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Homeschooling with a MISSION

Insider Peeks at Mission Academy using A Beka DVD

Should we “direct” them?

Is direction needed?

Three, four and… Let the strings begin. Our summer has been filled with the sweet melody (well, most of the time) of beginning violin. Truly, under the instruction of Dr. Jaffe and the Abeka Strings DVD program, learning violin for AbiNoelle (as opposed to Mommy’s first grade experience) has been music to our ears! After over 40 lessons, orchestra rehearsal sessions have begun, even including the wedding march, no doubt in honor of our 15th Wedding Anniversary this summer! With an orchestra, of course, comes a conductor, yet according to Dr. Jaffe, trial and significant error brought today’s view of the man and his baton. Apparently, in times past, the musicians gathered and played somewhat “together” as their own ears directed. Eventually, general concensus called for a conductor to create perfect harmony. Yet still, the conductor needed something that would insist upon a unified tempo amongst the instruments. Hence…..the BIG STICK. Seriously, can’t you just picture today’s finest orchestra playing a minuet to the thudding beat of a Moses-like staff! The turning tide, so the legend tells, is that a conductor, so intently stamped the beat that when he mistakenly hit his foot, the injury turned deadly.

The extreme’s of no direction to the BIG STICK brought us to today’s small but not insignificant baton that can draw a clear path to delightful sounds.

Extremes –

it seems, even in times past, man is constantly gravitating from one extreme to the other.

From the live-as-you-go to a schedule that will make the marines shudder….

From a hodge podge of books at the library to a syllabus listing hours of assignments…

From no make-up to the Jezebel look…

From the composed funeral dirge song time to hopping, swaying, and praising…

From Kentucky Fried to Keto-for-Life…

From couch potato to 5k…

From the “can’t throw it away” to the Marie Kondo’s Extreme Declutter…

Certainly, some ideas have their merit. Nonetheless, extremes are always out to yank us here and there, intending to consume us and many times bringing fatal consequences spiritually, emotionally or physically. I Corinthians 15:58 says, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Philippians 4:5 reminds us to: Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

Thinking back to AbiNoelle’s K5 Abeka DVD days, Mrs. Reese said that “for the Lord” she just wanted to be “the same everyday” – Not meaning that she didn’t want to grow and improve, but simply that she wanted to be consistent not moody or unstable.

In this “extreme” world, this is our challenge for the 2019-2020 school: To be consistent, strong and abounding in our work for the Lord using proven tools in a balanced manner.

With that in mind, we continue on beyond a wonderful summer of travels, Spanish, violin, sewing, playing, book adventures, game time, etc. and welcome a new Abeka Academy school year with great anticipation and excitement.

The “big kid” days are upon us as AbiNoelle steps up into the real elementary-like classes with Miss Heindel. The all-new Abeka third grade curriculum offers excellent history biographies, lots of hands-on opportunities in Science, an adventure around every page in reading, “tons” of math concepts, awesome art projects, and life-challenging lessons in Bible. This biblical approach, high academic standards, and exciting learning method fits our school year goal to a “T.”

After day one, AbiNoelle said, “She’s (Miss Heindel) GREAT!” “I really like Math, but I really like Language too!” She is super excited about giving trial spelling tests a try and can’t wait for art time on Friday. Spanish, violin and sewing continue only in smaller segments, and Tweety-Pie Junior Tutor is full-steam ahead as we edit upcoming video lessons and look for our new book, The Constitution Defender, to arrive from the printer soon!

And, not to be forgotten, AmiJoy thinks she can do anything big sister can. Her busy little self enjoyed the first days of school by singing in Bible time, coloring on the chalkboard, working on her colors, and trying out AbiNoelle’s preschool desk. Her “JOY” interrupts regularly, but is learning to keep her hands busy in her own “school” space.

So….here we go…

not as a lost orchestra

not with the thud of a BIG STICK

but movement by movement directed by THE MASTER CONDUCTOR’s baton.

Life, under His direction, will have its high notes and low notes, yet complete a beautiful song.

