Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Being a Home School Mom Has Endless Rewards

My students and I. 
You know moms have a hundred or so titles: nurse, chauffeur, chef, maid, etc.  In addition to my "mom titles" am also the office manager for my husband's plumbing business.  I take care of the billing, accounts receivable, and try to field service calls when I can.  I also sell Scentsy.  In January of this year, I added a new title to my name.  I am also a home based educator.  That's a fancy way to say that I teach my kids at home. 

What an adventure it's been so far!  I must say that I went into it as scared as any parent would be.  Now, their entire future depends, in part, on not only how I raise them, but also how I educate them.  At first, that was a very scary feeling.  Now, I only chuckle to think that I was leaving this up to numerous other people who, although many of them very well qualified and caring individuals, only dealt with my children for a short time and had no long term investment in their future.  (I am NOT knocking public school teachers...my kids had some of the best in our district!!) 

It is a different adventure every single day, I promise.  There are no two children alike.  None of the three of them learn the same, and they are all such unique and individual personalities.  It is amazing how much I have learned about them in the last 10 months.  Don't get me wrong, it's not always tiptoeing through the tulips.  Some times, I want to go hide in the closet and plug my ears.  I may or may not have actually done this before.  But, the reward far outweighs the alternative to sending my kids back to public school  I have seen such a change in them since we began to home school.  Yes, they still fight but they do get along a lot better than they used to.  Their imaginations are unbelievable.  I don't hear "I'm bored" anymore.  Perhaps it's because they don't want me to make them write a book report, but still!

She brought me an apple to "school" a/k/a the kitchen table. ;)
Yesterday, something happened that made me so very proud of the young lady that I am raising.  My oldest (6th grade) does her math on the computer, Teaching Textbooks is the curriculum we use.  I LOVE it, by the way.  It's a perfect fit for her.  She had to do a quiz, so I gave her a little incentive that if she made a 100% that I would reward her.  We don't usually weigh to heavily on "grades", mostly just rely on the fact that they are understanding what they are doing.  But, I thought it would be a fun change of pace.  She was excited and went into the office to work on her quiz.  She came out later and said she'd completed her math and proudly proclaimed that she'd made a 100%!!  I was happy for her, but I know her well enough to know that she was not being honest.  I asked her if she was telling the truth and she hesitated and said yes.  I told her I was proud and then asked her if she used a calculator (she's not supposed to use one).  She dropped her chin and began to sob and said, "YES!"  Bless her little heart, she couldn't be dishonest even if she wanted to.  I told her that I was glad she told the truth, but the fact that she "cheated" by using a calculator meant that she wasn't getting a reward.  I thought that we were finished with the incident and then later on she came out of her room (long after we were finished with "school") and handed me a folder filled with a page full of sentences: "I will never cheat again."  I don't know how many times she'd written it, but I suppose once her conscience felt clean she stopped.  When she handed me the papers I told her she didn't have to do it and she said she had to be punished somehow!  So, I told her that as long as she asked God for his forgiveness that's all that mattered.  I didn't think bad of her and I knew that she was an honest person.

As I retold the story to my husband later that night, I realized how proud I was of the little lady that I am raising.  Although she might mess up sometimes (like we all do), she does have a big heart and she has the love of Christ dwelling inside her.  I couldn't ask for more!  I am very proud of my kiddos and I know that as time goes on, I will only become more proud.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Every boy needs a Hero - Win A DVD

DVD REVIEW & GIVEAWAY:

Since I started homeschooling my children back in the fall of last year which means I don't have a lot of spare time on my hands these days.  I don't do a lot of product reviews anymore because quite frankly, I don't have the time to read through the volume of requests, let alone, try the product and then post an honest review about it.  But, when I received an e-mail about an upcoming movie, I knew it was a project that I wanted to be a part of!  I am excited to be telling you about a new movie that will be available in stores on September 16 called, Hero

http://www.herofamilymovie.com/HERO_Movie_Official_Site/Home.htmlAnyone that has read my blog or followed me in Social Media since my son has been old enough to pick up a baseball knows that we are huge baseball fans.  To find a family movie that is centered around baseball is a home run for us.  When we saw the trailer to the movie Hero, we knew it was a must see for our family.

