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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Words, please

This week has seen an dramatic increase to Bugs word bank!  She is changing by leaps and bounds.  Everyday we are delighted with what she learns. 

Adding to her signing vocabulary is slowing down because she has started saying WORDS!!  She has been saying "cup" as well as singing it but now she has added the words "please", "hot", "bite", "hot dog-ho gog", "go", and "no"!  Can you believe all the words she is saying?  Oh, she also says "owie"!  We think she has been trying to say our youngests name but it isn't quite clear yet. 

Physically she is trying to jump with both feet but isn't quite making it yet.  She is running more and with more coordination.  She is playing hide and seek and laughing a ton. 

How lucky are we to have this little girl in our family. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Surgery Pics

Just a few pics that I forgot to post.  We will have more on Friday after her 2nd surgery.  But she is feeling great and we can already notice a difference.  Praise God!

Monday, August 29, 2011

TOS Review How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Child


Did you know that Apologia offers more than just textbooks?  They do!  They offer some great books that encourage families on this journey of homeschooling.

One of those books is How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Child.  This little book is a treasure trove of advice, encouragement, and guidance for your family.  Here is a little about the book from the Apologia website:

How well do you really know your kids? What has God shown you about who they are and who they will become? He has sent these children into your home at this specific time for His glorious purposes. Indeed, you have been invited on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey on which you will see walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. You don't need special skills or training for this journey—you need only to seek God and hold tight to His mighty hand! As with so many things, the first step to having a heart for your children is knowing your heavenly Father. As you seek daily to share His heart for your children, keep this inspirational book close at hand.

PhotobucketIn How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Child author Rachael Carman uses the acronym H.E.A.R.T. to represent H-Have a heart for the things of God, E-Enrich your marriage, A-Accept your kids, R-Release them to God, and T-Teach them the Truth.  Each letter brings with it proven advice, stories from her life, and encouragement to stay the course.  Each chapter points the reader back to the source of all wisdom and encouragement, the One who made us and loves us more than we could ever imagine.

I felt so encouraged reading this book.  There were things that I knew but needed reminded of and there were fresh insights that resonated in my soul.  Like the section titled "Sent Right on Time."  This section talks about God sending our children at exactly the right moment to fulfill His plans for their lives.  She poses a question, "What if you knew you were raising the next Billy Graham or Mother Teresa?  What if you knew your child was the next Thomas Edison (who couldn't stay in school because of ADHD) or Marie Cure? ...How might you talk with them differently?  Would you spend more time with them?  Would you choose to talk about different things?  How would your activities change?  Would it change anything?"

We all know that God has a plan for each life He created but we all could use a reminder and then let that reminder guide our actions.  This is not a book that can be read only one time; it should be read often and with much prayer.  I recommend this book for any parent who wants to gain more insight into their relationships with their children.  And let's face it, who doesn't want a little help in the parenting department now and then?

If you want to check out this book or any other Apologia has to offer, head on over to this page.  How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Child sells for $13 and can be ordered through the Apologia website.  You can also read a sample chapter and see the table of contents.

I think you will impressed with this little hardback book.  It has a beautiful cover and is just the right size to hold while drinking your coffee or tea sitting on the couch during your quiet time.  Rachael's style of writing is warm and inviting and feels more like talking to an old friend rather than reading a book.

Need more information?  You can contact Apologia here:
Apologia Educational Ministries
1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220
Anderson, IN 46016 US
Phone: (888)524-4724
Fax: (765)608-3290

Head on over to the Crew Blog to check out what other Crewmates had to say about this book.


**I was given a copy of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Child through the TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crew Blog Hop

I'm  a little late with this but wanted to do it anyway.

The TOS Crew is hosting a bloghop.  There are some great homeschooling blogs-you should check them out.

Crew Blog Hop

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Family Movie Night

We love watching movies as a family.  Yes, there are other things we like doing as a family but we seriously love turning all the lights off, popping popcorn, and snuggling up together to lose ourselves in a movie.  Family Movie Night is providing opportunities to do just that.

Tonight we have the opportunity to catch a family movie again.  A Walk in my Shoes aired some time ago and for those of you that didn't catch it the first time I highly recommend you watch it this time.  It is a great movie that will make you think.

