Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Last week the girls started back to ballet after taking the year off. I would like to say they chose it voluntarily. Well, they did, sort of. It was that, or something else they wanted to do, that would fit into our schedule.

We made an executive decision that we were no longer going to doing tumbling. (Got tired of sitting at the gym for 3 hours, two days a week and I am not a drop off kind of mom.) And, the year before, we had decided that each child could only do one extracurricular activity.

So, that brought us back to ballet. I am really, really excited about it. The girls will be in classes with kids they have known since they were 3. And I get to hang out with moms I feel I have known forever! ;)

Not to mention, I just love watching my girls dance . . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boy Play

is so much different than girl play. I just LOVE watching Boop and his good friend play. They play for hours . . .

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Homeschooling Blessing

Last year around this time, while I was in my Sunday School class, I made a prayer request for our first week of schooling to go smoothly. I had been homeschooling for a couple of years and knew that getting back into the school routine could be a little challenging. So, I asked for prayer for patience for me and the kids, blah, blah, blah.

One of the men in the class laughed. He went on to say how parents of kids who go to school are thanking God that school is starting. Then he went on to say how homeschoolers always ask for prayer request for the beginning of school.

It got me thinking. My attitude toward the school year starting should most definitely be one of praise and thanksgiving! God has given our family such an awesome, challenging, rewarding, special, hectic, challenging, blessed, awesome, responsibility to educate our children.

That scenario at Sunday School has stuck with me the whole year! And, has really affected the way I approach our education this year. God has given us this AWESOME opportunity, and yes, I do need prayer for patience etc. But, more than that, I am thanking and praising God for letting me spend every waking moment with my children. Helping them grow into the men and women God has created them to be.

They grow up so fast. And it makes my heart sing to know that my husband and I are the biggest influences in our children lives. We are giving them the best foundation to head out into the world. Sure, we will make mistakes. All of us. But, they are our mistakes. Which we all can learn and grow from.

I just can't explain in words, what it means to me to be with my children in every step of their growth . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

EG's First Playdate

I met a new friend for lunch. Well, she really isn't a new friend, per se. I have known her for awhile but we have just never gotten together outside of church. She has a son that is in between NG and LM. But, he was in school today.

And, she has a daughter EG's age. So, I considered this, EG's first play date. EG knows the girl from the nursery at church. I just kept telling her, as we were getting ready, that we were going to meet "A" today. And they would get to play together. EG said the girl's name over and over and seemed like she knew what was going on.

Of course, they played like to toddlers play. Not really together. But, I just want it to be known, that EG had her first play date . . .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Club

Today the girls had their very first meeting for their book club. Well, the book club I am co-ordinating for them.

At the end of last year, I just felt lead to start a book club for them. The following are a couple of reasons why. First, I wanted the girls (kids) to meet regularly with a group of girls (kids) for a school purpose. Secondly, I wanted to meet regularly with a group of moms. Thirdly, I wanted to do something to encourage reading. Lastly, I wanted my girls to get a jump start on "public speaking."

So to that end, this is what the book club looks like, as of today: we get together once a month with 5 other families (total of 18 kids - 8 of which are participating); there will be a time to discuss the book; there might be an activity coordinated around the book and each girl will be given the opportunity to get up in front of the other girls and tell a little something about the book.

Each mom, along with their girl(s), will decided for themselves exactly how they want to approach the public speaking part. Like, for NG, I will encourage her to write a paragraph or so in the beginning. She isn't use to writing so I need to take that into consideration. I might, in the beginning, let her dictate to me. I just don't know yet.

I thought for LM I would let her draw a picture about the book. Then, as her public speaking, have her tell about the picture. I don't, for any of the girls participating, want this to be a bad experience or something they start out dreading.

The following are the books we have chosen for the next few months: The Hundred Dresses; Island of the Blue Dolphins; Charlotte's Web; Misty of Chincoteague; and The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

I, in the beginning, will read the books to LM. NG will be responsible for reading all on her own. We have two times during the day, set aside, for just reading. So, I am confident, if she takes advantage of those opportunities, she will finish the books. But, to be honest, I am kind of excited to read some of the books to LM. A couple of them I have never read before . . .

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Artist and Composer Study

Wasn't sure what to post today. If anything. Then, as we were doing MOWs and EG was screaming, I turned up her favorite Grieg song and she was suddenly quiet. Then it dawned on me, I haven't posted how we do artist and composer study. At least I don't think so.

