Monday, June 29, 2009

Haileys Talent Show Audition...

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We love you girl...SO proud of you!!!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

H is for HARD.....

Read Pictures, Images and Photos

If I am being honest about homeschooling..I mean REALLY honest.

That is when I can admit that for some reason...teaching them the "basics" is gthe hardest for me...SO FAR.(I am SURE there are HARDER things to come!!!)

I am CONSTANTLY asking the "other" kids who come over...

"What are YOU doing in math?"
"How did YOU learn your multiplication facts?"
"What did YOU read today?"
"How often do YOU do science?"

Most of the time I get VERY LITTLE info from my little public school friends..they are soooo OVER school questions! LOL

I cant help it...somewhere inside of me I still find it hard not to "compare" us to others.

I am REALLY working on that...but its a SLOW PROCESS.

Trying to RE-train my brain after YEARS of "conditioning".

I KNOW my kiddos are smart.

But...It has been a struggle(at times) to teach SOME of them to read.

I have found that I have to find a BALANCE somewhere in the middle.

Some MIDDLE ground..

On one hand-
There are the UN-schooling books I have read that say, "Dont worry if they dont read till they are 11...its ok."(When I read THAT I almost LOST MY MIND....not till they are 11??? Thats WAY TOO UN-school, hippy style for EVEN ME!)

and on the OTHER HAND..
there is the "you HAVE to be at a certain LEVEL" view of the CONVENTIONAL public school.(Which is ONE of the reasons WHY we choose to that we DO HAVE more FREEDOM.)

I have struggled with the fact that Ezekiel finds it REALLY HARD to piece it together.

He can read...but DOES NOT LIKE IT!!!

I have to MAKE HIM read.

AND ...while he is reading-I almost have to stand over him.

A struggle...for BOTH of US.

I WANT it to be easy for him...I WANT him to WANT TO READ!

I am learning that as the children grow older, the things that I WANT for them arent always so.

The same things arent always going to be EASY for all of us.

Zeek is an AMAZING creative thinker, humanitarian, and LOVES science!

ALL which are JUST AS important as READING EASILY at 8!

Shashamane is 2 years younger than Zeek and can probably read at a 3rd grade level....ALREADY.

I taught her the "rules" of reading once and she has NEVER looked back.

She is 6 and I have started to find her on the couch READING...without being ASKED!!!

To me...THAT is a miracle.

I am learning to appreciate that it takes "creativity" on MY PART to get some kids interested.

I now get Zeek interested in reading by steering him towards books like "Captain Underpants". (If you dont know- its POTTY HUMOR..All the way!)

I have learned that he IS INTERESTED in long as WHAT he is reading has SOMETHING to do with farting, burping, peeing, pooping, or eating ANYTHING gross!

Its like I always say..."Get in where you fit in."

For now...We apparently "fit in" with GROSS little boys who WANT to read about SMELLY FARTS and STINKY POOP! LOL

Like I said...I AM BEING HONEST!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Serious PATIENCE....


So this morning I took Shashamane to Wal-Mart with me and let her scan EVERYTHING...BY HERSELF!!!

I was PROUD...So PROUD!!!

Of MYSELF that is....I considered it a lesson in "patience".

I called on HIM and he answered....

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Fabulous Book " Friday!!


Its Friday...You KNOW what THAT means!!!

"Fabulous Book" Friday....

If you have never read this book...I highly recommend it.

The story follows a woman as she travels thru a PART of her life.

She takes a "journey" ...Both physically an mentally!!!

We should ALL "Eat, Pray, Love".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water "Birds".....


We are sooo blessed to live in such an AMAZING place!!!

Tonight...after Jay got home from work- we headed down to the beach.

We met his twin brother and his family down there.

It was soooooo beautiful...the water was CRYSTAL CLEAR!

A strange OCEAN GREEN clear I could see my chipped toenail polish!

When we got there we couldn't help it....We all dove right in.

Jeff, Amy, Sebastian, Anastasia, Lonnie, Jay, Me, Zeek, Shasha, Malachi AND Sheba!!!

We swam for a while...then Sheba wanted to surf.

That girl will probably be our PRO surfer...she LOVES it!!!

Anyway....WE were all swimming and as I looked out about 40 feet in front of us I saw SOMETHING!

At first I thought it was sea foam...because it looked kinda CREAM COLORED.

Then Amy said to me...."Look at all those Stingrays!"

