Welcome to My Life

Hello friends, family, and followers,

It has been a busy season for me and I have let a few things go in the process of gaining order and routine in other areas of my life.   Blogging was set to the side as well as some other projects that I personally enjoy.

What have we been up to?

HOMESCHOOLING

Schooling has been going pretty consistently over all.  Still following the Robinson Curriculum approach.  The boys (12 & 8) have really transitioned to self-led learning for the most part.  The 3rd grader still needs some prompting at times, but his attitude (I hate school) has had a turn around.  So after a year and a half of balking school, now he gets it done and shrugs about it, “eh, it’s easy”.  Go figure.

CHILDCARE

The fun part of parenting and homeschooling for so long, is that everything comes easier from tried and true experience.  In enters Preschool fun, Tot School, and some Baby Love.  We have a few preschoolers, 2 Tots, and 2 babies.  All but one is part time, so getting a doable “schooling” routine down for them all has taught me some more flexibility.  Some of the kids are three days a week, one is half days only, another is here for only two days a week but for 14 hour days.  Most have been with me for a couple of years now and are getting ready for “Kindergarten lessons” as they will have another year with me while turning 5 this fall/winter.    Now that I don’t have any littles of my own, and the grandkid potential is still out, I am thrilled to love on these Little Friends of mine!!

SELF CARE

So last fall I became determined to strive for health and fitness.  It has been a learning curve to try to set aside time for myself.  Fitness takes time.  It has been filled with ups, downs, and plenty of plateaus.  I am down 22 lbs as of Oct 31.  I have a long ways to go to get to a healthier me, but I’m embracing the journey.  Frankly, I am surprised at how much emotional health has to be addressed in the process of all this.

PERSONAL GOALS

I have a few writing projects on hold.  One I’ve been intentionally avoiding as God keeps persisting on it, and two others are in the works.  I am also opening myself up (mentally preparing) that speaking to an audience may also be on God’s agenda.  I’ll be letting you know how that unfolds.

THE HUBBY

Bless this man who has provided much for his family in ways beyond monetary means.  Faith, respect, integrity, fellowship, guidance… He’s such a rock in our family.  Not perfect.  None of us are; yet faithful to serve his family in hard work and dedication to provide for us always.  He’s worked hard labor for decades, runs a home-based business (The Good Life), always finds time (and energy) for his kids, and continues to love me through all my flaws.

THE KIDS

I have 6 kids (of my own).
More if I want to include teens that have lived with us in the past.

Bryson (3rd grade, the youngest) has transitioned a lot this year.  Finally out of “being the baby” mode, and is stepping up to be more helpful.  Loves documentaries; specifically anything space related.  Tends to be a sports fan like his older brothers, although he has not really expressed an interest in actually playing any sports.  He does like to work out in the garage with me, so that’s been fun!

Andrew (5th grade) has really matured this year.  He steps up to help out when needed, gets his school work done without asking (most times), has been incredibly patient with his younger brother, loves reading to the preschoolers, enjoys drawing his own comic stories.

Katie-girl (Freshman) is back at dance after a 2 year hiatus while working on some severe food sensitivity issues.  It’s good to see her back in her element.
She still has a ridiculous amount of hobbies and interests (crocheting, knitting, sewing, drawing, foreign language, make up and hair specialties, fashion, photography, etc)  As long as she gets her core school work done, she’s free to explore self-led interests as she wishes.

TJ (20 next week) works full time, helps teach at Sunday School, helps coach a local soccer team with his two older brothers, and seems to be the go-to brother when someone needs help with something.  We also call him “the baby whisperer” as he scoops up a baby when gets home from work.  They love him!

Nick (23) is getting married in June.  Woo hoo, it’s about time.  They’ve been dating 5 years now, and his fiance, Kailynn, has been a part of our family all this time.  She finished college, got her degree last year, and finally they set a date!  He’s a fire inspector, and currently coaches soccer with his brothers.

