Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Great Criswell Pyramid of Maryland

The Great Criswell Pyramid was built on November 13, 2012. And it was glorious.

Today I challenged the kids to build a pyramid using their blocks. The first pyramid had to be torn down as it wasn't built to code. But the second with a little help from mom and some great creativity and critical thinking from the kids was great.

We had to spend some time thinking because the base of our pyramid was too big.
Once Booger realized that he could use other blocks to help with the measurements, he and Peanut were able to quickly finish buildling the pyramid

Silly Mommy, I asked why there were ramps leading to the different levels, Peanuts response, "for the workers to finish."
And the final product wouldn't be complete without a Lego Egyptian soldier walking the access ramp to pay homage to his Pharoah.

 I LOVE homeschooling :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"I am getting bigger"

Lately I have been really emotional about my kids growing up. My handsome boy is 9! Peanut is 6, she will be seven in 25 days (she has been counting down for 3 days) and my sweet sweet beanie baby is 3.

Beanie's favorite thing to say is "I am getting bigger". The other day after we had dropped Peanut off at a girl scouts function she was holding my hand and she tugged on it a little, I looked down at her, she looked up at me with big brown eyes and said, "I am getting bigger, I will be 5, then I can go to girl scouts." I couldn't stop the tears then and I can't now either. Right now we are sitting on a big comfy chair in the living room and she has fallen asleep all snuggled up to my side. She is still little, and she will be for a little while longer. I am really trying to cherish this time.

Looking over at my boy and my Peanut who are trying to play pratical jokes on each other and listening to their laughter makes me so happy and so thankful that God has allowed me to be the mother to these 3 amazing children.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I love you and I think you are doing a great job.

Last night the Hubby made a joke that the kids weren't doing much in school. I will say that I got a bit defensive and proceded to go over all that we have been learning the past 2 months. Then I got really defensive and started yelling about how he doesn't know what we are doing because he doesn't help. Then the Hubby said he wants to help but I have been working so much and so stressed he didn't know where to start or how to ask me to show him. Of course I started to cry. Then he said "I love you and I think you are doing a great job. I want to homeschool our kids. I like doing it and I want to help more." (As usual my foot was inserted into my mouth)

So this Saturday the hubby and I will talk about a plan of how to do this together. I know we are about 5 years behind and we should've started this whole thing as a united front but better late than never and I feel really good about this. I am so thankful to have a partner and not just a husband.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A few weeks in....

Well, we aren't ahead like I had hoped for but we aren't behind either so all in all I feel pretty good. Here are a few update on the kiddos..

Booger is still finishing up his Math Book from last year, and I am not exactly looking forward to moving on to the next book. He is so meticulous and takes so much time doing the 3 digit multiplication that he is working on now that I am worried 1 lesson in long division will take us atleast 2 weeks to finish. Maybe I should just be happy that he understands it and be okay with the fact that it sometimes takes over an hour to complete his mathwork.

Now onto Peanut, to say I am glad we homeschool her is an understatement. The other afternoon I asked her to recite the Old Testament books of the bible, and as she was reciting them she spun around in circles and danced. She has so much energy I can barely contain her sometimes. I love that she can be her energetic self while still learning at the same time.

My little Beanie, well, she is only 3. So she isn't doing much in the way of actual school work, but she has a few workbooks that she does every now and then. She also sits and reads book with me and does other activities. I love our quiet times together...however few and far between they may be. I am beginning to see how crazy life is going to be when I am truly schooling all 3 of them at 3 different levels. Hopefully my brain is up for the challenge.

Now for something we are doing as a family. Every night when we have our family prayer time we are working through the ABC's of scripture. If you go over to the blog ICanTeachMyChild  you can see the booklet we are using http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/10/abc-printable-scripture-cards/ I am really enjoying this booklet and the kids love it too. They even yell at us if forget to go over their verses. They best part is that when they are finished they will have memorized 26 verses with references and so will we. Even little Beanie can remember a few of the verses. How wonderful is that?!?!

