Thursday, May 31, 2018

Road Trip

road trip, birthday adventures, books with bean

Just a super quick update to let you know that we returned safely from our week-long road trip out West. Thanks to those of you who followed along on Instagram and Facebook. We had a fabulous family vacation, saw so many wonderful sights, plus, we got to spend time with our dear friends Mike and Ella.

There will be numerous posts over the next month to tell you about our trip. Please be patient with us. There are about 2000 pictures to go through, and a lot of word-smithing to do to share about all these fantastic places you might want to put on your next road tip list!

Two places to go put on your list right now, before you even hear our reports:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum  - Mansfield, MO

Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium - Springfield, MO

These are both worth EVERY PENNY!

Above, a quick snapshot of a Frederic Remington Sculpture. He has always been one of my favorite sculptors, and a chance to see several of his cast-bronze sculptures in one museum was a great treat for me.

A thought that God reminded me about while we were out enjoying the rugged no-cell-phone-coverage parts of Oklahoma and Missouri - we all need to spend time finding our calling from God. Who are you when all of the technology is stripped away? Where does God want to use you in the lives of others, and where should your journey be headed? Just some thoughts to think on today.

Look for a special Books With Bean on Monday. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:7

Scripture Writing, hand-lettering, 1 Corinthians

so that you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ ~1 Corinthians 1:7

We are continuing to look at how any of these first nine verses in 1 Corinthians 1 could be used to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the people we encounter every day. I encourage you to choose a verse at a time and memorize it that you might be equipped to share God's love through His Word wherever you may be. The journey God has you on may go across the world, or across your street. Either way, be ready to share the hope that lies within you. (1 Peter 3:15)

-what does it mean to be lacking? To not have enough  to feel like you're always falling short, or stretched too thin. When someone fills in the areas where we lack then we have sufficiency, or even abundance. If the person I am sharing the Gospel with feels that they are always lacking, how might I share with them the abundance of grace that is in Christ? I might talk about the various gifts Jesus has given me, like mercy, peace, and love. Or I might talk about the Spiritual gifts He has given me like the gift of teaching or the gift of encouragement and how He gives these gifts not for my benefit, but that I might use them to edify the body of Christ - His people.

-I also want to share with others something about waiting for God to reveal His plan. In this verse in 1 Corinthians, Paul is reminding the people that when Christ returns He will be revealed as the conquering Messiah, and that God had given them all the things necessary for their wait. God has also given us all the things we need today to wait. While it can be so easy to confuse wants with needs, God gives us what we need so that we are not lacking. Take a look around you: do you see food, water, shelter? Then you have been given so much, your life is sufficiently filled - you are not lacking - when you add in the mercy and grace that God offers each one of us, then you have abundance. Stop looking at your life through the world's eyes and start looking at it as God sees you before and after you accept Christ- first - a sinner in need of a Savior. Once we accept Christ's atoning work on the cross, we go from lacking, to abundance. Clean, forgiven, set-free!

-God is going to reveal our Lord Jesus Christ in a  big way. In the meantime, while we wait, He is revealing small things to us each and every day. He shows us our next step, and He gives us good works to do to share His love with other people. 

-The gift of forgiveness God the Father offers to each and every person through faith in Jesus Christ is a gift that provides all we need - for this life, and the eternal one to come.

To see any of the first six verses, click on the orange Scripture Writing label below.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Books With Bean - Secret Mission

book reviews by teens, Memorial Day freedoms

Happy Memorial Day!

May your day be full of remembering the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms. Celebrate the freedom we enjoy by spending time with your family and friends today.

Today Arlene and I are on a secret mission. We are planning to visit the home of one of her favorite authors. 
If you'd like a sneak peek - go check us out on Instagram this afternoon!

