Thursday, February 15, 2018

Middle East Prophecy Update...
Syrian Drones; Russia Wants Israel's Oil

Isaiah 17 (Damascus Destroyed) and Ezekiel 38 (Iran, Turkey and Russia Attack Israel) Are Next!



Saturday, February 3, 2018

Jesus Is Coming! Are You Ready?


Luke 21:28

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Not Your Strength But Mine
It was a hard day with the kids. Homeschooling wasn't going right. The kids were irritable (therefore, I was irritable). As I tripped over Legos and train tracks, cleaning up bits of Playdough that the 3-year-old had missed while he "cleaned up" his mess, I knew it was a night where I needed to drive. Just a drive, some peace and quiet and everything would be okay.

Robbie got home and he knew "the look". The look that said, "It's been a long day. I've been trying to keep it together, but I need a moment to breathe." He handed me the car keys.

It was time for me to drive. Jesus and I needed to talk.

I asked Him as I was in the Target parking lot (sniffing back tears) how was I going to handle another child when the five little darlings (they really are, I promise) I already had were trying my patience that day.

Doubt set in. Hard.

Enter the Holy Spirit...

"I never asked YOU to do this. I am going to do it through you."

I breathed a sigh of relief. You know. The kind where you know God has something and you just forgot to turn it over to Him (like He didn't have it before!).

God was going to give me the strength for another child HE was going to bless us with through adoption.


Fast forward almost 2 years later...

"I'm tired and weary of battling", I tell God. "I don't want to do this anymore."

"I'm scared when I look into the eyes of Silas. I love him TOO MUCH." (Is that possible to love a child too much?)

Silas' birth father is fighting for him and we never saw adoption as a process like this. MOST infant, domestic adoption finalizations are within 4-6 months of taking baby home from the hospital.

Here we are almost a YEAR later and we are just nearly beginning the process.

We NEVER saw this coming. We knew this was an "at risk" adoption, but had no idea that this was around the corner. Nobody did. It was something God knew though. Somewhere we missed the Adoption 101 class where they tell you the real deal. Does anyone give those classes anywhere?

Today, I had a "hash-out" with God. I have always given every day to Him, but today was different.

I was ANGRY.

"Why God?" "Why us?" "Why couldn't we have one of those "normal" adoption cases that are hands-down, closed and finalized within a few months?"

I was the kind of angry where I needed my few sisters-in-Christ who have traveled this lonely road of adoption/foster care (because let's face it, this has felt more like a foster care case than an adoption...hello!) to INTERCEDE for me. To lift me up when I have nothing left. To love on me knowing the pain I have when I look into my baby boy's eyes, not knowing what lies in store even a few weeks ahead.

I was the kind of angry where I had to do a rewind and double check everything I remember the Lord revealing to us as we began this journey of adoption years ago. (I am a journaling freak like that.)

"Lord, did I hear you wrong? I didn't know it was going to be like THIS. I can't breathe sometimes thinking about not having my son. What's next?"

I beg for Him to reveal, yet again.

He does not.

Instead, He reveals His character. He continues to refine me. He continues to teach me patience. He never lets me go (even when I feel like giving in and when I don't want to fight any longer).

My dear friend Sara (not sure where I'd be without this gem...and a few others I may add) was reminding me today about the story of Jonah and how he looked at the assignment from God as just about impossible. He tried to hide and resist. It was HARD, but God delivered and came through, and oh the blessing that came from it.

The same for Moses when he reached the point where he couldn't hold up his arms any longer. (Exodus 17:12) Aaron and Hur held his arms for him.

I read THIS BLOG POST today (and just ordered their book!) and was reminded how important it is that when you're on the road of foster care/adoption, you HAVE to have support. And when you find those brothers and sisters who truly understand and can come alongside, you have struck GOLD.

Never let them go!

They will need you and you will need them. (Trust me.) God may even sever other relationships with friends/family so that His will can be done if He is calling you to this ministry. It happened to me. BUT, He will give you others to EQUIP you for what He is calling you to do.

He will bring you brothers and sisters to INTERCEDE for you when you can't hold up your arms any longer and if He hasn't yet, pray and He WILL. His timeline in all this is perfect too.

Sometimes, it's in the form of wisdom from a book, blog, YouTube video or the BEST is when He brings you people in person. Friends who will sit on the floor with you as your foster/adoptive babies play and you drink coffee, sharing where you are in court battles, etc. I love those days.

Sometimes, it's in the form of a phone call or text. A Bible verse from a family member.

   

God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called.

(I have to remind myself DAILY of this. Sometimes hourly.)

I am no one special. I just told God a long time ago that He can use me.

Some days I don't want to answer the call from our adoption agency, worried it's bad news. I don't want to read the emails from the lawyer laying out how much longer this could take or what our risks are at the next court hearing. How each domino of this situation effects the next domino and when they will stop falling.

I may be angry with God sometimes. I may kick and scream that I don't want my heart to ache anymore. That I want this to be over, but throughout this whole process, He is teaching us, refining us, shaping us and disciplining us. Growing us and stretching us (and I don't like to be stretched).

