Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Words Worth Remembering


Jude:"We're not racing, we're just seeing who can win."

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Jude:"I wish we had those pine trees that grew peaches."

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Me:"Aw, Jude I love your robot picture. He's so cute! He's got extra arms."
Jude:"Those aren't extra arms. He has snot coming out of his nose."
Me: "Oh." SMH

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Cai:"Mom, I can't sleep. Can I take like a military shower with no soap really quick?"

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Jude:"A donkey and camel and a moose is the same thing."

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Cai:"Only God knows if I'm going to get married. I'm going to ask him because I don't know."

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Jude:"Just put a little sugar on it and it'll be all better."

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Just a few questions about new chicks that Jude and Cai had:
 - Why don't they have tears when they cry?
 - Can my chickie come in my bed with me?
 - Can I take the chickie down the slide with me?

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Rainy:"Alethia, you make me smile. I haven't smiled and laughed all day."

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Jude:"I love you how much stars are in the sky."

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Jude:"Oh no! There's Holy Molly's on that plant!!!"
(He meant rolly pollies:)

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Jude:"Who wants a strawberry? You should always have food. Because it gives you more intrition."

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Cai:"We need animal's poop because when they eat something and poop out the seed, then when it rains it'll grow a plant."

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Jude:"Remember when I saw you in Daddy's office and I Skyped you? Those are some good days."

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Josh:"Here you go Rainy, Alligator River."
Cai:"We're going to get a Gatorade?!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"I care about Jesus more than school."

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Cai:"Mom, is it snowing at night at Nonnie and G-Daddy's?"
Jude:"Uh, Cai, they live in America too!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"99 is like my favorite number."
Me:"What makes 99 your favorite number?"
Jude:"Because it makes you excited to get to 100."

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Me:"Jude, I believe I am hearing a lot of frustration from Cai about something you are doing."
Jude:"I'm just singing and drumming!"
Me:"So it sounds like you have a couple options here.  You can listen and hear your brother's clues that he is getting a little frustrated with your loud singing and your marker-drumming and respect his request by stopping.  Or you can ignore his request and continue the drumming because that is more important to your heart right now."
Jude:"Um...what are my options again?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Dad, what is your REAL name?"
Josh:"It's Joshua."
Jude:"Wait, what?!  BOOOYYYSSSS did you know dad's REAL name is JOSHUA?!"
Cai and Zeke:"You didn't know that?!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Life Long Learning: A Helpful Resource In Educating During This Crisis


Everyone is talking about homeschooling right now.  With the entire education system shut down, many families are left scrambling to find out how to continue educating their children.

I'm not going to give you the long version of our schooling journey, but I WILL tell you where we are now.  This current year we have been homeschooling our High Schooler (I can't even believe I have one of those, ha!) and our Middle Schooler.  The other 3 kids have been going to our year-round elementary school.  We LOVE it there and I am proud to call their teachers my friends.  They have been so kind and love the kids right where they are.  They have flexible and creative atmospheres that have been so good for my kids.  I can't say enough about their special resources department who helped us tremendously through some very difficult years with one of our kiddos dealing with severe anxiety.  We are even the proud parents of the first official "runner". No, not around the track on the playground, but away from school, lol. The teachers were bringing tennis shoes to school every day in case my boy's anxiety got the best of him and took off. I'm telling you, gold stars are needed for ALL of them!

Then the virus happened and the schools shut down.  We were already on track out (which means a 3 week break between quarters).  We were supposed to begin our last quarter on April 1. And then, after this last quarter these 3 kids would be joining us here at home.

Our family educational philosophy is to take it year-by-year and child-by-child.  We believe each child learns differently.  I think we can all attest to that!

My HS daughter loves to make lists check them off and correct her work along the way because she wants to get it right.  She's very self-motivated, even in fields that are not her favorite.

Our MS is the one I will speak most about because he is the one that has sent me on a mission to figure out how to help him captivate a love for learning and maybe even how to open up doors he didn't even knew existed.  Retaining factual information is very difficult and his processing is extremely inconsistent and hard (for me) to follow.  It takes everything I have to sit quietly while he problem solves because it makes NO SENSE to me! But it doesn't have to make sense to ME. I don't have to dictate HOW he got to the answers, just that he can figure out how to get there.

Anyway, I have been delving more and more into the idea that life can be such an excellent teacher and for our MS kid this is going to be the secret to his schooling/education/learning.  But I wanted to know just how that worked and how in the world to even get started.

