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Necessary Endings Precipitate Beautiful Beginnings

>> 8.30.2011

I really can't take all the credit for that insightful title, although I did "spruce" it up a bit.  This comes from the title of one of Henry Cloud's newest books, Necessary Endings.  I heard him recently at a Women of Faith event and the phrase has been rolling around in my head ever since. 

It came back to me this morning as I was struggling with myself over whether or not to give my two- year- old his paci back .  You see, we had gotten him off of it earlier in the year but with the anticipation of the move he had begun to have terrible night terrors and our ped's doc scolded me after asking if he had anything else to comfort himself with and said, "[since he doesn't have any other security blanket] give him back his paci!  And don't take it away until you are good and settled in your new place."  With that, we gave him it back and the night terrors stopped.  {I was felt happy to be able to "comfort" my child.}

I'm struggling with this thought again this afternoon as I desperately want a Mt. Dew {I can feel the "calming" effects it gives me now=} and I keep telling myself "tomorrow"  i can "go off" of it. You see, I had also been off of that myself for months, and enjoyed the freedom from headaches that caffeine and major sugar buzzes actually give a person, but when the stresses of life had begun to add up -- I caved in and began "drinking" again.  {It really is an addiction-- and I felt happy to be able to "comfort" myself.}

And then, during our post lunch quiet time {start of a routine} today, as I'm reading through Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship, this thought was once again brought to mind as he says, "The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world.  It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death...Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.  When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." (p. 79, 2nd ed., 1960)

Hmmm...a necessary ending of me in exchange for the beautiful beginning of what Christ wants for me to be.  This sounds inspiring...but in reality it is painful.  Really painful.  And I'll want to give up.  And so will you.  {Because this won't always make me feel happy and comforted.}  But that's what true discipleship, truly following and seeking after the Lord, is .  It is not cheap-- but costly.  It cost Christ everything and, as a student is not above his master, so shall it cost us everything if we are truly His disciple.

I will be posting on this book regularly in the coming weeks.  Please join me in reading the book if you have never done so.  If you have, a refresher never hurt! lol.  Tomorrow I hope to post a little bio about this man who will be given the highest honor in heaven {as told us in Revelation} for he was a martyr.


Lessons from Anger, (Part II)

>> 8.28.2011

I can say I know for certain there are people praying out there for me because in a matter of hours, it's as if the Lord has put a salve over whatever wounds, past or present, bring this ugly thing of anger out of me and He's put a new spirit within me restoring myself to Him and to the ones I love all around me.  Now, I'm well aware that this is the way it is today-- and there is no guarantee for tomorrow with the issue, so I'm taking a minute to explore some basic principles to anger.  (These are not earth-shattering, but just something for me to come back to when this rears it's ugly head another day.)

1) Anger is not a root issue-- it is an expression of something rooter deeper.
2) Finding that "thing" rooted deeper is important -- not just important, VITAL -- vital to the health of all other relationships.  I must not seek this "thing" apart from Christ, because only in Him can I find the truth of whatever is so deep-seated that it continues to bring about anger in me.
3) Being truthful with someone else who is able to hold me up in prayer is important to "keepin' it real" so that there can be accountability. 
4) God gives grace greater than anything else...and where there is true grace, it leads me to holiness that continues to refine and mold me.  It's a slow process, but He's patient with me while I am being crafted into the masterpiece He is creating me to be: I can be patient with myself, too.
5) I must not choose to take this out on those around me, most especially my children. 

As to the last comment, I heard recently that developmentally children need a place to categorize everything or else their brain creates trauma due to the inability to process what is happening around them.  Obviously I am no where near a psychologist, but I am a mom who has seen the look in her little child's eyes that stare wide-eyed in terror as I get so angry that I pitch a spoon at the wall.  I know that there is no place for them to understand what just happened when they ask "can I have a drink" and I respond in anger.  It doesn't even really make sense to me!  I'm thankful to say that I have never physically hurt my children nor have I even considered it for a moment, but this anger that sometimes welds up in me causes me to understand how others may do something irrational and in a split second can change their whole lives forever.

I am thankful that God has created children to be easy forgivers.  No, they aren't "forgetters," save for the grace of God (I guess I've forgotten some similar stories so says my own mother), but they have been ever so eager to hug me and say "I forgive you" when I've come to them (and many times so lately) and asked for their forgiveness.  My heart hurts for the sin I've committed against them and against God and I pray there will be as few scars as possible from the words I've spoken and the actions I've taken in anger.  (Talk about "mommy guilt," right?)

