Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Secure that the child begins by making perfect letters
and is never allowed to make faulty ones,
and the rest he will do for himself;
as for 'a good hand,' do not hurry him;
his 'handwriting' will come by-and-by out of the character that is in him;
but, as a child, he cannot be said, strictly speaking, to have character.
-Charlotte Mason

When my oldest first started learning his letters
I was not concerned with the form.
As long as the finished product looked somewhat like the letter,
I was happy and accepted it.
After reading some of Miss Charlotte Mason's writings,
I started looking closely at my son's handwriting,
his strokes, lines, and method.
I quickly learned that he liked to start his letters from
the bottom up.
I knew I needed to correct this and that since a bad habit
had been formed, it would take time.
How did I begin?
Well, exactly as Charlotte Mason suggests
with perfect one letter formation.
We started slowly, with only one letter at a time.
Then slowly added letters as
"perfect" letters were written with ease.
The pictures are showing my oldest with
his "final" exam with letter writing.

He first had to trace,
just a friendly reminder of correct formation.
Then he had to write each letter perfectly.
He passed. (smiles)
But with year one starting next week,
we will go through the letters one more time.
Just to be sure.
Starting with A and do one letter a time.
Probably will do a letter a day til we are through
the alphabet.
After this, some simple copy work
from our readings.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Our family is trying to cut down on
packaged, processed foods.
One of the ways we are trying to do this is by
baking our own snacks and breads.

Started by making whole wheat flat breads.
Turned out pretty good, need to tweak the recipe some.
We made sandwiches with them.
They are good with cucumbers, onions, radishes, and hummus.

Made hummus, we love hummus.
First try at it, not bad.
Need to add more olive oil next time.

Made a tried and true recipe,
oatmeal, pecan, chocolate chip cookies.
Hubby and my oldest claims it is
"The World's Greatest Cookie."
This is one recipe that needs no tweaking.

Tomorrow will be my first attempt at making
whole wheat bread.
Probably will make some thumb print cookies too.
Just in case the bread fails.
I know I will have no complaints.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

We will always remember.
We will always be proud.
We will always be prepared,
so we may always be free.
-Ronald Reagan

Never was so much owed by so many to so few.
-Winston Churchill

Freedom Is Not Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.
-Kelly Strong

To all those who have served and who are serving,
Thank you
God Bless.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We here in the sunny coastal south have had
more than 8 days in a row of
rain, more accurately,
Now, daily late afternoon thunderstorms
are not unusual for us, but they are only
short lived and then the sun is back out.
No, these thunderstorms have
stayed all day every day.
There has been no sign of the sun, local
flooding is common.
Our yard is wet, wet, wet.

But, our grass and other vegetation is green, green, green.

With all the lighting and thunder,
my son has asked many questions.
Sounds like an opportunity for learning.
Looked up thunderstorms at
Weather Wiz Kids site
and the learning began.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Benadryl Every Six

For the last two days Benadryl
has been the twins friend.
Well, it is a little thing called an allergic reaction.
To what you ask?

Their immunization shot.

Yes, you read it right.
The immunization shot that my husband and I
decided would be okay to give.

This mommy feels awful.

I blame myself mostly.
I am the one who said it was okay to do a combo shot.
Instead of giving one shot now then one shot in 6 months
like we planned,
I consented to do the combo shot.
The twins had been exposed to each
without any problems in the past,
so I thought it would be safe.
I thought after the combo shot,
no more immunizations would given til age 4-6 yrs old.
We would have several years of no shots.

Now, both children have orange sized
hot, swollen, red areas at their injection site.
I am thankful that the reaction is only a local reaction.
But, here lies the problem.
Both of the vaccines in the combo were vaccines
that we had thought were important to give.
The twins would at age 4-6 yrs get the booster.
Now what?
There is no way to know which vaccine caused
the reaction.
Was it just the preservative that caused to reaction?
Again there is no way of knowing.
There is a huge risk that by exposing the twins
again, the reaction might not be just local,
it could be systemic, a big scare.
After talking with the pediatrician,
we feel it would be to big of a risk.
He assured me that most adults
don't have the booster anyway.