Here's a bit about it:

Ever judge someone just by looking at them? Of course, we’ve all made snap judgments about people. But what if we really got to know them? How would our opinions change? And what if we were forced to become them…how would the shoes fit then? Stressed-out high school teacher Trish Fahey can’t understand her students’ lack of effort and why their parents don’t seem to care.
This is especially true of Justin Kremer, a popular, skateboard-loving, basketball star who is underperforming in her class. Trish has him suspended from the team and quickly chalks up the situation as a case of bad parenting.This perspective dramatically changes when Trish meets Molly, a mysterious stranger intent on helping her see things differently. When Trish wrecks her car, Molly is there as Trish wakes to find herself living the life of Cindy Kremer, the woman she has personally judged and criticized. Trish discovers that there is often more to the story and learns a powerful lesson that affects everyone she interacts with. Her husband, her daughter, the ex-Marine next door… No one is left unchanged.

This movie should open up some great dialogue around the dinner table!  It airs tonight at 8/7 c on NBC.

If you still want to know more here are some links to follow:

Check it out-you won't be disappointed!

Friday, August 26, 2011

I thought it was a good idea...

For those of you that remember the infamous Library Walk don't judge me too harshly for what I'm about to post.

We did it again. Only this time we rode our bikes. I know, I know. BUT, it had been a long week of being stuck indoors due to the surgery on Monday and we were all going a bit ugly, screaming banshees stir crazy.


The older two begged cried pleaded bribed asked if they could ride their bikes to the library.  I think Sweet Pea might have indicated that she had been bribed, but I couldn't prove that in a court of law.  ;-)  However, I did hear something to the effect of, "If she let's us go, you owe me big time."  heehee

I actually thought about it for a minute second millisecond before saying no.  Really I did.  As a mother you are blessed with lightning quick cognitive skills when problems such as this are presented to you.  Just don't ask where I put my keys and we'll be fine! 

Anyway, back to the library ride.  The girls immediately obeyed and found something else to do started whining and saying how unfair life was.  yeah, like I don't know that one.  >snort<  After an eternity enormously long time okay, 10 minutes of listening to the reasons of why I should let them go, I decided to just have everyone go. 

Now that I am sitting on a very sore bottom, I'm not sure why I made that decision.  ;-)

Yes, we were all going to ride our bikes the 10 miles uphill in snowstorm carrying every book we owned couple of miles to and from the library. 

Awesome.  We will get out of the house, get exercise, and take back library books.  Score!  Oh, I should mention here that Steven had taken our van to work since his is on the fritz.  There really was no other option for getting out of the house this particular day.  Great excuse for the torture exercise, right?!

I hastily got dressed and yelled hollered lovingly told the girls they had five minutes to meet me in the garage or else so we could get going.  They obediently rolled their eyes and got moving.  The next thing I remember is two of them coming at me with worry concern death rays shining brightly from their eyes.  Three Four of the bikes had flat tires as well as the bike trailer for Bug. 

No problem.  We Steven has an air compressor for just such an occasion.  I moved the car out of the garage and proceeded to air up the tires. 

The bikes were lined up staring at me mocking me daring me waiting for me to get going.  Only I couldn't.  The air compressor is a menacing beast that will not be tamed by more than one master.  I am not that master.

The little beast frighteningly loud object of derision handy tool was just sitting there waiting for me to figure it out.  I am sad embarrassed stupid enough to say that it took me more than twenty minutes to figure it out.  Now before you judge me too harshly laugh your hineys off, there is a special trick that I wasn't made aware of before today.  I think this is one of those crouching tiger hidden dragon stupid ninja tricks quirky little tips that Steven always forgets to tell me about so he can laugh about it later kind of deals.

I struggled and prayed cursed quite a bit until one of the girls blurted out, "Let's just quit and stay home." 

My head whipped around 360* and pea soup shot out of my mouth I lovingly looked up at my spawn daughter and gently forcefully instructed her about not giving in up.  We were going to do this if it took all day.

We called Steven and he instructed us on the crouching tiger hidden dragon stupid ninja tricks but it still would not work.  I thought very bad thoughts about an inanimate object prayed that we could get this to work for the sake of the kids because I desperately needed to get out of the house so we could all have a break and tried one more time.  The last time I tried I am sure that I heard a maniacal laugh coming from the vicinity of the little beast because I was finally successful.  BUT, it had its revenge on me for even tempting to break into its inner circle.  As I pushed the attachment into the female receptor-Steven's words not mine-air shot out of it in a mad flurry rage induced revenge quick burst and suctioned the bike attachment to my palm.  Then it released me just in time to feel the excruciating bone chilling momentary burn of its revenge.  I jumped back from the beast in terror...but I was successful.

