This week: double digits, beekeeping, becoming an amazon affiliate, seeing with eyes of faith

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Have you ever been asked what you did yesterday or last week and your mind goes blank? Thats how I felt when I sat down to write about what we did this week. I know we had a great week, it just seems that somehow the days seem to blend together. What did stick out in my mind is that we officially have a child in the double digits!!! How did my baby turn into a 10 year old?

Israel has been such a blessing to us from the very moment we found out I was pregnant. Three months prior to finding out I was pregnant; I had a miscarriage. He was the answer to our prayers and such a comfort to us!

Not only have we taught him but he has taught us many valuable lessons through the years. He broke us into parenting. Before I had children I always thought if you raised your children to fear God and trained them in the way they should go they would listen and obey; just like that. Boy, did I have a lot to learn about our sin nature.

I am so thankful for all that I have learned and all that God has taught me about myself through my very determined son. His name Israel, means governed by God and it fits him perfectly. Jacob wrestled with God until God blessed him and then God changed his name to Israel. Well, our Israel is the most persistent person I know. He does not stop until gets his point across or tries to get what he wants. Though this character trait has proven to drive me crazy at times, it has made me have to be even more persistent.

 I am so proud of the young man he is growing into. As the oldest, he has a lot of responsibility and little ones looking to his example. He is very tender hearted and loves his siblings so much.  I know that God has great things in store for him and I am so excited to see how God is going to use his gifts and talents.
He has developed into quite an artist and amazes me everyday with his art work. He loves legos and can be found most days building his own creations. He is always experimenting and coming up with the coolest inventions. I wish my brain worked as fast as his does. At least 20x a day he says, "Mommy look at this."

We got him a microscope for his birthday and it was a big hit. He and the other kids have been running around the house looking for things to magnify. It has been very enlightening to see the intricacy and details in things that we can't see with our own eyes. There are some things though that are flat out creepy and I would rather not know what they look like up close and personal. He saved up his own money and bought this lego set. He came right home and put it together in a couple of hours.
Josh put on a beekeeping demonstration for our local homeschool group this week also. After beekeeping for seven years he has become very knowledgeable. I think bees are fascinating. Not only do they make delicious honey but they pollinate much of our food and are vital to our environment.

 I have learned a lot about bees since we have kept them but I hardly know anything compared to Josh. I have kind of been busy caring for our own little brood, but I am really excited to start learning more.

After the little field trip the kids and I came back and did some more research and they drew pictures of bees. Did you know that a bee has to visit about 2 million flowers to collect enough nectar to make a pound of honey and the energy in 1 ounce of honey would provide one bee with enough energy to fly around the world??? Crazy, I know! We have been pouring over "The Beekeeper's Handbook" finding out amazing information about bees. If you are interested in bees or beekeeping get this great book here!

I have been praying for a while about becoming an amazon affiliate for a while. I keep going back in my mind about it but with the blessing of my husband and peace in my heart I finally decided to take the leap. Blogging for profit was never my intent when starting this blog; heck I still barely know what I am doing and am slowly navigating around this world wide web. Truth be told I don't like being in front of a computer screen but I do love writing, sharing my pictures and connecting with all you other wonderful mamas. Since I have already put a lot of my time and heart into this, why not see if I can make this a viable blog while I am at it?! Right now I am just starting with amazon because I can recommend products I already buy and use. I never want this blog to be a place where you are bombarded with advertisements. We have amazon prime and use it on a weekly basis. It's so convenient and affordable.  I don't know how we survived without it! I promise I will only be sharing what I love and has worked for me:)

This week has had a lot of ups downs. I know that God has been calling me to trust him and see with eyes of faith. There are so many things that I want to press ahead with and make happen the way I want and when I want but I truly know that God's plans are way better then mine. He is completely trustworthy. Even though it's very difficult at times I want his will above all else and I know that all the waiting will be worth it. I can only see what is here before me now, but I want to see with eyes that look beyond what is in front of me.

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV

Do you have a child who just hit the double digits?

Have you ever been interested in beekeeping?

Are you an amazon affiliate? How do you like it?

