Tuesday, August 31, 2010





As I enter into my 5th year of homeschooling….

one thing is AWESOMELY CLEAR.

I love doing this.

I love taking control of my children's education.

I feel that God has GRANTED me this RIGHT and ABILITY.

It is an understatement to say that planning for 4 kids for an entire year is hard. 

It is MORE than hard.  It is AWFUL.

While sitting at my desk today I felt TOTALLY overwhelmed with PILES of books and planners in front of me.

There were calendars that need to  be written and projects that need to be planned.

It is an UNDERSTATEMENT to even say the word OVERWHELMED.

Overwhelmed would be EASY.

Overwhelmed I would be OKAY with.

But planning for 4 children who are 4 different grades is a whole different ball game….


And I guess that is what helps me thru.

The fact that I have DONE IT.

I have been dedicated.

I have put my time in and have seen the FRUITS of my labor.

I have seen the benefits of homeschooling.

I have seen what a child is like a little less “touched-by-the-world”.

So when I am sitting at my desk…feeling very much like I will NEVER FINISH…….

I am reminded that THIS is what is takes.

THIS is the work that must be put in in order to see those things.

THIS is GOD’S MASTER PLAN for my family.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Babies…..THE MOVIE.



Last night we rented a movie …..



“Babies” is about 4 babies from 4 VERY diverse places around the globe….Japan, USA, Mongolia, and Namibia.

It documents them from birth thru the first year of life.

As I watched this “documentary” it really made me SEE how differently and one-sided we see things.

Because we live in the USA….we think we HAVE to have certain things to have a baby.




diaper cream.

bouncy seats.

car seats.


We think we CANNOT live without these things.

But that is because we have never been EXPOSED to anything else.

THAT is all that we know.

THAT is what we have been TAUGHT.

But…when you see something like “Babies” – the fog seems to part.

For me….when I see a mother take water into her mouth from a bucket and then use that water to bathe her baby, and in the next shot an American baby in the nice warm indoor plumbing shower …

It makes you RE-EVALUATE how you “see” things.

It makes me VERY THANKFUL for what I have and makes me feel like next time I get AGGITATED  because my BATH WATER isn’t hot enough ….

maybe I need to RE-THINK my way of thinking.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Birth order is a funny thing.

Something WE have no control over.

ABSOLUTELY …no control.

It is like a FUNNY RIDDLE you dont figure out until you are IN IT.

Only God knows why he chose a firstborn to be a firstborn, middle child to be a middle child, or the baby to be the baby.

He always has a MASTER PLAN.

What is the saying,"We make plans and God laughs.”

Lately we have been having LOTS of “Why ME???” discussions.

You know ..the ones where the kids ask questions like:

“But…WHY ME?”

“Why do I always have to help the other kids?”

“Why is it always MEEEEEEEEEE?”

And my answer is ALWAYS the same…”Take it up with GOD.”

But Lately ……

Zeek has been getting REALLy upset because he THINKS he has to do SO MUCH MORE that the other kids.

He DOSEN”T …But thinks he does!

(RIGHT ON SCHEDULE for a 9 year old boy who is the oldest of 4.)


And because he has been getting SOOOOOO EMOTIONAL lately,sometimes I can’t tell if he’s JUST EMOTIONAL or if he really has SOMETHING TO SAY about the situation.

I am starting to realize that he might need more than the , “Take it up with God” approach.

When I see him REALLY struggle with a situation it makes me want to cradle him and snuggle him into “feeling better”, but at the same time I understand that we all are in the EXACT PLACE we are meant to be.

Every situation we are put into…. God KNEW was comming.

Every time we struggle with “our place” in life…there is a lesson to be learned.

Wherever we are …we are MEANT to be.

And as a mother to these sweet babies…I also have to remember that I was GIVEN these children.

I was BLESSED with THIS situation.

I MUST have wisdom to share with these youth.

It must be MY DESTINY to teach these TRUTHS to my children.

It makes me REALIZE that I have been put in MY PLACE.



And still SOMETIMES….”Take it up with GOD”  isn’t enough for me either.

Sometimes it takes me REALLY thinking about it in my mind.

Sometimes …I need to spend a minute in meditation.



THAT is when I figure it out.

I figure out that the wisdom I am trying to teach my children is ALREADY inside me.

The “solutions” that work for the kids also work for me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fabulous Book Friday is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I am LOVING this book right now.

I checked it out at the library on Wednesday and have been READING ever since.

It has LOTS of helpful hints for all homeschooling moms.

Veteran or Beginner …this book is for you.

Happy Homeschooling!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pink tights???????

August 055


On Tuesday, Shasha started ballet!!!!

It was so cute.

She took dance camp this summer…”just to be SURE” she LIKED dance.

