Sunday, December 23, 2012

Time for a Change

Lately I have been pondering the idea of changing the format/content of this blog. It willstill be about family and all that goes on, but as the kids get older, and I get to branch back out into my own interests, it is a bit less about the raising and homeschooling of the kids and more about life in general. Oh, and you'll have to excuse my text. This laptop doesn't always believe in responding tothe spacebar.....attitude, i guess.
So as of late we have all been preparing for the holidays, which start tomorrow! We took the past week off and do not plan to school anymore until after new year. Breaks are good. Breaks are fun. We should take another one!That was my Dr. Seuss impression...get it? So tomorrow we head to Christmas with family---yep, both sides in one day, then home to get ready for Christmas Day. That is fairly relaxed, but involves very little sleep most of the time. Luckily, I began working out (something I always HATED with vengeance) and that has kep me more energetic and sleeping less than I normally do, which is little. SO I should be good! I think the kids will have an interesting assortment of gifts this year. I'll fill you in later. At this time we are still awaiting two items. One form Amazon prime USA and one from amazon UK. They might be late arrivals.
In a few days I will post photos and such. I will also color my hair, make an infinity scarf (If I get really ambitious), possibly enjoy some snow???, and commence writing a drama script about going the extra mile, for a small group competitionwith LTC ( in March.
So life changes, and apparently so do blogs, and their writers...might even begin checking into making this little gem work for me since I'm a domestic engineer!
Couldn't hurt, now could it?

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 2012

Life is busy around here. We are in the last 10 days of our homeschooling for the semester. We are 50% finished with the filming of Sandblade. We are about 20% finished with the holiday shopping--YIKES! And we are 100% excited about attending the midnight premiere of The Hobbit this week!!!!!
I got a bit more tech savvy this week...I think. I joined twitter. Not sure I like it yet, but we shall see. I am NOT going to connect it to my phone though...not yet anyway.
Kids dramatically reduced dance classes since we weren't doing a production this month, so we are absorbed in outreach and get togethers instead. I LIKE! Plus, we are just living a bit more simply. That is always a good thing.
My oldest daughter was baptized a few weeks ago and that was very exciting for all of us! I love that all the siblings get as excited as I do and jump around acting like they just won a million dollars! It's great being us! I love bing so "in touch" with my inner hyper child. I am definitely going to be the oddball crazy lady one of these days when i am old...(you kids had better not put me in a nursing home!)
So that is all I have on this status update...maybe I'll show you some photos I took of myself yesterday while the Quadrixie crew was fimling (nothing like playing around with the camera--after all, i was wearing some makeup--had to occupy my time somehow)....but for now you'll just have to wait on those. It's lunchtime and the kids want food.
Have a very blessed day/week/month!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Heading Into the Holiday Season

How's your school year going? Ours is moving VERY fast and I am always amazed when time flies. It is going well, though, thank you. Jacob is filming and learning. Emily is writing a book and learning. Elizabeth is learning and enjoying life. Jordan is learning more than schoolwork. Kimberly is growing up. Yeah, that about sums it up. This semester has brought changes. Our piano teacher had her first baby, so lessons are currently suspended. The kids are changing their dance schedule, so that is taking some getting used to. We had an incident with Elizabeth's eye that took 3 doctor visits (who ever had rust in their eye???) And we are getting over our second minor illness that only affected one kid. All in all not too shabby.
It has been a time of learning for me, too. The older I get the more serious I am in my Christian walk, the more knowledgeable about scripture, and the more aware of the extent of my sin and His grace that is offered to cover me. Praise God for that! I am also more aware of how many of my friends who claim Christ are seriously in need of prayer and patience. Mainly because of harsh judging of their fellow Christians trying to walk in Christ. What a stumbling block they have become to me! I must have been just like that often over the past 20 years. Sad. No wonder so many do not want to be Christians. They have to be able to see how we tear each other apart by making the scriptures into our own legal system at the least infraction of what each individual feels is the right thing to do in each situation. We tear each other apart in the heart and soul over things like, our clothing, our birthing, our movies, our celebration of holidays, our music, our use of money, our choice of schoolbooks, our choice of career/schooling, our kids activities. Not that correct behavior isn't very important, but these areas are gray. There are no specifics for the majority of our daily life decisions in the scripture, though many will tell you there are. Very few give their fellow Christian any wiggle room for growth, but instead look down on them, refuse to associate their children with them, refuse to associate at all, bind things that are not binding, etc. It is terribly discouraging, when we are supposed to be a loving people, leading by example and kindness. Often I find more criticism and calling out, than building up and setting examples of grace.
Sin is wrong. No doubt about it. Unrepented  sin, the unsaved, will not by any means get into heaven, but I think there are lots of folks who just might be shocked at those who WILL be there...those exact people they blasted for having a skirt too tight, shirt too see through, not having enough kids, reading a book about wizards,  going to a secular concert,  seeing a movie with foul words, using tobacco, overeating, spending money unwisely.... I am reminded that we need to remove the plank in our own eye before reaching for that speck in our brother's eye...and that those of us without sin should cast the first stone. We all sin, very differently, and fact is, none of us will ever, EVER, attain perfection this side of heaven. I pray that we could stick with the specifics of sins that need to be corrected and give people time for growth in the multitude of gray areas.
So that is my soapbox for today. It has been a long time coming, and I am definitely preaching it to myself, first and foremost, for I am the leader of these sins. Yes, you heard it here. I am not perfect...not even remotely close. But the great thing is that I am daily trying to obey God's word by studying and acting on it. And daily, I am more than thankful for the grace that covers my daily fall.
I pray the rest of this school year ( and everyday life in general) will find all of us showing more and more love toward others, teaching the truth in humility and love, and leading the next generation to Christ. Encourage someone today! Everyone needs to hear those positive words....more than we realize. People need our kindness.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 12ish??

