Friday, December 25, 2009

A Little About the by one: Evan

Evan is your typical youngest of five, spoiled!!! At three years old, he thinks the world revolves around him!!! He is a very sweet boy who still loves to snuggle with mommy and wrap his arms around my neck. I hope that last for awhile. He does have a temper as do all the kids (that is from me) and he doesn’t like it when he doesn’t get what he wants. He has been known to show himself in the most inappropriate places!! We are working on that, I have to help the older kids remember that just because Evan wants something doesn’t mean he should get it!!!

He started preschool at Kenwood Heights this fall, he is our fourth kid to go there, we love it. We are the “old” parents too by the way. Surprisingly he goes without crying, Caroline and Jack had so much trouble going to preschool, but Evan goes without any fuss. I look forward to seeing how his personality develops, so far is very different then the other ones.

He is a great kid and has defiantly completed our family. It is really funny how God knows just how to make things perfect. That is what our family is PERFECT.

A few words to describe Evan:

About to be FOUR






Good for the ego, mine.

Hot headed

Innocent, yeah right

Jack’s “bef friend”

Killer smile


Mommy’s baby


OCD, aren’t they all


Quite demanding


Sponge Bob loven’

Television addict

Under the table


Wants to learn




Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little About the by one: Jackson

Jack is the firecracker!!! He is a boy who doesn’t really care about school, but loves the Wii, tv, Playstation and computer. I am afraid that he may turn into a robot!! I beginning to think we need to start a 12 step program for video game addicts. If I could find curriculum that you do on the Playstation or Wii we would be doing great. He is a fun kid and loves to make people laugh and he usually does. He wants to be with Tyler as much as possible and to Ty’s credit he enjoys it too sometimes. He has made some friends this year too and does enjoy hanging out with them, but doesn’t like staying the night at any ones house. We didn’t do t-ball this year (yes, we had a whole year without baseball), but he will be playing in the spring. He starts basketball after the first of the year. When he was a baby people called him happy Jack and I have to say he still is “Happy Jack.” I realized here lately that I may not give him enough attention. He doesn’t ask for it, but he deserves it and needs it. So one of my changes for the new year is to make sure that I give him the attention that he deserves. He is such a blessing to me!!!!!

A few words to describe Jack:




Doesn’t like to clean



Good at video games



Jesus loving


Need behavior adjustments sometimes

Outstanding in Math



Roller skater

Star Wars lover








Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little About the by one: Caroline

Caroline is between 3rd and 4th grades. She has had a year of struggles and now successes!!! We had her tested about two months ago, thinking we were looking at dyslexia. They diagnosed her with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, what is that you ask, it is a reading disability. We took her to Langsford Learning Acceleration Centers and they have done amazing things for her!!! She has gone for about 45 hours and there is already a major improvement!!! She is going two hours a day five days a week for a total of 110 hours. It does make doing school for everyone else a little harder, but it is so worth it. Because of her reading struggles she struggles in many other areas as you can imagine. Making friends is really hard for her and knowing how to socialize in a group setting as well. All of these things we are working on.

One thing I have realized about Caroline just in the last few months is she is the female version of Steve. She is very attached to Steve and me to the point she had to come home from Homeschool Church camp early even though Steve was there. Since she wasn’t with him 24/7 she was too upset to stay! That was hard, but not unexpected.

Caroline like Sam is dancing, this is her 6th year, I think of the two Caroline likes it the best. She does have a little trouble with direction, but that goes back to the disorder.

She is the helper of the family; she loves to help out. Sometimes she will start cleaning anything she thinks needs to be cleaned (that comes from Steve too). We are looking forward to reading lots of Chapter books come the spring.

A few words to describe Caroline


Baptized this year!!!!


Daddy’s Girl






Joined at the hip


Learning lots of new things






Reading a lot better







Yearning for as much attention from Daddy as possible


A Little About the by one: Samantha

Samantha is in 6th grade, WOW. She has made some awesome changes in how she works for me during school. When we start the adventure of homeschooling she and I didn’t work well together, like the North and South poles of a magnet, we didn’t connect. I don’t know what has happened, but she works so hard!! I only have to tell her what needs to be done and she does it. That certainly makes things easier for me to work with the other.

She is still dancing, and getting really good!!! Her and Caroline are doing their duet to “Mighty to Save” by Laura Story, it is going to be a beautiful dance (it’s on my blogs playlist).

Sam is the most outgoing of all the kids. She really seems to blossom the more friends she has. Four of her friends moved away this year, but luckily she has lots of others.

She started to babysit this year and in the summer she will do the babysitting class through the Red Cross. She has babysat a couple of times for the same family, they have two little boys and they seem to enjoy having her. She is the second mother in our house anyways. I can’t tell you how many times I have to tell her to stop babying Evan. If she wasn’t so little I would believe that she would carry him around until he is 12. She has become a young woman and that scares me just a little!!!

A few words to describe Samantha
























eXtra special



Monday, December 21, 2009

A Little About the by one: Tyler

Tyler is in the 8th grade, can’t believe high school is right around the corner!!! Didn’t I just graduate???? I are trying to get prepared, we will continue to homeschool through high school so I have to figure out what I am going to teach. I do know that is taking some classes at CEC again. He is working really hard this year, I do still have remind him that school comes first, but for the most part it is going well. He is going to the Consortium again this year and he really enjoys it. He is a great help; he has become the family babysitter. It is really hard to not take advantage of having a teenager at home, I try not to make him miss out on anything because of babysitting. He is hoping to start volunteering at either the Louisville Zoo or Louisville Nature Center this spring and I am hoping he starts playing baseball again too.

I thank God daily for blessing me with five children and I try to thank Him for one quality He has blessed or cursed the kids with. When your family seems to be put together divinely that because God is in control. Tyler is a great “oldest of five.”   He is a very responsible son who wants to please his parents and God. Could I ask for more????

Just a few words to describe Tyler:

Affectionate (sometimes)
Brotherly (doesn’t have a choice)
Dependable most of the time
Energetic all the time
Faithful to our Heavenly Father
Helpful even if he doesn’t want to be
Just plain sweet
Kind to others
Manly, he is working on that.
Quiet just like his dad
Super sibling
Victorious in Christ
Xbox wanting

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Clean 2009

Let the cleaning begin!!!  Pictures of the cleanup crew and before....after pictures of the classroom!

Caroline Cleaning the walls

Tyler and Sam working on the walls.

Whistle while you work!!!

*notice the trees in the corner, my husband did that for us.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Veteran

I am a Black Friday veteran, this was my 14th year.  We have been Black Friday shopping before it was called "Black Friday" and before it was fashionable.  When we go shopping there are usually nine of us, when I started (1995) my Grandmother, Great Aunt, and older cousin use to go, but for about three years my mom has been the oldest.  Three years ago my Grandmother died on Black Friday and my mom was in the hospital recovering from Quadrupial By-pass surgery.  That was a weird year.  We were buying clothes for a funeral instead of Christmas.  I have gone from buying for a baby on the way (was preggers with Tyler, born 1/17/96) to buying for 5 kids.  Boy, has my budget increased!! 
We started yesterday at 5:00 am and I got home around 9:30 pm.  That wasn't the longest day one year I was home after Midnight.  We started going to a movie a few years ago, last year we saw "Four Christmases" and this year they did a movie again, but my sister and I didn't go.  They went to the 4 o'clock show and I had to much shopping to do. 
I did get alot done, but nowhere near what I wanted.  Trying not to go overboard on the kids, but that is very hard. 
We had matching t-shirts this year (Mom, my sis, aunt, cousin, and I).  They said Black Friday Team--Official Bargin Hunter; my mom's said, Offical Cart Guard.  They were surely a topic of conversation.  I became a little self-conscious about my chest with everyone staring at it. 
All in all it was as fun as always!!!  Will say "I can wait till next year."

