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

The Last Day of March

It is hard to believe that it is already the last day of March.  We have had a couple of nice days in the last few weeks.  But we are getting some snow today.  Right now, we are under a Winter Weather Advisory for several inches of snow, but we will see what happens.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day in some ways.  We turned in the last 2 instruments to the Salvation Army.   We are not quitting music, but instead are going to rent instruments ourselves and pursue lessons for the children.  While we were out, we went into the Salvation Army thrift store.  I found three skirts and two tops for Rebecca.  It was one of the few times, I have seen her genuinely excited about clothes.  So that was fantastic.  Now it is just a matter of finding some more clothes that fit her properly.  I plan to go back before the week is over to see if I can find a few more things for her.  Apparently my daughter likes shopping in 2nd hand stores.

Here are the items we found:

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And another picture:

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It was really nice to see her excited about clothes.

I am also just beginning a couple of new Bible Studies.  These include:

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With these Bible Studies, I am trying to create my own graphics using PicMonkey or the Image Feature on YouVersion.  Here are some that I created using the Image Feature on the YouVersion Bible app.

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On top of all of this, we are working to get things together for Jacob’s graduation.  He will be walking across the stage at the CHAP Homeschool Convention graduation in May.  There is lots to do to make sure he is ready for this.  It is hard o believe that my oldest is actually graduating this year and the others are coming fast behind.

Well I pray you have enjoyed this update.  I would love to hear what is going on in your world today.

New Bible Studies, New Hobbies and Other Things in Our Lives

We are working towards getting back into a routine with homeschooling.  Organizing and decluttering are two words that are heard frequently about our home.  Dennis is in the process of getting his re-enlistment paperwork filled out.  Life just seems to be moving very quickly and so slowly all at the same time.

I am working on getting a Masters degree this year.  I have also become involved in something new, Bible Journaling.  So I am accumulating all kinds of information to assist me in the effort.  As I complete some things, I will be posting them here. One thing I have been doing with this is using PicMonkey to create Scripture Art.

I am really looking forward to digging into God’s Word in our latest Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study for Karen Ehman’s latest book, “Keep It Shut”.   This book is amazing.  Today we have been talking about being #Intentional.  I want to be more intentional about what I say and do and that includes blogging.

Here is something that I created today.

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I have joined a Bible Journaling community on Facebook and this something I created for a prompt in one f the groups.  So what is going on in your world?  I would love for you to share