Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Day Book {School Edition}

We are 21 weeks deep in to our third year of homeschooling {WHAT?!} and this year finds me with two 2nd graders, 1 kinder, and one very enthusiastic preschooler. In a lot of ways, I feel like this has been our easiest year yet, mostly because my kiddos are bigger, but also because I do believe I'm figuring a thing or two out. Like you don't have to teach every subject every day! I'm not entirely sure why but I was incredibly nervous to add in a new{and third!} student this year. Judah has done amazing though! He is excited to learn, picking up phonics quickly, motor boating through math, and quite possibly my neatest hand-writer which means a lot if you've ever seen him eat!
First day of co-op!
Over the summer when I was purchasing materials for our new year, I had strongly considered making significant changes to our school curriculum but then I found out I was yeah. Back to the old stand by's for the year. Sonlight Cores B/C for all three boys {history/geography/bible/read alouds}. Corresponding grade language arts/readers. And Math-U-See Primer for Judah and Beta for Abe and Ben. We also joined co-op again this year and each of the kids is enjoying their class of choice. As for me, well I was teaching a fall semester history class for 1-3 graders and let me just tell you that their comments in class were worth every late night spent prepping! As for what's new to the rotation this year? Music lessons. All three boys are either strumming, playing, or drumming their way towards being musical. It's been {although not very quiet} to see each of them take on their instrument of choice and really start to play. The big boys have even performed in their first recital! I think Jeremy and I were more nervous than they were. Especially when we saw how little they looked on the stage. 
  Ben performing Brother John
Abe playing Ode to Joy
Now on to our daybook...
Handwriting with an eager "sidekick"
Lego letters
The latest in boy creation...This year Ben has really developed a strong desire to draw. His passion seems to be in drawing animals so a few books from the library later and he turned up this gem. I immediately loved it and started to think about where I could display it! He informed me, however, that it was not for me but for a GIRL! One that is very special to him and who also happens to be an older woman of eleven. I may or may not have had to breathe into a paper sack over that one. 
New to us...a field trip co-op that I coordinated at the begining of the year. Each month, a different mom is responsible for organizing a field trip. So far we've visited the NM State Fair, the pumpkin patch, had a Christmas craft day, and we also went to see the Nutcracker ballet. Our trips extend through the remainder of the year and include a popcorn factory, the water treatment plant, Dion's, and the fire station. It's been a great way to break up the day to day grind and who doesn't look forward to some time out of the house with great friends?!
Fridge worthy endeavors...while we don't exactly include art as part of our regular school week, on occasion, I have been known to shirk our morning table work for a fun and usually Pinterest inspired art project. My M&O includes easy instructions, quick prep, and enough result to justify a morning of uncapped markers rolling off my kitchen island. Here are two of our fav's that totally delivered in all departments...
Name abstract art.
Falling Away self portraits
Our favorite part of the day...popcorn and read alouds. After years and years of picture books, I never imagined that I would enjoy reading chapter books aloud even more. Oh, but how I do. I dare to even say that I think my boys all feel the same. Our favorites this year include a repeat of Little House in the Big Woods, George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans, Stuart Little, and Understood Betsy. If my kiddos remember one thing and one thing only about being home schooled, I hope it's all the hours we spent huddled over the popcorn tray as the book pages turned.

Total year olds. They are strange, strange creatures, aren't they?
Because life...need I say more.
News in Gracie Land...This little nugget can't get enough of helping in the kitchen. And apparently, clothing is optional. Isn't it funny how in the moment things like a child's nakedness make total sense while baking scones but when you look back at the picture you have no earthly idea how this situation came to be? Ah, motherhood. She's getting to be quite the little sous-chef though. The other day, I asked her to find me the cheese grater and the parchment paper and she knew precisely where both were located and delivered with ease. That and last Saturday she asked for an episode of Pioneer Woman in place of her morning cartoon.
Something I hope I never forget...having all my people gathered round the table, books open, a hot cup of coffee, and settling in for our day. The summer that Jeremy and I made our table, we talked over the hours and hours of sanding about how our babies would someday sit at that very table and work math problems, practice handwriting, and sound out readers. That dream is now a reality and now every morning when we gather round that table, it is so very sweet to my soul. 
Our schooling must-have for the moment...kinetic sand. Even the big kids love it. One of the best $15 investments we've made. The three year old is positively smitten which means the history lesson is {mostly} uninterrupted. Lakeshore Learning for-the-win!
So there's a recap of what we've been up to this year. Part of me can't believe that we are more than halfway through our year and the other part has the detailed outline including every jot and tittle that it took to get here. It's been a good 21 weeks though and I am proud of my boys and their hard work. As we slide in a few more weeks before baby makes his or her debut, I'm so very thankful for these months behind us. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

All Things Baby

It's been about four months since we dropped the bomb on these nuts that they were going to have another little brother or sister....