Thankfully….she LOVED it!!!!

So yesterday …at 3:30 she had her 1st ballet class.

And in TRUE Shashamane fashion she was “concerned” because she doesn't like PINK-and the tights she HAS to wear were PINK TIGHTS.

I told her MANY times that PINK TIGHTS are what REAL DANCE studios want you to wear for ballet.

And MANY times before Tuesday, she asked me to call the studio to ASK if she could wear BLACK tights.

She is RELENTLESS….I wonder where she gets THAT from?????? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.    LOL

I KNEW that they WANTED her to wear PINK tights and asked her, “Shasha-what if EVERYONE in the class is wearing PINK tights???????”

Her response….In true REBEL fashion: “I don’t CARE!!!!!!  I’ll bring my BLACK tights in my bag!”

Gotta LOVE that girl…..She is MORE like ME every day!

So…when we got to the studio.

You guessed it:   EVERYONE was wearing PINK TIGHTS!!

I dropped her off and took the other kids to run a few errands.

When I got back I watched as she stood uniformly in a line and practiced her “plies” and skipped across the floor.

I had tears in my eyes as I watched her.

Dance was my childhood LOVE and it makes me sooooo happy that she has chosen THIS art.

THEN …when we got home Sheba said to me, “Momma, when will it be night?”

I said, “Soon…why???”

Her response, “Because TOMMOROW…I start dance!”

It melted my heart……………….

Monday, August 23, 2010

Walkabout??? Already????

Wikipedia says that THIS is the definition of a walkabout:

"Walkabout refers to a rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines would undergo a journey during adolescence and live in the wilderness for a period."

Well...as a parent of a man-child I knew that SOMEDAY one of the boys would want to go on some sort of "walkabout".

And ...as a Mother I always knew that I would NOT BE READY-whenever that day came!

And just as I'd imagined ...it happened last night.

Jay had a gig and Zeek stayed there with him to help the band load up the equipment, roll cords, break down drums, etc.

THIS is a hard transition for ME...but- he is getting older and NEEDS to gain some sort of independence. Sniff sniff. LOL.

He JUST started staying and helping in the last year.

The other kids used to complain with the TYPICAL responses of , "But, Mom!!!! I want to stay TOO!!!!!"

or, the ever lasting , "MOM!!!! Thats not FAIR!!!!!"

But, after a few discussions about how Zeek is the oldest so he will ALWAYS be the FIRST to do things...FOREVER. They usually quiet down.

When they keep arguing, I easiely shut their mouths with a quick, "I did not make THAT decision. If you have a problem with THAT ONE, you need to talk to GOD!"

Which of course...stops them in their tracks! LOL

So JUST THIS has been a slow transition for us all...the kids are growing.
we have kinda exited the baby stage...its time for some independance.

BUT...I was NOT PREPARED when they came home last night and PROPOSITIONED ME.

I promise you this was not a RANDOM WORK.


They came to me in the kitchen.

Zeek under Jays arm.
They were there for a PURPOSE.

I'm not really sure how it started but ALL I REMEMBER are the words "Tennessee" and "reggae festival".

It was all a blur....
And the next thing I know was that they were trying to convince me that Zeek should be able to take his first "WALKABOUT".

In this situation the "walkabout" being: a reggae festival in Tennessee where they are camping by a river. Jay will be playing and Zeek will be "a roadie"....He will wave the flag on stage when Jay is playing..just like always. They will leave on Friday and return on Sunday.

As you can imagine..JUST the thought made my heart immediately start to beat faster and my mind race!

My answer: Ill have to PRAY on that one!!!

In my heart I know it is ok.
It is probably the BEST "Walkabout" a Rasta family could ask for.

So ...I guess it is time.

And everyone is doing EXACTLY what they are supposed to do.

The Father and Son are SUPPOSED to try and convince the Mother that IT IS "THE RIGHT" TIME.
And the Mother is SUPPOSED to feel that it could NEVER be "THE RIGHT TIME".

Good news folks....WERE RIGHT ON SCHEDULE!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Not a bunch of hippies…….

" To confuse compulsory schooling with equal educational opportunity is like confusing organized religion with spirituality. One does not necessarily lead to the other. Schooling confuses teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. "
-- Wendy Priesnitz



Tuesday night was our annual Homeschool Co-op  beginning of the year meeting.

A homeschool co-op can be ALL DIFFERENT things.

Some are organized, some are not.

Some are big, some are small.

Some have classes, some only do field trips.

The HSBTS(homeschoolers By the sea) is an AWESOME group that offers EVERYTHING.

We have classes, are VERY organized and go on field trips!!!

And after seeing the turnout on Tuesday night …I would consider us BIG!!!!!!!!!

We have 27 families and at least 50 kids in the group.


It always LIFTS my spirits to sit in a ROOM of homeschooling parents who care SOOOO much about the youth and the education they are getting.

Don’t get me wrong- we are ALL different…..

In all DIFFERENT ways.

But,we  come together for one common goal:  to provide a stellar education for our kids!

We come together, plan,and  organize in order to  try and create a space where our homeschooled kids can FEEL the FEELING of a classroom setting.

We try and stay organized so that our children will reap the benefits of meeting with OTHER students that AREN’T their siblings on Fridays.

And it always WARMS MY HEART when i see NEW HOMESCHOOL FAMILIES that are so overwhelmed and excited to be starting to homeschool.

So ready to JUMP IN and get started…so ready to EMBRACE all that comes with homeschooling.

The kids.

The planning.

The organizing,

The ordering curriculum.

The shopping for school supplies.

AND(did I mention???)

The KIDS!!!!!

It is a blessing that keeps things in perspective.

Last year , I brought my dad(who was the PRESIDENT of DP school district for YEARS) and Suzette(who has been a school teacher for over 25 years).

I thought it would be interesting for “real” teachers to come and SEE how organized and planned we had things ……

I am ALWAYS down to dispel the MYTH that we(homeschoolers) are a bunch of hippies running around ….NOT homeschooling our kids!

And It worked,,,,they were impressed with how WELL ORGANIZED we were.

And the meeting didn’t disappoint me this year either:

Zeek and Shashamane are  taking :PE, Swimming Creatures of the 5th day(science), and Art Treasury(art).

Malachi and Sheba  are  taking: PE, Swimming Creatures of the 5th day(science) and Elementary Civics.

Can you say, “Not a bunch of hippies??????”

Happy Homeschooling!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Being reminded……



Every year about this time I feel TOTALLY OVERWHELMED.

I feel like i had NO summer.

I feel like I am not ready.

I feel like I'm not “organized” enough.

I feel like if I just had “1 more” book.

and then I realize that I always feel that way.

EVERY August.


EVERY August for the last 5 years!

Thankfully over the years God DOES grant us WISDOM…

even if it takes 5 YEARS to learn that wisdom.


Every year WE(all HS moms) are “freaking out” in one way or another.

I have personally spoken to  NUMEROUS homeschool moms  in the last few weeks that are …..FREAKING OUT!

From Veterans to “NEWBIES”….we ALL beat ourselves up at night PRAYING that we are doing the right thing for these children.

Tonight I had a conversation with an old High School friend who has JUST started homeschooling her kids.

As I spoke to her tonight about curriculum,character traits and learning styles….I was REMINDED of some things.

I was reminded  that I am being “taught” the same as the children. There are times when I am soooo frustrated that I  don't think I can sound out 1 more word when I remember that , “Maybe it is ME who is supposed to be learning a lesson…hmmmmm.”

I was reminded that everyday is a FRESH START….given to us by Jah(God).

I was reminded that homeschooling is a journey that CHANGES EVERY YEAR.  Being a homeschool teacher is different form a public school teacher.  My students CHANGE AGES EVERY YEAR!

I was reminded that sometimes learning to be KIND is more important than learning your times tables.

And being reminded of THESE things has RENEWED my spirit and made me THANKFUL for the opportunity to GUIDE these babies and be with them as they steer their way through this crazy wonderful life!!!


“The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things—the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.”  ~Ben Jonson

Monday, August 16, 2010




Click on this:  WORLD VISION 

You get a free MAP!!!!

Just HAD to pass this on…




Happy Homeschooling!

Random thoughts……

  • only TODAY(1 week after vaca) did I conquer the MOUNTAIN of clothes in the schoolroom.
  • I have been spending ALOT of time reflecting on family and friends this summer.
  • I have not read 1 book this summer. I usually read at least 1 fiction book during the summer. can you say “LOST”?
  • I am spending THIS COMMING week  PLANNING!!!!!
  • I am anxious about starting P90X soon. I am READY to get out of this “FANCY-SUIT”.
  • I am ready for my BFF to come home from NJ.
  • I cant seem to keep my mind on one thing…

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ouch! UUgghhh..................

we have been back from Texas almost a week and all my "plans" of unpacking immediately, starting organizing my school room, etc. were QUICKLY FOILED.

When I woke up Wednesday morning with what felt like a KNIFE in my neck.
That was Wednesday .....
I dealt with it dealt with it for about 4 days.
THEN....Yesterday, my sis-in-law Laurie(a physical therapist) came over and "worked on my neck" for about 2 hours!!!
THANKFULLY ...after missing 3 days of work and being LAID UP for 4 days my neck is mobile.
Sooo...It looks like tommorow I resume NORMAL AUGUST DUTIES.
Ouch! UUgghhhhhh.............

