A New Year

It has literally been years since I wrote on here, and as cliche as it may be, I’m starting today with the new year!

I have big dreams for this blog, but I get bogged down in the details and the fears of not doing something right. But, this year is going to be about truly becoming who I want to be, being happy with who I am, and shattering my personal fears – so I begin.

I will confess, for a bit this may have absolutely nothing to do with homeschooling or real estate. But, I believe that I will be able to do that, as I work on the above. I am sure there will be parts of it that relate there, because besides being a mom and wife – homeschooling and real estate make up a significant part of my life.

This is a journey of change – permanent change – that I am ready to embrace. This year I turn 50. Perhaps this is where a lot of these goals and dreams come from. I have also graduated two of my three girls, and am staring the graduation of the last one straight in the face. Well, I have 2 1/2 more years with her. But, as any parent knows, it truly goes so quickly.

I think facing these things is making me very reflective. My worth has been placed a lot in my children, their education, and their success. What will I do now? Who am I? What is God calling me to now?

I hope that you will join me on this journey!

I guarantee it will be ugly at times. There will be typos, there will be shame, there will be missed days, there will be mistakes. But, I hope to look back on being 50 as not the beginning of the downhill slide of life. But, the beginning of living my life to the fullest.

I want to be ALL that God wants me to be. I want to be happy with me. I want to not fear doing something wrong – doing this blog wrong is a big one.

So, be patient, be kind, and be ready for your own change, too!

Happy New Year!

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Just Stuff

So, I know it’s been forever…

I won’t make any excuses. And, some day, I will shock you all and be consistent. Until then, you just have to enjoy them when they come. I’m sure you have been on the edge of your seat just waiting…

And, that’s where I want to start, with those of you at the edge of your…

Can I just say that the amount of spam comments is really annoying! It truly cracks me up when people “comment” on what a great post that is and how invaluable the information is. Now, if it were a post about some real estate smartness that I put out there for you, I would probably fall for it. I cannot tell you how many “comments” I’ve received on my CYT Pictures post. I know, I know, the subjects were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! But seriously, valuable information??? If you are going to spam me, pick a post with value. Until then, please don’t be offended that your comment does not show up on my blog.

Now, on to the real stuff.

We started school! Actually, we are on week 7. And, although I’m pretty sure I say this every year, this is definitely the best year yet. This is our 8th year of homeschooling -WOW! Where does the time go? Sigh, my oldest is quickly approaching graduation. Scary!

See, even she’s scared :) . (A little 4th of July fun.)

Anyway, one of the things that has made this year different than any other year – besides the fact that I am – wait for it – - – actually homeschooling my kids and spending the majority of the day working with them on their schoolwork – is that we have added two extras to our little homeschool.

So, a few people thought I was crazy. But, I promise you, it’s been the best thing to happen to all of us. It has actually kept me in the classroom, on top of scheduling, and making sure that everyone is moving ahead. A little outward motivation does wonders. My girls have a little competition. Who is done with school? Who finished the test first? Who did better on the test? It’s been motivating for them. The girls are really great students, diligent at getting their school work done, and EXCITED to be here and not in the public school where they have been.

Now, before you think I am TOTALLY psycho. Both of them match up schoolwise with two of mine. So, other than extra bodies and extra grading, it has not added any extra classes/work in that regards.

I’m telling you, it has been a huge blessing. I would totally do it all over again.

Wanna know my favorite part? 2 days a week they bring lunch!!! I don’t even have to think about it. It shows up with them. I heat it up and put it on a plate. LOVE IT!!!!!!

Let’s see… where else should I ramble about life to give you some sort of catch up (and I just can’t wait for the commenter who spams me with gratefulness about this amazing post!)?

Besides me actually teaching, we are also part of a co-op. I am so excited for my oldest (remember sparkler girl above) and the Anatomy class she is taking. One of the dads is a nurse, and has volunteered to come in every week and teach the Anatomy & Physiology class. It’s been so awesome to get perspective from someone who actually KNOWS what they are teaching, versus Mom who tries to read just enough ahead to make it appear that she know what she’s teaching, but generally is behind and has to tell them to give me the book so I can figure it out and then explain it to them. (Long sentence, I know. It was intentional.)

Then, my two youngest (one of which is not really “mine” but one of our additions) are in a history class with a mom who LOVES history, is from England originally, and we are studying a lot about that area with the Renaissance, medieval history, etc. It’s been great. And, they are learning so much more than I know.

Another co-op class that I’m excited about is the Memory Period. They are memorzing the Westminister Shorter Catechism Questions/Answers. This is so awesome. We got some CDs that a music to each one, so it makes you pick up on it pretty quickly. But, I guarantee you that on my own, this class would quickly go to the wayside. They have other things that they are learning in this class as well. Latin, geography, and even some grammar helps have been amazing tools that I would never enforce to completion. Now, you get points each week, so they want to get it done.

We are trying to eek the last little bits out of our garden. I have so many green tomatoes, it is not even funny. I fear I will not get done with them what I should, (because, as I said earlier, I’m really teaching) but I have high hopes for them. My canning has not been that great this year. But, I did get some done.

My husband just harvested our honey last night. That is always exciting! And, we got more than we did last year, so that’s fun too.

Oh, and probably the highlight of my husband’s fall has been a moose hunt. In Idaho you get a once in a lifetime moose (this is the part that the wife is happy about). So, when he got drawn for a tag, he went into high gear planning mode. After week’s of prepping, practicing the moose calls, pouring over the map, shopping for food and supplies, and one unsuccessful trip – HE CAME HOME WITH A MOOSE!

Doesn’t he look happy, and cute! (I am referring to my husband, not the moose!)

And now, we have a VERY FULL FREEZER and I am learning to fix anything moose, and we are all loving it. Probably by the time the freezer is empty, we will be sad that we will never have a full moose freezer again.

Well, I do have some more school to do with the girls, so I had better head back to the school room and crack the whip.

Thanks for being patient with me. Until next time…

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A little more summer

My house is clean – well, relatively! FOR ME, it’s spotless, please don’t come and check my baseboards! My husband is gone. I hear the lake calling my name! Off to play in the water, sit on the dock, soak up some sun, and just relax. We’ll be back later this afternoon. Don’t worry – the laundry will wait.

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Wow, it’s been busy around our house!

We are madly trying to enjoy the last bits of summer, plus we have to get ready for the fall.

This week I did some canning. Got our beets all pickled for the husband. These are truly a labor of love. I don’t even like the way beets smell, let alone taste. But, he really loves them, so I make them. My mom and another friend really like them as well, so they do get eaten. I didn’t do as many this year, as I still have some from last year.

Dave has taken the two older girls on an overnight pack trip (each one by themselves). Today he takes the youngest one with him. My middle daughter is not overly fond of the horses, a little fearful, but does enjoy being with her daddy. She took her camera along, which shoots video. If you want a good laugh – watch her video (she is so going to kill me for this!).

My oldest was the first to go. She was fortunate enough to go in June, when there was still snow where they went. Not a lot, but enough to keep them from going as far as Dave wanted to go. The best part of their trip? The sleeping bags never got packed! (Did I mention there was snow?) Thankfully they did have a tent and lots of clothes and the canvas that is used to pack all their stuff onto the horses, so they did not freeze. Let’s just say, they have a memory they will never forget! I’m not sure if it’s because they won’t forget or we won’t let them! :)

My youngest is most excited about the trip. Yesterday she had a “horse friend” here, which quickly made her an expert, so she could show her around. She had a blast on the horse and cannot believe that Dad wants to wait until 3:00 to leave! She’s ready to go and super excited to have this trip.

My task the last few weeks has been working on school schedules and ordering books. It is so fun! I love getting the books. We’ve been getting a package just about everyday for the last week. One day I recieved a box from UPS, FedEx, and the post office. It was the best day ever!

I’m making pretty good progress. It takes so long to get this all typed out. I am trying to plan out for the year, as best I can. There are a couple subjects that I am not going too far, but the ones that are pretty straightforward, I am trying to get all the way through, so that I know we can actually get all the way through them!

The oldest two have also started volleyball practice. So, there’s been a bit of shuttling for that. We had some sore muscles around here the first week, but they seem to be getting back into the flow of volleyball and, for the most part, enjoying it. I know that by the end of the season they will both be glad they did it. It’s social, that’s what it’s all about for both of them!

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Too many things in my head

OK, so, I have at least 4 different posts started. Then, I get distracted. Then, I begin over analyzing what I’m writing. So, today, I’m just letting you know that I haven’t discarded the blog, I just need to clear the head and actually finish a post.