So naturally I asked my brother-in law and sister-in-law what their most helpful unschooling resources were because they have been on this journey a long time with their family and are thriving!  She mentioned a handful of books so I dove into a couple of them.  Statistically speaking, the first one was very informative but I didn't really line up with the whole thing and it wasn't giving me what I was looking for.  The second one was written absolutely beautifully and it resonated in the part of my soul that loves the simple life on a farm and the freedom that life can bring, but it still wasn't what I was looking for.

But let me tell you what has been the most beneficial resource in this search...It is a course that my BIL and SIL put together specifically for this!  It explains what unschooling really is (and most helpfully what it is NOT. BTW  it’s not NOT learning, but rather child directed learning and then dives into practical every day scenarios.  It opened up my eyes to just how much my kids are learning, even when we are in vacation mode and not having designated "school time". The course also gives their personal experiences and even some things they have had to learn and unlearn along the way.

Maybe you are going to land somewhere in the middle like us and find a hodgepodge of ways to reach each of our kids.  That's the point though, meet each child where they are!

I know this was kind of lengthy, but I know many of you are desperate to figure out what is going to work for your family during this crazy season, and this really might be exactly what you are looking for.  So, click THIS LINK to sign up for their course (if you do it before March 31 you can snag the early bird rate), grab a cup of tea a journal and maybe even your kids!  Breathe a deep breathe and rest assured that learning is literally around every corner. We don't have to be fearful that our kids are going to fall behind right now.  The entire world is literally on hold so you can just release that expectation and remind yourself that this is going to be a graceful falling forward season.



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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Snow Day 2020


When an unexpected snow day happens to be the same day as ethnic hair day
the poor house takes a toll!

But the sunrise through the snowy trees made it all worth surviving the chaos.






The kids made an amazing snow fort.
There was plenty of sledding.
And the kids played off and on into the night until Josh and I couldn't keep our own eyes opened.
Josh wrote a song inspired by Isaiah 1:16-17 and the snow.
(you can check out his Instagram to hear it:)
Also, I have beautiful children!














Thursday, October 24, 2019

Via Vacation 2019


Ok, so when I am so far behind I don't take the time to edit photos like I should.
So these are straight from my phone or camera just to get caught up.

Lazy...maybe.
But I am officially caught up!

And I can't NOT post about Via Vacation which is a HUGE highlight of our year.

Some years we are just pumped and excited to have vacation.
Other years, like this year, we are in desperate need of a week to unplug and rest
as we soak up time with the family.

I began nearly every morning with a several-mile walk around the neighborhood with the ladies
talking about life, ministry, marriage, parenting, finances...you name it.

This particular thing is something I LOVE about vacation!

The rest of the days were spent reading, swimming, playing, sleeping in...
all the things that make vacation a true vacation.




Thank you Jenn for capturing a great family photo where we all have brushed hair
 shoes and matching clothes!


I ONLY post this picture because this bathing suit top was too much, ha!
Those tassels, which Josh lovingly referred to as "dongles"
were so funny that we had to capture them before we preformed a
"donglectomy" to remove them.




Meme helping Cai learn to swim


Alethia is working on owning her "story".
She interviewed Aunt Joy, which is as far back as we know of her story,
to get her going.  It was sweet to hear Joy talk about finding her in her village as an infant
and then talking about the process she was in charge of that summer in Uganda. 
She pulled up her photos and talked through the memories.
It was priceless!









Ancestry Adventures - St. Peter's


Josh has really been digging into our ancestry since his grandmother passed away last winter.  It has brought us to many graveyards and old buildings.  In fact, every time Josh says we are going on an adventure the kids have to ask if we are stopping by any cemeteries on the way because that happens about 9 out of 10 times these days, ha!









From what I could gather, this church used to house some soldiers in the Civil War.
Some of the soldiers carved their initials into the walls of the church.


This particular stop was really neat.  This church building is the supposed site of George Washington's wedding, and also Josh's great-great-something's wedding.  His ancestors were apparently friends with the Washington's.  Although we didn't find any headstones with our ancestors names on them this time, it was a trip well worth the time.

Fall Soccer 2019 Champions


Man, what an exciting season we had!
When practices began Coach Craig and I were not feeling so optimistic.

But each game got better and better.
We were stoked to make it into the championship 
and when we kept progressing we couldn't even believe it!

Our team killed it.
And man, my boys were stellar components to their team.

I know they were so excited to win,
but this 40-year-old soccer mom coach was pretty exited to win too!