Category Archives: Taite

Not Florida but it’ll do

We found a fun little oasis to take the boys to this week. We went Wednesday on Travis’ off day… and plan to go again on Friday (his 2nd off day). The boys had so much fun. The weather was perfect… and the water felt like bath water.

Here is a little glimpse into our evening… I took along my point and shoot cam… not my norm. I feel naked without my Mark 3… but when you go to sandy places with lots of kids, the idea of toting around a lot of gear is less than ideal ;) – so lil canon g9 it is!




Sorry random bikini mom for capturing your back side :)













Don’t forget to enter the Essential Oil Giveaway I am hosting this week
! :)

2014-2015 Home School Curriculum

Well, its that time again. School time.


Yall have heard my woes of this throughout the last few years.
Home Schooling is not easy…. but it is something I def. have felt called to do… and throughout the years of doing it, I am learning ways to make it better work for our family… as God grows it, moves us and changes our schedules.

Over the last 3 years we have gone through job loss.
Moving 2 states away…
Birth of a new baby…
Living far from Family.
Dealing with a new job with hours that posed to be extremely difficult to deal with.
Depression in the midst of schooling, not cool.
Another Move…
… and ever changing job off days still.

Thankful for grace through those hard 3 years… and despite the bumps, our kids seem to be ok haha….

So Below is a walk through of what we will be using. Hopefully :)


ED9A5501Caleb – Grade 4

History, Science and Bible – Switched on School House
– this is the program the Duggar’s use… and while it has some bad reviews… the selling point for me was the fact he can do most of it on his own. I am all about teaching children to be independent. THIS IS A MUST FOR MOMS OF MANY IMO… I cannot hold my kids hand throughout every step… and while I am here to help if needed, Caleb is almost 10… he is at the age, I believe can be taught to do A LOT on his own…

I also got a steal on the programs. All 3 for $90.00 used! New it would have cost around $300.00. The best part about this program is you can reuse it for all your other kids. So once Taite hits 4th grade, if it works out and we like it… he will get to use it as well. No extra cost. Being able to REUSE home school curriculum with many kids, is the best.

Math – Math U See – Gamma and Beta.
Caleb needs to work on his facts… and while he went through 3rd grade math fine… and was even tested by the state and averaged above the norm… he still struggles sometimes with the memorization of facts… this we believe is important for a good solid foundation in math…and after tossing back and forth between Saxon w/ DVDS and Math u See with CD-ROM, this one took the cake. I was really impressed with their informational DVD they sent me (its free on their website) and I have read A TON of reviews… and from all I have read, this program seems to be amazing for boys. So heres hoping! My friend Nichole also, has 8 kids, soon to be 9 kids, uses this and loves it as well. Her and I are similar in many of ours ways :) – so I thought if she liked it, surely I would. Fingers crossed.


Literature - Im using Progeny Press this year. Recommended by my BFF Shannon (who also home schools 4). I found BOTH the books I needed for the 1st half of the year, used for like .99 cents. I even found the Study Guides used and unwritten on ebay as well. Win Win! He will go through two books and their study guides. From there, we will see if we like it and will continue with more books.

Spelling - I will use the spelling provided on the Switched on Schoolhouse program. Each lesson has a spelling list.  So I figured since Caleb reads very well now, that continued reading on his own and spelling list in history, bible and science are plenty.

– I may also let him use WORLDY WISE the iPad APP. Its free! :) –


ED9A5509Taite – 2nd Grade

Math – Same as Caleb, Math U See. He will be using the BETA lessons.

Language/Spelling – Abeka 2nd Grade – We had the teachers books already… since Caleb did this in 2nd grade. So I only had to buy consumable workbooks this year for Taite. Was around $30.00 or so.

– He also will probably use the WORLDY WISE iPad APP.

Reading – Abeka Readers *2nd grade* (Found all 10 used for $33.00 – including shipping cost. New it would have cost me over $130!). I for some reason did not have the 2nd grade readers even though Caleb did Abeka 2nd grade Language/Spelling. I think because we did Classical Conversations that year, we didn’t do the reading books with Caleb.

Writing – New England Primer
– Got it with a ebook bundle I purchased earlier in the year. Its simple… just writing worksheets to improve his writing. Taite does not have pretty hand writing. His brother Caleb has great hand writing… but one thing I am realizing is each boy is different. Taite just isnt built the same as Caleb. Caleb is very much a perfectionist like me… and therefore he was super neat with his writing. Taite is all boy… and as long as it is semi readable he is ok with it haha… I would like to refine his cursive a bit more tho… and improve his print. So we will do simple things like this throughout the year to do so. Prior to this year, we used Abeka Cursive. Great program!

