Posts Tagged ‘homeschool mom’

A Little Reminder from God

October 16, 2014

Several months ago our family found out about friends who were in need of some help. Sickness had struck their home with a vengeance and last but not least, the mama was down. RED ALERT! Mama Down! This is not your ordinary mama either. Buckle up. God, the father to the fatherless, called this beautiful lady to foster/adopt six kiddos… and homeschool them….. as a single mama. She takes my breath away.

I met her at homeschool park day when her last two littles were two-month-old twins. It didn’t take much persuading for me to help hold one of those little darling girls. This mama has been on my heart ever since that day. How can we help her?  What can we do to support her in this call from God? We need to be God’s hands and feet for her!

Back to the RED ALERT!, we stepped in for two days and did what we saw needed to be done…. babies bathed, bathrooms cleaned, dishes washed, dirty clothes laundered, meals prepared, games played and stories read. Her children truly are blessings, well behaved, loving and helpful. (Isn’t it every mother’s prayer that her own children are seen in this light!?)

While we were on duty, mama fainted and thankfully I was right next to her. Not that I helped with the descent or the crash landing, but I made sure we went down NOT on hard surfaces or pokey things or gooey stuff. See?  I’m helpful! In directing her away from a wooden shelf, the back of my hand came in contact with a corner of said hard, wooden shelf. My hand was bruised, but the skin was not broken. No big deal.

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(Gosh, my hands look old. When did that happen?)

It’s been three months, maybe four, since that fateful day and the little mark on the back of my hand has not gone away AT ALL. It doesn’t appear to be on it’s way out of my life. It has scarred into a cute, little silvery-pink line. It winks at me every day and whispers to me that I need to pray for that mama. It’s God’s little reminder to me that we all need prayer. He will do what He needs to do to remind us daily to lift up each other to His throne of grace.

Who do you need to pray for today? Just do it! (I stole that from a shoe company.)

Happy Basha’s Memories

October 24, 2013

bashas

Basha’s is a local grocery store chain here in Arizona that I used to frequent a LOT due to its proximity to our house at that time.  We moved near Basha’s when I was pregnant with our third child and lived in that wonderful house for six years.

As you can imagine, I visited the store OFTEN with all three children.  The three children that God blessed us with who don’t really look that much like their mother or father.  We have two blond-haired, blue-eyed kids and one with dark brown eyes and hair.  My husband has black hair and light brown eyes.  I have light brown hair and green eyes. Genetics are a weird deal.  I tell you all this frivolity to set up the first happy memory.

Happy (sort of) Memory #1:  I was casually strolling the aisles at Basha’s with my three offspring, when a lady in her mid-twenties came up and inquired, “Are these all your children?” “Yes, they are,” I replied proudly.  Then she had the audacity to ask, “Do they all have different dads?”  What in the blue blazes was she thinking???  I glanced down at my attire, wondering if I left home with only wearing my underwear … nope, fully clothed, not looking like a hoochie-mama.  I assured her that indeed, these three angels did have the same father, but I didn’t go into the fact that none of them look like him.  Good gravy, lady!

Happy Memory #2:  In our homeschool we studied a unit in science about the motion of falling objects.  One of the examples was Galileo dropping a cannonball and a musketball off the Leaning Tower of Pisa to determine that falling objects fall at the same rate.  Of course we climbed up in the play house and dropped all sorts of items into the dirt below to test this ourselves.  Back to Basha’s…. months later we were in the pasta aisle and my middle child was closely examining the spaghetti sauce jars.  (Not sure why???)  When all of a sudden he yelled (because he never spoke quietly until he was 12) “Mom! Here is the crooked building that the guy threw the rocks off of!”  (Insert song from the Sound of Music as I mentally skip through the hills of happiness!)

