Wednesday, July 27, 2016

16 Years and yet...

So I had to use math to figure out that I have been homeschooling for 16 years. That seems crazy to me, but when I look at my children, I see that most of them are either adults or very close to being there. I have two graduates, and three in school this September. They will be in 8th, 10th, and 12th. I can't believe I am going to have another senior, and I can't believe I am almost done homeschooling my third child. I simply do NOT know where the time went. It feels as though it flew away so quickly.

I wonder, as most homeschooling mothers wonder, did I do enough? The answer (to me anyway), is probably not, but God is able to do more than we ask or think, and His plans are perfect. I regularly feel like I am not doing enough, but I know that most homeschool mothers think this way. I know that most of us struggle with the time that is given to us - and those of us (like me) that work from home, it is doubly so. I am *so* grateful for my ability to work from home, but it is still hard, and does take its toll. I am not complaining, just being honest.

I have a hard time looking at old photos as I see the changes that have so swiftly taken place. I have become that mom that shares with her younger mom friends, "Love those babies! Enjoy this time! Don't worry about the laundry!" The older I get, the faster it goes. So I resolve to have a good year, but I feel that I don't really know how to do that very well. I am struggling to get it all together even though I have some really awesome curriculum to use this year. I am so blessed with what we have. I wonder if *I* am able. Do you ever wonder that?

I know that God is able. I know that He is able to come along beside me and help me to be who He needs me to be.

"If we must come to Him for the small things and can be assured of His wise provision, how much more can we bring to God the "big" things and be assured that the same wise Father is at work?"

I read that today, from this article. What a powerful message - that we are dependent on God for every single thing - every single day!

This really hit me:

"On the journey through the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land, daily dependence on God's provision was the way of life of God's people.

What the Israelites -- about two million men, women, and children continually on the move for forty years -- needed for each day, came that day, and was enough for that day. No Israelite could hoard the leftovers, because as they soon learned, they would be stinking and worm-infested the next day."

I get worried that I won't be enough; that I won't be able to plan in the right way, or do the right work. But maybe it isn't supposed to be planned out every day. Maybe I need to trust that God has us well in hand, all the time, each and every day - just like He has for the last 16 years.

I want to remember that this last year is a gift. That I will never have this time again. I don't want to waste it.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."
(James 1:17)

I saw this on Facebook the other day, and saved it. I don't know who created it, but I loved it. I hope it helps you too. God is able. Always.


Monday, July 11, 2016

24 years

24 years ago, I was just about ready to walk down the aisle with my father, to embark on the greatest adventure of my life with the young man who'd become my best friend. We had no idea what the next 24 years would look like, but we were committed to experiencing it together. By God's grace, we're here today with five amazing children, one awesome son-in-law, and a deeper love and faith than we'd ever imagined. Looking back, I'd not trade a moment of it - not any of it. God is ever faithful and His love is everlasting. The happiest anniversaries to you, Mark. You are deeply loved.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

You Hold it ALL, Lord!

Today, I discovered that the Newsboys have a new album. This song in particular, spoke to my heart today. This is the amazing Sovereign I serve. I am so very grateful He rules the world.


From the highest of mountains
To the depths of the sea
From the planets in motion
To the breath that we breathe
From the womb of the barren
To the rich and the poor
To the dreams of the orphan
Every heart beat is Yours
You hold it all
(Every mountain, every valley)
You hold it all
(Every tear drop, every heartbeat)
In my weakness
You’re my victory
In my sickness
You surround me
I believe that You hold it all
It’s in the roar of the lions
It’s in the wind and the waves
It’s in the glory of sunrise
And the lives that You change
You stand alone in splendor
You reign in majesty
Your hands formed all creation
Your hands are holding me
You are my hope forever.

(Copyright, Newsboys.)

Sunday, May 01, 2016

#DeltaDays

This past weekend begins our many spring and summer weekends visiting our favorite place. This is one of the reasons - big sky. It is just so peaceful. Click to enlarge to see how really lovely it is. :)




Friday, April 22, 2016

Bach - Prelude

If you have not had your daily dose of beauty, here you go. This piece always moves me, and it never gets old. Oh to be able to play this on any instrument. What a gift.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

HomeschoolDiploma.com - A Review

Exclusive High School Diploma Review

It is almost graduation time again for many families, and I was given the opportunity to review some amazing products from HomeschoolDiploma.com. The best and most exciting thing to me was the Exclusive High School Diploma, that I was able to order for my own son.

