challenge you to choose Life today. 

John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who soever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones.  I also hope that you find the true Joy that only Christ can offer us through salvation in Him. 

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thankful for Abeka Bible Curriculum

I wanted to take a moment to tell you how thankful I am for our Bible curriculum!  We are using Abeka Bible right now and we thoroughly love it!  Over the last couple of years we have used our Awana program at church as our Bible and that worked really well for us.  I think it really helped build a good foundation for memorization of the verses.  As this past summer rolled around I began to think that Riley needed a little bit more than just what he was learning in the Awana program so I asked around and did some research.  A friend of mine had been using Abeka Bible for few years and was very pleased at what her girls had gleaned from the curriculum.  She was also very pleased with the memorization part of it as well. 
I got out my catalog and started reading to find out what exactly we needed for second grade.  Through Abeka the homeschool family has a choice to either buy the whole Bible curriculum as a kit or to buy each piece separate.  I knew what I wanted in a curriculum and after reading some reviews I decided to put our bible curriculum together on my own. 
Riley had watched the Bible lesson on a DVD at a friends house one day and loved singing with the kids in class.  There was one thing I wanted.  I already knew I wanted the memorization to play a big part in our lessons as well and my friend was right, Abeka covers that area very well.  There was the second item we needed.  The next and most important item I wanted was for Riley to know the Bible and the message behind all the parables and stories.  I am familiar with most of them but feel so inadequate to aptly tell Riley what he needs to know.  I also am the type of person who needs guidance and direction regarding our lessons.  I was concerned that my short attention span would not allow us to follow a good path or finish a topic adequately.  Abeka's bible lessons are written straight from God's word and written in such a way that it makes sense to a child.  Riley has been able to understand some certain aspects that might have been difficult to explain.  There are wonderful picture cards that help tell the story of the lesson.  The pictures are so beautifully painted and detailed.  Each lesson has several songs we can sing from a book or from CD.  There is prayer time, doctrinal drills and Bible verse memorization (in the KJ version).  Then we have our lesson.
Most importantly, Riley loves Bible!  I am so thankful that he finds such enjoyment from our Bible time.  There have been days that he has asked to do more Bible instead of moving on to Math or Phonics.  How can I refuse that?  Learning to know and love God's word is far more important than the other stuff.  It will come and he is doing well so Bible can take over every now and then.
If you are looking for a good thorough Bible curriculum check out what Abeka has to offer.  It might be just what you are looking for.  So far it is for us and we will stick with it for next year as well!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whew!!  I don't know about y'all but I'm tired!  A bit overwhelmed also.  The last month has been a whirlwind of happenings and activity.  It seems like just when I think we have a full day ahead of us where we can really get some "good school" in, something happens that we can't.  Or, we don't get everything done that we intended.  So my question is, is that OK when it happens more often than not?  Or do we need to make some changes?  Where do we need to make changes? 

First it was putting our first dog Heidi down.  Then, the truck needs to be fixed, projects for Scouts are due.  Thankfully some of the projects for Scouts coincided with Science and our study of birds.  That did help some.  Thanksgiving rolled around and I found it a little hard to be thankful except for the break from all the activities.  We didn't even get to finish our Thankfulness chain let alone talk about the items we are thankful for.  Then the following Monday it all starts back up again.  That Monday came with us deciding to get a new puppy.... Don't get me wrong, I love her so much, she is such a sweet dog and very obedient for a puppy.  But wow!  I forgot how much work it is to have a puppy!  Thankfully the woman who had her before had already started potty training her.  Lady has made herself at home in the schoolroom, just like Heidi did.  Lady's place is on the bean bag chair, she curls right up and takes herself a good nap, then when we are done with school, she is ready to play!  Riley has had so much fun with her, he has taken over responsibility of feeding and caring for her.  We hope to get him enrolled in some obedient classes with Lady so he can train her.  It is a blessing to hear him run through the house giggling and laughing as he and Lady play.  We are so glad she is here!

I wanted so much to enjoy this Christmas season and so far it has flown by me!  Of course we are only in the first week so maybe I shouldn't be complaining.  My prayer for our family is that things will slow down some and that we will be able to enjoy the Christmas season some before it is over.  Most importantly that we will be able to focus on the Real Reason for Christmas.  Christ our Savior is the reason for Christmas!  Immanuel has come!