Saturday, December 4, 2010

Six years ago today

Six years ago today, I woke up as Heather Miller for the last time.

Six years ago today, my Dad walked me down the aisle and I went from being Daddy's Little Girl to being your wife.

Six years ago today, I held back tears as you recited your vows to me.

Six years ago today, I didn't know how to love unselfishly.

Six years ago today, I married you the father of my beautiful daughter.

Six years ago today, we didn't know another little girl was on the way.

Six years ago today, we crashed in the hotel room after the wedding utterly exhausted, completely unaware of the sleepless nights to come.

Six years ago today, we stood before our family and friends smiling happily not knowing the difficult days ahead.

Six years ago today, I thought I could never be happier.

Six years ago today, I thought I loved you.
Today, I look at you and I KNOW what love is.

Today, I realize the happiest days of my life are each day I spend with you and our children.

Today, I find myself thankful for the difficulties we've faced because it's made us stronger as a couple.

Today, I can say that a sleepless night with you is better than a night of perfect sleep without you.

Today, I'm eternally grateful for the children you've given me.

Today, I see all our marriage has taught me. How to love strongly, unselfishly and completely.

Today, I hold back tears as I write this and find myself consumed with my love for you.

Today, I know that I married the second best man in the world (next to my Dad).

Today, I am proud to be your wife.

To my sweet husband: I hope you know how much you mean to me. Each day that I wake up beside you is a great day. Words can't express how much your love means to me. The past six years have been eventful, both good and bad. We've endured more as a couple in six short years than most do in a lifetime. But in the end we still come out together, stronger than ever. You are absolutely the best husband I could ask for. You're my soul mate, the man of my dreams and my best friend. I know I don't say it nearly enough, but thank you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for the good days. Thank you for the hugs on the bad days. Thank you for our children. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for being you. I love you and I'm proud of you.

Six years ago today I said "I do"..and today I say I would do it all over again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Religion is one topic that my husband and I do not see eye to eye on. I am very much a Christian and he loves all faiths (including mine). He respects my decision to follow one particular faith and I respect his decision to be a spiritual nomad of sorts.

One thing we do agree on however is the fact that religious intolerance is something that must end. There is far too much hating and fighting going on in the world in the name of religion. In my faith, Jesus preached showing love to ALL, not just those who think like you.

It's a fact that most people fear things they don't understand. Most people in the world know very little about faiths other than their own, therefore they fear those faiths and the people who practice those faiths. Every single day people in this country are discriminated against based on their religion. One of the premises this country was based on was religious freedom and yet we try to deny US citizens this right each day.

In an attempt to increase the knowledge of different faiths, my husband has started Project Conversion. Learn more about it here. To summarize, beginning Jan. 1, 2011 he will be converting to a different religion each month and will practice that religion for 30 days before moving on to the next. He will be practicing as a new convert and will be broadcasting his journey along the way.

He has developed a KickStarter page for Project Conversion. You can view the page here Please help in his effort to make this a success.

Please share this with you friends. You can follow on Facebook here.

No matter which faith you belong to (or if you don't belong to one at all), come along for the journey! You just might learn something yourself

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I definitely think the weekend getaway (a 3-day Cruise to the Bahamas) did just the trick! I came back refreshed and ready to go! Schooling last week and this week has been awesome. My patience has been restored and the girls are just soaking up the information. Here is a quick recap of what we've been doing.

Math- Subtraction. The girls have done incredible. The curriculum we are using is basically just a work book from The Critical Thinking company. I have to do all the teaching and the worksheets just reinforce the information. We've used manipulative blocks, candy and our fingers and have mastered one digit subtraction. I'm so proud of them!! They both really enjoy Math and I'm glad. Math was always my favorite subject in husband however despises it. We will be finishing up our one digit subtraction unit next week and will be moving on to graphs and fractions.

Reading/Phonics/Writing- Wow. That's all I can say about the progress we've made since July. I officially have two little readers in the house! They are just so proud of themselves. The A Beka reading/phonics curriculum is awesome! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to teach their children to read. The girls have also been enjoying If you aren't familiar with it, it's an awesome website for beginning readers. Check it out!

