Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gratituesday - Beautiful Children

I haven't done well at remembering to post for Gratituesdays recently, not because I'm not grateful, but because I don't remember to post on Tuesdays LOL. But this week I MUST post!! Because I have so much to be grateful for!!!! Our beautiful daughter, Lina was born last Thursday. She's healthy & beautiful and we were able to bring her home that same night (which is especially appreciated since our twins were in NICU for a week, it's such a blessing to bring a healthy baby home right away!). We had planned a homebirth but had to transfer to the hospital due to meconium in the amniotic fluid, I'm so grateful for our wonderful midwife who made sure that we had as close to a homebirth experience as was possible. She continued to include our older girls in the delivery, dh was laughing that even as she was coaching me to push Lina out, she was still managing to answer the girls' questions.

I'm grateful for 2 big girls who are absolutely in LOVE with their baby sister. The vast majority of their fights have been over who gets to hold the baby, choose the baby's clothes, etc.

I'm grateful for my mom who's here spoiling us all while I get back up to speed.

Children are such a blessing from the Lord, and we have been richly blessed!

See other Gratituesday posts here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A & L are 6!!!!!

Where did the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that THEY were the ones laying on the nursing pillow eating away while I typed? Sigh . . .

Thanks to my mom, we were able to go ahead and have their family party on their birthday (Sat) as planned, despite Selina's arrival 2 days earlier. A & L were thrilled to show off their baby sister (but not always so thrilled to have more people to have to take turns with, holding her LOL). We ended up with PLENTY of cake, since I'd put the cupcakes from the kid party in the freezer, planning to use them for this party as well, and then a couple weeks ago one of the local grocery stores sent us a coupon for a free birthday cake, so Papa and the big girls went Friday and picked that up too (because who can say no to free cake?).

So just a nice day with family, celebrating my big girls getting all the bigger . . .

Pictures of the festivities are here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Reading Thing

I may be out of my mind to be attempting this with a baby due any day, but since I've been trying to spend at least a few minutes each evening reading anyway, I thought this might be a fun way to stay on track . . . and in THEORY I should be able to read while I nurse baby to sleep at night, so it should work fine.

You can read all the details of the Spring Reading Thing 2009 HERE.

Here's my list of books I hope to read in the next couple months, we'll see how it goes . . .

I'll try to write reviews of these books as I finish them (I've read some other books lately that I keep forgetting to write reviews on too, maybe I'll find time to do that sometime soon, like while baby's nursing and my mom's here to entertain the girls and cook for us . . .we shall see). And will write a "wrap-up" post in June.

Happy reading!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wrapping Up This Week

Woo-hoo! I'm actually posting a weekly wrap-up in a timely fashion, aren't you proud of me?

Let's see . . . We've enjoyed some spring-like weather this week, and the girls have spent large parts of those days outside, which means "school time" is decreased, but I firmly believe that

"Children should be permitted to run and play out of doors, enjoying the fresh, pure air, and the life-giving sunshine."
-Fundamentals of Christian Education p60

We did manage some "school" this week.

We've added memory verses to our Bible time (beyond the Sabbath school memory verse). For these verses we're using this approach to memorization. Using texts from the Polished Cornerstones curriculum we're using for Bible. For the most part, for the memory work we'll work on memorizing Prov 31:10-31, one verse at a time (we're currently working on Prov 31:11). But Since Polished Cornerstones takes an entire year to work through these verses, we may sneak some other verses in at times, depending on how quickly we memorize each verse. The girls memorized the first verse (v 10) very quickly, but are having abit slower time with v 11, which is fine. We're also having interesting discussions as we study these verses and other verses that elaborate on the same concepts.

We're enjoying some great read-alouds for history.

We talked about the brain this week in science. And the picture in the book we're using had each section of the brain (that controls sight, thinking, hearing ,etc) a different color. The speech section was orange, so L has now decided that she must have an extra large "orange" part of her brain LOL.

This week at my midwife appointment, the girls ended up talking to the midwife about how to use a stethoscope and she took time to let them use hers to hear their hearts & such.

I think that's about it for this week, it was a nice laid back week, doing school, playing outside . . . the kind of week I like :o)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last Week's Update

Just realized I never bothered to do a wrap-up post for last week. I intentionally didn't bother to change the homeschooling this week widget, since we did so little last week that I figured I'd just leave it the same for this week, and even so . . . we're not going to finish it all LOL.

But let's see, what DID we do last week. . . lots of running around. . .

We picked up the pottery that we'd made the week before. I was abit nervous that the kids' pieces would come out too light colored for their liking (the woman there had emphasized the need to do 3 coats of a color to get a vibrant color, and I wasn't sure they'd even done 2 coats) but either the woman exaggerated or they did more coats than I realized, because everything came out with good color. I need to get pictures of it. A was lamenting the lack of flowers to put in her vase, and then when mom came this weekend, she brought some daffodils from my grandma's yard, so we put some of them in A's vase, she's happy :)

A had, what I thought was a cluster of warts on her foot, but was complaining about them itching terribly (to the point it was waking her up at like 5 or 6am, which wasn't working well for her or me), and dh had an eye infection that was bothering him as well, so we made Thurs "doctor day" and took both of them in to see what was up. I was right, A's WAS warts, the dr. gave us some herbal/homeopathic cream to help with the itch. And after a couple of days the itching apparently stopped. Now I need to work on actually REMOVING the warts, but never think about it at the right time, sigh. A was abit nervous since, due to our short notice, we would be seeing another dr. in the practice rather than the one we'd met a few weeks ago, but of course, since it was just to check her foot, he spent about 30 seconds looking at it, and that was the extent of his "exam", so now she is much more confident about visiting doctors LOL.

And last week was the first of our weekly (as opposed to every 2 weeks) midwife appointment. The girls continue to enjoy asking lots of questions, and I think the midwife enjoys answering them, if not, she puts on a good act LOL. The question of the day for last week was why she uses a stethescope AND a blood pressure cuff when she checks blood pressure, so she explained how the whole process works (which I didn't know either). A has decided that we simply have to keep having babies because she'll miss getting to see the midwife when I'm not pregnant LOL.

This past weekend, my parents decided to come up and surprise the girls. The last time they were here the girls happened to get their birthday free meal coupons from California Pizza Kitchen while my parents were here. When we lived in MD, CPK was a place we pretty much always went w/ my parents (Papa really likes it, and we'd stop there on our way back from DC, usually). So when the girls got their coupons they were disappointed to hear that Mama & Papa probably wouldn't be coming w/ us to CPK this year (had to be used "during the birthday month" and the weekend they got the coupons, and my parents were here, was the last of Feb, and plan was that other than coming up for the day on the girls' birthday, they wouldn't be back until the baby comes (which could be in Mar, but no guarantees). So . . . my parents decided to come up this past weekend to surprise the girls and go w/ us to CPK. I woke up Sabbath morning with a sore throat, and REALLY didn't want to end up sick when the baby's born, so decided to stay home from church & hope the extra rest (plus pounding it right away with Apple Cider Vinegar, echinacea, etc) would stop it in it's tracks. My parents got here while the girls & dh were still at church, so the girls got home to find them here, which was fun.

While my parents were here, the girls also helped Papa start working on building the beds I want for my garden this year, and had fun with that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Some Kid Funnies . . .

Haven't done this in awhile, lets see . . .

  • A slightly PG rated funny . . . a couple weeks ago we talked about where babies come from and such as part of our science/anatomy (which was really the whole reason I chose to do an anatomy unit right now, to fit in some prep for the upcoming homebirth). This included a brief, age appropriate, discussion about male/female anatomy. When we talked about it during school time, A mentioned that she thought the male "thing you pee from" (I did tell her the proper name, she didn't bother to retain that information, I don't see a need to reiterate it if she's not interested at this point), would be "annoying" and she's glad she's a girl and doesn't have one. Which I found amusing enough, but nothing compared to the following Sabbath morning as we were getting ready to leave for church. I'm not sure what made her think of it then, but totally out of the blue, she said "hey Daddy, you know that little thing you pee out of because you're a boy? Isn't that ANNOYING? I think it would be annoying!" the look on DH's face was beyond priceless, I was dying laughing.
  • This morning the girls were getting Papa to tell them stories "about when he was a little kid" somewhere in all the story telling he told them about his great-uncle who had to have a finger removed due to cancer. A was very interested in this and wanted to see what he looked like with 3 fingers. Since Papa didn't think he has any pictures of Uncle Bill with 3 fingers, A decided that we should go to where he's buried and dig him up so she could see his 3 fingers. I suggested there wouldn't be much to see anymore (should've known better), which brought the inevitable "why?" I said because when people are buried their bodies start turning back into dirt. "What do you mean BACK into dirt?" So I asked them what Adam was made out of, "mud" So since we call come from Adam, when we die we turn back into dirt. . . at which point they drew the logical conclusion that since WE (as in females) were made from a rib, NOT dirt, we must turn back into a rib once we die. LOL. There IS a certain logic to that . . . And at least I know they've been listening to the details of the creation story LOL.
  • The girls got their birthday coupons for a free kids meal at California Pizza Kitchen, so we "had" to go eat there. The coupons included a dessert and both girls chose the ice cream sundae. It was a LARGE Sundae for a little kid, they were in heaven. As they were eating it, dh, who was sitting next to L, told L to "look over there" and promptly swiped a bite of ice cream (no, he doesn't LIKE ice cream, he just wanted to tease her). She thought it was HILLARIOUS and the rest of the meal was spent trying to get each of us to "look" (even if we didn't have anything to swipe) and making sure they (girls) didn't get " caught" again. L figured out to satisfy her curiosity AND protect her food by, when Daddy said "hey look over there" FIRST putting her hand on Daddy's arm, and THEN looking to be sure there wasn't anything to look at LOL.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Another Week . . .

Apparently I'm on the "once a week" posting plan these days LOL. We had a fun week last week. The highlight was the girls' birthday party on Wednesday. We decided this year to go to a pottery painting place for their party. We invited their friends Hannah & Yeva (and Hannah & Yeva's brothers, Bobby & Sage (and baby sister Ziva), and to get our total participants to the required number of 8, us moms got to paint something too :). The one "misleading" thing on the website was the implication that staff from the pottery place would be on hand throughout to help, but it worked out ok w/ that, so all was well. I think the kids all had fun, and it was a wonderfully low stress party for me (which I needed this year, even with doing the party a month early (for those who don't keep track, the girls' birthday isn't until the end of the month (28th) but I figured this was as late as I dared push it with baby due the first week in April & pottery place 45 min away from home LOL). The one challenge was that the pottery place we chose is in downtown Lancaster, so the parking is in a parking garage across the street, if I wasn't pregnant (or at least wasn't SO pregnant) making multiple trips from the parking garage to the pottery place with our food & such wouldn't have been a big deal, but given how SLOW I walk these days & how quckly I tire out, that was abit of an issue that I didn't fully think about until I was on my way to the pottery place (if I'd thought it through sooner I might have thrown in the stroller to use as a stuff-mover). But thanks to cooperative, helpful girls, and sturdy reusable grocery bags, we made it in one trip (I put the drinks in one of my nice whole foods bags & carried that on one shoulder, put the lightweight snacks & paper goods into 2 more reusable grocery bags, one for each girl & then my plan was to carry the veggie tray & cupcakes as well, but L wanted to carry the veggie tray (I was lazy & bought a pre-made one at the grocery store so it was relatively "sealed") so I ended up carrying the heavy bag of drinks, the cupcakes & a lighter bag (that also had room for my purse in the top). And we made it. . . :) I forgot my camera though, grrr . . . Kim (other mom who was there) took some on her phone camera but when she sent them direct from the phone to me, they came through as thumbnail size, so I need to get her to send them from computer to computer at some point & then I'll post them.

Cakes this year, I mandated needed to be cupcakes (figured that would be much easier for transporting/serving at a remote location to a variety of ages of children), and the girls' wonderful Sabbath school teacher, Teacher Cindy was kind enough to make them for us. Lexie picked pigs & Ashlyn picked ladybugs & they both turned out ADORABLE!! Again, I forgot to take pictures, but the leftovers are in the freezer so we can use them for the grandparent party (which is tenatively scheduled for their actual birthday with the disclaimer that if baby comes before then (or that day) we may have to reschedule), so hopefully I can remember (or my dad or someone will think of it) to take pictures that day.

Otherwise this week was pretty quiet. I wasn't feeling good on Thurs so we didn't do school that day either which left Tues & Fri as our school days. By Friday it was warm enough (& dry enough, Thurs was warm(ish) but even the girls declared it too muddy for outside play) that the girls spent a good portion of the day outside, they have apparently each claimed a part of teh flowerbeds as their gardens, I'm abit nervous since all of the flower beds have things PLANTED in them (perenials & bulbs in one bed & herbs in the other) but haven't gotten nervous enough to go investigate yet LOL. I thought about sitting out on the porch for awhile yesterday (& again today) but in the end, my fear of getting "stuck" in the chairs we have out there (they are wonderfully comfortable canvas camping chairs w/ built in footrests, but they tilt back enough to be abit awkward to get out of under the best of circumstances so I'm afraid at this point when getting up off the sofa can be a challenge, that I'd be permanently stuck if I got into those chairs LOL. So I've contented myslf to sit inside in my glider w/ a lovely cross-breeze coming past me between the dining room windows & the window right behind my chair LOL.

This next week, I have my midwife appointment (and then it will be weekly from here on out), and we need to go pick up the pottery, so that should keep us busy. I'm also hoping to get seeds started for this summer's garden, the wonderful spring-like weather is inspiring me LOL. And having officially hit 36 weeks, I REALLY need to do my final checklist and make sure I have everything ready for the homebirth & such.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Last Week's Wrap-Up (yes, I'm behind again)

My parents were here this weekend, that's my excuse for being behind this time (no, that in now explains why I didn't get this done YESTERDAY, or before now today, but we won't go there).

Let's see . . . last week was a quiet week, I like quiet weeks :) My parents came down Fri morning, so no "school" on Friday, we were busy doing other fun stuff LOL.

Our science last week was, essentially, the main reason we're doing this unit right now. The reproductive system/where babies come from/how they're born . . . preparation for the upcoming home birth. We started out Reading Where Do Babies Come From? This is the book for age 6-8 in a Christian "s*x ed" series (the name of which continually escapes me). It was, IMO, well written and gave enough information without giving too much. Cute quote of that day, would be when we briefly discussed male anatomy & A commented "I'm glad I'm a girl, that would be annoying" LOL. It also was timely that the age 6-8 book is the book that addresses where babies come from, which is the aspect of "s*x ed" that is most relevant to the girls right now. We also looked at the more scientific side of things by reading about the reproductive system in our main "anatomy" book. This focused primarily on where baby is during gestation & how it gets out (random observation, finding a "full frontal" picture of the female (internal) reproductive system is, apparently, impossible, I searched online, as well as looking in all the books I have here (the main anatomy book we're using 2 other "kid" anatomy books that I've collected over time, AND my high school Human Phys book, ALL of these showed the picture of the female reproductive system (ovaries, uterus . . . ) from a side view, so that made it hard for the girls to draw this system accurately on their model, sigh . . .

Another cute kid quote, A told her Daddy, "since we're women, unlike you, we have the place where mommy's baby is, there's just not a baby in it" to get the full effect you really would have to hear the tone of superiority in which she informed him that she's a woman & he's not, but it was priceless! I spent the rest of the morning, whenever the girls were out of earshot, saying, to dh "since we're women, unlike you" and bursting into giggles LOL (yes, it doesn't take much to amuse me, and yes, my husband is a saint to put up with me).

History consisted mainly of finishing up our book on Sacagawea. Papa brought a Sacagawea dollar coin up with him to show the girls & thus round out that bit of history.

For Bible we finished up the B is for Beatitudes lapbook & did one of the Calvary Church studies the other day (I decided the beatitudes one was too repetitive, so we did one of the others & I'd have to go look to see which one, and I'm lazy). They're not bad studies, but starting this week, I'm opting to use Polished Cornerstones (a year long very extensive/comprehensive study of Prov 31 for girls of all ages (be warned, this book is very conservative Christian, if you're of the opinion that various aspects of the Bible are cultural, not inspired, and therefore no longer apply, this probably isn't a book/study you'd appreciate) for Bible. I'd toyed with using it for our tea party time or something since I'd planned to start a different, year-long, Bible series next fall, but I decided to go with this for now & by next fall I can decide which study I want to do when . . .

This week will be a slow school week. Yesterday, we had snow, so skipped "school" to allow for playing in the snow. Today we did school, tomorrow we go to paint pottery for the girls' birthday (which isn't till the end of the month, but since the pottery place is 45 min from here, I wanted to do this before we got TOO close to my EDD just to be safe), so no "school" tomorrow. So only Tues, Thurs & Fri this week.

Sunday was the baby shower that our church threw for us. Since we really don't need anything in the way of baby stuff, they threw a book shower instead, asking everyone to bring a favorite children's book, we got some AWESOME books! And the girls have been enjoying reading them this week. They've discovered that the toddler books (geared for very young toddlers) make great "early reader" books since there are so few words per page LOL. And a definite favorite is a bird book the pastor's wife gave us. It's a huge book w/, I think it says 200 different birds in it, one per page & then along the one side there's an electronic thing that you can set to a number (that's listed on the page for each bird) and it will play what that bird's song sounds like. Both girls have spent huge amounts of time playing with it already & I'm thinking we'll have to incorporate it into an actual "bird unit" for science either this summer or next fall (not sure how much "school" we'll do this summer . . . gonna play that by ear).