Keepers of the Faith Club for Girls

Keepers of the Faith Club for Girls - Our Experience and How Our Club is Set Up | RaisingArrows.net

If you follow my Facebook page you’ve probably heard me mention Keepers of the Faith.  My girls have been a part of a local group since we moved to the area a few years ago, and we have all really enjoyed the fellowship and projects.

I had a reader ask me to talk more about Keepers, so I thought I’d write a post and explain how our group works and how you can form a group or find a group to participate in.  Please, keep in mind, my experience is unique because all Keepers groups are unique due to their autonomous nature.  Also, keep in mind this post is specifically pertaining to the girls club and not the boys; however, much of the same information applies to the boys club.

How Our Keepers of the Faith Club is Organized

Leadership -
Our group does not have a “leader” per se.  One person always emerges as the organized one, but all the moms in the group have input, as do the girls.

Planning -
The moms get together a couple of times a year to discuss the next 6 months of projects. Typically, we have previously discussed with our girls some of the projects they are interested in doing as a group so we can bring those to the table.  We choose the project, who will lead it, and where the meeting will be held.

The moms have a private Facebook group to send out messages, share photos, and remind people of meeting dates and anything they might need to bring.

Keepers of the Faith Club for Girls - How Our Club is Organized | RaisingArrows.net

Meetings -
We meet once a month in one of our homes or at a local church.  We open with prayer, the club Bible verse (we have chosen to learn it in another version), and the mission of Keepers of the Faith.

Usually, we have a Character Lesson that fits well with the skill we are learning.  When we worked on American Sign Language, we had a Character Lesson on Attentiveness.  At Christmas time we worked on Charity.  Keepers of the Faith have their own booklets for each Character Lesson, but we don’t always use theirs.  There are a lot of resources online that can be used for free.  Typically, the mom leading the project also leads the Character Lesson.

After that, we start the monthly project.  Each project has a certain set of skills the girls are to learn.  Sometimes all of the skills can be learned in a meeting, and sometimes the girls have to go home and finish up.

For instance, a few months ago, we did Plastic Canvas.

Keepers of the Faith Club for Girls - How Our Club is Organized | RaisingArrows.net

The mom in charge taught all the stitches, but to finish the project, each girl had to finish 2 different plastic canvas projects.  We only had time for 1 that day, so it was up to us to finish at home.

I will talk more about this in the next section, but I also want to mention here that because Keepers of the Faith is parent-led and autonomous, each family has the choice of what equates completing a project.  I could have chosen to make that one project the fulfillment of the requirement to complete the Plastic Canvas badge, but I knew my girls were capable of doing more, and my 9 year really enjoyed it!  (In fact, she received MORE plastic canvas and project books as a birthday present!)

Meetings last about 2 hours.  The girls ages range from 6 to 14.

How We Handle Multiple Ages -
We are a small group, so we haven’t seen much of a need to separate the girls out by age.  Yes, we have different skill levels, but we really haven’t had much trouble coming up with activities that are suited to all age levels.  The girls are welcome to work on other badges at home, so we try to keep the monthly meetings to projects that are good for everyone.

Keepers of the Faith Club for Girls - How Our Club is Organized | RaisingArrows.net

Some of the moms have chosen to award their younger girls with the silver badges and then work through the book when they are older and receive a second badge in gold.  This means the younger girls can work at their level and still be rewarded for their effort without needing to complete the entire project at the same level as the older girls.

Awards -
We have chosen to buy the actual pin badges and put them on the sash.  There are sites that have patches that coincide with the different KOF projects, but I wanted the ease of pins, so that’s what we went with.

You don’t have to award with badges, but I’ve found the girls are highly motivated by the badges and the Awards Ceremony we have a couple of times a year.

Our Awards Ceremony is not a huge to-do either.  We just can’t seem to coordinate a night that allows for a major celebration, so we will often do it at the same time as our monthly meeting and have snacks afterward.  We only do an Awards Ceremony when all the moms feel it is time.  Each mother is responsible for tracking and purchasing badges to hand out at the Awards Ceremony.

Cost -
Our club itself has no dues.  If an individual project requires an investment in supplies by the hosting mother, then she lets everyone know the cost for that project (usually via the Facebook group), and we come prepared to pay that amount per child participating.  I don’t think it has ever been over $3.

You will need a handbook for each girl.  There are also Companion Notebooks, but we have chosen not to purchase these.

The badges also cost, but you only purchase those on occasion, and you can choose to cut costs by going through a 3rd party that sells the project patches at a cheaper rate.  You will probably want to purchase or make a sash to put the badges on.

