Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Preschool Homeschooling

This year I will be homeschooling Eli. Last year we did some very lightly structured learning things, but this year he is ready for more. He asks questions and wants to learn, he asks to go to school. School isn't an option since we are traveling, but honestly, we would plan on homeschooling regardless. It's something Ive put a lot of thought and prayer into.

There are a million and one reasons why I feel homeschooling is best, its works best with us being on the road, I love that it will be christian-based, and I love the flexibility that goes along with it. I'm also looking forward to a little more structure, I can tell its something he is ready for. I do know that many of my friends are interested in homeschooling, and while I cant tell you whether or not this is the right choice, Im looking forward to sharing our journey of homeschooling and hope to inspire/help/and encourage others :) SO, lets get started...

I know many families are thinking of the school year coming up, while I know its a bit early to "plan" I had to get on it because we will be on the road, which means, i have no idea what to do on the road as far as ordering curriculum, or shopping for supplies....cuz i just dont know whats out there. So I decided to start getting things done now...and let it collect dust for awhile.

Most of our schooling will be done in the camper (a blog of turning our camper into our home will be done soon...hopefully) but again, we have the great outdoors and neat places to see. I dont really have a schedule in mind, but I'm thinking we will start out doing 2-3 days a week, a couple of hours on those days. If its too much, i'll back off, and if he's ready for more, then we will add in some hours. But here is what I plan on doing:

So here was something I found at Ironica Adventures, I have used this lesson planner and it's so helpful to stay organized, plus, ITS FREE

Morning time:
Calendar, weather, seasons, I also plan on doing a daily bible verse at the bottom of the board. I saw this idea on pinterest, I thought this would be perfect because it would fold up and I could store it, which works great for living in a small space. I got everything on here at JoAnn Fabrics and I had 50% off coupon so i spent a whopping $7

I spent some time debating on ordering a curriculum or not. At first I figured he's 3 and it should be easy peezy, but the more I looked around I decided I ordering one. I ordered Preschool for 3's from Alpha Omega Publications, I did a lot of research on curriculum and fell in love with this one. I just got it in the mail and have looked through it quite a bit, and seriously, I'm in love. I love that everything is wrapped around God. And it teaches God's love, bible stories, everything, in such a gentle way.But it uses trains and animals and pictures that I know will keep Eli captivated, it also comes with workbooks and a teacher guide!! I'm so excited to use this!

We don't really need school supplies, but backpacks are a big deal to these two :) Nothing wrong with incorporating things that will make it even MORE fun, but I know they will have a blast!

So thats pretty much it! I do plan on continuing blogging about our journey in homeschooling...or roadschooling. What works, whats doesnt,  and what our routine will look like. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A new adventure

We're off to see the world!! :) Ryan and I had decided awhile back that we wanted to go exploring. Go on an adventure. Experience a different way of life. So we decided to buy a camper and live in it and go see some places we have always wanted to see. One of things I am most excited about is learning to live with less. Being a minimalist. Obviously we just cant fit that much stuff in a camper, and i'm finding all of this 'junk' I could have just lived without. Right now we are keeping busy packing and making the camper a home. I'm excited to share this journey with everyone. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A new adventure

Our house sold!!! YAY!!! We are very excited. We are currently working on our new place and cant wait to share what our plan is in a few days.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some family time outside

We decided to play some t-ball outside today. It was so nice out. We tried to teach Eli how to hit the ball, drop the bat, and then run through the bases. We used cardboard as the bases and he never ran past second.

These moments are my favorite. I love being outside, I love family time, I love my kids learning knew things and then taking such pride in their achievements. Blessings are just everywhere- aren't they? Even in a t-ball game in your own front yard.

we really aren't sure what she is doing here...assuming its push ups

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Serenity is 18 months old!

That went by fast! I can't believe our little girl is 1 1/2. She is SOOO funny. She constantly keeps us laughing. Her big. She is stubborn and determined and doesn't respond well to the word "no." But she is also full of love and hugs and kisses. So here is a little list of what she is like at 18 months old
* Strong willed
* LOVES to be held (kind of clingy)
* Loves to play with Eli
* Will sit on the potty for a second- but really has no interest in using it (although she's used it 3 times before)
* Daddy's girl. All the way. Asks for him every minute or so.
* Says lots and lots of words, small sentences
* Reads. She loves books. Her favorites are with babies and Dora. So I found a Dora baby book. WIN.
* Enjoys the slide
* So loving, always giving hugs and kisses
* HILARIOUS - seriously, this girl just keeps us laughing and laughing

We are so blessed

She is so beautiful inside and out.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"I will miss you mommy."

I have a very distinct memory from when I was 3. My mom had put me in my bed, kissed me goodnight, and left the room. I remember how I missed her as she left. I just wanted to be with her. So I got out of bed and told her my head hurt just so I could give her a hug. I remember doing this a few times actually. She made such an impact on me that I missed her before she ever even left a room. 

I put Eli down for a nap a little bit ago, I heard him get up and knock on his own door. I went to check on him and he said very quietly and sincerely, "I missed you mommy." Immediately the memories of missing my own mother at that age came back to me. So I tucked him in again, gave him a kiss and said that I would still be here when he woke up. "Sleep good Eli." "But I'll still miss you mommy." My heart turned into mush. 

I will be very honest and say this age can be trying, tiring, and make me second guess my parenting style at times. He's becoming independent, having his own ideas about how things should go and sometimes I wonder if I'm doing it right. Some nights I thank God for bedtimes and I am thankful for mornings to try again. Some nights I feel pretty awesome and I'm so thankful for the over abundant amounts of Grace and love from God that I am able to pour that over into my children. 

I'm sure my mom made mistakes. I'm sure she had nights of being thankful for bedtimes. I'm sure she asked God to guide her with parenting. I'm sure she wondered if she was doing things right. I don't remember any of that. I remember her love and comfort. She was so mothering. She was everything I needed her to be. I was 3. And I wanted my mommy. There was no yelling of, "get back to bed!" There was always room for one more hug and one more kiss. I am so thankful for that. Because I remember that feeling so well, I can fully understand Eli missing me. And there is always room for one more hug and one more kiss. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Comparison is the thief of joy

"Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

This is somewhat of a spinoff to my blog on being content. Whether you want to admit it or not, you've done it, I've done it, and we all have been guilty of it at one point of our lives. You can compare anything: Your job, your weight, your financial status, your marriage, your children, your house, and the list goes on. Often times when I find myself comparing it is so subtle and quiet and whispers in my ear that something in my life isn't measuring up the way it should. And it can steal your joy right out from under you if you are not careful or aware.

What does comparing do to us? Well, Its letting us know we are failing in some aspect of our lives, when in reality, we are not. Comparison will drag you down and leave you in the dirt. The ONLY person you should be comparing yourself to- is you.

Where do I see comparison happen the most? It is HUGE in the photography community- and I mean HUGE, and also weight. Yes, that weight we put on but somehow just doesnt fall off for all of us when that baby takes their first breath. For some women it does: enter comparison

When I first started photography, my very first shoot was a maternity session, I had no idea of depth or white balance or posing. Do I compare myself to other photographers? Not anymore. It steals the joy I get from being behind a camera, and also tells me i'm not good enough. But when I compare my first session to my most recent, I am OVERJOYED! Why? Because i've grown and i'm achieving something I set out to do.

If I posted a picture next to Jessica Alba you would probably cry for me. I would probably cry for me. But if I posted a picture of my body next to someone who gave birth yesterday, I would feel smokin'. Comparison of my body to another will never get me where I need to go. BUT when I compare myself to the me I was 4 months ago: THAT is realistic and THAT shows progress.

Perhaps you aren't a photographer and maybe you are completely satisfied with your body, maybe you  struggle in another area? Maybe you aren't struggling at all. So why compare you to yourself? That is the only realistic way we can see if we are growing and moving forward. Naturally, someone is always ahead of you and always behind. So its not fair to compare to anyone but yourself. If you look at who you were a year ago, you will most likely find some area in your life that you have grown in.

I see and hear of comparison all around me, I know its something everyone goes through (even me) from time to time. I see lots of it go on in social media. So if comparison is something you are in the habit of doing, I encourage you to turn off whatever encourages that joy stealer. Whether that be facebook, magazines, or darn you pinterest. And look only at yourself, and who GOD DESIGNED you to be. If he wanted you to be someone else, he would have done that, but nope, he made you, YOU. Created to fulfill a purpose for him, and no one can do it quite like you. Continue to reach for your goals and set that bar within reach, and don't forget to only look back once in awhile to see how far you have come. Keep your joy safe and sound out of comparisons dirty fingers :)