Homeschooling: My Take on Socialization

The main thing that comes up when I mention homeschooling.

It's kind of funny because socialization is one of the main reasons I do NOT want my children in school. They would be picking up the bad habits and traits that we do not want them to have in the first place. 
Like I said before the "normal" for children in the US in not okay with me. The bullying, the lying, the cursing, the disrespectfulness...the list could go on and on. It is just sick. I do not want my kids to be a part of any of that mess. And yes, it is a mess

So, yes socializing like the normal school child will not happen. And I am okay with that.
Socializing in a controlled setting will indeed happen with outside activities.My boys will be involved in whichever sports, music, extracurricular activity they choose. They will be with kids their age at all those practices and lessons. 

Sports will be huge for socializing with kids their ages. Sports were always my main location for friends and great bonding, so I know my kids will love everything about sports. Scouting is also a great place for them to learn how to work together, and also another place to learn how to do things on their own or in a group. Learning to become hands on and work on projects. 

I will also reach out to any other homeschooling families and find ways to get our kids together on lessons or day trips. We will not be alone on any of this journey. 

My kids will get a lot more outside socialization such as accompanying me on everyday trips such as the banks, groceries and normal day to day stuff. I will be able to use those simple errands as extra learning for the boys. They can help me in the grocery to get everything on the list. They can help me to add up the cost. There are so many lessons to be used in the grocery. Lots of hands on demonstartions will be at my finger tips on a simple trip to the store. The possibilities are endless for outside learning. 

My kids will not just be stuck inside with me staring at books all day. They will be out learning at every chance we get. Without the restriction of school times and school days we are free to do whatever we choose. If we want to visit my family mid week to learn about the amish, we can. If we want to go to the lake to learn about different species, we can. We can do whatever we want, whenever we want. 

I love the flexibility of it all. 

I firmly believe that children take after their parents as far as socialization goes, whether home schooled or public schooled. I am VERY outgoing and I can already see that in Vincent, he talks to EVERYONE. I think that as long as we push them to socialize, they will be social. I am not worried for a second.

Therefore, when people mention that my children will not be social, I just laugh!

My best advice if you are considering taking the leap to home schooling is do what you feel is best for your family. If people are flooding you with advice, ignore it. 

This is YOUR family, YOUR kids and YOUR choice. 

If all else fails. I will just put these shirts on the boys!:) 
Warning! Homeschool Kid shirt

Quick Rant On Being a Momma.

I always want to write a post like this but it just always falls on the back burner.
That, or I get bombarded with things with the boys!
Being a mom is really tough.
I feel like I am CONSTANTLY judged and looked upon by others.

It's seriously 10 times worse than being in high school in my eyes.
I always feel judged and I hate it.

Am I doing the right thing for my boys?

Did I handle that situation perfect?
Are they eating the right things?
Why are people telling me to slow down on losing baby weight!?
Am I too anal about this or that?
I didn't use a wipe....did that mom see that!?
Does it really matter if my child is wearing shoes? Or is that lady just rude?
Why do people stare because I have 3 boys? Who cares if I have 3 kids?!
Should I have let my son have 3 suckers?!
Should I give my kids this or that? 
This mom does this...Should I?
Why are my kids not at the same stage as theirs?!
Am I green enough for so and so!?

Constant wondering and unneeded thinking and worrying are always going through my head.

I do not know if people are always judging me or if I just feel like they are?
It's probably just all in my head!? Or can you relate?

What I have learned in these past 4 years is that ALL those random thoughts and questions that you bounce around in your mind do not matter. I REPEAT. They do not matter.
::I have to remind myself this almost daily::

Who cares. Seriously. I am these boys mother and I know what works for us. 
Simple as that.
I am the mom. They are my kids. I know them better than anyone.
The same goes for you all.
You are the mom. They are your kids. You know them better than anyone else.

Let's stop the mom drama. Let's love eachother for who we are.
You may not do the same things as I do and that is fine. I still love you and respect you.
We all do what works best for our family at that given time.

We will never all be the same. THANK GOD.
How boring would that be? Our differences are good!

Trust your gut mamas. Don't let others pressure you to do something when it comes to parenting.
Be true to you. Be true to your kids and love life!

Being a mom is the best thing in the world.
Let's share in the joy and leave the drama at the door.
Who's with me?! 

Photography Update...

I posted back in June that I was going to bite the bullet and start doing photography for real.
I am in LOVE with everything about it.
I have had a ton of sessions thanks to amazing friends and family members.
I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the past 2 months. 
You may wonder why this little stud's shirt is off...He has the BIGGEST heart ever.
He is such a trooper and has had 4 open heart surgeries on his sweet heart. I love him! 

I am so glad that I took the plunge and went for it!
There are so many great things coming already and I cannot wait for all my future sessions.
If you guys wanna follow my work follow my facebook page! xoxo

Vlogity Vlog- What's Been Going On!

Just a quick overview of what has been going on here!
Easier to vlog than type!:) 

PS I mentioned that I am now on instagram...@alliedarr


Last Friday I was stunned when I woke up to the news of the mass shooting in Colorado.
I literally could not begin to even form complete thoughts about all of it...
Our neighbors kids had posted a pic the night before of them dressed up for the premiere...
I of course first thought of them and what if that would have been their theater.
It is so tragic and insanely sad for everyone involved. 

My next thoughts were...I will never go to a movie again...
Which is fitting since I probably have not been in 5 years. 
Well this makes my not wanting to go even stronger. 
The next few days after the news broke I was awkwardly watching my back and everywhere I went.
Obviously we have learned no where is safe. 

But then on Sunday, I was out running tons of errands with Jude.
I kept thinking of the what if's and literally my escape route if someone were to start shooting at the grocery store. I was seriously in line after putting my groceries on the belt and looked down to see a nice little hiding area under the conveyor belt.
I thought to myself THIS IS NUTS.
WHY am I thinking these things. WHY am I so terrified.

I had just encountered so many warm strangers around the grocery and mall that day, 
Why was I so terrified!? What is wrong with me!? 

On the drive home I thought to myself. 
I cannot live in fear. I cannot be scared to leave the house.
What I can do is be kind and nice to every person I encounter.
Whether it be the worker at the grocery when we joked about why the spinach container was half opened, "Clearly someone got hungry!" was my comment which made him laugh!
Or letting the random dad and his daughter know that the organic raspberries were the same price as regular when she went to grab some....HOLY BONUS!:) 
Or just smiling and saying hi to anyone I see.
That is how I am going to change things. To continue being nice and outgoing to people.
To treat others how I would like to be treated. 
I love when strangers are openly nice to me. 
It always puts a little pep in my step to see someone else who is happy.
To give me the drive to be as happy and nice as they are.
Well the choice is ours. We can choose to be that happy person.

Life is short, we learn that everyday from either a mass tragedy or a loved one passing.
I truly believe we are here on earth to make a difference.
To touch others with love and compassion.
To push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone.
To love everyone as if they were our own family, no matter how hard that may be.
To be kind and loving with everyone we encounter.
Obviously James Holmes had something wrong with him.
But I question WHAT IF. 
What if he had encountered a sweet kind soul a month prior or even days prior.
What if someone had stopped to ask how he was or just gave him a kind smile?

You never know what a small act of kindness can do?
In this case, we will never know. 

What happened is not fair! But we cannot live in fear. 
I challenge you, to offer warm smiles and talk to strangers. 
We can change lives and brighten peoples days, with just one smile or hello!

Home School Decision...

I have written this post in my head a million times. 
Mainly because every time I talk about it, I get bombarded with questions and advice.
More times than not that advice is against homeschooling.
That or they just give me the most horrified look ever.
Let's be serious here for a moment....
OH so true!
The new "normal" in society and schools is NOT what I want for my kids!
I love when parents say "Oh, well that is just normal" for kids to be being bad or cursing or I don't even want to think about it, but, being sexually active. "It's just normal"
Well I am sorry to burst your bubble all you "It's just normal" people.
It is not okay with me.
It is not okay for children and teens to be disrespectful, bullies and frankly little monsters.
It is not okay for our youth to be failing grades and our country to be so far behind in academics.
When in my eyes there is a better option.
I know, I know. I probably sound like a total jerk.
I was in schools and turned out fine. 
Many of us were, but now that I am in a position to do something different, I am all over it. 
Being a stay at home mom I feel I cannot do my job fully if I send them to school.
I fee like I would just be un-teaching bad habits and losing my parenting ground.
It is my job as these boys mother to form them whole.
That means academically, spiritually, every aspect of life that I can before they go out on their own.
Letting them go to school at age 5 is not okay with me. 
Vincent is so impressionable at age 3 and picks up on EVERYTHING, whether it is good or bad.
I want to be there every step of the way until he can make the right decisions on his own.
Trust me, at 5 years old he will not be capable of making the right choice.
He would do whatever everyone else did. 

Am I going to coddle and baby them? No.
I don't even do that as is. 
I am just going to be there. To help them to grow and learn. 

Do I think public schooling is bad? No.
Do I think private schooling is bad? No.

I just think that Jordan and I can do a better job to bring our kids up with Catholic values and a rich education. The education we want. Not the education the country sees fit. 

Do I think I am qualified to teach them? Yes.
My kids are my main focus in life. If I have to slave away all day and night to relearn something I have to teach them, I will. I will not fail in teaching my children their education. I sometimes think it is so funny because people say parents are not qualified to teach their kids and we need to leave it up to the "professionals" because we raise our kids to do EVERYTHING up until school without being a "professional" parent. It is just funny that they expect us to hand our kids over when they hit a certain age.

I am not arrogant enough to say that I will be perfect at teaching everything which is where my smart husband will fill in. :) If that does not work we will out source for additional help from a "professional" lol 

Did I always want to home school?
No, I had literally been excited for the days where I would be able to drop the kids off and go grocery shopping alone or maybe get a lunch date alone with Jordan. But it all changed when we visited a school last year.  It was the perfect school in my eyes. It was catholic, small and had amazing ratings. But when I walked in, I got an "off" feeling. The lady showing us around did not even mention their faith education until we mentioned we were Catholic, then she high tailed it on how "Catholic" the school was. I wasn't buying what she was selling. Sure, it was a great school and sure I know my kids would do amazing there but when it came down to it they would still not be getting the Catholic education we wanted. We would be paying thousands of dollars for something that was not perfect. 
So, we decided. Maybe home schooling is for us. 

We are still in the early stages of it since Vincent is only 3 but next year we plan on slowly starting. One of the best things is that my husbands job is in sales so we can travel with him to wherever we want to visit museums and educational places. Lots of field trips are at our fingertips! 

I just want the best for my kids and at this time home schooling is the best option for us. 
Is it for everyone? No.
Do I look down at anyone for putting their kids in school? Heck NO!
We all chose different paths in life and each path is fine. 
This is just the current path I am leaning towards.
Do I think I will home school forever?
I have no idea.
I know these first years I will and I plan through 6th grade at a minimum.

Also, this is huge. My kids will still be in sports and hanging out with friends.
I feel like everyone is always commenting on the socialization factor.
They will be just as social as the "normal" school child. 

I will post more on this later. 
I just wanted to get it off my chest on why we are choosing to home school.
I did not touch on every reason but those are the main ones.

If you have any resources for me, PLEASE pass them my way.
I have not chosen who to go with for curriculum or what to do yet so any advice would be great.

Swimming Safety...

I am a crazy person when it comes to kids and water....
It is probably because I had a near death experience at my grandmas pool as a child...
My own experience and reading my fair share of horror stories, I never want that to happen to my child...
Even if they are good swimmers it can still happen...
What I am talking about is drowning...
Drowing is the leading cause of death for kids ages 1-4...(1,000 kids die a year from it)
A common parent's worst fear...
(Or one of the many fears if you have a million like me)

Which is why I cringe when I know we are going somewhere with water near...
Jordan's dad lives on the lake where there is a beach and on the one side a place where they dock the boat.
The beach I am semi okay with, it's the falling off the edge near the boat that drives me nutzo.
I cannot tell you how many horrid images jump into my head when I think about it.
This is the edge that I am talking about. Ya. NOT COOL lol
Jordan was a swimmer in college and grew up in water so he is not as anal as I am...
But I always remind him that just because HE is a good swimmer does not mean our kids are safe.
Things happen so quickly that we have to be vigilant.
We are at the ranch this week and there is a lake. I have stressed about it for weeks.
Yesterday afternoon my sister in law was going to take Vincent down to the lake.
Jordan of course said it was fine then asked me and I said he can go but I will come.
Just in case.
I do not care if people think I am anal, I want to be there if my kids are in the water.
Especially if I was just going to be sitting in the cabin.
My kids are my main focus in life. If they are going swimming. SO AM I!:)
Here are a few tips that I have found to be helpful for all types of water.

1. Never leave your child unattended. Not even for a minute. Nothing is that IMPORTANT that you have to leave them in the water. I know I have ran out of the room quick just to grab a towel if it is just Vincent in the tub but I really try NOT to. If something needs you to tend to it, just take your child out of the water. You can resume later.
Check out Jude's little feet kicking away in his float!
2. Teach your child how to swim. Each time we are near water we try to teach them something new. Whether it be blowing bubbles or kicking their legs. Or what to do if they fall in or see someone fall in. Just some basics to help them know that water is not something to be crazy in and it is dangerous. Obviously once they get older they will get the hang of actual swimming but for now just the basics.
3. Be there. Be there every time they are in the water. Be focused on their every move. While the boys are in the lake this week I am a hawk. Sure I would love to just lay on the dock and work on my tan but when they are in the water my focus is fully them. I am in the water and within arms reach of them just in case. Seconds matter when I child goes under the water and I want to eliminate any seconds I can.

4. Life Jackets. A few weeks back there was a wedding at Jordan's dads house. My children wore life jackets the entire reception. It was a little intense but I wanted to be prepared just in case. They even ate dinner and played in those darn jackets. They say life jackets are the safest over water wings and all the other stuff.
5. If you have a pool. Have a fence around all 4 sides. One that children cannot get into. Also install the anti-entrapment drain covers. Have you ever read the horror stories about kids getting stuck in the drains. YA. Install those bad boys. EEEK! 

6. Always try to have a phone within reach. 

7. Learn CPR! I need a refresher course for sure, I learned in high school but I really need to get back into it since the boys are in love with playing in the water this summer. 
Be smart and be safe mommas. I know you are all probably a little insane around water like me and probably already know and do all of these but I just thought I would share since we have been surrounded by water all week and I must say after all the stresses aside I am having a blast! 

Happy swimming! 

Blogger 411 Link Up!!

How long have you been blogging? 
And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
2 1/2 years (I think). 
I started blogging to keep friends and family up to date and to have a nice place to write my thoughts and our life down. It has changed by the fact that I started with no followers and now have a lot more. haha
(Thanks so much guys for that!)
 I have made a TON of amazing friends and connections and I just love that my little blog brought me these things! I seriously would be lost without all of you! 
I got to meet up with my loves Becky and Kayla last week and it's all because of blogging! 

 I have also changed my blog name from Table for 3...Actually Make that 4 to Table for More (just in case we make more cuties!)  Which let's face it, is bound to happen!:) 

What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
Fakeness. People who are Uppity. Liars.

What is your favorite movie?
 I don't have just one.
Pretty Woman. Up. Center Stage. The Notebook. The Sweetest Thing. 

What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

Wine:) Something sweet like Moscato. 
I used to be the queen of Jager Bombs...but those days are past. 
I do love a good Amaretto Sour though. Yum! 
Shirley Temple is my fave drink when I was preggers!

What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
HOT SHOWER!:) or Grocery shopping alone! haha 

What day would you love to relive again?

Wedding Day
And each day the boys were born. Heavenly! 
All their birth stories are here if you are new!:) 

What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
High school I rocked working in an ice cream shop!:) haha loving the retro pic! 
College I worked for AmeriCheer teaching summer camps all over the US.
I was in the middle. I look mad haha maybe because of that ginormous bow on my head. 
I also worked lots of retail at Abercrombie and Fitch in college.

And coached tons of Gymnastics and Cheerleading classes and clinics.

If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
They would have to be a mom in real life. 
You just can't pretend to know what it's really like haha
I would say a mom with a few kids, 
but I would never allow Angelina Jolie to play me.
.gag me.
Jennifer Garner Affleck would work.
She is fun, cute and spunky.
And she can wrangle kids while pregnant.
Maybe she can pass the girl making gene my way!:) 

Show us a picture from high school or college.
This is my all time favorite picture from college
Cheering with my partner, Leo at NC State!
Cheerleading was my life in college. I loved our cheer family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
London ;) 

Show us the most current picture of you or you and your family.

This is yesterday morning at the breakfast ride on the ranch.

Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
Living and Loving Life. Maybe more kids!? It's all up to God! I am not sure that it can get much better than it is now! We are insanely blessed! 

Head on over and link up! 

Thanks for stopping by!:)