Monday, September 2, 2013

Our End of Summer Mini-Vacation

It was a busy weekend.  Our Labor Day weekend started on Thursday.  Due to the kids making such great grades and completing their units early this month we made a trip up to north GA where my husband was working last week.  Our choice of destination was LaGrange, GA.  We did however, go to Pine Mountain and Thomaston as well.  Thursday was just a day of getting ready for the trip and then we were able to leave mid afternoon to venture on up.  We took AnnaBelle by to be boarded.  This was our pooch's first time being boarded so this pooch mama was a bit on the nervous side for her.  We got to the motel and we were exhausted.  Thankfully ole Dad was there to pick up the slack where this mama was tired.

We rested well on Thursday night.  We got up and went to IHOP for breakfast.  That was DELICOUS!!! We headed to the Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange.  That was very informative for my husband and I.  Noah(9) enjoyed it.  Sarah our 7 year old little diva was hot.  All of us were hot.  Most everything was outdoors with this center but like I said it was a wonderful place.  We are doing Mystery of History Volume 1 this year for our history and this was a perfect place to visit to get myself more knowledgeable about the time period we're studying.  Here are a few pictures.

This is what homes looked like back in Old Testament Times

Old Testament burial

Noah checking out New Tesament burial practices

Noah was sitting in the judge's chair.  Mosaic law was very strict. This seat was sitting just inside walled cities and a judge would be sitting and waiting on anyone who entered the city.  Thank God for Jesus and Him being the one and only true judge now.

On Friday when we were done at Explorations in Antiquity Center we went and rode to Camp Thunder and to the Flint River.  We waded in the river full of rocks and it was a stream and absolutely GORGEOUS!  It was very peaceful too.  More pictures. :)

When we got done at the river we rode up to Camp Thunder.  My husband's uncle works there so we rode around and found a house with a cute little sign that said Gooden.  We knew we were at the right place.  Hubby went and knocked on the door and his uncle came and answered.  We got out.  We've not seen hubby's family in several years.  I would say it's been 4 years because I know our youngest was very small.  We had a nice visit.  We left and went to Chili's to eat.  About half way through us eating another relative of my husband's walked in.  His Aunt Peggy and Uncle Ronnie.  We enjoyed talking with them and we planned a visit to their house the next day.  The next day we went and spent the morning there fishing.  Caleb caught a 6lb largemouth bass in the lake behind Aunt Peggy's house.  He thought that was just the coolest. I don't have a picture on my camera's memory card but I did post one on Instagram.  I will see if I can post it here or at least a link.

After we left there we ate a sandwich lunch on the way to the Wild Animal Safari.  I would say apart from the big fish catch this was the highlight of our weekend.  This was very neat.  I recommend parents of young children to take their kids to this if they live closeby and even if they don't.  This is an unusual and not so common experience to have.  What we did when we entered the park is we rented a van. We had to wait approximately an hour to get our van.  Then we went on a mile long excursion.  The van had open windows with bars so the animals couldn't completely put their heads inside the vehicle.  The mile wasn't this straight road.  It was up and down hills and so you couldn't see what was on the other side of the hill.  It was awesome and just very interesting.  Here are some pictures.

We had a lot of fun.  When we left the safari we rode up Pine Mountain.  We rode to the highest elevation and stopped.  The kids have wanted to see mountains.  We've decided that we aren't taking our usual family vacation to the mountains this year.  We're saving so that Larry can work at home at the beginning of the year.  Here's a few when we stopped on top of the mountain.

I look rough but in my defense we had just left the un-airconditioned safari and it was mid 90s.

We headed back to the motel.  We stopped by and got a pizza.  Then we let the kids swim while Larry and I ate pizza by the pool.  Kids ate later.  They were tired and rested well that night.  To some this will not be a lot.  The most important thing to me is #1-I was with my family who mean the world to me.  #2-Not far away from the house but a change of scenery.  Makes me thankful for my home! #3-Refreshment to start a new month on my toes with renewed strength from the Lord.

So thankful for the sweet little family I have and the caring, considerate, supportive, faithful, loving, CHRISTIAN husband I have.  In a world where there's so much unfaithfulness to spouses, arguing between spouses, bickering and bringing children into the affairs of the mom and dad I am very thankful that we have a no drama family.  I pray to God that it stays this way for the most part.  I realize that with teenagers it won't be completely drama free but Bless God it won't be because I haven't tried.  I strive to keep a peaceful home full of mercy, grace, and forgiveness.  In order to do that we must have Jesus at the center.  We're not perfect but we surely strive for Jesus to be at the center of it all.

I am reminded of an awesome song called "Jesus At The Center of It All" and I leave you with that.

