Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It is Time to Love Our Fellow Man

I think that everyone knows that we are living in a very broken world filled to the brim with a lot of broken people. While I know that no one person can save the world, I do know that if every single person did just a little more, we could make our world such a better place.

All it takes is a quick stop on face book and you can find people in need, angry people, sad people, lonely people. People angry about politics, people angry about their work, people angry about their home life. Sad people, people who feel unwanted, unneeded and unloved. Lonely people, people desperate for anyone to notice them, need them, love them, give them a simple gesture of human kindness.

I see so many people blaming all the world's problems on this politician, that politician, this law, that law, this program or that program. When what we need to all be doing is taking a deep look inside ourselves and saying what can "I" do to help. How can "I" change my community, how "I" help my fellow mankind?

Honestly, the answer is so simple. No, you can not save everyone, no you can not change the lives of everyone but you can help someone and that help could mean everything to that person. You can reach out.

If someone is hungry, feed them. Programs are wonderful, if you yourself can not send someone a meal, donate your money to a program, volunteer your time or make food to bring to a program. If you can make someone a meal, make enough for them to either eat with your family or eat with them. Not only would you be feeding their body but you can feed their need for interaction. Show them love, kindness and respect. Never judge why they are in a needy place, just reach out and help.

If someone needs clothing, dress them. Almost every single person I know can afford to let go of some clothing. I know for a fact that in my household, we have extra and we are bagging stuff up for donation. Instead of goodwill or a thrift shop, give directly to a needy family, call your local churches and see if they know someone they can give it to, take it to a homeless shelter or a food pantry.

If someone needs a hug, hug them. I recently stopped at the table of a complete stranger and I hugged them. They were crying, alone at a coffee shop table. My heart ached for them, so I took the time and I sat with them, I did my best to offer comfort, compassion and I gave them a big hug. They thanked my over and over again. The words they said as I left, stuck with me. "Thank you for noticing and stopping. Most people would have just walked by." What a sad truth that is, most people would just walk by. We have to stop walking by, we need to stop and notice the pain all around us. Stop and notice when people just need someone to stop and notice them.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Home Schooling in the Raw - Why we home school year round

Several years ago, Chris and I made the choice to home school our children year round. We decided this when Alexzander ( who is now almost 11 and in 5th grade ) was starting second grade, we noticed that we were spending far to much time at the beginning of the school year, repeating and relearning everything he forgot over the summer. It was time consuming for us and frustrating for him.

Since that year, we have been schooling on a year round schedule. We start our new year the Tuesday after Labor Day. We take two weeks off each season. Generally, our breaks go like this, two weeks off around Thanksgiving, two weeks off around Christmas, two weeks off around Easter and two weeks off around the 4th of July. We do have some assignments during their breaks, generally they have a special reading assignment that earns them prizes for completely, a fun craft or project during those weeks and any make up work they still have.

Our summer school months ( June - beginning of next school year ) are different than the rest of the school year. We have a lighter work load, focus strongly on summer reading programs ( we do two from local libraries and I even printed my own last year )  and outdoor lessons. They generally have a couple work sheets a week that keep them on track with what they have learned and prep them for the next school year.  We take lots of field trips, family get aways ( it is so easy to do educational stuff on the road ) and camping trips. They help us in our garden, we take part in local events and just take learning where ever we can.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

No longer doing meal planning

Just making a quick post to let everyone know that for the time being, I am not going meal planning. We have not been sticking to the plan anyway and I am just not wanting to do it.

There will be several more posts coming very soon, including more homeschooling in the raw and some about the current things going on in our day to day lives.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Home Schooling in the Raw - Teaching Charity

My oldest two kids are Destiny ( age 9, 4th grade ) and Alexzander ( age 10, 5th grade ). My husband and I wanted to take the time to teach them the importance of giving and charity work. Both of them have helped in the past at different volunteer projects but we wanted them to have a more hands on lesson.

We sat down as a family and decided that they should run their own fundraiser for a local charity. After some discussion, they picked The Marion County Humane Society.  They have spent a lot of time out there, playing with the kitties and petting the dogs. We actually adopted our dog, Charlie, from the shelter two years ago.

( The day we brought Charlie home. ) 


After picking what charity they wanted to help, they set to work with how they would reach their goals. Destiny is an aspiring artist and she wanted to use her skills to help. Her goal is $500 and she is making that money by selling hand painted mugs ( custom greeting cards coming soon! ).


She has sold many mugs and they are inching their way closer to their money goal!! She is doing an amazing job.

Alexzander is enjoying learn to bake, that is how he wanted to particiapate in the fundraiser. He made a list of items and each time someone donates something from their list, he bakes them a batch of chocolate chip cookies or banana bread.

His list - 

3 large bags of dog food ( Goal met!! ) 
3 small bags of dog ( only need 1 more to meet their goal ) 
5 bags of cat food ( only need 3 more to meet their goal ) 
3 tubs of cat litter
5 boxes of cat treats ( only need 4 more to meet their goal ) 
5 boxes of dog treats ( 1 more needed to meet their goal ) 
3 toy bones
3 squeaky toys


They have already made several donations and their items list is slowly being completed! They have done a wonderful job so far and we are extremely proud of them! They were even featured in our local news paper.

I made them a facebook page, you can follow their progress here.

Giving up meal planning ( this time for good )

After several months of taking a lot of time to make it, and still not following the meal plan I made,  I have decided to give up on meal pl...