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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The last one...

Our youngest is learning to ride her bike WITHOUT training wheels!  She has been asking and Steven finally started teaching her on Sunday.  Each night after work, he comes home and runs beside her for countless trips up and down the block.

She is doing so well.  She is so proud of herself and keeps saying that she is now a big girl just like her sisters!

(pics to come...maybe even a video!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I really hate that

You know when you are at the store and someone is standing right in the middle of the aisle and won't move to let you by?  How about when they give you a dirty look because you say, "Excuse me?" with a smile?  Maybe they actually run into you or your kid because they are talking on their cell phones and not paying attention?  Best yet, they cut in front of you in the express check-out and they have a semi-full cart.  Your look up just to check the sign, yup 20 items or less.  grrr

Gotta love it.

What makes these scenarios even better?

Wearing this shirt...

Can you read that?  Just in case you can't it says, "Jesus loves you...But, I'm his favorite."

I hate it when my bad attitude gets caught like that!

Monday, June 28, 2010

That hasn't happened in a while

Last week I was asked to run sound for my dh's group, Heart's Journey.  It seems that they had exhausted all their other options and I was the last one they had! lol  You would think that that would upset me, but it didn't.  I don't mind being the very last option in this kind of thing.

I used to run sound for them on occasion about a hundred years ago!  Before kids, or at least so many of them anyway. heehee

So, I give myself an ulcer fretting and stewing about having to do this gig.  My dh and his group are pretty particular about the way that they sound.  (I mean that in the nicest way possible!)  It's very intimidating.  Plus, I am going to have all four kids along for the ride.  Oh yeah, I also have to get them up at 6:15 AM to travel to where we are going.  Good times all the way around!

Yesterday, Sunday, was the day.  It went really well.  There were a few sound problems because it was an in-house sound system that no one really knew how to run.  But we managed.  The guys did a great job!  But, they always do.  I was a nervous wreck and by the time it was over I needed a good long nap.

Hopefully I won't have to do that again anytime soon.  lol Not that I don't enjoy having things my way and bossing people around, I do, I just don't enjoy being the one that has to figure out what the problem is with the sound and how to fix it; 'cause I can't!  I can just make them sound the way I like them, I don't know anything else.

In other words, if you have a gig that needs a sound guy--DON'T CALL ME!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog Walk Week 3

Time for the Third Week's installment of the Blog Walk.  I hope you are finding as many new blogs as I am!  If you find some you like, leave them a comment or follow them...they'll love it!

1. All American Family
2. Growing Fruit
3. Learning to Teach
4. Codex Young Author's Publishing Program
5. Stairsteps Homeschool Academy
6. Kingdom Academy
7. Living Sola Gratia
8. Wynfield Christian Academy
9. The Cow Queen
10. Peace Creek on the Prairie

Happy blogging!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

Oh yeah, I'm doing this one again!  It was great to reflect last week and I am itching to do it this morning.  It has been a great week here so it might be hard to pick just five, but I will try

1.  Being able to be lazy.  Now, I actually struggle with laziness and don't usually allow myself to do it very often, but this week we all needed to pull back and recoup.  We slept in everyday, took naps, watched movies, and were generally slothful.  ;-)

2.  First Morning Hugs.  In our house it is a special treat to be the first one to get a hug from the kids.  You know the one.  They are still warm from sleep and they want to cuddle a minute.  I adore getting First Morning Hugs!  I try and do it with each of my girls but sometimes they give them to each other and I'm okay with that too!  When Daddy is home, he gets them all.  Hey, I can share sometimes!

3.  Talking about Homeschooling!  Two ladies came over this week to ask questions and look at curricula.  We had a lovely time visiting and hopefully I answered some questions.

4.  Texting.  Because even if my dh is in a meeting he can shoot me a quick I love you. 

5.  Having someone that doesn't see your child very often tell you what a wonderful, sweet, and respectful young lady they are.  I love my children and thin they are amazing, but it's nice to hear once in a while!

There is my list.  How 'bout you?  What's yours?

Head on over to Susanne's at Living to tell the Story and get in on the fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Being Stalked

As I sat reading my book, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye.  I tried to brush it off as lint or dust or possibly even my hair moving in my peripheral vision.  Still, I quieted my breathing and pretended to read again.

A moment later, I saw the movement again.  I quickly turned my head toward the movement and saw one of my worst enemies...a spider.