We had a movie night that included pop corn, junior mints, and of course a super sized "Coke" (because you know that's what we call every can of soda in the south no matter what flavor!).  Most nights we watch movies, the husband will fall asleep on the couch and we can't hear the end of the movie because he is snoring louder than the television volume will allow and the kiddos one by one migrate to another room.  This movie had the entire family captivated, even the non-sporty daughter.  This speaks volumes for the content of this movie in our household.

The movie is about how a father’s broken relationship with his family fills him with determination to win back the son he left behind. Reaching out through the game they both love, he deliberately forms a baseball team designed to reconnect both fathers and sons, transforming their town in the process. The story shows how one good man can lead change in his community for the common good.

Hero presents an all-star cast including Gregory Alan Williams (In the Line of Fire, The Preacher's Kid), R. Keith Harris (Big Fish), and Mark Joy (The Ultimate Gift). The film also includes a musical score by Grammy winner, Michael Omartian.

George Escobar, a producer of Hero, wanted to make a movie that highlighted the real value in playing a sport and trying to win. “I grew up playing sports, and this idea of playing without winners and losers just seems like a missed opportunity to teach the kids how to train themselves to win. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. A rival will push you harder than the desire to do your best.”

I will admit that I did shed some tears in this one, so I'd say that if you cry during movies, you'd better grab a tissue.  There was no fence for me to jump on and scream for the winning team, so I had to stay seated on the couch, but I'll get my chance at fence jumping soon, as fall baseball will start this weekend for my family.

If you get a chance to see this movie, I'd highly recommend it.  It's a great family movie.   To find out move about this movie, click on this link
 
Give Away Details: 
The give away will begin today: Thursday, September 11, 2014 and end on Friday, October 3, 2014 at midnight CST.  For your chance to win a copy of the Hero DVD, all you have to do is leave a comment telling us your favorite sport.  You must do this step in order to earn any extra entries listed below. It is also important that you leave your e-mail address if it is not visible in your profile so that I can contact you should you be chosen as the winner. *Contest open to continental US only due to shipping restrictions from the sponsor.


For additional entries: 
Please be sure to leave each of these in a separate comment, this is important since I will use the random number generator to choose a winner and if you put all of your extra entries in one comment, it will only count as one entry.

- Follow my blog via Google (in the sidebar) and/or Facebook.

- Become a fan of CrAzY Working Mom on Facebook.

- Blog about this contest on your blog. Be sure to leave the link in your comment.

- Follow CrAzY Working Mom on Twitter and Tweet about the contest.  Come back and leave a link to  your tweet.  You can tweet daily for entries.

- Send an e-mail to five or more of your friends with a link to this post and cc: me at tishblack (at) gmail.com.

Of course if you already to any or all of these, leave me a comment (separate for each entry) and it will count.

* I received a review copy of this DVD in exchange for my opinion of the movie. No other form of compensation has been received and the opinions stated above are my own. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Confessions of a First Time Homeschool Mom

As I write this post, we are 5 months into our homeschooling journey.  I began teaching my pre-schooler, 2nd grader, and 5th grader from the comforts of our own home at the beginning of the second semester this year.

Tyler came to school a/k/a the kitchen table like this. 
We began a new year and a new chapter in our lives in January of twenty-fourteen.  I had struggled with the fact that I felt God was calling me to home school my children for quite some time.  I didn't know if I could be with my children twenty four hours a day, seven days a week (and I still don't!!).  I didn't want to lose that freedom I had during the day.  I take care of the office side of my husband's plumbing business from home.  With that comes responsibilities, but I can take time during the day when needed for pedicures, shopping, etc.  I also had plenty of time to keep up with laundry, dishes, and housework.  How in the world could I ever fit in teaching my kids...and the biggest excuse of them all...I'm not smart enough.  The kids are home with me in the summers.  We "home school" then...we just don't have books in our laps when we do.  We take field trips to the zoo, movies, and visit the water park.  We do community service, and attend camps.  Life always goes on even when the kids aren't doing time in public school.  So, why should it be any different from August to May? 

