August 31, 2012

How To: Sippy Cup Strap


Our little princess is just that...a princess and at 1 she's still learning that she's not supposed to just throw something down when she's done with it so in an attempt to save ourselves the hassle of constantly having to rinse off or possibly losing a sippy cup altogether (those things aren't cheap), I made a sippy cup strap. It's super easy...

Here's what you'll need...



Ribbon. (I used less than two feet)
Elastic. (I used about 4 inches)
Velcro. (I used a 1 1/2 inch strip)
And of course a sewing machine with thread.

Everything I used was in my craft bin from an earlier project so it didn't cost me anything but if you had to buy everything (apart from the sewing machine and thread) it would cost you about $5-10 and you'll have plenty of extra supplies for another project down the road.

Step 1:
Determine the amount of elastic you'll need for the specific style of sippy cup you're working with.

Step 2:
Pinning. 

Pin the top. 
(I left a little room at the top of the thread so that when I connected the two ends of the elastic it have a nicer edge)

And then stretch the elastic all the way out and pin the bottom of the elastic to the ribbon.


Finally, with the elastic still stretched, pin the middle.
(it will make sewing a little easier)



Step 3:
Sewing the elastic to the ribbon.
Make sure your machine needle is dropped down BEFORE you remove or relocate the top pin to sew or the elastic will snap back.


Once your machine needle is in place and you are ready to begin sewing, keep one hand at the top pulling the ribbon and elastic and one hand at the bottom of the elastic and ribbon keeping the elastic taught so that it doesn't shift around.

This is what it will look like after you've sewn down one side:
(you can opt to sew only down the middle...I decided to do each side of the elastic because I like the visual effect of it better and because that's just that much more reinforced)

Repeat on the left (if you started on the right side of the elastic as I did...or visa versa), remembering to drop the machine needle BEFORE removing the top pin and when you have both sides sewn, it should look like this:

Step 4:
The elastic ends.
Wrap you ribbon-attached elastic around the sippy cup again and double check the length. You'll probably find that because of the ribbon stitching, the elastic is now longer than when you first measured so you may have to adjust for that by overlapping some of the elastic when you sew the ends of the elastic together.

Step 5:
Length of the strap and velcro.

Put your sippy cup with the elastic/ribbon circle around it inside the snack tray of your stroller and determine the length of your ribbon. Don't forget to double check that it can reach the baby's mouth but not hit the ground. 
(since we have a double stroller, I checked the length on both seats as our Princess rides in both)
Then, simply attach the velcro to one side, wrap it as snugly as you want (I like it a little loose so it wears on the ribbon a little less) around the stroller or snack tray bar and attach the second side of the velcro.

Voila. 

A sippy cup strap...makes life simpler. 

August 29, 2012

New Toys

The last couple of weeks have flown by! Joshua was gone for a few days training for his civi job which kind of put my packing and vacation to-do list on hold...not to mention blogging. But, I wanted to take a minute and post a couple pics of the boy's newest favorite thing...

his fiber optic mohawk.



I got it off Amazon for less than $7 including shipping. From the reviews, I'm expecting the batteries to last us through this Disney trip (although he probably won't wear it every night) but the best part is that when the batteries (1.5V...the watch kind which are super cheap) do die, we can replace them unlike the glow sticks that are one and done.

On a similar note, my aunt bought her granddaughter some clip in fiber optic hair extensions which should be a big hit too.

August 27, 2012

Liebster Blog Award


The ever-entertaining (you should seriously check out all her and her hubby's awesome weekend adventures) Jen from The Adventures of our Army Life has graciously tagged me for the Liebster Award. I haven't done one of these in FOREVER so please excuse me if I make a terrible blogging etiquette faux-pas.

Here's the rub of it:

1. Each person must list 11 things about themselves.

2. Answer the 11 questions that the tagger has set for you plus 

you MUST create a set of 11 new questions for the 11 people 

you tag.

3. Choose 11 bloggers

4. Absolutely no tag backs.

5. The bloggers have to have less than 200 followers.

6. Go inform them that you nominated them for the award.


Ok, so 11 things about me...

1-Before I married Joshua, I was a live-in nanny for a family with triplet pre-schoolers.

2-Disney World is my happy place and I much prefer to go without my children (yeah, I know, I'll never win mother of the year, I'm good with it).

3-I spent the summer after high school living in a tent and working at the base camp of a back-packing ranch in the mountains of northern New Mexico where I almost got bit by a rattle snake.

