Friday, November 30, 2012

My Favorite Chris and Jack Pic

I LOVE this picture;)


It makes me soo thankful for our decision to get a dog... as crazier, louder and messier the house is now with Jack!! I really under estimated how much work having a dog in the house would be; nevertheless, having a busy little puppy like Jack:)

But to see my Chris snuggling and wrestling and playing with our dog...


 Submitting the 1st picture to Shoot.Edit.Submit., Tell Your Story, and Give Me Your Best Shot

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chris' 7th Birthday & Vacation:)

While visiting with family over the Thanksgiving holiday we also got to celebrate Chris' birthday!!

 It's a mixed blessing having a birthday so close to a holiday.... Chris has yet had a birthday party with friends but he always gets to see family and so far has been at Grandma and Grandaddy's house to celebrate almost every year!!!

Even though he was hours from friends and we'll probably not have a "friend" party again this year.... Chris had an awesome birthday weekend:)

First we toured a huge aircraft on Friday:)

Then Saturday we went to play mini-golf,

ride the go cart with Daddy
and stop by Ritas;)

On Sunday, we had taco lunch, cake and presents at Gran-Grandma's.


And then they had a blast in Uncle Larry's leaves;)

We topped the birthDAY off with a quick dinner at McD's and a drive through a holiday light display:)

We had a great Thanksgiving trip and time with family. We stayed pretty busy but had a good time, too!!

And thank you to everyone who got to share Chris' birthday weekend with us:)

Chris' Stats
Chris is 47.5 inches tall and weighs  about 57 lbs!

He's doing 1st/2nd grade work... he's definitely liking Math more than Reading but we're making progress!! He's definitely our class clown only rivaled to Nate who is learning all Chris' tricks! And this little guy is the one who stretches his momma the most.... teaching her patience, grace and ways to creatively make home school fun for him:)

IMG_9251His favorites:

Color : Black
Food : Pepperoni Pizza (homemade without cheese)
Treat: Skittles
Subject: Art
Animal: Tyrannosaurus Rex
Do inside: Draw
Outside Activity: Play baseball
Toys: Legos 
Restaurant: Taco Bell
Book: anything about Dinosaurs
Movie: Lego Movies ?, Kung Fu Panda
PBSkids Show: Wild Kratts

Goals for his 7th year: Learn more Art

When you ask him what he wants to be when he "grows up" he'll respond "a paleontologist"!

What are your little ones saying this week? Link up or comment:)

More Wordless Wednesday at  NapTime MomTog, 5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nate's Sayings & 1st Zoo Visit

Nate seemed like my delayed speech little guy... it seemed like it took him forever before he said very much! But months ago he hit a word explosion and he's been entertaining us ever since... although he is a bit sassy :/

Here are some of his most famous statements:

Parent: Nate, do you have a stinky?
Nate: No. You have a stinky!

Parents chatting about Nate's hair getting cut.
Nate: Weave me hairw a wone.
(Grandaddy, I don't think you're going to win this one! Not yet... LOL!!)

Nate: Me drink weaaallly bad! aka he's thirsty and trying to get me moving a little faster:)

One night I was reading an alphabet book with him. We got to "E is for Elephant" and Nate asked,"Me wride that?"

It took me a moment to realize he was remembering kids riding the elephants at the circus we went to months ago!! And that he's NEVER been to a ZOO!!! NEVER!!

So we went...


with Grammie and Pey.

Obviously we had a blast!!

 Lots of fun looking at/for animals, enjoying a beautiful fall afternoon and spending time with Daddy, Grammie and Pey!! Loved this picture of Brian and Nate hamming it up:)

Nate hasn't said much about the zoo or animals! But we're getting a zoo pass for Christmas (yay!!) so we will get to visit the animals again and again:)

It's your turn!! Just leave a comment or link up:)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wrapping Up The Stinky Week

We were challenged last week with a snotty, clingy 2 yr old and we managed:)

But this week was literally "stinky".... messy, poop on the floor, cruddy attitudes, lots of cleaning and even a visit to the doctor... I mean VET. Yes, the source of most of the mess was the puppy:/  I don't even want to remember how many times Brian walked through the door coming home for lunch or for the night and the kids were parked on the couch or in their beds for "quiet time"... aka, Momma-has-had-it, everyone needs to lay low so she doesn't go crazy .... LOL!!

