Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The final week of the Not Back-to-School Blog Hop is "Day-in-the-Life" week!
I don't think we've ever had a day go completely according to schedule, and this week is no different . . . I started to take pictures on Monday and then realized it was going to be a no school kind of day . . . oops! So, we ended up going with Tuesday as our DAY . . . I'm not good about remembering to take pictures of EVERYTHING so there are some gaps, but you'll get the idea . . .
So come along and enjoy a glimpse of our days . . .
Most mornings, once everyone's up and dressed we do chores, but Tuesday is our "catch up day" and we're semi-caught up so we took a break from chores today. Ashlyn got breakfast in the oven, then sat down to work on history on the computer while breakfast baked.
Meanwhile, while Ashlyn was making breakfast, Lexie and Little Bit went out to get some scootering in.
Breakfast is served . . . "birds nests" yummy!
After lunch we headed to the library and Target. I wanted to get that over with, so we left the kitchen looking like this *blush*
Both girls practiced their music in the afternoon, I was in the middle of other stuff and didn't go upstairs to get a picture of Lexie and her violin.
Don't mind the window that desperately needs to be cleaned, but I had to include this picture. Joy has learned that if he jumps up on the kitchen window we can see him from the kitchen and living room and are more likely to actually let him in.
Then we headed upstairs to bed. Ashlyn finished up a little more of her knitting project while . . .
Lexie read Little Bit her bedtime story
And then it was lights out and bedtime . . .
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sunday evening a local church hosted a "pool party" at a community pool nearby. It was COOOOLLLLDDD!!! But the kids had fun! And I got to visit with friends I don't see often.
As I mentioned last time, the big girls got new scooters. When I realized that Little Bit's (hand-me-down, from a friend) scooter had lost a piece, making it really wobbly, I decided to go along with her pleas for a new one, especially since she still had birthday money to spend. So we ordered her one like her sisters, only with streamers and a BELL! The big girls were very generous about sharing their new scooters with Little Bit until hers got here, and thankfully shipping was pretty fast for hers, as it had been for theirs, so now all 3 girls have functional scooters and are having lots of fun with them (and I STILL haven't taken a picture).
I have Lexie read the story to Little Bit while Ashlyn and I clean up from breakfast. On the day that she read the book about making butter she wanted to be the one to help Little Bit with "art" (making butter) too. But we needed something to put the butter on AND Lexie insisted we also needed to read a story about the bread. She couldn't find the book she wanted, but did find "Apple Cake" which was one of her favorites at this age and conveniently talks about making . . . apple cake. So Lexie and Little Bit spent the better part of one morning making butter and apple cake, which we then happily helped them eat for lunch!
Little Bit's obsession at the moment is painting. She's become self-sufficient at it, as long as the table is cleared off, and the drop-leaf is up. So that's just become our permanent table set-up for now. She leaves her watercolor paints and the paint brush holder (an old tooth-brush holder) out, along with a little bowl for water. She dumps the water and gets new as needed, and the pictures, once dry, get stacked up or hung on the fridge. She's having fun, and with everything out and easy to get to, the big girls have done some painting too. I have to admit, I'm happy to not have to do a planned art time with her most days :)
We're continuing to use Bible Road Trip for Bible, and it's working well to have Little Bit color "What's in the Bible" coloring pages and listen in while I read. The big girls have another couple weeks left on their self-paced online history, so they're continuing through that.
We started our science for this school year this week too. I borrowed Apologia's Astronomy book from a friend, so we're using that, but it's alot smaller than the Apologia Chemisty & Physics that we used last year, and I didn't bother to buy the Notebooking Journals (workbooks) to go with this one, so after looking through it, I decided we'll do Apologia's Astronomy once a week (even so, if we don't skip any weeks we'll be done by January, but I anticipate skipping some weeks LOL). Little Bit was very excited to be able to do science with her big sisters. We went out and got new 3 ring binders for them each to keep their science papers in and Little bit immediately drew a picture of a satellite and an astronaut, based on our first day's reading. When I asked if she wanted me to label it, she said no, SHE wanted to label it. So I wrote the words and she copied them . . .I've decided she's going to teach herself to read by spelling, she loves writing things down and is always asking how to spell things, but hasn't shown any interest in "reading" per se, so I'm interesting to see how that plays out over the next couple years.
Lexie and Ashlyn have renewed their interest in flying through Life of Fred (math) as quickly as possible. Lexie has started the first "middle school" book (Fractions), which is a thicker book, and Ashlyn is bound and determined to catch up with her (I'm hoping she doesn't, it's much easier when they're in different books instead of fighting over the same one).
