Monday, September 24, 2007

There's a new princess in town....

Rachel dubbed herself the princess as soon as she could talk. She loves all things beautiful, and all eyes on her. When Jada came along, Rachel made it pretty clear that she thought one princess was all this house needed. As time has gone by, though, she's taken her little sister under her wing...and began teaching the importance of being a princess.

Jada is soooo different than Rachel. She's quieter and sweet, and is always going for a laugh. I've never met a girl quite as silly as Jada...we call her our goof ball. But, I'm beginning to see the princess in her as well. Here she is in her new pink fluffy chair. Let me tell you...she loves this chair. She'll come up missing, and I'll search the house for her. I'll find her in her pink fluffy chair. Just relaxing and grinning ear to ear.

I guess deep down inside, we all have a little bit of princess in us. Although I am not much of a girly girl, I still love pretty things...and I love being considered beautiful myself. So, I guess there is room for more than one princess at this house, after all. And...if I am the mother of two princesses, I guess that makes me the queen!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beginner Homeschooling Advice

When I first began looking into homeschooling (when my oldest was just a little guy) I kept seeing one piece of advice over and over again. Don't start too early. Just give them time to be kids. I, of course, thought that's great advice...for other people, but he's ready to start now. What I really meant was that I had invested so much time and energy into researching, I was ready to start.

Now, I have a barely seven year old 2nd grader who is struggling. He's smart...reading on grade level...understands his math concepts...but he just wasn't ready. He really struggles with writing. He still writes a large portion of his letters and numbers backwards. Doing his math turns into a 1 to 2 hour ordeal...every single day.

Thankfully, I've realized my mistake. We're taking some time off from his math curriculum and concentrating on math facts and drills that he never fully learned. Letting him go at his own pace, instead of feeling like he has to finish the second grade book by the end of the year...whether he's ready to or not.

Hopefully, the other kids will benefit from the lessons I'm learning with guinea pig. I already am pushing Josiah much less in his Kindergarten year. We are using Sonlight's LA with him...but I'm not making him write all the dictations and copywork. He's just not ready. He is working on learning to write his letters, and is doing a great job with it! There is no need to push his writing skills at this point!

So, if you are just beginning on your homeschooling journey, please heed the advice! There is no reason to push them to do things before they are ready. Only you will know when they are truly ready...but make sure you look at things honestly, not through your own excitement. The only thing you gain by starting too early is frustration for all involved!

Posted: 4:25 PM, Sep. 23, 2007
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After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart

Julia DeSmit is abandoned by her mother, orphaned by her Dad, and feels forgotten by God. This story takes Julia on a journey of self discovery. It follows her through friendships and relationships through her last years of high school and first year of college. Every time her heart is broken, your heart breaks right along with her. Her young life is filled with so much pain...and as she tries to reinvent herself you slip with her further and further.

I am a Christian, but rarely enjoy Christian Fiction. Usually it is full of fake people with unrealistic endings that are always happy. This book is so different than the norm. It is a beautiful book, full of less than perfect people...and grace and forgiveness. It is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rating: 4/5
First line: "Waiting is a complicated longing."
Last line: "It's a different kind of longing."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Show and Tell Friday

I made my first trip to the ocean as a 22 year old mother of one. I immediately fell in love. The ocean is a feast for all the senses; the feel of sand squishing between your toes, the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the taste of the salty sea air, and of course the beautiful view that has no end. Since then, I've made three more trips to ocean, collecting seashells each time. When we redid our half bath, I decided it was a perfect place to display my shells...and be like having a little bit of the beach right here at home.
Here is my collection of seashells displayed in a bowl (a leftover decoration from my wedding), with several more on the shelf. The starfish is my husbands from when he was a child.
Some more shells (they are hard to sea) and a fish my sister brought me back from Jamaica.

My daily reminder of God's amazing handiwork. And I can't wait to visit the seaside again. (And, thankfully, I don't have to wait week we're spending 5 days at Myrtle Beach with my IL's).

Visit Friday's Show and Tell for yourself!

Theodora's Wedding by Penny Culliford

Theodora's Wedding is the sequel to Theodora's diary. Continuing in the diary format, Theodora is now planning her wedding, trying to find a house, getting to know her new minister and continuing on her spiritual journey. Full of wit and humor, Theodora's Wedding is sure to amuse you. A fun, easy Christian novel.

Rating: 4/5
First line: "Well, I've done it."
Last line: "Come on, love, the car's here. Better go..."

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Birthday Season strikes again!

This is Birthday Season at our house! Aaron celebrated his 29th birthday on the last day of August. We spent his birthday at his sister's new house in Illinois.

Jada's birthday was September 9th. She is now two!! I no longer have a baby...she is growing so fast. She is working hard on potty training right now (she has more misses than hits!) . She is our funny girl...she is always trying to make others laugh...and laughing herself. She is so silly! She's a very happy girl, and is definitely a delight to be around! She's also talking up a storm now. Happy Birthday baby girl!

My birthday is the following day on the 10th. This year I hit the big 3-0. My secret sister at church gave me a wonderful surprise for my birthday....a gift certificate to Debrand Chocolates. MMMM. I was able to buy 10 pieces of chocolate, and enjoyed each and every piece. Delicious. (I have one piece left....I'm saving it for a day when I really need some chocolate!).

We have a whole month off until Rachel's birthday....So 4 of the 6 birthdays at our house are within a little over a month!

Wordless Wednesday: Eight Ball Leaf

We Remember by Jeanne Marie Laskas

We Remember: Women born at the Turn of the Century Tell the Stories of their Lives in Words and Pictures by Jeanne Marie Laskas is a beautiful book. 24 women born around the turn of the century share the memories of their life. Their lives were all very different...from each other and from us today.

It was a fascinating book. The women are very diverse and are all full of wisdom. It is so important to look at the past, in order to know where you're going. Although life was very different for these women, so much was also the same. Love and romance tends to be a common theme through most all of these women's life. Anyone who chooses to read this book will walk away inspired.


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