Wednesday, November 16, 2011

College Genius?

My oldest is 13 years old. He has been looking at colleges since he was four years old.  At that time in his life, he was determined to go to Harvard.  Not because Mom and Dad suggested it, or encouraged it, but because while reading in the Encyclopedia (Yeah. At four years old, all by himself) about Boston, he learned of Harvard.  And he read that Harvard had the first established library in the U.S.A., so it had to be the one place in the entire country that had the most books and best books since they had been collecting the longest.  But he did write a letter to Harvard asking that they move the university to Oklahoma because he just couldn't imagine living so far away from home.
Fast forward to now, and the child is still devouring books, and earnestly trying to finish school so he can get to college early.  So when the chance came to review College Prep Genius, we jumped at the chance. We have the College Prep Genius DVD set and he immediately began watching the first of 12 lectures to prep him for the SAT.  The lectures are about an hour in length, and slightly dry to me, but he soaks them all in.  He is normally a very good test taker, but has been very animated after his lecture telling me of new things he has learned, and new test taking techniques.  He absolutely cannot wait to take the SAT so he can see how this program has helped him.

If you would like your own copy, you can get the whole program for $99 (a 25% discount) right now through the College Prep Genius website.


This product was given to me for the purpose of review.  All opinions are mine. For other reviews, check out the Homeschool Crew Blog.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 6~ The trucks arrive.

Today, we began loading the trucks and trailers. It was a day of sweat, tears, and hard work.  It was not a day of smiles and sweet remembrances. We tripped over each other, weren't on the same page, and emotions were raw.

Once we got the loading rolling, things seemed to progress better.  We loaded three trailers up with stuff, and headed down the road.  One of the trailers carted off our old car. The other two were full of stuff. And there is more packing to finish. More to haul off, to donate, to store.  I laughing told a friend I was ready to find some matches for the things we have left. 

Tomorrow, we say good bye to our church family.  I can't even begin to express how hard that will be. I suppose emotions will remain raw for a while. Between good byes, no sleep, and walking into the unknown, we are going to learn how to deal when on edge. But I suppose that's for the best. If I trust God to take care of my reactions, what needs to be said will, what needs to be held silent, will not be uttered.

I am going to enjoy the extra hour tonight.  Probably not with sleep, but with an extra hour to pack, clean, work. 

Blessings to you tomorrow as you observe the Lord's Day. Even if it isn't a normal activity for you, seek out the Church House and discover what God has for you.


Friday, November 4, 2011


Short and sweet tonight.  The trailers are coming tomorrow, and we have been busting out all that we can.

The box count is 742, 849 127 and counting.  There are still some critical things that need to be ready tomorrow, but it will get done. 

The wattage on my smile dimmed a little today. I'm having a few space issues. I can't find any place to hide. I'm beginning to process that a long list of good-byes are coming up this weekend, and I'm not ready.  Nor am I quite ready to say good-bye to this house. Two of my babies have been born to us while here, and we have four years worth of memories.  I think my happy exterior may have a small crack in it.

But, thankfully, I don't have to rely on my armor. I can put on God's armor. Put on His yoke, rest in His grace.  Have no fear, because His love is perfect. Yesterday, I went and found a quiet place in my van and sat there for a short while and spent time resting in God.  No talking, no whining, no worrying, just rest.  God is leading us down a beautiful path, and an exciting adventure. I will sit back and enjoy what He has planned.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day What number are we up to?

Day 4, and I don't want to see another box. Actually, it hasn't been so bad. Who am I kidding? I haven't really packed a single box.  But the sorting and question answering is becoming trying. 

The slave driver wonderful helper, Darcy, wasn't here today. So I suppose I have had my break and tomorrow we will hit the ground running.  Heath and I went over to the neighboring community and helped with our last youth lunch.  It was nice to see everyone, and to get out of the house for just a little bit.

We have had some families from our homeschool group bringing food to the house.  Of all the things we are having to let go of, this group is one of the hardest.  These ladies and families have become a mainstay in our home.  And a wonderful group of women upon which I rely.  I will be going to the November meeting Tuesday, and it just hurts thinking about having to say good-bye.  So much so, that I think I'll go ahead and plan on being at the Christmas party in December too. But the meals have been wonderful, and so appreciated.  Heath is finishing packing the kitchen tonight, so the meals are becoming a necessity now. 

