About delgadokristy

Daughter of a King, Wife, and Homeschooling Mother of 4 children who loves worship, food, music, writing and adventure. I also have the audacious honor of photographing some of God's most beautiful people and views. This is my life. This is my story. These will be my legacies.

Fun-Schooling Baskets & Books Swaps

In this awesome new world of Fun-Schooling, there is this wonderfully beautiful way in which it’s founder, as I like to call her, organizes her children’s Fun-Schooling books and learning materials for the year. She takes baskets of all sizes, depending on the age of the child and the number of materials they will use for the year and in them she places together everything they will be using along with their Fun-Schooling journals.

The baskets include things like books they want to read for both fun reading and educational reading, magazines, their Fun-Schooling journals, of course, markers, colored pencils, flashcards or games. Each basket specifically tailored to that child’s interests and learning goals for the year.

As I am new to this journey and I am starting smack dab in the middle of the year, I am a bit limited on my own personal resources so I am using library books and we are limited to pretty much one Fun-Schooling journal for right now. After the first of the year, when my husband and I have had time to really sit down and discuss my new vision for our homeschool, I will be trying to gather some more Fun-Schooling journals as well as ordering some coordinating materials, supplies and books from Amazon to help enhance his learning each day.

The goal behind Fun-Schooling? To use delight directed educational avenues to teach your children through the use of library books or purchased books of your child’s desire to help them focus on the things they are passionate about and want to learn about. The biggest and most beautiful thing about Fun-Schooling is that it focuses on your child’s strengths and not their weaknesses, it allows them to right now, right where they are think about what they love to do or learn about or see and then begin to explore it fully and begin to build a foundation of learning about the things that will help them to grow into the career choice they want to someday call their own. It gives a child the opportunity to dream about their future and dive into the things, ideas and steps that will help them turn that dream into a reality.

So what does this look like exactly? Well, it looks a little like this:

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This is our beginning basket. I call it our beginning basket because we are just beginning our journey and so we are still working to combine a list of the things we want to learn about. Our first goal was to go to the library on Tuesday and find books that would help my son to learn about the top 4 things he listed he wanted to learn about in his journal: 1. 10 generations after Jubal and Tubal Cain, 2. small dinosaurs, 3. the human body, and 4. volcanoes. These are only a few of the books we got. The others are in our library bag. Once he reads one book and fully has all the information he desires to take from it, we will replace it with another book. In our basket you will also find his Arithmetic book, a Writing book, his Minecraft Book of Secrets “diary”, His Bible lesson workbooks (we use ACE for this for right now but there are some amazing Fun-Schooling ones I hope to get and use instead!), and his Apologia Flying Creatures Junior Notebooking Journal. My son LOVES Math and Science. They are favorite subjects. He has done very well with ABeka Math so we will keep that to supplement with our Fun-Schooling Math journals once we get one of them and we will also keep his Science as he LOVES Apologia. It is very hands on and creative and fun. If he loves it we keep it and if it steals his joy, in the closet it is going until I sale them at the end of the school year or donate them.

NO MORE JOY THIEVES IN OUR HOME!!!!!!

Fun-Schooling also looks a little like this:

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Today we only got our Math done. We didn’t even really get to do any pages from our Fun-Schooling Journal and you know what? I don’t even feel guilty! Why? Because today, Mister M got a LOT of physical education as we played dodge ball, jumped in a bounce house and played tag with our Military Homeschool Group. He got in a LOT of reading today due to the Book Swap the group was hosting and we got SO many new and amazing books while we got to trade in some old ones that were duplicates or were books we wouldn’t be rereading. Do you notice any particular books in there that stand out? In case you didn’t, we found TWO different books that are about the Human Body, one of the things Mister M wants to learn about this  year. We were so happy to snag them up. He read all the way home, read to his baby sister at my doctor’s appointment, read all the way home again and then read up until dinner and our friends arrived for playdate and cupcakes! There is also a couple of Geronimo books we snagged that include dinosaurs in their story!!! Double Win! And of course, we got so many other amazing books as well and a fun I Spy Game. Have I mentioned I have a book problem? We’ll talk more about that later.

Fun-schooling also looks a little like this:

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Mister M has a huge heart for community service. He is always trying to think of ways that he can do something to help or bless others in his community so we look for every opportunity we can to do things in the community. Our Military Homeschool Group made Christmas ornaments and then delivered them to a local Senior Adult Living Apartment Complex where they sang Christmas Carols and gave out lots of hugs. On the ride there and back, we took note of the things we saw in our community we might not have seen yet. Colors on the trees, birds we saw in yards, and other things all around us. When we got home, he recorded some of those things in his Science Nature Book he created for his Notebooking Journal.

