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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday McKenzie

F 6th bday

©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.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up, Week 2 ~ Hives, MRI’s, College drop offs and marriage engagements


It’s been a busy week at our house filled with hives, Doctor visits and MRI’s, and college drop offs! We did manage to get a little bit of school done too.


On Sunday Micah broke out with a mysterious case of hives    that lasted until Monday afternoon. I even went as far and went to the local pharmacy to get him some Benadryl. Thankfully, I asked the pharmacist about dosing, because he cautioned that young children should not have Benadryl without seeing a doctor first. So, we slathered him up in Calamine Lotion on Sunday afternoon which seemed to do the trick to calm the breakout. His face was pretty bad, but I did not want to put any lotion on his face knowing he would somehow get it in his eyes. For the life of me I could not figure out what had triggered the  breakout until we had breakfast on Monday morning. The only thing different that he had eaten over the course of the two days was honey nut Cheerios. Since cutting out the honey nut Cheerios and just giving him regular Cheerios he has been hive free. So, no more honey for my little honey bear.


On Monday my little sister, Allie, got engaged! Brian popped the question while they were on vacation in San Diego. Congratulations to Allie and Brian! They are such a cute couple and Brian is a swell guy! I wish them many years of happiness!!!


Tuesday I spent all morning and early afternoon at the U-Haul dealer getting a tow hitch installed on the new van. It was a long ordeal because the installer had to wait on a new set of hitch wiring to be delivered. The people that worked there were great though and really friendly. Micah did so well too waiting in the tiny waiting area.


On Wednesday Mikayla was seen by the Sports Medicine Doctor. Initially, the Dr. said that the x-ray showed a  bruise to her cartilage and ankle bone and ordered a MRI for that evening at 730PM along with placing her in a walking boot. The MRI took forever!  The waiting room was a small box with no cell service and the TV counted down from 60 seconds and said “good bye” and turned off. It was so high on the wall that my vertically challenged self could not reach the power button to turn it back on. So I sat in silence and waiting the rest of the time.


Thursday morning we packed all of Marie’s stuff into the U-Haul trailer and headed to Liberty University to drop her off. She has settled into her dorm and is making friends and enjoying all the freshman welcome activities the University has planned.




Her math book was delivered to our house on Thursday instead of the bookstore. I was really tempted to drive it back up to her on Saturday, but instead I sent it through the mail :-) It was hard leaving her there, but she is in good hands. Classes begin on Monday and she is really excited to start.

IMG_0248 IMG_0258 IMG_0267


Friday it was back to the doctors with Mikayla for the MRI results. Praise the Lord, it came back normal! Thank you all for your prayers! It turns out that the dark spot on the x-ray was just a shadowing and not a bruise and that the source of her pain is from having flat feet with fallen arches. No more boot for her, just a good pair of insoles to support the arches!


The pounding from tumbling is compressing her ankle bones and pinching the tendons in her feet. The Dr. also noted that she has tight calf muscles and prescribed physical therapy 3 times a week for 6 weeks along with having to wear special insoles in her shoes to help support the arch better. Mikayla has to wear good athletic shoes with these insoles anytime she is not doing gymnastics. So, Mikayla is allowed to go back to the gym and start training again with the caution to not to work through the pain. She needs to make her turns count on each apparatus and listen to her body. The hole fallen arches explains so much though, the achy knees, the sore back and muscle spasms. She was compensating and making subtle adjustments to her body when her feet hurt, putting stress on different parts of her body.


Saturday both Madison and Montana had softball practice. Montana was bright and early in the morning which was good because the girls at Madison’s practice were dropping like flies from over heating. There were 3 girls at Madison’s practice that were overcome by the heat. Thankfully, they were doing better by the end of practice.


We ended up doing a few lessons of Saturday school with all the girls to finish up loose ends for the week. I am looking forward to getting back into our groove this week. We still have not started Science or Latin for Mikayla or Montana yet but we should be at full schedule the week after next.


I am in the process of brain storming how to turn the playroom back into a school area so that Madison, Mikayla, Montana and I can have a full size desk to work at. A few of my children are easily distracted, I think having a little cubbie area will help minimize the distractions. At least I am hopeful it will :-)


Until next week, God bless!

Weekly Wrap-Up




©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.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up, wk 1{picture heavy}

group shot 2 with name

Yay, we have completed our first week of school! This year marks our 7th year of homeschooling and I must say it feels good to have this first week in the books.

