Category Archives: caleb

We caught a Whale!!

Meant to post these last week… but totally forgot! Last week on Travis’ off days, he took the boys fishing.

The 1st day started at like 6am. Crazy fishermen :) – they headed out early, made a pit stop at BO (yall southerners know what that is), ate a quick breakfast, then made their way to the fishing spot (about 10 min from our home).

Not to long after being there though, Owen fell into the water (full submersion) and so they came home for a change of clothes. By this point it was around 8am… Reed and I had gotten up, so we joined the fishing fun for the rest of the morning.

That is when this happened….


Patient Taite… who waited and waited. Caught something big…


… and he had to work hard, to get it in.


I was honestly shocked his line did not break.


Cause this fish was gigantic.


Travis got him close to the surface and grabbed him with this fancy fish hook thing.


Taite said “Oh man, my heart is going so fast!! my knee’s are shaking!” he was all smiles.


He was one proud dude.


Inbetween the fishing & people falling in (Caleb fell in 2, hence the towel above), we enjoyed chasing ducks…


Or taking their picture :)






& enjoying each others time… on that awesome morning.










& To those curious if we kept the fish. We didn’t :) – he went back to happy land swimming around free.

To the Mom’s of Boys

Many who read this blog, may not know the small details to my life… such as how old I was when I got married. Many who I tell, gasp. cringe. think I am insane. wonder why. and often times, just give a smile and say something awkward.

I admit. I feel alone in my young age with so many on occasion. Majority of the time though, I am thankful.

I got married at 19.

2 years (not even) fresh out of high school.

I don’t have the memories of college dorms… or living on my own. While I attended a community college for a few years, it wasn’t much more than a couple classes and waitressing in between. Yes I use to waitress :) – another fact many may not know.

I always lived at home.

When I got married I had only had a license for two years.

I think my bank account had a few hundred bucks.

I don’t even think I had cooked a full meal on my own (my poor husband).

I was, young.

Travis and I choosing to get married when we did was meant to be. I don’t have regret of that… but I will say, being 19… and a wife. It’s a lot to take in.

Quickly into our marriage God began to bless us with children. I got pregnant 2 mo. after we got married… only to miscarry that sweet baby who I do believe was a boy… who we named Daniel (Ive never shared that here btw… but felt it was time), He passed just shy of my 2nd trimester. It was crushing and hard… and I remember it taking years to recover from. Even after the Lord blessed us with our 1st born Caleb, I had many boo hoo moments where Id cry over that small baby Daniel’s ultrasound. It is precious to me… and a memory I cherish. I know my husbands mom has a sweet baby boy with her in Heaven and that right there, brings me peace. Travis’ mom never got to meet me… or any of our children. I just have this mental image of her grinning with the same smile Travis inherited from her :) – as that sweet baby entered the gate.

After my 1st born Caleb was born, just shy of my 21st birthday… I never could have imagined the Lord would give me 3 more boys.

This verse holds such truth and is one of my favorites….

“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”
- Psalm 127:4

I am completely covered in boy love every single day…. and while some days are harder than others. One thing remains constant. They love me.

ED9A4643They love my imperfections.

They love me after I completely loose it…

They love me even after a bad meal with lots of veggies they hated to eat.

They love me after a long school day, where tempers boiled and tears may have been shed.

They love me with or with out my make up.

They love me with or without a bra.

They love me squishy stomach and soft unripped body and all.

They love my stupid faces and annoying voices.

They love me even in my brokeness.

Boys. Are the best…. and while it is all I know. What I do know is, I am so glad God gave me a house full of boys, who I know, love me in a way, that blesses me each and every day.

So. To the Mom of Boys.

Be brave.

Put on your flip flops or muddy shoes and get dirty.

Throw out the tight clothes and fashion forward skirts… (saving them for girls nights or a date night. No need to be mom-ish all the time)

Sit down, build, create… love on those boys. The messes, the boy jokes and obsession over their privates (already, geez) and smelly feet. One day, when they leave home, they will look back on their sweet short ole mom, and remember how she put up with all of it… and even when they leave, they will love you, in a way, that will forever melt your heart.

Remain strong. Guiding them and teaching them. One thing I am realizing, year after year… as I meet new people… am around others… see families at the park… and so on, is that God is so clear in His Word on how we are to teach… and guide… and discipline our children. There is nothing more frustrating to deal with than children who do not respect and obey. While every child will disobey… and disrespect at some point… teaching them the truth on why these things are so wrong… and so bad, is so important.

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.”
- Proverbs 13:24

I am so thankful that from the get go, The Lord began to work in my heart as well as my husbands in these areas… and while I know, our boys are not perfect. I am proud of them. I am proud of the fact I can go out with all 4 and be okay. I am thankful for their obedience and respect for others… while they have their moments of failure… like everyone… I see a desire in them to please. I love how when I call their name, they now say “Mam’…” and while it is just one word… it is a word that just echo’s respect and honor… and I am thankful for how we have pushed and taught our boys the value in this. I hope and pray my boys continue to grow… and mature…. desire to serve, treat others with respect… and dig more and more into God’s Word as the years pass.