Abeka Academy 2nd Grade Cross Stitch Lessons

What an important time! In the midst of life and ministry, we were chugging full steam ahead to finish up AbiNoelle’s 2nd Grade school year. (The beautiful weather was calling us outside!)I was busy and she came running in saying, “Quick, Mommy, I need help finding my special paper…Mrs. Chappell is teaching us cross stitching today.” My head immediately popped up and I turn full view to say, “Cross Stitch? Are you sure? What kind of special paper are you talking about?” My mind was quickly rushing through the days assignments and coming up with NADA for Cross Stitching. “Oh Mommy, you know, in writing, we’re going to take a word and write it down our paper [Light was beginning to dawn on me and a smile was creeping across my face] and then we come up with a word to go with each letter.”

Continue reading “Abeka Academy 2nd Grade Cross Stitch Lessons”

A $30,000 Bill and Blessing

Really God’s Blessings are innumerable and generally much more than a financial spreadsheet can show. However, today, we want to stop and take note of the numbers. Surrounding the sparks of this coming 4th of July, we plan to celebrate 15 – WOW 15 – years of serving the Lord together in ministry as a married couple.

The White House

Our family working on a special ministry project in D.C.

Just about all of that time has been spent in mission work, where God has opened various tentmaker doors to meet our needs. Over the years, some of those jobs have included a benefits package, while others were simply an hourly wage. Without bogging the blog with details, our healthcare provisions have run the gamut of traditional insurance to the ministry-based sharing network of Christian Healthcare Ministries. We have been subject to the “approved network” and now judiciously choose our care based on what is best for our family members.

In 2011, we were sent a surprise blessing – AbiNoelle. Under typical 80/20 insurance, our deductible was high, doctor’s bills were upfront and a huge chunk of change to us, and the final balance seemed incredibly daunting in the midst of keeping up with the regular monthly insurance premiums. Of course welfare style options were encouraged by the hospital finance department, but we trusted the Lord to help us pay what we owed. Amazingly, after some time of consistent payments, the hospital offered to reduce our $10,000 dollar balance to mere pennies allowing us to completely pay the account in full. We praised the Lord!

After seven years, typical doctor bills, but extravagant premiums to companies that continuously increased support to anti-biblical sources, we researched and submitted our application to Christian Healthcare Ministries. Under this sharing system, a network of believers join together in prayer and financial support to meet healthcare needs. Shortly after joining, the unexpected came as we entered the OBGYN and heard that AbiNoelle’s prayer for a baby sister would be answered! We were so excited….and then reality struck with all the “self-pay,” upfront, hundreds of dollars owed. Then, time revealed another c-section would be planned. We called to receive a projected cost from the hospital and were given incredible figures well over $20,000. How would this ever work? Following the guidelines of CHM, we asked for self-pay prices and discounts if we paid in full at the time of service and we began paying and submitting receipts to the CHM office. What an absolute relief! – Through the CHM network our final cost of nearly $30,000 was completely paid. Now as we wade through a current health challenge, we have been able to confidently assure the doctors that each bill will be paid in full in a timely manner without the offered government aid. The Lord truly is faithful to those who seek after Him.

Take note that the more you delve into healthcare, it is an eye-opening learning curve. Do your research, seek counsel, make the wisest, most biblically centered choice and rest in His care for you and your family. God will provide!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

For More Information on CHM visit: https://www.chministries.org/

To easily apply (Using this link will help our family): https://join.chministries.org/application.aspx?mem=287822

Do we Google?

No, I can’t believe it. No, I refuse to believe it! But AbiNoelle said that I must believe, or, rather, “Whether you believe it or not, Mommy, it’s true!” (That kind of reminds me of the kid’s song that I used to sing all the time, “God said, and I believe it, and that settles it for me.” Of course, the preacher reminds us that whether WE believe it or not… God said it and THAT settles it!) Well, here I am in that very predicament. Whether I believe it or not, AbiNoelle’s

Continue reading “Do we Google?”

KJV Card Designer with a Cherry on Top!

