9/30/09

Why Consider Homeschooling?


Some people have asked me over the years, why do I homeschool? My reasons on the side have changed a million times but my main reason has always been the same.

The Bible has plenty to say about how people/children should be taught.

Here are some verses that explain what my main reason is:

Dueteronomy 6:7 "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Jesus said,
Luke 6:40 "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalm 1:1-2 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

9/29/09

Laughing My Head Off


We got this in our email today. I was laughing so hard. It said it wasn't one of those mushy, sensitive friend emails.


1. When you are sad,
I will jump on the person
who made you sad
like a spider monkey
jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!


2. When you are blue,
I will try to dislodge
whatever is choking you.


3. When you smile,
I will know you are
plotting something
that I must be involved in.


4. When you're scared,
we will high tail it out of here.


5. When you are worried,
I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse
it could be until you
quit whining, ya big baby!!!!


6. When you are confused,
I will use little words.


7. When you are sick,
Stay away from me
until you are well again
I don't want whatever you have....


8. When you fall,
I'll pick you up
and dust you off--
After I laugh my rear off!!


9. This is my oath...
I pledge it to the end.
'Why?' you may ask;
-- because you are my FRIEND!

9/28/09

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY...September 28th from Janet's Daybook

Outside my window...a cool, moist evening

I am thankful for... home

I am wearing... black sweats with a black and pink night gown

I am remembering... verses that are coming to my mind that apply to our evening

I am going... to bed exhausted from our evening in the city

I am reading... the last chapter in Ruth

I am hoping... I can sleep deeply

On my mind... thinking about all of the poor and homeless that we interacted with and ministered to this evening

From the learning rooms... we will be getting back to a "normal" school day tomorrow... I am looking forward to that

Noticing that... the downtown part of the city is sooooooo different than where we live

Pondering these words... Hebrews 13:1-3 Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you.
How many of the people that we served meals to tonight were angels? I wonder...

From the kitchen... not much going on there this time of the day!

Around the house... everybody is winding down for the night

One of my favorite things... antiques

From my picture journal...

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What God Did Today...



...was so cool! I am wiped out from all of the ministering, worshiping, and fun that we had today!
The Holy Spirit sure tires a person out. Dream Latte is exhausted and already in bed.


After Praise Team practice this morning (before Sunday school) I needed to go get some personal items from the store so I headed out to town. I thought, I don't need to go to Walgreen's because I can get what I need at the gas station. A voice spoke to my spirit and said, "No, you need to go to Walgreen's because there is someone there that you need to talk to." Ok?... I guess it will be cheaper than the gas station anyway!



So, off to Walgreen's I went.



Well, I decided that the voice that I heard may be right so I sneaked in with my sunglasses on (You just never know if the person will be someone that you ACTUALLY DESIRE to speak to!) and surveyed the store. Whew... I didn't see anyone I knew so I was free from my responsibility.



Off I went again, this time to get my supplies.



As I reached for the Ibuprofen, I saw a man with a little boy and the man was trying on back braces. I thought, oh, that poor man is hurting. Instantly, I knew in my spirit that he was the person that I was supposed to go talk to.



So, with that in mind... (I pushed it to the back of my mind!) I turned around the corner to finish getting what I needed.



As I reached for the next item on my list, I heard that voice again tell me that I needed to go talk to that man.



The argument began...



"Lord, I don't know that man. You want me to walk up to a complete stranger and say what? 'Hey, you need JESUS to heal your back pain! Come to church with me and we'll pray over you!' Uhhh, don't think so! Besides, I have this box of personal items in my arms!"



Do it!



(Yes, all of this was going on inside my brain and spirit while I was standing at the end of the ladies personal isle.)



"Ok, ok. I'll do it..." (Just so you know, I did it submittingly without an attitude. It just took me a while and some dialog with God to get to that point!)





Here is what transpired:


I walked up to the man and said, "Is that brace for you?"


Man: "Oh! Hi!!"


Me in my head, "Oh dear! It's not a stranger! It's a guy I went to school with who was arch enemies with my HUSBAND!!"



Me: "Oh! Hi!"



I proceeded to make small talk with him and his son.



Me: "Are you ok? Is your back hurting you?"



Man sadly: "My back is always hurting me."



That's when my heart broke. There was such sadness, pain and need on his face. In high school, he was a boy who was very macho and tough...muscles. Actually, kinda cocky but always nice to me.



He had a look of pain and sadness on his face. He is a broken man.



He asked if I lived in that town, I told him that my husband was the pastor of a church down the road and proceeded to invite him to church.



