Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today is the big day.....

We are on our way to visit some dear friends.....

..and party till we drop!
DISNEY WORLD HERE WE COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;0) Angel

PS Stay tuned for some crazy Disney fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

WE CAN SPONSOR AN ORPHANAGE TOGETHER!!!

It's time!!!!!!!!! It's finally here.... ever since my trip to Africa last March I have had many of you asking how you can help. You were interested in sponsoring a child or going on a mission trip. I have been watching God working in amazing ways to help these sweet kids and now IT'S HAPPENING!!!!!!! A partnership has developed between Red Letters Campaign and Children's Hopechest. This is opening wonderful new opportunities for orphans in Ethiopia.




Children's Hopechest is OFFICIALLY going into Ethiopia and helping Hanna's and MANY other wonderful organizations that are working to care for the fatherless.

In the past Children's Hopechest has only had churches sponsor an orphan community. But, they are excited about the possibility of an online community (Red Letters Campaign!) taking on sponsorship as well. For the FIRST time EVER they are allowing you to come on board as a member of an on line community through RLC.

Some of you may go to churches that are not ready to take on sponsoring an entire orphanage...So, if that is you then maybe you would want to participate via an online community through Red Letters Campaign!


Here is what sponsoring an ORPHAN via Hope Chest looks like...

-You will be assigned an orphan from sponsored orphanage.
-$35 a month which will meet your child's physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs.
-you will exchange letters with your child (either via email through Hopechest or through handwritten via Hopechest)
-you will know who else is sponsoring the other children at the same orphanage
-An annual trip will be offered in which you will have the opportunity to go to Ethiopia, spend time with your sponsored child, their orphanage, and the online sponsoring community. (How amazing would it be to be in Ethiopia together loving on the same sponsored orphanage!)




Here is what Red Letters Campaign is working on...

1. The possibility of a password protected part of the RLC web page where we could all see pictures of all the sponsor kids. Every mission team would post their pics and videos for everyone to share. That way we could really get to know "our kids."


2. On the password protected site would also be posted letters from the sponsored kids... you could also e-mail your sponsor child right through RLC.


3. In April there will be a HUGE Launch Ethiopia mission trip. We will make an effort to get a bunch of RLC people going and send donations for all of our sponsored kids. If you attend you will have a chance to meet the kids, get to know the beauty and hardship of Africa and blog about your experience.


4. We will make efforts to set up a conference call with Tom Davis for all of those interested in sponsoring through Children's Hopechest and/or attending the mission trip.

A few things that Hope Chest does that I think is extra sweet and different ... the orphanages they work with are not currently enrolled in any other sponsorship programs... the child that you will sponsor will have your family as their only sponsor. Hopechest is able to provide everything for the orphanage and thus able to create a tight, LONG TERM, relationship between the sponsoring community and orphanage. Hopechest has local staff that check in on the orphanage regularly, mentor the children weekly, and share Jesus with them. The goal would be that this would be YOUR sponsor child until they are grown. The hope is that this will be a very special relationship for your family and the child you sponsor. As a RLC community we would work to visit these children, love them and give them a sense of what family feels like.

I know this is a lot.... I encourage you to check out the
Children's Hopechest website to learn more.

We are trying to get an idea for how many are interested so we know what size of orphanage to sponsor! If you think you might be interested either email the RLC Ethiopia Lead-Amy at (amyde63 [at] hotmail [dot] com) and copy me on the email as well- angel weir @ gmail dot com

I am THRILLED to have the opportunity for our blog community to minister to an orphan community together. We can't bring them all into families.... this is a wonderful chance to bring a bit of family to them.

Hugs, Angel

PS Please feel free to use this post to spread the word! If you decide to help RLC sponsor an orphan community by putting info on your blog would you link your blog below?



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kissimmee adoption get together UPDATE!!!


Looks like we have several families coming November 11th to our get together in Kissimmee, Florida. After getting e-mails from several families I realized I am a DORK and lunch is a lot harder for my workin' momma buddies. SOOO we are gonna change the time from 11am to 5:30pm. We will still do the picnic at the park. It will just be a dinner picnic. If I haven't gotten back to a couple of you yet I apologize. It's been busy as always. Please don't hesitate to write me again if I am too slow!! angelweir@gmail.com I am looking forward to meeting some blogger buddies. :0) Angel

UPDATE ON OPERATION PRINCESS HAIR!!!!



