Monday, July 27, 2020
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Thursday, May 14, 2020
I wanted to pop my head out from my latest book long enough to share some insights before delving head first back into my next book.
Lynn Austin’s series, “Chronicles of the Kings”, is so immensely gripping! I love God’s Word and it’s even sweeter when an author creates a fictional story based on biblical history that makes you want to grab your Bible.
With each book in this series I have found myself crawling up on my bed with my Bible reading the true account of the stories that Lynn Austin has so beautifully authored in this series. She paints beautiful pictures of these biblical characters in each story and intertwines the truth of God’s Word in with fictional characters and amazing plots that paints a movie in your mind of how their lives may have been lived out.
Direct quotes from scripture are weaved into the story to provide the skeleton from which Lynn could use her imagination to develop a gripping story.
Each book so far has been a page turner.
As I've read Books 1-3 so far, chronicling through Kings in the Old Testament, I’ve been reminded in these stories about God’s expectation of His children to remain faithful to Him, regardless of the difficult circumstances that we may find ourselves in. God’s grace is sufficient, come what may.
I look forward to the continuing story of Kings as I peek into the life of King Manasseh, a man who did evil in the sight of the Lord and the life lessons that I can gain from his mistakes and God's ultimate victory in the life of His people.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Since that last post, I've become a part of an accountability group that checks in with each other on a daily basis to share their workouts using an automated system that makes working out actually entertaining! I've written before about how being accountable to someone in your fitness regiment is paramount to being successful with maintaining a regular routine of physical activity and it's still true.
This very key aspect is the reason that I joined the group in 2019 and have been extremely pleased with how this commitment has further encouraged me to workout on a consistent basis. Whether it is on vacation, cold seasons or hot seasons, knowing that someone is expecting me to workout helps me set personal goals and work to attain them.
As part of this group, I also now have access to an extremely large library of fitness programs that have their own set of fitness challenges that you can take on within a specific period of time. One might think, What's the big deal with setting a goal or fitness challenge?
When it comes to fitness, goal setting challenges a person to push themselves beyond what they would normally accomplish or even desire to do. Without a goal in front of us, many of us would either do nothing or do whatever is minimally required.
Before joining the accountability group in 2019 I had never taken on a challenge set to a specific set of days and when I was presented with my first one, my first response was hesitation about doing one that would last for 21 days. It's something about being responsible for working out on each day and then having to report to someone that you've done the work that made me a little nervous.
What if I don't feel like working out on a certain day?
What if I have a scheduling conflict that gets in the way?
What if my body hurts too much and I don't feel like finishing the challenge?
What if I have trouble making the time and sticking with the schedule?
These questions and many others crossed my mind before signing up for my first challenge, but I took it on. By day 21, I realized that every answer to the questions that loomed in my head were only excuses.
Everyday most people brush their teeth, they take showers, they cook their food, and they go to work. People do these things because the result of not doing them is unacceptable. Most people don't want dirty teeth, body odor, a growling stomach, or an empty bank account.
So, they do the work necessary in these areas.
I find that it is the same with fitness.
If living life as the best version of yourself is important to you, then doing the work to stay in shape becomes nonoptional. And if fitness isn't that important to you at this point in life right now then I encourage you to change your focus and consider joining a group of other people in the journey of making fitness a priority and then start setting goals to keep you motivated.
If you're interested in learning more about the accountability group and goal setting that I've found extremely useful, please message me!
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
A few months ago I finished a series of her books centered around the time of the Civil War. I gobbled up the entire series of books in a few short months because they were so well written. Lynn does a beautiful job in all of her books making the characters come alive and she has a way of drawing out the emotions and personalities of the characters to the point that as the reader you feel as if you either know them or want to get to know them.
The Refiner's Fire series is definitely also one that will inspire a heart for the Lord and His Word. I found myself crying at some point in all three of the books in this series, Candle in the Darkness, A Fire By Night, and A Light to My Path and folding over pages where such poignant messages are shared so that I can go back and re-read to be inspired again and again. I've been reading many of Lynn Austin books this year and I'm amazed that each one is uniquely different and uniquely captivating.
