Peeling the Layers Away



Our family goes to the beach.  Not as much as we want, but a lot.  We have a great beach about half hour away that is perfect for kids and for this busy mom!  I love sitting on my blanket reading a good book while the kids are wearing themselves out in the sun and the surf. There are advantages to living in Florida after all!!!!

Besides being completely worn out…we come back sandy, wet, exhausted, and I come back burnt to a crisp!  It doesn’t matter how often I reapply my SPF 45, I still come back looking like a cooked lobster.

Last month we went to the beach and I came back like I normally do.  Exhausted and burnt.  As I was gingerly applying the aloe vera gel to my extremely tender skin, a weird thought struck my brain.(I am the queen of strange thoughts btw) I realized that the sun and what it does to my skin is a lot like what God’s Word (when properly applied) does to my soul.

The more I spend time in His Word, the worse it gets.  The stinging, burning, searing of His Word into my soul.  And the realization that I am nowhere close to living up to the perfection of Jesus Christ.  Each time I delve in, bathing myself in His Word I realize how I fail Him….and it stings.

Sometimes I don’t want the Son to burn, so I put on Sonblock – using the World to distract me from Him, covering myself in Worldly things that make it hard for the Son to get through to me.  Using distractions like television, music, social media, and busyness.  Buying into the advertisement that what the bible says is “cultural” or not meant for our generation, out of date.  Or I fall into that giant vat of Sonblock that so many of us have, the “sissified Jesus”.  You know the one.  The Jesus that says that God would never punish anyone and no one should be held accountable for anything.  Yeah.  That’s my favorite Sonblock of all, because it just sounds so ….NICE!

But if I forget Sunblock, if I soak in the Sun, do you know what happens?  I get burnt.  My skin gets red and it hurts.  It’s hard to do anything because my skin prickles and feels so bad.  And then something miraculous happens.  The skin, the outer layer, it starts to itch.  It peels.  And new skin is underneath it.

Same thing if I forget my daily dose of Sonblock.  If I soak my life in the Son – it will hurt.  It will burn.  It will be uncomfortable.  People will feel pity for you because you spent too much time in the Son.  Some will laugh at how red your soul is.  And there are days that you just wish the pain would go away.  But something amazing happens when you get burnt by the Son.  You start to peel.  Layer by layer, your sinful life begins to peel away.  And you start living a new life.  You will never achieve the perfection of the Son, but your constant exposure to Him will get you closer every day!  And your new skin, your new life, is shiny and bright…no scars, no bruises, no wrinkles, just the beauty of a skin and a life that is Son kissed.

Be warned…as your skin peels, some people will be disgusted.  They will shy away from the peel because they know that they are afraid of spending that much time in the Son.  Treat them with the love that they don’t treat you with.  And pray for them.  Every day.

BAM!’s Shake N Bake Knock off

OK. This week has been a little crazy. Evaluations, preparing for vacation, finishing up school, and all that Jazz. Things have been….off. And I’ve been forgetting things like crazy!

But sometimes, forgetting can be a GOOD thing. For instance, I forgot to purchase shake n bake for our pork chops. The DISASTER!!!!!

BAM! to the rescue! It was her night to cook, and she just couldn’t let a good pork chop down. She hit the pantry and the spice cupboard and made up something so delicious, we didn’t have any leftovers! In fact, it is now a rule….NO MORE SHAKE N BAKE for this family.

I can’t give you exact amounts, cuz she doesn’t know ’em….but I can give you ingredients! Adjust to your flavor profile!!!

  • First: Get a gallon size ziploc bag, and prop it open.
  • Next: Pour in Italian style breadcrumbs (a lot of it), chopped onion (the spice), parsley flakes (load em up), herb salt blend, red pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Last:  Zip up the bag, shake shake shake.


There you have it.  We’ll never go back to Shake n bake again!!!!!!

Homeschool 101: Picking a Curriculum

We’ve learned already that we need to know what our Goal is for Homeschooling.

