Flat Stanley Came to Visit

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When we lived in Pennsylvania, we were part of the Lock Haven Salvation Army Corps.  One of my favorite activities our family assisted with was the after-school program.  So when I received a request from someone at the corps asking for families who lived out of state to host Flat Stanley.  I immediately said yes.

So last week Flat Stanley came to visit.  He helped us cook dinner.  Here are some photos.

He also attended Youth Group at our church with our youngest two.  He decided to hang out with the pastor.

He also decided to go exploring in a violin belonging to one of the young ladies in the Youth Group.

Then on Thursday, he was supposed to go to Homeschool Band with my husband, middle two children and myself.  However, he felt like it would be better to stay home and relax on my husband and my bed.

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He also took a trip to work with my husband.  However, I am waiting to get all of those pictures.  So stay tuned for additional updates on the adventures of Flat Stanley.

Our Youngest Son Turns Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today, our youngest son was born.  This child has kept us on our toes and brought joy to our life.  In the last month, he has begun playing the alto saxophone in our local homeschool beginner band.  He is also working to learn Japanese with the help of a local friend.  So happy birthday to our youngest son.

Homeschooling Year Round

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I love the summertime (well except the heat and humidity in Texas) because we get to relax our schedule.  This summer has offered a lot of opportunities.  First, my youngest two have had numerous opportunities to go swimming with the youth group at our church at the home of one of our members.

Our entire family attending a swimming party/cook-out at the same home of our members.  During that cookout, my second son took the time to work on a crossword puzzle book, which is shown in the picture above.  My oldest son spent his time socializing, while the youngest two enjoyed swimming with some of their friends.

The younger two also participated in a Service camp held at our church.  They did some things around the church including painting, cleaning and visiting members of the church and working at a local charity.  All in all, they had a great time.

Now we are about to enter August, which means we will take two weeks off (mainly because my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary) before gearing back up for the new year.

It is hard to believe my youngest three will all be doing high school work.  I have some great resources we will be using this year, and I look forward to sharing them with you in some future posts.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

Review of the Mapelle Films’ Movie – Trust Fund

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Today I want to introduce you to the faith-based movie Trust Fund from Mapelle Films.  Our family is always on the lookout for wonderful family films, so I was really excited for our family to review this family drama. I also received a copy of Love Was Near, a book written to be read after watching the movie.  This is a perfect movie for a family movie night.

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The story tells the tale of Reese Donahue, a young aspiring writer, and the struggles and adventures she has.  Jessica Rothe plays the role of Reese and does an incredible job.  Reese is the youngest daughter of parents who own a publishing company.  Reese has her father, Grayson and her older sister Audrey.  Reese is surrounded by people who love her and only want the best for her. However, she becomes involved with a man named Milo, who is not good for her.   She is unable to recognize this fact, unfortunately.

Reese is one of those people who is struggling to find her place in the world.  Her father has his publishing company, and her sister has a job at the publishing firm along with a fiance she apparently loves.  When the movie opens, Reese has just returned from a trip to Italy for a writing conference her father encouraged her to attend.  Unfortunately, while in Italy, Reese becomes involved with a man named Milo she thinks is the love of her life. She spent more time with him and very little time attending the conference that her father meant to help her with the book she was supposed to be completing.

The movie chronicles Reese’s involvement with Milo, her family, a former male friend from her childhood,her publisher from another publishing house, her girlfriend she shares an apartment with along with her father’s secretary and other characters.  It demonstrates the strength of a father’s love and how facing life’s difficulties with people who love you and forgive unconditionally brings resolution.  The movie is a spin on the story of the Prodigal Son told in the Bible.

Issac Alongi produced and was the cinematographer for the film, and was homeschooled himself back in the 1980’s.   He has over 20 years experience in the film industry.  I always love seeing or reading things created by former or current homeschoolers.  The sets and scenery in the movie were incredible.  Here is an excellent article you can read about Issac Alongi.

Sandra L Martin is the writer, director, and producer for the film.  She also wrote the book Love Was Near to be read after watching the movie.  It is meant for those over twelve years old.  The book offers a more in-depth view of what Reese was feeling and thinking.  It seems to be a way help Reese move forward in her life.  I felt the script of the movie was well-executed.

