We Slayed The Word Dragon!

Thirty days have come and gone and I am so excited, my kids and I completed the NaNoWriMo Challenge. The last words may have been squeezed in just before the deadline, but we made it! Between the three of us we have written more than 110,000 words!

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NaNoWriMo Words

As my kids and I travel forward during National Novel Writing Month (You can read about our decision for NaNoWriMo here) I wanted to keep everyone posted on our progress. Our goals consist of 50,000 words for the month for myself and 30,000 each for both boys. A big goal to say the least, but I think an attainable one!  I have been so excited by the creativity they are showing and can’t wait to read their finished works at the end of the month!

Wish us luck!!!


Challenge Accepted

093I love fall. This time of the year with the colors and the cool air has always been my favorite. This year the experience of the season is bringing together another love… Writing. The best part, the whole family is going to enjoy the experience together.

Thanks to our local library we have discovered the NaNoWriMo.  What?  National Novel Writing Month. November is a time to put your writing skills to the test and challenge yourself to completing 50,000 words between the 1st and the 30th.

The kids have been very excited. Their goal as young writers is 30,000 words. They have come up with some amazing characters and story ideas. They have researched and studied and really prepared for their challenge. Even the littlest! (Although I will be happy with any story she can come up with!)

Tonight we took the first step and attending the NaNoWriMo103 kick off and it was interesting to see so many people with so many ideas and reasons for taking the challenge. I look forward to reading what my children come up with along the way. We are taking this challenge as a home school project and I hope it will be a big learning experience for them. Learning about character development, setting, and plots. As well as the basics of sentence structure and grammar.

Of course what better way to kick off an event than meeting celebrities!105 104

It was a great night and I look forward to all the next 30 days has to offer for this challenge!

Let the creative thinking begin!

Love,

SHINE 2014

10419039_10152263829022736_293315061990335390_nOnce again the third Saturday in August has come and gone. After a year of planning, waiting, and overall excitement, SHINE has come and gone. Once again it was a wonderful, uplifting, encouraging, beautiful day!

SHINE, the annual Three Forks church of Christ youth rally celebrated 10 amazing years on Saturday, August 16th. The memories of all the past days came out as 265 people came together to sing, pray, learn and worship our God and Father.

This marked our 8th year celebrating Jesus with Three Forks and each year we wonder

Early Morning, setting up the last pieces before registration begins!

Early Morning, setting up the last pieces before registration begins!

how we will be able to “top” the last but one thing is certain, we are certainly a blessed church family. The talents and abilities brought out by each person is remarkable. There are so many people working so many pieces of the puzzle, we would not be able to do what we do without each one of these individuals.

I am thankful for the memories. Thankful for the lesson, the support for 10407927_719345258103120_3056824328700033254_nother congregation and the community. I am thankful that God has blessed us with 10 years of beautiful weather. I do not know what the future holds but I know I am excited for SHINE 2015 already! I hope you will join us!

In Him,

Tiffany

 

When Mommy Can’t Talk

Everyone who knows me will agree on one BIG truth: I am loud!  There is no denying it! It is just part of who I am. I come from a loud family. I have always been loud. I am loud when I talk, when I laugh, when I sing, and probably even when I sleep.  A sweet Christian sister once tried to make it sound nicer by explaining that my voice just carries well.  All of this, while true, is something I often take for granted. Being one that is easily heard is something I do not think of through a typical day.

The ability to speak, to make myself known and express my ideas is something I do not typically have to worry about, at all! However this weekend, for whatever reason, I have lost my voice. I now realize how hard it is for this loud momma to be without that method of communication. To have something that is such a part of my person be taken away, even temporarily, is difficult!

no talkingWhen mommy can’t talk mommy can’t give instruction, extremely difficult problem for a homeschool mom! (It is very hard to give a spelling test when you sound like a cross between Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.) Mom can’t call from one room to another to get her family’s attention. Mom can’t discipline like normal. Mommy can’t sing her babies to sleep. When my voice failed, I realized how much I really need to be heard!

One thing I love to do is sing. My favorite part of worship to God is through song and currently that is not an option. When anything above a whisper brings pain, it is hard to belt out the notes to any song. Visiting a local congregation for their gospel meeting last night I tried so hard to join in worship to my Lord, but strain as I might, it was not happening. I continued to sing in my heart, but I was not able to sing with my voice.

