Monday, September 23, 2013

Our New Addition!

We have a new addition in our family....his name is T-bone!  And the kids love bottle feeding him every morning and evening (wonder how long that will last).  However, his name is indicative of his destiny....but that is 3 years or so down the road and we'll have gotten more calves between now and then (names may include Sir Loin, Ribeye, or A1 as determined when we get them).  :)

Now for pics.....

Introducing T-bone.  He was born July 20 so he is about 2 months old.

getting ready to feed him.  (one day G will learn not to wear flip flops in the pen...he's been told but some people gotta learn the hard way.)  :(

G giving him his bottle.  L wants to do it so bad but he sucks the whole bottle right outta her she assists

M got a turn with the bottle on his first night.  

A taking his turn with the bottle....

This little guy is going to be buddies with the kids till he gets big enough to pasture (and then he'll be friendly enough to be dangerous I'm afraid)....By then we'll have another little guy to be buddies with.  :)  He bawls all night long and then bawls at us if he hears us all day (and it's only been a few days).  When he gets a little bigger I'm guessing he'll be giving rides.  HA!

Friday, September 20, 2013

School week 3!

Ok, first of all I can't believe that I've been able to do a blog post every week about our school year.  This week did not go at all as planned but we still did pretty well.

Karate was fun and more challenging this week.  We had to do a plank (oh man do those hurt) and we got to do some more complex moves.  As we were practicing I thought of the new karate kid because we were all pulling "faces" trying to get it right.

A is working on flash cards with his multiplication facts on them  We are just gonna hang out here until he can do them quickly and accurately.  M is doing well with addition and is working on money.  G is doing well with the new reading program but we are taking it REALLY slow.  I am not hurrying him thru ANYTHING!  We are going to get this.  L is having fun making huge messes!

We were planning on a field trip to a nearby airport to see the planes but I didn't get us signed up in time so we didn't get to go.  We joined a new homeschool group this year and I'm still learning the website.  We were all bummed but it was ok.

In social studies this week, we used the projector (how have I never gotten that out for every day school) and we did an online archeology dig for Roman artifacts, put them back together and decided what they were.  We got many right and when we got them wrong, we learned what they are.  Then as determined by what we found where in the "dig" we were able to see what the little town may have looked like.  It was great fun and we all learned something.  Did you know that at the baths Romans would rub themselves with oil and then steam and then scrape the oil, sweat, and dirt off themselves (or a slave would do it) with a "scraper" (think big old fashioned razor but made of wood).  That was news (and kinda gross) to me.  :)  We're also working on mosaics.

We did a science experiment this week.  I don't have pictures of it because despite 3 tries, it was a total failure.  :(  Moving on to whales next week.

I am enjoying guitar and now that it has new strings it is even better.  And A is jamming on his drum lessons.  So much that we had to get him a drum set.  It is just coming to easily.  We were blessed by another homeschooling family with an awesome price on exactly what we need.

Now for some pictures from the week....
I peaked around the corner and saw this in my living room.  Heart melting image!

Fun at the fall festival parade!

A and daddy pitchin washers at daddy's family reunion

school outside on a beautiful day!!!

MOre outside school

And more outside school!!

We even brought our lunch out that day.

Some ag class up on the roof trying to figure out why our chimney leaks with Pappy.  

More ag class prepping the pen for a new addition to the family.  Pictures to come soon.  He's still a little skittish.

Soon, I'll post some more weekend fun pictures (we've had a birthday and another coming next week)!!!  We are so busy! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chunky granola

Recipe from more with less cookbook

Preheat oven to 350

In ungreased 9x13 put
      6 cups rolled oats

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and add
     1/2 cup each.  Sunflower seeds or nuts, coconut, wheat germ, dry milk powder

In separate bowl combine
     2/3 cup honey,   2/3 cup oil, 1 teas vanilla

Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Make sure to get it really coated (I use my hand even though the oats are hot).  Bake 10-15 minutes longer stirring every 3-5 until golden.  Do not over bake.  Let cool undisturbed.  Then break into chunks.

Chopped raisins dates or dried fruits can be added (I do this as I serve cause sometimes I want them and sometimes I don't)

To turn these into granola bars add to liquids 1 egg, and about 1/3 cup milk.  Press mixture firmly into  two 10x15 well greased pans.  Bake until nicely browned...cut immediately and remove from pan when cool

I am trying the granola bars soon...maybe today :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

School Week 2

Although our days are not always filled with J.O.Y., we are doing well, learning lots and mostly enjoying school time.

