Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Friday, November 30, 2007

Day ? See, I've Forgot Already.

So the daily blogging thing didn't even make it a week! I shall press on.

My dad came into town yesterday and I rode with Steve all day, my day off, doing deliveries and then a meeting last night - blogging didn't make the cut.

Now today my oldest is 14-years-old and I have nothing fabulous to write. I'm happy that he and his brother, and my dad, all went out and about with my mom tonight and then to stay the night, all but my dad. So I'm happy to be kid free!! Is that a good b-day letter? Love you V.

School was great this week! We covered a lot of our magnet unit and will finish it up next week. Then, I'm not sure what we'll do. Right now I'm checking out doing some sort of unit on the Prophets of the Bible. I read in this book that studying the prophets in teen years is a good thing; although I don't remember why. I tell ya the mind's the first thing to go, hehe! We'll at least start by reading about them in the Bible.

Other subjects: math and science went well. Grammar and Greek/Latin were a blast! Yes, we started back to Greek/Latin; Rummy Roots makes it easy and I like this; only I need to come up with a creative way to teach it!

Well Steve's home so I gotta run.

V in the Last few years
At his best friends

With his cat G

My little man in the kitchen!

Schooling outside - experiment time!

He and I- 2 years ago:

He and I- 6 months ago.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

TreehouseSchoolhouse Assignments

Watch the video on the Lagniappe Blog.
Vaughan this is for you to study while making your own video.

Randomness from the Kitchen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you're familiar with FlyLady then you know about her routines.
So, just for the record here's my after-school routine:

I ask myself 2 questions.
1. What's for dinner?
2. What activities do we have tonight?

These two questions really make a difference. Knowing that we have to be at Scouts or Youth Group helps out! It eliminates me coming home from work and thinking, what the heck are we gonna eat- I'm starving!

I also find if I can prepare a few meals ahead it helps. I like to have food preped and ready to be put in the oven or grill when I get home. I also like to double a lunch meal so it'll make my lunch hour tomorrow smoother.

For instance right now, I'm making little smokies for lunch- doubled the sauce and will add 2nd bag of lil smokies AFTER the boys have polished off the 1st bag - viola I now have lunch for tomorrow.

I'm also cooking dinner - a turkey breast. I was impressed with the way the boys finished off the turkey this year - we literally ate all the meat! We boiled the turkey bones to get ALL the meat, made it into a gravy and they ate the heck out of it! We got 2 meals out of it! Anyway while I'm doing that I've got chicken marinating in bbq sauce for tomorrow.

This also forces my family to eat heathly and at home, plus it helps me out when I return from work- if "Mum ain't happy, nobody happy!"

Day #5, Wednesday, November 28

I'm writing this morning because we've had such a wonderful morning already. We've made some leaps in our homeschool and I love it!

One of my biggest frustrations lately has been the fact that my children are of the age where they are more responsible for their work than I am. When they were little we'd read together, wrote together, worked as a group to accomplish our daily tasks. As middle school came upon us the boys began to take more responsibility for their schoolwork. They did this with my prompting and with a little of their own will. I teacha lesson, assign an assignment and wait or help as needed for them to hand in the chore. So when math work began to get handed in messy or incomplete or responses to questions are illegible, sloppy or make no scense, I often take that personal.
"I did train them well enough to be diligent"
"I didn't teach them what they needed to be able to do what must be done."
The self-condemnation comes easy for me and in the area of my children it can be the worst.

But today. Today was awesome!
One of my little birdies has struggled with writing. He can create through drawing, video making, story telling; but to write has been like pulling teeth. Not much of a surprise because reading has been a struggle for him too. Anyway after months of what do we do? Today we did it!

In our freewriting time he wrote the most wonderful, descriptive paragraph on the discovery of a cave! As he read it me my eyes filled with tears as I envisioned myself in his cave; dark and damp with the sound of water trickling by my head. It was a freewriting masterpiece!

He did it! He got it!
We prayed, we taught, we waited and he got it!
Thank you Jesus!

Tip Verse for the day: This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day #4

My plan was to check in each day with a recap.

Today, I'm exhausted.
I dropped the boys off at Boy Scouts, shot home and am typing this before cleaning, yuck! The bad part about working is that when I leave, 3 other people don't. That means a clean house when I leave is often notthat when I return.

So I need to do a quick clean up before heading back to Scouts for the pick up and I may be crazy but I'm going to see what positions need filling in our Scout Troop. I figure I'm not out enough nights of the week!!

