Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW: Our Review of For The Temple


     Our family has come to love the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio.  When we were chosen to receive and review For The Temple, we were so excited.  Another great adventure that will teach us morals, integrity, and many other Christian values.  It's not just for kids.  These audios are for all ages.  We can all gain from listening to them. 

     It is hard to find books and listening material that will entertain the whole family, but I feel these audio dramas do a great job of providing a wonderful experience for everyone.  Heirloom Audio goes the extra mile when they make an adventure audio drama.  They use talented men and women to make it the best it can be.  It never ceases to amaze me.  With each audio, I am blown away.  The time and effort they put into it makes it one of a kind.  This particular one, For The Temple, did not disappoint.  It is 2 1/2 hours of amazing non-stop adventure.  It will keep your attention and will awaken your imagination. 



     During this adventure, you will join a young man named John, the son of a vintner, who wants nothing more than to live in peace as he grows the finest grapes in all of Israel.  Before he knows it he is involved in a battle between the Romans and those who opposed them.  

     John has to face many hard decisions after he leaves his mother and love of his life to join the fight.  He has to choose who and what he will be fighting for.  John not only grows in stature and status, he grows in faith.  Being one of the great Jewish leaders of this battle, he makes decisions that will have great consequences to all involved. Throughout the story, you will see his wisdom and humility. 

     I would never want to give away the book because I know you will want to find out what choices John makes regarding the Temple and if he is able to save it. You will also see if John is able to be with his love Mary.  I can't express to you how great it is, you will have to find out for yourself. 

     During this adventure, I both laughed and cried. The story comes to life with the wonderful sound effects and acting skills.  I didn't want it to end and can't wait for the next adventure from Heirloom Audio.  

     Now let's talk about the study guide....


     In addition to the 2 CD's we were also given a study guide to enhance our learning as we listened to the audios. The study guide helps parents to discuss what is going on in the story.  Each section of the study guide, that focuses on one part of the story, is broken into parts.  
  • Listening Well
  • Thinking Further
  • Defining Words
     We haven't been able to use it yet, as we listened to this story while on the go.  I am planning on printing out the study guide next  month as we study it in more depth during our reading comprehension classes.  From what I have seen, I know it will be a valuable resource.  

     I hope you are encouraged to try this audio and the many others from Heirloom Audio.  

     We have more great reviews for you here
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For The Temple {Heirloom Audio Reviews}

     You can also find Heirloom Audio on their social media pages listed below: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories  
Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

Have a blessed weekend!!!!



Monday, February 11, 2019

Good Morning!


     Good morning!  I hope you are having a blessed weekend.

     This morning when I woke up, I looked out to see more snow that had fallen overnight.  We have been getting quite a bit of snow this month and even had a very cold patch that closed schools and some businesses.  When we get snow and ice like this it builds up on our slate roof.  When it begins to melt it makes sounds that can be frightening if you are not expecting them.  These snow storms have caused this to happen many times this last week. 

      When the ice first fell off, it was late at night. My children ran upstairs to my bedroom, and I wondered what had scared them, but they were not scared, they were wanting to go out and pick up the huge chunk of ice that had fallen.  I chuckled as I remembered being their ages and not liking the storms and weird noises that I had heard as a child.  These kiddos don't fear the same things I use to, because they know they are protected by the very One who created them.  I wish we could all have faith like them.  

     Each day we go through different types of storms. These storms may be attacks against us physically, emotionally or spiritually.  We fear what will happen.  We don't put our trust in God. Instead we try to find ways to cope with the turmoil.  It doesn't help us, it just masks the fear we are feeling.  

      What if we turned to God instead of earthy things?  What if we allowed Him to be our strong tower in times of upheaval.  Storms are always going to roll in, but it is how we handle them that makes us grow stronger or become weak. 

      As I sat here reading my Bible this morning, I saw that I need to take refuge in my God.  He is good and will be there for me.  He will help me through the storms.  He will never leave me or forsake me.  His promises are true!   I just have to put my faith in Him.

     Today is the beginning of a new week.  Let's resolve to put God first in all we do and say.  Let's be determined to put our faith in Him and to run to Him when we feel the storms of life rolling in. His love will cast out all our fears and His guidance will see us through whatever may come our way.  

       Are you ready to begin this week with a new perspective? 



Friday, February 8, 2019

My Word for 2019



     It took me a while to come up with my word for 2019.  Honestly, I was afraid what it would be. After praying for over a week, I came up with the word COURAGE.  This word scares me. I know it will take me out of my comfort zone.  It will stretch my faith.  I won't be able to use the excuse that something scares me. 

