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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer T-shirt Art Day

Over the winter months I watched the crafting store ads for
somethings I could throw in this summer. One such day was T-shirts
for $2.50 each. I bought a bunch for the kids to decorate and some
for Dad for work. This is some of the results of our T-shirt day.
Each had 3 shirts per kids. Not all are shown.


I had fabric markers, Fabric spray paint and acrylic paints which I watered
down a little bit so they wouldn't get so stiff.


This is Sweet peas creation done pretty much on her own.  She was so
proud of herself . When they dried she wore this one around the house.
I had to make her take it off to wash it.

This one I had a lace doily from Spring shaped like a tulip. We tried
laying it on the T-shirt. I think it would have worked just fine
if Sweet pea hadn't gotten so excited with the blue at the bottom.
It is personalized just for her the way she likes it and that is all that matters.

Spirit drew some rocking Guitar people.


Then did some spray paints and splats.



Princess made her own stencils.


And Superboy made this shark shirt . He also made a dragon and a mickey mouse.

It was a day of painting that lasted much of the day. I'd do it again
In a heartbeat.

Warm blessings,

Nikki

Growing up...



You know as my kids grow. I'd like to think I have all of the
answers but I certainly don't. There are times I am proud and there
are times I am ashamed. Parenting is full of so many rewards. You can
give your all and still find yourself questioning what you have done.
Especially in the light of mistakes made. Could you have prevented them?
Could you have done more? You can only give what you think is for the
best. Even if that best isn't what you thought. Sometimes God allows things
to happen and you don't know why. Its hard to look at the over all picture
when your in a transition period and that is what I think the teenage age is.
A huge transition period. Transitions can go smoothly or they can be
all out trama and dramatics.  It depends on the person and how they
relate to God. Are they fully commited or just stepping on the brim.
So the question is are the teens on the brim or commited to becoming
adults. Does their fear over ride the sense? All we as parents can do
is grab ahold and take the ride with them  Good and Bad. The bad
being the scary part but we live for the good.


This day was good. Princess all dressed up for her friends sweet 16.



All the 8 girls filed into a limo and went to Ritas for ice. Then
came back to enjoy themselves at the all girl party. It was fun to
dress up and be grown up for awhile.

Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Fun

We are soo enjoying are lazy days of summer. Each week we add a few fun
things to our day. Painting my kids has been a long time tradition. It
started way back when with my oldest Heart. I'd paint little pictures all
over her arms, legs and face and then she'd go outside and play in the
water till they were washed away.



Sweet pea wanted a flower .She looks rather in pain here. She is the only
one who hates being painted but because the other kids do it she always
wants to too. Then her face looks like this. She begged me to take a photo
of her flower because I did the others. Then we immedately washed it off
with a wet wipe. It wasn't even dry yet.


Spirit wanted flames on his belly.

Superboys Turtle is my favorite.

Going with the same theme Spirit got this race car on his back and a
race track on his face.

Superboy wanted a bird.

Then I filled some tubs with water. Added some boats, action figures,
cups, sponges, water guns etc... to the play area.


And this is what the little ones did.



I guess it was that hot.


Warm Blessings and Happy long summer days.


Nikki
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time with God- Proverbs




Read along with me on Sundays From the bible The book of
Proverbs from the Message.


A Manual for Living

1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon,

David's son, Israel's king—

Written down so we'll know how to live well and right,

to understand what life means and where it's going;

A manual for living,

for learning what's right and just and fair;

To teach the inexperienced the ropes

and give our young people a grasp on reality.

There's something here also for seasoned men and women,

still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—

Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,

the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.


Start with God

7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;

only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.



8-19 Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you;

never forget what you learned at your mother's knee.

Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair,

like rings on your fingers.

Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you,

don't go along with them.

If they say—"Let's go out and raise some h___.

Let's beat up some old man, mug some old woman.

Let's pick them clean

and get them ready for their funerals.

We'll load up on top-quality loot.

We'll haul it home by the truckload.

Join us for the time of your life!

With us, it's share and share alike!"—

Oh, friend, don't give them a second look;

don't listen to them for a minute.

They're racing to a very bad end,

hurrying to ruin everything they lay hands on.

Nobody robs a bank

with everyone watching,

Yet that's what these people are doing—

they're doing themselves in.

When you grab all you can get, that's what happens:

the more you get, the less you are. 



My thoughts: This passage reminds me of the recent attack of  a

New York bus monitor. Several 12-13 year olds began bullying her

on their bus ride to school. At one point she was driven to tears.

