A Great Big Mess {Finer Things Friday}

Sometimes the best way to have fun is by making a great big mess.  Two little boys and two hours of  fun is a Finer Thing!



Whatever My God Ordains

Whatever my God ordains is right,
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, or need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken,
My Father’s care circles me there,
He holds me that I shall not fall,
And so to Him I leave it all.

~Samuel Rodigast

Getting things accomplished and also taking a break {Finer Things Friday}

I keep crossing things off my “To do before baby comes” list. But yet it seems to keep growing as I keep thinking of cleaning, organizing, and cooking projects I want to accomplish. So much to do….and baby will be here so soon! I have gotten quite alot accomplished this week, but my poor preggo body can’t quite keep up with what my brain wants to do most days. This morning my husband told me that nesting was not a sign of coming labor for me, because I am always cleaning and organizing. 🙂

Yesterday I had to remind myself, no matter what projects are left undone on that list when baby comes….well, it won’t really matter when I am holding that sweet little boy in my arms. I doubt I will care much about that one last closet that didn’t get cleaned out and organized. So yesterday evening Isaac and I took some time to lounge around in the livingroom together. And  today when my three year old interrupted my cleaning to ask me to snuggle on the bed with him, well, I took a break and said, “yes”. I almost didn’t take time to write this post….but I did. I love getting things accomplished, but sometimes fogetting the list and taking a break is a Finer Thing! Most of all, knowing that in just a few weeks our new little one will be here is  certainly a Finer Thing! I just can’t wait to hold that baby in my arms!

This past Sunday at 35 1/2 weeks.

Learning New Things {Finer Things Friday}

Isaac started school last week. He’s doing great and it’s been so much fun to see him learn new things. For his music I am teaching him piano. We only do it twice each week, but he is picking it up very quickly. And yesterday he played his first real song! 🙂 He was pretty proud of himself, and so were we! Learning new things is certainly a Finer Thing!

“Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door” by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler

“Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door” is geared toward teens and helping them make sense of different issues concerning the Bible and Christianity. Each of the forty-two chapters takes a myth or misconception and exposes it as such. Some of the various topics include myths concerning Jesus, the Resurrection, faith, heaven, the Bible, sex, and love.

This is written in very simple, easy, and even fun way, and would be something any teen could read. I would suggest it for teens that are searching for answers or are new Christians, and do not have a strong foundation. It is very basic, and not deep or very theological. I liked that  at the end of each chapter there is a section called  “Brain food” with more scripture references and questions that encourage the reader to get into the Bible and find out more about the topic.

Disclosure: I received this book free as part of the BookSneeze review program from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Why? & What?

This week we started homeschooling our oldest son, Isaac, for his kindergarten year. Some people wonder why we home school. Some have asked what curriculum we are using. Yes, there is method to our madness. 🙂

First of all the Why? of homeschooling. Schooling your children in the various christian circles can be a touchy subject. Some people are gung-ho for one particular schooling method and judge those who do not align themselves with that method. For us, it was a fairly simple choice. But we do not judge other parents who have chosen differently. God has given us our children to raise and train for Him. And educating our children is part of that. It is our responsibility, something we cannot give over to another and have no involvement. We firmly believe that God is in all things, and all things are because of Him. We want our children to learn this in every area of life, even in their education. We desire for them to know God better and see God in everything they learn, whether it is in the order of mathematics or the way the world works in Science. We also desire for our children to have a full, well-rounded education from this perspective. So we have decided to home school. It is not something we take lightly, and we are seeking to do this well. We are not homeschooling because all other options are evil, or we do not want our children exposed to the unsaved world. We are homeschooling because we believe, for us, it is what is best. It is what God has given us to do in training our children to follow after Him.

As for curriculum. We are desire to take a classical approach as we school our children. And that will take more effect as they continue through school. For kindergarten, I looked at many different possibilities. I talked to several people, and thought about what would best fit with our goals, and our budget. Not any one curriculum seemed to satisfy me. So I picked and chose to create our own.

Bible – We do a Bible story from The Jesus Story Book Bible, Scripture memory, and catechisms. We will also be going through The ABC’s of Church History.

Phonics – We begin with our Play ‘n Talk Phonics program (which appears to be hard to find now, I got mine from my mom who taught for many years), and then also do worksheets from Explode the Code  and Modern Curriculum Press Phonics.

MathSaxon Math 1

Science  – I did not buy a curriculum for this subject. Each week Isaac chooses an animal that he would like to learn about (he loves this and already has a list of several!) and we go to the library and check out several books about that animal. I also find several good video’s on YouTube about this animal (BBC and National Geographic usually have pretty neat ones on there). Then in school we read the books, watch the video’s, and then put together a few pages in our “Science Notebook” about that animal and what he has learned. He is loving this, and so am I!

Handwriting – We are doing d’nelian manuscript for our handwriting and we are using this book and free printables from this site.

Literature – I am reading aloud classics to him. We will be making our way through three different books that I already had on hand(here, here and here). This week we have read some of Aesop’s fables as well as classic tales such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Goldilocks and the Three Bears, etc. 

Music – He is starting piano. I am taking him through the first book of Alfred’s Basic Piano Library. This is the same book I used over 20 years ago when I took began taking lessons as a child. It still has all the same songs and illustrations even! We are also planning/hoping to have him start taking violin lessons within the next few months.

I also have quite alot of extra supplemental workbooks and such that my mom has passed down to me that we can pick and choose from.

So far, three days in, things are going well and I am quite pleased with the curriculum we have chosen. He is doing very well and so far every morning is excited to get started! 🙂 We begin at 9:30 each morning and end at 12:00. This time seems to work well for us and so far allows us to accomplish everything if we stick to our schedule. We will see how things go in a few weeks when we throw a new baby into the mix! 🙂

I would love to hear from you other home school moms. If you have any great ideas, recourses or experience to share please leave a comment!

Labor Day

We had the best kind of Labor Day on Monday…..the kind where you relax instead of labor! 🙂 Aaron and Katie had us over for a cookout along with both sets of parents. The weather was in the 60’s and mostly sunny. It was simply beautiful. We ate, sat in our chairs, and relaxed all afternoon! Adam and the boys spent quite alot of time fishing off the dock, and they enjoyed that. It’s fun to see them old enough to enjoy doing things like that with daddy. And of course I just take pictures! 🙂

Isaac’s First Day of School

Yesterday Isaac started kindergarten. We are homeschooling Isaac….so thankfully there were no tears on this Mama’s part when I had to leave him for his first day. But there was still plenty of excitement! He has been looking forward to school starting for quite some time. And he did very well. I can hardly believe I have a child old enough for school!

The Island {Finer Things Friday}

We have an “island” here in Wausau. At least that’s what we call it. It’s right downtown, a small spot of land in the river accessible by a bridge. Years ago it was used in logging, back when they floated the logs down the river. Now there is a nice walking path and plenty of  bugs, sticks, and plants to interest little boys. The boys have been asking all summer to go….and we just haven’t gotten around to it. But this week we finally did. We walked the path, and then we fished off the bridge. It was a fun family outing. And it was a Finer Thing.