Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My home

I spend a lot of time in this place called home. We had it built, in a subdivision, about a year after we got married. It was brand spanking new when we moved in. Two young professionals. No children. Two cats. It was a dream come true. Now, five years later, one more cat later, five kids later, less one income later, I wonder what happened to the dream house. Oh I still have one. Its in my head and it has more rooms then I know what to do with. LOL. But what about this house. I read and read and read about decluttering and organization. Why cant I make it stick??
My baby is getting old enough that too much time spent in his playpen is a travesty. I have worked to make our new playroom toddler friendly so he can go play with the "big" kids as he so wants to do. Dont get me wrong here, he will still spend time in his playpen entertaining himself, because thats something important I want all of my kids to learn.
My boys room was like a dungeon. At 16 months and 4 it really is more my job to make sure its picked up. I finally went in there and just gutted it. All the toys, clothes, other stuff. Its nice in there now. I have the baby and Adrian help me pick up the few things on the floor every morning when we first wake up.
The girls room was just down righ messy. They had clothes and toys and paper (because they like to write and draw) all over the place. We got all the clutter out, moved the toys to the playroom and threw away papers that were balled up and old. Im going to get them a pretty box to keep their papers in so they wont be all over the room.
Each room also has a shoe rack now. I had one out in the great room and was tired of shoes falling off. Even keeping shoes at a minimum with five kids you have too many shoes for one shoe rack. Its so much nicer.
I need to get new mattresses for the girls beds. I want to paint the boys and the girls rooms. I have stuff to decorate the girls rooms. I want to get stuff to decorate the boys rooms. I need to do some rearranging in both rooms.
This week Im rearranging and decluttering the great room. We just put up a video/dvd shelf to hold our movies. I need to make some changes to make this room flow more smoothly. To make this room more effecient and family friendly. Thats what Im working on this week.
Next week I move into the master bed/bath/closet.
The next week the kitchen. Then the dining room. Then my house will be organized and decluttered. After that is done I will begin making each of the rooms more cozy and Christ honoring. I want each room of our home to reflect our Christian faith. I want to fill our walls with Bible verses and inspiration.
I love being home. I love being able to make my home into our dwelling. I like adding our personality to the house. Its been a fufilling adventure, learning what works around here and what does not. Its not over. Im sure there will be many changes to this house in the next few years. We are trying desperatly to get to a place where we can sell it in about 2 years. Until then though, this is my home and I am the keeper of it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Around the house

I dont really know what to write about. I have a few extra minutes so I wanted to get in and blog a bit.
Im rearranging the house...again. I moved our playroom back to where the schoolroom was and moved the schoolroom back into our great room. It fits right behind the couch. The table, chairs, shelves, and board really do not need a whole room. The kids toys and games and stuff... so do. LOL. I have been on a cleaning kick the past few weeks. This was just one of the many organizing challenges I have given myself. I will of course take pictures once it is all complete.
I have been working in the boys and girls rooms. Straightening closets, vaccuming really good, getting rid of clutter. Their rooms are so much more peaceful now. Im going to paint hopefully soon and decorate a little more. Also, I predict there will be some furniture rearranging in the near future.
Im truly hoping that as I get the house into better shape we will "find" the money to have our floors redone. This is a huge prayer for me right now. We so badly want to open our home to friends and family but we really really really cant until the floors are replaced. We have actually decided to put this expense ABOVE our need to fix our second car. Its that important to us.
Ok so thats all that I have time for now.

Be Blessed.

"I did it"

I went into Walmart for one thing. I walked to the back picked it up, paid for it, and left. YAY. I just had to share that. LOL

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Homeschool Stuff

Ok so I really dont know what my homeschool routine looks like. Its a little unique. I take one week off every month, school year round, and have most of November and December off. I school year round because I used to hate having to relearn everything after three months off. Plus it just keeps the momentum going around here. With the week off every month it does not get to overwhelming.
Here is some of what we did last year:
Kelsie age 6 1st grade

Saxon Math 1
Spelling Workout A
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Child
A Reason For Handwriting A

Karly age 9 third grade

Saxon Math 3
Spelling Workout C
Finished up First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Child
A Reason for Handwriting Transition into cursive

This year we will be doing:
Tamara age 5 Kindergarten
Adrian age 4 some preschool/kindergarten

Finish up letter of the week
Get Ready for the Code (Explode the Code book)
Saxon Phonics K
Saxon Math K
A reading program, either 100 EZ Lessons, An Ordinary Parents Guide to To Teaching Your Child to Read or Veritas Press Phonics Museum. The third one seems a little out of place as it is more intensive but I am researching it.
The way I did reading with Kelsie was after she did a reading program we moved into Saxon Phonics K, this gave her a better foundation I think and when I had her evaluated in the middle of the year the lady was very impressed with her decoding skills.
Towards the middle of the year I will probably start A Reason For Handwriting A for these two.

