Category Archives: Young Man

Homeschool Classroom ~Christian Studies

One area of our older kids’ high school curriculum is their Christian Studies.

Some of what Christian Studies includes studying is God’s word and taking opportunities to serve in our community.  I have previously shared one of their assignments, and you can check it out here.  Today, I want to share one of my absolutely favorite assignments for this class.

Once a month each one of our oldest four students presents a teaching (aka sermon) on a topic they choose.  This gives them a different method of studying God’s word than the verse by verse method we use for our morning Bible study.

The requirements for this assignment:

  • minimum of 5 minutes in length
  • must contain 3 different verse references
  • 1 Greek definition
  • 1 Hebrew definition
  • 1 story to illustrate the teaching

How I score this assignment:

  • time length of teaching- 10 points
  • 3 verses- 5 points each
  • definitions- 5 points each
  • story- 10 points
  • overall presentation- 5 points
  • = 50 point assignment.

Though this is a part of our high school curriculum, Emily Grace (13- 8th grade) and Hannah (11- 6th grade) also participate to expand their knowledge of God’s word and be better prepared for the more difficult topics and higher expectations of their high school years.

Each of them get to choose their own topic, but they have to clear it with me before they get started.  Sometimes the topics they choose can be too broad and need to be a little more focused.

A few of the chosen topics so far:

  • Biblical Courtship vs. Worldly Dating
  • Drawing Strength from God
  • Intentionally Be An Encouraging Person
  • Having a Thankful Heart

I greatly enjoy listening to their presentations and hearing what they have discovered.

What are some other topics do you suggest?

All for God’s glory,

~Rhen

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For the Love of Strawberries

We are a family who loves fresh fruits and veggies, so when the opportunity came to pick strawberries, we loaded up the van and headed to the strawberry fields!

I thoroughly enjoyed our little adventure.   It was a great morning that rolled  science lessons, math lessons, a field trip, a buffet, and a fun time all in to one.

We divided the girls into teams of one Big, one Middle, and one Little with a basket and a goal.  The boys grabbed a basket and headed off with manly swagger to fill theirs faster than their sisters.    It is always a race.  Whatever it is, it is always a race!

They worked hard, but enjoyed every moment of it.  My job was to run the filled baskets up to the “office” and grab an empty one for them to fill.

In the picture above, you can see my boys (Israel -2, and Noah -14) roaming the fields eating and picking.   I am not sure if any of the strawberries that made it into Israel’s hands were ever put into the baskets.

The strawberries were so ripe, juicy, and sweet.

At the top of the fields stood an old shack whose front porch served as the “office”.  It fit perfectly with the couple who handed out baskets and took payment.

We took our bounty of eight overly full gallon baskets home to process.  The little trick of using a straw to core each berry worked beautifully.   Simply use a clean straw to poke through the berry from the bottom up towards the stem.  It will core it and pop the top off with ease.

We put all of the tops, cores, and trimmings to the side and fed them to the chickens.  They were delighted with their treat!  Oh, the happy squawking!

I dried 5 trays of strawberries in my dehydrator.  The chips will be used in our homemade energy bars.  They add nice crunch and flavor.

I cut up and froze a large portion of the strawberries to use in cobblers, smoothies, pies, and homemade ice cream this summer.

 I also attempted to oven dry strawberries as seen in this pin on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/102527328989401617/).   It did not work well at all.  The berries never dried as described and were far too moist to can in jars or bags.  Mold would have spoiled them quickly.  It is too bad it didn’t work.  If you try to oven dry them (not dehydrate them into chips), and it actually works, let me know what you did!    I am still intrigued by the idea.

With our strawberry harvest such a success, I am now looking toward our next fruit-filled adventure at the end of the month when we head out to pick peaches!

Do you enjoy getting out to the farms and being a part of the harvesting?

All for God’s glory,

~Rhen 

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Favorite Thrift Store Finds- January

Yes, shopping thrift stores is a great way to save money and keep your budget under control, but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt!  *wink*  Finding a treasure, a diamond in the rough, amongst a bunch of junk, is more than worth the time.

Here are my favorite finds for January.

I have been on the hunt for an adorable coat for my sweet Susannah.  She has a coat that is just fine for wearing outside to play in but not for going out in public.  I happened upon a gorgeous, chocolatey-brown Rothschild coat for less than $4.00!  Yes! Score for this thrifty momma!   I also found this adorable skirt.  It has a little gold thread running throughout, and it adds a touch of sparkle.

We had two great finds for Renee, both under $6.00 each.  The first is a black wool jacket that is gathered at the waist.  I love it when she wears it with a silky scarf tucked under the collar and flowing down the front.

