Friday, August 31, 2012

Hi-Tech Love Notes

As full as our lives are in this "season," there are some days where it seems the only way my husband and I get to converse is via short text messages or emails.  Between trying to find a few quiet moments to have an actual, uninterrupted spoken conversation and being too exhausted to talk or listen when we finally get there, I'm glad technology has given us the ability to touch base with one another throughout the day without a lot of extra effort.

Throwing a Hammer

I've blogged previously about how I'm beginning to notice certain ways our sons are becoming more like their dad.  This morning was one of those moments where one son might as well have been his dad standing there talking to me.

The three boys were upstairs playing Legos when J finally roused herself from bed (before 9:00 so miracle of miracles!) and decided to join them.  If there is one thing I've learned, it's that if the boys are playing nicely together, introducing a female into the mix will always create chaos.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

FREE Psalm 139 NIV Printables

Okay, so our family be starting back to school -- home school -- in four days.  The curriculum I've been working on all summer is nowhere near complete.  However, I have enough to get us started and plan to continue working on it a couple weeks ahead of when we'll need each week's plan in place.  Then, we'll test out the plan.  I'll tweak the plan as we go.

By the end of the year, I hope to be able to share with you a really incredible human study curriculum that can be combined as your primary science curriculum for a school year or as your core curriculum if you need a break from more history-based curriculum, as most homeschoolers generally seem to follow.

6:45 AM - 9:00 PM

That's how long S was at SOM yesterday. 

She was dropped off just before 7:00. She did prayer group, she did classes, she worked on school work with classmates, she attended the evening church service -- served in a ministry and took notes on the message, which she has to turn in -- then she came home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Quickie Post

My day has flown by and yet I don't have much to say about it. 

However, it is my parents' wedding anniversary today.  Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hard Work & Challenges

I will tell you that SOM is absolutely kicking S's butt right now.  She has got so much homework from there added on top of what I assign her towards finishing up high school homeschooling requirements ... crazy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet Moments

I think in most of my stories, Z comes off as a bit rough around the edges.  He is.  He's a boy, though, so I figure some of that comes with the territory.  However, I think I've also mentioned what a good teacher he can be and how sweet and gentle he is -- deep down.

Today, was a good reminder of this side of him.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chile Festival

This is New Mexico, so of course we have a chile festival.  Our state question is: red or green?  Do other states even have a state question?  Weird.  Anyway, there are actually a few chile festivals here, but the biggest is hours away and we have yet to get down there for it.  So we opted to attend the free chile festival locally in Albuquerque, which occurs annually to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekend Journal: Prompt 8

Some people think homeschoolers are anti-government.

This is not true -- at least for our family.  We may not always agree with the policies and opinions of the government, but in fact, our leaders are constantly in our prayers.  For the most part, I find that if we understand (and teach others) about government -- both here and abroad -- we are more apt to appreciate and respect the system and structure that governs many aspects of our lives.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Type 2

I was reading a post today in one of the blogs I follow and it mentioned the Enneagram.  I'd never heard about it before, but the post had me intrigued, so I did a little more digging to learn more.

Generally speaking, from what I understand (by skimming a few sites), it's a personality test used often in organizations to determine a person's fit within that organization.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not the Favorite

I've grown pretty used to being the second favorite parent in this house.  I mean, I think it's pretty common if moms work at home that kids are excited (and relieved) when dad finally arrives to give them a break from too much mom-time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

In The Light

I am having a glum sort of day.  It happens now and then.  So to cheer myself up, I thought I'd reread some of my old posts from my private blog (that hasn't gotten much action since I got more involved with this public one).  I came across one of my favorites (posted July 2009) and I thought I would share it here with you...

Goal Update

It's been a couple weeks (or more?) since I did a goal update, so I thought I should take another look at how things are going on that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday's Musings

They say we learn something new every day.  If this is true, then I'm stockpiled for weeks with what I learned yesterday!  It was a crazy day and here's what I learned...

Homeschool ebook Sale: 53 for $25

Hey Homeschoolers!

Be sure to go TODAY to check out Mama Jenn's site for this incredible bargain...

The sale is today (8/21/12) through Saturday (8/25/12) only.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


So, S got back from her School of Ministry Retreat on Friday.  She had a great time, in spite of all her pre-retreat jitters. I knew she would.

She is the baby of the class, but one of two 17-year-old girls.  There are a few more in the 18-20 age range (boys and girls) and most of the class is 20-30 years old.  But, there are also a couple guys in their late 50s, early 60s, too.  So very diverse, which I think will make for some great theological discussions based on the different viewpoints and experiences.  I know S will have a lot to offer those conversations just because we have been talking through (and reading) a lot of theological stuff together for years -- and she has had quite the life experience, too.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekend Journal: Prompt 7

This weekend's journal prompt was inspired by a blog post made by Bethany, which I read, about the funny things strangers have said to her about her adopted son.  I was able to relate to this post easily because over the years, strangers have said the funniest things to us, too.  I'm amazed at how bold some people can be when they don't know us.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nature Discovery: Toad on the Driveway

Our kids love discovering some "wild" animal in the yard or the neighborhood and then calling me out to take pictures of it.  You'd think I was offering some kind of prize for the first to tell me about a sighting with the way they hurry in to get me.  But no, they just know I like taking pictures (as evidence, not because I'm any kind of good photographer) and so that is prize enough, I guess.  Better than bringing me a bouquet of hand-picked wildflowers, in a way.

