This is nothing special, well to you anyway. I'm not a scrapbook type, or a baby book writer, or even a picture printer. I'm terrible at recording memories. This blog is my attempt at holding on to some of my life as a Christian, a wife, and a homeschooling Mom of 5. I am a country girl that lived in a big city for 14 years, and moved to the Deep South for quiet, quaint, small town living.

Friday, December 23, 2011

God does answer us.

I've heard/read so many scriptures lately about how God answers prayers. 
I don't doubt that.
I can't expect any less from the God of every little detail in the universe!
It is nice to be reminded about that when the one you are supposed to be closest to,
doesn't always speak to you in an audible way.

It has reminded me to not just think about what is bothering me,
but to discuss it with my Lord. 
He does hear,
and he has probably already answered me in a way I often overlook. 


Today, as I wrestled with my Christmas issues, plus a few others I didn't mention in that post, I received this Bible verse via (love that site!).

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.  Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment.  Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. (Jude 22-23)

So much for that resentment. 
It's not like I haven't been taught this before. 
I just needed it to speak to me in a real, applicable way. 
Such as now when I'm having trouble with those who don't see Christmas the way I do.
God knows what I'm praying about. 
He hears and answers!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas break? What Christmas break?

I'm mean.
There is no time off for Christmas.
Christmas is on a Sunday this year too.
We don't even have to cram in extra work to make up for holiday days off.

But them there is the fact that I'm behind in recording their work.
Like 2 weeks behind.
It is just a matter of going through their books and writing down what pages they did each day,
and checking library receipts to see what we have read... Then I have to write it all down.

I think maybe a week off is needed.
For me.
 Liv is ahead in her school work.
She has no idea.  I just keep handing her stuff to do as she masters each concept.
 She also finished up her 1st grade math yesterday.  It would be a nice break for her to start 2nd grade math after the new year, right?  George is also starting 1st grade math then.  (She did NOT want to be in the same grade level as George, so I gave him a couple of weeks off so she could finish up.)
George just grasps math concepts better. 
I'm waiting on him to start explaining it to Liv.
Oh, I can see her getting mad already!
 George has been reading up a storm.
Even though it has been a bit of a challenge
(since I never really had to teach Liv, she sort of just knew it all). 
I might keep him going with this next week. 
 He is the child who fights me the least on school work.
Well, if we work next week or not, I'm looking fwd to some relaxing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chicken Birds

George:  "Mom, why don't birds ever stay in the bird house?"
 George: "They fly in and then fly out again!"
Me: "Hmmmm, George. I wonder......"

*Note to self- Move the birdhouse before Spring.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas issues

So, most people know I'm not a huge fan of Christmas.

I love Jesus. 
I love that he was born the way he was (fulfilling the scriptures). 
I love that we celebrate the birth of our Lord.

I don't love the rest.
The decorations, the gifts, the pressure.
Mostly, becuase I don't understand why we do them.
I really should do some research on that.....

We try to simplify.
And I think we do, a lot.
Our kids get 3 presents each (from Troy and myself), and we don't do Santa.

Then my over acheiver self just can't keep it simple.
We make about 200 cards with family magnets (it is a tradition now).
We make vanilla, cinnamon rolls, and many kinds of homemade cookies for gifts.

I wonder what it all has to do with Jesus.
I've finally stopped thinking about it and started asking God,
"How you YOU want me to celebrate my Lord's birth?"

I'm still working through my Christmas issues, but I'm making a conscience effort to enjoy more of the season than I originally wrote off years ago.

I've begun really listening to Christmas songs (at least the ones about Jesus, I still can't stand secular ones) and thinking about the lyrics.  I can't tell you how much this has helped to put my heart in a better place to wonder (and be amazed) about how Jesus came to earth.

I've realized I really don't like sharing celebrating such a holy time with those who don't see it as that and celebrate Christmas they way they want for their own reasons.  I actually resent those who take part in Christmas without recognizing and focusing on Christ.  This is not one of my good realizations.  I'm sure resentment is not what Jesus would want at his birthday party.  I'm working/praying through that.

Even with me wrestling through my Christmas issues, it is still happening all around me. 
 My children were so proud of the tree they decorated by themselves.  I can actually enjoy watching them with this chore tradition since we bought plastic ornaments, bows, and fake flowers to be used as decorations.  Even Maggie at 18 months can shove a bouquet of gold poinsettias into the tree, and it will stay put.
 Troy was hanging up garland outside at the request of Livia.  She does have an artistic eye.
 Seeing my babies taking control over how they want to celebrate the birth of Jesus makes me happy.
I'm looking forward to some of the traditions we come up with together as I get answers to my prayers, and they grow in the Lord.  It may or may not look like this, but I'm sure it will be a time where we feel the presence of Jesus and we are together, like this.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pocomoke? Oh yeah, in the Mountains?

No, this is not the Poconos.
Nor is it the place from the Beach Boys Song, Kokomo.
Pocomoke City, MD.
Sometimes I even spell it for people with the little song my Aunt Grace taught me.

Even if you have not heard of Pocomoke, it is pretty special.
Famous people have come from there.
It is the Friendliest town on the Eastern Shore.
Phyisteria happened there.
There was the most adorable little Miss Pocomoke in '84.
Pocomoke also has a lovely discovery center perfect for the kids when we visit Grandpop.
You can learn how to dredge for oysters.
Apparently, Liv would starve as a waterman, waterwoman, waterperson, waterkid?
The 2 story steamboat begins to wear them out as they run laps.
Here, we are playing.... This is where Ciacie (my sister Carlie) lives, here is where Grandpop lives, here is where Grandpop's boat is, this is where we had to pee 2 hours into the trip....
Margaret is just pretending to like the paintings.  She really just wanted to be held.
Troy is reading about the GIANT duck hunting rifles they used to use. 
Those babies were taller than a man!

