You Go, Graduate! {HEAV link up}

My latest blog post for HEAV is for you, graduates. We are less than two months away from HEAV’s 2015 Homeschool Convention and that means graduation is going to be here before you know it! In today’s post, I hope to give you a bit of encouragement and tell you about some options for after you walk across the stage and accept a diploma that represents the chapter of your life that is coming to a close. Please check it out, I hope you can find some blessing from it.

 

“…to tell you the truth, I don’t know what you should do. That’s something you are going to have to figure out with the Lord’s guidance. To tell you *another* truth,

Your not knowing what you are going to do is probably right where God wants you for a little while.

It’s a growing experience. God wants you to grow in your faith and dependence on Him. One way He does that is by allowing you to have no idea of what you will be doing in the next few weeks (or more)…”

GOGRAD

You Go, Graduate!

 

~~~

Are you registered for the HEAV 2015 Homeschool Convention? If not, do it! It will be such a blessing to you and your family. There is so much to offer for moms and dads and kids (all ages!). Click here to read more and register!

Keep coming back to my blog, Blessings, Bliss, and Bedlam, for more on the convention as we get closer!

For more posts on graduation, read these posts:

Handling Graduation Stress

For the Stay-At-Home Graduate

HEAV Homeschool Convention… It’s for Teens and Young Adults, too!

Convention-E-mail-Header

HEAV’s (Home Educators Association of Virginia) 2015 Homeschool Convention is right around the corner!! And that should make Virginia homeschoolers very excited. This convention has provided a time of uplifting refreshment and encouragement for many weary mothers in their homeschooling journey, and helped moms who are gearing up to start their very own adventure in the homeschooling world for many, many years.

 

…and that’s where the thinking usually ends. If you are a teen/young adult you’re probably thinking, “I’m not the mom, so why go” – other than to possibly hold her shopping bags while she drools over table after table of curriculum..? (Which could actually happen. Just to let you know! Hee hee!) For many of the high schoolers who are almost done and young adults who’ve completed their home education, you may think that there isn’t really much, if anything at all, that a homeschool convention has to offer you.

 

But I am so happy to say that is actually not the case!

The homeschool convention IS FOR YOU TOO!

 

I myself am, as most of you know, a homeschool graduate. Class of 2013! (Has it REALLY been two years?) I had a wonderful time attending the HEAV Homeschool Convention that year. I remember it really hit me that I was graduating that weekend when I went with my parents to get my cap and gown at graduation registration. What was really special was how involved my parents got to be with my graduation. I mean, after all, they should be! They are the ones who had taught me everything!

I must tell you that if you’re graduating this year, you’re in for a treat! They do a beautiful job at making Graduation Day special for all of the graduates. Congratulations to you if 2015 is your year!

My parents have been attending the HEAV convention for years, but 2013 was actually my first time attending a convention and I loved it! The keynote speakers that year were the Duggars and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their stories and testimonies. It is such an encouragement when families are willing to share all the wisdom that they have learned through their journey! Last year (2014) I was sad to miss Voddie Baucham speak, but I had the pleasure of welcoming my new baby brother into the world with the rest of my family. This year, I am so incredibly excited to hear Ken Ham speak! My family has really enjoyed watching videos and reading books by him for several years! So this is going to be a treat for us!

I am definitely a homeschooler all the way down to the core, because walking through the exhibit hall with all of those resources and curriculum made me (almost!) as excited as my mom. So needless to say, that’s just one reason I am excited to go back this year.

This year there will be many exciting things for all ages of teens, from beginning high school to graduation. Things like,

 

High School Essay Intensive presented by Andrew Pudewa, director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. This is a two-hour program where students will learn from Mr. Pudewa on how to write excellent essays.

You can learn more about it here.

 

Photography Team is a great way to sharpen your photography skills. Throughout the weekend you’ll learn different techniques with a focus on event photography. This is geared toward beginner and intermediate students.

You can learn more about it here.

 

Chess Championship is something that my own brothers are especially looking forward to. If you are a fan of chess, this would be a great opportunity to not only play the game with a chance to win a trophy, but also to meet some new friends.

Click here to learn more about it.

 

These are all things that you, as a teen, can enjoy that weekend! There is also much more available that you can check out on the website here. I hope this gets you a little excited about what’s to come.

I hope this can encourage you to look forward to the HEAV convention and to know that they really do try to make it enjoyable for the whole family! Not just the moms.

 ~

