Thursday, July 24, 2014

Our Homeschool Room

Homeschooling definitely does not require a specific room.
However, my (embarrassing) need for order requires me to have a homeschool room.
The beauty of homeschool is it is so much an "each to her own" way of life.  I LOVE that about homeschooling.
My kids don't always do their school work in the room, but that is our home base, so to speak.

The downside to our homeschool room is that it's the first room you see when you walk into my house.  We converted our never-used formal living room into a much more functional space.  Life in South Florida is small, so we did not have the luxury of hiding away the school room.
I do not love the aesthetic side of the room being so visible, however, 65% of the people in our home are it is important to me that they get to live in their house (and not just let it look nice for guests).
Because the room is so visible, it's also important for me to maintain some sort of beauty in the midst of learning.  So many homeschool rooms I see on Pinterest are lovely and amazing, but the amount of primary colors, posters, and the like do not really work for the flow of my house.  I like simple and clean.  My house is mostly never clean because of that 65% factor, so I control what I can.

So after that unnecessary disclaimer, here is my newly updated homeschool room.  I change it around quite often, because I have issues.  This layout makes the room feel much bigger, so I may stick with it for awhile.

When looking for homeschool ideas, this post is where I found most of my inspiration.
I went with black because white would be destroyed in four seconds in my house.  The downside to black is that Ikea does not make the cute drawer system in black.  Also, I bought shorter table tops because I have no spatial awareness and did not think my room was big enough for the bigger tops.

Currently, my tables are separated into two desks.  I change this up from time to time because I actually like it both ways.

The overview:
 photo 20140724_145750_zpssmoxqfjn.jpg

After reading The Way They Learn (a great read), I realized that a bean bag would be a great addition to our school room....mostly for Chloe, who prefers to learn in comfy environments.
It will also double as extra seating during football season when all of our friends come every Saturday!
I got it on Amazon (using my reward points from my credit card...SCORE!).
We all LOVE it. I actually sit in it a lot, too.
 photo 20140724_145803_zpsi2snqlou.jpg
My sweet girl can't help but be in pictures :).

Nearly cut off in the picture is display wire (from Ikea).  My kids create art work regularly, so this is an easy way to change it out often.
The easel is also from Ikea (it is a chalkboard, whiteboard, and has paper on the bottom).
Next to it are plastic drawers that my sweet, crafty friend, Abi, gave me.  We fill these with all of our craft stuff.  Though it pains me and my love for order, I keep craft items handy....because my kids create art on a a nearly daily basis (even the boys!).
 photo 20140724_145812_zpsmqi3jzpq.jpg

The lighting is bad on this because I used my phone, but this is my desk.  Behind it is the white board I used last year when my room was configured differently.  I left it up to use for personal stuff.  I was watching a simulcast by Jennie Allen while working :).
 photo 20140724_145827_zpsrt5lfvw9.jpg

Our desks and chalkboards.  I wish these were as big as the white board, but they're I had to get two.  I framed them myself (which was....interesting....let's just say it involved the guy at Home Depot telling me, "You know, you really should have your husband do this.")
 photo 20140724_145851_zps9113u7oh.jpg

Another view of all of the desks.  As I said, this configuration gives more space....before, we did not have the open floor space (for dance parties and such).
 photo 20140724_145924_zpsh1na0n4a.jpg

Can you see the stars hanging in the window?  The black piece is the moon.  This is my sweet girl's way of beautifying our home.  She is often doing stuff like this.  And I absolutely love it.
While I don't love this room being so visible, I do LOVE the view.  Nature inspires me, so I love being able to look outside often.  Plus, it provides tons of sunlight.
 photo 20140724_150256_zpsnmiaf8oo.jpg

Precious girl.
 photo 20140724_145957_zpsqtxhawmu.jpg

Another craft booth props :)
 photo 20140724_145834_zpsavr6mewh.jpg

There is my homeschool room.  It will never be this clean again :).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Play

Chloe asked me to audition for her I auditioned and I DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT.

"You don't have the right voice for the part," she said.

