Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Bit of Housekeeping

I have decided to rearrange my blog page and add a page to make it easier for everyone to find what they may be looking for.

All blogs that I read and link to will now be on their own page entitled "My Favorites".  There will be blogs I love to read as well as other favorites of mine.  This page will change from time to time so be sure to check back often to see what's up.

Be Blessed
Mimi

PS.  Always be sure to scroll to the bottom for the latest book choices.  They change regularly.

Latest Book Choices

Just a short blog to give you an update on the books that I am looking at for my grandchild as well as those that are going onto my wishlist for Christmas for my own personal reading pleasure and inspiration.




I hope you will take a look at some of these and that they will enrich your life and give you hope for the future while raising your children to be Godly and spirit drive.

Be Blessed
Mimi

Moving On !!!!


Well, well, well, it has been quite some time since I last posted here.  Things have definitely been changing in our household.  We finally moved into our new abode.  It is still under construction so to speak.  The living area is complete for the most part and the kitchen is workable.  This home is much smaller and older than our previous home so storage is a premium and that means that at the moment there are still boxes of things that are not yet completely unpacked. 

The classroom/workroom is pretty much complete. Little Man has a new vintage desk with lots of drawers for him to put all his little treasures.  We obtained an 8 hole "cubby" for FREE where I have placed all of his folders of work for the next couple of months and some of his many books.  My work area is less than desirable yet, but still a work in progress.

My boy and his dogs
Little Man's Books and Work

Little Man's New Desk (yes, he is 6 and a bit messy)
Some Math on our new Whiteboard
Anyhoooooo, we are on our way to being settled and the boy is a bit happier.  At first he kept saying "I want to go to my own home, I don't like this one."  This new home is a bit different and took some getting used to for all of us but we are "MOVING ON".

I hope you enjoyed and I will be posting more pictures as the decorating comes to fruition for you to enjoy or critique whichever works.

Be blessed
Mimi

Friday, August 16, 2013

Moving Day Getting Closer

Our move date has now been set for September 1st.  I had so hoped to be up and running before then.  So our actual homeschool time will not start until a day or so after the move.  However, we have been doing a few things to keep little man in the groove.  For an art lesson, we did some color scheme work.  He was allowed to choose the wall color for his bedroom and the classroom.  Here are the colors that he chose.

Celery Ice for Large playroom closet
Pale Sky for upper 2/3 of walls

Green Grass for lower 1/3 of walls
Shark Attach wallpaper border. hmm
Right, I get it, I could do without the sharks on a sky blue and green grass wall, however, this child is obsessed with sharks and has been for a couple years now, so not only will we incorporate this into his room decor, but we also incorporate it into his studies.  So we have lots of shark toys that we use as math manipulative's and we do a lot of shark vocabulary and sentence structure lessons as well as geography and science lessons.  It is what works for him.  Personally, I think he did a great job of choosing his colors for his room.

He also chose our accent wall color for the living room and I absolutely love it
Chianti for an accent wall 
Bonnie Cream Living room with Chianti accent
He also chose his classroom color, which I will reveal when I show the photos in a couple weeks once all is set up and ready to show.  I am hoping that I have an epiphany on some additional storage solutions in the meantime. LOL.

I hope you enjoyed the culmination of the color lesson of little man.  He really enjoyed choosing and now is looking forward to s a bit of painting as well.

Have a great weekend.
Be blessed
Mimi









Sunday, August 4, 2013

Reaching Limits

How many times have you reached your limit.  Listening to the kids bicker and squabble, putting up with the inconsiderate people in the grocery store, and sometimes just the general ugliness in the world around us. You know the general everyday occurrences that grate on our nerves some days til we think we just can't stand one more thing.

Well here is my story and my most recent limit.  We found out our rental house which is in foreclosure proceedings is now going to be auctioned next week.  We have been searching for a home we could afford that would allow us the space we need.  A home that I managed as a Realtor up until about a year ago seemed to be available as the owner notified me that the tenant was not paying his rent on time and was I interested in the home.  Yes I am interested in the home I tell him, and we start to figure out exactly how much money we will need to do this.  Point of fact here is that I now have no income, so we try to manage on my daughters income which is part time employment.  She has also been searching for a second job with not much luck.  Fortunately she has an interview in a week or so that looks really promising.  I would ask you for your prayers for her success.

We start sorting, you know the usual, Throw Away, Donate, Keep, Yard Sale baskets.  Then get a call, tenant paid his rent, so house is not available, back to the drawing board, stop the sorting for now. Two months later an email arrives, tenant has not paid rent in 2 months, evict him.  I can't, I am no longer a Realtor, so I find someone to do it for him, right?  Wrong, don't want to spend that much money on eviction if I can get him to move on his own.  I now explain to him that this guy is a con artist and he needs to be careful of how he handles him.  OK.  Picked up a document from the tenant indicating he would be out of the house on August 1 and would make some needed repairs due to damage to home.  That's cool right?  Wrong.

Now it is August 4th and tenant is still not out of the house, plus I find that he has scheduled his utilities and cable, etc to be disconnected closer to the 15th than to his agreed upon 1st.  What's up with that?  Notified owner, and at his request have made 4 separate trips to this home in 2 days to get this guy out of the house.  Owner pushing us to move in by the 15th and we have to paint the entire interior of the house, complete the repairs the tenant has not completed and do the ones he did not even start in 9 days.  PLUS, PLUS, he has agreed to allow the tenant to put his belongings in a shed on the property.  Right?

I AM NOW AT MY LIMIT, the breaking point.  I have purchased over $200 in paint and still have other materials to buy which the owner will reimburse or deduct, but this is not the point, now have money tied up in these materials and can't get into the house to do the work, YET the owner wants me to guarantee him that we will move in by August 15 so he does not lose another months rent.  Yep, beyond breaking point.

