Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Please go here to join in the fun of the Happy Day Project. Seriously.

Cause everyone needs a little love...
Align Center

Friday, November 04, 2011

Happy Anniversary!! :)

In my life this week
... Eleven years ago today, at 3:12p.m. (I know the exact minute because my cousin Herb kept a close eye on the clock & was sure to tell us as we dismissed each pew...miss him), I married my sweet husband :) It hasn't been an easy road, as I'm sure everyone in the history of marriage can attest to, but it's been worth it. Eleven years, 4 pregnancies, 2 born babies, Emmaus walks, family, little tiny annoyances, personality conflicts, literally rolling-on-the-floor-laughing, joy, love, all of it's been worth it.

Love my hubs :)

In our homeschool this week... After Trick or Treating this past Monday, we have now begun Thanksgiving studies!! I love this time of year! So much fun! So much to learn, and so much love and thankfulness to share! I have discovered 2TeachingMommies and their free units, 1+1+1=1 and her free units, and a hodgepodge of other free printable unit sites (thanks, pinterest!!), and am SO EXCITED!! This is helping me think outside of my box, and a lot of the things can definitely be used for more than one age/grade, so we are all having more fun!

Also, a few weeks ago, we FINALLY got Math-U-See & Abbey is LOVING it!! So, it's a winner for our homeschool!! She loves doing math, now! And, she loves Mr. Demme!!

I am inspired by... This week I have been reading a couple of books... I normally don't like to read more than one book at a time, but I have one from the library, and one that I bought at our homeschool meeting a few weeks ago, and I couldn't help myself! They have both inspired me & encouraged me to keep going, to look closely at my kiddos hearts.

Things I'm working on... I'm trying to get some sensory bins together. I think both of the kiddos will enjoy them, and I think they're fun! It's something I used to do as a preschool teacher, and kinda forgot about when I had my own kiddos (oops!). But, again, thanks to 2TeachingMommies & 1+1+1=1 I have 're-discovered' them! I'm not telling the kids until I have our Thanksgiving one put together, probably by next week... I can't wait! I think they will both love it!

I'm reading... I mentioned 2 books that were inspiring me earlier... They are "Good and Angry" by Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller, and "Talkers, Watchers, & Doers" by Cheri Fuller. "Good and Angry" is a parenting book about teaching children character. So far, EXCELLENT!! "Talkers, Watcher, & Doers" is about learning styles, and really, every parent, homeschooler or not, should know how their child learns so they can reinforce & help make things easier for their children to learn to their best ability, whether that means during homeschool or homework from school. Seriously, it makes sense!

I am thankful for... I am so thankful for the opportunity to homeschool. I know I grumble, and it's definitely NOT easy, but it is a blessing. I like to compare it to the mommy who desires a child so much, and then is finally blessed with their beautiful baby, and discovers the responsibility with becoming a Mommy (it's not all feather light kisses and rocking chairs and beautiful's messy!). So it is with homeschooling. It is a blessing, but can be messy! Complaining and despairing and "why doesn't it just flow naturally?!?!" are all a part of the blessing. Because nobody can prepare you for the responsibility of the blessing. It's something that has to be lived out.

So, when I write a post about Abbey not doing her writing assignments (she's getting better, btw, and that is a MAJOR blessing!), please don't misunderstand. I am so thankful for this child. I am so thankful for the opportunity I've been given to teach her at home. I'm just living out the reality of the responsibility of the blessing! I hope that makes sense!

A link to share... (I wanted to leave a picture, but I don't have any new ones... Bad Mommy!)

Here are where you can get the books I mentioned above... I got "Talkers, Watchers, Doers" from my library, but it is definitely one I wouldn't mind owning because I'd love to write notes in it!

Good and Angry, by Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller from The Courtship Connection. They have a LOT of great resources. I bought the book after I heard Kathie Morrissey speak at my homeschool meeting a few weeks ago. She.Is.Excellent.

Talkers, Watcher, & Doers, by Cheri Fuller Paperback, Kindle Version

You all have a blessed week!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just wanted to say...

