Links to Linger Over #2

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When a person finds a good thing they shouldn’t keep it to themselves…

What else did you stumble across this week that blessed you?

Linking up to Intentional at Home Thursdays @ Creative Home Keeper.

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Fighting Back Mondays | Finding Beauty & Showing Grace on the Hard Days

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What is it about a Monday? When you hear someone utter the word Monday it is almost thought of as a curse word. Something one should not speak of.  The thing about Monday’s is that one occurs every 7 days. You would think we would be prepared for Monday as we know it it coming however, it sneaks up on us like a thief in the night and steals our joy and our maybe even our faith. (Or so it seems because of how we act!)

Maybe your like a very good friend of mine and LOVE Mondays because it is a big fat reset button for the week. If you are, I am so very thankful for you. You encourage people like me to think about it as a fresh start.  But if your like me and Monday is a struggle because you are still hanging onto Sunday, you need to know there is hope to overcome the doldrums that come along with Monday. Don’t get me wrong.

Not all Mondays are bad, actually mostly they are good. Filled with laughter, good books, and mundane moments. However, when that “typical Monday” arises it is fierce and rolls in with a vengeance. This past Monday was a “typical Monday” after a day of dealing with whining, bickering, bad attitudes (mine included), slothfulness, and just a general blah sort of day I was ready to throw in the towel. We had covered the gamut of “love one another, put on kindness, be patient, be gentle, etc” and I was done, tapping out, crying uncle, turning in my pink slip, done. D-O-N-E. Done.  Knowing God’s mercies are new every morning it was bedtime and I was looking forward to Tuesday.

When I sat down to read the word that night I opened my Bible to Colossians 3:12-17 and was confronted with the living and active word of God. I was convicted of my sin and called to repent.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

On this “typical Monday” I had forgotten who God is and who He has called me to be. To fight back Mondays, or any day for that matter, I need to remember who God is and who He has called me to be. I need to remember I am a chosen one, I am to be holy, and I am loved. I need to have a compassionate heart, be kind, be humble, be meek, and have patience. I need to bear with my children, I need to forgive them as Christ Jesus has forgiven me. I need to walk in love (remember love is is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things) knowing that through the love of Christ there is harmony and the peace of Christ can rule and reign in my life.  This will cause me to be thankful. When I let the word of God dwell in me I can teach and admonish with wisdom, encourage with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs which will cause me (hopefully us) to overflow with thankfulness. 

I can do these things because of what God has done in my life through Christ.  At the end of the day I realized I threw my faith out the window the minute the bickering started. I began looking to my solutions not God’s. I pulled out my best parenting techniques rather than resting in the grace of God and extending that same grace to my children.

Fighting back Mondays means looking to Jesus the author and perfector of my faith and resting in His good work.

Fighting back Mondays means having a compassionate heart. 

Fighting back Mondays means being kind.

Fighting back Mondays means being humble.

Fighting back Mondays means being meek.

Fighting back Mondays means being patient. 

Fighting back Mondays means bearing with one another. 

Fighting back Mondays means forgiving one another. 

Fighting back Mondays means walking in love. 

Fighting back Mondays means letting the peace of Christ rule.

Fighting back Mondays means being saturated with God’s word so that it overflows into my days. 

Fighting back Mondays means being thankful. 

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Friends, there is beauty in the battle, join me in fighting back Mondays!

Linking up to Intentional at Home Thursdays @ Creative Home Keeper.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Devil’s Kitchen Hiking Trail | Roaring River State Park

You know those days where you go to bed with your heart overflowing, those days where you wish daylight would never end? Saturday was one of those days. After putting in long hours the past few week my husband wanted to get outside and spend time together as a family, he suggested going on a hike. I immediately started checking local areas because we have some great options. After a little googling I decided we would head to Roaring River State Park. After looking over the trails I wasn’t sure what would be the best fit for our crew (4 year old and mom with baby on her back) but thanks to this awesome post on Adventures in the Ozarks I was sold on Devil’s Kitchen Trail. Rocks to climb over, caves to explore, spring water to touch, not to mention the various terrain we would encounter, it truly was a little boys dream! Off we went!

