Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why We Home-Educate

Every Family Is Different.
Every Parent Is Different.
Every Child Is Different. 

The beautiful complexities of family living; 
the gorgeous intricacies of how a parent is perfectly suited to meet every need of each specific child.
How the personalities all mesh. 
How strengths and weaknesses grind together as iron sharpens iron.
It's so wonderful!

This, my friends, is my firm belief. 
I really, honestly believe that no one can teach my children as well as I can. I don't think anyone has pieces of the same DNA that my children do, like I do. I don't believe anyone on this earth can be as connected to them as I am. I understand there are exceptions to this... but this post is about why we homeschool... so I can rant about whatever I want :)

Reason #1: No one can teach my children as well as I can. 
I know my Ahavah sounds out words to read them. 
My Alecia memorizes words and then can fly through a story. 
My Hayven likes to act things out with play and often needs to reinforce things she learns in several different ways to fully understand something. 
My Elias likes wheels, needs to be active, and loves Little Pim videos! He hates reading, unless there are cars in the book. 

All my kids take to music very well! Anything put to song they soak it up. When I speak to any of my children, I have great influence over them. They respond to me and have a relationship with me they can not have with anyone else on this planet! It's so awesome!

Reason #2: My husband's biggest reason is that he HATES how schools nowadays teach. He hates the whole relativistic worldview. He hates how we are taught to accept everything and stand for nothing. He just dropped out of a "history class", which was more of a religion class, where the professor actually said, 
"We won't be using any textbooks in this class." 
"There are no 'facts' in history." 
"I won't be teaching any of that Founding Father garbage."!!!! 
My husband keeps up on what schools are teaching children. Did you know only 50% of children in Saint Paul graduate high school?!

Reason #3: We can allow our kids to go at their own pace. I've seen a lot of parents use this as their excuse to slack off in homeschooling and we are very cautious NOT to do that. 

In fact, my twins are 4 years old, and they are right now about 1/2 way through kindergarten. They are reading basic easy reader books. They are brilliant at Math! They are taking a science, history, and handwriting class also. We're starting them on the piano this coming year. My twins should only be just going into preschool learning letters and colors... 

Now my Hayven just turned 3 and she is 1/2 way through her second year in preschool. She knows all her letters, how to count, all her colors, and more! She shouldn't even be starting kindergarten until about 2 years from now (since her birthday is in December)

Reason #4: Flexibility with Time. We are able to travel (which we do several times a year). We are able to stay out until 3am in the middle of the week if we want to. We are able to do our school in the morning (which we usually do), or we can do it in the afternoon, or the evening if dad wants to participate in something. We can accomplish 5 days worth of school into 4 days and have a 3 day weekend. We can take months off and do school year round, or we can follow what other kids do and take summers off. We can take a sick day none of my kids will miss anything.

Reason #5: We can teach the Bible and raise them doing ministry. We all do devotions together in the morning and study a chapter a day of a book and plow through books of the Bible. Each kid reads the Bible in school once a year. We memorize scripture and practice this every day. We pray in the morning, during school, at meals, at night as a family. We bring our kids to the church building to set up, to peoples house to minister and fellowship, to the church coffee house for feasts and things. They serve along side us picking up trash, watching and playing with other children, or in whatever capacity they can. 

My kids have seen more of this country then met high school students. I hope we can go on missions trips in the future and they can see places all around the world. 

Yes, I think it would be so much easier to simply send them on the school bus and have the day to myself. 
Yes, there are days when I want to quit. 
It's a lot of work
But, really, what could be more important?!? 
I can't think of a single thing. 
I am going to die and there is no amount of money I can earn that will make any sort of difference in this world. 
No song I write is going to be sung for hundreds of years. 

BUT the investment I make on a daily basis of pouring my all into my children will last! 
It will last for as long as I live. 
It will be with them their whole lives. 
They will raise their children with how I raised them imbedded in them. 
Their children's children will do the same.
 Not to mention the treasures I am storing up in heaven leading my little lamb's hearts to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Teaching them how to pray. 
Showing them how to deal with hardships and trails. 
Showing them how to fight for the helpless and the outcasts. 
Equip them with diligence and a solid work ethic that they can take with them in any avenue of their life. 

Oh, weary mom!
Remember THIS!
Hold onto this!
This world comes up against homeschooling so much. 
Don't believe the lies! 
Keep pouring yourself out like a drink offering unto the Lord and into your precious little lambs. 
Daily lead them beside still waters.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Much about Nothing

JUST kidding... it's my little brother!

This is me and my littlest sibling Aaron Matthew. This is only the second time I have held him and he's four months old! He has finally been released from the hospital this last week. I want SO badly to be there to hold him and kiss him!!!

Here is my sisters and I with AaronMatthew. 

Nana (Grandma) having a craft time for the grandkids and kids. 

My little sister enabling my little brother to paint all over himself...

My husband and I.

 Yes I crafted too!

Hayven my 3rd painting away!!

