Sunday, January 27, 2008

On the Book Shelf This Week....

I am reading THR3E by Ted Dekker


SPLIT ENDS by Kristin Billerbeck.

Sorry, no book covers on this week's post. I'm a little short on time.

What's on YOUR book shelf this week?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Temple Maintenance....Under Construction??

I was a skinny little kid. One of those pale skinned, blonde, blue-eyed skinny kids. No, not the white blonde, the golden variety. And my knees touched when nothing else even came close.

Then I turned nine years old. Pre-puberty hormones went into overdrive and food was good! Too good, apparently.

That one year changed my life forever. I became the "chubby girl". The good thing about it at the time...I didn't realize I was the chubby girl! Food was good, life was good, I had friends-lots of friends.

I'm still not exactly sure when it hit me. It was probably around the time when boys began to hold more potential than bike-riding buddies. Whenever it was, it started a downward spiral of low self-esteem, wishing to be thin and endless diets.

Never truly satisfied, I entered married life at what I thought was a decent size and pressed forward.

Then came the children. Six of them. *sigh* Need I say more?!?!My baby #6 is 2 years old. I'm still blaming my extra weight on baby #4. He's ten. BUT, I gained 70 pounds with that pregnancy! It has to be his fault!

When baby #6 hit 3 months old, I began the frantic on-again, off-again diet and exercise. I was very heavy-even for me. I had times of strict discipline and times of no control. However, I managed to knock off some weight!

Then, I started again in July. By September, I dropped a little more.

Fast forward to now. I have been working out, watching my diet, trying to drink water (blech). Since September, I have lost nothing. NADA. I tried taking a break from the diet, taking a break from the exercise, working harder, working less. It doesn't matter-no budge in the scale.

I am completely frustrated. If I can lay around, eat what I want (within reason, of course) and stay at this weight, then why would I choose to work harder??

I know, I know. Health reasons. Family history of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer. Need I say more?

My body is my temple and I only have one.

So, I will continue to watch my diet. I will workout again and again....
I will press forward. And I will look at the progress I have made.

Since February 2006, I have lost 37 pounds. I have lost most of that in the last six months.
I may be on a plateau, but eventually, I will push over and beyond!

I will press forward!

Only 40 more pounds to go.....

Under The Weather Week



This has been a 'sick' week.  With two kids feeling stuffy, feverish and coughing, we stuck pretty close to home. 


We were able to continue with Time 4 Learning, learning a little more about the program and adding in more Science and Social Studies to the three Rs.


We did put our FIAR studies on hold for the week.  I renewed our Owl Moon related library books, which gave us a little extra time to sit and read up on moon phases and soak up a little more of the art lessons.


One of my boys had checked out a couple of library books on paper crafts.  We spent some time doing paper folding projects, paper airplanes and having flying contests.


We had time to read, time to draw, time to watch videos (mostly history), time to bake a little.


This weekend we will be doing cave drawings!  My 10 year old has this project from his Social Studies lesson on T4L.  He is really excited!  He loves to draw and paint.


It has been a very good week! 



Friday, January 25, 2008

Art Project-Mural for Eli

Eli loves Shrek, so I painted this mural for him. He is just barely tall enough to give ol' Shrek a belly rub. (Bellies are his favorite; strangers are not immune.)

Since Eli started out with an oxygen concentrator, his crib has always been in the master bedroom with us. So....you know where this is going, right? We are probably the only couple on earth that has a near life-size painting of Shrek in the bedroom.

It's 30 degrees....


I can dream, can't I?? 


My daughter took this photo in Destin, FL back in June, when I was complaining about the heat!


Monday, January 21, 2008

I wish I could write like this!

A homeschool buddy recently pointed me toward this blog.

It is perfectly written! I do not know the writer, but she has a remarkable way with words.

I laughed so hard, I was howling on the inside. At some point, there were tears.

I'm not sure if I truly found the entry that funny, or if it was a moment of weakness knowing that someone out there understands!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Heaven's Wager....and this week's book shelf

Was a great book, but what a tough read! I struggled through the beginning and did have to put it aside for a day. It was so emotional.

I made it, though. It was a very spiritual book and not nearly as crazy as some of Dekker's other works. It was definitely a 'thinking' book. You know, one that makes you ponder...

I did not get to SAINT last week. I have it for this week.

I started reading QUAKER SUMMER by Lisa Samson last night. I should say, I started reading it again. This is a wonderful book. I recommend this one to anyone thinking about what comes next and what the purpose of now is. (G-You have to read this book! I think I'll mail it to you.)
I have read several of Lisa's books. She is an extremely talented writer.

Well, that's the book shelf for this week.

Here's a preview for next week... I just received Ted Dekker's THR3E from Paperbackswap last week. www.paperbackswap.com

So, what's on your book shelf?

