Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm honestly not sure what to write about today, but since it's been a couple of days with the same post up I figured I should write something. Things here have been pretty busy, but busy is fun, right? My sweet friend Penny has been here for a whole week, and I got to see her and the kids a few times. It was so nice, I really like her!! If you want to get to know Penny go here, here, here. She is extremely crafty and is also a wonderful engaging writer. Go ahead, check her blogs out I promise you will not be disappointed. 

My sons girlfriend is coming from Delaware, she will be here for three weeks. I am really looking forward to getting to know her better, since I am convinced she will be daughter-in-love soon. For those that are concerned about sleeping arrangements, let me just say that she is sleeping in the girls room. We will be going to Maine for about 4 days while she is here and I'm so very excited!! I love our little place in Maine and I love to share it with friends and family. 

Hmm...what else is going on?

I guess that's it for now. Aside from cleaning, driving a lot, and the other mundane things in life that we pretty much all do. :o) 

How has your week been? 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Curriculum for 2010-2011

I cannot believe another school year is just about upon us. This will be my 15th year as a homeschooling teacher, time certainly does seem to fly!! I remember first starting and feeling so overwhelmed as I looked through homeschool curriculum catalogs. The choices seemed endless, but it is nothing like today. A homeschool mom or dad has more choices then ever and could get really overwhelmed! My motto is, 'if it works, then stick with it till it doesn't work any more." 

Based on that motto this year I'm using pretty much what I either already have or what I know works. 

I am down to two 'students', one will be in 12th grade and the other in 8th. 
_________________________________________________________________

My 12th grader already has more the enough credits to graduate, and she is graduating a year early. Here is her list:

Psychology (she will be using my college book)
Essay Writing and preparing for her SAT (using online prompts)
Graphic Arts (we are hoping she gets an internship over the year with a local company)
Sociology (she will be using her aunts college book)
_________________________________________________________________

My 8th grader:

Apologia Physical Science (once he finishes the astronomy)
Daily Grams
Video Game Design (this will be free from the web)
Journal/Essay writing (he really needs more in this area)
Reading Daily along with book reports
_________________________________________________________________

If you checked out the links you probably noticed that some of the items are very pricey. I want to write a disclaimer here stating that most of the items I already have, either from past 'students' or from people blessing me with them. Basically my whole sons curriculum was provided for free by a friend that I met online. She was moving and did want to bring the books with her, so she offered them free of charge. What a blessing that was!! I can't wait till I can bless someone like that too and it will most likely be passing on the same books she passed on to me. Don't you love 'paying it forward'?  


I think that is it for the curriculum, but I will adjust as necessary. It always seems like I end up adding and taking things away as the school year progresses. It looks like the start up date will be Sept. 13, but that is only for my son as my daughter pretty much does her own work. The main thing is that she gets it done and comprehends it, other then that I don't care when she actually does the work. Keep in mind when the kids were little we did have schedule, but now it is a lot more flexible. 

What does your curriculum look like for this school year? Do you have everything you need or is there more to get? Do you have a flexible schedule or a strict one? Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know, I would love hear about it. :o)

I'm linking this post up to the "Not Back to School" blog hop over at heartofthematteronline


Not Back to School Blog Hop

   

Sunday, July 25, 2010

College Update

I am officially registered to take classes at Liberty University Online in the fall. My major is Christian Counseling and it is an Associates Degree. I am so very excited about this new challenge and I cannot wait to start!! At the same time I'm a little bit apprehensive, but I know the apprehensions will pass once I get started. 

My classes for this semester are:

Bible 101
Theology 101
Psychology 100
Philosophy 104

They are 8 week classes, so the first two will the first 8 weeks and then other two will be the last 8 weeks. If I do good with those, then next semester I will add on another class or two. 

I took the online testing for English and Math and the results were not surprising. My English score was really good, but my math was not so good. When it comes time for me to take math, it will be basic math 100. That's okay though, I know my math skills are terrible. 