And THEN I could tell what it was....There were 100's of stingrays "surfing" in the waves.

They were sooo beautiful.

It was an amazing moment...all the kids were amazed.

Over and over again they would swim past in BIG groups, just flapping their "wings".

They look like a strange water bird...without a care in the world.

What a day....What a LIFE!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Selah Eve is 4!!!!

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Saturday was Selahs Birthday.

I cant believe she is 4..which means that in 10 weeks Sheba will be 4!!!!

How can that be????

It seems like yesterday that they were born!!!

Sunshyne took all the girls on a CARRIAGE RIDE thru downtown St. Augustine!!!

It was sooo sweet for her to invite the girls...AND she bought them all a princess dress.

Thank You Sunshyne!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Wise Woman Wisdom

This is something I read on a friend of mines BLOG.....From her Mother-in-law: Good Stuff!

I grow increasingly convinced that God values children much, much more than we do.

We value a clean floor more than children. We value free time more than children. We value the good dishes more than children. We value going out to eat or watching grown-up television shows more than we value children.

All the world, including the church, tells us that children are a bother, perhaps even a mistake. If you don’t believe that, introduce a family with many babies into your church and see how long it takes for someone to say, “They know what causes that, don’t they?”

We have let the world convince us that a large family is a curse, when the Bible clearly teaches that many children are a blessing, a sign of God’s great favor.

If I had the choice right now, there would be more children in my family. And I think I might be brave enough to let God decide how many.

I remember that it seemed a little frantic around my house when the children were little. I never got “it all” done, whatever “it all” is. There was not much privacy or money or free time. There was lots of laundry and garbage and stinky stuff. The boys were going to be 2 and 4 forever. It was never going to end.

Don’t get me wrong - I enjoyed my boys. But it was all colored by that worldly, selfish, hurry-up-and-grow-up attitude. And then it was over. I woke up one morning and they were almost as tall as me. The next day, or so it seemed, they didn’t even live with us. Now there is not much garbage or laundry or stinky stuff. And there is much more privacy and money and free time.

I’d trade it all in a heartbeat.

I would do laundry around the clock if it meant I could have one more day with my little boys in my home. I want the piles of blue jeans back. If my family had been larger, perhaps I would have grown in wisdom and learned to treasure the tiny victories and agonies of everyday. Perhaps not, but at least it would have lasted longer.

You think they’ll be little forever. You can’t imagine being able to handle – afford – care for another little life. But you can. And it will be over before you know it, with plenty of years left to use the good dishes.

Tonight I found myself....

Praying Hands

Tonight I found myself on my knees,
pleading with God,
in a fog of fear,
gasping for air.

1000 miles from where my heart was.
1 mile from one of my worst fears.

Alone with my mind....all I could do was PRAY.

Asking God to make a way....

Our lives have just soon for such a STUN.

Life is to short for fear of LIFE.

Life is to short to fuss and cause STRIFE.

Tonight I found myself in the MIDST OF MY FAITH.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A sign.....

2 dollar bills
(Sorry DAD...This one is about you!!!!!)

When I was little, my Dad an Suzy took us on vacation...SOMEWHERE.

I cant really remember WHERE we went...BUT, I remember what happened when we got home.

We walked up to the house and the front window was busted out.

I will never forget that.

My Dad had us all stay outside an he went in to look around.

Of course...There was noone there anymore.

I can STILL remember walking into my Dad and Suzettes room and everything was on the floor....the drawers were emptied and all the doors were open.

It was soooo scary.

There were lots of things missing, BUT- the MOST valuable was the collection of $2 bills an silver dollars that my Papaw had given us.

It was sooooo sad...LOST FOREVER!!!!

I hadn't thought about it really AT ALL ....UNTIL yesterday. SOME of you know- My Dad went into the hospital yesterday....UNEXPECTEDLY!

He had been having some chest pains at work and called Suzette.

They were both scared and went to the doctor who told them they needed to go to the hospital.

He was admitted last night and was to have an ANGIOPLASTY today.

As you can imagine ....I was FREAKING OUT!!!!!

I was so upset and for some reason..I glanced over on my desk and saw a small change purse that I had bought at a thrift store about a MONTH AGO.

I had never opened it when I bought it and had come home an thrown it on my desk...

I reached over and grabbed it.

I slowly opened the was BLOWN AWAY by what I found!!!!

Inside this small pouch was a STACK of $2 bills!!!

It was a sign....My DADDY would be ok.