Yes, I'm still alive ;) Yes, we're still truckin' along with school, and yes, we've been very busy! I've missed blogging SO much!! I don't know how other moms, homeschool moms at that, have time to blog & surf other blogs to have something to blog about, and do everything needed to get done. I marvel at their productiveness.

Anyways, here's a picture to leave you with, just so you know we have been busy!! lol

{we made a covered wagon! we're studying the pioneers}
{I cannot account for the historical accuracy of the doll in the wagon, though! teehee}

I will eventually be back with more!!

Love you all!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Book Review! "Gabby, God's Little Angel" by Sheila Walsh

This is the first book in Sheila Walsh's new children's stories, "Gabby, God's Little Angel" illustrated by Marina Fedotova.

All in all, this book was a very sweet and easy read. The message of the book is based on Psalm 91:11 “The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you.” (taken from the NIRV, emphasis mine). In the book, Gabby, an angel-in-training, gets her very own assignment: a little girl who has a lot in common with the little somewhat clumsy little angel. We get to see Gabby’s first days “on the job,” and how the little girl keeps Gabby on her toes!

I read this book with my 7 year old girl, and we loved it! My daughter is reading proficiently now, so it was great to share the story with her, alternating the reading. I didn’t find any of the text of the book to be too difficult for my daughter. I also appreciated that the message was not condescending, either. The illustrations by Fedotova are beautiful and as sweet as the story! My daughter loved the pictures, and they made her giggle! She is a big fan of the “Gigi” books & DVDs, and wasn’t disappointed with “Gabby.” My daughter and I highly recommend this as an addition to your bedtime story library.

*disclaimer* I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

{courtesy of Julie @Joy'sHope}

Happy Sunday, Ya'll :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cooking a Whole Chicken

So, as many families out there, we are trying to cut costs as much as we can around our home. The best and most awesome way I have recently run across is to cook whole chickens in the crockpot…and then make your own, homemade chicken stock (which can be frozen!!) in the same said crockpot. WOOOOHOOOO!!

Besides getting over actually touching the gross chicken & worrying that I will contaminate my kitchen and family with e-coli, it is an awesome time & money saver, and yummy, to boot!! It makes the kitchen smell heavenly, like Thanksgiving!!

There are several really great-sounding recipes out there, but the basic of the basic I found at The Happy Housewife. (and look in her comments for even more tips & tricks!)

Not only do we eat the chicken for dinner one night, after the chicken has cooled (TRUST ME), get the rest of the meat off that carcass, stick the bones back in the juices you left in the crockpot, along with some carrots, celery, and onion, and let it cook on low overnight. The next day, strain out the yuckies, and let your broth cool in the fridge. When you get done homeschooling/from work/the spa, you can scrape the layer of fat off that has settled on the top, and then freeze the broth for future use!! So, not only are you eating that chicken TWICE, you are also making delightful homemade stock that you don’t have to put on your shopping list!! Usually a chicken will go for about $4 for a 4-5lber.

I don’t know why, but this thrills my heart to heavenly places… Maybe because when I threw my casserole together tonight, all I had to do was literally throw ingredients together and put it in the oven… Time saver!!

Maybe you think this is a really lame post. But I {heart} saving money!!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Family Man... No, not the cartoon...

Last night, Steve & I had a very rare date night. We started with dinner at Grub Steakhouse (it.was.amazing.), then went to Fairhaven Church to hear one of our favorite homeschooling speaker & author, Todd Wilson of Familyman Ministries. I will start by saying, even if you are NOT a homeschooling family, Mr. Todd has some very wise general parenting advice for all families there on his site, so don't let the "homeschooling" label scare you away or make you think it's not gonna be applicable for you!!

He spoke mainly about how we as parents {and this applies even if we're not homeschooling} can doubt our effectiveness on our children's hearts. We with smaller children, since we're in the thick of it, find ourselves in "the fog," forgetting "the most important things" we can teach our children. Worrying about this activity, that curriculum, socialization, manners, and the list goes on, we often forget about training the heart, teaching to trust God in EVERYTHING, not just through music or songs, but through our LIVING life.