Happy Memory #3:  Yet another trip to Basha’s with my two little boys in the seats of the cart and my personal shopper (7 year old daughter) walking beside me.  A kind, elderly lady with fluffy white hair shuffled by and stopped to look at my children.  She smiled so sweetly.  (I braced myself to explain that I only had one husband.) Finally she remarked, “You have beautiful children!”  I whole-heartily agreed, but merely said, “Thank you!”  As she slowly made her way down the aisle, my loud, middle child yelled to the grandma, “My daddy drives a fancy Cadillac!”  It was true, albeit a hand-me-down from my parents, but his statement shocked me, nonetheless.  The sweet little lady threw her head back and belly laughed, as did I.

Happy Memory #4:  This same store had a very generous produce manager who allowed our daughter to go behind the black swinging doors each week to get free “rotten” food for her bunny rabbit, Blackie Honey Bunny Crosby.

I miss Basha’s.

It Has Come to THIS

June 1, 2013

Sorry, another post-accident report but thankfully not from the couch!  I lived on the couch for six long weeks.  At first it was because of the damage to my legs from the airbag UNDER the steering wheel. (You might want to check if you have an air bag down there and wear shin guards while driving, if you do.)  On day #4 post-accident, I realized my shoulder was hurt and that I couldn’t lie on either side on the couch OR in bed.  I am still in that state… flat on my back in bed with my legs elevated…. with a pile of pillows crammed against the back of my reading chair so as not to fall off the bed.  But I digress.

After my 6th week of “no significant improvement” at therapy, I was sent for nerve testing.  Nerve testing = acupuncture.  Or more appropriately, you are now a voodoo doll.  The good news out of that supremely stressful doctor visit was that I was sent to pain management, who promptly put me on medication #27. (Do not fear, I have stopped taking the first 23.)  Med27 plays some sort of hokus-pokus on my nerves and I have had a VAST improvement in range of motion for my right arm.  Read: I still can’t lift the milk jug, but the therapist did a happy dance that I can now scratch a giraffe’s neck.  Side effects of Med27 include, but are not limited to: drowsiness, lack of short term memory, general lethargy and an overwhelming desire to do nothing.

Grand-Canyon-Camping

All that said, the eight day camping trip to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelley, Four Corners, the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest that didn’t happen in April has been reduced to a five day camping trip to the Grand Canyon.  Commencing on Monday, June 3rd.  Two days from right now.  Thankfully, the other crazy homeschool mom, CJ, whom we have been studying National Parks with all year, has picked up my slack and we are venturing forth in two days from right now.  CJ went so far as to purchase a Sprinter van seating 14 that her 6’4″ husband can stand up inside.  Read:  I don’t have to drive at all OR pack a car.  As per usual, the week before departure, we went through our lists of what to take.  The division of camping equipment went something like this: CJ CJ CJ CJ CJ me CJ CJ CJ CJ CJ me. And that might be an exaggeration for “me’s”.  Thank you, CJ!

Today about 4:12 pm, I realized what my life has come down to.  Normally when embarking on a road trip, I print packing lists for my kids.  (Remember, I am a list maker.  I thrive on lists.  I make detailed lists.  I am an overachiever at making lists.) But never in my 20 years of parenting have I printed an extra “kid packing list” for myself.  This is what it has come to… and I’m O.K. with it.  Except I added to the bottom of mine: Med27.

Happy Camping this summer!

A Homeschooling Mom’s Nightmare

May 14, 2013

First let me add the back story.  Our daughter was coming home from college and we had to get her little brother moved out of her room and back in the big bedroom he shares with his brother.  They are 14 and 16. After the 14-year-old’s paraphernalia was removed, I dusted, vacuumed and made her bed for her.

As I was working I heard my eldest son trying to talk his brother into moving into the loft for the summer.  It went something like this: “It will be so cool!”  “You will love it!”  “We’ll move the bookshelves and it will be private!”  “I will help you!”  “Let’s go ask mom.”  The 14 year-old wasn’t saying much as he moved his stuff back down the hall.  They came.  They begged.  I am still on narcotics from the car accident two months ago.  I am in no state of mind to be making life-altering decisions…. like giving up the homeschool/sewing loft at 11 p.m. thankyouverymuch.  I told them I didn’t care.  And I didn’t. And I went to bed.

Fast forward two and a half hours to a metal wheel sound waking me up in the dark of the night.  Yes, it was 1:30 a.m.  I stared at the ceiling and told my husband, “This is all my fault.  That noise…. it’s a pulley.  I taught him how to use pulleys about 7 years ago.”  We got out of bed to witness THIS:

austins castle

Our 16-year-old son had made himself a castle… in the loft…. way past midnight… with a drawbridge (run with a pulley that hung from a bike hook screwed into the ceiling) …. and crenals and merlons cut from cardboard.  It WAS SO COOL that he decided to move in himself.  I shook my head in dismay and confessed to my husband that I also taught him about castles…. and crenals and merlons.  I asked my creative son what we should call him now.  Obviously he replied, “King Austin!”  Of course.  Silly me.

The next morning, I questioned how long he planned to live in his castle.  He looked at me with hopeful eyes and answered with a question, “All summer??????”  Those were his big blue puppy dog eyes staring at me.  Fine.  Whatever.  “You will be patching the hole in the ceiling in August.”  “O.k., thanks, mom.”

This could have been worse, I told myself as I climbed back into bed.  I’ve also taught him about catapults, guillotines, war trenches and fur trappers.  Oh, it could have been WAY worse.

 

“Why I Love Nature” by Linda Ann Crosby

March 6, 2013

With the sun shining and the temperatures in the comfort zone, we have been spending far more time outside in March than in December, January and February combined.  Nature Journals have been forced upon my children and one out of three is loving it.  That’s pretty good odds… and I love it, so we’re even Steven.  I’m trying to teach them about botany, art, relaxing and creating in God’s creation.  You’d think a kid who doesn’t have to sit indoors and do math would jump at the chance to draw in the sunshine.  But no. If my boys ever lie on those long black leather couches and explain how I ruined them, I’m sure the Nature Journals will be mentioned.  But that does not deter me.  :o)

Last week we ventured out the front door to draw a Texas Ebony tree in our yard.  This is a REAL Nature Journal… not a fake Nature Journal… so there are rules to be followed.  AND this has to count for a botany grade for a high school student.  Not like a “draw-a-dumb-tree-and-color-it-green” journal.  NOOOOooooooo.  The requirements include, but are not limited to: draw the shape of the tree, the bark, the leaves, the leaf arrangement, the thorns (we’re in Arizona… all the trees have thorns), the flowers, the seeds, the pods.  And when you have all that drawn with exact measurements beside each, the leaves need to have their shape, venation and margin analyzed and recorded.  SEE?!  Not your average lame Nature Journal.

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So, after the Texas Ebony had been admired from afar, with a magnifying glass and everything in between, we gathered around the kitchen table and I asked to see the renderings.   Three of four were identifiable.  The fourth tree, however, was ……  …….  interesting.  I questioned said artist, “If I gave your picture to Dad and sent him to the front yard, could he locate the Texas Ebony?” (We only have three trees in the front yard.)  “Probably not.”  “Go try again, son.”

And the nature loving just keeps on rolling here at L.A.K.E. Academy, a homeschool where gifted children thrive…. whether they want to or not.  heh heh heh.

Wonderful Winter Weather

February 16, 2013

Last Friday at homeschool park day the moms FROZE in our chairs!  It was so windy and cold!  Well, for Phoenix, that is.  It wasn’t windy at our house when we left, but 10 minutes later when we pulled into the park we hoped and prayed there were jackets in the back of the van.  Thankfully, I found one for myself… my son’s hockey jacket from 5 years ago… when he was 11.  No, it didn’t exactly fit, but I was able to zip it up and block the blustery cold out.  It fit quite like a wetsuit.  A wetsuit that is too small.

The wind blew and blew for the two hours we were huddled with arms folded tightly in the sunshine.  One of my sons kept asking me, “Mom, do you know what your hair looks like?”  I could see my shadow and knew it was an amusing shape… and ever-changing shape.  “Mom, did you do your hair this morning?”  “Mom, you should really go look at your hair.”  There was nothing I could do, so I didn’t bother.  For some strange reason, my 14-year-old son was extremely concerned about my hair… and my image.  Maybe it was HIS image???