(This is her checking her notes to see if I made it) k

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oh, Luke

Luke is hilarious.  Like SO SO SO hilarious.
Without trying to be.
I cannot even get over how precious and funny he is.  It's just so cute.  Had he been my first born, I would have worried myself sick over his behavior.....but now it's pure entertainment (mixed with some infuriating situations).

True story:

Last week, he would not eat his breakfast.

Would you like to know why???

It's because it passed in front of his sister, and, in his words, he can't eat food that passed in front of anyone.  Yes, I said PASSED.  She did not touch it or look at it.  And he literally did not eat until lunch.

Luke has a hard time saying nice words.  He definitely plays the role of mischief to get attention in our family (even though we give him lots).  
I told him, "In our family, we say Jesus words that are kind, encouraging, and true.  We love God and say nice words."
("Jesus words" is an easy phrase for them to remember).  
So matter of factly, he replied, "I don't even KNOW God."

Which is accurate.  He has not yet chosen to follow Christ, and therefore, he truly doesn't know Him.
The fact that he knows that is impressive.  

Everyday, this kid makes me laugh with his silly, funny antics!  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Family Photos

Our sweet friend, Mariana Rodriguez, took family pictures for us.
As our family of 6, we've never had real pictures taken before, so I was SO excited!!!
Our little boys were not cooperating at all, so I am so impressed she managed to get any good picks....much less awesome ones!!

This is the "must have" picture....I have a picture like this from each stage of life! photo 4F3A2831_zps274566f9.jpg

Oh, my MEN!! I LOVE this picture!!!!  photo 4F3A2845_zps087ebcb5.jpg

 photo 4F3A2849-2_zpsbca44654.jpg

Daddy and his precious girl
 photo 4F3A2843_zpsdca7ed56.jpeg

Disregard my double chin :) My sweet girlie and me  photo 4F3A2856-3_zps5ed55628.jpg

 photo 4F3A2904-2_zps3e6a43c5.jpg

 photo 4F3A2909_zpsbb1d43f2.jpg

My oldest and youngest
 photo 4F3A2925_zps827f2abe.jpg

 photo 4F3A2940_zps9065803c.jpg

This looks like a magazine ad:  photo 4F3A2941_zpsdb7e4571.jpg

 photo 4F3A2942_zps71e574f1.jpg

Brett made them all laugh....  photo 4F3A2944_zps23dba7ee.jpg

 photo 4F3A2951-2_zpsc7e7395e.jpg

 photo 4F3A2951_zpsb6570b15.jpg

 photo 4F3A2956_zps1927cc2b.jpg

 photo 4F3A3008_zps63a52787.jpg

 photo 4F3A3020_zps328e40e9.jpg

 photo 4F3A2972_zps2884e3cc.jpg

 photo 4F3A2977_zpsae71ed0f.jpg

 photo 4F3A3002_zpsa4562d5c.jpg

Monday, June 23, 2014

Levi is 2

 photo 4F3A2922_zps29fa78ef.jpg
Photo cred: Mariana Rodriguez

My sweet, precious, full of life baby is no longer a baby.  On June 15, he turned 2.  (How we got where our youngest of four is TWO.....I just can't even grasp it).

I adore my Beebers more than I could ever explain.  He is just......perfect.  Even though he is not much younger than the other kids, he somehow is our family mascot.....we all just love him to pieces.  Everyone practically smothers him with love.  He is definitely the baby!!  We all just think he's the best.

Levi makes us laugh on the regular.  The only word he can say is "mama", so instead of learning to talk, he just screams and points.  Surprisingly, it's quite effective.  Haha!

The Beeves (other nicknames: Beevers, Leviticus, Ruebenstein, Moisha---don't ask on the last 2, LOL) is so precious.  He loves to give "sugars" (kisses) and snuggle.  He is very active and keeps up with the big kids quite well.  He is daring and wild, mostly because he's 2 trying to act 8.

