Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Jumpers with No Coordination, Pumpkins

We had a fun week :) Lots of outside time earlier in the week, soccer practice/games and some fun events at the end of the week:)

We are continuing to work through 1 Corinthians 13! I love that my kids can memorize verses soo much more quickly than I. It makes me want to invest the time to learn them as well!!

This week for prayer time as we've been praying for family and friends we've been discussing the manner of prayer. How God knows what we are asking even when we don't have the right words and what our attitudes/actions should be like during times of prayer. Crazy what conversations come up during our prayer times :)

Language Arts
We had a normal week here.... just keeping up with Grammar, spelling, reading practice, some writing (Anna doing cursive and Chris and Lydia doing copywork).

Anna is doing Spelling Power this year. I like the format. I like that I'm a part of her spelling work daily. But she's been rushing through her spelling words :( It caught up with her this week... she had trouble with a Review Test with words she had already worked on. So well stalled on spelling in order to practice those words more thoroughly. I'm glad it happened because it pointed out to her how "rushing through" work will catch up to her. Lets just say though, that I'm glad that the following lesson was a little easier for her ;)

Any wisdom on how to encourage them to slow down when using the 10 Study Steps on Spelling Power?

We only completed 3 lessons a piece since we had two abnormal days! So that was good;)

The most notable thing in math was Chris starting fractions!!

This week we finished reading our Pocahontas books and then started on the exploration of Canada. We specifically studied Henry Hudson and Samuel Champlain. We read, narrated, colored and mapped it out. We read a book on Henry Hudson that was a little more personal.... when we read that the sailors sent Hudson, his son and some sick crew members afloat in a small raft to die in the Hudson Bay from our reader the kids kind of shrugged (nothing like the beheadings at the Tower of London!). But when reading the biography with pictures, they definitely showed more sympathy ... shows the importance of books to add to our lessons.

One afternoon we decided to play some of the Inuit games, like

 * jumping  the length of our bodies


October 20111

* jumping while holding onto your toes (try it... it's hard)


 * the juggling really caused issues... my kids just aren't coordinated :/

where did the ball go???
Waiting again:)

Chris actually did well with the juggling of one ball... he never did try two;)

 Anna wrote up an experiment and finished up old definitions as well as new ones for the new experiment. We never did get to the actual experiment though :/ So that will be Monday;)

We did some "science" with pumpkins on Friday. We had friends come over and did the "pumpkin thing"...


we measured, weighed, described, tasted (the brave ones), read a book that quickly went over how they are grown and then cut them open:) Of course the final conversations revolved around the "gooky" stuff and seeds:)



Cool results though;)


Friday and Saturday nights we attended church fall festivals/parties;) The kids had a blast! This was my favorite pic:

Nate (the giraffe) Raiding the Candy
Giraffe Raiding the Candy Pail

Overall a good week.... schooling, at the park with friends, great finds at a local Once A Upon a Child, kitten catching, friends over to "do" pumpkins and then all the fun parties;)

Linking up to Weekly Wrap-Up:)

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kitten Catchers

SOOC Saturday

This summer and fall we have had our share of neighbors' kittens.... kittens visiting us and us visiting kittens.

This last batch has our attention... we've seen them since they were just a few weeks old. Our neighbor loves having the kids over and enjoys watching the kids trying to catch and tame the frisky little kittens.

We're not yet ready for pets, but the kids love these cats!!

A kitten catcher snuggling with his catch;)

Little Nate has even warmed up to the kittens.



"Got one!"

I'm not a cat person, but it's hard not to love on these kittens:) And if we were to bring one home...

I want this one;) LOL!
Lydia, kitten catcher, with the fluffy kitten;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

We Cloth.... sometimes :/

I haven't mentioned cloth diapering much....

It's not because we don't cloth....

I am glad that by using cloth... we are throwing less away and being a little eco-friendly. We also like that we are saving ourselves a few dollars each month by not using only disposables.

But I'm only a part-timer!!

We cloth at home during our "normal" weeks... days when we're at home doing our normal tasks! Not out running errands since I'm often out-numbered and just the thought of dealing with 4 kids and a messy cloth diaper overwhelms me;)

So I don't talk about it much...

I'm still kind of "new" at it! And I'd hate to leave you with the impression that I know what I'm doing or have a diapering/cleaning routine going.


But isn't Nate cute in his cloth (and his ridiculous outfit) ???

If you want to start cloth diapering and want to know about more brands of cloth... check out SIMPLE's Cloth Diaper Week!!! There are currently 11 giveaways for different brands and a review with each!!! It's amazing all that is available! Makes me want to add to my collection!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall is for Park Days

We'll venture to the park any day of the week when we know we can meet friends there;)

But there is something relaxing about being at the park on a beautiful fall afternoon... the comfortable temperature, the less intense sun and fewer bugs (usually).

Makes me wonder if fall is for park days... getting in all the outside time we want before the chill of winter sets in;)

I'm sharing my favorite pictures from our park day this week with some sweet friends!
{pretty}.... Nate's little girl twin:)


{funny}... Chris my adventurous monkey!

{real}...  my baby sporting the boots on the playground!

The 1st one is for little somethings Fall Activity challenge! The 2nd is for  the happiness challenge at Leigh vs Laundry:) And the 3rd is for and then, she {snapped}.

and then, she {snapped}

Also linking up to I should be folding laundry's Cute theme....

The last picture is for here...

round button chicken

Halloween Safety with giveaway

IMG_9504We're not "trick or treator"s yet....

we usually stay pretty active during this season with visiting community fall parties, attending our church's Fall Festival and decorating cookies and carving pumpkins at home.

But I remember the days of heading out into the neighborhood with a couple of friends, trying to stay a few houses away from my parents.... just to feel the independence of being out late with friends and trying to get as much candy as possible!!

Since I'm sure there are families everywhere preparing to "trick or treat" on Monday night, I am pleased to share some Halloween Safety Tips from FedEx and SafeKids!! And they even have a few safety kits to giveaway:)


What Drivers Need to Know:

· Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

· Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on early in the day so you can spot children from greater distances.

· Remember that costumes can limit children’s visibility and they may not be able to see your vehicle.

· Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

And onto the giveaway:)

FedEx Halloween Safety Gift BagFedEx and SafeKids are giving away 3 safety kits! They include a reflective trick-or-treat bag, mini aluminum flashlight with strap, battery operated blinking flasher, reflective Safe Kids zipper pull tag, reflective yellow slap bracelet, reflective pumpkin sticker, reflective orange shoe laces OR green reflector strips for shoes or costumes and a safety tip sheet for kids and drivers!!

Leave a comment about what activities you do during the fall/Halloween season and/or what your kids are dressing up like;) Please include a way to contact you and look for a winner to be contacted ASAP, so these can get to you in time;)

Giveaway ends Thursday, Oct 27 at 12:00PM...
that's right tomorrow at noon, so you can get your prizes before Halloween night!

** I am sharing this information from FedEx and SafeKids as a public service:) I have received no compensation for this post.

The Rodeo

I've never considered myself a "country girl"...

Some say I developed a "drawl" while at college in the "heart of Virginia":)

My family accuses me of "cooking country" now;)

Besides one day owning a pair of boots (which I have been on the hunt now for 2 YEARS!!), attending our 1st Rodeo was probably the turning point :) LOL!!!

Beautiful horse, young lady & flag galloping around the arena to the song "Proud to Be an American"

bucking bronco

steer wrestling...  you should have seen the concerned looks on my kids' faces!

ladies barrel racing

Yeeee-haw,  folks;)

The 1st pic is for the natural beauty challenge at Simplicity.
The 3rd is for communal global.

More Wordless Wednesday at
and any other linkys I find !!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mom, I Don't Want You to be a Snake

IMG_9514We walked by a little, swampy stream after soccer practice last week. And Chris asked,"Mom, do you think there are snakes in there?"

It was a chilly night, so as we walked by I answered," Yep. But if I was a snake, I'd be looking for a place to hibernate!"

And then the conversation was quiet for a moment.

Chris answers back, "Mom, I don't want you be a snake... your a good mom!... I mean you do stuff that is mean sometimes, but I don't care. You're still a good mom!!"

