A Few of My Favorite Quotes From this Past Weekend

I enjoyed the Sally Clarkson women’s conference I went to this past weekend.  Her theme this year was the Lifegiving Home – Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming.  She shared with us (over 1000 women!) how she and her husband went about creating a Godly home where her 4 homeschooled children were taught the Scriptures and to love one another, to be a servant (meaning as Christ was a servant… I’m not talking child labor here), to be confident in who God made them to be and to share the Gospel with passion and conviction with the world.

Her oldest daughter is studying writing at Oxford in England.  Her oldest son is an accomplished composer and plays many instruments. I can’t remember where he studied but he composed a number that the Pope selected to be played at one of his recent events.  Her 3 child is an actor and filmmaker and made the movie Confessions of a Prodigal Son.  Her 4th child completed her bachelor degree at the age of 20.  Joy is taking a year off from college to work 3 jobs, save her money and go to Oxford for her masters degree.  All of Sally’s children are successful adults but what I found most interesting is their love of the Lord and their conviction to share their love of the Lord with the world.

Here a few favorite quotes:

  • God must be the source of life, truth and strength in our home.  Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keep awake in vain.
  • Build life-long routines that bring life, beauty, legacy and love.  Galations 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
  • “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” –Robert Frost
  • Mentors are those who draw our what God has put into His design of the person under our influence.
  • Teach your children to live in a dark world, not to be afraid of it.
  • Let love be the basis of relationships in your home.
  • Accept limitations of their personality and minister to them according to their design.
  • Life Purpose – to glorify God, to serve His kingdom.  Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
  • Controlling children does not raise Godly children.  Teach them about choices; there are blessings and consequences to all choices.
  • Give children an appetite for work.
  • What we practice we become, what we sow we reap, what we water will grow.
  • Prepare your children for spiritual battle and suffering in their lives.
  • Where are you investing?  What story is your life telling?

And my favorite quote from the weekend is: Right is always right even if no one else is doing it.  Wrong is always wrong even if everyone is doing it.   I find this quote especially true in our current society.  We live in a time when evil is called good and good is called evil.  Without God’s word as our moral compass who decides what is morally right or morally wrong.

Thankful Thursday

As my girls and I were delivering newspapers this afternoon I was thinking about what I am thankful for today.  Here is what came to mind….

  1. Cuddling with my son after he sneaks into our room before it’s time to start the day.  He keeps me so warm!  When he isn’t wiggly I like to wrap my arms around him, pray over him and thank the Lord that he blessed me with a son.
  2. Our paper route…. no, it isn’t my favorite job but the Lord continually shows me what a blessing it can be.  We have had the paper route for 4.5 years; ever since Jonathan was about 9 months old.  Our 4 oldest all help and are paid based on the amount of bundles they fold.  So, the blessing is being able to help contribute financially to the family and doing it with my kids.  They are learning: work get paid, don’t work don’t get paid!
  3. The Scriptures!  I am so blessed to be able to get in the Word everyday and read the Scriptures with my children.  There is so much life, hope and faithful instruction in God’s Word.

Oh I just thought of another one…I get to go to a women’s conference tomorrow (Fri) evening through Saturday evening.  I don’t typically like going to women’s conference but I’ve heard this one is different then the kind that I’ve been to in the past.  I know several other women that will be attending and am looking forward to a night away.

Katherine riding the scooter that J got for Christmas.

Katherine riding the scooter that J got for Christmas.

The van is loaded and we are ready to deliver the newspapers!

The van is loaded and we are ready to deliver the newspapers!

Closing a Chapter

I wiped the tears away as I continued to untie the 2 dozen or so cloth ties attaching the Noah’s Ark themed crib bumpers to the only crib we have used for our 5 children.  Our sweet Katherine (possible nickname of Chewy) has officially graduated from her crib to a toddler bed.  I realize it might be somewhat silly to shed a few tears over such an event.  But as we were taking down the crib the realization hit that, unless God blesses us with a baby to adopt (which I am open to), we most likely will not be using the crib again.  This chapter of our lives appears to be closed.

It’s been so fun to watch our youngest grow and it’s hard to believe she is already 22 months old.  As I watch Katherine walk around the house, play with her toys, dance (she LOVES music) and chase her siblings I realize we no longer have a baby; we have a toddler!  Where has the time gone?

As for the crib I have a few idea floating around in my head.  Since the crib has a side that slides down we cannot donate it, nor can I sell it on craigslist.  These types of cribs are illegal now.  I’m excited about the possibilities of converting it to something quite usable.

For now, enjoy some pictures of our family.

Katherine wearing mommy's reading glasses.

Katherine wearing mommy’s reading glasses.

Katherine and Alex.

Katherine and Alex.

Jonathan at build a bear workshop.

