Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of Homeschool 2009

Well, we've made it through the first day! And it was a great one! Here's a little play-by-play starting with the night before:

10:30pm: I start trying to pull all our books together, making copies, and creating Schultutes, a German gift tradition for the first day of school. I end up in tears a few times because things are not coming together and I'm exhausted. But I plunged through, got it all worked out, and finally at
1:30am: went to sleep, after taking a photo of our coffee table with things sitting out for the morning!

7:30am: Woke up before the kids and started breakfast! I thought I'd have a late-sleeping baby but he was up before his sisters! They all got dressed, ate pancakes and fresh fruit smoothies, and were very anxious to open their Schultutes:

They were filled with school pencils, markers, colored pencils, fancy colored pencils, pastels, stickers, and a pencil box, with a few Starburst candies (they get to eat one when their schoolwork is done each day this week)! I also tied a little note to each package. They enjoyed the special words from Mommy.

Baby wanted in on the fun...all morning!
8:15am is about when we started (didn't look at the clock).

We read the Mrs. Applebee story from Serendipity. I couldn't get it to download but it worked well to just cut and paste the story from the blog into Word. I shrunk the images a little, but left them there so they could look at the pictures.

We also listened to the Flower Fairy CD, and will read the above book, "The Life and Times of the Apple" throughout the week.

I also printed out the color page for the Apple Blossom Fairies off of the Flower Fairy website. I let them color it with markers, but in the future I think I'll require colored pencils. We'll find some other more appropriate uses for markers, if the markers survive long enough! Markers never last long around here because the tops are always left off or the tip is bitten off by baby.

We also read the little story of St. Ann from "Miniature Stories of the Saints."

Ellie wrote some "A"s.

and Mary Clare started writing the "Angel of God" prayer as copywork.

We used Crayola Model Magic to make a capital (Ellie) and lowercase (MC) letter A. They are drying on the fireplace and we plan to put a ledge up in the schoolroom for the whole alphabet!

And since I'm not finishing this until after our second day of homeschooling, I'll add in our favorite activity from today...Art! We looked at Cezanne's apple still life paintings from our "Child Sized Masterpieces" set and then I got out apples for everyone to draw with colored pencils on sketch paper which I cut into small squares. The only problem was dodging the apples, when the toddler decided he needed some attention and started hurling them across the table! Oy, it's going to be a fun year with him!

Things have been going well so far, I'm hoping to stick with this program to make for a fun and exciting school year!

Hope you're all having a terrific Tuesday!

Matt Maher Concert!

All our Houston friends, there is a big concert at the Catholic Charismatic Center on Saturday night, with Matt Maher, and also Josh Blakesley, Kelly Pease, and Ben Walther. I'm really hoping to go and would love a night of praise and's been awhile! I've fallen in love with Matt Maher's new single, "Alive Again" (click to listen to the song). Love the verse that starts with "Late have I loved you"...a St. Augustine quote! Anyway, I'm hoping to win tickets and hope to see some of you there! Looks like it's family friendly!


our new little family project...a family life segment for a local website! Here's our first clip:

homeschooling starts today! hopefully we'll have a good first day, and i'll be back to tell you all about it!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Continuing the playhouse theme

Children's dream playhouse, mom's anxiety nightmare!
6 kids 6 and under, 2 busy moms chasing toddlers...
We all survived!

We're having a garage sale tomorrow. Wish us luck. I better get to work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Children Are Welcome Here

Did you have a playhouse as a child? Of all my childhood friends, I only recall one friend who had a real wooden playhouse in her backyard. Her grandfather built it, and it was beautiful—a two-story yellow dream home! I loved it and always dreamed of having one of my own.

When I became a mother and was blessed with my own little girls who love to play house...Read more here
(I'm at Faith & Family again today! Thanks for visiting!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Boys and Tools

one toy drill + one toy hammer = one happy toddler boy
(please note that daddy only left the batteries in the toy drill for about 10 minutes. that was enough for all of us)

Coming full circle

18 children playing in a hotel room

Isn't it beautiful to see how God weaves the tapestry of your life together with others'? I am so, so blessed to have such amazing friends. Our dearest friends who are the godparents of all our children have spent 2 1/2 years living in the Middle East, and finally most of the family (minus their daddy for a time) appear to be back in the states for good. We are so happy :)

Then early this year my close friend Kiley from our homeschool group was transferred with her husband and children to the middle east, living in a villa just across the street from Veronica and family. It was so neat for me to hear their stories of life in Qatar, and so neat to think about how our friendships are all connected.

