Thursday, May 29, 2014

CHEAP and Healthy and Local and Fresh FOOD!

I am really excited about this new Farmer's Market Co-op forming in Northern Durham.
2 sweet ladies from our church came up with the idea to buy straight from the farmers in bulk.
It is CHEAP!  It is Healthy!  It is YUMMY!
There are a few spots left if you want to join in let me ASAP!
It's just starting but we are still working out the kinks!
Guess what I paid for all the yummy goodness above?
No fee to join the co-op you just have to take a turn taking orders, buying, sorting, and distributing the produce.
This week:
Cantaloupe 75 cents each!
10 lb. bag of white potatoes: 60 cents....for the whole bag!
1 avocado: 60 cents!
Blueberries: $1.67 per container.
Mango's 39 cents each!
Strawberries: $1.50 per container.
1/2 bag of Spinach: $2.25
Yep.....I told you CHEAP!!! AND FRESH, IN SEASON, LOCAL!
Let me know ASAP if you want in.....we are planning to go every other week initially, but may go to every week if needed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why We Quit Homeschooling

I honestly thought I would have homeschooled all my kids all the way through.  Not because I thought it was THE right thing to is just what we did.....and I liked it.....a lot......sometimes.

So when we had our yearly "what is your input about school next year" talk with the kids I was fairly shocked when 3 of the kids REALLY wanted to go to school.  I didn't expect it.   That had never happened.   I wasn't really thinking about any big changes this year.  Things were okay. 

That being said....I am in a unique situation, as all parents are, with my kids.  First the sheer number of them and their ages and their individual school needs, skills, abilities, challenges, personalities etc.  Not to mention my own personal development, growth, financial needs, and sanity.....and this is a season.  I know in this season this is what the Lord has for our family.  I think we will be able to grow and develop in ways that we can not without this change.  I am VERY excited and surprised by this season!  Yet I have peace and support and a lot of hope mixed with a little fear and uncertainty.  Yet I KNOW God IS faithful.  All the time. 

So as I thought about the possibility of school....I must admit....I did sorta want to do it.  It wasn't my idea....but I did kinda like it.  It was exciting.  It was new.  It seemed like a breath of fresh air.  Randy and I started praying.  We started talking.  We started thinking and looking and decided we would test the waters.  I would apply for a teaching position and we would walk through doors if they opened all while praying.  We were sure of this.  We wanted what God wanted.  One thing we were specifically praying was that IF I were hired for a teaching position it would be K,1, or 4th grade.  I would not have kids in those grades.  I always tagged on to my prayers...."and please let it be K or 1 because I hate 4th grade math."

Doors began to open. Things began to fall into place.  Plans started to come together.  I have a great sense of peace and joy and excitement over this.  The job I was offered was for first grade.  I LOVE first grade!!!!

Now this next part is VERY important for me to say and for you to hear.  ESPECIALLY my dear homeschool Mama friends and co-op teacher friends.  You are in the trenches.  You are doing a good and important work.  What you are doing matters.  SO MUCH.  Keep going.  I can honestly say that unless I felt the Lord SPECIFICALLY calling me NOT to homeschool.....I would homeschool.  I think it is a WONDERFUL benefit to family life, to faith building, to character development.  You CAN do it Mama's....the Lord WILL provide exactly what you need to do it.  He is faithful.  So stay the course.  If the Lord has placed homeschooling on your heart.  GO FOR IT!  I am SOOOO grateful for the 11 YEARS I have spent homeschooling.  They have been the absolute pleasure of my life. I would not trade them for ANYTHING!   I admire you and will miss you and loved being among the ranks of you.  I still consider myself a homeschool mom because Andrew is going to finish out.  He loves homeschooling.  So don't think I'm leaving.  I'm not!  I love you Mama's and I am proud to be one of you. 

Pray for us.  Pray this will be a positive experience for our family.  Pray we will make wise decisions and ALWAYS seek the Lord.  Always!

Mrs. Stewart (Ha!  I couldn't help myself!  I've wanted my own classroom since I was a little girl....and I am SOOOOOO excited!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Only Child!

So summer break is in FULL swing at our house.  The 4 oldest kids spent their first week of summer at camp.  I'm anxious to hear about their week.

So with the four big kids gone....we were left with the baby.  Audrey has thoroughly enjoyed her week as only child.  

She started out her week on Monday at my moms.  She had Nanny all to herself for the WHOLE day while I drove the kids to camp.  I picked her up around dinner and she was all smiles.  She had gotten a new dress, watered flowers, played outside, played lots of board games.......and was a very happy little girl.  Randy and I ordered dinner in and Audrey played with the neighborhood kids until dark and then she came in and I told her she could lay in my bed and watch 1 show.  Well.....we both fell asleep and stayed until morning!

Tuesday morning we had lots of snuggles.  Then Audrey had her last art class followed by an amazing art show.  Kellie did such a GREAT job with the kids and I would HIGHLY recommend her art classes.  

After the art show we raced across town to pickup her friend Ella.  Then Daddy hung out with Ella and Audrey at Monkey Joe's while I unloaded a TRUCKLOAD of books at The Homeschool Gathering Place. 

 I met them back at Monkey Joe's and they were getting pretty worn out so we stopped at Chick-fil-a for a VERY late lunch.  Tuesday night she tried to swim with her cousin, but it was too cold so they ended up eating popcorn and watching a movie instead.

Wednesday......we had made plans to go out with my mom.  We were on a mission to find the perfect fabric for my favorite chair....which I can't bear to part with....but has become a bit of an eye sore!  It took a while and a lot of back and forth....but we finally found the perfect fabric and I can't wait to see how it turns out!  

 So much fun!

 So many choices!

 After a while they all started to look the same!

We had lunch at Guglhupf's with Mom....YUMMIO!  

AND we stopped by a little garden center in Hillsborough and I picked up a couple of squash and zucchini plants to add to my garden!  Then Audrey got invited to the Curl's house for a play date which turned into a sleepover!  I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing my school room and going through my library of children's books. 

 I love to organize!  I had the last night of The Gospel Project.  I'm going to miss those sweet kiddos!  

Randy had his dream night: about 5 hours of basketball! 

Thursday morning I woke up and finished up some paperwork I needed for a co-op meeting.  Then I deep cleaned Audrey's room and closet.  I LOVE organizing!  I headed out to Bahama to pickup Audrey and the Curl kids around 10.  The 5 of us headed out to Southpointe, after a quick stop by Chick-fil-a, for some lunch, to watch Return to Oz.  

After the movie it was back to Bahama were I scored some farm fresh eggs AND homemade strawberry jam....Julia is my HERO!  I was late for a meeting but my friends Linda and Lisa were very gracious!  Audrey waited patiently and enjoyed a Strawberry Frappuccino and played on my phone while I spent an hour talking co-op plans.

Last night Audrey got to spend the evening with Randy's parents.  They took her to Elmo's and Goodberry's and she got to watch TV!  She was a tired little girl.  While she hung out with Randy's parents we got to hang out with some dear friends for dinner, a movie, and ice cream!  It was a fun and LATE night for us all!  We had a good night sleep and are getting ready to head to the mountains to get the rest of the crew!

It was a  great week, but I'm ready to get back the rest of the crew!  I LOVE SUMMER!

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Another season of change.  

After 2 and a half years we are saying goodbye to Lincoln.  He will be missed!

Jackson is so sad.

He brought a LOT of joy to our household each day!

Speaking of changes.....

We are in the process of changing our old sandbox into a raised garden.
Hopefully this project will be finished this week!

School has ended for this year.  We start in early August and don't take too many breaks so we finish up early!

This week was our last co-op.

It is hard saying goodbye to students!

I'll miss mom coming over twice a week to help with school!
What a blessing she has been!

However it is wonderful starting summer.....

Thursday night I was out on the town late.  Celebrating with my buddies.  We made it through another school year!  We shopped.  Ate chocolate before dinner. Enjoyed  Fellowship.  Ate Sushi and drank tea.  It was perfect.  All in the middle of a tornado watch!

Friday I slept in. Walked the dog.  Worked out.  Went to my moms.  Got a massage.  I'd been saving a gift certificate I got for Christmas!  It was worth the wait.  Then I took the kids to the mall.  Randy brought home pizza for the kids and Chinese for us.  Then we took the kids to Randy's parents house to swim.

It was a great first day of summer.

Change can bring sadness but it is also exciting and wonderful!  
More changes coming soon!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Celebrating Sophie!

This has been a fun and busy weekend of celebrating my Sophie Girl.  She is 11 going on 18.  The celebrations started on Friday.  She woke up and got busy decorating her cupcakes. 

She wanted to do the decorating this year.  She did a great job!

Then my mom, Nanny, came by to pick Sophie up for her birthday shopping trip. 

Mom took Sophie shopping at Five Below, Target, and Aeropostal and then to lunch at Firebird.  Then Nanny dropped her off at her art class.

Friday evening was filled with Grandparents, Family, Cousins, and a couple friends coming over for Pizza, Cake, and Ice Cream.

 Her girlfriends spent the night and they stayed up LATE!

Saturday after her friends left Aunt Rhonda took Sophie to Claire's and Justice and to Chinese to lunch.  Very sweet!  She came home in time to clean her room and help setup for her Spa Party. 

She had a few friends over for some pampering. 

What a very sweet group of girls!

My mom had taken my three youngest kiddos to the movies and to her house and Randy and Andrew had gone with my brother to play some basketball so it was just me and the 6 girls.  They were all so well mannered and sweet.  It was very quiet.  A rarity at my house!

Saturday night our family had dinner at Cracker Barrel and came home to go to bed early.  We were worn out from our super fun weekend.

Happy Birthday Girly!  So proud of the beautiful young lady you are becoming.  Love you forever.