Showing posts with label Home-School. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home-School. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Finding a Church

I am a christian.... but I haven't been to church regularly for over five years... and it's been over twelve years since I've had a church where I felt loved, needed, and a part of.

I used to help on buses, be a nursery worker, do bulletin boards, decorate the church, help with Ladies meetings and loved singing special music.

The reason is NOT for a lack of wanting or trying to find a good church.

On the contrary... we have visited a lot of churches over the years always hoping we'd find what we were looking for, but always coming up short.

My biggest issue with finding a church after what it believes and preaches, is that there are people there that want the same as me in life.

Some of my needs in no particular order:
(This may be a good time to point out I am conservative and like things rather old fashion.) 
  • Independent, Fundamental, KJV Baptist Church 
  • Home-schoolers - wanting to raise their kids for the Lord 
  • People dress up for church - dressing their best for the Lord 
  • Singing that glorifies God and everyone happy to participate in it. 
  • Sound bible preaching 
  • Youth and kids groups 
  • People using their bibles and living out Gods word in their daily life. 
  • A welcoming spirit 
  • An old fashion culture 
Ok, so - I know there's not a thing as a perfect church, but hubby met a guy a few weeks ago who seemed so genuine and real in everyday life that when he invited us to visit his church, we couldn't stop thinking about it.

We put it off for a couple Sundays... not sure about the thirty-five minute drive and dreading trying yet again another church that "probably" would be just like all the rest....

But, two weeks ago on a Sunday evening, we got up the courage to go and was very pleasantly surprised...

We got there 15 min. early, but the parking lot was full of cars. People greeted us nonstop. When the choir started singing - hubby and I both said "that's what a choir should sound like..." Everyone had their bibles open, taking notes and giving their undivided attention to the preaching.... Kids sitting quietly listening - no noise, toys, or candy wrappers. No one on their cell phone or tablets. No one eating or drinking in the auditorium. Good gospel music and everyone singing with gusto. Brothers and sisters lifting each other up - happy to be in God's house together - each working towards a common goal of seeing people saved and living a joyful life for the Lord....

It felt so good to be with good people worshiping a great God!

We went back again last sunday for both the morning and evening service and loved it! We were invited out for lunch with two families and really feel God's spirit living in the people.

I'm not sure if this is the church for us, but we will definitely be going back and praying that God will show us if this is where he wants us to serve and grow in Him.

And I'm looking forward to the Christmas Eve candlelight service, getting to know more people, and being involved with activities.

Good, Bible Believing, Conservative, Fundamental, KJV Churches still exist.... sometimes it takes a complete stranger sharing God's love to find it.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Know Who You Are Book Review

 Know Who You Are, Live Like It Matters
by Tim Tebow

This is a great book for homeschool students age 11 - 14. Tim will guide you through thirty-six weeks of lessons, each based on a key Scripture, to discover who you are. You will also have the opportunity to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics such as: building godly character, maintaining great relationships, standing out from the crowd, and doing things that matter in the big picture.

Throughout the book, there is one subtle theme: You can make a difference, even though you're a teenager. 

I really like how Tim is able to talk to teenagers in a way that speaks to them with authority and wisdom, without treating them like children. He can speak their language and still be an authority figure. 

Get ready to live bigger than ever before…with your faith and identity secured in a God who loves you beyond measure!

I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why I Didn't Rebel - Book Review

Why I Didn't Rebel
By Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach

I have followed Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog To Love Honor and Vacuum for years now, so when I found out her daughter Rebecca was writing a book, I knew I wanted to read it.

 I love this book. I think the most important thing you can do as a parent is to communicate and teach your kids respect, and right from wrong, when they are young. I feel that the ideas in this book are how we are trying to raise our kids. My oldest daughter, Faith, is 16 yrs old, and although she has made a few mistakes, she is a great kid and I'm really proud to be her mom. She also read the book, so I thought I'd include her take on it too:
"The methods that Rebecca describes in her book as having been raised by are roughly the same as those of my own childhood (minus the hot-tub... for that, I'm a bit jealous). I feel that my parents are doing a great job raising my siblings and I, and I'm very grateful for the close relationship I share with them. I think one of the biggest things that parents need to understand is that we're not always going to make the right choices. We need a solid foundation to lean on when we do make mistakes. To trust that we have people who can help us grow from them and have a safe place to express our thoughts and feelings is what we're really after, and I think Rebecca did a really great job explaining that."
I received this book free from the publisher for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

St Louis Missouri and the Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (63 stories) monument in St. Louis Missouri. 
The Gateway Arch weighs 43,226 tons and the foundations are about 60 feet deep.Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch (catenary means it is the shape a free-hanging chain takes when held at both ends), it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, and officially dedicated to "the American people," it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis, as well as a popular tourist destination.

