Tag Archives: homeschool

Happy Valentine’s Day!

From our chocolate covered faces to yours πŸ’• YAY FOR CHOCOLATE!


When There’s No TV…

Kids do STUFF! As in non-couch required activities that include playing chess, catching geckos, reading FOR FUN, exploring the great outdoors, and making up new games to play. 

No, I am not putting them through some weird experiment, it just kind of happened that we didn’t move with a TV. Not that I’m never getting one again, but I’m really liking this new form of creative recreation! And not hearing them fight over what to watch is an added bonus πŸ˜‰ 


Give and Take – A Love Story of Sorts

A little over three weeks ago, I promised my 12 year old son something I was sure I never would. A pet tarantula. A few years back, I blogged about this very subject: a promise I made to his dad before we got married – no matter how many boys we have NO SNAKES OR SPIDERS EVER. Ummm, we have 5 boys.

My son was obviously very excited about the possibility. I thought surely I’ve lost what was left of my mind and sane decision making. 

This week we ordered a Mexican Red Knee from an online store. The next day we went anxiously to the Fedex store to pick it up. I announced to the lady behind the counter that we were there to pick up a tarantula. She got very excited, as the employees had all been curious about the box labeled “Live Harmless Reptile.” So much so that she asked if we could open it right there so she could take a peek. I agreed because I was guaranteed live delivery and should probably ensure it was still alive! Within a moment, there were a few other eager onlookers. So we opened the box, removed the Styrofoam lid, then the few pieces of newspaper and then… a small plastic container. 

“Did we get scammed?!” I asked. No way was a giant, furry creature in that small container (the container also had a few squares of toilet paper). We carefully poked around until we saw a tiny spider, no bigger than a child’s thumbnail. I was not expecting a baby, but I was secretly glad I was now going to grow with the spider, so to speak, instead of diving head first into eight, huge legs.

We took it back to my parents’ where we were staying for the night… and also where it promptly escaped. We found it by some miracle and put it back into its habitat. We wrapped that up for extra precaution, but again he escaped. I looked for HOURS. Needless to say, my son was very sad the next morning when I had to tell him. 

But then something happened. He found a small garter snake and was very happy with it, as were the other kids. Each took turns washing their hands before and after holding it. Crazier still, I let him bring it home in the container that was supposed to be for the spider.They made him a little habitat, collected some bugs and fed it. This morning they decided to release it. 

After church today, we went to an exotic pet shop. I had spoke with the owner for quite awhile the night before about which spider was best, and he told us that babies are very difficult to care for. So today we saw their collection of rose hair tarantulas, and my son picked one out.

I admit that while we were in the store, I was having some SERIOUS second thoughts about this all. And again questioning my sanity. But we got the spider and she is now adjusting (I think) to her new home. 

Yep. I must have lost my mind… but hey, the kids are happy!


Happy Days

When life is chaotic and uncertain, it’s important to be thankful for the beautiful things (or people) we’re surrounded by. They are easy to overlook, especially in difficult times. 

Deer in our backyard!

Turning boxes into forts πŸ™‚

Peanut butter and jelly – yummy and fun!

Sister time, just missing one πŸ’•

What do I say? I appreciate his love for bugs that I’ll never have!

And that love he’s passed on to his brothers…

Thank God for family πŸ’œ

Nap time with Grandpa.

Eager helpers πŸ‘


First Birthday

The other day, the baby of our family turned one. Everyone says this, but I want to strongly repeat: They grow up so fast.

Yes, many of the nights are long, and some in the beginning are sleepless. There are the daily ups and downs with bringing up children. But each child is so precious! And in the blink of an eye, they go from tiny and helpless in our arms to bouncing about with their own distinct personality.

Happy first birthday!

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The Purpose Behind the Struggle

As you readers know, I took a small leave of absence from blogging. I’m not sure what I had hoped to gain from the time away, if anything, but I know that I was quite overwhelmed when I made the decision to leave.

Not much has changed since then. I’m still overwhelmed most days. I still homeschool my oldest four and chase the younger three. As my husband has moved jobs several hours from us, I have spent the last few months as the sole adult in the home. I collapse into bed with my four year old, who is afraid to sleep alone, no earlier than 11pm every night. I wake up exhausted and burnt out. I struggle to find joy and purpose in all things now. Life is in limbo…

But this afternoon I went to a graduation. Before yesterday, I didn’t even know about it. The girl is the fifth of six homeschooled children to graduate. I’ve known the family since I was in elementary school, but only recently have we reconnected. The girl’s mother has been a blessing to us this past year, so when I found the invitation in the mail yesterday, there was no question as to whether or not I would be going.

The speaker,Β  Tim Lambert of the Texas Homeschool Coalition , was inspiring. The fact that I was able to listen to him address the parents, graduates and guests, was a blessing, as I usually can’t focus on anything other than three toddlers. But as he spoke words of encouragement for us all, I felt a sense of peace in my struggle.

I may wake up many more times throughout the next 16-18 years questioning myself, and that’s normal. Taking on the raising of children, no matter how many you are entrusted with, is a HUGE job. Overseeing their education is also no small feat. I know that I will meet certain challenges because of my kids with special needs, family issues, and life in general.  But I also know that each day I must get up and continue. It’s the most worthy of endeavors. Our children are the future.

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Conversations from the Table

The 11-year old started monologuing again about wanting to be a director. We’ve heard these ambitions a thousand times, so we just kept eating.

The eight-year old said, “I don’t know what I should be when I grow up.” She thought for a moment between bites. “Maybe a teacher.”

The six-year old piped up. “I want a job where I make money.”

I guess that’s a start…