Blogging A to Z – “J” is for…

Jforbloggingatoz

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.

“J” IS FOR Jesus, Joy, Journaling, Jacob and Joseph

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I am still participating in the “Blogging A to Z” challenge and today’s letter is “J”.  For me, some words and people that come to mind for the letter “J” include:  Jesus, joy, Jacob and Joseph.

Our family believes that Jesus is our personal Lord and Savior.  He died on the cross that we might have everlasting life.

JOHN 3 16

“J” is also for the “joy” that comes from knowing that we have a personal Savior.


joy comes in the morning

“J’ is also for Bible Journaling., something I have just recently begun doing.  It is such a wonderful way of connecting with the word of God.  It is also a way of tapping into my creative side that I tend to not use.

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“J” is also for Jacob, who is my oldest son.  This child brings me much joy, love and happiness.  He brightens my world.  I am proud watching the man God intends him to be.

JACOB PICTURE

Finally, “J” is for Joseph, my second born.  This is a child full of life and joy.  He is quite the instigator.  But his smiles melt my heart.  This is a young man of determination and dedication to God.  I look forward to seeing the plans God has for his life.

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So these are some things that come to mind when I hear the letter “J”.  What comes to mind for you?

Joy in Words

Words can bring joy.  Words have amazing power to life our hearts and spirits.  The words “I love you!” spoken from the heart of the one you know God has handpicked for your spouse brings incredible happiness.  Hearing, “I love you, Mommy!” or “I love you Daddy!” spoken from your child’s mouth can bring joy.  Listening to people you love, respect or admire can bring joy.

That is why I am so thankful for my family.  They bring joy and laughter into our home.  I can’t imagine our home without all 4 of our children, at least not at this moment.  I know one day I will find joy in an empty home because it will mean my husband and I have done our jobs well.  We will have raised all four of our children to love and serve the Lord with gladness.  We will have sent them out into the world to do the work that God intended for them to do.

I pray that God will give them words to speak that will bring joy to others.

Do you find joy in words?  I would love to hear from you.

Joy In the Known

Sometimes joy can be found in the known.  It can be found in routine.  For example, every year for the past 17 years our family has participated in an Army Reserve Christmas party.  The location may change (as duty stations change).  People may change as people come into or leave the unit.  But the basic idea remains the same.  It is a time to come together and celebrate the season.  For our family, it is all about the birth of a baby in a manger.  I find joy in singing the same Christmas carols year after year.

Our family usually rides around to look at Christmas lights.  There is good food and fellowship.  We participate in various activities at church.  But we know where our focus should be.  I know we will do our shopping very close to Christmas Eve (usually we even end up out on Christmas Eve).  I will donate as much as I can to the bell ringers for the Salvation Army (many times I hand the money to our children to put in the shiny red kettles).  Joy comes through out the season.  Oh sure there will be surprises and unexpected things that come around to bring joy.  But there is something to be said for the known as well.

What brings you joy at this time of year?  Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?  I would love to hear from you.

NaBloPoMo – Things that Bring Me Joy

Today is day 5 of NaBloPoMo’s December challenge, and I want to write about things that make me happy.

1) Spending time with my family – I love my family and they bring me great joy.  I love that I am able to homeschool my children.

2) Reading brings me joy.  I am never bored or without something to do because I always have a large number of books I want to read.

3)  Crocheting makes me happy because most of the time I am making things for either members of my family or for friends.  So I always love seeing their expressions when they see the finished product.

4)  Watching favorite movies with my family makes me happy.  We have certain ones that are our favorites.  It is always fun to hear my husband or children quote lines from various shows that other members either quickly pick up the next part and say it or quickly identify for us where it came from.

5)  Listening to music on my Pandora app or Itunes also brings me happiness.  I can pick what channel or what songs I want to listen to based on my mood or even the season (like right now on Pandora, I am listening to a Christmas station).  Christmas music has a way of bringing joy to my heart.

So what things bring you joy?

3)  Going to Bush Gardens makes

#NaBloPoMo Day 4 – Who Do I Like to Be With When I Am Sad?

