Saturday, November 29, 2014

I Love Homeschooling

I believe I've done this before, but seeing as statistics supposedly say most Homeschoolers feel like quitting in the months of November and February. I thought I'd  write my list of reasons why I love homeschooling. I must say this year is probably the first year I haven't faced a "burn out" around this time, but from previous experience when I start feeling that way, I try to go back to those core reasons why we began our homeschooling journey and what I absolutely love about it. So with that being said, here's my own compiled list of why we love homeschooling.

1. Biblical Teaching
I love that I can teach my children with a Biblical faith based foundation that public school doesn't offer.

2. We learn at our own pace.
Grasp a concept, Great! Lets move on, no waiting for 30 other children to grasp it before moving on. If we are struggling with a concept, we can spend as long as we need to until it's mastered.

3. More family time.
Yes, even though somedays they drive me absolutely Nuts! I love spending time with them, it's so nice when Dad has a day off we can all hang out together, field trip as a family, or just enjoy each other's presence.

4. Flexibility
We can school when it's best for us. For instance I school my youngest in the afternoon, so I can give attention to my older two in the morning. My oldest will start the harder subjects first where as my middle son will put his off till last, and you know what....That's perfectly Ok!

5. We get perks.
Oh, you know when all the other kids are in school. We can go places mid day with less of a crowd, take our time, etc... Nothing like taking vacations the week school starts for most children, and you have free roam, no lines, and a little more freedom. Not to mention mid week discounts!

6. Sleep
Yes! I said it sleep. We can sleep in if we want. I'm just starting to realize the importance of this, as my oldest is a pre teen, I'm learning as they grow through the teen yrs they truly do need more sleep. Its a growth and development thing not necessarily a lazy teen thing. In fact, there has been a lot of talk reccently of pushing high school time back an hour so school kids can get adequate amounts of sleep. Not to mention well rested kids equal happy kids, and c'mon we all know any one with recurrent lack of sleep, is a grump and not exactly who you probably want to hang around all day.

7. I get my kids during the best time.
What fun is it to have sleepy, groggy kids your shoving out the door in the morning and when they return, they're wore out and tired only to be bombarded with homework, dinner, shower, and bedtime? Nope, see I get to share a cup of hot chocolate in the morning, have discussions over lunch, free time to cuddle and no stressful nights of homework. Just good quality evenings of more family time. I love that!

8. I can see them thrive.
I get to teach them, watch them grow, help them in their struggles, and generally be there through all their ups and downs.

9. I know what they're doing.
Call me over protective, I don't care. I love knowing who my children's friends are, who their parents are, what interest they share, and what influence they have on each other. So far I couldn't be more pleased with the group of friends they have. In today's world its refreshing to know who they're running with and that they're in good hands with another parent.

10. Health
I have a say in what they eat. Though I will say, this healthy eating thing is an area of weakness for us, it's nice to know ultimately it's up to my discretion what's served. No, nasty lunches that children only eat three bites of just to come home at the end of the day starving. Oh and no sending them pointless lunch money I might add!

Time, truth is time is precious, we can't buy more of it, can't trade it in or get it back. We have to use it wisely. Our children will only be small for a short time. This is the last year before I officially will be raising a teenager and I already am trying to figure out where that time went. I want to cherish this time while they're small. I want to soak up the hugs and kisses. Laugh with them, play with them, never be so busy I miss it. We all know we aren't promised tommorrow, so we must make every second count.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

As if we didn't already know, here's some proof..

I love Stats especially ones that back up homeschooling, as if there are any that don't??? I have yet to find any truly negative stats. Opinions but no facts.Lol. I guess with having a sixth grader and looking ahead to high school, which I really never thought I'd continue to homeschool through....looks more and more like I probably will be, so when I read stats saying... homeschool kids are more likely to enroll in college, more likely to complete college, more likely to make a decent income, more likely to vote, be more involved in their communities, more likely to not be on welfare, it totally excites me. I found these stats as well, thought I'd share..

In this link: Once almost unheard-of and usually relegated to the province of educational quackery and political or religious radicalism, the homeschooling movement has in the last few years blossomed into a serious educational option. A recent study by the National Home Education Research Institute and the Homeschool Legal Defense Association demonstrates just how serious an alternative it has become. Conducted by researcher Dr. Brian D. Ray, the report made a number of startling finds:

The number of students being homeschooled across the nation is between 1,103,000 and 1,348,000.