And praise the Lord! We've been praying for Vaughan to bring up his math grade, and after his test today - he did!! He has an "A"!! I'm so proud of both my boys.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Wish I Didn't Believe This Thought

It has always been of my thought that all 14 year old boys should work. So, on Friday, my 13-year old boy will be 14.

That means on Saturday, December 1st, my baby will be applying for his first job. We've researched who hires 14-year-olds and he knows just the place.

My heart just had a new pain sting it. It feels a little numb.

He's too young to work, he's my baby.

My baby is becoming a man.

Lord, I lift my little man up to You. Why he's been in my care I'll never know, but You chose him for us and us for him; may He continue to grow to be a man after Your own heart. May his heart yearn for Your Word, Your Ways, for You. Give Steve and I wisdom and guidance, we're clueless without You Lord, keep us aware of that. May Your Word guide us all as these coming years approach. I thank You Lord for a little man who is a living example of Your grace, and please Lord may he get the job. ~Amen

Day #3, Monday, November 26

So today went well. As all first days do.

We woke and got started on school. Both boys did well with the 5 minute freewrite, they actually went for 10 minutes. We had a bump in the schedule when family stopped by on their way out of town headed back to NH.

We began our magnet unit today and had fun doing some levitation tricks using latch magnets; I also received a bunch of writing resources today! I can't wait to go through and see what we can use. God provides the perfect materials at just the right time, every time!

I loved working in the afternoon! I'm still having issues with transitions, not sure why? but the afternoon work hours were much nicer. Of course we're back down to 1 vehicle so the car pooling was interesting.

I look forward to tomorrow!

~Cold Hands
Warm Heart

Tip of the day: Teach children to do their own laundry as soon as possible.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day #2, Sunday Linkage

copied right from Ms Shannon.

here's what I'm linking to this Sunday.

Michael Israel paints on youtube

Walkscore - see how walkable your house it

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day 1, Sat., November 24, 2007

So with the computer now in the kitchen, I have a chance to blog a bit more. I'm also starting a new schedule on Monday that will have me home in the mornings and working in the afternoons. I plan to journal each day; to keep a record of our month. Yes, the plan is to stick to our my our new schedule for the next 4-week stretch of school.

Our God is an orderly God and as of the last 4 weeks we haven't been orderly around here.

cold hands, warm heart

Tip of the day: Not cooking until everything in the house is eatten is a nice thing to do after Thanksgiving. *smile*

Ravine Gardens

I'm adding this to my Fav Florida Places.

Ravine Gardens in Palatka, FL was a cool place to hang out for a couple of hours today and definitely a place we'll visit again.
If I got married in Florida there's a good chance it would have been here.
The gardens, fountains and terraces were from a storybook. Great job Florida you have once again took me by surprise and thrilled me!
We hiked, and yes I would call it hiking, for 45 minutes. We walked down into the ravine, around the edge, across two suspension bridges and up and down into the ravine a few more times! The paths were easy to find and cover a lot of the 59 acres, we had inclines and did I mention 2 suspension bridges! Of course the 1 hour plus driving time made the fresh air even nicer!

Definitely a place to visit if you live in or frequent the Sunshine State!
The boys say we're going back so they can film a karate movie there!

Now, here's the day in pictures.
Here we are loaded for bear, and p.s. dogs are allowed at the park!
The nuclear power plant on the way, simple things thrill my boys- and the Simpson's have certainly put power plants on the radar around here.

Steve and I with the main garden and fountain area behind us.

A look over the first garden terrace.

All my boys.

Suspension bridge.

Justin sitting on the top of the stairs leading down into the ravine!
Overall I rate Ravine Gardens an "A". Great for families of all ages, pets allowed, lots to do on various terrain.

For My Own Linkage

How to raise a great husband on life today,
you'll have to search down to fin the broadcast.

Friday, November 23, 2007

We've Been Due

OK, so our Thanksgiving was great this year! We've been due for quite some time, for a great Thanksgiving.

Compared to years gone by it was nice. There was no fighting, no yelling, no screaming or bottle breaking. No drunken fights, stories or break-ups. Yep, the cops did not make it this year to our family thanksgiving, so boys in blue if you haven't figured it out yet: we are learning to act normal, or at least civilized!

20 people flooded into our home for Thanksgiving. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great grandmother were all there. It was a hidge podge of Steve's family and mine, and I think secretly a gathering place for the over 60 and single crowd! This year we put all the food on the table and ate and passed the food up and down both sides of the 20 person table! It was cool. After stuffing our faces with excellent American Thanksgiving food and Greek eats we found room for some pie and even celebrated Vaughan's birthday a week early!

What a wonderful way to welcome in the holiday season. Thank you Lord for our family, where we've come from and what we've come through; for love and forgiveness, for understanding and grace. I thank You Lord that you have taken a mess and made it shine for Your glory! Praise You!

A table for 20.


My grandmother, mother and I.

My sister-in-law and new baby.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Homeschool Assignment

I'm going to be using my blog as a linking place for our homeschool. Here are the videos the boys need to watch this week.

What is Maglev?

Maglev Train

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Train speed record broke

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Holidays have Officially Arrived!

First of all, if you missed out on Publix Holiday Food Festival, you really missed out! After attending my mouth agrees that the holidays have truly arrived!

But don't worry if you did miss it because although you didn't get a FREE dinner last night you did not miss out on this cool video on how to roast and carve a turkey and how to make gravy. Yes, yes, many of you know this already - I just learned today! Now of course I have to wait until someone dies to get this job, we already have an expert turkey cooker and carver in the family, but I have been known to cook a thanksgiving dinner at various times throughout the year. You can also pick up a copy of the video for FREE at the store! I love Publix, don't you?! (and by the way, I price shopped and Publix actually beats the "other" store in our areas prices on a lot of items! - compare yourself and tell me what you find out!)

Back to the Food Festival: we ate thanksgiving dinner, two servings. A ham, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole dinner, pumpkin yogurt and egg nog, wedding cake cookies, ice cream on cones, sushi, chips, punch, soda, wine, coffee. Oh and with the coffee I discovered this new creamer:

That's be Pumpkin Spice flavor, yummy!

We also had lil smokies, which we bought and ate 2 packages of today! Pies, cookies and more.

It was a good time!
I bought the ham dinner for tonight as well as Publix sweet potatoes, which I ate for lunch and dinner! They are sprinkled with pecans, yum, yum. Of course I could learn to make it myself, but then again Publix doesn't have a video for that yet!!!

I also got to pick up a Publix reusable shopping bag! I was holding out for the green one! Isn't it cute!

I've added this to the 3 Wal-mart ones we currently use. If you haven't tried these bags they rock! First of all it's less bags than plastic, which id nicer to this earth god gave us,they're easier to carry with the nice long handle to go over your shoulder and reusable for carrying food to thanksgiving dinner to picnics; and they roll or fold up real small to store easily in your car. Yes, I have to store them in the car or, like when i first purchased them, you will be checking out and think "Darn it, i forgot my bags!"

here's the Wal-mart bags, classic black!

So that's what's been going on around here. I already can't wait til the Food Fest 2008!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Our Day

Today was a productive day!
Justin woke up and ran the paper route with Steve. 2:45am was an early wake up for the little man, but he did and loved it! When the two arrived home at 6am they went back to bed.
My dad stopped in for an hour and took Vaughan and I out to breakfast - yum!
The I came back and worked on getting the rest of our yard sale stuff to take to my grandmother's for our yard sale on Saturday!
For dinner we went to Publix for their Fall Festive of Food. Samples, samples, samples! We circled twice and got seconds on the turkey dinner and ham dinner. Can't beat that on a budget!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanks giving is coming up!
I'm so excited! It's the one holiday we host!!
Steve and I both come from large, close families who gathered together at every holiday! When we lived in New England it was hard because that's where we're from, so that's where all our family is. See the tug on our time?
Anyway, praise God we live in Florida, now we are only near half the family. We have the best set up for a Thanksgiving dinner.
We line a table set for 20 in our dinning and living area!!

here's the menu, so far:
Turkey, made by Papou (grandfather in Greek)
Yia Yia Stuffing, made by Yiayia (grandmother in Greek)
Stove Top Stuffing - me
Mashed Potatoes - Yiayia
Spanakopita - me
Tiropita - Yiayia
Cranberry sauce - Rachel
Green Bean Casserole - Mimi, my mom
Gravy - Yiayia and Papou
Rolls - Mary
Greek Salad - Uncle Steve

Chocolate Cream - 2 me
Pumpkin - Mary
Apple - Mimi
other - Yiayia

Boy, that seems like a lot of food, but then again we have a lot of people to feed, and they're all considerably tall; Steve being the shortest. I pray we'll remember in the hustle and bustle of cooking and cleaning we remember the friends we made while at our retail lot who were homeless or in a hotel.

That's what I don't like about this season - the overindulgence. People are going without food much closer than we want to admit/notice. We spend and buy too much temporal, but that's another story, where's my soap box anyway?

Have a blessed one.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Know, But...

So parenting a teenage is tough.

We are officially head deep in the "I know everything and will argue about it" stage. My 13 years old answers anything said to him with, "I know but..."

I know there is a term Huguenot but it doesn't refer to the people you are talking about.
I know what a variable is, but it's not this.
I know I need to do a science project, but...
I know the sky looks blue mom but it's really...
I know I will wash the dishes but...
I know I need to shower, but...

Some days I just wanna pull my hair out!

Getting the simplest of tasks done, you know the ones I worked many years to get done smoothly, now take a small act of God to get done.

Keep your mouth shut. I tell myself. Let him explain why the cats don't need to eat now, even though they are scratching at the doors. Let him explain why I don't know what I'm talking about in Algebra and he does, even though he got the problem wrong. Let him search and search in the dictionary for a word he says I am spelling wrong only can't find it because it is not I who have spelled it wrong.

After all when all is said and done, he's feeding the cats, washing the dishes and doing his laundry. The "I know buts..." Just seem to accompany everything he does.

Then of course I can look at my own life. My own attitude and see that I too am a know it all. Often when being prompted to make a change in my life I respond with a "I know God, but..."

See I'm not 13 anymore and I've grown to see that I don't know everything; but somehow, in someway, I still hold dear some things- often unknown to me until God reveals them. I can't imagine how often God must shake His head at me and wait patiently as I go on in word in deed in my own way until eventually I end up seeing that "I know, but ...He is right."

So in the wise words of James Dobson I will "just survive" through these years of I know, buts...
As always I'll love every minute of it!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

We Serve a Cool God

I realised something today. I realized that the vision my church has had for over 6 years is coming to be.

God is answering our prayers.

The vision I am thinking of is for our church to be a breeding ground for pastor's and missionaries.

Well, right now I know three people; actually 3 young men, one in his early 20's, another his late 20's and still a third in his early 30's who are being called to ministry and are taking steps in that direction.

We serve an awesome God!

Psalm 34:10
Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Connecting With God

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I connect to God when I am serving others and when I can spend time alone, outside in His creation.

Serving others has always been easy for me. I can sit back, be quiet and just do what needs to be done. This caregiver in me has aided in having multitudes of boys at the house or serving at my church in various help ministries. I know God is my fuel when I serve others by caring for them.

Alone in nature. The sound of the birds and flowers touch my spirit in ways I simply can not put into words. When I work in my garden and I dig in the dirt, the coolness of the earth connects me to God. He formed us out of this dirt, this cold, lifeless dirt has a beauty in it. A beauty that God saw and knew would transform into His likeness.

A walk in the woods or field. The beach or the prairies of the west. Just being outside observing the world that surrounds me gives me a glimpse of who God is.

I try my best to work these areas into my daily routine. Serving others sometimes get debunked because I get selfish and with work and home school my outside time sometimes consists of driving with the windows down.

I must make a conscience effort to connect with God in these special ways He engraved in me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Day He'll Be All Grown Up

I can't help but wonder sometimes what my boys will be like when they grow up.
Although I'm not sure if they'll ever really grow up in my mind.

But I wonder.

Where will they go to college?
Will they be kind?
Will they stay out of trouble?
Will they like me?

Then, my baby- you know the almost 14 year old one- comes up behind me and just hugs on me. Just hugs.


"I love you mom"
Need I move beyond this moment?



I'm giving this away at my myspace blog.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Not a Failure in His Sight

I struggle with failure in my home school.
I'm not sure what triggers it, besides satan's attacks, but it's not fun. I had a bout of it this week. I just began to look around at my house, our home school area, the boys papers and tests and I thought it again.
"I've failed my children"
"By home schooling them, I've failed them."
Who am I to be their only influence? Who am I to teach them what I had learned in a classroom? I don't have a math genius or a spelling champ. Half my school like to read the other half- hates it. HATES IT. We're not the best spellers and math terms have been known to make us cry. We lose our reading books and spill dinner on our science book.
we don't do school every day.

Again this week as I was on my clear my head drive, the Lord just spoke to me.
Here's what He said:
These are My children who I have entrusted with you Michelle. With you. Not anyone else, they were chosen for your home, your home school because only you could offer them what they need. I knew that. Trust Me on this.
Math, spelling, science. All good things but none with eternal significance. They read. They spell. They do math. They also love. They give. They pray. They love Me.