I am SOOOOO thrilled to announce that we have met EVERY ONE of our goals in OPERATION PRINCESS HAIR!!!


We have raised a total of 

$1451.00 DOLLARS 


Here are the goals we met...

GOAL 1- Underhair Wig:

The money for her underhair wig was raised within the FIRST TWELVE HOURS!!!!!!!! AMAZING! 

Abby was soooooo excited to pick it out. Michelle said she kept talking about how she was happy to get her "wig hair." It arrived late last week and we are just waiting until someone can cut the bangs for her to make them just perfect. Then we will get lots of cute pictures. Michelle and I were giggling on the phone about how she looked a bit like "cousin it" with the bangs hanging all the way to her tummy. LOL! ;0) Michelle and I thought it might be a great Halloween costume but princess Abby said NO WAY! 

Goal 2- Custom made wig for Abby:

The money for the next wig was raised very shortly after. We have contacted the company and Abby is getting her head specially measured by a wig maker to make sure it fits perfectly. Her momma is also getting some expert advice to make sure the hair color is a prefect match. It's gonna be GREAT! 

Goal 3- Money for extra expenses:

So the first wig was $264... The second is going to be about $450... That leaves about $737 that we are able to give to her family to help with all their extra expenses. They have medical bills and extra gas and prescriptions to pay for. So this is a huge blessing!

Goal 4- Care Packages for Abby and family:

ON TOP OF THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't even tell you how many people asked for info on sending sweet Abby a care package... Really I tried. It would take forever to count how many e-mails I have sent. She has already begun to receive some of her hats. I am so happy to know that Abby and her family will be receiving so many wonderful care packages. 

I, personally, have some ideas up my sleeve about a very special trip I have coming up and some gifts.... Ohhhhhh... ;0) I already sent her one hat and when the lady read who it was for she recognized Abby's name and refunded my MONEY! How amazing is that??? Not to mention even MORE BIG plans people have in mind for their family that I have been buzzing with some friends about. SO COOL! God is taking care of this sweet family through people like you who make a difference every single day. 

I look forward to keeping you updated as Abby gets her wigs. You can also keep up with her on their blog... www.riggsfamilyblog.com

OK... Now I am getting weepy again. Thank you. My heart is overjoyed to see the way you love people. We've given Abby her princess hair and given her family the support they need. Don't underestimate the power of hope. What you do MATTERS! Who you are WILL make someones life a little better or a little worse every single day. Please continue to pray for them and leave them comments to let them know we are here for them all the way!

Today Abby's life is better because you are in it...Today MY life is better because you are in it...that means the world to me. Angel


FINAL UPDATE FOR AMY'S VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER!!!!!!!!!!


The final check is in the mail for Amy and her precious family!!!!!!!!!! Amy's Virtual Baby Shower was an overwhelming success and I have all of you to thank for that! I am so blessed that we were able to help her to welcome 5 new sweeties into their family. Are you ready for the final number????


DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!

We raised

$1,396 dollars!!!!!!!!!!

That is on top of gift certificates and gifts that were sent directly to the family. YOU ARE AMAZING!! What a way to be the hands and feet of Christ to these sweet little pumpkins. The preparations are well under way to get ready for her five new children to join them.... They are using this money to buy beds and car seats and clothes and all kinds of goodies!

I have more good news too! Amy's blog is now open to the public. She made it private for awhile since sweet Kaden's adoption was not final. Now that he is official you are all welcome to go check out her awesome blog....


We will all get to follow along and watch how this family gets ready to go from a family with 7 kids to a family with 12! What an adventure! THANK YOU ALL! I am truly touched by your generosity and I can't get Amy to quit crying about it whenever we talk about it. She is not hard-as-nails tough like I am! ;0) Hugs and happiness, Angel

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life as I know it...

As many of you know I have a HIGHLY sophisticated family. ;0) I have so many tips on how to keep life perfect and serene. Thought I should let you in on just a few of them.


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My children always eat the healthiest things and we never condone DISGUSTING behavior.


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Our children have perfect table manners and would never act unruly in a restaurant.

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Our house is always immaculate. The laundry is always folded and put away neatly. Our motto is you always finish ALLLLL the house work before you dance!


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Our children present us with top notch entertainment... with talent that can't be matched...

