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Friday, May 27, 2016

Summer week 1, encouragement and snapshots of our week!

Well not officially summer, but it is the start of our summer break, can you feel the excitement!!  I intended to start my decluttering project this week, remove unneeded items and organize a bit. Instead took some time to relax, have fun with the kids, and quiet time reading books. I started reading Everyday Grace (a book that has been in my book pile for a year, oh why I waited I don't know, it is so good), Think Biblically~Recovering A Christian Worldview (really good this book will encourage you, help you dig deeper into Truth and defend your faith Biblically), They're Your Kids~An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Homes  School Advocate (OK the title should be something different, this gal has done her research, the info she shares is eye opening, reading about how government spends school dollars and changes they are always making, I would think after reading this most people would pull their children from school and homeschool), for Bible study time, I do a scripture writing plan from His Mercy Is New and reading through Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible. 

This week we started our summer session of Raising Arrows, we don't do regular curriculum during this time, but instead read good books (which we are always doing, these are the one's I chose for summer: Handbook of Nature Study, Life of Fred, The Children's Book of Virtues, Tales From Shakespeare, The Burgess Bird Book and I just picked up a used book 365 Days of Celebration and  Praise), nature study, art, and little writing together. I love this relaxed style of learning together, we only spend 30-60 minutes, but it quality fun learning time! Which is what learning should always be!

Pondering and praying about the use of social media, etc... Lately I have been posting most of our pics on Instagram (so look for me there) as I find it to be an beautiful place to enjoy encouragement  (I am a visual person). I also post on Facebook too, though not as many pictures, I have to be careful and give myself some boundaries there because it can be a time sucker and it can drain me at times. I came across this post recently...I am kind of feeling like this and love this...Why the internet is wearing me down, and what I’m doing about it. http://joyfilleddays.com/why-the-internet-is-wearing-me-down-and-what-im-doing-about-it/ There have been many times, I love to pull the plug on it all together. So I have been praying about how to best use social media, because I think it can be a great place to stay in touch with long distant friends/family, share encouragement, find out happenings, prayer needs, and sometimes good deals~really I have! Plus I need my online homeschool community and Jesus sista's, they help keep me sane! So with decluttering the home, I am working on decluttering my Facebook feed and social media. God places a certain circle of people in our lives and for me it has changed a lot due to many moves we have made, homeschooling, etc.. So I am examining the season I am in right now (and this season may be more like a decade long) I need make sure to follow God's lead and those He has placed in my life for whatever purpose. So as I started to look, I see I have 500+ friends on Facebook, really! I find that crazy, doesn't seem right, so I am not sure what to do about that? Your thoughts are welcome! For now praying and pondering on this decision to be made.

The hubs has upcoming vacation time off during our summer break, so we will spend time visiting family and exploring our new to us state! Abigail is busy with golf lessons and games, so the hubs and her will enjoy some time golfing, it really is great they have their thing they enjoy doing together. I am the cheerleader! Speaking of hubs, he is pretty awesome, he cooked a great meal this week for us and crepes one morning for breakfast, yum! Our garden is really doing great too, trust me that is all him, I have been known to kill a cactus! However, I am the main animal care-taker, all the chickens think I am their mama, you should see them come to me! Who knew I love the country life, but I do!!!

Encouraging reads of the week: 

Amen!  Is your church ordinary? Small? Well, my Christian friend, if it is preaching the gospel and endeavoring to help others to know and follow Jesus then it is not insignificant. It is powerfully important and surpassingly glorious. And, you should praise God for it–even as you get to work in it! http://ftc.co/resource-library/1/2084 

I am kind of feeling like this and love this… Why the internet is wearing me down, and what I’m doing about it. http://joyfilleddays.com/why-the-internet-is-wearing-me-down-and-what-im-doing-about-it/  

“We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1). http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-danger-of-drifting-away 
Giving our all to our family is what we do. But, giving with no time to refresh or renew our own spirit is a recipe for disaster. http://foreverforalwaysnomatterwhat.com/2016/04/reviving-homeschool-moms-soul.html 