So it's His truths I need to focus on, have faith.
Oh me of little faith.
If God called me to home school, and I believe He did, then where's my faith? Is it merging with my reality? If so then these thoughts of failure are nothing, they need to be treated as the lies that they are.

James 1:3
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.


Friday, November 02, 2007

A Fresh Sheet of Paper

I once heard or read Beth Moore talk about one of her daughters liking new notebooks for her classes throughout the year because it was a fresh start.

So this week in our home school we had a do over, a new begining, a fresh sheet of paper.

We layed back on school, still did it, just more review and reading.

It feels good to step back, clean out, organize (afterall we've moved our school stations and also moved dad' desk area back into the house)

So, as we begin fresh on Monday I thought I'd share with you what Treehouse Schoolhouse has evolved into, and it's always an evolving school to fit our current lifestyle.

This is Justin and mom's headquarters. It sits on a wall in our dinning room. The inning table is where J does his school. The crate on the bottom is where all of Justin's work goes. We're working on teaching him organizing skills so this all in one system works well.

Above it are his Language Arts and Science books that he's not working on. He does well with a mixture of curriculum. His math is taught by dad using Saxon 7/6, Grammar by mom using Winston Grammar and Greek and Latin roots by mom using English from the Roots up. Root words are great vocab builders.
Next, I have a shelf with Justin's reading books for the year as well as trays for me with folders for completed portfolio work and other supplemental materials.

On top are pens, pencils and ruler, root word cards, stuff we use on a daily basis. I also have this to remind us we are a school

Vaughan's area is at the end of the family computer station located in our breakfast "nook". I use quotation marks because the nook is kind of a pass through area. Anyway here's what it looks like.

At the closest end I have an old mailbox drawer (recycling old products) holding pens, calculator, sun block- Melaleuca go green!, next are Steve's books, laptop, printer and then V's school area and family computer station.

This is a close up.

The boys headphones sit in a basket under the monitor, as well as DIVE CD's for Saxon math and a magazine for V's article review. V moves the keyboard on the windowsill when he needs table space. I use a Martha Stewart hand towel to cover the computer screen.

The window that sits above the family desk has no curtain and it is a south facing window... so that means with winter coming and the sun getting lower in the southern sky, I need to make curtains for this window! Another project for another night!

Well I'm signing off for the weekend. Places to go and well, places to go.
Happy Weekend!
Good night all!


Why We Said No to Separate Bedrooms

We recently had the conversation with our boys on the having separate bedrooms.
Our third bedroom had always been an office/home school room. In early October we rented it out for the month to a friend of the family who was fresh out of rehab and needing a cheap place to stay that wasn't with his old drug-abusing friends.
When he moved in, we did what we'd been talking about doing for years, and that was to bring the office out into our breakfast "nook". Since our home school has always been done in the dinning room and at the bar in the kitchen, the move was easy.
So what to do with the new room?
The boys asked if they could have their own. Justin would move out and leave V with the ability to keep a clean room with messy brother gone.
We said no. I admit part of me wanted to say yes- after all it would be easier to have them in two separate spaces for quiet time, for cleaning purposes and for when friends come over.
But, we said no.
Here's why.
They're brothers, they're best friends.
At night after we've tucked them in sometimes I go back to ease drop. I can't think of a time that brings me more internal smiles than when I listen in on my boys laughing and giggling as they lay in bed, in the dark.
They share their ups and downs, they talk about their dreams, their friends. They laugh. Did I mention that? I love to hear my boys laugh. The giggle. Not too often do 11 and 13 year old boys giggle, but they do - together.
When we told them no on the separate bedrooms they didn't bat an eye, they didn't complain or argue; this could be because they've asked before and we explained before the brotherhood that they share.
This is your only brother here on earth. Your friends may come and go but in the end you're brothers for life. You may not always like one another but there is nothing you can do, God chose you two to be earthly brothers and that's that.
Enjoy it.
Enjoy the late nights in your room.
The laughs
The scheming and planning.
After all their best layed birthday surprises and homemade cards have come out of late night conversations and "crafting" times.
Often when I'm at my whits ends with school and housework, I'll wake up to 2 sleepy boys who stayed up late to clean their room or do school work ahead of time, or make mom a card; and all because they share a bedroom.
So that's why we have said not o separate bedrooms and yes to the comradely of brotherhood.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...