Give Thanks for having eyes OPENED enough to see the signs that GOD puts IN front of us!!!

Psalm 33:5
The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


summer Pictures, Images and Photos

I thought I would be able to RELAX this summer.
I envisioned myself LAYING in a chair on the beach...READING!!
What was I thinking????????
We are busier THESE days than when we were "in" school!!!


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Jay played at Jacks BBQ with his "new" band on Sunday.

Actually ...its MOSTLY his OLD band .."Individually United"- MINUS a few old members...PLUS a few NEW members.

So...They are calling themselves..."UNITED"

They did GREAT considering they had NEVER even PRACTICED.

Anyway...The kids had a great time and swam for 3-4 hours!!!!

I mean they ONLY got out of the pool to eat french fries!!!

Gotta LOVE Reggae Sunday Funday!!!!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


This a post from a while ago.....I LOVE it though.

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Ezekiel is an amazing child...

He is just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside.

Tonight we were watching "Planet Earth" and all the sudden he turned to me and said ,
"Mom, I think when I get older I want to make things and have a store and when people can afford them they can buy them..and when they CAN'T...I'll just GIVE it to them."

I said, "Thats great ..You know that God appreciates those things when they come from your heart. What are you going to invent???"

Zeek said, " I have already thought of it. I am going to make a bus, but longer and fatter, so that families with lots of kids can use it."

At this point..I am TOTALLY FALLING in LOVE with this child who is growing up actually in front of me as we spoke.

He then follows me around the house and tells me all kinds of details about OTHER inventions he has ALREADY thought of!!!

Like...headphones that are somehow connected to a TV that shows your thoughts??????
(PLEASE God....Do NOT grant him the wisdom to make THIS....LOL)Sometimes I would be in trouble....

AMAZING....His Brain is EXPANDING as we speak!!!

Then- as usual I try and "sneak" in a lesson or activity...

I said, "Why don't we get you a poster and we'll write "ZEEKS INVENTIONS" on it and over time you can draw all the inventions you think of???"

I, of course, thought this was BRILLIANT and SNEAKY...

His response..."Uh...No, Maybe when I'm older."

Then he kept talking as if I had said NOTHING.

He saw thru my plan...He KNEW he would have to pick up a PENCIL!!!

What an AMAZING child that, GOD-WILLING, I am SURE will grow up to be an AMAZING MAN...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our "Baby"....Not any more! (Sniff)


Sheba Ithiopia Vallone.....A ROYAL name for a ROYAL girl.

Sheba has sucha sweet soul...She is a caretaker at heart.

She is very observative and ALWAYS knows JUST what someone needs.

She sits with Jay at night and rubs his head and says, " I Love you Daddy", and is ALWAYS first to get him ANYTHING he needs.

She has been growing up in front of our eyes lately...
It is HARD for me to believe that she is almost 4 years old!!!!
Our BABY????? Almost 4????
Couldnt be....
Shoulnt be....
Where did the time go????

"Fabulous Book" Friday....


Its Friday again....Time for "Fabulous Book" Friday!!!

"Homeschooling at the speed of Life" is a great book...It helped me get thru the 1st year of homeschooling.

There were times that I doubted that I COULD homeschool these 4 monkeys!!!! LOL

And THIS BOOK helped me thru those times.
It helped me KNOW that I COULD do it.
I had ALL homeschool moms do!!!

We are CONDITIONED to BELIEVE that Public school is the ONLY way.
I went to a GREAT SCHOOL in of the BEST.
We were ALWAYS very involved in school...My Dad was the PRESIDENT of the SCHOOL BOARD...AND great at it!!!(Love you Daddy -XOXO)
I had a GREAT time in school.
ALTHOUGH...I think that FOR ME- NOW is a different TIME.

I have made a choice to homeschool for MANY reasons.
But I have had to WILLFULLY TRY and UN-condition myself from the way society says is the ONLY way.

And I think MOST people can agree that there are MORE THAN 1 WAY!!!!

I Love all my friends who chose public school...I respect THEIR decisions..
I have been to their SCHOOL FUNCTIONS and had a GREAT time!!!!
I LOVE that they have THOUGHT about what is best for THEIR families...And Public school is it!

