Sunday, January 27, 2013


2012 was the year of life changing events it seems.  First,  we found out in February that I was pregnant... Then our beautiful baby girl was born in October!   Brett is an incredible big brother and loves his little sister fiercely already... It's amazing to watch him with her.   I had to have a C-section,  so recovery was slow going... about three weeks.   So we took two of those weeks off of school and then started learning how to begin doing school with a newborn... That's life changing in and of  itself!  Then... just as I thought my daily life was falling back into place,  I received a six o' clock in the morning phone call from my mom.  My daddy had suddenly passed away in the night. My world was rocked.  Everything fell apart.  I have really been struggling since then to keep us focused and on track with school.  There are days I feel so lost that I just want to sit and cry all day while hiding under a pile of blankets. Even on the good days,  my focus is just...  off.  It's been 10 weeks now and I'm  trying to get back into a normal groove of school,  extra curricular activities,  Baby Kelsey's schedule, household chores, etc... With that are my plans to keep this blog updated at least twice a month. So,  starting in February, I'll catch you up on what we've been doing up til now and where we are headed in school.  There are a few really cool events coming up in our area field trip wise that I'm excited to share about as they happen!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ways That You Can Pray For US

As Brett and I are beginning this new school year, I ask that if you feel led, would you pray for us and our year as God brings us to mind?
As I wrote about in the previous post, the theme of our school year is missions.  As we study and encounter the various cultures we will be learning about (their daily life, their culture, religious practices, praying for the missionaries already there, and also praying for existing Christians in these countries which are largely areas of persecution for those who profess faith in Christ...), I believe we will be facing a very emotionally and spiritually charged and intense year.
So, how can you pray? There are four ways I would love to have you join me in prayer.

First, you can pray that our family would be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the areas of mission work that God is directing us to be involved in both locally and globally.

Secondly, if you would diligently pray for Brett.  As he has not yet accepted Christ as his Savior, please pray for his protection as he is introduced (on a most basic level) to false religions/gods of these regions and any sway that might be used by the Enemy to draw him in...Further, if you would pray that God would use this year to open Brett's eyes and heart in a way that has not yet occurred for him...Pray that the Holy Spirit would stir Brett's heart and his desire to know Jesus as his Savior.

Third, if you would pray for me...That I will listen to God as He directs in our school this year, that I will be filled with a spirit of discernment on what should and should not be taught, and that I will be able to keep a balance between learning time and fun time, family time and couple time with Steve...especially once our Baby Girl arrives.

Lastly, and probably the most important, if you would join us in praying for the areas in the 10/40 window that I mentioned in the previous post.  Get a copy of Window on the World, or just check out or Voice of the Martyrs at for prayer resources and guides.  They also have links to ways that you can get involved on a tangible level.  Use this time to not only pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, but to seek God's plan for missions in your own life and that of your family...

Be Blessed...and thanks for the prayers!

Monday, August 6, 2012

And So It Begins!

Well, the big day is finally here!  Today is our first day of THIRD GRADE!  As I mentioned in my previous post, it seems next to impossible that we are beginning our fourth year on this homeschool journey, but here we are!

 This year in the My Father's World curriculum set up is "Exploring Countries and Cultures."

The theme of ECC is missions and we will be learning map skills and also using geography to learn about other places in the world, mission work and the importance of sharing the message of salvation through Jesus with the whole world.

Science will involve studying biomes, habitats, and animals of the world in relation to the continent/countries being studied.

For Bible, we will be using a combination of the MFW program (which involves a study on the entire book of Matthew) and a program from Answers in Genesis, "Answers for Kids".  We will also include our own hymn study in keeping with the Charlotte Mason style of education.  We will be incorporating missionary biographies (provided in the MFW curriculum), the Kids of Courage series I have blogged about before (see post here and  here), and Window on the World (also included in our curriculum but can be purchased through Voice of the Martyrs) which is a break down of the 92 largely unevangelized countries in the world that together make up an area known as the 10/40 Window.  It shares interesting facts about each country, a brief story, beautiful photos, maps and ways to pray for that area.  While it needs a bit of updating, it is still a really good resource to use as a springboard into a heart for Bible translation, the need for missionaries and prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Language Arts will consist of the second half of Primary Language Lessons (a fabulous little book that was used to teach many of the founders of our country in the use of our language), Spelling Power, copywork, dictation, poetry, read alouds and individual reading time.

In Math, we will continue to use Singapore math, books 2B and 3A, math fact drills and games to solidify learning.

Music and Art will include listening to music from various areas of the world and participating in crafts that come from various cultures.  We will also continue using our art book from last year, "I Can Do All Things".