I had conquered the beast!  We aired up the tires and ran away from the beast left on our trip. 

The ride itself was uneventful thankfully.  But now I am a little more than frightened to go into the garage.  I am sure that I can hear menacing laughter coming from Steven's side of the garage.  I know it's just waiting for me to attempt to use it again.   I'm worried about what it's planning for the future.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh My Word

Homeschooling is an adventure in more ways than one.  I love the journey.  I love watching my children learn new things and feel the fire of learning kindled within themselves. 

It is such a privilege for me to be a part of this journey with them.


Sometimes the journey is a little painful. 

Like today.

This year my oldest is doing Algebra 1.  Can I say right now that I am terrible at math.  Really terrible.  I flunked Algebra 11 in high school because I hadn't learned anything about fractions or decimals.  You can't really do math without knowing those two things.  lol

So, I am learning along with the girls.  Normally I don't mind it and in fact I find it exhilarating to learn the things now that I should have when I was younger.

But Algebra 1 honestly terrifies me. 

I am not sure how I am going to be able to help our girls learn this subject.  Steven is very good at math and I know he can help them learn Algebra and higher but it is my job and I want to be able to fulfill that job. 

Today was the first test for me.  Algebra 1.  Sunshine watched the Math u See video and was stumped.  She knows that I did not learn math in school so she was going to wait for her Dad.  That ruffled my feathers a bit and my pride was wounded so I told her we were at least going to try. 

We read through the lesson and worked through the problems they were showing us.  We did pretty good until a certain point and then we were stumped.  One of the problems we just couldn't solve.   We kept coming up with a different answer.  grrr

We decided to move on to the lesson to see how we fared. 

I'm proud to say that we did pretty well.  We only got stumped on two problems.  Steven quickly explained those when he got home.  (he instantly knew how to do it and where we made our mistakes.  yes, I was pretty red-faced!)  I am sure that tomorrow will go much more smoothly.  ;-)

I feel quite a bit of pride at having worked through the lesson.  That and the fact that Sunshine actually understood what I was teaching!! roflol

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One down, one to go

Sunday night we went to bed early. Okay, just the kids went to bed early. Steven and I stayed up and watched a movie. I was feeling a more than a little nervous about surgery for our 9yo.

I am a worrier by nature. I try not to but I do.

We had many, many, brothers and sisters in Christ praying for her. Gotta love the Body doing it's work.

We had to take her into the surgery center at 6am. ugh She woke up without too much fuss. The kiddo that fussed was the 6yo, Bean. She had been crying off and on for the last week just thinking about the surgery. She was bawling on Monday morning. She was so worried for her sister.

Once we got to the surgery center it was a hurry up and wait situation. We got her checked in and when they called her back her nerves started to set in. She started getting goofy. Okay, more goofy than usual! We waited for almost an hour and half for the doctors to come and see her and get her prepped. Once they finally prepped her they took her back and surgery was over in about 40 minutes. It was super fast.

The doctor said that they got a lot of gunk out of her sinus. No puss, which was good, but lots of icky stuff. The surgery went exactly like they wanted it to and she handled it really well. By the time they let us see her, she was starting to come out of the anesthesia and she was CRANKY!! She had rash on her face that was itching her something fierce. She kept trying to scratch it but would bump her nose instead. It was a vicious cycle. We finally got her calmed down and she fell asleep.

We waited quite a while for all the meds to wear off and get the okay to go home. She was crying to go home by the time they set us free. Sleep was the order for the rest of the day. We all snuggled up downstairs and watched some t.v. together. We relaxed and recuperated from the day.

Peanut is doing well and recovering nicely. She still hurts but it is getting better. Praise God that the surgery went well and that they were able to fix her sinus cavity. She actually was breathing through her nose last night. She hasn't done that in several years. It was such a beautiful sound that I cried. Tears of joy for my baby girl to finally feel well and get a good nights sleep. I am looking forward to this being behind her and having her well.

Now we have to gear up for the second surgery on Sept. 2. Then it should be smooth sailing!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Grace Card Movie Review and Give Away

I had the opportunity to review a very poignant movie, The Grace Card, this week.  I don't want to give too much away because you need to see it for yourself.  It is an important movie with an even more important message.

