Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tooting My Own Horn? My Simple Measure of Success

Many days (many more than I care to admit) evening falls and I cannot begin to imagine (or remember) what I did with the sunlight hours.  I don't waste them, I just don't know that what I actually accomplish -- and sometimes it seems like absolutely nothing has gotten done all day.  Does that ever happen to you?  There's a cute little story that often makes the rounds of social media where a husband comes home to a crazy, messy house and he asks his wife "What happened here today?".  Her reply is “You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day? . . . Well, today I didn’t do it.”    Yep, that's me.  I'm "doing" but no one is "noticing."

So, for today, I'm just going to make a list of what I do accomplish.  (I like a good list!)  I guess I'm "tooting my own horn" just so that I'm reminded that I'm not invisible.
  1. Animals fed and watered -- inside and outside.  There's a dog and a cat inside, three dogs and five puppies outside.  Just shoot me.
  2. Laundry -- 6 loads completed and there was even a snafu with the dryer.  
  3. Breakfast -- I made sure my kids were fed.  Yay, me
  4. Trying out a new assignment plan for school.  And so far, it's working.  It's simple -- composition notebooks that I wrote the day's tasks in for each child plus little squares so they can check off what they complete.  It gives us all a plan and makes sure that subjects are being done in a timely manner.  I was also able to include some Scripture for them to read through and copy (which helps with Bible Drill) and a few chores each one needs to do to help the family run smoothly.  Did I mention that I like a good list?
  5. Supper -- sausage, butterbeans, and corn are thawing in the sink.  I'm not sure what I'm going to make with the sausage yet, but it will come.  Whatever I decide on, there will be a pan of cornbread to go along with it.  Yum!
  6. Robotics meetings planned for the week.
  7. A bit of Blog Maintenance done -- including scheduling a post or two.  Whoop!  Whoop!  
  8. Chauffeured the Eagle Scout to and from work and the Princess to and from Girl Scouts
  9. Accompanied the MainMost as he served his parents.
  10. Scored two new candles (I go through a TON of candles) on sale at Hobby Lobby.
  11. Finished the day with everyone still intact.  That's gotta count for something.  

So all in all, I'm calling it a successful day.  Toot!  Toot!
How did you measure success today?
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Monday, October 5, 2015

GOD's Word is REAL -- Sharing Scripture (Week 2) on HOPE

HE’s the HOPE that holds me, and the STRONGHOLD to shelter me, The only GOD for me, and my great confidence.” Psalm 91:2

I had planned to "DIG into GOD's WORD" all throughout the month of August and I failed to do so.  Life got in the way of LIFE and I allowed satan to spread his lies and shatter my hope.  That's a tough one to admit.  My son called me a hypocrite today, and I guess the truth is that he's correct.  So many times the circumstances of my every day beat me up and drain my confidence in HIM.  I KNOW that GOD loves me.  I KNOW that HE cares about me.  I KNOW that I am HIS.  But more often than not, I take the valleys of this world to heart and I am reminded of my past and I feel like a failure and the troubles around me press in on all sides to the point where I simply forget to breathe.

I forget that HE is my REFUGE..
I forget that HE is my FORTRESS.
I forget that HE is my ROCK.
I forget that HE is my SHELTER.
I forget.

I forget that HE is always available and I forget to crawl right up into HIS lap for comfort.
I forget that my HOPE is found in HIM.

And now, I dig in.  I am planting my feet and reclaiming my HOPE.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll be less of a hypocrite and more authentic.  Maybe, just maybe, my HOPE will be restored.

Psalm 39:7 says "And so, LORD, where do I put my HOPE? My only HOPE is in YOU."

Psalm 62:5 says "Let all that I am wait quietly before GOD, for my HOPE is in HIM."

Jeremiah 29:11 says  "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future."

Where do you put your HOPE?  What Scriptures remind you to cling to HIM with all HOPE?
I'd love to hear from you as I wait quietly before the LORD.

This Day Has Great Potential
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Paths of Wisdom {Scripture & a Snapshot}

Celebrating friendship and love at The Place to Be,

I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.

