Monday, February 28, 2011

Multitudes On Monday #8-13

It is time to stop for a minute of busy life, and acknowledge the blessings I have been given.  There are so many things that I am thankful for,  and I truly love being able to put them onto paper, or rather the computer screen.

8.  Right now I am thankful for Canada Dry Ginger Ale as my tummy is a little upset.

9.  I am thankful for family and being able to spend time with them every week.

10.  I am thankful for all the rain we have had, so the air can get a little refresher.

11.  I am thankful that my children are able to laugh and have memories with Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunts and Uncles.

12.  I am thankful that I went to Church on Saturday to hear the words that really spoke to my heart.

13.  I am thankful for all the memories I have of my Mana and Papa, and Grandma and Grandpa.  I cherish those memories and pray my children will cherish theirs.

You can also share your blessings.  Just link up over A Holy Experience to begin.

Have a wonderful day,


Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Are You Worried About?

What are you worried about?  These are the words I heard tonight at Mass.  What are you worried about?  I sat there for a moment in silence thinking to myself what am I not worried about?  Right after those words came into my mind, the priest states "Jesus does not want you to worry."  I paused for a moment,  almost in shock.  I had never really thought about worry like that.  I am one who is consumed with worry.  I worry about almost everything.  After Ash was born, and we found out she was not healthy, I have never had a day that was not filled with worry.  There I was sitting in church, hearing the words "Jesus does not want you to worry."  I was not sure what to do with those words.  I still am not sure what to do with them.  As the homily progressed the priest said, "As you leave here tonight, take your worries and hand them over to the One that can handle them."  He then preceded to say, "Don't worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take of itself."

As I am writing this I am thinking of all the things that consume me.  My main worries revolve around Ash and her health.  I find myself worried about her getting the care she needs, not getting sick, will she need more surgery, is that medicine a good one,  and just being able to grow up and enjoy herself.  As I sit here I realize that I do not have control over these worries.  It is what it is.  The only one who has control over these worries is God Himself.  I know this.  I just need to learn how to hand it over to Him.  Learning is a process and I will learn.  I felt something tonight, as if I was being told that it will be O.K., God will take care of it.

Now, do you want to hear something funny?  My family and I have not been to church since Christmas Eve due to the severity of Ash's illness.  She woke up on New Years Eve very sick.  She developed an infection in her hip that went septic.  We spent 6 days in the hospital and have been dealing with "new" health issues since.  Today, I decided that I needed to go to Mass.  I decided this around 4:30 in the afternoon, and Mass started at 4:00 at my home parish.  I decided to go to another church because that Mass started at 5:00.  Here I was, at a church I normally do not attend and I hear these words, "Jesus does not want you to worry."  Was I was sent to this church tonight for a reason?  I needed to hear these words.  I needed to hear that it is O.K. to hand over my worries to God.  He will take care of me and my family.  He will provide.  What happens is His will.  Now, I need to let the controlling side of myself let these worries go.  I need to trust in what I have been told tonight. I have to admit,  this is going to be a challenge for me.   I have decided it is something that I want, and need to work towards.

I do hope that all of you that have worries can do the same.  Remember Jesus does not want us to worry.

Blessings to you all,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

I love writing the Homeschool Mother's Journal entry.  I have found it a great way to reflect on our week and see what things are working or not working.  I actually look forward to Friday so I can write this post.  So, I have once again linked up with Sue over at The Homeschool Chick for one of my favorite hops.

In My Life This Week:  On Monday I woke up feeling terrible.  I was very sluggish all day and lets just say, my patience was less than it should have been.  I went to the Doctor on Tuesday, turns out I had a really bad sinus infection and my asthma was acting up.  Antibiotic and 2 inhalers later I am feeling much better.  Besides being sick we were still able to get some schooling done.  Thank goodness.  The weather was nice yesterday so we were able to have a play outside day.  My house stayed the cleanest that day. Funny how that works.  I have been pondering taking on a new project and today I found the answer I was looking for.  I think I am going to go for, but we will see.  It is still in the planning stages.

