Thursday, December 25, 2008


...from our family to yours.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Raingutter Regatta

Kendrick's cubscout pack had a raingutter regatta at his last meeting. They had two raingutters filled with water. Each boy had been given a boat kit to assemble and decorate. They raced their boats in the gutters by blowing on the sails. Kendrick did quite well at first. He didn't win, but he had a great time anyway. Our pastor's son did win first place and will go to the district race.

At the "dock" ready to go.

Kendrick's boat - The Wind

On your mark, get set...


They all got a ribbon for participating.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dad's and Dustin's Birthdays

Dad and Dustin both have birthdays in November. We were together last Saturday to celebrate them.

This is the picture of a present that he is going to receive. It isn't in yet.

Lately everyone gets to pick what kind of dessert they would like to have. Dustin picked ice cream dessert. Since it is a little hard to put candles into, Christina made a small cake for that purpose.

A few more pics for your enjoyment.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


My kids were invited to three fall parties this year: one at the nursing home where Mark's dad is, one at church, and one in town. They were chosen as "best of a group of 3 or more", and were on the front page of a local newspaper. Here they are in all their "finery". (The extra is Kayleigh, a friend.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dawson's Birthday

I am way behind in my posting (again). This was the October birthday get-together. Dawson turned 4 years old. We also celebrated Mark's and Marsha's birthdays.

Checking it out.

His reaction to new socks.

Trying out the new sleeping bag.

Thanks, Aunt Crystal, Uncle Paul, Erika, Paul David and Alana

Blowing out the candles.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bike-a-Thon and Cub Scout Picnic

Last Saturday, we finally were able to have the bike-a-thon to raise money for the sound system at church (no rain). The children were to ride a maximum of 100 laps around the church parking lot. Krista and Kendrick both rode the 100 laps, Kara rode 54 laps, and Kaylee rode around a few times. It isn't real noticeable, but the parking lot slants slightly so riding around the one side took more effort than the other. Kaylee would get on the uphill side and not be able to go anywhere. Some of the teen girls would push her a ways until she could get going herself. Mostly she rode in the center of the lot where the "official" riders were not allowed to ride. It was safer that way anyway. I was proud of Kara; she rode much further than I expected she would.

Here they are waiting in line for instructions and permission to begin.


I didn't get many pictures of them. I was helping to count laps, and they all went around so fast it left our heads spinning. ;>)

Later we went to the Cub Scout family picnic. We ate, visited with other cub scout families, fished, and hiked. Krista and Kendrick both caught fish.

Krista's fish is a little hard to see because it blends in with the cattails on the other side of the pond, but if you look close, you can see it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why I Homeschool (Part 3)

(While this has not been an exhaustive list, this will be my final one on my reasons and benefits. For now any way;) I am glad that we have chosen to homeschool and would not trade it for anything.)

#12. MORE FIELD TRIPS We try to go on at least one field trip a month. This gives us more insight into the world around us. (Check my "Butterflies Up Close" post.) This past school year we have seen interesting animals; toured a bakery, a fire station, police station and a post office; participated in a music recital and education fair; Christmas caroled at an area nursing home; and many other things. We have some interesting things lined up for this year: Noah's Lost Ark, Schoenbrunn Village, and the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. (Can't wait!)

#13. FLEXIBLE VACATION TIME I can choose to take family vacations when vacation spots are least busy and not have to worry about my children missing valuable class time.

#14. LEARN TO BE SELF-RELIANT Character qualities of self-reliance, initiative taking, leadership and being a self starter are much sought after by employers and people in general. My children have the freedom to pursue things that interest them. They can do so in a safe, accepting setting in which they experiment and try things without the worry of being teased or bullied if they don't succeed.

Today I found a study done by the Fraser Institute entitled "Homeschooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream".
It is an interesting read. While it is 24 pages long, some of the pages are not full length, the first page is a table of contents, and the last five pages are references and "about the authors". An easy read. One fact I found interesting is this list of homeschooled Americans: Presidents George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Also homeschooled were John Jay, Thomas Edison, Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington, Mark Twain, and Andrew Carnegie.

In case anyone is concerned that I am not "doing it right", I am accountable to my local school board. I have to agree to provide 900 hours of education per year. My children have to be tested or assessed at the end of every school year. Those results are sent to my school superintendent. I have to provide an annual list of curriculum and outline of what we plan on learning this year. If I do not follow the guidelines, I will be denied approval to excuse my children from the compulsory school attendance law.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why I Homeschool (Part 2)

(Here are a few more of my benefits and reasons.)

#6. CUSTOMIZED CURRICULUM I don't have to stick to one curriculum if I find that one is not working for a particular child. My child can also work at his/her own pace. If one struggles with learning, we can take a little more time going through it. If one excels in learning, we can go a little faster.

