Posted in Homeschooling, Parenting

Home School Tip: Give Blood to Get Free Field Trips

Ok, I shamelessly must admit that I’ve become cheap. After the hilariously horrible financial year we’ve had, I’ve become more creative in my modes frugality. So that is why the 2nd man and I have become blood donors, (oh and because we want to help save lives too, of course). I’ve now learned to tag that last line onto my own sentences about this whole thing.
It really all started while we were doing the fireworks stand this past summer and we saw an advertisement for a blood drive. They were giving away free tickets to baseball games, the zoo, free ice-cream cones and a t-shirt to boot! Well, my head started working and in the middle of the most stressful week of 2nd mans year, I dragged him down to the blood drive and made him do it. “Honey it’s free field trips right here!” I urged him. He just laughed at me and mocked the fact that I left out the part about saving lives too.
So, we did our part, stepped up to the poke and got our freebies. So, last week we decided to use the zoo tickets for a field trip day. (and to let others know we helped save a life of course). We packed into the car with 2nd mans Mom and the kids and all headed to Tulsa for the day. Overall, we had a good time. One of the advantages of home schooling is that we get to go places on weekdays and avoid the crowds. One of the disadvantages was that there were so many zoo exhibits shut down or animals that couldn’t be found. I think we finally spotted an animal after being there about 15 minutes or so. As usual our kids ended up being more excited about a squirrel running across their path than the rare watch-a-macallit in the cage. The real highlight of the day was when we were nearly finished, but still far from the entrance and found an abandoned wagon near the giraffes. The kids rejoiced at the fact that they could ride out of the zoo instead of having to keep up the endless walk. Here are some of the highlight pictures of the day:

The playing bear was very fun and cute.

Everyone loves a giraffe.

The petting zoo was nice.

I think this is some sort of pelvic bone…I chose to avoid explanations and just humor him with a picture…, which leads me to this question, “I gave my blood for this?” Oh right it was to save a life, of course.

