Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Associating with Eagles








It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. My husband asked me this morning when I used the term “ages” to describe the length of time it had been since I had made a certain dish, if it was since the Dark Ages, Stone Ages or some other age. Nothing like having an “auto  correct” husband to ruin a comment and require you to re-track your thoughts. Thanks, Love.

Quick, quick updates… we moved the week before Christmas to a house in the country on 2.5 aces right on the river. We are super excited about the coming summer and all of the fishing we can do and all of the room the boys will have to run and play!

We also are expecting baby #4 around Father’s Day. I finally got over the morning sickness a couple of weeks ago. This is our last baby and we are waiting to find out the sex until birth.

At just under 6 weeks pregnant, just days before Jack’s 5th birthday, I had an appendectomy. I had gone along all day with severe pain decorating Jack’s birthday cake and getting ready for his party that night and also packing for the next 2 days we would be spending in a cabin for our family vacation. I did get through the party, but around 9pm I couldn’t take it anymore and went to the ER where my WBC count was very very high. No one would perform the surgery in our town or the hospital in the next town over. I was transported via ambulance to the one an hour away. Everything turned out fine… the gas pain that settled in my shoulders was the absolute worst, though.

Honestly, that’s about it for the major updates! Homeschooling is going well even though we got a bit behind after the appendectomy and morning sickness.

I finally decided on my theme for 2011. It’s the title of the blog.

2011 personal life theme: ASSOCIATING WITH EAGLES

"If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. However, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights."

Bible verses that go with this theme:
1 Cor 15:33- "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Prov. 13:20- "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

I’m going to challenge myself in 2011 to surround myself with people who will encourage me to grow stronger in Christ and those who are wise. But, even beyond that, just to have people I can talk to. I want to establish more relationships and friendships. I’m generally a “loner” and don’t do well with friend commitments, but I want to change this and push myself outside of my boundaries this year.

I had much success with my theme last year of “Shining”, so I am very excited to take this on.

I have one other goal for the year… paint my nails black at least once. I know it sounds weird. I’ll blog about it.


Right now all of us are sick! We’ve contracted colds and sore throats and it’s absolutely no fun! We’ve really had a hard time getting anything done since we’ve moved. We have had 1 free “well” weekend to get things settled here and cleaned up at the other house. This is taking so much longer than we wanted it to take, but we have faith that things will work out and everything will be alright!


I’ve actually had this blog sitting here for far too long, over a week I think, so I need to just publish it and look forward to better blogs in the future. Have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things change so quickly.




  This can be good or bad! And in our case, just  a few days ago, things weren’t exactly good. But God has made the badder… better!  He raises up all who are bowed down. He lifts up those who fall. He is good.

  I’m not going to go into details too much about this particular issue, but my heart was broken. Not sobbing, crying, wailing broken. Just broken. From shock, perhaps. Even though I know I should have known better. However, I went in not thinking like I should have, and unfortunately, I think we’ve lost this… thing. Which probably isn’t all bad. The whole “God making the badder better” thing is unfolding now. Very beautifully, I might add. Actually this is applying to 2 different cases at the moment. Both seemed to crash right around the same time.

  At church on Sunday, we were late. It’s the first time in many weeks this has happened. We got side tracked… eating donuts, playing with the kids, computer, etc. Loading the van I think takes at least 15 minutes, if not longer. And this has absolutely nothing to do with my point… other than I missed singing and worshiping to one of my favorite songs. Very bummed.

  Anyway, so while we are worshiping, my heart still broken, I am praying. “God, please show me what I’m supposed to do. Where am I supposed to turn? Where do we go from here? Give me a sign, please. Work in someone’s heart to tell me.” And then that was it. I just gave it up and kept praying about it… and kept on worshiping.

