Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

I'll start with a question: when will my house ever be clean?  Seriously!  Every time I walk over to my best friend's house (two doors over), her house is always so tidy.  Granted, she has about half the amount of stuff we have (totally my fault, I'm a sentimental packrat), but still, the main areas of the house should be presentable.  I'm working on getting rid of things.  Really, I am.

Ok, now that that's out of the way, I'll write about our week.  It was great!  No projects this week, except for pumpkin carving Thursday night.  We had co-op on Monday and the rest of the week is kind of a blur now.  Thursday and Friday were somewhat liesure, which was nice.  I say "somewhat" because we had appointments with the pediatrician Thursday afternoon.  Both the girls got shots.  Katie was the brave one and went first.  Not a single tear flowed from her eyes, although she did look like she was going to either puke or pass out!  Nonetheless, she still managed to try and comfort her big sister when it was her turn.  I'll bet it took a good 15-20 minutes for the nurse to give Emily her shots!  She threw such a fit, crying, kicking  & screaming!  Finally, we settled her enough and got it done.  Sheesh!

Overall, we had good check-ups.  Emily is struggling a bit with allergies, so we're giving her Zyrtec again, along with the Singulair.  Ugh!  And after going for an x-ray, we found that Katie has enlarged tonsils and adenoids.  If the nasal spray doesn't help then we will see an ENT.

Our low-key week ended with a Harvest Fest at church where we all enjoyed fellowship with others, games, food, inflatables, and of course, candy!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

After each of the girls got two shots at the doctor's office today, we thought something fun was in order this evening.  So we carved our pumpkins.  It took some time and we made a big mess but it was so worth it.  I hope they hold out until Halloween! 

Aren't they cute???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Poor Emily has been wheezing all day today.  She's been doing so well since her meds were changed in April, so I've been trying to figure out what could be irritating her.  She's out of Singulair and hasn't had any in two days.  So that's part of the problem.  But the more critical issue is what I found tonight.  She's been taking the wrong preventative inhaler!  When she ran out a week or so ago, her daddy grabbed another one in the closet but didn't look to make sure it was the right one.  It was the old dosage and expired in July!  Oops.  So, I loaded her up on what she needs and had to settle for giving her Zyrtec instead of Singulair until we see the doctor.

So I guess I'm making appointments tomorrow and hope we can get in this week.  We need to do our annual well visits anyway.  I really dislike going to the pediatrician because I always feel like we're going to catch something while we're there!

In addition, I'm joining the dentist club with Jen since my bonding popped off again when I brushed my teeth tonight.  This is the third or fourth time this bonding came off!  I have the same bonding on another tooth that has been fine.  For some reason, this tooth is being very stubborn!  My dentist put it on because my gums have receded from pregnancies & chemotherapy, so I needed the bonding to prevent cavities.  I usually don't mind the dentist but this is starting to annoy me!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Learning really can be fun!

This was the best week of school we've had yet this year.  The subject matter (Ancient Egypt pyramids & mummies) drew my kids in so fast that they didn't even realize they were learning!

We made more pyramids...
...this time, out of  paper & sand.  Emily even made a double coffin for her pharoah!  Katie wanted to mummify her doll but I told her we had to wait until Mommy goes to the store to stock up on toilet paper.  That's not something I want to run out of and I certainly wouldn't want to unwrap a mummy for more practical purposes!

We meant to make a reed boat but was unable to find the basket material needed for the project.  We may still try to make the base of the boat this weekend.  And since we learned about how Ancient Egyptians made paper, we might make our own paper this weekend too.

RightStart Math is going great, for both kids.  I'm so pleased with this program, I can't speak highly enough about it.  Learning mental math has already proven itself worthy to all of us!

Emily started reading Pathway Readers a few weeks ago and loves the stories so much that I usually don't have to remind her to read every day.

