December 15, 2010
I’m always on the lookout for ways to encourage my kids to practice their math skills. Games, flashcards, saying them out loud….whatever it takes. They enjoy playing games that encourage their skills. It helps them to remember the facts and make them concrete in their mind.
This Old Schoolhouse is having a Giveaway for 1 year subscription for one child for Mathletics! Go Check it out!
June 24, 2010
Tonight I was sitting on the couch watching the Princess at the computer desk. She had a piece of paper and pencil and she was watching Sid the Science Kid on Netflix. (I’m not being paid by Netflix or Sid the Science Kid for what it’s worth, but I LOVE the streaming movies on the computer and now through the Wii! It is so awesome and if you haven’t you really should try it. okay…advertisement over) She was drawing away and looking up every now and then at the show. It struck me first how long her hair was, it touches her waste now. How she is holding the pencil like a big girl and how her shoulders and back are more little girl, than baby. And then my eyes kept going and I noticed how long her legs were and that her little feet were almost touching the floor. (she was sitting at the very edge of the chair, leaning forward.) And for some reason, the thought of her tiny newborn body laying in my arms came to my mind. There she was, fresh and new all over again. Sweet newborn scent and all. And then, here she is, telling me she’ll be “this many” and holding up all five fingers, on her birthday. I’m not sure where the past 4 and 1/2 years have gone, it’s certainly snuck by me.
I’m just in awe of who she is now and wonder who she will be. I try to imagine the person she’ll become. Will she always be this bossy? I hope she’s always this determined, but that she lets the Lord direct her ways. Will she always be so quick to smile and kiss my face? I pray that she’ll always have laughter in her eyes. Will she always drive her brothers crazy or will she one day ask for their advice about the boy she has a crush on? I hope she’ll always know how perfectly God created her.
I’m trying to seize these moments. The things she says, the way she looks, smells, and tilts her head. Her laugh and the things that make her giggle. I don’t want her to stay this age forever, but I want to remember these moments forever. So I’m remembering…and I’m feeling a little sappy. Overwhelmed by my blessings, thankful beyond all measure for them.
Collecting forever moments.
May 28, 2010
I guess I should say, “B” isn’t even in high school yet. He will just be in 8th grade in the fall.
Some of you may know how scared I was about teaching 7th grade. I don’t remember it being hard as a student(not the academic part, the social part was a whole ‘nother story), but as a mom preparing to teach it. I was petrified. It really wasn’t as hard as I thought. But now I’m facing 8th grade. *shudder* And I realize how close high school is. This is uncharted territory for me.
Everyone seems to have an opinion of the BEST way to go. At least in their experience. I’ve read and read and read. I think I’m just more confused now than I was in the beginning. The opinions on this part of homeschooling are as diverse as the methods and curriculum for homeschooling. I’m as overwhelmed about this as if I were offered a shopping spree of ALL the different types of curricula. I wouldn’t know where to begin. And I don’t know where to begin with this either. Which is why I am starting to research this NOW.
Procrastinating on the laundry. No big deal. At least not until someone starts asking about clean undies. Procrastinating on this. Big no-no.
And so I’m diving in. So this is just my little brain dump of all that I have read and heard so far. If you would rather not be confused. Stop here. Well, maybe you should have stopped earlier.
So we begin with the fundamental high school transcript. Transcripts…accredited and unaccredited. So, apparently, you should know the college your child would like to apply to because some colleges prefer an accredited transcript, while some others are mainly looking at the ACT and SAT scores. Some types of curriculum will offer an accredited transcript. This WILL cost you more money. I’ve researched one of these types. I don’t know if all are similar in the way they are set up or not. At the end of each month, you send in that months work to be graded. By someone else. I guess the theory is, they aren’t inclined to be biased if it is someone other than the parents grading. As well as, they employ certified teachers to do the grading. Unaccredited? You do it yourself. You figure out the states guidelines on the subjects they need to take, how much each course is worth, and does that course meet the standards set forth by the state for that grade and subject. You do the grading and you keep the records. Some parents suggest keeping a portfolio of the students work for each grade. You make your own transcript. Another option, at least in our state. The Education Alliance will provide your student with a transcript. You call them, give them the grades and they print out the transcript. For a small donation. The parent I talked to said she gave them $10. There is also a form online.
