Year three of Home School coming to a close

Well our third year of official home school is coming to a close.  This year Natalie learned to read, she worked through her basic addition and subtraction in math.  Then there is the Classical Conversations work we did.  Oh, where to begin with that.  She memorized most of the states and capitals, the presidents, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, loads of irregular verb conjugations, grammar definitions, skip counting facts and math conversions, she began learning a new timeline of human history as well.  We covered a lot more material that she did not completely commit to long term memory yet…some of it we are still working on even though our CC year has ended. She has determined to master all of her memory work for next year and I’m going to help her.

Jameson swept me off my feet with how much he memorized as well this year, I’d estimate about 70% of what his sister learned which was astonishing for a 4 year old!  He’s half way finished with his kindergarten math and will be learning to read over the summer.

I’ve already ordered her cycle 1 memory work and we will begin working on the updated timeline and finish learning the math facts she has yet to commit to long term memory.   I have my summer homework set before me.  I have ordered this lapbook for cycle 1.  I think that my crafty kids will enjoy putting these together and will help reinforce the memory work and aid in committing the information to long term memory.   There is a current giveaway for the lapbook if you hurry you can enter to get one free!  It is a .pdf that you are able to download and print out and use for your whole family.

This summer will be lots of trips to the library, reading and reading and reading, as well as some math review!

I’m excited about building out more of our little home school this coming year and I’m super excited about the number of close friends that we have who have chosen to jump on the home school bus with us this fall!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day! It’s also move day for our little family!

A few days ago Natalie found a real 4 leaf clover at our new house!

While we don’t believe in luck, but the goodness of our God! It sure is fun to find something rare. I searched my whole childhood for a four leafed clover.. Never did I find one!

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Random thoughts…my grandmother

This past weekend one of my grandmothers went home to be with Jesus. I thought I’d share my perspective on having her as my grandmother. I’ve shared with a few friends about her passing and each time I could not help but say these words. “My grandmother passed away today, she loved the Lord with all her heart, mind and strength and she loved her neighbor as herself.” Her life exemplified what Christians are told is the first and second greatest commandments. She was a true delight to everyone who knew her. And if you met her you wanted to get to know her better.

Here is a small glimpse of what I know about her.  She was one of the most positive people I’ve known.  Her smile lit up her whole face and the room she was in. She laughed easily and would give her honest opinion when asked.  Her home was never locked up. Anyone who knew my grandparents knew you could get in their house anytime you wanted. Just move the latch on the OUTSIDE of the screen door and turn the handle and you were in! It was not uncommon to come home from church or other outing with my grandparents and find someone sitting on their couch. Grandma would turn on a pot of coffee and start dinner and these guests would stay and visit a while with us. They would be friends, neighbors, or maybe distant family, all loved ones that would eat at the round table taking up the majority of Grandma’s kitchen and then possibly play a game of dominoes after dinner.

When it came time to sleep we’d make “baptist pallets” out of blankets on the floor next to our cousins and chit chat until we fell asleep, then always we woke up to grandma making coffee and breakfast for us the next morning. I rode my bicycle for hundreds of miles around the block near her house. I just had to stop and check in every couple of laps around. Grandma loved to hear all about whatever was going on in our lives. She would engage, ask questions, listen attentively and then next time she saw me she would ask me all about it how it was going.

She was born during the roaring twenties and grew up during the great depression. She picked cotton by hand… um can you say, BACK BREAKING WORK!. She was born at home, breach!. She had two beautiful girls and the oldest was 7 before she got running water and electricity inside her house. (And I moan about not having a dishwasher!)  She had two more girls after getting electricity.  She knew all too well the searing pain of loosing an unborn child. She and my grandpa raised 4 girls in a house that would probably fit in my living/dining room. She never owned a brand new car, yet she passed from this life one of the richest women you’ve ever met.

She loved her neighbor as herself. Here’s how I know. She would plan a garage sale and would mend a torn pair of pants or shirt, just to sell it for a quarter! If someone was ever in need around her she would do what she could to meet it.

I was so delighted to tell her about me becoming a mommy. I vividly recall telling her about being pregnant with Jameson. Her memory might have begun to fail, but her inner beauty radiated clearly. She was ecstatic for us and she asked questions and made the best conversation. Most expecting moms wants someone to share in the joy and engage in conversation in this way. At least eight times that day she would realize that I was pregnant and I had the joy of telling her I was expecting and she would light up with beaming joy again.  Clearly her memory was fading but who she was shined right through.  I counted it as an honor to get to tell my grandma and see her excitement so many times!   It served to burn into my brain how delighted for me she was!

When the time came for her to require nursing home care she took this in stride. She told me “sometimes you do things you don’t want to, but if you put a smile on your face it makes it easier on everyone.” And you know when I was able to visit her there, she was always joyous, had her head held as high as she could get it and appeared to make the most of her situation. The staff often remarked to me that she was a delight to have around and they wished others could have the attitude she had. Her joy was not found in her situation or her circumstance. Her joy was found in Christ.

She loved her husband. I always saw her model love and respect toward my grandpa. She knew how to take care of her home and I always saw her run it with grace and love and yet not ever run over her husband in the process. She loved him dearly and missed him fiercely when he was gone. After he passed when she spoke of him she would do it with a tear and a smile. I’d like to think that’s how I will always speak of this dear woman who was more beautiful than the flower she was named for, both inside and out.   She gave generously, loved wholeheartedly, and lived fully.

