Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jonathan loves to write!

I am always amazed at how much Jonathan loves to write. His brothers loved learning to read, but struggled with writing and didn't like it at all. Jonathan practices all the time and keeps getting better at it. He asked me the other day how to make a 5. After working on it for a few minutes he brought me this piece of paper with the beautiful 5 on it. He was very proud of it and I was too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Creature hunting season!!

It all started this past weekend when our friends, the Huffman family came and spent Saturday evening with us. The Huffman's son, Noah, loves catching creatures. He wasn't at our house for 5 minutes and he had already caught a toad and a lizard. My boys were absolutely amazed and super excited. Martin, especially, wanted to touch them and hold them.

Aaron wasn't as interested in holding them as Martin was ... but we all laughed at how he kept saying, "look at what WE caught!" Hmm ... really, Aaron? "we?"

I think it was only a couple days later when Martin came running to the door with a toad in his hands! He was very proud of his first catch!

A couple days after that he caught a lizard!

We had our dear friends, the McDaniel's, visiting with us at the time ... and all of the children were excited about Martin's find.

After some time spent enjoying his "catch", he let the lizard go on the side of the porch.

Monday, April 25, 2011


These are the cheesy grins that Rosalie gives me every time I pull out the camera! She is a little ham!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sing and Play!

Rosalie was sitting at the piano singing her heart out for quite a while ... when it finally struck me to grab the camera and get a video of her singing like that. I managed to creep up behind her without her noticing at first ... she quickly was on to me, though. This is a little girl that loves music and loves to sing!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passing time ... while the storm passed over ...

We experienced some pretty scary storms last Saturday. We don't have a basement, so we prepared by sitting in our hallway downstairs. The children and I played a game while waiting for the storm to pass. We were planning to move into the laundry room if any tornadoes headed our way. There were tornadoes to the south of us and to the north of us. Many people across our state endured and are enduring devastating results from those storms. We are and have been praying for those affected. I've never really been through a real tornado "scare" before. I've lived through blizzards in Iceland, hurricanes on the coast of VA, but never a tornado. I have to say ... for me ... tornadoes win it for scary.
Hopefully, our state will stay clear of any more scary storm systems this year!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Jonathan's Legos

Jonathan was building legos the other day, and I was very impressed to find that he had made a very creative ship!
Even Martin was impressed and said, "Hey, I want to build something without instructions!"

Of course, Rosalie didn't want to get outdone ... she had to get in the picture too!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy is what You are ... Holiness is my desire ...

I had several errands to run this morning, so off we went to a couple of stores to do some necessary shopping. I am a very routinized person ... so changing up the school routine always makes me a little crazy. I keep trying to tell myself that one of the perks of homeschooling is that we can make our own schedule ... and don't have to be slaves to an already existing schedule. So, today has officially become a no-school day for us. That is not, however, the reason that I am writing this post.
On the way back home from those errands, I turned on one of my favorite CD's. It has become the favorite of my children as well. I turned it to track 8 and turned it up nice and loud. You may not be surprised to find out that I like to sing in the car. So, I am always singing along! I started singing along right away just as I usually do ... and as the chorus approaches I am still just minding my own business singing along ... when what seemed like out of nowhere 4 voices erupted into song all at once as the chorus began! Yes ... I did say 4 voices. Even my little Rosalie was singing along as loud as she could ... and getting most of the words right.

"Holy is what you are. Holiness is my desire."

"I lift my eyes up to the sky, I lift my eyes up to the heaven, I lift my eyes up to the sky where the Holy One dwells."

Holiness is most definitely my desire. I hope and pray that it will become the desire of their hearts too.

The CD is by Three Strand.

I could hardly stop smiling. It was so fun to be singing along with my children! I was wishing I that I could have been filming them instead of driving. What a fun thing it would be to have on video!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's that time of year ...

Every February I start planning out our next school year. I spend hours upon hours pouring over websites that sell books. It takes me several months to do it...and almost all my online time is spent on it. I narrow down the three websites where I can purchase the books and make a spreadsheet that includes the price of each book from each website. I make decisions on what curriculum to use for each child. The main curriculum always stays the same, but sometimes I change things up in the early years with phonics, math, and handwriting. On my older boys, I spend most of time just trying to find the best deals on books, since we have already fully established curriculum for each subject. I absolutely adore the curriculum that we use. It gets better each subsequent year. I am already to the point where I am benefiting financially on using a literature based Charlotte Mason curriculum ... one in which we re-use for each child. The only thing I have to purchase for Aaron and Jonathan this coming year is the reusable math and phonics workbooks. I already have everything else that I need.
For the 2011-2012 school year, I will be teaching 3 grades. It seems unthinkable that I am already to the stage where I will be schooling 3 of my 4 children.
I have gone back and forth the past several months on what I should do with Jonathan this coming year. I finally decided to go ahead and do K with him on the condition that he is able to show me over the next several months immediate obedience. Jonathan is a strong-willed child. I see glimpses of glory when it comes to his strong-will. However, we still battle it out from time to time. He desperately wants to start K. I have told him that in order to start K, he will need to show me that he can obey me immediately ... with a cheerful heart ... and no complaining. Easy, right? He is entirely motivated, however ... and is slowly proving to me that he is ready! As far as Jonathan's curriculum goes for K ... I am piecing it together, but will follow the tradition of Charlotte Mason with lots of read a louds and hands on activities.
Aaron will be doing 2nd grade with this curriculum. I used this with Martin when he did 2nd grade ... and I LOVED it. I am so excited to take Aaron through it. I am adding 2nd grade English(Rod and Staff) to it, though because I did the grammar that is included in this guide already this year while Aaron was doing 1st grade.
Martin will be doing 4th grade with this curriculum. He will be doing the Math 4a and 4b, along with English 4. (Rod and Staff) We are choosing to do the History read a loud option to go along with the History that we will be studying this year. He will also be doing the independent history readers. This is the year that he will doing more and more on his own ... it should be exciting and interesting.
So, if I haven't been keeping up with you lately ... or commenting on your blog as much ... or keeping up with my own blog... I have been working on searching for books, finding good prices, and planning out next year. It's one of my favorite things to do!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Building shelves

It's been awhile since I've blogged about house updates. We haven't been doing much around the house lately. It comes in spurts, I suppose. In the last week, Rich has cleared the brush at our tree line on our property, (With the help of a good friend and his teenage son) and started building shelves in our garage. Our garage has been a disaster area since we moved in - so this is a huge improvement!

I only wish that I had gotten some before pictures. Oh, what an amazing difference it is.

I am so thankful that my husband is so handy!

More house updates to come!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby Soup

I tried to capture a video of Rosalie and her bathing suit ... or "baby soup". We have had a lot of laughs about her baby soup!