Community college classes or not. Some homeschool students are taking their English, math, history…classes in college for dual credit. So, English Comp I qualifies as English for whatever grade they are in that year and they have one college class down. But if he takes classes at the community college will that remove his freshman status? Because apparently you get the most scholarship opportunities when you are a freshman. And some schools will no longer consider you a freshman after so many hours and some will. So you’ll need to know which schools you would like to apply to, so you can check with them and find out their policy. Then of course there is the money aspect of this part. In some states, (I’m not sure about ours) if you are in public school, you can often attend a local community college for free. Well, I guess it’s not free, but there is an agreement of some kind between the school. (I warned you I had no idea.) But if you are a homeschool student, this does not always apply. So if you do not qualify for some kind of financial aid, then that money will be out of pocket.
This is as far as I have gotten in my quest.
Ok. I admit it. I looked at one college. One close to home.
May 25, 2010
I’m infatuated with a man other than my husband. He brings me things. Things in little boxes, big boxes, medium sized boxes, odd shaped boxes. I have a little bit of an obsession for him. I keep track of him online. I know when he is going to pull up into my drive way with a goodie box just for me.
I’m not crazy about the way he dresses. Not everyone looks good in that color. And let’s face it, his mode of transportation is less than desirable. It’s just too big and bulky. I wonder if he’s looked into a sportier model? But, he smiles at me and gives me the much awaited and anticipated goodies AND I melt. Then it doesn’t matter what he is wearing or what he is driving.
Even better? I don’t feel the need to fix my hair or do my make up when I’m awaiting his arrival. He isn’t worried about the way I look. Or how clean my house is. His only need is to deliver my hearts desire…
Oh! Surely you have guessed it. I’m talking about the UPS man. He just delivered 4 boxes of books to my door. He even carried them into the house and sat them in my kitchen floor. Bless his bald headed little heart! He’ll probably be back tomorrow or the next day with the others. I think I’ll offer him a cold soda for his efforts!
I can’t wait to delve into these boxes of treasure! But Ben has a ball game this evening. Provided it isn’t rained out. Tomorrow I will be opening those boxes and digging out our new school books! The kids will help me and look over them with me, but they just don’t get the same thrill out of going through these new treasures!
I think I should know his name.
May 24, 2010
The weekend before last was the Homeschool Convention for our part of the state. Our convention welcomes kids, but we don’t usually take ours. We have taken them for one day and let them attend the art classes they offer. But, it’s two long days and we enjoy the alone time together. So, my husband took the kids to Honey’s house. (Honey is what Amiah calls my grandma.) And we were off folks! Two whole days just me and my hubby. We really look forward to this weekend. We spend all day both days, talking, and just being together. It’s really, really nice. We usually have to hurry back Friday evening to catch one of the boys ballgames, but that’s nice too. We don’t like to miss their games.
The convention is held every year at Harding in Searcy, AR. It started off wonderfully. I volunteer every year and this year I volunteered to help set up the used book sale. (If you volunteer, our convention lets you shop early with the other volunteers at the used book sale. I get at least half of the books I need at the used sale. And then there are the extra books, games, and some fun learning manipulatives!) And I learned that if you help set up, you have a really good idea of the books and other things that are brought in.
We get to the convention, I go in and get our name tags and check in. Our next stop is the building where they let us have our used book sale. It’s in a gym and there is lots of room for lots of books. Toward the end of my volunteer shift, I took a bathroom break and discovered that I had a surprise visitor. Lovely, much unplanned for, and I needed clean clothes. There’s a reason for my sharing this, I promise.
My dear husband took me to the nearest WalMart and I ran in to get the things I needed. Why I didn’t just change in WalMart, I don’t know. I just had it in my mind to run in at the McDonalds and change there. I really should have just changed at WalMart. We drove over to the McDonalds parking lot and I went in. I walked in and walked into the bathroom and went into the stall. Only one stall? Weird, especially for a McDonalds, I thought. I kept hearing people come in and use the restroom, flush, wash their hands (sometimes, eww) and then leave. Weird, I hadn’t seen another stall. I felt guilty for taking so long in the stall, so I was glad there was another one. I finished changing and went out to wash my hands. I was washing my hands and looked around, only to see a urinal on the wall…OH MY GOODNESS! I didn’t even finish washing or stop to dry my hands. I left! I was mortified!!! OH DEAR! I just prayed that no one had seen me enter OR leave the restroom! The Men’s restroom!
