7.08.2013

I wish..



I wish Dr Pepper had more of a water content...
I wish Doritos were nutritious ....
I wish skinny was easy.....
I wish bills were optional .....
I wish I trusted more.....
I wish for no heart breaks for my daughter.....
I wish true friends were easy to find....


7.03.2013

Who am I?



Today the class from Kristen (Find Your Voice) and the blog challenge from Becky (52 weeks of purposefully blogging) goes hand in hand..

Week Two of Find Your Voice is titled.............Who Are You?
and in the 52 weeks blog challenge the theme is.......Who I am!

Great huh?
I posted a post similar to these themes back in December HERE...so that was a good start and I will just add on to it!



Please know that you are not to late to start either of these .. jump in where you are or start at week 1 and go at your own pace!!





I love a quote that Kristen inserted in to our Lesson Two Worksheets:

"Who are we if not the stories we pass down? What happens when there's no one left to tell those stories? To hear them? Who will ever know that I existed? What if we are the only ones left...who will know our stories then? Who will remember those?"
-Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth



I AM
Nikki.....named by my father (I think) ...also heard I was named after a Soap Opera star...either way..I own it and love it!
Faye is my middle name.. it was also my Dad's mom name.. She passed away when he was around three years old...I am proud to carry on her name.. which I also gave to my daughter

I AM
Nik to friends....Sis to my brother.... Mom to my daughter ......and Babe to my husband

I AM
a child of God. Redeemed. Forgiven. Bought with a serious price tag.

I AM
28 ..soon to be 29 in July...July 24th to be exact..almost three decades old! I have survived an ice storm with no electricity for a month and many tornado warnings in almost 30 years. My years of life have been fulfilling and exciting..I'm looking forward to many more!

I AM
and always will be a resident of the Mid-Land Valley at heart! It is just called Midland now..but us natives like to call it the Mid-Land Valley because we are in a valley.. a true valley.. in between two mountains.

I AM
a lover of pink. I admit it...relunctantly...but every since that pretty pink blanket was handed to me in August of 2008 that made me a momma.... I have loved pink ever since.

I AM
an ice cream eater. Mainly vanilla..throw in some cookie dough or some chocolate chips and that will be just fine

I AM
a reader. I love to read. I go through moods of reading. I used to love reading Law/Mystery books.. now I am more into Inspirational/NonFiction/Self Help books.

I AM
a scrapper. Scrapbooking that is. Which means there is paper everywhere, scissors, pens, glue, stickers, etc...all unorganized.. all crazy...and I love it!

I AM
a picture taker. I am NOT a photographer because I know nothing about light or shutter speed.. I just know how to capture memories.. so I am an avid picture taker

I AM
not a traveler..in a car. I am a flyer...not a rider!

I AM
a teacher. I love to see kids learning in any way possible.

I AM
a storyteller. The author of my life story. No one can tell my story to my children like I can.

Don't be afraid to tell your story..Don't be afraid to be YOU

YOU ...in reality
YOU..the author of your story

Something you have gone through ..someone else is going through now and may need to hear your imperfect story.
Every single story is worth telling. 

Homemade laundry detergent



Ok..I feel like the last person on earth that has done this!

I have seen a million on Pinterest doing it.. All my family does it..

so...

finally I jumped on board!

I made my own laundry detergent!

Yay! and I absolutely LOVE IT!!!

Like I really really love it!!
I can smell it every time I walk in my house through my laundry room..

I have wanted to do it for a while now because my cousin Brittany has told me over and over again how much money it saves her ....but my husband kept calling me a hippy for wanting to make it!

Now don't make judge my husband..poor thing..he doesn't have a facebook or pinterest account...He is a NON-social media person.. He hasn't caught up with all of us yet..but I'm working on it..

Give me time!!!

Moving on..Here is my homemade laundry detergent!

I started out with a simple recipe.. I've learned that you can put more in this to make it smell a certain way or even have more of a stain booster...but this is my first time..so I'm taking it slow and steady!

 1cup of detergent booster Borax (please be aware that there IS a difference between the Borax you get in the laundry aisle and the Borax you get in the gardening aisle..one is for killing ants..one is for laundry...be sure you get the right one!)

1 cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap  ..this is what smells amazing to me!



I just chopped my bar of soap up in little square.. like one inch squares.. (HINT: stick it in the microwave for about ten seconds before you chop it up and it makes it so much more easier! It isn't as crumbly and the knife slides through easier) Then I just put a few squares in my blender, closed my eyes..chose a setting and wa-lah!
I never use my blender...we strictly bought it for Gregg to make protein shakes.. so I have no idea what any setting is for or what it does.. but I made it work!

I got a big glass container at wal mart for $13 to hold my super cute laundry detergent...but when I made it.. it only filled up like an inch of the container..
so if you buy a big container ..grab you some more bars of soap and just make multiple batches.. I have been using mine now for a few months...still love it!

Usually by now I have probably already gone through two or three store bought laundry detergents.. which is at least $7 each.

Final thoughts:
Homemade laundry detergent rocks!
It smells good
It is WAY cheaper than buying store bought
and it isn't hard to make.

Go for it!

Do you make any of your household cleaners? Let me know your recipe...I might try it!







7.01.2013

Summer classes



I'm so excited to be getting a schedule down this summer and get myself back into blogging. I love blogging.. keeping memories and randomly writing thoughts.

Well I guess summer time is the time of challenges and classes because I have found a couple that go hand in hand and I am over the moon about it!

I've been struggling with my blogging because I just want to post pictures and let them do the talking..but there is so much more than just a picture..there is a story behind it.

If you come to my house and look through my pictures I will tell you what happened while I was taking the picture..what happened after...yadda yadda.. you would probably get bored with me quick...
but..i don't do that on my blog.. why? I don't know!

I guess I feel like I can't get what I want to say from my brain to the keyboard and make it sound interesting enough for you all to want to read it.