Joe (28) is happily married to such a lovely young lady.  They have bought a house.  He currently got his dream truck, and they like to do some traveling.  No grandbabies…. yet.   Fun fact:  Joe is ordained and will be doing Nick’s wedding, while TJ will be the best man.  Love that my kids can bless each other into adulthood!

As a mama of with half my kids grown, I am incredibly blessed to continue to see my kids friendships with each other flourish.  It is a treasure that on most Sundays they all come home to hang out with each other.  God is good!!!

How is your life?

Same routines?
or
new adventures?

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr ain’t no holiday.

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Martin Luther King Jr Day-

A day we don’t take off from school,
but rather reflect on it’s meaning (and divine purpose).

Katie-girl created the meme above as her assignment.
We came to the conclusion that God’s Golden rule …
“Do to others what you would have them do to you”
is the quickest path to peace.

I find Martin Luther King Jr’s quote,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”,
to be quite profound. 

Why do we still struggle, cept by sin alone.
Evil exists, but so does hope.

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Our family discussed that each one of is a part of the peace process.

To understand that concept better,
we wrote down all the words that could mean peace
(on a dove as a symbol of peace).

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…on the other side of our dove we did fingerprints of ethnic diversity,
as a symbol that Jesus Loves All the Children (people) of the World.
(yes, that is a Sunday School song *smile*)

We also watch a Reading Rainbow episode on Martin Luther King Jr,
as well as listen to his (famous) speech.

What God inspired in Dr King ain’t no holiday…
it should be a life style. 

“To recognize that all men are created equal,
that we may all be judged not by the color of our skin,
… but by the content of our character,
that we should all be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood
… together.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

What do you choose?

An Easy Easter

to celebrate a simple Savior.

His death and sacrifice was any thing but easy or simple…
quite humbling, and painful, and sorrowful at best.

So what becomes the simplicity of Him who loves us enough to die for us?
His gift.  His free gift to us.  All we have to do is accept it.
To simply accept He is the son of God…
that he died for us (for you.  and for me.)
…to accept His love in our lives.  Who doesn’t want to be loved?
The real love.  Beyond our flaws, our mistakes, our sins…
that unconditional love.
Hey!  Are you listening?
You, yes you…
God cares; YOU matter.
Have you accepted His gift?

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and just as we stained these eggs,
the sins of the world (our own and others inflicted upon us) have stained us.
The Good News?
God can peel back the outer shell, washing us clean on the inside, with a renewed spirit.

May love and joy and peace be abundantly within your heart this beautiful spring!

 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

My “Word” of the Year~

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EMBRACE…

To embrace things of this year as they flow through the ever changing current of life…

To embrace…

attitudes,
daily tasks,
changes,
lack of changes,
the here and now,
service to others,
kindness from others,
new friendships,
old commitments,
trials and joy both…

Basically, to embrace God’s will on a daily basis.

The Spirit of truth~
The world cannot accept (embrace) him,
because it neither sees him nor knows him.
But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:17

What ‘word’ leads your thinking into the new year?

L.I.F.E. Academy in December~

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A simple door decoration that added some cheer!
Katie and my daughter-in-law, Amber, did this.
We will keep it up through January, because personally, I find January a bit dreary and depressing after the glitter and glow of Christmas time.

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We’ve made cards, and continued with some of our Truth in the Tinsel projects…

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and signing time (w/ curious George) is still going on.

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Lil Miss Adelaide loves Signing Time.
You can check it out on Netflix if you think your kids would enjoy it!

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The boys are working well together lately;
lots of drawing, writing, & puzzles going on.

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The big kids are continuing their Astrophysics study
Labs for the week: Magnetic Tornadoes
Learned about magnetic fields from various planets.
Watched a documentary on the Oklahoma tornadoes of 2011.
(*which was fun to link back to when TJ and my dear Hubby went to Oklahoma summer of 2012 to volunteer for disaster relief).
They created their own tornado using different variants to replicate the various mentioned planets. The guys timed the length of each ‘tornado’ to compare magnetic changes.  Apparently Venus does not have a magnetic field due to it’s super slow rotation. Who knew?

