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This has been a week of organizing and such . . . we've been working to declutter and organize the girls' room and we're making good progress in there. They are starting to "own" the project abit more, and that helps a lot. It's not just Mommy saying they have to clean, they're seeing progress and want to see more, finally . . . :-)
In the midst of all of that, as I continued to be frustrated with the awkward "flow" of our room (the dresser was all the way around the bed, the door bumped against the bed . . . it's a small room for a "master bedroom" and it works but, things I thought we'd "get used to", I wasn't getting used to. . . when we first moved in, a friend had suggested one other place in the room that the bed might work. When she suggested it, I dismissed the idea because I was afraid the "posters" on the bed would be in the path of the ceiling fan. Now, as I continued to be frustrated with the bed placement, it occurred to me that, much as I love our 4 poster bed, it was those posts that were giving me fits and they are removeable. . . .so I removed the posts at the foot of the bed, did a marathon decluttering and putting away to clear off the floors and such, pulled everything out from under the bed and then started shifting furniture. I discovered that the posters WOULD miss the fan with the bed in the new location, but for now, I'm leaving them off. I think they make the room seem smaller somehow, so for now, they're off. The picture above is standing in the doorway, the dresser is right inside the door (the wood top in the bottom left corner of the picture). It feels so much more open this way, I am loving it!
Something else that had been bothering me was that we didn't have bath towels that "matched" our bathroom. When Rodney and I first got married we had navy and hunter towels to go with our navy and hunter bathroom, but needless to say, those towels have mostly become rags over the past 16 years AND navy and hunter don't go with the dusty lavender and sage of this bathroom. But buying all new towels, when we HAD towels, they are just random beach towels, hasn't been in the budget (mismatched towels didn't bother me when I had closed cupboard to keep them in, but having them out on the open shelves of this bathroom bugged me). So anyway, when I pulled out the boxes that were under my bed, I discovered that one of the boxes that, for some reason was under my bed, was a box of "extra towels" INCLUDING the towels that I'd completely forgotten about from our GUEST BATHROOM in our first house. THEY were plain white! I'd been hoping to slowly, over time, replace the mismatched towels with plain white, so that, going forward I didn't have to worry about matching even if bathrooms changed or whatever, and now I had enough, sitting in a box that I'd forgotten about! AWESOME! So now that THAT is done, while I was taking the picture of my bedroom, I took a couple picture of this summer's projects in the bathroom too.
So that's taken up a good bit of our week.
School is fun as always. On the days that J joins us, he wants to make sure that he gets to "do math" when the older kids are doing math. Little Bit has a workbook that she enjoys doing, but J isn't quite ready for that yet, so it challenges my creativity to come up with "math" for him AND Little Bit. This week he only joined us one day, so that day I pulled out our magnetic pattern blocks. After attempting to have them work together on one, it hit me that we could use the easel and they could each work on their own picture AND there are benefits to working vertically instead of flat on the floor too. So that's what we did. I didn't notice until I cropped the picture how perfectly their outfits are matched. It's really no wonder that lots of people at church think my girls and E & J are all siblings, huh?
Lexie and Ashlyn have hit the point in their math, where they really NEED to memorize their times tables, so that they can figure out division and such more quickly. I think it is AWESOME that they have a strong understanding of how the numbers work FIRST, but now it's time to memorize . . . to keep that from being too painfully boring, we've been pulling some ideas from Waldorf, having fun making pretty number wheels on the chalkboard and such. Somewhere I'd seen the idea of using chalk pastels on the chalkboard, so that's what we've been using, it's so much more fun than just a couple boring colors : ) So that's been a fun change of pace from Life of Fred for math. We also pulled out a math game we reviewed the very first year we reviewed for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. When we reviewed it, we played using just addition, now we're focusing on multiplication, and it's a great way to practice.
We're continuing to move right along with Bible Road Trip, our Waldorf unit on water, American History, and Chemistry and Physics. I feel like we've finally fallen into a good routine where we at least get MOST of it done most days. I've started reading history to the kids while they (at least the little ones) eat a morning snack, that helps alot, not only because it means we don't have to fit history in later, but because one thing that had been frustrating me was that the kids would play and talk instead of eating during snack time, making it take up half the morning. Now, since they have the story to keep them focused, they finish up their snack in the time that we read, or less.
I wait and do the big girls' math in the afternoons, and now that we don't have review products vying for our attention, we'll also get back to doing Grammar in the afternoons. We also moving along with Polished Cornerstones at bedtime and we've been using bedtime read aloud time to fit in some of the longer read alouds from Bible (we just finished Tirzah) and history (we're getting ready to start Pollyanna), and just to make sure we squeeze every bit of read aloud time out of life, we're currently listening to All-of-a-Kind Family in the car. Little Bit's current favorite car entertainment is Signing Times videos, and whenever we aren't listening to an audiobook, her sisters watch along with her, all three are becoming pretty fluent at sign language and have fun "talking" to each other in sign.
So that's been our week.