Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pictures from the last few weeks

"Beheading" the shrimpMaking a 'garden'
Snack time
Happy girl
Tummy time

Horseback-riding lesson

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

God's Answer to My Prayer.....

I woke up early this morning, and so thankful. God is a God who is in the details. I have believed this for quite a long time, but He still amazes me with how He answers something that seems trivial!

Last night was the used curriculum sale through our home school group. I had planned to be a seller at the event this year, but for a couple of different reasons was unable to. I attended as a buyer only. I really did not have anything specific I was looking for....had a couple of ideas for what I may want to look at if I saw it........went with a list from Corbin and Hailey for what they wanted. As I left our community I realized the money I had in my wallet was enough for anything I might find, but was in larger bills, so I decided to stop at Walmart to try and exchange them for smaller bills. I was not impressed with their helpfulness (add un to that!). After asking at the customer service desk and being directed to the money center, I was told they "can't do that". No explanation for why, and I did not have time to ask.

So, as I left the parking lot I said a prayer. I told the Lord that He knew if there was anything there that He wanted me to have and that He would need to make it possible despite my money dilemma.......you know these kinds of things often don't have change and all. I asked Him to please show me what He would have me buy.

At the first table I came to I was informed by the seller that it was mostly high school items. That was okay. Though I do not have a high schooler yet, I am getting in that mindset and beginning to think about what we'll do, because in another year Logan will be there. As I flipped through her selections I came to a book called Senior High: A Home-Designed Form+u+la by Barb Shelton. If you have read much of my other blog you know that I have been reading some books by her and recommended by her, as well as several books by Marilyn Howshall since the beginning of my home school career. The book was $5 so I immediately bought it.

I got several of the booklets by Marilyn Howshall at the end of our fist year of homeschooling, for free. I have been going back to them over and over throughout the last 5 years, reading about this Lifestyle of Learning, trying to get it into my head to be "led by the Spirit in your home school" as Marilyn says. Last year I bought some books from Barb Shelton (she's a huge supporter of the Howshall family and their 'approach' to learning). At the time I only got the ones pertaining to children up to age 12, thinking I would get some for the older ages later. Well, that's where this book fits in.....it is for middle and high school kids, showing how to use the Lifestyle of Learning and still create a transcript, etc. At the next table I visited I found several more booklets by Marilyn Howshall, including the main four that are called Wisdom's Way of Learning. Of course I bought them....for just a few dollars. I have felt that God was leading me to lean more towards this method of learning in our home school since the end of that first year. However, I have continuously gotten caught up in myself, my worries, and have no fully embraced it. Here He is though, answering my prayer and leading me straight to what He has for us. I need to listen! I will be spending time reading over these new booklets as well as the other ones I already have. I will also be perusing the Form+u+la book to get an idea for what I'll need to do for transcripts for the kids as they get older. I am so very excited! God is so good and He will lead us if we will only allow it. I know this is the right direction and I am so glad that He is so faithful.

I did find a few other books that I think the kids will enjoy, though not the ones on the list they sent with me......some science books, a craft book, one on horses, and a great visual guide of all things Star Wars.

One other thing that we were just talking about yesterday as a family was foreign language. We already have Rosetta Stone Spanish and Rosetta Stone Japanese....for myself and Karl, respectively. I said yesterday at dinner that the kids should learn both of those as well as American Sign Language. The older two were taking a class in New York at our co-op, and loving it, when we had to move. So what did I find? Instant Immersion American Sign Language on cd-rom! Is that amazing or what? It is not Rosetta Stone, but it doesn't matter. I am impressed with how God leads. I am thankful that He allowed me to see what He was doing.....not just a coincidence there.

I just had to share this morning. I hope you all will look for His leading today......He is there in the tiniest things.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Heading Home.....

Well, we're on our way home. We left my mom's around 4 a.m. and just left Cracker Barrel in Tallahassee, where we stopped for breakfast. We're hoping to make it home by mid to late afternoon. So far traffic is minimal and the kids are traveling well. We're sad to leave all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents........but it will be nice to be home and get into our own routine again. Now we just want to be there.....instantaneously! Thanks for all of the time spent with us. We created some more great memories!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passing on to the other side

Today Karl and I had a funeral to go to, on his side of the family. A brother to Karl's grandpa passed on and since we were here we wanted to attend the service. It was very nice. Much of the family was there, and the youngest sister spoke fondly of her brother. I love to hear her speak. This brother (I did not really know him, though I have met him at family gatherings a few times years ago) was number 8 of 17. There are only 4 left here on earth now. The rest are celebrating with their mother and father, and all the other Saints, in heaven today. They are living with Jesus. What a beautiful picture! Though the family will miss him immensely, I know they realize he is rejoicing where he is, and I pray that they will have peace in the knowing.