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Twice a child..........

Comming to Texas I had 2 agendas.
One was to see my parents and the other was to see my Grandma.
About a month ago my family decided that for her own safety we would put her in a "nursing facility".
Today I went to see her.
I know it would be hard.
I knew I was NOT PREPERED.
She has Alzheimers disease.
2 years ago I saw her and she was the Grandmother I remember.
Today she was NOT.
We had "the talk" with the kids ahead of time....about the nursing home, the elders, and how to act.
When we got there My mom and I went into the dining room to get her.
She was sooooo excited and happy that we were there.
We spent about 30 min. visiting and just letting her spend time with the kids.
We took pictures, we cried, we talked , and we cried some more.
It was an EYE-OPENING experience.
It made me REALLY think about LIFE and how QUICKLY it passes.
We sometimes make this journey and forget to REALLY ENJOY it.
We blink and YEARS have passed.
We turn around and our kids are half grown.
It made me really LOOK at life.
It made me really understand that life can ZOOM by at lightning speed.
Life can be wonderful and joyous...if we APPRECIATE it.
Life can be SCARY and SAD...if we LET it.
Today made me really appreciate this "sweet spot" in my life.
The place where the kids are young, still at home, and still willing to GIVE kisses to their Mom.
It really made me understand the saying...."Once a man and TWICE a child."
Life is CRAZY LOVELY JOURNEY that GOD writes the story of....
A story that requires we pay attention and apareciate EVERY DAY, EVERY LESSON, EVERY MOMENT!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Secret School…vacation style.

Texas 2010 056

Today was DAY 4 …

We went to Space Center Houston in Clear Lake.

I am ALWAYS down for a “secret school” field trip.

As far as I am concerned….IT ALL COUNTS!

And getting to spend a “secret school” day with grandparents is even better!

We spent the day exploring the different space shuttles, learning about how they “live” in space, and eating ASTRONAUT ICE CREAM.


I made them watch a couple of “boring” movies just to make sure they LEARNED SOMETHING.

Of course, THEY would have been happy to play on THIS all day:

Texas 2010 057


I also made them LEARN SOME THINGS doing THIS:

Texas 2010 074 Texas 2010 024 Texas 2010 039 Texas 2010 040 Texas 2010 041 Texas 2010 043 Texas 2010 044 Texas 2010 045 Texas 2010 049 Texas 2010 050 Texas 2010 053 

It was a GREAT DAY!!!

We made it thru the day with MINIMAL melt-downs.

We had LOTS of “secret school” fun!


we did it all with 2 grandparents who LOVE their grandkids.

Texas 2010 017 Texas 2010 018 Texas 2010 019 Texas 2010 022 Texas 2010 031 Texas 2010 033 Texas 2010 034 Texas 2010 035 Texas 2010 062 Texas 2010 065 Texas 2010 067 Texas 2010 068

Can you say OUT OF THIS WORLD???????????

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bitter SWEET……

What a blessing it is to visit sweet family and friends. 

2 years is TOO LONG.

When I came to Texas I am always reminded of a life that I lived here.

The family, friends, experiences, and memories….the all come flooding back.

As I sat on the back porch of my Dads house last night, a feeling of such GRATITUDE came over me.

As My sister, Dad, Jay and I talked and reminisced I couldn't help but feel sooooooooo Blessed.

It is bitter sweet……

I love my family and love Texas.

I know that I am MEANT to be where I am.

I KNOW that my life is EXACTLY where it is supposed to be..

BUT- I cant help but feel a little PIT in my stomach.

A little ACHE. 

My heart is heavy when I think about HOW MUCH I miss everyone.

At the same time …….I feel like I have  such a great life in Florida.

I just wish Florida was the CITY next to Texas.

I wish that I could ALWAYS be here for the MEMORY MAKING.

I wish I was always here for the stories, laughs and get-together.

I miss my parents and can’t even imagine HOW they handle their daughter being sooo far away.

As I get older I realize more and more what a CRAZY CHILD I was.

At 19 I was a  rebel who just wanted to GO.

Not to GET AWAY from them….just to GET AWAY.

See something new….like Florida.

It makes me SCARED.

What if I have a “rebel child”???

oh LORD …PLEASE let my children STAY CLOSE.

I don't know If my heart could take it.

I can see it in my Fathers eyes…….It HURTS.

So…as I take it all in and spend 10 days in Texas on vacation, I have learned to TRULY appreciate all the memories made and all the laughter and LOVE that we can gather up.

I put it safely in my heart ….so that when I am IN my life in Florida, I always carry them with me.

Bitter sweet….Bitter sweet it is.