I don’t have this all quite figured out yet but what I have discovered is that learning takes place in EVERY thing we do together. It’s when we work through Arithmetic worksheets, make bird houses for Science, when we sing Christmas carols, when we go to the library, when we build, when we talk and when we cuddle together to read a good book. Our education happens in every moment of every day and it truly can be FUN. It can be delightful and wonderful and it can teach my son to explore. create, and think outside the box. This entire week has been full of smiles and wonder. There have been zero arguments over school time or tears shed from frustration and chaos and feeling “behind”.  For the first time in two years, it has felt like FREEDOM.

Fun-Schooling has been AMAZING so far and we are both so excited for tomorrow! As I purchase and gather more of the Fun-Schooling Journals, I will take some pictures of those to show you as well and let you see what we are doing in them and with them each day! And of course, I will share life and other fun details because that’s just what I do.

If you feel like you relate to where I have been and where I am going, perhaps Fun-Schooling will help you find your joy again too! Don’t be afraid to take a risk, to break away from the mold, to let go of your expectations. Sometimes the greatest journeys in life come when we stop following a map and just drive.

If I have peaked your interest, stay tuned. There is SO much more to come!

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤

 

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Enough is Enough – The Flip to Fun-Schooling

When I began my homeschooling journey two years ago, I honestly had no idea of what homeschooling should look like. I had not witnessed in any real fashion, what homeschooling truly was. I had heard talk of curriculums and Co-ops. I had met friends who homeschooled and their children seemed full of life and excited about their education. I had a lot of preconceived ideas and images in my mind but none of them have truly been accurate.

I, like so many others who have gone before me, became obsessed with making sure that I was giving my child the best education he could possibly  have. Never once asking some very valid and important questions in the beginning. Questions such as: How does my son learn? What does my son love to learn about? What are my sons strengths and weaknesses? What does my son envision doing with his life? What are my sons passions? These are all wonderful questions to ask but in kindergarten I did not think that these questions would apply. After all, he was only five years old. How was he supposed to know what he loves to learn about or what he is passionate about? He hadn’t even yet come to understand such words as passion or learning styles.

How very wrong I was.

Had I taken the time to really look at my son and watch as his life taught him, I might have been able to catch glimpses of some very valuable and important hints that answered these questions. Hints like the way he could sit for hours and watch and learn about anything pertaining to space, how he loved to play Minecraft even though he was still learning to navigate such a game, how he loved for me to read to him, how he loved books in general for that matter. In addition to these things, my son had a great attention span but he would also get restless if he sat for too long doing one thing. While watching television, he also needed to have something in his hands whether it was crayons drawing a story image from his mind, the trains he would chug along the wooden tracks, or legos to build towers with. His mind never stopped working and wondering and questioning.

What exactly led me to believe that my creative and explorative sweet boy would be satisfied sitting at a desk for 5+ hours a day doing worksheet after worksheet and tests and special writing projects I honestly have no idea. Perhaps it was my images of the classrooms I grew up in – the very classrooms that in so many ways made me feel inferior and often snuffed out my creative sparks. Perhaps it was the need to mold to what the world around me deemed as the right kind of education for my child – the very mold that has often and in many ways forgotten that my child doesn’t learn the same way that 25-30 other students do. Perhaps it was the need to  prove to my terrified self that I would not fail – the need to prove I was good enough, worthy enough to truly educate my son. Perhaps it was all the above and so much more. Whatever led me to this very wrong assumption, it was certainly from a place of my own insecurity rather than the confidence in understanding my son and the calling God had given me to homeschool.

in just two years time, I had taken my sweet and incredibly smart boy who created his very own goals for kindergarten, who loved to learn and explore, who couldn’t wait to start school with Mommy and I had begun to transform him into a child who just wanted to get the worksheets done so he didn’t have to think about them anymore, who wanted to just stay in his room to avoid having to do another boring and long day of the exact same work he had been doing for weeks on end. He lost his desire to explore the world around him, he lost the excitement of new lessons. The only time I would even see a spark of joy was when we sat aside his regular work and did just a fun Science Day or we watched an educational video or just spent time reading. He would retain information like a sponge and his questions and his reasoning blew me away. Then once we returned back to our regular work, all the light was gone. There was only a dim expression from a small boy who just wanted to LIVE his education. He just wanted to learn about things that he could use in his every day life. He wanted to learn Math but not the same concepts over and over that he already knew. He would beg with me to do something different but I refused because we had a curriculum and he was a “Straight A” student. We were showing our family, friends and community that homeschool works.

Except for when it wasn’t. Which was basically every day.

Even as I type these words, my heart grieves. You see, I was homeschooling to prove I could do it. I was homeschooling to make sure my son met the world’s standards of intelligent and educated. I was homeschooling the very opposite way that God had intended and I had failed my son and forgotten him amidst my daily lesson plans and test planning and extra writing assignments. I was literally killing my son’s creative vision and joy for learning. I was taking from him his spirit and passion. All to fit a mold. All to fit my own need to be enough.

Over the last few months, I have spend many nights in tears, exhausted from the overwhelming struggle to get anything done. The stress of balancing my son’s school work load, an infant, two dogs, my household chores and all the other responsibilities I had resting upon me. I kept asking God for help and all I kept hearing was, “Let it all go.”