Anyway, the flow of the mess has slowed down and we are praying Jack will soon be back to normal stealing all the kids' toys and laying around. He hasn't been acting sick, just bummed that he is tied up in the kitchen (on the laminate flooring) until his tummy recovers!


We did have 2 GREAT school days... productive, lots of learning:) And then three days of just staying sane (and clean!) with a music class, a giving opportunity and bits of schooling stuck in;)

We started the week strong. But when 3 mornings required scrubbing either the dog (and crate) or the floor where the dog spent the night.... as school time slipped away so did our Bible time. Thankfully we still read Bible stories when we read in the afternoon! So we still were learning:)

I plan to continue the #12 Way until next week.... why rush? We missed a few lessons that will easily be completed before our small Thanksgiving break.

We did some:/  I think each kids completed at least 3 lessons... so not too bad.

I had them attempt to do a lesson at the vet office, but the friendly three-legged cat was a LOT more interesting than math... who knew?

Language Arts
Some of the highlights this week were
  • reading 2 small passages from  The Trumpet of the Swan for writing:) We all loved reading that book aloud years ago... I was amazed how much the kids remembered.
  • Anna doing a Grammar lesson orally in the car heading to a funeral visitation. Trying to sneak in a lesson that was on the list to be completed this week:) Daddy was driving;)
  •  finishing The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Flieshman. We loved the book with all the twists and turns and very  memorable characters. Definitely glad we continued to read it after we finished with the Gold Rush topic weeks ago!
With all going on I"m not sure how we got in soo much Science?

We started with showing Chris the water pressure activities from the end of last week.

 We did an extra water pressure experiment demonstrating that water likes to level itself out. We used a plastic tub that was bended in half. It was clear that the water levels on either side of the tube were equal to one another.

We also talked about density and floating. For the first activity I filled a bowl with water and told the kids to bring back 2 objects - one they thought would float and one they thought would sink.


They had a blast guessing whether the items would float or sink. We talked about the types of objects and reasons that they didn't float.  And then we added the definition of density and the list of items that sank or floated.


And then I changed the rules by showing them how to make an egg and a pencil with a tack float by adding salt to the water which changes the density of the water.

Nate got into the fun a little, too!! Some of our "tools" came from a water kit from a community resource. I gave Nate some of the water toys and he went to town.

New toys are always fun and they kids enjoy them.... for a minute:)

And then he was back to the measuring cup and spoon... who can pass up those "tools"??

We started the week with more review questions from SOTW vol3! It was a good review that we all needed. And then we pulled out the binders for SOTW 4!! Very exciting to be starting a new book and hoping to add a few more changes to our history times.

We only read the 1st section this week. And an appendix of a library book that was very informative about the Victorian Age in Britain. We have a couple of novels to choose from for the next couple of weeks whose authors were writing during this time period. And before Thanksgiving we'll have a map, chapter outline and hopefully more readings.

The kids had a double music lesson last week. The music teacher asked that all the kids come to the first class so she could teach the kids hand bells:) It was very cool to see all the ages together playing their first hand bell song... a Christmas song to hopefully share at the rehab center around Christmas!  The second hour was devoted to recorder... so now I'm hearing Jingle Bells at home;)

Linking up to Weekly Wrap-Up and Science Sunday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Double Donation (no more BUN)

Definitely time for a TRIM or a CHOP!!

We've been putting off getting our hair cut until we could visit Aunt Jaclyn's salon. The girls would have NO ONE else touch their hair. I was holding off to have enough to donate to Locks of Love and have some thing left to work with:)

Lydia went first.
Lydia chose her own hair style... she asked specifically for bangs.

And then a BIG CHOP for Anna!
Anna had 10 inches cut off in those first minutes!!!

 I thought it was funny that she immediately started feeling for her hair again!
Anna's ending style! She looked so grown... seriously, a teenager already? LOL!!

And then it was my turn!! I'd really had been looking forward to going, just ask Brian! He was GLAD to finally get me to my sister:) LOL!

We took about 12 inches off my head!! It was wonderful!!! I love my hair and have already adjusted to the new morning hair routine which is MUCH easier and faster.... NO more school-marm-ish bun!!!


IMG_9035This is a little strange to post...

but our hair measured:)

This is Anna's 2nd time donating her hair to Locks of Love! I know she was a little hesitant to go through with a big CHOP, again! I left the decision up to her and at the end she was pleased. See her first donation/hair cut story here.

And I was thrilled to be able to donate, too!! I have done it in the past but I've had the "I need to cut my hair TODAY" itch for about 6 months.... it's been a long "hair" 6 months;) LOL!!

A super big thanks to my talented sister.... being patient with the girls and I and even working on her day off while pregnant! I know... she was super sweet! And Brian!! He watched the kids and meet up with us here and there to make it all work out for everyone! Thanks for being soo flexible, sacrificial and  willing!! And my parents who continue to take care of us and love on us... definitely demonstrating that we never really grown out of being parents!!

More Wordless Wednesday at  NapTime MomTog, 5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go.

Weekly Wrap-Up

With a snotty and clinging toddler and chilly, wet weather we made it through another week :)

This week we discussed being generous. I was personally challenged with the idea of "your heart is where your treasure is" and how it applies to how we spend our time as well. It was funny that I was challenged with the verse one day and the next day I had a sick, whinny, clingy 2 yr old :) What a way to put in practice how I need to love and comfort like Christ and not be distracted by my "own agenda"... yes, even when my agenda includes laundry, making meals and schooling some older siblings:/

Language Arts
The last few weeks I've made more of an effort to work with Chris and Lydia in their reading book. It's amazing how different they are in their journey to be readers.. one is reading like crazy (read from a 3.7 level Abeka reader with ease) and the other stumbles over sight words:/ Goes to show you that the journey to reading isn't always about having great resources or a willing parent... definitely a lot to do with personality (and ability... although I know the ability is there for my little one).

Thankfully there is progress!! And that is my motivation as we drag out the reading boom each morning whether anyone wants to or not :)

And my issues with Anna's Grammar isn't solved but it's working. I'm doing most of it orally with her. She's learning and likes the one-on-one time (so do I)... too bad the rest of the house is bounding off the walls while we work!

Chugging away... lesson by lesson:) Math facts and skip counting during drives in the car... the homeschooling life!

Chris working hard... after the picture I realized he was working hard on making a battle scene around his problems:/

Lydia's lesson on Symmetry

We had a HUGE event this week.... besides the elections;) LOL!!

We finished Story of the World vol 3!! It's a very big accomplishment for us:) I will admit that we didn't do all the activities and narrations for every chapter, some we just read through:/ But as we reviewed I realized how much the kids had gleaned from our studies. Yay!!!


We did spend time talking about the Presidential Elections. We read a few books from our local library and reviewed the 3 main branches of the federal government. The kids went in with us to vote.. they saw us in action!! And then on Election Night we watched some of the results come in... they lasted about an hour or so and then went to bed:)

We read and did two experiments about water pressure. Again... simple yet just enough of what they can handle.



We also did a little natural science by going on a nature senses hunt with friends;) It was fun and sweet to see the kids pair up and hunt for the items listed;) They had a ball!

This cracked me up... the kids needed to find a beetle and Nate just happened to have one in his pocket:) Boys:/

Tot in the School Room
We recently joined a community learning resource center! We checked out our first goodies this week!! Definitely a hit with Nate!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Simple Dinner Over the Fire Pit

So I've mentioned that between being oven-less (hopefully for just 3 more days since we'll install the broken part ourselves, but no microwave until Nov 28th... yes after Thanksgiving) and studying the Gold Rush wanting the kids to "experience" making a meal outdoors!! I really did have some fun "hobo pack" recipes to do...

but in an effort to enjoy or time together and not have another rushed evening, we roast hot dogs or "hot hogs" (what Nate would say)!

The sweet snuggles. The dancing flames.

All the different colors in the flames.

Sweet little smiles so excited to cook their own hot dogs over the fire:)


Still giggling that we did hot dogs after all the preparations:/ But the kids had a blast "cooking" their own meal.

Cooking beans inside... time saver, not cheater;)

 Submitting the 1st picture to Shoot.Edit.Submit., Photo Friday, Give Me Your Best Shot, and Fabulous FridaySubmitting to {phfr}.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly Wrap -Up : Gold Rush & Fall Fun

We enjoyed talking about being content and learning how to not covet by changing our focus. A lot of our conversations were a lot like our week of thankfulness from the week before. I love seeing the thankful stars we have in the windows... our little list of things we are thankful for.

IMG_8395And while handing out candy at our local rehab center isn't learning more about the Bible; it's living it. We didn't go in with tracts but with a heart to show love to the people we met:) It was a great experience!!

Language Arts
We are just continue to work through everything:) Chris and Lydia have just one more page of their month poem book;) I look forward to seeing those put together!!

Anna has been working through making singular nouns plural in both Grammar and spelling.. just timed it right :) And she's has really embraced the writing more this week... yay!! Her assigned pieces were some background passages about CS Lewis so that got her attention! But I think she is also enjoying reading to me.. I like it too;)

I've got two working through multiplication facts and one motivated little one buzzing through subtraction facts;) I actually took them back to the stairs to play a fact flash card game just for fun and an excuse for them to have a piece of their Halloween candy... LOL!!

Chris also got to learn about 3-D shapes!

Last week we finally got started reading about the California Gold Rush. One of our favorite non-fiction books about the Gold Rush was Children of the Trail West by Holly Littlefield. We really enjoyed two of Sid Fleishman's books with characters based during the times of the Gold Rush. The first was Bandit's Moon about a girl joining a band of Mexican thieves looking for her gold-seeking brother. The second was The Great Horn Spoon about a young boy trying to find gold to save his Aunt's estate. A fun read book was called Nine for California.

I tried to think of some ways to make the life of a person traveling to California or a gold-seeker come to life for the kids. Some things were easy to do.

IMG_8474Setting up their tents in the schoolroom and letting them sleep in them the whole week.. actually I hadn't planned on them camping out in the schoolroom, but they asked and I thought "why not?" The girls were my campers I think they slept in the tents 4 nights!!!

The next activity was to prepare a meal over the fire one night. It was a busy day and we chickened out when we realized it would take an hour to cook:/ So we gave them metal skewers and they "cooked" their own hot dogs over the fire.... seriously, they had a blast and asked when they could cook on the fire pit again:) LOL!!  Might have to do it again this week while we are oven-less.

Finally at a friend's Fall Festival they had a horse-drawn hayride. During the trip it hit me that the trailer was a lot like the covered wagon minus the cover. They definitely felt how bumpy and how slow the travelers had to go. Fun that it totally fit into our week:)

This was cute... a little "educational"...maybe:/ Animaniacs "Gold Rush" episode.

So I did get better with Science this week!! We  discussed "dissolving"... first we made salt water:) It was very simple but we saw that dissolving changed the water but not the amount; it stayed at 1/2 cup mark. And that it was completely mixed up:)

We also talked about things that were soluble and insoluble by letting the kids pick things from our pantry to see which would dissolve in water. They had a blast with this simple and silly activity and got to see what soluble and insoluble meant by doing:)

We filled out an experiment page for the first experiment. They did a definition page for the terms. But for the last "investigation" we just did it no extra paperwork;) Just good 'ole guesses about whether things would dissolve or not and then testing our guesses!

Extra Activities
With Halloween falling in the middle of the week we had plenty of activities at local places and our own "traditions":)

Making Pumpkin shaped cookies with friends... usually done at our house, but done at a neighbors since our lack of oven right now:)

Pumpkin carving while Skype-ing Grandma and Grandaddy:)

Chris designed his and I carved it for him:)

Lydia carved her own... she's got the cut on the finger to prove it :/ Lydia and Anna were supposed to work together... but we learned that Lydia's pretty protective of her pumpkin... Anna will have to get her own next year!

Funny Pictures of the Week
After we went to the rehab center with the home school group we visited the library to "trick or treat":) Our library had books for the kids to pick out as a treat and then the kids kind of hung out for a little bit:)
Searching the Library Digital Catalogue

Skunk- zilla:)

The reading monkey:)