Old Posts! LONG READ

I hope to be more consistant in typing here since I can remember where it is. I will be transferring some of  my other blogs messages here, so be patient while you re-read some of the highlights of me!

I was in the second hand store today, 2:00pm BTW, and was asked why my kids were not in school by the clerk. I simply said, We homeschool. She looked at me over her glasses, and said, I think I have a problem with that. Why? I asked. She went on to ask me if I was a teacher, did I teach, do I have a degree, and so on. I answered yes to teacher, but no to all the others. I knew what her point was. She told me that her husband I had a 7 year college degree and herself a 4 year degree and she didn't think she could have ever taught her children. She continued to ask me if the kids get tested, and by whom, how often, did I lie about their scores. I told her we are required by the state to test every other year, and that they are tested by independent testers. She felt I was telling my kids the answers then. That all homeschoolers are suspicious, and all kids should be under a school. She ended her little conversation with me by saying that she was concerned that I was in the store shopping instead of doing school. I told her we finished this morning all of our school work. She balked and said, they let kids out of school at 3:00 and that is with budget cuts, how could I possible be done. I turned and left. I have never felt so awful, I spent the whole drive home fuming. I ran here first to "tattle" but to get some encouragement. I know she was completely uninformed, and opinionated, but really I wish some people would just keep their mouths shut. Oh, and as we walked out the door, I heard her continue the conversation with the lady that was behind me, I only heard her say "I don't think homeschoolers should" and I didn't hear anymore. Probably a good thing.


When we do spelling we have 10 words a week, usually following some spelling rule. The kids have fill in the blanks, puzzles and correct the spelling sections in their workbooks. Well, today, we were on the puzzle section. I was reading the clues, why they try to guess and write what spelling word it is.

Here was the clue: What you need when you get in trouble

Here is the choice alleigh came up with, BELT!

Here is the word it was, HELP!

My poor little becca, she is three, but believes she is seven. Of course she thinks I am 8 so we know she has time issues. However, the kids and I were counting by 2's yesterday. I was trying to explain even and odd numbers. Even can be shared by two people but odds can't. "MOM THAT's NOT TRUE, we can split 3 because we have becca." NO, we can't because we only share with two people. Okay!!
Anyhow, we are counting by two's and becca is trying so hard to sit and say the numbers too. All the sudden she bursts into tears, the big ones, the broken hearted ones. We stop. Rebecca is sobbing, "mommy I don't know how to do that" Boo Boo, it's okay you don't need to do it. "mommy I want to do school too" (so sweet, but she has not interest in going on the potty too) "mommy I can't count I don't know it" Oh, she is breaking my heart now. What I wouldn't have given for her to be able to do it too. How is this ever going to fix itself. Ben and Alleigh will always be ahead. They will always be doing the "same" work, she will always be behind doing something different. Poor little girl. She broke my heart! She was so sad and was crying so hard. I sat her on my lap and counted with her, as she copied everything I said. Her face finally lit up. I wish I had another one her age so she wouldn't feel so left out.
She does have her own "school work" that I work on with her, but she wants so much to do everything Ben and Alleigh are doing.

as least that is what my kids were hinting to. You remember spelling tests. Pre-tests. Missing lots of words. Well, my kids, freaked on me today. Well actually Monday, but I am finally sitting down to write.
The kids took their spelling test. They missed 6 out of 10. After we fixed them and talked about them I told them to copy the words they missed three times each. After about 30 seconds alleigh is on the verge of tears. Ben is just staring at me. "Get to it" I bark. Alleigh is now entering a full fledge cry and Ben yells at me " That is not very nice mom, Jesus wouldn't like that. " WHOA, what? He continues, you shouldn't punish us because we can't spell. OH man, mom/counselor, "honey, this is how we learn" We have to spell them right so we can remember how to spell it.
Well, maybe now I will at least come in second instead of grand prize winner!

Already we are into the crazy stuff. Today I had a huge fight and I am not kidding. I got into a pulling and ripping match. Ready to loose my cool. I tried and tried to fix a "problem" that would not fix itself. I actually got down and dirty into the nuts and bolts of the issue. Feeling greasy and dirty, stained with grief, I felt as if I had been tarred and feathered. When in all actuality I had been greased and covered in pencil shavings. YUP< 45 minutes later I finally fixed the pencil sharpener.

Pulling My Hair Out

The other issues of the day, Benjamin trying so hard to understand his math. He knows that 5-1 is 4 but he refuses to believe that 5-4 is one. He insists it is 0. And then I have Alleigh working way ahead doing page after page while I try to get ben to realize that if I gave him 5 cookies and I took 4 of them back how many would he have. "MOM< that's not nice! " Yes son, exactly, so how many would you have? " None because Becca would scream and cry and then I would have to give it to her." You know Ben, this is really getting old. Give me your math book, your done for the day.