This week we focused in on some topics in Rome during the first century.  The big boys got to pick a couple topics they were interested in...I put on my teacher hat and devised an assignment and rubric (by which to grade the assignment)-then I put my mom hat on and helped them find some material by which to learn these materials.  They will be actually filling out the assignment with less of my help.  I found an awesome website for kids about Rome and they were able to find the topics they wanted to study.   They found a game called "Fling the Teacher" where by answering correctly question about Rome, they can build a trebuchet to "fling the teacher"  (It isn't just a clever name).  This was the best and most fun we've had with History in our homeschool career-please please please let it continue.  Here are pics of their completed projects.

In science this week, we started our "ocean boxes" which are long term dioramas we will add to as we learn more about the oceans of the world.  Each child has their own in a medium flat rate box from the post office.  I hope we don't wish we'd done one big "classroom" one.  We were supposed to do an experiment but I didn't have any food coloring (nasty stuff) so we'll do it on monday after I've made a trip to the store.

A is doing US geography (my plan was to do it with both older boys but it is too much for M) and A did a great job looking up the info he needed to find for the 2 states we're covering this week...Maine and Massachusetts.   He says this is his favorite subject!  YAY! I am proud of his willingness to work independently this year.....and it gives me hope for the others.  I'm guessing M (and the others) will be more interested when we "eat" our way thru some of the states.  :)

G is plugging away at reading still.  He is my first to really struggle with reading.  We've switched programs and are trying "Hooked on Phonics"  We'll see how it goes long term.  So far so good.  He is also learning about tally marks and, although he can count them, was having trouble making them and keeping it neat enough to keep track of what he'd done.  So, we busted out some tooth picks and he is doing it that way.  Works great!  And since we are having such difficulty with reversals (d/b mostly) we got out some rice to practice writing letters in....and his handwriting is improving as well.  SCORE!  I'm doing some more research on how to work with reversals with young kids.  It is perfectly normal but he gets frustrated and if we can find a way to make it easier then lets get on it.  :)

M has been very stressed about school work this week.  One morning while getting ready to start keyboarding he started saying he was dizzy and his eyes kinda got funny looking.  He was so anxious about it I think he was hyperventilating and gonna pass out.  As soon as I said "forget it, no more keyboarding till at least after Christmas at the very soonest," he was fine!  He is clearly not yet ready for keyboarding (I thought he would like it cause he HATES writing things out and holds the pencil SO tight that his hands hurt but he is only in 2nd grade so it most definitely NOT necessary).

L is going to be a READER!  She wants me to read books ALL the time.  I read to her at least an hour a day (broken up into 15-20 minute slots).  We read at school time, before nap time, and before bed time almost every day.  And sometimes she gets the boys to read to her too.  During school time she has been a bit of a handful but she is learning the routine.  She plays with rice, or with blocks, and loves to cut and color.  We have to sweep after school every single day....and sometimes midway thru too.  But she is happy, learning, and messes can always be cleaned up.  :)

We also started our extra-curriculars this week.  (Contrary to popular belief, homeschoolers do not lack socialization if you mean the opportunity to socialize with others-hopping off soap box).

We are all (except the Princess who is not big enough) taking Tai Kwan Do at a local community college.  Our teacher is great and it is a very traditional approach.  Respect for teacher and others in authority.  We will not do weapon training and won't start breaking boards till red belt level.  He does not create fighting machines.  I am thrilled with his approach to teaching martial arts (although I have nothing else to compare to).  He was great with the kids.  Instead of registering them in the kids only class, we all registered for the kids/adult class and they will get to interact with kids around their ages (or slightly older in G's case) AND the adults in the class (the adults were much more friendly to tell the truth).  It was great fun and we can't wait to go back next week.  Maybe after a few weeks the "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" will carry over into home.  (a homeschool mom can dream right?)  (no pics cause I was in class too).

A and I started drum and guitar lessons (respectively) this week as well.  A totally ROCKED it.  I was so impressed.  He got the both hands and his foot going and all on the right beat.  However, it is going to be VERY hard for him to practice on his practice pad....anybody got a small (and cheap) drum set they wanna get rid of???   I am going to really like guitar although I had a harder time than he did (oh learn while young and its easy people).  I learned all the chords for one song and am practicing them.  But the biggest challenge I think is going to be building up the callouses so my fingers don't feel like they have blisters on them.  But I'll get there.  I like it.

Now for pictures.

A needs to really master his multiplication tables (up to where he is now) before we move on.  He is practicing with wrap ups to get faster.

G is using toothpicks to practice tally marks and counting by fives.

L reading another book

A gets to use the ipad to look up his geography information....maybe this is why its his favorite subject :)

Since G is having trouble with letters....we are practicing them in rice with his finger, and then with a pencil eraser.  It is helping.  woot woot

Making our ocean boxes.

Working on column addition with double digits.  I think we had a lightbulb moment.  YAY!  I love being able to hold up when a child is struggling and find a "non-traditional" way to help him get it.  So much fun to be a part of the lightbulb moment.

Busted out the projector  to make our Roman Soldier  posters.  We projected them on to the paper and and traced the outline and then used it to label and define all his armor.
Finished Roman Soldier Art.  You can't see the labels but all the armor is labeled.  They did a GREAT job!  So proud!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

From the mouths of babes...

Yesterday, we heard some thunder.  (no rain of course-sigh)  But the thunder was pretty loud.

And the little princess comes up with her eyes popped wide and says

"Momma, tunder"
Me: "yep"
Princess:  "take a picture of da tunder"
Me: "honey, I can't really take a picture of the thunder.  It won't work"
Princess:  "mooooo-ooooooom puweeeeeeeez"

Well darlin, I'm just not sure how to or what to do about that.  ;)

This morning G comes in to tell me his morning chores are done (bed, clothes, teeth).  This is what I learned.

G:  My morning chores are done. I used minty instead of strawberry (toothpaste).
Me:  Oooo, are you getting ready for Awana and the pretty girls there?
G: (grinning sheepishly and then looking confused):  Girls like strawberries.
Me:  Can't argue with that.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

School has started!

So we started school on Labor Day.  Yes, I realize that is a typical "no school" day but we had good reasons.

1. I like to plan for 5 day weeks.  My lesson plans just work much better that way.
2. The King (aka The School Principal) was home on Labor Day so he could help out and see what some of our plans are for the year....
3.  We choose the days we want to take off.  Labor Day doesn't need to be one of them.  

I woke up Labor Day morning knowing we were starting school with a fully formed name, motto, and verse for our school.  Something we haven't ever been able to find.  I've thought about it but since it isn't "necessary" for school I didn't fret and the kids never cared one way or another.  But this year we have a name.  And we love it!  We are the " ***** School of J.O.Y."  Our "motto" is "learning to serve Jesus, Learning to love Others, and Learning to be Yourself."  And our verse is Matthew 22:36b-40

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When I told the kids, they were so excited!  I, honestly, thought they would be all "ok, whatever" and not care so much.  But they thought it was cool (I'm still cool sometimes-woot woot) and wanted to make posters to put on the wall with our school name. YAY!

School went really well the first 3 days.  We were truly a JOY-filled school.  Then the 4th day, we ended up at the dr and didn't really get our school work all done.  And on the fifth day, things got really ugly.  I had high hopes for a smooth sailing first week.  After great day 1 and good days 2 and 3, I let myself think there was potential.  But the better things are the farther they can fall and fall they did.  :(  By Friday night I RAN out the door when the King got home to go for a walk and clear my head (and they finished school work).  (I also tried to sneak into my mom and dad's bathroom in their garage to use it "all by myself" without any interruptions or company.  But it was out of toilet paper so I had to go in and ask and then that totally defeated my purpose-HA!)

I've nearly finished my lesson plans for the coming week and I have hope that we will have decent/good days.  My hopes could be dashed again....that potential is there every. single. day.  But each week (and each day) is new and I'm going to try to start with JOY every morning and not with the stress of the week (day) before.  We are starting a lot of new things this week (karate, Awana, and guitar/drum lessons), so lets hope that we can have a good one.  :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Vacation Part 3: Dolphin Cruise and Glass blowing

This is pretty self explanatory.  We went on a dolphin cruise.  It was fun but I was a bit disappointed.  Although we saw dolphins in certainly wasn't Sea World.  I wanted them to jump and they just didn't.

We also found an art studio where the boys (we had to kinda fudge G's age and make him 2 months older) could blow glass.  They each made a beautiful piece of glass work that are now decorating my library and kitchen. woot woot.

Now to pictures!!!
making petals for the flower
now he gets to do it.

getting the glass hot.  It is kept in an oven that runs 2100* F  The artist at the Hot Shop, Adam was FABULOUS with the kids!

blowing air to make the globe.  See it forming at the end.

getting ready to blow.  It was hard because the pipe was continually rotating.  They had to make a tight seal around it and blow while moving with the motion of the pipe.  

After glass blowing, we were checking out this restaurant that looked a little too fancy for us (white table clothes and real glasses-YIKES!)  The manager (in green in the pic below) came out and said some on in....we let the kids make their own pizzas.  And the white table cloths are PAPER to COLOR ON!  SOLD!  

adding toppings and cheese.  This was our best and least expensive meal of the whole trip (except that it was SO awesome we left a really good tip!!!)  ;)

driving the boat.  

This one said "Hang on mom while I drive.  I'm gonna try to crash it."  HA!

He took his job seriously.

She set the autopilot. 

The King and I even got a turn!  

And our last vacation picture is our family picture (that I asked some lady on the beach to take for us!)
We had a great trip and I am so so so glad we went.  It was just a perfect ending to summer.  We're trying to decide where we'll go next.  The King thinks maybe head west.  I'm not sure.  As much as we loved the beach, we want to see new things and experience a new place.