Eating at a GREAT corner shop in Detroit. I forgot what it was called...

... but we were definitely the center of attention there... and pretty much everywhere we go where dad lives...
I was able to assist in leading worship at an afterglow service in Ann Arbor, MI.

I can't think of any specific reason I am writing this post other then that I want to babble about how life is right now... 

My husband started school Monday. He works every morning and has school every evening. We have our lives pretty scheduled out as far as how our days are going to go to ensure we have enough time for the Lord, each other, family, work, school and ministry. We have weekly date nights planned, weekly family nights, and weekly nights (sometimes twice a week) where we meet with people over dinner and fellowship. We make sure we all have our personal devotional time, devotions and prayer as a family every night, and I have about an our a day to work on worship sets, and time to write songs and get some recording done. 

My SUPER MAN!! In training... 

Homeschool's going awesome! 
Were half way through Kindergarten and Preschool. I am working out what books and such I need for next year already (I'm a huge planner if you haven't noticed already). 
My girls are reading more and more fluently everyday. It's so exciting!
Hayven has become so much more diligent in her work: chores and school work. I'm so proud of her and love watching my babies mature into little women. Even my son has become hard working in his chores that he does every day (picking up toys and throwing away garbage). 

My Hayven and I with our matching winter gear :) She insisted we get a picture taken together. 

Oh my, I can't tell you how much I LOVE being a mom :)
There's just No Greater Joy!
**someone should title a blog that** ;)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Am I starting the New Year Right??

Detroit here we are again. 
Dad's new house has a really nice interior, but is located in the #1 worst zip code in the USA. 

On our way here, our car broke down about an hour away from dad's house. We followed the wrong highway, got off on the next exit to turn around, and were just about to get back on the correct highway, when the serpentine belt under our hood shredded. We backed up (on the on ramp) into a car dealership. The owner happened to be a believer! He had signs that said:
"God Bless You in Jesus' Name"
There also happened to be a coffee and chocolate shop right across the street. Coincidence??!? I think not! We spent a few hours there fixing our car. We got back on the highway and broke down only a few exits further down! We left our car to get fixed overnight. The car happened to break down this time minutes from a Calvary Chapel. 

So Sunday morning we went to the Calvary Chapel in Ann Arbor. It was an awesome time of fellowship, encouragement, and the Holy Spirit even gave me words for the pastor and his wife. They invited us to come to their New Years Afterglow service Wednesday night. I was even invited to assist with worship! We are planning on doing this provided the Lord allows it. 

I won't go into too many specific details on how the rest of the trip is going, but I will say that it's so important to hear from the Lord on things. Even decisions on if to travel and when. Circumstances told us NOT to come to Detroit during this time, but we knew the Lord was in it. He provided all the funding, the time off work, and so much more! And we see Him leading and guiding our every step in this trip. 

I want to tell a story of how ridiculous we look in this city! 
We were at dad's church building/thrift store and we decided to run across Gratiot Street to get some energy drinks from a gas station. We walk in and everyone in the store stops and looks at us. One lady who was with her boyfriend jut points at me and laughs. She's staring at me, looking me up and down saying, 
"What are THEY doing HERE?" 
I just smile. 

So I named this post "Starting a New Year Right??" because I wanted to make a point. 

Do you make decisions based on how circumstances appear, or do you rely on the Lord's voice and His leading you

Do you let "logical thought" be your first or your final marker on the choices you make?

Do you let fear lead you, or God's loving Spirit that casts out all fear?

Do you let your desires lead you, or the fact that God wants to be glorified?

I hear so many times Christians thinking that when things go wrong, or get hard, the Lord must NOT be in it! 

Oh, the contrary!! 
God calls His children to a life of persecution. 
A life of hardship. 

He warns us of it over and over in scriptures:

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. 

1 Corinthians 4:12-14And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

We see all throughout scriptures God calling His people into situations that were not comfortable, nor did they make any sense to the "logical instinct" of man (Abraham, Daniel, Jonah...).

It makes no sense to choose a life that denies the flesh, that denies the "luxuries" that our flesh craves. I am learning this lesson more and more. I SO desire to be set free from the bondage of fear, and to be set free from the pull of this flesh! I long to desire all God has for me and my family. I crave to be the bold, fearless child of God who goes forward without counting anything dear to myself except the cross of Jesus Christ. 

And we are applying that right now, at the beginning of this year. 
In the most dangerous zip code in the USA. 
Drug deals, shootings, hookers, fear, and darkness. 
Oh, Jesus, how much this world needs You! 
How much I need You!

So, in light of the New Year, I want to grow so much more in love with Jesus this year, that all else fades into the background. 

I want to throw off this cloak of fear once and for all of where our country is headed, and the fear of the enemy becoming too strong. 

I want to be an example to my children how to stand up for righteousness in a world that LOVES sin. 

Will you join me???
Christmas Eve at my mom's house.

Christmas Morning at our house. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

MeRrY ChRiStMaS!

