Pages That Might or Might Not Be of Interest to You!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Convention Post #1

Tonight I went to the first workshop the Teaching Parents Association offers for the convention weekend.  It is for first time homeschoolers.  Now, that could be families that are homeschooling for the first time or it's just their first time to a convention.  It is a night just for them.

I have to say that if you are a first time homeschooler you want to go to this workshop.  It was great. Each attender was handed a packet of information before the session started.  This is a must-have packet.  There is some fantastic information in there-I wish I would have had it when we were just starting out.

The packet included:  Convention Schedule, Parking and Restaurant Guide(very important!!), Intro Letter, Laws about homeschooling in our state, Requirements for homeschooling, Sample Letters of Withdrawal and Request for Records, Definition of Homeschool Terms(neat idea), How to Get Started page, Helpful Websites, Homeschool Discounts and Resources, Support Group List, and a practical guide to attending a convention.

Whew!  That's a lot of information in a little package.  Right?  It is good stuff to read but they didn't stop there.  They went through each section explaining and elaborating what the group needed.  The presenters were honest and down to earth.

"We are laying down a foundation for the rest of their lives."  This is a phrase that stuck out to me.  Training and mentoring our children is so important and homeschooling lends itself to that very well.  Each person that spoke stressed this point and just how important it was to commit yourself to the Lord everyday and bathe your family and homeschool in prayer.

Even though I have homeschooled for 9 years, there were several things I learned tonight.  Several more I wished I had been told early on.  This workshop was full of practical and sound advice for the new homeschoolers.

I highly recommend attending this workshop for new homeschoolers.  It will help allay fears and give you courage to forge ahead.

If you haven't registered yet, you still can!  Head over to the TPA website and get it done.  This year there are 109 Vendors in the Vendor Hall.  That's a whole lot of shopping!!

Don't forget to support your local homeschool convention!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Need Encouragement to Keep Going?

Homeschool Moms-do you need encouragement to see the light at the end of the homeschooling tunnel? Want to see how well it can turn out?

Head over to Homeschool Mosaics and read an interview with a homeschool graduate and be encouraged on your journey.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Convention and a Give Away!!

I posted here about the upcoming TPA Convention here in my home town.  I am super excited to go!  I will be blogging and facebooking during the convention to let you all in on the wisdom I glean and the excitement of attending a convention.  ;-)  There will be several of us blogging, tweeting, and facebooking so be on the lookout for all the amazing pearls of wisdom we will share.

But for now, I have a GIVE AWAY to offer to you. 
A Journey Through Learning is giving away a FREE lapbook to one lucky reader.  Sweet!  It is the winner's choice so head over there and check them out.

Don't forget to go to the TPA Website and check out all the amazing speakers and workshops happening this weekend.  They also have a facebook page that you should Like to keep up on the latest news.  

Now for the give away:
Winner will be drawn Saturday night after the convention is over.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 28, 2012

Anniversary Weekend

So, Steven and I finally went on our anniversary weekend.  It was a bit delayed but that's okay.  We did it.

The girls went to my mom's on Friday afternoon then we set off for Kansas City.  We got lunch, turned on the tunes, and turned on the GPS.  Yeah, we know how to get to Kansas City but we are fascinated by that stupid thing.  That would come back to bite us in the butt later in the weekend but that will have to wait a bit.

Conversation was lively, snacks were yummy, time was flying.  We arrived in no time and with no real problems.  Okay, there was that one conversation that we argued from different perspectives; but that's not unusual for us! lol 

We pulled up to the hotel we booked and both got a little leery.  It didn't look that great from the outside; it was a strange color. And it looked a little run down.  We don't have that high of expectations but clean is a must.  kwim?  We at least were going to go in and see what it was like. 

We were very pleasantly surprised.  The lobby was beautiful and the waiting area was done up like a library.  Of course that would appeal to me! lol  The girl at the desk was very pleasant while checking us in.  We were set and anxious to put our stuff in our room.

The room was great.  It was spacious and clean.  There was a couch and two wing-back type chairs, a small fridge, a microwave, and a huge comfy bed.  We set our things down quickly so we could decide on what to do next.  Eat of course!

