I’m sick

Before my friends and family freak out over this title, I’m not physically sick.  After the decisions made by the Supreme Court this week, I’m sick and scared.  I have worried over this decision since it came down.  In all honesty, I had no idea that this was even before the Supreme Court.  Obviously, the decision I’m talking about is the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage will be protected in all 50 states.  I haven’t posted anything about this on social media, because I was afraid.

For some who know me, you know that I REALLY don’t like confrontation.  I will not actively seek to debate someone, I will not look for a fight.  When I am thrust into one, I become anxious, flustered, my heart races, etc.  And I really don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings.  So for this reason, I didn’t want to offend anyone, I didn’t want to lose any friends, or cause anyone any anguish.

But after reading Bridget’s post “We’re to Blame” on her site Becoming a Godly Wife, I felt compared to speak up.  Please, take a moment to read her words, as she has said them better than I could have.  (If you scroll down to the bottom of her post, you can read my comment.)

Please hear this, I am not condemning anyone, I don’t hate anyone.  I am a sinner, the same as everyone else on the planet.  I have had friends who were homosexual.  It doesn’t mean that I condone what they are doing, but I don’t condemn them either.  That’s not my job.  My job is to love the person, to treat them as Christ would, to show them the love of Christ.  All I expect is the same respect in return.  Yes, there are radical people out there who shout condemnations from pulpits and mountains and street corners.  That’s not me, that’s not how I was taught to show the love of Christ.  But, I do feel that with this decision, we are headed down a seriously DARK path, and if we don’t speak up, we will be in serious trouble.

So please, take a moment to read Bridget’s post.  I know my following is small, but it only takes one person to bring change about.  Thanks in advance.


Where have we been…?

Since most of my readers are family, you know where we’ve been since my last post.  Boy, what a roller coaster we’ve been on.  For those who don’t know, we’ve been busy!  We put our condo on the market for a third time and by the grace of God, we sold it.  Not only did we sell it, but we also found and bought a new house within a month.  So I’ve been packing, moving, unpacking, setting things up in the new house, finding homes for everything in the new house.  Visiting Goodwill about once a week, as well as the recycle spots to dump boxes.  Oh the joy.  And not just sarcastically either.  My husband and I were talking about our new house the other night, and how much we love it.  I reminded him what I had been saying for the previous year, that our new house wasn’t ready and/or the buyers of our old house weren’t ready.  And it’s true.  In talking with our new neighbors we found out that they used to live in our house and had outgrown it.  The opportunity came up at the end of last year for them to buy the larger house next door.   And the buyers of our old house were waiting for tax refunds to come in.  Everything happens in the Lord’s time and not ours.

And for the whole point of this blog – school.  So we haven’t been remiss in our schooling.  We haven’t schooled every day, but we have been learning.  Cole will be starting first grade in the fall – and with that comes our official entry into the NC homeschooling world.  I will be filling our Notice of Intent to Homeschool with the state this month.

Cole is an avid reader.  We found some AWESOME beginning readers at The Measured Mom.   Make sure you have a LONG time to look around.  There are also alphabet books that I downloaded for Wyatt.  And they LOVE their books.  If you choose to print these, invest in a long-arm stapler.  Amazon has one that is a decent price.

One of the cool things in our new neighborhood is the kids.  There are kids around the same age as our in about half of the houses in our cul-de-sac.  Every night after dinner we all go out in the cul-de-sac to play.  Sometimes the parents chat while the kids ride bikes or play with various toys.  Sometimes the dads play soccer or baseball with the kids.  It’s wonderful.  Not only did the boys make new friends, but we have as well.   And the other kids find our boys fascinating.  Mainly because we homeschool.  When do they wake up?  How long are they in school for each day?  What do we do the rest of the day?  Not in a condescending manner, but just curious minds.  I think some of them might be envious.  One of the moms is a teacher, and she has given us some looks about homeschooling, but not said anything.

Since we did take some time off for the move, we are going to do some summer school.  I found a great summer learning pack from Royal Baloo and 3 Dinosaurs. There is letter, number, shape recognition for Wyatt, and reading and math for Cole.  We’ll start working on that next week.  There are sets for 5 weeks of learning, each set having a different theme (space, beach, etc).

