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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's What's for Dinner

One of our favorite meals around here is Black Bean Taco Chili. I don't know where I got the recipe but we adore it. We usually make ourselves sick everytime we eat it! It is a hardy meal that is crazy simple to make. A definite must for a young person newly out on their own or a newly married couple.

Here it is:

Black Bean Taco Chili

(we double this entire recipe except for the onions and taco seasoning)

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef, browned and drained

1 medium onion, sliced

1 pkg taco seasoning

16 oz frozen corn

1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 14 oz can diced, stewed tomatoes

1 8oz can tomato sauce

 

Directions:

Brown meat and onion, drain. Pour all ingredients into crockpot, stir. Cook until hot.

 

Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole. (we usually only make it to the cheese and chips before we are devouring it!)

 

That's it. It is a great go to meal when you need to throw it together at the last minute or a simple meal to have ready at the end of the day.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Hello, Again, Hello

Yeah, my blog is all but dead. I always mean to post but can't find the time to sit down and do it. How lame is that?

I actually do have the time I have just chosen not to.

Because I am lazy.

And I don't manage my time well.

And I got so behind that I just shut down.

 

This year is going to be different. I am going to slowly catch up on everything. It will take time but it is going to happen.

It probably won't be pretty but it will happen.

 

Starting with Christmas.

We celebrated Christmas a little differently this year. Bethany and Steven sang at all three Christmas Eve services this year. I was not happy about it. I guard Christmas Eve and keep it for our immediate family only. We open our pajamas, watch a movie, and eat snacks. It's what we do.

I would like to say that I was a mature adult about it when they told me but honestly, I was trying not to cry. It wasn't one of my finer moments. I walked away and thought about something else. I came to terms with it and they said yes.

Little did we know that Bethany would get sick right before Christmas. Really sick. She had to work a five hour shift on Christmas Eve and then go straight to church to sing. For almost three hours. She barely survived. Seriously. We gave her ibuprofen, EmmergenC, and tons of water. And lots and lots of prayer.

By the time she came home she was feverish and coughing up a lung. It was awful. For her and us!

 

Christmas day was even worse. She was feeling horrid. I started her on antibiotics and we set off for my in-laws. Beth stayed in a room sleeping most of the day but at least she was there, right? It was a really great day filled with food, family, and laughter.

That night was not so great. Bethany got worse and Steven and I got a stomach bug. Which Bethany caught a little later that night. Seems that it spread through the entire extended family. No lie. So Bethany was coughing up a lung with bronchitis and throwing up her guts from a stomach bug. Good times.

 

The next day we took her to the doc and got steroids to speed up the healing but it wasn't quick enough for her to go to work on Saturday. She spent four days in bed, literally.

 

The rest of us worked around the house and stayed away from the sickies. Yes, I was one of them but I kept working and rejected the feeling of throwing up. Yes, I said that. I refuse to throw up until it erupts out of me. I.hate.throwing.up.with.a.deadly.passion.

 

Steven and I started some projects on Saturday in betweeen napping and eating saltines. He worked on transferring my pantry to the walk-in closeet and building more shelves. He got it transferred but still needs to add in a few more shelves. I worked on the Reading Room.

We have had the reading room for a while but as of late it became a catch all for everyone's stuff. It started out that no one was allowed in my room but slowly it was overrun by kids and their stuff. I was just too busy to do much about it.

I was longing for a quiet place so I started on it Saturday. I rearranged the furniture and made the kids collect their crap stuff. I dusted and removed tables I didn't want anymore. It became a room I can't stay out of! I love it. It is once again my room and my quiet place.

It was worth the queasy feeling throughout the day to be able to sit in there and relax.

 

Sunday we stayed home and slept and watched movies. Bethany stayed in bed almost all day unable to eat or walk without coughing. Bug came back after being gone all last week and we returned to normal.

 

We have one more Christmas and then the season will be at an end. The sickness will hopefully stay away and we can enjoy Steven being home.

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

3D Fiberlash Mascara Review

What girl doesn't love a good mascara? How about one that makes your lashes look longer and thicker? Yeah, I thought so!