A~"As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We started early...and now taking an early break

Two members of our family have strep throat....Booger and I. Needless to say our third week of school already has us taking a break. Hoping the antibiotics kick in soon and we can get back on track. However.....

I think that God might be telling me to slow down and let him work. 'My' plan was to get ahead and take a long break in December, at this rate we aren't going to be doing that. I think God may have a different plan, and I think I might need to let his plan play out and stop trying so hard to push my own. Here goes nothing.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

I bet your ready to send those kids back to school....

Those are the words that I heard from 2 different people within 10 minutes at Petsmart today...(and my kids were being good)

This is NOT going to be a rant on how we homeschool and it's better than private school or public school, because that is NOT my belief. We homeschool because it's right for our family.

That being said, I was hurt as a parent that someone would say that.... I know, I know, everyone says it, everyone says, "Oh I bet your ready for THOSE kids to be back in school." I will admit somedays I think it would be easier, it would be less stressful to send them to school. However I don't really know anyone who doesn't miss their kids when they are gone, whether it be at school, with friends, with a grandparent. I need breaks just like every other mom, and I take them. But I still MISS my kids.

So here is my rant, those people know nothing about me. What if I was military and just returned from a tour? I would want my kids by my side every day. What if I was a school teacher, and I was getting ready to head into a classroom of 25+ kids and their parents were hoping and praying I was excited as their children? What if I was a homeschooling mom who teaches her kids and loves it because she believes with her whole heart that God has placed that calling on her family? What if?

This may not upset everyone, but it breaks my heart that parts of society look at school as a drop off daycare for kids, that's not what it is. It's meant to be an extension of the learning that was started and should be continued in the home.

Sorry for the rant. just had to get it off my chest.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2nd Day of School....Hopefully better than the first

Went swimming with a friend yesterday. She knew we were starting school and so she asked Peanut how school went. Peanut's response, "terrible." Wow, I thought it went better than that. To be fair to Peanut, she got yelled at 3 times during a 2 hour lesson....not a great start to the school year....hoping for a better day today and so far, it has been.

These are the things Peanut was yelled at corrected for yesterday and also the ways she improved...

1. As I was reading from one of the textbooks, she got up and left the room. (she had to go to the bathroom). I yelled for her to return and didn't get an answer. I had to leave the school table and find her. She was yelled at, not for going to the bathroom but for walking off without permission. Fast forward to today...We were finishing up lessons and moving on to quiet work, Peanut said, "excuse me mom, Can I go to the bathroom." My answer, "Of Course."

2. Peanut didn't want to copy her memory verse. Fast forward to this morning....Peanut was the first at the table and reciting the verse before I even asked.

3. Peanut didn't like the Poem I assigned her to learn and started crying....really crying about it. Fast forward to today, She recited her poem beautifully.

If you would've asked me yesterday about the school year and how I felt, I might've run out of the room crying. If yesterday was going to be the norm, I might've shipped her off to school in a few weeks. Sunday I was excited, Monday I was defeated, Today I am relieved and thankful. Right now the kids are doing their spelling work quietly and we will soon be off to get our FREE haircuts at JCPenney.

Change in title....2nd Day of School....Definitely Better than the First!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

English from the Roots Up

GREEK, LATIN!! I am so excited we are going to be learning root words this year! I love words!

As I was reading the forward of our textbook one paragraph stood out to me.....
        A good vocabulary is a strong element in a child's self esteem. The more words children know, the less people can talk over their heads and the taller they stand in their own eyes. Moreover, they can choose, among many words, the exact ones which express their thoughts and visions.

