Friday, May 29, 2009

Birdhouse fun!

My parents got us this COOL birdhouse for attaches to your window and has a clear plexiglass cover on the back where you can 'view' the bird's nest from inside your house! We put it up back in April and the kids peeked inside every day for a while and then forgot about it. We were not sure if a bird would find it or want to build in it, so we started to give up hope. Yesterday I was out back planting some flowers and a bird flew right [VERY close] by me and up to the birdhouse! I looked and saw some twigs sticking out of the little circle on the front of the birdhouse, so I ran inside and peeked in...inside was a nice nest made out of twigs! Last week we found a nice bird nest on the ground and we sat it up on the porch to 'study' it. It was made out of moss, grass, and cotton. Tonight I saw the bird taking some of the cotton [off the old nest] and bringing it into her new little house! The kids are so excited! We are reading The Burgess Bird Book for Children and one chapter details nest building, so this is definitely enhancing our study! Thanks, Mimi & Papa for the super, fun Christmas present! We love it and so do the birds!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Look Mom, the turtle can swim!"

Yesterday, Greg & Cason went on a long hike and Cason found a turtle. He brought it home to show his sisters, which I thought was quite kind of him. Greg said that Cason spotted the turtle in the woods, grabbed it, and carried it about a mile back to the truck! Katelyn & Carrie loved the surprise and thought it was a super cool turtle. Katelyn quickly laid out the plans for a 'turtle habitat' and they all got to work creating the habitat. They put dirt, grass, water, & sticks in the play pool and Myrtle (of course they named it!) slept there all night. This morning they cleaned out the pool and let Myrtle have a swim. I was in the house when Carrie ran in and yelled, "Mommy, hurry you gotta see this!!" I grabbed my camera and went to see what all the excitement was about..."Look, Mom the turtle can swim"! So fun! These are the things I would miss if my kids were in school! So happy they are home...learning, playing, and being kids!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Racin' Cason...My derby day champ!

Last Sunday night was the RA [Royal Ambassadors] derby car race at our church. Guess who took #1 in his heat and 4th place overall (with 20+ cars entered)...this guy:

It was fun to see him SO excited! And I think Greg was just as excited! The dads seemed more competitive than the boys ~ha! Cason was the only Lad [1st-3rd grade] in the top 4, the other 3 boys were Crusadors [4th-6th grade] and this was his first year to enter! When I was tucking him in that night he said, "Mommy this was a great day. Will I ever get to derby race again?" Yes, have 5 more years in RA's!

What a fun day! Here are some more fun pics from the event:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day...

How was your Mother's Day? I hope it was just perfect...mine was fabulous! I spent it here...

doing one of my favorite things...camping!

Greg was in a mountain bike race [Syllamo's Revenge] last Saturday, so we loaded up the RV, the bikes, and the kiddos and headed to Mountain View, AR! It was absolutely wonderful! We left Thursday afternoon and although the trip was much farther than expected [we got to the campsite at 11pm!] it was a nice drive and we were happy to wake up to the sounds and smells of nature!

I love, love, love to camp! Especially now that we have an easy to 'GO'! We camped for years in a tent and then in the spring of 2007, we got our RV. We found it on Houston's craigslist, paid cash, and got a GREAT deal! It's an older model [Jayco 1996], but it had only one previous owner, who was VERY meticulous, and kept the RV in excellent condition! It's big and roomy with bunk beds in the back and a queen bed upfront, but we are quickly outgrowing it! Our plan is to 'upgrade' to one that has double bunks in the back [for all four kids] next spring. Chloe is still sleeping in her 'travel-lite' pack-n-play, which fits in the RV perfectly, but she will be ready for a real bed by next year. She loves camping, too!

This was a very nice campground right on the Buffalo River, so we got to fish...Cason LOVES to fish! The water was still very cold...icy cold, but that did not keep Cason from getting in the water! I dipped a toe in and said, "no way!"...too cold for me!

We stayed through Sunday and had such a nice time. Greg's Uncle Tyler & Aunt Rikki came up from Texas! Uncle Tyler races, too. Aunt Rikki gave art lessons to the kids on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. She's an art teacher and the kids LOVE doing art with her! She is a fun, sweet Aunt! Here they are water coloring...

Saturday night it rained hard and the wind was strong...Greg and I woke at 2am and thought the RV was going to blow away! Now that we live in 'tornado ally' it's frightening when you hear wind that strong, especially when you are in a metal box~ha! The kids slept through it all, except for Chloe...she woke up when Greg went out to put up the awning. We were up about an hour, which made it all the more difficult to get up EARLY to see the racers off at 7am, but we made it and the rain did not stop the turned out to be a beautiful day! Greg said the trails were torn-up and extremely muddy, but they had a fun ride. Mountain bikers love mud~ha. This is Greg's 2nd year to do this race. Here are the kids at the start of the race [last year, 2008] was VERY cold that morning!

Yes...Chloe was there...all bundled up. She was excited to see Daddy race, too. She was 6-months-old.

Now here's the crew this year...much warmer weather!

