~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Kids~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Saturday, August 23, 2014

While discussing deciduous trees with the kids, they were answering some questions. Evelyn was super excited to answer something so I thought I would help her out a bit.

"Evelyn, the leaves FALL off of trees in which season? Winter, Spring, Summer or FALL???"  Quite certain she had the correct answer she quickly stated, "Spring."  We all burst out laughing and she had no clue why! LOL

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gearing up for some indoor shop class

It's been a busy couple of months.  We moved amidst a huge amount of snow, thanks to some very dedicated friends. :)  This old house we are temporarily living in is quite drafty and with record lows we have been wearing a LOT of layers.

We got our new school room up and running (Such a big room. I am loving the large, albeit drafty, windows.) and then Todd brought in something I never expected.  A lathe!  This is a current picture of our school table:

Why a lathe?  Well, the kids are participating in their annual pinewood derby race for Awana and thought it would be fun to make the cars into shapes. My husband rocks!

Each of the kids chose a theme (okay Sadie didn't really choose hers.) and Todd helped them pencil the shape onto the wooden block.  Then they each got to be helper while he worked on their car. ie., They ran the shop vac. ;-)

Here's a pic of the cars so far.  Left to right we have:

Ellie:  Hello Kitty
Silas:  Race car
Avrie: Boat
Evelyn: Minion
Sadie: Baby bottle

They will get to sand on them and paint them up at Awana.  I'll post finished pictures.  Evelyn was so excited when I told her we had a googly eye that would be perfect for her one-eyed minion!  Sadie has been carrying her bottle around all over the house.  Avrie has already painted a bit on her boat and Ellie and Silas are ready to begin painting next Awana. I can't wait to see what each of them do to create their vision!

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Friday, December 27, 2013

Update and Clarification

It has been weighing on my mind that our Bittersweet Announcement came across as a way to bring attention to my grief.  The fact that I was still on prescription pain meds probably didn't help with clarity of the post. LOL  Of course I am grieving, but there was  more than one reason for writing. I felt it was important to put it out there because so many feel like they can't share about miscarriage. Like it's a taboo subject.  It's amazing how many women come out of the woodwork when you have a loss, letting you know they too know how it feels. :(   To that point, there are a LOT of women that have gone through a miscarriage. I am no one special. It will be difficult but I will move on.

The main reason for my post was to acknowledge that I had not been true to my beliefs. I had purposely hidden this baby from most everyone because of comments from other people. Once the baby was gone it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was ashamed of myself. I felt like I had let this child down. As a mother I am supposed to be there for my children no matter what. What have I done?  Those were the thoughts that ran through my head that day.  So that post was my way of standing up for my child. To show that I was not ashamed. 

While I don't intentionally want to hurt anyone and cause strife, I also will no longer apologize for being happy to have children. I will not tip-toe around for fear of offending someone. If they have a problem with it, that is between them and God.  What our family chooses is between my husband, myself and God.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bittersweet Announcement

With each of our five children we have announced very soon after finding out we were expecting. It is always such a joyous time for us and we want to celebrate each new life with all of our friends and family.  Sadly, we have not always been met with positive comments.  We have gotten a lot of these:

-You know what causes that?
-You need cable.
-How can you afford all those kids?
-You aint got that “fixed” yet? (If you'd like our take on that you can read here.)
-You are being irresponsible.
-Glad it’s you and not me.

Six weeks ago we found out we were expecting and couldn’t have been happier. We were already about 5 weeks along, but this time we decided to hold off on announcing.  While it didn’t feel right, we decided it was for the best. I told a few people (because I honestly can’t keep my mouth shut) and Todd also told a few. We didn’t tell our children because we didn’t think they could keep it quiet. 

So for the last six weeks we have hidden this small soul from the rest of the world. We have not made phone calls giddy with excitement. I haven’t told old friends I might see in the grocery store and shared a big hug. We did not make a fun family picture announcement to post on facebook.  We didn’t discuss whether it was a boy or girl or talk about name possibilities for fear the kids would overhear. We didn’t enjoy this little life to the fullest while we had it. 

Yesterday I went through the most painful thing I have ever gone through, both emotionally and physically.

I lost our baby.

This precious life that we kept secret is gone.   Even though this is not the fun and exciting announcement I had hoped for, I refuse to hide it any longer. I want everyone to know that there is a beautiful soul that we will meet in Heaven one day and it is our child. 

I have definitely learned a lesson.  Live for today and be thankful. Don’t worry what others may say or think. This is my life to live and it is between me, my husband and God how many children we may be blessed to have. I am thankful for grace and second chances and I pray the Lord will bless us again. When and if He does, I will most certainly shout it from the rooftops.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A schedule that works!

Let's get one thing out in the open. I am NOT naturally organized. Never have been and never will be. I started out homeschooling with a 5yo, 3yo and 1yo.  Of course at the time I thought it was really hard. Now I look back and realize how easy I had it!  We did our school work when we felt like it and got our state required 180 days in easily.  If I had a new baby, we took time off without guilt. Now that the children are older I feel like we need some more structure to our schedule. I'm still working on our daily plan but I have put together a yearly plan that I am in LOVE with!

It all started when an online friend was telling me about how she was scheduling her year and I liked a lot of what she was doing.  I took some of those ideas and tweaked them to fit our family (one of the many perks of homeschooling) and am very pleased with the results.

2013-2014 School Schedule

The Planning Process

I started out by looking at each month and marking any times that we normally end up not doing school. You know......times like the week of Christmas when life gets so busy and school just doesn't naturally happen. I scheduled those weeks off.

Then I made notes of other times my husband is off work.  There are a couple Mondays in there that he has off work so I schedule those entire weeks off school for us as well.

Next I looked at our extra curricular activities and took any time off that would be a busy time for us, such as the week of the local children's theatre show.  Last year we did do school the week of the show but it was HARD to get it all accomplished and would have made for a much more relaxing time had we not attempted it.

I wanted to get done by a certain date and I did NOT want to go more than 6 weeks in a row doing school.  I am good in spurts but need a break or I will burn out.

Using these steps I was able to get all 180 days scheduled and be finished by the end of May. Of course if we end up going longer it's not the end of the world. ;-)

Creating The Schedule

Next I made a spreadsheet of the months with 4 or 5 weeks (depending) listed for each month. The 5th week is colored gray if that  month does not have 5 weeks in it this year.  Some weeks don't have 5 days because of the way the calendar falls so I made a note on those.  I noted the number of days each week in the green highlighted column and left myself space to make tally marks with a pencil once each day is completed. This has been a great tool for me to check that box and see how far we have gotten in the year and if we are on schedule.  Any weeks that we are taking a break are marked with purple.

The schedule ended up in sections of a few weeks at a time, which was exactly what I wanted.  We have some things that we will do every school day, but there are other subjects that I preferred to do more of a unit study with. I set time aside each day for a "family elective".  This is noted on the schedule with red letters

My oldest daughter has some subjects that the younger ones don't have.  I have a special time for her to work on those subjects each day as well. Those are her electives and are noted with pink letters.

I don't have every item that we are doing on this yearly schedule.  There just wasn't enough room, but this gets the majority of it all in one place for me to see visually what the plan is. For record keeping and our daily schedule, I use the online scheduler at Simply Charlotte Mason. I find their scheduler is very intuitive and it helps me keep things straight.

I hope this post has gotten your creative juices flowing and will help with your school year plan.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Food, glorious food! Part 3

But sometimes we need doctors and I realize that. We did the skin prick test. He would only test for things that I suspected.  Sadie's came back positive for eggs and peanuts. Silas' came back positive for all the inhalant allergens like mold, pollen, dust and cat dander. Ellieand Avrie also tested positive for the inhalants. Evelyn wasn't tested for those.

The allergist said that the blood test they originally got was bogus and that the IgG (sensitivity) test wasn't accurate. I have done more research and I don't entirely agree with him. I don't have a degree in medicine but I am entitled to my opinion. ;-)

I think that when someone has a lot of allergies, be it food or environmental, their whole system is thrown out of whack. I have read that if they are in a reaction at the time of a blood draw it can make several items come back as false positives. I have also read that gluten intolerance can cause leaky gut and make people sensitive/intolerant/allergic to foods that they normally would be fine with. So.....

we are preparing to embark on the  GAPS Diet.

It is very similar to what we were doing before. Grain free, sugar free with a slightly different bent. One key element that I am excited about it the focus on healthy fats and oils. I think this is what we were missing before. This should alleviate the constant feelings of needing to eat. The GAPS diet is focused on healing the gut. I don't know if we (I say we because I truly believe that I am sensitive to gluten although I haven't been formally tested. The kids have to get it from somewhere and a lot of my life long ailments were gone when I was grain free.) will ever be able to eat gluten but I do think we will be able to add in some grains later on.

I have put it off trying to get through Easter, Todd's birthday and Avrie's birthday.  I have one more special event happening soon that food plays an important role and then we will be ready to make the switch! In the mean time I am reading, reading, reading and gearing up the kitchen.

Have a blessed day! ~Tammy

Read Part 1 here.
Read Part 2 here.