My dear, sweet, loving husband, you know, the one I really enjoy spending this weekend with? Well, nerve of all nerves…he laughed at me! Really, laughed out loud. At ME! It’s just a good thing I like him.
Someone please tell me there are no cameras in the McDonald’s pointing at the bathrooms. *sigh*
May 21, 2010
You would think I would take breast self exams more seriously. I lost my favorite, bestest in the whole world aunt to breast cancer. Friends have lost their moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, cousins, I can’t think of anyone I know that hasn’t been touched by breast cancer in some way. So why? Why not take this seriously?
About 2 months ago, on Easter weekend, I found a lump in my breast. And I was scared senseless. I couldn’t, couldn’t think. I was panic stricken. And every thought of every bad scenario played instantly in my mind. It weighed on me. Like a rock. I cried, because let’s face it, I was beyond scared. I only told a few people. Well, until now. Wait, it’s still only a few.
I didn’t normally do breast exams. I’m young, invincible, busy. I know, I’m supposed to. I know, with the history in our family, I am really supposed to. Why did I check this time? Because it was sore and tender, very unusual for me in that time of my cycle. Did I mention I was terrified?
Do you know what it’s like to have to tell your husband that you have a lump in your breast? Some of you do. It broke my heart to watch fear cover his face. He didn’t panic the way I was already doing. I’m glad he was calm and level headed, because I think I would have fallen apart. No, I know I would have. He prayed and that helped me more than anything. He held me. He calmed me.
So, long story short? Everything is okay. The lump is gone. It went away and we are just checking every. single. day. Maybe that’s a little overboard. But it is never far from my mind. I told a friend who asked about it, I just don’t want to think about it. Truth is, it’s always right there. The thought of it in my mind. I was told, that more than likely it was just a cyst brought on by stress, diet, my cycle….doctors have all kinds of reasons. I don’t know, maybe God chose to use this to make me more aware of my body, my life, my relationships, of Him. We drift along and sometimes get lost in the day to day. I want to be aware of every moment. Especially aware.
So…Check yourself. Monthly.
Be aware. Not just of your breasts. Although I am. Be aware of what you ARE daily.
Here are some places you can download or get free cards. Print it off. Use it.
Note: I’m not endorsing either of these sites. But they have some good resources for breast exam cards. Get one and laminate it. Use it.
May 19, 2010
Yesterday I was playing dolls with Princess. She has a collection of the princess Barbie dolls. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty etc. This is the conversation that followed.
Princess: “Belle, What did you have for breakfast?”
Me: “We had eggs and bacon. What did you have for breakfast Snow White?”
Princess: “We had wolf. My dad went out and killed a wolf and we ate it all up.”
Me: (wondering where she got this and trying not to laugh) “Oh really, was it good?”
Princess: “No, it tasted like wolf.”
May 11, 2010
Every year our church has a mother daughter banquet on the Saturday before Mother’s day. It’s such a sweet thing. We have dinner, dessert, and someone or a few someones give a devotional. This years theme was How sweet it is…and I was one of those someone’s this year. I thought and I prayed and all I could think about was how blessed I am to be a Mom.
And every year on the exact same day, is the kid’s state Youth competition. They compete in Bible categories, music; singing and playing instruments, drama, puppets, preaching, art, and sign language. Way too many categories to name! So we are always in a hurry! As soon as the awards are finished we rush back home. Did I mention that the competition always takes place a little over 2 and a half hours from our home church? This year there were 72 more entries than last year… It’s always a rush to get back on time…
We waited. Our boys still had one more thing they were involved in and we did not want to miss it. But I had promised to speak and if we didn’t leave soon, I wouldn’t make it. At least not without breaking lots of laws… What’s a mom to do? So I called my mom. For some reason I had saved my speech in my yahoo mail account. It’s not something I would normally do, but I did. I asked her to print out my devotion and read it for me. It wasn’t the same as ME being there and giving it, but I wasn’t letting down the lady who had asked me to speak either. AND most importantly I wasn’t letting my kids down…which is the whole point of it anyway.
