Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let the Homeschooling Begin!

It's official! We have bought our first complete set of home school material! Wyatt will be starting his first year of school {Kindergarten} this fall! We went with A Beka's complete K5 curriculum after hours of research and reading reviews. The hardest part was decided which curriculum to go with. The is an OCEAN of options. Very overwhelming. What helped was knowing two other families who used the curriculum and loved it. I am both anxious and excited about the idea of homeschooling and even a little afraid and uncertain of my own abilities. However, "I can do all things through Him {Christ} who strengthens me!" Philippians 4:13

I have flip flopped so many times with the decision to home school.  It is a big decision and one we don't take lightly. There are several reasons that we came to this decision and reflects only what we feel is best for OUR family. Certainly I would encourage everyone to consider it, because I do think it is best, but that is for everyone to decide for themselves. And if you don't home school you will get no judgement here.

At some point we will send our kids to public school. But, before we do we want to give them a solid foundation based on our values and principles. That way when they do go to public school they will not waiver on their beliefs. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

We believe it is important that they do go to public school at some point for a couple reasons. We should be salt and light. We shouldn't hide it, but affect others in a way that may bring others to Him. Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown away and trampled by men." We should show others what it is like to live for Christ. We are to be a "light of the world" Matthew 5:14. Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." Public schools are nearly empty of God. We can change that. We also know they will need to learn how to live a godly life in a fallen world. They will need to learn how to handle temptations and prepare themselves for what the world will throw them.

The benefits of homeschooling are numerous:

Flexibility in schedule
Set our own pace
More family time
More time for creative play
Save money on gas from drop off and pick-ups from school
Focus more on individual needs
Get to enjoy your kids at their best times
Can work on behavior more effectively
More time to focus on eliminating bad habits 
Family's get more sleep 
Don't loose valuable time because of travel to and from school
Instill your family values and principles
Know exactly what your children are being taught because your are their teacher

I still have doubts whether or not I am equipped to teach our kids. It is a huge responsibility. I have had incredible support from family and friends which has been an enormous help, and I know God will lead us through and guide us. I have also ordered our curriculum early enough to allow myself time to go over everything and prepare myself. By the time fall gets here, we'll be all set to go. Let the homeschooling begin!

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Mini Van

We've always said, my husband and I, "No mini van...EVER." We are too cool for mini vans. Period. Enough said. Right? No. Not quite.

As much as I hate to say it, I am no longer too cool. This week, we crossed the point of no return, we bought...a mini van.

My husband still resists even though it has already been bought and paid for. Maybe it's denial. If he doesn't acknowledge it exists then, in his mind it must not. Me on the other hand, I have to admit, I am embracing it with open arms. That's right, I LOVE it! It was long over due, and I am not looking back!

The room! I just can't get over the feeling I have when I get in it. Let me explain where I am coming from. Two words: Volkswagen Jetta. Yep, we have been squeezing four of us in that small thing for almost a year now! Once we had our little Josie things got crazy!  I can't believe we managed all that time after all the real estate available in this van!

The front passenger seat was pretty much all the way forward with the seat back straight up to be able to accommodate the rear facing convertible car seat. We had Wyatt with his booster behind the driver seat. Leaving only 8 inches in the middle between them. Not family friendly my any means. So we began our search for a mini van.

It wasn't easy getting to this point though. If I don't see Craigslist again for the rest of my life it will be too soon. I know more about every kind of van than anyone should. And I hope and pray this will last us at least another six years before we have to do any vehicle searching again.

Even though it is 9 years old it is still 7 years newer than car we are replacing. We still paid too much for it. Thank you Cash for Clunkers for making it so much easier to find an affordable used car, said no one ever!

And don't worry the Jetta isn't going anywhere. When you get a vehicle that gets 46 mpg you don't get rid of it. My husband is too happy to have it for his new fishing car.

Needless to say, we are now officially mini van owners. While my husband still refuses to drive it. I am happy. You know the saying right?  "Happy Wife = Happy Life"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Busy Josie

The last couple months has Josie growing leaps and bounds! She is now crawling and pulling herself up onto things. Since her new "developments" I have discovered how different siblings can be and have realized how busy I am going to be.

She is not content for long before she is exploring and getting into anything she can get her hands on. I remember Wyatt at this age being happy sitting in the living room with a basket of toys for the longest time. He never got into ANYTHING! He stayed right where his toys were. Not Josie. She is down the hall. In the bathroom. The kids' bedroom. Plants. Papers. Oh, and in drawers.

When she isn't in drawers, Josie is learning the art of cause and effect.

She doesn't let me get a lot done around the house and I am learning to let go a little. If I didn't I would be frustrated and that isn't how I want to be. She is very attached to me when I am around, but so far has no problems separating if I have to leave. She will literally follow me everywhere I go. When I am doing the dishes, she is glued to my leg.

We took her to her 9 month check up and she is now 16 lbs 3 oz 24 inches long. She had no shots and is doing great. She has definitely leveled out her growing as she is much more active. 

I can't believe we are almost a couple months away from her turning a year old! It doesn't seem possible. I can tell right now she is going to be trouble, no doubt about that, but hopefully I can stay at least one step ahead of her! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chalk Board Easter Eggs

I am trying to maintain momentum while I can.  It has been hard these last few days however, due to sick kiddos. I can't walk away for five minutes without little Josie crying after me. Needless to say my normal household duties have become neglected. Which would usually bother me, but my little girl is way more important.

I did get a chance to add to my shop though before the colds set in: Chalk Board Easter Eggs! I am very happy with how they turned out. Such a fun and unique way to decorate eggs! Which for me is great since I really don't like hard boiled eggs!

Have a Happy Easter!