  Singing ended and Pastor Gary told us to greet for a few moments. So I turned around I and it was like he was waiting for me. I shook his hand and I told him my name and he told me his. I had never met him before, nor seen him, to my knowledge. The next thing he told me was “It’s going to be ok. Everything is going to work out. Don’t worry about it.” HELLO! If that isn’t a message, I don’t know what is.  I was shocked, honestly. I just said “ok… alright.” and sat down. I wish I would have thanked him for listening to the Holy Spirit moving in him… because he did, indeed, deliver to me exactly what I needed to hear. I need to wait. I have a tendency to pull God with me

instead, I should be letting Him lead me.

  Now, anyone can tell me what this gentleman told me. But someone I’ve never met? Right after a prayer from a wounded heart?  If you feel the Holy Spirit moving in you to do something… to tell someone something, DO IT! Even if you think you’re going to sound silly. Knowing the meaning of the message is not important, but delivering it is. That could be the answer to someone’s prayer and God has trusted YOU to deliver it.

  I’ve been on the opposite side before, and it wasn’t easy for me to listen but I did. I have no idea what happened after I delivered the message I was ordered. But that’s not what is important. I know I did what I was supposed to do.

  I wish more people would listen to the Holy Spirit instead of fearing that they will sound or look silly. Those people who write up horoscopes don’t care, and people buy them!! They actually count them as credible. Hmmm… listen to the stars or the one who created them? I put my faith in the one above them. I hope you do, too.

   God Bless.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Learning how to teach. Teaching how to learn.



   I have to say that homeschooling  isn’t what I thought it would be. Mostly, yes, but how I am teaching is different than how I thought it would be. I never really gave much thought that I am also learning how to teach Jack. He learns differently than I would have expected, initially. His little hints to boredom and frustration are obvious, thank goodness, and I’m learning how to work with him in those areas. If I don’t, we end up with heavy lead on lesson paper… from top to bottom… multiple times.

   On the 5th day of schooling (today) I was so pleased with how well Jack did with the Phonics and Reading. He knew what to do and is actually understanding new terms. He gets bored with handwriting in the P&R . “I’m tiiired.” is what I often hear, which usually means that it’s time for a break because the writing comes at the end of the lesson and it takes about an 45min to an hour to get through the P&R. So, it’s probably  partly the truth. He can write, but he doesn’t like doing it in lines.

    However, today for our math lesson (which I put off until about 3pm) He wrote his name perfectly and correctly at the top of the page! Capital J and the rest lower case, written correctly and in the proper place in the lines. I am really thinking hard about the placement of his lessons now. We usually start at 8:45, but tomorrow I think I might either break P&R up (it’s our first subject) or start it an hour later and see how it goes then.


    Some ways I am dealing with his frustration and boredom are through breaks, or letting him use a fun colored marker or colored pencil to do his work. Today while we were circling objects that start with “c”, he decided to make the circles “melting” with an orange marker and he loved that. It really spiced up the lesson when he was starting to get bored. He was smiling, learning and having fun. He also drew an udder on a calf…. “because that’s what cow’s have under there.” I’m keeping this lesson forever. I laughed a lot today with him. 

  We had been struggling with the term “alike”. “Different”, he gets, but “alike” we had some issues with. Also with the term “same.”  But today I had a break through. Instead of trying to show him “same” with shapes that were the same but different color in his lesson, I just drew them on the white board identical to the pattern on the paper and he finally understood once color was eliminated. I tried last week with objects around the house and it didn’t work either. Perhaps common sense to you, but it didn’t really occur to me.  And then… once he started to grasp the concept, I let him teach me. I should have figured this out days ago. He’s the oldest child and loves teaching Andy and Alex. By allowing him to teach me, I am teaching him. We’ll be using this method frequently from now on. Also an excellent way to get Andy involved.

   He can also write the number 2 correctly now with out help. Just 6 days ago it looked more like a 5 written from bottom to top. I love seeing him improve and learn. It gives me some strength in what we are doing. It makes me happy to know that I can do this! 

