Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 3rd Grade :)

The Legacy of Homemaking

Is homemaking a lost art?

I was at a baby girl shower recently and I loved overhearing my friends mother in law encourage her to keep the art of homemaking alive with the things our grandmothers did so beautifully–gardening, canning, quilting, embroidery, knitting, crafting, soap making, etc. Her gift to her new granddaughter happened to be a sweet handmade baby quilt made from reproduction vintage seed sacks. She also provided the favors for the party–hand harvested honey from her bee hives packaged in apothecary jars! I love to see and hear from women the refreshing originality and thoughtfulness they pour into the everyday lives of their families. Sitting there listening, I felt inspired again to keep the dream of creative homemaking alive and well in my own heart.

Whether moms work as a stay at home mom or out in the work force, God has made mothers the hearts of our homes. Strong homes must be made, they do not happen coincidentally–strong homes require home”makers.” I have come to fashion my definition of the art of homemaking as: a timeless expression of living life beautiful in Christ as wives and mothers with the high calling of nurturing hearts at home.

I think its wonderful that we can carry out even the most mundane tasks of homemaking as a holy expression of our life in Christ, but personally, I get even more excited about imprinting my little daughter with the aesthetic aspects of homemaking in Christ. That’s the fun part for me! Good homemaking surely consists of both the mundane and the aesthetic, with both being of equal importance; the latter without the former makes a chaotic home, and the former without the latter makes a home that is void of personality and sparkle. In order for a home to thrive, both must be in balance, so we shan’t forget to add the sparkle nor to take joy in the mundane!

Some have come to feel like homemaking is mostly mundane or dull, and I have heard many a mom say, “I am just not creative!” But I believe we all can light up our homes in different ways, and we are all indeed creative because we are all made in the image of the Master Creator and Artist. However, creative muscles and joints must be used, or they become stiff from disuse. For both creatives and creatives-to-be-discovered, I encourage you to make a list of what are you good at and also what would you like to learn. Then find some women who can invest in you, and find some women you can invest yourself in as well!

Here are some ideas to help you make that list and build more ‘Homemaker Culture’ into your life – creative activities that nurture your heart so that you may in turn nurture the other hearts at home.

Singing, musical instruments, choral music, calligraphy, computer skills, administrative skills, writing, sign language, public speaking, blogging, problem solving, wood working, making/refinishing furniture, hospitality, gardening, working with children, photography, teaching, floral design, foreign languages, homeschooling, marriage, family, financial stewardship…..

Etiquette, tea parties, cake decorating, home decorating, baking, cooking, preserving/canning, scrapbooking, basket weaving, candle making, soap making, essential oils, card making, quilting, embroidery, sewing, quilting, knitting, cross stitch, needle point, holiday celebrations and traditions, cleaning and housekeeping, planning and organizing……

Field trips, camping, hiking, nature, health and fitness, artwork, drawing, ceramics, oil painting, pottery, watercolors, nature, health and fitness, drawing, reading……

Serving, spiritual warfare, Bible study, devotionals, missions, evangelism, journaling, leadership, community service, counseling, special needs, elderly, homeless, needy, giving, encouraging, mentoring….

 

The week after my friend’s baby shower, I was excited to meet with some friends at Mom’s Night here to learn how to crochet and discuss Proverbs 31. Sounds like a Christian homemakers dream night, right? I have never done much sewing of any kind, and was eager to learn from a gifted friend how to crochet for the first time. It was really fun and a little challenging too; so far I have crocheted a bookmark but somehow its supposed to turn into a washcloth if I just keep “yarning over.” 🙂 The best part of the night was studying the Bible together in a very relaxed atmosphere with friends who had searched their hearts before the gathering for answers to questions such as:

  • How does this proverb apply to me today?
  • How can I apply these principles to my life to improve my marriage and family life?
  • What does it mean to be a diligent wife and mother?

The first several times I read Proverbs 31 in my personal study time, I was pretty much a blank slate, but many readings later, ideas began to form as the Word penetrated into my understanding. Bible study felt more like the “study” that I imagine it should be, rather than simply the “reading” I usually do, and getting to discuss the passage with friends afterwards was a very motivating cherry on top for me. It was so enjoyable and rewarding that I am hoping deeper Bible study can become a more regular part of my life as well as Mom’s Night discussions!

