Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Break

Normally, we travel as often as we can during vacation time to visit family.   However, this year we decided to stay home during Todd’s Spring Break and plan a “staycation” of sorts!  We tried to do something fun and different every day.  It ended up being the best week we’ve had together in a long time!

On Monday, we played golf.  Actually, Todd played golf while I drove the cart and tried to explain to a 5-yr-old why we had to be silent when players were teeing off.  It was a gorgeous day and so nice to be outside in the sunshine!  Grace was the official “flag mover.”  It was hilarious watching her try to lift and maneuver the awkward pole while daddy putted.


On Tuesday, we went to see “Alice In Wonderland” in 3D.  I know, I know.  Probably not the best choice for a 5-yr-old.  There were some pretty intense scenes.  I took her out to the bathroom during one particularly scary part.  She loved it, though!  All the animals and creatures delighted her.  Thankfully, we haven’t heard word one about the scary dragon or river with decapitated heads.  She’s been sleeping as well as usual and talks about the movie happily.  Just sayin’….

On Wednesday, we rode the Trinity Railway Express to the Dallas Mavericks game.  Grace loved the train ride more than the basketball game!  It’s a double-decker train, so we sat on top and enjoyed the view!


The Mavs game was tons of fun!  At first Grace was overwhelmed by the loudness, the height of the nose-bleed section, and the screaming fans.


But she soon warmed up and ended up dancing and entertaining everyone around us when the music played.  She also informed me that she wanted to dance “just like those girls.”  (The Mavs Dancers).  Um…

On Thursday we went to Six Flags, along with every other human being in the D/FW area.  I’m not kidding when I say it took us 2 1/2 hours to go one mile on the interstate, park, and walk into the park.  We waited in line for about an hour for each ride we rode.  Good times.


On Friday, Todd took Grace on a daddy date.  Anytime Todd takes her out, you just never know what they’ll come home with.  After a couple of hours, she proudly arrived home with this:


Her first bicycle.  And daddy succumbed to the “Snow White” model because, of course, the most important thing about a new bike is the princess purse that is attached to the front, which conveniently holds lip gloss.  That’s my girl!

And what was I doing while Todd and Grace were painting the town?

I was painting my kitchen!!!


And re-upholstering my breakfast room chairs!!!


And sewing new draperies!!!


In addition to painting my walls, I sanded and painted our cabinetry white.  It was a LOT of work, but totally worth it.   It really brightens up the room and makes me feel happy when I cook!

We thoroughly enjoyed the week together, and Grace was sad to see daddy go back to work on Monday.  Back to reality!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kindergarten Decision

Todd and I have been spending time over the last few months researching and praying about different directions we could go with kindergarten next year for our Grace.  You can read about our options and thoughts in my previous posts, Kindergarten Contemplations Part I and Part II

I’m so thankful that I wrote about it on my blog, because I received  lots of great feedback and access to resources as a result!  I appreciate that tremendously!

And the decision is….drumroll….I WILL HOMESCHOOL!

There, I said it.  It’s official.  Whew.  I’m glad to have a decision, and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around what it means for our little family.

Just of a few of the many emotions/adjectives that are running rampant through my brain are:

excited, scared, crazy, relieved, curious, happy, confident, hesitant

Anyone that has faced the possibility of homeschool has probably felt many of the same things.  The first two emotions are the most pronounced at the moment.

I’m excited because:

  • I get to spend time with my little girl instead of sending her off to school every day!
  • I truly believe that Grace will enjoy it.  She loves to do school at home and always asks me to do it more often. 
  • It’s a new challenge.  And I love new challenges.
  • I can tailor my program to exactly what she needs considering her learning style, abilities, interests, etc.
  • There is a whole new world of homeschool families and resources that we will meet and grow to love.
  • Grace will be a part of the Travis Academy of Fine Arts.
  • I feel that God will bless our efforts to educate our daughter at home.

I’m scared because:

  • I want to do a good job, but I don’t always feel confident.
  • What if I forget to teach her something?
  • The responsibility of homeschool lessens opportunities for earning money through sewing, cake decorating, etc. and increases expenses for curriculum, TAFA, organized sports, membership expenses, etc.
  • I’m a procrastinator by nature, and I just CAN’T be that way and be an effective home educator.

All things considered, the promise I am holding close to my heart through this decision comes from Proverbs 22:6:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Our prayer is that we are making a decision that will bless our daughter, our family, and give honor to our Lord.  I also take comfort in the fact that the decision to homeschool for kindergarten next year does not mean we are stuck on that path for the next 13 years.  Thankfully, public school and other charter schools are options that we feel comfortable considering if homeschool does not work out for whatever reason.

I haven’t made any solid decisions yet about curriculum, but I’m leaning toward Saxon for math.  When I worked at the elementary school level, I remember our math teachers complementing Saxon very highly.  It is very systematic, building concepts and reinforcing learning along the way.  There are lots of hands-on activities with manipulatives and practice.  I also like that there are frequent assessments to measure learning.

For language arts/reading, I’m looking at Sonlight, Saxon, Lifepac, and Horizons.  I’ve still got a lot of research to do on this.

I’ll probably use supplements from my local Mardel homeschool supply store for resources relating to science, history, and geography. 

Now that we’ve made the decision to homeschool, I’d appreciate any recommendations on curriculum from any homeschool moms out there!  Positive recommendations or concerns through your experience…

Thanks for the continued prayers as I prepare for this exciting new journey!

Hello Old Friends

Greetings, everyone!  First, let me apologize about my extended absence.  Several of you have asked or e-mailed to find out where I’ve been, and I don’t really have a good explanation other than being busy!  In the past, I’ve been convicted that I spent time blogging when it would have been better spent doing something else (exercising, reading, teaching Grace, cleaning, etc.)  So, I’m really trying to prioritize and be responsible.  I’ve got several things stored in my head that I’ve been wanting to write about and hopefully I’ll have the time to do it soon.

This season in my life has been very full, and for that I am so thankful.  God has opened up several opportunities for me to contribute to the family income, and so I’ve spent a lot of time lately in the kitchen baking and decorating cakes.  Here’s my latest cake creation for a special baby shower:


Also, two friends have hired me to design and create draperies for their new homes!  I got so excited over these projects, that it inspired me to redecorate my family room and kitchen!  So, when I can find time, I’m sewing new curtains for all my windows and repainting my downstairs.  I’ll be sure to post pictures when I’m done.

Next week is Spring Break, and Todd and I are planning a “staycation!”  We’re going to use our season passes to Six Flags Over Texas and the science museum, go to a Dallas Mavericks basketball game, and visit the local parks, zoo, and botanical gardens.  There are so many great things to do in the D/FW area…many of them free or almost free!  I’m also going to use Spring Break as an opportunity to re-paint my kitchen and family room…including the kitchen cabinets.  Eeek!  I have a feeling it’s going to be a much bigger job than I’m anticipating. 

I’m still enjoying babysitting part-time, and I’m REALLY going to miss Kie when he starts kindergarten next year! 


Grace will go through withdrawal.  They play so well together, and I rarely have to mediate or intervene.  Since Kie is part of a family that loves musicals as much as me, he often asks to sing or watch my favorite movies.  The other day, he asked me if I owned “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”  Um…YES!!  It’s only my favorite movie EVER!   I truly wish I had taken pictures of Grace and Kie trying to imitate the barn-raising dance scene.  It was priceless. 


We’ve made a decision about kindergarten for Grace next year, and it warrants an entire post, so my plan is to get that written later today.  Blessings to you all!