Yesterday was park day again. Imagine that!  Friday just keeps happening over and over.  Prepared for wind gusts of 50+mph, I donned a sweat suit with jacket and LOTS of hairspray.  Lo and behold, winter ended in Phoenix.  It was 74* F with sunny skies and not a trace of a breeze.  Yesterday was also the day the moms play flag football with the kids… and lose miserably, I might add.  I couldn’t even keep my jacket on sitting still because it was so warm.  After playing football for ten minutes I was frying, looking for my water and a shady spot to collapse.

Spring has sprung.  The air is warm, the flowers are blooming.  God, please let spring last more than ten days this year!!!  Please!!!

The Eyes Have It!

December 5, 2012

nora's glasses

Remember me complaining about teaching English as a second language?  Remember me whining about teaching adding and subtracting over and over and over again?  Remember me handing over my Colombian Princess to her brothers so they could teach her math, so I wouldn’t feel like banging my head on the kitchen table, like all good homeschool moms feel like doing?  Remember me being so sick of BOB books that I wanted to cry… and just maybe I did a few times.  I assumed this was ALL due to English as a second language.  OR my lack of skills in teaching English as a second language.  And I thought maybe I was too old to have the necessary patience to teach a small child again.  NOT SO, as it happened. (That was for you, Jane.)

Nora’s piano teacher commented to me that it seems Nora has difficulty discerning when the notes on the music staff go up and down.  She asked if she also has trouble with reading or numbers.  DUH!  HER EYES!  Today was a special day.  ALL four Crosby kids lined up and had eye exams.  Guess which one needed glasses for reading and math and piano???  Yes!  She picked out darling little glasses that are purple on the top and clear on the bottom.  They will arrive in a week.

The joy in my heart is almost unexplainable.  In the ophthalmologist’s office, after the diagnosis was given, I gushed to my eldest daughter, “I feel like the clouds over our homeschool have just cleared and there is a ray of sun shine beaming down giving me hope again.”  She’s been by my side for 19 years…. she rolled her eyes at me and exclaimed, “Don’t you think that’s a bit dramatic, Mom?”  But it’s not.  It is truth.  Straight up.  God showed up and I don’t feel quite so lame anymore.  I’m even a tad eager to see if adding and subtracting is CLEARER now!  Glory be!  Thank God for other people who are paying attention to my children!

 

August Schmaugust!

August 3, 2012

I’m not real thrilled that it is August. This is the month that school is supposed to start at LAKE Academy… our homeschool.  I am at the lake currently (Lake Tahoe) and I am slightly getting inspired to start thinking about getting ready to begin maybe planning some of our curriculum, being that we are studying a few national parks this year that are also in California with huge redwood trees like the ones I am staring at out the window.  I am the most unready of all 11 of my previous Augusts.  And I am almost okay with that.  Almost.

Guilt tried to consume me last night in the 27 seconds between my head hitting the pillow and when I was actually asleep.  But it was only 27 seconds of guilt and I had the presence of mind to ask God to rid my brain of said guilt.  He did… with sleep.  Today, in the wake of realizing that it is August THIRD, I did break out the coil-bound notebook that does have 2 1/3 pages of notes.  Those two-and-one-third pages are ALL I have planned so far for 10 months of study with my three pupils…. and it’s in outline form, so I do have a bit of work to do.  Only 137 1/3 blank pages awaiting my attention. One thing I have learned in my 11 years of homeschool planning, is that IF I plan all ten months before we start, we will NOT finish what I have purposefully painstakingly planned.  If I plan a few months or units at a time, I am FAR more inspired to be creative in small chunks throughout the year, knowing that we WILL finish what is planned.