You can ask my three year old. She decided to see just how much it held. The older kids and I sat down to homeschool. It takes us about 2 hours to get through our lessons each day. Anything that keeps the three year old busy, helps us a lot. Usually it is playdough. But after the Blue playdough on white carpet incident, well, there has been no more playdough in the homeschool room. We got a new kitten. About 5 weeks old. She has been pretty busy with her. Jeff says "busy letting the kitten know that this is not where she wants to live" however.... It has kept her busy. I make sure that she is not choking it, or sitting on it. This day however, she was playing in the laundry room with the kitten, as that is where kittys things are. I read the kids a chapter in Detectives in Togas. I started to smell baby powder in the other room. I threw the book down and started screaming "REBECCA< REBECCA< WHERE ARE YOU?" I opened the laundry room and found her and the poor kitten covered in baby powder. The poor cat was just full of baby powder. Mind you this is a baby kitten so I was really concerned about the baby powder being inhaled. I ran her outside and started to dust her off. There was just so much everywhere. I gave her a bath. Now mind you the entire laundry room now looked as if it snowed in there. But the kitten was my concern now. The poor kitten did not like the bath at all, but I really felt it necessary to give her one. After the bath the little thing was shivering terribly so I wrapped her in some towels and took her to my room under my blankets and next to me. Changing towles to keep her warm. BUT..... as I walked to my room I noticed the bathroom door had been dusted, and my bedroom door AND my bed, AND my bathroom sink. Oh, I was furious and then, as if that was not enough, here comes alleigh and ben telling me their rooms and their beds had been dusted too.
So, how much powder is in a baby bottle? Well it was still 3/4 full, so my guess is a whole bunch!! But, I hope I never find out just exactly how much. It just might put me over the edge.

This is just a quick little post, rebecca hit benjamin today as she walked by him. I told her to go to her room and about 2 minutes later headed back there to talk to her. I sat down with her and said,"Rebecca, it is not okay to hit. That is very mean" Her response " I didn't actually do that"
Actually, from a three year old, I was amazed. And yes, she did actually do that!

A while ago alleigh was singing the song "Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings" well, I started to really listen because it didn't sound right. Here is what she was saying "Sing to Santa, Sing to Santa Sing to Santa ........"

About a year ago I was driving around doing some errands. I had one where I just needed to turn in an application. I left all three kids in the car, locked, and the engine off, I kept the keys, it was not summer, so don't write me and say I am terrible, anyway, I was only gone less then a minute. When I got back I told the older kids how proud of them I was that they could stay in the car. I commented as to how big they were getting and how much they could do. I said "What would I do without you?" Ben without missing a beat said, "you wouldn't have anyone to clean for you!" I still laugh thinking about that one.

Benjamin yesterday -
Mom why are you going to babysit at lydias, is it their nursery already?
(trying to say anniversary)

Has named all crackers graham crappers

Rebecca -
Her cousin lives in town now and her name is Sierra and her sister is Savannah. Well becca calls Savannah and Sierra (Hosanna)

Today during homeschool rebecca asked to play with playdough. No problem, I have been letting her do that so that we can get all our work done. About 10 minutes into her playtime, I noticed little blue specks on the floor. Now, she knows how to pick this up, I have showed her many times. I asked her to pick it up. She said, "yes mom". 5 minutes later I look to see how she is doing. There is now more playdough on the floor. I scold her and ask her to please pick up the play dough off the floor. "yes mom" was again her reply. Just a couple of minutes later I see her at the computer pasting playdough on the screen. "REBECCA!, pick up ALL the playdough like this...." And I show her again. "okay mom" came out of her mouth. Just a few minutes later she was on the floor, I assumed doing what I had asked her several minutes ago, and then stood up and was jumping up and down over and over. I told alleigh and Ben that I would have to help her so to finish copying sentences off our board. I walked around the table to help her, only to realize she was jumping up and down on a huge ball of BLUE playdough on my white carpet. I think if you can literally "give up the ghost" I did at that moment. I couldn't believe her. Not only were lots of little bits of blue playdough all over but a huge salad plate size smooshed into the carpet. I worked on it for 20 minutes, but it is stained. I wonder how much playdough it would take to give the rest of my carpet that multi-colored look?


Today is the twins birthday and they are seven. It has been a very crazy and eventful day. First off the kids awoke at 6am to tell me it was their birthday and that they were now seven and taller. I was okay with that but then my little three year old, who didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time last night, woke up and informed me that my nap time was OVER NOW! GET UP MOM! NOW! MOM! GET UP!

So, up I got to find my oldest ones with hermit crabs in their hands. An early present for their birthday. All was fine and dandy until the attitudes started to surface. It started with "but it's my birthday" and I am sorry to sound so harsh, but on your birthday it does not entitle you to hit, or punch or push or spit or slap or throw other people and or things. "But it's my birthday I can do whatever I want...." so, we had a little talk about what it means that you can do what you want. And torturing your baby sister is not one of them.
After a few more bad attitudes we found ourselves heading to Red Robin for lunch. Dad was able to meet us there as was Grandma and our cousin. They had a lot of fun and were utterly embarrassed when they came to sing to them. We headed home with Grandma in tow so that I could go get the cake and some last minute birthday supplies without the children. THEN IT HAPPENED.........
I came home to find one out of three hermit crabs in their cage. Where is Beccas? Nobody knew. Becca where is your crab? "I don't have it" Where is it?? "In my purse", whew, but wait, it's not there. Where did the thing go? Well......... so far we have turned most of the house upside down and no hermit crab.
Where does a hermit crab go to run away?

FOUND, Joe Bob the hermit crab

Missing for 6 hours are elusive hermit crab was sitting in my daughters room, on a pretend toaster. Alleigh was heading to bed when she heard his scratching. We have no idea how he got there and to top all of that he was under at least two inches of misc. toys, clothes and such.
What a relief, he is safely back in his habitat eating.


