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!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Learning to Sew

I have been wanting to learn to sew for quite some time.  A friend gave me a sewing machine a LONG time ago that has sat in my attic for years.  Finally, a sweet friend at church is giving me lessons.  My first project was a dress to send to Nicaragua with one of our mission teams.  I was soooo excited.  I think it turned out well.  Here is a picture of Ella modeling it :)
I got so excited I found a self-tutorial on a drawstring bag and made this:
Now I've bought some fabric to try and make a fun :)

VBS 2013: AIG Kingdom Chronicles

Just wanted to share a few pix from VBS this year.  We always use Answers in Genesis curriculum and it is absolutely amazing.  It unashamedly presents the gospel and makes it so easy for the kids to understand.  The focus this year was putting on the full armor of God.  The lessons are so good.  I especially loved the one this time where they likened watching something on TV with just a little bad stuff to eating a brownie with just a little dog poop in it.  And of course we told the story while the kids were enjoying some brownies :)  Here are the pictures....
Main Stage

Suit of Armor

Ella at craft time

Leah at music time

Girls singing on stage one morning.  (I have a new camera and haven't quite figured out the action shots yet so it's blurry)

Summer Wreath

This is a wreath I made for this summer.  I started it last year and tried the trick I saw on Pinterest where you use a pool noodle for the foam part of the wreath.  Disaster.  The yarn and letter were too heavy and it just couldn't hold it's shape.  So after hours of wrapping yarn, I was aggravated and just put it in the closet.  I pulled it out a few months ago and unwrapped all of the yarn.  Then I did what I should have done at first, and bought a styrofoam wreath from Hobby Lobby.  I spent forever wrapping yarn but was so much happier this time because it was strong and looked so much better.  I painted the wooden letter and attached a cute butterfly. 

Swimming Lessons

At the beginning of June, we signed the girls up for swimming lessons at the YMCA.  Ella was already a pretty good swimmer but could improve, but Leah was totally attached to her floaties.  The YMCA uses swim belts to help kids learn rather than swimmies and we saw great improvement right from the start.  We even came home and ordered Leah a swim belt.  By the end of the two weeks, though, we realized it was a waste of money.  She swims like a fish now.  They both jump off diving boards and swim in the deep end with ease.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Leah's Kindergarten Graduation Celebration

I can't believe my little baby graduated from Kindergarten.  We had a small celebration with just a few family and friends.  I made homemade pizzas, cake and gave her a diploma.  I also made this cute banner that I couldn't seem to get a good picture of.  She is obsessed with dolphins so her gift was a Barbie dolphin trainer :)  Didn't get a picture of that either :(  The important thing is that she had a great time and we celebrated her accomplishment!!

Last Day of School

We made the last day of school this year a FUN DAY!!  We started the day with a few Minute to Win It games.  Then, we went to the park and finished our day with ice cream.  FUN!  Here are a few pix of the day......

Minute to Win It Games

We played several games and the girls had fun with this.   I had fun laughing at them attempt these silly games.

In the first game, they had to blow a cup from one side of the table off of the other end using just a straw. 

 The second game, they had to try an pick up 5 ziti noodles with a spaghetti noodle in their mouths....NO HANDS!  That is harder than you think :-)

 The next game, they had to move as many M & M's as they could from one plate to the next using just a straw.

 The fourth game, they had to put a dab of Vaseline on their noses, and move 5 cotton balls from one plate to the next, again, using NO HANDS!

 The last game, they started with an Oreo between their eyes and had to try and get it into their mouths using just the movement of their faces.  This, too, is harder than you think!

The Park

We went to the Millbrook park.  It is nice and shady on a hot day and has a fun creek for them to play in.


Ice Cream

Our last stop was ice cream from Bruster's.  They had a great last day of school!!