Today is day 4 of the NaBloPoMo challenge for December.  Today I want to write about who I like to be with when I am sad.  When I am sad there is not really just one person I like to be with, instead it is a group.  The group that I like to be with when I am sad consists of my husband and my children.  They have ways of making me smile.

Most of the time my husband knows exactly what to say or in some cases what not to say to make me feel better.  But sometimes it takes a little more.  Of course there are also times he is not around.  But with homeschooling our children, there are very few times that I don’t have at least one of the children with me.

Sometimes my children may make me smile by just being with me.  Other times it may be because they do something like bring me a blanket or just give me a hug.  Other times the things they say or do may make me happy.

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NaBloPoMo Day 3 – A Food I Love

So today is day 3 of the NaBloPoMo challenge for December and I want to write about my favorite food.  Okay scratch food and let’s make that dessert.  My favorite type of food for dessert is anything chocolate.  Chocolate is one of the necessities in my life.  It is always the right time for chocolate.

One of the shows my husband and I like to watch is “Star Trek: Next Generation”.  Some of my favorite episodes are ones in which Deanna Troi, the ship’s counselor, eats desserts.  She also loves chocolate.

Chocolate_sundae

Typically a chocolate sundae is her dessert of choice.  I am very flexible.  I haven’t really ever met a chocolate I did not like.  Sometimes my husband and I manage to go out for dinner alone and we like to go to the Outback Steakhouse.  We typically order the “Blooming Onion” followed by an entree that we both share.  Then we finish off with their “Chocolate Thunder from Down Under”.  This dessert has all the necessary components to be a great dessert:    a chocolate pecan brownie  (warm of course), vanilla ice cream, homemade warm chocolate fudge sauce,  homemade whipped cream and is topped with chocolate shavings.  It is a masterpiece, and sharing it with the man I love makes it that much more fantastic.

chocolate thunder from down under

So what is your favorite dessert or food?  I would love to hear from you.

#NaBloPoMo December 2014 Day 2 – A Surprise that Made Me Happy

Today is day 2 of the NaBloPoMo challenge for December 2014.  I want to share about a surprise that made me happy.  Eighteen years ago our oldest son was born.  At the time we had no rocking chair.  He was born in June and I just had to make do.  As Christmas approached (as he does every year), my husband gave me no idea of what kind of Christmas present he was going to get me.  I should add he is insanely good at keeping a secret and our second son is just as talented at keeping secrets.

On Christmas morning, when we were exchanging presents, imagine my surprise to see a glider rocker as one of my presents.  It was absolutely perfect.  Fast forward to now and I still have that rocking chair.  It needs a little tlc, but I still love the chair and the thought that went into picking it out.  I have to say my husband is amazing at picking out gifts.

So what is one surprise you received that you absolutely loved?

The First Day of NaBloPoMo for December

delight in the Lord

This is the first day of the December NaBloPoMo challenge and I am still on a roll.  I blogged for every day of October and November and now I am trying to see if I can do the same thing for December.  The theme for December’s NaBloPoMo challenge is “Joy” and everyone needs joy in their life.

Our prompt for the day is to discuss when we are down what we do to bring ourselves up.  My favorite things to do when I am down is to spend time with my children – all 4 of them to be precise, three boys and one girl – they have a way of making me laugh and find joy in the world.

Another thing I like to do is spend time with my Bible.  I love to pick a word such as joy and find various Bible references for that word.  So for example, when I used my Bible Gateway app to search for the word Joy, I found quite a few references.

Here are a few of the ones I really like:

Psalm 32:11 – “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Psalm 35:9 – “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.”

Psalm 66:1 – “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.”

Psalm 95:2 – “O come, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”

Luke 1:14 – “And thous shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

John 15;11 – “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Romans 5:11 – “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

Galatians 5:22-23:  – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.”

Philippians 1:4 – “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.                                             ”

James 1:2-8:  “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”

and finally:

Psalm 30:5 – “For his anger endureth but for a moment’ in his favour is life, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”