How many times have you told your child to use their words? I think I have said those exact words to my children atleast once a day since they began talking. I am excited to help my children have a better vocabulary and a better understanding of that vocabulary.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A new school year....a some other *new* things

Holy Moly....another school year is about to start. We now have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, and dare I say a preschooler!! (Beanie wanted her OWN school books this year). So this marks our 5th year of Homeschooling. I NEVER thought we would make it this far, and I am more excited than ever to start teaching!!! I am more organized and I feel far more prepared...maybe it's because I finally feel like I know what I am doing. Check out our school area!!!
AND this year I have EVERYTHING organized in to 1 binder for each kid. That way there is no way that they can leave papers laying around. *sidenote*- When I started homeschooling, I thought, "this will be awesome, no lost papers, no trying to find homework, or permission slips, or anything. I will know right where everything is because I am the only one who needs to see it." Fast forward 4 years...Last year the week before our review I was going through 5 stacks of papers and getting them organized. *end sidenote* So this year is different, I am ready. I spent 2 weeks cleaning out the school area, and organizing everything needed for this school year. Here is a look at Peanuts binder!!!

I am ready, the kids are ready. We are ALL excited. This school year is gearing up to be great!!

Now for the other new things, We are trying out a new product in the Criswell Household. It's called a TV timer. The way it works is, the kids have to earn token in order to have TV time. 1 token per 30 minutes of TV time, 4 tokens max per day. The tokens are actually inserted into the timer and the time begins as soon as the token drops. I am super excited for the kiddos to stop channel surfing when they are bored, and also super excited that I won't have to yell about the TV anymore. We only have 1 TV in the house but it seems to get turned on constantly with 3 kids in the house.

I am also slowly starting to redecorate our house....just little things, rearranging, painting...etc. Looking forward to posting those on here as well, since the kids and I will be doing most of the projects together.

Alright, bedtime for this momma, I will be getting up early and serving coffee to the world :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lets try this whole blogging thing....AGAIN

I think this is my third, fourth, I don't know hundreth attempt to start this blog and keep it going....so here goes nothing........

It's summertime, we breaking from school for a short 8 weeks. I am ready to start again already, but I am also loving the break. I think that's every homeschooling mom's dilemma, if we start early we get done early....but then should we start even earlier? It's a vicious cycle.

This year we are starting earlier than we ever have, the second week in August. I have good reasons though. I want to take off extra time in December to visit with family and I don't want to be carrying around 30 extra lbs in school books. PRAY FOR ME....getting these kids to start school 3 weeks earlier than everyone around them, it might mean world war 3.

Okay lets update everyone on the kiddos...
~Booger- He is going to be....wait for it....9 YEARS OLD!!! Is that even possible? I mean really? He is becoming a little man and I have to be honest, occasionally I just start crying and wishing for my little boy to come back. It's hard but I feel so priveledged to be his mom and watch this awesome little guy grow everyday. He is the most driven of my children, I often wonder where that will take him...I can't wait to see how God is going to use that coupled with his compassion for others.
~Peanut- She is almost 7, and she is more creative than ever. She is sarcastic (she gets it from her father) and it's hilarious to hear. She loves to do good, not neccessarily 'be good' but do good. I love her mischevious nature, and even if I yell at her in the moment, I often laugh at the moment later on in the day.
~Bean- Her middle name is an Irish proverb meaning, "my song and my joy". To say that she is a joy, is an understatment. she makes us laugh and smile, and her older siblings can't get enough of her. She will soon be 3!!! 3!!! wow, the time has flown. One of my favorite things is how she prays, every night she re-lives her day and tells God what she did. Then she says Amen. She doesn't ask for anything...not yet anyway...she just informs her 'friend' Jesus about her day and moves on. I love it.

A little about the parents...
~The Hubbs and I just celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss, and we are about to undergo some major lifestyle changes...more on that soon...but for now lets just say that we need prayer to make it all work.

Thanks for listening, reading, I will be back soon....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Booger got two compliments....

Yesterday Booger was with his godparents. It was a rare occasion when he was able to visit with them without the company of his two little sisters. While out running errands with them he was complimented twice on his good behavior. And I started thinking, I need to compliment my children more. Especially my little Booger. He does so much for me and for his little sisters, and sometimes I forget to tell him what an amazing child he truly is.