I wrote a post earlier about a Free 8 week class that I am taking with Kristen called "Find your Voice" ...and now I have found a cute challenge by Becky at From Mrs to Mama called 52 weeks of blogging with a purpose.

Find Your Voice is about finding your storytelling voice. We are awesome people with amazing stories, so this summer we’re going to work together to find the most genuine and authentic way for you to tell those stories.
We’ll be telling stories through pictures, photographs, social media, prose, and more. The only thing you need is a willingness to become the author of your own story and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone.

52 Weeks of blogging with a purpose is more of a free blog challenge. Becky has made a list of 52 topics and every Monday she will post one. With that topic you can do what you want with it. Take pictures..write....go whichever direction you want to go..you can go...

So all in all both of these classes will help me tremendously with my writing.. and my storytelling!
I'm super excited to get started because both of them have link ups so you can see other's storytelling skills!

This summer is going to be exciting...for this mama...I am finally carving out time for me...to write!

Do you have any plans for YOU this summer?

6.28.2013

Why I love Bloglovin'



So if you are a blogger I am sure you have heard over and over again that Google Reader is shutting down.

I have to admit I did a little blogger toddler fit when I heard about this because I have used Google Reader ever since I started blogging...now I gotta find a new way to keep up with  my blogs?

If you know me ... I do not like change!
I'm not good with it..

But like it or not.. on July 1st my relationship with Google Reader is over!

So I have been quietly listening and checking out which new blog reader I wanted to go with .. I have tried a few and I have chosen to go with Bloglovin'

Why?
Well...let me tell ya!
 
1. It is super easy to get started. The whole sign up process took me like less than five minutes!
 
2. It is super easy to follow blogs. Just type in the address or copy it into the search bar and BAM! it just pops up and you click "Follow"
 
3. You can upload all your blogs from Google Reader.. to Bloglovin' ... oh aren't they great!?
 
4. I can organize my blogs by category. This is HUGE for me because I love lists and organization!! So I have my blogs now organized by category..so if I am in a crafty mood..I can go and just read all my crafty blogs! Love it!
 
5. It is mobile. I love that I can look at Bloglovin' on my laptop or desktop....but I really love that they have a FREE app so I can blog read on the go!

There you have it! Why I chose Bloglovin' ..

Are you secretly throwing a fit that Google Reader is shutting down?
Which blog reader are you going with to keep up with your blog reading?

If you choose bloglovin' .. you can follow me here
http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3324767


6.26.2013

Find Your Voice



So lately I have had a problem with ...
blogging!

Ha..Imagine that.

I have stories.. but I just don't know how to get them down.. I find myself just wanting to post pictures and being done with it.

They say pictures are worth a thousand words but really they aren't .. they are worth about 700 words...the other 300 should be the story behind the picture..and that is what I need to work on.

Lo and behold here jumps in Kristen to my life!

She is doing an 8 week class this summer on Finding your Voice!
Oh yea.. and it's FREE!



Here is a little info from her about this class:

This workshop is about finding your storytelling voice. You are an awesome person with amazing stories, so this summer we’re going to work together to find the most genuine and authentic way for you to tell those stories. 
This workshop is for everyone! You definitely don’t need to be a scrapbooker or paper-crafter to play along. We’ll be telling stories through pictures, photographs, social media, prose, and more. The only thing you need is a willingness to become the author of your own story and the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. 


How great does that sound?
I think I can
I think I can!
I think I can!!

We have a Facebook going on that has had some great ideas and discussions..
you go join here

Join the Find Your Voice Facebook Group Here: facebook.com/groups/FindYourVoiceWorkshop/

Lesson One is available to download here: http://rukristin.com/findyourvoice/lessonone

I'm excited to get started and practice actual storytelling.. I think it will make my blogging better and my scrapbooks better..

So be expecting to see some Lessons from Find your Voice here on the blog and of course feel free to follow along or even join in with me!!



6.19.2013

Review Spring Bucket List



I love bucket lists for this reason..

you can go back and see what all you had accomplished.

I am such a list maker and planner ...it is almost horrible!

If you remember this post.. it is where I made a Spring Bucket list to do with Lyla this spring..

Today I am going to make myself accountable and just see how many things we have gotten accomplished ...because Summer is right around the corner!



  1. Go on a nature walk .. ... need to write up a blog post on all things she asked about!
  2. Plant flowers  Lyla just bought me a rose plan with my mom yesterday and we planted it
  3. Blow bubbles
  4. Fly a kite
  5. Paint sidewalk with water
  6. Catch bugs
  7. Play in the rain
  8. Have a picnic
  9. Feed ducks
  10. Go for a bike ride..just got the bike from Nanny's house to our house.. it is planned!
  11. Go to the park
  12. Sidewalk chalk art
  13. Go on a hike
  14. Plant a garden.. well that plan got cancelled since we have a Great Dane in the back yard..but I do plan on planting maybe a few strawberries in my flower bed..that will count!
  15. Make a mud pie
  16. Go geocaching  not as fun as I thought it would be.. more frustrating for me.
  17. Go to a zoo
  18. Make a bird feeder
  19. Go puddle jumping
  20. Make a wind chime
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Catch lightning bugs...there hasn't been any out yet ...crazy
  23. Make your own rainbow
  24. Take care of the earth and pick up litter
  25. Bird watch
Not to shabby!
and we still have a couple weeks to go I think..We will squeeze it all in.
Then to make a Summer Bucket List!


6.17.2013

Decision Made!



I have decided to homeschool Lyla this year..and I am super excited about it!
Now it isn't "legal" but we are doing it!

Lyla isn't "legally" supposed to start public school until Aug of 2014 ...which means she has a whole year of waiting...and me being the preschool teacher I am can NOT let my child just sit for a year without doing some kind of learning...not to mention she LIKES learning.

I am telling you...
I am so blessed with her!!

She loves...even asks.. if we can sit down and do schoolwork.
She loves to try to read..and starting to get good at it.

