this.little.sparrow {blog} »

Masthead header

MFW: Adventures(week 1) and Kindergarten(S:Sun)

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE our homeschool curriculum, My Father’s World? We used it last year for 1st grade and knew without a question that we would continue using it this year for 2nd grade and kindergarten. Our 2nd grade program is called Adventures in U.S. History, complete with a focus on the Names & Character of Jesus, the 50 states, US history, patriotic symbols, nature studies, children in history, fun science experiments, music and art. We choose to use Primary Language Lessons, Spelling by Sound and Structure, and Explode the Code for language arts and Singapore Math, as well learning Latin with Song School Latin. It’s going to be a fun year!

Every morning the children independently fill out their calendar notebooks that include a 100 chart, blank monthly calendar, writing of the day/month/year in words and numerals, and a weather graph. Then we begin with a sweet time of prayer and Bible. This week we discussed the meanings of our names. My husband wrote out a letter to each child telling them why we choose their name and how we pray it applies to their lives.

A yummy snack to accompany our study of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The beginning of our timeline. We spent the week learning about Leif Ericsson and the Vikings. So cool.
We read of Eric the Red’s adventures, Leif Ericsson’s discovery of North America, and the Vikings’ way of life.

We studied the US map – learning how to read a compass and directions of N/S/E/W on a map.
Then on to the World Map as we discussed the countries that make up North America and learned about the seven continents.

Kindergarten is divided into individual unit lessons. This week was all about the letter S and the SUN.

We learned that Jesus is the light of the world. Evy came to the conclusion that Jesus is like the SUN because He lights the way even when we are in the dark. Love that girl. Her little heart is so sensitive to things of the Spirit. We had fun using the flashlight in dark rooms and on the globe to understand how the the sun creates day/night. We made our own sundial by using the shadow from a pencil. Read lots of cute stories on the sun and shadows, even painted pretty yellow suns for some messy art time.

Grapes are sitting in the window as we watch how the sun dehydrates them and creates raisins.
We also discussed what science is and what scientists do. To help illustrate how scientists test subjects by changing one variable we did a fun experiment to with eggs, water, and salt. Two cups of water and two eggs, both eggs sunk to the bottom. Then we added salt to one cup of water, one egg floated and the other sunk.

I think that pretty much sums up the week. My brain is still spinning a bit. All of that while chasing a 2 year old and carrying a newborn in a carrier is just plain exhausting. I’m shocked we actually got through a full week. I’m learning how to juggle it better day by day. The kids are complying a bit more day by day. It’s all a work in progress. Homeschool is not for the faint of heart.
Thankful for God’s mercies are new every morning… and every week. Coming up this week is our study of Christopher Columbus and M:Moon.

logan - you’re the best mom ever. i love you guys so much and think about you all the time and constantly thank God for the blessing you all have been in our lives. even though we live so far apart, you are still such a wonderful witness to me. xoxo

admin - know how to make me cry! we love you both!!! come visit portland please! share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

days of creation song

Part of our My Father’s World Kindergarten curriculum is learning the Days of Creation.
Everything is always more fun when done in SONG:)

Days of Creation song
(tune of “Are You Sleeping?”)

On Day 1, On Day 1
God did make, God did make
Light to shine in darkness, light to shine in darkness
It was good, it was good.

On day 2, on day 2
God did make, God did make
Lots of sky and water, lots of sky and water
It was good, it was good.

On day 3, on day 3
God did make, God did make
Many trees and flowers, many trees and flowers
It was good, it was good.

On day 4, on day 4
God did make, God did make
The sun and moon and stars, the sun and moon and stars
It was good, it was good.

On day 5, on day 5
God did make, God did make
All the fish and birds, all the fish and birds
It was good, it was good.

On day 6, on day 6
God did make, God did make
All the other animals, all the other animals
God made man, woman too.