While we were out running around a few weeks back, I was asking the kids about their dream jobs, and goal they have for their own future. Booger's response was, "I want to be able to help people, wherever they need help. I could build things for them, or buy groceries, just help people all the time." What a great kid. I am so blessed to be his mommy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Baby You're a Firework

To my darling Peanut....
You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine,
Just own the night like the 4th of July

Cause baby your a firework,
Come on show 'em what your worth
Make 'em go oh, oh, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Baby your a firework
Come on let your colors burst
Make 'em go Oh, Oh, Oh
Your gonna leave 'em falling down.

You don't have to feel like a wasted space
Your ORIGINAL, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt your heart will blow
and when it's time you'll know.

As we were driving home from North Carolina, Firework by Katy Perry came on my iPod. And my sweet peanut was in the back seat sound asleep. It usually takes her a while to fall asleep. She is a ball of energy, and life, and love. But not everyone understands her, I have always thought that she beats to the beat of her own drummer, that she will be the most eccentric of my children and I am guilty of not allowing her to be herself at times. I started crying as I was watching her sleep and listening to the lyrics. She is an ORIGINAL. I don't want her to be the same as everyone else. I want her to be herself. This world is so much about putting everyone into the same mold. It's not what I want for my kids.

I am a very plain girl, I wish I was different and loud and eccentric sometimes. I wish I was as free as Peanut is. Today, we took a picture together with my phone and she wanted to put a caption underneath the photo. She typed, "be happy with everyone". WOW!!! Be happy with everyone, love everyone for who they are, not who they will become or who you want them to be. My sweet sweet peanut, teaching me when I have set out to teach her.

Monday, January 30, 2012


We have a journal jar with different ideas for writing assignments. Most of them are simple things like "what is your favorite vacation spot and why?" Today Peanut chose one that says, "list five things that make you happy". Her list is as follows....

 1.  My mom taking me to somewhere special.
 2.  My dad taking me to the park.
 3.  Playing with my brother.
*4.  Obeying God.
 5.  Helping my mom and dad.

I also asked her to put a star next to the one thing that makes her happiest. She chose Obeying God. Then she wrote "Obeying God makes me happy because God is my savior."

I love childlike faith.

I love journaling.

I love that each one of the things that make her happy are about relationships and not about material things.

I love that she, at 6 years old realizes that relationships are the most important thing in this life.

I love that the most important relationship in her life is her relationship with God.

I love my peanut.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Loving Children

So, I originally said that this year I was going to make my blog about the different resources I use to make homeschooling easier. I still am going to do that, but today I want to talk about my loving children....

Last night Beanie was up WAAAAYYYYY past her bedtime. At around 11:30pm she came out of her room and sat with me on the couch. She caressed my face and told me that she loved me. She then asked me if I would lay down with her. Which of course I did. We layed in her bed for about 20 minutes. She continued caressing my face and giving me kisses and smiling at me. Occasionally she would tell me that she loved me. Needless to say I was crying by the time she fell asleep. Beanie, is my touchie feely baby. She loves to hug and kiss and snuggle, and I love it too.

Peanut is my affirming child. She writes me letters about what a great mom I am, and tells me that I am doing a good job. She affirms me everyday, she makes me feel great. She is a cuddler too, but mainly when she is tired or sick. I love that she expresses herself through words and writings, she is very much like me in that way.

Booger, what can I say about my sweet boy. He shows his love through compassion. He genuinely cares about and feels other peoples pain. When others are sad, he is sad. He wants to help anyone who needs help and save anyone who needs saving. He loves through doing. If I need something he is right there to help me.

I love that I have 3 loving children who show love in very different ways. I cannot wait to see how God will use these traits to His glory.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Livin on a prayer

So for the last week or so I have been exhausted. I mean, falling asleep during Pastor Steve's sermon yesterday morning exhausted. I don't know what it is. If I sit down, I will fall asleep. It makes life a little bit harder when your children get up with the sun and don't usually settle til about 9:00pm. Even Beanie is skipping her afternoon nap sometimes. I think that exericise might help me get some endorphins going but I barely have the energy to clean the house let alone actually exercise.

