Birthdays, Bible Studies, and Blossoms:

It’s been a busy week!!!

Brendan turned 15 yesterday (I am¬†WAY too young to have a child that old ūüėČ ).¬† We celebrated by opening presents, having a steak dinner (Brendan’s request), and eating an Oreo ice-cream cake (also Brendan’s request).

One of my sweet bible study friends will be turning the big 40 next week, so we¬†had fun celebrating her special day a little early.¬† You’re probably wondering where the “blossoms” part of the title comes in…Ryan and I are learning lots of cool things about flowers and pollination and it went with my “B” theme – enough said ūüôā !

I’ve taken a lot of pictures over the past few days and am way too tired to write a caption for each one, so here’s a slide show:

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Flower Power!

Ryan and I have been enjoying our botany studies and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned so far. ¬†God’s creation is SOOO AMAZING!!!¬† I am so thankful that this science course from Apologia has¬†helped us learn the¬†intricate, fascinating¬†details of seeds, plants, and flowers.

Have you ever thought about how many Bible verses use botany to help us learn about the nature of God? 

Here a just a few:

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.  Isaiah 40:8

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.  Genesis 1:29

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  John 12:24

I just love how God uses His Creation to teach us!!!

IMG_4934IMG_4949IMG_4938¬†This week we got to “dissect” a flower to learn about it’s parts…MUCH nicer¬†(and cleaner)¬†than the frog, cricket, and worm we dissected earlier this year ūüôā !

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¬†One of my homeschooling buddies let us borrow an art DVD by Creating a Masterpiece¬†last week and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!¬†¬†It’s not Ryan’s favorite subject, but he’s done very well.¬† I, however have had a blast taking the¬† course with him since I enjoy drawing!

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We’ve got a few more touch ups to make, but I think they’re turning out pretty good!¬† The teacher, Sharon Hofer breaks each lesson down into small, easy manageable segments that make learning easy.¬† I’m hoping to pick up a few more DVD’s at the conference in June.

Speaking of the 2015 HEAV Conference ūüôā , I will be giving away a FREE Family Registration to this year’s conference on Friday, February 20th!¬† Stay tuned for details on how to enter the drawing for the give away!!!

Lilies of the Field, Matthew 6:28 And why do you worry about clothes?

Courtship and Dating:

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Last week Justin and I took Brendan (who is almost 15) to a Courtship and Dating Seminar sponsored by HEAV (Home Educators Association of Virginia).

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Anne Miller (who is the President of HEAV) shared her family’s experiences of courtship with her 8 children (the oldest 6 are now happily married).

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If you had mentioned the word “courting” to me a few years ago, I would have immediately thought of Little House on the Prairie…plus, I would have thought you were crazy ūüôā !

Well, just like God changed my mind about homeschooling, He is now helping us to consider the concept of courting verses dating.

 

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So what exactly does it mean to court?

* Here’s¬†how¬†Merriam-Webster defines the term:

court (verb)    

: to act in a way that shows that you want or intend to get married

:  to seek the affections of; especially :  to seek to win a pledge of marriage from
:  to engage in social activities leading to engagement and marriage
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So, how about the definition of dating?

date (verb)

: to do an activity with someone you have might have a romantic relationship with : to go on a date or several dates with (someone)

:  to go out on usually romantic dates
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Interesting definitions aren’t they????

 
To court someone means that your intention is to possibly marry the person, while dating involves “doing an activity with someone you might have a romantic relationship with.”
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The two forms of getting to know a person have completely different end goals!

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Courtship or “dating with a purpose” doesn’t occur until the young people involved are ready for marriage (emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc.).¬† There is a lot of family involvement¬† which helps to provide protection and accountablilty.¬† Each couple has different needs so¬†each courtship may look different, but the main goal¬†is to seek the Lord’s will for the relationship.¬† The families and the couple work together to determine the boundaries that feel right for them and hopefully the relationship will progress to a Godly marriage.
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Now, obviously we as parents cannot (nor do we want to) force our boys to choose courtships over dating.  There are pros and cons to both types of relationships. We are researching the differences, praying about what God wants for our family, and will offer guidance as needed.
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Here a some of the Pitfalls of Dating shared during the seminar:
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Courtship¬†doesn’t come with a guarantee either:

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Some of the resources that Anne suggested:

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It’s a lot to think about and we certainly don’t have it all figured out yet!¬† I hope that if nothing else, this post will get your family talking about your goals and expectations for your teen’s future relationships.¬† Pray about it.¬† Read God’s word.¬† And buckle up :), because it will be here before you know it!!!

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I found this amazing website (part of Focus on the Family) while I was doing some research.  The relationship section has lots of helpful information!

Click on the picture below to check it out:

Boundless