I guess that's about it for an update. I am excited that I get to share this adventure with anyone who reads this blogs. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Womans's Day Book

Outside my window...grey skies, a little rain, and the cows are mooing.

I am thinking...that too many people live in condemnation and shame.  

I am thankful for...the summer with all my kids home.

From the kitchen...not much going on, I need to get some groceries.

I am wearing...red t-shirt, black jeans, and flip-flops. 

I am remembering.....my mom as my garden is grown so nicely.

I am going...to the store later tonight.

I am reading….Emotionally Destructive Relationships, Becoming a Woman of Freedom, and Healthy Leaders. Those are all for Pathways for either counseling or for information.

I am hoping…that the positions for the Walk for Life will be filled soon.

On my mind…talking to Pastor Chad about Emily attending Masters Commission.

I am hearing...the kittens playing upstairs and the cows mooing.

Around the house...the girls are at work, Duncan is camping with mens ministry, and Max is taking a shower to get to ready for work. Today I'm going to finish cleaning the house, work on Pathways things, and then chill with hubby this evening.

Noticing that…life really cannot be planned. 

Woman

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Becoming A Woman of Freedom



One of the book studies we offer at Pathways Pregnancy Care Center is, Becoming A Woman of Freedom by Cynthia Heald. I just started this study with a client and let me tell you it is amazing!! The grace, wisdom, and love that is found in the pages is such a help to those struggling with freedom. Many times we allow ourselves to be stay in the state of slavery, but do not even recognize it. We become accustomed to that lifestyle and when freedom is place right before us, we still choose bondage. 

The reasons that we choose bondage are many, but the theme and results are pretty much the same. We are not living fully the way God intends for us to live. Yes it's hard to examine our lives and be open and honest with ourselves. But, when we are willing to really look at our life and examine our strongholds then we allow God to change things. Turning away may be easier, but it is not beneficial to our well being. 

I highly recommend this book to those who are struggling with the idea of letting go of the baggage and allowing God to reign in their life. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Things I've Learned

10.)  I am not always right.

9.) Trusting my 'heart' may not be the best thing.

8.) Godly friends who help you build your faith are so very important. 

7.) Listening is better then speaking.

6.) Many hands really do make light work.

5.) Everyone, no matter who they are, has a story to share.

4.) Reading labels is vital to the health of my family.

3.) One size does not really fit all.

2.) Prayer is like breathing, it is that important to sustain life.

1.) God was is and always will be. 


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kadie


This morning our dog Kadie died. She had been part of our family for 9 years and was extremely faithful. She was so faithful and protective of our family, that only one or two people could come over and take care of her while we were gone. Her bark was way worse then her bite, as she was a fun loving dog to those she trusted. It was really weird, because as she was dying she looked sad like she knew she wouldn't be here any more to protect us. I literally told her that it was okay, that we would be okay and she could go on and be at peace. I am not going to debate the theological issues of animals going heaven, but I am going to say that I hope she is there waiting for us. I'm sure that if she is there she is totally healthy and running for all she is worth. She loved to run!! She also loved stuffed animals. As big as she was, it looked so funny to see her carrying around a teddy bear in her mouth. She wasn't doing it to play with it, but it almost seem like a comfort thing. She really was a great dog, but as hard as it is to say goodbye her time had come. I'm not totally sure what she actually died from, but she had been having some health issues for awhile. Her fur was falling out and she honestly looked tired. About three days before she died she basically stopped eating and then for 24 hours she just laid there. Her eyes were open and she would look at us, but she couldn't get up. I knew her time had come. Death is a hard thing to accept, I'm glad for the what time we had with her. 

RIP Kadie, We All Loved You Very Much! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Arizona Law



I try to keep this a non political blog, though I do have strong political opinions. The issue of the 'new' Arizona law is a very disturbing one to me. Unlike some of those in leadership, I just a regular citizen have read the law. If you want to read it yourself go here, it really is not that long or difficult to understand. The gist of it is that the state of Arizona is doing what the Federal Government should be doing, enforcing the law. 