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The Puppies are getting bigger!

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Recon (the rescue pit) snuggled Katie-girl all night when she wasn’t feeling well this past week.

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Katie is feeling much better and is back at her many random projects of the days.

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Christmas season is flying by so quickly for us this year.  Not nearly as prepared and prepped as I usually am, but I refuse to stress because honestly we’re too blessed.  I wanted family portraits this year (didn’t happen), I wanted Christmas cards and newsletter updates out by Thanksgiving (didn’t happen), shopping has been minimal, baking is a bit more sparse, and crafts have been a lot less dominating this year.  However, this season is about love, God’s love, which is the most priceless gift we have to receive as well as offer.  I have loving kids who likes each other and who actually enjoys spending some time with us parents.   It really doesn’t get much better than that.

How do you handle traditions, expectations, and changes to those plans? 
I always try to encourage people that giving is more than a gift, but a part of your heart;
that the hustle and bustle stress level is so not a part of this joyous part of the year.
This year, as we spent a lump sum of funds on vet bills last month (mostly for our rescue pit),
our budget is very modest, and I’ve had to take my own advice, which I had offered earlier this month;
Don’t spend. Christ IS the gift The time we spend together is what becomes priceless.”

Our Journey to the Newborn King

Homeschooling is a beautiful thing.

It’s effective, creative, flexible, and fun.

This Christmas season we decided to do our group studies in the mornings,
where our independent studies usually take place.

Mostly, because the kids are excited about our Christmas Cross Hunt.

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My kids are easily getting their chores done in the morning
because they love looking for the Christmas Cross.
Here’s ours:

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Each day I write the ‘Verse of the Day‘ on the back,
based off the lesson plans from Truth in the Tinsel.
We then do our Scripture reading, followed by some copywork.

Next we take a link off our countdown advent chain to help figure out the ‘Word of the Day‘.

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I found a resource that gives a riddle to the ‘Word of the Day‘,
so we pasted a riddle to solve to each chain link.
The answer is then inside the chain link.
Then we thoughtfully think of how that word applies to our scripture reading and how it relates to us today.

Which leads us to the ‘Craft of the Day‘.

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We then paste our craft to our “Journey to the King” tree.
Lessons so far include….
Jesus is the light of the World
Jesus is the King
Angel Gabriel foretells the birth of John the Baptist.

Active Advent‘ wraps up our lesson for the day with physical activity!

The mornings are joyful and go quickly,
and the kids seem willing to do their reading and math after lunch
so that we can watch our ‘Christmas movie of the Day‘ for our down time.

All the lessons are flexible to use how we wish,
which I find helps our day run smoothly.
We will add in a few afternoons of baking,
making Christmas Cards,
and wrapping a few presents,
along with a few opportunities to do some volunteering.

Merry Christmas should be a verb (an action),
not just a word to say, but His Word to live. 
So let’s get out there and spread some cheer,
especially starting with our own kiddos,
then our joy will spread out to our peers,
and on earth we shall share peace and good will towards all.

L.I.F.E. Academy~ December Goals

It’s that time of year!
Are you excited?

Let the Christmas festivities begin….

So, for this month, I have decided to flip flop our routine.

Our Morning Group Study (aka family time)

We will open our mornings to intentionally reflect on the journey to Christ.
Last year I did my own winging it style of lessons that I called Journey to Jesus.  I had fun coming up with crafts and such; however, this year I’ve chosen to use some resources to outline our plans, because, well, I’m kind of busy, and I like organization.  I will share in a separate post what our mornings will look like.

Afternoon Independent Studies

LITERATURE:
Katie- continuing Little Women
TJ- continuing Red Badge of Courage

MATH:
Katie- all things decimals
TJ -exponents and ratios

These basic subjects will be followed by Quiet Time of watching a Christmas movie together.  Can I admit I look forward to crawling up into a couch with my kiddos to enjoy some downtime during this often busy season?!   Woo hoo… let the JOY begin…