Monday, August 29, 2022

Babywatch for Brenna!

Anyday now our little Asa could make his entrance!  We are all so excited to meet him and cuddle him.

  She's just so adorable!   

I know Brenna and AJ are going to be amazing parents.  They are so happy!
Hopefully adorable, chubby cheek, newborn photos will be posted soon!


Thursday, August 25, 2022

VSIBC's Metal Building was delivered!!

We were so excited to head out early to watch the metal for our future church building to be delivered.

We were so happy to be to this point in the process of our church being built.  VSIBC is growing tremendously, so we are ready!!

We're praying we can lay the concrete soon and get this building up and dried in!  God is working and we are so glad to be in the midst of that!


Monday, August 22, 2022

So what are we going to use??

Whenever I would talk to other homschooling Mommas about curriculum, I was never a mother to say, "A little of this and a little of that."  There's nothing wrong with that, it just wasn't me.  Or so I thought.  I had always liked buying a curriculum that had everything needed.  No guess work involved, you just knew it was there.

So when we made the decision to do a big change up this year, I began researching all in one curriculums.  I talked to several friends and did some trials on complete sets.  There were many good things out there, but nothing that just felt right for my three.

Then I asked myself, "Was I going to be one of those mothers that does a little of this and a little of that?"  As I searched according to subject and not complete sets, I found some really neat resources and companies.  It was fascinating, time consuming, and exciting to really look further into options for school.  

In the end, I did choose a little of this and a little of that.  And I'm so excited I did! I was able to tailor my kiddos classes for what they are interested in, how they learn and where they need a little extra boost.  Did I mention how excited I am for this school year??

 So, here' what we are doing:

For Bible we are meeting together for what we call our Genesis Moment.  I will post more on that soon.

For Math, we are using Teaching Textbooks. There are so many reviews out there of this curriculum for Arithmetic.  So many mommas and students love it!  When I showed it to Patrick he said it looked exciting, like a math game.  It's all on the computer and the lessons are divided in a way where it's not overwhelming.  My kiddos tested pretty well, so I know they will be challenged where we placed them.  They are  looking forward to doing some work on the computer.

For Grammar we are doing Fix It Grammar.  This is another that has a ton of amazing reviews.  Basically we will do a lesson at the beginning of the week where a grammar concept is taught.  Then, each day,  they have one sentence where they correct, find the parts of speech and rewrite it.  And they are done!  Each sentence is a story.  So each day they hear a little more in the story.  Fun, fun!

Language/Writing/Reading  we are using books by Debra Bell that were originally written for Apologia.  These books are colorful and make me want to buy my own!  These books are to really grow their writing abilities, a skill they will need and use in the future.

For History I let them really have a say.  We ordered books from Masterbooks.   It was hard for them to pick!! Micah chose to learn about the Middle East.  He's learning all about history, culture, geography and even some fun foods from each region.  Silas and Callie are doing "For You They Signed" together.  It's all about the lives of the men that signed The Declaration of Independence.

For Science we also went with Masterbooks.  Micah chose a class on Paleontology.  It is very creation based and backs up the Bible as truth even in Science.  I love it!  Silas is learning Applied Engineering, and it is so fascinating! Callie chose a Survey on Geology and Archaeology.  

For Literature I am assigning books for them to read.  I'm going to incorporate classics, missionary stories, biographies, and some of their choice.  I have had fun researching different ways they will report what they have learned.

And then we have what we are calling, "Enrichment"  this can be handwriting, calligraphy, art, typing, or anything extra that I feel they need.

It has been very time consuming deciding what to use.  I've researched and watched videos galore.  I was thankful when I finally had peace about what to pick.  I wish I could say that each of these curriculums are King James Bible referenced.  Unfortunately, they are not all that way.  And that's important to me.  As I've read through to make sure the material is Bible based, I've also grabbed my white out.  When I see another version reference I white it out and leave the reference.  My kiddos know to go and look up that verse in their Bibles.  It's been a great way to open up communication on the subject of Bible versions.  I want my kiddos to know why I ( and their Daddy) believe what we do.  The whys are so important at this age.  We are past the "because I told you so" in parenting.  I want them to open the Bible and know why! 

Training and schooling my children is a joy to me.  I love it!  I'm looking forward to a great school year.  Have I mentioned how excited I am?? :o)

Friday, August 19, 2022

Why we aren't using Abeka this year

If you've followed our family for a bit, you would know that I love using Abeka for my kiddos for schooling.  I used Abeka for elementary and middle school for Josh, Beth and Brenna.  And I've used it  for Silas, Callie and Micah since kindergarten. But, this year we did a big change up.  After lots of prayers, and lots of research, we are no longer using Abeka this year.  I can't narrow it down to one exact reason why, I guess you could say there are many little reasons.  A few ladies have asked me what I'm using and why, so I thought I'd share it here.  But, first, let me tell you why I really like Abeka.  (And if I had to do the past 8 years again, I would choose to use Abeka up until this point all over again.)