Thank you, Jesus for my four beautiful children to whom you've entrusted to me while on this earth.  (I don't know why sometimes...=)  Help me to lean into YOU when I'm hurting so that I will not inappropriately take it out on others.  Thank you for the cross where I can lay it all down and you've promised to heal -- and where You've already granted forgiveness!! 


The Swirling Mire -- Anger (Part 1)

>> 8.27.2011

Wow—seems like forever—for me anyway. I was getting used to scribbling out my thoughts for the world to see. There has been a lot going on, as is the case for many who blog and then “disappear” for awhile, only to resurface again somewhere along the line. (Like my one of my homeschooling buddies whom I THOUGHT was done blogging, only to realize she just blogs during the school year—smart woman! Summer gets too crazy! Shout out to ya, Bec-mama!) This past week was one long disaster-- or so it felt. (Let's see there was the running over the violin...the melting of the food processor on the stove...finding sour cream and pork n beans on different occasions in the microwave days after they'd been used...hmm...and I just finished cleaning up shmashed zucchini from all over the kitchen sink, walls, beneath the sink: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME: zucchini peels do not belong in the disposal!)

Anyway, over these past couple of weeks a lot of emotions, thoughts, etc. have been running through my mind. I haven’t come to any conclusions about the swirling mess that is seemingly taking control of my brain, but I think…no, I know, God is leading me through it all just the same. {If I seem a bit distracted tonight, I am. I volunteered to take my first stab at bringing Sunday school “snacks” and I’m up against a tough crowd! These rural women bring like Easter brunch e-v-e-r-y week! So, I’ve got two kinds of zucchini bread baking {chocolate and, um, well, “boring”=} a blueberry crisp {that I’m actually doing a small test version on first because I consistently forget to write down and KEEP the one my mom gives me over the phone—which she’s done I think 3 times already} zucchini mini-muffins {I had three large zucchinis to use and the kids gobble up the minis} and getting ready to start sticky buns. {I’ll cut the fruit up in the morning and hope all that tides over the masses;}

Back to God’s leading. I discovered a pattern this past week—actually, my very bestest friends in all the whole world over discovered it for me. I had fortunately (Divinely, really) scheduled a meeting with my good buddies from seminary so our kids could get together this past week. During the two weeks leading up to this point I had begun to sink into what I (hate to) call my “angry mama mode”. Everything anyone did, said, tried to say, tried to even think, caused me so much irritation and well, anger, that I just exploded!  One of my friends asked if it was a particular behavior (i.e. someone actually doing something wrong) and sadly I had to respond, “no.”

(I just took out my first ever most perfect bread loaf!)

So I was lamenting my heart to them and one friend spoke to me the gracious words “do you think you could just give yourself a break since you just moved and everything?” and others nodded their heads in agreement. And then I said, “yeah, but if that were the case, why does this seem to happen every 18 months or so?” To which another responded, “because every 18 months for the past however many years you’ve been moving and changing.” And with that I paused, thought back, and realized she was right! Ever since I’ve had kids things have been changing and there have been frequent moves and transitions…burdens I think I’ve picked up and tried to carry on my own without even knowing it. And isolation is so easy. I mean, the inside type of isolation that keeps you from even acknowledging to yourself how you feel or what you are dwelling on. On the outside you may very well look busy and surrounded, but on the inside you are very much alone…

Well, that’s a lie, really.  And I’m beginning to realize this. I never thought about it before {as I said, I wouldn’t even tell myself that was how I was even feeling, right?!} It’s a lie only if you are a follower of Christ because as His child, I have His Spirit with me always. And as I’ve said before on here, His Spirit is specifically called “the Comforter”.  I must allow myself to be comforted by Him—which means I must bring everything to Him. This is truly not easy. It’s easier, so it seems, to wallow in the mire of ourselves, the sinful nature self-pitying self.

Through all of this there are two things which stick out the most:

1) How absolutely wonderful is the gift of my friends which the Lord has given to me. Though they might not be a minutes’ drive away, they are always close enough to lean on {isn’t technology wonderful? Though nothing replaces being in person WITH someone}.

2) The reminder that God created us for COMMUNITY! NOTHING substitutes the body of Christ for which He designed us. Yes, there is the Holy Spirit and Comforter which we desperately need like nothing else, but, while on this weary, tiring earth, God knew we would need each other. 

Thank You, Jesus for the truth of Your Word brought to light through wonderful women who are journeying with me. You knew I needed them this week and You fore ordained that we would be together. How cool is that?!?

