Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Obsidian Flow in Sun River, Oregon

A lot of kids = a lot of bikes

Enjoying friends, a lollipop and a road trip to Sun River....



Hiking up the mountain of Obsidian Flow near Sun River, OR

We are nearing the top....

Just a little further....

Look how strong I am?  It's pumice:)

View from the top...

Resting on Obsidian might not be the best idea....

There's actually something alive!

Life and death, huge difference, absolute line between the two....
 
What do we do when the lines of morality (who's alive spiritually and who's asleep and why is it dangerous?) become blurred in this life, perhaps even in our churches...we go to the Lord in prayer as usual.  We go to one another in a loving, mature discussion, using our spiritual gifts to build up one another in the body of Christ, bringing glory to God.  Business as usual despite what is going on in the world around us....

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Genius of Vicki Bentley

A Paper Management System that Works!

What's inside...

What's outside....

 Is anyone buried under paperwork from home, ministry, business, school, church, etc?  How do you keep it all straight?  Wonder no more.....Vicki Bentley to the rescue.  This woman is a genius.  Whether you home school or not, you'll benefit from her written works.

"The Everyday Family Chore System,"  "Home Education 101," mentor manual, and "My Homeshool Planner,"  are the spiral bound notebooks I recently purchased. 

I am so thankful to the Lord for creating this woman and so thankful that this woman shared her experience in notebook form for others to glean from.  Her notebooks are simple, black and white, easy to follow and easy to reference. 

I've spent the last few days reading in "Home Education 101," the sections entitled, "I Know It's Here ....Somewhere," and "I've Tried Filing, But it Just Keeps Piling..." 
So I can now see my desk area....yet have a little more to do...

Love this tip...have children deposit a quarter when borrowing office supplies:
Upon returning, they get their money back,
if you have to retrieve supplies from them, you keep the money.
At this rate, I'll be saving up quite a lot....

LOVE this chore chart, it actually works.  Paper cue cards
are glued on clothespins...easily distracted people can clip
them onto clothes as they go about chores.

Vicki Bentley has taken the chore out of thinking and writing up
the details of completing each chore by typing them all up neatly on
3X5 cards that we keep in the yellow box.


What comfort and joy I have found in finally understanding why a typical filing system has never worked for me....I'm so easily distracted and full of creative ideas and love to implement new projects and strategies and encourage others to do the same (sorry to all my poor family and friends).  

I have sticky notes all over the house, and scraps of paper here and there and……Vicki understands and says, it’s OK!  Hallelujah, I’m not insane, I’m just highly distracted at times and God loves “highly distracted at times people”….we’re part of his gift to the body of Christ.  We just need to be disciplined to keep ourselves and ideas and projects organized and under self-control….

I've been using Vicki Bentley's strategy for a couple weeks now and both my husband and I are amazed.  We are feeling on top of things, planning better, freeing up more time because we're not thinking about all the things we need to do, talk about, or constantly trying to remember when to do everything. 

We now have an allotted time and place for all paperwork and project ideas and a time in which to discuss each.  Now we have time to look at each other and enjoy one another and our seven children without thinking of all the other things that are pressing. 

This woman has lifted a HUGE burden off our shoulders!  What a gift to the body of the Lord Jesus Christ!  We got to listen to this woman at the OCEAN Homeschool Conference and were so blessed by her humble, yet full of wisdom and encouragement talk.  She probably wouldn't like that I'm calling her a genius and amazing, but it's true and I want all Mom's and Dad's everywhere benefitting from her style and advice...she's flexible, yet has a realistic framework in which to put things.  This is something rare and lacking in a lot of organizational books and help out there. 

I would like to host a "Home Education 101" workshop for new and seasoned moms here at the "Old Orchard School House and Gymnasium."  We need to learn from one another and now I have a new tool to bring it all together under one roof, thanks to Vicki Bentley.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back to School with a Flock of Wild Turkeys



Follow the leader....
These wild turkey's were God's analogy to me during my quiet time this morning....OK, not so quiet because my 3-year old was awake witnessing God's handiwork as well....

Six little baby turkey's...goslings I suppose... scampered across the lawn following mama and daddy turkey.  They happily puttered along.  Sometimes they formed a straight line, other times they all spread out.  They arrived on my front lawn in a wild frenzy, having been separated by a car zooming by.  They regrouped, calmed down and continued on their journey. 

The night before they were roosting in our neighbor's gigantic fir tree.  As I've observed these wild turkey's in the past few months I've noticed that they travel everywhere... together...teaching and learning together.  Their day to day life experiences are the training ground for success for the next day and so on and so forth.  They are learning about safe places to roost at night, how to cross the road, where to find food, etc.

It reminded me again of God's command in the OT to teach and train up our children as we rise up, sit, and walk together, going about our daily work and duties.  Daily life provides ample training grounds for a well rounded and solid background for...ahem....daily life which all added up together create history and future. 

Do you ever wonder how the masses of people from 1000's of generations back taught and trained their children for the disciplines and duties of adult life?

(I have three teenagers this upcoming school year, as well as two elementary aged children who happened to learn to read over the summer, a 3-year old not far behind and a toddling one year old) I ponder a lot these days....

Did the generations before us have the tools and resources that we have today?  We share something in common...we all have a brain...we are learning from birth....growing and maturing with the aid of curiosity.  We were all born into a family or lack thereof, and someone made a decision for us, regarding our care.

So we don't share modern day teaching resources, what of it?  Is it all the resources, books, and learning opportunities that make us smart?  Or could it be...simply that the fear of the Lord is truly the beginning of wisdom? 