She knows
  • all her letters and sounds.
  • 11 color sight words and can rattle them off within seconds of seeing the word
  •  a lot of the regular sight words
  • how to count out syllables of a word
  • how to count to 100 with slight help on the 10's
  • count to 10 in Spanish
  • simple addition
  • recognizes numbers 0-20
  • all her shapes and colors of course
  • top of the hour time telling like 9:00, 2:00, etc
  • among other things....
I am so proud of her! She picks up things very quickly!
Jesus does love me.. he gave me such a blessing when he gave me Lyla.

oh yea.. and Gregg too!
She is interested in the human body and right now she is loving the series North America that has been coming on TV.

I, of course, have been researching homeschooling like a mad woman...
I am convinced it is the absolute better option for Lyla ..

I do think she would thrive in public school and do well..but I think we could enhance her learning by touching more on whatever subject she is interested about at the time in homeschool...while in public school..understandably, the teacher has to follow a curriculum plan.. so she can't spend four weeks on the habits of migration of birds because the kids are interested about it.. she has to move on and stay on course.

Please don't send me hate mail.. I am in no way blaming the teachers. A lot of my friends are teachers and I am in the process of getting my teaching degree...it is just part of the job that they have to do. I'm sure many teachers would love to go off on a tail spin about what their students are interested in ...but you have to do what you have to do.

Moving on:
My husband on the other hand isn't "as quite on board" as I am with the subject of homeschooling. He thinks she will miss out on childhood friends and memories by not having a prom or big graduation.

Sorry homeschool friends.. yes.. my husband is "one of those" who worry about socialization.
and Yes.. I have told him about the homeschool groups..but once this man gets his mind set on something..it is hard to change it....but I'm working on it.

So for this "free" year we have before Lyla starts Kindergarten legally .. I have decided to "act" as though we are officially homeschooling.

Step 1: pick a style of teaching
we will be doing more of a traditional style (where the student learns at a desk from a book or work book and the environment is more teacher directed) ...it is comfortable for me  since I have taught PreK that way..and comfortable for her because she knows when she is at the desk is "school time" not play time...

I know that this style isn't what everyone else would have picked and that is A-OK .. every family is different but I think this style will work with us the best. I do plan on doing a post listing other styles of homeschooling in case any of my readers might want to know a quick overview.

Step 2: pick a curriculum
Yay! This so far has been my FAV part! There so many good ones! It was very overwhelming at first .. but eventually I started making my way down the curriculum way of life. I have just about got a whole K5 Abeka curriculum pieced together for her.. learning games, visuals and all. I think we will breeze by the first few weeks pretty quickly so if we need to start Grade 1 before our school year is over then that would just be great!
I have also found a GREAT Christian curriculum online that is completely free called Easy Peasy. We have already started that and are on Getting Ready 1 Day 173. That is about where the reader starts and so far she is loving it!! Not to mention there is wonderful support facebook groups for those using this curriculum with great ideas on how to use it!

I love the homeschool community. It seems so far to be so loving and so helpful. I have not met anyone who has been ugly or rude to me no matter how many questions I ask ...nor how many times they have probably answered that same question from someone else asking.

There are also great blogs with curriculum resources that I will probably supplement if needed for an extra worksheet here or there until I get going good with Abeka.

I am also joining a homeschool group in my area to give Lyla socialization and even more friends to play with than she already has. We plan on starting piano lessons in August also.

I am praying that this year will show my husband and maybe even a few friends/family that homeschool isn't what the stigma says it is. Homeschooling is no longer "the weird kid"...but if being the weird kid makes you the smart kid who can easily be accepted into a great college...then so be it... Prom isn't more important than your whole education in my book...not in the world we live in today.

Homeschooling is getting tremendously more popular as the years, even days, go on. I have family/friends who go to public school sending me articles on homeschooling and how great it is now. I love it. Maybe I can pull a few facts from here and there and make a post about it one day. I was actually shocked at how many just in my community homeschool. You might be shocked too at how many weird homeschoolers you have in your community.

So ...
the decision is made!

we are in "acting" homeschool this upcoming year..
we will be using Abeka K5, Easy Peasy, and maybe a few blogs
and we are going to ROCK HOMESCHOOL! and show Dad what's up!!!!!

Hope you have Blessings Unlimited!





6.14.2013

Letter to my 21 year old self



Dearest Nikki,

Honey, Baby, Sugar...
First of all and the most important thing I want to tell you is that the guy your with is not for you. It isn't going to work out. No matter how much cry, beg, or plead...It isn't going to happen. God doesn't want him for you...so just break it off now and let it go. It is hard..It will hurt..I know you spent seven years with him. You have a lot of memories with him...but guess what? There is good news...because someone even better will walk right up to you and blow you away! This new guy...His name is Gregg..He is great. He is the one. Spend your time with him..He is going to invest his future in you. He asks you where you want to eat.. and what movie you want to see. He is literally great! Don't waste anymore of your time trying to make something work with the other dude. This new guy will give you love, praise, affection...not to mention a wonderful house and a beautiful baby girl! Heck ...later on in your marriage ..he buys you a new car..for putting up with him! Seriously! Go now! Don't look back!

Remember that all the hurtful words you have been told ..is not true.. You are not fat! No where near it! Dont' let it hurt you. You are good enough.. there is someone waiting to be in a great relationship with you...

Finish college.. it is going to be hard going back after marriage and a baby. Go ahead and get it done now.

Start slowing down on the Dr Pepper ..you will find yourself crazy addicted to it later...and with the stresses of life you start to depend on it more.. no lie.. so just start making yourself like water.

Keep taking care of your little brother.. make sure his life is great. I know it's hard.. and you miss out on a lot for doing it.. but in the end.. it is worth it.. He will be thankful and appreciative. And when you get those Happy Mother's Day's from him..you will see why you put in the hard work to raise your brother..why you missed so many football games and date nights...to potty train and sing lullabies. It is worth it. Cherish it. Note: You will lose feeling in the bottom of your hair line because baby brother likes to twist your hair to fall asleep. but it is ok.. you don't really need feeling there.. LOL...