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Light at the End of Her Tunnel

Caroline started instruction at Langsford Learning Center today!!! We have been struggling for about a year and a half with her reading. I noticed a couple months ago that her math skills (which she excels in) had started to fall, her self-confidence was nonexistent, she was very self-conscious of everything about herself, and other things start to change. I knew that I had to do something to help her. We had her tested last year and I had tried the things suggested, but I had to admit that I was not capable of helping her here at home.

So last month we had her evaluated at Langsford and they are capable of helping her!!!! She will go everyday (even through Christmas) for two hours a day. It will be an adjustment for us, but it is worth it. I will be doing vocab., math, reading (to her), literature pockets, history, and fun lapbooks with her here at home and she will be doing all her reading with them. I actually have to read everything to her for right now. It does make it easier for me to know exactly what I can do for her here.

It is not the cheapest thing, but as I told her, "it doesn't matter what it costs!!!"

Caroline has set goals for the process and she wants to be able to read on her reading level (4th grade, right now she is maybe a 2nd grade level), be able to read all her school work and read chapter books. They sound like good goals. Our goals are the same, but I want to see her become less self-conscious. They told me today that she will probably exceed her goals and I will feel like I have gotten my daughter back. Her self-confidence will improve almost overnight. They did tell her that she will be reading chapter books by the end and that really made her happy.

I ask that if you feel lead to lift her up in prayer during this time we would appreciate it. We do see a light at the end of this very long, dark tunnel.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Moving on Up

I have had a really fun week.  We moved Evan upstairs to share a room with Jack.  It has gone fairly smoothly.  So with his room empty we made it a TV room, Evan thinks we just took his bed and gave him a giant tv.  With the Living room empty we are making it a Living Room (for company only LOL).  I am just hoping that I have one clean room in the house most of the time.  So far so good, two days.  Steve bought me a new couch and loveseat, end table, two new lamps and pillows.  I really like it.  I am so lucky.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How Co-op has Changed Us

As many of you know we have been going to a homeschool co-op for the last year and a half. This fall session was a little unique, I was asked to be on leadership and them somehow became the director. I really don't have any leadership experience, but with the team that I have "no experience required." We have the best leaders and our co-op was a wonderful success!!!

Last night was our Fall Dinner and Display and it went off without a hitch. I think all the families were there except two. That is a great turn out. At a Dinner and display we have tables that teachers decorate, they all looked great! On the tables they put all the things that their classes did the whole semester. Wow, did our kids learn some great things. It is a blessing to have other moms and dads (yes we have two dads that come every week and help teach our children) come beside you and help educate your children.

We also have dinner and that was Chili, everyone brought their own chili, I didn't realize there were so many different kinds of chili. I only tasted one other than my own and it was Black Bean Chili, yummy!!!!

After dinner we had a short presentation where some of the classes presented something. We had a drama by only four students, was suppose to be five but one was out sick, and it was great. They did such a great job. We had two students do presentations from their Communicators for Christ class, one was my daughter Samantha. She did such a good job, as did the other student Steven Lee. We then had lots of songs sung, the end of the day music class lead by Mrs. Askew was great!!! We had some preschooler, Evan was in those, sing about good manners, ABC's, Peanut Butter and Jelly and Being in the Lord's Army. What a successful evening.