I think the kids are starting to get a little frustrated with my all around laziness, as is the hubbs. Please pray with me that this will pass rather quickly, so that I can get my energy back. In the meantime, I think some high doses of vitamin D are in order.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Recently our pastor gave a sermon about going "All In" with God. Since then I have been looking for ways to teach my kids about compassion and the struggles of life for children and families outside the US. Going "ALL IN" with God to me means that I need to take my family "All In" with me.

As a mom who homeschools, my goal is not to make sure that my kids are the smartest or even that they go to college. (I want those things, of course.) College was not a reality for me, so I don't know if it will be for my kids. My goal is to raise Christ-followers who want nothing more than to live out the great commission.

Last night as I held my little Bean in my arms and rocked her back to sleep, I began to cry. Thinking that somewhere in the world a mother was rocking her child to sleep not knowing if they would even make it through the night. I know that my family can't save every child, but I am ready for God to lead us where we need to be to help whoever he puts in our path. If that is right here in MD great, if not, we are ready.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Award Ceremonies for Homeschool

So, here at the Criswell Academy we haven't ever had awards ceremonies or promotions ceremonies, but I think I am going to start this year. If the kids were attending a school. They would get things like that. So as part of my goals this year I am gonna do that. Now just who to invite :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sun Catchers

So there is this blog http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/. I love it. I love all the great ideas and the wonderful art projects. This morning we made Sun Catchers and the kids had a blast!!!

Yesterday I took a trip to Michaels to get the supplies, 3 Acrylic Frame Boxes 3.99$ each, 3 bags of glass tiles 1.99$ each, and 3 bottles of clear elmers school glue 2.49$ each. Total cost about 23$ with my teacher discount. It's a little bit pricier than I am used to for an art project but I was super excited to try it with the kids.

The kids started out by pouring the glue into the frame boxes and then swirling it around til it covered  the entire bottom of the box. Then Beanie got straight to work on placing the tiles wherever she wanted, Peanut and Booger took a more methodical approach to it. Check out the pictures!!

Beanie was not to happy about getting "goo on her finders"

 Hopefully once they are dry and hanging up in our front window I can rememeber to take a few more pictures. For now I hope you are inspired to Play At Home with your kids :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012? Are you kidding me...I am behind....in more than my blogging

wow, It's been a while since I have done this, I don't even know if I have any followers anymore. Alright lets do some updates;

For starters the school year has been going well, we have fallen a little behind but that's pretty normal around here. In the end it all works out. Booger is doing very well, somedays he just amazes with the knowledge that he soaks up on a daily basis. The other day he told me that his snow gloves had the same grips that polar bears paws have. He then went onto to explain how Polar bears run on the ice and snow and that with out the grips on their paws it would be nearly impossible for them to move on the ice.

Peanut is smart as whip in reading and spelling. If Booger asks me how to spell something or the meaning of a word, Peanut can usually answer him before I do, (I usually give her about 5 seconds before I jump in to see if she know the answer.) Her art skills are improving daily it seems. For Christmas they both got tons of toys from family members, one of the things I gave to Peanut though was a new sketchpad and colored pencils. The sketchpad goes everywear with us, she is constantly drawing something.

Now for my little Bean, I know I have said it before, but she really is the final piece of our little family. She keeps us laughing and smiling all day long. Booger and Peanut both adore her, and she has her Daddy so tightly wrapped around her little finger that somedays I am completely neglected. (I honestly don't mind at all though.) Her language skills are great, but she does have some problems remembering things like colors. I know she will get in her own time, she is only 2 afterall.

So, I have new idea for my blog in 2012. I would like to help other homeschooling moms find great resources to use at home. The one that I would like to talk about today is a website called http://superteacherworksheets.com/, I utilize this websites for all of Peanuts spelling lists and for tons of supplemental worksheets. Even if you don't homeschool your kids and are looking for some great tools to help them brush up on their skills I highly reccomend this site. Everything is free and in PDF format you can't beat it!!