Jonathan at build a bear workshop.

Alex working on her reading lessons.

Alex working on her reading lessons.

Jonathan working on her daily notebook for school.

Jonathan working on his daily notebook for school.

Alex spending time with Katherine.

Alex spending time with Katherine.

Katherine wearing one of Natasha's hats.

Katherine wearing one of Natasha’s hats.

Katherine's new bed!

Katherine’s new bed!

Katherine wearing a hat that Grandma Joanne made for her.

Katherine wearing a hat that Grandma Joanne made for her.

Natasha reading to Katherine in her new bed.

Natasha reading to Katherine in her new bed.

Date night!

Date night!

What is Repentance?

With the new year I wanted my own personal bible study and devotion to take on a particular theme or direction.  There are dozens upon dozens of ways to study through the bible.  I’ve tried the read the bible in a year thing and still haven’t completed the schedule.  (As a side note, reading through the bible isn’t necessarily the same as studying the bible.)  In the past I’ve also chosen a particular book in the bible to do an in-depth study.  I wanted to study something that would challenge my every day walk with the Lord.  It’s easy to get in a rut and just go through the motions.   After much prayer and contemplation I decided to study the commands of Christ.

John 14:15 says “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  

In order to keep his commandments I need to know what they are, study them and apply them to my life.  According to the sources I reviewed there are approximately 49 commands of Christ.  Some resources have a higher number but after reviewing the list I feel like several of them are very similar so I’m going to use the list of  49 commandments.

The first commandment of Christ I’m studying is the call to repent.  The Webster dictionary defines repentance as:  the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings. 

Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Jesus calls us to repent of our sin.  Now, for those who call themselves Christian, down play sin and say Jesus was all about showing love to the world how do you handle this verse?  If sin is not really that big of deal why would Jesus call us to repent of our sin?  Yes, Jesus did come to show love to the world but no where in Scripture does it say sin really isn’t the issue as long as we show love (and by the world’s definition tolerance) to everyone around us.  It’s one of the ways many churches all over the world are watering down the Word of God.  Instead of preaching about the hard issues and holding their congregations accountable they want to soften it up and be liked and get more people in the door.

Acts 3:19 Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.  In this verse, Peter is calling on those listening to repent and be forgiven.  Again, if sin wasn’t an issue why would Peter be telling people they need to repent?  Why would forgiveness be needed if there isn’t truly sin in the world.  And, if there really isn’t sin in the world what did Jesus die for on that cross?

II Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  A Christian is saved by faith but our deeds, both good and bad, will be judged by Christ.  You can’t read this passage and not realize that without true repentance, the judgment we receive will be harsher.  Even if I’m saved by faith, if I sin and do not truly repent I will be judged for those deeds.  It’s kind of like saying “I know God, what I’m doing (fill in the blank) is sin but… it’s ok, you died on the cross for my sin so I don’t really need to repent.”

And finally, Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore, be zealous and repent.  Again, Jesus is speaking here and specifically says to be zealous and REPENT.  Hmmm…. I’m seeing a theme and the command to repent!

For me and my walk with the Lord, I realized through studying repentance that the almost 16 years I’ve been a Christian I’ve kind of skipped this command.  When I think of repenting I think of those ‘big’ sins… you know… I’ve never killed anyone, I’m not a thief, etc.  However, this past week the Lord has shown me I need to repent of ALL sin, even the ‘small’ ones.  The ugly thought I had about a family member, the cross words I said to my children, the disrespecting comment to my husband, the snarky comment to my mom (Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12), the snarky comments about my mother-in-law.. the list could go on and on.  I need to repent of all my sin, not just if I’m an ax murderer.

Dear Precious Lord,

I’m in awe of your creation; all of it!  I’m overwhelmed with thanksgiving of all the mercy, forgiveness and love you have shown me since capturing my heart many years ago.  I can’t imagine the path I would be on had I not heard your call.  Lord, reveal to me the sins in my life and grant me the courage to confess and repent.  Thank you for the hope I have in Jesus.

Amen!

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday

I searched my bible for verses that included the word thanksgiving.  There were so many I couldn’t count them all…. at least not tonight as I need to get to bed so I can get some sleep and take care of my family tomorrow!

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

What am I thankful for this first week in 2016?  In no particular order…..

First, I was blessed to visit with a family that has a special needs daughter.  Sweet Melody is about to turn 3 years old.  The doctors told her parents she would not make it 6 months of age.  She is thriving and doing so well.  Yes, she is terminally ill but she has defied the odds in our throw away society.  Her mom shared with me that since Melody has been born her own ministry has moved from a parenting focus to encouraging and building up other mothers with special needs children.  She shared a few stories with me and it made me realize how thankful I am for my children.  We are blessed to have 5 healthy, sweet and beautiful children.  Thank you Lord!

