Sunday, September 14, 2014

Keeping Busy

Every day life has been keeping us busy... and that is a good deal when you are waiting on a baby to arrive!

3/4 of our school's families in attendance at our "non-back to school picnic."
We were missing one family due to taking an older brother to college!
Our littlest student tried to make a break for it!

We started school and got a month under our belts! Yay! 
Trying out some medieval script illumination. It is a new pastime in our house now.

We drilled a well, ours has been dry all summer, causing Tim to have to haul water from the camp a few times a day. This was the 5 ft. deep ditch we had in front of our house for a week. It was an adventure crossing it!

39 weeks! Midwife says the baby is 7 lbs. I an inclined to think closer to 8 lbs.
We will see who's right.

Our boys enjoyed their first soccer game. They lost... but both did GREAT! 
Allan scored two goals at the end of the game, and it actually made him tired. We didn't know that was possible. Eli participated and was in the thick of it the whole time and did a great job being a good sportsman! He did sit on the ball once, but it seemed necessary to keep it from being stolen!

We are anxious to get this baby here... even though I'm only 39 weeks. So we started a mild round of induction techniques... my favorite is trying out some delicious eggplant parmesan! Tim made it! Mmmm!

That's what's keeping us busy!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

More Nesting... The Nursery!

Here is the "mama nursery" or baby's space near mama for the first few months.
Nothing special, but I got it set up! YES!

 Here's the Little Girl's Room ... AKA "the nursery"!

Thea's bed with lovely new duvet cover, made by Maga (grandma)! She is over the top thrilled with her new big girl digs! (And is even motivated to make her own bed every single morning... it is precious!)

Just the other side, because we have to give a 360* view!

My mother-in-law made this ADORABLE bedding... ruffled (RUFFLED!!!) bed skirt and wedge bumper cover!

Isn't it precious???

A place to rock and relax...

Closet, fully stocked with diapers and changer/dresser.
(I still need to find the changing pad... attic, I think!)

I LOVE Eloise Wilkin books and art... so naturally, it needs to be in the nursery. They say "God is great" and "God is good." Sweet.

Peter Rabbit and a little bit of dandelion art I created... minus the new baby's name... yet to be determined!

That's it! Simple, but so fun!

Yay for babies!  AND ... amazing mother-in-law (loves) that make things lovely and help you make your vision complete! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Shadow Captured

Tonight Addie saw my shadow as we waited downtown. 
She said, "Aw, mom! Look at your pretty shadow!" 
I had her take a photo of it. My oldest capturing me with my youngest.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 1 of School

Ah! We got a full week under out belt... 
Whoo hoo! 

It was a good one though.

To start our week off, Tim (daddy and principal) took all of our schooled kids (pre-schoolers don't "count") out for breakfast, then he does the official drop off to school... always with flowers for teacher.  It is our super fun little tradition! And yes... their backpacks are completely empty...

Week 1 Realizations....

I was super duper pleased to see only one of my kids had major "summer learning loss..."

We worked more on getting in a routine... learning how to do chores independently in the morning... taking morning showers on a set day... and keeping up our personal laundry systems!

Thea accomplished a WHOLE day of preschool! Yay me for actually getting it done!

I taught the children what the all important "selfie" is... so they could draw a portrait of themselves.

Then we did amazingly pointless, yet fun things like make models of our sister out of base 10 blocks... That's math AND art... right?

And I didn't go into labor while trying to clean (madly)!

Good times!

This year we have students in the following grades...

Just 30+ weeks more to go!
Oh boy...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

School Room ~ 2014/15

Not much has changed in the last year, but I noted, I didn't update what we had done last year in our homeschool space! 

Sorry this is so poor quality... I'll work on getting a better one, it is all that backlighting from the doors. BUT, it gives you a basic layout of our main schooling space. 

We also move over to our couches (to the right) and go downstairs often in our family room, but this is where we start our days!

Work table... with chore charts.

Independent and phonics work table.

Nature Nook

Thea's preschool work table.

Main Resource Shelves 
(left to right and top to bottom)
First Shelf: Mom's resources and main texts, Math resources and texts, Phonics resources and texts, Readers. 
Middle Shelf: Story of the World binders (color coded for each child), Addie's Resources (purple), Allan's Resources (yellow).
Last Shelf: Cora's Resources (pink), Eli's Resources (green)
On Top: Daily supplies like pencils, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils

Supplie Closet: Thea's Play/Preschool Bins and LOTS of books!

Elias' Chore Chart

Addie's Binders: Language Arts and Main Work (Calendar and Dictation) Binder

Addie's Resources Shelf: Math, Handwriting, Grammar, Writing, Binders

Mom/Teacher's Resource Shelf

Bible Bin
(back to front) 
Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing
Found in Him (only for mom)
Exploring Grace Together
Teal Box: Scripture Memory Cards
Yellow Box: Catechism Memory Cards

Friday, August 15, 2014

She Can Laugh... with a Big Belly

So I dropped a log of frozen meat on the top of my large protruding belly. Don't ask how that happened, it just did... then I proceeded to have contractions (mild ones) for about 3 hours.

