Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homeschool year 2011-2012

I am finally getting around to posting this year's plans even though we began way back in August! This year we decided to enroll in a homeschool enrichment program and the boys are really enjoying it. They attend one day a week and their classes include: Arizona's plants and animals, Public speaking, Digital animation, PE, Music, and much more. This gives me a chance to (sort of) plan the rest of the week and prepare lessons. Although lately, I have using this time to volunter at hubby's school instead.

For math, we began using Teaching Textbooks and we LOVE it! I enjoy the fact that I don't have to do the lessons anymore and now I provide more of a support system. We were really beginning to butt heads in math and this helped a WHOLE lot.

We are also doing some online coursework through our local school district and that's helping too! Lil Dude is doing math and Nani is doing Language Arts. What is really awesome about this is that we get to spend more time doing our sonlight history curriculum when they complete their studies. I almost feel that I split myself into two :-)

For science we are in a co-op studying sharks. It is a ten week curriculm which will take us through November. We are also in cub scouts so our plates are pretty full.

Every year I begin to wonder if this will be our last year homeschooling. In the meantime, I make sure to enjoy the moment and realize what a blessing it is to be able to teach my boys!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Women of Faith

This weekend I got to attend the Women of Faith conference in Phx with my awesome sister. It was such a great experience! Not only have I been applying many of the principles I've learned at the conference, I feel refreshed with a new perspective in life.

On Friday morning, we began with wonderful music by the WOF worship team. Then, Andy Andrews and Patsy Clairmont took the stage with great principles to live by.  Patsy gave us homework and that is to wake up each morning and say "yes" to Jesus and "thank you." Most importantly, it is to say "no" to the people and things that would take away from our important priorities.  To help gauge whether it is ok to say no, the litmus test is, "if it divides your heart and use up your energy (not enough for your family), it is a good indication that you need to say no." I must admit that was the hardest lesson for me.  But I really like her next advice, "no, is a COMPLETE sentence!" I love that. As many women probably can relate, I feel that I would need to justify my "no" and feel terribly guilty about it. Her last piece of wisdom that will be my new mantra, is that "your will is stronger than your emotion."

Andy Andrews was equally enlightening! I have been more aware of what I am exposing myself to as a result of his message. It is so true about how whatever you take in is what comes out. I think of all the television shows out there. I would much rather read a great book than mindlessly watch t.v. knowing full well it is not helping me. On a side note, (I easily get distracted lol) have you seen Lowes' new commercial? It is so cute that it always gets me all choked up. Well their new tagline is "never stop improving." Andy Andrews' session really makes me think that way. There is so much about myself I would like to improve. Thanks to his session, I am definitely going to start reading much more :-)

We had a break for lunch and continued for our sessions. Our lunch was so cute I had to snap a picture.

We returned that evening to more worship and what would be the higlight of the event for me. We got to hear Brenda Warner speak! Her whole family was in the audience supporting her. As I mentioned in my blog post here, I recently read her book. While much of what she spoke about was in the book, I felt we were sitting around the table sipping coffee as she told her story. I love her transparency and humilty! Nobody is perfect and she sure does not claim to be. Though, I wouldn't mind having her as a mommy mentor. I mean, did you know she has 7 kids?! I have 2 and most days I think I am going to be  insane. I would love to pick her brain! She mentioned a saying that she makes her kids repeat each morning. I know it comes from the scripture Deuteronomy 28 in reference to blessings. So cute! Now I have my boys recite their life verses each morning. I picked one for each one of our boys that relates to them. For our oldest, it is 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

For little dude, because he has a gift of speaking...(he talks a lot) :-) it is... Proverbs 31:8 NLT
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed."

Saturday at WOF was wonderful and inspiring as well. It was my shopping day too and I came home with goodies for all three of my favorite boys (my sweetie got a book too). I am grateful for my sweetie for taking the days off so that I can attend. Also, thanks to booksneeze for the free tickets!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hermie the Common Catepillar

Tonight while putting the boys to bed, I promised them a special bed time story if they would get to bed early. I had just ordered this book through Booksneeze as an e-book and was anxious to try it out on our e-reader.

Hermie the Common Catepillar is a classic Max Lucado book. I was introduced to Lucado's books just last year when a homeschool friend was having a book sale. We purchased a few of his books and found them to be great children's stories that incorporated Christian principles. In Hermie: the Common Catepillar, Hermie questions why he can't be special like the others. He feels that he is so common and because of his relationship with God, he communicates this problem with Him. I love how God answers Hermie's question the same way each time. He is told by God that he is loved and that God was not finished with him yet. I feel that this book is a great example of how we are all created for a special purpose and how we do not need to compare ourselves to others. Further, it teaches patience for our little ones.  I loved the expression in my little one's eyes as he learns Hermie's special dream fulfilled greater than he imagined.  This story is a great read and my boys loved it. We give it five stars for the beautiful illustrations and even more, the lesson and conversation that followed after reading the story. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Call Away


I just finished reading One Call Away by Brenda Warner and was so fascinated about the resiliency and faith she had throughout her life.  A few years ago my sweetie brought home a gift he received which was a book about Kurt Warner.  As I thumbed through the book, I loved learning about his passion for Christ, his family, and his career. That was when I truly became a die hard Cardinals fan, and I watched how his leadership brought the Cardinals to the Super Bowl.  After he retired, he was part of my favorite show, Dancing with the Stars. I remember  shaking my head and thought “How could any wife be ok with their husband dancing with a near naked woman like that?” You would  have to read the book, because I love how she explains her growth there.

I always say, “behind every good man, there is a great woman” and I knew that Brenda would have a story to go along with Kurt’s amazing story.  One Call Away details how Brenda answered every call, as devastating it may be (her son’s tragic injury, betrayal and divorce, and the passing of her parents) with a faith so profound that it made me question my own. Brenda writes this book in such a candid and transparent way, I felt that she was sitting down having coffee with me, telling her life story. While reading the book, there were times that I would laugh… throw my hand over my mouth in shock... and then cry.

I crave gleaning wisdom from Christian women who are quick to admit that they aren’t perfect, but that they are loved and learning from our Perfect Lord.  It was like Brenda was giving me words of wisdom through her book and I could learn from her experiences. Most importantly, I will always remember that when it seems things are spinning out of control…God is in control.  What stood out to me most is the difference from “needing a man” and “wanting a man.” As a domestic violence advocate, I have seen so many women who thought they “needed” a man in their life and therefore would withstand all sorts of abuse.  I pray that women everywhere can learn that difference.

Her chapters  “Giant Letdowns” and “Phoenix Rising” was healing for me personally.  I have gone through the pain of a miscarriage and it gave me sense of hope and trust that our God is a God of restoration. It may not seem like anything we had planned or even thought about, but our Lord will restore.  In His time, in His hour. I would just  need to surrender and Trust in Him so that my Lord can take over.

I give the book five stars. I really enjoyed Brenda Warner’s book and now will always be ready to answer God’s divine Calling at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.