Thursday, February 17, 2011

Snow Days!

Does your home school take snow days?

This has been a major hot topic on both my home school boards and facebook. On one hand you have the public schoolers who are out of school, making it difficult to say no. On the other hand you have your fellow home schoolers across the nation who are not experiencing your weather and they are making good use of their winter months.

What is a home school momma to do?
I always strive for my kids to be on schedule. In fact, because we really enjoy taking longer breaks, we began schooling through the summer. This left us plenty of time to take off between now and the end of the traditional school year because we have already fulfilled our state mandatory hours. My heart was yearning for a few play days... but do you realize our public schools were closed here more than 20 days in some districts? That is more time off than I wanted to allow. Without a schedule (even a flexible one like ours) the kids grow antsy and irritated.

So we took 2 additional weeks off from full day schooling and just hit a few subjects a day. Everyone was happy with the compromise, the kids got to see their friends and play a ton out in the snow.

For the first time ever, since moving to Missouri, we had a blizzard. That was both cool AND an opportunity to talk to my kids about the dangers  and make sure we had an emergency preparedness plan. Which we do. Since we study the Red Cross Health books as part of our curriculum. We were ready for what ever life sent to us... We were ready to be with out power for up to 2 weeks.

And instead of having a disaster... we had a sledding day. Isn't it nice how things just work out some times?

Now, sharing this pictures gives me giggles. Here is Amy dressed in my bib overhauls. Yes, I own some. Please don't tell the fashion police. Just 2 days before this picture was taken Amy was in Hot and Balmy South America. She was wearing tank tops and shorts and having many overheated moments.  Talk about a shock!

This is my handsome husband and winter time out of doors enthusiast. He is the one who taught me to love cross country skiing. Look at this toboggan! It is absolutely packed with snow. Looks to me like hubs is covered a good deal as well. I am thankful for Kyle. He  has absolutely no qualms about yanking the kids out of the classroom and spending the day with them sledding.

Up front is Abby. She is not a rookie to this. She has on her ski goggles because the first person always gets the most amount of snow in their faces. This is an 8-10 man toboggan. With Kids the size of ours though... it never seems to hold that many. Next is Nick. He will steer and protect Abby. Behind him hiding is Amy. Behind Amy is JB (our other adopted son) and lastly giving the push off is Aaron.

JB, Aaron and Nick

Abby on the snow board

On her way down

And there she goes!

Aaron playing around with "Uncle Jimmy". I am not sure which one is the bigger kid! Please keep Jimmy in your prayers as he is about to embark on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Good times!

And here is Kyle again.... Looks like he is stuck carrying the sled back up the hill!

It is very important to make sure that you and your kids are well prepared to spend time out side when it is cold like this. One young lady who is on our soccer team got frost bite on her shins. She was not dressed appropriately to be out side for a long time. Be sure to have a couple pair of gloves for each person, Insulated snow or Ski pants, a good pair of Snow boots that have a reflective coating on the inside to maintain your foot temperature and also water wicking materials. Wearing several layers helps a great deal. It's not getting cold that really hurts a person, it's sweating from all the fun and activity and then getting cold~ So if you have layers you can take them off as your body warms up and put them back on as you cool down. Hats are very important when spending the day out in the snow. Your "lid" will keep the heat in. 

When we go out to the base, we see many people ill prepared for this activity. Even here in the midwest. Their kids have no gloves or hats and are in tennis shoes. 15 minutes into the sledding they are crying because they are cold, wet and miserable. Everyone is forced to go home.

Happy sledding my friends and here is to a few more snow days yet this year!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A heart for Missions

Most of my followers have been watching, praying and some, even holding their breathes to see if and when our Amy would return.

I have good news! AMY IS HOME!

And I am really thanking God for her safe return. We had a few issues with her return flight, but after many hours of talking on the phone, interceding and getting blessed by a new one time donation the flight was secured. She boarded the plane in Honduras and arrived in Kansas City the evening of the 18th.

Over this last month, we have been helping her transition back into civilian life so to speak. After months in Belize and Honduras with no running water, toilets, clean drinking water and sleeping with tarantulas getting back into the American swing of things has taken a while. I have never seen a young lady so very thankful for the small things in life.

Amy is here only for a few more months. She will leave in May if she has enough money and solid sponsors. She will either head on to Colorado for an internship there or she will follow her heart to Thailand to work with women being saved from the sex trafficking movement.

While Amy is here in my home we have been taking her job hunting but that is not going so well. A month later and she has only had one interview.

With all that said, let me tell you that God is good and will make a way for Amy to continue in her 3rd DTS training with YWAM (Youth with a mission) Want to read more about YWAM? Click here.

One of our neighbors who grew up as a missionary in the Philippines came up with a wonderful idea. I had been teaching Amy how to make home made breads so that she would have the practical skill should she need it. We had taken a few samples for them to try.
The result?

Bread Tasting Parties!

So now we will be asking our friends, family and neighbors to host a bread tasting party. The object? To sell bread for Missions.

Raising money for Amy has been very difficult. Finding people who have a heart for missions and a little change in their pocket is a rare experience.
But everyone needs bread.
And most people want healthy bread.
Combine those 2 with a tasting party and we are praying for a smashing success. Our church is not a "normal" church in the respect of having bake sales or fund raisers. So all of this must be done outside of the church and on our own.

Here is a sample of some of the breads we are making and also us in the process.
And for those of you who thought this was a home schooling blog, it is! My little ladies have had their hands in this project from the start! Train them up in the way they should go and they will not depart from it.

Stuffed Breads.. these make a delicious dinner.

Getting ready to braid

The braid before rising.
Amy making Indian Pav Bread

Cutting the Pav

Finished Indian Pav 
 They taste similar to Lambert's throwed rolls. I think I have found their secret recipe!

whole wheat organic dinner rolls

See how beautifully they rise before baking?

The beginning of Cinnamon Rolls. This is our household favorite.

Beautiful creation!

Partially glazed and partially not Cinnamon rolls.

Swiss Braided Bread

Is this crust not absolutely amazing?

It turns out so beautiful every time

This braid is Amy's personal favorite to eat.

Herbed braided breads.

More herbed braids.

Cinnamon Clove braids

Absolutely PERFECT with a cup of hot tea!

You may be asking what you can do?

* If you live local consider hosting a bread tasting party. It would consist of preparing a soup, a salad and a drink, and then inviting your friend over for a great time. Bread will be available to try during the evening with your meal and also for purchase on the spot and pre-orders.

* Pray for Amy. She so desperately needs to be covered in prayer at this time in her life. She has a ton of decisions that need to be made and wants to be sure she is clearly hearing from the Lord.

* Become a sponsor. Consider a one time offering to Amy or become a partner with her. No amount is too small. I PROMISE! Every dollar gets her one step closer and in foreign countries you get more for that dollar as well. It is very expensive to travel (remember my post about having over $500 in shots and pills we didn't know about until the week she left?) and Amy is responsible for all of her expenses. You can donate directly through YWAM or mail a check here. I will post instructions on how to donate through YWAM in a separate post soon.

* Lastly, buy bread. It's 100% organic whole wheat. It's that simple.