Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fun after church

Just a few pictures of the kids after church. It was just beautiful outside so we decided to take some picutures of all the family, including the four legged ones.

Monday, September 27, 2010

What we drive

What a family of 20 drives

Whenever we go somewhere and people start asking quesitons one of the first is "what do you drive." Well her it is!!
When we first got our bus I was scared to drive it. It just seemed so overwhelming and big. bit after many attempts to stuff all the kids in our 15 passenger van, I just had to get behind the wheel. Now I cannot imagine not driving the bus... so much room!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Children looking for adoptive homes.

Favor age 2 Cerebral Palsy

Nye age 2 hydrocephalus

Winefred with hydrocephalus.

Three children looking for adoptive homes in Liberia Africa.

Monday, September 13, 2010

ACE homeschooling

Supervisors training for ACE homeschooling.

Someone forwarded this from a homeschooling blog and I just had to post it here. Homeschooling has been one of my most difficult challenges. I feel that using ACE has brought me a lifeline of hope, that I can homeschool 18 kids and keep my sanity.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
Matthew 16:26

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Had to memorize this at ACE training!

Are you SURE you have the right curriculum?
Wednesday, 25. August 2010 by Renee Ellison

The single biggest cause of homeschooling burnout is choosing the WRONG curriculum. For most homeschoolers, veterans and beginners alike, the illusion is that you will always have perfect days in which to teach, but the reality is that you’ll SELDOM have even ONE perfect homeschooling day. If your schooling centers on you as the teacher, it will simply slip through the cracks on days when other demands take over. Because schooling is THE ONE flexible/negotiable part of the day (no one is watching), it often gets put on the back burner (for far too many days, for months on end), because today we can’t do it RIGHT, using what you THOUGHT was the ideal curriculum.

Now that school is beginning again this fall, mothers are scrambling to make out their schedules, get last minute supplies, etc. This feels exhilarating…at least, initially. Aha…a fresh start. But talk to those same moms one month from now and they are in tears, feeling guilty, and nothing is going according to plan. Hubby is threatening to put the children back in public school because ANYTHING is better than the fiasco he sees going on day after day in his own home with his stressed-out wife and inconsolable children. Because they’ve got the WRONG curriculum.

Haven’t seen the big picture
Moms, by and large, because they have never been down this path before (they graduated from NURSING school, or BUSINESS school…), inadvertently choose and purchase curriculums that are heavily MOTHER-dependent. They purchase curriculum based on TOPICS that they wish they had had in school, or books that LOOK fabulous, or techniques that seem new and innovative and far superior to the way THEY were taught. But the problem is not the content or style of the program, at all, but rather it is one of ADMINISTRATION. Is this curriculum going to be easy to get through each day, especially when I’m preoccupied with little Johnny who just threw up, or on an emergency phone call, or have unexpected company? THEN what happens? What happens when I’m up all night with another child and have to sleep IN in the morning? Let’s see…hmm… 5 children times 2 “mom-isn’t-available-to-teach” hours per student equals ten wasted hours for the family that morning.

Because we have been in the movement for over 20 years as vendors, we have seen children who are now the GROWN products of this little daily nightmare, and it isn’t pretty.

Unit studies…the kick with a bite
In far too many cases, these idealistic theories about curriculum have been murdered by a few brutal facts…embarrassing facts. The children didn’t get thoroughly educated…not even as much as WE were educated in inferior secular schools. Scores of excited moms who have never taught a child through all twelve grade levels tell me sentences like this: “This fall we are going to study George Washington—in fact, we’ll do a unit study on him!” The problem is that the mom doesn’t see the 12-year big picture that there are over 34,000 concepts to cover to even make your child AWARE of the most rudimentary components of the big wide world out there. Giving three months to one concept just isn’t gonna cut it. While mom is fixated on her one euphoric idea of what SHE will teach, time is wasting…sand literally POURS through the hour glass of childhood. What she is not aware of is that children can learn ten times faster than she can even dream up the topics, let alone provide a newly hunted down perfect book to teach it with.

Moms with extra time, huh?
Go ahead and buy all of the super-idealized curriculum you want. But this year try teaching it in the evenings or on the weekends when you get that one “supercharged-mommy-moment” a week, but for all the REST of the time, for all those “barely-making-it” hours, get a curriculum that your children can do WITHOUT you. Waltz onto their page on any day at any time that you want to teach them from your own academic passions…we always teach our passions best…but for all the OTHER days, and the OTHER hours, keep your children’s noses to the grindstone of an established curriculum that gets the job DONE without you.

Ask yourself a question: How much EXTRA time did I have yesterday to write out lesson plans, or to thumb through a textbook to figure out what my child should be doing today? Was it three minutes? 30 seconds? Oops, just couldn’t get to it? Then what makes you think you’ll have that time TOMORROW? If you’ve gotta read a teacher’s edition to figure out what your child should do, you are already sunk before you start.