     The definition of courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.  I had never really thought of its definition until writing this blog post. It took me a minute to let it sink in.  What is coming my way that may be difficult?  What fear will I have to face that I will need courage? Will I be able to withstand? Once the initial wave of anxiety rolled over me, I began to pray.  Right away the Lord reminded me of these verses: 


     Alone, I would not be able to accomplish the goals and plans God has for my life, but with HIM, I can!  I don't have to fear.  I just have to trust in and rely on HIM!  He will give me the strength I need to get through each and every day. 

     I will keep these verses and a few more posted around my house to help remind me that I can do this!  I can take that step of faith.  I do not need to be afraid.  

     Want to know how I knew I had chosen the right word? A day or so after I chose my word for the year, it was confirmed with a trip to the dollar store.  I know that sounds crazy huh?  But seriously, there was a wall hanging there that validated what I knew in my heart. Of course I had to buy it and place it on the doorpost of our home.  Every time I look at it, I smile.  I know God has big plans for me this year and I won't let fear stop me from accomplishing them.  




     What word did you choose for this year?  If you haven't chosen one, you still have plenty of time.  It's only February 😉  Pray about what the Lord would like you to focus on during 2019.  It could be life changing! 

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Do's & Don'ts of Homeschooling


    I have been homeschooling since 1997.  Our oldest son was just three years old when we started preschool classes with him.  We were young parents and thought the earlier we started the better.  We wanted what was best for our children and we did what we felt was going to help them. 

  After 21 years, I feel I can safely say I know some do's and don'ts of homeschooling.  We have tried and failed in many areas and I would like to share my knowledge with you. 

  I always like to begin with the positives!  Here we go.....



1.  Always begin your day with a word of prayer together.  I feel if we give our days to the Lord, things go better.  We are more at peace.

2. Plan your day.  Have an agenda to follow. We don't want to have a rigid schedule, but we do need a tentative list of things we would like to accomplish by the end of the day.

3. Try to get the more difficult courses finished earlier in the day when everyone is fresh and alert. 

4.   Be patient.  Don't push your children too hard with subjects they are having difficulties in.  Gently guide them and look for new ways to teach the areas they are struggling in.  Be sure they know that you will do anything to help them to learn and that with hard work, they can accomplish any task. 
     {I want to stop here and add if you feel your child has a 
      learning disability, please seek help for them.  Sometimes
      we do not have the knowledge to help our children if they
      are struggling in areas out of our expertise} 

5.   Have fun while learning together.  Make it an experience they will not soon forget.  There are many games and wonderful teaching techniques that make studying more enjoyable for them and you.  

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1.   Don't fill your calendars with too many activities.  We have been so busy before that we failed to get any school finished during some days.  I use to feel they children had to have their calendars full, but that only made for frustrated kiddos and one exhausted mama.  BALANCE IS THE KEY when scheduling activities, play dates, and other outside functions. 

2.   Don't worry about what other homeschooling families are doing. Your family is unique.  You know what is best for your household.

3.   Don't allow pressure from family and friends to affect you. Some people do not understand what homeschooling is about.  They may question your abilities to teach your children or say your children need more socializing, but you are in charge of your family.  God has called you to this task and He will equip you with what is needed to accomplish this goal. 


4.   Don't be upset if you do not finish all your curriculum by the end of your school year.  It's not about racing through a book to get it done, it's about learning in such a way that the knowledge is soaked up and remembered.  

5.   Don't fight the fact that all children are different. They will learn at different paces and in many different ways.  It's your job to find out what works best for your child and stick to it. 

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     I think the most important book we can study each day is the Word of God.  We should put God first in all we do and then we can finish the race that the Lord has given us to run.  We will accomplish His goals for our lives and isn't that what we want most for ourselves and our children?  When we lean on and trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.  He will direct our paths as long as we surrender our lives to him. 


  
May God bless you as you seek Him 
in all you do and say!

Trust in Him as you teach your 
children each day!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Starting Your Day Out on the Right Foot



     Each day is a new beginning.  We have choices to make every morning we wake up.  We can choose to be positive or negative.  We can see each day as a blessing or we can complain about everything.  We can be a calming influence in our homes or we can be a grumpy Gus.  

      So how do we start our day out on the right foot?  You set the tone of your entire household by your attitude and outlook on life. I believe if you can do these five things each day, you will have a more peaceful home.  

