A Run Down of Last Week

HMJ-Logo-500x484
I REALLY enjoy writing about our homeschooling journey and linking up with the Homeschool Mother’s Journal.  This link up is really what ignited my desire to start this blog.  Please take some time and read what other homeschooling mama’s are sharing about their home-schools, their lives, their walk with the Lord.  You will be encouraged, I guarantee it.  
 The typical format of the Homeschool Mother’s Journal is changing and I am very excited about it, however, this week I am sticking to the old way and using the writing prompts one more time.  
 So here goes……..A run down of last week.
 In my life last week…..
I realize that it’s Tuesday evening and I am just getting around to posting a review of last week, but it was a good week and so, I share. 
 It was good but also an unusual week.  We got snow!  It may seem crazy to point it out but we live in the lower part of SC and snow just doesn’t come around very often.  It was 70 degrees the first of last week, and then…on Tuesday night….we got approximately 6” of snow.  It was really beautiful.  Made me think of our days of living in KY.
snow
 
The whole family worked on some deep cleaning around the house.  We have more to do but it feels good to have accomplished something.
 Because of the snow, everything else was shut down.  Church was cancelled Wednesday night.  Upward practices were cancelled.  Swim team practice was cancelled…..
 In our homeschool…..
Despite the snow, we had school.  Public schools were out 3-1/2 days last week but not us.  I did agree to lighter days so that they could play in the snow but we are really wanting to stay on task.  I have to applaud my kids because they had a really great attitude and kept plugging away at their work.
 Leah is gearing up for a presentation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in her co-op literature class.  She is teaming up with a friend and they will be acting out a scene from the book.  She also worked very hard on a project for her co-op Biology class about the “Lady Jane” Tulip.
tulip poster
 
Wyatt is reading, reading, reading.  Much to do as a high school freshman. 
 Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Sometimes taking time off to play OR to get some much needed cleaning around the house is okay.  Lessons can be learned in EVERYTHING we do!!
 Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Nana came to visit over the weekend.  She hung out with the kids while my hubby and I went on a marriage retreat with our church.  He planned the retreat, as that kind of thing falls under his responsibility as Associate Pastor.   Such a treat to get away with other couples for fellowship and encouragement.  (Keep an eye out…I will likely be blogging about the retreat later this week.)  AND I got to eat at my favorite burger place at Myrtle Beach – River City Café.  So yummy!
rivercity
 
It’s true.  It really is all about the burger!!  If you’re ever in Myrtle Beach, give them a try.
 My favorite things…..
The weekend with my hubby.
 My kiddos favorite thing this week…
Snow!!! And time with Nana.
 What’s working/not working for us…
Staying on a cleaning schedule. I REALLY need to figure out a way to be more diligent in this area.  I so want to pass on good habits to my kids.  I’d love some tips if anyone wants to share!
 Things I’m working on…
My goal to be more organized.  Last week, while cleaning, I took on several drawers and cabinets in the kitchen and a shelf in the laundry closet.  Baby steps but I am getting there.
 I’m reading …
Still finishing up Lit! A Christian’s Guide to Reading Literature.  I’ll finish it eventually.
 I’m cooking…
I cooked ahead for the weekend for my mom and the kids to have while we were gone.  
 I’m grateful for…
A husband who loves me and wants our marriage to be centered on Christ.
 I’m praying for…
Friends and family who have heavy burdens.
 photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
Wyatt and two of his good friends have started a blog.  If you would like to be encouraged by young men who have a heart and passion for the Lord, hop over and take a peek at their site.  You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!