Keep taking care of your dad. He is grown..but he needs you. He has been through a lot in his life. His main purpose in life is taking care of you and your brother so he has to work...a lot...he is now a single dad.. give him some slack and be patient with him. He is learning too.

Don't let your mom and dad's divorce get you down. You have learned a lot from it. You now know how to take care of a child when you are ready to have your own..and believe it helps a lot. You aren't as touchy and scared to take that new precious life home. You are excited..because you know what your doing! You have learned to take care of a bank account and pay bills...which comes in handy a lot now. You have learned that all people make mistakes and life isn't as grand as it was when we were 11. Dust yourself off...pull yourself up...and keep going.

Your cousin Brittany is a lifesaver. She is there for you no matter what...or when. She listens to you for hours.. gives advice when you need it..and rescues you if she has to. Don't take that for granted...and do the same for her.

Sometimes you will be discouraged because you never got to live out your glory days...but that's ok.. you didn't need them...you turn out just fine.

Jesus never left you..He is still there.. and this new amazing guy...will lead you straight back to him. Follow.

This year will be the end of your hard years.. after this it gets better.. I promise... it has been rough...but you have pulled through.. and you will come out on the other side shining... you have overcome and you will win this game of life and I am so proud of you!
Don't lose touch with family...it is all you have in life.
Now go put a smile on your face and get ready to tackle the world!

and be prepared...in a couple years..you are going to be planning a wedding.. then shortly after you will be a momma..
see..told you the bad days were over..
from here on out ..life is GREAT!

Your 28 year old self:



6.13.2013

Summer time or Stress time!



I have been seriously slacking on my blog lately..so sorry...

Gotta live life first right? Otherwise we would have nothing to blog about!

I am over at Joy in the Morning today though talking about a few things you can do this summer to make it fun and not stressful..
Go check them out HERE!

I hope you all are having a great start to summer!!

5.29.2013

How do you handle motherhood?



Motherhood...

This mothering job is 24/7.

There are no Spring breaks, Christmas breaks, Summer breaks..not even a Snow Day!
We are full time hours with no overtime pay.

Head on over to Joy Comes in the Morning to see how you can handle this job that God has given us....







5.13.2013

Hearts do Heal



Meeting my husband was by the hand of God.
I felt like he was my fairy tale landing smack dab in the middle of my regular life.

You see I had dated my high school sweetheart for seven years.
We were used to each other.
We were comfortable with each other.
We knew everything about each other.
Thing is....He knew a lot about other girls as well...

After I grew up and realized how dumb and in love I was ...or thought I was.... my whole life changed!

My friend introduced me to my husband. I had no intentions..and I told him many times..of dating anyone..
getting to know anyone..
being fake for anyone...
I had just gotten out of a seven year relationship and I felt like someone had ripped my heart out of chest and stomped on it.

My heart was broken..and it hurt.
It physically hurt.

But..my husband said he knew we were meant to be (yes he told me that ..very early in meeting each other...and why that didn't scare the you know what out of me and make me run for the hills I have no idea) and he said he was going to stick around until the brick wall around my heart fell.

He put up with so much from me. He deserved so much more.
I was broken.
He waited.

One morning I woke up and was excited to get up and get dressed to meet my husband for lunch ( yes I slept in back in those days)
Then I realized I was excited ....genuinely excited....and I had been excited to see him for the past few weeks.

Was this really happening? Was I getting over, maybe even healing from a long serious seven year relationship? Was that possible?

I questioned everything.
My feelings
My thoughts
Even Gregg...

I stopped talking to him...stopped calling him...

He kept calling.
He kept chipping away at those bricks until eventually....they fell....
every single one of them
until there was no wall anymore

So girls.. women...sisters...
There is healing
Hearts do heal.

It takes time
It takes someone that is willing to go the extra mile for you

Now I thank God everyday for that physically hurting heart..
I thank God for that wall..

Because it gave me Gregg.
It showed me who Gregg was..
It showed me that he knew what a commitment was
It showed me that I was loved..and my heart with him...would be taken care of.

Hearts do heal.

Spring time Bucket List



Spring is here...
Time to get outside and enjoy God's world!

I love taking Lyla for walks...and just roaming around to see what we can see.
I took her on a walk recently and took my iPad along with me just so I could record what all she asked about. I urge you to do that one day. Just focus on your child and the questions they ask...you would be amazed at all the little questions you might miss by not paying close attention. I plan on writing up a post on what all our walk entailed...so stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile..Here are a few ideas that are cost friendly that you can plan to do this spring to enjoy God's world:

  1. Go on a nature walk
  2. Plant flowers
  3. Blow bubbles
  4. Fly a kite
  5. Paint sidewalk with water
  6. Catch bugs
  7. Play in the rain
  8. Have a picnic
  9. Feed ducks
  10. Go for a bike ride
  11. Go to the park
  12. Sidewalk chalk art
  13. Go on a hike
  14. Plant a garden
  15. Make a mud pie
  16. Go geocaching
  17. Go to a zoo
  18. Make a bird feeder
  19. Go puddle jumping
  20. Make a wind chime
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Catch lightning bugs
  23. Make your own rainbow
  24. Take care of the earth and pick up litter
  25. Bird watch
Have fun! Let me know how it goes!!





5.10.2013

You aren't Southern until....



My whole life I considered myself a country girl..
Heck people have called me "Country Girl" as a nickname

I like jeans and tshirt or hoodies when it's cold
I am not much into high heels or bling

But little did I know that I was lying to myself

You aren't Southern until...............................
 you have fried bologna....says my husband.

Sunday during church all he could focus on was fried bologna. It was almost annoying. I have no idea what the sermon was about or what songs we even sang...but I do know that my husband was craving fried bologna.

So we had to make a special trip to the grocery store to get bologna...while I was there I picked myself and baby girl up an actual lunch..

came home to fry this bologna...this was a first for me so he had to stand by me to tell me how he liked it...

