Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer Homeschooling

I appreciate when others share what resources they use for homeschooling. This summer's homeschooling plans for us:

1. Continue Emily and Elizabeth's reading lessons. I use The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. These reading lessons are very plain (no colorful, kiddie pictures), but very thorough featuring systematic phonics.

2. Copywork with Emily and Elizabeth. Scripture verses and simple sentences for Emily. Practicing writing the alphabet with Elizabeth.

3. Consistent chores. An example of our chores for everyday (but Sunday!):

Emily (5): empties garbage for whole house, vaccums dining room area after dinner,
Elizabeth (4): restocks diapers, toilet paper, and napkin basket, wipes table after dinner
Luke (2): wipes little play table and chairs, helps Mommy throw laundry into wash

Girls: sort laundry
All kids: make beds, tidy rooms, help with clean-ups

4. Consistently going to library and getting good books...notice I am using the word consistent a lot is hard to be consistent!

5. Time outdoors enjoying parks and the water!

6. Play dates with another homeschooling family (here the same time in newport we are...our husbands are in the same class for six months...good to have someone with similar experiences in military and homeschooling life.)

7. Unit study on the Pilgrims and Indians. We live about an hour from Plimoth Plantation ( In August, we are planning a weekend vacation to a campground, and we are planning to visit this historical spot. We want our children to know about our nation's rich Christian heritage!! We are reading these now before we visit the historical site so that the kids will have some knowledge of the subject and hopefully enjoy it more. After we finish reading these, I want the girls to create their own little Pilgrims and Indians book. Simple idea: make a simple book with paper. Then, draw and color pictures on each page. If able, have the child write a simple sentence about each page. Here are the books we are reading for this unit study:

1. Margaret's Pumphrey's Pilgrim Stories: chapter book (ages 4+) about Pilgrims 1620 journey, exploring the New World and their struggles, making friends with the Indians. This book often mentions the Pilgrim children and their experiences. Really good, and I am learning a lot too!

2. The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern: picture book. My kids love this one. Me, too!

3. Squanto's Journey: picture book of Squanto's perspective...good to know about different cultures! Another neat one.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Art Project and Aquarium

When you are two, art is a hard thing.

Here is Luke's art project from yesterday!

(Yes, that is a puddle of Elmer's glue...)

I was making lunch when Luke told me to look at his masterpiece...

Motherhood is messy, but wonderful!

We are trying to enjoy the area a little while we are here....went to an aquarium today.

Isn't he a cutie??!! Those little cabbage patch cheeks...

A few weeks ago, the kids and I went to the post office. One of the workers noticed us and made the comment that my husband and I must have good jobs to have four kids. I told her, "My husband has a good job. I do, too." "What do you do?" she asked. "I take care of these little ones," I responded with a smile! She smiled back.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Showing Hospitality

My Dad's visit ended glad you could be with us, Dad!!! Caleb has bad allergies...

One Fish

Two Fish

My leech

One of my favorite times in the day...all snuggled up with a story!

This verse completely pumps me up, and at the end of my life, I pray these words would be true of me:

"A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work."

I have been thinking a lot about hospitality and the importance of it to healthy church life as well as love towards neighbors. Last night as I was cooking dinner, I was thinking about the above verse, and I realized that I have a unique opportunity to show hospitality to strangers because we are always moving!!! We always have strangers around us! So, the last few weeks while I was moaning and groaning about being far from our last friends and neighbors...this verse completely gave me a happier perspective on our endless moving!

So, I have a goal to have at least six different people (since we are here six months) over for lunch. Plus, I do want to read a little more about hospitality, just to get some more practical ideas.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Motherhood is Messy

This is a blog in rebellion. I read so many blogs that have pictures of the people and their surroundings looking perfect. I like pretty pictures, don't get me wrong. And, I plan on posting pretty pictures. But, when all that is portrayed is just that, I come away from those blogs feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. Because, the reality of my motherhood experience is that it is messy. Inwardly and outwardly messy. Gross messy. All. day. long. messy. For a person who likes happy children AND things in their place this becomes a trial (small, I know) to an already weary heart. So, here are pictures of one of my many messy days. This is just the morning between the hours of 9:30 and 11:30.

This is my littliest, sweet Caleb. Our 'school' time is almost over, and he is obviously not happy. He has oreo remains all over his face, hands, and clothes. He was given an oreo in the morning because his brother had finally peed and pooped on the potty. And, we celebrated. Caleb celebrated more than anyone else.

Here is a picture of Caleb's school time activity. Rather than play with his given toy, he threw all the pieces all over the floor! However, he was contained, and this did keep him happy for most of our school time. By the way, I have found, that Easter eggs (maybe filled with little snacks) is a fun thing for the 18 month group.

This is what our living room begins to look like during school time. In the bottom right corner, you see part of my naked son. Naked because of the next picture...

This is a pile of stinky, wet clothing. Luke, who was almost completely potty trained entered a few weeks of potty training regression. This pile happened within an hour and a half.

And, my kitchen.

I told my Dad, who is visiting this week, that I am (slowly) learning to embrace the messes with gladness. Because, in the midst of all these messes, young hearts and minds (and older hearts and minds) are learning about the God who made them, the only One who can redeem them from sin's mess.

"Serve the Lord with gladness." Psalm 100:2

Saturday, July 9, 2011

21st Century Americans are Wimps

Our children love animals. Adam loves history. So, we took a family field trip to a local working farm that began in the 1700s. You can take a self-guided tour around the farm, kept as it would have appeared in the 18th century. Throughout the farm, there were people acting the part so that you could get a feel for what life was like during that time. We have nothing to complain about!

Emily was a little apprehensive at the beginning...

Going into the garden with Pap-Pap

Elizabeth's favorite

Look at the size of this ox!! Did you know that an ox is a castrated bull??

Thanksgiving dinner

A mama turkey with her five baby turkies...a hit with all the kids

The cat that scratched Elizabeth and Caleb. Through tears,

Elizabeth told one of the actors that was the reason why we have decided to get a dog!

All tuckered out!