Friday, November 21, 2008

Playing Catch-up

Where does the time go?

Last weekend we went to my parents' house. We had a great time Thurs. afternoon visiting friends in the area, then enjoyed visiting w/ my aunt & uncle over the weekend.

Sunday a good part of the day was spent planning a "surprise party" for Papa's birthday. The surprise aspect would have been more effective if the girls hadn't gone running to Papa every 5 minutes to "make sure he doesn't suspect anything". But Papa played his part well. The girls & Mama made a cake, they started out to decorate wrapping paper (drawing pictures on a big roll of paper) but then decided they didn't want their artwork cut/wrinkled by actually wrapping it around the packages so the artwork became banners instead. They also blew up a whole bunch of balloons up in the loft over the dining room and pushed them all down on Papa when he came out to be "surprised" (THAT he wasn't expecting, at least LOL).

We also took time out from the party preparations to go visit my friend Vicki and see her new baby. The girls decided that a baby that sleeps all the time is BORING and are sure "their baby" will be much more interesting . . . Mom & I enjoyed cuddling a sleeping newborn and visiting with Vicki while the girls played in the basement w/ Vicki's husband & older daughter.

This week has been uneventful, though I'd convinced dh that I REALLY needed him home for a day (he tends to either work or go to his mom's on Fridays & Sundays) to help me move heavy stuff around and get through his "junk" that's been living in the dining room since we moved in (but needs to not live there for Christmas!) and he'd promised me this Friday, so I was busy all week getting things ready to utilize his help as much as possible :) And so far we've taken one load up to the storage building, brought one load (all the Christmas stuff) back down) and now he's busy going through the dining room stuff. As long as he gets through all of it & we make another trip to the storage building w/ all of that, and he helps me move the bookcases that belong in the dining room, I'll call today a success (in a perfect world we'll also get through stuff in the basement & maybe even get my candle table set up, but I'm not counting on that LOL.

Regardless that should leave me with plenty to keep busy this week putting books on the bookshelf & doing all the final shifting around so that NEXT Sunday we can (weather, and dh's schedule permitting) go get a Christmas tree!!! :) We also brought down a bunch of the babystuff (girls' old clothes, etc) from my parents' garage last weekend so if I get everything else situated I can start sorting through that & getting it more ready for baby. I've figured out the basics of what will go where as far as baby stuff, just need to sort through stuff & get it to that point (though the "where" for most of the baby clothes is in bins under the yet to be built co-sleeper, so they'll have to stack somewhere until right before baby's born when Dad'll build the cosleeper for me (want to put it off till near the end since once it's built I'll have to climb off the end of the bed instead of getting out of bed on my side).

In school related stuff . . . things are going well. While we were at Mom & Dad's last weekend Mom found the first 3 readers in the SDA Dick & Jane series that *I* used to learn to read. So I brought those home with me. THOSE are what I've been looking for (the concept) ever since the girls started talking about wanting to learn to read. Simple, short stories with all phonetic words (or introducing one sight word that is repeated over & over so that by the end of the story they recognize it), that have enough PLOT for the girls to feel like they're reading "real" stories!!! A, especially, has really taken off with these, she's made it through the first book and most of the 2nd. L isn't AS gung ho (she still would be perfectly happy for the most part, to "read" by memorizing books & quoting them back, but is coming along w/ A on the whole learn to read journey just to not be left out), but has almost finished the first reader. Mom's checking the library where she works (where these books were printed eons ago) and also checking w/ the 1st grade teacher at the church school there to see if we can find, and borrow the rest of the first grade readers from that series to keep moving the girls forward with it. If not, I THINK I've figured out which would be the rest of the first grade readers in the secular series but they're 2003 reprints so I'm leary that they might just be excerpts and not the complete books (which would mean missing some of the new words that are intro'd. I also don't know if, other than the religious words that are added into the SDA readers, the 2 series intro the words in the same order or if, picking up w/ book 4 of the secular series would mean having it assume they knew words they hadn't encountered in the SDA series. So, fingers crossed that Mom can find the SDA series books for me :)

History is picking up interest as we get into the colonial period (which is MY favorite period of US history, and overall the period of history that the girls had shown interest in prior to this. The whole reason I had for doing this curriculum was so they'd get the chronology to comprehend where the bits & pieces of Colonial history fall into the grand scheme of things. Right now, one of the books we're reading (The Courage of Sarah Nobel), the library had as an unabridged book on CD, so I got that & we're letting someone else read it to us. Saves my voice LOL. Yesterday we were supposed to listen to one chapter & ended up listening to 6 chapters & the girls wanted to keep going (this is getting INTERESTING Mommy!!). I'm thinking we'll wrap up the other book (on Ben Franklin, also interesting enough that they are willing to listen longer than I'm willing to read in one sitting) next week and then listen to the rest of Sarah Nobel in the car on the way to Aunt Lynette's house for Thanksgiving next week.

At the end of our study of Plymouth, the pocket book activity included a recipe for Hasty Pudding (otherwise known as cornmeal mush LOL). I'd made cornmeal mush a time or two last winter and the girls hadn't liked it, but were anxious to try "hasty pudding", so I finally remembered to make it yesterday for breakfast. Both of them ate it and asked for seconds!! So hopefully that can fall into the rotation of breakfasts around here, we've fallen into a rut of eating way too much cold cereal (not the healthiest or cheapest option) just becuase it's easy & the girls will eat it. Especially now that it's cold out (this summer w/ trying to limit a/c use, hot breakfasts were even less appealing) I'd like to get back to hot breakfasts most mornings . . . we shall see . . .

It snowed most of yesterday, but didn't stick until late last night. This morning A woke me up (much earlier than I wanted to be awake, yawn) to tell me that "it's WHITE OUT THERE!!!" And L came in a few minutes later to make sure I'd heard the news. It's BARELY white out there, just a dusting on the grass, none on roads or sidwalks or under trees, but the girls have been outside most of the morning having great fun. No doubt they'll be soaking wet & cold & muddy to boot when they come in, but for the time being they're having great fun with their "snow" LOL.

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