Blast to the Past!

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I thought my boys were getting tall…until they stood beside a life-size replica of Goliath – WOW!!!

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Last week, over 400 kids and 200 volunteers participated in Vacation Bible School at our church!  This year’s theme was Blast to the Past and the kids learned about the character of God through lessons from the Old Testament.  Each day the kids went to crafts (where they helped with mission projects), music, recreation, story time, and class time. 

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This was Ryan’s first year working as a group leader.  He said that his group of first and second graders were a handful :) !  Brendan actually ended up being a group leader in my class again and did a great job!  We had some challenging kids, but it was a good learning experience about how important it is to show God’s love to those that are hurting.

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IMG_7987IMG_7971IMG_7974IMG_7985IMG_7984IMG_7986VBS-Lucas_N_2015-06-25_11-09-14 (2)This was my 15th year of helping with our church’s VBS!  If that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what will- LOL!

As tiring as it can be, I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

I love seeing the excitement and joy on the children’s faces…it’s contagious!

And the smiles, laughter, fun, friendships, learning, and love are PRICELESS!!!

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I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus last week….

***With everything that is going on in our nation lately, it is CRUCIAL that we teach our children that God’s word is TRUTH and He NEVER changes!

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Even though I knew this was coming, I am sad.

I am sad for our country.

I am sad about the world that my boys have to grow up in.

I am sad because I know this breaks God’s heart….

BUT,

… we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

(Psalm 46)

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Never forget:

Renewed JOY!

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Yesterday afternoon I sat in a packed room and watched tears roll down the faces of tired, discouraged homeschool moms who were desperately looking for encouragement and hope that this journey of homeschooling is worth all of the sacrifices and struggles that they face every day.

The session, led by Todd Wilson (The Family Man) was titled, “How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Giving Up”….and it was JUST what I needed to hear.

You see, I was one of those moms (with tears in their eyes) looking for reassurance that I’m not alone in feeling tired and defeated some days.

Or like I’m failing my kids. Or that I’ve lost my joy.

Or that this is too hard…

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The whole weekend was a breath of fresh air.  I was surrounded by like-minded families who get us (really get us).  They understand the fears and frustrations, the joy and triumphs; the thrill of knowing that homeschooling is God’s plan for your family, and the terror that you’re doing something wrong.  Most importantly, these families know that we’re all in this together as we cling on to the promise that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

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This was my 5th HEAV convention and it feels like home now :) .  I don’t know where I’d be without the support and encouragement from this amazing organization!  I know that I say this every year, but I always leave the weekend refreshed and encouraged with renewed passion for why we do what we do.

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I was amazed and inspired as I listened to the testimony of Steve Scheibner, the American Airlines pilot who was originally scheduled to be the First Officer on Flight 11…September 11th, 2001.  The day that changed everything.

Click here to see his family’s story – I promise you this 15 minute video will touch your heart!

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I learned how vital it is teach our children a biblical worldview from a session by Ken Ham, the CEO of Answers in Genesis.

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I met new people, enjoyed fellowship with precious friends, and so much more…

I still need some time to process everything and think about what God wants me to share with you guys, so for now I’ll just end with a slideshow.

More thoughts to come soon :)

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Joy in Painting!

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What a FUN night!!!

The women’s ministry at my church hosted a Joy in Painting party last night and I loved it!  We heard a beautiful testimony and then got to work.  A Toast to Canvas was the company that taught us and they did a great job.  There were FIFTY ladies taking the class and I know they had their hands full with us, but they were good sports :) !

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ONLY TWO MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Speaking of art :) , here is one of the AMAZING vendors that will be at the convention (I did a review for them last year):

 Creating a Masterpiece

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The Creating a Masterpiece vendors were so sweet and helpful and they offered me a free DVD in exchange for a review of their program.  I chose the “Tropical Clown Fish” – Lessons with Colored Pencils since we already had the supplies on hand.  All that is needed are six different colored pencils (Prismacolor brand is preferred), Bristol (or other high quality art paper) paper, and a pencil.  How simple is that?!?

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One of the most amazing things about this program are that it’s like having your own private art teacher in the comfort of your own home.

Each art lesson is taught by Sharon Hofer, an internationally known professional artist and teacher.  She has a sweet demeanor and does a wonderful job of creating excitement about the masterpiece that you are creating!  Click here to watch a sample video.

