Tuesday's Tidings

What a dreary day. I woke up this morning and decided to put together my grocery list and go shopping. Xavier came with me since I was heading to Wal-Mart. He needed a few clothing items. $200 later we got home and I still have half my list to fill. You can see the breakdown of what I spent the money on in the post Day 1 - 30 Days of Nothing. I still need to finish my shopping and take Micah to get some new clothes as well as hit the shoe store for Xavier. That Xavier has decided to grow out of everything he owns at one time.

At lunch time I let Isaac feed himself pudding. What a mess! He had a blast. He normally feeds himself all but the pudding/yogurt. Not that he can't just I normally don't want to tell him no a bunch of times as he tried to feed me and throw it on the floor. Today was not to bad. I did not get out of eating a few bites but he did keep the floor clean. After lunch Isaac went down for a nap and the boys started their homework from the One Room Schoolhouse. Technically we should be doing our school and not working on homework, but since they have taken the initiative to get it done I figured we can work on some of our school work later on today. I don't have a lot planned for the boys to do today but they both need to read some and work in their math books.

I am hoping tomorrow is a nicer day. I have decided to start walking/jogging again. I am hoping to run in the Thanksgiving Day 5K that is held every year here in town. Which means I really need to get back into shape. The plan is for the boys and I to go walking/jogging 3 times a week. Micah loved it when we use to jog before I got pregnant with Isaac, and we all could use the exercise.

Well, I better get back to dong something productive. Hope everyone has a great day!

Day 1 - 30 Days of Nothing

So I decided to go for it and try the 30 Days of Nothing challenge. So far today I spent a total of $209.22 @ Wal-Mart. How did it break down?
$106.24 - groceries
$44.77 - toiletries/diapers/wipes
$15 - Christmas Present
$5 - Xavier allowance
$38.21 - Xavier clothes

I still have to go to Publix & Winn-Dixie so I will update this post after I get done with my grocery shopping.

One Room Schoolhouse

I dropped off the boys this morning at the One Room Schoolhouse. They absolutely love going to class there. However, this week I didn't hound them about their homework. I decided they needed to be more responsible and remember to do it. I did remind them a few times but it was not completed until this morning. I woke up to a child looking for his notebook so he could do his homework. When I came out of the bedroom both boys were sitting at the kitchen table trying to finish it all up. Xavier was almost in tears because he couldn't do it all. I was a mean mommy. I told him I was sorry he couldn't finish it, and maybe next time he should try to do it before the day it was due. Micah informed me this evening that he planned on doing his work this week and not at the last minute. I think a poor spelling test helped confirm the fact that he needs to study.

I will remind them a couple of times this week, but completing their homework is going to be left up to them.

He Speaks

5 days ago I was talking to my momma about Isaac and his lack of speech. For awhile we called him the one word wonder. He would say something once or twice and then never say it again. We would try to get him to say things but he is very hard headed. For example he would rather not have a drink at all than say the word drink even though he has said it before. Well, within the past couple of days he has decided to talk. Not just words that we can make out but some of them he pronounces perfectly. His 2 day word list:
burple (purple)
Booper (Cooper)
meme (milk)

I am such a proud momma :-)

Saturday Fun

We headed to the Dollar Tree today and I picked up some items to make a few lap books for Isaac. He wants to do school with the boys and I have been at a lost on how to incorporate stuff into "school time" with the boys. Then I came across Tot School by 1+1+1=1 blog. I have been inspired :) So while Isaac took a short nap I made a numbers lapbook and started a shapes lapbook for him. The numbers consists of 10 pockets that have number flash cards in it. The shapes one will have Velcro on it so he can put the correct shapes on each page. Nothing fancy, but it is a start.
We played outside most of the day, and this evening Xavier and I threw the football. After dinner all of us played softball. Well, we took turns pitching and hitting. I am so kicking booty! Which I am quite happy about because 2 days ago I could not hit the ball to save my life :) Here are a few pictures of our peanut :)

Look mom I can climb. He thinks it is great fun to stand up with no hands there.

Posing for the camera :)


School & Schedules

Well, we are still ironing out kinks in the schedule. I am happy to say that we finished The Giver and have completed the tests I had downloaded for the book. Now we can get back to My Side of the Mountain. We should finish it within a few days so I am already planning our next book: The Cay.

