Pinterest Ideas

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are you on Pinterest? I have to say I LOVE, LOVE that site!  Now with my new blog design you can click on the Pinterest icon on the sidebar to visit my boards. There are several boards to choose from as I use Pinterest for homemaking, homeschooling, recipe, and faith ideas. Pinterest helps me even in my in-home business of giving Spanish lessons.  I have found so many ideas for teaching Spanish that have been invaluable to my students! Collecting new recipes has been another great benefit of Pinterest. So here are a few of my boards in picture form...

So stop on by to get some ideas!

The Sheep-Counting God

Monday, August 18, 2014

{Elmer A. Humphrey}

When I think of sheep I think of my great grandfather, Elmer. I never knew him, but I have heard the stories. A man of Welsh descent that knew about sheep. He could shear 100 head of them in a day with hand clippers. Unreal. One of his descendant went on to compete in sheep shearing (yes, there are international competions in cutting wool).  But the count was far higher than cousin could shear 333 in a day with electric clippers.

I wonder back then how my great grandfather kept count of those 100 sheep. Surely, his mind must have wandered as he cut the wool from another bleating animal, but somehow he kept track. Sheep counting has been around for a long time. For most, it is in an effort to sleep. For some, it is their livelihood. For One, it is His love.

God counts sheep.

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15:3-7

We are so important to Him that He counts us, and even when He has the 99 safe and sound, He misses that one. We matter to Him. He will search deep and wide for us. Pursue us. Go after us with His love.

{Elmer, on the right, 1907}

We, His sheep, count to Him.

My Word of the Year for 2014 is "Count". Come count with me.

Grace Abounds

There's not a day where you and yours are not protected by the most powerful, protective, and beneficial force in the universe--the grace of God. Every situation, location, and relationship you're in every day is made livable and tolerable by his grace. -Paul David Tripp

Grace permeates our lives, but we often miss its appearance.  Maintaining a gratitude list helps us find the grace we missed.  Can you list the grace He gives you? You may find grace abounds!


-Reading A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble {Great thoughts on Psalm 27}
-More students signing up
-This sign given to my husband by some friends...we can face anything because we are known and loved.

-A bathroom fixed up
-Very supportive parents of my Spanish students
-Going out to eat with my sons
-Helping set up a classroom and decorate it
-Severe back pain...realizing how blessed I am when I am not in pain
-The tomatoes that keep ripening
-A friend coming over and asking for prayer
-Meeting a new student and his mom. Such lovely people!
-Reading Flowers for Algernon for the first time
-Encouraging words from other Christians

Jesus Knows

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...Jeremiah 1:5 {NASB}

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. Friends came over.  Birthday wishes given.  A wooden sign burned with a phrase.

Jesus knows me, this I love.

My initial reaction was "Oh, how funny and how cute!" But then it hit me.

For almost a year now, I have walked into places where I have not been known. New life situations. New churches. New relationships, but I am not known. I don't even know myself because of life circumstances. I am becoming someone I am not. I can't even figure out who that is. At times, it scares me. The timid child turned adult who used to worry about what others think does not exist.  She is someone entirely different, and honestly I have no idea who she is. But He does.

You and I can face anything because we are known.  Not known by others and not even known by ourselves, but by the God that fearfully and wonderfully made us. He KNOWS us even in our messes, confusion, sin, loneliness, or heartache. He LOVES us in all of it, too. We can't be loved less or more by our actions, thoughts, or life circumstances. We can walk into the unknown because we are known by God.

Jesus loves me, this I know...
Jesus knows me, this I love...

I am linking up at Testimony Tuesday.

Holly Barrett

Women of the Word

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

There are times when you need a change of pace. For years I have done women's Bible studies from authors like Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer. I still love to study like that, but I have done most of them over the years and need to mix things up a bit.  I am not much for devotionals because I love going deep and not all devotionals provide that. I also gain by doing a rapid read of the Bible {The Bible in 90 Days} from time to time, but that can only be done once in a while or you burn out. It doesn't provide time for you to really get into certain passages that catch your attention. So, a few weeks ago I picked up Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.