Why I have loved Abeka:

 ~I love having the DVDs for them to watch. I put in the DVD each day and know they are getting a complete education for each class.
~ I know they are getting a really good education. Time and time again students that use Abeka test out high on state testing.
 ~The teachers really are the best! I love how they use songs and games to teach many concepts.  (Especially geography.  Ms. Amsbaugh is my favorite!)
  ~I love the way they use a lot of repitition.  Repetition is the key to learning.! :o)
  ~ I love that each of my kiddos has their monitor with their grade level teacher and their space.  They get done the work they have been assigned and I know they are getting what they need.
 ~ I love that Abeka is Bible based.  You get a christian view in every subject.
 ~ I love that it is all King James when they quote Scripture.

But, even though I have loved it, we still switched.  I started feeling the need for something different last February.  It started with 7th grade spelling.  The list is very, very long.  There was a lot of vocabulary as well.  I felt that there was so much information, but were my kiddos retaining it?  Yes and no.  They were retaining much of it, and I am thankful.  But, they were missing a lot of it, too.  I felt that if we condensed the list and took off  half of the words, that I could help them retain more.  I decided that those 10 words could be used in stories and in our everyday speech.  I found that we could talk about them and research them and then, boom, they had those 10 words learned!  So, in March we did a lot of reworking in spelling, vocabulary and language.  We kept notebooks where we kept track of what they were reading and writing.  They wrote more letters to businesses, friends and family.  We made what they were learning real and they loved it.  And so did I. 

 I began praying and asking the Lord if we needed to switch things up for them for the next school year.  Through the end of the schoolyear I just couldn't get this idea out of my head.  Then a friend of mine asked me if I ordered my Abeka books yet because their price had gone up.  I checked into it and wow, she was right!  I went Patrick and we started praying and researching together.  Halfway through the summer we knew it was best for our kiddos to changeup our curriculum.

Why we aren't using Abeka anymore:

~Even though this isn't the sole reason why, it's pretty big.  We simply feel that Abeka is too expensive.  We were looking at $4,000.  That just is out of our budget. 
~Our kiddos had gotten too used to it and had lost a lot of the excitement. It seemed to be predictable to them.  And it had just lost its sparkle if that makes any sense.
~They were learning so much that they weren't retaining as much for the amount of time they put in.  We started about 8:30 and would go until about 3 or 4.  After that their brains seemed so fried that I felt bad having them practice their instruments or the piano.  They were just done and as kids they needed time to play.
~I want my kiddos to have more practicality in their schooling. I want them to learn things that they are interested in and that will be used in the future, while still learning grammar, algebra and chemistry.  
~I want them to have time for other things such as music, home ec, mechanics, finances and ministry.
~I want to tailor their learning according to each of my kiddos learning styles.  They are all so different! I have one that is a major reader and one that is not so much.  I have one that thrives on science and how things are built and  tick.  I have one that would  love to incorporate art into everything and likes to make special posters to show what they've learned.  They are each so different and if I could tweak their assignments according to their learning styles, they would learn more.  And more efficiently.

So, after much research, I've found some resources that will help fill in the gaps that we were having. I think I've found some good curriculum to help as we raise our treasures to honor the Lord.  I am so excited about this upcoming schoolyear!!!
I'll share more in the next post. :o)


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Staycation Part Two

The next day of our Staycation we decided to go tubing.  I love going to Ichetucknee Springs to tube!  For our family, we try to go during the weekday and in the morning, that way it's less crowded.  And since public school has already started around here, we knew we wouldn't have to fight the crowds.

It was quite a memorable time. ;o)

When we got down to the river with our rented tubes, Patrick told everyone to make sure and hold onto the dock and then we would all start together.  The river flows pretty quickly where we were launching.  As Micah got in, he got really dizzy.  This is something my poor boy has been battling and the doctor has been trying to figure it out.  We have found that it will pass if he's still.  So we waited for him.  Once it passed we all got in our tubes.  Patrick was last.  Before he got in I said, "Wouldn't it be funny if Dad flipped over?"  Well, that' exactly what he did!! And when he came up his glasses were gone.  I let go of the dock to help him find his glasses, but the current took me down river.  Callie did the same and she was floating pretty fast past me.  Then, Micah flipped over.  Patrick realized it was futile to try and fight the current and was too deep to find his glasses.  He hurried to help Micah then catch up with me and Callie.  And then....kaboom!  Thunder and pouring rain.  It poured and poured and thundered and lighteninged.   It was not what we had planned!! After about an hour we hurried and got out at the halfway point.  Whew!

