Thursday, March 31, 2016

Eighteen. Tell Me It Ain't So...

It's too fast.
You were just a tiny baby yesterday.

Ben's bestest buddy in the entire world!

A personality that kept us on our toes.

Too fast you have grown...
Still best buddies...
Our blonde haired dimpled little  boy.
The PERFECT Jack Sparrow


Sid Sawyer at his finest!

Friends forever.

You are Eighteen today.
This is the 2nd year in row where I'm not able to be home for your birthday.
I'm posting this early early in the morning as I am heading to Ohio for a convention. You are asleep in your bed and all I can do is whisper birthday wishes and prayers as I quietly walk out the door.
It's not fair I miss hugging you on your 18th birthday.
It's a pretty special day.
You have spent the last 18 years bringing laughter to our family.

Your quick wit and quirky sense of humor leaves us in stitches and scratching our heads at the same time.
People think you are shy and reserved.
Not at our family table.

Not when you are talking politics or science or engineering or history. Now when you are critiquing movies and graphics.
Not when you are on stage. There has been no part too small or too large or too serious or too wacky you aren't willing to do. 
Not when you are singing. Not at all when you are singing!
You're eighteen today.
I'm going to miss giving you your birthday hug today. 
Happy Eighteenth Birthday my one of a kind son!!
I love you all the way to the moon and back....

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Happy Birthday, Rob

To the BEST Papa.
The BEST Daddy.
The sweetest husband and my bestest friend in the entire world...
Happy Birthday Rob!

Your dislike of the camera made it hard for me to write this post.
I don't have many beautiful posed pictures of you and the boys. They are rare and precious!

And pictures of you and me are almost non-existent.

You're too busy just being dad.
You're too focused on being our provider, protector and fixer of all things!


You love Jesus. You love me. You love your family.

I love you more than words can say.
Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

I have a tag on my e-mail.  Every time I send an e-mail the recipient gets to see this verse:
I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!
It's from the book of Job.
Job.  A man who lost everything in his life. His fortune. His children. 
Sitting in the ground in sackcloth and ashes.
His entire life having caved down around him.
But he clings.
He clings with all of his being to the One Truth.
He has a Redeemer.
One who will stand beside him at the end of days.
One who will speak for him.
A Redeemer.
I know that my Redeemer lives.
...and in the end... I will see God!
On this Sunday.
As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord I cry out with all of my being...
At the end of days - I WILL see Him.  He WILL stand beside me.  He will speak truth and hope into my heart.
We need a Redeemer.
Each one of us.
In our broken, sinful, selfish state. 
We need one who will be there in the end and speak for us.
Jesus is Our Redeemer.
He is MY Redeemer.
I KNOW that He lives.
 “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cool History Cool Dudes

They were the cool dudes at the Great Homeschool Convention in South Carolina this past weekend.

The best dimpled salesmen we had in our booth!!
Seriously? Who wouldn't want to buy from them??
They LOVE going to conventions!

They LOVE helping us set up the booth. 
They had a BLAST doing the children's program.  They think hotel living is living the high life!
I love having them with me. It makes going away so much sweeter when I'm not leaving my entire family at home.

Though it was a long drive down to South Carolina and back, doing it with Rob and the boys was a nice way to start the year.  I don't get that pleasure often enough this year so I don't take it for granted.

I'm heading to Tennessee to the Teach Them Diligently Convention this next weekend but sadly won't get to take these silly boys or Rob with me.
Happily, Ben will be working by my side, so I get another weekend soaking up time with family!
We recently received a letter from someone who uses BiblioPlan AND who has adopted a bunch of treasures and I just wanted to share parts of that letter here.
Just had to share with you how wonderfully BiblioPlan is working for our family.  We finished up our first round of history this past fall, did a short unit on our state history, and then started on Ancients about 8 weeks ago.  We are loving it!   We love the Companion, the associated Bible readings, and the Victor Journey Through the Bible along with the living book suggestions.  The maps are so much easier to use because you have the instructions printed right on the map.  With five kids doing maps, this has been a huge help since each child has their own set of instructions and they don't need to refer to the teacher's book.  They are able to do the maps on their own once I briefly explain them as a group. 
The Cool History questions are great for review and your timeline images are very nicely done.  All of my kids have special needs which include ADHD, intellectual disabilities, CP, and dyslexia and BiblioPlan works for all of them. 
 Now that I have five children, I no longer have tons of time to plan out my own history curriculum but that is no problem since BiblioPlan requires so little planning.  For the first time ever, I think I can stay on schedule and we are all enjoying the program.  Thank  you for you, your husband, and your sons' hard work on all of the parts of this wonderful program.  You have done a fabulous job and I finally have the history curriculum I have always wanted.
If you homeschool and are looking for a history and/or literature curriculum, please check us out! Especially check out our newest book!! Anyone who is doing Classical Conversations this fall definitely needs to look at this book!!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Faceless Ones

They are the ones we don't see.  The black silhouettes that we quickly scan through.
They are unseen and the least likely to be picked.
The faceless ones.
March is the 21 Days of Hope for Reece's Rainbow
An opportunity to raise funds for the operating costs of their ministry.  Their Voice of Hope fund.  21,000 in 21 days. 
But of course Reece's Rainbow is all about getting the children seen so it's 21 days of Hope for 21 children in the midst of raising funds for the operative costs.
For every 1,000 raised in the Voice of Hope account, a selected child will receive 1,000 in their grant account.  21 children have been selected.
This year they picked the faceless ones.  The ones we tend to pass right over.  The ones that no one ever really sees.
Usually during Voice of Hope it's been pretty easy for people to jump on board and raise the money each day for the selected children.  Their little faces beaming out at you make it hard to turn away.
This year has been slow.  Very very slow. 
Vinn, Denise, Laina, Keira, Angelica, Mia, Jasper, Kael, Prince, Shelley, Cara and Danton.
12 children who are listed on Reece's Rainbow but because of country rules are faceless. 

