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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trying something NEW

I am trying something new with the look of the blog. I am not sure that I like it. But, since I am not really sure what I am doing, I am going to leave it for a while.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, August 29, 2008

School Outside

Our front yard is soo wonderful! We love it for so many reasons. The biggest is that it has grass and not stickers. The second is the wonderful shade that we have due to the two enormous trees.

We have used our yard for school many times last year and I decided that since the weather was getting cooler, we would start doing it again.

It was a wonderful change in location and we got to listen to all the nature around us.

This is the view we have when we sit in the middle of the front yard and look up. Can't you just hear the wind rustling through the leaves? It is so peaceful.

This is our shade. It is amazing how much cooler the front yard is under the trees than just a few feet away in the sun.

We decided to have our snack outside while we worked and had some visitors show up. I am glad that she was done with the apple!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Odds and Ends

I am enjoying our new school schedule. I am also enjoying the fact that the girls are becoming more responsible for their own education.

Since we are trying to teach them to schedule their own schoolwork and manage their time, I have started this board for them to look at and get tings done.

It is working well so far and I haven't had to nag them too much!

They have a verse to write each week for handwriting. I am tailoring the verses towards what we need to work on 'heartwise'.

Maggie was ignoring me because I wouldn't let her play with the girls during school!

I was finally a 'cool' mom and let the girls go and ride their bikes on break instead of doing chores. :)

The youngest was allowed to follow her older sisters into the street today to ride her bike. She was so excited that she was laughing and screaming every time she went out there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting Things Done

I have started getting rid of things. I am fed up with the clutter and stuff that we don't need and apparently don't want. Stuff is just lying around not being used or useful and it is driving me crazy.

Now, if you know me you know that it has to be really bad if it is bothering me. I am a certifiable Messy. I am a slob and I don't deny it. I am working on it.

So, I have been 'making' the girls get rid of clothes like crazy. So far, we have FreeCycled 8 bags of clothing. That includes two big lawn and garden trash bags!

I think it is sinful how much clothing my children have.

Now, before you think that I have gone out and bought all of this clothing let me clarify. I DID NOT.

People give us clothes. I am VERY grateful for this because we have 4 girls and dressing them is quite expensive. However, I have this little problem that makes getting so many hand me downs a bad thing. I don't get rid of clothes.

When I was growing up I got hand me downs. I loved it. I did not get many new clothes. Even when I was the only child in the house I did not get very many new clothes. My mom was a single mom and we were very poor. I had several jobs in high school and bought some clothes with what was left after helping with household stuff. I am not bitter, it just was.

Now, I feel the need to make sure my children have enough clothing. Sad, but true. I think that if their drawers are full of clothing that it will make them happier. It doesn't, I know. I still feel it in my deepest of hearts and Jesus is working on it.

I don't want my girls growing up dependent on things to make them feel happy or secure so we are cleaning house. So to speak.

Here is some of the fruit of our labor.

What has the youngest been doing while this extraction of clothing has been going on?

Watching the coma inducing box, of course.

At least it is Super Readers on PBS. She is starting to learn her letters and the sounds they make!

What a journey following Christ. There is always something to work on and more blessings to be gained. Thank you, Jesus, for taking the time to show us what needs Your touch.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our TOG Coop

On Monday, we had our second meeting of our Tapestry of Grace coop. The first one went really well. We made the Wright Flyer and had a great time. The kids also got a chance to showcase some of their work for the past week.

I did not get pictures. :( I forgot my camera. If you want to see pictures, go to Amy's blog and check them out!

This week we made a volcano! I was in charge of it and I was VERY nervous that it would not work or that it would take too long and we wouldn't be able to finish.

It went beautifully. The kids had a good time getting their hands dirty in the process and it looked so cool as it erupted.

Of course, I didn't get any pictures of the process because my hands were dirty. If you want to see pictures, go to Amy's blog!!

I *did* get pictures of the sharing time and I will be happy to post them now. :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Fun Weekend and Back To School

Last weekend I went to the Women's Ministry Open House at our church. This is the day that they showcase all of the studies that are available to women. Well actually, they are only available to certain women. Those are the women who have children not school aged or women who have their children in school (outside the home). OR for women who work, they have some studies in the evenings.

