One more Adoption Auction-Brittany’s Hope

Okay friends…one more last fundraiser to bring our sweet boy home!!

He was awarded a grant from Brittanys Hope and as his adopting family we must match half of it. So we are having a Facebook auction.

We are also giving away an iPad mini.

Here is how it works:

Bid on any item. Get 3 chances for the iPad mini.

Win any item. Receive 10 chances for the iPad mini plus the fabulous item or items you won.

Share this auction on your blog, facebook or instagram and receive another 10 chances for the iPad mini.

Donate an item to our auction and receive 25 chances for the iPad mini.

Donate any money to our auction and receive 25 chances for the iPad mini.

Check out the many, many items we have up for bidding….including Christmas gifts, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Pink Zebra, Crafts, 31, Knock off purses and much much more!!

So click

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Where it’s at…

So I would love to come and blog some beautiful little blog with lots of fabulous pictures I’ve been taking but it’s just not happening.

Here are some of my latest pictures…

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Yes those are actual pictures from my camera roll.
And why they may look like chicken scratch or random dates to you… They are what most of the waiting moms and some dads are doing in our little
Adoption world.
Especially if you think you may travel this year…

And according to these dates.. It appears we could travel or we could possibly not travel this year.

Yes I should let go and let God. I have seen a lot of great examples from other waiting parents doing this however most of those have been told they are not traveling this year to get their child. As sad as that is… I feel sometimes it is easier to know.

I do feel blessed to be given hope for travel to get our little guy.

I do feel blessed to have such awesome adoption friends who cheer for you along the way…one special friend even sent Cade this adorable shirt that you see crammed into care package #429.

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And he is so worth the wait!! I just like to plan..with 6 kids at home… And Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I have to plan ahead!

First Day Of Homeschool Co-op

Our first day of co-op.

Everyone clean.

New clothes.

Perfect Backpacks.

Everyone has their snack.

Lets hope it continues.

This year we are homeschooling 12th grade, 9th grade, 7th grade, 3rd grade, K5 and K4… We also hope to add our little preschooler to our crazy crew by the end of the year if not then, early next year.

I have no idea why these photos are out of order but I can’t fix it!:) enjoy!

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My sweet, first born Chloe Jade is a senior this year!! Days are filled not only with regular school work to get her diploma, working around 25 hours at a local restaurant, playing soccer, piano lessons but with college applications, scholarship applications, SAT and ACT prep!!!
She is growing up! And we are so proud of the woman she has become!

At Co-op this year Chloe is taking:
Drama
Industrial Revolution
English
Character building

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My sweet Blakey is in high school! Loving being an official high schooler and platings soccer. He will be 14 next week and I couldn’t be prouder.
At co-op this year, Blake is taking:
English
Character Building
Bio Lab
Drama

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My baby boy is Growing up!! Paul is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade! He is thriving this year! School comes a tad too easy to Paul so he gets bored easily. He will be starting violin on monday. He is loving the harder co-op classes this year!
Literature
PA history
Gym
Apologia Botany

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My sweet Camye is 12 years old and in the 7th grade!! She is also starting violin on Monday! She was not all that excited about starting coop… But had a great day!
She is taking:
Literature
Crime Stoppers
Industrial Revolution
Drama

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My sweet little Mia.. Sporting her new ‘do’ will be taking
Letters and Numbers
Gym
Art
Before 5 in a Row

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My sweet Avah girl has changed so much this year! She is learning her letters and numbers! And is able to learn!! She will begin violin lessons on Monday as well. She is in class with Mia and is also taking:
Gym
Letters and numbers
Art
Before 5 in a row

Hope you have a wonderful school year! God bless!

I am in denial…

Last December, we had extra money in our HSA and had to spend it or lose it. we found an Entrolab and ordered food allergy testing for Paul, our 8 year old and Mia, our 4 year old. The results came back. Mia and Paul were both allergic to casein, egg, gluten among other things. The list was soooo long!!
We immediately jumped into a gluten, soy and dairy free diet. The behaviors that had been concerning had improved.

But then I started doubting… One well respected doctor we see said those tests can’t be trusted. Mia had her tonsils and adenoids out. Things got crazy and busy. I just couldn’t keep up with the diet.

Honestly I just wanted open a can of spaghetti-o’s and be done with it! I didn’t want to make the spaghetti-o’s out of a mix of rice and almond flour.
We are a super busy family! No time for that!

So here we are in August … 8 months later. We were seeing all the concerning behaviors return .. For several months now.

But I have figured out I am in denial.

And I need to get over it. We are adopting a little boy with a probable peanut allergy. So there is no denying that.

But gluten free requires a lot more planning and a different mind set than just buying anything you want in the grocery store and ordering anything you want off a menu. And especially in social situations it requires a whole new way of living.

Packing snacks when we go go go.. Which is a lot of the time!

Make a weekly plan of what you are going to eat…

A crockpot is a great idea because you can prepare the ingredients in the morning and not have it weighing heavy on your mind all day.