I was convicted that I have only read Proverbs 31–all about being a Godly woman, wife, and homemaker–a handful of times since getting married 10 years ago. So along with a friend, I challenged myself to memorize verses 11-31, and I challenge you to do the same if you are a wife wanting to be inspired by God’s Word! Perhaps your homemaking or marriage could use some refreshing at this point dear one? I can attest that hiding the Word of God, the living active Word, in our hearts works in unexplainable ways in refreshing our perspective and moving us out of stuck places. For me, as the verses of Proverbs 31 have begun to permeate my consciousness the past week, I actually felt a difference in the way I felt towards my husband and those mundane tasks around the house – a little thrill of delight at the kitchen sink returning like a long lost friend.

As homeschool moms, many of us give our kids memory verses, but many of us have never really taken up memorizing the Word for ourselves. Sunday School was a long time ago ladies. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9, 11) Our hearts are easily sickened with sin–wrong thinking, misaligned priorities, idle ways–so why not let some intentional internalization of the Word be like healing medicine to the inevitable infection? I think as Christians we can become disillusioned that we are “in” the Word, but we are actually just dipping in and never really internalizing it and being transformed by it.

Shall we dig in?

Proverbs 31

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

“Doing good to my husband” is an area that I specifically want to grow in, and since prayer is likely the most precious ‘gift of good’ wives can give husbands, I am currently reading and using the prayers and principles in the book The Power of a Praying Wife, which was recommended to me by moms at Mom’s Night.

I approached Proverbs 31 with a desire to be inspired in my homemaking and family life, but it struck me how Proverbs 31 is far more about being an excellent wife, than it is about motherhood. I think it serves to convict us supermoms of our relationship priorities at home! I am convicted of how much more I thought about growing in my ministry as a wife before I had kids. Then I let those adorable bundles of joy come and take up so much space in my heart.

In fact, I think its very easy to have a child centered home these days, rather than an “excellent wife” centered home, as it seems to be prevalent in our culture to run our lives around our kids. In some senses it is good and noble and sacrificial the way we give to our kids, but perhaps we have taken it too far and actually become overly devoted mothers? We think that intensive mothering makes us better mothers, so we are willing to sacrifice our own well being because we think it will enhance our children’s lives.

Some of us don’t have time to exercise because our schedule is so full of kid activities, even the weekends revolve around kid birthday parties and games and an extravaganza of other fun kid stuff. Some of us don’t go on dates with our husband because kid activities are the priority or sometimes because we are reluctant to let others help care for our children. Some of us spend great amounts of time preparing and providing for our kids education and intellectual stimulation, but we can’t seem to find any time to read books and develop our own minds. Some of us schedule hours of extracurricular activities each week and taxi the kids to a myriad of enrichment activities but can’t find time for any of our own interests, that would actually develop us into more interesting mothers with more to give, especially making us more relevant in the teen years. Some of us make kid food to please picky palates and thus find meal time a time we dread. Some of us let the kids bedtime preferences (“I don’t want to go to bed!”) or long ceremonial routine (brush, floss, bathe, 5 books, stuffed animal round up, a prayer and a snuggle) encroach on husband and wife time and sanity in the evenings so that we aren’t having enough quality grown up time or intimacy anymore. Some of us allow our children wake us up too much in the night and we feel tired and strung out during the day. Some of us have a hard time saying no and aren’t very good about disciplining our kids. Some of us spend all of our emotional and mental energy on the kids and feel much closer to them than we do to our husbands. I think you get the point; we can “love” our kids to the detriment of ourselves and the exclusion of our husbands. 🙂

13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.