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When I told Mr. J that there were caves he insisted that he bring his flashlight! Miss K was a little more timid about the cave exploring. Even daddy got in on the action.  There were two different cave areas that were easily accessible.  Along with a few other rock formations that were really interesting. The name Devil’s Kitchen comes from one of the rock formations along the trail.  Before it collapsed there use to be a room like structure that is said to have been a hideout for  Civil War guerrilla soldiers. (I did have to clarify that I wasn’t talking about the primate type of gorilla’s!)

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We climbed 325 ft throughout the hike to a plateau where we stayed for a good portion of the hike. The terrain is beautiful with a variety of things to see. We are already talking about making this a winter hike so we can see more of the land once the leaves are off the trees.

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I think my favorite moments of the day came from the hands I got to hold and the conversations that we had. I loved hearing the big two talk about the different animalia, plantae, and fungi they encountered. I wish I would of counted how many fungi we surveyed.  As we were walking along the trail Daddy asked us to stop and look ahead to where we were going. We were at a place that we couldn’t see more than 100 feet in front of us.  He talked about how faith in God is much like hiking the path ahead, not always seeing what lies ahead but knowing that God has provided a way and we just need to walk in it.  Which led our kiddos to recite their verse from vacation Bible school, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
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In reflecting on this day with my family I was reminded that this is the “more” I am journeying toward. The act of loving my people better, by intentionally being “there” with them.  Growing deeper by marveling about the goodness of God and His amazing creation. Living richer by being all in, wholly there, savoring the good, the true, and the beautiful gifts God has given me.  So thankful to be on a journey toward more!

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Homeschool Week 6 Wrap Up

Week 6 recap, bullet point style:

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  • The week started with both Miss K and myself feeling under the weather. Not a great way to kick off Monday.
  • We had a great week 4 at our local Classical Conversations Community day. You can see Mr. J showing off his Usborne Big Book of Machines during presentation.
  • Miss E likes to hang out with my in the afternoon during Essentials while my younger two are playing with friends.
  • Mr. J started soccer this week. In typical boy fashion he loved playing goalie and getting hit with the ball.
  • We created an egg crate review game this week to review our CC work. I am enjoying having two children in CC and working with them together at home. It has been fun to see both kids review one another and both know the same things.
  • Miss K and I started working through our study of Colossians. I talked a little bit about what we are doing in my post about the book Women of the Word.

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  • After spending a few days stuck inside we took a nature walk in a wooded area behind our house. We enjoyed looking at the trees, climbing a few and bringing back a few specimens to do some leaf rubbings and learning a little about local trees.
    • I am wanting to make nature study a more regular activity in our homeschool. Do you take nature walks? How do you implement nature walks in your homeschool?

It is hard to believe we are about to start week 7 of our school year. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn alongside my kiddos and to be the person who gets to point them to Jesus as we learn how to love God and one another.

Thankful for the opportunity to link up with Collage Friday @ Homegrown Learners & Weekly Wrap Up @ Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. If you are stopping by from the link up, please say hello!

Links to Linger Over #1

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When a person finds a good thing they shouldn’t keep it to themselves…

What links have you came across this week that are noteworthy?

 

Linking up to Intentional at Home @ Creative Home Keeper If your stopping by from the link up be sure to say hello!

 

Homeschool Week 4 & 5 Wrap Up

Whoa!! Where did the past two weeks go? It is really hard to believe that we are about to start week 6 tomorrow! Weeks 4 & 5 have been really great with a few super fun things mixed in!

Sweet Miss E has decided that walking is the only way to go! She daily dazzles us with her sweet smile and fun-loving disposition. It has been a few weeks since I took her out for a few updated pictures.

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//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsWe have been plugging away at week 2 and 3 of Classical Conversations. Mr. J is loving CC and is really enjoying school at home. I am really surprised at how engaged and eager he is to learn.

Doing a little map tracing: geo//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Working in our science notebooks:science

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsDigging into our history and learning about early forms of writing: cuniform//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We finished up reading the Greek Myths and Mr. J loved it! We have also spent some time playing No Stress Chess and cuddled up reading books.

