About Me

My photo
Welcome! We are a homeschooling family of 12 living a smallish home, with a Lab named Samson, a Morkie named Cookie, and square foot gardens. Loving the Lord and learning as we go!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

15 months..and our favorite school books.. & 3 years gone by

amazing..adventurous..adorable. That's our little Caleb. :)
Just had to share a picture!


If you homeschool..do you notice how you always come back to the same books again and again? I LOVE curriculum..
Here are a few of our favorite things right now. Some we've had for years and some are new.

Math It
Apples Daily Drills
Apologia..anything! Right now we're using Anatomy.
Oldest son is doing Exploring Creation with General Science on cdrom.
Rod and Staff grammar books.
All Through the Ages. I use this to find great books for history reading.
Ruth Beechick's Three R's books.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Dick and Jane. It was good enough for me..it's good enough for them :)
ABeka Civics Activity book.
Khan Academy (math helps)

We've been using Singapore math for a few years now. It works great for my 2nd-4th sons. Not so great for my oldest. I'm trying to supplement with Math Mammoth on the advice of a math nerd friend, and get him caught up to grade level. That's the great thing about homeschooling..no leaving him in the dust!

For history, we like to read real books. :) Right now we're in The Light and the Glory for Children by Peter Marshall & David Manuel. Also going through The American Revolution by Dale Anderson. All the while, slowing studying the Abeka Civics Activity book. There is so much that I didn't even know!


And..Sunday, July 24th was the 3 year mark. Mama's battle with cancer was over and she was taken to the arms of our Heavenly Father. So much has happened since then. Time marches on..but my heart will always ache. I miss her so much..and think of her every day.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A few words from a grieving friend..

When a child dies. What NOT to do.
(written from a momys friend, Corinne K.)

Some of you know my 12 yo daughter Rachael died 3 years ago this month. It is fascinating to me what types of things I have learned through losing her. My friend's 11 year old son is dying of cancer and she is struggling so I thought it might help to share a few things that you should never say to a mom who has a child dying or one who died.

1. Never tell us that we are doing *it* wrong. *It* is unbearable and we are doing the best there is to do. Honest. If you would do things differently that is fine. But don't tell us. This is not your job or burden to bear and we DO have to do it and you don't.

2. Don't tell us that they are in a better place. We know heaven is nicer than here, but we like them here just fine and really...it feels like you are saying we are not good enough for our child to stay.

3. Please don't tell us ways to save them. We already want to and can't or couldn't.

4. Don't tell us that God *must* heal our child if we just have enough faith. Perfect healing is in heaven for us all and I have yet to meet a Christian who never died. If faith was all it takes to heal everyone NO one would ever die.

5. It hurts us to be told that losing a child to death by sickness or accident is the same a when your 94 year old grandmother died in her sleep 2 years ago. It isn't the same thing at all. We know you are in pain, but it is not the same thing. At all.

6. Please don't expect us to be back to normal in a month and it is a fallacy to say grieving takes a year. We will never be the same and it will take a long time to find our way again. We will never be *over it*.

7. Please help us. Life is so overwhelming that after the death it is hard to even think of HOW to cook a meal, let alone do it. And if our child has not died yet, please offer to help in any and every way possible. If you are far away, money helps us to buy help.

8. Let us cry. We are so sorry that it makes you uncomfortable, but it is a fact of our life now. Tears will come and it doesn't mean that it is bad to talk about our children, only that we are deeply grieving them.

9. It means a lot to us when you remember our child. Expecially later when it feels like everyone has forgotten.

10. Having another baby is not the answer to losing the one that died.

11. It is NOT easier, or harder, that we have other children. No one can replace the one that died.

12. Please don't watch us as though we are about to throw ourselves into the open grave. None of us likes to be thought of as a freak show. And please think of us as something other than the-lady-whose-kid-died. That is a hard definition to live with. But also please be gentle with us for quite a while. We can't handle rough treatment.

13. We may gain weight, or lose weight, or sleep more, or not sleep at all. We may be sad for a long time. It does not mean something wrong with us. It just means we are profoundly changed.

14. We will never be the same as you once knew us. Please don't expect us to be.

15. Remember that our families are hurting too.

16. We can't help you through our child's death. We recognize that it is hard for many people but please don't lean on us as we go through this. We can't hold you up. We have other people that we have to help already. Come and help hold us up instead please.

Pretty please?

When a child dies. What you SHOULD do.

I have had numerous requests since yesterday asking for help with what TO do for a grieving parent, or anyone in deep grief really. But I will write it for parents since that is what I am.

1. When we cry, just wait. Don't try to say things to make us feel better since there really isn't anything to say. We know that. Just a hand on a shoulder or a hug, or hand us a tissue. You can say "I am so sorry you have to do this." or "I will miss her too."

2. Accept that we will grieve. For a long time. Don't ask us to shorten our grief to make you feel better or so you can feel that we are okay now. Tell us that you know this and that it is okay.

3. Grief is hard work. It requires most of our energy. Please understand that we are tired and it is hard to socialize at first.

4. Remember our children with us. Share your memories with us. It is all we have left and we treasure them more than you can even know. Tell us something we didn't know.

5. Help us. But please try not to ask us what we need. We don't know and it requires more thinking than we are able to do. Bring groceries. Clean the house. Go put gas in the car. Take our other children someplace fun since that is not something we are able to do for them right now. Run errands. Think of something specific and then ask if you can do that for us.

6. Be the one to reach out. It isn't that we don't want to be with you, it is just that our mind is so full that we can't think of it ourselves. If we don't want to, please don't feel rejected. Somedays are just harder than others. Keep trying because we really need you. I based my decisions of what to do on whether it *would* have sounded fun to me before. For us, the world is only shades of grey for a while. Color comes back very slowly.

6. Don't ignore us. All of us have lost many friends because they didn't know what to say to us. Even if it has been a while, please don't abandon us because we are too hard for you now. Even if all you have to say is "I don't know what to say."

7. Remember the special dates with us. Anniversaries of our child's death are very hard and painful for a long time. Remember a birthday or anniversary and let us know that you care and it matters to you too, because it really matters to us.

8. Take your cues from us, especially at first. If we are able to laugh with you, then do, but if our mood changes back to tears, move there with us. We often feel guilty when we have fun, so help us understand that it is okay.

9. If our child is dying from an illness we are grieving prior to death too. Don't forget us.

10. If our child was stillborn, please remember that he or she was still our child and our grief is profound and often discounted. Remember them with us please.

11. If our child died from an accident we are in shock and need time to come to terms with the facts.

12. Take the time to find out what our *Love Laungage* is and speak to us in our language. Small gifts to one who hears love that way, spend time with the one who needs quality time, serve the one who needs service, speak words to those that need them, and touch the one who needs touch. But please remember that we all need some of all of them.

Your caring enough to do these things helps so much. We have to do this anyway and knowing people care enough to stick with us through it makes a difference.

*13. If we are strong right at first, that's great. But really hard grieving, the doubt or anger or whatever, might come weeks, or even months later. Don't just assume because mom or dad is a pillar of strength at the funeral they are *always* going to be that strong and thus don't need you. (Jonash2004)

Corinne wife to love-of-my-life Pete and MOMYS to Kevin; Christy, Kenneth; Nick; Amanda; Jacob; ^Rachael^ Forever 12; David; Rebekah; Sarah; Daniel; Katie; and Benjamin. MIL to Lee, Emily, and Marci; and Nana to 16! www.mdtesting.com