At first glance, it seems that there are a lot of “outdated” things that don’t apply to the modern woman in Proverbs 31. For instance, there is a whole lot of sewing happening in Proverbs 31 (and its not just a hobby)! However, I think that the message of “working with willing hands” is relevant and needed for all times.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is not afraid to work hard, and the modern woman as someone put off by things that aren’t convenient. For example, deep down we know cooking from scratch is important to the health of our family, but we pour bowls of cereal in the morning, make never ending PB & J for lunch, and get take out food for dinner more than we would like to admit, all for the sake of convenience. On the other hand, our Proverbs 31 woman of wisdom is willing to “bring her food from afar,” and she gets up early to make sure everyone is well fed for the day. Many of us seem to be “burning the candle at both ends” despite all the convenience options we have taken advantage of. Life feels too full to make food from scratch, clean our house ourselves, or do our own gardening, let alone to take up sewing or other handicrafts! What is filling our time instead? Selah.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who is productive in many ways, including her pursuits out of the house, but especially and first of all in the home. As I have mentioned many times on my blog, I sense that our modern day “family life” takes us out of the house in an endless array of too many activities. Our busy lives, in combination with the pull of technology, certainly plays a big part in zapping our time. Not ironically, my house sits in shambles at the moment so I can finish this blog post. Ahem, moving on then. . . . 🙂

Very interesting to me is that though the God fearing woman of Proverbs 31 has many interests and involvements, her home does not sound child centered, as previously noted. Instead I imagine her daughters learning the same skills she has so finely honed over time in herself, and they are coming into her life and adding to her life, perhaps more than vice versa. What if a child’s life revolving around the parent’s lives and interests is the way its supposed to be, for their own good, and ours too? It may be more important for kids to tag along with Dad as he goes about his weekend business, than it is for Dad to tag along with them as they go about theirs. I really feel that the former lifestyle (including both parents) is a model of discipleship that promotes maturity in our children, and overindulgence of the latter lifestyle results in immaturity. We can require them to do grown-up things well before they grow up so that they don’t feel ill-equipped and inadequate someday. What if parents were free to enjoy thriving marriages, lead healthy active lives, and pursue their own hobbies–all with their children close by their side leaning in to learn? Bringing kids into our world where they learn the skills that will enable them to thrive as adults, is homeschool in its essence, even more perhaps than the academics and books and field trips. I think the Proverbs 31 woman’s strong personal development emphasis puts a healthy balance in her mothering style and definitely contributes to her success in “looking well to the ways of her household” (vs 27).

19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.

I see the Proverbs 31 woman as someone who makes stuff, and the modern woman as someone who buys stuff. We have “no time” or desire for making things when we could just buy instead. If we are “fortunate” enough, we can pay for household services to be done for us, and we can certainly buy most everything that the Proverbs 31 had to make herself. In fact, we buy mountains of expendable stuff, until we are frustrated with how the house just isn’t big enough anymore, and flustered that the kids don’t know the value of a dollar.

23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Good homemaking requires us to “look well to the ways of our household.” My diatribe is not against us as homeschool moms who minister day in and day out from the heart of our homes, but I do wish to remind us that the ancient paths of truth are sometimes the better ones. For example, many of us Christian homeschoolers have decided to school our children at home because we believe and have come to see that the old way of educating is better. We have personally experienced the benefits of this crazy homeschool adventure that has ultimately served to tie our hearts into family and home, just as God desires, more than we ever realized it would. Even though wives do sometimes struggle against that urgency to escape and be free to go and do and be, we must admit that it is ultimately satisfying when we learn to embrace our calling at home, and that when we have done it well, we can be happy knowing that we have contributed to our husbands success as one who is “known in the gates.”

So we realize that school at home has blessed blessed blessed us in life changing ways- like giving us an amazing discipleship opportunity with our children, for one example. Perhaps then, we should ask ourselves, what else could be a huge likewise blessing to our husbands and families as we further consider and implement the ways of old outlined in scripture? If homeschool has been wonderful, I wonder what else once added (or eliminated!) might help us to more passionately build up our homes? The Proverbs 31 woman is a blessed woman living a blessed life, which is something we all desire; God is calling us wives of today to reflect on how we might practically follow His ancient pattern for blessing.

28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

The feeling of a life wrapped up in store bought items simply can’t replace the warm feeling that comes from covering our children and homes in handmade things by moms and grandmas (even if we can purchase the items for less than we can make them!). We may cry that we would never have time for such things, but what a keepsake we have when our own Grandma’s quilt or artwork is passed down to us! If she was a Christian, her work becomes part of her legacy as “a woman who feared the Lord,” and we cling to those beautiful things she left behind for us, those things she made with willing hands, those things that tangibly express the beauty of a life spent with Christ. When we see all she has done, we “rise up and call her blessed.”

