The Caskey Family

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Merry
December 24, 2010, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Holidays, Merry

Tomorrow is Daddy’s favorite day of the year: Christmas and the birth of his favorite little girl, Merry, 4 years ago.  Here are some recent pictures of our little girl.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

One Way to Homeschool
December 23, 2010, 2:17 pm
Filed under: children, homeschool

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Every mommy experiences pressure, and with every decision with our children, it gets more complicated.  How we solve or answer certain questions with our family will not be the same way you answer your family’s questions.  That is one of the beauties of being a family!

One mom asked me some questions about how we decide what to do with homeschooling our children, and a long book of an conversation followed.  I share it here so I don’t have to rewrite this.  If you are not interested in homeschooling. . .skip it, it is TOO LONG for those not interested!!

Wish I had all the answers!! I don’t, but I do have some ideas. First of all, Jeremy and I have talked extensively about what we want out of homeschooling. In a sense we have set priorities and goals.  Perhaps this will encourage you to nail some things down specifically with your husband even though you all know each other really well!   Doing this has helped us to rule out a lot of options and opinions. For example, when people say things like, “I want them to get into a good college. . .” we know that perhaps this isn’t the homeschool opinion we will take too seriously. We can get good ideas and always learn SOMETHING, but we keep their goals in mind in considering how much weight we will give to their opinions or ideas.

Here are a few of our goals:

1. We want them to love to read
2. We want them to know how to read phonetically (by sounding out)
3. We want them to have a balanced education covering all the basic subjects they would be getting in school
4. We want them to learn discipline (how to sit and work, how to follow directions and work in a group)
5. We want them to learn the Word of God
6. We want them to eventually know HOW to learn on their own (and work independently)
7. We want them to be on track with “regular” school children in all subjects
8. We want them to learn history along with church history and in chronological order
9. We want them to be exposed to good art and music

There are others, but these are the basics, from what I can remember. You and your husband would obviously have different goals and priorities. . .you are a different family and have different variables going on than we do.

Out of this flows some priorities:

1. Read aloud A LOT – always more than we are doing!! (we can always improve!!)
2. We focus on reading, writing and arithmetic at this young age, and maintain a strong emphasis on that throughout. This means that I will not buy a curriculum that someone says has weak math, but has an amazing science curriculum. This also rules out unit studies for me because they tend to mash everything together. When I look at a curriculum I look for strong reading, writing and arithmetic. History is a bonus as well as other subjects.
3. We try to have school 180 days out of the year at least, just like regular school,
4. I use grade standards to measure if my children are on track and to plan my year goals
5. We mix history and Bible together, and though Daddy does most of our Bible teaching, I add to it during school.
6. I try to challenge Elijah to do some work on his own if he can. As he gets older he will do much more on his own. This frees me up to school the other ones and teaches him to work on his own if he ever goes into school, This also frees me up to spend the time I need to giving him one-on-one instruction in history, Bible, math, etc.

The options available out there are overwhelming to the young (and old!) teacher and mom.  By setting goals and priorities, I can make the smaller decisions without hassling Jeremy with all the details, and if I work out a plan, when I get to the end of it and share it with Jeremy, it is more likely to be what we both want for our family if we have laid out what our goals and priorities will be.

REMEMBER, this is ONE way, not THE way – so smile, do lots of window-shopping, ask God to give you wisdom, and enjoy the journey, our children are growing up fast!!


Simple Joshua 1:8 Goals

“Do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”  Joshua 1:8

Over the years I have not always been consistent to give priority time to God in disciplined reading, prayer and meditation on the Bible.  Some recent questions from some other seminary wives have driven me back to God’s word for some goals/ideas/ways to grow in this discipline.  For whatever they are worth, here are some thoughts that were shared (and this is NOT all-inclusive. . .just some ideas!)

Simple Goals for Growing in Personal Time with God

  1. Avoid legalism (especially about format, time, location, etc) but be compelled by love to spend more time with God (1 John 4:19)
  2. Try something and do what works (1 Thess. 5:21)
  3. Look for idle/idol spent moments (things that waste time, or things that you would rather do than read your Bible or pray) and change how you spend them or don’t do those things until you have spent time with God (1 Thess. 5:14)
  4. Read, meditate, pray and apply (James 1:22-25 and Psalm 1) Allow God to CHANGE you by going that tiny step further by meditating and applying what you read.
  5. Ask God for hunger, thirst and a willing spirit (James 1:5, Mt. 5:6 and Psalm 51:12)
  6. Meditate on God’s love, character and works – this can make you long for more  (Ps. 103, 116, 111, Isaiah 55, if you need a place to start)
  7. Ask yourself if you have made a habit of starving yourself so badly by neglecting time with God that you don’t even know what you are missing anymore.  Reverse the pattern and make yourself hungry  by reintroducing spiritual food.
  8. Seek godly accountability (Proverbs 13:20, Eccl. 4:9-12)

Thank you Lindsay and Rebekah for helping me with this!!  Other questions, suggestions or ideas?  Please comment!!

Joe’s Marine Memorial Service
December 4, 2010, 8:43 am
Filed under: family news

Yesterday was the military memorial service for Joe and all the other 3/1  killed with him in Afghanistan during this tour.  Here is a link to the video with some clips from that service:

Kurundu Hot Chocolate

“The best cinnamon is made there (in Sri Lanka) from the bark of the native Kurundu tree,” according to one of our favorite books by Marjorie Priceman titled, How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.

Today I finally found my favorite homemade hot chocolate mix to enjoy this winter, or give away (if there’s any left after the family has sampled it, that is!)  The reason I’m posting this is because it DOESN’T taste like hot cocoa mix!!  It tastes like GOOD hot chocolate and once it is made, all you have to have on hand is water!!

I thought I’d share it here:

Kurundu (Cinnamon) Hot Chocolate Mix

  1. 2 cups powdered milk
  2. 1 package (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) of dream whip mix (or some kind of creamer)
  3. 1 cup of white sugar
  4. 3 or 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  5. 3/4 cup of Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. 1/8 tsp. salt
  7. 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix ingredients well and store in a dry container until ready to serve.

Serving instructions (can be put on a tag or label and attached if given as a gift)

  • Add 3-4 generous teaspoons to a mug of boiling water.
  • Add marshmallows as desired.
  • Stir and let sit for 1 minute to cool and melt the chocolate.
  • Stir again and enjoy!