A Heart Toward Home

"...But as for me and my house, we will serve (worship) the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

Thursday, March 22, 2018

2018 Tennessee 4-H Congress (Part 1)

On Wednesday Isaac, Sarah and I returned from a 4-H Congress trip. It was a great experience! I have lots of pictures! I will do my best to recap each day and all that we got to do. I will start by telling that Isaac was a regional speech winner, so that means he would be one of six 10th graders competing at the State level. Being a finalist meant he had to go up a day earlier than everyone else. He had to arrive at 1:00 on Saturday afternoon. The rest of us along with grandparents packed up and headed to our destination. We dropped him off and did some sight seeing. We went to the Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, TN. If you know anything about our family you know we really enjoy this kind of stuff! We enjoyed our visit there.
 We were able to see them shoot off the cannon! Pretty loud!
 Here is Elijah with my dad waiting for the cannon to fire. Not the one they are standing in front of
:-). LOL!
 Then we walked through the grave yard. There was around 24,000 soldiers either injured or killed during this battle.
 Checking out one of the cannons that were on display.
 Here is Sarah posing with my parents and being a silly girl. :)
 Timothy gets a ride from his dad. Bryan wearing Timothy's hat. Love these two!
Actually I love this whole crew!! After checking into our hotel we went to eat dinner. It was great to spend some time together!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Vine and Olive Plants

I recently came across a few pictures that I has glad to know I have. Let me remind you that 4 1/2 years ago we lost our home to a fire... which means we lost all of our belongings except what we were wearing at the time. The items we lost that upset us the most is our pictures and home videos. The other items can be replaced but those are things we will never get back. I say all that to let you know that when I come across pictures from years ago I get so excited! Get ready, I will be sharing some of those pictures in upcoming post.
The first picture I wanted to share is this one of the kids and I in January 2013.
Here we are in April of 2017. Four years later!

I am sure you are wondering where did I get the title for this post... I am so glad you asked. In Psalm 128 verse 3 the Bible tells us:

"Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why We Homeschool

It would probably be good for me to talk about "Why We Homeschool" once a year. Because its always good to remind ourselves why we do what we do. These pictures were taken a couple of years ago. When Timothy and Joanna are done with school work they have some of the best times together. Even the other children enjoy taking a few minutes in between subjects to have fun together. They are only little once. One day the older ones may be off at college and won't have this time with their younger siblings. Very thankful they get to enjoy this time now!
Our first and biggest reason is because that is what God has called us to. Bryan and I made the decision to homeschool after much prayer and seeking the Lord. It sure wasn't the popular thing to do. Matter of fact we have been the "odd" family in all of our places we have served in the ministry because we homeschool. When people first began to find out that we felt lead to homeschool their first question was usually "How long will you homeschool?". To be honest when we started homeschooling our oldest we thought we would homeschool until each child was in the 3rd or 4th grade. That oldest child is a Sophomore this year and not once has God released us from homeschooling. God has reminded us often that we are doing exactly what He wants us to do.
Another reason we homeschool is for the spiritual foundation we desire for our children to have. There are days that we struggle and it is a joy and blessing to be able to stop and pray with that child or children that is struggling. We can plant scripture in every part of their day. The curriculum we have chosen to use is biblically based and the children are even learning scripture while completing school assignments.
(Elijah, Joanna, and Sarah)
There are many more reasons why we homeschool but I will only share one more. We homeschool for the relationships it gives. How awesome it is to see our children be able to build a relationship with each other and when there is an opportunity they get to build relationship with grandparents. If for some reason we need to take off and be with family we have that flexibility.
(Isaac spending time with my dad while he was in the hospital)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Flying Kites

I can not wait for spring to get here! We love spending time outside! This week it was nice enough a couple of days to get some sunshine and fly kites! Here are a couple of pictures of our kite flying.
 Joanna enjoyed flying her kite. We have a great big field that was just perfect for this!
Timothy had lots of fun too! These pictures were taken at the end of the day and they were finishing up their kite flying. I hope these are times they will never forget! Elijah and Sarah enjoyed flying kites too but I didn't get their picture.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Trip Home

 We had lots of fun and made lots of memories but we were also ready to get home to our animals and normal life. Each night we camped in our pop-up camper and never had any problems or issues. God is good!
 These were a couple of pictures of scenery on the way home. We camped in Nebraska before making the long trek home. The weather on our trip was pretty but windy. From the night at the Badlands to this last night in Nebraska it was windy the whole time, some days were more windy than others. Very thankful that God kept us safe and that He provided each and every thing we needed for this trip to be possible.

On our last trek home it was Elijah's birthday so we let him choose where we were going to eat for supper. He chose Golden Corral...he likes buffets! :) This boy turned 10 that day and enjoyed every bite of his supper! Love this boy!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Grand Tetons

Our last sight seeing stop on our trip was at the Grand Tetons! It is just south of Yellowstone. Our big "fun" for the trip was renting a boat and spending a couple of hours on Jackson Lake.
Doesn't this look like a postcard? We were actually there and took this picture! Gorgeous!!
I love this bunch and we have some of the best times together!
Bryan and I along for the ride!
We enjoyed visiting the Grand Tetons just as much as we did Yellowstone.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

French Toast Bake

This was discovered when we had a loaf of bread that needed to be used. Found this on Pinterest and everyone enjoys it! The first time I made it plain but now we always add some kind of fruit to it. I always make more than the original recipe so the recipe below is the version that we use. Enjoy!
French Toast Bake
3/4 cup of butter
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
6 eggs
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
powdered sugar for sprinkling

1. Melt butter in a bowl and stir in brown sugar till mixed.
2. Pour and spread the butter and brown sugar into the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish.
3. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
4. Lay single layer of bread in pan.
5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer. Place your favorite fruit on top of the egg mixture. (We like blueberries or strawberries)
6. Add 2nd layer of bread and spoon remaining egg mixture
7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for the first 30 minutes)
8. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.