Will there be beautiful keepsake items to pass down to our children someday? Will our daughters learn how to work with willing hands? Or will the art of homemaking be lost in this generation? Proverbs 31 ends with, “give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates;” in other words homemakers, the work of our hands shall be part of our reward and legacy. May God bless you with willing hands to love on your home and family.

XO

September and October Pictures

First Day of School

Family History Book Letters

Mary and Joseph learning to address envelopes for the first time (Christmas has started early here)

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Making Lasagna, a Family Recipe, with Grandma

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Story Time with Grandma (Family History Project)

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Learning Embroidery Skills, Even the Boys Were Excited

Learning to write his name in cursive

Daniel Devising His Own School Work

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Learning to draw faces. 🙂

A Great Math Lesson on Number 6

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Noah Enjoying Model Trains; He Wants to Be a Train Driver When He Grows Up

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Fearless Faithy, the only one in our family who would hold a tarantula

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Bless His Heart

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Daniel’s 3rd Birthday Party Prayer

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Jammin’ in the Morn

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Art with Aunty Tara and Cousins

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Putting on His Own Shoes

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Painting the 7 Days of Creation

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The Bubble Lady Show inspired these two bubble makers

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Prayer Journal Time

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Map Making in Geography

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Waaaay Too Much Fun at School

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Helping Mommy Make Breakfast Everyday

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Our Apple Hill Tradition Tripimg_0020

A Cooking Project Success!

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Preschool Table

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School Table

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Our Completed Monet’s: Water Lilies (you have to stand back to get the full effect of the impressionism) 😉

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Air Show

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Devotion Duo

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A Trip to the Zoo for Faithy

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A Geoboard Bomb Disposal Robot

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Making a Growing Pattern that Grows by 8’s and then Charting it

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Oh My

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Love our Ameraucana Chicken Eggs!

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I assigned Imaginative Narration based on the book Yellow and Pink, so Noah and Faith excitedly scurried around the house preparing for a “Puppet Show”

I was proud of their adorable first attempt at a puppet show (although the house sounds like it was falling down, thanks to babies and preschoolers; Noah has to whisper Faith’s lines to her most of the time; and Roman is looking backwards the whole time because I am holding the picture book up in the back. Good stuff. The second video is a little more interesting perhaps.)

Strobe Light! (Red Light, Green Light)

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A Baby Ladybug

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Autumn Fire

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“Funny things happen to me whenever I wear this shirt.”

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Happy 6th Birthday Faithy Breakfast Was Soooo Yummy

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A Sweet Shower for a Sweet Friend and Her Baby Girl

Mom’s Night – Crochet and Proverbs 31 Discussion – Nourishment for our Souls

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Hearts of Gold

Months ago I noticed that my children were somehow finding and pouring over toy catalogs and lego manuals, and becoming obsessed over material desires and activities. At the same time I sensed a spirit of dissatisfaction and look of emptiness, like a shadow cast over their natural childhood joy and enjoyment of God, as hearts began to prize and idolize “things.” Dean and I are not “stuff people” and we are careful to keep our kids protected from the massive marketing to children and commercial mindset, so we weren’t sure where this was coming from, other than the enemy’s schemes and the fact that hearts are idol making factories, as we know too well. We all must be careful to assess the desires of our hearts that are so prone to wander, because the enemy prowls around seeking to devour those who are not alert. For months we have had to fight and pray for our children’s undivided hearts, which to me was astounding at their young ages. However, through prayer, the shadows have shifted, and we have seen their joy again in simple things–joy in nature, joy in swinging, joy in chicks, joy in Thomas trains, joy in the dollhouse and castle and other toys we ALREADY own that weren’t being used and appreciated much anymore!! As it should be! Praise God!!

I will give them an undivided heart and

put a new spirit in them.

Ezekiel 11:19

As I am typing, I just recalled how I posted an example of prophecy last September for a child in “false or empty or aimless occupations.” Interestingly, it seems like that very word was tested long and strong this school year.