Kelsie age 7 2nd grade
Saxon Math 2 (Will be moving in in June)
Spelling Workout B (Already started)
First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind (already moved into 2nd grade part)
A Reason For Handwriting Transition into cursive (June)
Poem Memorization and copy work

Karly Age 10 4th grade
Saxon Math 4/5 (this will be later in the year as we are just now reaching the halfway point for Saxon 3).
Spelling Workout D (just moved into this)
Rod and Staff English 3 (just moved into this)
A Reason For Handwriting Transition (still working through this)
Memorize and copy Proverbs

Prima Latina (moving into June) I started this a few months ago and realized I cant teach it. I just did not get it. I ordered the teaching DVD and watched it and now I love it. We will be using the DVD to teach. Tamara and Adrian will watch the DVD, but they wont have the worksheets.
Piano lessons. We just got a piano so they will both be starting lessons in August.
Dance. Our preachers wife is into ballet and interpretive dance for worship. She will be teaching them this over the summer and maybe into the fall though we are not sure about that. If not I will probably look for a dance program to get them into for the fall.

History: Story of the World The Ancients and Mystery of History: Creation to Resurrection. I might drop Myster of History until our next go round with this time period. Im also looking at Veritas Press History program. It has a history program and Bible program that goes in chronological order. Thats what I want. Still trying to decide. Until I do we will stick with SOTW and MOH.
Science: Christian Kids Explore Biology. This is a fun book. Im thinking we will just stick with it.
Bible: Our story book Bible at night, through the gospels in the morning, and Proverbs at naptime.
We also have family read aloud at least 3 times a week. Daddy reads a chapter from a book of his choosing, mommy reads a chapter from a book of her choosing (right now Ten Peas In A Pod, the Arthur Pent story), Karly reads an assigned book, Kelsie reads an assigned book, Tamara/Adrian tells us about a book each of them are looking at, its very interesting. The kids are allowed to draw and color quietly while someone else is reading. I will have the assigned reading lists for the coming year soon. Im still working on it now.

Anyways, thats what I have planned so far.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Managing the Children

So as I mentioned before our first church service resulted in some bored children running a bit wild. My friend and I noticed this and even tried to intervene a few times to no avail. Parents were all busy helping set up and break down. I saw many of them trying to control the children, but they just waited until the disciplinarian was out of sight and then resumed "playing".
So Melodie and I put our heads together and God gave us a great plan.
The children age 8 and up will be put on a ministry team. They will be given age appropriate responsibilities and will be an intergral part of helping our church to grow and function efficiently.
Children 3-7 will be assigned a table in the cafeteria (where we meet) with coloring books, crayons, games....quiet sit down things. One or two of our older girls will sit with them during this time and "supervise".
Infant - 2 will be with mom or dad in a stroller or sling.
We will institute a reward system for the older children. For instance every month one child will be selected our "Star Servant" or something and will receive recognition and a small award. We are hoping this will provide some motivation for some of our harder to deal with kids.
We are hoping this will instill a sense of purpose in our children as they help to make our church function. I really think that this will go a long way in producing productive young adults. I think that in a few months we will see completly different young people showing up for church.
I know in my family when my kids are kept busy helping to run the house they dont have as much time or need for trouble. They take more time to pick up after themselves and make sure areas are kept neat and tidy throughout the day.
Our preacher has approved this idea. I just need to get it in writing to him.
Im excited that he wants to see our young people utilized for the kingdom as well.

Be Blessed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Yipee. I logged in.

So I have been trying off and on this week to log in and post. YIKES! I kept getting an error message that my email address was invalid...ummmm no. I hate it because I'll start to get back into my "blog groove" (whatever that is) and then life happens. LOL. Oh well.
A lot has gone on this week.
Last Sunday was our official church launch. It went GREAT, but boy was that one exhausting Mother's Day. Everything ran smoothly. Our preacher had a great message. God was there. It was all good.
We had some issues with some of our older children being bored and acting a little foolish, but my friend Melodie and I have come up with a solution for that.
Ok well blogger or my compuer is acting weird now so I have to log off. I will post more about our solution later.