For some reason this week, everytime I cleaned up a mess, a bigger one was being produced somewhere in the house. I swear I cleaned up the same paint spots on the kitchen floor 3 days in a row. I finally got so mad that I threw away all the paint in the house that I could find. I had enough of my three year old painting. Not to mention with the six year olds are messier then she.
We also spent several days out in the sun, weeding. We found many worms and spent hours collecting them. They also added sow bugs and a poor ladybug. Several hours after having accomplished this worm farm I walk into the kitchen to see my three year old, drowning these worms. Something smelled a little not right. I later discovered she had sprayed them with orange cleaner. So the poor little things were being "cleaned" to death. I knew it didn't smell right!

Last week I spent three hours steam cleaning all of our white rugs. I was so proud of myself as this has needed to be done for quite sometime. So, how is it that in one day I had to vacuum up "wet" dirt twice and today again? My three year old likes to shake up the worms in the bug catcher, except the lid does not stay shut. Poor worms. We will be putting them back in the garden now. So much for the worm study!


I thought our experience here was quite the learning event so Iwanted to share it with you.My children and I have been studying George Washington this week. Sotoday we read the book George Washingtons Breakfast, a great storywell understood for my first graders. Then I got this great idea,lets eat his breakfast for dinner. We looked up the hoecakes receipeand printed it out, we had the fresh meats, and hot meats, andplenty of tea. Things were going pretty well, me made the hoecakeswithout to much problems, except messiness, but hey we arehomeschoolers right! Messes make learning. My husband got home andwas lessed then thrilled about dinner, but I reminded him this washes idea. He commented thewhole time that this was not quite what hemeant when he said we should have dinner from a time period. Andloudly commented that George Washington could not have liked this. Iagain reminded him that we didn't have to like it, it was theexperience we were trying to have. The hoecakes were less thentasty to our mouths so out came the good old syrup. No not the kindfrom vermont, just the western family brand. That made it good foreveryone. The kids were having so much fun and even my pickist eaterwas liking it. But then something happened. My two year old stopchewing. My husband of course said, see there is an unbiased answerto how good this food really was. She wasn't budging. Her mouth wasplum full of the gritty hoecakes. I tried to get her to drink somemilk to help it go down a little. But then it happened. She puked,all over, and discusted all of our dinner participants. Our GeorgeWashington's Breakfast re-enactmant was over.My son, later asked, did George Washington puke when he ate hoecakes?Priceless

My twins are on the same page in their math books. How to tell time. We are at the 15 minutes past, and half-past section. I tried to explain that when we say it is 15 minutes past an hour, that it means it has been 15 minutes since it was say 9:00. So... the conversation went something like this.
Mom - Ben, what time does the clock say..
Ben - 9:00
Mom- (moving the clock to 15 minutes later) Now what time does it say?
Ben - 9:15
Mom - How many minutes have passed since it was 9:00
Ben - Three
Mom - No.... 15 minutes ago it was 9:00, 15 minutes have gone by and it is now 9:15. How many minutes did it take it to get from 9:00 to 9:15
Ben - Four?
Mom - Ben, it is 9:15, here is the hour, here are the minutes. How many minutes since it said just 9:00
Ben - Eight?
Mom - Look, 9:00, 9:01, 9:02, 9:03...........9:15. How many minutes?
Ben - Fifteen
Mom - How many minutes from 9:00 to 9:15
Ben - Seven?
I now lay my head on the desk and cry some fake tears.....Alleigh chimes in and says, I can do it.
Mom - Okay Alleigh what time is it?
Alleigh - 9:00
Mom - 15 minutes later the clock says this.. what time is it?
Alleigh - 9:30 !!!

I tell them to complete the next two pages without me, and leave for maybe 3 minutes. I come back refreshed to find them done with both pages and they are correct. Now tell me.. how did that happen?


As we sat down to a healthy meal from McDonalds, excuse the sarcasm, my three year old opened her BBQ dip and spilled it. Mind you this was right between two parents. When we scolded her for not waiting she replied, "Alleigh Did it". Now really, I asked alleigh are you like flash on the incredibles? Did you come over here and spill it before we saw you? She laughed but rebecca kept up the story that alleigh did it.
It's hard not to laugh I tell you when a child lies right in front of you.


Wed -
Benjamins bike had broke a while back and so I had promised him when we got paid again I would buy him one. (Got a new one at Wal-mart for $29) We got home and the kids were all excited so I let them ride around our cul-de-sac, would you believe that with-in the same 60 seconds all three kids crashed on their bikes at different spots. I ran to littlest one, Rebecca and helped her up, walked her and her bike to Benjamin the loudest one and told him to not scream so loud and to get up and walk the bike back home, alleigh I just motioned to her to get up and come home too. No one was seriously hurt and all of them had helmets on. However, I was done with the "bike riding" and sent them all inside for quiet time. Really now, three at the same time, what did I do to deserve that!

Ben and Alleigh have been having swimming lessons for the last several weeks. Alleigh picked it up so fast and I was really impressed, ben was doing great but everytime he would start to swim he would jump up. I asked him why he didn't just keep going why he jumped up. He said everytime he went to swim he started to go under the water. I asked him a couple more questions and found out that he thought he was suppose to swim on top of the water. I told him that it was normal for his body to be under the water while he was swimming. Well, that made all the difference. The next lesson he was swimming like a fish all the way across the pool.
Speaking of the pool, Friday on our last lesson becca took off her shoes. I needed to go the bathroom so I brought her with me. I figured no big deal on the shoes as, nobody there has shoes on. Bad mistake. As we were coming out of the bathroom she opened the door right over her big toe. It lifted her toenail up and almost completely off. It was still attached by about 1/4 of the normal attachment. I was in pain for her. Right now, a bandaid (big one) is holding it all together. I was told it might re-attach it self if left alone. OUCH!