Scripture and Snapshot
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Finding Noah {movie review} #findingNoah #flyby

My favorite Bible verse has long been Genesis 9:13 which says "I do set my bow in the cloud and it shall be a token of a covenant between ME and the earth."  It speaks to my heart as it is GOD's promise to us that we will never again feel the total destruction of a flood as experienced by Noah.  I like that Every.Single.Time it rains, we are reminded of GOD's promise.  Without fail, HE shows us how very much we are loved.  As a result, I've cherished the biblical accounting of Noah and the Ark and I've enjoyed studying the literature of the many different cultures that share their own take on the Ark.  Did you realize that Noah is one biblical story that almost every culture shares in storytelling?  Even further evidence (if you needed any) that the Bible is TRUE.

People have been looking for Noah's actual Ark for generations, and are now closer than ever to finding it.  Scientific evidence points to its physical existence and experts are determined to touch it for themselves.  I recently had the distinct privilege of watching the movie, FINDING NOAH, which takes the viewer on an adventure in faith following the evidence (and hanging out with the experts--pastors, missionaries, and scientists) on a quest to find the Ark.  (Check out the trailer here!  FINDING NOAH hits theaters Thursday for a special one-day showing.  You're going to want to check it out.)  

It is fascinating to hear men speak of first-hand knowledge of the Ark and hear the stories of those who are quite positive they've seen evidence of it resting on Mount Ararat.  It is even more fascinating to watch the search and be a part of the actual climb as men stretch their hands forward in the quest to touch that which offers PROMISE to us all.  You'll be in awe of the beauty captured in the cinematography and you'll feel the bitter cold as the winds blow pelting hail all around the Base Camp.  But even more, you'll be invited to listen in as the adventurers take on the treacherous path and find themselves in full-on worship of a living GOD.

About the film:  For over 2,000 years, man has been searching for the final resting place of Noah's Ark.  Though there have been many attempts, few have been able to fully explore the one place specifically noted in the Bible: Mount Ararat.  Located in Eastern Turkey, Agri Dagh or "The Painful Mountain" is the tallest mountain in the region and lies in the very center of a centuries old, geo-politically unstable hot spot.  With constant threats of deadly rock slides, hidden crevasses, and glacial ice falls, the Kurdish Rebel held mountain poses great risk to any explorer, let alone those performing a thorough scientific investigation.

Join director/producer Brent Baum and the FINDING NOAH film crew as they follow an expedition of intrepid explorers on a perilous trek up to Mt. Ararat's desolate summit.  There, using state of the art technology and real-time satellite imagery, this team of archaeologists, scientists, and professional mountaineers will begin a grid work of exploration unlike any before, hoping to finally resolve the age-old question:  did Noah and his Ark actually exist?  

Shot in never-before filmed locations in the harshest of conditions, this unprecedented feature-length documentary shows just how far men are willing to go to discover the truth.  Narrated by Academy Award nominee Gary Sinise, FINDING NOAH is more than a quest for answers, it is a testament of the human spirit, where belief and the need for exploration transcend risk and limitation.  

Genre: Documentary
Rating: NR 
Runtime: 116 minutes 
Release Date (ONE NIGHT ONLY): October 8

Family Friendly
For thousands of years, man has embarked upon the journey of the impossible and in the end finds himself and who he is designed to be.  This journey is no different.  In visiting the mountaintop of Mount Ararat, members of the Ark recovery team realize they are abundantly blessed by GOD and learn to worship in an entirely new way.  They are able to proclaim victory through HIS PROMISE.  What a beautiful telling of faith and hope for such a time as this.

For more information about the film, please visit the following Social Media sites:    


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post."

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Random 5 on Friday -- October 2

1.  Good friends are worth their weight in gold.  My boy is blessed to have some of the very best.

The Bros

2.  Puppies are just cute.

But we're still not keeping any of them.

3.  This is the perfect start to a robotics season:

4. Lunch with the MainMost always makes for a good day.

5.  Co-Lin is still The Place to Be.  Hanging out with friends from almost 30 years ago is just as much fun now as it was then.  Great job, guys!  Y'all are my favorite tenors.