All the “not-so-hot” choices out there
Some love those big companies that sell you the huge textbook for every subject, so that your school curriculum can look just like the public school’s. But quickly you’ll find that the sheer size of the books scares your kids off (they are a pain in the neck to haul around), and parents by the scores have already discovered that they are “drill and kill and over-kill” curriculums, despite the expensive packaging! They cost too much, weigh too much, take too much preparation out of YOUR hide, and bore your children to tears with excessive unnecessary mental labor.

Then there are the super dense SPIRITUAL curriculums. ALL the family reads this and that and does this project and that project on ONE character trait, TOGETHER. Fine. Purchase those and teach one every Sabbath, or work through one for one evening a week to gather as a WHOLE family to study. But for two-to-six hours a day every day of the week, they require too much of mama…and too much of everyone else. On most days, one can’t even FIND the whole family to study with, let alone DO it. If you use one of these programs, you’ll burn out, guaranteed.

Then there is the sensational one book for this and one book for that — the eclectic approach. I hope you like shopping… because your children will read them and finish them on the way to the car.

Then there is the hands-on…build everything you read about…pyramids under the kitchen table approach. This approach absorbs far too much time spent on “pyramids”...single subjects… (which a child can readily understand just by looking at a few pictures), to the exclusion of time that could have been spent on other equally important concepts/subjects. Life isn’t just endless time on your hands. Time spent under the table is time lost practicing a new scale on an instrument.

Then there is the “read-every-book-in-sight” curriculum. Just read. Tons of homeschooling families pride themselves on what good readers their children have become. They congratulate themselves on having exceptional readers…which they mistakenly think then makes them exempt from producing anything else. The only problem is,.they just don’t know that ALL homeschooling families produce good readers. This is commonplace, with few exceptions. They can’t see it, because they live in ONLY their own house. Moreover, reading is not the whole picture. What if your car ONLY had a motor, no steering wheel, no brakes, no seats. Math is important, writing is important, physics is important, spelling is important, each of them requiring very little reading and a great deal of DOING. The first time your child hears about atoms and molecules and has only read history books, he is apt to say “Huh?” or worse yet, start FEELING the “Huh?” going on inside himself everywhere he turns. A general education requires gaining basic familiarity with thousands of DIVERSE concepts.

Grading your children’s work…whatever for?
If you want to grade all your children’s work, go ahead, have at it. But THEY won’t grow, if YOU do their evaluation. Weeks worth of stacked papers that mom will someday get around to grading trains your child in absolutely nothing. When your children get back all your delayed grading with your meticulous and conscientious red marks, they will mindlessly throw those same papers into the trash. Sound familiar? If they grade their own AS SOON AS THEY FINISH EACH PAGE, they will be invested in it THEMSELVES, to their own surprise. It is that simple. CORRECTING one’s work is where ALL the growth takes place. Do you REALLY have THIS much EXTRA time? Would you not rather read a good book, or take a walk with your child?

A long ride
Go ahead, buy whatever curriculum you want, or insist upon having….but ALSO, this year, try buying ACE to use as your daily work horse. You can’t see the full extent of it all now, but you’ll ride to the schooling-pasture and back to the barn EVERY DAY for two to six hours a day for 12 years with this schooling business…so you’ve gotta have a dependable horse to get you there and back…unless you want a circus at your house every day, if you didn’t spend two hours last night prepping for some other scenario.

Even if your child is only EXPOSED to this sequential, consecutive, line upon line, precept upon precept material and skips half of the fill in the blanks, or merely answers the questions aloud, or even just hears them read to him by an older sibling on sick days, or isn’t multi-sensing every concept… he will be light years ahead of the child who hasn’t. He will have at least encountered ALL these thousands of concepts. Four pace booklets a day, four concepts per booklet, 5 days a week, 36 weeks a year, for twelve years, yields 34,560 concepts. Ta-dah !!!! Did you catch that? This is all done FOR you. You didn’t have to even get out of your easy chair. This year, try teaching whatever ELSE you want ON TOP of that… but not in place of it. Countless very burned out families have switched to ACE after trying everything else they had in mind, and the smiles have returned. There have been no regrets!

