Monday, January 31, 2011

Tower of Babel

Katie did a great job with her illustration.  If you look closely, she put horizontal lines in front of the men's mouths to show them speaking in confusion!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

Better late than never!  We had a pretty good week.  Katie's reading skills are picking up and she's catching on more every day.  Emily continues to complain about her writing assignments.  Math is going great.  My Father's World studies are awesome!  We have the option to combine the kids' Bible & science lessons, but there's something in me that hasn't managed to do that.  It's all such great stuff!  If I combined them, I'd sure save myself a bunch of time.

Friday was my birthday.  It was a great day!  Hubs bought me a NookColor with a case, which is a great gift, and I love it, but...I'm actually thinking about returning it.  Why?  I'm just not sure I'll use it enough to justify the cost.  And, I've been wanting a better camera bag that will hold my DSLR with all its accessories (zoom lens, flash unit, battery charger, etc.).  So, I have a couple weeks to decide.  We'll see.

Katie played a great basketball game against her cousins' team this morning.  They don't keep score at this age, so I'm not sure who "won" but we consider them all winners!  Emily has a gymnastics meet tomorrow, which means we'll miss church. :(  I'm not happy about that, but there's only two meets a year that fall on Sunday.  I'll listen to the sermon online this week.

I started a new Bible study this week: Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore.  I'm SO EXCITED about it!  It's actually an older study by Beth, but I've never done it and I'm thrilled to be studying God's Word with other ladies.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Friday, January 28, 2011


Seems like such a waste!  This is the most recent stack of paper hubs brought home from work.  It's all used on one side and was going in the trash.  He brings it home for the girls to draw on.  At least we can use it!

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Look What I Made!

This is a drawsteing bag with cute little owls on one side & peace signs on the other.  Emily is using it for her bar grips in gymnastics and wants a matching one for her squinkies!  And, of course, Katie now wants one too.  I'm thrilled!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Copy Work Idea

We use a cheap picture easel to hold books for copy work.  It saves space on the desk & is easy to see.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up: Project Week

We got back in the swing of things.  Monday was an exciting day.  We had most of our school work done when we found out that we won a 40" flat screen Sony TV!  Seriously!!!  Totally free!  A local furniture had drawings so Jason put his name in and won one!  Whoo hooooooo!!!!

More excitement came on Tuesday morning.  Only it was a different type of excitement.  During school, I heard a strange noise in the back of the house.  I went to investigate but didn't see anything.  Then I heard it again.  It was the gutter pulling away from the corner of the house.  Uh oh.  Thankfully, a nice Christian friend of my dad was able to come out to temporarily fix it before more snow hit this week.  He refused to take any money and said he would come back out next week to do a more permanent fix, at no charge!  What a blessing.  School was mostly done by the time he got here and after he left, we did our science experiment, the highlight of the day!

We worked on some elements of our Tabernacle model on Wednesday and while Emily was at gymnastics, I went to a studio cycling class.  Fifty minutes of that was tough.  I hadn't done it for months, until I started up last week in a beginner class.  I seriously thought I could handle the hour long class this week, but I felt like I was going to puke and then pass out!  I was relieved to have to leave 10 minutes early to get Emily from gymnastics!

Emily looked too cute using her fake glasses (shhh, don't tell her I told you they're fake) to read, so I had to snap a picture!
It snowed all day Thursday!  It was beautiful.  We didn't go anywhere.  We got a good portion of our schooling done and took the rest of the day off to focus on the house and have a little fun.

The majority of school on Friday was spent on the Tabernacle.  What a project!  I'm glad we did it, but it was much more time-consuming than I expected.  We used materials we already had around the house so it's not exactly as described in the Bible, but it's our model and helps us to understand its elements better.

The first curtain is supposed to be blue, purple, and scarlet with cheribum angels on it. Right! Well, ours was blue & white checked with red hearts. So, we colored the white squares purple with a marker and pretend that the red hearts are the angels. Done! We used burlap for the second curtain, a red textured fabric for the third, and we cut up an old pair of worn out pants for the fourth and final curtain.  You can see more details in the photo below...

I think I was more into the construction of it than the kids though, especially Katie.  She wasn't into it at all and I didn't force her.  She had some fun of her own with clay...
Very creative, don't ya think?

And this is what I did today...
Remember the zebra pillow I made for Katie's room?  I used most of the remaining fabric to re-cover the seat of her chair.  It turned out great and she LOVES it!  Big Sis wants her chair re-covered...again!

How was your week?

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Science Experiment

When it comes to science experiments, I'm challenged.  About half of our experiments work and the other half don't.  I don't know why, they just don't.  And I often find that we don't have all the elements needed.  But, I love the simple experiments that take very little time and still teach a good lesson.

So... what might we have done with these???....

And what might one do with a ball of clay???.....

Why, make a volcano, of course!
 We did the best we could with what we had.  (I know it's a bit tall & skinny!)...
Katie added the baking soda...
And after we added vinegar... we had an eruption!  Yay!!!
A successfull experiment!  It flowed perfectly.  We enjoyed it so much, we did it several times!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Resolutions or Goals?

