Sunday, December 2, 2012

                       A Christ Centered Christmas 2012 

WE LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!! However, a Christ center Christmas wasn't always the case in the Kuhn home. We have come full circle from years ago with family centered traditions.
These kid friendly traditions have continued year after year which has allowed us the opportunity to focus more on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas verses on our own desires. 
I hope in reading my blog over the course of December you will feel inspired to include some of these in your home if not this year then in the next years to come. 

Year after year we have used several books to assist in making our families traditional Christmas come alive: We truly love books by Martha Zimmerman. One that is very popular in our home is Celebrating the Christian Year. This book takes all the major Christian holidays and centers them around building wonderful family traditions. Giving you step by step ideas, recipes and crafts for each particular holiday. All the ideas we have been open to have allowed us the opportunity to learn more about who St. Nicholas was. CHILDREN LOVE HEROS! St. Nicholas symbolizes the spirit of selfless giving. He wasn't perfect, but he exemplified Christian character that is worthy of being taught to our children. Like Abraham, Moses, Mary, John the Baptist, when rightly pictured points right to Christ.   In the past we focused more on Santa and his Elves, now we have been blessed to learn more about individuals in the past who had little and gave so much. We opened our eyes to the meaning of the Christmas tree which we now call the Jesse Tree and even the candy cane. We were convicted that the story of Santa taught our kids that they would receive gifts on the bases of their being good and of course, coal if they weren't. HAHA!! Which is totally opposite to what we know to be true as Christians . What we have received from God at Christmas is His gift: Salvation. We did not earn this gift by being "good." Scripture teaches that it is "not by good works, so that no one can boast " (Eph. 2:9) 
Learning more about Advent is also a great way to count down the days till Christmas morning. Advent in the Greek form means "To Come" which is the four week period leading up to December 25th. It is to be a special time, set apart, to spiritually  prepare for a celebration which we call "A birthday Party for Jesus". The season of Advent was designed to remember the waiting and to provide a period of preparation that would allow time for reflection before that special day arrives. This allows  us to be reminded of our need to be prepared.  It gives all our children the chance to take an active role in all the festivities in our home and what better way to allow them a hands on approach. Here are some of the books we use. Christ in Christmas, A Family Advent Celebration by James Dobson. Advent Storybook, 24 Stories to Share Before Christmas by Antonie Schneider.  Also FamilyLife Adorenaments, which are Christmas ornaments to delight your children and to give them life-changing messages that truly touch their souls right in the palm of their hands. 
                              Twelve hung with Care

Using Advent books and wreaths and even candles helps signify the special meaning behind stories, colors, and even the number of items used. Traditionally, the four candles used around an Advent wreath are purple (The Royal color of the Kings). In the center a taller candle to be lit at the birthday celebration. It is called the Christ candle and represents the light HE brings. It is white reminding us of the purity of our Lord. Perfect in every respect, A Lamb without Blemish..... (1 Peter 1:19) "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29)
Before lighting the first Advent candle, turn out all the lights in the house and see how dark it really is! This experience of physical darkness reminds us of that time before Christ, when humanity was sitting "in darkness and the shadow of death....(Luke 1:79) 

Below is a formatted calender we use leading up to the four weeks before Christmas: Great story to read A Christmas Carol 

Dec 1st- Put up Jesse Tree and Advent Candle, along with other decorations. 

1st Sunday Dec 2nd - First Sunday of Advent Light the first candle (Represents Preparation) Start Advent calender or chain. Wrap B-day presents for Jesus. Make an Advent cake. 

Dec. 5th Preparations for St. Nicholas Day- Bake gingerbread cookie, Hang stockings, read Santa, Are you real? By Harold Myra. Take small brown snack bags and fill with newspaper and tie red ribbon around them, to look like a bag that St. Nicolas carried and place under your tree. Make cookies for a food bank or someone who is experiencing a hardship and deliver them. 

Second Sunday of Advent-Light second candle 
(Represents"Love") Learn about the candy cane and the colors that are used, or the meaning behind the Christmas tree. Make homemade ornaments. 

Third Sunday of Advent- Light third candle (Represents"Joy")
Set up your Nativity scene and allow Mary and Joseph to travel through your home on a day to day bases. Our kids loved to see where they traveled next. Watch the Nativity Story. 