So how to handle this break. Well first my personality is to get right down to the nitty gritty with the tenant and tell him what is what.  Get out or face eviction immediately.  But I pray for another answer.  I do not pray for patience because usually God will test me on my patience and I don't usually do very well on the test, though I diligently try.  I pray for calmness, grace and the ability to try to respond to this person with God's love.  God is so good, I have remained calm, gracious to the tenant and even patient.  Yes, God is awesome like that.

But still pushing my limit here.  I go again today to hopefully walk into an empty house that I can start to paint.  I did however, put my foot down with the owner and let him know that I will absolutely not move into the home until this guy has removed all of his belongings from the property.  I will not live in the home as long as he is coming back to this shed to get this or that or whatever.  Owner tried to push back a little by saying but you said you needed it as soon as possible.  Right I did say that and I do, but enough is enough and this is where I drew the line.

Thankfully, God has apparently been working on his heart as well, because I got a text today letting me know that he could not push me and wanted me to have the time to do what needed to be done in the home to make is nice and for it to be safe for my family.  Thank you God for your watchful eye and for knowing me better than I know myself.

What is your limit?  How do you handle that breaking point?

Be blessed
Mimi


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Changing Blog Name

We have struggled to make this decision, however we want to let everyone know that we are changing the name of our blog from the current "MimisThisnThat" to our new name "StepsInFaith"

We have been searching for a name for our homeschool for awhile.  We are not required to have a name but we thought that it would be a good thing to do and especially for later on when it may need to be on documentation for higher education or other types of activities that 'little man' may want to do. So after many trials within our home, we decided on "Steps In Faith"  We asked 'little man' his opinion of several things and when we decided on this name, we asked him about it and he was all smiles and excitedly, say "Yes, that's the one, because it means we believe in God."  So Steps In Faith" it is.

This name was chosen mainly because homeschooling was and is a true step in faith for us.  When we began back in late November 2012, we had no clue what we were doing, how to do it or if we were doing it right.  Well let me tell you, we did not know what we were doing and we were not doing it right, but it is a walk for us, and we learn as we go and change as we go along.  Some days are really really good and others are not.  No days are as bad as they used to be in the beginning.  There are not as many angry outbursts or downright refusals because we have learned to do things a bit differently and yes we still do some typical "school' but mostly, NOT.

I will not be changing my facebook page, it will continue under the name Mimisthisnthat mainly because, well I am Mimi and it is a page of this 'n that from all sorts of people and all sorts of information.  I would love it if you would 'like' my page and hope you find some useful information there, also please feel free to post there as well anything that you would like for others to see.  I believe you can continue to find me as Pam Andrews on Goggle+.

We know that our steps are ordered by God and we strive to always seek His direction.  Our faith is not always as strong as it should be, but we realize that we are a work in progress, so we became

STEPS IN FAITH HOMESCHOOL.

I hope that you will continue to follow my blog as I try to follow where God leads me and hopefully my blogging will get better and better over time.  I am more firm in my belief now than ever before that homeschooling is the steps that God has ordered for us and more importantly for me and my grandson and I hope that our journey will help someone else out there who may be struggling with their walk or their steps as well.

Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment on anything you would like to see in my blog for the upcoming school year.  I try to post great ideas and if you would like to be a guest blogger, by all means email me and let's talk.

May God Bless You All.
Mimi

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Approaching Moving Day

Disclosure:  This blog contains affiliate links.  This means that I am paid a small commission for purchases you make when clicking on these links.  I appreciate your support.


This week has been full of sorting, tossing and packing.  Yes, we are finally getting ready to move even though we don't yet know exactly what the move date is.  It is very frustrating to know that something is going to happen and preparation must continue toward that end, yet not have a definitive date to accomplish the feat.  Oh, well, Lord God is the leader of this household and His timing is always perfect.

Meanwhile, as we prepare for this move, little man has begun to fret just a bit over it.  His comment is "Mimi, things just keep disappearing."  Yes, they do.  But as I explain to him they are only disappearing into the boxes that will be moved to the new home.  I have described his new bedroom and his closet.  Why his closet?  Well because it is big enough to be a small playroom as well.  Since his indoor play is usually just a circle around him that is within arms reach, this closet allows him that space as well as space for his over sized toy box.  This also will give him much more space in his bedroom for bookshelves for his beloved books as well as a small table with lamp and sitting chair for reading time, with room left over.  He is now more excited even while being a little bit anxious.

So here are a couple of tips for moving with little ones.

1.  Make sure to describe in detail what their new room looks like, draw it out if you can and then include them in the planning of where their things will go and the color their room will be.  Little man's room has chair railing around the room so he has chosen green for the bottom and sky blue for the top portion and has asked me to paint clouds and birds in the sky.  At first his choice was as most little ones, more of a primary green, we have shown him all the shades of green available to him and he has settled on more of a muted grass green.  I think this is going to be perfect for him.  Green is a peaceful color and with the brightness of his blue sky, he will feel very at home in this room.

2.  Make a play date away from the hustle of moving on moving day.  We have asked a family friend to keep little man at her house the day of our move.  He loves being with her and his little friend lives just down the street from her so he will be very happy for the day.

3.  Set up the child's room (and playroom, if separate) first.  Get it done according to all the things you and your little one have already talked about, but leave a few little things for him to do for himself.  For us this is putting his books on his shelf and deciding where his reading area will be.

4.  Living area should be set up second.  With that done, when the little one arrives home he immediately feels the comfort of familiar things as soon as he walks through the door.  Once that is accomplished, you can move on.

