Month: February 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Memories of Summer Camp

What is it about summer camp?  If you were lucky enough to get to go to camp when you were a kid, I can guarantee that you have memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.  Summer camp is a place where we spread our wings, and learn about ourselves, and challenge ourselves, and make the best of friendships, and meet counselors who change our lives!  Summer camp is where we learn that baths don’t need to be taken everyday, as long as you jump in the pool or lake, right?!  Summer camp is where you eat candy as many times each day as possible, and you mix all the drinks from the fountains because your parents would never let you do that!

Summer camp is where many of us encountered Jesus for the first time, and THIS is why our family does camp everyday!  We are a camp family!  We live, eat and breathe camp, and yes, it is pretty much as amazing as you could imagine it to be!  We love seeing new faces every week, and praying for each person that comes up the mountain, that they may know Christ in a very REAL way while they are here.

Our camp has a brand new video, that explains where we are in California, and how you can be a part of this amazing ministry.  I don’t ask for people to read my blog, or share my blog, or subscribe to my blog…BUT TODAY I am asking that you take just a few minutes to learn about our ministry here and please share this video with your friends and family.  Here’s the video, check it out!

 

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Conquering Long Division

I don’t like long division.  As an adult, I use a calculator when I have to do long division.  (Or any math!)  However, I have to teach my children how to do this math stuff without a calculator before I can hand the calculator over.  Luckily, my oldest child has quite the math brain.  I am fairly certain she has made it through math, due to her being able to figure things out, not because I actually taught her something.

My youngest child is quite the different story!  Math does not come easy, in fact, it is quite difficult.  (And let’s be honest…it doesn’t come easy to me either!)  So, here is my dilemma…a child who struggles in math + a mom who isn’t great at math = homeschool nightmare!  Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but it is getting hard.  I have been dreading teaching long division to him, but the inevitable had arrived!  We had to conquer this beast.  So, I did not EVEN consider going the route of “common core” madness with this child.  No way!!!!!  I began with the basics, and guess what?!  It worked!  This child who really struggles, is actually able to complete long division problems on his own, even when there is a remainder involved!!!  This is HUGE!!!  He’s getting it, and this is cause for celebration!  Big celebration!  He is actually proving me wrong, and I love it!  We are moving forward in math and it actually didn’t take too long for us to get it.  Yay!

So, in case you needed a reason to celebrate today…celebrate with us!  We are conquering long division in our little mountain homeschool and that is reason to party!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday -C. S. Lewis

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What is it about weeks where we have a holiday?

When we have a holiday on Monday or on Friday, (or any other day for that matter), shouldn’t we feel rested?  Why do I always feel like I have been run over by a Mack Truck when we have a week with a holiday?  Why?  Anyone else feeling my pain?

I woke up with one eye matted shut this morning and my head “floating” due to allergies.  (At least I am praying it’s allergies and not pink eye!)  I woke up not knowing what day it was or where I was.  You know those kind of mornings?  The morning where you cannot get to your coffee maker fast enough?!  So, I am more than thankful that today is Friday!  (It is Friday, right?)  I am so very glad we have nothing planned for this weekend so that I can get this place put back together and plan for next week, with the hope that we have a “fairly normal” week.  I LOVE routine and I love predictability.  I think that this is why I loved teaching Kindergarten.  Those little babies thrived on routine and predictability!

Here’s hoping you have had an awesome week and didn’t wake up feeling like a Mack Truck ran you over.  Here’s hoping your weekend is filled with lovely weather (I can count on that here in SoCal), and some time to rest and relax before the next week comes rumbling in like a freight train!  Here’s to routine and predictability!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – For the Weary Mom

I was very blessed to attend the Mom Heart Conference with Sally Clarkson this weekend.  I have NO idea how I have not know of Sally until now.  (Probably because I wasn’t listening to other mom’s around me!)  Not only did Sally Clarkson speak, but also Chrystal Evans Hurst.  This conference was really great ya’ll!   In honor of all of the amazing things I heard, I thought I would just put some of the encouraging words here for you.

  • We are capable of beauty (in our homes and in our lives) because we have a GOD who is capable of beauty!  We only must offer Him the ashes! – Chrystal Evans Hurst

Most of these are from Sally Clarkson (I’m sure she wasn’t the first to say them, but I am crediting her with them for now.)