The Arch was designed by architect Eero Saarinen in 1947; construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for $13 million. Thanks to hundreds of workers, the Arch was completed within budget and without the loss of one life. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967. It is located at the site of St. Louis' founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Located under the arch is The Museum of Westward Expansion

This is the door to the trams.... the trams go up every 5 - 10 minutes depending on if one or both are running. They are pretty small - only 5 people can be in each tram.

Inside of the tram...

Tram selfie...

We made it to the top!

Looking East to Illinois

Looking West to St. Louis

On a clear day, the view at the top can extend up to thirty miles in either direction. However, St. Louis can be a very hazy city, which reduces visibility at the top. On cool, damp mornings, a dense fog can create zero visibility at the top.

The hubby looking at the view from the observation deck.. The windows are 7" x 27", with 16 windows on each side of the observation deck. They are small because over 500 tons of pressure was used to pry the north and south legs of the Arch apart for the last four-foot piece to be placed at the top. A larger window would not withstand that pressure.

Looking down at the Old Courthouse

Hubby and I standing under the Gateway Arch

The Arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches, and can withstand an earthquake, however under normal conditions the Arch does not sway. It takes a 50-mile an hour wind to move the top 1.5 inches each side of the center.

Stephen and Faith down by the river...


We explored the Old Courthouse, a historical landmark where Dred and Harriet Scott sued for freedom from slavery and Virginia Minor fought for women’s right to vote. There are many exhibits describing how St. Louis served as a hub for early settlers moving west.

Stephen and Faith on the Old Courthouse steps

Looking East from the Old Courthouse steps towards the Arch.

Inside the beautiful Old Courthouse.

Old original stone floors in the Old Courthouse.

 I loved this picture with the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse in the background.... we enjoyed a fun morning visiting St. Louis and The Gateway Arch!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

College of the Ozarks, Missouri Trip

"The vision of College of the Ozarks is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic."

College of the Ozarks is a Christian liberal-arts college, with its campus at Point Lookout near Branson, Missouri. It is 40 miles south of Springfield on a 1,000-acre campus, overlooking Lake Taneycomo. The college has an enrollment of 1,450, over 30 academic majors, and degrees in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

The College charges no tuition for full-time students, due to its student work program and donations. The program requires students to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and two 40-hour work weeks during breaks. A summer work program is available to cover room and board costs. The college refers to itself as "Hard Work U.", and places emphasis in "character" education.

Faith at the Administration Building
We enjoyed a tour of the college campus, visiting the class buildings, walking by Lake Honor, learning about the work program, visiting dorms, and enjoyed the beauty and coolness of the Church after being outside in the heat! After our tour, we spent the rest of the day and the next morning looking at all the college has to offer.

Some of the places we visited were:

 The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks is the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility. It has fifteen beautifully decorated suites. You can enjoy a casual lunch or an intimate dinner for two in Dobyns Dining Room offering something for every taste. We visited the College Creamery and enjoyed student-made ice cream made with the College of the Ozark’s fresh dairy cream. Under the expanse of 95,000 square feet, one can find everything from intimate, elegantly-appointed meeting rooms to state-of-the-art conference facilities, all four-star accommodations and exquisite fine dining.

Fruitcake & Jelly Kitchen has produced its famous fruitcakes on campus since 1934, and today student workers, along with supervisors, bake more than 25,000 cakes a year. We were welcomed in the kitchen where a variety of jellies and the College's delicious apple butter are also made and sold. And we got to taste samples of their fruitcake!

Edwards Mill, is powered by a twelve-foot water wheel turned by runoff water from nearby Lake Honor. Student workers grind whole-grain meal and flour, available for purchase inside the building. We also visited with students who were hard at work upstairs in the weaving studio, where students design and produce rugs, shawls, place mats and other items on traditional looms, and students hand-weave baskets.