I hope you all are having a great  pre-start to summer.  Eleven days until the days get the longest then start getting shorter.  I, for one, can’t wait.

I’m Back – well, gonna try to be…

So while I haven’t posted here in a while, I have been very busy with school and life. Last year, we started meeting up once a week with a great friend of mine, for school with our boys. She has three boys, the middle one being the same age as Cole and the youngest is about a year younger than Wyatt. We have tons of fun each week playing various reading and math games, cool science experiments, and awesome crafts. We take turns teaching so it mixes it up for the kids.

For us at home, we started working on word families this year with Cole. I found some really neat activities for word families and sight words, but my favorite, and Cole’s has been card games. Kelly’s Kindergarten is a treasure trove of information and activities, but she has a whole section on various card games, including Cars UNO, which is the most popular in my house. I tend to save it as an end of the week activity so it’s something to look forward to.  You can click here to get to the cards page.

The other cool thing I stumbled upon was a set of emergent readers from Anna at The Measured Mom.  I am really loving her site right now.  She has numerous FREE printable books for beginning readers.  They are so much fun.  And Anna gives great directions on printing.  She also had a couple of sets of ABC books, that Wyatt loves.  He wanted me to print out every book the minute I printed out the first one.  The problem was that I needed a long-arm stapler (loving this new item) and more card stock paper.  The stapler came today and the paper will get here tomorrow.  The readers are found under the Reading link at the top of the site.

We also decided to make an indoor herb garden.  I wanted something fun we could do for science that I could use to teach the kids, but also be functional too.  (And I’ve been wanting an herb garden for a while!)  I didn’t want something outside, because, well, I HATE bugs, and we have some big scary ones here!  I have been doing a lot of freezer meals lately, and have been wanting some fresh herbs for salads and other meals.  So this seemed like the perfect idea!

So while I was at the dollar tree on afternoon with the boys, I saw that they had clay pots and seeds.  SCORE.  So we picked up 8 pots and 8 seed packs.  Seven were herbs and one was flowers for the boys.  And they did what boys do, they lost the flower seeds.  We had to go to home depot anyway to get soil and bases for the pots, so I just picked up an extra seed packet.  We planted basil, parsley, thyme, chives, oregano, lavender, mint, and sage.  I’ve got to tell you, every morning we wake up and the first thing we do is come into the family room and check the pots to see if anything is growing.  Almost all of the pots have sprouts in them.  Just waiting on the last couple.  At this point, I’m not really holding my breath.  Using a gift card, I got the soil for free, so if I have to replace a couple and try again, it’s not a big deal.  But it’s wonderful to see the kids checking the pots and getting excited over new growth!

That’s just a taste of what we’ve been doing so far.  Stay tuned for more, hopefully sooner rather than later.

We haven’t given up…

I know it’s been a while, and no we haven’t given up on homeschool. We (or rather I) decided that making our Christmas presents this year would mean more than just buying another toy for the kids. I also knew that the toys would be covered by aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents. This was no quick task, although I did get almost everything done that I wanted to. I was great to see the kids playing with their hand puppets, in their new puppet theater, putting on their superhero capes, playing with their castle (made from a cardboard box). So with that being said, I thought that rather than taking our summer break in the summer, we would take a winter break.

So no, we haven’t given up, but we are changing things up a little. I’ve read in various articles online that it’s better to do activities with the kids that they will enjoy and remember. (The boys still talk about the rain jars!) Instead of using worksheets to work on letter recognition, or number writing, we are going to do various activities that can be repeated often during a month, to help learn shapes, colors, numbers, and letters for Wyatt (who will be three in April) and word recognition, days, months, and time, for Cole (who just turned 5 in November). We’ll start back up in a few weeks, as I’m working on making a lesson plan for the rest of this year – or for at least as long as I can get through.

We pray that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas season, and a happy new year!

If you are looking for ways to keep Christ in Christmas for next year, start meditating on it now. Why not check out the Keeping Christmas posts over at Keepers Ministry.

