Monday, March 30, 2020

A Verse a Day Challenge

Hey friends!  Last week's letter writing challenge was so popular we decided to do three more weeks of challenges for you and your family.  Hopefully by that time our world will have settled back down a bit and a new normal will have taken place!  Here's praying!

Last week's A Letter a Day Challenge was meant to encourage you to bless others.  I hope you had fun doing so and were able to reach out to some people that maybe you haven't talked to in a while.  Letting others know you care and that they are not alone can bring such comfort, especially in troubled times as now.

This week we are going to minister to ourselves and our own families a bit with-

A Verse a Day Challenge

I am giving you five scripture verses that I pray will encourage you, bring you peace, and provide comfort to you.  These may seem pretty common verses to many, but what I find is often people know bits and pieces of them but are not able to really quote the whole verse along with it's reference.  I am guilty for sure!

I would encourage you each morning to write out the verse for the day and put it somewhere central where everyone can see it all day!  By just repeating it together as a family several times throughout the day (maybe at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime), you will find you know it!  Bonus if you place it in several places to be seen throughout your house!

Each morning, see who can recite the previous day's verse, and then start with a new one.

Have littles around?  Make it fun!  Maybe have a small prize at the end of the week for whomever can recite the most verses.  Or celebrate your accomplishments together with a fun dessert at the end of the week.  I am willing to bet your kids will learn them faster than you will- ask me how I know!  Anyone else an old AWANA mom? ;)

The point is to rest easy in the arms of our loving father with His words hidden in our heart.

 Whenever you are feeling anxious, you can remind yourself of His truth and His love!

Can't wait to hear how you do!

Monday- 2 Tim. 1:7-For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Tuesday- Phil. 4:6-7 -Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday- Phil 4:8-  Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

Thursday- John 16:33- I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Friday- Psalm 56:3-4- When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Oh, and next week,we are going to use up some of that nervous energy! ;)


Monday, March 23, 2020

A Letter A Day Challenge

Okay, I know we are now week two into social distancing so I am a little late to the game in this post, but I figured we all needed a week to just be still and figure out what our new normal looks like for a while.  I pray you have had some sweet time of rest with your family and that you are all staying healthy!  As we have said before, let us know how we can pray for you!

For this coming week though, I decided to get creative for you.  I know being at home all day is hard for some and when it is not your norm, you can struggle to figure out what your day should look like.  Instead of fretting, I encourage you to take a deep breath, re-evaluate, have some fun, and BLESS OTHERS!

So blessing others is what we are going to concentrate on this week and we hope you will join us!

Our first challenge- A Letter a Day!

Since we cannot be around so many that we love, we are going to commit to writing a letter a day to someone, to hopefully brighten THEIR day!  Yes, that is one letter per person living in this house, and yes, snail mail!

We want a letter to show up in someone's mailbox, but if stamps are in shortage at your house right now, email! Now that we have extra time on our hands is the perfect time to reconnect!

Who's joining us?  Make your list of five people to bless this week, grab a pen, and get started!

A Letter a Day!  Ready, set, go!


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Graphic Novels For The Win

Let's talk about books for a few minutes!  It is one of my favorite subjects, after all.  I can remember the excitement of each of my children reading their first word, and once they could read entire books- well, that was pure joy for me!

The power of the written word is unending.  It spurs imagination, expands vocabulary, takes you to places you will never visit, and teaches you things you can not even fathom. There is very little that compares, and I am so very thankful I have a household of book lovers!

One of the advantages of homeschooling is we are able to do literary rich learning.  Not only do our textbooks teach us, but we are often able to tie the books we are reading to our current lessons as well.  Since history is a favorite subject around here, books that have historical stories, whether fact or fiction, are a favorite.

