Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to School!

Well we started school again this past week and things have been very busy!

I am homeschooling 6 of our children this year.

Our oldest son Brandon is in the 12th grade this year so we are hoping to get him through and graduated. Our son Collin is in 10th grade according to his age but he is doing the same work as his older brother.

Our daughter Stephanie is now in 4th grade and Jeremiah is in 3rd.

That leaves our 6 year old Matthew who is now in first grade.

Caleb our 4 year old and Katelyn our two year old are busy learning their colors and letters, counting and some phonics sounds.

In just this one week I can hear my two year old singing around the house her ABC's and counting 1,7,9 just so adorable!

Our day is very full and some times I wonder how I will ever get every thing accomplished but I know that I must trust Gods grace to help me get through each day.

This is our thirteenth year of homeschooling and it is always changing.

I often think what will it be like when our little ones are homeschooling as well?

Homeschooling with toddlers does make things challenging. Our four year old son is very busy! We have to keep a constant eye on him. I have learned through the years that sharing the responsibilty of playing with and watching the younger ones with my older children has truely been a blessing and a help.

Our oldest daughter is home this year and so she has been a tremendous help in this area. I also have my nine year old helping and our eight year old.

This enables me to have one on one time with each of the children in their school work.

Well I hope that you all have a great school year this year. Enjoy the time with your children, because it flies by so quickly!

God Bless, Kathy

Saturday, August 30, 2008

God's Protective Hand!

We had just bought this car 4 months ago to save money on gas. With a family of 10 the only thing that we had to drive around in was a large van so this was awful on gas as you could imagine.

Two Fridays ago I went grocery shopping with our 17 year old son Brandon and our 4 year old son Caleb.

I was so happy that we had managed to get shopping done early and we were heading home to enjoy the rest of our day and to prepare for company that we were going to have over that evening.

We had just finished grocery shopping and I remember that for some reason that day I chose to double check my sons car seat to make sure that it was secured really well.

As we were heading home a car struck the driver's side of our car and sent us spinning!
Our four year old was screaming as his door was hit the hardest.

By God's grace no one was in front of us and no one was coming behind us. This truly was Gods grace.

This street has been so busy lately due to construction and the building of a new Target and Lowes.

When we finally stopped and I saw us pointing now in the wrong direction I became panicked all I could think of was getting out off the road before someone else came down the street and possibly hitting us again.

I pulled the car into the gas station that was right where we were. The car was a mess and it didn't move to easily but by Gods grace I was able to get us out of harms way.

The elderly gentleman continued on his way to the pump to gas. My oldest son could not believe this.

A police officer was near the construction and came right over to see if we were ok. He called the gentleman back over to us to wait for another police officer to come.

By this time I realized what had happened and it began to sink in. My heart just sank when I knew that the new little car (new to us) was hit.

My oldest son was wonderful taking care of me and my youngest son. He called 911 and called my husband. He even went into the gas station and bought some candy for our little one to calm him down.

God is so good He was always in control and took care of us all. I did hurt my neck and back which I am getting care for and our other two sons were not injured.

Our car was totaled which really saddened us. I had to remind myself that everything we own is Gods so I have to trust God for all of his decisions.

I once heard a preacher preaching a sermon and he mentioned that his vehicle had been in an accident and he just prayed and said ,"Lord you are not taking very good care of your car."

God does own everything that we have here on this earth and I just thought of that sermon and had to remind myself of this truth! God does own everything and I need to just trust him for meeting all of our needs!

This is something I often find myself forgetting but I do desire to trust and obey his will for my life.

The funny side of this , if there could be one is that when my husband opened the trunk to retrieve our groceries a gallon of milk was crushed and was pouring out all over the place.

When we went to retrieve all of the rest of the items from the car it smelled so bad that I do not think anyone could have removed that stench.

I am so thankful that we have a God who cares for us and is always watching over us!

We are now praying and looking for another car.

Praise the Lord for his Goodness!

God Bless, Kathy

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Home Made Sauce Fresh from the Garden!

Homemade Sauce fresh from the garden hmmm can you smell the aroma?

This is my frugal idea for this week.

Our garden has not done as well as I had hoped this year but the tomatoes sure are doing great!

This year my husband had bought a few tomato plants and some cherry tomato plants so we thought we would have enough to make salads and just enjoy.

Well shortly after my dad called and told us that he had some tomato plants for us and we now had 12 plants!

As you can guess we now have a lot of ripe tomatoes so it was time to do something with them!

Here is our sauce recipe!