For the rest of you, Arlene and I will be back next week to tell you all about it!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:6

Scripture Writing, hand lettering, Bible memorization

even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you ~1 Corinthians 1:6

-what is the testimony of Christ? What one thing do you most wish to convey about Jesus to others? What has Jesus done on your life? These are the things that make up the testimony of Christ. Not just His death and resurrection - although those are vitally important - but also what He continues to do in our lives today. Start with what He did on the cross, and tell about how it has changed your own life.

My testimony is this: I was a sinful, selfish person, then Jesus forgave me and saved me from myself. I am changed. I am loved, and my desire is to share that message of forgiveness with the world.

What is your testimony?

-how is a testimony confirmed? By two or three witnesses. The testimony about Christ changing the hearts of the Corinthians was confirmed by their outward behavior that showed the inward changes. They were far from perfect, but God was at work in them. How has Jesus changed you? Do people notice the differences? If you were charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Do people see love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness coming from your words and your life?

I pray that our lives would show the evidence of the change Christ has wrought in our hearts. That our testimony would bring glory to God, as we tell others about His love.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:5

Scripture Writing, hand lettering, Bible memorization

that in every way you were enriched in Him in all speech and all knowledge. ~1 Corinthians 1:5

Are you wondering how to see and share the Gospel message from this verse? Look at it again and look for the work that it says God has done on their behalf.

-what does it mean to be enriched? To make something more valuable. The Corinthians had been made more valuable in Christ. They were now priceless because Christ had given them speech and knowledge about Himself. They knew how to share the message of forgiveness and grace. 

-how does our speech and knowledge affect others? If we are sharing God's love, then we are edifying others, or at least challenging them to think about their relationship (or lack of one) with God.

-they were enriched in every way - not just their eternal lives, but their daily lives were made better because they knew about Jesus. They could think about His sacrifice when they were struggling with something, they could think about His service to others while they tended to their own family's needs, and they could remember that He promises us an eternity with Him - there is ALWAYS something to look forward to with Christ as your Lord!

I used to think that I did not have anything to write about that anyone would want to read. Then I read this verse and God showed me that not only did I have something to write about, I had the BEST thing to write about - Jesus!

Just as Paul gave thanks for the work God was doing in the Corinthians' hearts and lives, I am giving thanks for you - because I knew that God's Word does not return void - He accomplishes great things on our behalf. He is working in your life and in mine. For you today, may He enrich you in every way. Know that you are loved!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Privacy Policy

Today I'm reminding you about our privacy policy here at Home Sweet Life. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Our goals here at Home Sweet Life are to share with you about our favorite things, like good books, natural living products, outdoor life, the Christian walk, and education. 

Privacy policy: we do not share your information except to send you emails when new posts occur on the blog, or if you win a prize, so the prize can be shipped to you. See below for more details.

If you sign up to receive the blog posts by email, you will be sent a confirmation (opt-in) email for you to confirm your subscription before you receive any other emails. An email goes out each evening IF there is something new posted on the blog that day. If nothing new posts - then no email. On average we post new content five days a week. We never share, sell, or barter any of your information. 

We do on occasion use affiliate links, but those are always disclosed either at the top (most of the time) or bottom (on rare occasions) of the post. If you click on those links, your page viewing may be recorded by the company whose link you clicked on.

If you enter one of our giveaways, it will state whether the prize is coming from us, or being sent from the sponsor. If the sponsor is sending it, then your mailing address and email will be shared with the sponsor so they can send you your prize. Makes sense right? Good! If we are mailing the prize from here, then all that information stays here.

Hope you're getting ready to have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Last week of the May sale

*this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission. 
We only  share about things we use and like, so this is one worth looking into!

I have two important things to tell you today:

First - Happy Birthday to Arlene! I'm so humbled to be your Mama. 
I hope you're having a wonderful birthday!

Secondly - there is only ONE WEEK left in the May special at! It ends next Thursday night on the 31st! While you may not "do" school during the summer, this is a special worth following up on now. There are a lot of fun yet educational things on there besides just your everyday courses in math, science, and language arts. 

