Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Peek into our Week

Today was our 109th day of school for the 2015-2016 school year.  We started in late July because we really enjoy taking a week off every six weeks.  BUT we definitely hit the mid year blues this week.  Now with it being Thursday afternoon, I can see the light.  We made it through and we still love one another! :) This time of year is so hard.  We have so many days under our belt but so many still to come.  We are in the middle of curriculum so nothing is new and exciting.  It is very easy to forget the fun activities and focus only on daily grind. So today I decided to live on the wild side.  Ready?  I cancelled every one's spelling lesson... I will let that soak in... SPELLING LESSONS CANCELLED!!!!! Now seriously, this may not seem like a big deal but it made my kids' day.  Just knowing they had one less subject to tackle brought a fresh feeling into the classroom.  Since everyone was working diligently I decided to really get wild and head to the park to finish our studies.  :)  We packed up our books, ran through McDonald's (I have eaten salads all week and boy did fried food taste good), and headed to the park.  We played the music really loud in the car and danced the whole way.  Let me just say my kids were like, "THIS. IS. THE. BEST. DAY. EVER!"  :)  The weather was beautiful and we stayed for 2 hours.  Tomorrow we have CO-OP with our friends and fabulous teachers and then a calm and relaxing weekend.  We made it! Here are a few pictures from our week.
Working hard! :)

Learning the different phases of the moon using Oreos - so fun!

Eating her different phases of the moon...:)

Ending the week at the park!

Probably the worst picture of me, EVER but I had to include it.  My daughter took this picture the other night when our Great Dane, Dixie, insisted that I hold her.  MY. WORD.

I love to see what other homeschool families have going on through their week.  I thought it would be fun to show you a peek of our week.  It was nothing earth shattering or overly exciting but it included lots of learning and loving one another (even when we thought we weren't going to make it another minute). :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This...Such a Simple Picture


This is what truly matters.

The innocent, pure, and unconditional love a child has for the Lord.

I took this picture last week.  We had just finished our morning Bible time when my youngest son went into my bedroom to pray.  He was praying for someone he dearly cares for and loves.  I am so thankful I caught this moment.

In all of the hectic moments of the day, this...

...this is what truly matters.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

If Jesus was Standing in Front of Me...

One of my most treasured aspects of homeschooling is our Bible time.  Now I know that you don't have to be a homeschooling family to have Bible time, but because we are not rushing out the door in the morning, we have the blessing of spending as much time as we want on this particular life-giving subject.

Since my kiddos are 11, 8, and 5, I have to chose Bible lessons that will work for all three.  This can definitely be tricky.  Instead of buying a curriculum for this school year, I decided to make things easy on myself and use the homework sheets that are passed out by our church.  The kids learn from these lessons on Sunday and then we complete the short lessons throughout the week.  Some days we spin off into a completely different direction and other days we stay on our topic for quite some time.  
I wanted to share the second day of this week's lesson with you because it had such an "ah-ha" moment for my kids.  The focus for this month has been taming the tongue and watching what we say to others.  Oh my - the topic of self control!  So many times these lessons are great reminders for myself, too. :)  The lesson asked the kids to think of bad words that should not be said.  Since we homeschool and because my husband and I do not curse, the kids do not know the really, really bad words.  To them, a bad word would be "stupid" or "shut up".  So I decided to make a slight change to the lesson and talk about what we say or the tone we use when we talk to others.  I have always been someone who really has to watch my tone, as well as, the expression on my face... Oh wait!  We are talking about the kids, right? :)

The lesson asked the kids, "If Jesus was standing in front of you, would you say that (fill in the blank) word?"

So, I altered it and asked, "If Jesus was standing in front of you, would you say those things, or use that tone?"

Wow!  Their eyes about popped out of their head.  You could tell the light bulb went off.  They immediately responded with, "NO, NO WAY, ABSOLUTELY NOT!"

The has to be the best question EVER!  It really could fit for any age group and any situation.

"If Jesus was standing in front of you, would you listen to that song?"

"If Jesus was standing in front of you, would you watch that TV show?"

"If Jesus was standing in front of you, would you gossip about that person?"

The list is endless.

So now, this is something we are trying to focus on.  I have even heard them reminding one another of this new question.  It pretty much extinguishes any argument that may be surfacing.  Now, we are not perfect and we are constantly trying to work on ourselves.  We will mess up...repeatedly...we will constantly be reminded how patient God is with us.  But now, we have a great question to help us along...

"If Jesus was standing right in front of me, would I.....(fill in the blank)?"

We also focused on the verse, Ephesians 4:29.   Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that is may benefit those who listen.  Are the words I am saying helpful to this person or is it just so I can have my opinion?  Ouch! That is a hard one!

I loved this lesson so much that I wanted to share it with you.  I know many of you will enjoy passing it onto your kiddos, as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

I Mastered Meatloaf!!!!


Last night, I had the most exciting thing happen!  

I mean like SUPER exciting!

We have had a break through in our humble little home!





Yes! As in, we actually....wait for it...wait for it...


I made meatloaf and it was worthy of being consumed!  Over the years, I have tried what seems like countless (okay, maybe like 5) recipes for meatloaf.  The outcome is always the same; a lot of ingredients and a lot of mush.  I have always been baffled by this; never understanding why I can't seem to successfully tackle this dish.  The odd thing is I don't understand why I am so fascinated by it.  I didn't like it as a child.  I don't particularly care for its name.  I really don't like the sound effects when mixing with bare hands.  We don't have a secret family recipe that has been passed down from one generation to the next.  It's weird!  It is like I have some list of recipes that I must conquer in order to consider myself a good cook.  

Well, let me just tell you!  I tackled that meatloaf like a BOSS!  Did I use that terminology correctly?  Imagine me saying it with a snap, snap, snap of my fingers and then spinning on my heels  :)  I was so good at it, my son had three helpings!  Just to be fair, it was my son who loves all things homemade but still - it counts!  I actually think I would make it again!  

I did not take pictures because lets face it, unless you are Annie Leibovitz a picture of meatloaf cannot be appetizing.  So, you will just have to trust me that it was good.  

The recipe was the Italian Meatloaf by the Pioneer Woman.  Big shocker!  Seriously, I think I have memorized two of her cookbooks.  I keep them right under my Bible... Okay, not really but both books are within an arm's reach in my kitchen.  Do not be surprised either, this meatloaf was covered in pancetta!  YUM!

Okay, well I just wanted to share in my little victory.  :)  

Happy Meatloaf Making!