Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wrapping up the semester

Alas, my posts seem to be getting fewer and further between as I focus more now on building my web consulting company.  Things are beginning to fall into place.  So, while I'm on a bitty break at the coffee shop today, I thought I'd do a catch-up blog post on our homeschooling adventures.

Our life has been so varied these days, it's hard to say what a typical day is like anymore.  Here are some highlights:

Here's BabyZ playing with a duck during our homeschool co-op weekly meeting.

Me teaching a Web 2.0 class during co-op.  Most of the students seemed to enjoy learning the art of blogging.

Sometimes after church we make  a stop by Sam's Club to run a quick errand, and we end up eating a snack on our way.  I couldn't resist these photos of sisterly love.

For Tot School we've been doing a lot of our block building...

(blocks and a bit of play dough throw in there for good measure!)

Bit of silliness...

Big sister helping little sister get ready for church.

My little girl has grown up so much.  Here she is preparing to walk into her science lab class.

The girls love to go places.

While big Sis goes to science lab, BabyZ enjoys a little Dr. Seuss fun at Books A Million.

So we pick up Big Sis from Science lab, and she proudly shows off her woodworking creation.  It sounded pretty fun.  A nice, elderly carpenter came by to teach the kids how to work with wood.

As the semester wears down and we get closer to Thanksgiving, we are starting to REALLY relax a bit.  We enjoyed a fieldtrip morning with some friends at a ceramics studio.

(finally BabyZ is big enough to paint her own ceramic!)

Another habit, we'd gotten into lately was stopping by Panera Bread for a quick bite before our weekly homeschool co-op begins:

Our school mornings are beginning to look more techie these days.

Ny discovered she was really good at Googling for info.  We're still enjoying BJU for History.

Lastly, we finished off our homeschool co-op semester with a fun carnival-themed holiday party:

Well, there's my lengthy update!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fieldtrips, history, and lit...

These past few weeks have been fun, exciting, and a bit fast-paced.  We went to a local festival called Kentuck, and the girls had a blast riding the bus there.  (I promised them I would park the car and we'd take the shuttle).

Because I mostly got video footage, and I haven't taken the time to edit my videos, I won't be posting them :-( but you can trust they had tons of fun!  Face painting among other crafts.  It was fun.  I think the part they liked the best was riding on the bus.

We've also been going to our bi-weekly science and geography labs, and attending our weekly homeschool co-op.  In between these days, we've worked on all of our core subjects-- and, of course, I've been working on rebuilding my web business, which I'm really excited about.

As for core subjects, we're still working on missing addends in Saxon 5/4.  I think we'll be in 5/4 for at least another year, and I'm perfectly relaxed with that since we started it in grade we are just basically cruising our way through it and taking breaks in between to learn our multiplication tables.    In American History, we have really been enjoying our unit on the westward expansion and the 49'ers in BJU's American Heritage 3.  We finished up that unit last week by panning for gold:

Add a little dirt, water, and some gravel the "gold nuggets" and we have ourselves a gold-panning activity.

At least the rocks we painted gold the other week seem like real gold!

The girls got dirty and had a lot of fun with that.

Our next chapter in American Heritage is on folktale and American stories like Johnny Appleseed.  It's kind of a nice break from learning about the colonies and states.

Will I use BJU American history again next year?  Well, the lessons journey through American history all the way up through the 5th grade level.  I'm not quite sure I want the kids to still be on American history that long.  At some point before 5th grade I wanted to study world history with we'll see.  But I do highly recommend BJU for history-- good stuff!

English has been really easy this year.  Again, we are using BJU- English 3.  I don't have the teacher's manual, but with just the student notebook we've been able to pull off pretty easy and quick language arts sessions each school day.  Couple that with loads of reading on her spare time and natural handwriting practice through letter-writing, and I think our language arts program has been complete this year.  What I like about the BJU English book is that it goes beyond your language basics (ex.- "what is a verb? noun? pronoun? etc.) and covers letter-writing, story-writing, persuasive essay writing...that kind of stuff.  I also supplement lessons from time to time with a workbook I bought from Barnes and Noble this past summer (Harcourt Complete Curriculum).  Not to mention, anytime kids want some school fun, all we have to do is dig up some fun websites for them...StoryNory is great for literature.  Spelling City is pretty useful too.

I've got a notebook full of websites I have run across and enjoyed and I should do a post just on that soon.