The happiest people—the folks with the deepest sense of self-love and purpose—always notice everyday moments. It doesn’t matter how complicated their lives get. OH and how I like this list of 22 things… http://theartofsimple.net/22-things/ 

What if the most important moments in their lives — the times that build their character and fill their hearts with love and shape their personalities and fill up their memory storehouses — are the simple, ordinary hours? https://lagarfias.com/2016/05/12/hello-normalcy-its-me-ordinary-mom/ 

Snapshots from our week:

Oh how these two blessings from God teach me!
Summer Raising Arrows session!
Looking for lovely, oh how God blesses us!
This dog, has the life, oh ZEKE!
Little man thinks this is fun, what a reminder for me. He did a great job, training em up right!
Abigail received happy mail!
The wonderful "homestead" meal my hubs made, fish caught by the kids, asparagus from the garden!
Enjoying a beautiful day!
Found a deal and a great addition to growing library!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Oh how HE loves us...


Came across this quote in a book I am reading and oh how it spoke to my soul...“I am just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.” Martin Luther 


I am not perfect, but HE is perfect. HIS love is never ending and HE gives freely to those who choose to believe! That is amazing grace, oh how God loves us. Jesus is bread of life, my rescuer! #Truth #thankyouJESUS 

Romans 5:6-8 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Children of God, music CD review

I recently received in the mail a CD for Phil Wickham's newest LP titled Children of God, which released April 22nd to review. This is his first LP since 2014, due to a remove of a vocal polyp. During that time he started to struggle with writing and what to say. Because of this polyp, he felt a reawakening to his passion and identity as a child of God. He continued to write, not knowing if he would sing. In his bio he stated he has been singing songs about being a child of God since he was three years old. Therefore, this is why he titled the LP Children of God.

"The single Your Love Awakens Me is about amazing, life giving love of Jesus. The song is calling everybody to gather together and sing out the incredible Truth that God's love is stronger than our sin, it's greater than the grave and it is calling us on a daily basis to live this life with purpose and passion." 

I truly enjoyed listening to this CD, several great songs on there I have on repeat, especially Doxology/Amen, Stand in Awe and Body Mind & Soul! Sorry no give-away for this one, but below is where you can go get this encouraging wonderful worship CD.

For more information about Phil and his music visit  http://www.philwickham.com/ 

SOCIAL – CORNER


#ChildrenOfGod #FlyBy



"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 36 Homeschool and why Raising Arrows, Encouragement, and Snapshots!!

This was a big week, we completed another year of homeschooling~Raising Arrows!! Proud of all we learned and completed together! Really it is true, we, not them, because I am learning some things I had forgotten or wasn't taught in school. Some days are hard, some days are amazing, everyday is a BLESSING!! Thankful to be able to teach and learn together!!

This was in our lesson guide for our last lesson, I thought it was perfectly said. "As we finish everything up for the year and review the rise and fall of all the leaders and countries we have studied, isn't it encouraging to know that we serve the ONE who is the Beginning and the End? What a triumphant way to finish - to know in the end, HE wins." 

Yesterday we completed our required days and what I had planned for our school year. They chose Cracker Barrel for breakfast to celebrate our last day!! Today we will clean up our desk areas, pack away some of the books, put together our portfolio's. In a couple weeks I will start putting together our books for next year's homeschooling (they are sitting in boxes waiting for me) and a plan. For the summer, I have put together a morning basket with some read alouds and fun books for us, Life of Fred (math books), art/nature projects, and some Charlotte Mason type of language arts. We plan to spend about an hour most days and then the rest of time will be exploring, playing, relaxing, and oh yes there are chores to take care of. Abigail is on a PGA Junior team this summer, so there will be lots of time on the golf course. Both of them will begin karate classes together in a couple weeks. Abigail will continue piano lessons and Aidan has mentioned guitar, so that will be in the future. We have one planned trip to visit family. Before you know it, summer will come to an end. Looking forward to relaxing with the family and enjoying the beautiful sunshine (in the shade of course).