The second is an absolutely gorgeous blue suede blazer with a lovely detail.  The kicker?  It is a brand new jacket with the original tag still on it.  That tag read $79.99.  Booyah!

Some women love shoes, while others have a thing for jewelry, and still others for purses and different bags, I have a little thing for jackets and blazers.  I am always on the lookout for something that is suede, loaded with personality, or just a little piece of eye candy.  *grin*

The warmth of this burnt orange suede blazer looks fantastic with my cream colored shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots, and some simple drop earrings.

My “fun find” was this lap harp I discovered buried under a bunch of kitchen odds and ends.  It is missing one string (easily replaceable), and it was handmade in Romania (how cool is that!).  We are a music family who greatly enjoys finding and learning to play new instruments.  After our trip this fall to Fort Toulouse’s Pioneer Days introduced us to a fantastic character who beautifully played a large version of a lap harp, I had to snatch it up ($3.00)!

My January finds also include a few Van Heusen shirts in pristine condition for Noah, a couple of shirts for myself, several pairs of blue jeans for the kids, and a small tablecloth.

I don’t usually shop for myself, but I recently accomplished a pretty aggressive purge of my clothing, getting rid of items I never wear, I have lost too much weight to wear, aren’t my colors, or have become worn out.  I thoroughly enjoy putting together complete outfits that cost me very little.  Not to mention, the vintage items I find in the thrift stores totally fits my classic yet bohemian style.

How about you?  Do “hunt” through thrift stores?  Do you enjoy finding treasures for next to nothing?

God bless,

~Rhen

View From My Porch (Link Up)

Welcome to this week’s edition of View From My Porch!

This week’s post has been provided courtesy of our five-year old tornado, Susannah.

Beautiful glass, isn’t it?

Can you guess what it is?

Here is a little bit of a wider shot.

It is the fifth gazing ball that has been smashed into tiny beautiful shards that are so incredibly difficult to find and clean up.

While the untimely demise of my gorgeous glass ball lies firmly on the shoulders of Susannah and her bike, she did not break all five of them.  No, no, no, the whole family has joined in on the attacks against the lovelies I like to adorn my gardens with.  Mark (hubs), Noah (14), Emily Grace (12), and the roughness of moving have all done their part.

It is a conspiracy, I tell you!

As is so apparent, I cannot have glass or anything breakable in my gardens, but I love the look of a colorful orb.  So, that brings me to my next question.  Can you help me?  What can I repurpose, make, and/ or create to take the place of my far too delicate glass gazing ball?  We are talking a need for Superman durability here!

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So, what are you going to share from the view from your porch?

To God be the glory,

~Rhen

You Capture! ~Shoes~

My boys!
I will often find Israel (21months) tromping through the house wearing Noah’s (14) shoes. He can barely make it 3 steps before he is picking himself up from the floor…again.
Yet, it seems as though it wasn’t that long ago that I was watching Noah do the same thing with his Dad’s shoes.
I didn’t think Noah would ever grow in to those shoes that squeaked and clumped across the floor as his baby feet tried so hard to walk just like Daddy.

Now, my oldest boy is no longer a boy, rather he is grown enough to wear the same size shoe as his Dad. When did he grow so much? When did he mature from a little blonde haired, adventurous whirlwind into a young man?

As watch Israel’s toddler legs struggle to keep up with his older brother, I see a little man who is just as determined to take on this world, even if it means doing it with just one shoe!

This post is linked up with Beth’s You Capture! photo challenge.

Because that shade of purple just isn’t manly!

Our family’s recent move has greatly blessed us with more space, including much larger and better laid out bedrooms for the kids.  While there is decorating and arranging to do, one bedroom topped the list as imperative:  Noah’s (14) bedroom.

The boy’s room was PURPLE.  I am not talking about a light lavender or something easy to cover.  It was PURPLE, and, as Noah stated oh so insistently, purple just isn’t manly.

https://i1.wp.com/img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/Renoem/Blog%20posts/8NR.jpg

I must admit, we did have a good time picking on him for a few weeks about his lovely purple walls.  *giggle, snort*

https://i0.wp.com/img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/Renoem/Blog%20posts/7NR.jpg

Part of the floor that is not carpeted was painted an even darker purple.  Seriously.

He pestered and pestered me until I finally took him to select his new wall color.  Kids are good at that whole pestering thing, aren’t they?  I am sure he gets it from Dad.

We decided to go with a colonial color pattern that included most of the walls and the purple floor being painted a gray blue, while one wall was painted a cranberry red color as an accent.

The cranberry-red accent wall.

The cranberry red accent wall.  I am looking to cover the shelf with either a curtain or doors.  I would be able to paint the doors with chalkboard paint.  That would be a bonus.

