Thursday, January 31, 2013

Homeschool posting...

Over the years I have posted  what a typical day might look like for us. Honestly it changes year by year as the kids grow up. Sometimes it changes semester by semester. So today I think I will post a "picture" of our current days.

First off, we are kind of late nighters. We stay up til at least 10 watching tv and playing together, sometimes even until midnight. And yes, i am talking about school nights. Bedtimes for kids older than 5 are not our strong point. never have been. Also, we are not terrible rigid. We have a daily schedule to guide us and curriculum to guide us, be we are not slaves to either. And i do not dress like the "homeschool mom" you might see represented in magazines. We do not all wear jumpers or matching dresses. None of us even own jumpers. In America a jumper is a loose dress that you wear a shirt under, not a sweater (known in the UK as a jumper). Clarification.

So this morning I awoke when the sun was up and the birds were chirping. It was light and I heard Clay eating cereal in the kitchen. Once he headed to the shower, I got up, made coffee, and emptied the dishwasher in my momma uniform of yoga pants (more often, running spandex pants-capri length) and a lavender glittered sweatshirt (usually a t-shirt). Barefoot. Then i made coffee cups for everyone, and woke the kids that were still asleep, and started cutting fruit and scrambling eggs for breakfast. It was about 8:20am by then. The dogs had been let out and kids were watching cartoons and drinking coffee. I let the kids know that breakfast was ready and they had until 9am to eat, brush teeth, make beds and straighten rooms and be in the kitchen for devo time. We had morning announcements at 9am in the kitchen, sang, read the bible, discussed application in our lives, drilled on Matthew for our LTC competition ( and prayed. Then each kid went to do their schoolwork. The 9th grader went to his laptop and began teaching Textbooks algebra, Apologia biology, Rosetta Stone spanish, and other stuff assigned by Sonlight Core 100 curriculum. The 7th grader went upstairs to work on Life of Fred math, apologia general science, Sonlight history, LLATL language arts, and bible. The 5th, and 3rd graders went to their laptops to work on teaching textbooks math and then do their Sonlight reading before doing Spelling Workout, LLATL and Writing. The 1st grader did LLATL reading with me, then spelling workout with me, then handwriting and Saxon math. As they worked and took breaks as needed, they danced and played and I ran laundry, scheduled a fridge repair, gave the dogs, water, and made lunch of soup and grilled cheese. They are all on lunch break at this time and I am blogging--obviously. In about 20 minutes we will do chores (mid-day cleaning) and the PE time. Hopefully the fridge guy will be her so i can stop living out of coolers! I am going to drain the water from the coolers, shortly, in anticipation!
This afternoon we will complete schoolwork, watch Liberty's Kids dvd's for history, work on LTC art and maybe have some read aloud time or book studies before the older girls get ready for dance classes. I have 3 kids taking dance right now as our outside activity. One will take up dance in the fall after taking this semester off, and we are full with church activities year round, and homeschool fun stuff.
I have NO IDEA what I am making for supper at this time. It will probably be simple and ready before Clay arrives home. While girls are at dance I will get some much needed grocery shopping done. Then I will take the oldest to bible study. When everyone is home around 9pm, we are going to indulge in the final episode of  season 2 of Falling Skies on Amazon Prime. But then we have to get to bed. Friday morning is homeschool co-op registration, and being the director, I must be there early to set up. Afterward we will make our monthly drive to Sam's Club for groceries for a family of 7. The shelves, and freezer, are quite bare.

And then there comes the weekend. At this time we are planning to drop cable, get an antennae for the attic, and subscribe to Netflix. If we get all the pertinent info via mail,  I will also file our tax return. And then we will spend Sunday holding LTC practices. I couldn't care less about the Superbowl, but I know it will likely be on at our house. I will be sewing, I think. I have a great chevron knit dress to make. I also am researching a switch in science curriculum from Apologia to BJU for the 7th grader..... That will ultimately require a trip to Mardel for perusing the choices, and conveniently, also a trip to Buckle, Maurices, and Express to do some jeans shopping for me.

Oh, have no worries. I do plan to get dressed in real clothing before I leave the house this afternoon. I already have a bit of makeup on! But I see no point in dressing for the outside world until I am finished working out and showering. That should happen around 4:30pm...most likely.

So there you have it! This is a day in the life with our 5 homeschooled kids. Well, at least, that is what it is like this spring.....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When it rains....

You know the rest. It pours. But it isn't particular. It pours good stuff and bad stuff, this thing called life! This has been a week like that. Not totally bad, but somewhat inconvenient. Still, there are so many blessings to count! I really can't complain too much.

Schoolwork is going well as far as I can tell, but i do need to keep a closer eye on the algebra and research paper the 9th grader is working on. My oldest girl is about to turn 13 tomorrow, and so far we haven't been able to get her a gift, though she is having a party. She is such a joy. She's quite private but has lots of very sweet Christ- focused friends. I couldn't ask for better.

