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Why We Homeschool {Our Schedule}

You can read my other homeschooling posts HERE.
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Do you really keep a schedule?  

I am a structured person.  
I thrive on order.
Needless to say, when it comes to school, I am the same way.


We wake up and get moving around 7.
The kids watch a show while I get ready and make breakfast.
They eat, get dressed, make beds, and brush their teeth.  

When 9 o'clock rolls around, I lay the baby down for a nap and we get started on school.
Everyone- family and friends- know not to call during that time. 
They know we are doing school and I don't want to be interrupted.

I use a folder system for school at this present time, so I always set out Ella's folder and manipulatives the night before- she's all ready to go when it's school time.
She has some memorization work she does- both scholastic and Bible- while I get Liam set up and satisfied with his "work."
We then move on to Reading/Phonics.  Typically it is a worksheet and then we read books together.
We do a Math worksheet and practice her skip counting, money skills, and telling time.
I also do hands-on activities after our more difficult skills are completed.


This year, it took an hour for our scheduled school time.
I know.  It doesn't sound like much- I get it.  But, consider this...
We don't take bathroom breaks.
We do music, art, and PE throughout the day.
We work one-on-one for an intense hour.  
She colors once that hour is finished.
She cuts once that hour is finished.
That is one hour of full-on learning.

Oh, and she is only 4/5 years old.  

This next year, we will be adding in other subject areas and her school time will be longer.
I want her to be a kid.
She doesn't need to be in school for 6-8 hours.
She needs to play and learn to interact with her siblings.
She learns a lot- outside of that one hour.

I hope you enjoyed my Why We Homeschool series.
I hope that answered some questions that I know many of you (family and friends) had about why this is the right fit for our family.

xxLiz

I would love to know what your schedule is like?

Norwex Cleaning Products {Review}

If you are looking for a great way to simplify your cleaning, while being eco-friendly-
check out Norwex cleaning products!

Norwex cleaning

We are giving away a window polishing cloth, plus a $10 gift certificate to a She {hearts} It reader!

PS. I really loved all the products I got to review.  They were easy to use, quick to grab and clean, and perfect for my little helpers.

xxLiz  

Guarantees.

Sometimes, I feel jipped.  
Seriously... there are some things that just aren't right.


In life, there should be some things that are guaranteed.
Non-negotiable.

***

A mother should not have to kiss her kids good-bye.  She should not have to bury her kids and live her life wondering what her grand kids would have been like.

A mother should not have to hear that her child is ill and can't be fixed.  We have doctors- aren't they supposed to repair any little illness they find?

A mother should not have to open the door to an officer who proceeds to cradle her in his arms after he has given her unchangeable news.  

A mother should not have her baby whisked away after birth because the child is too tiny to survive on his own.  Those first moments are too precious- a mother should have those moments to kiss and cuddle her precious new gift.  

A mother should not have to walk into her baby's room to scoop her out of the bed and find that she isn't met there with a smile and twinkling eyes- that smile and those eyes are but a memory. 


The most difficult part of being a mother...
are all those things that aren't guaranteed.  
All those outside factors that cannot be controlled.

There is only One who is the ultimate healer. 
There is only One who is the ultimate comforter.
There is only One who is the ultimate life-breather.
There is only One who is never changing.
There is only One who is guaranteed to never falter or fail us.


My mind is powerful.  It has the ability to take me from high atop the mountain peak, to down into the depths of the valley below.  I am constantly fighting the places my mind travels.  The reason, is because the place where my mind goes, often brings worry with it.  It takes me to the place where nothing is guaranteed.  

I cannot stand up under those "what if's" that I face.  I crumble in pain and heartache.  How is it that emotional pain creates a real and true physical response?  


In the aftermath of the Oklahoma disasters, I am left with one thing...
Our only hope in this life is to cling to the One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  


My heart aches for so many reasons today:
for families who have lost homes and memories,
for families who have lost loved ones,
for the parents of the child who didn't wake up when they went in to snuggle their little one,
for those who suffer addiction and cause pain for everyone around them, 
for those who can't see past their selfishness and come to the cross...

there is only One answer.

xxLiz

Tips for Growing a Healthy Vegetable Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love feeding my family good, real foods.  Eating that way can get expensive, so to help with that expense, we turn our expense into fun garden projects.  Growing a vegetable garden for the first time can be pretty intimidating and confusing- when do I plant... when do I pick the produce... how long does it stay good in my fridge... can I freeze the produce?  This will only be our second year planting a vegetable garden, so I am no expert.  What I do know is this...

It is important to make sure you have good, fertile soil to give your plants the nutrients they need to grow into healthy fruits and veggies.  

To help our plants, we like to put a little Miracle-Gro in the ground prior to putting our plants, or seeds, in the dirt.  They even have a super convenient LiquaFeed All Purpose Plant Food Advance Starter Kit for those who need the whole kit-in-a-caboodle.  This gives them everything they need to grow into healthy adult plants.  