 

Younique has a mascara that does just that. Moodstruck 3D Mascara is basically a wonder product.

"Our simple three-step process combines Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers to help create the appearance of incredible thickness and volume to your existing lashes. Watch as your lashes transform into something you have only dreamed of! The 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but easily wash off with warm water and facial cleanser at the end of the day. Try it! It will quickly become your favorite makeup must-have!"

I have FIVE girls in my house. Only three of them use mascara regularly but one of the younger ones needs mascara for theater. We go through a lot of mascara come showtime. I don't like fake eyelashes (I can't figure them out!) and I can't imagine putting them on a 9 year old anyway. So Moodstruck 3D Mascara is the perfect alternative.

When my package arrived I was thrilled at the packaging. It is a pretty little case that is so classy looking! The package has the Transplanting Gel and the Natural Fibers tubes. They are sleek black and a nice shape in my hand. Yes, that is important to me.

I immediately pulled it out and used it. Who could wait? I read the instructions, which are very easy to understand, and got started. After putting on a light coat of my own mascara I pulled out the Transplanting Gel and applied it. I wasn't sure if I was getting it on every lash, though. It was a little hard to tell but after doing it a couple of times I got the hang of it. Right after the Transplanting Gel is on you put on the Natural Fibers.

Now, I am going to be honest and tell you that I had a hard time with this. I like to have a clean wand/brush and tried wiping the brush on the tip of the tube. That doesn't work very well. It bothers me to have the fibers just hanging there...but that is probably just me! I applied the fibers and could instantly tell a difference. My lashes looked longer and thicker. I put another coat of the Transplanting Gel on and they were set.

It was amazing! I showed my girls and they practically swooned. This was going to change our lives. Okay, maybe not change them but definitely make our eyes stand out!

My 15 year old has crazy long lashes already but they are very blonde and hard to see. When she put Moodstruck 3D Mascara on it was crazy. Well, you can see for yourself!

 

I will tell you that I cried at one point while wearing Moodstruck 3D Mascara (not because I was so happy, although that did cross my mind) and it did not run. It didn't last as long but I did not look like a racoon or have black streaks down my cheeks. Score another for Moodstruck 3D Mascara.

I did get some of the fibers in my eye and it did burn. But, I was able to get them out easily and there were no lasting pain or redness. My 16 year old wears contacts pretty often and has had no problem wearing this mascara. Which is pretty awesome if you ask me.

Younique is selling Moodstruck 3D Mascara for $29. That might seem like a lot but it is totally worth it. I am seriously getting more for our theater productions. You can buy your own at their website. While you're there, check out the other great products they offer. Raquel Dunn has been working with us on these reviews and has been so helpful and knowledgeable. Head over now and check out this fantastic mascara!

 

While you are at it, head over to Home and School Mosaics and see what everyone else though of Moodstruck 3D Mascara.

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Who Created Everything? Wizzy Gizmo Review

Do you struggle making Bible time interesting for your kids? Do you want something to make the Bible come alive? Need some quiet time activities to keep the littles occupied and interested?

 

Wizzy Gizmo has just the thing for you. Who Created Everything? is an audio CD from the book of Genesis. We reviewed Episode 1 which is Chapter 1.

 

I pulled out the CD and put it in the player hoping it would catch the attention of the kids. It did. They didn't want to listen at first but very quickly the room quieted down and they were listening!

About Wizzy Gizmo

We are parents, pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, and Homeschoolers who are committed to our children for life, by planting them firmly in God's Word; and we want to help you do the same! Why? Because we believe that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”


 

Who Created Everything? would be a great tool to use for Bible Study, Bedtime Stories, Homeschool Resources, Devotions, and so much more. It is great to have handy to turn on when you need the kids to settle down and get a lesson or two.

The Audio Drama we received tells the story of how it all began. "It all begins when Wizzy Gizmo places the Bible on his incredible Gizmovision invention. The machine whirls and hums, the room begins to vibrate and shake, lights flicker on and off. The invention is surrounded by tiny arcs of electricity as a sphere of blue-green light emerges and begins to grow bigger and bigger. There is a flash, and then things really begin to happen..."

