Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Little Sand Time

This week we had a fun-filled fieldtrip to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. The subject was on tide pools and the kids really loved it. I loved that my sister met us there and seemed to enjoy herself just as much as I did. I love it when she visits us. I have always loved her very much, but I find after every visit I enjoy our time together even more.

After the field trip we decided to head to the beach to see the tide pools, but it was high tide so we were out of luck. I did take out my trusty phone and took a couple shots that will help remind me of the time we spent together that day. Ahhh, the seashore. Is there anything better?
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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book - 2

This may not happen every week, but it is a fun way to snapshot the goings on around here... (from the The Simple Woman's Day Book at

Outside my window
... The weather has shown small signs of change. A bit cooler (The A/C isn't going on until the afternoon) and a few trees are slowly changing color (as little as they do here in Southern California). I do love the fall and welcome the first day next week.

I am thinking... We are off to a pretty good start this school year. We are really enjoying our curriculum and getting it all done, although it is taking longer than usual with a 9 month old underfoot and teaching 2 grades.

I am thankful for... My sister who is flying in tomorrow. She tries to come home twice a year and we love her visits. She has lived in St. Thomas the past several years (insert *sigh*) and I miss her terribly, but I'm so proud of her individuality and the all-around person she has become.

From the learning room... The learning room is taking over our home, but maybe that is how it is suppose to be?? Learning really happens at all times and everywhere. Although it would be nice to eat at the dining table every now and then.

From the kitchen... Apples, Apples, Apples... we went apple picking last Sunday and I have made apple butter (for the first time) and a new recipe for a delicious apple cake so far with them. I also have some apple muffins on the brain. I made granola for the first time yesterday, and found a new breakfast favorite: Greek yogurt with apple butter and granola : ). Yum!

I am wearing... shorts and a nursing tank (easy access for said 9 month old, who is teething and wants momma 24/7).

I am creating... Spanish flashcards for our vocabulary words this week. I also helped the kids make the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria for school, which we sailed this morning. Man, would I love a scrapbook day, but these days have been more filled with school crafts than momma crafts. Fall is coming, so hopefully that will bring on knitting very soon : ).

I am going... to enjoy this whole day at home (I hope).

I am reading... A Charlotte Mason Companion, Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andreola. I guess I can't really say I'm reading it. It's more like, I open it to an interesting looking page and read until I get my first interruption (usually half a page) and set it back down.

I am hoping... I can get school back on track for the day after this little lunch break (ah-hem).

I am hearing... Two big kids playing happily with each other up in their rooms, and an absent baby who just went on a bank run with daddy.

Around the house... Still trying to organize school in a way that will make it easier to do. I also need to find a way to organize our photos before they make it into the scrapbooks. Another thing on the to-do list is to baby proof the downstairs better so we don't have as many interruptions while schooling to get the baby out of mischief.

One of my favorite things... Our current three day weekends with my husband. He has had a 10 hour a day/4 days a week work schedule for about a year, and we LOVE all the time that gives us with him. He works so hard for it and for us.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Organizing, playing with Aunt Dawny, meeting with my grandparents financial guru, spanish class/community center/library, dinner at my parents, celebrate the first day of fall...

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nature Study

I am so excited about our nature studies this year. I had started doing them randomly last year, but this year our curriculum has them scheduled in so I hope to be more regular at it. They are scheduled to be done at the end of the school day on Fridays so that you end your week enjoying our Father's World. This last week our Friday did not lend itself to nature study time, but on Sunday we more than made up for it. We drove up to Oak Glen to go apple picking, which is one of my favorite times of the year. While taking a break from our picking we laid a blanket under an apple tree and set the kids up with their nature notebooks and colored pencils. It was perfect! I just asked them to draw anything that they saw. Emma drew a beautiful apple tree. Zachary drew the view in the distance of the mountains and valley below. It really was an ideal moment in my week, and I hope to think of it often as things get trying this week. I think the Lord gives momma's times like these to get them through the rough days.

I was also excited to get to use my new book, Handbook of Nature Studies. There were several pages devoted to apple trees and I had the chance to read a bit to the kids on the way up the mountain. I see us using this book for reference for many years.

Maybe the best part of the day came when we arrived home. While driving into the driveway my wonderful husband commented on how glad he is that I am teaching our kids. He is my biggest support, and he has no idea how important it is for me to hear those word from him. Oh, I love him so :).
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Science Science Science

I have to admit that last year science got put on the back (Bunsen) burner, sort of speak. I could give several excuses, but none of them are very good, so I will spare you. I plan to do better this year.

With 4/5ths of the first week of second grade under our belt (ah-hem) we have done pretty well, and even have an experiment under our belts.

Emma's learning about leaves this week, so on our walk at the park last night we collected leaves and today made a book of leaf rubbings. My favorite part was getting to use our new book, Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock to identify the leaves. I can tell we are going to get a lot of use out of this huge amazing book.

Zach is learning the basics of what science is and what scientists do. We did an experiment today to see what would happen if you drop an egg in regular water, or in salt water. I won't ruin it for you. Either try it yourself, or some take a look at his new science notebook where he will be recording his experiments this year :-). I will tell you though, that Aunt Dawny says she floats rather well at that island she is on ;-).
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Busy Day

We had another busy day today. It started with a visit with grandpa in the hospital. Three kids at the hospital for three hours. They were all so well behaved, I am such a proud mama. Most of the time when I need them to behave in situations like these, they do. The cutest part was the two older ones cheering on grandpa with the PT when they got him up to walk. Grandpa was actually discharged today, which is wonderful. Thankfully my cousin was able to come and take him home, which let us head home to complete our second day of 2nd grade. We also got through another day of K. The day was also full of diaper washing, lunches, homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes, general baby wrangling, and etc,etc... I was blessed to be able to run out for the first homeschool mom's night out of the year tonight. I am always so encouraged by other moms that are walking this same path beside me.

Yes, it was another busy day in our Father's World. Although, my day ends with a smile as I get to end it with this little sleepy angel. Good night ;-)
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First Day of 2nd Grade

Today was the official start of 2nd grade in our home. Since it was Labor Day, Dan was home which gave me an extra set of hands to hold Luke so I could school with less interruptions. It went really well, and I know we are both going to enjoy this year (both Zach and I). We were able to do Emma's day of kindergarten too, which was incorporated easier than I thought. Now, as for tomorrow, I'm not sure if we will remain this lucky. Things run a lot easier without a babies "help", and Dan is back at work tomorrow. I know we are in for a challenging school year, but I am also confident that it will be full of God's blessings and very rewarding.

On another note, my grandpa fell early Sunday morning in his apartment at his assisted living facility. After the day in the ER we found out nothing was broken (praise the Lord), but his lungs were not clear and he had signs of infection. He is very battered and bruised from the fall, and at 84 years old, he just doesn't heal as quickly as he used to. Unfortunatley, we are finding that he has other very serious health complications that are now in the Lords hands. We are happy he is comfortable right now and he is in pretty good spirits (with the exception of wanting to go home). I am so blessed that my cousin, Christie, is such an amazing woman. Between her and I we are able to handle the coordination of his care and needs along with trying to keep him company. These are the times when you realize just how much family means.

I ask for prayer for my grandfather, that he remains comfortable and that he is able to heal quickly. I also ask for prayer for our families right now while taking this extra care for grandpa is something that is very close to our hearts, it also is a bit taxing on our families and on our normal schedules.

With the exception of my Papa Sam, who we lost just 2 short years ago, I am blessed to have all of my grandparents in my life. My life has been so enriched by these amazing Godly people. I have had nothing but love from them all my life. My husband, who never knew any of his grandparents, has adopted mine as his own. He really loves them all and is such a wonderful example to me of showing respect and love to those who have gone before us.

Yes, I am a very blessed woman indeed.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

2nd Grade? Really?

The end is in sight. The end of 1st grade that is. Zachary has one more day, and I plan on doing it tomorrow. We started 1st grade the begining of January, after having our third child the begining of December. We took a couple weeks off here and there, when we've needed it, but pretty much schooled right through summer. It has worked out very well. I was able to start Emma in kindergarten while still flowing through first with Zach. Now that Emma is starting to flow in kindergarten, I can concentrate on a new curriculum with Zach. The Lord has been so good to us. His timing is so perfect!

I am very excited to start 2nd grade with Zach. We are in love with our curriculum, My Father's World. This year we will be studying US History, the many names of Jesus, Singapore math, language arts, spelling by sound and structure, an art program called I Can Do All Things, music study, and a spanish class once a week with friends. I'm sure I am leaving something out. It is going to be a full year with all of this being new and teaching kindergarten too, all while keeping a baby happy. It really is amazing being able to stay home with my kids and be their teacher. Zachary has been a joy to watch grow and learn for over 7 years, and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach him at home.

Now, will someone just please tell me how these years are going by so quickly. How in the world can I be the mother of a boy in the 2nd grade?
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