My first piece he tried and said, "This is good, Nikki"
Wow...it must have been good...or he must have been craving it for a long time because he never calls me by my name.

Gregg asked Lyla if she wanted to try it...He just called it "meat" because if he had called it fried bologna there is absolutely no way she would have ate it. I thought with ever fiber of my being that there was no way she was going to like it...and to my surprise she responded with, "That's delicious!"

What?!

I still didn't try it.
I ate my Ceasar salad..
and it was good enough!

So there it is...
I am now officially Southern.

I can FRY bologna!







5.08.2013

Why would you homeschool?



Hello all..

My post yesterday was letting you all know that I have been thinking of homeschooling my daughter.

My most frequently asked question is "Are you "actually" am thinking of homeschooling?"

When I respond with a yes..I actually am...

The next question asked is,"Why would you do that?"

Well..let me tell ya!

This is ONE article of homeschool information and the most recent I have read...

It is written by Spencer Irvine at Accuracy in Academia.

According to researchers, disgust, dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the U.S. public school system is on the rise, so much so that the number of homeschoolers is on the rise.
“Since 1999, the number of children who are being homeschooled has increased by 75%,” Julia Lawrence reports in Education News. “Although currently only 4% of all school children nationwide are educated at home, the number of primary school kids whose parents choose to forgo traditional education is growing seven times faster than the number of kids enrolling in K-12 every year.”

It doesn't look like homeschooling is falling off the charts at all..it is actually growing and becoming more popular at a very fast rate! 

How about the real stuff...education...test scores???

“Data shows that those who are independently educated typically score between 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average on the 50th percentile,” Lawrence relates

Not to mention that most students who are homeschool have higher ACT scores than those in public schools..which we all know is a major factor of getting into a college of choice...and they have a higher GPA once they get into college.

Here is just a little fun fact:
Homeschoolers that are schooled by their parents cost around $500-$600 per year.(and that is up to you on how much you spend on a certain curriculum) In public schools, the cost per student averages $10,000 per year.

Wow.. really?
Now that is what you call a major difference!

And let's just mention for good measure the recent shootings scare the life out of me!
Hoax or not
put on by the government or not
It scares me

Along with the daily lockdowns of local schools because of bomb threats...talk of someone on campus with a gun..etc.
Local schools..Little community schools..
It is getting crazy..so crazy that I don't feel safe with my child going.

I've been told they are just pranks..kids trying to get out of school..which is fine..Thank God they are just pranks..but while they are playing pranks..kids are being locked up in a safe room for hours...
How is that for socialization? Being elbow to elbow for hours on end worrying if there is actually a bomb somewhere. What happens if your child's lunch hour twenty minutes is at that particular prank time? They just have to wait? Do they serve lunch in a safe room? What if your child has to go to the bathroom? What if your child has a nervous stomach and has to go to the bathroom again? Do you think they will be "allowed"?

Oh..it makes me cringe just thinking about it.

So...Why would I homeschool?

God entrusted this Baby Girl in my care...he placed her in my womb and gave me the job to care and protect her. I want her to be happy, comfortable, fed, independent, secure, and safe!

I know our decision hasn't been made and there is still a chance that Baby Girl might go to public school..but right now..my thoughts are leaning to Strongly Disagree!













5.06.2013

May Goals




I was browsing around a new blog I found called Cornerstone Confessions and I came across a post of goals!

Yay! Who doesn't love and need a good goal list?

A goal without a deadline is just a dream so she does her goal lists monthly!

So ..yep..you know it's coming...

Here's Mine!

May Goals

FAMILY

as a wife-
plan a date night
write a note to my husband

as a mom-
read the second book of Oz: "The Marvelous Land of Oz"
decide on homeschool curriculum
start morning devotional time
continue nightly prayer time

as a daughter/sister-
schedule family pictures

PERSONAL

Health-
start menu planning
1 more bottle of water a day
join gym

Mom Time-
Read Praying Proverbs 31
Read Living a Virtuous Life
Read 100 pound loser
Read days to clean

Home-
declutter and organize Lyla's room
declutter and organize master bedroom
replace air filters
replace light bulbs

Extra:
Invite a family over for dinner


I am sure I will add or take away as time passes...but I do plan on revisiting my goal plan to see what all I have accomplished!

Do you make goals..
Put your blog link in the comments so I can check them out!










5.03.2013

Are you actually thinking of homeschooling?


Source: www.exploringhomeschooling.com
 

If you are a friend of mine on facebook or have "liked" my blog facebook page you have probably seen homeschool posts like crazy.
They are random and probably repetitive.

My friends and family are asking if I am "actually" thinking of homeschooling my daughter.

"Actually" I am

I haven't made a final decision as for our long term plan but we are blessed that Lyla was born four days after the public school official cut off date for Kindergarten so we kind of get a free year to try out homeschooling to see how it goes and if we like it.

My husband isn't as on board as I am with homeschooling. He thinks she is going to miss out on a lot that public school offers such as sports, extracurricular activities, prom, graduation, etc. He thinks she won't have those real close friends from high school.

So as we have our "free" year I am excited to see what he thinks after that year is over...then we will make our decision whether or not to continue or not.

I have been actively researching homeschool curriculums and Oh My Goodness! could that be any more overwhelming??

The homeschool community you find when you start researching is so nice and kind. They are quick to help and answer any questions you may have ...no matter how many times you ask the same question.

Because they have all been there before.

Let me be clear what is overwhelming about choosing a curriculum.
They are all great!
It is hard to choose just one.

You have so many options when you are choosing a homeschooling curriculum.
  • Completely laid out for you with lesson plans
  • Do it yourself
  • Free
  • Expensive
  • four days a week
  • five days a week
  • parent taught
  •  or satellite taught by a licensed teacher

You really have free reign to go whichever direction you choose with your child.

I have been in research mode like crazy.. so I could talk to you about statistics, curriculums, answers to the famous "socialization" question...I'm soaking in all the homeschool information I can. I have already met some really great women and I haven't even started yet!