Monday, April 18, 2011

We made it!

We made it safely to Alabama Saturday evening. It's been a fun-filled 36 hours already! The kids are thrilled to be here and are looking forward to the adventures of each day. Check my other blog for updates too, as many things we do here will be learning experiences and as such will be posted over there.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Letters are in the mail.....

Remember those letters I talked about here? Well, I finally sent them out today. Those of you who receive them, please don't feel obligated just because you got a letter. We also wanted to inform everyone about what is going on. There are other ways to support him besides financially. If you feel the desire to do that, we so appreciate it! If not, then he could still use your support through prayer, cards, etc. We are excited to see how this opportunity grows him!

Oh, and if you want a letter but don't think you'll get one (because I don't have your address?), you can comment here, find me on Facebook, or email me, and I will send you one. Thanks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

6-month check-up

Autumn's appointment went well on Monday. She weighs about 16.5 pounds and is 27 1/4 inches tall. She had to get two shots and an oral immunization. She was very happy and cooperative...until the needle stick. After that, it was over! Once I held her for a minute or two she calmed right down. And we had no fussiness or bad reactions this time, which was awesome! Food choices include cereal, fruits, vegetables, and now meat (which we haven't tried yet). While we were there our doctor informed me that he is leaving the practice, going back to New York to be near his children......kind of bummed about that, but I understand. Hopefully we'll like the other doctors there just as much. He told me I have a beautiful family (I agree!) and wished us well.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where did the time go?

Today was Autumn's half-birthday. I can't believe she's 6 months old already! Time flies.....I didn't get a picture but I'll try to tomorrow. She goes in for her 6-month check-up in the morning.....shots, I'm sure. :{

New things she's doing:
  • rolling onto her right side
  • her first 'real' laugh for her big sister (the little one)
  • grabbing her feet and holding on
  • eating rice/oatmeal cereal, fruits, and vegetables....not the biggest fan of some

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A haircut and some training....

We have been meaning to cut Corbin's hair for several weeks now. Karl finally got around to it today. Didn't he do a great job?! And Corbin LOVES it (so does Mommy!), even though he wasn't sure he wanted to let go of those curls. He said, "This feels so good!" And the smile on his face when he came to show me said everything. :)

I've been spending a little bit of time each day, for the last few days, training Emma in how 'blanket time' works. I set the timer, place just a few toys on the blanket with her, and she must stay there until the timer sounds. She is getting better with it each day and I hope to use it to keep her safely occupied at different times throughout the day while I am reading or doing math, English, etc. with my older children. This will help her to learn to play alone some and it will also help her develop important skills....it's her focused learning time. Autumn has blanket time too.....we'll just have to keep with it as she gets older and she'll already be trained when she becomes mobile. That's the idea, anyway!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things change quickly....

We had a fairly uneventful morning, just doing some book work and I continued training Emma in 'blanket time'. It's really just her sitting on a blanket, and staying there for a certain amount of time, playing with a few toys. She also had some sticker fun with Hailey.
Things can change quickly, though.

After lunch, Emma had already gone down for her nap and Hailey and Corbin were getting things ready to do some arts and crafts together. I was in the middle of a diaper change for Autumn when I heard Corbin yell from inside the bathroom, "Hailey, could you get me a bandaid?" She went in to see what was up. After less than a minute I had them come out to the kitchen so I could see what he had done. Apparently, he had been playing with some scissors while sitting at the table waiting for Hailey to get some supplies. They were not regular, child-friendly scissors, more like hair-cutting scissors, and I don't know why they were even in the drawer where he found them. Anyway, Hailey had already told him to stop playing with them but he didn't listen and kept on clicking them open and shut. His index finger on his left hand eventually got in the way and he ended up cutting himself. If you've ever cut your hand or finger, you know that those kinds of wounds bleed A LOT even when it is not a bad injury. It took us (Karl was home to help me) a while to get the bleeding to stop long enough to see exactly how bad it was. Corbin cut a decent chunk out of the tip of his finger. Not good, though not too serious.

I did take him to the doctor, just to make sure it was all fine and that they didn't need to put in a stitch. There really wasn't anything they could do besides clean it, put on some antibacterial ointment, and bandage it. He did really well....he didn't even cry at home when it first happened. He told the nurse, "I shouldn't even have been playing with the scissors in the first place." So, he understands what he did wrong and realizes cutting himself is the consequence for his actions. We discussed with him the possibility that it could have been more serious and could have had lasting consequences....maybe an eye injury, etc. He gets it. Hopefully and prayerfully this will teach him that he really does need to listen...the first time....which has been something he's been struggling with lately. He's still learning that his older brother and sister are authority figures for him. Here's a photo so you can see that he is, in fact, okay. ;)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Our morning activities...

A link to what our morning entailed.