Saturday, January 23, 2010

And The Birthdays Keep On Coming...Happy Birthday Corey!

Well, Corey's birthday was yesterday! That should wind things up around here (in the birthday department) until February. We get off to a big start each year!

Last night we celebrated by going out to eat barbecue with his parents, his sister Kinley, and her two children, Jordan and Jackson. We had a nice time, and then his parents and Jordan came and spent the night at our house.

This morning, Corey, his dad, Christian, Carson, and Jordan, all went to the Big Buck Classic...a deer hunting expo that was in town. (Though none of them are very much into deer hunting!) It had live animals, and other things that the kids (and the men!) were all interested in seeing.

After the Big Buck Classic, they headed to Jordan's basketball game, then with Mickey (Corey's brother-in-law) added to the mix, they came here to watch the Razorbacks.

Corey's mom, Kinley, Caylie and I all took that as our cue to run out and hit a few stores!

We wound things up with Mexican food at our house before everyone went home a little while ago.

It has been a busy, but fun weekend so far.

Now I'm heading out the door do the the c25k training that I just started on Thursday. Hopefully I will have the discipline to stick with it through the end! Thank goodness I have my own personal trainer...Caylie! She is quite the encourager...and has very little tolerance for excuses!

Writing the Waves,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Cool Is That?!

We just finished watching American Idol, and are pretty excited!

We actually know someone that is "going to Hollywood"!

Charity is the talented, sweet, 16 year old, that was among the contestants featured tonight. She was shown working at her family's hair salon here in town.

Charity is a friend of Caylie's. They have attended church, and done theatre together. She and her family attend our previous church, where she sings occasionally, and she has also sung recently at our new church.

She's a sweet that we would love to see make it all the way!

Like Kris Allen (also from Arkansas!), she would be such a welcome change from many that seem to end up in the spotlight these days!

Keep your eye on her!

We're pulling for you Charity!

Writing the Waves,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beth Moore Study

Last week I began my very first Beth Moore study.

I have always heard great things about Beth Moore studies, but for some reason or another, I have never ended up participating in one.

A few months ago, Caylie went on a youth group girl's trip to Memphis, to attend a Beth Moore conference, and came back just bragging about how neat it was. It sparked an interest in me, and so I was immediately interested when I saw in our church bulletin that one was starting during the time that Christian's youth group meets on Wednesday evenings. I decided that I should give it a shot. It will be convenient, since I will just bring Christian to church, and stay for the study, and then we will head home together when we are both finished.

Since we have recently started attending a new church, this will be a good opportunity to meet some new women. Including me, there are 5 homeschooling moms in the group of about 30, so that will be something that I have in common with some of them!

The study is called "Jesus, The One And Only". I have done 3 of the 5 weekly lessons so far, and they were really interesting. It has been quite a while since I have done a women's group bible study, so I'm looking forward to it!

Writing the Waves,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happy Birthday To...Me!

Yesterday was my birthday!

My birthday is only 3 days after mom's, and 10 days before Corey's! January is a busy birthday month in our family!

Corey and the kids woke me up with breakfast in egg sandwich, coffee, juice, and a candle! Of course they sang the birthday song...Carson would have had it no other way! He was beside himself with excitement! It was a great way to start my day.

Corey took a picture of me with my pj's and crazy hair, but you're just going to have to use your imagination on that one!

During the day, it started to appear as though my birthday might make a bad turn.

As I was transferring clothes from the washer to the drier, I looked down and saw Christian's flash drive (with his school work on it) in the bottom of the drier! Not good.

I then walked straight into the kitchen, and looked down, only to realize that I was standing in a big puddle of water that was leaking from the dishwasher!

Love it when that happens!

Anyway, moving on...

We decided to eat at Shorty Small's for dinner. We hated to not have Caylie with us, but she had a volleyball practice that she needed to attend.

Shorty Small's has great mozzarella sticks. Carson sure enjoyed his!

He didn't seem to care about our instructions to look at the camera and smile. Here he is with my sister, Jeanna, and me...2 out of 3 smiles...I'll take what I can get!

Mom, Christian and Corey...

While we were waiting for our dinner, I got to open my sweet cards and gifts.

Mom and Jeanna gave me a Coldwater Creek gift certificate (one of my very favorite stores), and a Wood Wick Almond Orange candle. Mom had given me one of these candles a couple of years ago, and it is almost gone now. They knew that I wanted a replacement! I was so excited!

Corey and the kids gave me a gift certificate for a new blog design (which I had asked for)!

The deal that I have made with myself, is that I must get my 2008-2009 blog entries printed before I can get my new blog design. If I don't have a goal, it won't get done!