So, I thought I would share my speech/devotional with you. It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this so be kind.
Before I had children, I knew my mom loved me. After I had kids, I knew how much my mom loves me. I had a new appreciation for that love. But it wasn’t until I was saved, that I understood the depth of God’s love for me.
Psalm 127:3-5 3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
I’ve always wanted a big family. When I was little that number was 5. I think it’s because both my mom and my dad came from families of 5. When Stacy and I talked about how many children we wanted, it was always 6. Although we both said we would take a dozen if that was God’s plan. When I first found out that I was expecting Brennen, I prayed for a little boy. And God gave us Brennen. I think I prayed a little too hard because then he blessed us with another boy, Benjamin. And another boy, Brason. When we found out we were expecting another baby, we were so excited. I won’t say I knew she was a girl. I wasn’t. I hoped for pink dresses and frilly socks, but I knew God’s plan was perfect. I just really wanted Him to agree with my plan…and then there she was! The tech was 99% sure that she was a girl and still all I got out of the deal was a pair of little girl booties!
They are all blessings from God. They are my heritage. I know that God loves me, but He loves me so much that He gave me this heritage. Blessings like no other. They bring me Joy. I delight in being part of God’s plan for them. God designed me to be their mother and He designed them perfectly for me. He chose me for them. Wow! I’m always amazed when I look back at my life and I see how perfect God’s plan is. It’s usually not the one that I would have chosen for myself, but it’s infinitely better than anything I had in mind.
An archer in the army was happy to have his quiver full of arrows. It meant that he could fight for whatever he was there for. I think of raising my children to be arrows. Sharpened with God’s word, living life on a straight path that God has planned for them. And my quiver is full. Well, my hands are, that’s for sure.
And I’m happy about that. Joyful! And blessed. I love when one of the boys snuggles beside me on the couch, or 2, 3 or all 4 of them try to squeeze in beside me. I love when they find me watching them and they tilt their head, grin, and say…”What?” I love the “What if… questions that my oldest is so fond of, even if my answer most of the time is…I don’t know, let’s look that one up. I love that my middle son is halfway between boy and young man right now. And I see more of the young man he is becoming. I love the boyish energy and determination of my youngest son. And I love the determined, strong willed, joyful, sweet, sassy princess.
They bring me joy, but they don’t belong to me. Not really. Even though God has give them to me as family. We all belong to Him. We are His heritage. His Joy.
February 13, 2010
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
This time of year is always hard for me. I hadn’t realized that before. But in looking back through my prayer journals (hand written ones) I noticed this pattern. I start doubting my choices of homeschooling, staying at home, of just being who I know God has called me to be. My patience is thin and my attitude tends toward the really stinky negative side. I draw inside myself. I would rather stay at home than go out socially. I have trouble sleeping. I tend toward the emotional. But if I can just hold on for a bit longer…until March or April, I’m fine. But these first couple of months of the year are just hard. They just are.
I’ve also noticed that during this time, I pray more. A bit because I’m desperately seeking a way out of how I feel inside. But more because I know where my peace comes from. I know what the Source is.
The question “Do you believe in ghosts?” from last Fridays Five Question Friday by Mama M really sparked some conversations in our home. It was during one of those conversations I remembered the verse Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And I used this verse to talk to our boys about that question. But it stuck in my head and it made me think of the struggle that I am dealing with. I don’t want to lessen how I feel, but I don’t want to give it that much weight either.
So that’s what I’m dealing with right now. It feels unbelievably heavy, but I know the God who gives me peace. And so I’ll keep my heart and mind on Jesus Christ.
February 12, 2010
Friday already? And Valentine’s Day weekend! Mama M cooked up a whole week of Valentine-ness. But I missed it. I hope some of you linked up and told your love stories!
We had decided we were going to get married, well before he ever actually proposed or bought a ring. We already had our oldest two boys. It was just a question of when. I had almost given up on the idea and I was feeling sad. It was Christmas ’98 and he asked me to marry him Christmas Eve beside the Christmas tree. Awwww….how sweet. And it was. I was so happy.
Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…