 

I really love this CD. The voices are sweet in their characterizations and the music is engaging. I was humming it for days after listening the first time! Our 4yo does not sit still easily but when I put this CD on, she was sitting within minutes and was engrossed. That is incredible in and of itself!

 

She sat listening for quite a while and what better thing to listen to than Bible Stories? I am so thankful for Who created Everything? and the solid Biblical teaching it offers.

If you want to hear samples of Who Created Everything? head over to this page and listen. You can also purchase the CD's or Digital Downloads starting at $9.99. The target age is 4-12 but older kids will enjoy them on car rides or just for the quiet it brings to the house when the younger kids are listening!

Wizzy Gizmo also has a Book Series, Fast Track Bible Packs, Free Resources to check out. Find out more about Wizzy Gizmo on their About Page and find Who, What, Where, When, and Why for your questions.

You can connect with Wizzy Gizmo through

Facebook

Twitter

Vimeo

Pinterest

 

Check out what other reviewers thought over at Home and School Mosaics.

 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Curriculum Choices

Since I haven't blogged in forever I thought I would start off again with our curriculum choices for the year. Not too many have changed but a few have and we really love them.

 

Bethany-Junior


Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Rhetoric (includes Literature, Government, Geography, Bible, Church History, History, and Fine Arts)

The Power in Your Hands by Writing with Sharon

Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition by Dave Ramsey

Chemistry by Apologia

Lift Up Your Eyes on High-Astronomy

Soccer, Learning to manage a household, mowing, and babysitting

 

Sarah-Sophomore


Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Rhetoric

The Power in Your Hands by Writing with Sharon

Biology by Apologia

Lift Up Your Eyes on High-Astronomy

Spanish for You!-3-4 units this year

Geometry by Math U See

cheerleading, soccer, helping with theater, babysitting

 

Hannah-7th


Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Dialectic

Algebra 1 by Math U See

General Science by Apologia

Growing with Grammar 8

Spanish for You! Fiestas

Pentime 8

Phonetic Zoo B by IEW

Ballet, soccer, babysitting

Naomi 4th


Tapestry of Grace Year 2 Upper Grammar

Delta by Math U See

Exploring Creation w/Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia

Growing with Grammar 4

Pentime 5

Spanish for You! Fiestas

Writing Tales Level 2

soccer, theater

Bug


Bob Jones Math for Kindergarten

Bob Jones Beginning Worktext for Kindergarten

soccer, playing,

 

I think that is everything. But, who knows? I probably forgot something!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Power in Your Hands Review

The Power in Your Hands Writing Nonfiction in High School by Sharon Watson is a God send in our home. I am notoriously bad at teaching writing so having something walk me through the process is great. We have tried several programs and they were fine they just didn't stick.

So when this review came up I was a little hesitant. But I decided to go ahead and try. It couldn't hurt, right?

I am happy to say that it didn't hurt at all. It was quite enjoyable in fact.

Here is a little about the program first.

Written by the same author who wrote Apologia Educational Ministries' popular middle school writing curriculum JUMP IN, this course is the natural next step for those who value college-preparatory material presented in incremental steps with a conversational tone.

Sharon Watson has the knack of teaching students with no prior writing experience in the same class with advanced writers. She knows when to introduce new material and how to keep it interesting. Both reluctant and eager writers will benefit from the way she reveals exactly how the "magic trick" of writing is done!

With over 100 daily lessons and complete instructions for 22 essays and reports, this is an engaging course students will enjoy--or not dread. And, more good news: the course almost teaches itself. Really.

Because writers come in all varieties, this course begins with basic writing skills so that inexperienced writers can catch up quickly on fundamentals, and then it smoothly merges them with their age-mates. More advanced writers will enjoy the Digging Deeper lessons designed specifically for them. No matter their writing level or their attitude toward writing, students will learn essay structures, vital writing tools, proofreading skills, and a confidence that comes from success.

Prerequisites: None.

Grammar not included.

Recommended as a companion volume: THE POWER IN YOUR HANDS: WRITING NONFICTION IN HIGH SCHOOL, TEACHER'S GUIDE. This teacher's guide includes all assignments and checklists, answers to chapter work, a year of engaging writing prompts, and a helpful grading guide.