It's still January, right?  I'm not one to make "New Year Resolutions" but, the beginning of a new year does spark momentum.  All my rubber stamps have been collecting dust in a room set aside in our basement just for crafts.  Those, along with my sewing machine and boxes of fabric, ribbon, clay, and other crafty items.  Could this be the year that I can carve out some guilt-free time for some Mom creativity?  Some of the stuff gets occassional use throughout the year; just enough for me to feel like it's not a total waste. But I'd like to refill the ink in an inkpad because I've used it so much, not because it just dried out!  And I'd like to enjoy creations from the fabric I've collected rather than admiring them neatly folded in a clear box.

Over the past year or two, household projects have involved declutering/purging and organizing.  I've come to realize that this is a long process and it's time to start using the things I've organized.  My sister-in-law and I made a couple of reusable shopping bags during her visit here for Christmas.  What a great way to use left-over fabric!  And they are "sew" easy to make!  I'd also like to make some quilted handbags, doll clothes, quilts, and pillow cases.  Any other suggestions?

I hope that all this imagining is not just a dream.  These are things I'm going to try harder to make time for in the coming year.  And I'm hoping to let go of any impatience I might be tempted to nurture so that I will involve our children in some of my creative attempts.  They will probably have better ideas than me anyway!  But how would I ever know if I don't invite them to join me?

There are other things I'm setting out to accomplish this year as well.  More time with God, exercise, following a realistic & healthy diet, inviting friends over more often, just to name a few.

How about you?  I'd love to hear any personal goals you have for 2011!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Unusual Week!

We had somewhat of an unusual week with little to show for it.

On Monday, we registered for co-op, which was a stressful decision for me.  One child loves it and the other could take it or leave it.  Illnesses run rampant this time of year, the asthma often gets worse, and all the running for gymnastics and basketball are enough to keep anyone busy!  So why did I register?  I'm still asking myself that very question.  Hummmm.  Well, the classes seem good.  Katie would finish out ballet and Emily would take a professionally taught art class.  But, is that really enough reason?  I'm still not sure.  My intention was to look into classes at our local art center but I just haven't had a chance to yet.

My husband was supposed to leave Tuesday morning for a short business trip but due to the snow, the trip was pushed back a day.  Also due to the snow, our motivation dwindled.  It was truly a snow day.  The kids played while I cleaned.  The house was in desperate need of a pick-up, the wood floors didn't just need swept, they needed a good cleaning!  And the dishes were overflowing the sink.  So, it wasn't a bad day.  It was just not a part of our plan.

Hubs left late Wednesday morning for his business trip.  I highly respect those who are able to accomplish school when their spouse is home!  Most of the time, we cannot do it.  We did what we could in the afternoon, which was enough to help me feel that the day wasn't a total loss. :)  Instead of working from our Language Lesson book, Emily used a Writing Starter book.  Her assignment was to "write a news story... about a weed... who was scared of everything."  After thinking (and laughing) about it, she pulled out a display board with a window cut out of it, and acted out her story.  I just happened to have my phone right there and captured the whole thing on video!  It was hilarious and really livened up our day!  However, after watching the video several times, I noticed some clutter that needed to be eliminated in the background.  And that's what I did later that evening.

Our first task on Thursday morning went fine.  But copy work caused a flood of emotions from Emily which began to influence Katie.  We stopped to pray.  Amazing things happen when you pray!  Our day immediately took a turn for the better.  Emily apologized over and over and was very sweet the rest of the day.  In the evening, Emily and I walked together during Katie's basketball practice and then we went shopping.  When we came home, all Katie wanted to do was read!  And that's what we did.  This is so exciting for me!  I've got to start taking pictures of these moments!  We had a "sleep over" in my bed since hubs still wasn't home and we stayed up later than we should have.  But, it was a fun evening (except for the burnt popcorn)! :)

Emily and I did a lot of Bible reading on Friday.  She usually just wants to listen, but this time, she wanted to read.  It was wonderful!  We're just now getting to the Tabernacle in our curriculum and should have spent this week building a model of it.  I'm hoping to spend some time on it this weekend so we can get back on track.  This is one project I don't want to skip.  That's about all we did on Friday since hubs got back from his trip early.

Borrowing words from another blogger, it wasn't a bad week.  It was just different and we veered off course.  We'll be back in the groove next week (I hope).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on attending a co-op.  I'd also like to hear about your week!  I hope it was a great one!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up: Are these my children?

It was Thursday evening.  The house was peacefully quiet.  Unusually quiet.  Yes, the children were home.  But where were they?  What were they doing?  Much to my delight, both of them were reading independently!  This is very exciting for me because Emily is a reluctant reader and Katie is an emergent reader.  I hope this is a sign of good things to come!

Another delightful moment came up in our dinner conversation when Emily said that she's actually glad that we're back in school now.  She said that she was getting bored and is glad to have something to do.  Huh.  Who would have thought???

Katie has been asking for extra school work - "more math and more reading," she says!  She told me today that she thinks she should be reading my teacher manuel!  Haha, you gotta love her enthusiasm!  And just when I thought I could rest for a little while that afternoon, she approached me with a request for more math.  Is this really my child?  Since she so eagerly asked, I obliged and honored her request.  Why not?

This week, Katie awarded me for being a great teacher, I received many "I Love You" drawings from Emily, and enjoyed many heartfelt hugs from both of them.  What more could a home schooling mom ask for?  It's been a delightful week!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sewing Project

I've been meaning to make this for a while and got the materials for it a couple weeks before Christmas.  What better day than on January 1 to start...and finish...the project!

This is the quilt (and pillows behind the zebra striped pillow) that my mother-in-law made Katie for Christmas.  I'm thinking that the walls may need a new color. :)