Til next time...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Outdoor homeschooling and a surprise

Okay, let me start this post by saying that Ny checked out this book from the library a few days ago.  Black Beauty's Family i's 574 pages long!!! (Six books in one).  You go girl.  Have fun, and take it easy.

Today for American HIstory, we went outside to make our gold nuggets.  (Tomorrow we're going to finish up our lesson by panning for gold like the 49'ers).  First step was to fill out a worksheet on the westward expansion on the U.S. purchase of Mexico.

The girls gathered some rocks to be used for our "gold"

They wash the rocks and clean them up, then paint them gold:

We came back in for a little tot school- puzzles and shapes:

Then my dad called and announced that he had surprised us with:

The girls LOVE their bird house!

Treasure hunts

Treasure hunts, drawing maps, and loving a warm and breezy day in October!  Gotta love the south.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Building cabins for history

Overall, it's been a fun week.  Last week NyGirl attended her monthly Science lab offered by her homeschool "cover school", and if I remember correctly I posted pics of those also.

Today she'll be attending her Geography lab, and I'll post updates on that.

In History we've been studying the expansion westard (arly 1800's).  Because NyGirl is such a "do-it-in-order" kind of girl, she's been attempting to find all the Dear America book series from the 1800's before we move on to 1900's...which won't be for a while, I keep reassuring her.

Anyhow, I really enjoy our BJU materials, and we finally got a timeline for our wall so she can follow along with dates. 

The projects have been loads of fun too.  We didn't get around to making a covered wagon, but here is the beginnings of the cabin she built (without the roof):

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rosh Hashanah- Remembering God As Our King

So last Thursday came and went, and I forgot to blog about our experience celebrating Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday which means "head of the year" literally.  Is it the beginning of the Jewish new year (the new year is 5771).  It is the birthday of mankind and celebration of Adam and Eve's creation as well.  The main focus is on God being our King.

One of the main events of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the trumpets.  It represents the coronation of our King, heralding Him with the sound of the shofar.  It also serves as a call to repentance (leading into the next Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur).

I don't have many pictures, because in my hurry to cook and clean I forgot to snap a few photos.  At any rate, we set a beautiful table with each person having a trumpet (okay, a toy flute, really!) at their plate.   I lit the candle and my husband and I prayed blessings over the girls.

I had the girls make Rosh Hashanah cards for their dad.  I do, at least, have pictures of those...but ignore the misspelling of Rosh Hashanah!!  The girls really enjoyed making these cards for their dad.

(picture coming soon...)

The girls then blew their trumpets (flutes) according to the different sounds associated with the Feast of Trumpet's service (Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah, and Tekia Gedolah).  Some sounds are short and stacatto blows, others are  wave like, or long and unbroken.  Each trump sound represents an aspect of our relationship to God and His call to mankind.

Where did I learn all of this?  This book tells it all.

And lastly, we had apples dipped in honey, a tradition that symbolizes a sweet year ahead for you.  In reality, we had run out of apples, so we had pears from my parents' pear tree and garden.  Cooked slightly and dipped in honey, they were delish!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creatively Correcting My Children

I'm at a whole different stage of my parenting now.  This is just one of those seasons where I am just really into the throes of motherhood to the point that sometimes I keep attempting to peek beyond this season into the next.  It's like bobbing up and down in a pool for a breath of fresh air.

And, you know, that may not be the best analogy for parenting.

I want to reiterate the fact that all mothers know: parenting is hard work.

Yet, I want to also note: parenting can be a beautiful process.  It all depends on which choices we make.

It's imperative for me in my life right now, to take the reigns on my kids and drive.  While they are young and impressionable, this is the time allotted, the window of opportunity, for us (my husband and I) to speak into their lives and teach them those timeless truths they won't learn any easier than right now.

And that, my friend, is the hardest part in the younger years.  (If you have teenagers, please don't remind me that it gets harder as time goes by!)  I am really doing my best to think positively and believe that there is a good chance all of this teaching and training we are doing today will sink in and take root before they are teens!  But we all know- kids have a mind of their own.  My prayer is that my daughters will adopt the mind of God- thinking Godly thoughts and acting in Godly ways.

Hence, the work laid out for me today is crucial.

In our home, (and as you know, we are homeschooling), we have been doing a lot more character development studies recently.

