Sunday, December 13, 2009

Old pics...

I just thought I would share a few of our old pictures!I have no idea why the white border on the last 3 and I am not tech savvy enough to fix it!

Here is Luke at Wet N' Wild

Kylie in her snow outfit when we read Snowy Day. It was 70+ outside in Florida!

Luke and Kylie running in front of the Bridge of Hope at the Children's Home

Luke a little after 1yo at Busch Gardens. What a cheeser!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Running at the speed of light!

One great positive about not updating my blog in ages is that my time has been filled with being a mom and a homeschool teacher! My kids have actually had consistant school! What a concept!

Just a raw update here, we are in the process of looking for a new job and possibly relocating to that said job. The Children's Home has been a great fit for our family for 7 years now but it is time for us to move on. With baby #3 coming, the Children's Home is not able to employ us with that many children. It is a good season of change and we are looking forward to whatever comes our way!

Soon I will update with some pictures but until then, have a great autumn!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

School funny!

We drove past a local Elementary School yesterday and kids and parents were all walking towards the school. I noticed on the billboard that it was "Meet the Teacher Day!" so I leaned backwards towards my kids (I wasn't driving ;)) and said "Hi! My name is Ms. Mommy and I will be your teacher this year!"

The kids looked at me funny with a giggle and said, "we don't want to call you a funny teacher name, you are just our Mommy!" Awwwww!

We are looking forward to our first day on Monday!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cars and trials...

We have been trying to buy a car now for a few weeks. My husband is a great deal talker so this has been a long process where I hope it is soon finished and we have a great new car in the driveway. When we were driving my old Honda into the dealership, my kids were in the back having a grand ol' time. They were speaking about how they LOVED my car and were sad that it was going. They spoke about how beautiful and fun it was.

Now this is what was going through my head! Gosh, I can't wait to get rid of this car! It has no air conditioning so I have to drive it in 90 degree Florida heat with all the windows down. It messes up my hair and I am just praying it doesn't rain because the windshield wipers really don't work so well. And there is nothing worse then a hot car with no a/c and rain.

Then this verse ran through my head.
James 1:2-4 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The whole ride, my children's laughter was speaking to me. I love what I learn about God through my children. All they saw out of this trial was joy!

Seems like a lot of people could be reminded of this verse. One only needs to listen to the news for a few moments to hear about economic downturns, politics and other less than uplifting news. Anxiety is quick to move in and steal our joy. Don't let your joy be stolen!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I am done!!!

This year it is official. I am a homeschool mom to a school age child! I have been a poser for years now, attending homeschool conferences, gathering information from veteran moms and having a blast at preschool at home but this year it is the real deal!

So for quick moments here and there I have finished planning my whole year of school. Loosely of course but it is a start!

Here is what I start with. This is the Five in A Row Superbook that includes Vol. 1,2 and 3 plus the Christian Bible Supplement. You know it all boils down to less than $1.50 per unit? That is a bargin! Plus you can use it for over three years and if you have muliple children, even longer!

See this pretty cover? It is from the FIAR planner which helped me a bunch this year! I marked down which days we were doing school and then gave myself a rough estimate of doing 180 days and then for the month of January I decided that we are taking the whole month off to adjust to life as the Jackson 5. ;-) I chose 3 FIAR titles for each month which left a free week to follow any bunny trails or fun things we decided to.

Here are the lesson planning sheets that I adapted from the FIAR planner. I printed off Luke's in blue and of course Kylie's is pink! I will then take the lesson planning sheets and move them to the portfolio when I am done. I wrote down our basic plan and the topics we want to cover for the day in pencil that comes from the curriculum.

Lastly, I printed off any worksheets or maps we might need for those units. I have a large hanging file for each book and I pop all the printables in there. Also, it is a great storage unit for all of their school things according to book after they have completed it! I haven't quite gotten the hang of scrapbooking or notebooking yet so that will have to do. LOL!