(Ok, confession: I didn't mention who my husband was since I very quickly remembered that Dream Latte and he used to fight! They were both too big for their britches!)



I told him that he needed prayer for his back and that we would pray for him today. He was grateful and I left.



I knew that I knew that I knew that he was the reason why God lead me to that store this morning. When I got back to the church and told my husband about it I just cried for him. I was so sad for this broken man who doesn't know Jesus.



After we sang, I told my story to the church. After I told my story, my husband lead the church in prayer for this man. The same man that he used to fight with in highschool. We prayed for his salvation and for his healing.



Something that my husband said in his prayer was so awesome. He said, "Lord, I'd love nothing more than to lay hands on Mike, in LOVE this time."



By the time this whole thing was over, there were tears all over that church. Sniffs and everything.

I am still moved and touched by God over this whole thing. I'm still sorting it out and trying to figure out what God wants me to do with it.

Any thoughts?

9/27/09

Ugandan Orphans Singing Praises to Our LORD!

Amen and amen! (If you listen carefully, they do sing in English.)

9/25/09

Friday Fill-Ins



Graphic courtesy of Tonya!

1. One week ago __I had some time to myself___. The boys went fishing with my parents (really they just played in the woods), Dream Latte went to the church to work and I got a little but much needed time to myself!


2. ____ I LOVED to swim and play outside_______ when I was young.


3. Mother told me ____be sure your sins will find you out_______.


4. ___Jesus, it's________ you and me.


5. Take your time ___the whole world is in a hurry________.


6. ___This too________ will pass!
Sometimes, I think it won't.... Some days, I just lose hope. (not in Jesus of course) I have to my trust in my God and believe that He has a plan.


7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to


__drinking coffee with my husband during our Siesta time___,


tomorrow my plans include


__wow, I don't think I have plans___


and Sunday, I want to


__worship in Spirit and in Truth___!


I want God to work in my day in such a way that I KNOW, that I KNOW it is HIM!


Want more Friday Fill-Ins?

9/24/09

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey
Finally, a Thankful Thursday posted on Thursday and not Friday!!
I am thankful to my Salvation, Yeshua:
1. ...for the way He works. I am so amazed every time cool things happen and you KNOW that they were all God! Like today, we went on a field trip to a place that we've never been before. I was getting ready and talking to God and told Him that it would be cool if there were people we knew there. Sure enough, in walked Trish and her kids. Our kids played basketball together for a couple of years.
2. ...for leading me to learn about the Biblical Feasts in Leviticus 23. I'm tellin you, it is sooo amazing to see things in the New Testament that I didn't see before because I didn't understand God and His appointed times. Knowing this has brought deeper meaning and a richness to the Bible for me. (I encourage you to start learning about God's "holidays".)
3. ...for homeschooling.
4. ...for my freedom in worship. I saw a video on youtube of young school children singing praises to their new hero (the prez) and I am so thankful that we can teach our kids to sing praises to their King. The only person worthy of praise, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
5. ...for what is to come.

For more Thankful Thursday: Truth4theJourney

9/21/09

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... September 21, 2009


Outside my window... the sun is setting and the trees are still.


I am thinking... not a whole lot! I'm tired...


I am thankful for... the good deals we got today on blankets and towels to send to the Sudan.


From the learning rooms... of course the boys are always learning but I am learning too! I am studying the Biblical Feasts in Leviticus 23. Right now is the fall feast time and it applies to ALL Christians!


From the kitchen... I am smelling the corn on the cob and baked potatoes that my husband is cooking for dinner.


I am wearing... black sweats and a hot pink shirt. I changed as soon as I walked back in the door from shopping.


I am creating... nothing right now.


I am going... to be studying more about Hebrew this evening. I can't wait!


I am reading... Leviticus 23 and Genesis 1.


I am hoping... God leads me to a CHRISTIAN humanitarian organization that helps women in Africa make beaded jewelry to sustain life for their families.


I am hearing... my son watch, oh deer, cartoons!


Around the house... people are winding down after a long day.


One of my favorite things... is making my house a home.


A few plans for the rest of the week: to make sure the boys get some good "schoolin" in so they can take time off for a field trip one day this week.



Here is picture for thought I am sharing... US!

9/18/09

Want to experience Africa without leaving Chicago?

World Vision is doing an Experience Africa tour in Chicago this weekend! See this post for more information and links.

Jesus I'm There

Ever reach your wits end? I'm there... wondering, when LORD? How come it seems to be one way? I think with a finite, human mind. His ways are NOT our ways!