If I see a problem in heart or attitude that needs correcting, the first thing I want to do is go to the Word of God.  God's Word literally is an anecdote to all problems, and there is a solution to every dilemma under the sun right in the Bible.  That's why we have the Holy Spirit with us- He is living, He is breathing, He is working, He is real, and best of all, He is IN us who believe!

So, I simply take the Scripture and apply it to their situation (for my 8 year old, mostly).  If we keep having a character problem or a particular issue that constant verbal correction doesn't solve, we are now tackling it from the angle of, "What does the Lord have to say about that?  Go bring your Bible, and look up the Scripture, read it to me, write it down in your notebook, and then let's talk."

Let me tell you, this is bringing about massive changes (and I haven't even touched on the consequences chart yet!)
I have been getting some of my ideas from Lisa Welchel's Creative Correction:

Here's a video by Lisa about this book:

Right now, for my 2 year old, discipline is as basic, primitive and rudimentary as it comes.  But that doesn't mean she can't understand when God is happy.  She will often tell me (after doing something fabulous like picking up the toys from the living room floor), "Mommy, you happy?  God is happy?" and she will skip cheerily away, just knowing that she's done a good thing.

Kids know, even at the very tender ages of 1 and 2.  So, it's never too young or too early to start them on the Truth of God's Word for instruction.

And the biggest thing is- correcting and instructing in a spirit of Love (the way our Heavenly Father so patiently loves us).  I know, it takes a LOT of time to discipline that way.  To have children look up scripture pertaining to their heart attitude and then have a heart to heart with them, pray over them...that takes a lot of time.  It is oftentimes far easier to send them to time out, spank them, or take away a privilege.  But with those methods (none of which I criticize and some of which I use depending on the situation), there is real no connection that lets my kids know WHY what they did is wrong, and how our Heavenly Father FEELS about what they did.


here I am printing out, cutting up, and creating little "correction cards" for our home school and parenting life, knowing that yet another new idea God has given me to help me out with my little ones will take some work and planning...

But in the end, I pray and I believe- it will all be worth it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The garden update and a relaxing week

Even though the kids weren't feeling too well this week, we managed to have some fun.  NyGirl catches a few bubbles:

We played a game of LIFE.  Fun!

We checked our garden, and the peas are in!

NyGirl records her plants by video.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Is it okay to have an abundance?

Lately the Lord has really been stirring my heart towards a simple matter:


He just wants me to trust Him.

No matter what I desire (based on either needs or wants), and no matter how little or great my desires are, he wants me to know that in Him alone are my requests granted.

And, boy, do I have a lot of requests!

For the sake of my family privacy, I won't list them here on my blog- but let's just say our family is looking forward to the days ahead and APPRECIATING the moments today.  Even the struggles can be appreciated when we realize that the joy is in the journey.

The key is, trusting God to get to the other side.  If we give up or lose faith along the way, we won't be able to enjoy the journey, much less persevere to see the solutions that God has in store.  And I am thrilled just sitting here thinking about much He has already taken care of us, and how much more I know that He will.

No matter your desires- be it physical or spiritual, even material-- if they equal to needs (or even some rightful desires)- God has promised that He will give us abundantly and above all that we can ask or think.

Some people say that He has only agreed to give us our needs.  Well, if that is the case, praise God for the food on our tables and the clothing that we wear each day.  Praise God for the roof over our heads!  The so-called "prosperity message" has actually turned people in a complete 365, and when it comes to the idea of wealth building and becoming prosperous.  Is it wrong?  What does God say about wealth?  What about the abundance of "stuff" we've already accumulated in our lives?  What does God think about that?

If you know God has done abundantly ABOVE basic needs for you-- (how about that SUV you might driving, or the extra spacious home, or even just the abundance of clothing that might be spilling out of your closet)- then think about it.  Really think about it.  Does God hate our abundance?

Really think about that.

Did God hate Abraham's abundance? Was it not Elohim the Creator who caused Abraham to be abundantly blessed- he and his entire household?

There are too many more instances in the Bible to prove that not only is God not against abundance but He is the source of it.  (After all, Heaven is definitely not a chintzy place.  I would hope that when Jesus said that He went away to prepare a mansion for us that He didn't mean a shack...)  Remember when Jesus told His disciples not to worry?  He proved His point of His love for us even then when He said this (Matthew 7:9-11- NIV)
9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! if my daughter asked for a glass of milk, would I by any chance figure she meant fuel?  Gross right?  No loving parent in their right mind would give a child something so horrid when she or he has asked for something special and important to them.