 

The Student and Teachers books are all you need for this program. Yes, you will need the Teacher Book. It is full of teaching helps, ideas, evaluation forms, and so much more. I am not kidding, this book is going to take you some time to digest the wealth of information in it. It is invaluable. I have found myself re-reading sections several times. Unfortunately I never learned most of this when I was in school so it is pretty great to be teaching it to my kids now. Learning along side them is just about the greatest thing, isn't it?

The Student book is written in a conversational style with black and white pages. It is great for kids that get distractted by all the 'noise' on a page in other books. It is straight forward and to the point. Yet, there is humor written into it as well. It isn't dry, boring material that the student will quicikly tire of; it is engaging and divided into sections to make it digestable.

Something we have really enjoyed with this program are the 14 Minute Power Surges. These have taken the pressure off of writing and really made the girls think on the spot and get something on paper. The 14 Minute Power Surges are just what they sound like. The student is given a topic and they write about it for 14 minutes. It isn't graded; it is just written. Now, I think the farther you get into the program you end up using some of them and expanding on them for papers; we just haven't gotten that far yet. As soon as I said that they weren't going to be graded on spelling, grammar, etc. they felt freer to write. They started filling full pages in those 14 minutes and have a blast doing it. The prompts are given to the teacher in the Teacher book and are divided by month.

 

I also appreciate the lesson plans. They are divided by sections within the chapters and extra items for the teacher are written italics. I definitely felt like I had everything I needed to teach writing with this program. We will keep going with it and I can't wait to see the improvement in their writing later in the year. They are already more willing to write after just a short time using this than they have ever been. That's a win already!

The Power in Your Hands is available HERE and sells for $39.98 for the Student Book and $14.98 for the Teacher Book. The Power in Your Hands is written for grades 9-12.

Writing with Sharon Watson has many options for your student. Jump In, Writing with Fiction (High School), and The Power in Your Hands. Each one is found HERE. Check out the website for more ideas, FAQ's, and their blog.

 

 

 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Convention Time!

It is that time of year again...Convention Time! I love going to our state Convention (TPA Wichita.) I would probably love going to any state convention reallly, but ours is my favorite. I get to see homeschoolers from around the state and some friends that I only get to see once a year. I also get to put my hands on curriculum that I have been drooling over on the internet! I get to see vendors that I haven't met or haven't seen their products and I get to attend workshops that encourage, exort, convict, and teach.

It is just an all around great time!

But, it can be overwhelming the first few times. You register and start perusing the Vendor Hall in giddy anticipation. Then reality sets in and you start to panic. There are too many choices to look at and you can't rememeber what your friend told you you had to see so you put the information away for later.

Only later comes just a few days before Convention. A new level of panic takes over your body causing cold sweats and an upset stomach. There will be no way you are ready for Convention in time. None.

But wait. It doesn't have to be that way. Really, it doesn't. Convention can work FOR you not against you if you prepare and RELAX.

**One of the first things I do is register. That's easy enough, right? See, step one complete!

**Step two is to download and print the workshop schedule and vendor hall list. That's it. Don't do more than that if it is your first year. If you're a pro at conventions then take it away but do it quietly so the newbies don't freak out!

**Step three is to look at the workshop schedule with a pencil in hand. I start with a pencil because I always change my mind! I underline or circle the workshops that catch my eye the first time through. This will probably change the next time through and that's okay but for now just go with your initial choice. Then move to the Vendor Hall and do the same thing. Circle the ones you recognize or want to check out. Then leave them alone. Put it away and go play with your kids.

**Step four is a biggie. I enjoy this one but some don't and if you're a new homeschooler you might need to employ some help with this one. This step requires paper, pencils, erasers, time, and snacks! Depending on how many kids you have is how long this step will take. I have five kids so it takes me a while. Here's what you need to do.

--Make a list of the kids you are homeschooling. I like to have one piece of paper for each child because I make notes, change things, scribble, doodle, etc. Put the childs name on the top of the paper and you are ready to start. You will need to know your states requirements for classes so you know which subjects to cover but an easy way to start is 'reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.' Once you have those basic subjects you can add in Spelling, Science, Foreign Language, or whatever subjects you want. Just make sure to cover the state regulations, please.