Right now we are all feeling quite ill. Sinus pains, chest congestion and stomach aches. Feeling pretty awful. I have some more stories as we went to a three day creation seminar and some of the things the kids "misunderstood" are worth a few good laughs. I will post some more as we get better.


Yesterday I promised alleigh she could make some cookies, however I was not going to help. She did a great job, however, we did learn a few things. For one, we don't lick our fingers after every ingredient. Second, flour does not fall at the same rate as a child jumping off the counter. Okay, so let me explain. Alleigh climbed up on the counter to get the flour, measured it, and then jumped off the counter. As you can imagine the flour went everywhere. She just stood there, eyes big and said, I didn't do that! Well then who did?
However, her cookies did turn out good, and she cleaned up her whole mess, used the oven, and did the entire process alone. Once again she amazes me.

Ben during homeschool today decided he was the goof. I had him come up to our board and fix a sentence. We are working on " a sentence starts with a capital and ends with a period." His job was to fix my sentence. Easy enough. However, he replaces my lowercase i with a HUGE I, and then puts a period the size of an apple at the end of the sentence. After he finished his accomplishment he looks at me and says "What?" Now really I say, what do you think it is wrong? "Oh, is it to big?" he says nonchalantly. I say yes, and he continues to "fix" it by now making it impossible to see. I gave up. Erased the sentence, re-wrote it, and then made them copy it for their copy work.


Today was our third and at the teachers request final swimming lesson with my three year old daughter. The first day she was in the pool for a half hour before she was done. The second lesson she got in after a little prodding but when the teacher told her to put her head backwards in the water and she didn't want to she started to get a little upset. So the teacher said, like this becca and tried to put her head towards the water, well becca lost it, she didn't want her to touch her and the teacher just kept trying to touch her and calm her, but becca started hitting her and pushing her, so I took her out. That WAS FUN! Now on this, her third lesson she would not even get in the pool. She told me all day yesterday that she would obey her teacher, not hit or kick her, and would hold her hand. Right, the teacher just asked her to come on and get in the pool and she started pushing her. The teacher offered me a refund and said she wasn't ready. So, we'll see how the next three lesson go, Ben and Alleigh still have three more. She will not participating.
After we got home today she decided to pitch a fit for who knows why and threw a stack of cards at alleigh. I told her to go to her room, and she managed to try and have the last word by kicking over a full cup of milk that was on the floor as she walked out. Why was a cup of milk on the floor you ask? Alleigh was pouring herself a glass
 I remember when my son was 3. After several days of only dipping his toes in the pool the teacher told him he must get in the pool TODAY. Immediatley he jumped to his feet and took off running! It was almost worth the $100.00 I wasted on private lessons to see 3 teachers and 3 lifegaurds chasing my 3 year old around the pool! 8 years later he can swim just fine! LOL And the milk on the floor made perfect sense to me!


Not the frozen kind, my daughter decided this morning that she wanted pancakes. Since I am not the morning person I desire, I told her to make them herself, but she couldn't use a pan or the griddle. So she used the microwave. I must say I am pretty proud of her. She got the pancake mix, mixed it with water, poured it into three bowls, one for her and Ben and Rebecca, then microwaved them each for one minute. She buttered them all and put syrup on them. I tasted it, I'd say it was pretty good. Ben even told her, "they tasted just like Dad's".
  Wht creative kids! I had no idea you could do this! I always make up extra pancakes and put them in the freezer for days like this. My kids are always happy to mke their own breakfast if the can microwave pancake.
Okay, so that completes the transfer of old posts from the other blog.
   The kids and I were reading today about Gladys's life in China. Why is it that i get choked up everytime I read about a person who is so blessed as to see God's hand in their life? She was talking about a time when she was worried that she could not continue the ministry.  At the moment that she was praying a knock came at the door. When she stepped out side the guard of the prison near her was pleading for her to come to the prison and ask the prisoners why there were killing and rioting. She asked why they couldn't send the police in. They answered that they would be killed. Of course she asked them why they would send her in to be killed then. Their response, "your God will keep you safe because He lives inside you." Knowing that if she did not go her testimony in China would be ruined, she went. She prayed that the Lord would keep her safe. Can you imagine, being asked to walk into one of our prisons during a riot? It must have been scary. When Gladys walked in, a man came at her with an ax. He stopped right in front of her. She said "Give me that ax" and he did. The prisoners stopped. She asked them why there were doing this. Their response was they didn't know why they were doing this.
God used this in Gladys life to open up the door to China ministries for her. I can't say that I have had anyone with an ax coming at me, but sometimes it feels like it. Even though I was reading this story to my kids, I got choked up over the way Gladys handled herself. She didn't doubt her God could protect her. She didn't worry what people were saying about her. The scripture today was 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 
I sometimes live in fear as to what people think of me, or of harm coming to my children. I let fear rule me at times. But, God has not given us a spirit of fear.

I don't want to get WET!!

