"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘homeschool’

Good, clean fun

Shhhhh…..Can you keep a secret?

The kiddos in one of our homeschool groups enjoyed a fun, end-of-the-school-year party last week. Since our family does school year round, I made sure to keep that “end-of-the-year” part quiet (and you will, too, right?!) but we were all about the party part! Here are the kids that were present that day, after they were all thoroughly slimed from the games we played:

We started the event by loading them up on pizza…

…followed by some red velvet cupcakes to celebrate our sweet friend’s birthday. (Happy birthday, Ellen!)

Then we headed outside for some silly games, beginning with the old standby—sack races.

We started with the littlest racers…

…who really had absolutely no idea what was going on…

…followed by the bigger kids…

…and then, even the teens got in on the action. Those teens can jump, too!

Actually, the adults got in on this activity, as well. I will not be posting pictures of our race. (Let’s just leave it at that.)

Next up were some funny relays.

Next it was time to pass out the eggs. Again, the little ones didn’t have a clue what was up, but they’re such good sports they just went along anyway!

And they are ready for the spoon relay!

Then it was time for the egg toss. Of all the games we played, I can’t say for sure which was the most fun for the kids…but this one definitely provided me with the most hilarious pictures. They started out close together…

…and gradually spread apart. Notice their funny faces as they try to catch their eggs!

Look at E’s face (and look at her hands to see why)!

After the egg toss, it was time to cool down with some snow cones before our next round of games.

This is where things started to get really messy. Thankfully, the moms who planned it had the foresight to bring old T-shirts for the kids to wear. We started with a couple of brave volunteers:

Then we added a very willing decorating committee…

Time for some new volunteers…

I knew it wouldn’t take much looking on my part to find someone who was eating the ammunition. Yep—that would be K.

So, what do you do with a face like this?

You trust your friends to lend a helping hand…

Finally, we broke out the Silly String. I should add that by this point the kids were soaked and slimed from the shaving cream and the water used attempting to wash it off, as well as some raw egg here and there…all of which made a nice, sticky canvas for the Silly String…

Apparently, a couple of the boys found the discarded shaving cream cans, too.

I loved watching siblings play together. I loved watching kids of such different ages enjoying each other, helping each other, and loving each other. I loved the big smiles on the faces of parents and children alike. I loved that it was all good, clean fun.

Here we all are…hot, sweaty, and exhausted. And happy. And very, very thankful.

Not because the school year is over…but because we were able to experience it. Together.

Thanks for stopping by!


Adventures with eight kids

Recently we had the opportunity to keep some of my brother’s kids while he and his wife were out of the country, which brought our household total up to ten people for those nine days.

I must admit I was flabbergasted by the reactions of the people we passed while out in public. These kids are all sweet, well-behaved children, and we saw their visit as a blessing and a privilege.  So, I was unprepared for the kinds of comments that would be directed at us, like the one from the lady in the grocery store who had the audacity to spew out, in front of everyone, “Eight kids! Oh, well. At least they’re all cute.”  WHAT?!?!  These kids are treasures! Every single one of them. And we had plenty of fun together while they were here.

Of course, everything wasn’t always rosy. This one totally took advantage (more than once) of having so many people around that it took a while to notice when one of them went missing. (Yep, that’s my mascara.)

But for the most part, the kids did a great job of entertaining each other. Addy and Hannah made all kinds of things out of clay and taught each other songs on the piano.

Everyone helped out with the little ones.

One day, the girls used bars of soap to draw all over the trampoline. (It was hot, so they sketched all the things they could think of that would cool them down.)

Then they turned on the water…

…and made the surface really slick…

I’d say it was worth their effort!

I love their facial expressions…

While this was going on, the babies were having their own water fun.

Remi heard one of the neighbor kids out in her backyard next door and promptly invited her over…

…and of course she obliged. (And I figured that at this point, what difference could one more kid make?)

At first, the bigger kids chose not to get wet with the rest of us, opting instead to pull out some tools and some old army men, which they anatomically rearranged to show off their battle scars…..and which produced some pretty scary results, in my opinion.

(Creepy, huh?)

Not surprisingly, they eventually wanted a turn on the wet trampoline, too, adding liquid dish soap to the mix to make it even slipperier.

Another day, the girls went through Addy’s clothes and put together some pretty offbeat getups for a bizarre little fashion show.

Even the little guy got in on it!

All in all, they did great at coming up with fun things to do together.

You might be wondering whether or not we continued to homeschool while the cousins were here. Well, yes, actually. We did. But it may have looked a little different.  Finding that many places to work can be tricky, but everyone managed in the end.

A couple of the older kids found this yellow jacket nest out back and eagerly began extracting the treasures inside.

Before I knew it, they had lined up each specimen in the order of the stages of their life cycle. They showed them to me, and then asked, hopefully, “Can this count for our science today?”

We also took a couple of field trips. One was to the Museum of Fine Arts, where the very sight of a troop of eight kids seemed to freak out every employee and volunteer on the premises.

