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second week of school

Finished our Creation Unit!
Each child made their own Creation Books filled with their artwork for each day of God’s creation.

Each school day was complete with a Creation Day snack.
I’m so not creative… I had to really stretch to come up with these!

Of the most precious gifts is when Daddy gets to join school.
Thankful for a father that teaches his children the Gospel, as well as their ABC’s.

VERY excited it was ‘warm’ and not blazing ‘hot’ in triple digits!

We learned about how the Bible was written on scrolls (also making our own ABC scroll) and stored in clay pots.
We had a great time getting our hands dirty as we made our own clay pots out of modeling clay.
Through the activity we talked how God is the Potter and we are clay, molded in His image.

The baby joined us for school. Excited, isn’t she?
She is a wild woman so we try to schedule our school (instruction time) during her naptime.
I have tried everything from toys, busy bags, feeding her a continuous supply of food…
all she wants to do is climb the table, rip the other kids papers, eat crayons, lick the glue sticks, ect.
Any suggestions on how to keep her occupied while the bigger kids are working?
Working on patterns.
Read “One Two Three Sassafras” and then acted out our own version.
The kids used their age and lined themselves up from largest to smallest number, then yell out “sassafras” to take a photo.
Very cute book and the kids absolutely loved making their own story up.

I think we are settling in to a routine and smoothing out some of the first days of school behavior issues. There have been some tough moments. There have been some amazing moments. There have been moments when I have thought it would be so nice to send them off to school and I could just clean my house! But then I realize that the sacrifice of my time teaching is priceless.

I’ve witnessed the Holy Spirit working on my children’s hearts so clearly these last couple of weeks through homeschool. I see that sparkle in their eyes when the master something they’ve been trying to understand. I see them tackle daddy at the door with their artwork from the day, beaming with pride. I see them learning to love each other unconditionally through daily friction. Living day in and day out with each other is hard. They get frustrated with each other. I get frustrated with them. But we are all learning to practice forgiveness and grace. Thankful for God is using this to refine me. He is changing me from the inside. He is using my children to change me. He is using the calling of homeschooling them to change me. I need Him more than ever. I need His wisdom, grace, and faith.
Thankful that it is abundantly poured out.

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our first week {review}

This past week FLEW by. We had so much going on that we were sad to see the weekend come. As our first official year of homeschooling, I’ve been anxious to see how all my months of planning and preparation would come to fruition. And I can honestly say that I was so so happy with our first week. We definitely had some behavior issues, whining, and competition between the siblings… but overall they were excited to learn and towards the end of the week began encouraging each other in their work. We learned a new hymn “My Father’s World” which we sang every day – my two boys put their arms around each other and swayed back and forth singing together. Precious memory forever.
Here is a bit more of a look into our week.

Using our fun FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL photos I made a “bio” of each kid that included grade, likes, personality, and goals for the year. I plan to do a similar page each year to place in their end of the year books. You can find the page I used here.

Each child has their own Calendar Notebook that will be the first thing we start off with each morning.

The Calendar Notebook contains:
1.  Monthly Calendar – write the correct date for each day of the month. (download calendar Meach Calendar)
2. Write the Date – write the day of the week, month+date+year, month+date+year in numerals (Mama Jen download)
3. Hundreds Tens Ones – as we count to 100 days of school we will work on place value. (download cards Mama Jen)
4. 100 Chart – counting to 100 days of school (chart included in My Father’s World curriculum)
5. Tally Marks – make a tally mark for each day of school; helps to learn counting by five (Mama Jen download)
6. Weather Graph – each day fill in the graph with the day’s weather (Meach Calendar)

The two links I provided you will be a HUGE resource if you are interested in making a Calendar Notebook for your child. Mama Jen and Mrs. Meacham both provide details and downloads to help you put on together. My kids absolutely love their notebooks and are becoming more independent each day with them.

This week we began with My Father’s World Kindergarten. My two middle children will be using this curriculm for the year, while  my oldest child will begin My Father’s World 1st grade next week. I choose to start the school year off with all of them doing the two week Creation Unit in the Kindergarten program. Each day this week we studied one day of the Creation Story. At the end of the seven days of creation each child will have a Creation Book with their artwork.