Has God been urging you to see with eyes of faith also?

Disclosure- this post contains affiliate links that help support this little ol blog. This will affect you in no way and I only earn a small percentage when you make a purchase from the link.

Linking up with Mom 2 Mom monday, Favorite Things Friday

Why I have decided to homeschool year round and what that looks like

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Summer is getting closer and closer and spring is coming to an end. Here in Florida it has already felt like summer for a couple of months, but officially summer will be starting soon and that means no more school; at least it did.

When we first started homeschooling Israel, we followed the public school systems schedule. We took off when they took off and ended the school year when they did. I always felt bad for all those home schooled children who had to do school during the summer and were deprived of a real childhood. What kind of parents would do that to their children? I have come to find out very sane and loving parents.

I have found that homeschooling is not only the choice of education for our children but has also become integrated into our way of life. We have so much freedom that we wouldn't have otherwise. We can take off when we need to take off and put our noses to the books when we need to. Shouldn't we take advantage of that?!

Last year we took off the whole summer. I think I needed a break from school more than the kids did. But when we started back again, it was a nightmare. It was so hard to get back into a schedule after three months of freedom. I felt like all I did the first few months was fight with my kids. Yes, we had some good days but I have to be honest was really hard. I felt like giving up many times.

After much perseverance, prayer and encouragement we finally made some headway and fell into a good groove that has been working really well for us. After all the hard work we put in to get where we are, I can't even think about trying to do it all over again in a couple of months. I just can't. So this is where our decision to homeschool through the summer came in. It might sound selfish but the well being of my state of mind affects everyone!

Here are some other reasons we have chosen to go this route:

The Weather

* Because we live in Florida the summers are extremely hot and humid; meaning we can't go outside without dripping buckets of sweat. We practically live in our swim suits. The mornings are the only time it is bearable for us to go out. It usually rains in the afternoons and the little ones sleep; making it the perfect time to do school.

*The fall is beautiful here and it's so hard to be inside. We try to take advantage of it as much as we can. I can't tell you how nice it is to be outside without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and drenched in sweat. It only makes sense that we enjoy the outdoors and stay outside as much as we can during the fall.

Vacation and Holiday Time

* Since Josh is a youth pastor his busy time is in the summer. He goes with the youth to summer camp and is involved in a lot events and conferences. So the fall is the perfect time for us to go on vacation.We usually go up to Georgia. Not only is the weather always perfect but it's so nice to not have to fight the summer crowds.

November and December are filled to the brim with lots of activities and celebrations. We have our anniversary, 3 birthdays and Thanksgiving. Oh and did I mention it's hunting season which means the boys go hunting with Josh when he can take them. I don't think I need to tell you why December is busy. It's filled with present and treat making and lots of time spent with family and friends.

What our school year will look like

Most likely we will take off most of  November and December. We will do a unit study on Thanksgiving in November and one in December also. Once January starts we will focus more on getting back into a good schedule.

Because Josh is a pastor and teaches on Sundays he has off on Mondays and we really enjoy being able to spend time together with him. We do projects, go to the zoo or beach or just go out to breakfast together. It's so nice to be able to go places with him when it's not crowded and busy. Unlike most people we really like Mondays. If he is gone on Mondays then we hunker down and do school or have a cleaning day.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we try to keep a good schedule and stay focused. After using so much brain power during the week, by Friday we I need a little break. Part of the school year the boys go to our church's homeschool co-op on Fridays. They look forward to it all week. The rest of the year we will either meet up with friends at the park, go on a field trip or go to the beach. If we didn't stay out too long we will do some school work when we get home. It goes without saying that we take off the weekends:)

In the summer many of the kid's friends will have off school, so we will want to spend time with them. We will take off 2-3 weeks and then get back to our regular schedule. Some days we might go to the beach early in the morning and then hit the books when we come back.

I know that our summer will be a little more laid back than the rest of the year but what I really want to maintain is the boys being used to doing some school work so it is not such a shock to their systems when school starts back in full force. I do have hopes for us doing most of our subjects, but as long as we can keep up with math, reading, and writing this summer I will be happy. Over all going through the summer will make for a more relaxed year for us not just summer.