It is said this women is in her 60's . No matter her age treatment such

as this is despicable. The children then posted their terrible treatment of

this women on U-tube. For a moment these  they forgot what their parents

may have taught them. They Gathered with the crowd . They were

tempted by friends and Lost.  They listened for a second and raced to the

bad end. I did watch the video and it has stuck with me for several days.

I hope that these boys have learned a valuable lesson.  Parent should
discuss this incident with their children so they can learn.

That they can see from the word of God the way they

should live. The way we all should live. It is written for us to see.

We just need to look.


Warm Blessings,

Nikki
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dear MotherHood



Dear Motherhood,



Do you ever have those moments when you know you should have been looking

but you didn't see. Then you proceed to kick yourself as a parent for not

watching every second because you know you should have. That one second

when you looked away. That brief moment in time.



When my oldest daughter was 1. I sat her in a wash basket while I hung wash. She

still wasn't standing up yet so I wasn't to worried about her . She always stayed where

I put her. I could put her on a blanket and she'd play there for hours. This day.

This day I wasn't watching she tumbled out on the the stone driveway. No major

scratches but I felt terrible for days after . It obviously traumatized me more than her as she

surely doesn't remember. She has no damage or fear of wash baskets. (ha ha)



With 5 kids under my belt I tell you there is more. There is really more.

I'm ashamed to say. You know your not supposed to do it but you look away.

God really should have given us more eyes and more hands when we became

mommies.



Spirit age 6. Again I looked away for a second.

We were at a family reunion and they had a playground for the kids to play on.

Spirit being 6 I sent him to play with his older sisters in tow. I could see

the playground from where we were sitting. I don't let my kids out of my sight.

Another child pushed him backwards and he fell at least one story down. He made not a

sound. Rolled over and hopped up. It was a miracle. I wanted to rush him

to the ER but some of my cousins are nurses and assured me he was fine.

Why wasn't I looking. Of course I don't think even if I was I could have

stopped it but you still feel bad when bad things happen to your little ones.

You are their mommy after all. Your supposed to protect them Even

If it means making wonder women leaps to save them. Somehow I should

have anticipated it and caught him. Yeah right....



"Sweet Pea" one Saturday went flying off our front porch.

Since we moved here I have saved her numerous times. I don't know why

She thinks she can float off the 1ft drop . Possibly because her siblings tend

to leap off the porch. This day. Her brother ran out of the house to go to the car

and left the fridge hanging open. I went to shut it and somehow we all missed her

sneaking behind him. She leaped right out over like she was superman.

Now you have to understand whats after that one foot. First you will find a

large concrete slab and then a large rock. I don't know who decided to do the

stairs that way we certainly plan to change it. Not to soon for me. She landed

right on the rock knocking the wind out of her and putting a nice scratch on her

nose. This time it wasn't just mom looked away. It was 5 other people looked away.

We were all to fault. Sweet pea is fine but I wonder am I alone. I really

only looked away for a second and that's all it took. Does that give me the bad

mom of the year award. Now if you know me you know how protective I am.

You know that my kids are the ones saying but mom so and sos kids can do ___.




So yes I guess it "even happens" to me. We have the bumps to prove it but

It doesn't make anyone a bad person. As much as you try to watch

sometimes a person gets distracted and you don't see. Somethings can't be

changed. You can't protect them from everything. Its not fair and

it makes you watch even more when these things happen. I can guarantee

Sweet pea will be guarded with our lives till shes 20 and never fall off the

porch step again. Course after that fall the next time she went to go off

she was very cautious. This is how they learn and we learn .

Now she sits and slides down.



Please share your less than eloquent parenting moments. I'd love to

know I'm not alone.



Nikki

Frugal Friday Laundry


I have found a new love. Something not a someone.

I am so excited this week to be the proud owner of a brand new Whirlpool Washer

and Dryer. I am shocked at how washing clothes has changed to become such a

Science. Technology has come a long way. I remember the day when

we sorted and washed. That was all. It's almost overwhelming to overcome.

All this excitement. I absolutely have a love of doing laundry. Our new appliances

are marked with an energy star sticker. We have gone as Green as we can for our

price range. Our washer automatically decides how much water should be put inside

by how much wash I feed it. I can't even comprehend how it has a mind to do this

on its own but somehow it does. It uses less water, less soap and less electricity. I can't

wait to see how much it saves us on our electric bills. I will probably

still hang our blankets out on the washline once Daddy gets it hung up.

We have only lived in our new home Since December. Probably a small

project for him. The dryer is just as awesome. It has an eco setting which means the

dryer automatically will shut off when the clothes are dry. I have to say that I am so

glad that our old ones went up. I had no idea of the luxury.


Check out this website to choose an energy star product.