Micah battingMicah coloringMicah sleepingMicah with dogsMontana and Micahbuddies

Our week went relatively smoothly. We did spend a lot of time chasing our busy toddler, Micah, down and keeping him busy and out of “stuff”. For some reason his is attracted to markers and colored pencils like a magnet.

On Monday morning, my printer and computer did this mysterious offline malfunction. It would not recognize my old iPhone I was trying to load The Story of the World on, nor print off the last papers I needed to print. I tried restoring the computer to an earlier set point and that did nothing. It was so frustrating that I had to just walk away for a bit and let it sit turned off. I tried again at lunchtime and all of a sudden the Norton security popped up saying it needed to run a back up scan and fix. Thank goodness, whatever that scan did reset the printer and internet and now it works like new!

Montana KindleMontana reading on Kindle

This week we also mysteriously misplaced a book, A Lion to Guard Us. It just might have accidently ended up in our donation pile to the local homeschool bookstore. I triple checked our bookshelves and checked the library who did not have it in their system. Next I checked Amazon and low and behold they had a Kindle edition.

Madison readingMcKenzie countingMcKenzie cuttingMontana lionspelling games

Remember Prime Day back in July? I took advantage of the $79.00 deals on  Kindle Fire’s. We were planning to give Montana the Kindle for her birthday in Sept. I went back and forth with myself as to whether or not to give her her birthday present a whole month early. In the end I did and I am so glad I did. Not only was her reaction priceless because she did not suspect it at all, and she was able to complete her reading this week without getting behind. Double yay!

On Thursday, I had to take Mikayla to the doctors for the ankle/foot. She has injured it somehow and was complaining it hurt. She normally does not complain about the aches and pains she has but I knew something was amiss when she was near tears after practicing.

McKenzie and I reading

We didn’t get to see our regular Pediatrician and the one we did see was not child athlete, nor gymnastics friendly. Her whole demeanor was negative from the minute she walked in the exam room as she brought up old injuries Mikayla has had, like 3 years ago. Its safe to say that I will not be seeing this doctor again for any of my children.

Mikayla felt her negative energy too and even though I knew she was in pain she did not let on to the doctor that she was. An x-ray was taken and thankfully there is no fracture present, however, there is a “boney defect”. Thankfully, we have a referral in for the Pediatric Sports Medicine Clinic and Pediatric Orthopedics. Now we just have to wait!

Mikayla Saturday school

On the school front we accomplished all that was set before us for the week! That is a great feeling. Mikayla and I did some Saturday school this morning to tie up her loose ends. I am so thankful for the morning training hours even if it means giving up a few hours on Saturday to complete lessons.

I have been on the hunt for some milk crates or something for Madison and Mikayla to store their school books in. So far I have been unsuccessful finding them. Marie just informed me this morning that Target has them on sale starting tomorrow, so hopefully they will be in stock when we go in the morning.

Marie and Micah with dogs

We take Marie to Liberty on Thursday morning. I told a friend that I am in the denial phase. I know its coming, I just keep pushing it out of my mind. Hopefully reality doesn’t smack me in the face come Thursday morning. I know she is prepared and ready, I just need to let go.

group shot with me

So that was our week. How was yours? Have you started back to school yet? I am going to attempt to keep up with the Weekly Wrap Up this year. Instead of posting on Friday when I am literally almost always exhausted, I am going to post our wrap up on Saturdays. I hope you will join me each week.


Weekly Wrap-Up




©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, August 10, 2015

First day of 2015–2016 school year

Today we headed back to school for our 7th year of homeschooling, Wowzers!

First day group 2015-2016

The day went relatively smoothly if you consider chasing a toddler down and keeping him busy and out of “stuff”, a printer and computer offline malfunction, and a mysteriously misplaced book that just might have accidently ended up in our donation pile.


All in all, we were able to accomplish most everything on our schedules, which makes this box checking Mama happy Smile! I have a few adjustments that need to be made in scheduling for all of the girls but nothing major. Surprisingly, managing 4 Sonlight Cores this year (200, G, D, and A) has gone quite well for day one.

F first day K_edited-1IMG_9917

McKenzie was so excited to officially (for the States records) start Kindergarten that she was up at 630 ready for school. I wish I could say I was that enthusiastic to start, but after a long night with Micah I was a little slow rising.

