Learn the dance.. Live the dance.. Teach, talk and dance the dance!

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

Friday, April 30, 2010


Yep, we played hooky today.  I really didn't mean for us to end up that way, but we did.  First, we all packed up and went to the early morning Zumba class.  From there, I stopped at a couple of resale shops, looking for a couple of things for a friend.  Definitely found some- a pair of skechers brand flip flops (normally 20-25 bucks) for 1.99!  :P  AND they were the right size.  And cute, can't forget that!  I call it a win.  From there, we took Grandma out to eat at the local Chinese buffet, and went to the commissary, where I proceeded to come in at $15 UNDER my budget.  Woot! 
To top it all off, it was a beautiful sunny day (read- kids were outside all afternoon), I got my laundry folded and put away, figured out that the kids' clothes will fit into the suitcase I'm taking for them, got some other stuff packed up for when we leave, decluttered some things we are donating Sunday, bathed all three kids.... and balanced my checkbook.  Oh yeah, and I made cookies.. lol. 

Well.  Today was awesome, and I'm believing that tomorrow will be the same.  :) 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I keep wishing all of a sudden that we weren't moving overseas.  It started a couple of months ago, right after Jon left.  I have been reading lots of different blogs, and found several that seem to be tugging at my heartstrings. 
I wish that I had gone on a mission trip when I was younger.  Check out http://www.wearethatfamily.com/ for details about her time in Africa recently with Compassion Bloggers.  You'll have to read last month's postings, I think. 

I wish that we were going to be living in the same spot for awhile, so that we could have a garden, and probably a dog, too.  The gardening part is more about wanting to eat healthy, fresh food, instead of processed junk.  The farmer's market in a nearby town opens this weekend, and I really want to go at least once before we leave.

I wish that we didn't have to uproot our kids anymore, but sadly, that comes with military life quite often.  Last week at the park, there was chocolate lab that came to visit.  She stayed right by me almost the whole time we were there, and when she wasn't next to me, she was sitting near one of the kids or babies.  Definitely makes me miss our dogs that we had.  But it won't really be a good option for us to get a dog until we know we are stabilized somewhere for more than a year. 

I want my life to be simple.  Once we arrive in Korea, I plan to seriously go through all of our things, and we will be getting rid of what we don't need, use or want.  Toys, clothes, household items, everything.  I don't want to break my back trying to constantly clean a house full of clutter.
The older I get, the more it seems that I am being just like my mom... lol.. who'd have thought that I would say that??  Last week, I heard myself telling Jacob that if he was going in the kitchen, to take his cup with him, so he wouldn't have to make two trips.  I'm trying to find a balance between buying things we need, versus things I THINK we need. 

This post is really all over the place.  Random thoughts that are going through my head.  If you're still reading, thanks.  Let me know what your wishes are.  Then tell me if you have a plan to make any of them a reality! :)

Woo and two hoos!!

I completely forgot to post this yesterday.  I had emailed the lady that was so helpful about the situation with our household goods on Sunday.  Yesterday, I received an email from a company informing me that the estimated time of arrival in country for our HHG will be 14 May!!  Yes!!  This means that the kids and I can fly over very, very soon.  In fact, if everything works out like my hubby's NCO says (who's with me on the skeptical side of this?), he should be going to housing and transportation in just a few hours.  Which should mean, hopefully, that we will have airline tickets and a set date by the end of this week.  Or at least that's what I'm praying for.  The realtor had called Jon that same day, to let him know that they had another top floor apartment that would be finished around the same time that he got out of the field.  So, since he is supposed to be done today, I'm hoping that he can get things settled with them, too. 

God is awesome!  He answers prayers, even if it isn't when or how you wanted it. 

In other news, I have found that 5 days of Zumba in a row isn't going to work.  I'm disappointed, but my kids come first.  Little J screamed his head off for about 30 minutes today, crawling around and looking for me each time Mom put him down.  So, I'm scaling back, and only going to the classes that I really like, and I will probably either do AbJam at home on the other two days, or half of the P90x Ab Extreme.  I don't think I've lost actual weight, but I can tell that the Zumba class is doing some good things for my legs.  :) 

That's about all I can think of, so more later.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love is...

Sleepy, gummy grins when the baby first wakes up. 
A little voice calling, "Mommy, I love you!".
A mischevious smirk and a giggle as he darts away, daring you to chase him.
Holding hands as you walk.
Talking long into the night, and still getting up early the next morning to call them back.

Two arms, spread wide and nailed to a tree. 

Happy Sunday.  I pray that God blesses all my friends reading this.  Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


In case you couldn't tell, I think I'm hooked on Zumba!  I absolutely love this class.  I am only on my third class, but it has been a blast each time I've gone.  I think I'm going again tomorrow night, so long as Mom will watch the kids, at least...  :)  Basically, I found something that I can do without killing myself, its nearby, I have someone to watch the kids (thank you God, for that alone), and its not totally expensive.  Oh yeah, I should mention that its FUN, and its somewhere that I fit in. 

Now, I just need some prayer.  In the middle of class today, I was almost in tears, and I really couldn't even tell you why.  Although a big part of it was a piece of the routine that I wasn't comfortable doing, I could not shake it for a couple of minutes, and had to run to the bathroom to get control of myself.  I need the confidence in myself to keep going.  I KNOW all the reasons why I should take better care of the body God's given me.  I KNOW that I should be able to control the food that I eat.  I KNOW that I eat when I'm bored or stressed.  But that doesn't seem to be stopping me from indulging.  I have been alot more careful in recent weeks, but it seems like its a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of thing. 

And I'm ashamed to admit, but my temper hasn't been great.  Today I was extremely ashamed to admit that I was being selfish, spoiled and ridiculous, after I realized that I was snapping at my 8 month old son for crying while I was trying to watch my movie.  How dumb is that?  There was no excuse, no matter how stressed I was feeling due to things beyond my control, and partly due to how the other two kids were acting.  And I can't really believe that I'm posting this.  But maybe it will help someone realize that they aren't the only ones who struggle with their temper.  Or that you can be a Christian and still yell at your kids, spank their little butts when they need it, and cry because you failed miserably at keeping your own temper in check.  That's the good part about our God.  He knows we are gonna screw up.  That we are going to lose our cool and yell at our husbands, kids, friends, family or even strangers.  But He has already forgiven us. 
I have to choose, every day, to accept that love and grace, and try to let it pour out of me and into my family.  Its not easy, especially when part of your family is what seems like a million miles away. 

So tomorrow, when I have a cranky, teething baby that wants to be attached at the hip all day, or a 3 year old who pouts at anything and everything, and a 5 year old who doesn't want to do his schoolwork, I (hope) I will take a deep breath, pray really fast under my breath, and grab them all up for a hug.  Cause sometimes I think I need it more than they do!  And I'm not even going to think about what the Army can come up with for tomorrow!  :D

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Whew!  We've been busy for the last few days, and a power outage caused all sorts of havoc with our internet access these last two days. 
Monday was a great day, we went to the playground to meet some friends, and spent about 3 hours in the sunshine!  Woot!  Then came home and the kids spent another hour or two outside in our dirt pile. 
Today we went to Fort Drum to drop off prescriptions for my Dad, and killed some time at the playground on base.  Met up with some interesting people, and one of them will be coming with us tomorrow as we go back to the playground from Monday. 

Got to talk to Jon this morning, and (insert praying on my knees figurine here) he said they are supposed to be out of the field on Thursday, unless they don't get finished.  then they are stuck til next Friday.  Boy, oh boy, I'm praying he gets out of the field sooner.  We still wouldn't be able to fly until at least May 14th, but there would be more time for him to locate a decent apartment before our stuff arrives. 