After you have made sure that little ones will be comfortable and have some familiar things to see and touch, you can move on to the rest of the house. Moving does not have to be traumatic for children, even though change is sometimes difficult for them and there will be some things that need to be adjusted, let your child help you plan out the details of their room and even the living area.  After all, they live there too.

I will post pictures throughout the next couple of weeks of our move and the new set up.  I hope you enjoyed this post and I appreciate your supporting my efforts.

I have also placed some items that you might want to check out for your children's reading pleasure below.

Be blessed
Mimi

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Minute in Time

Today I was just cruising my facebook page and the Internet.  I think I had about 12 different tabs open on my browser and had 2 different browsers open.  Yeah, and I wonder why my computer wants to crash. LOL.  At any rate.  I came across a short article about a professor and a mayonnaise jar.  Perhaps you have heard this story, perhaps not, if not then stay tuned.

A professor was standing in front of his class waiting for the class to settle in and then when it was quiet, he brought out a large mayonnaise jar, empty of course, he proceeded to fill it with golf balls and asked the class if it was full to which they responded in the affirmative.  He then took a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar, gave it a bit of a shake and asked if the jar was now full, again the class responded in the affirmative.  Next, he brought out a bag or box, I don't remember which of sand which he poured into the jar.  He again asked if the jar was now full and again, now the class responded unanimously 'yes'.  Next he pick up two cups of coffee and poured both into the jar.  Now is the jar full?  Of course as the class laughed.

He began to explain to them that this was a lesson for their life.  The golf balls represented the important things in life, God, family, friends, etc. The pebbles were pretty much the basics of life, car, job, home, etc and the sand was all the little stuff.  His point was that the golf balls were THE most important things in their lives and if everything else were gone they would still have a full life, however, if they filled up their lives with the 'little stuff' the sand, there would be no room for the golf balls, the important things in life.  A student rose her hand and asked what the coffee represented and he responded with, this just shows you that no matter how full your life is there is always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

Now of course I have paraphrased pretty much all of the article I read, but the point is to tell you the story the way that I told my now 6 year old grandson 'little man'.  I was just a teensy bit shocked that he actually listened to me tell the story quite attentively, but not only that, I said to him, "now let me read it to you from the article that I read."  He sat down and listened again, attentively.  We then talked about it for just about 2 minutes, but during those 2 minutes of time, I saw a light in my grandson's eye s that told me, "hey, Mimi, I get it.".

What he actually said to me was this. "Mimi, so you, mom, Mrs. Nancy, Mr. Joe and Cam are my golf balls, right."  he said.

"Right." I said.

 "Sooooooo, my toys and cartoons and math and writing, they are the little stuff, right?"  he said.

Now, how do I answer that one.

Well this is what I said. "while those things are very important to you and math and writing will one day become much more important than cartoons and toys, yes, they are part of the little stuff, but maybe we should make some pebbles, what do you think?"

"I think you are right, Mimi, but later ok?" "'Cause you know I'm on vacation right now." he said.

"Ok, later is fine." I said

As he runs off to play, he turns to me and says, "But MIMI, can Bumble Bee and Optimus be my golf balls too?" I nod as he happily turns to play and I turn back to cruise the Internet for more interesting things to impart to this 'little man'.

I happen to think that this was a great moment in time.

What has been one of your best 10-15 minutes of time

May God bless you all abundantly.

Mimi

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Here We Go Again


I must apologize for my absence of late.  My computer was acting really weird for awhile and I thought I had it taken care of but then, well I wound up spending over a week getting all of my saved homeschool printables, unit studies, notebooking studies, lapbook info and geez, all the tons and tons of photos that are on my computer to rewritable disks and flash drives.  I barely made it happen.  Computer was crashing every few minutes, but I managed to get it done and was advised to restore it to factory defaults.  I did this and it seems to be working fine for now.  It is a bit sluggish but other than that we are up and running again.  So my apologies and here we go again.

Got some freebies to share with you.
Drawing Ideas Just Objects

Drawing Ideas Just People


                                                                        
Imaginery Friend
Fun Facts
Knock Knock Jokes for Kids

Algenon Saves The Day   


These should be some fun summer reading for your children, let me know how you like them.

Til next time.  Have fun and be blessed.
Mimi

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another Issue of Free-Cheap (Mostly Free)



The following post contains affiliate links.

Ok, I have promised more free and cheap on the books for children and parents as well and here are a few more that I thought were very enjoyable.  I hope that you enjoy these.
Mississippi Cotton


Cougar Cub Tales - I'm Just Like You


Lily Lemon Blossom - Welcome to Lily's Room



Guardians, Inc. The Cypher

One Pea



Now for the adults in the family.  Just a bit of disclaimer on the adult books.  I have not read all of these books, and some may be secular but are here for you to choose or not to choose.  

What to Cook for Dinner for Picky Eaters
Coolest Kids Science Projects: 40 Fun & Easy Science Experiments For Kids


Schoolproof Your Child: Assure Your Child A Better Future
College Math Concepts For Middle School Students: A Stress-Free Approach To Broad Math Understanding
The Absorbent Mind




There are many more and they change daily as do the prices.  So if you are interested, do check quickly before the $0. price changes


Be blessed
Mimi











Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Homeschool Journey

I hope you enjoy this particular journey.

 As we take this learning journey together, my "little man" and I have had many miserable days. Some nearly intolerable.  Thanks to my heavenly Father that he has given me an indomitable spirit.  I do not quit, I do not give up.  Even when faced with sure failure, of being knocked down again and again, I keep coming back again and again. I am new to homeschooling and therefore I am learning as I go and even though I do, letting go of preconceived notions of "school" is difficult.

We still have more “bad” days than good.  This week I just left, I put my sneakers on and took a walk of about 1 ½ miles.  A lot for someone who never goes out walking.  I sat at the Mickey D's drinking water.  Yep, I live in Florida and it was the middle of the day and about 90 degrees.  I started praying, did some crying and some more praying.  Folks must have thought me crazy. No worries.

God strengthened my spirit yet again to face the challenge of teaching a gifted and talented little boy of 5 years old.  What God has shown me is I don’t need to teach this child. He has given him everything he needs to succeed and that all I need to do is provide the highway so to speak and make sure to instruct him to keep it between the lines which I try do through daily devotion and Bible study.

Two of our favorite verses are

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not you’re your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and He will make your paths straight. 

and

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.


I began to think on accomplishments rather than issues. Jaeden hates to write, hates math and if it involves any part of picking up a pencil, then it simply is either not going to be done or there will be a war of wills. Mind you he is quite good at both.  So we get him as many books as the library will allow.  He prefers that fiction be read to him and he spends his time reading the non-fiction books which we fondly call his “did you know” books a term which came about because every time he would pick up one of these books we would spend hours listening to him say “Mimi, did you know?” “Mom, did you know?”

From some of his “did you know” books and a lot of  resources provided through facebook friends, homeschool group friends guiding me to free materials he has now created a wonderful lapbook on Nature.  It began as a study on plants and evolved into plants, butterflies, birds and insects.  We will complete this lapbook next week with our final studies on birds and insects.  It has taken us about 5 weeks to complete but we only work on the actual creation of the lapbook when he is more willing to do a bit of writing.  I sometimes write what he dictates to me, but I insist that some of the writing must be done by him.

My little man loves to be outdoors so our first true lapbook experience was inspired by a field trip to a garden here in town.


Take a look at what he has so far.  




And here is the adorable face that I love so much.  These looks and this happiness is why I homeschool and why I simply must continue to change my thinking about schooling and methods .  



But 'little man' has a bit of a thought process change to endure as well. Pictures don't lie, look at that face.  Devious looks, yeah he is always thinking of ways to trick 'mimi'.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you are enjoying your own homeschool journey.

I will leave you with one of my favorite scriptures that I read to Jaeden every day.

Provers 9:10
Fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Be blessed
Mimi

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Closing Our First Year

Well, the end is near.  Since we decided to homeschool year round, basically July to June, we are drawing to the end of our first year of homeschooling.  Well almost a year, since we did not begin until December. I still call it my first year, even though I know that beginning in July going through next June, I will still probably call that my first year as well.  

I have nearly quit several times in these last few months.  The struggles have been many and the frustrations sometimes escalated into heated arguments and broken trust.  I survived and so did 'little man'.  The last few weeks have been better as far as family dynamics are concerned. Everyone is a lot happier.  Whether or not there has been consistent learning and retention happening remains to be seen.

I have changed how I do things dramatically over these months  many many times.  I read a lot of blogs from a lot of different homeschool moms and did a lot of comparisons (won't make that mistake again).  I started with worksheets in huge numbers which 'little man' dutifully completed in record time and accurately. However, he did not retain as much of it as I would have liked, or did he? Now worksheets are a ‘no, no’.

What I have found over these last few months is this.  My little man, retains a lot more than I know.  When I give him a 'test', there is usually a struggle of wills because he has to write the answers.  But if he becomes compliant generally he can answer most of the questions. But I can never get more than one area completed before he is at the stage of refusal.  If I randomly ask him question, I usually get "I don't know". Then that’s it, I know better than to continue because it will lead to frustration of both our parts. So we just have to sit back and wait for him to let us know what he knows.

What I can tell you is this.  This child is astonishingly intelligent, in ways I never dreamed.  He knows instinctively when someone is sad, whether he can see their face or not, he knows when he is being lied to, and when we are wrong, even on subject matter for which he has little previous knowledge. He makes dramatic leaps from a tiny bit of knowledge to a conclusion on issues where the material has only had basic coverage or sometimes had no discussion at all. "How does he do that", I ask myself continuously.  Or, he says “Mimi, did you know . . . ?”  Then he gives me information I know he hasn’t heard before.

When our typical day is over and sometimes that can be as long as 2 or 3 hours or as short as 15 minutes, I am typically on the computer, blogging, listing new products in my shop or working on a new design.  I also spend lot of time reviewing YouTube videos.  During this time, 'little man' is generally playing with some of his Ultimate Humongasaur (sp) (Ben 10) or Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime (Transformers).  He has a most vivid imagination. Sometimes I record these play sessions. Or, he is watching Spongebob or Santa's Puppy Paws, (yes he watches Christmas videos all year long), or listening to Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn on CD.  Either way, if while reviewing a video I have the sound on, he is instantly at my side and I wonder how could he possibly have heard that. 

I have found that during these times, his mind is like a sponge, he absorbs whatever the video is about and at the end when the collage of other videos appear, he immediately starts pointing to one or the other of them, and saying, "this one next, Mimi".  Then he will lose interest but then I go about my research to find more information on whatever the video topic was, print it as a lesson for the next day. Right! BAD IDEA.  He is never receptive to this method.  But he will watch the video again.

Overall, I think this year was not half bad.  Did I quit?  Yes, Many times.  Did I cry and scream out to the Lord?  Yes again, many times.  But as I have said in previous post, God has given me a tenacious spirit, I simply don't give up.  .

I think this is what homeschooling is all about, trying out ideas and solutions until we find a fit.  Little man has taught me this year that there is not one solution or idea that fits him as he changes from day to day.  I have learned that it’s okay, it’s the way his brain works.  Yes he is gifted, yes he is hyper, but all that really means is that he sees the world from a different perspective and as I work with him, I find that it really is not that different from the rest of this family and if I work within that perspective, he gains leaps and bounds.

