About Me

Welcome Friends!  

My name is Melaine I am a Catholic homeschooling Mama to four kiddos (with one more baby on the way)!  My husband and I are raising our children on a little homestead in the middle of farm country.  Our family culture is built around prayer, good quality books, and working with our hands.

Before I decided to stay home with my children full-time, I was a Kindergarten and 2nd grade teacher.  I love to observe how kids relate to their world and you will often find a child development book on my nightstand.  And... if we are being honest, you will probably find 5-10 other books there too.  

I love to cook nourishing meals for my family.  (Bonus points if the veggies come from our garden!)  My passion for health and wellness started when my oldest son was 2.  He was having digestive issues that were not being resolved by our repeated visits to the pediatrician. I started diving into research about gut health and we were able to correct his issues on our own by making a few lifestyle changes.  He has been symptom-free for five years and I'm having so much fun learning about the holistic lifestyle!

I love to encourage and empower other moms to be advocates for the health and education of their children. 
I’m so glad that you’ve decided to stop by!  

Contact me if you are ready to be plugged into our private group where we share practical tips about creating a home where peace and love abide.  We share healthy recipes you can easily whip up in the kitchen, practical ways you can support the health of your family, book lists that nourish the mind and soul, and we support each other with homeschooling.  It's a safe place to ask questions and to meet other women who are on a similar journey.

I can’t wait to chat!     

Contact Me

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Updates from Melaine Myklebust

The Holy Spirit as Fire: Gifts of the Spirit Part 1

Today is Pentecost Sunday and we recognize it as the birthday of our church.  Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles after Jesus' Ascension into Heaven.  

Acts 2:1-4
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  And tongues of fire appeared to them, distributing themselves, and a tongue rested on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out.

Did you catch how the Holy Spirit decided to manifest himself?  He could have shown up as anything, but he chose to manifest himself as fire and they were transformed.  

Fire has the ability to transform things.  What was cold becomes hot.  What was hard becomes soft.  When the Holy Spirit entered the Apostles as fire, he transformed them and they were given the ability to go out to preach the Gospel.

Pentecost is the perfect time for us to sit and ask the Holy Spirit to activate his gifts within us. When we were Baptized we received the Holy Spirit and he brought his gifts along with him.  We know from Scripture that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as he chooses and they are all activated by him.  

My challenge for you on this Pentecost Sunday is to pray to the Holy Spirit and ask him to reveal a gift he'd like to manifest in you this year.  He wants to lavish you with gifts.  It's hard to wrap our minds around this if we are picturing him as fire or a dove.  The Holy Spirit is not a thing.  He is a person and he desires relationship with you.  He has many titles in Scripture.  He is known as the Advocate, Counselor, Comforter, Consoler, Healer, and Paraclete (one who is called to your side).

Do any of these names resonate with you?  Do you need comfort?  Do you need healing deep within your soul?  

Address him with that title and allow him to show up when you need him to.   Ask him to stir up the gift within you that needs to be rekindled.  Ask him to reveal how he is working in your life.   

It's important to know that a gift is a gift.  If we want to grow in the gift of knowledge, it's tempting to take matters into our own hands by buying every book about God we can find or by listening to as many podcasts as we can during our free time.  Although spiritual reading and listening are excellent for our formation, the gift of knowledge is actually revealed to us when we sit with a posture of receptivity and allow the Spirit to lavish it upon us as he wills.  

What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Isaiah 11:2  
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Knowledge: The gift of knowledge helps us to know God more and more each day.  The word know in Scripture isn't referring to intellectual knowledge.  It implies intimacy.  (Example:  Adam knew his wife Eve and they conceived and bore a son).

Understanding: The gift of understanding  allows us to understand the meaning of God’s words.

Wisdom:  The gift of wisdom helps us to know what to do with our knowledge and understanding of God.  Wisdom makes us wise in the ways of God and helps us recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Fortitude: The gift of fortitude gives us power and strength.  A fort is a strong place.  The gift of fortitude helps us to be strong for God and helps us to use God’s strength to do what is right.

