Sunday, July 27, 2008

Overcoming Fear

I am petrified of worms! I am talking about a real fear here. It probably stems back to me being a child and my brother (who is 8 years older) use to love to chase me around and throw them at me. I can't stand the sight of them. Well about 3 weeks ago Chris and I were taking Emily for a walk around our neighborhood. I was pushing the carriage and I was a couple of walking steps ahead (I have short legs so me being a few steps ahead might equal a foot if I am lucky). All-of-a-sudden Chris yells "WOOHHH!!!!" and jumps up in the air. I look back.....THERE WAS A SNAKE GOING THROUGH HIS LEGS!!!! Well to me snake=big worm!! I screamed and ran (with the carriage) like an Olympic Sprint Runner down to the end of our street---crying all the way!!!!! Chris came down to the end of the street, where I must have cried for a good 5 minutes telling him 1. I am not walking back to the house! 2. He was going to have to go and get the car to pick me up! and 3. I want to move back to the city! I was so hysterical that neighbors across the street from where I was standing came out to see what was going on. After the snake was away from where we had been walking Chris reluctantly got me to walk back home. I have NOT been on a walk through our neighborhood since.

That was until yesterday. Chris came home from work and told me we were going for a walk with Emily. I told him to have fun with Emily but I wasn't going. After some "talking" back and forth I went. I didn't want to go. Chris felt it was important at this point for me to face my fears and do it. He told me "We are going to do it together" and with that I walked down to the scary spot where the snake had been (3 weeks before--do you think he was waiting for me?). Chris allowed me to hold on to his arm with a death grip. I stopped a few times and told him I was all set and didn't want to go and further. He persisted we keep going. In the end, I did take our neighborhood walk---2 times!!! The first time I was scare, holding on to Chris as he tried to distract me with conversation (it didn't work) and the second time I was very relaxed, pushing the carriage, talking and laughing. I am glad he made me do it...I am even more thankful that he took the time (and patience) to do it with me--together. Some people would have just said "get over it". But not him. I guess that is why I feel like the most blessed woman in the world to have such a great man like him.

Today is the anniversary of the day we started officially dating 18 years ago. I love this man!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Weekend Plans

Big plans for the weekend? Not too much around here. Chris works every weekend. His days off are Wednesday and Thursday. Today he is working a different shift at work because someone needed the switch in time. So he is working 11 a.m. until about 7:30 p.m.. He starts work tomorrow at 4:30 a.m. so I am hoping he will go to bed early---which would be 10 for him.

CJ is off to his friend's house to sleepover. Our van needs back breaks and shocks so I have not been able to drive it the last couple of weeks. CJ wants to go to church so bad. Not something you see from every 14 (almost 15) year old. His friend's family was nice enough to say that he could stay over there tonight so he can go with them. He will be back tomorrow afternoon for his last regular season game. My Mom came over last night to watch the little ones so Chris and I could go out for dinner. We try to make an effort to have some "us" time at least a few times a month. This is sometimes in the form of an "inside" date. It doesn't take much to make me happy---take out from Applebee's and a movie from Redbox and I am all set. But last night was dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Good food--very loud environment. Next time I think it will be quiet Italian restaurant. Mom is staying over for the day.

So plans for the weekend:

Work on the schoolroom.
Write out goals for next year and make sure I have needed books/supplies.
Make an Ebay pile and post some things. My goal is to have 10 things online this weekend.
Clean bedroom---or as Chris calls it "The Black Hole". That room is such a catch all for junk.
Menu planning
Phone call list---I have to write down calls I need to make on Monday.
Exercise---Boy do I need this!
Play with the kids.

This should keep me out of trouble for the weekend.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happenings and Such

Hello All. I know I have been a little M.I.A. lately. But now I am back. Thought I would give you some quick updates on life around here.

After many years of talking about coming up with a name for our little homeschool we finally settled on one: Eagle Wings Academy. Our scripture reference is Isaiah 40:31 But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. I like this verse because I know for myself there are many times during my homeschool adventure that I grow so weary and feel like giving up. You know the days---the house is such a mess you pray no one stops by unannounced., laundry is piled so high the kids are making a fort out of it, you should have gone grocery shopping 3 days ago and now you are piecing together a somewhat healthy lunch, you just can't get your darling child to understand that 4+3 is 7 and not 5, and you think to yourself "maybe school would be better for them". I KNOW I can NOT be the only one that has those days. Sometimes I have one of those WEEKS. But even though I sometimes daydream of the bright colored school bus driving them all away I know it is NOT an option. Those are the days that I hold especially on to scripture and feel God carrying me through. Lets face can be tough.

I have also made some headway on picking out curriculum for this upcoming school year. Now it is a matter of buying.

I am teaching Chemistry this year in co-op. I am making slow progress on that. I plan on kicking that up a notch.

Alex is now done with baseball for the year---Yahoo!!!. Zachary is in the playoffs---YIPPY!!!. CJ last regular season game is Sunday and then he starts playoffs. By the time it gets to playoffs I am ready for the season to end (no matter what sport it is). It will be nice to have a break...even though it will be only about 3 weeks before CJ starts 2-A-Days for football. Basically 2-A-Days are what the name implies. He has to be at the field bright and early, somewhere between 7-8 a.m.. He has a few hours of practice. Then a break (they eat), and then another practice. So he is looking at being at the field for about 5-6 hours.

I am still enjoying my new hobby. I tried a new recipe last night. Last week I ate dinner at a friend's house. I watched as she whipped up in no time a delicious easy meal. I made it last night. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!! Thanks Dulce!!!

A couple of weeks ago I did a post on crazy names people name their children. Well I read a new one today. A child in New Zealand was named....are you ready for this......Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. Can you believe it!! I couldn't make this stuff up even if I wanted to. In the article I read, it talks about in N.Z. law blocks people from naming their child something that would cause offense to a reasonable person. They blocked the name Fish and Chips, Number 16 Bus Shelter, and Violence. I ask you.....why? Why would you name or want to name your child Fish and Chips?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4th of July Wedding

On the 4th of July my family had the honor of attending one of the most beautiful weddings we have ever seen. It was not your typical wedding...but then again, this isn't your typical couple. First off, they courted instead dated. I have heard courting being thrown around for many years. I myself do not want my children to date. I want them to wait on the Lord to bring them their one and only. I believe dating just sets your heart up to get hurt and brings way too much temptation along with it. CJ is 14, going to be 15 next month. We presented to him what courting is (atleast to the best of our knowledge) 2 years ago on a camping trip Chris brought him on for his 13th birthday. Back then it was decided that he wouldn't date at that time and together we would come up with rules when then time did come. Now, almost 2 years later, CJ has decided that he wants to forgo dating and wait. It is an answer to prayer.

But now what. What are the rules? Honestly, I don't know. I have asked other families that will have their children court and I am told basically it will look different for each family. At this time I am not to worried...especially since he is only going on 15. I think we have time before his true love comes along. ATLEAST I HOPE SO! Chris and I were married at 18 and 19, but I can't see CJ being ready. He has goals that he wants to accomplish.

Back to the wedding. Jordan, Melissa and both their families are a great example of raising children according to the Bible and waiting on the Lord. Jordan is 26, Melissa is either 21 or 23 (sorry, I can't recall). The kept their heart and body pure before the Lord. Their first kiss (EVER!) was witnessed by 350+ people! YES, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! Their first kiss was at their wedding. It amazes me. Now, I am NOT saying that if a couple kisses before they are married they are sinners and unclean. That is something I believe is between the couple and their family.

I found on youtube a short video from the wedding and I thought I would share. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's in a Name

Lately, the conversation when I talk with others always seems to come around to names of children. It usually starts off talking about the, uh, unusual names that celebrities go out of their way to name their children. Now I ask you, WHY? Why do they feel the need to go out of their way and pick really out there names. When was the last time you hear that a celebrity named their child Emily or Jacob (BTW, those are the most popular names from 2007). No, they usually pick names like Apple, Coco, Pilot, Camera, Suri, Free, Ever, Racer, Rocket, Rebel, Harlow, Audio Science, Tiger Lily, Rumer, Scout, Diva Muffin....I kid you not!!! Could you imagine going through life with your first name being Audio? I think Apple and Coco are cute...for a baby but these little bundles of joy are going to be 35 year old women some day sitting in a doctors office having the assistant call out "Apple we are ready for you". Not so cute then. And this is not just something that celebrities do either. My sister-in-law works at a daycare and most of the children have real funny-made up names. I wish I could remember some of them now. I will have to call her and ask for some examples. And would you believe these parents actually get mad when others mess up the child's name. One of the big thing around here is Nevaeh (heaven backwards).

Maybe I am just boring. I am someone that named her children: Christopher, Zachary, Jessica, Alexander and Emily. Nothing unusual about those names...unless of course I was a celebrity. Then they would be unusual because they are everyday, run of the mill names. That is okay with me.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weeding through!

For the last two weeks I have been weeding through my schoolroom. WHAT A MESS!!! It is now under control. I have stacks of books still, but they are neatly placed either in the closet or on a table. Our goal is to put shelving in the closet (at this point there is none) sometime next month. Believe it or not I STILL don't have a complete plan for curriculum start in September. This is what I have so far:

~Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2
~Abeka History (haven't decided yet between World or American this year)
~Apologia Chemistry--he will taking this as a class at co-op that I will be teaching.
~Honors English 2--again another co-op class
~? Public speaking--leaning towards taking this at co-op. I just have to figure out if it is going to interfere too much with sports (he plays for the local high school team).
I still have to pick out some electives. I would like for him to start Spanish this year. He needs at least 2 years of this.

~Math U See---After trying 2 other math programs I am going back to what Zachary thrives with.
~Handwriting Without Tears-Cursive
~co-op classes
I haven't gotten much further than that for him.

~Explode the Code
~A Reason for Handwriting
~? co-op classes. Last year I had to pull her out of classes because of the attitude she would have at home towards her family after being there.

~Explode the Code
~A Reason for Handwriting
~Hooked on Phonics
~co-op classes.

As you can see I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I have books to look at over the next couple of weeks. I hope to order then last of my stuff by early August. On a good note, I have been selling stuff on Ebay. Between Ebay and a used curriculum sale I participated in I have made around $200 already!!! That sure is better than everything sitting here collecting dust.

Starting tonight (or first thing tomorrow morning) you can catch me over at Happy to be @ Home guest blogging about my adventures in the kitchen this week.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Much Better

Thank you to all who kept me in prayer this week. Sunday and Monday I was at a very sad place. I wasn't happy and felt like a failure in all that I was doing. I basically took Monday off as a "vacation day". After I put Emily down for a nap on Monday morning I went and layed down myself. CJ is old enough that he could handle his siblings for a few hours. I woke up in time for Chris to get home from work (which is 1 p.m.) and was feeling a little better. I left ALL decisions up to Chris that day...and I do mean all. Whenever the kids asked me a question I would simply tell them to ask their dad because I was having a day off. It felt good not to have to "think" for the day. Early Intervention came for Emily and Chris did it with her. During this time I ran out for a few errands---kid free. While driving I used some of the time to reflect on what was going on, how I was feeling and praying. Just being gone for that 1 1/2 hours made such a difference. By the time I came home I didn't feel the weight of the world on me any longer. Since I didn't have my menu or grocery list ready I didn't go shopping. I still had plenty of stuff in the cupboards to throw together chicken Parmesan for dinner.

Tuesday was a new day. I felt productive. I spent the morning making my menu, grocery list, doing laundry and a some work in the schoolroom. Once Emily was down for a nap I showered and headed out to grocery shopping. I went to Wal-mart, BJ's Warehouse and Stop & Shop. With index cards in hand I was able to be done in about 2 1/2 hours. I am getting better : )
When I got home from shopping I wasn't feeling too well. The heat plays havoc on me. Not only that but I don't think I ate or drank enough. By the time I came home I had a headache, my head felt funny, like the room was spinning, nasuated, and tired. I went up to my room and layed on the bed, letting the air conditioner cool me down. Once I got food in me I felt much better. Wendy came over to use my computer to list some curriculum on Ebay. I ended up falling asleep on the couch while she was doing it (in my defense it was 10:30 p.m.).

Today was a good day. Chris had today off so he made breakfast. After breakfast, CJ, Zachary and I head out. One of the local grocery stores and Staples are both having a sale that ended today. You have to see all that I got...I was very proud of myself.

At the market I got:
~English Muffins (6 count) for 4 for $1---limit 8 so I brought the boys who each bought 8==total 24 packages for $6
~3 Boxes of Cereal each for $1.49= total $4.47
~Bananas were 29 cents a pound. I bought 6.19 pounds for a total= $1.80
~Cantaloupe $1.99
~Ketchup $0.99
~the big splurge item was a New York sirloin for hubby. It was on sale for $2.99 a pound. Total for steak was $4.31 (it is big enough he will share some with CJ).

Total=$ 19.56

I went to CVS to get spices. Unfortunately they were not on sale (but I needed them).
~5 spices + vanilla each for $0.99. I did get a $1 extra care buck back.

Total $ 5.94

I then headed over to Staples. Since I belong to HSLDA they send me a teacher ID card every year (it is actual their membership card). If you show Staples your teacher ID, instead of the maximum quantity on sale items, you can get 25 of everything. YAHOO!!! Again, I used the boys.
CJ got:
~10 folders for 1 cent each. Total= $0.10
~2 packages of pencils 8 count again for 1 cent each= Total $0.02

Zachary got:
~2 packages of pencils. Total= $0.02

I got:
~25 folders. Total $0.25
~25 packages of pencils. Total $0.25
~10 Purell hand cleaner. Total $0.10
~12 count of pens. Total $0.99

Total $ 1.81

My total for the day was $27.31. I am not sure exactly how much the cereal, ketchup and steak would go for...I just know it is more. I do know that at Staples I saved $29.95 and on the English muffins, bananas and cantaloupe alone I saved $ 25.72. Those 2 totals together comes to a whopping $55.67!!!! Now that puts a smile on my face!!

My niece came over and spent the afternoon with the kids. We all enjoy her coming over and wish she would more often. I made a new recipe tonight, Wet Burritos. YUMMY!!!! I got the recipe from Happy To Be At Home. Speaking of that website (which you can get to from my sidebar) I am going to be a guest blogger all next week. I am opening my kitchen and sharing meals, shopping, and menu planning. I hope you will check it out!! : )

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wipe Out

Today is one of those days that I am just totally wiped out---emotionally. It was a tough weekend with the kids. On top of that the house is a mess. I am still trying to figure out what curriculum to use next year. We haven't done a lick of school in weeks (we needed to do some schooling through the summer to make up for stuff not done during the year). I don't feel like doing much of anything today. So all this piled on top of each other makes me pretty much feel like a failure in all I do. Have you ever felt that way? Please, if you think of it today, say a prayer for me. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Emily's Test Results

We got the results in from Emily's 48 hour EEG (brain waves)------THERE NORMAL!!! NO SEIZURES!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grocery Shopping

Friday we started our new budgeting system. We have definitely had some bumps in the road already (should I really be surprised). We have had 2 unexpected costly expenses come up that I had to rework everything around. But instead of getting discouraged I am Thanking God that the money was there to take care of it. It didn't leave much left but we will get by.

I did use the envelope system for groceries. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! I usually just swipe my debit card wherever I would go and then later add up how much I spent. This time, on my way to go shopping I stopped at the ATM and got $400. This week's shopping consisted of 4 different places: Wal-mart, warehouse store, grocery store and a local vegetable stand. Now before you think I am crazy for driving to all these different places let me explain. Wal-mart is the furtherest out from my house at about 3 miles. Between my house and Wal-Mart there is a Target, warehouse store, 2 grocery store, a mall, 5 multi-store plazas, CVS and Wal-greens. I can usually find what ever I need within this strip of road. After I make out my master grocery list I have been putting on individual index cards what I am getting at each store. If I stay focused then I can be in and out of store.

So this shopping trip I budgeted $400. It was to cover 10 days of groceries PLUS I buy things I know I am going to need throughout the month (like tp, diapers and soap). I was very proud of myself.....I came in under budget at $363.31!!! I still have $36.69 left if anything should come up during the week (like another gallon of milk or a missing ingredient from a recipe).

We are trying to save money all around with our budget. Here are some things we are or have been doing:

~Chris is no longer getting his breakfast daily from Dunkin' Donuts. I was always reluctant to mention to him about cutting this expense out. I figured he was a hard working man and if this was his only vice than so be it. After this last month and how tight things were he saw first hand. DD was costing us approximately $125 a month......THAT'S ALOT OF COFFEE!!! That is money that can be put towards debt. Instead, I bought a can of coffee for $4.50 at Wal-mart for his days off and At work there is coffee made. He does belong to a coffee pool at work (he set it up about a year ago). He along with 7 other guys take turn buying the coffee on Sundays and Mondays. His turn comes once every 4 weeks and this costs him $20. The good part is he is still getting his DD 2 days a week. Final cost of coffee for the month is about $24.50 saving us $100.50.

~I don't buy kool-aid or sugary juice drinks for the kids. I buy juices that are 100% juice. This can get expensive. Wal-mart does have the best price for Juicy-juice at $2.28. I use to get the kids about 5 of these for the week. Now though I have switched to Wal-mart 100% apple juice instead. I get a container that is double the size of JJ but not double the price. The apple juice is only $2.50. I make it through maybe 2 a week. 5 JJ at $2.28 comes to $11.40. 2 apple juice comes to $5.00. Saving me $6.40

~Cooking from scratch is saving me a bundle. My last example is french toast. I priced frozen french toast at the grocery store. It was $2.69 for 6 slices. Yesterday I made a whole loaf of french toast. I used 5 eggs which cost me about $0.70. I got a loaf of whole wheat bread on sale for $1.50. Total cost of MY french toast--18 slices for 2.20 saving $5.87