"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them..." Psm 127

Sunday, April 28, 2013

High School

Kaitlin is graduating in June, as I said last post. Robin and I went to Office Depot Saturday and got the announcements printed and trimmed. They are now in envelopes ready for the Post Office. It's great having a large family where we can get together and use our creative/non-creative skills to get a project done. Nothing is any more fun than working on a project with one of my kids! Well, unless its cleaning or painting. That's not really fun.

Friday, April 26, 2013


The only thing that stays the same is God. :)  So many changes in our lives already this year.  We have two graduates this year, two graduations.  Kimberly is graduating from Tarleton State University and Kaitlin is graduating from high school.  

I don't have Kaitlin's Senior Pictures yet because she is photoshopping all of them first.  We did a joint picture taking weekend session.  Kimberly took pictures of Kaitlin and Kaitlin took pictures of Kimberly.  The graduation announcements are done by sister, Robin (Kaitlins's still in progress, obviously). Not a bad deal.  We just had to pay for the hotel to stay in Stephenville and printing. And we get some very AWESOME graduation announcements!!  :)  
Great shot!  Kim's idea, Kaitlin's camera work. :)

Congratulations on a job well done, Kimmi!

Future High School MATH Teacher!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Words

Today I was searching for ideas for my new word for the new year. I found:


This was a very helpful article and it gave me some ideas how to get the whole family involved. Some of our kids are sick today so we will work on this later in the week.

For my personal word, I am thinking "follow". Follow wherever it is Christ leads me to go. Through trials, through relationships and in ministry opportunities.


Today we start a new journey-wheat free. It will be a slower process for the 12 year old but basically we are going to eat healthier than 2012. We did better last year but got lazy toward the end of the year. I'm hoping it will help my husband's health issues and help me have more energy and lose weight. I plan to blog as we travel this road.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 has ended

We had a great year with many changes! I started a full time job for the first time in 21 years! Our youngest started public school this year after much prayer. I have been a homeschool mom for 15 years to six children, so my whole identity seems to have changed. Of course, my identity is really wrapped up in who I am in Christ, so it hasn't actually changed at all. I have had to learn how to be under the authority of a boss again-weird. And learn how to be a manager of others who aren't my children-weirder. Time management has been my biggest challenge. As a mom of two grown children, two college students and two at home teenagers and a wife of 32 years I am trying to figure it out. I am going to start blogging in 2013 as I pick up techniques I find that are useful. It is so different than when I was a SAHM with babies, preschoolers & homeschoolers (and all of those at once!). Honestly. I love being home! I also am thankful that this job came along so I can help our family financially. It's not something I "have" to do but it will help us meet some debt-free goals a little sooner.

I am also going to blog about our attempt to go "wheat-free." I'm hoping it will help with some health issues and just with overall health improvement! This could prove to be very trying with my time management challenges.

Maybe by blogging I can help someone else going through the same thing-but probably it will just help me to keep my perspective.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Picture Day

We planned our family photo during Thanksgiving when we would all be together.  Since we went to Dallas this year we asked Jamie's friend Andrea to take our picture.  Since she was doing a "Christmas Card Mini Session" special we took total advantage and Andrea was kind enough to accommodate us on a different day than her special and on the day after Thanksgiving!  At least we took the picture in her neighborhood...that makes me feel better somehow.  The park was perfect!  Even though it was very windy and a little chilly, everyone did great - especially the babies.

The Parker Family + Additions
Mom and Dad with their original 6

The Sijansky Family
The Ingram Family (Newlyweds)

Dad and his boys

The girls

Papa and  Grammie  with Jack and Jace

Greg and Kelly

We love the pictures and I think they made some nice Christmas cards.  If you are in the Dallas area I would totally recommend Crosswhite Photography!  Andrea really does a great job.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Funniest thing ever.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Vintage Wedding

Robin, our second oldest, was married last week.  Wow, how time flies.  This has been such an eventful year:  Jonathan graduated high school and started college; Jamie and Adam had their second child, Jace; and Robin had the most beautiful wedding with most everything hand-made by her and/or her sweet guy, Ryan.  

Photo by Erica Garza
Keepsake Images Photography
Center pieces included old vintage books, milk glass with votive candles, and terrariums.  Each place setting included a menu printed on doilies (not an easy task) 
and tea cup and saucer with succulents planted inside them.  The "place cards" were antique silver spoons flattened (by Ryan) and stamped (by Ryan) with each individual's name on them, which also served as a special thank you for each guest.  Let's also not forget the table numbers that Robin embroidered for each table....cut and painted by Ryan and Dad and put together by Kimberly and Kaitlin.  Robin even made the perfect wrist corsages for the moms and grandmothers!

The "programs" were so sweet.  They were really just the names of the wedding party.  Each neatly placed in a folded vintage hankie.  The girls at Robin's office have a monthly craft night.  They chose September to be their Robin and Ryan Wedding craft night. What sweet and thoughtful friends they have!  They tied ribbons while Robin ironed each hankie.  

For the seating chart, so everyone would know where to sit, :)  Robin found an old window at a flea market for $10.00.  It had 16 squares, PERFECT.  She used a white grease pencil and wrote the table numbers and names on each one.  (inspired by project found on Pinterest!)

Instead of just having a wedding cake, which was beautiful as well as delicious, we also made (Robin, Jamie, Adam, Jane-Adam's mom, and me) 6 different bundt cakes to add to the vintage theme. Flavors, of course, were found on Pinterest...except for my already existing Pillsbury Orange Delight Pound Cake recipe. We made the following flavors:  Snickerdoodle (Dad's favorite), Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Blueberry Lime, Orange Delight, and Pink Lemonade.
(Aw, Robin bought little easels that day and we somehow missed putting the chalkboards on them.  Oh, well.....)

For the "going away" Robin and Ryan made, well, I don't know what to call them....they are made of painted dowel sticks (by Ryan) and attached to the top of each one is ribbon and a torn strip of vintage style fabric, topped with a little bell.  (again inspired by Pinterest) 

There was a vintage looking bird cage for cards to be placed and an old suitcase with, of course, old postcards for guests to write their well-wishes for the happy couple.  Other details included: a sign hung in the archway, a pillows with appliqued silhouettes of themselves placed on a bench, mason jars filled with the extra flowers and bunches of baby's breath and ribbon on the chairs located on the aisle. Also, Robin made bunting for several of the serving tables and for the chairs belonging to the bride and groom.  Candy sticks and paper straws for the bottle sodas added some more vintage feel to the reception.

We had so many people helping behind the scenes!  Valerie Moss finished the bridesmaids' bouquets...Robin did her own, along with all the boutonnieres, but just ran out of time for the others.  Meredith DeFrees and Sarah Sijansky oversaw all the reception details.  Wow.  And the aunts were there doing whatever was needed! 

Jackson was the cutest little ring-bearer ever.  He held the rings on a Bible that once belonged to Pawpaw Parker and handed down to Dad.  Was a little  family treasure which added a special sentiment to the ceremony.

Of course the bride was beautiful...our little girl all grown up.
The venue was the Winfield Inn in Kyle, Texas, just south of Austin.  Simply beautiful. 

 I would like to add that the photographer did a wonderful job, as well. Erica even did a last minute hair-do before the reception.  Nice!  I'm putting a couple of her pictures on my blog, but you can check out her facebook!
Photo by Erica Garza
Keepsake Images Photography

Photo by Erica Garza
Keepsake Images Photography

Monday, August 22, 2011

Six Arrows Homeschool Week 2; Day 1

Ryan, 10 years old, 6th grade


Ryan began his day learning Ephesians 6: 13-14 and reviewed last week's verses 11-12.  He will learn two verses a week until he has learned 11-29 of chapter 6.

Bible:  Old Testament Made Simple by  Melton Short.  We did this study at Rainbow Hills Baptist more than 12 years ago.  I used the books and copies of handouts to teach my
older kids when I homeschooled them about 6 years ago.  Today we reviewed the map of the Fertile Crescent.  We added some locations:  Mt. Sinai, Moab, Jordan River, Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, Haran and the estimated location of Eden to the locations we learned last week (Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Egypt, Persian Gulf, the Desert, Ur and Israel).  We are going to learn the 7 Major Moves of the People of the Old Testament these next couple of weeks.  Great study! 
I have been working to improve my writing and reading curriculum. I used to only use ABeka for Reading, but we are weak in things like Characterization, Plots, Summaries, etc. My oldest daughter who teaches 3rd grade has convinced me to look for some alternate sources to supplement.  After talking to her on what I need to be looking for I searched the internet and came up with some ideas. 

Reading:  I've found the website www.readwritethink.org to be very helpful!  Today we discussed three ways we comprehend our reading. Our lesson was to "Define and understand the three types of connections (i.e., text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world)".  We used the suggested reading of Harvesting Hope:  The Story of Cesar Chavez.We will use this text for the whole week.  Today we read the first 4 pages together.  I demonstrated how to use the "Double-Entry Journal" page to record the idea from the text and then how to write our reaction using one of the connections listed above.  I used the two examples given in the instruction plan of the website and then we worked together on the next two pages.  Ryan will continue doing the same thing for the next few days. 

Writing:  I checked a book out of my public library called, Teaching Creative Writing.
I think I may buy this on Amazon.com.  Today I reviewed with Ryan on how to make writing more interesting by using adverbs and adjectives.  Most of these exercises in Reading and Writing are to be done in groups.  We have to alter them, of course.  I'm part of the group, yet not.  The lesson today was to act out some adjective phrases from a list given in the book.  I typed up a chart similar to what was in the book and chose a few for Ryan to role-play for me, such as "old man", "upset baby", "lonely teddy bear", "stalled car", and "obedient dog." (I guess I could have acted out a few, but I'm the teacher so if I don't want to, I don't have to . *grin* )  Then we used a list of adverbs and added it to some of the list of adjectives and came up with some interesting sentences (ex: The hungry boy was unhappily sweeping the floor.)  This assignment was totally a review for Ryan, but since he didn't actually have to write anything with his pencil, he liked it.  

We are doing ABeka for Language.  I like this curriculum, because it is very strong in Grammar.  The first few weeks will be a review from last year, and then we will be adding details to that the rest of the year.  Last we just reviewed Subject and Predicates and how to diagram the Subject and Verb.  Today we reviewed Compound Subjects and Compound Verbs and also practiced diagramming sentences that had one or both of those. Sometimes Ryan complains a little about diagramming since he has to get out another piece of paper, but it's amazing how quickly he can spot the subject and verbs when he puts it on a diagram.  He may make a mistake when he is just underlining the subject/verb in the sentence, especially when they are not together in the sentence, but realizes the mistake as soon as he attempts to diagram.  It forces him to look at the relationship between the subject and the verb.  "Does this make sense?"  "Am I really reading the sentence, or did I just pick a noun and not consider if it was the subject or not?"

Spelling: List 2; Math:  Reviewing basics

ABeka:  Today we learned about spiders.  We studied insects and some of the different orders of insects last week.  Today we talked about some of the differences between spiders and insects.  There are more differences than the obvious number of legs and number of body parts!  Today for homework Ryan will read about Jonathan Edwards who you may not know wrote an essay "about ballooning spiders which revealed a keen observation of these tiny creatures."  He also wrote about colors and the rainbow.  Maybe he would have been a scientist if God had not called him to be a minister of the gospel.  Also, Ryan will read about how to observe a garden spider.  We live on several acres, so usually spiders are not hard to find. Ryan also will be writing on his Science Journal anything he wants about what he learned today (I set up a Journal for him in Microsoft Groove)   Experiment:  Find a spider web (mornings are the best time, when there is still dew on the ground and on the web) and lightly spray both sides of it with white spray paint (use with supervision!).  When both sides are painted, carefully place a piece of black paper on the web.  Two people should hold the paper both pushing the edge and middle of the paper against the web so that the stands will hit the paper at the same time.  Use scissors to cut the threads that anchor the web to branches and leaves.  Carry web inside and lay it flat until the painted silk has dried.  You can spray the paper with some plastic spray if you want to preserve it for a collection.  Add to the collection by finding different kinds of webs!  We will try this experiment tomorrow if we can find a nice web.  There is no dew right now, so it may not work....  I will post a picture if we are successful! 

ABeka:  For our Geography, we reviewed the Western Hemisphere: rivers, mountains, bays, lakes, deserts and peninsulas. We are learning only about 5 in each category. Ryan is learning part of the American Creed. We began talking today about Native Indians who migrated to North American from the Old World.  Last week we briefly discussed the Aztecs, Mayas and Incas.  Today the focus is on the history of Native Americans.  For homework he will read North American Indians, by Marie and Douglas Gorsline.  Then he will write one to two paragraphs in his journal (also in Microsoft Groove).

I made a grade book this weekend that I think will meet my needs as a teacher of one.  I wanted to be able to easily track his grades, while at the same time keeping up with averages without all the calculations!  Using Excel, I designed my grade book, with formulas, so hopefully this will make my life easier.  If you would like to try this grade book for yourself, I would be glad to e-mail you the file.