Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2013


Today I sat and watched my baby girl play "hair salon". No, wait, that was real. Today my baby girl stood at her station in her salon at school and highlighted my hair, then cut her little sister's hair, and then cut her stepdad's hair. It was so surreal to see her being a big girl, a grown woman, pursuing her dream of being a hair stylist. And she did GOOD! My hair was done perfectly and professionally. We all walked out of the salon happy with what she had done for us. Kyndal is going to be so successful in her chosen career. And I am VERY proud of her! And on a couple of completely unrelated notes, I am so saddened by the death of Paul Walker. The Fast and Furious movies are some of my absolute favorites and it just won't be the same without him. RIP Paul. And, way to go Mizzou! Our Missouri Tigers are going to the SEC championship game against Auburn! And what a turn of events in the Alabama vs. Auburn game. Wow! What a crazy day of football!

Post Thanksgiving

I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving day with your families! We had a perfect day! The kids popped up at 7:50 a.m. because Thanksgiving is one of their favorite holidays. I, however, needed some more sleep. So they played in their room until I got up at 9:00 a.m. While Rick and the kids watched the DVR'd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade , I made some biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Then I got to cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. I have to say, each year I improve on our meal. This year's meal was delish! Of course we had turkey. I use Uncle Bill's recipe for roasted turkey and it turns out perfectly! (My dad's name is Bill, but it's not his recipe, and Uncle Bill is not my uncle.) My dad had the honor of cutting the turkey this year. Usually it's just Rick, myself, and the little two kids on Thanksgiving. But this year the older kids came and my parents. Along with turkey we had crockpot stuffing (thank you, Lora , it is the best stuffing

Feeling Bored and What I Plan to Do About it

Homeschooling has become boring. It's not because the actual act of teaching my children bores me, it's because we have slipped into a schedule of feeling rushed so we only do the absolute basics. Then I unleash them to spend the rest of their time on their Minecraft class (which I love) because it frees me up to get other things done. This is not how I want our homeschool environment to be. If I am not excited about homeschooling then the kids are certainly not going to be. We need to make some changes and I have been thinking of a plan to implement. A LITERATURE STUDY I have said on many occasions how much we love doing literature studies! I love planning them, reading the books, doing related and fun activities. We have not done one literature study this entire year. I have had the book Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling on my bookshelf for over a year with plans to do it as a study, but something always seems to push it away. Ohio University through the Oh

Thankful ~ Day 26

I was in the worst mood today! You wanna know why? My house has been disorderly for far too long. With my class, and homeschooling the kiddos all day, and then Kyndal being sick, my house has been desperately neglected. There were just those little piles everywhere, you know? I spent the better part of today taking care of some of those piles. Just cleaning out the clutter in the basket on my microwave provided me with a sense of peace! I know I don't like disorder. But I sometimes don't realize how much. I feel much more calm this evening as I go to bed. I still have some things I want to accomplish tomorrow, but I am over the hump and very thankful for it!

Thankful ~ Day 25

As of midnight, my faculty orientation course will be completed. I submitted my final project yesterday, which was a big Group project worth lots of points. Now all I have to do is wait for my final grade. Going into this week I had a 97%, only missing points on the very first assignment because of some APA formatting issues. The class has been a challenge, both physically and spiritually, and things got sticky when Kyndal got sick. But, I persevered and finished strong. I am so thankful it is over, however, so I can concentrate on getting my neglected house back in order and enjoying the Thanksgiving break.