I don't fit into any of those categories, not really. I do have children not school aged, and I *could* go to a study at night. However, I have children who are school aged and are Home schooled-there goes daytime Bible studies. I also don't want to give up a night that I can spend with my family. Selfish, I know!

So, what am I to do? I am not sure. I think that I am going to borrow a Beth Moore study from the church and do it on my own. MAYBE, I can talk my Sunday morning group to go through it together!!

On to another day!

Dh sang Praise and Worship at church this weekend and did a GREAT job. My 15 yo nephew played piano for them! He looked nervous; but did wonderfully.

After church we actually got to go out and eat at Cici's!! WOOHOO! I adore their Cinnamon Rolls. YUM

Sunday morning I met with my 'girls' for breakfast and a renewing of our friendships and bolstering up of our courage!

THEN, Sunday afternoon we stayed home and slept. Isn't that AWESOME?!! Dh and I were enjoying it immensely. ;)

That evening we decided that we had been lazy long enough and we went to the all church swim party at the YMCA. They held it at the outdoor water park and it was soooo cold. We swam for about 2 hours. By the end all of the girls' lips were purple. But boy did they sleep well that night! ;)

Friday, August 22, 2008

A New Job and a Great Fringe Benefit

Our oldest dd got a job last week!

Isn't she too young, you ask? Yes, and no.

Our neighbor came and asked if she would be willing to come over at lunch time and take their new puppy out to 'go'. Then she would need to feed her and play with her for a little while.

Well, dd was VERY excited and immediately said YES!

We went over and our neighbor showed us exactly where everything was and described exactly what she wanted our dd to do.

Here is Coco. She is the cutest little thing!

THEN our neighbor said that they had a pool and we should feel free to use it whenever we came over to take care of the dog!!!

Holy cow! How cool is that?

Today was the first day that it has been warm enough to swim and we jumped at the chance!

Here is the pool! Doesn't it look inviting?

The water was so cool and we all got a little sunkissed pink on us.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun with History

This week our oldest has been studying Father Damien and leprosy. She had to do a report on them and decided for a more hands on approach!

Here she is cutting the hair off of a Barbie to make 'her' into Father Damien!

She had soo much fun doing this that I thought maybe, it was a little too much fun!

Here is all that remains of the poor Barbies hair!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Assembly Line

Last week we learned about Henry Ford and how he invented the assembly line.

So, we decided to try a project using the assembly line method. We chose something 'simple', a necklace. Okay, it wasn't that simple with a 3yo; but, it was all I could come up with on the spur of the moment!

We set out our beads and then everyone took their stations.

All was going well until one of the beads wouldn't fit on the string. Everyone else had to wait while that station figured out the right bead and then it got going again.

Not too long after that, someone dropped the string of beads. That shut down the whole production. It was a group effort to get the beads back on the string.

We did succeed and then realized that the string wasn't long enough for a necklace. So now dh has a nice string of beads!!

After the 'assembly line' experiment, we decided to make more necklaces while the oldest read our Zoology lesson.

That was the quietest I have seen them for a while!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a difference a day makes

It was a loooong weekend! On Saturday, dh decided that it was a yard work day. UGH

So, being the crazy person that I am I decided to tackle a portion of the yard that was overrun with Sweet Williams, Ivy, and some really ugly weeds!

It didn't look like that much when we started. (by we I mean me with my 9yodd, my 6yodd, and my 3yodd watching and fighting with each other) I started at about 9am and we(I mean me) around 12pm.

Oh my goodness! I had so many spiders and bugs crawling all over me that I could feel them hours later. EEWW I was drenched in sweat and I smelled. Not the pretty smell that girls are supposed to have, no I mean the yucky smell of rolling around in the dirt and not bathing. It was bad!

I didn't really think too much of the work until Sunday morning around 10:45. That is when the soreness started setting in. I sat down and the then when I wanted to get up, I couldn't straighten up all the way. My hamstrings were so tight that I almost thought I had pulled a muscle!