Homeschool is going pretty well this year. The kids are progressing very well and more independently than I had dared hope. Kids are making some good decisions on what to study. Piano has been going well, and so has dance and ECD and friendships and filming and youth activities. Not long and we will begin LTC practices. Also, there is a possibility of a film school in january for one of the kids. The latest premiere went very well, too. But the big thing the kids are looking forward to is The Hobbit, which is coming out in December. And since they have no Nutcracker performance for the first time in 4 years, they are free to do other things. I thought I would really miss it, but I am not missing it as much as I thought. I do however miss the adult interaction at the studio. Lots of us are not hanging around anymore during classes so we miss our mom social times. That has been hard. And I haven't had a houseful of kids for a movie in several months due to busy lives...or a carload of filmies...but that may change in a few days. Also, we will have more concentrated family time in a few weeks as Clay takes off from work for an extended period. It has worked very well. Adjustments come, but so far we are rolling right along, happily.
Well, that is all I can write for the moment, for our afternoon is going to be filled with appointments and shopping in Rockwall. And I must get some decent clothes on. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Do you ever just walk through life and feel lost? Feel like you are never doing enough and that time is running away from you and all the important things you want to do seem to never get done?
I feel that a lot. I love my family and I have very high expectations from myself in what I feel I should be accomplishing for them. But I often feel like I am failing because I don't seem to be able to get it all done.
Take tonight. We went to a movie premiere for our oldest son. I largely planned it and decorated and felt like hostess. Therefore I didn't get to do the big things I wish I had done, like visit as much with family and friends. Or take the photos I wanted. I got a few shots but I wanted photos of Jacob with grandparents, and siblings, and his father, and his friends. I wanted a shot of my kids together. I wanted to spend the earlier part of my day getting a picture of my youngest two in their new boots that they were so excited about. I wanted to help the neighbor by making sure we walked his dog. But those things didn't happen and now I feel guilty because the day is gone and it is 2am and I am up feeling guilty about what I wish had happened.
Why is life like that? I want to spend time with family, help the kids navigate childhood and the teen years as they figure out their futures, nurture them each day in the knowledge of Jesus and see them take Him as their saviour...but I more often find myself mired in the daily tasks, sometimes even neglecting a solid prayer life and solid bible time each day in favor of just trying to keep my head above water.
Then I am up in the night making lists of what God needs me to be doing so I can start fresh the next day. And hopefully not feel like so much of a failure toward my family. So tonight I made my list, have plans to get back to my prayer list each day, have plans to talk to the kids tomorrow about some important things and getting back on track,  plans to accomplish things that are for His glory in our lives.
I think so much feels lost lately due to the recent elections here in America. Our leader is not a man I trust or believe in, and he is shaping policies for our lives and our futures, largely against my will. Also, the kids are growing...all five of them. They all have interests and friends and talents and needs, and I want to be what a mother is supposed to be for them in each area. It is hard and demanding. Everyone of them cannot get all of me that they need. I cannot do for each of them everything I need to do or want to do. And in all this I cannot forget my husband, who is quiet and hardworking and tired at the end of the day. Yet he slips through the cracks sometimes. How do I fix this?
I have to just do my best to focus on the needs of each day and try to plan for the future. So much goes on and we have to decide what to say NO to. And stick to it. And help the kids realize that they can't do it all either. The people in our lives are of prime importance and they have to be given time and love. God has to occupy our heart for this to happen well. God has to be our center, and we have to maintain that relationship first. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day things that we reduce our devotion to God and our loved ones to a daily task. Our Christian walk with God should never be a daily task, and neither should the relationships in our lives. Husbands, children, parents, ...they are so important and yet often they aren't honored as they should be.
So tomorrow I plan to share this post with my family and to try to get back on the right path, first with my God, and second with my family. It takes effort every day and saying NO to the distractions we think are so important. They aren't that important. People and God are. Keep God first for He will never, NEVER, leave you. And do NOT neglect your family and those you love, for those you negelct may suddenly not be in your life and you will regret not paying attention to those relationships, and they may never be able to be fixed.

Monday, October 22, 2012


What is important? God, family, using time wisely with those you love...among many other things. Everything competes for our time. In fact, I just spent time trying to upload photos here and it failed for some reason. Why? To save memories, that I never want to forget. That is why I have multiple flash drives, dvds and external drives for photos to store on. Because I want to be able to recall everything. Even though chances are I may never browse these storage devices. At least I have them. Kind of like my patterns. Important, yes, If i ever get around to sewing anything. I suspect they are like my pinterest boards....virtual clothes I may likely never own. So I guess, I will waste a bit more time and try to re-upload my photos so you can see our life, which i would love to tell you about. Unfortunately it has been a month, almost, since I last posted and I just don't have that kind of time or memory. Sorry. That is what pictures are for, right? After all, they are said to be worth a thousand words...I am assuming, each. And just so you know, I am writing this at a bit past midnight, and Emily is standing here laughing at my post. Yeah. Neither of us apparently are tired enough to sleep yet. Go figure. I guess we both have a dysfunctional "off" switch. Ok, so let me try this photo upload again and go waste some time on pinterest while it loads.
 Well, lookie there! It actually worked. Oh, wait, who took that??!!!! Please! The things my kids do at the park!
 Jordan really is not trying to kill his sister here. They are having fun. I think...
 Kim making faces at me...still cute.
 Oh, this was the best zoo trip ever! These kids are just so much fun! We had a great day.
 Learning about owls, taking pictures, hanging out and all that fun stuff. We laugh a lot. A LOT.

 Look how they have grown! Where has the time gone???

 Is she not just adorable???
 hey, he caught a birdie!
 Fire station trip with the two youngest.
 Home school group thing. it was pretty fun.
 Liz dressed to go with Allison to Magic Time Machine. She had a blast! So cute in costume!
So here we are at the end. These were woefully out of order. Oh well. I am NOT going to fix that. Hope you have a great day. It is already Tuesday, by the case you were wondering.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rolling on...