We also put water in the hole with the Miracle-Gro before putting the plant in the ground.  

We then cover the plant using our regular garden soil and water the plant generously.  

I love using our produce for grilled veggies, homemade salsas, pickles, BLT sandwiches, and so much more.  Not only that, our kids get to learn about the plant cycle first hand.  They look forward to planting and harvesting the fruits and veggies.  Not to mention, I get a tan when I am out working in the garden, which is plus in my book!

If you have any questions about gardening of any kind- vegetable gardening or flower beds- visit The Gro Project website.  There are tons of fabulous ideas for you and your family to get started in the garden!  If you have a gardening story you would like to share with other readers, head over to The Gro Project and share your story!

xxLiz

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sponsor Spotlight {Westover Manor}

I will be posting over at Westover Manor today.  Stop by and take a gander!
***
Welcome Kelly!  I am so excited to introduce you to The Quick Journey family.  
***
SUNDAYSTYLE_ALLTHREE_fullsize
Hi ya, I'm Kelly! Lover of all things tactile, obsessive nail biter and believer that there can never be too many ruffles. I'm so excited to be joining you all today on The Quick Journey blog. Liz is simply the greatest, isn't she? I share my family's story over at Westover Manor where you can find our silly goings on, great designs, awkward fashion posts and some of my fave finds. We host a super fun link up every friday and we would just love for you to come join us!

Today I'm excited to share some of my fave summer items... a kind of summer wish list, if you will. Spring in California has been simply fabulous, although we could use just a tad bit more rain. The allergies this year have been so cray cray that we all got silly colds and the Hubs and I are just now getting over sinus infections. Yuck! So summer with it's gloriously hot, sunny days, lazy afternoons at the park, melty ice cream and flowy tops is something I am seriously looking forward to.
WISHLIST_KELLYWESTOVER
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
How about you? What's on your summer wish list this year? Feel free to stop by and say hi. 

We love great company! 
 just love //kelly 
  GET SOCIAL WITH US HERE //
***
Thanks again, Kelly!
xxLiz

Dot & Army {Giveaway}


 Dot & Army is hosting a giveaway over on She {hearts} It this week! 
The cloth napkins are adorable, not to mention perfect for every day eating, weddings, and fun family dinners!

xxLiz

5 Ways to Save Your Family Money! {Thrifty Thoughts}


Ok... I have been moving our family towards a more "real" way of living for some time now. 
We eat very little processed- out of the box- food.
A great deal of what we do eat is organic.
How do we afford to do this and still pay the electric bill?

Well, I am about to give you a few tricks of my trade. 
Mind you, many of you will click to the next blog on your list right now.
Totally fine... but, for those of you who are willing- stay tuned.

1. One way we make ends meet is by cloth diapering.


I know, you have heard me blog about this before, but it truly does save gobs of moo-lah!
If we are out and about, I will use disposables, but at home- cloth it is!
It is so easy and you barely even have to tend to them.  I'd rather eat that money in healthy food, then paste it on my babe's booty.

2. Another way we watch our pennies and nickles is by getting rid of our dish TV.
We are ditching the dish and saying "hello" to the apple TV.
Wow!  you can say a bundle by doing that.  We stream Netflix, or Hulu, through our apple TV and watch shows/movies that way.  We don't even miss the regular TV. 

3. We use Azure Standard, which I posted about here, to buy a great deal of our bulk items.  
Great resource!!!

4.  I make my own babyfood.  I know it isn't anything new to most mommas, but I have made my own purees for all my babies.  It is so easy and so much cheaper to make organic baby food than to buy organic baby food.  Also, I don't have to worry about anything else being in the food- it's just pure fruits and veggies.


5. I use Shaklee cleaning products.  I do not have to buy cleaning products for my home.  I have had these for a LONG time and they will still last me another year.  The are concentrates that you mix with water to dilute.  They are non-toxic and work great.  I use it as a germicide, all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, and degreaser.  One thing I do still buy are toilet bowl wand refills.  I love those things- use and then pitch.    


xxLiz

How do you save money for your family??

Why We Homeschool {So, you are saying that public school isn't good enough?}

If you missed my first two posts on {the beginning} and {how long will we do this}- check them out.
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The question: Do you think sending our kids to public school is wrong?


Ummm... no. Wasn't that easy?
No, I am not against public school.
Actually, I feel like our public school has very kind and capable teachers.

God just revealed to me that I have other options.  I am capable of teaching my own children.
This time is so brief, and I am not called to send them away quite yet.
I was called to keep them home, for now.


I realize that we will get some resistance for some things that we choose to do, or not do, as far as our family is concerned.  Part of growing up is realizing that you don't have to stay with the pack.  We are not all cut from the same cookie cutter.  I am unlike anyone else in this world.  My children are unlike anyone else in this world.  So, why would our journey be the same as someone else's?

