Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

As home educators, we strive to teach our children all they need to know in academics. We make sure they are at or exceeding in their grade levels, we challenge them more and more with math and science, and we work diligently on proper grammar usage. But do we work as much on our children's spiritual education as well?

Beginning our day in prayer and studying God's Word is the perfect start to our homeschooling day! When we put God first in our day, He will cause the rest of our day to fall into place...with perfect peace in our schooling day.

You may be wondering how to begin, especially if you have young children. It's simple. Begin by purchasing a children's Bible and read stories from that until the children learn to read on their own. Then, you can encourage them to start reading from the Bible, too.

By beginning our day in the Word, we set the tone for the rest of the day, too. The Word says:

Start the day in the Word, train your children in the matters of the Word, and it will get into his spirit and come back to him in times of trouble!

Have a blessed homeschooling week!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Preparing for the New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We were blessed to have all 8 of our kids and our daughter-in-love and son-in-love join us for the weekend, and I always love having my grandsons around.

As I stop and reflect on the previous year, I am encouraged by the things that the Lord has helped me accomplish and opportunities He's given me to fulfill the visions and dreams I have. With a little over a month left of 2016, I thought it would be a great time to start thinking about our One Word for 2017. My previous words included: Imagine, Intentional, Pursue, and Genuine.

 We will talk more about how to choose that One Word in the next few weeks, but this week, I want you to begin by brainstorming, writing a list of words that come to mind when you think about next year, things you want to accomplish, new habits you want to form, and changes you want to make in your life, to your health, in your finances, in your activities. Today, I want you to start!

Four years ago, a friend of mine offered to make a design for those who chose a One Word. I'm offering that to you, my friends, for 2017! Just be sure to get your word to me before January 31, 2017!

Have a blessed week!!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday 'Fess Up

Over the years, I've gathered a lot of family traditions. Every year on our birthday, I go to be an all-day guest at the school my twin sister teaches at. It's a great time of confusing her students. Our family goes up to a local town in the mountains just like my step-dad used to do with all of us. We go to family reunions in June and September. Road trips in October to our favorite event in Texas--Icing! And my sister and I (along with some of our daughters!) always go Black Friday shopping. This will be our 15th year, too!

But my confession today is this...we get up as early as 3 a.m., head out to the mall or other stores--and RARELY make any purchases!! That's right! We go out, drive around in the cold (until the car warms up anyway), walk around the crowded stores, and hardly ever buy anything! You see, for us, it isn't about finding the great deals, checking off things for loved ones from their Christmas lists, or getting that hard-to-find gift. It's about spending time together. It's about having that time to fellowship, to laugh, to be silly, and to enjoy being with the girls.

What fun traditions do you have for the holidays?



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving and Christmas always brings our family together. In our homeschooling years, we have found that taking off all of December works well since we are all so busy with events and activities. But Thanksgiving is a little different. Here is a prime opportunity to work in school with fun and lifelong lessons.

Today, several of our children will begin making their chosen part of assembling our family meal. Our menu consists of turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, Jell-O Salad (a family tradition!), mashed potatoes, garlic mushrooms, gravy, pumpkin pie, and banana pudding! What I do is have each of the kids chose something they want to make. That means that they must assemble all the ingredients, find a bowl or something to make the dish in, and most importantly, clean up after themselves! 

You can do the same thing! Even smaller children can help mash potatoes or mix green bean casserole or even set the silverware on the table! Next, during the meal, you can go around and say some of the things you and your family are thankful for. This is always something we try to do every day, practicing an attitude of gratitude! It's even more special to reflect back on the year, and see what God has done for us.

May you have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!!


Monday, November 14, 2016

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

We all have things we dream about. Things we want to do in life, things we want to accomplish personally and professionally, and things we are willing to step out of our comfort zones to get done. We've talked at length about why to create vision boards, how to create them, and what to put on them. I want to move from that now, though. That's all elementary information! We know what to do and how to do it. How do we move from our dreams and what we can only see on our vision boards to seeing them manifest? We need to put our faith along with our dreams and visions to see those things we dream of become realities! 

Hebrews 11:1 says:

Faith is for here and now while hope is for the future. So we don't sit back and HOPE our dreams come true. We activate our faith, and we put that to work connecting us with the invisible. When we have faith for our dreams and visions to come to pass, we tap into the favor of God. Something we can not earn, but something God gives us. We walk by faith and not by sight, so we have faith that our dreams, goals, and visions will happen! 

Have a blessed week!!


Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Not Too Late...

A couple of months ago, I began travelling more than usual. I slowly noticed that some of the habits I had incorporated into my life like working out, eating a lean diet, focusing on writing, began to slip. They were no longer priorities for me. Then, I began to see the effects of letting those things slide to the back burner. I began gaining weight, I wasn't getting the good sleep I had been, and my book deadlines needed to be pushed back in order to finish them.

You know, I felt like leaving some of those things right back there, out of sight where I wasn't reminded of my slacking off, my failure. But I made a choice to not quit, not this time! Today is a new day, a new opportunity to begin right where you are right now. The Bible says, "His mercies are new every morning!" (Lamentations 3:23). 
Don't worry about where you had been, what you had done. Make the decision to start again. It's not too late! My personal trainer has a positive declaration that he tells all his clients and it's even in his email signature so he sees it multiple times a day: 

  • What have you let slip to the back burner? 
  • What are you keeping back their telling yourself it's not a priority? 
  • Do you really feel it isn't a top priority like it once was? 
  • If it still is, what's stopping you from getting back to it TODAY?

You can still get back to those things! It's not too late to start!

Have a blessed week!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Homeschool Hump Day Encouragement

I was talking to a friend who began to get discouraged in her homeschooling efforts. As we talked, I discovered her discouragement came from the people she was talking to. She was listening to people in the public school system who were attempting to convince her that the best method of education for her children was enrolling them in the local elementary school. She is very much against that, but started to doubt her own abilities to educate her children. That's when I knew something had to change for her.

Maybe you've felt the same discouragement. Have you considered who you are listening to, though? If you want to be encouraged and empowered in your homeschooling journey, don't turn to public school teachers. Many simply don't understand the benefits of homeschooling, and they don't understand the laws. Instead, surround yourself with blogs that support and encourage you, friends who homeschool, and find a homeschool support group of like-minded people who will lift you up rather than tearing you down in your homeschooling efforts!
Today, I want to encourage you to consider who you are listening to when it comes to your homeschooling journey. Are those people encouraging you, lifting you up, supporting your efforts? If not, ask yourself why you're listening to them at all!

Have a blessed homeschooling week!