I finally gave in to all of those preconceived notions this year and decided I'd give it a trial run for a semester.  I ordered curriculum, made schedules, planned, and we were ready!  The first week went by like clock work.  The kids were excited about the change in their routine.  Every day they got up without fuss, got dressed, brushed their teeth (yes, home schoolers still do all of that!!).  It was an amazing time.  Then slowly and surely, they wanted to sleep in later, forgot to brush their teeth and wanted to do school in their pajamas.  I tried to be a stickler to rules, we needed to get school done in a timely manner.  We have to complete so much work per week.  We can't be failures.  The world is watching...or at least my parents are!

When snack time and Science collide!  Experiment time.
If I could go back five months, I'd tell my worried, stressed out self that "home school" is nothing more structured learning scattered throughout (most of the time). I would not be overwhelmed with trying to get a month ahead on "lesson plans".  The truth is, I have found that the kids will do much more work when I just tell them to do however much they feel like they can get finished today instead of giving them "X" amount of pages to complete.  I would toss the books aside on a pretty day or better yet, take them to the park and get a few pages in between the merry go round and teeter totter.   Yes, we still set goals and strive to achieve them, but in the end it's not about "making the grade" or getting finished at a certain time.  It's about learning things that they will take with them for a life time.  It's about being realistic and letting the kids explore and seek out what they enjoy.  I'm not saying that they shouldn't do math, grammar, reading, etc.  But, sometimes they will do a lot more if you aren't shoving it down their throats.  There will be days when you may not get much accomplished.  The sunshine and cool breezes can trump school sometimes.  There will be plenty of time to make up that missed day of work in the winter when it's minus ten and the ice is frozen solid, provided there's no snow, 'cause then we'd have to call a snow day.  ;)

While I won't say that every day is bliss, I do not regret the decision to pull my children from public school and teach them at home.  One of my home schooling girlfriends put it best when she said, sometimes your "pros" are also your "cons" when home schooling as far as being with your kids all of the time.  We do have to have trips to grandma's house...or sometimes mom just has to get in the car and drive around the block when Dad gets home because she needs to clear her head and have some Jesus time.  I get a little emotional when I think of all of the wonderful things I missed out on by sending my kids to someone else for 7 hours a day to get "educated".  I know that I have really gotten to know my kiddos this last five months.  We laugh and cry together, we play and learn together.  We still do drama, baseball, softball, church, and community service.  We still have sleep overs, birthday parties, and the likes.  They still have friends, and while they do miss some of their public school acquaintances, I believe that they are some of the most socially interactive kids you'll meet.  
School at the park on a sunny day.
With that being said, I cannot imagine ever sending my kids back to public school.  Although circumstances could some day change and the need may arise where it is our only option.  I pray that God will continue to allow me to do what he has designed me to do, and that is to raise  God fearing, loving, caring, self-sufficient, well rounded, properly educated children. 

Shelby reading from a tree.
Now, to brag a little bit...my pre-schooler is on her 4th book.  She's learning to read and that is astounding to me!!  My 2nd grader has some difficulties reading, but he's a whiz at math and I love to see his brain work around those numbers in ways that mine doesn't process.  He doesn't like to read, but he does LOVE to be read to and his favorites subjects of course are math, history, and science.  My 5th grader is my little book worm.  She's constantly reading.  We frequent the library and she will check out (and read) at least 3 books a week!  All three of my kids, from the 5 year old to the 11 year old can recite (in order) all of the books of the Old and New testament in the Bible.  They continue to amaze me at all they absorb and I pray that God will continue to lead me on this amazing journey as a home schooling mom of three.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Scars

As Spring like weather approaches, so does the need for flip flops and short pants.  I love to wear capris, but this year it seems like I can't bring myself to put them on.  Ya see I have massive scars from the surgery I had in December to put a metal plate in my leg.  One side is a long, perfect medical scar.  The other side is a nasty scar from the damage that the bone did to pressing against the skin.  I am very self conscious about it.  I am worried about wearing flip flops and capris this year not only because of the ugly scars, but also because of the fact that my leg is still very thin and frail compared to the other leg.  For over 4 weeks, I was not allowed to put any weight on it.  So, my leg grew very thin and the muscle was almost non-existent in it.  Although it is no longer as bad as it once was, and heals a little more each day, I know this summer I will get a lot of stares and odd looks.  Do you have scars that you are self conscious of?  Are there reasons that you won't wear certain attire?  Do tell. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Update - Call Me Bionic Woman!

