NOTE: I wrote most of this on Sunday, so references to "yesterday", "today" or "tomorrow" are from that perspective. But, as so often happens, I got interrupted and didn't actually finish or post this on Sunday. So am finishing it up now to post.
To start things off, I've decided to make a slight change, I'm finding that at times it feels awkward to write "A" and "L" for the older girls names. I'm still not wanting to use their real names, but Little Bit helped me out by calling L "Sassy" (it sounds slightly like her name, but not really, however it DOES fit her personality (in a cute way, not a rude way), so we've kind of embraced that as a nickname for L), so from now on, I'll refer to L as "Sassy" on this blog. Which brings us to A. I finally decided, since my husband is always teasing me that A is my "Mini Me" because she has long hair & tends to wear it in the same styles that I do, prefers similar styles of skirts, etc. So, I'll call her "MiniMe" at least until something else seems to present itself.
We've had a busy week! Perhaps the biggest change was, we started the week with a new schedule. I'd been thinking for a few weeks now, that it might work better to move school back to the dining room table, and give Little Bit things to play with that can be done at the table to keep her better contained, and entertained. AND, for my personal devotions I'm reading The Family Meal Table and Hospitality by Nancy Campbell, which is re-inspiring me to move our meals back to the table (instead of on trays in the family room). So now we eat breakfast at the table and while we're eating or right after we eat, depending on what we're eating, I read our Bible reading for school. I've been using The Daily Bible, but not sticking to the "schedule" I just read however much seems like a good fit for us. The Daily Bible puts things in chronological order though, which is nice. After we read the Bible, we clean up from breakfast and then, depending on the day, either go back to the table, for Spanish or, go outside while I hang laundry (depends on the weather, whether or not I'm doing laundry that day, and whether the morning went smoothly enough that I got the washing machine going before breakfast, if not I start the laundry while the girls clean up the kitchen.). When we're outside to hang laundry, we also go on a nature walk at least some days.
I've really been wanting to get nature back into our routine & finally seem to have managed it, and the girls are thrilled, so I think they will make sure that it's here to stay! This week our nature activities included:
An "I See God" walk - we walked around the house (it was COLD, we kept it short), and wrote down things in nature that reminded us of God. When we were back in the house the girls wrote about what they'd seen, and drew a picture in their nature journals
A Listening Walk - We quietly (except for Little Bit, she kept up constant commentary on all we saw LOL) walked down by the creek and past the pond, and wrote down the things we heard, then wrote and drew about it when we got home.
Started our salad garden - a few weeks ago in nutrition, the suggestion was made to grow lettuce in a shallow bowl/pot on your kitchen table and always have fresh lettuce for salads, I finally got everything together this week and we started it. Playing in the dirt, INSIDE, no less, is always fun.
Learned about Blue Herons. I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we'd gotten home from errands and saw a Great Blue Heron at the edge of the pond, since we were in the car, he didn't fly away so we were able to watch him for a few minutes. One morning this week, as I was having my morning Bible time, I looked out my window (I love that I can look out on the pond and fields and NATURE during my quiet time and combine BOTH of God's books in my time with Him) and there was a HUGE bird roosting at the very TOP of a tree near the pond. I called the girls and Rodney to come look at it, and we finally decided it was the Great Blue Heron (we just didn't realize they ever perched in the top of trees). So, that day for nature time, Sassy and MiniMe went out and sat in the rain (it was just kind of misting) to draw the heron in the tree and then came inside and we looked up on the internet (because our really cool bird sound book (I'm not sure it's that exact one, but its like that) didn't have a heron in it, sigh . . .) and read about herons, and the girls wrote about what we'd learned.
Little Bit's nap still seems to work best if it falls during lunchtime. If I try to keep her up until after lunch she's too fussy to let me fix the food without wanting me to hold her the whole time and then by the time I try to put her down, she's over-tired and doesn't fall asleep easily in the swing. So for now I'm just accepting the fact that her lunch is a light snack before nap & another one after nap and we will eat lunch while she naps. So, I put her down for nap while the big girls do the "no supervision required" part of our school morning (drawing/writing for Bible and nature), then I exercise (still loving my rebounder) and then we fix lunch. While we eat lunch (at the table), we listen to The Story of the World CDs we've been getting from the library.
Our afternoons are free for errands, housework, play, etc. BUT we make sure to clean off the table after lunch so that it's ready for us to set the table and eat supper at the table as well.
In other news this week, we had a visit from a flat friend: Awhile back another mom on a homeschool forum I'm on had asked if she could send her "flat son" (inspired by the book Flat Stanley) for a visit to our fine state. He arrived a couple weeks ago, but I finally remembered and set him free from his envelope this week. The girls are having great fun "showing him the ropes" around our house. We'll keep him for a couple weeks, show him around our area, and then send him on to his next stop.
Thursday, hubby called and asked if we wanted to travel with him this weekend, and we decided to go with him, now that the likelihood of snow in a quantity to disrupt travel is low. So, we had a change of schedule and spent Thursday afternoon making healthy(ier), portable snacks to have with us on the trip. We made granola bars, energy balls, cinnamon almonds, whole wheat vanilla wafers, and dried bananas (just sliced up the bananas I needed used, and put them in the dehydrator for the afternoon). It was a busy afternoon, but we're enjoying the results this weekend.
Friday we visited Grandmom (Rodney's mom). Sassy and MiniMe were excited to tell her about their birthday presents and show her their iTouches. Little Bit started calling Grandmom "Bama" so at least for now, I guess that's her name.
Sabbath we went to Sabbath School and church, then came home, loaded up (including sandwiches for lunch) and headed out. It was a long drive but the girls did great.
Today the girls and I enjoyed the hotel pool while Daddy worked, and we'll be visiting a local Children's museum for an hour or two before heading out in the morning.
Little Bit continues to become more and more comfortable in the water. She loves to "sim" with her "foaties" (floaties). Today she started standing on one of the lower steps and jumping "self" into the water. When she figured out that she could "spash" me, that made it all the better. When she first started doing that, MiniMe was with me, so I said something along the lines of "you splashed us" so the rest of the time, whether it was "us" or just me, as she got ready to jump she'd say "spash. us."
I wish I could capture the way she strings words together. I don't remember the older girls doing that, but it's so cute. She says each word as if there were a period after it, it's adorable!