It didn't get any better as the day progressed. In fact, every time I sat down and then tried to get up, it was worse. So what did I do? I walked 1-3/4miles on the treadmill. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking that the breakfast I had at McD's that morning was making my thighs and hind end get bigger and bigger while I sat there.

By the time Monday morning rolled around I was miserable. I could hardly walk and sitting down in a chair was so painful! The chair hit my hamstrings at the sorest point possible. Monday evening was the worst of all. I was no longer able to reach over and touch my toes without being in severe pain.

I was a little panicked because I have ALWAYS been able to touch my toes. Now just sitting on the floor caused me pain.

Today is a little better. However, when I did the Pilates video this morning I had to do the 'modified' version that looks like a dead cockroach! And even that hurt!!!

We will see what a difference there is tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Lesson in Flight --August 15--

We suspended our Zoology through the summer and picked it up again this week. It is amazing to learn about Gods creation and the intricacies of it.

This week we were learning about feathers. It just so happened that our 6yodd had found two different types of feathers this summer and they were the perfect examples for our lesson this week!

We did two experiments this week. The first was an experiment to test the water resistance of feathers. We took one of the feathers and put a light coat of oil on it. While that was soaking in, we put the other feather in a bowl of water. The second feather was soaked. Then, we put the feather that we coated in oil in the water and it didn't soak up the water. We could actually see the beads of water on the barbules! The girls were amazed!

The second experiment we did was to test wind resistance. They were to first run with an umbrella closed and then run with it open behind them. It was pretty funny to see them trying to drag the open umbrella behind them!

Once again, we are thoroughly enjoying Apologia's Zoology 1!

Yes, she 'dressed' for school today! Who says you can't look your best for homeschooling?

It is harder than it looks.

This one can even do it while lookin' good!

Even the youngest had to get in on the action!

Some of the girls were being a little more dramatic than the others! ;)

THE OLYMPICS!!! --August 12--

By day we are mild-mannered homeschoolers. By night we are fanatical fans of the Olympics!

Let me just say this up front. I LOVE THE OLYMPICS I have watched them for as long as I can remember. They fascinate me. I truly enjoy the competition and marvel at the accomplishments that the athletes make.

Now, I really will watch most anything that is at the Olympics; but, since we don't have cable or satellite, we are limited to what is on network tv at night. I am not complaining especially since they show some during the day and I can watch at lunch time!

So far, we have been watching Michael Phelps swim to MANY, MANY records; Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin win medals and wow the world; the Men's Gymnastics amaze the world and win Bronze; May and Walsh dominate in Beach Volley Ball; Rogers and Dalhausser come from behind in Beach Volley Ball. We have been busy in the evenings!

I am proud to be an American. How amazing for these athletes to be able to compete on the World Stage and represent their country. WOW I cannot even imagine the joy and pressure they feel.

I am probably in the minority, but I also believe that it is just an honor to go to the Olympics. How many people can say that they are good enough at what they do to say they are one of the best in the world? Not many. Even if they don't do well, they can say that they were good enough to go. We can not say that. I am proud of even the person that finishes last if they do it with all of their heart and to the best of their abilities.

We still have sooo much more of the Olympics to watch and I can't wait. Track and Field has just started and already records are starting to fall.

To God be the Glory for the way He has made us and for the beauty in His creation discovering how they can use His gifts.

The Real Fun Begins --August 11--

Our first day of school, officially, was Monday the 11th. I have rearranged some things so that now we are doing a more 'strict' schedule AND we are utilizing the kitchen table for English and Zoology.

I have put up our new schedule by the table so that everyone can see it. I am also going to put up some more things like what nouns, verbs, etc. are. I also put our globe up there and a flat map on the wall.

During English, each one of the kids gets to come in the kitchen with me and have a subject with just me. It is working out really well, so far!

Here are a few pictures that have been in my camera all week. :)

This is our schedule. Yes, there is a different schedule for every day! Between coops, different subjects, and boredom I made a mostly different one for every day of the week.

There is the wall map. Isn't is wonderful? HEEHEE Not really, its just what we have. :)

And this is the 'School Table' aka Dining room Table. Unfortunately, the girls are just like me; they need to spread out while they work! BUT, they have been cleaning it up completely all week long. WOOHOO!