 This is Jacob taking piano lessons. He is learning the score from The Dark Knight. Awesome!
 This is Jacob and Emily at ECD practice...they obviously haven't started dancing at this point...
 At the park for PE (hide and seek)...very fun!

 last trip to NETXCM..only took the youngest three...our membership expired and their interest is just not there anymore.
 but we enjoyed our final trip. they had new kid computers.
 and the vet office is fun too.
 the new pipeline project held attention for a while
 and this was just a photo op. And below are the crazy mirrors.
So lately we have been busy...shocking, I know. School and dance and friends always keeps us going. Church activity is almost always going on for us, too. We have been to the planetarium, the zoo (photos coming soon), and have rented movies, been on playdates and done shopping. Our newest fun thing to do is go to the park for PE when it is cooler...and in the evenings we have discovered the BBC series "Sherlock". Fabulous show. Well, except for parts of  the first episode of the second season...a scandal in belgravia....that one is a bit on the risque side in parts...wouldn't watch that one without skipping past certain things. But you have to know the background for each successive episode to make sense, so you need to watch most of it for content.
Other than that we have just been doing the normal stuff. The weather is changing and we are enjoying the cooler temps...and by cooler I mean 80's.
Schoolwork is really going well at this time. Kids are working on writing improvement, and piano skills, and really enjoying co-op classes. Filming has slowed and I am not complaining...but I do want Jacob to get Sandblade completed in late spring so we need to step up the schedule on that.
Otherwise we are doing fine here at the homestead. Hope your family is thriving. More photos to come .....

Election 2012

This is on my FB page as a note, but I am putting it here too. 

These are fully my thoughts and beliefs on my page, and as much as they are volatile for some, they are also not up for debate. Read if you desire, but be warned, you just might be offended if you do not share my thoughts/ideology. I do not claim to know or understand all things political. I have tried to be straightforward and kind.
I have heard many religious conservatives say that they will vote for the candidate that is most like their thinking and beliefs, even though that person does not have a chance of winning. They want to vote their conscience, which is understandable, but I hear things like, "you have to vote with God". I tried to explain to some that due to the way our process works, no matter how many candidates are on the ballot, only two have a chance of winning. It WILL BE Mitt or Barack, whether people like that or not. It is just the fact of the matter, the way our system works...and voting for people who cannot win will not change the process, but it will help insure Obama a win. I hear them say that Mitt has in the past not been totally pro life enough for them, or that he is not Christian enough for them, or that he had a government health insurance plan that they think mirrors obamacare. That logic is stuck in the religious issues and cannot see the forest for the individual trees. People need to see the big picture...socialist/marxist/muslim supporter/anti-American  vs. god- believing/honest/capitalist/constitutionalist/proAmerica/pro freedom.  No man will ever meet all the criteria each religious conservative wants, for they are all human and imperfect.
 Anyone who works the elections knows and understands that to get Obama out of office you MUST vote for Mitt because he is the only one who can defeat Obama. You either want him out and will do what is necessary, or you don't really care either way. God is not on the ballot, nor will He be in a nation based on Christian principles but not intended to be a Christian nation. I think most of the religious conservatives "think" they want a Christian nation...they just fail to consider "whose version of chrisitanity?" Then you get into a whole other mess. The religious conservative vote scares me the most for our country because it threatens to not vote for a man who could turn the country around, but instead to vote for those who will not win in any scenario of reality, therefore giving the election to Obama. Obama is the most frightening scenario i can imagine for the future of America.
Last part cut and modified from a friend's post.... "For those of you, who are born-again Christians, and who are hesitant to vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon *and you don't fully agree with his stances*, please realize that Scripture is FULL of cases where God used non-believers to further His purposes!! * Maybe* God in His mercy is offering to use a * man named Mitt Romney, a Mormon, to save us from Obama." Worth thinking about....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another Week Almost Gone

I love homeschooling. LOVE IT. And better yet, my kids love it. Not that they know anything else. As the weather cools, the older two even play outsode with the younger ones, even though they are both well past "playing". It is great to see. I love to watch their growth as people becoming adults. It is too fast, to be sure, but I get to experience all of it...almost all of it. I love seeing them become independent from their family, yet always drawn back to us. That is heartwarming. Truly. I love seeing them with their friends, and the activities they different from what I chose as a teen (thank GOD!).  So centered on goodness and purity and being godly in all they do. Makes me proud. Makes me hopeful.
So another week of our lives is passing away, and the memories are priceless. God is so good to have led us to this place, and these choices. I cannot have a day pass without feeling the blessings in abundance, and I am ever thankful.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homeschooling Week 4

