A Girly Room

So I have been promising my daughter that we would decorate and organize her room. For 3 years.

Yep, there’s no doubt about it, I’m a procrastinator. But I think it’s finally time to get it done. The last couple of months I’ve been struggling with the idea that spending time and money on decorating and other frivolous things, is not only a waste of time and other resources but also, ungodly. You know what I mean, how can I bear to spend my time and money on my house looking pretty when there are babies and children starving all over the world? Doesn’t God call us to spend our time and money on them?(I believe He does.) So how can I blatantly ignore them while I paint and fluff pillows and hang chandeliers? Well, I can’t. I CANNOT IGNORE THEM!

Some of our dear friends, who also happen to be family, are adopting a boy from Uganda. It was not something that they planned to do or even sought out an opportunity to do. God sort of hit them over the head with it. And I was not far from the blast that is His spirit. I heard about a girl. And I immediately thought, “I want her. She’s mine.” Then I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would show me His will. Then I talked to my husband. I cannot even describe to you the look on his face. I knew instantly where he stood and I felt deflated. So I asked him to pray. And I know that when I ask him to pray, he does. A few weeks have gone by and I have prayed it through and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wants me to honor my husband and my husband does not believe God is calling us to adopt. I also know that she is not mine, but God’s. Just as all of these children are, including the ones I have birthed. This is a hard thing for me to grasp. Because I want certain things for these kids that are living with me. I want them to know God. I want them to serve Him. I want them to serve others. I want them to experience what it is like to give everything in order to help someone. I want them to be healthy. I want them to live to be very old. I want them to be safe. I want them to have everything they need. I think God wants most of these things too but I’m not sure I always understand or agree with how he wants to accomplish them. And I’m not sure he is as concerned with their health, wealth, and longevity. I’m willing to bet He is more concerned with the other things. The eternal things. This is hard. Because what if His will is that they don’t live to be old? What if His will is that they suffer for His name? I believe that when we lean on Him He will give us strength beyond our comprehension, but until I need that kind of strength, I will pray.

So, back to my point. I feel like, in light of the fact that we could use this money to give orphans a home, decorating and such is wrong. But my husband does not feel led to sell everything and give it all away. I actually asked. (insert sheepish look) Some would say he is wrong, that he is not living a spirit-led life or that he is caught up in materialism. But let me stop those thoughts dead.in.their.tracks. I can assure you, my husband is not materialistic. I begrudgingly admit, I am far far more materialistic than he is. I get excited about shopping, y’all. Like, excited. Maybe it’s because I feel guilty about this that I want to give away all my possessions with reckless abandon, I don’t know. But whatever the reason, my husband does not share my enthusiasm. He is willing to sell anything and everything if God calls us to do so but he does not believe that He is calling us to do so at this point in our lives. His heart goes out to these children but I know he feels a burden to help the elderly far more. I guess that’s the beauty in God’s creation, it’s not chaotic but it’s very diverse.

While I have been yo-yoing back and forth about these things my poor house has fallen apart. So I have decided that I will not make excuses about spending money but rather I will try to use what I already have and pray daily that God will have my heart. Where is the line between legalism and grace anyway? I have a feeling that it is very very thin sometimes. While I am praying, I will clean my house and run it as frugally as possible and sometimes, I will splurge. But I will always pray for grace. That God will give me the grace and wisdom to see when it is time to let go. When it is time to bring a child or elderly person into my home and give all that I have to care for them. In the meantime, I will give all that I have to the children already living  here. That includes teaching them to serve. I refuse to see them as an excuse not to serve others but rather to see them as an inspiration to serve others.

Avril and I are going to be working on her room. She has waited so long and has been very patient with me. My goal is to have a calming place for her that reflects her personality. Her room is very small and tends to look cluttered so organization is a must. She’s a spunky little thing so a touch of whimsy would be nice but overall I want it to be peaceful.

