Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest Writer: My Mom

As soon as I read my mom's endearing comment to this post, I just had to repost it.

The 41 year “date”
On June 2, 1973 my husband, Curtis Gilbert, Sr., took my hand and asked me out on a “date”. During that “date” we planned our future, traveled, worked, loved, laughed, danced, cried, argued, honored, shopped, encouraged, complained, disagreed, prayed, worshiped, served, celebrated, shared, dined, gave, entertained, promised, respected, nurtured, courted, and had two beautiful babies. Most importantly, we learned the significance of having Jesus at the center of our lives.

On July 15, 2014, after 41 years of marriage, he brought me home from that “date”. He told me good night in the most caring and loving way possible as he entered the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I miss him deeply, but know that I will see him again.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sorrowfully Shining the Light

God has been so faithful in blessing my family with joy, hope, and peace as we grieve the loss of my dear father.  Although we are very sorrowful, we are also rejoicing in God's goodness.
As I mentioned in the previous post, my dad fulfilled the purpose that the Lord had for him.
And he would want me to fulfill my ultimate purpose to shine the light of Christ in this very dark world.  Darkness is in Every. Corner. Of. The. World.  My dad is actually the privileged one because he gets to be with the Savior now while the rest of us believers wait for the day when we will be with our God and "he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither morning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4). Until then, I strive to shine the light of Christ in my tiny corner of this fallen world.  As I home educate my children, I desire to more intentionally point them to The Light of the World - Jesus!

North Carolina Unit
Speaking of light in the darkness, our recent North Carolina Unit was focused on lighthouses. The tallest lighthouse in the US is located in NC - the Cape Hatteras Light. We started this unit by discussing John 8:12 and listening to the Seeds Family Worship song based on John 8:12.  By the way, we LOVE the Seeds Family Worship songs!  If you haven't heard of them, check them out! It's definitely not just for kids; my hubby & I enjoy singing these great truths as well.  

We read this nonfictional story of bravery about a teenage girl named Abbie Burgess who tended a lighthouse for a month by herself.  Her father, the head keeper of the lighthouse, was away from the island getting supplies and her mother was very ill at that time. 
Then, Carysse completed this Graphic Organizer about Abbie while Kalia did a Color by Number Lighthouse

We culminated our unit by making these lighthouses. Thanks Mom for the red cups! :-) 

This Little Light of Mine, I'm gonna let it shine! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Saddest Day of My Life

July 15, 2014 will forever be etched in my memory because it is the day that follows the dash on my father's gravestone. Two in a half weeks ago, my dad, at the age of 64, went to be with his Savior suddenly following a heart attack.  My heart has a hole in it that is now filled with deep sadness.

I had the privilege to give a reflection at my dad's funeral.  Here's what I said -

As I pondered coming before you to give a reflection about my dear father, I thought I was going to talk about his love for people and how he brought so much life, joy, and laughter to every group that he was with.  But you probably already knew that.

Next, I thought I was going to talk about his love for the elderly who were homebound and how he would joyfully visit them, take communion, and speak God’s Word to them. But you probably already knew that.

Likewise, I thought I was going to talk about his love for gathering with God’s people and how he would delight in being present whenever the doors of the church were open and how he served the church diligently.  But you probably already knew that.  

Then, I thought I was going to talk about his love for caring for his family and how he sacrificially served us in any way that he saw a need. How he countlessly drove 10 hrs to visit my family and joyfully took my disabled son on walks around our neighborhood. But you probably already knew that as well.  

So, what should I say about a godly man, loving husband, caring father, and faithful friend? Nothing other than that my dad was born a sinner like all of us but he put his trust in Jesus & at that point God began a good work in him and saw it to completion.  The morning after I got the news that my dad had passed and was now with Jesus, I read Psalm 138.  
The Psalmist begins by giving thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness. And it ends by saying, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”  As tears flowed down my face that morning, I gave thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness towards my family through my dad’s life.  And I was overcome with peace and assurance that the Lord fulfilled his purpose for my dad.  On the evening of Tuesday, July 15, I believe that my dad was given the most glorious welcome that he’s ever received as His Savior said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’  

Please pray for my family especially for my mother who lost her beloved husband of 41 years.
My Parents ~ Valentine's Day 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

E + E = 2 Great Scientists

New Jersey Unit
Albert Einstein, the German-born scientist, spent the latter part of his life in New Jersey.  We decided to focus on Einstein for this unit.  He is considered the greatest scientist of the twentieth century.  He has no concrete connection to the mathematical concept of "Pi" which measures the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter which is approx. equal to 3.14159.  However, March 14 (3.14) Einstein's birthday is also Pi Day! I'm definitely not going to teach my 7 & 3 yr old about Pi, but we had fun with circles anyway. :-)

 I showed C. how to find the diameter of a circle.  She gathered several round objects from around the house, traced the circles on paper, & then measured their diameters.