Here is a little bit about it:
Everything can change in an instant … and take a lifetime to unravel. When Mac McDonald loses his son in an accident, the ensuing 17 years of bitterness and pain erodes his love for his family and leaves him angry with God … and just about everyone else.

Mac’s rage stonewalls his career in the police department and makes for a combustible situation when he’s partnered with Sam Wright, a rising star on the force—who happens to be a part-time pastor and a loving family man.

Can they somehow join forces to help one another when it’s impossible for either of them to look past their differences—especially the most obvious one?

 Every day, we have the opportunity to rebuild relationships and heal deep wounds by extending and receiving God’s grace. Offer THE GRACE CARD … and never underestimate the power of God’s love.

If you want to check it out some more, here are some links to follow.

There is a lot of buzz going on right now about this movie and I would have to agree with what is being said.  I wasn't sure when the movie first started-it was a little jarring and sad-but I'm glad I stuck with it.  This movie has an important message that isn't conveyed nearly often enough.  Grace.  Real Grace even when it's hard.  This movie shows us what that Grace looks like when it is being walked out and given at the expense at the person giving it.  This movie is gritty and hard to watch sometimes but I highly recommend watching it thru to the end.  You won't be disappointed.

This movie is available on DVD right now. 

***I do have a copy to give away to one lucky person!  All you have to do is answer this question and you are entered.

"Tell me about a time when Grace was extended to you."

I will pick a winner on August 27th.  Please leave a way to contact you or I will have to draw another winner. 

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services
mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I 
only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: 
“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Growing with Grammar

This year I changed up what the older three girls were doing with grammar/language.  We were using Bob Jones and none of us were very happy with it.  The grammar part was fine but we were doing other writing curriculum and so Bob Jones became cumbersome and tedious. 

So toward the end of last year I started listening to the chatter on the groups I belong to to hear what they use and like and I got an earful! lol  Everyone has an opinion based on what works for their kids.  I loved hearing the ideas and the reasons why different things worked for different families.  It gave me quite a bit to investigate.  ;-)  (that really means websites to drool over!) lol

I finally came up with Growing with Grammar.  I looked at and read the website so much that I almost memorized it.  I downloaded some of the samples and had the girls look at them.  I liked it and hoped they would as well.

They did. 

I ordered the older girls their books but decided to put Bean (1st grade) in the Bob Jones book.  I'm not sure why now, though.  The older girls are really enjoying Growing with Grammar.  There are no arguments over doing their grammar work each day.  They just do it!  That is enough to sell it for me.  heehee

Now as for the 1st grader...she is going to be through with her Bob Jones book before Christmas and then I think I may order her a set of Growing with Grammar as well. 

That is if I can save up enough money in my school budget! lol

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stretching and Growing

My second born dd is a natural actress.  She has always been able to act out different characters and light up the room.  It is such a joy to see her performing on stage.  Her face lights up and you can see the joy she feels when she performs. 

She has been in several productions and done ballet, tap, and jazz.  She is a natural performer.  Well, it has been a while since she has done theatre and she was getting the itch.  ;-)  She decided to audition for a local theatre company and the auditions were this afternoon.

She was a nervous wreck.  Auditions bite no matter who you are but when you are 12 and unsure, they are even worse.  She practiced hard and was well prepared.

So what's the problem?  It was an audition, need I say more? lol

From what I heard through the walls she did fine!  She didn't do her actions during her song but it sounded good.  Her acting audition went great and the choreography audition was awesome.  I am so proud of her.  She overcame her fear and put herself out there.  Whether she gets a part of not doesn't matter.  She did it and I am so proud.

I can't wait to see her up there performing again.  I know that God has given her this talent and I am thrilled to see her using it again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A few days around here...

can seem like a week.

The weekend was long but good. We got to watch our nephew jump out of an airplane. He survived and all is well. I am happy to report that I feel no desire to jump out of a completely good airplane.

Now that that is cleared up we can move on to the rest of the weekend.

Sunday was another wonderful time at church. I love our new church. Truly. It is exactly where we should be and it feels like home. The messages are straight from the Bible with no gimmick and it breathes life into my soul every week.

Monday was back to school. It went remarkably well and we were able to get most of school done before lunch. The bad attitudes didn't come into play until late afternoon! lol We ended the night with a family movie. It was a great day all and all.