It's hard to get excited about a silhouette.
It's hard to rally when 12 of the 21 children are just names. 
But behind those black and white pictures are little boys and little girls who need  families just as much as the rest of them.
Please SEE these faceless babes.
Please see the other 9 children who also have a chance to have their grant accounts increased!
Please CLICK HERE and make a donation to keep Reece's Rainbow running so that these children have a voice.
It's 21 days of hope.
For every 1,000 raised in the Voice of Hope... 1,000 will go into a waiting child's account.
Will you give some hope to the Faceless Ones this March???

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fatherless Friday

THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who poured into Michelle Barrett's grant account yesterday.
You gave and gave and within a few hours she met her 5,000 grant and on top of that met another 250 grant that someone gave her!!  She is so close to being fully funded. Yesterday, Michelle was given the precious experience of watching God move in hearts on her behalf. Adoption is scary and hard and often times rather lonely. Thank you for surrounding Michelle and letting her know that she isn't alone.
If you didn't get a chance to give you still can... Her grant account is HERE.
It's Fatherless Friday.
There are so many babes who are waiting for their families.
It makes my heart hurt sometimes to think of all the waiting babes out there.
This week a fellow blogger asked her readers to notice Elizabeth.
Oh my goodness she is a precious, precious love!!
Let's be real. Her diagnosis is sad. It's gut wrenching.  She's dying. She has a disease that is ominous. I don't even begin to understand all of it but just doing a quick google search makes me beyond sad.
Anyone who adopts her has to go in with their eyes wide open recognizing that according to her diagnosis her life on this earth is short.
Let's be even more real; if she stays where she is then it's even shorter.
They don't have the medicine or the medical expertize in that country to care for her. 
She's a little girl.
A little girl who should not have to spend her short sweet life alone and lonely. 
Oh Please - Is there anyone out there who is willing to pour into a child even knowing it may be for just a short period of time?
Is there anyone out there who can love deeply knowing they may have to let go? Is there anyone out there who is willing to write Elizabeth into their life's story? I guarantee you your story will be enriched beyond words!
Look at her. She's just a little girl.  A little girl waiting for a Mama and a Papa who will throw caution to the wind and race to get her. A Mama and Papa who will fight for her.  Care for her. Love her.
Please someone love Elizabeth!!
Jesus, they say You walked upon the water once
When you lived as all men do
Please teach me how to walk the way You did
Because I want to walk with You

Jesus, they say You taught a lame man how to dance
When he had never stood without a crutch
Well, here am I Lord, holding out my withered hands
And I'm just waiting to be touched

Jesus, write me into Your story
Whisper it to me
And let me know I'm Yours

Thursday, March 3, 2016

She Didn't Make It

This morning these words caught my eye in my Facebook newsfeed...

"We didn't make it."

I read on. Here is what I read...

"I'm heartbroken. I've been trying for months to raise the funds to bring my daughter home. As a single mother it has been hard because there isn't another person with income in my house, there are only 3 grants single applicants can qualify for, and there is only one person to do all of the paperwork and fundraising. I had someone offer a $5000 matching grant and I had until yesterday to raise the funds. I didn't make it and now I am that much further away... from my fully funded amount and I leave in two weeks. I'm traveling alone (which I am quite nervous about). I was $2867 away from the matching grant. I didn't even make it halfway. I'm so disappointed.
I leave in two weeks to pick up my 11 year old daughter with Cerebral Palsy from China."

Okay.  Who's in???


Friday night.

That's tomorrow.

$2867.00 is needed.

The grant on Reece's Rainbow needs to read 5728.00 for her to get her matching grant!!

Who's in???
We can't let a Mama who is days away from travel miss out on a $5,000 matching grant!! 

Will you help?? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Remember the Days

We have been hunkered down these last few months.  Writing. Editing. Formatting. Re-writing. Editing some more. Over and over and over again.
Each week I have taken our words and shared them with the students at the local Christian School where Aaron and John attend.  Each week I have come home and we have analyzed, considered and edited some more.
We are done.
We are so excited.
This is the first book in a series of books called Remember the Days.
Remember the Days.
A series of books for children in grades K-5/6. 
Story-style history from a Classical Christian perspective.
We wrote Book Two first. It's a bit strange to start a series at Book Two but it was a decision we made based on several factors.  The Christian School was doing BiblioPlan's Year 2 - Medieval - so it made sense to start there. We also felt the need was the greatest for a Medieval book for the younger students. 
The added bonus is that all the families who are doing Classical Conversations this year will be able to easily move right into Medieval Days: Book Two!!


We are done.  The book is in our hands.
It is officially for sale starting today.
If you homeschool PLEASE PLEASE check us out.
If you are in a Classical or Christian school take a look. 

 If you are doing Classical Conversations Cycle Two this fall you need to see this book!

 Remember the Days!
We are pretty excited about this book in our little house in the woods!
Check us out!
 P.S. BiblioPlan's website and all the graphics for our book covers and banners and buttons have been designed by Lucille Brown at Penelope and Lane