Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Our First Food Box Pickup

Our little church decided it was time to get our name out in the community. Janell found a ministry based in Philadelphia called Share Food. It didn't take long for us to figure out that this program was a really great fit for our church and community. Once a month anyone can order a box of nutritious, fresh food for $20. The box is worth $35-$40. We made fliers and passed them out and in our first month we had 41 boxes of food ordered. So last Saturday, Janell, Grandad, Aliza, Renee and I drove to Cambridge to pick up our boxes.
We loaded those boxes into 2 minivans.
There was also a pallet of Kind granola bars that were free. Thankfully those boxes were small and we filled all the empty spaces with Kind boxes.
When we got back to the church others were there to help unload. The children added the lettuce to each box. The meat also had to be bagged separately.
Everything ready for pickup! We had quite a greeting crew and the men and children carried boxes to the cars for the people who ordered. It was fun to meet everyone and give our church building an additional use.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Homeworks Consultant Spotlight

(I wrote this article for Homeworks by Precept. It was originally published on their site and I decided that I wanted it here also. )

Carla Heslop lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, just south of Delaware. She graduated from Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and worked in grant management for five years. Carla met her husband, Jeremy, during college and they have been married 18 years. They have been blessed with four children, ages 13, 11, 8 and 4. When schoolwork for the day is finished and the housework is reasonably completed, Carla enjoys documenting family life in the form of blogging and scrapbooking. She always has at least one book in progress and believes that an afternoon nap makes any day better.

While Carla was pursuing her master’s degree in social work and expecting their second child, her husband opened the discussion about homeschooling over supper one evening. Her daughter was 3 years old at the time, and Carla had never considered homeschooling as a possibility for educating her children. She just assumed her children would go to a private, Christian school. As the discussion continued that evening, it became clear that public school would not be an option and private school was going to be out of reach financially when tuition was multiplied by multiple children. Over the course of a few weeks, Carla grew into the idea of homeschooling if she could find a curriculum that she felt comfortable using without her having a background in education.

From the beginning, Carla knew that she did not want to piece together her own curriculum. She wanted lesson plans that she could follow and a scope and sequence that could be followed as long as her family thrived in homeschooling, whether that be that through 3rd grade or 12th grade. She also knew her personality was pretty traditional and structured. Additionally, she wanted a curriculum that closely mirrored private schools so that her children would be prepared to transfer into school if the need ever arose. On the other hand, if her children homeschooled through high school, she wanted a curriculum that would prepare them for higher education. Carla is known to say that she wants to give her children a private school education at home.

Carla’s curriculum research ultimately led her to talk to a HomeWorks by Precept consultant. That consultant was one of the first people that Carla talked to who homeschooled. At that time, homeschooling was not nearly as popular as it is on the Eastern Shore of Maryland now. The consultant talked Carla through the curriculum, how BJU Press Homeschool builds a biblical worldview into every subject, how the Distance Learning teachers teach directly to your child and are highly qualified educators, how Distance Learning teachers are there as a support for the parent not a replacement of the parent, and how there are many options built into the curriculum to adapt for different learning types. The two of them had a few more conversations over the next year and a half; and ultimately, Carla bought the entire kindergarten Distance Learning curriculum without seeing it in person. For the next seven years and counting, Carla continues to use the BJU Press Homeschool Distance Learning program exclusively.

It is not just because Carla loves the structure and ease of use of BJU Distance Learning; her children are thriving in their education. When her daughter was in 6th grade, she defended creation based on what she had learned in science during a discussion with a peer who had questions about evolution. Her 5th-grade son reads ahead in his reading book because he enjoys the stories and doesn’t want to stop at the chapter break. All three of Carla’s children who have completed kindergarten have cried during the last lesson because they will miss their teachers and the class mascot, Hopscotch.

Three years ago, Carla became a consultant with HomeWorks by Precept primarily because of her and her family’s enthusiasm and belief in the BJU Press Homeschool curriculum. It was a HomeWorks by Precept consultant that gave her the confidence to enter the homeschooling lifestyle, and she is so happy that she has the opportunity to reach out to other moms. As a HomeWorks consultant, Carla loves being able to share BJU Press Homeschool materials with others, build a relationship with them, and then stay connected and encourage them throughout their journey.

Meet the Author
Carla Heslop - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant

Friday, March 15, 2019

Celebrating Jeremy x 40

Given that 40 is a pretty special birthday, I decided that Jeremy should see his Mom on his birthday so we planned to go to WV for the weekend.

Jeremy's parents agreed that 40 was a pretty special birthday and decided that Jeremy should see his Texas brother on his birthday.

The Texas brother couldn't get off work so the weekend so he decided to come to our house during the week. And that is how Josh showed up on our doorstep at 8pm on March 6, three days before Jeremy's birthday. 

I knew Josh was coming, but Jeremy had no idea. We went to church as usual on Wednesday evening and came home. I was getting school ready for the next day and Jeremy had started getting the children ready for bed. When the car pulled in the driveway I told Jeremy he had to answer the door because I wasn't going to! Jeremy was completely surprised! 

Thursday evening Jeremy and Josh went to their parents house and the children and I went on Friday.

On Saturday, Matt met Jeremy, Joel and Van to watch a movie and Matt got to spend the evening hanging out with Jeremy and Josiah playing games at Joel's house.
Jeremy loves ice cream cake with the chocolate crunchies! His Mama did not disappoint!
This pretty great guy had a pretty great birthday! I'm so glad we grew up together and now we will grow old together!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Celebrating Aliza

This pretty girl is 13 and we celebrated her! The festivities started before her birthday with a shopping trip to pick out a dress for her birthday tea party.