This is why when I saw the titles A Family Secret and The Search, offered by Timberdoodle Co.,I knew I needed them in our home!  Both books, written by Eric Heuvel, are about 60 pages long and packed with excitement and suspense.  These historical fiction books for young readers (5th grade and up) are graphic novels written about World War II.   In The Family Secret, a young boy finds his grandmother's scrapbook, and learns what it was like to live in Amsterdam during the German occupation.  The Search tells the story of a young girl, Esther, who was separated from her family during the war.  As an adult, and with her grandson's help, she seeks to learn what became of her parents.  The books are tied together with a surprising twist.

Both books are captivating, and while I bought them to further enhance the learning of my 7th grade son in his studies of WWII, I found his older brother, age 18, reading them, as well as his history- loving older sister.  A book that spans the ages is indeed a keeper. 

We love that these books are told from a personal perspective.  Giving thoughts and feelings to the characters who "experience" the war brings the stories to life, and I believe help younger children better understand how wars affect people, bringing much empathy and understanding to a generation who has not experienced such hardship as of yet.  While we have used these books to support our history lessons, they would be a good addition to anyone who enjoys history and the graphic novel style.  I admit it is one that is harder for me to enjoy, but that is not the case for my kids!  They have all thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend them.

Because of the sensitive subject matter and drama that is portrayed, I suggest a parent read these books first to determine if they are appropriate for your child.  There is one use of strong language in The Search.

Both The Family Secret and The Search are part of the Timberdoodle 6th grade Curriculum kit.  A downloadable study guide is also available.

Monday, March 16, 2020

They Won't Get Dumb!

With all the craziness just getting more crazy, I haven been pondering a lot lately.  What should our response be?  If and how should we alter our live?  How can we help others?

Quite frankly, other than the annoyance I feel going to the grocery store and seeing the crazy first hand (though that seems limited here for now) our lives have not changed drastically.  We are a homeschooling family by choice,  have been for over 23 years.  Our normal day involves staying home and schooling our kids.  Social distancing is our strength.  Kidding.  Mostly.  Because we just moved, quite honestly, we do not have other outside commitments yet.  Looks like getting to know our neighbors and our area will have to wait in some regards.

But truth be known, I am a little stunned by all the chatter about what to do with your kids who are now at home.  Without trying to be snarky, what do you DO with your kids on weekends or during the summer, and why is this any different?  They are your kids after all.
I do completely get that for families with two working parents, or a single working parent, things have now complicated your lives.  When you depend on those incomes and have no one to be home with your kids now, things get complicated- it is a serious problem and my heart breaks for you.  I am so sorry for that stress and pray you will be able to find acceptable answers for the next few weeks or months.

But, for families that have one parent home anyway- what's the deal?

I know many schools have successfully put lessons on line or have sent home work to be done.  Yay- that is great!  BUT- if no school work is done for the next two weeks or even 2 months, they will be fine!  So will you!

Due to some things we were working through and a program my son has been a part of for the last six months, our school day and school work looked a bit different from what we were used to.  My first reaction was fear, so I get it!  But something the sweet program director said to me has stuck in my brain and I want to share it with you-

He is not going to get dumb in 6 months!

Or two weeks, or however long this social distancing lasts!  Count on it!  Once I really let that sink in, I relaxed.  I hope you will to.

Yes, do whatever school your child's teacher sends home.  But more importantly, use this as a time to reclaim your family.

  • Enjoy the slower pace of your day!  You may find you get some rest you didn't realize you needed!
  • Spend time with your kids!  You may recapture their hearts along the way!
  • Get outside and get some fresh air!  You will feel the stress fall away, and hey, maybe we will even lose a pound or two!
  • Be kind! This is a time in our lives that we have the opportunity to shine for Jesus!  Go big, or go home! 
  • Unplug from the chaos!  If the news makes you anxious, turn it off.  Family time is much more fun!
  • Look for the blessings.  Instead of talking about how bad things are or are going to get, spend time as a family identifying the good that can come from this situation.  They are there if you just look.

Oh friends, we will persevere.  Trust that nothing affects us that has not been passed through the loving hands of our God first!  Reach out to others, dive into His Word, and enjoy your family!

John 14:27-
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

If we can pray for you, please reach out!  It is our honor to do so.


