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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Way We Were!

I was looking through some things today and found a sheet with Madison's 3rd grade homework assignments on it. When people ask why we chose to start homeschooling, I always share that one of the main reasons that we started was because we had no life outside of school. Here is a list of Madison's homework assignment for ONE night. Remember every other night of the week was JUST AS BAD. Here goes:


1. Study vocabulary

2. English: pages 31, 32, 33, 34
1 & 2 Review

3. Math: IOWA Review 4 pages

4. Spelling: Write words 1-16 two times
Page 145 in textbook

5. Science: Study

6. Test Sharpner: pages 20, 21, 35, 36, 43, 44, 71

Tuesday through Thursday was JUST AS FULL!!! On top of that she also had her A.R. reading to do, which took anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. It was like an entire day of school crammed into the evening. On top of this, I had two others in school. We don't do any more work at home now that we are homeschooling than we did when they were in school. Finding this makes me appreciate all over again the fact that I have the option of homeschooling! What a difference it has made in our lives!!

Family Reunion

We went to my family reunion this weekend...my Daddy's side of the family. It has been years since I last went. It was so hard to be there when the kids were little that I wasn't motivated to go back. The last time I went, they were 5, 3 and 2 years old. I didn't do much socializing with anyone but them :)! It was very different this time. They all found friends to play with, and I was left to socialize and relax. My daddy's family is so much fun because they were all brought up playing games; therefore, they still love to play. Unlike the adults at many family reunions, they don't just sit around talking and watching the kids play. There were games of every kind scattered around the lodge and groups of adults laughing and enjoying each other while they played. A group of men played their guitars and sang most of the day and late into the night. The atmosphere there is inviting and playful.
The kids also had a big blowup water slide, a small lake to fish in, and lots of room to run and play. I filled balloons with water and my cousin and I organized some water balloon games....followed by a water balloon fight.
The best part of the weekend was getting to see my cousin, Kathy, who I haven't seen for 4 1/2 years. We had never met each other's youngest two children. Our families both spent the night, so we had a lot of time to visit with each other when everyone else was gone. It was amazing to see them again and get to know their children. They are such a sweet family. We all had such a great time and have decided that we will make this a yearly event.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Scavenger Hunt

I found a great way to cure boredom today...a scavenger hunt!! None of my kids or their company felt like swimming or doing any of the things they usually like to do, so I made them a list of things to find. I put them into two teams and gave them each a list. I told them that the first team that made it back to the deck with all 10 items would get a prize. So, while they went after the items, I frantically searched around the house for fun things to give them. Of course, I gave everyone a prize, I just handed the winning team theirs first. I couldn't believe how much they got into the hunt....very competitive about it. It didn't take them very long to fill up their bags and make it back to the deck. Everyone loved the little prizes that I gave them (a quarter, a winning bottlecap, pack of flower seeds, a stamp, etc) and my neighbor brought them all popsicles. The great thing was that they got so hot doing the scavenger hunt that my three were ready to swim after they were finished :). I knew there were plenty of things for them to do. They just needed a little push!

Camp In

The boys are having a camp-in tonight with their friend from next door. Madison is spending the night with Jeff's parent's, so she is unaware that this camp-in is happening in her room. She's getting to spend the night with her Mimi, so I'm sure she wouldn't mind. It's 11:45 and I'm not seeing any signs of the boys getting sleepy. It might be a long night! It's okay. If Josh makes it through the night, it will be worth it. He wants to spend the night away from home so bad, but always ends up going home. I am trying to keep him happy with movies and snacks so he will stay...he will be so proud of himself if he makes it!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I took the kids and our neighbor,Josh, to the library this week. It was one of those times when the kids really got into checking out books. They love checking the books out themselves on the self-checkout system. Sometimes I wonder if they only pick out books so they can use the system, but when I saw Carter and Josh with their books spread out on the playroom floor after we got home, I knew that I was wrong. Yesterday, I saw Patrick sitting on the couch reading one of his chapter books. I hope all three of them will enjoy reading as much as I do. I can't make them love it, but I hope by providing them with books and showing interest in them myself, they will learn to love them on their own.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Birthday Blessings

I had a wonderful birthday! Jeff and the kids made it a special day with banners, paper chains, and a big balloon. The kids all made cards to go along with the gift and card that Jeff bought. Jeff brought home dinner and a beautiful red velvet cake.
During the day, my sweet neighbor brought me a cake, gifts, and a card that her son made for me. I had calls and emails from family. The most special gift to me was the way that Jeff and the kids decorated the dining room for me. I try to make the house look festive and do all that I can to give each one of them a special birthday. It meant so much to have them do that for me....more than any gift they could have given me. Taking the time to do that for me was like giving a little piece of themselves to me. There is no better gift than that!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Vicki

Thirty-eight years ago the world met Vicki for the first time. However, I had already known her for 9 months. Even before our Mom and Dad held us in their arms for the first time, we were best friends. I cannot imagine myself without her...my other half. I cannot separate myself from her because she is part of me. When Vicki feels joy or pain, I feel it with her. My joy isn't complete until I share it with her. When I held her firstborn child, I knew what it felt like to be a Mother, even though I would not have my first child for 6 more years. There is no doubt that Vicki knows how I feel about her because she too is a twin. I want to wish her a Happy Birthday and thank her for the last 38 years together....I can't imagine them without her!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

He Will Miss It!

Carter is finished with baseball for the season. He is still carrying his glove, ball and bat around every day. He said he misses playing already. It has been such a great experience for all of us to have Carter participating in something that he is so passionate about. It was the same with Madison when she was competing in gymnastics. It is great to see their self confidence grow while they are having a great time. The team received their trophies at a pizza party yesterday. Carter is so proud of his....as I knew he would be! He really put his heart into it this year!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Wonderful Week

We had a great time at Bible School. As always, it was a very busy week. I took 6 or 7 kids with me each day, counting my own. All of the activities that my friend and I had planned for Madison's class went well. Best of all, four children from our class (4th grade) gave their hearts to Jesus and were saved. It is a wonderful thing to see the conviction in their eyes and watch them take that step...it is what Bible School is all about. We can plan all of the wonderful, fun activities and pull them off successfully, but it means nothing if the children do not understand what it is for. Here are some pictures from the week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Vacation Bible School

Our church is having VBS this week. Our theme is the Arctic Edge. My friend and I had a great time decorating the room for it....spent 7 hours there one day. I hope the kids have as fun in Bible School as we had getting it ready! Patrick won the prize yesterday for bringing the most guests. We will be taking 4 with us today, but once they are registered, they aren't considered guests anymore. I hope it will be a fun week for all of them!!!