A lot has happened in the past few weeks. It is hard to believe that four school weeks have passed! I was, and always am, a bit concerned about how the year will progress. So far it has gone amazingly smooth. Having the 9th and 7th graders independent is SO incredibly helpful, not to mention that the 9th grader is doing Sonlight. I bought the manual for the year for him. It has 36 weeks of lessons all laid out week by week with 36 tabs. All i had to do was get the books and materials and he was set. No lesson planning at all! He just works through the weeks and that was worth every bit of the $85 I paid for that manual.
The 7th grader is getting her plans made by me, but her LA and math are laid out in 36 week format and she is reading literature for history and has a 36 week science schedule, so all I have to plan for her is bible and fine arts.
That leaves me the 4th/5th grader, 3rd grader and 1st grader. I just rotate them through math, LA, and bible before lunch and we do history/science/spanish, PE, and fine arts as a group in the afternoons. I justperiodically check on the older kids and grade science tests. It is working very well.
All kids are loving their dance classes and ECD. They are mostly getting together regularly with friends, and those who aren't, don't complain about it much. We registered for co-op and begin classes this friday. The oldest is taking art, economics and drama, the 7th grader is taking survival skills, geography and drama.The 4th/5th grader is taking chemistry, schoolhouse rock and mission field. The 3rd grader is taking chemistry, survival skills and PE. the first grader is taking latin, mathtacular and snacktivities. With 17 families we are heavy on older kids once again. It will be great though.
I have been working on a paper scrapbook for homeschool and plan to continue, but from here on out I am going to use a program called "my publisher" and have them make it from my digital photos. I'd rather pay them to make a pro book than spend the time pasting for hours. Much easier and longer lasting.
I also ordered some jersey fabric and plan to sew two dresses andsee how they turn out. I think I may have to sew in thespring for the girls and need a practiced hand.
We spens the last two weeks doing a LOT of shopping. The oldest two kids needed church stuff and shoes and husband was in need of work clothes. Labor Day sales were quite productive, but the shoes were costly! But hopefully the oldest two are almost through growing their feet, and the shoes will last a good while. We can pass most of it down to the younger ones...except pants and skirts. The variation in waist sizes in our house is just astounding! But God makes peopel in all shapes, sizes, and statures, so it should not be surprising that they can't wear everything of each others'.
As always we are trying hard to be great parents, protectors of our kids, and we fail often and learn along the way, and there are heataches, but we are doing the best we know how, and so far I am thankful for the work God is doing in these precious kids.
I will try to update more than every 4 weeks. Blessings to all!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


ECD happened to us this week. Friday actually. No, it is not some horrible disease.And it didn't actually happen to us. We voluntarily went.

Letme back up a bit. We were in the final stagesof our first week back to school which went VERY well. At our Friday School registration EMily was invited to ECD practice that evening from 6-9pm.We knew about it but I had never asked anyone but Jacob about going and he said he could care less.(ECD is English Country Dance---like they do in Pride and Prejudice---very old school stuff, but great social fun) Well, EMily was excited, and Lizzy overheard and asked if she could go. I said yes, they could. Well, I took them at 6pm and we got to see the awesome Mike Sager who is visiting for a week while on break from performing Joseph at the Sight and Sound Christian Theater in Branson. It was worth going just to catch up with him. But Jacob had musical theater class until 7pm. While he was in class, Kim decided she wanted to watch his class, but she didn't make it in time, so I offered to take her to watch ECD practice. Jacob and Jordan also decided to go. Everyone ended up dancing except Jordan, who really dislikes that kind of thing. The 4 who danced want to go every month now. At the end of the year they hope to have a big ECD family get together...more formal. I love this SO much more than the homeschool family prom idea. So family friendly and social. Everything is just really nice.
SO next time we go to Rockwall we are going to shop for skirts and dresses ( standard dress for girls at ECD) and some nicer pants for Jacob. He only has one pair that fits right now. And I do believe the kids are literally counting the days until they can go to ECD again!

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School

I started the day with a walk at 6:45am. When I arrived back home at 7:05, i woke the kids (except Jacob who was already up) and got coffee for them. I took coffee with me on my prayer walk. We watched Spongebob and visited and then i made my bed and got breakfast prepped and meat set out to thaw for supper. By 7:30 we were walking the dogs and bike riding in the neighborhood. It was really nice outside. After the walk we came inside and made and ate breakfast. While the kids went outside to play driveway soccer, i cleaned the kitchen. They came in at 8:30 to make beds and brush teeth. We started our devo at 8:40 with beautiful singing, bible reading, memory work and prayer. At 9am the oldest two went to work on their studies and I worked with the youngest three off and on until lunch at noon. Then we did chores at 12:50 and PE bike ride and basic exercises at 1:30-2:15. We are a bit behind right now. We took a jello break....The oldest two are completing science and spanish while the younger ones are about to work on history and have read aloud time. that will wrap up our day. They can play games together until time to clean up, make supper, and go to dance classes.
And that is our first day, in a nutshell.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Well, I have been mostly posting words with no photos so here are some summer photos. This is just a tiny glimpse of our summer, though. Still, they brings great memories.
riding bikes as a family!
kim gets a new bike (because I ran over the old one)
kim wants to learn more math
kim turns SIX!!!!!
lizzy and sarah hanging out
girls day at church--modesty, boldness, and respect bruncheon
kim and ellie again
lizzy and katy playing girl lego
jordan, jack, and zeb hanging out
kids kung fu panda 2 party
kim and ellie
kung fu panda 2 party
slip and slide
4th of July fireworks

Thursday, August 2, 2012

and still no photos

Ahhh...i am sitting here pondering life in about 3 weeks. Because that is when our homeschool year will begin. As for now, we are just chillin"...but i think we will have to have some structure or the kids might get into trouble. Some of them anyway. Yes, I know my grammar leaves much to be desired in this post, but i'm on summer break, ok?

Here is what I think school will look like this year with a 9th, 7th, 4/5th, 3rd and 1st grader:
I hope to wake and walk with coffee in hand by 7am, and wake the kids before I leave. I hope. And then i HOPE to walk the dogs by 730 and have breakfast ready by 8:10 so we can be into devo by 8:40. We'll see how that works. From there, at 9 or shortly thereafter, i hope the oldest two will beging working independently while I rotate through with the other three, giving two breaks. Lunch should come at noon followed by free time, chores, and PE by 1:30. I plan to have each kid in charge of a day of the week to be lunch and dinner workers. After PE, we have science and electives for the oldest two, and combined subjects of fine arts, spanish and sci/history for the other three. Then an afternoon snack/down time, cleanup, and supper...then extracurriculars and service and family time. Full days, to be sure.
And that about sums it up.
I am looking forward to seeing how it goes the first two weeks.
I can't believe how much homeschooling has evolved for us as we move through the years. I couldn't have pictured it. But I learned a while back to go with the flow and make it work for us. If we are happy and moving toward independent, godly adulthood I am happy. And sad. But mostly happy.

So I am off to enjoy kids and the rest of our day. May God bless you and yours!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Really quick update.....