I asked the kids what they most enjoyed during school time, what they thought was challenging, and what they hope to learn next year.
Abigail, loves science and learning Latin, she thought math was challenging. Aidan loves using scissors and glue, and reading was challenging. Next year Abigail wants to learn more about animals and Aidan the same. I think we can do that, I know the teacher! Ha!

The question I get asked most is, why do we homeschool. Uhmmm that is a loaded answer, so many reasons. One is because family time, my husband would not see them much because of his job. Two because we believe it is the best thing for our kids and the reasons for that is long (Christian based, influences, focus on virtues, learning environment, government control of schools/decline in education, customize to child's learning need, use our hours/days wisely, no rushing, teach long term learning and love of learning, focus on their gifts, enjoy learning about music/nature/art study for a well rounded education, show truth/beauty/goodness, world view, books are awesome and I am talking real books not text books, get individual help when needed, enjoy being a kid, play-time, oh there is more, you can research the statics and benefits and will find the many positive reasons). Three, God lead us to it. It was something I never considered until Abigail was about 2 and we had our first bad experience at a preschool in Texas, thankfully we had a different experience and loved the one they attended in Kentucky. But as time went on I really felt that homeschooling was the best thing for our family and children. God placed several homeschooling families in my path through babysitters and friends. They shared great wisdom, help, and prayer. The husband was a little slower coming to the decision, only because it was a new to him and he didn't know much about it. However, that all changed after kindergarten orientation, when they took our daughter into a separate room away from us to ask her questions and test her knowledge. It just felt strange walking into a strange building, with people we didn't know and that was the first thing they did. So there you have it, why we homeschool and feel it is the best decision for our family. Now that we have been homeschooling for two years, I can share with you the many benefits I have seen from personal experience of being the teacher and mom of my children. That will however be another day, as this is already getting long, but quickly I will say I am thankful we made the decision we did, what a blessing it has been. Sure there are hard moments and days I like to put them on the bus, but in reality you couldn't pay me to put my children in school. I have been called to raise and some day send them out into the world. This is why our homeschool is named, Raising Arrows!

Encouraging reads:
From my devotional book this week, yes GRACE!! Thank you Jesus!
Life is triage and so is homeschooling. Our hours are finite and we each must choose how to spend them. The beauty (and the madness of this) is that there is no single right answer to the question, just our hearts to guide us. http://lusaorganics.typepad.com/clean/2016/05/natureschool.html

Motherhood involves a lot of grit and perseverance, but not necessarily in the ways that are often portrayed on the internet.  Being a good mom requires a certain amount of toughness.  These days, that toughness means that we have to be willing to forge ahead based on what GOD is revealing to us and stand against the strong cultural tides that are undermining God’s good plan for  our families.  It means that we have to tune out the other voices and tune into what God is whispering in our hearts concerning our children.  We have to be warriors…women who aren’t afraid to be the mom God has called us to be.  We have to be one tough mother. http://heidistjohn.com/parenting/one-tough-mother-2

Teaching your children to read soundly ought to be the primary goal of education http://www.centerforlit.com/blog/2016/5/16/fair-trials-and-kangaroo-courts-an-interpretive-philosophy

Oh this is really good, awakening wonder… http://www.mthopechronicles.com/2016/05/awakening-wonder.html

Great ideas and decluttering inspirations (summer project) http://theartofsimple.net/declutteringinspiration/


Snapshots:
Doing her thing, practicing golf with her PGA Junior Golf Team
Precious sleeping little boy!
Ready for Sunday worship!
God's creatures are amazing, hummingbird visiting!
Our last week of school, memory verse for the week~Proverbs 1:7
Little man working hard!
Never tire of listening to her read!
Ready for last swim lesson for the season!
Abigail's accomplishments, lots of books!
Aidan and all his accomplishments!
Another year of homeschooling completed, whoohoo!!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Wise Guys review and book give-away

I recently received, with thanks to FlyBy Promotions an advanced copy of WISE GUYS: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From the Men Around You wrote by Kent Evans. This book releases on June 1st and is Kent Evans’ first book! (Heads up he has a second one in the works already.)