Posted in Healthy Living, Homeschooling, Life Lessons, My Interests

Better Is The End of a Thing…

            Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”  Boy howdy that’s been ringing through my mind for nearly two weeks!   Yes, it’s the beginning of another home schooling year.  I love the beginning.  I mean I really love the beginning.  It marks the return of a routine (in theory anyway).  Its precious achievements and light bulb moments all ready to burst forth like a tulip in the spring.  Yes, it’s that time of year when goals are made.  I love the moment when I get to sit down with a new pencil from Mardel’s bookstore and stick it into the electric pencil sharpener getting it as pointed as possible and smelling the sawdust and lead that is torn away.  Then, I crack open my fresh new lesson plan book, not yet marred by the eraser, and start to jot down the weeks and dates, followed by the subject headers and known holidays, the daily schedules and even lunch menus. Oh the sweet joy of a new year that is just waiting to be filled with pedagogy and field trips.
            Then, reality hits in right in the middle of my perfected schedule that I have vowed to uphold and protect.  Yes, just when I’ve sworn off any answering of phones until after noon, no appointments until after 2:00 and absolutely no thoughts of dinner preparations until at least 4:00.  Errrrt! Arghhhhh! Crash!!!!!  “Oh yeah, I already made those eye doctor appointments and dental appointments months ago.  They are at 9:00 and 10:00am during the first week of school!  Then the second week comes with the missions’ conference at church.  What’s that? Oh right I’m supposed to take people out to lunch during that week.  My kids?  Oh they’ll be fine scrounging for peanut butter and jelly.  I’m sure they’ll stay right on task all by themselves.  What?  Their teacher?  Oh yes, that’s me, but they’ll just have to deal until I can give them attention.  Yes, I’ll admit, it was real fun explaining that to my crying 10 year old this morning when she frustratingly let me know that I’ve never explained to her how I wanted her to set up her arithmetic homework page before laying into her about the sloppiness of her work.  Oh yea, we’re off to a greeeaaaat start.
            This is really nothing new to me.  I’m a melancholy sanguine…that means I smile a lot in public and go home and cry about everything.   It also means I have a tendency to start a lot of things but not finish.  Oh how I despise this flaw in my personality.  I can’t tell you how many diets, schedules and gardens I’ve started and blown.  Then comes the self-deprecation and mean talk.  Did you ever see the 1969 movie “Support Your Local Sheriff” with James Garner?  Some of my favorite lines come from that movie:
Joe Danby: I’m gonna get you for this, Jake! 
Jason McCullough: Well, you are the toughest talkin’ blowhard I ever heard! 
Or how about this one:
Joe Danby: I hear you’re gonna try and arrest me. You know you don’t look near as tough as some of them other sheriffs we’ve had lately. Particularly that old boy that done run off about an hour and a half after he took the job. 
Jason McCullough: Joe, you just make me feel tired all over when you talk like that. 
Joe Danby: Now, what do you mean by that? 
Jason McCullough: It’s bad enough to have to kill a man without having to listen to a whole lot of stupid talk from him first. 
I don’t think I’m actually schizophrenic or anything like that.  But I do have a little Joe Danby that whispers in my head and I have to pull out the “Tired all over” quote.   
I was thinking about this just this morning when I went running with the 2nd man.  Yes, surprise, we’ve got a new kick we’re on now.  I decided that since the weight lifting thing wasn’t helping me lose any weight that I needed to add more cardio.  That’s when I happened upon the Couch Potato to 5K running program online.  They insist that you will be able to run a 5K at the end of 9 weeks.  Well, we’re now in week 5, which is pretty impressive to me so far.  However, I’ve reached the stage in the program where I look at the next day’s jogging schedule and about have a panic attack.  Then I get out there and think “what are you doing out here?”  Between the heat rash and trying to keep up with 2nd man (who is exactly 1 foot taller than me), oh yeah and the asthma, I wonder if there really is a way to get this body healthy.  The program looks great on paper, but whoa it’s hard. 
            I must concede though, that doing it with 2nd man pulls some sort of stubborn reserves from me and I have made it through so far.  However, this morning, as he was congratulating me for making it to the final bell on my stopwatch, I explained that what he just witnessed was 8 straight minutes of me arguing with myself.  Truly, I need to put the headphones on and get some diversion. 
            I’ve got us scheduled to run a 5k for our local YMCA on October 1st.  Now, I have yet to reach any weight loss goals in my whole life.  I’m banking on the satisfaction of at least finishing this program and making it to this goal.  I keep saying to myself “Better is the end of a thing…Better is the end of a thing…. Better is the end of a thing.”  Of course it’s about here that I forget the end of the verse…ironic isn’t it? 
            Anyway, I’m hopeful that this will still be our best home school year ever.  It’s just our life that guarantees that the only thing that is consistent is change.  So with a flexible mind, and unwavering desire I’ll press on.  Maybe my kids will learn a lot more about life and flexibility than academics, but at least they’ll be learning.  It’s become one of my greatest desires now just to NOT be a big blowhard, but actually accomplish something…we’ll see.
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Daily Musings, Homeschooling, My Interests