For example, if I sense false or empty or aimless occupations trying to take residence in my children’s hearts, my prophetic declaration (preceded by some Bible study) might sound like this:

“My children desire God above all else, and pursue Him passionately in prayer, worship and the Word. As the Spirit hovers over our school, my children creatively display God’s glory through art, writing, singing, nature study and other academic and creative means. They articulately discuss the scriptures during family discussions, growing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. In meekness and grace they share the truth and defend the truth in the world; blameless and pure, they shine like stars as they hold forth the Word of life. The eyes of their hearts are open, the deep mysteries and secrets of God’s heart are revealed to them, and they know their unique calling and rich inheritance. They perceive who they are created to be in Christ Jesus and boldly pursue the calling on their life. They are heroes for Christ who serve their generation. They are ministers of love in our family and circle of neighbors; God has them right here, right now, for such a time as this.”

Thank God He is always working in everything. What would happen if we chose to align ourselves with His work, and stopped worrying when our children are in a hard place, as if He is not using every opportunity? Parents must take courage because uncomfortable tests will come, and they must come, to produce hearts of gold that clearly reflect the face of our Refiner. Did you know that gold must be purified in the refiner’s furnace many times, and only when the refiner looks into the crucible and sees a clear reflection of himself is the process complete? What if we would ask God to test our children’s hearts in His refining fire, that they may come out like pure gold?

When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.

Job 23:10

During this same season I began to ask for the Lord to give me an undivided heart too. To expose impurities, unknown sin, erroneous thinking, divided priorities, vain and empty things that distract me. I specifically asked the Lord, “What is blocking your presence?” As I asked for holiness, and for the impurities of my life to be burned up in His refining fire, uncomfortable heat and adversity was part of the process. He began to reveal possessions that could go, selfish attitudes and excuses, and even Easter traditions that could change. I will share one story about the conviction of one of my “comfy sins.”
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The kids and I have been talking about truthfulness and self control in school, which has presented some great and somewhat unexpected moments of conviction in the area of holiness for mom in particular. Love how the Lord makes sure our character studies here include everyone in the family. Like the other day when the kids asked me to find this little bag of clothespins buried in our messy garage that was oh so important to their fort building project. Sigh….. I tore the garage apart only to find them in the bin that was right in front the whole time. Murphy’s law my dad would say.
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But something was different…..I felt the approving smile of the Holy Spirit, and a brightening of the entrance of the Spirit of Truth in our home. He started showing me that normally my M.O. with the kids’ “inconvenient requests” is to put just a bit of effort in, and then report that, “I tried, but sorry….” I especially loathe looking for lost stuff and use every excuse possible to get out of it. Plus, moms have more important things to do with their day anyway than find clothespins for a fort- a little rationalization helps with any possible misgivings.
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Yet how often do I ask for “best effort” from my children, and honesty too of course? Hypocrisy has such a deadening effect. So when I saw the smile on their faces, and the awe in their voices–because I was looking so hard–I realized that I was earning the honor of being an example of truth in their lives. Funny, I love to get out of work with excuses and less than honest effort, but for what? I could have missed an encounter with, and increase of, the Spirit of Truth in my home. Next time my kids are called to act with integrity, they may choose to let Jesus shine a little brighter through their character too. Thank you Holy Spirit for being my teacher in all the little everyday things with my children that threaten to tarnish my witness of the power of Christ. Without Your guidance, holiness would seem so elusive. Reveal those sins that we get so comfortable in we don’t even notice anymore, or perhaps have never yet become aware of.

Be holy, for I am holy.

1 Peter 1:16

What is the reward of purity? Sensitivity to see and hear God. The Holy Spirit makes our hearts tender and fit to receive impressions: this is His work. Hearing His voice is an exquisite gift. He removes stony hearts hardened by sin, and gives new hearts sensitive to hear, and discern His perfect will. As He purifies, He softens our heart, He renews our mind, He realigns our passions so that we may have an undivided heart for Him. We let go of the old, the tattered, the dirty, the common–we thought we needed so much–to instead receive the surpassing exquisite.

I desire to seek the Lord with others who are hungry for holiness and to intercede for God’s increasing power to pour out in the purity of homes and families consecrated to Him. Tomorrow at Mom’s Night, I am looking forward to going into the sanctifying presence of the Lord in a worship circle of friends hungry for the same. We will humbly offer instruments, dancing, acapella, prayer, and discussion heart to heart. We are asking the Holy Spirit: is there anything holding back Your presence in my life or home?? If we want to know, He undoubtedly wants to answer. Perhaps the Lord is calling you and your community to a similar place?

Lord, we desire to be Your pure, beautiful bride upon whom You can pour out Your anointing and Your power. We desire undivided hearts!! We ask that You expose impurities, erroneous thinking, divided priorites, and vain things that charm us most. Purify our hearts, let us be as gold, pure gold.

Blessings on your home!

 P.S. It was amazing to go to church today and hear a prophetic word that we are in a Kairos moment of coming into His presence in a greater way if we will sanctify ourselves and press into Him. God often confirms His word through the messages at The Father’s House, and I love that!! (The video for the message is called “The Invitation,” and will be up on the TFH website)
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“I found an enoooormous frog!!” Faithy’s fabulous nature find at Sunol Regional Wilderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In love with Pooh Bear. So sweet.

 

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1/2 hour later…….it worked!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daniel eager for a taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We also made dried apples and learned how Pioneers preserved their food in a great book called A Pioneer Sampler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daniel planting sunflower seeds on a field trip to Clayton Valley Farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chickie Kisses for Noah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nature Journal Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith loves to paint rainbows lately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cousins hanging out in the sandbox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus wrapped in TP and place in the tomb on our Good Friday family worship night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Garden time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poking holes for seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And tramping down the soil over the seeds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Playtime with Chickies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goofy Girl

 

 

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I love dressing up my sweeties for special occasions

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5 year old Faithy on Easter wearing Great Grandma’s necklace

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The whole crew on Resurrection Sunday

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Got my scroll and my money bag– all set for Bible times

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Woodbutcher, our cabin on a trip to the Lord’s Land with the kids

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Hauling wood in for the wood burning stove

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Learning to use a hatchet to make kindling

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First time holding a banana slug!

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Hello Lizzy

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Aaaand 50 photos later……ha!

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Beachy Kisses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Easter Homeschool Day at our house

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jesus AND daffodils light up my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Handwriting Lesson Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Setting up the terrarium again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Pacific Tree Frog from Round Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping each other safe in the current of the creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Chickie was just a ball of fuzz. They grow up so fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainbow love for mommy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Noah’s Newt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All geared up for play time in the rain!

 

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Parenting Wisdom

My Next Mom’s Night Meeting Invitation:

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.” 1 Kings 4:29

God has been asking me to pray for Him to enlarge my heart, increase my wisdom, move the boundary lines to go further than before, and bless my home and family for His service and glory.

As parents we can ask the Lord for an increase in our ministry of parenthood. We can ask that He would teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Because times change, and depending on what phase of parenting we are at, we will soon find ourselves with……

a brand new baby, or a child about to begin school, or a “little girl” becoming a “big girl,” or a boy entering the pre-teen-attude stage, or a teenager who will be out from under our roof and tutelage in a matter of only 4.3 years!!

We need fresh wisdom every step of the way! As moms we ca seek the Lord for our children in a time of intercession, asking God to remove any walls that keep us parenting through diminished vision and understanding. He will make our feet walk in wider places, and our mouths to speak words of power and knowledge, if we ask. We are doing kingdom work and we need supernatural power.

Enlarge my life, O God, that I may make a bigger impact FOR THEE.

We can start praying wisdom over each other even now! I am praying these scriptures for you all; they are a good beginning place for us to come into agreement:

Proverbs 9:10

Proverbs 3:15

Psalm 119:32

Psalm 119:45

Proverbs 4:12

1 Chronicles 4:10

We will spend the second half of our meeting allowing for some “iron sharpening iron” discussion time, where we can glean and share parenting nuggets of wisdom. What has God shown you over the years, what books have strongly influenced you, what has made a huge difference in your nurturing or discipling or habit traning or homeschooling or disciplining? Also, what parenting questions do you have that you would you like to ask a roomful of wise mothers? And how can we come into agreement with you for your children long term?

