Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Remembering Mum Mum

Today we remember Alan's Mom, who passed away a year ago in May.  Known by her family as "Mum Mum," she would have turned 85 today . . .  In honor of her birthday, I wanted to post this lovely picture of her with Matthew and Josh.  Matthew was her special pet, and Josh was her go-to man for any number of things!  We were taking her out to eat here, which was something she enjoyed!  I believe this picture was taken on Mother's Day 2007.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Adventures

August has been a very Busy month at our house!  How about at yours?? 

Among other things, we celebrated Bethany's 7th birthday.  Since Bethany is a classic tomboy who can't bear to let her brothers get the better of her, this gift from a friend was a Perfect Fit for her!  ;)

We officially started our new school year on August 15th.  Here's a peek into our homeschooling days.

Luke watching his 7th grade Math class.  (Bob Jones Distance Learning Online is Awesome!)

Bethany working diligently on her math.  She is learning how to rename (which was called "borrowing" when I was a little girl!)

Matthew watching his Reading class on DVD, while snuggling with Tiffany's dog, Sofi!  (One of the perks of homeschooling!)

Chris and Hannah had to do a blind Taste Test for their first Biology lab!  This was an experiment we all enjoyed helping with!   ;)

Chris and Hannah enjoyed some random microscopic moments . . .

August also included a trip to the Emergency Room when Chris dislocated his little finger while trying to catch a football at a homeschool picnic!   :(  Unfortunately, we did not get a good picture of his injury -- but imagine his pinky finger being shaped like the right half of an uppercase Y -- and you'll have a pretty good idea of what it looked like!  OUCH!!!

After about 3 hours at the ER, it looked like this:

And he was able to smile again!!

If you seem to recall another incident with Chris and a football . . . .you can read about it here!!

Another thing that happened in August, was Bethany learned to ride her bike without training wheels!  I absolutely love this video!!!  All but the last few seconds were shot by budding filmmaker, Matthew (age 9), who was also coaching Bethany all the while!!  I love his encouraging comments to Bethany, his funny asides to his audience, and the way he looks both ways for cars when Bethany starts riding on the road in front of our house!  This is just so precious!  I can't believe he captured it for me!!!! 

What has August looked like at your house??

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Giveaway Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Noel who was randomly chosen to receive a one-year membership to Homeschool Compliance!  Noel will now be filing her monthly attendance forms (required by the state of Georgia) in less than a minute!

I wish I could have given everyone who entered a free one-year membership  -- but you can still go to and sign up for a free three-month trial membership.  E-filing takes all of the stress out of attendance reporting!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Giveaway for Georgia Homeschoolers!!!

It's that time again . . . . time to start thinking about school!  While many northern families don't start until after Labor Day, early to mid-August seems to be the norm for most southern schools.  We began our official school year on August 15th.  How about you?

If you live in the state of Georgia, make sure you file your Declaration of Intent by September 1st!  Then, those pesky monthly attendance reports will be due the first of each month thereafter. 

Speaking of those attendance reports -- have you ever found yourself scrambling around trying to find a pen that writes so you can fill out your monthly attendance report, then trying to get a copy of it made for your records, followed by searching for an envelope and hoping you have a stamp, so you can get that thing in the mail before the deadline each month???

There is an easier way!

Homeschooling father, Scott Meadows, has created a homeschool-mom-friendly website that allows you to file your Declaration of Intent and monthly attendance records online. Over a thousand families are now using this fast, simple method to simplify their homeschool reporting.

Thanks to the email reminder that you will receive each month in your Inbox, you will never again forget to file your attendance reports! Simply click on the link in the email, and it will take you right to your personalized attendance form, with all normal school days already checked (just un-check any days that you did not actually have school that month). You can then Preview and Send. What could be easier?

You will not only save time, but also gain peace of mind, because you will receive a return receipt (proof that your school district received your forms) and 12 years of offsite backup. And, would you believe that you get all of this for only $1 per month? When you consider the cost of paper, envelopes, printer ink, and postage stamps, you can see what a bargain this is!

I love!  It has taken all the work and stress out of filing monthly attendance reports!  Also, whenever I've had any problems (such as when I moved from one county to another mid-year), Scott Meadows has been extremely helpful and prompt in responding to my emails and helping me resolve any issues.

Now Scott has generously offered a free one-year membership to for one of my Georgia readers!

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is go here to read the top ten reasons for efiling, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which benefit of efiling most interests you. For an extra entry, share about this giveaway on Facebook, and leave a separate comment.  You can also share about this on your blog for an additional entry! Deadline to enter is Friday, August 19th. I will announce the winner on Saturday, August 20th! Spread the word!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tiffany's Journey of Faith

"A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."  -- Proverbs 16:9 NKJV

I love this verse, because it describes the way the Lord works in our lives!  We make our plans, but He works behind the scenes directing our steps and illuminating our path! 

Earlier this summer, Tiffany considered moving here and decided to update her resume and knock on a few doors, just to see if the Lord might open any doors for her to teach here on the Georgia coast.  But, He did not . . . so she began to solidify her plans for staying in Albany this year, assuming that was God's will for her life.

Then suddenly, circumstances converged to create a crisis that required her to come to a screeching halt and face the fact that she simply could not afford to continue living on her own.  All teachers had been required to take a significant pay cut to keep the school afloat in these troubled economic times, and now her insurance was going up and her college loans were coming due . . . and she just couldn't stretch her income far enough to cover all of her expenses.