Strangely enough, 22 years ago, I spent some time helping out on a huge turkey farm in Canada.  To make a long story short, these farm turkey's had absolutely NO sense.  Instinct was bred out of them.  They reacted to life....from being herded with a long handled push broom to laying eggs in neat little nests provided for them in rows and rows of boxes. 

The turkey's couldn't respond, they could only react.  They never questioned why their eggs disappeared every day.  They just knew the easiest and cleanest place to lay them. (They are turkey's, of course they wouldn't, you say...yet for the sake of analogy, stay with me.)

They never understood freedom.  They never experienced life like those wild turkey's in the above photo, who were guiding and teaching their children to be wary of all the dangers of living life day to day.  Those turkey's were so obviously a real family having a grand adventure out in the real world and lived.....really lived.....yes in real danger and real victory....they lived.

Let it be said that we really live.  Whether you choose, as a parent for your children to be educated at home or educated abroad, or educated in the local public or private school, you are free to choose.

Let it be said that we Christians really know how to live.  Yes, in real danger...in real victory...in hard times and in good...we know what it means to be content.  We know what it means to forgive and love.  We know what it means to endure fiery trials and come out unscathed by the grace of God. We know what it means to serve our neighbor, our country, or the globe and do it joyfully!

The same grace that saves us is the same grace God wants us to operate in as we work for him.  We are his workmanship created to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.  Are you walking today in that same grace that you first experienced at the cross?  That grace doesn't change and it's bottomless, never ending.  I just learned that literally, the word works means, "the results of grace."  Have you found God's grace today?  Did you find it years ago and get distracted?  It's never too late.

I'm finally reading a Bible study guide that my husband's sister gave me years ago, "Using Your Spiritual Gifts," by Eddie Rasnake and published by AMG Publishers.  One of the verses I read today was a charge from I Peter 5:2-4 to, "Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

Let's teach our children daily what it means to follow God and sense His voice amidst the noise and clamor of the world.  He's a gentle teacher, a "chief Shepherd" as I Peter 5:4 proclaims.  We are to be examples to our children, modeling what it means to be a follower of Christ.  As God leads us, so we lead our children.  What a blessing and privilege to be a parent...we should do it willingly, wake up early, ready to serve, not ready to lord it over them.  Ready to be a living sacrifice and example to them of day to day Christian living in the 21st Century. 

Are you In? 

 


Saturday, August 6, 2016

The First Zucchini of the Season

It has arrived.....
 Please tell me you're as happy as these children when you pick your first zucchini of the summer...

The overgrown office
 Please tell me your desk at home sometimes looks like the above...don't you love it when your kids grab the camera and take everyday still life shots.  Why do they call them still life when it is anything but still...
Budding young Princess
 Life...please be still..they are growning up too fast, I'm so glad the kids grabbed the camera and took pictures or I never would have had this one....yes, I shed a tear when I flipped through these and saw my daughters, from teenage, elementary, and preschool all playing dress up and dance together.
Another young princess....wait, there's two!

You're interrupting my horse ride....ahem!
 Please tell me your children ride your couch cushions and you sometimes leave your vacuum in the living room....for a few days....OK....maybe even a week...argh!
Ship ahoy!  Or mow me down!
Big brother got creative with his mowing chores the other day and towed his siblings in a plastic boat behind him.  And, yes, safety conscious as he is, he had them wear earmuffs and eventually eye protection as well as a hanker chief for their mouth.

I probably should read my old posts before posting a new one....ha ha  I didn't realize I wrote about the same pictures twice.  I was thinking they seemed rather familiar...but you know....it had been a while.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Swim in a Sea of Confusion NO MORE

Taft Beach, just south of Lincoln City, Oregon
The above photo is deceptive.  Anyone who's been to this beach knows that this is an enjoyable and walkable distance out to the rocks and back.  It's easier done when the tide is out, but still doable, just a little wet. 

I think the idea of home schooling looks like the above photo for a lot of Christians.  It invokes thoughts of fear, failure and an impossibility.  However, when you actually step away from the picture in your mind and enter in to the day to day reality, it can be done and is enjoyable. 

My husband and I attended the 2016 OCEAN Homeschool State Convention this year in Portland.  It was the breath of fresh air we needed.  We were reminded of why we set out on this adventure.  Yes, it's hard, but it is good.  Home schooling is good, but hard, as Todd Wilson reminded us.

I attended this conference when I first started home schooling about 12 years ago.  I was completely overwhelmed and had no idea where to start and was amazed at all the curriculum and teaching styles out there....not to mention....People....lots of people. 

However, my conference experience this year was awesome.  My husband and I were encouraged to be a team and work together at this endeavor.  We were given all sorts of tools for our box of home schooling.  It was worth the time, money and effort to get up to Portland for two days of encouragement.  I only wish I could spread it around throughout the year...so we purchased the entire session here:  http://alliancerecordings.com/
Dads, if you've never been, go!  Support your wife and be an encouragement to her and play on the same team. 

Playing on the same team, you say?  Here's some idea's:

Chemistry Class 101 with Daddy in the Kitchen

Yep, He's still got the same sparkle in his eye...19 years and counting!

 
This is a great place to stow away...
 My oldest son had a volunteer to be the weight in his "practice backpacking" venture.  Everyone in the family needs to have a team mentality to win at this adventure in homeschooling.  It's fun, enjoyable, and hard, yes, but worth it! 

GO TEAM HOME SCHOOL!