The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
2Samuel 22:47

23 August 2010

The First Day. . .

back to our full-time studies began today. Traditionally, we take a First Day picture. They get a little weirder each year. I do have all boys, you know.

You see, we were doing okay, until the newest little member of our preschool group decided to show off for his Mommy.

And then his brothers started laughing. . .

And all bets were off. Nice, weird First Day picture. {thank you}

So, I came inside to take a pretty picture. This is what I do when eyes go crossed and fingers start exploring deep, dark, slimy ranges that only a little boy could love.

I thought it would be more than appropriate to celebrate our first day back with Starbucks in my 'Balance' cup. This is the cup I pull out when I am trying to keep proper perspective.

I could just sit and stare at my flowers for a long, long time. Except, my absence would mean something terrible would happen {i.e. something would break, catch on fire or blow up} while I am staring at the pretty things. {By the way, this is a yellow zinnia. I have never seen a yellow zinnia before this year when they started growing in my garden! Zinnias are a favorite flower of mine.}

We got Langston's finger dislodged and uncrossed eyes and buckled down to our books. It felt good to be here again. It's nice to have a break, but this routine is so good.

We studied all day long {plus a multitude of other household items, Home Economics is a course still offered at our 'school'} and by the end of the day were more excited about the upcoming year than when we started this morning.
I caught Tarver doing 'one more math lesson' just before bed. And I said to him,
"No! I cannot have you working ahead! You are not allowed to love math more than playing Legos. No, no, no!"
{Yeah, right!}
I said, Thank you, Lord. One of our biggest educational goals is to give our children the desire to and love for learning. To receive this blessing on our first day back was amazing and humbling.
But, that's the way blessings work.
I can tell you one thing for certain. Our Bo kitty was wiped out after lunch. I have a feeling he will not be getting his homework finished tonight! Class pets are really starting to get lazy these days.

I had a chance to ponder some of the differences we experience this time of year, each year. Then, I started writing a few down in my journal throughout the day. I came up with a rather extensive list, but here are some of the differences our home educating family has from 'the rest of the world'.
What sets us apart. . .
{my list of observations from my time to ponder today}
-Our "milk" program consists of starting homemade yogurt in the crockpot the night before, and serving it for breakfast in our "cafeteria" with homemade granola.
-All the cool kids sit at the same table. With their teacher.
-"School pictures" are taken in the front yard. {without shoes on!}
-We get to have a contest on who can make it through the Matthew 1 begats the quickest and with the fewest mistakes.
-The students make lunch in our "school"--after they run out to the garden & hen house to pick cucumbers and collect eggs.
-We have the liberty to continue on in a book or subject we are enjoying despite our schedule, because our "school" has not been equipped with 'period bells'.
-The teacher at our "school" corrects math papers while preparing a crock pot supper, doing 2 loads of laundry and listening to Allistair Begg on the radio--over her lunch hour. {My teacher's union would have a fit over this type of work on a break. . .if I had one!}
-The Principal is having supper at our home tonight!
-The students at our "school" have to walk to classes every day, even the preschoolers. Snow, wind, heat index, you name it, they walk.
-The entire "School Board" had supper together last night and prayed for God's blessing and protection over our students and their education. We specifically prayed that our students would grow tremendously in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus. We even had brownies and ice cream at our "School Board" meeting!
-All "school bonds" are handled in house! {Taxpayers rejoice!} We don't even bug our neighbors with "school fundraisers"!
-Parent-teacher conferences are a cinch to arrange. To some this may seem that I am talking to myself. {This is my excuse}
-I received a teaching bonus today, my first ever! The Principal was pretty clever hiding that shiny penny in my 2-yr old's dirty diaper, I tell you . . .My 2-yr old isn't exactly innocent, as he later confessed "I eat penny, Mommy!"
-We have guns at our school. And swords, axes, lightsabers and even some knives.
-Sometimes physical education class is chasing around the very active and very mischievous preschoolers. Boy can they run. And destroy. Run, destroy, laugh, repeat. . .I am not getting any faster in my old age.
-We have a female teacher at our all-male school.
-Our intercom system works by standing at the top of the stairs and shouting. Likewise, out-of-doors, standing on the front porch and shouting. {This is why my neighbors love me!}
-We practice fire drills on a regular basis. . .pretty much each day a frozen pizza is cooked for lunch.
-Our baby scrapbooks are our "Student I.D."
-The UPS man ringing the doorbell means a mass exodus from our studies, an instant race to get to the door first and generally ends up in an early dismissal.
-Snow days mean we double up on our studies so we can finish earlier for summer vacation.
-Detention can be negotiated for extra yard work, cleaning the floors or cleaning the bathrooms.
-The teacher at our "school" is pretty crazy about the Principal. I think he's kind of sweet on her, too. It works out well for us.


  1. I will come back and read everything later...I skimmed now. But I love the third picture down...Ryland's face cracks me up!

  2. I absolutely love your "What Sets Us Apart" list!! Thanks, I needed the laughs!! :)

  3. What a great back to school picture!! Langston just added flavor to it. You have 1 week in of school. Hope it is running smoothly. While you were talking to yourself I was listening to every word. It was great. Love you Gramma

  4. No words for how much I loved this post. {Or for how much I needed to read it!} Your words of encouragement are invaluable. You are one amazing mom and such a gift to so many. Thank you! {And keep these posts coming!}

    Praying for a great year for you and your crew!

  5. Cannot even begin to express how much I loved this post. Love those 1st day pics! Such a great and much needed reminder. You are a blessing! Keep these posts coming, so thankful for the encouragement that you are! Much love.

  6. Can I transfer to your school?
    Love Dad/Granpa Bill