You Shall Decree A Thing

I remember when I was pregnant with my first child; and a lady told my husband and I that children don’t come with a manual. As my relationship with God has developed; I clearly see how very wrong she was. Not only has God given us a manual for how to raise our children; but also how to live our lives. The bible and our daily communication with Him, provides very precise instruction. One of the ways that He has instructed us is in Deuteronomy 30:19 (erv); which states: “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life! Then you and your children will live. Proverbs 18:21 (amp)says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. Job 22:28 (amp) says: “You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and the light [of God’s favor] will shine upon your ways. I’m pretty sure many parents want the absolute best for their children. I sure do, which is why I speak the following declarations over my children; and I am very selective with my words. Please print the declarations below and speak them over your children daily. Your faith and the consistency of your words will chart the course of life for them.

Until next time,

Yonka

Weekly Unschool Post 1

So I’m trying my hand at blogging weekly about our unschool school experiences; as opposed to monthly. Last week, we did much of our routine; which includes the following:

  • Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Singing the Star Spangled Banner
  • Declaring Psalm 91
  • Our School Declaration
  • Reciting The Lord’s Prayer
  • Praying
  • Reading the Bible (we’re wrapping up 2 Samuel)
  • Working on individual assignments
  • Outdoor Play

That is the most formal part of our day. The kids spend most of the day, doing the things that interest them. The boys are still really into building forts, building with their legos, magnatiles, blocks, lincoln logs, megablocks, cardboard and whatever else. When they work in their workbooks, they get to choose what it is that they’d like to work on for the day. They also have a list of sight and vocabulary words that they learn each week. We do this because it tends to help with their reading; which they get to select…kind of. I put the books out that I know that will interest and challenge them; and they get to choose which book(s) from that selection.

So last week, my husband decided to get the boys more involved in business; so he wrote them each $10k promissory notes; so that they could purchase an investment property. The boys have been going online every day, looking for a property. He also took them to meet an attorney, accountant and banker; as well as to a closing on a property that we had just purchased. I’ll link the video of how he prepped them for the meetings; once they are posted on Monday and Tuesday.

Our school is mostly informal; so I’m always paying attention to teachable moments and recording conversations; because so many times, it shows their interest and growth. I caught a moment at the dining room table; when we reviewed etiquette. I’ll link that video as well, as soon as it’s uploaded.

So that was our week. Grandma and Papa Jim came over; as well as bonus Grandpa Lewis. According to the kids, those were the best days ever! How’s your homeschool going?

Yonka

Blog Update

Hello Everyone!

I trust all is well! I’ve been praying and thinking about the direction of this blog; and have shifted focus just a little. In the past, I’ve posted primarily about fitness and wellness, homeschool/unschool, as well as faith. I will continue to post about fitness and wellness on both of my Good Thing Fitness blog and YouTube channel. Please do subscribe and share! This year, there will be more of a focus on faith, family/unschool and finances. I want YHWH/God to be at the center of everything that I do; because He alone is the source of every blessing in my life. I have faith in Him; because He pursued and fiercely loved me at the most difficult time in my life; and He has been faithful to His covenant with me. I have a family because of Him. When it looked like I would never have children, He proved otherwise. I am financially blessed, because of the principles of His word; and because He honored (and still is honoring) by desire to be a kingdom philanthropist.

So as this year gets underway, I speak a blessing over all of you, from Deuteronomy 30:8 & 9:

May you obey the Lord and follow after Him; and He make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Yonka

December Unschooling Adventures

Happy New Year Everyone! December was a fun-filled month. We did our regular-ish routine for the first two weeks; and then dropped everything for the last two weeks to just hang out, play in the snow, build ginger bread houses, bake and eat treats, watch ELF, Home Alone and The Grinch over and over and over again. It was glorious! Our awesome neighbors Ms. Mare and Rohan left anonymous gifts on our porch each day for 12 days. We weren’t exactly sure who the thoughtful and generous person(s) were at first; but we narrowed it down either Ms. Mare or the kind gentleman who leaves gifts, games and toys on our porch for the kid from time to time. The kids were SO delighted and totally enjoyed it! So thanks Ms. Mare and Rohan! You can check out our video here.

