Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Baking Fun

Christmas is just around the corner.  Who is ready?  Thankfully, I only have one person left to complete.  Every year along with primary gifts, the girls and I make homemade gifts, cards, and home baked goodies.  Our baking fun continues this Saturday, can't wait!


So far, to lighten the load,we have made gingerbread cookies and 7 layer cookie bars.  This Saturday, we will be making traditional Christmas cookies.  I have every Christmas cookie cutter cut-out known to man.  Okay, this may be an exaggeration, but we do have a nice variety.  We go crazy with our cookies.  We use a variety of big, medium, and small cookie cutters and decorate them to the max.  In the end, they are so pretty, who wants to eat them? Haha!

Along with Christmas cookies, we are attempting holiday brownie/cake pops.  I have never made these before, so this should be very interesting, yet a lot of fun.  Can't wait!

I am between two more Christmas goodies, homemade fudge and rice crispy treats.  I guess it depends on how well our other two recipes turn out.

Baking is such a fun activity for kids.  It's great too, because it sneaks in a little bit of science and math.  Gotta love that as homeschoolers.  Hmmm, now just to add a yummy cup of hot chocolate to the mix, and I think we've got it all covered!

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What Christmas goodies have you made or will be making this year with your kids?  Please share your ideas, I love trying new things!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Images by Lindsey Clair

Monday, December 17, 2012

In Loving Memory of Sandy Hook Elementary Students and Faculty



My heart just aches.  All I can seem to think about is this shooting.  I have been praying for these families without ceasing.  Fear has struck our country.  It is time for America to get on their knees before God and really pray.  Christians, it's time to spread God's Word, He's coming very soon.

I recently shared with my 9 and a half year old about this devastation.  I felt she had a right to know and learn about America's reality.  Kids her age and younger witnessed this horror and it could have been anywhere.  She immediately broke into tears and prayed for these families, (faith of a child).

Heaven welcomed more beautiful children this past weekend.  Heaven indeed is filling up fast.  These words stuck out in my head yesterday as we had a memorial for my Uncle Dwayne.  We included the shooting victims in the memorial as my mom stated: "Heaven is filling up fast."

I cannot even begin to express how blessed and how humbled I feel at the fact we homeschool our girls.  I can see why God called me to do this now being in our second year.  Any worries, heartaches, and struggles that I had with it in the past are now gone!  So what if we have hard days! So what if it doesn't feel like they are learning anything!  At least we are able to hold our babies right now.  God sees the bigger picture though.  I have learned so much from this, some I won't even express here on my homeschool blog. 



I asked the Lord, "If you are a God that sees and knows everything, why did you allow this to happen, why didn't you stop it?"  His answer was simply this, and through a shared Facebook photo I might add: "I am not allowed in Public Schools."  Boy, was this a revelation.  How true is that.  God swept those precious children to heaven and they are now truly safe.  I can't even imagine losing a child in such a tragedy such as this.  Losing a precious baby full term was painful enough and life was hard living.  These families, I can't image... (tears streaming, can barely type) losing a child because someone shot them.  I know these parents had to identify their children through photos.  I am so grateful they didn't have to see them in person as multiple close range gun shots were documented.  I also can't imagine all of those who had to arrive on the seen to see this blood bath.  How can your mind not be traumatized from something like this? Ugh, I know they went home holding their families.

Lord protect us, let us not live in fear, but trust you.  Our future is so uncertain, but for Christians, we have eternal hope, thank you Jesus.  We need to be bold and teach others about Jesus Christ.  How will they know unless we tell them?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday 2012 Package at Knowledge Box Central


Does your homeschool enjoy doing lapbooks?  When we first started our adventures last year, I didn't give them much thought, but now having done about 8 of them so far, I can honestly say we enjoy them.  The concept of lapbooks are very intriguing.

Upon researching lapbooks my favorite has to be Knowledge Box Central, home of the $5 lapbook.  Can't beat that right?  Well, you probably could put your own together for close to free, but it's nice to have a format when it comes to lapbooks altogether.

Because we are now in the Christmas season, we are enjoying Christmas unit studies and lapbooks.  Right now, Knowledge Box Central is having a deal on a package you may be interested in.  It's their Holiday 2012  Package.  It's originally $55.  Get it today for $20! Save 64% off.  Awesome right?

Knowledge Box Central
 
 
The Holiday package currently includes 11 products and 567 pages. Limited time only and in eBook format only.
 
Here is an idea of what is inside this holiday package:
  •  New Year's Around the World Lapbook
  • New Year's Fun and Activity Book
  • Valentine's Day Lapbook
  • Labor Day Lapbook
  • History of Halloween Lapbook
  • Thanksgiving Lapbook
  • Turkey Talk Activity Book
  • Christmas Fun and Coloring Activity Book
  • Christmas Symbols Lapbook
  • Kwanzaa Lapbook
Click here to order this Holiday Package 2012.

Happy 12-12-12!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Schoolhouse Teachers Website Review

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Welcome to my very first review for The Schoolhouse Review Crew! I feel so very excited to be a part of a wonderful crew of bloggers as well as researching different curriculums for my family.  Now, onto business, haha!

One of the many perks of homeschooling would have to be the freedom to explore and find what works for your family.  Now being in our second year, I am learning that I don't have to limit to just one curriculum in particular, especially if it doesn't work for my family.  From textbooks to online learning there are endless possibilities to what a child can learn and achieve.  Need lesson plans at your finger tips? The Old Schoolhouse Magazine contains a variety of resources that meets specific needs of any homeschooling family.  One awesome resource I found helpful is Schoolhouse Teachers, a division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
 
Schoolhouse Teachers is currently $1 for the first month then $5.95 per month after that.  You can also choose to purchase a full year option at  $64.26.  If you sign up for the full year membership you will receive a free tote bag and 1 back issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (U.S. only).  The site is designed for Pre-K through 12th grade which is a plus.

 
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 I really enjoyed utilizing the resources on Schoolhouse Teachers.  There was actually more than I originally anticipated which is great.  Here is what the site includes:
 
 
This page of the site lists all of the teachers available for these particular subjects:
  • Asia: It's People and History
  • Career Exploration
  • Chemistry
  • Classical History
  • Classics-Based Writing
  • Economics
  • Elementary Literature Kits
  • Figures in History
  • French
  • Filmmaking
  • Geography
  • Beginning Guitar
  • History
  • Home Economics
  • Lapbooking
  • Literature
  • Logic
  • Elementary Math
  • High School Math
and much more.  Click here for teacher biography, other available subjects and descriptions.
 
