This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

beauty captured {001-010/365}

This year I am going to try weekly posting instead of daily. I will post on Saturdays for my week of pictures. I am hoping that will give me a little leeway when things get crazy busy during the week. If I find it harder to keep up this way I will return to daily posting.



























©2008- 2015 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday Mikayla

Wowzers, Mikayla is 12!


Turning an even number in our family means that it is a party year with friends. Mikayla decided that she wanted to have a Winter Wonderland Minute-to-Win-It party theme so I got busy brainstorming ideas way back in early December.


My first step was to pick a date since I knew our January was booked solid with gymnastics meets/practices for us and the majority of her guests who are also gymnasts. We settled on January 3rd, the one weekend we had relatively free.


To adorn the ceiling we decide to cut out paper snowflakes…47 of them. I went to my go to source for ideas, Pinterest, and was pleasantly surprised at the array of ideas. Then I tried to make the beautiful snowflakes presented there and FAILED miserably! I had to enlist the help of Marie and Madison to show me the correct way. How could making a snowflake possibly be so hard? I remember in my youth, it was so easy to do!

IMG_7370After many attempts on my part I was able to show off my beautiful paper snowflake…1 down 46 more to go! I decided to hang the snowflakes Friday evening because I knew Saturday was filled with normal practices for Mikayla and McKenzie and I would be out of the house with McKenzie from 10-1230.



After some ice breakers and introductions we were ready to play the Minute-to-Win-It games. We invited 14 guests to celebrate Mikayla’s day and had a total of 18 girls {including herself and her sisters}. While 18 seems like a huge number, it actually worked perfectly because we played the games in six color-coded teams of three with the prize money totaling $3 million dollars to the winning team. The games we played were:

Hanky Panky Pull Collage

 Hanky Panky Pull ~ use one hand to pull out all of the tissue from the box.

stack attack Collage

 Stack Attack ~ stack 36 cups into a triangle and then bring it down as fast as you can.

merry fishmas Collage

 Merry Fishmas ~ using only your mouth, hook your “candy cane” fish onto the end of your fishing pole as fast as you can.

separation anxiety Collage

 Separation Anxiety ~ separate your pile of multicolored candies into cups, one color at a time.

dice stacker Collage

Dice Stacker ~ balance six die on a popsicle stick in your mouth. Seems easy but rather challenging.

dragon power Collage

 Dragon Power ~ place the end of a tissue paper streamer in each hand and at the start unravel it onto your hands as fast as you can.

cup stacker Collage

 Cup Stacker ~ start at the bottom, alternating hands cycle  the polka dot patterned cup back to the bottom of your cup stack.

Shake-it Collage

 Shake-It ~ Shake 8-10 ping pong balls out of your tissue box as fast as you can without using your hands.

marshmallow pickup Collage

Marshmallow pick up ~ I couldn’t find chopsticks, so we improvised with breadsticks. The goal was to pick up as many marshmallows with your chopsticks and place them in your pail. White marshmallows were worth 1 point, while the colored ones were 5 points each.


$3 Million dollar winning team

Mikayla was truly blessed being able to celebrate her birthday with all of her friends and being able to see old friends and catching up just where they left off!


All in all, the party was a great success!





©2008- 2015 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tackling Language Arts

VCF wk 1

Hip, hip hooray, it's January and time to head back to school! I will say that only a few of my school age girlies are excited to hit the books again, but I know the rest will follow suit as soon as we get back into our groove. This year I am excited to be apart of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum fair hosted by Susan over at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds and co-hosted by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses.

week 1
What's the Virtual Curriculum Fair? Well, it's a chance for you to take a glance at what others use within their homeschools all from the comfort of your home over the next few weeks in January. This week is all about Language Arts, so let's look into what we use at our house.

This year we have a Rhetoric (12th), Logic (8th), Upper Grammar (6th), Lower Grammar (2nd & JrK'er) and a tiny tot (7 months). Within the LA category we have five focus areas including phonics/reading, spelling, writing, grammar, and foreign language.



For phonics this year with McKenzie, my JrK'er we are making our way back through the alphabet and solidifying the alphabet sounds with the help of "Let's Learn the Letters of the Alphabet" by Tweet Resources. Once we finish our alphabet round we will begin Ready2Read, level 1 for McKenzie. Montana, uses Explode the Code, books, 4-6 for 2nd grade. Once she finishes book 6 I do not have her finish out the last few books in the series.


For reading, all the girls use a different Sonlight Core. Currently, we are tackling Cores 500, 100, E, B, and PreK 4/5. I really enjoy all the quality literature that Sonlight offers for our family. Yes, five Cores is a lot and my voice does get rather sore from time to time from reading aloud, but it is so worth it! I should note that I am only reading Cores E, B & PreK 4/5 aloud as Marie and Madison read their books independently and we discuss accordingly.


Grammar & Spelling

We found Rod & Staff Grammar and Spelling in our second year of homeschooling and we have not looked back.  I love this series for both Grammar and Spelling. Why? Because it is straight to the point without a lot of flashy pictures or distractions.


I start formal introduction of grammar in 2nd grade and we work on level through 10th grade. We normally start formal spelling in 1st grade and end the series in 7th grade because we work a level/grade ahead.

Foreign Language

As classical homeschoolers, we study Latin through 10th grade because I have seen the benefits of it in our other subjects and in our testing.  For Latin we are currently using Song School Latin, the Latin for Children series, and the Latin Alive series from Classical Academic Press. I love CAP’s teaching style in learning Latin because my children are audio learners and having the vocabulary put to a chant/song makes it easier to remember and learn. In 9th grade we concurrently study Spanish for three consecutive years through Homeschool Spanish Academy.

I read an article in my  Memoria Press magazine over Christmas break about why Latin is not an option. It spoke to me as a classical homeschooler and convicted me at the same time because I know that I have not put the best effort forward in seeing that our Latin studies for my younger girls gets done. Sigh! But, you know what? It’s a new year and today starts a new week of learning and making new habits!


I wish I could say that we have a writing program to use, but honestly we have been all over the place dabbling here and there with IEW, Write Shop, EIW and more. Several programs have met our needs at different times, however, I am looking to use a program from grammar through rhetoric stage. For now we will continue to dabble here and there and use what we have until next school year when we will settle on a program.




So, that’s it in a nutshell of our Language Arts endeavors.  Please be sure to check out what the other participants of the Virtual Curriculum Fair are using by clicking through the links below.

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker

Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace

5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats

Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity

The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays

Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 – 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter

Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma

Middle School Monday - Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Interested in joining the curriculum fair yourself? Click the linky below and sign up. I would love to read what you are using!  

©2008- 2015 A Stable Beginning. All rights reserved. All photographs, text, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author.