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.