I am calling it the "frozen meat bonk induction method."

Except, it failed this time, as they stopped after I spent some time laying down.
I might try it again at 40 + weeks...
Golly my life is crazy!


A few nights ago I was kissing the boys goodnight when Eli looked up at my large globular middle and said, "It's not going to stay that way after the baby comes, will it?"

I said, "No, it will go back to normal... eventually."

He asked how soon.

I said, "Well, probably a week or so..."

He thought... then looked really sorry for me, "Oh, I thought it would look better right away, that's too bad, mom..."


Tim and I were going to go see the new Planet of the Apes movie on a date, and we watched the trailer that featured a portion of the first movie... a recap. Addie watched on, because we thought it wouldn't be too scary. We stopped it when it did get intense, but she saw the intro and main concept. 

After watching it she turned to Tim and said, "And that's why you don't give drugs to monkeys!"

I laughed for days after... 


Allan is such a chill person. Seriously, he NEVER gets worked up over anything. That's why we were all taken back when Tim was asking Cora if she had a best friend (she doesn't have any girls her age around at all). He suggested that maybe our friends new little boy (her age) that is coming home via adoption could be her friend. At this Allan started sputtering and saying "No... no... no... he's me and Eli's friend..." in a very impassioned way. 
We all busted up. Sorry Cora, our Ugandan friend is already claimed as Allan and Eli's friend. 


Just this...
Cora "cleaning"

I cannot wait to see what she is like as an adult, because she is seriously the coolest 5 year old I know.

And this... 
Thea "taking a nap".

One of the major downsides to having a (partially) white family... because I am 100% sure black families don't keep head scratchers like this around... Sad day!

House of Higher Learning 2014/2015 Curriculum Plan

I love this time of year! School supplies... planning... books arriving in the mail! It is nearly back to homeschool time!

This year our students are...

Addie - 3rd grade
Allan - 1st grade
Elias - 1st grade
Cora - Kindergarten, doing 1st grade work
Thea - Preschool

At our school I've taken what we thrived in last year and kept it and done some considerable tweaking in the areas we struggled in or didn't accomplish much at.

I love planning... yes, really I do... and this is what we are planning on doing this fall and winter. It follows our Scope and Sequence Plan and we continue to find that Story of the World is a great spine to hold our school up around!

Bible & Catechism

And our...

We will also continue learning the catechism and scripture memory during our morning worship time!

Memory & Dictation

Each morning we are covering a different area of memory or dictation work...

~Our Memory Work~

Daily - Math, counting or facts
Monday - Current Events, we will watch CNN Student News
Tuesday - Calendar
Wednesday - Science review
Thursday - Grammar review
Friday - Poetry reading or memory

Our 3rd Grader has daily dictation that coincides with her Lanugage Arts program.
Our K and 1st Graders will likely be working on writing short sentences or words pulled from their All About Reading curriculum or readers.

History & Literature

With just some of our AMAZING accompanying literature...



This year we will have children doing Primer, Alpha, and Beta (and moving up to Gamma) levels of Math U See... it should be interesting!
I am excited to see all my big kids doing math and moving along!


All of our children (except the toddler) are using All About Reading for phonics and spelling.

This year my oldest will be finishing up level 2 and moving into level 3 and my 3 middle children will be finishing up level 1. We find it to be a HIGHLY effective curriculum for even the most challenged learners! Love, love, love!

Grammar, Writing & Language Arts

Writing with Ease - Levels 1 and 2
First Language Lessons - Levels 1 and 2

I have also made Addie (grade 3) her own language arts plan that includes reading, writing and application of the skills learned in Writing with Ease and First Language Lessons.


Getty Dubay - Levels B and D

Last year, when I got this curriculum I was very unsure if I'd like it, after using it I've decided I do like it very much. It is easy to teach, straight forward and produces a script that I think is ascetically pleasing. Also, my children enjoy handwriting, and that is saying a lot!

Also, an interesting article on the importance of the practice of handwriting, particularly for children who struggle to read: What's Lost as Handwriting Fades


Unit studies in: Astronomy, Life Science, and the Human Body
We are trying out Lyrical Learning for the first time!


There is nothing better than a little A.A. Milne.


Our 3 year old will be doing a combo of Rod and Staff workbooks, play bins, activities and age appropriate literature. I gleaned some fun ideas from: Hubbard's Cupboard

Mom's Continuing Education

I'll be reading

and enjoying She Reads Truth (app)

That's it folks!
Happy school year!