For each kid, I ordered Brain Quest workbooks for the new year. They were all so excited and started working in them as soon as we got them. While I am big on learning experiences and allowing my children to pursue their interests; I do think that workbooks have a place in our unschooling experience. Early last year, my husband and I made the switch to God-lead unschooling after 4 years of homeschooling; and haven’t looked back. It was one of the greatest and most liberating decisions we’ve ever made. Gone was the frustration of kids having to learn certain things at certain times. After asking the Father for guidance, He gave us the following scriptures: Isaiah 54:13 (MSG): All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children! as well as: John 7:15 (MSG): The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: “How does he know so much without being schooled?”

I’ve found that God takes care of whatever we entrust Him with. As I thought on my children’s learning and growth over the past year; I am floored by it all. My boys boys found and mastered an aircraft simulator game. They build the coolest things out of legos, gears, blocks and magnatiles….everything from little animals to robots and cities. My eight year young is reading so much better; and his math ability is amazing. My seven year young is SO funny! He keeps me laughing! His reading has also improved. He is an animal expert in his own right; and he loves all things science. My five year young has a work ethic like I’ve never seen on a kid. She’s so very eloquent and catches on to concepts very quickly. She is the mastermind behind many of the daily kid operations in our home. My three year young likes numbers and money. She’s all about counting. I’m still amazed at how much her vocabulary has picked up and some of the phrases that she uses. She and I were having a conversation one day and she said: “Mommy, that’s reedikeous!” I laughed and asked her where did she learn that expression? She proceeded to tell me about the Peppa Pig episode that she learned it from.

The things that I’m really pleased about is that the kids know and recite the pledge of allegiance daily; as well as the Star-Spangled Banner. I think patriotism is a must. God loves our country and so should we. They also know Psalm 91 very well. I thank God that He lead us to learn this chapter; because by the time the virus had come around, it was already ingrained in us that NO evil shall befall us; and neither shall any plague (coronavirus) come near us. I heard about children being afraid about the virus and my heart went out to them; but I am so grateful to God that the fear never entered our hearts or minds.

So we started back our daily routine today; and we were all so refreshed and excited! I’m looking forward to the learning and growth this year. I realized that we didn’t travel like we had planned last year; but this year, I’m believing God to go to all of the places that we missed last year; and even more! What is your unschooling/homeschooling plan for this year?

Yonka

October Unschooling Adventures

The month of October was full  of adventures and excitement. The kids got a new school room; so we moved from the 3rd floor down to the basement. They also got to see the renovations of their new bedrooms, which brought so much excitement while observing the process. The boys even helped papa set up their new beds and bedroom furniture. We continued working on their Language Arts (Story writing, punctuation, copy work) Math (place value & analog time) and Reading (books of their choice); in addition to cursive writing & reading through the books of Samuel. It’s such a fabulous book! I remember my mom reading it to my siblings and me when we were growing up. I remember how it captured our attention and we couldn’t wait to read new chapters each day. My daughter was all in when we read about Hannah; since she shares the same name. I enjoyed it myself! It’s such fun to animate the stories and use various voices for each character. The stories are all so rich and filled with layer upon layer of revelation. We all of course loved the story of David and Goliath; David & Jonathan’s friendship, The kingdom being taken away from Saul because of his disobedience; as well as how Abigail’s wisdom saved David and brought judgement to Nabal. If you have school-age kids, these are some of THE best books in the bible to read to them! After we read, the kids got to draw something in the story that stood out to them. I LOVED it!!!

Also during the month of October, we studied the continents and oceans. This came as a result of doing the Smarty Pants trivia. We identified each continent and ocean on the globe and learned interesting facts about all of them. Homeschool Pop and National Geographic both had interesting videos about these subjects. Aside from oceans and continents, we watched the hearings of Amy Coney Barret and learned how judges become justices; and get to sit on the highest court in the land.  We also learned about appellate and circuit courts, Senate and House of Representatives; as well as who we vote for besides the president. 

We got to see our first regatta and learned about sailboat racing; on our last boat outing for the season. My second son and second daughter both had birthdays during the month. My 7 year old son made up a spelling game; so I went with it. It was great! My 8 year old son joined in as well. They were spelling both basic and not-so-basic words like bat, jump and velociraptor. I love that they would spell and spell a word, until they got it right and remembered it by heart. We went to different parks, had  playdates with friends, made new friends, went on exploratory walks, played in the rain, climbed trees, cooked (made their own toast, eggs, fish & girts{with my help]), raced their remote controlled cars with papa, figured out how to control their robots, built houses, jails & a whole lot of other things from legos. Their shows were the Berenstain Bears, Wild Kratts, Veggietales (the Groovy Brothers),SuperBook, Blippi & Peppa Pig. 

