Thursday, October 15, 2009

Excitement Around Here

The past two months we have been working on remodeling our kitchen.  It is looking so great.  I can't wait for it to be completely finished.  Here is a before shot of the cabinets, counter top and appliances.

Now here is a pic of my new counter top and cabinets.


It is so much prettier.  I love it!  We still have to replace the floor and get a new table set. 

James and I like to include the girls in what we do when that is possible.  They obviously could not help put in the cabinets and appliances, even though they wanted too.  So to let them be involved we purchased three canvases and paint.  Here is my artwork for the kitchen.

Lulu's is first, then Monkey's, and then James/Lil's.  They did a great job.

And here are my girls for their first day of co-op.  We are having a great year so far!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Need More Hours in a Day

Life has been moving full speed ahead for us the past few months.  I am wondering when it will slow down a little.  I have all these great intentions of posting about our school days, special events we are participating in, and all the funnies that occur each day.  Then I look up and it is time to go to bed.

Our plate is overflowing as a family right now.  Back in August our church launched a new Saturday night service.  James and I both joined the ministry team.  He is on the worship team and I am directing the children's ministry for Saturday night.  We both also teach class on Wednesday night at church.  James started a Bible study for the men back in the summer.  They meet twice a month.  The ladies started meeting twice a month also.  The girls and I have really enjoyed this.  We all, minus Lil, know how to knit and crochet now.  Co-op started back in September.  I am on the board this year and coordinating the Teacher's Lounge each week.  Add school each day, chores, work... the plate is overflowing!

So that is why the blog is suffering.  I do intend to get back at it though.  Lulu wants to get her blog going again too.  We changed the background and some other things a few weeks ago.  She posted a story she wrote for her writing curriculum.  She has another story ready to post when we get a chance.  You can read her story here.

Lulu and Monkey have their first JBQ match of the season tomorrow morning.  They are excited about quizzing.  Lulu is in A league this year.  That means her age group will quiz on 10 point, 20 point, and 30 point questions.  Monkey is still in B league.  They quiz on 10 point and 20 point questions.  Lil spectates :)  I was asked if Lil would want to quiz on C league, even though she is four.  I just don't think she is ready to sit quietly at the table and only buzz when she knows the answer.  Too much energy still bottled up inside her.

Our plate is full, but we would not have it any other way.  We stay busy, but it is all things we do together as a family (for the most part).  James is not off doing his own thing, me off doing mine, and the girls in different directions.  We are together.  And what God has called us to do, He will give us the grace we need to accomplish it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Future Worship Leader

Lil's most favorite thing to do is sing and play church.  I hope you enjoy this "Lil Original".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Water Balloon Fight

To celebrate the girls' first day of school, four weeks ago, James filled up water balloons.  They had a blast getting each other soaked. 

After the balloons were gone, the hose came out.  Building memories is so important.  I don't remember all the toys and gadgets I had as a kid, but I do remember the people that poured love into my life. 

My prayer is that my girls will remember that we got dirty, we got wet, we dropped things in order to spend time with them, we made sacrifices, we loved them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Embroidery in Colonial Times

The past two weeks we have been finishing up our study of Colonial Times.  Lulu, Monkey, and I have been going to church twice a month all summer to tack knitting and crocheting classes.  We have all three really enjoyed this time together.  It's one of the things I regret not having my grandmother teach me when I was younger.  Anyway, when I gave the girls a list of activities to do for Colonial times I knew the choice would be an easy one.  They both wanted to knit a pouch and do embroidery.  We have not gotten to the pouches yet, but they have finished their embroidery.  (Lulu even done an extra one on her own)

Don't you just love the way Monkey 'sits' in her chair.

Lulu finished hers very quickly.  She is serious at embroidery.

Lulu loves horses.  She also chose to add buttons to her work.

Monkey was proud of her finished product as well.

The girls did a great job.  I am really proud of them.


We follow a four year cycle for science.  This year our studies will focus on physics.

Several years ago James and I purchased six Scienceology kits: electricity, magnetism, flight, land vehicles, lights/colors/optics, and radios/phones/telecommunications.  I am finally going to make good use of them.  There are around 20 different experiments within each kit, as well as an instruction manual.  I think they will make a nice intro into physics.

Today we started our study using the Magnetism kit.  The girls wrote definitions and complete two experiments.  They made a 'metal detector' and tested various materials to determine whether or not they were magnetic.  Then we learned about induced magnetism.  Lulu and Monkey had a lot of fun making their magnetic sculptures.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Student Photos - Not Back-to-School Blog Hop


My students were very excited for their first day a couple weeks ago.  I missed the curriculum sharing week so I am going to combine it with this week.

First up is my fourth grader.  How is that even possible?

Lulu is becoming quite a young lady.  She has a big heart and wears it on her sleeve.  Her personality is very giving and compassionate.  She rejoices with others and also cries for them.  She has often wanted to pray about something for a friend.  I am so excited to see what God has in store for her.

Her individual work is listed below:

- An emphasis on personal devotion
Math - RightStart Mathematics Level E
Spelling - Spelling Wisdom (copywork and dictation approach)
Grammar - Daily Grams 4
Writing - Writing Strands Level 3

Next up is my third grader.

Monkey always has a smile on her face.  She loves to laugh.  She has been determined from day one to do her own thing.  Monkey loves the Lord and she will not be swayed.  I know that God will use her in a great way.  During prayer time I can always hear her saying her prayers right along with me.  She is a hard worker and is not afraid to get dirty.

Her individual work is listed below:

Bible - Reading through the New Testament
Math - RightStart Mathematics Level D
Spelling - Spelling Wisdom (copywork and dictation approach)
Grammar - Daily Grams 3
Writing - Writing Strands Level 2

Lulu and Monkey do a lot of work together as well.  Here is their combined work:

History - We are going to use a unit study approach this year.  I started out with the four year Classical cycle.  Last year I switched to Ambleside Online and our cycle got a little off.  I am going to try to get back on the four year cycle this year with unit studies.  We are starting out with a small unit to finish up the Colonial period.  The girls are preparing individual reports and one together.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

Geography - Minn of the Mississippi and Paddle to the Sea (Both books are by Holling C. Holling.  We read three of his books last year and the girls loved all of them.  They were excited to start Minn this week.)

Literature Readings - Robinson Crusoe, Kidnapped, The Incredible Journey, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Paul Revere's Ride, and Rip Van Winkle (Selections taken from Ambleside Online)

Biographies - Poor Richard and Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution

Science - It Couldn't Just Happen (Give facts that support creation and disprove evolution) and a focus on physics this year

Spanish - Let's Speak Spanish workbooks

Poetry - Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, and William Wordsworth

The girls will also have gym, art, Keepers of the Home, creative literature, science units, and choir at our co-op.

Last, but not least, is our preschooler.

Lil adds a lot of spice to our family.  She is Lulu and Monkey all mixed into one.  She has qualities that link her to both her sisters.  Lil wants to learn so bad.  She complains that I don't have enough planned for her to do and her sisters complain that she gets more free time than they do. 

I am planning to do a mixture of things with her this year.  We did not finish our ABC notebook last year.  That's first up.  And then we will see.  I had wanted to have more planned out for her by now, but it just did not happen.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a great year.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Our School Room - Not Back-to-School Blog Hop


Our school room has changed some from last year.  James made us a new table and computer desk!  The girls and I are very excited about this table.

It's a marker board table.  We all four have our own spot at the table with two shelves to store our books.  The girls have their pencil box, abacus, ruler, etc. on the top shelf.  The bottom shelf houses their basket that holds their workbooks, notebooks, and binder.  And we get to write on it :)

I have not had a chance to redo our bulletin board for this year.  That is on my list, my very long list.  The white cabinet houses all our art supplies.

The brown bookshelves, which bugs both James and I now that everything else is white, house all our curriculum, resource books, storybooks, and manipulatives.  The white shelves house my office supplies and help support the new computer area.  Della, our cat, is a regular at the school table.

This is such a space saver.  I am so thankful that my husband is talented in building.  He blesses us with so many wonderful things. 

Thanks for visiting our school room.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Bacontoad's" Wig

I purchased 'Beethoven's Wig' for my girls as a fun intro to classical music.  I always start the year with good intentions of incorporating classical music and, as to date, fall short.  Upon request from a good friend, thanks Amie, I purchased the first CD.  My girls love it!  We will definitely be getting the other CD's in this series. 

The funny part to this story, and the title of this post, is that Lil cannot say Beethoven.  She says "Bacontoad".  It is hilarious!  I laugh every time she says it.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Garden is Growing

Last year was our first attempt at planting a garden.  We did pretty well.  This year the garden has more than doubled itself.  I think James would till up the entire backyard if it were not for the girls.  We have already enjoyed lettuce and a copy strawberries. 

This year we are going to try our hand at canning.  I'm very excited about that.  I never did it as a child.  No one around me canned, either that or I never paid attention if they were.  Some friends at church gave us three boxes full of jars.  That was a blessing!  I'm not sure how many more we will need.  I guess we will have to wait and see once we start the whole process.  I am going to try to keep my eyes open at yard sales.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Annual EXPO at Co-Op

Tonight was our annual EXPO at our co-op.  The girls have been working on their entries all week.  Lulu and Monkey entered the science competition together.  They built two greenhouses out of a crate.  They planted herbs.  One greenhouse received light 24/7.  The other greenhouse was lit for 12 hours and then off for 12 hours.  Their questions was, "Do plants need time without light?".  The result of their experiment was no.  The herbs that received constant light sprouted faster and grew much larger than the herbs that received less light.  It ended up being a really great project.

Lulu also entered the spelling bee, a drawing, and a Lego creation. 

Monkey entered a painting and baked a hot fudge cake.  This cake is very neat.  She added the mixture for the cake to the pan first.  Then she topped it with the hot fudge mixture.  I poured the boiling water over the cake.  When it bakes, the two layers switch places.  The hot fudge is under the cake.  Very cool!

Lil entered a painting, a Lego creation, and photography.  Her photography entry was from Monster Jam, of course.

I am very proud of the hard work the girls put into their projects.  They were extra excited tonight since Ms. Lana came to see all their items on display.  Thanks Ms. Lana!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mom's Getaway

Last Thursday I left town with three other homeschool Moms.  We headed to Cincinnati for the Midwest Homeschool Convention.  It was a great trip.  I really enjoyed my girl time with three awesome ladies.  They love the Lord and their families.  It is so great to have like-minded women in my life.  We laughed until we could laugh no more.  We got very little sleep the first the tune of about an hour .  The sessions were very informative and some were even convicting.  The vendor hall was stocked full of curriculum.

We have already made plans to go back next year.  I can't wait...

Poem Memorization

The girls are really enjoying our poet for this term, Christina Rossetti.  They each picked three of her poems to memorize.  Here are the recitations.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Our Nature Bag

I am slowly incorporating more of Charlotte Mason's teachings.  Nature study is one area I have struggled with.  I want to do it...I'm just a little intimidated because I don't know much about this area.  I cannot tell the difference between trees and plants.  We are outside all the time and the girls have nature journals, but we still do not do nature study. 
Well as spring is approaching and we are anticipating the many weekends camping, James and I decided to put together a nature bag.  Our bag is actually a soft sided cooler.  We chose the cooler over a backpack so that it could get wet and clean up easier.  Inside our nature bag are the following:
  • 3 drawing pads
  • 3 fishing nets
  • 3 observation bowls (reusable Ziplocs with lids)
  • colored pencils
  • pencils
  • homemade crayons for rubbings
  • tube containers of various sizes
  • 2 magnifying glasses
  • 2 pairs of binoculars
  • hand sanitizer
It is so nice having everything in one place.  We are looking forward to the many advenures we plan to have with our nature bag.  When we are sitting around camp and the girls need something to do....just grab the bag and go explore!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's April 7th, Not April Fools

There is something wrong with this picture.  Can you guess what it is?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lil's Date with Daddy

Lil had a unique date with Daddy.  They headed out about 2pm on a Saturday.  Their first stop was the children's museum.  Not any real unique about that.

This is Lil's favorite exhibit at this museum.  She loves babies.

Their next stop, and the real date event, is where the term unique comes in.  Lil went to Monster Jam.  She was excited for two weeks when James told her where she was going for her date.  She could not wait to get out of the house.  Around 10:20 that morning she even had her shoes on.  That is amazing for Lil!

If you were paying close attention to her clothing, you noticed the change.  She picked out a Grave Digger t-shirt.  Girlie looking, but still cross bones.

Lil's favorite truck was Black Stallion.  Anytime it came out on the floor she would hold up her toy truck of Black Stallion.

That's one happy girl!

Lulu's Zoo Trip

James and Lulu went to the zoo, just the two of them.  The girls have really enjoyed getting to have a special date with Daddy. 

Lulu took a lot of pictures of the animals. 

She told me that while they were eating lunch a peacock backed up to her chair with his feathers all fanned out.  A nearby squirrel took their leftover pieces of their peanut butter sandwiches.  It licked all the peanut butter off and left the bread. 

Lulu had a wonderful day with her Daddy!