The total number of homeschoolers equals the public school enrollments of the states of Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyomingcombined.

Homeschoolers outperform public school students by 30 to 37 percentile points on all subjects on standardized achievement tests.Whether the parents ever held a teaching certificate had virtually no impact on student scores. 

Even homeschooled students whose mothers never finished high school scored 55 percentile points higher than public school students in similar circumstances.

Homeschoolers scored between the 82nd and 92nd percentiles regardless of their families’ incomes.

Students scored at the 86th percentile whether states imposed strict or minimal regulations.

Homeschooling parents pay an average of $546 per year, whereas the average per-pupil expenditure by public schools is $5,325, excluding all capital costs.

Homeschoolers’ test scores tend to increase the longer they are homeschooled, going from the 59th percentile for those who have been homeschooled for one year to the 92nd percentile for those who have been homeschooled for seven years.

More than half (53 percent) of all homeschoolers visit a library at least once or twice a month; 38 percent of them make three to five visits a month.

The average homeschooled child is involved in 5.2 community activities, such as volunteer work, classes outside the home, group sports, and church.

An astounding 98 percent are involved in two or more activities.

Only six percent of homeschoolers, in contrast to 62 percent of public school students, watch three hours or more of television each day.

About 61 percent of homeschoolers are in grades K-6, more than 18 percent are in grades 7-8, and almost 20 percent are in grades 9-12.

Three percent of homeschooling parents intend to continue doing so through grade 6 or less; 89 percent plan to homeschool through grade 12.

In short, homeschooling not only works, but is helping to erode the public school monopoly. The more this message gets out, the more serious will become the homeschooling option.

—Dennis L. Peterson

A copy of the complete study, Strengths of Their Own—Home Schoolers Across America: Academic Achievement, Family Characteristics, and Longitudinal Traits, may be obtained from the National Home Education Research Institute, P. O. Box 13939, Salem, Oregon 97309, (503) 364-1490.

Nerf Wars Birthday Party!

Welp, my two oldest have birthdays in the same week so decided we'd try a nerf wars birthday party this year, ya know because a 12yr old is to cool for anything else, but not old enough either...hmm. Well after collecting cardboard for over a month and a lot of extra help from my Mom, we pulled it off. Could not have asked for better weather. We had several boys and even some preteen girls....I know, I know, already! We all dressed in camo, team color bandanas, and shades, yep, even us adults got in on the action. We warred against teams, parents vs. Kids, and boys vs. girls. Topped it off with cake ice cream and other goodies. The boys had a great time and contrary to the invite they recieved several gifts, money, and gift cards. Now time to get them working on those thank you cards. Posted some pics...

General update.

Don't  think I've spoke much about how school is going this year, especially science. It seems to be everybody's favorite lately...well maybe not the little one. I can truly admit, never dreamed I'd have fun teaching chemistry, but I'm totally enjoying it. We've done several experiments from buoyancy, density, legos as atoms, and our last we made hydrogen and oxygen atoms using candy to represent all the electrons, well Timothy my four yr old wanted in on the fun, I knew it would be over his head but none the less he joined in. He was perfectly fine until he tried to eat the candy with glue on it. lol. When I  told him no, my response from him was something like this...
Him: "well, well, this is no good. Why are we just wasting all the candy?"
Me:" I have candy left for us when we finish."
Him:"We are wasting perfectly good candy mom, and all your doing is just reading,reading, reading. ..ugh"
Me: "You don't have to do this experiment if you don't want too..."
Him:(starting to cry)" This is supposed to be fun, but this is no good science experiment....(pouting) just wasting candy." he walks off.

Have to admit this was one meltdown at the kitchen table homeschooling that was more humorous than most. Kinda felt bad for my little guy, and my smiles and laughter from the other two were just really upsetting him more and more. Oh, and yes I did give him his left over candy. lol.

We are full swing into guitar lessons as well, and I have heard the first line to jingle bells more times than I want to admit. I'm thankful though as they are practicing now for their Christmas concert its been really rewarding watching them learn to play.

Timothy is excelling with his schooling, infact he's sounding out home, in the store, wherever, and asking a thousand questions. He amazes me in math because at four he adds in his head. Its so weird to me he doesn't use the pictures in his work book, for instance two fish plus a picture of three more fish and then normally a child will count them to get the total, he does it in his head and just rights the answer. I will say it has me a bit scared. I know my other two children's learning styles but this is different than either of them. He's going to be a fun one to teach in the future that's for sure. 

Happy reading yall.

Monday, September 29, 2014

United front and a firm foundation

I can only hope you've never faced conflict amongst your family when it comes to homeschooling. Unfortunately, many times talking with other homeschool families, it seems everyone has a skeptic, and rightfully so, shoot I was one myself before I started homeschooling. I can say we've had our share in our family, most respectfully disagree, some have changed their view a whole 360° and are my biggest supporters, but then there are those...

You know, doesn't matter what you say, they won't budge, always critical, the ones that quiz your kids to see if they really know anything, and mostly the ones who are so close minded they see the results yet still refuse to acknowledge them.
Like for instance, you hear the comments, "your boys are so well behaved." or they praise their achievements yet ask "when are you going to put them in real school?" "You really think you can teach them everything?"

Oh how these comments infuriate me. I'm sure having all in laws as public school teachers, you can imagine the uphill battle we have amongst some of our family. (Though, haven't quite figured that one out because every other school teacher I've met has given is a wealth of support, including my oldest sons kindergarten teacher, who we told we had future plans to homeschool.) Back to the point. So as we seem to continually face conflict, I decided I'd complie a list of ways we try to handle these beloved situations.

1. Stand United!
Just as you keep a united front with your husband when you discipline your children. Your immediate family comes first. When conflict arises, you always back your husband and he should back you as well. Homeschooling is a team effort, after all he is the principal right? Our family likes to nit pick us separately, not sure why, if their trying to drive a wedge or what, but what I do know is even though my husband can tell me at home what he sees the children need improvement and sometimes be my biggest critic. He is also my number one fan! We support each other and always have each other's back any negative comment made about the other or our children, will simply not be tolerated.

2. Nip it in the bud
As soon as you see a conversation going in a negative direction, stop it, change the subject, don't entertain it, don't argue. Sure, do I believe my kids are smart? Yes. Do I think their set apart from most other kids their age? Sure, but I also know my children's strengths and weaknesses, and they aren't perfect my any means. I've heard my husband say a number of times at home, "I'd put my kids up against any kid their age any day." Lol, proud Dad I know and rightfully so, but making those comments to another is not benefiting to you or your children. We all know there are kids in school who are gifted as well as strugglers, just as in homeschool. Don't put your children on such a pedestal in front of the nay sayers that you  become just as closed minded as them. Just stop the negative talk. Reccently we were visiting with family and the comments were icing on the cake compared to other visits, my husband's simply said, it's time to go. We packed up and left, that simple, and sometimes you have to do just that.

3. Your children are not preformance actors
Seriously, don't do let me quiz my child in front of you so you can see they are learning, in the same way, stop letting them ask your child a thousand questions so they can decide wether your actually educating your children or not. Kids are Kids, they don't want to be put on the spot when family comes around all the time. You know as well as I do, Homeschoolers have a natural love for learning, rest assured they will share what they last read, some interesting fact, or what science experiment they did last. Let them do that in their own time and chances are those nay sayers still love your children enough to at least listen.

4. Children should not be an audience
Again, especially if your children are lurking, nip that negative talk in the bud. Kids hear more than we think, they are little sponges. They don't need to hear negativity from people in your family they love. They don't need to hear others question your ability to educate them. They don't need to hear anything that would make them feel they aren't as smart as they should be, or anything else that can be detrimental to them.

5. Children are not tools.
Don't know about you, but my children will not be your tools to mold and bend. They are my children, and last I checked God blessed me with the opportunity to raise them. If you have family members who disagree with your homeschooling, closely monitor their interaction with that member. Kids tell all, You don't need your children questioning why there Homeschoolers, or being influenced with some crazy ideal they'd be happier if they went to "real school" or did this or that. Truth is last year, had you asked my eight yr old he would have said, I don't like homeschool, I want to go to public school." When we sat down with him, his answer was, "so I can have chocolate milk at lunch and more friends." Well, had we entertained that idea he would of been in for a rude awakening. We rectified both complaints he had, and I haven't heard a word since. Now, had he said to one of those family members he hated homeschooling, you can imagine..all hell would of broke loose. Lol, then that oh so famous comment I've heard to many times to count, "your depriving your children." Yep, your right! (Another day, another topic.)