Here are the 'race boys'...check out that mud!

It was a fun, perfect weekend!

Oh...almost forgot to mention my Mother's Day presents. Katelyn bought me some nice, organic lotion and a homemade eraser from the Homemade shop in F'ville. She bought it with her own money and it was SO sweet!

Also, I've been hinting [to everyone] that I would like to have an embroidery machine and I got it! Yipppppeeeee! Here's a pic...It's the Brother Sew/Embroidery machine from Walmart! I did my research and for a great 'starter' machine at a reasonable can't be beat. The reviews on this machine, on, are near perfect, so I think it will be super! Now if I can just find the time to get it set up...I'm making a 'sewing nook' in Greg's office. He will be surprised and delighted ~hee. I bought some fabric and it is in the wash I'll be ready to start my first project. I'll post when I get started. Here's the pic...the kids hid the machine under a blanket and I had to guess what it was, I guessed a hamster in a cage (due to the size and shape of the box). They thought that was hilarious.

Have a blessed weekend!
JOYful, Kristi

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I want to be LIGHT!

“The light still shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.” John 1:5

Did you know that the word light is used in the Old Testament 168 times and is used in the New Testament 76 times? ~Donna Rees

When you think of ‘LIGHT’, what comes to your mind? I think of joy, forgiveness, a new beginning, peace, restoration, salvation…Jesus! It is my deepest desire to be LIGHT in this dark world…to point others to our Lord, but I can only do that by following ‘the light of the world’ ~Christ Jesus [John 8:12].

In the summer of 1989, I stood at this very place [Pat Neff Hall], looked up at the words inscribed on the building [“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm112:4] and asked the Lord to ‘light my path’ and show me direction for my life. It was a time in my life when I was desperately searching for, and needing God’s light! Soon after, I transferred from Texas Tech University (talk about from ‘darkness to light ’~hee!) and began my wonderful life-chapter at Baylor University!

I believe it was this simple prayer [desiring God’s light in my life] that led to my personal relationship with Christ and set my ‘faith journey’ in motion! So it is no wonder that I like ‘LIGHT’! That is why I jumped at the opportunity to read and review A Light Unto My Path by Donna Rees.

Wow...another super Wee-Book from TOS! It'a a short, easy read that outlines a simple, effective way to meditate on God’s word, do a word study, & become enlightened…all through a wonderful study of ‘LIGHT’ in the bible! Do the study to strengthen your relationship with the Lord, or use it to enhance your science curriculum by studying light with your children and seeing what God’s word has to say about it!

Donna includes many ‘light’ verses to get you started on your study, internet links [for deeper study], & 9 wonderful copywork pages! This Wee-Book is a huge blessing!


JOYful, Kristi

Universal Pre-K...good idea?

Today’s Wee~Book review covers the controversial issue of 'Universal Pre-k'. It's a hot topic that needs to be addressed...with TRUTH! The Wee-Book, titled Are Parents Really Necessary? A Guide to Preschool Education, is a must-have for ALL parents who are concerned about the NEA’s push for universal Pre-K!

Universal pre-K was one of President Obama's campaign promises, and most Americans agree with him [due to media hype and distortion of the facts!]. Sixty-seven percent of Americans think the government should pay for every child to go to preschool, [according to a June 2008 poll by Peter D. Hart Research Associates/American Viewpoint], but is it a good idea? Take a look at the [TRUE] facts in this book!

Amelia Harper, outlines the 4 myths that the NEA wants parents to believe. She does an excellent job of backing each statement with sound research, including internet links for further study [for stat lovers like myself!].

She goes on to outline the fact that YOU, the parent, are the MOST important factor in the academic success of your child…parent-child relationships greatly affect school readiness and it is important to build that relationship while the child is young [0-5] and at HOME!

Many people who “try” homeschooling in the preschool and kindergarten years become committed, long-term home educators. Parents are necessary to preschool education. In fact, you are the most important part.~Amelia Harper

She completes the book with 10 good things to teach your preschoolers…a simple, fun preschool program that any parent can follow! The Appendix includes 10 preschool worksheet pages that will help you teach the alphabet, numbers, and early reading skills.

This is another itty, bitty [13 pages] e-book that is packed with facts, research, practical tips, & resources to help you navigate the important preschool years! And it will prepare you with a ready answer when you are asked, "Do you support Universal Pre-K?"


JOYful, Kristi

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!"~ I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wow, Wee! I like Wee~Books!

Do you love E-Books (electronic books)? I do…they are easy to read [I like to print a few pages at a time], easy to store, and immediately downloadable [no shipping fees and no waiting on the mail]! TOS Magazine’s Schoolhouse Store has a HUGE selection of E-Books in every {homeschool} category, from Art to Foreign Language! And an E-Freebie each month…I do love FREE stuff!

They also have itty, bitty E-book at a an itty, bitty price [$1.95!] with a LARGE amount of information! And you’ll love the large selection, too! Check it out here.

