Saturday, September 24, 2016

Park Day!

Last week was a Homeschool Day at the Playground.
Our neighbor watched Audra while she napped.
I was thankful for the cooler weather so that the girls 
could wear long pants and sweatshirts (to keep any 
potential peanut residue off of them).

They had a blast!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

First Day of School

Has it really been over a month since I last posted!?  Where does the time go??  We started school on August 18th and I have been busy trying to keep up with normal every day things (I wish I could just get organized!). I've also had quite a few orders from my Etsy Shop to fill (which has been a blessing as I have tried to start some Christmas shopping. Every little bit extra helps!)

I keep up with a blog for my family (separate from this one), and I wanted to share my thoughts on our first day of school and our decision to homeschool. I hope maybe it will encourage others in their journey:

August 19, 2016

We started school yesterday!  Runny noses, sneezing and all!

It was a challenge getting pictures with the dim, rainy lighting...
and a 20 month old who kept creeping into each one!  Ha!

Dinah started Pre-K!
We are using an online "Getting Ready" course through
Easy Peasy.  There is also a physical workbook that 
goes with it that she colors, traces and writes in.

(A princess crown and high heels?  Why not!?  We homeschool!)

Eloise is in FIRST GRADE!  I know, we started her a little
young with Kindergarten last year, but she did really well.
This year we are using Sonlight curriculum, which is literature
based.  Since Eloise is an early reader (and lover of books),
we thought this would be a good fit.  

So far, so good!
She especially loves the Read Aloud time.  We are reading
Charlotte's Web and she doesn't want to put it down!


While Dinah took a little snooze... Eloise helped me make 
some "First Day of School Cookies"!

We split our first "week" into two days this week and
three days next week (so we can take some time to ease
into things and also be able to visit/help out with my mom
while she is still recovering, if she needs us).  After that
we'll be on a normal 5 day schedule.

I know I've said it before, but I am so blessed to be able 
to homeschool!  I was just reading in a book by Charles
Stanley (called "Waiting on God" - highly recommend!)
last night.. and this jumped out at me:

... the Lord allowed those negative circumstances to touch 
you because they provided an opportunity for Him to 
position you for greater blessing and to glorify Himself.
If you always keep that in the forefront of your mind, you
will be absolutely astonished at all the Father teaches you
and accomplishes through you in the course of your trials.

Looking back to when Eloise was first born, Cory was NOT
a proponent of homeschooling. Can't blame him, really.  It 
was not what he "knew" and it didn't make sense to him not
to send your kids to public school.  I hoped and prayed that
someday Cory would see things my way by the time Eloise
was ready for school.  Little did I know, a peanut allergy
would be the catalyst for Cory to agree to homeschooling.
I have a hard time being thankful for that peanut allergy.  It 
wreaks havoc in my ideal "normal life"... but looking at the
big picture... What is "normal" anyway?  Normal to you
may not be normal to me... it's what we make of life and 
where we put our priorities.  If you know my husband at all... 
education is a high priority to him.  And if you would've 
asked him 3 years ago if our kids would be homeschooling... 
it would have been a resounding, NO!  But as these past 
few years have shown us (through the trials of his dad's
illness and dealing with Eloise's food allergies), sometimes 
priorities change.  Yes, education and learning are VERY 
important.  But LIFE is much more important.  Keeping
Eloise home because of her food allergies may seem a bit
extreme to some... but to us, it is a way to keep her safe, 
especially in these younger years when WE are her caretakers.
We are responsible to keep her safe and healthy and guide
her to learn how to make good decisions on her own.
We are responsible not only for raising her up to make
sound, earthly decisions... but more importantly, we are
called to raise her up according to the scriptures.  So 
one day, whether it be 5 years from now or 85 years 
from now, she will know her Father in Heaven.  That
Everlasting Life is more important than our life here on
earth.  So, (if I'm not having a pity party food allergy day)
if you ask me if I'm thankful for that darn peanut allergy,
I will tell you YES!  Because through the many years of
anxieties of dealing with it, God has been working on my
heart.  I have been reluctant and have many times just 
flat out refused to listen... but He's continually working 
in me.  And because of that, I am able to train my children
up in the way they should go.  And if it took a peanut 
allergy to get me to where I am today... to where WE are,
I'd never go back to where I was before.  So again, I am
thankful to be able to homeschool my children.  To keep
them with me during the day.  To laugh.  To cry.  To play.
To make cookies.  To read.  To pray.  All of these things
I have ALL day to do with my children.  Not just a window
between breakfast and the school bus or getting home, 
homework, dinner, baths and bedtime.  ALL DAY!
I wouldn't trade it for all the money a job could give me.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Bread and Braids!

Things have felt a bit out of sorts lately!

I have been getting Eloise and Dinah's homeschool stuff organized...
(First Grade and Pre-K!)

As well as general upkeep at home, Cory with back pain from 
a herniated disc, medical appointments (good news, thankfully!),
a few custom sewing orders (HERE is my shop!),
and then my mom getting thrown from her horse a little over 
a week ago!  It's really put a kink in things, but thankfully my
sister's family and aunt (who live much closer to my parents than
me) have been taking the brunt of caring for my mom now that
she is home from the hospital.  Instead of taking the time to 
write it all out - you can read about the Horse Mishap HERE
(on my sister's blog).  My mom is healing and resting!
That's all we can ask for right now... and are grateful it wasn't
much worse!

Here is a little of what we've been up to...
The girls love to help me bake!

Delicious blueberry bread, made with coconut sugar, 
no eggs and whole wheat flour (and more!).

 Eloise and I enjoy making weird "squiggles" on paper 
and then seeing what we can create from them!

She creates a picture from my squiggle and I create one from hers!

We attended my cousin's wedding a couple of 
weekends ago!  The pictures from inside were 
pretty grainy... but here are a few from outside!
It was a beautiful day!

My parents gave me an Instax Polaroid camera for my birthday...
and I had fun taking some photos at the reception!

And I taught Eloise how to braid!
She was a quick learner!
(I'm talking, maybe.. 30 seconds!)

It has been wonderful having her want
to braid my hair all of the time!
Does anyone else love having their
hair brushed and played with?
So relaxing!

I think she's doing a pretty good job!
Summer's almost over!
Hard to believe!

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Celebration!

Last month Audra turned 20 months old!

And I turned 33!
I had a nice day out with my sister (a rarity!)...
and a nice evening with my little family.


We had homemade chocolate pudding pie...

And I got a few presents!

(Cory knows me so well!) :)

Hooray for birthdays!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Days

Holy Moly! 
It's been a month since I posted!
Time has flown.

 Eloise finished up Kindergarten and is enjoying 
spending her days playing with her sisters!

Audra turned 18 months old!
She says all sorts of words and phrases.
She is still a fire cracker (exhausting)!
And is very interested in the potty - woo hoo!

Dinah enjoys "reading" books, writing her letters and playing.

We got Eloise and Dinah bunk beds (but we're keeping them as singles for now).
Out went the old crib and toddler bed!  :(  It made me sad to see them go, but
we were able to get a little money back for the bed and the crib went to my cousin
who was in need of one.  

Audra is using the old crib/toddler bed that Eloise and Dinah have both used.  
They are all three sleeping in the same room now... which means Cory and I 
have moved out of the living room after 10 months!

We've been enjoying the cool, breezy days here with the windows open!
It's been nice to be able to go outside in the comfortable weather.
I also introduced Eloise to the game of LIFE (my old one... not sure what it's like
these days).  It's been fun playing when Audra naps!