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Monday, November 7, 2016

They will know we are Christians. ....

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you ___________________." John 13:35

Let's fill in the blanks with the MANY DIFFERENT LIES Christians have allowed Satan to tell us makes us disciples of Christ:

  • Vote (voting makes you good citizen, not nessarily a good Christian)
  • vote Republican (yes, you can be an independent or even Democratic Christian, gasp!)
  • Defend Republican party, even when it goes against Christian teaching 
  • are American 
  • are a patriotic American
  • have pulled yourself up by your boot straps and living American dream
  • share a political views on Facebook
  • don't share political views on Facebook
  • share a Christian post on Facebook
  • sings hymns 
  • sing modern worship
  • homechool your kids
  • send your kids to private school
  • send your kids to public school to share their faith
  • wear Christian shirts
  • don't wear Christian shirts 
  • Love Christian movies

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35

John 13:35
New International Version
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
New Living Translation
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
English Standard Version
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Berean Study Bible
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."
Berean Literal Bible
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love among one another."
New American Standard Bible 
"By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
King James Bible
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."" 
International Standard Version
This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
NET Bible
Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples--if you have love for one another." 
New Heart English Bible
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Every person will know by this that you are my disciples, if you shall have love one to the other.”

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pride by any other name....

"Pride stinks, and those who can't smell it usually have it." Chuck Swindoll

Pride by any other name would smell as wretched.

Often we dress up pride. We give it acceptable names, fancy names even; hard-headed, stubborn, strong-willed.   We parade our dressed-up pride down the red carpet, praising it for it's pretty clothes, seeing a virtue instead of a vice.

Sometimes we dress down pride, giving it the humble clothing of a more vulnerable name, insecurity. We miss seeing pride as it slips by us in its understated quieter outfit. We adorn it as mask, a hoodie to hide our face, as we excuse the fatal mistake of seeking our value in other's opinions of us.

Pride is assigning opinions to others, based solely upon my own ideas or feelings...
they love me,
they hate me,
they love me.....

Pride by any other name would smell as wretched, be it strong-willed or insecure. It is the smell that robs your peace, distracts you from your mission in life.  To everyone it smell the same, the smell of self-absorption.

"For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:15 CSB

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Homeschool Workboxes 4th grade- Creation To the Greeks

We are in our 5th year of homeschooling, using My Father's World Curriculum.
 My twins are in 4th grade, and we are on Creation to The Greeks in the MFW family cycle. 


We moved our homeschool room out of the basement, we needed the sun!!!  

The left 3 cubes are for school books & Bibles. My teacher binder is stored on top of shelf.
I store our student sheets by week in a hanging binder.


Together Time
We sit on our couch, or do experiments in the kitchen for most of the together time subjects. If one of these subjects has a notebook page, I send the boys to their desk to finish it, then it is stored in their History workbox.

  • History Reading, Activities, & Note booking
  • Science & experiments
  • Root Words
Cuneiform Writing in Sugar Cookie dough,
during History Together Time
We use a 10-Drawer Organizer Cart for our workboxes.  They have lasted for 3 years, and we love them. In years past, I have put a tag into each workbox to tell the boys what to do but this I wanted a more streamlined approach.  We now have been using one daily agenda board (pictured below).  They now function as storage for each child's notebooks & past work, and direction on the order in which they should do each subject.

Each child has their subjects in different order to allow one-on-one time with Mom during Math and Language Arts.   

*Specific assignment is written on agenda white board

1. History-this box is where they store their completed student sheets and History notebook, done during together time

2. Root Words- We use a worksheet for derivative sentences, found in CttG facebook page file section.  

3. English- Language Lessons for Today, Grade 4- Do with Mom

4. Art- Draw and Write Through History * We use this instead of recommended art of God and History, it allows more independent art time. Click link for printable schedule.

5. Spelling- Spelling By Sound and Structure Grade 4 * We choose this curriculum instead of because it is more independent work than suggested Spelling Power.  There is also a TEN MINUTE BREAK card, usually in Box 5.

6. Writing- Writing Stands, Level 3*

7. Math-Math U See* -Do with Mom

8. Typing- We use  Each boys does 3 to 5 screens a day.

9. Spanish- DuoLingo for now, but adding Rosetta Stone soon.

10. Piano- We use Hoffman Academy,  if there is a video to watch, it is on the Agenda Board. I they have a music worksheet to do, it is in their box.

Individual Time
  • Reading- Read for at least 20 minutes from Book Basket. My kids are book worms, so I don't have to remind them much to read, but I do check to make sure they are reading from  Book Basket.
  • Daily Chores-All chores must be done before screen time
  • Read-Alouds are done as Bedtime story with Dad

You might be interested in my other Posts:

First Day of School Scavenger Hunt

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Crockpot Soup Fall Freezer Meals

Fall is the season for Soup!

  Below are three easy to assemble Crockpot Soup Freezer Meals.  Make one for dinner, and one for your freezer!  Or make all in one big cooking day, all are very easy to assemble, and would make a quick prep day.

All are Allergy Friendly, meaning they can easily be made Dairy, Gluten, and Egg Free; but cheese and regular pasta can easily be added when you serve you non-allergy family members.

Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

Makes one gallon bag, serves 4-5

O       Freezer Grade gallon sized Ziploc bag
O       sharpie

O       1 lb (about 2 cups ) chicken breasts, fat trimmed
O       1  tbsp dried minced onion
O       1 15 oz. can ((1 ¾ cup) pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
O       1 15 oz. (1 ¾ cup) can black beans (drained and rinsed)
O       1 15 oz (1 ¾ cup) bag of frozen corn
O       1 can undrained rotel  tomatoes  (optional for more spice)
O       1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
O       1 packet Taco seasoning (you can use only 1/2 packet for less spice)

Day of cooking
O       3 to 4 cups chicken broth  (depending on how thick you want it)

To freeze:
1. Label Bag with instructions.
2. Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag and freeze flat.

To Serve:
1. Thaw overnight in fridge, in large bowl in case of leakage. 
2. Pour contents of bag into Crockpot and add chicken broth, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. Shred chicken in crock pot once cooking is done.
4. Optional-Top with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or tortilla chips.

Crockpot Lasagna Soup

Makes one gallon bag, serves 4-5
O        Freezer Grade gallon sized Ziploc and small Ziploc
O       sharpie

O 24 oz jar of pasta sauce
O 1 lb (about 1 ½ to 2 cups) ground Italian sausage- cooked
O 1 tsp Italian seasonings
O Sea salt and pepper to taste
O 1 15oz can (about 1 ¾ cup) of cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
O 2.5oz of chopped fresh baby spinach (about 3 cups)
O 4 cups of chicken broth (add day of cooking if won’t fit in bag)

Day of cooking
O 5 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into small pieces, OR 1 ½  cup any pasta of your choice (including Gluten free pasta)

To Freeze:
  1. Place all the ingredients except lasagna noodles in labeled freezer bag: 
  2. Put noodles in small Ziploc bag, store in dry pantry. 

To serve
  1. Thaw over night in fridge, thaw in large bowl in case of leakage. 
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours on "low" setting in slow cooker.
  3. Cook pasta separately according to package and add to soup when ready to serve.  I like to add the past to the bottom of the bowl so it doesn't soak up the liquid of the soup. This way I can easily make gluten free pasta for those who need it, and regular pasta for everyone else.
  4. Optional-Top with freshly grated mozzarella and/or Parmesan cheeses and serve with a side of garlic bread. 

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Makes one gallon bag,  serves 4-5

O Freezer Grade Gallon sized Ziploc bag
O Sharpie

O       1 pound (about 2 cups) boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
O       2 cans-15.5oz ( about 3-3.5 cups) of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
O       1- 4oz can of chopped mild green chilies (half a can if want less spicy)
O       ½ bag of 1 lb bag of frozen corn
O       1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
O       1 tbsp dried minced onion
O       2 garlic cloves, minced
O       2 teaspoons ground cumin
O       1 tsp dried ground oregano
O       1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
O       1/4 teaspoon pepper
O       1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Day of cooking
O       3 to 4  cups chicken broth (more broth makes it less chili and more soup like)

To Prep
1. Label your freezer bag.
2. To your freezer bag, add all ingredients except broth.
3. Remove as much air from the freezer bag as possible, seal, and lay flat in your freezer.

To Serve
1. The night before cooking, move frozen bag to your refrigerator to thaw. Thaw in large bowl in case of leakage. 
2. The morning of cooking, pour contents of freezer bag into your Crockpot and add 4 cups of chicken broth.
3. Cook on “low” setting for 6 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
4. Shred chicken 
5. Serve topped with sour cream and/or cheese.  Cornbread or tortilla chips are good side. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

First Day of School Scavenger Hunt

First Day of School Traditions can set the tone for the rest of the year.  We always take a picture the first day, each boy individually, and then together, in front the same tree.