It is not like Nazi Germany where people will be rounded up and killed if they are not of the 'right' nationality. It is not racial profiling, because Hispanic people will not be pulled over just for being Hispanic. If I get pulled over for a traffic violation, I have to show my drivers license, registration, and in some states proof of insurance. I do not tell the police officer that he/she is profiling me because I am a white woman, I give the officer the required paperwork with no questions asked. Basically, I obey the law. 

I realize that immigration is a hot topic, but seriously if the Federal Government would of done the job it is required by law to do, the this new law would not be needed. I say to Jane Brewer, good job for standing up and for defending the law of the land. 

For more information on 'Stand With Arizona' head over here


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emotionally Destructive Relationships


I am reading this book and let me tell you it is eye opening. Not only has it confirmed that many of my relationships have been emotionally destructive, but it also exposed my own emotionally destructive habits. Many times I don't realize the weight of my words and how piercing they can be to those around me. I have many areas in my life that God is exposing and in this area specifically He is exposing the sin of hurtful words. I could use the excuse that I have been hurt, but honestly the buck stops with me. I am not responsible for other people's words or deeds, but I am responsible for my own. The use of biting sarcasm, reminding people of their sins, and just plain ol' yuckiness. I know the pain of abuse. I know the pain of being rejected. I know the pain of being abandoned. I know the pain of being used. Yet all of these pains in all honesty pale in comparision to the pain of emotional abuse. It is a pain that people cannot see, but one that can affect so many areas of life. 

If you or someone you know is in or has been in an emotionally destructive relationships then I highly recommend this book. Leslie's teachings are solid, Biblical, and really point out the heart of the matter. The main focus on the readers healing, not blaming other people. She wants the reader to change their life and not lay blame on another person. It is very insightful reading, and I'm only on Chapter 3. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Fun Ideas



Here some summer fun ideas for when the days are long and hot.

* Paint with water: 
Give the kids some buckets filled with water and some big paint brushes and let them 'paint' the house, porch, toys, and anything else they see. 

* Squirt Gun Fights or Target Practice:
Get some squirt guns from the Dollar Store and have everyone split up into teams and then 'squirt' away!! If you don't like the idea of them squirting each other, then make a target and let them practice shooting it. 

* Water Balloon Toss:
Get some water balloons, and set up a toss game for the kids and for you too!!

* Outside Obstacle Course:
Set up a an obstacle course and include things like jump rope, hula hoops, tossing balls, squirt guns, bikes and anything that will keep them running. Then at the end of the course set up a small pool for them to take a victory 'swim' in. 

* Inside Obstacle Course:
If it's too hot outside, bring the fun inside!! Use what you have around the house to set up things for the kids to romp on and just have fun. At the end their prize could be ice pops.

* Sidewalk Chalk Drawings:
Get some big bulky sidewalk chalk, or make better yet make some of your own, then go out and draw!! You could have a different theme each day and then clean it off with water. 

* Decorate Bikes:
Get streamers, cards, and balloons and let the kids decorate their bikes. Then go on a ride around the block to show off their work. You could even invite friends over and make a parade of it!!

* Day At The Lake:
If you live near a lake, pack a picnic lunch and head out to the lake!! It doesn't need to be fancy. PB&J sandwiches, drinks, and easy snacks is all it takes to keep hungry appetites at bay. 

The main point is to get out and have fun with your children. Summer is for grown ups too. :o)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Unexpected Events

This year has been an interesting one, with lots of twists and turns that I never would of expected. Over the winter one of my daughters got very sick with what they think was Miller Fisher Syndrome. Basically the insulation of her peripheral nerves came off, which led to many tests and doctors visits. In the end there was nothing we could do for her, except wait it out and let her body recover, which it appears to have done. 


