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.