Monday, August 29, 2011

The Battle I Want To Win

The battle I want to win is the one that I fight every day in my own mind. The one where I am fretting with
furrowed brow, tense in my shoulders and my stomach in knots. The battle that just will not let me relax. Why is that? I have all I  could ask for. My children woke up healthy this morning. My husband is working, he still has a job. Another day has dawned, fresh with a beautiful sunrise. Autumn breezes are teasing me. The little one sings songs to Jesus at the top of her lungs. I AM BLESSED. {Why do I stress?} All I can figure is the enemy is trying to steal my joy through my own imagined fears and I strap the saddle on and let him ride me until I am weak and angry.

This makes me tired. And yet, I really can't figure out why I can't let it go.  The only thing I can pinpoint is that I am not praying as much as I am fretting. Yesterday we sang "Living By Faith"

It goes like this:

" I care not today what the morrow may bring, if shadows or sunshine or rain. The Lord I know ruleth over everything and all of my worry is vain."

We all, the entire congregation, sang it like there was no tomorrow.

What a hypocrite. I can sing it. I just can't live it.

I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.

Though tempests may blow 
and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return for His loved ones some day,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.

I have had sweet reprieves from this and it was most often when I was actively  counting my gifts.
Today, I will purpose to fight. When the enemy tries to steal my joy I will count. When he causes me to load my back with the weight of fear, I will remind him that I serve the one who knows my future. I can trust Jesus.


- Those sweet souls who call me Mom and wake me with kisses
- The Lord who, although He knew me, still died for me
- The man who loves me with his whole heart and never loses faith in me
- that I have come far enough to know I don't have to believe the lies of the enemy 
-sweet autumn breezes
-helpful older children when I wake with a sick headache
-faithful friends
- mercy, new every morning
-I still love homeschooling
- www :)
- I am stronger when I pray
- "I love you mom" whispered in the middle of the night by that sweet 2 year old
-little girls swinging
- young lady of mine, learning to drive (really?)
-sweet young man who rubs my aching head 
-wonderful cup of coffee hand crafted by that sweet young lady and brought to me with a kiss (in this mug) :)

Ahh...I feel better already!

Oh, one more.....the music on Ann's blog........

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sprucing up the Blog

In great anticipation for the lovely change of weather we hopefully experience real soon in the south, I have revamped the blog. I hope you find it pleasing to look at. Many thanks to my lovely daughter Jessie for making the wonderful header to match the new layout.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Week 1 Rome to the Reformation & Beginning 1st

So the happy day! The day finally arrived when we got to start our new books! So, here is a little re-cap of how the week went.

As you can see the girls had their picture made with the subject of our first couple of history lessons. We live near Rome (not Italy) and our Rome has a little statue of Romulus and Remus. My son, the one who is studying RtR, would not have his picture made with that "gross" statue! (his words) :)

Really, I don't have a lot to share about our first week. We just picked up the books and went with it. I did add in the "Story of the World" on CD where I could. I love the format of MFW and they just make it easy to pick up and go.

Now, on to 1st grade!

Little Jenna is just the most excited little girl about her new books and she thought we were never going to start. Finally we did and although I had kind of got freaky about not having a grid (I did wind up with a very nice grid, btw) It is going well and I am WRITING IN THE TEACHER'S MANUAL! *GASP*
Yes, I am making myself notes about read-aloud books and other things that I am afraid I will forget. I use the grid and make notes. I am most afraid of forgetting something to do with math. I ran across a site just full of ideas Mama Jenn (if you have not been there and you are using MFW check it out!) I LOVED the Calendar Notebook idea and quickly made one for Jenna. I put our Number of the day sheets and 100 chart in it also.Very cool!

One more thing we did a little different was the base ten sticks. The idea of trying to glue beans on a stick just made me shiver with dread. My Jenna is a girly-girl and someone on the MFW boards had said they used stickers instead of beans ( I think it was Crystal). I knew for Jenna that stickers would be a lot more attractive than beans, then the idea of some bling instead of beans hit me!!! So , here is Jenna's base ten stick in the works.

I found these jewels in the craft section of Walmart.

She loves it already!

For the scroll, instead of making one I purchased one from Miller Pad and Paper. It is working out great!

So, we are off to a great start!

I have worked hard tweaking our schedule and it paid off this week. We were in revival meetings nightly with my husband preaching and we did all of our school, kept the house clean and had 3 healthy, home-cooked meals a day! Now I feel like I have accomplished something!!! What a great feeling! Thanks in no small part to the ease of use this curriculum offers. What a blessing from God!

A few more snap shots:
Little Janie is always by our side!

He did not want his picture made....shhh... don't tell him!

She works so hard!

Playing while we read :)

So what is missing??
She is! My Jessie! She is in high-school you know and that means that she is working in her own space for the biggest part of the day and I MISS HER being in the books with me. Always an eager one to learn, especially when it comes to history! So, I am still trying to adjust to this and she is beginning 10th grade!(doing WHL) I know that she has to have quiet to do all of that studying and writing, but sometimes I just want them all around the table. So, I may just start a family read-aloud and use an awesome Lamplighter book! You just never know what I will come up with!

Happy Homeschooling!

{this post is linked to Homeschool Highlights in MFW at 2 Ladybugs & a Lizard}

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jenna Reads!

I meant to do this sooner.....
You know how that goes. :)

Here is little Jenna reading the last couple of readers in the MFW K program. I have totally loved, loved, loved that reading program! We will begin 1st grade tomorrow, Lord willing.

