Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Because of Bubbie's allergies and asthma it is often easier to host, rather then go to other people's homes! Thanksgiving was a much anticipated affair. My friend and her 3 kiddoes joined us for lunch. We set the table all nice and fancy.

We served lunch and dinner.  The kids each got to make one dish! Fayth was quite proud of her pumpkin pie!

The kids did crafts, played dolls, and rode horses!

 Even Nesiah had a fun day!

These two are double trouble... they love to play together and fight with each other! I love the holidays with kids!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Random Pictures...

When Sisters play dress up and ask little boys to pose..

We have had some AMAZING sunsets lately! 

Big brother, little brother! 

Sister love...

He loves her... 

She tolerates him... 

Another epic fail... 

Because there is nothing like little boys to add spice to your life! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Animal Therapy..

We have been very busy with the animals on our little farmette. The goaties are all pregnant. The bunny just had babies. The horses need daily work. It keeps us very busy, but I am already seeing the benefits of daily interaction with these lovable animals!

Copied from here
Equine therapy is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth. 

Equine therapy has shown to have many positive benefits when correctly taught by certified therapists. Some of them include:
  • Confidence
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Self-Concept
  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Perspective
  • Decreased Isolation
  • Self-Acceptance
  • Impulse Control
  • Social Skills
  • Boundaries
  • Spiritual Connection

Research indicates that interaction with therapy animals can temporarily affect the release of various neurotransmitters in the brain; levels of oxytocin (linked with bonding) and dopamine (involved in the reward-motivation system) are increased, while cortisol levels (an immunosuppressant associated with stress) are decreased.

These goats follow the kids everywhere. If they see Matia come outside, they  all come running! The goats will even crawl into the kid's laps if they sit down in the meadow. 

My kids get up and go out to the barn at 7 am and 5 pm every day. They rarely complain. They make sure their animals are fed, watered and comfortable. They love on the animals and always come back inside in a happy mood.

The horses do on occasion give us a hard time. It takes ALOT of work on my part to keep the horse part of things running smoothly.The kids are not allowed to be working with the horses unless I can see/help them. The horses can be very stubborn, especially if the kids are in a mood. It forces the kids to address their own feelings/emotions in order to deal with the horses attitudes.
My kids learn to love the animals, which is sometimes easier then loving humans. They learn to care for another living being, not just the physical needs but the emotional needs.  They learn responsibility and they see the benefits of hardwork. Taking care of animals is very rewarding for kids, especially the goats and horses. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Field Trips!!

We had a fun field trip to a local Corn Maze. This is a trip we do annually and the kids love it! They have a summer reading program, so we get free tickets!!

The bounce pillows are a huge hit with my kids! 

We planned our trip very last minute. It was COLD! But we had a total blast! We packed a lunch and ate in the car. We have been able to find quite a few field trips/adventures that we could do this fall for little to no cost! We do all the summer reading programs we can. We are also working with a foster/adopt program that gives us funding for field trips. We pack a yummy lunch to eat in the car. Which means basically the only expense we have is the cost of gas to travel!

Saturday, October 31, 2015


The beginning of Oct. My baby brother turned 21 and got baptized all in the same week. We had talked about going to be with my family, since it has been almost 3 years since we had more then 24 hrs with them.
We had purchased the horses and only had a weeks notice before the baptism, so we had decided that at this time we would be  financially unable to make the 6 hour roadtrip..

That Thursday I suddenly realized that my sick kiddoe was doing well, live was calm, I was relaxed and recovered from our LONG summer. I had every resource needed to make the trip, except extra cash.

So the kids and I prayed... if God would provide the money on either Friday or Saturday we would go...
Friday the mail came... we were all anticipating what God would provide. Nothing... Ok, well I guess we wait until Saturday.

Saturday morning we did our normal, listening to our local kids radio, eating pancakes and cleaning! We had kinda given up on going...

Then the mailman came... along with a check. yup! God provided. So we packed up, loaded up and headed out to visit family!

We had 6 kids, a wheelchair, luggage, my entire medicine cabinet, all of Abi and Abraham's food and the dog all piled into my mini van! It is truly amazing what can fit into a mini van!!

We had a fun trip out. My kids love to travel and are good travelers. We have no electronics, only the car cd player. Even bubbie did well. We did switch seats halfway through which was a huge help.