You can buy a Keepers t-shirt, but it isn’t necessary at all.  We do not require our girls to dress alike at meetings.

There are Leadership Materials you can purchase if you would like to start up your own club.  These are good to have if you’ve never been a part of a Keepers Club and need some help figuring out how to get it off the ground.

You might also want to check out the Club Locator to see if there is a KOF club near you, but keep in mind, not all clubs register, so there might be one near you that isn’t on the map.  Ask around!

Can’t find one?  Start your own!

How to Start Your Own Keepers of the Faith Club

At Home, On Your Own -
Buy the handbook for each of your girls, and work through them on your own.  This would be a great addition to your homeschool!

Find Others to Join You -
Look to your local homeschool group or your church to find other moms and girls interested in joining you in a more club-like atmosphere.  Purchase the Complete Starter Kit, set a meeting with the moms, and start planning!

Remember, this is YOUR club!  You can make it as structured or unstructured as you like.  Our group has done very well with a more low-key approach, but your group may need something different.  You may get large enough to split off into age groups, or you may want to meet more than once a month, or you may want to have a more structured meeting that is planned out more than 6 months in advance.  Any or all of these are totally appropriate!

Have more questions?  Feel free to ask me (I’ll try to answer to the best of my ability), check the FAQ at Keepers of the Faith, or contact Keepers directly for more help and information.

Moore Family Films Discount Code

Moore Family Films Discount Code - good through September (think Christmas presents!)With the cooler weather coming, I’ve begun to think about Fall!  For our family, Autumn causes us to focus toward the Holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.  With Baby #9 due near Christmas, I am thinking ahead to gifts and buying them a bit early so I am prepared.

Even if you aren’t having a baby this Christmas, it might be a good idea to think toward gift buying now, and take advantage of the discount code the Moores are offering on their films through the month of September!

{affiliate link}

Moore Family Films September Discount Code

A couple of our favorites are More than Making Maple Syrup and ABC – Say It With Me!

maple syrup movie

Use code:
DVD20
to get 20% off all DVD purchases
through the month of September!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER!

 

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.netCarrying a new little life is such a blessing!  Every pregnancy, I try to find ways to celebrate the new life within.  Despite morning sickness, aches and pains, and fears, it is important to me to try to find even the tiniest of ways to celebrate these amazing months I have been blessed with.  Today, I want to share with you some of these the celebrations!

I’ve put together a Celebrating Pregnancy printable to print off and keep handy throughout your pregnancy.  I’ve also included links and other ideas below that show these celebrations in action!

Month 1:
Learn a New Skill

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 1:  Learn a New Skill (post includes tons of ideas and a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netMost women don’t even know they are pregnant at this point, so purposefully celebrating your pregnancy will be a tad bit difficult.  However, if you are planning to become pregnant (and even if you are not!), this is a great time to celebrate by learning a new skill that has “baby inclinations”.  Think quilting, diaper making, crocheting or knitting, cake decorating or scrapbooking.  Craftsy.com has some great online classes you can take, or ask another crafty friend to walk you through the process!

Month 2:
Host a Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 2:  Host a Freezer Meal Party!  (post includes tons of ideas & a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou’ve had the excitement of seeing that pregnancy test turn positive, now what?  Most women deal with some sort of “slow down” in their life in the first trimester, either due to morning sickness or exhaustion or other factors.  Month 2 (before you start this slow down) is a great time to have a Freezer Meal Party!  These meals are not for when the baby is born, but rather for the days when you are just too tired or too sick to cook in the first trimester.

Freezer Meal Party Pinterest Board
Organizing a Freezer Meal Party with Friends
Host a Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Party
Freezer to Slow Cooker Printable Menu

Month 3:
Luxuriate

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 3:  Luxuriate (post included tons of ideas + a FREE printable!) | RaisingArrows.netYou are probably still not feeling your best, so now is the perfect time to do some at-home pampering.  I enjoy long Epsom salt baths with candles and music, followed by some yummy smelling lotion.  A really luxurious bath product is Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Bath Gel (don’t croak when you see the price – it is worth every penny – as long as you keep it out of the reach of little hands!).  Be sure to go with smells that do not bother you.  Sniff them in the store before you buy!  Light the candles, slip into a nice, warm bath, and turn on your favorite music.