Thankful ~ Day 24

Boy, Dawson was such a turkey as a young boy. I never dreamed he would become the young man he is today. There are so many things I love about him … his devotion to his job as a dietary aide at our local nursing home, how responsible he is about school and his job, how great he is with his younger brother and sister. With Rick working in Oklahoma during the week, I can always count on Dawson to step up and help me out. With Kyndal being sick this week, all I had to do was say the word and Dawson was right there to help take care of Eli and Brynne, making sure they were fed, taking Brynne to and from basketball practice, making sure they got to bed at night. They rely on him so much, and so do I. I think it really shook him up to see Kyndal so sick. And then he just wanted to do anything for her that he could. He went out in the freezing cold to get her some Gatorade. Then he came home and helped Eli and Brynne with something on their computer game. He offered to help me unload the

Thankful ~ Day 23

The medical saga with Kyndal continued through today. She woke up in the night with throbbing pain in her left arm. I gave her some ibuprofen and sent her back to bed. She got up this morning, hoping to go to school because she had a full day of clients in the salon. But, she was in severe pain in her left arm. She decided to stay home. Within a few hours she was running a 101 degree fever. I was pretty sure she was having a reaction to some flu and pneumonia vaccines she received before we left the hospital, but was fearful of some kind of infection because her fever was higher than low-grade. So, we called our doctor and he advised that we go back to the hospital. After a couple of hours and a new chest x-ray, they determined that it was, in fact, a reaction to the vaccines. So they sent her home. We were certainly happy to be able to come home and that she wasn't having any continued lung issues. We snuggled up in the living room to watch some Mizzou football and treat her feve

Weekly Wrap-up ~ A Break

In our regular life this week… On Wednesday night, Kyndal's lung broke. Well, excess air was surrounding her lung and built up between her chest wall and lung which caused 40% of her lung to collapse. As there was no apparent reason why this happened, it was called a Spontaneous Pneumothorax. She was admitted into the hospital last night where they inserted a catheter between her ribs, removed the excess air, and gave her oxygen to get her lung to re-inflate. We spent the night in the hospital for observation and she received an all-clear after her x-ray this morning. In our homeschool this week… This week we were wrapping things up in anticipation of our Thanksgiving week OFF! It's BREAK TIME! (Again, the benefits of doing summer school!) We mostly stuck to the basics. Spelling -  We did our first week of homophones in both Spelling and Grammar. Reading -  We didn't get any reading aloud done this week. But the kids continued to read their books.

Thankful ~ Day 21

Kyndal is resting well in her hospital room. Her right lung was 40% collapsed and surrounded with excess air. The surgeon was able to expel the excess air through a catheter inserted between her ribs. Then her lung recovered. The procedure was done in the ER and she was moved to a room for observation overnight. She will be on oxygen and taking pain meds. If her x-ray is good in the morning, they will remove the catheter and she will be released. Very thankful that a chest tube was not necessary and that she is breathing more easily tonight.

A Little Prayer Request

As Kyndal's lung did not cooperate overnight, we are going to have to admit her into the hospital to remove the excess air built up between her lung and chest wall. They will be inserting a chest tube, removing the excess air, and then re-inflating the lung. We would covet your prayers for an uncomplicated procedure and quick healing.

Thankful ~ Day 21

My mom is coming home today! She has been doing a "Snow Bird" trial run these past five weeks at their house in Pensacola, Florida. But, today she returns … and just in time for the snow!! Glad to have her back!

Thankful ~ Day 20

This morning Kyndal woke up with a very stiff back and upper chest area and was having trouble breathing regularly. I convinced her that she had probably just strained her back and should go ahead and go to school. She texted me later in the morning and told me that she thought that maybe she had bronchitis or something and should go to the doctor. I thought she should wait it out, but she insisted that she needed to go. This afternoon she and I went to her doctor's appointment. Her lungs sounded fairly clear, but the doctor decided to take an x-ray just in case. He was puzzled why she was having so much trouble taking a deep breath, and having pain when she tried, if her lungs sounded so clear. After the x-ray he determined that she might have a touch of pneumonia so put her on an antibiotic and an inhaler. When we were walking out of the pharmacy, the doctor's office called. The radiologist had reviewed her x-rays and found that she had a partial collapsed lung. As it wa

Christmas Comes to America ~ Homeschool Legacy (Review)

