Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mower Sleeper... strikes again

I know I'd shown this before... but at 2 Nate slept in Brian's arms on the mower. And it's soo sweet to see him now at 3... still falling asleep in his Daddy's arms doing his most favorite thing in the WORLD... ride the mower with Daddy.

If he could just stay awake to enjoy the ride.
Gotta love the mower... Brian serviced it himself... we're totally keeping this until it doesn't move;) It may not be pretty... but it works (for now)!!


It's just something about the loud noise, the gas engine smell and Daddy's arms that makes it a cozy spot for a nap;) Daddy likes the time, too;)
Looks like we're not the only ones who are exhausted!
More Wordless Wednesday at  5 Minutes for Mom,  Mama to 4 Blessings, Go Graham Go.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tiny Talk Tuesday

I just realized that I haven't shared our Mother's Day picture:) I do like to take one every Mother's Day so I actually have a picture of me with my kids;) LOL!! We all joined in this year with the help of the timer;)

The yard with a little "tamed" part.
Nate dressed himself one morning this last week. He had on big sweatpants and he ran around trying to kick saying "These are me karate pants!" Of course he still has plenty of "baby talk" not quite the right words happening and so it sounded like he kept saying the pants were his "farty" pants...

which obviously caused many extra giggles and a few more kicks while shouting the "funny phrase".


Mr Darcy has officially been a part of our home new for more than 3 days and is already needing a bunny-sitter:)

Lydia has already agreed to watch Mr Darcy so his owner can tend to her one more ride around the carport on her scooter;)

Brian was out of town one night this week. In the morning Nate and I texted him to see if he and the kids could chat some before his meetings started for the day.

As Nate and I waited for his call, Nate played with my cell (something he hasn't done often). He was excitedly pushing buttons and making lone trains of numbers;) And then he looked at me and asked, "What is Daddy's password?"


We are praying today for the families and people of Oklahoma! We are praying for comfort for the brokenhearted, wisdom and strength for those working to help others and the peace that only the Lord can provide during times of heartache and destruction.

It's your turn:)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcoming Mr Darcy!

Friday was an exciting day for the crew:)

After months and months of research, saving money, more reading(just as our librarian!!), convincing her parents, and even visiting a pet store to see her animal of choice....


we went to pick up Mr Darcy!
 (If the name sounds familiar it's from Pride and Prejudice, Anna's favorite movie!!)



He is a precious, super soft, little Dutch bunny:)

 He's been very friendly and very willing to be held... for a bit;) So everyone has had at least one turn to hold him;)




The weekend has been filled with bunny nuzzles...

Jack sniffs...
Jack has sniffed evey part of the rabbit as only Jack does!!! He loves to lick the rabbit's ears! And the rabbit has only swiped him twice... when jack has been near Mr Darcy's face!

and hutch building:)

And I have to share what a great Daddy my kiddos have;) Giving up his "relaxing" weekend and delaying his "to do" list to build a hutch for a newly acquired pet!! And that's not all... while he works he gave the boys some scraps and they got to build right along side of him;) Two little boys in their element!!!


The hutch did not get completed this weekend though.... so Mr Darcy will stay in his large Tupperware box in an enclosed room inside for just a little longer:) 

We've enjoyed him so far. The kids are sporting extra scratches from learning how to hold him correctly and giving him a little "down time" when they don't have their hands all over him. But he really does seem to like the attention and pets:) And he's not running away from them when they set him on the ground... which is great since we've only had him since Friday afternoon.

And, my Anna, she is smitten with him ;) She's currently learning more about litter box training him for his visits inside and so she doesn't have to clean out his box every day. This is teaching her all sorts of responsibly in a very "hands-on" way.

So we have 4 kids, a Jack, a rabbit and 2 tadpoles. It gets a crazy here some days;)Love it;)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chris at CampOut + Nate with Reptile friends

Chris on the bus with his "buddies"! They had a blast!
We were able to see some baby rabbits in a friend's yard... they were too precious. The kids were desperate to keep a bunny or two but they were very tiny and hopefully still being cared for my their Momma. One of my "excuses" for not taking one home was that we didn't know what to feed a bunny that small.

Chris had an idea "baby carrots" !

Speaking of Chris, he came home from his boy's campout all excited! His first words to me were not "I missed you Mom" but...

"I drank 8 sodas while I was away!!"

I was grossed out...

seriously, that many in only 20 hours (or less)! Boys will be boys... especially without a momma there to regulate;)


Nate holding "Toady". Gotta love all the dirt in his fingernails... a true outdoor little boy!

Nate has quickly joined the others in their love of nature. He's one of the first "on the scene" when the call goes out in the yard that there is a frog, toad, lizard, cricket, turtle... you name it, he'll grab it!
And he's fearless...

There's just something about a small little animal in his chubby, little, gentle hands!
Miss Busch posing for the camera!

Miss Busch enjoying some back rubs... I'm amazed at how gentle Nate usually is:)
On Saturday I let Nate pick up one of our visiting turtles. Nate finally set the turtle down in the garden after carrying her around the yard saying she was "heavy":) Then he got down on his belly and rubbed her shell and quietly said "you are me best friend."

And not reptile related he was helping us plant some peas. He pulled the little plant out of the planter gently and held it right in his face to tell it "me love you"!

I have two sweet boys;)
One of Nate's new phrases is "maybe so". He uses it like this...

Me : Nate would you like some green beans on your plate?

Nate: Maybe so!

What a hoot! He sounds so grown up sometimes!

It's your turn:)

Weekly Wrap-Up: Turtles. Ned Kelly and Sound

This was a hard week to finish.... finally we are getting some beautiful spring weather and the outdoors kept calling us;) Specifically... the turtles...

Almost every morning we found turtles in the yard... and these weren't little turtles!! I'm talking a foot across turtles looking to build a nest to lay some eggs. The first morning they surprised us by being in the garden...

we moved them, but they were back a few hours later with their eggs already deposited in their hole! Very cool to see!


Needless to say... we spent a LOT of time watching turtles from the windows (so we won't scare them off) and think so far we have at least two holes with eggs. We've also done some research about what kind of turtles that are visiting and how to care for the eggs indoors so they won't get eaten (we found eaten eggs last spring). So, yes...

this is some real-life, hands-on home schooling, but we DID drag ourselves back indoors and away from the windows (not too far away) to get our "core" work finished for the week:)

IMG_2052It was strange not starting the week with an Our Family Way coloring sheet...

but we did fine just reviewing a way each day (minus the coloring sheet) and using a new devotional that I am temporarily borrowing from a friend. The devo is called Long Story Short and it's just 10 minute family devotions that works through the Old Testament. For us it was longer than 10 minutes but it was because all the kids looked up the passage in their Bibles and then we took turns reading the passage.

I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart each morning to see the kids wanting to get their Bibles and reading them!!

 I know you could use ANY devotional or just pick a book to study or passage to read... it's so very simple... and exactly where my kiddos and I need to be as we start our school day!

Yes, even Nate joined in a few mornings;)

Language Arts
Lydia and Chris did two sections of spelling and poor Anna is still chugging through the names of the States:) She 's doing a great job though. We thought we could use a cool computer program to help quiz her but we never could get it to work... so it was back to the Spelling Power model:)

I had to laugh this week when I got to correct Brian's Grammar;) LOL... seriously, THAT Never happens;) So Anna (and I) have learned from Rod and Staff but we are counting down the lessons until we are through for the summer:) Besides doing some Grammar exercises, Lydia and Chris began working on one of their first written compositions... it's very simple but it's a great start to learning to write well.

For reading... Anna started a historical fiction book based during the French Revolution... unfortunately she lost interest in it and read through other books in our library bag:) Lydia read through a book called Hearing-Ear Dogs; it was a non-fiction book about training stray dogs to be helpers for the deaf... I enjoyed listening to parts of it while Lydia read. Chris and I read through a Henry and Mudge book and through some of a dinosaur book called Amazing Dinosaurs by Dougal Dixon. The information was very familiar but it was written for emerging readers so Chris could read it with some help...  it was nice to have a book that fed his dinosaur interest while he could practice reading:)

The older two are still at work finishing their SAXON for the year. Lydia though had a fun week filling in her math hour with (the free practice),, (the word problem of the day- grade 1 and 2) and a game on a little kiddie tablet she has. The older ones can't wait to finish so they can join her;)

This week for history we traveled to Australia and saw the British colony become a commonwealth. SOTW focused on the struggles of the poorer farmers who felt like they were not being treated fairly and how some turned to crime, especially the life of Ned Kelly. Chris, especially, liked the story:)

For the map, the kids used an atlas and world map to label Australia, it's provinces, the bodies of water around the island and other countries on the map. They love doing this and its our geography:)

We were trying to come up with a history sentence  to summarize what we should remember from the whole section. We ended up with a fun poem (a very kid understanding of the situation):)

In 1880,
Australia was a baby,
Ned Kelly died
Fighting for Australia's side.

In 1901,
The fighting was done.
Australia was a Commonwealth,
They picked their own leaders and made laws for themselves.

Anyway... definitely a fun way to do some cross- curricular writing!!


IMG_2081We started our unit on Sound this week;) One of the first "explorations" was to figure out ways to "make" sound... so they banged on tables.. lovely, I know;) Our book suggested  cutting straws into different lengths and blowing gently into those. The kids took it a step further and make little straw pipes with many different lengths.

During the first lesson, they defined Sound and we read through the Magic School Bus: Inside the Haunted Museum. We also read through a couple of small sections in our Usborne Science book (like how sound is measured) and the kids made a notebook page with 2 or 3 things they learned about Sound.

During our second lesson we started talking about how sound travels in waves. We did a silly "experiment" where the kids had to make some dangling cereal pieces move without touching them or blowing on them. As suggested we used a rubber band and pulled on the band to see if we could use "sound" to make them move.

I had to get Anna doing this... she was a good sport... of course Lydia and Chris don't have the teeth to hold the rubber band with;) LOL!!

I pulled out a bowl of water for us to see the ripples when some thing is dropped into the water; just to give them a visual of "sound waves".  But it turned into another lesson;)

We  started talking about where sounds can be made and what are better conductors of sounds... liquids, air, or solids?

Air is a little obvious because that is hwo we hear each other talk. Using my bowl of water we clanged coins together, and we could hear it. A corresponding section in our experiment book gave us some great information to talk about... like how water carried the sound really well so yelling at the pool is loud or animals talking to each other under the water.

To experiment with sounds and solids, we scratched a wooden ruler at the end with our fingernails close to our ears and it was barley audible. Then we put the ruler right on our ear and scratched with the same intensity... it was much louder!

We found that solids are much better conductors of sound than air or water due to their molecules being closer together:) We remembered watching a show  (or maybe even in Rifles for Watie) with an Indian guide listening to the ground to hear for horses running. So we put our heads on the table and tried to guess when someone at the table was tapping (and even what song they were tapping).

Yay, for more fun, hands-on Science:)  And a great video to go with this Sound unit is BIll Nye the Science Guy: Sound... just beware that it is LOUD and old school... lots of references to Janet Jackson;) Other than that it's very thorough and fun and loud:)

 Throw in a sleepover for Chris with his RA class (and Brian tagging along)! An afternoon playdate with friends... even another doggie for Jack to pal around with:) More planting in the garden (more tomatoes, corn, watermelon and cantaloupe)!!! Some Leave it to Beaver shows and conversations! A fun new read aloud called Wonderstruck that we're all wanting to know how it ends....

And I think it was a good week;)

And it was our last 5 day week until August thanks to Daddy's summer schedule starting next week!! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: A Canal, Heat and Upside Down Painting

yes... it's all learning;) And I'm trying, trying , trying to get back into Wrapping Up:)

No good excuses  not to, except that these days are precious:)


We worked on our final way of Our 24 Family Ways by the Clarksons. I really have loved this kid-friendly devotional. I am hoping to make the list visible somewhere in our school room. Hopefully with it visible we will be reminded of the things we need to continue to put into practice. I would also like to repeat the study in a few years.

Language Arts
Doing the Spelling Power thing.. sort of:) The middle two and I worked through 2 sections and Anna started a BIG section; she's working through the names of the States. I love that my kids are definitely going to be better spellers (is that a word?) than their mother:)

We're treking on through Grammar... the middle two still loving FLL and Anna (and I) just doing it to finish up. I hate to say it but we're both learning from Rod & Staff just not as "fun" as we'd like :/ Anna also completed a book report... maybe she'll blog it;)

IMG_1905Anna and Lydia were reading Misty of Chincoteague and Stormy: Misty's Foal last week (they started the week before last). Chris and I are reading through some Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant... these are some great practice reading books for Chris and he likes them!!

Yes, I even caught him reading on his own... one the first steps of being a fluent reader;)

We're getting to the end of our math for the semester... well Anna has 20 lessons and Lydia FINISHED!! LOL!! During the year, Lydia would sometimes do 3 lessons in a morning (she's a determined little gal)... so she got to finish early... her siblings aren't very happy about it;)

Since Chris started SAXON 3 after Christmas, he is working to the middle of the book and then he'll take a break... if he wants!! He has been doing really well with his math work... but he's not loving  doing subtraction:/ Working on it;)

We looked at the building of the Suez Canal and the changing of power in Egypt at that time. We read the section from SOTW, did the map, worked on the outline together and the kids wrote narrations for the section. Unfortunately there was little for kid to read about the Suez Canal and Egypt during this time period.

Interesting videos about the Suez Canal;) YouTube summary of the building of the canal  called "A man, a dream, a canal" (4 min) or Modern Marvels: Suez Canals (44 mins). The kids watched both, but Brian and I liked the Modern Marvels video because it covered the original building of the Suez Canal through the point when Egypt was the final "owner".

It was a little humorous that as we were studying the Suez Canal inside, Brian was building his own outside....

LOL!! Actually he is working on a "french drain" but uncovered it looks like a canal through the yard:)


Last week we started working on a unit of Heat Transfer. I'd definitely heard the words before but I'm totally learning with them (well a little before them).

We talked about conduction last week as we heated up a pot of water with two spoons sticking out, one metal and one wooden. We read a description about the molecules of the spoons getting hot and bumping into one another making the heat move up the spoon... move more up the metal spoon than the wooden one. We demonstrated it by standing in a line and having the last person bump the first one... we were close and we all felt it. Another cute explanation of the molecules "moving" was that they don't travel around but "dance in their seats when it gets hot". LOL!!

This week we tackled convection and convection current. We attempted two experiments, the first was heating up particles in water so we could see the particles move as the water heated up. The second was to show how warm air currents using a spiral and our space heater.

IMG_1900Maybe it was because the first experiment was "ok", it was really cool to see the 2nd experiment work;)

Through different readings we also learned about some real places convection currents are found/used... like weather (wind), some ocean currents, heating/cooling a house, etc!!

On Wednesday we finished with radiation. Through our readings we were able to make a definition and talk about where we use radiation.

Some fun resources were
*Intereactive video that reviewed the prinicples
*Simple explanation of each concept
*Heat, Matter and Energy by Graham Bateman ( a little too much for my kids but we read through a good portion of the book.. a great resource for us).

Last week we started reading about Michelangelo as our "artist of the month".  We have enjoyed the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist series and corresponding lesson plans from COnfessions of a Homeschooler.

This week we looked more indepth at the Sistine Chapel.  We talked about the challenges surrounding painting the ceiling. And we examined talked about the different scenes found in the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

And then ....

they climbed under tables and benches...
and painted their own biblical scenes;)

Super fun.... they all said that they "Love art time!!" Oh, and "ouch, this hurts my neck!"

Well, there was a look into our schooling time... it totally doesn't really wrap it ALL up, but it's ok:)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Field Trip to the Bird Zoo with Grammie

A few weeks ago we took a great field trip to a fun place with an amazing person :)

so great to see her cracking up:)

If you guessed GRAMMIE... you were right;)

We were very excited that Grammie came to visit and was able to go to a local bird attraction with us. Actually, I don't know how I would have been able to last the day (and be able to attend the home school class) without Grammie:)

One of the coolest things about my mom is that she knows soo much about nature... trees, bird, flowers, lizards. You ask... she knows! And if she doesn't know, she'll look it up and have an answer quickly.

So you can imagine the benefit of having her along with us as we saw all these guys;)

These birds were just gorgeous:) And even though the weather has been a little crazy this spring, we had beautiful weather... we couldn't have had a better day!!

Lots of fun memories:)

IMG_1700When we finally got back home after our field tripping day, we got to work in the yard...

doing the main reason Grammie got to come to see us:) Planting all her "extra" hosta!!

Love this picture with the kids all "helping" her plant! She definitely had plenty of little hands to get all the hosta (and other transplanted treasures) into the ground;)

We all had a good time and love the new plants in the garden!! And we're very grateful for Grammie's help in the garden and time with us a the bird zoo;)