Jul 29, 2012

His Grace Academy

So now that you know the name of our home school let me share a little bit of what I am thinking and feeling about this new school year.
      * Nervous
     * Amazed
     * Positive
     * Disappointed 
     * Happy
     * Excited
  Yep I'm a little emotional and rightfully so.  This is a huge adventure that we are starting on as a whole family.  Last year was the first year of home schooling and it was only our oldest son.  This year I will have essentially 4 different grades to contend with and although I have all the curriculum we need to do so I am still nervous. I think mainly it is because we are breaking free of the "norm" when it comes to educating our children.  It is something I have wanted to do since before my kids were born.  But due to a variety of reasons we decided it was best at the time to start them in public.  Every year I battled with do/don't we home school and up until last year I kept thinking I couldn't do it. Then the Lord impressed on me that with His help I could do it. Hence the name "His Grace Academy" was born.  God has been so good to us and has blessed us with all of the resources we have needed for each child.
  So why do I have "disappointed" as one of the feelings listed you ask.  Well it's because some family members do not support our plan.  Sure it's our family and it shouldn't matter what others think  and in general that is true.  But it still helps to know your immediate family supports you and your children.  In this case we really don't have the support like I thought we would.  It is sad and disappointing but it will not stop us from doing what we feel is right for our children.
  Yesterday while I was preparing our lessons on the Olympics for this coming week I came across this scripture,
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”  Proverbs 16:3
 I have decided that this will be our memory verse for the year and our focus! No matter what we will succeed with His help, with His guidance and in that I will place my trust!

Jul 28, 2012

The Saga of Mrs. Robin

In our back yard sits this wonderfully LARGE sunflower.  It grew from a seed that was left after last summer's sunflowers.  It is now bent over and creating yummy seeds.
Also pumpkin and watermelon vines are growing.

 In our neighborhood we have LOTS of Robins.  There have been times that the roads have been so full of Robins my children have said it should be called Robinhood Lane! 

This past weekend Eli and I noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Robin built 
a nest on top of the sunflower head.
Included in that nest is a piece of silver duct tape.  I guess they
 wanted to make sure it was really secure! LOL!
 Since Sunday July 22 the only activity we saw was a fly in and out from the robins. 
Then on Thursday we noticed Mrs. Robin sitting as still as possible in the nest so I grabbed my camera and caught this picture of her.  A few minutes later she flew away...
...being curious I snapped a picture of the inside of the nest and was 
pleasantly surprised to find an beautiful little egg.
 I knew that most robins will lay at least 2 eggs so I 
decided to start checking daily to see if she would lay more. 
On day #2 there were 2 little eggs.  Mrs. Robin was very close 
so I had to snap and dart.  This being the reason the 
picture is so out of focus.

 Last night there were some really bad storms here. 
Lots of rain, thunder, lightening and strong winds.
The diaper heads were worried that the nest would 
be blown down so they were on constant watch 
during the storm.  This morning we were all happy
to see that the nest made it through the storms.  Guess 
that duct tape is working! HAHA!
So this afternoon when Mrs. Robin flew away I grabbed
the camera to see if there more babies...
 YEP!  Three little blue eggs.  BTW I LOVE this color blue!
I plan to continue to keep a vigil over the nest and hope to get some great pictures of the babies.  I am hoping I will catch a few shots of the chicks hatching!  Wish me luck!

Jul 22, 2012

Saying Goodbye

This morning we said goodbye to my niece and nephews.  Our children just love their cousins!!!  Before we moved to IL we lived in FL for 6 years.  Which is where all 4 of our kids were born.  Jaron grew up with Brock and Kaelyn practically.  I took care of them during the day from the time he was 6 weeks old till we moved to IL.  They are very attached to those two big kids and after this summer they are even more attached.  They were all very sad about them leaving today.
My beautiful niece Kaelyn
Mr. Brock, my wonderful nephew.
This summer we have had the awesome privilege of getting to spend time with my youngest brother, Bryan's, son Aiden.  Aiden is just a year younger than our twins so they haven't gotten many chances to spend time with him.  This is actually only the 2nd time that they even remember playing together.
Aiden sandwiched in with my diaperheads!
The kids have had such a great time playing with Aiden.  In fact Eli shared how much he wishes we lived closer to him.  All of the kids feel that way.  Even Aiden was upset about having to leave and had tears in his eyes as he said good bye.  I love my nieces and nephews, all of them have a place in my heart and this is one of the hardest parts about not living near family.
End of the day, last picture at the Cincinnati Zoo.
We have lived away from my family for 6 years and have never lived any where close to Sean's family.  I know it is hard on him as well to be so far apart from family.  That is one great thing about Facebook!  We get to talk to the nieces and nephews and see what they are up to daily.  It is a great way to keep in contact other than on the phone or through letters.  But NOTHING compares to actual face to face time. 

