Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Early Financial Chats & Love Notes

This week Brian had found a fun item at a local store. He told me about the item during a meal and was showing hesitancy about actually purchasing it.

Lydia piped up, "Daddy you don't have to use your money. You can use your credit card!"

It's is amazing how much kiddos pick up, even little things like how we pay for things, but they don't see the WHOLE story. So Brian thought he'd take the moment and make it teachable.

He explained to them how using a credit card works and made a little story about buying an item at the store for $100 but then when it was "paid off" months later actually paying the credit card company more than $100. The girls sat and listened intently; Brian was glad they were listening so well.

Then towards the end of the conversation Anna looks at Brian and says, "Daddy, your lip is bleeding."

LOL!! Who knows when they stopped listening... thankfully we still have plenty of time to re-teach:)


A few days ago Chris and Lydia were making little notes for others. I heard them giggling as they ran out of our bedroom. I wondered a little what they were up to but never saw anything too out-of-order when I walked in.

Fast forward to Monday morning as I was stripping our bed, in between the top sheet and the comforter was a little folded heart.

Inside it read, "Love. Mom you are the best mom from , Chris"

Can't tell you how nice it was to start the day with a little note:)

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

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Catch Up

Ok... so I've been pretty neglectful of my Weekly Wrap-Ups. But I feel like it's better to neglect the blog than the kids, their schooling, the housework and meals. Or the puppy who like attention and makes messes if he doesn't get enough attention... LOL!!

We've also had great visits with grandparents, my aunt and uncle (and their 3 4-legged girls) and lots of time both at home and the park with friends. Add in SOCCER a few nights a week and we've stayed busy enough... actually the rain from Sandy has been a nice "break" :)

We continue to enjoy the Our Family Ways. We attempt to memorize the way and the Bible verse each week. I like that when "issues" come up during the day we can remember the "way" together. I'd love to get my act together and post the "ways" somewhere so we really can have these biblical reminders just a glance away.

We've also enjoyed attending the Wednesday night program for the kids. The older three all run off to their classes each night;) I usually stay with the Nate in the nursery or attend a class with the kids or adults (when Nate isn't with me). Definitely still feel soo new to the church.... just takes time, I know:/

Language Arts
We were faithful in our studies... although not always happy about it! There are a few choices for our Grammar and Writing this year that continue to be a struggle with us. I think it's just that we added in Writing and no one was really excited about another subject... LOL!! And what I chose seems to be a little too easy or maybe we're not doing it right? Anyway, I'm trying to make it less "painful" and more fun... some days are just easier than others:/ May even need to do a curriculum change in these subjects after Christmas... maybe.

A "fun" activity that involves writing for Anna was for her to do book summaries. She's not very thrilled to remember the book to compose the summary but I thought it would be a great execerise for her combining her reading, comprehnesion, writitng, Grammar and sentence structure ....

She wasn't into it until I told her she should BLOG her summary;) You know, share what she's been reading with others (maybe even other kids who might like to read the book after she summarizes it). She liked that idea:) Her first summary is on her blog:)  A good start... looking forward to doing  more with "fun" writing assignments with my guinea pig... oops, I mean first born;)

The kids are doing excellent in math. I'm still having to push the older ones with their new math facts, but I already see improvements since last semester. I need to get them practicing when it's NOT "school time" too;)

Anna has been using the DIVE DVD series with Saxon Math 54.  I think both of us were a little sad that I wasn't going to be going over every lesson with her. But the DVDs have been a brain/time saver for us. With two other math lessons to teach everyday, Anna is thankful she doesn't have to wait for one-on-one time with me before she completes her math. And I'm right there with her at the table during her practice problems to field any questions :) Strange not to be as hands-on with her math this year.... I guess that's part of the beauty of them growing up:)

We've been super spoiled by them though. I found them on a local homeschooling e-swap/sale for $20 (retailing new for $100) and it's been the best tiny investment. Hoping to find another set for us for next year... maybe I'll find it since I know what I'm looking for:)

Here are some fun math memories these last few weeks...

Working on comparison symbols with Chris.... hands on ALWAYS works better with him;) Love that he got comfortable enough to do a little harder examples.... remains me of an Algebra problem I gave when teaching High school:) Love that Saxon introduces these concepts gradually... hoping that they grow familiar with these concepts and not overwhelmed in the higher grades;)


And my little sponge Lydia. I asked her to make 17 cents using dimes and pennies. She couldn't help herself... she HAD to use the nickel. Too funny how the younger ones just absorb concepts the older ones learn.

Speaking of cents, Chris learned the symbols for dollar and cents. One suggested activity was to look through a store ad to find dollar and cent symbols. Chris was glad to add them in the Piggly Wiggly flyer... he  spent WAY MORE TIME on this than I thought he would.