Some things we need.  Some things we just want.  I am at a place in my life where I am beginning to understand that it is not a sin to desire something  that registers above the "needs" meter.  In fact, I have to believe that my Heavenly Father delights in showing His love for me in extraordinary ways- and that includes showering me with blessings I don't necessarily NEED to survive.

But what's next is this: it's a heart issue.

Not a prosperity issue.  Not a "name it, claim it, blab it, grab it" issue.

(In fact, this is usually how spoiled brats behave-- little children who either know no better or are just purely ignorant).  Don't mean to sound rude.

Can you imagine God bending to every notion of one of His immature kids who has incredibly ludicrous requests and a bad attitude?  I don't think our Lord will be responsible for making that person a million overnight and issuing twenty sports vehicles and thirty-something mansions...that would not be happening.

But do you think a mature child, who understands the heart of her parent, would ask for ludicrous things?  Do you think the desires of her heart would be too challenging for God?

A job?  An extra income?  Ability to pay your bills?  Enough money to not only pay your bills but help others?  More clothing for your children?    So much clothing you can help others and give some of your clothes away? A safe neighborhood?  A bigger house?  A house big enough to not only fit your family, but other families, so now you can help take care of others?  Another car?  A car with more room so now you can give others a ride who need one?

God knows your heart.  His children know HIM. His children know His voice.  His children know His heart.  His children ask for things according to God's will.

His children can rest assure that NOTHING is too hard for God.  AND...God is not displeased when we ask Him for things, with a grateful attitude, and a willing heart to continue loving Him, serving Him, and doing good to others as we wait patiently upon our answers from Him.

Prosperity as a result of impatience is a really bad mix.  Prosperity and patience go hand in hand.

Ultimately, it's up to you and I to figure out what prosperity means to each of us.  Honestly, there are some things I can go without.  We live in a an "abundance is everything " society, but we don't often see the appreciation for the things God has blessed us with.  Additionally, we see misuse of what God has given us.

May it not be that way with us as Believers.  We can use God's blessings to help others and bless the world around us.  How can the world know who we are if we are unable to help?

It's all a heart issue.  If your heart is right, it's okay to ask God for it!  Just don't bank your salvation or your happiness on it.

And as you ask for these things...remember they are only things. Temporal.  Soon to pass.  But seeing as you're still sticking around Planet Earth, you could probably use those things...and share with others who might like to enjoy it as well.

So.  That's what I'm learning.  I'm not afraid to ask God for what I need...OR what I want!  And while I am waiting on my answers, I learn to relax and enjoy the journey.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our homeschool conference experience -2010

We visited the Southeast Homeschool Expo in Atlanta this past weekend.    Here is a video I made about our experience (sorry for the poor quality- I videotaped using my Kodak digital camera):

I think the most overwhelming part of any homeschooling convention is selecting curriculum.  I'm glad I knew up front that I really didn't need a whole lot of new curriculum for this year, but it was nice browsing the different items.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Typing and typing some more...

We have really been enjoying our typing lately using the Sense-Lange typing website.  I wrote up a review of this on my Techie Homeschoolers website.

I just think it's so important for kids to learn to type.  I am a real stickler for teaching them skills they need later on - early if possible.  I mean, if they're not ready, don't push it.  But typing is just one of those things that if you introduce at an early age, can (like any other skill) get better and better with practice.

And I would love to have NyGirl type her book reports.  Written format is great, but typing is probably much more relevant...what do you think?

Anyhow, read my post about the Sense Lange (FREE) typing tutorials and check it out to see if it works as a reasonable typing program for your kids when you're ready to introduce typing.

***Note 01/06/12*** this review is no longer available at the above-mentioned website.  I'm working on creating a brand new review for this typing program.  Thanks for your patience!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BJU Press Reading Review- Book 3B

bju reader review From time to time we used this book last year in NyGirl's second grade.  I can honestly say that I wish more readers were as pleasant for young children as these beautiful "classics", as I like to call them.

This BJU Press Reader is  full of stories which remind me of the wholesome readers I kept lying around my room as a once third-grader bookworm.  They are Christian-based, deliver wholesome content, and promote purity and godly character in young children.

Can you blame me for liking this little book?

There are a series of BJU Press Readers for Christian Schools, which range in grade levels (1-6).  I happened to stumble upon the 3B at a used book sale and thought I would try it out in our school last year.  We started off pretty structured on when I would introduce the stories to her each week...