What to do…

I know it’s not the end of week 4, but I just felt like writing. So it’s Tuesday, and normally this is not a school day for us. Things are just not going according to plan this week. Normally on Monday’s, we go to visit Nanny and Poppy, and Uncle Chad for a few hours in the morning. (That’s my dad’s parents and brother.) While the boys visit, I tend to use those two hours to get everything together for school for the week. If I need to go to Hobby Lobby to get supplies, or to the Dollar Tree to get supplies, or I need to print things out, or get things cut out, I do that while the kids are out. Then we get home, Wyatt takes a nap, Cole gets one hour of iPad time, then Cole and I work on his worksheets. After Wyatt gets up, we work on our craft, Bible story, and science time.

Well, on Monday, I had breakfast with a wonderful group of ladies from the church. It was a great time and I’m so glad we get together once a month. But I wasn’t able to get to Hobby Lobby and get our supplies. So I figured Wyatt would sleep for a couple of hours, we could go and get the supplies, and still do school when we got home. Well, Wyatt didn’t wake up until almost 5:00. He was a tired puppy! Then we didn’t get home till almost 6. It was time for dinner and cleaning up the toys from the day, then bed. So no school on Monday. Not a big problem, I figured we would just have school on Tuesday and I could find some stuff for Wyatt to do while Cole did his sheets.

My sister has invited me to walk around their neighborhood with them, when we can. She had another friend, a new mom, who wanted to walk as well, and was going over on Tuesday morning to walk. So my sister invited us as well. No big deal. We could walk, then come home and still do school before lunch. No such luck. We didn’t get home until almost lunch time. We had lunch and now Wyatt is sleeping.

It makes me think about the Lord’s timing. We are trying to put our condo on the market, so we can get a house with a backyard, in a nice neighborhood, with a fence and more room. I have been trying to get the condo on the market since the beginning of July. Well, that didn’t happen in my time either. I’m hoping this will happen next week. We are also working on a contemporary Christian worship service on Saturday nights at our church. This has also been a struggle as we’ve waited on the Lord to move us in His time. I won’t say that the Lord is teaching me patience, because I definitely haven’t been praying for that, but He is teaching me to wait on Him in everything. And it’s ok if things don’t get done when I think they need to be done. If we don’t get to school today, it’s ok. We still have the rest of the week. If I don’t get a load of laundry done today, it’s ok. IF there are still dishes in the sink when I go to bed, it’s ok. The laundry will still be there tomorrow, the dishes will still be in the sink, my boys will know that I love them and my Lord still sits on His throne.

Preschool – Week 3

This has been an interesting week. It seemed like the boys really wanted to do school, but they really didn’t want to do school. Thankfully, we had some really cool and fun activities this week. I think that I have the perfect arrangement. We do worksheets first, to get those out of the way, then we move on to crafts and activities. Save the fun stuff for last. I can also use the fun things as encouragement – let’s finish these sheets, then we can do our projects! Works, for the most part!

We concentrated on the letter C this past week. Cole did his normal sheets, while Wyatt and I tried some new things. We colored a caterpillar in the shape of a C. I drew a cactus on a green sheet of paper, and the boys drew C’s as the spines on the cactus. Wyatt and I also made a cat with circles and triangles.

We had a lot of fun with our numbers this week to. On Friday, we made exploding numbers. Cole did really well following directions. Wyatt, on the other hand, just wanted to make a mess, which is fine. It’s all about learning about different things and experiencing different things.

After trying twice this week to do our Passport to Imagination craft from Michaels, we decided that these crafts are a little too old for the boys. So I have been looking up different crafts for us to do, using things I already have around the house. Things like empty bottles, clothes pins, pom poms, q-tips, etc. We have a lot of different things we are going to be doing. Stay tuned!

IMG_20130820_094532For our Bible time this week, we talked about Issac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob, Leah, and Rachael. We had fun playing pin the tail on the camel. Cole had no problem wearing the blindfold, but if you remember, Wyatt couldn’t handle it, so he didn’t want to play. But Cole did well with it, to the point that he figured out how to cheat! He’s too smart. We would spin him around twice, then send him towards the front door. He would feel to see if he was close to the corner or close to the couch, then move over where he needed to go. Like I said, too smart! We also created tambourines to celebrate Jacob and Leah, and Jacob and Rachael’s weddings. We used two paper plates, that the boys colored, and stapled them together, adding popcorn kernels to make the noise. They had so much fun making noise. (Thankfully, mommy had a full bottle of Advil nearby.)