I will never be able to express to you how important and pivotal that message was for me last night. We started back to school last week, and I mentioned it was a rough start. Monday & Tuesday were a bit better, but Wednesday was another stressful day.

Tuesday, we began school, using a Unit Study. A bit like pulling teeth to get Abbey into the swing of things, and most of all, the dreaded writing...

Wednesday, a little better, we finished what we were supposed to, and life went on... But, oh the drama... you would think that making her write was a criminal offense.

Thursday, we woke up to NO ELECTRICITY. No prob. I can roll with the punches. Let's go to Burger King & have breakfast kids! Then, ON TO TARGET!! Then, we went to Wegerzyn Gardens in Dayton & had a blast in the Discovery Garden. And, there was no blessed writing.

Friday, we woke up to A FLOODED TOILET. Awesome. Crazy kid mayhem. Crying Mommy cleaning the whole.blessed.mess. More frustration from Abbey because she didn't want to write. I even threatened not to take her to her cousin's birthday party. I know, I know, mean Mommy.

We had a lovely weekend, though. Relaxed, go with the flow, it felt more like summer... *Ahem* maybe because it still is.

Monday, not too bad. Electricity on. No flooding. Still being stubborn with the writing.

Tuesday, can't complain. No problems... except the writing.

Wednesday, tears, mayhem, chaos, more crying, pleading, bribing... It was not pretty, people. And, I'm not even talking about Abbey. She was out of control yesterday. I was out of control yesterday. Finally, we got through it, and she had to finish her work at Mammy's house, and Steve & I went to see Todd Wilson, and I literally had to hold in tears as he kept talking.

Somewhere along the line, I decided that the curriculum was more important than my children's hearts. Wrong purpose, people, whether we are homeschooling, private schooling, public schooling, and everything in between. Education is great, and obviously important... Yet, if we don't have love, what's it all for? (referencing I Cor. 13, very loosely ;) )

So, today, I didn't hurry, and I admit, almost lost it when I saw it was 12noon and we hadn't covered any of the unit study, yet, but Todd's voice was still fresh in my ears, "focus on the relationship first..." So, we did. And, you know what? We did get through all of school today, got everything done that needed to get done. But I enjoyed my kids more. I laughed with them. They laughed at me! (in a good way! lol)

So, now I'm on a quest to keep things (schooling, activities, hobbies) in perspective with my eternal eyes, not my "Get 'er done" Homeschool Mama eyes.

{please forgive me, I forget the source of this picture.}

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crazy Busy Summer... Sort of...

Hey, Everyone... and by everyone, I mean those that still remember that I have a blog and every once in a great while, will put something on it ;) LOL I haven't been on the ball this summer... It's been a fun & busy one & I will have pics coming soon. I still have to download all of them, especially from the beach... Ahhh, the beach... I wanna go back there...

Anyways, we had a great time being off school & 'normal' routine, but we have started back to school & things are going *ahem* well. The first day was pretty rough, and the 2nd day, oh, and the 3rd, but it's a new week, and things have been running much smoother!

We're 'officially' ending summer break this weekend with our annual trip to Reunion, followed by a few last days in the Smokies! We're all looking forward to the last "HOORAH!!" of summer.

And, this is weird, but I'm excited to set up boundaries so that we don't get over-scheduled this year. Balance. Isn't that a complex word? LOL

Anyways, I have a few topics I plan on blogging about soon, a few projects. I know that I am not completely bloggy-hopeless since I still think, "Oh, I should take a picture of [insert craft/idea/activity] so I can blog about it!" LOL

That's it... I just didn't feel right with my last post having a June date on it!! LOL ;) And, because she is awesome, here is a little eye candy from one of my favorite bloggers, Julie @Joy's Hope.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Time to get our summer on!"

In my life this week… It has been a BUSY week!! Steve & I have been watching The Middle this year, and the last episode of the season absolutely sums up how I felt the last 2 weeks!! LOL I am happy to report, though, that I am NOW going to buy a tiki torch & “Get my summer on!” LOL

In our homeschool this week… We had our annual assessment this week & everything looks great! It’s amazing to me all the different things we covered this year, especially using unit studies. I am in love with unit studies! And, the progress we’ve made this year has only made my love grow!! I think I am most in love with Amanda Bennett… She.Is.Awesome.