If only every school day could go this well.  lol

Friday, August 12, 2011

So Not Expecting That

Well, we had our appointment with the ENT and he told us that our 9yo needs surgery.  I was so not expecting that.  I was aware that we might need to do this some time in the future but I was hoping that we could wait until she was older.  And I was expecting that he would give some ideas or medicine or something that would fix it.

Nope, not this time.  He was very definite that she needed surgery.  He showed us her CT scans and even we could see the difference in her sinus cavities.  The right side was nice and big and black.  The left side was small and filled with stuff.  It was about a third of the size of the right size.  The bone that separates the nose from the sinus cavity was curving and it looked like her eye was sinking a bit.  She has negative pressure in her sinus cavity and it has to be corrected.  ASAP 

So, on the 22nd of August she will be going in for surgery to clean out her sinuses and blow it up/stretch it out to the right size.  Sounds great, huh?  I'm not thinking so. The best part is that she has to do it again 10 days after that.  Again.  Yup, two surgeries in 10 days.

That is so awesome.


But if this fixes the problems she has been having it will be worth it.  I am hoping that she won't suffer with sinus infections, snoring, not sleeping well, waking up with a swollen face.

  Hopefully we won't see this every morning and we will just see her sweet smiling face.  Prayers would be appreciated greatly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Have you seen this??

We all like FREE stuff, right? How about a FREE magazine? Oh yeah, we love those. Now what if I told you that the FREE magazine was The Old Schoolhouse Magazine?? I am not kidding! Right now, TOS is offering their Summer magazine FREE online. The entire Digital magazine FREE.

Can I get a round of applause and happy dances?

If you don't know what The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is, follow the link to check it out. If you do know what I am talking about follow the link anyway and read to your heart's content. ;-)


WINNER of Well Planned Day Planner

I forgot to post this last nigh.  Sorry!

I didn't use any random number generator to pick the winner.  Well, okay maybe I did.  I asked my oldest to pick a number between 1 and 11.  Is that a random number generator?  She didn't even know why I was asking! lol

Well, the number she picked was 7.  The lucky winner is:

TerriG who said:
I have procrastinated this year in my planning. Perhaps this could motivate me to get started. I just finally picked all of my curriculum and school starts for us in 4 weeks. I am a planner.

Congrats TerriG!!  I think you will really love this planner.  :)

Sorry I don't have one to give to everyone that entered.  :(  I wish I did.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bug, Bug, Bug

 It seems like this has been a big week for Bug.  She went with me on Monday to the follow up appt. and she was great.  We sat in the waiting room for a while so we were all getting a little antsy.  She told us she wanted to eat so we got the snacks out.  I had some animal crackers in there, which she loves, and asked her if she wanted a cookie.  I showed her the sign and then helped her do it.  She immediately did the sign on her own and kept doing it to ask for more cookies.  She's still doing it! 

Another sign we taught her is the sign for "help".  She caught onto this one almost as quickly and uses it quite frequently.  She loves to stand on our little step stools but can't quite get up there on her own.  So out come the hands and she's asking for help.  It's really too cute!

The next sign she has been using is "hot."  I only did this one a few times and she picked it up just by watching it.  She doesn't always use it correctly, though.  She calls goldfish hot just as much as steaming food.  I think she understands it, she is just trying to use all the words she knows!

She is also using the sign for cup as well as saying it.  Although she isn't liking the cup instead of the bottle at night very much!  lol  I know she will get used to it very quickly though. 

It never ceases to amaze me the things she understands and picks up right away.  Last night she wanted some of my french fries until she saw my hamburger.  I tried to get her to eat the fries and she shook her head and pointed to my burger.  I gave her a bite and she loved it.  I couldn't get her to eat any more fries. lol  She ate a good portion of my burger before eating more fries. 

Here are some sweet pics of a flower a worker at Lowe's gave her.  She thought it was pretty cool.  :)

Oh yeah

I can't believe it's Wednesday and I haven't posted since Saturday.  Okay, yes I can but there's no need to rub my face in it!  lol

Sunday we went to church and I just loved the sermon.  It was from the book of Mark and Pastor just went verse by verse pulling out things I hadn't thought of before.  Loved it.  Seriously love our new church.  :-)

Wait, before I get to this week I have to share some pics from last week!  Friday night we went out to eat and had a little fun while we were waiting for our food.