In His Grip,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Schedules and Routines

I have schedules and routines that my family and I follow.  The kids and I thrive off this routine.  We wake up at the same time every day.  We go to sleep at the same time and we eat at the same times every day.  Yes there are days we may get up a bit later or go to bed later.  It all works out.  I have a "no later than" bedtime for them on the weekend.  It depends on our activities as to what time they go to bed.  I am not one that just lets them stay up until they go to bed on their own.  I'm not one that will let them sleep in until they get up.  Some say I'm crazy.  Some say that THEY want to sleep so they let the kids sleep.  I say 8 hours of sleep is enough for me.  I go to bed at 10 every night and have recently changed my wake up time from 5 to 5:45.  5:45 to 6 I get up and woke up.  I get "dressed to shoes".  This is a flylady thing.  I make my bed and either sit on my bed or go out on the front porch for my devotion.  It just depends on my mood.  This morning I sat on my bed.  By 6, I am equipped for the day spiritually.  I take care of doggy duty and then by that time it's 6:30 and I go in the kids' rooms and turn their lights on.  This signals them to wake slowly and they have their clothes laid out and they get dressed and come join me outside on the porch for a time of prayer and devotion.  This one particular thing just makes the day go so much smoother.  I've tried it both ways.  The days with starting out my day at the feet of Jesus and then encouraging my children in the Lord turn out to be a lot more filled with joy,

The kids must do their morning chores.  They are assigned by age appropriate items.  All three of them are supposed to make their bed, gather dirty laundry and take to laundry room, and keep their rooms picked up.  Noah unloads the dishwasher, responsible for doing two loads of laundry per week, and he feeds our outside dog Ginger.  Sarah wipes down the bathroom daily, changes trash, and keeps the living room tidied up.  She also hand washes any dishes that may need washing at any particular time.  Caleb feeds our outside dog Rocky, makes sure they have water, gathers dirty laundry, and makes sure the trash cans in bedrooms are always emptied out.  They do all of this and eat breakfast before 8AM when they start school.  While they are doing their chores, I am doing my morning routine and prepping for school that particular day.

8AM Sarah does workboxes, Noah does his math teaching textbooks(on computer and self led), and Caleb and I do his phonics and math.

Caleb does workboxes, Noah does LA and workboxes, and Sarah and I do her LA and math.

We take a break and have a small snack.

Noah and I review his LA and Math that he has done and we correct anything he got wrong and take spelling tests then if there is one


12: Lunch and piano/guitar practie


Free time on Mondays, Tuesday free time, Wednesday baths for church and then free time, Thursday is music, Friday free time.  Free time includes outside playing, movie(if weather doesn't permit outside play), board games playing the wii, playing the kindle, playing on Time4Learning,, ABCMouse(Caleb), extra practice on anything they may need

Chore time/Fly Kids task and I work on zone work on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays-Thursdays we're at piano/guitar and karate

Bath/shower time for kids while I cook dinner

Dinner, eat, and dinner clean up

7:30PM: Devotion, read to Caleb, teeth brushed, tuck kids into bed and pray with them

8PM: Lights out, no exceptions

8-10PM: This is the time that I take for myself.  I read, watch TV, put in a routine for the next day if it's different from the usual, and look over the agenda for the next day, and take care of the usual bedtime routine....I take my shower at night so I don't have to wake up earlier in the mornings.

10PM: In bed no later than this time!!!

Monday: Karate at 4:30

Tuesday: First Tues of every month CCCHE mtg at 3, Karate at 4:30, and Girl Scouts at 6

Wednesday: Church at 7PM

Thursday: Guitar/Piano at 2:30 and Karate at 4:30

Friday no extracirriculars!!!  Yay!  Hubby is home so we spend LOTS of time with him Friday and Saturday!!!

Now I know what you're thinking!  I could NEVER do that!  Well are your kids always cranky?  Are they always hungry?  Do they stress you out? Are your kids' behavior bad?  Are you unfocused?  Find yourself drowning in housework?  How's that working for you?  You should give this a try.  Now with that said I tried to do what others have told me they do and it's obvious it's not working for them but they seem to not want to change it.  I tried sleeping a little later and just waking when I fully wake up.  Then I tried staying up until I was sleepy and go to bed.  Yeah that totally did not work for me.  Plus doctors tell you that a good 8 hours of sleep is healthy.  Eating your meals at the same time every day and eating a full meal or eating 6 small meals a day which I have to do because of sugar level drops for me.  Maybe you need a routine.  I'm not saying this is the solution for everyone but I do know that this has worked for me for years.  It's taken a while for me to get on it just because I had 3 kids under 5 years old.  I've at least tried and when it became something within reach I was able to do this.

