but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A New Chapter In Our Lives

Since moving to South Dakota, we have made the family decision not to continue home schooling the children. C is now in the 11th grade, J is in 10th, K is in 7th, and A is in the 2nd grade. We are going through some adjustment issues, but things are settling down and the children are enjoying going to school. We have no regrets at this point in time.
Because of this decision I don't see a point in continuing with this blog. I will continue to post all sorts of daily life happenings to include things going on at school on the family blog, No Greater Joys. I hope you will all stop in and see how we are doing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Field Trip to The Journey Museum

Today we went to The Journey Museum. It is a really nice museum. I really enjoyed it. It was not crowded at all. Actually for most of the time we were there, we were the only ones there. However, the children were all over the place. It was hard for me to really look at everything when I kept hearing "Mom, come look at this." or "Mommy, this is really cool." I told the children that I will have to take them each back individually so that we can really look around at everything and enjoy all of it.
I give this field trip an A. Even though I didn't get to look at everything, the children enjoyed it, and it was NOT crowded.

Finally Approved

I finally got my letter from the school board yesterday. I am now officially approved to home school my children for the remainder of this school year. I really wasn't worried about it. I was pretty confident that they would approve it since we just moved here and are in the 4th nine weeks of school, but it is nice to be official.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Field Trip!!

On Monday after we finished our school work we went to Reptile Gardens. We were there in August of 2009 and it was beautiful. All the flowers blooming, all the exhibits open, lots of people walking around. This was not quite the case this time. It is very early in the season. They just opened and the weather is still very unpredictable so it was certainly not the same experience that we had before. That being said. . . we still enjoyed ourselves. And we will go back.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Homeschooling in South Dakota

If you have been following my family blog then you know that we have now been in South Dakota for just about a week. One of the first things I did when I got here was go to the school board and fill out a request to home school my children. It is required in the state of South Dakota to have the school board approve all requests to home school.
The rules for homeschooling vary per state. And when I say vary, I mean they really vary. I was surprised by the differences. Some states are very accepting of home schooling and really have a good relationship between the public schools and home schooling students. For instance, here in SD home school students can participate in public school sports. (Something we really struggled with in NC was that our children could not play for the public school teams.) Also, home school students can take some classes through the public school while still home school for others.
I will continue to home school for the remainder of this school year. We will have to wait and see about next year. The boys are thinking that may like to return to school. We will pray about this option and see what the Lord leads us to do.

Friday, September 3, 2010

So far, so good.

We have been in school now for a couple of weeks and it is going quite smoothly. I pretty much divide my time between J, K, and A. C is in 10th grade and with using Switched-on-schoolhouse he is pretty self sufficient. All I have to do is help him review for quizzes and tests and make sure his work is done for the day. J, K and A have been great about waiting for my attention while I help one or the other of them. They are even helping each other as they wait for me. It really makes me feel good that things are going so well. Now we just have to see how long the calm lasts. LOL

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New year=New plan

Last year the girls went to public school and I schooled the boys at home. It worked out well and the girls loved going to school except in the morning when I was waking them up at 6:30 and the boys were still sleeping.
So this year our family has been waiting to sell our house so that we can move to South Dakota. We thought that we would have the house sold and be moved over the summer, but that hasn't happened. With the thought of moving sometime during the school year we have decided to home school all of the children this year.
The older three will be using Switched On Schoolhouse. This seemed to be the best option for this year (less actual books to carry around). They can still do their lessons even if we are packing up the house and moving. A will be in 1st grade. I have decided to piece together my own curriculum for her. There is so much available online. I could spend an entire month just printing free material provided online.
I am very excited about the freedom home schooling will give us to explore the area once we get moved. There will be so much we can do together. So much to discover.
What a blessing it is to be able to school my children at home.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Muffins with Mom!!

Today I went to school with A. They were honoring mothers today with Muffins for Mom. Each child also wrote about why they love their moms. It was really sweet.
I think she hit the important points with her poem: Hugs, Kisses, Love and Food!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Growing up and school dances!!