I will say one thing more: looking through the convention’s website I was hoping to find more to highlights that would get young adults excited. But then I thought, there is something for us to look forward to (besides plenty of speakers, like Ken Ham). There is always a need for those who are willing to serve. Let’s be those willing people! It’s just three days, but it has the potential to be an enormous blessing to us and others if we are willing to seek out opportunities to help out with this convention. It takes a lot to run an event this big and HEAV needs all hands on deck to pull it off. We as young adults can also go there eager to encourage someone younger than ourselves if the Lord crosses our paths with someone who needs your encouragement. And we ourselves could find friendship and encouragement from someone while we are there.

I hope you will take a look at all that is being offered (and all that you can offer as a volunteer) and get excited about this year’s HEAV Convention! I know I am looking forwards to it! I would love to meet you there!

What are some things you are looking forward to? Please share in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

This entry was posted on April 14, 2015. 2 Comments

Lollypop Flower Tutorial

About a year ago I posted a DIY craft for a lollypop flower pot tutorial (that you can ready here) and since then I have done something different that I think makes it look SO much better! I use this for my piano students during the spring and summer because it is just so perfect for my piano because I absolutely love flowers, so what better way to display my candy than with a flower pot?? This is also really perfect for me because I make myself only buy lollypops and NOT chocolate because if I had chocolate my students wouldn’t get any…. it’s a weakness of mine. Haha! However, lollypops don’t tempt me, so I’m safe with those!

 

This is really simple and quick and the end result is adorable! I used:

-Terracotta flower pot

-Large foam ball

-lollypops – I suggest using DumDums because they are small and can be squished together to cover the whole ball

-Ribbon

 

 

The ball will fit snugly right on top of the flower pot and should stay there the whole time you have it displayed. After that just push in the lollypop stick into the ball. I started from the bottom near the lip of the pot and just stacked them each time around…

 

At the end I wanted a little extra touch, and since I have a lot of ribbon on hand I took some yellow ribbon and tied it around the side of the flower pot to add a little extra springtime pop!

 

It is so super easy and so super cute – you almost don’t even need a tutorial! Heehee! I hope you can make it and enjoy looking at it all season long!

This entry was posted on April 6, 2015. 2 Comments

Incapable Sinner with a More-Than-Capable God

Desperately I call on God for help. I cannot accomplish what it is I need. I cannot overcome this struggle without His holy power. I have come to a point of knowing it is only by Him that I will make it through to victory over this struggle that has been waging on me for days… turning to weeks.

 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:26

God has brought me to a place where I have seen that every moment of the day is a moment that I cannot handle without His divine guidance. The things that I have struggled with are things that, without the power of a merciful Savior, would destroy me in a matter of time. At the foot of the cross is where I need to be. Constantly.

“Pray without ceasing.” -1 Thessalonians 5:17 

Prayer is to be in the presence of God. These three words teach me that I am to be in constant prayer – constantly in the presence of my Heavenly Father who will heal me and help me. If I cry out to Him in a sincere voice, He will not turn a deaf ear but will answer my plea. The result may not be what I had anticipated or even desired, but it is always what I am in need of. He has my best interest at heart; and even through this struggle there is beauty to be found in my weakness BECAUSE His awe inspiring salvation can shine through me.

I have been through many a struggle, but as I look back on them I can see the beauty and grace of God shining through, which I know to be the exact purpose of my journey through each shadowy place. While no one looks forward to possible pain, I can say that because of my Jesus, my Savior, I am growing in my desire to be used by Him to shine beauty and grace in this world. Because I know that even through inevitable pain, I will have the Great Healer always near me. He will never leave me. He will never forsake me. He will always love me. He will always be my Savior, my Comforter, my King.

“But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.” -Psalm 37:39

 

Availability is Valuable

I have been so blessed through my life as a daughter at home. One of those blessings has been to see certain circumstances as blessings in disguise…

Availability, believe it or not, has been one of them for me.

availability.valuable

When I started this season in life after my journey as a homeschool student ended, one of the main things God placed on my heart was service. I wanted so dearly to serve those around me: first and most importantly my family. I want to learn under my mother and father’s guidance and constantly be growing in the Lord (serving my family has been one way God is using to draw me closer to Him). I also have a desire to serve others in my community.  Things like babysitting for a family at church or baking cupcakes for my neighbors are a small effort for me that hopefully is a big blessing for others!

