Tuesday, July 5, 2016

North Carolina

Moving really takes a lot of effort when you're an adult! I moved about every 2 years as a child, due to my father being in the Air Force, but it was just fun to move as a kid. Being a grownup requires a bit more work... Anyway, we are all settled in Clemmons, North Carolina, now (and have been for a while), so I figured I should try to get back to blogging.

We are still homeschooling. North Carolina has a few more rules than Texas, but nothing much I wasn't already doing. I had to fill out an online form after we first moved here, establishing our home school, and had to give us a name. We are now Shadow Creek Academy! There's a creek next to our property, and our cat is named Shadow, so that's where the name came from. Nothing too inspirational or meaningful, but it got the most votes among the kids. Then I have to keep attendance - just marking off the days each child does school work - no specific hours worked or anything - just "present" or not. And then I have to give them a standardized test each year, which I was already doing in Texas anyway. The state reserves the right to review your records (attendance and test scores), but apparently that doesn't happen very often. Oh, and when I submitted the initial online form, I also had to submit documentation of my own education (either a high school or university diploma) and that of any other potential teacher (like my husband). Other than that, it's pretty much just as basic as Texas.

This past year has been busier for me though, since my youngest was a full-fledged 1st grader. Having 3 students with a full load takes a bit more time. We also changed things around a bit as we got into the year, finding what worked best with each child. We used Sonlight mostly for history and literature, though my middle child tried out an online history course with Veritas Press. She liked it, but I'm not sure how much she really retained. Veritas Press is heavier on memorizing dates and events, which I thought would be good for my middle child, who is good at memorizing - but she didn't really care for that part - just the stories and video clips. It was pretty good, but more expensive than I'd like, seeing as we've already got all the Sonlight books. We're going to go back to all Sonlight for history this coming year.

We had some issues with working independently this past year. I tried to have the girls do more of their work on their own, since I was feeling overwhemled at times. But over time, I let the accountability drop more than I should have (meaning I didn't check up on whether they really did the work they were supposed to be doing), and we had to go back and re-do (or rather, do for the first time) some of the work. But I think we've gotten that straightened out. I will be doing more spot checks, and doing more work together with them (longer days for me...), and the girls have learned more about being responsible.

Part of the reason I let the girls work on their own so much was the amount of time I needed to spend with my youngest. We struggled with finding the right reading curriculum for my youngest, but he is now, finally, reading quite well. I think it wasn't really having the find the right type of curriculum - I think he just needed time. Something just clicked only a few months ago, and now it all makes sense to him. He was this way with speaking too - he hardly said any words for a long time, and then he suddenly started speaking in full, long sentences. He has read through the Beginner's Bible twice on his own in just the past few weeks. So I now have 3 readers!

Right now, I am preparing plans for next year, and hopefully I will put some more of those thoughts into this blog in the near future.

Friday, December 12, 2014


My husband became eligible for early retirement from NASA a year ago, and so he's been looking into possible other jobs for a while now. Neither of us are too fond of Houston summers, hurricanes, or the flatness. We knew we didn't want to live here forever, so when the government started offering "early outs" for which he was eligible, we decided it might be the right time for us to leave.

My husband began looking almost 2 years ago for possible jobs near San Antonio or the Hill Country in Texas (we did still like the rest of Texas!), but not much turned up. Then, he branched out and started looking at jobs in other states. I wrote about this once before, about a year ago when we had a potential lead on a job. That one fell through, though, so we stayed put.

Just a few months ago, after we'd pretty much accepted that nothing better was available right now, my husband got in contact with a NASCAR team in North Carolina looking for engineers. He flew up there for an interview, and it sounds like it's a really good match. They want to hire him, and we are finalizing the details now. So, just like that, it sounds like we're moving to (near) Welcome, North Carolina!

It is tricky enough to move with three young kids, but adding that to the typical busyness of Christmas is maybe not the best idea! They want my husband to start work there in January, so we are going to try to sell the house as soon as we can. We had a POD delivered a few days ago, so we can start de-cluttering. Painters have come the past 2 days to freshen the paint indoors and repaint our front deck, which is very worn. We are in contact with a few realtors, both here and in North Carolina. So things are really starting to get moving. I am already tired of packing. We have way too many books! And so much dust.... (yeah, I don’t dust much around here.)

December has also been very full of music. I have various rehearsals and concerts happening every weekend, and throughout the week, both for me and the girls. We have travel plans to visit my in-laws. We have parties to attend. We have houses to look at online. And my husband is trying to finalize all the retirement paperwork with NASA. Not to mention still trying to homeschool the kids. So, I may not write again for a while....

Got to go – more books to pack!

Monday, November 10, 2014


My middle child, Reanna, was baptized yesterday! She asked Jesus into her heart over a year ago, but she was not ready to be baptized then. Over this past summer, she started asking more questions about it, and by this fall, was more than ready to be baptized. We met with the children's minister at church, and she agreed that Reanna understood quite a bit, and knew the significance of baptism - that it was to show others that she had already accepted Jesus as her Lord, and had asked Him to be her Savior.

So, a week after turning 7, she was baptized. She was so excited that morning! We got there plenty early, and stood waiting in the dressing room behind the baptistery (she was too excited to sit).
She had wanted the children's minister, Karen, to baptize her. Reanna was all eager to get started, but when the time came to step into the water, she turned a little hesitant. The water was deep for this little below-average-height child! But she made it down close enough to grab Karen's hand, and floated the rest of the way to the brick to stand on.

I think she was a bit distracted, and thinking a million thoughts, and so had to be asked twice if she had asked Jesus into her heart, but then she answered with a quite loud, "Yes!" to the amusement of the congregation.

She held her nose, and was dipped below the water, and came up spouting water with a slightly panicked look on her face, but after a few seconds, that bright smile popped out, and she was grinning ear to ear. She talked non-stop after that, while I dried her off and got her changed.

The children's minister also gave us a good idea to help us remember this day. Many times, when children are baptized this young, they don't retain a solid memory of the day. I know I don't have too many memories of my own baptism, when I was 5 or 6, though I do remember some moments. Karen suggested that we make a celebration of this day every year, like a second birthday. Celebrate with some sort of gift that has spiritual significance, like a prayer book, or Bible verse bookmark, or something similar that is age appropriate. Then, this day, and the exact date, will be remembered much more easily. So, for Reanna, this will be easy to remember - her baptism day, or her spiritual birthday, however we decide to call it, is just one week past her regular birthday. What a wonderful way to celebrate her new life in Christ!