  • Right is always right even if no one is doing it and wrong is always wrong even if everyone is doing it!
  • Even a fool seems wise if he keeps his mouth closed!
  • Relax a little more; don’t worry so much about the schedule!
  • Don’t follow a parenting formula; just study the life of Christ!
  • Be careful with your words.  We never know what is going to stick!  There is power of life and death in our tongues!
  • Never send a soldier into battle who hasn’t been trained!
  • Don’t let a culture that is addicted to mediocrity be the voice in your head!  We have the option of excellence because God is excellent!
  • It is better to shoot for the stars and miss than to shoot for the mud and stick!

I told you this was good stuff.  I will have more posts about my fun weekend soon, but hopefully this can fill you up today!

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Little Drummer Girl

I became a drummer in the 6th grade.  I should probably say, a percussionist.  I never really played a drum set, but boy did I play some snare, xylophone, marimba, tympani, chimes, triangle and slapstick!  (I have a great story about my abilities as a slapstick player!)  Anyway, I had the best band director, Mr. Monroe!  Not only was Mr. Monroe my band director, but he was also our church music director and our church youth director.  My dad was the pastor of the church, so you can see, that I had eyes watching me ALL the time!  Haha!  Yes, we lived in a very small town!

Mr. Monroe, was also a percussionist, so he was AWESOME at being able to teach us and mold us into the best little drummers we could be.  He was kind, encouraging, harsh when he needed to be, and a great leader!  I had the best years being a drummer under him!  I was that girl, that loved being a girl, but put some sticks in my hands and I could “beat” with the best of them!  Percussion was my thing, and I even received some significant honors along the way.

Because Mr. Monroe was so amazing, he would always find another band director to help critique us both as a marching band and as individuals as needed.  I was super lucky, because one of those band directors he chose for me, was none other than the FAMOUS Ms. Diane Baker!  Oh the stories that preceded her would make you shiver in your boots, but also make you shine those same boots like you never had before because you wanted to impress her and show her your best.  Ms. Baker, was also a drummer!  A GIRL drummer who was COOL and AMAZING!  She did not mess around!  To hear words like “way to go” or “you’ve got this” or “I want you to do this instead” or “you are going to do great” from her was like a trophy in itself!  She always believed in you, and made you believe in yourself.  I was lucky enough once, to be in a percussion jazz ensemble with her.  Honestly, she was the coolest!  I wasn’t great on the set, but she wanted me to have something unique to play, so I got the vibraphone.  She was always looking for ways to build you.

This week, Ms. Diane Baker passed away due to pancreatic cancer.  I would never even pretend to be able to speak of her legacy like those band members and friends who were under her instruction daily.  Oh the stories!  There was a facebook page set up in her memory, and it is filled with story after story of how she touched and changed the lives of those she came into contact with.  I was great friends with many who were students of hers, and each of them feels the loss in a big way.  There will never be another one like her.

I am thankful to Mr. Monroe for introducing me to Ms. Baker.  I am thankful to Ms. Baker for the encouragement she gave me over the years, and the legacy she leaves behind.  Most of all, I am thankful that she gave her life to Christ and is now rejoicing in heaven where there is no more pain.  One day, I wilI be there with her, and whether or not there is a band…I KNOW there will be a BIG BIG hug!

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Oh how HE loves us!

Valentine’s Day is coming!  Go buy some chocolate and cards and maybe a stuffed animal!

I think that every Words of Wisdom Wednesday from here on out, could be covered with scriptures about God’s love for us!  Oh there are so many about how He loves us!  Thank you Lord, for giving us reminders throughout your word, so that our little hearts and minds will not forget your love!

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Homeschooling and The Classical Academy

We had our mid-year conference on Friday!  Woohoo!  We have now made it through 3 1/2 years of homeschooling.  The first year, I was just “winging it.”  As Grace likes to remind me…we did LOTS of worksheets and workbooks!  I always start re-evaluating what we do around this time of year.  I usually get frustrated with how things are going, but then I sit down and  question things, and ponder things, and realize that I have been given quite the blessing!

As I waited for Grace to finish up practice for The Lion King, Jr, I introduced myself to a mom I had not met before.  Our distance from school always comes up, and she said, “Wow!  I will never complain about driving to school again!  We live 12 minutes from the school and I complain!  You are crazy for driving 1 hour and 15 minutes!  Why would you do that?”  I responded with several “whys.”  There are so many.  Here are a few (or many) that have come to mind:

  • Classical Academy sets me up for success!
  • I am provided with teachers who understand because they have home schooled their children.
  • I have options, options, options! (curriculum, extra-curricular activities, classes…)
  •  There has never been a time that I have been told, “this is how we do it”, and I LOVE that!  As a matter of fact, I am usually asked, “What were you thinking would be best?” or “Do you have any ideas for how you would like to change things?”
  • The Classical Academy was born from “outside the box” thinkers!
  • My children are making great friendships!
  • Grace is in a musical theater production that rivals any Broadway Jr. production!
  • The curriculum pushes me as a teacher, as well as pushes my children.