Lastly, we will be beginning our study of Spanish using Rosetta Stone...we are most excited about learning a new language together as a family and our prayer is that we will have opportunities to use this new knowledge in ways that will further the Kingdom of God!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Starting Over

Hi!  We are about to begin our third grade year! Amazing how time flies!
I really lost interest in blogging about school in our first grade year.  We used Sonlight again and I just wasn't happy...and that affected Brett.  So we sort of trashed the lesson plans and did our own thing.  It ended up being a good year, but I was really overwhelmed having to pull from scratch what to do every week...and blogging took a back seat.

Last year we switched to My Father's World and we couldn't have chosen a better fit for our family!  I am thrilled with their program and Brett loves the notebooking he does for his work.  What a difference in our attitudes each day!  Of course, by this time so much time had passed since I had last blogged that I felt ridiculous just jumping back in.

But now...even though it's been two years...I feel like starting over...Jumping back in with both feet and having this outlet to share how we do school.  This year is going to be wild and crazy as we are expecting our second child in October.  I'm a little scared to do school with a newborn and more than ever right now I am soaking up other mom's blogs and advice.  And I thought, maybe someone out there can relate to what I have to say too.  And even if not, it's just a good outlet of release!

So, I'll do my best to stay up to date (on this page and on our Outdoor Hour page as well!) and hopefully you'll pull up a chair and get cozy as you read about our life, our homeschool, and the adventure it promises to be this year!

Until next time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Wow! It has been awhile since I've written anything! Things have been so busy as we wrapped up our Kindergarten year and just had some family issues that needed our attention.
Brett is so happy because he is officially a Kindergarten Graduate! We made him a little diploma and did a little ceremony. Then we let him pick what he wanted to do all day. We started with a graduation gift (A Disney Car) then lunch at McDonald's, a cookie from the bakery in the mall, swimming and all this followed up with dinner at The Olive Garden. It was a wonderful way to spend the day. He can't wait to start first grade :) I am happy to know that he likes school and wants to start up again. (We can't officially start counting days for first grade until July 1.)

He also just wrapped up a week at a local day camp where we live and LOVED it! He went every day from 8:30 until 4pm. They did Bible study each morning, followed by crafts, games, canoeing, bb guns, archery, lake swimming, hiking, etc...It was a really great experience for him and he has already said he can hardly wait until next summer to go again :)

Here are some pictures of the graduation day and camp...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kids of Courage/VOM (part 2)

This is another publication put out through Kids of Courage...the Bold Believers series. They are really neat because they focus on a country in depth. Inside you will find geography facts, history and current events facts, religion and culture facts. There are stories with activities, crossword puzzles and other activities. They are geared to a child that is a little bit older, but can easily be adapted for young learners as well.

Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter...

In Every issue you will find stories of persecution, stories of hope in spite of the way the Christians in a given country are treated, updates on missionaries, pastors and other people who have been featured in articles, etc... They are such a testament to the FAITH that these Christians live out daily! We sit so secure in our warm homes with NO FEAR, NO THREAT of danger...why exactly are we all not out there on the front lines?! Why are we not down on our knees daily pleading with the Father on behalf of these brothers and sisters of ours? I pray that you will read and that once your eyes have been opened you will not be able to pretend to not know what to do.

"...once our eyes are opened,we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." ~Proverbs 24:12

Kids Of Courage

Kids of Courage is the children's version of Voice of the Martyrs. Both are ministries near and dear to my heart. I'm going to share with you a post from a year or two ago, taken from my family blog. Then below it, I'll tell you a little more about VOM and KOC and how we use them in school.

"VOM is an amazing organization that is dedicated to bringing the Gospel to the areas of our world where Christianity is illegal. Places like China, North Korea, Egypt, India, the Middle East, Colombia etc...There are many, many ways in which one can be involved in this ministry. You can choose to send Bibles through Bibles Unbound to these countries that will be used in underground church settings or passed page by page among families and friends. You can choose to send blankets that will be given to people along with recorded salvation messages. You can send care packages and other forms of outreach. Once you make a contribution of some kind, you will receive the newsletter in the mail...the stories will make you weep. Dearest Friends, we take so much for granted...when was the last time you memorized a whole section of scripture because if you didn't commit it to memory you would never be able to "read" it again? When was the last time you had to flee from your home because you were under attack for your faith? Have you ever been beaten, kidnapped, or brutalized just because you won't deny your faith? Have you ever had to rip pages of a Bible out just so you could learn and study the Word? You can't even begin to imagine some of the horrors that these men, women and children face. These Christians risk everything for the religious freedom we have and yet we choose to hide it on a daily basis!!!! How many times have we heard someone ridicule Christians, or make an inappropriate comment and we've kept silent? How many times have we allowed ourselves to become caught up in worldly things or situations? How many times have we like Peter, denied Christ...even unintentionally...just because we have been afraid of what others might think, or we didn't want to offend someone? May I just point out that there are a LOT of people in this country that offend Christians by trying to remove God from everything our country stands for??!!! They don't care that they offend people and it is for a totally WRONG cause! Why should we care what people think!? We have the freedom to share our faith freely! Who knows how long it will last. I urge you to lift up these brothers and sisters of ours who are standing up to their governments and saying, "I worship the TRUE AND LIVING GOD!" They are giving their very lives for Him! Pray that God will flood those persecuted regions with His Word and that millions will come to know Him as their Savior. Pray that the hearts of these nations will change so drastically that persecution is nonexistent. Pray that God will supernaturally hedge in and protect those involved in proclaiming Christ in these areas. Then, check out the VOM website...get involved if you feel God leading you in that direction. Its an extremely worthwhile and meaningful ministry."