A Word About the Weather

I keep hearing about this drought of Biblical proportions around our country this year.  It's a scary thing!  Especially considering the outrageous numbers of wild fires recently.  My prayers go out for those who have lost homes or loved ones because of the fires.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer is...

... so long since our regular school schedule that the kids start doing educational stuff (of their own accord) for fun!

An e-VAN-tful Day

I mentioned how we were getting the van back yesterday from the shop -- which we did -- but it took much longer than anticipated.

C went to pick up the van from the Transmission place mid-morning after a week of being in the shop.  He says it shifts into overdrive now (again) and does so smoothly.  It was getting really frustrating that its top speed was about 45mph and that was really challenging the engine at that.

Freebie: Homeschool Planning Pack

I haven't gotten my act together enough yet to get some self-created printables out here in web-world.  So for now, I'll just share some links with my homeschooling readers (or those considering homeschooling) that I have discovered and find useful.

Here is a FREE homeschool planning pack brought to you by Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling.  If you are just getting ready to start homeschooling for the first time or the fifteenth time, this pack is a great way to organize your ideas and goals for the school year before diving in.

And actually, if you cruise around the whole website, she offers several free homeschooling printables and resources for your use.  Check it out!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Life Skills

I think most parents naturally teach their children a variety of life skills in the everyday occurrences of life.  However, lately, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of life skills and with one daughter a year away from adulthood (and possibly leaving home if her plans of joining the military come to pass), I was starting to wonder if we have taught her enough of the right kinds of life skills.

Little Tiny Cars

Well, I guess we are officially a homeschool family (as if there was any doubt).  The kids have fully adjusted to our 14-passenger van as a normal-sized vehicle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Boy's View

As I delegated jobs this afternoon, I had Z go up to pick up the loft playroom.  He went willingly and after about 20 minutes he came down exhausted.

"That is the last time I will ever pick up Barbie's!" he said.


In life, goodbyes are plentiful.  They are something that cannot be avoided and yet, they can bring with them so much emotion, pain, sadness, growth and transition.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Encouragement for Homeschoolers

As a homeschooling family, it's easy to be hard on ourselves from time to time about the level of education our children are receiving.  I don't have a fancy teaching degree and though I put my heart and soul into learning in order to teach, I don't always know what I'm doing or how to teach every subject matter.  It's easy to feel frustrated, especially on those particularly tough days when no matter how much preparation I've done beforehand, the kids are just not ready in spirit to receive the lesson.

And I start to wonder ... is it me?  What am I doing wrong?  And doubt sets in about my abilities to teach them adequately.

Weekend Review

Goodness, so much happened over the weekend it feels like ... I need to sort through it all here...

Friday was a typical day filled with a lot of kid stuff.  I managed to get outside during the hot part of the day to pull a bunch of weeds and dead plants from our backyard.  I'm not sure why that seemed like the best part of the day to do that ... but there I was.  N came to help and did; Z came to help, but did not.  So it goes.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Journal: Prompt 6

I'm a little late getting this weekend's journal prompt posted because I was not on the computer much at all yesterday -- instead, I was out and about enjoying the sunshine!

But here we go...

Friday, August 10, 2012

My 10 Things

I know I usually do lists of six and I could have done that here, too, but I decided to follow my sister's lead and challenge to list ten things I've done that most other people might not have (well, some of these my husband has done, too, but I still count them).  So here we go:  I...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer is...

...the whole family, sitting together outside in the evening when the temperatures are much cooler, drinking half-priced milkshakes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Six-List: Six TV Shows I Love Right Now (For Me)

This is not a list of my all-time top six favorite television shows.  This is not a list of six TV shows I keep up on regularly.  These are just six shows that I really enjoy and thanks to the technology of DVR's, I watch them when I can get to them.  These are listed in no particular ranking or order.

Mama's Disclaimer: These shows are not necessarily family-friendly, so please refer to whatever ratings guide you prefer before checking out any of these programs with your minor children.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ladies' Night

So the sad thing is that one of my very favorite ladies is moving away (with her whole family) to Arizona in a week.  They'll be six hours away!  But on the bright side, we made it a priority to get together -- just the two of us -- before she moves.

In truth, she and I have never been out together without kids or husbands.  There was even one point in the evening where there was this silence for a few minutes and she said, "Gee, we give up being interrupted by kids every two minutes and now we don't know what to say!"