The assignment was given! The young people were challenged to complete an at-home project creating a hand-made Christmas card that shared the gospel message. ANDDDD she was off! – Not to the races, but to her creation station. Cardstock, glue, glitter (YIKES – says Mommy), markers, pens, and a few ideas from Google and you’ll never guess what happened!

Continue reading “KJV Card Designer with a Cherry on Top!”

Footsteps and the Cat’s Business

Fun in the snow

Stepping out to a crunch, our breath was deep and clear and soon rosy cheeks matched the sparkle that twinkled from the fresh laden snow to the laughing eyes of us all as we ventured up and down hills, climbed through fallen trees, and flew with the sled over newly made trails. God’s creation is awesome and full of lessons about Him. HIS faithfulness enveloped us as we hiked, pointing out special promises over each footstep. It all started with AbiNoelle trudging along behind us….I’m sure you can hear it now, “But Mommy…”

Family hike in the snow

“Just step in Daddy’s footprints,” I instructed from ahead. Glancing back, a few times, I questioned, “Are you walking in Daddy’s footsteps? It will be easier if you do.” You see, Daddy was stomping down the thorny vines, breaking down overhanging limbs, watching out for rocks and holes that might cause a fall – he was making the perfect path. Just like our Heavenly Father, who knoweth THE WAY long before we can see it all, prepares and directs our steps. If only we would just follow Him step by step, we could avoid the pitfalls of this world that may cause us trouble or harm.

With slight exasperation, she called out, “I’m trying to, Mommy, but…sometimes…his footsteps…well, I just have to stretch so far to reach them!” 

And so it is with our Heavenly Guide. Knowing all that we can handle and are capable of, He purposefully stretches us to reach the place He’d have us be. The challenge of His plan builds our trust and grows our faith in His perfect leadership in our life.

As we weaved through the brush, Mommy and AbiNoelle soon fell out of step with Daddy’s trail and ventured toward a shortcut, but, uh-oh, look-out! Those tangles of vines! We thought we could just force our way through, the vines would brake against our force, and we could rejoin Daddy. But, No-No! Those vines, though brown and dead looking, were strong, thorny, and could not be broken. Back-tracking we went, to Daddy’s steps and the more sure way.

Isn’t that just like us! To think we know the best way and plow ahead of God’s WAY only to find out the hard way that our way was poor and His WAY best.

Porkchop

As we came into the clearing, Porkchop (the family cat), who had previously been crying and pouncing around, wondering what had happened to bring all this white, cold stuff, stopped right in the middle of our trail, in between Daddy and AbiNoelle. So do we like to get all flustered by the unexpected and just flutter around in confusion, crying and worrying, and wondering what we should do. Well, this cat’s abrupt stop, quickly brought a guttural gasp from AbiNoelle as he did his business right in plain view! Yuck! What a distraction from the trail. This ole world daily “drops” distractions into our path, and, sadly, many times, the Devil wins out, we stop looking to the Guide, we fall off the STRAIGHT WAY, and we become fixated on the scene before us.

AmiJoy with Daddy

Once we moved beyond “the cat’s business,” our look forward showed AmiJoy, safe in Daddy’s arms, along for the ride, and far ahead of us. Wouldn’t it be just great if we could remember that we are just along for a ride that can be pleasing to Him, while knowing that this world is not our home and we’re just a’passin’ through. What a promise to rest in the truth that He will carry us even down the toughest of roads.

That sledding sure tires a body out!

As we paused for a rest, Porkchop (yes, the cat) found a dry spot to sit. By this point, AmiJoy’s fun was coming to an end as she began to droop from our trek. We all turned to head home – all but the cat. He had found his dry spot and wasn’t willing to give it up to trudge back into the cold. Oh, how we do the same! We get into that comfort zone and aren’t willing to give it up to follow the Master. “He’ll come home when it’s dinner time,” we told AbiNoelle. Yes, the dry spot will eventually be left, but instead of following us home, Porkchop will now have a colder, lonelier, darker trip home. Many times, our Father does allow us to choose our own way, and even though that journey may lead us home, the WAY was not His plan, His choosing, or His will. Sadly, we missed the best!

The Broken Way (Lots of clean-up required)

Oh, that we might daily see and choose each footstep created just for us, for truly, His way is Perfect.