I have been playing around with the "blog to book" software that I downloaded from It is going to be more time consuming than I had hoped it would be to get it all laid out correctly, but I'm hoping to make it happen before TOO long!

I wish I could just print it out exactly as it is, with me just determining where the page breaks would be, but all of the sites I have found either mess the layout up when they automatically fill in the pages, or require me to do pretty extensive photo and text layout in order for it to make sense.

So, if you see that I have a new blog design anytime in the near future, you will know that I have finally met my goal of getting my blog printed out!

After dinner, we went to mom's house to enjoy the wonderful pound cake that she had baked for my birthday! She served it with whipped cream and strawberries! Yum! :)

It was a very nice day, and I appreciated all of the nice things that were done to make it so special!

Writing the Waves,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Celebrating Mimi at Mimi's

Last night we celebrated my mom's birthday (Mimi to my kids), at Mimi's appropriate! :)

She opened her birthday gifts, which were framed pictures from the recent photo session that we all did together. One frame held a collage of several different images from that session, and the other frame was a picture of Mimi with the grandkids...below the picture, it read, "The best things in life aren't things." I think that she liked them!

Can you tell that this picture is posed? I was so caught up in the moment, that I forgot to take pictures while she was actually opening the I made them fake it for a picture!

Another recreation of the real moment...

Here she is after we sang to her. She is about to blow out her candle.

As I have mentioned before, Carson LOVES, LOVES, LOVES birthday celebrations!

After dinner, we all came back to our house to hang out and play a game together. It was a fun night!

Happy Birthday Mimi!

I couldn't ask for a more, wonderful, special, gracious, and loving mom!

I love you!

Writing the Waves,

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Spelling Bee

Yesterday, Christian participated in the local homeschool spelling bee. The winner would get to go to the county spelling bee.

He had been practicing his words regularly, and was well prepared for the day

Before the spelling bee got started, they took the kids out into the hall for a picture.

Christian did very well. He had to spell some words that had not been on the list that he studied, and he pulled it off.

The younger kids were the first ones out and two eighth graders were the finalists. Although Christian did not make it into the final group, as he had hoped he would, we were so proud of how he did, and he said that he enjoyed it.

He decided that he would give it a try again next year!

Way to go Christian!

Writing the Waves,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Homeschool Homecoming Banquet

This evening was the homecoming banquet for the high schoolers. Caylie invited some of her friends over so that they could all get ready together.

Here is a picture of Caylie with her friends Lexi, and Kaitlyn...before they get started.

They took over my bathroom, and the magic began...

Carson thought that he needed to get in on the action...Lexi was being a good sport!

Here, Emily joined the group...

Dresses are on now...but the girls are still not finished!

Ok! There's my girl! All ready for the banquet...

Don't they all look beautiful?!

Ready for a fun evening...

The banquet started off with a nice meal of lasagna with bread, veggies and a salad. A fancy night means your little finger must be raised! Right?!

Caylie and Brittany...

Caylie and Lauren...

After dinner, it was time for the dance!

Y.M.C.A....still just as much fun as it used to be! Notice how the heels came off!
Someone got a train going...

Good friends...great fun!

Still going strong!

Finally...on the way home...for a sleepover!

It was a really fun night for the girls. They had a great time!

Writing the Waves,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Always Thinkng...Part 2

As I said yesterday, today I will sort through some of what is going on in my head about Caylie's subjects for next year...hers seem much more complicated, because there are many options that we are considering. If you aren't unusually interested in high school homeschool stuff, you will probably want to make a quick exit, and check out a more interesting blog!

Don't say I didn't warn you!

First of all, these ideas are only relevant if we decide that Caylie will homeschool again next year. We still play with the option of her returning to the wonderful Christian school that she had attended from kindergarten through 9th grade. Both that school, as well as homeschooling have been very good experiences, so we remain undecided. is how Caylie's subjects are being tackled this year...

*Geometry- Teaching Textbooks at home
*American History- Sonlight at home (with some tweaking)
*Health- ABeka Health in Christian Perspective at home
*Biology- Apologia at home (Her labs are done at that!)
*Spanish 1- CoOp
*Christian World View- CoOp
*American Lit.- CoOp
*Art- CoOp
*Speech- CoOp

Many of Caylie's classes are taken during the 2 days a week that she attends our high school CoOp with about 100 other homeschooled high schoolers. Although Caylie enjoys CoOp, and being with her friends, she also says that she gets more of her work done on the days that she is at home, and that she would like to take more of her classes at home if she homeschools next year.

Here are the classes that she is scheduled to take next year, regardless of how or where...