I am so thankful that the Lord "forced" me to start going to a co-op!!! I have seen all of the kids blossom this last year and I really believe that it is from getting to spend time with their friends. Tyler happens to be the oldest student at our co-op, a fact his is very proud of even though he had nothing to do with it. LOL I get complements weekly on what a great kid he is. Samantha actually has had the best school year, I see that the interaction she is getting from co-op spills over into her school here at home. She is willing to work much harder here. Caroline has really struggled with school the last couple of years, we are getting ready to start intense tutoring at the Langsford Learning Center which should help her and me. We are working on getting her to be more outgoing and talkative, but let's face it she is just like her father. This could be a life time of work. Jack what can I say he just wants to hang out with who ever will hang out with him. He loves co-op for no particular reason. Evan did not like co-op at all when we started last fall, he didn't like being away from me. But this year as a preschooler he has done great. He loves co-op and loves going. He has learned so many new things.

But, I think I have loved it most of all. I too have made many new friends, I didn't realize how much I needed to be around other moms doing the same things I was until I started co-op. This has been a hard year, I have spent countless hours working on "co-op stuff." I believe that now that we have gotten through the first session with new leadership it will be much easier from here.

If you have ever considered homeschooling a few things you have to remember are:
1. You are not in this alone, there is great community out there to help support you.
2. It is the best experience, yes some days I wish they were getting on a school bus. I not only get to watch them grow, but I get to watch them learn and teach them all the things I believe that should know.
3. Homeschooling is fun!!!
4. "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher." Luke 6:40

I thank God and Steve everyday for the blessing of homeschooling!!!! Do you want to join me in this wonderful journey? If so, "come on down" we are waiting for you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Crash after the Sugar High Day 1

Evan's Halloween Party at Preschool


Slow Pokes Farm Preschool Field Trip # 2

Evan and Daddy went on the second Preschool field trip Thursday and had a great time. Of course when they left the house Evan didn't want to ride the school bus or go to a farm. I think he did fine, he rode in the back of the bus with a mom and Daddy had to ride in the front of the bus.
Evan on the hayride.
Evan trying to decide which chicken he wants to take home!!!

They did lots of fun stuff: hay ride, corn maze, feed cows and goats, got to pick a pumpkin, shucked corn, and feed chickens. He wanted no part of the cows or goats, can't say as I blame him!!! He did love the chickens, he really wanted to hold one. When it was time to go Evan wasn't very happy. He started one of his screaming attacks, "I want an egg!!!" Well, the farmer told him to go in, hen house, and get you an egg. So Evan got to come home with a farm fresh egg.

What a fitting picture to wrap up the day, he was exhausted from all the fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Louisville Nature Center

The HFHG South co-op took a field trip to the Louisville Nature Center Wednesday and it was awesome. I wish that all the kids taking my class could have gone, they learned so much.

First we split up into two groups, younger students and older ones. We then took a hike, I was with the younger in order to be with Evan and Jack of course. The hike was about an hour which was a bit muddy, but lots of fun. All the kids did really good.

Once we finished out hike we then went to the classroom to learn about birds of prey. We saw a hawk and an owl. It was really neat. I was so glad to hear them answer lots of questions, right. We had just learned about the owl and they know lots of things about them.This is our family "bird of prey"--Evan looking like a eagle.

After the classroom we went into the bird blind, which is where we got to see lots of birds up close. It is just a little room with big windows. Golden Finch, male and female Cardinals, Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, and a Blue Jay. We also saw a groundhog.

It was lots of fun and it free to go look around on your own

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dissection of Owl Pellets

I am teaching two classes at co-op about birds. When we went on vacation to our friends farm I found out the they had an owl in the barn and where there is an owl there are owl pellets. What are owl pellets you ask, check out this link

Well, they went down to the barn and got me 12 pellets for my
co-op class to dissect. Yesterday I was very excited out getting to dissect them, the kids, not so much. That was surprising to me, I thought they would like it was awesome.We did it and they were really neat and a little nasty , we had some surprises when we opened them. The younger kids had a fully intact mouse skull in theirs not to mentions some visitors.

Our surprises were maggots!!! YUCK!!!

It was awesome!!! I love homeschooling!!!!

Birtt Homeschool Fall Break, White Pine TN @ the Welch Bed and Breakfast

We went on our fall break last week and spent the weekend at our very good friends house. A wonderful house big enough for our family and theirs. We had such a great time!!! They live in East Tennessee the view out the back windows is beautiful (I was just to dumb to take a picture of it).

We went to Dollywood on Friday along with lots of Senior Citizens.
It was really cold and rainy off and on all day, but we still had fun.
Our kids and theirs get along so good. God has truly blessed us with such awesome friends!!!!! A special thanks to Lisa's parents for the tickets to Dollywood and the Hersey Chocolate cake.

On Saturday we went to see the Toy Story double feature. Boy it
was $$$$$, it cost us $110. Yes, we paid that much money to go see two movies we had seen hundreds of times. The kids enjoyed it very much.

Follow-up to Johnny Appleseed

The follow up to our Johnny Appleseed lapbook, we visited our favorite orchard.
Huber's Orchard and Winery
The "Wheels on the bus." We had so much fun.

It took Jack FOREVER to pick his pumpkin!

She didn't have much trouble.

Learning about the apples.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Preschool Field Trip #1--Iroquois Park

Last Thursday was Evan's first Preschool Field Trip. The original date was rained out, this was perfect morning to go to the park.

We met up at Iroquois Park @ 10:00 so that he could play with his friends, but Evan doesn't play at the park all he wants to do is SWING!!!!! So he did alot of that.

The older three weren't to interested in going, but it was good for them. We stayed about an hour, we had to get home and finish school so we could meet friend @ the park after lunch.

The girls on the pyramid, happy.

Jack kept the "little" kids entertained with his car.

What can I say? "Mr. Adorable"

Evan will have a field trip almost every month, this month is to Slow Poke Farm in Shepherdsville. Daddy is going on that one, they get to ride the bus!!!!! Pictures to come, if Daddy take some.

John Chapman aka. Johnny Appleseed

What better time to do a Johnny Appleseed study than fall. Jack and Caroline took part in a Johnny Appleseed lapbook this month in preparation for our trip to Huber's next week. He was a very interesting man, not quite sure why he wore a pot on his head. Maybe it made it easier to carry???

I found a free Johnny Appleseed lapbook on Homeschool Share

They got to take five different varities of apple, tasted each one them picked out their favorite. That was a rather expensive experiment, five apples with only three or four bits out of them went into the trash. We are going to make homemade applesauce next week after we buy our favorite apples from Huber's.

Nothing better then a little history and cooking lesson to go together!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Creation Club~~We finally made it!!!!

We have been having school for about three weeks and it is going really well. Monday was our first day at co-op for this session. I felt a little stressed out. Teaching usually stresses me out, but being the Director is my stress point now, teaching is actually relaxing. I think the kids are all going to enjoy their classes!!!

Today was the second HFHG Creation Club @ Bernheim Forest . It was raining this morning and I was hoping it would be raining at noon, but it wasn't. It was kind of like being in a rain forest, so humid. I had never been there before, it was really nice. We had a really sweet teen come and talk about bug (insects).

Audrey Bolin, a 16 yr. old homeschool student, has studied forestry for 7 years with a focus on entomology for the past two. A week this summer she attended the Forestry and Entomology leadership program through UK. She loves sharing what she had learned these past few years with others... posted on HFHG yahoo group.

We then wondered around and "looked" for bugs. No one wanted to pick up a rock or anything so all they did was chase butterflies. We ended up coming home with four and they are now in my freezer (they are in ziplock bags). Why, You ask? That helps preserve them better. Now we can pin them to a board and I can use them to teach insects at co-op next session. That was Jack's idea. Really neat.

I sure am enjoying this school year so far!!!! It is nice to do different things, instead of sitting at home all the time. Jack was excited that the Creation Club was all he had to do for school today!!! What an awesome treat.

I have to remember to thank God for all of my blessings, but especially being able to stay home and go outside and look for bugs with my kids!!!!