Getting Started

The Grand Finale

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other gold.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Schoolhouse Review: Middlebury Interactive Language -- French I #hsreviews

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

You might remember that I was excited last year about Middlebury Interactive Languages and I shared with you that it was developed specifically for students by linguistic experts.  The Boy Scout enjoyed studying German during his Sophomore year so it was only fair that the Princess have a chance to study the language of her choosing this year.  Middlebury Interactive Languages offers full semester Spanish, French, Chinese, and German courses for students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade and they even offer an Arabic course during their Summer Language Academy.  With so many languages to choose from, I thought the Princess might have difficulty deciding which one to study, but she didn't hesitate when I asked her choice.  The Princess chose to begin meeting her High School foreign language requirements with High School French I.  Designed for students in grades 9 - 12, she is absolutely loving the language study and requests to begin every school day on the computer immersed in the French culture.  She started a French notebook (without prompting from me) and is content to spend hours studying, reading, and repeating.  Her studies have ignited a love of all things French and I'm enjoying watching her as she looks up new recipes and pores over travel sites.

Middlebury Interactive Languages makes learning languages both fun AND interesting for students through the online resources provided.  Students begin each unit with objectives spelled out for them -- they understand what they'll learn and how much they'll know at the end of each unit.  From spelling and vocabulary to speaking and pronunciation, students are provided ample opportunity to practice the language through audio, video, matching games, speaking labs, listening, and reading.  In a cultural-immersion atmosphere, plenty of PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE is abundant.  Not only is the language of French being taught, but the culture of France is being discussed as well.  My Princess can see the language, speak the language, hear the language, read the language, write the language, and understand the language all from the comfort of her home.  She is surrounded by the sights and sounds of a foreign land without even applying for a passport and says she can almost taste and smell the goodness that comes along with it.  Breads, pastries, and cheese anyone?
 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

Taught in two semesters, French I consists of 36 units (18 units per semester).  Each unit is broken down into 5 lessons for a total of 90 lessons per semester.  Working just one lesson a day gives students plenty of time to complete an entire series of units in one semester.  As students work through the individual lessons, quizzes test their comprehension and recording their voices tests their pronunciation.  In addition, each semester has built-in midterms and final exams.  Most all of these tests are automatically graded.  The Princess is currently studying the first semester of French I.  With absolutely no background in French, she has been able to step right in and grasp the language study all by herself.  And that's a very good thing since this momma has no foreign language expertise at all.  It's pretty impressive to me that my child can learn French independently.  Middlebury Interactive Languages makes for outsourced homeschool at its finest.

As much as she enjoys her French class, I might like it even more.  Middlebury Interactive Languages offers a super-easy way to include foreign language in our homeschool environment.  My only role is to provide accountability for completed assignments.  Truly there is no prep work for me and my daughter loves what she's learning.  Could it get any better than that?  The program's calendar automatically makes assignments (which I can adjust if necessary) and my daughter can log onto the website and work at her own pace.  No matter where we are or which device she is logging in from, her place has been saved and her work awaits.

 Middlebury Interactive Languages proved an invaluable resource to us last year and continues to be a trustworthy source of inspiration for us this year.  Here's what my girl had to say:
I like French because it's fun, but not hard to learn.  From the very first time I sat down to study, I walked away being able to say a sentence.  It has gotten easier and easier for me.  I am really learning the language and I'm proud of myself.

I like fun mixed with learning and appreciate that my daughter finds success with this program.  For more information, you can find  Middlebury Interactive Languages on the following Social Media platforms:

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Middlebury Interactive Languages as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Girl Scouts Take New Orleans {wordless Wednesday}

What a great trip we had Saturday with the Senior Girl Scouts.  These are some amazing young ladies and they had tons of fun together in the Big Easy. 

Shopping in the French Market

Getting their Mardi Gras on

St. Louis Cathedral

enjoying art in the French Quarter

Beignets at Cafe Du Monde

Cafe Du Monde French Market Coffee Stand

Street Performers

Four-legged friends

Moms on Carriage Tours

And they're off to explore the historical Quarter

The Mighty Mississippi and the Mississippi River Bridge

preparing to JUMP at Sector 6

all for one and one for all -- let the party begin

Exhausted and still smiling after a day of sisterhood

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
"Let the good times roll"

I'm linking up today with my fellow Crewbies, Wendy (over at Life at Rossmont) and Karen (over at Tots and Me).  Check out the link up for more "Wordless Wednesday" posts.

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont


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