For almost the past year, Aliza has been dreaming up her perfect birthday tea with me, Anna, her Grandmas and Aunts. The weekend finally arrived and a whole bunch of snow was predicted for West Virginia and Brandi and Karen had to make the decision that they would have to leave before Aliza's party. After the worst of the tears had passed, I had the idea of me, Aliza, Brandi and Karen going to Olive Garden Saturday evening before they left. That turned out to be a wonderful alternative plan.
Aunt Brandi and Aliza

Grandma Karen and Aliza
Olive Garden was one of the restaurants that Aliza has been wanting to try. Thankfully her dining experience was worth our 70 minute wait to be seated! She had a really fun evening topped off with walking the mall.
And then the tea party!
Janell decorated the table. Mom and I worked together to make the food.
Raspberry cordial was our nod to Anne of Green Gables. I made the raspberry concentrate and the house smelled SO good while it was cooking.

Potato soup, of course. Aliza loved the garnishes on top.
Sandwiches included these dill pickle bites. Aliza loves, loves, loves pickles.
These are the best scones that I've made to date. They are even dairy free so that Brandi could eat them.
Fruit tarts that Mom made. There were also cupcakes and ice cream that I didn't take a picture of. (oops.)
And chocolate covered strawberries.
Anna got to be one of the ladies. She used all of her energy to be proper and grown up.

Meghan, Aliza, Anna, Laura, Janell
Grandma and Aliza
Mom and Daughters
It is so fun to celebrate Aliza. I'm so proud of her. This season of teenager years are going to be fun!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Celebrating Josiah

Josiah had a pretty great birthday. Earlier in the week he had a couple friends over to play Fortnite. The 3 boys and Jeremy played together. At the end of the evening Josiah said that he could not have had more fun.
We gave him headphones and a desk chair. He's pretty sure he is grown up now!
Chocolate covered strawberries--his signature birthday dessert.
At Josiah's birthday party with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, He wanted me to sit right beside him.
I can't wait until it's warm enough for Josiah to be digging outside!
If you have an 8-12 year old boy, he NEEDS this Bible! Josiah heard Meghan talking about how much Gideon loves his and Josiah thought it sounded awesome. So Meghan got him one for his birthday.
Josiah is reading it cover to cover. I find him reading multiple times a day and after he's tucked in at night. He's 300 pages into it now. And he KNOWS what he is reading! It's SO neat!
It was very cold, but these 3 still got in a few minutes of soccer since Josiah got a goal.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Joy Dare::February

*All the birthday posts will be coming soon!* I had this post ready on Tuesday and thought I had published it! Oops!!

6149. Life giving conversation
6150. Safety driving on snow
6151. Individual snowflakes frozen on the windshield
6152. Smoothies and Aliza time
6153. Busy supper table.
 6154. Talking plans with Brian and Meghan
6155. SuperBowl talk time
6156. Playing around with our digital house model
6157. Sun, bikes, warmer temperatures
 6158. Started an outside cleanup project
6159. Several projects moving forward
6160. Schoolwork outside
 6161. Hearing the girls singing
6162. When Aliza's day takes a turn for the better
6163. Prayer and encouragement
6164. Night time smooth drive to WV
6165. Vising a little this morning
6166. Talking all day with Christie
6167. Really nice table mates
6168. Helping a vulnerable lady
6169. "Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right." Spurgeon
6170. Encouraging speakers
6171. Cheesecake Factory
6172. Better sleep
6173. Safe traveling day
6174. Hearing everyone's stories from the weekend
6175. Early morning empty grocery store
6176. Being able to pray
6177. Worship leading went so much better
6178. Grandad's stories
6179. Valentine family evening
6180. Marriage work=Starbucks date
6181. Goal setting
6182. Extra motivation to get school done
6183. Josiah said he couldn't have had more fun gaming with friends tonight
6184. Banana bread
6185. Rescheduled appointment
6186. Somehow getting everything accomplished
6187. "Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay." Ravi Zacharias
6188. Isaiah so excited about his "big" bed
6189. A little big of snow=home all day
6190. How much the children enjoy Superbook DVDs
6191. Watching the flock of robins in the yard
6192. Mineola Tangelo oranges straight from Florida
6193. An actual art curriculum
6194. Picking up groceries--so easy!
6195. "If my Bible is collecting dust and my conscience is being hushed, then my heart is in danger of being crushed." Lysa Terkheurst
6196. Time with Janell and Aliza
6197. Buying a dress and shoes for Aliza's birthday party
6198. A spontaneous slumber party
6199. French toast breakfast
6200. Afternoon hours with Jeremy
6201. Raspberries cooking for raspberry cordial
6202. My favorite t-shirt
 6203. Slime for Anna
6204. Making lists so I can think straight
6205. Letting our afternoon be quiet
6206. Anna did almost all of her schoolwork by herself
6207. Celebrating Josiah
6208. All his favorite foods
6209. He had such a good day be didn't want it to end. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Happy 13th Birthday Aliza!
You wonder what these teenage years will hold, but I am only excited about the next years hold for you. Your faith is strong, you think for yourself and have a clear sense of right and wrong. We are going to make lots of memories and have fun in the process! I'm so honored to be your Mom and have a front row seat in watching you become the young woman God created you to be.