Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Breanna's 9th Birthday, Goodbyes and the Airport

I cannot believe my baby is 9. She decided she wanted her party at the bowling alley this year. We all had a good time and no mess for mom to clean up. :) What FuN! I was able to take some cute pics of Sarah and Brittany also. No easy feat with how active they are. That is why I left it up to a professional (Sandi) She managed to capture the cutest pictures even though they were cranky and figity.

Tam and the girls left yesterday. That was horrible! I cried so hard and my heart broke when Brittany called me crying asking to please please let her stay with me. We all were crying at that point. Even Matt was teary eyed. We stayed at the airport for about an hour after they borded because they had an awesome exhibit.

Waking up this morning was so hard. I have been waking up early to the tiny voice of Brittany saying: "Good morning Auntie Kristy." And having to walk around the big air mattress to let the dogs out the back door. I so miss that! We miss them sooo much already. I cannot wait until they move back here! Tam- start planning now! lol :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

My SIS-inlaw and Nieces Visit!

It has been awesome having my sister-in-law and nieces here for the past two weeks. They go home tomorrow and I am quite sad. Ithought about kidnapping them but I am sure her husband would come looking for blood. lol. It has also been a test for Matt and I as far as fostercare goes. At first, I am like wow, I don't know. You forget about all the little things you have to do AND worry about with toddlers after so many years. Howevwr, I quickly rememberd all the blessings you get in return. Like mucho kisses and hugs! Brittany is a very active and Bright 5 year old who reminds me alot of Cass when she was young. Sarah is a mama's girls with cute freckles and does EVERYTHING her big sis does. Tammy is more my sister than sister-in-law. I have known her since she was 12 and I love her like my own sister and friend. I can't wait until they move back form CA. Prayfully SOON! I will post pics as soon as I get them off of my camera. We had a friend from church take a ton of pics today. Sandi is a awesome photographer and such a blessing to our family. She also did the photos for Cassies sweet sixteen party. I have never seen such pictures in my life. She has a real talent and gift. You can view her blog at: Sandi is a true sweetheart and we love her!

Hiking with the coolest science teacher

What an awesome day! Mandy is so awesome and her kids are fantastic! She took us to the coolest place ever! The kids climbed behind the waterfall (while mom held breath), found fossils, salamanders and crayfish. THEN, we hiked up 1,500 feet uphill. WOW! I cannot believe I actually did it. Even Bre made it without much complaint. The view was breath taking. We are going back- With Matt next time. I can't wait until the next hike Mandy!! Bring it on! LOL. Homeschooling Rocks!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

If someone Judges you for homeschooling...

  • The next time an uninformed person passes judgment on you for homeschooling.. and he tells you that your children are better off in public school . . .Ask him which teacher loved him more than his mother loved him.Ask him which teacher wanted him to succeed more than his father wanted.Ask him if he wants to make it illegal when homeschoolers ‘don’t’ teach their children whether it will be illegal for principals to have students that can’t read. Our prisons will be full.Then tell him that home schooled students score better than 77% of the normalized population. Follow the link and you can SHOW him too. They like that game in government schools.

Monday, April 14, 2008

From the Washington Times

By Robert Stacy McCainTHE WASHINGTON TIMESHome-schoolers are more likely to attend college and be more politically active than their peers, a study says. The survey of morethan 7,300 adults who were home-schooled found that among those ages 18 to 24, 74 percent had taken college courses, compared with 46 percent in the same age group among the general population. About 12 percent of the polled home-schoolers had received bachelor's degrees, compared with about 8 percent of their peers.The study, by the Oregon-based National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), showed higher levels of political involvement for home-schoolers in several categories. The poll shows home-schoolers are more likely than their peers to vote (74 percent versus 29 percent), to make political contributions (9 percent versus 3 percent) or to work for a political cause, party or candidate (13 percent versus 1 percent). Some of the findings were not surprising, given earlier studies showing high levels of academic achievement by home-schooled students, said Tom Washburne, director of the Virginia-based National Center forHome Education."We expected to find that they were getting good jobs, going on tocollege at a high rate, that they were involved in their communities, all of those come as no surprise to a home-schooling parent," Mr. Washburne said. "However, we are excited by the findings about the civic involvement of the graduates. Their voting and their involvement with campaigns and political parties is astounding compared with the general public."The idea for the study "had been percolating in my mind for at leasta decade," said NHERI President Brian D. Ray. A proposal for the study was turned down 10 years ago, he said. But noting the growth in home education, he said, "Now we have a much larger population [of home-schooling alumni] from which to draw, [so] maybe it was good to wait."NHERI estimates that more than 1.7 million U.S. children arehome-schooled. The new study "is one of the few attempts, maybe the only attempt, to get at the question of what do home-schoolers look like after the home-schooling process," said James Carper, professor of educational psychology at the University of South Carolina, who reviewed Mr. Ray's findings. "On most measures, they look better than the general public."Home schooling has been criticized by the country's largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), which passed a resolution at its national convention declaring that "home-schooling programs cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience." An NEA spokesman yesterday said the organization had no comment on the NHERI study.Mr. Ray said critics "have claimed that adults who are home-schooled would be social isolates, disengaged from civic life and perhaps uncaring about the world around them. The findings of this study, however, indicate just the opposite in terms of these adults' behaviors."Among the study's findings:About half (49 percent) of home-schoolers ages 18 to 24 werefull-time students. In that age group, 50.2 percent had "some college but no degree," compared with 34 percent of the same age group in the general population. In that group, 8.7 percent of home-schoolers had two-year associate degrees (compared with 4.1 percent in the general population) and 11.8 percent had bachelor's degrees (compared with 7.6 percent in the general population).Among various measures of community activity, home-educated adults more likely than their peers to have read a book in the past six months (98.5 percent compared with 69 percent), participated in community service such as volunteering or coaching youth sports teams (71.1 percent compared with 37 percent), and attended religious services at least once a month (93.3 percent compared with 41 percent).Asked whether they agreed with the statement that "politics andgovernment are too complicated to understand," 4.2 percent ofhome-schooled adults agreed, compared with 35 percent of the general population.In six measures of civic involvement, home-schooled adultsconsistently ranked higher than the general U.S. population.Home-schoolers also ranked higher on measures of personalsatisfaction and psychological health, reporting more contentment on the job and with their families' financial situations. Asked abouthappiness, 58.9 percent of home-schoolers reported they were "very happy," compared with 27.6 percent of the general public.Home-schoolers differed significantly in their responses to thequestion: "Some people say that people get ahead by their own hard work; others say lucky breaks or help from people are more important. Which do you think is most important?" More than 85 percent of home-schoolers said "hard work," compared with 68 percent of the general population.About 74 percent of the home-schooled adults with children saidthey were home schooling their own children. The thousands of home-schooled adults who participated in the survey were found through "a highly connected network of home-schooling organizations, " Mr. Ray said. Their responses were compared with data for the general U.S. population from the Census Bureau, the Department of Education and the National Opinion Research Center. The study did not compare incomes of adults who had been home-schooled with the general population, Mr. Ray said, because of a shortage of age-based income data plus the fact that the average age of the home-schooling alumni in the survey was 21 and nearly half were full-time students."If we can come back to a substantial portion of this sample in fiveto 10 years, we'll get a much better idea of comparative data regarding occupation, income and completed level of education," he said. The study rebuts one of the most persistent criticisms of home schooling, Mr. Washburne said."Home-schooling parents have known for years that home schooling works," he said. "What we always knew to be a myth regarding socialization has turned out to be just that, a myth. Home-schoolers appear to be active, engaged, happy adults."