We found that we had forgotten a few things so a stop at Wally world was a must but then we were going to find food.  We found the restaurant through the GPS, plugged it in and took off.  We laughed and talked the whole way.  That is until we were going further than we thought we should.  I kept looking at the infernal machine and it kept telling me to keep going. 

We kept going.

and going.

When we finally made it out of the business type area and into open highway headed for Des Moines, the GPS said that we had arrived!  Seriously.  The middle of 435 highway was where that stupid little machine sad was our destination. 

We plug in a different address and head off for that one.  It was pretty fun and we laughed the entire way.

Until...we couldn't find the second one.    We pulled into a strip mall to figure things out and came across a restaurant we had thought about going to.  We slipped into a parking stall quickly and went inside!  We were starving. 

Dinner was good.  Not great but good enough.  Does that make sense? 

We got back in the car and drove around to see what we could see.  Lo and behold guess what we found?  Yup, the original restaurant we were looking for!    We laughed so hard.  But, we kept it in mind just in case we couldn't find another restaurant we were looking for. lol

Saturday we headed to Crown Center after breakfast and coffee and spent the day at the aquarium and mall.  Hey, we had to work off all the calories from breakfast somehow!!  We made it back to the hotel in time for a little rest and a change of clothing.  We had just enough time to make it to the movie. 

After the movie we drove around listening to that bossy little machine again only to find out that it was wrong, again.  ugh  Thankfully we had our phones and found the steakhouse that way.  Supper was YUMMY.  We took dessert back to the room with us and enjoyed a quiet night in the room.  (Kristine, we got cheese fries!!)

Sunday was relaxed even though we were leaving in the morning.  We ate breakfast, got coffee(of course), checked out and started on our way. 

It was a great weekend with my husband.  I am so thankful we are able to get away like this sometimes and keep our relationship vibrant and alive.  He is such an amazing husband, father, and man.  I am thankful that God gave him to me. 

btw, I did take pictures at the aquarium but they are on my phone and we all know how well I get those downloaded! lol

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Homeschool Conventions?

Do you go to homeschool conventions?  If so, do you go to the local ones or do you go to the 'big show' conventions?

I have been to both.  A few years ago I might have told you that I prefer the 'big show' conventions to the local ones but that is not the case now.

I am so looking forward to going to our local homeschool convention this weekend.  It is in my hometown, which is a bonus, and it will be filled with people that are from my region.  I like that.  I also like that the people running the convention can gear the happenings of the convention to what is going on our lives-not just generic things.

But I also like supporting our local homeschool organizations.  It is too important to offer this support and we should all go to our local conventions.  The 'big show' conventions are money makers and are not there to support the grass roots effort that homeschooling is.  My local convention is getting my money this year and every year after.

I am also excited about the speakers and workshops that our TPA Convention is offering this year.  Diane Craft, Todd Wilson, and a host of other presenters will be on hand to encourage us. 

Todd is the author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family.
As founder of Familyman Ministries, his passion and mission are to remind dads and moms of what’s most important through a weekly e-mail for dads, seminars, and books that encourage parents.
Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana and travel around America in the Familyman Mobile. You can visit his website here - Family Man Ministries

Dianne Craft is a former homeschool mom who has a Master’s degree in Elementary and Special Education.  She has 25 years’ experience teaching bright, hardworking children who have to work too hard to learn.  She teaches parents across the country how to help their child learn faster and easier, using therapies and strategies that are very effective while being very inexpensive. Dianne is passionate about training parents to make learning easier for their homeschooled children.  Her workshops are very informative and often entertaining.  She is a Certified Natural Health Professional specializing in natural treatments for children with attention, learning, and behavioral issues.  Dianne is president of the educational consulting firm, Child Diagnostics, Inc., in Littleton, Colorado.

The vendor hall is full and waiting to be explored.  You know I'm gonna be spending a lot of time there!  I always love Rainbow Resources Center, Usborne, and Math U See; but this year there are more I am going to visit.  Like Science Education Center and The Logic of English to name a couple. 

Wanna come?  Go here and register. Wanna see the workshops I'm trying to decide between?  Go here to find out.

Let me know if you are going to be there and we can meet up.  I love meeting  people over the smell of books.  ;-)

Be looking for more posts about the TPA Convention as the week progresses.  I will even be taking notes and posting from the convention!!

