I thought I would share the recital pictures from Face2Face Photography, mostly because there is actually a picture that caught Braylon smiling! It’s not a big smile but a smile nonetheless! You know I don’t get too many of those!
Ah, finally, Cassidy earned her very first medal and trophy. She has been looking forward to this since last year when Braylon earned his! Yes, a full year of Cassidy wanting, really wanting, longing for, a trophy of her own. I’m not sure it was all she thought it was going to be; or maybe, I know this is hard to believe, she got bashful when Ms. Linda presented it to her! Nonetheless, she worked hard for it… 24 verses memorized, 8 projects completed and she learned the New Testament books of the Bible. I am very proud of her!
Braylon and Cassidy worked very hard in preparation for their spring benefit, Let Everything That Breathes Praise the Lord. (Okay, really it was Braylon who worked hard practicing and Cassidy just kind of went with the flow!) I thought I would share some pictures of the big night, which actually ended up being mostly about Cassidy, due to lack of interest on Braylon’s part!
I am not sure that there has ever been such an outstanding performance held in Muldrow. Braylon and Cassidy love Mrs. Jones, and she has done such a great job with the kids in our community. And I absolutely love that she lets her love for Christ show in all of her work, not just the recital!
BUT, as much fun as we have had with the recital, I am looking forward to having a few weeks off before summer sessions begin!
We are now 100 days smarter! And, yes, I said we. I am learning so much right along with them. It is hard to believe that we have been going at it since August. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Braylon finished Level 1 of All About Reading today! His wonderful teacher presented him with a Certificate of Achievement and he was a happy boy!
We start Level 2, Jump Into Reading, on Wednesday and he is as excited as I am!
I have to admit I was totally excited when I found out our home school association, BELIEVERS, organizes a picture day for the kids. They even put out a year book at the end of the year! As silly as it seems, when we decided to home school, I was a little bummed they would miss out on this yearly event. Of course, I would have been the only one bummed about it. It is like pulling teeth to get them to sit still for a picture. Anyway, even if the kids didn’t enjoy picture day…I DID!!
October has been a long but fun month around the Ranch! There are so many super cute things you can do and make for Fall and Halloween. I worked very hard the end of September to gather craft supplies and activities and books for us and on October 1st we jumped right in. By mid-October I was completely and utterly tired of Halloween! I am going to have to find a happy place somewhere between going overboard (which I tend to do), and the bare minimum! I had planned on having an “Open House” this month just to show off all the things Braylon and Cassidy have made and all the hard work they have put in, but again, my enthusisiam has dwindled. We had 4 full weeks of October and will only have 2 full weeks of November before Thanksgiving, so we are going to make them count.
I have started making the kids spend 30 minutes on their beds everyday. They are allowed to read books or rest, but absolutely no toys or playing. You can only imagine how this went over with them the first few days, a lot of complaining and grumbling, and very little reading or rest. But yesterday I actually “caught” Braylon reading and he even looked like he was enjoying it! This has been a much needed addition to our day.
What started out as a family project carving pumpkins turned into daddy carving pumpkins! He was happy to do it.
Now that I don’t have my nose in Facebook anymore (more to come on that later), I should have more time to blog!
My sweet niece, Jenna, asked me a few days ago, “um why ARE you homeschooling?” I am sure I have told her before, many times, but I run through it again anyway, “God, biblical reasons, just think how much I can teach them, how much fun we can have, how many field trips we can go on, how late we can sleep in!” Then she asks in a very serious and concerned voice, “um what if it doesn’t work? What if Braylon, like, runs off on you?” Believe me that thought has crossed my mind too many times to count. (Not the Braylon part, I am sure he will more than likely have to be tied to a chair from the beginning!)
So why are we?
Michael first brought up the idea of me homeschooling the kids about a year and a half ago. I called him crazy, and I meant it! Me? Homeschool? He was out of his mind. Not that I didn’t want to be with my kids all day everyday, but homeschool? Only the weird people homeschool. What about socialization? Sports? Popularity? Making the honor roll? Becoming valedictorian? College? How does all of that fit into homeschooling? I was very resistant to the idea! Michael didn’t push me, prayed for me I’m sure, but didn’t push.
We had recently taken an interest in family discipleship. How were we to disciple our children? A few of the preachers Michael enjoyed listening to on the subject were Voddie Baucham and Ken Ham. He read several of their books and encouraged me to also. (It just so happens they are authorities on the subject of homeschooling as well.) I eventually got around to reading them, and NOPE, I still didn’t want to homeschool. However, this is probably where I realized I needed to homeschool if I truly wanted to disciple my children.
But where do I get the desire to WANT to homeschool them? God. He is sovereign. He was working on my heart and in my life and I didn’t even realize it.
It just so happened the school nurse position came available at Liberty. WOO-HOO! Best of both worlds, I could be with my kids while they were being educated but didn’t have to be the one to do it! I love Liberty. I grew up at Liberty. This was perfect! Or was it? Would God really place this perfect job in my life, for me to turn around a year later and quit it, so I could homeschool? Absolutely!
It wasn’t Liberty School that made my desire to homeschool grow, it was God. He definitely used Liberty, through His Providence, to help me better understand the world. And the impact the world could have on my children.
It was sometime after I started Liberty that I really began to pray about it, that I fully surrendered myself to Him and the plan He had for my family. Amazing things happen when you fully surrender yourself to Him. All the doubts, questions and what-ifs seemed to work themselves out in my mind. So what if Braylon doesn’t get the chance to be Mr. MHS or play varsity football? So what if Cassidy doesn’t get to be crowned homecoming queen? What do these things matter in comparison to eternal things? But what if I miss the opportunity God has given me to train up my children?
I fully believe in God’s sovereignty over our salvation and I know I can’t “save” my children; but, I do believe I am called to lay the foundation. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.” How am I to do that if they are away from me more than half the day?
So, really, the “weird homeschoolers” aren’t weird at all. They are just setting themselves apart for His glory. And my desire for that is growing daily. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, and what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
I quit my “perfect” job! I stepped out on faith fully trusting God to see me through. There are still many days I doubt myself and our decision to homeschool (and we haven’t even started). Today was one of those days! The excitement of back to school and seeing all the “first day of school” pictures made me feel like I was missing out on something. I was sad this morning, sad I had robbed Cassidy of her first day of preschool. I had to take a step back and re-evaluate why we decided to homeschool, and it didn’t have anything to do with new clothes, school supplies, pigtails (yes, I had Cassidy pictured in my head wearing her cute piggy tails), or watching her carry her tray across the cafeteria for the first time. It had everything to do with training my children up in His Word and bring honor and glory to Him. Anyway, Cassidy will have her first day of preschool and Braylon his first day of 1st grade (WOW), it will just be at home, on Monday, when we officially open the doors to Stout Academy!