“A Quiet Place of Rest”

Literally …. “A Quiet Place of Rest”. (My Bible study book!). At hospital since woken at 3am with terrible pain. Lol. Prayers appreciated. Stone lodged in upper ureter and big. In a few minutes I’m going to OR with general anesthesia , scoping, stone laser blasting and a stent for 1 week. If I wasn’t breast feeding baby Z, I’d opt for natural attempts at passing stone and risk of needing more medications and bottle feeding – but Drs believe it won’t pass since it most likely explains why I’ve had pelvic and back pain and not felt we’ll for 3-4 weeks … Also likely reason for midback pain and blood in urine the end of my pregnancy! TMI? Thanks for praying ….


Back to School … first 2 weeks

Ving – 8th grade

Hunter – 6/7th grade

Tucker – would be 5th grade : I thought it, so I had to write it…

Isaac – 2nd grade

Isaiah – K/1st grade

Eden Grace – PreK grade

Judah – Mr. Distractor

Zion – Mr. Snuggles



We are back at it, full schedule! I love fall and the return of more routine. We began orientation on Labor Day, and Tuesday began with excitement. Isaac had his first piano lesson, and all the children enjoyed their new baskets and supply bins. Each has a clipboard with their schedules, and they were thrilled to discover a gift waiting when day #1 was completed.

We have the most music instruction and practice this year by far. We have voice, piano, guitar, and drums – all lessons happening in our home. SO GRATEFUL! I don’t know how long it will last, but I am praying the boys continue to grow with passion in this area, and that their knowledge will bring God glory.



We did “Special Time with Mom” on the porch. They are singing “Stand Up, Stand Up, for Jesus”…



Aunt Bettie delivered treasures to our garage, and Eden Grace has enjoyed her first Barbie Princess play time. These are treasures from long ago that Aunt Bettie had. I have avoided modern Barbie, and have decided that I will allow fully clothed Princess Barbie to join her play collection.



Monday September 9th, the thee oldest had their first Classical Conversations Academy. Isaac is in Foundations, Hunter Challenge A, and Ving Challenge B. We had a wonderful experience last year, and we thank God for another opportunity to grow with this structure and community.




I again purchased Ready Made Preschool, and I LOVE IT! We have 30 weeks of lessons. It reminds me of Five In A Row, yet I am provided with every supply I need for each lesson. We just completed Week 1 & 2. (Thanks Kate!) I am using it with a 4 and 5.5 year old mainly, and the third kit I purchased is being shared with Judah 2.5 and Isaac 7yo, depending on the day.



Here we made our Little Lower Case ‘a’ – ‘apple, airplane, a’s’.



Playing Go-Fish with Eden Grace and Isaiah with our alphabet cards…



Tuesday the weather was 90 degrees! (It was 40 yesterday morning at our soccer game and I had out winter coats and snowsuits! LOL) We realized Tuesday & Wednesday would be the last of our hot days, and we headed to Durand Beach. It was lovely, lovely, lovely. We headed out at 11:00, and had already completed many subjects before leaving. It’s hard to break away when I am so focused on school in the fall, but I am grateful we did.



Even the Biggies like to help the Middles with Ready-Made-Preschool! We decorated our airplanes and they all begged Ving to make their planes ‘super cool’.



We’ve labeled Judah “Mr. Distractor” for the year. He is so cute, fast, and destructive! Recently his energy is spent sneaking up to his crib, stealing his paci, and hiding downstairs with it while we do school. If he is quiet, I know the secret places to find him. If Irv sees him, Judah covers his mouth with his hand like this… It is very funny, yet we do our best to remain serious. (He just came over to my computer screen and stated. “I hide my pa-ee,” as he pointed to the screen. Gotta love him!)






I love my Middle Schoolers!




We had to chop all of Judah’s hair down in the back because when he has his paci at bedtime he twirls his hair into dreadlocks. Recently he has moved higher to the top of his head where there is more hair, and this day he continued to twist a comb in it throughout the day and come running to me to get it out.



I had purposed to make fancy apple pies for the end of this week studying the letter ‘a’. But, I chose the easier route the RMP book recommended and used graham crackers and apple pie filling! They were still thrilled, and I didn’t eat any, so that was good!

Yesterday Ving and Hunter had their first homeschool middle school soccer team game, SCARLET KNIGHTS, which Irv is the coach for. It was exciting, they won, and have improved so much. I am looking forward to the fall games and watching my three men in action.

Eden Grace was blessed to attend a pool party for her sweet friend Averie yesterday as well. We will miss their family terribly when they move!



