Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our first year homeschooling

It is only June but me and my favorite 5 year old have already been doing the Kindergarten thing for a few weeks! And we are loving it. I decided to go with homeschooling year round for now. Since the hubs works year round I felt like it made more sense to go that route and take longer breaks throughout the year.

I decided to start out slowly. The first few weeks we just did phonics and handwriting. This week we added in math and geography. Next week we will add in our science. And of course all of this is while reading tons of books and taking every opportunity we have to learn in our everyday life!

I struggled over which curriculums to go with but finally decided a few weeks ago.

Here is what we are using this year!
Hooked on Phonics (I bought an older version off E-bay that included K-2nd grade)
Horizons Math K
Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Operation World (we are using this along with a globe and blank maps for geography)
Copybook by Memoria Press (handwriting)
Child's Book of Character Building
I also am using some of these printables for record keeping this year. I know this year will be filled with trial and error as me and my little guinea pig go on this adventure together. But, I couldn't feel more blessed to have the opportunity to teach my son and watch him learn and grow!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The lady at the grocery store...

You are at the grocery store with your three children all under the age of 5... what was supposed to be a trip for milk and eggs turned into a cartful of random groceries and crabby kids. Every 5 minutes someone is asking to buy something with cartoon characters on the front, the baby grabs the loaf of bread and is smashing it up, your 2 year old has to go to the bathroom twice in the 20 minutes you are at the store and you finally get to the checkout line... sweet light at the end of the tunnel. You start unloading your groceries and a little older lady behind you says something to the effect of, "oh, I remember those days! Enjoy them because before you know it they are gone and your kids are all grown-up like mine"... and if you are feeling friendly you will smile and nod but deep down you are annoyed. This lady doesn't remember how hard it is with little kids. Enjoy it? I am just trying to survive it!

I am not sure if this scenario has ever happened to you... or anything similar. But, I have seen some similar articles online about things like this and I can totally relate personally.But, I think the reality is... the lady at the store isn't saying that to belittle what you are doing. She isn't saying it because she doesn't know how hard it is to raise little ones. In fact, she probably did it with more kids and without the advantages of Disney Jr. and microwave chicken nuggets at her disposal. She knows how hard it is... But, she is trying to point you to the bigger picture... And the bigger picture is that we really will miss these days. The bigger picture is that our children really are only little for a short window of time. And the bigger picture is that children aren't given to us to burden us and weigh us down.

In reality, most of us chose (and were given that opportunity by the grace of God) to be mom's. Motherhood is not a prison sentence that someone put on us. It is a blessing and an opportunity to love hard and serve well.

I am not saying it is always easy. I am right there in the trenches with all of you and I know that there can be hard moments. Really hard moments. But, if we can make the effort to keep our eyes on the bigger picture and keep our focus there I know that we will all have the opportunity to truly enjoy these years. And instead of being annoyed with the lady in the super market we should be thanking her for pointing us back to the right place...

I am linking up at Growing Home and Women Living Well!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Corn fields

I am not really an outdoorsy kind of gal. Nothing against outside or anything. But being hot or cold and bugs just aren't really my thing. But lately, I am having a hard time staying inside. Especially in the mornings. I have been getting up at 5 every morning thanks to the encouragement and accountability of my friend, Crystal. I have been enjoying my quiet time right off the bat but when I finish up around 5:45 I peek outside and the sun is coming up over the farmer's corn fields and I just have to go outside and sit.

These pictures don't do it justice. But, trust me. It is a good way to start off the day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunday evening

I could handle every Sunday evening being just like this one.

Spending time with friends is priceless. We are so thankful for our new church and friends who have welcomed us with open arms and treated us just like family!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Goals

Here in Missouri we have had some really beautiful weather. It has been high 70's and low 80's. At first I was a little bummed because it isn't exactly the best pool weather. But, it is perfect weather for playing outside. So, we are making the most of it! 

I set two goals for myself for this summer and we will see how they go. 

#1 is to not eat fast food. I can get really lazy with meal planning in the summer because it is hot and I don't want to cook so it becomes easy to run through the drive through and grab something. But, summer is a great time to make easy and light meals, to grill out, or to pack up a picnic. And since fast food is not good for you and expensive (duh) I think this is a good time to try to drop the habit.

Goal #2 is to have the TV off during the day. I tried to go TV free back in January but we ended up getting hit with all kinds of sicknesses and I failed. Well, when we got hit with sickness last week (with Mom and Dad both being sick) we fell back into watching lots of TV. So, we need to kick the habit. And what better time then when there are so many other fun things to do? 

