Saturday, October 30, 2010

Daddy at work

Monty's car has a bad tire rod so we have been sharing one car until we get the money for repairs. What that means is that Monty takes my car to work and I have his car for the few errands I may need to run around town during the day. The kind of errands that do not require going more than 20-30 mph or being more than a few blocks from the house just in case that ol' tire rod decides it's time is done. On days that I may have a need for more driving, I take Monty to work so I can keep my car.
Well that is what happened on Wednesday. After church the kids and I headed on over to pick him up from work to find out he had at least 2 more hours until he would be ready. Instead of making the 30 minute drive home to just turn around and drive back, we were able to wait it out in the break room at his job. I remember when I was a kid getting to visit dad at work was about the coolest thing ever and my kids feel the exact same way. Since Monty does not have the kind of job that is "bring your kid to work" friendly, staying at daddy's job was an extra special treat!

They got to see their dad driving his lift truck around the warehouse. The only thing better would have been to be able to ride along but that would be a serious safety violation.

The break room was full of fun activities and the kids wanted to be sure they did not miss a single one. A deck of cards left on one table was just asking to be used in a game of go fish!! My kids did not leave those poor cards lonely for long.

Although they were really too busy exploring every nook and cranny to sit through a tv program, they did stop long enough to find Qubo network for a quick cartoon fix.
Then on to the set of dominoes! The girls don't know how to play dominoes but the fact that this set had bright colorful dots meant that they would be perfect to make some pretty little stick figures! ☺
Anyone that has kids knows that anytime you visit some where new- whether it be a store, a restaurant, or a friends house-the trip is not complete without a stop in the restroom. I am not sure what it is about restrooms and kids but you would have thought that the one at daddy's work was the most beautiful and exotic place ever. They would have went about every 15 minutes if I would have let them.

The next best thing to visiting a new restroom, is choosing a snack from a vending machine. Since they don't normally get many vending machine opportunities everyone was excited to push the buttons and watch their treat fall.

After snack time may as well get in some exercise time. Kenyon has been working on doing push ups and he did not let the fact that we weren't home interfere with his practice.

Of course the best part of the break room is the little window in the door. Perfect for watching out for a glimpse of dad driving past.
All in all we spent about 2 hours in the break room but with all the excitement of a new place with tons of things to occupy 3 kid's minds and hands, it really did not seem long at all.
aaawwww...memory making!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

♥ ♥ ♥ IT!!!

I love love love the fall!! It is just the most perfect season. I love everything about it. The cool weather, the leaves changing colors and

falling everywhere adding their own decoration to anything they touch.

The cool rains storms with gray skys and thunder and big clouds swirling around the sky.

Fall weather always brings back the best memories. It seems that tons of the most important memories I have happened between August and November. Now, why would anyone want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the fall every chance they get?
That is why I ♥ ♥ ♥ homeschooling!!!
We can take a "play in the rain " break right smack dab in the middle of our school work!

There is no need to get your shoes on.

No need for don't get dirty speeches.

Just no real good reason to stay out of the puddles!!

We can always finish up with our studies after we kick up our heels and have a little fun!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cup o' sticks

Since all three kids are doing the same curriculum, our days go pretty smooth. The 4 of us do the bulk of the school work together. After our together work, they each have math, language, and writing and then Kenyon also has extra science and personal help for boys character training. Those extras have been posing a problem. I have a bad habit of forgetting one or the other subject for a few days and then have to spend a day on catch up. I also seem to forget how many lessons I have assigned. I was writing assignments down one side of our chalkboard but they seem to disappear or get distorted. To solve this problem I have just implemented our knew system; Cup o' Sticks. Each child has a cup and mom has a cup. Each color represents a different subject. At the beginning of the week I will place one stick for every lesson due by the end of the week. When a lesson is completed that stick is then moved to mom's cup and I know what I need to go over and grade. If any sticks are left in a child's cup on Sunday morning, mom will place a black stick in that cup. Any child with a black stick in their cup has no computer or video game privileges until they have a week of completed sticks. Everyone can tell, by just a glance, how much work they have to complete and in what subjects during the week. If they put off doing math all week, they will have to spend extra time or their Saturday completing the weeks worth. We are just starting this but I have hopes that it will not only help me stay organized but also teach the kids some responsibility about keeping up with their own work. If they don't, they will have to pay the consequence. I'll let ya know how it goes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time for some BOY STUFF!

