Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pretty, happy, fun, real


The new paint on my kitchen cabinets.  I'm almost done putting the cabinet doors back on.


Not just any Goodwill, but a Goodwill Preferred is opening soon, and it's just a 1 1/2 miles away from my house.


The boys both worked diligently to make Grannie the perfect Tye-dye shirt.  Two colorful tye-dyed shirts are ready to go out in the mail. 


I asked the boys to help fold some towels and put them away. 

I'm linking to {pretty, happy, fun, real} at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

Capturing the context of contentment in every day life.

round button chicken

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Educating Caleb, Lori, and Luke

School is in session for the three students.

We use the classical approach to education modeled by The Well-Trained Mind.  We are on a four year rotation for history and science.  This year history is early American history and goes from Christopher Columbus until Pre-Civil War.  Our main text for history is A History of US, but we also incorporate lots of other books.  History is heavy on reading. 
Some of the history books for both boys:

For Luke I am focusing on reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

At home we are using:
We'll make lapbooks, read lots of books, and try to have lots of adventures and fun.

At our weekly homeschool co-op Luke is taking Character First, Science, History, Literature, Music, Art, and P.E.  Some of these classes have take home work he completes Tuesday through Friday.

I need to add spelling and continue to work on manners with Luke.
I'm hoping for Luke to develop a love of reading.
I'm thinking of having Luke take piano lessons. 

Extracurricular activities for Luke: Cub Scouts.  He wanted to join Cub Scouts last year, but I just couldn't make it happen.  This year he is so excited and can't wait for his uniform and the fun stuff (camping, archery, pine wood derby!). 

Since Caleb is in junior high his classes at the co-op are a bit different than Luke's.  For all of them he has work to complete at home and bring in to be graded the next Monday.

At co-op Caleb is taking:
Additionally at home Caleb has:
I need to have Caleb memorize some scripture and work on character/manners.
I'm hoping to have Caleb become adept at typing this year.

Extracurricular activities:  TaeKwonDo (Caleb loves taekwondo.), Fall Baseball (starts this week), and Boy Scouts.  Caleb didn't want to miss out on all the fun Luke would be having in Cub Scouts, so yes he had to join too.  He's not quite as excited as Luke though so, we'll see.

Our school day starts each morning at 9 a.m. with a devotional, prayer, and the pledge.  Then we dig into their subjects.  Have I mentioned I love homeschooling the boys?  Have I ever mentioned it is not always nice and pretty and fun?  We have wonderful days and we have horrible days where we are all at odds with each other and yelling occurs.  That's life.  At this moment for us though homeschooling works. 

Lastly, this semester I am taking Political Science, Drug Use and Abuse, Promoting Social Justice, and the dreaded College Algebra.  The first three classes are online classes, but for Algebra I knew I needed to take that in person.  The first night of the class I was a bit nervous about it.  Two years ago I would think about completing my college degree and then I would think of college math and just thought that it was impossible for me.  

First night, I grabbed a pencil and headed to my class.  I sat down, got out my book, and pulled out my pencil.  Suddenly, I notice it is no ordinary pencil.  It is a pencil from Dixie Chili.  Dixie Chili is a restaurant in Kentucky that my grandmother worked at for 35 to 40 years. (I'll have to ask my Mom how long exactly.)  She started working there as a young mother to support her family.  She labored and provided and did the best she could.  I'm proud that she is my grandmother and that I am her granddaughter.  I can't really explain it, but that pencil gave me strength that night.  I thought of my grandmother, who never went to college, yet was an exceptional employee for Dixie Chili.  That was her journey and this is mine.  She made the best of her life and embraced what came her way the good and the bad.  So I am following in her footsteps and embracing college and algebra and will do the best that I can with my life.  Yes, all that from a pencil.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Women of Faith Conference Recap

Through Thomas Nelson's blogger program, Book Sneeze, I was given the opportunity to apply for two free tickets to the Women of Faith Conference. The conference was going to be in Dallas and I knew I could stay with my parents and talk a family member in to attending with me. I applied not really thinking I would get the tickets. About a month later, I received a mysterious envelope. I opened it up and there were my two tickets to the conference!! All I was asked to do was to blog about the conference. I love going to see my family in Dallas and I love free things- so I was excited!