Reading through this book, even though it is meant for men, but I know some of you ladies may want to enter this give-away to get the man in your life a great father's day gift or those men that read my blog be sure to enter too, don't be shy there are no strings attached, just a chance to win a free book! This book is full of wisdom from which Kent shares his story and the men that helped him. The stories are encouraging and humorous, though some of it goes over my head, but I know it wouldn't my husband. I think guys have a weird humor gene that women don't? He does talk about some serious issues too, such as the decline of fatherhood and the importance father's are in the family. He shares about becoming a christian and references to Bible verses/stories. I especially enjoyed reading the chapter about the letter he received from his best friend's father and how encouraging it was to him. The ending of the book is perfect ~ to God be the glory! 
Another thing, I am a big advocate of women mentoring, and Kent is big on men mentoring relationships!  Right now you can grab a sample e-book of WISE GUYS for free by clicking at the web-site https://www.manhoodjourney.org/wise-guys/

From the publishers: 
WISE GUYS For guys, more than ever, it’s a confusing world. Your GPS doesn’t offer any maps showing how to get to the point of wisdom — and who likes asking for directions anyway?

But there are ways to get that guidance you need. The answers may be all around you, in the form of guys you already know. Wise guys. More experienced guys. Better-traveled guys. Could there be ways to tap into their invaluable knowledge without enduring dull lectures or taking pages of notes?
Kent Evans has surrounded himself with these wise guys. They have shown him all the back roads on the way to wisdom. With a great deal of humor and an endless supply of stories, he wants to show you how to gather life-enriching truth from the guys in your own circle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, KENT EVANS is the board chairman and co-founder of Manhood Journey, a ministry that helps fathers and mentors build the next generation of godly men.  Kent has personally experienced how the guidance of godly men can change the course of a life.  Today he is blessed with a solid 20-year marriage, four wonderful sons and a fulfilling life – largely because of what he’s learned from other men.  He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, and can be found on Twitter @manhoodjourney. 

To enter to win, all you need to do is comment or like the post to be entered, one name will be drawn Saturday, May 21, 2016. 

SOCIAL – CORNER 
Twitter - @manhoodjourney 
#WiseGuys and #FlyBy





"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 35 at Raising Arrows, weekly encouragement and snapshots!

Today we are finishing up week 35 of school here at Raising Arrows, just one more week to put in the books. Notice I wrote in the books, that is what I am required to report, however we do much more learning than that here at Raising Arrows, since our school is our home! Thursday we finished up our spring classes at co-op and had an end of year celebration, full of games, crafts, cupcake eating and ice cream making! The kids had a blast and I think the parents left exhausted, but it is so worth it to see their happy faces, having fun, and being a part of an amazing community!! This week spent some time out on our pond, enjoying some family walks and I enjoyed some reading time. I am starting to get the hang of this enjoying some rest and beauty, oh how it fills my soul! Even if it is for just little increments here and there.

Here are some encouraging reads this week and inspiration:



What I have found of God in Jesus Christ is so wonderful, I am eager for others to know it too—and to know him. —C.H. Spurgeon 

Fully trust and live for God, oh what a difference that makes!~ Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-3 

Now is the time to pray. For our loved ones, for our country, for ourselves. Now is the time to be discerning. Please, for the love of Jesus Christ and for the sake of the world, we must be discerning peoplehttp://www.karipatterson.com/suit-up/

If you’re a mom, you have the most important job in the world. You get to allow your kids to experience the wonder of being a kid while you shape their hearts and minds in preparation for adulthood. http://heidistjohn.com/encouragement/let-them-be-little 

Judgmental/Wise Judgements? I think the essential difference is this: righteous judgement judges actions, self-righteous judgement judges characters. And ultimately, judging characters is up to God, not us (thank goodness). http://sallyclarkson.com/in-praise-of-being-judgmental/ 

