Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up: Early Spain & Rivers

This week was weird.

We had a broken dryer (which just threw me... didn't really affect schooling except time trying to find a new one) and two birthday days;) Lydia's birthday being on Wednesday and Brian's on Friday:)

On Wednesday, we started the morning with chores and then as I started working on the house and kitchen to prepare for Andrea's crew for lunch with us, the kids worked on some crafts that they received the night before. And then they worked on Legos and Anna completed some schoolwork assignments;)

I was thankful they entertained themselves, after a while they came into the kitchen to "help"... so I put them to work;) And they were such a big help!! It was really nice that they helped set the table and gather extra chairs, etc!!

The little lunch gathering went well... and it was nice having a smaller celebration;)

And then on Friday we went off on a little adventure. We've heard of a great science museum in Raleigh, but we never had gone!! So off we went... so cool:) We'll definitely be back there again!! But it was a LONG but good day.... and we celebrated Brian's birthday with his favorite meals/dessert on Saturday:)

Here's a look at the rest of our week by subject...

We worked on our Awana verses:)

And we began the last part of Psalm 19!! I think it's my favorite part:) Our verse this week was
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

Using motions and my ASL book, we "acted" the verse out! The kids really enjoyed it and learned the verse fast!! Anytime we can make learning Scripture easy and fun AND hide it in my kids' heart is awesome to me;) Only 2 more verses to go.... and then we'll have to review the middle part again (I'm still learning it as well) !!

I really tried to stay consistent with Chris this week.... I feel like he's the type of kid who functions better when he knows what to expect! And I was soo thankful with what he completed out of Ordinary Parents... did you see the "period"... it's his motivation to get to the end of the sentence:) Hey, it works for him and that works for me;)

Lydia did a lot of listening to books;) She already knows her letters and phonic letter sounds, but it's nice to review each WITH how to write each, so last week she concentrated on T... with some writing pages and "T" activities:)

Anna continued to read library books, mostly working through another Magic Tree House and books collected for our subjects. She also has started to carry around my 1st Bible, a Precious Moments NIV:) And she has been reading that during her alone reading time and even in the afternoons when her and read together for a bit;) While part of me wants her to read something with a "grade level" on it or something challenging so we can practice harder words.... what an amazing blessing for my child to pick up a Bible and WANT to read:) So she's been reading the Bible:)

She also did ONE Spelling unit!! I stress one because she could do MORE, but she's had a few "distracted" mornings where she's wanted to help Lydia or Chris than do her own:) We're working on it;)

We rocked through our Saxon lessons;) And ate a LOT of apples;) Chris is in Saxon 1 and we've had to consume apples to make a graph of how many seeds in each apple.... we're used to eating apples, but maybe HAVING to eat apples and knowing how many we're actually eating has made it seem like more than usual!!

Anna did more carrying over, reviewed the adding/subtracting 9 rule, worked with mixed numbers (soo excited she's getting exposed to this early since I have taught/tutored many high schoolers who struggle with fractions/mixed numbers)!!

We talked and read about rivers using our science book and then library books;) And then we used the Usborne quicklinks to do some of the interactive websites... my kids really enjoy these and I think it's great they are reviewing the information in a fun way!

From the river information we also read books about some of the animals who live near rivers. They really liked one books were it showed the tracks of each and a couple of facts. What was neat was that on Friday at the natural science museum the kids were TALKING about what we had learned earlier in the week... such great moments... phew... they are getting it!!

Thursday afternoon, we also ventured out to our local river!! I made them a little worksheet where they could "discover" the river using their 5 senses, ie what they could see, hear, smell, touch. They loved being outside... and the charts kept their attention (for a bit)!
Our river... in the winter;)
my little scientists

Chris helping Lydia draw a turtle...
the one he "thought" he smelled
such a beautiful (but chilly) day

This week our history was very simple... reading the material, narration page and the coloring pages. We got some fun library books later in the week and finally read through some of them on Friday as we traveled. Simple!

