Doing My Part… the Goodwill Way

Posted On September 13, 2008

Filed under Curriculum, Green, Homeschool, Life

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Week two down. Tired. Drained, but overall happy. This year I can tell is going to be a doozy… academically speaking. Its just a heavier load with a first and a fourth grader. I am covering all the bases that I might’ve let go a little the last two years. But not this year. The one thing (ie: curriculum) I have fallen in love with is Math-U-See. Ahhh, love that man, whoever he is that entrances my children into learning. They love it and want to do it first thing in the morning. Anyways, so far so good.

Ok… so now onto the Goodwill part. I am now officially a teacher… yikes for those students in my class. I am a teacher for the Dayton Christian Homeschool group or as they say, “Inschool”. We had our first teacher meeting this morning in Dayton and I am thrilled to be a part of it. Especially because my kids get to go there for FREE! A savings of $3,000! Plus I get a paycheck too which isn’t bad either. I have a home room class, a box of supplies and a list of all my students. I will have 61 students divided over 4 periods. Scary, I know…

Ok, Goodwill, I forgot. So after my meeting I headed to the local Goodwill store not expecting or wanting to buy a thing. But the treasures were awaiting and oh so tempting. Here’s list of what I found…

The Visible Man with every part, organ, eye, etc in the box!

Several homeschooling books in perfect condition (including this must-have and this classic).

A pair of Columbia snow boots similar to these ~ never worn

4 of my dessert plates that needed to be replaced from 4 broken ones.

This Lands End vest for Sam. Its so cute because he called it his “Jeep” vest because its the color of the Jeep he’s gonna buy when “he’s big”.

I want to hear about your treasures from thrift stores… Please share!!!


Calm Before the Storm

Posted On August 12, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool, Life

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I posted a little bit ago of my kids going to my parent’s for a camp… well, guess what??? I’m kidless!! I love my kids more than anything, but let me tell you how quiet my home is and how low my pulse and BP are right now. I am really looking forward to this week to get ready for school for next year. I have scoped out every Half Price Books in the vicinity… Dayton, Indianapolis, and today, Cincinnati… I heart that place! The clearance section especially… Brian was laughing at me today because I was determined to make it to, yet another HPB store and I did. Today’s coupon was 50% off one item… I think the gas $$ to get there was probably tripled that of the book I got, but hey, it was a book on my list to get!!! Yay!

Today was Brian’s day off so we did a little indulging… ummm, Panera for breakfast, trip to Cincy which included the following: shopping at the Kenwood Mall, HPB, an iphone for hubby (“needed” for work), and dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We do not indulge like this all in one day, but today was special.

Special??? Why you ask??? Well, Brian just became an editor for Relevant Magazine. A huge deal to us. Its something he’s been dreaming of for a long time. He just found out on Friday and it was a day to celebrate. He will still be a pastor here in West Milton, but will be working remotely as “managing editor” hence the iphone. Life will be crazy for awhile til he figures out a balance, but he definitely is up for the challenge.

So school will start soon after we pick up the boys from “camp”. I’m getting excited and nervous, but am looking forward to another year with my guys. We’re finally get the hang of this crazy ride after two years under our belt. I’ll post our curriculum choices later.


Posted On July 10, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool, Life

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                                    Ethan and my niece, Allison 

Hi, sweet readers of OCC, not to be confused with OCD although I’m guilty of that too! Summer is whizzing by and blogging isn’t on the “to-do list” found on my kitchen counter… sorry! Here’s a super quick look into our life this summer.

– Noah enjoyed a week long beginner golf camp… his instructor secretly told us he was the most advanced in the class… watch out, Tiger!

– Annual Orme Hilton Head vacation… beautiful, restful, playful, joyful… what more can I say??

– Many visits with my sweet friends… Becky, Rebecca, Ruth. Thank you for your hospitality!

– Continual updating our “for sale” home… more paint, more landscaping, more decluttering, more trips to Lowes…

– Brian did two weddings, one that I was able to go (kid-less) and enjoy the rehearsal dinner, wedding and reception… although I was husband-less… since he was running the show!

– Yes, we’re still homeschooling -loosely- this summer… just some hands-on, impromptu lessons with craw fish, snakes, butterflies, hermit crabs, frogs, weather, horticulture, and much reading.

Now here’s what’s still to come!
– Big fishing trip to TN for Noah, Dad, and Papa…

– Church camp for Noah

– Newport Aquarium for Sam & Ethan 

– Birthday parties for friends and family

– VBS with our dear friends in Dayton

– and drumroll…drrrrrrrrrrrrr….. my parents are contemplating holding a week long camp for all their grandchildren (7) the second week in August called Camp Al-Joy… (Allan + Joyce) at their home in Indianapolis. They are planning relay races, crafts, fishing, special snacks, Bible stories, Indy Zoo and bonfires. What would I do all week without my children??? Suggestions are welcomed… I would be clueless, honest!

Hope you are finding God and his touch through this summertime.

Sharing the Love a.k.a. GIVEAWAY

Posted On May 28, 2008

Filed under Homeschool

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I’m proud to announce my first ever blog giveaway… and I think its a great one! So all you homeschoolers or even if you’re not and would like to use it with your kids, share the love and let your friends know!

The KIds’ Nature Book; 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences has been a great companion for me this year in homeschooling my boys. I get warm fuzzies each time I go to pick it up! Its just “one of those books” for those of you who are book people like myself. If I was having a “not so good” day with schooling, it was one that I went to for inspiration. It has activities for each day of the year. The only activity I wouldn’t recommend is on June 2nd, it says to “Get a Pet”… we already tried that this year and it didn’t work for us… sorry, Marley 😦

Amazon says, “In a straightforward, common-sense fashion and approach , Milord presents the world of nature in daily increments. A project or activity is offered for each day of the year, and each week is given a theme around which the projects focus. Some of the activities are simple events that could take place in the home (e.g. preparations for a nature display area, or reading a story or poem which ties in with the week’s events). Other activities require visits to parks, beaches, or other outdoor areas. And still other activities can be successfully completed in one’s backyard. The initial section includes information on how to use the book, how to respect the wildlife which is being observed, and preparations which should either be taken or made in order to properly observe and work with nature.”

I love this book and I think you will too. It will be on my homeschooling shelf for many years to come.

If you wish to enter, please leave a comment with your name, of course, and you’ll be entered in the drawing. Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, June 1st. I’ll announce the winner on Monday! Good Luck!

I’m Sooo Ready!

Posted On April 18, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool, Life

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Well, our house has been up on the market for well over a month. We’ve had tons of showings, but no offers. Boo-hoo. Its fine though, but I would like this process to end sometime soon! Homeschooling three boys who were born messy, doesn’t equal fun times for me. I’m ready for showings to be over, homeschool to be over (for the year) so what’s a girl to do? Yes, you’re right… go to Florida.

We leave in a few days and I’m very pumped to spend some quality time with my husband and boys. We got a “bungalow” just steps from the beach. I plan on reading, tanning, walking the beach, and playing in the sand with my boys AND not thinking about my house for a whole week. Noah actually wants to bring his English book and “do a little lesson each night before bedtime”. I didn’t ask, I’ll just go with it. That’s coming from a son with whom I argue roughly half of my day with about school. Go figure.

Here’s a little picture for you so you can think of me while I’m away.

Nature Study

Posted On February 22, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool, Uncategorized

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Monday, Brian’s day off, found us needing to get out… not the malls, no errands… but nature. It was great. I’ve been reading a lot of Charlotte Mason stuff and nature studies are a big thing in her method. I’m loving it. Plus boys need to spread their wings and run and be free. We layered up and headed to Charleston Falls. It was so beautiful and I couldn’t believe such a place is right around the corner from us.

Noah brought his nature notebook, field guide and magnifying glass. He thought he was pretty cool. Sam brought his bug case… we kept explaining to him that the bugs aren’t out… they’re either dead or hibernating. It didn’t sink in. The last picture is Sam at the end of the trip realizing “there are not any bugs”.





On the Fence

Posted On February 13, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool

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“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
Galatians 6:9 ~ NLT

To be honest, this year of homeschooling has been filled with trials. And to be honest, I believe it has been half me and half my oldest and our stubbornness together. I’m very structured, he’s very structured so the both of us together do not always make for easy homeschooling. He now thinks going back to school would be torturous and cruel. I am not sure where I stand on that point. I do not think school is bad. I love homeschooling, but I don’t think its the “end all” (aka: all that and a bag of chips). I think every family is different and every child is different. I definitely lean toward the side of homeschooling, but there may come a day when you will see my children walk into an institution of education (aka: school). Sorry about all the aka’s… we’ve been reading too much Lemony Snicket, I guess.

I don’t like being on the fence with things. And lately I am on the fence (aka: don’t have a clue of what I want to do) with homeschooling. I guess when you are faced with bump after bump, you get to a point where you need to make a change in your plans. Again, I must repeat… the bumps are partly me. So the change can be… and I must admit, we stubborn, structured people don’t like change either… sorry for that interruption… change curriculum or change setting/teacher.

So before my homeschooling friends gasp and worry, at this point, I’m thinking curriculum. Ahhh, now you can breathe (“wink, wink”). I feel the Lord has opened my eyes to a new way and style. At one of my favorite spots at one of my favorite getaways with hubby this weekend, I was directed to this book. Shortest read ever. But such an enlightening read as well. I think if things are done well and effectively, everything else will fall into place is what I got from that little book.

I am currently reading this and following it to a tee!!! JUST KIDDING, just making sure you’re following my links 🙂 NO, reading this and finding so much encouragement and peace. Please pray for us as we continue to seek what path we should take in our children’s education. Conventions and preparations for choosing next year’s curriculum should begin soon and I want to be clear on what direction I (Brian and I) should take in this area of our lives.

On another note, Brian had a great time in Cambodia… especially spending time with the kids from our church’s orphanage. I wasn’t able to embed the video into my blog so hop on over to here to check it under the “weekly” section.

