Friday, August 26, 2011

Much Ado About YOU!

My Fabulous New Planner!

It is one of the best gifts I've ever received.  Here are 8 Reasons I chose Much Ado About YOU:

1-  First you get to pick the colors and design from her selection and then she personalizes it with your name.

2-  It has snazzy little tabs with B-L-I-N-G!  I know totally fluff but it makes me happy;)

3-  Each month is visible at a glance and she makes all holiday dates in red.  I like her font and even her monthly quote.   
Septembers: Be yourself everyone else is already taken.

4-  When you turn past the month at a glance she has it set up in weekly grids.  Each day has one hour time slots from 7a-11p and the blank boxes at the bottom are perfect for my dinners and to-do's.

5-  For just $2 you get a snazzy jumbo paper clip accessorized to go with your chosen design.

6-  She has all kinds of space for note taking and each page has it's own clip art!

7-  At the very back there is a place to jot down idea's for the next year.  As a homeschool mom I know I am going to find that very helpful.

8-  One of my very favorite perks is the double sided pocket page.



Well, I finally got my Eggies!  We ordered them off t.v. after thinking about it for quite awhile.  We are trying to do less carbs and more protein and this seemed like a great idea to help us do just that.  I can tell you that there are definitely pro's and con's. 

First, let me share the pictures of how it works and then I'll close with my thoughts:

Personally, I love how perfect the eggs come out.  I could not seem to consistently make a good hard boiled egg. (I'm sure it's just me)  But sometimes I would try to peel and big clumps would of egg white would stick to the shell leaving a lot less egg to actually eat.

I also like that I can make soft boiled eggies which is like a poached egg and eat it right out of the container.  (with a spoon)

What I don't like is that it takes a lot of prep to get them ready.  You have to oil the inside and assemble.  Also learning how to crack the egg into your eggie takes a bit of practice.  If you pour too quickly the yolk gets stuck on top of the opening and it makes the whole thing turn over.

I believe that it won't seem like a big deal once you get used to using them but right now we are in the learning curve.  If I remember I will post an update down the road and let you know if it was keeper or just a fun experiment! 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Homeschoolers On The Ridge! - Speaking Event

Some of the moms sharing their "plate work".

Tuesday night I was so honored to travel with my sweet friend Neoka over to Winterhaven for a speaking engagement.  Let me tell you, when I speak, it is so much more about what God is teaching me than what I could ever do for anyone else.  
I love speaking because I have to stop and stay at the throne to hear what it is He wants me to share. Every single time my stories and outlines are based on those things I messed up but God redeemed!

 Moms relating to my "June Cleaver" syndrome.

 Loved this mom!  Sharing that it energizes her to do MATH!  

 Homeschool dad and police officer who could relate to my Scotty's strengths.  Focusing on why we're better together. I adored his wife's Texas southern accent.  I could listen to her talk for hours.

Inspiration!  Right before I spoke she shared her testimony of how being a part of "Homeschoolers On The Ridge" and Barb Mesh's highschool workshop has been such a blessing to her and her daughter since they moved to Florida.  

Ann had been homeschooling for one year when the Lord took her husband home in a plane accident.  She is so thankful for that year God gave them as a family through homeschooling.

It brought me tears and helped settle my focus on that which is most important right before I was to speak.  Thank you, Ann for your transparency.  Praying you have the greatest senior year EVER with your daughter!


Carol Ryan and I have been online friends for well over a decade.  As a brand new homeschooler we met while on the Five In A Row boards.  We quickly clicked and joined a loop with a few other "rowers".  We went through child birth, illness and life transitions together.  All these years and I've never met her in real life until this night.  It was a total surprise.  

Imagine my shock as I walked back to my seat and saw her sweet face smiling at me.  I think I screamed.  (Yes, I know not very together, huh? LOL)  I hated that we could only chat for about a 1/2 hour.  Now I want to set up a date to just go over for a long dinner of conversation and catching up.  

Thank you Carol for surprising me.  You blessed my heart beyond what I could ever say with mere words. (((Love You)))

The lady on your left is Neoka Apple.  Neoka was MY support group leader for 9 full years.  She's been my friend for 14.  This women filled my cup and inspired me when I was knee deep in diapers, dishes and dirty laundry.  She reminded me that the days are long but the years are short.  

She has now graduated all three of her children who have gone on to amazing careers.  Her oldest daughter is finishing her residency as a doctor.  Neoka herself decided to go back and get her PhD.  She has such a servant heart and drove me to all the way to WinterHaven, she prayed with me, she cheered me on and she took almost all of the pictures.  

The other beautiful lady on your right is Barb Mesh.  I met Barb through Neoka.  She also homeschooled her two children who are now flourishing in amazing careers and she offers workshops that teach families how to navigate homeschooling through highschool with transcripts, curriculum and scholarships.  

We were so blessed to stop and have dinner before hand.  I love these women.  They are a part of my homeschool heritage.  They walked before me and paved the way!

Rose Marie!  Every year she and we get to connect at our homeschool convention in the leaders forum.  It is one of those natural people you just instantly know you could be good friends with.  If we lived closer we'd probably get in trouble together. (grin) She heads up "Homeschoolers On The Ridge" and does an amazing job because she truly loves them, loves homeschooling and loves her Lord.  
I had tears in my eyes when Ann shared her testimony of how much Homeschoolers On The Ridge meant to her after her husband passing away and I thought of Ann Marie.  All those hours leaders invest and never know just who or how deeply your act of service impacts another.  