Our church had a wonderful weekend conference of Embracing God’s Truth. Irv was in charge of the organizing of the concert Saturday evening, with Kerrie Roberts. I am so blessed by her lyrics and songs. Afterwards we had a fun outing to Friendly’s with friends and Grammie.



This morning the Littles and I didn’t attend church. Here we are enjoying this sunshine, snuggles, and our own worship on the porch swing. Isn’t Zion so cute?!? We are SO IN LOVE!!!


Grateful for my MANY blessings. Thanking God for a wonderful start to the school year. Praying for all the days to come!


Zion Valor : the name


Zion, the name, has been brewing in my heart and mind, and making the baby name list, for babies 4,5,6,7 and now 8. Five years ago with Isaiah’s pregnancy, I loved this name, but we decided upon Isaiah, with the main nickname ‘Zaiah’, because I desired my Z name.

I joked at the beginning of this pregnancy, that if I bore Irv SEVEN sons, I think I should pick the name, and finally have my ‘Zion’! Also noting, in many countries I’d be some kind of boy-producing hero. LOL. (Joke. I believe the sex of our babies are specifically chosen and sovereign by God. Years ago when I pondered why I had no girls, God spoke to my heart through a sermon and His Word, that after Job’s health and life were restored, Job received the exact number of children from God again, and the exact same sex distribution. God knows.)

Around Christmas, I kinda knew I was growing a boy. At that time, I decided to complete my Pandora bracelet using my gift card and fill the limited space I had left, purposing to choose a charm for my Grandparents Cougles and Salis-baby8 growing in my belly. I mentioned to the saleslady that I wanted something with stars or polk-a-dots, or maybe representing the number eight. The first charm I saw was stars and I loved it – and as I counted the stars, they totaled EIGHT! I’m someone who usually takes forever to make a decision like this, but I knew it was the one. Sold. At this time, I did not have any baby names chosen or seriously discussed.


Somewhere in the midst of Irv’s illness and surgeries, he wasn’t up for deep converstaoins or making decisions, and I sent him this email…

“January 17th, 2013…been thinking about baby names …. I know you don’t want to TALK about it, but really wanted to share my heart and thoughts, so thought an email might be best…

Caroline Joy
Selah Jubilee
Aviannah / Eviannah (life giving)

Zion Valor (can’t shake this one)

Pondering them in my heart

The next time we discussed names, he casually mentioned that he liked Zion. I was SHOCKED! We both prayed about the names.

One night while settling into bed and praying about names, a quick search revealed the name Zion to mean Heaven. As I snuggled to sleep, I looked at my bracelet charm of eight stars circling together. I chose and purchased this charm without any knowledge of the meaning of the name. But now I see this meaning, Heaven. A charm with stars. I felt a confirmation in my heart. Zion, is his name?

When the family-gender-discovery-appointment revealed boy parts, Salisbaby8 immediately was being called Zion. However, we still prayed and sought counsel with Pastor regarding the name.

Names are hard. They are a HUGE responsibility. I searched for reasons to NOT choose this name.

– The term Zionism refers to a political movement for the reestablishment and preservation of the Jewish nation (Isreal).

– In more recent decades Zion is a term utilized a lot by the Rastafarian religious movement to refer to Ethipoia as the true Promised Land and the birthplace of humankind. It borrows a lot of terminology from Scripture and Christianity, yet is very much a syncretistic religion.

– Might create some possible confusion. (e.g. the child’s ethnicity – “he must be Jewish,” or the political movement of Zionism, or the Rastafarian religious movement associated with Bob Marley reggae music, etc.)

Yet, the Biblical use of Zion and the continuous ringing of the name in my heart prevailed…

– Initially, Zion referred to Jerusalem or the mount on which the city was built, but in a broader, more ultimate sense, Zion refers to the kingdom of heaven over which the Lord Jesus Christ reigns.

– 1 Peter 2:6. Peter refers to Christ as the cornerstone of Zion .

– Jerusalem or mount on which that city was built ….also a reference to heavenly Jerusalem or Assembly of God people in Hebrews chapter 12.

– The name might stir curiosity, prompting people to ask (1) what does that name mean?, or (2) are you Jewish? Such questions can be a bridge to evangelism

– Such a name would be a constant reminder to the one bearing it that this world is not his home, and that he belongs to the company of God’s people (if he chooses to follow Christ, of course).

– And, google searches revealed the following meanings: mighty fortress, cornerstone, a safe homeland, heaven, highest point

Through the years, I often encourage my boys claiming they are ‘Princes of the Lord’, ‘sons of the King of Kings’, and ‘Mighty men of Valor’! I even considered Valor for a first name, but would not want my son to be called Val, and Irv vetoed it immediately.

Meaning of Valor: Valor is a Latin boy name. The meaning of the name is `Courageous, Bold in Battle`.

So there it is. The story behind Salisbay8’s name. Zion Valor Salisbury.

Zion Valor, I pray you will be bold and courageous Man of God who fights for the kingdom. That you know Jesus Christ personally, and that He is your cornerstone. May your name be a constant reminder that this world is not your home, and you belong to a company of God’s people! We love you, little peanut. Tons and tons…


Judah, first Salis-kid with fracture!

Judah is the first Salis-kid with a fracture! We’ve had stitches and staples, too many to count.

He was playing at an elementary playground today during Vings soccer game, and a little boy he was playing with pushed him off the landing.

I was home with Eden and the baby. I was on the phone with the Pediatrician Afterhours trying to get an appointment for Eden because her asthma and cough were worsening.

Irv walked in the door early carrying a sobbing boy. Within thirty minutes we were headed to two different offices for 8 PM appointments.

Eden had pneumonia and Judah fractured his lower leg.

It was all dramatic and felt chaotic.

Both are now resting and all is quiet …

…. And Isaac just returned downstairs to get a ‘puke bowl’ because is tummy hurts.

I’m thankful Judah wasn’t hurt worse.

Ill be canceling our Seabreeze amusement park day this Friday and making other schedule adjustments.

His cast is waterproof though….

While waiting with Eden at the doctors, I took a photo of her hair. She played all day outside, never brushed her hair, piggies were a day old, and there was mulch in it! It was so crazy when we headed out the door I threw a brush in my purse. I had to laugh, because I’ve had many a sinful judging thoughts in my past when I’d be out and about and see nasty girl hair. “If I had a daughter I’d brush her hair!!!” Humility… And a photo moment for sure.

It is always an adventure here. I’m blessed and grateful. God’s grace is sufficient!




Classical Conversations Award Night Rochester : Challenge A, Memory Masters, Foundations & Essentials

As we near the end of our 9th year of educating at home, I’m once again in awe of how the Lord guides each year’s activities, curriculum and schedules.

For the first time ever, Salisbury Academy joined Classical Conversations. We have participated in various co-op’s throughout the years, but this was unique.

Initially, I was not excited, and followed Irv’s lead that this was a necessary step for Ving for his seventh grade year. We desired him to continue to be held to a high academic standard, learn to manage his time, have deadlines, practice oral presentations, benefit from a controlled, small classroom environment and have Jesus be center-focus.

CC seemed to be a good fit, but knowing it was vigorous and challenging, I didn’t like the unknown or want it to take over our lives. We signed up Ving for Challenge A, and then decided to try Isaac, Isaiah and Hunter in the morning Foundations program, and Hunter also for Essentials in the afternoon. This meant we all spent 8:30-3:30 at CC for 24-30 Mondays this academic year. (Thanks Amanda for loving and watching the little two!)

CCs purpose statement is “to know God and make Him known”. I love it.

We had a wonderful year. And as you know, our year was actually VERY difficult with my pregnancy and Irv’s tumor and illness. Yet, God had it all worked out, planned ahead, and CC was a huge asset to having a successful academic year, along with amazing love and support from our CC family through it all.


Challenge A: After the first few weeks, Ving asked if he could attend everyday of the week. I explained, that would not be homeschooling! LOL, but I was glad he was liking it! There were 7 children in his class, and a wonderful tutor led the group, Mr. Krebs. It is intended for 12-15 year olds, beginning with 7th graders, however Ving’s class was on the older age, and he was the youngest student.


Ving grew in many areas: time management, perseverance, humility, oral presentations,writing and much character. By the end of the year I appreciated statements such as: “Mom, I couldn’t have learned all of this if you hadn’t help me with organizing, accountability and studying.” “My one take-away from Challenge A is that I learned perseverance, that if I work towards a big goal, like drawing the entire world free-hand from memory (countries, capitals, land features), I can do it if I persevere and learn a little each day.”


He wrote SO MANY papers and improved greatly. I witnessed Ving blossom with a love for science, research, and great natural understanding of the human body, which was captivating to observe him. In the beginning, I had feared Latin, yet Ving took the initiative to learn and I really taught him nothing about it! I am proud of his efforts. I love the new Ving-world-map hanging in the playroom. For more information visit CC here. Next year, we pray he can continue in Challenge B.


I thank God for the gift of CC this year. Yes, it brought challenges and growth for Mom and Ving, but I am so grateful. One of the best gifts, was a friendship deepening with our special friend Sean! God did much in these young men’s hearts, and I pray it lasts for years to come.



 Essentials. Hunter and I attended the afternoon sessions with our dear friend, and tutor leader, Mrs. Krebs. We focused on grammer, math games, and IEW writing. While I have done these subjects at home, the weekly accountability kept us on an amazing pace to accomplishing much. Hunter can sing about 28 grammer songs, and so can many of the rest of the family! LOL. I told him between the grammer songs and the LONG world timeline he memorized this year, he has a cool talent to share if ever in need of an impromptu time filler!

Mrs. Krebs presented this spiral bound book of his final draft assignements from the year. A true treasure.



The morning hours of CC, Hunter was in Mrs. Vonbergs class.



Hunter grew in friendship with Josh, another blessing from CC. They also play on the same soccer team!



Josh and Hunter, below, acting out a story being read by a classmate.



Mrs. Puth, director of all directors extraordinaire, below, is distributing the Memory Master Awards to the five students that earned them this year. I am so proud of Hunter. If I had known how much information would truly need to be memorized ahead of time, I don’t think I would have planned this as one of his year’s goals. Not at the same time as doing all 576 cards for Junior Bible Quizzing. His Memory Master proof was just 4 days before his Regional Junior Bible Quiz Competition! But, he did it.


The following excerpt explains Memory Masters, and is taken from another blog…

Every year in CC, the kids memorize information in seven subjects: English, Geography, History, Latin, Math, Science, and a history Timeline. Over the 24 weeks of classes this year they learned:

-161 events and people in a chronological timeline
-44 U.S. presidents
-24 history sentences
-120 geographic locations and features
-24 science facts
-5 Latin noun endings and their singular and plural declensions
-24 English grammar facts
-Math multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, basic geometry formulas and unit conversions
That doesn’t sound all that hard, right? OK, then let’s have some fun! Here is your very own memory master quiz. Try answering or filling in the blanks for the following questions…
-Tell me some parts of an animal cell (and be sure not to confuse them with the parts of the plant cell!)
-What is the name of each continents highest mountain?
-Can you count by 14s?
-Tell me the definition of a preposition -and then list 53 of them.
-(fill in the blanks for this history sentence) “During the Age of _______, the _______ established rule over India in (year)____, and Queen _______ was declared the Empress of India in (year)____. Before his assassination, _______ ______, led the passive resistance movement which helped win ______’s independence.
-Did Jerome complete the Vulgate before or after the Council of Chalcedon?
-What are the 5th Declension Latin noun endings?
-On a map, can you point out the locations of Ancient Songhai and Timbuktu?
So, how did you do? (For the record, before CC, I couldn’t have answered any of these questions. Before CC, I didn’t know Timbuktu was a real place!) That little quiz basically consists of 10 of the more than 400 facts that a Classical Conversation student learned in 24 weeks of Cycle 1 this year. Memory Masters cannot simply cram the information and regurgitate it one time and call it a day. My son had to recite these facts from memory, with no help or hints or fill-in-the-blanks whatsoever, first for me, then for his Dad, then his tutor, and finally the director. He mastered this information.
What’s the point of this, you ask?
Diligence, confidence, goal setting, commitment, hard work…
Yes lovely, but what’s the point???
Leigh Bortins, founder of CC, answers this better than I:
“Modern education scoffs at the first tool of learning -memorization. Why learn to memorize if you can just look it up? Isn’t critical thinking more important than rote facts? My response is, ‘What can I think critically about if I know no facts?’ I can offer only my opinion, my point of view. Yet shouldn’t truth play a factor? For the Christian, absolute truth exists. His story is unfolding. I want to know who did what, where, when, and why for Him. I want to see His creation revealed through science. I want His word to be a lamp unto my feet. That means I must acquire, nurture, and expand my ability to store information, words, and abstract ideas. I want to be able to repeat truth and think about how truth affects my life. This requires hard academic work -brain training- habits of character.”


And here are our LOVELY family-friends, Kim and Kiya at the dessert fellowship afterwards.



So proud of Isaac and Isaiah for their efforts in Foundations too!


Hope this helps share some of our school doings this year. CC was done the end of April, and we have begun our ‘summer schedule’ for education … math, reading and Bible. We are working diligently on these through the end of June, and then will relax a little with 3 days a week of summer education schedule, and enjoy outings, camps, sunshine, family, swimming, and sand!

We plan to resume Challenge A for Hunter and Challenge B for Ving in the fall… Lord willing…