I get the "I don't know how you do it" comment all the time.  Wanna know something?  I don't do it.  It's not me.  I completely rely on the Lord to help me through every single day.  I am daily dying to myself and letting Jesus shine through me.  Dying to self is a hard thing to do because we humans are SELFISH.  As Joyce Meyer said on the program I was watching this morning, "God doesn't ask you to do something that you can't do."  He equips the called.  He doesn't call the equipped.  I never had any goals when I was younger.  I just wasn't taught to have goals.  I never dreamed of being a bride.  I never dreamed of being a mommy.  It wasn't that I didn't want children.  It's just that I was never taught to dream and make goals for myself.  When the time came to be a wife, it was a great experience and God has blessed me with the most amazing man.  When it came time to be a mommy I just took it and ran with it.  I had no guidance.  I had no clue.  One thing I knew though is that God provided everything that I needed to be a wife and to be a mother.  We have to follow that path though.  He makes the path for us.  It's our choice whether we choose the world's way or God's way.  What you may think is God's way may not always be but it will look like it.  You see I don't do this alone.  Some would comment and say that I have an amazing and supportive husband.  I would say that even though I do have that for sure I don't totally depend on him to make me happy.  I look to the good Lord for guidance and then if it needs to be presented to him, then that's when I will ask him what he thinks or even his permission if that's what the situation needs.  I do put him before myself a lot but that's what we're supposed to do.  We are selfish beings.  We have to be INTENTIONAL about putting others before ourselves.  This is what God commands us to do.  I live to be an intentional wife and mother.  For me it's working.  It may not be the solution to everyone's problems.  We can be for certain if we were a little less selfish and a bit more compassionate towards others, we would all be in a better place spiritually, mentally, and even physically.

We must die to self for God to use us in the way He intends for us to be used.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gifts Week 2 Part 1

As said before I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I really highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to appreciate the small things in life and I mean really appreciate them and get the fullest affect from them.  It's really sad we can't do this on our own but I think the human minds we have just won't allow naturally for us to do this.  We have to be intentional about it.

Week 2 Gift #1: My vehicle affords me to go places that my not so long ago ancestors weren't able to go.  I think back to us going to the mountains and to the beach.  Not so long ago it was a big thing just to go to the river for even my grandparents and parents and we lived almost on the river.  So I am thankful for the vehicle I have so that I can take my family and I on adventures to enrich their education and help them to learn by seeing and not just reading about it in a textbook.  All three of my kids are visual learners so going and doing is their thing and this is the best way that they learn.

Week 2 Gift #2:  Sitting on my front porch in the early morning I am able to watch the sky light up blue and then pink and orange.  I am thankful for the eyesight God has given me so that I can enjoy his gift He gives us each morning and evening as the sun rises and sets.  Thankful for my good vision as well.  I see almost 20/20.  I don't think we realize what a gift good vision is until we know and love someone who has almost no vision.  My son is almost legally blind.  One eye is very weak and the nerves to it are shutting down.   We do  daily therapy on the other one to keep it from going that way.  And.....we pray for a miracle of healing.  We receive it.  Now we look for it to manifest.  In the meantime he(my son) goes on about his life being thankful for the vision he has.

His mercies are new every morning!  Praise God!

It's not so bad......

Sitting here out on my front porch on this breezy August afternoon makes me so thankful for the summer that we have had this year.  Yes it was an unusually wet one.  Some days I wanted to just sing the song "Rain Rain Go Away".  Then I was reminded of the years that we begged and prayed and begged and begged for rain.  Local churches even had services just for prayer for rain.  I didn't sing the song.  I want my kids to be thankful for what we get.  Yes we can pray for the rain.  I just don't feel like we need to pray for the rain or sing for the rain to go away unless we are literally floating away.  The thing is though even through all this rain, we are still making it.  We are dealing.  We didn't die through it.  LOL!  The Lord promised to us through a rainbow that He would never flood the earth again.

With that said this is kind of how life is.  Going through the moment of hard times we think it's the most horrible thing.  Then when it's all over and done with and we look back we see that what we were going through wasn't so bad after all.  There's always someone who is going through something that is a little more severe than our problems that we are dealing with.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Small and insignificant but still gifts......

Today the kids and I talked about who Helen Keller was.  I used her life and how determined she was to encourage my children. It seems that when the older two are challenged at any level whether it be a little or a lot they just stop trying.  I've prayed for the Lord to show me a way to encourage them and to let them know that giving up is not the answer.  I did not realize that Helen Keller went on to get a college degree, learned to talk, and actually gave lectures as well as became an author.  Wow!!!  We watched The Miracle Worker which is a movie about Ms. Keller and Ann Sullivan.  Those two women were very strong and I can only hope that I can be half as strong as them when I face obstacles and trials in my life.  They are two amazing women!!  After we got done learning about Helen Keller we read about the people of Egypt.  That was interesting.  The kids were then tired of sitting and listening so we took a break, ate lunch, and they went outside to get on the slip and slide.  I was sitting on the porch.  The kids were out in the yard in front of me and I was just enjoying watching them have so much fun.  Sarah came up to the porch first and showed me her feetprint.  Then Noah came up and was showing me his.  And then followed my little Caleb.  I am so thankful for all three of them.  Realizing the small things that are really insignificant has really made me more thankful for my children.  I did not realize I could be any more thankful.  It's really possible to be more thankful.  Just try it.

#3 gift: Inspirational people: The story behind Helen Keller and the woman who helped get her there Ann Sullivan is truly inspiring.  Really and truly I am thankful for all inspirational stories of people past and present.  They encourage myself and my kids.  I think it has helped both of them to see the challenges that they went through but still made the best of what God had given them.

