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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ranger Kids Day, Hygiene Kits, and a Cookout Oh My

What an incredible day I had today. Started out taking our small (2) Ranger Kids Patrol to Ranger Kid Day. The District did a great job putting this together, in spite of some technical difficulties with the sound system. The theme was the Olympics and all the boys had a great time. My nephew Christian even took 6th place in one of the events (they awarded up to 10 places in individual events and up to 6 places in team events).
The real highlight for me was our service project, gathering Hygiene Kits for Convoy of Hope. We were told at our last round table meeting and followed up with an e-mail that the district would be collecting the hygiene kits and mailing them out all we had to do was put them together and bring them to Ranger Kid Day. Well we ran an insert in our church bulletin for 3 weeks and were able to collect 56 Hygiene Kits not bad for such a short amount of time. I just want to thank everyone who put together a kit for our outpost (I will express my thanks in person tomorrow morning during church), and if you haven't had a chance to put a kit together or would like to put another one or two together you can check out the link below on where they can be shipped.

Personal Hygiene Kits::Convoy of Hope

So anyway after driving the kids back to the church, I went to drop off my nephew and found out my wife and mother in-law were out shopping for fixings for an impromptu cookout. There is nothing like burgers on the grill after a great day of ministry. At this moment I just feel so blessed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Week Down

Whirlwind of activity over here as I really start to get my head around Leading the worship team. Leading is a funny word when it comes to this ministry as we are practically starting from scratch. I'm so thankful that God has placed some extremely talented individuals in my church. So I have successfully made it through two Sundays leading worship and organizing our merry little band. Dave B. has been a real blessing, having not only great talent but also a servant's heart. Paul P. has proven a great rock to lean on and Armand has really stepped up to the plate on Thursday nights freeing me to keep focused on the Ranger Kids. The Girls have been amazing and it is exciting to see them getting excited about serving the Lord. And I was taken aback by how talented Ed L. is on guitar. Finally I'm also taken aback by how awesome God is.

I'm reminded of the parable of the talents and of how God rewards those that use what they have for God by giving them more. I always knew this to be true but never have I seen it manifested so obviously in my own life as I have over the last few months. My wife got me a guitar for my birthday at the end of January, and not only am I playing it at church already (not quite sure when it all clicked) but I am also playing the keyboard far more proficiently than I ever did before. Considering I haven't played consistently for well over 6 years. It's like everything I ever learned about music and worship in particular has finally begun to mesh and is now starting to be put into practical application.

It's exciting and humbling at the same time. I should be more stressed out by it, but I'm not. I guess i could chalk it up to previous experience, but I suspect a lot of it has to do with my new found confidence in the talents and abilities God has given me. I'm just starting to accept the fact that I am talented and that it is okay to admit it. The key is to find a balance between the tension of humility and pride, and to remember ultimately my talents are meant to show forth God's glory. St. Irenaeus said "The glory of God is man fully alive." Well, I coming to life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where did the time go...

Wow, April already. I haven't blogged in a while (not because I didn't have anything to say, just been super busy) so I decided I would make an entry today. Not sure where to start, so much has been happening lately. I guess we'll continue where I left off about the new direction God is leading me in my life.

Had the chance to speak to a great friend about how to proceed and got some awesome advice. (Thanks Sue :) ) So I some stuff in the works on that front, I will hopefully make some headway this week but don't want to get ahead of myself. I have to keep telling myself to wait on God's timing in everything.

Last month was birthday month (I lost count of how many people I know who have birthdays in March) so very busy with parties plus I was suffering with a sinus infection all month. Needless to say we did not get a lot of school work done. (Did I forget to mention my wife also had her spring break from school so we also took that week off so we could spend time with her.)

The good news is we are finished with both history and science for the year and are close to being done with Latin as well. This will work out well as we will be starting to pack the house up in earnest in a few weeks. It is official we are moving back to my mother in-laws three tenement house. (It's only one street over and the rent will be cheaper.) Wee need to be packed up and moved by the end of June. Then the real fun begins. Can anyone say road trip?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Need Some Advice

Over the past few months, I have alluded to where I think God is calling me. After much reflection and prayer, I have decided to take the next step. My problem is I don't know what that step should be. I don't want to rush ahead of God, but I also know that I have to take that first step in faith.