 We are linking up with the newest Timberdoodle blog hop to inspire you during this crazy time!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, March 14, 2020

What To Do All Day

Wow, so much to process this week, huh?  A presidential address, cancelled flights, closed businesses, quarantines and more.   At this rate, we all will be affected in one way or another.  Count on it.

Because of the season of life our family is in, the biggest thing we see, other than the crazy lack of TP, is a bunch of school kids now forced to school at home for the time being.  Panicked parents because many have to still go to work, and panicked parents searching for ideas on what to do with said kids all day long.  I get it, I was once there.

So here are some thoughts from a homeschooler of 23 years.

  • DO SCHOOL!- We homeschoolers actually DO school. ;)  Be forewarned though, it will not take your kids quite as long as it does in a public school setting.  Fewer cats to herd means things get done faster.

  • ENJOY YOUR SLOWER PACED MORNINGS! I know some of your mornings are complete chaos.  One of the things I love about homeschooling is our casual morning routine.  It is slow and quiet- join me for a while.
  • KEEP A SCHEDULE- I find we tend to do function better with some sort of schedule  It certainly does not have to be a minute to minute routine, but find some sort of rhythm and stick to it.  When kids know what to expect you will hear less "I am bored" and "what are we going to do next."
  • PLAY GAMES!  We play a lot of games in this house.  Good for the mind and good at keeping busy hands busy.  Order a few new ones off Amazon and gather the troops.  Some of our favorites right now are Five Crowns, Pass the Pandas, Quarkle.

  • DO A PUZZLE- Good for the mind, takes up time, and forces you to talk to the person behind you!

  • HAVE READING TIME!  Each afternoon after lunch is a great time to insist on some personal reading time.  Let everyone snuggle up with a book, picture books count, and read.  Family reading time with a classic is also a fun way to pass the time.  If your kids are not thrilled with that idea, try audio dramas instead.
  • BAKE TOGETHER- Let's face it, you have to cook anyway, and maybe more now since extra people are home all day, so you might as well make it a group project.  Enlist help at meals, but even better, make fun desserts and snacks.  Even little kids can help pour and mix.  Bonus, you can count it for math and home ec!
  • QUIET TIME- we all need some down time.  Designate an hour a day that everyone is in their rooms doing something quietly.
  • TAKE A WALK OR GET SOME EXERCISE These are stressful time friends!  Now more than ever we need to get out in the sun and fresh air each day.  For cold or rainy days,have a group exercise time.  In the past our family has enjoyed plank challenges, push up challenges, and sit up challenges.  Make it fun!
  • CATCH UP WITH FRIENDS- Now is a good time to reach out to loved ones- from a safe distance.  Write a letter each day, phone a friend, or text someone to let them know you are thinking about them.
  • BLESS A NEIGHBOR- especially if you have older neighbors of ones with health concerns.  Staying home for weeks can be isolating- let them know they are not alone.  Take them a goodie after your bake day!
  • CLEAN and ORGANIZE YOUR HOUSE- Really!  If you are home from work anyway, you might as well be productive.  Our 34 Weeks of Clean Series can help you get started and it will burn off some nervous energy.  Grab a kid, or two, and get started!
  • ENJOY A FAMILY MOVIE- Maybe do a themed night.  When we have our regular family movie night we usually have a "fun food" dinner (think tacos, nachos, pizza etc) and eat on the couch. 
  • PRAY TOGETHER- There is just something about praying together that can help take our focus off ourselves and put it back on the Lord- exactly where it belongs. 
  • STAY CALM- Yes, things are serious, but panic will only make things worse.  Stay in when you can, wash your hands, and for goodness sake- stop hoarding toilet paper!

Lastly, while there are times that keeping a sense of humor can get you through hard times, we recognize the seriousness of the Corona virus and those it affects.  If you fall into that category, please know we are praying for you and your family.

Romans 15:3
 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

May the Lord protect us all and get the glory!


Joining the Timberdoodle Blog Hop where you can find a tons of ideas and resources!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter