Keeping the Faith in Times of Doubt

I often wonder if the Lord hears my prayers. If he hears my requests. If he has forgotten about our family.

We have been struggling for MANY YEARS trying to find a full-time job for hubby – which means we have been “struggling” financially. [Struggling may not be the correct word...but we have needed to rely heavily on the Lord for our finances for MANY YEARS.]

So again I often find myself asking if He hears me…does he hear us….does he see us…

I KNOW he does…and that he has some lesson for us to learn (sure wish we’d learn it already! LOL)…but the human heart is weak.

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And then there are the MANY, MANY times over the last many years that He has shown himself through the way things work out perfectly. Things you can see (in hindsight) he set up to be there before we even knew we needed it. Some things big (a different vehicle) and some things small (a protective cover for an iPad).

His eyes are upon us…his angels are around us. Honestly all I can do is shake my head at myself for having such little faith. If he cares enough to provide for the little things – one MUST KNOW he cares about the big things!

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Today, as often, I stand in awe of our amazing Lord and Savior. I stand praising and thanking him for seeing us, for hearing us – for knowing what we need before we even ask. And for still loving me even though I am still so weak.

Now…why does he not provide the job for hubby? This I do not know. BUT, I DO KNOW he loves us…

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10

There are so many verses that tell us of his love for us and for our lives. Why must I doubt? Why cannot I not believe this day in and day out? Because of THE THIEF. But…he (Satan) will NOT win the war with my human heart. It belongs to the Lord and HE is the one I will trust and believe!

We can look around us and see His daily provision…and see His hand working in our lives. This is what I will cling to in times of doubt.

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


Random Five on Friday ~ 4/11/14

I found this new meme “Random Five on Friday” hosted by The Pebble Pond and I am super excited to join in (even though I am joining in on Saturday this week *grin*)!

So here are my Random Five for this week:

1) We bred all our does (rabbits) in hopes that if any of the babies needed a “foster mom” we would have one available. Well, they were needed and so far they have worked! We had three mamas have babies: two Netherland Dwarf and one Flemish Giant. This is only the second litter for our FG and she still wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t take a chance of loosing them all (found all 13 cold in the hutch, put them all in between two towels with a heat lamp on them, three lived). I fostered two to one ND and one to the other. So far, 4 days later, everyone seems happy and healthy – praise the Lord!

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2) We finally built an outside “play area” for our dogs. We do not have a fenced yard so we have to take them out on leashes. Needless to say, we are ALL going to enjoy this! (I actually even put the Flemish Giant bunnies in it yesterday so they could run around!)

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3) J has been diligently working on his architecture class…this is week two of eighteen. He does amazing work, doesn’t he!?!?!

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4) I got two new review items in the mail for Philip…we are excited to get started on them!

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5) We are absolutely LOVING Brinkman Adventures (audio dramas)…be watching for upcoming review…

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


5 Days of Homeschooling with Excessive Energy – The Blessing

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This is the last day of the Schoolhouse Review Crew “5 Days of Homeschooling….” blog hop. I hope you have been having as much fun as we all have! There are over 60 of us bloggers participating – which means over 60 different homeschool topics…that should pretty much cover just about everyone in one form or another!

I have been blogging about “Homeschooling with Excessive Energy”. In case you are just joining in, you can read my previous posts:

Day One: What is Excessive Energy.

Day Two: Diet

Day Three: Curriculum

Day Four: Resources

Today I am going to wrap it up with “The Blessing”. Although the road we have traveled with our son has been a “difficult one” in the way of trying to figure him out and how to handle him (without “breaking his spirit”) and how to help him…he is such a blessing to our lives! The child has so much personality and challenges us in so many ways each and every day that we would never have been the same without him!

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For as much as he makes me pull my hair out with some of his “idiosyncrasies”…he also makes me laugh just as many times with his amazingly awesome loving and funny personality!

Often times kids with “ADHD type behaviors” (not confirmed ADHD remember) are also EXTREMELY SMART. P definitely has this trait! At four, five and now even at six he asks some of the MOST AMAZING questions and seems to understand so much beyond his young years. I have never met a child with such intelligence. (Which can be dangerous too as he “out-smarts” his mama!)