During that same time she started getting weird allergy symptoms to certain foods. The symptoms were akin to anaphylactic  shock where her throat would start to close up. She now has an Epi Pen and has had to use it one one occasion. Honestly, the only time these issues have come up is when she is not here and has eaten out. We will be heading to see an allergist in November, hopefully things will be figured out before she heads off to college. 


Then there is my other daughter who had been accepted to New England Masters Commission this fall. Due to certain choices that were made she now does not have the money to go, so she has applied to a technical college for art. Hopefully she will get in, if not for the fall semester then for the the winter one. 


This is not how I envisioned the year to be. As a matter of fact if someone had told me this time last year that our family would of gone through those things, I wouldn't of believed them. I had the year planned out. I knew the direction that I wanted us all to go in and I thought I could get us there. 


Guess what?


I couldn't do anything. 


I couldn't make my daughters illness better.
I couldn't fix her allergies.
I couldn't get the financies for my daughters school.
I couldn't make her choices for her. 


However, I did learn some very important lessons:


* God really does have everything under control.
* The choices we make really do affect those around us.
* My children's lives are not my lives. Yes, I can love them and be there for them but I cannot dictate what they do. Keep in mind I'm not talking about 'little' kids, but rather 'children' 18 and over. 
* Nothing my children will ever do will seperate me from them. I can also take this to a spiritual level, nothing we can do will seperate from the love of Christ. 
* My husband is the best man in the world for me and for my family. He has been my rock and strength during this time of turmoil. 
* Never, ever underestimate the power of prayer. God is amazing and is still in the prayer answering business. His answers may not be the answers we want, but he answers nonetheless. 


Have you ever had times in your life when you felt you had no control at all? What did you do? 













Saturday, July 10, 2010

Does Any Know How.....

.....to make one of the boxes with the blog logo? I want to make one for here using the picture that is on the header of my blog. My daughter painted it, and I think it goes good here. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! :o)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flash Back Friday






I'm loving participating in Flash Back Friday over at Penny's blog. If you have not checked her blog out, head on over there and join in with your own 'flash back'!! :o)

The year was 1977 and I was 10 years old. 

The place was The Old Dirt Road in New Harbor, Maine.

The setting was an old abandoned house.

The people: my aunt, my mother, my sister, my cousin (the same one I got in the car accident with), and of course me. 

The flash back:

We went for a walk down The Old Dirt Road, and saw this house that appeared to be abandoned. We were familiar with the house and had never seen any vehicle there or any people. My aunt thought it would be fun to go and check it out, so we all trudged right up to the house and started looking in the windows. As we were looking the windows all of a sudden my aunt screams out:

"There's a man in there!"

Apparently the 'man' was inside looking back out the window at her! I remember her running so fast, and of course we all followed her. We ran back down the dirt road, and we didn't stop till we got back to my grandmother's cabin. 

Once we got back to cabin, we all started laughing. As a matter of fact to this day, I still laugh when I remember the time my aunt saw a "Man in there!!" 

***** Do you want to walk down memory lane? Head on over to icouldbefake and join in the fun! ****

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paintings and Sketches

These are some of the pictures my 16 year old daughter has done. The top one was for a band that she knows, they used it on their youtube channel. The one on the left is a girl in the wind. The one on the right is her friend Sam.
The bottom one is a picture of her and Jake, her boyfriend. 



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farm Animals

My blog is called "ruralmommasramblings" for a reason, we live in northern NH in a very rural area. I love it up here and honestly would not want to live any where else. Here are some pictures of some of the animals on our "mini farm". 



This is Snookie, she was born here and is 4 years old. 



This is Toby, he is my daughters dog. We got him from a rescue shelter when he was 4 months old. 


This is Rogue and she also was born here. She is smaller then the other goats, but honestly she is more feisty then them all. Rogue is 2 years old, which is probably why she is so feisty. 


This romping guy is one of our beef cows. His name is Ferdinand and he loves to be patted and to run around the field. 


Here are some of my ladies. 



This is Dose, and she is Snookies mother and is the oldest of the three. We are not actually sure of her age.

I love the animals, there is something so calming about taking care of them. They are also incredibly fun to watch. :o)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Loveless Life

Today is the day my mothers companion of 35 years will be laid to rest. When you read this you may think I'm sad, but honestly I'm not. My heart does not grieve for him, but instead it grieves for the 35 years that my mother had with him. You see, he was an extremely abusive man. I remember hearing his vicious words spewing out all over my mother, his threats of breaking her arm, and even the physical fights. It is because I remember how he was toward my mother that I cannot grieve over his death.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this for whoever to see, I guess I just want someone to listen to me. It seems that some in my family do not have the same feelings about him. That is okay, we had different dynamics of the relationship. However, it does not negate the fact that the things I witnessed my mother go through were very real. It was not love. It was a vial sick relationship that should of ended before it even started. 

I wonder how my mom would be with his death? Would she of been sad, lonely, angry, or just feel free? In my heart of hearts I think she would feel sad, but then the freedom would come. I cannot know how she would be because, she died from lymphoma 4 years ago. The disease ravished her body and the man who claimed to love her on death bed did not even know how sick she was till the end. Is that love? Just because you say the words, "I love you", does not mean that love is there. 

Maybe he didn't know how to love and maybe my mother didn't know how to receive true love. I guess that could be an reason or just an excuse to continue in a bad relationship.   

I loved my mother and I would of loved to see her thrive in a relationship. My heart grieves for her that she didn't know the gentleness of love, but only a lashing tongue and a heavy hand. For some reason she thought she didn't deserve to be loved. She actually told me that staying with him was her purgatory. 

So today as some mourn the loss of this man, I only mourn the loss of a loveless 35 years for my mom. 

***I know God is able to heal the pain, but today it seems to be fresh anew.***** 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rustic Pictures

For some reason this time of year always reminds me rustic things. I have no idea why, but here are some 'rustic pictures' that were taken by my son. 















Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July



I know it's not your typical Fourth of July picture, but I thought it was funny. So from my family to yours, may you have a very happy and safe Fourth of July. 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Flash Back Friday



Flash back to 1973, I was six years old. It is hard to believe that I remember that far back, but for some reason this little incident is stuck in my head. 

My mother, my sister, and I lived in an apartment on Gill Road. Next to our apartment building was another one, but on either sides of the buildings there was regular suburban type houses. The houses on either side of the buildings had pools and since it was the 70's somebody's pool was everybody's pool. 

On this particular summer day the grown ups were all outside sitting by one of the neighbors pool. They were probably drinking, but I honestly can't say for sure. All of us neighborhood kids were there too, cause after all mi casa or pool su casa or pool! 

We had been playing in the pool, then we played kickball, and then we were just milling around the grown ups probably annoying them. I remember one of the grown ups saying, "What are you kids doing? Why don't you just get lost." I think we took it literally, cause that is exactly what we did.

If my memory serves me right there were at least ten of us ranging from the youngest 6 to the oldest 14 or so. We all got on our bikes and we rode and rode and rode. I remember it was getting pretty dark out and yet we were still riding. No one seemed to know where we were or where were going. I think we really were plain old lost. 

It was getting pretty late, and a policeman saw us and asked us where were going. I remember the oldest, looking very sheepishly, told the cop that we were lost. He asked about our parents and the kid told the cop that are parents told us to get lost!! I can't remember the look on the policeman's face, but I bet it was priceless. He asked where we lived exactly and the older ones told him. I remember him kindly chuckling, as apparently we were far from home. He pointed us back in the right direction and off we went. 