Science- Last week we completed our Healthy Eating unit. We finished all 10 Lessons in Little D's Nutrition Expedition and the girls absolutely loooooved it! :) Little D the Five Food Group Dragon is actually still hanging on our living room wall. They don't to take him down. These lessons were great. The girls definitely have a better understanding of the five food groups and why they are important. I've heard the girls discussing healthy food choices maybe just maybe we can get them to start eating better. Since we've finished a science unit, we are moving on to a Social Studies unit. We will be covering a unit on Thanksgiving during the month of November and I'm still getting it all worked out. More details to come...

I bought a book from Barnes and Noble a few months ago titled "What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know" and I really love this book. It breaks down each subject into what Kindergartners should know before going to first grade. I use it quite a bit. The past few weeks we've been reading stories from the Literature section. Some of the stories the girls were familiar with, but many of them were new. (Some of them were new to me). The girls seemed to enjoy hearing the stories, well all of them except for The Ugly Duckling which they BOTH fell asleep during..LOL

We've continued our Bible studies and the girls are still hearing devotions/stories about character development. They are also starting a children's missions group at church and we will be attending our first class tonight! Super excited about that!! :)

Shaylie's soccer season just ended and we've already signed her up for Spring soccer. She really liked it. Nevaeh will also be old enough to play in the spring. She is very happy about this. She wanted to play in the fall, but wasn't old enough.

Things are just moving right along. I'm sooo glad we've made the choice to homeschool. I thoroughly enjoy the girls being home with me. I love watching them learn.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

As if it isn't obvious I have even more proof that my babies are growing up. Shaylie had her very first visit from the Tooth Fairy (AKA Twinkle- in our house) last night. I can NOT even begin to fathom that she is old enough to be losing teeth already. I mean seriously wasn't it just like last month when cut her first tooth?! Just another reminder that I need to CHERISH. EVERY. MOMENT.

Still absolutely gorgeous!

Showing off her Tooth Fairy box!

Time- please please slow down. No, really I'm begging you. Let them stay little just a little while longer! <3

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In need of.....a BREAK!

Yes, I need a break. And, I'm getting one. My husband and I are leaving tomorrow for a long weekend getaway. We do this every year...and this year it's much needed and deserved! Where we are going is a secret, so I will give details when we return :)

Work has just been crazy busy lately, home life and homeschooling have been busy. The girls have not been listening the greatest. I haven't been very patient. I find myself doing the very thing that homeschooling parents should NOT do, telling my children that they can't help me with whatever I'm doing just so that I can get it done faster. I find us doing our school lessons sitting at a desk with little to no fun. It's like we are just going through the motions with no real meaning. We have reached a point of being burnt out. So I think a break for Mommy and Daddy and a long weekend with Nana for the girls is just what we need. We'll come back more in love, refreshed, recharged and better parents to our beautiful sweet little girls!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rainy Day Blues..

I don't know if it was the rain or what but today was not a good day for us! The girls could either not sit still or were being lazy. There was no in between. I had no patience. So after attempting to have school for about an hour I decided it was time for us to take a break! I was to the point of tears. I thought maybe working out, taking a shower and getting some lunch and then trying to start fresh might help us out. And it did..for a few minutes. So, we finished what we were working on at that time, packed up and called it a day. I haven't been feeling the best and neither have they, so maybe we all just needed a sick day. And you know what I've realized now 5 hours later? That's ok. There is no point in all of ending up in tears over something that we can just do tomorrow or the next day when everyone is feeling better. I was really doubting myself there for a while today. But then I remembered how well last week went..and how few bad days we've had since we've begun homeschooling and I felt better. Kids are human feel the Monday blues too and that's perfectly fine. Tomorrow will be better. The sun always shines after the rain.

I came across this today..and it just fit so well. It's from the following website: and this is what it says.

"Sometimes you gotta laugh or you’ll cry.

