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Category Archives: homeschooling

all of our homeschool adventures

closet case

I have been slacking on my blogging, and for this I apologize. I am quite busy with all the schooling going on in this house, not to mention the very hungry two month old. There has been quite an uproar of bad behavior as well. I am sure a lot of it has to do with how much we are cooped up in this house. Thankfully I have a coupon for Pump it up, and it will pay for all of my kids to get in. We will be visiting them soon. We also have some grand ideas for field trips, but will need some extra money. So, they may or may not happen. As for now, we have been moving right along with school. In fact Dylan finished his math book for the year so I am going to replace it with a book for him to review everything we covered. He is really quite good at math, but just doesn’t like having to sit and use his brain.

I am also doing pretty good with school as of late. I am actually very proud of myself. I have been keeping up with everything and somewhat enjoying it, surprising I know. I decided to check my Degree Completion Plan Audit yesterday and noticed that I only have four semesters of school left. Which means after this year is over, I only have two semesters left. It’s amazing how quickly it all went. Of course I have life outside of school, a full life, and that keeps me busy. So, because I am almost done with school I find myself saying, “Now what?”  It’s kind of a weird feeling, I keep saying,”What will I do without having school to worry about?” I know most people would say, “Use your degree! Get a job!” Easy for you to say! I have four children and I am homeschooling them. All of this to say, Will and I have been talking and I am debating starting the Masters program once I finish my Bachelors. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot of work. Trust me, I have looked into it for quite some time now. Ultimately it will give me a greater advantage when I do start my job search and I will have more options when it comes to finding a job. The biggest plus for me is the fact that with a Masters I can be a licensed counselor. That is far more appealing than anything else. I don’t care to work for it. Anyway it’s something we are praying about and I know God will direct me on what to do.

Now on to the closet! Yes, I am actually going to talk about a closet, not just myself being a closet case. The school room closet has been a thorn in my side for far too long.  Having a super messy in the school room, of all places, is a bit of an issue when you home school. So, without further adieu here is the terrifying before.

Scary, right? After just a few minute of going through the clutter, I had it licked. I was surprised that it didn’t take me long at all, and I had some little helpers. The lovely after is here

all that empty space that you see will be shelving, just haven’t purchased it yet. So much nicer!! It makes me really happy, because I love things to be clean and set just right.

We also made a family tree the other day

This was a lot of fun.  The kids had a million ideas of how to make a tree and what it would look like. We decided on this and it didn’t take long to put it up. The longest part was putting all of the information. We are still working on putting all the family on, mostly because Will and I have a couple of questions. I thought in addition we could figure out all of our heritage together, basically what the kids are now, and have an appropriate dinner. I know German, Dutch and Swedish are major ones, so perhaps a dinner from one of these cultures could be a fun idea. I have English, French, and Irish (that’s just to name a few) on my side, so maybe we will have a few dinner nights to represent each one. Who doesn’t love food?

back to school

I originally started this blog as a means to keep track of our homeschooling adventure and have somewhat strayed.  Lets get back to the task at hand, shall we? In the midst of the homeschooling talk, we will also keep with daily life and the organizing train we have already started. More about that later.

I want to make sure that I post things pertaining to homeschooling for a few reasons. First off to let everyone know that we are actually doing school and surviving, such as my family and friends.  But I also want to make sure that I show other people who do not home school, or perhaps strongly disagree with it, that it is do-able and fun.  Maybe I can be an example for someone who suddenly becomes a home school fan, rather than finding it “weird” or anti-social.

Trust me when I was in high school I thought it was strange, perhaps even a little “old timey”.  But once I got to know some homeschoolers, heck some of my closest friends, I realized they are so incredibly normal!  Now do not get me wrong, there are some interesting people who home school, but there are interesting people who don’t home school.  My point is just because I home school my children does not make us bizarre or overly religious people, that don’t believe in girls wearing pants or cutting their hair. We wear pants and cut our hair! So there you have it, normal homeschoolers.