Through my high school youth group I met Veronica, who was about to move out of state. Then 4 years later we ended up in the same Geography class in college! I sponsored her through RCIA and we became the closest of friends along with our boyfriends, now husbands. We all decided to homeschool. Kiley was another young mom in my homeschool group and we both suffered a miscarriage around the same time, and then went on to be pregnant together with our third living blessings! These toddlers are both "heart" babies who share a pediatric cardiologist. All three of us now have 3 children (+ new baby boys in-utero for them!) and Veronica will be living close by again. Kiley will be heading back to Qatar for a few more years after her baby boy is born, doing her own work of evangelizing to fallen-away Catholics and those who are interested in the Truths of our Faith.

Tonight was a time to see how God weaves lives together...Kiley and Veronica, my dear friend K (who I also met in a random way many years back as we lived in the same apartment complex, she's the one who suffers from cancer), and two other close friends from our homeschool group met for a nice evening with the G family while they are here on this short visit. It was so beautiful to see all the children playing together, to realize how our friendships have all grown, and to think about the future and what it holds for our families and our children.

Some worry about socialization for homeschooled children, but in our case I feel just the opposite! I think we are over-socialized! Who else but our loving Father in Heaven would bring all these beautiful families together, in a hotel pool on a cool August evening in Texas. Yes, I said that right...the weather was amazing tonight! 18 children+10 adults+2 babies-on-the-way...what a crazy and wonderful evening!

Children putting together plays for us on the hotel pool deck tonight. First was the "Three Little Pigs" and this one pictured is "Little Red Riding Hood." Mary Clare is the little pink riding hood, laughing at the "wolf" laying on the ground. Such fun memories!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting Excited

about the new homeschool year! I am still pondering a few curriculum choices for religion and phonics, but have decided that for our overall theme this year we're going to use the Alphabet Path from Serendipity.

I read the Shower of Roses blog today and oh how absolutely adorable! Can't you see my girls doing this together? I think I'm going to follow her lead, tweak it a bit for my own family and the books we already have, but what a great start! It's kind of like a Five in a Row program, but with the alphabet as our guide.

I've been reminded by two of my closest friends over the past week that I need to SLOW down. My expectations are set high, after working at a Catholic school where the children were pushed to be a grade ahead in most subjects.

So now it's time to go back, review, and have fun. My goal for this year is for the girls to ENJOY learning. This week is planning week; I'm hoping to make rough plans lasting until Christmas, but we'll see how things go.

We'll be praying for all our friends starting their new school year, please pray for us too!

A Colorful Weekend

Thursday, August 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


On Thursday, I made green smoothies after reading about the green smoothie challenge here (h/t to Kelly). I watched her video and realized that her smoothie technique was similar to mine, aside from adding spinach leaves! I decided to attempt this experiment. I didn't add many leaves, but you could definitely taste a slight bit of "green."

I don't think I could drink them every day, but I think I could get used to the flavor fairly quickly. Steven and I were both a little weirded out by the color, Mary Clare tried a quick sip, but Ellie wouldn't try the smoothie at all. I put the leftovers in a plastic cup in the freezer.

Then...guess what Ellie had for dessert after dinner??? You guessed it--frozen green smoothie! She ate it with a spoon. It will probably be the most vegetable she's eaten in years! Steven Joseph loved it too!

So from the posts earlier this week, you may have gathered that we went to the beach over the weekend. We spent the morning at Galveston Beach and had a blast! I have to rave about the Water Babies sunscreen spray. We all wore it, were there for 4 hours with no shade, and NONE of us got burnt!

With all our gear (particularly the fishing gear), it makes the most sense to go where we can drive on the beach. In the evening it's great because the car makes a shaded area beside it with its shadow, but when you're there from 9am-1pm you don't get that luxury! It was fairly vacant and secluded until about noon, so that was nice. Oh how I love the waves, the water, and the wind!