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Last weekend Miss K and I attended the Glow Conference held at a local church here in SWMO. Here is a little about the conference from the Facebook page,

featuring special guests, including nationally-known artists, musicians, and writers, Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, S.D. Smith, and Randall Goodgame, ‘Glow’ is a special, one-day event for Middle Grade students (8 to 13-year olds) and their parents. It will include hands-on workshops where kids can pursue a wide range of interests from art to dance, athletics, fishing, music, and more. As students begin to discover who they are and where they excel, we want to show them what their gifts, passions, and abilities might look like submitted to Christ.   Why Middle Grade students?   8 to 13-year olds begin to wrestle with questions of identity, purpose, and place. They wonder, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Where do I belong?” At Glow, we want to come alongside them, to embody the answer to these questions, speaking and acting in such a way that kids know they are loved and valued, the work of their hands has significance, and they are not alone.  

We had a great time!  My husband and I have been listening to Andrew Peterson’s music for over a decade and I just finished his books a few months ago. We like to say his music is the sound track to our life. Our family owns (and can sing!!) every Slug’s Bug’s and Lullabies Album and anxiously await the next release. SD Smith is no stranger to me as I have listened to many podcasts he has done and I have spent a little time clicking around on The Story Warren Website. Jason Gray, who is the most mainstream, is probably the person I am the least familiar with out of the guests at the conference. What I loved about the conference was the ability for my daughter to see these “famous” men to stand before her and give God all the glory. Sitting next to my daughter listening to these men speak brought tears to my eyes, they spoke with such humility that even my 8 year old picked up on how “different” they were. At lunch I asked her what she thought of meeting “famous” people. Her reply marked me, “I was really surprised, they were different than I expected…. but different in a good way!” We took away a lot of great things from the conference but I was left in awe of the grace of God and reminded that HE opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

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This weekend  Miss K had her first volleyball game. She has been working hard for weeks with multiple practices and all her hard work paid off. With sports our expectations for our children are to pay attention, hustle, have fun, and play for the glory of God. She had a great time and I think we could safely make her middle name hustle! 🙂   

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I have been attempting to read The Green Ember to my children since I downloaded the Kindle version months ago. We made it about 100 pages in and my kids lost interest. Recently I purchased the Audible version for a road trip… we made it to about the same spot we stopped reading previously. I figure third time is a charm (I am DYING to know how the story ends) and I picked up the physical copy of The Green Ember and the prequel The Black Star of Kingston while we are at the Glow Conference. Something about holding a paper copy in my hands has revolutionized The Green Ember for my kids. It doesn’t hurt that daddy is really enjoying listening along at night time too.

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Women of The Word | Going Deeper

… a human mind is nurtured over time with hard work and discipline. – The Awakening of Miss Prim page 54.

Discipline is something I have have battled, no, been at war with since I left the halls of my hometown high school. I have struggled to be on a consistent schedule since life was planned out for me. This has been especially true when it comes to studying the Bible. Over the years I have sat through Bible classes, started countless reading plans, participated and led numerous Bible studies only to be waylaid by life. Something came up or the bible study ended.
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//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI recently finished Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word and walked away changed. I rarely finish a non-fiction book, usually, I drag my feet kicking and screaming all the way to the last page, but once I started this book I completed it in an afternoon. I sat the book down feeling admonished, corrected and equipped with a deep hunger to study my Bible. To truly love God more by knowing Him better. The whole premise of the book is “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know,” (page 31). If we truly desire to love God we must KNOW Him and we cannot do that apart from His word. Here is a favorite excerpt,

The answer lies in knowing God, in loving him with our minds. Never has the phrase “to know him is to love him” been more true. As we grow in the knowledge of God’s character through the study of his Word, we  cannot help but grow into an exponentially deeper love for him. This explains why Romans 12:2 says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We come to understand who God is, and we are changed — our affections detach from lesser things and attach to him. If we want to feel a deeper love for God, we must learn to see him more clearly for who he is. If we want to feel deeply about God, we must learn to think deeply about God. – Jen Wilkin, Women of the Word, page 33

The challenge to love God with our mind is one God has been calling me to and after reading Women of the Word I feel equipped to tackle that challenge one day at a time. Jen lays out 5 P’s to study God’s word. She calls women everywhere to study with purpose, perspective, patience, process, and prayer. She provides helpful tips on how to dig into God’s word, what resources to use, and how to get started. After completing the book and spending some time reading through a few of the Epistle’s of Paul I decided to study Colossians. I have a burden to see my children better equipped than I was to study the Bible. My daughter is looking forward to studying along side me as we learn more about God. I am looking forward to learning more about God by digging into His word and coming away changed. september2015_0015ed

Linking up with Intentional At Home @ Creative Home Keeper

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What We Read | August Edition

In the past year I have learned the importance of reading aloud and reading widely. Thanks mostly to the amazing Read Aloud Revival podcast. I confess, reading aloud is not something I enjoyed at first. However, read aloud time has become one of my favorite things we do throughout the day. When I was looking at what we wrapped up in the month of August I was impressed with how much we read this month. This list includes read alouds, independent reads and audio books.