        I vaguely remember when my momma learned the word minutia (pronounced mi noo sha, sorry, I don’t know how to make those little upside down e thingies).  It has to do with small trivial matters.  I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember her using the word over and over again for weeks.  It’s one of those words that seem kind of pretentious, but that’s weird since the word itself is about unpretentious trivial things in life. However, it’s fun to say and it makes all of those trivial little monster chores seem more important somehow.
As a matter of fact that’s what this post is about.  For the past two weeks my life has been totally consumed with minutia.  I mean it’s been a whirlwind of minutia, so much so that I almost had a panic attack over it the other day.  That’s one of the dangers of being a stay at home, home schooling mom.  It sounds like a boring job, but there are so many details to attend to that the word boring never gets a chanced to even be vocalized. 
Really, I tend to dig these holes myself and then jump in with eyes closed and breathing paused.  When I first married 2nd man and we were candidating at churches, they’d always ask me, “Do you sing or play the piano?”  To which I’d reply, “Well, no, but I do have other talents.”  I’ve often felt silly about that since my only other talents are that I can navigate myself around a strange city unusually well (which has helped on many youth trips so far I might add.)  And, I can over extend myself faster than you can say…well…minutia.  
Anyway, I began this little whirlwind a couple of weeks ago when I realized that I had been stowing away junk in our garage all winter in hopes of having a garage sale sometime.  It seemed like a logical task to take on since the past month has been a spending frenzy for our household.  Our girls’ bedroom furniture kept breaking.  I finally had it when I caught them simply reaching into the broken drawer front of their dresser to get underwear out of a scrunched mess that had been shoved into the designated drawer and kept falling out onto the floor.  Thus we bought them new furniture.  Then came the broken finger of my little soccer goalie and the various trips to the doctors that ensued due to the location of the fracture near a growth plate.  Did you know that putting a splint on a broken finger is considered a surgery worth over $800.00!!  Of course there was also the one-month of free shipping for the home school supplies I will need next year.  Last year I was miffed after paying nearly $100.00 in shipping alone because none of the home school displays or conventions are anywhere near where we live.  So I felt pressured to buy now.   So…. that’s what led to the great idea of a garage sale.
Garage sales really are never convenient, but I looked at our calendar and realized that last weekend was the only weekend I’d have to put this little ditty on until possibly next fall.  You see, in the youth pastors home summer is not a break time.  We will have two camps to attend, a 3-week fireworks stand to run, a trip to Chicago with a few students and an end of summer 3 day youth rally in Oklahoma City.  So, the pressure was on to get this thing done and generate a little cash.  Didn’t matter that it was the week of our church revival.
 Don’t get me wrong I love revival.  I really do enjoy getting to go to church each night of the week, hearing the word preached and fellowshipping with our church family.  However, as all moms know, revivals can sink your whole schedule.  Dinners must be ready early, children must be cleaned daily (Yes, I admit it, I flub on this one sometimes).  2nd man’s shirts must be ironed and I have the great task of making it all look effortless…ahem cough cough.  Anyway, something must give on these kinds of weeks and mine had to be my house.  I fell behind on laundry, vacuuming, dusting and somehow I managed to unscientifically make papers reproduce themselves right there on the dining room table.  I’d turn around for two minutes and a new pile would appear.  Problem was, I didn’t have time to call the Discovery Channel over this phenomenon, I was too busy looking effortless. 
I was thankful when 2nd man took Thursday off to help me get the garage sale in order.  On Friday morning I was all ready to go and everything was set up without a hitch, except I hadn’t watched the weather.  Oh the sun was out and the temperature mild, but I had picked the windiest day of the year to hold a garage sale!  I did nothing but chase items down the block all day long.  My kids joined in too.  We’d take turns getting to go inside the house for a small reprieve.  I’m thinking of sending bills to all of the neighbors who may have items in their yards still.  Imagine my horror when one young mother with two little ones asked if her daughter could use our bathroom.  Oh the embarrassment as she walked in and I, with my nervous laugh, made excuses for the way my house looked.  We’d gotten the call that the new furniture would arrive right as the garage sale ended on Saturday.  So my girl’s stuff was in boxes lining my hallway. There were stray colorful garage sale sticker dots on every thing that stood still in the house and,  I’m not sure, but I think her poor daughter was exposed to all sorts of varying dirty laundry strung all over my bathroom.  It was one of those times when you wonder, why doesn’t anyone just pop in when my house is clean?  They only seem to do it when things are a wreck.  I’d be much more prone towards this hospitality stuff it they would time themselves around my cleaning schedule. 
After a very tiring day, 2nd man took us all out to dinner with some of the proceeds of the day.  I was trying to keep my face from planting into the dinner plate at the restaurant, but the exhaustion hit my kids differently.  They were wound up like little hurricanes.  After supper they asked if we could stop for ice cream.  Are you kidding?!  2nd man and I just looked at each other.  I had the passing thought of just handing around cups full of Benadryl, but of course I wouldn’t do that.  Let’s just say bedtime couldn’t come soon enough for me. 
The next day was fast and furious as well.  The wind died down, but the schedule didn’t.  Garage sale, furniture delivery, soccer game and making dinner for friends who just moved, were just some of the items on the minutia list. Top it all off with the “Saturday, getting ready for Sunday” duties.  I hardly need to mention the Sunday schedule.  Anyone in ministry knows it is the best and busiest day of the week on any normal week.  Add to that we had a GAP (Games and Pizza) night that night with the teens.
When I finally sat down at the computer Monday morning to do some bills and other minutia, I was literally shaking.  The money, cleaning and planning was piled so high I didn’t know where to start.  Praise the Lord for his patience and understanding, a double praise for him extending some of that understanding to my family.  The minutia is still mountainous, but I’m hacking away at it little by little.  Funny how such trivial things can grow so big in our minds.  Well, I’m going to abruptly end here now, because the minutia monster calls and I must feed it.  Hope you all have a great day!
Posted in Homeschooling