The other was to a police station, where we not only received a tour but also had the unique opportunity to experience what it would be like to be taken into custody…

The boys were amazed at the lack of leg room and how uncomfortable it was in the back of the squad car. Right after the above picture was taken, the officer slammed the door and chuckled, “Let ’em try to get out now.” It was fun to watch them squirm! (And if that doesn’t sound very motherly of me, just know that I’d much rather see them experience this NOW than later, in real life.) No, these are definitely not the pictures of your kids you want to see in the newspaper…

But I think the best part of our time together was seeing, again, how much these kiddos all love each other.

And that made our stint as octo-parents very enjoyable.  As for those grocery-store naysayers? They just don’t know what they’re missing!

Thanks for sharing in our eight-kids adventure.

And thanks for stopping by!

What I learned at PTP (Part 2)

(You can see Part 1 of this post here.)

“The more you learn, the more you learn how much you have to learn.” So the saying goes, and I am in full agreement after spending last week at Polishing the Pulpit. I am so thankful to all who shared their wisdom in the many workshops we were blessed to attend. Here are a few more highlights from those classes–things that stood out to me and might help you, too.

PTP kids singing “The Lord’s Army”

From the 4-part series, “Fruitful Principles for Fantastic Relationships” by David Shannon:

Godly parents punish children. Godly spouses do NOT punish each other.

(On love vs. infatuation:) “Love suffers long.” (I Cor. 13:4) Where’s the “like” in that? Where’s the infatuation? Real love was shown in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-44). Jesus didn’t DESIRE the cup before Him. He didn’t LIKE the cup. He wasn’t ATTRACTED TO the cup. But He did love US. He was lying face down, maybe in a puddle of mud created by His own tears, and His cries probably sounded like someone dying (v. 38). That was the sound of Him loving us.

God has made us once. His DESIRE is to make us twice.

We submit to our husbands not because of who THEY are, but because of who GOD is.

We aren’t faithful in marriage just because the conditions are conducive to it.

“No one else understands” is a tool of Satan. He wants us to stay isolated in sin.

(I could do a whole post on just this series. It was truly incredible!)

Relaxing after a long day of classes

From “How to be a Preacher’s Wife and Homeschool” by Shanna Anderson:

Always pray for your homeschool, but FIRST pray for your home.

Our secondary goal is secular learning. Don’t leave this behind, but don’t EVER let it take priority over the first goal, which is heaven.

By the end of the week, our toddler was so exhausted we couldn’t even finish changing her into her pajamas before she fell asleep!

From “That Your Prayers be Not Hindered” by Evelyn Apple:

How could we risk our relationship with God by being careless in our relationships with others?


From “The Tough Stuff” by Glenn Colley:

The more you focus on God’s blessings in your life, the less you focus on the injuries caused by others.

What a joy to see so many sweet kiddos who loved being together throughout the week!

From “Homeschooling–How to Handle the Stress” by Evelyn Apple:

The world has enough smart people. The world needs more good people.


From “A Recipe for Peace” by Janie Craun:

The Lord offers us the Bread of Life. Satan offers us junk food. Which do most people choose?

Cookbooks often have a page of substitutions. God’s Word doesn’t!

Another crowd shot–good, good people here.

From “Homeschooling–How to Juggle Multiple Classes and Grades at the Same Time” by Mallory Baker:

The most important subjects we teach our children are not “on grade level.”


From “How to Homeschool and Stay Involved in Church and Youth Group” by Cindy Colley:

Homeschooling provides the maximum number of hours to help our children focus on God. Use them!

Our girls enjoying the beautiful mountains of Tennessee

From “The Old Testament in One Lesson” by Rob Whitacre:

Every chapter in the Bible–from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22–deals with the cross of Christ.

The theme of the Bible is this: Christ will come (Genesis through Malachi). Christ came (Matthew through John). Christ will come again (Acts through Revelation).


From “Parents, Teens, Sex, and Dating” by Mark Teske:

If you don’t want to go to Knoxville, don’t start heading that direction on the interstate. (And if you do, don’t be surprised when that’s where you end up.)

Singing in the Bible class for toddlers Sunday morning

From “The 15-Second Marriage Improvement Program: How Positive Words Can Turn Your Marriage Around” by Brad Harrub:

Life is real. We don’t sprinkle rose petals on our broken-down appliances.

The glory of man was that woman was created for him. The glory of woman was that man was incomplete without her.

The kids enjoyed several “hands-on” projects. (We moms enjoyed the results.)

From “What to Do When God Says No” by Gary Hampton:

Parent to 3-year-old child asking for drink from Drano bottle: “NO!”

Allow God to reveal your heart, to strip away your pride, to teach you, and to show you another door.


From “Get Your Own Faith” by Eric Owens:

The more WORLD you have in your heart, the less GOD you have.

We are all terminal. We are all walking a one-way street that leads to the grave and beyond.

PTP kids enjoyed a visit from Digger Doug

From “A Final Charge: Keeping the Spiritual High” by Sheila Butt:

The prize that means the most is the one that costs you your life.

So much to think about…

So much to work on…

(See more here.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Check out these PTP-related posts:

What exactly is PTP?

What I learned at PTP (Part 1)

What I learned at PTP (Part 3)

PTP highlights

Our Great Smoky Mountains Adventure

Traveling Smiles

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