In Our Homeschool This Week:  We made some great progress here.  Ash has finally figured out she can read!  The excitement on her face was priceless.  I am so happy for her.  Now, she just needs to take it beyond school time.  This will come soon.  She is progressing well in math.  We have been doing addition flash cards this week, as well as some oral problem solving.  I do think that math is her kind of subject.  Tay is still doing great.  She is reading about George Washington and preparing for her essay next week.  She took her math test today and got a 100%.  She was so happy!  Math is not really her strongest subject, but she is gaining confidence there.  Buddy and I enjoyed reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  He laughed throughout the entire story.  We then did an alphabet puzzle together.  He really enjoyed that.  Next week I am planning on printing out some activities that go with the story to hopefully further his interest.

Places We Are Going/People We Are Seeing:  Since I was not feeling the greatest this week, it was pretty quiet around here.  Last Sunday we tried a new restaurant with the family.   It was a cute little Italian restaurant up the street.  I will be honest, I am not one for restaurant Italian food, as I prefer my Mom's cooking.  My Mother is Italian and in my opinion the best cook. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  The food was pretty good.  I didn't really order an Italian dish, unless you consider a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich from Italy.

My Favorite Thing This Week Was:  I thought about this for some time.  I would have to say my favorite thing this week was reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with Buddy.  He was so into the story and really thought it was funny at times.  His laughter filled my heart.

Whats Working/Not Working For Us:  Our new workbox system is really working out great for us.  The girls know exactly what needs to be done for the day and they even get their music practice in.  It has made the school day progress smoothly and efficiently.  Another favorite I have this week is the Funnix reading program on the computer.  This has been a great resource for Ash.

Homeschool Thoughts/Questions I Have:  I have decided that I am going to take one day a week and work only on character training.  I will probably do this on a Friday as most of our lessons are done by then.  How do all of you incorporate lessons on character into the school day?  I do add a little each day, but I really want to bring it more into focus.  I would love to hear your ideas.

A Photo, Video Link, or Quote To Share:  I know another picture of Buddy this week, but here he is after a haircut and a bag of mini Oreos.

Thanks for listening about my week.



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Preschool Beginnings

It is officially time to start Buddy with a structured preschool curriculum.  He is definitely ready to get going. He asks everyday to do his schoolwork, which right now consists of pulling out some workbooks and setting him loose.  He really enjoys coloring, scissors, and glue.  He loves to use a pencil as well.  I think he feels like a big boy when he gets his pencil out.  I do have a workbox for him filled with fun things for him to do.  I just have not organized it yet because I am still in the process of figuring out how I want his to function.  The girl's workboxes work well for them, but I am not sure this same system will work for Buddy.  I want to add some structure to his school time, just not too much.  I still want him to be able to have fun and enjoy his day. Buddy is a very active little boy with a wonderful imagination.  I never know who he is from one minute to the next.  He can be Captain Hook, Batman, Superman, or a GI Joe all in one day.  I love when he comes up to me and says, "who am I Mommy."  I then proceed to name off people until I hear "Yes" and off he goes.
I am leaning toward taking a Montessori approach with Buddy.  He is very creative and I want to encourage him to continue with his creativity.  I also want to include some traditional aspects of preschool as well. Buddy wants to school with the girls, but this can be difficult as he loves to talk.   I would like to be able to add some time for him to be with the girls. A thought I have is to do an informal  circle time, or rather floor time with all the kids and giving Tay the responsibility of being a helper.  I think they will enjoy this.  I have looked at some great curriculum providers online, but am unable to make a decision.  I tend to over think things frequently and this is one of those times.  I have found wonderful Montessori activities over at .  I am also looking into ABC Jesus Loves Me.
As you can see this is still a work in progress.  If any of you know of or use a great preschool curriculum, please let me know.  I would really like to see what is working for others.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Multitudes On Monday #1-7