First pick some ripe tomatoes, and wash them.

I than blanched them in boiling water for about 2-3 mins each until the skin began to peel away.

I removed them from the boiling water and placed them in some ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

I than proceeded to skin them and to cut into chunk size.

I placed them into a large pot to cook down.

(Note I did not remove the seeds but you could if you wanted too)

As this was simmering a little bit of foam began to form so I skimmed this off the top.

When the tomatoes were cooked down I added some other cans of tomato sauce that I had on hand and some paste.

I than added all of my spices. (oregano, salt, pepper, hot peppers) I also added some sugar I like our sauce sweet.

I let this simmer for a little while.

I now had my base sauce.

This past Sunday I cooked up some onions and ground beef. I added a little minced garlic and added some sauce to the pot. Yum this was so delicious over spaghetti!

Add some fresh bread or our pepperoni bread that we posted about here, and a salad and you have a very frugal meal that is absolutely delicious!

God Bless, Enjoy! Kathy

"A Day in Space"

I LOVE the violin!
I always wanted a violin when I was a little girl but my parents wanted me to do piano first. I did take piano for a little bit, but I still loved the violin! I would listen to a music tape of violins over and over! I loved the sound and the look. A violin just sings! I think it is the most beautiful instrument that God had man invent!

Well, in the fall of 2007 I finally received a violin from my parents!!!!!
I was sooooo excited! I loved the deep tones, and the high soft ones. I quickly fell in love with the feel of the wood and the smell of the rosin on the bow. The violin felt natural in my hands and my fingers seemed to know just what to do.

There was just one problem, I would have to teach myself!
We didn't know anyone who could teach me.

I wasn't very concerned though! I was pretty sure that I could teach myself, maybe.

So, I began to practice, I had a ''beginners Violin'' book, along with a cd to demonstrate the sounds of each song.
I practiced.
But I came to a song after a while that I just couldn't get.

Well, it is now almost fall 2008
And something wonderful happened!

A few weeks ago my church had a Band Camp, for voice and instrumentals.
The orchestral suite was "A Day in Space". My brother, Collin played the trumpet so he was going. I wondered if I should go for the choir.
I talked to my mom, and soon came to the conclusion that I would take my violin and just "see what happens"

So, I went the first day, and tried to play along, but became very frustrated. The song was centered on the notes I had the most trouble with! I considered just doing choir instead. But God prompted me to keep going and stick with the orchestra.

There were 2 other young ladies playing violins, both had lessons for 6+ years. They soon became my "little angels"! both were 5 yrs younger then I.
These 2 "angels" were sent by God!!!

These 2 young ladies went through the different movements in the songs with me, showing me how to properly hold my bow, and position my fingers. When they could have been practicing they were helping me! They were truly treasures! I quickly made progress. Both of my "little angels" couldn't believe how well I was doing. I told them that they were my first teachers, and good ones too!

I wasn't sure if I was going to play in the concert.
I couldn't play the entire piece. But some parts I picked up on very well. My mother and the girls encourage me to play my violin, so I did!

(my brother, Collin, is right behind me playing his trumpet)

The day of the concert came and I was nervous. Through God's infinite Grace I was able to perform in the concert!! I know He guided my hands!

After the concert I told the orchestra director that I had never had a lesson.
He was very surprised!

God is so Good,


Saturday, August 23, 2008

What's A Girl To Do?

"So, What are you doing for college this fall?" a lady asks.

Inwardly I sigh, I know she's just being friendly. But I am not fond of this question.

"I'm staying home this fall. I am going to take some online writing courses, and help home school my younger siblings," I try to add a smile,"it's real hands-on elementary education!"


So What's A Girl To Do?

It has been one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. Yes, I might go to College for a 1 yr Bible degree someday, if that is how God leads me. But do I need a degree in Elementary education to home school my own children someday? I believe God wants me to be a homemaker, and I have never seen a degree for cleaning kitchens, staying up all night with a sick child, or on how to be a good mommy. :)

(My little Buddy sneaks in for a hug!)

Now, College might be right for some girls, it might be right for me someday. But right now, God has lead me to stay home. One of my best friends went to college. That was how God was leading her. A dear older lady I know waited 1 yr before going to college to help her mother at home. When she did go to college the next year it was the same year a certain young man was starting. She and that young man eventually were married! She was blessed!

(I treasure this photo a friend took of me and a little boy reading the Bible for a class)

So, what am I going to do in the meantime?

1) I am going to help teach my younger siblings. My goal is to get my little brother Matt to read really good.