This is the song that is ministering to me today:

Jesus Thank You

9/17/09

Dead Faith vs Action Faith

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." ~James 2:17 (NIV)

I homeschool the 2 Espressos. We have studied Egypt through Learning Adventures Unit Study and just finished that up last week. Right after we finished that, Dream Latte found another study on Egypt. This one is from Kids of Courage. It is a free downloadable study on persecuted Christians in different countries. So, we picked Egypt!
(Isn't God so amazing?!!)

At the same time that we started learning about the persecuted Christians in Egypt, we signed up to get 2 Action Packs. The Voice of the Martyrs will send you (for $7) a bag and a list of items to purchase. You can choose to have your bag sent to Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan. We chose Sudan. (It's right under Egypt!)

We purchased flip flops, a T-shirt, a light sweater, a pad of paper, pack of pens, and bars of soap. We still have to get a twin sized blanket and a towel. You can put as many of those items in your bag as you want but ONLY those items.
I am so excited to pass on to our children the love for others and dive head first into helping others people the world. Missions were never really "my thing." BUT GOD! I have a missionary friend who was praying for me a few months back and God is answering her prayers!!


Won't you join us in putting our FAITH into ACTION?





9/14/09

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY: September 14, 2009...

Outside my window... I hear Espresso & Double Espresso playing basketball in the driveway with a neighbor boy

I am thinking... I wish I could have gone with the group to feed the homeless today. They left just a few minutes ago but I have had to RUN to the potty several times today. I don't think it would be too pleasant on anyone to be stuck in Chicago rush hour traffic with me needing to RUN! So sad... I am wondering what I am going to miss out on.

I am thankful for... My understanding, loving, Godly husband

From the learning rooms... Photography is a fun but complicated hobby

From the kitchen... I am smelling cinnamon sprinkled, butternut squash

I am wearing... The most awesome dark jeans (thought I might be going somewhere!) and a cotton, teal shirt

I am going... Nowhere fast

I am reading... eBooks that I have downloaded for free

I am hoping... God will show us what He is doing and where we are going

I am hearing... The ball bounce

Around the house... It's kinda quiet since the boys are outside, the dog's on the porch with the in laws and Dream Latte is in Chicago

One of my favorite things... Creating

A few plans for the rest of the week: Tomorrow is my dad's 60th birthday and we have invited my parents along for a field trip. We'll either be going to an apple orchard or to a living history museum.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...




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9/11/09

A Late Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey



Want to see what others are thankful for? Truth4thejourney


We went to Six Flags for Homeschool Day yesterday and I didn't get to post my thankfuls for Thankful Thursday!

1. I am thankful that God is involved in the smallest details of our lives even though He is more humongous and glorious than we could possible wrap our human minds around.

2. God was gracious enough to give us a small break and help us to have a wonderful time with our family at Six Flags yesterday.

3. We were able to share a close family's love and good clean fun with Espresso's best friend.

4. I am thankful for the effort that my Godly husband puts into being a wonderful servant of Jesus Christ, man, husband, father, son, son in law, friend and pastor.

5. I am thankful that God saved ME, that Yeshua died for ME and that He cares enough to lead us in paths of righteousness with His Holy Spirit!

9/9/09

WFMW - Family Meetings

My husband does family devotions with our kids most mornings. In the evening, about 10 minutes before bed, we often have family meetings. A few times a week, we sit down together and discuss things that are going on like events, what was their favorite thing they did that day, holidays coming up, cool things about God and sometimes important details of our lives.
Family meetings only have to take a few minutes. It shows the kids that we are a unit and it helps them voice their concerns and opinions about things. We connect as we grow together.
See We Are That Family for more Works For Me Wednesday.

9/7/09

Hosanna

This song has been blessing me so I thought I'd share it with you.

9/5/09

Saturday Night Church

Sometimes, Dream Latte and I go to Saturday Night Church. Tonight, we went to a church and saw John Bevere speak. We have both already read his book "The Bait of Satan". It's on the sin of offence. I have been terribly offended and thought I had forgiven. Well... I had! That alone didn't free me. I had to repent of the sin of offence.

Here is the same sermon preached by John Bevere in Australia:

9/3/09

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

For more Thankful Thursday - Truth4theJourney

I am thankful for:

1. EL SHADDAI: God Almighty or "God All Sufficient
2. ADONAI: Lord
3. JEHOVAH: LORD
4. JEHOVAH-JIREH: The Lord will Provide
5. JEHOVAH-SHALOM: The Lord Our Peace

I used the names of God during our worship service last Sunday. I love saying the Hebrew names of our God! These would be great to print on pretty paper and put around the house!


