Monday, October 13, 2014

Christmas is Around the Corner

Dear Homeschoolers,

Wow, it seems just as October hits, Christmas is in the air and the stores.  I think I saw Christmas items beginning in August?   Already hearing advertisements for upcoming holiday programs on the radio.  Amazing how time flies?  So I out came our Christmas music :)  Some of my most favorite music!  Then comes gift giving....what to get everyone?  I can attest from this past summer, that a gift of someone's time is very much appreciated.  From sharing our time helping others to others offering to help us.  It was a crazy summer with much going on, but many of you already know.  

So we begin to reflect on the past year, as the new one is waiting in the wings, about friends and how they have blessed our lives - support, love, assistance and more.  We try to offer our help and expertise when possible.  So thinking what was important to us this past summer/year and it was offers of help and time!  So as we prepare for the Christmas season, we think what can we do for others that involves time and serving.  Our church encourages being friends with others and lending a neighbor a helping hand!!!  So here are some great ideas:

*  Reach out to a family in need
*  Help neighbors by taking their garbage cans back from the curb
*  Note of Appreciation or Thanks
*  Writing a letter to our postal carrier (our home is such that they have to walk to our front door), so we leave gift baskets or a plate of cookies (or zucchini bread)!  On the really cold snowy days, I want to make hot chocolate for postal carrier, but know that is not feasible
*  Helping the Make a Wish Foundation
*  Contributing to Toys for Tots
*  Volunteer
*  Offer a Ride
*  Committing random acts of kindness - neighbors, friends, the homeless
*  Spend time with sick or elderly
*  Invite a family to dinner or a fun weekend event
*  Christmas is a time to pray for those who have (lost jobs, mouths to feed, ill children/family)
*  Operation Christmas Child

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:" 1 Peter 4:10

Of all times of the year, Christmas is a time to count our blessings and give thanks for: our children, families and friends, talents, health, love, friends, homes, - everything we take for granted in our busy, everyday lives and seldom give a second thought. So many others are not so fortunate.

Gifts we are thankful for are not found in the store but in the hearts and souls of others.  Those Good Gifts that we have been blessed with and come from the heart.  The friends who call to check on us, those who lend a helping hand or an encouraging word.  The gifts from God that do not cost anything at all but make our hearts skip a beat and make our hearts sing.  A friend thinking of us on a random day of the year and baking cookies or the unexpected card in the mail (amidst all the bills and junk mail).  Those are gifts that last throughout the seasons, when you can reflect and smile.  One gift from above was a new friend this year that joins us at church most Sundays.

Christmas is a time to forgive those whom we have been angry with.  Christmas is a time to forgive those who we are not in accord with.  Christmas is a time to forgive our enemies and their trespasses and a time to remember our loved ones.

Christmas comes at the end of the year and as such it is a good time to let go of the things which trouble us and to begin life anew.  It is also a good time to strive to be a better person.  It is a good time to remember, reflect upon, and practice the lessons that Jesus, whose Birthday we celebrate Christmas Day for, taught us:  Forgiveness, Charity, Forbearance, Kindness, Generosity - and most of all Love.

So many of you have become friends whom we look forward to seeing each and every time!!!  Thank you!!!!

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."  ― Donna Roberts

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”   ― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected."  A great way to begin the New Year - demonstrating appreciation for others, with actions speaking louder than words….

This Christmas season consider giving gifts that include your time, sometimes those are the best gifts, most remembered gifts of all!  How will you bless someone?  Christmas will be here before we can blink an eye, rejoice and praise His holy name!

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"  2 Corinthians 9:15

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Making Tracks 10th Annual Fundraiser!

Akron Fossils
The Akron Fossils & Science Center offers so much for homeschoolers and others!  From their weekend science classes to their homeschool programs during the week!  Along with a summer camp and birthday party options, this a great way to support all they they do! 
When: Saturday, November 1, 2014
Time:  Doors open at 4:30 pm. Silent Auction begins at 5:00pm.
(Enjoy dinner, auction and entertainment!!!)

Northside Christian Church
7615 Ridge Road
Wadsworth, OH  44281
Last year the museum raised almost $7000 from this event!
Advance Tickets:
Adult:  $12.00

Child:  $7.00

Family:  $55.00

Children 3 and under:  FREEEEEE!!!

2014 Oral Auction Items
  • Hilton Head Condo - Enjoy one week of fun at Hilton Head, SC when you win this vacation package.
  • Seven Springs Condo - Choose a winter ski getaway or summer vacation package with this great condo stay.
  • S&K Asphalt Driveway Seal - Get your driveway ready for winter with this seal coat.
  • Walt Disney World Tickets - Four Park Hopper Passes!

2014 Item Donors

Copley Auto & Collision
Creekside Restaurant
Friends of the Museum
Independence Financial Group
Jim's Locksmith
Plevris Auto
Power Graphics
Bill & Lynn Sanderson
Greg & Jennifer Spickard
Truly Odd by Tirzah Julius

A lot of great auction items!!!  I think there is even an awesome bicycle from Ernie's Bike Shop?  Maybe you know a company that would like to donate or have a business yourself????  Donations requested by October 17th!

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 5:10

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gary Thomas Seminars @ CVC

Friday, October 17, 7-9pm
FREE Sacred Search Seminar

What if it’s not about who you marry, but why?

Saturday, October 18, 10am-4pm
Sacred Parenting Seminar

You’ll learn how God uses our kids to change us and you’ll be encouraged by how you as a parent can handle the challenges of raising a Godly family.
$35/person – includes lunch
FREE Kids Day Camp provided ($5 to cover lunch)

Sunday, October 19 – Gary Thomas teaches in all services!
For more information about Gary Thomas, go to
We have a special block of rooms reserved under Cuyahoga Valley Church at the Crowne Plaza in Independence. The special rate is $89 and only available until 10/10/2014. Access this special rate by clicking the button below or calling toll free 1-866-840-0582.

Also, just at our church (medical & dental professionals):  How awesome is that?
"O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me."  Psalm 30:2

Friday, October 3, 2014

Girls of American History Review & Giveaway!

Dear Homeschoolers!

I am so excited to share this with you!!!   We enjoy the American Girl book series and I was blessed to review this curriculum that goes along with the books.

The curriculum is for the historic periods of the American Girl book series.  In the curriculum, there are so many great resources.  Justine Gamble of Girls of American History does a wonderful job of creating a multi-sensory curriculum for each of the historic American Girls.  additional reading, craft ideas and field trip ideas!   Justine believes that in educational studies, a child should, READ it, SEE it, WRITE it, HEAR it and DO it!

Included in the studies:

*  Additional reading recommendations

*  Arts and crafts ideas
*  Field trip recommendations

What I enjoyed about Justine's American Girl series curricula is that she has put together daily lessons plans.  What could be easier???

We choose to review Caroline.  As we are studying Early Americana, the Civil War through the War of 1812.  For Ohioans, a trip to Put-in-Bay for Perry's Monument and Historical Center along with Fort Meigs would be great field trip ideas!!!  

We visited Put-in-Bay to learn about the War of 1812, so we were interested in Caroline curriculum first.  The information is wonderful and we would like to use the other studies Justine has created with the American Girls.

Here is the website where the winner will be able to select a single curricula from the series:  To be entered into the giveaway, please leave a message below by October 10, 2014.  A random winner will be selected and notified.  I will post the winner's name below.  Thank you and best wishes!!!

"But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”"  James 4:6