We’ve learned that we need to know what the Law is in our state for Homeschooling.

You’ve prayed alone.  You’ve prayed with your husband.  And you have decided to take the plunge.  But where do you go from here?  With all of the curriculum and styles out there, now what?  You’ve read all of the blogs, you’ve gotten catalogs, you’ve talked to friends and your head is spinning.  There are just way too many choices out there!

I can tell you from experience that it can be a dizzying prospect to try and figure out what curriculum to choose.  I’ve gone through several.

First things first when choosing a curriculum.  Know what your child(ren)s learning style is.  There are a couple of ways to figure that out:

You can go purchase Cathy Duffy’s  Top 100 Homeschool Pics, you can spend up to $30 on this.  She tears apart your child’s learning style and gives you her top picks for that style.

Or you can find a test online that will tell you pretty quickly what his style is, most of them are free.  This will tell you only what the style is, and then you narrow your curriculum from there.

Or you can simply observe your child.  Do they like to tear things apart and put them together? Do they like to read?  Do they prefer to watch television?  (this is all when they want to know something, not when they are watching cartoons. 😉 ) Do they learn better by singing or chanting?

There are three main learning styles, and God has blessed me with children that have all three.  Smarty Pants is a read/write learner (visual).  He learns things by reading and writing about them, or watching something on tv.  Eyes, Dimples, and Kissy are kinesthetic learners.  They learn by movement or tearing something apart and putting it back together.  Barbie and BAM! are auditory learners, the best way for them to learn is to listen to it, preferably in a song or a chant.

Once you figure out what your child’s learning style is, then you can pick your curriculum.  Here are some of the ones I’ve used, and what kind of learner they are best for (in my humble opinion)

ABeka – this is more of a traditional school setting, better suited for a read/write or auditory learner.  Lots of worksheets at their desks. Lots of out loud repetition.

Switched on Schoolhouse – this is a computer program, so definitely better for a read/write or visual learner.

Ambleside Online – this is a curriculum (kind of).  It is a private school that has put their lesson plans online, based on the Charlotte Mason style.  Lots of reading, but also lots of hands on things.  Good for a read/write or a kinesthetic with excellent reading skills.

Aleks – this is a completely online curriculum that I used for math.  Good for those who truly excel at math.

Math U See – a math curriculum that hits all three styles of learning, watch a video (visual and auditory), work the blocks (kinesthetic) and then do the worksheet (visual).

Konos and HOW – Unit study, hits all three styles with reading, songs, and crafts.

Easy Peasy – this is a lesson plan that a woman in Pennsylvania created to homeschool her children for free.  It is entirely on the internet with links.  Great for visual and auditory learners.

Khan Academy – we used this mainly for math.  Completely on the computer.  Good for visual and auditory learners.

Wisdom Booklets – unit study, lots of reading, with suggestions for assignments with all three styles represented.

Florida Virtual School – public school online, works best for independent visual learners.

As you can see, in my 11 years of homeschooling, I’ve switched curriculum a lot!  Which makes Papi crazy by the way.  But be willing to switch if something is not working.  Don’t get locked into a curriculum.  Just because you think it’s going to work, doesn’t mean it will.  As our family has changed and grown, we’ve needed to switch curriculum just so that everyone can learn.

Also, just because a curriculum works for your best friend, does not mean it will work for you.  Your family is different.  Your style is different.  Your kids are different.  Yes.  It is very nice to be able to study the same thing with your friends, but it’s not really necessary. (we will deal with socialization later)

As you look for your curriculum (and yes, it is the time of year where we are all looking for next year), try to keep these things in mind.  Be confident.  And know that you can always change plans.  Just like your child will not go to college in Pull Ups, He will not walk down the aisle not being able to read his wedding vows….I promise. 😉



Three Little Confusing Words

As I was pondering how to write this…the phrase “Three Little Words” came to mind.  Now what do you think of when you think “three little words”?  I usually think of the words “I love you”.  And I think that those three little words can clear up the confusion of the three little words I’m going to talk about.  Three little (or big) words that cause so much confusion in the World, and in the Christian World.

