Happy Saturday! After a week of grumbling children and feeling overwhelmed at all I have to do the next few weeks, I woke up this morning with a smile on my face.
Maybe it's because I got to sleep in this morning.
Maybe it's because there's no school today, so my boys don't have as much to complain about.
Maybe it's because the temperature is warm enough this morning for me to plant my flowers outside!
Maybe it's because I am super excited about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle I purchased this week and all of the awesome ebooks in it! (I'll put a link below in case you're interested in purchasing the bundle too!)
Whatever the reason, it was nice to wake up on the right side of the bed!
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Next Friday we leave for a one month ministry tour. So, I thought before we transition back into touring life, I'd give you a few ministry and family updates (interspersed with some random pictures from the past few weeks)
Just in case you don't believe
that I actually participate in our ministry! ;)
Photography by Thing 1
One Hope One Truth - Josh just finished his fourth solo guitar album! It will be available for sale in a few weeks! He is using a variety of new guitar techniques, featuring a few beautiful old hymns, and has four original pieces on it! This is by far the best CD he's released and you are not going to want to miss it! I'll let you know as soon as it's available!
Homeschooling - We are plugging along! I've been so pleased with our current curriculum and homeschool routine. You can read a little more about it HERE! Although we technically homeschool year round. We will be doing a lot of field trips and hands on learning for the rest of the year, only doing a couple days of book work most of the weeks. Specifically, the second and third weeks of May we will be on tour in central/southern Oregon. We are going to take those two weeks almost entirely off from book work and do lots of exploring. Currently, I plan to visit the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Stewart Park, Riversdale Valley Farm, and Discovery Garden. If you have any other suggestions for that area, please comment below!
Adventuring in the ditch behind our house.
Look at the giant teeter-totter we found! Wee!
Travel - Josh and I have been praying the past several weeks about the possibility of buying a larger trailer for our touring ministry. We plan to begin trying to sell our current trailer in late May. Our hope is to sell it while in Washington and then we can spend the summer looking for a new one while in Montana. We would also then have to sell our current truck and purchase a slightly "beefier" truck. This would all have to be completed by the end of September, in order to be ready for our two month fall California tour. We'd appreciate your prayers for wisdom and provision!
Blog Ministry - I'm thinking about leading an online Bible Study small group this summer. Since many people travel during the summer and a lot of small groups take a break, this would help us all stay in the Word and allow us to learn together even if we're out of town. It would work something like this - I would choose a Bible Study that could be purchased online and would provide the link on my facebook page. Those interested would be responsible for purchasing the workbook & maybe online video downloads. Then we would meet online in a closed Facebook group at a specific time each week - (with the option to continue the discussion throughout the week for those who can't meet at that time) to discuss the study . . . What do you think? Please comment below if you think you might be interested and if you have any questions.
Early morning and late afternoon walks with my mammoth dog!
Well, we are headed to Great Falls, MT for a weekend of ministry, so I better go pack! :) Blessings to you and your family!
Oh yeah, one more thing, If you're interested in the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, you need to HURRY! It's only available until Monday! Then this bundle is gone forever and there won't be a new one until this time next year! Click on the image below to find out more! *UPDATE - the UHB is no longer available, but it'll be back next year and I'll be sure to let you know when! :) *
"Bloom where you're planted."
I've been doing a lot of thinking about this quote lately.
And here's what I found myself asking . . .
What if you're not planted anywhere?
What if you are a seed floating on the breeze,
but never landing in the soil?
Can you still bloom?
You see, lately I don't really feel much like blooming. I think I'd rather curl up and hide my head in the soil, if only I could find myself in the same soil for more than a couple weeks at a time!
Now, before you start to worry about me. I am not depressed or despondent . . . just a little tired,
and maybe a little discontent.
Saturday I went to a one day Christian women's conference . . . and cried A LOT!
Oh at first I think I cried because I was so desperate to hear from the Lord and so grateful for an opportunity to spend the day uninterrupted, listening for His voice.
And I think it was partly because I was sooo blessed to be able to simply participate in singing worship music instead of leading.
But mostly, it was because God did speak and I did hear . . .
and I felt loved.
God reminded me that I am His beloved daughter and that if being planted was what He wanted for me, His precious child, then I would indeed find myself planted.
But, if He has me floating like dandelion fluff instead, then dandelion fluff is what's best and it is beautiful to Him!
He also promised me that He is enough. He reminded me that He would never call me to do something without also equipping me and that although I may not have enough strength, energy, or wisdom, it's going to be okay, because He does!
And so, by God's grace, I will strive to bloom whether planted in the soil or floating on the breeze.
Montana weather is soooo weird! I mean, I grew up in the midwest, and the weather there can definitely be unpredictable, but this. . . this is just crazy!
Of course, I shared earlier this year, that in January we frequently had single digit temperatures with 2 feet of snow.
Spring here is insane though. One day it will be 75 and the next it will be 30 with snow! Then it will go back up to the 60s and 70s and suddenly drop below freezing! Our neighbors said you can't plant anything outside until the first of June without the fear of frost and or snow!
I took this picture yesterday morning out my bedroom window.
I took this out the same window this morning.
And, it's supposed to be in the 70's next week! - CRAZY
Okay, now to the real reason for this post -
Next Wednesday, we will be heading over to the Billings area. We have a few churches that we will be ministering at and will enjoy some time with friends and family. We'll be staying with my inlaws though, and if you've been following my blog for long you know what that means - no internet!