Merry CHRISTmas from the Deputies!

Carl the Snowman
We built Carl the Snowman on a BEAUTIFUL day in December, only to have him melt about a week later. 
We currently have no snow AND... no Carl :(. 
We were loading up the car on a Sunday morning for church and Hayven says in a very deep, creepy voice:

"When we get home, I'm gonna kick that snowman! Time for fun, Fun, FUN!"

We had an Agape Feast at our church coffee house and Elias tripped over someones foot and got a deep gash on his forehead. We had it all bound up nicely. Then he decided to jump of the table and fell right in the same spot resulting in two black eyes, a swollen nose, and another egg on his forehead. He THEN jumped out of the car and hit it AGAIN on the curb on a Thursday night and hit the SAME SPOT a THIRD time!!! 
Needless to say, this wound it now on the way to being healed...

We stuck with our family tradition of making a ridiculous amount of sugar cookies and bringing them to every event we go to through the holiday season. Hayven's best friend was able to join us this year! It was very fun! 

A few Saturday's ago, the girl's CKC (Calvary Kid's Club) class went roller skating! It was a blast and the girls won some prizes for dancing the Hokey Pokey, and knowing how many wise men came to bring gifts to Jesus.  

We celebrated Hanukkah a few nights and thanked Jesus for being the light of the world and the worker of miracles. We watched some movies on the story of Hanukah and what it means to us today.

We also learned all about the Christmas Story in school! In our science class we learned about the properties of water and how it becomes a snowflake. We then proceeded to make snowflakes and had so much fun we got carried away! Our dining room is a beautiful winter wonderland!

We also had fun decorating around the house of a Christmas party we hosted for the women at the church.  

Christmas time is my favorite time to spend time laughing, snuggling, planning trips (which we are doing!!!), making cookies and baked goods, and reading and reflecting on the FACT that Jesus Christ,  the Word of God in flesh, humbled Himself and became a baby to be born in a smelly stable and to live His life here on earth just to be hated, ridiculed, and crucified by us and for us. He then rose from the dead and defeated sin and death! We now can have fellowship with God and forgiveness of sin thanks to Jesus Christ!

But this year we actually have plans for Christmas! AND LOTS OF THEM! 

Christmas Eve: We will celebrate Hayven's birthday at her best friend's house. Then we will head over the my mom's for our like 25+ year tradition at my Grandma's old home.

Christmas Morning: We will spend the morning here opening stockings, then we will go to Alex's family to celebrate with good food and family.

Friday: It will be all packing and cleaning because...

Saturday: at 3am we will be leaving to Detroit to visit my dad, step-mom and brothers!!!! We plan on being there about a week. 

Speaking of brothers, my littlest brother had open heart surgery and is still in the hospital recovering. Even though the news has been up and down, he seems to be recovering well. I am anxious to hold him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him!!

AND I have a Christmas gift for YOU! 
Leave me a comment with your email address and I will email you a song that I finally got recorded called "Immanuel"
It's specific for Christmas and I hope it blesses you!


Friday, November 28, 2014

I Am So Thankful For...

I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave his life for me. He alone is worthy of all praise and honor and glory. It's Him I live for. 

I am so thankful for my husband, Alexander. He is my rock when I am emotionally a wreck. He's level-headed and thinks so logically. He's constant and doesn't change much. He's always so sensitive to what's going on in my sphere of life. He's an amazing, diligent father. 

I am thankful for my daughter Ahavah and that her biopsy results came back normal! 
I am so thankful that her hematologist is sending us to the U of M for more extensive testing to figure out what's wrong with my daughter. 

I am thankful for this country where we can have the best medical service in the world! This came in handy with our Emergency Room visit friday night from a 1 hour and 15 minute long nose bleed that could not be stopped. 

I am thankful for all my kids. They are each so intricicatly woven together with unique personalities, gifts, and callings. They each see the world differently, through different lenses and filters. They each have strengths and weaknesses that God specifically gave them to fit into our family as a unit and to fulfill the calling God has placed on each of them. 

I am thankful for my mom and being able to spend a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving day at her house. We went sledding, we ate LOTS of food, we watched Charlie Brown, and we played games. 

I am thankful for a husband (again, I know... he's pretty great *blush* *smile*) that blessed me with money to go black Friday shopping! 

I am thankful for sisters that walk with the Lord. Sisters that will wake up at 5am in the morning after staying up late to set up my Christmas Decorations, to go black Friday shopping even though they don't have money to spend themselves. 

I am thankful for a dad and step mom that follow the Lord despite the cost. They pray for me. They care for my little brothers and are raising them in the Lord. What more could a daughter want??

I am so thankful for the blessings the Lord's given us! We are so rich! We don't go hungry, ever. We don't have to worry about where to sleep. We don't have to worry about being beheaded, like my dear brothers and sisters in Iraq. I am so, so thankful. 

My only prayer is that I live my life to honor My Lord, Jesus Christ with all that I have, and all that I am.