I usually go to the library as my primary source for my personal reads, but with them being closed I've been using online used bookstores like ThriftBooks and AbeBooks.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
I really wanted to like the network Pure Flix, but after signing up for the free offer and checking out the network, we decided not to continue into a paid membership with Pure Flix. Many of the Christian shows on this network are available on Netflix and the shows that are specific to Pure Flix did not have high caliber acting in our family's opinion and the connectivity seemed to be very sketchy. The shows and movies that we watched kept having to pause while they tried to load and it had nothing to do with our internet connectivity. On some shows the people's mouth movements were delayed behind the actual sound. Altogether we just didn't think that the network was worth the monthly investment, which was sad because I was really hoping that there would be shows that we could pick from in this network without having to worry about investigating ahead of time to be safe for our family to watch.
In addition to our search for something family-friendly to watch together, my hubby was inspired by Trey's latest hobby of Legos. We've started holding our own Lego races in the living room after dinner. We each craft our very own Lego race car, name them, and then race them.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
When we started our homeschool journey almost seven years ago, Love and Lea were entering the home as readers as they had learned to read in private school. Lea was a new reader, but a strong, new reader. In many ways as I look back I can see how God blessed our homeschool beginnings with kids that could already read.
We could jump right into 2nd and 4th grade with simply learning and enjoying the experience while having a little infant by our sides. Fast forward to Trey's beginnings as a student and I wasn't sure what to expect.
I decided to use the same curriculum, ABeka, that my girls had in private school and that put me a little at ease with starting to teach Trey. What was beautiful in the whole experience was how naturally Trey gained an interest in learning. I remember setting him outside our school room door with his little movie player to keep him occupied when he was about 3 years old and as I worked with his sisters he would creep in the school and say, "Mommy, I wanna do school".
Just a few moments out of each school day I'd get on the floor and go over the letters of the alphabet or he'd sit up in my lap and want to trace his letters. That interest in learning seemed to grow everyday that by the time he seemed ready to do Preschool level material, he was so excited to "do school" like his big sisters. His face would light up when he saw all the brightly school colored pages that were all his.
Eventually though, I came to the realization that educating a little boy is a totally different ball game from little girls. About 3 or 4 months into his first grade year of school, the excitement of the brightly colored school pages seem to wane and I found myself bargaining with him on how many pages I could get him to read before lunch time. After doing some research and consulting with several Moms of boys I realized that there were some critical components of school that I had to ensure that I was integrating into Trey's day:
Game time created a stark difference in by boy's school day compared to his sisters' school days. As youngsters, Love and Lea could have cared less if we played a game during the school day. As long as they could freely sing and dance whenever they wanted, they were happy reading, writing, doing math, science, and anything else I threw at them for school.
At first it seemed a bit annoying to my conscience to have to go through the rigmarole of incorporating these things, but once I began to slowly do this our school days turned from a nightmare to a beautiful dream. It was literally a night and day difference.
I knew boys were active creatures, but I just didn't realize that incorporating activity was a necessity for learning for my son. Practicing phonics sounds went from completing worksheets to "Phonics Flashcard Baseball" in our basement. Math drills were ALL timed for increased competition and we started keeping a log of his times so that he could see how he could beat his best time each day. I created a reward chart and logged a smiley face for each day that was a "good" day without any whining about school work. When he obtained a lengthy, consecutive number of "good" days, his Dad would reward him with a treat.
Math and Science are definitely Trey's favorite subjects and it seems he could do endless sessions of both subjects. While Trey has always loved trips to the library, as he's become a reader himself, he gets frustrated when he has to pause and apply phonics rules to read. To increase his interest and ignite excitement in his reading time, I started incorporating Chapter book read alouds. These read aloud books are at a reading level progressively higher than what he could do on his own, but the storylines are very engaging, many times humorous, and maintain his attention.
While I read aloud, Trey finds enjoyment in building with his Legos and I will pause after a page or two to ask him reading comprehension questions to ensure that he's following along and understanding the storyline.
We've read some awesome stories and even tuned into the movie that goes with the books as a reward when we finish it.
I will post a book list soon of the Read Alouds that we've enjoyed thus far! (Go here for that list)