He has an amazing ability for caring and for understanding how one is feeling. He is constantly watching how we as a family interact and is just as often telling us how we are doing it wrong and what we should be doing. (Which in his innocence, he is often correct. For as we grow older we grow more “hard” against life and each other.)

He LOVES music…he goes around the house singing all the time. He also seems to have the ability to understand the meaning behind the words of the songs. One I will never forget is when he was getting ready to “do something wrong” and he told me he had “pushed back the dark”. (From Josh Wilson’s “Pushing Back the Dark“.)

So…our amazing wonderful son has been so worth the little bit (ok, a lot) of time I have spent on researching different things. And even that, quite honestly, has been a blessing. Through all of this I have learned how important what we eat really is – therefore that has become a benefit for our entire family! (And generations to come, Lord willing.)

Thank you for joining me this week! I pray you found some different things that will help you in your journey!

Now, my blog hop “small group” would love if you would hop over and visit each of them!

Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

And then click the picture below to visit the main page and see what some of the others shared!

April Blog Hop

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


5 Days of Homeschooling with Excessive Energy – Resources

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This is day four of the Schoolhouse Review Crew “5 Days of Homeschooling….” blog hop. I hope you have been having as much fun as we all have! There are over 60 of us bloggers participating – which means over 60 different homeschool topics…that should pretty much cover just about everyone in one form or another!

I have been blogging about “Homeschooling with Excessive Energy”. In case you are just joining in, you can read my previous posts:

Day One: What is Excessive Energy.

Day Two: Diet

Day Three: Curriculum

Today I am going to offer some resources that I have found to be EXTREMELY helpful in this journey for us:

Raising Your Highly Spirited Child by  Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. This was a LIFE CHANGING book for me…it showed me that our son was not intentionally trying to irritate us and that it was *OUR JOB* as his parents to help him figure all this out so he can grow in to a mature man of the Lord. You can read my post “Putting a Name To It” where you can find out more of what this amazing book helped me see.

Living with the Active Alert Child by Linda S. Budd, Ph.D

The Difficult Child by Stanley Turkcki, MD

DVD set: The Biology of Behavior by Dianna Craft. This is a two-hour “seminar” on how the body plays in to behavior. It is an EXTREMELY informative set. There is a “diet plan” (mainly consists of adding supplements) which I am not necessarily following but did help me decide to try a few and see if they help…I’m sure I’ll be writing more about our experience with this once we’ve had enough time to see how it goes.

I am on my second class with Vintage Remedies and I have learned SO MUCH about how our bodies work and process things. I would highly suggest any of her books or classes…everything she shares is EVIDENCE BASED.

The Feingold Diet has very helpful information and a lot of it is free at their site. We were going to check more in to trying this plan but their shopping list didn’t include Aldi and we simply cannot afford to do all our shopping elsewhere. However, I have only ever heard good things about this program.

I have a “Spirited Child” tab at the top of my blog…click that and read what is there…I have written several posts you may find helpful.

I have also just simply done a lot (like hours and hours) of online research…I always make sure I have several confirmations of any thought or idea…anyone can have an opinion but I want a “confirmed opinion of knowledge”.

Come back tomorrow as I wrap this up with “Homeschooling with Excessive Energy: The Blessing”.

My blog hop “small group” would love if you would hop over and visit each of them!

Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

Then click the picture below to visit the main page and see what some of the others shared!

April Blog Hop

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


5 Days of Homeschooling with Excessive Energy – Curriculum

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This is Day Three of this Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop! There are over 60 of us involved and we are each sharing something different…so much to learn and read and enjoy! I don’t know about you but I have GREATLY ENJOYED hopping around reading about different things that interest us and our homeschooling!

In case you missed them, you can read my first two posts if you would like…day one was explaining what *I* mean by ‘excessive energy’. Day two was discussing diet changes that may help with excessive energy. And now today…I will be sharing some curriculum ideas that have worked really well for us.

The first thing is Learn and Grow for Preschool age. We absolutely LOVED this curriculum!

Another item for preschool age that came along just a little late for us but would have been wonderful was The Homegrown Preschooler.

Some wonderful “curriculum helps” are from Carol Barnier: How to Get Your Child off the Refrigerator and on to Learning and The Big What Now Book of Learning Styles.

Somewhere along the road we heard that marital arts can be really good…it helps them to learn to pay attention to their bodies and to control themselves so we have been enjoying that for about the last year. The Lord provided a Christian based Tae Kwon Do company and we’ve been happily attending there.

We are taking more of a Charlotte Mason approach with P as it offers more freedom to move around as well as a later “start date” for official schooling. Charlotte Mason also believed students needed plenty of time outside – which works perfectly for us!

Some of the other items we are using that seem to be working are: Math-U-See, Language Lessons for Little Ones, Christian Liberty Nature Readers, Magic School Bus monthly kits and Amazing Science. Since P doesn’t really like to sit down he LOVES Science! It allows him to learn while moving and participating.

The biggest suggestion I would have is that you think out of the box…do not expect your child with excessive energy to sit down and do worksheets for any length of time (if at all). We are constantly amazed that P is listening even though he is moving around and making it seem like he is not listening – HE IS and he is learning. (We ask him to repeat back something he heard and he can / does – and THAT is all that matters!).

Just breathe mom…we can make it through this!

Make sure you hop over and visit the rest of my “small group” to see what they had to share!

Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

Then click the picture below to visit the main page and see what some of the others shared!

April Blog Hop

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


5 Days of Homeschooling with Excessive Energy – Diet

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Hi again! Glad you are back! This week I am excited to be participating in the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop! There are over SIXTY of us participating and sharing MANY different things about homeschool life. I chose to post about “Homeschooling with Excessive Energy” because P, our youngest son (6), has A LOT of energy and I would like to share with you some of the things we have done to “help”…help him, help us, help homeschooling, help life.

Yesterday I shared what *I* mean by ‘excessive energy’…you can read that post HERE.

Today I want to continue this series with DIET because that is how it started for our family. For us, the first thing we found out is that he had a behavioral issue with red dye…this is what started it all! Honestly I wasn’t aware of the FACT that what we eat affects so many other things in our lives (sad but true). I did A LOT of research and found out that red dye affects A LOT of children…yet…we (the United States) still use it and mostly in a lot of KIDS items! What do I mean by “behavioral issue”? Well, we began to notice that he would have EVEN MORE energy (which is hard to believe that he can have MORE energy) as well as we found that he didn’t really want to listen to us. He also became more argumentative about even the most basic of questions. So we cut out red dye and almost immediately saw a HUGE improvement!

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We have also moved to a more “whole / real food” diet and much less processed foods as many of the {unreadable name} items are also known to cause reactions similar to ADHD. I have checked in to the Feingold Diet as well, however they do not have an Aldi food shopping list for our area and we simply cannot afford to shop elsewhere so unfortunately this is not going to work for our family at this time. However, I have heard good things about this program. It appears to be a very intense program but one that is talked of well.

Wheat and gluten have been shown to cause these symptoms as well and MANY people have found much relief from removing these from the diet. We have removed a lot but not all as doing this is just really expensive and very difficult. We are in process but have not made it here completely. However, it is understood that you really will not see any relief until it is removed COMPLETELY.

This doesn’t really have to do with “diet” but it has been shown to help…diffusing essential oils. I have purchased the necessary oils one place I trust recommends (lemon, lavender and thyme) but am waiting till we have the funds to purchase a diffuser. Until then I am changing our house hold cleaners, etc over to homemade as there is evidence that the things in these can cause issues as well! I have started with a homemade air freshener which consists of vodka, distilled water, lemon and lavender essential oils…we all LOVE it! It has a much fresher and cleaner smell!

Several “supplements” have been proven to assist. This is currently where we are in our lives. I recently started P on probiotics twice a day. The actual recommended dosage was three times a day but I felt more comfortable starting a little lower. After a few weeks of this, I plan to add fish oil to his diet as it has also been shown to help.

“Healing” ADHD type behaviors through diet and surrounding elements is proving to be a long and fairly intense thing. There is A LOT of investigation that is necessary, at least for me. I want to make sure what I am trying is “proven” (which means I want several confirmations that this is the correct thing to do / try). I know not everything will work for us and I’m okay with that too. I just want to find out what the best options to try are. And I would like to help our son without pharmaceutical medications.

I hope I have helped offer some ideas that you may find helpful.

Now hop over and visit the rest of my “small group” to see what they had to share today!

Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

Then click the picture below to visit the main page and see what some of the others shared!

April Blog Hop

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


Schoolhouse Review ~ Victus Study Skills System #hsreviews

Victus Study Skills Review
We had the opportunity to review Victus Study Skills System which is a two book set covering the learning of study skills. It can be used for all ages but is best suited for those in 5th – 12th Grades. I received the Victus Study Skills System which consisted of the teacher edition and the student workbook (not the DIY).

Victus Study Skills Review
The “Course Aim” or System Concepts are:

  1. Zeal without knowledge is not good, but zeal with knowledge bears fruit.
  2. Results come from the process.
  3. Any system with all of its components must have an aim, or a purpose.
  4. An effective system of study has the greatest likelihood of aiding in success.

It has three foundational cornerstones:

  1. Where am I now?
  2. Where do I want to be?
  3. How do I get there?

Another “big thing” is they want to teach the students not only to excel in academics, but in life.

J and I worked through this together even though he could have easily done it on his own. I LOVE the concept of what this program has to offer, which is why I was so excited to review it. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. While it is a decent program, I found the teacher workbook to only be a “general guide” and not provide specific guidance – which to me was rather difficult since I wasn’t exactly sure what we were supposed to be teaching or guiding our student toward. Additionally, there are “fill in the words” sections throughout the student book that would have been good to have had specific instruction on how to teach those items to the student and then have them fill in the sheet. However, that wasn’t the case…so for us I simply read the answers to J and he wrote them in. We then discussed anything he may have had questions on.

What did I LIKE about this program? It does get the student to THINK…to THINK about studying…to THINK about what will come next…to THINK about needing time to prepare for things. It gets them to think about how they are spending their time and maybe some changes that need to be made. It helps them learn their learning style and has them LOOK at their life and their schooling. It covers important things like listening, note taking and test taking – things that High School homeschoolers often don’t get to do too much therefore having it brought before them to think about and do is really nice.

Overall it is a very simple program requiring only five hours of instruction. The teacher edition is spiral bound and has 82 pages. It runs $40. The student workbook also spiral bound and has 65 pages. It is $20. You can get an overview of each book by watching the videos HERE. In my opinion this program is a bit overpriced.

If you are interested, you can stay in touch with Victus here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/VictusStudySkillsSystem
Twitter: @VictusStudy

Read more Victus Study Skills System reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!

 

 

 

Crew Disclaimer


5 Days of Homeschooling with Excessive Energy – What is it?

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I am excited to be participating in the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog Hop! There are over SIXTY of us participating sharing MANY different things about homeschool life. I chose to post about “Homeschooling with Excessive Energy” because P, our youngest son (6), has A LOT of energy and I would like to share with you some of the things we have found to “help”…help him, help us, help homeschooling, help life.

I would like to start with what I mean by “excessive energy”…I have a tab at the top of my blog titled “Spirited Child” where you will find all the posts I have written about this subject – what my investigation has shown us and why my thoughts are on this subject. However, for now I will just quickly explain what *I* mean by ‘excessive energy’.

Our 6 year old son has been “different” pretty much from the beginning. At first I thought he was a “high needs baby” then a “highly spirited child” and now we are more toward ADHD but not completely and definitely not officially diagnosed. What does this look like? I still like the list of items from the “high needs baby” so I will share the basic list here and you can read the article for more information:

  1. Intense
  2. Hyperactive
  3. Draining
  4. Feeds Frequently
  5. Demanding
  6. Awakens Frequently
  7. Unsatisfied
  8. Unpredictable
  9. Super Sensitive
  10. Can’t Put the Baby Down
  11. Not a “Self Soother”
  12. Separation Sensitive

Now, if you think this sounds like “a normal baby (or child)” take this list and multiply each item by 1,000 and you will have a “high needs baby” or “highly spirited child”. Most kids have these but “high needs” / “highly spirited” has them MORE than others. Honestly, it is hard to explain and something even those who are “close” to us didn’t (and still don’t) seem to recognize as different than other kids. However, if you spend a lot of time with them…you will know quickly that there is something different about them.

Two things we hear a lot are “he’s just a normal boy with a lot of energy” or “he’s just a normal kid”. Sorry folks…he is not “a normal child”…and that is OK! We just have to learn about different things we didn’t have to before and we need to try different things many families don’t. And we need A LOT of prayer each and every day.