I believe God in all His wisdom and glory understands moments like this, and how difficult it is to be stripped of what we consider normal communication. When giving instruction to the New Testament Christians concerning worship, Paul wrote “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:19).  God desires us to sing His praises, yet He also made accommodations for when that isn’t an option. Last night I was singing and making melody in my heart to Him. No one else in the building may have heard the words, but I know and trust God heard them loud and clear!

God doesn’t exclude those without a voice. These past few days one verse in particular has come to my mind many times.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6

God ensures that no living person will be excluded with that statement. As long as there is breath in us, in me, let us always give praise to God in our hearts and in our lives!  Let us praise Him out loud or so quiet that only He can hear!

I wish everyone a blessed day!

Tiffany

Candle Salad

School is back in session for us and I am thrilled. I am so ready to regain some of our routines,  for some order to our chaos that was summer break!

The kids have enjoyed being back as well. The new school supplies, fresh curriculum books and new adventures; what’s not to love?

This week, as part of an assignment, our 8-yr-old made school snack. He gave me his grocery list of ingredients and since it was a simple project he prepared it himself!

The wonderful part of this “experiment” was not only his involvement in trying something new, but how it all tied back to a lesson on God and our living for Him.  He made Candle Salad, otherwise known as “Light of The World” Salad.

If you are like me you are asking, “What in the world is candle salad? I don’t want to eat a bowl full of wax!”

I promise you it was nothing like that! Candle Salad is simply a fruit salad made to look like a candle! A slice of pineapple for the base, half a banana for the candle and a cherry for the flame!  Super simple and very yummy!

making candle salad

When the plates were ready I allowed our chef to explain to everyone the meaning behind the “Light of the World” salad.  He read Matthew 5:16 and explained how we are to shine the light of Jesus in this world so others can see Him.  Then he led us in a prayer to thank God for the light He gives us always.

candle salad

This snack already has my other children thinking of their own snacks and lessons they can give! I can’t wait to go shopping for next weeks “ingredients” and watch another chef in action! I will be sure to share!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Love,

Tiffany

Movie Day

Days like today are what summer is all about for kids: fun and friends.

We joined some friends for the $1 movie special and I must say I believe I enjoyed the movie more than the kids! Mr. Peabody and Sherman was great! I loved all the jokes tied to history.  At the end I offered my kids bonus points if they could name the three biblical references mentioned! They only caught one!

The movie got me thinking, though, of all the unnecessary trouble they found.  Of course I understand it was only a cartoon, but all the bullying, the problems with the little girl and the unapproved time travel could all have been avoided with one decision!  If Mr. Peabody had only chosen to homeschool Sherman!

Obviously, this would not have been a stretch from what they were doing. Sherman was well educated by Mr. Peabody in ways the school could not have offered.  He had been schooled at home by his dad in the most natural way a cartoon possibly could: with a time machine! He was well socialized with a variety of age groups and cultures all across time. Seems to me all the work Mr. Peabody had already put into his education could have just continued!

Now obviously I say all of this in fun. There is very little I would change about this enjoyable movie of mishaps!!

I know this all seems silly but I have come to realize after homeschooling for only a year (yes, we are still newbies at this I realize) but it does make you look at the world around you in a completely different light. Everything becomes a question of “What can I teach my children through this?” Everything becomes a learning experience and can open up so many other opportunities. No matter what the day brings we can all learn from it, questions spark whole discussions which lead to reading and research. We all grow and learn and ultimately become closer to each other!

at the park
After the movie was lunch and some great history discussions, particularly about ol’ George Washington. The fun continued with time playing at a park we have never visited before (another bucket list item for the summer)! All in all a wonderful day! Finishing it off with art projects! So although we have already officially started our school year for 2014, with homeschool the fun never stops! There is always something new to explore and fun to do! I look forward to all the adventures and projects that this year will bring!!

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Thank you Lord for the opportunities you have blessed us with to be able to be such a part of our children’s education. Thank you for the blessing of friends, of sunshine and of fun!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.Praise the Lord!  Psalm 150:6

Love,

Tiffany