For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Worship - To the Cross I Cling

To the Cross I Cling (Michael Bleeker - The Village Church)

No day of my life has passed that has not
Proved me guilty in your sight
The best I have to offer are these filthy rags
And yet you love me
All things in me call for my rejection
All things in You plead my acceptance
I am guilty but pardoned by grace I’ve been set free
I am ransomed through the blood you shed for me
I was dead in my transgressions, but life you brought to me
I am reconciled through m e r c y,
to the cross I cling
No more am I a slave to sin but
Bought with a price
Redemption that was purchased through the blessed cross
That You bore for me
The cross is where I find death, is where I find life, where mercy found me

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Random 5 on Friday (Saturday version)

1. My youngest and myself have been dealing with a new addiction:

2. What we are reading? The boys have been enjoying The Brotherband Chronicles and Rangers Apprentice Series.

 I have been reading Love the Journey, written by the author of Tapestry of Grace, and From Good to Grace.                             

3. As a homeschooling mom married to a pastor, date nights are really rare. We were able to actually go out for dinner this week, and enjoyed a fine meal, thanks to a gift from one of our church members.

4. School wise, all our subjects are moving along. This week was a short week as it was family day here in Canada on Monday.

5. We have been spending our family evening time playing a card game called Dutch Blitz. If you have never played it, you should check it out.

The Pebble Pond

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Worship

Christ is Risen (Matt Maher)

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
We fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you bled, for us

Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave!

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bow to none but heavens will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer's crown
No burden great can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
The glory of God has defeated the night!

Oh death! Where is your sting?
Oh hell! Where is your victory?
Oh Church! Come stand in the light!
Our God is not dead, he's alive! he's alive!
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake!
Come and rise up from the grave

Rise up from the grave...


Friday, February 6, 2015

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble Pond
It is another end of week. We had a light school week this week but still accomplished quite a bit.

1. We've had some snow on the ground since last week-end, so Monday I made sure they got to play in it outside.

2. Tuesday we had some friends over, so more time outside and some socialization in.

3. I am thinking of switching Zach's Latin curriculum because he is not doing to well with it and it is a drag to have him work on it. Since Johann is really enjoying Latin for Children, I am contemplating getting Latin Alive for him. I really hate it when I have to drop something half way through.

4. I got some second hand clothes for the boys from a friend of mine. This is so appreciated and welcomed, as Zach has been growing like crazy in the past few months. The pre-teen years are really here.

5. Talking about pre-teen years, I am having a boy who never slept in, sleep in and eating like he never did before. This is on top of my second child who normally eats a lot. I am really dreading the next few years with the price of food going up. Good thing our Lord takes care of us one way or another.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Worship

Lord of All (Christian Stanfill)

Wonder and awe surround You Lord
Glory and fire light Your way
Day after day the heavens proclaim
The beauty of the holy One

We will respond
With joy in our song
Your enemies rise
Your enemies fall
Your fire consumes them all

There is none so high and holy
King of kings, the one and only
You are adored
You are the Lord of all

Mysteries unknown, are known to You
All wisdom is Yours to reveal
You hold in Your hand the days of all men
All life and breath are Yours to give

We will respond
With joy in our song
Your enemies rise
Your enemies fall
Your fire consumes them all

Monday, January 26, 2015

Seeking Beauty: How We Tackle the Arts in our Homeschool

It is the last week of the curriculum fair. Wow, January is almost done!

This week we are talking about the Arts: Seeking beauty in our world.

Hosting this week are Susan from Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and Lisa @ Golden Grasses.

When it comes to the Arts, it has been difficult to include it on a regular basis in our homeschool routine. Last year and this year I have tried to make a conscious effort  to make sure we do some kind of Art at least once a week. So far we have been able to maintain it.

What do we use?

We have enjoyed A Child's Introduction to .... series. We are using the Poetry and the Art books. These books are engaging and deal with the subject matter heads on, yet in a very gentle and progressive way. The kids are introduced to a different poetry style or artist one  at a time with example and explanation of their work. With the poetry book sometimes I try to have them do an exercise where they apply the style just talked about. In the Art book, some of the chapters include a try it exercice where they try to practice a technique. The book also comes with a cd with the poetry read to on it. We do chapter once a week. Doing it only once a week allows us to not get overwhelmed and give us intentionality.

Also I have purchased Classical Writing: Poetry for Beginners.  Not so sure when we will get to go through it but I am hoping sometimes this year.

Other than that my oldest takes violin lessons and my youngest piano. My oldest who is 11 now has been playing once in a while at church as well, which has improved his confidence.

That's about all we do in the area our Arts in our home.