Plus- if you get your new Ultimate Annual Membership now for just $99 a year, it will stay at $99 a year for as long as you renew it. Since the regular price is $179 a year, you can see how this great sale will save you for years to come. 

I'd love to stay and tell you more about, but, I promised Arlene we would go on an adventure for her birthday, so we are out having fun! If you need to know more, just click on the orange label below and it should take you to several other posts where we have shared what we love about SchoolhouseTeachers!

P.S. If you take advantage of the May special, you'll get a cool tote, and still have time to sign up to receive the printed Summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse delivered to your door for no additional charge! Sweet! 
My tote bag is going with us on our adventure today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:4

Scripture Writing, hand lettering, Bible memorization

We are continuing our short series about how you can find the Gospel message in almost any verse of the New Testament if you look for God's work. Today is 1 Corinthians 1:4. If you've missed the first three verses, click on the orange Scripture Writing label at the bottom of this post to get back to the others.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given to you in Christ Jesus ~1 Corinthians 1:4

-while this verse was originally written about giving thanks for a person's conversion to faith in Christ, do not discount it for sharing the Gospel message with those who are still lost. Focus on explaining WHY Paul was giving thanks, and to WHOM he was giving thanks, and for WHAT he was thankful.

-I give thanks to my God always for you - Paul is talking about how thankful he is because of the relationship he had with the church member in Corinth. He thanks God for them as people, and as he remembers them daily it brings him joy. God the Father is to WHOM Paul is giving thanks.

-because of the grace of God - this is the WHY Paul was thankful, because God had saved these men and women from their sinful ways and had set them upon a path to follow His will and share His love with others. They didn't have to be perfect yet, Paul knew God would work in their live over time, but he understood that their faith in Christ has saved them, and God had poured out His grace upon them. These Corinthians were living a life of grace that they did not deserve because Christ had made the necessary sacrifice for their sins. Remember that grace is unmerited favor - getting something good you do not deserve.

-that was given to you in Christ Jesus - this focuses on the WHAT Paul was thankful for. The grace of God was poured out upon the Corinthians (to you) because of Christ Jesus' redemptive work upon the cross. Christ had paid the penalty for their sins, and now that they had been forgiven, they were experiencing God's grace instead of His wrath.

We all have a lot of reasons to be thankful for when it comes to others. Do not be tempted to discount how much joy and growth comes into your life because of those you interact with on a daily basis. Can you pray this verse over someone today? Can you give God thanks for blessing someone else and forgiving them? Then do it! Ask God to give you two people, one to pray this verse over who is already a believer, and one that needs to know that no sin is too big for God to forgive. That will be the person you can share this verse with. Tell them of how amazing grace is!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Books With Bean ~ Little House in the Big Woods

Books With Bean, Laura Ingalls Wilder, book reviews by teens

Title: Little House in the Big Woods 

Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder 

Published: 1932

Genre: Historical fiction 

Summary: Laura lives with her Ma, Pa, big sister Mary and her little sister Carrie in the big woods of Wisconsin. The book follows her life over a year and you learn about how a family back then lived from planting in the spring to harvesting in the fall and even a old fashioned Christmas in the winter.

What I liked about it: I have loved the Little house books since I was young and I love them more each time I read them. The story while partially fictitious in its retelling of Laura’s life it is a great way for people to learn about what it was like living, growing up, working and moving west in the mid to late 1800s. Laura’s family goes through many hardships and many good times as well and these books show a beautiful picture of early Americans’ lives working to make their way in life and making their country better. 

Language: None 

Romance: None

Violence: None

Magic: None 

Recommended Age: Laura in this first book is very young and I think these books are good to read aloud with your children when they are young. and Then have the first one be one of the first books your child reads on their very own as they get a little older as it is both educational and not overly complicated.

Books With Bean, Laura Ingalls Wilder, book reviews by teens

Sunday, May 20, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:3

Scripture Writing, hand lettering, the Gospel in a verse, 1 Corinthians 1:3

This third verse of 1 Corinthians may remind you of many of Paul's other letters. With good reason. It is similar to Romans 1:7b, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2b, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, Titus 1:4, and Philemon 1:3.

What is God trying to remind us of that He prompted Paul through the Holy Spirit to write about it more than ten times?

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Corinthians 1:3~

What is grace? Grace is unmerited favor. It means receiving something we do not deserve. It is receiving blessings beyond number from a Holy God. It differs from mercy in that mercy is not receiving the bad that we deserve. Grace is receiving good that we have not and cannot earn. Grace is the gift of forgiveness coupled with blessing. Mercy is escaping our destiny in Hell because of our sin. Grace is receiving the gift of eternal life and the promise of eternity with God.

Grace is so important because only God can give it to us. I believe God prompted Paul to write so extensively on Grace because we have such a difficult time believing that God would love us. Such a hard time believing that anyone, much less a Holy God would want us after all of our failings, all of our sin. We are so used to failing that we know we can never measure up to God's standards. That us true - we cannot - but Christ can.

Grace is us getting such a huge blessing in exchange for what Christ did on the cross. Nothing we deserve, but everything we need.

What about peace? It is tied into the source of peace - God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Only God can grant peace. It comes from a relationship of trusting in Christ. A peace that truly passes understanding. Unless Jesus Christ is your Lord, you will never find peace. What the world offers us is temporary happiness tied to things or experiences. What God offers is lasting peace, inexpressible joy, HOPE.

Peace is the offering of a secure future, an eternal future. One where Christ reigns as King, and every tear is wiped away.

The world around us is hurting because it lacks both grace and peace. 

Are you lost today? Lonely, without hope? 

Christ will not force you to accept Him as Lord. It is a gift - this offering of grace. You must choose to receive it. Lay down your burdens, come to the cross of Jesus, and tell Him of your need for grace, forgiveness, and peace. 

Unmerited favor, unending joy, hope, and peace await you.
He is waiting for you.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:2

Scripture Writing, memorizing verses, hand-lettering

This one is a long verse, but packed full of so much potential for sharing the Gospel!

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Chris, both their Lord and ours:
~1 Corinthians 1:2~

-To the church of God. Did you know the church is actually NOT a building, but a collection of people who are working together to learn more about God? This church was located in Corinth, Greece. They had a lot of problems, but God was going to teach them and refine then so they could be used for His purposes. He was going to love them through their stubbornness until they learned how to love each other and share His love with the other people in their city. God was not giving up on them, and He will not give up on us!

-They were not the only church out there, just one of the locations where God had people that had bowed their wills to His... or were learning how to give up their own selfishness in exchange for God's loving kindness

-Paul was reminding them that they were supposed to be joined together in love and unity with all the other Jesus followers, all the other Christians around the world. He reminded them that what they shared - their calling upon Jesus and asking for His forgiveness, was bigger and stronger than anything that might try to tear them apart. That Jesus was their Lord and our Lord too. 

-If we are Christians, then our goal is to work with other Christians to spread God's message of salvation as far as we can. We all pray to the same Lord, we all need to be on the same team.

-The only reason we have been sanctified (made holy) is so that we can be used by God for His purposes. He did not sanctify us so we could become self-righteous, but rather, He sanctified us because we could never ever be righteous on our own. We are now clothed in Christ's righteousness, so we had better be mindful of where we wear that robe. Is our daily life glorifying God, or ourselves? Are we making choices that would draw other people to want to learn about Jesus, or have we wandered away from that narrow path that Jesus set us upon?

-When we remember that we are a small part of God's huge plan, we are encouraged to do our part well - with His help and leading - so that we can truly be those who call upon Jesus' name with the assurance that He will always answer us, because He loves us!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

1 Corinthians 1:1

Scripture Writing, memorizing verses, hand-lettering

I have been struck again and again about how Paul's words in the New Testament continually point us back to the message of salvation. Too often we think we must be Bible scholars to share the good news of Salvation through Christ with others. That is simply not true. What we need is to be obedient to share what we know, and trust God to do the saving!