When I look at the big picture, he has learned.  I have learned. We wait for it to show itself.  He gives it back to us when he is ready. It may be a day or a week, but it will be there.  He is just letting us know it's there and he will show us when he is ready.

Today for example, one of the first things that I went over with him was the vowel sound for the long a.  This has been months ago.  Today I asked him what vowel sound did 'eigh' have.  He looked at me, gave me one of those looks of his and said, "Mimi, you silly grandma, it is the long a sound."

What have I learned this year?

For the Lord gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6

Be blessed
Mimi

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mommy Perfection - Part 2

Ok, I think the first thing to do here is to just get it out there, every mom does the things or most of them that you read on the previous post Mommy Perfection - Part 1.  If you have not read it just click on the link in the last sentence and take a look.  We would all like to say, I'm not that mom, but we are.  We all fail in the perfect department.  We just aren't and that is OKAY.  My goal here is not to hurt your feelings or call you out on the things you (we) are doing wrong.  It is to help us to recognize that we are all imperfect, help us to recognize the areas where we fail and to try to do better.

Can we do better?  ABSOLUTELY.  Will we do better?  I certainly hope so.  Am I doing better?  Well my time has passed for the most part since I am now a grandmother, but I certainly will try with my grandson since he is with me oftentimes more than with his mother (she is the breadwinner in this family now).  How can we do better?  Let's take a look at this one.

First of all, we need God.  That is absolutely the priority for doing better at anything we do especially in the area of being a better mom.

I have always called myself a Christian and most of the time I truly did try to do the right thing by all around me and to serve the Lord.  Was I successful?  NOT!!!  Do I have regrets?  Some, but I have forgiveness.  I think that this is the thing that I took away from this post.  We all make mistakes.

I can't tell you the number of times I told my chidren, "I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it."  Harsh, yes I know.  Regret it? Yes, I do.  But I have to remember that words once spoken can never be taken back, so on my knees I go and I cry monumental tears to God for forgiveness, which He freely gives and then I try to do better.

I now watch my daughter being the mommy.  She is a single mother, by choice.  She wanted a child.  She did not want a husband.  Did I agree with that? No, but it was not my decision and I am not her judge.  She is a good mom.  She makes mistakes just like I did and the rest of you do.  Sometimes she does not see the mistakes until she sees the consequences of them.  But she is a work in progress, just like we all are.  She is making every effort to become the person she believes her son will be proud of and in so doing she is showing him the person he can become.

There are consequences to our mistakes with our children.  How they affect us and our children is what we need to think about.  Children learn what they live. So if you are a screamer, your children will be screamers too, now and later.  They will also stop listening to you.

Can we stop screaming? Probably not because we are quick enough most days to think before we speak or scream.  For most of us the screaming is a reaction and usually an instant one. What we can do is take it to the Lord in prayer.  What we can do is remember that God chose us specifically for that child for a reason.  There is something that no other mom can do for or teach that child.  BUT, let us also remember that there is something that child can do for us that no one else in the world can do.

Do you have an angry child? I do.  Guess what, he was not born that way.  You/I made him that way. Does your child wipe his 'boogers' away with his arm then wipe it on his shirt?  Yep, you did that too.  He just figures if it is okay for you to do it with your hand, it must be okay for him to do it with his arm.  What's the difference right?  Do you make mistakes? So does your child.  Are you punished for your mistakes, many times not, so why punish the child for mistakes that he makes while learning what he should do.

Let's just breathe slowly every time, whether it is milk dumped in the trunk or a misbehaving child, just breathe, breathe, breathe.

Remember when you share that milkshake with your child, he is learning to share, when you play with your child and bang your knee, he is learning to play.  He may also be learning some words that he shouldn't but these are correctable things for us and for them.

Save the designer purse for date night with your husband, then you won't be crying while you are scrubbing it.  There are no material things worth your child's confidence and happiness.  That purse or whatever the item might be is just a 'thing'.  Your children on the other hand can not be replaced.  Their confidence once shaken is very difficult to get back, their self-esteem, once destroyed is very difficult to recover.Most of all their trust, once broken, may never be given again.

I do have to say I NEVER used my hand to wipe 'boogers' but I did use my shirt tail and still do with my grandson when needed. Some may see something like this and say "oh, how disgusting."  I see things like this and say "there is an act of love."

I have hidden in the kitchen and eaten the crust from sandwiches or their pizza because I did not want them to know that I only had enough for them.  I have cried in the night for all the things that I wanted to do and could not.  I have cried tears of joy at their accomplishments as well as tears of frustration.  I am sure that I will cry many more tears in my life as I help my daughter raise her son.

The main thing that I think we should take away from this is that we are human and we fail. Many times we fail miserably and those who say they don't are not being honest with themselves.  We all see a bit of ourselves in this post.

Do what you do, think about what you do, take it to the Lord and give it to Him.  He has told us that He will never forsake us.  He will never leave us.  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Wisdom leads to understanding.

Our children need our understanding, they need our love, no matter what they do, they will learn from it.  They need our guidance which they receive when we make mistakes and correct them.  Children watch us closely, more closely than you may imagine.  What will the lessons be?

I believe that the post from Lea in part 1 of this mini series was a gift from God.  I believe that He put those words on her heart because I know that He is the one who sees all these things.  Just as I know He put it there for me to see and to use here hopefully as an encouragement to others.  He knew what we would do with our children even before we were born, so He knows everything now.

I hope that you enjoyed this.  I realize it may seem a bit disjointed, but it came from my heart they way that it was given to me.

Please leave your comments and/or questions.  I will be happy to respond.  I would also love it if you would follow my blog as time goes by, it will get better and better as I learn from my grandson, my daughter and other mothers that I regularly follow and who inspire me to be a better person in order to raise a better child.

Thank you.

Be Blessed
Mimi

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mommy Perfection Part I

I am going to do something just a bit different today.  What you will find here is not a post created by me, but a post created by Lea of "Becoming SuperMommy".  I happened upon her post and it struck a note in my heart for myself and for my daughter.  So today here is the post from Lea.  At the end of this post, I will post a link to the original poster.  I hope that this post touches your heart as it did mine.

Please come back for the second part of  "Mommy Perfection"

Dear-Less-Than-Perfect Mom

Dear Mom,

I’ve seen you around.  I’ve seen you screaming at your kids in public, I’ve seen you ignoring them at the playground, I’ve seen you unshowered and wearing last night’s pajama pants at preschool drop-off.  I’ve seen you begging your children, bribing them, threatening them.  I’ve seen you shouting back and forth with your husband, with your mom, with the police officer at the crosswalk.

I’ve seen you running around with your kids, getting dirty and occasionally swearing audibly when you bang a knee.  I’ve seen you sharing a milkshake with a manic four year old. I’ve seen you wiping your kids’ boogers with your bare palm, and then smear them on the back of your jeans.  I’ve seen you carry your toddler flopped over the crook of your arm while chasing a runaway ball.

I’ve also seen you gritting your teeth while your kid screamed at you for making him practice piano, or soccer, or basket weaving, or whatever it was.  I’ve seen you close your eyes and berate slowly after finding a gallon of milk dumped into your trunk.  I’ve seen you crying into the sink while you desperately scrub crayon off your best designer purse.  I’ve seen you pacing in front of the house.

I’ve seen you at the hospital waiting room.  I’ve seen you at the pharmacy counter.  I’ve seen you looking tired and frightened.

I’ve seen a lot of you, actually.

I see you every single day.

I don’t know if you planned to be a parent or not.  If you always knew from your earliest years that you wanted to bring children into this world, to tend to them, or if motherhood was thrust upon you unexpectedly.  I don’t know if it meets your expectations, or if you spent your first days as a mom terrified that you would never feel what you imagined “motherly love” would feel like for your child. I don’t know if you struggled with infertility, or with pregnancy loss, or with a traumatic birth.  I don’t know if you created your child with your body, or created your family by welcoming your child into it.

But I know a lot about you.

I know that you did not get everything that you wanted.  I know that you got a wealth of things you never wanted until they were there in front of you.  I know that you don’t believe that you’re doing your best, that you think you can do better.  I know you are doing better than you think.  I know that when  you look at your child, your children, you see yourself.  And I know that you don’t, that you see a stranger who can’t understand why the small details of childhood that were so important to you are a bother to this small person who resembles you.

I know that you want to throw a lamp at your teenager’s head sometimes.  I know you want to toss your three year old out the window once in a while.

I know that some nights, once it’s finally quiet, you curl up in a bed and cry.  I know that sometimes, you don’t even though you wanted to.
I know that some days are so hard that all you want is for them to end, and then at bedtime your children hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they love you and want to be like you, and you wish the day could last forever.

But it never does.  The day always ends, and the next day brings new challenges.  Fevers, heartbreak, art projects, new friends, new pets, new fights.  An every day you do what you need to do.

You take care of things, because that’s your job.  You go to work, or you fill up the crock pot, or you climb into the garden, or strap the baby to your back and pull out the vacuum cleaner.

You drop everything that you’re doing to moderate an argument over whose turn it is to use a specifically colored marker, or to kiss a boo-boo, or to have a conversation about what kind of lipstick Pinocchio’s mommy wears.

I know that you have tickle fights in the blanket forts, and that you have the words to at least eight different picture books memorized. I’ve heard that you dance like a wild woman when it’s just you and them.  That you have no shame about farting or belching in their presence, that you make up goofy songs about peas and potatoes and cheese.

I know that an hour past bedtime, you drop what you’re doing and trim the fingernail that your three year old insists is keeping her up.  I know that you stop cleaning dishes because your kids insist you need to join their tea party.  I know you fed your kids PB&J for four days straight when you had the flu.  I know that you eat leftover crusts over the sink while your kids watch Super Why.

I know you didn’t expect most of this.  I know you didn’t anticipate loving somebody so intensely, or loathing your post-baby body so much, or being so tired, or being the mom you’ve turned out to be.

You thought you had it figured out.  Or you were blind and terrified.  You hired the perfect nanny.  Or you quit your job and learned to assemble flat packed baby furniture.  You get confused by the conflict of feeling like nothing has changed since you were free and unfettered by children, and looking back on the choices you made as though an imposter were wearing your skin.

You’re not a perfect mom.  No matter how you try, no matter what you do.  You will never be a perfect mom.

And maybe that haunts you.  Or maybe you’ve made peace with it.  Or maybe it was never a problem to begin with. 

No matter how much you do, there is always more.  No matter how little you do, when the day is over your children are still loved.  They still smile at you, believing you have magical powers to fix almost anything.  No matter what happened at work, or at school, or in play groups, you have still done everything in your power to ensure that the next morning will dawn and your children will be as happy, healthy and wise as could possibly be hoped.

There is an old Yiddish saying, “There is one perfect child in the world, and every mother has it.”

Unfortunately, there are no perfect parents.  Your kids will grow up determined to be different than you.  They will grow up certain that they won’t make their kids take piano lessons, or they’ll be more lenient, or more strict, or have more kids, or have fewer, or have none at all. 

No matter how far from perfect you are, you are better than you think.

Someday your kids will be running around like crazy people at synagogue and concuss themselves on a handrail and somebody will still walk up to you and tell you what a beautiful family you have.  You’ll be at the park and your kids will be covered in mud and jam up to the elbows, smearing your car with sugary cement, and a pregnant lady will stop and smile at you wistfully.

No matter how many doubts you might have, you never need doubt on this one thing. You are not perfect.