We've had some issues with the little 4-year-old girl next door coming over every day during school hours wanting the girls to play.  No matter what we said to her, or how we tried to avoid her, she persistently returned every 20 minutes!  She even came right up to our windows several times, knocking on them and hollaring for the kids.  Finally, on Tuesday, I had had enough.  I stepped outside to chat with her...again.  As sweet as she is, I had to be stearn.  I told her that if she keeps coming during school I'd have to talk to her daddy about it (he's home all day).  We haven't seen her during school since.  She fears her daddy, so I guess I said the magic words.  I hope so because that was such a huge distraction.  She would ring the doorbell several times in a row, pound on the door and hollar all at once hoping for someone to answer.  It really made us wonder if she did that on days we weren't home, like on co-op or field trip days.

All in all, it really was a great week.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Katie got a part in the Christmas Musical at church!  She'll be one of the nativity characters.  She doesn't have any lines, which is a good thing since she's not totally reading on her own just yet.  She's happy about being chosen for a nativity charachter!

And while I'm bragging about my kids, I'll mention that Emily will be competing at her first gymnastics meet next Saturday!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Terrific Tuesday!

This is the best Tuesday we've had.  Do I really keep track of days like that?  Well, sort of.  Since we have co-op every Monday, I always remember our Tuesdays!  Usually, they are not as productive as the rest of the week.  However, today went well.  Katie did very well with her phonics lesson and I didn't even have to threaten her!  I did talk with her before starting and I might have offered a small incentive. :)   She's doing great with it but she dreads doing it because it requires work.

Well, she breezed right through it today and completed her cute little animal book.  And, of course, she worked more in her Spectrum Spelling book.

Emily read more about pyramids and asked a few "did you know..." questions, which I love because it shows me that she's not only learning, but also interested in what she's learning!  She still reads every day without being asked, so I'm thrilled!

We started the day with a little music.  I played the violin for a number of years but stopped taking lessons a long time ago.  I also took piano lessons, also years ago, but only for a short time.  I'm attempting to teach the kids enough on the piano for them to be able to easily and recognizably play a Christmas song in December.  We'll see how this goes, but I'm thinking that next year we will add music lessons into our budget. :)  I realized that I really need to brush up on reading music and playing it correctly!  So I guess we'll all be learning together!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up: Where Did the Week Go?

On Monday, we went to co-op where, Emily takes an Ancient History class and I am the helper.  They made petroglyph plaques and pyramids.  Perfect timing for us since that's what we covered this week and last in Creation to the Greeks!
The teacher cut squares out of foam board and the kids covered their board with air-dry clay.  Once they finished carving, we sprayed gold paint on them and placed them to dry.  I can't wait to see them next week!

Then, the teacher brought out another fun project involving peanut butter "dough" and pretzel rods.  YUM!  These were used to form a pyramid.
Some kids ate them afterward, others weren't so adventurous.  Guess where Emily fell?  At least she tried the peanut butter dough, even though she claimed that she didn't like it.

So I was thinking that I could by-pass these activities at home, to avoid redundancy and all.  But... well, I'll get back to that.

So Tuesday and Wednesday were ok, and Thursday was great.  I felt well rested, perky, and everyone was in the mood for school.  Staying focused, we accomplished a lot on Thursday which made me very happy!  Emily learned more about cooking.  Katie learned more about reading and writing.  We cleaned up the house and enjoyed some time outside.

This brings us to Friday.  Hum.  I'm not sure what to say about Friday.  It was kind of a roller coaster day, with ups and downs all day long.  It wasn't bad and it wasn't the best.  We didn't have a ton to do today, which was a good thing.  Having and needing some time for something more fun, I decided to break out the clay and straws so that both kids could make cubes and pyramids to compare stability.

They formed two cubes of clay roughly the same size...

Then, they shaped one into a pyramid, keeping the base of each the same size.

And we measured, proving that each shape held the same volume even though the pyramid was three times taller than the cube!

Sorry, this was the best I could get out of Emily for a picture!  She was pretty much done!

