Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Still here!

Just a quick update to let you guys know I'm not dead..just BUSY!! Since my last posting, we have bought our first home and have moved all of our stuff in and now we are busy unpacking/cleaning/painting/installing new floors/sanding and staining existing floors. This has been an amazing learning experience and we are having a blast. A longer post (including pictures) detailing the move is forthcoming..hopefully this weekend. Until then head over to 31 Rubies for "Clean Week"- cleaning everything- your home, clothing, diet, and hearts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Aquarium and Kure Beach field trip

Yesterday we finished up our Seashore unit in Science, so we took advantage of a beautiful day and made a trip to Fort Fisher Aquarium. I am so glad we made this trip. After the previous day, we needed a good family day and that's just what we had. We only had one episode of a little one having a bad attitude.The majority of the day was spent laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Fort Fisher Aquarium is awesome. The volunteers there are amazing. So willing to teach and interact with kids. I was very impressed. If you ever get a chance to go, make sure you stay for the dive show. It was definitely a highlight of the day.

I'm not going to say much more, I'll just let the pics speak for themselves.

Touching a sea star.

A very rare Albino Alligator. Only 30-50 of these exist.

LOL. I love the expressions in this photo.

Daddy with his girls. Wondering what in the world is up with the hat my husband is wearing? Go to http://www.projectconversion.com/ to find out what he is up to.

Oh how I love these little ladies.

Wow. They really look alike here, aside from the face Shaylie is making.

Oh. My. Word. They are growing up too fast.

Crabby Nevaeh.
Hello Ocean! How I've missed you!!

Every bit as majestic in the winter as it is in the summer.
God- thank You for giving us a home so close to the beach that we can experience the wonder you've created multiple times throughout the year. Amen.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 3/7

Confession time! I did horribly at sticking with my meal plan last week. To be exact, we ate out 3 times. I'm beginning to see that this is a real problem for me, so much so that I've even prayed for God to help me stick with my meal list this week. Seriously. Obviously I can't do it on my own strength, so I will rely on His.

Here's the meal plan: (using some left over from last week)
Monday- Fried Chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, green beans
Tuesday- Field trip day. Plan is to grab dinner while out. It's planned, so its ok!
Wednesday- Paprika Hungarian Chicken
Thursday- Biscuits and gravy
Friday- Homemade pizza
Saturday- Broccoli Cheese Quiche
Sunday- Veggie Lasagna

Desperately Seeking Advice

Can I be real with you guys for a minute? Please don't judge me for what I'm about to say. My six year old is a brat. I'm talking a brat with a capital "B".
Yes, this beautiful little girl is who I am talking about. She defines brat: selfish, thinks she is the best at everything, thinks only of herself, back talking, eye rolling, whining, hitting, screaming. Look it up in the dictionary and you might very well find her photo. We need an intervention. We need Nanny 911 and quick! I love her with every piece of my being, but sometimes she makes it very difficult to like being around her. My question is this: how did she get this way?! I would like to think she doesn't see this behavior anywhere. She isn't in public school, so she doesn't have that influence. Her sister acts nothing like this. Where have we gone wrong? She gets punished when she exhibits these behaviors, but yet she continues to do them. Seriously, this morning she spent over an hour and a half in time out. That's how long it took for her to decide to lose the attitude. I'm sure it will surface again at some point today though. It always does, and she'll go right back to time out. We've taken away privileges. What else can we do? How can we instill a kind heart within her? How can we change her mindset of thinking she is entitled to everything? Please as you read this, share any and all advice. I've been real with you, now in turn please be real with me. Don't censor your thoughts, tell me exactly what you're thinking.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal- week of 2/28-3/5

In my life this week...

I've had a very good past two weeks. There are a lot of exciting things happening and God is blessing us immeasurably. I can't give any details yet...but soon I promise! 31 Rubies (http://www.thirtyonerubies.com/) went live on Tuesday and our response has been great. If you haven't checked it out yet, you are missing out!

In our homeschool this week...

We are moving right along. We finished our NC unit and began our Around the World unit; focusing on the United States right now. We finished our Animal unit and are beginning to plan a trip to the NC zoo this month. See my post, Mid-Year Reflections, from earlier this week to learn more about what we've been up to.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

Today we started our seashore unit in Science and depending on the weather I hope to make a trip to the beach at some point this week.

My favorite thing this week was...

Good news!!! But I just can't spill the beans yet! My next favorite thing was going to Friendly's for ice cream after the girls' soccer game. Lots of laughs and good times.

What's working/not working for us...

I just really really wish we had more of a homeschool community around here. We get lonely sometimes :(

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

This morning (yes, even though it was a Saturday) as I sat down to begin school with the girls I realized again just how much I LOVE being given the opportunity to teach them at home. I actually said out loud "I love teaching you guys at home". Some days it's difficult, but it's so very rewarding.