Be Blessed!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Smooth Smooth Smoothies

MMMMMMMMMM we love our smoothies. We start with vanilla or strawberry yogurt, add some frozen fruit, whatever we have on hand, then some milk, and either honey or stevia. Its so good. I dont measure just throw, throw, throw. Its delish.

Be Blessed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Incredible Edible Egg

We love eggs. Unfortunatly it takes almost a whole 18 pack for breakfast around here. Its a not oft had treat for the littles. Hubby and I try to have them often though. I like to scramble two up in some coconut oil. I heat the pan with coconut oil though you have to be careful because coconut oil has a low heat point. Too hot and it will start smoking. I dump two eggs in a measuring cup with a little bit of milk and some seasoning, our favorite is parsley, and then dump then in the pan and cook for just a couple of minutes. Then I plate the eggs in a heap and they finish cooking. We usually have whole grain toast with coconut oil and honey and then an apple or a pear. Its a very filling breakfast. We finish off with a glass of good creamy raw milk. YUM.

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Breakfast Day 2

Ok so todays breakfast idea is not the healthiest, but it is what we do on Tuesdays.
On Tuesday mornings my mom and I and two of our friends meet for breakfast at a small restaurant before we go to Bible Study. It is so much fun.
You can eat better at the restaurant though.
My kids either have eggs and whole wheat toast or oatmeal. I always get eggs. The restaurant has real butter and honey so we always request that for our toast or oatmeal. We also use real butter on our grits and eggs. Yes, I live in the south I always have to have grits. LOL

Be Blessed.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lets Talk About Breakfast

Ahh.. one of the most important meals of the day, breakfast. This week I will be sharing some of our tried and true tips for breakfasts. As we move towards eating healthier I have noticed that breakfast is a very important part of our day.
Oatmeal. We use the old fashioned rolled oats. Its more filling and just as easy to prepare. I fill a pan with some water and dump the oats in. I dont measure, because if I make too much we can always have it another morning. Then I add sea salt and a sweetener. Usually either honey or organic cane juice crystals. When its cooked for a few minutes I add some milk and turn it down. Then I go get the baby up and dressed. By the time thats done so is the oatmeal. If Im feeling like a generous mommy I will add fruit and cinnamon. If the morning is already hectic I just dump it in bowls and let them eat it. I add a TBLSP of coconut oil to my bowl so I can get this into my diet.
Thats our morning oatmeal routine.
I will use this week to talk about healthy easy breakfasts you can fix for your crew.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Moving Day

I am so excited. My exclamation key does not work or else you would see a ton of those in this post. LOL
We are moving. No not my family, my church. We are moving out of the home of my dear, dear friends and into a elementary school. We move on May 13. Mother's day. Yes. My mother's day will be chaotic, rushed, frantic, spent running around from about 7am til 12, and amazingly the most exciting Mother's day. Well other than my first Mother's Day with my kids. That was THE MOST EXCITING. :P
Right now I am working on making sure that we have a working nursery at the school. We have a great group of people. Everyone is ready to donate. Of course logistically we have to be able to move whatever is donated around from place to place because we cant store it in the classroom at the church.
My friend who will be in charge of the kids will sent me a great list of what we will need. Im happy because it means that my baby swing and excersaucer and bouncy seat will not have to sit in the attic until Gideon makes his grand entrance, whenever that is, soon Lord, please. No he is not on the horizon yet, but we still have faith that he will be one day. Anyways, back to the real post.
So moving day is just around the corner and how exciting. The best part for me is watching from the inside. Im the type of person, I like to have my hand is EVERYTHING. I feel most put together when Im in the middle of all the chaos. Being part of the lead team with my husband has been such a great experience for me. I love being there to hear the decisions being made. I love giving my input on some small detail. I know the church is to be led by the men, but I dont have any problem sitting next to my husband as he leads. He loves when I make a suggestion or give some input. I know whatever I say is not the law it is just that, a suggestion. I love the fact that my new preacher has a couples lead team.
This is an exciting experience for us. We know we are where God wants us. We know that God is going to bless this church off the scale. Its going to be great. I will post about our first Sunday and let you all in on a little of the excitement.