I am inspired by… My Dad. He has been such a great teacher and leader in my life, and I realize with every passing day, every young woman’s testimony who hasn’t had a great relationship with their dad, how awesomely I have been blessed with mine. He has made it so easy to accept my Heavenly Father because of his example & love in my life… Happy Father’s Day!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing... Last Sunday (NOT Father’s Day) we went to Wegerzyn Gardens for the first time with Daddy (meaning, the kiddos & I have been there, but Steve hasn’t ever been). It was an impromptu trip, and one the kiddos are still talking about! Gotta love that!!

My favorite thing this week was… Friday night was Abbey’s dance recital! I can’t believe how much she has changed from the cute little Pre-dancer to the Tap I class I-can-remember-my-whole-routine dancer… Amazing to see the progress! And, she was still so stinkin cute!!

Things I’m working on… I am working on getting my house clean… Keep reading, there's more to this…

I’m reading… I am getting ready to start Sarah Mae’s 31 Days to Clean; Having a Martha House the Mary Way. I have joined the Homeschooling 31 Days group on Facebook for more accountability & encouragement! Ugh, that I even have to join something like this… But, it is what it is…

I’m grateful for… My family, my home, and my bed. I made my daughter do 3 chores today, and because her attitude stunk (where does that come from? *ahem*), I made her tell me 3 things she was thankful for when she was done with the 3 ‘assignments.’ Her 3 were “Family, Friends, and my bed.” I have to agree with her… And, I totally saw the log sticking out of my own eye at this, so I am also thankful for the things that cause me the most grief. I need to be reminded that these are blessings, not burdens… I have so much when others are happy with much less…

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…


I am linking up with Hip Homeschool Moms, but since I have used the Homeschool Chick's prompts, there's a link to others there, too... I was just too late to join this time around :)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Homeschool Home Stretch...

In my life this week…We are in the home stretch! We have our assessment scheduled for next Tuesday the 14th… I am trying to keep calm about everything, but I waffle back & forth between “I can DO this!” and “What was I thinking?!?!” Thankfully, I’ve hopped back into my book “Super Homeschool Mom… NOT!” & that has been encouraging & keeping it real for me… Yet, my perfectionism still rears it’s ugly head & that’s what I’m battling.

In our homeschool this week… We have pretty much finished our Spring Surprises unit study. That is part of a series of Download N’ Go by Amanda Bennett that we have been doing this year. We started with Autumn Treasures, continued with Winter Wonders, and are almost finished! Explode the Code… almost finished!! One more lesson in 2 ½, and some post-tests, and we’re done! I want her to finish her Map Quest workbook, too, so we can officially wrap things up & “get our summer on!”

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… This week we celebrated Memorial Day with my parents & my Grandma & Uncle. The kiddos got to play in Dad’s sprinkler (Eli called it “Papa’s pool” lol) and we made a trip to the cemetery.

My favorite thing this week was… How well the week seemed to go while actually doing school work! HAHA It was a great week & we got a lot accomplished. I am starting to see the fruit of not losing my temper patience, and using a gentle, quiet voice. PLEASE DON’T MISUNDERSTAND!! I do NOT mean that I never yelled raised my voice, but I did notice a difference in my attitude this week. That’s what spending time in the Word will do for a gal!

What’s working/not working for us… Setting a no-distraction/no TV/no appointments policy this week, and really & truly devoting an allotted time JUST for school. This sounds like it should happen naturally in a homeschool, but, um, yeah, it doesn’t. Life DOES get in the way, and sometimes the importance of saying, “NO” to these things can get underestimated. Just sayin…

Questions/thoughts I have… Does anyone know if Math-U-See EVER goes on sale?!?!?! Seriously!! Even ebay is pricey!! Ugh…

Things I’m working on… Patience…

Books I’m reading… Super Homeschool Mom… NOT! I LOVE IT... Again, just sayin...