Energy Star . If purchasing an energy star product you may also want

to check out your electric company to see if programs are available for your

special purchase. Ours has a special rebate program

for users who purchase an energy star product. At the moment ours offers

Rebates on surge protectors, Holiday lights , floor lamps, appliances and

hot water heaters. Just Awesome. We will recieve a $25 dollar rebate.





Warm Blessings,



Nikki



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Reading Free books Online



One of my favorite things to do over the summer months is delve into a
good book. It is a special time for me as a mom to sit down and take some
time to relax. I was blessed this year with a Kindle reader by my mom for
Christmas. (Thanks again so much mom) During this time of reading often the
children grab a book and sit on the porch with me reading their own material.
I have also found that the little ones want to know what I'm doing or see what
I'm looking at. Having a good book on their level on my reader is just fun.
They also cherish time on the computer. Extra time on the laptop to read a book
is a gift as well.  And so my search began looking for good websites with
some education and fun reads for the kids and the kid in me.

1. First is a site that I am loving it is it's own incentive to get the children to read.
Read a book- Give a book. Most children lose a little of their reading
skills while taking a break over the summer. Why relearn what you already
know. Stay in focus by reading this summer. This is actually a summer reading
club but just as well for a selection of summer reads. Each month new books
are added for you to read. Keep track of the books you read and books will
be donated for your efforts. You can complete a service while you are doing
something educational. This is for children ages 5-8




 2. I just love the look of the old beginner readers. They are so fun to
read and pure at heart. There is a special place for them in my heart as
my dad has always been a collector of books. In return I have become a
collector of books too. This is my Dad and my Sweet Pea.  My mom
Is always crazy with all the books around. She'd like him to weed them out.
Secretly I know his love for them. Well imagine my surprise when I came across
beginner readers online. Check out



3. Now what mom doesn't want their child to read the classics. To be filled
with all that classical learning goodness.  To get into the deep reading goodness
and work on understanding it. Try http://www.readcentral.com/  over 5,000 goodies.


4. Need to check out a good Christian read. Looking for something with
some meat to it .Then this is the site for you. A lot of good religious reads
for young and old students  http://www.ccel.org/

5. Now I love for my kids to read the classics or about their religion and
learn something. It makes the mommy heart sing . I personally enjoy reading
them as well . Yet sometimes a person likes a little fluff in their lives. I found
this site on reading romance novels online. www.publicbookshelf.com/ 
We all need a little mushy fluffy fluff once in a great while....
Right? Maybe its just me.


6.  Last one... http://www.readanybook.com/ It has just about everything.


Warm blessings all and enjoy your free summer reads.

Nikki
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Time Prep



I could barely stand it one minute longer. First thing I did over the weekend was clean
out our School closet. Things have sure changed over the last few years. We started
school in a tiny kitchen and we were cramped. As our family grew our space changed
and grew . We moved into another home with a little classroom. That room was filled
to the brim with goodies. Probably to full looking back. Now we are back in the kitchen
and our large stash is up in the playroom. I just like having school in our living space
as opposed to trying to recreate public school. I began by emptying all the things we
were no longer using . They are sitting out on Sweet peas little table for now till
I get to the piles. Job for later this week. This is what I came up with so far. It's
a work in progress. Everything has it's place now. Take a peek...



Bottom shelf was cut off so here is that...


I came up with this idea one day by necessity. A place to hang and dry our art.
 This side isn't complete yet. I have high hopes for the insides of the
doors. This will come in the future.


I was trying to think of a way to house their science activity and have them on
hand. I will hand hooks to the Right side of the cabinet with canvas bags.
That way I can prepare and activity for each age group and hide it in the bag.
Everything will be in its place for the experiment and easy to find when we
want to work on the project.

Princess has her books and things organized in her room. Since that's where
she likes to do most of her lessons. We placed a low shelf at the end of her bed
just for these things. She likes having her own space.

Sweet peas things will go in a basket each day in her play area. I hope
For her to have a few play things in there to keep her busy while we
are doing or lessons.


If you have some school prep to share. Leave a message and your link.
Look for more school prep each week. I plan to tackle one a week.

Warm Blessings,
Nikki
Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Has Begun- Bucket list.



Our Summer begins when we get to visit Caledonia State park. It
seems to have become a sort of tradition to start and end summer there.
I'd love to go more. This place Holds some great childhood memories for me.
With the start of summer we Created our Summer bucket list. 
I'll share our list along with some Park photos. Some we have already completed.