We are on our last 2 days of summer schooling, and have lots planned for the week, including dance sign ups, dance shoe shopping, jean shopping, capri shopping, monthly food storage shopping, filming probably, birthday party, scrapbooking, sewing a tiny bit, major laundry, devos with church, girls day, and playdates with some swimming thrown in for extra fun. It is finally heating up here, and by that I mean over 100 degrees. Way over 100 degrees actually. And that is bad for more than one reason. First, it its too stinking hot to even go get the mail. Second, the electric company has not reinstated budget billing due to switching to a new system and the bill is KILLER!!!! But it is hot and we need a/c.
Also we are eating at Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday. I bet you can guess why. And we are finalizing the new school year details and schedules.
That has been the ultra short update on the busy life of a north texas homeschooling family...

Monday, July 23, 2012

NETkids Camp Is AWESOME!

This was my first time to be a camp counselor in 20 years, literally. I taught summer school for 5 years and then had I went this year since it was our first experience with netkids. This is the 3rd-6th grade version of our 7th-12th grade camp. I got assigned to room with a cabin of 12 girls and two teens...our girls were 8-10 years old. Every day we woke at 7, had morning blast at 7:40 (silly active songs to wake you up), breakfast, cabin cleaning and then bible class, an outdoor game, bible mania, a meeting with everyone, lunch, afternoon rotation of swimming/blobbing/zipline/canteen/crafts/group games/archery and bb's. Then we had a meeting, and supper, followed by 20 mminutes of free time, and then an activity called Joshua's Journey to reinforce our Strong and Courageous theme from Joshua 1:6-7. Then we had evening worship and cabin group review time at 9pm with snacks. Then we showered, fellowshipped, and went to bed around 11:30pm.
Honestly I really liked being in a cabin of girls. It gives you a chance to try to impact them, and some of them really needed to be infuenced for good, and we saw some progress in that aspect. During afternoon rotation i was a craft room worker and that was fun. Days were really long and i didn't realize how tired I was until I got home. I slept a lot Saturday night and most of Sunday. I am feeling more normal today--monday.
It was a great experience and I will go again until Kim is too old to go. Then I guess I will try to do NETSYS if I am not totally old by then.....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Very Detailed and Quite Laborious

Well, here it is July 15th and i have not been doing well at all on my blogging since June began! During the "school year" I generally made time for an update each week, but summer crashed on me and I have just been a slacker. Guess it is time to make up for that, so grab a drink and sit in a comfy spot if you desire to read this for it shall be quite longgggggg.......

I love my kids so dearly, and like sand grains, their childhoods are running through my fingers. So I have been blogging less and living more. And that is as it should be. I admit i miss the days when schooling took only 3 hours and we could go to many field trips and play playdough or painting all afternoon but those days truly are just about over. This autumn I will have a 9th grader, a 7th grader, a 4th/5th grader, a 3rd grader and a first grader. Sure, the littler ones still love to paint and play and such, but life is changing for the older ones. Toys are no more of a draw. Friends and activities are. We have spent our summer basically as planned. We have been swimming as often as possible, playing and bike riding, drawing, playing on computer, catching up on movies and eating popcorn late into the nights, inviting friends over, filming movies, going to camp and VBS, visiting with neighbors and other fun stuff...including some dance camp.

As for the kids, Jacob is really getting masterful at filming and has started doing some av things for VBS, and he has grown in maturity of money and helpfulness. He is a great kid with his priorities straight and he is easy to trust for he has a strong sense of doing what is right no matter the cost to himself or his feelings. He has some fabulous friends and his closest are A, D, D and E. No other letters shall be given to betray the people, but those who know him can guess easily. He has been taking ballet this summer and is toying with the idea of taking it in fall, though theater is his true dance love. He is ready to start high school.

Emily has grown up a lot this year. She has become more of a little lady and is very modest and quiet, and she loves her privacy, reading, Dr. Who, Harry Potter, and clothes. Oh, and emailing her friends from church camp. She has really blossomed and is so sweet and trustworthy. She knows how to make the right choices and lets her beliefs be known when things arise. I love that about her. She also, like Jacob, speaks extensively to me about her thoughts and feelings and hopes and dreams. it is a wonderful thing to have such close relationships with my kids.

ELizabeth is growing too. She has truly grown larger and stronger this year. Her dancing has really ramped up and she is a moving muscle! Boy, is that girl talented. And she has in turn had a jump in her academics due to all her movement in dancing! It really affects learning when you are active and musical and artistic. She is singing and working with kids and making friends and swimming....she is a real treat. She has made great strides in her schooling and that is such a blessing! For a girl who leans and processes differently, she is doing fabulously! I can't tell you how proud I am of her. Oh, and did I tell you she is a loving girl? Always hugging and being sweet. She is our entertainer and tenderhearted kid.

Jordan is quiet and yet oh so loud. He is really into bow hunting and guns as always. He is smart a s a whip in academics, though somewhat lazy....hmmm. If only he could build lego all day he would be happy, but I'd have to throw in a good amount of bike riding too. He is an outdoors guy and also a loner. But he is also great with his friends. This is his first time to go to camp and I hope he makes some good friends. He is quite sweet and loving, but still needs to get that temper under better control at times. Progress is coming along nicely though. He is such a darling.

Kimberly has gotten her temper under much better control this summer. She is a lover of ballet and biking and swimming. Practically a little fish! She loves schoolwork and puzzles and artwork. Her reading is really coming along and she is currently halfway through her first grade work. She is going to be 6 in just about 3 weeks. That I cannot believe. She is such a sweet girl and loves her family. She's truly a joy! As are all the kids.