On our Wisconsin trip, we went for a walk in the woods to "Chapel In the Woods."
This is Double Espresso "preaching" and Dream Latte was AMENing him all the way!

Chapel In the Woods

9/2/09

Selfish, Fleshly, Guilty, Convicted

God has been doing something in my life for the past year and a half. The "half" was a time of healing after being hurt in ministry. The "year" has been God changing ME. I think it all started by some prayers said by my missionary friend of mine.

I would like to warn you before you read this post. It may challenge you. It may make you feel guilty, convicted, selfish, or fleshly. If you are happy with they way your life is - living the American dream, drinking your lattes, eating at buffets, buying designer - don't read the rest of this post. If there is a little something in you that is curious, that may be God. He has His way of leading us (bloggers and others) to information that will ROCK YOUR WORLD.

God has opened my eyes to the homeless, hurting and starving people who live in this fallen world.

I found the following (true) story on another blog called Beautiful Mess (another person impacted by the people in Uganda). She found it on Kisses From Katie. Katie is a missionary in Uganda.

Katie's Story:

"I am processing so many emotions right now; I'm just going to go ahead and let you know that this post will not be eloquent or well written. It will not be a beautifully worded story, but just the ramblings of a mom who is tired today. It will just be, and it will be good enough.

On Thursday of last week,I went to check on Michael, a sweet little boy from the Karamajong village that we took care of a few weeks ago. I found him with open sores all over his body. As a result of severe malnutrition, Michael weighs just ten kilos at 6 years old. He is no taller than Jane (my two and a half year old). His skin is breaking and unable to repair itself because his immune system is so weak. His hair is white as snow and his skin is yellow and splotchy and his smile and little bug out eyes can melt your heart and light up the room. Michael is fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of my Savior.

I have warned myself over and over that I must NOT start bring home children from the Karamajong village. We feed them lunch and supper every day and twice a week I drive my van, the trunk loaded with a mini pharmacy, into the middle of their village and treat anything I can. And I told myself and told myself that I would not bring them home for treatment, that twice a week visits were all I could handle right now. I wanted so badly to guard my heart because here's the thing: once you take one, you may end up with 13. I knew that once I had taken one sick child from this village home for rehab, there would be not stopping point because these children are ALL ALWAYS sick.

But as I looked at Michael, I saw no alternative. He needed to be bathed in warm water every day. He needed milk and eggs and ORS and multivitamins and fresh fruits and vegetables and there was no way I could get him all those things regularly where he was. Even if I did, there was no guarantee that his parents would not sell these things and continue only feeding him posho (corn flour). So he came home. He tested negative for HIV, TB and typhoid and we began a pretty rigid deworming routine as well as a highly caloric, protein packed diet. In the last 5 days he has gained 2.5 pounds (that's a lot if you only weigh 20!) but he has gained more than that. I have watched him transform from a lifeless, expressionless little boy who slept all day and was unresponsive to a over-the-top cheerful, sometimes down right ornery little boy who hardly ever stops smiling and loves playing games with other children. The transformation has been remarkable.

I will keep him for about another week as I begin counseling his father and step mother (this is the biggest issue, often second wives do not want to care for their husband's other children and sometimes even write them off as cursed or not worthy of food and provision...) about the most nutritious foods for him, frequent meals, bathing, ect. My heart will break to take him back and yet I will know that it is what is best for him and his family.

Wednesday as I met with the Karamjong children for Bible study a woman walked up to me and handed me a baby that I presumed to be dead. And then she breathed.

The mother told me that she was quite positive that she (the mother) had HIV and therefore was not breastfeeding her 10 pound, 9 month old little girl. I asked, quite obviously, what she had been feeding her then? And this was the response that awaited me, "Nothing. We have no food." Um. NO wonder the baby looked dead. She almost was. I pleaded the mother to let me take her with me, to be tested for HIV and be fed. The mother instanly agreed but fist wanted to show me her house.

I think I have seen it all. And then this happens. Thier house was made of cardboard and was smaller than the bed I sleep in at night. On the floor lay filthy old rags on which they slept and a pile of charcoal which they cooked on (when they did have food, I guess). I almost dropped on my knees right there. It was one of those I-just-don't-have-a-clue-what-to-do-next moments. So I did the only thing that comes naturally to me. I scooped her up. I prayed for her mother and the 6 other children living in the house/box and promised to return. I drove as fast as I safely could to the nearest semi-good hospital and then to get some high energy formula.