Sometimes crying is a good outlet.

Sometimes it helps to just take a deep breath & smile.

Leave the room for just a moment. When you return, look at each child’s face & remember how you felt the moment you met that child for the very first time – upon his or her birth or adoption.

Smile. Thank God for this awesome opportunity he has placed in your hands.

Give them each a hug & take a recess for the day."

Fall is here!

Update: Week of 9/20-9/24

We had a busy but very fun week last week! Since Thursday was the first official day of Fall we celebrated all week long! In addition to our normal school day (math, phonics, Bible, science) we also baked homemade sugar cookies with homemade buttercream frosting. We decorated the cookies to look like leaves, pumpkins and apples. We sang fall songs and told fall jokes! We made a homemade fall wreath to go on our front door. I have planned to take a field trip this Friday to a local pumpkin patch. We just simply had a GREAT week!

The girls had their first math "test" on Friday! It consisted of 20 addition problems and it took them less than 10 minutes to complete. I'm happy to report that Nevaeh got every single problem right on the first try and Shaylie missed one problem, but when she took a second look at it got it right immediately! I must say I was one very proud Mama that day! :)

The Science unit we've been working on; Little D's Nutrition Expedition, is still going well. The girls still really enjoy it and are always asking if we can "feed Little D to make him grow". There are 10 lessons in the unit and each lesson has a story with it. The stories are really fun and have portions that the girls can act out. So far we've covered the dairy food group and the meat food group and they've really learned a lot! They enjoy the characters in the stories and the activities that go along with the stories. Part of the unit involves making a dragon on the wall. It started with just his head and you add a portion of the body for each food group that you study. In the end he will end up being about 5 feet long! Yes, this is stretching across a wall in our living room, but hey it's fun and educational!! Right now he just has a head and two segments of his body, but he's growing each day! Pics will be posted at the end of the unit!

Late post..

September 6th-11th we were onboard the Carnival Fantasy! We had so much fun! We sailed to Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. While in Nassau we managed to squeeze in a field trip. We visited the Atlantis Resort and toured the aquarium and learned about some of the history of Atlantis.

The girls had a blast. Their favorite animals were the sharks and a very cute black and white polka dotted stingray. I must admit he was my favorite too! :) They were able to touch sea cucumbers and starfish. It was a really great experience, just the fact that we were in the Bahamas was awesome!! I'm assuming this will be their favorite field trip all year! I don't know of any other Kindergartners who take a cruise to the Bahamas for a field trip :) Ahh, the benefits of homeschooling! BUT, they may have become just a tad bit spoiled...Shaylie insists she is asking Santa for another cruise for Christmas ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My poor poor neglected blog. Why is it that I just can't seem to keep up with you? Well actually I can't seem to keep up with anything at this point. The past month has been CRAZY to say the least. We've had the girls a birthday party in VA, a birthday party in NC, a Bahamas cruise and I've had a co-worker out at work, so I've picked up quite a few extra shifts....pure chaos is what we've had lately. Oh and my husband started school full-time, which takes up the majority of his time so I've been flying solo with homeschooling. AND Shaylie has started soccer and has two practices and one game a week!

Homeschooling is one thing that we haven't neglected though! We are still trudging along. The girls are breezing right through Math and Phonics. They really seem to have the hang of addition. We are having a quiz on Friday! They are both reading one syllable words and are learning different blend sounds. It amazes me to watch them learn new concepts. On Friday we will also be learning our first sight word- "the". Shaylie informed me today that she has known that word "for a while now"..LOL. So I guess we won't need much work on that one. In Science we've started a "Being Healthy" unit and are currently working on Nutrition. I found an awesome unit entitled Little D's Nutrition Expedition on this website: Today was our first day and we all loved it. I definitely recommend it! It says it is for 2nd graders, but so far the girls aren't having any problems with it. If I have to adapt some areas, that's ok, but so far so good!