My K is getting so big. She is now in 5th grade. I can't believe how the time has flown by since she was just this little girl running after her big brothers. She has had a couple of milestones the last couple weeks that are making me really think about what a great young lady she is becoming.
The first special moment was on February 14th. This was a very important day for our K. This was the day she decided to be baptized.
To add to the special moment, Kurt was the one to baptize her. This is a moment my little girl will remember forever.
The next special moment was a little less important to her eternity and more important to her here and now. The school that K and A attends was having a school dance.    
OH NO, not a school dance already she is only in 5th grade!! 
Okay now that I had that moment, let me go on to say that it was a "Friendship Dance". The one rule that we had for K was "No Dancing With Any Boys" To which K responded, "I don't like any of the boys at school." She said this as if it would actually make a difference if she liked them or not. Silly girl. Anyway, she had a good time hanging out with her new friends from school and enjoyed the music. I am very happy to say that I have survived the first of many, many school dances.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life's Trials/New Year

I am helping to coach C's home school basketball team. As I am enjoying this opportunity very much it is also very time consuming. That is one of the reasons for me not posting in such a long time. Anyway, C was voted one of three team captains for his JV team this year. One of the responsibilities of a team captain is to prepare a short bible lesson/devotion for each practice. This week C chose a devotion about the trials in life and how just because we are Christians it does not mean that we will not have difficulties in life.
As we prepare for a new year and have a time for reflection and even try to make a "resolution" to improve something in our lives for the new year I am thinking of those trials that we go through.
What do we do during the times of great difficulty in our lives? Do we seek and listen to God only when things are going good in our lives? Are we more "faithful" during the good times or the bad?
C's head coach tells the boys on the team that she is not looking for their mistakes (because she knows they will make them) she is looking for what they do for the first 3 seconds after they make a mistake. I know that until we are home with Jesus, walking side by side with our Heavenly Father, we will continue to face trials. But I wonder if God is looking to see what we do the first 3 seconds after we are faced with those trials. Do we immediately go to Him for guidance, or do we rush off to try to figure things out on our own? Do we seek guidance from those around us instead of the only who can truly solve our problems?
During the years that Kurt and I have been married we have had our share of trials. I think it is hard to just wait, wait for the Lord to speak. I so often want to solve my own problems as quickly and easily as possible, only to sometimes make the situation even worse. Sometimes I let my emotions lead me, or my sense of what is the right thing to do instead of listening for the Lord to tell me what I should do.
If I was to make a "resolution" for this new year, I think it would be to truly seek God first in all I do. Not just when I make a mess of something and need Him to fix it. He is always there for me, all I have to do is go to Him and let him carry me through life's trials.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Christians are like pumpkins!!

I read this many years ago and wanted to share it again.

Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin!

Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

He then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power. He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That's why it is important to go the church and learn about God's Word.

He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love. After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God's love in your life.

Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. "Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us. We can say like this jack-o-lantern, "Thy presence, my light!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our Trip to Duffie's Exotic Bird Ranch

Last week our home school group took a field trip to Duffie's Exotic Bird Ranch in Dunn. There was an article in our local paper about the ranch so a trip was planned.
There were many different varieties of birds and it was quite an enjoyable trip. It was a beautiful day for the trip not too hot with just a bit of a breeze. The ranch was definitely bigger than it looked from the front of the property. We walked a good distance and the guided tour took just about 2 hours.
One big difference about this trip is that it was the first field trip of the year without the girls. Since they are now in public school they will have their own trips. It was nice to spend some time with just the boys for a change, but more than once I found myself wishing that my girls would have been with us.

Monday, September 28, 2009

My 1 Year Blogaversary Giveaway Winners!!!!

Congratulations to my winners!! And thank you to all who entered. I don't have pictures to show how I did the drawing, but I assure you I was fair. I put all the entries in a bowl and my sons picked the lucky winners!!

The Grand Prize Winner of a $50.00 gift card to your favorite restuarant was. . . Terrye at Shirley's Adventure to Grace Elyse!!!

The Second Place Winner of a $20 gift card to your choice of Target or Starbuck's was . . . Marla at Lego's and Tutu's!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Our Trip to the Durham Life and Science Musuem

Last Monday was our first day off school since the girls are in public school and get all the holidays/teacher workdays off and I decided that it would be much easier to keep the boys on the same schedule.
So, for our first "Holiday" off school we decided to go somewhere and do something instead of just wasting the day. We went to the Life and Science Museum in Durham. It wasn't too far of a drive and we had a great time.
It was amazing to see all the different kinds of butterflies and moths. They are so pretty. K was thrilled when one of the butterflies landed on her finger.

The kids had a ton of fun in the Dinosaur area where they could dig for sharks teeth. I am not sure what one has to do with the other, but it was fun for them and sometimes that is all that counts. Kurt even got in there and helped them dig.
We also saw some animals and lots of bugs. Bugs are definitely NOT my favorite, but they can be kind of cool to look at as long as they are in cages and not on me. LOL
I really liked the Lemurs. They look so cute you just wish you could hold them. The playground area was also a hit. They could just run off some energy. Of course the boys thought that it would be a great place for a paint ball fight. That is what my teenage boys would think about.
Overall it was a great day, I just wish we could have stayed a little longer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are You Her Mommy? A conversation with a Kindergarten student.