IMG_20130821_102205Science was also fun this week. We started talking about weather. On Monday we talked about the sun, so the boys painted sun catchers. Wednesday was all about clouds. I found a cool project called Clouds in a Jar. Using water, shaving cream, and colored water, the kids created these cool things in the jar that represented what happens with clouds when they get too full. It was AWESOME! Friday we talked about rain, and the boys made rain sticks. Friday was a very noisy day in our house!

We’re still learning and working on the best way for us to work and learn. But it’s fun and we are having a great time!


Preschool – Week 2

So last week was week 2 in our Homeschool – Preschool Adventure. It went a little better than the first week. With Wyatt, we did more activities to help him learn his letters and numbers. We did the Torn Tissue letter B, just as we did with the letter A. Instead of doing worksheets to help him along, we did more coloring sheets and other activities. We did a B poster with blue and black buttons. (He glued the buttons onto an uppercase and lowercase B.)


We also made counting sticks 1- 10.  We haven’t used these yet, but they turned out well, and Cole helped with them. I have learned that for some thing, the glue gun is a much better glue than regular Elmer’s glue. I’m also learning how to use my glue gun. I think it’s defective.

Cole stuck to his worksheets and practiced writing B words and writing out the words for the numbers 1 – 5. He is doing so well. On some of the sheets, he needed to just write the word once or twice, but he said that three times was better. Except for the number three, which is longer, that one he only needed to do twice!

We worked on our days of the week and months of the year and seasons as well with Cole this week. I found some cool songs online. For the days of the week, we sing it to the tune of the Adams Family, which both boys love because we clap. I found a cute video on YouTube for the months of the year. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VECiSMV4GX4.  And we listened to a lot of the songs.  This is the one the boys picked.  Cole and I also talked about the seasons.  Over the weekend, I realized that we might have gone a little fast through these things.  It’s all about repetition, and since we only do school three days a week, it’s easy for him to forget what we learned.  So this coming week is going to be review.

Our Bible lessons this week were about Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham.  I’m not trying to get the boys to memorize the stories, but again, just repetition, and learning about the major players in the Bible.  For Adam and Eve, we made a snake picture out of Farfalle, or bow tie pasta.  We were going to do Rigatoni snakes, but, mommy forgot to get them at the store.  For Noah, we made cotton ball clouds with yarn rainbows.  Abraham was a little trickier.  We actually did sand art pictures, representing the covenant that God made with Abraham.

IMG_20130814_193456              IMG_20130816_190434

Our passport to imagination took us to Canada this week, where we made hockey sticks from popsicle sticks, origami geese, and are going to finish up our clothespin moose today.  We talked about how Canada is colder, because they are closer to the north pole and we used a whiteboard country map that I found at the dollar tree to point out where the US is and where Canada is.

Science was all about our senses.  This was probably the most fun we had this week.  On Wednesday, I made up a tray of things to smell, feel, and taste.  For the things to smell, I used solo cups and put different things in there.  I used garlic powder, onion powder, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, coconut extract, lemon extract, cinnamon, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice.  Some people might think it interesting that I used so many baking supplies.  I am a baker, and the boys help me a lot and they love to smell the different components.  So they did really well with those things.  After we smelled everything, I put a blindfold on Cole, then tried to put one on Wyatt.  Cole trusted me completely and had no problem with the blindfold.  Wyatt on the other hand couldn’t stand it.  They boys then tasted different things: grapes, cheese crackers, m & m’s, chocolate chips, and a goldfish.  They did really well guessing.  We also held different things to guess what they were.  Again, the boys did really well.  While they were still blindfolded, we listened to different things around the house.  The water running, the ice machine, pouring a drink, turning on the light over the stove, clapping, and shaking a medicine bottle.  It was a lot of fun and the boys really enjoyed it!

This week is going to be a blast as well, as we look at different elements of weather.  Stay tuned to see our next adventure!