...that is, until NyGirl decided to take off with the book and read all of the stories on her own.

I did, however, receive the pleasure of reading some of them out loud to her.

Book 3B is divided into 3 content sections.  Each section focuses on a particular topic, such as "A New Land" (covering stories on the beginnings of America), "Creatures Great and Small" (covers stories about animals) and "Treasures" (a collection of wonderful stories about missionaries, God's provision, and other beautiful stories).  There are about 10-14 stories underneath each category topic, so you'll be guaranteed (if you pace it out, unlike us!) a school year of wholesome little short stories to introduce to your younger children.

As I don't have older children, I have not seen the books for upper grades (5a-6b) so I cannot adequately describe these and how they work...but if they are anything like the lower grade books, you couldn't grow with content- especially if you are a Christian parent looking for pure stories which strengthen godly character in your children.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Class planning and a fun conference

So far this week has been busier than usual.  I am (last minute) preparing some classes to teach for our homeschool co-op beginning next week, and  mentally creating a checklist of all the other to-do's on my list.

It's just one of those weeks.

I feel a little weary right now, but I know it will soon past the moment I knock some of the class planning out of the way.  I am creating this curric from scratch, as many of us do when there just aren't any other resources available on the topic that fits our particular situation.  Fingers crossed, I am hoping that I cross all the t's and dot all the i's before the start of our first day of the very least, I want to have an idea of what can technologically work, and what can't , and have a back up plan.  Uh oh...where did the relaxed me go?  (..come back...)

And if you're wondering what I mean by "co-op", it's simply a group (large group, in our case!) of homeschooling parent teachers and our kids, who get together on a regular basis (weekly for us) to offer enrichment classes for our children.    We parents take turns teaching the kids K-12 and rotate on a block schedule basis each hour.  Most of the kids I know, especially NyGirl, loves it with a passion.  It's like her favorite time of the week!  It's where she meets up with her friends in a classroom environment and gets to take "fun classes", as she would describe.  I also enjoy the time chatting with other homeschooling parents.  It gives me a nice break away from the monotony of the week...AND I get to meet new people and make new friends, which I love.

And this weekend we just got in from Atlanta.  It was, seriously, the most awesome homeschool conference experience I have ever had...and not because the conference was so great (though it was pretty good, admittedly)...but because I had LOTS of help with the kids.  My husband was so gracious and let me have a full day of workshops and seminars while he kept the kids for me.  They attended only one, first thing Friday morning, and after that couldn't sit through any others. was just as I had anticipated.  Two year olds don't sit in conference meetings all day long.  Just won't happen.

So, I went to workshop after workshop, met with my family for lunch, and went back down to the curriculum hall to see if there was anything I wanted.  I didn't buy much-- no curriculum, in fact, since I have more than adequate to cover us for the school year.  But I did find some fun things the girls would enjoy, like a set of Glue Dots, and an antique 1800's paper dolls set for NyGirl.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, we attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo.  We actually missed the one in our state, so this one was the next closest.  I will have to write about our times there in another post when I get a free moment.

Well...on to another day and week of planning for my upcoming co-op class.  Hopefully by next week I should be all done with it and can finally breathe.  Will let you know how that goes...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our new dry erase markers

I found them, I found them!

Okay, so maybe I am a little too excited about some dry erase markers.  But we've been having fun with these and they are low odor.  Makes school a lot easier for us when we don't deal with itchy eyes and allergic reactions to the strong marker fumes.

expo dry erase markers homeschooling
For low odor and reducing allergic reactions, try these dry erase low odor expo markers. Someone else on The Homeschool Channel was telling me about a set of marker board markers that were free of harmful chemicals.  Of course, I am not going to stop here at the Expo dry erase and look into the chemical free markers at some point.

We've been finding ourselves marker board fanatics these past few weeks, only because we haven't been able to use it for what feels like centuries!  What with my active 1 year old a year ago, there was no way we could do a "sit still at the table and write your answers on the marker board" kind of school...

...uh...not that we do that now...BUT...

like I said, it's fun just getting to do something we normally wouldn't have done much a year ago.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Storynory for Kids

NyGirl LOVES Storynory.  My daughter sat at the computer for an hour, completely mesmerized by the audio stories available at this site.

This website is awesome on too many levels.