“Let it all go? Are you kidding me? I have worked SO HARD to hold this all together”, I told the Lord with desperation and disgust in my voice. “I have spent hours planning, I have bought this incredible curriculum, I have worked endlessly to make sure he gets every last bit of it done and I kill myself to catch up when he falls behind. You want me to just LET GO?!?!?!?!?!”

And His reply: “Yes. Just like that. LET IT ALL GO.”

Either God had lost His mind or I had and I think we all know the answer here. So, after months and weeks of arguing, constantly struggling with throwing our curriculum to the wind and then running back to gather it up again and try to figure out how we could catch up, I found myself again on my knees this past weekend. Tearfully, I laid in my bed and listened as my mind told me I was a failure. Wept as I convinced myself that I was not enough. I was not adequate. That the problem was me.

And suddenly I heard, “The problem IS you. You refuse to listen to me and  just let go. My child…just let go. I promise you I have a plan.”

In mostly desperation mixed with a lot of exhaustion and anger I finally agreed and I fell asleep. I slept so soundly that night and that one night only might I add. (Thanks Little Miss M.) When I awoke Monday morning, I felt this determination to change. I felt this need to give my homeschool back to God. So I did and then I walked into our homeschool room that morning, walked over to our shelf with ALL of our curriculum and teacher texts and I gathered them all up (minus Arithmetic and Handwriting) and I packed them up.

I PACKED THEM UP! Put them away in the closet and then I turned to my son who was now standing behind me with wide eyes and said, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

Confusion was definitely very apparent at this point. He had a lot of questions. Was he in trouble? Was I sick? Was he having to go to public school (I must admit that the gasp and look of horror when he asked this had me laughing for a good 10 minutes.) Was I in trouble? Was I going crazy? What was happening? Each question received the same answer of no with a giggle.

I told him we were going to build something for school work. He looked at me shocked but ran to get his blocks before I changed my mind. We built a whole cabin. Then I told him he could play in his room for bit. He again, looked at me with this strange look of shock surely thinking something was going on but again, darted up the stairs before I changed my mind. After that we did one sheet of Math which he finished in just under 10 minutes front and back and then I told him he could pick a book to read.

The freedom to read a book he enjoyed rather than from the assigned readers lit his face up with delight. He read for almost 45 minutes. I had to STOP him to get ready for us to go to the store. He was sorely disappointed.

We had a very relaxed and minimal day of school and we spent the night watching Christmas movies and laughing together. It was glorious. Right up until, I tucked my son in bed and went down to the homeschool room to respond to some emails. As soon as I walked in, the closet seemed to be all I could focus on and my mind was racing. What was I thinking? I couldn’t just not use the curriculum we paid for! I couldn’t just throw it aside and be done with it! Had I lost my mind? Yes. I had lost my mind. I literally got up from my chair and darted to the closet to reach up and grab the basket of curriculum but instead I got smacked, literally, in the head with a Fun-Schooling Journal I had tucked away in the closet for “fun time”. I rubbed my head and then started to grab it to toss it back up into the closet and then I stopped.

See, over the last few months I had become obsessed with this Fun-Schooling method. I spent hours researching it, reading the reviews, and scouring over the endless amounts of journals I found on Amazon. I secretly dreamed of this method of schooling in our own home. I thought it must be heaven to be able to just teach your child that way with no guilt. How I envied the author of these journals. She seemed to teach her children with ease because they were in essence, teaching themselves. How could she school this way and be confident in it? Again, tears began to well up in my eyes as I heard my Father speak to me, “My child. When will you learn that you are enough? You asked for a plan, a way and here it is.”

I sat in the middle of my floor and began to scour over the journal. I thought about the things that Mister M might explore with this small, fun journal. I thought about the things I had been seeing online and the review I had recently given on my homeschool group page encouraging others to use them. Why was I not fully using it myself? And then I flipped to the beginning of the book and there scrawled on the page was a list of things Maximus had written that he wanted to learn about:

  1. Who were the 10 generations of the Bible that came after Jubal and Tubal-Cain?
  2. Small dinosaurs.
  3. How the human body works.
  4. Volcanoes.

And I was instantly certain this was God. No looking back. I closed the closet and said, “God, I am giving you my homeschool. Every detail. I am taking a HUGE risk here. I am not even consulting my husband so please forgive me but I am trusting you and I am going to do this. No more full ABeka. No more hours on end of insanely repetitive work. I am going to let you show me how to teach my son. I am letting go. Completely.”

And I did.

Now, I cannot tell you how this story ends because, well, it is just beginning but I can tell you that when we let go and just let God work through us, the ending is usually pretty stellar. I can’t tell you I am not going to struggle along the way but I can tell you that I serve a God who is already in that struggle waiting to help us walk through it with grace and mercy.