So, put aside any notions you have right now.  Clear your mind.  Have you cleared it?  Not thinking of anything?  Good.

I’m going to say three words, and you are going to examine your gut reactions when I say them.  Ready?????




What was your gut reaction?  Be honest.  With yourself if not with me.  If you are like some, your first reaction could be anger, or a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.  If you are like most Christians, a bible verse immediately popped into your head.  One quoted by millions of people who have never read that verse at all, or have never read it with 20/20 vision. (Just for your edification, that means you read 20 verses before and 20 verses after to try to get the context).  So, let’s say that verse all together… unison…..“Judge not, lest ye be judged”.  There.  Feel better????  Well, I don’t.

Now let’s look at these three confusing  little words that have HUGE impacts on our life and try to figure out what they really mean. (Before you do that, please go get your cup of coffee, tea, water, etc.  this is going to be a long one!)  Because quite honestly, it angers me that people have no clue what the difference is.  And I am sick and tired (I hear Bill Cosby whenever I say that, sorry) of being called judgmental for having an opinion that differs than most.  That’s right, I’m tired of being judged and found lacking.

Let’s begin our journey by looking at the Webster’s Dictionary definition of these three little confusing words.  In alphabetical order because my OCD is showing.


noun \ˌkän-ˌdem-ˈnā-shən, -dəm-\

: a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or disapproval

Full Definition of CONDEMNATION
1:  censureblame
2:  the act of judicially condemning
3:  the state of being condemned
4:  a reason for condemning


noun \di-ˈsərn-mənt, –ˈzərn-\

: the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently

Full Definition of DISCERNMENT
1:  the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure :  skill in discerning
2:  an act of perceiving or discerning something


noun \ˈjəj-mənt\

: an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought

: the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought : the act of judging something or someone

: the ability to make good decisions about what should be done

Full Definition of JUDGMENT
1a :  a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion
 b :  an opinion so pronounced
2a :  a formal decision given by a court
 (1) :  an obligation (as a debt) created by the decree of a court (2) :  a certificate evidencing such a decree
3a capitalized :  the final judging of humankind by God
 b :  a divine sentence or decision; specifically :  a calamity held to be sent by God
4a :  the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing
 b :  an opinion or estimate so formed
5a :  the capacity for judging :  discernment
 b :  the exercise of this capacity
6:  a proposition stating something believed or asserted
Synonyms: doomfindingholdingsentence (or judgement), ruling

So, did you read those definitions????  Go back.  Look at them again.  Got them in your head?  So, now let’s look at the differences.

Discernment is (for our purposes) the ability to see and understand people clearly.  Someone with Discernment will evaluate others behavior and look at it in contrast to theirs, always keeping in mind that we are all sinners, and NO ONE is righteous…no NOT ONE.  Someone with Discernment is going to realize that they deserve the same punishment of eternal death in hell as everyone else.  As a Christian, we are supposed to be discerning.  We are called to hold other CHRISTIANS accountable for their actions, while realizing that we should be held accountable as well.

 Romans 15:14  And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

We can clearly see with this (very short and not complete) list of verses that we are to call each other out when we sin.  So that we are not hardened by our sin.  And if a brother in Christ continues to sin, as Christ followers we are to no longer keep company with that person.  In other words, no longer be close, intimate friends.

