Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Natural Progression

It's time to get the camera out and document these last few weeks before I am a mother of 3 children. I didn't take enough pregnancy photos with Emma and Zachary, and I said I would take more this go around. Of course life happens, the days rush past, and the camera sits dormant way too often.

I thought today I would post a progression of sorts.

This is me 29 years old and pregnant with Zach at 6 1/2 months. It was all so new and exciting.

This is me 2 years later pregnant with Emma just days before I gave birth to her. I had no idea what I was in for, or how fast she would enter the world.

And... at 36, me 8 months pregnant with Luke. It's still new and exciting. I still have no idea what to expect. I am sure it's going to be a fun ride though.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Busy with the Needles

Call it nesting, but I've really been enjoying knitting lately. I thought I would post some photos of recently finished projects. You will see most have a theme...

These booties and hat came from a book titled, "Knitting for Baby"

These mittens are a free pattern I found online here.

This is a vest that my mom made for Luke. I found the pattern online before I knew if he was to be a girl or a boy. I sent it to my mom and called her the day we found out so she could get started. (Sorry I don't remember where I found the pattern) I love the bunny buttons she used for the shoulder.

Also knitted by my mom in a beautiful scalloped pattern.

This last project was started last spring (found here). I couldn't get myself to knit throughout the HOT summer, so it just got finished. My first sweater... and it's all for me. I love how it only has two buttons and swings open. Perfect for the pregnancy belly. I used a beautiful 100% cotton that is very soft, although it sheds on everything right now. I am hoping that will go away once it's worn a few times. The only thing left is to find just the right buttons for it. I saved that for my treat once it was completed.

I have a scarf on the needles now in the most beautiful shade of orange. Very much a "Cheeto" orange. Hopefully the weather will cool off some this fall so I can actually wear it.

I'm so looking forward to a cool weather baby and being able to cozy him up in all these fun knits.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dad's latest garage sale find

I wasn't told about this little purchase before they came home, but I'm glad because I probably wouldn't have gone for it and that would have meant missing out on a lot of fun. Dan found a used kids set of drums at a neighbors garage sale, and they followed him home (at least it wasn't a car, I hate when they follow him home!).

Lately the kids favorite thing to do is to go out into the garage and put Air 1 on the radio and drum along. They close both the garage door and the laundry room door that leads to the garage. It's just enough of a buffer that I don't go crazy, but I can hear where they are and what they're up to. It actually works out really good. The best part is hearing the singing over the beat : ).

Can you see the concentration??

Looking closely at these photos, I can find many more of Dan's garage sale finds in the background. Well, it's his garage... my office doesn't look much better ; ).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Official...

We are now a State of California recognized Private School. Today we filed our first Private School Affidavit for the 2009 - 2010 school year. This is our second year homeschooling, but in the State of California it is not necessary to file unless you have students that are between the ages of six and eighteen years old. So today we became the Inspired Learning Academy with a student enrollment of one, although we have hopes of growing our enrollment to at least three in the years to come ; ). I can now add "Site Administrator", "Teacher", and "Custodian of Records" to my bag of tricks. Danny is our official "Principal". Pretty funny isn't it!!

I can't express how good it feels to have the freedom in our country to educate our own children in the ways we feel led by the Lord. My prayer is that this freedom is never compromised.

11 Awesome Years

Danny and I just celebrated eleven years of marriage last weekend. I have been so blessed the past eleven years to get to grow and spend my time with my love. He is truly a special gift to me. Not an anniversary or birthday pass without him doing something special (or out of the ordinary) for me. Our past anniversaries have included planning surprise picnics at our wedding location (including kids, kites, and beach toys!!); taking me to Starbucks after secretly calling the pastor who married us and having him and his wife meet us there; a two night get-away at a beach hotel in Carlsbad; the list goes on...

This year was a little different in that I'm not too comfortable these days, which is probably making me a little difficult to live with. Dan surprised me once again by getting a reservation at Bolsa Chica State Beach. We (he, did I mention how uncomfortable I've been) packed up the camper and off we went for a one night excursion with our two kiddos. The weather was beautiful, the food was yummy, and spending that time as a family was priceless. BUT... the best part (for me) was Danny showing me once again just how much he loves me...

My love packed the lazy boy for me. The lazy boy is the only way I've been able to sleep for the past 4 weeks. So when we got to the beach and put down the back door (right on the boardwalk) there I sat watching my family play in the sand while I knitted lazily in my comfy chair. Ahhh, now that's love : ).

