Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day of Excelsior!!!!

The boys were so excited about their first day of classes! I was nervous and excited and so thankful that we were all doing it together!I love these guys!
Here they are watching other boys and girls go into the church for classes!

There! Now I have their attention!!!

There are 22 families in our Classical group, and they are so nice. Everyone does something to help out and that makes everything run smoothly. They all serve in areas that they are gifted in. Two doctors teach the high school science classes (Chemistry, A &P, etc.), a constitutional lawyer's wife teaches an intense high school history program (the final is a 30 page essay ~ seriously!!), those gifted in art and music serve in those areas. Guess where I serve?
They took one look at me and said, "Now that girl knows food. Let's put her in charge of lunches!!" And, that is what I do. I organize lunch. And, let me tell you, so far it has not been a piece of cake!!! I think Erik and I spent about 5 hours on it this past week. So, I told Erik that next year I was going to volunteer to teach high school Latin because that sounds like cake compared to doing lunches!! Ha! :-) I'm totally kidding!!! The families (kids and parents) were so sweet and appreciative of lunch today. I am thankful that I am able to serve these nice families in this way.
The boys had fun! They were in class from 8 until 12:30. Classes are broken up into 30 minute increments. The k-2nd grade are together for most of their classes, so JCT and Joshua enjoyed that tremendously!!! The classes they rotate through are: History, Literature, Geography, Latin, Grammar (for Joshua) and Phonics (for JCT), Science (they are using a Charlotte Mason style Botany course ~ so it is very hands on and fun!), and Bible. They study history chronologically in a four year cycle beginning with Antiquity (ancient times) and go to Modernity (modern times). All the literature, the artists, and the composers that they study each year come from the time period that they are studying that year.
The boys thoroughly enjoyed their day, and lunch went off without a hitch. We were quite tired when we came home this afternoon!
Now I am about to get ready to go on a date with my husband!!! Yay for a good first day!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Glimpses of Our Week So Far. . .

The crab-apple tree has been a hit this summer. Joshua and JCT discovered that they can climb it. And, the deer have decided that they love to eat the crab-apples! And, we love to watch them. I was working on memory work with the boys when they became completely distracted by this. . .
A mama and a baby deer wandered very close to our home. We have become accustomed to deer coming near and eating from our crab-apple tree. But, this is the youngest deer we have ever seen close up! He was such a cutie, and so quick! He would dart from tree to tree skipping along behind his mama. So sweet! It made our day!!! :-)
The question that I get asked most often about homeschooling is. . .
What do you do with the little boys?
Good question. I'm still trying to figure that one out ~ to be quite honest!!! :-) I usually hang with them while Joshua and JCT do their independent work first thing in the morning. We do puzzles, read books, play playdoh, and draw. Thankfully, I have two tables. So, while Joshua and JCT work in the dining room, the little boys can "work" at the kitchen table. I am easily accessible to the big boys for questions, but I am also able to sip my coffee and spend time with my little men. Because once the big boys finish their independent work, school becomes one on one with mom, alternating between the big boys. At that point, I depend on whatever big boy I am not working with to help me keep the little boys occupied and out of the school/dining room.

Erik Daniel is really a great kid. He keeps me so busy because he is TROUBLE. But, he always has such a good time! He is almost always smiling and laughing ~ even when I am fussing at him!!!!!! I'm so thankful for him.
And, my sweet Lijah, he is such a good boy. I don't think about him often because 9 times out of 10 he does what I ask. He doesn't demand much ~ just a little chocolate milk every now and then. All in all, I have to make conscious efforts to give him special attention because he is just such a go with the flow little guy that he could easily go along unnoticed ~ except for the fact that he is amazingly cute!! I am so thankful for him. They are all so special to me, so unique, so perfect, so precious. They each add a different little spice to our family. I'm so grateful for each little loan from God!!!
This week was revival at church, and it has profoundly affected my sons. They are playing church so much right now! Tonight I had to be the choir, Joshua and JCT took turns preaching, and Elijah was the music director. He directed my singing while Joshua shared the gospel over my singing ~ just like an invitation time! So, cute!! The cool thing is that they both quote the preachers nearly verbatim. They are listening! Who knew?? Last night we sang Midnight Cry at the end of the service. When we got home, it was all the boys could talk about. Joshua was so excited about Jesus coming back!!! He didn't want to go to sleep for fear he might sleep through Gabriel's trumpet call. Erik assured him that no one would sleep through that!! He wasn't convinced, so I told him that I'd wake him up if Jesus came back and that sufficed.
Yesterday, I caught JCT drawing on the chalk board showing Erik Daniel the way to come into relationship with Christ. Here he is presenting the gospel to a very uninterested brother...

I was having a really bad day the other day. I was ready to pull my hair out!! So, I made the boys lunch, strapped Erik Daniel in his highchair, slipped off to my room (right off the kitchen/den), ran on the treadmill ~ my therapy, and prayed. I could hear and see them, but I kept a distance to have a bit of peace. A little while later I heard Joshua calling for me to help him. So, I came in the kitchen to check on him. The boys were doing their after lunch chores. And, Joshua got himself (probably on purpose) tangled up in the vacuum cord!!! He is so silly!! I couldn't help myself! I laughed out loud!! Bad mood ~ gone!! Thanks to my sweet big boy!!!

Oh, yeah, you noticed he is wearing his pads. Your kids eat in full pads, too, don't they?
Just say yes!
And, that about sums up this very busy, very fun week. Tomorrow we go for our first day of classes with our Classical Christian Homeschool group!! We are all very excited!!

When Mommy Gets Distracted. . .

My, oh, my, I LOVE you, cute thing!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweaty Boys!

Why are sweaty boys soooo cute to me?????Maybe it is because I am surrounded by cute sweaty boys that I love so much of the time!!!

