Friday, October 12, 2012


This week has been an interesting one.  We arrived home from vacation to find that we had two funerals to attend, one today and one tomorrow.  As I pondered the two people who we would be remembering, I contemplated how different their lives and deaths were.  One was an older man who had a long chronic condition that lasted for several years.  The other was a younger lady who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It has made me think a lot about the subject of opportunity. No matter what type of opportunity, physical, spiritual, financial or other, it never lasts forever.  There is a window when it is open and then it goes away.  Procrastination is when you put off your opportunity to the point that you lose it.  Procrastination is not a good habit to have.  I think of the parable that Jesus told of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, where 5 of the virgins were prepared but the other 5 were not.  When the bride-groom came, the 5 ill prepared could not get their lamps going because they had not prepared for a lengthy wait and thus were not able to go into the wedding feast. Those who were prepared got to go into the feast.  Verse 1 says that this parable is a likeness to the kingdom of heaven.  As long as we are alive, we all stand somewhere on the 'opportunity spectrum'.  If you have not obeyed the gospel, you can study the safety chain here.  It is just a group of verses that you can read and teach yourself how to become a  Christian.  Now is an opportunity to do that.  If you are a Christian, your opportunity comes from a different perspective  It is your responsibility to share the gospel with others.  Often that window of opportunity is rapid and short lived.   I think of the chorus of an old hymn that says, You never mentioned Him to Me, You taught me not the light to see, you met me day by day and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me. Often times we go about our daily lives and never talk to anyone about their souls. Is that the person that on the day of judgement will say, Why didn't you talk to me about Jesus?  As we ponder this, let us talk to someone about their soul today, it may be the last opportunity that you have.  

And He said to the, "Go into all the work and preach the gospel to every creature,  he who believes and is  baptized will be save; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16 NKJV
Blessings for many opportunities today, Suzie

Friday, August 31, 2012

Apologia Biology Module 1

This year, we are studying Apologia Biology for our science curriculum.  We have a couple other families that are doing the labs with us on Friday afternoons and today was our first lab.  We invested in this wonderful microscope and digital camera so we could share with you all our discoveries.  It was very exciting learning about our new tools of discovery.  Look at what all we saw.

This is an inner cheek scraping of oldest son, 40x with Methylene Blue contrast.

This is Millie the cat's hair at 40x

This is a grouping of youngest son's sloughed off skin cells from his head (frequently called dandruff) at 40x

This was our basic sewing thread, 40x

We all got to learn about the microscope, how to prepare a wet slide, mount it on the microscope stage and bring our objects in to focus.  It is going to be a great biology year.

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.  The earth is full of Your possessions- Psalms 104:24 NKJV

Blessings as you ponder God's Wonderful Creation! Suzie

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homeschool Priorities

If you have home schooled for any length of time, I am sure you experienced what I did last Friday night.  It was our annual back-to-school night for our local home school group.  We all brought our covered dishes, ate, visited, caught up on the summers' events and then settled down to look at all the activities that are being offered in our home school group this year.  WOW!  What a plethora! Band, co-op, volleyball, soccer, Keepers and Contenders Clubs, moms meeting, field trips, etc.  You name it, and it could be done with this group.  All of it is very wholesome and good things for our children to do.  Many of the co-op classes are God-centered, Soccer includes scripture memorization, and all volleyball practices start with devotional and prayer.  These are all really good things.  I got caught up in it all these things last year just about drove myself and the children crazy doing all these 'good' things.  There needed to be a different way.  When our term ended last year, I determined to figure out what the purpose of all the good things was. The first question we asked was 'so why are we doing this thing called homeschool?' Dear husband and I reconsidered our homeschool priorities and decided on the following parameters for our extra curricular activities this year.

1. All extra curricular activities will take place preferably in the afternoon, and evening if necessary.  Most evenings need to be kept for family and Bible study.
2.  God's Word is primary, next,  musical instruction outside of the home will take priority over all other extra activities.
3.  We will not participate in any activity where amount of time required is left open ended.  We have had a couple of activities in the past that were like time robbers.  Just when you thought you had prepared for that activity, you needed to spend more time preparing something else for it. 
4.  We decided that we need to do things in small groups with other friends, rather than in large crowds (ie: co-op classes).  This would provide  more flexibility.  Thus, we decided to do a small group for Biology Lab.  There are only about five children...nice!
5.  We also decided to do away with curriculum that required a lot of teacher preparation.  That is time that I was taking away from my children to prepare their schoolwork.  

Then I went to work on a master schedule.  To give you an idea of what it looks like see the pictures below.

Now let me explain that a master schedule is a guide, I don't let it master ME!  It is simply an organized way for me to keep track of where we need to be at different times during the day.

I did a lot of thinking and researching over the summer as I really wanted to know the value of giving my children extra curricular activities. Was this important?  Why was this important?  I went to a book called Home Educated and Now Adults, a book of research done by Brian D. Ray, PhD.  The copy write date on this book is 2004 and the people participating in the study were all recent  home school graduates, which means these children were being home schooled in the 1980's and 1990's when no one really knew what homeschooling was and there certainly wasn't many other home schoolers around to do activities with.  My big question was, 'Are my children going to grow up to be normal, productive, Christian, citizens able to interact in everyday society even if I don't subject them to every type of social situation imaginable?"  The resounding answer supported by research is, yes!  In fact, they will be better prepared.

"The Home-Educated adults in this study were more civically involved than the overall national population" (pg 75)
The last page of the book, labeled 'Final Comment' states, "In summary, the home-educated adults in this study were very positive about having been homeschooled and toward homeschooling in general, actively engaged in their local communities, keeping abreast of current affairs, highly civically involved, tolerant of others expressing their viewpoints, attaining relatively high levels of formal education, religiously active and wide-ranging in their worldview beliefs, holding worldview beliefs similar to those of their parents, and largely home educating their own children." pg. 85

After much prayer and meditation on scripture, we  have done away with a lot of activities and replaced them with activities at home and with family.  Several classes are done as a family (Biology and Writing) and I like how the year is going.  I am spending time with my children.  This is how I always thought homeschooling should be.  I am learning to do my best and trust in the Lord for the rest.  He will take up the slack.

'I will love You, O Lord, my strength, The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.'
 Psalms 18:1-2   

As you are planning your school year, may you trust in the Lord to guide all your ways. You and your children will be blessed.  Prayers and blessings for a fantastic year,  Suzie

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Things

So I realize that it has been a very long time since I have posted.  Let me share some things that have been going in my life.  First of all, let me say that grief is a really funny thing.  At first I found myself not wanting to do anything then I found myself being over run by activity.  Now I find myself coming into my own, growing in areas that I never thought would be.  This is a recent picture of me with two of my favorite things.  I am a quilter now.  This is me with my long arm quilting machine and my lovely stain glass window that is in my bedroom.  I found the window several years ago when we remodeled and I really love all the beautiful hues of color.  The quilting machine was given to me by my dad for Christmas before he passed away.  It took me almost a year to get it set up and even longer to actually use it.  It is such a blessing to me, now.  Who would have thought my dad could provide me with such a huge blessings.  More than a thing, he left me with an entrepreneurial concept of business ownership.  I am in the process of completing my first paid work.  It is a really good feeling of accomplishment.  This past year, I have found myself losing track of my priorities and we have been crazy busy.  I will talk about this in another post but recognizing that this is grief talking is a huge step in the right direction.

More later as we get going on our school year and all the things that go with that.  We have 2 high school students now, so challenges aboud.  Lots of fun too.

Blessings for a wonderful day,  Suzie