The only creepy moment was as we stopped at a rest area. We could not get the wheelchair out from under all the luggage so we had to find a potty break where I could leave see both the van and the bathroom from the entrance door.

We stopped at the rest area, it was fairly busy. We let Lady out to walk and go potty... I let the kids out to run around and burn some energy.

Then I pulled up right in front of the bathroom area. I stood at the door, so I could see both the van and the bathroom. There were 2 fancy SUV's parked down the row a bit, both had middle aged men watching us. There was a sign on the wall right on the bathroom door, giving a phone number to call regarding Human Trafficking... #shiver

I had the kids go in one at a time, so I never had more then one out of the car at a time. Thankfully after my prayers the men in the SUV left! I needed to go to the bathroom SOOOO bad... So I had all the kids get into the car and lock the door while I had  Lee stand in my spot with the car remote. I told him that if anyone so much as looks at the van he should scream and push the alarm button.  His siblings informed me that he looked quite threatening. That was the fastest potty break I have ever taken!

We arrived at my friends house around 9 pm. The next day we had breakfast at their house before heading to my parents for lunch with the family. They had planned a birthday for all the Oct birthdays. We had picked the perfect weekend to travel, everyone else had already planned to get together anyway!

We had lunch and dinner at my parents, then went to baptism at my brother's church. Several of my kids have not sat through a church service in quite sometime. Thankfully with the help of the tablet, both Nesiah and Bubbie did well!!

Monday morning we had breakfast with several of my sisters before heading to my parents. We hung out there for an hour or so then headed home! Our trip home was less eventful, altho Bubbie was sick and tired of traveling by the time we were halfway home!!

It was fun to meet my newest nephew and my friend's new baby! My kids totally enjoyed their time with cousins!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Everybody Can Do Something...

 This is currently one of our favorite songs! We love listening to it, the kids are constantly singing it!
It has motivated me to move out of my comfort zone, to do little things to change the world. My kids and I have been blessed by so many people who give to us... It is important to pass on the blessings...

I also want to teach my kids to appreciate what they have... 

Several weeks ago, we joined a bunch of other homeschool families to serve lunch at a local men's rescue mission. It was a really neat experience, very eye opening for my kids.

I am thankful that we have these opportunities. We homeschool, we don't do co op or other things where we are committed. I may struggle with commitment issues.. lol So we often ahve time to do fun spontaneous things. We are not tied to a schedule. We can decide last minute to drop everything and serve where needed. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


We live in a country where we can have an opinion, a voice in making laws and the freedom to advocate for those things which we feel strongly about. I happen to feel strongly about people killing babies! So I was excited when an opportunity came up for us to "do something"!

The kids and I were blessed to be able to volunteer with the Pa Family Institute and Council.

We took a stack of signed petitions to the Capital.

 We were blessed to meet several state representatives.

This was a new experience for us. It proved to be quite the interesting day! We did a lot of wandering around, trying to figure out what we were trying to do.

We believe not only in advocating for the unborn, but also fighting for the children who are born!

This is what I posted on my facebook page after our day at the Capitol.
I am not into politics. I understand very little... I tend to think that government is all corrupt. But I am a firm believer in doing what God calls us to do. I want to teach my kids to change the world. Today I stepped WAY out of my comfort zone. The highlight of my day was my conversation with our local representative, David Zimmerman. 
1. His chief of staff got so excited when she saw what we were doing. She had all kinds of questions and kept saying "we are working so hard on our end to defund planned parenthood". She wanted us to hang around until he came back from his session so we could talk to him. 
2. When we finally met him, he invited us to go up to the house floor. You can only go with an "important" person. It was such an honor.
3. David Zimmerman shared that defunding planned parenthood was a passion of his before ‪#‎defundpp‬ was the in thing. He explained to me the plan they are currently putting together to defund PP. 
4. He told us the story of his son and wife adopted their daughter from Uganda. 
5. He thanked us profusely for being an encouragement in defunding planned parenthood. (I actually felt a little guilty cause all we were doing was passing out petitions that others had done all the work on) 
6. He gave us some educational materials to watch.
I say all this to encourage you to step out... encourage those who are fighting for God's Truth in our government..

We  walked from 10:15 until almost 1 pm, handing out petitions.

My children were STARVING! We had packed a picnic lunch but it was in the car, 3 blocks from the Capital. These kids had walked and talked, handing out petitions without complaining for hours. So we stopped for Chicken Gyros!