Williams Memorial Chapel is an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture. The structure,  measures 150 feet long and 80 feet wide, with an 80-foot-high vaulted ceiling and impressive stained glass windows. Attached to the chapel is the Hyer Bell Tower. The church was beautiful inside and out!

Lyons Memorial Library provides resources that support the curriculum, activities, and mission of the College of the Ozarks at both the collegiate level and at the School of the Ozarks Laboratory School

Point Lookout offers panoramic views of the Ozark hills, Branson 76 highway, and the beautiful Lake Taneycomo. Located just a short walk from the Willams Memorial Chapel and Ralph Foster Museum, this is a tranquil and breathtaking must-see during your College of the Ozarks visit.

The Ralph Foster Museum is dedicated to the history of the Ozarks region. The museum houses thousands of artifacts representing archeology, history, firearms, antiques, numismatics, natural history, fine arts, geology and mineralogy. One of the more famous exhibits is the original vehicle used in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies." The Ralph Foster Museum houses one of the largest collections of firearms in the US.

Gittinger Music Center serves as a learning and practice facility for The College Handbell Choir, Chorale, Screaming Bobcats Pep Band, and Chapel Choir. The Edith Gittinger Music Center offers students some of the finest music facilities in the state. It houses acoustically-engineered practice rooms, audio/visually equipped class rooms, a piano lab, electronic music studio, and dedicated choral and instrumental rehearsal rooms.

The Gaetz Tractor Museum features a variety of antique tractors and farm equipment. Noteworthy items include a gray Wallis from 1918 and a reaper produced in 1910. It also has on display a two headed calf that was born at the college dairy.

The W. Alton Jones Dairy is run by College Of The Ozark students. The milk is used at the Keeter Center and they also use the milk in their homemade ice cream - which is very tasty! You can watch the students milk the dairy cows everyday.

The Hoge Greenhouses, are home to the Clint McDade orchid collection. Mr. McDade, one of the School's first students, donated the nucleus of the collection, which today numbers more than 7,000 plants. Individual orchids and other houseplants are for sale at the greenhouse. They also grow all the flowers used in the beautiful landscaping throughout the College Campus.

Places that we didn't have time to visit this trip:

The Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial features a World Trade Center column which stands as a memorial to the 2,996 lives lost on September 11, 2001. Known as "St. Michael's 37" (in honor of 37 Port Authority officers killed), the column and flanges resemble the body and wings of an angel. It now stands as a memorial to those whose lives were lost in New York City, the Pentagon, and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Patriots Park sits near the entrance of campus and contains The Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial which honors the 1,410 servicemen and women from Missouri who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. Built and designed by students, this memorial serves as Missouri’s official Vietnam memorial. The black granite walls are divided – reflecting the division of America. The statue in the middle represents the servicemen and women who stood in the gap and did what their nation asked of them. The red, flower-filled ‘V’ stands for valor and represents the blood that was shed during the war. The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial, which honors Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members killed in their service to the country), preserves the memory of the fallen, and stands as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

The College of the Ozarks Bookstore offers College of the Ozarks and Hard Work U. logo items that can be purchased to show your support for College of the Ozarks.

Memorial Field house and Keeter Gymnasium is a 3,500 seat arena.The field house has three basketball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, weight room, racquetball courts, dance studio, volleyball, badminton and table tennis facilities. In 2009 a 21,888-square-foot fitness center was added.

The college also has it's own Fire Department,  Post Office, College Press, Stained Glass Window Business, Nursing Clinic, Plaster Business Building, Science and Agriculture Centers a Farmers Market (seasonal) and more!

We were so impressed. Everyone on campus was friendly, polite and helpful. The grounds were gorgeous and immaculate. The area is maintained by the students under the supervision of the staff. if you are ever in the area, take some time and explore this beautiful campus... you will also be supporting the students who work and study there.

Arial View of the College of the Ozarks Campus

Monday, September 11, 2017

Homeschool - Keep it Simple

The best thing I've done when it comes to homeschooling is to ditch the idea that it needs to be like a real school!