Do you have any goals this summer? 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Living Room... as of today

All right, as I promised earlier I am back with my living room post! I am participating in Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life home tour and this week is living rooms! I participated a few years ago when my living room looked like this. A lot has changed! Overall I am pleased with this room, although I would still really like to add an area rug and get new throw pillows. But, decorating is a process around here! So, here is what I have as of today...

 This hutch is where we keep our computer. It has a baby lock on it because certain people like to get into it and push lots of buttons.
 I have collected "R"s for awhile and decided to put most of them in one place. So, this is my wall of Rs!
 I am still unsure about this coffee table. It needs a new paint job and I am not sure weather to keep it black, paint it white, or go another direction entirely. The jury is still out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Speaking of...

Happy Tuesday morning everyone!

Last night my parents had us out for dinner and I brought these for dessert.
They are Texas sheetcake cupcakes and I thought they were delicious! And they were super easy to make. And how cute are those little cupcake wrappers I found in a box in my basement? 

Speaking of cute decorations... Kelly's Korner blog is one of my favorite blogs and she is doing her Show Us Your Life home series again this summer. This past week was living rooms. I haven't linked up yet but I really want to. So, my plan is to get my living room tidy enough to take pictures of today and then hopefully I will come back with a living room post! 

Speaking of my living room... my house is a complete disaster. After being sick last week and then having to get ready for our small group garage sale things just got totally out of control. And when my house gets totally out of control I tend to get very overwhelmed and it stays out of control... But, I need to get my act in gear and get it done today regardless of my feelings. I need to just be disciplined and do it (thank you for listening in on my little pep talk to myself!

And speaking of discipline... For our discipleship program at church we are starting this book this week.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Pilgrimage Growth Guide)
I am really eager to dive into it. The spiritual disciplines are not something I am really "up on" but something I know I have really needed to learn more about. 

And speaking of discipleship... oh my goodness I have been so blessed already through being discipled by my friend Crystal these past few months. Our church is doing an organized 9 month discipleship program where we were able to sign up to disciple, be discipled or both. We meet with our partner once a week and read through the books we are assigned and a chapter of  the Bible each week and we are given questions to talk about. I encourage you that even if you don't have an organized program to look into discipling (is that a word?) with someone. Each and every one of us has so much to learn and so much that we can teach others no matter where we are in life. I hope to continue having people in my life to disciple me even when I am old and in the nursing home. We can learn so much from our sisters (or brothers if you are a man) in Christ! 

Okay, well, I am hoping to post again later today some pics of my living room so stay tuned! Or not... either way...  Have a blessed day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cha-cha-cha changes

Let me let you in on a little R Family history...
Nick and I started dating in October of 2004.
We got engaged February of 2005.
We got married August 2005.
We found out we were having our first baby February 2006.
We bought our first house May 2006.
Max was born October 2006.
At the end of July 2008 we moved to St. Louis.
Sophie was born in August 2008.
In May 2009 Nick got a new job.
In October 2009 we moved into our new home that we had built.
Jack was born August 2010.

The first 5 years of our marriage were a total whirlwind. Big events and changes were constant. And honestly, it was kind of fun. We learned how to live in the chaos. But, it has been almost 2 years since we have had a big life change and with no big changes on the horizon that I am aware of, I am realizing I kind of don't know what to do with myself. I don't really know how to just live when life is just... the same.

I remember thinking when life was so crazy how nice it would be to just live in the same house with Nick having the same job for several years and how nice the steadiness of it all would be. And it IS nice! It is just really hard to get used to.

I believe God has me right here right now for a reason. And I am excited to see what he has in store. But, not having big changes right now is going to take some getting used to!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer School

I am still yet to buy all of our homeschool stuff for next year. However, I thought it would probably be best to ease into it anyway and start one subject at a time. So, this summer we decided to go ahead and work on our reading. We are using Hooked on Phonics. I looked at tons of reading programs and this was one of the only ones that really seemed to start where he is at. He was already reading a little bit and a lot of the programs start at square one with learning letter sounds and I knew he would be bored. I found an older version of Hooked on Phonics on E-bay and it has been a perfect fit. Max loves it because after every few lessons he gets to read one of the little story books which makes him feel like really big stuff. I am amazed at how quickly he is learning and how much he is enjoying learning to read. He has even started asking if he can read to his little brother and sister. Melt my heart.