As for me and Clay, well, he has been travelling a lot more this year, but it has been ok. We had to use a lot of savings this year on some major expenses including insulation for the attic, braces, flooring (yes it was a need-the old was a safety hazard), another laptop, and a new used car for Clay. School costs more for high school, too. So we will be trying to recover that savings over the next couple of years. But at least the school stuff passes down the the younger ones. We are just amazed at how quickly time passes as we get older. But we are still doing well in health and life in general. We have now been married for 21 years. So that is officially half our lives--exactly.

So, one camp is done and the other starts in 2 days. This will be Clay's first time to stay for a week with kids, alone. i will have two with me at camp. I am looking forward to it. Big kids are quite enjoyable. VBS was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it more than i have in years. Probably because of the ages of my own children. I LOVE taking my son to filming locations and watching them all work. I love swimming with them and going on bike rides with them. But mostly i have loved getting to take exercise walks in the neighborhood each evening and often in the mornings too. This is often accompanied by neighbors, and that is just joyful. I love how the kids interact with our neighbors and ask to go visit with them, and they in turn are interested in our kids. I love life in small town suburbia. (Yes, I admit it. i am not a country girl and I don't want to be. There. I said it. AND I am not adventurous and do not care about travel. Whew. Admissions over.)

We took three weeks off school in June and the last week of July will be our final school week until August 20th. Mostly, i think. Anyway, the start date for us will be the 20th. That is also going to be our co-op registration week. I am always looking forward to that, but I know that is on the downhill slope for us. Kim already said that when she is older she doesn't want to go to co-op anymore. Dance will start in that same week and life will be more confined to home and to a schedule. But that is ok. All seasons of life have their good times and not so good times, but good is what we choose to see in our days and happiness is our own choice. I look forward to what the future holds because it is like a surprise gift. Watching your family grow and discover things is just as exciting in older kids as in young kids. So here we go.....

I totally plan to get back to regular blogging as we begin our "school year". But for now, that should be enough. My major goals for self are to be a living example of the gospel but to not be judgemental while trying to lead people to the truth of God's word. I am a seed planter for Him. And I have been entrusted to raise my own children to make an impact on the future for His glory. Also, i have to take care of myself without spending an inordinate amount of time on "me". After all, i am special too and I have people who rely on me and I really want to be there for them and be my best for them. Not just my family. My friends, both past present and future, and my extended family and church family and neighbors.
Well, I warned you it would be long and laborious. Hopefully it wasn't too boring and dull, though. And since it is Sunday, I want to utilize the day of rest for, well, resting a bit. Blessings to all who might read this!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July is here???

Yep. Times fly by when fun is occurring. And so we arrived in July after a week of NETSYS, some skating, one bowling session, several dance camps, a week of filming swimming and fun, and a great VBS week. July comes in a bit cooler to start, and so begins the summer learning. We have a good bit to accomplish and I do not think all of it will get done, but if 4 out of 5 can get done and we can get last years scrapbooking done I think it will be great. Then we can take off the first two weeks of August and get back to a regular schedule by the 20th. And I got the Sonlight binder in order and just need 3 more books to complete the curriculum. Got all kids things labeled and did some downsizing. Feels good. This year, like all of our homeschooling years, life is taking a different turn. It is changing once again and we have to move differently to roll with it. But I like it. Prayers have been answered, and some have yet to be answered. But life is definitely GOOD.

So that was short and sweet, for the version. Hope your July is blessed. I need a nap. Good afternoon, all!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NETSYS week....three at home

This week, Jacob and Emily are away at church camp. It is Emily's first time away from home. I think she will do well. I am doing well...better than I thought I would. But she has grown a lot in the past 3 months and I feel she will do very well and have fun. I cannot wait to have them both home so we can talk and talk and talk!

But this week means I have just three young ones at home. We have stayed busy and done ZERO schooling! So far we have napped, gone swimming, gone to eat at Chick-Fil-A with cousins, seen Madagascar with cousins, gone to a spraygound with friends, done some shopping, gone to dance camp...and still to come we are going skating and probably swimming again and probably one more shopping trip! we have read and camped in the living room and slept all over the place and walked the dogs and rode bikes...It has been fun!

As the photos show, we went to a party at some friends house and Kim loved the kittens, Jordan played with lightsabers, we painted our bedroom, and the rest are spraygound shots.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer is here!

Recital with timbrel School of Dance was AMAZING as always, but also tiring. Still, I just love it. The kids love it. And we miss seeing our friends when it is over. But that doesn't last for long. That place has such a family atmosphere that we all like to get together!

So the week after recital we decided to just do three math lessons and call it a week. We also went to Dakota's house twice to film Sandblade, and took kids to the Smith's to hang out one afternoon. We swam twice and went out to eat for the June birthdays. We had a piano recital for Emily and decided that she would take time off and let Jacob take her piano slot in August. We planned for summer camps and dance camps and birthdays that are coming up, and went to a baby shower and made gifts for a cousin.

It has been nice, but this week we are back at 100% schooling each day, with dancing and bowling and swimming thrown int. Next week our oldest two will be at church camp so we will be going to the movies, biking, swimming, and many other fun things (and no schooling). Then we will have another 100% school week with some filming, dancing and swimming, and maybe skating and parties, ending with the start of VBS week where we will have no school. But will dance, film, etc.

July might be less hectic, but it doesn't feel hectic, now. It is just a matter of scheduling life and friends for 5 kids. They are quite social creatures. I suppose we are just used to it. Plus, we love the kids friends and families....

Anyway, that was just a quick update. All photos ended up on FB. Hope you have a blessed summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

So this week has been kind of different. We have had rehearsals at the GMA all week, in the evenings instead of regular classes. I have to admit it is really fun to do the rehearsals and have the fellowship of our studio. But it is also tiring for the kids. We have accomplished much in schoolwork and done another switch in math curriculums. We also got caught up on some history and science, but lagged in drawing. Something has to give I guess.
Summer officially begins for us on Monday even though we will school thru the summer. We are going to make allowances for fun times with friends. And next week will include the beginnings of filming Sandblade. That will be great since we are going to be in letdown mode from recital. The endings are always sad times.
But the summer is a new beginning and prayers have been answered for some great things. Camps are coming up, visits, VBS, and more! I just love our church family and homeschooling community!
So this was just a quick update. I really hope I get some photos up this weekend of recital.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Winding Down???