Here is the reader "Sam & Ann"
Here she is reading "Jack"

I am praying that she continues to learn to read as easily and smoothly in the 1st grade as she as in K.

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Yippee! {I found a bargain!}

Last night, after revival meeting, the Pastor wanted to take our family to eat. We went to Cracker Barrel. Look what I found on the 40% off table!
Fandex! Who doesn't love those things? I got Fifty States and Presidents for 5 dollars and some change for each one. It's crazy how excited I get over educational finds!
So, run down to your nearest Cracker Barrel and see if you can grab some!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 12, 2011

Counting It All Joy

Just wanted to share a little thought. This week, as Facebook is full of moms who are proclaiming joy over the kiddos going off to school, I count it all a joy that mine are blissfully around my table for all three meals. They are under my feet, making messes, laughing, playing and learning. I still get as excited as I did at first when our new books arrive. I get weary of NOT getting enough done in the day, but never weary of the home-educating lifestyle. So, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, all here together. {we do not eat like this every morning}  Eggs, toast, sausage, bacon, cantaloupe and fig preserves! Oh my!

Janie doesn't always wear her big sisters clothes {backwards} :)
I joke that by the time I am good at homeschooling the kids will be grown. :) Now, my Jessie will say, "Good! you can then help me with mine!" Would that not be the biggest blessing? I am so thankful for where God has lead our family. I can't imagine living it any other way!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum for our Homeschool

What is the MOST exciting time for me as a homeschooling mom? That is an easy question! PLANNING the new year. Getting new books makes for lots of excitement around here. I am pleased as puddin' to announce that we are still just as happy with My Father's World as we were this time last year! It is ABSOLUTELY what I have been looking for. It still amazes me that I passed the MFW booth for 10 years before I tried it!  I just know that was God's timing! He just had to take me through all that other stuff so I would know beyond any doubt where I needed to be.

This year we will be doing:

Jenna is rip-roaring-ready. I have poured over the TM for a few weeks trying to decide if I need the grid like the one I did with the kindergarten program. You know, the more I look over it the more I am confident that I can do this without having to reinvent the wheel. I LOVE the grid layout, but I just do not have the time to do all of that typing right now. To help me come to that conclusion I just took a composition book and began listing each day on one page. I started with Math, then listed the LA and so on. Here is a shot.
I plan to use that format just so that I am not missing anything. I may switch to post-it notes in the TM......oh how I wish I could just make myself write all in it! :)) Do you write in your teachers manual?
Okay, so that notebook is a little low tech for this tech-y girl, but it helped me wrap my head around what all I wanted to cover. Had I the extra time, I would make my own beautifully organized grid.......maybe later. :)
As for the content of the program, I am just super excited! I have been spending some reading time on the MFW forums looking over all of the ideas there from those who have gone before me.

Next in the line is Rome to Reformation

Look at all of those cool books!! Yes, I know that we did ECC last year and that I have apparently skipped Creation, but we studied creation with another curriculum and so the decision was made to put my 6th grader in Rome to Ref so that he would be ready for the high school without having to skip any more of the MFW cycle.

And for high school!
 My second year of that! Oh boy, did my Jessie love her AHL!! She did the homeschool "box day" happy dance when her WHL arrived. The books are lovely!! I have totally loved having the lesson plan book. She absolutely loved it too. She loves check-off boxes. I love the grading helps. Ah, bliss!

So, last years MFW post "Getting Organized"  was wildly popular (for this blog anyway). It still receives several hits a day and I am so glad. I would like to say that all of the organizational things you saw in that post worked so well that we are continuing along those same lines. I still love the binders and will be going to Staples soon for more. We still love the map on the table.

For other subjects:
Math~my oldest two are using Math -U- See. I am trying to follow the MFW recommendations for 1st grade math. I say trying because I have been so tempted to buy her a math book!

My high-schooler is using Rosetta Stone French and loving it!

We like the Queen Language Lessons in place of Emma Serl Language Lesson books.

High school science is Apologia, we love the text-book on CD. We put it on the iPod classic. :) We buy supply kits from CBD. It is from Nature's Workshop There is just no way I'd try to pull all of that stuff together on my own!

I am sure I am forgetting something.

All we need now is just to dive in and get going. I really hope I can blog more of the journey of our homeschool this year. I would love to do weekly updates {I know, I am a big dreamer ;) } Many blessing to you all. I am looking forward to seeing who joins the Blogroll and getting to see how your school is going too! Click on the button below to go to Lainie's site and join up.

MFW Blog Roll

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Pig Farmer

A quiet morning with my oldest. Something we rarely have. I went with her on her morning chores. It is kind of funny, her morning chore. You see, my opera-loving,viola-playing,camera clutching, book-loving 15 year-old daughter is a pig farmer. The daughter who hoards Germ-X goes through muck and mire every morning before breakfast to feed  "her babies."

She can drive that gator!

After a few "oops" (poor gutter spout) she is a pro!

Peaceful, no wonder sweet hubby loves to stay out here.

Oh, I have not the words to describe what this scene did for me. There are not enough nerve pills in the world to do for me what watching that hen with her babies did. (you cant see them in the tall grass). Why do I not visit this place more often?

 Yum, a few months.

She just talks to them. :)

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls
Why does she wash out their water pan? I have no idea. She is kind of mirroring GRACE. God does the same thing for us. We do just what the pigs do. Then every morning she comes and gives them fresh water. Then every morning His mercies are new. Lamentations 3:22-23

Then  on my way back in Mr. Rooster makes my day. I love country life. I will admit I don't take the time to enjoy it like I should. It would do me good.


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