I am looking forward to learning and praying together about parenting, the greatest ministry ever!! Love this group of wise mom hearts!

 

We learned about sailing in the late 1700's as we toured Tall Ships of Gray's Harbor.

We learned about sailing in the late 1700’s as we toured the Tall Ships of Gray’s Harbor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith was nuts about being on the ship, a dream come true for this water girl. She says she really wants to go sailing on the Hawaiian Chieftain for her next birthday (“instead of having cake and presents!”).

 

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Making progress with cursive

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Bros in Bible time

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A random act of kindness from my girl

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100the day Celebration! Building marshmallow structures.

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Gumball Machines with 100 Gumballs

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Rainbow colored snacks on a 100’s Chart

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Faith hosted her own tea time for Noah, with advacados and water. 🙂

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Big Picture Bible Timeline

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Faith building “ick” words

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Fingerpainting with cousins!!

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Noah’s Penguin Watercolor

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Faith’s Penguin Watercolor with a teensy bit of help from mommy

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My Penguin Art

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Faith loves her vintage reader from the ’60’s

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Take a Hike with Me

We moms are all on a spiritual hike with lots of ups and downs on the trail. We are all climbing to meet together at the top of Mount Zion where God dwells in His holy presence. Sometimes the uphill climb has me huffing and puffing, but often its the hardest part of the trail that offers Reward just around the bend. Praise God, through fasting and prayer, he defeats all our enemies so that we can ascend that Holy Hill where we will find Him, our Sweet Reward.

Through my Mom’s Night group, I am going up to meet Him with a small community of moms who also have a heart to know God in a deeper way. Right here with you too, we can all go higher up together as one joined community of moms. Sarah Young in the devotional Jesus Calling speaks the heart of God for us, “I will not leave you circling in deeply rutted paths. Instead I will lead you along fresh trails of adventure, revealing to you things you did not know.”

The overwhelming response I am hearing from moms is that we want to be used by God more, and for Him to open doors of ministry. God is already working in His moms to bring together a band of mighty, powerful, praying, Spirit led moms who are hungry for God to do more in their lives. My life is changing and moving forward just by being around like minded moms who are dreaming big. Will you join this precious community in this prayer?

My Prayer for My Family, Mom’s Night families, and for Your Family:

God, continue to open the eyes of our imagination for what family can be. I pray that we would have a picture, a vision, of something very lofty, very beautiful, that only God could do. Everything we crave and pursue begins in our imagination, so the first step is to imagine and dream away for what God could do with our families. We stand on Ephesians 1:18!!

  • “Open the eyes of our hearts God.” (Ephesians 1:18)

Through the process of becoming that vision, I pray that our families and homes would become so beautiful, such an aroma of Christ, that we would make people and families all around us hungry for God.

  • “As we lift Christ up, He will draw all men to Himself. We are the pleasing aroma of Christ.” (John 12:32, 2 Corinthians 2:15)

We stand in the gap for each other through the process, to become a bridge of prayer that we can pass from the current realities we feel stuck in on one side over into those lofty dreams on the other side. Prayer is our weapon in this battle.

  • “We use God’s mighty weapons to knock down strongholds, to fight evil spirits in the spiritual realm.” (2 Corinthians 10:4, Ephesians 6:12)

We, independent Christian homeschoolers, a very small group in our community, are God’s mighty little band of warriors for truth, and defenders of the sacredness of family–for our own and those represented in our community. When we are clothed in the Spirit, God uses the very small, seemingly weak, to bring Himself glory.

  • “Fill us and clothe us in the Spirit of God to become very mighty.” (Judges 6:34 God purposely chose a very small army so that He would get the glory rather than man; When the Spirit of the Lord clothed fearful/weak Gideon, he became like a new person)

 

At our very first Mom’s Night, I sent our the invitation to come ready to share the biggest dreams of our hearts so that we could pray over each other. The invitation said,

“Whether you are fainting in the wait or strong in the battle, God wants to connect you to other powerful women of God, who will come lift up and strengthen your arms like Aaron and Hur did for Moses. Even the strongest arm will fail with being long held out.”