This week would have been "school picture week" for the not back to school blog hop, but I couldn't get the kids to all be cooperative at the same time, so I decided not to bother. At one point I did mention to Lexie, as we sat on the neighbor's porch, that we needed to do school pictures, to which she said "so take my picture. So that gave me this one:
So then I turned to Ashyn in the hammock (too far away to hear what we'd been saying. Our neighbor was on the phone so we were having to be quiet) and told her to smile, which she did, quite nicely, giving me this one:
THEN she asked what it was for, and Lexie said "that's your school picture" at which I got this reaction:
Little Bit was off playing with the neighbor kids during all of that so I didn't get a picture of her during our impromptu photo shoot, but later she asked me to take her picture with her new hoola hoop, so we'll go with that one :)
Sunday, August 17, 2014
The weather has been AMAZING, cool . . . and perfect! I'm trying not to think about how this cool of an August bodes very NOT well for how cold it will be this winter . . .
We've been enjoying lots of time outside:
Riding bikes and scooters - the big girls just got new scooters, all 3 girls have been enjoying them!
Going for walks - awhile back we discovered that if you tear pink clover into the little "petals" (or whatever you want to call them) and throw them in the creek, the minnows LOVE to eat them. This week we added to our discovery by realizing that this does NOT work on days when the wind is blowing downstream, the minnows only live (in any quantity) on the upstream side of the bridge, when we threw the clover in, the wind blew it under the bridge before it even hit the ground, so while the minnows still probably enjoyed it, we didn't get to enjoy watching them eat it. . . this led nicely into a discussion with Little Bit about wind direction and water currents and a suggestion to watch the wind directions and try again another day when there isn't wind or when it's blowing upstream :)
Meeting friends at the park - I've participated, off and on, at Gentle Christian Mothers, and recently discovered that another mom there lives about 45 min from us and has daughters close to Little Bit's age. So we met at a park halfway in between and enjoyed a lovely afternoon letting the girls play while we chatted. The big girls joined our conversation part of the time and helped the little kids part of the time, so it all worked well, we're definitely looking forward to getting together again sometime!
Grilling - dh got a new grill earlier this summer so we've been enjoying grilling out in the cool evenings lately, YUM!
Visiting Grandmom - on Friday dh took the girls to visit Grandmom. They tell me they spent most of their time playing outside. I have to admit, for me it was a HUGE blessing to have a day to be completely ALONE! I mostly just reveled in the silence and aloneness :)
I'll wrap-up this wrap-up (ha ha) with an update on dh. He's working full time, and overall doing well. But he's been having a lot of trouble with leg pain, I assume it's some form of "restless leg syndrome" (the girls giggle every time I say that, and insist that it sounds like a Doc McStuffin' sickness LOL), probably a side affect of no longer taking the pain meds he was taking after surgery, but it's making it almost impossible for him to sleep, so that's hard!
The one positive, when his legs start really bothering him, the only thing that seems to help is for him to walk, so he and I have been taking lots of late night (when it's worst) walks, the exercise is good for both of us, and we've been especially thankful for the cooler-than-normal temps that make the walks pleasant instead of muggy and miserable :)
Friday, August 15, 2014
Today I'm blogging over at SDA Homeschool Families . . . When I first started researching homeschooling, one thing that struck me as important is the idea of teaching my children to be independent learners. . . read more.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Not Back-to-School Blog Hop is "Schoolrooms". . . We have a schoolroom, but we tend to do school all over our house too! So I thought I'd just generally show you where we do schoool . ..
But we'll start with the school room. Our school room serves LOTS of purposes. . . it stores all our school stuff, it's where we can sprawl around and do read alouds and other school, it has some "secluded" areas for when one of the girls wants to be abit more "alone", it's also as close as we get to having a "guest room".
So come on in . . .
The door into the room is right next to the green fabric drawers. This is where I sit when we "do school" so the bottom wood shelf has my pens, etc. In the fall and winter we usually have a seasonally relevant playsilk covering the green fabric drawers and use that surface as a small nature table. We haven't done any "nature tabling" this summer. The drawers hold things we use on the nature table (sticks, small wooden animals, etc) the bookcase is mostly just . . . books . . . a couple of the lower shelves are Little Bit's picture books. Also I have a few art supplies stored on a couple of the higher shelves. The wooden shelf has my current "file cabinet" (the black milk crate) on top and most of that shelf is things I am currently using or planning to use soon. . . books I want to remember to incorporate, etc. The white bins have some art supplies and such in them. On top of the white bins is my laminator LOVE IT, and our color printer. The short little door goes into attic storage space. Right now it's just piled full of boxes, my long-term goal is to organize that space with shelves to store things so that I can have less "storage" in the room itself . . . someday . . . The pink crate is the beginning of the wall of cubbies, it's currently empty, waiting for next time I need to store something LOL. The basket on top is musical instruments.
The "nook" behind the cubbies. The easel serves as one "wall" of this nook. Little Bit loves to draw on the chalkboard, and we use the white board for various schoolish things as well as a place to stick things with magnets. The file box under the backpacks is Ashlyn's WriteShop box. The basket sticking out of one cubby is books for them to choose from for independent reading if they tell me they have "nothing to read".
Learning Palettes. Under the empty pink cubby is one with our Bilibos and other "get the wiggles out" type toys. Under the Learning Palettes cubby is one that holds our Wedgits. Under Ashlyn's purple cubby is Little Bit's cubby and, as mentioned above, under Lexie's is a cubby (facing the other direction) with independent reading books.
couch folds out into a queen size mattress and becomes our guest bed! We had a generic equivalent to an aerobed (that we stored in the cedar chest) but when it sprung a leak and I needed to replace it, I decided to go this route, so leaks wouldn't be an issue. The girls love sitting on it, doing gymnastics on it, etc! And our guests tell us it's quite comfortable to sleep on. If I had it to do over again I think I'd get 2 twin size ones instead, but we have this one now. It's lightweight enough to pull out to get to the books and games on the shelf behind it. On the slanted ceiling is our ancient history timeline.
While we love our school room and use it daily (for school and play), we also use the rest of our house.
The kitchen is where messy projects happen. The white dropleaf table (right side of the picture) can open up to a square table or rectangular table, depending how much work we need. Messy art happens there. The tin pails on the shelf above the table hold paint, chalk, etc. for those projects.
Of course the living room is a great place for read alouds, just curling up on the sofa to work on homework, and watching videos.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
This week started with us travelling, and ends with us safely back home :) Sunday Rodney was working in a smallish town without much close by. Additionally, Lexie and Little Bit had both had some sort of stomach bug over the weekend so I didn't want to push them too much. I found a Panera Bread not too far from where Rodney was working and we hung out taking advantage of their wi-fi, as well as eating lunch there. I was just starting to check for nearby Geocaches, as something not too strenuous to occupy us, when Rodney texted that he was almost done, so we just hung out at Panera abit longer and then went and picked him up.
We got to that night's hotel and much to Little Bit's disappointment, after being able to swim without floaties in the 3ft section of the last hotel, this hotel only had 4 & 5 ft sections, so she was back to using floaties, but liked that I said she could go anywhere in the pool :) The girls swam for 2 or 3 hours until a group of teenagers came in and made it unbearably loud and . . . chaotic. I realized that it was also suppertime, so we headed back to the room and the girls started through the shower and such while Rodney went out and picked up pizza for supper :)
Monday, we were heading home, but first, one more client. It was near Gettysburg and originally I'd thought we might actually go to Gettysburg National Park, but I wasn't feeling great, and Little Bit still seemed not quite back to normal, so I decided not to spend the money to go there this time. I was figuring we'd visit some of the other touristy stuff in the area or find a park or something. When we got to the church where Rodney was meeting the treasurer, there was a school, with a nice playground on the same grounds, so, with it a cool day, I turned the girls loose on their own personal playground-for-the-day instead. Thankfully, that worked out ok, I started to feel worse as the day progressed, and spent a good part catnapping in the car (with the windows and doors open to catch the breeze while they played on the playground and did schoolwork at a picnic table on the school's porch. When Rodney was done, we headed home. By the time I got home I was feeling nauseous enough that I said "please make sure the food in the cooler gets in the fridge." and headed straight to bed. Never threw up, but came pretty close. The kids and Rodney managed to survive the evening without me, and even DID put the food in the fridge, and bring everything else in from the car. By Tuesday, while I wasn't feeling great, and didn't have much appetite, I was functioning again, whew!
I'm assuming it was a milder version of what Lexie and Little Bit had over the weekend (Ashlyn had it a day or 2 later, also just an evening of no appetite or energy and feeling "icky").
The rest of our week was pretty laid back. Getting caught up on laundry and such after being gone, I was moving slow from not feeling good. Rodney's having some issues with leg pain, probably a side-effect of no longer taking the pain killers he was on post-surgery, so that's been affecting his sleep. And he asks me to massage his legs and/or rub an essential oil mixture into his legs several times a day.
The weather has been AMAZING for August! Not unbearably hot during the day and downright cool at night! So that's been nice, though I saw an article predicting a colder/snowier winter than usual this winter, even more than last year and I'm not looking foward to that, even if it does mean cooler August! But since it is, what it is, we're enjoying the nice weather while it's here.