And what a crazy couple of months it's been! For one, morning sickness. Scratch that. All.Day.Sickness. And nighttime sickness. And eating sickness. And walking sickness. And car sickness. And smelling teriyaki sauce everywhere I go sickness. Gah!! I cannot even believe how sick this little baby has kept me! For not ever having even a hint with the big boys, to a touch with Judah, and then finally what I would deem a normal bout with Grace, this baby has surprised me, to say the least. Thankfully, at 20 1/2 weeks I have some relief but it is still not gone. There are hardly words, so I just keep hanging on to the encouragement of a friend who can totally relate and am trying to keep my eye on the prize. And that's the last I will say about that. Now on to the belly...

 {10 Weeks}
 {14 weeks and some photobombers}
 {19 weeks}
(20 Weeks)
Little baby is growing wonderfully, though. And I am feeling the occasional kick and flip despite having an anterior placenta again like I did with Grace, which kept me from feeling her move until about 23 weeks. This go-round, I've not really had any cravings but I think feeling so queasy has played a big part in that. I have, however, been frequently visiting Subway where I can load my sandwich with banana peppers, pickles, mustard, and green chile. That sandwich has been the the pinch hitter when all other food sounds awful. I've also been seeing a perinatologist, for a host of things that have all thankfully checked out. It's a bummer to have extra appointments but the ultrasounds have been a blast. We've had two so far and go back in December for another. I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing those little skeleton looking face shots. Or the side profiles with the button noses.

I think the most fun this time around, however, has been experiencing the excitement of a new baby with bigger kids! Last time we did this our oldest were 3 year olds and our youngest wasn't even two {shudder!}. This go-round, our oldest are 7 1/2 and understand a great deal more {and are asking a great deal more!! AHEM!}. They can also help a TON more. All four are very excited to see whether this baby is a boy or girl and one eager beaver has even graciously supplied a baby name list! Hope this little one likes Lord of the Rings...
And last because he's just so stinkin' cute...Ju Baby trying to have a belly contest with mom. It's a close call but I think I win...

Monday, August 31, 2015

{Although It's Almost September!} A June Daybook

Outside my window: Two words. Sunrise. Sunset. The first weekend in November will mark four years since our family moved up to our sweet little spot in the mountains. Sometimes I still can't believe we live here! Living in the city, we appreciated the spectacular sunsets, however, there is nothing like getting to experience them up here. 

Giving thanks: For the birth of my precious little nephew, Noah David. I know I've said it before but there really are hardly words for watching my sister become a momma. Welcoming him into the world was one of the best days in my nearly thirty-three years. It was a special day to be sure and I'm so very thankful to God that I got to be a part of it. 
In the schoolroom: NOTHING. The best laid plans, right? But that doesn't stop the kids from hunkering down with a history book anyway. Best ever. 
From the kitchen: Cereal while watching cartoons! That counts, right? 
I am creating: Another set of Jesse Tree ornaments for a mutual friend of my sis-in-law's. That and a giant list of books to order for this coming school year. I also have a mental kid chore list up and running but I am lacking follow-through. 

I don't ever want to forget: This summer's trip to Durango. We had so much fun, this is the only picture we have of our entire five days there. We swam, BBQ'd, explored and took all four kids rafting. It was a blast. And it was the trip where all three boys transitioned to swimming the length of the pool with no floaties. A camping trip for the books for sure! 
I am working on: Not throwing up. Come on second trimester. 

I am reading: Nobody's Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle. It's shameful how slowly I am moving through this book by one of my favorite author's 

Around the house: It's a bug collector's paradise. We have had so much rain in June, there are critters everywhere! We also have crickets! Once the sun sets, it sounds like we live in The South. Love! 
One of my favorite things: Oreo's. Have you tried the new lemon ones? To-die. 

A few plans this next week: Swimming, swimming, and more swimming. Summer is grand. 

The news in Gracie Land: She is in love with nail polish, dressing herself {send help!!} and is dead set on convincing us to let her pierce her ears. She already has a yes from one of us. But I bet it's not from the parent that you would think. 

Total randomness: