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!

Abeka 2nd grade is soon to be complete, and we couldn’t be more thankful for ALL that she has learned this year with Mrs. Chappell as her DVD teacher. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division, the Solar System, I Love America, superior Character building lessons, funny, interesting and inspiring reading selections, great story starters, and loads of fun each day with all the creative ways of learning that Mrs. Chappell incorporates. Just today, we sat down for lunch with a plate appropriately divided and filled with each food group for a balanced meal plan. Thank you, Mrs. Chappell!

Even AmiJoy has fun during Music Time!

It is so helpful to have many avenues of learning that support the goals and philosophy you have established for your children. From a strictly secular viewpoint, parents by the thousands envision a dream for their child, build the steps to achieve that goal, and provide the environment, tools, and encouragement for their child to stay focused and obtain the prize. Parents may desire for their child higher education, a specific field of study or career, or a financial status. Many have the Olympics, Sports Scholarships, Ivy League Rankings, Professional Clubs, Law or Medical fields or other high ambitions in mind. No doubt, any Life Coach would map out the path to success and set you in the attack mode to accomplish it. Have you noticed the car salesman? He never quits, he follows up consistently, he stays positives, and he always has a solution to the problem. The social media manager never quits, relentlessly and continuously posts new content, builds you up, and offers everything you need!

While I may not espouse the methods and motives of the secular parent, car salesman, or social media manager, I do desire to model their tenacity, ambition, consistency and organization in my service for the Lord, and, in that service “train up” children who can be even more intentionally effective for Him. When I find those other “avenues of learning” that help us in that training, it becomes like a cherry on top of that perfect sundae. (Albeit a challenging one when it comes to keeping up with our full-time school curriculum and our other ministry responsibilities.)

Recently we have been blessed by numerous “cherry” opportunities.

She also enjoyed piecing together a heart quilt block and converting it into a Valentine’s Day postcard for special friends.
AbiNoelle sewed her own skirt with a matching skirt and shirt for Grace, her 18″ doll.

A voyage that no one wanted – or so was AbiNoelle’s clue for a special Valentine Activity with Daddy. They entered and saw the Grand Staircase of the Titanic! As they readied to go up, the attendant commented on AbiNoelle’s attire. It was so cute! This gave AbiNoelle just the amount of permission she needed to start a conversation. You see, she had sewn her own Valentine’s skirt specifically for this outfit. [Side note: AbiNoelle asked for a sewing machine for Christmas. Mommy decided to pass down her very first sewing machine to AbiNoelle to try out and see if she would like learning to sew. Needless to say, it is “Sew” much fun! AbiNoelle has made a matching skirt set for her and Grace – her 18″ doll, a shirt and a dress for Grace, and even learned how to piece a quilt block into a Valentine’s card for special friends]. After telling the attendant about the origins of her skirts, the attendant radioed up to the next greeter that a “cute” little girl was on her way. The adventure continued as the greeter showed off the Titanic’s grand piano, of which AbiNoelle was given the opportunity to sit and play – undoubtedly the only time “Deep and Wide” was heard from that fine instrument. She was handed a unique card with the piano’s picture and a thank you from the crew for playing – Way to go! She and Daddy enjoyed and immensely learned from the remaining audio tour supplied through our homeschool discount ticket (Thank you, Titanic!). The icy waters and the chance to try to steer the ship away from the iceberg indelibly painted a clear image of that scary event. At the conclusion, they purchased a book from the gift shop and AbiNoelle gave the clerk a small Smiley face gospel tract. As they exited into the parking lot, the clerk came running after them…to thank them for the tract. She said, “Are you the girl they were talking about that made her own skirt and played our piano? Thank you for the Smiley book. I’m going to talk about YOU in our Monday morning meeting!” Well, it looks like Mommy’s clue was a little wrong – that was certainly a voyage that added a cherry on top!

Playing the violin

Not only sewing and “sailing,” but violin class using the Jaffe Strings from Abeka has been SWEET! For about a year, AbiNoelle has wanted to learn the violin. MusiCamp with Majesty Music last summer struck a determined cord in her to learn this instrument. Mommy, on the other hand, was not quick to provide lessons, not only because of the financial investment, but also remembering her own first grade “lightly row, lightly row, eek, eek screech, screech” violin song practice did not offer much encouragement. However with much effort, AbiNoelle earned the opportunity to rent a violin and borrow the DVD lessons. To our amazement, she is doing quite well. Dr. and Mrs. Jaffe are wonderful teachers and their method of teaching music has already blessed Mommy, let alone kept AbiNoelle from experiencing all the screeches. We are enjoying her tunes and she is learning to play the violin – what a blessing!

Stories in clay
Looking through the peep hole of the box to see the story.

How about clay molding! AbiNoelle and PopPop took the challenge of illustrating David and Goliath! They created a special “peep-through” box that housed a formed Goliath and David with sword, shield, head wound and all. This illustration certainly peeked the interest of all those that viewed it.

How exciting to think of all these skills being learned that can be used of the Lord! But back to our Christmas card challenge, for that truly was a special cherry! She cut and pasted, drew and decorated. The final result was a beautiful Pop-up Christmas card that told exactly who Jesus is and how He is the greatest gift of all. Her Christmas Card along with 750 churches and their young people’s cards were judged at the Master’s Club headquarters in Milford, OH. Much to our surprise, AbiNoelle was awarded a first place ribbon for her Christmas card entry!

How will the Lord choose to use AbiNoelle? I don’t know, but isn’t it so exciting to think about? Perhaps a musician in church, a clothing designer for Christian ladies, a King James Bible card maker, a witness and testimony for Him???? Much is yet to be seen, but He is certainly using her NOW as she daily works hard to learn and takes advantage of each step of opportunity He provides. I hope she likes cherries, because her sundae is sure going to be full!

Don’t miss AbiNoelle’s latest Tweety-Pie Junior Tutor episode.