Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Monday: leftovers; Pork BBQ sandwiches & Macaroni Salad

Tuesday: Beef Tacos

Wednesday: Baked Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, & Veggies

Thursday: Brown Beans & Cornbread

Friday: Mini Meatloaves (sides to be determined)

Saturday: Family Reunion - eating @ parents' house

Sunday: Family Reunion - eating @ church

Note: The meals could switch days depending on what we are craving on a certain day. AND if there is some money leftover from the paycheck we may eat out one night. Maybe. :)

Friends of Coal Bowl

Ok, after a devastating loss to Colorado in overtime due to a missed field goal. :( Ack! McAfee I could kick you!! (no pun intended...well, maybe a little :)) We pulled it off...FINALLY, with a score of 27 to 3! This was the 3rd matchup between the Mountaineers and Marshall's Thundering Herd. The Friends of Coal Bowl was created to be a 7 game series between the two rival schools in WV. So far it has been amazing to watch and I can honestly say if we would have lost this game it would have been the worst loss the Mountaineers could have this season.

Homeschool Memoirs: #6 Summer Photo Essay

What I Did This Summer....
The pictures revolve around my family, because they are what my summer days were all about. From Gracie playing to the birth of Matthew...they are my world.

since I couldn't figure out how to post it normal it's below in an untitled post... *shrugs*

Sunday, September 28, 2008

bLeSsEd cRaZY LiFe!

I ♥ my family! I can honestly say I have a really great family. Starting with my husband and kids, to my parents and siblings, and then all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We've always been close and ALWAYS in wach others business. That's just the way it is...and I don't mind it. When my Granny passed away alot of them stopped coming in for visits and it's been a really long time since I've seen most of them. But that's all about to change! Next weekend two of my favorite aunts and some of their family are coming in. I can't wait to see them!

Unfortunately, it's taken illnesses to get them to come. My uncle has been diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer and is now under treatment and my sweet mama has been diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. How ironic that a brother and sister are both fighting cancer. I'm so scared for both of them, though my mom has a much better chance, I keep praying for them to both be healed. Mom has surgery scheduled for October 8th. This is only the second time she has ever been in the hospital since she had us kids 28 yrs ago. The last time was in August for an extreme kidney and bladder infection and a HUGE kidney stone. She has always been so tough and she is still fighting with all her might. She is such an inspiration to me. Please keep both of them in your thoughts and prayers.

On a better, happier note Robby is back in school for his final year. He can't wait til he can get back to work. Oh, it'll be so nice...things will feel normal again. If there is such a thing. Gracie is growing by leaps and bounds. She learns something new each day. It seems as if over night she sprouted up and changed from my baby to my big girl. *sigh* The time has moved so fast. Matthew is gaining weight and weighs about 9 lbs now. We had to start adding some rice to his formula because he had such bad reflux. He is such a little joy. I love watching him watch me and cuddling with him. His smile is so sweet. I couldn't have asked God for a better husband or children. Now I'm not saying we are perfect, goodness knows we aren't. We all have our faults. But I am so in love with all of them. I am so thankful for the life I have.

Things get tough every now and again and I say "Why me?" then I look into their faces and all of it seems so trivial. I think sometimes we let money and 'things' take over and we forget about what's important. To me it's those crazy, sweet, irritating, funny, amazing people I call my family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

BFS Assignment #103 It keeps going, and going, and going…. (Energizer)

Memory Verse: 1 Timothy 4:15 (NIV)
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

Assignment: How do you keep energized so you can get it all done? bouncy music? treat it like a workout? Do you use a schedule?, a housekeeping binder system? luck of the draw system?.. or is this an area where you need encouragement? Do you need God’s help to keep order and beauty in your dwelling place? Take this week to tell us how You diligently keep going with your housekeeping chores.

This is something I need major help with!! I can NOT seem to get it together lately. Between Gracie's homeschool materials throughout the kitchen, all of the toys in her room scattered about, and with baby items everywhere - I am drowning in stuff. Before kids everything was in it's place, nice and neat. Now I am constantly trying to pick up. The everyday housework of dishes and laundry aren't the problem. Sweeping, dusting...psssh!, piece of cake! I need things organized! And I have no idea where to start. Everything is clean, but just cluttered. How do you all do it??? Please help me!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs: #5 My Favourite Things - Er - Sites!