#4: Wet feetprint on the cement of healthy and happy children...MY children!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My gifts

On Monday I started my One Thousand Gifts devotional.  I have read through most of the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and decided it was time for me to get the devotion book.  Yesterdays devotion talked about the thin wafer blessings and the bread blessings.  Throughout the day even though I had a lot going on I was reminded of what I had read and decided whether the blessings I saw through the day were thin wafer blessings or bread.  I noticed a lot of them were small things which are the thin wafer blessings of course.  Many were the bread as well.  It's an amazing transformation process to find the small blessings in life and call them gifts.

Gift #1

My front porch

This doesn't seem like much but recently I have found myself out there a lot.  I am house training a puppy and she is having a hard time so when we go out I make it a point to sit down.  I have moved chairs to the front and even bought a small fold up table and put a tabletop tiki torch there so I could light it and the mosquitos stay away.  Those things are bad this year with all the rain.  With all the rain I hear the rain frogs constantly especially at night when I go out there right before going to bed.

Gift #2

Rain frogs

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum choices

There are lots of choices for curriculum.  It is just overwhelming to say the VERY least.  Thankfully I think I've found my groove(for now) with my 4th and 2nd grader.  As for my little Kindergartner, we are already ordering something else.  All About Reading program isn't working for him.  It worked GREAT for my daughter who is now 2nd grade but he is ready for phonics and the activities are just too easy for him in what I'm doing.  I just ordered Explode the Code Books A, B, C and 1 and 1 1/2. I have a feeling that we will be done with all of these by Christmas.  This will be fine with me.  The only thing is this is the baby of the family I am teaching and I have reservations about hurrying him up to read.  It would do me if he didn't quite "get it" until the middle to end of first grade like my daughter did.  I don't think this is going to be the case with this boy.  He had such great Pre-K teachers last year and they have taught him so well.  They drilled those letters and letter sounds in him and he has retained this information very well.  I'm not complaining.  It's more like a long drawn out whine because I know when he can read, that's it. He's a big boy then.  It hurts my mommy heart but it also excites me that he is doing so well at retaining information.  He's like a little sponge so I know anything I teach him right now will stick.  I can't wait to start the Explode the Code books with him.  Even though I "whine" I am proud of him and I am going to try and take this next stage in life for him as just that, a stage.  There will be many more I know and I must get used to it.  I long for another child but it's just not the right time.  I hope in the future we will be able to have another baby.  Now is just not the time unless the good Lord has other plans.  We will take that with open arms but it most certainly won't be planned.  For now I will enjoy my three blessings straight from Heaven above.  I am so thankful for them.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hand of protection

Never doubt the power of God or the hand of protection that He has over His children.  On Sunday night we were headed to church and was running a bit behind.  We enjoyed an afternoon nap and got up late.  As we passed by Holt's Bakery right before downtown a small blue car come speeding at us going the wrong way.  It shocked me!  Immediately chills went up my spine as I realized how close we had just come to a fatal accident.  A high speed car chase is not something you see every day in the little town of Douglas, GA.  But low and behold there is was right in front of us.  They were probably going about 100MPH.  As I pulled over I started to pray for the people that this car would go by.  I prayed that God put a hedge of protection around everyone traveling that road.  About the time I was finished three police cars came by with their lights on but no sirens.  They were going probably 50MPH and probably due to it being in the middle of town.  Had I not pulled over, that car would have hit me head on.  I know God had His hand of protection on us.  This was a close call.  As far as I know nobody was hurt but I have no idea how far they had to chase this car before they stopped them.  When they rode by us, you could smell burnt oil so the motor was about to go out I'm sure.  

Tonight I want to praise God for protecting us from such a careless person.  This could have turned out very bad but praise be to God that we are safe and sound at home tonight.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

No Facebook August

One of my good friends have been instructed by me(actually I asked her) to log in to my Facebook account and change my password and DO NOT give me the new password until September 1st.  Yes I did it!  I actually did this on Monday I think.  I can't even remember now.  I want to show myself that I can do without social networking for a month.  My prayer in doing this is I am hoping that I will go back September 1st and be able to use it as a tool and not a hinderance to my being a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher, friend, daughter, sister, grandaughter, etc.  There have been several groups that have been a blessing to me on Facebook.  The Good Morning Girls Bible study groups have been a Godsend.  Being a homeschooling mom, there are really no Bible studies available for moms who have children with them during the public school year.  I prayed for about a year and come upon Good Morning Girls by being connected with some ladies from being on the CafeMom website.  We have since mostly dissolved from that website and moved over to Facebook.  We found ourselves spending too much time on Facebook.  I have been convicted about this quite a few times.  I have attempted to fast from FB but never gave anyone my log in information and told them to change my password.  That was a huge step for me but it has been a blessing.  Nothing but a blessing.  I've been able to be more productive than usual.  I was able to control getting on FB and spend endless hours on there however I was on it through the day every time I got a notification on my phone I had a tendency to put whoever is in front of me (and most of the time it's my kid)s on hold.  I am working on not even answering text messaging or the phone if we are schooling.  Yes I at least answered text messaging but I'm trying to prioritize and this is something God has laid on my heart.  It's all about mindset and it's about what our hearts are really focused on.  I want my heart to be focused on the things of God and the people who need Him.  I want to be so caught up in those things that I don't have to say anything to prove that I am HIS.