I will miss her, even so I grieve with Hope and full confidence that I will see her beautiful smile once again and we will worship our risen King together.

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Natalie and the Presidents

This week in school we will start memorizing the Presidents of the USA.  I never did this as a child and am excited to learn along with the kids.  Natalie started learning them early and now has them memorized!

check her out

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Cards, friends, chocolate.

Oh Happy Valentine’s Day.  So many people rebel against Valentine’s day saying it’s overly commercialized and we should eat chocolate and tell others how much we love them all the time, not just today… I agree… But I also like having an extra day set aside to reiterate our love for each other…uh, AND to eat some extra chocolate.

My favorite childhood memory of Valentine’s Day was from when I was 7 years old.  This was the only year we lived in the same town as any of my Grandparents.  They never really lived far just not in the same exact same town.   After a great day of exchanging valentines and I’m not sure what else we learned that day, I rode the school bus to my grandma’s house for an overnight visit.  I always took my Scholastic book orders to her house because My grandpa would pull out a few dollars from his wallet and help me pick a few books to order.

We homeschool our children and I wanted to make sure my kids had fun memories of telling others they love them, enjoying some sweet treats… So today we went to our weekly class and brought Valentine’s with us to share with friends!   But they also woke up this morning to a small gift from mommy and daddy!    We love them and want them to know it every day and sometimes to do extra special things to communicate our love.

This year I went way out of my creative comfort zone and made cards.   This is a HUGE stretch for me.  I love to cut and sew fabric but paper, stamps, die cuts all that really gives me a large amount of anxiety.  I don’t find it relaxing at all.  When a friend invited me to hang with some girls and make Valentine’s cards, I almost declined for the 3rd year in a row.  But I went, had a great time and felt good to give my kids handmade cards this year.

At Breakfast my boy even said “mommy, I just want to do one thing today… take you on a date!”  How did I get so blessed, amazing love of my life, best friend and husband all rolled in one handsome package; three beautiful children and a Glorious God whom has shown more love than I can ever fathom.

Cheers to love, handmade cards, exchanging valentines with friends and eating extra bites of chocolate! My Heart is full.

How do you Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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Quilt Stories…

Handmade quilts have stories.  They often have stories around them telling about the people that made them, contributed to them, gave them or received them.

This is the first installment of a new series on my blog called “quilt stories.”

This quilt is a gift from an Aunt to her niece who is due to arrive next week.  The aunt contacted me to make a patchwork quilt that looked more of an old school style with random fabrics on it in mostly girl tones.  The aunt also inquired about memory quilts from  clothing.  She said she had some old clothes of her mothers that she’d love made into a quilt.  She also said that her mom had passed away a few years back.  I wrote back that I’d love to include some of the grandmothers clothes in the baby quilt I was making for her.  As Auntie went through her moms things she found some embroidery squares that were made years ago.  She sent them to me to include in the quilt.   Grandma won’t get to meet her grand daughter, but this very loved little girl will get to know something of her grandmother through her baby quilt.

What an honor for me to be included in the process of pulling together these generations of this family at such a treasured time as the birth of a new family member.

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A couple of firsts.

First Ballet Lesson

First time writing his name

Being a mommy…pretty much the best gig EVER!

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Random thoughts on Family..

Oh how I love going to my grandmothers house.  The smells are familiarly soft, it feels comfortable.  The generous love my grandmother has given me radiates in my mind every time I picture that big white house on the hill.  But, you know, that sweet house filled with memories, does not a family make.   Family is much more, it is people.

In the very same way, the church is not a place.  It is a people.  A people who love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, proclaim the good news and relieve suffering of those around them.

We experienced church as family for the first time.  The people of God gathered together living  on mission.  Our lives looked different, our marriage was different.  Everything changed because we were part of this family, this church.  God used it and we had no choice but to change.   During those early years and since Drue Phillips wrote songs for us to sing in worship to Jesus.  These songs were a result of the work God was doing in lives.   Drue’s life, our lives, the lives of those around us.   He recently recorded those songs.  No Choice But to Change is a beautiful telling of our story and the story of so many others.

This is a part of our story.  Our history.  Really it’s HIS-story.  Check out the music and hear the beautiful story God is writing.

Stay tuned… because His story is still being orchestrated in our lives, through our new community here in Southern California.

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Why did I not think of this before now…

Oh yeah, this is why…

Taking GOOD photos of your own children and your own products is not an easy task to combine!

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New Fabric and TWO GIVE AWAYS!

I just love a new year!  I’ve revamped and refreshed my fabric selection for my personalized quilts.  All quilt sizes now have loads of fabric available!  Don’t stop there though, you can ALWAYS contact me for custom fabric requests!

Here are the new fabrics available:

GIVEAWAY#1. $30 TRACYBUG CREATIVE CREDIT: Go Like TRACYBUG CREATIVE on Facebook.  Find the story about the giveaways: Tell me there which fabric is your favorite: GIVEAWAY #2 $50 TRACYBUG CREATIVE CREDIT: Then Share the link on your timeline about the giveaways.  When I reach 300 Likes I will give $50 to a random person that “shared” the story.

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