Most people confuse the words judgment and discernment, the words I mean.  I was recently made aware of a church (somewhere in America) that had revoked a young man’s membership.  The young man (college age) had become a member of the church in the past year or so.  His parents followed and also became members.  Several months ago the church leadership were informed (by the young man) that he was a homosexual.  They reacted with love, offering to counsel him in weekly meetings, exhorting him, helping him.  They came alongside him in love to help him put away his sin (not an easy thing, so please don’t think I’m saying that).  After a couple of months, the young man posted on his Facebook page that he was proud to engage in several homosexual relationships.  After the church leadership spoke to him and realized that he was not repentant and truly wanted to continue in the sin (he wanted to have his cake and eat it too), they revoked his membership in the church. The young man and his mother still attend the church, while the father has chosen to leave completely. This caused a small uproar on a Facebook group I’m in.  It even caused a young lady to leave the group.  She couldn’t believe that people were ok with this.  All she could keep saying was “judge not”.  That is a perfect example of misunderstanding that verse and the meaning behind it.  The church leaders acted correctly.  They came along the young man, willing to help him, they didn’t hate him.  They didn’t scream “All Fags Deserve to Die”.  (Forgive me, Westboro keeps popping into my head, I mean no offense)  They tried, and they are still trying to help him.  He’s just not a “member”, he doesn’t get to help make decisions in the church.  Oh that more churches and Christians would understand this!!!!

Someone who uses discernment is careful to have ALL of the facts.  Not the surface level, but deeper into the issue.  Just like we shouldn’t look at someone who comes into the church as a visitor (covered in tattoos with a tight miniskirt and combat boots) as someone who is unworthy.  We need to make sure we have all of the facts.  What if she is a new Christian?  What if she came into church looking and seeking God and we Condemn her out of hand.  No one talks to her or even smiles at her.  She’s certainly not going to come back!  We can not have all of the facts when it comes to our friends too.  I struggle with depression, and recently I’ve been struggling with anger.  It’s a fun mishmash of things from my past, and things from the adoption that I have yet to deal with emotionally.  I’m trying.  But I’m human, and eminently fallible.  A couple of nights ago, my sweet Dimples shared something with me about his biological mother.  As he was telling me, and we were discussing the ramifications of what he was telling me, I was dissolving into tears.  We had a great emotional talk (awesome because he doesn’t share his emotions often or easily) and he went to bed.  After I went to bed is when the visions of what he told me kept coming back into my head.  I grew angrier and angrier as the night went on.  I couldn’t talk to Papi because he was so furious that I think steam was literally coming out of his ears.  So I turned to Facebook.  I don’t have a lot of in real life friends that have adopted from the foster system, though I do have one or two.  I do have a lot of Facebook friends that are adoptive or foster parents.  I knew they would understand my anger (even though I shouldn’t have been that angry).  I really just needed to hear (or see) that it was all going to be ok.  That he may have gone through that – but he has a loving family now and won’t ever go through it again.  I was truly furious and my post reflected that.

“There are moments when i wish i could meet bio mom. Mostly so i can hurt her as badly as she had hurt my children. I know how wrong that is, but man oh man. That woman is a nasty piece of work. Thank God she had her tubes tied. she should have never had one child, let alone six.
And then, when i calm down, i know that some of the things she has done are because she never healed from being abandoned by her bio mom. It is not a good excuse, but it helps me calm down some.
 — feeling angry.”

Now, most people I know that read the post understood what I was saying.  That there are days where I’m horribly angry at an injustice done to my children.  That one of the reasons I post it is so that I don’t tell my kids (in anger) how I feel about their birth mother.  But one person got offended.  She messaged me about how the post offended her because bio mom chose life, and because I am supposed to love others.  I completely understood what she was saying.  Yes.  Birth mom chose life.  I appreciate that she didn’t have an abortion.  After all, I benefit from her choice because I am now the proud parent of three of her six children.  I am a huge Anti abortion Pro Life person, so I do understand what she was saying.  But to be perfectly honest here, I wish she would have given her children up for adoption immediately upon their birth instead of dragging them through the hell of being in and out of foster care for their entire lives.  They were abused by her, abused by foster parents (not all of them), and abused by the system.  No, I wouldn’t have custody of them….but they wouldn’t have had to live through that.  I should love her like Christ loved her.  Yep.  Got that too.  I see her more clearly than others might.  I know that the reason she has lived how she has lived is because she has never gotten over her own trauma.  She’s never made peace with herself or with God – and I wish for that.  Kissy and I have even sat down and prayed for that.  But the person who messaged me didn’t have the full story.  They know my family almost completely through Facebook.  She is a wonderful wife.  A wonderful Christian.  A wonderful mom to 5 BIOLOGICAL children.  She has no knowledge of the trauma my children have suffered, and the trauma I suffer trying to help them heal.  I tried to explain it to her, and she just doesn’t understand why I struggle to love bio mom.  She simply did not have all of the facts before she tried to hold me accountable.  And I am guilty of the same thing.  I’ve been guilty of holding someone accountable without knowing the whole story.  I’ve actually apologized to several foster parents and adoptive parents because before I was one of them myself, I just didn’t understand.  I didn’t understand what parenting RAD kids does to you.  I’m not angry at her.  I do understand.  I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

A discerning person makes sure they confront someone in private.  No one wants to see their dirty laundry aired all over social media, or in the middle of church or another public place.  It immediately puts one on guard and on defense.  I truly believe that is why when we are settling disputes, we are to confront them one on one first.

And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. Matthew 18:15-17

One of the constant battles in our house is the battle of modesty.  I have not always been the most modest of women.  You would have trouble matching the outfits I wore as a 20 something with the person you have come to know and love (lol) on this blog.  As a mom, and as I have grown in my relationship with Christ, I have struggled with my modesty.  Several years ago, I felt called to wear skirts or dresses only, so I did that and as the girls were young, I required them to do it as well.  And then I fell.  I allowed other people’s opinions of my skirt wearing to sway me.  I allowed the difficulty of finding skirts that weren’t mini skirts to sway me.  I allowed the inconvenience of wearing skirts while hiking, camping, or doing sports to sway me.  And I quit.  I kind of jumped off the modesty train altogether.  And I allowed Barbie and BAM! to jump off as well.  Fast forward to about this time last year.  I was at the park with several other home school families.  One mom (one of my favorites) in particular was there.  She has 4 boys (older and younger than mine) and two little girls.  After all of the other families had left, she came and sat beside me on the bench.  The kids were playing and she asked if she could speak to me about something.  I could tell she was really struggling with something because she was having trouble looking me in the eye, her eyes were moist, and she was having trouble just spitting out what she wanted to say.  Strange, because she is normally very forthright.  I told her she could say anything.  And out with it she came.  She and her husband were really concerned with how Barbie was dressing.  Her older boys were having problems NOT looking at Barbie in her small shorts and tight tops.  Her little girls were trying to mimic Barbie.  They were afraid that they would have to sever our friendship because of the effect Barbie’s’ dress was having on her family.  I thanked her for letting me know what was going on, and purposed to make sure that Barbie was dressed more modestly when we were together.  She approached me in private, so I wasn’t offended and I didn’t get defensive.  After a lot of praying, and listening, I realized that I was wrong for jumping off the modesty train.  And much like a hobo riding the rails, I jumped right back on!  Barbie and BAM! and Kissy are struggling.  They are teenagers, and it’s really hard to jump a train that is going opposite of the “cool” train.  But I support them without forcing, and they are very willing especially to be modest when there are guy friends coming over!

My fellow home school mom and friend did it right.  She confronted me in private and with love, and I heard her, I heard God.  And it didn’t sting!

So, we’ve come to the conclusion that discernment is seeing the reality of a situation with all of the facts, realizing that we are no better than anyone else, and confronting in private.  So how is this different from judgment?

I’ll be honest.  I don’t like the word judgment.  I think this word is the one used most incorrectly by just about everyone.  I consider discernment to be judgment.  Though I know most don’t see it like that, they see judgment as condemnation.  I see judgment as having a right response to something….like judging if it is safe to make a right turn.  Where most see judgment as a sentence imposed by a judge.  For the purposes of shortening this incredibly long post, we’re going to look at judgment like most of the world does, as synonymous with condemnation.  Please feel free to use those words interchangeably for the remaining balance of this post!