Benefits of homeschooling I didn’t know think about before we started. Homeschooling, Thank You. http://smarttereachday.com/considering-homeschooling-read-this-first/

My calling, my vocation, is home educating my children.  It’s what keeps me up at night and gets me going in the morning.  http://www.kortneygarrison.com/2016/05/10/quiet-homeschooling/ 

“Real freedom is freedom from the opinion of others.
Above all, freedom from your own opinions about yourself.” ~ Brennan Manning http://www.incourage.me/2016/05/4-ways-to-let-grace-in-instead-of-guilt.html
 

Pics of the week:

These two sweet blessings, celebrating mother's day!
Airport field trip from last Friday!
 
 
 
Having fun shooting arrows!
A little Cootie's on a rainy day!
Watching the clouds roll in and my man practicing his golf swing!
Loved seeing this, big sis reading to little bro!
Patiently waiting for fish!
Reeling one in!
Spoiled cat~Peter!
Fun with a friend at co-op celebration!
Making ice cream!
Making ice cream, shake it up!!



Friday, May 6, 2016

Week 34 of the school year, encouragement, and snapshots!!

This week, I received good news, thank you God! My mole biopsy's came back benign, this is a first time, after having several removed! Also this week, I took the time to enjoy some rest and going out in our little boat (very little, don't rock the boat type little). Only because my husband talked me into going, and I am very glad he did, it was a lovely time. Watching my children catch fish, being surrounded by nature and resting in it with family! I am learning this year to look for beauty, to enjoy beauty and rest, which is not easy for this type A personality.

We finished up week 34 of school yesterday, which means we only have two weeks and we will complete this school year! Today we are looking forward to attending a field trip with our co-op to the airport and later Abigail starts practice with the Junior PGA team she is playing on this summer. So that means we did movie night last night, we can't miss movie night, it is important, the kids look forward to it every week! Just a reminder it is the little things!
Good wisdom!

Counting many blessings this week, much to be thankful for, always is, just have to remember to look for them and keep looking up to the ONE who created ALL. Hope y'all had a blessed week and found many blessings, just look for them, I promise they are there.

Encouraging reads:

I love hymns! Learning Hymns: Teach Children Effortless Theology http://deeprootsathome.com/hymns-teach-children-effortless-theology/ 
I want to see as much of the truth as my cloudy eyes can muster so that I can make the best decisions I can. I want to let Wisdom teach me. I want to be open to the discernment and honesty of others. I want to be kind and gentle and ever aware of my own limitations, but I also want to make considered decisions based on sensible conclusions.  http://sallyclarkson.com/in-praise-of-being-judgmental/
 

When we keep our eyes on the trial, we miss the glory. He will make beautiful things, even out of us.  (be sure to watch the video) http://mercyisnew.com/2016/05/03/stop-looking-around-look-up/

What is the “loving thing to do” depends heavily on the absence or presence of danger. http://www.karipatterson.com/love-and-danger/

I have learned this last year how I need beauty…love what Sally wrote…Beauty keeps my spirit refreshed. Without it, my spirit becomes dull and lifeless; with it, I am invigorated and encouraged. God has certainly made beauty a priority in his universe, so I can imitate him by making room for beauty in my home. http://sallyclarkson.com/ministry-of-beauty/
Thy Will  

SNAPSHOTS of our week: 

Sunday Worship ready, love hand me down clothes!
Sweet homemade treats from my children with the help of our awesome Sunday night GA church leaders!
Sweet homemade card from Aidan, thanks to his sweet Wednesday children's church leaders!! So thankful and love our church!
Doing her morning chores!
Catching fish with daddy! Yes Zeke may want some!
My little golfers ready for their last golf clinic class!
Love where my hubs put our new to me bench, great place to rest, wonder and enjoy God's beauty!
Peaceful place!
Ready for a little boat ride!
Zeke watching from land, he doesn't like boats or going in the water! Yes he has some anxiety issues!
Love this man!!!
My little fishers!
Reeling it in!
Capturing early morning beauty! Thank you Lord for your great reminders