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Our family never fights- it's like a love fest around here.

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We have trained our children to be very gentle and careful with our fancy household furnishings.

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We won't stand for any nasty table manners...

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My husband make sure that his interactions with the children are always educational.


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We never have to tell our children to be quiet because they are naturally so calm natured.

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Ok well.... maybe our family isn't perfect after all. There are sometimes piles of laundry and a messy kitchen while we dance. My kiddos are sometimes unruly and almost always at least a little bit noisy. They aren't famous dancers or ready for American Idol. Chips and candy pretty much make it into the diet weekly and Kaiya sometimes eats her toes. Russ makes our toddler do funny trick for marshmallows and she often looks like a meatball at the dinner table. Not to mention this morning when I walked into her room and her diaper was off with nastiness I won't begin to delve into all over her bed. It's not a perfect picture- we don't have the beaver cleaver thing going on around here. Still when the view in my review mirror is this..... how can I complain?


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My days are spent watching miracles happen...


Like a little girl who couldn't sit up alone on a couch 4 months ago running, climbing and sliding at Chik-Fil-A. That's a miracle.


Like a little girl from Guatemala who was afraid of her own shadow asking to do competitive swimming....


Like a 5 year old diva crying because she loves her family so much that she never wants to grow up and leave...


and a husband who says his favorite part of the day was coming home ALMOST every day... and forbids me to worry about making dinner so I can focus on my girls.


I guess some people might think my life is simple and I am missing out on something. In my mind this is everything that matters at all.

Angel

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Monday, October 20, 2008

7 random things about me.... (TAGGED!)


1. It feels kinda weird to me that I haven't moved in 4 years. I have moved at LEAST every 3 years most of my life. Don't get me wrong- I am liking it. It just feels odd to stay in one place for so long. Some days it shocks me that I am still here.

2. I need my sleep. I get down right grouchy if I don't get my sleep. I am a night owl and do everything I can to avoid early morning activities and to coerce my children into being just like me. So far, so good.

3. My favorite thing to do is travel to amazing places. When I was younger I wanted to be a travel agent or a flight attendant so I could travel for free. Bet ya couldn't have guessed that one! ;0)

4. I used to work for an amazing photographer. She bought me my first awesome camera and encouraged me in my photography skills. I love her for that.

5. Russ and I lived in the Seattle area for awhile back before our kiddos. It was one of the most carefree times in our marriage. Weekends were always full of hiking, camping, snow skiing, whale watching, scenic drives, shopping at outdoor markets and seeing new things. I still miss seeing Mt. Ranier and those carefree times. I don't miss the dreary winters or housing prices. 

6. I am a big analyzer. I am not the kind of person that usually just lets a thought slide on past. I have to sit there and figure out what I think about it. Sometimes useful.... sometimes just annoying...

7. I do NOT like being tied down. I want my life to be flexible and fun. I can't STAND having commitments every week that I have to be at. It makes me crazy. I need to be free to get up and go. On that note I can't handle not having my own car when I go somewhere. I get all jittery when I feel stuck. Guess I have an independent streak huh?


:0) Angel

Friday, October 17, 2008

More stuff that gives me a major case of the giggles- cause we all need a good laugh! ;0)

If you're a political junkie like me....

then you will LAUGH YOUR TUSH OFF!!!!!!!!! These are SO stinkin funny! They both did a spectacular job. ENJOY! :0) Angel







Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Red Letters Campaign- Launch Ethiopia!




A group of our RLC leaders just returned from Ethiopia! They went on a scouting mission to help Children's Hopechest scope out potential sponsorship opportunities.



GUESS WHO THEY VISITED??? Remember Hannah??







They went to see my Hannah.... Here is Tom Davis with her as they talked to her about how they could help her and all 162 of her children.



2 hours with this woman changed me forever. I have dubbed her the "Mother Theresa" of Ethiopia. She glows Jesus. If you can't see Jesus when you stand next to her you are blind to your core. Her words have rung in my ears MANY times since that meeting....


"Where there is a vision, there is provision. God is my provision..."





What is remarkable is that she lives those words every hour of every day.


She lives faith in a way that I have only theorized.