Are you looking for a delightful and simple way to celebrate Christmas in your homeschool? If so, then Christmas Comes to America would be a good choice. For the past month the kids and I have had the pleasure of reviewing this product from Homeschool Legacy . Homeschool Legacy's unit studies are based on a Once-a-Week schedule. They recommend doing all of your other studies four days a week and then devoting your unit study to one day. We typically do this on Fridays. So, each Friday we took a week of the four-week study and devoted it to learning about Christmas in Denmark, England, Germany and America. Although you can go to the Homeschool Legacy website for their  Scheduling Tips , the unit study is easily adaptable to  any  schedule. We typically do our unit studies  each  afternoon of the week. But, in using this one as an additional seasonal study, I was able to dedicate it to Fridays. What I liked: Each week's lessons start with the Library Reading/Video Ch

Thankful ~ Day 19

Tonight I had my monthly meeting with my Methodist Circle girls. I love this group of ladies! We are reading What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst and discussing the questions at the end of the chapters. Then we just spend some time talking and fellowshipping. We are also now in charge of the W. Children's Christmas Fund whereby we will be coordinating Christmas gifts and food baskets for 183 children in our town. These ladies have become some of my best friends and I always enjoy our time together. I am thankful for their friendship and hearts to serve God.

A Moment to Vent

I am frustrated. Some days I just have a hard time understanding why people don't just do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it. If I have an obligation, I will do almost anything I can do to make sure I meet it as it is expected of me. I will lose sleep, sacrifice financially, give up my personal time. It doesn't matter. If it is supposed to be done, it gets done. Sometimes it's at the last minute. But it's done, none-the-less. I do everything I can do not to let people down. I am so tired of doing my part and not getting the same courtesy from others. I do my part and then wait, wait, wait. I am weary. And I am frustrated. And I am angry. I just don't understand why people don't do what they are supposed to do. What a different world we would live in if people did.

Thankful ~ Day 18

Today is Kyndal's 19th birthday. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for her. We went through a rough patch a couple of years ago … a typical teenager and a parent scared out of her wits to be raising a typical teenager. I am so thankful that we decided to let that struggle strengthen our relationship rather than destroy it. Kyndal is a blessing to my life and is so helpful to me while Rick is working out of state. I typically don't have to even ask for her help .. she just jumps in and fills any gaps that are there. She's even managed to keep from destroying my house, now that she's all grown up! Eli and Brynne absolutely adore her and she is an amazing big sister to them .. more like a second mother. There isn't a thing in the world that she wouldn't do for them. I know that in such a short period of time Kyndal will be on her own, married, with her own family. She knows what she wants with her life and I know that she will prosper at it. She is

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Headaches

In our regular life this week… The first headache this week was, well, a headache. A sinus headache, that is! Dawson had a really bad sinus infection this past week and passed his crud along to me. I had a terrible sinus headache for a couple of days. But I religiously take my vitamins and drink gallons of green tea, so I was able to fight it off. The second headache involved my second week in a row of car repairs. Last week it was a dead alternator. This week it was a dead throttle box and battery. The cost of those repairs made it impossible for us to afford for Rick to come home this weekend or next! We won't get to see him again until Thanksgiving. That, folks, is tough on all of us. The third headache involved a disgruntled parent in how I am organizing the church children's Christmas program. Yes, you read that right … a dispute at church! It was difficult for me to navigate the waters of that problem, but I decided to take the high road. It was a situation I co

Thankful ~ Day 16

I was thankful to wake up to a much-warmer, albeit windy, day today. The temps have started to plummet now that winter is almost here. But we had a reprieve from the cold today with temperatures close to 70 degrees. It was nice to give our heaters a break for a couple of days. I love winter! But, I don't love paying for it in the form of heating bills.

Thankful ~ Day 15

Source Being in the midst of some difficult and annoying situations, I will just say that I am thankful today that God has my attention and is keeping my mind and heart strong and steadfast through them. He has provided me with calm and clarity, for which I am grateful. Without it, my head might explode.

Thankful ~ Day 14

Today I am thankful for kind, helpful kids. I had a bad sinus headache today and the little kids and I muddled through morning schoolwork. At lunch time I rested in the sitting room while they were having lunch. When lunch was over they told me to just keep resting and they worked together on some of their assignments, helping each other when they were stuck. As I rested I just smiled at what I was hearing from the adjoining room. They are good kids, and I am glad they are mine!

