Friday, April 21, 2017

True Heros

We went for a brisk spring walk a few weeks ago and had a great time to instill an important lesson into our children's hearts. 

Our culture is simply engulfed in this "super hero" complex.
There's almost ALWAYS a superhero movie in the theaters at any given time. 

And my kids LOVE reading.
They naturally end up coming home with a bag full of superhero books. 
And on the weekends, Alex likes to watch the old school Batman and Superman cartoons with the kids.

But on our walk, we got the privilege of walking the lake with some local hereos. 
Those that typically go unnoticed. 

We stood by the side of the path as the Firemen of Saint Paul ran the lake. 
We extended our hands and thanked them for their service to our city.

We explained to our kids that Batman has nothing on the men and women that work at the police and fire department. 

Or the pastors or school teachers that are daily laying down their lives to protect the people that are under them. Selflessly pouring themselves out for others. 

Or the parents that day in and day out pray and pour into their little ones. 

Those are the true heroes. 

I hope my kids know that. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

To Make YOU Feel Normal

So if you remember for Christmas, one of my gifts was a life size cut out of my sister... 

It's like she's really here with us...

Okay, maybe not...

Yes even my parents participate.

But she mostly creeps through the porch window...

Miss you Alyssa!!

Friday, April 7, 2017

School Year and Summer Around the Bend

We usually school year 'round. 

There's several reasons for this, but one of which is we like to be able to take time off when we want to instead of being restricted to a few months in the summer. We like to take a month of around Thanksgiving and Christmas (family, story books, fireplaces, baking), a few weeks to a month of in the spring (starting a garden, cleaning the house, going to conferences), and a month or so off in the fall (Harvest time, canning, a few conferences or a trip overseas).

However, we usually hit the books HARD during the colder months since there isn't much else we want to do in the snow. So during the summer months, we take things much more light. Then we have more times to do "educational things" like :

... Build Choo Choo Trains...

... build forts... 
...Sit in the sand...

... And break in new swim suits!!! 
We'll be visiting the library a lot as well as supplying the kids with plenty of reading material. We plan on going to the beach and some walking trails at least once a week. We plan on sketching out our garden plan, purchasing plants and seeds, weeding and growing food, canning and preserving our labor. AND we're doing some chickens with some friends of ours this year! So many cool learning experiences!

Homeschooling rocks!

Friday, March 31, 2017


Aryeh seems to be the one leading Jedidah into some trouble most times.
It's SO FUN to have a baby the same age as one of your siblings. 
I can't even imagine having cousins to grow up with. 
I had cousins and I saw them frequently when I was very young, but not on an almost daily basis like my kids get to see theirs. 
And with another sister pregnant, I hope our children are VERY close!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Normal Days. Normal Life. Extraordinary Kids.

Best Friends and Cousins

He just stared at it...

... and stared at it...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bath Time and the Rapture

The boys stank.
I don't remember the last time I bathed them (busy mom confession)... but we HAD to be pushing over a week by now... (don't judge me! ;) )

The girls were doing their devotions on the couch, breakfast was dished up, schoolwork laid out, boys were fed... now was the opportune time!

"Girls! Finish up your devotions, eat breakfast, clean up and then start your math worksheets. I'll come down when I'm done and I expect to see you doing what I asked you to do."

I head upstairs and as I'm scrubbing these boys down the Lord is ministering to my heart,

They don't know when you're coming back down. Could be 10 minutes, could be 1 hour. Are they going to be found faithful doing what you asked them to do? They know you would be proud of them if you came down and they were found working diligently at the task you left them with. Tell them about Me. Tell the I am returning at any moment and that I want them to be found faithful in their walks with me. Tell them about my unfailing love for them.

I got to explain all this to them and Alex pulled out his Bible as I was talking and went through Matthew 24 with them. It was an awesome lesson!

Thanks Holy Spirit!!
How would we parent without the Holy Spirit?!?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wholesome Chapter Books That Grow With Your Child

I have blogged many times about the benefit of reading and am SUCH an advocate of teaching your kids to read even if you don't do anything else. We had the opportunity to review two new books by Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow from their Circle C Stepping Stones Book Series called Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top!

The Circle C Book Series are following the life of a young girl/woman named Andi. She lives on a horse ranch with her mother and siblings (her father passed away). These books are geared to "grow with your child" as each "level" of books is targeted at a different age range. Each level is progressively advancing as your child advances in their reading comprehension, endurance, fluency and vocabulary. Each book also introduces new vocabulary words in the beginning of the book giving the reader tools to connect with as they explore the life of Andi!

There are 4 "levels" of books series for girls and one set of books for boys. Click here for more information. 

The girls book sets breakdown like this:

(1) Circle C Beginnings which targets kids ages 6-9
(2) Circle C Stepping Stones for ages 7-10, which are the books I am going to be reviewing
(3) Circle C Adventures for ages 9-13
(4) Circle C Milestones for ages 11 +

I love how these books take you into the life, mind and heart of a girl the same age of your children. Your kids get to experience how Andi thinks and reacts to events that happen in her life. They get to experience her conversing with God about the things that trouble her heart or bring joy to her life. They get to learn from her interactions with her family and friends. And Andi is perfect for your kids to relate to since she goes through situations that are similar to what your kids are going through at that age. 

The pictures in the book are SO CUTE and SO WELL DONE!

We had a BLAST reading through these books and discussing topics such as telling the truth, obedience, peer pressure, temptation, repentance, thankfulness, and responsibility to name a few. There are activity books, coloring pages, and lap booking curriculum also available to go along side these chapter books.

One thing we want to do after finishing these books are book projects where the girls each pick a character trait they saw in Andi and make a board explaining how this character trait was built in her, what trail she faced that allowed the Lord to work it in her, and then how this character trait helped her in the end. 

These books can be used as a reading curriculum in your homeschool or they can just be a fun series that your children get to dive into during their daily free reading time!

We loved these books and the girls fight over who gets to read them during our daily reading hour. 

I hope to order each set of these chapter books as my kids get older so they can grow with this series.