It was racing its way along a ridge and I do mean racing.  It could have taken on a cheetah and probably won.  I tried not to move, employing my cat-like reflexes, and sat as still as a statue.  Well, maybe a statue that is trembling, but as still as I could be.  I inhaled slowly so as not to draw its attention but the page on my book crinkled and I knew that I was made.

The spi enemy turned, seriously it did, and looked at me.  It came to such a sudden stop that my eyes followed along the trail that it should have gone and I had to back up to find it.  It sat there only three feet away from me and just stared at me.  For what felt like an eternity, I waited.

Slowly, it crawled down off the ledge watching me all the while.  It landed on the carpet and it paused to look up.  I wasn't moving, I was an easy target.  I couldn't have moved even if I had tried.  It moved ever so slowly, measuring me and weighing its odds against me.  A few more inches and it paused again.  This was torture!  Why couldn't it just pounce on me and get it over with?

I gasped at how close it was getting and it paused again.  I was desperate to stop its attack and looked around for something with which to defend myself.  Instantly I remembered the book in my hand.  I drew my hand back to throw it and hesitated.  If, by some miracle, I hit the enemy I could never touch my book again.  And I had to finish it, it's the second in a series of four!  (Liz Curtis Higgs Fair is the Rose!)  I thought better of it and frantically looked around for something else.

My eyes landed on another object that was begging for me to use it in my rescue; Steven's book!  It was a hardback and just heavy enough for the spid enemy to not lift off itself.  I slowly moved to pick up his book and noticed that when I moved, the sp enemy stopped and stared.  I knew then that I would only get one shot at this.  I had better make it good.

I picked up his book and carefully tossed it on top of the spide enemy.  Whew!  It was covered up and with any luck the weight of the book crushed it.

I sat there for a few more minutes trying to read but I couldn't take my eyes off of that book.  I expected that at any moment, it would come crawling up and over the side of that book and just stare at me.  I couldn't stand it any longer.  I prayed a quick prayer for courage and kicked the book away with my toe.

The scream that escaped my mouth was most assuredly a little girl scream but at least I kept it somewhat quiet.  When the book moved, the spider  enemy leaped from underneath it, did a 180* and started coming for me.  I panicked.  I only had so far that I could climb before I ran out of room, I had to be brave.

I prayed again.

I picked up the book, Steven's not mine, and pushed the corner of it down onto the enemy.  After a full 30 sec. (I know because I counted) I moved the book to survey the damage and screamed again.  It was not dead.  In fact, it was still moving two of its legs and it was dragging its body with those two legs.  Where was it headed?  Yup, right for me.

With my next scream, the dog came in and planted her foot right on top of the killer mutant stalker.  Hopefully it doesn't have any friends in the area.

Now, I won't post any pictures of the stalker.  I will however post this one:

so that you can pray, along with me, that God would smite any more spiders stalkers with fire from heaven before they can stalk me again.

and this one:

so you can see my happy place and know where to find me when you see that glazed look in my eyes and I am mumbling something about its staring at me.

A Pleasant Way to Spend the Morning

This morning I had the pleasure of having two strangers in my home!  I met one of them on The Homeschool Lounge when we realized that we were both from Kansas and then even better than that, we were within 30 minutes of one another.  I joined the Tapestry of Grace group on The Lounge, because I LOVE TOG!, and she said that she had some questions.

I made myself available by email for any questions that she may have.  :-D  She contacted me and asked if I would be willing to get together with her and her friend to talk about TOG.  Seriously?  No really, you want to come over to my house and talk about homeschooling and a curriculum that I love?  hahahahah  Of course I want to do that!

We talked for a few hours and it flew by.  It was wonderful to meet some more homeschoolers; esp. ones that I have so much in common with. 

I love talking about homeschooling.  I think it is an amazing thing to do for your kids and family. 

Just ask me!  ;-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Tuesday

It's Tuesday and I can't decide if that's a good thing or not.  So far this week, we really haven't done anything.  I really mean that.  Zip, nada, zilch.

Oh, I have things that need done like school planning for next year.  Cleaning my house would be a good one, too.  Shoot, Steven has been begging me to do laundry for the last four days.

Nope.  haven't done it.

I am going to have to do some work tomorrow.  He's gonna run out of clean essentials pretty soon and that could be a problem.