20140102-153337.jpg

 Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
 Joy to You!
signature6

What We’ve Been Up To

In my life recently…..
Happy New Year!  Yes, I realize that January is more than half way over.  It’s been over 2 months since I sat down to journal about our homeschool days.  I have thought about it.  I have planned on it.  And well….it just hasn’t happened.  Instead, life has happened and I am thinking that that’s a good thing.
 I hope it’s okay for me to do a quick rundown.  We spent the month of November traveling back and forth to our hometown visiting with my hubby’s precious 93 year old grandmother.  She passed away in early December and we are so glad that we had had those last few special visits with her.  She lived a long and wonderful life.  She had 8 children, 7 of whom are still living, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even a few great, great grandchildren.  Her legacy will live on for generations and I am so thankful that I have the privilege of being part of her family.
December was full.  In a good way.  We had parties and plays.  We spent time with family and friends.  We ate lots of yummy food.  My sister had surgery but has recovered well and is back at work.  Because she was restricted in what she could do, the kids and I went to her house mid-December and helped out with an event at her church called “Santa Express”.  This is an event where children from the community, who have been “adopted” by members of her church for Christmas, come for dinner and to receive their gifts.  What a day it was.  I think maybe the highlight of the season for me.
We spent New Year’s week in KY with friends and loved every minute of it.  We were able to see many people that became our family while we lived there for 6 years.
Our kids also had birthdays the first week of January.  They are growing up WAY too fast!!
In our homeschool…..
mathusee-benandme
School is really going great right now.  We are settled back into our routine and just really enjoying our school days.  Leah is studying Benjamin Franklin so we’ve taken a break from our History curriculum and are reading Ben and Me aloud.  What a great story. 
I also changed Math curriculum for Leah this semester.  We switched to Math-U-See.  We are reviewing the first part of the book at a rather quick pace these first few weeks to get a good foundation for how the curriculum is designed and how it works.
Wyatt is forging ahead with all of his classes.  His English class, through our co-op, will soon begin studying Romeo & Juliet.  He’s also working hard on a map Asia for Geography.
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
I am learning as this new semester, New Year, starts that I need to just enjoy each moment of each day.
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
All the normal places that are routine for us.  Co-op, ballet, violin, church, swim team, and we’ve added Upward basketball to the mix for about 8 weeks.  Wyatt is helping to coach and Leah is cheering.  They are having lots of fun.
My favorite things…..
Helping my sister at her church with the “Santa Express” event AND spending New Year’s in KY with dear friends.
My kiddos favorite thing..…
Being in KY for New Year’s.  They absolutely loved spending a whole week visiting with their friends.
Things I’m working on…
I don’t make resolutions but I do have a goal to be more organized in 2014.  Starting with baby steps – one shelf or drawer at a time.
I’m reading …
I am really embarrassed to admit that I have a few books I never finished last year.  So, I have  a goal to finish those and then read more this year.  So, right now, I am finishing up Lit! A Christian’s Guide to Reading Literature.
I am also finishing up Devotions From Genesis by Nicole Halbrooks Vaughn in my quiet time.  I have moved slow through this because it is just so exciting to walk through Genesis.
I’m cooking…
Healthier.  Or at least I am trying.  I have two new favorites.  Homemade, from scratch, tomato soup and Baked Oatmeal.  Also, Apple Butter Muffins.  All are delicious.
healthy food
I’m grateful for…
So much.  This list is long.
I’m praying for…
Friends and family who have heavy burdens.
A photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
My Upward Cheerleader!
leah-cheer
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
Joy to You!
signature6

Not What I Had Planned (our week in review)

In my life this week…   
The older I get, the more I learn that things don’t always go as planned.  Matter of fact, this happens more often than I really like.  This week is a great example of that.  It’s also a great example of the grace and mercy of God in our lives.  We had a medical issue that, thankfully, was not an emergency but it was an event that helped but my week into perspective.  I won’t go into detail in this post but you can read about it here if you like
So the “not planned” things this week were – the medical issue mentioned above, driving to the Upstate of SC for the funeral of a dear friend’s grandmother, cancelled swim team practices (okay, I’ll admit this was kind of nice to have something removed from our normal activity), and an extra shift at youth basketball concessions.  All of this made for an emotional week.  But God is good and He knew the plans for this week.  AND His plans are ALWAYS better than mine!! 
In our homeschool this week…  
 I am glad to report that in the midst of the “unplanned” things, our school days were able to keep mostly to routine.  I’ve said before, I really like normal.  The trip to the Upstate had us schooling on the road one day but isn’t that the beauty of homeschooling?  
In History, Leah is studying all about the Pilgrims.  We found an old episode of FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman on PBS where the kids were in Cape Cod during 1627.  It was cool for her to see how the Pilgrims lived, dressed, worked, etc. 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…   
This is nothing new but flexibility is key…..in life…in homeschooling. 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…   
Steven Curtis Chapman.  Laura Story. Jason Gray.  Friday night went to a concert put on by these three amazing songwriters/singers.  It was 3-1/2 hours of unending worship.  I imagine this is what Heaven will be like.  {smile} My hubby took lots of photos.  Here is a favorite of Steven Curtis and Laura Story singing “How Great Thou Art” – bluegrass style.  It was awesome!
 
