Thursday, August 20, 2015

Happy 16th Birthday Nick

It's hard to believe that we now have two boys who are old enough to drive!  It is so true what they say about the days going slowly, but the years going fast.
Nick turned 16 last week.  He is now officially old enough to have his first job, which he is actively pursuing and only a few months from being an official driver.
Anyone who knows our Nick knows that he is a very loyal fan of Jeff Gordon.  He announced at the beginning of the season that this would be his last season to race.  Nick has seen him race at several different tracks, but his dream was to see him race one last time this season.  So, his gift for his 16th birthday was a trip with his dad to see Jeff race at Charlotte, NC in October.
We are so proud of the man you a becoming.  You have a great heart.  You see the best in everyone.  You're generous, thoughtful, kind, and helpful.  You love to share what's on your mind and always make us laugh.  I have enjoyed these past few months with you as you practice and perfect your driving skills.  It has given us a lot of uninterrupted time to talk.  You went on your first mission trip this summer and came home with an even bigger heart to help others.  We are so looking forward to seeing how God continues to use you especially as you begin volunteering in Waumba Land this fall.  We pray that this year is a year of continued growth for you.  We pray that you continue to reach out to others and see the impact your heart can have.
Happy 16th Birthday
We Love you

First Day of School 2015

Our annual first day of school breakfast.
Our boys off to high school.
This was Jake's last first day of school....he's a senior (yikes)
Sisters and brothers saying goodbye

Our school room is ready to greet our new students.  This is our 3rd year homeschooling. 

This year, I bought myself a homeschool Mom's bible.  Everyday there is a devotion and prayer to prepare my heart and mind for the day. It is vital to start my day focused on God.  I need to always remember that this is His calling for our current time and to always look for direction from Him.  If I get too caught up in my own plans and ideas, our day goes astray and I end up frustrated and angry with my kids.
This was the prayer for today.
Father, as I homeschool my children today, their marriage and future adult responsibilities seem so far away.  Help me to prepare them for life, not only with academics, but also with a clear understanding of your truths and will for their lives.
In Jesus' name, Amen

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's just about that Time.....Curriculum Choices for our School Year (2015-2016)

The summer has gone by in the blink of an eye!  We are starting school next week...yikes!  Not sure I'm ready yet.
This year, we are adding Caroline to the mix. She is 4.5 years old and ready to start building some good habits.
This year we will have kids in 6th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, Pre-K and tot school.
Our oldest two boys attend our local public high school and will be in 11th and 12th grades this year.
 Our Pre-Ker will be using All About Reading Pre-1
 Our 2nd grader is continuing to work through All About Reading Level 1 and will move onto level 2 when she finishes.
 Our 3rd grader is working in All About Reading Level 2
 Our 4th and 6th graders are using Teaching the Classics this year.  They will be reading and discussing great books.
Our math curriculum continues to be Math U See
Language Arts/Grammar
 Our younger kids use a combination of First Language Lessons and Rod and Staff.
Our older kids use Rod and Staff
 For handwriting practice we are using Handwriting without Tears
Our writing curriculum for our younger kids is Writing with Ease and our older kids are using IEW writing Intensive A this year.
For spelling we are trying something new this year.  Our younger kids will use All about Spelling and our older kids will you the Phonetic Zoo level A.
 We are continuing with Story of the World for History
and Apologia Exploring Creation with Zoology 2 for science.
We are excited to start Latin this year using Song School Latin.
We are also going to be implementing Morning Time during which we will work on memory work
1.Bible Verse Memory
2. Poetry
3. History Timeline
4. Science Facts
5. Read Alouds
This will already be our third year homeschooling.  That is almost hard to believe. God has blessed our family through this experience.  Our children are growing in His love and grace daily.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn together as a family.  It definitely can be challenging, but so worth pushing through those days that you just want to throw in the towel.  The one thing I have learned is that our day is much better when God is at the center of everything we do.  As soon as I think I have things handled on my own, my patience, self-control, and joy become depleted. 


Lake Days

 We have been blessed by the generosity of Brett's former boss and friend Dean the past couple of weekends.  Dean's house is located on a beautiful lake.  He has allowed our family to take over his house the past two weekends and have a fabulous time.
 The kids have had a joyous time jumping off his dock and swimming in the lake.
Even our little ones have enjoyed the action.
The boys have enjoyed a little lake fishing off the dock and the back of Dean's boat.

 He even trusted us with his boat.
 Brett quickly learned to navigate the lake and took everyone on a boat ride.
Last weekend, the kids graduated up to tubing and totally had a blast getting dunked in the lake.
Dean drove the boat over to a pizza place and the kids ate pizza on the boat.

 At first Luke wasn't too sure about the boat when it was actually operating out on the lake, but by last weekend, he had actually come to like it and took a nap while the kids were tubing.
 The beauty of his place.  We are so thankful for Dean and how he loves our family.  Not every person works for a company such as Brett that truly embraces family.  We have been blessed over and over through the relationships Brett has made through his company.

Caroline's Colorful Summer

 Caroline fell in our front yard and broke both bones in her arm at the beginning of July.  It happened on a Sunday night, so we had to wait to get into the orthopedic doctor on Monday morning.  
 Monday morning, off she went.  They ended up needing to sedate her to reset her arm, the orthopedic doctor met Brett and Caroline over at the ER.
She left with a pink cast. She had wanted a yellow cast, but her arm was too swollen to be set immediately in a fiberglass cast, so her first cast was plaster wrapped in pink.
 Cast #2 was purple.  A week later, her bones had shifted slightly and the doctor felt more comfortable leaving her in the plaster cast for another week.  Luckily if got a rewrap because the pink was crazy dirty!
Cast #3 and we have a very happy girl. She is finally sporting a yellow cast and as a bonus it is waterproof!  She can have a bath and even swim in fresh water.
She was a trooper throughout this experience.  She definitely was spoiled!  We are hopeful that this is our last visit to the orthopedic urgent care with Caroline.  She has had far too many visits there in the past 4 years!