Magazines/Carnivals - in print or online
Growing in Grace
Good Housekeeping
Ladies Home Journal

Freebie sites - any sites that offer freebies or often have giveaways

Homeschool news/informative
The Homeschool Lounge

Forums/book clubs
PaperBack Swap

Mom site - a sites just for moms
Ooooh, Beckley Mommies, a Mommies Network site - check their site for a group near you!


Youth/kid - sites geared towards youth/kids or owned by them

They are all on my blog to the left.

Organizing/crafts - sites that you look to for organizing tips or crafts

Homeschool Method - sites that offer a lot of info on a certain method

Family blog - sites that give you a glimpse into another family’s life, run by a family
Amber's Homeschool


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BFS Assignment #102 - Try it, You’ll Like It!

Memory Verse: Psalms 26:2 NIV
Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.

Assignment: This week I want you to do something for someone else. Do you have a neighbor that needs you? Do you know an elderly person or single mom that could use you? What about the homeless? Pack even one single sack lunch and give it to someone in need. Do you know someone in blogland that is struggling right now and could use a note from you about how much you care? Pray about this. Let God put on your heart the perfect thing for you to do for another. Now, here is the kicker…I DO NOT want you to post about what you do. Whatever you choose to do is between you and God. Our rewards are in heaven, not here on earth, Mathew 6:1. I want you to post about how doing this “act” made you feel. Was stepping out of your comfort zone in this area as hard as you thought it might be? Could you see the gratefulness in their eyes? Hear it in their voice? Tell it from their typing? Do you think you might make doing things like this a more regular part of your time? If this is an area that you are already active in, tell us how you feel this has impacted your life.

This assignment is so ironic, because I just made a decision to step out of my comofort zone. I come off in blogs and forums as a very open person, or at least I think I do. And really I'm very shy. I try to cover it...and if it's something that isn't necessary, I won't always participate. Even if I may want to. I don't like that that is how I am. But I've been this way basically all my life. So changing now is hard. However, I don't want my hangups to affect my children. I want them to know that it's a good thing to experience new things in life. I've always been so scared of change, and I know that I've missed out. Initially, when I made the decision to do what I am now committed to do, I was typing away agreeing...and in my head I'm thinking "What are you doing!??" Now that it's done I must follow thru because I don't want to let anyone down. I'm sure my act will be appreciated, and I hope that it will be beneficial. I would love to become more involved with others and I hope by allowing myself this act that many more will follow.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs - Something New

This is a hard assignment for me because other than a lot of dollar store workbooks and the KidSparkz preschool curriculum I really don't have anything. BUT I did order a couple things. I just received Liberty Mathematics K and it's teacher's manual by Christian Liberty Press. I ordered it from It wasn't very expensive - $6.99 + $4.49 for the TM. I chose this mainly since it was low cost and a teacher's manual was available. I had been told (thru a comment from a BFS assignment) about Christian Liberty Press and decided to check them out.

Product Description
Liberty Mathematics takes the time to ensure your students really understand what is being taught to them. Repetition of concepts ensures adequate practice is given, though supplement use is recommended. Beginning with drawing and learning about numbers 1-10, childre will learn to add, subtract, place value, tell time, measure and begin to learn about fractions. Each "family" of numbers is addressed in kind (i.e. adding "8s", subtracting "8s" etc.) Two-color print and illustrations minimize distractions while still providing interest and color. 233 perforated pages, softcover. ISBN-13: 9781930367609 Click the above picture for product review.

I just received it in the mail Saturday so I can't really tell you how it's working for us. As soon as I feel I have a good idea of it, I'll let you know.

So dissapointed! :(

Ok, well, as expected (but hoped otherwise) WVU bombed with East Carolina. They lost 24-3. *sigh* Offense was looking good BUT defense is gonna kill 'em this year unless they step it up. I don't know. Last year was such an amazing year and then that outstanding win against Oklahoma, I just was really wanting another good season. It actually seems like most of the Big East teams are struggling this year. Hmmm?

On another college football note - Robby and I were watching the Ohio State/USC game. *rolls eyes* What a horrible game for Ohio! And it had absolutely nothing to do with the bad calls from PAC10 refs. *rolls eyes AGAIN* LOL Can't wait to see how they match up against Michigan (coach stealers!!) considering they both pretty much suck. hehe Anyways what I was trying to talk about is that Pryor guy playing QB for Ohio...they keep alking abuot how fasst he is, how good he is. Ummm, so far I haven't seen it. Guess we will wait and see if he suddenly becomes magic.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Homeschool Closet Giveaway

Valerie from LittleBlots is offering up a great homeschool giveaway. She has decided to clean out her shelves and three of us will benefit greatly from this. Items up for grabs include; Little Hands to Heaven: A Preschool Program for Ages 2-5, The World God Made, History For Little Pilgrims, and many more exciting titles. The contest ends Septemeber 15th. Check her out now!

Also many others have joined her and are having similar giveaways - Be sure and check out their blogs!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Amazing Giveaway for Creative Kids!

This is to say the least one of the best giveaways I've seen lately! I was just thinking to myself that Gracie would love a camera for Christmas. Maybe if I win this I can save a little $$ for something else! :)

BlogMommas is offering up to ONE lucky winner a Crayola Digital Scrapbooking Kit: This kit is awesome! It comes with the camera and everything necessary to make and share those memories. Perfect for ages 4-8.

A Crayola EZ Type Keyboard - great for little fingers! And a Crayola EZ Frame MousePad - a perfect place to show off some of those digital photos!

Entering is easy, all you do is blog about the giveaway linking back to BlogMommas. Then leave a comment on their site here with a DIRECT link to your post. The winner will be selected Wednesday September 17th so hurry and enter now!!

BFS #101 - Plop, plop, Fizz, fizz; Oh, What a Relief It Is!

Memory Verse: Psalms 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Assignment: This would be a good week to tell about your worst struggles with a lifestyle of homeschooling. Tell about something you’ve struggled with and how God’s mercies gave us the strength to get past it. Also, share any curriculum/homeschool methods that have been a relief to you, i.e., a particular Teacher’s Manual or Homeschooling method that’s been easier for your family. Talk about how you felt when the burden was lifted and Oh, What a Relief it is!

Hmmm, well, as I've just started this journey I can't say much about curriculum or homeschool methods since I'm still testing it all. BUT I will admit my worst struggle has been myself. I've doubted my ability as to whether or not I could homeschool my daughter. I've prayed about it and given it to God. I have been blessed with "meeting" so many wonderful, helpful people through different websites and blogs that I am actually starting to think I might be able to do this. I'd like to take this chance and thank everyone who left encouraging comments on my last BFS post. I appreciated the time you took to leave me your bits of wisdom. Keep 'em coming!

Verse: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are ya ready for some FOOTBALL?!?

It's that time again!! I love to watch these guys play ball. It's a little different this year having Rodriquez gone and Bill Stewart in as head coach. BUT we will continue to support them and of course hope that Pat White gets the Heisman he deserves! :) They played their first game against Villanova Saturday and won 48-21. Defense started off a little weak (like reported preseason) but as they played I think they started to look better. Next we go up against East Carolina and find out what we are really made of. Let's Go 'Eers!!!

Here is the 2008 Schedule:
Sat Aug 30 Villanova (ESPN Regional)3:30 p.m.
Sat Sep 6 at East Carolina (ESPN) 4:30 p.m.
Thu Sep 18 at Colorado (ESPN) 8:30 p.m.
Sat Sep 27 Marshall (ESPN Regional) 3:30 p.m. (Friends of Coal Bowl)
Sat Oct 4 Rutgers (ESPN Regional) Noon
Sat Oct 11 Syracuse TBA
Thu Oct 23 Auburn (ESPN) TBA
Sat Nov 1 at Connecticut TBA
Sat Nov 8 Cincinnati TBA
Sat Nov 22 at Louisville TBA
Fri Nov 28 at Pitt (ABC) Noon
All times are Eastern
Schedule from MSNSportsNet

Homeschool Memoirs - Routines

A routine? Me? hahahahaha Yea, right! I would LOVE to be one of those people that have everything planned down to the last minute. Unfortunately, my life just doesn't allow that. Not right now anyways. With a hubby that only goes to school in the morning and a newborn, poor Gracie gets the short end of the stick when it comes to a routine. But I don't think she minds too much. I know what I want to get accomplished each day -
Monday: Handwriting, Reading, Numbers/Math, Social Studies
Tuesday: Handwriting, Reading, Numbers/Math, Science
Wednesday: Handwriting, Reading, Numbers/Math, Bible
Thursday: Handwriting, Reading, Numbers/Math, Art/Music

but have no time limit on it. If I'm doing it at 8 in the morning or 8 at night as long as I feel good about it, that's all that matters.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