Learning to Love Home Schooling

     After several self-deprecating posts about my spiritual walk, I feel it’s necessary to put some thoughts down about something that’s going well in my life.  I, the admittedly reluctant home schooler, am learning to enjoy home schooling my kids.  Yes, these are words I never thought were going to come from me.  I’ve never been vehemently opposed to public school.  I even have a secondary English degree.  As a child, I loved school, the people, the atmosphere and even organizing my school supplies.  My husband finds this very weird, but…oh well.  Anyway, when we moved out here I substitute taught for a little while.  I was amazed at how different it was from when I was a kid in a small farm school.  This is a larger city and, at the risk of sounding ancient, times have changed.  Other factors went into our decision to home school, financial, spiritual, and practical. 
     It’s not that I’m against home schooling either.  I know some really sharp families that home school.  I also know some…well…not so sharp ones.  It truly is a tough decision when you are responsible for how your child is educated. I love planning the year, and getting ready for lessons.  I love getting supplies organized and knowing exactly what my child is learning, but I have fears too. Fear of messing them up.  Fear that my kids won’t be able to spell or think or handle themselves in public somehow.  For instance my middle daughter is a lot like me in personality.  That’s good and bad.   She gets easily distracted and easily frustrated and requires a lot more explanation than I seem to have time to give her.  Then I get frustrated because she’s so frustrated.  That’s what lead to our decision to switch her to video school after Christmas break.  It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I can already tell that she’s thriving better.  This is such a relief to me that I can hardly explain it.
      So here is a list of what I’m loving about home schooling:
  1. I know exactly what my kids are learning.
  2. I get to use my love of teaching
  3. I get to be with my kids
  4. We laugh a lot
  5. I love seeing the light bulb go off when they “get” it.
  6. It’s amazing to watch a child start to read
  7. Let’s be honest, we don’t have to be ready by 7 am. To go anywhere
  8. We have flexibility to go with 2nd man when he goes out of town
  9. We can adjust our schedules if we need to.
  10.  We can go places on weekdays like The Incredible Pizza Co. and have the place to ourselves because everyone else is in school.
  11. I can make sure to take the time and make sure that they “get it.”
  12. I’m relearning some things too.
  13. They’ll be healthier than if they ate school lunches
  14. They’re protected during these crucial foundational years
  15. My kids like each other because they are their only classmates
  16. They still get chances to play sports and have social friends through church as well
  17. No snow days to interrupt us.
  18. The teacher to student ratio is ideal
  19. We can have Home Economics days
  20. Field trips are cool
I don’t think home schooling is the only way.  Or even the best way for everyone, but I’m learning more and more to appreciate it.  I’m thankful for the opportunity and Hopefully, I’ll make the best of it.
Posted in Homeschooling, Life Lessons, Parenting

Appreciatin’ My Kids

    I really love the ages of my kiddos right now.  Currently they are 10, 8 and 4.  I just need to pause and reflect on this a little bit.  I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t do infancy very well.  Oh, I bonded and adored each child.  However, I never fully embraced the lack of sleep and, yes, I must confess, baby formula was my friend, (I know I know the horror!  My children will all be doomed to poor health or something like that). 
     Truly, it’s a wonder I’ve come this far.  I never really enjoyed babysitting while I was growing up.  The money was great, but I’d rather wait tables.  I just never got into it.  I marvel at the girls in our youth department who enjoy babysitting and being around kids.  I do wish I had been more like this.  God did a work in me after we got married.  It’s not that I never wanted kids.  I just wasn’t sure when I would actually want them. 
     Now, here I am thirteen and half years later and adoring my kids, even though I sound like the worst mom ever.  Oh, I’m no “Nineteen Kids and Counting” kind of mom, if you’ve ever seen that show.  I wish I could smile that much and be that calm. That woman never seems gets her feathers ruffled.  However, the Lord does continue working in me to appreciate the blessings he’s given.  
      This is currently on my mind because I’m stuck in the chair sick this week.  Went to the doctor yesterday with a double ear infection and throat infection.  2nd man came home for lunch after my appointment and told the kids to take care of me and call him if I got out of the chair to do any work.  (He knows the mess of the kitchen can sometimes overpower the sickness in me).  Anyway, they did a great job.  I was hoping to start school yesterday, but have chosen to call in Home Ec. Day.  The two older girls played with their brother and took care of his needs most of the afternoon.  Then, about 4:30 they cleaned up the kitchen and made dinner…a good one to.  Goulash, garlic bread and salad were on the menu.  Little brother set the table.   I was so thankful for that.  2nd man was willing to come home and do all of this, but he didn’t have to…what a blessing! 
     It’s nice to have them this age for more than just the chores and cooking too.  We are now at a place where we all enjoy the same humor (for the most part).  I enjoy hearing their thoughts on friends, spiritual matters, and everyday happenings. I’m also relieved that we’ve turned a corner with our little guy.  Last year I was worried sick that he’d never go to church without getting in trouble in class or something.  Yet, the past five or six months have been so much more pleasant.  He seems to have gotten the rules down finally.   Of course they aren’t perfect and I worry incessantly about weaknesses I see.  However, I enjoy watching them grow into people of their own.  I don’t look forward to them totally growing up and leaving.  Just wish we could freeze things here…well, maybe with a few more recipes in their repertoire.
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Daily Musings, Homeschooling, Teens