Last year we added a First Day Scavenger Hunt. I hid clues around the house, with a prize at the end. It only took 5 to 10 minutes, but was a huge hit. We had to learn teamwork, making sure to take turns with who got to read the clue.  If you have older kids, you can make it challenging by hiding in harder spots in the room (like in the pillowcase of the bed instead of on top the pillow).

If you know your child's love language, the hunt is also a way to fill their love  tanks; one of my boys is gifts and loved receiving the prizes.  The other boy is quality time, so he enjoyed the hunt done as a family.  I also made a prize a game  we can play together this year, to extend on the quality time. If you child is words of affirmation, maybe add encouraging words to your clues (I like you because), or act of service for the prize (no chores for a week)

Prizes can be anything you want, ranging from small piece of candy to clothes or school supplies.  Last year's prize were Star Wars wrist watches I had bought at an after Christmas Clearance Sale, which had a double meaning of setting the tone of increasing responsibility for the year. This year's prize is going to be new chapter books and the spelling game Appletters .

As a homeschooler, we did only one or two subjects after the hunt, very gently introducing the curriculum & theme for the year.

  • CLUE #1 Give to the child
  • CLUE #2 Hide in a bathroom
  • CLUE #3 Hide on any bed in the house
  • CLUE #4 Hide with your broom
  • CLUE #5-Can be hidden in fridge, or in your garden
  • CLUE #6 Hide in game chest or shelf where you store board games
  • Prize- Hide by your family computer
First Day of School
Scavenger Hunt


The dentist says you’re good with a tooth brush,
now go to the room where you give the toilet a flush


Personal hygiene is good to keep, now go to a room where I can sleep


You like to play toys in your room, now go to the place we store the broom


Now you’re in a cleaning mood, go the place we get healthy food

CLUE #5-

Eating food is quite nice, now go to the place we store dice.


Games are really a lot of fun, but in the computer room the hunt is done.



Free Piano lesson, Our Review of Hoffman Academy

4 Gluten and Dairy Free Chicken Freezer Meals

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Friday, July 1, 2016

I want to Homeschool in Indiana... Where do I start?

How To Start Homeschooling in Indiana

Many are surprised by how much homeschooling law varies from state to state.  We are blessed in Indiana to have homeschool friendly laws, but it can be overwhelming to bring a child home from public school, or to start the journey of homeschool no matter where you live. 

Researching can be confusing with an overload of information, some of it not reliable. Indiana's Department of Education (DOE) Website is quite misleading about what Indiana requires of homeschooling families, which is unfortunate since it is where most moms go for Homeschool laws. 

I highly recommend seeking information from Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) 


  •  Indiana Homeschools are legally considered non-accredited non-public schools. Just think of yourself as an exclusive private school, so exclusive only people who you are your children can attend! 
  • You do not need to register with Department of Education.  The DOE website strongly implies this, and some school district may pressure you into it, but legally you do not need to register. You may choose to, but there are not advantages of being in the their tracking  records. 
  • You must have 180 days in your homeschool year.  Indiana has no stipulations on what a "day" looks like in your house, or how many hours it is; which means Indiana can not mandate your curriculum choices, pace, or yearly schedule. 
  • Your child does not need to participate in any standardized testing.*  As a homeschooling student, your child can not take the ILEARN.  Testing is done so that Administrators and Legislators can see what children are learning in school.  As their direct teacher, you won't need that information through testing, because you will be there everyday working with your children and grading their assignments.  
*If you really feel like you'd like to have your child tested, you may pay a small fee for your child to take IOWA STANDARDS Accredited Test, or local academic tutoring .  We tested our children in middle school just for curiosity, and to get them some testing practice, but in my opinion I would not recommend too much standardized testing earlier than middle school because Elementary is a time to learn HOW to learn, not to connect learning to testing. 


Are you transferring your child from public school to homeschool?

  • Transfer, not withdraw. Instead of the word WITHDRAW, I would recommend the word TRANSFER, Indiana Homeschools are considered non-accredited, nonpublic schools, which is why (IAHE) recommends using the term "transfer" instead of "withdraw" when informing school.
  • You can do it anytime. You can take your child out of public school ANYTIME of the year, no need to wait for semester breaks, after any testing, or end of school year.
  • Public Schools do not know homeschool laws. Many times any push back you get is because the district is just ignorant of the homeschooling laws of the state. Become a member of HSLDA if your district gives you any problems. Even though Indiana is a free Homeschool State, it doesn't mean every district/principal/superintendent is homeschool friendly.  
  • No Need for Registration with Department of Education. You DO NOT need to register with the state Department of Education (even though the DOE's website strongly implies this).  Parents may choose to register, but this is your family's decision.  We personally have never registered our children with the DOE in 7 years of homeschooling.