I think that this book would be a "FABULOUS" book for ANY Mom....Homeschooling or NOT!!!
Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


no fear Pictures, Images and Photos

1 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.
2 The LORD will protect him and preserve his life;
he will bless him in the land
and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.
3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed
and restore him from his bed of illness.
Psalm 41:1-3

I have said it before an I will say it again.
Shashamane is a HYPOCHONDRIAC.
Today she manage to FREAK out about a FEW things.
At one point she was eating peanuts (w/ the shell).
LATER she came to me an KEPT asking, "Mom, is it ok if you eat the shells?"
"No Shasha...Don't eat the shells."
Well, little did I know, THAT would freak her out more.
For the next THIS is what I heard....
"Is it OK if you eat the shells?"
"Mom, what if you DO eat the shells?"
"Is it really bad MOM?"
"What will HAPPEN, Mom?"
After she said "Mom, what if you eat just 1 shell?"...I KNEW IT!
She ha eaten a shell and was FREAKING OUT!!!!!
I said, "Shashamane, If you eat 1 shell your are fine. Please don't eat ALOT of the will make you sick."

I was going to take our dog Maya for a skate-run.
This is where I ride my skateboard and I have Maya on a lease and she pulls me...FUN!
Well all the kids wanted to watch, so I told them to stay on the side of the street in the grass.
While we were walking over there Shasha said, "Mom, What if you get hurt?"
"Shasha ...I wont get hurt."
"But what if you FALL????"
"Then Ill get back up."...RIGHT????

Sometimes I wonder why it is that God gave me SOME children that have NO FEAR and 1 that FEARS EVERYTHING????

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Fabulous Book" Friday!!!


This book is soooo amazing.

I recommend it for ANY parent....New or old.

It has any info you would nee about all vaccinations.

I have ALOT of people ask me what we do about vaccinations.

We did do SOME vaccinations before we move to Costa Rica.

I got MOST of my info from this amazing book!!!!

AND....It is cheap!!!

About $7- Cant beat that !!!

Happy Reading!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Getting SUMMER ready...


I got all 4 kids signed up for swimming lessons today...
Thank you Grandma an Grandpa!!!(they paid for them)

Zeek was like..."Why do I have to take lessons?"
(Truthfully...the oldest 3 CAN swim)

I CLEVERLY told him.."Think of it this way. Its a GUARANTEED 1 hour in the pool 4 days a week!"

THAT was all it took!

"Oh CRAP!!!!"

Box Turtle Pictures, Images and Photos

As you all know...we are animal lovers.

We LOVE them all....

Last November while Jay was out taking Shasha to get her bday present..they found a turtle.

Well...they "rescued" the turtle...SORT OF.

They brought the turtle home and Jay being the SUPERDAD that he is IMMEDIATELY built "Leo"(short for Leonardo-as in NINJA TURTLE) a "habitat".

And this was no small "habitat"....he had the DELUXE 3'x6' model!

The kids loved it!!!


Our dog Maya started "LOVING" the turtle too much.


Maya thought he was a TOY....SORT OF.

All she wanted to do was play...well MAYBE not.

She would JUMP IN the "habitat" an totally harass the turtle.

Several times we had to "rescue" the poor turtle from the JAWS OF MAYA!

The turtle we "rescued" now had teeth marks all over him from being "played with" by Maya!!!

Soooo Sad....poor little guy was just trying to cross the street..then he went and got himself "relocated".

Anyway...somehow(Sheba) the turtle escaped.
(Sheba has a "habit" of returning wildlife to the WILD! LOL)

That was in December! Secretly I was soooo happy for the poor creature.

Well.....Yesterday there was knock at the door.

Knock, knock, knock.

It was our neighbor..."There is a turtle at the end of the street. I am afraid he might get hit by a car!"

Immediately my "animal rescuer" instincts kick in....

We RACE own the street all the while telling my neighbor.."This will be great. We HAD a turtle about 6 months ago and he escaped. So we already have a "habitat" ready and everything!"

We get to the end of the street an there was "Leo"...scratches and all.

I can imagine that all he thought was, "Oh, CRAP!!!! Its THOSE people again!"

In AMAZEMENT I pick him up an bring him back "home".

You can imagine how EXCITED the kids are that the turtle has "returned" to us! LOL

So we bring him "home" to his "family".

Almost immediately ..Maya was "playing" with him...AGAIN!

So last night we told the kids that we were going to RELEASE him back into the "wild".

As you can imagine ..THAT didn't go over to well.

But after explaining our "tag and release" program(a VERY high tech procedure of using fingernail polish to paint on the turtle shell)...They AGREED!!!

Just another day in the life of the Rastafam!!!!!