#7. I CHOOSE MY CHILDREN'S FRIENDS I have a lot more say in this area then I would if they attended school. Not all friendships made in even Christian schools are healthy, Christian relationships. (I know! I attended a Christian school all my school years and also taught in one for 6 years.)

#8. MORE PEACEFUL MORNINGS It seemed that no matter how early we started getting ready for school in the mornings, there was always this last minute frantic rush, especially if for some reason the children did not get to bed on time the previous evening (revival, etc.). Our mornings now can be a little more relaxed since we don't have a deadline. If we had a late night, the children can sleep in. Well-rested children learn better and are in a better mood. Everyone is happier, especially MOM.

#9. BETTER SOCIALIZED CHILDREN I know this a biggy with a lot of people. Since we began to homeschool, we have kept our old friends, but have made so many more new, wonderful friends. My children are not just learning to socialize with their peers, but know how to interact with people of ALL ages.

#10. BETTER STEWARD OF MY MONEY Especially with gas prices these days! We have less wear and tear on vehicles and are safer than out driving twice a day. Also, I never have to "school clothes shop". My children wear the same old, same old until they outgrow it, and no one cares.

#11. NOT ALL LEARNING COMES FROM BOOKS When we are finished with "book learning" for the day, we can move on to other activities. My children can spend more time with me in the kitchen and doing household chores. We are building a house, and the children have become involved. They have painted, put together kitchen cupboards, learned to use hammers and screwdrivers and have a greater knowledge of things then I ever did at their ages.

(More to come.)

September Birthdays

We got together with my family to celebrate the birthdays of Larissa (1) and Shane (14).

I guess when you are 1, you need LOTS of help :)


... has joined the Cub Scouts. He is very excited about it. Now he is actually doing "boy" things with other boys instead of just tagging along doing "girl" things. While we have done things that he enjoys (i.e. canoeing, fishing, etc.), this is the first time he has joined something specifically for him. He has a couple of friends that also joined the pack, and I expect he will make more friends as the year progresses. There are 14 or 15 boys which is a large pack when the average is 6-8. He is going to have a great time. Here he is in his brand-spanking new uniform.

Here he is receiving a new patch from his Cubmaster for joining. (Camera flash wasn't working well so it is rather dark.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why I Homeschool (Part 1)

When I began to homeschool three years ago, I had my reasons for doing so. We sent Krista to a Christian school for three years and Kendrick for one before we chose this option. As time progresses, I find more and more reasons why I think this is the best choice I could make for my children. Many people think homeschooling is a new concept. Actually it has been the predominant form of education throughout history. Many of our Founding Fathers were educated at home. I realize homeschooling may not be an option for everyone, but here are some of my reasons and benefits: (Feel free to comment. I would love to hear your opinions.)

#1. (First and foremost) IT IS MY GOD-GIVEN RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE MY CHILDREN Deuteronomy 6:6-7 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." Ephesians. 6:4 "And you, fathers, ... bring (your children) up in the training and admonition of the Lord." I am best able to do this with my children with me. Some choose to give others this responsibility; I choose to do it myself.

#2. I LOVE HAVING MY CHILDREN WITH ME The hardest part of taking my children to school was leaving them with someone else all day long. It did not get easier year after year nor child after child. Now I know what my children are doing all day long and don't have to be concerned about their safety and welfare while not in my care.

#3. NO ONE LOVES MY CHILDREN LIKE I DO While I know there are very dedicated, loving teachers out there that really enjoy teaching, none of them love my children the way I do nor have the time in a school setting to show them that love.

#4. LOW TEACHER-TO-STUDENT RATIO This is a big thing in schools now days. Teachers do not have enough time to give students that one-on-one individual attention that many children need. Yes, it can be a little hectic at times at home when all need attention at the same time, but sharing time with 3 siblings is a lot better than sharing time with 15- 30 other students.

#5. INSTANT FEEDBACK One of the things that always frustrated me when my children were in school was the fact that often times I would not see their work until a week or so later. If they were struggling in an area, I would not find out about it until they had moved onto other things. Now I know TODAY if we are having difficulty and can correct it right now.

(To be continued.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Butterflies Up Close

Today we went to a butterfly house at a botanical garden. They had several different species of butterflies and moths in a little greenhouse sort of building. We were given a Q-tip to dip in sugar water. Then we put it under the mouth of a butterfly, and it could climb up on the Q-tip to eat the sugar. Some of them just landed right on us. The kids were pretty intrigued with the whole thing.

This one landed on Kara almost as soon as we entered.

Kaylee isn't too sure about holding a "bug".

Kara got this one to climb onto her finger. It stayed there for quite awhile. She got tired of holding it, and the lady in charge helped her transfer it to a flower.

When Krista was done holding butterflies, she got out her notepad and began taking notes. (So she could "remember what I learned today".)

Below is a close-up of the one Kendrick is holding.