Saturday, October 5, 2013

Behind Again....

I haven't posted a single thing since school began.  Must mean I'm a little bit busy ;)  Let me say, that previous sentence was an understatement.  I fly from the moment I arise to the moment I collapse at night.  So, these post will be more abbreviated than I had anticipated them to be.  I had hoped to go into detail with every little thing....blah, blah, blah....not gonna happen.  So, let's get started!

Learning Games

My next door neighbor school teacher took a new job this year and we were the beneficiaries of several new learning games.  Here is a picture of Leah doing one about patterns and Ella with compound words.  They love playing these games and it makes learning so much fun.  Thank you, Mrs. Stacy for these great games!!


Catching Butterflies

One of the many things I love about homeschooling is the ability to stop and take advantage of whatever gift God is showing us at the moment.  Leah had gone outside to take a break and came back in screaming about the biggest butterfly ever while running to her room to get the butterfly net.  So we went outside, captured it, studied it, and then let it go.  It was a nice moment in the day just to watch the wonder and excitement in them over God's creation :)

Making Pottery

One of our projects was to make some pottery jars like they used to store scrolls in during Biblical times.  MFW gave us a recipe to make some clay, but fortunately, someone had given the girls a gift of a pottery wheel.  This was a messy project, but as usual, the girls loved it....the messier the better as far as they are concerned :)  And, no, you can't see the finished projects because though they are painted, they don't have the jewels glued on yet (that's my fault because I keep putting it off in order to accomplish other things...bad Mommy).

World Cake

Ok, last one for tonight.....another of our assignments was to make a world cake with all of the continents on it.  My brain (and my pride) said, "Oh, I've got this.  This is gonna be good."  What is that scripture says??  "Pride goes before a fall."  Yep.  I had envisioned this great sphere shaped cake with blue fondant water and green fondant continents.  Well, the cake pan I used didn't give me the pretty round shape I had thought it would.  Then, I didn't have enough blue fondant to cover the entire thing.  Lastly, the continents weren't nearly as easy to cut and shape as I had anticipated.  So though Mommy was failing, the girls reminded me this was their cake and they wanted to cut the continents.  So each one got to cut a few continents and "glue" them onto the cake.  They had fun and we reviewed the continents and that was the point.  I am humbled so often throughout this homeschool process. 

So, there is a quick glimpse into a few of the things we've been doing.  I'd like to detail them all but God only gave me 24 hours in a day :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The 2013-14 School Year Has Begun

We started back to school yesterday.  Both the girls were excited and we had a pretty good day overall. 

I wanted to share our curriculum choices for the year.  I spent much time researching and debating on what would be best for Ella this year (as far as Language Arts is concerned).  We always use My Father's World as our base.  It is so biblically based and I absolutely love and highly recommend it.  It covers subjects such as Bible, History/Geography, Science, Music/Art, Read Aloud, and other enrichment activities.  The projects are always fun and really help reinforce the lessons.  It comes with A LOT of books so I am not going to take a picture of them all (see July 17 post to get an idea).  But they are all SOOOO good.  Leah is in first grade and she will get an overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  Ella is in third grade so she started Exploring Countries and Cultures.  We will focus on how God loves all of the world and how to get involved and pray for all people.

Beginning in second grade, you have to supplement Language Arts and Math.  We actually started supplementing math in first grade and have chosen Alpha Omega Horizons.  We have been greatly pleased.

Though, again, I highly recommend MFW, I didn't like their choice of Language Arts for second grade.  Third grade is scheduled to be a continuation of second, so over the summer I set to researching what would be best for Ella this year.  I prayed over it and I must say, God (as always) came through.  Ella and I both loved every bit of LA yesterday.  I must say, it is quite a hodge podge of all different things, but I think this is best for her.  For Spelling, I chose Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press
For Grammar, I chose Language 3 by Abeka
For Reading, I chose Doors to Discovery by Christian Light Education.  The biblical/character lessons in these stories are astounding.  I couldn't be happier!!
Finally, for writing, I chose Daily 6-Trait Writing.  I must say, with this too, I am pleased.  

I never thought I would piece so many different things together...especially for just one subject...but I could not be happier with the choice.  It really seems to be exactly what she needed.  Praise the Lord we are off to a great year!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mission Trip Crafts

I have wanted to go on a mission trip for soooo long.  I just want to do it as a family.  Our church offers several mission opportunities each year, but the youngest participants are in their teens.  This past June, my neighbor (Stacy) went on a mission trip with her church to Mexico.  It was a family mission trip.  Kids as young as 6 went!!  I couldn't believe it.  She said that the kids were active participants in hammering nails and painting (they built 2 houses) as well as playing with the local children.  She said , "Y'all should go with me next year."  I made sure I understood her correctly....we could go, even if we weren't members of her church??  "Absolutely!" was her reply.  Can I just say my heart flipped over a zillion times!! 

Our church has fundraisers to help defray the cost of mission trips.  Well, we won't have that help as we aren't going with our church.  So, I am making some crafts to sell to help raise the money.  I know it may take us a couple of years, but I believe that if we are obedient to the call to go, God WILL bless! 