Yeah, we are THAT family!  It helped to lighten our load so I was glad to do it.  :)

Monday was the start of school-for real.  No honestly, we really did.  That is until we had to take Peanut(9yo) for her follow up due to more facial swelling.  Yeah, we were so glad to see that.  Our doc looked at her and decided to prescribe more antibiotics and steroids.  Then he was going to check out all the records and scans and refer us to an ENT.  Yippee Skippee.

I guess we will know more tomorrow since that is when the appointment is.  I'm not sure if it is good that they got us in that quickly or if that means she's bad off.  Gotta love the pessimistic attitude, huh?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Of Homeschooling and things

A new year has started. No, really it has. We were supposed to start the last week of July but then sickness and life happened so we moved the start date to August 1st. I had planned a rolling start of a kind so what happened this week was not as frustrating as it could have been.

Since two of the kids weren't back up to normal, we did Free School for the few subjects we were going to tackle each day.

I love Free School. :)

I finally got our schedule done and I think I am satisfied with it. It is the same schedule we have used for a year or two. You know, the one that changes subjects every thirty minutes and maps out our entire day for us. Yeah, the one that makes us like a super homeschooling family that has it all together. That one. I revamped it a little to accomodate the kids and their different subjects but it is essentialy the same.

I really want to stick with it this year. Really. When we followed it, we got so much done and we were all happier. I just don't know if we will follow it all the time. I'm okay with that-mostly. I just really want to focus on school work and getting everything done that we need to.

Can I be totally honest here? I am the one that needs the schedule. I am the one that needs to be kept on track and reminded to keep doing the things that need done. Not that the kids don't but I am the biggest culprit. That is not cool because I am the one in charge!

We homeschool because God called us to it. Did He call us to it for the kids' sake or for mine? I don't know, the jury is still out on that one. I do know that all things work together for good for them that love the Lord so I will trust that He will get us through.

So anyway...this last week was mostly Free School and getting geared up for the year. I have already posted about our churriculum choices and I think we are going to love them all. I would love to find a way to post our schedule but I just don't want to figure that out right now! heehee Next week we are going to start full on school with all the fixings. ;-)

I know that homeschooling isn't for everyone but I can't imagine any other lifestyle. Yes, I said lifestyle. It is truly a way of life that seeps into every part of your life. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love seeing them at their highs and lows. I am jealous of their time and want to be involved in the details of their lives. I love the chaos that comes from having all the kids home with me all day.

Life is good when my kiddos are home and we are laughing and learning together.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I probably shouldn't

I probably shouldn't be writing this in my present state of mind but something irritated me and I am letting it out. I just visited a blog that posted a list of "no-no's" for blogs. This was a list of things that the blogger didn't like seeing on someone else's blog. This happened last year too. The person that posted last year visited my blog and told me the things that she didn't like and that I should change bc she wanted it to be a certain way.


My blog is my blog and I have it the way I like it. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to read it. kwim? I blog as an outlet and as a way of posting reviews. I don't design my blog and write to please others. I will not change things bc someone else doesn't like them. I don't particularly care for music on blogs but I'm not going to say that they shouldn't be there bc I don't like it. It's their blog and they like it so they can have it.

Ugh it just frustrates me when that kind of thing happens. Because then a blogger that feels insecure about what they are doing thinks they have to change everything they do to please others and their blog is no longer a reflection of who they are.

I'm done with my rant.

Yes, I know that I am in a bad mood right now and my heart is hurting so I probably shouldn't be doing this. But I just had to get it out there.

I will shut up now and sit in a house that is too quiet.


My heart is breaking and a piece is missing. please pray for us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Well Planned Day Review and GIVE AWAY!!

It's no surprise to anyone that knows me-I am a curriculum junkie.  But what may surprise some is that I am also an organizing junkie.  I don't always-read ever-use what I buy, I just like the looks of them so I buy them!  lol  I would love to be organized.  I'm just a little too lazy. 

I also love planners.  I have spent quite a bit of money on them over the years and they almost always end up on a shelf somewhere gathering dust.  My interest in the wanes or they are just too much to comprehend and I feel guilty for not using them so I hide them.  Anybody know what I mean?  Come on, I can't be the only one out there can I?

Oh, I hope not!

So, my endless pursuit of a planner that I love and that I will actually use is an ongoing yearly search that drives me to the breaking point.  I had all but given up until I happened on a booth at a homeschool convention.  The people in the booth were so nice and helpful and their planners had such pretty covers that I was drawn in.