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

Philippians 2: 14-16

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Maybe I'm the Last One On the Planet...

Okay, so I am a kitchen gadget junkie. Take me to a Pampered Chef party & I will swear I need everything the consultant is showing! (This explains why I have a food chopper & the cheese grater-thingy, AND the cool whip dispensing thingy...which (except for the food chopper) I can count on one hand the number of times I have used.)

So, the Kitchen Unlimited store is not a safe place for me. But, we are starting a book called "Learning Responsibility at Home" (or something like that) & I needed some garnishing tools. The Big 3 (Walmart, Target, & Meijer) didn't have what I needed, and last Saturday I found myself at the new 'outlets' off of I-75 beside Trader's World. (How they can be called 'outlets' with a Saks 5th Ave, I'll never know). Anyways, after Children's Place (the real reason for our stop) Abbey & I decided to take a look around.

So, after I found what I was looking for (Whew!!), I might've bought something that has the potential to gather dust, or be totally awesome...

But I tried it out today. And, I {HEART} it!!

{ignoring the mess on my counter would be appreciated, thanks! LOL}

Basically, you chop the top of your pineapple off, center the "device" over the core, and start twisting. AMAZING how quick & clean it makes cutting up this pineapple. Can you picture the possibilities with this thing? Using the pineapple shell as a vase, container, DRINK cup... Seriously cool.

But, maybe I'm the last one on the planet to have one...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Max on Life

Max on Life is a new book written by Max Lucado. He writes this book because of the many questions he has received over the years he has been "America's Pastor." These are not easy questions! The topics range from salvation and becoming a Christian to "Where is hell?" The book is segmented into different topics, and are actually numbered.

I was worried when I first read the title of this book. It sounded a bit self-absorbed, but once I started reading the book I remembered who I was judging! Don't let the title fool you. This is not a book all about Max's wisdom! He definitely points to the One with All Wisdom, and he shares the wisdom he's gained with grace and love.

I wasn't sure I would love the layout of the book, but as the Mom of young children I found it an asset! As I mentioned before, all the questions are grouped together according to content, and numbered. The answers are also short & not chapter-length. The answers are delivered with love and grace, as well as short and to the point. Very easy to pick up and read through, or, as I had to do, put down for a bit until the next moment I could snatch some time to read!

I can definitely say that I have found comfort and peace because of the answers I have personally struggled to answer. I loved the scripture references, because they showed me that Max didn't "pull the answers out of a hat!" I would absolutely recommend this book for everyone. It would make a great witnessing tool, also, and a good gift for someone struggling for answers.

*As a note, I received this book free in exchange for my review.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

For All the Doubters

Ok, who am I kidding? There aren't many readers that read this blog to doubt that I would deliver on my promise of another post this week that was NOT HMJ-related. lol But, because I believe I should keep my promises...

I am going to share a recipe!! It's a family favorite, very easy & always adaptable. I hope you (whoever you are) enjoy!! :)

{Be sure to notice the Paula Dean bakeware the pizza pasta's in!! My favorite sister got that for me for Christmas!! It makes everything I bake in it look prettier. I'm such a dork.}
Pizza Pasta

9x13 pan
1 box of pasta (we use rotini noodles)
1 jar Pasta sauce
1 2c pkg of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Onions, chopped (optional)
Peppers, chopped (optional)
Mushrooms, chopped (you guessed, optional)
Any other of your favorite pizza toppings! Or, get creative!

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 & spray your pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook your noodles per pkg directions; drain, add pasta sauce to noodles. Layer this mixture in the bottom of your prepared pan.

3. Top with shredded cheese.

4. Layer pepperoni on top of cheese, plus additional desired toppings.

5. Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes.

This is so easy it's stupid. Just sayin'. I feel a bit silly posting such an easy recipe, but I know I appreciate an easy recipe in my pocket! LOL

So, enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal (Blog Hop)

I'm joining the Homeschool Chick's blog hop again, but I didn't make the deadline for last week, so this is actually from the week before! haha (March 31-April 4th is highlighted, especially) Please show me some grace! We've been very busy & very exhausted...but having fun! And, I promise I will try to do at least one other post a week that isn't HMJ related!! HA!!