If taking off for the summer is your salvation then by all means go ahead and take off. If you have a really hard time getting your kids back into a routine after the summer try integrating some school work during the summer. If the weather where you are affects your daily life; work around it. Find out what works for you and don't be afraid to be bound by what everyone else is doing.

I love the life that we have because of homeschooling. I love that not only are my children learning the essential subjects, but they are learning practical life lessons, curiosity and creativity that can't be taught through books. Yes, there are days where I pull my hair and don't know how I am going to get through another one but seeing my children have the opportunity to have such a great education and childhood makes it all worth it.

I want my children to get a good education but even more importantly I want them to love the process of learning not only during the school year...but all year long!

Do you homeschool year round or take a break during the summer?

What works best for you?

Linking up with these awesome link parties: Favorite Things FridayHearts for homeHomeschool Mother's Journal  Mama moments mondaysMom 2 Mom monday,  Titus2sday, A Little R and R, Tuesday Talk, Missional Women, Mommy Moments, A Little Bird Told Me , From House to HomeHomeschool Blog and Tell, Strangers and Pilgrims on earth

This week: Tummy troubles, taking a break from coffee, gaining a heart for the world and our neighbor,Summer is almost here and living out what I preach.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I thought it would be fun to do an overview of my week with you; giving you a little more insight into the ho hum and hair pulling moments that make up my blessed crazy life. Nothing really exciting happened this week or anything out of the ordinary, just ordinary days that I am learning are really extraordinary, because of God's grace and mercy in my life.

First off Simeon came down with a very bad case of the stomach bug just as we were headed off to church. Nothing unusual, right? At least for us. I was very relieved that that pesky bug decided to come before church and not during! It then hit Josh really bad. Luke and Ellie had it mildly. The big boys and I somehow kept immune to it. I kept waiting for it to strike me but thankfully it passed over me. Phew! Just so you know I am only showing pictures of the highlights of our week; for obvious reasons;)

I usually get all bent out of shape when we have to cancel our plans to go out some where but I think I am finally getting used to having my plans changed. Since someone is always sick, having to be quarantined is normal now and it's not always that bad. The house is cleaner, it's nice not to have to rush anywhere and I really do love being with my family; though the older boys are starting to drive me crazy and I might have developed a twitch during the week.

We were getting really worried about Simeon because he has always had a sensitive stomach and this one was a real doozy but he finally pulled out of it.Thankfully Simeon is such a sweetheart, never even complained and it also helped that he had great aim;P I hate to see my babies sick; it hurts my heart and makes me think of all the mamas who have to carry the burden of sick children on a daily basis. So thankful that we can lay our burdens down at his feet; no matter how big or small.

Of all the weeks to pick, I picked this week to wean myself off of coffee. By some miracle I was able to sleep well or else I would have given in. I have been wanting to cut back on coffee for a while now as it really has a bad effect on me. I never have been a hard core coffee drinker but this past year I have been drinking it more regularly. I make it for Josh in the mornings and it's so hard for me to not have any when I smell that alluring aroma. I only have one cup a day but I can't drink it without a lot of sugar, cream and of course I have to add whip cream. It's my little indulgence in the mornings. I really just love the taste. I probably should just switch to decaf. It's so good while I am drinking it but not too long after I start to get jittery, have the desire to tackle a dozen projects at once and get irritable. I have always been sensitive to caffeine and the added sugar doesn't help. So this is where my decision came in to cut back.

Thankfully I didn't have any bad headaches. I drank a lot of my favorite creamy pumpkin pie tea from bulk herb store and actually didn't even miss my beloved morning ritual of coffee. I admit that I felt a lot better. I am not giving up coffee altogether but definitely will not make it a daily thing. This morning I broke my coffee fast and also couldn't resist our weekly tradition of Publix doughnuts. You just have to indulge a little on Saturdays, and doughnuts and coffee go hand in hand.

True to character Luke kept me on my toes this week and kept us all laughing, smiling and even gave me a grey hair or two...literally.