What do you have to look forward to?

I have some great pics of my garden. OK, you have to promise to ignore any weeds that you see (they are growing quite well this year). But, you will also see the many things we have coming up. Strawberries – YUM, rhubarb, spinach, and radishes are a few of things we’ve already enjoyed. We’ve got raspberries beginning to turn, beets growing, carrots, POTATOES like crazy, and lots of squash family items. I’ve even got some basil started in my “herb garden”.

Then, I’ve got a whole post about some different houses that I’ve been touring thru and some of the great decorating ideas I’ve been getting.

Oh, and I have one about why I really love living in this part of Idaho and what drew me here.

And, well, I’ve got homeschool stuff brewing around in my head. More curriculum purchases and plans for the upcoming year.

Stay tuned and please be patient with me. I’m trying to get this writing happening on a regular basis – REALLY!

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Getting Creative with Advertising

A friend of mine that lives on the west side posted this on his Facebook page. Being in real estate myself, I thought it was hilarious! Anyone want to make some videos for my listings? Huh? Anyone? In this market it pays to be creative.

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Kootenai County Market Stats

So, what’s happen in our market now? Since the beginning of the year through the month of May in Kootenai County, as compared to last year:

(OLP = Original List PRice; SP = Sales Price)

If you want information regarding your area specifically, comment or send me an email.

Current Active Listings                         2065  
Homes Sold/Closed YTD                         825  
Ave Days on Market                               130  
Median Sales Price                        $154,000  
Ave Sales Price                              $198,624  
OLP/SP                                                  89%  
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Getting Ready for Next Year

So, as I said before, I become somewhat addicted to the following school year about the time I should actually be finishing up the current school year. One of the areas that I am going to focus on this next year is English Grammar/vocabulary. I’ll be honest, I have been somewhat haphazzard with this area. We do a little here and a little there. They can all three speak and write, but sigh, perhaps not diagram a sentence so well.

I’ve got two things that have been recommended to be me by different friends. I’ve only received one of the items so far, so you’ll just have to hold your horses to find out the second – oh the suspense, I know it’s killing you! :)

Anyway, the first item I’ve purchased to help with vocabulary is called Vocabulary from Classical Roots. Here is a link so that you can read some more about it: http://www.homeschoolchristian.com/curricula/reviews/classicalroots.php. This review only mentions the upper grades, but they also have an elementary level as well.

I have two different friends that recommended it to me. I am having my youngest do level 4 this next year (she’s going into 5th grade) and my older two (going into 8th & 10th grade) will both be doing Level A.

The focus of this program is Latin and Greek roots. One of my friends talked about how their children both commented on knowing some of the vocabulary words on a standardized state test because of this program.

I have looked through the books. Two things I like about it. My girls should be able to do the majority of the work on their own. I will grade and make sure they are understanding, but they can read it at their pace and work through the book at their pace. The lessons also seem relatively short and not too overwhelming.

I’m excited about using this program for vocabuarly next year!

Do you use a specific “vocabulary” curriculum? How do you teach your children this subject? Do you? What are your thoughts?

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Keeping the Lawn Green and Lush

Well, our yard has its fair share of dandelions. We try each year to weed and feed. I suppose it kills some. But, when THIS:

across the street. It’s a bit discouraging. (I was going to take this picture when everything was yellow, but alas, I never got the camera out.)

We also have kids and animals and honey bees that roam our property, so we want to be careful about what we put on the yard.

I was looking at a friend’s blog and she posted this video about organic lawn care. I thought it was relatively simple and helpful. I’m going to give it a try. You might want to as well.

Have a great day!

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CYT Pictures – FINALLY!

I know I said I would do this and yesterday I said it would be today! So, it’s not midnight yet! I dont’ know what it is about downloading pictures to my computer, but I have issues with it. It seems I always have something better to do. But, I’m doing it!

Here are all the kids getting ready for voice warm ups.

The one in the grey jacket and boots, to the right above, that my oldest.

Here are my girls getting into costume.

Injun Joe was SCARY! He did a great job!

Tom and Becky did a great job!

And, Aunt Polly did great, as well!

The congregation singing!

Well, now I know why I procrastinate. Let’s see, I started this a couple hours ago and got distracted with other computer “stuff.” But, as you can see, they all had a great time and put on a FABULOUS performance. Definitely one of my top favs!

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