Friday, August 28, 2009

A Clean Schoolroom/Playroom

One more thing checked off my To Do List!  It feels so good to get rid of clutter!  How does it get junky so quickly?  I thought about changing the purpose of this room but for now it is going to stay our playroom/schoolroom.  Since I cleaned, the kids have spent hours playing and entertaining themselves with the new found treasures (organized toys)!

image image




Even though we have a schoolroom we end up doing most of our school time here………

213and here………

216We added a bookcase to the dining/living room to hold all of our current curriculum for the year. 


So far, this is working great!


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

The First Week of Homeschool

We just completed our first week of homeschool for this school year.  Emily and I are starting out slow, concentrating on math and reading, this week since we didn’t do much any school this summer. 

  Emily – 1st Grade



Aiden – PreK

The highlight of the week for Aiden and Emily (Aiden is learning about cows) was “milking a cow” and making homemade ice cream.




Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out To Lunch

By 9:00 a.m. this morning I had:

  • Spanked Aiden for calling me stupid butt. (I would like to say that he heard this from some other source than my household but alas, he learned it from his sister!)
  • Felt my hair grey (more than it currently is) when Aiden ran off my bed in attempt to get away from me because he was going to be visiting the think about it mat for the 3rd time today.
  • Refereed at least 5 fights for “He/She hit me”, “That’s mine”, etc., etc.
  • Sent both kids to their rooms since they weren’t playing nicely together.
  • Sat in the middle of my bed and C.R.I.E.D.!
  • Called my mother for a pep talk while crying.
  • Told God “I have had enough, I surrender!”

Thankful, God heard me and one of my dearest friends, Katreena, called and said her mother wanted to treat me and the kids to lunch. My first reaction was, NO WAY AM I TAKING THESE KIDS ANYWHERE! Emily had said a few minutes before that she wished we could just start the day over and I realized that we all needed to get out of the house. I also saw this verse posted over my kitchen sink:

Forget about what’s happened. Don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out, don’t you see it?

Isaiah 43: 18-19

I think God was telling me, get out of the house, forget about the morning, I have it under control! I tend to assume when a day starts out like this one did it won’t improve until everyone is in bed. This is something I am working on…. turning my attitude around! I know that as a mom I really do have the power to change the direction we are headed in.

Ahhh, the power of lunch away from the house! The kids were good, they listened, sat in their seats and ate lunch. Mommy came away refreshed and able to handle the rest of the day.


Friday, July 31, 2009


I have so many projects that I want to complete before the end of summer!  As the days pass and our school year quickly approaches items are being added to the list instead of being crossing off!  Every time I attempt to clean or organize I am interrupted by kids fighting, someone needing something, crying, etc, etc.!   Anyone else have this problem?

Well, I am determined to get some things crossed on my list before we start school.

Top priority is our school/play room.  I am really embarrassed to show pictures of it, but here goes.  This is what the room looked like while we were homeschooling this year. 




This is what it looks like now! (GASP!)

School Play Room

The problem….I love the idea of a school room however this room is in our basement and it’s just not convenient.  All of our school supplies, books, and crafts seem to migrate up to the dining room table.  This room has turned into our don’t know where to put it room!  I would love to be able to move everything upstairs to our dining room but I just don’t have the space.   The plan for this next week is to spend at least 30 minutes every day getting rid of stuff we don’t need and figure out how to better use this space!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Game Plan for Little Man 2009-2010

Aiden has already been asking “Can we do school?” I don’t want things too structured but I know that I need to use some sort of curriculum to help me keep things fun and exciting for Aiden. We have been doing some Tot School and I plan on continuing our educational play. I found a great website with free curriculum from Brightly Beaming Resources. I am going to use the Preparatory Curriculum which is intended for 2-4 year olds. I printed the Lesson Plans and had it bound.Along the Way

Each week you teach about about:

    • Theme such as cows.
    • Vocabulary word that goes with the theme (ex. calf)
    • Nursery rhyme (ex. Hey diddle, diddle)
    • Letter
    • Number
    • Shape/Color

The curriculum also lists books to go with the theme. What I love about this curriculum beside that it is FREE is that you create a learning poster with everything you are teaching that week. This is a visual reminder for me to spend time each day reviewing what he is learning.

Aidens Learning Poster

I also plan on using Kumon workbooks to help with tracing, cutting and pasting. Emily LOVED these!

Cut and Paste I made some fun file folder games. I found a great, almost free to make, file folder game at The Snails Trail to teach him his name. (I love free paint swatches!)Name FF Game

I used some cute rocket die cuts from the Dollar Tree and made a number match game. Rocket FF Game

Of course we will add some fun crafts along the way!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

2009-2010 Curriculum

We are going to make some changes in the way we homeschool this year! I decided even before my dad passed away that this year I needed to simplify things! I don’t mean less schooling, just more fun! We have been doing unit studies and I was stressing myself, trying to put everything together and find the books I needed. At first I thought it was fun, but by the end of the year, not so much fun was going on! A stressed out mommy is not conducive to a good learning environment. So this is what we will be doing this school year for Emily:


Math-U-See Alpha –We used the Primer program last year and really liked it.