When people ask how we do it, I don't say we do. God does.


He reminds us..."Not your strength, but Mine."

Amen.


Proverbs 27:17..."As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."






Sunday, January 28, 2018

Court Date Results From Friday


God HAS this and even though we did not get the results we wanted, God has a better plan. In the long run, the judge's decision is going to save us any worry we may have in the future. We are NOT defeated in the battle for this little man! Blessings fellow brothers and sisters!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Silas' First Court Date


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

This Little Farm
It's been an amazing 3 and 1/2 years. After moving here from the city and taking a forest, molding and shaping it with our bare hands into the farm we had so envisioned, we are looking to move yet again.

Don't ask me how we got here! My head spins too much thinking about it and my head spins at times thinking about how we will move 6 kids, 3 dogs, 3 sheep, 4 cows, a tractor, a barn full of stuff, a house full of stuff, etc. to another state, but that's where we are at and that's what 2018 is looking like.

We are in the process of closing on a house in Tennessee at the end of next month and are asking for your prayers that our adoption would finalize and our two Florida homes would sell (supposed to close on our city home next week).

Man! Has it been a journey forming a forest into a farm. A wild ride if you will. We learned a TON, made mistakes, had some victories, found what makes money on a farm and what puts you in the hole. Found our little nitches of what we love and don't so much love. (In other words, never do again...ah-hem, stinky goats.)

We have met and formed friendships with some stellar people. Rockin' homesteaders! People that will drop what they're doing at the drop of a hat to come assist you with trimming your goats' hooves when you're up a creek. People that will drop by herbs when you and your kids are sick. People who will barter with you, pray with you and put on a cup of coffee just to sit and listen when you need an ear.

We have learned here that we love living in a small town with no traffic. Where people know who you are and still smile.

Where Civil War reinactments are the highlight of the year.

We've grown a lot of food here.

Learned how to deal with frost and ice.

Delivered more animals. Hatched animals. Tried new animals. Lost some animals (my beloved Molly will always be missed...had a moment remembering her this morning as I was ready to throw something across the barnyard in anger towards a stubborn cow who didn't want to be milked. "Molly would stand here and let me milk her" I murmered to myself.)

I am looking forward to our new home. Some days more than others.

I'm looking forward to acres of GRASS!

Some forestry and a creek for the kids to play in.

And just spending time as a family.

Here's to 2018 and new beginnings. We will be sure to keep you updated as the move takes place.

We do appreciate your prayers that our adoption of Silas goes quickly. We will know more in the next 2 weeks, whether this will drag on for a bit or if it will be quick to finalization.

This baby boy is WALKING and brings us such JOY!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Learning Throughout the Summer

Summer is half-way over for most of you and you may already be running out of ideas to keep your children from asking 10 times a day to watch a movie or have a snack. Let's get real people! It takes planning. Planning takes time.

But not ALWAYS.

Although I love structure and organization (I would be lost without it!), there are so many days where we drop everything and go with what the kids are interested in.

It's "Life-schooling"!

It's FUN.

It creates MASTERY of LEARNING in our kids and if we're all being honest, the parents can get more involved and interested than the kids. (We've all heard the stories of the parents taking over the Science project for Little Junior, right? Ah-hem.)


After reading The Big Book of Homeschooling by Debi Pearl, I have condensed the book for you (because I love you) and have given you the "meat" of the book. I haven't added everything and I have added some of our own ideas as well. This book is NOT just for homeschoolers. It's chocked full of ideas for summer fun and learning alongside your kiddos.

Enjoy and happy learning!

 *Note *Because these are notes, some may not make 100% sense with you. You will just have to get the book! {grin}

MATH:
- Toss Across with math problems written on them.
- Math line on rolled out paper...play games.
- Dot-to-dog flashcards
- Money jug to put change in daily, then use at the end of each month for ice cream outings. Count that money!
- Take kids to the grocery store with a list and budget. See if they can stay under that budget.
- Give kids a few dollars to budget our a lunch they have to buy.
- Refrigerator math...vis-à-vis markers and magnetic ABC's, numbers.
- Side walk Chalk
- Measuring tape to measure circumference of foods.
- ABC and number cookies...make from scratch using cookie cutters.
- Baking/measuring

VOCABULARY:
- Talking "in code" with high vocabulary words
- Flash cards in the car
- Punctuation Bible lesson...leave out the capital letters, punctuation, and an open spot for a missing word.
- Play the synonym game...call out a common word such as house and the kids have to think of a word like "dwelling", "home", "cabin", etc. See how many you can think of!
- Play the homonym game..."I SEE the SEA."
- Play the antonym game (opposites)
- Card hunting...make index cards with words. Hide them. Kids find and make sentences out of them. Write down the results and reread them often.