The box count is up to 61, and Heath is still at work.

The crankies are setting in, but that is to be expected. Everything is out of place, so everyONE is being affected.  Or maybe that is just me. The kids are doing great. They are getting nearly unlimited amounts of movie time, computer time, and play time. The school books got packed, so they are on a vacation.  Heath and his brother, Tim, are constantly laughing and cutting up about one thing or another. Darcy and Thomas have been work horses and in wonderful spirits.  Yes, it sounds like maybe it's just me. So, tonight I am signing off, and headed to bed. First to read a little devotion, and then to SLEEP.  And tomorrow, I will arise to a new dawn, a new cup of mercy, and the day will overflow with joy and grace. 


Salvete mi Amici

One of my favorite things we do in our school, is learn Latin.  I know, that sounds crazy. But it is one of our frivolous extras. Well, maybe not frivolous, we are very science orientated family, but an extra non-the-less. We have been using a simple curriculum from Memoria Press for the last year or two, but were recently asked to try a more in depth program also from Memoria Press.  I jumped at the chance.

Soon, a decent sized box arrived FULL of wonderful learning goodness.  And as I began looking through the workbooks, CD, DVD, and flashcards, I began to panic. There was NO WAY we would be able to handle this!  I borrowed some big girl panties, and dove in head first.

Photobucket Memoria Press: First Form Latin is actually an easy to use curriculum that a beginner can utilize.  It is a complete beginner Latin course for students fifth grade and older.  I have a fifth, sixth, and eighth grader whom I used this with.  The kids LOVED the DVD aspect of the course, as did I.  Most all of the instruction given comes from me, so to get a different "teacher" was a nice break for them.  I kinda liked it too. I could affirm my thoughts on the lesson, or learn the correct lesson, and I didn't always have to be "on" for Latin.  There are multiple worksheets per lesson, which gives ample practice time for the kids.  And of course they listen to the vocabulary and grammar lessons everyday, thanks to the CD.  They study for quizzes and tests together using the provided flashcards, and I use them while doing laundry or cooking dinner to keep up with what the kids know.

You can purchase First Form Latin for $55.  After having the DVD and flashcards, I would highly suggest paying the $115 for the First Form Latin PLUS.  I know you could make the flashcards yourself, but the DVD really is worth the money. 

And one more silly endorsement; I LOVE the teacher's manual.  It is spiral bound, and TOP FLIP! I'm really not too sure why, but I just like it!  It would have been nice if the students manual was spiral bound, but that may come from my odd aversion to breaking the spine of anything. Book. Workbook. Animal. Whatever.

This is such a great program. So much so, that when we finish up our current course, we will move into Memoria Press: First Form Latin


This product was sent for the purposes of review.  All opinions stated are mine. For other reviews check out The TOS Homeschool Blog.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Packing ~ Day 3

My brother-in-law apparently said the other day there are three steps in packing.
     #1~Keep it and pack it
     #2~Do I really need this?
     #3~Throw it all out!!!

I'm not quite sure I am at the point I want to throw it all out, but I am already tired of the process.  I am worn out, can't seem to make the decisions required of me, and just want it all to be done.  But, we have had great help, and are making good progress.  Today we have 51 boxes ready to go as of this moment, and we are seeing some rooms become really bare. 

I have received many phone calls and some visits from friends.  Expecting a few more these next couple of days, and am going to get a few hours children free on Friday. 

I have been struggling with some sewing decisions.  As most of my avid readers will remember, I make Christmas pajamas every year for my kids.  It's a really big deal.  With Heath not having a new job yet, and all the transitions going on, I was resigned to not making them this year. It was just not going to be feasible to purchase that much fabric.  I really debated too.  It was going to be such a different holiday for us all.  And then a dear friend from the community showed up on my door step this afternoon with a 15 yard bolt of Christmas flannel she knew I had my eye on for this year's pjs.  I was just overwhelmed by her generosity and graciousness.  And amazed again by God.  He IS there with us.  I know yes, He is guiding our steps, calling us to this move, and will provide for us.  But God cares for the little things too.  In the grand scheme of things, this flannel is a pretty small issue. But my God cares for me, and met this desire of my heart.  This will always be a treasure to remember when we look back to this Christmas.

I had one other teary eyed moment. It is probably the hardest I fought to control my emotions.  My brother rounded up the chickens today, and took them to his place.  I really thought it stupid to cry over chickens leaving, but these were the product of a childhood dream.  One that connected me to my dear Grandmother. It almost got the best of me.  But, we will be living close to my brother for the time being, so I can go visit them any time I want.  And Thomas will bring me eggs, so I have no need for worries or distress.  It's a far better idea than my 8 year old who offered, "we could butcher them this week if that solves the problem".

When I wed Heath 15 years ago this night, this was not how we envisioned our anniversary.  But we did dream of doing God's work, and following His plan, so I suppose we are just where we thought we would be.


15 years

15 years ago, I walked an aisle

I made a promise

I changed my name

We set up house

We began a new life

We learned to share our space

Our thoughts

Our dreams

Our desires

We have welcomed additions to our family

We cried together as others left our life

15 years ago I left the security of my parents' home

And joined my heart to another

I didn't fully understand the promise I made

Or the work involved in a marriage

But with each passing day, I learn more

And discover how little I truly understand

I love you Heath. Far more today than yesterday.

Far more than I even understand.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Packing~Day 2

We are still plugging away at this whole packing thing.  And I use the word we fairly loosely. Because I really haven't packed a single box. I have sorted toys, been the gopher, ran errands, cooked the meals, and made difficult decisions as to what to keep, store, toss, or donate.  While it sounds as if I have the easy job, my husband is quite thankful I'm not actually packing the boxes.  I'm just not the organizer.  It would take 6 U-Haul trucks if I packed us, and only 1 with Heath being the packer. 

We are up to 32 boxes. The boys' room is sorted, packed, and all done except for the stuff we have to have the next few days. The girls' room should be finished tomorrow. The kitchen has been started, and most of the breakable dishes are packed.  It still looks like an thrift store storeroom around here, but Heath says there is big progress. I think he is getting into the groove, and is feeling the ball rolling.

I had one small, sad moment today. No tears or anything, but I did pause for a moment at Wal-Mart. They have most of their Christmas stuff out, and that was bittersweet. Heath and I love to go aisle shopping every year and ooh and ah over the new stuff.  And I realized that this year, I most likely will not be decorating my own house.  That has been a treasured tradition between Heath and I.  In fact, we were married 15 years ago tomorrow, and the first thing we did when we came home from our honeymoon, was buy our tree and decorate the apartment for Christmas.  But this year, we will probably be staying with my Mom and Dad, and can decorate her 9 foot tree.  That should be just the fix I need!

And, to surprise me, Heath brought me flowers, candy, and a card a day early!  I sure do love that man!


Made it through Day 1 of packing. Heath was gone most of the day to school. It was a wonderful time for him to get further encouragement, acceptance, and prayer time. I am so thankful for the friends he has made, both from the student population and the professor population! My brother and sister-in-law were here for a large part of the day, and we got tons of laundry done, organizing done, and seven whole boxes packed! I know that doesn't sound like a ton, but we have so much to sort through. Darcy and I threw out tons of stuff, and have tons to donate as well. The best part of moving is the paring down of things! Thomas got the shed organized and ready to begin packing, and played the kids to death. Doesn't sound like much, I'm sure, but keeping the kids out of our hair, and getting the shed ready for Heath was huge. Heath's brother, Tim, was able to come up last night after he got off work, and we spent the evening packing and laughing. We are up to 16 boxes I believe.

We are overwhelmed with the amount of work that is ahead of us, but so at peace with the decisions made. Darcy will be up to help almost the whole week, and Tim has moved in for the week so he can help. It will be a long week, and at times, a hard week. Just making the decisions as to what to keep and not can get to you. And even though we have no real plans other than packing and an extended "sleep over" with my parents, we are not panicking. God IS good and is faithful. So we will trust Him.

Day 2 is calling. Remember us as we wade through boxes and stuff deciding what to keep and what to toss.  As a pack rat at heart, this can be hard.  But, we are anxious in nothing, but with thanksgiving, we are lifting our requests to God, and His peace and understanding are guarding our hearts! (Philippians 4:6-7 summarized)