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Other pages include:
 
Family
  • College Choice Guidance
  • Guitar
  • Monthly Reading List
  • Special Needs
Dailies
  • Every day Games
  • Every day Explorers
  • This day in History
  • This Month's Menu
The extras include downloadable planners, E-Books, etc.  It also contains an online library and a site tour. The Schoolhouse Teachers website as a whole appears clean and clear with easy to use formatting.  Upon entry of the site you feel confident and not overwhelmed with confusing resources.  This is a definite plus as well.
 
I have thoroughly enjoyed going through the resources that pertain to my 9, 6, and 3 year old.  Even though there wasn't as much available for my 3 year old as my other two, it was still great to utilize what was available. She practiced coloring skills with a Christmas lesson and fun toilet paper roll Christmas craft.  We are currently working on a Christmas Lapbook printed from the site, can't wait to see how it turns out. My 6 year old tried out a copywriting activity to enhance her writing skills.  She loves writing so this was one of her favorites thus far. My 9 year old benefited from a History lesson and will possibly be doing the math drills etc.  I also really enjoyed the arts and crafts pages.  The Christmas card idea with shaving cream and paint is awesome.  I changed it up a bit and will be doing it with Christmas tree cut-outs.  The concept is pretty much the same.  I will post pics in a future post of our creations.
 
I believe that you as a homeschooling parent may enjoy the site as well.  If anything it can also be used as a supplement right along with what you are currently using in your family.  Feel free to check it out.  Again, visit schoolhouseteachers.com to view the site or visit the Review Crew page here!  Many blessings to you and your family as you continue on with your homeschooling adventures.
 
 
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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Goodbye Uncle Dwayne, See You Soon!

Kelly and Lyssa with Uncle Dwayne a few months ago. 
He was always fun and silly and a very talented musician.

Tuesday morning, December 4th, 2012, my dear uncle Dwayne passed away in his sleep.  He was a fighter and that is something I/we will never forget.

During the past couple of years, I really got the chance to get closer to him.  The girls really enjoyed his company as well.  Their memories of him will always be when he would drop by during homeschooling at my mom and dad's house and bring "after lunch" treats.  Kelly always prayed for his health and developed a pretty neat relationship with him.  It was very precious.

Uncle Dwayne was my mom's younger brother.  We will most definitely miss him.  This has been a very solemn experience and a definite emotional rollercoaster for all of us.  We didn't want him to suffer as he had multiple heart attacks, strokes, etc. and a history of other problems, but we believe Jesus saved him and that he's dancing free with my grandparents and our sweet Brandon Michael.  God is so faithful.

"We look forward to the day where we will see your face again. We love you Uncle Dwayne and will never forget you." Lindsey, Ron, Kelly, Lyssa, and Bethany




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planning our Christmas Learning Fun


Well, it's hard to believe Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Christmas is just around the corner.  I am honestly super excited, but at the same time a little stressed.  I need to finish my shopping, who is with me?

In the weeks ahead we will be focusing on the Christmas season with unit studies, videos, lapbooks, recipes, and more. 

We plan on continuing with our library visits once a week.  Yay for books on Christmas.  As far as recipes go, OH YEAH!  Christmas recipes will be an overflow in our house, haha.

What are some fun things you and your family do over Christmas? Unit Studies?  Lapbooks? Maybe field trips?  I am anxious to read all the amazing ideas since this is only our second year of homeschooling.  I am always compiling ideas that may work with our homeschool.  It's always worth giving a shot, right?

When I get a chance, I will post our northern adventures trip for Thanksgiving!  It was a blast. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homeschooler's Thanksgiving!


What are your family plans this Thanksgiving?  We are taking a family trip out of town.  The girls are going to learn how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner from scratch with yours truly.  Hey, everything is a learning experience right?  Haha, might as well take advantage of that while having fun.  I cannot wait to experience this with my girls. We have never cooked together before, not this large anyways.  We are planning to just have a relaxing time together for a few days.  Cooking is the only homeschool related thing we will be doing.  This is a milestone for me to be this laid back.  I have a few homeschooling friends to thank for that one, haha!

I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving with your family.  Because we will be out of town, I will not be updating content on here until Wednesday, November 28th!

Many blessings!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Old Schoolhouse Digital Magazine


Since starting our homeschooling adventures last year, I have been overwhelmed with resources that are available.  I am truly amazed by the amount of support there is available for homeschooling families.  One of the resources I was excited to stumble upon is The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  It is a digital publication for homeschooling families alike.  It contains resources to encourage and support homeschoolers on their daily adventures. 

Contents in the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s November issue include, but are not limited to:
  • The Factual Homeschooler
  • The Gentle Art of Learning: The Charlotte Mason Homeschooler
  • The Ordinary Homeschooler
  • The Unit Study Homeschooler
  • The Classical Homeschooler
  • The Inspired Homeschooler
  • The Veteran Homeschooler
  • The Artistic Homeschooler
and much more such as; de-cluttering tips for the holidays, frugal tips for music lessons, and free music software. And it doesn't stop there......

Do you like product reviews? This issue contains a nice mix of products geared toward any homeschooling family.  An example of one of the product reviews is Math Made Easy (Homeschool Package) by Glenda Brown James. Product reviews for the November issue can be read here

Are you currently in a place where you need to simplify your life?  I can honestly say that since homeschooling, I have had to change some things around.  My life most definitely hasn't been on the simple side of things when it comes to my freelance writing/blogging business and homeschooling.  A specific article in the study hall section of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine caught my undivided attention. "365 Ways to Simplify Your Life," an interview with Patrice Lewis.  One thing that stood out to me from Patrice's interview was simply this and she stated: "Look at your interests, even if those interests don't earn you money.  They are clues to one's gifts, because we do them passionately and without compensation.  Perhaps those things can be turned into a job."  I guess that I needed this as a reminder to myself.   When I started out blogging and writing, it was just an interest or a passion if you will.  Prior to homeschooling, God blessed me with paid opportunities.  Now, if I can just manage my time wisely so that I may utilize my gifts and interests, my life may seem more simplified. How do you simplify your life? Sorry, had to get serious there for a moment, hey it struck a nerve, haha!

