Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our CC "go to" lists

I've been pinning like a mad woman!

Pinning with CONVICTION!

I've been pinning to organize my thoughts for Classical Conversations this year.

I am in NO WAY affiliated with Classical Conversations. In fact, I pay them to participate in their amazing program.

I'll be using my blog to organize each week for Classical Conversations, Cycle 2. In it will be videos, book lists, power points, printables, projects, etc., all from Pinterest that I intend to use on the week they are organized for. These will be called "go to" lists.

I am not responsible for any of the content and I will not be screening it for anyone but my own children. So please, feel free to use what I put together, but it is your job to screen everything to decide if that is what you would like to use in your own home.

Again, I am not affiliated with Classical Conversations, other than that my children attend their program.

Week 1 shall be posted very soon!

My CC Cycle 2 tab will have each week organized.

Hi! Hi Blog! Hi Bloggypoo! I sure miss you!

We're back...
At least I think we are...
I've said it before, but this time I mean it...
I think...

We just got through a crazy year of craziness. 
Funny thing is that understanding can come out of crazy.

Our kids attended a charter school for a good portion of this last year and it confirmed for me that I really do want to homeschool the kids for the long haul. Oy! 

Our family was split by two coasts this year for three months and it confirmed for me the importance of a two parent household...two parents being present in a household.

I began a TRX class in March and have continued with it and it confirmed for me how badly I was out of shape and needed to do something about it.
(youtube some videos to see all about TRX!)

Pete has joined TRX and it confirmed for me that I was kicking behind in TRX...hehe.

This year we will be using Classical Conversations as a means for educating the children. I'm so excited for many reasons. One of them being that the kids are going to grow in ways that I can't even imagine and I'm looking forward to watching that. Second, I am looking forward to the support given by other moms looking to do the same thing for their children. I'm having to give up my women's Bible study that I've been a part of for many years and to some extent, it really grieves me to do this. The only thing lowering that grief is the belief in God's plans for our lives. I believe that he will provide that which I need to continue homeschooling. I think I'll be on my knees a lot this year, praying for guidance, praying for patience, and probably praying for strength in the vision of what we are trying to do.

One thing that I had wrong, in years past, was not having a true vision for our family. People would say, write out what your goals are and review them periodically to remind yourself of what you are doing.

I also didn't set up personal goals for each child (both academically and personally), which could be a great tool for us to steer this boat with. So, I have set up academic and personal goals for the older two kids and I'll share the "personal goals" that I have prayed over for them. We will print them up, read them with the kids individually and have them sign it.
"WHAAAA? Have them sign it?" you might say. Yes, sign it! This will make it a little more official and we can all agree that sometimes homeschooling can be lacking in "officialness".

Salvatore (3rd Grade)

Humility- Our Savior had the most to brag about, yet He was the most humble to walk the planet. Keep in mind that there is always more to learn, that we will never know so much that there is nothing to be gained from other's wisdom or advice.
Thoughtfulness- Be purposeful in thinking of others. Let's start practicing that with you own siblings first.
Obedience- Practice being obedient to Dad and Mom even when  you feel that you have a good point to make, or when you believe we don't understand you.
Cleanliness- Continue making your bed, cleaning your room, taking out the trash and any other jobs assigned to you. Also, don't forget your clothes and towel in the bathroom after you shower.
Timeliness- SHORTEN your showers please!

Elianna (1st Grade)

Kindness- Show kindness to others in your tone of voice and the words that you choose to use. Think of others before you think of yourself.
Tidiness- Work on putting things back where they belong. If you see something out of place or unclean...handle it or fix it. Be a self starter, don't wait to be asked.
Obedience- Work on doing what is asked of you the first time it is asked of you.
Complaining- Complaining has no place in a productive life. If something is bothering you, let's talk. But complaining without action to fix is useless. Let's figure it out!

Haha, looking back on these lists, it's comical because I can see each child in them. I can see specifically why I thought of these things for each child specifically.

Joseph (preschool)

Oh, the list is long...since he is just 4. So I didn't even bother to make one. It's just business as usual with him. 

Of course there is a big list of academic goals for each child, but I won't bore you with each of them.

I'm going to be using this blog as a method of organizing our Classical Conversation weeks. It may not make much sense, but at least you could see what we are up to in our home.

Glad to see you!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Thankful!

Lately on Facebook I have been seeing people daily post what they are thankful for.
It's been neat to see what they focus on each day.
I began to think about what I would post, had I started from the first day of November.
I find myself to be stuck.
How do I begin to describe thankfulness for the things we all take for granted? Thankfulness for food, clothing, shelter, safety, love, choices, opinions, faith, religion, education, friends, family, neighbors, pets, health, and so many other things are just expected to be there.

I want our kids to begin to understand life a little more. They are so sheltered in our own situation that they don't quite see the big picture. And in some ways it's good to let the kids be naive, just let them have peace for a while, no worries. On the other hand, they need to learn to think about other people's needs and how they might be able to help out in some way. 

I've been wanting to do a service project with them for a while, so when my neighbor mentioned that the day before Thanksgiving they were going to help pass out food at the school she works at, I knew that this was something to participate in. 

 Here are my kids and my neighbor's kids, sans one, after the work was done.
Sal had onion duty. He helped with putting onions in people's bags.

We have no other photos, but Ellie, Joey and I passed out booklets to the kids.
When the booklets were gone we moved to a few other various jobs to help out.

It was an awesome experience that I felt so lucky to help out with. I also had mixed emotions because people were saying thank you, and I didn't feel that I had done anything other than pass out food, offer a smile, and say Happy Thanksgiving. Others had organized, planned, and supplied a truck load of food. We just passed it out. 
When we were leaving that morning, I had Joey (with his backside soaked because he went down a slide that was wet), crying that he didn't pass out food! I tried to help him understand that even though he didn't pass out food, we did so many other things to help.The car ride had a pungent aroma of onions thanks to Sal's hard work. And in my mind I was thinking of the next project we could help out with...maybe a beach clean up day!

The best part came when we were going home and Salvatore said, "Thanks Mom for taking us to help out today, I want to do it again."

Melt my thankful heart!
(cheesy, but true)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Some light being shed...

I've been working through the book "Lord, Help Me Grow Spiritually Strong in 28 Days"
I'm on day 18 and it's taken me 55 days so far...some of us are slow learners.

Buy it here on Amazon.

There have been many things that I've learned so far and I do believe that this book is really helping me to understand who God is and how I can relate to Him and know Him better.

But today, Day 18, 55 days into it...something really hit home for me. 
In one of my recent posts I had expressed some of the real and honest feelings that I had been having. The thoughts that were going through my mind about my decisions, my body, and my life in general.
They were not positive thoughts by any means. They were harsh and negative thoughts that would get me nowhere but down further than I was. In this book she calls that "warfare" and says that it is "the fare of every child of God." Whoa! This negativity, this depression is being used to the Devil's advantage. As long as I'm feeling this way, he can take me down farther because I'm open to hearing and believing any lie that gets fed to me. According to the author, "He (the Devil), knows your weaknesses- where you are vulnerable. He knows how and when to bring your past before you."
This is what has been happening to me. I use to have a "can do" attitude, but in recent years I have had a "can't" attitude more times than I'd like to admit to. I realize that I have allowed things to get worse and opened myself up for this warfare by not protecting my mind and heart with positive affirmations, and scriptures to lift me up. 
I've come to a place where I realize that the more I say "I can't" the easier it gets to say "I can't." I like the "I can" person that I used to be. I've bought a daily devotional that is geared towards positive affirmations, as recommended by my counselor. I've also decided that my Thursdays with my Bible study group HAS TO BE A PRIORITY! I've grown SO much because of those amazing women that I've had the joy and pleasure of knowing. I was ready to put that to the side because of my obligations to the kids and their education. I don't think that would be a wise thing to continue doing.
We need to think positive thoughts. What we say to ourselves internally will come true! And that isn't always a good thing. Sometimes our inner conversation can be so horrible, even degrading at times. It has to stop! We have to be our own cheerleaders sometimes. And negative inner talk has no place in motivating us to do well.
This excerpt was put in this chapter...Day 18, 55 days into the 28 days to grow spiritually strong... hey, some of us don't like to rush things. We like to savor what we're doing... hee hee.

This is from Paul 4:4-9
"4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.. The Lord is near.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."

What a beautiful passage that gives instruction and peace to those in need of positive affirmation. My favorite part is verse 7. 
Lord, guard our minds especially. When negative thoughts, demeaning criticism comes...reduce it to a small flutter of a thought that once was. Fill our minds with positive, loving thoughts. The kind of thoughts that propel us through our day, not reduce us to dark corners in our minds. We are so thankful that you are a God of love and hope.

Sometimes we need a break from ourselves...sometimes we need to put our thoughts on a time out until we can deal with them in a healthier way.

Then maybe the next time someone says "Peace be with you", it is with your mind, soul and heart.


