Fill My Cup Lord

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This past weekend our church had a ladies’ retreat, which I was privileged to attend.  The theme for the weekend was “Fill My Cup Lord”.  I truly needed to have my cup filled.  I am a wife and homeschooling mother, so the majority of the time, I dedicate my time to my children.  This was only the second women’s retreat I have attended.

The retreat was held at a Catholic Retreat Center.  The setting was beautiful and the words touched my heart and soul.  I was so glad I was able to attend.  The messages, the worship music, the meditation stations and the speakers blessed me tremendously.  Furthermore, the time with like-minded ladies was important.  I came back refreshed and ready to help fill the cups of those around me – including our family.  I pray you have been blessed recently.

Review of Let the Little Children Come’s Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack

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As a Christian family, I feel it is important for our family to share the message of Jesus Christ and of salvation.  So I am always on the lookout for tools to assist with that.  Even though my youngest just turned 15 years old, and our oldest is 21 years old, finding the right words to use can be challenging.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic company that offers products to assist with this dilemma.   Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.

According to their “About Us” page on their website, Let The Little Children Come, “aims to provide effective child evangelism tools and resources”.  Their products are designed with children in mind.  Being realistic a typical Bible tract designed with adults in mind will not capture the mind and attention of a child.  However, the items contained in this pack are brightly colorful, engaging and captivating.

In the sampler pack our family received for this review, the first thing that caught my eye was the way all of the tools came packaged in a zippered plastic bag.  This ensured that nothing would be lost or misplaced.  A variety of tools and tracts were included.  There are animated tracts, using a striped plastic sheet over the images and slowly sliding it over the pictures in the tract so the images appear to move.  Next, there are “Pop-up tracts” which follow the same principle of pop-up books I remember buying when our children were younger.  I know these books always kept my children’s interest when they were younger.  Finally, there are FlipAbouts which using according to the enclosed information sheet, “use a fascinating folding mechanism.

I love how the company makes detailed instructions and even video demonstrations available on their website at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com.  In our sample pack, we received a variety of tools and tracts including silicon bracelets, which my children used to love receiving when they were younger.  For each color in the bracelet, a portion of the gospel message is written on the included sheet.  Steps for being with God are written out in a way a child would be able to understand.  Finally, a prayer the child can say is written out, so all the child needs to do is pray.

The Lost Easter Egg was another tool our family really enjoyed.  This is one of the pop-up tracts.  The colorful looks, pop-up features, and concise message make it enjoyable to read and share.  On the back again the gospel message is spelled out on how to have a relationship with God along with a prayer to say.

I love how the messages in these tools are written to children. In the future, I plan to order some of these items to keep with us as we go about our daily life.  This way, when we come across a child we will be prepared to share the message of God’s love and the salvation we can have by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  If you would like to read more reviews about Let The Little Children Come and the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack, click here or on the graphic below.

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Book Review of #truth by Josh McDowell

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  For many years I have been a subscriber of the YouVersion App and with four children – three of whom are still teenagers, I spend a lot of time looking for resources for them to get them into God’s Word.  Josh McDowell does an excellent job of filling that need.  This would be perfect for a homeschooling family with teenagers.  The teens can complete this on their own or families could complete it together.

This book includes 365 devotions for teenagers that connect life with faith.  The Scripture passages are relatively short and easy to read.  He then includes a short passage with some explanations or insight into the passage being read.  Each day also includes a section which begins with “Truth is….” where Josh McDowell offers additional facts and information. At the end of each day is a section entitled “My Prayer”, which gives the reader a chance to have an already made prayer.  I definitely recommend this book.

 

 

 

Preparing for 2016

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  So 2015 is quickly winding down and 2016 is fast approaching.  Last year, I read all over the Internet about picking a word for the year.  So I picked “Create” and I still plan on using that as one of my words and verses for the year.

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I want to continue “creating” in 2016.  I wat to create memories, dreams and new adventures with our family as we transition from life in central Pennsylvania to life in Texas.  I want to “delight” in where we are being placed by God.  I want to find the desires of my heart and work towards reaching those dreams.  I want to look to God as the source of my strenght and delight.  Even though I may not understand His plan for my life, I can choose to bloom where He has and is planting me.

In 2016, I want to strive to help my children reach towards these ideas ass well – especially in our homeschooling adventure.  Some many opportunities and doors will be opening with this move even though some doors are closing.  All my life I have lived on the East Coast, so this is a new adventure.  May God bless our steps and lead our paths in the ways He would have us go.

I also want to work on my Bible Journaling more.  I want to spend more time in meaningful interaction with my heavenly Father.  I also want to spend more time on creative pursuits – including crocheting, quilting,  and learning other artisitic pursuits.

I pray for your Christmas or holidays to be blessed.  Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

“B” is for Babies, Boys, Bibles and Books and Blogging

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So today is Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April along with the Blogging A to Z challenge.  The letter of the day is “B”, which for me is for babies, Bibles and books.  We have four children who are 18, 16, 14 and 12 respectively right now.  While I miss them being babies to a certain extent, I enjoy seeing the people they are becoming.  Three of our children are boys and they truly are a handful.  Our youngest is our only girl and she is quite the princess.  My boys keep life interesting and one never knows what might be discussed when we sit down to meals or what they will attempt to do.