Often times Believers are criticized on the verse above… where it speaks about the Rod. I for one am not here to tell anyone how to discipline their child. I think that is something a parent has to come to a decision about. We hardly spank it seems these days… but there is a time and place for it in our books. Done in love and with proper teaching to go with it. I remember early on as a mom, one time my child darted out from my arms in a busy parking lot and all I could see flashing before my eyes, was a car coming and when I yelled “STOP!!” that child disobeying me and getting killed by the passing car. This thankfully did not happen… but it surely could have.

Children need to be taught to obey… and fast…

No matter how you choose to discipline… always follow through. Actions always have consequences… My boys know this… and while at times it seemed like a loosing battle… Now that my oldest is almost 10, I am finally beginning to see the fruit of all that hard work…

Thankful for God’s Word.

Thankful for Wisdom.

For guidance and examples from other moms.

IThere is no shame and no harm in ever going to a friend and asking her questions… if anything I believe that to be biblical… I have done it myself… in fact I just did it last week… called up a mom of 8 (almost 9) – just asking her plain and simple “How do you do it….” in regards to home school, etc… as soon as I was ready to quit… give up, toss my kids on a school bus, she encouraged me… and gave me that boost that I needed to stick with my gut and keep at it. Those conversations are…



…and so worth having.

Thankful to be where I am today.

Now 30.

No longer a teenager ;-) – newly married with one baby.

Lord has been good to me.

I am loved. By Him… and thankful for my these boys, all blessings.

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Young Blogger

Caleb decided he wanted to start a blog. Having a website was the first step… but WIX was difficult for him to understand… so blogging was our next idea to help him share his love for reptiles and so forth. One thing I have been learning with schooling dudes, is the importance of allowing them to pour into their interest. It encourages learning!

While snakes may not be any moms first choice :) – in our case, dads first choice (My husband HATES SNAKES)… it is something that Caleb really enjoys… and by allowing him to learn more on his own and take up some responsibility, it has done nothing but encourage learning and maturity.

Caleb’s blog is at:

I help him access comments when he gets them… he takes the time to respond to them on his own though. All the comments filter through my email, so things are closely monitored.

Allowing him to blog may seem silly to some… but it has been yet another opportunity to teach him something new. Teaching him about copy/paste options online. How to upload videos… how to clip videos. How to insert images… the basics of code aka html… and so forth. ITS A LOT TO LEARN. I learned it as a young teen, so it was something as an adult took very little effort.

To end, here is Caleb’s latest video on How to Care for Dubia Roaches.

To those who hate bugs. Don’t watch it haha… although its so cute. Esp. when Reed interrupts mid way.

Caleb for 9 years old does very well explaining not only the care for the Roaches but also the stages of their life as well as breeding them. Did you know Roaches give birth LIVE?! crazy! at least these roaches do. All may not. To those who may think we are absolutely NUTS to take on a bin full of 100′s of roaches. Let me just say this. I HATE ROACHES… bugs for that matter… but the cost of CRICKETS for his Bearded Dragon added up. It would have cost between 100-200 dollars a year for crickets to feed his Dragon. Ridiculous. Plus many trips to the pet store to purchase them. Gas, plus cricket cost. Way to expensive for me. Was such a pain… Crickets would die easily (their life span is only like 3 weeks… where Roaches its like 2 yrs) and they smelled worse than kitty litter. The roaches oddly enough do not stink… and after an initial investment of around $50.00 – you will forever and always have food for your Reptile. So its a cheap alternative ;-) – and a route I highly recommend if you plan to get a Bearded Dragon or other insect eating animal. Just thankful I don’t have to tend to them, if I did, we would sell the Beardie and be done with bugs ;-) – cause they are gross looking.


How I taught my kids to swim….

Found my small underwater video camera the other day while cleaning up my office. Shame it has been neglected for years :-\ – figured I may as well break it out at the pool and let the boys enjoy. It was fun… the kids loved watching themselves on camera swim under the water. Even baby Reed.

So I crammed the videos all together into one for you all to see. Warning. I talk in my weird some what annoying baby voice a lot in this video. Ignore it. Its just what I do :) – I have no control over it hah….

Before getting to the video though.

I thought I would talk a little bit about swimming… and teaching children to swim without the need for swim lessons.

Disclaimer: I am no swim expert. I have nothing against swim teachers. Swim lessons… or parents who choose to do swim classes. NO HARM IN THOSE THINGS at all. In fact, I am pretty sure my mom took my brother and I to swim lessons :) – and I at one point was on a swim team. So yea. No hate here. For us though, we chose not to do swim lessons…. for one simple reason “We couldn’t justify the cost… and really couldn’t afford it.” So -we made do with our own pool times and I taught the boys to swim on my own.

One thing I have always tried to encourage with our boys, is to be brave… and try. There is nothing wrong with being afraid of something… but even if you are afraid, I try to teach my boys, to at least give it a go… rather than to run the other way.

Caleb was probably my most fearful of water. I think because he was the 1st born… so he just didn’t really have the exposure to water like his younger siblings did. I think Caleb began swimming “well” around age 5 or 6. My other children though could fully swim by age 4.

Taite was swimming and diving in the water as early as 2, with help.

By far my earliest swimmer though, has been baby Reed. He is very fearless when it comes to water… and grasped the understanding of holding ones breathe, fast. The way I introduce my babies to holding their breathe, was to always count down. Look at them, 1, 2, 3…. and dunk them down. I didn’t do the whole breathing in their face either… that never worked for us. It seemed to just confuse them.

After a few goes, they got it.

I also am a HUGE fan of the Puddle Jumper Floats. Target sells them! By far the best pool purchase you can make. They last years and do not pop ;-) – you can even wash them if they get smelly.

So I suppose, how I taught my kids to swim.





Lots of trips to the pool :)

and… more encouragement. Kids love being praised… I also did simple lessons on kicking in the water and teaching them how to float on their back once they got comfortable with things. The rest comes naturally.

Now… onto the video..

Homeschool Binder’s – Weekly Scheduling

I posted on my instagram this morning about a new routine we started in our home schooling. With Travis returning to “normal” job hours recently, it has caused me to adjust to now being the sole school teacher in the house (for the most part)… and learning to tweak things to the way I feel works best. With Travis’ previous work schedule (being home during school hours and gone at night), he did majority of the schooling… Lets just say, his ways are not my ways :) – so I am finding sanity in some new methods as of late.


One of those methods is using a binder and weekly schedules to help teach the boys independence. I started reading a book about the Charlotte Mason Method… and while some stuff I agree with and some I do not… one thing I did agree with was how she taught her children to be independent… So so important. Extra important for the mom of many who depends on independent older ones in order to deal with the responsibility of younger ones in the mix of it all.

For these binders I searched pinterest for a weekly schedule print out that would be easy for the boys to follow. You obviously could make up one yourself in Microsoft Word or Google Doc… but for me, finding something already made is always a win win :) – I found THIS ONE. It is free, feel free to click HERE to print and save the file yourself.

It is a basic weekly schedule that has room for you to write assignments for each child.



ED9A4023So what I am doing is every weekend I sit down alone with my boys books… and figure out what they need to complete for the upcoming week.

With the curriculum we use its pretty simple to do this. We use primarily all abeka work but also teaching textbooks for Caleb’s math and a few other resources for science, healthy, history and so forth. Right now since we are behind schedule this year, we are focusing more on the CORE stuff like math, language arts, writing, spelling, that sorta stuff… the rest is just extra and if it happens, awesome, if not, its ok.. I plan to be more on top of it next year if we have a normal routine ;-) – at least I hope to be.

Ok! SO to the point.

I write down Taite’s assignments on his printed out schedule.

I then organize in his binder with dividers each subject and all his worksheets.

I also add in a portion in the binder with extra paper. His test papers. Speed drills and other supplies he needs.

If he has reading books for that week, I place those in the side pockets of the binder. I also put a little zipper pocket thing to hold his pencils, erasers and a sharpener. This way I dont have little boys getting up saying they need a new pencil every 30 minutes.

ED9A4016I sat down with the boys and encouraged them to start on their work whenever they wanted in the morning. If I slept in with baby Reed and they got up super early… once they ate breakfast and woke up a bit, they were welcome to open their binders, see what needed to be done and to get started.

I encouraged the independence by creating a “treasure box” in the room, filled with little things from the dollar tree. As silly as it may seem, this seriously has been such a motivation for them! The idea of getting to go rummage through a box full of tiny toys pushed my boys even more to get their work done and to do it well. They have done so great at being independent with this system. In fact this morning I woke up at 9am… I was up til 3am sick… and so I did not feel great this morning… when I got downstairs though Caleb and Taite both ran to me and said “Guess what!?” I in my still groggy voice said “…. what?” They said, super energetically “We are almost totally done with our seat work!!” – yall it was 9am. HAHA! I was like “what time did you wake up?!” they said “7am. So for those two hours they spent it on their own, doing their work without my even saying to start.


We obviously still had work to do after I got up. We did an hour of Health and Caleb still had computer work to do for Math and they both still had reading… The bulk of the busy work though was done and can I just say, this is huge for us. To not have to sit there and PESTER them to finish that seat work has been such a blessing.

While this system is still fresh for us… and obviously newness does wear off eventually… I foresee this working long term and look forward to it teaching my boys the power of independence and responsibility.

It also has been great for me at staying on task… and not skipping stuff as easily.

So in short, thats the Binder Method :)

Starting some new health curriculum with the boys on the human body. Just because it's may doesn't mean you can't study or start something new :) #beautyofhomeschool #homeschool #homeschooling #boymom #dudemom

Hopefully it encourages someone reading and works for you all too.

Feel free to comment with any questions you may have :)

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