Jul 21, 2012


So many....about home schooling my children.

Can I do it?

Am I doing the right thing?

Will I succeed?

Will they succeed?

Can I make it fun and educational....not boring?  Am I prepared?

Will we have to fight with the school because Kris has an IEP?

Can I handle being teacher, mom, and wife?

Why can't my parents accept what we have chosen for our children?    Why?????

Those are just a few things going through my mind right now, all week, the last month! 

Jul 20, 2012

Two Weeks

Two weeks of business.

Two weeks of traveling to and from W. Liberty.

Two weeks of getting to spend more time with cousins and grandparents!

Two weeks that have been filled with laughter and fun.

Those two weeks are coming to an end.  Mom and the niece and nephews are leaving Sunday. Back to Florida they go.  With them they will take memories of my children and left behind are the memories my children will have. 

Two weeks... is it ever enough?  No I don't think so!  It's one of the biggest problems of being so far from family!  I hate not being close to my family and Sean's family too!  We miss so much in our nieces' and nephews' lives.  I loved being with my cousins when I was growing up.   They were my first play mates and friends.  I remember playing horses with my cousin Gayle and barbies with my cousin Yvonne.  Roller skating with Brenda and exploring a creek in Ohio with Anita and Tina!  Those are cherished memories and I hope the memories my kids have made with their cousins will be just as cherished!

Jul 4, 2012

In God We Trust

"And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there."
     It is amazing to me how many people forget why we actually celebrate the 4th of July!  We celebrate the freedom that many men and women sacrificed their lives for but with out Christ do we really have freedom?  I don't believe we do.  You see Jesus sacrificed everything for us and many walk in darkness.  Unless you accept Him as your Savior you do not have true freedom.
       Today was the perfect day to teach our children why we celebrate July 4th.  They have gone to public school up until this coming fall.  All four will be home-schooled this fall and this summer I am taking advantage of teaching them a few days a week so that we can enjoy the school year without a ton of pressure and the freedom to take a day off when and if needed.
   So today we had a lesson on The Declaration of Independence, The Star Spangled Banner and a short Bible lesson on why we need to pray for our country's leaders as well as watch the movie "The Patriot". What I also realized is that although many American's can sing the first part of our National Anthem many do not know the whole song. Even more refuse to acknowledge what some of the last words say..."And this be our motto: "In God is our trust." So sad that so many want to remove that from our currency and want to forget that is what our Founding Fathers established this great nation upon!  For our family we shall always state, "In God is our trust!"  For we know that He is more than able to do all things He has promised!
   Take time to read:
 The Star Spangled Banner
 By Francis Scott Key 1814

 Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so dauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Jul 3, 2012

Summer is Upon Us!

So what do you do when you are given a wonderful gift from a sister n love (in law)... you buy a pool! The gift was for us and although on the outward appearance it seems like the gift was used for the kids in all actuality it truly is a gift to us.  It draws the kids out side, into the sunshine and they have a blast swimming and horsing around in the pool.  As you can tell:
 Summer is upon us and we have spent many days laying around, going to the lake,
visiting old friends,
Elaine and me...old college roomies
Our kids in height (not age).
 and tending to our wonderful surprise garden. Ok so part of it was intentionally planted (those in the planters naturally)!

 Our sunflowers and small pumpkin patch.  All from seeds that were thrown into the yard last fall.  We did not plant them but are happily blessed.  Behind the sunflowers we have found watermelon growing and are now blooming as well.

Surprise!  We have pumpkins growing!
 Cherry tomatoes and normal tomatoes, green, red and banana peppers too!
We are having a great summer so far.  In just a week my parents will be here for a few weeks.  We plan to spend time at their cabin with them, go to the lake and possibly a trip to the Cincy zoo.  What a blessed time we have had.