A photo/video/link or quote to share...

C'mon now. You knew this was coming. http://www.thirtyonerubies.com/ Indulge! You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How do YOU do it?

I have a question for all the stay at home moms out there....how in the world do you do it?

I've been off work for six days. I go back tomorrow. Day one of four 24 hour on call shifts and I must say I'm looking forward to going back. I love my kids with all of my heart, and I love spending time with them. I love teaching them at home. But after about 5 days I'm ready to either pull my hair out or go to work.

I tried to be a stay at home mom. It lasted for about 3 months. It's just not for me. I WISH it was. Especially with homeschooling. It would be so much more convenient if we didn't have to work our school schedule around my work schedule. Want to know a secret? This is one of those I can't believe I'm actually going to tell someone this type secrets...I feel like I'm a better mother on weeks when I work 2-3 days than on weeks when I'm home all week long. Seriously, I'm more patient with the girls, we get along better and we have more fun. Is it because on weeks when I'm busy at work I try to make the most out of the time I do have with them? I really don't know.

I do feel guilty though. I feel like I should want to stay home with my kids each and every day. But some days I just want to go to work. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Stay at home moms: Are you thinking I'm a horrible mother now or do you sometimes feel this way too? And if you do, what do you do about it? Do you plan more "me time"? How do you cope?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Head on over to 31 Rubies to see what all the fuss has been about!

We are LIVE today!

I'm just so blessed and so excited to be a part of this group and I can not wait to see where God leads us.

So go check it out and don't forget to come back often. We have big plans for March including some awesome giveaways! You won't want to miss it!


Mid-Year Reflections

Last month we passed the halfway mark in our first year of homeschooling. Wow. We will be finished with Kindergarten before we know it. This will be my reflection on the past 6 1/2 months- what has worked for us and what hasn't, what I've learned and areas in which I need to do better.

I'll begin with the good. Both Shaylie and Nevaeh have come so far this year. I'm utterly amazed when I see the progress they've made. They are both reading. They can both add and subtract numbers to 20. They've learned the values of coins. They're beginning to understand fractions. They can read bar graphs. They are learning to tell time. Their handwriting is greatly improving. They can spell and have been writing me "notes". Just last night Shaylie wrote me a note that said "Giv me pooh (her blanket) and I will go to bed". They've learned about the 5 food groups. They have learned about animals. They know all about the four seasons. They've learned about temperature and how to read a thermometer. They just finished a unit on North Carolina and can now tell you the state Capital, state bird, state flower, state insect, state tree, state motto, the name of the governor, highest point/lowest point of the state, the colors of the flag, and can name 4 neighbors of NC. Whew. They've been so busy! On bad days when I feel like they aren't learning anything, I need to come back and read this post. This isn't a comprehensive list, but it covers a good bit of what we've done.

I think throughout this whole experience I've learned as much as they have. I've learned that following a strict schedule each day isn't necessary. I've come to accept the fact that if attention spans are fading and tensions are rising that it's ok to stop for the day and pick up again tomorrow. Sometimes helping Mommy and Daddy around the house can be just as valuable as sitting at a desk doing traditional school work. Often times our best days are those where we start on schedule and eager little minds lead us down a completely different path. Those days when eyes and hearts are wide open are the days I know just why I've decided to homeschool. I can not imagine missing these moments. I've also learned that dishes, laundry, and housework can wait, and oh my do they wait. I've learned that a curriculum that works in the beginning of the year may not work as well in the middle of the year. I've learned that not all days are "good" days, but as long as the good ones outweigh the bad we will be fine.

With all that being said, I still have SO much to learn. I spend many hours reading blogs from other homeschool mothers. I love to see what works for them and I've gotten many great ideas from other mothers. However along with that comes comparison and that is an ugly beast. This is something I struggle with each day. Some homeschooling moms just seem to have it all together. They wake up before their kids, read their bibles, actually get a shower and get dressed, make a real breakfast and still manage to start school by 9:00am. Their houses are spotless. They've paid off all their debt. They are awesome cooks. They are SuperMoms...and I'm not. I try. I try really hard, but just can't seem to get there. But what I keep reminding myself is that at the end of the day, are their children any happier than mine? Does their husband love them more because all the laundry is folded? Does God love them more because they are up before sunrise? The answer I come up with is probably not. Maybe I'm doing ok...maybe what I really NEED to do is stop comparing myself to others. Hands down this has been the hardest struggle of homeschooling and it has absolutely nothing to do with my children. How sad is that?!

So what do I plan to change for the latter half of our year? No big curriculum changes, no real schedule changes, just have more fun. Plan more activities. Do more art projects. Smile more. Play more. Pray more. Because that is what matters.