Another Week Goes By...


It really is true what they say about getting older.  You know, the older you get the faster time goes by?




We've had another successful school week in our house.  We finished up Owl Moon.  We didn't dig very deep, but since Cade's only 6, that means we can re-visit the book later and add to our studies.


We did learn a lot about owls! 


We took another trip to a local museum and spent some time in the bird exhibit. 


We are also becoming more comfortable with Time 4 Learning.  I can see where the boys need some remedial work in some areas, but also where they can really get ahead in others.  What a great curriculum and useful teaching tool this program offers.  I can't praise T4L enough!


I am really psyched to hit THE VERY LAST FIRST TIME on Monday!  This is my all-time favorite FIAR book!  Cade is going to love it!



Monday, January 14, 2008

Chickens, Dogs and Ducks...Oh My!

We took a trip out to visit my mother-in-law this past weekend. She lives out in the country with land all around. She has chickens, dogs and ducks. The chickens are in pens and coops. She has laying hens and a type of chicken called a Silky. These are white and look like fur instead of feathers. She also has peacocks, but they were playing shy.

My 2 year old had the time of his life! He rolled around on the dogs, climbed into the chicken pen, and chased the poor ducks all day long! He was worn out-a dirty, stinky mess-when it was time to go home. I've never seen him so active and so happy and so tired.

Of course, we didn't have the camera or the video camera, so no pictures this time. Bummer....

Today, he received a new book in the mail. The book was all about farm animals. On the first pages, there were pictures of a rooster followed by a bunch of chickens. We read the book and I made my best chicken clucking sounds. He walked around clucking for a little while. It was so cute!

Things like this always happen. I'm sure many people dismiss them, but the book in the mail about farm animals just a day after a trip to a mini-farm? Priceless. God is in ALL the details!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Week.....Heaven's Wager

Ted Dekker did not let me down last week! House was great. It keep my attention from beginning to end. I found myself trying to decide which author (Dekker or Peretti) wrote which parts. A+ to both authors on this one!

Blink has to be my favorite so far. I suspect it will be my favorite Dekker work, but I have truly enjoyed each one that I've read. The main characters, Seth and Miriam were so real, even though their circumstances were so over the edge. This is a great, great story. I would recommend this book as the place to start for a new Ted Dekker fan.

This week, I have Heaven's Wager, the first in a series.

I also have Saint, but I'm not sure I will have time to finish both of these.

So, what are YOU reading this week?

Time 4 Learning!

In all my years of homeschooling, I have only found one true, perfect fit for our family.  That is www.fiarhq.com,  a great literature-based unit study approach to learning.  It is easy to use and so effective.  You only have to add phonics/grammar and a math curriculum to make it complete.


I have tried so many different things over the years to cover the additional Language Arts and Math.  It just seems like nothing has ever truly felt right.  Until now.....


January 3rd, I signed my boys up to try www.Time4Learning.com .  We played with it a little bit those first days and began this past week using it for school.  What a fun and thorough program!  My boys really love it.  It is meaty, don't let the cartoons fool you!  They still have to write, much to one of my boy's disappointment. LOL There are lesson plans (more like a scope and sequence) that you can use to create a schedule.  The program automatically tracks the time each student spends on the program.  As the parent, I can easily go in and look at each child's account and see what activities they have completed, all test and quiz scores and time spent.  I can even generate a weekly or monthly report, print it out and put it in my lesson planner.


I am still working my way through the site, learning how it all works.  The best things I've found:  the parent forums, the helpful hints section and the answer key/parent's guides.  Reading through these areas will answer just about any question you may have.  If not, the site support is great!  All of my emails have been answered very timely and the answers have been very helpful.


The only down side for us is having one computer.  Daddy uses the computer for work.  It doesn't make it harder on me, but it does make for a longer school day.  The plus side to this-each boy has his own down time and his own "Mom time".  There is ALWAYS a plus to a down side!


I have five children.  The youngest child has medical issues.  Over the past two years, we have spent a lot of time at his doctors' offices, in the ER and in the hospital.  Trying to maintain a routine, much less a school routine, has been a very tough job.  In many cases, it has been impossible!  


I can leave the boys with Daddy or Big Sister, take the little one for his doctor appointments, and quess what?  No missed school day.  This is HUGE! 


As far as pricing, it is very much in line with other programs, textbooks, etc.  If you have already spent money on other programs, like I have, it may seem impossible.  However, T4L has several different options regarding payment, including paying by the quarter,  by the year, or by the month. 


With www.Time4Learning.com, I  can see renewal on the horizon!


Last Week in Review

Last week, our first week back to school after the holidays, was a stressful success!  Why stressful?  Well, after a period of time without boundaries, everyone has to settle down and get back to work!  We also had two doctor appointments to fit into our schedule.


