I’ve been promoted!

I’ve waited 29 looooong years for this moment, when my oldest son and his beautiful wife announced they are expecting a baby!  Yes, I’ve been promoted to grandma!IMG_1821[1]

The joy is indescribable!!  They’ll be fantastic parents!!

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They announced it to family in mid January, and told others in February, and now in mid April we also know a little more details…

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Our first grandbaby will be a sweet Lil Miss
Let the spoiling begin….

6 Steps to My Sanity Saving Style

Are you ever desperate for some peace in the chaos?

To be honest, I thrive on rhythm, routine, and organization.  However, with a household of 8, being a control freak is not really an option.  Not a pleasant option anyways.   So what are some choice I do make to save my sanity as a mom.

  1.  Morning Meditation-
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    What gets you started on the right foot to face your day?  For me, it begins by getting dressed, complete with hair and face done for the day.  Then to sit in a quiet space (yes, before my kids are up), salt lamp on, essential oils going, lemon water on the side, and then this is where I pray for my day, read what God has to say to me, and review what’s on the calendar.  Basically this gets me ready to clearly think of my day.
  2.  Nutritional Balance-
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    You get to decide what this looks like for you.  For me, it’s to lean towards clean eating with flexibility that life happens.  Supplements are a big win as well.  Vitamins, herbs, and protein shakes all fill in the gaps where otherwise my food choices just may not be enough.   My daughter is sugar free/dairy free so homemade options are the best choice for treats.
  3.  Fitness Fun-
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    Around here, I take what I can get!  Beach Body work outs with the girls, nature walks with the boys, dancing in the kitchen… it’s all good.  Just move it and a groove it.  Exercise clears my head, improves my attitude, and reduces (my new to me) age related aches.
  4.  Quiet Time-
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    ahhh, the beauty of rest!  Nap times aren’t just for littles.  As a homeschool family, I find it vital to take out an hour to just be still.  Sleep is optional.  I admit that I usually nap about 20 minute, and the rest of the hour can be sipping tea and having the boys read the Bible to me.  Sometimes it’s just hanging out on our king-size bed telling stories and jokes and giggling about silly stuff, but it’s still a refreshing pause in our day.  This is the best gift I give myself (as well as my family).  This resets my energy levels and refreshes my motivation for the rest of the day.  So go ahead, allow yourself and your family some quiet time in the midst of your days; it’s a beautiful thing.
  5.  Delegate Duties-
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    I go through phases on this one.  Oddly, the more busy life is, the more I tend to do more of the chores.  Like maybe the added energy to delegate goes by the wayside?  However, after 29 years of parenting, I can say that a consistent chore routine is valuable towards getting everything done.  The saying is quite accurate, “many hands make light work”.   I most prefer to break household tasks into jurisdictions.  Those jurisdictions are rotated weekly.  It takes but just a few minutes out of our day, which ultimately gives us more time to play.
  6.  Be a Blessing-
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    Figure out who you are and how that can impact others around you.  Kindness matters.  Truly, how we interact with our family is vital.   Taking the time to be intentional with others is valuable.  In the most chaotic of times, let us remember to Breathe In Patience; Exhale Grace.

And that, my friends, is My Sanity Saving Style.
Go ahead, give it some thought,
and let me know what you think works best for you and your household~

Winter Term Wrap up

L.I.F.E. Academy~

We finished our winter term, and we’re ready to spring forward to new adventures.

Here’s our winter recap

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History adventures:

December-  Vikings
Geography travels included Iceland, Greenland, Ireland, Norway, and Vinland (Newfoundland, Canada) and we explored the anatomy of Viking Long ships.
January- Christopher Columbus
Geography studies included learning where all the countries of Europe are, listened to a few common hymns of that time, and learned more about ships, as well as some common health issues of that era such as scurvy and melancholy.
February- Amerigo Vespucci
Geography focus was on South American countries, learned about navigation tools, constellations, and map making of the early 1500’s (before they realized New World).

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SCIENCE

We recently moved into our country homestead on Christmas day, so we’ve been learning All About Chickens; from feed, to coop clean up, to free ranging, to egg selling.

It’s definitely been an adventure, and I’m so grateful to Kailynn, who has become our Chicken Whisperer and seems to know what these crazy critters need!  Andrew has really stepped up to the coop to be an amazing helper as well.

BIBLE

The focus was on the 4 Gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  We will actually finish up our reading of these books during the Holy Week before Easter.

MATH

Bryson– beginning multiplication, review addition/subtraction while learning carrying/borrowing, and exploring fractions.

Andrew– solidifying multiplication, intro into division, reviewing roman numerals and liquid measurements.

Katie–  exponents, roots, and radicals

LITERATURE

Bryson– Henry Huggins, The Family Under the Bridge
Andrew– The Family Under the Bridge, The Magician’s Nephew
Katie– Joan of Arc, Giver, Night, The Mountain Between Us, The Family Nobody Wanted

ENGLISH

December- review prepositional phrases
January- All about Nouns; common, abstract, and proper nouns
February- All about Adjectives

FINE ARTS

January- Old English Hymns; Salve Regina, TeDeum Laudamus
February- All about the composer Chopin

Katie also does additional self-led projects:

It’s helpful that Kailynn is a fabulous sister-in-law to Katie and has a degree in Graphic Design and has her own Designer business in designer illustrations (digital design , calligraphy, painting, etc).  These young ladies get to enjoy some fun projects together. 

Notes:

Even with the big move in December, getting back into the school rhythm went smoothly.   We are very blessed to educate our children at home.

It’s quite the treasure to be a homeschooler!

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Attitude

As this fresh new year has began, I suggest we take a look at the attitudes in our home.  Seeing this is a family blog with a homeschool focus, this topic is something dear to my heart.  Many of us are halfway through our school year, when taking inventory of how things are going is common.  Whether you are a homeschool family or a public school family, couldn’t you agree that attitudes can often make or break a productive day, particularly pertaining to learning?

fruit-of-the-spirit

I’m actually not referring to our children.  I’m actually calling attention to us, the parents.

Are we displaying the fruit of the Spirit around our children?  Are we setting a loving tone to our children’s (home) education?  Even when they’re not being very lovable at times?  They learn from example, so what we model matters!  Just something to ponder in this new year.

Family update: Meet the Hollingers

Greetings from Oregon.  It’s been a few years since I’ve really spent any real time communicating here, so I though a fresh introduction would be appropriate.

Hi, my name is Sheri!  I’ve been married to my hard working, dedicated husband for 26 years now.  Wow, that all goes by a bit fast; the good, the bad, and the amazing of it all.  I am a glass half full, ridiculously happy morning person, in which, over the years, I have found can be annoying to some people.   But I can’t help it.  I love people!  I love my Jesus!  and I most certainly love my family.  My husband, on the flip side, is pretty even keel, prefers being a homebody, and also loves his family, and keeps God’s truth centered in our family.  We balance each other out rather well.

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Here’s our Kids!

Our oldest, Joe 29 (that bearded guy) and his wife Amber (the red head on the very left) have been married for 4 years now.  Bought a house, have a ridiculously awesome truck, and I’m still waiting on grand kids.  ha ha.  They live about 5 miles from us and most often visit us on Sundays.

Nick 24 (that other guy in the back row) and his wife Kailynn (the blond in the front) are newly weds.  They were living in a house next to us on 3 acres, but now live in an apartment in the house we just moved into.  We are all a very close family, and this arrangement fits us perfectly.  Kailynn is a freelance graphic designer, so I see her a lot through out the day as she works from home.  She’s a joy to have around.

TJ 20, (the guy on the right) has also moved back in with us.  He’s a hard working guy who likes to fish in his spare time.  I’m selfish and super glad he is home again for a season because he’s awesome at barbecuing!  (and I suck at cooking, just so that’s out there, lol).

Katie 16, (the 2nd girl on the left), is a autodidactic (look it up).  I’m pretty hands off on her education as she thrives faster at her own pace than I could ever keep up.  I suggest a few books, some topics, but she’s already covered things I require for a high school education.  I hope her love of learning is a lifetime habit.

Andrew 13, is my creative writer.  He’s gifted at telling stories and writing witty comics.  He has Asperger’s sydrome, which makes his personality a bit unique.  Over all, very high functioning, with a strong moral compass, but learning takes some strong steady consistency.

Bryson 9, (“the baby”) is my firecracker.  Everything is high energy.  He either really likes something, or really doesn’t.  Often tosses between too serious (much like his dad) and too silly (probably much like me).  But hey, he keeps things interesting around here.

We adopted 30 chickens on this 2 acre plot we just moved into.  We are blessed with a few fruit trees and a grapevine.  Our pitbull and turtle are going to love it here as well!

So that’s us in a nutshell.  We work hard, we play hard.  We enjoy nature, games, and family time.  We love our God and our country.

*feel free to introduce yourself to me.  I’d love to get to know my readers better.

PAUSE

Hello friends.  Much has been going on since I last posted here.  As much as I missed writing, I was just too busy in the daily grind of life to find time to be here.  The last I wrote, I shared about my beautiful daycare kids.  What a blessed season!

In the midst, we had moved to a tiny house in May 2017.  Truly we had a blast as we had 3 acres to explore.  This was so much fun for both my family and my childcare.  However, as the autumn rains came in, the house became small.  Add to that that the house was for commercial sale, and it became clear we needed to find another home… once again.

On the flip side, God has been working His will in my plans.  To make a long story short, I closed my doors to Little Friends Discovery Place, and am opening my willingness to start up a women’s ministry with a dear friend of mine.  That all will be shared at a later time.

So here we were, looking at the Christmas season with changes, and boxes, and no decorations, crafts, or baking.  The move came on Christmas Eve/Day, I was sick, it began to have freezing rain and snow, and much was chaotic.  But God is good, and His grace is merciful.

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So as 2018 knocked on my door, I had a friend prompt me to think about One Little Word for the year.  Then all these “p” lettered words began to pour out of my pondering, and truly PAUSE came to mind.

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My focus is to pause a bit.  To rest in the moment while settling into our new normal.  To recognize and embrace the small seemingly overlooked moments in my life.  Which oddly, is exactly the same calling I had back in 2008 when I began my blogging adventure.  To journal those small simple moments that slip past us too easily.  I’m also choosing to pause before decisions.  To pause before commitments.  To pause before God and Proclaim His glory.  That’s my 2018.  Do you have One Little Word that came to mind for your new year?

Miss Sheri’s Little Friends

BABIES:

Henry!

Maggie!


Katie-girl loves hanging out with the babies!!
This is quite useful when I’m doing circle time with the preschoolers!

The TOTS:

Abby and Avalyn!

I love the snuggle age of these two!
They are transitioning from babies to preschool activities and it’s so adorable.

The PRESCHOOLERS:

Left to right:

Livi 3, Ainslee 3, Emery 4, Adelaide 4, Cabella 4

Bryson often helps entertain the preschoolers during floor time.

Andrew is our story time teller.

A Busy Blessing

Yes, these kiddos keep me (us) busy,
but all but one of them is part time.
I have one baby the first 3 days a week;
the other baby the last 3 days a week.
One preschooler is only here for 2 days a week;
another for 5 days a week. 
The rest are 3 or 4 days a week. 
It varies. 

Regardless of how long the days are,
life with Miss Sheri is always entertaining!