Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Conviction to the Core

This summer I took a break from gadgets for the most part.  It was good and I was engaged with my kids more.  But since summer has ended I have rejoined facebook, added back many blogs to google reader and starting blogging again myself.  And in the last few days I have felt myself being sucked back in.  Well this morning I read this amazing perspective and once again I am convicted to the core.  So once again I am back to the drawing board.  I want to come before God and really give my priorities and desires to Him to sift and sort.  What is my purpose in this life and how are these things helping me bring glory to Him?  And if they don't help are they hurting other areas of my life because I lack discipline in enjoying these things?  Love God and Love People.  This is what He called us to do.  So for now it is up in the air - what is a girl to do?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Homeschool - year 1

We have started our first year of homeschool and are enjoying it a lot.  Brady will be going to preschool this year so I think it will go more smoothly once we are doing school while he is at school.  We are using the Charlotte Mason philosophy.  Once I begin researching types of homeschooling her thoughts and ideas fit well with what I want for my boys.  So for any of you interested here is what we are doing this year:
Calendar - I have printed out a blank monthly calendar that is a 2 page spread.  Every day when we start school Jake fills in the date and we review Day, Month, Date and year.  Then he goes back to the previous day and colors a picture of something he did that day.  So it is kinda like a journal too.  He likes doing this and it will be fun for mama to have for years to come.
Math - math - u - see
Science - 106 Days of Creation
     - this is an overview of the creation story - which is an overview of the things science studies.  It is broken down by days and we are reading living books and doing experiments.  This might be Jake's favorite subject.
Nature Study  - the 106 days of creation has some nature studies with it and we are also working through nature studies from this blog using the Handbook of Nature Study.  This will carry us for years to come.
Literature - we are snuggling on the couch and reading through some classics.  This might be my favorite subject.  Right now we are reading Charlotte's web followed by Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan, Stories of the Pilgrims, Jotham's Journey, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Complete Tales of Winnie the pooh, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Peter Pan.  The Simply Charlotte Mason website I use as my primary resource has a GREAT book finder full of living books for every subject.
Personal Development - we are reading through A child's book of character building.
Beginning Reading - we are using the books from Pathway Readers.  I am also working through CM's methods of learning to read.
Handwriting -  we do copy work to practice handwriting.  this will also help with grammar in the years to come.  So he copies his memory verses, the definition of the character trait we are studying,  the catechisms he is learning, and soon he will begin writing letters back and forth to his grandmothers. 
History - Genesis through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt. 
    - we read through these books of the bible and supplement with living books.  For Geography we are studying Ancient Egypt and the continent of Africa. 
Memory Work - Jake is memorizing 2 verses a week, 2 catechisms a week, and the definition of the character trait we are working on and a verse that goes with it every 3 weeks.  I am using this method of scripture memory that is simple and very organized.
Life Skills/Manners/Safety - For this area I just want to be intentional about training my children in life skills.  Often we get busy and just don't think about doing this so I have incorporated this into school.  We talk about manners and safety on various days at lunch.  Life skills I pick one a week and we work on that one thing for the week whenever I am doing it - like emptying the dishwasher.  What Every Child Should know Along the Way is a great resource to help think through this.
Handiwork - Here are some of Charlotte's thoughts about handiwork.  Here is what we will be working on through the year:
- Drawing with Children - I am enjoying this book - so is Jake.  We are taking about 10 weeks to work through it.
- Baking - we will do this around Christmas to give as gifts
- Fingerprint art - Ed Emberely will help us with this
- Photography - here are some things I found for this: Online lessons, this challenge
Music Study, Artist Study, Hymn Study - these are also recommended and we will be adding these as we go this year if we get to it.  It may wait for next year.  I have a plan for it but I want to get the above things in routine first. 

So there is our year.  If you have any questions about this please ask.  We are really excited.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What I have found so far....

It has taken me literally 2 months of googling and emailing to no avail before I finally found a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that is working (or at least responds to calls and emails).  Have you heard of Grow Alabama?  From them you can get a weekly bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, milk and other goodies.  Though they are not offering it through their company right now they have resources to pass along for beef, pork and chicken.  I am SOOO excited.  And the veggies that are delievered that week come with recipe ideas.  They offer 3 plans to meet your families needs and you have some flexibility in picking what you want each week. 
So we are planning to join the end of September.  John and I are getting away in 3 weeks for and ENTIRE week to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  So I see no need to start this until then.  For now we are getting what we need at the store.
I am really excited to find this and if any of you Alabamians have any other info regarding CSA's and grass fed, free range meats please let me know.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Whole Foods

I am not referring to the store (though it is really cool) but the concept.  All summer I have spent my free time researching the effects processed foods have on our body.  My gluten issues mentioned in the previous post are a byproduct of my research.  It is astounding!!! God did not design our bodies to eat like we eat - refined and processed for the sake of conveniences were not His intentions when he created every type of seed bearing plant and tree and gave it to man.  More and more I am convinced that not only my weight is affected by the things I eat but also my health.  That statement may sound stupid but for a very long time I thought if I just lose the weight then I will be healthy.  But now I am convinced the process by which I lose the weight is JUST as important as the weight loss.  Low fat  - sugar free foods are all genetically modified and I think they are harming my families bodies.  I had a conversation with a friend the other day about what she had learned that red dye #40 can do to a child - look it up.  So because I feel like my body is falling apart at too young an age I have decided that a quick fix won't work.  So we are trying to switch to eating whole foods - fruits, vegetables, grass fed animals and such.  John and I decided to wait till summer was over for the most part because this would be hard to do on the road.  So here starts my journey to better eating.  We shall see - I will keep you posted.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Health