And that’s good.  Because really, neither is your child.  And that means nobody can care for them the way you can, with the wealth of your understanding and your experience.  Nobody knows what your child’s squall means, or what their jokes mean, or why they are crying, better than you do.

And since no mother is perfect, chances are you are caught in a two billion way tie for Best Mom in the World.

Congratulations.  Best Mom in the World.  You’re not perfect.

You’re as good as anybody can get.

With love,
Lea

Link to this blog 



I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to your comments.  Please follow me using Bloglovin or Google+ to see more homeschooling and parenting posts.

Be Blessed
Mimi

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Biggest Bang for your Buck

I know that for many of us, blogging is a way to journal our homeschool life.  For others it is a way to encourage others who are struggling with homeschool  or have just begun their journey into homeschooling.

No matter the reason for our blogs, we all want them to be seen, read and hopefully shared as encouragement to others.  For me, it is a bit of all of the above.  I do it to journal our progress sometimes or often it is to just simply ask for help.  There are times when I struggle to homeschool my grandson and then there are times when I just really want to quit and I write about those times.  I also write about the good times and what we do.

What I really want is to learn from others, be inspired by others and in doing so draw closer to our heavenly Father and gain insight into how others share their love of Jesus with their children and teach them.  What works for them.  I hope to be able to begin to share more of this with others and to grow my list of followers so that I can be an encouragement to them as well, to give back in the same way that I was given so much.

To make sure that I am doing this the best that I possibly can, I have signed up for a free class on blogging.  I  hope that I learn enough from this class that my blogs will be inviting, interesting, inspiring and encouraging to all.

I invite you to join me in this class.

{FREE} 4-Week Profitable Blogging For Beginners Class
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This free offer expires June 30, so click on the above to sign up to increase your readership, and your ability to be a light to those in need.


Be Blessed
Mimi

Saturday, June 1, 2013

School's Out - Or is It

While for many of us school is really out now, but for some who do year round school, it is not. For us, we do year round school and we are now on a break.  We decided to do random 2 week breaks to begin with to see how it works for us.  Our re-start date is June 19.  Since this is our first year homeschooling, it is a trial and error system we have here.

So what do we do for two weeks and still keep the interest level.  First we have an Eco Tour set up and of course our reading.  Check out some of the things we will be looking at. The following books are either free or cheap.  As always know that Amazon prices change often so what might be free today may not be free tomorrow.

For the adults or older kids.



Some choices for the children for summer reading.



I hope that you find somethings that will interest your in the books above.  Be sure to check my blog again in a few days for a new list of free and cheap books for you and your children.

Now my verse for today.

Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Peace be with you all.

Be Blessed
Mimi

Friday, May 31, 2013

Complete Turn Around OR Not?

A little while back I did a post entitled "Thank You".  This post was truly to thank all those who have inspired, contributed or even attempted to help me solve the issues of my gifted and talented young 5 year old grandson's attitude, behavior and re-education into the love of learning.

I received some valuable feedback and I do thank you for that as well.  I would like today to tell you about what appears to be a complete turnaround or not.  Time will tell.  Several days ago, we had one of those really bad, no good, horrible days.  Putting it mildly is an understatement here.  It was like an all out war had begun in my house between me and my "little man".  There was so much anger on both sides and then about 6  pm I decided to attempt to scare the living daylights out of him.  I told him that we would send him to a military boarding school if his behavior, respect level and desire to learn some self-control did not change.  To this he simply said, "You will not".  So I proceeded to google military schools, selected one at random and began filling out the application and printing it out.  Mind you he could see the computer screen but not my face or the streaming tears.  At any rate, he said "ok, mimi, ok, I'll do it."  He picked up his papers which were just a few very simple questions to determine what he knows and what he does not know, for our own benefit, so we could move on to other things.  No big deal.

He took the papers, picked up his pencil, put his glasses on, then took the glasses off, laid them down and said, "but first Mimi, I need to pray for just a bit."  OK, that's fine.  He did, quietly.  I could hear him but not enough to understand words so I just tried to do something else while he was praying and then I bowed my own head.  When he was finished, I have to tell you.  I witnessed the most amazing transformation in him that I have ever witnessed in my life.  I knew that I had just witnessed a miracle.  He then picked up his pencil, put his glasses on and did the quiz.  He aced it by the way.

Since that night, we have had a completely different little boy.  He has been our happy, loving, kind, empathetic, compassionate little boy that we knew he was from before he started public school.  He has been excited to do some things.  So we devised a very simple contest to see if would help him or see if it would last.  We purchased a prize that we thought he would like.  My daughter found a Ben10 movie (not a cartoon) that she thought he would enjoy for $5.  (He used to watch all the Ben10 cartoons, then began to lose interest and then we turned off our cable so there was no more cartoons of anykind.

My daughter does mosaic work and has a lot of those little glass beads in the house.  She took one of the mason jars they are stored in and counted the beads in the jar.  We told him that for every time he did as he was told, responded to a request appropriately, handled his responsibilities without being told, completed the balance of his subject quizzes and conducted himself in an appropriate manner when were out he would get a guess as to the number of beads in the jar.  At the end of the week, if he had a guess in the jar that was within 5  of the actual number he would win. Believe you me, he was the recipient of numerous guesses.  There were NO instances of his not doing what he was told.  If he passed the garbage and it needed to go to the garage, he simply did it.  He kept his toys off the floor when he was done with them.  he displayed absolutely no anger.  He did not give us attitude when we asked something of him or told him he could not do something or have something that he wanted. Well perhaps a couple of times he acted like he was going to be upset, but the first time he did it, I simply said to him, :"if you feel angry, just let's talk about it".  Yesterday, one occasion and I gently reminded him that we could talk about it and today just a couple of instances and he stopped himself and just said "ok mimi".