I chose to read the book for the purposes of this review.  The book is written in journal form.   I found the book to be captivating.  It was easy to read.  The book contains portions of text, pictures, quotes, and portions that were done as though they were handwritten in a journal.  Each chapter concludes with questions to be answered.  I loved the fonts used and the attention to detail in the book.

Here are some pictures I took of pages in the book.

 

 

In addition to the film and the book, a study guide is available from the site to be downloaded for use in small groups. You can view the study guide here.  The study guide includes information about the characters in the movie, Bible verses, questions to think about, and sections called “Deep Thoughts”.  These deep thoughts include information about Christianity, comparisons of Reese and the younger brother in the story of the Prodigal Son and more.  There are also photos from the movie.  I found the study guide to be a worthwhile addition to the film and book.

Here are some screenshots I took of some pages from the study guide.

 

If you would like to read more reviews about Mapelle Films‘ movie Trust Fund or the book Love Was Near, click here or on the graphic below.

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One of My Favorite Things about Homeschooling

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One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my children get to spend time doing things they love.  For our daughter, that means she gets to spend time on her artwork.

For my sons, they get to spend time online with cousins and friends in other states (and even another country).  I love hearing them interact with one another as they play games and talk with each other.

Another thing I love is that it gives us a chance to spend time as a family.  Sometimes this means we might go some place, like the trips we used to take each year to Busch Gardens.  Other times, it may mean we go shopping or perhaps just watch a movie at home together. All in all, homeschooling has been a blessing for our family.

So what does your family like to do?

The Week of 4th of July

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For those of us here in the United States, this week brought the 4th of July – Independence Day.  And one of our family’s favorite things to do at this time of the year used to be putting up corn each year.  When we lived in North Carolina, it was a family and friends event.  We typically put up around 5 bushels for just our family.  So this week, it was rather bittersweet to see my sister-in-law post pictures on Facebook of them putting up corn.

However, since we moved to Texas in March 2016, putting up food has become a wishful occupation.  We so want to put up food because we really enjoy it, but we have neither space or places to find produce to buy in bulk.

When we lived in the central part of Pennsylvania from summer of 2012 until March of 2016, we were blessed to have Amish farms to buy produce from in bulk.  The quality was amazing and the prices were extremely affordable.

Here are some pictures of us putting up corn in Pennsylvania.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing the rows of jars on the shelves or bags full of produce in our freezer ready for us to eat in the future.

Here are some pictures of our shelves in Pennsylvania with items we were getting ready to put up or had already put up.

I think one of my favorite things to put up know is homemade sauerkraut.  The flavors are just so amazing.

So what does summer bring for your family?

Blogging A to Z – “J” is for…

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So after another brief hiatus, I am back with my blogging a to z homeschooling challenge.  The letter is “J”, which for me stands for Jacob and Joseph – two of the reasons I love homeschooling and joy.

Our oldest son is about to turn 21 years old, and I can not figure out where the time has gone.  Jacob is the reason our family began homeschooling.  He was placed in a classroom with a teacher who did not care for our child in the least.  With only two fifth grade classes in the school, we did not have any options there.  Transferring him would mean transferring all of our children, which was not an option either.  Private school was an even more unreachable possibility due to finances.  So homeschooling became our choice.  Jacob began to love his siblings again versus the typical anti-sibling feelings of his friends.  He also developed an incredible bond with his baby sister, who was 4 at the time this homeschooling journey began, that continues to this day.  I have watched him excel in AWANAS, scouts (making the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012), and a heart for service that includes plans to become a Youth Pastor.  Homeschooling definitely helped this child in many ways.

Next, “J” is for Joseph, our second son.  This child began his homeschooling journey as he began the third grade, a year after we began homeschooling our oldest.  Joseph was one of those children who for the most part was a pleasure to teach.  He quickly decided he wanted to do the same things as his brother – this included receiving his rank of Eagle Scout the same day as his older brother (even though they are two years apart.  Joseph brings a lot of happiness to our home.

Finally, “J” is for the joy that comes from homeschooling.  I find great joy in being with my children each day.  I find joy in the ties that are between our four children.  Don’t get me wrong, they all have their moments, but let someone else mess with one of them and the other three will have their back.  Also, there is joy in knowing we don’t have to follow a traditional school calendar.  Instead, we tend to homeschool during the summer when it is too hot to be outside and can enjoy days off when the temperature is more pleasant.  Since we moved to Texas in 2016, this is definitely a plus.

So what does “J” bring to mind for you.  I would love to hear from you.