We searched through our recycle bin for round objects and placed them in a round plastic sorter.
Then the girls had fun creating a circle collage!

Grand Finale - "Pi" Dessert
(Mini graham cracker pie crust, vanilla pudding, and mini Oreos)

Ohio Unit
Even though we're not on the "O" states yet, we decided to do our Ohio Unit after New Jersey because of another scientist/inventor ~ Thomas Edison.  He was born in Ohio but his 1st lab was in New Jersey. He is considered one of the greatest inventors of all time. 

Interesting Facts about Edison: 
* He was home schooled by his mother.
* He was partially deaf.
* He proposed to his wife in Morse Code.

We really enjoyed the book "Now & Ben" that we read for our Massachusetts Unit. When I found out that the same author wrote a book about Edison, we checked it out! We liked how the author explained how many of the modern technology we use today is because of Edison's inventions. Some of the things he invented were the phonograph, transmitter for telephones, alkaline battery, & the motion picture camera. But he is mostly known for his invention of the incandescent light bulb! 

We had 2 light bulbs go out the week of our unit.  The Lord always sets up these things for us by providing exactly what our homeschool needs exactly when we need it! 
The girls had fun coloring the bulbs.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Science Fun with Kool-aid & Rain!

We still have school over the summer months but with a more relaxed schedule.  We definitely do more hands on activities because who wants to be stuck at a table doing seat work after six months of a gruesome winter?!?!
Nebraska Unit
The Official State Soft Drink of Nebraska is...Kool-aid!  
This was a good excuse to buy a beverage we never drink.  But, the girls didn't like it because I refused to add the required amount of sugar it takes to taste good. :-/
So, we had much more fun using it for activities! 

We poured 4 packets of Kool-aid onto poster boards & the girls used their spray bottles to create works of art. 

Their creations were beautiful! C. said hers (on the left) looks like Northern Lights. I agree!  

We also did a Walking Water Experiment.  K. added yellow food coloring into one glass of water & C. added red Kool-aid into another. We talked about the words, "Absorb" & "Gravity". 

1st Observation (9:00AM)
Final Observation (7:30AM the next day)
 They were ecstatic to see the colored water walk & blend to make orange. 

I found this observation sheet at The First Grade Parade

Grand Finale

Nevada Unit
According to, Nevada takes the lead as the least rainy state in the US, with only 9.5" of rain each year.  That's a lot less rain than our state gets! So, we decided to do a fun Science Experiment for this unit as well. 

After I got a Flash Flood Warning on my phone, I knew that was a good night for our
Measuring Rainfall Experiment. 
We set the container out at 8:00PM when it started raining. 

It didn't stop raining until 12:00PM the next day!

C. predicted that we'd get 1 cup of water & K. predicted 2 cups.
We actually got a little over 2.5 cups (3.5").

Nevada is known as The Silver State due to the importance of silver to its history and economy. 
After reading the book "Silver", we decided to do some silver creations. 

Silver paint pen on black card stock with silver plastic-coated wire. 

Aluminum covered cardboard canvas with Sharpies. 

Grand Finale - sorry for the glare; silver is quite shiny! :-)

May my children grow to love Jesus and seek His wisdom like Silver (Prov. 2:4)!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let it Go, Moms!

This is funny & So True! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Most Beautiful Wedding...

For the most beautiful servant!

Matt has been serving our family as Christian's Sunday morning helper for the last 2 years!  
He is one of the most humble, reliable, Christ-like young men we know.  He wants to and delights in serving Christian EVERY Sunday morning in order for my husband & I to hear the preached Word together.  He is definitely an answer to prayer and a sweet blessing to our family.  

We were honored when he & his lovely Bride-to-be asked Kempton to do their wedding counseling and officiate their wedding.  The wedding was this past Saturday.  As everyone knows in our city, it thunderstormed that whole morning.  We started praying that the Lord would favor that afternoon with nice weather for the wedding.  Well, He heard and answered!

Look at that sky! 

God was so faithful to His faithful servant! 

May the Lord bless you & Caitlin to keep walking faithfully with Him. And may you have many breath-taking, God-glorifying days as your wedding was! 
We Love You!