Monday, December 30, 2013

Arnold - Year In Review!

1-  Retirement!  Scott put in his retirement papers for the Sheriff’s office.  He is now officially in the drop program which means that on paper he is officially retired but able to work five more years to help earn money that will be applied to his state funded retirement.

2-  Surgery!  Scott had bicep surgery for a tear that occurred while in training.  He is doing well. 


(Actually, I'm still going)

3- Weight Loss!  With the supernatural power of the holy spirit Mary lost 30#’s.  The Lord used a program to tame her flesh while HE fuel her heart with HIS perfect love.

4- Forever Friends!  It was such a HUGE blessing to connect with the McKinnon's in Seattle this past September.  Oh how we love them!  

5- Alaska!  Scott and Mary celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by taking a 7-day Alaskan cruise.

6-  Speaking Events!  Mary and her friend Lynn had fun speaking at homeschooling conferences in Orlando, Naples, Tampa, and two in St.Petersburg

7- Graduation!  Colton completed his journey with Classical Conversations and will be graduating in May!

 8- Challenge A!  Seth moved into the Challenge program at Classical Conversations.  He is learning so much.  The skill sets they are working on are:

a) Research
b) Comparing and contrasting information
c) Learning how to argue out thoughts respectfully and for the purpose of growing in understanding

9- Foundations & Essentials!  Jacob continues to thrive in both the morning and afternoon programs at Classical Conversations!

10- Football!  Seth and Jacob both enjoyed playing flag football this fall.

11- Girlfriend!  Brandon has met a wonderful, sweet young woman named Julia.  We love her.

12- Emma!  We added a new family member.  She is the princess and longs to sit around and be pampered. 

13-  Ronnie!  On a sad note, we had unspeakable sadness this year as we lost my soon-to-be brother-in-law.  Please pray for my sister Brandy and nephew Joshua.  We love them so much. 

My verse for 2013

"Not by might, nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT says the Lord"  Zechariah 4:6


Friday, December 20, 2013

Matt Bianco - Christ Worthy Event!

For months our servant team has been preparing behind the scenes to host an event designed to inspire, encourage, and equip our Florida Classical Conversations leadership team to better understand the vision of a true classical christian education.  

Our beloved regional and national directors.

A gathering of "some" of our beautiful area managers

These ladies work hours upon hours behind the scenes without any recognition.  I know that HE sees all they do and that many lives are impacted because of their diligence and dedication.

Matt Bianco is first and foremost a homeschooling husband and father.  His passion is learning and inspiring others to do the same.  We spent an entire day discovering how to build curiosity.....or maybe a better explanation was that we learned how important it is to not squash inquisitiveness.  

One of the things I love most about serving with Classical Conversations is that I am constantly encouraged in my role of mother.  I know that I only get one shot at raising my children and I deeply desire to make the most of every moment.  


Every event Classical Conversations offers is first about filling the parent up with HIS living water of TRUTH so that we can then go and pour it out to our children.

"Is my child a soul to be nurtured or a product to be measured?" -- Andrew Kern 

​Matt, brought his oldest son to answer questions about Classical Conversations, Mandala Fellowship.  He was an excellent orator and modeled what excellence looks like as students move from high school into life. 

The directors loved this Q&A portion so much Matt had to actually bring it to a close so he could complete his portion of the training.  

(Thank you for taking notes, Michele Reardon)

*What is my goal in educating my children? Am I trying to raise a child who can enjoy God and glorify Him forever...or a child who graduates college at age 19? Am I raising a child for Harvard, or a child for Heaven? Is he a soul to be nurtured or a product to be measured? (Andrew Kern)

*Don't despise the offering (idea) that your child brings forth. If you continue to do so, he will eventually stop trying. 

*I do this not because my kids will be smarter than other school kids. I do this to help my children become all that God has called them to be.

*Education is a discipleship process...not a competition for who gets first place.

*It is what you feed that become strong. You love math because you feed yourself math. You hate literature because you don't feed literature. Feed it all, even when it is hard.

*When it comes to our child's education, don't have just a checklist mentality. Because you read a book once, or studied the subject one time does not mean you have a full level of understanding. (ex. you don't tell God....yep...I read the Gospel of John one time- don't need to read it again. No, you read it over and over and glean from it more and more). 

*This is why our annual parent practicums are so important (and exciting). Although you've been once before, or even if you have a good grasp of the hear more thoughts and ideas from different perspectives and other people's experiences. We need to do, see, and hear things multiple times. We never stop learning. (and may I add...those that have been around for a few years have a lot they can add to the discussion to share with newer families...)

*Foundations tutors are prepared to tutor Challenge. You are already familiar with the memory work. Now, you get to ask the students questions and lead them in discussions.

We were so thankful for the hands that prepared our meals, made our name tags, and selflessly served our servant team.  

