Thursday, July 28, 2011


Next week is our church's vacation Bible school, and I am in the process of preparing for teaching the Kindergarten / First grade class.

Also I am planning a unit study on NJ for Aug. (I know I said no school work, but this is a precursor to our Sept. family trip, so we can then go visit some of the things we learned about.)

I went to the library last night (we go about 2-3 times a week now, I am rediscovering my love for the library.) I got so many books on NJ, especially about stuff non touristy. I got a book about hikes in NJ to do with kids and hope to try some come Sept. (it is a bit too hot to even leave the house right now, lol.) I am especially interested in free activities that we can realistically do on our very frugal budget.

I love pouring through books to discover things within my own state that I didn't even know existed, I can't wait to experience some in person.


9th Book Read

I just finished this book (today) and it is chock full of useful information for new homeschoolers and those currently homeschooling.

I recommend this book to all homeschooling parents.

Only 5 more books to go by Labor day to meet my summer reading goal.



Yesterday I took the daycare kids, Joshua, and his cousin Mike to minigolf. Jason didn't want to go. Josh and Mike had fun. The younger daycare kids (ages 5 & 6) had fun for about 3 holes, then got bored. Thankfully the minigolf place had spray bottles we could borrow and they had fun spraying themselves.

I was happy because I had coupons so the kids were only $4.50 each, plus for another $6 we got a large pizza. So we spent $24 for lunch and an hour and a half of mini golf / spraying each other fun. Not too bad.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jason's math is done

Jason finished his math book and final exam. He got a 91 on the final exam. He is so excited. He just has to finish his language arts and then he is on break.

I use Math U See for both boys. I really like it. It is hands on, visual, auditory, and the kids are supposed to teach what they have learned to me (to show mastery.)


July bills

All my July bills are paid in full. I have already paid my Aug. mortgage and have the $1,200 I need to pay my taxes due Aug. 1st (I pay quarterly.)

We have even paid a little off on debt (see previous post.)

Also we have had money to do something fun each week.

I feel so blessed.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Debt update

Last months debt:

$110 Kohl's charge
$750 MasterCard
$217 owe dentist
$117,000 mortgage

Current debt:

$0 Kohl's charge
$653 MasterCard
$217 owe dentist
$116,600 mortgage

$607 less in debt than I was last month


Jason is home

Jason arrived home Saturday. I was so glad to see him (Kaiden was even more excited as he wouldn't leave Jason's side.) Jason did well on the mission trip to Philly, PA. He served in a park all week playing games with local kids.

I am so proud of him. He sacrificed a week of his summer in an insane heat wave to share Christ. Also he overcame some of his shyness to talk and play with these kids. This is huge!!!

He has been on couch or in his bed since he came home, but yesterday he did help me do some cleaning and laundry, without arguing (which is also impressive.) I told him he has all day today of no chores or schoolwork, but then tomorrow-Fri. has to finish his math exam and his language arts so we can be done with schoolwork.

So glad to have him home.


My Testimony

Back in 1997 I was 17 and found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy. I was determined to keep the baby and needed help. I discovered Helping Hand Pregnancy Center (now called Solutions) and started taking parenting classes with my son’s father. Every time I walked into that building I felt something I had never felt before.

I grew up going to church, but not living and walking with Him. That feeling at Helping Hand was the Holy Spirit (I didn’t know that then) but I wanted it all the time. In Oct. of 1998 (while the relationship with my son’s father was falling apart) I accepted Jesus into my life to be Lord and savior over my life.

I have never once regretted that decision. God has changed my heart, my life. He has shown me fatherly love that I never really got anywhere else (having been myself raised by only my mom.)

Since then I have still had trials and troubles. (In 2002 I married a man I thought was walking with God, but who couldn’t handle when I became pregnant and he left while I was pregnant. In 2006 my cousin, Cristie died at the age of 29. In 2007 I slipped and broke my ankle that resulted in 2 years of therapy and surgery to finally be almost 100% of what my ankle was before. In 2009 my older brother, Eric died at the age of 32.) Yet through those situations I have actually drawn closer to the Lord. He has brought me through, showing me that His promises are true.

Also I have had tremendous blessings. From finding $5 when I had no gas money, to donated cars from strangers, to being able to buy my grandmother’s house with her holding the mortgage. It never ceases to amaze me the ways He will bless me, because He loves me so much.

It is now my goal to share His love and the good news of His son, Jesus Christ. I do so by co-directing our church’s Wed. evening children’s program, teaching in other areas of children’s ministry at church, blogging about Him, praising Him to anyone who will listen about my finances, and whatever He may desire (although I know I have missed His voice many times.)

It is also my desire to grow closer to Him daily. I know I falter and fail at this daily, but will never stop trying. I pray daily. I try to have quiet time daily. I do devotions with my boys as well as discuss what they are reading in their bibles.

I know that I could not even be parenting, let alone homeschooling with out Him. I am so thankful for His gift of Jesus for me (and everyone else on earth.) I am so thankful He called me so many years ago.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


Since May of last year we have been sponsoring Kipetuan through Compassion. Before Kipetuan we sponsored Edelson, but he turned 16 and had to go find work to help support his family.

I thought I would share with you about Kipetuan.

His birthday is March 28, 2000 (he turned 11 this year.)
He lives in Kenya, Africa.
He is in grade 4.
His best subject is Math.
His parents are married and still are together.
When his parents find work, it is farm work.

Info from Compassion website:
"Your sponsored child lives in the mountainous community of Kiloh, home to approximately 12,000 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, adobe walls and wood roofs. The primary ethnic group is Kaputei and the most commonly spoken language is Kimasai.

The regional diet consists of maize, beans, beef, potatoes and rice. Common health problems in this area include malaria, typhoid fever, diarrhea, colds and influenza. Most adults in Kiloh are unemployed but some work in domestic services and earn the equivalent of $19 per month. This community needs potable water, employment opportunities and tuition assistance.

Your sponsorship allows the staff of Kiloh Child Development Center to provide your sponsored child with Bible teaching, medical treatment, opportunities for community service, recreational activities, tuition, field trips and nutritious food. The center staff will also provide educational workshops for parents or guardians of your sponsored child."

We just got a letter from Kipetuan today. Here is what he wrote:

"First receive greetings from me. I am doing well together with my family members. We celebrated Easter (letter was written in May) very well together with my family. I am grateful for the support I receive from you. May God bless you!"

He wrote the letter in his handwriting and it was translated in English by a translator at the child development center.

We all get so excited to get mail from him. We also try to write or send him something (we can only send flat stuff like bookmarks and stickers) once a month.

Sponsoring him has been such a blessing to our family. I urge you to sponsor a child as well. Check out Compassion


p.s. yes that says $19 a month in income, how many of you earn that in 1 hour work?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

8th book read

This is a great book. If you are homeschooling, I recommend reading homeschooling books each summer. This book has stuff for preschoolers through high school. Author adds lots of funny life stories that I appreciated.

Only 6 more books to go until Labor Day.


Monday, July 18, 2011

7 more weeks of summer

From today we have exactly 7 weeks left of summer. (I count summer as Memorial Day to Labor Day.) My summer plan are going well.

I have read 8 books of my 14 goal.
I also have had 7 no drive days of my at least 14 goal.
I have been to Great Adventure 4 times, and Hurricane Harbor 2 times.
I have been to the beach 3 times.
I have been to the library 5 times.
I have had homemade ice pops, or frozen smoothies about 20 times (yum.)
I have done about 15 crafts.
I have read over 30 books to kids. Many are chapter books, including Magic TreeHouse #1 & #2.
I have filled the plastic water table outside no less than 15 times (sometimes more than once daily.)
I have cuddled with a child (mine or daycare or both) daily.
I have been barefoot at least half the summer.
I have woken up early (6:30am) about 20 days.
I have stayed up late about 40 days.
Yet despite that combo have been surprisingly calm.
I have had special time with Joshua.
I have had special time with Jason.
I have had special time with Kaiden.
I have had 3 family barbeque's.
I have sat outside for no reason more than once.
I have had spearmint tree (with homegrown mint) about 20 times.
I have had time to reflect on our homechooling.
I have started planning next year's homeschooling.

I think we have had both a productive and relaxing summer so far.

How is your summer going? What have you done? What do you still want to do?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Prayer Request

Jason will be going with our church youth group on a mission trip this week. He leaves tomorrow. Please pray for a safe trip and return. Pray for those they will be ministering to to have their hearts softened. Pray for our youth Pastor, Josh and the adult female going, Leighanne.

Pray especially for Jason who is a bit of an introvert and who struggles with new situations, new people, and especially with conversations with those new people.
Pray that God would give him the strength and courage to share his faith. Pray he would be able to handle the week away and all the new situations. Pray that his moods and emotions would be stable and pray that he is able to stay in each situation and if not the leader involved recognizes he needs time to calm down.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Small victories

Jason is 2/3 of the way done with his math final exam, so far he has only 3 wrong. He can get 9 wrong and still pass. So he is doing well. Thanking God for this small victory and praying he will finish this weekend.


Friday, July 15, 2011


This is the wave pool, all the kids love this. We spent half our day here.

Yesterday I took the kids to Hurricane Harbor water park. We were only there 4 hours (2 weeks ago we stayed 6 hours.) The kids all had a blast. It was a nice day, not too hot, but still 4 hours in the sun really wipes me out. Plus it is a 50 min. drive there and a 50 min. drive home.

Then after we hot home I still had Kaiden until 9:30 and then Jason went to Harry Potter midnight premier so although I went to bed was half asleep until he got home.

I can barely keep my eyes open as I type this, so will need to do something to stay awake with 2 kids coming at 7:30am and Kaiden coming at 3:00pm.

What do you do to stay awake when you are tired? How do you get yourself going in am?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Today I got up at 7:30am (I was supposed to be up at 6:30am, but I guess I set my alarm wrong,) fortunately my 7:30am daycare child came about 8:00am so I was ready by then.

At 10:00am we left for the free summer movies for kids at Clearview Cinemas. We stopped at McDonalds (I know so unhealthy) for hash browns on the way. At the movies we saw How to Train Your Dragon. It was cute.

After the movie we came home and had lunch (grill cheese with tomato from our garden, the FIRST one, and carrot slices, plus milk.)

Then we had cooking class, we made pumpkin muffins from scratch (except we used canned pumpkin.) They are delicious. And they were so simple to make. We also did not use a lot of sugar, which is always good.

While the muffins were baking we read Magic Treehouse #2 The Knight at Dawn. We got books 1-8 free from someone so our goal is to read at least 1 a week. I read the book out loud to the kids. I finished it in about 30 min.

Then we had project time. We made these:

We recently went to Michael's and found these kits on clearance for $2.49 each. Josh picked out three (one for him and each daycare child.) He got Creature for him and the daycare boy and horse/zebra for the daycare girl. They were such a hit we went online to see about getting more and I found them for $12.99. Yikes, we will not be ordering at that price. They are Sculpey Pluffy Fun Forms Oven Bake Clay Kit.

Here is Joshua with his:

Here is daycare girl with hers:

Joshua's and daycare boy's:

After crafting we had our muffins and played outside. We tried to put Kaiden down for a nap, but he was not having it. Here he is playing:

And here he is running away (he does this well):

Now we are getting ready to eat dinner. After dinner we are going to take a walk. Then Kaiden will get a bath. As soon as he leaves (about 9:30pm) I will be crashing. I am exhausted.

What did you do today?


p.s. Jason did go to movies with us and then he did some math and went to his friends, he will be home shortly and will be joining us for a walk.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kaiden's Vocabulary

Ja (for Josh)

Pretty good for a 14 month old. But no Aunt Becky yet. He also says other words that we don't understand, but he knows what he is talking about. lol.


Joshua Homeschool Progress

Joshua has just about completed all his schooling for the year.

Bible we used the Bible. We read daily for 15 min., and Josh read his early reader Bible five times before we graduated to a Bible for his age. We discussed what we read and talked about how God wants us to use what we read daily. We also did a daily devotion. And wrote a verse weekly (5 times a week we write the same verse.) Josh has about 10 verses memorized that he didn't know before.

Math we use Math U See and he has completed 24 out of 30 lessons in his book. He will continue to do math 15 min. a day until the book is completed.

Language Arts we used First Language Lessons For the Well Trained Mind. He has completed this book. We also used Handwriting Without Tears Cursive, which he is about 85% done with the book (he will continue to do one page daily until book is complete.)

Spelling we were using Sequential Spelling 1, but it ended up being a bit challenging for him, so we discontinued and have started Spelling Workout B. Also while journaling daily I would underline the incorrectly spelled words and Josh would rewrite them spelled correctly. The daily journaling was good for not only spelling, but handwriting as well as creative writing.

Reading I read a lot to Josh as well as had him read aloud and silently. He read 15 min. daily of his Bible (we started out with an easy reader Bible and graduated to a more age appropriate Bible.) I read about 100 books to him, he read about 50 himself, in addition to the time spent reading the Bible. Some of the books were super easy to build his confidence, but many were longer, even including some chapter books (that he read himself.) We also listened to about 10 audio books.

History we did Famous Americans Calvert School, as we studied famous people from the revolution to present day we also talked about events that happened during their lives. We also reenacted a few of these events, such as the Boston Tea Party, and Civil War. In addition we built models of Lincoln's log cabin, the Lincoln Memorial, and more. We did monthly reports on famous Americans.

Geography we learned the names and location of all 50 states. We also learned how to look at a map, use the map keys, and how to read basic maps.

Science we did about 9 months on the Human Body, utilizing about 20 books and even some 3d models. Then we did Life Cycles on: Sunflower, Lily Pad, Caterpillar's, and Frogs. We had live models for all the units, but our frogs are still only tadpoles, so we had to read to see what they will become (instead of experience it.) For each life cycle unit, we kept daily journals and drew/wrote our observations, we discussed our findings weekly.

Art we did painting, sculpting, and drawing with pencils, crayons, chalk, and markers. We did silhouette art, spin art, free drawing and copy work. We created 3d models with clay. We viewed famous American art and discussed how it made us feel and how art was done and by whom.

Physical Education we did about 60 min. three times a week. We utilized bikes, scooters, skateboards, as well as our trampoline along with walks, runs, and swimming. Joshua participated on a soccer team. He was also on a basketball league.

I am very pleased with Joshua's academic progress. For the rest of the summer he will do:
Math 15 min. daily
1 page in cursive book
daily Bible reading
daily devotion
daily journal
daily reading


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good Day

Today I got to sleep in, lounge around, clean my kitchen, spend time with my nephew, clean out my shed, organize all Sept. homeschool supplies, visit with a friend (she stopped by to donate some homeschool stuff to me), spend special time with Jason, stay home all day (no drive day), eat delicious organic cherries, and put more items on freecycle to donate.

It was a good day. How was your day?


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Helping Encourage Family

Maybe you have never thought about it, but governments (yes, USA's included) do not encourage family. They do not strengthen family. They do not promote family. It is very sad, because that is the EXACT opposite of what God intended.

It is bad in America, but in poorer countries it is worse, young parents have no where to turn to help them raise their children, they are encouraged to leave them in orphanges, or just leave them.

In Haiti, though, a home has been started not just for children, but for families, to help them be a family, to teach them to love and care for their children. It is amazing.

Read about it here

And if you feel led donate so they can help more families be encouraged. Donate here

I also ask that you would pray, pray for the restoration of families. Pray that little children would be welcome into this world as the blessing they are. Pray for families to know God's love so immensly that they can't help but overflow that love on to everyone they meet.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More decluttering

10 more items decluttered. That brings my total up to 270. Plus I decluttered way more stuff I am not counting in my total due to all the stuff I have brought in lately (so I feel like I am even again.)


Time with siblings and nephew

Yesterday my brother, sister, the kids, and I had dinner. Of course Kaiden was there too. He loves to be naked, and to talk on anybodies cell phone, he actually says, "talk." It is too cute. It was nice to hang out with them. Here some pictures:
Jason and Kaiden
Kevin and Josh
Kevin giving Jason bunny ears
Samantha and Kevin

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mini Vacation

I am off all day today, tomorrow, and Monday. I am so excited.

My plans:
sleep in
cut gutter so I can put lid on my rain barrel
mow grass
weed wack
weed garden
finish another book
take work bench out of shed
stain work bench
*church on Sunday
*family barbecue on Monday
*clean house
fold and put away about 6 loads of clean laundry
help Josh clean his room
help Josh fold and put away his 3 loads clean clothes

*these are defanitly going to happen, all else should get done, but may not

Lats night we all went to bed about 11:00pm and I slept in until 10:00am, that was so nice. After a week of bed around 1:00am and getting up about 6:30am, my body was tired.

I have been online checking blogs, emails, etc. for over an hour (a nice treat for me.) Jason is still in bed, Joshua is dropping Lego guys down a tape measure to see how long they last the fall (tape measure is at an angle, like a hill.)

I am going to go take a shower and then attempt to do yard work.

What are your plans this weekend?