It's not.
We are on our own journey- with our own family.
We are led a certain way.  It isn't the same way that everyone in my community, family, or even social circle is supposed to go.  We are made perfectly and carefully.  God crafted us to be our own person.  With that comes different life choices.


I get asked about "sheltering" my kids.  I am not ashamed to say that, "yes," I am sheltering them.
Isn't that what I am supposed to do- shelter and protect?
I share life with them as they are prepared to experience it.
I keep from them what they are not prepared to experience.


I am blessed to be a homeschooling mom the same way that my best friend is blessed to be a parent of public schooled children.  We are both moms who love their kids and pray for our kids.  We are both moms that protect and want the best for our kids.

We are just on a different journey.

xxLiz

  napkins c/o: dot and army


Simplicity

 I love simple days.  I love not having a to-do list looming over my head.  I love being able to sit on the floor and play with my kids without the tugging of chores pulling me away.  There will always be something that needs to be tended to.


There will always be piles waiting to be put away.


I have been working on bringing color into my house.  My house is full of beautiful earth tones.  The issue is that my taste is moving towards cool and bright tones.  I am in need of mish-mashing patterns, vintage fabrics and colors.  I found this pretty floral print at the thrift store last week.  I made it into a pillow and I love the feeling I get when I look at it sitting there with my twig pillows.  


Before I had kids, I would walk into friends' homes who had kids and cringe at all the baby stuff they had in their living rooms.  We have a living room outfitted with baby stuff now.  Periodically I get to put it away and have a tidy, pulled-together living room, but then another blessing arrives and out it comes again.  I don't mind it so much anymore.  So many smiles happen in this area.  


Simple words on paper.  They can make such a statement.  




xxLiz

Hello, Monday

Hello, Monday...
Hello to another Mother's Day, come and gone.
Hello to homemade pancakes and being spoiled all day...



Hello to baby gates being put up thanks to a little somebody who
is now completely mobile and into everything.


Hello to sharing balloons and a warm week to play outside.


Hello to fresh cut grass and little boys who like to ride shotgun with daddy.



Hello to precious little souls that make every Monday a new blessing.


Hello to a brand new week.

xxLiz


The Little Spoons {Sponsor Spotlight}

I couldn't resist letting you guys in on a fantastic deal!  The Little Spoons, a Quick Journey sponsor, is having a crazy-awesome sale on her velcro belts!  

50% off all belts!  That makes these adorable belts only $6.00!  
Who can resist!?!

This deal is for this weekend only... honoring mothers for Mother's Day.
Make sure you run over and get your belt for your little one, or for a friend who is having a baby of her own!

Happy Mother's Day!
xxLiz

Weekend Links

Here are a few links to make your weekend a little more enjoyable.

Parenting... @ The Vanilla Tulip.

Photobucket

The Guy Behind the Camera... @ Much Love, Illy.


A sweet post about a wife who is still falling for her guy... @ Just Dawnelle.

JustDawnelle

A first tattoo (since I secretively wish I had one)... @ Take Heart

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The outfit... @ Cara Loren.


Enjoy your weekend!  I will be hosting a great group of ladies at my house, enjoying a wedding, and spending some alone time with my hubby.  

xxLiz

Bow Ties & Neck Ties {Colin's Closet}

Be sure to run over to She {hearts} It and enter to win a tie for your little man.  
I was blessed to be able to review one for the blog and I LOVE the one I was sent.  


They are great quality and will last you for years to come!
Run...

xxLiz

One day... She grows up

She is my baby.
Right now, when I wake up and swoop her out of her crib every morning, she is still my baby.
She has a smooth head with peach fuzz that shines when the light hits it just right.
She has more gums than she does teeth.
She has perfect rolls that form around her legs, arms, and neck.



She still needs me for everything- eating, playing, changing, comforting...


But I know, like most mothers know, that one day I will pick her up out of her crib, and she will no longer need the crib.
She will no longer need me to feed her.
She will no longer have her smooth, baby head.
She will grow out of her perfect rolls.


It happens slowly, yet with the busyness of life- it happens so suddenly.
I have to be intentional with my time.
I try to hold on a little longer each morning to my baby.
I kiss her sweet head and try to memorize her soft face.


She is my perfect little babe.  
And, one day, she will be my little girl.  
And then she will be my big girl.  
And then, finally, she will just be- my daughter.  


Life is all about growing- transitions.
I am not sure I am that good at transitions.  
I am fairly certain, that even though I love watching what my kids grow into, I would kind of like to keep them as my babies.  Not forever, but for a bit longer.  
I waited my entire young life (I know, I'm not that old) to be a mom.  It is the one thing I knew I wanted in life.  Before I was privileged to wear the "Mommy" title, I felt like it would last for eternity- the "baby" stage.  I have discovered that it is the blink of an eye.  
And then, poof- it's gone.
I know that eventually I will have to move on to the next phase in life.
Someday, my heart will be prepared to move past this precious time...

xxLiz

Do you love motherhood?