What do you do all day?

         Boy, I haven’t even had time to sit and do much writing this week.  Been getting the house ready for Momma and Dad to come visit for Christmas.  It’s not that my house is a total wreck.  However, the last time they visited was when our oldest daughter was in the hospital with a massive infection after having had her appendix removed.  Let’s just say the house was not exactly a priority at that time. I know they didn’t mind, but there’s something in a daughter that has to somehow prove to her mother that the hard work was worth it and, yes, I got the lessons in cleaning down. 
            Anyway, this little introduction leads me to some recent statements that crack me up and irk me at the same time.  You see, we’re in the middle of a crisis in the staff at church.  Our song leader has accepted a job in another state.  This is bad enough, but the fact that he’s married to the church secretary multiplies this crisis by a hundred.  I don’t think she even knows how significant a role she plays in the office.  Not only does she do the unending secretarial work, she also represents our church to outsiders, and has to stop what she’s doing about fifty times a day to talk to people who seem to treat her like she’s the eyes and ears of the church, only there to listen to us little people who need to talk while pastor is studying.  I include myself in this, because I have come to realize how much she pauses her day just to give me a phone number or address or put me through to my own husband. 
            Pastor, semi-jokingly, asked 2nd man and me to pray about my taking the job and putting my kids in school or doing video school.  My first thought was flattered and excited.  I’d love to do that job!  Then reality set in.
            What was I thinking?  What do I do all day?  I mean, I just had a meltdown two weeks ago about the amount of papers I had to grade and planning to do.  Do I really think I want to add a full time job on top of that?  These were some of the thoughts with which I played around for a while.  2nd man and I both realized that our very first priority as a family is to honor God.  By that we feel very strongly that it is necessary that I give these precious kids the very best foundation that we can think of.   The girls are further down the road than our little guy, and we don’t want to cheat him.  It really made me stop and take stock of our goals and where God would have me to be… an important fact that I’ve taken for granted.  So, while I was sooooo tempted to get a “real” job, I think that God would not like me there.  Just think how awful that would be for the whole church!
            Anyway, this leads me to the part that irks me.  Through all of this, I’ve had several comments come from young people that just make me shake my head.   The first came from a young man that we took home from our teen Christmas party.  He told us that he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to make it to church the next day since it was so late, (9:30 pm), and he was so tired.  I replied quickly (and admittedly in the flesh) that when he had three kids and a spouse to help get ready and feed in the morning, that I’d listen to his excuses.  Um yea, not the best response I know. 
            This comment was followed by another from a young woman at our Wednesday night teen program.  She was trying to let me know that there was no way she could do memorization or reading because she was so busy.   I suggested she read the homework sections to the little boy she babysits. Or practice memorizing while practicing basketball.  “You just don’t understand how busy and tired I am.”  She responded.  I held my tongue on this one.  I’m not so sure I was able to hide my facial expression though.  I’m sure I looked something like a roll of the eyes or and attitude of “really?” 
            What do people think I do all day?  Why is it that a teacher in a classroom is working a real job, while a mother in the bedroom teaching is just wasting time?  Do other homeschoolers not grade their children or have to read their work?  Am I the only 2nd mans wife who helps counsel teen girls, or be the “unofficial” teen secretary? Do they realize that the people in my family like to eat?  Where does everyone else’s food come from?  Was I left out of a meeting that told me how to get through life without doing laundry or having to clean a bathroom?  Do other people not have to pay bills? Or listen to excrutiatingly long stories about a dream someone had last night?  When do other people make their bank deposits or get their groceries done?  Who tends their gardens, kitchens, living rooms, growing children, husbands?  I’ve been jipped!  When was this information given out?  Arghhhhhh! Snort! Humph!
            So, anyway, I’m not taking the job.  Those shoes are too big and I already have trouble fitting into my own.  I’m certain God will provide the perfect person eventually.  Until then, I guess it’s back to my soaps and bon bons.
Posted in Associate/Youth Pastor's Wife, Homeschooling, Parenting