As for music, listen to something that relaxes you.  A new feature from Amazon that I am really enjoying is Amazon Prime Music.  There is a huge list of FREE albums/songs that you can listen to from your phone, tablet, or computer.  I really like piano music and Enya, so I have a lot of Enya’s albums in the my list as well as The Piano Guys and George Winston.  All you have to do is download the app and start searching for your favorites!

Month 4:
Enjoy Nature

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 4:  Enjoy Nature (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netNow that you are starting to feel better, it’s time to soak up some nature and take time to reflect and look forward.  Think about the past several months, plan for the next several.  Talk to baby.  Pray.  Really take the time to see the world around you.  Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, the trees, the flowers, the intricate details of creation.  You and your baby are a part of that amazing gift of creation.  Don’t squander the time.

Month 5:
Plan Date Nights and Outings with Your Spouse

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 5:  Plan Date Nights and Outings with your Spouse (post includes tons a ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

You’re feeling that 2nd Trimester awesomeness, so take advantage of it!  Sit down with your spouse and plan out some fun outings and date nights.  Go to places you haven’t been before.  Take a day trip, or even an overnight excursion!  Talk about baby plans, and relish your time!

Month 6:
Buy (or Make) Something New For You

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6:  Buy (or Make) Something New for You ( post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Now is the time to indulge that ever-expanding belly with something new!  If you are super-crafty, you can make something, but I prefer to purchase something instead.  I typically end up purchasing maternity clothes, but whatever you choose, make it something you can use NOW.  I would encourage you to buy at least one piece that is brand new and super nice because you will have it for years (and babies) to come.

Rainbow Maternity Skirt - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 6 My favorite purchase this time around was a Rainbow Denim Maternity Skirt from Deborah & Co.  (Today through Labor Day, you can use code: LABORDAY5 to get $5 off any $50 order and orders of $100 or more receive a FREE SCARF included in their package!  Scarves are one of my favorite maternity accessories! Click HERE to start shopping!)

Month 7:
Do Something Nice for Yourself

Celebrating pregnancy Month by Month - Month 7:  Do Something Nice for Yourself (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.netWhat is that one thing you would really like to do, but just don’t seem to do for yourself?  Is it a new haircut?  Maybe a massage?  Perhaps it is a piece of jewelry to celebrate your pregnancy?  This month do something fun that is just for you!

Due Date Jewelry
Coming Soon Necklace
Ring My Neck – necklace for when your ring no longer fits
Massage & Pregnancy article

Month 8:
Buy (or Make) Something New for Baby

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 8:  Buy (or make) Something New for Baby (post includes tons of resources + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

Even if you don’t know baby’s gender, you can purchase something this month that is just for baby.  This is my 9th baby, but I still feel it is super important to get something that is just for THIS baby.  One thing I’ve done this time around is order several products from Mother’s Lounge.  I have a coupon code that will get you these products FREE FOR SHIPPING!

RAISINGARROWS9
is the code and the products you can get include:

nursing pillow from NursingPillow.com
baby leggings from BabyLeggings.com
baby sling from SevenSlings.com
car seat cover from CarseatCanopy.com
nursing cover from UdderCovers.com

(You can use the code on each site!)

Month 9:  
Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party

Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month - Month 9:  Host a Baby Tea or Another Freezer Meal Party (post includes tons of ideas + FREE printable) | RaisingArrows.net

A Baby Tea isn’t like hosting your own baby shower, but more like hosting a tea party with your girlfriends.  It’s not about gifts, but about swapping birth stories and encouragement and savoring those final days of pregnancy.

Sample Baby Tea Menu:
Red Raspberry Tea
Mini Baby Rattle Cupcakes (or keep it simple and just have mini cupcakes)
Onesie Sugar Cookies
Baby Bib Petite Sandwiches

Have a basket with slips of paper for everyone to write favorite labor verses and well wishes for the new baby.

Labor & Delivery Verses
Scripture Meditations for the Overdue Mama
Scriptural Encouragement for Preparing & Giving Birth

If you aren’t wanting to do a Baby Tea, then how about another Freezer Meal Party to put away meals for after baby arrives?  Enjoy the time with friends and family!

DOWNLOAD CELEBRATING YOUR PREGNANCY MONTH BY MONTH PRINTABLE!


Celebrating Pregnancy
Trimester by Trimester

I also wanted to include some Trimester by Trimester ideas for you since babies are unpredictable and can often come before 9 months or well after 9 months.

1st Trimester Ideas:

Come up with a fun way to announce your pregnancy to your husband, your children, your extended family and friends.

Get a basket and keep lots of fruit on hand in the basket for easy snacks and great nutritional value.  Treat yourself to some fruits you haven’t tried before.

