Saturday, December 31, 2016

Redeemed: HIStory for My Life Famiy/Children Resource File

Wow-I'm so excited so many of you are joining us this upcoming New Year for our Redeemed Bible study! 
I'm also excited because I just learned how to actually include a file link so you can download straight from my blog!  Whoo Hoo!  So now for a little bonus...some family/children resources if you'd like to include the whole family in the study!  To download, simply click on the caption under the picture.
Family/Children Resource File

Over Advent, our family did Christ-Centered Christmas by Vibrant Family.  The format and flexibility worked wonderfully for our family!  Therefore, I decided to create some of the same resources for this study. 

Each night one of our kids will pull down a scripture tag.  We will read the scripture, discuss, and pray.  Then depending on the time and/or scripture, we will choose a way to respond to the scripture.  Sometimes it's simply discussion and prayer.  Other times, we may write it on a scripture card, do a coloring sheet, a Scripture and a Picture sheet, or my oldest may even do a SOAP sheet.   We make this a fun time – sometimes including snacks and hot chocolate!  It can take as little as 10 minutes or as much as an hour depending on the time we have and what we choose to do!  In this file you will find the following:

  • 30 Day Scripture Countdown-A title graphic and 30 tags to create a scripture countdown for your family.  Simply print the books and the scripture pages, cut out, and then staple the books on top of the corresponding day of scripture.  You can use these anyway that works for your family!  You can take these tags and hang them on twine across a mantle or wall.  We have an old window with chicken wire stapled on top and I use small clothespins to hang them on.  Each night one of the kids pulls down our tag for that day and we read the scripture together and discuss as a family. 
  • Scripture Cards – A couple cards for you (or your children) to write down key verses.  For my younger ones, I will write out the verse and they trace with a hi-lighter or crayons.  These are great to stick around the house and recall the verse all week!
  • Links to Coloring Pages Links to free coloring pages we will be using during this study.
  • Scripture & A Picture Sheet- This is the first thing I start using with my kids for them to respond to scripture.  Super easy and I think the name explains itself!  They write the scripture at the bottom (again you can write and they can trace over it, if needed.)  Then draw a picture showing what they think the scripture means.

I hope your family enjoys these resources as much as we have and they draw you closer to each other and more importantly to God!   If you have any questions, suggestions or comments – I’d love to hear them!

Keep seeking Him first!

~ Anna

Friday, December 30, 2016

Redeemed: HIStory for My Life

"But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son, into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."  Galatians 4:4-7

God has written a story, not some fictional fairy tale, but a real-life account.  It started long ago before we were born, before the world even existed.  It's a story of redemption.  A story that includes Adam, Moses, Ruth, David, Jesus, Paul, Constantine, Billy Graham, Jim and Elizabeth Elliott and now you and me. 
God's plan of redemption is perfect and it's for everyone.  Once we are redeemed, nothing can pluck us from the palm of His hand.  He has freed us from sin.  Yet, we are still living in a sin filled world.  A world that makes it so easy to fall back into bondage.  We can be redeemed yet so shackled by daily burdens and sin we can't enjoy the life God has in store for us.  Have you ever seen a fish trying to swim against the current?  That's how I feel I am sometimes.  He has set me free from sin and has this wonderful plan for my life, yet I get distracted, see something flashy in the other direction and off I go against the flow-against His will-and it's nothing but a struggle!   I'm living as a servant not an heir!
"It does a man no good to be free until he knows how to live, how to walk in step with God."  Amos Fortune:  A Free Man  by Elizabeth Yates
Life can be an against the flow struggle or it can be a joy filled, peaceful adventure alongside Him!  To better understand our place in His story, we need a clear picture of redemption.  What does it mean to be redeemed?  Why is redemption necessary?  What does a redeemed life look like?  What is hindering us from being free to live the life God has called us to live? What is God's plan for the redeemed now and in the future?  My GMG group is about to begin the study, Redeemed:  HIStory for My Life where we'll look at these questions and more.  The study will be six weeks long and will be broken down like this:


Week One-Past:  God's Plan from the Beginning
Week Two-Past:  Children of Israel
Week Three-Present:  Living Free
Week Four-Present:  Let the Redeemed Say So!
Week Five-Future:  The Best is Yet to Come
Week Six-Reflection


We'll be starting Monday, January 2 and would love for you to join us!  It will be like our One Thing is Needful study.  You have two options with the study. You can print out the first page and use it along with a notebook to SOAP; or you can print out all the pages and stick them in a binder for a complete journal to use. 
Each week contains the following:
  1. Bible Memory Verse
  2. Weekly Challenge
  3. Five days of scripture, along with SOAP pages if you choose to use them.  
  4. A blog post to go along with each week to keep us accountable (OK-mainly to keep me accountable).

If you'd like to join us for this study, here's what you need to do:
  • Just comment below with your e-mail and I'll send you the file containing the Reading plan and SOAP journal. 
  • One you receive the email, print out your choice of either the one page Quick Sheet and grab a notebook to write out your SOAPS; or go ahead and print out all the pages to write out your SOAPS.  Just depends on how much ink and paper you want to use!  I love to print mine out and put in a three ring binder.
  • Grab an accountability partner.  I LOVE my GMG group.  We check in with each other everyday on FB.  Sometimes it's a long post sharing what God has revealed, other times it's  "Good Morning girls, I read the scripture today!"  So whether you want to send a text, email, call or do it via Facebook find a friend(s) to hold you accountable!  If you don't have anyone else, then feel free to check in here each week at my blog.  I'd love to hear from you!

The past has been written.  The future has been written.  But our role in His plan depends upon us.  Our chapter in His story is being written day by day.  It's up to us to choose the incredible journey He has ahead of us as one of the redeemed.  How sad it would be to get to the end and realize we'd missed the best part- HIS story for our life. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

October: The Month of Field Trips

As we began this school year, I knew one thing I wanted to do more of was field trips this year.  Well, this month we have done some field trips!  In fact, that's mostly what we've done.  I would say we are going to slow down now and stay in our "classroom" more; however, as I type this post, we just finished math, reading and our CC memory work in the van headed to Disney World!  Ahh, the freedom of homeschooling!  Maybe come winter we'll stay in the classroom-maybe.

Our first field trip was actually the last week of September.  After celebrating Johnny Appleseed's birthday, we visited Steele Apple Orchard in Cullman.  We went with some from our Classical Conversations community.  Taz's favorite part was the tractor on the porch before the tour even started.

We had a tour which included four stations:  the history of Johnny Appleseed; bees and pollination; different types of apples and taste testing; and then picking, washing and packing of apples. 
Apple Types and Taste Testing Station

Showing an apple picking bag and describing the picking,washing and grading process

 Of course, we didn't come home without candy apples and a bushel of apples.  The kids enjoyed the candy apples that afternoon and then we made some fried apple pies the next week.  Yum!

We took advantage of the beautiful leaves starting to change and spent the day at Mount Cheaha State Park.  It's the highest point in Alabama and has some breathtaking views. 

We were able to go on a couple short hikes (1-2 miles).  The leaves were just starting to change but the weather was awesome!  This was one of the very few cool weekends we had in October.  We were able to talk about seasons, weather and colors with the littles and the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees with "Miss Priss".  I love how just being outside and exploring brings up all sorts of questions.  I'm also thankful my better half as a science degree and is much better at answering these questions than I am :)

After hiking we were able to purchase a small bag of gems from the camp store and do some mining.  This was the girls' favorite part!   They loved finding all the "jewels".  We were able to sort and identify several of them, including some gold - fools' gold, that is!

Our next field trips was the week of Columbus Day.  After reading Christopher Columbus by Minna Lacey and doing several Christopher Columbus writing activities, we had the opportunity to see replicas of the Nina and the Pinta by the Columbus Foundation. The Nina was the most historically accurate Columbus replica ever built and it was so cool to see it in person!