4-I lived in Israel the summer after my first year of college which also happened to be the summer after 9/11 so my friends and I were pretty much the only Americans in the entire country.

5-I LOVE milk. Like I go through a gallon in about 3 days...by myself. But it has to be super cold and only Vitamin D from Braums (a dairy store in Oklahoma).

6-I used to go back-packing and rock-climbing all the time but then I got old, married, had kids and became boring (not in that order) but I'm hoping to reclaim my younger awesome-ness soon.

7-I want at least 5 kids. It will most likely only be possible through adoption but for now, we enjoy the two we have.

8-I'm not normally a fan of reality TV but if I could, I would do just about anything to get onto The Amazing Race and see the world while competing...preferably with my husband but JG from Me and My SoldierMan would be a close second, if she'd have me.

9-Over the last year or two, I've become obsessed with sewing and now all I want is an embroidery machine so I can add to my obsession.

10-My biggest dream is to one day open my own photography studio...and own an RV (true story).

11-I'm a little OCD and ending on the number 11 is bugging me.




1. Where did you and your significant other meet?
At church

2. If you could visit any place where would it be?
As cliche as it is, I've always wanted to go to Italy

3. What is your favorite dessert?
Lemon meringue pie but I'm not a big dessert person

4. Do you have a favorite sports team?
Minnesota Vikings! Go VIKES!!! Yes, I recognize they almost always start off great and then slowly, painfully die off but I grew up in northern Minnesota right across the bridge from all those cheese heads and I will always proudly wear my purple and gold

5. What do you like more, beaches or lakes?
I could go either way...I hate swimming so beaches are great for laying out but lakes are perfect for jet skis

6. How many siblings do you have?
None. One. Three. Four...all of the above. My bio-dad is sort of a loser and as far as I know I only have one half brother on that side but there are rumors...who knows. On the other side, my mother's husband has three kids so I have 3 step-siblings but I was raised mostly as an only child...

7. How do you spend your days?
Homeschooling the boy. Battling the girl...she's a little too much like me

8. Do you have any pets?
Bubba. Our beloved 90lb Rhodesian Ridgeback...he's awesome and ridgebacks may be rare but they're also the best breed ever!
.
9. What do you do for fun?
Plan and go on vacations...whether they're big ones to Disney World or just a stay-cation around our area...I love to just get away with my family

10. If you could meet anyone who would it be?
Tony Blair. Why? Because he's still alive so it's possible but he's also so far outside my circle that it's basically impossible

11. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
The me-time it gives. It was my sanity savior while Joshua was deployed.


My 11 questions for my fellow bloggers...

1-What has been your favorite vacation so far?
2-When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
3-Favorite movie?
4-What's your favorite food?
5-What is your favorite pastime?
6-What's one thing most people would never guess about you?
7-What's your favorite blog to read (I'm always looking to find new interesting people online)?
8-Favorite book?
9-Why do you blog?
10-What's your favorite recipe?
11-Do you prefer winter or summer?


And here are the bloggers I've tagged...

None.

Yup. 

I'm breaking the rules. I don't want to tag some and leave some off (plus I'm tired and lazy) so if you want to join in, please do! I'd love to see lots of responses so get to work all my blogging friends! Meanwhile, Joshua's away for work and I'm exhausted so as pathetic as it is to go to bed before 10pm, goodnight!

August 23, 2012

Disney World Packing List


The thing about Disney World is you could show up with almost nothing but your wallet and be fine but you'll pay an arm and a leg so be sure to double check your packing list.

General Packing List

  • Clothing. We find it easier to pack full outfits for each day rather than X number of shorts, X number of shirts because then it's easy in the mornings to just grab one day's worth of clothing for each person.
  • Cell phones to keep in touch when you separate from part of your group and need to reconnect (walkie talkies would give you the same ability but would allow you to ditch the real world and leave the cell phone at the resort)
  • Cameras and camcorders.
  • Batteries and chargers.
  • Extra memory cards for you digital camera and camcorders-you WILL take more pictures than you expect
  • Extra contact lenses and glasses.
  • Addresses. For all those post cards (or coconut post cards) you want to mail to friends and family.
  • Email addresses to send e-postcards from space (or at least Spaceship Earth in Epcot)
  • Beach towels. You can get plain white towels at all the resorts and Disney's two water parks but bring your own to better identify your chairs or spot on the beach.
  • Extra suitcase/duffle bag...particularly if you're flying to hold all the fun souvenirs.
  • A backpack to use in the parks
  • Comfortable, walking shoes...you'll average 10-15 miles a day of walking and after even a short trip of 3 or 4 days, the miles add up
  • Moleskin
  • Needle and thread
  • Safety pins (zippers break at the worst possible moments)
  • Stain stick
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Reservation and dining confirmation #s...we like to store them in our phones
  • Laptop (we bring ours to use as a DVD player in the resort and to download pics and videos each night from the parks so that worst case scenario if the cameras are lost or broken, we won't loose all the pics and videos)
  • Anti-bacterial gel...we love the little bottles that come with the clip to hook it onto the backpack or stroller
  • Ponchos/rain coats...it will rain...check out our Rainy Day Ideas page for ideas on what to do at Disney when it rains.
  • Water shoes. The pavement by the pools can get hot and if you make it to the water parks it's just easier to have water shoes instead of having to keep track of sandals
  • Water battle & drink powder...cast members are happy to fill them up for you for free or just find a water fountain and fill it up yourself...the downside is that the tap water at Disney is bad...it's just gross so be sure to bring some of those handy dandy drink powder packets with you

What to pack for the KIDS

  • BIG SHARPIE with a fine tip. The characters can more easily sign those ever popular autograph books if you give them a big sharpie.
  • Costumes. Whether or not your little ones are scheduled to visit the Pirate's League or the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, they'll love dressing up to meet their favorite characters.
  • Sun protection. Remember to keep re-applying.
  • Chapstick
  • Bug Spray. The parks aren't usually too bad but if you're hanging out at a resort...particularly Ft Wilderness for the Hoop Dee Doo Musical RevueMickey's Backyard BBQ or the Polynesian for the Spirit of Aloha Luau
  • Ear plugs...if you think your little ones might be frightened by the sound of the fireworks shows.
  • Disposable cameras...gives the kids the chance to take their own pictures but if they're dropped or lost, it's not a huge loss.
  • Glow sticks. Every night Disney does an amazing job with their fireworks displays but they also sell a TON of nighttime/glowing toys. You can buy and bring your own to save money and kids will have just as much fun for a fraction of the price.
  • Trading Pins. If you've never heard of them before check out our Pin Trading page.
  • Stuffed Disney Characters. If you have the room in your luggage and you're staying at a Disney resort, bringing your own characters can bring some extra magic to your trip. The Mousekeepers (Disney's name for their housekeeping staff) often set them up in cute little scenes for you to come back to.
  • Snacks. We like the little peanut butter cracker sandwiches because they do well in heat and are individually wrapped.
  • Que games. That's what we call the little things we like to bring to entertain ourselves and our kiddos in line...we usually take a snack size ziploc and throw in our Disney Trivia Pursuit cards.

Packing for the smallest of Disney Visitors

  • Water Diapers. Disney requires them for all pools...resort and water parks.
  • Stroller. We always recommend bringing your own for the little ones because Disney's rentals have ZERO padding and no ability to recline but check out our infant tips for other stroller rental options.
  • Stoller fan. Disney sells them but if you need to save some money, bring your own. We own the Disney version and although it works great to keep the little ones cool, it eats batteries!
  • Stroller Rain Cover. It will rain. I repeat, it will rain. Disney does NOT rent or sell stroller covers. I've had people walk up to us and offer to buy ours from us there on the spot.
  • Ribbon...or another identifier if you have a common stroller.
  • Stroller lock. Some people insist they're unnecessary but if you have an expensive stroller, it might give some peace of mind...you can't lock the stroller to a fixed object but you can lock the wheels so it has to be picked up to be moved.
  • Mylicon. It is the ONLY thing we have found Disney doesn't carry in their Baby Care Centers so if your baby uses it, bring it!
  • Extra clothes. Lots of them!-diaper explosions and food spills happen all too often.
  • Disposable bibs. Much easier than carrying around dirty cloth bibs.
  • Safety Tats. They're temporary tattoos which read things like "If I'm Lost please call ***-****"
  • Thermos. To keep milk or formula in so you don't have to stop as frequently to get the little one something to drink.
  • Nursing cover...if you choose to use one. I have and it was a piece of cake.
  • Extra bottles or sippy cups.
  • Extra diapers and wipes.

If you forget something and are unable to find it at your resort gift shop (also be sure to ask one of the resort managers because they may be able to find it for you or know where you can find it on Disney property), there is a large Walmart in the area and if you absolutely need, you can take a taxi for about $20 each way. 