Favorite foods: black beans and rice, grapes, strawberries, NutriGrain bars

Sleeping habits: screams and jumps in his crib for like 2 minutes, then lays down and falls asleep quickly.  He takes one nap a day.

Likes: social functions (if I put my shoes on, he puts his to say "you're not leaving me home"), playing with balls (he will shoot baskets in Caleb's room for long periods of time), playing in the kids' kitchen, painting with poop (not even kidding; he's done this like 10 nasty), baths (probably because of the poop, haha), running around outside.

Dislikes: the word "no", riding in a stroller, riding in the car for long periods of time, missing out on anything social

I love love love love my little Levi.  He is beyond sweet, and I love to snuggle and play with him.  I am so thankful God chose this little boy to complete our family (for now, at least) because he is more than I could ever ask for.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


My sweet friend, Emily, texted me a cool conversation she had with her young son last night.

I thought it was so cool and really blessed my heart.

Today Chloe told me she hopes we get her sister by Christmas.
I told her to "Ask God."

Chloe replied, "God already said yes a few days ago," in a very assured obvious tone....suggesting that we don't need to re-ask God for something He already promised.
So humbling and precious.

If you need me, Hunter and Chloe will be mentoring me in my Christian faith.......because these two kids are incredible.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Faith Like A Child

A cool story happened this week, and I want to record it on my case it actually comes to fruition.  It will be neat to see how God orchestrates it all.

About a week ago, I was reading Rhinestone Jesus (which I highly recommend), and the author talked about "dreamstorming" with God.  I've been in a weird life tension lately (another blog for another day, but basically feeling like God is about to bring some change to my life but I don't know exactly what).  The idea of dreamstorming---writing out all of your heart's desires and dreams---struck a chord.  God gives us dreams for a purpose, so I think that writing out those dreams can be very helpful.

One of the dreams I wrote down is that I really would like a 5th child.  Because of miserable pregnancies and four c-sections, I would realllllly prefer not to have another baby (though God hasn't given me peace to totally shut that door, the idea of pregnancy and another c-section is hard for me to grasp).  BUT, I really feel like we are supposed to have five kids.

I've not really explored the idea of adoption past letting God know I am open to it.  That's just not the phase of life we're in.  With our business, family, homeschooling, etc, my plate is more than full.  However, more than any other dream, this one resonated in my heart the most.  I guess I could say I felt peace to start praying about adoption.

Fast forward to last night.  As I was tucking Chloe in for bed, she said, "I really want a baby sister."  I shared how I'm done having kids, so if she wants a baby sister to ask God to show us if we're to adopt a child.  (She specifically wants a sister, because, as she puts it, "there are enough boys in this house").

She prayed and asked God for a baby sister who has "black hair, blue eyes, and tan skin".

All day today, Chloe has dreamed of her new sister.  She's brainstormed names, even trying to come up with a nickname.  She tells me she wants to care for her and do all of the work herself.  She tells me I can teach her how to take care of a baby, but she wants to be in charge of her sister.  Chloe went through the house and collected anything that her baby sister might need (blankets, stuffed animals, etc).

My girl has prayed no less than 10 times for God to bring her a sister, whose name at the moment is Flora :).

Earlier this afternoon, Chloe asked if she could look on the computer to find her sister (I had to explain that's not quite how it works).  She looked at pictures of babies, and after scrolling through hundreds, Chloe asked to print off the picture above because it looks the most like what her sister will look like.

I went out to dinner with a friend tonight, and when I came home, Chloe ran up to me, "God said YES!  He said YES!"

Chloe said she prayed again for a sister, and God told her yes.  She even added, "He said 'yes, in two months.'"

Childlike faith is the most beautiful.  I do not doubt God spoke to my sweet girl.  Though I don't know what the future holds, as I said, I wanted to record the day we had today.....on the slight chance it comes to fruition the way she dreams!!  I would love a sweet little baby girl.  So we will see what God has in store!!

No matter if it's 2 months or 10 years, I do feel like this is the route we will eventually take. At this point, the baby would literally have to show up on our doorstep because we aren't actively pursuing any options.  God knows, so I trust Him.