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The art lessons include various mediums such as colored pencils, pastels, acrylic painting, silk painting, charcoal, copper tooling, sculpture, and more!  Creating a Masterpiece is now offering a monthly or yearly (unlimited) membership.

Be sure to stop by their booth and see what they have to offer!

We Survived Year 4…

…and we’re still standing :) !

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Day before starting the 6th grade

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Last day: 5-29-15

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At the beginning of 9th grade

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Now officially a sophomore!

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I am very proud of both boys for all of their hard work and perseverance.  High school isn’t easy, but Brendan really stepped up to the plate (and then knocked it out of the park)!  I was pleasantly surprised by his maturity and responsibility this year :) .

Ryan also did very well and has matured a lot since we started four years ago.  I’m so thankful that I still get to “do school” together and that I get to learn right along with him.

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Over the past few weeks we have been busy!  We took a field trip to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, finished up classes and went to a luncheon at Arete, volunteered at church making Vacation Bible School CD’s, hosted a middle and highschool curriculum fair, and picked up Brendan’s DMV study book for getting his lerner’s permit (which is less that 4 weeks away!!!!!).

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Convention is only 5 days away!!!

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I’ve finished labeling and sorting all of our items for the Used Curriculum Sale, pulled out my favorite rolling cart, organized my convention binder, and am in the process of making my shopping list!

I am soooooo excited :) !!!

 

Review: Who is God (and How Can I Really Know Him?)

As a blogger for HEAV, I was thrilled to recently have the opportunity to review Who is God and Can I Really
Know Him
?
  from Apologia Educational Ministries.  We have used and LOVED several books and resources by Apologia and I am so excited that they will be at the HEAV Convention again this year!

We were blessed to receive a beautiful hardback copy of the Who is God? textbook (252 pages) and a Student notebooking journal (261 Pages) in an exchange for our review.  The textbook retails for $39.00 and the notebooking journal retails for $27.00.  Both are recommended for children ages 6-14.

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Ten lessons (chapters) in Who is God? cover the following topics:

Lesson 1: Where am I building my life?

Lesson 2: How can I know what’s true?

Lesson 3: What is God like (Part 1)?

Lesson 4: What is God like (Part 2)?

Lesson 5:  Who are God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

Lesson 6:  If God created the world, why isn’t it perfect?

Lesson 7: Why did God create me?

Lesson 8: Will God meet all my needs?

Lesson 9: Why does sin keep me from knowing God?

Lesson 10: Is Jesus the only way to God?

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The notebooking journal is spiral bound with nice, thick pages and beautiful color pictures.  Notebook activities include putting together “mini books”, cursive practice, games, copywork, and more!

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A sample lesson plan schedule, including 52 lessons is provided in the beginning of the notebook journal.  We worked on the lessons about three days a week for the purpose of our review, but the plan is completely flexible and can be adapted easily to any schedule.

Although, it is possible for an older student to complete the reading and lessons independently, personally I feel that it’s better to go through the lessons together so the parent can discuss the topics with their child and answer any questions that may arise.  We would read a portion of each lesson and then Ryan would complete a notebook assignment to help him retain what we had covered.  The notebooking journal is not essential, but it is a nice addition to the study.

There are some great hands-on activities included in the textbook.  For example, one activity is making brownies from scratch to reinforce the fact that God created the world and everything in it.  Just like brownies don’t make themselves, our world also has a creator!

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Who is God? is an excellent resource for helping your children understand what (and why) we believe about God as Christians.  The book also does a wonderful job explaining different worldviews.  Even though the recommended age range is 6-14, I think that it’s most appropriate for upper elementary and middle school.  Some of the concepts are hard to understand (even for adults) so I would definitely recommend going through the book with your child.

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I am very thankful for a company that knows the importance of teaching our children a Christian worldview!

Who is God? is actually the first book in the What We Believe series:

  1. Who Is God (And Can I Really Know Him?)
  2. Who Am I (And What Am I Doing Here?)
  3. Who Is My Neighbor (And Why Does He Need Me?)
  4. What On Earth Can I Do?

I was impressed enough by Who is God? that I will be buying Who Am I (And What Am I Doing Here?) so that we can continue the series!

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If you are in need of a resource to help your children understand more about their Heavenly Father, then Who is God? may just be what you’re looking for!

But don’t just take my word for it, look at the awards the series has received:

Awards the What We Believe Series has won

Be sure to stop by Apologia’s booth in the vendor hall at the 2015 HEAV Convention and check it out for yourself!

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