In Science we finished up the Physics experimenter with Air and moved into experiments and concepts with Water. SO far the most interesting experiment was seeing the leftover minerals/particles in tap and rain water. I was definitely surprised by the "leftovers" in the rain water dish.... I really had the impression that rain water was "cleaner"... not so, at least NOT our water.

We've also talked about how water acts when frozen, chilled and heated... a little different take than just water can be solid, liquid and gas.

Again, I'm trying to stay on top of our assigned Science... but the kids are getting lots of little Science exposure... like clouds rushing as the hurricane approaches, the leaves turning colors and falling in autumn and yes, some days I'm thankful for Wild Kratts... it doesn't count, but they are learning:)

I'm not sure if I have blogged about Nutrition class. It's a program through our 4H extension office. The kids love going and I've been glad for the food choice and exercise influence on my kiddos:)

 The other day another 4H Director brought games for the kids and some  information about us starting a 4H club for our homeschoolers. I think it would be a great idea to continue to have a practical Science opportunity for the kids 2x a month through 4H!

I've been dragging my feet a little with history because I'm just not sure what we're doing next. So we took our time talking about the Zulu, South Africa and the Boer War. Then this week we read through two sections without taking a lot of extra time to dive in deeper.

This week is our last chapter of Story of the World 3. We are taking a little detour with the elections and then I think we'll start SOTW 4 or NC History... still debating :/ Or maybe do a little SOTW 4 through the Civil War and then do NC HIstory... again, still deciding.

In music the kids have started using recorders to learn how to read and count music. It's a very noisy class but the kids love it. They came back home and have practiced through the worksheets their teacher gave them... yes, I now hear Hot Cross Buns regularly coming from the schoolroom.. won't their teacher be pleased;)

Anna has also picked back up Piano for Preschoolers. She is working through some of the lessons and songs herself. Lessons may be in the routine soon:/

Picture of the Week :) and Tot in the Schoolroom

IMG_8332PlayDoh is a hit at my house!!

So when Nate asks for it out... the bigger kids play, too, after they make their spelling words in the PlayDoh.

 It worked out wonderfully that morning; as the younger 3 played at the table, Anna and I worked on her Grammar and writing;) Nice!

Definitely putting to use the trays Grandma got for us;)

Linking up to Weekly Wrap-UP:)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Simple & Beautiful Cake

In preparing for Grandaddy's Birthday, Lydia helped bake his birthday cake;)

Since we have food allergies, we followed the very easy recipe of cake mix and a cake of soda. Mix it up very well and stick the cake(s) in the oven!! Lydia did the mixing alone.

She sprayed the pans, I divided the batter and put them in the oven.

The simplicity of the baking (and the super sweet and cute helper).
And then the simplicity of the decorating, I thought would be fun to share our final product!


I definitely am not a decorator at heart... but every once in a while a crazy idea WORKS for me :) Like using a single bow on the top!!

IMG_1489Oh and in case you're wondering....

it was red velvet, Granddaddy's favorite!

Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breakfast with Brother

The boys are in the other room eating breakfast together. The last few mornings they have woken up about the same time. Wrestled in their room for a bit and then come downstairs together. It's precious.

Nate grabs his little blue bowl. Chris gets an adult glass bowl and says to Nate,"You can't have this kind of bowl because you are too little!"

Nate does his protest fuss.

Chris rephrases his first statement, "Nate you can use your blue bowl since you are just learning how to eat cereal. [momma chuckling] But Nate when you get big like me, you can eat cereal with a big bowl like me. What do you think about that?"

Nate responds, "Ok-ta!"

Minutes later they are smacking down on their cereal together until Nate tips his over spilling some milk onto the table. Very normal around here :/

As Chris finishes up his cereal, leaving nothing in the bowl, he shows Nate. "This is how a big boy finishes his cereal, Nate!"

It's sweet to me to see the boys beginning to connect "as brothers" and Chris showing Nate how to be a "big boy"! I am thankful because the girls have a growing sister relationship (making "clubs" together, sharing clothes) and now I get to see the boys starting to connect too:)

Just something funny I heard on the radio this week that applies to the boys' cereal choice. The radio personality said that a bowl full of Lucky Charms where all the charms have been picked out is a bowl full of UnLucky Charms.

LOL!! Couldn't help remembering it as I saw the box sitting in front of the boys;)

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tool Man


Boys love to carry around their tools;)

Not as funny, but it reminds me of Chris carrying around his "tools"!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lots of Soccer

'Tis the Season for Soccer:)

After the latest cancellations of soccer games we are now in full-blown soccer mode. For the next three weeks we have 3 nights of soccer games... yes, 3 nights a week:)

Thankfully the kids are still loving it;) And Daddy gets to cheer them on uniquely as their coach... (momma just yells from the sidelines)!!

IMG_1409This has been a "building" season for our team:/

 In a 6-9 yr old league, we have a very young team and many of them are also inexperienced players. Just take my two as an example... Anna is 8 but this is her first year! And Chris, he played last year but he's the youngest age possible being 6!!

We obviously have a challenging time trying to play teams with a majority of 9 yr olds who have been playing for 3 years!! Our team looks like kindergarteners compared to those boys;) LOL!!

But the kids have been great! Trying their hardest and really having a great attitude about each game!

It's been exciting as a bystander to see the kids improve and to see my own children become aggressive little players. Or  to see the team coming together to encourage one another and attempt to play together.

And maybe it's drawn my two eldest together in a special soccer teammate bond...


Just a few more weeks;) And they are already talking about next fall when Lydia can be on their team!! Three siblings on ONE team.... definitely convenient for this family:)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Anna (8 yrs old): Hey, guys, as I watch shows about Mitt Romney I have seen that he likes one animal off of Sesame Street. Do you know who it is?

Chris and Lydia randomly guess.

Anna: Mitt Romney likes Big Bird!!

LOL!! They are listening, but sometimes don't totally "get" the message!


One way the kids help before mealtimes is by getting drinks for one another. Nate was upset this week by what was fixed for him. He repeated over and over, "Lydia milk me!"

I thought it sounded funny:)

And while he likes milk, the other kids were enjoying a treat of grape soda!! So he was definitely disappointed as he took his first swig of his drink and it was MILK (soymilk)... not soda!


Lydia's math has been asking Lydia to write the days of the week (and months) from memory. She's done it a few times now, but this week things began to click for her.

Lydia: So there are 7 days in every week and then it starts again?

Chris: Yep!

Lydia: WOW! (like this was the first time it made sense)LOL!!

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

Monday, October 15, 2012

realities of puppy days

I was chatting with a friend the other day and she made the comment," Don't take offense, but your experience with having puppy has shown us that we're not ready for a puppy!"

IMG_1442LOL!! Her comment was funny to me because I really had only shared the really challenges of these "puppy days" with her besides the random Facebook posts about our Jack issues. But maybe I was sharing them with the "right people" who needed to hear:)

Then my brain thought... maybe others out there are considering a puppy;) They are soo cute and precious. To see my little 2 yr old "walking" the puppy with his big boots on saying, "Go stinky, Jack!" is quite priceless... or is it...

so I'd thought I'd share my two cents about having a puppy... specifically our puppy, Jack! Maybe I can talk some of you out of a new puppy... or maybe even into one:) LOL!

The first couple nights were ROUGH!! It was really our fault because we bought Jack without really being prepared for Jack:) And so the fifst night Jack "slept" in the washroom. He was not happy there so I slept on the floor outside the room with my fingers under the door.... he was happy only when his nose was touching my fingers;) And he woke with every sound, the grandfather clock tinging at every hour and half hour was tough.

The second night, I needed only sleep!! So I attempted to sleep with Jack on the couch. Since he was initially afraid to jump off the couch he stayed there all night ( it definitely wouldn't work now that he jumps freely on and off the couches). It was really funny though when Nate joined us on the couch in the early morning hours.... me, dog and the 2 yr old!!

Thankfully the following weekend my parents brought a crate down for us...
Nate trying out the crate.

Jack loves his crate.... yes, we do feed him:)

The crate was wonderful. I wasn't worried about him ripping up the door or getting behind our appliances. He can see us while he's in the crate and he's fine being in the crate while we're in the house (like during school time). He's loved his crate:)

And the house-training.... I stink at potty training kids, the oldest 3 are out of diapers but the 2 yr old isn't:/ And there I was trying to get a 5 month old puppy to NOT pee int he house. Even from day one he'd only have an accident or two inside per day...

fast forward through some long days... and we've had 5 accident-free days;) Yippie!! Now if I could only get to potty in the first few minutes outside versus the half hours I spend outside a few times a day!

There is soo much I want to say about the puppy days.... but pictures do a better job explaining;)
He gets dirty in minutes... high-ish, weedy grass also aid in the mess;)

ANTICS... he tries to steal EVERYTHING

nose touching from the bath tub.... he HAS to see everything the kids are doing!

a very patient study buddy!

definitely entertaining to see him tearing around the yard: (and house when he's inside)

There is STILL plenty of work that needs to happen with Jack!! He is definitely needing some training... how to "come", "give" and "not touch"! And let kids have toys that he steals ALL DAY!

But he's been great with the kids... he is super patient and gentle with Nate. And he keeps Chris in his place;) Actually the best thing for Chris and jack is for them to go on a walk together exploring.

Schooling has been affected as well:/ Basically we start later and end later... we all miss the earlier start but that will come back as Jack (and I) establish a routine... my days might have to start a little earlier:/

I heard confirmation of our attempts at caring for Jack;) We had to visit the vet again for an ear treatment. THe first visit our vet seemed very critical of us and made a couple of statements that she wasn't sure we should have a puppy with our young kids and me being clueless about puppies;)

This week though she actually said how pleased she was with us and how well we were doing with Jack;) Yeah!!

sooo we are making it;) We are all getting used to Jack and taking care of him.

and that's the reason for the lack of the blog right now.... can blog as I walk the dog... I'm not that coordinated :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Afternoon Siesta

Jack napping.

Collar napping.

Too funny to see them napping "together" as we ate our lunch.

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

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tiny Talk

I was sitting with Nate as he was trying to fall asleep (our normal routine... still!!) and he heard a sound. He was insisted about what he heard...

"Mow? Daddy Mow?"

It took me a little while to figure out what he was hearing.

Chris snoring;) LOL!! I had never heard Chris snore before.... it's now documented:) And it sounds like Daddy's mower... at least to Nate!!

A repeat for FB friends, but too funny NOT to share!

"MOM!!! You would be soo proud of Jack. He just pooped in your bathroom!! He knows where to go:)"

Grrrr!! LOL!! Not like I walked him almost 30 minutes to produce that poop OUTSIDE!! Smart 'ole Jack!!!

 Chris has been asking us to challenge him by "giving him 100 problems"... basically it's any number added to 100. 

So we'll begin verbally asking him problems like "100 + 10"  and he'll quickly shout out "110!" or "100 + 72" ... "172!"

Well after the tenth problem he told me, "I think I'm ready for high school!!" 

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

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Creature Science

Our new location has proven to hold many creature treasures:)

We have caught/seen some of the most common and coolest creatures since moving here in July. Some of our favorites have been turtles, lizards and dragonflies:) Then we had the giant grasshopper.

A friend watched the kids one afternoon and they caught a praying mantis in their insect habitat (at her house just miles away)! Definitely cool points with this creature science family:)

But this week, as Daddy was leaving for work he found a true creature treasure;)

The kids moved the crayfish to a larger habitat with some water and vegetation (hmmm... weeds they had pulled up). We kept him there until we could investigate more about crayfish before letting him go;)

It always amazes me what we get to discuss and explore during these unplanned investigations... like invertebrates, exoskeletons, nocturnal, mating, swimmerettes, etc!

This was our favorite website resource. Definitely on our level. And then we googled more questions, like if they breathe underwater and on land??.... very interesting;)

IMG_1461And having the live animal there makes it super hands-on and cool:) I mean you can read about how to tell the male and female crayfish apart. But what about reading about the differences and then figuring out what gender the crayfish in the habitat is!!

Memorable!! LOL!!

After all the crayfish conversations and questions, we let the little guy go near the pond (aka... swamp) in our yard.

As usual, I learned a lot... and I'm guessing the kids did too;)

Linking to Science Sunday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Williamsburg and Family Time

The weekend we got Jack was a big weekend for us before Jack appeared!! We had spent one day at Colonial Williamsburg and then the next day with family at the park and at the pet store;)

As usual the pictures just hang out on the camera or the computer until the kids (and the dog) get tucked in on an early and quiet night... hmmm, when does that really happen?

 Once every 2 weeks... at least that's how long it's taken me to get to these pictures of our adventures that weekend;)

Colonial Williamsburg...

Orientation Walk

Picnic-ing on a bench

Watching the Drum and Fife Corps

Listening to Colonial Music

petting the horses




Our park time...

4 little monkeys

lots of monkeys... 4 little and one big

Walking Clifford with Pey

Anna and Aunt Jaclyn trying to get the kite in the air


An action family picture:)
Moments to Remember!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Anna and Hannah

While with family 2 weekends ago....
I got some pictures of Anna and Hannah!


These two seem to pair off from the others more often!


Maybe it's the name and birthday connection??

Maybe they are just growing up..

and  enjoy  getting to spend time with their cousins:)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hat Song, No M'am & Introducing

Nate has loved the song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for months. it's been a hoot though to hear him turn any word or phrase into a "Twinkle, Twinkle" verse;)

I loved his finale (the 1st one)!! And of course the normal older sibling squabble in the background... nice! LOL!!


Nate and I were watching the above video...
Nate: Two Nate! (he was watching one and then himself)
Me: Yes, one Nate is here and there is a video of Nate on the computer.
Nate: Why?
Me: Because you are very cute and I have to take pictures and videos.
Nate: Tute?? No M'ammmm! (with his little smirk!)


And after MUCH analysis and too many names tossed in baskets, we've come up with a name for our little puppy:) The name cam up a few times throughout the process. We liked it because it's short, easy and fun.

Now formally introducing JACK... the puppy who is now named;)



Ok, it's your turn;) You can submit a blog post URL or just put your cute kid quotes in the comments;)