Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Mommy Skills….

November 2, 2012

Emma is learning.

She doesn’t know it just yet, but these years are forming her heart and her mind for the years to come.

The Lord willing, one day, Emma will have real babies of her very own.

For now, she practices bathing her baby, just like she’s seen her mama bathe her own babies so many times before.

Sweet times.


A Typical Day in a Not So Typical Home

October 22, 2012

It’s Monday.

I’ve thought all weekend about what my week should hold– the projects I would like to see done, letters that need to be written, life to be lived. 🙂

I do have a few things on my list, but, it’s nice for once to not have a schedule over-flowing with activities. It’s nice to have a moment to breathe….to settle into the rhythm of fall.

So, it’s Monday.

This is where we are at….

I got a haircut this weekend. Courtney has been using this tutorial to cut it into long layers. It’s been so easy to style and seems healthier. I love it! (By the way, please excuse my sickly looking ferns. I don’t they’ve yet recovered from me dividing them last spring. *sigh*)

I’m wearing my favorite shirt….my pink polka dots make me feel happy (and who doesn’t need that lift on a Monday morning?!).

Paul is working (I think….), at his desk this morning.

Josh is already at work, only a door down from Paul….

Courtney helped with lunch prep this morning (which is usually my job…thanks, Courtney!)…

The crew is deep into their studies, and reading assignments on this beautiful fall day…

I’m a blessed woman. The Lord willing, by the end of this day, like almost all others, I would have had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the table with my entire family. I would have heard them laughing and sharing stories, gotten countless kisses, and shared in a few new memories.

It’s not hard to count my blessings.

I hope you are always thankful for your life and the gifts God has given. What blessings are you counting today?

Sunday Morning

October 11, 2012

Paul has always said, “the person who wrote “Easy Like Sunday Morning”, did not have children to dress for church!”.

A week ago Sunday, we were having one of THOSE days. You know the one where you start with the best of intentions and everything seems to go backwards from the moment your eyes open.

To be honest, Saturday night, I wasn’t exactly sure if I would attempt church by myself. Paul was out of town and it would be he first Sunday to get up and have everyone dressed and out the door without his help.

I should have been more prepared. We should have gone ahead and sat out clothes, buckled the car seats, etc., but I was tired Saturday night and decided to just wait until Sunday to see how I was feeling (at this point, Jackson was still not sleeping more than 2 1/2-3 hours at one time).

So, Sunday morning arrived and I felt pretty good– even after having had very little sleep in the night.

I jumped into the shower and got dressed, even down to my makeup and hair and proceeded to start working on the baby.

At some point, I realized that pretty much all the littles were missing a shoe, or pants, or something. Trying to be positive, I thought, if one of the littles has to go to church without a shoe, it won’t be the end of the world.

(I REALLY love being at our church on Sunday. It’s just sad when we miss that fellowship during the week!)

It was about mid-morning when Paul called. He was several hours from home just checking in with me to see how our morning is going (sweet man!).

As I was speaking with him, I began to hear yelling and crying….I think pretty much most of my house was coming unglued.

I started to feel so warm (keep in mind, I’m a multi-tasker…I’m dressing Jackson, talking to Paul and trying to manage everyone dressing for church).

I looked down to realize Jackson had relieved himself all over my right side. It wasn’t a small “happening”, I actually had puddles on my shirt sleeve in the folds of fabric just above my elbow.


I know better than to leave a little boy uncovered for long. I know better.


You would think that would have been the end of the morning, but as I was explaining to Paul that I needed to go and was going to need to get a shower and dressed again, I heard a CRASH from our kitchen.

The top rack of our dishwasher actually fell off the tracks and crashed to the floor shattering a good many of the dishes that were glass, including my favorite mug.

Not just any mug.

This was the mug Paul had made and mailed to me when he was away for two months last summer and just happened to miss my birthday. (You know, the same day I sent my son on his first flight and the beginning of his new job and months in California??). It was one of the things that kept a smile on my face last summer...and believe me, that was hard to do.

In any case, at this point, Matthew was crying (he was the one unloading the dishes), and I was beginning to cry.

I told Paul what was going on, and hung up with him. I explained to Matthew this wasn’t his fault and that we needed to figure out what just happened with the dishes and the dishwasher.

I stopped to pray for peace in our home and made the decision that those dressed and ready could go on to church, and those of us who weren’t needed to stay.

Just like that, it was over and everyone was smiling again.

Half of my family enjoyed church. The other half worked to straighten up the mess of the morning, and enjoy our time at home.

I tried not to think of my mug too much. It made me sad.