Yesterday Jeff took the kids and I to his work to look for lizards. His work backs up to a big dry grass hill with lots of rocks. He had spotted several before and thought the kids would enjoy searching for some. We searched for almost 1/2 hour with no luck. I was beginning to give up. The kids had seen a lizard with a blue tail, and a black with yellow spots one, but could not catch them. Jeff joined the hunt but was not having much luck either. On our way back up to the truck, becca and I decided to look in one more spot. The first rock I turned over had a huge nest of red ants. They didn't look to happy. So I told rebecca we better go and for her to put her rock back she had picked up. She refused and said there was a lizard. Given her ability to "joke" I said, no you didn't come on. She insisted and pointed, so I looked, sure enough a lizard tail and back legs. The rest of him was buried. I wasn't sure he was alive given this position he was in, but I picked him up and sure enough that little guy was alive and kicking! We rallied the troop, looked at him, put him in the bucket and headed for the truck. The kids were so excited. Rebecca on the way to the truck said " We found a lizard! Praise The Lord!"
It wasn't a quiet Praise the Lord either, it was full and vibrant and loud! What an amazing thing for a little one to truly give praise to God for finding a lizard!
We are doing a unit study on butterflies right now, having just finished the frog and toad unit study. We have been learning what habitats are, how to make them, how to figure out what each "bug" needs and why. So, we have a lizard home, a frogs home, a toad tadpoles pond, and about 50 caterpillars and eggs. Yesterday we studied caterpillars and butterflies. Well, I figure most of them are going to be moths, but my children seem to think we have lots of variety of beautiful butterflies. So, we will see. I say all this because my children have taken an amazing interest in these "animals" they catch food for them, research on the computer and in books all about them. Yesterday they spent almost 6 hours after our homeschooling, looking for and studying the caterpillars.
I have been trying to reason with myself that instead of doing 7 or 8 workbooks on science, and nature and research and reasoning, that for this age, this is perfect for them. They are learning so much more than I could ever teach them sitting at a desk.

Don't get me wrong, they still have book work, math, reading, history, handwriting and such, I am just realizing how much more they learn in science, and even other subjects when it is hands on.

Just my ramblings for the day. 

Here is my daughter all dressed up for the ballet. She performed 6 dances in all and had a great time. All she said afterwards was "my legs hurt" and I am sure they did. This was the first year I did not have input on her dancing. The first two years I was in the studio learning the dances with her (in my head) and making her practice at home right. This year, at a new facility, I was unable to be in the room learning. She did better than I had thought and proved to me she doesn't need mom's help after all.
I was amazed today at how big she is getting. I can't believe she is 8 already and a beautiful girl on the inside and out. God has truly blessed me.
She is all signed up for the 4th year that will start next September.
You can view more photos of their group and performance at http://stevempi.smugmug.com/Other 
This is put on by a young lady that has graduated homeschool, she has been such a blessing to us and my daughter. What a wonderful role model for Alleigh. She runs the Christian Dance Fellowship Studio.
Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson

If there was a time machine, and I could go back 3 years, with the knowledge I have now of course, I would tell myself to buy this book. It has changed my thoughts on homeschooling, training my children, and refreshing my own heart. I must say, I am sorry that I did not come across this book sooner.
If you never remember another thing I say, remember this, Buy This Book!!!
(hmmm, that saying sounds familiar, could it be.....I am finally turning into my MOM!)

Lest you think I am gaining something out of this. I AM NOT! I just love this book so much, and found such comfort and encouragement in its pages that I felt I must share. And I won't even put a link to their site, go find it used. (as much as I would love to support them and you can if you have money) used does save us some.

Now Go and Buy it!
so why are the kids all fighting over who is going to GET TO rub daddies feet??? How about mommy!!!

(when they aren't fighting)

Benjamin is reading to Rebecca and while that happens here and there, this was the first time it was his idea. Alleigh looks on, seemingly intrigued by the story too.
Too bad ben looked up right as it snapped.

and than they found it in the back yard........

the biggest piece of hail they have ever seen (me too for that matter)

and all the rest we found that aren't as impressive but were until we found the BIG one....

It was so cute today, Rebecca 4, was unloading the dishwasher on her own. No one asked her to, she just started doing it. I, sitting at my computer, thought, if I don't look she will keep doing it, and then I will make a big whoop de doo about it. It didn't take long, and she closed it up and came in. I thought she had put away all the silverware, and was very proud of her. I started to give her a big hug and praise her, when she said "I just put away the spoons mommy" I gave her lots of hugs and kisses anyway, but still wonder "Why did she put away anything at all, and why spoons??

What's a water fight with out daddy? The kids were having a blast when I took the photo, especially since daddy was playing too. They all took turns spraying each other with the hose, slipping down the slip n slide, and basically destroying each other with water. So why is it that Rebecca is dry? Her theory, " give me the hose so I don't get wet." She loved getting everyone wet, but they were not allowed to get her wet, or even drip on her. Interesting little girl....she is.
I just love Fall. I think it is my favorite season. In Central Oregon, Fall comes and goes pretty quick. Usually we only have two seasons, cold and hot. But when fall does stay for a week or two, I love it.
This is our Aspen tree in the back  yard. And Here is alleigh with the biggest aspen leaf she has ever seen in her entire life (her words)

  Hey! I was just searching random blogs here and found yours. I saw that you are from Central Oregon and that you use some of the same curriculum as we do. Sounds like you are utilizing many of the activities in the area! We've only been here 3 months and with it being summer, swimming lessons are the extent of what we have bee involved in! I'm on The Homeschool Lounge, so if you find me and befriend me, then I will have a link to your blog so I can keep up!  At least these two seasons are better than the two in Washington, Winter and Road Construction. Road Construction lasts for only two weeks. : )

 Well, I don't really want to lose my blogs here, so until I can find a way to move them over, guess I will just keep adding here too.

