Monday, July 30, 2007

Our First Day of School

A few of you were wondering why we're starting school so early. Believe it or not, the public schools in our area are starting back the end of this week. It seems like the summer break gets shorter each year, at least here in the South. By starting our school year now, I have until the end of next July to complete our work in order to meet our state's requirements for homeschooling. This leaves us with lots of flexibility! I usually take off almost the entire month of December. We also will take time off here and there throughout the year for special days, trips to Florida, or when company comes a-callin'.

One of the best things about homeschooling is the FREEDOM that comes from planning the school year around our family's needs and schedule. We love it! I'll probably be blogging a lot about school since that's what will be filling a large part of my day. Hopefully you won't be bored to tears with all the school stuff.

This picture was taken this morning as we headed out the door for school. We now have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, kindergartener, and pre-schooler--whew!




It started to rain in the middle of our picture taking (of course!). We were thankful that we didn't have very far to walk to get to school. Our one room schoolhouse is located in our backyard. This is an old picture of it. We've spent the summer converting it from a storage shed to a schoolhouse. We still need to finish the floors and install the A/C, so I'm saving the official schoolhouse tour until those projects are completed.



The kids were so happy with their new school supplies and folders. You would have thought it was Christmas morning! Lil' Nut carried her Care Bears folder around with her all morning. The older kids spent the morning working on review exercises and familiarizing themselves with our little library. It's been stocked with some of their favorite books that have still been in boxes since we moved two years ago. There were lots of squeals heard as they were reunited with these "old friends". Curly Girl was so excited about starting kindergarten that she fluttered all morning; she flutters her arms like a little bird whenever she's beside herself with joy. She was a little bit disappointed that she wasn't reading and writing by lunchtime.:) It thrills my heart to see her so eager to learn.





All in all, I'd say we had a great first day even though I wasn't quite as organized as I had planned to be; there are too many teacher's manuals and lesson plans to keep straight. I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight. The first day of school is harder on Mom than on the kids.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The school books have arrived...



The supplies have been purchased...



School starts tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Today for Kelli's Show and Tell I wanted to share a couple of my favorite books from my childhood. I came across these recently at my mom's house. I had wondered what had happended to them and was thrilled to walk down memory lane as I flipped through them. Both of the books are very old, and you can tell by looking at their covers that I got a lot of enjoyment out of them. :)

Little Sallie Mandy and Tommy Whiskers is a delightful story about a little girl and her precocious cat who can't resist the temptation of seeing some new little birds up in a nest. Tommy Whiskers learned a hard lesson when he was attacked by the momma bird. I remember looking at the colorful pictures over and over again when I was a little girl and making up stories of my own.
A Pint of Judgment is a Christmas story set in the late 19th century. The pictures are black and white sketches, but the family in the story seemed so real to me.
I sure enjoyed running across the books again. I hope to share them with my children soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This week has been flying by for me. We're halfway through our VBS, and each night so far has been such a blessing! We have a wonderful group of kids this year, and they've been having a blast.

Yesterday I was able to enjoy our flower garden for a little while. It's been several weeks since I took the time to just sit on the swing and enjoy the view. Our pond is looking a bit green, which means the filter needs to be cleaned. Yuck! I coudn't even see any of our Koi. I'll spare you any pictures of its current condition. :)


I haven't had a chance to look up this butterfly, so if you know what it is, let me know.

Two baby tomatoes; I hope these survive! So far the deer have stayed out of the garden, but one jump over the fence and these will be gone!


Today I'm going to spend some time with a couple of friends that are in town helping with our VBS. We're going to go to a "big city" and do some fun girlie things--like shop! In just a few short days I'll be back in our homeschool classroom again starting another school year, so I'm looking forward to one last day of fun before the work begins.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Since we were able to accomplish a lot of things around the house yesterday, today I decided to head into town for some fun with the kids. We packed a picnic lunch to enjoy after story time at the library. Unfortunately, I must have looked at the wrong date on my calendar because we found out that story time is actually tomorrow. :( So much for all of my organization! We still paid a visit to the library, checked out some books for the kids, and then ate our lunch at a picnic table under a big oak tree.