Making a judgment of someone is usually coming from a place in you that is lacking.  When you condemn someone else for an action, it can be because you yourself is struggling with the same sin or one worse. How often do you get angry with your kids for something you do on a regular basis that you know is wrong?????  I know a man who holds forth on a regular basis.  He is very quick to point on every flaw he sees in people.  He has a low opinion of people in general and doesn’t mind sharing it.  He is especially critical of men who cheat on or abuse their wives.  Come to find out that he has cheated on his wife.  And before they divorced, he hit her hard enough on the chest to leave bruises.  Was he cheating the entire marriage?  I don’t think so.  But we as a people, tend to criticize others for doing what we do or want to do and can’t because it’s wrong.  The criticism is coming from a guilty conscience, knowledge of our sin that we don’t want to accept.

Condemnation of a person is usually done in a very public arena.  Think judge in a courtroom.  I (used to) have a friend that did this on a regular basis on my Facebook.  Any little thing that I posted that she didn’t like, she would attack me…on my Facebook page.  It wasn’t a friendly exchange of ideas.  It wasn’t a discussion of facts and opinions.  It was “you are wrong and this is why and no matter what you say you are wrong.”  It was vicious.  It was mean.  It was constant.  It was so bad that I had to “un”friend her both on Facebook and in real life.  Which hurt me greatly.  I love her.  And I still wish she was in my life. But boundaries have to be drawn sometimes.    There are a lot of things posted on Facebook that I don’t agree with.  I either keep scrolling, or message someone, or I might make one comment.  I won’t get into arguments with people anymore.  It can be toxic.  There is a place for confronting someone in public.

And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. Matthew 18:15-17

It still needs to be handled with love.  I will be honest (again).  In the above situation, I had trouble confronting my friend about what she was doing.  It hurt.  And I didn’t want to lose her as a friend.  So I just let it go for way too long.  And then when I did confront her, I took the shy girls way out, I wrote her a letter.  I don’t know if that made it worse or better.  But we aren’t friends anymore. 😥

When a judge makes a sentence on someone, they are in possession of all the known facts.  Both the prosecutor and the defense have to disclose any pertinent facts to the other side so that it can be decided if it has any relevance.  We will never know all of the facts.  We don’t know the history of every person.  Whether they had a domineering mother or an abusive father.  We don’t know what their childhood was like.  We don’t know what makes them tick.  And that’s why we can’t condemn someone.  We are not their judge.  Only God can do that.  Only He can condemn someone to eternal separation from Him, or pardon them with His Grace.  We can call something a sin.  We can say that someone is guilty of that sin if we witness it.  We can not say they will go to hell for it…that is making ourselves equal with God (the original sin).  We don’t know their heart.  We don’t know if they are struggling.  This is the part where the Westboro church has it wrong.  They have made themselves judge of everyone in America and have found that they are lacking…..that WE are going to hell.  Not our job.  Not our purview to say that.

I have to share something that happened yesterday.  Some Jehovah Witnesses came to the door.  We had finished school and were cleaning up the house getting ready for guests.  I didn’t slam the door in their face.  I welcomed them with a smile.  They quickly said they were Jehovah Witnesses.  Now, I don’t believe that JW’s have their doctrine correct.  Nowhere near.  But I do believe that they have something right.  They go out and witness to anyone who will give them five seconds.  I don’t do that, do you?  So I complimented them on it.  I told them I am a conservative believer and that I don’t believe the same thing that they do.  I told them that I wasn’t interested in their book, website, or video.  But I told them that I applaud their effort at witnessing and made sure I reminded them to drink lots of water.  (It’s Florida after all!)  THEY left with smiles, and I closed the door with a smile I couldn’t remove.  If they come back, maybe I will have a chance to really talk to them.  Maybe my kindness and love (instead of condemnation and slammed doors) will reach them for Christ.

And there is the difference.  Condemnation usually doesn’t include any love.  Even if it is prefaced with “I love you”.  Condemnation isn’t truly looking at your heart and seeing it.  Condemnation comes from a selfishness and pride.  Condemnation is loud and ugly.

