Friday, September 30, 2016

Top 100 Homeschooling Blogs

What a cool ending to my crazy week! 

I was contacted to let me know that I made this list:

100 Top Homeschooling Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Calling it a week...

Last week, we had a rough school week.  Poor time management for one of our children proved to be a frustrating experience for us both.  However, this week we came in with a plan.  I helped this child map out their week into light and heavy days.  Lighter days when we have activities and heavier days when we are at home. 
This has been an interesting school year so far.  In some respects, we are pulling back on extra-curricular activities because they kids have quite a full course load.  They are still pursuing their interests,  just not always in the ways we have done in the past.  The Bible reminds us that for "everything there is a season..." 
Even with the plan in place for the week, things have been quite hectic.  I've been tired, out of sorts, dealing with quite a lot.  After a late night three-hour meeting last night, we are all spent.  JP was at a sleep study last night and I had a hard time getting to sleep.  We finished up our schoolwork for the week this morning and are calling it a week!
We are celebrating Tera's birthday on Saturday----16-----AAAHHHHH!!!!!  I cannot believe my baby will be 16. 
Puzzles.  We've been working on puzzles.  Basically, just leaving a table set-up in the dining room to work on them. 
Drawings by Michael

A new Adventures in Odyssey album, finishing good books, only missing one day so far on my 90 day Scripture reading plan, and tabbouleh were just a few of the highlights of my week. 
And I'm calling it a week....

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Intertwined tightly...

"I've had a burning in my chest for a few days anxiousness, an irritability, a depressing grief. 12 years ago we lost my brother, Terry Lee. It's been 12 years since that horrible phone call that rushed us out the door and home for the worst days of my life. Memories flood this time of year. Just like real flood waters they cannot be kept at bay no matter how hard we try to ignore them. Some years it creeps up faster than others, some years it can be kept back longer, but inevitably it comes under the doors and up to the windows."

In a week from today, it will be 18 years since the day our lives were changed forever. 
I'm tired, a weary kind of tired.  These few weeks are the hardest of the year.  I have moments and hours, sometimes days of respite, then I find myself in that place again.  The place where you just feel an overwhelming sadness, the kind that doesn't want to turn you loose.  You blame it on other things at times, but you know the real cause. 
I cope, we all do.  Those who have had unexpected tragedy turn their world upside down.  In that upside down place, we find a new normal.  One that mixes grief with the passing of time-the living of life.   One that mixes joy with sorrow....until they are intertwined tightly. 
Then, some days. I feel weak.  Stressed.  Alone-a self-imposed loneliness. 
In those weak and lonely places, I cannot help being reminding that feelings are just feelings.  I have to remind myself where feelings can lead me.  They can lead me down a lonesome path or they can lead me to my Shelter in the storm. 
God has promised to never leave me, nor forsake me.  He is my strength, when all my strength is gone.  His power is made perfect in my weakness.  He says when the waters look like they will overtake me, He is my rescuer.  He promises to be the ONE that I can cast my cares upon.   He cares about all the little things in my life, because He cares about me. 
 peace and sorrow; grief and hope....
intertwined tightly
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

2nd Grade Read-Alouds

Michael and I have finally found our groove with the read-aloud.  I'm trying to remember some of the tips that I gave others in my article:   Don't Give Up on the Read-Aloud.  Tips like picking funny books and starting with easier books that have shorter chapters. 
Here's a list of some of the books we've been reading over the first ten weeks of school--some read-aloud and some independent-- :
The Green Ember-- S.D. Smith
The Green Ember series is a new series filled with adventure, sword fights and rabbits.  Michael loves these books!  We can't wait to start reading the newest book-Ember Falls 
Little House on the Prairie-- Laura Ingalls Wilder (Audio)
For some reason, I prefer to listen to an audiobook when it comes to the Little House series.  Cherry Jones is my favorite! 
I love to read aloud books in a series! Michael has already asked about the other books. 
The Magician's Nephew--C.S. Lewis (Part Audio)
The Horse and His Boy--C.S. Lewis (Audio)
Another set of classics!
Strawberry Girl--Lois Lenski
Michael and I read this book while studying a bit about Florida.
Currently reading:
The Year of Miss Agnes--Kirkpatrick Hill

Image result for year of miss agnes

Bears on Hemlock Mountain--Alice Dalgliesh

Abeka Pilgrim's Progress reader

I have goals of how many books I would like for us to read.  But as long as we just "keep reading...keep reading", that's the more important goal to attain!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Scripture Reading Challenge

Did you know...

If you read your Bible one hour a day, you could read the Bible in around 60 days from beginning to end?  

Did you know...

If you read your Bible thirty minutes a day, you could read the Bible through 4 times a year?

I've been thinking about doing a Read the Bible in 90 Days challenge for a while now.  Even to the point, I printed out some plans that have gotten quite worn in my Bible.  I mentioned it to my family today and by the end of the conversation, we all had decided to do a Bible reading challenge.  

I am doing the B90 reading plan, while JP is reading through the Bible one book at a time over the next couple of months.  Daniel printed out a read through the New Testament in 60 Days plan.  Tera and Michael decided to go a different route and read certain books of the Bible.  Tera will read through all the Psalms, Proverbs and the Letters of the New Testament.  Michael is tackling a chapter a day in Luke and Acts.  

We are planning on using this time to really focus on the Scripture and encourage one another.  

If you would like to join us, please comment below!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Staycation Days #5-7

Day #5:

We chilled out at home, watched a movie, went out to dinner at Cracker Barrel (Thanks to a very generous friend) and went swimming at the gym.

Day #6:

Chilling out again with a game day--Apples to Apples, Uno, Sketchy, and others.  More movies and puzzle working.

Our finished puzzle:

Day #7:  Hike at Fort Loudoun State Park

We went on a four mile hike together around the Fort Loudoun State Park.

It was the best "staycation" we ever had!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Staycation Day #4

Puzzle update:

Day 4:  Oak Ridge

We gave JP a day to himself, while the kids and I took off to Oak Ridge for the day.

Stop #1:  AMSE

Picnic lunch

Stop #2:  Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

I love it that my older kids were positive about going to a children's museum with their little brother! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Staycation--Day 3

Day 3:  Gatlinburg Day

We headed out to Gatlinburg nice and early!

First stop:  Ripley's Aquarium

Quite a few things have been updated at the aquarium.  We were very excited to see the Pearl Harbor exhibit.   

The jellyfish are my favorites...


Stop #2:  Donut Friar

We needed nourishment fast, so donuts fit the bill!  These were some awesome donuts!

Stop #3:  Guinness World Records

Oh my, what a workout!  We competed to see who could get the most baskets, speed tag, hulu hooping, drumming, punching, throwing.  Our muscles were sore for days!  (Well, at least mine were!)  It was worth it!  You get a wrist band that can be scanned to keep track of all your progress on the games. 

Stop #4:  A late lunch at Golden Corrall

Home after a tiring, yet wonderful day! 


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