Transition Update for May and June

Hello sweet friends!
This week has been a long one, with lots of ups and downs, for both the guys in Virginia as well as here in Florida with me and the kids. 
We received an offer (a very low offer) from an investor on our house that is for sale. We decided not to take the offer.

God is so GOOD!

At the very last minute (seriously, the day we took the house off the market and realized we were going to lose it through foreclosure) we received an offer to rent instead of sell.

The amazing part is that the renters were looking for temporary accommodations because of construction happening at their own house, so the insurance paid 3 months UPFRONT including deposits! So we are able to pay the past due balance on the mortgage as well as fund our travel to Virginia and get set up there.

This past week in Virginia…

Kris (my husband ) and Mike (my oldest son) have started placing some important pieces on the puzzle of the property. 

1. They have continued to clean up the cabin and the land and prepare for us to come. They have widened and cut paths, clearing out tall grass and cutting back the encroachment of the forest.
2. They built a small bridge over a very mucky area that was in the path down to the cabin. They dug out a small bed to let the water flow under the bridge. This is just a small step in making the area safer.
3. A contractor came to look at the layout of the land to help Kris understand what is possible for laying a pad for the rv to park. This guy, Mike, was very helpful! He let us know how we can lower the cost by doing some of the work ourselves and what would be necessary for Kris to do before Mike can start the work.
4. They got all the lanterns working properly so they can have light once the sun goes down. This is a huge morale booster for them!
5. They got a temporary shower installed so they can stop bathing in the pond, which they are very grateful for.
6. They have begun planning on where to set up a proper bathroom system and getting the list of supplies necessary to build it this coming week.
7. They scheduled a well company to come out this coming week to search the property for well placement and to test the ground. This is a HUGE step in preparing for us to join them!

Here in Florida

We have continued our life as normal.

1. We went on a field trip to the Daytona Museum of Arts and Sciences and had a great week at homeschool 
2. We had fun at the park getting out some energy and getting our Physical Education Outing for the week 
3. Trayce and Daelynn visited with their friends to prepare to say goodbye 
4. Elijah spent the night with Gran E., Kris’ mom. They went out to eat and enjoyed the pool!
5. We all went swimming and enjoyed the company of our dear hosts (where we are parked currently)
6. Trayce and Daelynn volunteered with a local theater. They helped run concessions, took tickets and helped with seating, and helped in cleanup afterwards.
7. I started working on sewing a new dress from some extra fabric. The neckline didn’t come out correctly and I have to rework that today
8. Elijah officially learned to swim, culminating in 2 swimming trips without his floaty. He is so overjoyed about this and we are very proud of him!

And last, but not least…

we just uploaded a new VLOG on YouTube! Make sure to check it out! (Link below) I give a  short tour of our travel trailer, discussing how to think differently about organization in a tiny space. And Trayce gives a mini-tutorial on making a sourdough starter. (If you want specific directions on the starter just pop me an email or message and I can get more info for ya). 

I am working to finish my blog post for the week. In continuing my “Simple Devotion Series” I discuss how I simplified parenting. Keep you eyes peeled for that. Hopefully it will be finished this weekend!
We pray that  you have an amazing week this coming week and that you will be blessed!
Much Love,
Kris and Brandy
Here’s a link to the VLOG
You can also access it easily from our website. 

Homeschool Under Government Threat

If you are a fellow homeschooling family, I urge you to keep your eye on this situation. I am not a Illinois or Idaho resident, but laws like this one being proposed are a threat to all of us. I completely understand the heart behind this is safety of the children, and I wholeheartedly support efforts to keep children safe, however treating parents as criminals with no reason behind it completely goes against the grain of freedom that our great country stands for. How can the government be allowed to require welfare checks from social services 4 times a year for families that have never been inquired upon as being neglectful or abusive? An even bigger question is how can we protect children who are being abused under the false flag of homeschooling while also protecting the freedom of legitimate homeschooling families? Please let me know your thoughts below.

Check out this new legislation.

www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/news/state-lawmakers-target-homeschoolers-for-intrusive-in-house-visits-without

A Slow Day with Fibromyalgia

Well I knew this day would come when Kris told me to pull the kids out of public school for good.

This morning I woke up around 7 am and I could feel the heaviness in my body and the fogginess in my mind.

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If you don’t have fibromyalgia then it’s hard to explain, but if you do it’s a feeling we know all to well. The best way to describe it is how you feel that first day you wake up with a legitimate case of the flu. Not a bad cold, the REAL flu. Your body feels like it weighs a thousand pounds, every movement takes all the effort you can muster, and your mind feels like it has been drugged. It’s almost like you can’t see clearly or think clearly. EVERYTHING is a huge effort, even just getting out of bed.

So this morning that’s how I woke up feeling. Most times when a fibro-sufferer wakes up in a flare (that’s what we call these episodes) we just go back to sleep. This morning Trayce came in my room, checking on me since it was already 2 hours past when we’ve been starting our school day. My entire bed was wet, along with my hair and clothes, from the sweats I get with the flares. I knew today was one of those days that I struggle just to exist.

Thank God that I gave the kids instructions ahead of time for how to function when mommy has bad days. Daelynn and Trayce went ahead and made breakfast for themselves and for Elijah. They cleaned up a little and did their morning chores. Trayce let me know that he went ahead and did some of his math and some of his grammar that he didn’t need help on.

Planning ahead of time for the bad days has been one of those things that I’m so grateful that I did BEFORE it happens.

Another thing I do to prepare is how I lay out my meal plans each week.

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I plan each week to cook dinner for two days in a row. On the third day we have “leftover night” or “find your own food” night. I have a large family and so I make large amounts of food. We usually always have left over food from dinner. So on every third day we pull out everything in the fridge from the last two nights and warm it all up for dinner. In the case that dinner was a hit and there’s not much left over it becomes a “find your own food night “. On those nights pretty much anything is up for grabs that isn’t needed for dinner on other nights. Think sandwiches, cereal, oatmeal, etc.

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This system has been such a blessing to me because I don’t wear myself out cooking huge meals every single day, as well as how it helps me whenever I’m not feeling well. Any of the bigger kids can handle warming up food or making sandwiches. Even Elijah can pour himself a bowl of cereal or make himself a sandwich.

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I feel like teaching our kids how to do simple things for themselves as well as having conversations beforehand to prepare them for what is expected of them even if mom isn’t supervising, is a major step in teaching them self-sufficiency and maturity.

Isn’t it our whole goal to teach them how to be great adults, loving the Lord and serving others unselfishly?

As I sit here in my bed at 1pm I can rest peacefully knowing that I’ve prepared my family well.

If you have fibromyalgia how do you prepare for those bad days? Let’s share some ideas in the comments to help each other out!

Much Love,

Brandy

January Character Study For Our Family

Over the past few months we have seen some changes in our children, and not necessarily for the good. The kids have been arguing much more often among themselves. The attitude of disrespect has been elevated in our teenagers and it has been rubbing off on the younger ones. Kris and I came together and had a long discussion about this in December and made a plan for the New Year on how to rectify this situation. We love the Lord and want our children to grow in discipleship to God as well as to become great examples as they shine their lights into the world.

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Here’s a peek into our plan….

For the month of January we have been studying “Christian Virtues”. The first thing that we do in the morning after breakfast is to pray over our day and thank God for it. After that we all open the Bible and read/discuss different verses on the topics we are discussing. For example, over the last two weeks we have looked at different verses discussing our speech, what our speech should be like, and how important our speech is to God. Everyone is involved in this, even Elijah who can’t yet read the Bible (He sits quietly and listens and I make sure to involve him in questions and explanations) I am the one who leads this devotion in the mornings as part of our school-day (Brandy).

Here are a few of the verses we have looked at in our morning devotions:

Genesis 11:1,7,9 1:27, 2:18-20, Luke 1:20,64- Speech is a gift from God and He is insistent upon our obedience

Genesis 2:18-20- God designed us specifically for speech

Psalm 34:1, 50:23, 145:5 Proverbs 11:11, 14:25, 15:1, 16:24, 25:11-13, Ephesians 4:14-15- Our speech is to praise God. When we speak it should be to encourage and uplift others. Our speech should glorify God and so we shouldn’t misuse this gift

Psalm 10:4,6,11 James 3, Ezekiel 35:12-14 Romans 1:21, Proverbs 11:9, 12:18, 18:8 Matthew 12:34-35- Our speech is to be pure, not  cause division or be immoral. We should not complain and argue. 

Nehemiah 1:1-11- We should use our speech to communicate with God in prayer (Jesus is our example. Look at how many times he left the crowds to go and pray. If he had to stay in direct communication with the Father, how much more important should it be to us?)

After school is finished I spend some extra time with Elijah about different ways to use these lessons in his life. I have chosen to use our reading time for this. Here are a few of the books that we have been looking at to go along with this study. He has really enjoyed them and I can definitely see the change in his behavior after this time together.

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Your local library will usually have a section on manners and being a good citizen. You can ask the librarian to help you find this section. We have really enjoyed reading these types of books together. I have about 5 different books about praise to God and His great creations (which I encourage Elijah to notice and thank God for). I also have about 5 books on manners, such as not interrupting, being respectful, bullying, etc. It has been really good because I can link these things back to our speech lesson from the morning devotion. The “Praise the Lord, My Soul” book is just beautiful!!

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In the evenings, after dinner, Kris leads the family devotion time. This one is a little over Elijah’s head for understanding but he has enjoyed sitting, listening, and asking questions.

In this study we have been looking at the different Christian Virtues in the Bible. This includes Devotional Life, Love and Compassion, Contentment and Stewardship, Humility, Speech, Purity, Honesty, Faith and Trust, Obedience, and Christian Service. 

Kris has each person look up a verse listed and read it out-loud, then we all discuss it and answer any questions listen in the study for that verse. We take turns doing this so that everyone has practice looking up verses and reading.

Here is a link to the study we have been using. Even though it’s from a different denomination than we are a part of, it has EXCELLENT coverage of these Biblical topics! You can either order a copy of the booklet, or you can use the free PDF version and print it out.

The biggest evangelism and discipleship assignment that Kris and I currently have are our children. We cannot assume that in just two hours of church a week that they are receiving all the Biblical knowledge that they need. Teaching our children about God is OUR JOB and it goes hand in hand with the church.

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But be careful to not just teach- You must also LIVE IT in front of them.

I hope this helps inspire you to dig into a deeper study of the Scriptures with your family. Have fun learning and making necessary changes together as one.

What are you currently studying with your family? Leave me a comment below and help inspire others. 🙂