Free Spirit

I was mentioning in my post yesterday about J being a bit of a free spirit and today was the perfect example of this.

She woke (at 10:00 a.m.) and came downstairs and said, "Mama, today when I woke up, I felt like a bird."

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Lesson from Legos

I've mentioned before how much H loves Legos.  He used to be our only kid with them.  But eventually, J started enjoying her time playing Legos with H.  Z, O and even S would sometimes join in on the fun.  When we moved into our house here, we bought each of the four younger kids a small boxed set to keep them busy on move-in day (while all their other stuff was still packed) and they set themselves up in an empty room and played for hours that day -- till the TV got hooked up and then they zoned into that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goals Check-in

Okay, so I thought today would be a good day to step back and see how the goals set for me in therapy are going in the past week.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Our Bedroom

Okay, my sister challenged her readers to show pictures of their bedroom.  I would be sad to show you a picture of how it looks today.  However, here is a sad picture of it the day I cleaned it up and got new bedding for C's birthday. I took this with my cell phone to show a couple people the new bedding -- so it doesn't really show our room at all.  But you can see the unmatched valances! Bonus!

Educational Shower Curtains

Okay, so I know this sounds crazy, but I love educational shower curtains.  Our kids have had a vinyl world map shower curtain in their bathroom upstairs for a couple years (speaking of which, it's probably time to change that out), after they'd ripped up the cute goldfish one that was there before it. 


It's my favorite holiday of the year (besides Christmas Eve):  Teacher Appreciation Day at Staples!

Once a year, just before school starts back up (well, like a month before for us ... but less than two weeks for the public school kids), Staples hosts an appreciation celebration for teachers.  Yes, that includes homeschool teachers, too.

Weekend Journal: Prompt 5

This weekend's prompt is inspired by a human interest story I read about a mom who saved all the little trinkets that came through the laundry in kids' pockets and stuff and then eventually gave them all to her son as a wedding gift.  Check out the cute story for yourself here.

Friday, August 3, 2012


I may not have any good pregnancy or birth stories, but besides kids' birthdays, we get to celebrate their adoptions each year.  Most years, we just go out to eat or make ice cream sundaes; but this year -- also because we owed them anyway -- we went to Cliff's Amusement Park for the day.

Thankfully, we had a half-off ticket deal -- Cliff's is no Disneyland and only worth about half of the ticket price.  It's more like a permanently affixed carnival.  However, it's closer than Disneyland and with our coupon, it was like a quarter of the cost (or less? I forget what Mickey sells tickets for these days).

Sixth Adoptaversary

"Wow," you might be saying, "two adoption anniversaries in a row?" 

Yes, it was an amazing thing to happen to us when they gave us the court date for J on August 2, 2007, when just the year before, we'd finalized adoption on S, H and Z on August 3, 2006.  Apparently, the courts in our state only do adoptions on Thursdays, so once we knew it was going to happen around the same time frame, we tried to get the same date, but it didn't work.  Still, it makes celebrating adoptaversaries in our family kind of easy because we can clump them together on the weekend closest.  Poor O, though; his adoption happened in December, but we celebrate him with the rest of the kids since December is already busy with Christmas and O's birthday.

Anyway, today is the sixth anniversary of gaining S, H and Z as official members of our family.  H and Z were placed in our care in June 2003, while S came to us in November 2003.  So at nearly four years, our wait for them was our longest of all our kids.  I guess if we divide that number by three, the average works out to be pretty on par with our waits for the other two ... and they are worth the wait, so it all worked out in the end.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

News for Brady Bunch Fans

The Brady Bunch was one of the shows I remember watching regularly in childhood and one that I've shared with our own children over the years.  It's quirky, fun and fairly wholesome.  If you've never seen an episode (hard to imagine), you can still catch the reruns on TV Land.

Well, I just read in the news that CBS is planning a Brady Bunch reboot!  I'm wondering if it'll still be a wholesome family show or what ... but I'm looking forward to finding out.

I was so excited, I just had to share!

Fifth Adoptaversary

It was this day in 2007 that we officially adopted J!  She was first placed in our care on January 5, 2005, so it was a long wait to make it official, but still faster than our first three kids.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Research Update

I've mentioned -- probably too often -- about how I'm working on designing a science curriculum for our kids this year involving the human body and stuff related to the human body.  Part of this curriculum will involve learning about various individuals related to medicine and science applicable to the human body.  So I have been doing a lot of research on these various people and then writing up short, hopefully kid-friendly biographies for each person.

Meanwhile, as I gather materials to put this whole program together, I'm trying to make it somewhat uniform so that eventually, after testing it out this year with our own kids, maybe I can post this online for other homeschool families who might want to do a similar study. 

I envision this whole thing as being really cool when it's done.  You'll have to trust me on that -- and it has many revisions to go through before I'll be willing to post it online for others.

Bread & Healing

I heard this quote on K-LOVE yesterday and I really like it:

"The Bible is bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions."