Monthly Archives: March 2012

Boys will be Boys

…even when there’s a dollhouse in the room!

I love that they will play house with the grandbaby!  They are such proud uncles and have already proven their love through numerous toe nail paintings, tea parties and even an occasional “rock the baby” moment.

What especially warms my heart today, though, is seeing them play with the dollhouse even though the grandbaby is not here!  At their ages, it kind of feels like the last time I saw my daughters playing Barbies.  Knowing they are growing up so fast makes me want to just duct tape all their favorite toys to their bodies and pray it stops time just for a while longer.

Boys play so “boy-like”, regardless of the toy.  From infancy it seems they learn car sounds and the “put-put-puts” of a motorcycle engine like it were a natural first part of speech.  (Which I believe it is!)

Though still maintaining a nice level of masculinity, they have spent the last 30 minutes moving cars and dogs throughout the dollhouse’s corridors.  They like to press the button that flushes the little dollhouse commode.

If you were here, you would experience the sounds of a “tornado” as it nears the dollhouse and the safety preparations of its’ inhabitants.  You would fear that at any moment the imaginary tree is going to come crashing down across the roof, killing the people, and splashing their blood all over the place.  (kind of morbid, I know…..sorry 😉

The little kitchen adequately provides make-believe snacks…every 5 seconds…just like my boys really demand.

The doll swing goes round and round just like what all little boys believe they experience on the playground, regardless of what limb or body part may be broken in the failed landing.

My boys still play “house”.  Yay!

And now I have this picture to use for blackmail during their teenage years!  (In my most sinister voice…)  Bwa ha ha haaaaaa!

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, God, Grandchildren, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Parenting, Time

Homeschoolers R Us

We have spent most of the school year studying insects in Science. Oh how little boys love looking for the grossest, most disgusting six-legged creature they can find!  Being spring now especially affords the opportunity to see newly hatched species and add them to our ever growing bug collection.

To top off the unit, we recently took some time to visit the butterfly house at Texas Discovery Gardens.

It was a given that any small child would love to walk about with what seemed like a hundred butterflies of every species floating above. However it was equally interesting to my boys, the oldest children present, since we had spent so much time studying insects.

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The presentation was made and I am so proud to report that most of the tough questions were answered by my boys!  I thought to myself, “Wow!  They WERE listening when we read about insect types, defenses, metamorphosis, habitats and behavior!”

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It was an opportunity to also take the granddaughter along!  She loved the pretty butterflies…

…but they weren’t as pretty as these two  🙂

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A white butterfly decided to land on the grandbaby’s white flower hair bow!  No nectar there, but there is aLOT of sweetness 🙂

This is why I homeschool. We are able to take the book knowledge and apply it out in the real world.  We have captured bugs in jars and on display on boards on my kitchen counter.  We’ve hatched at least 7 different butterflies and moths. We’ve observed ants in a plastic bag over weeks and weeks, feeding them, naming their ranks and positions within the colony, and discovering things that weren’t necessarily written in the science textbook.

In this “brick and mortar” world, we have instead seen and taken advantage of many real world examples that make the head knowledge become heart knowledge.

Our boys love homeschooling. It is hard work but so worth it!

(…and of course with every good blog post, there must be a picture of my grandson too!

Isn’t he just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!!! 🙂

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Filed under Blessings, Children, Family, Garden, God, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling

What Was My Day Off

Today was supposed to be my day off.  Yes, I actually had plans to get out of this house, head to town and do a little shopping….for myself. {gasp!}

How often do I shop for myself?  Oh, probably about once in every 4 or 5 years, it seems.

My closet is at its’ lowest point ever in my life.  Not that that’s such a bad thing, I’ve never really been a “fashionista”, but right now, I’m afraid, my family may nominate me for “What Not to Wear” at any given moment.

So…I actually got up today thinking I will take a shower and get ready then head into town to do something about it.

Then, I start to wonder what I can buy that won’t make me feel guilty.  This is part of my closet problem.  When I do shop, I have no problem finding what my kids need, however when it comes to things for me, well, I end up talking myself out of spending the money.  I’m such a penny pincher!  This is good AND bad.

So….back to my day….

I paid the bills, carefully planning my little shopping trip today and looking forward to guilt-free purchases.  Then we woke up this morning.

What was supposed to be our school-free day was already not.  The boys did not complete their assignments yesterday, so they were expected to do so today.  I had some hope that they would simply sit down at the table, check the list, and independently work while I prepared to leave.

That hope soon vanished as they snuck out to the trampoline, played with the grandbaby, turned on the Wii, and pretty much found any excuse they could to keep from doing their work.

So, “to the table”, I demanded, and now my shopping time must be spent watching them, pencils in hand, staying on task.

This is what happens in homeschooling.  It is a blessing and a curse, lol.  I love the lights in their eyes as they learn something new and interesting, but also I realize that it is a commitment by the whole family to stay on task.

We can either excuse the day and head to town, or we can be disciplined and obedient to the call.

This is the way it is.  Homeschooling is a job.  It takes work…and time.

There have been days where we have set the schedule aside for fun.  This day, however, is not one of them.