We continued our daily declaration of Psalm 91, B3 declarations, reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance & prayer. We went to the Dollar store a couple of times. The kids paid for what they wanted with their own money. Before we went to the store, they had to make sure that they had enough money, including sales tax. They’ve actually been doing this for a while. Overall, I’m satisfied with the way my children are progressing. Click here to see a short vid of some of our adventures. Thanks for reading & YHWH/God bless!

Yonka

Olivia’s Birth Story

In the morning around 7 am three years ago today, I felt contraction activity going on.  I got up to look in on the kids, then went into the bathroom where my husband was shaving.  I leaned over and rested on the chest and told him that I was pretty sure that these were the real deal.  He turned to me, put his hands on my belly and prayed.  He then declared that I was having the baby on this day.  He told me to go and lay down.  I called my mom; while he called Kelly (our awesome midwife). She asked were they Braxton-Hicks or the real deal; to which I responded “the real deal.” She told me to time the contractions; which I did for a little over a half hour. They were 2.5 – 3 minutes apart. Kelly called back and I reported the information. I got up and cleaned myself up; and then got the kids ready for the day.

Kristen (our amazing RN/birth assistant) arrived; and she and my husband began setting up for the task at hand. I went downstairs to prepare breakfast. Just as I’d begun, my mom arrived and took over. I went and sat on the couch; and then Kristen came and checked my blood pressure and pulse.  She, my husband and I sat in the living room making sure that the paperwork for the birth was in order. Kelly then arrived and checked me out. As we all sat engaged in conversation, I slipped off to the upstairs bathroom….probably since I’m an introvert and needed to be alone for a few minutes. Kelly came to check on me about 5 – 10 minutes later. We both returned downstairs; and she massaged my back to ease the contractions as they continued to come. Kristen then took over the massaging.

I went into the downstairs bathroom to be alone for a while and breathed through every surge.  Kelly had me come out so that she could check me. She said it wouldn’t be long; and that as soon as my water broke, the baby would come. I went back into the bathroom and wondered how much longer; which lead to my thought about the metaphor of the pregnancy and birth process, as it relates to life. We are all pregnant with dreams and visions; but when the intensity, pressure and discomfort to birth these things come into play, we may want to give up, or take something to relieve the discomfort. However, if we persevere, at the right time we will receive a blessing (Galatians 6:9). I continued to think on this in between contractions; as well as: I can do all things through Messiah who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

All of a sudden, I became aware of the voices of my mom and kids playing in the dining room; as well as the conversation between my husband, Kelly and Kristen, right outside of the bathroom door. I then had THE most intense contraction that knocked me to my knees. The space in between the surges definitely became next to non-existent. I must’ve yelled or groaned, because at that moment, all conversation ceased. I heard my husband say: “that’s it!”  The bathroom door opened and they found me on hands and knees on the side of the toilet. Kelly asked if I could make it to the bed, so that they could help me.  I responded no; but began crawling towards the bed; and asking God to help me. I could hear my hsband cheering me on: “Come on Yonk! You can do it!” I could see the expression on mom’s face,  wishing that there was something that she could do. I could also see the faces of my other three babies watching intently from the entrance of the dining room. As I continued crawling, Kelly and Kristen were right there with me.  I felt my water break; followed by the undeniable urge to push. So with everything in me, I pushed! I then felt Olivia’s head come through; and the rest of the body slid right out. She made her grand appearance at 1:47 pm. I collapsed to the floor with a since of relief, accomplishment and gratitude.

I finally made it to the bed and was given Olivia. She was so little and precious. I birthed the placenta, and my husband cut the umbilical cord once it ceased pulsating.  He put the heating pad on me and wrapped me in a comforter and blankets to ensure my warmth. Olivia was wrapped in towels and her dad loved on her. My other babies and mom came in to meet our newest addition.  The boys were delighted with Olivia; however, Hannah wasn’t too thrilled that Papa was holding that baby.  She did get over it later on that night though. I rested for a while; and then went upstairs and showered (which was heavenly). I laid in my own bed; while Kelly and Kristen measured and dressed Olivia. The kids all came and hung out in the bed with us and Olivia. It was another great home birthing experience; and I’m grateful once again to Kelly & Kristen for a job well done; and for honoring all of my wishes. I’m also super grateful to my selfless mom who spent the entire day taking care of my babies, cooking and cleaning to ensure that the process went as smoothly as possible. Of course, I’m still grateful yo God this day for His presence with me; and for the gift of Olivia. She’s the most joyful person that I’ve ever had the pleasure of being around. She also loves on nearly everyone she meets.