I still feel awful.
I have two little ones suffering.

We researched, discussed, and decided.
We excluded those immunizations we thought
were unnecessary.
We delayed others so that the twins
immune systems would have time to recover.
Now, we question our decisions, our plans
for the children further immunizations.

One decision we are sure of right now is
we will not risk another exposure to the vaccines
they just received.

The little ones are tough.

There will be careful observing and much cuddling
in the days ahead.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Is your child's immunizations up to date?
Such a simple question, right?
Not anymore.
As a pediatric emergency nurse,
I ask this question many times over when I work.
Until I had children, I often wondered why in the world
would a parent not immunize their child.
Even after my first child, I did not question the need
for my oldest getting his shots.
Except I jokingly did make a request that my son get
the non-autistic MMR.
My pediatrician at the time laughed and
reassured me that there were no worries.
But, as I look back, I wonder if that was the first
time I began to wonder about the safety or
necessity of all the immunization requirements.

After I had the twins, I began to question,
especially after holding them to get four shots
at the ripe old age of 2 months.
Is this necessary?
Their immune system is just beginning to strengthen.
At work I started hearing about a few of my colleagues
who where limiting their children's immunizations.
I listened with much interest.
Asked many questions.
But, I continued the immunization schedule with the twins.
After the twins four months shots,
I began doing a little reading, both pro and con
articles and books on the topic of immunizations.
There is a lot out there and it can get overwhelming.
My head was spinning.
I am not against immunizations per say.
As a person in the medical field,
I know the history of immunizations.
But, still I question
why so many, why so many so young?
How are they produced?
And is this the safest way to protect our children?
Many, many questions.
Many, many answers, depending on who you ask.

After all my reading, I had decided it was time to talk
to my pediatrician about the twins immunizations.
I went to the twins one year well baby check up with
questions ready.
After I signed in for the twins appointment,
I was given an article to read while I waited to see the doctor.
Are We Poisoning Our Kids
in the Name of Protecting Their Health?
The article was copied from the generation rescue web site.
A pediatrician who is questioning the need for
so many immunizations?
I smiled.
This made asking my questions much easier.
Our pediatrician spent much time with me.
He stated that he is just starting to do
more in depth research on this topic.
Together with my husband and pediatrician,
we decided to hold off on any more
immunizations til we have learned more.

Well, that was a year ago.
Tomorrow my twins are getting their first
immunization shot since they were 9 month old.
Only one shot, no more.
My husband and I have selected to do a
delayed alternative vaccine schedule.
Only one shot at a time
and spaced at least 6 months to a year.
There are many immunizations we as parents
have decided not to give our children.
We seem to be happy with this for now.
Tomorrow will still be tough.
Tylenol will be given prior and for 24 hours after.

A book I highly recommend that is
not pro or con immunizations is
The Vaccine Book
by Robert W. Sears, M.D., F.A.A.P
The topic of immunizations will be around for a long time.
I pray people are respectful of parents decisions
on this matter.
Many blessings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Summer Welcome

Last week was a very busy week for our family.
Several things came to a close til Fall.
There will be no more directing
the Wednesday night children's program
at our church.
This ended with a beautiful Family worship
led by the children on Sunday.
Soccer ended Saturday with the last game of the season
and a party that afternoon.

With the end of these comes the beginning
of Summer.
The lazy days of Summer.
Summer is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
Though the Fall season will always be first in my heart.

Some families stress during the Summer.
Trying to find things for their children to do
while school is out.
They want their children busy with no down time.
Not our family.

Summer for us is a time for even more
welcomed togetherness.
Downtime is treasured.
Being bored is okay.
Though that word is seldom used.
Lazy? No.

School continues for us.
Learning never stops.
But, Summer marks a slowing down.
Yes, there are swim lessons, a Summer family camp, and
a VBS,
but these are simple Summer enjoyments.
Most of our Summer is outside,
combing the beach, watching birds nest,
playing in sprinklers, watermelon eating,
and grilling.

So, Summer, you are welcome at our doors.
Do come in and stay awhile.
There is fresh lemonade for sipping
and a rocking chair for rocking.

Friday, May 15, 2009


"Marathoning is just another form of insanity."
John Kelly- winner 1952 Boston Marathon

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel,
or you can use it to
the sweat off your face."
Gatorade Ad

This is me after completing my first marathon,
The 2006 Disney Marathon.
At that moment I knew I was hooked.
I have run two more marathons since this
and had twins.
The 2008 and 2009 Disney Marathons.
Note I said run, not completed.
I have only completed in years 2006 and 2008.
You win some and you lose some.
I have posted about my 2009 marathon.

I have several 5K's planned this summer,
a 1/2 marathon in October and December,
and a marathon in January.
I have been lack in my running as of late,
the motivation just has not been there,
neither has the accountability.
I love running, so this has been hard.

Monday all that will change.
My running buddy and I have planned out a
running schedule through our January marathon.
Our schedules will be posted on our refrigerators.
We will meet each Sunday, our long run day,
and talk about our training the prior week.
This will definitely help with the motivational and accountability
parts I have been struggling with.
I am excited.
I love running and having not only a plan,
but someone to train with is wonderful.

Now, where did I put the Bodyglide and sunscreen?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Future Archaeologist

Being very careful.

Not wanting to rush.

Catching every detail.

What was uncovered?
Nothing other than an ancient
Chinese soldier made of stone.

Indiana Jones watch out.

As Year One Approaches

As the beginning of year one approaches, many thoughts are going through my mind. May I share?

First, I was wondering how best to start. Should we ease into year one with first focusing on our readings, narrations, phonics, copywork, and math? Then little by little add the beautiful extras? Or should we jump into year one with both feet and include everything? You see, our "kindergarten" was relaxed, not lacking, but relaxed. I have this fear that by jumping in and including everything at the start, might be overwhelming for my son and for me. Am I selling my son short? Possibly. I know children can accomplish and comprehend much more than we give them credit for. Still, with that being said, not sure of the best path. I am leaning towards a gentle beginning.

Another thought going through my mind is how best to approach our readings. By this I mean, how can the readings and narrations be more memorable for my son? I have thought of doing a simple notebook for each of the readings. An example of a notebook would be one for World/British history. As my son narrates, I would write it down exactly as he verbalizes. Afterwards, I would type it up, again exactly as he narrated and paste it into the notebook. My son would then draw a picture of the weekly reading and that would be pasted into the notebook on the opposite page of the narration. I have seen this done on other blogs and it looks simple and beautiful. Most importantly I know my son would love looking at his work in a hardbound book and will help with retention.

Other thoughts are geared towards my 2 1/2 yr old twins. How can I include them or keep them busy? I do not want to "school" them. I want them to play, play, play. We will do some crafty things like painting, coloring, messy art, but for the most part I want them outside enjoying nature. Most of my oldest learning will happen during the twins nap, but I am hoping to do some read alouds together. I still have much praying with this thought. I don't want exclude them. Again, I am probably over thinking this too.

Anyway, year one is only a few weeks away. June 1st in fact. We have decided as a family to school year round and are happy with this decision. I am both excited and nervous.

I pray for guidance, patience, and a loving gentle heart. Thank you for listening while I shared just a few of my many thoughts. Any advice is welcomed.

