Psalm 147:1

"Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God's Blessings...

God's blessings are amazing and never ending!

From our last post you saw that we breed our two dogs and sell the pups. This litter has been a difficult one to sell. First off, they were all boys! Most people want girls or at least they think they do so they don't even come to look. Then we had to lower the price because they simply weren't selling. We've never had that happen before. I thought that being so close to Christmas would be a great time to sell them, but actually it turned out the opposite. Anyways, after lowering the price we have sold all but one little guy. Since the kids do soooo much work in the care of the pups, we decided the last little that we would give them $50 each to purchase whatever they wanted. This NEVER happens and we thought it would be another part of the learning process of breeding pups and the income received/tithes/saving that comes from hard work. (We do not give money for "extra" things done around the house.) Well, since we had to lower the price this time we told them they would each only receive $25. Which seems like a lot but after 3 months of daily caring for, feeding, bathing, and mostly cleaning up after 5 puppies twice a day - they deserve it. They were totally fine with the lower amount and understood. Again, another teaching moment!

Well, today I received an email from a couple who purchased a puppy on Saturday. They said that they were so grateful for the the care we had given the pup and that they were impressed with what great parents we were to our kids and that they wanted to bless them with a $50 gift card to Build A Bear! Seriously, that was so incredibly nice of them. It was a reminder that our Lord is in the blessing business!!! I haven't told the kids yet, but I can't wait. Not because of the money, but because it's another teaching/learning opportunity about how much Jesus loves them. I'm so proud of them for all their hard work and great attitudes.

Thank you Lord for Your amazing blessings and ways of reminding us that You see, know, and care!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Puppies, puppies, puppies

We are coming to the end of our 3 1/2 month puppy journey! 
Only one more. 
It's a lot of work, but worth it in the end. 
Not only for the extra $ but also for the learning experience it provides for the kids.
They not only got to watch them be born, 
but they learn about responsibility and caring for animals along with it.
Reagan adores the pups, but even she is was ready to be done cleaning puppy poop this time. :-)

We just have one little guy left....It's so nice just cleaning up after one 
but I'm also sad cause he misses his brothers. 

We had a fabulous day today after a great but LONG weekend getting 
ready for our Christmas program at church. 
After the program today we tore down the set and then Josh took us out to
Old Country Buffet. 
We haven't been in forever and if you sign up on Facebook with them you get a free meal!!!!!
We all ate and ate and ate. We were hungry. It was nice not cooking! 
Then we came home and all took a nap 
then Josh said he'd found a new $3 theater so we went and saw a movie as a family 
which never happens cause I won't pay the price for tickets at a regular theater. :-)
It was nice to have a bit of extra cash from the puppies to go to lunch and a movie. 
Now the rest goes to pay bills....but I know that sometimes I have to lighten up and 
let us enjoy spending a bit of it. Not much though....:-)
The kids work really, really hard helping to take care of them so it was a nice treat for them
 and helps them see that their hard work paid off with a great family day spent together with the $ we earned as a family. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What we do in school....

A friend asked me a few school related questions on fb so I thought I'd post my reply here as well:

I use Accelerated Christian Education. The only thing that I don't use at this point is Word Building for Busy. He was just writing the words (total busy work!) and not actually learning them for his test. So we switched to Spelling Power this year and I LOVE it for him. It's just one workbook (10.99) and he has 10 words a week that he focuses on and then does 2 pages in a workbook per day. I then enter the words on (free) and he loves going on there. I still use Word Building for Sweety.

 Adding extra stuff is really hard!!!! Currently we go to a homeschool co-op on Monday's and he is in a science class that has a lot of experiments for homework and it is nearly impossible to get them done on top of our REGULAR schoolwork.

Because of the way that ACE does their K/1st program thing, Javon has been a bit ahead the last few instead of keeping him going I stop every year with the 12 PACEs and then we work on extra stuff that I've picked up. Like last year we did extra American history lessons after he finished his PACEs for the year plus lot of writing projects because ACE is lacking in that area. So I guess to answer your question, I try to push a bit and get their 12 PACES done a bit early so that we can work on extra/other stuff for May and June.

I just find that PACEs help keep ME on track. When he is done and we are doing more random stuff I find it much easier for me to not stay on track as much.

As far as literature, we try do a lot of other reading stuff besides the required. He loves to read to Reagan and I want him to enjoy reading not hating it because the books are not interesting to him. We also have a chapter book that we read one chapter together as a family in the afternoon. We just started that this year and I've found that it's been really good to just have them LISTEN to the story as I read it and then tell it back to me in a few sentences. More the Charlotte Mason approach.

We read a Proverbs together every morning. They each pick one verse they like and write it out. This is one of my favorite parts of each day!

Breaking it down:
Regular school year - PACEs except WB (Spelling Power and for Busy

After they've finished their 12 PACEs then we work on other stuff. Specifically I have TAUGHT them American History the past two spring/summers, but not put the pressure of tests or any of that along with it. More me reading it to them and them listening and talking about it.....I wouldn't want them to do that all the time though. It think it's a nice change of pace for a period each year however. We also do a lot more hands on science experiments once PACEs are done. It's a bit of incentive actually to get their PACEs done and labeling the other stuff FUN/DIFFERENT. It's kindof neat to see what I'm going to pull out each day for them.

I pick one day a pick to do ART and then one day a week to JOURNAL. Last year I tried to journal every day and it was just too time consuming so we've backed off to one day a week.

Summers we do lots of random stuff that I've picked up or collected throughout the year. Then in September we're back to PACES and more routine.

Hope that gave you a bit of insight into our world. We for sure don't do it perfect. And every year it changes a bit. I'm sure you know how that goes. I have really tried this year to evaluate things and just relax a bit with it all. They are both ahead anyways. Every once in a while, if I'm confident that they know something I'll mark out a page or a few lines on a page and Busy things that is the coolest thing. :-)

Blessings as you raise those beautiful kiddos of yours.

Sorry it was soooo long and babbling! :-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Gifts

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

-Oren Arnold