The Art of Organization…or How Clutter Almost Ruined My Homeschool by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

The Shadow of Divine Perfection by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

Relaxed Homeschooling: Fine Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Fine Arts {Art Appreciation, Art, Composer Study Hymn Study} for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Adding Sparkle to Home Education by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

And All the Extras by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Teaching Art Using the Bible by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker

Art In Every Subject by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Letting Art Just Happen in Homeschool by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma

Missing Art? by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

Do YOU Have Time for Extracurriculars? by Michele@ Family, Faith and Fridays

Fine Arts in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

The Science of Beauty for a Delight-Directed Daughter by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

Seeking Beauty: How we Tackle the Arts in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Learning To Appreciate Beauty With Fine Arts Resources@ As We Walk Along the Road by Leah@ As We Walk Along the Road

Friday, January 23, 2015

Winter Homeschooling

I have joined a few Canadian homeschool bloggers to bring you a post every month on a specific topic. For January we are talking about Homeschooling in the Winter.

For many homeschoolers, the winter months tend to be dreary and burnt out months. The cold weather outside, the lack of sun, the lack of outside activities and the gloomy overall air can be a real mood killer for some.

In our family, only my youngest  is an outdoor kind of boy. Even in the winter he loves being out. The other three of us are quite happy to be home cuddling under blankets, reading books and watching movies. So the lack of activities during the winter months do not affect us as much. It is life as usual. As a matter of fact we get more done during the winter months, especially that we run a year round kind of homeschool schedule.

We do however enjoy the snow when it comes and sticks around long enough to go play in it.We all love watching those snowflakes fall down and sit on the tree branches. We live in the city, so we do not get much of that, but when we do, we take it in.

Because we do not do much outside activities I make sure we take advantage of our co-op sport clinic put together during the months of January to March. For the past three years the boys have been doing volleyball and enjoying it very much. It is a time to get exercise and to get together with friends as well.

That said, if you are the kind that needs to get your kids out, or you yourself need to get out of the house here are a few things to look into:
  • Library activities
  • Nature walks and studies, either as a family or through organized field trips
  • Playdates, we love doing those, as a change in the routine
  • Indoor fieldtrips such as Science Center, Legoland, Reptilia, Royal Ontario Museum, Arboretum (not so indoor but offering cool stuff in the winter).
Make sure to check how other homeschoolers handle the winter months all across Canada in the round up post over at The Canadian Homeschooler. Post to come live on the 28th. Watch out for a giveaway on that day as well.

And just in case you need resources to help you during these months, here is a giveaway just for you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Living Frugally - Homeschool and Grocery Tips

Homeschooling often means living on one income. For some this is a deal breaker and a reason why many would not even consider homeschooling. The idea of living on less money is just not thinkable. That said, even though I will admit that for many homeschooling is really a sacrifice financially, one can make it work. Today I will share with you 5 homeschooling and 5 grocery tips that I use to lessen our expenses and helps us live on one income.

In homeschooling:

  1. Use the Library: if I can find it at the library I do not bother buying the book and use the money for something else o a book I can't find at the library.
  2. Sign up for group buy: these can be really helpful as you cab get 25 to 95% off a product. My favorite to use is There are also some Facebook groups who offer this.
  3. Resist the urge to buy every curriculum you think you like or could work: This is the most difficult one. There is so much good stuff out there, we feel that we want to try everything and we often think that something else would work better. Well, not necessarily. I have learned to be very picky and not act on impulses when it comes to curriculum buying. Do your research and be sure you want to invest in what you are buying.
  4. Make use of Buy/Sell/trade site and Facebook groups: you can get good deals there. You can also make many by selling your stuff in order to buy other material.
  5. Follow blogs and website that showcase freebies:,, You can really get some col stuff through these websites. I certainly have.

On my grocery bill:

1. I keep a running list of items that I need to buy on a whiteboard in the kitchen or the fridge. I seek to stick to my list at the grocery store.

2. I try to go to the grocery store no more than twice a week. The more you go to the store, the more likely you are to pick up things that you either did not need or could have waited next pay check.

3. I shop the flyers and price match. Some items I only buy when they are on sale; items like canned goods, cheese, jam, sugar, flour. Sales are cyclical, so they always come back on a rhythm, and if one store does not have it this week, another store might next week. Just be patient.

4. I stock up the sales. Now, I do not have an indefinite amount of money, so I cannot stock up too much,(neither do I have a big storage room), but I buy enough to keep me until the next sale, usually depending on the item, that amount varies between 2-5.

5. I buy wholesale. On some items buying wholesale is really a better option. I love Costco. A lot of items sold there are sold at the sale price in a regular store, so I just buy there and same myself the headache of checking for these items on the flyers. They sometimes offer you other perks, like cheaper gas, in the case of Costco.

This post is part of the Schoolhouse Round up on Frugal Living.