Despite all the sickness the boys were able to get a lot of school work done this week. Though for some reason they thought that just because everyone else was sick they could play hooky. As it happens we have been studying about India and mountains. In light of the earthquakes in Nepal and India I think it has been very timely. It's so easy to sit here comfortably and feel apathetic about what is going on in the world. It really is so hard to comprehend so many are experiencing such hardship and catastrophe around the world, not to mention our own neighborhoods. I pray that as we learn more about these foreign places and people that God would give the kids and I his heart for a hurting and broken world.

It's really starting to officially feel like summer here. Though we have not changed the kids bedtime we have been enjoying being outdoors later in the evenings. We have especially taken advantage of our backyard this week. Since we haven't been able to go anywhere, out came the bubbles. They so magical yet so simple and kept the kids entertained for hours.

About every other month or so I go through the kids clothes and toys and other stuff and get rid of what we don't need. I was able to fill up two big garbage bags yesterday to bring to the thrift store and I haven't even gone through everything yet!  Of course this means I feel I have an excuse to go back to said thrift store not to donate but to restock;) It feels so good to clear out space and have less stuff piling up and sometimes make room for more of what we do need.

Being so close to my children all the time I have really been struck by how they imitate me whether I like it or not. I have been asking God to help me die to myself and instead of telling them the right thing to do; model it. IT'S HARD!  Have you ever heard of that saying," Do what I say, not what I do."? Well, I realize that is what I have been expecting of them and it's not working.

"Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers." 1 Peter 3:10-12/ also Psalm 34:12-15 ESV

This verse really struck me this week and I really want to live it. It's one thing to tell/write everyone one the right things to do, it's another thing to actually live it. And that is my prayer this live it and do what I know is right and good; not only before the world but before my children, my neighbor and my husband.

How was your week? 

Are you able to survive without coffee or are you an avid coffee drinker?

Does the stomach bug visit your house often also?

How often do you go through your stuff and get rid of what you don't need?

Do you have a verse or burden that has been on your heart?

linking up with The Homeschool Mother's JournalMom 2 Mom monday, Tuesday Talk, Friday Favorites, Words with Winter

5 things I have learned living in a 2 bedroom house with 5 children

Monday, May 18, 2015

We never planned to be in a 2 bedroom house with 5 small children. It can get a tad bit tight to say the least, but I have a feeling God had it all planned out. He definitely has a sense of humor, though I have not found it very funny at times. I know though, that I have learned so much by living so close to my loved ones. I might not always like it but I guess God knew that I needed to learn a few things before we moved on to a bigger place.

1. Contentment
Contentment has to be at the top of the list. Because whether with big or with little we all struggle with this one. I most certainly have not mastered being content by any means but I think what I have learned is that I will never be content until I reach my heavenly home.  I share more in detail here about the secret to being content.

2. Less is More
The more things you have, the more there is to clean, the more there is to break, the more there is to fight over, the more there is to be distracted by. With limited space I have to be very choosy about what comes in our home.  I have kept stuff for so long that has literally sat, taking up space. I have had no choice but to strip down to the bare essentials. Of course there are those things I wish I could keep that I have known I will need someday but for the most part it's amazing how many things you can live without. Ridding my house of clutter has become a necessity and has helped keep me sane.

3.To make the most with what I have
Since our storage space is so limited I have had to become very creative with every inch of our house. I have put shelves everywhere that it's possible to put shelves. Under every bed there are containers that hold clothes and toys. I have had to move things around, over and over again until I have found just the right fit. It does get frustrating when there is not a lot of room but it forces me to think outside the box and find a way for things to be functional.

4. Kid's don't need their own bedrooms
We have 3 kids in one bedroom ( the other 2 sleep in our room or on the couch) but even with 3 beds I still find them huddled on the floor together in their own makeshift bed/fort or all of them in one of their beds.Though it might not seem like it all the time; they really love being together. Even though our bedroom is right next to theirs, they still won't let us close their door. It comforts them to know that we are in earshot.

I often wish my daughter especially, could have her own room. I feel bad at times that she has to share a room with 2  crazy boys. I asked her the other day if she would want her own room when we get a bigger place and she emphatically said no. It kind of took me by surprise but it shouldn't. Though she might not like all the teasing; she loves playing with her brothers. I often find them all talking and laughing after bedtime. They thrive on being together and that's how it should be.

Here are some great ideas for some creative shared kids rooms!

5. Thankfulness
It's easy to look around us and compare what we have to others, especially those who look like they are living the "American Dream." Big house, big cars, big t.v.s and think that we are missing out if we are not living up to the American standard. Not that having those things are wrong, they just shouldn't be what defines or fulfills us. Of course for me it's just comparing kitchens and storage space;P

Comparison is usually never good but I have found a comparison that has helped change the way I see things, especially through the American lens. There are so many people all over the world who if they came into my little house, would consider our family rich. We have hot, running water, a somewhat working stove, electricity, a bathroom, central air and heat and internet! Most families in third world countries have not only their immediate family living with them but their extended family also. My husband and kids may get on my nerves at times but I am very happy to just be living with them!

Instead of being ungrateful for what I don't have God is teaching me to be thankful for what I do have, and it can't be compared with money, things, or a bigger house. Yes, I dream about a big kitchen and pray for a bigger house but for right now I am thankful for this little home that can't contain the joy and love that has filled it. If you were to come over you might hear a lot of yelling( mostly from me) crying, whining, fighting and laughing. I know that having a bigger house will not change that. God is the only one who can change our hearts and I am so thankful that he has been changing mine and teaching me about the things that really matter; that are not of this world.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Linking up with some of these great link parties!

A Tour Of Our Garden

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I wish I could take credit for all the beautiful greenery you see before you, but I can't. Josh has been the mastermind behind all the veggies this year. I am just the official picture taker. Though I have to say I am very good at eating, cooking and watering them; oh and keeping Luke from destroying them. The year before we had Luke I was in charge of the garden but obviously things have changed. I am happy to admit the garden is in way more capable hands than mine. I didn't never knew that I married a farmer but I am sure glad I did!

It's been over 2 months since I shared with you the beginnings of our spring garden and the transformation is amazing. There is something so rewarding about getting our hands dirty and tending to the fragile seedlings with care and effort to make sure they are getting everything they need to grow. Not to mention waiting for the day when they are ready to finally dig out, taste and get in our bellies! When that burst of fresh flavor hits your mouth, it really is worth all the time and work.
Josh has been researching aquaponics and decided to take the plunge and make our own system. If you don't know what aquaponics are; simply put there is a little pool with fish in it. We circulate the nutrient filled water from the fish into a bed of water that has plants growing in it with only the roots in the water. Because the plants are getting constant water they grow much faster. It's pretty cool. Of course Josh could explain it a lot better than I can. He is the smart one.

He also made a worm farm out of an old cooler, because you can't have a good garden without worms. Our chickens coop is our compost bin. We give them all  our scraps and they turn them into amazing fertilizer. It's a great exchange. We then transfer into a big heap till it has fully decomposed.
For our family gardening is not just about getting "organic" vegetables, it's about the process, the experience and the knowledge we and our children have gained from learning how to grow our own nutritious food while saving some money in the process also. Gardening has also given us an appreciation for the value of food not just in money but in time and energy. We all think twice before wasting anything because we know all the hard work that has been put into our food.
When we dug up our carrots and beets you would have thought we were digging up candy with all the squeals of delight and excitement. It has been so great for Josh and I to see our kids bite into a carrot fresh from the earth and pop green beans in their mouths. They are not even thinking that they are vegetables. They just want to taste what they have helped plant and harvest.
When I was about 6 my family had friends who were like grandparents to us. They had a farm in the country and I remember going into their green bean fields and eating the green beans right from the vines. That taste still lingers in my memory. I love reliving my childhood through my children.

For those of you that don't know, we live smack dab in the middle of a big city. This garden is like our little oasis. Josh and I love sitting out there in the morning and evening; looking out at all the greenness. There is something about green that is so soothing and relaxing.  If you have ever wanted to have a garden but didn't think you could because you live in the city don't give up hope. All you need is a little plot of land, time, effort, a willingness to learn and maybe a few anxious little helpers.