BFS Assignment #100 - Oh What a Feeling

Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:19 KJV
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling. Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back. Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

Going to public school, I HATED it. I was a young 5 years old (born July 1st) when I first started school and I had issues all the way thru high school with wanting to stay home. I had a good group of friends but I always felt out of place. I can count on my hand how many football games I went to and I never went to a school dance. I don't know if it was me just being too shy or if it was because I was never pushed to do those things. BUT in the end I turned out pretty darn good (if I say so myself). I never tried drugs or had casual relationships. I wasn't ever a wild child. Did I miss out on some things? Probably, but I'm ok with that.

In my family, I had a second cousin who homeschooled her children. All 10 of them! The oldest is my age - 29 and the youngest I believe is around 7 or 8. You lose track after kid #5. :) Anyways, they were always very polite and well-spoken, and VERY smart. As they got older a few decided to go to public school. Another second cousin (sister to the cousin I was just writing about) who has a child my age (born March '79) tried to get my mother to hold me back a year like she was planning on doing to her daughter. She kept saying how she knew that us girls would do better in school if given time to grow a little before starting Kindergarten. My mom chose to send me on to school, while Sarah was kept out a year. I can't say the choice either parent made was wrong because it was the right one at the moment.

I first started thinking about homeschooling Gracie when she was around 3 years old. I knew that I wanted her to get a good education, but I also kept thinking about how young she was going to be when she would start Kindergarten. Where her birthday falls on August 13th, school in this area starts around August 26 or 27 - she would still be a baby to me. I approached the subject to Robby very wearily. He had extremely happy school years and was one of the "popular" kids. So he hasn't always been on board with the idea. I finally got him to agree with holding her out a year and letting me see how things went. This was only after he had gone to a vocational school state competition last April and saw a homeschooled girl there. He came home so impressed by her. He said he watched how she was so poised and well-educated. And of course socialized! He said all he could think of was one day that could be Grace. But now I'm scared, because I have this one shot to really make an impression and hopefully get him to see where I'm coming from.

How else do I feel about my choices so far? Besides scared? Worried and anxious are a close second. Oh, what have I gotten myself into?? Can I really do this? This is what goes through my head on a daily basis. I wonder if I have chosen the right path for her. All I want is for Gracie to have the best in life. Whatever that may be. I really don't want to screw this up. At times I feel really good about it. For instance, school started last Tuesday. I'm a member of a local moms group and a friend's son just started Kindergarten. This is a portion of what she had to say about his first day:

"And, she also said "Kindergarten isn't what kindergarten used to be - eating cookies, playing games and having nap time. MY kindergarten class will be at the Grade 2 level before the end of the year." Poor, poor Jonathan...And she said "homework EVERY NIGHT beginning at 15 minutes worth then working it's way up to 30 minutes EVERY NIGHT!"

Ok, so in 180 days of schooling we are suppose to jump from K to 2nd Grade? I'm all for learning but isn't that a bit extreme? AND homework after already being in school for 8 hours? Geez, no pressure on these kids, huh? These children are on an average only 5 1/2 years old. Stop pushing them to grow up so fast! I don't have a lot of support about my decision. I feel as if I'm being judged, even by strangers. When they ask Gracie if she's going to school she says "no, I do it at home" and they look confused and after I explain they act like I'm depriving her. I see it as allowing her more freedom to be herself. My family has tried to understand, I think. :) I really wanted my mom's approval. And I finally mentioned it to her about how I felt she didn't support me. She said she doesn't know how she feels about it yet. But that I had to live with my decision just like she had with hers.

So that's what I'm doing. Each day I continue to try to teach Gracie and when she learns something new and I watch her eyes light up, it is all worth it. I will keep praying that I am doing what is best and that this is what God has in store for my children and family.

Some pics....

Gracie loves arts & crafts. I think this looks amazingly like the chair on Blue's Clues.

Playing with counting bears.

Planting flowers...which sadly did not grow. :(