"Sabbath" is something God was really pressing in my life all last year. With the business of our culture, life season of "mother of 3 school age children" and pace of city living everything around me is pushing me to go at the speed of 100 mph. How does one find the audacity to try to walk at a slower pace when they are in the middle of a river with a current of rushing waters? How does one silence the noise of 1,000 random voices in order to hear the 1 quiet voice that matters?

Reading the Old Testament with Elly and Lucy during school has been an amazing experience. To journey through the stories and principles with young minds has brought such a fresh perspective. To look at the book of Numbers and think, "There is no way this is going to be interesting for them or keep their attention", only to experience the exact opposite as they realize the wisdom of God in contrast to the finite minds and disorder of natural man.

As we read through the Laws God gave to Moses for the Nation of Israel in Leviticus I saw the continual importance of Sabbath in EVERYTHING. Sabbath is a time for rest, a time of restoration, enjoyment, thankfulness and a time for man to slow down enough to realize and embrace our dependance, need and reverence of God. God never calls us to things He does not embody or embrace. God takes time to Sabbath, God makes the law of the LAND needing a Sabbath and He teaches man's need for Sabbath.

I could explain how we have personally put Sabbath into our lives, but I don't want to make it into a "to do list" or 1-2-3 step. Sabbath is not just the physical schedule. It is about our heart and mind. It is about looking at our life, thinking about what we are seeking to accomplish with our long list and hold it up to the teachings of Jesus and what He said is LIFE abundant.

Last week I made the difficult choice to get up at the horrific time of 5:30am every morning for 4 days to pray, read scripture and LISTEN. Only to learn what it means to Abide in Him (John15). No agenda, no asking God to fix things I think He needs to fix or ramble about what I think is important. Just make space to sit before God, be still and know he is God. I don't have this all figured out, but the fruit of pressing into, praying about and taking steps to experience these things has only caused me to want more of it. I just want to encourage you to make space when there seems to be no space. Find quiet when you think you won't be able to find it. And use that space and quiet time to talk to and listen to God and hear what He has to say.


I have had multiple people ask me about my homeschooling method. I have wanted to share this on the blog for a while, but have not had the time to do it. I also wanted to give some time to homeschooling Atticus before I shared on the Kindergarten aspect of homeschooling.

This is our 2nd year homeschooling. Last year was devoted to transitioning myself, Elly and Lucy from public school to homeschool. Both girls attended public school for the first few years of schooling. Lucy attended public school from K-2nd grade and Elly K-4th grade. Then due to their school declining in ability to challenge them, their increasing dance schedule and our family schedule it seemed all sides were pushing us to pursue Homeschool in order for their studies to thrive.

Homeschooling was never a road I thought I would take. I had it as a back-up plan knowing that my husband and I are raising our children in a city with an unstable public school system and their education is very important to us, but we don't have the financial freedom to pick where we want them schooled. After many discussions as a family we all decided to try homeschooling and it has been a challenging, exciting, difficult and rewarding journey.

This year we added Atticus who is 5 years old. He started Kindergarten, so this brought a new dimension and plate to juggle. On account of this I have had to figure out how to school 3 different grades, personalities on top of having a child who has never experienced a classroom setting aside from Sunday school. It has been one of the most ambitious, difficult and REWARDING experiences of my life.

Last year, I went with Veritas Press for everything because they provide a schedule for each day through the entire year and are classical education. We just replaced the Latin with French. That way I knew the girls would be getting everything they needed and I would get a structure to learn from. We have made some changes this year, but I still ordered the schedule from Veritas for the kids to give me a general guide for the year.

Here is my current schedule and resources for our family's homeschool.

Elly and Lucy (4th and 6th grade)

5 hours per day M-Th and 2 hours on Sunday

We start the day reading raw scripture and journal. Last year we started in Genesis and we are in Numbers currently.

Shurley English

KHAN academy

Veritas Press Curriculum on history
Reinforced by online websites and videos
~KHAN academy
~Crash Course on YouTube

I use a few sources for Grade appropriate reads. The girls are always reading a book. One or 2 chapters a day depending on length of chapters.
~Veritas Press Literature List (they also provide great Comprehension guides)
~I also love Barnes and Nobles Searches for Children's Classic and age appropriate books. Barnes and Noble also has a great rewards program for anyone as well as teachers.

3x's A WEEK
Exploring Creation with Astronomy (we do this all together 3 times a week, Atticus included)
Reinforced with the Wonders of the Universe app on the iPad
KHAN academy

Power Basic World Geography

Rosetta Stone

2x's A WEEK
We invite in friends that specialize in different mediums as well as finding projects and ideas on Pinterest. There are some great resources there.

We try to make a meal together once a week. From breakfast scones to Spaghetti and meat sauce. Something simple that they can help with. Aiming for them to have a few recipes under their belt and understanding of foods and experience in the kitchen when they leave the home. Even Atticus at the age of 5 loves to help out making the meal.

Typing Web is a GREAT source to learn to type


Lucy practices piano 4-5x'a a week and has a piano lessons once a week
Elly practices guitar 3-4's a week and has guitar lessons twice a month

Glogster for book reports, research projects and papers. We also do classic papers and boards. I like to have the kids write with paper and pencil, type papers on the computer and learn the "blog/website" concepts on Glogster.

We also invite friends over that specialize in different fields and interests. It has been really great to have people who are passionate about different subjects some and give "real life" experience and know-how to the kids. (And I have fun learning all of this too!)