So, today was a first for me.  I turned in my son’s grades for the first semester.  I was a little nervous at first thinking, “They trust me to do this.” Then it dawned on me, they trust me to home school the kid, so I have to grade him too.  Anyway, with all the fear behind me I sat down with pen in hand and started the process.  5 A’s and 2 B’s.  Wow, that was easy! Fact is he is in first grade.  He can appropriately do the work and cooperates well.  Since I am the one controlling all factors of the schooling process, why wouldn’t he do well?

Needless to say, another simple process related to homeschooling.  Grades go in twice a year, once in January and once in June.  Simple.  You write out the grades and the amount of days school was done (typically 90 days per semester) then you sign and send. Love it.

Now we have taken an extra long Christmas break, mostly for baby G. I didn’t know when labor would happen and I wasn’t sure how long it would take us to adjust, typical new baby fears. I am also in the process of re-organizing our school room (the new table gets here Tuesday) and I want it to be done before we start back.  The start date is targeted for Monday the 16th, that’s when I start back as well. I figured why not have everyone on the same schedule, makes it easier for me anyway.

I am also starting the savings for all our curriculum for the next school year and I cannot wait to get it in.  Dylan will be starting 2nd grade and Cecilia Kindergarten.  She is so incredibly ecstatic it makes me excited.  Dylan’s curriculum will be based on history and can I just say, he is going to love it. We will be learning some great stories from our history and also reading some of my favorite books, like this one…

One of my all time favorite books in the world! I cannot wait to read it with him.  I do believe this is the first book to make me cry.

Cecilia’s curriculum also has a lot of good reading.  Which is good considering I am planning to teach her to read this school year. She has been begging to learn and I say its high time. She needs some more work on the letter sounds, but she is coming right along.

In all I would say we are doing really good with school.  I am actually more than ready to get back to work and I am excited for the 16th.  I have a lot of fun things in store for this semester and will keep you posted.

Now I am off to work on some organizing, will post soon.

Where to begin…

WARNING: This post is a hodge podge of events that have already happened, or are going to happen.  If you cannot handle reading something with bad structure or direction, then this post is not for you. It is all over the place. I promise the next one will be better. 🙂


It has been a long time since I have blogged, or even thought about blogging.  This makes it difficult to even know where to begin.  Considering a lot has happened in the few short months since I last posted, I have a lot to cover. In case no one knew, we are expecting. 🙂 Although, by now this is really old news. At the same time I have a lot to do when it comes to baby related items. We decided not to find out the sex of the baby, which means I need to have two sets of clothes ready to go. On that same topic, I have to locate the stored clothing, blankets, and other related items to clean and have ready. We were able to purchase the new car seat, and I must say I got a great deal on it.  We are still in need of a crib, but that shouldn’t be too difficult considering the baby will use the cradle for the first few months. With now only 14 weeks or less until this little bundle arrives, I am quickly realizing I am going to run out of time if I don’t get to it! All in all, we are ecstatic the kids included. It’s an exciting time, as we just love babies and what an awesome Christmas present.


On the topic of Christmas, I have already been doing my planning/shopping.  We planned ahead earlier this summer and actually had a Wii on layaway and have already paid it off and have it hidden in the gun safe. That is our big present this year. I have a few other odds and ends I want to purchase, but for the most part Christmas is done.  I am now on to food shopping for that day. I am wanting a big traditional lunch/dinner on Christmas Day. So I am planning to buy a turkey and all the delicious sides and desserts to go along with it.  So basically anything I can freeze I am trying to slowly acquire.  We want to have a nice traditional dinner so that any family that would like to come and hang out can, because with the new little one we aren’t planning to leave the house.  I must say, I am so excited for Christmas my absolute favorite holiday.

Also on the topic of Christmas we have a lot of housework to finish. We have some trim to paint, trim to put up, stairs to stain and poly, etc.  Why does this pertain to Christmas you ask?  Well, we are hosting a wedding in December! I am so very excited! My best friend, might as well be sister is getting married to her love and I am just thrilled for them both.