When we got home all the parents were getting worried and wondering where their wayward children had gone. When we told them they told us to "get lost" and that is exactly what we did!! They all looked at each other and laughed till they cried. Yes, those were good times. ;o)


Want to join in the fun? Head on over to I Could Be Fake and share your 'Flashback'!! :o)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Decision to Homeschool



I never considered homeschooling, ever. I honestly thought that all kids, once they turned five wen to public school. Yes, I knew a few 'fringe parents' who homeschooled but it was not in the cards for us. 

I had my first, second, and third baby and then my first was ready for pre-school. I remember being so very proud to sign him for that first day of school. I went in to meet the teacher, who was great and signed up on the parent volunteer sheet. Then the big day came and he got on the little bus and headed off to school. He seemed happy and the rest of the house was happy and then my sweet little boy came home. I'm going to be totally honest here, he came home a little hellion. What happened to my sweet boy? Did someone hurt him? Were the other kids bad examples? No!! He was just plain over tired from a half day away and was so very good in school he let it all out when he got home. 

At first I thought he would get used to it and the end of the day would get better. It did not. It got worse. Instead of just the end of the day tantrum he started to have before school tantrums. He would literally hide under a chair before school, because he did not want to go. Of course I made him go, after all that's what good mothers do right? I talked to his teacher to see exactly what was going on at school, but there was nothing going on. She said that he was one of the very best students in the class and she enjoyed him very much. She said he was polite, kind, and shared the toys. 

Right around that same time I met a few homeschoolers that did not seem so on the 'fringe' to me. They were just normal run of mill parents trying to do what they thought was best for their families. I watched them for awhile and then I talked to them about homeschooling. I wanted to know what they really thought about their kids being home all the time, if it was hard teaching their kids, and of course I wanted to know about socialization. 

They were kind and considerate and answered my questions without condemnation or judgement. They claimed to love having their kids home, but yes there were tough days. Yes, some days were hard teaching but seeing their children reach milestones was so worth it. As for the big 'S', they encouraged me not to worry about that. After all I had a total of four kid 6 and under, there was lots of socialization going on. 

I began to pray about it. 
The more I prayed the more I wanted to try it, but yet I was still reluctant. 

Then one night I was watching 20/20, it was a special about bulling and violence in the public schools. I remember laying on the couch and watching the terrible stuff that some kids do and how hurt the kids were that it affected. One of the clips was about a little boy who brought a gun to school, basically to terrorize another student. This was elementary school for pete sakes!! 

I told the Lord right then and there that if I ever heard about something like that here in our small community then I would certainly homeschool.

Be careful what you say to the God of the universe!

The very next week I was reading the weekly paper and right on the front page was a story about an elementary school student bringing a gun to school!! Now we live in a very rural community, so guns are no uncommon but a little boy bringing one to school was unheard of! No one got hurt, he just wanted to show it off to his friends, but that is not the point. The point is that I knew right then and there that I had to homeschool. 

I talked to my husband that very night and this is pretty much what I said word for word:

"Honey, I think I want to homeschool Max. I will homeschool him over the summer and teach him to read. If I can't teach him to read then I'll put him in Kindergarten. What do you think?"

His answer was so fast and so simple it startled me, he said okay. 

I was dumbfounded!! 

Once the official decision was made I knew Max had to leave the pre-school class. Mainly because in the spring they start to introduce the children to their Kindergarten teacher and show them their new class. I didn't want to confuse him, so I talked to the teacher and took him out the very next week. His teacher was extremely nice about it and said that if she could she would homeschool her own children. The only thing she was concerned about was that we were not happy with her as teacher. I told her that absolutely was not the case, she was a great teacher and we all appreciated her very much. 

Well, this blog post has gotten longer then I anticipated. Let me end by saying two graduates and fourteen years later I am so happy we made the decision to homeschool. I have nothing against public schools, but for us homeschooling is what's best for our family.

I would love to hear how you decided to homeschool, please feel free to write your own post and make sure to come back here with your link.