Fourth Sunday of Advent- Light fourth candle 
(Represents"God's love")  Make a Birthday banner to display on Christmas

Dec. 24th Christmas Eve - Look for the first star in the evening sky. Gather all your Nativity Scene. Mary and Joseph arrive at Manger. Exchange gifts between children and even do stockings if you'd like. Read Twas the Night before Christmas. 

Dec. 25th HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!!  Place Jesus in manger/crib. Light a candle beside the scene to announce the the family that Christ is born. Light has come into the world. Light the four candles of the Advent wreath.Light the Christ Candle in the center. In afternoon add the shepherds and the sheep to the Nativity scene. Watch videos that bring in the holidays. Make a birthday cake or cookies using Nativity cookie cutters and decorate them and have lots of family favorite foods and balloons and just spend the day glorifying God, enjoy your family and make memories that last. 

* Remember* Plan activities appropriate to the ages of your children. Any of these listed above can be easily adapted to any family small or large. Make it work for your family. 

In Hopes of More is dedicated to mothers and families large or small. It's inspired by our growing family and our dedication to our Lord and Savior. From our family to yours over the holiday season.
  We would love to introduce # 11. Our baby boy will arrive    sometime in April 2013. At 19 weeks he is healthy and active. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mentoring Our Children Minute By Minute

Recently I read an article that just took my breath away. I was convicted, excited, and empowered by the reality that we have to stay focused daily, by reading these words I knew it would hopefully bless you also. As a mother of many children I've learned I cannot give my children what I do not possess. I need the strength of Christ daily, and even some days minute after minute to lift me up in my daily walk. Sometimes it's easier said then done. Our follow through is critical. 

I cannot expect my children to eat their veggies if they see me pushing them aside on my plate.

I cannot expect my children to enjoy interacting with nature if we stay locked away inside.

I cannot expect my children to enjoy a lifetime of reading if they never see me pick up a book. 

I cannot expect my children to see their projects through to completion if I have a dozen half-finished projects laying and waiting.

I cannot expect my children to persevere when they see me consistently give up. 

I cannot expect my children to do great things if they see me accomplish nothing of great significance. 

I cannot expect my children to do all things in Christ with out grumbling and complaining if I in turn grumble and complain throughout my day. 

I cannot expect my children to faithfully spend time reading their bibles if I am not finding the time to embrace Christ word.

I cannot expect my children to have a faithful prayer life when they never see me pray.

I cannot expect my children to extend Grace to others needs if they see me walking away from a need I've noticed or turned my back on. 

I cannot expect my children to be sensitive to others needs if they see me walking by on the other side. 

I cannot expect my children to show remorse when it's not in me to ask for forgiveness.

I cannot expect my children to laugh at the little things if little things Don't make me laugh.

I cannot except my children to be diligent and conduct themselves in a orderly manner if I am not that example to them.

I cannot expect my children to be a strong tower and to rise up when they fail if I don't share my greatest failures with them and my greatest accomplishments. 

I cannot expect my children to be that next generation who holds strong to their faith if I don't rise up in mine. 

SO we have alot to live up to. Always learning and growing, so we will always have something to share with our children. I cannot rely on pushing them behind when I fear what they may see. I must be learning myself in order to lead them. The biggest key to successful homeschooling, is what we reflect in every area of what goes on in our home, our attitudes, the atmosphere, what is learned 
(or not). Even the depth of our relationship with each other is critical. The key to successful homeschooling isn't found in the perfect curriculum, the right schedule, the best article, or outside activities, or even the planner we use. The method is found in being a mom who smiles at the end of the day and says "Tomorrow is another day and today I shined and Tomorrow will be even better."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Used Curriculum Sale For October

                        Used Curriculum Sale
                               For October 
                                                                                  Prices list below 



Kids love Ohio A Parent's Guide to Exploring Fun Places $5.00

Thinking Like a Christian, Student and Teachers Bk, From My Father's World, Worldview Curriculum with CD $15.00

How to be a Super Star Student by the Teaching Company a High School Series. VHS Tapes 1, 2 along with Book $5.00

Diana Warning's Ancient Civilization's and The Bible Activity Guide Volume 1 Creation to Christ, A total of 12 units, Elementary Age $5.00

Computer Basics Books 1-5 Plus Answer Key, Tests and Quizzes. 
From Christian Light Education. Covers every aspect of computers inside and out. $20.00, Middle and High School age

Diana Warning's Ancient Civilizations & The Bible, Volume 1 Book A, Creation to Christ. Supplemental study guide to the Audio  "What in the World's Going on Here?" Four Hours of Living History on tape. All ages up to High School  $15.00

