Thursday, September 29, 2011

Four is a wonderful number

... so I'm still trying to fathom that, come spring, we'll have five children!

Here are some shots of our sweet ones!
At this point in time, Merika is 8, Nolyn is a bit over 6 1/2, Keagan is 4, and Evangeline is a week away from 13 months.

I love them critters!

My oldest managed to capture a few photos of Evangeline and me:

Itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout....
This is my favorite of the three. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Place setting place mats

One of our children's chores is setting the table.  This task is quite helpful as it means I don't have to juggle another task while trying to get dinner to the table.

Today we talked about proper place setting.  I showed them an example:

Then we all drew it on paper, which I will "laminate" (with that clear book cover stuff you can buy at Hobby Lobby).  I drew an example since they asked for tips on how to draw the utensils.  Keagan had conked out, and I knew he'd be disappointed if he woke up and didn't have his own place mat, so the one I made will be his until he can make one of his own.

This is the creation Merika made:

Sorry about the poor photo quality. Bad lighting + mobile phone!

See my sleeping beauty handsome?

My big little girl

My Evangeline is getting big.  She's been walking for a bit now, but now she seems to have more confidence. She doesn't crawl (er, scoot) as much, and she doesn't hover close to furniture like she used to "just in case".  She's an explorer.  Thankfully, she doesn't tend to put things in her mouth, because she loves to play with legos, crayons, beads, and various other things.

At just a little over 12 months old, she's already a good listener.  If I tell her no, she'll listen. If she has something in her hand, and I ask her to give it to me, she usually does.

She's still nursing, but she's also learning how to drink from a cup and does pretty well sipping from a straw.

She's a laid back kid for the most part.  She likes to observe what is going on around her.  And, she likes to chill.

She loves peas, lunch meat, bananas, raisins, grapes, and veggie straws (they are a type of chip).  Oh, who am I kidding. She pretty much likes whatever you put in front of her! She's a big eater.  Honestly, she eats more than my four-year-old does, but... if you have a four-year-old going through the picky "I hate all foods (except anything loaded with sugar)" stage, then you know that's not surprising.

She likes to pull all the cloth diapers out of the basket. She enjoys playing dolls with her big sister.  She likes to color, or at least hold crayons and wave them in the air.

She loves to "read" and is surprisingly gentle on our books.  She likes to be included in her big siblings homeschooling, whether it's reading, writing, or art projects.

And she's a good napper during the day, which is great. :)

It's hard to believe that when she's 18 months, she'll be a big sister!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It arrived!

Whadya know.....
I head out to the grocery store after my hubby got home and the box arrived! Weeeeee! 
So, it's officially box day!

It's a good thing I wasn't here when it arrived. I probably would have hugged and kissed the delivery person.

We have friends over, so eight children (four of our own) excitedly sifted through the brand-spankin'-new books.

Evie was thrilled to have more reading material. :) I told you she loves books!

I have no idea where I'm going to put all these books, but I kept out the books we'll be using these first few weeks and put the rest back in the box.

They didn't stay in the box long, though. They're back in the hands of little boys and girls. :)

We're so glad to finally have our Sonlight Core B+C curriculum (and the other extras we ordered). Praise God it arrived!

While we wait...

Our day started with excitement. "Today is the day! Today is the day!" We're anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest set of Sonlight homeschool goodies! The FedEx tracking info says it is on the truck to be delivered today, so I hope they aren't just getting our hopes up! (Have I used enough exclamation marks yet?!!!!)

Keagan eagerly checked the calendar.
"Today is a special day," I told him.
"My birthday?" he grinned as he pointed to the date on the calendar.
"Nope," I said as I moved his finger to the correct spot. "Today is the day Merika and Nolyn's homeschool stuff is supposed to come in!"
"Yay! Yay!" he sang, and all the other kiddos chimed in.

Today, Keagan and I worked through lesson 4 (or was it 5?) in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  Then he formed letters using the Handwriting Without Tears Wood Pieces. These are one of my favorite "tools". The kids love them!

In case you didn't know, you have to do a dance and make silly faces after you make each letter.  Sometimes it's necessary to sing, "I win! I win!"

We also did some of our Sonlight Core A curriculum: learned about the letter F, talked about days of the week, read a few silly poems from The Llama Who Had No Pajamas... and then made up silly poems of our own!

We tried to keep ourselves occupied while waiting for The Box to arrive! (No, not that box. Creepy!) We even had the privilege of going out for lunch with one of our favorite families! (Btw, I saw the FedEx truck there and wanted to tell the driver she wasn't allowed to have a lunch break because some people are going crazy whilst awaiting awesome curriculum. She needs to get on it! Instead I just drove by the truck and tried to send telepathic messages that she should go to my house immediately after devouring her burger and fries. I don't think she got the message.)