So I sit here, at the table, conversing and talking with my students as they complete their work.  Hopefully someday they will do it faster and I will be able to do something about my closet.

For now, however, my day off is still a day on.

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Filed under Attitude, Blessings, Children, Commitment, Family, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Job, Life, Obedience, Parenting, Priorities

This Unusual Place

We find ourselves in an unusual place.

It’s a bit of a long story, but basically we sold our house with the long term hope of buying land in the country.  That’s something we’ve always wanted to do, and now especially with boys, we see the benefit of getting them somewhere they can shoot their BB guns without taking out a neighbor’s window!

Divinely timed, selling our house allowed us to spend the next year and a half helping our daughter and son-in-law who are in the Army and stationed in another state.  They needed someone to rent their house while serving our country, and rather than take a chance on a stranger destroying it, we decided to fill that role.  Now, we sit at their house and as time nears for their return, we wonder where we should go next.

Our first intuition is land!  We pour over Realtor.com like it’s a new book everyday.  We’ve already spent countless hours and days driving to listings that proved only to present their one good side for the internet picture.  We’ve emailed realtors and let friends know we are looking and hope that our “forever place” will present itself soon.

We’ve also considered staying where we are.  The neighborhood here is very nice and we would be near both of our grandbabies.  That in itself is sooooooo inviting!  I sure do love my grandbabies!

There is a practical draw to live near my husband’s office.  Gas is so expensive!   We are spending at least $500-600 per month for gas right now.  Commuting long term just doesn’t seem like a realistic financial possibility.

New and old friends make the choice hard as well!  Why can’t all of our friends just move next door to us wherever we end up?!

All these possibilities and thoughts also bring up more ideas:

  1. We could serve a year at a Christian camp.  A recent visit to a nearby camp made this an idea that would be both ministerial and serving.  I can think of lots of reasons why this would be a good idea, and might teach our whole family the importance of serving others.
  2. Instead of buying a house, we could buy an RV and travel.  Since we already homeschool, this would not change the boys’ education.  It might, in fact, actually enhance their studies!  There’s no better way to learn than “hands on”.  We did a smaller version of this in the past couple of years where we studied Daniel Boone and Pioneer explorations and then spent our vacation walking where he walked in the Cumberland Mountains.  There are a few situations that would need to be addressed for this option, mainly the need for my husband to stay employed!  I dream of the possibilities that his employer would allow him to work from the road, via internet capabilites and we could do this for a year?!  Hmmm…..
  3. We could go abroad……naaaah!  I’m not much on world travel, although I’m sure there are many beautiful places to see.  Still, with so much violence and problems going on worldwide and having to be responsible for the safety of my children, this does not seem like a good choice.  Besides…….it would definately be too far from my grandbabies!
  4. We could try and buy the smallest, cleanest house we could find and then finally, maybe, have extra each month to use for short travel excursions and fun times.  Our kids grow up so fast.  We’ve already seen the missed opportunities we had with our now grown daughters all because of debt and our insistence to chase the “American dream”.  Two incomes, loads of credit card debt, a nice big new house, but no time to spend as a family contributed to the realization that this is not how life is supposed to be!  Over the years, we have paid our debts (almost all of them), and have begun to learn how to live on little.  This has enabled me to stay home with the two boys and be available to spend time with and help our daughters and grandchildren.  We have learned it is much more fun to love on our families than just giving them “stuff”.  I’ve even thought of doing the tiny house thing, but then I remember how much I love to cook and all the appliances, dishes, and pans I’ll need 😉

So….here we sit, months away from a move to “Somewhere, USA” doing “something” that would make the rest of our days fulfilled.  Are there any other ideas for us out there in Blogdom?

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Filed under Career, Children, Family, Friends, God, Grandchildren, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life, Missions, money, Parenting, Preparation, Priorities, Time

Sunshine and Sunflowers

Oh how bright the sun shines when there’s a pretty little girl and a chocolate cake!  I just couldn’t resist making this cake for our little “Boo”!  It’s the first thing she and I have made together.  I made the cake layers.  She “helped” me with the icing, tested the “Peeps”, and continued to “fix” the icing as I added the chocolate chips.

2000 calories and probably 5000 grams of sugar later, the cake was done!

Notice the little finger at the bottom of this photo 🙂

Whoops!?  How did that happen?

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Filed under Blessings, Cakes, Children, Family, God, Grandchildren, Joy, Love, Recipes

My New Life’s Goal

is to learn the words to this song:

…and much to my children’s chigrin, I am very, very close!

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Filed under Children, Commitment, Family, God, Humor, Joy, Life, Parenting

As for Me and My House

Book, Chapter & Verse

Some of the last words from Joshua: “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt.  Serve the Lord!  And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:14-15

If you are reading the Chronological plan, these are the words you will see today.  As I thought about them, it reminded me of how many “things” we let into our house.  Good and bad, these things affect our lives in ways we don’t often stop to…

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Filed under Attitude, Bible Study, Children, Commitment, Faith, Family, God, Home School, Homeschool, homeschooling, Life, Obedience, Parenting, Priorities, Resolutions, Sin, Time, Wholly, Wisdom