On day 7, on day 7
God did rest, God did rest
All the work was finished, all the work was finished
It was good, very good!

please forgive my awful lead vocals:) share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

the beginning…

I’ve joyfully spent the past summer ordering curriculum, organizing folders/books/supplies, skipping down the school supply aisle… all while counting down the start of our 2nd year of homeschooling. Anticipation was felt by all. The two Kindergartner’s have been B.E.G.G.I.N.G. to start school for months. So much so that I finally let them start their Singapore Math K books two months ago. In whichI would find them holed up in their rooms with their math book and a pencil in hand. In two months they completed an entire semester’s worth of math. Smarty pants. So yes, the first day of ‘school’ was a welcomed day for them. This summer was filled with transition for them… welcoming baby #5 into the family made for exhausted parents and bored kids.

So I made the first day of school a BIG deal. We woke up early and snapped some quick photos of my loves. It was early so they only way to get those cute smiles was for them to yell “monkey booty!” instead of the boring ole “cheese.” I think it worked like magic.

Then we were off to our most favorite breakfast spot, Slappycakes. My family of seven sat around a table with a hot griddle in the middle, gluten free pancake batter + toppings of chocolate chips and bacon. (Yes it sounds silly to go to a restaurant where you cook your own breakfast. But trust me. It’s crazy amazing good.) We ate pancakes til our tummies hurt. Truly. I looked over and two kids were laying on the booth holding their stomachs, groaning out of their chocolate covered mouths. This happens every time we go. Totally worth it though.

We came home with our bellies full and our hearts even fuller – lots of love and laughter happened over the breakfast table. Five children that are seven years old and younger always means that our mealtime is a hoot! Photos, breakfast, and a special time of prayer from Dad is our annual tradition for the for the first day of school. Very thankful for my husband that takes time to pray over each child and asks God to bless our year together learning.

Then each child did their First Day of School interview and self-portrait. These will be the first pages of their yearbook.

To ease in to the first week slowly I choose to start on Wednesday. A full week just did not sound fun as I feared what our days would like as I try to school three kids, chase a toddler, and nurse/hold a newborn. So we took three days to go through the first two chapters of Genesis and focused on the seven day so of creation. We are using My Father’s World curriculum for Kindergarten and also for 2nd grade (Adventures in US History). The Days of Creation is the beginning of the Kindergarten year and is such a fun lesson. We did it last year so it was all review but was amazing to see how this time around they are able to understand it on a much deeper level. Here are some fun shots of our days.

I have scoured Pinterest to find inspiration for the creation snacks… so many great ideas! We had to make our own adjustments to gluten + dairy free snacks but they turned out great!

Day 1 – gluten/dairy free oreo cookies to show how God created light to separate the darkness.
Day 2 – God created sky to separate the water below (ocean/our cup of water) and above (clouds/popcorn)
Day 3 – God created land, plants, trees so we had crushed up GF/CF oreos for dirt and fruits + veggies
Day 4 – a bright shiny orange sun to remind us God created the sun, moon, and stars
Day 5 – God created the animals of the sea and sky, thus a dolphin jumping out of the sea of grapes
Day 6 – God created man and land animals so we had gummy bears (couldn’t find gluten free animal crackers at the store)
Day 7 – God rested so we indulged in some ice cream to celebrate God’s work

Each child made a Creation Book that described what God created on each day.
1. God made light. God divided the light from the darkness.
2. God made the sky. God divided the water above and below the sky.
3. God made seas, dry land, and plants.
4. God made the sun, moon, and stars.
5. God made living creatures in the sea and birds.
6. God made animals and other living creatures on the land. God made man and woman.
7. God rested.

We enjoyed our first week of school but definitely have a lot of wrinkles to iron out. We had some good times and some not so good times. We are all learning together and trying to figure out how our days are going to work. I know I am praying ALOT. Asking for much wisdom and grace. I can do nothing apart from God. This is a daily lesson I am learning.

Dawn - What a great start to your year! Your banana dolphin is such a FUN idea!

Slappycakes sounds like a neat restaurant – I’ve never heard of anything like that before :)

Tina - Love this! Loved reading it!

Tami - Thanks for sharing yoru blog on MFW k :)

Mandi - Hi Cassie! I just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it! Our oldest son starts kindergarten this year and we are homeschooling with My Father’s World curriculum too. He is also on a gluten free diet so I’m looking forward to reading through some of your recipes. :) share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

Paleo Strawberry Muffins


We picked 7 pounds of beautiful organic Oregon strawberries last weekend.
Refrigerator and freezer are stuffed full so I will be making lots of strawberry goodies.
Up first is a delicious breakfast muffin courtesy of CookEatPaleo.

Strawberry Paleo Muffins
Yield: 8-9 muffins

2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon ghee, melted
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease or line muffin tin.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently fold in strawberries.
Use a large ice cream or cookie scoop to fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Even better paired with a dark cup of coffee and fresh raw cream.

Tamra Lewis - What is ghee?

admin - clarified butter. you can purchase it at the store but it’s crazy money. also can make it but i’ve never tried. for this recipe i actually skipped the ghee and doubled up on the coconut oil. :) share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

baby be mine

Welcome Clementine Lewis.

Clementine: “merciful, full of mercy, gentle”
Lewis: her great-grandfather’s middle name

Our little darling took her sweet time arriving. Labor was long and difficult. Nothing like the 90 minute labor I had with her older sister. After weeks of prodromal labor, my mind/body/soul was exhausted. Waiting on pins and needles to see if the early labor would continue or putter out again. Finally at 3:00am the morning of her due date contractions started. They were sporadic in timing but very difficult to work through. I labored all day, evening, and night. Contractions would space out from 2 minutes to 15 minutes, no rhyme or reason to them. After checking in with my midwife around 3:30am I took an hour long shower and then tried to get a few minutes of sleep between the contractions. My midwife arrived the next morning at 9:00am (after 24 hours of contractions I was only dilated to a 4, so exhausted) and gave me some cocktail mixture of herbs to regulate my contractions and kick my body in to active labor. She was my angel. The combination of the herbs and the breastpump was enough to get my body over the prodromal labor. I labored the next couple of hours with my four children running around like crazy hooligans. My husband was an amazing support and helped me through the intense pain. Around noon I was dilated to 7cm and got into the birth pool in order to deal with the transition. My sweet kids rubbed my arms softly and prayed for me. Worship music and candles calmed my spirit. Sweet Clementine was born in the water at 12:41pm, surrounded by all of her siblings. It was truly beautiful. Never in my life would I have imagined that my 5th child would be my most difficult labor by far but it was also one of the most precious to me. My heart overflowed as our children served me, prayed for me, cared for me, and immediately fell in love with their new sister. She was smothered with kisses instantly. Joy. Pure joy.

A huge thank you to Amy Morgan of Clouds in Bloom Photography for capturing the birth photos. Treasured memories.

Slideshow of Clementine’s birth. share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

tie breaker baby

The tie breaker baby (we’ve got 2 boys and 2 girls) has revealed that the GIRLS are going to dominate the household!!!

The PINK announcement to the kids was a celebration complete with balloons and silly string.

Now for a name… we had narrowed it down to two that we loved but now after finding out it is indeed a SHE, the names don’t feel right. We are back to the name drawing board. share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame

We are MOVING!

We are MOVING!!

from Texas… to Portland, Oregon.


Why Portland, Oregon?

To answer that question we need to take reflect on the last two years. Knowing the Lord was preparing our family to spread His Gospel further, we began praying where and what that looked like. Through months of praying, God cultivated in our heart a passion to see the Gospel go forth in a very unreached, unchurched, and liberal minded city. As we tried to sort out what that meant, we came upon the town of Lawrence, Kansas and immediately fell in love with the community and desperately prayed for the Gospel to take hold in that city.  We moved forward with preparations to move our family to Lawrence and plant a new church. However, the Lord began to reveal that He had something else chosen for our family. While unsure of what the Lord was going to do, we waited patiently. We continued to pray the Lord would bring the Gospel to Lawrence, even if it was not us that would specifically be the ones to see that manifest. We continued to pray the Lord would open doors for the exact place He chose for our family to fulfill His mission.

We spent many weeks in prayer and reflected on how the Lord had grown us through the past few years of ministry. God had placed us with specific churches, ministries, and people that have helped us refine our gifts and passions. In particular, we have witnessed several struggling churches close their doors for various reasons. Over time we began to feel a burden for churches that lacked strong pastoral leadership and were on the brink of closing their doors. Not only this, but our hearts became passionate for “replanting” or “revitalizing” a church, which essentially is taking an existing culture and morphing it into one that is focused on the Gospel.

As God was doing a new work in our hearts, He was also doing much work with a church in the middle of the Portland metro area. Through only what can be explained by the hand of our sovereign King, God connected us together. While on vacation in Portland, we visited with a church that is located in the Southeast area of the city and has been pastor-less for 2 years. The church is located in an area known as “felony flats,” which from the name alone you can imagine that it is not located in the best part of town. The church is also located 2 miles from Reed College, the infamous anti-religious university that was made famous in the Christian world through Don Miller’s book, “Blue Like Jazz.” Most of the congregation consists of older believers, middle to lower income families, and even a few near homeless individuals. The building is tucked in between two declining elementary schools, but no young children attend the church, nor does the church have a presence in the city. The leadership of the church shared their desperation for the city, for the lost, and their desire to stay relevant. They also expressed a need for strong leadership that would revitalize the church so that they could go out and revitalize the city in the name of Christ.

A few weeks passed by as we continually asked the Lord for clarity. During this time God evidently burdened our hearts for the people of this church in Portland. He developed within me compassion for the lost in this area and for the current congregation who has been fighting the good fight without a pastor. Little did I realize that the Lord has been preparing our hearts for Portland, Oregon over the last 18 months. Drawing our hearts to a city of extreme spiritual poverty. In the last month I have taken two more trips out to Portland and this past weekend, I humbly accepted the position of Lead Pastor of Flavel Street Baptist Church.

I have been amazed by the beauty of God’s timing through an 18 month journey to reach Portland, Oregon. We are going forth as missionaries to a completely different culture, one that we have already fallen deeply in love with. We are asking God to go before us and draw the city to Himself.

We will be moving to Portland in December after I finish out my semester as a Professor of Political Science at North Central Texas College. Soon we will be posting ways in which you can get involved in helping us replant this church in one of the least churched cities in the United States. We have already began to formulate a non-profit organization called, “Reach Portland,” which will serve as a fundraising organization to help raise support to share Christ with the city of Portland, serve the needs of the church and it’s members, and provide salary/insurance for our family in order to do the full-time work that the Lord is calling us to. Our hope is that Reach Portland eventually serves as an organization that helps support other pastors and teams to come plant or replant churches in the Portland area.

Thank you all you have been praying for our family and supporting us these past few years. I want to especially thank the leadership and people of CityView Church and Christ Community Church who has loved us well for the pat 3+ years. Their dedication to families, pastors, and the gospel in unmatched. Please pray for Flavel Street Baptist Church that God will continue to fuel their passion for change and for His Son Jesus. Also, pray we find a house soon, for our family to have a smooth transition to the Pacific Northwest, and that God will ignite people’s hearts to financially support us. Finally, pray for the city of Portland. It needs Jesus desperately. Pray that the Lord would send us very strong leadership that will support our efforts in bringing the Gospel to this city.

What an amazing journey the Lord is allowing us to participate in and we thank Him for all that He is done and will do. Glory alone to Him.

Kyle & Cassie

Billie - This is exciting news! I will continue to pray for your family and your new mission field. Thanks for the update.

Daniel Yang - Bro – this is exciting stuff! Lets keep in touch and perhaps get some grub before you go. I leave for Detroit/Toronto Thanksgiving weekend.

Susan Suran - Kyle and Cassie i am amazed at the work that the Lord does for us and the fact that he is bringing you to Portland to wake it up and to help formulate a christian community is a sign that God had heard us and is sending in the help we so desperately needed. May God Bless you and help you get a good home until then stay safe and we will see you soon share.on.facebook tweet.this 101,109,97,105,108,46,109,101em.liame