If you have been reading for any time you know I have had several health issues the last couple of years.  This past year has been the worst for me.  I mean the few months of consistent hives a few years back runs a close second but this year has been hives and much more.  Most of you who haven't seen me in the last 6 months would be surprised at how I no longer have that nice natural year long tan that my daddy so wonderfully passed on to me.  In fact I am borderline albino.  Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but I must say I have gone from one extreme to another.  Since I was 3 years old I have had vitaligo - or the Micheal Jackson disease.  Until this last year I was in spots on my body.  Of late many studies have shown links to vitaligo and Hashimoto's (thyroid disorder I have) - and both are autoimmune disorders.  So basically my body is attacking itself and turning white - literally - in the process. Stress can make this worse and this has been a very stressful year for our family but I am convinced there is more going on.  I have been doing my own research on the matter and I have a suspect of a potential culprit - gluten.  In the last 2 weeks I have read I can't tell you how many articles and post about gluten intolerance - vitaligo - thyroid issues all combined.  And it seems that the best way to test for this "intolerance" is to remove it from your diet for a month or so.  So in hopes of slowing down the "whitening process" going on with my body I am giving this a shot.  So if any of you want to chime in on your gluten issues please feel free.  I will keep you posted.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What we are up to...

Right now I am sitting pool side at a VERY nice RV park in Tampa.  The boys are swimming and John is working right beside me.  We are with my parents.  They have officially retired and we are in their very big and very nice RV.  Of course now that they are traveling more we are here to look at a much bigger and nicer RV.  John and I even got the fever and looked a bit yesterday.
 This is the one I want.  Check it out here if you are curious :) Yes I realize it is a lot of money and it is for later in life.  But it was fun to look.  Who knows - with John's freedom and me homeschooling it would be a great life experience to see the US.  A pipe dream for another time.  But for now we are enjoying time with the grandparents - swimming alot, playing lots of board and card games, and a little school mixed in.  Summer hasn't quite ended for us but I look forward to a routine soon.  Hope you all are doing well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer Recap - John's Birthday Beach Trip

Every year for John's Birthday we spend some time at his mom's at the beach.  This year the Colorado cousins were here for some more play time.  This year he celebrated the big 32...

This is a picture of the salt shaker coming out of the plane at Martgueritaville in PCB.  We make a trek down there every year to eat on John's bday.  It is such a fun place to eat.  We also go play putt putt golf.  I didn't get pictures of the putt putt because we were exhausted after our surprise adventure.

This was so fun for the kiddos.  They got to have water gun fights, face painted, they swabbed the deck, played limbo, shot a cannon and pulled up a treasure from the ocean floor.  It was a blast. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Recap - Dance Parties and Body Art

The kids have 2 new favorite pass times these days.  One is having DANCE PARTIES.  I had a video but it wouldn't upload.  They loving dancing and John has introduced them to some interesting songs to dance to.  On to the next pass time.....

These next pictures were there dad's allowing.  But after seeing how much fun they had I enjoyed watching them get creative.

Who needs to buy a jet pack when your big brother can draw you your very own.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Recap - Our Time in Denver

The cousins were so excited to see each other.  They spent their days playing really hard and enjoying each other.  We found Brady sleeping like this one night - he is propped on his hand.

Once we got there John and I got to work.  We built Eric and Daniel a castle room. They wanted to be knights.  And we did just that.  See what you think:

This is Eric's hideaway on the side of the beds

John's mom always tells them a story and she has named each one of them.  This is Eric's name in the story.  Those are really cool foam sword that John built hangers for. 

This has the Eph. 6 verses on it.  I was pretty proud of how this turned out.  It was for sure a labor of love:)
And sir Daniel the Brave.

The table I painted for there Playmobile castle.

And then on to Anna's Room.  I loved the way her room turned out.  I had it all envisioned in my head but wasn't sure how it would look.  The top bunk is a reading nook.  I used toule to decorate the bed, windows and closet.

I really enjoyed doing these rooms for these sweet kiddos.  It was a fun way to spend the month. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Recap - Drive to Colorado

We spent the month of June visiting John's sister and her kiddos in Colorado.  Her husband is serving in Afghanistan for a year and we went out to keep them company and to do a little decorating - more on that later.  But our trip out there was great family time for us.  Here are some shots:
B cooling off at the splash pad in Shreveport

Jake climbing a tree in Wichita Falls, TX.

John and B going on a run to stretch their legs.  B loves running with his dad

beautiful falls

we stopped in Trinidad, Co and there was a festival and the boys spent all their tickets diving off this thing.

This was such a refreshing time for us as a family.  We took our time getting out there and we spent time enjoying each other.  It was good for my soul.  Theirs too I think.