Besides the Lego and board game playing:) The trip to the Natural Science Museum and TWO birthdays... that was about it for us:)

I'm linking up to Weekly Wrap-up:) And to The Homeschool Village since we break the GroundHog Day feeling with field trips and outings even when it's chilly and there isn't much to see at the river in the winter:)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

SOOC - Sweet Morning Face

While we DO put Nate in his crib at night, he makes it back into our bed in the wee hours of the morning;)

And since he's soo mobile now, we have to stay with him until he wakes so he doesn't fall out of the bed. At first I felt very limited by staying in bed with Nate versus starting my day while he's asleep. But lately I've been using the time as my own devotional time...ahhh, so nice!

And this is what I saw the other morning...

I"m joining in at Marvelous Mommy... these were all SOOC:)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Hubby:)

Yesterda Brian's BIG day;)

His birthday!!!

How OLD is he??? Let's just say in less than half a decade, I'll be married to a 40 year old... that sounds soo old right now!! But it's not really:) And he definitely doesn't ACT like he is older... he's got the kids convinced that I am older one of the two of us!!!

In a effort to honor him and share a little bit about him at the same time... I am going to use the "i like" model from the i Like book (I'm giving one away on SIMPLE that ends tonight!!) So here goes...

I like that Brian is a man of integrity. You live what you believes and are VERY intentional in your words and actions.

I like that you takes time out of your busy evenings to jump on the trampoline with the kids or read them books at bedtime.
I like that you support us homeschooling 100%... helping with running errands, collecting library books and "quizzing" the kids at lunch:) And encouraging me through it !!

I really like that you'll clean up the kitchen after dinner if I am busy tending to kids or housework.

I like that you leave just as much as me laying around the house:) LOL!!

I like that you support my picture taking!!! And are a willing "model"!!

I like that you are a VERY hardworking and complete every task to your VERY best ability!!

I like that you are a good teacher and pastor and I sometimes get to listen to you teach from God's Word... I really do learn, when I can hear over squirmy kiddos.

I like (well sometimes NOT at first) that you confront me when my heart, action and/or attitude is/are wrong.... phew, he'll tell you that can be dangerous... LOL!!... but he does it because he LOVES me.

I like that you can be soo silly sometimes... whether hamming it up for the camera, chuckling at Readers Digest jokes, shooting Chris' NERF gun at us or trying to make the us laugh.

I like that you are very compassionate!!!

I like that you listen.... a girl has got to get in all her words each day:)

I like that we share the same BIG goals for our future... while the details are still in debate;)

I like that we are so alike in our parenting on the things that matter MOST... yes, I'm still going to shutter when you play rough with the kids... I'm the mom, it's my job:)

I have MANY more "i like"s.... but I'll just share my favorite:)

I like YOU because you are mine!! Remember.... you made vows :)
I couldn't imagine traveling down this crazy parenting and Life road without YOU!!!

I hope you a had a great day with us as we ventured out with the whole family,
My sweet husband, lover, best friend and great father to our crazy bunch of kiddos!

Happy Moments

Life with Nate becoming more and more active and mobile is BUSY!! BUt it's such a fun time with lots of moments...

Cream of Wheat in-the-morning moments
teeth brushing moments
messy, fussy moments
slobbery giggling moments
caught stealing-schoolwork moments
sweet kissing on Sweetie Pie moments
no... it was a wrestling match
"Lydia, help me!!"
sleepy moments
clean moments
Quiet reading with Daddy moments
Oh, and there are soo many moments that I wanted to capture.... climbing moments, nursing moments, sibling moments, Nate holding onto-the-potty-for-dear-life moments since he was worried about slipping on the hard bathroom floor, headfirst into the walker moments and snuggling right before he falls asleep moments....

While some of the moments require work from MOmma and can be soo tiring:)

Each moment is soo sweet
and makes this Momma soo HAPPY she gets to experience them all;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Lydia;)

1 Year Old ( 2008)
Lydia Playing
taken by Andrea Wood

2 Years Old (2009)
photo from Andrea Wood

3 Years Old (2010)

4 Years Old (today!!)
sorry you have to deal with my indoor pics :(

There are soo many fun things I want to remember about this stage:)

Lydia was easily our happiest baby and it's stayed with her through the toddler and preschool years... oh, she has her moments!!! But she is usually very pleasant and she is soo giving to her siblings during playtime:) She'll compromise to keep the peace and plays very well with everyone;)

She's still got squishy, sweet cheeks and a smile that gets her usually whatever she wants... but don't let her dresses and girliness fool you into thinking that she isn't as tough as nails!! She's had just as many black eyes as her brother and she can pin him too!!! LOL!!

I love how creative she is with her clothing;) H ah haaa... she's been dressing herself since before she was 2... and she has come up with some CRAZY outfits!! So much fun!! This is my new favorite from the other day:)

She's always the little helper... she's willing to help and even asks... lately she's been volunteering to rinse the dishes;) I remembered this video from this summer... her changing Nate's diaper;) And she still asks to do it even when he smells bad... of course now he's really, really wiggly!!

I love that Lydia tried to keep with her siblings during schooltime;) She's in the very early reading stage and doing such a great job. She loves for Anna or I to sit with her to make words or read books to her... which she memorizes. Speaking of memorizing... she is just darling to see at Awana working soo hard to be a good student and getting stickers in her book for her memory verses:)

I wanted to share this.... for the kids birthdays we let them choose what to eat for the day. When we asked Lydia she asked Chris and Anna what they wanted first :) And since Anna doesn't like cake, Lydia chose brownies for her lunch dessert... she really is THAT sweet... always...

well, usually always... don't try to make her wear something she doesn't like or tell her that she has to get her hair cut... LOL!!

I treasure all the days I have had with my Lydia;) Since she was our surprise baby, we are soo thankful for God's control and sweet gift of Lydia!!

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.

The List of her Favorites at 4:
  • Color : Blue
  • Food : Taco, Hot Dogs, Cooked Onions, Bologna, Apples & Carrots
  • Treat: Honey Buns
  • Subject : Cut & Paste (awww.. so cute!)
  • Do inside: Play Candy Land
  • Do outside: Swim
  • Toys: Sweetie Pie (her fav baby doll)
  • Song to Sing: Jesus Loves Me
  • Restaurant:Old McDonalds with a playground
  • Book: any Berenstein Bears or Curious George
  • Movie: Go Diego Go
  • PBSkids Show: Curious George
  • Things to do with Daddy: Ride a bike without training wheels
  • Things to do with Mommy: Play games

Goals for her 4th year: Ride a in a fire truck (e saw a house burning down last night and obviously she is remembering the fire trucks lining the street and the guys fighting the fire!)

And when you ask her what she wants to be when she "grows up", she says "I don't know"!

You can find some other picture posts at 5 Minutes for Mom, Go Graham Go, To Be Thode and any other linkys I find !!!

Homeschooling Week in Review

I always want to share what our weeks look like.... nothing really exciting, just fun to share with some pictures!!

So here goes by subject:)

I am forgetting where I read this quote, but somewhere in the last few weeks I read this,"Our kids should be more familiar with the Bible stories and Scripture than their Saxon lessons!" Ouch!! I'm not sure how many days we zoom through the lessons to eat lunch at a decent hour and skip over our memory verses or lessons.

That being said, the kids and I were very intentional last week to work on their (but it ends up being mine too) Awana verses. And these times always begin conversations about what the verses mean and how can we obey them. And for Cubbies we've enjoyed the little activities although some weeks we don't completely finish:(

We're also trudging our way through Psalm 19... we had taken a break from working on them. But it's such a beautiful and foundational psalm;) SO we're back, and last week we memorized
11 They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them.

All together we've been learning the number families, something I've wanted to start since our friends visited in Oct:) So this week we started the 3's... I told the kids the little rhyme that we sang in softball, "3, 6, 9, batter looks like Frankenstein", just to be silly. They have been butchering that rhyme all week... argh... it's hard to listen... LOL!!

Chris has been ROCKing Saxon 1.... I planned for him to do one lesson every other day because I thought he wouldn't want to sit through the meeting book, lesson and practice sheets.... but I was WAY wrong! He LOVES it and asks to complete all his math;) And just beams when he finishes and I get to lather on the praise:)

In fact, he got tired of waiting on me to start math, so he made his OWN worksheet:) And then completed it. And he was super excited to start counting pennies and drawing pictures for word problems;)

Anna continues to buzz through Saxon 2:) She was excited to finally start carrying over in her addition problems. And this was the 1st week she had a 100 problems in 5 minutes challenge... she did a little more than half during the allotted time... I was really glad she STUCK it OUT and that every problem she completed was RIGHT... which is more important to me:)

Lydia has been working on puzzles, math manipulatives and a matching games. She counts with us and hears all that is going on during math times... she can't wait to start something more formal;)

Chris and Lydia are slowly working through Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. A few days we deviated and I let them pick little readers to work through.... like Bob Books or LeapFrog Phonics books:) While I'd love for them to buzz through it, I really want them to LOVE reading... so my goal is 10+ minutes a day versus completing a certain amount or a lesson!

Anna continues to work through library books to add to her reading log as well as working through her grammer and spelling books:) She also read fairy tales originated in France to Lydia and Chris and with me;) And some cave books;)

Anna also had to write some letters to family and friends as part of her grammer. She dictated what she wanted written as I wrote it on paper, but then she got to type it out:) She enjoyed learning how to work on the computer and I like extending activities to include other skills;)

We took on two topics last week just to push our way through so we can start Space and Astronomy in Feb:) So we talked about Caves and Mountains... pretty simple;)

For caves we read through our main book, read library books and then I had the kids illustrate things that they'd find in a cave! So we had bats, bears, Stalactites and Stalagmites, underground rivers, etc all on papers. And then we built a cave in Chris' room using his bunk bed and couch. Poor Andrea called as I was rearranging the room pushing the couch to build our cave;)

Our Mountain lessons were also very simple!! One thing that was "new" to the kids were avalanches and we covered that with some fun educational online videos:) And I wanted them to know some of the mountain terms... snowline, peaks, pass, etc!! There was a cool printable graphic that I never had the chance to print... so we MADE our own by painting a mountain range with the different terms...

Of course they all look different by age:)
I thought Chris' was cute with mountain climbers on each peak:) And little mountains in front of the big ones;)
I was soo impressed with Anna's though.... I helped her with an outline of some mountains, but she did all the outlining, painting and following the different mountain layers herself....

I HAD to display it!!
(thanks to Uncle Scott and Aunt Bea, I think I found a great spot for the easel and the artwork!!)

We are starting to work through Western Europe in the Middle Ages... so this we studied Clovis and the beginning of France (hence the French fairy tales). While we dove into books about modern Paris and France (learning a little culture) thanks to our amazing and soo very awesome children's librarian (and sweet friend), we don't have alot of resources about soo many of the topics covered in SOTW.

We used the Activity guide this week for the Clovis coloring sheets and making a Fleur de lis symbol:) And then I love using the SOTW resources collected by this awesome homeschooling blogger. So my kids have at least heard of someone named Clovis and the start of France... something I DIDN't know until this week:)

We also jumped into the world of Legos:) Chris received a few smaller sets for Christmas that he really liked. SO this weekend we pulled out Brian and Uncle Scott's old sets.... WHOA!! These kids have been building ever since... it's soo great to see what they create and soo much better for them than just sitting in front of the TV during "down times":)

(can you see Chris saying "awesome" in this blurry pic as Brian pulled out his Legos for the kids to play with????)

Our dining table (which we always eat on) has been covered in Legos for days:) And while they are tucked neatly away right now, I don't see them staying neatly away for very long:)

Well that's about it.... I have some pics of what Nate (the Great) was up to while we attempted to school... he is becoming quite the "distraction"!!! More motivation to school HARD while he's napping;)

Thanks to all the homeschooling ladies who weekly share what you are doing, you all inspire;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tiny Talk Tuesday

A conversation between Chris and Anna as they flipped through a book...

Chris: Crocodiles are mammals.
Anna: No, crocodiles lay eggs they are reptiles. We are mammals, do we lay eggs like them?
Chris: (quiet)
Anna: Does Momma have to sit on an egg to get a baby?

Watching Little House on the Prairie, a character said, "I'm going to make that boy a football player, now there's a boy with guts."

And Lydia turns to us and says, "That man said he was going to make Albert a "nut"!"


Anna asked,"Did you love your brother like you wanted to marry him [the way she claims she loves Chris]?"
Me: no, not really
Anna: Did you love Daddy before you wanted to marry your brother?
Me: No, I met Daddy later.
ANna: Did you find Daddy in Taiwan????

LOL!!! She definitely was remembering some pictures I had showed her of when I worked in Taiwan over a summer in college;) But to attribute working in Taiwan with "finding" Daddy there was just too funny!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

For the Love of BAGELS

I am really wanting to learn how to use my Rebel... any opportunities with quiet/content kids and one willing model and I seize the moments...

yes, even when he is just eating a bagel:)

Ok, Mom, enough is enough...
please let me enjoy....
MY bagel in peace!

I"m joining in at Marvelous Mommy... these were all SOOC:)

I think my favorite is the 2nd and maybe the 4th if it was a little crisper:) But overall, I was pleased how they turned out decent for the evening and no natural lighting! I'm learning;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Aquarium, Meet Up and Cold Fishing

I am dumb-founded that a WEEK has gone by and I have yet to post my "somewhat decent" aquarium pics and share a little bit about my half of week with just my three youngest while Brian and Anna traveled last week!!

Let's just say I knew I would need back-up... LOL!!! Well, sort of;) I just don't like being alone without another adult at night... I'm a scaredy cat... and it's a great excuse to hang out with my amazing Momma:) So we invaded her house!!!

ANd to keep the kids busy and simulated we took them to the aquarium!! And before we made plans I contacted a fellow blogger who I'd been meaning to meet up with:) I have a funny conversation though about this "meet up".

I was chatting with my brother about going to the aquarium and this was how the conversation went...

Me: Yah, we're taking the kids to the aquarium.
Eric: By yourself?
Me: No Mom's coming and I'm super excited to be meeting up friend that I met online.
Eric: Have you met them before?
Me: no.
Eric: Sounds kind of romantic? .. only a little brother!!>
Me: Oh yes... me, Mom, the three kids and then my friend Sarah, her two kids and mother-in-law!! Very romantic:).... giggles...

We did finally get to the aquarium and met Sarah and her crew... very adorable!! And sweet:)The pic to the right is Sarah's:)

My disappointment was that our kids were running around everywhere!!! Her little boy Dustyn knew exactly where all the cool places were and my Lydia and Chris were in a new place and running circles around my mom and I! SO we didn't get much chat time :( Maybe another time:)

And onto my somewhat decent, but treasured aquarium pics;)

I knew my mom spoke a different language:) LOL!!! Her and the turtle were definitely connecting;)

Nate and the shark tank:) He was VERY cautious about using the glass to hold on to!
Chris and Lydia climbing all over the dolphin while Mom and I spied out a Bald eagle across the inlet.

Then Chris, Grammie and Lydia trying to touch a ray.

Lydia's highlight of the aquarium visit... so I wanted to include it;)

The kids received fishing rods from my parents with the promise that they'd take them out fishing when possible. SO don't you know my kids HELD them TO IT... so on a chilly late Saturday morning we headed out to find a fishing spot.

First place, no trespassing.

Second place, no signs... we unpack EVERYONE, set up Lydia's rod, bait her hook and she's fishing;) Then the "pier watchers" come and kicked us off... LOL!! Yes we got kicked off of a fishing spot;)

Third place, beautiful.... it was a friend of our family parents' house and it was soo nice! And so the kids got to fish...

it was super freezing cold and of course they didn't catch a thing.... but they WENT FISHING... and they were super excited they got to do that:)

We had a blast with my parents, quick visits with my brother, sister and Hannah Grace, and then we traveled home to welcome Daddy and Anna back from their own voyage:)