Thursday, December 29, 2016

Oregon Colleges were Once Christian

Oregon Colleges started out by Christians and for Christians

Follow the link above and be amazed.  We've come so far away from what our Christian forefathers had in mind....we can put our heads in the sand and try to forget about it, or begin to read for ourselves our past history as a nation and country.  I hope that our new President and the new Year in which he rises to leadership will bring us back to the bedrock of truth....a foundation that our ancestors once believed in.  Happy New Year Everyone!

I've heard it before; most colleges and universities were started and run by Christians.  Now I've read about it in the above link and it hits close to home....

Christmas 2016
We are eagerly anticipating using this old schoolhouse built in 1906, and it's connecting gymnasium built in 1931, for private parties and events in the coming new year.  We see a real need to reconnect the generations and learn from one another...some of the best ways to learn are through storytelling, hands-on activities, talking to real live people who attended school here, reading old books written 100 + years ago....attending museums, chatting with those who have lived through many wars and hard times.

No, we're not official yet.  This has been a new vision in the we didn't dream that has been growing since we've lived in this place over a year.  Yes, a year is along time for some of us.:)

We hope to share with you as the vision grows and takes on a more structured form in the coming months ahead.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Missing Alaska but enjoying the Oregon snow

Snowflake anyone?

What could be better than this?

Baby's first Oregon.

Yes, it's a real carrot and real charcoal...

Too cold for piano?  Wear some mittens:)

Snow:  the calorie free snack.

Brother and Sis enjoying one another's friendship...
It snowed last week and melted off and then snowed again today.  This is a lot of snow for Oregon and we have thoroughly enjoyed rolling in it, eating it, slipping around in it, sledding in it, walking and running in it...pouring molasses on it, throwing it at each other, etc.

We miss Alaska and all the friendships we made there.  God must of known that a little snow here and there is somehow comforting to the soul.  It is peaceful and quiet....perhaps because all seven children leave the house:)

It is such a delight to play in the snow and wonder at the beauty of it.  I almost feel like a kid again whenever it snows...I have to resist the urge to call my brothers with the excited shout, "It snowed!"  Somehow it is so magical to wake up to a blanket of white, even as an adult.

Merry Snow Days Everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The First Recorded Thanksgiving....

This year we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our new home in Oregon....except we celebrated in the old schoolhouse first.... We had a wonderful time talking, laughing, playing, singing, sharing our memories of thankfulness for the past years late into the night..and sharing our faith with our loved ones.  Many blessings to our friends and family this coming year....

Enjoying laughter

Lots of smiles from cousins

The warm glow of candles

The warm hugs of Grandpa and Grandma

Warm food on the banqueting tables....

More warm glow from the candles....

Reading time with Grandpa Bill

Chatting and enjoying Finsen's friendship

Stepheny sharing some artist's tips....

Serenaded by the youngest....

Learning how to stand on your head with Grandma Debi

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Attack of the Lamp

Look at my bazooka, Mom!
 I recently asked my 6-year old son to help me move a lamp and this is what happened.  I had to take pictures.  Of course, it turned into a weapon and then somehow warped into a wild animal attack lamp and electrocuted him to death.  I used to be concerned about this type of behavior and then relaxed as I have heard multiple godly women, including a dear friend of mine who also happens to be a Pastor's wife, reassure me that this type of behavior in boys is normal..... 

I've been electrocuted by a lamp!
Enjoy a good laugh and if you have little boys growing up in your house, just relax and enjoy their antics as all too soon they grow up and mature into godly young men, living their childish ways behind them...and all their cute little antics.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Leaves of Joy

Oh the joy of falling leaves....and throwing them at one another...
Wow, another month gone much has been happening around the Gerhardt household but I thought this picture captured something special and 

It's school days spent in the sun, or together in the schoolhouse with other families....

1888 old school desks with little metal ink well holes

 little children of 2016, to fill them up...

Enjoying our children and students....

Yes, there's even room for toddlers in this school house
Antique wooden easels held together by a piece of rope...

Here's the front of the 1906 school house

Here's the inside of the gym built in 1931
What we've enjoyed the most over the last year is watching God bring people, supplies, equipment, and encouragement to grow whatever He is growing here.  I wish I could tell you exactly what's happening but I can't.  AND for once, I'm OK with not knowing the direction God is moving us in.  It's His work, done His way, with His people.  I'm so blessed to be a part of whatever He is doing.

All I know is there has been lots of laughter, a few tears, prayers, singing, piano playing, volleyball and basketball games, tag, encouragement, fellowshipping in Christ Jesus, sharing memories, making things, a grammar class, an art and PE class, birthday parties, a recital coming up and hopefully more classes and events on the way.....

We are so excited to watch people coming together here from all walks of life enjoying one another, enjoying life, learning together and growing.  It's a real community forming and it ebbs and flows with such a gentle pace. 

May you all be blessed with peace, joy, and contentment this day no matter what the political climate may bring....after all, our country is made up of real people like you and me and it will be what it will be. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

A field trip to the Historic Brunk House

How long do we have to stand here and pose?

Having fun with an old hat...

This wreath was made of human hair! 

Enjoying my babies and munching on apples too....
We went to the Apple Cider day at the Historic Brunk House last Saturday.  It was so much fun looking in all the old rooms at all the things from yester year....1860 to be exact.  There was an old pair of spectacles from Scotland that had been handed down for what they thought may have been 200 years.  We can be handed down all sorts of "world views" from our forefathers without really stopping long enough to pause and reflect on whether or not that world view was correct. 

As I strolled along I mused that they were perhaps not that different from us....they had all the trappings and vanity of man as we do today.  They had an eye for beauty, they were well educated, they lived in a comfortable home and worked with vigor.  Nothing stands out as extraordinary to me except that their house is still standing along with a myriad of other items from long ago.

Time...people.... come and and in the bank.....come and  You get the picture...

But, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  Hebrews 13:8

I'm realizing more and more that we really only have moments and in those moments are made seconds, minutes, hours and days.  They turn into weeks, months, years, and the passing of time.  Moments are more important than memories.  You cannot pick your true memories, they somehow choose themselves.  Sure, you can preserve snap shots or mementoes to help you, but ultimately, memories are made in moments and then they are gone....

SO enjoy all the precious moments you have today with all the precious people around you that God puts in your life day to day to day.  They were meant for from God to you.  Don't waste time in vain pursuits even if those around you assure you that you might be missing out.  CHERISH your moments today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Obsidian Flow in Sun River, Oregon

A lot of kids = a lot of bikes

Enjoying friends, a lollipop and a road trip to Sun River....

Hiking up the mountain of Obsidian Flow near Sun River, OR

We are nearing the top....

Just a little further....

Look how strong I am?  It's pumice:)

View from the top...

Resting on Obsidian might not be the best idea....

There's actually something alive!

Life and death, huge difference, absolute line between the two....
What do we do when the lines of morality (who's alive spiritually and who's asleep and why is it dangerous?) become blurred in this life, perhaps even in our churches...we go to the Lord in prayer as usual.  We go to one another in a loving, mature discussion, using our spiritual gifts to build up one another in the body of Christ, bringing glory to God.  Business as usual despite what is going on in the world around us....

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Genius of Vicki Bentley

A Paper Management System that Works!

What's inside...

What's outside....

 Is anyone buried under paperwork from home, ministry, business, school, church, etc?  How do you keep it all straight?  Wonder no more.....Vicki Bentley to the rescue.  This woman is a genius.  Whether you home school or not, you'll benefit from her written works.

"The Everyday Family Chore System,"  "Home Education 101," mentor manual, and "My Homeshool Planner,"  are the spiral bound notebooks I recently purchased. 

I am so thankful to the Lord for creating this woman and so thankful that this woman shared her experience in notebook form for others to glean from.  Her notebooks are simple, black and white, easy to follow and easy to reference. 

I've spent the last few days reading in "Home Education 101," the sections entitled, "I Know It's Here ....Somewhere," and "I've Tried Filing, But it Just Keeps Piling..." 
So I can now see my desk area....yet have a little more to do...

Love this tip...have children deposit a quarter when borrowing office supplies:
Upon returning, they get their money back,
if you have to retrieve supplies from them, you keep the money.
At this rate, I'll be saving up quite a lot....

LOVE this chore chart, it actually works.  Paper cue cards
are glued on clothespins...easily distracted people can clip
them onto clothes as they go about chores.

Vicki Bentley has taken the chore out of thinking and writing up
the details of completing each chore by typing them all up neatly on
3X5 cards that we keep in the yellow box.

What comfort and joy I have found in finally understanding why a typical filing system has never worked for me....I'm so easily distracted and full of creative ideas and love to implement new projects and strategies and encourage others to do the same (sorry to all my poor family and friends).  

I have sticky notes all over the house, and scraps of paper here and there and……Vicki understands and says, it’s OK!  Hallelujah, I’m not insane, I’m just highly distracted at times and God loves “highly distracted at times people”….we’re part of his gift to the body of Christ.  We just need to be disciplined to keep ourselves and ideas and projects organized and under self-control….

I've been using Vicki Bentley's strategy for a couple weeks now and both my husband and I are amazed.  We are feeling on top of things, planning better, freeing up more time because we're not thinking about all the things we need to do, talk about, or constantly trying to remember when to do everything. 

We now have an allotted time and place for all paperwork and project ideas and a time in which to discuss each.  Now we have time to look at each other and enjoy one another and our seven children without thinking of all the other things that are pressing. 

This woman has lifted a HUGE burden off our shoulders!  What a gift to the body of the Lord Jesus Christ!  We got to listen to this woman at the OCEAN Homeschool Conference and were so blessed by her humble, yet full of wisdom and encouragement talk.  She probably wouldn't like that I'm calling her a genius and amazing, but it's true and I want all Mom's and Dad's everywhere benefitting from her style and advice...she's flexible, yet has a realistic framework in which to put things.  This is something rare and lacking in a lot of organizational books and help out there. 

I would like to host a "Home Education 101" workshop for new and seasoned moms here at the "Old Orchard School House and Gymnasium."  We need to learn from one another and now I have a new tool to bring it all together under one roof, thanks to Vicki Bentley.