concert
 
My favorite thing this week…   
The concert 
My kiddos favorite thing this week…   
The concert 
What’s working/not working for us…   
This week it was flexibility.  
Questions/thoughts I have…  
 I am looking for suggestions for K5 – 1st grade math activities.  Beginning in January, I will be teaching what I am calling “Arithmetic Arena” at our co-op for the younger kids.  We will be reading about math, playing games, etc.  Since I started homeschooling in 2nd grade, I am sure that there are resources that I am not familiar with.  Please let me know what has been a success for you and your kids. 
Things I’m working on…   
I am beginning a new adventure here on my blog as I have joined a book launch team.  I am super excited about the opportunity but there is much to learn to be sure that I cover everything.  It won’t be long and you will see the first launch that I am working on. 
I’m reading …   
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas – our class at church on this class has 4 more weeks so I am reading along with the class. I’m also reading a new devotional book – more on that really soon. 
I’m cooking…   
Not much in this crazy week but I have plans to make Apple Butter Muffins next week.  A Pinterest (of course) recipe. 
I’m grateful for…   
Our church family.  
I’m praying for…   
A sweet friend who is losing someone she dearly loves to cancer. 
A photo and, video, link, or a quote to share…  
I shared this photo on Instagram today.  These are my favorite and they are somehow better when you can get a dozen for $1.49.  I bought 2!!
 
cookies-2
 
At the concert Friday night, Jason Gray said,
Nothing is wasted in the hands of our redeemer.
Such a beautiful thought. I need to live my life with this in mind.
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
 
HMJ-Logo-500x484
 
Joy to You!
signature6

Milestones of the week

In my life this week…      Last Sunday was my Blogaversary!!  For two years now I have been sharing my heart and our homeschool journey.  I even got a gift!  My sweet friend Marcy over at Ben and Me made a new button for me to match the makeover I gave to my blog.  She’s really talented!! 
baskets for Robin
 What a blessing it has been to be part of the homeschool blogging community.  I love “meeting” new friends as we share our experiences as teachers and mama’s.  I look forward to continuing on this journey……sharing what the Lord lays on my heart. 
The kids have their first swim meet this weekend.  In light of this, we’ve spent a little extra time at the pool.  Friday morning one of the older girls on the team volunteered to meet us at the Y and help my kids to brush up on diving and strokes before the meet.  Her help is greatly appreciated and proved to be a huge benefit!!  Here are a few shots from the meet: 
EHL
1026 meet collage
 The rest of the week was a whole bunch of normal! I like normal!!
 In our homeschool this week…     Not much to report aside from the normal stuff.  Again, I like normal.    
Wyatt is reading Jane Eyre in Literature.  So far he is not really impressed.  Leah’s Literature class at our co-op is moving slowly through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are learning how to annotate — a skill I am not sure I ever mastered but really wish that I had.  Seeing how Leah picks out imagery, makes connections, etc. is a lot of fun for me.  It gives me a glimpse of how her mind works. 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…      We traveled to Columbia on Friday night this week to meet my mom and my sister & her family for dinner to celebrate my nephew’s 23rd birthday.
My favorite thing this week was…      Seeing my kids swim in the meet. 
Things I’m working on…     I’m the BoxTop for Education coordinator for our co-op so this week, I have been trimming and counting box tops.  November 1st is the fall submission date and I have a LOT to get ready to send.  This is a great way for our co-op to earn money so that we can buy supplies, etc.
I’m reading …      Still reading Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.  Kevin is leading a class on this book during our Wednesday night classes at church.  I am getting so much encouragement from the other parents in the class.
I’m cooking…     This week I made Broccoli Beef.  I forgot to take a photo but found the recipe on Pinterest, of course.   It was really good.
I’m grateful for…     The kids and adults that we are on swim team with.  The way that they encourage each other and help each other is simply precious to me.
I’m praying for…      My kids — instead of praying for change or help for them, I am praying a prayer of thanksgiving for who God made them to be.  This is a suggestion in the Sacred Parenting book.  I do this anyway but I am being A LOT more intentional about it.
photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
You cannot cultivate affection for the Savior without reading and studying the Word of God — C.J. Mahaney
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
HMJ-Logo-500x484
 Joy to You!
signature6
 

A 2 Week Recap

In my life this the past 2 week(s)…
It’s been a crazy, busy two weeks.  I really did sit down last weekend and start my journal for the week.  And then I got called away for something and well, I never finished it.  So now I am recapping for 2 weeks, which I, honestly, have a hard time remembering sometimes.  We enjoyed our visit with my mom weekend before last.  It’s always good to see her, however, as always, the kids were not ready to see her go.  I continue to be thankful that the Lord saw fit to move us back to SC a few years ago so that we can see family more often.
 