Sing, Spell, Read and Write Level 1


Winter Promise Hideaways in History – I am very excited about this program. Each week you travel to different stops all over the world, peeking in on some of the most interesting events in world history. Our core reading will be from The Story of the World (volumes 1 –4), and Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. What I love about this program is that each week you can create a learning hideaway to go with what you are learning about such as an Egyptian pyramid, medieval castle, western general store, WWII submarine, or colonial store. We won’t make a hideaway every week and some weeks we may do a doll size hideaway (lucky Barbie).


Winter Promise The World Around You


Discovering Great Artists – Winter Promise includes some art projects but I want Emily to continue learning about the styles, techniques and great artists.


Hands on Bible Explorations – 52 Fun Activities for Christian Learning – This is what came with the Winter Promise curriculum and I haven’t had a chance to really look at it yet.

Life Skills:

This is an area that I haven’t put enough effort into and now I am paying for it. I have given Emily some simple chores but I fail to follow through and make sure she is completing them properly. It so much easier to do it myself than nag remind Emily how things need to be done. I am taking more of a Charlotte Mason approach this year so we will be focusing more on chores, cooking, and having a service attitude (Uh, this is something I also need to work on).


Piano Lessons – Thank you to my mom who taught piano for over 20 years. She is teaching Emily piano.


We started using Sue Patrick’s Workbox system during the end of our school year and I plan on continuing to use it this year.

I think that covers all of the have to have subjects. We will probably include some foreign language later in the year. Like I said we are going to keep it simple. I love reading homeschool blogs and have to remind myself to stay on course and not add all of the wonderful ideas that I find.

I’ll post later on what I have planned for Aiden.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Not Guilty!

Should I feel guilty for waiting until the kids are in bed and sneaking going to McDonald’s to get a hot fudge sundae?  Wrapping it in a napkin so the kids won’t know what I’m eating? Curling up on the sofa (that they are not allowed to eat on) and keeping a book close so I can put in over the evidence if they get out of bed and have just one more question?  Well, I don’t!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yummy Lemon-Blueberry Scones


These are hands down the best and easiest scones ever!

What You’ll Need:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon  baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen

1 generous teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/2 dried blueberries (I used fresh)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg

Optional Glaze:  Powder sugar, lemon zest and milk

What You Do:

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and    preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater;  use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal) then stir in the dried blueberries.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg and lemon zest until smooth.

4.  Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form.  Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball.  (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

5.  Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar.  Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart.  Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. 

6.  Mix together powdered sugar, small amount of milk and lemon zest and drizzle over the top of the scones. 

7.  Enjoy!

I love to fix these when Emily and I have tea, but we often have them for breakfast.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Feeling God's Guidance

This past week has been the worst of my life but through it all I have felt God guiding me and the people who we have encountered. I would not be able to cope without knowing that God has a purpose for everything he does, even when I do not understand it!

Tuesday, my Dad drove to the hospital for surgery. After this surgery we thought it would be a new beginning for us. I never dreamed that new beginning would be without my Dad. While he was having surgery he had a massive stroke. He never regained consciousness but we believe that he could hear us and he did squeeze our hand when we talked to him.

How do I know without a doubt that God was with me, guiding me and the people we meet?

-Mom and Dad did not want me to come to the hospital. I knew I had to be there.

-He allowed me time to talk to Dad about his salvation and when I told dad that he would get a new body in heaven, he squeezed my hand! This was during a time when he was not as responsive.

-My parents have not been to church for sometime (a great concern for me). Their old Pastor, who was visiting the hospital, was lead down a different path and found my mom in the Critical Care Unit crying. He was able to pray with dad and reassure him of his salvation. Dad squeezed his hand so hard the Pastor stopped praying for a moment!

-I was with Mom when all of the tough decisions had to be made.

-I was able to be with my Dad when he went to heaven.

I continue to pray that God will guide me and help me to know when I need to be a crutch for my Mom and when to let her go it on her own. That we can find a new routine that draws us closer together. That I can help my husband and children deal with their grief. That I can become closer to God!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Raining!

Until today Aiden was doing great with the potty training. I told someone that potty training him has been a non-event. Aiden decided on his own that he was ready to start wearing "daddy underwear" and until this morning he has only had two accidents, both outside. I expect some accidents while potty training but today was no accident! First, he peed on the carpet in our room (ok, this probably was an accident). However, 10 minutes later Aiden decided it would be fun to stand at the top of the stairs and see how far he could pee down the stairs, laughing all the while. I would like to say that I remained calm and explained to him that this is not where we pee but that was definitely not the case! I called Rick and said "Guess, what your son did?". He assured me that he did not teach him how to do that. I would just like to know where he got the idea to do such a thing?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

I can't believe that my baby girl is 6! One of her requests was breakfast in bed. Of course she wanted to eat in our bed and watch tv.