In my life this week... We’ve been getting over a very crazy weekend!! We went to the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati last weekend (we went down on Thursday, left late Saturday night). We took a MUCH needed day off on Sunday, then Monday morning went back to Cincinnati for a day at Newport Aquarium with our homeschool group PEACH.

In our homeschool this week... Still focusing on the basics. Because we were gone, we didn’t “do” much school, but focused on where we were & where we want to go with homeschooling. The Convention was, of course, ideal for that!! Haha

Places we're going and people we're seeing... I’ve already mentioned the top 2 places we went to this week!! But, I’m sorry to say we didn’t really get to slow down much this week. Tuesday we took Eli to class, went to the Library; Wednesday we stuck around home most of the day then went to church (I’m teaching our Youth group on Wednesdays for a short time right now). Then, Thursday it was back to Eli’s class & the Library!! BUSY!! We were out all day yesterday After we stopped at Target & shoe shopped (UGH!!), both of the kids fell asleep in the back seat. So, I drove around & we ended up in my parent’s town (15min away, not another long day trip! HA!) & played at the new park playground there as a special treat. Eli went to bed SO easily!! I’m looking forward to a low-key weekend THIS weekend! We’ll see if I’m successful!

My favorite thing this week was... The Homeschool Convention. And Newport. I guess just spending time as a family made both of those things MORE special. It wasn’t easy taking the kids to the Convention , but it was worth it to all be together.

What's working/not working for us... Things are going pretty well. No new changes, yet, but I have a few ideas floating around in my head that I’d like to start implementing.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... One of the best things I’ve heard that just brings RELIEF & JOY to my soul is from a book Steve got me from the Convention by Todd Wilson. HE.IS.HILARIOUS. Just sayin
Keeping it real. Stop wearing a mask. Stop comparing what I’m doing to what others are doing. We’re not all perfect! Let go of my often too-high expectations & have fun enjoying my kids. Seriously, I don’t think I do that enough.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

{Abbey's highlight of the whole convention! Meeting Jessa & Jana Duggar... Them, and seeing Tim Hawkins!}

{I think Steve's face is priceless! Our homeschool group had a ps-like "meet-the-reptile" session!}

{Eli's favorite! NEMO!}

{Our family's favorite! The Penguins!}

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal from The Homeschool Chick

Hello!! :) I'm joining in the Homeschooling Mom's Journal again this week!! :) Come check out the other Homeschool Mama's @ The Homeschool Chick. They have it way more together than I do!! HA!! :) They're so inspirational!! :)

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week... I’ve had a weird week, really I haven’t been feeling the greatest, but am feeling a bit better, now. And, things just have to get done, regardless, sometimes, ya know? So, beyond that, it’s been pretty good! I bought the kiddos St. Patrick’s Day T-shirts at Target, they were marked down already!! LOL That’s always a good thing!!

In our homeschool this week... We’ve really just been focusing on the basics. I’ve come to realize that I might have been a bit high-strung about how Abbey gets her schoolwork finished (as in, “DO YOUR WORK OR YOU CAN’T [fill in the blank]!!!!). Not fun for me, definitely not fun for her. I realized that since she was being wiggly, there wasn’t anything to do but let her have a mini break after she got something done
I believe it’s called incentive! LOL For instance, on Tuesdays & Thursdays we do school at the Library while Eli’s in Toddler Group (Speech class). The Library has a pet hamster. No matter how far away we sit from Bob (the hamster), it’s like he’s saying, “Pssst. Abbey! Come watch me run on the wheel!” So, instead of me saying, “No, Abbey, no Bob time til after all your work is done,” I’ve revised it a bit. “Abbey, get your reading workbook done, and you can visit with Bob for a mini break!” I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until now to do it this way That was just a simple answer to my problem. It feels good! And, she’s been WAY more productive with the mini breaks than the “do it all then you break” way. I know, seems like a small thing, but what I learned is that the change started with MY attitude

Places we're going and people we're seeing... We’ve been here & there & everywhere. Eli’s loving his Toddler Group!! And, Abbey & I enjoy our breakfast & Library girl-time together.