I will do my best to post at least once next week, but no promises! :)
We'd certainly appreciate your prayers for our ministry there and our travels, though. We will be ministering at three churches. They are all "repeat" churches, which is always fun because there's a certain amount of familiarity! Also, I may be attending a Priscilla Shirer Simulcast at a church in Billings with a dear friend of mine. I recently did Priscilla Shirer's Bible study on the Armor of God and absolutely loved it! I'm sure this would be a great time of encouragement and fellowship! We will see if it works out. If it does, I'll be excited to share what I learn!
Now, I am off to enjoy my Saturday with my family! The sun is shining, so I think I'll take my mammoth of a dog for a walk on the ranch!
Blessings to you, friend!
p.s. I updated (finally! WOW! I didn't realize it had been so long!) the Praise and Prayer Request page on this site, so I'd love it if you checked it out!
About a year ago, I wrote a blog post about our homeschooling methods. You can read that post here. I mentioned in that post that I was sure I would change the way we do things many times. Well, I was right! So, I thought I'd share how we homeschool now! :)
I'm gonna make a few disclaimers first -
1. I am NOT an expert. (please consult your physician before making changes to your diet, don't try this without adult supervision, and so on and so forth)
2. Although I feel confident in the decisions Josh and I have made regarding our homeschooling methods, I am still a pretty sensitive person - so if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all! - This is for my benefit and for every other sweet new homeschooling mama who is insecure and overwhelmed right now
(I feel ya, Sister! I got your back!)!
3. I strongly believe that there is NOT ONE RIGHT WAY to educate our children. God has a unique plan for each child and family. So if God led you to put your children in public school or private school, or whether you follow more of a "school at home" or "unschooling" method . . . May God bless and direct you as you seek to follow His guidance for the education of your kiddos!
4. I'm sure I'll continue to make changes to our homeschool curriculum, methods, and routines as needed to best meet the needs of each of the boys and of our family as a whole. This is what we're doing now, but may not be what we're doing in another year or so.
What curriculum do we use?
Currently, we are primarily using A.C.E (Accelerated Christian Education). Each subject is broken up into 12 workbooks (PACEs) for a school year. This curriculum is designed to allow the student to work almost entirely independently, even planning their own assignments and doing their own grading. I don't use it this way. I am very involved in their learning. I write out their assignments for them (on that cool little "Goal Card" you see in the middle of the picture). I do all of the grading and I teach new concepts and interact to different degrees depending on what is being learned. I do however love that if the lesson is something that is straightforward, that boy can work independently allowing me to work with his brother, or get some project of my own done.
What do I LOVE about A.C.E.?
- Each PACE has a Scripture memory verse and Character trait that is emphasized throughout the workbook.
- Biblical values, stories, and wisdom are key to the way that every subject is taught! (i.e. even Math story problems or English grammar lessons are sentences that speak truth into my boys' minds!)
- I can order each PACE individually (I do not have to order an entire year worth of curriculum at one time.) without a price penalty. This saves me money and space for traveling!
- The workbooks are small and lightweight and there are no heavy textbooks. Again, this makes them great for traveling!
- There are no required manipulatives or materials needed. I can supplement with manipulatives if I like, but it is not necessary. Even the Science Experiments at this level require items that I either already have at home or can find easily at the grocery store or Walmart!
These charts help the boys see their progress in each subject throughout the school year. Each star represents a test taken (a PACE completed)! You can see that we are not using every possible A.C.E. offered subject. The boys use the "Gotta Have God" devotions instead of the A.C.E. Bible curriculum and I choose Scripture memory verses for them. (note: That is not an affiliate link. I have not and will not receive anything if you choose to purchase one of those devotions. I just love them so much, I wanted you to be able to find them easily!) Also we don't use A.C.E.'s spelling Curriculum.
What is the timing of our school year?
We homeschool year round. This allows us to take days/weeks off whenever it works best for our family traveling, ministry events, and visiting with family and friends! We will do some homeschooling all summer, taking only a couple weeks off. However, we will likely shorten our school week to two to three days a week June - August to allow for summer fun! :)
What does our school day look like?
I have posted in these picture frames the boys' basic schedule and chore routine. (The picture frames look better than just having them stuck to the wall or fridge, and the glass in the frame allows the boys to use dry erase markers to mark things off as the complete them if they want to.) We aren't super strict with the times, but try to accomplish most of these things each weekday and mostly stay on schedule. Thing 1 is a lot like his mama in his need for predictability and routine. He does so much better when he knows what to expect and when.
Most of the kids' book work is done in the dining room. Thing 2 usually sits at the dining room table and Thing 1 sits at the desk on one side of the room. Above the desk we have a reversible dry- erase map (state map on one side and world map on the other). I bought that map several years ago when I was using Sonlight for our curriculum and I love it!
We also have this map that I got from Voice of the Martyrs hanging in our dining room. My goal is to pray for a different country each evening at dinner, but I'll admit we haven't made this a habit yet.
What about reading?
This one is easy! My boys LOVE to read. They both have Kindles that we try to keep stocked when we are on the road. We also have library cards in a couple different cities and we make use of them often. I have no trouble getting my boys to read. Far more challenging is tracking the many, many books they read and making sure they always have new books available to read! T-1 also often reads aloud to T-2 and I regularly have T-2 read aloud to me. In addition, we have an ongoing family read aloud for road trips. We are currently reading Martin the Warrior from the Redwall series!
Well, there you have it. This is our current homeschooling life in a nutshell. If you have any questions or ideas, be sure to comment. I'd love to hear from you! :)
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
(Jeremiah 33:2-3 NIV)
Leviticus & Mark
(the Bible in a year)
Five Children and It
(family read aloud by E. Nesbit)
Middle School: The Inside Story
(by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna)
All Things Gardening, Soil, & Chickens
(not a title, just a list of my current library search topics)