We recommend ACE for these 12 very tight and succinct reasons:
1. ACE is taught using THIN booklets…as in… easy to haul on errands.
2. ACE is comprehensive…as in… nothing will fall through the cracks.
3. ACE is spiritual…as in… you won’t produce an intelligent drunk.
4. ACE is engaging, uplifting and KEEPS their interest both academically and spiritually…as in…children end up LOVING God THROUGH their subjects.
5. ACE is self-taught…as in…not mommy dependent…as in… it actually HAPPENS every day regardless of the chaos mom is embroiled in at the moment.
6. ACE is self-corrected…as in…the student has instant feedback.
7. ACE is the curriculum for tear reduction…as in ...momma doesn’t burn out…she actually likes her children AND gets dinner on the table…and wants to continue homeschooling next year.
8. ACE is priced at the low end of curriculums…as in… you don’t have to rob a bank or incur debt to buy it. The entire year costs less than one month’s tuition at any private Christian school. It is so inexpensive, the grandparents can purchase it for you. You won’t grow bitter halfway through the year because you sank 2 grand into a curriculum and now you hate the stuff but can’t possibly switch because you mortgaged the house to get it.
9. ACE trains OUTSTANDING character, woven into the full page text of every subject…as in…not tacked on as a token at the end of the entire day just to make it LOOK spiritual.
10. Employers love to hire ACE graduates for any type of work, because they have found year after year that these students’ cheerful work-ethic is second to none.
11. ACE is in 135 countries and currently educates well over 3 million children…as in…tried and true…kids actually graduate…they actually score high on standardized tests…they actually get scholarships at colleges.
12. ACE is guilt free…school happens.

Have your children read history and biography and how-to books voraciously in the evenings. Train them in domestic skills. Teach them how to earn and save a dollar. And turn off the TV and videos and stop the endless “goes nowhere” recreational FANTASY reading, and you’ll produce SUPER CHILDREN.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My daughter Paige and grandson Zach loving being kissed.

My son Wes and my Brother Art

Blake, Wesley (sons) Treva (daughter-in-law), Crystal (girlfriend) and Mason.

Recently I took a trip to California by myself. I had to have some dental work done, (a lot less expensive in Ca) needed to do some business, but the biggest treat was spending time with my grown kids and grandkids. I stated with my son Wesley and his wife Treva and my grandson Zach. All of the family is so easy going that staying with them was like being at home. My son Blake was home for his two weeks from work (Alaska oil rigs) and he picked me up and we spent a lot of time also. Blake is my baby of the grown kids. Funny how your babies are always your babies. He has a wonderful girlfriend with a little boy name Mason.
Paige my daughter who lives with Wes was in and out when she wasn't working. It was the first time in a very long time that I had time to spend with my grown kids without a lot of distractions. I attended Zach's football game and Mason's birthday..
just being a grandma for that day.
I also took a trip to see a very close friend who has been ill for a number of years.
We talked for hours about everything.... it was awesome. Blake, Paige and his family picked me up and we headed to Oceanside to see my other son Dwayne and his family. Of course my camera went out before we got there and I couldn't get pictures of their family. Dwanye recently bought a home and it was lovely about ten minutes from the beach.
Lily his wife (from Panama) was such a loving and attentive daughter-in-law, taking
us to the beach, inviting us in the jacuzzi and even bringing me a blanket when I was cold. I felt so spoiled. Dwanyne works for the nuclear power plant and was called in unexpectedly, but we still had time to talk about one of favorite subjects, reading. He had bought me a Christian/suspense book and I read over it every spare minute I had. Before leaving I was able to see my grandson Roland play baseball, just like his daddy, he is natural at sports.
Opps, almost forgot about my baby brother Art. He drove down with his youngest daughter Cassie to visit for a couple of days. Art the baby of my family has always been like one of my own kids. Coming from a very dis functional family I was left to raise my brother and sister (died) most of my life. While I wasn't very fond of all that mothering when I was young, it created a very strong bond between my brother and I. And then something new happened. I accepted Christ at 17. I prayed and prayed my brother would come to know Christ and in his early 20's he accepted Christ also.
I have never seen a more devout turnover to serving Christ than my brother. From the minute he surrendered he never looked back and disciple many of my children. So when we get together we talk about "JESUS" most of the time. He is the love of both our lives and we can't help but tell every detail on how he is making life amazing!

When reading my devotional today I just couldn't help but want to put it on my blog.
My Utmost For His Highest has always seem to touch me exactly where I need the spirit to go. Today it talked about keeping "MY" eyes on Christ first and foremost and let the other things fall into place. So many times with 18 kids, homeschooling, Africa and just daily living, I feel pulled in several directions. Christ has been trying to tell me to seek him first, REALLY seek him first and let him add the rest.
"Simple concept Lord help me to get it deep in my spirit I keep letting it go."

My Utmost for His Highest
Text Size: . . do you love Me? . . . Tend My sheep —John 21:16

Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate . . . , he cannot be My disciple” ( Luke 14:26 ). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.” A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”— that is the source of devotion.

Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people— the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”— it will spring up and change the entire landscape ( John 12:24 ).