We came and got warmed up.  That spring water is cold!  And rain is cold, too!!
We heated up leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes and watched a movie.  Now that was relaxing!

We've tried to relax as much as possible, but still keep up with what needs to be done at home.  That means puppy care!!  And I hate to admit it, and I really am trying to not get attached, but don't you think Lady would like a home on Storybook farms??

We've played lots of games together.  We're keeping track of who has won.  The winner gets to pick where we eat Sunday lunch.
We planned some time at the park that the kids recently went to, then went for ice cream at my new favorite place, My Happy Place in Alachua.  I am in love with their Happy Parfaits!! This time I got vanilla custard with tie dye Italian Ice and Cherry Bobas.  Soooo yummy!!

I've relaxed and read by the pool,

  And enjoyed coffee and cinnamon rolls that a friend dropped by for me.

It's been a refreshing. relaxing time.
But I always say that you know it's a good vacation if you are refreshed and ready to get back to a normal routine.  I was ready!  And school starts the next day!!

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Staycation Part One

It's not every year that our family can take a vacation away.  And that's okay.  But, we still need time to recharge and relax.  So, for us, some years we take a Staycation.  What's a staycation?  It's where you enjoy some time to just be together, but yet you do that in your own town.  We decided we would take our Staycation the week before school starts.  

We started off by going bowling.  It was so fun!  We put the guys on one team and the girls on the other.  The winning team would get to order sodas at the restaurant for lunch and the losers would order water.  This man of mine just keeps getting cuter and cuter!

At first the competition was fierce and the girls were getting a few strikes and spares.  We were cheering so loudly, we were so excited!!

But after about the 4th frame that all changed. :o) 

The boys were quite excited to beat us girls !

Then, we made our way to Red Ginger, one of our favorite restaurants.

We were so thankful Brenna could join us for part of the day!

That night we decided to have a syrup taste test.   I put 5 different syrups in cups for us to try.  I was the only one who knew what was in each cup.

Micah has become an expert pancake flipper, so he was in charge of the pancakes.

And then the tasting began.  We were all very passionate about our opinions!

We all did agree that Utopia (Dollar Tree) was the worst.  Log Cabin was close after that for being the worst.  It was very bitter.

Silas chose Mrs. Butterworths' for his favorite.

Patrick, Beth and Brenna voted for Hungry Jack,

And me and Micah chose Pearl Milling (which is really Aunt Jemima)

We had a lot of fun sampling and eating. And you know how you feel after pancakes?  We slept good that night!

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Painting Pottery with Tabitha

It was a couple of weeks before her birthday that I heard Tabitha say that she wants to make a special plate like we have.  I made the special plate when Josh, Beth and Brenna were little.  When she said that, I realized that I need to use it more with my younger 3!

So for Tabitha's birthday I took her to a pottery place where she painted her own "Special Plate."  It turned out soooo cute!  Now we just have to wait for it to be fired in the kiln, then their family will be able to reward the special person of the day for their family, too. 

 I enjoyed my time with this wonderful lady that I get to call my daughter in law.  I love her to pieces! 

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Spoiled at Suwanee Bell

My parents are special people.  For most of my married life I've lived away from them.  We've lived close to them for about 3 years of the past 28 years.  So, when I get time with them, I treasure it.  And now my kiddos are the same way.  And what's neat, my grandchildren do too.  We all love to be with them!

We love to sit and talk, we love to go do things, we just love to be with them.

I was so thankful they were able to be in town for Brenna's shower.  I know it meant a lot to her to have them here. And she was so helpful to me as we set up and prepared for the shower.  I think she had blisters from making the balloon arch!  But, it turned out so cool, didn't it?!

 The night before the shower they told us they were going to take us all out to dinner.  ALL of us!! That doesn't happen for our family very often.  We still have 4 kiddos in our home, so eating out isn't something we do very regularly.  But, when we do, we really enjoy it.

When they told us they wanted to take us out we talked about a couple of places.  I told them about a place Patrick and I went to once that is on the Suwanee River.  If you sit upstairs you have a beautiful view.  So, they chose to take us there.

We ate seafood and talked and laughed.  And enjoyed our time together. We ate shrimp, fish, gatortail and froglegs.  That's Florida food for sure!

Memories like this are precious.  

Each time my parents come to town they spoil us.  This was definitely a treat for us.  Love you Mom and Dad!