Every twelve weeks, the curriculum I follow, suggests studying a certain composer and artist. Not in any particular order. We have studied DaVinci, Sargent, and Monet to name a few artists. We have studied the Russian composers, Handel and Greig to name a few.

For art study, I print off a copy of the painting and put it in a picture frame and place it on the dining room table. Then I find a good story book that tells the story of the artist. We then, sometimes, try to do some type of hands on project to help the kids understand different artist styles, etc. At the end of a couple weeks, I turn the picture over and have the kids draw the picture from memory.

For our composer study, I buy a CD full of the composers music. We try to listen to it at specific times. Sometimes as background music to math or copywork. Right now, the Grieg CD is in the car, so that is the music we listen to while doing our Meals on Wheels.

We also listen to hymns and folksongs (when I can find the CDs.) As a lover of music, it so important to me, for the kids to listen to all kinds.

When I think about homeschooling, this is just a little bit of how I hoped it would be . . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Get Out and Vote

I have not always taken my right to vote seriously. When I was young, I really didn't care. I hate to admit it, but it is true.

Now, maybe it is because I am older. Or maybe because I have kids and I am concerned about their future. Or maybe because I am absolutely, positively disgusted with how this country is run. I have now taken an interest in politics.

I am not really a Republican, because I don't think they are getting the job done either. I guess I am a Tea Party kind of gal. I believe in the Constitution wholeheartedly. I believe in small government. I don't think someone in Washington or my hometown has the authority to tell me what to do with my children. And, I guess that is where it all started.

Anyway, no matter what your beliefs are, or what type of government you believe in, it is absolutely positively your right and responsibility to vote. So, I encourage you to go do so . . .

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

Again ;) Although, this time it is for real. Here are the pictures to prove it . . .

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Never Know

When I came out of the Urgent Care parking lot last week, I had a note on my windshield. It went something like this "You are so stupid. You parked too close to my car. Learn how to park. Idiot." I had just been at the ER for over three hours because of EG's head injury. Then to UC for another hour. I was exhausted and emotionally wore out.

I cried. The note rattled me to the core. I am usually so careful of other people's space. I think of myself as a pretty considerate person. I was hurt and angry. And I felt guilty. I did park too close. I know it because it was the side of the car I had to get EG out of. I wasn't unbearably close but obviously closer than I should have been. I wish I could have seen the person and told them I was sorry. I really didn't mean to be inconsiderate.

But, it also struck a cord with me. Because I can be judgemental. I wanted to tell that person what my afternoon had been like. Not that I was making excuses. But, that I had other things on my mind. And that I had been tired and scared. And a little frustrated at that point.

We never, ever know what is going on in other people's lives. It has doubled my effort to be kind and considerate and loving and helpful to people I don't know. Especially those who are being unkind or inconsiderate to me. Because, they have stuff going on too.

The person who left the note may have been a very unhappy person. May not have cared in the least what I had just gone through. That would totally be there problem. But, for my part, I am going to be extra careful how I relate to others. Because you just never know . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Mama Shopping

A week or so ago, I took LM shopping for school. We went to a couple of stores to buy her one school outfit. But, we also had to buy a wedding dress. So, we did more "shopping" then we would normally do. That was alright though, LM is a good shopper. She understands about picking out modest clothes and doesn't try to push the boundaries. So, a lot of clothes she chooses are outfits I am OK with.

She also has her own sense of style. It does make shopping a little more problematic when I let them pick their own clothes. But, I feel I direct them in so many more important ways, that letting them pick their own clothes is a little bit of fun for them. A way to express themselves. And as I mentioned, we really don't do a whole lot of clothes shopping.

LM picked out three dresses for the wedding. She tried them all on and was so serious about picking out just the right one. Plus, I think she wanted to please me. I loved two of the three and if she had wanted the third I would have acquiesced. At least twice she asked which one I liked. I told her it was all her choice. But, there was one that I thought looked exceptionally nice on her. It turned out to be the one she chose. Brown with a pretty light blue flower print. The brown and blue enhanced her darker hair and her steely blue eyes. (Then Grandma took her to get her nails and toes done and she picked a pretty shade of baby blue for the polish!)

After we bought the dress, it was much harder to find a school outfit. Thankfully the kids don't need much and it is still going to be warm for quite some time. We tried on all kinds of things and finally settled on one t-shirt. She couldn't find any bottoms she (or I) liked. You will see the t-shirt on Monday for our official "start of school" picture.

Then on to Target for school supplies, which totaled a matching folder and notebook, a box of colored pencils, some erasers, maybe some regular pencils and then, these squishy things you put on pencils.

We had popcorn and LM had a slushy at the Target cafe. We chatted a little bit and held hands (a little bit) as we walked around. I know it isn't much time to spend together, just the two of us, but I do try to make it a little bit special. I hope she knows I enjoy it as much as she does . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Have Forgotten

Today we had our first real, "full" day of school. I have forgotten how much time schooling my children really takes! I haven't even checked my Facebook yet today . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sleep Issues

So, this is how EG has been sleeping the last few days:

Waking at the crack of dawn.
Not wanting to take an afternoon nap. Much screaming and crying involved.
Not wanting to go to bed. Much crying and screaming involved.
Waking up in the middle of the night, crying.

I know it is a phase. And someday, when she is about 40+ years old, she will want to take a nap and sleep until noon. I know I do . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Today we had our second sewing lesson. It is not just for the girls. It is for me too. And the lady who comes to our home to teach us, and another family, is wonderful! She is patient and very understanding. She is like the 5th of 12 or something and had 5 of her own.

Anyway, I say all that, because a house full of 7 children, while trying to learn to sew can be a little crazy. The other mother and daughter learning with us, are friends and the kids are friends, so that is helpful. We are all comfortable with each other.

The teacher feels very strongly about learning the right way to sew. And I am thankful for that. We are all getting a really good foundation.

The girls' project is a baby size blanket. So far we have bought all the supplies and the material we need. We have washed and ironed the fabric and cleaned up the edges (I am sure there is a more technical term). Today we pinned, ironed and started to sew the hems.

It has been fun to watch how each girl learns. And, to learn myself. The teacher assures us as we become more comfortable with the machine and sewing in general, it will get easier. Right now, it feels so foreign, to all of us. But, the girls seem to be catching on quick. Little Mama is really enthusiastic about it. She is a natural born domestic diva. She really is going to make a good wife, mom and homemaker someday.

Nature Girl picked up quick. She probably just needs to be patient, though. She was hoping to finish the blanket today.

I enjoy it. I have no idea what I am going to do with my new found knowledge. I was going to say skill, but I would not say I have a skill, just yet. Well, whatever we decide to do, it will have to be something fairly simple. At least in the beginning . . .

Monday, August 16, 2010


If finally happened. We started school this afternoon. It looked something like this:

1:00 Said good-bye to Grandma
1:10-1:40 Sewed with Little Mama
1:40-2:00 Went over our new schedules and discussed, a little bit, my expectations
2:00-2:45 Math
2:45-3:00 Read from the book Do Tornadoes Really Twist?
3:00 We are done.

It is a step in the right direction . . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Big Time

Grandma came last night. Sissy's good friend from high school is getting married today and hubby and I are invited. Grandma and a guest are invited as well, and she has decided to take Little Mama.

Little Mama is so very excited to hang out with Grandma (and us.) We bought a new dress and it sure is pretty.

The babysitter will be coming this afternoon to watch the rest of the kids. So, I know they will have big fun.

Everyone will be having a big time . . .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gray Hair

That is what EG is giving me.

Tuesday she hit her head. I comforted her and she nestled her head in my shoulder and neck. When she stopped crying and settled down, I sat her on my knee to put her on the floor. The back of her head and her back were covered in blood. As was my shoulder and neck.

I panicked. I couldn't get a hold of daddy, so I called the doctor's office. They said, because it was head injury, to go to the ER. So, I grabbed a towel, put it on her head to stop the bleeding, got every one going in one direction and off we went.

My MIL met us at the ER to take the bigger kids. EG and I checked in, with the help of some really nice people who went out of their way to help me get the paperwork straightened out.

In true EG fashion, we had been there about 1/2 hour and she was running all around and entertaining everyone. She didn't have a shirt on because the day before she had some skin work done at the dermatologist and I had been giving her dozen or sores a chance to air out.

She looked a mess. Bloody towel, blood on her back and head, open sores all over her body. I had blood on my t-shirt and in my hair. I was shocked when they did not take us back right away. But, as hubby says, they see this stuff all the time. Plus, she was acting as normal as could be.