This is my first post for Multitudes On Mondays.  I am looking forward to writing out my blessings and thanking God for all he has given to me.  Here we go:

1.  I am so very thankful for my family.  I love each of them and am grateful that we are all together.
2.  I am thankful for my husband, who gives the kids a bath every night so I can clean the kitchen in peace.
3.  I am thankful for all the doctor's who care for my Ash, as they have been given a special talent by God and are able to use those talents to help children like her.
4.  I am thankful for my Mother and Father who are my best friends and I know would do anything for me and my family.
5.  I am thankful for the moments the children are playing peaceful with each-other and their love shines through.
6.  I am also thankful for the freedom we have in this country and to all the men and women who helps us hold on to that freedom.
7.  I am thankful for hot tea and honey as my throat is feeling a little scratchy.

This is the start of my list of blessings.  I am looking forward to adding each Monday.  This is a wonderful way to really think of all the blessings we have and thank God for them each day.  If you would like to participate in Multitudes On Mondays please link up over at A Holy Experience.  What are you thankful for?  I would love to hear your stories.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Awards!

I am so excited!  I have been given my first blog award.  The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award!  I would like to take a moment and thank the Anne-Marie over at Life's Adventures  for passing this award on to me.  She has a wonderful blog and some great science experiments for those learning about the planets.    So, here are the rules.

**Share 4 guilty pleasures and then pass this award on to six sweet blogs that you want to recognize.   Here are my 4 guilty pleasures:

1.  Diet Coke.  Especially Sonic Diet Coke the extra large (Route 44).
2.  Peanut Butter.  I love it with apples and toast every morning.
3.  Long Sweaters.  They are so cozy and warm and I buy all different colors.
4.  Tostitos black bean and garlic tortilla chips with guacamole.  So good!!

Now on to some of the sweetest blogs:

1.  My Home In The Smokies
2.  Through the Calm and Through the Storm
3. ~A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings~
5.  The Kelley Eight
6.  Moms Mustard Seeds

Please check out these blogs as they are each amazing!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

I am so excited to participate in another week of  The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  I am linking up with Sue over at The Homeschool Chick this week.

In My Life This Week:  Thing have been pretty crazy over here.  We are still in the process of revamping the office into the school room.  We are making slow progress.  I am debating on colors at this point.  We have also had 4 days of yucky weather, which meant no playing outside, which meant messy house.

In Our Homeschool This Week:  We have had a very productive week.  Tay is moving right along with her studies.  She has completed her poem and started a new one.  Ash is doing great!  She has moved along with her reading and has even begun speed drills in math.  She loves them!  Buddy has been working on his fine motor skills.  I have been trying to help him hold his pencil/crayon the correct way.  This has been somewhat of a challenge, but he is making progress.  His favorite activity is using the scissors and the glue.

Places We Are Going/People We Are Seeing:  We really did not do very much in this area.  The weather hasn't been so great so we stayed home most of the week.  We do not have much planned for the weekend as well.  Tay would love to go skiing, but it will depend on the road and ski conditions.  We will see.

My Favorite Thing This Week Was:  Watching and listening to all 3 kids sing the theme song for the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything in the car.  It was so funny!  They were bouncing in the seats and singing, or shall I say, yelling the song.  Great Memory!  Do your kids love Veggie Tales as well?

What's Working/Not Working For Us:  Something that is not working for us is using the kitchen table as our school area.  There are so many distractions in the kitchen, and the lack of room for everyone to work is becoming a problem.  I am looking forward to each of the kids having their own workspace.  

Homeschool Thoughts/Questions I Have:  A question that comes to my mind is how long should our school day be?  I work until they are done, but sometimes we are done in 2 1/2 hours.  I feel that the quality of what they are learning is there, but should I have them work longer?  How long is your average school day?  

A Photo, Video Link, Or Quote To Share:  This photo says it all.  What a life!

Have a wonderful weekend and see you again soon.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Confidence Equals Success!

During school today, I was watching Ash and Tay doing their lessons and thinking to myself how much they have both grown.  Yes, grown in the physical sense, but also in the academic and social sense as well.    Tay, before homeschooing, had become so sad in her everyday life.  She was attending a local private christian school and was not having a good experience.  Beyond the typical "girl" problems on the playground, she was bored academically as well.  The teachers did not challenge, or encourage her in the learning process. There was also very little support from the teaching staff on the playground.   I have had her home for 2 years now and have witness Tay making great strides in many areas.  First, she is finally enjoying her school work.  The curriculum I am using now gives her the right amount of challenge for success.  This has been wonderful to watch.  Tay has also made strides socially.  When she was in school she was always pretty social, but as the years went on she backed off from the other kids due to fear.  She didn't want to have confrontations or problems so she kept to herself.  This carried over to the home.  Today, she is involved in many activities and loves playing and talking with her friends.  She is doing things today I never dreamed.  Confidence Equals Success!

Ash on the other hand, as never really experienced a regular school environment.  She has many medical problems that tend to cause her to get behind in school.  I have had to switch and/or supplement her curriculum choices many times.  I have now found a good fit for Ash.  I still supplement as needed, but overall she is much happier.  I remember a few months back watching her become so frustrated during her lessons that I would cut the lessons short so she could find some relief.  I was always hearing things like "this is to hard," or "I can't do this, Mommy."  I now watch her during lessons and see a smile on her face.  She has a sense of pride in her work and is so excited when she completes something.  Again, Confidence Equals Success!

As for Buddy, well, he is full of confidence at this point.  I pray that if and when his confidence is lost, he will be able to find it quickly and begin his journey of success.

Please feel free to share you thoughts and stories on Confidence Equals Success.  I hope you have enjoyed this discussion and I look forward to hearing all of your stories.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Science Project Sunday

Before I get started with Science Project Sunday, I wanted to give you an update on the kids names.  I have decided to change what I call them here as the writing of their initials felt unnatural to me.  Names are as follows:
TG: Tay
This just feels more natural to me.  I hope you don't mind the change.  O.K. on with Science Project Sunday.

Tay has just completed her Mercury Unit with Exploring Creation with Astronomy.  This science unit has been so much fun.  We have decided to go ahead and try the Make a Model of Mercury project.  All the kids participated in this project, with Tay recording her results in her notebook.  We mixed together flour, salt, oil, and water.  We had to add a little more water than called for to get the dough to form.  After some time we were able to make a round ball out of the dough.
After we made Mercury, we began to make craters.  Tay had learned that Mercury has many craters that are all different shapes and sizes.  To make the craters the kids used their fingers, a pencil eraser, the tip of a pencil, and toothpicks.  They had so much fun doing this.

Here is the final result.  We have let it dry overnight, it still needs a little more dry time though.  We will now be able to add this to our new school room when complete.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Homeschool Mothers Journal

This is my first post for the homeschool mother's journal and I am really excited about it.  Sue, over at The Homeschool Chick has come up with a great way for homeschooling moms to connect.  It is called The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  Finding all these great things in the blog world has been so wonderful.  I never realized that there are so many ways to connect out there.  Here are my thoughts for the day:

In my life this week:  I started my new blog and found so many wonderful sites out there about homeschooling.  I have already found great information that I will use in my daily life as well as in my school.

In our homeschool this week: TG has finished up her unit on Mercury.  It was very interesting.  We will be completing a science project on the Mercury unit this weekend as well. TG also completed her poem about George Washington.  She was able to recite the entire poem with very little prompting and added this poem to her notebook. AA has really started progressing in the area of reading.  She loves to read little books and the excitement on her face when she completes them melts my heart.  AA is also working on a little poem and she has the first line memorized.  Great Start!

Places we are going/people we are seeing:  This week has been filled with birthdays.  We celebrated Daddy's Birthday, Uncle R Birthday, Auntie D Birthday, and tonight Auntie J Birthday.  Many dinners together this week, all filled with great fun.

My favorite thing this week was:  AA playing outside with Bella, our dog.  As she was riding her scooter, Bella was right behind her.  Very cute!

What's working/not working for us:   ABEKA math grade 1!  I really like the themes for each unit as well as the visuals.  I have been doing the thinking cap section and AA really likes it.  I am trying to think of a way to put this into a power point presentation for her so she can use the computer as well.  Intermediate Language Lessons for TG has been a great addition to our schooling.  The lessons sure do make her use her thinking skills.  Her story prompt was especially good this week.  As for LM, what doesn't work for him?  He enjoys all aspects of his day.  He is learning to color in the lines (which is tricky), but he enjoys trying.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have:  I have just been thinking lately about the great advantage of homeschooling.  We can challenge them as well as support them through the learning process.  I find that the children are exposed to a more meaningful and enriching learning experience through homeschooling.  We can also let them share their love for Jesus everyday, in every subject they do.  How awesome is that!!

Photo:  Just a picture of all the kids at Christmas.  Makes me smile!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

Today I have had many ideas run through my mind.  I sometimes find myself so overwhelmed with ideas that I am not sure where to put them.  As I watched the kids work on their school activities, I found myself thinking of ways I can help AA succeed.  She tends to struggle, more so than the other kids.  I often have feelings of sorrow that she has to try so much harder than her siblings, and other children as well.  She is only 7 years old and has been through so much in her short little life.  These are things I will get into later, as it is difficult to talk about.  As I watched today, I thought to myself about all that she has endured.  I have always told myself that God knows what we can handle and he has blessed us with AA for a reason.  He knows we will give her the care she needs in her life.  I also see that though she may struggle, God has given her unbelievable strength.  More so than I see in her siblings, more so than I see in other children, and more so than I see in some adults.  I know that God is with her through all her struggles and she will endure.  As I write this I feel a sense of peace.  I am thankful for AA and her strength.  I pray everyday she will know that struggles in life make us stronger.  



AA with her dog Bella (Bella is going to be training soon to be her therapy dog)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Moon Sand Madness

Oh Man!  Moon Sand!  Moon Sand is a permanent fixture in our household.  All the kids love it, but LM loves it the most.  It is one of his favorite activities for indoors.  Outdoors, is his sand table.   See the trend here?  Yesterday, I took out the moon sand, which hasn't been out in over a week or so.  Boy was he excited.  You can see from the pictures below the mess I was left with when he was done.  He played moon sand for about an hour.  LM loves dinosaurs and we had purchased a dino dig set from Lakeshore Learning.  LM became a paleontologist for the day.  He was on a fossil hunt.  See the pile of dinosaurs he found.  It took me about 20 minutes and a bath for LM to clean up after his dig.  Enjoy.

Workbox Wednesday

Wow!  Are we are having a great week.  Today I thought I would take a moment and discuss our workbox system.  As many of you are aware Sue Patrick has come up with a great system for homeschooling.  Workboxes!  If you are not familiar with the workbox system please check out her site at  I discovered workboxes almost a year ago now and have tried a few times to implement them in to our routine.  It took me some time, but I have finally come up with a system that works for us.  I am hoping that once our school room project is completed it will work even more efficiently.  So here is a brief overview of the system.  Things may change a little once the room is done, but this is working great for now.

For the box themselves, I use three colorful file totes that I purchased on sale at Office Depot, (one for each child).
Next I placed 12 (or however many you need) colorful hanging files in the tote.
I then printed some awesome workbox tags from Jolanthe over at
Lastly,  it's time to fill those workboxes!
I use only one schedule strip that I placed on the top of the workbox.  I place a tag on each file folder in the tote that explains what is to be done.  I include break times and piano practice as well as chores.  This way when the kids get to that file that know it is time for piano, chores, ext..  As the kids complete their work they remove the tag from the file folder and place it on the schedule strip on top of the workbox.  When all tags are removed and on top, they know school is done for the day.  This has helped eliminate some of the complaining of "how much longer", especially from my oldest.  I am still working on a preschool workbox for LM.  We are just getting him started with preschool.  I am hoping the same system will work for him, but if not we will figure it out.  Off to start the day with the kids.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Happenings