Our upcoming school-year will consist of the study of seven national parks on the western side of the United States.  We plan to do between four and six weeks of study at home and then CAMP for a week at each of the parks.  THAT is my kind of homeschooling.  We are schooling with another family who is also close to normal, so it will all be just fine. Yes, it will be two wild-n-crazy homeschool moms camping with eight children ranging in age from 7 to 17.  Awesome!  She is a science geek and I am a history nerd, so most subjects will be covered with some art thrown in for good measure.  Geology.  Astronomy.  History.  Conservation.  Botany.  Dendrochronology.  Eco systems. Nature Journaling.  Art.  Oh yeah.  This is the type of homeschooling that I have only dreamed of for 11 years.  Please stay tuned to see if it’s all I think it’s cracked up to be.

American History Ends!

May 14, 2012

Yes, the Mayans were right!  2012!!  THE END!  American History was the topic this past year for my homeschool class of high schoolers… and it ends day after tomorrow.  We started in 1440 (Go ahead and guess why we started there!) and ended in the 1970s.  I told the kids if they want to find out what has happened in the last 42 years, they are on their own!  The Vietnam War ended and we were done.  Kaput.  Finis. 

We did add a bit of culture and art to the study to keep it interesting (for me!) and we debunked several idols from these youngsters’ minds.  “Like what?”  you ask.  Well, it seems of few of them were drawn to the hippies…. the Jesus people… the Kennedy’s… the Beatles… all for glamorous reasons.  Then we studied some of their lifestyles, choices, outcomes and habits.  Not too glamorous after all.  Perfect!  That is why we homeschool!  To look at REAL history.

Another homeschool mom (who might just be crazier than me!) and I sat together today and did some planning for next school year… which we decided will start two weeks after all the public schools here in Arizona.  Because we can!  Yet another reason to homeschool!  We were at an Abeka display/sale in a nearby hotel.  If you don’t know anything about Abeka, it is a Christian based curriculum that is EXTREMELY thorough… so thorough that it actually contains TOO much school work for the average kid to endure.  It is great, in my humble opinion, as a “pick one topic each year” curriculum.  So we used it for American History and I loved it.  Next year we are using it for spelling and vocabulary.

Anyway, back to the two of us rockin’ cool moms sitting at the table amongst sold-out Abeka moms. We had another curriculum opened that teaches Godly character… and we were talking through a list of national parks that we hope to visit this coming school year.  We were discussing weather and what time of year would be best for us to go to each one.  She was explaining, and I was listening, all the science teaching that can be coordinated with the findings at each park.  We were planning our weeks of study at home… and our week at each park.  Eventually we noticed that the workbook moms sitting around us were all staring lustfully at our plans.  One finally blurted out, “I want to school with you two!”  hahahaha…. why do you think we do this?  We don’t want to be bored!  We don’t want to use ONLY books!  We don’t want to wear out the kitchen table!  We want to live learning!  I wanted to scream “Abeka is boring!  Look out the window at what God made for you to enjoy!”  But I didn’t.  The salesman was quite an impressive figure and I wasn’t sure I could take him, if need be.  The looks in their eyes solidified WHY we do what we do!  My friend whispered to me, “I think they just do school at home,” implying that they aren’t truly “homeschooling.”

We want our kids to love learning, to see creation as an organized and amazingly ordered system that WORKS, to appreciate great men and women who have endured and suffered and succeeded and lost and lived out their beliefs. But most importantly, we want them to know God.  To love God.  To serve others.  To use their individual talents for the kingdom.  THAT is why we do what we do!

Senior Year Comes to a Close…. Almost

May 5, 2012

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Here is our first original baby girl…. all growed up and glowing.  She is graduating from homeschool highschool.  It doesn’t get much better than that (except for her mother, who is DONE teaching this one…. one down, three to go! I can smell freedom in 2022!) 

Our church, CCV, put on a grad appreciation night that was a tear-jerker.  Good grief!  What a great bunch of kids who have a solid foundation to build on as they go their separate ways next fall.  One thing I loved was the youth pastor’s encouragement to them to find a church where ever they are at college and SERVE!  Love it!  Don’t just go and coast.  Don’t be a pew warmer.  Reach out and be Jesus to others.  Awesome.

Here is Larisa trying to face the 18 year old fact that she has cheesy parents.  You’d think she would have caught on by now!

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