First of all, this site is a collection of stories for young children which vary in  genre, from classics to fairytales.  There are educational stories as well, bible stories, stories about the saints, and even original stories.  If you have much younger children, they might enjoy stories from the "junior" category.

Click on the story you like, then click on the play button to listen to it.  The storyteller has a wonderfully soothing reading voice, which would suit children really well.

The best part about this site (besides it being FREE) is that these are quick and easy access to audio stories like the classics (Alice in Wonderland, Dickens stories, poetry, and Rudyard Kipling stories) that I have been meaning to introduce to my daughter but just never had time to sit down and do those "read-alouds".  Even if they aren't available at my local library  in CD or mp3 download, I have them available right here at this site.

Not to mention, my two year old enjoys The Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood.

I always say, if you can't get a child to read, you can at least get him to listen to a story.

Storynory is a wonderful online audio resource for enchanting our kids with reading. And for our kids who are already reading, this is a great online resource to help introduce them to classic literature they may have never chosen to read on their own.  Plus, it builds their imagination.

NyGirl can't wait to  hear what will happen next on Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First bloggy award

I was happy to receive my first blog award from Julia @ Live Laugh Love!  Check out her blog- she has FABULOUS children and I love to read about her home school.

Thanks, Julia, for the award...

...and now the rules of this award is for me to share 7 things about myself, and to pass this along to 15 bloggers whom I have recently discovered and think are fantastic.  Wow...that's a lot of folks...and since I just recently started following a few more people (but not quite 15)...I will pass this award along to as many bloggers that I enjoy reading (which may not equal 15, mind you!) I am fudging a little on the rules.


So, here goes (7 things about myself):
  1. I love to blog about my life (as you all know).  It is somehow therapeutic and gives me a little energy to keep going.
  2. In my spare time I sit at my piano and write music.  I've always had this dream that one day I would record.  That part is becoming more real as we are moving away from CD's and on to digital music.  I'm starting to check into indie sites like CD BABY.  Maybe I'll really record one day and open up a CD BABY account? Maybe upload my songs to Itunes?  Who knows? :-D Just the thought of it makes me feel happy.
  3. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  being with and raising my children.  I think homeschooling is an awesome privilege...though not always easy.  Every day is a step closer toward shaping our children for God's kingdom--and I rejoice for that.
  4. More about me...hmmm...I like to go to bed late and sleep in late-- BUT that will have to change soon.
  5. I like learning about new gadgets and playing around with the latest techie stuff that I can get my hands on.  A few years ago I owned a web design/tech consulting business (which I ran from my home)...and I LOVED it- but I put it on a hold for a few years.  It's still kind of floating around up there waiting on my final "go".  Still don't know what to do with it yet because I also love...
  6. FREELANCE WRITING.  So if I could write for a living that is what I would do  (which I guess is why I love blogging so much).
  7. And finally, I love my wonderful husband and children, my friends and family, I love babywearing, I love to eat pizza (no pepperonis please) and TCBY and Olive Garden, and I want to find out more about natural health, and I love Jesus more than anything in the world.

'Nuff said?  :-)

So...I am passing this award on to the following (and these are bloggers that I find interesting and fun for one reason or another--you all are SO different and unique, but each of you contribute something beautiful to my life each time you post):
  1. A Set Apart Life
  2. Alabama Menagerie
  3. Our Crazy Life
  4. Raising A Quiver Full
  5. Mama Jen
  6. Whole Hearted Christian Homeschool
  7. A Mommy's Adventures
  8. Home Grown Mosaic
  9. Raising My LIttle Lady Bug

You guys are the best- you make me think, you make me laugh, and even cry--I am enjoying your keep it up! :-)

Pass it along...(snag the award image and pass it on to your fave bloggers, then tell 7 things about yourself)...

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Full, But Relaxed, Homeschooling Day

Today we had a pretty full school day.

Out in the yard, the girls observed our little garden of peas and squash.  I had NyGirl take out her science notebook and pencil, her digital video camera, and a measuring tape.  Of course, BabyZ wanted her own measuring tape, notebook, and pencil too.

Our squash measured at 15 in. and our peas at 6 in. high.

We saw a couple of caterpillars eating away at the leaves.  It won't be long before we'll need to starting weeding the garden.

Afterward, we went back inside and read this book from the library.