Mondays are somewhat of a crazy day around our home.  Coming off Super Bowl Sunday was no exception.  All and all I think we did pretty well today.  The girls completed all assignments in their workboxes without complaint.  TG is moving along great with her work.  She is reading a book about George Washington and making a timeline along with it.  She really likes to show her creative side, so the timeline activity is great fun for her.  TG is also working on memorizing a poem, which she has almost completed. AA is really starting to move along in her reading.  We have been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons which is great. Just a few days ago, I downloaded a program that partners with the book for the computer.  This has brought her learning to a whole different level.  Today I felt like we finally had a breakthrough with reading.  LM had a great day playing outside and learning about his colors.  We colored an astronaut and read a beautiful book about the moon.

 Upcoming Posts for this week:

Workbox Wednesday:  I plan on introducing my modified system and how it works for us.
Update on School Room progress:  Hopefully we will have moved some of the stuff from the storage picture in the previous post.  Oh Yeah:  TV is gone so that is a start.
Preschool Friday:  I plan on discussing what LM is doing during his learning time.
Our Curriculum:  I do plan on adding what we use here at Happy Hearts Academy

Sunday, February 6, 2011

School Room Makeover

Big news!!!  We have finally decided to makeover a room in our home and make it our official classroom. I am so very excited.  Now, this is not going to be an easy task.  We have many things to move around and redo.  The goal is to be completed by the end of the month.  I will track my progress as we go.  First, we have an old TV in there that needs to be removed, which of course is taking a lot longer than I had hoped.  (Just a little jab at my husband, LOL).  Next, my husband has some baseball memorabilia on the walls that need to be relocated to another room in our home.  This should not be too difficult to do, except for the big bat case he has hanging on the wall.  Then of course we will need to pick a bright and inspiring color for the walls.  I have so many things that I want to do in there that my mind is spinning.  I can't wait to complete this project.  I am looking forward to tracking my progress and I do hope you enjoy following.  Pictures will be added as we go.  I feel that this makeover will allow the kids and I to stay organized and use our modified workbox system a little more efficiently.  I will discuss our workbox system in more detail at another time.  If you have any thoughts or ideas about our school room, or would like to link up your own school room, please do.  Check out the before pictures.  Please excuse the mess.  This room was being used as a storage room for things that needed a place.


Before Make Over:  (Used as a storage room)

Big Bat Case that needs to go

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Welcome to my New Adventure!

Hello, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself,  my name is Kimberly and I am a homeschooling mommy of three wonderful children.   My oldest, who I will refer to as TG , is 10 years old and in 5th grade.  We actually like to say she is 10 going on 30 because she is so adult like.  My middle daughter, AA is 7 years old and in 1st grade.  She is very calm and sweet, but man is she stubborn at times.  Lastly, we have my son LM, who has just turned 3 and we are starting preschool.  He is my only boy and full of energy.  He has a great sense of humor and is always making us laugh.  Our decision to homeschool our children came at a time I did not expect.  I had always planned on homeschooling my middle daughter due to some medical issues she has, but never really considered the other children.  My oldest was in the 3rd grade when it hit us that all the children needed to be home.  We finished the year at a local private school and 4th grade started our adventure.  I have watched my oldest grow into a wonderful little girl, gaining back her self-esteem she had lost.  It has been quite a journey.  I have been following some blogs for some time now, and have decided to give it a shot.  I thought it would be a great way to save the memories we are making during our homeschool days, as well as our everyday life.  I am hoping to build this site and help provide for my family as well.  Well,  let's get started on this adventure!  I hope you all will continue to tune in as I build my site as I am just getting started.  I will be adding new and exciting things weekly, so stay tuned!