Flipping Out

Posted On January 28, 2008

Filed under Family, Homeschool

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Please pray for my husband and nine other people from our church who are going to Cambodia early tomorrow morning… they will be there for ten days. The boys are tucked in bed, the bags are packed and I am getting sad to see him go. I know it will be a great trip and such a neat experience as they will visit the orphanage that our church started.

I will miss him dearly, but my parents are coming over tomorrow and we will begin our week-long mission of decluttering, painting, pitching, and fixing up. We have our eyes set on a house we are hoping to put an offer on soon and we desperately need to get our house in order. It looks nice, but I know all the hidden, cluttered areas that need some work. My mom is amazing with finding ways to make things look nice and is great with telling me things I do not need anymore. I went to the grocery today and stocked up on healthy meals for them (mom, dad and brother plus me and the boys) for the week, so I am set! Maybe I’ll post some before and after pictures of what we do. Then you’ll get to see first hand how brilliant my mom is with “flipping” a house! I can’t wait!

We had our second week of co-op last week and we are really enjoying it. It is a bit out of my comfort zone to go somewhere where I know no one, but fun to meet new moms who love God and homeschooling… it makes for instant friendships! Here are a few pictures of the day there…




Arters, Myths, and Care Bears, Oh My!

Posted On January 12, 2008

Filed under Curriculum, Family, Friends, Green, Homeschool

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Its been too long since I’ve posted and I sometimes wonder why I blog… it is more for those of you I know that I don’t keep up with on a day to day basis. To keep you in the know, I guess. Things are going well here and we have fully recovered and detoxed ourselves from the Christmas craziness. The boys enjoyed all the gifts they received and Brian and I enjoyed time together in the evenings during his time off. Even though its a busy time, it is “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Homeschooling is well underway and things are looking good. Sam is reading several new words… Sam, Dan, Don, Ann, doll, nut, the and ant. We just sent away for 25 Harvester Ants that should arrive in the next couple weeks. Our next unit is on Insects (letter “I”) in My Father’s World curriculum. So we will study the habitat and habits of ants. I was a little disappointed to read the ants should only survive for two weeks. Oh well! We have been reading tons and I feel he is doing well for kindergarten.

Ethan (4) is doing well with his school work too. He is almost spelling his name and recognizes most of his letters. He is doing his counting with Sam and going as far along with him. He is a wonderful little artist and today announced when he grows up he is going to be an “arter” (a.k.a. artist). I would definitely not be surprised if that’s the path God took him down.

Noah is progressing well in math… we might be a little behind as far as some third graders out there, but he is really grasping concepts and introducing multiplication has been easier than I thought. We are almost done with Story of the World I so I need to order book 2. Today we read a Roman myth about Ceres, a goddess, and Prosperine her daughter. Each time we read a myth or legend, I remind Noah that these stories aren’t true and gods and goddesses were idols and not the One, True God. So today he asks… “So why do we have to read them, Mom, if they’re not true?”. Very good question… I’m sure I gave a great answer that appeased my curious and debatable son.

Over New Year’s Brian and I spent a wonderful break with some of our dearest friends, Heather and Eric. My mom was gracious enough to keep the boys while we hobnobbed in some swanky places here and here… what fun! Its a once in a year thing, but one of the most memorable times. One of the days, Heather (who homeschools three girls) and I ran to the education store and found some goodies. I got Noah a reading comprehension workbook and a book on taking care of God’s earth (learning about being green on an elementary level!). I also invested in some cool art supplies. This book was a the best investment for the art! I would post some pictures of the boy’s work, but my camera was left at Eric and Heather’s!

So that’s the short of it. We are still in the process of house hunting. We are being patient, but knowing the time is coming, we get more anxious… especially with three boys and winter ~ being cooped up inside … if you don’t know, they don’t mix!! I’m sure our mailman hears some interesting sounds coming from our house during the day. Oh, and to add to the fun, Sam “bought” a life size Care Bear (about 3 1/2 feet tall) at the Awana store Wednesday night. Now its four things running around my house during the day. I’ll post pictures when I get my camera back.

Our Day

Posted On November 8, 2007

Filed under Family, Homeschool

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Today was a great day of homeschool… it doesn’t happen everyday so today I’m gonna be vocal and say, it was a great day!! The boys were excited to start school because of some projects I strategically left undone from yesterday to finish today. So they couldn’t wait to get in the school room and start. Noah got to pick from the “treasure box” yesterday for finishing math in under 30 minutes so today he was racing to beat his time from yesterday… 24 minutes today! Including an hour long phone call to my mom, we were done at 1:00. Yeah! Noah has been great and very cooperative. Thank God for the frost and the suppression of ragweed in the air!!

Anyways, the boys were so ready to head out and play on our new rope swing (thanks, Mike) this afternoon after lunch. They all got their coats and shoes on and headed out the back door… that is except Ethan. He was very frustrated about the shirt he had on to go outdoors… it just wasn’t the right one (he gets that from his dad). At the same time, I was getting on the phone with Gap to pay a bill that I wasn’t able to pay online. I told him he could cry about it, but just to do it quietly. It wasn’t two minutes later while talking to Trish from Gap that I looked over and saw this sight. I had to capture it. Even though he’s four and a half, he still needs naps. He’s still my baby.


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