Homeschool Convention Notes 2017

I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked into that exhibit hall πŸ™ŒπŸ» & the night before was my Christmas Eve. So I guess you could say I was a tad bit excited about my very first convention for homeschool.

The main speaker was one of my favorite people, Sarah Mackenzie. She’s like the BeyoncΓ© of homeschooling. Her book changed my whole way of thinking.

It started at 8:30 and me and Lydia arrived at 7am because I’m crazy. But Sarah was the first speaker and I didn’t want to miss a minute.

One of the first questions she asked us was to think of how we want our kids to describe being homeschooled 20 years from now. Like imagine your kids are 25 years old and out to dinner with friends, what will they say?

We all shouted out things like loving, fun you know all the sweet adjectives we could think of.

She starts laughing and says oh you mean you don’t want them to say that they knew all their letters by 2.5 years old or that they completed their entire geometry curriculum on time?

That really got me to thinking. Even as a public school student, how I describe my school years has zero to do with what information I learned when and do I even remember half the things they tried to shove down our throats so that we could finish our workbooks by June… 

When I think back to school I remember my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Phillips, who was so wacky & fun. I remember Show & Tell and the sand & water tables. I remember Mrs. Rhinehardt who read Corduroy to me for the first time and sent me home with the ragged old bear to take care of for the weekend. I remember Miss Dunn who lived with her parents on my street. She was so sweet and probably not older than 25. She had us do a project where we designed a restaurant making blueprints and then we had to create a menu. I loved that and at the time thought I for sure wanted to open my own restaurant. I remember mean Mrs. Maine. Nobody liked her but I don’t know why. She read to us Little House on the Praire. My family moved mid way through the year and we hadn’t yet finished the book. She knew I loved it and bought me my own copy. Its on my bookshelf to this day. Its still my favorite book. 

In the later years I remember Mr. Navetta. The absolute best. He taught me Algebra and he worked so hard to make sure I understood. If you made lower than a C on a test he would have you come in a relearn what you missed. He was available before school and after school for free tutoring. He always made time for me. He was obsessed with the book “How to Kill a Mockingbird” and he was a math teacher, go figure. He had the quotes from the book all over his classroom. I visited him every year after I left middle school until I graduated high school. 

I only have 1 memorable teacher past middle school and I can’t remember his name but I can see his face and his balding red hair. He taught AP English at my high school. It was the morning of 9/11. We were all very confused by everything that was happening. We had the news on the tv and when people started jumping from the buildings he turned off the tv and said y’all bow your heads. Now I don’t remember his exact words but he said a beautiful prayer. This was public school and he was a Jewish man. But that day it did not matter. He did what he knew to be right on that scary day and I’ll never forget it.

So when I think about what I want my own children to say about their homeschool experience, I want them to remember all the books, the feeling of being snuggled up to mom, the laughter from playing with their siblings. I want them to know that if I saw they were interested in something that I tried to give them all the opportunity I could to learn all about it. I want them to know how much I cherished the short time I was given to fill them with Gods truth and His love. 

Another important comment that Sarah made was about an airplane and a hammer. Sounded weird to me at first too. But here’s the deal. We buy curriculum because well it’s pretty and organized and we are all excited about teaching the lessons. Come January we are hardly half way through and we are not sure if it’s really going to get finished. And the curriculum stares at us with its not so real eyes and judges us from the shelf. Well Sarah says curriculum is a tool, much like a hammer. Its useful only when you need it and want to use it. You don’t buy a hammer and say well I better use this hammer everyday or I’m a failure. You don’t just go along hammering holes in the wall just to say you used it. Use your curriculum to your benefit, when it suits you and your children. Don’t feel like you have to check it off a to do list. You are the ruler of your school day, the curriculum is only a tool to help. 

And so the airplane… the pilot has a flight path all mapped out. He has a plan. You don’t just board a plane and say ok let’s wing this, where we headed? Bermuda? So you see, the curriculum is your flight path. The plan for the year, so nice and orderly. But just like most flights, there’s bad weather and we have to adjust the path. There are going to be events and sick babies that slow down your pace. Don’t panic, just adjust your path. Don’t rush through your lessons just to get caught up. Be aware of when Jesus is purposely trying to slow you down. And when all else fails, get a blanket and a book and read to those sweet children. 

& don’t forget to date all your paperwork, work book pages & projects – lol

I am so excited for our very first Kindergarten year with Timmy and a little sad about my last year of Grace being a preschooler. Luckily for me I get to start all over with Lydia and maybe by then I’ll have it all figured out.

Summer Vacation 2017

Oh how we needed this vacation!