Lastly, if you'd rather spend your time in the parks or don't want to pay for a taxi, you have another option called WeGoShop. They do your shopping for you and deliver it right to your resort. There is a shopping and delivery fee based on how much you spend on groceries but the grocery prices themselves remain the same as the store price.

Of course there are other things you can add to this list and things on this list you don't absolutely need but it's what we do and we've never had a problem.

August 22, 2012

Bamboozled By The Baby

We caught the little rugrat red handed. She was inching closer and closer to the trash with her clutched fist outstretched. Inside the thief's hand were my keys and her goal was to properly dispose of them.

In and of itself it's just another night in parenthood but for our family this week, it's much more. For the last week and a half our living room satellite dvr remote has been missing. I had, as always, set it down on the arm of the chair when Joshua and I went to bed. Of course since I was the last to have it, I'm the one responsible (blah, blah, blah) and I must have forgotten what I really did with it.

Whatever.

At lunchtime the next day, I begged Joshua to check the trash-which he had diligently taken out before we knew the remote was missing. I knew the trashman was on his way and to his credit, Joshua did at least a superficial exam of the bag but he didn't see it so we assumed it was still in the house. 

For the record, I'm not a great fan of housekeeping but my house is clean and organized so after not finding that darned remote for over a week coupled with the circumstantial evidence of tonight's attempted key-trashing, we're convinced the little one did it.

To be honest, not being able to watch TV in the living room other than movies on the Bluray didn't totally suck. It meant no TV cartoons. It meant no cartoon channel commercials. It meant less time in front of the TV as a family. Something else I've noticed, our son's attitude has been better. It didn't seem to matter that the shows we allowed him to watch were age and topic appropriate. Shows that had a good message-a moral message often did so by introducing a negative concept first. For example, Phineas and Ferb (love me some Phineas and Ferb, don't get me wrong) introduces concepts like bullying in an attempt to explain to children how to avoid  or even put an end to it. Well, since our kids are homeschooled and still young, bullying isn't a concept they've ever had to encounter and quite honestly, I'd rather they stay ignorant and innocent of such things as long as possible. In my opinion, naivete is under-appreciated.

Before you start rolling your eyes because I'm turning into one of those organic food lovin', anti-TV, homeschooling moms, keep in mind that turning the TV off was the last thing I wanted but it seems to be working out to be one of the best things for our kids and that's all any parent wants.

Will we stop watching TV altogether? HECK NO. TV helped me stay sane during deployment.

Will the children ONLY be allowed to watch movies? Probably not. Maybe. For now, yes.

Do we have a problem with other people watching TV? Not at all. If your kids are less sensitive to it, I applaud you (and am a little jealous). 

Will our children be allowed to watch TV at their friends' houses? Of course. We have rules for our home. We have friends who have different rules and that's ok too...as long as we agree on the big issues.


So that's how our one-year old bamboozled us into turning the TV off and we're good with it...although I ordered a replacement remote tonight, just in case (besides the living room TV is bigger than our bedroom one and the kids do go to bed before us).

August 20, 2012

Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat

Last weekend Joshua and I went to a marriage retreat put on by the Army...frightening, right?! At least it was for me before we got there. I was having nightmares of death by power point and rooms with hundreds of men dragged by their wives couples. For the record, Joshua is the one who signed us up.

Confession: I was that annoying kid who enjoyed sitting in the front of class learning new things. I liked to know the answer. Joshua, on the other hand, was less than a stellar student growing up and based on the amount of inappropriate laughing at the yellow ribbon events, most of the soldiers in his unit were also familiar with the back row antics of elementary and middle school but I digress.

This weekend wasn't really what I expected at all. Yes-there were power point slides but they weren't overwhelming and the class was small, only 24 couples (although they had apparently been approved to fund up to 100...but more on that below). The small size, for me, really kept the intimidation factor down. Another thing we found helpful was the lack of uniforms. Everyone, even the chaplains who ran it showed up in civi's which automatically made it more relaxed. The classes were good and the chaplains were both funny and helpful. 

The retreat was at a nice hotel about ten minutes from Bricktown (for those unfamiliar with OKC, Bricktown is the downtown area popular with restaurants, clubs and entertainment). Classes began on Saturday morning with several breaks including a long one for lunch and we were out by 4pm and strongly encouraged to go on a date...which we did and it was excellent. Then, Sunday, we had classes in the morning and were able to leave after lunch. The classes covered half a dozen different areas and although we used a workbook, we didn't go through the whole thing or even try to. We skipped around but still felt that we got a well-rounded and whole experience.