More Party Pics!

A Surprise Party for ME!

I am still in awe and shock that my family actually pulled one over me! After almost 17 years of marriage my husband has never been able to surprise me-especially with a birthday party. I am not a "want to be the center of attention " kind of girl! I never agreed to a birthday party for myself for that reason. However my lovely daughter had other ideas. The whole thing was her idea and she planned it all! Kind of last minute but that is probably the only way she was able to keep it a surprise. I am an analytical suspicious by nature and I would have caught on for sure. Okay, I like to believe that anyway. Here is what went down: Matt asked me what I want to do on my birthday. I tell him nothing major, kinda tired. He suggested I get ready to go out to dinner. We go to one of our favorite restaurants. He is constantly checking his messages on his phone. He said the server was down. ( techy talk) I'm like, ok, this is fun. I was so tired I said I just want to go home and take a nap. (allergy meds) He said. "no, we have to go pick up your present first." I am stoked! I'm thinking about my brand new cruiser style bike. He said " I need to blind fold you first." WHAT!? I was like, I don't think so. Not the way you drive! Needless to say I was blindfolded. I have to tell you that was the freakish feeling. Not knowing where you are going and being able to see where you are going is a very unsettling feeling. Now we stop. He opens the door and tells me to get out. Hello.....I couldn't see! He has to help me out. I felt like a drunkard walking. Seriously, you try walking around blindfolded it is not as easy as you would think! He guides me up to the house. At this point I have no idea where I am. But, once inside, I said. :it smells like home." Thinking my bicycle is going to be sitting in the middle of the room. Matt rips of the scarf and "SURPRISE!" My dinning room is filled with people and it took me about 10 seconds to even process what was going on!

It was allot of fun even though allot of my friends and family couldn't make it, it was a blast. My Cassie cooked the pasta, decorated the house and picked up the cake (with Larry and Christina's help) within the hour that we were at dinner. AMAZING! I am truly blessed to have such wonderful children. From the kids, I also got breakfast in bed, a card, bath salts and a candle from Cassie. A beautiful drawing, carved soap and a sign with lots of confetti thrown at me from Breanna and a very special bag of tea that says Teacher on it,a teacher note pad and beautiful card from Ty. Thank you LORD for gifting me with such a wonderful family. I am the happiest mommy alive and I am so glad that God has lead me in this path.

Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

More Maple Fest Pictures

Maple Fest

We missed the train ride but the day was beautiful and we made the best of it! The kids wanted to go on the helicopter ride but at 25 dollars a pop for a less than 5 minute ride. Don't think so. The kids really enjoyed the horses as you can see. :) My neighbors had horses where I grew up and loved riding them. I sometimes miss the country living! I thinkI am going to call around for a horse stable and maybe take the kids riding. Just look at Ty's face! I enjoyed the fact that Larry said that was the most rural place he'd ever been. I'm thinking, boy you don't know country! hahaha.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Busy Week

We went to the park all day Tuesday and the Museum Wednesday. Homeschooling Rocks! The kids still got their work done, but oh what fun to do it outside! Here are a few pictures from our funfilled week! We also went to my friend's daughter's play. It was awesome, it felt more like a proffesional production than a school play. Great Job Franny!