And, so begins our Fun-Schooling journey. We will keep only our Arithmetic workbook and writing workbook as he was learning to write cursive but that too will be replaced with the Fun-Schooling “Creative Comic Book Cursive and Spelling: Do It Yourself Journal” as soon as I am able to purchase it.

I am going to take back my homeschool for God and for my sanity. I am going to let my son be the creative, outside the box learner he is and I am going to stop trying to meet a standard I was never meant to chase after. That cycle stops here for me and my children. We are all enough and this is OUR journey. Just as I tell my homeschool group every single week almost, “The curriculum doesn’t rule me, I rule the curriculum”.

I can’t wait to share our journey with you more regularly and I cannot wait to encourage other Moms to just let go and let their children learn and explore outside the confines of what the world says is best. This is our home, this is our school, these are our children and we can choose to say enough is enough and do it the better way. The fun way. The Fun-Schooling way.

It’s never too late to flip your homeschool upside down and start fresh. Never.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy Delgado, The newest member of the Fun-Schooling Moms Club ❤

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Oh Baby: An Overdue Update

I have not done the greatest job updating or writing as of late. Life has been well, a bit of an adjustment.

Our sweet Little Miss M arrived last June. Things did not go quite as I had expected or planned and I had to have a scheduled C-Section. Little Miss M decided to just keep herself upright in the womb and refused to turn. (She is definitely my child!)

So on the morning of June 13, I was prepped and taken into the OR so our little angel could make her big debut and what a debut it was! She weighed in at 8lbs 6oz (Tiny baby? Not even close!) and was almost 22 inches long with a head full of black hair. ❤️ We are in love.

Life since her big arrival has been wonderful, terrifying and exhausting all rolled into one. No one prepared me for life with a newborn at 39 years old. I am so much more tired than I was with my other babies and I find myself more consumed with fear than I ever was. It has been like being a first time Mom all over again. There are so many things “that could go wrong” and so many things “that must not be done” and so many new and terrifying things they tell that were somehow never mentioned before. And social media makes it worse. It’s a new mother’s worst nightmare: all the terrifying and horrible stories of things gone wrong with infants right in front of your face all day every day.

I think I liked having babies before the ride of social media much better, although being able to share instant photos of the kiddos with family far away is pretty amazing.

In addition to tying to adjust to the new baby life, I have also been struggling to bounce back after my C-Section and tube removal. (Someday I may be brave enough to share that experience here but not yet.) Everyone kept telling me it wouldn’t be a big deal and I would bounce right back but that just hasn’t been the case. I have been struggling both physically and emotionally. What everyone kept telling e would be an easy, quick and beautiful delivery was actually really traumatic and has had some long term affects on me they have me feeling old beyond my years. With all of that said, Our Little Miss M is going to be turning six months old in a few weeks and I am still not recovered fully. It has been a long, difficult and beautiful journey.

Beyond that, I am finding that the routine, consistent life I had so nicely grown accustomed to has been thrown and tossed around like a ship in a hurricane. Homeschool gets done at random times when I can find peace amongst the crying, constant diaper changes and feedings and life happening on the daily. My former immaculately clean and tidy home is now often in disarray as I try to find time to fold the laundry, vacuum clean my bathrooms while tending to a pretty active and needy infant. I have had to learn to be okay with the disaster and just breathe. A messy house equals a lived life right? (I am still trying to convince myself of this one.)

Through it all, Mister M has been amazing at adjusting and loves his sister dearly which is such a huge blessing. But there are also moments when he feels the weight of no longer being the center of the universe so we have really workes hard to find times each week that each of us can have time alone with him and try to do things he enjoys. Life isn’t always easy with an adorable baby sister who attracts attention like white on rice but he is a trooper and makes me proud every single day.

As we prepare to go into Christmas,l and the New Year, I feel in awe of all that we have seen unfold and all that God has blessed our family with. No matter how hard some things have been and are, life is amazingly wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for more.

I will try to be better at updating on life and homeschool adventures our way. I really will but I can make no promises. Most days it is just a wing and a prayer to get through but each day gets easier the the one before and each week seems a bit more routine than the last so there’s always hope!

In the meantime, I hope that your holiday season is one filled with immense joy and love. After all, that’s what it is all about right?

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy 🎄

Our first views of sweet Little Miss M. ❤️

Little Miss M and Mister M taking in our trees. We have our big one in the living room and then little trees in each of their rooms. It was quite a sweet moment letting Little Miss M experience her very first Christmas tree. Oh how I LOVE Christmas!

Learning to Breathe

We have been in a season. (Then again, who hasn’t been lately right?)

It’s been so tiring and at times I have found myself questioning so many things about our homeschool journey, about all the changes we have been experiencing, and well, just  about LIFE.

To say I am tired is an incredible understatement and yet through all that exhaustion and strain, I feel so incredibly blessed.