No gift yet because the water heater is acting up (not heating for long) and that is causing the 7 of us to rotate showers and not take one every day. And today the fridge went out. Waiting to hear from the home warranty company about repairs. All food is in coolers on ice. Luckily we have a deep freeze and it barely held the frozen items, and they were just starting to thaw so all was saved there. Repairs come before gifts.

Actually the repairs are kind of like a gift. Just not to a 13 year old. She is very understanding though.
Also began looking at donating our clothing abundance to needy people who have been dropping by the church. Got a lot of stuff up there so far and we aren't hurting.

And I started my wish list for next year's curriculum purchases. That will wait until July. Never hurts to plan ahead though. So, the week has been good and inconvenient. Such is life. but the blessings far, far outweigh the troubles so we are good here. Lots of great folks willing to help out.

Hope your week is going well. I have to go check on some homemade jelly filled granola bars. (Sherlock reference)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Photo Time!!!!! Yea!

Hello. it's me. Here are some pictures of our latest adventures. Below you see my eldest after having a snow fight with his brother.
 It was a very hard fought snow war, to be sure!
 Meanwhile, Kimberly and Elizabeth built snowmen. Oh, in the neighbor's yard...not ours.
 The brothers helped. Emily is not in these shots because she is not a fan of cold.

 Here is Jordan showing off his camo knife. He is a knife collector, and this is a recent acquisition.
Here the girls are resting with the dogs.
And Emily is hanging out with one of her really close friends, Elizabeth.
This is an outfit I put together with a scarf I made.

 And these are my january motivation shots. I have been working out for 2 months.Wonder if I will look any different in May, or October, or next January. We'll see
And finally this is Jacob and his friend Dakota at ECD new year's eve. i wanted more photos but time escaped me and it was late and foggy.

Standing Out

Our family stands out from much of the world in many ways. It's fine with us, really. It is our "normal". I think we should stand out in good ways.  If you stand out in a bad way, or cast negative light on yourself for your dress, activities, behavior, then maybe it is time for a change.

Some of the ways we stand out are that we live on one income and I stay at home. We also have 5 kids--not exactly the normal amount. We also homeschool. Not so weird these days. We are Christians who are basically conservative (meaning we believe the whole bible--not the teaching of men- and we strive to obey it). We involve ourselves with many activities within our church.
We also involve ourselves in activities outside our church, selectively. We have to go outside our little world to have an influence for good. Christians aren't called to be their own little commune, living apart from the world. We are called to live in it, doing what is good and right,  and need to make ourselves known in good ways to the world at large, so that people want to see what we are all about.

Some of the ways I tend to stand out among my friends are different by food choices. That seems to be a big issue these days. For example: we don't eat special diets, like gluten-free, we don't use all natural or all organic ingredients, we don't drink raw milk, we do not raise and butcher our own animals, we are not farm folk, we vaccinate our kids, we socialize with many different groups, we don't avoid GMO's and HFCS. So in those ways we stand out and that's ok. I just don't discuss those things much. They really aren't in any way something to argue over. To each his own.

Standing out in a good way is positive. Standing out that makes you seem bizarre and unapproachable or isolationist is not good (imho) because who really wants to come see what you are all about if you are standing out in that way? Very, very few people. But if you stand out in good ways, people will likely see that goodness and be drawn to you. Naturally, some won't be, but most will see the kindness and goodness and the attitude and want to be a part of it. You like those kinds of people, right?  If you come across as bizarre, unapproachable, and closed or judgmental, you can't make an impact for good. You just can't. People want to feel acceptance and love, not like everything they are doing is wrong and bad and being judged.

I know. I used to be very preachy and direct and tactless. Just ask people who have known me. I was very judgmental if you weren't like me. It's shameful really. And I turned many, many people off, even those in my own congregation, before I began to see how abrasive and unloving those attitudes were. I lost the trust and friendship of quite a few. At the time I thought I was being a good Christian and had the right answers. Had lots of growing to do.

NowadaysI try to show the love of Christ in a nonthreatening, friendly way. I know some think I am worldly in that sense, but they can judge me as they see fit. I am doing the best I can to be light and salt. I try to show style that is good and modest, not frumpy and tasteless. I try to be a listener (working hard on that) and give folks the benefit of the doubt, rather than seem holier than thou. I try to overlook unkind words because we all have bad days. I try hard to see the best intentions and set good examples without being preachy, but through friendliness, because otherwise I see only evil, and come across as unfriendly and unsociable.

It is not easy, but that is, to me, what being a Christian is all about. Leading others by example and friendliness first. If you can't make them feel your friendliness, you will NEVER win them for Christ.

So, we all get to make our own choices and the vast majority will not have a book/chapter/verse command for our daily lives. We don't need to be legalistic and create our own rules when we have been given guidleines. There is a lot of wiggle room for our daily choices. We just need to use that liberty for good. Not to tear others apart. It is a good lesson to teach to kids.  How you present yourself to the world is very important, whether you think so or not.