I’d love to hear any praises you all might have from this past week. We need to encourage one another along our way…


Mama's Mission Update; Everything For HIS Glory

>> 8.18.2011

Even before this latest release from Steven Curtis Chapman came out, I have been able to see a distinct change in my perspective just due to getting into God's Word on a more regular basis.  (I'd say daily, but these last couple days of have been crazy and to be honest, it just hasn't happened!)  But I most noted the change yesterday when I was, for the 7th time during the day, once again filling the washing machine and I caught myself quoting the very verse that SCC's new song is based upon: I Corinthians 10:31 "So...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  I also read earlier this week one of Paul's writings (I've been all over the place in Scripture, so I'm not sure at this very moment as I'm trying to just write a quick post where exactly it was=) as he says he is spending himself for his children...that he is giving all of himself for his spiritual children for their growth and edification.  Whew.  I'm not sure I always (or even more often than not) spend myself for my biological children!  Needless to say, I sure have been in need of a change of perspective.  And I'm thankful the Word gives that to us as it promises to do when we seek THE TRUTH.

If you haven't already heard his newest release, here is the official video of SCC's "Do Everything."  Enjoy!


"Motherhood: the Guilt that Keeps on Giving"

>> 8.16.2011

As Julie Anne Barnhill would say, “Motherhood: [it’s the] guiltthat keeps on giving.” I honestly could never comprehend this phrase {mommy guilt} so when I had my second child and was attending my first Hearts At Home event, I thought, “Well, what on earth could I have guilt over in motherhood?” HA!  I just hadn’t been a mommy long enough to have acquired anything much of which to be guilty for -- yet.  All I needed was a little time.

And “time” I’ve now had.  I am just now beginning to understand this phrase “mommy guilt."  I’d say I now “completely” understand it, but I know there are moments in life yet to come that I have no ability to comprehend right now that will continue to shed light onto this phrase as I continue my journey of motherhood.  I know because I listen to the stories of those who have tread the path before me and who share with me their own stories of “mommy guilt”… some of those stories bear so much heart ache and pain.  Those hurts may have appeared to have healed only to be torn open again by a word, a thought, a song, a smell, a sight…and they are laid bare again. 

Julie Anne Barnhill wrote an entire book devoted to this idea, my title bore the title of her book:  Motherhood: the Guilt that Keeps on Giving.  Here is part of her first chapter:

“I consider guilt…to be a vast, take-your-breath-away, geographical landscape that will sit squarely in my backyard until the day I die…That’s why I make no promises of “conquer your guilt”…within the pages of this book.  I am so over thinking I can do the impossible – and then feeling even guiltier when I cannot. 

Yes, guilt will always be part of the mothering landscape. 

But pay attention, because this is important: It doesn’t have to dominate your landscape.  It doesn’t have to ruin your life…or rob you of peace of mind.  More important, it doesn’t have to erode your confidence and cripple your effectiveness as a mother and human being.

Instead of hunkering down under Guiltmore’s shadow, you can learn to scale her slopes and move on to where you were really meant to live—on the sunny plains of grace…” (21-22;189,190)

My own mommy guilt was added to today as I left the curling iron on to fix my hair later, only to have it dropped and picked up by my youngest.  After an hour of straight crying {from the babe} and trying to fix it with constant cool water, we ended up in the walk-in clinic nearby having a bandaged applied and having the doctor documenting that they had gone over the safety precautions with me.  Of course, I already knew what I had done was wrong…and had left my little one vulnerable to the possibility of pain.  And now we both suffer the consequences.  I am thankful his little hand will heal and there most likely will be no scars and he will be no worse off for it—only it will be added to the small {but growing} list of regrets that amount to my own personal “mommy guilt” mountain – “Mt. Guiltmore,” as Julie B. calls it. 

Satan would love to leave us there.  Using that guilt to remind us of how “bad” we are; how “horrible” we are; and surely God could not love us or use us anymore because of that! Right?  While there are no spiritual stigmas that I have attached to this particular event, Satan does use other events in our lives that do cause us great emotional and spiritual pain to be his inflicting arrows that he throws at us often. 

BUT, As Christ-followers, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us—Christ called him our “Comforter” that he was sending until we would one day be with Him again in heaven. {Why else would He have sent a “Comforter” if not that we would need to be comforted?}

Christ has sent us a comforter AND Christ himself came to die for just those situations that cause us all that guilt.  Galatians 5:1 says, “it is for freedom that I have set you free” {KPB—Kristen’s Paraphrase Bible}—This is the truth we need to cling to, and sometimes I really mean cling to minute by minute, when we feel all that “mommy guilt” creeping up on us.  When it threatens to make us shy away from doing the very things in life Christ has called us to do (live in community with one another, serve one another, love one another, etc.), then we need to cling to the Hope we have in Christ and allow Him to enter those painful places and give us healing and therefore we will be able to reflect His kingdom to others around us {our main created purpose}.

What “mommy guilt” are you struggling with today?  Place it at the foot of the Cross where Christ can place it upon Himself, for it does not belong to us once we belong to HIM.

More importantly, what did you do RIGHT today (or yesterday or the day before)?  Me?  I have been getting up before the kids {most days} and have been in His Word more…that is definitely RIGHT, always.


Partnering Up With a GREAT Company!

>> 8.11.2011

Child-1st Publications, LLC is a company I learned about through a fellow homeschooling mom who had MUCH more experience with many different types of learners than I and I was blessed to have received her advice on this! (And other things, too!)  If you have early elementary learners in your home {even if you're not schooling them at home}the materials this company comes out with are so much fun for children, you won't want to miss them.  I, personally, use their sight word program called SnapWords (which my husband had to inform me is because the kids learn them "snap", just like that-- I'm a little NOT snappy, I guess and a little slow on the draw, as they say.)  All their products are used to provide a more multi-sensory approach to including all types of visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learners.

Materials cover a wide range of approaches suited for teaching at home or just supplementing what your children are learning at school.  These materials are especially suited for "right-brained" learners, as I have said, and have found proven success with children who struggle with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, as well as any children who may register on the autistic spectrum.  As I said in my previous post, my kids really do love using the sight words and playing our sentence making games using the cards.  Child-1st Publications, LLC also has a math program but as of this posting, I really do not have much experience with it to review it well.  Perhaps that will come in the future! 

child-1st.com AND, I have to tell you, though I hope to have a giveaway soon from Child-1st, currently you can receive 20% off (through Sept. 5) all their educational products.  Click through my sidebar button (I learned how to do that today, too!=) and you will be sharing your product love back to me.  (I believe a legal disclaimer now has to be posted somewhere on here, sigh...all the hubbub around legalities...lol.)

Let me know what you guys think of these products-- I hope you love them as much as I!



My First Shared File!

>> 8.10.2011

Okay, folks.  So, I know many of you like ideas and resources for schooling your children at home because you are either a) already doing that or b) considering it and looking for resources just like I always am.  Well, I have a post in the works to share some of my most *FAB* resources, books, websites, etc., but today, I am most proud to be trying out a posting of my own {very unexciting} file to share: a word list that includes all of Child-1st Publications sight words

This list includes over 300 Dolch and Fountas & Pinnell sight words taking you from Pre-K - 3 grade levels.  I needed a way to occasionally "test" my children to see exactly where they are at in their sight word acquisition and this was the simplest way I could come up with.  (Much better than the ever changing sorting of piles "this one you know" and "this one you don't know"=)  Now I can test on paper and adjust their flashcards in an index box accordingly. (Don't ask me what I'll do if there is the same word they both need to work on at the same time; I only have one set of the Child-1st "SnapWords"!)

(BTW, Child-1st Publications puts out GREAT multi-sensory resources to help children in both reading/language and math skills.  I find the SnapWords, another name for flashcards, work great because they give a picture to help the child remember the word easier.  I do not use all their curriculum, although I have a friend who has and LOVES it, but I have loved using the SnapWords and so have my kids.  They always have fun going over their flashcards because they like the drawings and feel successful quite quickly.  Also, for me the cards give a systematic approach to learning the most commonly used words in our English language-- I love having direction and knowing where I'm going!  These help me in that way.)

Okay, so here goes nothing!  Let's see if I can figure out how to post my very first "printable!"  Use these lists to test up to three times, by which point I have found my children usually have attained them with mastery levels.


Hope this helps some of you!  Let me know if it does!


Culture Shock "Practical"

>> 8.09.2011

I realize I sort of slapped the common “Christian band-aid” over an issue that can really affect a woman’s life: moving.  I didn’t mean to do that at all!  But as soon as I pushed the “publish” button I thought I’d better follow- up with some practical suggestions to aid in the “culture shock” transition time.  Here are 5 {my mom} and I came up with:
1)      Acknowledge the hardship of transitioning to a new location/ministry for what it is (number 3 stresser in anyone's life!) and be graceful towards yourself and others.  Situational depression can be a very real result of such a major transition in life.  In recognizing the hardship for what it is, you can aim to recognize when your emotions may be affecting the way you are treating those closest to you and the way they are behaving as well.  Be full of grace towards all in the family!