Of course I could just buy him clean ones and I would never have to wash clothes again! lol

Tomorrow's plan is:
School planning
House cleaning
Reading books(shh, don't tell anyone)

I probably should leave it at that because if the list is too long, I'm apt to make some coffee and curl up hide in my reading room.  ;-D

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day in an Estrogen Filled House

My girls have been planning for Father's Day for about two weeks now.  They have been making cards, thinking of presents, and practicing their performances.  You see in our house, we don't celebrate this "man's holiday" with hunting, fishing, or getting dirty in general; nope we celebrate with pretty things and feelings!  Having four girls my dh has become very adept at handling all of the girlie things that his princesses do for him.  :)

Today, he patiently sat through SIX songs that were danced to by the two youngest.  It was cute beyond words!  We also realized that they have some talent for dancing and gymnastics.  He clapped and hugged and praised them and never once complained. 

He accepted the cards with a twinkle in his eye that spoke volumes to the girls.  The snuggles and laughter he gave them today are priceless.  At one point we gave him one of our gifts -NCIS Season 4- and he threw his hands up to his mouth and they started shaking.  He lifted his eyebrows as high as they would go and he started saying, "Oh, oh, oh, it's just what I always wanted!  How did you know?"  He looked just like the winner of Miss America!!  It was soo funny.  But what was funnier was seeing our 10yodd fall to the floor laughing and our 12yo reduced to tears watching her father be silly.

It takes a special guy to be the father of all girls.  Someone that will take the time to understand what girls need and how they think.  A man that can keep his feelings on the surface and not squelch theirs when they run amok.  A father that will guide them to become Godly women seeking after their Heavenly Father because they had an earthly father worth following.  A father that loves their mother and gives them an example of what a marriage should be like.

My daughters have all of those things and more. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Dream and Reality

I recently saw a post from The Old Schoolhouse on their Facebook wall asking about a “typical day” in a homeschool and it got me to thinking…

A typical day in our homeschool? Well, where should I begin hmmm let’s see…

We have been homeschooling for seven years and we have four daughters. Yes, we have all girls and we love it! We started out schooling with all workbooks. My poor oldest daughter suffered through Kindergarten having to complete somewhere between 7-8 workbooks plus reading books on top of that! She handled it like a pro. Our second born did not handle the same approach well. In fact it was a disaster. But, I forced her, I mean we persevered and we both survived. Next came our third born and I was bound and determined not to use the same approach. So, I backed off and only made her go through 4-5 workbooks-in Kindergarten!! Now that the fourth is getting ready for Kindergarten, I have completely revamped my thinking about the early years in school. Well, school in general actually. We have come around to a more classical style with a few workbooks thrown in and it is going swimmingly.
Now, for a typical day in our school.

My phone alarm, because that’s where my life is scheduled, starts going off around 5:45 and I wake up, work out and then do my devotions. The first set of kid alarms go off at 6:45 so the older two can take showers before breakfast. They shower and then start on chores. While they are working on chores, the younger two wake up and start on their chores for about 10 minutes. Breakfast is served at 7:30. I have extra pancakes, waffles, and French toast in the freezer for easy meal options. By 8am we are starting individual devotion time. All is quiet during this time.
At 8:30 the timer goes off and it is time to start reading time. This scheduled reading time has to be something that comes from their schoolwork and must be read for 30 minutes. When 9am rolls around, it is time to start regular studies. Each thirty minute slot is scheduled and I have individual time scheduled with each child for Math, Language, and Spelling. At 11am, we start our writing assignments, and then move on to Discussion time.

Lunch is an hour long with total free time. By 1pm we start history read-alouds for an hour. Next comes Science or Latin, depending on the day, followed by Piano and Art/Hands-On projects. We end the day with Homework time at 3:30pm.
Chores start again by 4, then supper, clean up, and a free time before bed.

It works beautifully. On paper!

Now, here’s how our day really goes.
My alarm goes off at 5:45 and I turn it off and drop it on the floor, hoping for a few more minutes of sleep. This glorious extra sleep is interrupted by the children complaining that if they have to be awake, then so do I. Nice.
I get up and stumble to the kitchen to start the coffee maker, growling at any of the kids that dare talk to me. While I am in the kitchen, said children start complaining about not having any food. Yup, I forgot to make any pancakes or waffles and no, we don’t have any milk for cereal. Next comes the phrase that would win me Mother of the Year, at least in childrens’ eyes everywhere, “Eat whatever you want.” I walk away with my coffee so that I can’t see what they are eating. I truly don’t want to know; it can’t be good. I carefully maneuver down the stairs so as not to spill my precious coffee and check emails.