Breakfast in bed (waffles with whipped cream and blueberries).

Daddy and Emily

Emily's cake.

I am having some majoy mommy guilt because Emily wanted a party and I didn't get my act together in time. She still said it was one of her best days every.

Friday, May 15, 2009


We have been using Sue Patrick's Workbox System for about a month.

What we love:
  • We are are using more of the games, puzzles and fun learning items that we have around the house.
  • Emily has one box where she works with Aiden. She loves to be the teacher.
  • She can see that there are fun things coming up and will stay on track to get her math and reading done.
  • I have lots of art books and workbooks that have just been sitting on the shelf. I have actually starting using them. (Emily is only in Kindergarten, and I wonder how I have already accumlated so much stuff.)
  • It keeps us on schedule.

What we have changed:

  • I have to admit that we only used 12 of the boxes for about two weeks then cut it back to 6 (9 on a really good day). I love the system but it would take us from 8:00 am until lunch to complete 12 boxes.
  • One of the main purposes of the workboxes is for the child to learn to work more indepedently and since Emily is not able to read directions I decided it was best to slow down a little.

This is something we are going to continue to use next year. I am even planning on adding a set for Aiden (3 at the most) since he wants to do what Sissy is doing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I have the greatest husband and kids every! I was served breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. Rick even went out and purchased a tray just for the occasion. Of course I spoiled his plans a little when I got up at 6:00 am. I had no problems climbing back in bed with a good book and waiting:)

On Mother's Day I can't help but think about and pray for all those families who are unable to have kids and for all of us who have lost a child. Rick and I struggled to get pregnant and I remember how hard Mother's Day was. It always seemed like everywhere I looked there was someone pregnant. I thank God everyday for my kids. Sometimes it may be with a clenched jaw (*grin*), but they truly are blessings!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Rebekah and Emily

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Home again!

Dad is looking and feeling much better! He is off most of his medicine and they think they have the bleeding stopped. He is going to have to have surgery to remove the spots on his kidney. They hope is that the bleeding has completely stopped so they don't have to remove his kidney. We are still waiting to find out what is going on with his lungs. I am so blessed that we are homeschooling so I can focus on my family right now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dad...back to the Hospital

My dad is back in the hospital. He was put on blood thinner due to a genetic problem they found while testing his blood. Well, the spots on his kidneys started bleeding so he is back in the hospital for more test. They had to do a blood transfusion since he was loosing blood and in order to help remove the blood thinner from his blood. Ugh!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Update on Dad

Well dad is finally home from the hospital. We are still facing some uncertainties about his lungs. Both lungs have spots on them. They are not certain if this is from a virus, a result from his prior chemo, or cancer. He also has two spot on his kidney which they think could be cancerous. He has numerous doctor appointments scheduled to check his lungs and kidneys.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Dad

I am a Daddy's girl and proud of it!

My Dad had Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 10 years ago. We all sang praises when he was cured! Although cancer is never good, one positive thing came out of it, an even closer relationship with my Dad. I have always been close to my Dad, but since then I never leave without a hug and I love you! Even when Dad was going through chemotherapy, I don't remember seeing him sick.

All of this changed on Friday morning! I called my parents and chatted with Dad for a few minutes. As he was handing the phone to Mom, I heard him say "Don't tell her!" Mom informed me that Dad woke up at 4:00 am with a numb arm (of course he didn't tell mom until around 8:00 am). When I called they were getting ready to go to the emergency room. Dad is still in the hospital having numerous test run. The doctors have determined that he had a stroke, which could have happened 6 months ago. (Thank you God, that his arm is getting better!) Further blood test show that he has a blood clot or blood clots somewhere. This has been the scariest thing I have gone through with my parents because this is the first time I see that Dad is not invincible! Dad is suppose to have more test run tomorrow and then hopefully he can come home.

I pray that he will be ok. I hate to think about my parents (or myself) aging, but it's happening.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Coming!

Even though the first day of spring isn't official until the 20th, signs are everywhere that Spring is Here! Seeds are sprouting, buds are forming on the trees, flowers are blooming and birds are nesting right outside our bedroom window. For the past three days I have heard the soft cooing of Doves and as I looked outside my window this is what I saw.

A pair of Mourning Doves have made a nest in the holly tree by our window. Ivy (which I planned to cut) has grown up the holly tree providing extra protection for our nesting Doves. I have enjoyed watching them groom each other or daddy bringing mommy sticks to fix their nest. We are all waiting for what we know will eventually happen, the sweet sound of baby birds!

