Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happiness 101... continued....

What makes me SMILE...

(#12) Fixing a middle child a personalized breakfast while the older siblings are gone. Now that was a hug worth earning. =)

(#13) STOMP A unique musical of sorts... we must have watched 2 hours of it. We, the parents, added to the fun by jammin' to our own beats w/ the Littles... that previous mentioned 'middle' child just looked at us strange. hehe. and yes, now I am clickin' a beat on anything in site, and I am going to drive that 13 year old son of mine crazy.

(#14) We are headed down to our little hometown in No Where, OR tomorrow. We get to visit friends, see family, go to our favorite lil pizza joint, and shop tax free. =) Nick gets to play soccer with his buddies in not one, but 2 games for their season opener on Sunday, which is a great way to end our week end.

Hope you all have a beautiful week end... I will be back Monday to continue to share my happiness...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

THIS made me SMILE...

at least the last statement of the article did, hehe, as I have pondered that idea before

. *Note: Learning "how to test" , in my opinion, does not offer a quality education.

One of my kids/student bounces all over the place at testing time. One year he will be above grade level 3 years in a subject, the next 2 years behind; One year he excels at Math, bombs at Reading comprehension, the next year it switches...VERY inconsistent...

brilliant child in facts, common sense, & researching things that matter,
which has nothing to do with state mandated test results.

(#11) The FamilymanTodd Wilson, Familyman Ministries So the question at hand is whether to test or not to test.
Tests don't measure actual learning and will either leave you and your child feeling like failures or give you a false sense of achievement. You homeschool, and your child is progressing just as he should. If your son is 10 and just now starting to read . . . great! If your daughter can't solve an algebra problem to save her life . . . that's fine. Some kids can, and some kids can't.
Standardized tests do nothing but identify those who do well taking standardized tests and those who don't. Besides, "they" came up with the standard, just a group of people who needed a standard because they were teaching millions of children. It is arbitrary and based on what "they" think children need to know (or what paid teachers need to teach in order to get paid).
Their standard shouldn't be your standard. It certainly isn't God's standard. Mom and Dad, God made you smart enough to get your child ready for adulthood. Don't use anyone else's educational standards, because every child's educational standard is different.
Be diligent, keep plugging, and teach your children while you enjoy them, and everything will turn out hunky dory.
I'm not kidding on this one . . . don't test.
Be real, Todd
P.S. Don't write me mean letters telling me I don't have a clue. Instead, write Nancy Carter and rebuke her for letting a shmoe like me on staff.
P.P.S. I'll be in Cincinnati at the Great Mid-West Homeschool Convention. First mom to my booth who likes my stance on testing (or doesn't) gets a free book of her choice.
*(unless the law requires it . . . and then move to a different state.)

hehe, keep keeping it real Todd! =)

*article from Old School House Magazine via Homeschool Minute

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


continued.... Things that make me smile....

(#8) I finished up Nick's high school transcript. YAY! I am so relieved to get that finished up... I just know graduation is gonna be here before we know it!

(#9) I took a nap with Bryson this afternoon. Warm, snuggly, relaxing... gotta love it!

(#10) Dear husband cooked up steak for dinner, and ofcourse all the boys were happy! Bryson eats a whole steak himself! A house full of well fed men makes me happy!


OK, so I stayed up waaayyyy to late with the teenage boys last night. They had plugged in a movie (at 1 am- my normal bedtime, lol), and I got sucked into watching it. It was a suspenseful movie, so at the end I kept asking a million questions, pulling my blanket up to my eyeballs, etc...when I realize that they are all asleep! I am the only crazy person up watching this thing... so I went to bed around 3. Needless to say, I was a bit off, and not feeling very organized today, thus the nap was fabulous!

Monday, March 28, 2011

HAPPINESS 101 ok..first of all, we had a fabulous day out. We went to SKY HIGH (an awesome trampoline place), went to Campfire, & had dinner and french lessons w/ Aunt Chanelle. Dear m.i.l. Michele made us blackberry cobbler for dessert... so technically, this whole day made me smile...cept we left "the camera" when we went home. So now you get blurry cell phone pictures for a week! Things that make me SMILE... (#5) Playtime hour with Grandpa before he leaves for work every day. The littles LOVE this! (#6) The way my kids work together and help each other out when we go to new places (ie SKY HIGH) (#7) When friends' of my children come to visit. We are 2.5 hours away from most of our friends. Lately we've seen a few. Bryson (2) was able to see Dustin (2) and his big brother Ryan. Katie & Andrew were able to see their bestest friends Monique & Aria. Today we have Corbin, who drove up to see Nick, but we all love to visit with him. =) Nick & Corbin were in the same class at school *K thru 3rd grade, and it has been fun to see them grow up, especially cuz they are both graduating this year! (*Nick began to homeschool in 4th grade) be continued.... and why is my postings all clumped together??? I do not type it this way...good grief =)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

HAPPINESS 101 GOAL: To post (everyday) the simple things in life that make me smile. I am taking this journey til Good Friday. This is my LENT, of sorts.
(#1) A dear cousin gave our family TOYS. Many keep-your-kids-busy toys! Yay! So today, Dad & Katie brought out one of the K'nex sets. Those are alot of pieces!
~ Dad is reading through the architect plans. =) Katie always has plenty of question to follow up with.
~ The final results! An amazing carnival ride, complete w/ people, motion, and sound! The Littles love it!
(#2) TJ is in the kitchen! Yay for me!
Fresh homemade chicken nuggets....yumm....
The family will LOVE this!
(#3) My adult son who checks in on me on a regular basis. He makes me smile!
(#4) My new laminator! This thing is awesome. It has a hot/cold adjustment. AND it was a great price at costco. purple cows is the brand. We do tons of laminating at our house: flashcards & worksheets are the most common. They are great for dry erase pens too! ~So, there you have it... on my way to 101 THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE!~

Friday, March 25, 2011


Our oldest son, Joe, has been up here working again. It's kinda nice, cuz he works for the company my husband helps run, thus when he needs extra hands on his job site, we get Joe!

They have been working pretty hard, so it was fun to see them with their feet up when we got home from French lessons this past Monday. =)

Part of home
schooling is your children get to help with home improve-
ment projects, and it counts towards schooling. Home Maintenance 101. Nick actually did most the work replacing Grandma's (my mom) garbage disposal.

Personally, I think they had too much fun throwing 1/2 apples down the drain to make sure the super powered disposal was gonna do its job!

Not bad for a first try.

and while we are at it...
notice the white tubes on the right.

That would be the water purifier...


Katie helped with! =)


the benefits of having many kids.

I also enjoy when the grocery man comes to our door!
Every Friday!
and the kids help bring in the groceries AND put things away.

Soon I will be training them to do the menu planning,

followed by how to order what we need each week.

*cheesy grin*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ABC...about me.

ge- 44
bedsize: king
chore you hate: toilets
dogs: Staffordshire Terrier aka pit bull
essential start to the day: vitamins & prayer
favorite color: red
gold or silver: silver
height: 5'3"
instruments I play: none, zip, nil
job title: MOM
kids: 6 and love it.
live: Pacific NorthWest
mom's name: Dee
nickname: Sheri, Sherita, Shay (Sheryl is my real name)
overnite hospital stay: 6 times, babies; need I say more.
pet peeve: lying
quote from a movie: Baby steps; I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. =)
(What about Bob?)
right or left handed: both
sibling: 1 much younger sister (by 11 yrs anyways)
time I wake up: haha, uh, 7 a.m. unless I go to bed at 3 or 4, then it's more like 8 or 9.
underwear: yes ;^)
vegetables you dislike: mushrooms & lima beans- GAG ME
hat makes me run late: I am never late...j/k... kids.
x-rays: no, unless ultrasounds count.
yummy food I make: fudge, and some more fudge.
zoo animal I like best: polar bears

I saw this from Chrissy's blog, and thought it would be fun.
Your turn....
To Be....

Live in harmony with one another;

sympathetic, love as brothers,
be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8

To share is to care,
to reach out is to help out...
that is my motto.

I share my thoughts about mama-hood.
I care about other mums, and want to encourage them. Being a mom is not always easy, but it is always worth it.

I share about my battle with bulimia.
I care enough to reach out to others who struggle with this slow.silent.suicide. I put aside my own shame (as in, letting people know my past & my dark secret) as to give others hope in choosing to LIVE.

I share about homeschooling, cuz well,
I care about other families whom are called to this fascinating journey. My heart wants to express the beauty, the simplicity, the honor, the relational growth, the grace of it all.

I share myself with kids, they are precious, and I care.

I share openly with teens. I care.

I reach out to
single moms,
young moms,
moms of many,
moms w/ losses,
& moms w/ challenges.
I care.

I reach out to
moms in chaos,
and moms who have it all together.
I care.

I reach out to
older moms,
moms of littles,
moms of middlers,
and moms of teens.
I care.

I reach out to
my mom,
my dear mother-in-law,
& grand-mums of others.
I care.

...and how do I do this best,
but to share the love of Jesus Christ,
to build good relationships,
to commit to care....

I care, and you matter!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Learning with the Littles

I *heart* this simple book.

~Our Home Kindergarten
(no profits for me)

Yes, we are still doing Andrew's reading lessons
from his Primary McGuffey Reader. His reading lessons only take but a few minutes per day at this point.

Andrew learns best from a simple hands on approach; talking & sharing in a casual conversation. If a lesson seems like instructions, he will not pay attention.

The lessons in Our Home Kindergarten are easy hands-on interaction.
Somewhat advanced (in my opinion) in what is taught from the very beginning. Is it not usual to learn shapes, colors, letters, & numbers first?

~Here is what we have learned in the first 3 lessons:

A sphere, red (specific stones are called rubies).
A cube, yellow (jewels & gems are called topazes)
A cylinder, blue (sapphires)
A basic geometrical concept that a sphere can roll, cubes stack, & cylinders can do both. (in the next few lessons, the square will be introduced from the cube, as will lines of horizontal & vertical usage to make a square).

Andrew is thriving at the knowledge to explore these concepts, all without instructional directions. Even Katie is enjoying these straight forward lessons.

So, beyond a reading lesson, and a kindergarten lesson, I am laying out Learning Trays (montessori style). I only lay out one per day, cept on Fridays, in which many are displayed. We have a lot of people living in a itty bitty living space (sounds like the Genie, lol), so available space is limited. I cannot just leave out the learning areas like I would prefer to, thus I rotate our activities. We adjust as we can, and this seems to be working...

Andrew copied patterns here, and Katie made her own creations. Bryson first stacked the pieces, then thought it would be fun to start throwing them (ninja star style- I do believe). Not exactly what I had envisioned, hehe.


not quite yet....
but since our time changed from Daylights Savings,
we can play outside now when Dad gets home.

Follow-the-leader has been popular.


...and cold, wet sand...

What more do kids need?

St. Patty's Day

the simple way...

A leprechaun trap...
courtesy of Katie.
mind you that she actually built this 2 months ago)

The good news, the leprechaun came;
The bad news, the leprechaun escaped;
The best news is that he left a treasure...
Hugs & Kisses (of the tasty variety)

We ended our day by having Mint-Chocolate-Chip ice cream.... MMmmm......

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Learning with the Littles



Jj- blue Jay
Kk- kites
Ll- Ladybugs
Mm- mosquito
Nn- nest

Friday, March 4, 2011

Homeschool Reflections~

question #3


Charlotte Mason?

What is your style?

I started out traditional. I copied the classroom setting. Abeka was given to us, and for boxed curriculum, I thought it was great.

I am a classic extrovert. Outgoing, talkative, friendly, love people!

I especially enjoy sports for the kids. Getting to know my children's friends, and chatting with other parents has always been a highlight of many soccer seasons.

Our 4th year of home-
school, many things were going on. We had 4 children, one on the way, 2 being homeschooled, ran a full time daycare of 6 additional kids. Routines, activities, and outings were constant.... I had quite the busy days! At soccer that years (Nick's midschool years) a new homeschool kid joined the team. Yay! Another homeschooler (these things are rare ya know). He was a quiet kid, but friendly, enjoyed soccer... and Nick had fun playing soccer with him. For a while, a long while, I never noticed this kid's parents.....

I think the following year I finally "met" the dad. He had introduced himself to me with a thought of getting the boys together more often (than just soccer season) to hang out. Hmmm....great idea. It didn't happen for awhile.

One day at a the end of another soccer season, I was chatting and visiting and cheering and laughing and enjoying the game...

and a sweet mama was sitting up on the bleachers, quietly tucked away in a corner with her young son. She was engaged in conversation about animals, pausing to let her son share his own thoughts. Her countenance was lovely, her words intelligent, her demeanor pleasant. ...and I paused long enough to be in awe...

In the midst of my friendly, outgoing self...

I had never met this mom.
How long had I overlooked her?
Who was she?

She was clearly a quiet person;
quite opposite me! ;^)

My life was full of go, go, go....
and she oozed calmness, peace, a gentle spirit.

Her son was Nick, the other Nick, the other homeschooler on the team. By now (a couple of years into this) Nick and my Nick were becoming good friends.

Finally, another summer into this story, us parents finally got together to get to know each other. They are a lovely family...

Nick and Nick are still good friends...

even though we moved away 2 yrs ago.

and I still adore his mom...

So... what is the point of this story?

This ordinary mom taught me a life lesson...
simply by her actions. Just by "being her"...

It does not matter what we teach our kids, how we teach them... there is no wrong way to homeschool (other than just not doing it)... but what does really make a difference is who we are....

Who we are when nobody is looking.

How we behave towards our children... now that matters.

To slow down...
to exhale...
to listen...
to share...
to pray...
to display gentleness....
to let them know they matter...
to embrace their personhood
to notice the small simple moments that seem to whisper by...

Thank you Tonia! I think you are beautifully authentic!

*pictures above*
Today we had multiple meltdowns in our home, so I gathered my little clan together, and we explored the outdoors.

We paused long enough
to hear the many birds in our area;
observe ducks, geese, and squirrels;
explore a nature path;
and appreciate fresh air.

What is our homeschool style?

to educate by whatever means are neccessary,
all the while nurturing, guiding, and mentoring our children into adulthood.