Tuesday, September 15, 2015


September is my favorite month.  Yes, it's my birth-month, but I like it for more than that.  I like how the weather starts to change (in every place I've ever lived).  Here in Texas, the humidity starts to lessen and some days there's practically none.  We have had some wonderful September weather so far -- low 80's, low humidity, sunshine.  The best.  It's good for my soul.

Every year we have homeschooled until this one, we have always started our school year in September.  But this year, we started a month early.  So by the time September arrived, I felt like we'd been super productive already!  That makes this September especially sweet.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

First Day of School 2015-16

For the record...

O at the start of 5th grade.  His favorite subject is math.
J at the start of 6th grade.  Her favorite subject is science.
Z at the start of 8th grade.  His favorite subject is P.E., but writing is in second place.
H at the start of 10th grade.  His favorite subject is history.
S is taking a class at a local community college that started the same day!
Credit for this photo goes to O.  I bent down so he could get a better angle, ha.  I'm just hoping all goes well this school year.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer 2015 Update, Part IV-e: The Kids (O)

Last day of 4th grade.
Last, but not least is our small, but mighty little man, O.  He is ten ("and a half -- don't forget that, Mama") and though most people guess he's about seven or eight, we know the truth.  He's petite, but he's growing!  He may still fit in the same shorts from four years ago, but they're a little shorter every year.  And his attitude is definitely that of a tween these days.

O is still this incredible force of nature.  He's just an amazing miracle for all he has been able to learn and accomplish in spite of where he started out.  Most of the delays are hardly noticeable any more.  He still has a few cognitive/speech delays, but he works hard at getting better in those areas.  His ability to focus is a challenge, but we keep working on that, too.

Summer 2015 Update, Part IV-d: The Kids (J)

Last day of 5th grade.
Our girl, J, is officially a middle schooler! This simply cannot be.  Even though she's been going on 17 for a few years now, I am in great denial.

J is ten -- soon to be 11!  She tells me twenty times a day (at least) that she loves me and she has become a very gifted encourager lifting friends and family members up often and well.

Summer 2015 Update, Part IV-c: The Kids (Z)

Last day of 7th grade.

Look at that face!  Z is 13.  I can't believe this boy who arrived at 15 months old is now a teenager.  That's just craziness.  He may look tough, but he's still my teddy bear.  I'm not sure I'll ever let him grow out of that.

Summer 2015 Update, Part IV-b: The Kids (H)

Last day of 9th grade.
H is 15.  His growth took off over the past year and he's man-sized now.  It's freakish how quickly that happened and yet, it's extremely useful, too, since I'm only 5'3" and getting all my old lady traits in place.  When heavy stuff needs to get moved, I can call on our son.  When something on the high shelf needs to come down, I can call on our son.  All his usefulness is a good balance for his more surly teenager personality traits that have also revealed themselves to new levels in the past year.  Ha!

But seriously, he's a good kid.  He truly loves the Lord and seeks to grow in faith all the time. And he has worked at being more servant-hearted than ever before.  He is usually the first to volunteer when I need an extra job done around the house and he doesn't typically complain about it.  I love this attitude.

Summer 2015 Update, Part IV-a: The Kids (S)

I will do a brief update on each of the kids so that no one post is too long.

Celebrating 20 years of life.
S came back home last October and things are going well with her since then.  There have been obvious struggles of learning how to parent an adult child living at home, but our willingness to work at it and her willingness to extend us grace since it's our first time learning to do this have helped.  That and a lot of communication and prayer.

In June, we celebrated her turning 20.  We missed her last two birthdays because she lived elsewhere, so it was super special that we got to celebrate with her this year.

Summer 2015 Update, Part III: Homeschool, Part 2

So since I posted a couple days ago, I ventured into a "Mom's Night" with our new homeschool group and met six other local mamas.  It was a diverse group of ladies -- all of us Christian homeschool moms -- but I had something in common with each of them.  It was a pleasant evening getting to know a bit about each of them and just talking with some other female adults.  A rare treat!

Speaking of meeting new friends, I wanted to share a link to a great blog post shared with me by a long-time friend of mine specifically encouraging us to keep our (social) circles broken so that we can allow the Lord to work in us through the relationships we find and build.  Whether you are new to your community or have been there a long time, there is good counsel in this blog post for you.

I also wanted to follow up and just report that as a family, we have decided to start back to school on August 3rd this year instead of waiting until after Labor Day.  We have picked the date because it's when S will be starting back to school herself.  So the whole house will be in the educational mindset and we can support one another. 

This schedule is about four weeks early, so I have promised the kids we will take some shorter breaks throughout the year when the weather is nicer and we can get out and do fun stuff.  It's just so stinkin' hot in the summer here, no one wants to leave the air conditioned house.  So we might as well be doing our school routine.

Most everyone has a good attitude about the change of plan for this year and for those who are struggling with the change, we are praying they see the fruit of our choice in the months to come.

Finally, I neglected to mention math.  We are going to attempt to use Khan Academy this year.  We used it for S when she was in high school, but it wasn't nearly as organized then.  Back then, it was a list of educational videos and now it's a full-on curriculum online.  They offer other subjects, but for now, we are just trying the math.

So that's what I've spent some time this week trying to figure out!  Setting up student accounts and browsing through the lessons.

The ladies at the meeting had other great suggestions for math that I can check out if Khan Academy does not work for us.  The benefit of using Khan is that it is completely free.

Okay, I think that's all that I needed to add for the moment.  More on homeschooling to come as we jump into this next school year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer 2015 Update, Part III: Homeschool, Part 1

Our Seven Light Academy is entering it's tenth year!  We started off with S in sixth grade, thinking we might just do this for one year and gradually, all the younger kids joined us and one year has become a decade.  Crazy.

Summer 2015 Update, Part II: On Marriage and Family

I will update you about the kids in a separate post, but I wanted to write a bit about things going on in our family, in general. 

I love these people.