I've mentioned this before, and I'm sure I'll mention it again, but my Evangeline loves books. She'll sit on the couch for half an hour "reading".  She really likes her sturdy Word World and bible story books we picked up from Dollar Tree a while back.  She's pretty good with regular books too, but you do have to keep an eye on her because every now and then she'll take a little nibble of one of the pages. We keep these books out for her to flip through any time she wants.

Reading is hard work, so after all that page-turning, she was ready for a nap.  I love baby snuggles!

I'll be posting pictures of Box Day.... if this package ever arrives. I feel like I'm waiting for a boyfriend to arrive! My heart beats fast every time I hear someone drive by!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's not finished, but...

I'll let you have a look anyway!

Here's what we've accomplished so far in our homeschool room. Sorry for the picture quality. This room has poor lighting, and it probably doesn't help that I took all of these with my mobile phone.

 This desk is older than I am. It's been in my family for a while!

I'd like to have the room painted by the end of the month, but that's unlikely. At least I have the accent wall done!  The bean bag chairs need some love (more fluff and some minor repairs), and I plan on painting the cabinet the copier is perched on.  The wall decor definitely leaves something to be desired, but... it's getting there. Rome wasn't built in a day, right?

Our four kiddos love the room.  Guess where they headed when they crawled out of bed!

Evangeline found the Memory game. She's very observant.  She stares down everyone and everything.

After breakfast, I sat down to read a book to Evangeline, but was eventually crowded out by three other children who took over the book and cut me out of the circle! Ha!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Crafty, Homeschool Room (in the works)

While we're waiting, erm, patiently for our B+C Core and other Sonlight items to arrive, I decided it would be a good time to overhaul the homeschool/craft room. Yesterday, my husband tidied it up (boy, was it loaded with junk), and today I painted one of the walls (an "accent color") and hope to tackle the other walls another day (with my husband's help, hopefully). I did a lot of organizing, and since it's not finished, I have yet to take a photo of it.  It is clean and organized enough for the kids to enjoy all their favorite things.

I did snap a shot of some of the great finds I picked up at Goodwill. Three of these four items have been incorporated into our new room. [A blue PBteen lamp for $9.99? Yes, please!]

I had a four year old who insisted on being in the photo. *Smile*

Evangeline is really enjoying the new space, especially since there are loads of new things to observe.  She hung out with me for a bit while I arranged things.  She even helped me organize the glue.

Then she found a bin of odds and ends I had put together for her to explore. Dominos, blocks, books, shapes and all sorts of things!

It was really hard to get things accomplished with the older kids roaming the room, so I admit, I banished them from the area until I was almost finished (for the day, at least).  They were so excited to see I had pulled down a bin of math manipulatives and other random items they had not been able to play with in over a year.

I have a feeling they'll be up late tonight playing and learning in that room. I created several little sitting areas I know they'll love to curl up in to read or do puzzles.

Evangeline found the chunky beads and took them out of the box, put them in the box, banged them against the wicker chest, banged them against the floor, tapped them against her head, and then put them back in the box.  Silly girl!

 She loved all the little interesting things I had set up on the window seal.

My sweet baby has been sick the last few days, so smiles and giggles have been few and far between lately.  It seemed the new room with all it's new-to-her attractions cheered her up!

I'm pretty excited about the room.  I moved an old desk into the area since the kids often want to take over my desk area (an old sewing table with a granite top).  Our homeschooling is rarely ever confined to the "homeschool room" (in fact, last year, I don't think we did one bit of "schooling" in it so I decided to change it into a craft room instead, but I thought the kids would enjoy a spot to learn, craft, and read.  Maybe it'll keep them occupied while I sew!  I always love checking out other people's homeschool rooms, so I hope to have photos of mine posted sometime next week (maybe a sneak preview by this weekend?).  I don't have a huge room, but I'm thankful to have an extra room, period.  I don't see many photos on the web of small (eh, petite?) homeschool rooms, but I am sure there are others out there, like me, who don't have the luxury of a full basement or enormous playroom!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I cannot believe my lovely Evangeline is a year old now. Wasn't it just yesterday I was cuddling my newborn, homebirthed sweetie to my chest? (Well, I can still do that, but now she wiggles and squirms!)

We were on our way home from vacation (to New Braunfels) on her first birthday.  She's so big, and loves to explore.  She's very observant, and this whole "walking-thing" has enabled her to check out even more stuff even quicker!

Happy First Birthday Lovie!