Updates and Reviews!

Summer has come and gone, and it seems Fall quickly followed suit. Now we are walking through Advent and eagerly anticipating celebrating the first coming of our Savior, Jesus–all in our new home!

These days raising my children seem to be moving at rapid pace. And though I try to keep a steady grip on making certain our calendar is one of balance, I wish time would slow down. It won’t be much longer that these “ordinary” days filled with homeschool, co-op, Trail Life, Awana, music, church, baseball, gymnastics, etc. will transition into many other things, but my goal is to make certain the days are ones that bring life-giving joy and peace in the midst of a life that (just like yours) is often chaotic. Fortunately, even though there is a lot going on, I don’t typically feel rushed or restless. I firmly believe that is because I chose long ago to say “no” to those things that weren’t breathing life into our lives. Only God knows the future, so as long as He chooses to give me more moments, I must Carpe Diem!

I do regret, however, how little time I’ve had to sit and simply write for pleasure. I am not a mom with grandparents or sitters at my beck and call, so all hours are these two hands on deck. And, these two hands are typically found holding books, holding pencils, making meals, making messes, and moving laundry from upstairs to down, and back up again. Note to self: NEVER buy a two story home. Again. Ha. But at this exact moment, Husband is home and he is overseeing the bedtime shenanigans while I sling these words out as quickly as possible. Consider this your Christmas card from our family to yours.

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Cards are one of the things I decided to eliminate from the calendar this year. Between the time spent picking out outfits, to designing, labeling and sending cards–hours upon hours of time (and money!) was saved. That time and money was spent on providing meals for others, sending the child we sponsor some additional resources, and giving better to a specific missionary friend. I’ve never been so excited about not sending out cards. As such, I have seized the ever fleeting days. So, if anyone actually wants to see our faces on card stock, let me know because I’m thinking Easter sounds far better.

Moving on… I know many of you are curious as to how homeschool is going and all I can say is, I can’t imagine it any other way! I have met so many incredible people from former public school teachers, to parents, and politicians who are 100% pro parent-led education. If you know me, you know I don’t really care what you do with your own children, so long as it is what God is leading you to do and so long as you are genuinely seeking out His will for your family!!! I feel strongly that the Lord chose me to be the parent of the specific children who call me “Mommy” and as such, it is part of my job description to teach them diligently from morning to night and all along the way.

You must love him with all your heart, soul, and might. And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

I fall short on a daily basis–like major face to the concrete moments. My massive need for grace does not escape me. But in my weaknesses, I’m reminded that only Christ is perfect and it is walking in close stead with Him do I have hope that perhaps with the newness of each morning will I better reflect His grace and truth to those He has entrusted to my care. I also give great praise to the Lord that my Kindergartener genuinely loves being homeschooled. We certainly have our moments, believe you me–but how wonderful it is to actually work, learn and grow together. Age and maturity are indeed two different things and there are many times I believe I’m learning more from my 5 year old than he is from me. He also knows most of his friends go to public school and while he went to preschool and loved it, he thanks me that he gets to learn at home. You have no idea what sweet balm that is to a mother’s soul as she tries to run the race, while stumbling forward. My children and I are on a journey together, and I hope we travel with great curiosity and enjoy the adventure always!

One of the many wonderful things about homeschooling is getting to use a wide range of curriculum and change things up if, when, and as we see fit. I am the Founder, Director, Principal, PTA, Teacher, etc. If I have an issue–guess what? I get to change it. And I still pay taxes for the public school system. Here’s to freedom! Fortunately, I haven’t run into any nightmares with our curriculum choices at this point. I researched like crazy and knew what I was looking for this year. While our main curriculum is “all in one”, I am a lover of learning and believe different companies often complement each other. So, along with “My Father’s World“, we have been using “All About Reading” and “Bede’s History Series” from Veritas Press just for extra Kindergarten fun. In our spare time (???) we read a ton and practice penmanship. unnamed-4I don’t use most of the writing materials that came with the Kindergarten curriculum as my guy writes with ease on wide ruled sheets. So, we do copy work and practice spelling using good old spiral notebooks as well as some items from Memoria Press. We have loosely started cursive and will focus on that as our primary method after Christmas.

All of this is probably terribly boring to you, but if you are a fellow homeschooling mama, maybe you can relate to the excitement you have when you genuinely enjoy something so much you get giddy over sharing resources. And speaking of resources, I want all of you, whether homeschoolers or not, to check out this beautiful pencil sharpener that now graces our schoolroom!

 

Green Sharpener
The Cutest Sharpener Around!

The folks (thank you, Troy!) at Classroom Friendly Supplies were kind enough to send me one to use and review. And guess what? They made me whistle a happy tune, because I got one in my favorite shade of green…are you envious? This *might* be a time when it’s okay. *Kidding!* But here’s the deal–I LOVE writing with good old pencil and paper and I want my children to appreciate this as the gold standard. There’s nothing worse than a dull pencil or a loud sharpener. This little thing is the absolute CUTEST sharpener in the world with a sweet vintage look. It is quiet as a mouse, easy for little (and big) hands to use, and does its job without fail. I would love for you to support this company and get one of these for your home, office, or as a gift for your favorite teacher. Sharper pencils make for sharper minds. 🙂 Here’s a link for you to pick up your favorite color sharpener today. https://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com

Well friends, that’s all for right now. But I’m feeling extra hopeful about squeezing some time in to write again tomorrow. There’s so much to share between the move, music, and my two youngest children (who are both growing beautifully and add so much LIFE to this family!!!), that another post is due in quick succession. So for now, may all your days be merry and bright. And may this Advent season be one where you find precious peace focusing on the ONE who burst forth as the Light of the World. His name is Jesus and He is the greatest gift ever given.

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

 

 

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol says:

    Hello and Merry Christ’s Birthday season to you and your dear family!!! I can just hear your voice when I read you words! I am proud of you for homeschooling those little gems! Can you believe it was NINE YEARS AGO that we graduated from DTS?!?’ I just got to see my Dallas roomie, Damaris Stevens. I am not sure you ever met but we were flying back to Austin through Dallas at Love Field so she popped over for a little visit. We live in Bastrop now and I am teaching first grade in the Episcopal school there. I have six students!
    Happy Everything to you!

    Love always
    Carol McCall

    1. Gabbie Nolen says:

      Carol! It was such a sweet treat to get this message from you. For starters, it means the world for you to say you’re proud of me for homeschooling. I’ve always admired and respected you as a woman of God and mother. I love that you are pouring into kiddos in Bastrop–I know you are a massive gift in their lives. I’m planning a trip to La Grange soon and would love to pop in and see you on the way. Praying God’s continued blessings and peace for you. Miss you, precious friend!

      Love,

      Gabbie

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