I am so excited to have found The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  It is refreshing and I look forward to referring to it as much as possible. I like the easy read online format and the fact it just pops on the screen without any hassles.  It's compatible with a Mac and PC. It's great to also be able to download the issues to my desktop and archive for future reference. Is there anything I don't like about the digital magazine?  Honestly, I don't have a complaint on this one.  It's an overall GREAT online resource for homeschooling families.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is geared towards homeschooling adults and highschool students, but some areas can be modified to suit other age levels based on the topic of discussion. I guess parents can use their judgement when it comes to the content.

Did I mention that The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is free? Can't beat that, right? It is also available through their free apps at www.TOSApps.com.

If you are interested in reading about some great product reviews from the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,  you can check those out at http://SchoolhouseReviewCrew.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Unit Studies and Lapbooks

Thanksgiving Lapbook - EBOOK - Click Image to Close

We started our Thanksgiving Unit Study and Lapbook this past Monday.  I am liking the idea of combining ages with these studies.  It is helping me break away from rigid lesson plans and curriculums'.  If you have been following my blog, you know that I was struggling with my current method of learning.  A Beka just isn't working for us anymore.  Being a former teacher in a brick and mortar setting, I have had to learn how to break away from my strict lesson plans and just be flexible.  It most definitely has been a learning experience for me, and not a fun one I might add.

Check out this Thanksgiving Lapbook by Knowledge Box Central.

I have decided to use A Beka as a supplement here and there, but will now be sticking with unit studies and lapbooks until next year.  I am super excited about Christmas as we will just be focusing on all things Christmas.  From unit studies to crafts and recipes, it should be an exciting time of learning for all three girls.

What are you doing with your children?  I love learning about everyone's experiences and jotting down ideas.  I understand that all homeschooling families are unique and not one is alike, but I am open to trying anything that will benefit my girls in their homeschool learning.

I am so thankful to a new homeschooling friend who just today lent me her book about Charlotte Mason and the methods, etc.  I am pretty pumped to be filling my brain with new ideas to get our homeschool to where it should be.

Have a wonderful evening everyone!

Lindsey


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Gift of Giving



As second year homeschoolers, I have decided on picking a cause or program that my whole family can participate in.  I figured this could be an annual thing.  I am thinking 1-2 a year to teach the girls about giving and helping others in need especially, this time of year.

This year, a fellow homeschooling mom is the coordinator for Operation Christmas Child at a local church.  We will be chipping in this Friday.  It's a great way for the girls to learn about the gift of giving to others in need.  I want them to really recognize the need for these types of programs and causes because it is very easy for children to become self-centered.  The only way they can possibly know, is if we teach them and they experience it firsthand.

Out of curiosity, what kind of programs or causes do you and your family participate in around Thanksgiving and Christmas?  Soup kitchens? Money donations? Nursing home visits?  Next year, I am thinking of rounding up a few homeschooling families that would be interested in going into nursing homes and singing Christmas songs and passing out homemade Christmas cards.  I remember doing this when I was younger and the smiles and love that went around was priceless. 

I also see this as an opportunity for character training.  Kids need this now more than ever this day and age.  I worry about the future generation, but I think as homeschoolers we have something solid building faith and hope in our childrens' future.  God is so good.

Many Blessings!




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post Election Study

Well, I can't believe it.  The election is over.  I'm kind of glad. This thing was getting ridiculous and as a Christian, I can honestly say, I am saddened by the outcome.  But, God is in control and we can't put our hope, trust, or even fear in a mere man.  All we can do is pray.  Even if Mitt Romney was to have won this thing, I would still feel the same way.  God bless America!

Now that I have that off my chest, onto homeschool business.  We are finishing up our "Election" lapbooks.  It's looking amazing and the girls are pretty proud of it.  We are also finishing up our books on elections from the library along with childrens education DVD's.  I am excited that my girls were into the whole process.  They went with me to vote.  I had them wear their "future voters" ribbons they made as you can see in the pic below. They received recognition and were made over nicely.  I like to say it was our "Election Day Homeschool Field Trip" even though it was just the three of us.  Perfect!  Looking forward to the day that little Bethany can participate and understand all of this.  I had her do preschool patriotic fun. =)



We also made "Election Day" brownies.  As you can see they are patriotic and turned out very yummy.



Last night the girls filled in an electoral vote tracker as it was updated on TV.  I was impressed by the interaction between Kelly (9) and Lyssa (6) and the television.  They were on pins and needles hoping that the remaining states would be red.  As you can see at that point, it was as far as we got before I made them head to bed.(Obviously we know how the rest plays out, girls were not happy.)  Late night learning earned them a "sleep in" since we did not have any Homeschool Connections classes this morning.



Well, I think that about wraps up our Election Unit Study for the week.  I will post pics of the completed lapbook in a later post.  Next week we will be starting our unit study on Thanksgiving along with lapbooks.  Super excited about that.  Our blog theme will be changing appearance yet again to fit the Thanksgiving theme, this will start on Monday. Can't wait!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lapbooking with Knowledge Box Central

Knowledge Box Central

Happy Monday!  I am excited to be doing Election Unit Studies and Lapbooks this week with my girls along with related recipes and crafts.  I will share pics in Wednesday's post on that, can't wait!

If you fancy lapbooks, notebooking, etc., you will love Knowledge Box Central.  I was recently introduced to this site and have been having so much fun downloading $5 lapbooks, etc.  Yep, that's right, $5!  When you sign up (which is free) you instantly receive a $5 coupon towards your first order.  So basically, what would have cost me $10 for two lapbooks, I received for only $5.  You can find occasional deals too on lapbooks that are less than $5.

When a homeschooling friend introduced me to lapbooks a couple years ago, I was a little skeptical at first.  I have to tell ya, I am loving this concept through learning and so are my girls.  I do these now as supplements with their other curriculum (A Beka).  Next year when we switch to Heart of Dakota, I will still be incorporating lapbooks into the mix.

Do you do lapbooks with your children?  Do they like putting them together and are they truly learning from it?  I would love to hear from you.

Sorry so short today, this mommy is a little behind on things! I look forward to checking in on my fellow bloggers this week to see how you are all doing!  Have a wonderful week.

Many blessings,

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom

Image courtesy of Knowledge Box.  As an affiliate for Knowledge Box, compensation is possible, however, all opinions expressed here are honest and my own.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Learn with Reading Eggs Program


Fellow homeschoolers, I have something that may be of interest to you.  The Reading Eggs program was created by highly educated teachers, writers, animators, and even web developers.  Do you need something that focuses on a core reading curriculum of skills and strategies for reading success?  With Reading Eggs, this is reality and suitable for children ages 3-12.


