Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nature Explorers Club~Marshall Canyon Trail

What a gorgeous day for a hike!  The Nature Explorers Club met this month for a new hike at Marshall Canyon Trail. The weather could not have been more perfect. Not only that, but we had a new family join us today~Yay!! Okay, so maybe I bullied them into coming, but hey, whatever gets the job done! All the kids had a blast and even the little ones made it back to the cars on their own two feet. Can't wait til the next hike!
Look what we spotted! 

Look at those clouds!

Look! Dino truck skeletons!

All the oak trees make this a beautiful retreat

Is there anyone else I'd rather photograph??!

Trying to get another group shot; out of 10 pics, this one is as good as it gets!

Hello there, pretty ladies

A little uphill action never hurt anyone!

and a little more uphill action.....

Boys being boys! Find a stick, pick it up, find something to beat with it!

They don't grow out of that stick phase....

lil' men :)

You see that dome WAY off in the background? That's how far we went! Okay, so it's a lot further than it looks in the pic; it wasn't a straight line people ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nature Explorers Club~Bailey Canyon Park

The Nature Explorers Club finally went on our first hike of the new school year~yay!! I definitely wanted to try some new hikes this year and internet-stumbled upon one not too far from our house. The location was Bailey Canyon Park in Sierra Madre and we braved the Canyon View Nature Trail to the water fall. It was an awesome and enjoyable hike. With the recent rains we've had, everything was looking so fresh and green! The hike was pretty easy. There are some spots that the young ones need some help traversing, but nothing impossible! Part of the hike does include a very steep section, but it was definitely worth it and we could all use a little more exercise, right?! Although the waterfall is seasonal, we were lucky enough to see a little trickle still coming down. What a beautiful day it was to enjoy God's wondrous creation! 
Okay, so maybe this pic isn't so nature-y!

Headin' off
Love being outdoors!
Always time for a photo op!
Thanks for leading the pack!

Yes, one of these is an adult! ;)

Time for a quick nap!

"No kids, we didn't say 'waterfall', we said 'wetwall'" 

Mommies trying to get our act together for a pic. 
This is as good as it gets!

Our newly appointed Nature Explorers Club storyteller!

Hiking AND rock climbing~we know how to have a good time!

Love this shot!
 Can't wait til next month!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's My Motivation?

Living in Love

I Corinthians 13
Paraphrased for Homeschool

Though I teach my children how to multiply, divide, and diagram a sentence, but fail to show them love, I have taught them nothing.
And though I take them on numerous field trips, to swim practice and flute lessons; and though I involve them in every church activity, but fail to give 

them love, I profit nothing. And though I scrub my house relentlessly, run countless errands, and serve three nutritious meals every day but fail to be an example of love, I have done nothing.

Love is patient with misspelled words and is kind to young interrupters. Love does not envy high SAT scores of other homeschool families. Love does not claim to have better teaching methods than anyone else, it is not rude to the fourth telephone caller during a science lesson, does not seek perfectly behaved geniuses, does not turn into a drill sergeant, thinks no evil about friends' educational choices.

Love bears all my children's challenges, believes all my children are God's precious gifts, hopes all my children establish permanent relationships with Christ, and endures all things to demonstrate God's love.

Love never fails.

Where there are college degrees, they will fail; where there is
knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we teach in part. But when the trials of life come to our children, the history, math, and science will be done away and faith, hope and love will remain; but the greatest of these is love.

Author Unknown

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What's in a Name?

Through much prayer and seeking, the Lord has put on my family's heart to go "independent" this current school year.  I thank God for the blessings and fellowship I received our first four years of homeschooling through our homeschool group, but I clearly felt the Lord's leading to not enroll or even associate with any group for now. Next year, who knows? What I do know is the strong confidence and supernatural peace that comes from obeying the voice of the Lord.

With this change came an opportunity. When you sign up to homeschool independently, you are able to name your school. I didn't want to go the whole "Sanchez Family Homeschool" route but I also didn't want to arbitrarily pick a biblical sounding name without giving any real thought to it. This gave me an opportunity-No, rather it forced me to reexamine and contemplate the ultimate goals not just for this school year but also for the rest of my children's lives. A chance to refocus, recalibrate and encourage myself with meditation on God's word and will.

After much prayer and during my normal morning devotional time, I came to a passage of scripture that mirrored exactly my feelings and convictions for what I do with my kids and why I do it. So simple, yet so profound and exact. Though I desire my children to obtain the practical knowledge of this world, my bottom line is to train and lead my children into a lifelong relationship with their Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ(Colossians 1:16;Acts 5:31). That their lives would bring praise, glory and honor to Him is the most I could ever ask for (3 John 1:4). 

1 Peter 2:5 says this, "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ." So as the days go by and the trials come and go, I can stop and remember the purpose of "Living Stones Christian School" and be encouraged and refreshed for the ministry I have been entrusted with and equipped for by a loving, sovereign God.

 (Galatians 6:9;1 Timothy 1:12;Psalm 103:19)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nature Explorers Club~Deb's Park

Last month, our hike was at Deb's Park. For the hike, I created a simple scavenger hunt. You can find it on  Pinterest: Nature Scavenger Hunt. Leave it to a dad to point out the animal poop along the trail and ask why I didn't include "scat" on the list. ;) I also gave the kids a blank paper and told them to sketch whatever caught their eye.  It was so awesome to see the things that they noticed: birds flying high above the hills, flowers growing around us and even an old rusty car! It was a gorgeous but super sunny day and I would love to go back again with a little more knowledge about the type of plants growing along the trail. "Dirty dozen" Weed identification As an added bonus, someone from the nature center brought out a snake for a little impromptu photo shoot. Isn't God's creation amazing!?

Like mother, like daughter!