I am so excited about what God is doing in my life.  I am also excited about what God is doing in my children and in my husband.  I've been a Christian since I was 6 so it's not like I am a newly saved on fire NEW Christian.  I have a renewed desire for reading the Bible and not just reading it but studying it and getting to know God through His word better.  I care more about winning souls into the kingdom than the latest fashion style or the latest gossip about the couple who is divorcing because the spouse cheated on the other and got pregnant or got them pregnant.  I have no desire for glamorous Disney World vacations and neither do my children.  We don't glamorize Christmas either.  It's a holiday that we take to celebrate Jesus' birthday.  It is a sacred time for our family.  It saddens me and I know that it saddens God's heart for the way Christians have treated His son's birthday that He sent to die for us.  It's completely commercialized and all the focus goes on getting things.  Christians play a big part in supporting the commercialization too.  Yes Jesus may be mentioned but everything else is so magnified.  He is the King of all Kings. He should be honored and reverenced.  I have no desire for a vacation every 3 to 6 months a year either.  I don't know about you but I don't remember where I went on vacation or what I got for Christmas when I was little.  What I do remember is helping my mom on Christmas day bake and cook and we went out to my Grandparents and spend the rest of the day out there.  We played softball games and had a good time!  That is what I remember.  I remember the time spent with family.   I have no desire whatsoever to be "in the loop" to know all the juicy gossip about everyone.  When I hear of a genuine need I pray but I don't ever discuss that with anyone else.  If the person who requested prayer wanted everyone to know, then they would post it all over facebook.  LOL!  Now that is how to get things started.  For most situations this is not the case.  People usually stay quiet about their personal needs.  The way it gets spread is that people gossip.  There are so many wholesome and good things that I could think to talk about and when I walk into most conversations it's about the above mentioned or something similar.  I usually don't stay in that conversation because I just don't want to be a part.

My desire is to be less of me and more of Jesus.  I want to be an encourager with my words.  I want to be a breath of fresh air for those hurting or those that are having issues.  I've been through quite a bit.  I am hesitant to share but I believe that this is the month for me and that God has led me to a No Facebook August because He says it is time.  There are some parts of my life that I am still not ready to share.  There are others that I have just recently shared with my immediate family.  I believe that it will be a blessing to someone so stay tuned. :)

Peace, Mercy, and......*gasp* contentment

Lately I have noticed that if it's raining outside we complain that we can't go out to play.  If it's not raining then it's too hot.  I'm trying to be better about not complaining and saying anything negative about the weather or anything else for that matter.  It seems that our human minds tend to focus on the negative.  It's been an unseasonably cool and wet summer and I've heard this comment often.  When it starts to come out of my mouth I bite my tongue.  I don't want my children picking up on my discontentment for everything.  I want them to focus on what good is in the day.  I would like for them to have the creative minds to figure out what to do with themselves on a rainy afternoon.  They are old enough to entertain themselves and by the way I'm not talking about watching a movie.  I mean serious productive ways to pass the time.  Go through a drawer in their room and organize it, play a board game; you know things like that.  I wrote in my thankfulness journal every day of the month in July.  I've been drawing closer to the Lord as I find things to be thankful for and do less complaining.  Besides, the things and people I complain about are not really my business and there's nothing I can do about the situations.  When faced with that type of situation we should ask  the Lord to reveal who we need to encourage or who we need to serve.  I've found that serving should be something that Christians make a point of doing.  It's an amazing feeling.  But we must do it with the right heart.  I've often times noticed that we as humans may do something for someone else expecting something in return.  Jesus wants us to serve expecting a harvest and nothing more.  I am reminded of the saying "We reap what we sew."  Give someone your time and God will bless you with more time.  Serve at your church and you will find your church serving you.

I am so thankful for the peace that God gives me through these lifte lessons.  I have so many more that He has taught me but I just don't have the time today to name them all.  I thought I would just post one a day.   I hope that this little tidbit has been encouraging for the readers.  If ever my posts seem condemning to any of you, just know that I was preached to first and I was taught the lesson first.  I have had some major spiritual growing pains lately.  I have did some Good Morning Girl online studies in Proverbs 31, Colossians, Advent Study, and we just did a book study on the book Anything by Jennie Allen.  They have all been amazing but this last one with the book study has really changed how I look at myself.  Without Jesus I am nothing.  It's Him being in me that gives me the ability to do what I do.  I allow Him to guide me in each step in my life.  No I'm not perfect.  Not even close but I strive to live Christ like as I can get.  I love everyone and I hope that in the next few weeks my posts are an encouragement to all who reads.