Reading Eggs was launched in the United States and Canada last year, 2011.  Would you believe that Reading Eggs has signed on more than "500,000 subscribers" and "presented more than 15 million lessons in North America" alone?  That is very impressive, especially for a reading curriculum.

Sign up now!
 
If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your children in the area of reading, I am excited to tell you that all of my readers will receive a free two-week trial offer.  No credit card is required for the two-week trial offer.  Nice, right?

If you are ready to take advantage of this online reading offer, sign up here.

I am receiving a free three month subscription in exchange for this post, any opinions stated here, if any, are my own.

Images courtesy of US Family Guide


Do You Keep a Homeschool Portfolio?


Hello fellow homeschooling moms, this post is to simply pick your brains for a moment.  Since this is only my second year of homeschooling, I am still getting organized and really wanting for this all to work. 

Last year, I used the software:Homeschool Tracker.  While it is great and keeps accurate attendance, grades, etc., I found myself forgetting to add the grades, etc.  Call me old fashioned, but I prefer handwriting everything where I can see it.

I was just recently introduced to the homeschool portfolio method.  I think I like, no LOVE this idea.  That way after a test, project, etc, I can just include it in the portfolio and move on.  This idea sounds perfect for me.  I found a list of things that should be included in a homeschool portfolio from Successful Homeschooling. Just curious though, if your family does the portfolio system, what do you include?

Can't wait to read your ideas.  Since I will be revamping our homeschool, this will be included.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!


Image by Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Do you Celebrate Halloween with Your Children?

I can honestly say that the Lord has dealt with me strongly on this topic over the past few years.  We didn't see it as a problem to dress up and get candy.  If we kept the evil out of it, it's okay, right?  Well, every family is different, this I know.

As a Christian family, we have explained that Halloween in general can be viewed as an evil day and shouldn't be celebrated in some cases, but we do alternatives.  I don't see anything wrong with dressing up in cute costumes and getting candy, just not door to door.  Instead, we do family-friendly costume and trick or treating events like at the library, etc.  Even churches have fun alternatives like "Trunk or Treat."  We also don't mind carving pumpkins, but lately we have been decorating them instead with markers, glitter, etc. Will my girls be dressing up and going out tonight?  No, we will be having a family pizza and movie night.  They are allowed to dress up in a costume that they already have in their dress up boxes.  We will do a candy hunt in the backyard etc.  There have been times that we handed out children Bible tracks with candy to the neighborhood kids as to be a light, but this year, we just want to sit in.  We will do that next year.

The last time we went out trick or treating at night was two years ago.  When scary and evil costumes appeared, my girls cried and said, "this isn't right, God doesn't like this night."  Talk about a humbling experience for me.  Now, I am not saying that because your family goes trick or treating this is wrong, every family has their own beliefs and that's awesome.  God deals with every Christian family differently on this topic and this just happens to be ours.

What do you and your family do?  Are you absolutely against Halloween or for it?  I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Many Blessings!

Image courtesy of [zirconicusso] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, October 29, 2012

Unit Studies, Lapbooks, and Libraries, Oh My!

In my last post I know I was in the valley of homeschooling.  I said that I was on the verge of giving up and just felt completely lost at what to do.  I realized the problem was me.  The Lord has given me a revelation that I most definitely needed.

As a former teacher, I have been stuck in my ways with solid routines and lesson plans.  Boy, as a homeschooling family, this has been a tough thing to break.  Okay, I am one tough nut to crack when it comes to this stuff.  I am one to be super organized and have a plan set in place, and if it's broken, I go crazy.  So, you kind of can see what has happened to me with three girls at different stages of development.  Things weren't going the way I had "planned."  I guess you can say the whole thing kind of blew up in my face.  Hec, if I want my girls to have this, I should just send them to school right?  I mean, a part of homeschooling is having flexibility and learning how to roll with the punches.  Don't get me wrong, having some sort of routine and plans are good to have to keep your kids accountable, this is very important, but being willing to allow flexibility, well that is key!

I have researched hi and low and received endless encouragement from fellow homeschoolers and here is what I found will work for us: Unit Studies, Lapbooks, and frequent visits to the library! Oh yeah!  I am all for that!  This has been working awesome.  I will now just be using A Beka as a supplement two days a week.  Here is what I came up with for our new schedule:

Unit Study Mondays
A Beka Tuesdays
Homeschool Connections Wednesdays
Library and Lapbook Thursdays
A Beka Fridays

Next year, we will  be switching over to Heart of Dakota.  This was another revelation the Lord gave me thanks to a homeschooling acquaintance.  God is so good! My brain is clear and I see my girls starting to shine and be happy again.  Behavior issues can stem from curriculum not working.  Well, this I have discovered.  I am willing to make this work and not give up on my girls! I know there will be days where there will still be challenges, but I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

We are thrilled at the variety of Unit Studies and Lapbooks available!  The girls are excited about weekly visits to the library again.  Joy is returning! Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time to Revamp our Homeschool



Well, yet again it has been quite a while since I have posted here on my personal homeschooling blog.  It's hard keeping a balance sometimes and some days more than others.

I have hit a "home educators" wall so to speak.  This past week (on our family northern adventures trip) I had a mommy meltdown. I almost gave up on our homeschooling completely.  The enemy just kept whispering things to me that made me feel defeated like: "I'm failing my kids" or "I am better off sending them to school." 

It's all been an issue of behaviors due to age gaps of 9,6, and 3.  A Beka curriculum was perfect for us last year, but now with two out of three using the curriculum it's been quite hairy.  As a former early childhood teacher I thrive on schedules and lesson plans.  Yeah, this isn't working in our homeschool.  There is definite routines and plans in our homeschool, but I need to revamp and really pray and search out another alternative that will work for my girls.



In my situation it was suggested to try multi-age unit studies.  I have been searching high and low which method would work for us.  I just need a supernatural peace and strength to not give up.  I know that the Lord has called me into this so he will carry us through.  I have added a Biblical character training to the mix.  Behavior struggles have surfaced I believe because A Beka is not really working for us or them for that matter.  I guess I stuck with it because I am familiar with it.  I used it in the private school system.  Doesn't really seem to work for homeschooling, at least our homeschool anyway.

I personally need to learn how to let go of all of those rigid lesson plans as it's all I know being a former early childhood educator.  Have a plan yes, but being flexible, yeah that's a struggle.  I'm trusting that the Lord will bring me to a point that I can just relax.  This I do not know how to do.