Here is are a couple of pics of what I have done in the past:

These pages are relatively clean compared to some years! I also have specific curriculum listed because I had been doing this for a while at this point. If you are new then you could just list out Math, Science, Language, with blanks beside them to be filled in later. Once you have this page filled out for each kid take a few minutes and just relax. *deep breath* Okay, how ya' doing? Are we good? Good! Now, it's time to start filling in the blanks. Chances are you know people that are already homeschooling and they have talked to you about the curriculum they use. Most of us start using things that were recommended to us-we may not keep using them but they are a good starting point. Fill in those spots. If you are borrowing the materials make sure to note that you have it so you won't waste time looking for it at convention. Still have some blank spots? That's okay. They will get filled in, I promise.

Stop there and grab a snack. I'll wait and have a snack myself.

Now, for the blank spots. Do you have some ideas for those? A couple of companies you want to look at? Write them down and circle them or star them or put question marks beside them; something that will help you remember to look for them. Don't have any ideas for the blank spots? Look at the list for the Vendor Hall and see if any of the vendors are what you are looking for. Visit their websites and check them out. If you like what you see write them down and highlight the booth on you list. If not, move right along.

As you are looking at the Vendor websites make sure you note any questions you have about their products on your list so you can ask them at convention. This is one of the best things about convention-talking to the publishers face to face and getting advice or help with their products.

Now, I would suggest making note somehow of what you need to buy along with what you already have. This is important because you don't want to end up buying something you don't need-not that I have done that or anything...ahem...keep reading, nothing to see here.

**Step five is taking us back to the Workshop schedule. Pull that baby back out and have a highlighter in hand. Read back over the workshops and see if you are still interested in your original choices. Yes? Highlight those puppies. No? Erase the marks and look for something else. Highlight the ones you want and make plans for shopping inbetween workshops. You are now ready to be inspired and encouraged!

**Step six is talk to your friends. I like this one!! See if they are going to the same workshops and sit beside each other. I know it sounds silly but everyone likes to see a familiar face, right? Plan to eat lunch with friends and even walk around the Vendor Hall together a few times. Especially if she is a veteran homeschooler!

**Step seven should happen just a few days before your convention. Get your notebooks, pens, pencils, and comfortable clothes picked out. Put everything into a binder or folder so it is all contained and easily pulled out. If you have one of those rolling carts be sure to bring it to haul your stuff around. If not, that's okay. Most conventions have a baggage check area where you can leave your items and come back for them later. Trust me, you DO NOT want to have to carry those bags around all day long. Get money for parking meters and lunch money ready. Scope out local places to eat so you're not scrambling during lunch break.

Don't forget to bring the list you made for each child with all your notes and questions handy. This baby will be pulled out, dog-eared, and marked up even more before convention is over!

When you finally get to convention you can relax and enjoy it because you have done all the prep work ahead of time.

Have any other suggestions for making convention going more enjoyable? Share them with all of us, please?!

 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dave Ramsey's Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool Review