Discernment comes from a place of humility.  Discernment comes with Christ’s love behind in and in it.  Discernment comes quietly.  I am not perfect.  I never will be.  I still think, after all of this, that discernment and judgment are the better synonyms.  So thinking that, I’m going to make a statement.  And I hope it doesnt’ offend.  I want to be a judgmental person.  From now on, I’m going to try to take the “you are so judgmental” comment with a smile.  I can only hope and pray that I truly am using a judmental, oops, discerning spirit.

When a play date turns into a Lesson Plan

Yes. Seriously.

Our co-op met today, but not for any learning, just for some casual fun. Letting all of the boys play survivor and legos, the little girls playing dolls, and the bigger girls just hanging out.

Oh – and the moms just talking about everything and nothing. (Cause we all need some mom time.)

And then one of the boys “C” walks by Barbie. She sees his shirt and it begins. Seriously something hilariously fun that had us laughing for about half an hour. He was wearing one of the many “Zombie Survival” t-shirts out there. Barbie loves campy horror books and tv shows. She was entranced by the “real” Zombie in Miami a while back. So she stops “C” and says, “I love your shirt!” Barbie talks about a picture she saw that had a house surrounded by treadmills to protect it from the zombie apocalypse.  We start laughing and joking about how funny that would be (yes, gruesome I know).  And different things we could do to protect ourselves from the zombie apocalypse.  Then Barbie mentioned about how it would be so fun if school was about zombies.

You now have the perfect storm.

The moms: LB – a science fiction afficianado, LF – an eclectic quiet mom with a hubby who is a slasher film fan, and me – an extremely eclectic mom with a dark bent.

The kids: Barbie (15), BAM! (13), Kissy (12), Dimples (9), Eyes (8), Smarty Pants (7)

The boys:  B , S , C  – they are all around our boys ages – so from 7 – 10 let’s say.

The little girls: C and B – they are toddlers and are distracting and make us laugh at the same time.

The minute Barbie said learning about zombies would be fun, the moms were on fire.  Suggesting different things we could teach while focusing on the Zombie Apocalypse.  After all, the CDC has a website about how to survive one.  There are bible stories about people risen from the dead (Bible class).  There are animals nicknamed zombie ants, and fish, and so much other things (science).  We could learn about how to fight off the zombies (think medieval weaponry – history and if you add in trajectories: physics and trigonometry!!!), how to hide from zombies (camouflage-art?), the zombie legends (literature).  We could even have a zombie obstacle course (PE) to help us train to get away from them! Then LF says that her hubby was watching something about people mixing Cocaine and Ketamine in Puerto Rico and how it makes them act like zombies.  And I start talking about the little piece of the fish used in voodoo.  Yep.  The birth of a co-op class for next year has begun.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well, cause it’s fun and silly and homeschool related.  Making learning interesting is part of being a homeschool mom.  We are always on the lookout to teach our kids in new ways.  Our job is to excite them about learning!  Not to teach to the test.  I also wanted to tell you so that you will hold me accountable!!!!  I get lots of great ideas, but unless I have someone staying on me about them, they fall to the wayside.

I will be posting some things about the zombie apocalypse, but you might see it on your local shelves as a unit study! 😉

Wish us luck!  And go find something fun and silly to teach your kids.  It’s worth it.  I promise.




The Capable Wife Part 6

Ah, the trophy wife.  The subject of numerous movies, videos, songs, and television shows.   There are entire television series based on this concept of the trophy wife, unbeknownst to me…there is actually a SHOW called Trophy Wife.  Real Housewives of EVERYWHERE, anyone?  When you picture a trophy wife, who do you see?  Do you see a beautiful statuesque blonde with flawless skin, a chest out to here, and a butt that could crack almonds?  You know the one who is wearing Dolce & Gabanna – OFF the RUNWAY!!!!  The kind of woman that simpers lovingly up to her man while hooking her arm through his, and he can’t help but swell with pride as they walk into the room.  That’s what I see when I picture a “trophy wife.”