Just a quick update and then I will try to get back on more often.
Ben is 10 and enjoying Boy Scouts, Orchestra where he plays the Viola, Choir, and Science.
Alleigh is 10 and loves her Art class, her American Girl club, the Keepers of the Home group, Choir and also Orchestra where she plays violin.
Rebecca 6 is in gymnastics and a firecracker at that. She told me today she didn't want to quit until she gets a trophy. Oh give us grace!
That is about all I have time to do right now. I will try and get some good stories on soon.

I found your blog tonight and was so excited to see the working link for Webster's 1828 dictionary. I used to have a link to a page that did that--perhaps it was the same one--but it had stopped working. I am glad to have another working link now! Thank you! Alleigh and Ben had their very first concert today. Alleigh has been playing violin and Ben is playing viola. Now to get Rebecca playing Cello and we have our own little mini Orchestra. The kids have been really enjoying this program and will get to continue next year. After that I think we join up with the middle school.
(Hmm, I forgot how to post pictures I guess)

 For the first time in my life we have a dog. We have had him for about 4 weeks. I can tell where I lack in parenting skills when it comes to my kids, just by the way the dog acts. You can't guilt a dog into obeying. He has helped me with becoming consistent. Not just with him, but with my kids. However guilt can still help me when needed. The other day my youngest was not obeying very well and I made the comparison that the dog was behaving better then she was. Wow! Had I known how well that would work I would have got a dog sooner. She goes around the house now asking me to tell her to do things. After she does them, she ends with "Can the dog do that?" Well, I thought it was really cute, until the pizza man came to the door last night. The dog of course won the heart of the pizza man. Then comes my six year old to the door " watch me, I can sit and stay.. see" I don't think I ever saw a pizza man laugh harder then he did. Needless to say, I think I will learn how to make home made pizza now. 
2009 - Summer Schedule

I have researched every curriculum known to man, or at least close to it. I have 3 history programs, 4 science programs, 6 English, grammar, writing programs, 2 foreign language programs, and only 1 math program. (lucky kids) Now, how do we narrow it down? Well math is easy. <smile> Do you ever feel that there is no curriculum that is complete? No curriculum that fully meets your needs, yet so many that are wonderful in many ways. How do you decide? How do you narrow it down to those select few?
When you figure it out, let me know!!

For our summer schedule:
Saxon Math 2 days a week
Writing (which includes grammar, spelling, and research) 2 days a week
Sonlight Core 3 readers. 1 book per week, we only have about 5 left.
Science 1 maybe 2 days per week - Earth Logic Volume 1:  Our Dynamic Earth
My son has Boy scouts 1 day per week, plus camp outs
Daughter 1 has 4-H, not sure of the full commitment here yet
Daughter 2 has gymnastics 1 day per week until August, then 3 times per week.
All three have swimming with the local children's league 3 hours per week.
The two oldest have Sandlot baseball, 1 time per week
We are looking into fiddle lessons for the summer to keep their violin skills up.
Why does my summer schedule look just as busy our school year? I thought we were taking it easy. :)

We have been talking this week to our children about the different jobs that you can do when you grow up. I have been trying to give them some head knowledge about what subjects they would need if they choose certain careers.

Rebecca my 7 year old yesterday told me that she thought the Lord was calling her to be a "clue scientist". <smile>
I asked her what a clue scientist was. She replied that a clue scientist finds clues. She continued, “If I found a beetle, it would be a clue that there was a beetle hill somewhere." So, I tried to give her a correct description of a detective. Nope, that was not what she was going to be. She was serious that a clue scientist was the correct description. I told her detectives use clues to help solve mysteries. They find clues that lead them to evidence of something. Yes, that was what she wanted to do. "But mom, that's called a clue scientist." So, my 7 year old would like to become the first clue scientist of the world. 

I realize that many people wonder what Coram Deo is. I thought I might try and give my definition of it.

We live our life in the presence of God. Everything we do He is a part of it. Sometimes I get bogged down with the educational goals that I have for my children. I want them to be the best at every subject, and be ahead of the game when it comes to testing. I expect a lot out of my kids academically. However, (yup there is a however in here) I realize that my academic goals for my kids must also be in balance with our goals to raise them up to be godly. I want my children to be able to enter into this world with a solid faith, a rock solid understanding of their God and the ability to discern truth in everything. I know that I am raising the next generation. It's a huge burden. A burden I feel called to carry. Living before God makes you think twice before you do anything. (Well it should at least) I don't always think twice, but I should. I should think three or four times before I do and say things sometimes. Living before His face, causes us to pause. To know you are in His throne room, living your life. It causes you to see life differently. You realize that living your life for God is our purpose. The chief end of man is to glorify God. Does your daily life bring glory to God? Does your home school? Does your attitude? (Oops, I just convicted myself)

 You don't find many out there anymore who are raised with values. It seems to be a me first world. A what can you do for me, or if I do something for you what will you give me type of world. Can you imagine how people would change if they realized that their life is lived in His throne room. As Christian parents it is our duty to raise our children to be in the world but not of the world. To equip our next generation to think of others, to help others, and to minister to those in need. How can we give to the needy if we think we deserve compensation? How can we bring God glory if we forget He is with us? Living in His presence causes us to think. Doesn't it?