This day was one of the most amazing of my career as a homeschool mom. It was very educational not only for the kids, but for mom!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Homeschool Schedules

The key to surviving my life, is having a good schedule. We all hate chaos. So I am constantly assessing our daily schedule.

We had a nice schedule at the beginning of the school year. We worked hard at getting into the routine, after a very carefree summer.  It took us about 2 weeks to get into a good routine.

But I was still overwhelmed with the amount of time I spend cooking and cleaning up. Our mornings were hectic and stressful too.

So we made yet another adjustment. Now I love the schedule we have. The kids struggle to stay on target but with some reinforcements we are doing well. The schedule also allows for flexiblity to fit Dr vacations and fun outings.

Currently our average day starts at 7. (my ultimate goal is to get up at 6, but it rarely happens) Usually I wake with a little boy in my face demanding his morning bottle. I get him and I dressed, both our beds made and rooms cleaned up. The boys usually wake up as we are getting ready.

I, then head downstairs to wake the girls and dress Nesiah. The big kids all dress themselves, make their beds and clean up their rooms. There are always dreams and stories to be discussed and hashed out, before they head out for chores.

The 3 oldest kids  go out for chores. They feed the calf, the goats, dogs, the barn cat, the rabbits, the horses, and milk the one goat. They make sure everyone has fresh water and a clean pen.

Bubbie loves to go to the barn. currently it is his job to feed the cat. He loves all the animals.He loves on the goats.

Fayth helps me in the house and starts school. I get Nesiah dressed and give her morning meds.

Nesiah gets on the bus right around the time the kids get inside from chores.

I am a big fan of a hot cooked breakfast for my kids. They can function so much better with a good solid breakfast. However, it is a royal pain to get all that done first thing in the morning.

So we adjusted our schedule. The kids come in from chores, they get to eat a gluten free muffin or bar along with a fruit smoothie. Then they start school. My ultimate goal is to start school by 8 am. It rarely actually happens but we are pretty close.

The kids do school, I clean up the house, plan my menu for the day. Bubbie generally gets into trouble, makes messes and acts like a typical toddler!

At 10, I try to have a full, hot brunch ready for the kids. I love that I can clean up my house and slowly create a full, yummy breakfast at leisure. I also try to work on preparing dinner during this time. My goal is to cook once but serve two large hot meals a day, then serve gf muffins and smoothies for breakfast and occasionally at bedtime.

We eat breakfast and try to clean up from 10-11 am. The kids are in charge of breakfast clean up.

They then return to school work with the goal of being completely done by 12.

I love love that I am not cooking in the middle of the day.

We finish school, then I assign each kid one job to be done between 12-1. Usually it is cleaning out a cupboard or corner, wiping down fingerprints, folding laundry etc..

Bubbie  and I usually nap from 1-2. The kids have to either finish up school or get to have free play. Everyone gets 15 minutes of either gameboy or tablet time between 1-2.

After naps, we usually either run errands, laze around or finish some projects.

3 to 4 or 5 pm is horse back riding time.  Right now we spend approx 2 hours every other day riding. The kids love riding and the more they ride, the longer they ride.

Nesiah gets home at 4 pm.

I try to have dinner in the oven when we head to the barn, that way it will be ready to serve when we come in.

 On the days we don't ride, the kids like to bake things. The majority of my kids are excellent bakers and create very yummy muffings/cupcakes etc..

We eat dinner around 4:30 to 5. The kids clean up while I catch up on projects. Generally dinner clean up is rather drawn out. I don't battle it.

Of course by 6:15 everything is done and the kids are ready to listen to Adventures in Odyssey! While they listen to AIO, I get Nesiah and Bubbie ready for bed, adminstering meds etc..

At 7 the kids clean up all their toys, projects,and messes. Everyone gets their pjs on and ready for bed. Then we have Bible Journaling time. Each kid has a (paper) tablet, where they choose a scripture and draw a picture to go with it! This has been such a fun way to end our day!
7:45, we have prayers and family time. 8:00 everyone is in BED!

Generally after the kids are in bed, I clean up and make sure floors and counters are nice and clean.

We tend to need a strong basic schedule, but once established we find that we can go with the flow. We know what needs to be done when, yet we are not rigid. If we have to adapt we do.
It does really help that my toddler finally works with my schedule. It keeps peace in my house!