     Many times last week  I was bombarded with thoughts like this: “You can’t do this. It’s too hard. He’s getting frustrated and you need to clean the house. He’s never going to learn from you. Just give up.” I know where the thoughts were coming from. So I fought back with prayer and facts...


“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

  “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’”. Isaiah 41:13

    The devil may catch me off guard and try to trip me up. Thank goodness I have a big hand to hold on to! I know I’ll need it through this adventure, because this is only the beginning.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of school!


   Today was Jack’s first day of school! I teased him by saying “First day of school! First day of school!” just like on the movie  Finding Nemo. He loved that. I hope I remember to do that to him when he’s a senior. Although he’ll probably find it less humorous. I’ll probably cry.

   The day went very well. We got everything done in two hours. I was curious how long it would take so I smooshed everything together. Tomorrow I’m going to try breaking it up into morning and afternoon classes and see how he likes that. Around an hour in he got tired and kind of bored. I asked him if he wanted a break and I told him that was ok. His response was “No. I just want some chocolate milk.” Done! 

   We also did all 5 subjects today- Handwriting, Phonics & Reading, Math, Health and Bible. On a typical day it will only be 3 and then one in the evening with Joe. Handwriting and Health will be 2-3 times a week, with Math and Phonics & Reading and Bible everyday.

    I am so happy that I planned things out very thoroughly weeks ago. I don’t have to sit down and plan again until November. Of course unless something crazy comes up, and then I’ll just move everything back a week.




Alpha Omega Publications: Horizons
for  Math, Phonics & Reading and Health.

I really like what I have seen for the next 9 weeks and even farther. I love the layout and style. Very easy to use for each one of the subjects.


                           A Reason For: Handwriting
for Handwriting.

AOP Horizons does not have a handwriting for grade K. They start at Grade 1. I do love what I have seen from the “A Reason For” company in handwriting. And another bonus is that you buy one teacher guide and it’s good through 6th grade. We will probably continue with this even though AOP does offer this next year.


Beginning with God by Steve T. Barclift for Bible.

While this isn’t part of a curriculum, it’s fantastic from what I have seen of it. Story and bible reading, not to mention thought provoking questions and activities for the whole family. We are using this for Jack, but it is really a family subject. I picked this up for a penny on Amazon, plus $4 shipping. Even if you are not wanting to use it for home school, it is a great seasonal devotional for kids. It starts in September with Fall. This week we are talking about being a good neighbor, based on the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10. We have a neighborly activity to do this week some time as well.

Buy Beginning With God, Steve T. Barelift, 082542044X



                                                                                                                  (He was not very happy about his picture being taken at first.)

I am so excited for the weeks to unfold and develop a nice groove. Jack did such a good job today, and I just hope I did, too.

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He’s double checking that all of the bubbles have been traced.

  IMG_2986Yes, he has grubby nails!
He had to draw an ant eating an apple. Color the apple red and the ant black. That black line is the ant’s tongue and the red on it is the apple.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why are we homeschooling?



     While I haven’t faced a lot of opposition to the choice that my husband and I made to home school our children, I can certainly sense doubt from some. Tone of voice and body language say so much more than one might like to know. Individuals I don’t know, friends and even family have subjected me to the “doubt waves.”
  But before I get into specifics, I’ll give a generic answer for those who would like to stop reading here: We want to educate our children.

       The mind of a child is like a sponge. It soaks up everything it sees, hears and even feels… emotions. We want our children to SEE subjects in action  in real life. Not in a box… a school room full of children. One might argue we are putting them in a box, but quite the opposite is true. Our children will be more free to see things applied outside of “the box.” They need to be shown and not just told. Because they are learning at home, they know that school is never really out. It doesn’t end at, say, 3:30. It’s on going. And since we’ll be teaching them, we always know what they are learning. Sure, some parents  get “involved” in the child’s learning, but that soon fades, and you can never know the level at which your child is learning,  unless you are teaching and learning with them. I want to know what my child is learning, and I don’t want to be tempted to shrug it off as “that’s what school is for.”