Watch baby shows on television or online.

Make freezer meals for those days when you aren’t feeling up to cooking.

Read my Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness – just in case ;)

Start a Pregnancy Journal.

Take long baths.

Play relaxing music.

Make a Baby Ticker to put in your emails, on your blog, or to post to social media.  Here’s mine:

baby development

2nd Trimester Ideas:

Get outside and enjoy nature.

Plan some time with your spouse.

Buy some new or new-to-you maternity clothes.

Have fun trying to predict baby’s gender.

Get a massage.

Get a manicure or pedicure or both.

Play music for baby.

Talk to baby and relish this time.

Plan some fun activities to do with your other children.

3rd Trimester Ideas:

Make a Daily Final Countdown.

Make a list of things you need for baby.

Make a list of things you need to take to the hospital.

Get the baby things ready and create a precious space just for baby (no matter how small it may be).

Buy something new for baby.

Make something for baby.

Host a low-key tea party with your friends and family.

My Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest

Pregnancy & Babies board on Pinterest - Celebrating Pregnancy Month by Month | RaisingArrows.net

 Have a blessed 9 months!

Getting My Household Back on Track

I’m going to share something that is pretty raw.  Something I really don’t like people to see…at least not like this.  These are photos of our house just a few weeks ago.

WARNING:  These photos are scary.

Girls RoomBoys Roomhomeschool closetThese were taken all on the same day with my iPhone as I was explaining to my husband (who was at work) that life here at home had taken a huge step backward and I wasn’t sure how to fix it.

I was feeling like I had gone back in time about 8 years when I had only littles and my life felt very chaotic.  Our move to this house in February, followed by several speaking engagements, followed by morning sickness had created a household that was barely functioning.

The kids’ rooms were always a mess.  Laundry was never under control.  The homeschool closet (shown above) was a colossal mess.  And then the basement flooded…

flooded basement

I couldn’t even begin to concern myself with what was down there when what was upstairs was nowhere near where it should be.

And who did I think I was, standing before a crowd of homeschool moms, telling them how to have a well-ordered household?!

I found myself at a place where I was completely incapacitated by the sheer volume of things that NEEDED to be accomplished, and I was begging God for an answer…a place to begin and get back to the way of life I knew I needed to have in order make our home run well.

The very next day, Mystie Winckler contacted me about her new ecourse, Simplified Organization.  I knew she had some things in the works, but I had no idea how much I was going to need exactly what she was working on.

How I and Getting my Household Back on Track with Simplified Organization ecourse | RaisingArrows.net

Simplified Organization has been a breath of fresh air in our home.  It is a go-at-your-own-pace online course, so there is no pressure to have A, B, and C done by Friday, and the information is not going to disappear if you don’t get it done by Friday.  Mystie is even quite candid about the fact that some of these “habits” will take years to fully flesh out, and rather than that being a negative thing, she teaches you to see the process and system of ordering your household as the goal, rather than some arbitrary “by-September-I’ll-have-an-organized-home” goal.  

And everything is from a solid Christian perspective.  This isn’t about digging deeper within yourself…it’s about reaching out to the Lord and working with His plan for your life here on earth.

I’ve gone through 3 of the learning modules already, and I am so excited by the progress I’ve seen that I have to force myself to shut the computer down at night and go to bed!  I have finally learned to use my Google Calendar to its fullest capacity (and I’ve shared it with my oldest two children so they are “in the know” about what is going on around here).  I am learning to immediately get things out of the labyrinth of my brain and onto paper so that I don’t have to try to recall everything.  (This is going to be a steep learning curve!)  I have the beginnings of a command center.  I am finally working on a laundry system for this house, and I am seeing real progress as opposed to hamster-wheel days, weeks, and months.
Learn how to bring order from your chaos

Today, is the official launch of Simplified Organization.  The price of membership and access to all the videos, audios, articles, and step-by-step instruction is $99; HOWEVER, if you use the code

raisingarrows

the Simplified Organization course is only $45!
You will not see this price anywhere else, so don’t delay!
(Offer ends AUGUST 30!)

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed by the state of your household, if you need some prodding and purpose to get back on track, if you need a place to begin and the focus to continue, this online course may very well be the answer for you in the way that it was for our household!

The tasks have not interfered with our homeschooling.  The lessons are all in bite-sized pieces so I don’t feel like I have to carve out huge sections of time to work through the course.  The encouragement and Biblical advice has given me a whole new perspective on where I am right now.