As she prayerfully and tearfully contemplated her options, she felt the Lord was at work . . .  She tried to be sensitive to His leading, and sensed that He wanted her to resign from her current teaching position and move here with us and see what He would provide . . . It certainly wasn't the way she had planned on moving -- which would have been to secure a job first!  But God's ways are rarely our ways!

So, she set a plan in motion . . . . and began the process of moving here and more fervently searching for a job in this area.  She was tempted to panic, as she saw bills coming due and no job in sight . . . but she kept trusting God to lead and provide . . .

Last week she decided to pray that God would provide her a job using her education, skills, and experiences by Friday.  If not, she would begin to look for any random job she could find.

On Friday morning, one of the teachers at Joe's school unexpectedly resigned with less than a week before the first day of school!  It was a crisis for the school administrator, who had to find someone to replace her before school started!  However, as she pored over resumes, one kept rising to the top . . .   

On Friday afternoon, Tiffany received a call from the school administrator to come by for an interview . . . and left there about 5 pm Friday with a JOB!    \o/

The amazing thing is that Tiffany had taken on many additional responsibilities in her previous school over the last year or so . . . because there was no one else to do it, and she has lots of initiative and enthusiasm, and is quite simply a first-born over-achiever!  :)  Her schedule seemed humanly impossible to me . . . as she not only taught third grade, but also taught all elementary electives (Spanish, Music, Computer, Art), put on two music programs a year, helped with the library and AR reading program after the Media Specialist left, assisted other teachers with their computers and lesson planning software, and planned and coordinated a very creative Open House/promotional event for the school.  And yet, nearly every area where she had acquired experience was an area of expertise that was needed for her new position!!  You see, nothing is wasted by God -- and her willingness to go way above and beyond at her previous school was what uniquely qualified her for this opportunity!!! 

So, she started her new job last Monday!  She is the IT specialist and Media Specialist and will be teaching elective classes in Library, Computer and Spanish!!  She gets to spend her days in the coziest little library and the students come to her for their electives.  Isn't that exciting??

We are all  marvelling at how God provided a job for her right at the wire, and how He prepared her for every responsibility she would have here! Meanwhile, the school is marvelling at how God provided a teacher for them at the last minute with the complete skill set they needed!!  (Both schools even use the same lesson planning software!)  Isn't God amazing??

Furthermore, if she had not already moved here, she would have been scrambling to pack up and move out of her apartment in Albany, and get settled here before starting a brand new job -- all in one weekend!!  Talk about Overwhelming!  She knows it was God's provision that she had already moved and gotten settled in here!!!!!

And guess what?  Part of what brought on the financial crisis that convinced her she needed to go ahead and make the move was a $400 charge that was withdrawn from her checking account erroneously.  That $400 has now been restored to her account!  We believe God may have arranged for that money to be taken out just to bring her to the point of crisis so she would go ahead and move here . . . even without a job!

Tiffany has kept her eyes on Jesus throughout this trial and her faith has grown by leaps and bounds, as she has seen Him work in the smallest details!

Recently, we have been participating in a life-changing study of John 15 with the ladies of our church, and learning about how our Heavenly Father prunes us so that we will bear more fruit.  Another purpose of pruning is to point us in a new direction of growth.  Pruning is painful -- but His purpose in pruning is always that our lives might bear more fruit for Him!!!!!  (Don't be surprised if you hear more about this topic in the days ahead!)   ;)

Have you seen God at work in your life or in your family's life in recent days?  I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Revolving Door Years

Right about the time I caught my breath and brought my blog up-to-date, life came apart at the seams again!  (Does that happen at your house, too??)

You see, we are in the midst of those Revolving Door years!  Someone is always coming or going, moving in or moving out, and life gets a bit crazy!!

Today, Taylor moved out.  He left to attend college about an hour away.  Here he is with his truck all loaded up and ready to roll.

Telling Joe good-bye . . . with usual brotherly craziness!

They exchanged a few big, man-hugs with carefully synchronized back slaps!  ;)

Then a big, bear hug for Chris too!  :)

So, we now have one less son in the house . . . .

But, we've added a daughter and all of her Stuff!!!

The past couple weeks have been consumed wtih moving our oldest daughter, Tiffany, out of her apartment in Albany and into our house.  She has taken up residence in the guest room, and her furniture is stuffed into various nooks and crannies in the living room, bonus room and garage!!  So, we've had lots of rearranging and organizing taking place!

Such are the Revolving Door years!!  Someone moves in; someone moves out; you move your stuff around and shake it all about!  ;)

Moving Tiffany's piano is always the most challenging part, but thankfully, we have some very strong fellas and some nice, wide steps, and they didn't have a problem!

So thankful for these amazingly strong young men and their willingess to help out!!

The guest bedroom is small, oddly shaped, and a little awkward -- so I really didn't think it was possible for Tiffany to fit all of her stuff in it; however, she is not only a fashionista, but an organizing queen, so she was able to stuff an amazing amount of stuff into the room and still make it look quite cozy and inviting.  Here, take a peek and see what you think . . .

Didn't she make it look cute??

I have lots more to share in the days ahead, including a testimony of Tiffany's journey of faith and God's amazing provision . . . . so stay tuned!!
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