Here are a few of the things I've made.  I really hope to get a new vinyl machine before long and I can do much more!  In the meantime, everything here is able to be personalized to your preference (name, initials, colors, sayings, scripture, etc).  These are just examples.  Please share with your friends and help send our family to Mexico!!

12x12 decorative tile $22

12x12 decorative tile $20

12x12 decorative tile $20

6x6 desktop tile $10

8x14 floating frame $25

Post it note holder $7

Santa cookie plate $13

Christmas decorative plate $13

Etched glass Christmas ornament $8.50

Etched glass candle holder or vase $10

Name tumbler $12

Initial tumbler $12

Auburn tumbler $13 (would be cute with a paw print too)

Alabama tumbler $12

Peanut butter fudge tray $20

Chocolate chocolate chip cake $22

Almond cream cheese pound cake $20

Sock-it-to-me cake $20

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Hard to believe I am about to enter my 4th year of homeschooling.  What a joy it has been.  Hard sometimes, yes.  But, overall, a complete joy!!!  I truly believe I am doing what God would have me to do right now.  Those moments that I get to really delve into spiritual truth with them and I see them "get it".....oh, so priceless.  Yes, we study math and english much to Ella's dismay ;) but there are some things more important than being well-educated by the world's standards. 

It's nice to get to do school in your pj's on a rainy day.  It's nice to have a picnic for lunch on a beautiful day.  It's a blessing getting to spend precious time with my children knowing they are only small for a short while.  But, don't get me wrong.  It's hard.  Lesson planning when I'd rather have some down time.  Worrying that they are really getting all they need.  Teaching even when I am sick. 

Yesterday, I went to Office Depot to make some copies for next school year.  My neighbor is a teacher and suggested I ask if I could get a teacher discount as some places give them to homeschoolers.  So when I asked the lady behind the counter, her response was that they only do that for "real teachers, not just people who don't feel like sending their kids to school."  WHAT???  Can I just say that I felt my chest get tight and I know my response had to be all over my face.  Yet, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Scripture in James 1:26 that says "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless."  Also, James 1:19 "...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires."  OK...deep breath.  Yet, she proceeded to ask my girls, "Do you like being homeschooled?  You like your mommy being your teacher?  Really?  You can tell me the truth, she's not looking?"  Oh my....I must move on....

"....people who don't feel like sending their kids to school."  I can only assume she meant people too lazy to get up in the mornings and get their children up, dressed, fed, ready and off to school.  Can I just say
Does this look lazy to you?  This is next year's curriculum.  I'm a little overwhelmed just looking at this :)  Can I just say that to get my kids off to school would be easy.  To let someone else do all of the planning, teaching, having responsibility for their education.  If they went to school, we would actually have more money because I would be working more so we could afford more "things" that we currently sacrifice in order to homeschool.  I would have 8 hour sections of time to have ME time and sit on the couch, paint my toenails and eat bonbons. 

I know that homeschool is not for everyone and I am certainly not passing judgment on those who send their kids to "regular" school.  We may be there one day.  We are prayerfully taking this year by year.  I also know that everyone in the world doesn't hold to the same convictions that we do.  But, geez, why do others have to be so judgmental about homeschooling?  I've had to speak up at work even when people comment about how socially awkward homeschooled kids are.  Really?  Maybe some, not all.  But aren't their socially awkward people all over the world who went to "regular" school?  Just when I think homeschooling is becoming more of a norm, ignorant people open their mouths and spew forth ridiculous opinions. 

Honestly, though, I also felt a pang of conviction.  How often do I judge others because they are different from me?  So often we fluff away judgment in the name of "just my opinion."  {Big sigh}

Well, that's my rant.  Had to get it off my chest.  Wish me luck as we enter first and third grades :)

Ice Cream Party

In addition to the beach trip, we had Leah a small ice cream party on Saturday to actually get to see her grandparents.  Our neighbors came also as well as my friend, Shelia and two of her girls.  Still can't believe my BABY is SIX!!!
Homemade ice cream, Blue Bell, brownies, toppings galore :)

The Birthday Princess

with MawMaw

With Papa (who was being silly because he doesn't like his picture taken)

With Poppy

Beach Celebrations

Last week held mine and Charles's 15th wedding anniversary as well as Leah's 6th birthday.  Since Ella got to go to Snow Mountain for her birthday, Leah wanted to go to the beach.  It's my favorite place to be so that was an easy yes!  We left on Wednesday and managed to get in 2 hours of beach time before the rain moved in.  On Thursday, it rained ALL day.  We managed about an hour that morning but that was it.  Of course, when it was time to leave Friday, it was a BEAUTIFUL day.  Despite the rain, which ruined a great deal of fun in the sun, God did give us many blessings.  As you will see in the pictures below, we got to see a rainbow over the ocean.  Pretty fabulous.  Sadly, Leah's dolphin cruise was cancelled Thursday, but God allowed us to see quite a few dolphins playing in the sea in front of our hotel.  And, we got to enjoy Friday so it wasn't a total wash out!