2) Take writing courses. I would like to write good books for preteens-young adults.

3) Continue working on my stories that I have started.

4) Help out as a Substitute Sunday school teacher.

5) Learn how to play the violin better!!!!!

6)Help out wherever I am needed!

So, What's A Girl To Do? ~Wait for God's leading and ALWAYS trust in Him!

Are there any young ladies out there who are choosing to stay home?
I would love to hear from You!

God Bless

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Fun and Frugal Dino Craft!!

What do you do with all those empty laundry soap bottles hanging around? Throw them away? No! Inside those little bottles is a Dinosaur waiting to be born!

So, We are going to make a dinosaur craft/toy out of a couple of ALL laundry soap bottles! Completely Frugal and completely free, (not to mention better then throwing them away!) Don't think I can? Just wait and see!

First, remove the wrapper of an empty bottle. ANY bottle with a similar shape works great! Wash out the inside really good. (if you don't rinse it out really well you are going to have a BIG mess! Believe me!)
Also, this craft requires parental assistance!!

Next, make 2 marks with a marker like so on both sides of 1 bottle. The top mark is for the arms, the bottom for the legs.

Draw a leg template on a piece of paper. On a 2nd bottle trace the template.

With a craft knife or a good pair of scissors cut out the leg peice, cut out a 2nd from the other side of the bottle. (don't forget to give him a left and right leg! so flip the paper template over!)

OK, with what is left of the 2nd bottle- make a paper arm template, trace and cut.

So, we now attach the arms and legs to the 1rst bottle with the 2 marks. We do this by first drilling a small hole through the leg/arm and body and then drilling a screw. Does it look more like a dinosaur?

Using the remains of the 2nd bottle trace and cut out a tail shape. Screw it on , for extra strength I taped it on too. Although not shown, I also taped this little guys legs too.

The head is up to you! I used more bottle parts and kind of taped it on and"into" a head shape!

OK! Now we are ready to paint! Do whatever you want, or whatever your child wants! This part is more kid-friendly! depending on the paint you use, it will chip off. If you wrap the whole Dino with tape this will be less likely to happen! Glue on some googly eyes for a really great "look!"

So here is the finished project! Isn't he cute???

My little brother, Matt, actually won a contest for "Most Realistic Dino!"

So, start crafting!!

God Bless, Rebecca!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Perspectives

"New Perspectives"

I love this photo of my younger brother, Collin! He and Brandon (another brother) worked together and built this K'nex tower in about an hour. Brandon took the picture.
The boys always loved building with legos and K'nex! WE always were finding little pieces of these EVERYWHERE!

That was in 2006.

2 yrs later, my brother has built all kinds of things! It all started with building with legos. . . now he's built a sled, a playhouse and so on!
So, enjoy all those little pieces of legos scattered around! You never know. . .

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fun in the Sun

This year for vacation we decided to just stay home and to find some fun things to do close to home.

With eight children it can be a challenge to found something that everyone would enjoy to do.

Our oldest daughter is 19yrs old and the youngest is 2 yrs old.

Well we decided to head to the shore!

We always like to wait and to go later in the evening when the sun is starting to go down. This is a great time!

The beach is pretty empty and we can just enjoy the wonderful breeze the fresh sea air and enjoy the waves that come crashing in. Ok around here the waves are not very high but for our smaller children they are just the right size.

We first headed to a favorite restaurant that is down by the shore! I love sea food so this was a real treat!

We than headed to the beach. This is a public beach and we had been hoping that it would be a free entry since it was later in the day but that was not to be! The small fee for parking was worth it though!

The children had a wonderful time. When we started talking we realized it had been about 8 years since we last had been at the beach! Time does fly by.

(With my last 5 pregnancies being much closer than my first three we seemed to be so busy!)

Well the Lord really blessed and the children all had fun! It was a perfect little get away which pleased everyone of every age!

Daddy and Katelyn share a kiss!

To end the evening the Lord blessed us with some free pizza!
We happen to be on the peer to get the children kind of washed off. ( hmm) and a kind women came up to us and offered us almost a complete pizza. She had been sitting there with her children and they could not finish all of the pizza that they had bought! God is so Good!

The children were eager to accept her kindness and the Pizza was delicious!

God is so good! Enjoying his creation is the best kind of vacation that we could have!

Our Pastor had been preaching a lot lately about slowing down and enjoying the simpler things in life! I think we all need to remember this!

I hope that this will encourage all of you to see what is in your back yard and to just enjoy the simpler things in life!

God Bless, Kathy

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