P is a picky eater. The only thing predictable about him is that he is unpredictable. Tags on shirts bother him. Food textures bother him. Too loud of noises bother him. “Normal babies” fall asleep in a moving vehicle – P screamed the entire time (30 miles – many times). He doesn’t like to sit still – EVER. He moves CONSTANTLY. He talks constantly – and LOUD. He runs, FAST, all the time, everywhere. He trips. He falls. He is SO SMART it is scary. He debates (and is right too many times). School worksheets are a joke (don’t even try!). Sitting still in church – HA! We tell him the most basic of things over and over and over and over (continue forever). Without the Lord none of us would survive each day. *grin*

Now I want to make sure that you understand - I am not complaining about our son – we LOVE him! We just want to help mature and grow him to be a man the Lord can use which will require a bit of tweaking so that he can maintain focus and sit in a chair for any amount of time. We know the Lord has HUGE plans for our son…we just want to help get him there.

With that, come back for more on this subject…as this week I plan to discuss diet, curriculum and resources for ‘homeschooling with excessive energy’…hopefully you’ll find some {additional} help if you have found yourself in this place ‘crazy homeschooling place’ too!

Now please hop over and visit the rest of my “blog hop small group” to see what they had to share!

Lexi @ Lextin Academy ~ The Homeschool Dad, CEO
Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles ~  Organizing Your Home and School
Cristi @ Through the Calm and Through the Storm ~ Homeschooling Thankfulness
Melissa @ Mom’s Plans ~ Historical Field Trips
Karen @ Tots and Me ~ Making Geography Fun
Adena @ AdenaF ~ Mnemonics
Amy @ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Lego Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family ~ Record Keeping

And then click the picture below to visit the main page and see what some of the other 50+ bloggers had to share!

April Blog Hop

Have a wonderfully blessed day!


Random Five on Friday ~ 4/4/14

I found this new meme “Random Five on Friday” hosted by The Pebble Pond and I am super excited to join in (even though I am joining in on Saturday this week *grin*)!

So here are my Random Five for this week:

1) Hubby had another grand mal seizure last Thursday, so I got to be his chauffeur all week.

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2) We gave our bearded dragon, Nala, her first bath. She didn’t really like it very much (which we understand to be pretty normal) but they are supposed to really like them once they get used to them.

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That is P’s hand which is being used as a size guide…she is growing fast!

3) J is working on a architecture class…there will be more coming on this later.

4) I think Spring has finally sprung! We had two days of A LOT of rain and now we have GREEN GRASS everywhere!

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5) We now have two Blue Belts in Tae Kwon Do – they are both excited! Their testing was on 3/22 but J was out of town for a week after that so he officially got his belt this past Monday. P got his the Wednesday before. This picture is of the group that tested on Saturday 3/22/14. We are so very thankful to have found a Christian run TKD academy!

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Have a wonderfully blessed day!


List It Tuesday ~ Spirited Child Helps ~ 4/1/14

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This post is linked to List it Tuesday at Many Little Blessings and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I have been doing A LOT of research on “spirited children” since not long after our youngest son came in to this world. At first I was thinking he was a “high needs baby” then I moved to “highly spirited” and now we are near “ADHD” although not completely (and definitely not officially diagnosed). He is simply a child with A LOT of energy.

So, here are some of the most recent things I have been working with and investigating…hopefully they will help you as well…

  1. Essential oils and how they have been proven to help (specifically lemon, lavender and thyme).
  2. Dianne Craft’s cd set The Biology of Behavior.
  3. The book Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock, MD
  4. A LOT of what I am reading says these behaviors can often be linked to “the gut”.
  5. We started a probiotic this week.
  6. We will be starting fish oil in the near future.
  7. Still one of my most very favorite books Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  8. The Handbook of Vintage Remedies by Jessie Hawkins
  9. I did look in to The Feingold Diet but it was going to be way too difficult for our family. They didn’t have an Aldi shopping list and that is where we purchase almost all of our groceries (we simply cannot afford to shop elsewhere).
  10. And honestly…A LOT of PRAYER! We love our son beyond words and simply want to help him, and us, to work through this area of our lives.

Here’s praying we ALL have fun learning!