Whew! Now I need a vacation before we start school on Aug. 24th!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This was the intro for church last Sunday. Our pastor, Joel Hunter is doing a series of apologetics which has been facinating. We get a lot of questions about science and the Bible so it is great to see the church take a stand on it!

Cathedrals and Laboratories from Northland Media Design on Vimeo.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just in case...

you haven't heard...

We are expecting baby #3!! Our family is beyond overjoyed and we are ready to embark on a new adventure.

Kylie and Luke are thrilled and have already started picking names but I don't think Yoda will go over so well. Kylie would like a girl and of course Luke wants a boy so I am preparing them both for dissapointment when they might not get their wish. Either would be great so we are waiting for a month or so to find out.

We are due on Jan. 10th, which was the same day as the Disney Marathon that I had registered for. Yeah, I don't think I am going to run that one! ;)

So we just wanted to share the news!

Monday, June 15, 2009

School is out but workboxes are still IN!

Workboxes have just felt great for us as a family. The kids enjoy it, I enjoy it and even my dh has gotten in on the action. We will definately go on with them next year.

But it is summer and I have these workboxes in my kitchen/dining area. What to do? Use them of course!

Throughout the day I am sure you have heard your kids say "I'm bored!" My answer is "go grab a box!" Now I won't use the strips, or make them go in order, it will just be a fun area to see some activites they can do throughout the day. Maybe a can of playdoh, or a dot-to-dot. Simple activites that they can do on their own.

I will most likely rotate them out just as I would during the year to provide some interesting and fun things to do.

So have fun with your workboxes today!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Our newest family addiction!


We have played the kid version for months now but a few weeks ago, we decided to bump it up a notch and try the regular adult one. Well, it is a hit and the kids are hooked! Today we were playing with a bunch of friends and Luke just struck me as funny.

He was just perched up on the table at work and having the best time! You better watch out too, he is quick to call UNO on you! Come on over and play soon!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our Day!

Every year the Mandarin United Methodist Church puts on the Jonah and the Whale fishing tournament. Proceeds go straight to the Children's Home and it is always a fun event for us to participate in every year.

While most go out on boats, our boys are able to hang out at a member's home and fish from their dock. I wish I could share some fun pictures of my guys but since they are in foster care, I am not able to publish their photos. :(

The owners of the home also have a smattering of animals in their front yard. All the boys really enjoyed playing with the animals and feeding them. My kids enjoyed themselves as well!

Awww, I will go ahead and post this one pic of some of the guys and my children playing in the river. ;)

Kylie enjoying a rest and checking out the view from her hammock. That would be a perfect place for a book or a nice nap!

The tide was low so the kids could go out and explore the river floor. Kylie found a really cool old glass bottle that she gave to the owner of the home. She said she has found some interesting relecs in the sand there.

All of these pictures were taking on my cheap phone and this one happened to be totally by accident as I was swinging my arm! I thought it looked cool so I saved it. I just love all of the cypress and the moss.

We really enjoyed our day and I think the boys really liked the change of scenery. This is what makes working at the Children's Home fun!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My girl...

She just makes me smile! I caught this pic on my cell phone so the quality is not all that good but I just love her expression and carefree look. Gosh I love that girl!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Come as You Are...

In 1995, I was lost, alone, seeking *something*, trying desperately to fill the void in my life. I knew I wanted a relationship with God, but how? He wouldn't love me the way I was right? I couldn't have been more wrong. He wanted me dispite the errors I had made in my life. I am so thankful that he loved me, even when I was unloveable.

"Hookers and Robbers" HD typography from Northland Media Design on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day in the Life

Yes... I know... more workboxes! LOL This has been day 4 of our workbox system and can I tell you that it really works?? I just wanted to show you a few pictures of how we have made this system work for us. To the left you see how we start our day.

Then we work down a few boxes...

Snack time!

This is how we place our boxes (both kids plunk their boxes down in this tub.) They know that books go to the side. They had the drill down on day 1!

And what a wonderful sense of accomplishment we ALL have after their day is done when we see an empty rack. Ahhhhh...