This week I read three awesome Wee-Books! The first was an incredible book that reaffirmed my decision to keep my kids home! It is titled, 10 Big Reasons Not to Send Christian Kids to Public School [by David d’Escoto] and it outlines the main reasons why Christian parents should not send their children to secular-humanistic public schools. His facts are well documented and backed with alarming statistics.

Okay, here are The Big 10 reasons [with a short summary of each]:

1. A Cookie Cutter Approach: This approach does not nurture the child’s individual gifts, talents, future calling, & learning needs.

2. Anemic Academics: Can you believe we pay $9000/ per student/ per year?!? When year after year, our literacy rates continue to decline and overall academic standards are lower than they have ever been!

3. Misplaced Authority: Parents have no say in how or what their children are learning...scary!

4. Family Fragmentation: With the average child spending 1,000 hours a year in school...families are not as close as God designed them to be and peer relationships take over.

5. Peer Dependency: 180 days a year, 5 days a week, 7 hours a day with 25-30 other kids the same age…remember “a companion of fools”? (Proverbs 13:20b).

6. Bad Company: Schools (even ‘good’ schools) are rampant with poor attitudes, low self-esteem, hostility toward teachers, vandalism, bullying, drug use, gun threats, fear, and chaos…need I say more? *Side note: I was in a public school recently and posted on all the doors, in the halls, and in the bathrooms were signs that outlined the school’s ‘No Bullying Policy’…did that really cut down on the bullying? Come on…how many bully’s really stop to read those signs ~what a joke!

7. Propagating Promiscuity: Roughly one-quarter of the nation’s sexually active teens have been infected by a sexually transmitted disease and according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 8,000 teenagers in the United States become infected by a sexually transmitted disease EVERY day! The public schools answer? Free condoms!.. [our government Spends $12 on Safe Sex and Contraceptives for Every $1 Spent on Abstinence]!

8. Bye-Bye Bible: The bible has been successively removed and now many schools are down right hostile toward Christianity.

9. Perishing Generation: 80% of children from Christian homes are walking away from the Church by the time they reach college age and this is greatly due to the the intensive secular-humanistic indoctrination occurring in the public schools.

And #10…did you really think I was going to give you all 10? Nope, sorry…you’ll have to read the book! Buy it and keep it...this is a great book that will encourage your commitment, if you do homeschool [and give you a ready answer as to WHY? you homeshool!].

Also, if you do not homeschool, but God has laid the idea on your heart, this book will challenge you to bring your kids home [where they belong]!

It is a very easy read (8 pages) full of well-documented statements, facts, & stats! The author [David d’Escoto] is a homeschool dad. He and his wife, Kim, have homeschooled their five children for over ten years. Enjoy!

Tomorrow’s Wee-Book review is on a topic that is special to my heart…preschoolers (I have 2 in my home!). The book is titled: Are Parents Really Necessary? A Guide to Preschool Education. Another great, 'eye-opening' book!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

E-Book Review...Homework

This week I had the opportunity to review TOS newest E-Book, Homework [Juggling Home, Work, and School Without Losing Your Balance]. I must admit that when I first saw the title I was thinking this book would be of little use to me, due to the fact that I do not have a home-based business...boy was I wrong!

Yes, the book is focused toward those that have a home-based business or those that desire to have a ‘work-from-home’ situation, but it is truly a book for all homeschoolers that have a desire to make their homeschools run smoothly! For those that do have a home-based business: it is full of tips, encouragement, and advice to help you run your business better. For those that want to start a home-based business [many moms feel the pressure to supplement the family income, but have no idea how to get started!]: it will give you ideas and inspiration to set up your business [it outlines specific details and mechanics of how to run a successful business] and ways to explore what would work best for your family [LOTS of ideas from sewing to pet-sitting, to writing!]. And for those, like myself, that need help in the areas of home organization, prioritization, and time management…this book is for you, as well!

Would you like to ‘peek’ into the homes of 16 REAL-life homeschoolers and see how they manage their homes (work, chores, school, etc…)? Well, this book gives you the opportunity to do just that, and it will leave you encouraged, inspired, and feeling ‘normal’! I’m convinced that Satan [the father of lies!] wants us to think that we do it all wrong and there is only one right way to homeschool! That is absolutely not true and this wonderful collection of stories proves that every home is different [unique & special!] and God works in and through our unique circumstances to accomplish His will! Get ready to be motivated and encouraged as you read story after story of God’s direction, guidance, and faithfulness…and you might even pick up a new trick or two to help your home run smoothly. One of my favorite tips, that I plan to implement right away, is a scheduled “de-clutter day”…sounds good, huh? It is just one of many useful ideas you will gain from reading this super book!

Overall, I absolutely loved Homework…all 92 pages! It is packed full of practical tips, internet resources, real-life stories, encouragement, and inspiration! The common thread, woven through out the book is the fact that God provides! For me, each story was a needed reminder that God makes our paths straight as we look to Him and trust Him for ALL of our needs! The book has motivated me to start writing again [a long held desire and passion that I thought was impossible with my crew of 4!] and I look forward to where God leads as I follow.

Ready to get inspired? Click here to order Homework and start reading it today! Enjoy!