Because the Lord has placed service on my heart, He has also placed me in a very unique position of living at home and therefore allowing me more opportunities to serve. Availability is one of my most important assets. I need to constantly remember that when I am discouraged because some personal goal has not been met.  Blessing others, whether it be my sister or my neighbor …. or a complete stranger, is important.  It is an important aspect of my ministry of service and it takes the emphasis OFF of ME and ON to OTHERS. Besides, it truly is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

It is always tempting to lapse into the mindset of self first. Thinking that my own personal dreams and goals “matter, too” so why shouldn’t I focus mainly on them?

They do matter! and if they line up with God’s plan for my life then they will happen, but in God’s timing. People come first. Loving people is more important.

I do want to add that while aspirations are important, if I’m not chasing after God with my whole heart then my goals are not going to line up with God’s divine plan for my life and therefore are either, 1) not going to happen, or, 2) when they do happen might hinder me from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.

God’s plan for my life is far greater than any material goal of mine. People are more important than that.

I desire, more than anything, to be in the center of God’s will.

People are my goal.

Loving and serving them is my dream.

So this place that I am at in life (available to serve my loved ones and community) is an incredible blessing.

 

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” -Galatians 5:13-14

Holiday Homeschooling {HEAV link up}

I am excited to share with y’all my latest blog post for HEAV about fun ways to add a little extra learning into the year! Something that I thought about at the beginning of the year was a way to do some sort of project for each holiday that comes up throughout the year.

I hope you will stop by HEAV’s blog today to read about this idea some more!

Holiday Homeschooling

 

 

Thank you and God bless,

Maiya

Resurrection Sunday Activities

Resurrection Sunday is just around the corner and that makes this girl very excited! I love this time of year! The weather gets just a little warmer, and the flowers will begin to bloom soon!

It is also a time to remember what Christ did on the cross of Calvary for me so many years ago. This day reminds me that I am a sinner with a steep penalty to pay for the sin in my life and that I am in need of a Savior. I am in awe that Jesus willingly paid that price for me.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8

 

ResurrectionSundayActivities

 Well, because it is coming up quickly, I wanted to put together a small list of activities I am planning on doing either on or in these next few weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday!

 

  • Resurrection Rolls

I did this for the very first time last year and it was so much fun to do with my siblings and some neighborhood friends. It is super easy and has an incredible message behind it… and it tastes pretty yummy, too. You can’t beat that combo!

I have attached a link here to where I originally got the idea. Enjoy!

 

  • Resurrection garden

My family has been doing this for several years and it is one of my favorite activities to do in the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday. This is a fun project to put together! The little ones love running around outside on a mission to find rocks for the garden.

If you haven’t made a Resurrection garden before, here’s a quick read with the instructions on how to get started.

 

  • Color coded Easter egg hunt

Genius, right? Unfortunately, I cannot claim the idea for my own. But it definitely makes keeping track of who’s got how many eggs a lot easier during the hunt if each child knows they are only supposed to grab the eggs that are the color they’re assigned to! That way the older ones won’t take the easier-to-find eggs that are placed for the younger hunters.

I might add that this activity doesn’t really have any meaning that will point us to Christ’s resurrection. It is simply a fun way to find candy for Easter. ;)

 

  • Construction paper cross

This is actually the only “new” thing on this list I am doing this year. I think it will be a fun and super easy/quick craft to do. After the kids have cut out a cross from construction paper I will have them write out their favorite Bible verse on it having to do with God’s love toward us. (Examples):

John 3:16

Romans 5:8

Galatians 2:20

1 John 3:1

 

 I think it is so important that little ones know just how much God loves each one of them individually and what Resurrection Sunday is all about: Jesus rising from the dead after being hung up on the cross to die for each of our sins.

It is equally important that, as we carry out these activities for the little ones, we always remember this truth ourselves. God loves us so much that He was willing to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world to make a way for us to enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven one day. He died a horrific death for me. Because He loves me. Jesus died so that I might live. I believe that even through these simple activities with the young ones in our life we can be reminded of the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf. And, Lord willing, even help those little lives understand that there is a God who loves them more than they could possibly understand.

Have a very blessed Resurrection Sunday.

…and remember, He is risen!

 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” –Isaiah 53:5

 

 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;” -1 Corinthians 15:3