This is her room currently:

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Ok, so these are cell phone pics because I was too lazy to get out the camera. They aren’t great quality but it gives you an idea of how things are looking right now. The cabinet with the glass doors will not be staying in her room. It’s most likely going in the school room once that is complete. I’m debating on whether or not to put her bed on that wall or the big blank wall. I have decided that I don’t like it under the window. I am also considering relocating her white dresser and replacing it with a lower, wide dresser for under the window. The lower one would work much better in the space but I would hate to have to spend money on one since she already has a perfectly good dresser.  But I may thrift shop for it and see what I can come up with. I’m envisioning a rustic wooden look  but may go with white for a more cohesive look to her room. I have a couple of almost free projects up my sleeve and a gorgeous chandelier that’s been waiting to be hung. I also have one piece of artwork on order that will sort of be a focal point for her room. You’ll see why after it arrives. The other, non-necessary item that I’d really like to get for her is, a little table with 2 chairs so she and her friends can have a place to draw or play dolls or have a tea party.  I was thinking ikea as they are the right price but will look at local thrift shops first.

Her bedding will mostly be the same as it is now only she needs new sheets. Hers are literally falling apart. I may make or buy some more throw pillows and I plan to add lace trim to her pillow cases.(one of my free projects.) I really wanted to do her nightstand differently but she begged me for blue. I just couldn’t say no. She had her little heart set on it. But we’ll clean it out and put books on the shelf and her little girl “necessities” in the drawer. A lamp and clock(another of her requests) will go on top in the gold tray. I plan to get book rack shelves for any books that don’t fit on the nightstand. Hopefully the majority of our books will be in the school room but there are just those special few that will have a home in her room.

I guess that’s the plan for now.

I’ll post pictures as we make progress.

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Nearing the Finish Line

   Well, we are heading into the home stretch of our school year. The plan is to be completely finished by May 1st. But we are actually headed into the final week of our base curriculum. Classical Conversations.

Let’s talk about this curriculum for a second. I.LOVE.THIS.CURRICULUM. I was first introduced to it just two years ago. I was skeptical. So I went to a 3-day practicum about this curriculum. It was amazing but I was still confused. Then I enrolled my 3 older kids and jumped into it that fall. Oh my goodness, I had no idea that something seemingly so simple could actually have my kids learning more than any of the other curriculums combined.

The way it works is, there are three tiers: Foundations, Essentials & Challenge. Foundations is preschool – 6th grade. Essentials is 4th – 6th grade. And challenge A & B are Jr. High. Challenge 1, 2, 3, & 4 are high school. Foundations has three cycles and they study one cycle per year. If starting from the beginning of their schooling your child will complete each cycle twice and two of them 3 times. There are 24 weeks per cycle.

Each week you will have a small portion of each subject to memorize. The subjects are: history, science, English grammar, Latin, mathematics, timeline, & geography. Every week you will meet with a community group and a tutor will drill the new information with your kids, do a science experiment, an art project, and review. The rest of the week you will continue to drill the information daily at home. You may expound on any of the subjects as much or little as you wish but the only things required in addition to this Foundations curriculum are an age appropriate math curriculum and language arts curriculum. When your child enters the Essentials program you will no longer need to purchase a separate Language Arts program.

To learn more about Classical Conversations, visit their website HERE.

So there is my brief overview of my all-time favorite homeschool curriculum.

The last couple of weeks I have already been planning for next year. I don’t usually plan until sometime near the end of July but this year I am trying to get a bit of a jump on it in hopes of being more organized. This is what I will most likely be purchasing for next year:

Horizons Math(for all 3 kiddos)

Horizons Math, Grade 5, Complete Set   -

This is my favorite math program. My boys pick up on the new information quickly and its colorful and fun. They do one lesson a day which usually consists of 2-3 pages. This coming year I may have them do some drill pages which are usually in the back of the teacher’s manual.

I will be purchasing their manipulatives set for Avril as she tends to struggle with numbers more than the boys did.

Horizons Math Manipulatives Kit for Grades K to 3   -

Language Arts(for Avril & Rowan)

Grammar & Punctuation Grade 1  -     By: Homeschool

These books seemed to help Adam when he used them(he no longer needs them since he is in the Essentials program in CC) so I will be getting grades 1-3 for Rowan and the kindergarten book for Avril. We did not do any of this for Rowan this year and since the books are short I think he can easily do three.

Handwriting

PreScripts Cursive Letters and Coloring: World History  -

 Rowan will get the one actually pictured here as he will be learning cursive next year. Adam has a couple of years under his belt so he will get one that coincides with the history memory work. Avril will be doing copywork correlating to our weekly memory work.

Bible

Throughout the summer we will be doing The Picture Smart Bible for devotions each day but this is what I plan to use for the school  year. This will be our first time using this but I have heard great things about it. Adam will have the notebooking journal, Rowan will have the Jr. one, and Avril will have the coloring book. I’m really excited about it.

History

Creation to the Resurrection, Volume 1, Second Edition: The Mystery of History Series7 CD Audio Set Vol. 1: The Ancient Times, Story of the World

These should correlate well with our Cycle 1 in Foundations. We will also use various books that will expound on their memory work but these will be what we use the most.

Science

Exploring Creation with Biology, 2nd Edition, Companion CD, Version 9.0Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the  Fifth Day MP3 Audio CD

Apologia is my favorite science program. We used it before we found Classical and Adam and I had so much fun learning and doing the notebook together. The notebooks make great keepsakes as well. We bought the anatomy notebook last year but never got around to using it. I think we will get the audio(pictured) for the coming year and the jury is still out on the notebooks since Cycle 1 covers more than one topic in science. I’m not sure we’d be able to do all of the different notebooks in one school year.

Again, we will use the parts that reiterate their memory work in Foundations.

Reading

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All About Reading is what Rowan & Avril will use. Rowan will be in level 3 and Avril in level 1. Adam will use Essentials and independent reading that interests him.

I think that pretty much concludes the list.

Here is a list of links I love for homeschooling:

Half-a-Hundred-Acre-Wood

Not Consumed

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational

All About Learning

Christian Book Distributors(I find that a lot of our school books are actually cheaper through these guys than Amazon or the actual websites for specific curriculum.)

Beautiful Feet Books(If you are a die hard book lover this is the site for you. Ask my sister!)

Happy Planning for you all!

The House (Before)

Whew! After a month of being sick, through the holidays, an out of town wedding, and another two weeks adjusting to the back to school routine, I’m finally blogging again. Sadly, we were so ill over the Christmas holiday that I never took pictures of the house all decked out. Oh well. I guess that I have learned my lesson about promising future blog content.

I’ve been wanting to post photos of our house when we bought it 8 years ago. Yikes. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. At the time we had one little boy who was almost 2 and I was about 8 months pregnant with our second(also a boy). And it was just before Christmas. Overwhelming does not even begin to describe how it felt to be purchasing a house during that time in our lives in the dead of winter. To top it all off the entire house needed remodeling before we could live in it. In my pregnant state of mind I was very unhappy to be purchasing this house but it was the best for what we could afford at the time.It was about 9 months before we were able to move into the house. The majority of which, we spent living in the basement and a small motorhome loaned to us by my in-laws.

In hindsight, we would have continued renting and bought when the market came down a bit. But we had no way of knowing that it would. Our landlords were wanting to sell the rental house we were in the next spring and all of the other rentals that had what we needed cost more than buying a house would. And we had no idea we’d be having two more children. Had all of those things been known we would have held out for something bigger. We have only remodeled the upper floor and we dream of the day we are able to remodel the basement and double the floor space.

Be prepared for some serious eye candy.

So with no further adieu, our house:

BEFORE:

Living Room:

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Kitchen/Dining:

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Bathroom:

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Hallway:

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Master Bedroom:

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Boys’ Bedroom:

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Girl Bedroom:

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Stairs:

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Laundry Room:

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