I am absolutely thrilled that Mystie followed the Lord’s leading and went to the effort to create this course to help other homemakers and mommies learn to love what must be done in our homes.

Learn to love what must be done

Brand New DrinkBands & You Could Win!

Win the Brand New DrinkBands on RaisingArrows.net!Guess what came in the mail the other day?!  Some fun new goodies from DrinkBands!  DrinkBands now has PERSONALIZED bands, so your family members can have their name AND their favorite color on their glasses!

Personalized DrinkBands!

DrinkBands is also pleased to present CAMO BANDS!  My family was super excited about these!  My daughter even got creative photographing them (shown in the photo below are 3 of the 5 designs).

Camo DrinkBands!

There are 5 camouflage patterns in all:

Camo DrinkBands!

I know you can’t wait to get your hands on these new DrinkBands, so how about a fun giveaway?  There will be 2 winners – one winner will get a set of 9 regular DrinkBands that are personalized, and another winner will win a set of 5 camo DrinkBands!  Giveaway ends this Friday, so hurry!

(Reading this via email?  CLICK HERE to enter the giveaway!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Homeschooling Omnibus Sale – Tons of Resources for $25!

2014 Omnibus Homeschooling Sale - 105 Resources + FREEBIES & COUPONS for only $25! | RaisingArrows.net

THIS SALE IS NOW OVER

The 3rd annual Homeschooling Omnibus Sale is this week – AUGUST 18 – AUGUST 24!  You get a ton of resources for only $25, plus, there are a few special things about this year’s sale…

1.  You get the pdf AND the Kindle formats with your purchase.

2.  There are some really great bonus discounts & freebies from companies like:  Jim Hodges Audio Books, Harmony Fine Arts, Notebooking Pages, Scripture Lullabies, and Your Story Hour, to name a few!

3.  You have the option to purchase the entire set of resources on DVD for an additional $8.  (this offer ends September 20, 2014)

2014 Omnibus DVD

I don’t want to clutter up this post with ALL of the resources available in this sale, but I do want to highlight a few I think will be of particular interest to Raising Arrows readers:

*My ebook, Large Family Homeschooling – I’m sure ALL of you already own a copy of this 170 page practical homeschooling tome, but just in case… ;)

Large Family Homeschooling - releases April 1!

*Raising Rock Stars FULL Preschool Curriculum – This is a fun curriculum for your little people, and gives you some much needed one-on-one time with those precious preschoolers in your home.

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 11.09.39 PM

*Circle Time – I’ve raved about this book and concept for quite a while, so you’ve probably heard it, but I’ll say it again…this book gives you the practical advice you need to bring ALL your children together corporately during the homeschool day, and get in those subjects you miss, as well as combine subjects you don’t need to be teaching separately.

Circle Time by Kendra Fletcher

*A Seasonal Start in Fall Chalk Pastels from my friend, Tricia Hodges.  The art in this book is beautiful and totally doable for a wide range of ages.  But what I love the most is that it features my favorite time of year – AUTUMN!  (Tricia’s Beach Pastels book is also in this package!)

Pastels by Tricia Hodges

*Essential Chefs – This ebook is absolutely fascinating!  Learn how to use essential oils in your cooking for health and taste!  50 Recipes included!

Essential Chefs - Using Essential Oils in Your Cooking

*Gloria:  A Christmas Hymn Study – This ebook, from my friend Kim, will be a wonderful addition to your holiday season with studies of favorites like O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Away in the Manger, Silent Night, and many more!  I can’t wait to share it with my children this year!

Gloria:  A Christmas Hymn Study

*Notebooking Success – One of the books that gave me the confidence I needed to start notebooking with my children.  (If interested, you can read more about how we use notebooking with a large family.)

Notebooking Success

*The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance – This is from my dear friend, Heidi St. John.  Her wit and wisdom have endeared her to me for years, and I’m sure you’ll feel the same reading this ebook (and your husband will thank you as well!).

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance by Heidi St. John

*PLANNERS GALORE! – This year’s Omnibus includes 2 Blog Planners, 3 Homeschool Planners, 1 Life & Home Organizer, and 1 Meal Planner!

2014 Omnibus Sale August 18 - 24

 IMPORTANT DETAILS:  All resources must be downloaded by September 25th because after that time, they will no longer be available for download.  The deadline for refunds is September 5; however, if you have downloaded any of the materials, you will not be able to receive a refund.  Have more questions?  Visit the FAQ page HERE or contact iHomeschool Network HERE.