2)     Use this time (that tends to be not as full schedule-wise) to do something you’ve always wanted to do.  Take a cake-decorating class or an exercise class at a local gym.  Spend more time reading stories to the kids or playing outside.  Have more date nights or try out new recipes.  Eat at local restaurants to learn more about the people and community to which have been called to minister to and alongside.

3)     Pray over church members by going through a church directory.  (This may also help you learn names and faces!)

4)      Cultivate a new spiritual discipline that has been lacking in  your life.

5)     Talk to your husband!  This is an important one (and not one to really go “last” in the list…).  He needs to know what’s going on inside of you to help give you more grace and to help you in objectively looking at your emotions and responses while you go through this time.  As most of us marrieds already know, communication is always vital to a peaceful marriage and home.

Also, Just Moved! is a ministry I came to know about a few years back through a Focus on the Family radio broadcast.  Susan Miller, a woman who has moved over 14 times in her life {she might know a thing or two about it!} founded this ministry to minister directly to the heart of the woman who has just relocated (for whatever reason).  Check out their website if you feel you may need a little more help sorting things out in this area or to aid in understanding those you are serving.

Let me know any tips YOU may have from your life experience on this: I sure could use all the help I can get! =)


If You Always Do What You've Always Done...

>> 8.06.2011

Mission of the Month

... you’re gonna get what you’ve always gotten.”  I’m not sure if this is the official quote, but it’s something like that.  I’ve been spending the last week thinking over what my mission for this month would be—and coming up with nothing really concrete.  Oh, there’s much to be done, but nothing that I could say was my “mission” (that word carries a heavy connotation for me.)  Well, today, as I was once again frustrated by the state of me and the state of my home, it became REALLY clear what my next month’s mission needs to be: daily disciplines.  (This is going to take far longer than just a month to “accomplish”!)  There are spiritual disciplines (which are definitely important to develop) and then there are just plain ol’ “every day disciplines”; such as not going to bed with a pile of laundry on the floor at the foot of your bed! =) 

The daily disciplines I’d like to develop are:

·     Waking up at a consistent time before the children get up (I absolutely abhor this one – I was not designed to face the world before 8 am—not sure why God gave me children that all love to wake up an hour earlier than that.)

·    Daily quiet time with the Lord (I will extend grace to myself to allow this to be even just 15 minutes!  That’d be a good start, anyway, as long as it’s DAILY!)

·    Kitchen counters cleaned before bed

·    My bedroom cleaned before bed (all clothes/shoes put away – you know, anything that may cause harm or personal irritation if tripped over during the night/ next day like two of my children did this last week=)

I could list several others, but I think this is a good start.  Perhaps more for next month, right?  Love to know YOUR monthly mission, mothers!  Accountability is good.

Mission Accomplished

** As for last month’s mission, I feel pretty good about where I got.  (I’d show pictures, but my lovely new camera was just broken due to an accident including falling from a counter.  Even in it’s case, it didn’t survive real well.)  I did three new Montessori activites with the two littles this past week, the last of the school forms/ plans will be finished this weekend and the school room design is completed.  We also just brought in the last of the boxes from the garage and they will be unpacked today.  Yea for surviving the first month after a move!!!! **


Can We Say "In Shock?"

>> 8.04.2011

Just days shy of one month in our new home (only an hour from our old!) and it has begun to set in: culture shock.  You laugh!  But I'm serious.  I knew it would happen...I guess I was just hoping it wouldn't-- again, considering we're less than 100 miles from where we were before.  None the less, it is a different culture here, baby, and the "honeymoon" stage of cultural adjustment is passing.  You know you're experiencing culture shock when you think (or worse, SAY) things like:

"Well, that's ODD," "you eat THAT here?" "You have to drive HOW far to get there?" "That's just not NORMAL" "That's not how NORMAL people say that" 

Of course, these are all thoughts that come from experiencing VERY MILD culture shock.  (I've experienced the international kind, this has been completely different.)  But I am still left with that feeling that says "I just want to go home."  Everything they do in the community is so different here and, as with any church, there is a new church culture that is very different from my previous experiences, too.  So, what's a person in ministry to do?