The only real downside (aside from the frigidly cold conference room-like put on a parka cold) was that so few people even knew about it. Originally the retreat was unit specific but because they didn't get the response they had expected, they opened it up to the entire 45th and yet, still only 24 couples went. The main reason, in my opinion, wasn't a lack of interest (because let's face it, at worst it's a free night at a hotel) but instead a lack of awareness. We basically stumbled upon it but I'm glad we did.

So, if you or your spouse is in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, know that there are Strong Bond Marriage retreats for you (you must be married not just engaged or dating and I have no idea how the Army handles same sex marriages). Whether you want to learn to communicate better, are in a good place and just want to make your marriage stronger or things aren't going so well and you need a good place to start contact your chaplain or the main chaplain office and sign up. There's another Strong Bond Marriage Retreat this fall and we were told they plan to apply for funding for a Strong Bond Family Retreat sometime in October (no idea if or when that funding will be approved and the retreat will take place but we're more than likely going to attend because let's face it, kids are a major area of stress on a marriage, even if your marriage is rock solid).

In a nutshell...

Would I do it again? Yes.

Would Joshua recommend it? (I specifically asked him before I wrote this post) Absolutely.

Did we learn new ways to communicate effectively? Yes.

Did it help our marriage? Most definitely.

August 17, 2012

Furry Friday Fun


Bubba and I are linking up with Me and My SoldierMan for another week of Furry Fun...click on the pic below to join in!


Our Bubba has a new game...

KING OF THE TRAMPOLINE!

We've had the huge trampoline (a wonderful gift from the boy's Godparents) for over a year. They brought it down and set it up just after the girl was born so the boy could get rid of some of that great toddler energy without needing me with him. But now, apparently, Bubba has decided it's his.


No. He doesn't jump. He just runs around in circles...also, the balls and sticks that are there are not there because of the dog. Bubba is your typical Rhodesian Ridgeback and isn't really into balls and sticks but he's more than happy to chase another dog who is chasing a ball or a stick.


He stands guard at the opening whenever the boy is outside because if the boy goes up, Bubba gets down. He's not into the jumping side of the trampoline.


We love our Bubba.

August 15, 2012

Costume Ideas for Siblings, Couples or Groups



It's that time of year again, fall is on the horizon and for us, that means costumes...lots of costumes. 

I know how hard it can be to come up with costume ideas so below is a compilation of some of our favorite costume ideas with contributions from our family and friends...hope it helps!


Peter Pan Characters
So many options for boys and girls when you go with Peter Pan...it was our pick last year when we had a large group.

Pirates


Jake and the Neverland Pirates
(photo credit: creativejamie.com)

Phineas and Ferb
(photo credit: disneymovielist.com)
Last year our friends who have 3 boys all did this...Mom was Candace, Dad was Dr Doofenshmirtz, older boys were Phineas and Ferb and the baby was Perry.

Superheros
Thanks to Pinterest girls can join in on the hero fun...
Source: epbot.com via Brianna on Pinterest


Toy Story Characters
In addition to Buzz and Jessie, you can do Woody, Bo Peep, Slinky Dog, Mr and Mrs Potato Head, Rex, Hamm, Bullseye, Aliens, Sarge (complete with a bucket of soldiers), RC, Wheezy, Stinky Pete, Zurg, Lots-O, Peas in a Pod, Ken and Barbie

Star Wars Characters
This is the one we may do for Halloween this year with the boy as Luke, our princess as Leila and Joshua and I as Darth Vader and Queen Amidala
The best part of going with a Star Wars route is the number of available options...and you can always throw in an extra Jedi or Storm Trooper.

Dr Seuss Characters
Oh the things you can do...
And do...

Classic Disney Characters
*tip: you don't have to go to the parks to get the ears...you can go to Disney's Shopping website and buy them there

Just add Bert to Mary Poppins...or dancing penguins and you'll be a unique and totally fun group.

Flinstones
In addition to Bam Bam, in 2010 Joshua and I were Barney and Betty Rubble and an itty bitty Pebbles, Fred and Wilma (the boy's Godparents and their daughter) met up with us for some trick-or-treating fun.

More fun options...