For many PS kids, the school year, as they call it, is about to end. Not so for most homeschoolers. Since we have such flexibility, many of us school through summer. Kids tend to lose less learning, they work better within structured days, and what else will you do when it is 104 outside anyway??? So even though we have a technical 2 weeks left, learning will continue into June and July. In large part because we haven't finished our books. We have several weeks of language arts, and math to go for most. And some of my kids are on a Jan-Dec schedule, so a long break is not reasonable. But we will not school during camps, VBS and holidays. Summer also has more filming and get togethers and swimming and bowling and skating and a ton of birthdays so that will be necessary interference.

But, I am proud to say that we have "graduated" a kindergartener and an eighth grader this year.....never really celebrated those things before and won't this year, but just thought I'd make the announcement.

So, I am off to start another day with my precious kids and to savor the moments before they slip thru my fingers and leave me with only memories.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Well, this week has been extremely busy with appointments and such, so school has been modified to fit life. But the most wonerful thing happened. Our oldest son was baptized into Christ and his sins are now forgiven! He is a Christian and is now saved! Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21...God is good.
In other family news, our oldest daughter got her full lower braces, and our middle daughter has been learning to cook. Our youngest is learning to have more self control and our youngest son has been growing in kindness.
All these add up to a great mother's day gift for me (which is Sunday). I need nothing more for life is truly blessed.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What is our life like?

With homeschooling, our days are constantly changing as the kids grow and the curriculum changes to fit them. So today I decided to share our day...not particularly typical.
First, our menu of the week:\
Breakfasts: cereal with peanut butter, turkey bacon sandwiches, baked oatmeal, eggs and toast, pancakes
Lunches: fish sticks with macaroni, meatballs with potatoes, sandwiches with pretzels and hummus, tortilla roll sandwiches with fruit and dip, cream cheese dip with crackers and fruit and pretzels
Dinners: church food, beans and fries, chicken fried steak with potatoes and veggie, egg rolls and rice, ravioli casserole with bread and salad

So here is a sort of typical there such a thing???
we wake at around 7:15 and make coffee and watch spongebob. Around 8am we walk the dogs and then eat breakfast around 8:25, then make beds and brush teeth and be ready for devotional time by 8:50. After devo we get the days announcements and the two oldest go work on their assignments at their pace, while I work with the youngest three. I have to keep some separated for focus reasons. They do math and language arts and bible with breaks between each subject. Around noon we all eat lunch and the kids usually help with lunch prep. Then we just take a break until almost 1pm. About 1pm we read a story and start chores and cleaning. That is done around 1:45, then we go out for PE and exercises until 2:30. After that we do science, history, art, spanish, music stuff and depending on what day of the week it is and what extracurricular dance or piano classes we have, the youngest two must nap by 3 or 4pm for at least an hour. We have: Monday- library at 4:30 and dance at 5:15 and sometimes MNFTM at 6, Tuesday-dance from 5-7:30, Wednesday-every other week piano at 2, Friday-co-op 8 weeks per semester from 9-12 and dance from 5-6.
Dinner on dance nights is something quick, crockpot, or delay bake in oven and breadmachine. I check the older kids work to make sure it is done correctly and grade tests. If work isnt done well, they redo and miss activity. Motivation.... We hang out as a fmaily inevenings, frequently walking and visiting with neighbors or riding bikes. Then we try to get in bed by 10....
Typical day at our house.
As for schooling, the K/1 kid uses LLATL blue, saxon math 1, HW without tears,....the 2nd grader uses HW without tears, LLATL red, saxon math 2, spelling workout, DrawWrite Now ......the 4th grader uses LLATL orange, teaching textbooks 4, HW without tears and spelling workout and writing strands...the 6th grader uses LLATL tan, teaching textbooks 7, writing strands and sonlight reading list...the 8th grader uses LLATL grey, Life of Fred and Saxon math, sonlight history and lit and bible supplement and Apologia science.
The youngest 4 use SOTW history, Apologia and other science including Inquisikids, Mathtacular dvds, atelier art and art adventures at home. The oldest two use rosetta stone spanish and youngest three use La Classe Divertida. We do online keyboarding skills and other internet supplements.
Of course, we are about at the end of this "school year" though that means little to us, so things will be different come August for some.

But that, in a nutshell is a glimpse of our days. They looked so different just a few short years ago...time changes things...but the journey continues!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Long Time SInce and Update

So life has been moving at lightning speed. Such is life this time of the year. Around our house we are learning, planning for summer (5 going to camp this year---ouch!), planning for dance camps, dance recitals, piano recital, filming, graduations and get togethers, field trips, birthdays, VBS and ortho appointments. Never a dull moment, but as mentioned in the previous posts, we have had some behavior kinks. After prayer and research and strategy changes, we are getting better control through this phase of life.
I still have some planning sketches for summer, to complete and a fairly large school order to place, but since it involves dissection samples, i am going to hold off until the last possible moment. The summer will also contain homeschooling. No, we do not take summer break in the traditional sense. We keep going until we complete our work and then move to the next thing. That is a necessity since we have 5 kids at 5 different places in their work. Long breaks tend to cause too much memory loss.
So for now that is all. i have someone wanting to listen, yet again, to The Saga Begins, on youtube.
Oh, went to my first midnight movie premiere last night with Jacob. We saw Avengers. Loved it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick update in pictures....