 (The water was pretty rough since we had a storm the night before)

1.Decorate T-shirts
2.Paint a sheet and use as a puppet center
3.Go on a nature walk
4.Water play on the porch
5.Body painting
6.Read outside
7.Bubbles
8. Picnic
    
( kids had a great time trying to find critters in the creek)

9.Beach trip
10.Swimming
11.Watch fire works
12.Visit a carnival
13.Visit a zoo
14.Make Slurpee's (complete)
15.Create some beach crafts
16.Visit local playgrounds (complete)

( Sweet pea enjoyed digging in the dirt just as much as the water)

17.draw
18.cook
19.Summer journals
20.Board game
21.Blow up coke with mentos
22.Frisbee golf
23.Make own peg people
24.Set up tent in backyard or create own
25.Play flashlight tag
26.Glow in the dark balloons

27.Scavenger hunt
28.make puppets
29.play Croquet
30.Make boats and use in water play
31.Play in the creek (complete)


32.Older kids have an ABC photo tour contest
33.Collect shells
34.have an art lesson outside
35. Water paint on porch

 (Spirit and Superboy made friends fast. Who says homeschoolers aren't socialized.
There were a lot more of them too just not in the photo. They ended up building a little damn.)

36. Create own game
37. Organize school items
38. Play in the rain (complete)
39. Decorate and set up our porch
40. Paint Sweet peas toes
 (I'm not sure what Spirits grand project was but he would bring water up the little hill by the
creek and pour it to watch it go down. At one point he had 4 other kids working for him.
All he succeeded in doing was creating a muddy mess for Sweet pea to slip on. I'm sure he
learned something in there)

( Sweet pea with her muddy treasure bucket. All the more fun)

41. Search for lightning bugs
42. Watch the clouds
43. Grow some flowers (working on this one)
44. Visit our family Reunion
45. Have a family movie night
 (I love the cheeky grin)

46. Sit on the porch and color
47. Celebrate Sweet peas 3rd Birthday
48. Celebrate Princess 15th Birthday
49. Celebrate Hearts 20th Birthday
50. Let my kids know I love them every day
(Heart and her Boyfriend )


Warm Blessings,

Nikki

* updated those things Crossed off the list have been completed. :)
Sunday, June 17, 2012

2011-2012 School Year


Friday completed our 2011-2012 School year.
This year I am so grateful to be my kids mom, to be able to spend so
much time with them is amazing. I don't know how much longer that
will be able to continue but I love each second of it . Yes, Even the
days that are full of trials because we always are better for them.

I have no idea what our future holds and that is ok. This year came with
many personal stuggles with our family. Daddy was laid off and then back to
work only to be laid off again. He is still pushing through his health issues and
to add to it I picked up one of my own. My mom went through some
very scary things. Growing old isn't fun at all. We also had to move in a
months time which is overwhelming on its own. It's ok though because ...

I have grabbed a hold of Gods Grace and know that he will show us the
way. Spiritually I am where God wants me to be. I'll just sit back and let him steer.
I will do whatever I can to keep my kids at home and as long as God
wills it , It will continue.




This year we Graduated Spirit From Kindergaten. I am so proud
of all the hard work he has done. He is so full of energy and into learning
new things. It is great to say that I was able to teach him all of these things.
 

We had a little Kindergarten picnic in his honor. Here are my three
beautiful daughters. My oldest is no longer at home. She is all grown up.
 We are so proud of her accomplishments. She will begin
her second year of college in the fall. The long haired lovely in the back
just started high school this year. She has struggled a little with the set schedule
but I know she can accomplish all  of her hearts desires. Last is my little
sweety all grins. She will turn three in the fall. She is at that hard to find
things for her to do while you are schooling stage. Even if it is something
she can do on her own she still wants my attention. I can see some
big ideas for the fall to keep her busy.
 Then there is my two handsome boys. Superboy worked so hard
in his math this year and we will continue on with Geometry/Alg. in the fall.
I will spend time this summer with both boys in phonics, spelling, writing and reading.
Things they both need some more practice on. Well maybe not phonics for
Superboy but you know what I mean writing skills.


Superboy is still my creative boy. We love his charisma.



Princess and Heart creating some crafty goodness.


Looking at this adorable little face reminds me just why I do all of this.

God is so Good.

My prayers for this summer:

Dear Lord Heavenly Father,

You are so gracious and kind. I thank You for all You are and have been to my
family this year. We are so blessed to be under Your loving guidance.
I am so honored to be able to school my children at home. We hope Your will
is for us to continue this way but if it is not we will love each other either way.
We will proceed forward and assume that we have another year to school
at home. Only You know our future. We await what is next and will allow Your
hand to show us the way. I thank You for each of my children they are such
a gift to me and I take each gift seriously. I want them to know You and love You
as I do. Being home with my kids is amazing. Thank you for the gift of this time.

In Jesus Name
Amen.



Warm Blessings to all,
Nikki

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Rejoice in the Lord Always.