Are you homeschooling from the beginning? 
  • Age of Compulsory Education The Age of Compulsory attendance is not until 7 years old (for public and homeschool).  You may begin any curriculum you'd like before, but only need to begin tracking your 180 days when your child reaches 7 years old. 
  • No Need for Registration. You DO NOT need to register with the state Department of Education (even though the DOE's website strongly implies this).  Parents may choose to register, but this is your family's decision.  We personally have never registered our children with the DOE in 7 years of homeschooling.

Find Support (for you and your kids)
Find a Local Homeschool Group Online
This step will help you with all the rest.  I can point you in the first direction, but your local homeschooling community can give you info on local field trips, play-dates, curriculum choices, dealing with unsupportive in-laws, and finding resources in your area. I am part of a local homeschool facebook group with over 1,200 families. 

Attend Home-school Classes and Activities 

Check your local YMCA, Library, and/or local Parks and Recreation for Homeschool-geared activities.  The homeschool community has grown in the past 20 years, which means many communities who have begun to offer resources and activities during the school day.

Homeschool Cooperatives (Co-op)

A Co-Op is just short for Cooperative.  Not all homeschoolers enjoy co-ops, they are just another resource if you choose to use them.  It is only a true cooperative if the parents all have a job, helping teach or assist in some way. Co-Ops are all different, because they are what the Moms make of them.  Some meet weekly, some monthly, some just for field trips.  A Co-op can be big with dozens of families, or just you and one other family. See more on my post- What is a Homeschool Co-Op?

Homeschool Style

The beauty of homeschooling in Indiana is you can have find a curriculum and routine that works best for your child. I suggest that before you begin looking for specific curriculum, spend just a few minutes reading about different homeschool styles, it will take hours off your curriculum search.

 You DO NOT HAVE TO PICK YOUR STYLE RIGHT AWAY, just familiarize with them before you search for curriculum. Not many people are entirely one style of homeschool, but you lean towards certain styles based on your own personality and needs of your children.  

How does knowing homeschool styles help? If your child hates to read on their own, you can avoid an entirely Charlotte Mason approach. If your child hates to sit, you would probably not do only traditional or classical. If you only have one computer in the house, you won't pick an online school for your 3 different kids. If you like schedules and predictable curriculum, you may not like Unschooling.  

We personally tend toward Unit studies, with a lot of living books from Charlotte Mason Philosophy.
See 5 of the most common homeschool styles here- Five Homeschool Styles.


Homeschool Curriculum
We are in a golden age off curriculum choices, but that can also be extremely overwhelming. My biggest advice is ASK YOUR NEW HOMESCHOOL FRIENDS.  They can help you touch and see curriculum.  Also see tips my personal tips How We Survived and Thrived Our First Year of Homeschool. 

While there several options of styles, most curriculum fits into a few different categories based on your family needs.

  • Boxed- Open and Go Boxed curriculum come with a teacher's Manual, and all the books you need for teaching your child.  This is the best option for new homeschool moms because it builds confidence. No hours of planning or seeking out books, just open the manual and teach each day from the books provided in your box. You can go at your own pace, but the template of the teacher's manual is extremely helpful. I am heading into my 8th year, and still love my Christian "open and go" curriculum, My Father's World. For secular Open and Go- check out Build Your Library.
  • Online Public School- K-12 and Connections Academy are a tuition-free online public school options that are done in your home. K-12 and Connections Academy are not technically homeschool: it is public school at home, meaning you have no authority over your content , pace at which you cover the materials, or schedule.  You will be following DIFFERENT LAWS, not homeschooling laws.  That said, it is an option that has helped many families. This is a good option for the mom who wants their child to stay lock-step with the public schools. This could be for someone who knows for sure homeschool is just a season, and their child will be going back into public school eventually. 
  • Eclectic -Make your Own Many moms piece together their curriculum from different publishers, and use a homeschool planner to plan their day.  Sites like Little Green Schoolhouse and Christian Book have homeschool books for every subject. You can piece together an entire curriculum with a few clicks. The increase in homeschooling families equals more resources available, meaning you can pick the curriculum that best meets the needs your family, child, and budget. 
Homeschooling can be as expensive or as cheap as you'd like. 
 Check out my hard-earned tips on How to Homeschool on a Tight Budget!
How to Homeschool When You Can't Afford It