And, too, I think it represents all that little boys should be! They should be about the business of playing hard.

They should be full of brotherly love and full of healthy competitive aggression!

Sweat and little boys ~ they just go together! Little boys are meant to be outside for several hours a day ~ at least!

It is just good for them ~ good for their soul. It's healthy ~ like eating fruits and vegetables or drinking water instead of soft drinks.

Little boys just need to be outside, sweating, playing, and breathing fresh air!!

It's Cowboy Day at the Homestead. . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Little Man!!!

For your special day, we made cupcakes!!! I decorated your cupcake to look like you!! And, you loved it! Yum!! :-)
Then, I set your big brothers free with the icing and the M&M's and let them decorate their cupcakes to look like themselves!! They had a blast!!!

Don't ask me why Elijah gave himself one green eye and one yellow eye?? I'll never figure that sweet little one out!!! He has a mind of us own, and I love it!!

I think the big boys enjoyed your birthday almost as much as you did!!!!!!!!!

I love you, my curious, active, cute, crazy, fun, smiley, happy, silly, wild little man!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It Was a Very Special Day. . .


So, so precious.

I cannot tell you how much it meant to us that our sweet pastor welcommed the idea of letting Joshua's Pop baptize him. It meant so much to us. Our pastor has come to mean so much to our family over the years. We love him dearly, and I am so thankful that he is standing right next to Pop in these pictures we will look at for years to come. How sweet to watch Erik's Dad, who after 52 years of baptizing members of his own congregations, now was baptizing one of his grandsons!!! Erik said that he could just hear his mama saying, "Nobody does it like Jimmy Dukes!" We don't know if she can see us from heaven, but if she can we know she was smiling as she watched us walk through this special day.

I caught up with my little man before the baptism, and took this picture. . .

I love it!! I think I love it because he looks so young and sweet!! If only I could bottle years! Here he is getting into the water, his Daddy helping him. . .

Pop taking his little hand in his. . .

I love the tenderness with which Pop baptized Joshua. They were such sweet moments!

Pop was so gentle and cautious. This was a day I hope Joshua never forgets, and I don't think he will.

Baptisms almost always make me cry. I love the symbolism!

Here they are after they dressed. . .
The day was so special. We invited some of our closest friends over after the service for a light lunch and celebration. The people we invited were people who have influenced Joshua spiritually. It was a sweet group, and we had a wonderful, relaxing time. At one point Erik gave Joshua a charge. Through tears he challenged Joshua to live a life worthy. It was so intense and emotional. Erik looked only at Joshua piercing his soul with his fatherly words of wisdom and advice. He challenged our sweet boy to be strong and courageous and to be full of power, love, and self-discipline. It was all the things Erik challenges the boys with on a daily basis rolled into one wonderful, and very emotional, charge.
It was a special day ~ one that none of us will soon forget!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Playing Football with Pop!!

Isn't he great???

We are so enjoying having Pop here this weekend!!! He and Erik took the boys out in the miserable deep south heat (100 degrees, I think!) to play football!!!
Erik and Pop were on a team, and Joshua and JCT were on a team!

So, fun to watch!! I think Pop really enjoyed himself despite the heat!!!

I cannot remember who won, but I will not soon forget the smiles, sweat, and laughter!

Happy days!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Our First Week of Homeschool. . .

Welcome to our first week of school! Here we go. . . I was a wee bit nervous the first day ~ but everything went well despite my butterflies!
My cute little class. . .

Joshua ~ 2nd grade. . .

James Christofer Truett ~ Kindergarten. . .

Elijah ~ 3 year old preschool. . .

Erik Daniel ~ Playschool

I was so prepared!! Ha!! :-) All the important things were done!! :-) I decorated the boys notebooks, and I created a playlist that I named "Strength for Homeschool," and I bought a special candle for the occasion! An apple for the teacher. . .
This little man made my first week homeschooling eventful!! :-) He colored on the walls and the boys' work. He figured out that even if I babygate the stairs, he can still get up the stairs by squeezing his little body between the first wrought iron post and the newell post!! He is so busy!!

Here are the big boys deep into their studies!! Ha!! :-)

Lije is learning to play some preschool computer games that the big boys used to play when they were little!! I love the way it makes him feel so big and independent!!
The boys are really enjoying their new easel!! Silly! Silly! Silly!
Joshua doing his reading assignment. . .This week was the "A" week for Elijah, and so we did fun "A" things!! We ate Animal crackers and Apple Jacks. We read books like 10 Apples up on top, and we learned about Johnny Appleseed! We made A's out of playdoh and with sidewalk chalk. But, I think the favorite thing that we did was make homemade Applesauce!! Joshua helped me by cutting the apples into cubes. . .

The boys worked hard for me. Some days were good, and a few were very hard. Wednesday, in particular, was difficult. But, Thursday was awesome!! Erik's dad was coming Thursday night, so I gave the boys a choice. . . We could do school with Pop on Friday, or we could do two days of school on Thursday and play with Pop on Friday. What do you think they chose??? They worked so hard on Thursday! They did two of everything ~ for Joshua this required doing 6 math worksheets!! But, they kept their heads down and worked hard. Erik had to do athletic physicals that night, so I took my sweet boys out for a special celebratory end of our first week dinner!! The boys were super good at the restaurant, and I was so thankful and proud that we had finished our first week! We went home and played outside for over an hour!

Then, I took them in and treated them to a bubble bath. . .

Everybody loves a good bubble bath!!! Maybe I should have saved that for next week ~ "B" week!! :-) I guess we can do it again!!!

All in all the week went well! I think to expect every day to be like Thursday is unrealistic ~ although I'd love it!! I can honestly say that the good definitely outweighed the bad this week, and I'm so thankful.
My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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