Not long after I find my happy place, the first of the questions start. “Do we really have to do school today?” “Can I just do art today?” “Can we watch TV?” “Do I have to take a bath?” All of the questions start melting into one another until I say, “You can do Free School today.” Cheers go up from the students and a sigh of relief is exhaled by the teacher.

By 11am everyone is complaining about how they are starving to death and they won’t live if they can’t eat right this minute. So, being a good teacher I ask if they have gotten their schoolwork done. Suddenly, no one is making eye contact and they have developed an insane interest in their shoes. Hemming and hawing ensue until I give up and tell them to just go eat, again! I decide that we will do better in the afternoon.

After lunch, I help with the subjects that I should, which takes all of one hour, and then we move on to more serious business. Art. No one complains about doing Art; everyone loves it. I redeem my status as a homeschooler by being in our Art project to our History studies and we actually learn something while we are painting. Then the arguing starts because someone took the color someone else wanted; pouting begins. Mine, not theirs.

In my frustration, I yell at them to just go do their history by themselves if they don’t like who they are sitting by. No one moves. I am stuck reading History aloud, again. More pouting can be seen throughout the house. History is read, but I don’t enjoy it and I make sure that they know how unhappy I am about it. There is finally some peace and quiet; no one is arguing or complaining. In fact, it is so quiet that I fall asleep while I am reading. I wake up to find that the kids have scattered like roaches in the daytime. I heave a sigh and realize that I have failed the day and contemplate sending them to a ‘real school’ that would undoubtedly do a better job than I ever could.

Chores don’t get done until 10 minutes before Dad gets home so everyone is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Supper is hastily started, attitudes are at a peak, and then Dad walks in the door. Everyone is all smiles for him. They fawn all over him telling him how happy they are that he’s home and how much they missed him. I stand there staring at these angelic children that have mysteriously replaced my own,wondering when that happened.

Dinner is completed and I start nagging about the dishes getting done. During my nagging, one of the kiddos pipes up and asks their Dad to guess what they learned in school today. A twenty minute conversation begins with all four participating and filling in all about their studies and the era of history we read about. I sit back and watch them conversing with their father and realize that I must not be that bad of a homeschooler because they are learning something at least!

After the kids scatter, my husband looks at me and says those magical words, “Good job, honey! They are really learning a lot.”

Oh, if he only knew!

Okay, it doesn’t really always go like that. But on any given day several – if not most – of those things happen! We really do have a schedule like the one I described and when we can manage to stick to it, we get so much accomplished and are much happier people. The hard part is not letting the schedule be our master; but making it fit what we need when we need it. Not only has homeschooling my kiddos taught me the need for structure and discipline, it has taught me the art of being flexible.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Crews Blog Walking Part 2

Here is the second installment in our Blog Walking efforts.  I found some great blogs from the last set and can't wait to scour through these as well.  I hope you are enjoying them and finding new blogs to follow as well!

1. Second Star to the Right and Straight On Till Morning
2. Surviving The Testosterone
3. Family Style School
4. School Around The Bible
5. 1628 The Story of The Goebels 5
6. Morris Family Madness
7. Homeschool Musings
8. Homeschooling (and then some!)
9. Heartfelt Homeschooling
10. following Him home

Visit, comment, enjoy!  :-)

Friday's Fave Five

Well, I decided to try and participate in a Meme. Yeah, I know...but I think I really need to do this one. It is called Friday's Fave Five and you are supposed to look back on your week and pick the Five Favorite things of the week. After this week, I could use a little blessing counting!

So here goes.

My Friday Fave Five are:
(in no particular order!)

1.  Getting together with the moms from our homeschool group to scrapbook our yearbook.  They are such a wonderful group of ladies and they are so encouraging and supportive.  Of course, they make me laugh so hard!  But the biggest perk is that they put up with me.  :-D

2.  I am loving that my oldest dd sounds so much like me on the phone that she has fooled her father, her aunt, and our homeschool group leader.  She answers the phone and they start talking to her like she is me...could get us into trouble some day but for now it is too funny!

3.  My two youngest dd's have spent countless hours this week making up dances and plays to put on for our family night tonight.  They have been so secretive about it, stopping when we come in the room!  I can't wait to see what they have come up with.

4.  My second born went to her first Middle School event this week.  ugh  Not sure if I like that yet, but she was beaming!