My favorite thing this week was... I’ve been reading Tedd Tripp’s “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” and I LOVE it. This is not a review, it is just my thoughts about it, but honestly, if you’re finding that you feel yourself beating your head against a wall because you see your child’s behavior change, but not their attitude? This book is great
Again, it all starts with MY attitude

What's working/not working for us... The best resource I’ve bought lately is the Explode the Code workbooks! I love them! Abbey loves them! She will sit down & usually do more than one lesson at a time. Now, she is done with Book 1 & is almost done with Book 1 1/2 but she is flying through it! I’m thinking she’ll be more challenged by Books 3 & 4, but this has been great review of the vowel sounds!! It’s amazing to me how well she’s reading!! I love it!!

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... Has anyone been to a Homeschool Convention? We’re going to our first, the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH the first weekend of April. Any advice?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I'm Late for this Week; But Stay Tuned

I don't share a lot about our homeschooling journey, at least not the day-to-day stuff, so I thought this would be a neat blog-hop to join. I have only joined a blog-hop once before, and I had fun, so I thought I'd do it again. My goal for this blog has evolved a bit, and I'd love to share more than just crafts, more than just homeschooling, more than just Mommyhood... My life is an eccentric blend of all of this, so I'm hoping my blog will follow suit :) Anyways, here goes :)

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal

In my life this week... I have been dealing with a few challenges in my life this week. Pretty personal because I am dealing with the consequences of others' actions, but I can definitely say, with complete confidence, that walking through this "stuff" I have heard the Lord speak more clearly to me through His Word, His people, and through music than I have in way too long. I have constantly been reminded that He Is who He says He Is, regardless of circumstance. Regardless of the messes we find ourselves wrapped in. He is awesome, as always, regardless of life.

In our homeschool this week... Abbey has been LOVING her new Explode the Code workbooks. They have really helped me & have spoken to her weaker vowel recognition (not that it was horrible, but I am hopeful that these workbooks will just reinforce & help her gain confidence with the vowel sounds). I am so frustrated with Math, though. The original plan this year was to do Math-U-See, but it is pretty expensive. SO, we did little math workbooks & whatever for a fill-in, and I was just so disappointed & felt lacking & not prepared. So, I went ahead and bought McRuffy stuff. It's OK, but the "complete" kit didn't come complete with manipulatives, and they are pretty important for the curriculum... ARGH!! So, we are slowly waiting on the pieces of manipulatives that I've ordered through the mail. On the up side,
though, she is really excited about getting to "play with her new blocks" & such :)

Places we're going and people we're seeing... We've been to church (sometimes it feels like we live there), Waffle House (during Eli's class on Tuesday), and Perkins (during Eli's class today), and their first trip to Cheesecake Factory...and their last for a VERY VERY LONG TIME. It was unbelievably expensive for all of us to eat there... WOWZA!! Definitely a bit of a
sticker shock!! LOL

My favorite thing this week was...
probably the loosey-goosey Tuesday & Thursday mornings while Eli was in class. We usually go to the Library & get a lot done there, but it was nice to break from our normal schedule this week & take it easy. I think we both needed that. Also, I have LOVED watching Eli color this week!! He went from scribbling to trying to stay in the lines in a week!! AMAZING!! :) And, he can count to 10 by himself!! Again, Amazing because he went from saying Mommy & Daddy to saying just about everything, including numbers!! In order!! :) It's been awesome to see that!!

What's working/not working for us... The TV is NOT working for us. Most of our struggles is OVER the TV. I know that I have been mostly to blame over this, and especially when I'm sick, or the kids are sick, we turn to the TV for help, but it has gotten pretty out of control. Dual issues: Too much TV & not following the rules. They have been taught from in
fancy (LOL) to NOT TURN ON THE TV without asking. Yet, Abbey, especially, has just been ignoring this rule, I think to see how far she can get without us noticing. And, really, if she's sneaky & I'm in here getting stuff off the computer, she can get away with it for a time without us noticing. But I'm afraid a complete un-plug is about to happen. Lord, give me strength... :)

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have... I am REALLY missin
g the support & resources from our PEACH meetings. I know I need this, and I have really gotten a lot out of the meetings. The field trips have been exceptional, too, for me & Abbey (& Eli). It is so easy to get discouraged & weary without support from others walking this path, too.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Mama's ready for summer...