For the first 24 hours, I could hardly stand to look at sweet baby Patricia (her parents had not named her for fear she would die, and I could think of no one better to name her after than my precious Mommy). The hurt and the hunger in her lifeless little eyes was simply unbearable. Every time I changed her diaper, more big fat worms (we are talking really large, earth worm sized) had come out. I cried for the things this child has had to endue for so long. And I cried to know that though I deworm her now, the minute I take her back to her mother, the worms will return. Her HIV test came back negative and I am praising Jesus for that. She was diagnosed with severe pnemonia and malnutrition. She can hardly sleep at night for coughing so much.

Friends, I ask for prayer. For these children and for my heart. I have fallen in love with Michael and Patricia. Their sweet faces that arer Jesus. The tear stream down as I write this and have to think about taking them back to their parents, who I will try to help as much as possible, but still have such fear in my heart about. I look at their surroundings and simply wonder how children survive in this harsh world.

I am sad and I am angry. Between no sleep and a million doctors appointments (imagine that in Uganda you wait even LONGER in the hospital than you do in the US...) and Bible club on Thursday and Saturday program tomorrow and trying to raise 13 children and spend enough time with each of them, maybe you will right my saddess and anger of as the rantings of an exhausted mother and maybe they are, but this is my blog and I am going to say what I feel like. I am MAD. I have been sad and broken for these children for so long and it has finally turned into a hardened anger. I am angry that this culture so lies to women that Michael's stepmother believes that she does not have to care for this child who is not biologically hers, though she has ample means to. I am angry that in the "Pearl of Africa" and the most fertile region of it at that, a mother has litteraly NO food to feed her baby, not to mention herself or 6 other kids. I am angry that the result of this is that these sweet ones suffer in their innocence. I have said it before and it still holds true: I DO NOT BELIEVE that the God of the universe created too many children in His image and not enough love or food or care to go around. In fact I believe that He created the Body of Christ for just that, to help these little ones, the least of these. And I believe that except for a handful, the Body of Christ is failing. And its not just me who thinks this. When I'm angry, I like to research so that I can at least feel a bit justified in my rage ;) According to several differnt resources, there are an average of 147 million orphaned children in the world today (this statistic includes children who have lost only one parent as well), 11 million children starve to death each year or die from preventable, treatable illness. 8.5 million children work as child slaves, prostitutes, or in other horrific conditions (making things like that cute baby Gap dress Jane wore today...) 2.3 million children world wide are living with HIV.

That is 168.8 million needy children like Michael and Patricia. Seems like a big number, huh? It shouldn't, because there are 2.1 BILLION people on this earth who profess to be Christians. Jesus followers. Servants. Gospel live-ers. And id only 8 percent of those Christians would care for just ONE of these needy children, they would all be taken care of.

And now I'm just sad again. And I want to take care of all 169 million. But as I look into Patricia's eyes, that since just 48 hours ago have turned bright and smiley, as I smell her hair freshly washed with baby shampoo and snuggle her into her new footie pajamas (side note: is their ANYTHING cuter than a baby in soft cotton footie pajamas?!) God tells me that this one is enough. That He will hold the others while they wait for someone to come along and hold them tight and give them their milk and their medicine. That He doesn't ask me to take them all but to stop for the ONE because that one is Jesus, His son. Stop for the little boy with white haid and scabs covering his body, stop for the baby with feces covering her dress, so weak she can't hold up her hear. Stop and take the ones right in front of me any trust Him with the rest. He whispers that it will be ok and that I can smile because tonight 2 less children are hungry and that is good for today.

My anger is gone and I am just a mom who is tired and going to make another bottle and tuck her children into bed and love them the best that I can, as we as a family love the ones God has entrusted us with. Tomorrow I will brainstorm and pray and come up with the best way to take Michael and Patricia back to their homes, possibly find their parents jobs, or supply them with food and medicine. Tomorrow I will remember that they were never mine to begin with, that they are HIS and He will go with them where I cannot. But tonight I will just be. I will just sit with my Father in my sadness and brokeness and anger and ask Him why His innocent children must suffer and beg Him to move people to action and let Him hold me as I hold the baby He has blessed me with for today.

9/1/09

Wisconsin Rest

As I said a few days ago, we went to Wisconsin. Someone had provided a free stay for our family to get away from the demands of ministry. (If it wasn't free, we wouldn't have been able to go.) I am just fine with that thought, even Jesus frequently got away!

I love resting in the LORD and the place that we got to rest was so beautiful! Here are some photos.

This is the house that we stayed at. Let me tell you, it QUICKLY became a home.



This is an aerial view from a 140 foot tower (that I couldn't go in...)


<>The boys at the lake, tower in the back.


Dream Latte and I at the lake.


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