I'll let you know our curriculum choices after I buy everything.  lol

For now, I need to go print off the workshop schedule so I can plan my days. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spiders and Soccer

Okay, the evening was supposed to be a smooth, fun, night of watching soccer with my oldest.  We found out that a local high school girls' soccer team was ranked 2nd in the state and they were playing Tuesday night. 


We decided to go pretty quickly.  Everybody else, not so much.  The four other kids decided to stay home and watch movies. 

The two of us left early bc there is construction on nearly every street corner in our neck of the city.  I was pretty sure of where we were going but didn't want to be late.  Not that it would have been that big of deal but I wanted to see all of the game.

We arrived 40 minutes early!  hahaha  We got a great parking spot, though.  Sitting in our fabulous parking spot we decided to surf facebook.  Of course!  I checked email, we read our books, sang to the radio, and laughed at silly things that no one else would understand. 

That is until my dd looked over at me with her eyes getting wider by the second.  She looked up just above my head and said words that strike fear into my heart deeper than if someone was trying to mug me.  "Mom, there is a spider above your head."

Not so nice words ran through my mind.  I did not, however, say any of them out loud.  I'm pretty proud of myself for that one.  I did shriek, I think, and start leaning away from it.  I was still buckled in my seat belt, though and couldn't move very far.  I pulled on the seat while leaning far over into the empty space between the front seats while repeating, "Oh dear God, oh dear God, get me away."  At this point my lovely and supportive daughter started laughing at me.  She did.  I might have yelled at her to help me but I think I was really just pleading for help.  "Please get me out of here.  Kill it."  She argued for a moment telling me that she couldn't reach it.  That is soo not what I wanted to hear.  "TAKE YOUR SHOE OFF AND KILL THAT THING."  This was said in a guttural scream while I crawled out from under the steering wheel backwards while keeping my eyes on the vicious spider.  I climbed over the cubby thing in between the seats working my way over to her seat.  She was mean enough to keep laughing  while not letting me sit on her lap.  I kept on though and made it all the way over onto her lap while she somehow pulled her shoe off one handed.  She should get some kind of super hero status for how she lifted me off of her lap while simultaneously leaning all the way over to the other side of the car and killing the carnivorous spider on the top of the door jamb.  I might or might not have been chanting, "Kill it.  Don't let it get away.  Smash it, please.  Don't let it fall." 

She managed to smash it to smithereens so it couldn't spring back to life and attack me while I was driving.  I didn't quite make it all the way back to my side of the car until it was time to get out.  When we were ready to get out of the car, I got everything ready, pushed open the door and screamed while bursting out of the car.  No way was any of that flesh eating spider going to fall on me, nest in my hair and kill me in my sleep.  Not gonna happen.

I am glad to say that I survived and even managed to drive home without freaking out about the carnage on the ceiling right above my head.  I'm pretty proud of myself all the way around! lol

Friday, May 18, 2012

Special Dinner

So tonight we got all dressed up to celebrate a momentous occasion-Sunshine's 8th Grade Graduation!  I told them yesterday what we were doing and that they would have to get gussied up for it.  Yeah, no one was happy about that one.  I really need to get them to dress up more often.  hmm...will have to work on that one.

Anyway, We got dressed up as I said, and went out to eat.  Sunshine wanted to go to Texas Roadhouse.  She loves steak!  In hindsight it wasn't the best idea.  It was way too loud in there and we all left with a headache and feeling deaf.  But, we all had leftovers for the next day!

It was a great dinner with lots of laughs.  We presented her with a simple certificate and a new backpack.  Hopefully this one will last her through out high school but I'm not holding my breath on that one!

I am so looking forward to her high school years.  She is  blossoming into a beautiful young woman.  What a blessing all my girls are to me.  <3

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sister Update

Thithers surgery went well.  She came through it just like they thought she would.  A night's stay in the hospital and she should be able to go home.  Praise God!

Being the loving sister that I am I decided to let her use our portable DVD player that we use in the car so she could watch movies.  She loves movies more than I do!  So tonight I went back up to the hospital after supper to visit with her for a while.  We took the player, movies, and ourselves up there and visited for a while.  When the pain pills started working we started to set up the player so it would be ready when she needed it and realized that I hadn't brought the power cord.  ugh

I felt horrible about not bringing it so I told her I would drive home to get it and bring it back.  No biggie.