As you know, I have not been posting on a regular schedule and here is one reason for that.

The past few years of homeschooling have been just that. I have concentrated on our schooling and growing the family relationships. We have not done much extra. Family stuff and church stuff was all we made time for. This year we have jumped into a few extras. The girls have started going to brownies twice a month and Kenyon is now a boy scout. Before the school year started, the girl and boy scouts had a big welcome meeting at a nearby park. We stopped in after church for some hot dogs and games and just to see what was being offered in our area. To my surprise, the scout master of our local boy scout troop is a man I know. Geoff and I worked together for a few years and were actually pretty good friends at the time. That put my mind at ease about letting one of my kiddos go off without me some. The girls are still young enough that they do not do much other than games and crafts at the meetings but Kenyon is now in a very active troop with weekly meetings and at least one outing a month.

The troop is very focused on growing leadership skills in each of the boys. The meetings are led by the boys and they are involved in all the decisions made for the troop. At the first meeting, Kenyon was a little anxious about joining in with a group of boys that he had never met. He did not (and still does not) want me to leave him there so the girls and I sat in on the meeting. It did not take long for Kenyon to feel comfortable with Geoff because he had heard me talk about him several times over the years even though he did not actually remember him. The other boys were also very accepting of the new scouts and went out of their way to make them each feel welcome. At the end of the meeting they watched a slide show of pictures that were taken on the troops last outing. The event just happened to be a trip to explore the depths of a cave. During the slide show, I watched my son's face change from trepidation to anticipation. His normally introverted self was being overtaken by his need for some serious "BOY STUFF!" As soon as that slide show was over, Kenyon went up to Geoff and said "I want one of those uniforms!" He was ready to be a boy scout. He was ready for camping and caving, and plenty of testosterone filled activities. It has been about 2 months since that first meeting and he has had several opportunities for just that.

His first outing was a camp out at the Wild life expo. The Wild life expo is a local event filled with events for families to engage in and learn and experience all things outdoorsy. The boy scouts camped out at the event and then had a monkey bridge set up for visitors to try. The boys had to take turns working at the bridge and then had free time to experience several of the other activities available. The highlight for Kenyon was visiting the shooting range where he got to fire a shot gun.

His next all boy activity was an event that the troop was hired to work. The AKC Retriever duck throw. Hunters bring their dogs from all over the country to compete. The older boys were used to throw the ducks in the fields for the dogs and the younger smaller boys spent their day stacking dead ducks for the throwers. Although it was not all fun and games, Kenyon did enjoy watching the dogs do their work while he did his work. The boys (and the dogs) had to work from about sunup until sundown. It was a long hard day but the troop earned $1000 for their work. A good long hard day of work it just what every 12 year old needs!

This weekend they are camping out on a buffalo ranch. They are supposed to put up some towers and hook up a hamm radio to talk with boy scouts around the world. In the past they have reached scouts in Europe, Australia and even Japan. Depends on the sky on who they may be able to reach this year.

Kenyon is almost a teenager and I am confident that his new boy scout troop is just what he needs right now. Hard work and plenty of boy stuff!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Best compliment ever

On our way to church yesterday I was listening to an old cd of the men's group from our church for about the 1000th time. Keslee said "Mom, do we HAVE to hear this song AGAIN??" Why yes we do!! It got quiet for a moment as we all enjoyed the music until Keslee interupted again with this....

Kes: Mom, I just told God that if I had one wish I would wish that my mom liked some other things like maybe Justin Beiber but then I waited for just a minute and then I told God, NO I DON'T! I DON'T want that! I take that wish back! I want to be raised just exactly the way you are raising me and the way God wants me to be raised!

Praise the Lord!
Just like we all have our struggles with the world, my 8 year old has them too. The thoughts of why do we have to do things differently from so many others? What is so bad with it? An internal struggle and a conversation that she was having with God, just the two of them. A conversation that I knew nothing about until it was over. A thought that I would have never known she had if she had not told me herself. And an outcome that I did not prompt but was prompted only by the Holy Spirit speaking directly to her 8 year old little heart and reminding her of the whys. And then thankfulness from her tiny heart back to the Lord that she loves.
all I can say is
God is Good-All the time!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


A few weeks ago, I had a birthday. Nothing exciting. I have decided that I will stay 25 and after your 10th(or more) 25th birthday, the excitement kinda fades. There is, however, one little thing that has happened on every birthday for the last several years that I cherish. My daddy calls. It is always first thing in the morning, usually around 7, and I answer the phone to hear him singing " ♪♫happy birthday to my little girl, I♪ love♪ you♫♪!" Now I don't care how old ya get, that is just a GREAT way to start your day.

It made me start thinking about what really makes a great dad?Now our culture tells young people to WAIT. Wait to get married, finish your education, get a career, wait to have children until you have all these other things in order. (Of course there is no expectations on waiting to enjoy some of the perks that should be reserved for marriage.) These are supposed to be prerequisites of becoming a good parent. Unfortunately our culture is lying to our young people. These things have absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not you will be a good parent. I would be willing to bet that those things, more often than not, hinder our ability to be good parents because we spend so many extra years on our own selfish pursuits and are then expected to all of a sudden be willing and able to put other's needs before our own. Easier said than done!!!

My dad was 19 when he married my 15 year old mother. They had neither one had tons of heartbreaks from years of failed relationships. They had not spent years living out on their own with only themselves to please.

At just 16 and 20 years old they became parents. I mean, they had not finished school and there was no talk of college. My dad was working at a furniture factory for a while and then worked in a greenhouse. Far from being established in a set and secure career. They rented a small house from my mother's grandma. They had not done any of the things our world said they should have done first. What they did do was love each other and they loved me!
Since I HAVE a great dad, it is obvious to me that none of those other things really matter. So what is it that really makes a great dad?!?

I think I will start by saying that my dad is not and was never a perfect dad. He made plenty of mistakes. I could easily sit here and give you a detailed list of the worst mistakes I believe that he made while raising 4 kids however, the specific mistakes are not important. The important part is that HE knows what mistakes he made. I can not tell you how many times my dad has apologized to me. There have been a number of times, even since I have been grown, that my dad has called me crying on the phone and begging me to forgive him for this or that from 5-10-20-30 or even 35 years ago. His ability to humble himself to his own child is just one way that he secured the hearts of his children. THAT is what makes a great parent! Holding the ♥hearts♥ of your children!

My dad has always securely held the hearts of every one of his kids. I have not lived one minute of my life questioning if my dad really loved me. I never felt the need to search out the love of a man to replace what I did not get from my dad. There has never been any topic that I did not feel comfortable in talking about with my dad. I have always known that I could go to him with ANYTHING and I always knew that I would get the truth from him. It is the same for my sister and both of my brothers.

My dad is who he is. He never tried to be somebody he is not. He has always been genuine. That is probably the reason I have always been able to discuss anything with him. I never had to worry about how he would react. I pretty much knew ahead of time what things he would be disappointed about, what things he would be excited about, what things he would disapprove of and what things he would approve of. I knew that even when he disapproved, he would love me and then he would let me know exactly why he did not approve. I knew when I disappointed him, he would love me and then encourage me to do better. Even if the disappointment caused him pain and tears(which he NEVER hid from us) love and encouragement was always there. He never hid who he was from us and we knew him as well as he knew us.

Just because his children are grown, he is still the same dad. He still makes time for each of us. He still calls just to talk. Before we all had children of our own, he still took us to 6 flags every year. After we got married our spouses joined us. After we started having kids, it changed to a camping trip or a trip to the fair. He always has time for the needs of his children! He still has a secure hold on the hearts of each of his children and now

he is also holding the hearts of his grand kids. My kids know that their hearts are just as safe and secure when they are around their papa as they are with their own daddy.
Now I feel I must say, I believe raising your children to love and honor the Lord is about the-most-important thing you can do for them. When I was growing up, my parents had us in church when we were young but they both strayed from that practice. They were both believers and did give us a foundation of faith, they just did not continue to build on that foundation like they should have. If they would have, I am sure their marriage would not have ended after 20 years. Because my dad held my heart, I ALWAYS thought "what would dad think" before I made decisions. If his worldview had been more biblical, my decisions in turn would naturally have been more biblical as well. I consider having your children's heart to be THE prerequisite of being a great parent because I have seen the results of a family that has had their children in church their whole lives, sent them to private christian schools, and produced kids that know more about the Bible than I do but because the father never held those kid's hearts, the outcome (so far) has been disastrous! My goal as a parent is to securely hold my children's hearts AND raise them with a biblical worldview. BECAUSE I have their hearts it makes the rest a lot easier.