I posted the conversation that I had this morning with one of A's classmates on my family blog. If you would like to read it. . . please click here, No Greater Joys.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thoughts about the 1st week of school.

Reasons I miss homeschooling the girls. . .
1. The only cranky person on a power trip my girls had to deal with was me and I could actually talk to my child at breakfast.
I walked with K to the cafeteria on Wednesday so she could eat breakfast at school. While we were standing in line we were talking quietly as were many of the other students. The lady monitoring the line announced that there was no talking allowed in the cafeteria line. K and I exchanged a look like "Oops, we're in trouble now!" but did not say a word. Well the lady must have seen us exchange the look because she decided to assert her power and walk over to K and very firmly say, "Little girl, there is no talking in the breakfast line even if your mother is with you." I was speechless. I couldn't believe that this lady had said that to K. It was only my daughters 2nd day at this school and and her first day of going through the breakfast line and she was not the only child talking.
2. I know what my child is learning.
I asked K after the first day of school what she learned that day. She told me that she learned the rules for the classroom and they took a tour of the school and learned more rules. This is understandable, after all she is a new student to this school and she needs to learn the rules. Day 2 K had Art class. I asked her what she did in Art, she said that all they did was learn the rules for Art. Again the same thing for PE on day 3. So she has had three whole days of school and has learned nothing but rules, rules, rules. Where are the Math, Science, History, and English??? My boys have had three days of full lessons in every subject, but then again they already know the "rules" for our school. LOL
On a positive note, I do know that quite a bit of time this week has been spent by the students getting to know each other. They have done many activities where they share about themselves. This is a great way for the students to get to know each other. The social aspect of school was one of the things we considered when making the decision to put K in school. She needs that interaction with other children her age. She has made a few friends and seems to be happy.
A's thoughts on school. . ."I like school a lot, but I don't like getting woke up in the morning."

Homescooling the Boys
We have only had a few minor issues with the computer curriculum that the boys are using and I was able to get those worked out pretty quickly so all I have to say is, "So far, so good."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

1st Day of School!!

WOW!! What a day!!
I took the girls to school this morning. I walked them to class, first K, then A. I waited around for a while and walked with A's class to the cafeteria for breakfast. Took some pictures (OF COURSE!!). Then I left.
I went home and got the boys up for school. I baked brownies for our after school snack (I wanted them to have a special treat on the first day.) I took the boys to lunch (they requested Burger King, so they could have Icees) to celebrate the first day of school. I checked the boys work. Went back to the school to pick up the girls. We came home, had our snack and relaxed after a long day.
Both the girls teachers said that they had a great first day.
One day down--179 more to go.

Monday, August 24, 2009

School Starts Tomorrow!!

Wow!! Where did the summer go?
We had a pretty busy summer. We hosted an exchange student for one month this summer. This is something that we have done for two summers now and very much enjoy it. Last summer we hosted Miguel from Spain and this year we hosted Andrew from Hungary. We had very good experiences with both boys. While Andrew was here we took two day trips to the beach, which we hardly ever do so that was a big deal for us. We also took a trip to the Fort Fisher Aquarium and took the ferry to Southport for some shopping. So we were quite busy while Andrew was here.
We then made a trip to South Dakota. We were late in planning this trip because it was not just a vacation. We had to move Kurt's brother back up there to be closer the rest of Kurt's family. So instead of just Kurt taking Daniel, we decided we would all go and make a family vacation out of it. It was a very long trip. But it was great to see family that we have not see in over 2 years.
Then we brought my dad down for a visit. It was an extra special visit because he had never been to any of my homes before. My parents divorced when I was in 2nd grade and then I married an Army man and moved away. So it had never worked out for him to come to visit.
Now the summer is over and school is about to begin. I am looking forward to starting the new school year and getting back into a routine. This year will be different than any other school year because I will have two children in public school and two that I am home schooling.
The girls will start attending the local public school. I am thankful that they will have this year together at the same school. We attended open house last week and met with their teachers. Both girls seem to have great teachers and I don't anticipate any problems. We have purchased all their school supplies and are ready for them to head off in the morning.
The boys will stay home and work on their studies. I am excited about the curriculum I have for them for this year. I am sure that they will do fine with it.