On the way home I call Steven to find the cord.  He can't.  It's nowhere to be found.  I finally made it home to look for it myself.

Nope, no where to be found.  double ugh

We find a few that might work but get my laptop just in case they don't work out.

We drive all the way back up to the hospital to deliver everything.  It's a good thing I brought the laptop because neither cord we brought to try worked.  bleh

The laptop stayed with Thither.  She used it during the night because hospitals are oh so restful at night! lol

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


My Thither is having surgery this week.  I love her so much and can't imagine life without her.  I am so thankful for her in my life. 

That's all.  Just had to say it out loud. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Milestone

This week we are marking a milestone in our lives and our homeschool.  Our oldest is finishing 8th grade and getting ready to go into high school next year. 

I can't believe she is old enough to go into high school next year.  Holy Cow, where did time go?  It was only yesterday that she was toddling around singing and making messes.  Okay, none of that has changed she is still walking around singing and making messes!! 

She is becoming a beautiful young women and I am so thrilled to be her mom.  What a joy she is.  I can not wait to see what God does in her life and what He has planned for her. 

High we come!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a mixed bag of emotional stuff.  I love being a mother but feel a hurt in my heart for those that have never had the joy of having their own children.  I hurt for them and want to love on them.

This mother's day our oldest had a recital.  I wasn't happy about it at first but it worked out bc all of our mothers were there!  lol 

Sunshine did an amazing job singing, of course, and I was so pleased that our families were able to share it with us.  I have videos...okay I have one.  My camera ran out of memory during the second song so I have to get that one from my dad!

I will post the videos as soon as I get them downloaded.  ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

It Gives Me Hope

Today we had the privilege and honor to attend and high school graduation party/reception.  It was for a girl that we have known for nine years or so.  It has been amazing to watch her grow up into a lovely young lady.  I am honored to have witnessed her growth into a sweet woman of God.

I am also thankful to have witnessed this family's journey of homeschooling and successful they have been.  It gives me courage to keep going when I am worried that I'm failing my kids.  I love to see those families that have "made" it and are willing to encourage those of us still in the trenches. 

Since we are heading into high school next year this was especially encouraging to me.  Others have done and done it well, I can too. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Field Trip!!

Our homeschool group took a field trip today to the Kansas Cosmosphere.  It was a great field trip.  We spent the day there touring the museum, which is phenomenal, watched an imax movie, went to the planetarium, and learned about rockets.  We had a great time with only one minor mishap.  The fire alarm went off and we had evacuate our group.  But come to find out we were the only ones to evacuate!  Our small portion of our group were the only ones outside.  It was kind of funny when we found out that it was only a false alarm.

We were completely worn out when we got home.

Unfortunately Bean was sick and couldn't go.  Sunshine stayed home with her so that the rest of us could go.  Steven promised to take us back so we could all go.  It's going to have to be a long time away because I'm still tired from it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Another week

another week of school.

One more.

Is anybody else ready for summer break?  Oh pick me, pick me!!  Me, I'm ready. 

Only, we don't take the summer off.  Not completely anyway.  We work through the summer albeit a much reduced schedule we still work. 

I don't want to.  Right now I want to be done and just stay in bed reading books or watching movies.  I don't want the responsibility of teaching my kids for a while.  I want a break.

Alas, that is not going to happen.  I will have to wait for Sabbath Week for my break. 

I can hold on.

I can make to Sabbath Week.

I will not pull my hair out.

I will not get burned out.

I will enjoy my kids and love on them even when I am tired.

I will.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Field Day

Our homeschool group had our Field Day today.  It was a chilly day.  No, it was cold. 

Okay, maybe it was only cold to me bc I am always cold but it was at least chilly for everyone!

Our Field Day has a shot put, discus, 50 yard dash, relay, long jump, and basket ball shoot.  Each child gets to attempt each event twice in order to get the highest possible score.  The standards are set and we don't just give them an easy 1st place.  (yeah, we are mean like that making them work for it!)

The 60 some kids are divided up in age groups to compete.  We spend around two hours completing the events and then have lunch together.  Our awards ceremony comes after lunch.  Then the most important part of the day-playing on the playground!!

It is always such a fun day and I am so glad when it is done. lol  It is tiring but fun memories. 

Have I mentioned that I love our homeschool group?  ;-)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The End

We got the call last night that we were supposed to play for 3rd place this afternoon.  Woohoo!!

Pretty cool. 

Until we showed up and found out that it was the team we started the tournament with.  ugh  So not cool.

But then we thought about it and realized that if they were playing us for third place then that meant they weren't winning the tournament again.  Score!!!  The girls were totally thrilled about that.  They are so tired of this team cheating and playing dirty and this was vindication for our girls that play by the rules.  It was a win-win situation.  We lose, they still lose.  We win, they lose. 


We did lose.  Sunshine was taken out violently twice in the first two minutes of the game and could barely get back up.  No call was given.  The ref let them get away with it.  She was targeted the rest of the game and ended up on the ground at least three more times.  But...she took a few of their players out many times!  She was zooming around even though she was crying from pain.  She fought all the way 'til the end.  Even the other teams' parents commented on what a great defender she was! 

It was a hard loss but our girls were still smiling and having a good time with each other when it was over.  They are a great group of girls and I am going to miss them next year.  I know Sunshine will too. 

I can't tell you how glad I am that soccer is over for the season, though.  We are having serious doubts about putting our kids in AYSO next year with all the injuries and dangerous play allowed by the refs.  I guess we have all summer to think about it.   

For now, we are going to rest before the summer craziness starts!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Well, we lost our game last night.  It was against a team that is known to cheat in more ways than one.  They bring in players from other leagues to play for the tourney and get violent. 

We scored the first goal!!!  It was a hard fought goal and the girls were thrilled to get it.  We ended up losing though, 3-1.  We weren't too upset about it though because last year we lost 7-0.  Plus, we have only AYSO players and the other team had at least 6 from a different league.  Another thing is when we played this team last time they only had 7 players-we had to loan them 3 of ours-and then they showed up for the tourney with 15 players.  What's with that?  Whatever.

We won our first game on Saturday but one of our players got injured.  She was trampled by a very large girl.  It was all fair but our girl was smaller so she lost the battle!  Sunshine also hurt her knee but was fine. 

Our second game on Saturday we lost.  This was the team that gave one of our girls a concussion.  They still played dirty.  We fought hard but since one of our key defenders was out with a concussion it was difficult.  This team also has players from a competitive league on it.  We ended up losing 3-0.  They scored one more goal but it was called back bc they trampled our goal keeper.  She laid down on the ball and they stepped all over her to free the ball and scored.  The ref ignored it and tried to start the game again.  Our keeper was crying and holding her arm while our defenders were calling for the ref to come back.  He finally did check on her and so did our coach.  The ref asked if we wanted the goal called back.  He asked us.  Seriously?  He is the one in charge.  Did he not know that that is illegal?  Good grief.  We asked for the goal to be taken away and that made the other team super mad.  It got even uglier after that. 

I was so proud of our girls through it all.  They kept their heads up, kept smiling, and had fun.  They are friends outside of the team and will continue to be for a long time.  That is more important than a game. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Soccer Tourney

Today starts the beginning of our looong weekend.  It is a Soccer Tournament weekend.  We have a game on Friday night, and two on Saturday.   It will be a tiring weekend for all of us.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

20 years

20 years ago I married a young, good looking guy.  We really didn't know what we were getting into!  It hasn't always been easy; some days have been downright rough but a commitment is a commitment.  We vowed to stay together and work through whatever came our way.  We have worked through some pretty tough things and come out on the other side.

I was blessed the day I said I do; I just didn't know how much at the time.  He is more patient than any man I know.  ;-)

Now I can say that I have been married for half of my life.  I kinda like the sound of that!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another week

Another week of school.  I am not looking forward to it.  There it's out there.  I said it.  I heard the collective gasp.  I'm okay with it.  I know some out there will agree with me. 

I did not want to do school this week.  At all.

So we took Monday off. lol  It was Steven's bday and of course some planning had to be done.  ;-)  We chose to take him out for his bday dinner but couldn't do ice cream and cake until after soccer practice! lol 

Oh the life of a parent.

It was a nice dinner to celebrate a wonderful husband and father.  We are so blessed to have him.  He is so patient with this houseful of girls.  God could not have picked a better man for the job.

The rest of the week we will have to do school though.  Well, except for the 2nd bc that's our 20th anniversary! heehee