Think whole foods of meat, fish, veg, fruit, rice, eggs and dairy if these are okay for you. maybe some tortillas or gluten free wraps, Udi’s or Rudi’s bread. Smoothies for breakfast or a gluten-free cereal. If you have problems with dairy, almond and hemp milk are delicious, along with fruit.

Find some favorite fast gluten free foods to fall back on!!

It is all such a learning experience and seems so overwhelming at first.

It is what it is, and the less fuss you make about it, the less they will.

I bought a Costco membership… Because of the variety of gluten free and organic foods they carry.
Below are a few fab finds we have!

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Large Family Homeschooling Organization- Part 2 Meal Planning

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This is the most helpful thing I could to help with my Large Family. I just wrote up a menu plan from August 21- November 30th. I keep all my recipes on my pinterest board FOOD FUN or Gluten/Soy/Dairy/Egg free….is that even possible? I do print some of my recipes to keep in our family binder but typically just bring up my pinterest boards and fix the recipe from that. I even planned nights we needed to eat because of soccer games.

First thing on my mind when I wake up is what will I feed these kiddos for supper….this takes the load off immediately.

Large Family Homeschooling Organization- Part 1 Logs

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Logs….okay after 13 years of home schooling…I hope I have figured out a plan that works for us.
I have purchases the expensive planners… The more detailed planners..the cheapest planners.. And the one thing I need in a planner/ log keeps is squares. So the Target $1 lesson plan books work perfect for each child. We have to log 180 days in Pennsylvania.

For my 3rd grader and up to my 12th grader… I have made lesson plans for the first 30 days… After that my 7th, 9th and 12th grader will be responsible for writing down what they are doing each day. I will continue writing my 3rd graders log/daily plans/lesson plan until he is in 7th grade.

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Why yes.. It took me 2 whole days to write these plans.. But they are done!

Steps For A Great Back to Homeschool

Even in the homeschool world things can play out crazily for the first day of school. The weeks leading up to it.. Homeschool moms are typically looking for the best deals on school supplies. Wardrobes aren’t the same priority when you can do school in your jammies but my kids still get some new threads and the back to coop outfit.

But on the first day of school at home things really kick into high gear. The first day of school can be overwhelming for me who will be teaching 12th, 9th, 7th, 3rd, K5 and a K4 and adding a very active and cute 3 year old thru adoption hopefully by the end of the year or other moms teaching many ages or just one age.

So, for all of those homeschool moms who will have a very busy first day of school this year, I want to give you some ideas to have a successful first day of homeschool!

1. Make a Schedule….just do it. This is the part i struggle with the most but my most favorite part. A schedule is nothing more than a written plan for your day. There are many different types of schedules with different levels of detailing. When the going gets tough, you can always leave the schedule but if there is no written plan things are likely to be left undone. So, have a written plan! Any schedule is better than no schedule.

2. Start before the first day or take it one step at a time. Aside from a written plan, Get a plan for the ‘littles’, if I can keep the littles occupied and quiet… My older kids do fabulous.

3. The first day of school, my kids are always curious about new books, notebooks, computer programs, note cards, supplies, and on and on. So, we do little “school” on the first day of school…although they do learn a great deal. Since we have the entire school
Year, I let them have a chance to thumb through things and become familiar with each book or program during the time when they will be doing that subject. They can also ask all of those hundreds of questions, i know they will have. I look for an extra special project, art, experiment, or kitchen fun in the first few days of school.

4. Start your school day with a high protein breakfast. And plan out your meals. I can not stress this enough. In fact I will have another blog post on just that.. Menu planning. But put supper in your crock pot.. So your day can be carefree!!

5. Best for Last! Remember to stop and laugh.. Smile. Don’t be stressed. Look for opportunities throughout your day with your kids to just stop and enjoy the moment. Sometimes I get so focused on completing a project or schedule.. I miss the fun loving parts of my day. Learning is fun!!

Enjoy your back to ‘homeschool day!

A little update..

We haven’t heard if our sweet girl Gina made it all the way back to her orphanage yet… She had a one hour flight to Detroit.. We were sent these pictures… Which break my heart.

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I had such hope of her getting with her friends and cheering up as she told of her stay with us. She did a little in Columbus. But if you saw the other pictures on my Facebook from Detroit.. It doesn’t appear it lasted long.

She arrived in Beijing on our Sunday night at midnight. She had to wait for the other flights to arrive with the rest of the kids.

And then board a 10 hour train ride to her Orphanage. We haven’t heard if they arrived yet and we are still hoping for pictures of the flight and of them in Beijing.

Please continue to pray for Gina!

Everyone keeps asking how we are doing.. Of course we are broken hearted and saddened. But wouldn’t change a thing. So happy to have loved her for 6 weeks. So happy to have given my all.
I haven’t been taking calls because quite frankly I have shared all I care to share on Facebook or my blog. I just don’t want to talk about it right now. So if you would to talk about other things right now.. Give me a call. I might answer!:)

Thank you to all who reached out to Gina that came to meet her and sent cards. It was very appreciated and helped Gina understand more of what a family consists of.