The stages of culture shock are:  1) Honeymoon 2) Rejection  3) Regression/ Isolation  4) Acceptance

It'd be nice if we could just skip over #2 and #3, but I don't actually think this is possible.  Like all things in life that are any kind of "trial," we must learn to lean into God.  It's sometimes easier to react in human pride and start asking all sorts of questions of God or just avoiding Him altogether, but that's never the answer as it leaves us more drained and empty than if we had just done what we were designed to do: cultivate a relationship with our Maker and worship Him -- like we studied just last week! 

James 4:6-8a says, "But He gives more grace.  Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you."

In completely contextual honesty (is that a real phrase?), this passage is a strong warning against worldliness that has seeped into believers' lives causing pride and selfishness to wage war within the Christ-follower.  But I do believe it applies to my situation today as I know that if I let the normal, to-be-expected emotional blues overcome me, I am giving Satan a foot-hold.  I can not wallow in self-pity or phrases of "I wish" this or that (another curse of mine is "the grass is always greener syndrome"), but instead draw near to God and allow Him to chip away at my old sin nature and refine me as I look forward to the FINAL day of refining; HEAVEN!  With this perspective in mind (the "citizenship is in heaven," perspective) I can have the God-given joy that allows me to be the wife, mommy, and daughter of the King that He wants me to be to "shine like a star" as a testimony for Him.  After all, this is truly what I desire.

So, what's a person in ministry to do when culture shock sets in?  What EVERYONE'S supposed to do every minute of every day He gives us: Draw Near To God, and let Him take care of the rest.

I leave you with this:  Philippians 4: 4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, REJOICE!  Let you reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-- practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

UPDATE:  Our newest family members:


Our First Day-- Scavenger hunt WITH DADDY!

>> 8.02.2011

As promised, I want to bring you a little taste of our first day of homeschool for this year.  For those interested, our main curriculum (should I say, "curriculi"? or something to that affect?) this year consists of:

  • Heart of Dakota,(Beyond Little Hearts; a Christ-centered curriculum that combines the ease of "open and go" with Charlotte Mason style bent to it-- if you're familiar with those terms=)
  •  Alphabet Island phonics (a crazy lil' fun curriculum I "happened" upon through Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks site
  • Math Mammoth (Singapore-style mastery approach, no-fuss, PRINTABLE, LOVE IT, math curriculum)
  • And lots of odds and ends with Montessori activities for the little ones
I already showed you a couple pics of the beginnings of an organized school area, so, here are some pics from yesterday.

Wasn't able to have the kids help (we had gotten home the night before at 10:30 from a church swim party!) so I ended up decorating them myself-- with less than I'd thought I had in my pantry=)  Kids LOVED them anyway!

Kids decorated a space of their own with their grade written next to where they are standing.  Our school "name" is still really "under contruction."

"Little Lady" and "Buddy" marking our first location on their maps -- HOME! 

Stop #3, a friends' house close to the church.  They are trying to coax out one of our VERY SOON TO BE new family members...hmmm...any guesses?

A stop around our small town would not be complete without a stop at our ONE park.  After having to run up and slide down all four slides at the park, the kids found a "stage coach" upon which to rest a bit.

The closest library.  (Side note, I made an inside trip today-- it is closed on Mondays -- and I was given the patron number of 0619...hm...does that mean what I think it means???)

After a healthy breakfast, we stopped here for the beginning of lunch: ice cream!  A fun locally owned ice cream shop that if you ever stop by, we'll be sure to treat you to!

(And, of course, if I included a pic of Daddy, I must include a pic of myself.  I thought this one was a better choice than the one of ME eating a cupcake in my pjs=)

After our rousing 2 hour scavenger hunt, we ended the day with an intro to our new workbox system we're trying out this year, a bit of journaling, and chores.  Today was onto a bit more serious school work and tomorrow the fun REALLY begins as we add in a few more subjects to our regular day than the boys have ever had to do.  We'll see how it goes!

When you get there, be sure to let me know how YOUR "first" day of school goes for this year!  (Even if it just includes having to get them dressed at an insanely early hour and sendin' 'em off to school on a bus!  Even those mornings can be crazy!)


Anyone Gotta Comment?!?

>> 8.01.2011

AHHHH!  After (what feels like) hours of wasted time, I've yet to even FIND the code "they" say is there to replace it with the RIGHT one in order to let you all comment.  LOL.  I think I may need to upload a NEW template.  Please be patient.  Pics of first day to come...tomorrow?=)

Thanks all!


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