God gave us these children to raise and I  can not see dropping off my most valuable asset of assets… my children’s minds, to someone else for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year. 7 hours… a day?! A DAY?! One child?! That’s enough to make me tired.

       We want our children to HEAR from us. 

A child needs to hear when he does well. A sticker alone doesn’t cut it. Neither does a quick smile and a pat on the back. Hearing positive words from a parent is more valuable to child than hearing it from a teacher in a traditional school setting. Both are valuable, however. Praise from my husband means more to me than praise from someone I just know or am even friends with. He’s my most important relationship (after God, of course.) Together we make the foundation for our family.  


We want our children to come to us with questions. And we want to be able to guide them in the right direction. We don’t want to leave such a wide gap open for someone else to do this. The most important relationship in a child's life (after the relationship between him and God)  is the one between him and his parents. And we want to do everything we can to develop this as strong early on.

Siblings are very important as well, but that’s another topic for another day.

     The things heard at school can be good, but also hurtful and mean. Such things can influence learning greatly. It’s very hard for a child to concentrate when he is thinking about the mean thing another child said to him at recess. Or the kid behind him that’s poking him with a pencil. Of course all of these things take place in every class room at one time or another,  it may not be often, but we still don’t want to subject our children at such a young age to distractions such as these, especially if we have a  choice in the matter. And  some kids are just MEAN!

    Among other distractions are hunger,  sleepiness or even not feeling well. We will nearly eliminate these issues by homeschooling. There are so many other wonderful reasons we chose this but I don’t want to make this post too long.

   We are not raising our children with cradled EMOTIONS, but allowing their emotions to develop at a proper pace. One that involves them to understand feelings and interpret them properly. It is easy for a child to cry at teasing because it hurts his feelings, which are still so pliable. We want to strengthen their emotions. Not harden their emotions, but strengthen them. Allow them to feel deeper, analyze them better and respond to them in a proper manner. Will they always respond properly? No. We all, from time to time, slip up, but we feel with this way of schooling we can better prepare them with what they need for proper emotional development.

     Of course the socialization question must be brought up. I once read from a great mind: “That’s one reason why we are homeschooling!” And it’s the truth. Our children will get plenty of interaction with other children, but it will be with other children who we know have parents that think in line with us. Of course they will also be exposed to those who don’t, eventually, but we want to equip them with the proper tools before “facing the world.” While learning how to socialize is important, it’s not an important part of learning. We’d like our kids to concentrate on topics at hand and  the two ideas remain separate. They will participate in things such as band and sports. They’ll be in church groups and also with home school groups. They will still be well rounded even though they are not participating in socialization within traditional school hours. 

   We are also able to move at the speed of the child, not the speed of the class. Traditional school is generalized, we want to be personalized. We want to cater to the strengths and weaknesses of our children and give them the right amount of everything they need to grow well and properly. We want them to not fear asking a question if something is not understood.

  Does this mean we don’t like public school or even private schools? No. This is what is right for our family.  Our children will be dual enrolled and probably take certain courses in the public school system one day, such as a foreign language. 


I do wish that more families would understand that they CAN home school. What makes the idea overwhelming is where to start. I’ve found the best place is to find other people who have homeschooled or who are homeschooling. They can generally relate to any fears, doubt or questions you have and help you work through them or tell you where to start.


     If you are unable to home school your child or children, I want to encourage you to get involved with them as much as you can. Stay motivated in their learning. Know what they are learning and show them how to apply the knowledge they have. You are still teaching your child even if not in academics. Be a good example. Do as you say.

      Homeschooling is right for us and it’s the way the Lord has put in our heart to school.  Not much is more valuable than one on one learning and teaching to us. It’s a priceless process. One that we are excited to embark upon.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spin your cell.