Hopefully, I can post once a week like I originally intended.  This is a place for me to just really lay out my feelings and seek encouragement etc.

Many Blessings!

Lindsey Clair
Blessed to be a wife and mom

Images by www.mycutegraphics.com

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homeschooling Monday: Pajama Style



Yaaaawwwwn! Well, it's Monday and it was quite a weekend.  This past week, the girls started up with homeschool classes at Homeschool Connections in Farmington Hills and I think they caught a cold bug, ugh.  While I was in the nursery area with Bethany (3) there was a little guy in there that loved to touch everyone.  He even sneezed in Bethany's face, whoot!  Oh well, it happens and kids and germs do go hand in hand, thanks Lysol! LOL


Well in just a few days little Bethany also decides to sneeze on her sisters and it just went downhill from there.  Colds already, really?  All weekend they were miserable and today they are recovering in their pajamas on the floor in front of the TV.  Yeah, need to get them better ASAP we have a crazy full swing schedule ahead of us on top of homeschooling:

Tuesday evenings: Pioneer Girls
Wednesdays: Homeschool Connections classes and piano lessons
Thursdays: Gymnastics (Kelly)
Fridays: Dance (Lyssa and Bethany, ballet and tap)

We also have a church event this Friday evening and a wedding to attend on Saturday.  Praying and believing we all stay healthy.  Our homeschool lesson for today is: WASH YOUR HANDS and HIDE YOUR COUGHS and SNEEZES, always! Phewww!

Looking forward to returning to our normal homeschool schedule with happy and healthy girls!  Happy Monday everyone and stay healthy.  (Lots of Vitamin C and fluids.........)

Blessings!

Lindsey 
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Image by: My Cute Graphics


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Training Them Up

 
Now that we have finished up our second week of homeschooling for 2012, my gears have been spinning.  Why?  Well, now that I have an idea of what I am doing this year versus last year I would like to incorporate character training into the mix.

Homeschooling in itself is a challenge, this I have learned quite well, but it's also extra time to really train my children up in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.)

This verse has been ringing in my head and heart since beginning our homeschooling journey and I want to be obedient.  After all, they are only little once and we only get once chance as parents.  This really is a big deal.

In the mornings I make it a point to start our day off in prayer as this should be a no brainer as Christians right?  Yeah, I can honestly say that I have let a couple mornings accidentally slip due to adjustment periods. I know God knows my heart and that I am trying though.  I am sure you can relate.  I have been teaching the girls how to pray and hope to take turns with them in the days ahead.  We also include Bible reading and scripture memorization.  Kelly takes turns reading with me then we discuss it.  God is so awesome and I love that we have this opportunity. 

I want this to be routine and top priority in starting our day.  I also try to make it a point to pray for others.  I will be starting a prayer request chart for the girls to be able to write their requests down.  I have not made Bible a subject in our homeschooling curriculum.  I want it to be a natural thing that we do as unto the Lord, not because we want a good grade.  So I eliminated it from our subject line up.

Thank you Lord for this opportunity to train my children (your children) in the way they should go.  I know that I will be held accountable for everything I teach them.  Lead and guide me through your Word to be your loyal servant.  I want to please you Lord.

Many Blessings,

Lindsey Clair
Blessed to be a Wife and Mom

Flowers Stock Photos by bloggersclipart.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Second Year of Homeschooling 2012

Well, we have officially started our new homeschool year, our second homeschool year to be exact.  We started Monday, August 27th.  The girls were so excited to start, it really blessed my heart.  So far, it has been running smoothly and wonderfully.  Little Bethany has been added into the homeschool mix with 3 year old preschool learning and fun.  It's a challenge keeping up with 4th grade, 1st grade, and preschool stuff, but it's all working out and for the best.  Kelly and Lyssa are doing A Beka Curriculum and Bethany is doing some preschool A Beka with a variety of other learning materials.

I am relieved we started now as we can slowly add in other activities and homeschool learning to our schedule.  Here's an example of our full schedule starting next week and beyond:
  • Mondays: Homeschool, Chores, Piano Practice, FREE EVENING! Yay!
  • Tuesdays: Homeschool at the Carr Ranch (my parents home in the country), chores, piano practice and Pioneer Girls.  (Christian Girl Scouts type program)
  • Wednesdays:  Homeschool Connections classes in Farmington Hills: Kelly: History American Girl Class and IEWriting program and Lyssa: Fun with Spanish and P.E. and Piano Lessons at home!  Quick chores when we arrive home! We are doing the Homeschool Partnership with Oxford Virtual Academy and Homeschool Connections.
  • Thursdays: Homeschool, chores, piano practice, and Kelly/Gymnastics!
  • Fridays: Homeschool, chores, piano practice, and Lyssa and Bethany/Dance!  Once a month will be Fun Fridays for Homeschoolers at Ward Church so that should be fun too. =)
Of course I have to include my writing schedule and other duties into the mix, but it will all be worth it!

As you can see it will be a very active and busy schedule, but it also looks like it's going to be a lot of fun!  I love planning our own schedule.  This is a definite perk to the whole thing, haha!

Happy Tuesday!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Homeschool Schedule for 2012-2013

I have finally gotten our schedule together for our new homeschool year.  It's going to be busy, busy but it's also going to be fun.  I am just praying for strength and endurance this time around as a little more has been added to the schedule vs our first year of homeschooling.  Here is what our homeschool schedule is looking like starting next week.
  • Mondays:  Homeschool, piano practice, chores, my writing schedule
  • Tuesdays: Homeschool, piano practice, chores, my writing schedule, Pioneer Girls in the evening
  • Wednesdays: Homeschool Connections classes (4 of them: American Girl History, IEWriting program, Spanish and P.E.) Piano Lessons, chores, my writing schedule.
  • Thursdays: Homeschool, piano practice, chores, writing schedule, gymnastics
  • Fridays: Homeschool, piano practice, chores, writing schedule, dance
Thankfully, dance, gymnastics, and homeschool classes will slowly make their way in after next week so the week of the 27th, we will just be adjusting to our homeschool schedule.

Of course there is meal planning, etc. thrown into the mix.  The girls get up time will  be 7:00 am and mine will be 6:00 am for my early morning workout, otherwise I will not have time to fit that in there and this mama has got to stay healthy, haha.

If you homeschool, how is your schedule looking?  Of course as homeschoolers we know that no schedule is set in stone and there is always room for flexibility.  This took me some doing as I am a planner and a stickler for schedules.  Even following a schedule from time to time is great for everyone to get into a nice routine.  Kids thrive on routine.