Many blessings.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our/My Unplug Week

Well, last week was our unplug week. How did it go? Okay. I started each day by checking my e-mails and any blogs I wanted to read, afterward, cutting the computer off. Then our day began. No TV during the day, no change there, the TV is off most of the day anyway. The problem came up when I had to download my oldest son's handwriting. I found myself lurking at blog posts and my e-mails, but only for a few minutes though. Also, when my hubby got home and after dinner, the TV came on. My hubby was a no go with the unplug thing. He likes to watch a movie after the children are down in bed, so I wanting to be the good wife joined him. All in all, I would give our unplug week a B-. The TV was off till around 7:30 pm daily. I did limit my computer time to just the am with the occasional peak when downloading lessons during the day. What did I do with my time? You got to be kidding? Clean, declutter, organized, organized, and most importantly spent even more time with my children reading, playing, coloring, etc. Classical music was played or nothing at all was played. Sometimes the only sounds through the house were the sounds of nature and giggles. Unplugging was a good thing. Maybe next time, I will totally unplug myself from the computer.....hmmmmm.......I really will have to pray on that one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Few Words About The Home School Conference

Well, we survived our second home school conference. Matter of fact we enjoyed it.
With my book needs list in hand, I was not so overwhelmed by the vendor hall. Now, that does not mean I was not lured to a few of the beautiful packaged curriculums available. I talked to a man at the booth for an hour knowing I was not going to nor could afford the curriculum that comes with a new violin. But, picturing my sons playing violins was fun. Maybe later.
I did buy one not planned curriculum that I am excited about. It is called My State History Funbook for ages 3-10 by Joy Dean( It is an introductory to your state's history with brief cut and paste activities. The cost, drum roll......$12.50! They have a study of the fifty states, but I thought it was a little too much for my oldest right now, but I will be looking for it next year.
Another vendor that caught my eye was the BreadBeckers ( This booth had my name written all over it. I had mostly steered away from seminars put on by vendors, but not this one. I could go on and on about the BreadBeckers, but to put it shortly and in my own words, they believe in "daily" bread. Healthy bread, not your traditional white bread. They are a Christian, home schooling family. Through their business they sell healthy breads and spread God's word too. I bought several books they were selling at their booth, What the Bible Says About Healthy Living by Rex Russell, M.D. and Natural Meals in Minutes by Rita Bingham, plus a couple of the BreadBecker's recipe books. Yes, I was hooked, but this is a topic I have always been interested in and here it was in front of me. I know that God says a lot about our diets in the Bible, I just never took the time to really read about it. I am looking forward to learning and maybe learn to be more healthy about our foods.
Now, on to the used book sale. I had a number on my badge, that number was 85. Boy, I had no idea how good having a number 1-100 was til the used book sale. Last year I just had a time on my badge for when I could go the the used book sale so this was new to me. The first 100 are the first allowed in the used book sale room! The sale started at 10am and people were lining up as early as 9am. Since I had a number and my number was 1-100, I got to be in the first group of people to go in. Of course, we had to line up in number order, who cares, I was in the first group. Let me tell you, people take this seriously. People had big carts on rollers and made sure everybody in this first group was number order. Then we were off...... The run to the books was funny to me and I actually laughed, but not out loud, no sir. People were grabbing and putting things in their carts, things I knew they didn't need. Some ladies carts were so full, I knew the carts would break. After their carts were full, they would go to the sides of the room and look through what they have, if they needed it they kept it, if not they put it back or see if any of their friends needed it. Some worked in packs. It was fun. I bought 6 books. I got to check out in the express line. My cost $18.00. My best find was a book full of paper dolls. Paper dolls, yes, I have all boys, but these paper dolls were Civil War soldiers. How fun.
The speakers were great. Mike Smith, President of HSLDA spoke and was very informative. He talked about the home schooling laws in our state and the future of home school nationally. He talked about the threats from the UN on our parental rights. This scared me and this threat is real. More on that later.
My oldest enjoyed his time in the Little Patriots program. The youth that lead this program are great role models. They put on a little program at the end of the conference. Too cute.
All in all it was a great conference. I highly recommend if a home school conference comes near your home town, do try to attend. Many blessings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Birthday

Seven candles now.

Seems like yesterday.

Where has the time gone?
Happy Birthday Big Boy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our/My Unplug Week

We got back from the Home School Conference late last night.
I will post about our trip later.
I am only on the blog right now because
I forgot to say we are starting our unplug week today.
My only computer time is in the am.
With the exception of right now.
Til tomorrow in the am then.
Many blessings.