The Brady Bunch

A Magician and Bunny Rabbit 
(particularly good if you have an older boy and a little bitty girl)

Police and Criminal
(we thought about doing this and making our one year old the cop and the rest of us crooks since she's so clearly in charge)

Bo Peep and Sheep
(another good one if you have a particularly "in charge" kind of little girl...everyone else can be her sheep)

Peanut Butter and Jelly
(the sandwich board type of costume...bigger kids or adults would probably be better at walking with these types of costumes)

A Gaggle of Ghosts
(before pirates were the go-to group thing, ghosts were a popular back-up option)

Beauty and the Beast

Dorthy and Toto 
(or any other combination of characters from Wizard of Oz)

Milo and Otis

Raggedy Ann and Andy

Dora and Diego

Elmo and Zoey

Sully and Boo
(you can always add Mike Wizowski, Waternoose or the CDA agents for a group option)

Bowling Ball and Pins
(great for a big group and gender is irrelevant)

Hanzel and Gretel

Wilbur and Charlotte

Jack Sprat and His Wife
(cute if you have a little chubby baby girl and an older lean brother)

The Adams Family Characters

Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool

Whatever theme you decide to go with, have a great time and take lots of pictures!

August 13, 2012

Why Would You Not Send Them To School?!


I recently read an article about a family's decision to start homeschooling. More accurately, it was one woman's story of how she went from saying things like "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard! The bus stops right here! It takes them away for eight luxurious hours of the day! Why would you not send them to school?" when she learned their new neighbors were homeschoolers to becoming an active proponent of homeschooling herself.

We only made the official decision to homeschool within the last year and although it was something we were strongly leaning towards for years, I wasn't always on board and Joshua REALLY wasn't sure of it. In fact, to say we were both anti-homeschool would be an understatement. Words like those kids, overly religious, under-educated, and freaky were tossed around like they weren't insulting, ignorant and rude. 

My first serious exposure to homeschooling came when I worked for a family with 10...yes, TEN children who technically practiced what's called un-schooling. I didn't like it. I saw deficiencies in their education but surprisingly, I also saw what it did for them as a family. I saw how close they were and how mature the children were. I saw how secure the parents were-they were totally open with me and I with them. I tried to be tactful about it when I told them I was "unsure" of the whole thing. I didn't understand it and didn't expect to do it when we had our own children. 

I was concerned about "socialization" because growing up in the public school system had taught me that my children HAD to be with other children of the same age. That gave them more "real-world experience" because they'd learn to work out problems with others in the classroom. Now, I see that being locked inside a school, forced to be silent for hours and unable to do the most basic things like go to the bathroom without first raising their hands does nothing to show them the real world. And in our son's case, it would have only led to bad behavior marks...he's an active four year old boy who needs the freedom to be able to study for a bit and then go outside, run, play, yell...basically, just be a child.

My next concern was what about subjects you're not (meaning the parents) naturally good at?--really I was wondering what I would possibly do with a child who needed to learn complex mathematical theories when I struggle with them myself. But eventually, I learned that the basis of homeschooling is to teach your children to teach themselves. To be independent. If there's a subject they need to learn that you're not comfortable with, you work through it together, or you find someone who can teach it to you both. It fit with our perspective of parenthood. We believe it's our job to prepare our children for the world-a world which is unfortunately putting America to shame academically.

I learned that despite spending more and more money-on average over $10,000 per year per student, America ranks 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math (source: 2010 PISA). Homeschooling gives our children the academic advantage they desperately need in a global economy...

(graphic from homelifeacademy.com with source documentation HERE)

I also learned that a parent's dedication and hard work can overcome a lack of specialized training...


I began seeing children behaving in despicable ways. Talking to their parents with absolutely no respect. They weren't bad kids. They had good parents but they would go to school to be "socialized" and ended up just like everyone else...which I guess is one of the reasons people send their children to school. But it's not something we want anymore.

Deplorable behavior and inexcusably low test scores were only enough to make me seriously consider homeschooling. I still thought about ways we could avoid homeschooling because it scared me...we'd live in a "good" school district and I would supplement their education...we would be strict and would fight the negative influences...light inside the dark and all that but once we had our children and looked them in the eye, we realized that we couldn't accept something that wasn't the absolute best for them. Sending them to school wasn't the best academically or socially. It's not always easy and there are days that I think I'm in over my head but it's worth it-our kids are worth it and that's why we don't send them to school.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember before you say you could never homeschool, I said the same thing not too long ago and now, I wouldn't have it any other way.