Our little friend C who comes to play one day a week brought a fun plastic jumprope that attaches to the water hose and sprays water all around. The kids loved it! What a cool toy!

We're still doing our running training although we seem to be falling a bit behind our schedule with activities this week. I'm kind of losing my excitement...getting bored with running. And several times I've lost forgotten my iPod, which makes running even more difficult for me. I'd 10 times prefer to be in a Zumba class than on a treadmill, but I'm going to have to suck it up. Samba just doesn't work on my body the way jogging does.

Anyone else watching America's Got Talent? We've been watching it on Hulu and I have to say that I'm not all that impressed with the quarter-final contestants. So far I like the Voices of Glory, The Fab Five cloggers (who are cousins of a friend of mine!), and the Texas Tenors. I wasn't crazy about any of this week's performances. Who do you like so far?

I am so thrilled for Devin and Katie (and of course Leo and Tobias)! They are friends of ours who began the foster-adopt process about a year ago, welcomed these adorable boys into their home around December of last year (if I remember correctly), and just this week have finalized their adoption! And Katie is also pregnant. God is so good.

I will end with a few prayer requests. One for our little friend Hannah who is still in the hospital recovering from the surgery to remove her large cancerous tumor of the kidney. Then there is a friend nearby named Linda who has 2 children (ages 13 and 6) who just found out she has pancreatic cancer and was given about 6 months to live. Finally, my grandmother Doris turned 93 yesterday! She lives in a nursing home and I just pray that God grants her peace in the time she has left on earth. Please offer a little prayer for these 3 ladies, as they each face the unknown, one as a child, one in middle age, and one elderly. Thank you so much for your prayers!

Have a great weekend!

20 months old!

Today, our precious Steven Joseph, you are 20 months old!

You are becoming quite the little toddler man! You are starting to communicate with us so much more and we are starting to understand what you are "saying." You have a lot of new words and a few hand motions too. Here I'll try to make a list:

Bye (and you wave)
Ah (for "all done/gone" and you shake your hands)
Aw, Ma! (for "oh, man!")
Da (dad)
Wah (water or any kind of liquid like milk, the pool, and even fish since they live in water!)
boo (poop or toot)
baoo (balloon, this is new today!)
buee (Mary Clare insists he said this about "Curious Buddies" today)
dah (dog)
uh (want)
aaa (apple)
choo choo (train or big truck)
buh (bug)
chee (chip, you just did that while I was writing this!)
you do the please sign language sign when asked

Right now you're watching Curious Buddies with your sisters. You really like those videos! The other day you kept grabbing my hand to take me over by the DVD player and put you on my lap to watch it! You can point to the body parts nose, mouth, eyes, ear, hair, tummy...usually :)

We got out the potty chair for our beach trip and you think it's pretty cool. Your sisters are trying to convince you to use it, but for now you just like to sit down and listen to them read and dote over you while you sit :)

You are very interested in books now. You love the little DK word books and want to sit in my lap and point to all the pictures. You are pretty good with a pencil and like to write on things around the house. You love the song Jellyman Kelly and it can usually calm you down if you are having a little fuss.

You LOVE to throw balls! And you've got a really good arm. Last night you threw a ball right at my friend's face. We are learning quickly to duck and watch out when you've got a ball or other small object in your hands! You also love playing with the hose and really enjoy the pool.

We've had such a fun but crazy summer with you! You continually keep me on my toes by climbing, getting into things, and eating things you're not supposed to! You still love nursing and are becoming a little picky with foods. For the most part, you like anything unhealthy (nuggets, fries, etc) plus apples and fresh fruit smoothies. You usually take one long afternoon nap and are doing better in the carseat.

Well, I could write all day about how cute my little Stevie Man is, but for now I'll just relish you in the flesh as you get closer to age 2 and slowly grow out of being my "baby" :(

I love you big boy!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fishing with Daddy

by Mommy

I'd like to go fishing with Daddy,

But I'm still too little to try,

One day I'll go fishing with Daddy,

'Cause I've got that hope in my eye

check out other Poetry Wednesday pieces at
To Mark Time

At the Seaside

By Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was down beside the sea

A wooden spade they gave to me

To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup

In every hole the sea came up

Till it could come no more.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
site design by designer blogs