Thank goodness the covers weren't the only things that these planners offered.  The more I looked at them the more convinced I became that I would actually use them. 

What happened next?  Yup, you guessed it I bought it.  :-)

I looked at it a little bit and was even more convinced that I had found what I was looking for.

What planner has me so enamored you ask?  Let me tell you.

The Well Planned Day.  I just love this planner!  There is so much more in it than just planning pages.  Let me list a few of the items you get when you buy this planner. 

Isn't it beautiful?!
From their website:

  • Spiral Bound with Three Hole Drilled to Fit into Binders-Love this!

  • Over 230 Full Color Pages-Beautiful colors

  • Full Year Planner: July 2011 - June 2012-how awesome is this?  we school year round and this is so helpful for us that we don't have to fill in for the 'other months' other planners don't cover

  • Home Management with weekly cleaning schedule, monthly projects, greeting card registry, and monthly budgeting.-don't we all need help in these areas? lol

  • NEW in 2011, Holiday Organization Section: Greeting card registry, activities and event schedules, gift giving, around town shopping, and internet shopping. -seriously cool!

  • Organize and plan for up to 4 children in one convenient book.-love that it is for FOUR kids!!

  • Four Student Class Plans: Schedule each student's class assignments.-yeah, love it!

  • Four Student Time Schedules: Track each day by the hour.-oh yeah!

  • Weekly Schedule: Organize your week with class assignments, weekly priorities, prayer requests, dinner menu, and notes.-love that the family can look at this and get a view of the week.

  • Month at a Glance: Plan field trips, enrichment activities and books to read-uber helpful

  • Semester Attendance & Progress Reports-these help this unorganized momma keep track!

  • Perforated Report Cards-love that these are handy to where the grades are, no hunting around for them and forgetting what I was doing bc something else distracted me.  ;-)

  • Menu Planning: Plan weekly meals and conveniently shop with perforated shopping lists.

  • Family Worship: Read through the Bible in a year.

  • Insightful homeschool articles and tips to inspire you throughout the year.

  • and much more....

  • When they say more, they really mean more.  I particularly love the Class Plan page for each student.  This page has a place for a photo of the child and spaces to fill in things like height, weight, age, strengths, challenges, and goals.  On the same page is a listing of the subjects they will be using for each semester and an option for putting the price down for budgeting.  You can also keep track of the expenses for curriculum for each child on the same page.  Awesome!

    I know that there are so many ways to use this planner but the way we have chosen to use it is this way.  I bought the two older girls The Well Planned Day planners for Middle/Junior High.  They plan using those planners on Sunday afternoon and then I take their planners and use them to fill in my planner.  I tried to plan out the subjects for them for the year but it always went badly.  So now I use my planner as more of a tracking planner.  I write down their plan for the week and then on Friday I check off each subject to see if they completed their scheduled work for the week.  It works famously. 

    Something else that helps lighten my heart are the articles.  Each month there is another article for encouragement.  They are relevant and well written articles that help to lighten the load of mommas everywhere.  What a nice break to pick up my planner and have an article just for me.

    This is such a well thought out and executed planner.  It is easy to use and frankly it makes me smile every time I pick it up.  It is just so pretty! 

    You should really check one out for yourself.  Really. Head over to this page and click on the button that says Preview Planner to see what I mean about this planner.  And while you are there, check out the other planners they have like the ones my girls use for Middle School/Junior High.  I can't wait until they are ready to use the High School Planners.  Oh and they also offer a PDF version of the planner that is worth checking out as well.  Don't forget the On The Go Planners that would easily fit into your purse.  Sweet!

    I almost forgot the binders.  Oh my goodness talk about pretty!  You just have to go look at those.  While you are there check out the Bundle Packages they have for the binders and planners.  They are pretty good deal!  

    Read on for the GIVE AWAY INFORMATION!

    I just love this planner so much that I am giving one away.  Yup, you read that right.  I bought one at convention and then the wonderful people at Home Educating Family Publishing sent me a planner to review so I am giving mine away.  It is brand spanking new and waiting to make someone else happy.  All you have to do is leave a comment telling me whether you are a planner or not.  That's it! 