You might notice that Marie is missing in Raven's Senior Pictures 333the pictures above. Yep, she has graduated from our learning academy and will be heading off to college in TEN short days! I am hoping she will oblige me and take a “first day” picture and send it to me.

Here’s to more great days during this school year!





©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.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

It's that time of the year again! You know when homeschooling Mama's and Papa's start to think about the upcoming school year. It's right around the corner for us, like tomorrow! Be sure to carve some time out of your day next week and be encouraged and ready to take on your year without fear from reading all that is offered during the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop.

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Mark your calendars - 10 to 14 August - it's time for this years Homeschool Blog Hop.  The Schoolhouse Review Crew will be joining forces with Homeschool Blogging Connection to bring you a week full of back to school encouragement.

We have 56 homeschool Mom's sharing their combined wisdom and insights covering everything Homeschool related. That's 280 posts of encouragement and information just for you!

Meet Your Back to Homeschool Blog Hop Hosts

Marcy @ Ben and Me
Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Annette @ In All You Do
Katie @ DailyLife
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time
Crystal @ Crystal Starr
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning 




©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, August 6, 2015

Classical Conversations: The Conversation ~ a TOS review

Classical Conversations Review

This review today is just for the homeschooling Mama's out there. Especially the ones with high school on the brink of the horizon. Its a scary place to be, trust me, I have been there myself and survived and so can you when you have the right guidance and help. I am pleased today to share with you Leigh A. Bortins of Classical Conversations new book, The Conversation.

If you are a long term homeschooler or a newbie alike I am sure you have heard of CC  and the Classical model of education that the group follows. Written by Leigh A. Bortins, a homeschooling mother of four boys with over 30 years of homeschooling experience, Mrs. Bortins formulates what is necessary to  stay the course and keep teaching your kids through high school.

Classical Conversations Review

The Conversation, is actually the last book in a trilogy of books that focuses on classical education, and this book focuses on high school homeschooling, in particular, with an emphasis on teaching your children to become rhetorical learners

This soft cover, 267 page book is broken into 3 parts with pages filled with practical discussion and encouragement for the homeschool Mama helping to guide you through using the classical educational approach during the high school years.

The book is broken into three basic sections:

Part 1 – High School at Home
Part 2 – The Rhetorical Arts
Part 3 – The Appendices

Part One: High School at Home ~ This section is broken down into two chapters:

~ Confident Parents: helps guide you as your child’s coach through the last four years of formal education. Homeschooling is a team sport and your goal as a parent is to contribute to their education in three ways: Authority, Habits, and Content.

~ Rhetoric Defined: this chapter helps you as the confident parent to overcome any obstacles you will face. Rhetoric stage is all about conversations and learning to express the truth.  In this chapter you will be equipped to learn how to apply the five canons, or the Standard of Excellence, to which the student should aim for in each subject.

The five canons are:

~ Invention

~ Arrangement

~ Elocution (style)

~ Memory

~ Delivery

Part Two: The Rhetorical Arts ~ Ten chapters guide the reader through a list of classes, subject by subject, that most Classical students study. This section goes in great detail on how to implement those five canons of rhetoric in the following subjects:

~ Reading

~ Speech & Debate

~ Writing

~ Science

~ Math

~ Government and Economics

~ History

~ Latin and Foreign Languages

~ Fine Arts

~ A special chapter on  Graduation is also included in this section.

Part Three: Appendices ~ Rhetorical games, devices, and resources. Also included in this section is a special section where real parents get to respond about their concerns, joys, and experiences of homeschooling through high school. This section is definitely one that should not be missed!

We must concentrate on training students in the art of asking good questions so that they can participate in lively conversations about big ideas.  

~The Conversation

As Classical homeschoolers I love this book! Even though I have just graduated my first student I have learned so much. We are about to embark on our second round of high school education and after reading this book, I can confidently say that I am fully prepared to battle the ups and down involved. I love how Mrs. Bortins says that “the responsibility of learning and engaging shifts to our students” as they enter the high school years.

I definitely think you should check this book out if high school is looming on your horizon. I would also recommend that you check out the other two books in this series, The Core and The Question for the Grammar and Dialectic stages. Also be sure to check out what my CrewMates had to say about this book by clicking the banner below.

Classical Conversations Review

Company ~ Classical Conversations

Product ~ The Conversation

Price ~ $16.00

Ages ~ Homeschooling Mama’s

Classical Conversations Review






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