Recently...(part 2)

...I took Lily Kay for another blood draw, to check on that level that was way out of whack (6 times higher than the previous draw).  While the number had come down, it was still higher than it should be. We've had to increase the dosage of LK's "white messin'"for her early morning and evening doses...but kept the middle-of-the-day dosage the same.  We will draw blood again in 2-3 weeks to see how that level is doing...


After not meeting during the summer, our homeschool group started back this past Friday.

Can I just say how happy I was to see all these precious women?  

Yeah, yeah...this group is for our kiddos, too...but it is every bit as much for us mamas, as well!

Up to this point - for the past 4 years - our group has taken fieldtrips and had play days (usually at the park or the bouncy place), but nothing too terribly structured.  But we're making a small move in the direction of more structured, and we started on Friday.

Now, once a month, we will have classes.  We meet at a local church and the children (broken into 4 different groups, by age) cycle between Art, Music, ASL, and recess/PE.   It went swimmingly on Friday!  I've heard nothing but great feedback, from children and mamas alike.


Speaking of the children's new art class at our homeschool group...

On Friday the children worked on portraits.  Here are three of my children's masterpieces:  (Elisabeth drew one of the adults helping in the class, and then gave it to her)

This is LK's interpretation of her friend Cole and his parents (Bet you didn't know your eyelashes looked purple to all of us, did you Shanna?)

And Daniel and Noah both drew portraits of their favorite little guy:

Daniel's portrait of Gabriel

And Noah's portrait of Gabriel shows just a wee little strip of skin on his belly...

...so that it wouldn't look like G was "wearing a dress".


And speaking of homeschool...

We have not been doing it this week.  I'm re-grouping this week.  We've completed 5 weeks of this year...and it has not been pretty.  It has been down-right ugly at times, if I'm completely honest.

Why has it been so difficult?  I've asked myself this many, many time over the past few weeks.  Is it that I have four doing real school now (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades).  Is it because the two youngest are very not independent yet?  And while the older two are more independent, they still need lots of my time (of course they do, they are only in 3rd and 4th grades!).  Do I have unrealistic expectations?  Or...is it just me?  As much as I detest that thought, I have been low on sleep, and high on hormones...neither of which is good.  Although I like each of our curriculum choices...are those the best choices given the realities of our specific family (4 stair steps in 1st-4th grade, and a 7-month old)???  I've been going back and re-evaluating everything...curriculum, schedule, philosophy, etc.

I've even had thoughts of enrolling the children in school flicker across my mind.  But they didn't stay long, because I simply know that I know that I know that we are supposed to be homeschooling.  (If I sent my kiddos off to school, I would be the most miserable woman in this country.)

Since He has called us to do this, that means that the Lord will show us HOW to do this thing right.

Jas and I have been doing much talking the last couple of weeks.  I've been seeking the Lord's wisdom (can I just say how thankful I am for the reminder in James 1:5?)  I've also been seeking counsel from dear homeschooling friends; I've spent much time bending the ears off Amy, Vicki and Melissa recently about all this.  We're changing some things up, and re-working some things.  I plan to get started again Monday...and I plan for things to go better.


We just yesterday received a new long-sleeve shirt that I ordered for Lily Kay.  She picked it out.  I paid 55 cents for it.

I read here about this new-to-me online Kids' clothing re-saler, thredUP.  I was able to get a $10 off referral credit.  Their website is clean and easy to navigate and it was a cinch to search, given that I knew I specifically wanted a long-sleeve shirt for my LK.  

If you'd be interested in checking it out, you can get $10 off your first purchase also.  Here's how:

- Click here and sign up for an account on thredUP. $10 will be automatically put into your account.
- Decide what you want to purchase and put it into your cart.
- Checkout - your $10 will automatically be deducted from your total.
- You can share your own referral code with friends on e-mail or facebook to earn even more credit.


I recently had a fender-bender in the Silver Bullet.  I turned a corner too sharp as I was pulling out of a parking space after grocery shopping...and I hit the rear corner of another car.  I was not on the phone.  I didn't even have any children with me in the van for that late night trip, so it's not like I was distracted or the van was noisy.  Argh!  I have no excuse.

As upset with myself as I was, Jas handled it perfectly.  He wasn't upset at me at all (I deserved it!)...and it just made me love him even more!


Speaking of the Silver Bullet...

We recently traded vehicles with some friends of ours for the weekend.  Anna and Hank took our Silver Bullet...we had their Suburban.  They were hosting 12 boys 6th/7th grade boys for a youth event for the weekend and needed a vehicle to transport them around in.

We had some interesting conversations in the pretty, white Suburban as we tooled around that weekend.  At first, the kiddos thought they might could really get used to that sort of ride.  But once we did some math and they realized that we couldn't fit any more kids if we drove a vehicle like that...they voted to get the Silver Bullet back!


  1. Oh Joli...I was hoping to have more time to just talk "homeschool" with you when I was there....but suffice to say you are doing a FANTASTIC job. Schooling that age group is just HARD and tedious until they can work on their own more indepenantly. So hang in there. It does get easier. Just focus on the "basics"/most important. Bible was always first for us. Then math and reading. If that is all you get done...that is A-ok!!!!!!
    And wishing/praying we someday will get a "silver bullet" Our Suburban is GREAT but filled to the gills! lol
    And checking out that clothing website. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Hope you have a productive week re-figuring things out for homeschool. It IS hard to have so many stair-stepped ages and yes...3rd/4th grade still need lots of attention. I have a friend who does the abeka online academy for her 3 (12th/8th/2nd grade). She is not involved in any aspect of it other then dropping assignments into the mail and taking them to various music/sports/misc lessons (to be taught by others) It does seem tempting at times....to be able to disengage from all aspects of my kids education like that...to help me get some balance. But then...I realize, part of why I want to homeschool is to BE a part of their education. So, I am seeking more balance without jumping ship to public school or a fully outsourced homeschool if we are to do this long term. Last year I did EVERYTHING. This year I'm "outsourcing" some subjects to the computer and a few outside lessons as we can afford them..and this feels like a better balance. But...we have only just begun and we have a long road ahead with issues with big girl and big boy. I guess we'll see what works. Anyway...you have far more experience then me in all this, but just wanted to send some encouraging words that is seems very much within expectation that your needs will change as your family changes...and the years have certainly brought you changes..and what works one year might not the next.

    We kind of feel the same way about the van vs SUV thing. We'd feel much cooler in the SUV. But, the van...it sure holds lots of friends and more kids then we think we could even handle. And it's nice not hopping over seats with wet shoes. I'm hanging onto the idea though....that in 3 years I'll have another driver :) So, a nice little car that parks easily on trips to the store might be in order. So maybe I'll have hope of looking cool once again in a few years! LOL!! :)

    Blessings, Jennifer



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