 We used to have a school room with charts, maps, desks, set hours and breaks, etc. Then, after 3 years, needed the room as a bedroom (we live in a small house), so we moved the schoolroom to our enclosed back porch. We still used desks and had individual pencil cases, charts, maps, posters, and all the stuff you think you need to have for a school room. We used the back porch as our school room for a couple years, but then turned it into a office for our home business.....

But, I still needed a place for school..... turns out, the best thing I ever did regarding homeschooling was to give it all up. 

I gave up the idea of having to have a class room, desks, charts and posters on the walls, set hours, and every other extra thing most people think you have to have to homeschool - including the complete encyclopedia set!!! I got rid of it all!

 Instead, we Homeschool at our table (or the living room floor)..... I have a shelf in the closet that I keep our books and school supplies and I bought a turn table/carousel that has pencils, pens, makers, erasers, paper clips, coins, counting piggys, glue, tape, sissies, rulers, straws, crayons, colored pencils, index cards, a timer, rubber bands, pencil lead, etc. in it. We sit it on the middle of the table (or floor) and I get the books out of the closet and we have school. 

This one change has made homeschooling so simple!!!! 

When we are done, we put the books/papers and turn table/carousel in the closet. School is done for the day and everything is put away!

I'm telling you this makes school so simple and easy. And I no longer have to buy each child individual pencil boxes, scissors, crayons, pencils, etc., and we don't have bulky desks taking up space. 

We still usually try to have school first thing in the morning, so we are finished by 1 or 1:30 pm, but I am no longer a slave to the clock.

My oldest graduated this past spring and her last two years were done on the computer in my office. Our house is open concept design, so the office is right next to the table. 

Note: I bought my carousel at Micheals Craft Store, but the one I have is no longer available.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Planning a Graduation Party

Our beautiful daughter, Faith graduated from High School this Spring - so I wanted to have a graduation party to recognize that accomplishment... only problem was, trying to keep it simple, and not spend too much.... here's what I came up with....

Our theme was blue (her school colors), gold, silver, black, and white with pink peonies for a touch of elegance.


The Guest Table - 
We had guests sign a JENGA block with a message. Picture frames hung on the wall. A Vase of flowers, a card box, and a basket for the JENGA blocks on the table. We also had a quiz about the graduate for guests to fill out. You can see the quiz here.

The Gift Table was pretty simple - it was the top of a garage cupboard... I glammed it up with a sign and flowers...

We had her diploma, more pictures and some of her artist work (paintings and drawings) showcased in a bookcase.

Faith Through The Years - On one of the garage walls, I posted 8x10 pictures of our graduate from a baby to her senior year. I used gold stars to write her age on. And used cutout lettering above.

Another section of the wall had a picture of the graduate, along with an Inspirational Speech printed out. You can read the speech here. (This was my hubby's contribution!)

The Food Table was decorated in blue and white table clothes with gold doilies. We hung gold, white and blue table clothes from the ceiling to hide more garage stuff. We hung paper lanterns, paper fans, and blue paper swirls above the tables. 

Our Menu was simple....
We had a Cheddar Cheese ball, Dried Beef Cheese ball and crackers, Mixed Fruit, Assorted candy, and Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes. I also made a layered cake to use as a center piece.... we sprayed the cakes with gold color mist. I used clear plastic serving dishes from the Dollar Tree.

For drinks we had fresh garden mint tea, chocolate and regular milk, and bottles of water. I purchased the milk cartons from the public school and bought 'Class of 2017' labels for the water bottles.

The one thing that my daughter wanted most, was a Photo Booth/Selfie Station. I bought a room divider, hung a sign, and set a basket of props on a chair beside it! For props, we had a mustache, bow tie, masks, boa, top hat, sun hat, sunglasses, necklaces, leis, #DONE, and a chalkboard sign. I bought skewers and hot glued the masks, mustache, and bow tie myself.


The tables were covered in blue table clothes with confetti. We bought a helium tank and had balloons around the garage in several places and tied to a pole by our lane and at the walk in door. 

Overall, I thought the party turned out pretty much how I imagined it to be.... the only regrets I have is that I wish we would have had more people show up (out of the 90 invites, we only had 40 guests). And I wish that I would have taken more and better pictures....

Most of our party decorations were purchased at Party City.

The Best of 2016


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