These make me laugh.  They're also a great reminder for us homeschooling moms to be authentic.

In honor of "keeping it real", I started writing out the nitty-gritty details of my day, knowing that my day was not a stellar homeschooling day.

As I was writing, I realized that it sounded pretty embarrassing, you know, with the lack of "learning" and "caring for the poor" and "homemade bread", so I decided not to post it. 

(clearing throat, shifting eyes...)

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Worth Sharing

I was introduced to this homeschooling journey partially through Educating the Wholehearted Child and other writings of Clay and Sally Clarkson. 

Recently, I became aware of her blog and have found some nuggets of wisdom there.  I thought her post today had some good advice.

It made me think of this little date that I had back in January with Matthew.

We've had some pretty special times in completely normal settings, like the park, the grocery store, McDonalds, etc.

I like it.  They like it.

We bond. 

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Garage Sale Find

I found this vintage outdoor set at a garage sale for $30!  
(As I've said before, I'm a big fan of garage sales and thrift stores.)  

It's solid metal and has waterproof cushions.  

Great bones...practical...inexpensive...SOLD.

It just needed a little love. 

I found this hunky guy to start power spraying it for me...then he handed the power sprayer off to me to finish the job.  Thanks, hunky guy. 

I spray painted the whole set bright yellow to match the cushions that I wasn't going to cover (they were in good shape and while not my first choice of color, they didn't look too bad and - BONUS - they match the swing set, grass, and prolific dandelions in our yard).  Now I have a fresh look for our back deck for a total cost of about $60 (the outdoor set was $30, and 6 cans of yellow spray paint was about $30).

The picnic table came with our house (we bought our house in 2008).  My dad put new boards on the top and the seats for my birthday present a couple years ago (love you Dad!).

We happened to have green and yellow mud boots that were sitting inside the house, so I put them on the deck since they matched.  :)

It's been so nice to actually use our back deck (forgive the washed-out picture...I'm still trying to figure out my new camera!)

Happy Summer...I mean, Spring!


Tommy is 2!

Happy Birthday to this...makes us laugh hysterically, keeps us on our toes, wants to be big, never a dull moment, sweet, cuddly, oh so cute, wonderful, lovable, terrific, 2 year old boy!  

We love you Tom Tom!

Love you handsome boy.  So glad the Lord gave you to us!



1 Year!

May 18, 2011 - May 18, 2012.
I've been blogging one year.  Cool. 

I've had a ton of fun creating this blog, crafting words, posting photos, "meeting" bloggers, connecting with others, learning new things...(I obviously still need to learn how to have certain posts - that were written days or weeks ago - actually post themselves on the correct day...hmmm...thought I had that one figured out already.  Apparently not, since this one did not post on the 18th, but does say May 18...confusing.)

Thanks for sharing this year with me.  :)
In honor of this most special anniversary ;), I thought I'd share some of my favorite posts from the year:

Those that may make you laugh ("for I dearly love to laugh"):  

Go ahead and laugh at me while I run - How Hard Could Running Really Be?
I'm not always the brightest tool in the shed - What Kind of Peanuts?
I have horrible aim - Diapers in the Gutter
I'm pretty sure I'm not a "real coffee drinker" - 4 Cream, 4 Sugar
3 short videos of Emilia's baking adventure (she's so cute) - Emilia the Baker

Those that pertain to homeschooling (because I really enjoy homeschooling my super sweet, fun kids):

Because every homeschool family is asked this question at least one (or one hundred) time(s) - The Socialization Question - Again
Our journey to homeschooling - Should We Homeschool?  And Book List
Left over jello and sluggishness - The Day My Children Really Wanted to Attend School
We're all about real-life learning - Maple Sugaring! and Playdate Turns Pernicious
Keeping it real (a.k.a. wearing me out) - Two Pages

Those that pertain to craftiness or decorating (because I like both of those things as well!):

Enjoying the separate space to do school - A New (Memory Filled) School Area
This easy menu board has been SO practical (I use it weekly!) - Menu Planning

This post that pertains to my daily life (because I love this life and this God who has given me life!):

Praying that I choose to dwell on the "normal wonderfulness" of each day - Some Days and Today

Enjoy your day!

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Tonight, I am thankful to the Lord for so much.  

Here's a smattering of sentimentality...

This sweet girl who "trained" her toad.  "Look Mom!  He stayed!"


An impromptu bonfire and camp-out in our backyard.

Those cute toes.  I just wanna kiss 'em.

Sibling love.  
(Oh yes, we did sleep like enchiladas all rolled up and stuffed together in this small tent and I got to sleep next to the smallest little enchilada who liked to "unroll" every now and then, landing on my head - thanks for asking...)

My handsome boys.

My beautiful Emilia all dressed up in my wedding attire.  Okay, take it off.  You can't grow up yet.  Hand me a Kleenex.

Being Wife and Mom.  I dig it.  So, so thankful the Lord has given me this family.

Pretty pink flowers.  Marveling at the intricacies that God creates.

Books.  Real, paper bound books.  Hold them, smell them, love them.

The love of learning that this girl has and my ability to learn along with her.  So cool.  Did I mention that I enjoy homeschooling?  I think I may have...


Tonight in our family devotion time, we were reading Ephesians 2:1-10.

vs. 8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."   

Thank you, Father, that we don't have to work our way into Heaven (since that would be impossible).  

Thank you - most of all - for the gift of salvation through your son, Jesus Christ.




So What Are You Thinking About Bed?

This is an odd question, but there's a story behind it.