I have a deep love for this woman. I can't explain how deeply I care for her and her children. When I was in Ethiopia this past March I told Hannah I would do whatever I could to find her help. When I saw Sam blog about meeting her today it really hit me. I started crying with the realization that maybe we could actually make a difference for the children I fell madly in love with in Ethiopia. I feel so inadequate for this. It's something that's hard for me to grasp. I am just a normal person. How could God do something so big through someone so completely average?


It's happening... God is really opening the doors for Children's Hopechest to bring her support. The key is that I can not be better. I will never be more. God doesn't ask me do better- He only asks me to surrender more fully. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to see God bringing this about in such an amazing way. Thank you Children's Hopechest for caring. Thank you.


Children's Hopechest and the RLC crew also went to meet with MANY other amazing groups including another RLC favorite, Kolfe. Many of these groups are working so hard to care for orphans in a desperate situation. This RLC group has had some amazing experiences. You can read a little bit about it on the blog at RLC... 


Tom Davis has been blogging as well so you can check that out.


Brandi is one of our amazing RLC leaders and she went on the Children's Hopechest scouting trip to Uganda! She has done some awesome blog posts on what is going on there as well. Hope you will check it out.

Children's Hopechest needs 10 churches that will commit to having their members support the sites in Ethiopia. Would you please approach your leadership about this opportunity? This is an amazing opportunity to allow your church congregation to minister to orphans as a body and truly make a difference. I believe deeply in Children's Hopechest's holistic orphan care. 

Please write to Daniel daniel@hopechest.org at Children's Hopechest with questions about your church sponsoring in Ethiopia. For a intro to the program at Children's Hopechest please click here.

I thank you ALL for you support and love for these children. Hugs! :0) Angel

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adoption get together in Kissimmee, Florida!

November 11th I will be in Kissimmee, Florida. I would love for any adoptive families in the area to come to a picnic in the park at my condo. We will meet at 11am at the park. Everyone will bring their own picnic lunch and blanket. Then we can chat a little while the kiddos play. If you would like to come please e-mail me at angelweir@gmail.com and I will tell you where it will be. Hope to see you there!!!! :0) Angel

Friday, October 10, 2008

OPERATION PRINCESS HAIR BEGINS!

It's hard for me to even start this post. Already I feel a big lump forming in my throat. Someone that many of us care about is walking through a deep valley. That someone is sweet Abby....

I have serious doubts that I will get through writing this without crying..... Ok now it's too late... I am already there...with tears flowing. This is Abby. You will find her precious family at this blog address.

Abby is so many wonderful things. She is part of an amazing family. There are 7 wonderful kiddos in her family. 3 of those sweeties- including Abby came by way of adoption. Abby is a bouncing, happy, funny princess of a 3 year old....

Now she is also a dear little warrior fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with Leukemia and life suddenly took a radical turn for this amazing family. Her concerns of which princess dress she should wear have turned to whether she will get poked or be able to keep her food down today.

This is sweet Abby right now....

These are the battle scars she has right now in her fight against cancer...

Just one of the MANY things she has been forced to give up is her GORGEOUS princess hair and it makes her very sad.... What is it like to be the mommy that has to tell your 3 year old that she has to take medicine that will give her horrible sores, make her throw up constantly, and cause her to lose her hair? What is that like? What is it like to watch tears slide down your sweet baby's cheeks even in her sleep cause that's how much it hurts.

THIS is not OK with me. If I could I would make this go away. If I could I would change this- I wish there was a way. I know there are so many of us who wish that. We CAN'T MAKE IT GO AWAY! We just can't.

What we can do is give Abby back her princess hair. It's expensive and not something this family needs to worry about during this stressful financial time of paying for medicine and gas and hospital bills. We can not make this all go away but we can give Abby back her hair and make her smile.

SOOOOOO TODAY WE BEGIN....

OPERATION PRINCESS HAIR!

This is your mission, should you choose to accept it...

1. I want us to buy sweet Abby one of these-
http://www.hatswithhair.com/

It's called a pony sport. It costs $228. It's made with real human hair. It's very comfortable and can be worn with any baseball type cap that Abby prefers.

After visiting with her mommy we feel this would be very comfortable and fun for everyday use at home and the hospital.

2. We will flood Abby and the other kiddos in the family with care packages that let her and her family know they are loved. If you feel you would like to send Abby or her family a present please e-mail me at angelweir@gmail.com


We can all send Abby fun presents AND ALL SEND an ADORABLE BASEBALL CAP to wear with her new hair. Then everytime she is having a hard day her momma can bust out a new care package to give her something to smile about.