Tim has been working insane hours and honestly I wasn’t sure this was actually going to happen. But it did and it was so awesome.

First we drove to Orlando. We left at 11:00. In the a.m. That’s right!  πŸ˜³ I swear this man just can not be anywhere early. It was so hard for me to sit patiently and wait on him. But NOTHING was going to ruin this vacation even if I had to wait 4 extra hours for Mr. Dube to get himself together.

He’s worth the wait ❀️ 

But real talk his laxadaisy ways kill me πŸ˜‚

We took the kids to Aquatica Waterpark and you know what’s awesome is that you have to put your phone in a locker so it doesn’t get wet. Undivided family time! There’s no pictures but that time alone with just us was priceless. Watching my kids run around with their Dad was so special for me. I snuggled with Lydia on a lounge chair and listened to all the giggles.

Then we checked into our hotel.

Harbour Lake Marriot.

Stay. There.

I feel like I should work for there marketing department. It is the best resort we’ve ever stayed at. I even wrote a review and I never do that. There was something for the kids all day and their pools were so awesome.

When we got there they had s’mores and a guitar player who let the kids sing songs. Timmy sang the ABCs. I’ll never forget the sound of his sweet voice. I wish I had recorded it.

The next day Tim had Timmy and Grace to himself while me and Lydia attended the homeschool convention. They had so much fun at this pirate ship pool.

Then gator land cane to the resort and this happened!

On the last day I took the kids to the splash pad while Daddy packed up the room. Lydia had the best time!

You really never have to leave this place. They eve have a water park type slide that Timmy loved.​

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My Grace is the ultimate diva. I swear she was born to be a princess.   


Then we were on our way to Alabama to see friends. These girls have been my friends since the 5th grade. 

Reunited and it feels so good 🎀

We had the best time! I think seeing our kids play together gave us the sweetest joy. Even the rain couldn’t get us down.

The first day we ended up having our beach picnic in a parking garage. No one cared. We were just happy to be together.

The next day the weather was great.

It doesn’t get much better than that! Beer in hand with this view of cute kids running around making memories.

& matching jammies ❀️

This precious photo. My boy was in love.
It was so nice to embrace the crazy and sip wine with my girlfriends and the men were like old friends too. Makes a world of difference when the guys like each other too.

Lydia’s first vacay in the books!

Sweet Memories

Mom are ladybugs only ladies? 

No.

Oh so are they called menbugs?

πŸ˜‚πŸž Love this boy


That’s a 9 month costume. Can’t tell this girl it doesn’t fit πŸ˜‚

This morning snuggling with all three kids because it is raining for the thousandth day.

Just look at those eyes.. they’re telling me how uncool I am because I said don’t go out in the rain. “We don’t care about the rain Mommy!”


A cowboy hat, Elsa costume & pink sparkly shoes. She’s had her own style since babyhood.


Licking the insides of a Nutella sandwich in a baby swing. Girl has the life. And clearly I’m the ultimate mom feeding my kids the most nutritious lunches.


I want to be a baby so I never have to clean again! – Grace

Lydia’s first time in her baby pool. Safety first! That’s why there’s about a centimeter of water… I have issues. πŸ˜‚ Look at that smile though! She’s the best.

She was a little thirsty lol.


The best view❀️

My Basketball Star

Timmy lovessss basketball! & he’s really very good. He practices all the time thanks to memes & Tom buying him his own hoop. He’ll get up to 9 shots in a row.

Today he got medal for most enthusiastic. That’s for sure! Every week one player gets a medal for exceptional demonstration of a sportsmanship quality. He was so proud and I know it because he says as we are walking out, “Mom I’m just so proud of myself can you believe I got this medal?” He’s so awesome.

I got video of one of his shots too.​

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Mommy Son Dance

I was sooo excited for this! & so was Timmy. All day he was counting down until we could leave. I am so blessed to be his mama. He really is the sweetest thing. He has the biggest heart and his laugh just lights up the room.


I love any time that I can pour into just one child. Really give them all my love and make them feel so special. In the middle of dancing he stops and says mommy I love spending time with you. It doesn’t get better than this.

The boys had the best time. Little dancing fools. Especially once the sugar kicked in. I love my city. They really went all out. Baby blue cupcakes, candy bar, & juice for the boys. Chicken wings & veggies for the moms. 

Did I say I love my City!! They posted these pictures this morning.

On our way home I said Timmy I love spending this time with you & he saysss, “Me too mom but I really miss Grace.”

I’m so lucky to be the mom of these sweet children.

Lydia is 9 months!

& poof! 9 months has passed. 

