Teaching Her.


Our decision to start homeschooling Shiloh wasn’t necessarily because of a public vs. homeschool education, although we do have our opinions on that.  It was more due to the fact that she was ready to learn and yet, wasn’t old enough to begin Kindergarten at any of the local schools.  She was ready, and we figured we would give her a chance to ‘do school’ at home and that way she would (1) be able to fulfill her desire to learn and (2) we could give homeschooling a try to see if it was something that could work for our family.

IMG_7414IMG_7445Turns out we LOVE it.  We chose this curriculum, thanks to several family and friends recommendations.  Initially I thought that with Shiloh only being 4 years old, we would have to omit some of the lessons that were too advanced for her age.  But it turns out that so far, we haven’t omitted a single thing.  Granted we are only 10 weeks in, but I really don’t think we will have to skip anything.  She loves it.  The curriculum pairs a letter of the alphabet with something that God has made in the world, and then a characteristic of God.  Mix that with the phonics, math concepts, science studies, and reading lessons and she ends up getting a great week of learning.  For instance we just completed W-week… which we learned about W-w-water, that Jesus gives our spirits living water to drink, and we studied the three phases of water: liquid, solid, and gas.  Each week builds upon the previous for phonics and blending letter sounds to eventually reading simple words.


IMG_9842The best part is that she has so much fun.  I do too.  It really is my favorite part of the day.  Really!  No lies.  I adore seeing her eyes light up when I tell her to get her school stuff out and that its time to start.  I love hearing her voice sing the little songs we learn.  I love watching her brain think as she sounds out words.  And I love getting messy with her as we make a craft or do a little science project.  Capri usually tags along, which is chaotic, but extremely fun also.  Leilani is nice to us and usually is still sleeping or taking her morning nap.  Sometimes we are still in our jammies.  Sometimes my kitchen table and counter tops are covered in papers, scissors, glue, paint, and crayons.  Sometimes we ‘do school’ for 2 hours, and some days we are having so much fun, we keep going until lunchtime.  I have heard from other homeschooling moms who talk about how sweet it is to teach their kids, and I get it.  There is something very precious about the time I get to spend with Shiloh.  Its a great fit for our family right now.  I am thankful to have this opportunity and I am excited to start back up after our Christmas break.


December 15, 2014 - 1:35 pm

Tyler Dean - Mannnn this made me miss y’all sooooo much! I think it means that it’s time for “Tiger” to come visit! :-)

And then we became five… {Leilani Cruz’s birth}

Be prepared to see a lot of photo-cuteness.

Sweet Leilani Cruz decided to make her arrival on Wednesday, August 13th.  After having a pre-term labor scare at 29 weeks, I was thrilled to make it to full term with her.  The week leading up to her birth, I had been experiencing early labor symptoms each evening and into the night.  No fun!  The morning of her birth, the girls helped water our newly planted landscaping with Daddy.  I knew at this time she was coming, but I wanted to wait as long as I could before going into the birthing center.

IMG_6407By 4pm my doctor’s office told me to come on in, but I was still taking my sweet time.  We were even planning on making a few stops in town to pick up some snacks before driving to the hospital.  However while in the car, my contractions picked up big time.  We skipped the snacks and went directly to get checked in.  When checking in I knew this would happen fairly quickly.  4 hours from arriving at the hospital, Leilani was in our arms.  Brandon once again helped deliver her, just like he did with Capri.  She came out calmly and quietly.  The nurses even said it was one of the most peaceful and beautiful births they had attended.

IMG_6414IMG_6497We spent less than 24 hours at the hospital and during that time, we had the girls come visit.  Shiloh and Capri were both really happy to have ‘their baby out’ and be able to hold her.  They are great big sisters.  At home, we have been enjoying time with our precious new girl.  Lots of holding her, lots of kisses, and lots of snuggles.  She really does complete our family!



Easter and a Birthday

C’mon, its not too late to post Easter pics right?  Blame it on our internet situation…


IMG_5878IMG_5879IMG_5880IMG_5881And then little Miss Shiloh turned FOUR!  Stop growing up please.


IMG_5875She had a lot of fun enjoying her new gifts, and Capri of course shared in the fun of new toys, games, and boots.

On her ‘actual’ birthday, we enjoyed a nice walk with our cousins and then Shiloh got a treat from Dutch Bros.

Its crazy how fast children grow because I already feel like the girls look so different and this was only 3 months ago!

From Fear to Hope

Last weekend my family experienced a frightful and very unexpected emergency.  No worries, we are all fine now.  But last weekend I woke up in the wee hours of the morning from painful contractions.  My body had begun going into labor.  I was 29 weeks.  At first it was terrifying.  I was awake and battling the pain alone.  Then Brandon and I were rushing 30 miles into town to get to the hospital’s birthing center as fast as we could.  Between the agonizing pain and words such as “dilating”, “preterm labor”, “NICU”, “c-section”, “airlifted”, and “ambulance” my heart was pounding and my mind was spinning.  It felt like it was all happening so fast.  Before I knew it I was being poked at, tested, monitored, examined, and then told I would be airlifted to another hospital capable of caring for an infant born at 29 weeks gestation.  I was trembling and crying.  Then I was whisked away, strapped onto a gurney, and being loaded in the back of an ambulance.  I watched Brandon wave goodbye to me as he held my belongings outside the hospital.

As I was being transported to the airport and then flying to the hospital, I realized how great the EMT’s were.  I could have given birth right there on that tiny airplane and know without a doubt they would have been able to take great care of me and Leilani.  Thankfulness and humility came over me.  We had over 8 nurses and doctors tending to us at the hospital in Klamath.  Then 4 EMT’s and an EMT pilot dropping everything to make sure I made it safely to the hospital in Medford.  And again at the hospital in Medford we had 4 nurses and 2 doctors caring for us.  These people are trained and give their time to their jobs, and their job that day was to keep me pregnant.  All these pieces of a puzzle coming together to help me.  We even bumped into some familiar faces and family of some friends.  Little blessings in the midst of the storm.

After much medication, monitoring, and more testing, my contractions slowed down and labor was stopped.  I began to feel hope.  Nothing else mattered except the fact that I would be able to stay pregnant and Leilani would be able to continue to grow safely inside.  Although the doctors still have no idea why this whole thing began, they gave me hope that with caution and lots of care, I could make it to full term.

Its been a week and facing that terrifying experience has given me a new perspective.  When the sky is falling in my household, dinner is burning, kiddos are whining, and I haven’t had a moment of silence all day long, well…. at least I am still pregnant.  God’s grace and mercy is bigger than my daily struggles.  I am reminded to take life day by day, and to trust in the Lord.


Photo Roundup

Get ready for a lot of photos… But who doesn’t like photos?

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May 1, 2014 - 1:02 pm

alex - BEAUTIFUL pictures!
Thank you for sharing. I have been inpsired to share my journey with Huntington’s disease.
I would be honored if you would follow as I share my heart and story.