3. We are also going to buy Abby a custom made wig! Check it out here....

http://www.celebritystylewigs.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=493

I am so excited about this! It is going to be custom made to look a lot like her hair did before she needed to start chemo. So when Abby wants to dress up nice and look like the Abby she remembers she will have this. This wig will cost about $450. It is made of real hair and created just for her little head.

4. If there are donations exceeding the needed amount for the princess hair we will invite the family to use this money to help with whatever extra expenses they are facing during this difficult time.

It's hard for me to fathom what this family is facing. I want to do whatever I can to support them.

They are full of faith and strong. Cancer FEARS this little fighter! Let's do whatever we can to love and walk with this family during this time. I can't begin to imagine what they are facing but I PRAY that people would be there for me if we ever did walk this path.

TO HELP ABBY GET HER PRINCESS HAIR YOU JUST NEED TO CLICK ON THE PAY PAL BUTTON ON THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER THAT SAYS "OPERATION PRINCESS HAIR."

IF YOU WANT TO SEND ABBY A CARE PACKAGE INCLUDING A CUTSIE NEW BASEBALL CAP PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT angelweir@gmail.com

Thank you from the BOTTOM of my little ol' Texas heart for taking care of a little girl named Abby. What we do matters. What we do makes life better or worse for those around us EVERY SINGLE DAY. Let's take time to stop and care. Hugs, Angel

PS If you would like to spread the word on your blog PLEASE do it!! Feel free to take this whole post or part of it. Then please link your blog to mine so everyone can see how many people are loving and praying for Abby.



Q&A about time4learning.com


I would just like to say how much it has meant to me to know that my post about homeschool and time4learning.com has actually helped some of you. This means a lot to me because I have struggled so much with what I should do with my kids in school. I understand how hard it is. I am truly thankful to help any of you to find something that really gets your kids excited about learning!!! So here are some questions and comments from my last post that I wanted to respond to today. If you have more questions or comments please feel free to leave them and I will do my best to get answering them. :0) Angel


Q- This sounds wonderful.

Sami's education has lots of holes in it. She knows a some of the K stuff, part of the first grade material, and a little of the second grade requirements. 

Do you think that it would work for her?


A- I absolutely think it would work for sweet little Sami and lots of kiddos like her who were adopted later in their childhood. The wonderful thing about this program is how flexible it can be. You can use it as an entire curriculum or even as a tutorial program. MANY schools use this as a major part of their curriculum. It was originally created for that purpose and later adapted for homeschooling. 

You can flip through the lessons on each grade level and see what YOU think your child needs to work on that day. After they work on the activities and take the test in that area it will give them a check mark if it's been completed and a star on the concept if it has been fully mastered. This has helped Zoe so much to know what she still needs to work on and feel proud of what she has CONQUERED!! ;0) I think we would all be doing great if teachers could just assign lessons on time4learning.com as homework... Wouldn't that be nice? Or at least if they made it optional- you can do the paper lessons or this instead for those who prefer it.

Q- I checked it out a little bit, and brought Perryn over to see what she thought about it...she asks me DAILY to get on and play the games...I think we will start the free trial soon. I also noticed that we may need to do our prek 2 or 3 weeks and take a week off. Perryn was so excited about school when we started in Sept, but then she got grumpy, took last week off for potty training Teagan and she's excited about it again this week. Thanks for the heads up..oh we LOVE starfall too!!
Hugs and love. Elizabeth

A- That is GREAT!!! I am so excited for you. I hope she loves it as much as my girls love it. I agree with you completely. One of the wonderful things about homeschool is getting to map it around what works best for you. Today I could tell we all needed some down time so I declared a no school Friday except a math test for Zoe. Then all three girls will be banished to the back yard to play on this GORGEOUS fall day. Now tomorrow is Saturday but we might have some school time since we will be home and working on finances and stuff. We are all night owl so many times my girls decide they want to do some school in the evenings. :0) We can make it whatever works best for all of us so school continues to be fun. 

Q- Wow! I am so encouraged. It is 90% likely that I will be homeschooling Mimi Cate...... I am relieved to know that you did not step into it easily, either. I will definitely look into this. Mimi Cate is not where she needs to be to enter kindergarten next year......