Have a blessed rest of the week everyone and see you next week!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Northern Michigan Adventures

Oh my, it has almost been a month since I last posted.  It's so hard to keep up sometimes, but I most definitely don't want to drop my personal homeschooling blog.  This will become a treasure to my family one day when transformed into a book, can't wait!

Last week, my family and I took a nice and long vacation just north of our state.  We visited Onaway Sink Holes, Alpena, Mackinac City and Mackinac Island, Gaylord, etc.  Eventually, we would like to plan a trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan with the girls.  I just love it up there.

As you can see in the pics it was an adventure for us.   Walking up and down the sink hole steps were a definite challenge for them, but they did it and weren't even tired.  Gotta love the energy of a child.  Thankfully, I am in shape ( I think, haha) so it was not difficult like I originally thought it would be.  I enjoyed the added workout, haha.

We enjoyed lying out on the beach and having R&R as a family.  It was a blessing especially since our homeschooling adventures will start up again in full swing the last week in August.  Our schedule is going to be jam packed, but I am pretty excited and praying I can keep up.  Let's just say I will be a piano mom, dance mom, and gymnastics mom on top of our homeschooling adventures, pheww!

I am hoping to post once a week this coming fall.  I am most definitely adding Jewels in My Crown to my editorial calendar of other writing tasks as I want this to be one of my top priorities. 

Many blessings!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Homeschool Summer

Hello dear readers.  Sorry that my posts have been averaging one every other week or so if not more.  As many of you know, I freelance write and blog for multiple sites and one of them being a homeschooling site.  My goal is to keep up with my personal homeschooling blog because eventually, I would like to turn it into a book.  How cool is that? You can turn your blog into a book.  I found this out through Blurb.com and will definitely be utilizing this feature when our homeschool days come to an end.  I am anticipating this will be after I graduate them, God willing.

So far we have been doing summer homeschool sharpeners.  My goal is to make sure the girls stay on top of their math, reading, and writing skills.  These subjects can easily be lost and forgotten if not exercised at least 3 times a week if not more.  I thought it would be fun to mix it up with online learning games, recipes, and other activities as to not steer them into boredom.  Many of us know what that can be like, haha!

 Just recently, I signed Lyssa up for an online learning site designed specifically for girls called: Always Ice Cream.  It was $11.90 for a two month membership.  I figured this was perfect as when it runs out we will be starting our normal homeschool year.  This site was created by a panel of educational experts, teachers, and even homeschooling parents.  They have games on there ranging from Language arts, foreign language, and math, to reading, life skills, etc.  Children earn "Scoop Points" and parents receive email progress reports on their learning.  It's definitely a great supplement for the summer.  It is also Christian based so there are Bible drills etc., on there as well.  Kelly is doing the free version of this program at this time because I am having her do summer journaling, math, and a summer reading program.  They seem to be having fun so this makes me smile.  If you are a parent of a boy(s) they also have a site for boys called: Clever Dragons

What do you do with your children over the summer whether you are a homeschooler or non-homeschooler?  Would love to read your ideas.

Many Blessings!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom

Monday, June 25, 2012

Homeschooling and Obedience

As a Christian Homeschooling mom of three precious girls, I desire to be obedient to the Lord's calling not only for my life but for the lives of my girls. 

Now heading into our second homeschooling year, I know that in my heart I am being obedient to His call and I most definitely will not turn back.  Have I been tempted to just drop everything and send them off to school whether private or public? Oh yes.  And in more ways than one.  But then again at the same time, I wouldn't trade homeschooling for anything else.  Sure, it can be a major challenge some days and other days it can be very rewarding.  God prunes and shapes us in every single one of our callings to be sure that we do hear his voice and that we are willing to be obedient.  I thank you Lord that I have passed this test.  Did I pass with flying colors?  I would say not with flying colors, but God knows our hearts and will continue to test them.

With a new homeschool year ahead, I renewed my membership with HSLDA, ordered our curriculum, and enrolled in our co-op classes.  At this point in time I thought we were set until I attended a meeting through Homeschooling Connections

Okay, let me rewind our homeschool journey a bit.  Just before the Lord showed me I was to homeschool with a Christian curriculum, I enrolled Lyssa and Kelly in Michigan Virtual Charter Academy and Connections Academy.  Both online public schooling.  I felt the go ahead and peace about it until I learned and realized that if I wanted the ways of the public school system, I might as well just put them back into the public schools.  This was the advice of amazing homeschool moms at Ward Homeschool Fellowship.  Within days I decided to pull them off the waiting list.  Shortly after that they were still accepted.  Did I want to do this?  The truth is, to do online public schooling you still have to follow that of a public school system according to your state rules and laws.  As a new homeschooling mom I most definitely wanted the flexibility of homeschooling without a system breathing down my neck.  So, it made sense that this wasn't the route that was expected of me.  The Lord above showed me very clearly and put me back on track.  Thank you Lord for directing my steps.

Okay, back to present day.  Last Thursday, June 21st, I attended an amazing meeting through Homeschool Connections.  An online virtual academy has now partnered with Homeschool Connections providing wonderful opportunities as traditional schoolers but with homeschooling flexibility, free homeschooling classes etc.  When I received the email update about this opportunity by a absolutely wonderful lady, Tarla Gernert, I was skeptical and figured there would be a catch.  What? I have to sign up for online public schooling to get free homeschool classes? Does this even make any sense?  Isn't this against what homeschoolers are?  Wasn't I steered away from this?  Haha, well the meeting weighed on my heart and the words and testimony of how Tarla partnered with OVA (Oxford Virtual Academy) was beyond a blessing.  I am not sure if I will be going this route this year or not, but I do feel this is another direction I will be heading as a homeschooler.  One of the amazing partnership opportunities is college programs for homeschoolers, etc.  OVA is unique and not like any other state online school.  They offer flexibility which is perfect for the homeschooler.  There will be another meeting coming up that I think I will be attending to get my questions answered and wait to receive confirmation in my heart and spirit.  I so wanted to just toss this whole idea, but now this time, God is showing me something different!  Thank you Lord for giving me the desires of my heart.

So with all of that said as a homeschooling mom, I desire to be obedient and not knock down every opportunity that comes my way.  Another awesome thing about this is, I currently blog and write for a truly awesome woman that happens to be good friends with the Homeschool Connections Director.  How amazing is that?  God is truly leading me where I need to go and I am beyond thrilled and ecstatic!

