Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Painting Day!

Just wanted to share a few pictures from a fun project we got to do together today! We learned about women who make "batik" which is cloth designed with candle wax and then dyed to make neat patterns. We decided to do a few paintings using this same technique with a white crayon and water colors!

Letting Go of Control

I am finding that sticking to one solid schedule is just not going to work for this family. Between my full of life one year old, different projects around the house, bible studies, and mom groups, I just don't see us being able to stick to an everyday plan.

Life is too short and I need to learn to be more flexible. Oh, that's a scary word. Flexible. Go with the flow. See where life takes you. I am most definitely NOT that kind of a person. I have to plan. It is the one thing I usually try and hold on to when things start to get hard. It is also the exact way the Lord works within me as well. He knows I like to hold on to control. I cling to it. Most often during the times when I really have no control at all.

So when something little comes along and changes the plan up even the tiniest bit, I usually start to unravel. This has been happening a lot lately with all the new challenges I have in my life right now. I have realized that I need to let go of the need to control and give it to the One who really is in control. Of course, anyone who has tried to overcome this battle, knows that we need daily reminders to give it back to the Lord. For He is the one who holds my life in His hands.

I have also learned the only true way to feel peace over the matter is to surround myself with God's truth. What does the Lord say about me and my life? Why am I so special? What makes Him think that I can DO this?

What makes ME so special? - "What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows." Luke 12:6-7

What gives me the confidence about what I am doing in my life?- "...I have been sent to bring faith to those God has chosen and teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them the confidence of eternal life, which God promised them before the world began- and he cannot lie." Titus 1:1-2

What makes Him think that I can DO this??- "For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need." Philippians 4:13

After diving in and reading the truths, I always feel better. I am so thankful to have the word of the Lord with me here and to have it to read when I need it the most. So even when I feel like the day has completely overwhelmed me, I know that I am doing exactly what God has called me to be doing right now. Sometimes JUST being a good mother is enough. I know that we moms strive to be the best mom out there, running here, going there. Having to always feel like we are doing something productive with our time. The truth is, God loves you! Even in your "off" days.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week Two

It must have been Monday today because everything seemed a little "off" today. Today my confidence was no where to be found and I caught myself being anxious while trying to get through lessons. I think what made today so rough was "working" on through the weekend with no real break. I started homeschooling as soon as our books came without any prep as well. So, you guessed it, I had the overwhelming feeling of not getting things done that I needed to.

It was just one of those days that I knew was bound to happen. I have prepared myself to expect hard days and I also expected days where I just don't feel confident enough to do this. Here is the good news though, instead of dwelling on the horrible feelings I could feel brewing in me all day, I chose to remember that I didn't need to be a perfect teacher or mom or wife right at this moment and I knew better days are coming. I remembered why I felt the calling for this position and not every mom can be super mom ALL the time! (Even though some of you put on a good front!)

I also decided that a few things I could go without doing today. Like the dishes... Thank you Lord for paper products!! Haha... But seriously, I focused on the important things like school work and one important goal I wanted to reach this week: gym time!

I bought a family fitness book along with our curriculum and have been gathering ideas to start some training this week. I made a fitness chart and we are tracking our progress as a family.We just started with a few basics like sit-ups and push-ups. Tonight we were finally able to put it into action and the whole family participated! It was so much fun! And kind of hard. And reminded me I am not so young and fit anymore. I am really excited to see where we improve over the next year and to see what all my littles learn.  It was great to be able to show the kids how to do basic fitness but it was also fun for the whole family! It was especially funny to everyone when my youngest decided I needed more resistance when he jumped on my back during superman's! (Good thing he is cute!)

After all the structured "gym class" time was over, my hubby took the kiddos out in the yard for some soccer time! We kicked the ball around in a circle and practiced big kicks! He also made them run races around the back yard (which tuckered me out!) We ended the night on the trampoline (as most nights end) and the kids decided mommy had "Ogre" feet because mine were the only feet without shoes on them and they were horribly dirty! Hahaha!

Bad day turned great night! : )

P.S. My legs are killing me = Success!!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The End of a Good Week

Today was our last day of catching up on school work and was technically the end of the school week! Yay! We successfully completed on whole week! I a couldn't be more proud of my baby girl! Today was the last day of learning her verse of the week. She did so well! I recorded it (of course) to show all of you! Please show this girl some love! She did awesome this week! : )

My other daughter wanted to be in the spotlight as well! So here is her video!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Busy Weekend

This is our first weekend since starting school and I must say, it is a long one! We have to spend the weekend catching up on school work since the books didn't come until the middle of the week. Plus, now that we have been homeschooling every day, our normal day to day chores have been put to the side while we try to find a balance in our new routine.

So you can probably guess that today involved a lot of cleaning! My girls are such big helpers when it comes to chores, so they worked on the upstairs while I did a lot downstairs. This is awesome! And I plan on cherishing every minute of it! I know a day will come when they aren't so excited to "help" mommy.

After all that cleaning, my little boy was getting tired and was ready for a nap! Woohoo! Extra time to get school work done! Today was a little more laid back, since technically it IS the weekend! So we breezed through our work and my little student made sure to let me know that she already knew all of this easy stuff... LOL!

I must admit, I had a bigger agenda for the day than just school work. I went to the store yesterday and bought all the ingredients I needed for about 6 frozen meals. I found a pretty straight forward Pinterest pin with lots of easy meals in it and was excited to try my hand at some more "simple" meals!

You can find all the recipes I used today here.

With my little one still sleeping, this was a great time to try and squeeze some cooking in! And we ended up getting ALL six meals DONE!! Rose was my special helper for the project and she did a great job mixing and pouring! I love it! I am excited to try some new meals and all I have to do is throw them in the crock pot! This should make next week even easier for me and adjusting to our new schedule...

