Friday, July 31, 2009

Hooked On.... the Well-Trained Mind

Here is a new meme I've been wanting to try.... and it works out well with what I've been wanting to post since I've collected most of our materials to school Anna this year. And this morning I was awake WAY TOO early and spent some of the quiet hours.... yes, hours reading through my "homeschooling manual"... lol

And I am convinced that I am Hooked On The Well- Trained Mind!! It's actually a classical homeschool method/guide. I'm just amazed at all the material we have planned to cover this year and am I NOT overwhelmed.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jesse Wise is used by many. But I was encouraged to look through it from my friend Erica! And I was immediately impressed with this model... I know some think it's TOO structured... but I LIKE structure and I like the well thoughtout 12-yr plan. And trying to navigate through ALL the MILLIONS of homeschooling supplies, companies, curriculums... is Very, Very OverWhelming!! It's nice to look through the suggestions in Well-Trained Mind (and suggestions from Erica!!) and then find those materials:)

I've already mentioned how much I LOVE The Well-Trained Mind's teaching to read (through phonics) guide! Here is Anna writing some her "oi" words on foil... cute and she LOVED it:)

So to continue through this model for our first "structured" year of homeschooling seems soo natural.

As I devoured the chapters of how we will work on Spelling, Grammer, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, History and Math this school year, I was sooo ready to to sit Anna and the table and START THIS morning... lol!!! I do have a couple more steps to complete before we start schooling this year, but the best thing is that I am EXCITED about school starting and learning with the kids:)

Check Out more Hooked on at Hooked on Houses.

Here is some comic relief to this "serious" post.

Lately during our "quiet school time" (aka.. my teaching time with Anna) Lydia has found a using kiddie scissors to pass the time. She'll sit and cut paper for 45 minutes at least... and all I hear is paper and scissors cutting:)It's a great coordination exercise and she'll be ready to cutting activities by the time she starts a more structured pre-K!!!

And she also learns to clean up her OWN mess:) Although I'm pretty sure Christopher helped on that morning:)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Fun Trip Pics:)

We did have a fun trip to my parent's house:) It was supposed to be a one day thing... but then my brother and mom offered to keep the kids so Brian and I could get out by ourselves... so we stayed and enjoyed a night out on Monday. Then Tuesday AM before everyone went to work, they told us they hoped we'd stay until they got home from work... so we stayed Tuesday night and enjoyed Pey coming home and Tori coming to visit!

One of the funniest stories was that Grammie asked the kids what things they saw on the trip to her house. They all said cranes:) So Grammie gets excited and goes into this LONG story about egrets taking over the trees in an area near her house!!

LOL.... she thought the kids had seen a crane BIRD but the kids had seen a construction/shipping equipment anyway, we did make the couple mile journey to see the Rookery... aka where the egrets have made their nests:) I'd hate to be the house under those trees with 50+ egerts lived overheld and leaving their droppings....ewwwwww...

Hannah Grace smiling for us. Grammie and Jaclyn can make her do it!They do this little "baby talk" thing and she smiles:)

I love this picture of Hannah Grace!! She looks soo grown as if she was saying, "Is she still holding the camera? Give me a break lady! I'm NOT smiling anymore you got your smile picture." LOL

Lydia jumping to the water! Like the anticipation on her face:)

Anna loving the water:)

Christopher's new way to jump into the water:)

Chris held Hannah Grace!! He was soo sweet! I loved that he leaned over a kissed her forehead. I HAD to make him do it again, so I could get a picture... of course:) (and I didn't have to offer him a SweetTart either...LOL)

Night swimming:)

We enjoyed ourselves and have the pile of laundry to get done to prove it. After our busy VBS week last week, we really needed a break and our time with Grammie, Pey and family really was nice.

And believe it or not we actually accomplished a LOT while we were there.

  • Made 2 HT trips during their Super Doubles saving almost $90!!
  • I finally got to go to a clothing store and look around.
  • We ate at Ritas:)
  • Then I found a local homeschool store that was AMAZING... it carried BOTH new and used:) And the variety of supplies was incredible! I got our school books for CHEAPER than Amazon, plus I paid NO shipping since I purchased it while at the store AND I got exactly what I needed:) Definitely where I'll be doing my homeschool shopping:)
  • And of course Brian and I's date night:) Olive Garden and a movie:) It was nice:)

Guess The Kid???

The kids had a blast in Grammie's pool!!! They all were jumping in the pool, but I thought this was a fun picture.

Can you guess which kid is jumping in???

UPDATED: Yes, it was Lydia!!! And the tiny ponytail sticking up was the only obvious clue. Another clue would have been that Brian would have only been catching Lydia.... there'e no way in the world he'd "try" to catch Chris... lol... Anna jumps in too, but only on the shallow side where she doesn't need anyone to catch her:)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: "Ice cream" for us!!

Yay... it's Wednesday!! Time for some more Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family;)

Yes, because of the kids' food allergies they are unable to have real ice cream... they have never had it but they have seen other eat it and have told me that they want ice cream. We've tried soy ice cream... it's not too bad, but we can't experience the whole... family goes out for ice cream together :(

Well now we can with Ritas... I had one nearby in high school and LOVED their Italian ices better yet is that it's fresh ingredients and MANY allergy friendly flavors:) How refreshing to go to a place that happily accommodates for food allergies:) And we joined their Birthday Club... so now for birthdays and half-birthdays we receive coupons... yummy!!!

Today we FINALLY got to bring the kids to a Rita's near my mom's house:) The kids were glad to try this "ice cream"!! And they all really, really, really LIKED it:)

Using coupons and eating at Rita's works for us!! And there is one at Grammies AND Grandmas!!!

Wordless Wednesday : Cozy Cousins:)

When we talked about visiting Grammie, Lydia's eye lit up and she asked, "And I hold Hannah Grace?" Lydia is quite the little Momma when it comes to Hannah Grace and she really does look forward to seeing (and holding) Hannah.

Then we started to see Lydia's eyes get sleepy... Hannah Grace must have been cozy:)

I love both that Lydia looks soo big near Hannah Grace, but that we're reminded of how little she still is:)

Monday, July 27, 2009

I heart Faces - Daddy at the Beach

We are hoping to go to the beach tomorrow.... but here is one of my favorites from JUly 4th this year!! I LOVE watching my husband with the kids.... having fun with them, nurturing them and enjoy being them them:)

Enjoy the beautiful pics at I [heart] faces!!!


HE DID IT!!!!Yes, Christopher is now making stinkies in the potty!!! I am sooo thankful and amazed that we are finally at this

I think the "end of potty training" started a couple of weeks ago when I was just FLAT OUT tired of cleaning stinky messy underwear! So I took it!!! I did (with some encouragement from others). He DID NOT like it!! But we had a week free of messy because he didn't have any:)

Last week had VBS.... so I did give him back his underwear for most of the week. And we didn't have any memorable messes:) YAY... instead he was using his bedtime diaper...grrr!

Well Saturday he complained that his stomach hurt and we gently reminded him that it was probably his body telling him he needed to use the potty. Sure enough after his bath he jumped on the potty and DID IT!!!! Whooo-hooooo!!!

Even though it was reading/bedtime we let him have an Italian Ice while we read:) He loved it:) It was a nice treat for a little boy who didn't have ANY sweets (except for grandmas, church socials and neighbors giving him candy at church)!!
The other thing of Christopher "Success" to-do list was to call Grandma!! (he called Grammie to celebrate his Sunday AM the joys of grandparenting)

The funniest thing about the video is he delight in telling in!! But I thought I'd mention that Brian got on the phone int he other room and told Christopher he was with Grandma... Christopher ran out of the room to go "find" Brian. Of course Brian was just sitting in the office;)

YAY, for Chris!!! And I'll have to say that it really took waiting for him to just DO IT:)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Favorite VBS Pic

NOw that our VBS week has come to an end I can flip through our many pictures and be soo very thankful for the children that attended and the fun times we all had. And Pray for our relationships to continue and for the children continue to grow in the Lord.

As I flipped I remembered THIS pic. WHile I WISH I could take credit for this one:) it was actually a church member named Claudia that took it:) She saw it and caught it:) And I love it:)

Have a Blessed Lord's Day!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My VBS Moments from Today

Can you tell I've been busy with VBS this!! It has been soo much fun and utterly exhausting at the same time!! I have run on adrenaline for almost 3 hours every morning this week.... I just love the excitement of the kids and I TRY to keep up with them.

I've had many reasons to be excited this week!! From getting to spend time with new families and getting some time with some neighborhood kids that I have literally watched grow up!! It's been such a honor to have all the kids at our church, be apart of their lives this week and teach them more about Christ!

This morning I almost busted into tears during the opening music time. The kids were singing and trying to follow the signs to some of the songs (which I have really enjoyed especially for how CLEAR the Gospel is presented in them). I look down and hear a little voice.

It was MY sweet, Little Anna girl!! She was singing about Christ and following all the signs. It touched my heart to know that these verses (many of which come from Scripture) are finding a way into her heart. Each day we talk about Jesus, share a BIble story, memorize a memory verse and each song she learns she is learning about Christ and that is AMAZING!! And such a wonderful thing for a Mommy to see.

My little bug has transformed herself back into a "baby" this week. She insists on someone holding her wherever we go and sitting on my lap while we have snack ot Bible Study.... where did my MISS LITTLE Independence go????

So another sweet moment from today was Lydia opening up. Talking and playing with some of the other younger children AND laughing!! There was a sweet little boy that started coming Thursday.... I have been soo impressed with this little 3-yr olds manners and willingness to share!! But he and Lydia were tossing a ball back and forth. He must have been making silly faces to get Lydia to laugh because she did and was... and they were good 'ole belly laughs:)

It was just another sweet moment for this exhausted Momma:)

And now I'm off to bake a sweet allergy-safe treat for my family to enjoy tonight at our VBS Family Friday Night Finale:)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bored Talents

My sweet little kids endured me working on VBS pictures for HOURS today.... We have picture frames to fill and a slideshow for our Friday Night Finale! So far I have close to 400 pictures to sort through.... and we still have 2 more days:)

So my bored little Lydia climbs into my lap and finds a new talent:) LOL... too cute NOT to share:)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - PKs at VBS

**I'm appreciative of Andrea and Travis letting the boys come to our VBS. And for Andrea for taking some pictures (and letting me borrow her camera again.... hehee)!! So the last pic of Anna and the last two of Christopher are Andrea's pictures!!!!

Join other Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday and 5Minutes for MOM.

Van Cleaning, Seating and Singing

It seems every few months we try adjust the seating arrangement in the van.... to make more space or to maintain some bits of piece!! Brian had been wanting to try out a NEW arrangement for some time.... I've been a little hesistant because I didn't think it would "work".

But on Friday, we took out BOTH bench seats and really cleaned our van floor.... and it NEEDED it... don't believe me??? Well I found a petrified frog... no not scared just dead and rigamorios had come and

So this week when we put the seats back in, Brian got to try out his idea:)

Ok.... here's what part of our first trip looked and sounded like with this new arrangement.... careful it's LOUD!

Hahhaa... Brian said our Wee Sing Bible Songs sounded like kiddie-BBN... ha hahaa... but the kids listen/sing to them. And I grew up on Wee Sing and I did't turn out to weird:)

Monday, July 20, 2009

I [heart] faces : Feet Week

I've been letting the kids take pictures with my camera lately.... I know it's kind of scary. But they enjoy it and I enjoy being surprised by some of their pictures!!

When I saw that "I [heart] faces" was doing Feet Week... I knew I found a great time to share this picture bu Lydia:)

I love her cute little toes, the adorable flip-flops and the hole in her jeans:)

NOT Me! Monday : All Dressed Up and Too Tired

Sunday morning I had TWO little girls awake tooo early:) One standing at the side of my bed whispering, "Mommy, we're uuuuuppppp." The other in the hallway pushing the stroller with her baby doll in it. I looked at the clock and it was 6:20AM!!! Way too early for ME.... yes, even on a Sunday!!!

We had a pretty normal morning and then about 9, Lydia started to asking to be held. She said she was sleepyyy... hmmm, wonder why??? So all dressed up we got her cozy on the couch:)

I wish she would have slept SOME.... but she didn't. But she did camp out on the couch for a while and then on my bed while I finished getting ready.

Anna later confessed to waking up early this morning to potty. On her way back to her bed she decided to wake up Lydia. Then she and Lydia climbed into her bed to "sleep" for a little while. Finally they decided to get up and get me....

And I wish, wish, wish I could claim that I read books to them and played with them until the rest of the house started to wake at 7AM.... but I didn't! I stumbled into the living room, felt around for the TV remote (I didn't have my glasses or contacts) and then found PBS Kids for them and turned down the volume really, really low... gotta love 24hour PBS Kids!!

This is a new little weekly meme-thingy I'll try out:) I've seen a couple bloggie friends participating and I always have plenty of parenting blunders to share..... maybe you can learn from me:) Here are some more Not Me! Monday links at My Charming Kids.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Little Climbers

We don't have any trees in our yard to climb.... so the kids have taken to the bush on the side of the house:) It is soo funny for me to walk around the corner and see the bush shaking and talking... LOL

And this is why:)



I love my Little Monkeys:)
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Babies Wearing "Babies"

The Mei Tai and Ring Sling were brought out last nigt while the kids played babies:) I HAD to stop cooking dinner to help them put them on and take PICTURES... of course!!!

Believe it or not, but it started with Christopher wanting to carry his giraffe.... gotta love a sensitive, nurturing man!!!!
Then Anna got into the game. She looks so grown to me!!!
Lyida wore her baby for awhile last night and then again this morning she wanted to put on the mei tai!!!! And she gladly smiled for a picture:)
If you didn't think the above pictures were cute.... then you might not like this one either!!! But I thought it was adorable to see Lydia's back with the mei tai straps (just like a mommy's) and then her backwards shorts from her dressing herself:) And her hair in piggies....

We really are at a fun stage!! I love listening to the kids playing "pretend" with each other. They take care of babies, they pretend that each other are cats, or they go to school. TOday they have transformed the living room into their "house" with their sleeping bags as beds and a blanket as their "table" with plates set..... [what a mess!!! lol]
Off to fold laundry, work on VBS materials and stay productive while they play sooo nicely:)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

After Church Photoshoot

I'm sorry that I've been neglecting the blog this last week... I've been busy with VBS preparations.... Our church's VBS starts MOnday and I've got a lot on my plate!!! I actually think I work better sometimes when I have a lot on my to-do list...

I thought I'd share some pictures the kids and I took after church. They all want to take pictures now!! So we all get to take 4 each and then pass the camera. One of the funniest things is to have the kids direct the others (and me) where to stand and what faces to make:)

Here was mine:)
Here are Lydia's :)

And Anna's:)

And Chris is my Still-Life Photographer :)

Kind of fun that we can go outside with a camera, be silly and have a great time together. And I thought it was a great opportunity to work on cooperation and sharing... as we took turns with the camera and took directions from each other!