Read Alouds:

  • The Hundred Dresses
  • Homer Price
  • Mary Slessor
  • Little Pear

Independent Reads: (this is assigned reading and free reading)

  • Treasure
  • Pumpkin
  • Clara & The Book Wagon
  • Flat Stanley
  • Pompeii, Buried Alive
  • Owl at Home
  • Abbie Keep the Lights Burning
  • Prairie School
  • Arthur and the Poetry Contest
  • Titanic Lost & Found

Audio Books:

  • Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
  • James and The Giant Peach
  • Magic Finger
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • The Crocodile

My Books: (my list includes reads from June-August)

  • Home by Marilynne Robinson
  • Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers
  • The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
  • Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
  • An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher Perrin
  • The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera

Homeschool Week 3 Wrap Up

We have had a great week. I really feel like we are slowly but surely getting into a groove. This was our first official week of Classical Conversations. Both kids had a fantastic day and have worked hard at home on their memory work!

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Early in the week Miss K finished up her sewing project for a lady in our church with a new baby. I know she is really excited to give this to her on Sunday.

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The Geography memory work this week has been about the Fertile Crescent. We pulled out the Usborne Book of Ancient History and read about the area and customs. This led to a discussion about using ancient tools to “grind wheat” which led to a feeble attempt to give it a try at home. 🙂//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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We also dug into the classification of living things and the Oils art lesson at home this week.

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One desire I have for my children is to do more nature study and spend time observing life outside of our four walls. We went on a walk around town today and enjoyed being in creation.

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One of my favorite times of the day has become our read aloud time. We have had some cool mornings this week and we found ourselves reading on the deck while playing with Legos. We recently finished reading a missionary biography of Mary Slessor. My daughter felt greatly encouraged hearing the story of a fiery headed lady from Scotland taking the message of Jesus Christ into the West African region of Calabar. Learning about the deep need in West Africa has reminded us to pray for friends serving as Bible translators in the area. I have finally found a book that Mr. J is loving, Little Pear. The main character is a 5 year old boy who is a little bit ornery, go figure why my guy is enjoying it! 🙂

Week 3 Highlights//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI am thankful for the opportunity to link up with Collage Friday and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers link up because it slows me down long enough to reflect up our week and to see God’s grace then the little moments. Interested in linking up, check it out at Homegrown Learners – Collage Friday 1.2 //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsand Weekly Wrap – Up.

Homeschool Week 2 Wrap Up

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Highlights from week 2:

  • We spent Sunday afternoon at a local state park with friends. We went hiking and splashing in the ice cold water. My little guy learned a very valuable skill, crawdad hunting! 🙂 We enjoyed the time with friends and enjoying God’s creation!
  • The week rolled along covering all the usual subjects. Our read aloud has been about Mary Slessor. That book has caused us to pull out the atlas to find Calabar and to pray for to pray for the country of Nigeria.
  • Miss K had her first week of volleyball practice. To say she is enjoying it would be putting it mildly! I think she has found her “thing.” Time will tell, I am enjoying watching her stretch herself and see the various ways she is growing.
  • My favorite time of day is our bible & read aloud time! It is the first thing we do most often. Our Bible time consists of scripture memory, catechism questions and we just started The Gospel Story Bible. Our current read aloud is Mary Slessor. We usually read a selection or two of poetry during this time too.
  • This year I have been intentional about choosing independent readers for for Miss K. So far she has enjoyed most of the books and is really getting in a reading groove!
  • Miss E is as cute as ever and walking more and more every day.
  • The week ended with a quick trip “home” to visit my folks and take some pictures of a friends sweet new baby. This trip home afforded my son another valuable lesson, frog hunting! We collected a bucketful of frogs only to be released after watching them jump and listening to them croak.