Atticus (Kindergarten)
1 1/2-2 hours per day, 4 or 5 days a week

Alphabet flash cards
Leap Frog Phonics Zoo Video
Pocket Phonics app for iPad
Hands on projects to learn letters and sounds
My Alphabet Book

Letters and Numbers for Me
My Printing Book


BOB books

Hop, Skip, and sing French for kids
Bonjour les Amis

Exploring Creation with Astronomy (we do this all together 3 times a week, Atticus included)
Reinforced with the Wonders of the Universe app on the iPad
KHAN academy

Child's History of the World (read one chapter out loud)

If you have any additional questions feel free to ask me!

Katie and Andrew

I am still pretty green when it comes to photography so when Katie asked me to come shoot her wedding I felt inadequate to capture such a once-in-a-lifetime moment. She reassured me her sister would be there shooting as well and it was a low pressure environment. Her belief in my photography and desire to have me come meant very much to me.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from that day.  Katie was absolutely STUNNING and I felt very privileged to be there to capture this special day for her and her new husband Andrew.


I took my little NIKON D60 for a photo walk and edited with iphoto. Maybe someday I will be able to get a better camera and editing program. But for now I am making due with what I have. The girls and I had fun doing this:)

A post I meant to do

I was cleaning out my desktop and came across these photos from late Fall when we visited an apple orchard. Thought I would share a few.

Been away for a while

I have sadly neglected the blog for a while. Things have changed for me and my family since the last post. We started our first year of homeschooling and this has changed my entire schedule. From 7:30-12:00 is school time then most days we have ballet starting at 4:30, so by 3:00 we are getting fed, dressed and ready for ballet. Therefore, all the ideas I had prior to this have been put on hold so I can manage and juggle homeschooling, ballet and running a household.

Since my priorities have changed I have not really had time to think about blogging at all. Only until recently have I thought about it. I still want to post on homeschooling, our adoption, life as a mom and other things that interest me. Just not sure when this will happen. Maybe once the summer starts I can start to dabble and find a bit of time for it.

But for now I wanted to do a quick update on what halted the progression of all the plans and goals I had when starting this. In the last week I have really started to think about how much I have set aside when it comes to my interests, goals, ideas and dreams that I had been thinking about when I started Yawni Tiger. My daughters are 8 and 10 now, we all (as a family) discussed and tossed around the idea of homeschool last year and finally came to the conclusion that we wanted to do it (I will post the details of that decision in my first Homeschooling post). Everyday has been a learning experience in more ways then one. We have struggled, laughed, argued, had fun and learned SOOOOO much. It has been a wonderfully difficult adventure and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

What caused me to think about how much I have sacrificed to make this happen was a difficult day in homeschooling. It was just an "off day", the girls were distracted and I was having to repeat myself so many times because they were laughing and goofing around and I had HAD it! I threw a "mom tantrum" and stormed out of the room telling them I was done for the day. After I went into the kitchen Lu followed me asking me to come back and telling me they would listen. I had to muster up everything in me to go back. I was so done. It had been a difficult week of working thru things, we had great break throughs. But when a hinderance started again that day I just didn't have the emotional or mental capacity to try to keep them focused. Everything in me wanted to close the door and tell them I was "not coming in for work today, I need a day OFF!"
But instead I went into the room and "very loudly" told them, "Do you realize how much I have sacrificed to make homeschooling happen for you?! Do you know I use to have a good chunk of the day to clean, run errands and actually sit down for a bit?! Now I spend EVERY WEEK DAY waking up to teach you for 4 hours and then I have to try to get all the other things done after that. I have made this sacrifice because I want the best for you! So you can have a good education, pursue your love of dance and so I can have more time with you! I didn't get to spend much time with you last year with you in school and then having to run you right to ballet. So can you please put in a little more effort to focus and appreciate what you have?!"

After that dramatic morning I really realized how much of my time IS spent SOLEY for them. How much I give. How much I do for them. It was actually really overwhelming. Pretty much every waking moment is used for them and my husband. This got me thinking. I am TIRED! I really don't think about what I need very much. I don't do a whole lot for me. Should this change? I think it is hard as a mom and wife to juggle family care and self care. It is hard to find time as a mom to refresh.

After thinking about this for a few days I have concluded that this is a season. It to shall pass. My kids will grow and be gone. They will find their interests and pursue their paths. This is the time in their life that is building into the foundation of who they are and who they will be. This is such an important time for them as growing people. Learning how to deal with social situations, building their education, nurturing their Spiritual life. I am their mom, they only have ONE mom. Why would I want to do anything else, but give them the best I have? For the few years they will need me all day long I want to be there ALL DAY LONG! Of course in the midst of this I need to make sure I have refreshing time, adult time, rest and breaks. And most importantly, time with my Father. If I wear myself out then I won't have much to give them. But they are a gift. They are my responsibility before God. He has given them to my husband and I to love, steward, teach and care for. I want to do that well. Only by God's help and grace can I do this. That is why I want to stay connected and reliant on Him. I want them to realize the sacrifice their dad and I make so they will know how much we love them. Also so they will have an appreciation for how blessed they are. THANKFULNESS. This has been a major theme for me over the last few months.

In conclusion, the blog has been put on hold for a very important reason. My time is being spent exactly where I want it to be spent. It has been such a life experience, that I do want to share it here on Yawni Tiger when I have some time. It won't be as often as I was originally thinking. But I want to share the up, downs, highs, and lows hoping that anyone that reads this will be encouraged and challenged. Encouraged in their time as a mom and daughter of God. Challenged to grow as a mom and daughter of God.

Till the next post here is a good quote, "Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing." Mother Teresa