We sat there for 3 hours. At that point, the bleeding has stopped quite awhile ago and I just needed someone to tell me if she needed stitches. I called our doc again to see if they would see us. They referred us to Urgent Care.

We signed out of the ER and went across the street, where we were in and out in an hour. No one had actully looked at the injury for fear it would bleed again. When the nurse left, she mentioned something about staples. My stomach did flips and I thought I was going to throw up. The visual image of that was too much for me to handle at that point.

So, when the PA finally looked at it, it wasn't but a half inch long. I was shocked, because I couldn't believe something so little could produce so much blood. Anyway, the real blessing was NO STAPLES. And, obviously, no concussion. I was soooo relieved and SOOO ready to go home. It was dinner time and we had been gone since lunch.

I learned a couple of things. First, call a specific number and the Urgent Care people will tell you whether or not you need to go to Urgent Care or the ER, depending on what you tell them about the injury. Second, everyone and I mean everyone, has since told me how much the head can bleed.

If I can walk away from any emergency, with a little more information then I had going in, it can't be all bad . . .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Butterfly Summer

We have had luck this summer with caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies. For many previous springs and summers, we have had a back porch filled with chrysalises and not one of them turned into a butterfly.

This year we had only three. Which were very well taken care of (well, one escaped). Anyway, they both turned into beautiful Black Swallowtail butterflies.

Nature Girl swears she sees them in the backyard . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Ugh. Hate change. Always have. Probably always will. But, one thing that is going to have to change, in the up coming weeks, is the time I spend on the computer.

My new "schedule" (which I have yet to use) only allows about 15-30 minutes of computer time, per day. I use the computer for communication purposes, for school purposes and for entertainment purposes.

I must be honest and say, I do spend too much time on the computer. So, having to whittle down my time doesn't really hurt my feelings too much. But, the thing that will probably be the most affected, will be my blog.

My intention for my blog, although I have varied from it quite a bit, is/was a place to keep all of our family memories. I don't scrapbook. I haven't developed a picture in two years, at least. But, I have a diary of our lives on my blog. I have also used it as a place to vent, share my feelings and express my opinions.

I think, at least for a little while, my blog will be filled with family life, homeschool, kids activities. And what is, very simply, going on every day. It is quick to write, not much to have to think through.

My posts will be short, I think. And probably not as regular. If I can't write it in 15 minutes, it isn't getting posted or it will have to be continued the next day. Or maybe there won't be a post for a day or two.

My blog is important to me. But it isn't, can't be a priority. After God, hubby, children, home and school, there just isn't enough time in the day. At least not for me. At least not right now. So, the blog is getting simplified. Hope you continue to read . . .

Monday, August 9, 2010

Night Time Routine

Night time around here looks something like this:

8:00 baths
8:30 EG goes to bed after reading Blue Hat, Green Hat. As I sing Rock a Bye Baby to her twice, she must have, in her hands, her bear, soft baby doll and book. After I sing, I lay her down. Lately, I hear her talking, usually asking for someone. Maybe she thinks they will come get her. Occasionally she fusses, but only for a minute or two. She sleeps through the night most nights. Once every 7-10 days she wakes and can't go back to sleep. The two of us get in the twin bed, she plays for an hour then falls asleep.
8:30-9:00 I read to the big kids (currently Wheel on the School) and Boop usually falls asleep on me.
9:00 We pray and then I put Boop in front room (a real bed to sleep in) and big girls in their room.
9:00-9:30 Big girls play/talk
9:30 Big girls turn light out

Lately, I have been in bed by ten. I guess I am tired . . .

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010


One of the things that really impressed me about the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling was her introduction to Shakespeare in First Grade. I remember Shakespeare in British Literature class in high school. Oh my, what a drag. I didn't understand the plays to save my life. To be honest, didn't much care. I remember my teacher, not her name at the moment, but how she looked.

O.K., I digress. So, when CM talked about Shakespeare at an early age, I suppose I was a little skeptical. But, CM's philosophy in a nutshell is, kids are really capable of understanding things that we, as adults, think are to difficult for them. Shakespeare is a great example of that.

Granted I don't read the kids the original plays. But, real quality retellings of the originals. We have started out with Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, by E. Nesbitt. And now we are reading Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb. I bought cut out dolls for the stories so the girls dress the dolls with the appropriate character attire and it helps them to visualize the story.

When Nature Girl and I started reading the little bit harder Shakespeare book Tales, The Merchant of Venice, was one of her favorite stories. Once, after reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, we rented the movie with Mickey Rooney, and the kids watched it over and over.

Right now, Nature Girl and I are reading a children's biography about Shakespeare and she really loves it. And hates when I put it down.

I think in Fourth Grade, the CM curriculum I use, actually encourages the reading of the real plays. (We are still finishing up Third Grade books.) I will be interested to see how that goes. (I am having flashbacks to Brit Lit.)

Do I expect them to carry on a long winded discussion of Shakespeare's characters? No. But, they have been exposed to a great man who had great thoughts. My hope is to encourage them to have great ideas, as well. And heck, when they get into high school, they will be a head of the game, because at least they will be familiar with characters and plots and story lines. That can't be all bad . . .

Friday, August 6, 2010

Boop, the Boy

Today Boop got to go to soccer camp. Except for tumbling, which he does because I am already there with the girls, this is his first foray into extracurricular activities.

The camp was only for two hours, ages 5-8 and all homeschoolers. The coach let him participate because he will be 5 in September. We bought tennis shoes, but found Nature Girl's old cleats. We borrowed shin guards, which I think were a little too big. The only thing we didn't have was a soccer ball. Well, we have one, but it has been outside for months and am pretty sure it is moldy.

Anyway, he was excited and a little nervous. He was concerned he would get hurt and all the kids would be taller than him. He was right on one account. He didn't get hurt but he was the shortest, youngest kid out there.

He is a complainer by nature. Adorable, but a complainer. I was worried he would come running up to me every two minutes saying things like "it is hot", "a kid stole my ball," "it's hard" or "can we go home?" But, he was a champ!! Not once did he say anything negative. I was so proud of him, I even mentioned it on the way home. (In fact, I complimented the girls also, because they had to sit there waiting on him for two hours. They are not use to being the ones waiting.)

Every time I saw him, he was working hard at it. Following directions. Trying. He didn't seem to get discouraged, even though he had no clue what he was doing. He didn't get upset when a bigger boy passed him while they were dribbling down field. (I think that is what it is called.)

They had quite a few water breaks and he would come up all hot and sweaty. I was really proud to hand him a Gatorade. I really was excited to see him participating in an organized sport. He is in a house full of girls all day, so it was great to see him exert himself, in boy fashion!

Every Thursday, during the school year, they have homeschool soccer. Boop enjoyed it so much today, he asked if he could go back. I think we will definitely look into it . . .

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Computer Problems

Finally, finally fixed. But, I have been staring at this computer for so long now that I just don't have it in me to write anything of substance.

I will say this, the girls met their sewing teacher this morning and she is a dream. She does what she does as a ministry. And I am glad we will benefit from her willingness to share and teach!

Boop has soccer camp first thing in the AM. That is going to be fun to watch!

More tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Big Fun

It was hotter than you know what. The guy that was suppose to meet hubby and Boop at the beach with his boat couldn't bring it. And had to go back Friday night. I fully expected hubby to call Saturday morning and say they were on their way back.

108 at the beach. Two guys with no other entertainment (because they thought they would have a boat). No shade. A bunch of fishing poles. Lots of junk food. And a really nice camper. When I talked with hubby on Saturday, though, they were in for the long haul.

Boop caught a bunch of crabs. AND his very first fish! (No pictures because they didn't have a camera.) They also went to the lighthouse and went swimming when it cooled down. Hubby said they had sand EVERYWHERE.

They had tons of food, but it was way too hot to cook. Poptarts for breakfast. Ice cream and PB and Js for dinner. I am sure chips and dip for lunch. And lots and lots of fluids.

When they got home, I asked hubby if an end of July fishing trip will be an annual event for the boys. He very emphatically said no. But, he would consider it in May or September.

I know they had big fun, despite the weather. And I am just glad that hubby and Boop had some togehter . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010

School Starts

This is how we started school. The big girls spent last night at their cousin's house. I picked them up at 9:30, along with the cousin. Went on a field trip to the federal courthouse, our capitol, sissy's office (which is in the capitol) and lunch with friends.

This is going to be a GREAT school year . . .

Sunday, August 1, 2010