This little butterball is weighing in at 20 pounds. She is suddenly a lover of all food. Like you can’t eat in front of her and expect not to share.

She is all over the place. Crawling, standing & cruising the couches.

She’s just the happiest little thing. Six teeth and I would not have know by all the happy days we have. 

I’ve been spoiling her lately & letting her nap in my arms. But I already know those snuggles don’t last forever so the house will have to wait until she is grown.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Our very first chapter book complete! This is very exciting for me. I love to read and I’m really look forward to re-reading all the classics with my children.

I tried this last year with Charlottes Web but they weren’t ready yet. This time around it was so fun. Every night we snuggled up in my bed and read as a family. I also bought the book of kids questions and we filled that out each night too.

And coincidently that night we read our last chapter, the movie was playing on TV the very next day. We ate shrimp for dinner just like the Penguins. Our shrimp was fried tho πŸ™ˆ. And the kids ate their ice cream and we all watched the movie. It. Was. Terrible. They liked it but I could not keep interested. The Penguins didn’t even have the same names. Like what?!

Anyways these lucky kids got to then go to Sea World a few days later to see real Penguins. Its a miracle this all worked out & the weather was perfect.The penguin exhibit is the cutest. And Daddy bought them little penguin babies from the gift shop. For the rest of the trip I had to keep these “Penguins” cold by holding them with our frozen water bottles. The pretend play is serious over here.

I woke up to this this morning.

It’s so awesome to see them playing out parts of the book. I’m excited for our next adventure!

Sweet Memories

Today there was a dead bird in the road. Timmy got so angry and says you know what I bet I know who did this and don’t worry mom I will be having a word with them.

Timmy doesn’t like our frig because the ice maker is too noisy. Says it’s gonna wake up Grace. He just told me to try calling 772-frig-makers and get it fixed.

So I turned my backyard into a water park on a budget… these kids were singing my praises. I actually got this, “Mom thanks for buying this pool we really appreciate it!” Just 12 bucks for all this magical fun!

Added some shampoo and pool turned bath just like that.

Day 2. More dirt. Pool falling apart. Kids could care less.​

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Dube Waterpark 2.0 is Swings + Sprinkler! Apparently the tiny friends are baaacccckkkk. Grace says her tiny friends are on her head taking a tour and her hair is their buckle and Timmy’s tiny friends are trying to turn the water off but they’re too small 😳

(Pre)Summer

It’s SUMMER! Not actually but according to Florida conditions it’s been summer for at least a week now. Its May 1st so from here on out it water activities only or you won’t survive.

The kids don’t mind at all. Total beach babes.

I found this perfect little mini beach. Almost zero waves and the shortest walk from car to sand. The beach is hard for me with 3 kids especially since my husband isn’t big on going so that means this mama is going solo or not at all. It makes me feel like I’m on vacation even if it’s a little crazy with 2 kids and a baby. 

But seriously Lydia is the coolest baby. She hung out in her beach tent, she played in the sand and the water, she nursed and napped. She’s just a happy camper. I took a million pictures. Surprise. Surprise.

& I just love these pictures of my baby sister hanging out with my babies. She’s such a big help.

Proof of all the fun had.

It was a fun filled weekend for sure. On Saturday my friend Dawn basically had a tiny water par in her yard just for our kids. She had a big kid pool, a baby pool, a bounce house, slip & slide, water balloons & water guns. They all had the best time. 

& boy did this bring me back. Squeeze its! This has 90’s kid written all over it πŸ˜‚

Aunt Dawn never disappoints. That mama pulls out all the stops. I mean it’s madness but it’s a nice treat for my kids. She has an outdoor frig stocked with ice pops, ice cream, juice & wine for the mama’s. Her supply is endless & my kids were loving it. Pretty sure they had 3 different kinds of popsicles and I just decided to call it dinner. Just look at Gracie’s face in that picture lol obviously reached her sugar max.

So now we will celebrate summer until November, where we pretend its winter but it’s really 86 on Christmas. I think we are going to travel to snow this winter and show these poor kids what it’s all about.

Sweet Memories

The way Lydia giggles when Timmy talks to her.

Finding Timmy asleep in my Dads room.

Popsicles with my kids. Grace looks like such a baby. Sometimes I forget she’s only three. 

Timmy playing football with our priest. 

A mommy love pile.

Roasting pretend marshmallows on a pretend fire and climbing real trees. Sometimes I have to just sit in my front yard and look out and pretend I live in the mountains.


Flying Kites! & these kids were so good at it.

😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩😩

I hope he wants to snuggle with me always. You can never know when the last time will be. No one tells you that on this such and such a date cuddling with your mother will be uncool. I hope never.