In His Grip,


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our annual Honor's Night -May 9, 2013

Our honor's night for our homeschool group is always a blessing to me.  It starts out with Kindergarten graduation where the fathers give the children their diplomas and turn their tassels and if they want they can give them a kiss on the cheek and a hug.  Last year I was able to experience this and it was very precious to me to watch my husband give our daughter her diploma, turn her tassel and give her a kiss on the cheek.  She was so proud!  After Kindergarten graduation every family who wants to comes up and the father introduces them and gives certificates for completion of the grade finished.  The children or the family as a whole does something special if they so wish.  My husband always has something very sweet to say.  He is such a blessing to me.  This year Noah who is 9 played Amazing Grace on the guitar and Sarah who is 7 played two songs on the piano.  Caleb who is 4 recited The Lord's Prayer  with the help of daddy.  Then after all the families went up front, we went and had a delicious meal and fellowshipped together.  Here are a few pictures that I would like to share from this special night.

Noah played Amazing Grace

Sarah played two songs on the piano for her "talent"

My husband was sitting with Caleb while he was supposed to be reciting the Lord's Prayer :)

I was one proud mama that night and I still am today.  My husband and kids make me proud and it's by God's grace we have made it through another year.  I look forward to continue doing school with my children in the fall.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  Nothing can even come close to comparing to the relationships homeschooling has helped me to form with my children.

Caleb's Pre-K Graduation-May 10, 2013

This night was a very special night and our friends and family made it special.  Caleb graduated from Pre-K at Douglas First United Methodist Church on May 10th.  He is our yougest of 3 children.  We aren't sure he is our last but he is for right now.  He plays the role of yougest well.  I don't know what God has planned for our family later but I am leaving that door open for God to have His way.  So with the fact that he may be our last child to graduate Pre-K I was full of emotions and this was a very special night but very bittersweet.  This night marked a new chapter coming in my life and his.  He will be officially starting school this coming fall and I will officially have three children at home with me homeschooling them.  I think I am going to like it better this way though.  Caleb was so sweet and I am so proud of him.  He led in the Lord's Prayer and he got a special award for recognizing all the letters of the alphabet.  Here are a few pictures that I would like to share with you.  Thanks to family and friends who attended and made this night extra special for Caleb.

Surprise for my kiddos

What a blessing it was this morning to go and attend China Hill International church in Rhine, GA!  Our friends and former youth pastors at Covenant are now there pastoring and we just told the kids that we were going to visit the church to see our friends.  We just decide to go visit sometimes.  We   didn't tell the kids what was really going on.  We pulled up and Sarah asked what the big bus was doing there.  I told her that we have a surprise for them.  There were some special visitors inside the church who were going to do some neat things.  Noah and Caleb tried to figure out whose big ole bus that was.  We walked in and there was two tables set up.  One table was merchandise from Africa and the other table was orphaned and vulnerable children to be sponsored.  We went to see the Amani Children's Choir from Uganda.  The following are some pictures a video or two that I took when we were there.

The kids were amazed!!!  They were the most harmonious group of singers I have ever heard in my life.  It was certainly a blessing to see these children who have come from Muslim backgrounds in the care of loving Christians and know the love of God.

This was an exciting morning for the kids but the excitement hadn't ended there.  We left church and came home and rested.  Then we went to Jennalee and Jamie's birthday party at Just Jump.  It was fun.  We stayed there until it was time for church hanging out with friends and getting sweet kisses from Baby Henry.

A good friend of mine just had a baby a few weeks ago and tonight was his baby dedication at church.  Henry is very special to our family as is his family.  My oldest child and Henry's big brother are best friends.  So here are some pictures from Baby Henry's sweet and special dedication.  It was definitely sweet.

Look at that sweet baby!  Love this family!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Update on Noah

Good afternoon!  I apologize for not getting back here sooner.  I will go ahead and get to the point.  We went to see the orthopedic doctor and Noah got casted.  It's not because he could see a whole lot on the x-ray that the ER doc missed.  He could see a slight disfigurement with the bone close to the growth plate.  There was a chance of him falling and injuring worse.  It sounded like to me he was saying that it would kick him hard while he was down.  It would injure him for sure if he fell on his wrist.  He also told me that if his son came in with an injury like Noah's that he would cast it just because the cast is indestructible.  The splint?  Not so much. We will go back Tuesday May 7 to get his cast taken off and for a repeat x-ray.  We have a really busy week next week.  I will get to everything we will be going through next week later.  Right now I am going to focus on getting ready for a yard sale I am participating in May 11.  I have a lot of going through clothes to do and a lot of labelling.  I will also be selling some books and such as well.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Noah's Trip to the ER