***Just a side note...for those of you wondering if I make money from the links that I add to my blog...the answer is no! First of all, I don't get near enough traffic to make any money on this blog, and secondly I live in a state that is not allowed to have partnership with Amazon. Other blogs will make money if you click on the link of a product from Amazon and purchase it...our lovely state isn't included in that partnership program. If I link an item, it's just because I personally think it's great!***

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Power of a Pinky Swear

Sal came home today and I could tell that something was off. He wasn't his usual self, way too quite for him. 

For the kid who has something to say "really very often" (the nice way to put it), silence is a dead give away that something's wrong.
So after dinner, I walked back with him to his room and asked how his day was.
"Fine," he said.
"Just fine? Did anything happen?" I asked.
"Nope," he said.
Hm, this is so not normal!
I proceeded to remind him how well I knew him and that I could tell something was off.
He insisted that all was okay.
So I continued on the importance of us communicating with each other. Now that he is in school for part of the week, he needs to talk with me so that I can help him.
It's all good Mom...
Then I reminded him about the other times that I had to pull it out of him when I knew something was up.
Everything is fine Mom.
So I made him pinky swear that if anything was bothering him, or if he was ever worried about something that he would talk to me so that we could work it out.
I explained to him that as his mother, it is my job to make sure he is okay or to be there for him when he needs me, and that he needs to let me be there for him when situations arise.
"But Mom," he said, "I wouldn't want you to cry."
Panic! Loss of breath! Stars in my vision!
"Why would I cry? What would possibly make me cry?" I asked.
"Well like right now, you're getting teary eyed," he said.
I explained to him that I was just worried, but if he said it is all good, that I believe him. It's all let's complete the pinky swear. 
I held out my pinky, he held out his...we locked and made our promise.
Then a look came over his face.
"Mom, today at school I jammed my finger while playing basketball and it really hurts." he said.
"So, is that what has been bothering you? Did the kids give you a hard time about it?" I asked.
"Nope, they didn't see it. It's just really bugging me," he said.
"So, why didn't you tell me?" I asked.
"Well, I didn't want you to worry, but then we did a pinky swear and I knew I had to tell you," he said.
Are you serious??? All this time I could have had him pinky swear with me and he would have fessed up? I believe that is the first pinky swear that I have ever made. I never knew they were so powerful.
That at the grasp of the smallest digit on the hand it compels the other player/person to spill the beans with no hesitation? In grade school I thought I was too old for the "pinky swear" and now I realize how much I missed out on. Oh that gains I could have gained!
But alas, I am not going to think about the "what ifs", the "should have beens."
I am now going to use it to my advantage. I may even use it on a business deal of some sort. Maybe the next time I buy a car I'll make the car salesman pinky swear that this in fact is the "best price in town". That I, in fact, will lose the car of my dreams if I don't buy it this instant. 
I wonder if their pinky would just fall off... food for thought.

Even though I thought my pinky swear did the job I found out 5 minutes later that it was only half effective. Pete went in to check on him while he was getting ready for bed. He asked him what that bruise was on his ribcage. Sal said that when the whistle is blown at the end of recess they have to freeze right away. Well, today he froze right away and one foot happened to be suspended in air at that moment. He lost his balance and fell over. Pete suggested that the teachers didn't mean to literally freeze to where he'd fall over. Next time...freeze with both feet on the ground.

Until next time...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yet another change!

I can't believe the number of changes our family has been through in the last six months.
It's almost overwhelming at times.
It feels as if every week we're having to adjust.
This is a good adjustment.
 My little girl will be going to school with her big brother.
 As much as it saddens me...tear...I know that it will be good for her and me.
 She recently told me she was bored at home. Ouch! She misses her brothers and felt she had nothing to do. Well, now she does. I'm glad I have confidence in this school to send both kids there. This year will be a year of taking care of myself so that I can make a good decision for how we are to carry on (to homeschool or not to homeschool, is the question).
So this year I'll take my time, pray A LOT, and hope that the guidance is strong enough so that I don't second guess myself, whatever my decision may be. 
The only problem is that...
 ...this little guy will miss her when he isn't at preschool. I have a feeling I'm going to hear the "I'm bored" thing from him too.
Here's to change!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Little bit of nature…

Here’s some pictures from a recent trip that we took. We went on many hikes. Don’t forget to click on each image to see a larger picture of it.
I loved it. IMG_4937
I love being out with God’s creation.IMG_4940
I love the peace that comes from being deep in a forest. A place when trees fall they aren’t heard by human ears.IMG_4950
I love wondering about who or what inhabits these trees.IMG_4952
I love looking up at bits of sunlight shining through the foliage. I love knowing that there is beauty in the shady areas too.IMG_4953
I love the microscopic…the minute details of His glory.
I love the varying beauty found within miles of each other.IMG_5011
I should take more time to notice them within my own space.