 Despite the fact that I often tend to over commit myself, both weeks went well.  They rolled along with our normal activities sprinkled with the fun of babysitting a sweet 6 month old three days over the span of two weeks.  I have always admired my friends with many children.  I now have a new appreciation for those who homeschool with a wide variety of ages.  Friday the 11th we took the day off from school to attend a ballet.  We took three of Leah’s friends with us to see Robin Hood.  It was presented by the Columbia Classical Ballet and was really good.  After the ballet, we grabbed lunch and headed to a park to eat and to have a little time on the playground.  Oh and I treated the girls to Krispy Kreme on the way to the ballet and to a Frosty from Wendy’s for each of them after playing on the playground.  They loved it but their mom’s may never let me take them for the day again.  {{smile}}
 
Last Saturday was spent with the whole family working the yard.  We have a long way to go but great progress was made.  Today we spent the morning at church in a training session for Billy Graham’s “My Hope America” that our church is participating in.  The rest of the day has been spent with a little of this and that.
 
In our homeschool this the past 2 week(s)…
I decided that our school work needed to not take place all over the house.  I think our week went better.  We seemed to stay focused and get things accomplished at a better pace.  It is taking some adjusting but it’s working.
 
Wyatt has finished To Kill a Mockingbird and is moving on to Jane Eyre in English.  In Geography, he is studying Australia.  He’s doing Rosetta Stone Spanish this year and really doing well with it.
 
Leah is still loving Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  She’s learning all about thousands and their place value in math and we are studying explorers in History.  She also studied very hard for an upcoming Latin test at co-op.  This is how we found her the night before the test.
 
leah sleeping
 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
We use Quizlet.com to make flash cards when we need help studying.  It’s a great resource.
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
Robin Hood ballet.  Dinner with friends to celebrate the husband’s birthday.
 
My favorite thing this the past 2 week(s)…
A chance to talk to a friend from KY on the phone.  We don’t get that chance often so it was nice to chat and catch up.
 
My kiddos favorite thing this the past 2 week(s)…
Babysitting.
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
Is it too early to start thinking about curriculum for next year? 
 
Things I’m working on…
An update to my blog.  Coming VERY soon. 
 
I’m reading …
Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas
 
I’m cooking…
Crockpot Lemon Chicken, Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy, and these:
 
apple cinn rolls
Easy Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls (I didn’t have the stuff for the caramel sauce so I made a powdered sugar glaze and they were delicious).  And they look really messy but they were REALLY good.  All of these recipes can be found on my “So Yummy!!! (now in our family recipe box)” board on Pinterest.
 
I’m grateful for…
Life.  My children.  My husband.  The grace and mercy of Jesus.
 
I’m praying for…
Two elementary age boys in our church whose dad was killed in a car accident this week. 
  
A photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
I am working my way through Psalms in my Bible study time right now and as I do, I am writing down the attributes of God.  As I came to Psalm 18 this week, I was a little more creative in writing them down.  This is the result:
 
attributes
 
 
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal  and Homeschool Review
 
HSMJ link up
 
Joy to You!
signature

A Museum and a Garden

In my life this week…
The week seemed to fly by. We spent last Saturday at the SC State Museum. It was Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day and all across the country participating museum’s had free admission. It was a lot of fun to see the history of SC. Here are a few favorite shots from the museum.
 
sc museum
 
Our week rolled along with activity and school work. My sweet mom came to visit on Friday so we took another “field trip” of sorts. We went to the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, SC.  It was really cool.  The garden is Mr. Fryar’s yard and an adjacent lot with lots and lots of topiary trees. Here are a few shots that my hubby took of the garden.
 
topiary
 
If you’re interested there is a documentary about him and the garden called A Man Named Pearl . If you have Netflix, you can watch it there.
 