Even if you only know one verse by heart, you can use it to explain the Gospel message, to tell the good news about forgiveness through Christ's redemptive work on the cross.

Please allow me to use these first nine verses of 1 Corinthians over the next three weeks to help show you how. Choose whichever verse or illumination draws you the most and memorize it, so it can become one of your verses to share the love of Jesus with others!

Paul, called by the will of God to be an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and our brother Sosthenes,
~1 Corinthians 1:1~

-God calls us all to follow His will. When we stray, He sends a reminded to us however He needs to in order to get our attention off of ourselves and back onto Him. In Paul's case, God stuck him temporarily blind on the road to Damascus so that Paul (then named Saul) would become dependent on others to lead him around and realize that he had been persecuting Christ's true followers. The message of salvation was shared with Paul by Ananias as he delivered God's message to Paul and restored his sight. We all need the scales to fall off of our eyes so we can see what is true, and be able to discern our  sins and ask for forgiveness.

-God's will is a powerful force. He will accomplish His goals. It is up to us to decide of we want to live in His will, or fight our whole lives to stay outside of His will, and eventually to suffer His wrath. What will you choose?

-Paul was called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ. He was called to be a follower, a rigorous supporter, a teacher of what he had learned from Jesus. We too are called to share that message we have heard about how even though we are sinners, Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive us our sins.

-None of us are perfect except God alone. When God calls us through His will, we need to be listening, and we need to be learning. As we learn then we need to be  both followers of Jesus and those who teach others about Jesus.

-God gives us brothers and sisters in Christ to help us along our journey, to support, encourage, and challenge us. One of those people for Paul was Sosthenes. Who is it for you?

Learn just one verse at a time. Then ask God to reveal to you how you should be sharing its meaning with those around you. Ask Him to give you just one person today that you can impact for His kingdom. Pray for that one person today, and then share His love with reckless generosity with everyone!

Come back on Saturday to see verse two. :)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Books With Bean ~ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

Lion witch and the wardrobe, book reviews by teens, narnia

Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe 

Author: C. S. Lewis

Published: October 1950

Genre: Children’s, Fantasy 

Summary: During World War II many children are evacuated from the city to the country to live and the  four Pevensie children (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) are among many children sent away. They are sent to the large house of a man named Professor Kirke. While exploring one day Lucy discovers an old wardrobe in one of the spare rooms and when she opens it and looks inside she finds that it is the gateway to a magical land called Narnia. There she meets a faun named Tumnus who tells her that it is always winter in Narnia because of the evil white witch that rules over the land. He also tells Lucy that he is supposed to turn any humans he meets over to the witch but he cannot after meeting Lucy so he helps her escape back to her world. Soon after Edmund also finds his way into Narnia while following Lucy to see where she is really going when she says she goes to another world. However he meets the White Witch first and after eating her magical food is under her spell and works on doing her will. Eventually all of the children end up in Narnia and find out that there is a prophecy in Narnia about two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve that will come and defeat the White witch and end her eternal winter.

What I liked about it: I have loved Narnia since the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe was made into a movie when I was 5 years old. I can remember watching the movie in the theater and being in love with Narnia from that moment forward. I remember when I was finally old enough to read the book a few years later and loving it from the start. The characters are well written and the world is so amazing, the plot is interesting and it is simply a perfect little story.

Language: None

Romance: None 

Violence: There is a battle but it is never graphic.

Magic: Narnia is filled with magic, from the talking creatures to the white witch and her eternal winter there is little in Narnia that is not touched by magic in some way. However magic is never controlled by humans (the White Witch, while she is humanoid in appearance, is not a daughter of Eve like Susan and Lucy). The creatures, Aslan and the Witch use magic but not by the children they are just a tool used to set in action the change and the ending of the witch’s magic. 

