Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Days

Ben on his first day of Pre-K.  He is loving it!

Madeline today on our first official day of homeschool.

Marney ready to work.

Owen, math, and Shakeology.  A winning combo! 

The school room pulled together.

We are off to a great start!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Homeschooling From a Closet

Technically, it's homeschooling from a bar, but I thought that title might get me in trouble with the law.

This closet has been evolving all summer, and I finally got some time this weekend to get in there and organize.  Really it was easy, now that it's purpose is more clear.

Our home came with a dry-bar in a closet under the main staircase.  It's located between the kitchen and the formal dinning room, which we are using for our school room this year.  I still hate all the glass and mirrors, but we are blessed to have all this space, so who am I to complain too loudly.

I used basket, magazine holders, and other organizational tools to control the clutter.  All of our new curriculum has not arrived yet, but it will all fit here.  Each child can just grab what they need, and then return it at the end of the day.  Safely away from very busy little brothers!

These pencil holders from Ikea work will to hold all those little supply items.  Love them!

Art supplies, and bigger items.

Mom's work space.

Next up is bringing the girls desks down from upstairs, and organizing the entry way closet to hold Ben's toys.

This is the fun part of homeschooling, I love organizing and getting new curriculum.  

Come February I may be turing that closet back into a bar!

We had a busy weekend around here!  Madeline's bathroom got painted, and a new exhaust fan was hung.  We have been having some moisture issues in there.  The crappy builder grade paint was melting off the walls, and we were starting to get a mold problem.  New paint and new fan to the rescue!  We are still trying really hard not to invest any money in this house, but that was one area we could not ignore.

Hope you are all well, and had a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home Again

{Saugatuck sand dunes July 2012}

I'm seeing signs of my sanity coming back after a very stressful season of life.  At almost a year out from our move, our new normal is starting to feel normal.  I no longer feel the need to keep everyone busy, busy, busy, and therefore distracted from feeling homesick.  We can now take life one day at a time, for exactly what it is, and not rush it away.  We are coming back to center after being thrown for a loop.  We are coming back to who we are as a family, we are stronger and refocused on our long term goals.

We have had a lot of ups and downs this year, made some big decisions, only to change our minds,  repeatedly. Part of me feels really bad about that, I know it's been confusing at times for the kids, but it is truly a reflection of the emotional roller coaster that goes along with such a huge life change. 

Part of coming back to who we are as a family means back to homeschooling.  It's what works for us.  I just needed some time away from it to remember how much we love it!  I was truly burnt out.   So, although I have lot's of planning to do in the next few weeks, I am re-energized and excited to begin a new year at home.  I will continue to work a couple days a month, as I know I need this little outlet (and really enjoy my job) for the nurse in me.

I am so happy to be able to say that I am looking forward to this school year!

Tomorrow we are off to Ben's appointment at the Duke Down syndrome clinic, can't wait!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

And The Adventures Continue

When you buy from a small mom or pop business,

Ask me about the healthiest (and easiest) meal of the day!

Click here to find out more.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Catching Up

A long over due update from us!

I can't believe it, but it's been 7 months since we moved to NC.

So much has changed.  Where do we start?

The Yard!
The work has begun.  Jim built a couple raised beds for vegetables, and of course I could not resist bringing home a few flowers to go with the veggies.  So far we have beans, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, watermelon and cucumbers.  It's pretty sparse, but it's a start!

The kids are doing well.  Madeline has started at a school that she loves, and the rest will follow in the fall.  I'm sad that our homeschooling days seem to be coming to an end, but our needs have changed.  We always said that we would take it a year at a time, and be flexible.  We will forever have very fond memories of those years, and who knows what the future holds.  That's the beauty of it.

Ben is doing great.  He is growing and learning at his own pace, and just as cute as ever. 

Jim is still enjoying his job.  He's been busy, but not too busy.  I have started working two days a week, and am enjoying learning a new area of healthcare.  

We are settling in to our new routine, and life here in NC.  We still have our bouts of homesickness (I don't think that will ever really go away?) but overall things are good.

Well, off to watch the Tigers.  They better get their act together soon!
Have a great weekend!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Bench Warmer and Her Fan Club

Madeline hasn't played soccer in forever, I think she was 9 the last time shin guards and cleats entered our home.  Since she started school, she decided to give it another try.  Actually, her Dad wanted to save some money on after school care, but we are pretending she had a say in this decision. 
The varsity team is made up of 7th-12th graders.  As a 7th grader, and soccer newbie, Madeline does a great deal of sitting on the bench...  

...and her fan club is right there supporting her.  Last week we were lucky to be joined by Grandma and Grandpa.

Look at Ben in his big boy chair!  

It was a beautiful evening in NC.

Marney's photo of Daddy.

Ben was relocated to the stroller after he ran out onto the field one too many times.

He didn't mind, he was thirsty from all that running.

After the game we went out for some NC BBQ.  Yum!  Thanks again for making the trip down, Mom and Dad.  See you Easter weekend!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pinterest Wisdom

Some of my favorites...

Marney's favorite verse, I really want to get this for her!  It would look swell in her new purple room.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What I'm Reading These Days

Just Finished Re-Reading....

1000 White Women By Jim Fergus (Love historical fiction!  This book is amazing.)

Muddling Through...

The Haunted Mine an RC booklist book, the girls and I are reading this together.

Just Ordered (some books, I just like to hold in my hands)....

Free Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful Chicken-Friendly Yard

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Food, Farming, And Love

Spark Story Bible

On my Kindle....

Called to Care: A Christian World View for Nursing

On the lookout for...

Appropriate teen girl fiction, no vampires, boyfriends, or drama!  Any suggestions would be welcome!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Birthday Bonus

I sent my Mom, at her request, Marney's birthday wish list.  One of the items was a can on paint. Marney has been wanting her room painted since we moved in, and I have not had the time or energy to fill that request.  So I half-jokingly included in parentheses (and Dad too for the weekend, to help her paint!)  Well, lo and behold, Mom e-mailed me back and said, "I think we can make that happen. " Woo-Hoo!  

As an extra added bonus, Jacob was included in the package!

Grandpa's here!

Hard at work.

Out for a walk in the woods, on an unusually dreary day.

Jacob faithfully wore his rosary.  I still have it, Jake!  I promise to send it soon.

The finished product.  A happy girl, and a cute room.

Thank you so much to our family for being spontaneous and making this happen, we are all so grateful.  So far since we moved, we have had a visit of some sort to look forward to every 12 weeks or so.  I has helped so much.  We are very lucky to have family that cares enough to make such an effort.  Looking forward to our next get together in March! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday Marney!

Our girl turned 11 on Tuesday.  We celebrated Saturday with a trip to her favorite swim supply store in the big city and dinner out at PF Changs, yum.  Tuesday night she opened her presents sent from far and wide, and ate cake.  I made this chocolate deliciousness found on piterest, double yum!

She is growing up way too fast, but making us very proud in the process.  We love you Marney!