Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Are you still homeschooling?

I have been getting this question a lot lately.
I think it's because of my confusing Facebook posts.
As well as the back to school pictures.

We are still homeschooling.
However, we are only homeschooling the boys.
Leanne started her freshman year at the local high school
Princess started 2nd grade at the local elementary school.
Both girls are LOVING school.

 So what are the boys doing?
(Besides wrestling with each other.
Seriously.  Why must boys always 
touch each other or wrestle.
It's can't be that fun.  Can it?)

We are in our second year of Classical Conversations.  
And we love it!
It was a God send for us.

Cameron is in the Challenge A program.
While Justin is in the Foundations and Essentials program.
CC has been a amazing addition to our homeschool.
Justin will tell you "CC changed his life!"
And he is serious.

Our campus meets on Tuesday morning from 9-3:30.
The kids participate in daily presentations as well as academic "classes".
We work on memory work and assignments
throughout the next week.
This is a new style of learning for me.  
The classical method did not fit well in my text book style.
I am learning to let go.
Kind of.

I addition to CC we are using some amazing curriculum this year.
A few of our favorites are...

Both boys are using this wonderful math program.
Anything I can use that adds computer time is a plus for my boys.
Are using grades 5,6 and 7 this year.  

We are using the Junior version.
Even with CC Justin needs a little more help in the grammar dept.
He is doing the Junior version again this year for review.
I had it, so why not?

Since Cam never had a chance to do essentials, he needs this
We use the DVD's. 
I love them! 
Anything I can find that someone else teaches is priceless to me.
Plus it only takes 21 weeks to get through the entire program.

I bought this curriculum several years ago at a homeschool convenetion.
I never opened the box. 
Actually, I did open it. 
I even cut out all the magnets and created the spelling boxes.
(That's the stuff I love to do. The hands on.  It's fun for me. Everything else.  Not so much!)
That's as far as it went. 
(I'm not the only one who buys gobs of curriculum I never use? Am I?)

The kids were doing ok with spelling.
Not to mention I already had so many other things to do.
Spelling seemed so over-rated.
I mean everyone uses spell check not.

Apparently spelling is not a lost art. 
I decided this year that we needed to do a formal spelling program.
Thankfully I was able to just dust off the several levels of
All about spelling I already owned.

We actually really like it.
It works really well for both boys.
It is great for my son who has dyslexia.

I guess am going to have to do a 2 part post.
I guess I didn't realize how much stuff we actually use.
(Well, at-least what I buy and intend to use.)


Unconditional Love

Can anything be sweeter than a boy and his dog?
I love this picture of Cameron and Flower 
and just had to share. 
I can feel the love in this picture.
My boy loves his dog and his dog loves him!

My super sweet and extremely talented friend 
Took these amazing photos of my kids.
If you are local and need a wonderful, patient, affordable
photographer, please click the link above and give her a call.
Hire her.  You won't be sorry.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


It was finally your day Jus.

6th Grade!
I can't believe it.

You were so excited to start your first day at 
Classical Conversations.
You missed your friends and they missed you.

It is going to be a great year for you Jus.
You are going to learn amazing things.

Justin, I pray all of your dreams come true.
You are not afraid to do hard things. 
That is how I know you will succeed in life.
I can not wait to see what the future hols for you Justin.

We are so proud of you!

Love, Mom and Dad

Monday, September 3, 2012

Is it hard to do her hair?

This is probably the most asked question I hear about Katie's adoption.
We hear it almost daily.  
It usually goes like this: "She is so cute!  Do you do her hair yourself?"

Haircare in the African American community is huge.
In fact during our adoption finalization the judge 
(a beautiful African American woman)
asked us how we planned on caring for her hair.
I told her I would "learn as I go."
Apparently that worked for her because she approved the adoption.

Over the years Katie's hair has changed texture a few times.
When she was a baby she has straight super soft hair.
As she got older it started to curl loosely.
By the time she was 3 it was thick and full of 
the sweetest and perfectly curled ringlets.