Green Leaf Guide to Old Testament History, Great resource for Old Testament Studies. $5.00

Pleasing God Study by Kay Smith, Great study for a young teen or a mother who needs lifted up spiritually. $5.00

Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul, Chicken Soup for the Parents Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul, All wonderful reads for any Homeschool library
only $5.00 each

The Study of the life of Christ $2.00

Vocabulary, Spelling and Poetry III $2.00 by Abeka

Reading Comprehension and Skills Grade 4, Covers Contractions, Prefixes and Suffixes, Vocabulary, Nonfiction and Fiction, Parts of Speech and Analogies. Great Supplement to English  $5.00 

Learning Language Arts through Literature Student and Teachers
$10 for a set, Discounted even more if it has a few marks. Most are like new.
Orange-4th Grade  
Green-7th and 8th Grade
Tan-6th Grade 
Red-2nd Grade
Gray-8th and 9th Grade 
Only a Yellow Student Bk- 3rd Grade $5.00

Here are a few velcro boards that I have made for my children, they are great for hanging on wall. The possibilities are endless. 
SEE what you can transform a poster into. If you have a poster that you would like to have transformed into an activity center please let me know. Whether it's Time, Money, Geography, Science related, Presidents, Verses, Rules of the House, English, you name and I can turn it in a workable center for your wall. Prices will vary!!!!

Feel free to email me at with any questions or if you are interested in any of the items listed above. Just type Regarding Blog in the Subject Line. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Teens and Toddlers and Those In Between

 Yes, this is the dynamics of our home. An almost equal amount of teens verses toddlers. Once you have that combo throw in an adolescent and you have what people tell us is a quiver full. Of course, my blog isn't called "In hopes of more" without there being much thought behind it. We've surrendered this area of our life to the Lord and pray that we continue to be blessed with more children in years to come. I can't begin to tell the many blessings that come from having a large family nor am I here to convince you to start a large family. My goal is to humor you, to inspire you to look at large families as a huge treasure box of gifts and benefits and joys. In our treasure box you may see a day filled with laughter, sorrow, smiles, irritation, giggles, attitude and a mom who doesn't have it all figures out. 
Most people assume I must have nerves of steel to run a home with this many children and I must be the most patient person. I am here to confess I am a work in process and lack in these areas more then I can openly admit at all times. 
I've always prayed that people would look at our family and see beyond our dynamics. If only they could see the twinkle in our children's eyes, the smiles on their faces and let's not forget the behavior behind all those thoughts that go into their day to day process. Most choices measure up to God's desire for them and other's as many children are lessons learned through mistakes. But the bond is unspeakable. 
 Homeschooling my children has allowed me to grow as a person, they have taught me so much about myself, weaknesses and strengths. The greatest joy is truly knowing who they are as a individual and seeing the process face to face, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This process my happen over night, or even at a blink of an eye that they truly are growing up and others may come at a slower pace. I am confident that in the many areas that myself or my husband have or had lacked in that the Good Lord Almighty will and has promised to fill in the gaps. 
Knowing that they are God's children and that we have been trusted by the Lord to bring them up in His glory.

 You may ask "How do both of you do it?" I can only tell you by the grace of God. There isn't one person who has nearly enough time for each individual child equally. But there are those precious moments each hour of each day. Some days one child or two or three require more then the others, and other days they may all need to have issues addressed but that is when the academics get set aside for a brief moment and we settle differences, discuss the matter at hand, seek the word and pray, or even take the time to praise, encourage, and give a high five to. Aren't those the moments that count? Are those the ones that truly mold and shape the very person they are. This is our next generation. Hopefully the next set of disciples who give there lives to Christ and spend each day ministering to their families and setting a generation of Godly standards and morals and examples. 

 I look into the faces of my children and the years go so fast. Devin graduating this next year, and following him in three more will be my next set of teens. Three graduating at once that year. You begin to reprocess all those memories you have treasured and you start to feel that tug at your heart that it's time to cut those apron strings alittle each day. BUT NOT ALL THE WAY!!!!! Fighting back tears of Joy!!!! As for me, I start to feel an overwhelming sense of gratefulness that I've gotten the opportunity to witness to my children and to have my life be so enriched with the joy they have given me. It's almost selfishness that comes by not wanting to let that go. Not wanting them to spread their wings sort of speak. 