And when we have exhausted the museum, our next favorite place is the Pocomoke Elementary School playground- that really has 3 different playgrounds plus a giant slide.
Yes, after Pocomoke Elementary, a sudent goes on to Pocomoke Middle School, then to Pocomoke High School.  There is no college in Pocomoke because come on, who would go to PU? 
ha ha, I'm so funny.
I was actually able to capture all 4 in one shot!
See the bright ball of magic in the corner?
Even Fairies live in Pocomoke.
And where there are Fairies, Pirates must be lurking near by....
I love my little hometown.
I love that my kids get to have some small town fun from time to time.
One day, I would love for that to be all the time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Everyone has grumpy days

"Some days homeschooling stinks!"  
I won't tell you which Stouffer grumbled that quote.

I'm sure we are like a lot of other families and have productive days and days where I feel like I barely made it through our school work and chores.  
At least I hope there are others like us out there!

A few friends have commented to me how wonderful we make homeschooling look.  
I quickly reminded them that I post only what I want them to see!

So I decided to be better at posting the good and the bad, not just the good and the funny,  
(although I do think this is funny!)

Overall, we do love homeschooling.  There are obvious perks with the negatives/sacrifices/struggles.  And more than that, I know God has called our family to homeschool for this season.  (I have no idea how long that might be.)  If you haven't guessed, this post is more to remind me why we are doing this not-always-fun road to education.  

Confession.  I was the one to quote the first line...... 

The Father knows what is best for us, so we must obey, push through the rough days, and trust in God.

Monday, December 5, 2011

brreak from the mundane

I know how boring bookwork gets.
I know I'm getting tired of making them do pages in their workbooks!
Some days they love getting their work finished, and other days it is like pulling teeth.
I think I'll give you a better example of that next post.

To give the kids a break from book work, we make writing in different formats count for homeschool.  We also write creative stories, lists, poems and such in journals.

Our sweet friend Mrs. Lewis has become our official pen pal.
We leave letters for each other at Ginnie's school, where she works.
She happens to be a major Raven's fan so we reference purple a lot.
Livie is learning letter format, and how to build a good paragraph.
George is learning to sound out and spell his words (with help).
And Mrs. Lewis gets a Virginia original.

The kids are already deciding on what to write her next!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Think the Declaration of Independence smelled like blueberries?

Yeah, me neither.  But it would be cool.
Ha ha, a scratch and sniff historical document!
Well, I thought our not-completely-historically-accurate
history lesson making blueberry ink went well.
(That sounds really bad!) :O
 You need blueberries, salt, vinegar, and a strainer.
 Liv mashed the blueberries in the strainer to get the juice.
 George added the salt and Liv added the vinegar.
 The kids cut their feathers at an angel.
 Then came the fun part. 
Testing out their quills and writing in blueberry ink!
We talked about how Thomas Jefferson used a quill and ink to write the Declaration of Indenpence.
(One appreciates pencils/erasers and better yet, a word processor,
after realizing how many times a document must have been copied to get it perfect!)
We picked out names, and talked about a few, such as John Hancock.
This was a perfect transition in writing their names!
 George could always use some print practice.
 And Livia is working on connecting her letters when writing in cursive.
Of course, I let them just draw to have fun with their quills and ink after our lesson.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Peppers are on Fire!

I had some goat cheese left over from an appetizer I made for a party.
 So I roasted some roasted peppers to go with my goat cheese.
My friend asked be how I did it and she could not figure out how they don't burn on as open flame.
So here they are.  See?  No flaming peppers!
The flame is on medium, and it only takes a few mins to rotate them around to burn and bubble the skin.  I could have should have roasted them longer, but I had to run and pick up Ginnie from pre-school. (Time management is not my best skill!)
 Once they were nicely charred (more is better than less!) I put them in a paper bag to steam and cool down.
 The steam loosens the charred outer skin from the tender inside skin.
When those babies are cooled (or in my case, when I got back from getting Ginnie and fixing the kids lunch) I just peeled off the outer burned layer to reveal the sweet, soft peppers.  It was easy to remove the seeds and stem too.  Just rinse off any little black bits with water.

I like to store them in an air tight container with olive oil in the fridge and bring them to room temp (or nuke a little) before eating.

These 3 peppers were a yummy snack on toasted baguette and goat cheese, and I threw the rest in some homemade hummus. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Thankfully, this Thanksgiving was just wonderful.
Aunt Caroline was ever the gracious and lovely decorated hostess.
I should have taken pictures of her decor!
 Thankfully, I had a certain big brother who was a big help making dough for rolls.
(I had two other helpers, but George was the happiest all week before T-day)
 Thankfully, the weather was perfect.
 Thankfully, I have a husband who is healthy and could enjoy the day to it's fullest.
 Thankfully, Maggie is a happy baby.
 Thankfully, my kids generally enjoy each others company.
 Thankfully, Aunt Caroline had bubbles!
 Thankfully, my kids don't have asthma that I had.
 Thankfully, my husband is a goofball.
 Thankfully, playing outside in the fresh air can tire my babies out
(even if only for a minute or two).
 Thankfully, my children know how to share (most days).
 Thankfully, my bashful child is not shy for the camera.
 My heart is full.
 My children are healthy and happy.
 My husband is healthy and happy.
 I have Joy that is unmatched by anything else I can list.
Jesus has made my life whole.
 I am forgiven.
 I am free.
 And I am loved.
 Everything else is just, as George would say....
One particular bonus-
Generations of love.