Can you see Sherlock, the Chinese Water Dragon's, home on Noah's dresser?  That lizard just adores him.  I didn't know that was possible.

Can you see Sherlock, the Chinese Water Dragon’s, home on Noah’s dresser? That lizard just adores him. I didn’t know that was possible.  The mirror you see will be hung on the wall in that area next to Noah’s dresser.

We created a faux window with a sapling and a pair of cranberry red tab top curtains.  A saved-from-destruction chair, a stool, and a magazine rack create a great reading space, while the secretary and ladderback chair give Noah a writing desk for letters and his homesteading plans.

Reading, origami, pen pal letters, and homesteading plans!

Reading, origami, pen pal letters, and homesteading plans!

The area above the faux window is a perfect place to display his name sign.

https://i1.wp.com/img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/Renoem/Blog%20posts/4NR.jpgGranny helped to really set the tone for the room with the quilt she blessed Noah with for the 14th birthday he recently celebrated.  His bedroom makeover was a part of his birthday present from Dad and I.

The cranberry red and the gray blue are a perfect match.  I will be using a few more accents in the room to bring out the green.

The cranberry red and the gray blue are a perfect match. I will be using a few more accents in the room to bring out the green.

We repurposed an old trunk and placed it at the end of his bed.  It holds his extra sheets and blankets.  I love this so much more than them taking up space in th closet.  I have cedar and lavender in the chest to give the sheets and blankets a great scent when he uses them.  On top of the chest is an old typewriter he is fascinated with.

https://i1.wp.com/img.photobucket.com/albums/v213/Renoem/Blog%20posts/2NR.jpg

He loves his room.  You can’t get a better thank you than the look on their face when it is all done.

Now that Noah has his own space, it is time to get to work on creating great spaces for the girls.  The only thing we purchased in Noah’s room makeover was the paint.  Everything else was found, given, and repurposed.  My goal for the girls’ rooms is to completely decorate their rooms without spending a dime.  I will be taking a lot of pictures and sharing just how we do it.

So, what do you think?  Is it manly enough for a 14 year old young man?  *grin*

God bless!

~Rhen

Taking Giant Homestead Steps Forward

It has been almost three years since our family’s move back to our home state of Alabama, and we have been more than ready to get our homestead up and charging full steam ahead.

If you have that homesteading spirit, then you understand just how hard it is to put those dreams on the back burner until you find the right home and property.  In our previous house, Mark and I would walk around and talk of chickens and chicken houses, guineas and gardens, and milk goats.  Now that we are in this new house, we are turning all of that talk into action, and I am loving it!!

My fantastic hubs, Mr. Muscles, has completed the building of the chicken house,the outside accessible nesting box, ladder roost, run door and ramp, and has only to run power to it.  It is such a blessing to be married to an electrician!  🙂

We have spent no money at this point in building our chicken house.  Rather, it has been built by investing a lot of time and hard work by reclaiming wood from an old deck that we have been tearing down.  The paint, red for the walls and white for the trim, was scavenged from someone who was throwing it away.  The windows were also being discarded, so we put those to good use as well!

The chicken house is almost done! I have one more coat of red to put on it, then I can move onto painting the trim white.

I have a little place in my heart for old barns, so that my chicken house has that look to it makes me smile.  Hubs is no longer surprised when I start yelling for him to pull over so that I can photograph an old barn that has caught my attention.  *grin*

Next comes adding the attached chicken run.  Mark (hubs) and Noah (14) started setting posts and framing it in this past weekend.  While we have the wood to repurpose into the framing, we have had to purchase the chicken wire.

Now we need some chickens to call our new chicken house home!  Less than two weeks ago we hatched out 7 chicks that are currently housed in our master bathroom.  What?  You don’t keep chicks in your bathroom?   I know some of you do!

My mom is blessing us with several laying hens just as soon as the chicken run is completed!  I am beyond ready to start gathering eggs from our own hens again.

Some of the chicks we have hatched out!

Also around the homestead, the cool weather makes it a lot easier to work on our future raised beds.  While Mark is building the chicken house and run, I have been focusing my attention on claiming this area for two raised beds that will step down this slope.  I have several 4×4’s that need to be moved and a good bit of digging to give a solid foundation.  I have great plans for this area, including a new paint job on the lattice work that surrounds underneath the porch.

Our future raised beds. 🙂

I can’t wait to give you the grand tour of our chicken house and share its little details when it is completed and teeming with chickens (which will hopefully be next week!)

Do you hear that homesteading call?

To God be the glory,

~Rhen

This post is linked up with Homestead Revival’s Barn Hop!