Do you have a garden? If so please share the your link in the comments. I would love to see it!

If not are you planning on starting one in the future?

Linking up with these great link parties: Tuesday Talk, Strangers and Pilgrims on earth

5 Things every overwhelmed homeschool mom needs to remember( guest post on the homeschool post)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

I am guest posting over at The Homeschool Post come check it out!

Though this post is about homeschooling, it pertains to motherhood also. As mothers, we carry a lot of burdens as we try to make the best choices for our families. It can be so easy to get overwhelmed.

It’s important to remember that God made you to be the mother of your children and only you know what is best for them. You are the one God has called to make the difficult choices for your children’s education.  As you teach and train them you will find what works best for each individual child. Read more here!

A day in the life of our (home)school

Friday, May 8, 2015

I know this might sound weird since I blog...but I really like my privacy.

It is actually really hard for me to think that complete strangers might be reading some of my innermost thoughts and struggles let alone my friends!(gasp) And of course I am always afraid of some creeper reading my blog.

Though I don't always go into detail about my personal life I try to be as real and transparent as I can without spilling my guts too much. I realize though that to have a blog and keep your readers, you really need to be personal.

People can relate to you more when you share the everyday goings on of your life. I know that some of the blogs I enjoy reading are very down to earth. Not only do they inspire me with their heart, faith and creativity but they share their mundane everyday, their highlights and their failures. I feel like if we met in person I wouldn't be intimidated by them because even though I look up to them and think they are so cool, they have shown again and again how human they are. They keep it personable and that's why I keep reading their blogs.

So I thought I would give it a stab to be more personal and share with you what a typical homeschool day looks like in our house.

Here goes!

Start the day right

After Josh and I had a couple of kids I realized that I had to start getting up earlier if I wanted to have any time to myself to think, pray, read my Bible and exercise.

Since I also desperately need sleep I have come to a compromise of getting up early(5 or 6) 3-4 times a week and sleeping in (7/7:30) the rest. Of course there are exceptions and I always err on the side of getting enough sleep over exercising. On the days when I do get up early I am way more prepared to face the day and less likely to start the day feeling overwhelmed. The kids wake up at 6:30/7:00 or when they hear me move a muscle.

We usually have breakfast at 7:30/8:00.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day; my kids too. Some mornings we have cereal, oatmeal or yogurt but most mornings I like to make a big breakfast or have the boys make one. I love that they can help out now and cook. Israel's specialty is pancakes and Judah's is eggs.
Today I made a Beet/ berry/ kale smoothie. Yum! Three out of my five children will drink smoothies; I'm working on the other two.The kids also made breakfast sandwiches and I had eggs benedict. Don't be all impressed; I made the sauce last week so all I had to do was pour the sauce over my egg, bacon and tomato and I added arugula. I just discovered eggs benedict and have been a little obsessed with them. So good! If you have never made them you need to try them! Here is a great recipe.

Yeah, that's Luke making one of his daily, epic messes that I happened to catch as I walked in with my camera.

I like to start our school day reading the Bible and praying. We try to start at 9:00 but some days are negotiable;)  I used to rush right into school some days and skip Bible but I have made it a priority now and it's my favorite part of our homeschool day.

It can be very difficult some days to gather all the kids together, let alone get them to sit still. That blur  you see in the first picture is Simeon who tends to take on the form of a dinosaur for most of the day. I have the boys each read a portion and I read the rest. Then we talk about what we read and pray.

I love how God always speaks to me during this time, through his word and through my kids. We just finished Mark and have now started Genesis by the kids request. Kid's prayers are the best! Right now they are praying for a house with a swimming pool. Me not, so much though I would love a pool, they just scare me with little ones. But who knows, maybe God will answer their prayers when they are older;)

School time

Today we started with math. It has been so nice in the mornings, so I took them outside and we had a math race. It didn't go as well as I would of liked because they started fighting over who went first.

 Yeah, our school days usually include a lot of fighting, bickering, crying and whining. I try to take those opportunities to train them in their character and God is working on mine at the same time as I am learning to refrain from screaming my head off and losing control of my patience.