We started Writing With The Best by Jill Dixon this week and I am loving it so far. When we lived in Savannah, GA I went to a speaking event she was having at a local church. I have been wanting to get Teaching with Structure and Style but the price... Well, I was surfing online and remembered she taught writing classes and thought I would check out her site. Yep - she had a writing program. I want to get her Diagnostic Test that helps you see what kind of learner your children are. So that is my next buy. Well, along with a few other things on my list :) I have got to stay our of the bookstores!

Friday's Photos

Isaac had a blast in the dirt Granny was digging up for her new rose bed.

Of course Granny could not dig with a little boy in the way so after a change of clothes he played with his favorite car.

Micah checking out dinner (beef short ribs & wasabi mashed potatoes - YUM)

Xavier waiting for me to play catch.

A deer in the yard starts the day off right

As I sat on the porch this morning waking up I saw a deer run across the yard and jump the fence. At first I couldn't believe my eyes, but it was so neat. We do not normally have deer in the yard and that is one thing I miss from the little time we were in Michigan. What makes it so much better is this was the 2nd time this week that I saw wildlife that we normally do not see from our yard. Yesterday we had 5 bald eagles flying over the house, in and out of trees and landing on one right by the pond. From what I was told they use to nest there until about 3 years ago when the osprey's chased them away.

Seeing the deer put a good day in motion. I managed to shower and get ready for school before Isaac woke up. We are working on the schedule, but after today I see where I need to switch a few things around. After lunch the boys are pretty much out of school mode except for finishing up work and reading. I also have found that by doing SOW first thing in the morning we are taking to long and not getting to our math and science. Tomorrow I plan on switching the classes around a bit and seeing if it works better. We are also starting our morning devotions back up. We have fallen out of the habit of having them, and we need to make it our first priority in the morning.

This afternoon Xavier taught me how to throw a football. I know I have been shown before, but I did not remember how. This of course thrilled him for a couple of reasons: 1) he taught me and 2) he got to toss the ball around. We tossed it around for a good hour or so. He is now talking about teaching me to play catch. I asked him if he actually thought I was going to catch a baseball. Yes, was his answer, and laughed. Doesn't having a baseball thrown towards you mean you are suppose to duck or run away from it?

Isaac tried to play ball also and he threw a woofle ball to me and I would throw it back. We tried to get Micah to play with us but throwing a football is definitely not his thing. Oh well, maybe next time.

Oh - Xavier finished the starter book for Awana. This is his first year so he had to go through the first 7 steps booklet to be able to get his shirt and actual book. He s quite happy that he finished the last 3 steps tonight and next week we are going to get his shirt and actual book. WAY TO GO Xavier!!


I pulled out my Managers of Their Homes book this weekend and have been trying to put a new schedule together. We had used it awhile back ago but life changed and our schedule has been out of whack ever since. So after sitting down and trying to put a new one together I am think I have a basic plan to follow. I know it will need some tweaking so I haven't "written it in stone" as of yet. This evening we started following part of the new schedule and managed to give Isaac a bath, a shower for me, the boys through bedtime prep, putting Isaac to bed, and our nightly reading with only 1 problem. The problem - I have our reading scheduled for 1/2 an hour and lights out at 9, but we read for an hour. Instead of being a stickler on that issue I am going to leave it as a buffer. As long as the lights are out at 9:30 we should be okay. Tomorrow we will add a little bit more of the schedule to our day. I decided not to go full force because then it would be total chaos and we would be less likely to stick to it. I am really excited about being on a schedule again because as free spirited as I am work a lot better when I have my day planned out and know what it is I am suppose to be doing and when. Now to figure out where I can get more time into my day :)

First Day of Fall

Today is the first day of fall! Of course down here in FL we don't see the foliage change like you do in the more northern states :(

A New Book

Steve and Teri Maxwell have a NEW book. I have no idea when it actually came out but I can not wait to order. I loved their Managers of Their Homes & Managers of Their Chores... the new one Managers of Their School. You can check it out at Titus 2.

Money, money

It started off that Xavier was trying to get his pencil out of the change jar. Of course this meant he had to dump 1/2 of the change out. Isaac had a blast confiscating as much change as he could while Xavier was putting it back in the jar. Xavier being the clever child decided this would make a wonderful photo shoot.



The sign says "I'm leaving w/all the money and I'm not sharing" (courtesy of Xavier)

Jr Rehabbers

This morning I dropped the boys off at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey. We visited there a few years ago and really enjoyed seeing the birds that they house. Micah is still a bird fanatic and when I saw that they were having a JR Rehabber class I signed both of the boys up. According to them "It was awesome" and "We cleaned up the cages and saw rats (dead and alive)." The class was 3 hours long and other than doing a little cleaning and feeding they also watched on in the lab as a hawk got a physical. Unfortunately, you have to be 18 to volunteer or Micah would have jumped at the chance.



While waiting for the boys class to be over Isaac and I walked through the local neighborhood to a small park. We watched a bunch of squirrels and admired the view of the lake.



The Giver

As I mentioned in my last post we are reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. I found a website with online questions (or printed) and activities to go with the chapters. You can check it out Here.

*Cross-posted on Unit Studies (a collection of studies and educational helps we have or are planning on using)

Thursday's Tantrum

I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday! School has been a bear this week. The boys have not been wanting to cooperate and I thought about pulling my hair out at times. Somehow they are not able to finish 2 assignments in an hour (each should have taken about 1/2 hr each). Why? Because rolling across the living room floor wrestling was more important. We managed to get through spelling, page 2 of book club homework, math homework, reading in the history book, English, Lit. and SOW science. Really when I write that down it seems like it is a lot but considering how much goofing off was done I know we could have done a couple more things.

We took a break from our book club reading so we could work on our homework. However, we could not give up our nightly reading :) We started The Giver by Lois Lowrey (I think I spelled it right but I will double check in a little bit). It has started some really interesting conversations so far and we are only up to Chapter 6. The only downfall of interesting conversation is that it mean stalling bedtime :(

Regardless of the "Do Your Work" attitude I had and the boys "We Don't Want To" attitude. The day actually was pretty good overall. Yesterday I laid down the law:
1) No more TV between 8am-6pm on weekdays
2) No video games Sunday after 6pm until Friday @ 6pm
3) Computer Time is 1 hour a day Monday - Friday
4) Personal hygiene, breakfast, chores, music practice must be done by 9am
5) Quiet Time is starts at 7:30pm
6) Dessert had, pj's on, bed fixed and teeth brushed by 8:30pm

Of course there are consequences also, mainly loosing TV, video games, computer, earlier bedtime and things of that sort. So I woke up and although they were running a little late they were both done with everything by 9:15 this morning. It is a start.

On another note... right before dinner this evening Micah found a painted turtle in the yard. It was quite big and although we have no idea why he was in the middle of the field he was heading in the direction of the lake. We found out the other day that the lake has a 4 foot gator in it (the gator decided to go into our neighbor's yard). So now we are on gator patrol and the boys are no longer allowed to go down towards the lake. The lake was dry until Fay came through so we didn't have to worry about it before.

When dinner was over and the trash taken down to the curb the boys and I headed up to CVS. I broke Isaac's dinner plate tonight so we prayed we could find another one. Praise God, there was only 1 left so he now has his fish plate again (he picked out the only other plate there - an apple). Aren't they cute?

Animal Kingdom

Tuesday was Homeschool Days at Animal Kingdom. We had a lot of fun but to be honest now that I have been to 3 of Disney's parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Animal Kingdom) I would only really want to go back to Epcot. Animal Kingdom was nice but way overpriced in my opinion.

Now back to our trip... there were stationed set up around the park with activities for us "homeschoolers" to learn about certain animals, the environment and the what not. To be honest they were kinda cheesy and geared towards lower elementary but we visited most of them. The best part (and probably most educational) was when Micah started asking one of the researchers that did the "Flight of Wonder" show how she got her job and where she went to school. Micah was very impressed and went away thinking about what he should do. He would like to work with animals but he would also be happy working on cars at this time. Only being 6th grade I am not pressuring him to make up his mind about future careers though, lol.

Here are some photo's of our day :)
Tree of Life
The first activity was about Gibbons.
Micah talking to the researcher.
Xavier is playing a game at one of the activities.
Isaac tried to call "Dada" but got to hear about conservation projects instead.
The end of the day...

30 Days of Nothing

A blog I read is doing a 30 Days of Nothing "Challenge" which got it off another blog. I am not sure if it is an actual challenge or has just inspired others to join in. Either way it is something I should definitely be joining in on. We spend to much time and money on junk and could live a lot more frugal. Hmmm, does it count if it is a bad time though and we have to spend money?? There is so much going on over the next 2 weeks I know we will not be able to be as frugal as I would like.

As I said the next week or two are going to be hard. Tomorrow we are heading down to Animal Kingdom @ Disney for their Home School Days (like being frugal there is going to work well). Wednesday we are suppose to go to the park & Awana then on Thursday the boys have a science class. Then Saturday the boys have a class at Audubon Center for Birds of Prey and Sunday is church. Ok that is just this week next week is not as bad... Monday - classes at One Room Schoolhouse & Music Lessons, Wednesday we have Awana, Thursday science and Saturday we are suppose to go to Orlando Science Center. Ughh how am I going to be frugal the next 2 weeks. Maybe I should consider starting this now but then again maybe I should wait a couple of weeks, lol.

Weekend Fun

Saturday Micah and Xavier went with Aunt K and cousin J to the beach. They had fun playing in the waves and hanging out. Only downfall was Micah dove into a big wave and went face first into a jellyfish that was hiding under the water. He got stung right under his nose and on his neck. Luckily it is not to bad although there are marks. Xavier had a blast playing volleyball and really wants someone to play sports with him. So I am going to have to make a point that Micah and I go outside and kick the ball around or something. This is gonna be hard since neither Micah or I are sports oriented at all.

Sunday we did the usual - church & Nana's. The girls (the boys cousins) came over for dinner like normal and the kids had fun playing some tag game they made up. Micah also spent the evening helping down at the shop with Papa J. He loves working down there. After the girls left we studied our spelling words for tomorrow's test and then read some more in our book for book club. While reading is a good thing... its not. We finished the assigned chapters and book club doesn't meet for another week. The boys are anxious to get on with it. The question is should we go ahead and keep reading or stop reading it for the week since we have 3 more weeks to go with this book. Ahhh, what to do, what to do? Micah wants to work on the "homework" and start another book and wait to finish. Hmm. Maybe I will look at the store tomorrow to see what books I can find in the mean time.

A Week In Review

TGIF! It has been one of those weeks where I am glad to see that it is over. We started the week with a sick baby. So first thing Monday morning I loaded him into the car and we went to the doctor. I probably would have let him just ride this cold out but I was out of albuterol so we had to go. What I did not expect was the ear infection and 6 prescriptions I had to pick up and a return trip on Wednesday. He has officially been diagnosed as asthmatic (which is a good thing) and he is now on a preventative. I just pray that the Lord heals him like he healed Xavier. The doctor appointment had us running a little behind in our Monday routine so the boys did not make it to their math class. However, we did make it to the One Room Schoolhouse in time for lunch/recess, spelling, countries and book club. Of course the boys had a blast (like usual). Afterwards we went and visited my mom & dad for a few minutes until it was time for their music lessons.

Tuesday was unproductive especially since I had a screaming toddler hanging on to my leg for the majority of the day. Unfortunately Wednesday did not fair much better. the screamer was still attached and we got an all expense paid trip back to the doctor's office on Friday. Praise the Lord - Friday's appointment found Isaac with clear lungs (which of the 5 medicine's helped I have no idea, lol) and ears healing. We have to continue to keep an eye on his ears because if he continues with the ear infections we will be getting tubes :( However the flu shot vaccine should be in next week where we get to make another trip to the doctor's office.

The two older boys are well and much to my surprise Xavier has been practicing his violin not only without me hounding him about it but also with great enthusiasm! dare I speak to soon... I do hope it lasts. Micah had to check my tires with his tire gauge and check the oil. He is planning a trip to the auto store to get the supplies to change my oil using his new tools. I don't think he can wait much longer, he is dying to use them, lol.

With a screaming toddler and me searching the internet for information on weaning and transitioning a child of 20 months into their own bed our schooling was not as productive as I had planned. However, we did get our homework accomplished and are halfway through the first part of the book we are reading for book club. Our SOW lessons didn't make it on to the agenda this week and I will have to re-schedule the lesson plan because of activities we have going on over the next few weeks. Oh - school is back in full force! I am so happy that "summer" is over and we can get back to being busy little beavers.

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

Blog Changes

I am trying to redo my blog which has turned into quite a task. Hopefully I will have all the kinks worked out by next week. This page will continue to be our family & homeschool blog. A Changing Heart is where I will ramble and journal my thoughts and feelings that the Lord has placed upon me. I am hoping to get my Unit Studies blog back up, I have not posted there in years but have files and plans from various "studies" we have done that I wanted to post.

God Bless

Option 3 - Don't Vote

It is amazing to me how Christians are so divided over who we should vote for in the upcoming election. A majority of the people I know will probably vote for McCain, they prefer his stand on abortion, the military and other issues but a few have chosen to vote for Obama. I think we should take option number 3 and NOT vote.

I know, it sounds horrible, unpatriotic, it's a dereliction of our civic duty or is it? We must remember that we who have been born again are to look to Christ. His kingdom is the only true kingdom and His governing is the only one worth living for. The kingdom's of the world will pass away. They are not of God, although God alone will appoint those who He wants to lead the world's governments. Will he appoint those who are not Christians - yes, that is obvious. Is it our duty to try and appoint those who we feel will lead us in a Christian direction - debatable. We must remember that the world will become more ungodly according to the Bible. Only at the appointed time when the Lord calls us home will we have a perfect world and kingdom. Until then we will be in a sin filled world and we must be a light in the darkness. But do we compromise our saltiness by voting for either candidate?

I believe we do, Obama obviously has policies that a Christian should not support. McCain while coming across pretty clean for the most part has decided to ask a woman to be VP. We all know that Obama's issues get a way range of publicity from Christians who are against him but why are all the Christians rallying around someone who blatantly is disrupting the order of headship and who has decided to take sides with the feminist movement? Voting for the lesser of 2 evils is still a vote for evil. Are we not to separate ourselves from the world and the evil that it contains?

Oh, how far we have fallen since He first saved us. We can not save a condemned world but we can spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be a light to those in the darkness. We can not vote for the one who everything belongs to, well unless you write in Jesus Christ on the ballot. No one on earth can be without sin, for we all have fallen short of the glory of God but we can choose to either vote according to our own flesh because that is where our opinions come from or we can vote from a Biblical standpoint. For myself the Bible clearly states what we should or should not do and I cannot vote for either Obama or McCain when looking at it from a Biblical worldview.

We must all ask ourselves where we stand when it comes to voting and the upcoming election. I pray that whatever you choose to do you do with much prayer and remember whether you go to the voting booth or not:
We are not of this world...
The world does not know him...
We must pray for our leaders and the nations...
We must shine our light in the world AND stay away from evil.

I am reading a book called "Married to Television (Restructuring Your Prime Time)" which has been very interesting. It was written in the early 90's so I am sure the facts and figures have changed but even then TV usage in the home and the moral decline of television was present. Chapter 3 discusses family altar (the tele) and starts with a poem that I thought I would share with you.

The TV is my shepherd. My spiritual growth shall want. It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for His name's sake, because it requireth all my spare time. It keepeth me from doing my duty as a CHristian because it presenteth so many good shows that I must see.

It restoreth my knowledge of the things of the world and keepeth me from the study of God's Word. It leadeth me int he paths of failing to attend the evening church services and doing nothing for the kingdom of God. Yet, thought I shall live to be a hundred, I shall keep viewing my TV as long as it will work, for it is my closest friend. It sounds and its pictures they comfort me.

It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family. It fills my head with ideas which differ from those in the Word of God.

Surely no good thing will come of my life because of so many wasted hours, and I shall dwell in remorse and regrets forever.
~ Author Unknown



My ramble for the day... Seems the Lord is always putting something new in front of me that needs to be addressed. The current "issue" is the TV. To be honest it is not that new of an issue just one that I have not wanted to deal with and have found excuses to ignore. Last year we gave up TV for a week (minus news). However it has been pressing on my heart that this is something I need to do something about.

My 2 older boys have grown up with TV, and yes I was a "bad" mother and used it to babysit at times. Unfortunately it has turned into an addiction issue I believe. Of course they do not see it that way. They think it is a great way to buy time because they are bored and they do watch shows they shouldn't. They watch cartoons, kids shows and Discovery Channel. Discovery I can live with (we love Dirty Jobs) but the cartoons and kid shows do have a lot of content and ways of opening doors which do not need opened. But even more that that it has become an idol. We put it before God on a daily basis.

So how do we change this? I don't want to get rid of it (plus it won't do much good considering we live with family). But changing to a No or Limited TV lifestyle is not going to be easy.

Leviticus 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.