A Lesson on Missions:

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We have a sweet couple at our church who will be going to Lesotho (South Africa) in August to serve as long-term missionaries.  Our homeschool group had an amazing opportunity to research different topics about Lesotho and share an afternoon with Tyler and Rachel.  The kids gave reports on many topics like food, population, education, geography, sports/leisure, etc.  We also got to see lots of cool pictures and try some different foods.  One popular snack that Ryan and I learned about is biltong (similar to beef jerky).

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When the kids were all finished, we got to spend some time chatting with Tyler and Rachel.  The kids (and parents) asked lots of great questions and it was very cool to learn more about their plans!  I really hope that this afternoon will help the kids to feel better connected to Tyler and Rachel so that we can continue to support them and pray for them over the next few years.  Please go to their blog to learn more about their upcoming mission: http://glorifyingsteps.com/.

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I also wanted to share a few pictures from Brendan’s 16th birthday:

S’no Break for Us!

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:) – That is the life of a homeschooler.

We got 14 inches of snow last week and schools have been out since last Thursday!

I did let the boys have Friday off, but we’ve been back to the books since Monday and I have to say that both kids have had a pretty good attitude about it!

Ryan and I have finally reached World War 1 in our history lessons.

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THIS is why I make both boys continue to practice cursive!  I want them to be able to read the many amazing historical documents that are available.

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These are our two current read a louds.  Sergeant York and the Great War is a true story about a hero from World War 1 named Alvin York.

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Tales of Persia is a wonderful about missionary journeys in the early 20th century.  Both books have been excellent so far (My Father’s World always chooses the perfect literature)!

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Our presidential wall continues to grow:

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And Ryan is getting close to finishing Math 7:

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At least I managed to get one picture of Ryan at his desk before he tried to confiscate my camera :) :

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Brendan is doing great too and was lucky to have a few extra days to study for his Biology midterm.  He’s taking a networking class through Alpha Omega and says that he’s learned a lot.  Tomorrow is his 16th birthday (how can that even be possible???) so he gets the day off!

Bible Journaling

Have you seen the new journaling bibles in the stores recently?

It seems to be the latest craze…and I AM LOVING IT :) !  One of my sweet friends showed me one she had started before Christmas and I was hooked.  I love drawing and hadn’t done much of it recently.  Bible journaling has been a fun, creative way to get back into drawing and incorporate art into my quiet time!

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This is the bible that I use.

 

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Journaling bibles have extra space on the pages for note-taking, art, etc.

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I tend to choose a verse or passage that stands out to me and focus on that for my project.

For example:

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I have always loved theses verses from Isaiah (“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint.”) so I decided to draw an eagle soaring above the mountains.  I found a picture of the eagle on Google Images and copied this one.

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I had the idea to draw a lighthouse for this passage and found one online to copy.

 

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Other times, I just picture something in my head and go for it:

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There are also many wonderful websites, blogs, and Facebook pages that offer help.  One of my favorite is Bible Stories From The Heart.  They had a lesson on how to draw this lion with motion:

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If you don’t like to draw, you can also use creative lettering, stickers, washi tape, scrapbooking supplies, or basically anything that you want to!

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If you are unsure about writing/drawing in your bible, you can do your art on a separate piece of paper and then attach into your bible using washi tape.

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Stickers are an easy option – these are from  Dollar Tree!

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You can also find and print out coloring pages from the internet.

 

 

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Or you can just trace and color.

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My sweet friend, Lisa who got me started has started her won blog called Draw Out Your Faith.  She hosts challenges, shares inspiration and ideas, and encourages us “newbies”!

Lisa is much braver than me and actually PAINTS in her bible!

 

She also has an amazing Pinterest page and Facebook group with LOTS of tips and ideas!

Go check them out!!!

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I hope that this post encourages you to be creative with your quiet times.  There are many things that you can do to enhance your time with God including music, photography, art, poetry, and more.

Get out of your comfort zone and re-energize those quiet moments spent with your Heavenly Father!

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Remember that your journaling experience will not look like mine…or Lisa’s…or anybody else’s for that matter.  You do what works for you – what helps you focus on the promises of God -what brings you joy – what you feel led to create or write.

Enjoy :) !!!

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Always Enough

One of my favorite times during the day is sitting out on the screened porch after I get back from walking/jogging in our neighborhood.

It’s a great time because:  a) my workout is over :) and  b) I’m still for a few minutes….really still (because I’m exhausted and still trying to catch my breath, but that’s beside the point – LOL!).

  It’s so peaceful out on my porch.

There’s no phone, no TV, no internet, no endless list of things to do.  Just me and God.  When I’m out there,  I actually sit still long enough to listen to the sounds of nature and watch all of the activity in my backyard.

And, there’s quite a bit going on in our tiny little backyard!

Today I watched the tree branches moving in the breeze.  I heard the leaves rustling.   I saw about eight different species of birds, all coming and going, constantly moving, and rarely ever still.  I watched two squirrels run and chase each other.

I watched those creatures fluttering around, going back and forth constantly and they reminded me,

well…. of me.

I am always thinking about what needs to get done. Multitasking. Taking care of my responsibilities.  I move from one task to the next often without slowing down.  I worry about how fast the time goes and how much more I need to get done.  I wonder if what I’ve done is enough.

And so, just like the animals in my backyard, I flutter around wearing myself out trying to do it all.

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I can totally relate to Martha in the book of Luke as she runs around doing what she thinks is so important.  I love how Jesus says, “Martha, Martha.”

I can just picture him with a loving (yet exasperated expression) on his face.

And I can hear him whisper to me, “Amy, Amy.”

Slow down.”

Choose me first.”

I am all you really need.”

I will meet all of your needs.” (and that includes my kids’ education)

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I know that I’m not alone.

I know that you long to be still too.

That you long for peace.

For quiet.

For hope.

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I can look back over the years and tell you without hesitation that God is enough.

He is always enough.

God has been faithful to meet out needs day in and day out.

I am so thankful that I can know without a doubt that He will continue to do so!

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(Pictures from when we started homeschooling in 2011 – we’re still going strong, and that’s proof enough for me!):

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I am super excited to announce that I have been given the honor of blogging for HEAV again this year as they prepare for the 2016 convention.

Registration is now open!

I will be giving away a FREE full family registration on February 25th so stay tuned for details on how to win this FABULOUS prize!!!

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HEAV is also hosting a Facebook party tonight that you don’t want to miss:

Happy New Year!

How can the first week of 2016 almost be over already??? 

So much for my New Years resolution of blogging more – LOL!

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and enjoyed spending time with family and friends, celebrating the birth of our Savior, and (of course) sharing gifts and eating way too many goodies :) !

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