We are all learning valuable lessons. We eventually came in and did math speed drills. The boys really seem to excel when they know the timer is going.

I try to get the boys working on independent work while I do some crafts and kindergarten with Ellie.
She loves doing crafts and often cries when we don't do more than one but this girl has got to learn that I can not do a million crafts with her even though I wish I could.When she wants to do more than I can do with her I let her find something to create on her own. Simeon will join in with us and then disappear when he needs to get moving.

I can say without partiality that my children are very gifted artists. I could not draw the things that draw even though I like to draw as well. Since they love anything to do with art, I try to incorporate it as much as I can in all our subjects.

I am so thankful that we have a school room in our 2 bedroom house, but I find myself on the couch a lot with the kids when I am reading to them or need to do individual work. The kitchen table is great too when I need to multitask. 

When I am focused on doing school with Israel and Judah the three younger ones play and occupy themselves...most of the time but that means lots and lots of messes. I have been trying to back off from cleaning throughout the day so much and clean up when we are done with school or else I just wear myself out and get frustrated at the kids.

 Our day would not be complete without a picture of somebody crying. Nap time doesn't come soon enough for this little guy. He is proving to be my most high maintenance child yet. I can't turn around without finding him getting into something and making a huge mess. But boy is he cute and he brings so much joy to this home. I have to say he is the biggest distraction from school. Not only for myself but for the boys. They are always getting up from their school work to go kiss him or play with him. They love their baby brother!

We break for lunch around 11:30/12:00 and start school back up at 1:00 or sooner depending on  how long we take to eat and clean up. I like to get math, spelling, language, reading and writing done before lunch and finish science and history after lunch. Though we don't do every subject each day.

Today we combined history and science as we are learning about inventors and today was the Wright brothers. So obviously we studied flight. We watched a Bill Nye the Science guy episode about flight and then made paper helicopters and airplanes. Science is definitely the kids favorite subject and mine also so we tend to spend a little more time on it.

My ideal time to be finished with school is 2:00 but some days we finish later and some days we finish sooner. The biggest thing that has helped me maintain my cool during hard days, is to be flexible. Since I want to stay sane I have had to learn to roll with the punches and just do what works best for us, not putting pressure on myself to get everything done.

I was so impressed by their airplane making skills. They have really perfected them. I think Israel might grow up to be an engineer.

After School
                                  This is what our school desk looks like at the end of the day! Scary, I know! I am trying to get more organized but for the most part I have found that no matter how much I try to keep things clean or organized; with 5 kids there are going to be messes. So after school the kids and I clean up and get the school room back to order so it will be ready for tomorrow. 
                                   After school the kids go outside, watch t.v., draw or play legos. I love when I find them huddled all together looking at a book or playing legos together. But I always strongly  force encourage them to go outside if we have been inside most of the day and they are starting to drive me crazy!

I consider learning how to help and cook a part of my children's education. It makes me so happy to see them want to pitch in and lend a hand instead of having to nag them. They love to help make meals, so much so that they end up fighting over who gets to pour and mix.

If I am making a time consuming meal I try to start cooking at 4:00 and have dinner on the table no later than 6:00. 
 Tonight we made our own pita bread and gyros. It was so much fun and so good! I try to make at least one new recipe a week since I know Josh loves eating new meals and of course I do too! I want to introduce the kids to new foods also.  Here is the recipe from half baked harvest. I used venison that my husband brought home from hunting. It turned out great!

However, the next day I am burnt out from all that cooking and cleaning. I make something a little less complicated or I don't even  feel like cooking at all and I rummage around the fridge for leftovers.

After the kids have cleaned up dinner and then I go in and finish up cleaning, it's bath time; though by now this is Luke's third bath, then bed time! My husband and I are exhausted by the end of the day and so ready to get these kiddos to bed so we can have some time alone in peace and quiet.

 This was actually a really good school day for us but most of our days do not go as planned. There is a lot of frustration and craziness mixed in with moments of pure joy, sweetness and thankfulness. But Jesus is the source of our strength and fills this home with his love overflowing; as we figure out this life of school at home while trying to keep our sanity.

What does your homeschooling day look like?

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan