Monday, August 26, 2013

What a Day!

 First Day Of School! 
I have a 1st grader, a 3rd grader, and a 5th grader!!!  We technically started in July so right now we have 4 weeks behind us... but, just like public schools around here, we decided to start again officially today!

My baby Natalie is now in 1st grade.  She is actually about 3/4 of the way through her 1st grade curriculum but we are still counting her as a first grader, especially since she doesn't turn 6 until this Thursday (August 29th).  I love her and am so excited to see her learn this year.  As I am sitting here typing this she is on the other computer learning (speaking) Spanish!

My Samara is now in 3rd Grade!  She turned 8 on August 15th.  She is so motivated to do her very best in everything that she does.  I love her and am so excited to see her learn this year.  As I'm sitting her she's doing a word search of, what I think, are pretty hard words for a 3rd grader.

My Alyssa is now in 5th grade!  Her laugh is so contagious!  I love her and am excited to see her learn this year.  As I'm sitting her she's logging her book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which has 870 pages in it!  She is an avid reader!!

My goofy girls!  They are such goof balls!  I love that they can have fun but they are serious and focused when they need to be... well, a lot of the time.  I am honored to be their mother and teacher!

For school this year we are using the Core Curriculum from My Father's World called Creation to the Greeks.  This includes our Bible/History/Geography, Science, Vocabulary, Art and Music.  For English we are doing Bob Jones workbooks and for Writing we are using Writing Strands.  Then comes Math, we will be using Math U See and Rapid Recall for memorization.  They girls will also be learning Spanish from the Rosetta Stone series.  (I have been informed by Samara that she would rather take French so I may have to invest in that next year.  It will be good for our Haitian girls to learn French as well.)  For Spelling we will be using Spelling Power.  We have added another more in depth Science to our line up called Apologia:  Exploring Creation with Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures.  For phonics we will continue to use Explode the Code.  We will have a full schedule but not much outside of the home since we will hopefully be adding to more members to our family sometime in the near future.  (If you didn't know we are in the process of adopting the two beautiful girls to the right (Guerline, age 12 and Fafane, age 13) from Haiti.)

So it kind of goes like this:
Bible/History/Geography, Science, Vocabulary, Art and Music:  My Father's World, Creation to the Greeks
 English:  Bob Jones workbooks
Writing:  Writing Strands
Math:  Math U See and Rapid Recall
Spanish:  Rosetta Stone
Spelling:  Spelling Power
Science:  Apologia:  Exploring Creation with Zoology 1:  Flying Creatures.
Phonics:  Explode the Code

For Bible/History/Geography we will be learning about some of the Jewish feasts, learn some Old Testament stories in depth, and study history of other civilizations such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, and Greece.  

For Science we will be learning about the six days of creation, science related to pyramids, and ancient Greek science.

For Art we will be doing some art lessons that include Egyptian and Greek themes, and the Music includes the baroque (and I don't mean broke, well, actually I can't say that for certain) composers Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel. 

Well, there you have it.  Maybe someday I'll post my schedule so you all can see it.  As for now I'm going to go make sure my girls are getting their chores done!  Yep, first day of school and home ec is an essential!

Friday, August 23, 2013


I wish I could write while I run. When I'm running I come up with the coolest things to write about. I have the coolest revelations and I know exactly how I want them to be put on paper. Then I get home and forget exactly what I wanted to write and the profound thoughts I had while running seem to be hard to get out. Maybe if I had a scribe so that while I am running someone can be in a car next to me listening to my every word and writing it down as I say it. Although it would be better if they could just read my mind so I don't have to talk while I'm running.  But sometimes I think some weird, awkward things so I wouldn't want them to write those things down. So I guess I'm to the point where I'll just have to come home from running and try to rememeber the thoughts I thought while I was running.

By the way... while I was running this morning I realized another thing I do when I feel "depression knock at my door". I run. I don't run away from my problems and issues (well, sometimes I do that too) but I literally run. Or I workout in some way. But mainly I run. I picked this up in high school. As long as I'm not replacing God with running (if I'm focused on running more than God then I need to reprioritize) but there's nothing wrong with running until the good drugs (endorphines) in your body kick in and it makes you feel good. Like I said in my depression post however, this is what works for me. Working out is all around satisfying and beneficial for your mind, body, and soul so I recommend it, but find what works for you and do it!

My goal this week and throughout this school year will be to find a time at least 5 days a week to work out. It's not too much, it's just enough for me. This week I've been watching a couple girls (2 or 3 extra at a time, it's been a lot of fun!) so I've had to get up at 6:00AM to run so I could be ready when they came. Even though it's really hard for me to get up in the morning once I do and get a lot of stuff done before the girls wake up I feel so much calmer throughout the day. It's also super hot here, even at 6AM it's 70 degrees and super humid.

So here I go with goal in mind. No matter how I FEEL the truth is I NEED to get out and run!

Monday, August 12, 2013


The last couple of months in our household have been HARD.  The girls haven't been cleaning up when asked to, we've had more than 1 "family meeting" per day, they love to yell at each other and make each other cry (if they didn't love it so much it wouldn't happen so much!), they've ignored their momma more than once, etc, etc, etc.

My girls aren't perfect!  Neither is my husband!  He says things that hurt my feelings, for some reason sometimes he disagrees with me (what's up with that!?), he has different ideas on how to bring up our girls, he's super gentle (what's up with that too!?), we are two different people with the same goal trying to live a happy, fun, full life with disagreements and kids that don't quite do what they're supposed to.  What am I supposed to do with that!?

The TRUTH is that I have an amazing family!  My girls, even though they are in the kitchen egging each other on and screaming and fighting right this very minute, are amazing!  They love, they help, they have so much joy in them, they are truly a BLESSING FROM THE LORD!  The TRUTH is that I would be lost without them.  I don't know what my life would be like without them and I really don't want to know (even though sometimes I wonder).  The lie would tell me that I don't have an amazing family because they aren't perfect.  Because they make mistakes they are only mediocre not amazing... But the TRUTH is they are!

Even when hard times come and you hear screaming from the other room; when you're at your wit's end with your spouse or your kids the TRUTH is that they are AMAZING!  You may be thinking to yourself, "well you don't know my circumstances!".  I say the same thing sometimes to those who are trying to help me.  So I offer these questions, "who made your spouse?, who made your kids?  who made your friends? who put them into your life?"  GOD.  And to say something that He created isn't amazing is only saying something about this God that created them.  Now people aren't perfect.  We make mistakes, and God didn't create the mistakes we make... we did that.  We don't have to be perfect to be amazing.  But when I get upset I want to remember that God not only CREATED my children and my husband but He entrusted them to my care here on earth knowing that He has everything I need for every situation I go through, especially the ones I feel I can't handle.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

When Depression Knocks

I'm going to get really open today.  I know I haven't kept on track and written in a while which is probably why I have been having a hard time lately. 

I have been depressed for about the last month.  It is one of the things that I struggle with more than most other things.  I have a tendency to fall into a state of laziness and wondering why in the world I'm really here and whether or not my being here is really beneficial to anybody.   I do not think about taking my own life.  When I was in high school I struggled with those thoughts and even attempted suicide a couple of times and my life got saved repeatedly, so I know that I'm here for a reason.  Just sometimes I feel like I'm not doing anything that's really impacting anybody else.

I recognize a couple things that help me through these times.  When I was younger I was put in a mental health facility.  I am not ashamed of it because I had a lot of issues and this place helped me quite a bit.  Me along with the teenagers that were in there had a lot of crap that had happened and things that they had done that added up to a LOT of hurt.  I saw how they coped with it and realized it wasn't the depression that was ultimately damaging me.  It was how I handled it.  It was how I reacted when some of those feelings first started showing their ugly heads. 

One of the things is what I'm doing now.  I would start to write.  My feelings, thoughts, poems, stories, whatever came to me.  I know I am not an elegant writer and I don't know big words but that wasn't the point.  To me it was about getting all that out on paper.  It would help so much.  I know have a journal, a prayer journal, and a notes journal (all on my computer now that I can access it from my phone and take notes). 

Okay so the two basic answers for everything when you were a kid were…  "read your Bible and pray".  I don't want to be so basic but I have to ask myself when I get in times of prolonged depression, depression lasting more than a couple days for me, have I been reading my Bible?  I'm not talking about reading it just for the sake of reading it.  I'm talking about asking God to speak to me through it.  Reading it with the intent to learn something, to get something out of it.  God didn't give us His word so that we could have another box on our list to mark off, He gave it to us for "correcting, teaching, rebuking, and training in righteousness".  2 Timothy 3:16  The word of God is breathed by Him so every time I read it I get the breath of God on my face.  It's amazing.  It is a great discipline to have but never make it just a discipline.  It is an HONOR and a PRIVILEGE to be able to have the God of the universe speak directly to you through a book that speaks different things to different people.

Prayer.  This is the most important offensive and defensive stance to take when it comes to depression.  I say that it's both because no matter what state I'm in I should be communicating with the Lord.  Talking to Him like He's right there, because He is.  When communication is flowing freely it's much harder for depression to seep in.  When communication is flowing freely and depression somehow does manage to snake it's way in, it's much easier to stand on God's promises and to remind myself of who I am.  Not who I am on my own but who I am in Christ.  Who HE sees me to be.  It's much easier to say to my circumstances that they are lying because I have the truth and I talk to Him all the time! 

Depression is something a lot of us struggle with.  We aren't sure of our place here in this world.  We aren't made to stay in this world forever so our souls long for something more, because there is something more.  Our spirits are eternal, everlasting beings so they constantly long for heaven.  This thing that comes on strong can be fought.  Remember God's promises, you have the mind of Christ, you do not have the spirit of fear but of sound mind.  Remember God has promised to walk on the water in the storm with you, the WHOLE way!  He will never leave us our forsake us.  God is a GOOD God, even when depression has it's grip on us.

By the way, this is me.  I write, read my Bible, pray, and listen to things that are uplifting (Not necessarily Christian music, just uplifting, songs that make me happy.)  Find what works for you and do it.