Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Week Has Passed

The girls are continuing to enjoy the extra stuff we're doing for school. We slowed down abit this week to keep from burning out (and because Mommy wasn't feeling good a couple days). But the girls are enjoying the science & history. One of this week's books for history was about Thomas Jefferson, we were supposed to read, I think 2 or 3 chapters per day, but they were enjoying it so much that we read almost the whole book one day, finished it in 2 days instead of the 5 that were scheduled LOL.

Cutting up cardboard continued to be a favorite pastime, though me finding that not only were they throwing the little scraps all over the floor, instead of in the paper bin, but also into the plastic/cans bin, has kind of put an end to that. I'm already dreading having to go through the overflowing plastic/cans bin rather than just dumping it directly into the receptical at the recycling center.

L has decided that she wants to help w/ laundry too, so after some arguments over who gets to do what when, I think we have the laundry integrated into the schedule such that they can take turns. A was excited today when I explained how we wash the towels/wipes load (I do a pre-rinse, and then wash on hot, but this washing machine doesn't have a pre-wash or soak cycle, so it's abit confusing) & then sent her down at the appropriate times to do it. She even figured out to bring the clean/dry load up from the basement, it was a small-ish load, which helped, but she figured out & pulled the laundry basket up the steps behind her, smart kid :) She was VERY proud of herself :) We finished reading the first Anne of Green Gables book while L&A folded the wipes & towels. They're excited to start the second one now LOL.

L decided that she wanted to "make lunch" today, so she made sandwiches for all 3 of us (Daddy is working), she was quite proud of herself :)

This week we'll be studying the reproductive system for science. I'm leaving the whole week open for that, depending how interested they get. We'll for sure be reading Where Do Babies Come From, from the "Learning About S*x series", and we'll also go over the reproductive system page in our main anatomy book. Then I'll kind of follow their lead from there. A main purpose in doing the anatomy unit right now was to give them a better understanding of what's going to happen here in a month or so when the baby's born. So we'll also use my Bradley Book if needed (it has drawings of the baby during various stages of labor, so helpful from that standpoint. We'll also re-read Welcome With Love which tells about a homebirth from the sibling's perspective. We got it from the library & read it early in this pregnancy, but I figure it won't hurt to revisit it now and spend some more time talking about how OUR homebirth will be similar and different from the one in the book. . .

We have one day left in the B is for Beatitudes lapbook. In some ways I'm disappointed in it, I realize it's geared toward a preschool/early K level, but still . . . they have rewritten the beatitudes to the point that I have to really concentrate to figure out which of "theirs" is which of the actual beatitudes. But, the girls have had fun coloring the pictures & such, regardless. They have the Beatitude song pretty well memorized by now as well. We'll move on to the shorter, Beatitude study from Calvary for the rest of the week and then I'll have a better feel for whether we want to do additional Calvary studies, or switch to something else.

Not much else noteworthy this past week. Today's project is rearranging the girls room, it's a "Daddy/daughter" project (which came about, at least in part, because the girls had been using the corner behind the recliner in the living room for "secret meetings" but were getting increasingly hyper back there & yesterday when they managed to unplug my computer (which is plugged in under the table next to the recliner) AND when I glanced up to see what was up with that, I saw the entire table about to go over, I asked that they use that "meeting" to determine a new location for their meetings. This did not go over well with Miss A (which made it difficult since L was the main culprit, but not so much so that I felt it warranted allowing A to go back there but not L, plus I doubt that would have helped since it was a joint meeting. . . anyway, apparently A was still distressed about this at bedtime and so the girls & Daddy concocted some way of rearranging their room to allow for a "meeting space". They're all up there right now, I'm rather nervous about it all (I've been banned LOL), but we shall see . . . I'd been planning on having my mom work with them to at least better organize their toys & such (which is hard for me to help them with right now since it's all under the loft, which means crawling on the floor which is extremely painful for me at this point) so this will free up mom's time for other things, since I assume the toy organization will be a part of this . . . When dh was attempting to describe his "plan" to me last night (I didn't follow it very well), he said that part of the plan was to pack away stuff they don't use, so will be interesting to see what they're willing to part with, since any attempts on my part to get them to part with things has been met with total resistance LOL.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Week of Homeschooling!

We've had a GREAT week! Definitely made me realize that I need to keep things mixed up, that "too long" isn't the true whine, it's "too long w/o enough variety", because our 'school time" this week has been significantly longer this week than it has been the last month or so, but the girls have loved it.

We started the Beatitudes lapbook for Bible, along w/ doing copywork for the Beatitudes (if I wasn't spreading things out so that we'd do copywork for each of the Beatitudes we could easily be done the lapbook by now, but that's ok). and the girls pretty much have the song memorized. They really enjoy singing it too, are happy to have me set it on repeat the whole time they're doing their copywork.

For History, we read a book about Johnny Appleseed last week, so this week we did an apple lapbook, the girls LOVED doing that! I picked & chose from the suggested elements, to shorten it & keep it at their level, but they had great fun with it, and especially enjoyed the last day when I cut a couple apples in half & let them use them as "stamps" to decorate teh front of their lapbook. This was probably the biggest "time eater" this week, but they loved it, so they didn't care that it took alot of time. Incidentally, the curriculum recommended reading "Don't Know Much About the Presidents" this week, dividing it up over the days, but when I actually got the book from the library & looked at it, there's a couple pages of information about the presidency in general & then a page or 2 of trivia about each president, in order. So . . . I went ahead & read to them the general info & the info on George Washington & John Adams, and then went on and bought the book so that we can read the rest of it as we get to the presidents, either in our history class or I might let them "catch up" to the coins & then we might read about each president as the new coin comes out, either way it seemed silly to read the whole book right now, when my main goal in this whole history thing is to help them better understand the chronology of it all.

We also started a human anatomy unit, they girls were SOOO excited about that. The first thing we did as tape paper to the wall (had to do it in the upstairs hall, since the dining room has a chair rail all the way around that would keep it from laying flat) and I traced them on the paper (the guys from our oil company were here cleaning the furnace while I did this, and one of them happened to come upstairs to use the bathroom, I'm guessing he thought we were nuts, but oh well LOL) then we started w/ the heart/circulatory system, read about it, discussed some, and then I sent them upstairs w/ crayons to add their heart & circulatory system to their posters. They did a VERY good job (better thanI could've done LOL), so Im anxious to see the finished product when we're worked our way through all the systems.

So all that plus the typical reading & phonics, has kept us pretty busy. They seem to have accepted the more challenging phonics worksheets finally. Having the white board up in the dining room helps, I can "teach" them the phonics lesson on the board & then leave it up there to remind them as they do the worksheet.

Other then that, a pretty quiet week. Weather's been amazing, so the girls have gotten to play outside a bunch & I wasted one afternoon sitting on the porch soaking up the wonderful fresh air (word to the wise, those canvas camping chairs w/ built in footrests, while very comfortable, are almost IMPOSSIBLE for someone 32 wks pregnant to get OUT of LOL).

L has decided that she enjoys laundry too, so now they fight over who gets to do what, sigh . . . must revamp chore charts to have them taking turns at it to avoid the struggle (which isn't all bad, the days that A was unloading the dishwasher AND helping w/ laundry ended up w/ L sitting around for quite awhile waiting for b-fast, so this way I'm going to revamp things so that one can be starting the laundry while the other unloads the dishwasher.

We took advantage of the nice weather & washed the baby clothes while the weather was nice enough to hang stuff outside.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week my parents might be coming up for the weekend, but nothing's definite, and we don't have definite plans while they're here, so . . . I went ahead & planned the menu through the weekend, things that we can all eat if they're here, or just our family if my parents don't come. But obviously it's all variable based on what we decide to do while they're here.

See other menus here.

Last Week's Wrap-Up

We had MORE snow last week, and finally some decent playing in snow, so the girls had fun outside quite abit.

Beyond that,we pretty much kept on keeping on.

They came into the kitchen while I was making sourdough bread I've been thinking that it would be a good project for them to learn how to measure dry ingredients properly, since accurate measuring really doesn't matter, you just keep adding flour till it's the right consistency. So when they came in & were interested in what I was doing, I suggested that next time I made bread, they could do it. I assume they'll get tired & want me to do some (most?) of the kneading, but other then that, they can pretty much do it all. They were very excited when I let them put the bread pans in the (cool) oven, cover them w/ the towel, and then, once the bread had raised, they took the towel off & turned the oven on.

In other "I can do it myself" news, it occurred to me that the only reason A can't pour the vinegar into the washing machine (fabric softener dispenser) is because I buy vinegar in gallon jugs which are too heavy/awkward for her to pour. So last week at the grocery store I bought a small (quart maybe?) bottle of vinegar, she's loving that she can pour it herself & when it's empty I'll just refill it from the gallon jug. We're also about one load away from being out of the liquid detergent I've been using, so on this week's agenda is to make laundry soap which again, she'll be able to measure into the machine on her own. At that point, I THINK I'll be able to just send her down to start the laundry all on her own :)

Thursday we also introduced a new character chart from Heavenly Homemakers. The girls are enjoying having me "catch them being good" and getting to add 'tators to their fields.

This week we'll be starting a new science unit (which we haven't done since we finished the Solar System unit a few months ago) I got the rough outline from the Adventist Home Educator's ebook, and am adapting as needed based on what resources we have, I'm also switching up the order we'll study systems, to hit the reproductive system earlier to make sure we get to it prior to baby's birth (since that's one of the main reasons I'm wanting to do a unit on anatomy right now).

We're also starting a new unit for Bible. Last Sabbath (a week ago) in Sabbath School, the teachers introduced us to a new song, written by our pastor and his wife, that is the Beatitudes set to music. They also let me borrow, and copy, the CD of the song so the girls could work on learning it (since it's alot of words for kids who are still essentially pre-reader), so, starting last week we've been listening to the song each morning as part of Bible time and attempting to sing through it once. As I was looking through my Bible files to decide what to do as we finished up the Thanks & Giving Copywork book, I found a Beatitudes lapbook and thought that would tie in well with learning the song. I'm going to expand on it abit and each day we'll discuss one verse & they will do copywork for that verse, then we'll staple the stack of copywork pages into the lapbook when we're done.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Week

Ok, I'm horribly horribly behind, what can I say . . . I don't even have any good excuse LOL.

So anyway . . . last week:

We spent Monday coming home from my parents and getting re-settled in here.

Tuesday: w/ a threat of snow & ice for the rest of the week, we spent Tuesday running any & all necessary errands for the week so we didn't have to worry about going out in the ice and snow.

We DID get the promised snow/ice on Wed, but it was a total bust for playing in it :( Snow, with a 1/4" crust of ice on top. With our hills, the ice made it too slick/dangerous for sledding (at least for 5 yr olds, and 30-week pregnant women) and you can't do much in the way of snowmen & such w/ the ice in the way either. The girls played outside one day (Thurs? maybe) but only for 20 min or so before they came back in.

I had ANOTHER stomach bug Thurs night (or more of the same, but that would be weird, almost a week later?), so I spent Fri laying around for the most part. The girls watched lots of tv that day LOL. We'd been invited to the pastor's house for dinner Sabbath, and I'd said I'd bring cookies, which I'd planned to bake, with the girls, on Fri, but since I had zero energy, hubby agreed to make the cookies w/ the girls once he got home from work.

The girls LOVED making cookies with Daddy. He is much more mess tollerant than I am (perhaps because I generally get clean-up duty either way LOL). And was more willing to let them do the measuring & such.

By Sabbath morning I was feeling mostly human again, so we went ahead as planned with church (very good sermon (guest speaker) but we didn't get out until 1:00, AND the whole sermon included a powerpoint thingy so the lights were out which meant the girls couldn't do their puzzles and such that they'd brought to keep them quietly occupied during church). Then we went to the pastor's house for dinner, along with another couple (the wife works with dh). The girls were the only kids there & were perfectly happy to have so many adults to themselves. They really bonded with Tami (dh's co-worker), spent a good part of the afternoon both of them curled up on her lap getting her to tell them stories. They also got Pastor Mike to show them one of his guitar-type instruments (I don't think it was an actual guitar, but wasn't paying enough attention to hear what it was called) and he let them strum it while he did the cords (which was still very interesting "music" since they were BOTH strumming lol). It was a nice afternoon & evening, we were there until bedtime.

At some point Sabbath afternoon, Tami heard that dh would be working all day Sunday, so she suggested that the girl & I come to a baby shower that she & our neighbor, Judy (also a church member) were hosting (at Judy's). I didn't know the guest of honor (and have since found out she generally attends a church plant in our area, which is why I hadn't noticed another pregnant woman at church LOL), but decided to go ahead and go. The girls thought it was pretty cool that we could WALK to the shower LOL. They were the only kids there, but had great fun playing with Judy's dog, Murphy (I think they thoroughly wore him out LOL). And Amy (that the shower was for), was sweet enough to let the girls "help" her by taking the gifts after she opened them and put them off to the side. It was nice to get to know alot of the women from church a little bit more.

My energy still isn't back up to par (don't know if it's the stomach bug, lingering, or just 3rd trimester in general, but I have NO stamina!) so that pretty much wore me out for the day.