It's hard work to teach children to think of others. It's part of our sin nature to look out for ourselves first. Face it, its hard work for us adults to think of others. It's hard for us to not think everyone should feel like we do, or do what we do. I think especially as a homeschooling mom I feel that even more than maybe others. I can't understand why I get so much opposition to homeschooling my own children. I'm not asking the neighbors to home school their children. When I speak to them and they find out we home school I never push it on them. When they comment that they could never do that, my only response is I understand, its hard work sometimes.  If I can respect their decision, why can they not respect mine? After all, we are all doing what we feel is best for our family, for our children.

Let me tell you homeschooling is hard work if you are doing it right. It's a commitment that you make to your children; it's a full time job. It's a one room schoolhouse and you’re the teacher. They don't go home after school either. After school you step back into the mom role. The clean your room, do your chores set the table for dinner role. As for school however, you must keep yourself up on the work just as much as they have to learn it. You must always stay one step ahead of them. You are self teaching yourself right a long with teaching your children their subjects. When you don't know the answer, you have to be willing to ask someone who might. You must be willing to open up to someone and let them know you’re not perfect, you’re not all knowing, you’re not always right. This perception is not necessarily one we believe but that people looking into our home school assume we believe.  As homeschooling moms it's sometimes difficult because the people we open up to don't always support our decision to home school once they realize you don't know it all. What I am willing to do though is to go find the answer for my kids. To teach myself what I need to know in order to teach my kiddos. I have to be a student and a teacher. That is my choice and I do not have a problem with it. I don't count it as a horrible burden even if others do. I have never asked a stranger to carry my burden, but they sure act like it at times. 

Living before the face of God sometimes makes us choose the more difficult path. It's the path the Lord has laid on our hearts. He does not lay it on every Christian’s heart. I do not judge your choice. I would hope the burden the Lord has given me would not be judged by anything but by the light of eternity.

My husband was looking at my blog last night and we were laughing at some of the funny things I had blogged about years ago. I'm so thankful I did, otherwise we might have forgotten. While we were talking I remembered a couple of other funny happenings. These both took place years ago. Enjoy!

Our First Thanksgiving prepared by me!

This was a few days after thanksgiving, but Jeff and I had a turkey in the freezer and wanted to invite his family over for dinner. We knew we had to get the turkey in early in the morning. Well.... it so happens that when we pulled the turkey out and unwrapped it we couldn't get all the bags of stuff inside to come out. We called my mother in law and told her we just took the turkey out of the freezer, how do you get all those packages out? Yup, key word there was FREEZER! We were trying to prepare a frozen turkey. She laughed for the longest time, and then told us to give it a bath and see if we could unthaw some of it. It took a very long time, but we did get what we thought was all of it out. More on that later.
My MIL had told me how to make the stuffing but because we were a little stressed about the frozen turkey I failed to do a very vital thing. I didn't cook the veggies. Onions, celery, mushrooms, raw. I don't remember it tasting terrible. But it made for a good laugh. Fast forward 12 hours, YUP 12 hours! My MIL comes over for dinner with her family. We ask her to see if the turkey is done or not. She opens the roaster and is looking at it in an odd fashion. We ask what is wrong. She can't quite put her finger on it. It just does not look right. She pokes and prods at it telling us some parts could be done, but most of it is still not cooked. 12 hours remember.... and it's still not done. We let it cook for about an hour. She turned up the heat and continues to check it. All of the sudden we hear peals of laughter coming from the kitchen. She figured out what was wrong with our turkey. It was upside down. So, not only had it been frozen solid, it was also upside down for 13 hours of cooking. I'm not sure anyone has ever stopped laughing over it.  As we were taking out the stuffing of the turkey my mother in law found the bags of giblets in the turkey still. Seems we missed it. I have been trusted to make the turkey since, and I should say I have never made the same mistakes. However, it is the family joke to remind me not to put the turkey in upside down, and to remember to thaw it first.

Flaming Croutons

Well the story goes like this. My MIL had made some amazing cartons. I asked how she did it and was trying to recreate them at my house. I followed the directions, mixed the spices and put them in the oven under broil. I then proceeded to forget about them. First off, I have a gas oven. So when you broil, flames are on the top of the oven. I was broiling them, so they were on the top rack near the flames. I'm not really sure how much time passed, like I said I forgot about them, but my son comes running in saying there are flames in the oven. "Oh? Ah, yes dear I'm cooking croutons and the flames are supposed to be there."  "MOM! The flames are coming out of the oven."  "Yes dear, the flames are supposed to be there it's a gas oven." "MOM!! I'm sure they are not supposed to be coming OUTSIDE of the oven." Well, I'm off in a flash and sure enough flames are coming outside of the oven. I turn the oven off....still flames....I open the door slowly.... still flames... I wonder what to do....so I grab the oven mitt and run with the pan of flaming croutons outside. Only thing is, they are still flaming and it's a hot dry summer. I can't just dump them out here. WHY aren't the flames dying down? So, back inside with the flaming croutons and douse them in the kitchen sink. Smoking croutons are now put outside on the bbq to cool. I wonder if I should call the fire department to make sure I haven't set the inside walls on fire. However, everything was cool to the touch. I wait.......no croutons for salad tonight.
I call my MIL to tell her my experience with croutons only to find out she had left out a most crucial piece of advice. "I never broil my croutons; we bake them at 150 degrees for several hours." OH! Thanks for the advice a bit too late.