After lunch we went to the local thrift store which is located in a huge old warehouse. I purchased a Susan Branch summer cookbook and a Janette Oke book for $1.50. When I was a teenager I had received three of the books from the Canadian West Series as a gift, but I never received book #2, When Comes the Spring. Today I was able to finally add the missing volume to my collection.The Susan Branch cookbook is just delightful. It's filled with charming artwork, and the yummy summer recipes make me think that a tea party will soon be in order.Last night we had around 50 in attendance for Vacation Bible School. Ours is not the traditional VBS; it's more of a children's Bible revival. I love to sit and watch the smiles on the kids' faces as they enjoy the puppets and learn lots of scripture songs. We are looking forward to this evening's service.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Front Porch by Kimble Warren
The Front Porch

Lately I've really been looking forward to Mondays. There's something refreshing about being in the Lord's house on Sunday and getting a burst of energy to help start the new week. Today I hopped out of the bed as soon as the alarm clock went off and spent some extra time reading my Bible and talking to the Lord. That gets me going much better than a cup of coffee ever could!

Before breakfast I stepped just outside the front door to assess the front porch and entry way to our home. Not a pretty site! The white rocking chairs on the front porch have gone from looking shabby chic to just plain shabby!! Some deep cleaning was definitely in order. With cooler temperatures and a beautiful sunrise this morning, I knew that today was the day.

I started by completely clearing off the front porch. I hauled all of the furniture down the steps to the front yard. Everything got a good sweeping. Next, out came the water hose and a bucket of sudsy water. I scrubbed every inch of those chairs from top to bottom. Mickey Mouse was my big helper. He dutifully watered the grass (and himself) while I washed down the chairs. He would rinse each chair while I started on the next one.

While I had everything off of the porch, I went ahead and washed down the porch walls and the window. It was then that I noticed how filthy the white porch railing was. Once again I grabbed the bucket of suds and applied some elbow grease to the railing.



The only thing left to clean was the floor. The water hose made quick work of that.


By the time I finished washing down the front steps, the rocking chairs had finished drying in the sun and were ready to be taken back up the steps. I sure did enjoy resting for a few minutes in a nice, clean rocker.


Tackling the front porch chores took a bit longer than I had planned, but I didn't mind because it felt wonderful to be able to enjoy rocking on the front porch without worrying about getting all dirty. I didn't get all of my regular Monday chores completed, but next week will be here before I know it, and I can catch up then.

We're headed off to our first night of Vacation Bible School. This week will be busy and fun! I have a new book I'm hoping to start reading, too. We'll see if I can squeeze in a few chapters before bedtime. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Favorite Things


I haven't been able to participate in Kelli's Show and Tell for the past few weeks, and I'm excited to be able to play along once again. I always enjoy seeing what treasures you all have to share.

While we were on vacation I splurged a bit and purchased a couple of things that had been on my wish list. I've been admiring Vera Bradley's Java Blue pattern for quite some time, so I finally indulged and am now the owner of a Villager tote bag and the matching wallet in Java Blue.


I really like the Java Blue pattern because it doesn't show dirt, and it's one of my favorite color combinations--brown and teal. I purchased it in the Villager style because it's a really roomy bag. Even though I no longer carry a diaper bag (hallelujah!), I'm always hauling Sunday school materials to church or just need to be able to fit a lot of "stuff" in my bag on a family outing. This particular collection is being retired, so the bag was on sale. I wouldn't have bought it if I had to pay full price. It's much more fun to buy something when you find a bargain. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Household Cleaning List

My House Was Clean Last Week
I'm always on the lookout for ways to make my job as a keeper at home a little bit easier. I've found some useful tools through the internet that don't cost a dime. You may already be familiar with Donna Young's website. I've used many of her free printable resources to aid me in managing our household and homeschool. As I was busy printing off some forms for our upcoming school year, I noticed a wonderful basic household cleaning list that I somehow hadn't seen before. You can download it here and customize it to meet your needs. This page also has several other printables that I've used in my home management notebook. In fact, the whole website is full of wonderful goodies! If you haven't checked it out, I encourage you to do so. Happy organizing!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Some days she's a princess; some days she's a superhero.
Curly Girl (aka Batgirl) has Sassy covered with her cape during their nap. :)


Wordless Wednesday here and here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Monday!

When I woke up this morning, my mind was filled with a rather lengthy list of things that needed to be accomplished around the house. After being away from home the majority of the past four weeks there are just so many things that need my attention. During my devotions this morning the Lord laid this verse on my heart.

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3 KJV

Whoa, this verse was exactly what I needed to read! There's no need to worry and fret over a long to-do list when God is in control. I spent some time in prayer committing my day to God and asking Him to direct my thoughts and activities. Then, I got busy.

Mickey Mouse spent today with one of the widow ladies from our church. He enjoys his visits with Mrs. Juanita. I was able to spend some extra time with the girls instructing them in their chores. I plan on helping them each tackle an area in their room over the next few days.

I was actually excited about cleaning the house today! After spending many days in hotel rooms and spare bedrooms, it felt so good to be able to get my own house tidied up. I think we all take our homes for granted from time to time. I'm very thankful that God has blessed me with a beautiful home, and I enjoy making it a comfortable, relaxing place for my family. With Yankee candles burning, I got right to work.

Three loads of laundry were washed and put away. That's always the tricky part for me--getting it all put away. I just love the smell and feel of freshly laundered towels.

The kitchen sink is now sparkling clean. I gave the kitchen counters and refrigerator a good scrubbing down, too.

After Bookworm swept the floors, I followed with the mop. We even did the wood floors. Teamwork sure makes the job easier! :)
The little girls helped me out by playing nicely together. Well, most of the time. ;) They were rewarded this afternoon by getting to watch one of their favorite videos.

Tomorrow will be another busy day around the house. I plan on starting it the same way I did today- by committing the day to the Lord and seeking His direction in each thing I do.

Even something as routine as housekeeping needs God's guidance.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

It feels so good to be home!

It's been four weeks since our journeys began, and I'm rejoicing that our family is together again. The kids have all taken turns getting spoiled by their grandmas, and I enjoyed a time of refreshment and a break from some of my responsibilities. I'm ready to get back in the swing of things. See you Monday!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Vacation Update

The kiddos and I are having a wonderful time in Florida! Last night Grandma (my mother-in-law) kept all four of the kids at her house, so I had the pleasure of sleeping in this morning at Mimi's (my mom's) house. Then I got to spend the day doing something I never get to do--shopping to my heart's content at two of the best malls in Orlando with NO CHILDREN. Yes, I was in heaven!

There were post 4th-of-July bargains to be had, and I did my best to help the sales associates meet their quotas. My mom, who hasn't been able to do much since her recent car accident, felt good enough to hit the stores, too. The highlight of the day for me was taking Mom to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. She was under the impression that all they served was cheesecake; now she knows differently! After enjoying our delicious pasta dishes, we were too stuffed for cheesecake. A couple of hours later when we were finished shopping we stopped back by the restaurant for dessert. Mom had the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake, and I had the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. These beauties were worth every calorie. :)



We sure are missing Mr. C. and wish he could be here with us. Our friends have been asking the kids where their daddy is, and they reply, "He's at home babysitting our kitty and dog!" Hopefully with the kids being gone, Sassy and Buddy will be able to get to know one another better. :)

Tomorrow we plan to relax around the pool. Bookworm and Mickey Mouse are about 10 shades darker than me. I'll be slathering the sunscreen on my freckled face and doing my best to not get sunburned.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Photo by Mrs. C~2007


God Bless America
by Irving Berlin


God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

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I've enabled comment moderation for the next few days while I'm catching some rays. :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Monday!

Here are some pictures of a doe and her fawn that I took this morning through my bedroom window. They're a little blurry because I didn't have time to change the settings on my camera. The momma was very alert, and I knew she would take off if I tried to go outside to get a better picture. The fawn is only a few days old and still a little wobbly on its feet. Country living does have its benefits.

I enjoyed a quiet weekend puttering around the house trying to get things looking tidy again following our vacation. I've got just about all of the laundry caught up, and all of the floors have been mopped. There's something about a clean floor that makes me feel good. However, there's no rest for the weary. Just when things are beginning to get back to normal around here, I'll start packing today for another trip. The kiddos and I are heading to Florida to spend some time with family. I've got quite a bit of ironing today to make sure Mr. C has enough dress shirts to last him until we get back. The fun never ends. ;)

Yesterday at church we had a two visiting families. They had a combined 8 children under the age of six, so our Sunday school classes and nursery were a little bit busier than normal. On Sunday night, one of the families returned with their 5 little girls. I had a fun time with three of them as it was my scheduled week to care for the little ones in the nursery. The young mother seemed so encouraged by our services and said that she'd been praying that the Lord would lead them to a good Independent Baptist church. Today I'll be baking a big batch of brownies for our visitors.

Well, I need to get busy with my long to-do list. I wish you all a wonderful week!
 
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