We went to the library and picked up a few books to add to our lesson time.
Snack Time – the most anticipated part of the day!Day 1 – God created LIGHT and separated DARK from LIGHT
(gluten, dairy free oreos)
Day 2: God separated the water and created SKY
(water and marshmallows for the clouds)
Day 3 – God created LAND and PLANTS and SEEDS
(grapes for the fruit and crushed oreo for the dirt)
Day 4 – God created the SUN, MOON, and STARS
(orange, blueberries, pretzel sticks)

Day 5 – God created all the animals in the SEA and SKY
(blue jello for water, swedish fish)

And now for some snap shots of our week in action.


Our first week of homeschool was a blast! Definitely learned alot (myself included!). Looking forward to getting into a better daily routine. Thankful for the opportunity to teach my babies. As a mother, the most amazing sight to see is my children’s eyes light up as they are learning new wonders.

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america’s favorite pastime

Thanks to our library’s Summer Reading Program the kids received free Ranger tickets. And boy, did we have a great time! They each were given a free Ranger jersey, ate lots and lots of cotton candy, and had the time of their lives. Noah couldn’t take his eyes off the Jumbo Tron… he was it heaven with a TV that big. Jude shoved cotton candy in his mouth for 8 innings. Evy snuggled in my lap while Piper ate a bag of suckers to keep her occupied.




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first day of (home)school

Today marked the start of a new school year… and our first official year of homeschooling. We will be using My Father’s World curriculum for both 1st grade and kindergarten (our preschooler will get to join in the kindergarten work). My kindergartener is 4 1/2 years old so we will be doing K twice with him.

My Father’s World is wonderful. I fell in love with how the Bible is infused throughout the entire curriculum, it’s not just a subject taught. It allows me to teach the children together, giving individual attention to their own math and phonics. One of the biggest reasons I have chosen to homeschool is that I want our children to develop deep sibling relationships with one another – I pray that learning and living together strengthens their friendships.

After a special breakfast made by Daddy (gluten free french toast), we all went on a quick photoshoot to capture their First Day of School photos.

Noah. 1st grade. 6 1/2 years old.
Loves video games, computer, drawing, music, trains, puzzles, reading, swimming.
Pure adrenaline junkie. Sweetest heart you’ll ever meet.

Jude. Kindergarten. 4 1/2 years old.
Loves baseball, superheros, digging in the dirt, jokes. Addicted to sugar. Sensitive to others. Kind, gracious.

Evy. Preschool. 3 1/2 years old.
Loves to play dollhouse, read books, snuggle, back rubs, dates with daddy, being a little mommy to her sister.
Vibrant and sassy. Full of grace and compassion.

The three big kids. Thankful for each of their distinct personalities. Such a joy being their momma.

Happy school year to us!

Lezli - These are the best pictures! I can’t believe how grown up Noah looks with his hair cut!
It was so good seeing you guys this weekend. I loved watching the kids play. So much fun!

Janelle - Oh my Cassie. Just absolutely adorable and what a great thing to home school them. I sure hope Noah is still planning on marrying Zoe 😉 He is just so handsome.

» raney.traditions - […] our fun FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL photos I made a “bio” of each kid that included grade, likes, personality, and goals for the […]

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Butternut Squash Lasagna

Sweet mercy. This is GOOD.

Lasagna that is good for me. Yes! Love filling my body with healthy, TASTY food!

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15 oz can pizza sauce
  • 1/2 c roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • couples leaves of fresh basil (leave it out if you don’t have it, just freshens up the sauce a bit)
  • 1 small butternut squash

Get your oven to 400ºF. In a saute pan crumble the sausage and brown it, along with the onions & garlic. While that’s going, cut the top and ends of the squash off and peel it. Split it into 1/4′s. What I mean by that is, right where the squash starts to turn bulbous, cut it in 1/2, width-wise. Split those two halves in half, lengthwise. This will make it much easier to cut into planks. Pull out the seeds. Don’t be anal about getting out all the strings, as you won’t even notice those when they’re cooked. Slice the squash into the aforementioned planks.

Make the sauce by pureeing the pizza sauce, red peppers, olive oil and basil. If you don’t a contraption that will puree (blender, food processor, immersion blender), chop up the red peppers and just whisk everything together.

Using a 9×9 oven safe baking dish, put down enough sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (This keeps the squash from sticking to the pan.) Next add the squash, trying not to overlap the pieces, then spoon on the sausage mixture, followed by the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.

Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

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