Classical  Academy is not perfect, no school is, but it is just what WE need.  I am so thankful that a friend told me to check it out!  So, I like to see that we GET to drive to school!  We GET to be a part of something really amazing!  The drive is long, but so very worth it!

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I love Chip and Joanna Gaines (and Rich Ashley!)

I am a Fixer Upper FANATIC!!!!!  To say that I love the show is quite the understatement!  Let’s start with Joanna…beautiful, funny, smart, talented, gracious, hospitable, sweet mommy, beautiful…the list could go on.  Who doesn’t want to be Joanna’s best friend?!  I mean really?!  One of my favorite things on every episode is watching how she reacts to Chip.  Have you noticed how she is always so respectful?  I just love her!!!!!

Then there is Chip!  Okay, seriously, he and Micah need to meet!  I am pretty sure that they would be instantaneous best friends!  They kind of even look alike!  For real!!!!  Chip…hilarious, talented, hard-worker, amazing daddy, hilarious, super-demo-man, hilarious!

Our family sits down together to watch Fixer Upper each week.  My 11 year old and 12 year old can quote Chip from each and every show.  We snuggle up on the couch and laugh together.  It’s the best!  I think that my favorite thing each week, is that my kids are getting to see a hard-working, loving, respectful family on TV.  I’m totally fine with my kids wanting to “be like” Chip and Joanna Gaines.

So, since I am a crazy fanatic, I not only watch the show, but also follow Chip and Joanna on all things social media!  Last week-ish, Chip tweeted for us to start following his new assistant, Rich Ashley (@richjamashley).  So I did.  Chip said that we could win stuff, so yesterday I asked if I could win something.  Chip and Rich said I needed to do my best Chip impression.  Ben, Micah and I did our best 4 impressions (I’ll spare you the terrible videos!) and we are going to win something!!!!

I am now a CRAZY FANATIC of Chip, Joanna and Rich!  I’ll be sure to post my winnings!  I’m gonna go binge-watch some Fixer Upper now and dream of all the things I should do to my house!

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A Little Taste of SoCal-Mountain Life

On Sunday night, we had what I would call a “California Hurricane!”  So, there was no thunder, no lightening, no threat of tornados, and just a “normal” rain…BUT THE WIND!!!!!!!  Holy Cow!!!!!  The wind, when it sweeps across the top of the mountain, is SCARY!!!!!  They say that the winds reached up to 70 mph at times.  I believe it!  At one point, I was considering taking the kids down into the basement for cover.  When we lived in Texas and the crazy wind and rain came, I always worried because we had smaller trees that could blow over with very little wind. We “hunkered down” a lot in Texas!   On the mountain, we have MASSIVE trees, so I don’t usually worry that wind will blow them over.  However, 70 mph winds can blow over just about anything!  Yikes!  Our house and camp faired pretty well.  There was debris everywhere, and we knew of one tree that was down in the road Sunday night, but no one blew away and all of our facilities were fine.

Then, on Monday morning the kids and I got ready to head down for a school day.  As we headed out of camp, this was in the road.  The only road out.
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I turned around and came to get Micah.  He drove up with us to see if there was any possibility of driving around the tree.  There was BARELY enough room, but we squeezed/squeaked by and started the rest of our journey.  At this point, the temperature outside was 28 degrees!  By the time we got to the summit of the mountain, these were our views!

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Breathtaking!  I absolutely love it when the trees are covered with ice!  I know that it’s not the safest or best scenario, but MAN is it gorgeous!!!! (And, yes, I borrowed the bottom two pictures!  They used a real camera, not their phone!)

We continued on to school, which took us 1 hour and 50 minutes due to traffic!  Ugh!  By the time school was out, the temperature in Oceanside was 76 degrees.  (28 degrees on the mountain and 76 degrees in town.  Can we say LAYERING of the clothes is a requirement?!)  As we headed home, the sunset was insane! (I didn’t take this one either, but I promise you this is what it looked like!)

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This is SoCal-mountain life,  and we still LOVE it!!!!!

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