Homeschooling Obstacles

     Ok I admit it, there’s no shame or false pride here…homeschooling is hard.  I mean, being a wife and mom are already hard, guilt ridden hats that I wear, but this really tops it all.  What’s even scarier, is I have a teaching degree!  I think teaching in the classroom may have been easier. Hmmmm, guess this fear of succeeding or failing doesn’t come as heavily when you’re dealing with other peoples’ kids. 
     One obstacle in our family is our ministry lifestyle.  I was giving 2nd man a report the other day and realized that in the first 9 weeks of school, we haven’t had one week the same as any other.  The only consistency I can find is that we can expect something unexpected every week of our life.   This could be good I suppose.  My kids will have to learn flexibility.  However, I do get uneasy when I hear things like, “kids need consistency”  and,  “Consistency is the key to being a successful student.”  Well, in our house the cheer is “flexibility is the key, to win the victory!” 
    I sound ranting here, but I really do count it an honor to teach my kids.  I also take it as one of the biggest jobs in the universe.  If I raise complete morons guess who’s gettin’ the blame, and I may not know until like 10-12 years from now.
     At dinner the other night I was trying to get our 4 year old son to report to daddy what sound the letter “U” makes.  He started, “uhhh…” to which I responded before he could say anything else “that’s right!”   Truthfully, I’m not sure if he was just stammering or actually making the sound.  The rest of the family wasn’t sold on it either, I gather, from the roaring laughter of my husband. 
     Of course this same child was, on another night, reporting to daddy about our talk on Heaven and Hell.  He was letting daddy know that hell is dark “yes” 2nd man said, “it’s also hot and there’s screaming,”  to which 2nd man responded, “that’s true son.”  Then he went on to describe some sort of worms with wings and all sorts of other creatures and sounds that, frankly, we did NOT discuss.  2nd man just looked at me, “really honey?  I’ll take over the spiritual teaching from here.”  Can you say FAILURE?   Of course this is coming from the child who doesn’t like the options God has given him.  “Why can’t we just stay here?  I like my home. I don’t want a mansion.”  Truly, the Spirit must not be calling him yet. 
    Of course, our older two girls are doing a little better.  However, I have one who seems to lack focus.  She has the sweetest spirit of almost anyone I’ve every met.  She would bend over backwards to please me. Yet, somehow, when I’m grading her papers I wonder if she knows what year this is, and who I am let alone Christopher Columbus.   She can quote an entire book of the bible, but mulitplication eludes her.  I’m constantly swept back to college courses that  went over learning styles and teaching styles, but I’ve yet to figure this child out.  Do I love her?  Does she please me?  Is she a good kid? No question!  But, I may be bald by the time she graduates. 
     My other daughter catches on very quickly.  If anything, I struggle to read anything she writes.  She’ll probably be a doctor someday, judging by her handwriting.  With her, the struggle comes mainly in stretching her character traits.  Things come fast and easy for her.  It’s diligence and slowing down to do things well she needs to work on.
     I have some days that are rewarding and others where I wonder why I’m allowed to do this at all.  I’m thankful for the right to homeschool which I may not have here in a few years.  However, I’m no magazine article candidate.  I don’t wear denim jumpers.  My kids don’t all play musical instruments and speak five languages and march behind me like ducks.  I’m too scared to expand curriculum from what I already know and am familiar with.  And I’m pretty sure this sentence started with the word “and” and I’ve ended several previous ones with prepositions.  Let’s face it, my kids may very well be doomed, educationally speaking.  But, they do love the lord, we do laugh a ton in our house, and they get along really well.  I’m gonna hang my hat on that until I can find a sturdier rack to hang it on, if one exists.