Quitting Homeschool – Bonus Tracks

Yesterday I posted on our YouTube channel about our big decision about homeschooling this year. (You can watch it here : https://youtu.be/v3ufibKPRLU )

I really want to post about homeschool a lot more, both here and on YouTube. I feel like it’s something I have a heart for, and I know that I am not an expert, but I love to talk about it and learn from others, so maybe I have some things to share too. 

I went into a lot of the reasons why we made our decision to not send our girls to school, but there really was more I could have shared. (But 13mins of me rambling with Breeley and the dog watching me from the door I felt was more than enough for 1 video.)

So, here are a few bonus track stories and thoughts to share. 

I didn’t really tell about all the meetings we attended and the research that I did. We went to every meeting that they had. I even went and talked to the principal and asked her a ton of questions. I also wrote down the curriculum, teaching philosophies, state standards, school policies…. And I researched them all. Honestly, there was a lot of things I loved about the school. I think that once it gets off the ground it will be a great school. And I think it’s a great opportunity that we were given. However I think I knew in my heart the whole time that even though it sounded great, that didn’t mean it was going to be a great thing for our family. 

Also, I cried at every meeting. Every single one. I cried when we toured the sister school. I cried in the town hall style meetings. I cried and tried to pull myself together talking to the principal (who looked at me like “why did you come talk to me just to cry and not be able to say a word?!” and Josh looked at me like “please stop embarrassing yourself”.)

 One of the hardest times I cried was when we went to a parent meeting. I sat down, pulled out my notebook and pen, and started to read through the pamphlets on the topic for the night. In a moment of me trying to calm myself I suddenly heard a familiar voice singing. Josh looked at me and said “Is that Chris?” Yes, it was Chris Brown from Elevation Worship singing. They were playing one of the songs from our church, at a public school meeting. Big tears started to stream down my face. Josh said “Are you crying again?!” And I said “Yes! I can’t help it!” I felt like God was sending me a little message that it was ok. He was with me and I didn’t need to focus on all that was going on around me and my thoughts and fears. I needed to take comfort in focusing and worshiping him and he was with me. 

People’s reactions were also kinda interesting. When we told people we were going to send them to school people either told us how great they thought that would be or they looked at me in shock. I got much more of the shocked looked. Or a look of pity because I was again crying when I told a lot of people. One of my friends (who is pretty straight forward) said “Um, yeah, we will see if that actually happens. I am pretty sure on the first day of school your kids will be at home.”  Guess she was right 😀.

Another funny story is when we actually called to withdraw the girls, they called us again for a follow up/confirmation. The lady told me they were sorry they would not have “Braylee and Ally” at the school. I didn’t know how to respond, considering my children’s names are “Alyse and Breeley”. 

One night I texted one of my best friends and told her “I was looking at homeschool curriculum tonight. Josh came in and caught me. I felt guilty. It was like he walked in on me looking at porn or something.” 

But seriously, we did not take the decision lightly. We honestly took months to decide. 

We feel confident in our choice. We are all walking into this school year with excitement and great expectations. 

Check back again to join us! We would love to have you as part of our homeschool year. 

Fruit Cobbler

I tried a new recipe the other night for dessert.

I used a mix fruit with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, but I’m sure you could do peaches or just blueberries or whatever fruit you prefer. You can use frozen (thawed) or fresh fruit.
Here is the recipe:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Mix 1tsp of flour and and 1tsp of sugar into 5-6cups of fruit. 

Pour into 9×13 pan

In a separate bowl mix together:

1 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp salt 

Then mix in 

4 Tbsp melted butter

2/3 cup milk 

Pour over fruit 

Bake for 50-55mins 
Let cool but you can serve warm. 

Top with ice cream or whipped cream. 

Pound Cake

One of our go to recipes in this house is my pound cake recipe.

The girls and I made one for dessert the other night.  (Watch in our Cooking with Kids Youtube video).  They give the instruction in the video, but here is the recipe:

Pound Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350*

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs
1 and 1/2 cup milk
1 stick of butter.

Mix all ingredients and pour into pan. (I use a bunt pan.)
Bake for 1 hour

We always cut up strawberries and whipped cream on the top.

It’s the perfect spring/summer dessert and a favorite at this house!

Fresh Flower Cake 

When Breeley and I discussed her birthday we decided we wanted lots and lots of flowers. So when I was planning her cake I decided I wanted to put fresh flowers on her cake. I just think it looks so pretty.

Of course I knew you couldn’t just stick flowers in a cake so I started researching what was the best way to put them on and if there were any flowers that would be poisonous or something. I honestly wasn’t finding any great “how tos” so I kinda just got creative. 

I sent Josh to a vendor Uptown (which is kinda like a little farmers market.) I thought they would have the best price and would possibly be more “clean”. (At least in my head they were…)

I looked at the flowers and checked to make sure they were safe. And they all seemed to be. 

She requested her cake be vanilla cake with chocolate chip filling. 

Because no one wants flower leaves or dirt with their chocolate chip cake, I decided to protect the cake a little by putting some parchment paper down. I put the paper under the cake pan I used and traced a circle. Then I cut out a small section in the middle (to put the candelabra and stems into). 

Then I covered the paper with more icing. 

Right before the party started I added the flowers. But again, I wanted to protect the cake as much as possible from dirt or flower pieces. The best way I could think to do that was straws and tape. (I’m sure this is just how the professionals do it!)

I cut some IKEA straws into 4 pieces each. Then put tape around the ends. I trimmed the flowers down and covered the stems with the straws. 

Finally I arranged the candelabra and flowed into the cake. 

I think it turned out really well. 

I did have a small moment of panic that the candles would light the flowers on fire, but all was good! No fire! And the cake was flower pedal, leaf, and dirt free. 

An American Girl Birthday

Last weekend Breeley turned 6! 

The 6th birthday at our house is when the girls get an American Girl doll. (Something my girls have to have because I never got to have one so I will make sure my girls get one! My parents didn’t love me. 😉)

Breeley had already decided, by looking at the store before and in the catalog beforehand, that she wanted Mary Ellen. So she was set to go!  

She woke up to balloons (tradition at our house) and donuts. She actually didn’t have a lot of time because we also had the girls dance pictures that morning (which explains why they both have on a ton of makeup!). So after we finished up her photo shoot she changed into her new dress she had picked out and we went for shopping and lunch at the bistro. 

After lunch we took Alyse to her pictures and then headed home for another birthday celebration with family. 

Breeley had requested a party with her new doll and lots of flowers. (Actually she had like 10 decor ideas – Frozen, Descendants, Makeup/Fashion show… I had to tell her we were sticking just with American Girl.) 

I had picked up some little party favors at Micheal’s for the dolls so I decided that would be our colors. When at Target I found some more party supplies in the same colors so I kinda mixed and matched from the dollar section, the party section, and house decor. 

(I still haven’t taken the battery operated garden lights down yet.)

On Friday’s Uptown on the corner of Trade and Tryon they have a flower vendor. I asked Josh to go get me a bunch of flowers to decorate with and to put on her cake. 

The candelabra and sparkle candles are also from Target. 

I brought a small table down from the play room and made a little table for the dolls. The guest were Alyse’s Caroline and Samantha dolls, Cammie’s Bitty Baby and Layla (Breeley’s Next Generation doll from Target.) I also made a little cake just for their table. 

Breeley loved her party! 

Watch her celebration on our YouTube channel