Think Real Housewives meets my very fertile imagination, and yeah, you know, you get something like this:


courtesy of just
courtesy of just

Or kind of more like Jessica Rabbit, more like this:

courtesy of cartoonstock
courtesy of cartoonstock


So what is this all about?  Did you know that the Proverbs 31 woman is a trophy wife?  She IS!  Look at Proverbs 31:23.

 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

How is that a trophy wife, you say?  It’s simple.  This man has the wife behind him.  He is proud of her, loves her, brags on how amazing she is.  And the city knows that what he is saying is simple truth.  He’s not making her what she is not.  He is incredibly blessed to have her, and he and all of his friends know it.

When I think of this verse, I really think of an old familiar scene in Little Women.  It’s when Meg is first married.  She decides that no matter what, hubby will come home to a clean house, a calm wife, and a warm meal.  She even insists that he never call before inviting coworkers home for dinner.  Imagine her mortification when he decides to bring a coworker home on the very day that she has been canning and it’s a disaster!  The house is filthy, she is harried, and dinner hasn’t even been thought about, let alone started!  Hubby shrugs it off and takes his guest out to dinner.  Meg cries her way to sleep.  The next day she decides (if memory serves me correctly) that the guest will come back for dinner and he will see her at her best.  Plans are made, he comes for dinner, and leaves thinking how amazingly blessed Megs’ husband is.  THAT is what this verse is talking about.

It’s not about being perfect all of the time.  But it is about increasing your husbands reputation by being the best wife for him you are able.  Your hubby’s friends should shake their heads in wonder at how blessed he is!

What a wonderful thing marriage can be!  What a blessing you can be to him.  Decide today to never talk bad about your hubby in public, to anyone.  Increase his reputation by being his blessing!!! 😉

Nick & Jesi

Homeschooling 101: Know Your Laws

Welcome to another Homeschool 101 post!

The second thing you really need to do is to figure out what the laws of your state are.  This is so important!    I can not believe how many people I meet in our state that have no clue what the laws are, and yet are homeschooling.

I can not suggest enough that you go to and join Home School Legal Defense Association.  They will be your advocates when you run up against school board members, Department of Children and Families, or Law Enforcement that have no clue what the law is in regards to home school.

Home School laws for independent homeschoolers in the state of Florida are as follows:

  1. ages 6 to 16 years must be schooled
  2. school is for 165 days per year (those days do not have to be consecutive, just in the year – NO amount of HOURS are specified)
  3. parent must notify school board of intent to homeschool within 30 days of establishing the homeschool (you only have to do this the first year)
  4. parent must have a portfolio of samples of work completed, along with a list of books used for 2 years.  The portfolio must be provided if requested by the Superintendent of Schools only, and you have 15 days to do so.  The school board is not allowed in your home.  DCF is not allowed to ask for your records!!!!
  5. There are several testing or evaluation options as an independent homeschooler.  You may have a Florida certified teacher evaluate your student and send in the evaluation.You may have a national achievement test proctored by a certified teacher. You may take the FCAT at the school. You may have your student be evaluated by a Florida licensed Psychologist.


See, Florida is a very easy state to homeschool in….but unfortunately, it seems no one knows the law!!!  Even the school board.  For instance, our county requires your notification of intent to be notarized by THEIR notary.  lol.  They aren’t really allowed to require that.  But they do.  I think it’s a way to make it just that much harder.  You actually have to go to the school board and they make you fill out a ton of paperwork.  Again, not really allowed, but they do.  We comply because we participate in sports, and want our kids to get a fair shake during try outs.  It is what it is.

Stop by soon for another in the series!!!! 🙂


Modern Modesty: Pink and Gray

Modern Modesty 2


I told you I would continue posting Modest Inspirations!  This outfit was literally $3.99!!!  I got this adorable 3/4 sleeve pink striped blouse at Goodwill, and I got this grey and black striped skirt from….you guessed it, Freecycle!!!

This is more typical of what I wear on a daily basis.  At least during the winter months.  During the summer, It’s usually a t shirt. 😉