I apologize for the length of this post, but I really feel like I needed to share with you why this ministry means so much to me. Here are some pictures of the newsletter you get...VOM and KOC come together, but you must request the Kids of Courage one specifically. (due to the length of this, I'm going to share about the actual VOM newsletter in another post)

Each issue focuses on a specific persecuted country. Inside, you will find facts about the country and culture, school stories, fun facts and information about children who are persecuted because their parents are Christians or because they themselves have become Christians. We always look the country we are talking about up on the map. Then we read through the articles...usually one a day or every other day...and talk about them. We discuss differences and similarities between where we live and that country. We tend to skim the surface right now...Brett is still so young that he doesn't "get" a lot of it. But, we pray for the children and their families and the countries they live in. We haven't done this yet, but I hope to soon start implementing cooking some foods from the country we are praying for too. The great thing is that this is so easy to adapt for age. You can easily take it SO much deeper than what we are right now. I hope and pray that you will get involved in this ministry and begin learning about and praying for these countries.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Heard the Good News!

Today in school, Brett and I were reading from a book called, I Heard The Good News Today. It is a book that has little one or two page stories about missionaries from around the world and the people they shared the Good News of Jesus with. Well, we finished reading (today's was on Karl Olson, a traveling Bible salesman) Karl Olson had been traveling in Poland and sought lodging in a home in a village he was passing through. He read the family who opened their home to him many stories from the Bible. Two days later as Karl was leaving the village, he sold the family a Bible. He was unable to sell any other Bibles while in the village though. After he left the family he stayed with began reading and sharing from the Bible with others in the village. They soon received Christ as their Lord and Savior. Many other villagers joined them in their salvation. Years later, Karl happened to be in the village again and went to the home of the family to see if he could stay with them again. They told him of all that had happened and he was overjoyed! He gathered the people together and asked if anyone could share a scripture verse. The villagers asked, "a verse or a chapter?" Karl was stunned and asked if people could recite chapters. The villagers replied that they had been so worried about losing the only Bible among them that they assigned every Christian a chapter to memorize and that between them all they could recite nearly the entire Bible! Afterwards, the villagers purchased every Bible and New Testament that Karl had with him! After reading this, I was talking with Brett about how God can take one small thing that we do and turn it into something glorious for his kingdom. And I went on to talk with him about being a missionary right where we live. In the next second, he jumped up from the table and ran upstairs. He came down carrying elephant, his pillow, his toothbrush and toothpaste, then he grabbed his Bible and said, "let's go!" I said, "go where?" And he said, "We are missionaries Mama...let's go tell the good news!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason was an educator who believed in "the gentle art of learning". She firmly believed that children needed to be outside in nature exploring God's creation. She utilized "living books" as opposed to text books, short lessons, narration, notebooking and no grades.
We are utilizing many of her techniques in our homeschooling approach. Charlotte's ideas were to create a love of life long learning in the student. She is quoted as saying, "The more we do for a child, the less he will do for himself. If we give him watered down material, many explanations, much questioning, if we over-moralize, depend on the workbooks to work the mind, what thinking is left for the child to do? How is his mind to grow from within...?"
For those of you seeking to implement this style of teaching into your homeschool settings, I highly recommend reading this book by Karen Andreola. It breaks down the philosophies into easy to read chapters written in modern English. It is extremely helpful in guiding you as the instructor and introducing you to nature notebooking, implementing great literature, classical music and great art into your day, ways to teach reading, spelling, composition, how to use narration, etc... You will love it!

Nature Books

What the books look like inside~
The inside of The Handbook of Nature Study~
I was reading back through some of my posts and realized that I never got around to posting the pictures of the field guides we are using. I found all of them on and was able to save a LOT of money that way! I'll be posting this under the Wonders of Creation link as well :)