I also have an ABEKA Print book we have never used. Manuscript, whatever…. Taite actually writes better in cursive than he does in print. So the New England Primer is in cursive…so I may let him work his way through the ABEKA Manuscript book as well for extra practice.


Bible – I plan to let Taite sit with Caleb while Caleb does the Bible studies on the SOS software. It will give Caleb good practice teaching… as well as help him with his reading out loud. I also have a Grapevine study we never finished that we may dabble in some too. Because we plan to do AWANA this year at our church, having a bible core program wasnt high on my list this year. Not saying its not important. It is… but our kids get plenty of it. Their dad is a former Pastor after all ;-) – he is great at doing devotionals with them when he is home after school hours.


Science – Yes Caleb will have 2 Sciences.
I ordered the SONLIGHT Science A 2 years ago… the year I was pregnant with baby Reed… and once Reed was born that program went to pot. I didn’t do any of it. So it was unused and sitting on a shelf for years. I went through and looked over all of it again… and figured we may as well use it. So for Taite’s Science and Caleb’s, jointly we will do this. Owen can join in too. Will be good sitting time for him…. Caleb LOVES science and this program has lots of fun hands on stuff… and great books. The SOS Science for Caleb though is much more in-depth and will def. be good for him to have too, since he is older. We actually started the Sonlight Science yesterday, for a trial run… and my boys LOVED IT! It has some online resources with each lesson… made it much more interactive and fun. Lessons seem very easy and not to long… Im all for short lessons, hah….

HISTORY - Caleb will get to do this with us too… even though he will have his own history lessons to go through on SOS as well. I am using The Story of the World Book 1. With the activity book. Very simple to go through and has fun hands on stuff if you want to do that too. These lessons will be short.

Geography – I have Confession’s of a Home Schooler’s USA Road Trip printed out for them to go through again too for a refresher… if we get to it. Not pressing this to much, but if they want to do it, we may. They always enjoyed it when we did it a few years ago. No harm in refreshers ;-)

Health – We are about to finish up MY BODY
- a great book for teaching the kids an over all look at their organs and structure. My KIDS LOVED THIS BOOK!!! In fact on non school days they’d ask me “Can we do the body book again?” – so fun for them. We have like 3 more parts to do and should be done soon… we kinda did this off and on through the summer. SO once we finish it, we prob wont do a health curriculum til the next year. I think you can teach kids general HEALTH stuff just by living life… its the beauty of home school. Teaching them to cook… teaching them responsibility, chores… teaching them about taking care of themselves…etc… all ties into HEALTH lessons :) The BODY cut outs on some of these images we did using the MY BODY book. Lots of fun. Although Caleb apparently is to tall and Owen to short…. cause Caleb seems to lack organs and Owen has no room for his. Hah… so Taite being age 7 seems the perfect size visually for the body parts in this book. It still works though if you child is tall or short… just got to get creative with the organ placement…

Spanish – I have Rosetta Stone to install and hopefully dabble in this year with the boys. Would love for them to learn spanish. After all, half my family lives in Central America!

ED9A5523Owen – Pre-K

Owen is only 4… so we will not be pushing a lot with him.
I purchased him a general Pre-K book to work through from walmart. Its easy basic stuff. To help him develope his motorskills… become familiar with letters and numbers… but I will not be pushing phonics with him or math really, until at least age 5 or 6.

Reed – Destroyer (hah)

Reed turns 2 in a few months… and he is def. becoming the destroyer in the home haha… that lil dude is into everything!! so my job will be learning to maintain happy-keep-baby-reed-busy activities, inbetween schooling 2 others and dealing with a 4 yr old too. Im not sure its possible… but we shall see hah!

I pinned some fun home school activities to use with him and the others throughout the year. Got to love pinterest!

ED9A5514 ED9A5513

Before I get into ROOM STUFF below… I will say, THIS SEEMS LIKE A LOT ABOVE… One thing I am going to try VERY HARD to do this year… is to relax. To not worry so much about deadlines… we are not a PUBLIC SCHOOL or PRIVATE SCHOOL… we do not have to do X amount of days in X amount of time. The beauty of home schooling is you make it work for your family.

