Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg @ Christmas

We found a great deal on annual passes to Colonial Williamsburg right after Thanksgiving. So part of Grammie and Pey's gift to our family was this annual pass;) So awesome since it's a great place to explore and it fits our history time period this year:)

So on Christmas Eve...

we ventured out to Colonial Williamsburg:)
On the Shuttle

Drum and Fife Corps

Fresh and charming Colonial Williamsburg Christmas decor
Anna excited to start the Adventure Map activity

The blacksmilth hard at work

Brian and Nate enjoying the indoor conversations at the blacksmith's shop

Grammie and the older kids getting a better view of the blacksmith

The beautiful array of colors at the weaver's shop

The sword handles decorating the Governor's Palace

Tree climbing... this tree has been climbed for generations!
Lydia in the stocks

Daddy had fun too;)

It was a super trip and there was very small crowd, so we got to see a lot in a short time, including the tour of the Governor's Mansion.

We loved visiting Williamsburg and look forward to visiting it many times this year & in  warmer seasons;)


Thanks to Grammie and Pey for this awesome gift and hoping they can join us in more Williamsburg adventures;)

Just for fun, on the way home we asked the kids what their favorite part of Williamsburg was...
Anna: The ride on the Shuttle.
Chris: The man banging on the red, hot metal.
Lydia: The horse poop in the middle of the road!

LOL!! Thankfully it's a season pass;) And the can get more out of it next time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

A look through our year;)

Taking pictures of Nate at each monthly milestone... such a treat to have these:)
Visiting a friend's farm and having Anna start overcoming her fear of animals.


The girls as flower girls in my "little" brother's wedding!

Love the pictures of Nate at the piano at 14 Months.

A new school year:)

Brian's 1st Day as Student Services Director at our local community college.

My favorite soccer "blopper". We loved the soccer season:)

Lydia's Big Haircut

Chris turning 6:) and getting to help me review;)

Our neighbor's stray kittens has effected soo many of our warm outside days... my kids basically live on her front porch playing with these kittens... after schoolwork, of course;)

My heart as I look through all these pictures and see how quickly time has passed this year!

“When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.”
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

I feel like this end-of-year wrap-up needs to end with this;) Our family picture taken by a friend;)

Because Sarah @ Naptime MomTog is soo cool:) And because I have really enjoyed looking through most... umm, some... of our adventures and pictures throughout the year, I decided to join up to the Top 11 of 2011:)

Naptime Momtog

And linking up to I Should be Folding Laundry's favorites of 2011.

Something's Missing

Chris lost his 1st tooth this week in the car on the way to his grandparents's house;)

It was the quickest loose tooth ever!! He found it loose on Christmas Eve and lost it on Monday afternoon;)

He's definitely proud of his little gap and thankful he can eat his hot dogs whole again, which was tough with a loose tooth in the front;)

More Wordless Wednesday at  NapTime MomTog, 5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go
and any other linkys I find !!!

**Got lots of Christmas pictures coming;) 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Lights

For the past 2 or 3 years we have ventured to a neighboring town to see an amazing display of Christmas Lights. Usually we head there with the Woods... piling into a big van and traveling up there together! Even without them with us the kid were eager to go and see the display.


There is a story that goes along with why this one man decorates his entire street with lights. I don't know all the details... just that he prepares and works on it for months...

to honor his daughter!


I hope you enjoy some of our favorites;)





And have a Very Merry CHRISTmas;)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WW: The Table After a Homeschooling Morning


**And this was after we cleaned up halfway through;)

I've always liked this quote;)
Our house is clean enough to be healthy, 
and dirty enough to be happy.  
~Author Unknown
and any other linkys I find !!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Before Christmas Wrap-Up

So I skipped a week of "wrapping up".... forgive me;) With the extras of preparing for Christmas and my classes, schooling the kids and just being with my family... the blogging got pushed to the side for a bit.

We've done very well with keeping up with the Jesse Tree devotional these last two weeks;) I love the continual pull back to Christ with each verses, story, devotional... I am just soo thankful that we have been working through these devotion each day and I feel like it's really helped to bring our focus back to Christ!

I confessed that I had slacked on being prepared with everything.... so finally Monday we got to work changing the pictures into ornaments... coloring (the final few), gluing on construction paper, laminating, hole punching and then a ribbon:)

And I am just putting them on our Christmas tree:( I really wanted a separate place for our Jesse Tree ornaments... but they fit... our tree is a collection of Christmas ornaments, faith-based, crafts, memories, shiny balls:) Anyway, I am pleased and reminded that sometimes simplicity IS best.

We've been listening to Luke 2 a couple of days/nights a week, but I don't think any of us can totally recite the passage... but I bet Anna is getting close:)

Language Arts
The last two weeks I have been faithfully having the kids reading from Ordinary Parents Guide (for the younger two) or library books. Our library started a Winter Reading program in December, so the kids have been trying to earn their 1st prize:) I"m always thankful to see my kids snuggled on the couch with a book!! This week Anna read Mr Popper's Penguins in ONE day... she's a reader;)

Chris had a fun activity with one of his review lessons. He had to "cross the river" only stepping on words with the long "u" sound.IMG_8224

Of course laying blankets on the floor and jumping from card to card means total involvement with lots of giggles and lots of movement... no quiet school days here;)

I eased up on the spelling with Lydia and Chris the last two weeks... they've been writing the Days of the Week each day and really focusing on reading and getting in some copywork and free writing:) They have been doing 3 Grammar lessons a week though;)

Anna's been working on prepositions for weeks now... LOL!!... at least it seems like it;) Thankfully she memorized the required prepositions during 2nd grade, so it has been "review". One day we worked on dictionary skills just to break it up:)

A couple letters were composed this week... but the majority of the writing has been making Christmas "wish lists"... funny that they are finally starting to think about gifts. But with Christmas just a week away most of shopping is done!

I've taught everything from fractions to the numbers on a clock face, from odd ball subtraction facts to making graphs with how many linking cubes are in a bag. Our math highlight this week was Anna using fractions to measure out amounts for fun using rice (although she is often my little baker!).


The first week we read about the Persia (and briefly highlighted all the countries that controlled that area) and the Ottoman Empire. SInce it was a lot of really crazy names (like 10+)... we did our reading and then I had the kids do copywork instead of narration! We did discuss the questions for the chapter. We also read through books that talked about Iran and Turkey.

The map was the coolest... tissue paper circles representing the different countries (the kids wrote the names of the people) glued onto of one another;) The point was MANY different groups/people fought over Persia for a LOT time!! It's no wonder there is still soo much "unrest" in that area!


Last week we studied the Thirty Years' War. There were a lot of details again... so the younger two just did copywork and Anna did copywork and wrote out answers to these two questions "why did the war start?" and "who were some of the important figures?" For some reason this was less stressful for her than having to narrate the chapter, probably because it caused her to focus on the most important stuff and not get all caught up in the details.

Maps though are the kids favorite part of history:)


Since Germany was the main country in The Thirty Years' War we read about Germany and a handful of Grimm tales (carefully chosen, of course)!


Anna did 2 simple experiments this week... one with water, again! I stress simple! And she got caught up with the Science terms from past experiments.


I feel like we do a lot if "informal" Science around here. Answering "Why?" questions and such!! But our formal Science study is really going to have to pick up more when we start back in January (in other words this Momma needs to get herself better organized!!).


IMG_8189Last week we went to a party with our homeschooling group... one mom opened up her HOME!! She was a brave soul:) Most of the activities were outside.... but still, they ate snack and played outside in between activities.

The kids had a great time playing with their friends, doing a Christmas present exchange, having snacks and more playing!! It just makes me soo thankful for this group and the sweet friendships the kids and I have been able to make!

I know I have written this before, but if you are  homeschooling.... find friends;) It is WORTH the drive (we drive over 45 minutes to meet up with our group)!!!

The friendships for the kids and the fellowship and encouragements from the other moms is priceless!!

Looking ahead....
This week we are slacking a bit ... LOL!! Ok, we're slacking a LOT!!
On Sunday night, I made a packet of worksheets for the kids... Christmas word searches, math problems, crossword puzzles, etc! SO the kids will work on those in between Chris finishing his LAST 1st Grade math lesson;) and reading library books, some last minute Christmas projects, some Christmas tasks, cleaning the house, Jesse Tree devotions! We have a program at our library one night this week, too!

We have an exciting field trip planned for later in the week... but we're seeing rain on the forecast:( So that might not happen :( 

And starting Wednesday, Brian will be with us until Jan 2nd. He has mandatory vacation time:) So we'll take every minute we have with him at home.... although I think he's planning to start packing his church office. Not that we have a moving date yet (still waiting on that loan to be processed), but it's something that has to get done!!!

LOL... you made it to the end;) 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cuddle Time With Nate

Definitely one of the best perks of homeschooling is the moments that the children get to be with each other!! It breaks my heart to think that if I had my older kids in school this year that Nate would be by himself all day...

Instead we find plenty of these moments during the day:)



SOOC Saturday