The last few months with Mister M have been such a very difficult navigation in regards to our homeschool. Between Mister O leaving for 30 days in February and then him coming home just as we are preparing our house to move and then us actually making that big move to a whole new state, city and life, our son has had a tremendously difficult time adjusting.

I should have anticipated it. I should have prepared myself for it. I should have been interceding in advance for it but I didn’t. I was consumed. I was overwhelmingly consumed with packing and planning and traveling and moving and adjusting all on my own. I was struggling physically, emotionally; I forgot all about the littlest member of my family and all that he was going to have to leave behind this time during a season of his life that he could actually understand and would remember. The impacts of that were profound. For the first time, he had developed real friendships. He had real communities of involvement. All of his known memories were from the place we had to leave behind and his heart was struggling and this Type A Mamma, in the midst of all she had to do and take care of, missed it.

So from February until the beginning of this month, we were barely able to get ANY school work done. We had to adjust our school calendar and add days. I know. I know. Most of you are saying, “You don’t have to do that. Just give him a break.” And the truth is, we did have a break. Almost two months of break. I couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do it. We were in burnout mode without either of us really understanding that was what it was. As we came into May, I was determined for us to be back on routine. I was determined for us to prevail and go back to life and all that we do. I was naive enough to think it was that simple.

So I dove head first; back to the grind and to all the worksheets, the projects, the reading. All of our rigid routines. I forced him into that classroom and I said, “We ARE doing this. No more excuses. Huge and pregnant and out of breath or not, we are FINISHING all of our school work and we will do it with determination.”

I am sure at this point, inside my sweet 7 year old’s mind, he was thinking, “Ughhhhh. Mommy, I need you. Can’t you see I need you to see that I literally cannot do this? I literally cannot handle one more thing? Don’t you see that I am hurting Mommy? You aren’t the only one who misses friends and feels lost and displaced. I miss my whole world. Why can’t you see that Mommy?”

But he didn’t speak those words out loud so I naively thought he was fine. After all, they say kids are resilient right?

WRONG.

They can be. They sometimes are but life affects them just as much as they do us and yes they are resilient over time but sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they also hurt and feel and grieve just as we do. Sometimes they experience the same types of struggles and frustrations that we do so how is it we so easily forget and overlook that and just expect them to adapt and adjust without question or struggle?

So, with my determination we dove in and it was ROUGH. Every day was an exhausting struggle. We were schooling ALL day long because I, in my stubborn ways, refused to let him not complete EVERYTHING that was outlined for him to do. Some days I cried. Some days he probably cried too. It was bad. I mean REALLY bad.

And then it happened. He woke up one Friday morning that first week of May and everything came flowing from out of his mind, through his mouth and into my shocked world.

My precious little man woke up with tears and began to tell me how much he had been hurting. He missed his best friend. He missed our old house. He missed our old Co-op. He missed our life. Why did we have to move here? Why couldn’t we just have stayed and why, WHY, WHY, WHY did we have to have another baby and why did I have to have a GIRL!!!!!!!

And then it hit me like a tidal wave.

I had failed to see the single most important detail of them all. In the  midst of already overwhelming situations and transitions, we were adding an entirely more intense change: we were bringing a little sister into this family.

Until this point, Mister M has been the baby and with his sisters staying in Arkansas, he has been an only child from age 3 to now. All of his memories are mostly compiled of him being the entire center of the universe. Every activity, every thing we do has been centered around his little world. How on earth had I not paused to think that while he said he was excited for a baby that he might also be so terrified of a baby coming?

I felt like such a failure in that moment. I was stunned and unsure of how to speak so instead, I sat down on the bed, I pulled him close and I let him cry for a moment. I let him get out all his thoughts which included asking me, “Will you still love me the same? Will you still have time for me? Do you still want me to be a part of the family?”

My heart was crushing a little more with each question and I lovingly and calmly shed some of my own tears as we talked about what bringing Little Miss M into the family would be like. We talked about fears. We talked about changes. We talked about what might happen and what to expect. We also talked about how hard it might be but how good it would be. And then I did something I never do. I did what I honestly never thought I would be able to do given my issue with needing routines and plans and schedules.

I looked at my little guy and said, “How about we set aside school today and we just spend some time doing whatever it is YOU want to do today.”

His look of total shock said it all. “Really?? But what about  my worksheets? What about my reading? Won’t Daddy get mad at me?” To which I shockingly (to both myself and him) responded, “It all can wait. Today, we just need to enjoy being together.”

So, that’s exactly what we did. I put aside my routine and our schedule and we spent the day curled up under blankets watching movies and reading together and playing Uno. We laughed and we talked about lots of things and we got through the meltdown and by the end of the day, I had a different little guy.

The next week, we went back to homeschool but I approached it all with a different mindset. I approached it from the  mindset of what does my SON need to take from today and how does he need to take it in his current season. I tweaked how we are doing our schedule and began to incorporate breaks where we pause and play games or watch an educational show. I began to evaluate all his busy work because honestly, my son was doing SO much written work and worksheets that he made public school homework and classwork look like nothing. I asked myself what is most important? I shifted my focus and BAM.