I've realized while reading other homeschooling blogs that maybe we are doing too much "book work". So I'm integrating some new activities into our days (crafts, cooking etc.) We are also working our homeschool schedule around my work schedule, so we aren't doing Monday through Thursday anymore. Now we're doing 3-4 days a week, but it might not be consecutive days. That's the beauty in homeschooling. FLEXIBILITY. I love it.

I have some fun activities planned for the rest of the week and will post more on those (with pics!) later!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Week of 8/9/10- 8/13/10

We've finished another week!! My how fast it went! The past two weeks we've been schooling 5 days a week due to a very busy end of Aug/ beginning of September. So now we only have 5 more days to do until the end of August. We are all very excited about the upcoming weeks. On August 27th we will be traveling to Virginia and having the girls a birthday party there on Sat. 8/28. The following Saturday, September 4th, we will be having the girls birthday party here in NC. AND on Monday 9/6 we will be leaving for a Bahamas CRUISE!!!! We are SO excited. My husband and I have been on a cruise, but this will be the first for the girls. I think I'm more excited to see their reaction than anything else.

We had another great week of homeschooling. Here is a quick review of what we did:

Math- More addition, more number lines. The girls really have this down now. We ended the week with a few word problems and Mind Benders.

Reading/Phonics/Writing- We learned letters T and L and learned how to blend the letters with all the vowels we know. They did awesome!! I love seeing them learn new things!

Science- we began the A Beka science unit "God's World". We talked about God's Plan for us and the world. I'm really enjoying this book.

Social Studies- We continued our community helpers unit. This week it was a Baker and a Firefighter.

The girls are continuing guitar. Shaylie is showing much more interest than Nevaeh. Scott has also taught the girls how to play checkers and Nevaeh is loving it. She even beat her Daddy yesterday!! Shaylie on the other hand just doesn't really have the patience for checkers. It amazes me how completely different they are.

Each day we read a book they picked out from the library. My favorite thing this week was yesterday we read The Bearenstain Bears Count Their Blessings and after the story, I asked the girls to tell me some of their blessings. The answers just melted my heart. I honestly expected to hear them say things like toys and candy and they did say those things, but they also went much deeper without any prompting from me. Shaylie told me she was thankful for shooting stars, God, love, the Cross and our Pastor to name a few. Nevaeh said she was thankful for playing checkers with Daddy, her great great Grandma cook (who died almost 3 years ago- I didn't even know she remembered her) and cars to go places. Such sweet sweet little girls. They make me so proud!! I recorded everything they told me on our white board and of course took a picture...and here it is:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Awesome Valedictorian Speech!

This girl was the valedictorian of her senior class and spoke out about the public school system. I do believe she is a future homeschooling mommy! :)


Saturday, August 7, 2010

And on to month two...

It's so hard to believe that we have finished 5 weeks of homeschooling and are now well into our second month! Time is flying, but it's going great! The novelty has yet to wear off and the girls as well as Mommy and Daddy are still having fun! Just a quick update on what we have covered during the past few weeks:

Math- We've mastered even/odd and ordinal numbers. We've begun addition and some very basic geometry (patterns). We also introduced number lines and how they can be used.

Reading/Phonics- We have learned all of our short vowel sounds. The girls have done awesome with this. Last week we had our first phonics evaluation (A Beka uses periodic evaluations- which I love!) and both of them passed with flying colors. Last week, we started consonants and began with the letter T.

Social Studies- We began our Community Helpers unit. We learned all about Pastors, Teachers, Policemen, Salespeople, Farmers, Vets, Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Mailmen. We read books, watched videos and even took a field trip to the post office. The girls made cards and mailed them to their Great Grandma Betty in Virginia.

Science- We completed our Seasons unit. The girls really had a lot of fun with this unit. We watched a few videos and had a few craft days. We watched a video of The Very Hungry Catepillar and made a ziploc baggie butterfly. Fun fun! :) I learned that piecing together your own curriculum is VERY time consuming and can be stressful, so we decided to purchase the A Beka science curriculum also. It's entitled God's World and we begin it next week! The lessons seem to be very good and I'm sure the girls will enjoy it!