So, here is where I think God is leading me and my dilemma. I feel called to minister with the musical ability I have been given. My heart is to bless the church through song and testimony, and I feel God is giving me the OK to move ahead to the next step. That brings me to my dilemma.

I have no idea what to do next. When I lived in New Jersey I knew many Pastors and could have probably sang in their churches to get my feet wet, or at the very least solicited advice or references. Living in Rhode Island, I really don't have the contacts I had before.

So I have two questions for everyone.

1. Do you know where I should start?

2. More importantly, do you feel this is where God is leading me? ( I have a peace about it, just looking for some confirmation and encouragement here.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Planning Ahead

So when I started this blog I said it would be about my life as a homeschooling Dad, and it has been very focused on me lately. So, I thought I would do an entry regarding the most dreaded question in homeschooling. No, not the socialization one, though that one ranks up there in annoyance right next to nails on a chalk board. No, I'm talking about, "What curriculum do you use?"

I guess I find it annoying because I don't use one set curriculum. I use what works, usually through trial and error. So without further ado, I present my current choices for next years curriculum arranged by subject, along with the reasons I chose them.

Let's start with the core subjects

Bible

Discover 4 Yourself Bible Studies by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt
I chose this series (actually my wife spied it at a home school conference) because first of all I trust Kay Arthur, and second the approach does more than teach what the Bible says but also how to study what it says. Each study is from 4 to 7 weeks in length and ranges in price from $5 to $9. There are enough titles in the series right now (more are on the way) to cover three or more years of Bible. (We have one more years worth of studies left in our library plus a few we will do over the summer).

Civics (This encompasses Social Studies, History, Geography, and Government)

Medieval History Study Guide by Rea C. Berg
This study guide put out by Beautiful Feet Books uses literature to teach history. I love the idea of living books, as it allows history to come alive. The study guides we have used so far have been great and informative. They are relatively inexpensive ($12.95 - $17.95) and some will cover both middle school and high school level work. The literature used can be purchased but many titles are available through your local library keeping costs down, though we have purchased many of the titles for our own library.

Foreign Language

First Start French by Danielle Schultz
This will be our first year of French and I'm excited about using this series by Memoria Press. We have been using their Latin Curriculum for the last 4 years and have found it very well designed. I'm hoping that this series will not disappoint. Why French and not Spanish? Simple we are continuing our studies of the root languages of English. I'm hoping to find a user friendly Greek Curriculum for our high school studies. Again this curriculum is pretty inexpensive with the full kit (Teacher Guide, Student Book, and Pronunciation CD) under $40. (Are we sensing a theme here???)

Second Form Latin by Cheryl Lowe
I'm still up in the air on this one, but I'm including it in the list. We are wrapping up Latina Christiana II this year and I'm still trying to decide whether or not to continue with our Latin studies. If we do this would be the curriculum of choice. Also by Memoria Press, this curriculum is a continuation of the Latina Christiana Series, Also I can get it at a discount now because it is still being Beta Tested.

Language Arts

Learning Language Arts Through Literature by Susan S. Simpson
I love this series as it uses real literature to teach language arts, I only wish I had found it sooner. For less than $50.00 ($25.00 if you want to fore go the optional workbook) you get a well design curriculum based on classic literature and the Bible.

Jump In by Sharon Watson
We actually started using this book this year and will continue to use it in the next few years. It is a writing curriculum for reluctant writers, that uses a step by step approach to teaching writing. I like this one because it doesn't make the assumption that my daughter knows how to write. It is also less than $30, and put out by the folks at Apologia Educational Ministries.

Mathematics

Math 7: A Teaching Textbooks by Greg Sabouri and Shawn Sabouri
This is my first choice for a math curriculum. We have used Teaching Textbooks for the last two years and my daughter loves it. It is a computer based curriculum that has detailed explanations and solutions for every problem. My only regret with this one is the price at $150 it is a tough pill to swallow. I have managed the last few years to get discounted copies at the CBD Warehouse Sale.