Bibles play a critical role in our family.  My husband became an ordained minister the same year we were married.  So we have worked to bring up our children in the word of God.  As we search for homeschooling materials, Biblical companies are the main one we use.  It is important to us to have a Biblical worldview and for our children to back up what they believe with Scripture references.  So we have quite the collection of Bibles, concordances, Biblical commentaries and dictionaries around our home.

The other thing our home is full of is books.  I grew up believing that books were my best friend.  I was never bored or lacked things to do because I always had books to read.  I have tried to instill the same love of reading in my children.  They have not all grabbed hold of the idea as I would wish, but we are still working on it.  It is fun when we prepare for a move to see all the books loaded into boxes.  We have Biblical books, Language Arts and Literature books, books on writing, books for Math, books for Science, books for History and books for the Arts.  On top of those books, we have books on homeschooling,  books to read for pleasure and various other books.  Each member of the family has at least one bookcase in their room.  Plus we have other bookcases scattered around the house.  Books make homeschooling much easier.  Even if I never bought any more curriculum for our children, I could homeschool from the books we have.  With seven people living in our home the books really add up.

“B” is also for blogging and Bible Journaling.   I started blogging as a way of keeping our extended family aware of what was going on in our lives along with providing a record for our children.  Writing makes things more real somehow and easier to remember.  Utilizing photographs helps keep those memories as well.

Bible Journaling has become a new pastime for me.  I especially love getting on Pinterest and Facebook to see what others are creating. Here is a sample of one of works.

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So what does the letter “B” represent or bring to mind for you and your family?  I welcome comments!

“A” is for Apologia or Alpha Omega Publishing, and ACE Paces

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I am getting ready to join the “A to Z Blog Challenge for April and so I thought I would begin with two of my favorite homeschool curriculum providers.  Nine school years ago we began our homeschooling journey.  I was brand new to the realm of homeschooling.  The only people I had ever known who homeschooled were two of my husband’s relatives.  Our oldest son was in the 5th grade and a situation came up with his teacher that forced us to make the decision to homeschool.  We were thrust into the world very unexpectedly and I had to scramble to get things together.

Fortunately, we lived in a military community in North Carolina so I found a fantastic support group.  We started our homeschooling journey in the middle of September and the ladies in the support group provided an incredible wealth of knowledge.  They recommended these three companies to me.  I started with the Alpha Omega Life Pacs.  The Life Pacs come in a set of ten workbook for the five subjects of Bible, Math, History, Science and English.   Both Alpha Omega and ACE (or School of Tomorrow) are able to be purchased as single workbooks rather than sets.  So I was able to order these only a few workbooks at a time.  This kept the cost within  our budget.  I also purchased several workbooks from the

I love the resources from Apologia for Science.  When I realized regular workbooks were not exactly what my son needed at the time, I bought the Apologia “Exploring Creation with Astronomy for Young Explorers” by Jeannie Fulbright to use for Science.  This book includes reading, hands on activities , narration activities along with other ways to demonstrate the child has mastered the material. High School science books are also provided.

Over the years, Alpha Omega Publications have added a Worldview Curriculum along with selling Homeschool planners and other books for Homeschooling parents.  It truly is a wonderful company that has been a blessing to our family.

After our first year of homeschooling, we brought our other three children home to school and have not looked back a day since.  We enjoy having our children at home and the freedom and flexibility it provides.

Now I used Monarch by Alpha Omega Publications, which is an online curriculum for some of our subjects.  I love the convenience of having it online.  The children utilize laptop computers to do their work.  Once they complete a subject, I can immediately see what they have done.

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading about these companies.  If you homeschool, what do you use?

Another Round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well the first quarter of 2015 has flown by quickly.  We have spent the time working on school, beginning to hold church services at our home and making a relatively quick trip to North Carolina to see my husband’s side of the family.

With the start of the second quarter of 2015 beginning, I am pleased to be participating in the next round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  My plan for this blog for 2015 is to increase traffic to the blog and begin offering some freebies as well.  I am also going to learn how to use Photoshop and work more with PicMonkey to create my own graphics.

In April, the next Proverbs 31 Ministries Bible Study for Lysa Terkeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith” will begin.  Once again I will be serving as one of the Facebook Small Group leaders.

I am also participating in a Bible Study for Kay Arthur’s book “How to Study Your Bible” in order to learn more about the Inductive Bible Study method.  I am also going through the book, “Writing in the Margins”.  One of my goals for 2015 is to grow in Bible Journaling activities.  My one word for 2015 is “Create” and that is my focus for the year.

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In the realm of homeschooling, we are preparing for our oldest son’s graduation.  With that we will enter a new realm of parenting.  We are planning on him walking across the stage at the CHAP convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the weekend of Mother’s Day.  Our next graduation will possibly take place as early as the next school year.

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So what is going on where you are