Well, tonight we stopped the contest just a tad early, because he came to within 5 of the total of beads in the jar and to determine if he was within the range, he had to add and subtract on the board 5 from the number he guessed and we would tell him he was correct or not.  Tonight he won.  This child was so excited.  I have never seen him so excited or so happy with himself.  It is really not possible for me to describe the delight we saw in him.  He simply could not contain himself.

So now I am on the hunt for other contest ideas.  We will do this for next few weeks and offer various different prizes for each win  The contest will last from Sunday to Friday and we will stop the weekly ones when we see that he needs absolutely no coaxing or reminders of the rules of the contest, which if this week was any indication, will not be very long.  Then we will do it on an occasional basis just to reinforce the abilities or if we see him slipping.

So come on folks, let's have some ideas.  What are some contests that you have for your children?  Yes little man is 5 but remember he is not the typical 5 year old so something that you might even share with your say 7-10 year old.  I am looking forward to hearing some of your ideas.

Thank you for your support and your friendship.

Be Blessed
Mimi

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

End of Year - Sort of

Hi to all in the homeschool world.  It is getting to be that time of year when everyone is looking forward to the end of the school year.  Actually we are doing year round school but we are gearing down for a break in the next week.  To that end I decided to do a bit of testing.

Yeah, right! Test 'little man'.  That is a difficult thing to get done.  It took most of today just to get him to do the math test.  He just refused for the longest time, finally he did it and woo hoo, he did it.  I only tested for Math and Language Arts.  The Science he is well ahead of the game and we don't do very much history.  We do some Geography but not enough to test on.  I don't do a lot of testing anyway.  I just wanted to know if I could for sure see mastery in a lot of things that I just want to leave for the occasional review only and yippee.

First of all it was a cold turkey kind of testing day.  He was not aware that it was going to happen and therefore not prepared.  My bad! I should have done a day or so of math in the last few days just to prepare him but I really wanted to see what was in his head.  He did not disappoint.  He became a bit frustrated at some things but no worries.  There are a couple of 1st grade level things that I just need to keep in mind to review with him on occasion and then the 2nd grade there are a few more review items, but 3rd grade level is where he really started to stumble.  He needs to get into the multiplication tables and get those in his memory and then division should be a breeze.

We went to Kahn Academy and took a look at a couple of the Algebra videos and he seems very interested in the concept of not using typical standard, expanded forms to do the math that way.  He was intrigued.  So along with his 3rd grade level work I will be adding in introduction to Algebra on occasion just to test the waters.

He aced the 1st grade level Language Arts and will do the 2nd grade level test tomorrow which again, I think he will probably ace as well.  If not, no worries after all he is still only 5 and we only do Math and Language Arts maybe twice a week and we only do schoolwork for 3 hours max each day anyway. He ususally reads for a couple of hours each day.  If it is really interesting to him he will read for 30-40 minutes at a time, if not he will do 15 minute segments until he is done.

Oh, and his Spanish is progressing nicely.  So far just the basics and when we start back up I will be introducing the parts of speech and how they are handled in Spanish.  He really enjoys learning Spanish.

So to say the least,I am very pleased with where he is at what would be normally the end of the year.  We only started homeschooling in December so he is all good.    Tomorrow he has a date with the splash park on the beach with a few other homeschoolers in the area and starting Saturday he gets to go bowling whenever we can get him there and it is free so we are going for a 3 week break and then back to the books or lack thereof and see how he handles it.

What are your plans for the summer, still doing schoolwork, taking the summer off or anything special.  Would love to hear some ideas for keeping them busy during the down times.

Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to an even better second year of homeschooling. How about you?

Be blessed
Mimi

Monday, May 27, 2013

Moving Right Along Singing A Song

What do you do when you are faced with the drudgery's of the everyday things at your home?  What are your least favorite household chores?  Mine is EVERYTHING.  Right, I know.  But really, who enjoys, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, cleaning toilets?  So what do you do to make it more fun?

I got this idea to post what I do from another blogger that I follow regularly and so should you, she is awesome.  Her blog is MomstheWord and she calls herself the 'lazy mom' (she is not really).

Well, I do several things, NO not all at once, then the cleaning would not get done.  I love to listen to Patsy Cline music.  It seems to be my mopping music. While I say mopping, I actually don't mop anymore.  For many years my idea of cleaning my floors was on my hands and knees with a soap bucket and a scrub brush, like my mother did and her mother before her.  It is truly the best way to get floors in tip top cleaning shape.  However, I have discovered the luxury of a steamer.  So I put on a Patsy Cline CD or tap into some of the music of hers on the computer and while I am doing that my steamer is heating up.  Then I get to dancing.  Yep, I said dancing, why not?  You dance around your house all day long in one way or another, so why not to a little music while pushing the steamer around and then I am done before I know it, take the cover off, throw it in the wash with a little bleach and voila, finished. 

Now for some reason, I typically like to use some Alan Jackson Gospel music to do my vacuuming.  Yep I am a country music fan, but also a conservative Christian music fan.  So I eventually do the dusting to some Casting Crown music. My dusting however is done by dancing, this one I do by singing.  You know the duster is my microphone; come on you have danced and sang with the hairbrush in front of the mirror before, right?  Well it is the same thing, just this time there is no mirror unless there is one to clean and you just dance and sing around the house and in no time flat the house is clean and you are blessed by all the music and exercise you got dancing around. 

Try it and see if you don't feel better, both about having a cleaner house and having just danced and sang for a good portion of your day.  

OK, post a comment and let me know how it works for you.  I could always use some encouragement too.

Be blessed

Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.


You can also find MomstheWord here MomsTheWord
Be Blessed
Mimi