I ordered a few things from Family Christian Bookstores, and was soooo excited when they got here two days ago!  I had read pieces of The Message Bible back at Hood, during a Bible study at the Hohner's house, and was pretty interested.  So, I found a parallel Bible, NIV with Message, and that was my big purchase.  I ordered some veggietales (a movie and a worship CD, which Cait LOVES), and the One Year of Dinner Table Devotions.  CAn't wait til we can start reading that each night with Daddy.  We would do it here, but lately we have been having dinner at completely different times, and to be honest, I completely forget about it.  Not to mention my Dad hates it when people have books at the table.  :P 

For those of my readers who pray, I would ask that you keep my nieces and brother in prayer.  They are in a difficult situation, and need God's will to be done in their lives. 

In other random news- we have our Emergency Fund completed!  (For those of you who may not have read all the way back, I am taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University).  So yeah us!  On to step two, which is to start the debt snowball.  (Already done, I applied an extra amount of $ to a debt this last payday, and am calculating that it will take 11 months at this current rate in order to pay it completely off.  But that's only if we don't pay anything more towards it, and I am hoping that we can.  Once we get settled overseas, I have even thought of watching one or two kids.  Maybe.  I dunno.  I'm sure I'll post more on that later. 
Ooh, and the big thing I am excited for is that I tried out a /Zumba class and LOVED it!!  It is a great mix of dance and exercise, and I like it even more than the Turbo Jam that I have purchased.  I will be going to classes 3 times a week, and my second class is tomorrow night- yeah!

Up next on the blog list will probably be 20 wishes.  I am trying to coordinate and plan my blogs ahead of time, so that I at least have a clue what I'm going to talk about before I sit down to write.  :)  Happy reading, ya'll!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Down on the farm

Last Tuesday, we were privileged to be able to visit a local farm owned by some friends from church.  Lewis and Deb from Kiffer Farms were generous enough to let me (and the kids!) follow them around for an afternoon, so we could see what goes on on a dairy farm. 

I love this sign.  Just had to take a picture of it!
We started off by petting the older calves that were out in the field, waiting for dinner time. 
(There was a picture of me, too, but I get to choose what to put on here)!

We went to the dairy shed next, where around 60 ladies were waiting to be cleaned and milked.
Behind the rows are where the calves are, and at the back of the shed is where the barn cat has its litter.  I think that was Caitlynn's favorite part, aside from the sink.  :)
A 5 day old baby.  They can get pretty excited, so it was hard to keep the kids quiet around them, because they were dancing all around and flailing tails and hooves.  The kids thought they were dancing. We got to see how they pull milk from the tank into huge bottles, which are then heated up in a sink full of hot water until they are warm enough to feed.  We helped them carry it out, and before we were finished going down half the line, the first babies were finished!  They drink a gallon a day! 
Caitlynn helped Deb wash the bottles and nipples after feeding time, and ended up spending the rest of the time playing in the sink with bubbles!  She was soaked, but happy.
One of the younger calves turned out to be getting sick, it was noticed because she didn't finish her second bottle.  We got to see how calves get meds, and learned that when cows get sick, their ears get cold.  Also, their hair stands on end, kind of like when humans get goosebumps. 
Cait taking Jacob for a walk on the mule.

We had a great afternoon, and ended up staying way past dinnertime, because I kept asking questions.  The cows go on a 60 day break after they calve, in order to rest. 
Did you know that some cows can give up to 50 pounds of milk in just one milking?? 
Can we say OUCH?

We also tasted the milk, which was awesome.  I thought that it would taste kind of funny, but its almost exactly like vitamin d milk, just a little more creamy.  Jacob liked it, but Cait was in a mood, and didn't taste it. 
Every day since we visited, Cait asks if we can go to the red barn farm.. lol  They just had a litter of puppies on Friday, so I can definitely see another visit coming soon. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing the farm through our eyes!

Monday, April 12, 2010

What are your best boredom busters?

I have a tendency to eat when I am bored.  When I don't have anything specific to do, and miraculously, the kids are either quiet or asleep, I roam the house and end up munching on something.  Sometimes its healthy, like a handful of grapes or an apple.. And other times, not so much.  Chocolate covered pretzels have been my downfall this last week, so I have determined that next time I'm at the store, I will tell myself I don't NEED them.  That way I won't feel that I'm depriving myself and eat the whole bag in one sitting! :P

What is your best tip to keep yourself from grazing through snacks all day long?  I'm very interested to hear anything that will help me out.  I have been keeping record of my food intake consistenly for the last three weeks, and I'm noticing that on the days that I'm out of the house, I do alright, because I take small snacks in the diaper bag.  On the days that I'm home, my willpower seems nil, though, when I have time to sit around and do nothing.  :P 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homeschool product review: Sonlight Curriculum

Hey guys!  Just to start off, this isn't anything I am being paid for, this is just my honest, open opinion on the parts of the Sonlight Curriculum that we have used.  A dear friend of mine suggested it to me close to a year ago when I was struggling with having my son in public preschool.  She suggested I get the catalog, and start reading up on what they had to offer.  I am definitely grateful to her for that suggestion (and also for the beautiful example of motherhood she is).  :) 

We have 2008's version of Core P 4/5.  This can be used as preschool, kindergarten or first grade, depending on the added in things you use with it.  The core itself included the Bible (which isn't included anymore, for some reason- you now have to buy it seperately), the books for Geography/World Cultures, Language Arts, Read Aloud Classics, Poetry and Art, and Science. The classics are in The 20th Century Children's Treasury, and we LOVE this book.  It has some great stories in it.   Since the core was given to us, it was missing several of the larger books, but I was able to get them from Ebay at fantastic prices.  We have switched from doing all of the read-alouds each day, and instead, we do the classics and poetry on the weekends.  This frees us up to read for enjoyment, instead of the kids seeing it as just another subject we have to cover.  Coming from me, an avid reader, I want them to love reading, simply for the stories right now, and for the lessons they can learn later on.  My husband hates to read, but he still reads to the kids at night when he can.  Each core Sonlight sells also has an Instructor's Guide (sometimes with the core purchase, sometimes seperate) that has a 36 week schedule already laid out for you.  The schedule is not something that you have to abide by, it simply suggests which books you start with, which part of the year you read certain books (The Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science is a good example, the book starts on the first day of the year, and so that's when its scheduled in this core).  You are free to mix and match, do all of the reading, or only some of it.  But at least you have a guide for what you can accomplish.  Some of the books are scheduled 1-2 pages at a time each week, all 36 weeks, but some are only there for a couple of weeks for the entire year. 

We use Sonlight's LA K program for language arts.  So far (at week 18) it is working so well!  I can really see a difference in his handwriting at first to his writing now.  When you buy the program, it comes with the worksheets that are used each day.  Each worksheet has 3 different types of lines on it, one for each of the three handwriting styles that can be used.  We have chosen to use Handwriting without Tears, because it most closely represents our child's handwriting.  He zipped right through the HWT K book, so now they are erased and waiting for Princess C to use when we start her up next year.  I plan to try HWT 1 next year, too, just to see if it will give him a better grasp of writing.  This program goes up to 6th grade, I believe. 

Horizons math K is what we use for Big J's math.  He is 2 lessons away from being completely finished with the first book.  The books are 80 lessons each, so he's about at the halfway mark with math.  I like it because it builds on what has already been taught, and slowly introduces one new thing at a time.  He has learned so much this year.  In my opinion, for this child, I wouldn't use anything else right now.  As time goes on, that might change, as he develops different styles of learning.  But for now, Horizons fits us.  Just the other day, he began to learn what the perimeter of something meant.  The second time he had to add up the perimeter of a given rectangle, I asked him if he remembered what it meant.  He said, "  Yeah, Mom, I know that, its 14!  I already did it!"  I counted it up, and sure enough, not only did he remember it, he had done it correctly already.. lol.. He definitely amazes me sometimes. 

Developing the Early Learner is a set of 4 books that is recommended for use with this curriculum, but not necessary.  It is scheduled, though.  It helps you figure out what type of learner your child is, and helps them learn in different ways.  It is basically like critical thinking skills for younger children.  We just finished book 2, and can't wait to get settled so that we can dig out the next book. 

Explode the Code is another set of books that are recommended.  Actually, with the P 4/5 curriculum, they recommend Get Ready, Set and Go for the Code (set of 3 books).  Those are geared towards children that have not learned the alphabet yet, so we moved on, since Big J is already reading and writing well.  ETC goes from 1 to 7, I think , and there are 1/2 books in there as well.  We are almost finished with ETC 1, and are looking forward to starting book 1 1/2, so we can see what he will be learning.  They teach  vowel sounds, matching pictures to the letter it begins with, etc.  Phonics and rules of writing are sprinkled in, too (capitalization is what we've seen so far).  Big J really likes this book, and often asks to have it be in his first workbox of the day.  The instructions are written so that a child who has begun to learn to read can read them by himself, instead of having Mom or Dad have to stand there and read them each time. 

Well, that's about all we use from Sonlight.  Hopefully, this made sense to anyone who read it.  If I have forgotten anything, or there was something you had a question about, please feel free to email or comment.  I hope that this might be a help to someone who is just starting out.  I will attempt to follow this up on Monday with another review of a different product we use in our homeschooling.  If you have something you use in your own homeschooling journey, that I haven't mentioned, drop me a comment- we are always looking for new things to try out!  Thanks for readin!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday, the snow day...

It really only gave a few half-hearted flurries this afternoon... but still, I thought it was gone, since it was 75 yesterday!  Did I bring Texas weather to the North Country??

I have a sick kiddo on my hands.  He started feeling ucky yesterday with a headache, then a sore throat, and a stiff neck.  Gave me a bit of panic over that, but it was just because he'd been having his Wii time, and hadn't really been moving around alot.  Progressed to a fever before I left for my class last night, so I gave him Tylenol.  He was wide awake at 324 this morning asking for a drink.  He proceeded to slam it back so fast that it made him vomit as I was getting his medicine.  Luckily, we were still in the bathroom.  I felt so bad for him!  He's throwing up and got bad chills all at the same time.  He managed to keep a small glass of water down, as well as the motrin.  He came in a little while later saying that he was closing his eyes and having bad dreams.  I prayed with him and reminded him that he could talk to Jesus when he felt scared or sick. 
This morning, he came in my room and the first thing out of his mouth was. "Mommy, I prayed and told Jesus to make my sore throat go away, and he did it!"   
:)   I guess we still have to work on the whole asking, not telling thing...

Anyhow.  I was able to talk with Jon last night and again this morning, and it sounds like he won't be able to do anything about an apartment until he gets out of the field at the end of the month.  I guess I will post more about our flight dates as I know details, because we are still stuck with the 30 day limit, since there are no beds available for us to use until our stuff comes in.  Here's my question- how come the military doesn't care about what the soldiers and families sleep on when they PCS (permanent change of station, meaning a move) stateside and have to wait for their stuff to come in?  Why the big fuss just because we are in a different country??  Plus, the beds that are available stateside aren't even real mattresses, they are thin little foam things.  Air mattresses are much better, to my way of thinking.  But oh well, I will not argue with them, I can't change anything by being bad tempered about this.  And I refuse to waste my time like that.

The class I attended last night was the free Financial Peace University class offered by Dave Ramsey.  It was absolutely awesome!  It is actually a 13 week class, and you are supposed to purchase the kit (the class is free, but you have to have this stuff in order to attend).  Well, the church purchased them at a discounted rate, just about half price, and when the lead couple found out I would only be here for a few weeks, and probably wouldn't come back because of that and the fact that I can't really afford the kit, they gave it to me.   All they ask is that later on when I can, that I pass it on to someone in need.  I can totally do that!  This class is awesome, and its only been the first one.  I'm excited to get to read the Financial Peace Revisited book that's included. 

One last thing- I borrowed a book from the local library, and its one that is astounding me, and I'm only into the second chapter. 
The Way of Boys, by Anthony Rao, Ph. D 
It talks about how boys need more time to physically and emotionally mature, and how medication should not always be the first answer.  And about the crazy things that boys can do!  It sounds very promising as a good read, and much learning should ensue from it.  I will post more as I get more into it.

And for tomorrow... hopefully a homeschool review on Sonlight Curriculums! 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

8 months old! and I received my first canvas yesterday!!

Little J is 8 months old today!  (As of 606 am this morning, to be exact). 
He is mostly crawling, still inch-worming but adding in a few hand and knee coordinated crawling paces.. lol.. if that even made sense!  He weighs in around 21 pounds, has one tooth, with another coming through, and spends his days either scooting around following his siblings, or pulling up and cruising on anything that will hold his weight.  I swear, he'll probably get the hang of walking before he completely learns crawling! 

Kinda sad that Daddy is missing some of these firsts, but he is working hard on getting us over there.  The army has decreed that we cannot fly over there until our household goods get there, since there are no beds available to borrow.  So, after several phone calls and emails, I now know that our goods will be released and shipped from Hood on the 14th.  Which means we should be able to get tickets, now that we know a date of release... So, please pray that that's what will happen.  We have a friend flying into Korea to visit her significant other on the 18th, and we are really hoping to have a place for her to stay, so she can avoid having to pay a ridiculous amount of money to stay in lodging. 

And I received my first order from The Canvas People (http://www.canvaspeople.com/), and IT.IS.AWESOME!!
My mom laughed and asked me why I chose this particular shot, but I love it, and am proud of it.  Plus, who wants all the pictures on their walls to be serious or formal shots??  Not me!  I want cute, fun, hilarious and some formal.  Plus, none of the ones that I really wanted would fit on the size canvas that was offered (and since it was free (I only paid shipping), I didn't want to enlarge it).  Yes, the picture of the canvas looks a little funny, since its tipped back and there are snowflakes in the actual canvas.  Makes it look dusty, but I swear its not.. lol

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New mother tips

As I'm sure ya'll heard, my best friend is having a baby girl at the end of the summer.  Squee!!  I got to go shopping already, and have plans to make some stuff pretty soon.  :)  But the thought struck me, what is something that I could tell her that might help her transition to motherhood easier? 

I'd love to hear your tips, tricks, and been-there, done-that stories!  I will be passing them along, if that's ok.  I think I've already talked her deaf, dumb and blind on various topics, so I jokingly told her I'd write her a book.  But it seriously sounds like something that would be fun to put together, so I just might do that!  :)

And a funny closing- my mom just hollered for me to 'come here' in German.  I walked into the living room where she and Dad are playing the Wii, and see my baby sitting in her lap.  I said, "He better not be asleep!"  and sure enough, he was.  Sound asleep sitting up, watching Grandma and Papa play Frisbee Golf! 

Oh, and our HHG will be released next week, and the estimated date for their arrival in Korea is 18 June.  0.0
Yeah.  That's what I said.  So.  We can fly 30 days after our goods are released, so hopefully I can tell Jon, and he can get us tickets for 14 May.  Yep, its gonna go just like that.  LOL!  No, seriously, any prayers that this move will finish smoothly and quickly would be much appreciated. 

Homeschooling sites we love

I will start this list off with the sites that I am currently using, and then add to it from the wisdom of several other homeschooling moms who are farther along in their journeys.  In the next couple of days I hope to go over each website in more detail.  Hopefully this will be a help to any other homeschooling mom that's just starting out.  I know I needed all the help I could get when I first started last October!

http://www.sonlight.com/  We use the P 4/5 curriculum for kindergarten.  LA K, too, along with Handwriting without Tears.  Explode the code can be bought through this website also. 
http://www.aop.com/  We are using Horizons Math K, and will be using it again next year.  Definitely like it!
http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/  This is more for my preschooler, but each letter is fun, and most activities are easy to make, use and reuse.  She loves doing them, and there is enough variety that she doesn't get bored repeating a couple of them throughout the week.
http://www.makinglearningfun.com/  I use this to print extra worksheets for both kids.
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/  Used mainly for art activities.  You can buy a year's membership for $20, but I just use the free stuff.
http://www.funshineexpress.com/  Occasionally, we use the Christian supplement from this website.  For $7 per month, I can get a Bible story with a month's worth of daily activities, questions, etc, plus 2 worksheets each week per child.  This website also has wonderful ABC and number tracing pages, plus numerous kinds of coloring pages. 
http://www.bobbooks.com/  These are the easy readers we use instead of Sonlight's Readers K.  He reads 1-2 books per week. 
We also supplement every couple of days with the workbooks that can be bought at Walmart- Super deluxe mazes, hidden pictures, ABC dot to dots, etc.  My preschooler uses the Preschool workbooks, too. 
http://www.donnayoung.org/  This is a great website to get some help getting started, planning your curriculum, etc.  She also posts the world standards for each grade, so that you can tell what your child should be learning.
http://www.hslda.org/ Use this website  if you have legal questions about homeschooling in your state.  They have each state's current laws about homeschooling.
http://www.homeschoolbar.com/  Cool little online toolbar that has a phenomenal amount of links for different subjects, different interests, etc. 
http://www.christianbook.com/  Good place to get discounted workbooks, etc.  Watch for the sales. 

The following sites I have not used yet, since my kids aren't quite old enough for some of it, but they come highly recommended from other moms I know.
http://www.bjupresshomeschool.com/  Christian curriculum
http://www.abeka.com/ Christian homeschooling
http://www.scottforesman.com/ spelling
Educators Publishing Service (used to be http://www.eps.com/) wordly wise 3000, Vocabulary from the roots up, and Ridgewood Analogies. 
http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/  Math
http://www.letteroftheweek.com/  Preschool through 2nd free curriculum
http://www.mfwbooks.com/  My Father's World
http://www.fiarhq.com/  Five In A Row
http://www.apologia.com/ Science
http://www.dltk-kids.com/  more printables
http://www.starfall.com/  Reading and games for kids to play online
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/  Speaks for itself. 

Whew!  That was certainly alot of information.  I hope that it helps someone out there in their journey to homeschooling.  If you have any questions, please ask!  If I don't know the answer, I can contact someone that does!  :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Homeschool helps

I am writing this so that I will remember to finish compiling the list of places that I have found my curriculum.  A friend back in Cove was an awesome help with most of these resources, some of which I have not been able to use yet, since J and C aren't old enough yet.  Hopefully I can get it all finished tonight, but no promises- I tend to get distracted way too easily lately.  :)

In other news, we have hit a roadblock with our apartment in Korea.  Apparently, we can't get it until Jon gets out of the field.  Which is another 3 weeks.  However, S1 said that they would still finish the amendment so that we can get tickets.  I'm hoping that this gets finished this week, so that we will know exactly when we need to leave.  I am already making lists and packing up the things that need to be shipped.  And in a couple of minutes when C lays down for quiet time, I will be heading out for the Dollar Tree.  I am buying a couple of cheapy toys to wrap up for our plane ride. 

Anyone have any ideas on how to keep 3 kids entertained on a 15+ hour plane ride?  I would definitely love to have some help! 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter- a time of changes

I met an amazing couple at church yesterday.  They are local farmers, and gave me quite an insight to the farmers' plight. 

Each time the milk truck comes, it takes 45 days until they are paid for what was picked up.  And during that time, the people who set the milk price can determine how much they will pay for that milk. A hundredweight of milk (11.6 gallons) usually costs about $22 to make.  Lately, the farmers have been paid about $11-12 per hundredweight.  And the real kicker is that they can say that milk is worth $22/hw on the day the milk is picked up, but they only get paid by what the milk is worth on the day they get paid.  How much does that suck??!?

And people wonder why the farms are all going under...

The kids and I will be going to visit their farm sometime this week, probably Wednesday.  We will be able to see how they milk their cows, maybe even taste the raw milk  (something I've been curious about lately), and see how the cows are taken care of, and maybe what else they do on their farm, since I'm sure that's not the only thing they do all day long. 

That is the background story for part of our family change I have been talking about.  I don't want my kids to be naive about where their food comes from, and how hard the farmers work to get that food to us.  I wish there was more I could do to help the local farmers, but since its not fresh food season, I can't even buy produce from them. 

I'll have to post more later, because the baby is tired, and its time to go shopping with my awesome Mom.  :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The final stretch

We are in the final stretch!  The amended orders should be finished by Monday, and then all my wonderful hubby has to do is go to transportation and get tickets for the kids and I.  Which means a- I'm starting to get nervous about this, and b- I have to start packing stuff up!!
We thought we would be here through the month of May, so I bought some small stuff to keep the kids occupied outside and in.  Plus all of our school stuff, some of the stuff J left here before he left, etc.  I need to start boxing things up and getting them ready to ship.  Luckily, because of our orders, we are each allowed two suitcases.  That means that most of the books and papers can come with us, since they are flat.  I have pared down all of our wardrobes and gotten rid of things that don't fit well, or just plain don't fit anymore.  Sadly, I donated it all, but I was only sad because little J didn't get to wear some of the awesome clothes I had.  He grew too fast!  I think he's closing in on 22 pounds now.  He is trying to pull up on just about everything lately.  He managed to climb two of the porch stairs while we were outside today (it was gorgeous here today), and proceeded to scoot around and eat grass, dirt and bugs!  My other two have just come inside from playing in the ginormous dirt pile out front.  (C is in the bath as we speak). 

I'm really looking forward to being finished with the 15 hour plane ride, seeing Daddy again, seeing our new apartment for the first time, and getting to unpack, get settled and start sight-seeing!  We also have a friend who is flying over to see her significant other for the last two weeks of May, so we hope to be there to see her, too. 
I mentioned last post that things would be changing.  And that change will extend overseas, as well.  We will be going through EVERYTHING that was packed up, and if we don't have an immediate use or need for it, it will be donated.  Somewhere, somehow, someplace.  Even if I have to put it on the curb of the apartment building.  There is no use having it if we don't use it.  I'm tired of clutter making me feel like I never clean enough. 
We will also be buying only a week's worth of food at a time (instead of 2-3 at a time), one set of cleaning supplies (as opposed to buying a seperate one for the bathroom, kitchen, anywhere, etc), doing laundry on a schedule, and probably lots more.  I will be cooking more from scratch (you might hear of the dishes that I've ruined from experimentation soon!), and since our apartment has a tiny greenhouse room, we are going to try our hand at growing some produce.  Probably tomatos and zucchini, since those are easy.

Speaking of the apartment- Jon says its awesome!  We will be the first tenants to live in it, as the building just opened.  The only downside to that is the construction that will still be going on all around the outside and inside of the building.  We are on the top (15th) floor, which gives us vaulted ceilings, and a pretty glass chandelier.  Outside, we have a small balcony, which will probably give me heart attacks until I know the kids won't try to climb the 4 foot fence.  It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath place, and from what Jon tells me, it is a bit small, but will fit us just fine.  (Here is where the downsizing comes in handy).  If we had known that we could borrow furniture for the time we spent here, we would have left most of ours in storage.  But, hindsight is always 20/20.  Enough for now, I have one freshly bathed toddler to snuggle with, and a baby to nurse, while the oldest takes his bath. 
I truly am blessed.  :)