Month: August 2011

Our New Curriculum

Back to school time is so exciting! I love shopping for school supplies.  Ah the feel of new pens, new folders, and the smell of crayons.  Heaven.  Yeah- I’m nerdy like that.  This year we are doing a Preschool Review through the end of the year.  We will start Kindergarten in January.  My son just turned four.  I figured rather than have two years of one and one year of the other, I could do a year and a half of each.  This way we can go slowly.  You know – let it sink in.  We have short days and take frequent breaks.  We took some time off this summer.  I doubt I will do that again because he just “lost” too much.

For finishing the year, we will continue to use a combination of Letter of the Week and Joyful Heart. These two programs have provided a great learning experience- for both of us!  I’ve posted before on how much I like both of them. He’s having a great time.  I’m not to thrilled with all the prep, though.

Sure I know its a part of the job- I just wished I would have invested in printer ink stocks.  Man are we going through the cartridges!  In the last year alone, I’ve spent over  $400 in just ink and paper.  That just stinks, People.  Stinks!

Well, that got me thinking (and crying).  If I’m going to spend that much I may as well invest in a more “turn key” curriculum for Kindergarten.  After much research I decided on Little Hearts For His Glory by Heart of Dakota Publishing.

I was amazed at how many books came with the package.  It was VERY reasonably priced too!  I just squealed opening the box when it came in.  This curriculum is awesome!  Very little prep work involved.  Thanks to the teacher’s guide I don’t even have to write out lesson plans.  How cool is that?!

I’m confident that this will be a great Kindergarten experience.  I will enjoy being able to “school” during the day and spend my evenings relaxing with my family more.
 Less work + more fun = happy mom!

Have fun visiting more Hip Homeschools at the

  Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Want to know a secret?

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media.  I love blogging- sometimes.  I love reading and learning from other moms in the trenches.  I love Twitter, Instagram and Pixoshere. BUT… I’m unreliable, undependable, you just plain can’t count on me for regular blog posting.  There, you have it: the cold, hard truth. I’m just a blogger wannabe.  For the rest of my dirty, little secret click here.  You’ll be redirected to MommieKate – the fun & fellowship side where I’m currently crying out for time management tips (and a maid).

The Truth Hurts

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media.  I love blogging- sometimes.  I love reading and learning from other moms in the trenches.  I love Twitter, Instagram and Pixoshere. BUT… I’m unreliable, undependable, you just plain can’t count on me for regular blog posting.  There, you have it: the cold, hard truth. I’m just a blogger wannabe. I’ve tried scheduling my time, joining blog hops, even group accountability. Now I know that you, all twenty-four of you WONDERFUL, FAITHFUL, BEAUTIFUL followers have been holding your breath just waiting for my next blog-hopping post. What? You haven’t? Well then I know you’re not too disappointed.  Whew. That’s a relief! Thanks for loving and reading me anyway.

I have so many great ideas, so many posts in my head, so many photos to share…and no time. No motivation to wake up at 5am just to blog.  No push, no pressure, no DRIVE.  What I do have is a very flexible (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it: flexible) routine.  I have a huge house to clean, an active boy to wrangle and to educate, and a hungry husband to feed – just like most of you.  So how do the blogging divas do it? They have groceries, dishes and tantrums to deal with.  So what have they got that I don’t have? OK, that IS a rhetorical question. Please don’t even begin to answer that one!

I seriously love, and I mean LOVE writing.  So why is it so hard to do just one little post a week? I started blogging because I wanted to share the things that my Pastor’s wife (and very dear friend) had taught me.  Little things that profoundly changed my thinking and my life.  Things about keeping it real with Jesus, how to manage my home for His glory, and how to practically keep a family fed and happy on a budget.  I started with a few posts on how I save money and Practical Faith For Everyday Life was born.  As my son grew older I started researching homeschooling blogs for pointers.  I fell totally in love with the homeschooling community online and I wanted to branch out. Then came MommieKate.

I wanted to join all those lovely blog hops I had found.  I wanted to BE one of those women.  You know her- she works out everyday, pays only six bucks plus coupons at the grocery store for $500 worth of food, has faithful morning & evening devotions, has her housework done by 9:00am, homeschooling done by noon, and loves arts & crafts time with her genius, never- naughty boy.
The woman who does all that AND has time to blog about it. (That’s the part I really wanted).  I also have fantasies about photography, jewelry making, and mission trips but that’s for another (probably unwritten forever) post.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my Bible time. I can stretch a dollar a mile or two. My chores get done. The lessons get done. We get crafty every now and then. Don’t ask about the workout.  Oh, alright: I’ll confess. The PX90 is still in the closet – you guessed it: unopened. I get things done and I enjoy life. I just can’t seem to get a handle on writing about all these adventures.

I have blogger envy.  That’s my secret.  Now you know.

I would love to hear how you make it all work.  I’d really love you to send me a maid but while I’m waiting just clue me in with your time management tips.

Joy in the Giving

Often when we think of Christian love and charity, we think big: mission trips, feeding centers, large sums of money.  We think of our local tithes and offerings.  We think of the parable of the Widow’s Mite.  I have found myself thinking of her a lot lately.  I think of how in her poverty, she gave all that she had.  I think of how her humble heart caught the eye of the Master.   I think of how He praised her.  I’ve been contemplating the principles of Godly Giving and whether or not I measure up to His expectations.

While studying I noticed that God expects us to be joyful as well as generous in our giving.  I also realized that giving all I have is not just about money.  God expects more of me than just my envelope in the offering plate.  While I am obedient in my finances, I’m not sure that my giving has honored Him the way that Widow’s Mite did.

I want to honor Him so badly- to catch His eye.  I want to make Him proud.  I want to give ALL.  What a lofty goal. So daunting, really.  Is it even attainable? Can I really give Him ALL?   As I shifted my focus from money, I saw so many other opportunities.

I can smile more, not just when I’m happy.  I can smile at the cashier when I’m held up in line because she’s changing the tape roll and taking forever.  I can smile at the driver who takes my turn at the stop sign.  I can smile at my son when he’s struggling to do a big boy job all by himself when I could do it so much faster. (I can even smile at these rowdy teenagers who are distracting me while I write this post utilizing free Wi Fi at McDonald’s. )

In my routine shopping, I can get a few “extras” for others. I can pick up some extra can goods at the grocery store for the local food bank.  I can pick up an extra pack of diapers & wipes for the women’s shelter.  I can take a book of stamps and some paper to the alcohol & drug treatment center.  I can take my old magazines to the nursing home.

I can make (and give Him) better choices.  When challenged I can choose mercy.  I can choose forgiveness.  I can choose patience.  I can choose kindness. I can listen patiently as if for the first time when my grandmother repeats the same story for the 100th time.  I can be sweet instead of sarcastic when my husband forgets that it’s date night and volunteers to work a later shift.  I can choose peace instead of arguing my point when a neighbor oversteps her bounds.

I’m learning that giving all I have is so much simpler than I thought.  It’s so much broader than I imagined.  If I choose a positive perspective about it, I can even have fun looking for opportunities to give more, to do more, to truly serve Him in my everyday life. I can give myself, my heart, my obedience as well as my money.