    I will draw the name of one lucky winner on August 10th.  Make sure I have a way of contacting you, though.  :) 

    **I was given a copy of The Well Planned Day in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Who Is Simon Miller? Movie Review

    It's probably no surprise that I love movies.  I do.  Seriously love them.  My family loves them as well.  But it has been increasingly hard to find movies that we can all watch that aren't animated.  Now, I don't mind animated films, love quite a few in fact, but they can get old sometimes.  That and my wonderful dh doesn't appreciate them as much as I do!

    So what's a family to do?

    Family Movie Night, that's what.

    A while back I reviewed another movie from Family Movie Night that we loved and we have actually bought another movie from Family Movie Night on DVD.  I think we will continually buy them as they come out on DVD.  You can't have too many family movies, right?  ;-)

    But I digress.

    On to the most recent installment of Family Movie Night.

    Who is Simon Miller?  is the latest in families movies that I think you will love.  I know I did.  I was actually fortunate enough to watch a private screening with actress Robyn Lively!  How cool is that?  We watched the movie and chatted with Robyn Lively while she answered our questions.  It was pretty neat to watch the movie with extra little insights.  Robyn Lively was a gracious host and is a dedicated mother and actress.

    So what about the movie?  Here is a synopsis of it from the website:

    When unassuming geoligist Simon Miller mysteriously disappears one night, the Miller family is thrown into a desperate search to find him. Simon's wife Meredith and their two kids, Sarah, 18 and Kevin, 15 frantically search Simon's office for information. When they find a stash of passports, all with Simon's picture but each with a different alias, they realize that their father has been keeping more than a few secrets. Who is Simon Miller? And what has he gotten himself - and his family - into? Not sure they can even trust the dad they thought they knew, the Millers embark on an international mission to get him back. It's a heart-pounding adventure that tests the limits to which families will fight for each other.

    Now for my opinion.  I loved it.  I really did.  For several reasons one of which was there was no romance type stuff.  Not that I'm opposed to romantic movies but I don't want my daughters focusing on that all the time.  Life is not like a romantic movie, kwim?  Who is Simon Miller? was a great peak into a fairly normal family and showed us what it looks like to stick by one another in hard times.  It showed a family coming together to fight for one another and to trust and believe in one another.  It has a great husband and wife relationship and parent child relationships.  Are they perfect?  Nope.  Just real.

    I can't wait for the rest of the family to watch this movie on August 6th at 7pm Central Time.  We will record it and watch it over and over until it comes out on DVD!

    If you want to check it out for yourself, which you really should, here are some links to help:

    I highly suggest you check out Family Movie Night and lend your support for this movement of family entertainment.  We can always use more family friendly movies. 

    Don't forget to watch Who is Simon Miller?  on Saturday, August 6th at 8/7c on NBC.

    **I was given a link to review this movie in exchange for my honest opinion

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    I am so way done

    Peanut was the one in the hospital last week.  She had the massive infection. 

    Here is what she looked like.

    We thought that after the time in the hospital with the high powered meds in the I.V. and the mega dose the set her up with here at home that she would be on the mend. 

    We were wrong.

    She started complaining of her ear hurting on Saturday.  When I looked at it I saw that the ear canal was almost swollen shut and every time I touched anywhere near her ear she cried.  ugh

    We kept up on the ibuprofen until today when I called the doctor/nurse to find out what we should do.  She called back and said that we would need to be seen.  Nice.  We did get to see the same doc that admitted her to the hospital last week so he knew the history. 

    He was surprised that she had an ear infection with all the meds she was on.  But she did/does.  Her ear is infected as well as the lymph glands around her ear.  It is so infected that she couldn't even bear the doctor looking in it.  He decided to put an ear wick into it so that we could medicated ear drops down into it.  But in order to do that he had to pull on her ear and push the wick down into a canal that was swollen and raw. 

    It was not pretty.  We had to hold her down while the doctor hurt her in order to make her better.  Even better.

    After that we got to hold her down while they gave her a shot of antibiotics.  The nurse told us that the medicine usually hurts quite a bit so she put an anesthetic in the syringe to help with the pain.  It didn't really work. She bawled and is still crying from the pain her leg. 

    So now she is in her bed crying from her ear hurting and her leg feeling like it is on fire.  It has been a great day. 

    Next week we get to go back to our regular doctor for a follow up and to get referred to an ENT as well as have her root canal process started.  She has been pretty traumatized with all of this and is pretty done with all of it herself.

    I can't blame her.  We are praying that if we can get her sinuses fixed then she will stop having so many problems.  We'll see.