At Home in Dogwood Mudhole {Schoolhouse Review}

In today's volatile economy, I think there is a great many of us who would like to sell it all, downsize, and relocate to an area where we can practice more sustainable living. We long for the simpler life of Ma and Pa Ingalls where our greatest concerns involve our daily care and the care of our neighbors (who actually lived a couple miles down the dirt road). Many years ago Franklin Sanders and his family decided to do just that. In the wake of Y2K, and the fear associated with it, Sanders packed up his family and moved to Dogwood Mudhole to pursue their dream of owning their own farm, taking care of their own needs, and focusing on the family unit. He has written his journey in a 3-part series of books called At Home in Dogwood Mudhole . At the Crew, we were given the opportunity to review either the paperback or digital format of Volume 1 in the Series: Nothing That Eats . Mr. Sanders' book is written in a diary format, taken from letters to subscribers of his long-r

Thankful ~ Day 13

When today has been a bad day, I am thankful for a new tomorrow.

Thankful ~ Day 12

Every Monday my Aunt Rhonda drives through our town on her way to work to stop and visit with my grandma (her mom) who is in the nursing home and to have lunch with my mom. We started joining them when we moved here last year. My sister is in town on Mondays, too, with my one-year old niece. And now Kyndal is out of school on Mondays, so she's around, as well. We always get as much schoolwork done on Monday mornings as possible and then head to my mom's for an extended lunch break and to visit with the women in our family. Since my mom has been in Florida for the past month, I have had my aunt over for lunch here at our house on Mondays, to keep up the tradition. Kyndal has been babysitting my niece while my sister works, so she brings Ashtyn over and we all have lunch together. I cherish these times with my Aunt Rhonda. She is that perfect aunt. She never had any children of her own, so we have been her children. She is amazingly loving and sweet and we love her so much.

Thankful ~ Day 11

Weekly Wrap-up ~ More Minecraft

In our regular life this week… This week has been extremely busy and stressful as I entered the life of a college student. In order to teach an upcoming online college course, I am having to complete a three-week faculty orientation. But, it is actually a class with papers, discussion, assignments, group projects, and the like. It is seriously more labor-intensive than many of my previous law school classes! I am getting up at 6:00 a.m. every morning to put in two hours of schoolwork before the kids get up for the day. Then I am finishing up on work at night before I go to bed. My brain is absolute mush. In our homeschool this week… Grammar - We focused our attention on possessives. Spelling -  Our spelling words consisted of words with ir, ur and ear. Reading -  We are reading A Christmas Story by Charles Dickens as part of a Christmas unit study review we are doing. Eli and Brynne are still reading through the  Diary of a Wimpy Kids books. Math -  This week

Thankful ~ Day 10

This afternoon the whole family pitched in on cleaning the house. We kicked it all out in about an hour. Collin even cleaned Kyndal's car in that amount of time. It was so nice to have everybody's help on a job I typically do alone. Then we were able to enjoy a nice dinner and watch some t.v. together. And it opened up some extra time for me to actually get all our clean laundry put away! I was certainly thankful for the help!

Thankful ~ Day 9

My house on the weekends is crazy, crazy! Rick is home, Kyndal and Collin are both here, Taylar comes to spend time with Dawson, and then the little kids and me. Everybody is running in and out, going hunting, going to/from work and school, going to activities. The house is a wreck most of the weekend, and the living room is piled with people in the evenings. The main topic of conversation is what we are having for dinner. Because they all want to be fed! But how thankful I am for it all! It's so great to have everybody here, and the cleanup after the weekend is completely worth it! Thankful!

Thankful ~ Day 8

I am extremely thankful I am no longer a college student. Yikes! Times have sure changed since I was a college student some, um, 20 or so years ago. I am just taking a little three-week online faculty orientation course and it's about as labor intensive as my former law school classes! I am actually stressed! I am certainly glad I am not taking a full course load of classes. I'm not sure you could pay me to go back to school.