I invited my sister to attend with me, and my Mom offered to keep the kids. Hubby graciously encouraged me to go. Friday morning the boys and I drove to Dallas. The conference started Friday, but my sister had to work and I didn't arrive until Friday afternoon, so we made the decision to only attend Saturday.

Saturday morning we barely made it on time. As I was getting ready that morning, I realized it started an hour earlier than I thought. Um, yes not smart. Then we ran into a traffic jam on the highway that slowed us down. I dropped my sister off at the front door at 9:01. It started at 9:00. Cutting it a little close, I met her inside the cavernous American Airlines Center.

Our seats were on the floor level (YAY!) so we had to ride a special elevator down to the bottom level. Julie and I thought it was funny that each elevator had an attendant to push the buttons for us. Also, the elevator had a tv in it. Here's our secret entrance.

"Over the Top" had started.

We had great seats about 20 rows back or so. American Airlines Center was packed with women all the way to the top seats. So, so glad we were on the floor.

First up we heard from Patsy Clairmont. She is a funny, gifted speaker and a character. I would love to hear more from her. She told an impactful story about her son, who was on life support for 21 days.

Highlights from Patsy Clairmont:

  • Prayer matters, people matter.

  • Some of us create our own problems

  • Change can be good.

  • Life is hard, never give up.

Then we heard from Brenda Warner, wife of football player Kurt Warner. She told of the horrible circumstances that happened in her life, but through it all she tried to live with courage, honor, and integrity. She really has an amazing story. We purchased her book and I can't wait to read more from her.

From Brenda Warner:

  • Circumstances don't determine who you are.

Then the beautiful Sandi Patty took the stage and sang "When You Wish Upon a Star". I kind of wondered why she was singing this song. She told of how her dream when she was a child was to be an entertainer at Disneyland. She auditioned as a teenager, then was told she could sing well, but her dancing wasn't very good and that she had extra weight that didn't fit the Disney image.

From Sandi Patty:

  • God hears and knows our dreams.

  • He doesn't say no to our dreams, but yes to dreams we cannot see.

  • Dreams don't always look like we want them too.

The highlight of the day was Sandi Patty singing "We Shall Behold Him". So amazing!!

Lunch was provided to us and was great. The line was short and we quickly got our boxed lunch of a grilled chicken sandwich, chips, rice crispy treat, an orange, and bottled water.

After lunch we heard from a couple of more speakers. Um, I stopped taking notes, but rest assured they were good too.

Doesn't my sister look beautiful? She was such a trooper attending the conference with me a month away from her due date. We had adventures on the elevators and in the men's restrooms. Most of the men's restrooms were open to the ladies and of course had shorter lines.

Amy Grant then took the stage. She was gracious and funny and sang some new songs and lots of her old ones.

The review:

The conference was fun and delightful. I laughed and cried as my Mom said we would. My sister and I enjoyed it, and I'd love to attend with her next year. It was a great line up of performers and speakers. The venue was really nice and everyone there was helpful. Lunch was good and easy to eat and I loved that they included it with the ticket price.

One thing we both would like to see for next year is for there to be a schedule for the conference. We never knew what speakers were scheduled for what time. We missed hearing from Mandisa and Lisa Whelchel and would have loved to hear from both of them. So we would like a detailed schedule to be given out with the tickets. I'd also like to see them add some younger speakers/ singers that would interest teen and young adult girls. I'd love for my niece to attend. The praise and worship team was good, but very polished and some of their songs were choreographed. I'd love to see one worship leader with a guitar or keyboard next year.

It was such a blessing to attend. So thankful to be given these tickets, and to my Mom for taking the kids to a water park on Saturday too. The Women of Faith Conference is visiting more cities this fall. I highly recommend this conference to all ladies!