Thursdays are park days with our homeschool group. It's a time for my children to connect with other kids and have some fun.  It's also a time for me to relax and have adult conversation.  We were nearing the end of our park day on this past Thursday which would be April 11.  Noah come walking up to the shelter area where us mommies were sitting with a mouth full of dirt and his face all scratched up.  He was not able to hardly talk and Sarah my daughter age 7 told me he had fell hard.  That's all I remember her telling me and she said she didn't see it.  I started to question Noah about where he hurt.  He told me his arm.  He could hardly hold his head up muchless his arm.  His arm was swelling and turning blue fast.  I asked him some more questions.  Te moms there with me were wonderful.  One got me a bottle of water for Noah as he had dirty inside his mouth where he had fell and hit the ground. One went to get baby wipes out of her car and another one pulled them out of the pack for me and gave them to me while taking the dirty ones from me so I wouldn't have to worry about taking them to the trash.  Shortly after I decided to take Noah to the ER.  Another mom and friend of mine offered to keep his younger sister and brother with her at the park until I found out something.  I called my husband on the way to the hospital to let him know what was going on.  As far as I knew he was on his way home from work from Alabama and he had told me it would be late that night when he'd be home.  He was a mile from the house when I called him so it worked out so that he could go up to the park and get the kids and brought them home.  That was a blessing to me. Come to find out Noah had been swinging in the swing and in midair he decided to let go of the chains and put his hands in his lap.  He lost his balance and flipped out of the swing backwards falling approximately 5-10 feet from the ground.  When he told me that I silently went into panic mode.  I swear his pain response resembled a head injury.  I wasn't as concerned about his arm as I was a head injury to be honest.  He never shed one tear.  He moreso acted confused and incoherent.  While in triage he was confused acting and couldn't even tell her his pain on a scale of 1-10.  I explained it to him and he still didn't understand.  They put us in the fast track waiting area and shortly thereafter came to take him to x-ray.  I stood outside listening to my child cry out in pain and there was nothing I could do about it.  By the way we've never had broken bones, stitches, surgery or anything on my children so this was something new to me.  Although I did fracture the bone in my elbow shortly after getting married while ice skating.  That was a painful thing.  It was REALLY painful to get x-rays so I was certainly sympathetic with him and just cringed at him crying out in pain.  When they came out of x-ray she asked me if I told them he could possibly have a head injury as he was very sleepy in x-ray and had to sit down half way in between having them done.  Again, I really believe that this was his pain response which really scared me bad.  We got see though and found out x-ray showed just a sprain and no break.

Fast forward to today and this morning he woke up in tears.  Now mind you he hasn't shed a tear the whole entire time, not even when it happened so that concerned me.  I had to give him pain medication today as well.  We have called the orthopedic doctor and have an appointment with them on Wednesday April 17 at 1PM.  I have a sneaky suspicion that something didn't pick up on that x-ray or maybe between the x-ray and now that he may have injured it more/worse than what it was initially.

We shall see at the appointment and I will update you all on that when we find out.
Good evening!  It's been a while since I have put up an entry.  A lot has happened between the last time I posted and now.  For starters I enrolled my 3rd grade son and 1st grade daughter into K12 program which is a virtual cyber academy.  It's basically online homeschooling through a public schooling system.  It has not worked very well for us so we are going back to independent homeschooling.  I did attend a Real Refreshment Retreat last month and that is what sparked me into going back to the independent homeschooling.  The frustration I have had with a few things dealing with GCA(Georgia Cyber Academy) has pushed me over the edge.  I have done a lot of research and bought here and there some things.  I've saved some free stuff on my computer and I am hoping that we can mostly use what we already have here at the house.  With that said I have a lot that I know we aren't going to use.  My goal starting in June is to really get my 2013-14 year planned.  I will have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and Kindergartner.  I am excited where God is going to take us on this homeschool journey because I have completely given this over to the good Lord because He is the one who called our family to homeschool and He is the one who is going to lead it.  He has already revealed many things to me.

Something else that has happened is my good friend had her 3rd baby boy.  My youngest is 4 1/2 so that baby sure has had some good sugar.

We have also been corresponding with our Compassion sponsored child.  It's been fun and interesting.  

I have bought the homeschool planners from Apologia. I bought The Ultimate Homeschool Planner and three Student Planners from Apologia for each of my children.  I can't wait to start putting entries in there for next year.  I am so excited.  I am so thankful for the ladies I met at the Real Refreshment Retreat.  I am thankful for park days with my local homeschool group. I'm thankful for friends who don't judge me.  I'm so thankful to be part of a Bible study group on FB called Good Morning Girls.  I've met some very sweet ladies and we've did many Bible studies together.  I am currently studying Proverbs 31 and Luke study Part 2.  It's been a great journey!!!  I encourage you if you do not read your Bible daily that this would be a good way to get in the habit of doing this.

It's my bedtime so I must turn in.  I will come back and post about our field trip we had last Friday and about the trip to the ER I had to make with Noah on Thursday evening.  That will be for another time though.  They are both coming.

Friday, January 4, 2013

January 1 - 4 My Thankfulness Planner and Journal

For 2013 I bought a The Thanksfulness Planner and Journal for Wives and Mothers from  I love it!  It's very simple and takes me about 5 minutes to complete but it keeps me thankful for what I have. It helps my focus to be on the positive things and not the negative.  It helps me to remember the good things in my life.  I fully recommend that everyone find 5 minutes of time in your morning to name the things that you are thankful for.  Keep them in a journal.  You MUST write them down though.  Date the page.  You will find you are thankful for the small things more than you are the bigger things.  America has really went downhill in the past few years. I refuse to let my family fall into that category of going downhill.  If we go down with the world, how can we be a light to shine for those in the darkness?  I am THANKFUL that I stumbled upon this journal.  It really makes you thankful for the small and seemingly insignificant things.  My plan is to write a post once a week on my thankfulness journal, to write my thoughts and feelings and me filling in these blanks.  By the way the journal is FREE as an ebook on the website mentioned above.  Take advantage of it!

