caption - title

The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blooms in our yard and "Bloom" - A useful new homeschool course

There have been a lot of things blooming and growing around here this summer - in spite of the lack of rain.  Thus far, our garden has produced several varieties of greens for salads and potatoes and green beans.  Picking the green beans has been keeping Frank, Hunter, and Tabby busy lately.

Solomon loves to help snap the beans.  He's found they snap best when he wears his serious, focused look:

A few days ago, this lily bloomed - I think it is called "little business daylily":

Things that bloom and grow are exciting.  I love watching for buds to open.  Our crepe myrtle trees are getting tiny buds on them.  I love the explosion of flowers with they finally open.

People can bloom too, can't they?  After proper nourishment and enrichment, we can grow and change for the better.

"Those who are planted in the house of the LORD, Shall flourish in the courts of our God." - Psalm 92:13

Last year I shared about a homeschool book I had read that was very helpful to me:  Plan to be Flexible by Alicia Kazsuk.  (You can read my review here.)  Since then, I have gotten to know Alicia some online.  Earlier this year, she asked me to be one of a very small group to help test out a new homeschool video course she has created.  I'm so thankful I didn't pass up the opportunity!

The course I took is:  "Bloom: A Journey to Joy (and Sanity) for Homeschool Moms."  It is a seven part course.  Each part is approximately 20 minutes long and is a pre-recorded training video done "power point" style.  I've never take a class like that and found the style very helpful as it was easy to pause and helpful to see Alicia's notes on the highlights as she talked.

Some of my echinecea (coneflower) in bloom
My very favorite part of the course were the seven corresponding "At-Home Discovery Packets."   There was a packet for each online class which consists of key concepts, a blank page for webinar notes, thoughts to consider, various worksheets, and a related story from Alicia's life.  I can not tell you how much the exercises and worksheets in particular helped me.  I often spend my days in a rush just dealing with whatever is happening currently.  But these worksheets helped me really focus and mentally work through things.  Just writing stuff out can help us see things more clearly!  Some of the worksheets were even helpful for other people in my family.  I liked how on the "exercise" pages, Alicia listed out steps on the topic and gave examples.  Then there would be a space for working through it on our own.

For example, an exercise called "Encouraging Inspiration Over Comparison" gives 5 steps to implementing new thoughts or ideas into our homeschooling.  Then there is a chart with an example of what that looks like.  Then there is a space for the person taking the course to try it.  The methodology was just so useful to force me to stop and clearly think through things.

All my packets are now in a binder and live next to my homeschool planner.  I know I'll be referring back to them again and again.

lilies in Lilly's memorial garden
Here is a listing of the seven parts in the Bloom course:

1) The big fat lies (and the truths that set us free)
2) Firm foundations: building rhythm around daily pillars
3) Steps to simple (and rest-filled) days
4) Homeschooling joy-stealers: Part 1: The perfectionist vice
5) Homeschooling joy stealers: Part 2: The comparison leech
6) Homeschooling joy-stealers: Part 3: The anger monster
7) The path to perennial (not annual) joy

Alicia has a lot more details on her last blogpost, which you can read here:   Note that the course will be officially released later this month.  And the cost is just under $100.  Check out Alicia's post - the "Lisa" in it is me.  :)  I will post when the course is actually released so you can sign up if interested.  

"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." - Psalm 92:12

Here's one more picture of Lilly's garden.  Solomon likes sitting by it.  There are some new blooms that will open soon.  They are called "eyeliner lilies" and are supposed to be white with a black outline around the petals.  I planted them this spring and am looking forward to seeing what they look like.

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase." - 1 Corinthians 3:6-7


  1. Love seeing the family and the flowers... Precious. Looking forward to the "Bloom" Course. I think Tracy would enjoy it! Dylan will be the 3rd grade and Madison will start Pre-K in the Fall. I like that you are in "the know" about so many things concerning Homeschooling! Keep sharing! Love you!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement Sandra! There's so so much I don't know about homeschooling of course. But it's nice to be able to share the better tips as I learn them. :)