Katie, on the other hand, was very much into the making of the pyramid.  After all, she isn't in the Ancient History co-op class, so this was her first time around...

The finished structures...

And now the test...
After comparing the two structures, there was no question about why pyramids were built instead of rectangular buildings in ancient times.

The week went fast, we accomplished great things, and ended with a fun project.  I feel blessed!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

A Bitter Sweet Moment

Emily and I did a little home economics today.  She's been showing interest (well, begging) to learn more about cooking.  So she made pancakes for lunch and helped prepare dinner.

In the meantime, Katie was feeling a bit left out and came to me with a folded piece of paper, handing it to me with a long face.  As I unfolded the paper, she stepped back with her head down.  She had drawn a picture of herself with tears steaming down her face and just above it, she wrote her very first complete sentence (independently): "Katie is sad."  Awe!  I was so excited about the sentence, thinking that she's finally getting it!  But at the same time, I felt sorry for her being so sad.

After comforting and praising her, she realized her own progress in writing, and the sadness dissipated.  And knowing that her big sister was proud of her made Katie feel even better.  What a special moment.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

Just like previous weeks, we had some ups and downs, but for the most part, it was a productive school week.  The highlight of the week is the progress in reading by both kids.  On Tuesday, I seriously doubted my ability to teach Katie to read.  God knew exactly what I needed and provided it on Wednesday.  Both children were reasonably cooperative, attentive, and reading on their own!!!  Katie was grabbing one book after another, and Emily found a book that is enjoyable for her and doesn't even need us to remind her to spend time reading.  She's just been doing it.  That thrills me to pieces!  And to celebrate, I took them to the zoo on Thursday!

A highlight was getting to pet a 2-year-old alligator!  Alligators grow very slowly, so this little guy is only 18 inches long at age 2.  Although he seemed well behaved, I wouldn't want to take him home!

He is kinda cute...

...and he walks with a leash!

No trip to the zoo is complete without a visit to the gift shop.  So this was our last stop for the day.
It was a great day to visit the zoo with perfect weather.  I'm so glad we took the time to go.

My Father's World - Creation to the Greeks
Emily and I are both enjoying ancient history, learning about the Great Flood, Babylon & how different languages came into existence, and the Ice Age.  Learning about the architecture, pictographs and cuneiform writing, and civilization in that day is fascinating.  So far, we've enjoyed the activities, although we haven't celebrated any of the Jewish feasts yet.  But we finally got our timeline up!

My Father's World - First Grade
Katie isn't as crazy about this as she was in the beginning.  I don't think it's the curriculum.  She just gets frustrated with phonics.  But she loves the book she's making with it and does very well reading & writing the sentences and drawing pictures that appropriately depict the writing.  She has such a strong and vivid imagination!

RightStart Math
This is going very well with both the kids.  We quickly breezed through some of Katie's lessons because they were too easy for her.  Emily is sailing through hers as well.  I'm proud of both of them and am ever so grateful for effortlessly finding this program.  *A note to those just starting RightStart, or considering it: it is different than many math programs and takes some time to adjust.  But once you are through the adjustment period, it's so worth it!  Se keep plugging away!

Spectrum Spelling
Katie is already on page 52!  She loves her grade 1 book!  Emily is struggling a bit with hers this year.  But we're persevering.  There seems to be a big jump from grade 3 to 4.

On the home front, we are decluttering and reorganizing.  Hubs took off work on Friday so that he and his dad could finish the drywall in the garage and clean it out.  It looks much better and is much more functional.  My father-in-law has really great organizational ideas and was very helpful.

I've been working on the basement, trying to clean out the old toys and unnecessary things that have accumulated down there.  I really want to toss the old couch that's down there but I have nothing to replace it with.  Any inexpensive ideas out there?  We live near an Ikea but I'm not looking to spend much, if anything.  Hum...I'll have to think about this. :)

I'm curious.  Does anyone else have any household projects in the works?  And how was your school week?