Thank you to all my local peeps and facebook friends for praying for me.  I could feel His mantle of peace settled securely on my shoulders.  It was so not about me, it was ALL ABOUT HIM!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


“But you are the one chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of homeschooling, mothering, mentoring, discipling, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others day and night the difference he made for you--from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted!-- 1 Peter 4:9

The Lord gave me this verse one morning as I was working with one of my precious sons who learn differently.  He was working and struggling so hard to understand a fairly simple concept.
No matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t seem to understand what they were asking.  It was breaking my heart.

 As I lifted my eyes to the throne, he poured out the beginning of 1 Peter 4:9 but I didn’t have memorized and needed to go look it up in it’s entirety so that I could feast on it.
Mary, you were chosen for the high calling of homeschooling, mothering, mentoring, discipling your children.

 This was living water to a soul that was being scorched with thoughts of inadequacy and fear.

Guess what?  My child quickly moved through his challenging assignment and onto the next.
Because God is a God of love he blessed me by allowing my son to really shine in his very next school assignment, cursive writing.
As I looked upon his paper I was overcome with emotion.  All I could see was the most stunning masterpiece of artwork in his loops and lines.

He may be behind my other boys in some things, but when it comes to handwriting, music, art, computers, he shines like nobody’s business!
Thank you Lord that you are helping me discover my children’s strengths and what makes them great.  I am even more thankful that your strength is made perfect in my weakness.  When I don’t have the answers I am able to look to the one who always does.
Now this is truly strengths-based living, strengths-based homeschooling!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Knowing My Purpose

 He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.  They stumble because they do not obey God's word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.  But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession.  As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.--1 Peter 2:8-9

Lord Jesus, please do not ever let me forget who I am.  I am yours!  I don't want to get so caught up in my homeschool, homemaking, health pursuing, husband loving that you become second.  Let me love you first so you can show me how to be all those things.  I am your very own possession.  Thank you for bringing me out of the darkness and into your marvelous light.  How grateful I am!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Preparing To Start Our New School Year

I love this time of year.  New beginnings make me a happy girl!  

I have to tell you that I crack up every time I see the commercials for back-to-school.  They show mom ready to explode in excitement that she is getting ready to have time away from the children.  I'm totally the opposite.  

I feel like summer allows us to lighten up and do things we normally don't get to do, but it's also a time when my boys are outside for hours playing with their friends.  I look forward to pulling in and settling down.  School time also means that fall is on the way!  I love it!

This year I have made some pretty significant changes.  I am very much looking forward to seeing how they fit our family.  

We are moving from unit studies & online learning to a more classical education.  Though I am sure if you had to label me it will be called, "Classically Relaxed". (grin)
My first memory work board

2011-2012 Line-Up

Classical Conversations-  CC is a community of homeschool families that meet once a week for 24 weeks to drill a foundation of core information.  I love that it's just the basics and I get to go home and flesh out the areas we want to go deeper into.  We will mostly use books.  

I am tutoring the older foundations class and so looking forward to watching my kids shine for HIS glory as we get together each week.

Math-  For math we will be using Master Pak drills and Horizons Math.  I have explored other options since we will be returning to a more traditional paper/pencil route, but the Lord has consistently led me back to Horizons again and again.  

We used this with Brandon several years ago so I am familiar with the program.  I love the vivid graphics and the simplicity of one page (front and back) per day.  I am just not sure how spiral will work with my younger gang?  

I'm going to trust that if the Lord has led us to this program that means that this year it will be a great fit! (smile)

Language Arts-  Truthfully, this is the one I am least confident in.  I know and LOVE Easy Grammar and had planned to use it.  However, I am going to do the whole CC shabang this first year so I can better determine whether it's a good fit for our home or not. I am very happy with the gals that tutor the Essentials Of Language Arts program each Tuesday so this makes it a little less scary.

Latin-  This is the first time in 14 years we've ever added Latin to our lineup.  I am actually very much looking forward to it.  I remember how memorizing the Latin suffixes and prefixes in nursing school helped me to understand vocabulary.  I think my children will find this opens up a whole new world to them in creating a language rich environment.

History-  We will be memorizing 24 important timeline dates of history in our CC program and then fleshing them out at home with good books.  I plan to "row" a few FIAR titles but not until I get my sea legs with our new program.

Geography-  We are going to memorizes all the states and capitals along with all of our Presidents.  This is one of the subjects I think the boys will LOVE!

Bible & Worldview-  We are going to read one chapter a day and discuss.  We will focus on the New Testament this year.  We are also going to add in read-a-louds to show real life application.  Our first book will be, "Heaven Is For Real".  It's a true story of a little boys named Colton who spent time in heaven and came back to tell about it.

Our Schedule

8-9 am - Wake, Dress, Eat, Chores, Animals

9am-9:30-  Bible & Praise & Worship

9:30-10-  Math

10-10:30-  New Grammar

10:30- 11:00-  Break

11:00-Noon-  Reading & Writing

Noon-1:30- Lunch

11:30-Noon- Reading & Writing

Breakout Session (Art, Music, Map)

2-3pm-  Essentials/Grammar


 We are NOT following the above schedule.  

I just wanted to tease my friends who know me and I know read this blog.  We'll do what we always do.  I have a time we will start (9am at the latest) and our break for lunch. (11:30-1:00)  I have a list of what's to be done and we just do it.  Sometimes it goes faster and we get it all done by lunch and sometimes we have errands and split it up.

What are you guys doing?