Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Birth or Not

Abortion has been a subject of debate for many years. Personally, I am 100% AGAINST abortion as I think that it is murder of a child. Many people argue that until a child is born, there is not life. I believe that from conception, there is life. Recently, I was made aware of a couple who are letting people vote on whether or not they should keep their child or have an abortion. I'm still not certain if this is legit or if it's just a desperate cry for attention. If it is legit, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of. This couple has set up a website called Birth or Not and has a live poll which people can vote whether to keep or abort their child. They have named the child Wiggles and routinely post ultrasound pictures of the baby. They are currently 17 weeks pregnant. They are planning to keep the poll active until two days before the last day they are legally allowed to abort. They have devalued and made a mockery of this unborn child's life. It makes me very upset to see these two very selfish and unfit parents play around with life. My hope is that this child is born healthy and that he or she is given up for adoption to a loving family. There are so many people who are unable to have children and would welcome a child into their lives. I believe that every child is a blessing and a gift.

From personal experience, I understand the anxiety an unplanned pregnancy can bring. I was only 18 when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was young, naive, and scared. I wasn't sure right away if I was ready to become a parent but I knew that there was life inside of me and that was not for me to take away. I chose to raise my child and am so glad that I made that choice as he is a blessing.

If anyone is reading this and is pregnant and not ready to be a parent, there are options. Adoption is a wonderful opportunity to let your child live a happy and blessed life. Just because you are not ready to become a parent does not mean that your child is not ready to live. Do right by your children. There are adoption agencies all over the country and pro-life pregnancy centers that can help you through this process.

Please remember that children are a gift from God and although you may not have planned for them, they are a part of HIS plan.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Homeschooling: A Parent's Choice

Homeschooling is a widely popular form of education for millions of children all over the country. According to USA Today in 2007 an estimated 1.5 million children are homeschooled rather than go to traditional public and private schools which is a 1.7% increase since 1999. Today, homeschooling is becoming a more common and accepted method of teaching than it was several years ago. I was a homeschooled child for several years during my childhood and although I thoroughly enjoyed it, there was definitely negative viewpoints from others. Back then, most of the criticism that was received was people's lack of information. Many people would jump to conclusions and decide that since it wasn't a traditional school it wasn't a 'real' form of education. If someone were to ask you "Why aren't you in school?" and you replied "I'm homeschooled" you generally got the look and comment "Oh, you're one of THOSE kids." Thankfully, today people are much more educated and informed that homeschooling is a personal choice but that children are held to the same standards as children in traditional schools.

Every state has their own laws regarding homeschooling and I am no expert by any means but in Virginia it is a rather simple process to begin homeschooling your child.Parents have a variety of reasons why they decide to homeschool rather than go with traditional schools. Some reasons include a desire to be more involved with their children's education, while others want more freedom to decide what their child will be taught. Many parents find that homeschooling is an ideal choice for them as it lets them have more control over the topics that their children are learning and their child can learn at their own pace.

This will be our first year homeschooling our children so we are learning as we go. We have three children, two of which are school-aged, Tyler who is entering third grade and Benjamin who is entering first grade. In Virginia, we had to file a letter of intent with our local school board and then submit a summary of the curriculum we would be using for each child. It was relatively easy, and we were approved right away! In the Hampton Roads area I have found a great homeschooling store that sells homeschooling curriculum and other resources. Moore Expressions Inc. in Virginia Beach has proved to be a wonderful place to buy all the textbooks and activities that we need, plus they have tons of information on different activities for homeschooled children such as field trips, sports, co-ops, and even support groups. Moore Expressions also purchases textbooks so at the end of the year you can bring your books in and receive credit to the purchase of new items. One of the best resources that I have found is the Home Educators Association of Virginia or HEAV for short. Their website is a wealth of information from everything to Virginia law concerning homeschooling to state testing, upcoming events, support, and even an online store. Another great online resource is The Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. They offer many articles concerning homeschooling and have information on upcoming homeschooling conferences in your area.

If you decide that homeschooling may be right for your family I urge you to look up homeschooling co-ops and support groups in your area. Chances are your community is made up with many homeschooling families that will embrace you and help you on your journey!

Be sure to check back on my blog to get updates on how we are doing our first year of homeschooling and find new things that might work out for you!

Happy Learning!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tax Free Holidays

It's that time of year again! Children everywhere are groaning while their parents are giddy with excitement! Back to school time! With the upcoming school year quickly approaching it's time to get out there and find those deals. If your kids are anything like mine, it seems that they have outgrown all their school clothes from the previous year and have no problem letting you know exactly what shoes and clothes are "totally awesome" as my eight year old puts it. With two school aged boys in the house keeping up with everything totally awesome can get pretty pricey quickly. In addition to finding them new clothes through swap meets I encourage parents to take advantage of the Tax Free Weekend. Virginia has several tax free holidays that consumers can take advantage of. Back to school tax free shopping begins today August 6th and runs until August 8th. Most every store is taking part in this tax free holiday and it applies to most all school supplies as well as clothing and shoes. You can check with your stores ads to see which items are included. Each individual school supply item must be $20 or less and clothing must be $100 or less. This can save you a good deal however you must be prepared to spend some time in lines. Every other parent out there is going to be hunting the same deals as you are, so patience is key!

Virginia also has other tax free weekends throughout the year that could save you money on things that you may all ready be planning to purchase. This past May 25th through May 31st was Hurricane and Emergency Preparedness Equipment Tax Free Week. This tax free week includes emergency equipment such as first aid kits, flashlights, weather radios and even generators. I realize that this tax free week has all ready passed but it will be definitely something to keep an eye out for next year.

If you are looking to purchase new energy appliances be sure to hold off until October 8th through October 11th. Appliances must meet the Energy Star and Water Sense qualifications and must be $2500 or less. Keep an eye out in your local home improvement stores circular ads for additional information on which makes/models are included.

Again, with tax free holidays there are bound to be longer wait times at your local stores but if you looking to keep some extra cash in your pocket take advantage of your tax free days!

For further information on all your 2010 tax free holidays be sure to check out the Virginia Government Homepage.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, July 23, 2010

If it's free it's for me!

If you are like me, you are always looking for great deals and cost cutting methods. Scouring through ads, cutting coupons, finding all the best sales....sound familiar? In today's economy many families are having to cut costs wherever they can to keep finances in order. So if you are a fashionista turned recessionista, here are some great ways to still get great looks for low cost or FREE! Swap meets are becoming increasingly popular among friends and communities as a way of recycling unwanted items for something new. If there are no local swap meets in your area, you can still get a group of friends together and have your own. Let's say you want to have a clothing swap. Invite your friends and have each person bring five articles of clothing or accessories that they no longer want that they are willing to swap out. Add some wine and you now have the makings of a great girl's night where you can score some new looks!

Other ways to start swapping are online swapping sites. There are many swapping sites popping up lately that can save you alot of money. One of my personal favorites is Swaptree. Swaptree is a great site that I have been using for about a year and a half now that lets you swap books, DVDs, video games, and Cd's. I increased my family's DVD collection just by swapping books that I got for free off of craigslist! Swaptree is especially useful if you have children because you can swap out their books and movies for more age appropriate things. This can save you alot of money and time.

If you are looking to swap clothes and accessories, be sure to try out Dig 'N' Swap. Dig'N'Swap is a great online swap site where you can list the items that you have that you no longer want and trade them with users all over the country. Their site is very user friendly and they carry a wide range of brands ranging from Old Navy, BeBe, Hollister, and even high end designers such as Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton. Other sites that are similar to this are Rehash, Zwaggle, and if you are looking for primarily baby items try out Swap Baby Goods.

If you have found other great swapping sites that are not listed feel free to let me know, I'd love to hear your feedback!

Happy Swapping!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Obama: Teaching Sex Education to Kindergartners

First off let me be clear, I didn't write this so I'm not taking any credit for this work. It was written by Anthony M. Davis who is my father and can be found on his website I just found out about this new teaching plan of starting sex education in our schools to kids as young as kindergarten and think that is absolutely disturbing! I think that this first of all needs to be up to the parent of when they are going to have this "talk" with their child not up to the schools and definitley not in a kindergarten level. Parenting decisons need to be left up to parents! Please follow the link and read about this disturbing new trend and be sure to share with others. I have small children and I don't want them exposed to this until I feel that they are ready for it and can understand it. We have to protect our children! Again, I don't take any writing credit for anything posted on the homeland security group webpage, I'm just passing it on so you can be informed!

Obama: Teaching Sex Education to Kindergartners

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Topsail, North Carolina

Well it's that time again--summer vacation! The weather is hot and the kids are out of school and if they're anything like my kids, they are bored and looking at you Mom's and Dad's to keep them busy! Like most families summer vacations mean heading to overpopulated, littered, and hectic beaches. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and a time to unwind, not another stress! My family loves the beach but finds that many beaches in our area are just way too crowded for us since we have small children.

We happened to find the perfect beach spot a few years ago that embraces what vacations are supposed to be about. Topsail Island in North Carolina is the beach to go to if you are looking for a great beach experience without the crowds of people and miles of littered shoreline. Topsail Island is a 26 mile barrier island that has three small towns in it; Surf City, North Topsail Beach, and Topsail Beach. The island has plenty of accommodations for every lifestyle ranging from campgrounds, vacation rentals, motels, even a bed and breakfast. There is plenty of breathing room when you head to the shore.

My family spent almost every day of our vacation in the sand and surf and the nearest families were a good 30-50 feet away on either side so you don't feel like you are in someone else's lap the whole day. If you want to take a break from the beach there are plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family.

On Topsail Beach if you are looking for something educational but still fun for everyone be sure to check out the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Here you can meet some of their "patients" and learn how they are fighting the extinction of a great species. Also, when you go home you can go to their website and keep track of how your favorite turtle patient is doing as they constantly update their website with news on how they are recovering. Also another neat feature is turtle tracking. Some of their released turtles are outfitted with satellite transmitters and through the website you can see everywhere your turtle has been. It's a great place to visit and you can still be involved from home!

Other great activities for any age are the Battleship North Carolina located in Wilmington, Ecological Marine Adventures, Surf City Ocean Pier, and The Belle Of Topsail just to name a few. So no matter what type of vacation you are looking for whether it be relaxing or action packed Topsail Island is the place to be this summer!

Happy Travels!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Welcome to my blog! I decided to start writing a blog to share my experiences with others. I'm a wife and a mother to three amazing children. Reading my blog you will get a glimpse into my life and share the ups and downs of married life, raising children, and even follow along with us as we travel! My family is known for having the travel bug! We love to go new places and experience new things. Sometimes it's just a day trip, a weekend getaway, or even a vacation, but wherever we end up you can find out all the best places to see, eat, and shop!

I look forward to sharing our adventures with you!

Happy Reading!