My hope in writing this blog is that you embrace all those moments with your children whether your a small family or a large family. We aren't with out sin but we are blessed with a God who can show us a better way and to be better parents, friends, sisters, and even wives. We can take for granted the gift we have been given to minister and witness to our children with every opportunity we get. We have to prioritize and challenge ourselves to seek guidance when we don't know what is around the next corner. To be watchful, and ready for those moments. Not to be caught off guard. Our time is so short with them to make all the difference. My heart tells me the time is now for you and your family. 
May you be blessed by reading this and may your family seek the Lord in all you do. Bonded together in Love and embracing the life we have been given. From our home to yours.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Well it's that time again!!!! We, as parents are excited but also second guessing if we have crossed all our T's and dotted all our I's for this upcoming year. Looking at new curriculum can be overwhelming and also emotionally draining. However, the Good Lord gives us the endurance and the strength to get through and seek the best education for our children. But if you are like me and many, many other moms we are searching the internet and scrolling in and out of pages in magazines for that extra something. This month my focus is to help you with ideas and share a little about what we accomplish within our home. Juggling school schedules and subjects can make it tough to get through, and in most cases, covering a large amount of material with children of so many ages can be challanging. So many people ask "How do you find the time, with 10 and expecting 11?" So many things attribute to a school year running smoothly and scheduling is vital. Routine makes all the difference and of course, flexibility as well.

                                                First and foremost: Plan, Plan, Plan                   
  • What is it you would like your children to focus on first thing?                         
  • Can you group some of your children together?
  • What is your objective for the morning, afternoon and end of day?
  • Who needs the most time and who requires more independent time?
                                                              MORNING ROUTINE
                                                               6:00 (Mom)
                                                               7:00 Older kids wake
                                                               7-7:30 Older kids beds and dressed
                                                               7:30 Older kids Breakfast
                                                               8:00 Chores older kids
                                                               8:00 younger kids wake
                                                               9:00 All chores done
                                                               9-9:30    Bible
                                                              AFTERNOON ROUTINE
                                                              10-12:00 Little kids w/ Mom
                                                              Older kids independant study time- core subjects
                                                              LUNCH 12-1:00 / clean up
                                                              Laundry after lunch/ Naps / Prayer
                                                              Independent reading / Mom reads aloud
                                                             *Mom works with older kids*
                                                              2:30 English
                                                              3:00 keyboarding
Everyone needs to be done with any work that requires moms time by 3pm. This allows me to be available to my husband after a long day at work and to start preparing dinner. If any of the kids have anything they didn't finish, they are expected to start back on their schoolwork around 7pm after several hours of free time and doing their evening chores.
                                                             * CURRICULUM*
Over the years we have used several things and tested the waters. Most have prevailed and while others crashed and burned. But homeschooling is all about trial and error. As no child ever learns the same as the next. We find it best to use our laser printer to copy almost all of our books, worksheets, etc. That also saves on cost when we buy the compatible ink cartridges from Data Bazaar. Also, we try to look for books that are a one time purchase like Spelling Power, or  Mystery of History. Of course, Ebay is great and also Amazon and most times Rainbow Resource which are all really popular sites. We basically use the same every year at this point, but i'll give you an overview of what has worked for us.
Math - Both Saxon (Teachers Cds) and Math U See  ( Sometimes we overlap the 2, to fill in any gaps in our day, just for extra busy work)

 Science - Upper grades Apologia, Abeka, Simple schooling PDF printable files ( This year its Equine Science)Christian Kids Explore, John Tiner Exploring Planet Earth and The World of Biology, Wonders of Creation Series, Biology 101 DVD'S According to the Days of Creation from Vision Forum, I Wonder Why books, Eyewitness books.
Spelling - Spelling Power and Spelling City online, All about Spelling
Even with Spelling Power we take a different approach- Mondays Type Words, Tuesdays Print Words, Wednesdays Cursive or ABC order or Use word in Sent., Thursday Pretest, Friday Test Spelling City
Phonics- The Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading, Alpha Phonics, Explode the code, Bob Books, McGuffey Readers
Handwriting - A Reason for Handwriting
Personal Finances - Money Matters for Kids, Money Matters for Teens
Your Checking Account, Lessons in Personal Banking
Language Arts - Shurley English, Easy Grammar, Jensen's Punctuation, Jensen's Format Writing, Learning language Arts through Literature, Analogies 1 by Arthur Liebman,
History - History For Little Pilgrims, Abeka, Mystery Of History, Story of the World, Bob Jones Geography,  A
History of Us Series, Jean Fritz books, World History Made Simple, Early American History The Teaching Company VHS, Diana Warring, Expedition Earth, a Journey through God's World
Economics- Money, Possessions and Eternity, Whatever Happened to the Penny Candy
Government- God and Government
Foreign Language - Foreign Lang. Learnables, Latin Prima and Christina from Memoria Press, ASL ( American Sign Language)
Bible - Roper Press, Little Hands to Heaven, Veritas Press, Studying God's Word and Leading Little Hands to God, The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ, Instructions In Rightousness, Proverbs for Parenting, How the Bible Came to Us. Bible Time for Kids from Calvary Chapel Curr @
Keyboarding- Mavis Beacon