Biggest news of the week is that Papa John’s Pizza is now in our little town. We are VERY excited about this. We came to love Papa John’s when we lived in Louisville and were sad when we moved to SC and found out that there was not one close by. Opening day was Thursday. Any guesses on what we had for dinner?
 
papa johns
 
 
 
In our homeschool this week…
Just when I think we have the hang of our schedule and work load, we have a really difficult week. That was this week pretty much from day one. I am really not sure why or how we got off track but we didn’t really recover from it.  
 
Leah is continuing to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She loves it. She is also working on an animal notebook for her biology class at our co-op. This week, Wyatt studied hard for an algebra test and an upcoming science test. He is also reading and annotating for English. He’s learning to find balance and how to manage his time as a 9th grader.
 
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…
Just because we were off this week, doesn’t mean that next week can not be better.
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
A museum, a garden, and Nana!
 
My favorite thing this week was…
 Seeing my mom!
 
My kiddos favorite thing this week was…
Having Papa John’s for dinner.
 
What’s working/not working for us…
I think that spreading out all over the house to do their school work is not really working. I am not sure how to solve this but I really need to think about it and figure out what to do.  Maybe it’s selfish that I say that as this is how my kitchen table looked for days…..
 
kitchen table
 
 
 Questions/thoughts I have…
Should I enforce school in the “school room”?  Or should I let them work/study where they feel the most productive?
 
I’m grateful for…
The little things.
 
I’m continuing to pray for…
Friends and family with health concerns. Friends who are dealing with difficulties in their marriage.
 
I rewarded my kids this week by…
Ordering pizza on Thursday night.
 
Something I am ogling or have my eye on…
 
A photo, video, link, or a quote to share….
You cannot cultivate affection for the Savior without reading and studying the Word of God. . ~ C. J. Mahaney
 
 Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey. I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.
 
HMJ-Logo-500x484
 
 
 
Joy to You!
signature

Our Week in Review (9/27/13)

In my life this week…
We had company last weekend which was a wonderful treat to see good friends.  They spent most of the day on Saturday with their college age son and called to let us know that they were about an hour away. As time got closer for them to arrive, Wyatt discovered that the mouse from last week, had been building a nest in his closet.  Our guests arrived to find the contents of Wyatt’s closet and things he had under his bed piled on one end of our school room.   I’m happy to report that we caught the mouse Saturday morning.  Yay!!
 
On a more pleasant note, I ended up with not one but two evenings out this week.  Both were a special treat.  On Monday night, I had the pleasure of having dinner with a dear friend.  It was nice to spend some time relaxing and chatting.  On Tuesday night, I was given a ticket to go see Kirk Cameron’s Unstoppable.  That was a real treat.  There will be another showing of it across the country, in select theaters, this coming Thursday night, October 3rd.  If you did not get to see it, or don’t know what it’s all about, you can get more info here on Kirk Cameron’s website.   
 
Violin lessons also started back this week for Wyatt.  I just love to hear him practice.
 
In our homeschool this week…
Leah presented her Sarah Plain and Tall project at co-op on Monday.  She made a movie poster to present to her class.
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
 
We’ve now moved onto Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Her assignment this week was to read the first five chapters.  She liked it so much that she read the whole book.  I love that she loves to read.
 
Wyatt has been working on his Africa map project that will be presented next week at co-op.  He made animals to go along with his presentation.
 
africa animals
 
 
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We took a family field trip yesterday but I will write more about that next week.
 
My favorite thing this week was…
Dinner with my friend on Monday evening.
 
Questions/thoughts I have…
I just discovered that I am the highlighted blogger for the week over at The Homeschool Mother’s Journal.  What a treat!  
 
 Things I’m working on…
Because of the mouse, I spent a lot of time cloroxing my counters.  I need to do a good wash down of all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen.  Maybe next week.
 
I’m cooking…
I made a childhood favorite this week – cube steak.  We don’t have it often but on occasion I crave it and it was really good.
 
I’m grateful for…
Friends that I can really talk to, sharing my heart and knowing that she will not pass judgment or discuss what we talked about with others!
 
I’m continuing to pray for…
Friends and family facing health issues.
 
A photo, video, link, or a quote to share…
During the live Unstoppable event on Tuesday night.  Warren Barfield sang a beautiful song.  It’s called “The Time is Now”.  Click here to see the YouTube video of it.
 
Thanks again for joining me on my homeschool journey.  I’m linked up with The Homeschool Mother’s Journal  and Homeschool Review
 
HSMJ link up
 
Joy to You!
 
robin2