Psalms 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Second, the Lord has blessed me with the most amazing man as my husband.  He loves me when I’m unlovable.  He makes me laugh just when I need something to laugh about.  He gives me a safe place to cry when I need to.  He is the most amazing man to our 5 wonderful children.  He works very hard to take care of our family.  He cares for others more than he cares for himself.  He looks for opportunity to reach the lost and build relationship with those don’t believe as he does.  Most of all he loves the Lord with all his heart.

Revelation 7:12  saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Third, I’m thankful for my mom.  She does so much for us and we are so grateful for all her efforts.  It is a blessing to have her live with us and be such an important part of our lives.

I look forward to what the Lord and the new year has in store for us.  I pray your 2016 is a blessing to you and those you love.

Happy Anniversary My Love!

Happy 15th Anniversary to the love of my life!

Thank you Phil for loving me.

Thank you for caring for me.

Thank you for making me laugh.

You are a wonderful Godly husband and an amazing father.

Thank you for being the spiritual leader of our family.

Thank you for pointing me and our kids to the truth in Scripture.

Thank you for working so hard to take care of us and get us out of debt.

Thank you for praying for and with our children every day.

I could go on and on but I got to get back to homeschooling ;-)

I love you!  I look forward to AT LEAST 15 more years that you will be stuck with me!

Love,
Gaylene

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First Day of School – 2015

Wow, it’s almost November and I’m just now sitting down to post about our school year starting.  No, we aren’t just now starting but life has been crazy busy so blogging has taken a bit of a back seat.

We started the 2015 school year in mid August with a reduced schedule.  After Labor Day we ramped up and added in more subjects.  We also joined a new homeschool co-op that our 2 oldest participate in every Friday.  Our co-op is so much fun and the girls look forward to it each and every week.  It does not take the place of any subject but is an enrichment program.  It’s such a blessing to find like minded families on this homeschool journey!

This year Natasha is doing her own science with Apologia.  The course is preparing her for more independent work as she moves into high school in a couple of years.  It’s been a great experience for her so far and she really enjoys all the experiments.  She can do most of them on her own and invites her siblings to join in whenever possible.  She has lab reports to complete after each experiment and this course is also helping her to get used to the amount of reading and writing that will be needed in high school.  For those wondering, yes Apologia teaches science from a creationist, young earth view.  We have no problem interpreting the days of creation in Genesis to be literal days and don’t believe that evolution is settled science.  Don’t get me started…. that could be a blog post all by itself.

The girls still do history, geography and spanish together.  With Natasha doing her own science I’m only teaching Belle and Alex the swimming creatures this year.  We didn’t get far with it last year but what I’ve learned is that they basically repeat everything in middle and high school so I’m not worried about it.

We’ve really kicked it up a notch this year and have stayed on a consistent schedule.  We’ve had fun and accomplished a bunch already.

Without further delay here is what each amazing and wonderful kid is studying!

Natasha – 7th grade… I know!  I can’t believe it either!

Natasha 1st Day of School 2015

Natasha 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia General Science
Math – RightStart Level E
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Spelling – Spell to Write and Read
Typing
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Writing – Institute in Excellence in Writing
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Co-op – they have short lessons in science, history, art, theology, peacemakers and medieval games.

Mikayla – 5th grade

Belle 1st Day of School 2015

Belle 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math – RightStart Level C
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Spelling – All About Spelling
Reading – All About Reading
Typing
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Writing – Institute in Excellence in Writing
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Co-op – short lessons in science, history, art, theology, catapults

Alexandra – 1st grade

Alex 1st Day of School 2015

Alex 1st Day of School 2015

Science – Apologia Swimming Creatures
Math – RightStart Level B
History – Mystery of History
Geography – Exploration Expedition
Reading – All About Reading
Language Arts – First Language Lessons
Spanish – weekly class with 3 other families
Daily Notebook – calendar work, handwriting, math and reading practice, weather graphing, clock work

Jonathan – PreK

Jonathan 1st Day of School 2015

Jonathan 1st Day of School 2015

Daily Notebook – calendar work, handwriting, math and reading practice, weather graphing, clock work, letter sounds, art.  Jonathan also loves to sit in on the girls science, history or geography lessons.

And of course I have to include random pictures of Katherine!

1st Day of School 2015

1st Day of School 2015

Katherine did not want to take off her new Minnie Mouse robe!

Katherine did not want to take off her new Minnie Mouse robe!

Pumpkins!

Pumpkins!

Katherine riding in a shopping cart.

Katherine riding in a shopping cart.

Katherine got into the chalk!

Katherine got into the chalk!

Jonathan is working on his daily notebook.

Jonathan is working on his daily notebook.