The conversation was very sweet, revealing and convicting. I had just written about how I long to be a joyful, loving mother that week and then earlier in the day I had "lost it"... finding fault with everything and really showing an ugly attitude.

Sure, my simple requests of the children had been disregarded. Messes left in every room. Chores left undone. Whining instead of obedience. And a busier schedule due to soccer practice.

Not to mention... a meal to prepare and have ready when we returned from soccer practice. A van left half cleaned (because the little helpers got bored of the job!). A project that the kids had gotten into and I had to fix before I could complete it!!

But those are all excuses...

I have the ability (only through the Holy Spirit) to choose to be loving, gentle, kind and longsuffering.

I choose...  and too often I choose wrongly! And my kids know!!

I am thankful they know. They know I love the Lord and want to serve Him in every moment. And they know how often I fail.

But there is forgiveness.... forgiveness from the Lord and from each other!

And a chance to choose joy, gentleness, love and longsuffering the next time!!

It totally figures that these are part of the verses we are working on memorizing together... funny how that always works out :)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.                                                                 1Corinthians 13: 4-7

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Transition : His New Location

I've shared some about the ups and downs of house hunting and I'm really praying that will be coming to an end soon (because we'll finally have plans!). That in itself has been a huge part of our schedule the last 2 months!! And I have NOT been as patient or willing to relax and trust like I should be.... just not having definite "plans" is starting to "eat" at me.

But there are a lot of  "transitions" that we are still making since Brian started working full-time job at the college.

The hardest thus far has been his schedule and location change!! I'll share about the location first...

Since we moved to our parsonage, Brian has worked either at home or just feet behind the parsonage in the church office housed in our fellowship hall. We often giggled about the "tough" morning commute... stepping over the baby gate in the doorway to the home office or walking a few feet to the covered walkway in front of the fellowship hall.

In fact during the earlier days I kind of disliked that Brian was soo close. I felt guilty when I was invited to picnic at the park with friends. Or I felt stressed at lunch to have a full meal ready for him (and the kids). I felt like I needed to have the house in order throughout the day since he could have walked through at anytime. And there were times when he'd be on an important call and I'd be trying my hardest to quiet the fussy babies or loud toddlers.

But Anna commented the other day to me, "Mommy, I really miss sharing the school room with Daddy. He always could see what we were learning!"  How did we get blessed with such sweet kids??

She was right though. With Brian gone all day, it does feel different in our house. We do feel like we are missing him... even the little things like when we set the lunch table for only 5.

Anyway, Anna's comment also made me feel guilty over not enjoying the years of having Brian soo close...  him reading a little bit during lunch with us, or watching kids ride bikes as I put final touches on lunch. Or him being that extra set of hands as I nursed Lydia with a toddling, mischievous Christopher running around. Calling Brian and having him help me buckle little bodies into the van for an outing nice to have help when loading up!!

Those days are gone.... at least during the normal week! And I do regret, I didn't enjoy them more!

Our decision to look locally for a home, versus farther near the bigger city, stemmed from some of this, too! Having Brian's job location closer means that he is closer to us and we are closer to him. He has a smaller commute to work and we can stop by before a picnic or run him lunch... which Brian really likes because

he misses us, too!!

310. a very hard working husband
311. reading about Helen Keller as a family
312. meeting up with Grandma & Granddaddy.... TWICE this week!!!!
313. indoor playground at McD's
314. Nate's delight going through the playground and down the slide "alone"
315. a little "h-whoa" when we enter into a room
316. giggling at the rodeo
317. little cowboy boot steps heard running across the floor
318. some new tunes
319. watching my children participate during a church service
320. cookies!!!
321. learning to be patient... even when it's tough
322. seeing love like 1 Corinthians 13 lived out
323. reciting memorized Scripture with my kids
324. weekends with Daddy

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Kids Licenses, Trying to Make Gas & The Real Pocahontas

In my Life this week.... I saw my need to be purposeful in being a joyful mother... too often I let circumstances dictate my attitude and I want to change! I also saw how much I have been consumed by the "house hunt"... so I'm trying to let that "go" too... trusting that we will find/be lead to the perfect spot.

In our homeschool week...

I have found that the kids really enjoy our prayer times, but they are also getting "silly" with it. So before we prayed this week, I reminded them to Whom they are praying... the Creator of the Universe! And the manner in which we pray that shows Him reference.

We're also learning more and more of 1 Corinthians 13. This week the favorite verse was 7 because they had to shout the words in bold "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance."

Language Arts
We had all sorts of fun here... I'll just share the highlights;) Anna is reading a series of fictional diaries from colonial Jamestown called My America. She's really enjoyed what she has read. On Wednesday we ventured to meet grandparents traveling through and Anna read for at least 30 minutes of our 45 minute drive, so we all got to "read" some of the book, too;)

Anna has also started working on cursive again....
( I really do not stress handwriting with my crowd, they get practice with their handwriting during the toddler and preschool years and then doing copywork and assignments once they start "school". I think it's important that they recognize and can write neatly, but we don't stress about perfectly formed letters and I don't even purchase handwriting curriculum, just cheap workbooks that I photocopy for them to practice with. All that said.... I feel like the kids need to know cursive in order to read it!!! If someone (usually Grandma) writes them a letter in cursive, it's very important that my kids can read it!! )

and she loves it!! I'm not sure how many letters she has written to people this week... but I am finding them everywhere. She's been through one simple cursive letter workbook last year and this year I have a harder workbook I got for a $1 at a book sale. She is hoping to review 2 letters a week... but with all the letter writing she's been getting a TON of practice and has almost convinced Chris to start learning cursive with her next week:)

This week as I did reading with Lydia, I was soo surprised at how well she is sounding out words. It took the older 2 much longer to get to the stage where they would sound out words on their own... but Lydia is seeing that she can already read soo much independently.... gotta love the homeschool learning curve for younger siblings, I definitely read less to Lydia in my lap,one-on-one than I did for Anna and Chris!! No guilt trip there, right!?

Chris, Lydia and I enjoyed our Grammar lessons this week. Learning about the state we live in and naming states of the United States. Our last lesson on Friday was writing our address... I felt a little silly teaching them our current address just because we know it will be changing in a few months... oh well...

We made an activity though with our address writing (see there is hidden handwriting in Grammar!!). We made index card driver's licenses using an extra Christmas Cards from last year:)


They glued their picture on, wrote their address at the top and then filled in some personal information (like eye color, hair color, weight, height,etc).


Each child did at least 4 lessons;) Yay:) My lefty at work!

During her down time one morning, Lydia followed an activity from Math Mastermind all by herself and came to show it off;)


Lydia also had a BIG milestone in math this week!! She finally got to do a fact sheet, like Anna and Chris!! She was soo excited she did her first one a day early:) With the Time Timer at her side... set at 5 minutes, although she completed it in record time :)


We studied King James and Jamestown. I love how much British history we are learning and to see how it ties into American history soo much... especially these early years:) We read, colored and mapped;) And I totally gave in and let them watch Pocahontas .... i know it's not historically accurate :( Anyway, it's a good picture though of the tension and the mindset that did exsist. To balance the Disney indoctronation (LOL!!!.. joking!) we did read some fabulous books from our library.... Who's Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage? by Jean Fritz, The True Story of Pocahontas by Lucille Penner, and In Their Own Words: Pocahontas by George Sullivan.

This week we got back on track with the "other" gas experiment. It resembled the soda experiment from two weeks ago, but we used kitchen ingredients to make gas. The kids measured and poured the ingredients.

The 1st concoction was baking soda and vinegar.... LOL, Chris took a big wiff of the vinegar and made the funniest face. We put the balloon and the kids shook up the bottle making the ingredients mix and the gas form filling the balloon:)

The 2nd concoction was orange juice and baking soda. It made a little bit of gas... I wonder if it was because it made gas or I just didn't rinse the bottle out well enough???

And Lydia was my fearless little chemist.... she also helped me mix 2 other concoctions..... water/baking soda and salt/vinegar to make gas. Neither of those made gas :(

October 2011

Before soccer practice we made a community fall event! We basically made an appearance, dressed like this....


And then headed to soccer;)

And this evening we attended a Rodeo.... and that is another post :)

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