       I wasted quite a bit of time this morning spinning my cell phone. I just casually spun it on the counter and realized it spun a lot longer than I thought that it would.  So I was partly intrigued and I was partly avoiding laundry and other things. Not to mention that if a song is playing while spinning, it sounds pretty neat. My best time is 1 minute 24 seconds. I’ll load the video below so you can see for yourself and then go and do the same with your cell. My phone is an LG Mystique from US Cellular. The kids kept wanting to touch it, so you’ll hear them a bit in the background.




You know you’re tempted to try this now… to see how long it can go. I’d love to hear times and what cell you’re spinning!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It’s been a long time…






… wow… a long time! How did I let this happen? Oh.. summer is here, that’s how. I’m looking forward to Fall… or the more eloquent and sophisticated term (and also a girl’s name) Autumn. When change is taking place all around us and is so beautiful. Things just slow down in the midst of changing leaves and beautiful blue skies. Open windows with fresh air floating around and under sheer curtains… with no humidity. That’s the most important thing. Long walks with the kids crunching leaves and mom and dad with happy hearts and holding hands. Ah. I love Fall. I think I could go on and on about that season.


Trying to pick back up where I left off almost 2 months ago.

Alex and I were in a car accident-
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we are both OK. I turned my head when the air bag went off so I still have pain in my right ear. I lost my sun glasses in the mess. it wasn’t my fault if you’re wondering. It’s a bad intersection and I was already anticipating that she didn’t see me. Anyway… we have a new van now. Yay! 

Alex is growing wonderfully well. I weighed him two days ago and he was 19.8 pounds!!  I would share the slideshow I put together of his first year but I only have it on Facebook and it’s private. Sorry!


Rock Around the Block:

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We got a sprinkler for the boys! And they love it, of course. I love taking photos of Andy. He’s never cautious about showing his emotions.
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My friend’s daughter’s 1st birthday party!

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I took more pictures at her party then Alex and Andy’s combined! I guess that happens when you try to host at the same time! Moving on….


YES! We still love dinosaurs!

I cut my hair at the beginning of July. I was able to donate it to Locks of Love.
Alex turned 1 on July 16….

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A favorite from the 4th of July fireworks….. Alex’s last 1st holiday ;)
Jack was out playing in the rain! It’s not too often that it rains and does not storm, so he got to go out with an umbrella!

Alex on his birthday. Sorry I’m kind of jumping around here with topics. I am so far behind I need to catch up!! I must turn this back into a part of our schedule in the Fall… Fall.. ahh….
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Look, Mom! I ate all the cake!

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You can see a little bit of the double rainbow. The outter is harder to see.

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And.. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! It’s startin’ to look like a triple rainbow!! Laugh…. it’s funny.

TAG: Billy Ray Cyrus. Not letting hubby take children to get haircuts alone anymore.
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Jack and Andy took swimming lessons this year for the 1st time. I put them in the same class. Next year I’ll probably split them up.

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Andy’s birthday party! Andy turned 3 on August 4! His cake was SO much fun to make! His and Alex’s I guess.

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Here’s Alex “pooing in blue.” Well, not literally in this photo. That would be kind of odd. They are great at poop catching but a little less than super absorbent in the pee department. But they are cute!

So, you’ve seen my sonflowers, now here’s my sUnflower!
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Because curves rocks!  IMG_1477.share. IMG_1478.share.  IMG_1488.share. IMG_1491.share. IMG_1495.share.

Here’s Jack having a good time playing Blue’s Clues on his computer! Thanks to his great-grandma!
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Andy on his birthday….
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I love these boys!! IMG_1555.share.  
Last day of lessons-
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Very neat photo… they are eating a chicken nugget…. yes.. a CHICKEN nugget.


Hot summer day fun! But not as fun as a Fall day…. Fall.. yeeeees!

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Well, that pretty much sums up the photos. I don’t feel much like loading any videos right now. Such as Andy going down the slide at swimming lessons and him driving a tractor with me. Nope, I’ll just tell you about them for now because I really need to publish this blog so that I can move onto a new one tomorrow…. or later today.


Have a blessed evening!

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