HIS way is best!

Footsteps and the Cat’s Business

The Genealogy thrown away!

Guess what she said on her birthday! It was a wonderful day to praise the Lord for the years of precious life He has granted. What a miracle it was for us to be given such a special gift just “7” years ago. After fostering-to-adopt four children and enduring miscarriages, we thank the Lord daily for looking upon us with grace and the blessing of AbiNoelle (and the answer to her prayer for a sister, AmiJoy). In our family, this is the season of birthdays, beginning with Daddy and AmiJoy in September and Mommy and AbiNoelle in November. AmiJoy is on the move and showing her personality more and more each day. When her words come, no doubt we will have content overload in our house, but, for now, AbiNoelle maintains the lead in that area. On her birthday morning, she said, “Mommy, I kept waking in the night so excited for today…why I’ve been waiting a whole year to be seven!

Too funny! – Waiting a whole year to be seven! Life is precious and exciting! But life can also bring difficulties. In our prayer list, we are praying for

….a friend who just lost a baby and one who is expecting to bring one home soon. 

…a missionary’s family who is resting in God’s comfort after his tragic death at the hands of unrest in their country.

…a pastor’s wife who watched her father take his next step into the presence of the Lord.

Life is important and must be used effectively and carefully for His service.

I was just speaking with a friend whose husband works in genealogies. Shockingly, he recounted how many times, a family member has walked into the genealogy library with a box of family records only to state that the “heritage” of records was unwanted by their family. While a treasure for the genealogy society, but what a sad moment in that family history, to think that someone’s years of research was boxed up and so quickly handed over to strangers. 

Family and heritage can have such influence and impact on our lives – for the good or bad. The cycle of divorce, drunkenness, and all others many times is passed from generation to generation. Most foster children look back in their history to a trail of brokenness. Yet the Bible reminds us of a goodly heritage that we can all strive for – breaking the cycle of sin and passing on the amazing, life-changing difference of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

AbiNoelle and I had the special privilege of attending a Mother-Daughter Retreat. This intentional togetherness left us no doubt closer and more understanding of each other. The speaker challenged the Mom’s to be “Women of the Word” and the daughters were also taught to exercise purposeful kindness everyday. One important take-away gem from a lesson was that families should create a “Mission Statement” to be learned by all members and exemplified to all watching. What a great way to emphasize the importance of life, family, and heritage! Just the other day, I heard a  preacher lamenting the fact that statistics show that millions of Americans attest to living under a Biblical Worldview, yet a test of their Bible knowledge proved that only a small fraction understood the Bible that they said they lived by.

Mother-Daughter Retreat Craft time.
Mother-Daughter Retreat

Our prayer is that we might raise our family to live intentionally for the Lord and that those watching might see great evidence of God’s Truth growing us, leading us, guarding us day-by-day.

Family Moments

Don’t forget to check out AbiNoelle’s latest Tweety-Pie, Junior Tutor Lessons on Vimeo.

The Ban on Little House and our Surprising New Fact

I was once told that “History is the key to our past,” yet, while so true, it seems that many are trying to get us to jam that key into another door – a door that would open the minds of young people to a world where truth has been re-interpreted, twisted or erased to meet the agenda of a leftists few. After reading of the stripping of the Laura Ingalls Wilder award by the American Library Association, I was all the more tickled to hear AbiNoelle’s gasps as she rushed out of the schoolroom to tell me this surprising fact: Continue reading “The Ban on Little House and our Surprising New Fact”

Abeka Seatwork and Why we start at 7AM!

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It’s Back to School and all those cute little pics are blowing up your feed. Our “posed” shots are coming soon, but the reality is that AbiNoelle is actually four weeks into her second grade year with Mrs. Chappell and the Abeka DVD program. Let me just say, this school year is off to a great start! So great that I wanted to share it with you all. It’s all thanks much in part to our routine change in two areas. I know, many of my homeschool friends are ready to faint at that word “routine,” but it works for us, and just maybe a few quick details might inspire you. Continue reading “Abeka Seatwork and Why we start at 7AM!”

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