PHONICS:

- Take a sentence strip and ask the child to tell you a sentence. Write it down, then cut out each letter and have child put it back together.
- My Pile, Your Pile...use sight word flashcards and if child get it correctly, he keeps it in his pile. If not, Mom/Dad keeps it in his/her pile. Winner is who has the most in their pile.
- Cutting out from magazines things that start with letter "A", etc.
- Write books WITH your children. Illustrate. :)

READING/WRITING:

- Tell stories! (use character traits)
- Make a family newspaper. Re cap on all the things you did in the past week. Print out pictures to post and send them to family/friends. Keep some to look back on as family treasures.
- Use props when telling stories.
- Make a school year book of special outings, science projects with short explanations for each. Can just print out from the computer.
- Volunteer at the library to put away the non-fiction books. Volunteer older children for story hour.
- The Knowledge Book...Post questions on the fridge. Kids can team up to research the answers.
- List of "Family Fun Night" ideas.
- READ ALOUD (especially adventure stories!)

PENMANSHIP:

- Have "littles" write in shaving cream, salt, etc.
- Homemade cards sent to loved ones
- Copy recipes from cookbooks, buy a notebook and have her cut out pictures from magazines to glue in and write about.
- Teach them calligraphy
- Boys can burn Bible verses into wood.

SPELLING/GRAMMAR:

- Pull spelling words from daily essays that contain misspelled words.
- Label furniture, appliances, etc. with flashcards.
- Make a large cross word game out of cardboard to do on the floor.

SCIENCE:

- Planets...paint Styrofoam balls and hang them from a fan to watch them revolve around the sun.
- Make a solar system on the ceiling.
- Make a life-sized diagram of the human body.
- Explore and collect insects. Read books about them. Put them on a Styrofoam board and label them.
- Enter your creations at the County Fair.
- Museums and field trips.
- Aquarium
- The zoo...do something different each trip. Have kids find 5 mammals, 5 fish, etc. or play bingo.
- Robotics. Ask for a tour at a local university.
- NASA
- Monarch butterflies on milkweed. Plant a butterfly garden.
- Gardening
- Make a nature notebook

HISTORY and GEOGRAPHY:

- Put maps or large diagrams (human body, solar system) under a plastic table cloth or shower curtain on the dining room table. Also, herb or plant posters.
- Read Around the World in 80 Days and map it out.
- Make history films. Dress up and invite the neighborhood!
- History record book...make a notebook for each unit study.
- Read What Would Our Founding Fathers Think?

FOREIGN LANGUAGE:

- Write what is for lunch in Spanish on the refrigerator.
- Listen to songs
- Pick different countries, make a dish from that country, learn some of the language and pray for that country.
- Prepare their hearts for ministry. Ask often, "So what are you going to do with this life God has given you?"
- Foreign language flash cards all over the house.

HOME ECONOMICS:

- Print out the list of awards from Faith Contenders! Earn badges.
- Quilt making...use thrift store clothes.
- Chemistry...cooking, herbs, the human body, medicines, chemicals, making gun powder and household products from scratch.
- Hospitality Celebration...prepare for visitors: clean house, cooking, place cards, flower arrangements, sing hymns. Read Making Sunday Special.
- Have a  garden seedling sale.
- Plan dinners with kids.
- Have a child in your lap or next to you as you sew, bake, garden, change a tire, etc.
- Play pretend, house and store.
- Larry Burkett's Kids' Money Book
- Stewardship Street by Pam Forester (This is a genius way to teach younger children about money by making a little town out of milk cartons.)
- Make a recipe book
- Daily schedule on white board
- Chore charts
- Buddy System
- Volunteer! Your kids will feel needed by others.
- Mailbox Express...small notes to each other, gifts, verses, poems, pictures, candy, etc.
- Preparing to be a Helpmeet...A Checklist for Preparing Our Daughters by Sandi Queen (If anyone finds a boy version of this pamphlet, will you please let me know?!)

BIBLICAL STUDIES:

- Biographies of great Christian missionaries and faith (YWAM)
- Great Commission
- Illustrate Bible stories and verses
- Read stories/verses in front of others...public speaking.
- Study JOY...bitterness is like the flu! (Hebrews 12:15)
- Quiet Time tapes
- Steve Green CDs (Bible verses to songs)

MUSIC:

- Make up songs to memorize verses.
- Take up a new instrument with lessons.
- Play good music in the home always.

ART:

- Make homemade finger paint and pottery
- Rock painting
- Illustrating stories
- Mixing primary colors
- Study great artists

SHOP CLASS:

- Keep old electronics and experiment with them.
- Keep a scrap pile handy.
- Dissect road kill (wear gloves, mask and eye goggles.)
- Organize screws and tools properly.
- Teach him how to use each tool.

PE:

- Sing and dance as you mop or sweep.
- Jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups.
- "Faithful Workouts" video
- Volleyball, basketball, baseball, kickball, jump rope, hiking, bike riding, swimming, canoeing, Frisbee golf, football, obstacles coarse, sac races, hopscotch.


Another book you may enjoy if you enjoyed this is The Unschooling Handbook by Mary Griffith.