Hannah’s Birth Story

I had the sheer delight of welcoming my third child and first baby girl into the world in the comfort of my own home; with my husband, mother, midwife and two assistants 5 years ago today.  My water broke at 10 pm and I started contractions around 11:00 pm.  I informed my husband; who had begun to make sure we had everything in place.  I then called my midwife and mother to let them know that she’d be here soon.  The first assistant showed up within 20 minutes and had begun to set up.  The second assistant arrived about a half hour later; while my midwife came an hour later (because she lived the farthest away).

The atmosphere was calm and easy going.  My husband had jazz playing in the background as the birthing team talked; and he and my mom laughed and shared stories about our boys.  The contractions started at about 5 minutes apart; and then dropped to 4.5 minutes; and finally to 2.5 minutes for about the last hour and a half or so.  I sat on the couch quietly rehearsing affirmations and visualizing a quick and easy birth.

Once the contractions became closer together, I went into the bathroom alone and continued my breathing exercises and even smiling through each one.   My wonderful midwife came in a little while and asked me would I like company; to which I responded: “Sure!”  I was on all fours and rocked with each wave.  By this time, my birthing team had all made it to the birthing area.  I was keenly aware of everyone.  My husband sat on the birthing stool directly in front of me; while the assistants were on either side of me; and my midwife was in the back.  My mom quietly sat in the living room praying.

As the contractions became more intense, I verbally began coaching myself to relax, let go and breathe.  My midwife put pressure on my lower back; which seemed to cut the intensity of the contractions in half.  As I felt the pressure of my precious baby girl bearing, down, I gave a push and out flew baby Hannah!  I felt SO much better!  Her father caught her and held her as the birth team cleaned her up.  I laid on the bed and she was placed on my chest.  Once the umbilical cord ceased pulsating, the midwife instructed my husband, as they worked together to clamp and tie off the umbilical cord.

HB

The birthing team left out to the dining room to allow my husband and I to bond with our new baby girl.  She was beautiful and very alert!  She made little cute noises and found her way to my breast; and latched on like a pro!  She nursed for a while and then I dozed off.  When I’d awaken, she was once again in her father’s arms.  He was enamored with this little cutie and called her his princess.

We went upstairs and I took what felt like the BEST shower of my entire life.  The warm water felt amazing!  After my shower, I got dressed and laid down in my own bed.  It was heavenly.  My birthing team completed paperwork for Hannah…..her birth certificate, foot prints, etc.  We all guessed at Hannah’s weight.  My husband was spot on and won with his 5 lbs, 11 oz. guess.

The boys awoke to find their new little sister and were thrilled.  They got to hold her and kiss her ALL day long.  As my husband got ready for work, he said: “I never thought about having a big family, but I really love it!”  I love listening to them and watching them run around.”   He then said that he could have more.  I chose to focus on the first part of his statement; and act like he NEVER said that second part.  I was quite content with my two boys and new little girl (at the time).  God bless all of the  mommies-to-be with a safe and uneventful birth.  As always, have an excellent rest of your week.

Yonka

Children’s Prayer of Provision

2 Corinthians 9:8 (TPT) – Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do. 

2 Corinthians 9:10 – 11 (TPT) – This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals,is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow. 11 You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion, for when we take your gifts to those in need, it causes many to give thanks to God.

Psalm 84:11 – For the Lord God is brighter than the brilliance of a sunrise! Wrapping himself around me like a shield, he is so generous with his gifts of grace and glory. Those who walk along his paths with integrity will never lack one thing they need, for he provides it all!

 

Heavenly Father,

2 Corinthians 9:8 says You give me way more than I need;

So that I can bless others  (according to Genesis 12:2) and sow more seed.

You are so generous, you give me more than enough,

Wisdom, family & friends, food and cool stuff.

Direct me to the people who came to you in prayer,

And I thank you for the honor of being the answer you’d prepare.

In Yeshua’s name,

Amen

Children’s Prayer of Protection

Psalm 121:7-8 (TPT) – He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity as he continually watches over you. 8 You will be guarded by God Himself. You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and he’ll protect you forevermore!

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for knowing that I would sometimes feel fear;

And for assuring me that, You’d always be here.

What a relief is Psalm 121: 7- 8…

It says: You guard me Yourself! This makes me feel great!

You promised to protect me wherever I go,

And it brings me comfort, just to know….

That you are the ultimate promise keeper.

In  Yeshua’s name,

Amen