Preschool – Week 1

Monday afternoon marked day 1 of our homeschool preschool. I decided to try to do one letter a week, one number (or set of numbers for Cole) a week, a color and shape, a craft project, a Bible story and a science lesson per class. Obviously, for the letter, I started with A. I found this cool idea, that I tweaked, for using torn tissue paper and a letter template. I cut up the tissue paper and we put a line of glue through the letter. The boys could then put tissue paper pieces on the letter templates.
Cole's Torn Tissue A

Cole concentrated on the numbers 1-5 and Wyatt concentrated on the numbers 1-2. I wanted Wyatt to be able to do the craft projects we were doing do on Monday we waited for him to wake up from his nap before we did our project. (Courtesy of Michael’s Passport to Imagination. I copied all of the projects off of their site and did them at home, rather than going to Michaels to do them. Since we are only doing about three of these a week, instead of three a day, we are able to keep the projects going. They are set up by continent and country. Three projects a day, for three days, for seven weeks, means I have 63 days worth of projects or about 21 weeks. AWESOME!)

Wyatt worked on the color red and the square shape. Cole worked on various opposites, including inside/outside, on/off, and happy/sad. Our first bible lesson lasted all week, and went along with our project the first day and our science lessons. Do you remember in grade school having to do a diorama? I do. I think I waited until the last minute to do it, and made my mom mad, but I remember using a shoe box and dirt and grass. I don’t remember what it was for, but I do remember a couple of things. This is basically what we did with the boys. We made a creation diorama. On Monday, we learned what God made on days 1, 2, and 3. We then added these elements to the diorama. (It’s very 2-dimentional!) On Wednesday, we learned what God made on days 4, 5, and 6, and again added these elements to the diorama. On Friday, we talked about God resting! So our science lesson was about rest and motion and how objects need a reaction to create motion. Here’s a picture of Wyatt’s finished diorama.
Wyatt's diorama

So what did I learn this week? I don’t know where Cole learned his numbers, letters, and other various things, or when he learned them. I don’t know why Wyatt doesn’t know them. I think I thought that Wyatt was just as advanced as Cole was. I was wrong. Wyatt is his own person with his own way of doing things. He isn’t going to be able to trace a word, or number, or even a letter on his own. He isn’t going to recognize a number right away. He doesn’t know his colors or shapes, let alone what the letter B looks like. So we need a different approach. Wyatt will do more activities to learn things, like flash cards and sorting. Cole loves the worksheets and does well with them. So until he tells me he’s bored, we’ll stick with that for Cole.

Next week should be interesting. The passport crafts this week were for North America and the United States. We made a Bald Eagle from a wooden spoon and the liberty bell. Bald Eagles Liberty Bells
Next week, we concentrate on Canada.

Preschool – The Beginning

IMG_20130730_133654About a month ago, I decided that I would try preschool at home with my two boys, Cole who is 4 and Wyatt who is 2. So I did research on curriculums and lesson plans for preschool. Couldn’t find anything that really spoke to me. So I tried to find something that would tell me what is typically taught in preschool. Not a whole lot there either. Which I find amazing, because there is a TON of information on EVERYTHING, more information than a person could possibly need on anything, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I just made something up. I figured that I wanted them to know their letters, numbers, colors and shapes for Wyatt, basic concepts for Cole, a Bible story, basic Science, a foundation to get them started, with some crafty things thrown in for good measure.

I also decided that three days a week for right now was good enough. Then I remembered that Monday mornings aren’t good. The boys normally hang out for a couple of hours with my dad’s parents. It is the highlight of everyone’s week, and Wyatt still takes naps – thank God! Perfect solution, Wyatt will do his preschool Wednesday and Friday and Cole can do his preschool Monday afternoon while Wyatt naps, and then also Wednesday and Friday mornings, with Wyatt.

So we started this week. Boy did I learn a lot in three days. For those who know me, I just recently had my gall bladder taken out, and I still have to take it easy as I can get tired pretty quickly. That should go away in a couple of weeks, according to the doctor. Cole works really well with minimal instruction. He seemed to learn his numbers and letters, and how to spell his name, without my help and overnight. Same with colors and shapes. I guess I assumed Wyatt (who is 2, remember) would be on the same level as Cole (who, as you know, is 4). Not so much. Wyatt isn’t able to trace things very well yet, he doesn’t know colors and shapes yet and doodling is how he writes his name. So after this week, I decided I would take a different approach to helping Wyatt. Instead of printable that he can color and try to trace and generally just frustrate me and him, we are going to work on fine and gross motor skills, use flash cards to learn things like colors and shapes, work on sorting, etc.

As for this first week, read the next post to see what we did and learned. I hope you enjoy these posts as they will probably be funny and informative.