Recommended Age: Lucy is 8 years old in the first book and that is a good age I think for a first time reading through on a child’s own however they are also good family read aloud books for when children are a bit younger.

Lion with and wardrobe, book reviews by teens, C.S. Lewis

Monday, May 7, 2018

Books With Bean ~ Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Trixie Belden, mysteries for kids

Title: Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion 

Author: Julie Campbell 

Published: 1948

Genre:  Adventure, Mystery 

Summary: 13 year old Trixie Belden's summer has started off really slow. Her older brothers are off at camp, and living outside of town means she doesn’t get to see her school friends very often now that school is out for the summer. With nothing to do but look after her little brother Bobby and weed the garden, Trixie thinks the summer will be really boring until she finds out a family has bought the mansion next door and they have a girl who is her age. Excited at seeing they have horses, Trixie goes over to introduce herself and meets Honey who is the definition of a poor little rich girl. At first Trixie doesn’t think Honey will be much fun but they soon become friends and Honey’s groom Reagan even starts to teach Trixie how to ride. 
Trixie’s other neighbor, the old Mr. Fayne, was taken to the hospital the morning of the day she meets Honey. Since Trixie has always wanted to know what the inside of his house looks like she convinces Honey to go explore the old mansion with her. When they get there they find a boy in the house who is the great nephew of Mr. Fayne. Jim has run away from his cruel stepfather and came looking for Mr. Fayne hoping that he will take care of him. While Mr. Fayne in in the hospital the three kids decide to look around his house for the fortune that is rumored to be hidden inside. Even though their search seems fruitless they become friends and Trixie finds her summer turning out not as boring as she thought it would be. 

What I liked about it: I have always liked Trixie Belden better then Nancy Drew as far as young female detectives go. She always seemed a lot more realistic to me. Instead of being rich and having whatever she wants, Trixie is a normal girl with annoying older and younger brothers,  chores around the family’s small farm, and true honest friends. Yes, Honey does have money, but she is never shown as stuck up. In fact, she remarks several times about how she wished she had a more simple life like Trixie. Their mysteries are fun and intriguing while not being overly complicated. 

Language: None

Romance: As the books go on past the first few and the main cast of characters grows to the full three boy and three girls it becomes apparent that each of the boys like one of the girls and vice versa but as with keeping with the younger audience for the time the books were originally written it never becomes all about the romance and not about the stories. In fact besides it occasionally mentioning that so and so likes so and so it never really gets in to anything romantic at all. 

Violence: Occasionally the bad guys have guns or grab arms tightly but there is never any really graphic violence. 

Magic: None. 

Recommended Age: Trixie is 13 when the books start and gets a little older as the books go on but I would say 12-13 is a good age to start. But they aren’t so long or complicated that a kid of 11 couldn’t read them. 

Books With Bean, book reviews by teens, Trixie Belden, mysteries for kids

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

FREE New TOS supplement!

So this is the cover of the newly released The Old Schoolhouse supplement on Classical Christian & Charlotte Mason methods of education. You can get yourself a free copy! Keep reading to find out how.

I really think you will enjoy this! It contains articles by leaders in the homeschooling fields, as well as day-in-the-life style pieces by several Moms who use these methods with their own children. If you turn to pages 32-33 of the supplement (which are the 35th & 36th pages in the PDF format) you will get to read a lovely piece written by... me :)

This is a free resource for you to enjoy as a gift from The Old Schoolhouse. Encourage your friends to go get their own free copy as well. To make it easy for you, here is the link to the supplement: Classical Christian Education & Charlotte Mason. It is my affiliate link. I won't make anything from you using this link, since it is a free resource, but that's ok because it helps TOS know where the readers are coming from. I would be happy for them to know that you got there from here. :)

That's it for today. Hope you're having a wonderful week!