Next, on to American History.  From our BJU Heritage 3 studies, we covered a chapter on  the Bill of Rights.  Some of the terms are a bit complicated for NyGirl ("amendments", "ratification", "declaration", "hold these truths to be self evident")...BUT...I figure it doesn't hurt to introduce the concepts.  I don't care so much that she doesn't understand all the minor details of each historical fact.  I just want her to be introduced to the ideas and have a general feeling of what mainly happened.  We came away with a discussion of how grateful we are for our rights in America.  (We followed this up with writing a few sentences of "What I Am Grateful For").  And since we didn't purchase the timeline that accompanies this curriculum, we created our own out of index cards.  We've never done much with timelines in the past, so I should probably update to let you know how it turns out for us.

Next on today's agenda- on to Geography.  Actually, it wasn't on the just kinda crept up on us.  I was digging in our pantry (where we keep most of our homeschoooling supplies) for BabyZ's counting bears, and out tumbled all of our games from the top shelf- right splat on the floor.  So I had to clean up.  While cleaning up, I realized that the United states puzzle that fell would go along good with what we were just learning about the colonies and how they ratified the Constitution.

So...out came the puzzle for NyGirl, and while we did that BabyZ kept busy with her own puzzle...and counting bears.

Counting bears- new fun for BabyZ.

We finished up our day with our next Saxon math lesson, a grammar lesson, a handwriting practice sheet, and a bible lesson from our Explorers workbook.

AND...believe it or not...we had a VERY relaxed day.  And how could it have been THIS relaxing when we covered so many subjects?

Hmmm....I question that myself.  In fact, in just a few posts previously, I talked about how our days were so packed full of subjects during one of our earlier homeschooling years, that I would never make that mistake again.

At this point, however, I can assuredly say, that I still whole-heartedly stand by my decision not to overcrowd my children's schedules.  But that is, presumably, if I am the one overcrowding their schedules!  You see what I mean?  The main difference in a long school day that is productive and one that is intensely difficult with each second on the clock, is who is initiating the learning.

Sure, I oversee the lessons.  But, I feel like although I planned the outline and prepared to tackle the day's presumed lesson, I wanted to step backward a little and at least make them feel like they were leading the show.  So they wanted to keep going.  NyGirl thought she was the one who initiated going outside to check on the garden.  And when I slightly suggested the video camera and notebook, she hopped all over that idea because she could play like a scientist and detective.  Then she knew when we went back inside that we need to cover the basics like math and grammar...but I let her have her choice of grammar book for the day (between Shurley Grammar - which I totally do not prefer at this point, and BJU--and, uh...she actually chose both).  And with History, she looked forward to creating the timeline. I tried to make it as fun as I could (being that she feels it's her hardest subject, with terms like "ratification"-- I mean, I completely understand!)  When we stumbled upon the U.S. puzzle, she had a blast.  Of course, we had plenty of breaks for snacks, lunch, free time, play,and PBS.

So that was our day in a nutshell.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Tonight at church, the evangelist asked an interesting question:

"Are you hungry for Him?" he asked.

I began to wonder about the Scripture that  says in the last days there would be a famine of His Word.

You know...I began to really think.  Who is my Jesus to me?

I call him my Jesus.  He is mine. I think of Him that way.  And I have to continue to remind myself daily...

"Did I partake of my Savior?"

"Did I drink from His fountain of Living Waters?"

" Did I consume Him as my daily Bread, my Living Bread in as much earnest as He wishes to consume me?"

I want to be hungry for Jesus.  I want to be thirsty for Yeshua's Living waters so that I will never thirst again.

Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING can ever satisfy the way He does.

He just makes that itch go away.  He replaces that horrific sadness with a joy so deep.  That deep yearning - He fills it.   The void- He consumes it with His presence until it is full.

Any and everything I have been wanting in life, I found that He alone is the answer.

I can turn right or left-- but He is always surrounding me, beckoning me to look to Him.  He is never too far away- an "ever present help".  He has never, ever left me alone, and never, ever will.

So, am I hungry? Do I long to hear His words, sit in His presence at His feet and enjoy His company?  Do I long to hear Him speak the Words of Life that sustain my soul?  Do I long to partake of His presence here and now...and also at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the days to come?


I want to be hungry. Hungry for more of my Lord.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kentuck Festival

The kids had a great time at our local crafts festival.  Hundreds of vendors and artists showed up.  Thankfully, there were special activities for the kids to get involved in.

So they paint and create in the hot summer heat.

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