*Algebra 2
*Spanish 2
*World History
*Christian World View (we would like her to have some form of this each year)

So what could next year look like...potentially?

For Caylie, we will not do Teaching Textbooks again I don't THINK. While it has worked for Christian, I would opt for her to be in a classroom setting for math...I THINK.

One option that we would be looking into next year, would be having Caylie take College Algebra at the local community college. In order to do this, students have to have a 23 on the math section of the ACT, or pass an entrance test, but if they meet one of these requirements, then they can take the class, and receive a college math credit, as well as a high school math credit. Students are allowed to take the entrance test more than once, if necessary, in order to pass. We (and SHE!) would love to have a college math credit or two knocked out before she even heads off to college! Many of our local homeschoolers do this. In fact, a friend of Caylie's that has just finished the Algebra class, said that the majority of her class was made up of homeschool students!

We would probably do Apologia Chemistry, at home.

We know that we would want her to take Spanish 2 at CoOp, because the teacher is great.

For her English credit next year (if we did not choose CoOp), I have looked into It is an online school for homeschoolers that a friend is currently using, and it looks pretty challenging...which is what we would want. It offers a real teacher, meeting with a group of real students, in real time, online. I really like the idea of Caylie having someone (other than me) grade her writing. She is a very good writer, and I just think that she needs someone else's objective input to develop that skill to it's full potential. One of my worries about this, is missing a class if we are having computer issues.

World History would probably be a modified version of Sonlight...much like I described doing for Christian in yesterday's post.

Christian World View- I wanted her to take this in a classroom setting this year, so that it would be very discussion oriented, and she has enjoyed it. I think that we would probably do it at home next year though.

So...these are a few of the thoughts that are bouncing around in my mind about Caylie's plan for next year.

Bet I lost all two of my readers somewhere around the second or third sentence! Sorry!

If anyone stuck it out to the end, and you have some suggestions...I'm all ears!

Writing the Waves,

Always Thinking...

I think it is funny that we are on our 4th day of the 2nd semester of homeschooling, and I can't make myself quit thinking about what things I will or won't do differently next year!

Goodness, shouldn't I be happy to coast along here for a while, and enjoy the ride since things are going well?

You would think...

But I already have my wheels turning about what next year may look like. What will I change? What do I love, and NOT want to change? What things still have me scratching my head?

Let me start with Christian's subjects(6th grade)...

What I HAVE loved...

Spelling Power- I love that it keeps moving along, and instead of spending a week on 20 spelling words...3/4 of which he may already know, we only spend time on the words that he misses. We cover many words in a week, and he learns new words quickly. I purchased the instructional DVD that explains the system (not necessary), but we have not done it "by the book". After we had used it for just a day or two, we adjusted our approach to work for us, and we have really liked it and seen results.

Teaching Textbooks Math 7- He has enjoyed this program, and has done well with it. We like the automatic grade book, and he likes the "fun" lessons. On a couple of occasions, we have had computer issues, had to reinstall the program, and lost all of his grades. Fortunately, the first time it happened, we had just figured his average, and so since then, we record his grade on his schedule each day...just in case! Other than that, we have loved it!

Apologia Elementary Science- We are just finishing the Astronomy book, and are about to begin the Zoology: Flying Creatures book. Christian has learned the material quickly, and has been very interested in, and fascinated by what he has learned. Love that! We use quizzes that I have gotten from a yahoo group to make sure he is "getting it", and because I like to have something tangible to grade.

What I HAVEN'T loved...

Apologia "Jump In" Writing- It may just be me, but I have not been thrilled with this program. I can't exactly say why...maybe it is just a little too loosely structured for me, but I am going to try something else next year...if not sooner. IEW I think.

What I'm scratching my head about...

Sonlight History- I love the schedule (even though I tweak it a little). I love much of the material (though we don't use ALL of it). Christian says that, without a doubt, he has learned more, and retained more history this year than he ever has before. He is interested in what he is learning, and I am interested in what he is learning. What I think I might do next year is purchase the "main" history books that Sonlight uses, and that Christian has enjoyed (Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and Story of the World), and rather than purchasing the long list of fictional "living history" books that Sonlight recommends, and that we purchased this year, we may selectively make our own book list for next year, and hopefully be able to get most of the books from the library. I'm not sure exactly how I will put this all together, but that is my tentative plan.

Easy Grammar and Daily Grams- I think that the only reason I am indifferent about these books is that Christian is not a grammar fan. I will probably use them again, but I sure wish that he loved them! It is my goal for my kids to enjoy what they are learning...if at all possible!

My older kid are total opposites!

Christian is my math and science guy, while Caylie does not care for those subjects at all. Caylie loves, and is strong in English, grammar, and reading, which Christian does not have as much interest in.

I will do the breakdown on Caylie's subjects tomorrow...probably!

Writing the Waves,

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Changing Things Up A Bit...

When I began homeschooling this year, I planned to do my lesson plans at the beginning of each week. I had heard arguments for and against planning way ahead, and so I just had to make my own judgement call. My thought was that I could be more flexible by planning weekly...if we missed a day of school for a trip, etc., then it would be easier (or so I thought), to just tweak things accordingly, and keep on rolling.

Well, after one semester of doing lesson plans every Sunday night (or first thing Monday morning!), with our many books surrounding me, I decided that we would try a different approach this semester.

For the last couple of days, I have worked to lay out the rest of the lesson plans for the year. I know that we will have some unexpected disruptions, but I will still be able to tweak things. I THINK that this be much easier. I can't wait to feel the freedom that this will create on Sunday nights!

On a completely different note, another idea that I think I will try, is making my own washing detergent! Never, in a million years, would I have pictured myself doing such a thing, but after reading today that a friend has only spent $7 on detergent since April, and that the "recipe" only takes 20 minutes to make, I decided that it might be worth a shot! I will have Caylie help me do it. It will probably be kind of least the first time! :)

Here is a link to Jennifer's blog, where she describes how to make the detergent.

Writing the Waves,

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Love My Friends!

This morning, I got to have breakfast with my good friend Teresa, and our sweet college friend Nancy, that we had not seen in years.

Both Teresa and I had roomed with Nancy in college, and we were all in the same sorority. Nancy used to live here in town, but about seven years ago she and her family moved to Tennessee, and I had not seen her since she left. They recently moved back to Arkansas, and I was so excited about our little reunion this morning! She lives in a different area of the state, but hopefully we will get to see more of each other now that she is a little closer!

We met at Mimi's Cafe, and had a delicious breakfast. We visited just like we had not missed a beat. We had all been great friends in college, and we slipped right back into that mode. We visited from 9:30 until 12:15, and could have kept going even longer!

Teresa and I agreed that we would ask our husbands to give us a weekend get-away for Mothers Day this year, and let us go see Nancy for the weekend! Hopefully that will work out!

Writing the Waves,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Family Portraits

In October, we did family portraits for our Christmas cards.

Here is the card that we sent out...

Here is the portrait that we used...

These are the best of each of the kids...



Christian, Carson and Caylie...

This is me, Caylie, my mom, and my sister, Jeanna.

Me and Jeanna...

Me and mom...

Mom and Jeanna...

Christian, Jeanna, Carson and Caylie...

Christian, mom, Carson and Caylie...

Me, mom and Jeanna...

Writing the Waves,

Happy New Year!

Last night, we went to Ky and Teresa's house to celebrate New Years Eve. We have known the Harrod's since before we were married, and love getting together with them whenever we can! Some other friends of the Harrod's, Matt and Teresa, were also there with their two children, so we got to make some new friends too!

Since we all pitched in, there was a ridiculous amount of food! Yum! We stuffed ourselves!

Carson, and Rachel had a blast! Here they are jamming on their guitars and putting on a show for all of us!

While the kids (11 in all...ages 3-16) played and hung out all over the house, we learned a new card game that I enjoyed...until I started hopelessly losing!

Hate it when that happens!

Caylie's sweet friend Elizabeth had come with us since there were no other teen girls. Teresa told them that they could have the master suite to themselves for the night, so they bedded down, watched chic flicks, and snacked.

Christian and Drew spent some time playing on the computer.

After the card game, we all settled into the den to visit and watch the scene in New York. A little later, Matt and Teresa decided that they needed to head home since one of their boys was getting really tired. They took their two boys, and Ky and Teresa's son Tyler home with them for the night.

Carson and Rachel were like Energizer bunnies...they never even slowed down! Here they are geared up, and happily waiting for midnight to strike!

Caylie and Elizabeth during the count-down...

Happy New Year everyone!

I can't remember exactly how Ky described this...his chicken dance I think?!? Regardless, I made him do it again, so I could get a picture! Never a dull moment with this guy!

Caylie got this picture of the adults and the little ones. Nice shot of Carson...well, of Carson's hat, huh? :)

Ky and Teresa had gotten some poppers for the kids to play with after midnight, so we headed outside, and had a great (and loud!) time setting off the poppers! :)

Christian was invited to spend the night, so we packed up the rest of the crew and headed home around 12:30.

It was a very fun night, and a great way to ring in 2010!

Writing the Waves,

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