Jen's book is relatively short and offers a ton of ideas on how to move through a passage. As I read through her instructions I took notes. I then typed up a simple step-by-step list of how to work through a part of scripture.

One of the ideas she talks about is a printout of the passage you are working on.  I chose Philippians since it is only four chapters long.  I went to Bible Gateway and printed out the whole book. That way I could mark up the passage in various ways. For example, one of the exercises is to look for repeated words or phrases and mark them.  I was amazed to find out that there are several themes running through Philippians like humility, joy in life's circumstances, being living examples, and God's purpose for each of our lives.

Jen spends time on how to go about comprehending, interpreting, and applying what you study. She takes your through a process so that you will be able to comprehend what is going on in the passage, and comprehension is a big part of the battle. After that the interpretation and application are easier. She also explains how we should approach studying God's Word: "God before me, and mind before heart." But I will let you read that part for yourself. :-) She will do a better job explaining what she means by that phrase.

 I can't recommend her book enough! I read TONS of books each year, but this one has been the most valuable so far for me in 2014. 

{One word of warning you read through you may want to take notes on her method so that you will have a list of what to do when you start studying the passage/book of your choosing.}

High School Literature and Composition in Homeschooling

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

{This post has affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog.}

I love literature and writing, but sometimes teaching these subjects can be a challenge. Literature is a challenge to teach if you as the teacher haven't read the book. I have to be honest...there have been several books my boys have read that I never cracked open.  We used literature guides like from Progeny Press when I wasn't familiar with the story. Writing is hard to teach for me even though I write and blog a lot. I have a hard time communicating what needs to be done to my sons' papers to make them sound better. So this summer I read The Reader's Odyssey: An Individualized Literature Program for Homeschooling Middle and High School Students and Grading with a Purple Crayon: A Developmental Approach to High School Composition for Homeschooling Families.  Both of these books are going to be invaluable as I teach my youngest this coming year and help my oldest with a college-level English course he may take.

The Reader's Odyssey sets up a system of choices for your student. It walks you through how to set up a reading contract and give it parameters that you can be comfortable with while still give your student a choice. Dena, the author, says that students are more willing to read literature if they have some say in what they read. For example, I have set up for my son to read 7-9 literature selections this semester, but about four of them need to be classics. That may seem like a lot, but some of those choices will be short stories. He will be required to keep a reading log (which you can copy out of the book), do literary analysis checklists (also in the book), and book summaries. I have to supply him with a stack of books, and he can choose from there. So as you can see there are plenty of choices for him, and I can set some boundaries on reading material.  Dena goes through the whole process in her book and gives you the paperwork you need to get started like literary checklists, literary interpretation pages, and instructions for students on how to do literary analysis papers (for highschoolers).

Dena's second book, Grading with a Purple Crayon, teaches the homeschool parent how to teach composition. In it, she goes over how to set up grading rubrics and assign grades. I LOVED how she lays out what makes an essay extraordinary.  There are chapters on the following ideas: Five-Paragraph essay form, types of essays, clear content, coherent progression, and eloquent prose. There is even a section on advanced compositions for college-bound students. Once again, her concepts are invaluable and have given me ideas on how to help my son with his writing.

If you are searching this school year for how to handle language arts for your middle or high school student check out her books!

A Grateful Heart

Monday, August 11, 2014

It has been an amazing week filled with blessings!


-My son finally home
-A trip to the fair
-Getting a bunch of paperwork done

-A new look on my blog! So happy with it!
-The season of BLT's now that the tomatoes are ripening

-And the cabbage are amazing also...

-Copies made for my Spanish lessons
-A friend that helps out with my sons
-A side job for one of my sons to earn a little cash for a trip
-The time to get my work done
-Sunny weather
-Watching my husband show a lamb of one of my former Spanish students at the fair
-Corn fritters
-Reading the Psalms of Ascent
-Highlighters and markers for Bible study
-The kindness of a stranger

-A gardening buddy who loves to take a drink from the hose