  1.  Get plenty of rest.  This may mean going to bed a bit earlier than you already do.   If you have little ones keeping you up at night, this is even more reason to head to bed as soon as you can.  Don't stay up to complete chores and tasks, instead put them on your to do list for the following day, and allow yourself to rest so you will feel better and be able to have a more positive outlook.  
  2.   Give yourself a few moments to spend with the Lord each morning.  This may be just a few minutes or so, but you won't regret beginning your day reading/listening to God's Word, praying, or even just listening to a worship song as you get dressed or prepare breakfast for your family.  When we put God first, everything else seems so much easier throughout our day.
  3.   Make your bed.  I know this doesn't seem important, but it can set the pace to your entire day.  I always feel better knowing my bed is neat and tidy and ready for me to snuggle into at bedtime.  
  4.   Get dressed.  Don't lounge around in your pajamas all morning or you may never get out of them.  Set a few minutes aside to get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, and maybe even put a little make up on.  You will feel better about yourself if you do these little things for YOU!
  5.   Eat!!!  Eating a healthy breakfast will help you have more energy and will help your mood as well.  When we are hungry, we get grumpy.  Our bodies need fuel to function.  Grabbing a bowl of cereal or a protein bar may make your day go much better than if you forget to eat.  
    
     I realize that this list isn't really new to anyone, but we need to hear it often as moms, so we can remember to follow it.  

     I also know what life is like with small children.  I have 6 kiddos, and the first three are only one year apart from each other.   I remember what life was like during those first years.  I wish someone would have told me to do follow a list like this when I was a young mom. Maybe things would have gone more smoothly for me.  I may have had a better attitude.  I might have been more positive.  Grumpy Gus may have taken a backseat to Happy Harriet.  I didn't realize that I was setting the mood of our home. Now that I am 42 years old, I see how important it is for me to take care of myself in  order for me to be able to take care of my family. 

    Our youngest 3 have a more calm home to grow up in because I have chosen to be more positive and to take care of myself better. They enjoy the fact that mom isn't as grumpy as she use to be. I have made it a priority to be a good example for them and to give them a peaceful atmosphere to learn in.  It's all about your attitude and outlook each morning.... TRUST ME!  

    So how will you begin your day?  Give these things a try and let me know how it goes.  




Friday, January 11, 2019

Come Grab Your FREE Daily Planner Pages



     Today I have a freebie for you to help you get organized in the new year.  These daily planner pages will help you stay focused on your goals and plan for your days. 

     I have found that finding balance in being organized and flexible is the key to happy living. We can plan our lives, but leave room for unexpected things that God would have us do.  One example of this is we do school 5 days a week for 6 hours a day, but if a friend is in need of help or support, I am okay with leaving our agenda behind for the day and loving on them.  I won't allow our schedule to keep us from God's plans. 

     I hope these planner pages are a blessing to you and your family.  Have a great day!!!!




Friday, December 7, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women


     My daughter, who is 11, has always loved spending personal time with Jesus.  I can remember when she was just 3 years old, finding her on her bedroom floor "reading" her little toddler Bible.  She would carry it around with her and tell everyone how much she loved it.  Now that she is almost a teen, when I see her reading her Bible and doing her devotions, my heart fills with such joy.  I know that she really loves her Savior.  She chooses to spend time with Him. She wants to follow Him. When we were chosen to receive and review Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan, we were excited! She couldn't wait to get it and begin reading it.  


     We were so amazed when it arrived in the mail. It is so pretty.  This hardback book has 365 devotionals that are designed to inspire our young women to be who God designed them to be.  The stories will feature women from the Bible and will help guide them through the many pressures and changes that they will face as women of God.  The colorful pages have a Bible verse to begin each devotional and then a place at the bottom for notes and thoughts on what you have read that day. 


     My daughter and I started reading this together and right away I could see that it was touching her heart.  When I asked her how she felt about it this was what she said: 
     " I feel like this book is teaching me why God designed me the way I am.  He made women to be strong yet compassionate.  He wants us to love others and show Him to them through the lives we live. I feel it's okay to be me.  I don't have to change myself in order to live up to the world's expectations. I just want to please God."

     We have only had this book for about a month or so, yet she is learning so much from it.  Her heart is open to what the Lord has for her as a young woman.  She isn't afraid to be who God wants her to be.  She is more concerned with how God sees her than how the world does.  She knows that God made her in His image and that His plans for her are greater than any plans she could make for herself.  What an awesome gift this is for her!  I pray that she continues to see herself in this manner.  

     If you have a teen or pre-teen daughter, niece, granddaughter, or friend, I would highly encourage you to purchase this devotional for them.  The writer, Lindsay A. Franklin, has done an awesome job showing God's design for women.  This devotional truly inspires women to be all that God has made them to be!  

     If you would like to learn more about this devotional and other products by Zondervan, please check out their website or their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews of this devotional here 
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Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}
Have a blessed weekend!!