Have a blessed week!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dreams of a Homeschooling Mom

Wow, it has been I while since I last posted on here.  Our busy schedules have been the main reason for my posting absence.
We are completing our final week of homeschooling.  We made it through our very first year and super excited and blessed.  I think I know now how I want to run our homeschool beginning this fall.  Here it is:
  • Start our day at 8 a.m. sharp and end at 12:00 p.m sharp
  • After lunch do our choirs for one beautiful hour
  • Have a fun afternoon of extracurricular activities: dance, piano etc.,
  • Have a stress free and fun evening
Am I a dreamer?  Ha! Yeah, I know this is definitely a dream and if you are a homeschooling family, you understand that there is no such thing as a strict schedule that sticks and with flowers and bows attached.  Boy, did I learn this very quickly.  While I would love for our homeschool schedule to pan out this way, it's just realistically not going to happen as life is not perfect.  Even though I do plan to tighten up our schedule I know that there must be room for flexibility.  At least flexibility is a dream come true for any mom so I most definitely cannot complain.  God is so good!

Well, I think that is all I have for now.  Have a blessed week.

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Image: www.bloggersclipart.com

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We are almost finished with our first homeschool year!!

I am so excited to say we are just a few weeks away from completing our very first homeschool year.  It has been a joy but I am not going to lie,  it has also been a struggle and very challenging.  It has most definitely been life changing but for the better and yes I can freely say that now with a deep breath of fresh air, ahhhh.

The first few weeks of our homeschool year (back in August 2011) was very trying on my part.  Even as a teacher I felt so lost and very overwhelmed.  I just didn't know what I was doing, at least it felt that way.  I faced discouragement and feeling like a failure in the beginning.  My girls were confused and fought all the time.  I prayed "Lord, if you called me into this please show me how to be diligent and organized.  Lead me to resources so I know it's been you all along."  The next day I was led to Palaestra (homeschool co-op), a local Christian homeschool fellowship, and precious families. It just all gelled together in that aspect.  After speaking with a few seasoned homeschool moms, my heart was full and I started feeling joy again.  Did it get easier after that?  Absolutely not!  I was informed by a few of these seasoned homeschool moms that I would just have to really "get to know my kids first and myself even if it meant skipping academics for a few weeks."  Well, if you know me you know I was very skeptical of this.  No academics, what?   Even though I did lay low a little bit it was true.  I got to know myself better and even my children.  We are still getting to know each other and learning how to get along and work together.  I was told it could take from 1-4 years for this to happen, yikes!  Thanks to chore charts etc., this is becoming a little easier.

Like I briefly mentioned earlier, the girls really had a hard time in the beginning being with each other all the time.  This was our very first homeschool learning experience.  Oh boy this mommy wanted to pull her hair out sometimes.  Disciplining and educating was becoming a pain and something I almost felt was hopeless.  I simply just had to give it all time.  I mean, everything new involves adjustment periods right?  Well, some days felt like weeks and some weeks felt like months, ugh it was taking a toll.  I knew that the devil was attacking me as he did not want me being obedient to this call, obviously!  I became crabby all the time and just didn't know who I was anymore.  My husband basically just said "I want my wife back!  If this is what it's going to do, just send them back to school."  Tempted?  Oh yes, a little.  But I knew it's not something that I wanted to do but what God called me to do.   My husband knew this too.  Pushing through these hurdles I can honestly say, I/We made it!  Thank you to my precious hubby for seeing us through and being my prayer support all the way.

The girls have come so far and have exceeded my expectations.  Kelly is (9) is reading at the 6th grade level and doing very well in all her subjects.  Lyssa (5.5) is doing first grade work and reading at the first grade, almost second grade level!  I just gave her a first grade math assessment.  Mind you this thing was 15 pages long and I feared she wouldn't be able to do it.  I even broke it up into two days but she had so much fun she insisted on doing it all.  She only got two wrong! YAY!  Bethany (3) well she is most definitely ready for preschool.  Now, if we can only get her potty trained 100%, haha!

I am so blessed and grateful to the Lord above for bringing us to where we are now.  It's still a challenge some days but we most definitely have adjusted and are doing a schedule that we can live with.  We enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling and being able to travel for field trips.  We have enjoyed meeting new families and creating life-long friendships.  God is so awesome! I have also expanded my writing business through it all and God in turn is blessing it more than I could have ever expected. Whoot!  Thank you Jesus for bringing us through and showing yourself!  With God, all things are possible!

I am looking forward to planning our next homeschool year.  I will be doing enrichment over the summer (skill sharpeners) and starting something new in the fall. Kelly will be continuing with A Beka curriculum and I will be introducing Lyssa to First Grade A Beka.  But, and this is a big BUT,  We will be year round homeschoolers.  I will be doing three weeks on one week off all year round.  This should be interesting but something I am willing to try.  I have met a few homeschoolers that are currently doing this and love it.  I understand this might not be for us but hey, it's worth a shot! All homeschool families are unique and not one is the same.  This I have learned very quickly!

If you are feeling the call toward homeschooling continue to seek the Lord on it.  It was a full year until it became reality for me.  The Lord will show you what he intends for your family if you diligently seek Him.  It may even mean sacrificing a few things in your life to make this possible.  Be encouraged and don't give up.  God is on  your side and will bless you and your children and your entire family.  If you will be new homeschoolers this fall, I pray for peace, comfort, and joy as you start a new journey with your family.  It will most definitely be quite a ride and guess what?  You are not alone!

Many Blessings,

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our Princess is 9 Today!

Image by Diane C.
Happy Birthday to you sweet Kelly Nichole.  We can't believe you are 9 years old today.  You have been a major blessing and joy to mommy and daddy.  The day you were born was full of excitement as that marked the day that we officially became parents.

If this past 9 years went by this fast, we cannot imagine the next 9 years.  Oh my, it just makes our head spin.  We are so very proud of you and what you are becoming as a young lady.  I, (mommy) tear up as I type this (sniff sniff, tear tear.)  Mommy and daddy look forward to seeing you exercise your gifts and callings for Jesus as you continue to grow.  

Your sisters love you so much and they may make you want to pull your hair out sometimes, haha, but we know you love them just as much.  Continue being a Godly example to them and they will want to follow in your footsteps.  I know if Brandon were here he would also admire you and love you just as much as your sisters.  I know he is watching you from heaven and is proud to call you his sister.