Science

Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay L. Wile
I love Apologia Ministries. This curriculum is creation based and scientifically sound. We have enjoyed their Elementary level text thus far and are looking forward to this one.

Electives

Art

Lambs book of Art 2 by Barry Stebbing
We have been using this book this past year and are about 1/2 way through. I like the way this is laid out and will use this again because I already own it. Of course I also teach Art at our home school co-op so this one is easy on the wallet.

Music

God Made Music 7 by Joe Swaim
I've always been intrigued by this series, and the samples I've seen show great promise. Of course, my daughter also gets to participate in a Music class at our co-op and of course is in the children's choir at church.

That pretty much covers everything except for Health and Physical Education. I'm still looking for a decent Health curriculum but that is what Mass HOPE is for. My daughter is involved in Gymnastics and enjoys Ice Skating for most of the school year. Also my wife is using this for some of the trickier areas of Health Education that I'm not really comfortable with.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Taking Care of Business

And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49


I love that verse of Scripture. In some translations it is rendered as in my Father's house, which is probably more accurate, but in either case I like the idea that being in God's house, and consequently about His business, is so much more important than anything else we may intend or want to do. I want to be about God's business. So I've taken the first steps toward that goal this week.

The week started off with my first session with my new voice coach. (Thank You for doing this Ashley!) When I was recording the Cd for my mom, I was told if I was serious about singing I should get a voice coach. (Thank You George for this advice.) And if I'm going to use my voice to minister to others, I want to do it with excellence. It's not just about getting the best sound either, its about knowing how this "instrument" works and how to take care of it. If I can learn the mechanics then I can make them automatic and have more confidence in my ability.

I've also started taking a course through Berean School of the Bible, a part of global university. If God is calling me to ministry then I want to make sure I am fully equipped for the task. I want to be about my Father's business.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Superbowl Sunday

Wow, where does the time go. I can't believe its been an entire month since I've made a post. So anyway, watched the Superbowl, (great game, go Saints!) and one of the Superbowl commercials really stuck out to me. It was the one from the NFL thanking their fans. I sat there thinking to myself as the commercial showed all the various fans and than ended with the following words "To the best fans on the planet. Thank You." So simple yet it touched me, but not because I took it to heart that the NFL were thanking me, but because I was reminded of a similar sentiment expressed in Matthew chapter 25:21 "His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Someday I will attend the greatest party in the universe, a grand wedding feast that for all intents and purposes will never end and God will turn to us and just as a proud father would, He will beam with pride over all we have done and welcome us into our true home.

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed He'll prepare for us a place.
When we all get to heaven, What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus, We'll sing and shout the victory.

- Eliza E. Hewitt

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Easy does it...

Well the Holidays are over, and what a relief. seemed like they were extra busy this year. So let's recap. I finished the CD for my mom and sent it out late. She should be getting it any day now. Also gave a few copies to some friends down in New Jersey and sent a copy to my brother just to see what he thinks.

So now it's back to the old routine. Sasha and I finally started school this week (we were going to start on Monday but I came down with a cold so we didn't start until Wednesday. This was my first cold of the season by the way.) Slow going but we are making progress.

We have gymnastics today followed by church. (I still need to pick up a few things for Ranger Kids tonight from the dollar store.) I can't wait to get back to working with the boys. (3 weeks is way to long.)


Ok, so now onto something new. Well not new for me, but I haven't really talked about it on here yet. I'm seriously thinking giving talks on being a homeschool dad. I realize that I have a lot to share not only with homeschool dads but also with dads in general. Some topics that God has put on my heart include: Being a stay-at-home dad (this is really on the rise in our current economic crisis), Being a Homeschool Dad, Homeschooling with a Chronic Illness (having FMS makes homeschooling difficult at times), A Father's Role in a Child's Education (This applies to all fathers not just homeschooling ones.)

So I'm mentioning this so that I can get some feedback and prayers from my friends. I was a training facilitator for almost five years, so speaking in front of people doesn't phase me. It's the subject matter that frightens me. I want people to take me seriously as these are serious topics. Any advice or encouragement would be appreciated.