Ok, so since LTC we have been busy catching up with schooling and working diligently on our character issues, which have been somewhat numerous with the youngers. This has been an odd year for them with teens in the house. Their sleep schedule is not good. They do not like to sleep alone, but the older kids don't want to go to bed at 9pm. So the little stay up and get super grouchy and irritable. So we had to reinstate mandatory naptimes. Hate to do that but life can be unbearable without it.
We also had to research some creative parenting techniques with our "spankings make me even angrier" kids. So far so good.
We let the kids have a Pirates of the Caribbean movie party on Saturday as a reward for good behavior and just for fun. We LOVE those movies so we all watched Dead Man's Chest and ate lots of snacks and entertained each other. it was so much fun we must do it again to watch At World's End!
That is about all we have done. Short and sweet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LTC was great

Genesis is a very familiar book to most of us, but with 50 chapters, it can be overwhelming to learn. there is just so much detail there. My LTC kides have been studying and reading Genesis every Wednesday night in class, and during bible time at home for 3 months. We also read through it over the summer and spent the past week really studying. So I am not surprised they got a gold, silver and bronze in competition. I am proud of them. I was a judge for bible bowl and could not answer all the questions myself. But no matter how many they missed, i know they came out knowing more than they did when they began and knowledge of the bible is a precious thing to have.
Jacob was a first time song leader and very nervous and unsure of himself, but he earned a gold. Made me smile for him! The scripts were really great for drama and puppets this year and all got gold. And the chorus Emily sang with sounded just gorgeous and they earned a gold, too.
But I was also happy that all three earned a gold on their art. Art is so subjective. Everyone has a different amount of talent and a different interpretation. What is great to one person may be awful to the next. Especially for Lizzy it was a HUGE boost . Having a learning issue and the ensuing things that go along with it, she really needed the gold.
The hotel was nice as always and we were not on the atrium, where the rooms are awfully loud. So it was a busy crazy weekend and they are excited to study for next year! How many people can say that one of their kids favorite activities is bible related??? Actually, any activity relating to church, from class, to CBH, to MNFTM, to LTC, to youth group all rank high for all my kids.
So now we shall rest...sort of.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter weekend is coming

What an eventful week it has been! We had LTC dress rehearsal on Sunday afternoon, which was also the start of our gospel meeting. Just before evening service, our youngest, age 5, did a flip outside and landed on her neck and couldn't look up. We left, got some food and almost ended up in the ER. She did go to the doctor the next day to find her neck was out of joint and needed some massage. Today is Thursday and she is still unable to fully lean her head back, but it is much better.
For homeschool this week we decided to take it easy on math, skip language arts, other than reading time and handwriting, and concentrate on our LTC text of Genesis. 50 chapters is ALOT to remember! But we have worked daily to learn it. Most is common, but there are some parts that are just confusing, especially if you are asked for specific wording and geneaology things. We also did more backtracking with the oldest as he is having difficulty with pre-algebra. We put him in Life of Fred this week to solidify concepts, and he loves it. It is helping a lot, so I bought the next 3 books to help him through algebra!
We worked on art for LTC and finished those projects today. We got chorus clothing and had dance and piano lessons. But by far our biggest event was the weather.
Apparently we do not watch tv enough because I had no idea we had storms coming for Tuesday. I knew it seemed cooler and windier after lunch that day, though. Around 2:30 I checked facebook and saw lots of people posting about tornadoes in Dallas! Yikes! Decided it was time to watch the news, and sure enough we had some terrible spring storms coming through! We got out the weather radio, charged the cell, and got radar on the laptops while watching NOAA on tv. About 4pm a line was moving right for us and shear markers were appearing in a cluster a few miles from us. Not good. We had a tornado warning and a watch. Meaning they could develop AND one had been spotted. So we cleared out an interior closet, put helmets on the kids, got in with dogs, cell and laptop and barred the door with a mattress. Texted husband to take cover at work since spotted tornado was heading toward his building. We prayed without ceasing that the Lord in His great power could take the tornadoes back up into the clouds and keep us and all our friends safe in the storms. He answered us and took the storms back up into the clouds. Some may think it is a coincidence, but I believe it was God's work. He didn't have to do that, but I believe He did. We prayed and sang for over 20 minutes until we heard it was safe to come out. Our area had 13 official tornadoes that day. One almost touched down less than 2 miles from our home and one within 5 miles of husband's work. So scary! Unfortunately the antenna on the weather radio broke as we entered the closet so i am looking for a new antenna. Spring in Texas is not over, and it is often violent.
So, we have weekend competition and other stuff going on. Busy, busy...but all for Him. Blessings to all of you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Braces, Beds, Bible, and Battles

An epic battle of army guys and cowboys/indians.
Three kids reading in the afternoon. how sweet is that????
Her first lost tooth. I finished her tooth fairy pillow as she lost the tooth! Oh, that is green gum in her mouth, so don't get too grossed out.
A gorgeous sunset one evening. Photos never do God's handiwork justice.

Jacob at the "beach" at bass pretending to be in Florida......oh, to be there right now!!!!! bliss......
She got her braces! The teeth are already moving. This was one hour after they were put on. Bottom ones come in 6 weeks.
New beds for the girls....we like!

It has been a busy couple of weeks as we have had a large share of errands and schoolwork to complete. Much has happened. The girls got new beds, Emily got braces on top teeth, kids got to get some new spring clothes, and got to shoot guns at bass pro and play on their beach, and we have been preparing for LTC bible competition. We are still working on LTC art entries and plan a big week of "cramming" next week before we leave. But there has been a lot of learning as we study botany, and the middle ages, and math and reading. We have seen some great educational shows, planned some get togethers, danced, and had co-op classes. Kids are starting to take responsibility for cooking some meals, so they can learn our recipes. Home Ec class, i say. Not sure how Easter will go. We will be getting home late, and there are some business trips coming up. Also got some big things happening with CHEFS and Timbrel right now. Life is kind of up in the air in some ways, but more grounded in others. God is in it all so it will all work out just fine. Anyway, just a brief and kind of random, messy update of our life.