Since I haven't posted here since December, 
I thought I would post a generalized update on the CrAzy Working Mom Family.  


We had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of love and family time.  On Christmas night, we had an enormous ice storm that filled the state with lots of beautiful snow and treacherous ice!  The kids enjoyed it.  We played in it all day the next day.  Unfortunately, we lost a few tree limbs and were without power for an entire day.  Thankfully we have a fire place and had just enough wood stored up that we were able to keep warm by the fireside until power was restored.



My best friend celebrated her birthday eve with a SURPRISE party!  We had a wonderful time in her presence with a taco bar fiesta and fun fellowship.  It was so good to get to spend some quality time with her!  Although I am not entirely sure she was "surprised", there was lots of planning and preparation that went into her celebration and I know that she was very thankful and enjoyed every minute of it!
Tisha & Becca 2012
On Saturday, December 29, 2012 I was preparing to go visit my best friend, Becca for lunch and my husband was going to unstop her plumbing while we were there I headed outside and unbeknownst to be, there was still ice on my front porch steps.  I took a very terrible fall down my steps and ended up with a dislocated ankle and two broken bones.  Instead of enjoying lunch with my bestie on her birthday, I ended up in the E.R!!!

I yelled for my husband to come outside and he rushed to my side...literally!!  He fell down the stairs on top of me.  Thankfully he was not hurt, but quickly agreed with me that I was when he saw that the bone that my foot should be sitting on was not about to pop out of my skin!  It was a very traumatic experience for me, and my very first bone break.  When I do something, I go all out.

He and my father-in-law loaded me up and took me to the Emergency Room where a very friendly staff of doctors and nurses treated me for the fracture.  I was given Propofol, which may sound familiar to you as a reader because it's what killed Michael Jackson!  I was told that I would still be awake, but I would be "under" for 7 minutes.  I had to sign a release form "just in case" I didn't wake up.  My family was very concerned and scared.  I just wanted my foot to be put back on my leg and to be able to go home!

My New and Improved Ankle
So, the procedure was completed and I was awake the entire time watching a total of 9 doctors, nurses, and staff treat the fracture and watch my vitals.  It was a very humbling experience.  Upon completion of this procedure, my doctor informed me that they were waiting to hear back from the surgeon!!  Yes, I said surgeon.

Since I had eaten breakfast, I had to wait a few hours until they could safely do the surgery.  Once they had the green light, I was taken back and given anesthesia yet again to complete the surgery.  This time I became the (not so proud) owner of a steel plate and 8 screws which have taken up permanent residence in my right ankle.

I was informed that I was not allowed to bear ANY weight on this ankle for at least 4 weeks.  Yes, this busy mother of three was going to be "benched" for 4 weeks!  Being as it was my right foot, I was unable to drive for even longer than that!  Fortunately, my sister and her husband stepped in and they allowed us to stay with them and were a tremendous help to Brien by picking up and dropping off the kids at school and helping with my immediate needs.  It was a very difficult time for me.  As a mother of three and small business owner, I have never had much reason to depend on others.  Brien and I have tried very hard to be able to support our family and to take care of each other without the help of others.  So, it was a very humbling experience to say the least.  I am so grateful for the many people who helped out.  We had dinners cooked for us for an entire two weeks solid!  There were so many text messages, facebook messages, prayers, visits, and the likes that I could never thank everyone.  But, for those of you who visited, called, and texted...THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  I could have never made it without you all. 