5.  That my second born loves to cook.  She is making breakfast as we speak.  But her favorite thing to make is dessert!!!  Can you just hear me squealing with delight?  She loves to make anything with chocolate in it...of course that would make me happy...duh!  ;-)

So that is my list, what's yours?  If you want to read more Friday Fave Five lists head on over here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Great Homeschool Freebie

Yes, I said FREE!  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is offering a FREE Digital Magazine to help us in our homeschool journey.

Homeschool 101 Digital Supplement

Click on the picture then follow the directions to download your copy today.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So Not Right

There is something so not right about a spider big enough to see the reflection of the flash in its’ eye(s).
I’m just sayin’.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bloom Where You're Planted

We found an unusual surprise by our curb yesterday. 

It holds a special place in our hearts!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wonder what that is for?

So, I downloaded Windows Live Writer because someone said that it was so cool for blogs…I’m not sure.  I am using it now and I guess I will play with it for a while and see if I will keep it or not.  



Since I am now part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have been visiting their forum and getting some great ideas and encouragement.  One of the ideas was a way to visit all the new blogs available through our connection on the Crew.

Each week someone will post a list of blogs to visit and follow.  I have decided to post the lists here and then maybe you can find some new blogs to obsess over like I do!

Here is List 1:

1.  Reaping a Harvest

2.  Pink & Orange Coffee

3.  Live, Laugh, Learn!

4.  Mrs. Mandy's Musings

5.  The Fantastic Five

6.  Refined Metals Academy

7.  Just A Moment in Time

8.  Providence Farm

9.  My Journey

10. Petra School

Have fun reading any new blogs you find!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Us, Really?

On vacation we went out to eat at a new Mexican place that was actually already a Mexican restaraunt a few years ago.  Confused?  I was too! 

The new restaraunt (in the old building) was brand new.  They didn't even have full menus yet.  We looked at what they did have and thankfully there was something there for each of us.  We went with my dh's brother and his family.  They have three kids and we had our four for a total of eleven people.  Not too bad really.  They are all good kids and can entertain each other.  lol

When we were ready to order we told the waitress how we wanted the tickets split up and she looked at us like we were speaking a different language.  Well, I guess we were because her English was pretty broken!  When we finally got across what kid went with what parents she paused and said, "Okay, we will go with you first (pointing to my bil and sil) and then we will work with the big family." 

Big Family!!  bwahahaha  We have never been called that before!  It was too funny.  We used that line the rest of the evening anywhere we went. 

Big Family...I like the sound of that!

Exciting News!

I don't think I have posted about this.  At least, I don't remember doing it! lol  A while back I reviewed some products for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine as an audition to become one of a group of reviewers called The Crew.

Well, I made it!  Woohoo!!

So, that means that I will be reviewing Homeschool products like crazy in the upcoming year and will probably be blogging like a mad woman...but that's a good thing, right? ;)  I am so honored and thrilled to have been chosen for this and can not wait for it to start.  I will be passing along all of the incredible information on the products I review.  This year they have separated the group into two and have a group for the Younger set and the Older!  The Younger being elementary and the Older being Middle School/High School.  I decided to try out for the Older group because I have a dd that is going to be in HS before I can blink and I also want to be able to recommend things to my friends that are in the same boat as I am.

Our year of reviewing starts in July, so I don't have much time to prepare!  I saw a list of potential products on another blog and let me tell you, they are going to be spectacular.  :-D  I'll let you know what they are when I find out.   Meanwhile, I am having fun getting to know all of the other 200+ members of The Crew. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Branson 2010

Some pics of vacation.

The view out of our bedroom window.

These clouds were so crazy on Monday.  The entire sky was filled with these amazing clouds.

All the cousins...

There are so many more to come!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Oh fine...

I struggled all last week and weekend to get ready for vacation.  I struggled to find the motivation to get things done.  So what did I do? 


I did as little as possible and made the kids do it.  hahahaha  Seriously though, I tried to do nothing and wound up being frustrated at the last minute with all the things that needed done.  Saturday was spent cleaning and packing and yelling instructing the kids on what needed done.  After too many trips to Wal-Mart and Dillons, we finally had everything we needed.

Or so we thought.  We had to make another trip Sunday morning before we left for a few more things that I forgot because I didn't make any lists!  The car was packed to the max and was busting at the seams.  The snacks were bought and set where we could reach them and we were off.

The trip was great.  The car didn't break down once!  Woohoo!!  We are now here and relaxing and enjoying ourselves.  Pictures are coming...I just have to take time out of shopping and swimming to post them!