Once you decide which diploma selection you wish to purchase, the process is easy, and you have some neat choices to make the diploma your own. The Exclusive High School Diploma ($48.99) comes with a deluxe padded cover with various choices for its design. The center seal on the diploma itself is the first thing you select in the list of choices. What do you want it to look like?

There are four seals to choose from that go in the center of your diploma:

 "Christian Education" Engraved Seal


 "Soli Deo Gloria" Engraved Seal
 "Classical Education" Engraved Seal
 "Private Education" Engraved Seal


Because I just love the "Five Solas" that underlie our faith, I selected that one.

Then you add the name of your student and make sure you select their correct gender as the wording further down will address this on the diploma. You will add the name of your school and the city and state (if you wish). You will also be asked if you have the authority to issue the diploma. I thought that was interesting. I know each state has their own rules, but you will need to authorize that you can, indeed, issue it.

Then you select the wording you want on the diploma. This was really neat. You can choose a number of different things that reflect what your school stands for, and whether or not your student is an honor student. I liked these choices and we selected this wording:

With thanks to God and in acknowledgment of His enabling grace, we joyfully present

(My son's full name.)

with his diploma. It is the culmination of his High School education,
a milestone at which we recognize his many accomplishments, and evidence
that he has fulfilled all requirements for graduation.

Then you select whether or not you want a verse or a school or family motto on the diploma. Some of these are included in the price, and some are extra (depending on whether or not you use the standard selections.) I liked that this was a choice.

You will provide the graduation date and then the signature lines. You can have your school principal or headmaster, or some other administrator's name and/or date lines on there. It is nice to have two so that you can have both parents sign it, or one for a signer and the other for a date line. Either way, these are your choices.

You have a choice of paper for the diploma: Ivory Parchment or Cream Colored Stock. Both are nice and the finished document on the parchment we received was just beautiful. You also select the font and have two choices: Printed Gothic (which is free) or Hand Calligraphy ($10.50 extra). This is what they look like:


I would have liked to have had another choice or two with fonts as there are just so many available these days. We selected Printed Gothic. If your child was an honors student, there is an honors gold sticker option that is $2.95 extra.


The padded covers are lovely and come in a variety of color choices: black, navy, royal blue, red, white, green, maroon, and purple. You can select the seal for the cover of that as well. I chose the Soli Deo Gloria cover in gold foil with black background. It is gorgeous! You can choose a lot of different cover options. You can also personalize the cover with your student's name for $14.50 extra.

This is our finished diploma:


Once you fill in all those selections, you can then check out, or see the other high quality items they sell, and add them to your list! Do you need graduation announcements or invitations? They produce some very professional and beautiful ones you can with many different designs and choices for your school and student! They also sell graduation apparel and class rings. Need a cap and gown for the big day? HomeschoolDiploma.com is really a one-stop shop for all your family's graduation needs.

We were very pleased with both the quality of the finished diploma and the padded cover. I am excited to be able to present it when the time comes!

If you are in need of a gorgeous diploma for this year, HomeschoolDiploma.com is an awesome choice! If you will need it in the future, follow them on their social media outlets!


To read what others had to say about their own experiences with this company, click the link below.

Demme Learning's Math-U-See Review
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Studying Geologic Regions of North America

How many of you can name all eight regions, or outline them? I couldn't! So on page 39, of BiblioPlan's Early Modern History (or Year 3), the authors focus on Geographic Regions of North America. I wanted a physical study of this for my kids so I began with this map:

Map Location
I printed this out for my kiddos and then I made and printed this notebooking page:
Then, we watched a series of brief videos I found on Youtube that describe each region and show photos of the region. I had the kids trace and label each region and take notes on each one. Here are the videos in order of region:


They all start out with the same music so you can skip to 20 seconds in if you want to skip the music as it gets a little annoying after a while. As we watched these, and took notes on what features each region had, we discussed who we knew in each of those regions and whether my children had been to one or more of them. My children have traveled with their grandparents to various parts of the country so it was fun to discuss this with them. They have been to more than I have!

Tomorrow we will focus on states and regions in the country using a pad of tear-off USA maps (aff) similar to this one. I had them label all the states and tomorrow we will go through this video I found on Youtube to discuss North American Physical Geography, Part 1. I will have them label the different aspects of the USA as we watch. I also used this because it defines the regions a little bit differently (Regions of the US). We will follow through with Part 2. It is a very simple way to expose the kids to regions and geographic areas of the country that adds to their BiblioPlan study. I hope will be a fascinating geography unit!