The issue that concerns me is that she and I need to have a break from one another, a respite. We both do better when we have time apart. So, homeschooling seems to remove that break that we so desperately need.

A- OH GIRL!!! I am right there with you. I was SOOOO not confident in this. Yeah, a spiritual temper tantrum could have described my behavior. LOL! They have pre-k on time4learning.com! I guess you could start trying that and see how it works.

The issue of needing a break was a huge concern for me too. What mom isn't looking forward to finally getting a little me time when those kids FINALLY go off to school???? I know especially in a stressful time that can be SOOO important. So it's a major choice. I know some moms that hire a babysitter to come to their house a couple of times a week while they get away and decompress. 

Russ and I don't do that right now but we have worked out a system. During his busy season it was much harder but now we are getting it going again. He works some long days at work and a couple of short days. On the short days I have the option to meet him in town at around 4:30. We swap cars and he takes the kids. Then I have the rest of the night OFF! Last night was one of my nights off. I went to a movie ALL BY MYSELF and then met a friend for dinner and coffee. I came back feeling like a real person. Hee hee... There is something about doing things I can't do with the kids easily that makes me feel very sane and calm. Maybe that is weird- I don't know. Works for me. Some nights I will just hide in my room for a couple of hours and read or watch "Fringe" or "House." I will probably also take off for a few hours this weekend just to get out- either by myself or with one of the girls for special mommy time. 

OK this is way beyond your comment but it's just in my head... LOL!

Russ has also taken over meal cooking and groceries for awhile as I am getting used to 3 kids- 2 homeschooled. YES! He is my hero. He also takes time to himself. He has these really crazy nerd meetings with these big time speakers he likes to go to now. They discuss stuff like the issues in Pakistan and the global economy and all kinds of fascinating-yet way over my head- topics. I admit it, I am a nerd too and love to hear about it when he gets home. I just like the cliff noted he gives me. LOL! So he does that and then takes off a few hours on the weekend to pick up groceries and usually spend a lot of time sitting around reading the braniac books at Barnes and Noble. 

As you can see our ideas of what is RELAXING can be very different. LOL! I think it is so important to remember that homeschooling is a family decision and requires some different planning for everyone to get what they need. At first I was putting it on myself that I had to now have 3 kids, homeschool 2, do pre-school activities with 1, clean the house, get the kids to all their activities, buy all the food, cook all the food, do all the laundry, etc...etc...etc... Russ finally caught on to my insanity and being the marvelous man he is- set me straight. I am now seeing that we can all get what we need and make homeschooling work. At this point the benefits are far outweighing the difficulties. I am hoping that sticks!!!

I hope you can figure out what will work best for you and cutie pie Mimi Cate!

Q- Darlene.... left an awesome comment.....

A- THANK YOU for sharing your heart. It means the world to me to know that God was able to speak to your heart through my silly little homeschool post. Sometimes I feel literally compelled to write certain things and I have no clue why. That whole post just spilled onto the page and I was thinking, "Why in the WORLD did I need to write my whole life story??" LOL! ;0) Still I knew I was supposed to push publish with all my guts hanging out. Sometimes I really have no idea how many people are struggling with the same fears and concerns- feeling ALL ALONE like I do.... Why do we do that to ourselves? I guess for me it's fear of what people will think about me. That's the honest truth. There are people who will judge me for what I believe or how I do things. 

Still, it seems that when we can talk about the "grey" issues we are facing in our hearts and lives WITHOUT judging people who may need to make another decision within that "grey" area we find we are not alone at all. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs!

Q- Thanks Angel for this great post. I might have to give it another try, this time with my middle daughter. She is struggling in spelling and reading and this sounds like it just might be the answer. I think I need to check around the site more and see what it is all about. I love homeschooling and the freedom we have to do what works for each child. I never thought I would homeschool, I mean never!! But I know this is what God has called me to do, for as long as He wants. I know this will also be great for when Adanech comes home. She is trying to learn English and Amharic right now, so I already expect some learning difficulties at first.

A- Hey girl! I thought you might be interested in this great website my friend sent me recently. It is for spelling http://www.spellingcity.com/   It seems really cool. I am sure we will eventually use this quite a bit. Right now I am not focusing in on too much spelling but I know I will once we get a little more caught up. You can put in whatever words you want to put in and it will do all kinds of great activities with those words to help them learn to spell them!!! How fun! You could use words that go along with whatever you are learning or reading at the time. 

The language arts part of time4learning.com has been good for Zoe in the comprehension arena. I don't think we have been at it nearly long enough for me to really judge it yet but I think the reading lessons are very good. They have to read the lesson by themselves. Then the lesson is read to them while they follow along. Then they are asked questions throughout the story about each section. If they get it wrong it is reviewed. I feel like I have my own little tutor for $20 a month!!!

I really think this could be a great alternative for Adanech. That girl is so sweet!! Of course I had very limited time with her but in the time I spent with her she reminded me A LOT of Zoe's personality. Basically, I ADORE her. LOL! ;0) So I wouldn't be surprised if they have some of the same needs and strengths. 

Q- Dawn and Tessa's sweet comments

A- THANKS!!!!!!!!!!! :0)

Q- God REALLY does work in mysterious ways. I tell you, you are an ANGEL, Angel!!! I have been meaning to ask you about homeschooling for some time now. When I first saw your 'short' post about time4learning, I found it very intriguing and had questions - but now your post answered many questions I had. The biggest question was what brought you to a decision to homeschool. 

NOW, I have questions about your Bible Studies. I recently began an adult Bible Study (and am LOVING it beyond belief as well as learning lots) but I am very curious what you do with your children for their Bible Studies (especially for me considering I am learning myself)? How much time do you take per day/week, etc?

What I really want is to get you one on one to have a chat candidly about so many things....

You are an inspiration!
Tara

A- Awww Tara! Don't make me CRY! :0) You are so sweet!

I have recently found something that I am LOVING for bible studies with my cuties. I have struggled with this one as well. This is the first time I found something that I really LOVE doing with them. Here is the website http://www.cbhministries.org/kfk/home.php

Every day there is a new children's devotional that is themed around a different scripture. Every morning at breakfast we pull up the website on my laptop. Then we push play. It does the same little praise song each morning. Then it reads the scripture for the day. Then they tell wonderful little children's stories that are real life "parables" based on that scripture. 

After we listen we talk about the story and what it means to them. Then I read the scripture again and we talk about what it means. 

This has been wonderful for us. I have seen my big girls really learning and growing through this!! I have even been getting a lot out of it. It has helped me have tools to teach them things like WHY it is important to obey and why we should not grow weary in doing the right thing. Ummmm yeah- SIGN ME UP!

It takes no advanced prep or thought on my part. BIG PLUS for this busy momma. It gets us all thinking and starting our day with God. It's fun and the whole thing takes us about 20 minutes. The audio lesson is only about 8 minutes long I think and it's FREE.

So there is that!! I hope you all love it as much as we do. I seriously need to send those people a donation. They are doing a really awesome thing there.

Q-I have been reading your blog for some time. We adopted a 7 year old(just turned 11) from Ukraine 3.5 years ago. I have homeschooled my 2 biological kids for 13 years including our new daughter Anya. Since she spoke only Russian and had no schooling prior to coming home she needed her own space and time for learning too. I started her out with the PreK basics and now she is at a 4th grade level. She was doing an online charter school for 2nd grade which used childu(AKA time4learning). She flourished, she is a very visual learner. She recites commercials all the time, just the other day at the store she picked up a Swiffer and said, "Once you 've tried Swiffer you'll never go back to your old mop again." Anyway when 3rd grade came around with the charter school the pace picked up way too much for her she was getting very frustrated and not able to comprehend things that well. I decided to just do bookwork with her at her pace. I looked into Chilu and doing it on our own, but it was $69.00 / month and decided it was too much. I was so excited when I read your post and checked out time4learning and realized it was the same program she flourished on 2 years ago for only $19.95. She is all signed up and very excited to get started. Thanks for enlightening us!! I am so glad she will be able to use this again! Susan

A- OH WOW!!!!!!!!!! I am SOOOO excited that this helped you. When I started the search I kept seeing childu pop up and I was really confused at first. FINALLY I figured out the difference and I am so glad I did! What a blessing that time4learning.com has made this available for all of us. I could not be more thrilled for her and for you! I hope she loves it again. 

She sounds so stinking cute. I love that about the swiffer commercial. How funny! Oh, you tell her I love my swiffer and could NEVER go back to my old mop. ;0)