We had a crazy fun-filled summer, with swimming, cookouts, playing, growing, learning, stress, and some relaxing thrown in there.  I must admit by the middle of July, I was ready to fast forward straight to September and cooler weather.  I was excited when I finished my last class on August 19, which officially started my fall break and huge sigh of relief. In the same breath, we started school with the kids on August 4.  With that we have good days and bad days.  I have definitely determined that Dylan was not being challenged enough in school and we have dealt with a few issues even at home.  I find that the mundane tasks, he struggles with and complains about finishing it, even though he could finish it quickly. Now if he is doing something difficult, he has no problem finishing it quickly with no complaints.  I also have to say that I am so impressed with the reading technique provided with this curriculum.  He is becoming quite the avid reader and it makes me smile because he can now read simple books to his sisters.  Photo op to come soon.


More recent events have been all the medical issues we have had.  Will decided to do some yard work and broke out in a terrible case of poison ivy.  He literally had it head to toe, not fun.  On top of that he also has a rare form of eczema on his hands that decided to flare up at the same time as the poison ivy.  Needless to say, he was miserable. So right before his episode with all of this I was having issues with my eye.  The lower eyelid was swelling and we could not figure out why. I woke up one day to find the entire right side of my face swollen.  After contacting all of my practitioners they all said I needed to go to the hospital, so I got to wait in the ER for 4 hours to hear you have an infection take these antibiotics.  After 4 days of the medicine doing nothing, I got an appointment with my Primary and she gave me a stronger antibiotic. There was also a CT scan in there somewhere.  I would say that we are in the clear now.  We still aren’t sure why my eye decided to swell and I am praying it doesn’t happen again.  So while my eye was still swollen and hideous, I was desperately trying to figure out how to get my husband help for his ailments.  I called every dermatologist this side of Tennessee and finally we got him with someone the same day.  He was prescribed a steroid cream, which I got to drive all over to find.  All in all, we were so over doctor appointments, medicines and tests.  Ultimately, we are all healthy(?) again.


We are now just getting ourselves geared up for all the holidays and cannot wait! I am ready for scarves, chilly nights, and soups.  Most of all, I am ready for decorating! Thanks to Pinterest I have some awesome ideas and cannot wait to see how they turn out.


New goals are to post a blog at least once a week and keep things up to date.  The kids are starting soccer this week as well, so there will be a lot to talk about. Even with everything that is happening and is going to happen we are making it a point to keep God the center and continually thank Him for His unending love, compassion, and forgiveness.


gifts, learning, and grass

I thought I should update everyone from Cecilia’s party.  It turned out GREAT! We had a blast and as for  the infamous cake, it turned out better than expected. We also couldn’t have asked for a better day for the party.  It was sunny and warm, a perfect combo for an Alice in Wonderland tea party.  The next day the kids got to try out their new gifts (bicycles) on the walking trails near our house. I must say it was fun and quite adventurous.  Cecilia got going down a few hills pretty fast and thankfully, Will, ran to her safety.

In other news, we are coming right along with homeschooling and the school room.  We purchased paint and a globe (Dylan’s favorite) and we have our eyes on some furniture that will work out great for us.  Ultimately, I think I am more excited than the kids are at this point.  Hopefully that will carry through the entire year. I have been having a difficult time lately, getting motivated to do anything, but mostly school.  I am feeling not as smart as I should be to write a fifteen page paper on the many theories and practices of psychotherapy. SCARY! I think perhaps I need a little psychotherapy first then proceed with a paper about it. 🙂

For some good news, no GREAT NEWS! We are finally getting a yard! We have been waiting for over a year and quite frankly I am so sick of this muddy, rocky terrain.  It just needs to go! We finally saved up a little money and our super nice neighbor will be assisting us in this great endeavor.  Our yard is interesting one because we cannot just throw down grass seed and straw and have grass.  We have a lot of excavating and bringing in A LOT of topsoil.  We are just so thankful it’s happening.  I have dreamed of the day the kids can run outside, without shoes, and play to their heart’s content in OUR beautiful grassy yard.  I will be keeping everyone updated, with pictures.