Thank YOU!  Thank YOU!  Thank YOU!

Most of my beloved director team w/ Matt !  I am so thankful for each of these precious women.  I'm honored to walk with them in this season of life.  

Speaking on seasons of life......

From hot flashes to freezing!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Saying Goodbye In Celebration!

Our last day of our Classical Conversations fall semester was overflowing with celebration, joy, and lots of forever memories.

Christa leading worship

Morning assembly time!  Giving the Lord the floor, the honor, and the day each week helps all of us to remember that it is never about us, it's all about HIM!  He is the vine and we are the branch apart from Him we can do NOTHING! (And aren't you thankful)

We had amazing family presentations.  The Sheppard family did a great job of letting us getting to know them.  They closed by sharing one of their favorite hobbies...singing together.  They chose the song, Hey Jude, from the Beatles.  It was so precious to hear those little voices joining mom and dad.    

The Shore Family did a great job following the Sheppards.  Mr. Shore (aka; Brandon) began by singing Hey Jude;-)   First of all, I have come to personally love this great group of people.  Stacy's heart for the Lord and tender mercy minister to me.  Their families claim to fame was that their wedding was featured on, "A Wedding Story".  TLC thought it would be interesting to show a couple who waited for the wedding day to kiss.  How blessed we are that the Lord has sent them to us.  

A wonderful surprise!  We were so honored to have Kim Simrell's parents with us.  They are full time missionaries from South America visiting through Thanksgiving.  My personal prayer for this special couple is that God will use their time here in the states to refuel their hearts to go back out and to continue pouring into the lives of those precious ones HE brings into their lives. 

Celebrating the birth of our newest CC member, baby Mitchell.  Please pray for our sweet Sarah and her family as they prepare to welcome their newest baby boy over our break.  We eagerly anticipate getting to love on and spoil baby Mitchell when we come back!

This was also a time to say goodbye to a very special forever friend....Jennifer Martin.  How blessed we were to have her with us this past 12 weeks.  Her love for Him and for others is her legacy.  We will never forget her or her five children. 

Please pray for their family of 7 as they prepare for the big move home.  

I am so grateful for the hands that worked behind the scenes to make everything possible today.  How honored we are to walk with women with the heart of Christ.  My heart was overwhelmed by the many times I saw beautiful heads huddled in prayer throughout the day.  We really are Better TOGETHER! 

Cards for the homeless!  

When I approached our host church at the beginning of this year to ask how we could best serve and honor them as a way of saying thank you for their gracious hospitality they asked us to do something WONDERFUL!  Their request was to have our students make cards for hurting homeless families.  Faith Covenant works with The Salvation Army.  

Classical Conversations mission is To Know God And To Make Him Known.  I cannot think of a better opportunity to help walk that out.

Keeping the focus on our Savior

As I gaze upon these homemade cards I can't help but imagine how deeply appreciated they will be by those receiving them.  Thank you, Faith Covenant for letting us share in this wonderful ministry.   e a card with deep personal thought invested.

Honoring Faith Covenant!

At the end of our morning program all of our classes gathered together in the sanctuary to help present our cards and a check to our church.  It was so much FUN to have the students play, "Mary had a little lamb" on their tin whistles.  

Pastor Jim was so deeply appreciative of all the cards the students gave him for the Salvation Army gathering. 

Finally, thank you to all our moms who participated in the Jesse tree advent project.  You are so gifted and creative.  As I gazed upon your handiwork I couldn't help but think of what a blessing this will be for your family as you celebrate the risen King this Christmas season.  To GOD be the GLORY!

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.  Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 
-- Ephesians 3:16-18


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Planner Pad Follow-Up Review!

This post is a follow-up.  To read my first review of the planner pad you can click HERE.  I knew that I would love this planner as soon as I began reading about it.  I became a bit obsessed with researching how it works, who uses it, who loves it, who doesn't, what color, what kind, etc.,

So here we are three months later and I just have to tell you that I LOVE this planner even more than when I first started using it.  It has helped keep me organized in the midst of a very busy life.  It's easy to use so I can be consistent. 

There is one change I am prayerfully considering when it's time to order my new planner pad.  I am thinking of moving to the loose-leaf version.  My hesitancy is that I love the size and feel of the spiral bound book, but I don't like that I have no control over adding notes, journals, or extra pages.  The loose-leaf planner pad comes with a hole-punch so that I can use it for everything.  

What types of things would I like to add?

  • Notes from business trainings and meetings
  • Notes from Essentials (Language and writing program)
  • Notes from my quiet time

If you are looking for a paper planner check out PlannerPad.  I do not work for this company in any way.  I just LOVE their product.  If you are an electronic kinda person stay tuned.  Apparently, they are releasing an electronic system in January.  I hope this helps anyone looking for a new planning system as we spiral into the new year!