6. Hold your head high.
God gave you your children to raise, they are yours and no one else's. Even on your worst day homeschooling when your ready to throw in the towel. Know, I will make it, my children love me, my husband believes in me. (If you don't have your husband's support, I wouldn't suggest homeschooling in the first place, just my opinion, maybe topic for another day.) Have confidence, do what's right for your family, and don't let those negative comments dwell inside of you. I am raising my children to the best of my ability, the best way I know how. How they turn out is on me and my family. I will not cave to negative comments from others and let it influence how I raise my children. If I screw up, and my children don't succeed, its on me, but I don't ever want to sit back later and regret making poor decisions for our family based on another person's opinion. If I have regrets later on, it will be because of my own foolishness, no one else's.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kids and Current Events

Saturday afternoon sitting around the table at Grandparents drinking coffee and talking politics, religion, etc...when my oldest waits his turn sips some of his coffee, (half milk half coffee) and reply's..."well, I know one thing that plane that went down in Ukraine,  Russia better watch out, looks like their going to be in big trouble..." (yep. My 11 yr old talking current events.) I believe that's the joy of homeschooling they socialize with all ages, you all know what I mean...they can entertain the little ones, play with kids thier age or make profound statements in a grown conversation that u think they couldn't possibly understand. Anyway back to topic, if your like me, you tend to guard your children from the world, tend to change the channel from the news when the kids are around for fear of what may be said or heard? (Not easy to do when you have a husband who could happily watch CNN all day.) I come to realize, sheltering isn't always the answer, its taking time to have discussions with them, help them understand what's going on in the world around them, how to make good choices, make them decide how they can be part of the solution or part of the problem. I don't know about you but I love those discussion times with my kids, it's amazing to me what they are capable of understanding. I love watching the wheels turn in their heads and most importantly I  love that their thinking. In today's society we definitely need more thinkers, more people grounded in what they believe, those who know when it's time to take a stand and when to let it come to pass. We seem to live in a society that changes directions as the wind blows, and quite frankly I don't even think America as a whole knows which direction its going. Its our job to teach or children, not just academics, but about life in general about the world around them. I had a highschool economics teacher that used to make us watch the news each night and would quiz us on the topics the next day. At the time I hated it, could of cared less, I had better things to, I completely understand what she was trying to prove. So, my question is, how much discussion time to you allow with your children, are current events used as important teaching tools, or would your children even be aware of the world around them?? Truth is we can't shelter them forever, but we can lead them, teach them, and guide them as they grow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer camps.

I don't know about you, but this year our summer has been so busy with camps and VBS. Looking forward now that things are settling down that we can get back into a routine and I can have all my boys back together. First, Taylor and Nolan spent the week at their grandparents and attended baseball camp where their grandad is the highschool baseball coach. They learned a great deal and we're able to sharpen some skills on the field, but my real highlight was when they brought them back. Understand that they love our children dearly but they are public school teachers so they have never been 100% on board with our decision to homeschool, which is fine. I don't ask anyone to agree with it I just ask you to respect our decisions on what we feel is the best way to raise our children. So, of course first conversation with my husband's  mother, "They are having so much fun at baseball camp, and they're making all kinds of friends." Lol, really. I wanted to be like well yeah, did you think we keep them locked up in the house all day?? Sad reality is most think homeschoolers do that, and maybe some do, I don't know. It was certainly good that they were able to see them socialize with kids "their own age." After that they went on to tell us, how many compliments they got at restaurants and such as the boys were so well mannered. Praise the Lord. Now, tell me again how public school is the best option for them? You really want them influenced by today's generation?? At least most of them, that have forgotten "Please and Thank you", or how about, "Yes, Sir? No, Ma'am?" Hmmm. I think I'll stick to homeschooling and raising them against the grain of what society has deemed acceptable behavior. After baseball camp, we had our week of Vbs at church. My oldest got the opportunity to be a Junior helper in a younger class. It was really rewarding watching him help teach songs, lead his class to different stations and be a help to the teacher, sort of a new responsibility for him. Next on the list, we sent him off to Church camp for the first time. I can definitely tell God has been working in his life. He had such a good time, from water slides to four story zip lines, archery, paintball. The theme this year was a new selfie. If your like me, I have yet to understand the craze of everyone posting pics of themselves on social media sites. So, they spent some real Bible time talking about how your made new in Christ, and you should present yourself as Christ would and not looking to the world for acceptance. Whew, it's been fun but sure is nice things are slowing down now.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A little work never hurt anybody.

So today we are driving around, doing a little shopping and we come up to this intersection, third one  with a ridiculous amount of traffic. We see kids as we're approaching, which we already knew from the previous lights, they were young kids raising money to go compete, cheerleading and football I assume by the clothing they wore and the signs. Now my first response is "What on earth are these parents thinking.." letting their kids ask for donations on a busy street like that? Someone could get hurt, kidnapped, who knows anymore. Well, apparently we weren't the only ones who thought it was poor judgement. As we pulled up two Police officers motioned for a Dad (or the adult, coach, whatever) and we watch him argue with the officers for a bit at first and as the officers don't budge he then collect all the kids as they go elsewhere. Really? Where's the common sense?? Sorry if I sound judgemental, but you had to know that was not a bright idea.

So, after I got over husband and I had the conversation in the truck as we're driving. Surely every kid has done fundraisers at some point in their life if they were involved in any extracurricular activities. Bake sales, car washes, girl scout cookies, I've done several, but I can honestly say I have never stood with a bucket and begged for money. Not the first time I've seen this either. I'm all for helping sure, but why are we teaching are youngsters to be beggers?? What happend to hard work pays off? A strong work ethic? A little elbow grease? Things don't get handed to you on a silver platter, you earn them in life, and the sooner our kids learn this the better. My oldest just returned from church camp, and he worked several fundraisers inside the church to earn his way. Could we have paid his way sure, but if he worked for it doesn't it mean twice as much to him? The One fundraiser I remember the most was a pancake breakfast they did, he (11) worked the griddle all morning flipping pancakes, no parents in the kitchen working other than supervising, I watched him wipe sweat from his brow it was so hot and crowded in there. And ya know what...He survived!!! I bet he made 100 pancakes or more. The biggest reward came when we were in the youth room and the children's pastor tallied up his cost after working thes fundraisers, His original cost was $230. We only ended up paying $49 The look on his face when he saw how much he earned for the hard work was priceless, even more priceless when he looked at me, and I was just as shocked. Lol, I said "Boy, you made your Momma proud." He was all grins to know that he had helped contribute. Is it really so hard you can't bake some cookies with your kids to sell?? If my 11 yr old now knows how to mow a lawn and my 8 yr old can follow instructions and bake some cookies, I assure your kid can earn his way to whatever event he's wanting to go. Just my two cents for what it's  worth.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 Awana Bible Quiz

Wow, I knew it had been awhile since I last blogged but two months! Sorry!! :( Well, I just wanted to talk about my oldest for a minute. Not sure how many know what AWANA is, but its what several churches use as their curriculum/program for childrens Bible study. Most churches usually do it on Wednesday night or Sunday evening. It stands for approved workmen are not ashamed. They have a system of completing Biblical applications and scripture memoriziation, as they complete them along with other task they earn awards and badges. Each year they hold events for all chuches in the area to come together and compete in what they have learned throughout the year. You compete on teams of 2-4 people in three different parts. Speed drills where you have a buzzer and you have to chime in the fastest to answer the question correctly. A multiple choice on teams, where you raise a paddle with the correct answer, and a written 20 question exam. Each section of the trivia is worth so many points. So this year our church put two groups together and went to compete for the first time. 

We figured one of our teams placed but we thought probably third or fourth. It's hard to know how exactly you place until awards ceremony at the end. So during the ceremony they called fourth, third, then second, and in my head Im thinking okay we must have gotten beat out somewhere. Nope They called us First Place!! Of course we all jumped up and cheered, almost broke my phone in my lap. Hehe. So proud! My son also recieved a medal for placing a high score on his written exam.

All our kids did so well, I was so proud they even took the time to do it. There were at least 600+ kids divided into six groups dependent on the book they were quizzing over all from the DFW area, I'm not sure about how many actual Churches were there, but you know in the whole scheme of things my son sacrificed a baseball game willingly and put in an extra hour every sunday for the past 5-6weeks just to prepare, along with studying at home.

Above all I absolutely loved getting that opportunity to teach those two most important lessons, hard work pays off, and rememering to put God first in your life.(pics to come when Im not mobile)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bonkers joins the crew

Been awhile since I last posted. Sorry I know, unfortunately with three boys, I just simply dont always have the time Id like to, to actually write down whats happening. Been so busy lately we even decided to throw a fur baby in the mix. Lol. We were told we couldn't have a dog but we could have a cat?? Make sense right? Ah, the joys of renting...well I love animals but I will say cats are not my first pick. Sorry. But after some thought and a few mice we caught in the house. Yes mice, Im petrified for lack of a better word. We decided why not? Right? So we set out to adopt our fur ever friend from the spca cats at the local petsmart. I fell in love with an adult male cat, Siamese mix with the coolest bright blue eyes. His temperament with our boys is unbelievable. He is so calm with them, he loves the attention and when he's had enough he just hides. So Im thinking this cat is a perfect fit. And, the older two boys can use some responsibility in caring for an animal. Lol. Little did I know Timothy would have some learning to do too, before we left the store, Timothy ask my hubby, "Daddy, How are we going to teach him to go potty in the toilet?" Curious little booger. Oh and then at the check out he tells me, "Mommy I think the kitty would like to eat some ice cream." So, yeah, Im now thinking in my head, this is going to be fun... Thankfully, Timothy is doing well with his new friend. Well, other than the trail of dry I keep finding around the house where he has tried to hand feed the cat. Lol. Fun times. I wish I could say he is a really useful cat that catches mice, but actually, I think he is only could for two things eating and sleeping. He is the absolute laziest cat I have ever seen, at least until everyone goes to bed at night. We named him Bonkers, a spin off of his original name Bucky. He supposedly was given to the spca because his owner died. Hope to post more soon. Here are pics of our new fur ball friend. :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ten Lessons you need to know when raising boys.

I love love love this. I seriously can relate to every bit of it! I found this on another blog and thought I'd share.
Ten lessons in raising boys you need to know...

1)This may be an obvious one, but boys need to have the freedom to wrestle and climb, to roar and grunt and karate chop your house plants. They do not have ADD, they have energy, and they need an generous amount of time and space to run free.  Don't freak out when they act a little wild, a little fearless. Don't take them to the doctor, don't Google symptoms of hyperactivity, and don't suffocate them by constantly telling them to calm down, sit down and be quiet.  No, I don't mean let them behave destructively or disrespectfully (more about that in #2), but do not stifle their enthusiasm.  If you do, they will rebel and probably find a way to channel their energy into something else, something unhealthy.  I see many young boys engaging in video games, because they truly feel as though they have nothing else to do. This is a travesty. Trust me, it is very, very difficult to mend a boy's broken spirit.  Let them play!  You will have to repaint your walls, reinforce their bunk beds with scrap iron, and patch holes in their jeans.  Accept that, and then let them be off on their next adventure.

2.  As a natural response to #1, please know that I am speaking in terms of balance, not extremes.  That being said, boys do need to be taught self-control, prudence, the value of being polite, having manners and demonstrating proper etiquette.   Don't make excuses for them when they are thoughtless, rude or sloppy, by saying, "Oh, he's just being a boy!"  If you patiently teach them that times and situations call for a particular type of behavior and attitude, they will not only become natural leaders, but they will also gain self-confidence as well as the respect of others. Moms, it is proper for us to expect good manners at the supper table, "please" and "thank you" in daily interactions and please, never, ever allow your son(s) to speak disrespectfully to you (your husband should always be at your side in these situations). Knights were once required to learn proper etiquette/manners before they could wield a sword. It was the beginning stage of proving their worth as knights. Why? Self-control and discipline in the small things opens the door to strength and wisdom in the bigger battles of life.

3.  This lesson was inspired by Dr. Dobson's Bringing Up Boys, and I'm sharing it with you, because we've heeded it with every single one of our boys, and hold fast to it's importance. As moms we hold our baby boys close with all of our motherly love and attentiveness, as we should, but when our sons turn 2, it is very important for us to use those arms to toss them towards daddy! Step back a bit.  Allow more father-son time to take place, one-on-one.  This will help foster the natural masculinity of your son, because he will be able to identify more assuredly with his father.  You don't need to be gone for long periods of time, just an hour or two each week.  Consider going for an evening walk a couple of times a week, meeting up with friends, shopping for groceries or encouraging your "men" to go outside and play together or work on a project while you make supper.  Your son won't love you less - in fact, he will love and appreciate you even more! Let him go out and be a "big boy" with his papa.  He needs this from you.   In addition, I have seen many moms over the years who have an excessive (controlling) closeness with their sons, sons who are young men or even adults.  Cut. The. Cord.  Your main man should be your husband, he is first in priority of your love and attentiveness, not your son.  Your son should know his place in the family, without question.....and so should you.

4.  You didn't think I would forget to add how horribly and horrifyingly gross boys can be to this list did you?? If your boys should ever get lost in a forest and are near starvation, they will not hunt for berries or edible plants.  They will eat their boogers and then yell, "MOM!!!" until they loose their voices.  The whole booger issue totally mystifies me, and I find them everywhere, I mean everywhere!!  And, then there's the poop saga.  I have literally gone into my sons' bathroom 3 days in a row and seen no toilet paper on the ring.  Seriously??  Then, I get to the laundry and I see the damage that 3 days of no toilet paper can do. Uuuggghhhh!!! (I KNOW you can relate!!)  "Stop picking, please wipe, don't forget to flush and, for the love of Pete, wash your hands!!" will be on repeat for all of us moms until our boys flee the nest.  The only real way to deal with this unfortunate circumstance is with wine.  Lots and lots of wine.

5.  Cook for your sons.  They will never forget how beautifully you loved them in this sacrificial way. I know it seems small or old-fashioned, but some of our best family conversations have taken place around the supper table. And, I get the BEST hugs after a killer meal!  Food can also be used to achieve particular goals.  Are you followin' me here??  If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so too be a boys!  Hold a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies above their heads and their rooms will be cleaned faster than you can say dust bunnies.

6.   Chill out a bit with the toy weapons.  I once had a neighbor who would not let her child play with my boys, because we allowed them to have wooden rifles.  However, she thought that swords were just fine - you know, a more civilized way of engaging in warfare.  Oh, I get it!! No, I don't, I'm lying right now. {Sigh.} Like it or not, here's the facts: If you keep every plastic pistol or pirate sword out of a boy's grip, they will find a way to fashion some type of weapon out of tree branches, tinker-toys or chop-sticks.  Your boys are not violent, they are not killers or haters, and letting them play with toy weapons isn't going to turn them into monsters.  Boys are born to be protectors, and if their instincts are nurtured in the proper way, someday they will protect your freshly sprouting garden from pests and more importantly, they will protect a lady from a predator - without hesitation.  Your sons are in more serious danger of developing a violent nature when they engage in violent video games, television and movies than they are if allowed to participate in innocent, imaginative play with friends. Just ask your father or grandfather - those "great" generations - about this.

7.  The world is pretty good at telling boys that they aren't as good as girls or really any different than girls, so they shouldn't act different or be different.  This is a terrible lie.  Don't buy into it.  Boys absolutely need to be boys and feel no shame or make no apologies for that. Praise and admire their masculine strengths!  Our sons natural talents should not be minimized because they are faster or stronger than their female peers, and they shouldn't be punished for it either.  As men and women, we're made to be complimentary not competitive, unique, not uniform.  It is our very complimentarity that brings beauty, strength and individuality to the world.  When you embrace your authentic femininity as a mother, you actually help your son grow to become an authentic man.

8.  If you were ever a cheerleader back in the day, now is the time to practice those chants.  Boys don't need us to tell them how to throw the ball or tackle the opponent (even though many of us are awesome at sports and could easily coach our sons!), they need us to cheer for them, to encourage them, and then to let them know that we'll be their most loyal supporter, win or lose, whether it be on the football field or in the classroom.  Don't be a boss.  I've been to countless athletic events where the mom is  screaming red-faced at her son while the dad stands by texting on his phone. Those aren't tough-love moms, they're misguided moms.  And Dads, oh, dads, (slap-slap) wake up.  As parents we are here to guide, not take over the coach's job, and not make our sons feel as though their very lives depend on a touch-down pass.  Rah-rah, that's your job.  Now do it.  Do it proudly, moms!

9.  This one is closely related to #8.  A boy's (and a man's) biggest fear is failure.  So many mom's out there want to raise "good" boys who are virtuous and successful in life.  But, I know from experience, that when I'm on them all of the time with everything (school work, chores, fighting with siblings etc.) they can easily lose confidence in themselves.  They are already putting enough pressure on themselves in every aspect of life, they don't really need us to drop a few hundred extra pounds on their shoulders.  There are times when I've gone to bed at night and felt contrite for being too nit-picky with my young boys, for being too hard on them, for taking discipline too far, for lecturing too long. Let things go once in a's okay.  Sometimes they need a hug and a pass more than they need a lecture or a punishment. (Isn't that true for us as well??)

10.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I must confess that one of the most difficult aspects of living in a house full of boys is dealing with my own sensitive nature.  As women, we are more easily hurt, offended and slighted than men are.  It doesn't mean that boys are insensitive or cold, they just aren't wired the same way that we are, and as moms, we need to show them how to be more tender without belittling their personhood or being overly dramatic.  One thing that has helped me when I'm tempted to fall into loneliness or self-pity after being slighted by a son is this: Whenever one of my sons draws me a picture or writes me a note of any kind, I save it in a special place.  And, when one has hurt my feelings or is struggling with a particular discipline issue that is difficult for me to handle, I go back to the pictures/notes and remember the love that my boys have for me, and the love that I have for them.  It truly does mend a broken heart.

New year, New plans.

Back to posting about our school, so as my New year's resolution...(Lol. Because I never do this kind of stuff) I decided I want to be a better teacher to my boys, I know that sounds crazy, but we are lacking something's in our schooling, arts n crafts, music, and we need more science experiments, you know the hands on kind of stuff. I do good for awhile in this area and then we slack off again and just get drained in the book work. I recently won a Facebook contest from Apologia( a homeschool science curriculum, creation based) I won a bag and a textbook, Chemistry and physics for beginners. I have never used Apologia, nor do I like any chemistry or physics stuff, but I have to say I love the curriculum. I decided we would do this together as a subject with my two oldest. Other than Bible, I have never really done that. Well, I am in love. It is in depth enough for my fifth grader but simple enough for my second grader. It has a ton of games and experiments, so oddly enough, I find myself teaching one of my least favorite subjects and totally enjoying it. Who knew. I'm really going to try to not let the little things get to me, try to be more patient while schooling, and not stress as much. Lol, who am I kidding?? I guess its worth a shot though...


Hope everyone had a wonderfull Christmas. Ours was amazing, as a nurse you rarely get holidays off, so it was a huge blessing to be off, hubby was expected to work but at the last minute the company decided to give everyone the day off. We had already told the boys we would open presents on Christmas eve morniftng thinking he would work Christmas day. We went ahead and kept to our word. We had such a good Christmas eve, opening presents, remembering Christ birth, playing board games, and just hanging with the family. On Christmas day we always open presents, then I start cooking, getting kids ready to spend lunch with all the in laws. Christmas daythis year was so nice, no rushing through opening presents, no me in the kitchen stressing over food, and trying to keep boys neat and clean. Christmas morning was so pleasant, just calm everybody playing with their goodies, I had my new keurig brewing. :) I told hubby I think maybe we should do this every year. I mean truth is, does the day really matter as much as the time spent with family and friends??

Ice storm in Texas

Oh boy, did we have our first ice storm ever!! For Texas it was not what I call fun. We woke up to our front door frozen shut, our tree collapsed in the yard, and the power flickering on and off. Hubby went to work the first day of ice and upon coming home it was getting worse, we could barely get out of the driveway for the incline. So, we decided we would brave the weather and stay in a hotel close to hubby's work, this way he had no worries about travel, electricity going out, or being trapped in our drive. The hotel stay was a nice break I do have to say. We scored a handicapped suite so we had a tremendous amount of room to sprawl out. It turned out to be a little mini vacation for the boys, put the school work aside, watched tv, drank hot chocolate, got cozy in the hot tub, had a fabulous breakfast, and the best swimming in the indoor pool while looking out the windows at the ice and snow outside. I wasn't grateful for the ice but I definitely was grateful for the memories made with my boys. Sometimes you just need to slow down and enjoy life..