I'm like a little kid, really.  I do not like going to bed.  Now, don't get me wrong.  If I am overly tired, I'll happily go to bed.  However, on a typical night I really don't like to go to bed.

Rewind to some years ago.
Nate:  "So, Heidi, you ready for bed yet?"


Nate:  "Um...do you feel like going to bed?"

Silence with a narrow-eyed stare.



"Well...I was getting tired, so I thought we could go to bed...if you want..."

More narrow-eyed staring and then,

Heidi:  "I really don't like when you ask me that."

Nate:  "HUH?!"

Heidi:  "I do not like going to bed.  I'm staying up forever."

Nate:  "Okay, then.  See you in the morning."  And he gets up to leave, which causes me to groan and thrash about like a small child who's trying really hard not to throw an all-out temper tantrum because I really don't want him to go to bed without me.  I love him.  I just don't want to sleep. 
Fast-forward to tonight.

Nate asked me, "So what are you thinking about bed?"  I think he thinks this cute way of phrasing the "bedtime" question will make me want to go to bed.  He's been using it for a number of years now. 

It doesn't.  I stay silent, hoping he'll forget he asked.  I start writing this post. 

It's now a half hour later and he's asking me again, "So, what about bed?"

I'm fighting my automatic internal (or external) tantrum response and reluctantly going to bed.  The day is over.  The productive, quiet night is over.  I can't do anything while I'm sleeping, which is such a bummer. 

Oh well, I'll get over it.

But I don't have to like it.

Yes, I have issues.



I received a super surprise Mother's Day gift on...Mother's Day.  Not sure why I needed to include that, but there you have it.  My children were very, very (sorry, too tired to look at thesaurus.com to find a cool word to use instead of very) excited to give me this present on...Mother's Day (I'm tired).

I got a Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera!  I actually have NO idea what all those digits mean, but I'm very, very (again) excited to figure it out!

So, I have this really cool digital camera that probably takes really awesome pictures, but I don't know how to use it very well yet.  There are a lot of dials and buttons and turny thingys.  It's all so very, very overwhelming.

My hubby, Nate, keeps telling me that there are manuals that I could be reading to figure out how to operate the camera and I keep nodding my head and smiling a fake smile.  He knows.  I really, really don't like manuals.

You see, he's a Civil Engineer.  I'm not.  Enough said.

While he devours every single manual that comes into our house, including the one that explains how to put together the lamp and turn it on (well, you never know what you may be missing if you don't read the instructions, Heidi), I just start fiddling with whatever has come out of the box, hoping to make enough sense out of it so that I can use it within 5 minutes instead of 35 minutes.  Reading those very, very boring manuals takes lots and lots of time.

So, I sit here with my expensive camera on the desk next to me while I type.  I've watched some You Tube videos on how to work it, taken lots of pictures, and fiddled with it here and there.  But I still have no clue how to get the pictures off of the camera card thing and into my computer.  My last camera card went right in my computer and up popped this box and I'd click on the box and all the pictures would go to my computer.  It was easy.  This new card doesn't do a thing when I put it in my computer.  I even got out a cord that looked like it may help me, plugged it in to the camera and computer, and...nothing.  Good grief. 

Nate recently reminded me (again) to read the manual.  He's sure that I'd find what I need to know if I just open that 567 page booklet and start at the beginning and read through from cover to cover.


So, I'll type and not post any pictures tonight because they're all stuck in the camera.  And tomorrow I'll send the manual with Nate to work so that he can read it to his heart's content and tell me what I need to know.  ;)


Library School

Yesterday, the older kids and I loaded up their school stuff and drove to our local library for a different way (I like different ways) to do school.  My younger two stayed home with Gramma Robin

We spent a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes there.  

We worked on reading, math, handwriting, and science.

Emilia finished her 2nd grade Horizons math workbook!

She usually did two lessons each time she did math.  At home, however, two lessons could take her FOOORRREEEVVVEERRR to do.  Seriously.  Forever.  I could have vacuumed; dusted; washed all the dishes; washed, dried, folded, and put away 5 loads of laundry; cleaned out the inside of the refrigerator; and scrubbed the tile floor.  With a toothbrush - for an hour.  And she still would have been working on the first problem.  (Okay, maybe that was a slight exaggeration...but only slightly.)     

It's amazing what completely focusing on the task at hand can do for a child.

At the library, it was just her and her math book (I took Jonny to the children's section so he could read to me), complete silence (except for the incessant ticking of the clock on the wall), and boring apple pictures on the (super bright yellow - so not good for the skin tone in pictures) wall.

She finished her last two lessons in RECORD time.  Not her record, mind you, because that would have been way too easy to beat.  But she even beat the record of that kid who does two lessons of math really fast and gets all the right answers.  Whoever that kid is.  Anyway, he no longer matters.  She holds the record now.

She's rockin' the cursive this year using a Handwriting Without Tears Cursive book.  She actually enjoys cursive writing, so this takes her a total of two minutes to complete (again with the exaggeration...it's more like five minutes).  

Aren't they just so cute?!  I love these times we spend together.  They and their sweet brothers make being "Mommy" pretty fun.  I'm fond of them.  

We even made time for a short "recess" at the park located next to the library. This decision may have had something to do with the fact that Jonny was acting like he just drank an entire Monster Energy drink, along with a Mountain Dew.  And a pound of sugar.  You can see it on his face just a little.  He was wired.  Maybe it was the neon yellow room.  We'll pick a more subdued shade next time.

I'd say it went very well, despite the blinding shade of yellow.

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