Our FIAR (Five In A Row) title for last week (and this week)...OWL MOON.  I've been using FIAR since 1999 and I have never 'rowed' OWL MOON.  What a fun winter book!  I just wish I had owl pellets for the kids to dissect.  Okay, I wish I had owl pellets....for ME! (And the kids.)


With the help of printouts from Homeschoolshare.com, we studied mostly about owls. 


Don't you just love the way little things work out in your favor?  On the first day, Daddy brought home a wildlife magazine from the post office.  Someone was throwing it away from their PO box.  Of course, the main story was about the Great Horned Owl.  The photographs were just like the illustrations in OWL MOON.  God just loves sticking his hand down into our ordinary daily lives as a reminder that he is always present!


We will finish up the study of OWL MOON this week, then it's on to my favorite....THE VERY LAST FIRST TIME!


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Reading Kick!

I love to read! However, with five children, homeschooling and everything that comes along with having a family, I tend to put my interests on hold much of the time.

It comes in spurts. I guess a person can only deny themselves for so long. So, when I do read.....I read! Call it reading marathons!

Currently, I am on a Ted Dekker kick. http://teddekker.com/

As an older teen/young woman, I loved to read Stephen King. His more recent works are just too much for me. Ted Dekker is like a Christian Stephen King-supernatural, suspense, and a touch of just plain weird!

This week I have Blink

and House (with Frank Peretti).

If you are looking for a new favorite author, check out Ted Dekker!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Choosing My Battles!

As a Mom, you have to make many decisions. There are so many times when your child looks up at you with great expectations, counting on 'yes', only to be disappointed by the 'no' that escapes your lips.....again.

It's so hard to always say no! So, I try to say yes as often as possible. As long as it isn't dangerous, I want my kids to experience things that I might not ever dream of wanting to experience. I want their lives to be happy, fun and full of memories of the 'yes' moments.

Here are a couple of examples of recent 'yes' moments in our house:

This is my 10 yr old and his new haircut. It has grown out now and he hasn't mentioned getting another like it. He did talk about having this style for several months. If I had said no (again), he'd still want it! He may very well want to try this again. So be it-it's only hair!

This is my teen daughter. Pink has been replaced with a lovely aqua. The short cut underneath was my idea-a compromise. She has added a few aqua strands on the top layers since the pictures were taken.

She can wear the longer hair pulled up and show her 'true colors' or she can leave it down and show her 'real color'. I have no idea what color will be next, purple maybe?

I realize that this is the choice for OUR family. As I said in the beginning, we all choose our battles. This is one of those things that is okay-for us....at least right now and to a certain extent!

Getting Ready For The New Year!


I know what you're thinking.....it's January 5th!  Where have you been?!?!

What I mean is, I'm getting ready for the beginning of MOTIVATION.  You know, it's my word for 2008!

I'm trying to get more organized, work on being 'me',  focusing on JESUS, handling household chores more efficiently, schooling more regularly....Whew!  That's a lot to ask, isn't it!

It is a lot, and I know it will take a lot of work and a lot of time.  Bad habits will have to be replaced with better choices. 

I'm not a schedule person-maybe that's the problem.  So, I'm not going to post any promises on getting my days scheduled down to the minute....or even the hour.  It's not going to happen! 

I am going to work on a routine.  People thrive on routines.  We NEED to know what is supposed to happen next.  When we live outside of a routine, we become too laid back, lazy (ouch), un-MOTIVATED.  Yep, that's been me.  

So, this weekend I am working on this routine.  We will be starting back to school on Monday with Five In a Row and Time 4 Learning.  T4L is brand new for us and we're really looking forward to getting started.

I am looking forward to a New Year!  My one goal for 2008 is to MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY!





Saying Yes!


I just posted an entry on my other blog All That and a Box of Rocks about saying yes instead of no.

Instead of posting the same thing here, I thought I'd just post a link so you can go to that blog and check out what I recently said YES to!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I know it's been a very long time, but I have decided to keep this old blog after all.
In a moment of weakness, I thought I'd go and just start over fresh.
I decided that out with the old and in with the new isn't always the best choice!
So here I am posting a new entry-giving new life to an old friend-bringing it along with me into 2008!
Happy new year to all!!

Blog Resurrection!


After over a year of inattention, I have decided to get back to blogging!  It's a new year, after all.

My theme for 2008, in one word is...    MOTIVATION

My verse for this year:  Col. 4:5  "Be wise in the way that you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity."

Over the past two school years,  I have allowed myself to become a slacker.  Every area of my life has suffered. 

2008 is a new year, a new chance, a new day.  A chance to regain momentum.  A chance to grab the hem and hang on tight!  A time of renewal, a time of comittment.  A place to begin again, a place to stake claim in my future and the future of my children.


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