She was pretty excited to be helping!!

Now I am relaxing just a bit before the Little wakes up and the girls are dancing to Just Dance on the Wii. What a beautiful Saturday to get things done! Still more cleaning to do, but am feeling blessed to have such little helpers to get it all done with! Love you girls!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Sweet Blessing

Thought I would share a sweet little blessing today. We were in the middle of doing our bible time/prayer time when I asked the girls what they wanted to pray for. My little preschooler sat thinking for a moment, then jumped up exclaiming, "I know! We could pray for sissy's boo boo!!" My heart leaped with joy. My eldest daughter had just gotten a huge cut on the bottom of her foot from running around outside barefoot and was pretty upset by it. So it was sweet to see how caring she was being to her sister and it also reminds me I am doing a good job that she can recognize someone else's needs before her own. After she led our prayer, they hugged! Thank you Lord for these sweet little girls!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day Two

Day 2:

While I realize that I probably won't be able to blog every day about what we do and how things are going, I do want to make an effort and recording this precious time I have with my children. So here is how today went!

We have been starting with our core curriculum which contains our bible studies, literature readings, and history/geography. This has been very interesting to me! First, I must admit, I really don't know what to pray for with my kids some of the time but with this guiding me, it has been fun! This week we are praying for tribes all around the world who have not heard the news of Jesus Christ! I am almost positive I would not have thought of this by myself. This is also great for teaching the kids to pray for others. For literature, we have started reading Charlotte's Web. This is pretty hefty reading for my young ones but so far my first grader is following along really well (snuggled up beside me) and understanding what is happening in the story. My tongue also has been getting lots of exercise with reading out loud so much, but honestly, I think its good for both of us! History and geography has started off reading about the first people of the world and the main types of races. We have also read about different countries, flags, and currency! I have a feeling all of this is going to perk some interest in world traveling before too long!

We did get my youngest to take a nap during all this fun, so we ended up getting all of our morning work done within a few hours!

Our afternoons have consisted of math so far. I've tried to block out a bigger time frame for this because I know how challenging math can be for some kids. So far, we have breezed through the first few worksheets in under a half an hour! So far she has "learned" number place, and order. Both being entirely too easy for her but I am sticking to the plan trying not to zoom ahead.

So far, so good! I am absolutely loving this calling of mine! Thank you Lord, for this opportunity to stay at home with these great kids! I pray now for the rough times ahead. May I be able to look back at this post and remember all the wonderful things I love about what I am doing. I pray I never take this time for granted and hope I can breathe through the challenges. Lord lead me!

P.S. My little first grader has already memorized Psalm 1:1! Awesome to see that in action! : )

The Start of a New Journey

Hello friends and family and new visitors to my blog! It has been a little while since my last post and a LOT has happened this past year. So hold on tight with me on this new journey we have started: homeschooling!

To catch those of you up who don't know what this last year has consisted of for our family, let me clue you in. At the beginning of this year, my husband and I decided to really get serious about selling our home (as if we weren't serious already.) We decided to drop the price about $8,000 from where we originally wanted to sell at. With this drop in price, we had to really take a leap of faith and let God control what happened next. I am so glad we decided to take that risk, because around the first week of April, we got and accepted our first offer!

It was around this same time frame that I began praying about school options for our oldest daughter. She had been in public school kindergarten and while she loved it, I hated it. Let me just say one thing, it wasn't one teacher or one incident that I hated because really, the school itself was fine. The hardest part for me was sending her away all day to people I have never even met before. I just could not get around this fact! I felt like the weird mom who didn't trust anyone. While apart of that is true, (there is a lot of people in this world not to trust,) I really just wanted to be the one who taught her things and got to see her learn and grow everyday. I did not want to hear these things about my child from someone else. So what options did I have? Homeschool? I thought, "Wow, now you really are nuts." But I prayed anyway.

Well, after quite a while of praying, the Lord answered my prayers! He set a resounding "YES!" In my heart for homeschooling. After that decision, everything started to fall into place. We sold the house, and things got really hard after that. There was quite a gap between selling our home (and leaving it) to finding and actually moving in to our new home. This also included staying with my in laws for two months with my family of five living on their back porch in the heat of the summer. I will admit, there was a ton of doubt in there! I thought maybe I should just get a job and go back to work, and I thought we would never get into this dream home of ours. My husband and I had to keep the faith that He was providing even in these crazy hard times. We did finally move into our dream home, though. It has been a little over a month now and things are starting to settle down.

This week, the curriculum FINALLY came and we were very excited!! We even transformed the "dining room" into a wonderful, colorful homeschool room! So, yesterday was the kids' first day of school! We have a first grader and we are starting preschool with my middle child. I was so nervous to see how it would go (especially with a toddler running around.) Let me tell you, it was AWESOME!!

We had chose Sonlight curriculum and couldn't be more excited! I love all the books that came and it was really easy to get started. I was so relived not to have to send her off to be with someone else and I got to see things click for her as we moved through the day! My preschooler even got to practice writing her letters and did some that I didn't know she could do!

The day got a little tense when my youngest wanted all of Mommy's attention but luckily my husband was home yesterday to swoop in and take him off my hands for a bit. I know this is going to be an adjustment for all of us for a little while until we get used to it. So for now, I will try and enjoy every minute of it!

My goal is to keep up on this blog for friends and family who are curious about homeschooling (obviously I am not shy about us doing it and love to share.) I never thought I would ever have kids, let alone stay home and homeschool! Haha, life is so funny sometimes but I have a great big God! I am willing to follow His lead on this journey and hope you will follow along too! Thanks for all of your love and support, I really couldn't do it without you all! : )