Summer is winding down, and the school year is winding up. So much to choose from, so much to do, and still not enough hours in the day. It's been hard to say no to perfectly wonderful opportunities. However, this year as we enter the Middle School years, I feel the need to keep our schedule free of “want to" in order to do the "have to".

New this year also is our journey into My Fathers World. We are studying Rome to the Reformation. It promises to be challenging and enjoyable. I for one am excited to start. Using My Fathers World curriculum frees my brain to study up on English Grammar and Math. These two things have always come natural and easy to me, yet my kids do not have the same luxury. I find myself stretched to learn how to "teach" it well to my children. Luckily for me, I love to learn and I am very excited with our choices this year. I have done hours of research asked lots of questions, and talked to several teachers of these subjects. I have come away encouraged, challenged and ready to hit the books.

The one thing I have enjoyed most about this homeschooling experience has been that I can focus in on the one or two areas my children have the most difficulty in while not sticking them in ALL remedial classes because they lack maturity in one area. This allows my children to freely move through areas where they excel. Not be labeled and forever told they are not "school material". I was never such labeled, but I had a few friends in middle school and one in high school who were. Looking back, I see they were products of mass education. If you don't grasp it at the majority of your age levels ability you are not "school material". It can have such devastating effects on the child, and their life from that day on, unless a teacher is able to reach their already broken heart and help them heal. This is true especially if they do not have a supportive family. I am so glad to avoid that with my children. Oh how I wish I had the maturity when I was in school to encourage my friends. I know the families a few of them came out of, one of them never had the chance. She did not have loving parents that patiently helped her through homework, or answered questions. They had their own messed up life. When she needed them most, they were down in their own pity. It damaged her to have the teachers turn on her too. My other friend, had a family that did everything they could to help her. Everything they knew how to do. Yet, instead of the school stepping up to help, budget cuts killed her chance. Oh, just thinking of the injustice of it all makes my heart break. I'm so glad that I can be my child's advocate. Their teacher, mom, caregiver, educational advisor and can tailor fit their education for them. Thank you Lord for the opportunity to give my children the best start in their adult life, without all the stereotypes.

So....what does our school year look like?
We are using My Father's World, Rome to the Reformation, for History, Science, Art History, Music History, and Bible.
Speakers for Jesus - For speech and writing.
A mixture of LLATL, PLL, ILL, Easy Grammar, TLP and Grammar Ace for Language Arts
These items will include, picture study, book studies, poem memorization, dictation and narration.
Saxon for my older ones, and Horizons for the youngest.
The older ones are in Orchestra for the second year.
The youngest is in gymnastics twice a week. She also will be taking Piano lessons.
We will be in a Geography co-op altogether.
They will also all be involved in AWANAs again this year.

Some of the opportunities we had to pass on this year:
After School swim league
Chime Choir
Science Co-op
Book Club
(all wonderful opportunities, but not enough hours in the day)

I'm so excited about this year. I hope to keep the blog updated as the year continues.

I have to say, I love research. I love to search out new products, read customer reviews and try things myself. I have used so many different homeschooling materials out there I almost feel like a product tester. However, I am in love with My Fathers World Curriculum. In case you think I am being paid for my thoughts here, I'm not.

My favorite thing about My Fathers World is the content. It is such a full curriculum. It covers history in such a way as to not overwhelm, but encourage you to think deeper. At the beginning of this year my daughter asked me if we were going to continue the American Revolution. You see, last year we studied the pilgrims all the way to the Wild West. Well, we never made it west. I got so excited about all the information and history during the American Revolution, I kept adding and adding, and pushing back our course of study that we ended up spending most of the year stuck in the American Revolution. Now, I wouldn't trade it for anything, we learned so much and I personally have a better understanding of the American Revolution more than I ever did in school. I knew it was fought in America, but had no real understanding why they were even fighting. I say all this because I got stuck. I couldn't find my way out of the revolution. Everything after it seemed to dull in comparison, so we never made it out west. My children however were less enthusiastic about our almost year long study of it. When we started school up this year, the first statement from my daughter was “Please tell me we are not studying the American Revolution anymore.”

This year while trying to figure out if we should continue on our path, or switch curriculums and get back to the 4 year history rotation I came across My Fathers World. It seemed to have everything I loved, already scheduled. Story of the World, Apologia Science, Bible and History, Art and Music, what more could I want. Since I had already bought my next year’s curriculum it took some strong persuading skills on my part to sell my husband on this change. He knows how I love to research curriculum and I had convinced him that last year’s curriculum, although not perfect, was really worth it. Now I had the job of convincing him I was wrong and I needed this new curriculum. Needless to say, my kids will not need to take a persuasive speech class outside of homeschooling, they have a great teacher! You see, My Fathers World keeps me moving. They provide so much history that I don’t feel like I am missing out. They provide the Christian perspective so I don’t have to go looking for it, they provide those teachable moments, and then they move on. It is so good to know that we are getting all the important strings out of history, while also studying the Word of God. It’s coming together so perfectly for our family.

So my final consensus after 2 ½ months, My Fathers World, I love it! For the first time in all my homeschooling years I do not feel the need to research out and look for other options. I know I'm buying the next year’s curriculum from them. It's already settled! We are in love!

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