I am also researching the new Common Core Standard Curriuculum that all the public schools are switching to now... I have not really found a solid piece of information on that saying exactly what it is. I know it has kind of like "benchmarks" for each learning area..but I am not understanding what the difference is from what teachers and schools are doing now.

So to answer your question again..
Yes..I am actually thinking of homeschooler baby girl!

Expect more homeschool posts...homeschool status updates, questions, and random conversations about the latest news I have learned about homeschool.

Friends and family ...BEWARE ... I might just break out into a homeschool conversation... please forgive me and just let me talk it out...


What do you think of homeschooling?
Would you "actually" think of homeschooling your children?

5.02.2013

My Joy Story!

EXTRA
EXTRA

There is a new blog in town!
and I am writing a monthly post for it!
WooHoo!

I am so excited to be joining Angela and writing for her new encouraging blog called Joy Comes in the Morning
Could there be a better name? How great is that? Come what may...but Joy will always be there in the morning!

This new blog is dedicated to finding the places of joy in your life..there is a great team of writers writing about all types of topics. Right now we are sharing Joy Stories and linking up for Rubie Tuesdays. Come check it out!

Joy Comes in the Morning

Today is my turn to share my Joy Story...


 My Joy Story

That should be easy!
Should I write about my husband, my daughter, my dogs! Maybe our church or my wonderful job that allows me to stay home. My new car. My new iPad. I have so many joys; how do I pick just one?

Head on over to Joy Comes in the Morning to see what my personal joy is in my life.  
 



4.30.2013

The Narrow Road of my marriage



Meeting my husband was by the hand of God.
I felt like he was my fairy tale landing smack dab in the middle of my regular life.

Our relationship was like an excerpt right out of a romance novel:
we met
we dated
he made a huge deal out of every holiday and even regular moments
got flowers for no reason
love notes
he proposed..i said yes

we planned
we moved in "our apartment"
we said I DO
we decorated our "home"

He had a dream one night we were having a baby
I called him later that day while he was hunting to tell him he was right!

We decorated a nursery
had a baby girl
bought a house with a backyard
and became a family

It was great! I couldn't have asked for more...It was perfect for me, but it wasn't perfect all the time.
We had our moments when we both probably thought, "What have we gotten ourselves into?"

Marriage isn't easy..everyone told me it wouldn't be..but I couldn't imagine it being any less than perfect with my fairy tale man! Once we realized that just because we were in love didn't mean that the world became a perfect place we had to take on a new look into our marriage. We knew there would be ups and downs...but we needed a guideline..a. more narrow road... to keep us on the same page with each other.



So here is our narrow road of our  marriage:



I love you at the end of a phone call is a must - We never know how much time we have left on this Earth so the last thing we say to each other when we leave each other's presence is "I Love You" ...not "love ya" ... "I Love You" ...that isn't something we take lightly...it isnt' slang or just a phrase...it is letting you know that you are loved.
Lately my daughter has been seriously into Rapunzel and there is a part on the movie that she has brought into our home.
Rapunzels mother (Mother Gothel) tells she loves her
Rapunzel says, "I Love You, more"
Mother Gothel replies, "I Love You, most"
Yes, may be a little cheesy...but it's grown on us.

a kiss when you enter and leave the house is a must - same as above..when you leave there is an "I Love You" and a kiss...when you come home there is a welcome kiss...sometimes even if you just run out to get milk.

we do not say divorce...it is not an option. I'm not going to lie..at the beginning of our marriage we did mention divorce. We both were dumbfounded at trying to live happily with one another. We both also quickly realized that divorce was not an option for us. Nothing against anyone who has been or going through a divorce...personally it will not be an option for us.

We respect each other...this is a big one. There is a general definition of respect that we give to each other but we both have certain things that make us feel respected. His different than mine and we are both conscious of what each other needs. The general definition is to honor your spouse...don't talk negatively about your spouse, don't air your marital problem for others to be able to cast judgement, have courtesy towards your spouse. Sometimes it is easy to be more courteous to strangers than our own spouse. He personally feels respected when the house is clean and dinner is made..so I do that. What works in our family may not work in yours and that's OK.  I can already feel my email blowing up saying "You are not a slave to him!" I agree..I am not a slave..I enjoy cleaning house and makign my family dinner to show them I love them. Figure out what your spouse needs to feel respected and do that...for them....to show love.

We have nights to remember...OK OK...I'm not talking about those nights. Some nights my husband and I will just start talking about memories before we go to sleep. I love these night. They are very precious to me. It reminds us both how and why we fell in love with each other

We always refer to each other according to any parenting decision This was hard at first..but it has really made a difference in parenting our daughter. There is no manipulation on her part. She knows that mom and dad are a united front....now don't get me wrong...there are definitely times where I say no cookies before supper then as I look around the corner I see them piled up in the recliner sneaking a cookie.

we sleep in the same bed...every night...cold feet and all.. There is no sleeping on the couch because we are mad at each other. There is no being pushed out of bed by a child...Sometimes Lyla will climb into bed with us in the middle of the night but she will go back to her bed before one of us leaves our bed. That is our bed..she has her bed. We sleep in our bed....together.

Like I said above ...what works in my marriage might be totally opposite of what works in your marriage and that is OK, but I encourage you to sit down with your husband and make a narrow road that you will not stray from. Just list a couple things...and make sure those things are non negotiable.

My husband and I didn't have a formal sit down meeting to write these things out..these are our everyday actions that we both know are important to each other.

Do you have a narrow road in your marriage? What is on your short list?


4.26.2013

BMT Graduation Coin Ceremony!!



This is the day that Baby girl and I have been waiting on since the start of this new year!!
We have prayed this day would come fast...and it is finally here.

Hotel is booked.
Car is ready.
Bags are packed.

We are off! Yay!

I don't know who is more excited ..me to see my husband...Lyla to see her daddy...or my dad to see his son in law!

My dad was so so proud of Gregg. It warms my heart that my family loves Gregg so much and that Gregg returns that love just as much!



Here is our calendar. The day Gregg left we started marking off our days until we seen him again. I put a smiley face on the day we left to go see him and every day Lyla would put an "X" on that day. We would count how many days we had left..and jump and giggle....We really jumped and giggled when we got down to single digit numbers!!

woo hoo! Here we go! Blanket..Hello Kitty..Coloring book...Snacks! We are ready! A wonderful friend let me borrow her DVD player that straps to the back of your headrest...which was a LIFESAVER! The morning we left I plugged in the DVD player and it blew the fuse..so I had to run around town to buy a fuse..then take it to the shop to get it put in..the super nice guy didn't charge me anything...I was just so ready to get on the road to my husband!

So thankful Uncle Colton decided to ride with us..he was such a great help with me for Lyla. Anytime she needed a drink ..or a snack..or help..he was right there and I could focus on driving. We had a ten hour trip ahead of us to get to Lackland AFB  in San Antonio, TX from Arkansas. I told him that Lyla was napping and that he needed to nap..and I would be OK. So he got a little shut eye..before he hit Dallas..He wanted to wake up and see the big buildings in Dallas.

This is us! Here! At Lackland AFB! OMG! I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I can NOT wait to see my husband! I wasn't sad..I had no tears..I just wanted to see him! Here we were at his coin ceremony..which was tremendous! My dad and his friend stayed off base so they were trying to find where I was and I had no idea so I couldn't tell them anything. I was really worried dad was going to miss it.
Colton stayed the night with me and Lyla on base to make sure we were ok.. So sweet I tell ya.. I couldn't ask for a better brother! After the coin ceremony was the first time they released the trainees to their families. I raced down there to find him and it didn't take me long at all to spot him eventhough they seriously all looked the same! Thank God Colton was there to keep me, Lyla, and stroller altogether because I was in a bee line to get my husband! I just grabbed his arm and spun him around and hugged him.
Best hug of my life.
Then I looked up and seen Dad!! Yay! He made it! He said he had to park and walk a mile and a half..but he made it..and he even had tears in his eyes he was so proud! I was so happy to see Gregg I didn't even think to take pictures..I was worried about making him as comfortable as possible as soon as possible. I had him some comfy clothes at the hotel room..I had pizza on order.. and could not wait to get to the hotel room and just be normal!!
Lyla wasn't to sure about Daddy at first after the coin ceremony because he had no hair and his hat was on..but once we got to the hotel room..and realized it was her Daddy and nothing had changed..she quickly had a ton of games for us to play! We jumped on the bed..played...tickled.. laughed...so happy to be a normal family again!
 
 

The only bad thing is that we had to take him back to his dorm at night. So this is us taking him back..I remembered to get a picture then. Even though it is dark I love love love this picture.

I love Lyla in this picture..and doesn't my husband look so handsome in uniform!?

In the mini mall we found Mrs M&M and Lyla wanted her picture with her.
Gotta keep our priorities straight!!


Besides marrying my husband, having my daughter and finding Jesus...this day ranks at the top of my list!
Thank you Jesus for making our days go by fast!
 Thank you Jesus for the WingMom group and all the lovely ladies that I had a pleasure of meeting. Thank you Jesus for keeping me and Lyla safe and sound while my husband went to achieve a dream. I am so blessed.
 Blessed beyond measure.





4.24.2013

March iPhone pictures



Do you have a DSLR camera sitting in your closet collecting dust?
I do.

It makes me a little sad but my iPhone camera is so convienent and takes pretty good pictures.
I am always snapping pictures..and I love pictures of every day life. Nothing really posed even though now my daughter has a sixth sense of when I am about to take a picture and she strikes a pose impromptu! Love it!

I haven't posted about Project Life..but it is a great new way to scrapbook all those pictures stuck in your computer. There is really no rhyme or reason to it..just take your pictures..put them in page protectors with pockets that are the exact size of your pictures...write a few notes on a card and slide that in a pocket too ..and BAM! You have a scrapbook!

I love it! I plan to get all my pictures off my computer and off CD's and into a scrapbook that can be looked at.

Anyway. Here is what they call an iPhone Dump...


Here in Arkansas we can have sunshine one day and snow the next..that is what happened on this day! It snowed but the sun was coming out so we wanted to get out there and enjoy it fast. I told Lyla to go throw on some warm clothes and her rain boots...and Wah-Lah! This is what I got..and we made it work! Love this girl!

Love the nights that Uncle Colton sleeps over. Gregg was gone to Basic Training so Colton would like to sleep over sometimes just to help me out and make sure everything was ok. What a great little brother! While Gregg was gone Lyla would sleep with me in my bed..so Uncle Colton opted to sleep in the Rapunzel Princess bed instead of the couch. Priceless Memories!

Here was another crazy day.. sunny..then hail hit. It hailed so much in such a little period of time that it looked like snow...but all that is ice.

Baby girl had a bad earache one night..poor thing. There was nothing I could really do..so we put some ear drops in and laid on a warm washcloth. I sure don't like it when my baby is hurting..I stayed up all night that night. Motherhood is a hard sometimes..but such a blessing.
 
 
I have to get back in my groove of uploading my pictures weekly to keep up with my Project Life. My husband just bought me a new laptop that is ALL MINE ..so I am very excited to start anew!!! 


4.22.2013

The duties of an apron



Hello Monday!
First of all if you are reading this I want to say I am so glad you are here. I have really enjoyed blogging...and it is so nice to know that sometimes that I am not talking to myself.

I blog to record memories.
I blog to record pictures.
I blog to remember old times.

Six weeks ago I started a Bible Study with a wonderful group of women to dive deep into Proverbs 31 and really get to know this perfect woman. (Bible Study materials from Courtney at Women Living Well and Good Morning Girls) I knew this could be very depressing or very enjoying. I will admit..there are times where I can feel God thumping me on the head ..and other times where I think "Hey! I already do that!"

I have loved the study...I love the conversation and ideas we have together in our group..It is such a blessing to me!

A couple weeks ago we studied Proverbs 31:17
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. (KJV)

I read and study in many different versions of the Bible...just to get a good feeling of what the verse is saying.

Here is a bit of my study that I posted in my group:

I kind of had a different view of the girdeth her loins.. so bare with me..
When you look up loins..you get Hips..
When I looked up girdeth I got..put a belt on, bind..gird to me sounds like guard...
so out of all this I got .... PUT an APRON on! LOL!
I know I know...probably makes no sense to you..but for me.. my grandma always wore an apron...I remember as a little girl when I wanted to help cook, clean or garden..i put my apron on.. I have a gardening apron that I do wear now..but guess what? I am buying one to cook and clean in! :)


What can I say..I go where the Lord leads me. Whatever that may be! LOL.

It reminded me of a post I did two years ago about the history of an apron. Bare with me I am on an apron kick..

Here is that post two years ago:



The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

It had strings perfect for little hands to tug on to get attention

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.


Aprons were useful
they were a tool
they were a duster
they were a tear wiper
they were a blanket
they were memories

I have been called a 28 year old grandma so if that is what you are thinking ..You will not offend me. I take pride in that. I dream of vintage days..where people sat on the porch with tea and gossiped chatted about the other people in town. LOL.

Have a great week!
I am going shopping for an apron!






4.16.2013

My humble opinion on Boston and our world



Today is a wonderful day here in small town Arkansas. The weather is beautiful, the birds are singing and you can smell the grass of freshly mowed lawns.

Needless to say "baby girl" and I have spent most of our day outside soaking in all this wonderful day has to offer. When we come inside for a drink or a rest .. I hop on Facebook or Bloglovin to see what is happening in the internet world. Every feed, every post, and picture is praying for Boston. I pray for Boston.





As I enjoy the wonderful day with my daughter I almost start to feel guilty because there are many people that aren't enjoying today. I feel scared and pure fear about what this world is going to be like when my daughter gets older. I fear sending her to school without me... or an assault rifle.. I fear about someone breaking in the house...I fear...
And everytime something like this happens..I feel like it justifies my fear.

This morning in my bible study we researched Psalms 118:24

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

It seems almost laughable.
Just like the day of Sandy Hook or 9/11 ..how can you rejoice in a day like this?
 


I have come to think, in my humble opinion that this Planet Earth has quickly become Job.
Not Job..not an 8-5 daily office work
But Job as in the perfect man that God allowed Satan to "try" to break and tear down.

"Skin for Skin!" Says Satan in Job 2:4-5 (NIV) "A man will give all he has for his own flesh. But now stretch out your own hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face." 

In Job 2:6 God tells Satan (NIV) "Very well, then he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."

God let Satan have free reign on Job...to do what he wanted as long as he didn't take his life.

Lately it seem like our Earth has become Job. It seems like God has let Satan have free reign on us....on our flesh and bones. When children are hurt..we all hurt.. we all become mothers and fathers in that moment of time...and we mourn..we cry out and ask "WHY?"

 

But....
If you keep reading in Job 11:13-20 (MSG) it says:
Still if you set your heart on God
and reach out to him
If you scrub your hands of sin
and refuse to entertain evil in your home
You'll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless
You'll forget your troubles
Your world will be washed in sunshine

We have always had tragedy...We will have more.. We will have shootings, bombings, drugs, human trafficking...That will always be apart of this world..because there is an ever going battle between good and evil. I choose not to tell "baby girl" about it.. and I do not let her watch it on TV. I am an avid watcher of Dr Phil and I agree when he says that we shouldn't bring children into adult situations. I believe Boston is an adult situation and I choose to protect my child's innocence for as long as I can.

So while I am struggling over the loss of a community, loss of children, loss of humanity...how do I rejoice in this day that the Lord has made?



I can rejoice that there are helpers like Mr Rogers Mom tells us to look for...
I can rejoice that evil will not overcome
I can rejoice that every time something like this happens..the world seems to look toward Jesus for help.
I Rejoice that Jesus will be there to comfort, heal and give peace to those that need it.

I rejoice in my family
I rejoice in the sunshine!

 
 
Rejoice in this day and be glad in it!

4.08.2013

Blog Readers: BlogLovin



I have been so distraught over and demise of Google Reader!!

It was so easy and available to me..I had gotten used to it..We were literally on a first name basis!

But ... that is how my life goes...once I get good and used to something...It slips away! Ugh!

So I have been forced to find a new love:

BlogLovin

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3324767/?claim=8ybgh2jf9kd">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I am still getting used to it..but so far so good.
I like that you can "follow" blogs...very easy!

Have you switched over to BlogLovin for your blog reading....or have you found something else?
And if you are on BlogLovin...Please..leave me tips on how you are using it...My OCD would love to categorize my blogs by niche.

4.03.2013

Time for Tea




a cheesy text between me and my husband that I will cherish forever


Wow.. where has the time gone!?

I guess I took a non scheduled Bloggy Break. Time to sit down with a cup of tea and catch up!

Life has been so busy lately ..and we are always on our toes wondering when the day is that my husband will leave again for the Air Force. So we have been making every moment count while we have it in front of us! Baby girl is always wondering if dad walks out the door if he is going to come back which has made it hard for either one of us to leave her sight....even for a second. So I put blogging aside for a while to tend to my family.. that is what us mothers do right? But I am super happy happy happy that my blog and you all are still there when I decide to sit down again and spill my thoughts out!

Since the last time I wrote..
*we have celebrated Easter.. at my mother in laws...good time was had by... most
*I was nominated for a blogging award..the Leibster Award..yay!
*had some great homeschooling conversations.. I am praying diligently about this topic
*started two bible studies with Good Morning Girls.. One in the book of Luke and one about the Proverbs 31 woman which I am loving!
*my computer got a virus
*convinced my husband to buy me my own laptop ( getting it this weekend)
*and started a new business with Initials Inc

and I can't wait to catch up on all that wonderful stuff!!
I shall be back!