I received Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool by Dave Ramsey to review. I was thrilled and couldn't wait to start on it. I mean who doesn't want to do finances and math, right?!
Seriously though, if I had had this course in high school I might not have had the problems with money that I did. This course is a practical approach to personal finances that is interesting and enjoyable for students.
Here is a bit about the program:
Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool is a complete, turnkey, high school curriculum used by more than 15,000 homeschool students and designed to fully equip homeschool teachers with everything needed for a dynamic learning experience. We've included lesson plans, teaching delivered via video by Dave Ramsey and his team of experts, and a blended learning website, foundationsU.com. In addition, more than 35 activities are included which focus on providing 21st century personal finance knowledge and skills in a student-centered approach to learning.
We've updated our curriculum to include even more features and benefits for you and your students.
*Comprehensive, flexible, turn-key personal finance curriculum
*Teaching delivered via video by Dave Ramsey and his team of experts
*Homeschool version of student text with added scripture references
*150+ page digital teacher's guide
*Meets standards and benchmarks in all 50 states
*Meets all Jump$tart national standards
*Blended learning site with calculators, tools and resources
*4 new chapters: Introduction to Personal Finance, Life After High School, Careers and Taxes, and Giving
*35+ classroom activities focused on providing 21st century personal finance knowledge and skills in a student-centered, competency-based approach to learning.
Each chapter begins with a preview of what students will learn, key terms, and a pre-teach activity. In addition to the practical, real-world personal finance instruction, the student text is filled with graphs, charts, case studies, relevant statistics, quotes, and related scripture references. Throughout each chapter, students are prompted with journal questions that require them to pause and reflect on what they've learned. This student-centered approach is intended to promote ownership of their learning. At the end of each chapter, students are provided a variety of opportunities to apply, review, and assess their understanding.
Foundations in Personal Finance is designed in four distinct units. Each unit contains three chapters taught on video by Dave and his team.
The instructors creatively weave in humor and real-life stories that educate and reinforce sound principles of managing money. While watching on video, students follow along using the student text.
You can find Chapter Lists HERE as well as a FREE Sample Chapter. This program sells for $119 HERE and includes Digital Teachers Edition, Instructional Videos, Student Text, and foundationsU.com blended learning site. This course is for grades 9-12 for a semester. Find out more on the website.

Digital Teacher's Edition

This brand-new addition to the Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschoolcurriculum is a 160-page teacher guide on CD-Rom with more than 35 activities, case studies, and assessments.

Instructional Videos

This set of five DVDs offers more than 12 hours of engaging classroom instruction taught by Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze and Chris Hogan.



Student Text

The Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool student text is a comprehensive, 288-page student softcover consumable. It provides students an opportunity to learn, practice, and apply important personal finance knowledge and skills. The 12 chapters are aligned with the National Standards for Financial Literacy.



This softbound Student Text is sturdy and will hold up to use. The text is easy to read and not overwhelming visually. The chapters are laid out in a manner that is appealing and easy to follow. I actually love the way it is set up. At the beginning of each chapter is a Before You Begin section. There are Learning Outcomes, Key Terms, and Measure Your Progress to help you stay on track. You then get into the chapter that is further divided into Sections. Each section has questions to answer as well as ideas to help implement things learned. After you finish the chapter there is a Chapter Summary and Money in Review to complete.

The DVDs are engaging and the material delievered in a way that is fun. The lessons are around 15 minutes each but you will want to watch more than just the one. Really. I didn't expect to have fun while learning about finances. That just doesn't even seem possible but Dave Ramsey and his team have come up with a way to do it.

This set up helps to reinforce what the student is learning and the content makes it relevant to their lives right now. Teaching our children responsiblity with their money is hard enough, we don't need boring out of date curriculum getting in the way. Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool is NOT that program. It is completely in sync with where kids are and helps them get to where they need to be.

I can't recommend Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool enough. Every student NEEDS to go through this course to help them avoid the pitfalls that come from not understanding how to make their money work for them.

**I received Foundations in Personal Finance for Homeschool in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and there is no promise of positive reviews.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bug is Growing Up

Birthdays for us are kinda crazy. We have birthdays in December, January, February, March, April, and July. It gets a little stressful to figure out whose birthday is in the month we're in when I can't remember what month it is to begin with!

But, March is Bugs' birthday. She is FOUR YEARS OLD this month. I just can't believe it. She has grown so much from the first day we met her. She was 9mo old and such a little thing. We have had her for three years now and we can't imagine life without her. The kids were talking and they don't actually remember our family without her! She is a sweet addition to our family.

She is a handful sometimes though! She definitely keeps us on our toes and trying to guess what she is going to do next. She keeps us laughing constantly. We love her so very much.

Happy Birthday, Bug. You are a challenge and a joy. You are loved.

 

 

 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Conditioning

Soccer this year for our Homeschool Organization is starting early. Ok, not technically. They are starting Conditioning practices to help the girls get in shape after the long, dormant winter.

Practices are two hours long and consist of a 15 min run, 10 strength exercises, dynamic stretching, running, drills, running, extra sit-ups and pushups and running for missed passes/goals, and a bit more running! Three days a week.