I would say we are all doing pretty good and chugging right along.  I am really looking forward to a fun-filled summer, with a lot of good memories made. The countdown is on, Dylan is out for summer in just 6 weeks and 2 days!


I haven’t posted anything in quite some time, mostly because we aren’t homeschooling yet.  I have currently been researching, a lot.  Learning all the laws, paperwork, and exploring Umbrella Schools.

I am starting my “plan of attack” for the curriculum fair in July.  This will be my first time, as a home schooler, attending the curriculum fair. Needless to say, I will have new eyes this time.  I will be asking a lot of questions, and taking whatever advice I am given.  So far, I have been given a lot of great advice and I am eating it up.  I enjoy hearing advice and ideas from as many people as I can, I learn a little more with each person.  This is all thanks to family, friends, even friends of friends.  Ultimately, we are coming right along.

Now, as far as the room itself goes, eh… not so close.  We are trying to decide on a paint color, furniture, and other supplies.  In the end we realize it doesn’t matter. It will fall into place and we will accomplish what we need to, regardless.  All of that to say, God will take care of us, as long as we keep the faith.  It can be scary not knowing what is coming, but its exciting to know, God will provide.

My amateur book review

I have found (with help from my Mother-in-law, thankfully) an amazingly, great book for Mom’s everywhere. Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family by Kim Brenneman. Do not be fooled by the name, this book can also be used with families with only two children, it was just written in mind with large families. Kim gives some amazing advice throughout the entire book, basing the book off of  Proverbs 31:10-31. The first half of the book speaks about, a right attitude as a mother, discipline, time management, how to dress, and balancing everything with a new baby, just to name a few. The second part of the book talks about creating a Home Management Book and all the tasks we can work on each day. She has an example of Monday-Laundry Day, Tuesday-Kitchen, Wednesday-Office Day, Thursday-Town Day, Friday-Cleaning Day, Saturday-Gardening Day, and Sunday-The Lord’s Day.  You also fill in these days with your Morning Routine, Afternoon Chores, and Evening and Mealtime Routines. She gives a great backbone to work with and develop upon. She also speaks in-depth about, grocery shopping, being pregnant and preparing for a baby (while keeping the rest of the household going) and bill payment/budgeting. She also touches a lot on homeschooling and managing it with the rest of the house efficiently.  This is encouraging to me, considering we will be starting our first year of homeschooling in the fall and I am encouraged and just plain excited to start especially with everything in order and working seamlessly. My family is going to be using this system starting TODAY!  We did implement some of the ideas today and it went ok, not great. This is a system that has to be enforced everyday all day as much as possible. I would like to have it going full-time in the Summer and transition into the home school year in September. I have found it to be a little difficult with Dylan still being in school, but we will introduce what we can, now. All of that to say, I LOVED this book! It is great and I suggest it to anyone and everyone. I read almost the entire thing in ONE night. Very good book. Kim, said a lot of things in her book that I really appreciated and liked. I will call these Kim-isms. There a number of them I like so I am sure I will post many over time, but as for today, there is one thing she said that has been with since I read it. “When you make decisions moment by moment throughout the day, they need to be filtered through two questions: ‘Is this activity glorifying God and serving Him?’ and ‘Are my first priorities taken care of?’ Thinking through these questions is a habit that we deliberately need to foster.”  I feel this bit of advice should apply to everyone, not just mothers and wives. It is something I will be sure to display for my children and teach them to also ask these questions. Hopefully this is understandable and will encourage others to possibly buy this book and achieve some great habits in your home.


We ventured out again today and found the coolest thing for our new school room. It is not only useful, but also adds to the visual appeal.

on curriculum

I decided years ago even before my children were ready for school that “if” I homeschooled I knew what I was using.  I researched it many times and always went back to this curriculum. I felt so drawn to it. Even now I am very excited to be using it. In fact when talking to Dylan about homeschooling and almost coaxing him into it. I showed him a picture of the curriculum and he was instantly excited. This made me very happy and reassured me that God has a plan.

This will be Cecilia’s curriculum.

This will be Dylan’s curriculum.

Another view

What I want to model our homeschool room after