ED9A5525So you know what… if we wake up and baby reed is sick. We may only do 2 things… and the rest of the day veg and love on our baby…

One day we may be on the roll and do more than required…

If we decide to travel, we will travel and pick up where we left.

I want to teach my boys… and help them to learn to love learning… and by me always trying to keep up with a public school schedule, made it just… not cool…. and very unenjoyable some days….


Ok, so onto room stuff…..

I am hoping to diffuse a lot of essential oils this year in the school room, to help with my kids attention spans and normal boy jitters.

On the list to diffuse or apply:

Attention Assist (this is the main one ill be using)

***It was formulated specifically to help you treat ADD and ADHD. In research tests it was established that these oils were definitely beneficial for those with ADD and ADHD. The Vetiver was the most effective, showing that it helped 100% of the test cases*. Since all the oils in the study showed some benefit, we have blended them together so that all their benefits are synergized into a powerful blend.

Attention Assist is deeply relaxing. It helps calm and heal emotional wounds. It helps clear mental cobwebs and fortify the mind. It has been known to help calm angry situations, which is particularly helpful during tense family situations.

Attention Assist helps balance and regulate the Central Nervous System. It also helps you clear your lymphatic system, which helps you rid your body of waste and toxins. ****

A few others I may try too…
- Aligning

- Mind Alive

**** Speaking of Oils. I AM Giving away some BACK TO SCHOOL PACKS of TWO of my favorite Oils. Immune Strength as well as Attention Assist, mentioned above. Be sure to FOLLOW ME on facebook to keep up with when that post goes live. Even though I am taking a 1-2 month break from facebook, all my post are placed onto my facebook page automatically with an app… so its an easy way for you all reading to stay up to date. The giveaway should be this week! It will be open to both USA and Canadian readers. ****

ED9A5515Now… School room organization.

Let me just go through the various things in the room….

We have a smaller less polished table ;-) – for messy babies and toddlers to use paint/markers on..etc…

We have a chalk board (former home owners left it, although Im not a huge fan of it…. much prefer a white board).

We have a huge white board piece I got years back from LOWES. Its a piece of wall siding??? you can go to Lowes and get this for like 12 bucks!! they cut it to the size you need. Only thing is, its not magnetic… I wish I had a magnetic white board… its on my wish list. I would love to frame this white board too… I just havent…. If anything having it more mobile gives baby Reed something else to enjoy.

I have a small shelf unit filled with school supplies. Scissors and more dangerous items I keep above in the white organizer on top. By dangerous, I mean glue. I mean, can you imagine. Baby Reed with glue access. It be terrible. ;-)

The White Cabinet in the room has extra school supplies for crafts in the top area… As well as board games, puzzles and other busy toddler items.

The bookshelf on the right side of the room has our school books. My books on the top shelf. Kids on the middle shelf. Old books on the bottom shelf that we may use again… Above that are our boys 3 jars for saving, giving and spending. A treasure chest filled with dollar tree stuff. If they do well during the week, on Fri they get to choose a prize from the Treasure box. The small tower above that book shelf has other misc. items… like lamination sheets, stickers, hole punch, etc.

The Left book shelf has kid books on it. Globe.

The Blue Table (given to us! love it) has our computer area… with scanner/color printer… laser black and white printer… Calebs SOS software and any DVDS we play will be played on this. It is nothing fancy but it works. My dad gave us this computer…. we had an additional one but it could not run video well, so that one is going back to my dads “work shop” for him to fiddle with if he wants haha… My husband ended up getting a laptop on the back to school no tax day… we had gotten it for the boys but the more I thought about it… the more it made sense for him to have it. So he has that and the kids got his old PC. Win win.

The bigger pine table in the room is where we will do work together… that table was mine growing up in my family… its old but solid! Best thing about old tables, you don’t have to stress over kids marking it up. We dont encourage that btw :) – but if a younger child takes a sharpie to it, I wont stress to much.

I think thats about it.


Let me know if you have any questions :)

I am no perfect home school mom… we may fail at some of what we chose for this year… or we may fly through it and do amazing. I just never know :) – we may have to move mid year… we may not… life for us is so up in the air right now… im trying really hard to just embrace the now and despite the “possible” roads ahead, pressing on.

Thankful for another year to school these dudes. I LOVE THEM!!!

Home schooling is a gift… and while hard many days, it is well worth it in the end.


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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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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..