The Parenting Secret

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“Just wait till their teenagers!”

This was the common refrain we heard every weekend at the ballpark while cheering on our six year old athlete and chasing her three younger siblings around the bleachers.

I often think back at how I felt when I would hear those words: overwhelmed, fearful, confused, even sad. It was as if people were communicating to me, “One day you’ll be sorry for having all those kids!”

How sad

Here’s a newsflash

It is 17 years later….and

I’m not sorry

Recently, my husband was asked to give his #1 parenting advice.  If he could tell young parents one thing, what would it be? How does he raise such great kids? Without a second thought he spoke the most profound words…

Wait for it…

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“NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES

YOU MUST WIN THEIR HEARTS.”

He went on to say that one reason why our family is…

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The Strong-Willed Child

Many of my momma friends are in the middle of summer chaos at home and have needed a word of encouragement. Whatever you do…if you are raising a Strong-Willed child…DON”T QUIT!!

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Sitting in my office, I am  listening to my 20 year old son make breakfast for his 4 year old sister.  The two are laughing and giggling and referencing different silly cartoon characters.  My son prepares to begin a day of back to back piano lessons as students and families come in and out of our home all day.  Our son is in his Junior year studying piano performance at Sam Houston State.  Each Monday and Friday I get the blessing of interacting with different moms who love to tell me about how much they enjoy the lessons, while I also listen to him teach his young students about discipline and control on the keys.  The value of doing something WELL…over doing something FAST, and I have to smile.  Mommas….he was my strong-willed child.  Enjoy the read

The Strong-willed Child

Are you raising a strong-willed child?  If you are not quite…

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Why I choose PACES PAideia

IT’s that time of year again and homeschoolers everywhere are trying to decide which route to take. If you are any where within an hour of the North side of Houston, come check out the PACES Paideia program. http://www.pacesinfo.org

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Why I choose PACES PAideia to educate my kids.

I’ve been home educating since 1997, coming up on 20 years. We have 8 kids, and have graduated three from homeschooling with PACES, each of which have gone on to higher education. We started our PACES journey in January of 2004. Right in the middle of Year 3…the Pilgrims.

Every summer, usually right about this time, I look at my husband and say, “Why can’t we just do this at home and stop doing PACES? I’m exhausted and the thought of gearing up for another school year just leaves me wanting to hide in bed”

To which he wisely replies, “Erin, you say this every July. Whether you realize it or not, PACES is for you too.” He has taught me to see the joy is in the struggle, and that the learning is not the only end game, it’s about…

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Four Busy Moms Share Thanksgiving Recipes

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It’s that time of year again.  We all have our favorite traditions, recipes, and rituals that we look forward too.  For our family, Thanksgiving week is the highlight of the year.  It usually looks like this, but could change depending on the football schedule!

Sunday – Family meeting where we plan out the Thanksgiving menu and the December events calendar.

Monday – Clean house

Tuesday – Shopping Day

Wednesday – COOKING Day followed by several games of 42 and chile for dinner!

Thursday – Thanksgiving and well…..football!

Friday – We stopped getting up early years ago, but we still look online for those Black Friday deals.

About four years ago, three friends and I put together a list of some of our favorite family recipes for Thanksgiving.  Each of us get the joy of laughing and cooking with large families this week so we wanted to share these with you.  Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Why I choose PACES PAideia

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Why I choose PACES PAideia to educate my kids.

I’ve been home educating since 1997, coming up on 20 years. We have 8 kids, and have graduated three from homeschooling with PACES, each of which have gone on to higher education. We started our PACES journey in January of 2004. Right in the middle of Year 3…the Pilgrims.

Every summer, usually right about this time, I look at my husband and say, “Why can’t we just do this at home and stop doing PACES? I’m exhausted and the thought of gearing up for another school year just leaves me wanting to hide in bed”

To which he wisely replies, “Erin, you say this every July. Whether you realize it or not, PACES is for you too.” He has taught me to see the joy is in the struggle, and that the learning is not the only end game, it’s about so much more than books and papers. It’s about community, accountability, fellowship, growth, working collectively to solve problems and answer questions. Helping others and encouraging others in their journey. We are made for community. PACES provides that for both our kids AND the parents.

Due to a bad car accident, I missed the last day of school in May and haven’t been able to get my head around what the fall will look like. Today, my mentor, founder and director of PACES PAideia, Dr. Johnnie K. Seago, answered my request when I asked her to send me a calendar for the school year. She followed up by sending me all the reading lists and project requirements for our Year FOUR term. More than 50 pages to print off. When I first saw all the attachments, I wanted to hide, to quit. Then, as the printer in my husband’s office started printing them out….something happened.

Not only did I see thousands of words on those pages, I saw thousands of collective hours that the mommas I LOVE have poured into this program. This program is not a franchise (at least not yet), it’s a GOLD MINE and the Best Kept Secret in Houston because of the countless hours so many brilliant and hard working moms, who LOVE their kids and BELIEVE in the Classical Education Model, have devoted to these charts and our events.

Teachers like me are blessed because of champion warrior moms like Rachelle Davis, who is walking through one the biggest trials of her large family’s life after having lost everything in a massive flood in Simonton. Rachelle WON’T QUIT. Her hard work behind the scenes has set so many of us up for success this year. If Rachelle doesn’t quit, neither can I.

I don’t quit because of another champion warrior momma, Melana Monroe, who also has walked through the biggest trial of her family’s life this year when four of her six adult kids were diagnosed with cancer and all had to had their stomachs removed. Melana didn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I don’t quit because of Warrior Momma, JoAnn Harmon, whose husband mysteriously just lost all feeling in his legs from the waist down and is now hospitalized while the doctors try to figure out what’s going on. JoAnn doesn’t quit. I can’t quit either.

I NEED to be around THESE type of women. They are ROCKS.

You see, I am around lots of homeschooling moms, I have been in these circles now for 2 decades. I see a lot of people come and go from group to group, co-op to co-op, over differences of opinions, or tastes, or how their kids were or were not getting along with others. I am here to tell you, that there is a VALUE in planting your flag and STAYING. Building a root system that will sustain you when the storms of life hit you. Struggling WITH others to figure out how to teach your 11 year old how to read, or your 5 year old how to sit still, or your 16 year old how to convert fractions to decimals. We stay together, not judging one another, but helping and serving alongside each other.

Finally, we stay with PACES because our adult children are the fruit. They each grew up in PACES and were home educated from pre-K on. Each went off to college and are pursuing more higher learning. They are solid, strong, and wise young adults who are each charting their own future course while also teaching or tutoring others in some capacity.

We have five more at home, with grandchildren now coming up through the ranks. We are excited about another year in PACES with NEW faces to Love on, and NEW books to explore together. If you are thinking about PACES PAideia, are currently on the fence, or have ANY questions at all about the program specifics, please message me. I would love to help CHEER you ON this year!!!

We are stronger together!!!

Visit http://www.pacesinfo.org  for more information on this program if you live in the Greater Houston area.

The Unexpected Journey

I was at this wedding 26 years ago. Stacey was my role model. My neighbor growing up, my “big sister”. She is a model of grace and dignity and I am so blessed to call her friend. Take a moment to read this beautifully transparent post and be blessed TODAY. Thank you Lord that you hold tomorrow in the palm of your hands.

The Rusty Coop

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Right now, exactly 26 years ago, I was sitting in the bridal room at Sagemont Church waiting to be wed to my best friend whom I had dated for over ten years. We had done everything “right”. We had followed all of “the rules” of dating in a Baptist church and upbringing. We had planned an amazing future together that would be made easier by our amazing families, friends, college degrees from Texas A&M University, and lifelong planning for our futures.
There was literally nothing I would have changed about that moment in time. We celebrated our wedding day with 450 guests, family members, and friends. We had been extremely blessed for our entire lives leading up to that moment.  I am thankful that I did not know what the future held for me on that day. I was able to bask in God’s abundant blessings on that day. There…

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