Disclaimer: This is not a post directed at any one person or group of people. I just started writing and went with the flow.

January Madness

Just a quick post about all that has been going on.
  1. LTC practices began and I got the 3rd-6th script ready. Unfortunately it is over the 8 minute time limit.
  2. All kids are well!
  3. Emily is about to turn 13!!! Sleepover planned.
  4. Jacob and Emily have been hangong out with lots of church friends.
  5. I began looking at school costs for 2013-2014
  6. I finally filed last spring and last fall's school and art work.
  7. Got a haircut!
  8. Researched and bought new makeup. Working on my style.
  9. Got back to working out and involving the kids.
And so far, that is it. Wish i could say more but time escapes me and I must go work on school with the kids, start washing piles of laundry and get the french bread out of the oven. We'll chat soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rough Start

Didn't know exactly how the year was going to begin, but I thought it would go pretty well. Yeah. So anyway, New Years Day was fine and then we went shopping on the 2nd, and then the 9th grader got sick with fever, headache and congestion/cough. Unfortunately he and his sister (7th grader) were about to leave for a weekend youth group retreat. Luckily the fever broke and they went together on the 4th. By then the 10 yr old was sick with the same stuff, and by the 5th, the 8 year old had also fallen victim. That very evening, I got a call from the retreat thtat the girl had gotten sick and was being brought home. She arrived at midnight. By early Sunday morning the 6 year old was ill and by bedtime on the 6th, so was I. What a fun way to start the year! But at least it was short lived and ewe were all well by Wednesday, January9th. School has gone fairly well considering we just stuck to the basics. And that is good because we started back the dance classes this week and LTC practices begin on sunday and bible studies and all manner of life activities!
So that is how our new year began. Kind of rough, but we made it. So...onward!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day 2013

Stayed up late and slept a bit late. Ate the remaining junk...veggie tray, baklava, cheesecake, chip/dip, coffee, soda....Still haven't folded the mountain of laundry...seriously, it's about 8 or 9 loads. I am wondering how we are all dressed and not naked! BUT I did manage to make some sketchy lesson and life plans for the next three days. I'll work on the rest of them over the weekend and get the LTC script more nailed down. Might have to spend the first practice working purely on stage skills. Oh, I did manage to cut out a chevron knit dress and 2 scarves. I bought the fabric wayyy back in late summer, I think. been too long ago to remember. I hope to sew it up before Easter....we'll see. I am kind of ready to get back into the homeschool groove. Kind of not. Don't ask the kids. They just wanna keep playing. I just want to keep being the best mom I can be for them, keep up with my working out (I feel great!), and keep my priorities right as I stumble through life each day. I do stumble, you know. Every day. I don't want to, but I feel like the apostle Paul very often. I know what I should do, and what I shouldn't, but I do things I know I shouldn't and don't do the things I should. Yep. I am fully human...sometimes too human. But with grace, one day I will be fully spiritual. And until then I just get up and give each day my best shot at life. I try not to dwell on the past as I lay down at night. I have found that even though the memories are sweet, they are painful....even the best ones, and that makes me sad, and keeps me awake for too long. Why? Because they were so sweet and can never be reclaimed, and you can never change the bad memories for good. So I find it best to just live for the day and keep smiling instead of dwelling on the past.
I hope you have a very, very blessed year. Take it one day at a time. You never know what each new day will bring!

Holidays 2012 in Pictures

 Thanksgiving 2012 at my cousin's house. Had a big crowd and lots of food. Somehow I didn't get any photos of dinner the next day at the Scoggins' house. That happened in reverse a few years ago.

 Thanksgiving evening a big thunderstorm rolled in and the sky was AMAZING!!!!
 The following weekend I took my oldest, and his friends, to work on filming Sandblade, and ended up playing around with my camera. That's me, by the way. Hi!
 And here they are playing around downtown after filming.....Looks like an album cover. My kid is the tallest one!
 And here they are in a somewhat awkward grouping checking out footage. Teens.
 The kids helped mix, bake and decorate Christmas cookies for Santa. Decorating is more fun than eating.Can you see the reindeer cookie with the broken front leg that has red "bloody" icing??? Gotta love it.
 Christmas Eve at the Scoggins' and Emily is helping Michele make brunch.
 Jacob, cousin Ben, and Jordan waiting to open gifts.
 This is at the Anderson's...Jordan with his two great-grandmas.
 All the kids waiting to open at the Anderson Christmas.
 All grandkids with one great-grandma.
 All grandkids with the other great grandma.
 All of us adults in the aprons one of the great grandmas made for us.
 Kim is all tired after Santa came. She and Rocket are resting.
 Out of order!!!!! Kim getting a gift at the Scoggins'.
 Emily and Elizabeth waiting to open gifts.
And the finale of Christmas....SNOW! It's practically a Christmas miracle for Texas. Nice. (Personally I prefer the warmer winter days, but a little snow to play in now and then is fun.)