Friday, October 1, 2010

When in Rome

I just have not had much opportunity to update here much. We have been spending a lot of time in Rome. School has been moving along well and the kids and I have learned so much. It is amazing to me how much I am learning. I am kinda embarrassed to admit all that I never knew. I mean I was a good student, always got A's and B's. I never had to study very hard. Cramming for a test a little was all I needed to make the grade. I was even in the honor fraternity in college. Did you know I never knew that Julius Caesar was a real person??!! I thought he was just a Shakespeare character. I did not know the impact he had on our life today with our calendar. I had know idea how many similarities the Rise of Rome had to our own country. All that I have learned has re-emphasized to me just how public schooling is really not about learning. Their only goal is making sure students can regurgitate information onto a test paper. As long as you can make the grade it really doesn't matter if you ever really KNOW anything. Well there is one thing that I do KNOW. My kids wont have that same fate. They know more now -at 12, 8, and 7-than I had ever even heard in my lifetime about Rome, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Mark Antony. AND we have had a little fun in the process!

We made writing tablets from non hardening clay and cardboard. Sharpened chop sticks work perfectly as the writing tool. The pink one is with the cover flap closed and the green is the clay on the inside. The kids have enjoyed drawing with their stick and then smoothing out the clay to start over, similar to how the Roman children would have. They have been a helpful tool during our read aloud times as well. The kids sit quietly drawing on them while I read. It eliminates the constant rustling of paper and digging through the crayon box that normally accompanies reading times.

Of course we could not travel around and study about Rome without our Togas. Did you know that I do not have one single plain white sheet in this whole house??!! That's ok. I rather like the more colorful versions. ☺ In case you did not notice the stranger in the camouflage mask(scarf tied around head)? All I can say is that Kenyon did not want to be seen in a toga covered in Winnie the Pooh so he disappeared during this part and this stranger in the mask showed up to complete the lesson. Of course by Kalysa's smile you can tell she is More than happy to wear her toga!

Besides learning about how the Romans dressed, we have also learned about their way of life, the bath houses they went to, and how their homes were set up. Since Mosaics were used often in the decoration of their floors and walls, we decided to make our own. Above is Keslee's rendition of a flower.

Kenyon decided he would do a house. Now even though we had talked about what a mosaic was and we had looked at several examples, Kenyon and Keslee thought they were just going to get away with only making their small picture with the tiny bits of paper. I explained that the whole thing was to be covered. Keslee did not want to spend the time digging through our bowl of paper bits and choose a color scheme so her flower kinda blends in with the background. Before long, Kenyon decided that the observer would just have to imagine that the black WAS the mosaic pieces.
Now Kalysa, on the other hand, was more than happy to wade through the pieces to find all the pink for her fish and the blue for the water. She is ALWAYS the one that insists on taking her time on anything artsy. She is also the reason I have to be sure to save any projects that involve coloring, cutting or gluing until the end of the day or she would get nothing else done.
In science we have been learning about the human body. We have drawn models of a cell and the brain and brain stem. We have learned how the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vise versa. One of the books that comes with My Father's World is The Body Book. It is chocked full of hands on projects about parts of the body. We are talking about the 5 senses. This model has flaps in the face that reveal what is underneath like the brain, nerves, and ear canals.
We are all enjoying these fun hands on learning projects.
Keslee held hers up over her own face to show where her own personal parts would be. Kenyon had to open his notebook to show me his finished model because he was already finished by the time I got the camera. And of course.......

Kalysa was ALMOST done...with the cutting. ☺
Well, there really is lots more that we have learned but I am afraid I may have already caused any readers that still may be out there into shock by FINALLY posting an update. I am really going to try to do better with that. You will all have to stick around to hold be accountable, K?
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