Counsel:  The gift of counsel is also known as right judgement.  Counsel helps us with decision making.  Counsel is knowing what God is saying to us and using that knowledge to make decisions.

Piety: The gift of piety is also known as reverence. Piety is loving God more than anything with our whole mind, heart, and soul.

Fear of the Lord: The gift of fear of the Lord does not mean being afraid of God.  Fear of the Lord is having wonder and awe.  This gift helps us to know that even though God is great and we are small, He loves us intimately.

Has the Holy Spirit revealed which gift he'd like to manifest in you this year?

To further explore the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, I highly recommend The Spiritual Gifts Handbook 
by Randy Clark and Mary Healy.

2nd Grade Geography and Earth Studies

At the end of every school year I like to sit down with our materials and evaluate what worked well for us and I make notes about what I'd to change for the next child.  

Most of our lesson ideas come from Mater Amabilis which is a free Catholic Charlotte Mason homeschooling program.  I use the framework provided on the Mater Amabilis website and I tweak a few things to meet my child's needs. 

Our focus this year for Geography and Earth Studies was to work on map skills, to study Europe, and to learn about weather.  We did Geography and Earth Studies lessons 3x a week.  Each lesson was approximately 20 minutes long.  One day we focused on Maps and Mapping, the next day we read aloud from our People and Places book, and the third day we focused on a Weather lesson.  

Maps and Mapping

Elementary Geography by Charlotte Mason I read the lessons aloud to my son and had him narrate after each lesson.  This is a book that he could have read independently but we chose to do it together.  

Maps & Mapping by Barbara Taylor  My son read one lesson per week and did most of the hands-on activities that went along with each lesson.  I skimmed this book at the beginning of the year and made a note about the materials I'd need to gather in advance and we stored everything in a tote so it was ready to go.  You can find additional mapping books here.  

People and Places

We spent this school year learning about Europe.  I selected one read aloud per term (3 total for the year).  We read one chapter per week together.  This was a fabulous way to immerse ourselves in European culture.  Living books made the countries come alive!  We learned so much more than we would have by simply studying a European map.

I read three of the following titles aloud and I checked the remaining titles out from the library for my son to read independently on his own time.  He loved these books and was excited for the independent reading, but I'd limit it to just three Geography books per year in the future if another child is not as independent.

The Family Under the Bridge (France) (This one is great at Christmas time)

Geography Coloring Book (Optional)  After we read from our People and Places book, my son would color in the countries, mountain ranges, and rivers mentioned in our read aloud.  There are amazing lesson plans available in the Mater Amabilis Facebook group for this.  Our plan is to use this coloring book for grades 2-5 so he can keep track of all of the places we visit in our books.  *My goal for map work at this age isn't for complete memorization.  I just want my kiddos to be familiar with the European map and to generally know where to locate the countries.

Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time (Optional)   This book includes an extensive book list about each continent to check out from the library.  We found a lot of great picture books in the Europe section.  

Weather and Climate by Barbara Taylor  We followed the Mater Amabilis plans that aligned with this book.  I skimmed the book in advance and made a list of materials we'd need for the hands-on activities.  I stored everything in a tote so it was ready to open and go.  

An alternative to this would be The Good and the Beautiful Meteorology Unit.

Fun Enrichment Activities
The following activities were an optional part of our Geography program.  I kept them out in the open and my kiddos would grab them occasionally to work on during their own time.

GeoPuzzles   I love GeoPuzzles because the puzzle pieces have the same shape as the country on the map.  When my kiddos are manipulating the puzzle pieces they are memorizing what the countries look like.  

Draw Europe  This book is a step-by-step approach to drawing a map of Europe.  By drawing the countries next to their neighbors, children are memorizing how the European countries are connected.  After my children completed their European maps we laminated them for durability.

What are your favorite Geography resources?  Do you have any favorite books related to European culture?  Leave a comment below! 
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