IXL {Schoolhouse Review}

We have been reviewing IXL for the past few weeks. IXL provides an online math program for Pre-K through 12th grade and an online language arts program for 2nd through 4th grade. It's funny to me how our homeschooling tastes have changed over the years. About a year and a half ago, the kids seemed to need a lot of variety in their learning. So, we turned to some computer-based programs to supplement our worksheets. Just a short time later, we seem to have changed our needs and wants when it comes to schooling. We reviewed IXL in June of 2012. For my two second graders, it was a fun way to reinforce concepts. We loved it! Although the features are basically the same, I found that our desire to use it this time around had waned. Was that the fault of IXL's program? Absolutely not. The program is still excellent and high-quality. Our tastes have just changed. I think that's the point I want to get across this time around in my review. If you have a child who needs s

Thankful ~ Day 7

Today I am thankful for a warm home. It's been cold outside, especially at night! But our little 100 year old house is well-built and well-insulated and has a tendency to stay extra cool in the summer and extra warm in the winter. We are without central heat this winter and relying on an infrared quartz heater and ceramic heaters to warm us. They are set on thermostats so run only enough to keep the house comfortable. But when you have been outside in the frigid cold, watching your breath rise up into the night, it's so wonderful to step back inside to a warm and comfortable home. Or when you step outside first thing in the morning to take the dogs potty, you walk back into a cozy and warm home and smile. We are blessed and thankful.

Thankful ~ Day 6

I am so thankful for jobs for me and my family. Rick, thankfully, has maintained a secure job throughout these tough economic times. It requires our family to be separated for a season, but we are thankful for the provision it provides us. Kyndal started her new part-time job at The Buckle today, a fun clothing store. Dawson received a worrisome text from his boss at the nursing home this afternoon and he was fearful that maybe his job was being eliminated due to downsizing. But, he was assured it is not. His job is secure. **UPDATE: Not only is Dawson's job secure, but he was told that he is "Employee of the Month". He will receive a plaque and a 35 cent per hour raise for a month! And for me? Working outside the home is impossible due to our homeschooling and the fact that Rick is not here during the week. I have to be 100% available to my children at all times. But, I have been given an amazing opportunity! The online course I recently developed for a Christian

College Bound Reading List

Lee from The HomeScholar posted a pdf printable list of recommended books for college bound students. My students are only 9 and 8 right now, but the list of books is long so it's not too late to get started on some of them in the next few years. A couple of them would even be appropriate very soon, like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time . You can print the list by going HERE .

Thankful ~ Day 5

Thankful ~ Day 4

I love Providence. No, I'm not talking about Providence, Rhode Island, although I would imagine that it is absolutely breathtaking this time of year with the changing leaves. I am talking about the Providence of God. We just think we know it all, don't we? We definitely think we know the best plan, or at least know how we would like the plan to go. And then God steps in and redirects the situation to the path He knows is best, and things happen pretty much out of our control. It is during these times that we can stop and look back and see where our actions have brought us to this particular set of circumstances and we see God's hand in it all, even in those things that were so insignificant along the way. I love those moments. It's when I feel closest to God and know of His power in my life. I am thankful for His Providence, and that He doesn't let me have my own way all the time.

Carole P. Roman (Away We Go Media) ~ If You Were Me … {Schoolhouse Review}

Geography is a BIG deal in our house! Eli and Brynne love anything having to do with Geography. Away We Go Media has a great product of books for young children celebrating the countries of Norway, South Korea, Mexico, and France. The books are written by Carole P. Roman and are titled: If You Were Me and Lived in Norway If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico If You Were Me and Lived in France My plan was to take these books and focus on one each Friday during the review period. I asked Eli and Brynne to each choose one book to read. I wanted them to each read their book and then tell us five things they learned. I went into the kitchen to fix lunch, but before I got to the kitchen one of the kids said, "Hey mom, did you know …?" Then I was called back out of the kitchen seconds later by the other kid saying, "Hey mom, did you know …?" This went on a few more times before I finally just went and sat down in