This year not only did we start this blog in hopes that we would inspire but also are testing the waters with new curr. like TruthQuest for our bible time. We also have been so blessed to be a part of a coop once again on Tuesday's from 10-12. Here are some of the classes they are taking. Crafts, Beginner's Science, Footsteps of Marco polo, Entomology, Speech and Communication 101, Chemistry and Biology. I will be teaching a Sign Language class and one of my daughters will be assisting in a Crafts and Sewing class for Middle and High School Kids.  This year our older son is taking English Comp. at Trine University as a Middle College Course for his Jr. Senior Year. As always when you are a willing and able vessel the Lord will bless and use you. It's good for us to step outside of our comfort zone and learn to rely on Him, to trust that he will fill in the gaps in our school, in our parenting, and even in our time. I hope that some, if not all, the info i have shared blesses you. Always feel free to contact me or leave comments.

Friday, August 10, 2012

"In Hopes of More" was inspired by God's miracles









                                                                Brothers (Friends)
                                   A Connection like no other
                                       And a mother's touch 

In my last post my intentions were to continue talking about organization and praising your children through a system that has worked like a charm for us in our home, however my plans changed when recently we found out we are expecting #11.
So of course I wanted to center my attention on what I love the most, my children. I thought I'd share a little about my testimony so you could hopefully see the hand that Christ has laid on our particular situation. In hopes that you'll be inspired and just know that the good LORD has a plan, A PERFECT PLAN. About 9 yrs ago our living situation was much different then today. I was a full time mother and holding a full time job like most mothers today. Juggling being a wife, babysitters, parent teacher conferences and also the every day routine of homework with the kids while they were in public schools. 
Yet something was always missing, always longing for something and feeling unfulfilled. After the death of my mother-in-law life started to fall into place, for various reasons. I saw Christ through my loss and found homeschooling and the new journey of being a stay at home mother. This journey has brought me here today. 
My husband was more or less forced into having a vasectomy prior to his mothers death. Thanks to me, it wasn't what he wanted. But soon after becoming a stay at home mom with 4 young boys again, that void was still there, the longing for something more. I had Christ, a wonderful husband, 4 boys and I was home and doing what I felt I was called to do. So what was missing? Good question!!!
So long story short we decided to get the vasectomy reversed. We felt a strong conviction that we had taken this area of our lives out of Christ's hand and it wasn't ours to take. From that day forward I told Christ we were a willing and able vessel, use us as you wish. But it didn't work according to the Dr. So we decided to adopt. In hopes of getting some girls of course. So everything fell into place with our adoption. Not only did we adopt, but we adopted three sibling girls... Angelina, Ashlynn and LeAnna. Again, I felt the calling and felt I was living out the desires of Christ. Just a month after the adoption I found out I was pregnant and it was a girl, Jessah Renee. You guessed it I still felt a longing for more, something, but what? Again. So we were blessed with another wonderful pregnancy and healthy baby girl, Ava Lynn. Then a baby boy came  along, James, and I just knew it was a boy. Things were as good as they could get 5 girls, 5 boys, homeschooling is going great and life is good. 
Our love for Christ at this point is enormous and we've stuck by our word. Use us, we are willing and able. And again the Lord's timing is perfect, now expecting #11. Our perseverance, our dedication, our passions to seek the Lord in everyday life has truly prevailed.  Not that we haven't had struggles but looking at these photos has truly confirmed why I've longed and felt a void. The LORD'S plan needed to be lived out and once I submitted to him and saw the vision he has for my family, who could ever deny his graces, his love, or his choice to bless us?  We couldn't be any more thrilled to have this experience and to be able to share it with you. I hope you are touched by our story and that you share it with others.