Oh, and BTW, I timed myself at filling them back up. Total time 17 mintues and 23 seconds. That is from the bin, to the racks ready for the next day. Not too bad if I do say so myself! ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

School funny...

We work at a Children's Home and while we are working, we still have school up at our house which is about 2 minutes away. Today when we were walking to the van to drive home my dd turned to me and said "Bye Mommy! We are getting on the bus to go to school!" I played along and said "Bye! Have a great day!"

I got in the van and I asked "who am I now?" My dd said "you are Ms. Mom my teacher" and my ds piped in, "no, you are Ms. Jane! That is a good teacher name!"

I thought that was quite a compliment since Ms. Jane is the author of Five in a Row! I don't think Luke actually was trying to make that connection, but I would love to be Ms. Jane anyday...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Day One! So far, so good!

Today went really well! The kids had a blast wondering what was next and it kept their attention to move from one box to another without having for me to set things up for them. Huge plus!

Here is a neat peek into our morning.

We were done by 12:30 and had a nice lunch outside. I feel so accomplished and so do my kids! They were really proud of all they had done. It is 2:30pm and their boxes are already filled for tomorrow - it only took a few minutes to switch out boxes and put them back in. I think I can do this!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


This method of school will be begun on Monday 3/9/09. In no way am I saying I will stick with this for any period of time! I am just excited to show what I have done so far. I am a real person who starts and stops things all the time but I *think* this will be a great fit for me and my children! Now read on...

Leslie over at Joyful Mother of 6 shared a wonderful system that has revolutionized her homeschool! The more she shared, the more a spark of intrest grew inside of me. More fun? More learning? More opportunities to do the things you *want* to do but don't? I was in.

Sue Patrick has 2 children and set up a method of workboxes to use since her kids have been 18 months! Brilliant so I ordered the book and the starter kit and it arrived in a few days.

Off to Target I went for my boxes and racks. What started out as just a system for my daughter, blossomed into two systems for both of my children. Now I live in a tiny townhouse where I have a small living room, kitchen with a 4 person dining area. At first I thought that the racks would take up too much room but it was a lot more compact than I had thought of. I think they will reside in front of that window which is right in back of my dining table where the kids do school. It is central in my home and they are portable enough that if I want to move them for company, I can just scoot them in my bedroom walk-in closet.

I am going to make a small index card box full of fun ideas that I would love to use in my homeschool but rarely don't because either I don't have time, am unprepared, or just forget about (stuffed in a closet etc.)My goal is to rotate the cards every day as I use them in the boxes.

Stay tuned for my list of cards!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Fold N' Learn

Now, I want you guys to know that I am not a pro at crafty things. My kids like to do crafts but our schedule is such that sometimes it doesn't become routine. Well, yesterday I ordered Five in a Row's Valentine FNL and we had a blast!

I have to admit, I am a semi-perfectionist and it is hard for me to sit by and watch my dd paste something on crooked but I did it! ;) There were parts where she would read about Valentine's Day around the world and a quick vocabulary lesson which taught her how to be still and learn. But by the end, I just let her cut out the clip art and figure out her own design. And that she did! All at the age of 5.

Luke wanted to get in on the fun so I gave him his own piece of paper, sissors and a glue stick and he was happy. I ended up learning a lot about lapbooking as well and I think we will all be hooked as a family! My main lesson was that it didn't have to be perfect for learning to occur, or for fun to be had.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random kid funny...

So last night I kept the kids up late to watch American Idol. All throughout the show Kylie and Luke would put on there own auditions, sing funny songs and have crazy dances. It was really quite fun!

Today Kylie and I were talking about her future plans and she informs me that she wants to go to Hollywood! "What??" I ask? Yep, she wants to be a singer. I ask her "I thought you just wanted to be a mommy?" She replied, "uh, mom. (in the perfected 14 year old tone) I am going to be a singer when I am a teenager, go to Hollywood and sing for American Idol and *then* be a mommy. Oh, after I get married."

Whew! Jon and I better hang on for the ride of our lives. This girl just doesn't quit!