The girls worked hard for the entire month of February and we can see the difference in them. They are definitely in better shape and ready to start the season.

This year Bethany is playing again for the High School team as well as Sarah. She joined late and didn't get as many of the conditioning practices but is catching up. Hannah decided to join the Junior High team this year and is doing well.

Now that the regular season has started we are having practices three days a week for two hours a day. The girls are responsible for doing their workouts on the off days as well and if they don't there is more running!

I can't wait to play our first game--I am Assistant Coach for Junior High and Varsity(second or third assistant!) But I am helping and loving it. The girls that embraced Bethany last year and helped her so much are amazing young women and I am blessed to be part of their lives.

Go Warriors!!

 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The.best.dance.ever

Bug started dancing at the basketball games last week.  Sarah was cheering and we were watching.  It was a long process!  Bug was amazing but was getting a little tired towards the end of the night.  This is an epic dance video.  You do not want to miss it!!

ugh the blogger app won't let me upload a video...youtube won't upload it bc it's the wrong format...blogsy is crashing...

trying this...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202270296350659

it's a link to my facebook where it DID post.  *sigh*

video

did that work?  I just can't catch a break with this.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Waiting 'till the last minute

Our homeschool group has been putting on plays for the last three years(this one included.) Well, that's not exactly true. Our group's founder Mrs. L used to write plays for our group that were sweet and wonderful. Then we quit doing them for a while. I'm not sure why exactly bu t we did.

Then a few years ago we started having a choir class. We performed a few times and it went really well despite resistance from the kids! But a few years of that and the kids refused to sing anymore. ;-) So, we found a script and put on our first play.

It was fantastic. I'm not exagerating either. The kids were awesome. The next year was even better with cosutmes and lights. They nailed it. We weren't sure about it towards the end and were pretty nervous but they pulled out all the stops and did a fantastic job.

This year was one of the hardest years yet. We had Seniors that were taking classes at college, sports schedules, vacations, etc. to work around and ended up not having a practice with all cast members there for over a month. It was maddening. Three weeks before the show went up they were still needing line cues. A lot of them.

To say we were terrified and frustrated was putting it mildly. We talked about postponing but couldn't find a date. We talked about canceling but had already paid quite a bit to put it on. We were stuck rehearsing a play that was causing the directors no end of stress and grief. It was not a fun experience for the most part. Of course there were fun, silly moments that helped us limp along and kept us going.

The kids did end up doing a really good job but I have to wonder how much better it would have been if they had showed up and worked harder. (isn't that the question for a lot of things in life?)The directors can only do so much and then it is up to the actors.

I was very glad when it was over this time. More so than usual. The kids are great and are so talented and this play was stinkin' hard. I give them props for learning so many lines and stage directions. They are a great group of kids to work with. Let's just avoid talking about next year's play for a while!

 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Birthday

So my oldest turned 16 this year. Ugh. Time is going so quickly. But, there was another birthday in February that has me gasping and clutching my heart.

Naomi turned 9 this month. NINE!! My little Bean is growing up way more quickly than I could have ever imagined.


She is such a tender-hearted young lady and has a deep desire to help people. I love that she cries when she is happy and sad and that she can cry with those that cry. She is a joy to our entire family.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for her.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Bean. I love you so much.

 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Soccer, Why do You do This?

Bethany was playing indoor soccer with a great team. They lost every game but improved so much they didn't look like the same team at the end of the season. AND the girls were so positive and kept their heads up even though they lost. They learned something at every game and gave 110% every time.

But...Bethany was finally able to play after her injury during the fall of AYSO and was enjoying it pretty well when a girl kicked Beth from behind and caused her to roll her ankle.

It immediately started swelling and bruising. It didn't look good. And of course the game was at 10pm so the only option was the emergency room. Not gonna happen unless there is blood or a limb is hanging on by a thread. Sorry.

We iced it and took her home. It got worse. It got bigger. And uglier. I was worried.

We waited until Monday when we could see our doctor. The soccer season was getting ready to start in a few weeks and she needed to be ready for it. But it didn't look like that was going to happen.