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Little Ballerina

One of Emily's favorite activities is ballet. Although she did not take ballet this winter (I won't discuss my lack of energy and enthusiasm anymore!), she has been watching and practicing her ballet with a DVD she received from her Aunt Kelly.

The video goes over the basic poses.

We don't have a bar to use but a shopping cart works great.

Of course, having the tongue out always helps with concentration!

Aiden has to join in on whatever big sissy is doing!

As I look through my pictures of Emily I am noticing one similar thing, she usually has on dress up clothes or pj's. Oh well, she does usually start out the day in regular clothes!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Excuses!

I know I have been neglecting my blog! I don't know what my problem is (maybe I've had the doldrums of winter!) but I just have not been able to get my act together lately. I've been having some serious heart to hearts with God about my lack of enthusiasm and the total loss of all my organization skills. In my quiet times God has reminded me of this......

Depend on the Lord in whatever you do. Then your plans will succeed.
-Proverbs 16:3

So, with God's help I'll do a better job!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tot School

Tot School

Aiden is 26 months old

This is our first time posting our Tot School activities. Aiden had a rough start to the week due to a bandaged hand and having a cold.

He did manage to work on sorting shapes with his left hand.

He asked to "cut, cut" with scissors which ended with the scissors being thrown across the room, because he was frustrated with the bandage.

Tuesday, things were back to normal and Aiden had fun looking at his name in his Cars Tot Book, which we printed from Carissa's blog 1+1+1=1.

Emily and Aiden built a fast food restaurant (pick up at the second window) and then demolished it!

Aiden (ahem) painted.

We found this really cute football craft at No Time for Flashcards.

Looking back we did more this week than I thought we had. Of course most of the week was spent snuggling on the sofa and reading since little man wasn't feeling good.

Don't forget to visit Carissa at 1+1+1=1 for more Tot School posts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Little Man is Home

Aiden is happy to be home after his surgery this morning. Everything went smoothly and we were home by 1:30. We are somehow suppose to keep his hand wrapped, dry, and clean for the next week. Yeah, right! He is not happy about the bandage and has kept himself busy trying to get it off. He did discover his little thumb sticking out of his bandages while I was laying him down and he said "Look Mommy, thumb!". He decide to pull on it which resulted in an "ouchy". It is such a relief to have the surgery over with. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Prayer Request

On Thursday morning Aiden was marching with a yard stick. (As the doctor later told me no story starting like this could end well.) He somehow broke the yard stick into three pieces. He was crying and complaning about his hand. As I was checking his hands I noticed that he couldn't straighten out his thumb. So by 8:30 a.m. we were off to the doctor's office. I thought his thumb was probably just dislocated. The doctor looked at his thumb and said he had never seen anything quite like it. The top part of his thumb was locked and it tilts out just a little. Aiden has not been in any pain except for when this first happened. Well, after x-rays and a trip to UVA's Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center they have decided he has trigger thumb. Trigger thumb is basically caused by a bump on your tendon that get stuck when it goes through a pulley. The pulley allows the tendon to move and stay in place. He is scheduled to have surgery at UVA on Wednesday morning. It is a fairly simple procedure but he has to have anesthesia which worries me. I'm trying to give all of my worries to God and trust in him, but it's hard when it's your kids. The doctor did assure me that he has probably always had this, however this was the first time that Aiden had flexed his thumb down far enough that is actually locked. Of course, I still have guilt about letting march with the yard stick!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

God Continues to Amaze Me

Emily found a caterpillar the last part of August. We graciously let him have our parsley plant and decided to bring him inside when the nights started to get cooler. I failed to cover the parsley once we brought it inside and he disappeared. I figured he was eaten by one of the cats. A few days later while I was sweeping I saw something strange on the floor. It was the chrysalis. I gentle placed it in our butterfly cage and we patiently waited, and waited. After two weeks Emily decided he was dead! We held out hope because if you blew on the chrysalis it would move. Well, this morning, almost 4 months later, I was awaken by my daughter screaming. The little guy finally decided to emerge, a Black Swallowtail. His wing is crumpled on one side so even if it was summer he would have to spend the remainder of his day in our care. God is truly amazing, how could such a small creature survive for 4 months with no food or water?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cross It Off The List

Well, I've been wanting to do it...create a blog that is and tonight was the night. The kids, hubby and animals all went to bed early so I have had some quite time. I should have been cleaning the house, but documenting memories is more important than those dust bunnies lurking, right?

So here is one I'll want to remember:
Today Aiden and I were working on animals and what sound they make with his Sing and Say. I found out what our cats say.

Me: "What is this?"
Aiden: "Cat"
Me: "What does a cat say?"
Aiden: "Meow, Help me!"

Unfortunately that is probably what our cats do say most days! They are well loved, they just don't know it.
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