Mommy and daddy are beyond amazed at how far you have come along in our very first year of homeschooling!  We look forward to many more years not only being your mommy and daddy but being your teachers.  We wouldn't trade it for anything.

So again, Happy Birthday sweet Kelly Belly!  You are a dream come true and we love you sweet princess.

Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Designs by Kelly

Kelly Design #1
Kelly has thoroughly enjoyed taking Fashion Design for third-fifth graders at Palaestra.  Prior to this class she was designing her own Barbie dresses but without the needle and thread.  She would even sketch them before she tried them out.  Now that she has learned how to sew it's been an amazing thing to sit back and watch.  She's not even 9 years old as of yet and can probably sew better than me.

This dress is her very first hand sewn creation from her fashion design class and we are so proud and thrilled at what she is accomplishing.  I most definitely do not want to overlook these talents as one day she could be the next Donna Karen or Vera Wang, wow you never know.

Kelly Design #2 Finished Product!
She just recently asked me if she could start a blog of her very own where she can post pictures of all her designs.  I of course love the idea.  I have been searching a very private blog design (diary platform) for her to avoid weirdos out there, haha.  Can never be too careful.  We will let you know when it becomes available, probably over the summer.  She wants to name it: Kelly's Fashion for Jesus.  How cute.  It rhymes with "Passion" like "Passion for Jesus."  Perfect!

Have a blessed Thursday everyone!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pondering Good Friday

I am so thankful and blessed that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins.  He chose to do this to save us.  It just blows my mind as Jesus loves us so very much.

Good Friday has so many meanings to me so I thought I would share it as an Acronym:

God is my salvation
Omnipotent is He
Omnipresent for eternity
Died on this day for our sins.

Faithful is He preparing for His great return.
Reminds me that Jesus is the Son of God.
Invites us to love and serve Him on our own free will!
Dead He is NOT!
Alive is He!
Yes, the tomb is empty!

Thank you Lord that you are indeed off of the cross.  I want to always ponder this day and the importance of what you did for us.  You love us so much and for that Father, I love you.

Many Blessings!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blissfully Domestic: Train them up!

www.openclipart.org
Okay so you got me. How on earth could I possibly put the words "blissful" and "domestic" together? This is still a process in our household but if we train our children to do things as unto the Lord then pretty much anything can be blissful through His eyes even the domestic stuff.  Yeah, easier said than done right?  It's going to take a lot of prayer and following through that is for sure.  I have learned that being consistent is key.

Since we are in a "home improvement" transition  along with getting rid of things causing clutter, this whole concept is a challenge in our blessed little home. We are learning to be diligent in what we do have because the Lord is getting ready to entrust us with more and we want to be humbly ready. If we can apply this now it will not be so hard when the time does come for us to move on.  Clutter is the ENEMY! Ugh lol

The Lord showed me a system to encourage domestic skills all the while striving to be joyful and yes, blissful.  Life is certainly not perfect and there will be days when the blissful concept will fail but it's all about attitude and how it is approached.  Sure, there are many days I just want to throw the whole concept out the window because I get so frustrated and discouraged but the Lord has gently whispered to me: "Do I give up on you?"  Yikes, that really got my attention!  Let's not give up on our kids even when we are weary, tired, and frustrated. 

"Lord help us to be diligent in raising up our children for your glory. Help us with our attitudes and help us strive to be diligent so all of our life learning experiences can be joyful and blissful. Life is too short and too blessed to be stressed. Thank you Lord amen!"

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watching them grow.....

Jewels in my CrownAs I sit here outside on my laptop watching my sweet little girls run free in the fresh air,  I realize how quickly they are actually growing and to not take any moment for granted.  Sweet Kelly will be 9 on May 2nd,  Lyssa is 5.5 and will be 6 on Sept. 1st, and Bethany bean is going to be 3 on May 13th!  Where does the time go?

Even in the frustrating times I want to be thankful, happy, and blessed because these are also learning experiences.  Life is too short to become stressed and frustrated on a daily basis.  I am learning to just let them be kids on this new journey.  I have most definitely learned a lot more about myself as a homeschool mom and I continue learning wonderful and amazing things as I come in contact with homeschooling families!  What would I do without them?  You know who you are. =)

As you sit and watch your children grow, capture those memories so sweet.  In a glimpse of an eye they will grow up and have children of their own. (sniff, sniff, tear, tear).    Children are truly a blessing from the Lord!

Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and mom!

Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I dream of.......Character Training!

Oh, this momma is ready for her hubby to come home from his business trip.  We have never been apart this long with kids before.  Wow, I have a greater respect for single moms and moms that have husbands who travel a lot.  I know my brother and I grew up watching our father travel a lot and wondering how our mom did it!  I just don't know how some moms do it on their own all the time, (I know that I am learning to lean on God's Word more and more).   My sweet girls missed their daddy so much and of course I missed him too.  The week may have been busy but thankfully, thanks to a dear friend, I was able to get away this morning and spend some quality time with another dear friend.  We took a day off from our schooling so that this could be possible.  Having breakfast on a golf course and enjoying adult conversation on such a beautiful day is just what I needed.  The girls had a great time with the sitter too. =)

Because our week was slightly off, I chose to just do character training throughout the week.  This seemed to fit as we were having issues with behavior's etc.  I made the girls act out skits on how to behave and react to situations the wrong way and then the right way.  Oh they loved this and have been striving to be better little girls.  I also have a red sheet of construction paper that I leave on the book shelf for them to grab and hold up to let me know something is bothering them with one of their sister's.  This is coming along swimmingly and has cut down on screaming, whining, tattling, etc.  If you have girls or are a girl you know how drama filled girls can be, haha!

I am currently researching a variety of character training studies/curriculum's to implement into our curriculum the next homescschool year.  I would like to do character training along with our Bible readings before doing our academics.  I am hoping this will make even a bigger difference.

What do you think of character training?  Do you think it is often overlooked?  Please share your thoughts, feelings, concerns, etc., I would love to hear from you.


Lindsey
Blessed to be a wife and a mom

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homeschool and the great outdoors

This morning we did our homeschooling adventures and then look what we did for the rest of the day and yesterday as well =)

                                                     Kelly (8.5) rockin' the monkey bars!
                                                        
                                                    Country Girls!  (My parent's barn)

                                                   Bethany on Smokey (My parent's horse)

                                                                  Kelly on Smokey!

                                                                Lyssa on Smokey!

                                                Bethany on the slide, first time by herself!

My Three Blessings

My Three Blessings
Photo by Emily Haapala Photography

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