Thankfully the doctor told us it was just a bad sprain\strain. She would be fine would have to stay off of it for several weeks.

You can imagine the groaning and gnashing of teeth that took place when he said that! We are counting our blessings though and not going to complain...much!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

This post will probably turn into a few because I just can't put into words what I am feeling.

Bethany turned 16 this year.  Sixteen is a big one, right?  We wanted to do something special for her so Steven and I decided to take her to see Sporting Kansas City play.  She loves that team, so do I, and it would mean a lot to her.  But that didn't seem like enough.

So, in December we threw her a surprise party.  Not a big one.  Just a small one that had the people she loves most in attendance.  The weather was yucky so some couldn't come but the ones that did made it very special.  

I was charged with keeping her occupied while the rest of the fam got the room ready and people ushered in.  My job was pretty easy except when it was time to go she didn't want to!   And I had to keep her dressed up for the party-something she doesn't like very much.  I did it though and we made it to the party without her suspecting anything.  

I told her I had to go get Sarah's Bible that she left at church and when we got in there the doors were closed but we could hear people.  Bethany freaked out!  She thought we were going to get in trouble or set off an alarm.  I almost didn't get her in the party room!  She finally came in though to a huge surprise.  Her best friend was there and families that she treasures.  We ate cake, messed around and then the best part.  We had a time of prayer/blessing over her.  Each person prayed a blessing over her and it was one of the most touching and memorable times I remember.  We also had a blessing book that each person wrote in for her.  I hope to have more people write in it over the years for her.

It was a special day that I hope she will always remember.  She is an amazing young woman...that's all I can say right now.  I'm crying too hard to see the keys!  What a treasure God has given me.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sets, Sets, Sets


This year for our play with our homeschool group we are using sets.  Sounds exciting, right?  It should be only we can't find any already made that we can use.  They won't fit our needs or they won't fit the stage.  Since we have 33 kids in the play this year it makes for a crowded stage.  Yeah, you read that right.  Last year we only had around twenty-something and the year before just 18.  It's cool that so many wanted to do it but it is a lot of bodies to keep focused.

Anyway, back to the sets.  The play we are doing lies heavily on entrances, exits, and certain doorways being there so we had to design them.  Okay, I did but with hep from the script and my co-director.  Once we got the plans drawn I went to Mr. Magic, a.k.a. Steven, and asked him to help build them.  He's pretty handy and is used to interpreting my ideas!  This time, however, proved a challenge.

The stage was such that we had to alter the plans a bit and make it fit-not perfectly but just okay.  We had a small budget to buy supplies but that meant we had to get the cheapest 2x4's they sold and work around their imperfections.  

It was a work in progress, let me tell you.  IN all we probably spent on the upside of 20 hours building, repairing, and reworking them.  It was a bit frustrating but we did it!  The next set we build will be...ahh who am I kidding?  It will be just as hard and we will spend just as much time on it!  It's a good thing we work so well together.  ;-)








Yes, these are all of Bethany and Steven working because when he and I were working there was no one to take pictures!  I hope I got some of the finished project.  They were simple but worked really well.






Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas

Christmas this year was low-key.  I mean seriously really, really low-key.  So much so that I didn't even get pictures.  I kind of feel like a bad mom about that one but there it is.  We did homemade gifts for Steven's family and some homemade gifts for my side(only because I waited until the last minute for some)

But, for the girls we bought gifts.  They each got two or three things depending on what their gifts were.  Pajamas, of course!  And then something else they really wanted.  Steven and I exchanged gifts but he completely outdid himself.  I got a new mixer for the kitchen.  I couldn't believe it.  I have always wanted one and he remembered.  What a great guy!

We did have to alter our traditions a little because we were travelling to my sisters house for the day but it all worked out just great.  David was home, everyone was healthy, and we had amazing food!

This year Steven's side had Christmas on New Years and we got to have Bug with us!  All the cousins were so excited for her to be there(everyone else too!) and share Christmas with her.  It was pretty amazing.

Steven took off his traditional week between the two holidays and because of spacing he actually got more days than just the week.  We worked on projects, went on dates, slept in, watched movies...you get the idea.  It was awesome!