January 1
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.  2 Corinthians 9:15
Today I am thankful for: family.
Today, I am thankful to my husband for: being a Godly husband and father gladly providing for his children and I.
Today, I am also thankful for: health.

Today I get to:
-Spend time with my Jesus
-Let my husband know how thankful I am to be his wife
-Love on my children and show them how grateful I am for them
-Keep Skyler
-Have lunch with my family, parents, and grandparents

January 2
We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.  Colossians 1:3-4
Today I am thankful for: rain and health
Today, I am thankful to my husband for: putting up with nonsense at work.
Today, I am also thankful for: my parents, grandparents, my sister, BIL, church family, and pastors.

Today I get to:
-Spend time with my Jesus
-Let my husband know how thankful I am to be his wife
-Love on my children and show them how grateful I am for them
-declutter my boys' room
-spend this day inside with my kids
-pay bills
-plan 2 week menu
-write grocery list

January 3

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Today, I am thankful to God for: friends, health, happiness, and contentment.

Today, I am thankful to my husband for: his staying firm in his beliefs and being happy with the way he is even though a lot of people don't like it.

Today, I am also thankful for: my children and the priviledge to be able to homeschool them.

Today, I get to: go to Just Jump for Kids and let the kids run off some energy with friends and spend time with my friend Amanda.

January 4
And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel.  And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.  Ezra 3:11

Today, I am thankful to God for: my home.  It is a beautiful place.  Also for the safe community that I live in.  It is so peaceful and not so crowded.

Today, I am thankful to my husband for: for taking the kids to town and getting a few groceries for me so that I can have a few moments by myself.

Today, I am also thankful for: the ability to put up with my children and the fact that I look forward to doing school with them no matter how difficult it may get.

Today, I get to: 
-Spend time with my Jesus
-Let my husband know how thankful I am to be his wife
-Love on my children and show them how grateful I am for them
-clean my house
-spend time with my kids and husband 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Our Compassion Child

We will have more info within the next month but I am excited to say that we are sponsoring a child from Haiti through Compassion International.  We sponsor two children through another company.  We have not been able to correspond with them as much as I would like.  Since my children are getting older I want them to be able to write them letters and get letters back at least once a month.  Not only will it be a great thing to correspond with the children we sponsor but it's great practice in grammar and punctuation(coming from the mom who home schools)  During the Christmas season it's easy to focus my children to giving and on Jesus.  I was in search of something for the rest of the 11 months of the year.  I think this is an awesome way to keep the focus on others.  This should be our focus all 12 months of the year and not just in December.  We will certainly be serving others more, doing more for others, and just be a more giving family in the name of Jesus.  Our child we are sponsoring is in Haiti and he is 4 months older than Noah.  Our goal is to sponsor 3 children in all and them all be gender and age of our children.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good morning!  Today will be an easy day for us.  Wednesday always is.  It is rainy outside so I have declared this a movie day for the kids.  I think that I may work on my declutter project an hour or two today breaking up into 1 hour increments.  I am so trying to get my home decluttered and organized this year.  That's really my only goal apart from just being a better person all around. 

New Year's Day was mostly spent at my parents' house.  We kept Skyler since his parents had to work that day.  He is always such a pleasant baby.  We stopped keeping him back in October. It was just too much to do it full time but I always enjoy keeping him every now and then when they need me.  We got to mom and dad's about 11 I think.  Maybe a little earlier.  My Granny Smith was able to come as well as my mom's parents, my Grandma and Grandaddy Walters.  It's always such a blessing that I am able to spend holidays with my grandparents.  That means that my children are able to spend time with their great-grandparents.  All of mine but one had died by the time I was old enough to remember them.  Some died when my grandparents were children.  I find it as a blessing to be with them.  They are all Godly people and I love my children being able to get to know them and hear them talk about Jesus and know that we have Godly heritage.  We had a delicious lunch.  Dumplins, sweet potatoe surprise, turnip greens, and other delicious New Year's food.  One thing is for sure. We ate very good yesterday.  We sat around and talked enjoying each other's company.  We left around 3 and took Skyler home because his mom had already got off work and was home.

Last night we had our family devotion.  This is something that we have wanted to do for a while and we have on and off but my husband and I feel that it's very important that we do this.  We are also going to be doing a study on the book of Luke.  I'm doing this with an online group called Good Morning Girls.  It starts January 14th and they are doing a study for kids too so I am going to participate in both.  They have free ebooks of the studies which I think is awesome.  The study is called Live Like Jesus.  I can't wait to start the study.

Something that is brand new to Noah, Sarah, and I in 2013 is the fact that we have completely changed our homeschooling.  They are both enrolled in Georgia Cyber Academy which is K12.  They start January 14th on that.  We are all excited about it but a bit nervous too.  I'm mainly ready to get into the groove of things so I can set a routine.  I'm a very scheduled person and I have found that my kids thrive off routine and schedule.  They are the type that they have to know what is coming next.  It's very beneficial to them.  We already have all of the school materials and can't wait to get started!