Now we are all working on answering some big, heart searching questions in order to be “iron sharpening iron” prayer partners in each others lives. Below are the first set of questions and my answers. I encourage you, and even your community of mom friends, to ask yourselves the same questions, write out the answers, and start interceding for each other. I know that when you get intentional about climbing higher, you will find the presence of your Sweet Reward on that Holy Mount. THIS HIKE WILL NOT DISAPPOINT.

What are you hungry for God to do in your life?

God has provided vision for being a family of holiness and beauty and influence, but we need prayer partners to get there. I love to be used by God in and especially find Him in worship, teaching, kids, creative arts, and nature. I also dream of doing missions again, but this time with my family, and sometimes I think it would be awesome to create a nature and/or “creativity” summer camp. Oh and my mom wants me to write a book someday. 🙂 I am believing God will use my passions in a bigger, more outreaching way. Please pray that my husband hears the voice of God, responds to His call, and is used for His glory. Please pray that we can truly disciple our children to aim them to God’s glory and the service of their generation.

I have a special place in my heart for the sick, especially children, as my children and I often have to stand in faith for our health. I dream of us being free from food allergies and whatever causes this eczema and various other symptoms. My dad was healed of cancer and many other people I know have been miraculously healed of disease, so I too am waiting on God in faith.

What is standing in the way of that happening? 
I can be controlling, too insistent on my way, welcoming more open discussion and conflict than my husband prefers, and I can seem dissatisfied because I always seem to be dreaming of more (even if they are noble things) as if what I have now isn’t good enough. Pray against a spirit of control for me. Pray for total surrender to God, and “iron sharpening iron” relationships for Dean.

What related scripture promises can be prayed?

Spirit of control:
Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:4

Health:
For they (God’s words) are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. I worship the Lord my God, and he blesses my bread and my water and takes sickness away from the midst of me.
Proverbs 4:22
Exodus 23:25

Kids Training and Calling:
Youths without blemish, well-favored in appearance and skillful in all wisdom, discernment, and understanding, apt in learning knowledge, competent to stand and serve in the kings palace.
Daniel 1:4

Ministry Dreams:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.”
Ephesians 1:18

Surrender:
“But you must decide once and for all to worship him with all your heart and soul and to obey everything in The Book of God’s Law.”
Deuteronomy 30:10

 

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My eldest student, Roman (age 7), starting up his Vocabulary Notebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith and cousin Levi (5), My Reading Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Handwriting Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A pretty quiet time with Winnie the Pooh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith likes to take care of baby cousin Gabe (11 months)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Washing the Oklahoma dust off Aunty Tara’s car for Serve at School Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cousin Levi (age 5) received a “hero” sticker award for his persevering hard work.

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Sorting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Practicing Writing our Numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Picking Popcorn at Ardenwood Historic Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Picking Machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The More the Better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I will help you pay for Faith’s Birthday Party Mommy. I love you Noah.

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Goats galore!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Fun Pond Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Faithy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little People School with cousin Asher (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nature Grubs Class–looking for snakes in various holes using the reflective sunlight from mirrors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Then we watched snakes squeeze or strike their mouse meals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting some glittered pine cones ready for Faith’s birthday party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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King and Queen of the Forest. Happy 5th Birthday Sweetie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Praise and Worship Time!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Costume Day at School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Painting Partners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Learning to tell time together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aunty Tara takes over a reading lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spelling lessons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gathering leaves with my baby at the Nature Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beeauuutiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Hero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All Packed for Operation Christmas Child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Fall Leaf Bouquet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So sweet, cousins hooking up their trucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Math game Corners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Showing 5, 6, and 7 in different ways and seeing what smaller numbers are inside each

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Boys Reading and Narrating their own History Lesson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We planned a Thanksgiving Gathering with homeschool friends to practice songs to sing at a care home this Christmas, make soup and deliver to local homeless, and other actvities. We were so excited we accidentally threw the party a day early, except there were no guests of course. But we did have lots of chopped veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Thanksgiving party re-do, with guests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Choir practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall Walk in the Woods chalk pastel art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Little angels deliver soup

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