About mid-week, this little package arrived:

and in it was this:

Paul, had re-ordered my mug. ❤

Paul Lambert, you remain one of the most thoughtful men I have ever met.

I love you more than you know, and I’m so glad to have my little mug back!

Teach Your Child to Read– Phonics/Reading

October 10, 2012

We are asked about the curriculum we use quite often.

Honestly, most things change from year to year, but we have managed to find a few “keepers”.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons remains our main phonics curriculum.

Years ago, when we first started to think about homeschooling our children, this was suggested by my uncle (a veteran homeschooler). It was the first homeschool book we ever purchased.

We’ve used it for all of our children who are now reading (that would be seven, now finished). Jon and Emma are currently working through the book.

I’ll admit feeling frustrated when we first used this book. I didn’t feel like we were making good progress — but I decided to stick with it and over the years, it has proven itself again and again.

Through the years, we’ve developed a system of sorts, for using this book. I’m happy to share these ideas with you!

We don’t do any of the handwriting, rhyming, or touching assignments. I’m sure they are useful for some, but we just decided they didn’t really add anything substantial toward our goal of reading, so we just don’t do them.

Second, I try to work our way through all the letters and sounds in each lesson before we work on the words.

I know this is not how they have each lesson organized, but it works well for us.

To be more detailed, I actually ask my children to name all the letters first, and then we go back through the lesson for them to tell me the sound each letter makes.

This gives me a chance to remind them of long and short sounds for each letter.

Also, because I have them naming each letter (something the book doesn’t tell me to do), I’ve avoided the problem of having worked my way almost all the way through the book before my child can name each letter.

Some additional little details– we realized early on that this book was being used so much, it was falling apart.

When we purchased our second copy, I went ahead and ripped all the pages from the book and placed them into page protectors. Now our book is housed in a heavy binder (which after so much use is now also beginning to fall apart– anyone know where to find a heavy duty binder??).

We keep each child’s place with a bookmark I’ve made for that child. I just slide it into the page protector where I last left off with our lesson.

This seems insignificant to me, but our children LOVE their bookmarks. Most have them tucked away in their keepsake boxes.

It’s a BIG deal in our home when you are old enough for Mama to create your phonics bookmark.

The other thing I’ve done is initial and date each child’s progress through the book. It’s a growth chart, of sorts. I had never really thought about this being special until Courtney was glancing through it’s pages a couple of weeks ago, and mentioned how nice it was to see each of their initials and the date beside the lessons.

Admittedly, I’ve not been as consistent with initialing as I should have– now that I know it’s meaningful to them, I’ll definitely make more of an effort.

If you are using this curriculum, or think you might, OR if you have some ideas for making school memorable and fun, I would love to hear your ideas!

Goodbye to Summer

September 29, 2012

I know the days of summer have come to an end, but we still had this little loose end to tie:

Earlier in the season we had purchased popsicle molds with the promise of making pudding pops this year.

We found ourselves with a little sliver of time in the day. It was great, ….just perfect really,
for Timothy and Jessica to gather supplies and start mixing.

We had some really happy little people.

I certainly won’t miss the heat, but I always do miss the summer days that bring so many sweet memories!

Joshua's Trip and a Prayer Request

September 29, 2012

Well, just when I’m celebrating a small milestone (which isn’t really small at all….just for a small person…), my oldest son is flying his way to California this morning for work.

(Suitcase packed and ready….)

As always, I would appreciate prayer for his safety.

It’s a strange thing to be spread between two seasons of life this way.

While many others are either finished or almost finished raising their children, or are in the middle of their child’s younger years, we have a little of both. I’m rocking babies and seeing my older children off to work–it’s odd, but good.

Joshua was all dressed and packed at 4 am this morning. We had decided this time, he would drive himself to the airport. *Sigh.*

(Matthew…always up, no matter what time, to see folks off and help with their bags. He’s very thoughtful)

I think, at this moment, it would have been easier for me to take him myself. Then I could have seen him step into the airport and stayed with him just a few more minutes.

It’s hard to let go and let them grow.

I sent him off with two Bible verses that have been lingering with me this week:

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (NIV)

1 Timothy 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (NIV)

As I’ve prayed for him, I believe the Lord has impressed them on my heart. Yesterday, I took a minute to write them out on a little card and leave them for him. He thanked me and placed them in his wallet. When I asked him if he had them this morning, he told me he was definitely NOT leaving the house without them. …he’s a good boy. 🙂

It’s funny, where I can’t go, this is a real world reminder that the Lord goes with him. He’s never alone. He’s just where he needs to be…in the care of He who loves him so much more than I ever could.

So for now, I’ll rock my smallest son, and pray for my oldest.

I’m grateful for every breath, and every moment.