During the last 7 years our hair style of choice has been...
The Poofs!

Because I am so talented we could switch it up and do...
One Poof!

As she got a bit older I started feeling pressure to do more.
I knew it was hard and I thought the right thing to do 
was take her to a salon.
I knew I wanted to keep her hair natural, so I looked
for a place that specialized in natural hair care.
So they said!
Our trips to the salon were long and painful.
It broke my heart.  But it's what I was told was right.
"She will get used to it." 
"She's just tender headed!"
"If you started younger it wouldn't bother her."
"All kids cry when they get their hair done."
So I did it!

It broke my heart. 
And Katie's!

It looked so cute when we were finished.
So I kept doing it.

(Check out that length.  Wow!)

Until a friend introduced me to Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care.
This blog is written by an transracial adoptive mother
of a sweet little girl named Boo.
Since reading this blog I have realized...
I can do her hair myself.
It doesn't have to be painful.
There is no one perfect way.

Since we have started a new hair regimen we have tried:

Free hair

Two Strand Twists

 And Fancy Hair 
(actually a veil style into puffs)

(I know I need to work on parting.  lol!)

Katie loves our new routine.
She loves that it is almost pain free.
She loves that we can take our time.  

Our routine is simple...
Wash with a conditioner wash aka. co-wash
De-tangle while the conditioner is in.
 Hot oil treatment with organic coconut oil.
Comb out with Kinky Curly Knot Today
We love to style with the Kinky Curly Curling Custard 
and the Gloss Pomade.
We get our products at Target.

Thank you Rori at Chocolate hair/Vanilla Care.

No more salon for us!

This makes my baby girl happy.

Happy baby girl = Happy momma.


 (ETA:  This is how we do Katie's hair.  It works for us.  It may not work for everyone. Her hair is healthy and moisturized.  We are happy with this for now.  We will continue to learn as we go. As her hair grows and changes so will our routine.


High School!  
My first baby girl.
My first love! 

It was very hard watching you walk out the door as a 
This will be the fastest 4 years of your life.
Friday night football games.
These 4 years are going to be AMAZING.
As sad as I am that your childhood is coming to an end...
I am so excited to be part of and watch you grow into a beautiful young woman.
You have whole world at your fingertips. 
You have a lifetime of experiences and memories to be made.
Take the world by storm Leanne.
You are going to do amazing things.

I'm so glad your dad and I get to be part of it.
We love you more than you know.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


7th Grade!

Cameron, you can not be starting middle school.
It just isn't possible.
How did my sweet, loves everything little boy become
a young man?

Cam, this year you are going to go great things.
You are going to do hard things. 
You are going to grow and learn
You are going to teach.
You are going to be a student of many new and great things.

This year you will learn to play drums.
Join the Civil Air patrol.
Learn Latin.
Read amazing literature.
Make new friends.
And so much more...
I can not wait to watch you become the man God has planned.
We love you Cameron.


Baby girl..... when did you grow up?
I know it was just yesterday I was picking up a sweet bundle of joy 
wrapped head to toe in pink.

You have spent every year wanting to be by my side.
This year was different.
You started 2nd grade!
You are "going to real school."
There were no tears.
In fact you didn't even want me to take you.
You rode the bus with your best friend Abby.

You are growing up so fast Katie.
I miss my baby girl.
But, I do love watching you grow.

Have a wonderful year baby girl.  
We love you...
through the stars, around the moon and sitting on a cloud.

Back again? This time for good?

I started this blog with the intentions of having an online diary of sorts.  I planned on chronicling all of our families happenings throughout the year.  As usual I started strong and slowly stopped blogging as life became busier and I didn't have the time I thought I needed to make my blog perfect.  Having to be perfect is something that I struggle with daily.  I want everything to be just right and if it's not... well, I'm not happy and I quit.  In a quest to face my issues and fix the things I need to work on I have decided to start blogging again.  I plan to pick up the day to day family stuff as well as add some of the personal struggles I am trying to face.