11 Awesome Years!!

Can't wait to meet Luke.

My view of my feet in the sand.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Perfect Beach Day

We recently had a beach day that felt too rushed and, well, just not quite as relaxing as a beach day should be. So, last week me and the kids decided to have a re-do. It was a success! Just what we had been needing (at least, just what this mama had been needing). It was a perfect low tide. The water was very warm and inviting. It was clearer than I ever remember our local ocean being. The kids were very happy just playing in the sand and making up games (as you can see, the sand does not bother my little ones!!).

My mom and I altered between sitting in our chairs under the beach umbrella relaxing and swimming with the kids.

Yes, a very good day indeed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A 4 Year Olds Birthday!!

Emma's birthday was last Tuesday and Danny took the day off work to spend with us. We had a wonderful day together, and it all started with the unveiling of Emma's new fish tank...

Then she donned her birthday crown (pattern in this book) and we went out for pancakes and to Petsmart to pick out a new friend. It wasn't a difficult choice. She found a white goldfish with red on her head and "Dorothy" came home with us. Since then "Dorothy" has changed to "Emily" and is sometimes "Goldy". She doesn't seem to care that her name keeps changing, and she seems to enjoy her new home on Emma's dresser.

Here's the birthday girl with big brother laughing it up.

Zach proudly made Emma her birthday present this year. She wanted a ribbon on a stick, just like in dance class. Zach and I couldn't find one, so we went to Joanns and got a dowel and he picked some ribbon. He painted the dowel pink and purple, and then covered it in glitter. I hot glue gunned the ribbon to it. It was (and is) a huge hit. And it's so special that he made it for her. She keeps having dance recitals around the house and making up new dances with her beautiful pink ribbon.

It was really a great day followed by a fun evening at John's Incredible Pizza where Aunt Teri and Casey met up with us. Emma's birthday continued through Saturday with a dinner and cupcakes at Nana's house for her and Uncle Joe's birthday.

I'm so proud of my 4 year old. She is such a sweet little girl, and I am so blessed that the Lord picked our family for her. She is such a gentle soul, always ready to give love to her family (esspecially her big brother).

I love you Emma Lulu!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer Time

So it's been since the end of June since I've last posted on my blog... time does fly.

The pregnancy is going fine, especially now that the sickness part seems to be over. I've found a new doctor that takes our new health insurance, and I feel like I'm settling down and starting to relax a bit. We have named our new baby Luke, and although he does not yet have a middle name, quite a few have been suggested. John seems to be popular, but too predictable for me. Warm was thought of over the weekend. Can you imagine... Luke Warm Noack? No, that won't do. And then there was Ingood (suggested by Uncle Phil) Ah um... Luke Ingood... can you even imagine? Well, at least he is doing good and growing like crazy. Of course that means I'm as big as an elephant and moving as slow as a turtle. Yeah, it's all good.

So our summer has been moving along. I thought I'd share a few photos from the past couple of months.

Zach playing in the sprinklers in the backyard.

End of swim lessons. Both kids did great his year. We only did one session this summer. Two weeks of standing next to a pool in 100 degree heat was enough for this pregnant mama.

Fireworks from our front yard on the 4th of July.

Zach's birthday in Silent Valley camping. This year he got a very cool telescope.

After a fun hot day camping we relaxed in the trailer and watched a movie.

Emma performed in her 2nd big dance recital. This was her dress rehearsal for 'Old Straw Hat'.

Here she is on stage doing 'Tinkerbell' (she's on the right).

And here she is dancing in 'Old Straw Hat' (on the right again).

A lazy Sunday afternoon in Oak Glen after a yummy brunch with Aunt Teri and Dino. The kids love to feed the deer.

Pony rides in Oak Glen.

We have really been staying indoors a lot this summer. The weather man keep saying that it has been the coolest summer in a long time, but they just can't convince this pregnant lady! We had hoped to do more school through the summer, but have really started strong the past few weeks.

We studied penguins one week.

The kids painted pictures of penguins in the snow.

Last weekend was spent with our good friends, the von der Lindens. We stayed at their house for a night and spend a wonderful day at the beach. Here are Zach and Noah playing on the slip and slide. This provided hours of entertainment!

And here is Emma, sipping her first soda. She's had small sips of rootbeer from me, but this is her official 1st soda. I held out till she was almost 4!!

Zachary boogie boarding!

Emma loves it too!!

So there's some of our summer in snapshots. Of course summer is not yet over, although we have been watching the neighborhood kids walk to and from school already. I'm sure there will be plenty of more fun, warm, and perfect beach days in out near future.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's a ...

BOY!!! Another beautiful boy.

We had an ultrasound last week and both kids sat anxiously waiting the verdict... when the doctor proclaimed, "it's a boy" Zachary started cheering and Emma's bottom lip came out with disappointment. Well, someone was going to be disappointed. Dan and I were quick to console her with the idea that she would be our "only princess" and a lot of advantages come with that : ). I also told her it was her job to call Nana and share the news... which gave us a brief smile.

She's coming around now. Over the weekend she gave up her toddler bed (we need the mattress) and got a new bedroom set with a twin canopy bed (thank you Craigslist!!). Her and Zach have had lots of fun playing pretend in her "new" room.

As for me... I'm continuing to feel better as the weeks go on. Now that we know that we have another little boy on the way, things are starting to feel more "real". I mean, just look at these babies...

(our first bouncing baby boy, Zachary. Those amazing eyes work on me just as well today as they did almost 6 years ago)

(the forever reigning princess, Emma. Those lips are just as beautiful and kissable now as they were almost 4 years ago)

We get another little miracle at the end of this journey : ).

Friday, June 19, 2009

How I organized K this year

This post is a long time in coming. I don't feel "qualified" to give advise on homeschooling, but I've always been an organizer. I have my messy piles around (all over right now), but I do enjoy planning and organizing. This has been our first year homeschooling, and I have a ton to learn... but I thought that someone may glean an idea or two from how we set up our school this year. So here it goes...

I'm writing this to a My Father's World user (since this all we know), and again it's for teaching only Kindergarten (again... this is all we know, so far!!).

This is our "School Cabinet". It was a Target buy, years ago, and perfect for all our supplies. I outfitted it with drawers (also from Target). The bottom cabinets hold all of our arts & craft supplies. There are bins for colored pencils, one for paints, one for glue - tape - glue sticks. One compartment on the very bottom holds the boxes of extras that came in the deluxe package (ant hill, butterfly garden). In the top of the cabinet we store our "daily" stuff. Drawers that hold our Cuisenaire Rods and Rods Alphabet book, textured letters, preschool bins that came with the MFW preschool package, a roll of the ever handy contact paper, and my "teacher's file boxes". At the very top of the cabinet are horizontal paper holders which house our construction paper. Really my "go to" item daily is just the one green lidded file box in the top cabinet. Here it is:

In it are two hanging files. One of which houses the things we use sporatically: Blend ladder chart, Bingo game cards, extra calendar pages, etc. The other hanging folder houses the manila folder for the unit with all the worksheets in it, our 100's chart and calendar page, Lucy's awesome Kindergarten Daily Schedule (from the MFW-K Yahoo group), and my Teacher's Manual. In the front of the box are our jars with our 1's and 10's sticks in them, our flashcards, a ziplock with the textured letters we've learned to date, and teacher's pencils, stapler, eraser, etc. (stuff I use everyday). This box is all we need for school most days. We've gone for camping trips where all I need to do is grab this box, and we are good to go. I store the other unit manila folders in an additional box, pictured here...

The folders are put in order of the curriculum and as I find things that I can use for that unit I just stick it in the appropriate folder. If we happen to have books around the house that go with that unit, they go in here too. I've torn out all the worksheets and also put them in the right folders. I put sticky notes in the folders several weeks before the ant and butterfly unit so I remember to order the critters. I also put in notes about special things we may have done for that unit that may come in handy in two years when we repeat K with my daughter.

When we get to the end of a unit, I simply take the 100's chart, calendar page, and my Teacher's Manual out of the current unit's manila folder, and I file that folder back into this box. Then I take the next unit's folder out of this box, and put in in my "school" box : ). Easy peasy!!

My kids each have a box of their own too. They are the same as my box, but in it are their school supplies (pencils, dry erase board, their badges for the week). When it's time for school, I just tell them to get their school boxes and the three of us sit at the dining room table and go to it. By the way, my daughter (3 years old) has coloring books, and some MFW preschool items in her box, as well as some age appropriate worksheets to keep her busy when I need one-on-one time with my son.

I've noticed some posts on the MFW board asking what mommies do with all the worksheets once they are completed. What is working for us is a large 3", 3 ring binder with page protectors. (You'll see this in our cabinet next to my file boxes. At the end of each unit I put the worksheets for that unit into his "K Binder". My son loves to show this off to people, and it's a great reminder to me of how far he's come this year. As for the "stuff" (art projects, etc.) that don't fit into page protectors, I either put it in the pocket in the front of the binder, keep it on display around the house, or it goes into his school box (for now).

One other important part of our school day is our "book basket". Quite literally a basket... Not required in Kindergarten, but this is where we house the books we've found around the house that have to do with our current unit. The "bag" in the basket houses the books we've checked out from the library on our unit. A cozy corner that I can send my kindergartner to when my 3 year old needs one-on-one time with her "school".

I hope this helps someone. More than anything, I pray that other mommies that are using MFWK for the first time are as blessed as I've been this year. I would love to hear other ideas too that may be helpful, as well as ideas for years to come...

Thanks for reading - Amy

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mooo, Neigh...

We are almost done with our horse unit. It's been a quiet one, but another great time in our Father's World. I do have a couple photos to share from our last unit, Cow. We made butter. We put some whipping cream into a jar and shook, shook, shook... until it became butter. Then we enjoyed some on crackers.

We have quite a bit more kindergarten to go before we finish, so we will be schooling through the summer months. It works for us though. The kids really don't know what a "summer" is (except that it's way too hot most weeks to even go outside). Danny and I are looking forward to the CHEA conference next month. I'm so excited he is going with me this year. I will really need his extra encouragement next year to make it through... with a first grader, a preschooler, and an infant arriving half way through the school year.

In the mean time, I'm starting to feel human again... just getting over the terrible "morning" sickness of the past 3+ months. We are looking forward to upcoming birthdays, camping, graduation parties, and a dance recital... all lots of fun : ). Throw in a few beach days, and it's starting to look like a great summer to me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


It's been a while since I've been around these parts. In fact, it's been a while since I've been anywhere. I've been sooo sick lately. Much thanks to our family, our Church family, friends, and especially to my understanding and ever-so-patient hubby for helping me so much the past several weeks.

So here it is....

Baby Noack - at 11 weeks happy and healthy. We even got a little dance on the screen for big brother and big sister at the doctors office. Our due date is early December, which will make Christmas so special (crazy) this year ; ).

Thank you to everyone for your prayers after our miscarriage last year. God does answer prayer, and with Him... ALL things are possible.

Blessings, Amy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Water and Insects

What do they have in common? Well, they were our last two units in Kindergarten.

Our water unit was really fun. Probably my favorite to date. Our character verse was "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink". The week was broken down into a day for liquid, a day for solid, a day for gas, and a day for dissolving and evaporation. Toward the beginning of the week we set out two jars with the same amount of water in each. One was covered and one was not. Then we checked the jars each day to watch the evaporation. On the liquid day we poured water into several different shaped pitchers to see that liquid takes on the shape of what it is in. At the end of the day we put that water into the fridge to use for our "solid" day. We saw that the ice the next day didn't change shape when poured into a pitcher. Then we put some ice in the refrigerator and some outside to see which would melt first. On our gas day we measured out water in a pan on the stove and let it boil for a while. We observed the steam (evaporation) and then measured it later to see that it really did evaporate. We had a really fun week of learning, and we even used our "hand" octopuses from the week before for a mural of the ocean.

Our next week was Insects (which may be the kids favorite so far). We had an ant farm a few weeks back. It didn't last too long, but it was fun to watch the ants. I'm happy to say I have no amusing stories of any escapes.

We spent a day studying ants, a day on lady bugs, and a day on bees.

Aunt Teri sent the kids a lady bug land. We sent away for the larvae, and wouldn't you know, they arrived right on our lady bug day! We are having fun watching them grow and we are looking forward to setting them free in our garden once they turn into lady bugs.

Here Danny is releasing the larvae into the lady bug land. I imagine they had quite a trip in the mail and really love their new digs.

Here are my little scientists observing the larvae and making sure they are all moving. We were worried about a few at first, then read that the larvae molt, so the curled up ones we saw where actually old skins of the ones that were doing just what they were suppose to do.

Here is the larvae a couple days ago. They have grow much more... I'm so happy we don't have a snake unit (this year anyway!).

Just one more thing before I step away from the computer for the day... We went to Apple Valley last week to visit Grandma Butler's desert property. We met my cousin Christie and her family up there for a picnic. On the way home we decided to take a side trip to peak at Silverwood Lake. This is as close as we got, but it made for an impromptu photo shoot.

I'm so blessed!!

I hope to post soon about how we have set up our "little" school this year, and some of the things I've done to try and keep me organized.