Lapbook- We finished Meet Kaya and learned all about the Nez Perce culture and life in 1674. The girls have really shown an interest in the American Girl series. We have moved on to Meet Felicity which takes place in Williamsburg, VA in 1774. We hope to plan a trip to Williamsburg sometime this fall. If the girls continue to show interest in the American Girls, I would LOVE to take them to the American Girl store/restaurant in New York City! :) That could be a field trip, right?!

Guitar- The girls are continuing to learn to play the guitar from their Daddy. The progress is slow, but they seem to be picking it up and are excited to start playing real songs!

Bible- The first few lessons in our Bible workbook are really about character development and teaching how God wants us act. It has some really cute stories that the girls enjoy.

In July, we had school the first 3 weeks and then took a week off and went to Virginia to visit my family. We just love the flexibility and the oppportunity to spend so much time with our children. That's about all I have time to add right now, but I promise, posts will be coming more frequently!! I really do want to document this journey as much as possible! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The first week..

We officially completed our first week of homeschooling last Thursday. It went really well! My husband and I are very excited about how well it went and the girls seemed to love it too. I was really really nervous the night before our first day. I'm not sure why I was so nervous, but I was a mess! I couldn't even sleep that night. I guess it was just a mixture of emotions. From the time we made the decision to homeschool our daughters (which was a few months ago) until last Sunday evening, homeschooling was something that we were preparing for, but it didn't really seem real until the night before! That's when it all came crashing down on me and I was really doubting myself. Before going to bed that night, I simply said a prayer asking God for wisdom and guidance in this new adventure, an adventure that I was sure would benefit my daughters. When I woke up the next morning I had a new outlook. I woke the girls for school and saw how excited they were about having school and my confidence soared. This was something we could do! Now, I know we have a long road ahead of us, but having that first week under our belts is a huge relief.

We decided to start school on Monday, July 5th, because we plan to do a year-round program. We will do an average of 4 days a week, sometimes 5 days a week if we want to have a week off at the end of the month. Both Shaylie who will be 6 in October and Nevaeh who will be 5 in September are starting in Kindergarten. Shaylie is just a little more advanced than Nevaeh, due to being in Pre-K program last year. It's working out well though because Shaylie helps me to teach Nevaeh. Sometimes I will try so hard to explain something and one of them just won't get it and then the other will come along and explain it and suddenly the light bulb clicks on. I don't get it. It absolutely amazes me. They've always been able to communicate like that though. I guess it's just an Irish twin/sisterly bond that they have.

For curriculum- we are using A Beka for Reading/Phonics/Handwriting and Social Studies. We're using The Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning. For Science we are just piecing together our own units. This is very tedious and next year we will definitely go with an all-inclusive type curriculum. Our Bible component comes from a Girl's Devotional Bible/Activity book. I really like this book! My husband is teaching the girls guitar and it's adorable to watch! They each have their own guitars. Shaylie's is an unfinished wood color (She calls it "blonde") and Neveah's is purple. I will post pics soon! :) We are also doing an American Girl Lapbook unit. Which so far the girls LOVE.

Just a little overview of the first week:
We start our morning with reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and The Lord's Prayer. We then talk about the date and weather.

In Math- we reviewed our shapes and practiced printing our numbers. We learned about "same, fewer and more".

In Reading/Phonics- we reviewed our alphabet and learned about the letters I and U and the sounds they make.

In Handwriting- we practiced i and I.

In Science- we have started our unit on Seasons and started with Spring. We watched a Winnie the Pooh video on the the 4 seasons and watched a Caillou video named "Hello Spring".

In Social Studies- we discussed families. We named different parts of a family and made a book "all about my family". We also started talking about communities.

In Music- the girls learned all the parts of their guitars.

In Lapbook- We read the first two chapters of Meet Kaya and learned about life in the Pacific Northwest in 1664. We began the first two activities in our lapbook and learned some new vocabulary words (boast, buckskin, raid, salmon, tepee, and tule).

We're already into our second week...but more on that later! :)