And the Countdown Begins…

It’s here. I can’t believe it.

Brendan started his last year of high school today.

_______________________________________

Here’s our very first day of homeschool seven years ago:

img_1662

img_1660 (1)

And here we are today:

IMG_20170828_152512

IMG_20170828_155753

_________________________________________________

Brendan is taking all dual enrollment courses through Liberty University this year.  This semester he is taking English 101, Math 115, Elements of Earth Science, and Survey of U.S. History.

Get ready, because this year’s blog is going to be very reflective and sappy as I graduate my firstborn 🙂 !

I don’t even have the words to share what I’m feeling today so we’ll go with Plan B.  I shared the following prayer with my homeschool group last week. I think that it may be a blessing to my readers too so I’ll just share this tonight:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the incredible blessing of homeschooling our children!  We realize that not everybody has the freedom or means to keep their children at home and we are so grateful that you have chosen us for this task.

You are the Creator of all Things and we thank you for our amazing world, full of your glory that we get to study and share with our kids. Fill us with awe and wonder as we learn with our families. Help our children to see that everything in the past points to you. That history is actually HIStory…your story!

Father, we feel so unequipped for this task. Please give us wisdom, strength, and courage as we follow your will for our families.  We cannot do this without you! Help us not to compare ourselves with others, but to follow your plan for our individual, unique children. Each one is so special to you and we know that you love them even more than we do. Father, we acknowledge that you have special plans for each child and we pray that you help us guide them on the right path.

I lift up each and every mom and dad in our FAITH group.  Lord, you know the fear and uncertainty that the new homeschoolers are feeling. Please help them to remember that they are not alone. You are beside them every step of the way and our group is here to help them too. Help them to hold on to your promises as they set out on this adventure.  I also pray for the parents who have been at this for years. I know that the newness has worn off and they are tired. Give them a renewed energy and feeling of excitement for the task that is ahead. Father, give each of us the endurance that we need to finish this race well!

I pray for each of our children. First and foremost I pray that they will have a heart for you! I pray that each child will be rooted and established in love. That they may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know that this love surpasses all knowledge. Father, I pray that our kids will have a firm foundation and be built up in you, strengthened in the faith as they were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Finally, Lord I lift up 2017-18 to you.  I am so thankful for FAITH and all that this group has meant to me over the years.  I love each and every one of our FAITH families and am grateful for the friendships that have been formed.  Please bless our year and use our group to further your kingdom. Help us to be a light to our community and to show your love to those around us.

Thank you for being the ultimate Teacher!

In Jesus’ Name I Pray,

 Amen

A Day of Darkness…

…in two completely different ways.

14707953_G

Today was the great solar eclipse and it was also the first day of 9th grade for Ryan!  What 9th grader is ever excited about starting school, especially when it’s still officially summer 🙂 ?

Ryan will be completing Ancient History and Literature using My Father’s World.  He will also be taking Algebra 1, Physical Science, and Spanish 1.  Another year of That Dance Thing (Ryan is thrilled 😉 ) and Guitar will cover his P.E. and Fine Arts credits. Thankfully, Ryan was able to take Driver’s Ed at the end of last year so he’s all finished with that, and in 6 months he’ll be getting his learner’s permit.

img_2956

IMG_20170821_090759

 

img_20170821_0927161.jpg

_____________________________________________________

We also had fun celebrating Ryan’s 15th birthday this weekend.  I CANNOT believe that my “baby” is that old already!  Here are some pics:

________________________________________________

I have to admit that this year is somewhat bittersweet for me.  I no longer get to plan fun hands-on activities or spend lots of time teaching.  We no longer have a cute, decorated schoolroom or do crafts or baking activities together. I have to admit that I miss those days!

But, I still get to be here for my kids, to answer questions and guide their education.  I get to help them navigate high school and begin their college careers.  I get to love them and be their mom! I am so blessed that I still get to have the boys learn at home and spend these exciting, formative years with them. I am thankful!

Life is changing, and although all of these changes are not easy for me as a mom, I know that this is all part of God’s plan and that He is with us each step of the way!

tumblr_inline_n8ubw4jNto1qk3hnj

 

3 Days and Counting!!!

That’s right people 🙂 !

The 2017 HEAV convention starts Thursday!  

IMG_20170605_183223

The handy, dandy rolling cart is out of the attic!

IMG_20170605_183309

My “convention binder” is almost ready to go…

IMG_20170605_183346

…with possible sessions highlighted…

IMG_20170605_183746

…and my volunteer assignment is all set!

I LOVE the convention theme this year:

Building a Strong Foundation

It’s one of the main reasons that we chose to teach our kids at home.  This world that we live in can be a dark and scary place (have you watched the news lately???).  We know that our kids will have to “live in the real world” (yes, we still hear that comment even though both of our boys take classes outside of the home, work in a fast food restaurant with the public, hang out with their friends, and are even allowed outside of our house…gasp – LOL 🙂 ).  We wanted Brendan and Ryan to have time to grow stronger in their faith and know who they were (and Whose they are) before we sent them out into the world.  We wanted them to have a “strong foundation.”

Do we feel like they are totally prepared for life? No way!

Are we completely ready to set them free as they enter adulthood? Nope!

Are we thankful for the extra time we’ve had with them and the chance to build them up in the Lord while they were at home and safe with us? You bet!!!

HEAV 2017

Get ready to be encouraged, strengthened, affirmed, and equipped for your next year of homeschooling!

_________________________________________________________________

Do you love to win prizes as much as I do?  Are you good at taking selfies? Well, look for this logo while you’re at convention:

HEAV Logo

 If you take 10 selfies and post them to social media, you win a prize AND will be entered to win an even bigger prize package!  

Get those smartphones ready and I’ll see you there 🙂 !

Change

changing-times-300x300 - Copy

I am not a big fan of change…just ask my husband 🙂 .  I like routine and predictability. I like to be in my comfort zone…to know what to expect.

But right now I am facing a lot of change.  

Both of my boys are taller than me and don’t need me as much as they used to. They have jobs and our “family time” is much less than it used to be. My youngest is now entering high school and we will no longer sit and learn together as he’ll be doing his work more independently.  I no longer have a school room with fun decorations and shelves full of books and craft projects. My oldest has entered the world of dating (GASP…) and we are learning how to navigate this new season of life. He is also now taking his first online college course and the load is heavy on top of his other responsibilities.

IMG_20170522_162906

It looks so sad and empty!

I have to admit that I feel a bit lost.

My role as a mom and teacher are different than what I’m used to.

_________________________________________________

Life is full of changes. What do we do when we feel like it’s transitioning faster than we’re ready for?

I honestly don’t have the answer to that question, but I can tell you what I’m clinging to. I’m holding on to the fact that God is in control. That He has gone before me and that He has plans for me…”plans to prosper me and not to harm me – plans to give me hope and a future.” I remember the precious memories and growth that I’ve seen over the past few years and trust that there is more to come.

I thank God that He never changes. That He is faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

I choose to look forward to the future with anticipation of what He has planned for our family and thank Him for guiding us each step of the way.

__________________________________________

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…  Ecclesiastes 3:1

********************************************************

Don’t forget that the 2017 HEAV Homeschool Convention is less than three weeks away!

 There are lots of moms and dads there that have lived through many of the changes that I’m facing and I look forward to gleaning some of their wisdom!HEAV 2017