Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So, once I had signed up for Facebook months ago, I didn't do anything with it. Then, the other day, I decided to look at it. I accepted my friends' invitations and started finding lots of old friends--friends I really wanted to know how they were. I'm funny that way, but I feel like once we're friends, we'll always be friends. We may not be as close or talk as often, but I will always care.

It has been a joy to my heart to see the children of my friends and even find one that got married last week! I rejoice with her! Amidst the struggles of raising three little ones and all of the tears that flow each day (they are after all 4,2, and 3 months), it brings a smile to me to think of all the ways God has blessed each one of us!

It's funny, but one memory has shaped much of my adult life. This is a little story...

I love my mom. She talks to everyone. She talks to the people she stands in line next to in the grocery store (I learned that from her.) She talks to people in the Doctor's offices (now I do,too.) And she even talks to people when she has had to sit and wait for the Jury Duty call at court.

Just before I got married, she had one of those days when she had to go in for Jury Duty. She sat and chatted all day with another woman. I guess that some time in the day, the lady asked for my mom's address. She gave it to her, not thinking much of it, I think. The time rolled around for my wedding and my mom brought with her a package, a gift. It was a gift for my husband and I from this woman that my mom met. Inside was a vase. We loved it! It is our favorite vase. It means a lot to me because it reminds me of who my mom is and that chance meetings give us the chance to care about others.

Well, I hear my children not taking a nap, so I need to end this little story, but it is one of my favorite stories about my mom.

Friday, July 25, 2008


There's something in me that just loves to watch a wholesome romance. Penelope is one of those. It's a fairy tale of sorts, but I liked it so much better than Enchanted. If you want to watch something fun--just to enjoy it. This is a good pick!

It's quite a contrast to Definitely, Maybe--which I wouldn't recommend to anyone. There's something that seems very wrong when the whole plot of a movie is that a father is telling his daughter (when he's on the brink of a divorce with her mother) that he really loved someone else when he married her mother and then the daughter encourages the dad to go find the other woman. Try to miss and avoid this one!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Great Parenting Book!

I love the refreshment that I get when I find the water after going through the desert! Since I had Eli, I have just felt like I'm wandering when I read God's word and haven't felt purposeful. I've also felt overwhelmed in my parenting just trying to do everything I did before, but now with three!

But, a few weeks ago I came across a book and thought about ordering. I wanted to make sure it was in our budget for the month, so I waited another two weeks and then ordered it. It arrived yesterday. It is the Parent's Handbook for the book Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. It has been such a blessing to me! I'm always skeptical about having to buy a study book to go with a book that I've read, but this one is worth it!

The study guide is really a separate book aimed at looking at what the Bible says about parenting. In the first chapter (I'm not even done yet!) God has impressed 2 things upon my heart.

#1: Proverbs 4:23 "Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." It is where EVERYTHING stems from and we have to guard what goes into it and be careful what we read and watch. And we have to guard the hearts of our children as well. And everything we do stems from our hearts--it's that important!

#2: Romans 3:14 "Their mouths were filled with cursing and bitterness." The question in regard to this verse was what leads to sin. Answer: Bitterness and cursing. It was as if a huge light bulb went on! Just a few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine and I were talking about people cussing. We both knew it was wrong and not honoring to God, but outside of "do not take the Lord's name in vain", I couldn't explain why. But, this verse helped me understand! I thought back on the times when I hear people cuss (and when I've uttered words I shouldn't) and their was a seed of bitterness in all of it! That is why cussing is wrong--because it reflects that our hearts are bitter and angry. It reflects that our hearts are not loving and glorifying to the Lord. I am so excited to be able to put into words why something is wrong that I've known for so long is wrong, but just couldn't explain!

If Shepherding A Child's Heart has encouraged you, I'm certain the Parent's Handbook will too!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I think the conclusion I'm coming to is that it's easier to exercise every day--and just do it--than to exercise 3 or 4 days a week. Every time I miss a day it's harder to exercise the next day. It's harder to find the time anyways with 3 kids! After I had Autumn, I worked out 2-3 times a day until I lost my pregnancy weight. After Sami, I worked out 1-2 times a day. And this time, I walk in place when I'm standing in line somewhere just to try and get some kind of workout in!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fellowship and Yoga

This week in our small group we discussed why it is important to continue going to church because we are free in Christ. We go to church because love God and desire to glorify Him in our lives and praise Him. One of the greatest blessings of fellowship is accountability and the concern we have for one another.

One of my friends emailed me about the Yoga ABC video because she was concerned about Yoga. It was a blessing and a challenge to me and I need to mention it in my blog because I wouldn't want to recommend that video without a caveat. You see, I fast forward through the letters N and O. N is for Namaste and the teacher talks about Namaste and O is for Ohm (the sound of the universe supposedly). But, I've been a little lax lately and haven't always been downstairs to fast forward those two letters. That is remiss on my part and my friend's concern reminds me that if I am going to let them watch the video then I need to make sure that I will be nearby to fast forward those two letters. Thank you dear friend for caring enough to challenge me on it!


This year taught me a lot about homeschooling and me! I'm glad I did PreK at home with Autumn. I thought I would have lots of time to plan and do fun art projects and put together my own curriculum and collate it from several books for one subject. But, it just hasn't turned out that way. I realized quickly that I actually have less time to prep for my lessons at home than I did when I was teaching in the public schools!

So, this year, I am picking a book or curriculum for each subject with Autumn. I do have a few books that I am going to supplement with because I love them so much.
So, here's the books I plan to use:
Reading: Continue with How to Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons. Then, use a book I found called "Teaching Phonics: A Balanced Approach" I may have to purchase something midyear if the second book doesn't work out the way I hope.
Reading Comprehension: 2 Read Alouds Every Day
Easy Reading: It's a book with lesson plans to help children learn how to picture what they're reading in their heads. I found it at a book sale at the library and I'm excited to try it. I'll keep you posted on how it works out!

Singapore Math: I wanted to use this because it promotes critical thinking about Math, but it is still a book that I can use to go through and this year, it has been aligned with CA state standards for math, which I'm happy about.
Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson, Books 1, 2, and 3
I absolutely love these books! Math has been my favorite subject to teach to older students. In grad school, I didn't understand what children initially need to learn in order to gain a good understanding of mathematics and be successful in applying what they've learned. In Book 1, Kathy Richardson explains the basic concepts that children first need to learn--even in learning how to count! It may sound silly, but it was like the lights went on for me when I read it because I just hadn't understood. It has also helped me be much more patient and observant with her in math. I will probably write another post about these books sometime because I just love them so much.

Horizons Health for K
I haven't ordered them yet, but will soon. I liked the sample because the workbook is designed for Pre-Readers/Early Readers and so many books (like the Singapore Science ones I bought) are not. So, I'm going to try and use the Horizons Health in the fall and Singapore Science in the spring, hopefully.

Write from the Start
We'll see. I'm curious if this will work for us or not.

Bible: Next year, I want to save up and purchase the sunday school curriculum from Desiring God ministries (John Piper's church), but for this year, my goal is to teach them several hymns and use other books I have.
Daily we start off with The Bible Illustrated for Little Children by Ella Lindvall. I love it! I would recommend it to anyone homeschooling or not. The pictures are not exciting, but the stories are good and biblical. After each little story, there are three questions and it has really helped Autumn learn how to start answering questions about what she has heard. At the beginning of last year, she couldn't answer any of them and now she answers most of them.
I also have Play 'n Learn Bible Stories and I'm going to get My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. I also have another book that I've started using called Every Day Adventures by Pat Holt that I found at another book sale. It is a treasure. How often do you find a book with stories about Children and God that has questions at the end of each based on Bloom's Taxonomy? They are good questions and I still treasure it all the more knowing I only paid a dime for it!

Nursery Art from Singapore
I liked the Sample and I'm excited to use it. I found a set of 6 books at a book sale to supplement the curriculum with more examples that the girls will be able to see.

Spanish: I found a fun book with songs to help the girls learn beginning Spanish words and that's where we're going to start this year for an introduction. They already know one of the songs.

Music: Next year, we're hoping to enroll Autumn in Violin lessons, but we're going to wait until then. At home, I plan on doing a lot of dancing with them and learning a lot of new songs. I've ordered a CD by Cedarmont Kids for Patriotic Songs and next month I'm going to order two more by Cedarmont Kids called Christmas Favorites and Christmas Carols.

I think that is one of the most surprising things to me is to realize how much children are exposed to in school and how many resources I want to have at home so that they don't miss out on learning those things. A good example is the CDs by Cedarmont Kids. I really want the girls to learn and enjoy those songs and it does fall under Social Studies.

Writing: I have a curriculum called Step Up To Writing that I used when I was teaching that works for grades K-8, so I'm going to try and use that this year. I think it will involve some prep for me, so I'm not sure how well it's going to work though. But, I love the curriculum, so I'm going to try!

Critical Thinking:
Mind Benders Warm-Up
High Five Alive by Highlights.
Autumn was given a subscription to High Five Alive by her Grandma and we all really like it.

Social Studies: I have a list of topics that need to be covered and a lot of various books to read with them. I also want to go on field trips with the girls so they can see places that we talk about. There's a wonderful library near us that has a place called "Storyville". It is a miniature town for kids 0-5 (no one over 5 can go in). And it's free! It's really a miniature hands-on children's museum for little kids.

PE: I really want to make sure the girls are active every day. We have two exercise videos for kids that they like to do inside when it's hot. One is a My Gym video featuring MYMO, a monkey, and the other is Yoga Kids ABCs. Both are great! I'm going to sign the girls up for soccer for September/October and then Autumn for dance this year.

It sounds like a lot, but I don't think it will be. I discovered last year that lessons at this age are so much shorter than they are in the later grades. I'm not going to overload Autumn. A lot of the subjects will only be twice a week. Next post, I'll try and type up my schedule plan! I'm going to try and learn to format on this better so it will be easier to read next time =)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back to School

Well, I realized yesterday it is going to be a lot harder come the end of August to talk to my friends. So, I hope that this will be a way to keep in touch. I am going to try and update it every few days. Please comment and let me know what you think about my ideas or things I share!

At the end of August, I will be starting to homeschool Autumn for Kindergarten and Sami for PreK 3. I am excited but it has begun to dawn on me what a change this is going to mean for me in my life. I am starting to think through what my schedule with be for each day. Autumn will be doing Kindergarten at home and then going to PreK-4 at the program she went to last year. It was a great time for her to be social with other kids and it is affordable. Yay, God! (only $60/yr for 2 times a week!) It is a huge blessing to us. My plan is to do Sami's PreK-3 at home during the time that Autumn is at Preschool.

Eli is doing well, but I think that 3 is much harder than 2! I am trying to figure out how to balance everything. Please pray that God would give me wisdom. The girls have been "misbehaving" more than usual and I have been shocked by some of their behaviors. It is very humbling to see them misbehave and realize that I can't just make things work out the way I want them to. I need to trust their hearts to the Lord and seek His guidance in how to mold their hearts and teach them.

I have chosen most of my curriculum, but I need to order my math and health curriculums next week. I want to write about what I'm planning to do for the year in my next post, but the girls just woke and I need to run.