It happened.

We overcame and we began to flow into our beautiful routine again. Don’t get me wrong, he still has a workload because that’s just how we work things, what his curriculum requires and he does so well with it. But we changed HOW we are doing the work and HOW we approach it and it has been so freeing. Some days we do his writing worksheets while other days I have him write letters to a friend or family member or write a story of his choosing in his writing journal. We did away with our Arithmetic Speed Drill worksheets and started doing flashcards together instead. Trust me when I tell you this made a big difference. He does two sheets of Math a day for his lessons and then when you add a 60 second timed Speed Drill worksheet on top of it, you find yourself with a kid who isn’t so much loving Math that day. We started doing reading first thing in the mornings because he loves to read and I changed the order of what we do when and it has been so refreshing.

While I know deep down, this won’t mean that he isn’t feeling the sting of his homesickness still, I know that he sees that I can recognize when he needs a time out. He knows I see that he isn’t just some robot that can handle and do whatever we say without any emotion or feeling. I know he knows how much I care because I cared enough to finally say, “Okay. Maybe I need to change things. Maybe you need a MOM right now, more than a teacher.” And suddenly, he is back to loving his learning experiences and being determined to keep his “straight A” status.

We have to school until almost July this year and then will take our “Summer break” until the beginning of September and that’s okay. We will finish our work. We will learn and laugh and we will do it all together. Taking those months off during all those changes wasn’t something I planned, it wasn’t something I wanted but I believe with all my heart and soul it was exactly what God had planned because He knew what was coming and how it was going to affect our little guy.

Life is hard. Sometimes, we miss things but it teaches us that sometimes, we have to stop long enough to see that something isn’t quite working and we need to readjust our focus. Homeschool is a beautiful journey for so many reasons but one of the very most important ones that I can think of is that it gives us the ability to see when our children are hurting, to allow ourselves grace to say that we need a break and to take it. Right then and there. We aren’t having to pace it just like everyone else. We can and if it works we do but sometimes, life happens and we need to let ourselves deal with it.

I am so thankful for a God who always reveals in the perfect time what is needed and helps us to realign our priorities and our life. I love that He gives us teachable moments when we least expect them even if they aren’t always easy or fun but most of all,  I love that I get to have this journey. I love that I get to love my children all day every day, that I get to be both their Mom and their educator and that I get to do it in a way that impacts them in every way possible.

This journey is beautiful and it is a blessing but sometimes I just have to take a deep breath, pause and remember that I am first a Mom and second a teacher.

We all are.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤

“Oh Where Have They Gone Wrong?”

Every day, social media is flooded with stories of suicide, bullying, teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual assault, and addiction. Much of it surrounds the next generation. The youth of our nation. It is everywhere. It’s like an epidemic of disease that cannot seem to be stopped, growing worse each day.

And I seem to keep encountering the same questions being asked over and over again, “Oh where have they gone wrong? How have the “millennials” gotten it so wrong? How did they get so far off track!!!??”

They seem like a legitimate enough questions. In theory. It is always easy to look at those making these horrific mistakes and think that it’s just something that happened to them. They just chose it. And yes. It IS a choice. One they indeed made. However, they are the NEXT generation, meaning the generations that came after us and those who came before us. They didn’t just one day wake up and think up these choices on their own. No. They were already being presented to them AS choices that they could make. So the question I feel more than ever that we should be asking is this, “Oh where have WE gone wrong?”

I get it. You are already shaking your head and calling me a liberal. After all, only a “liberal” would not hold the “millennials” responsible for their own choices and actions. Only a “liberal” would try to make it about someone else. Right? Well, that depends on what version of truth you live your life by I guess.

Please don’t give up on me and please hear me out. What I am about to share with you, has been reflected upon for the last 24 hours. It has been sought after. It has been digging at my heart and it has not given me easy answers. The answers however, are so vitally important if we want to truly know where this next generation got it all wrong.

A generation will follow it’s loudest leaders. They will cling to those who mentor them willingly, who will listen to them when they need an ear and who will give them advice that attempts to fill the voids they so desperately want to fill. They will almost always follow those who have come before them, hoping to glean wisdom and truth from them. Listening to them intently, waiting for all the answers. Which brings me to the most important question I want you to keep you at the forefront of your mind as we continue, “Whose voice has been the loudest? The voice of truth and light or the voice of the world?”

Let me help you better understand what I am about to share with you. In order to do that, I want you to take a moment to take in the following image:

IMG_2913

 

This was taken yesterday morning as my family and I were touring the library downtown. I was immediately taken aback by the image and the words on the cover. I almost wanted to take it and throw it in the trash but had to remind myself that this was not my property to dispose of. My heart just sank as I really took in the image and what this was speaking.  But more than that, it broke my heart to see who it was speaking TO.

TeenVogue. A magazine that’s target audience is preteens and teens. Our “millennials”. Our children. Our grandchildren. Our nieces. Our nephews. Our brothers. Our sisters. Our next generation of leaders. This magazine is “The Sex (oops scratch that), Coming Out (oh and scratch that one too), Obsession (oh, we’ve done that already so that’s gotta go too), Heartbreak (Had about enough of that…SCRATCH!), LOVE issue.” That’s right it’s all about the LOVE in this issue of TeenVogue and doesn’t our beautiful cover model just scream love?

I didn’t even allow myself to read the magazine because honestly, there was nothing in TeenVogue that would even remotely help me or anyone else to better understand what love is. After all, they group it’s importance level as that of every other topic they got bored with before so it must not be that important. I already had a very good idea of what their version of love might just look like. Now, in all fairness maybe I am wrong but does anyone else see what is wrong with this ENTIRE concept?

Where have the “millennials” gotten it so wrong? Quite simply put, they have chosen to listen to the wrong voice. The loudest voice. The world and all it’s publications and propagandas. They have chosen to look to the advice of these writers because they appeal to them and they seem “right”, they seem to have all the answers. They are bombarded with these magazines everywhere they go and they all scream the same things so how could they be wrong?

WE have failed them. We have failed them because our voices are no longer the loudest. How dare I say such a thing? Well, it’s the truth. I am sorry if that hurts or is hard to hear but let’s face it folks, our churches are changing scriptures, our “biblical teachers” are changing the values of the faith and making things acceptable that God has clearly outlined for us are not and we just agree. We nod our heads and say, “The Gospel changes as the world does. God is a God of love so we can’t judge that, we can’t know that, we can’t say that….it’s not “loving”.” We have traded TRUTH for ACCEPTANCE and TOLERANCE. We have begun to quiet our still small voice and instead jumped on the bandwagons of the world’s version of truth and those “millennials”…those young and sponge-like children of ours that we are pointing our fingers at in disgust…they are simply following OUR LEAD.

Oh friends, please, please hear me out. If you hear nothing else I am speaking, please hear this. We are ALL to blame. Every time we laid down our values for something shinier. Every time we succumb to the world’s megaphone of stances. Every time we had an opportunity to tell them the truth but chose to tell them what they wanted to hear. Every time we pointed a finger and placed all the blame on them and remained silent. Every time we chose to turn a blind eye and put our “righteous” noses in the air, we pushed them right up to that platform and gave them a free T-Shirt. We helped them to begin to think that their choices involved what the world had to offer.

Our next generation of leaders can only lead as they have seen those before them lead. They will only listen to the loudest voices and they will only choose what is easiest. And that is why, more than ever it is so vitally important that we stop and ask ourselves, “How loud is our voice?” “What do our actions speak about leadership, about truth, about righteousness? What do our lives teach those who are coming after us.”

When the children of Israel who had been in the wilderness with those who had been there for 40 years came out, they wanted to do more and seek God because someone chose to be the voice, someone chose to lead them in the RIGHT way. That person made their voice the loudest, above all the complaining, above all the wrong doing and sin, they chose to exemplify light and justice and truth. And that generation was hungry for more than what that wilderness had offered them and their generations before them. They wanted MORE and thankfully, someone stood up to offer them just that. Joshua. A man who chose to be louder and more determined than the sin around him, rose up and took the next generation into the Promised Land. He didn’t just point a finger at those “millennials” and say, “Man, you guys have screwed up big time. Sad. You had so much potential.” NO! He stood up and said, “This is the WAY. This is the TRUTH. STOP LISTENING TO THE LIES. DON’T REPEAT THEIR MISTAKES. Follow me, put your faith in God, trust in HIM and let’s get out of this wilderness. Whose with me!?!!?”

My dear brothers and sisters, we must take some accountability for what is happening in our next generation. They are broken. They are hungry for more and they are filling themselves up on empty promises and advice that is coated in lies. They need us to be strong and to be unashamed to preach the Gospel, the TRUE Gospel. They may not want to hear it but we must teach it and speak it no matter what because they ARE listening. They ARE watching us. They are taking it in and sooner or later, that Word will NOT return void. It can’t. It’s just impossible. The Bible tells us that. (Isaiah 55:11). It’s a seed that grows over time.

If we want to see true revival and we want to make a true difference, then it’s time we stop placing the blame solely on them and maybe be willing to ask if that blame also belongs on us? We must be humble enough to ask the Lord to forgive us for bending to the world, for craving the easy way, for remaining silent. We must become determined to be the voice they can no longer ignore. We must become a Joshua in a world full of grumpy old Israelites. We must be salt among the sugar.

It’s time we stop asking where they have gone wrong and start asking where we have gone wrong and pray that God will help us to make it right. We must pray that we can be the leaders and teachers they so desperately need.

I pray that this post inspires you to ask the hard questions, to seek out the Lord for our next generation and for a stirring to take place in our hearts to put on our armor, to mount up and go into battle for those who are broken behind us. I pray that God compels us to become the leaders and teachers they so desperately need and that where we have gone wrong in the past will be overshadowed by where we go right from this moment on.

It’s up to us. Their lives are literally at stake.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-21:

“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.  And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above earth.”

 

In Christ’s love,

Kristy ❤

All Things New

Well, we have arrived at our new destination. We have finally settled into our new home and set up our new classroom and the baby’s nursery. We have begun to allow ourselves to take in the reality that this is our new home. This is our new journey.

It hasn’t been an easy transition. Coming here or being here. Everything is so different. Fast paced, huge city, insane drivers, not so friendly drivers. It’s been a bit overwhelming to say the least. Add to that a child who just celebrated his 7th birthday in a new place with no friends, no family and nothing familiar. It has been a struggle to adjust for him to say the least.

Yet through it all, we have remained both hopeful and determined. No matter how overwhelming it may seem, no matter how different it has been, no matter what it has looked like to us thus far these past three weeks, it is HOME and home we intend to make it.

Military life is a lot of things but one thing is must be is determined: determined to find the good in any location, place or circumstance. Determined to make anywhere you find yourself a place to call home and something wonderful. Determined to conquer new adventures with positivity and hope rather than sinking into sadness or grief or bitterness. Determined to grow, to bloom in whatever garden you find yourself next.

That is our moto. We are going to bloom wherever God plants us because we know that while the paperwork says the Navy takes us to new locations it is ultimately God who has ordained it all. It is His design and plan that supersedes even the “World’s Greatest Navy.”

So here we are. In our new home, with so many uncertainties but also so many possibilities and while it is a bit overwhelming and unnerving at times, it is also exciting and new. It is a beautiful masterpiece just waiting to be written, a fresh sheet of paper just waiting for a pen to touch it’s surface. There is so much to be said and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds.

We have begun to visit churches. We have visited two churches so far and have another church we plan to visit this Sunday. We are trusting that the Lord will show us exactly which place is our new church home and we are determined to be diligent with our new church family, to learn and grow and share God’s love with our children, one another and those around us with a greater diligence than ever before.  We would covet your prayers in regards to this area of our family’s life.

All things new. God makes all things new, and this family is daily learning what that means. I look forward to sharing these new things with each of you.

We pray you are all blessed and well.

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤

P.S. Here are just a few of the things we have already discovered and LOVE:

One of the piers, the zoo (I love giraffes!!) and the most amazing library we have ever been to!

Changes…they are a coming

It has been since January since I last updated. Man. I am definitely not winning any blogger of the year awards at my slow pace of updating these days am I? Well, it’s a good thing I wasn’t hoping to win any then!

Much has happened since January and I apologize that I have not been diligent to keep you all updated but life has been a whirlwind of craziness since the new year began and I find myself just taking in those moments and remembering less and less about writing it all down. That can be a good thing and a sad thing. Some things I want to remember and writing them down this way may be one way we have to remember them someday. Perhaps, in the months to come, I will get better at this blogging habit.

As I shared in my last update, we are expecting blessing number four in June. A little girl that we shall call Little “M”. We couldn’t be more excited or blessed! In February, my dear friends threw me a baby shower and I was incredibly overwhelmed at the amount of people that came and showered us with love and blessings. We also had friends and family from all over send cards, gifts and love who could not attend our special day but so wanted to be a part of it all. What a beautiful thing it is to be in a room filled with people you adore who feel the same way about you! It was truly a blessed day!

Also in February, Mister O had to leave us for an entire month to attend a training school in Texas before we made our big PCS move. It was a LONG month without his humor and sometimes, irritating ways, but we managed to get through it unscathed and with determination. Oh how we miss that man while he is gone. Life is definitely significantly less interesting without him around. But maybe don’t mention I said that. We don’t want him getting a big head or anything!

He arrived home JUST in time to help us  pack up what we were moving ourselves and help oversee the packers, movers and cleaning of our home for final inspection. On March 30, we hit the road and made our three day journey to our new home.  We arrived on Saturday and picked up the keys to our new home yesterday. A home we love already. Our new city is SO huge and it is a bit overwhelming but is also full of so many opportunities both for us as a family and as homeschoolers so we are very excited to get back to our routine next week and pick up where we left off!

Little M is growing nicely and so far all is going well. The only snag we have hit in this pregnancy is me. I have gallstones 😦 It is HORRIBLE ya’ll. I mean REALLY horrible. But I am surviving and am just counting down the days until we finally get to meet our sweet little princess and I can get this gallbladder issue fixed! Take it from me, stay away from the fatty foods. It’s is NOT worth it!

Well, I guess that is all for now. I am sure in the days, weeks and months ahead, we will have some fun and interesting adventures and stories to share with you all. I am adding a few photos at the bottom of the baby shower and the outside of our new home for you to see. I pray this update finds you doing well and blessed! You are prayed for and loved!

In Christ’s Love,

Kristy ❤