We are now gearing up for another season of baseball.  It's been practice 2 - 3 times a week and pretty soon we'll switch from practice to games.  But, we love it.  Tyler loves it and we enjoy cheering him on.  I am looking forward to spending the summer with my kiddos.  I am still recovering.  I am no longer confined to the walking boot.  I do wear it on occasion when the pain is unbearable.  I still suffer from discoloration and tenderness where the scars are located, but all in all, I am healing and it's all part of the process.

I am still an Independent Scentsy Consultant if you're interested in purchasing online or if you live local and want to place an order give me a shout.  My website:  https://tishblack.scentsy.us.  I also sell Grace Adele Fashion and Velata Chocolate Fondue (all three Scentsy Family brands).


Monday, December 10, 2012

Rudolph???

Uh- oh!  Looks like Simon-Peter and Noelle are up to no good!  They have turned Brien's buck into Rudolph!  The kids are going to love this idea, but I'm not so sure Dad is going to like it so much!  I hope that red nose is not permanent! 

I love this time of year.  Elf on a Shelf is a wonderful tradition in our house.  The kids love to jump up out of bed each morning to search for the elves.  It's good to know that in December they get out of bed very easily, no matter how late they stay up!

Toodles!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Adventures of Shelly the Tortoise

As I mentioned in a previous post, we've been tortoise sitting for my sister while they were away on vacation. It's been a great time and we really have enjoyed Shelly. Let me give you a little information about Shelly's species. She is an African Spurred Tortoise. She is native to the Sahara desert. Her species is the 3rd largest tortoise in the world. They can grow to be one to two HUNDRED pounds! Right now, Shelly weighs in at a whopping 22 lbs. They can live anywhere from 50 to 150 years. Shelly eats lots of green, leafy veggies and some fruit, but it is not recommended to feed her lots of fruit.

Emily had so much fun with Shelly. Ya see, our little Emily is a lot like Elmyra from the Tiny Toon Adventures. You remember Elmyra, right? She loved animals...they might not have thought the same of her, but she sure loved to hug them and squeeze them, and kiss them all over.  Emily loves to carry around my sister's dogs and they are so patient with her.  Although she was not able to carry around all 22 bulky pounds of Shelly, she followed her around and managed to lay beside her and crawl all around the floor with her.  She really did have a fun time with her.  I know she's going to miss her.



Emily watching Shelly have breakfast.

Shelly enjoying some time in the sun, tranquility, peace and quiet while Emily was away.  ;)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Adventures in Tortoise Sitting

My sister and her family own a 22lb tortoise.  They have bestowed an honor upon us.  
We get to tortoise sit Ms Shelly while they are away on vacation. 
 What fun it's going to be! The kids were super excited when we arrived for pick up and instructions on how to care for a tortoise.
Emily and Tyler were excited about tortoise sitting.
We were sure to buckle her in before leaving.
Shelly eating her breakfast on the first morning here.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Tortoise Sitting as the week continues on.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Shelby!


Happy Birthday to this beautiful 10 year old girl!!
Today is Shelby's birthday. She chose instead of having a big birthday party to instead do a small, intimate bon-fire at home with only family and a few very close friends and use the money we'd spend on a big party to have a Kindle Fire. She is very happy with her decision and she is IN LOVE with this thing. Fortunately she's been very nice to her brother and sister in allowing them to play with it as well. I am very proud of her. To read the story of Shelby's birth, you can click back to THIS POST. She was born on "Black Friday".

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's that time of year again! The Elves Are Back.

Our Scout Elves Have Arrived! Two years ago, we received Simon-Peter and Noelle. You can read about their arrival HERE and HERE. The kids have been anxiously awaiting their arrival since we put the Christmas tree up last Friday. Since today is Shelby's 10th birthday, Santa thought today was the best day to send them along. Of course they came bearing gifts since it is the season of giving...and a letter telling the kids how proud Santa is of them for all they've accomplished since last year and reminding them how they see ALL that the kiddos do, not just in December. So, let the fun begin!!!

This is a great tradition and if you're looking for a new tradition with your little ones, you can read up on the Elf On The Shelf story at their website.  I am not affiliated with this company in any way nor being compensated to write this post.  Just speaking as a mom with some kids who love this concept!