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is it Weird that I'm Stalking Cookware?

So, I just wanted to share a couple of things that I've been obsessing over lately, and I'm just being totally honest... I need to stop!! HAHA!! :)

For those of you who started reading my blog back in the dot matrix days (LOL) know by now I may have developed an obsession for teal/aqua (whatever you call it... I LOVE it). So, it probably stands to reason that every time I go to Wal Mart my breath is taken away every time I see these:

{Paula Deen Signature Porcelain 12pc Cookware in Robin's Egg Blue}

EVERY TIME I got to Wal Mart, not matter the mission, I track my route through the store so that I may go by them & drool... For Christmas, my sister got me the 9x13 version of this. She totally has fed into my obsession... Everything I bake in it is just SO MUCH PRETTIER!! :)

Oh, and it doesn't end there... I am wanting ALL of her cookware & bakeware in this color... It's ridiculous, I know, to worry & want so much... But I do...

Then, there is my other obsession...

{Cricut Machine in Teal}

HOW PERFECT IS THAT?!?!?! I know, I know, I'm obsessed. But, again, every time I make a trip to Wal Mart, I "conveniently" walk by this... And drool. It's not pretty, people.

So, this, my friends, is sharing that I have an issue. Please pray for me. ;)

Talk to ya'll later :)

Monday, January 03, 2011

If We're Gonna Be Craft Buddies...

If we're going to be craft buddies, let me get a few things out of the way.

1. I do not measure. Anything. Eyeball it, baby, eyeball it. And, if it's absolutely necessary, measure with an inanimate object, not a ruler.

(necklaces, decorations & favor boxes I made as party favors for my daughter's 6th Birthday party)

2. Sewing machines make me break out into a cold sweat. I have visions of 7th grade Home Ec. when we had to make gym bags. My breakthrough combination of red vinyl-ly fabric (calling it fabric is a stretch!! haha) and purple woven straps... Let's just say I was ahead of my time. I am looking into taking some *ahem* refresher sewing lessons... We're getting a Super Jo-Anne's (yes, Virginia, they do exist!), and I am thinking of facing my fear... *seriously breaking into a cold sweat*

3. I {heart} hot glue guns. Really, if I need to go into more details without you finishing my sentences, I don't think we can be friends!! LOL :) (totally just kidding...sorta)

4. I also {heart} patterned paper. I am currently banned from buying any more right now. Every time I look at that big pad of My Mind's Eye paper stack I start to drool. It's not pretty. Hobby Lobby will from time to time put it 50% off... which leads into #5...

5. I {heart} Hobby Lobby, mostly because I live less than 5 minutes from mine. And their coupons... I love you, 40% off any one regularly priced item.

(I know, awful picture, but it's a rusty star I painted & distressed for my son's room)

6. I am corny. Embrace the dorkiness.

7. I am a sloppy crafter. I currently just got done with a project, and I think I got more sand on me than on my project. I just piqued your curiosity, didn't I?

8. I am an insecure crafter. I am constantly worried that what I make looks like something I've made... Ya know, not exactly pulled together. And, I know this is a reality because I have failed. And failed. And failed. But, I like learning through doing. Sometimes there's just a learning curve.

9. I love to stalk read other crafty/mommy/homeschool blogs, and will often direct you to those who inspire me. Sharing the blog community love. Because bloggers rock.

10. I may or may not start an etsy store. I'm nervous about putting my stuff out there, because $money$ talks. (see #8).

(Fall wreath I made this year)

I am so looking forward to being a part of the crafting blogger community!! I can't wait to share my first "real" project. Be looking for it soon!! :)

Merry Christmas!

{Note: All projects shown were from this past year!!}