Monday, April 30, 2012

A Look Back at April

Another month has come and gone.  Where does the time go? 

April was our last month of school for the 2011/2012 year.  The kids had a great year of learning and continue to learn new things everyday.

We did some work on our house building project...put sub-flooring down in the kids bedrooms, kitchen, and master bedroom.  The floors look much better and the sound is bit muffled, which is very good.

Work is, well, work.  I honestly don't like working outside of the home and would love to be able to be a SAHM again.  Scott would also like to see the same thing and is hoping that a full-time job opens up for him.  He is a great father, but is anxious to get back in the working field.  It has been tough, but we are doing the best we can. 

April has been good to our family and we are looking forward to what May will bring.

Friday, April 27, 2012

J is for...

Juggling.   As in Juggling the many different titles I have during the days, weeks and months of the year.  I am a wife, mom, friend, sister, daughter, teacher, secretary, chauffeur, doctor, baker, cook, and I also work outside of the home 40 hours a week. 

There are times I can keep everything flowing in the air and catching each title as it lands into my hands.  There are also times when I drop a title and then the flow begins to waiver and I become cranky and frustrated.

Juggling is a balancing act of keeping everything into perspective and it is something I work on every single day.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Final Wrap-up of 2011 - 2012 School Year

When we started our 2011/2012 school year, I posted on my sidebar the curriculum that the kids would be using.  Good intentions were made, but during the 2nd half of the year, the math curriculum changed, the grammar curriculum changed and we didn't even read Story of the World vol 2.  Well, I take that back, I started reading vol 2, but only read the first 5 chapters. 

The school year ended up being a more relaxed year.  I don't want to say 'unschooling' at this point in time because I did have Nick and Sam work on copy work, math and reading Monday thru Friday.  The rest of the time they focused on their interests. 

Nick did a lot of drawing and making stories, played with legos. played outside, read books and did daily computer time.
Sam read a lot of books, played with her stuffies (stuffed animals), helped in the kitchen, played store, and played outside.  She also had computer time each day too.

There were times when I thought the kids were not doing enough, but listening to them and watching them interact with adults, I realized that they were learning all the time. 

We will be having their year-end review within the next month or so and after that a new year will begin in June. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Magic Tree House Books

Samantha has been reading the Magic Tree House Books by Mary Pope Osborne.  In fact, Sam has been reading them in order and just finished book #20 Dingoes at Dinnertime.  Sam enjoys these books so much, that she wrote a letter to Mary Pope Osborne to ask her to write about Jack and Annie (the main characters in the books) to visit the Britannic and Olympic ships and to also say she loves the books!

It is a great feeling when your children love to read and then takes that enjoyment one step further to write a letter to their favorite author.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Not by Might by Al Lacy

"Not By Might" by Al Lacy is a christian based novel set in the Old West.  It is about faith and forgiveness in an unsettled time. 

*Tears fill the eyes of Nurse Natalie Fallon when she discovers old flame Rex Rawlins in the hospital emergency room, paralyzed from the waist down. They find they're still in love - but Rex refuses to let Natalie marry a man who can't walk. Will a miracle grant them a life together?
Meanwhile, Natalie's friend and fellow nurse - Breanna Baylor Brockman - is terror-stricken when she learns that her husband, John Brockman, is riding into a trap with an impostor who plans to kill him. Can Breanna warn John before it's too late?

I enjoyed the story lines between Natalie and Rex as well as Breanna and John.  The conversations that Breanna and John had in regards to scriptures was very enlightening and refreshing.

The only negative I have was that I read this in e-book format.  I am a 'hold-the-book-in-my-hand' type reader.

I highly recommend this book. 

(I received this e-book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

H is for...

I first heard of Stephanie Nielson sometime after she survived an airplane crash.  She, as well as her husband Christian and their friend Doug, were in an airplane that crashed in 2008.  This book, a memoir, is about Stephanie's life before the crash, after the crash and the recovery that she has endured and is still enduring everyday.
I read 'Heaven is Here' in one day.  I cried with her, I laughed with her, and I am humbled at her positive outlook of everyday struggles and accomplishments in her life.  Stephanie is an amazing woman who loves God, her family, and life.  A few days ago, she gave birth to her fifth child...a little girl.    Congratulations to Stephanie, Christian and their beautiful family.

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(I purchased Heaven is Here for my own personal library and the opinions I expressed were not asked of me from Stephanie Nielson)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gratitude To The Unknown Instructors

What they undertook to do
They brought to pass;
All things hang like a drop of dew
Upon a blade of grass.

~ William Butler Yeats

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Land of Story-Books

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Evening Star

'Twas noontide of summer,
And mid-time of night;
And stars, in their orbits,
Shone pale, thro' the light
Of the brighter, cold moon,
'Mid planets her slaves,
Herself in the Heavens,
Her beam on the waves.
I gazed awhile
On her cold smile;
Too cold- too cold for me-
There pass'd, as a shroud,
A fleecy cloud,
And I turned away to thee,
Proud Evening Star,
In thy glory afar,
And dearer thy beam shall be;
For joy to my heart
Is the proud part
Thou bearest in Heaven at night,
And more I admire
Thy distant fire,
Than that colder, lowly light.

~ Edgar Allen Poe

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wrap-up Week 36+

I haven't recorded the last few weeks of lessons so I thought I had better do some catching up.  We are almost finished with our 2011-2012 year.  The next few weeks, the kids will be finishing up their copywork, a unit study that we started last week and of course...their daily reading.

MATH:  Today we finished Life of Fred - Dogs.  I will definitely order the next Life of Fred book and will probably work with Fred during our 'summer' break.  Samantha has, on her own, gone back to her Horizon Grade 1 Book 2 math workbook and is doing rather well.  She is understanding concepts that she had difficult time with before Christmas.  At that time, I decided to put Horizons on the back burner and turn to Fred.  A wise choice for both Nickolas and Samantha.

COPY WORK:  Nick and Sam are working at their own pace.  I stopped assigning page numbers and let them have at it.  They are responsible for working in the workbook daily and they are improving daily as well.

READING:  Awesome is all I have to say.  Both Nick and Sam are meeting their monthly goals of reading chapter books.  They read in the morning, noon and night...or at least Sam does.  She is my book worm and enjoys to read.  Nick likes to read about real people like: Amelia Earhart, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Dr. Seuss, etc.

VOCABULARY CARTOONS:  Nick does about 5 words a day or more.  Sam averages 2 maybe 3 a day.  Again, they are working at their own pace and enjoy learning new words.

DELIGHT DIRECTED:  Nick has been reading up about the Titanic and Sam has been designing clothes for her stuffies (stuffed animals)

The weather has been pretty nice the last few weeks and the kids have been enjoying the outdoors.  I am glad for this, because in a couple of weeks it will be black fly season and no one wants to be outside with these little, annoying creatures.

Le Jardin

The lily's withered chalice falls
Around its rod of dusty gold,
And from the beech-trees on the wold
The last wood-pigeon coos and calls.

The gaudy leonine sunflower
Hangs black and barren on its stalk,
And down the windy garden walk
The dead leaves scatter, - hour by hour.

Pale privet-petals white as milk
Are blown into a snowy mass:
The roses lie upon the grass
Like little shreds of crimson silk.

~ Oscar Wilde

Thursday, April 5, 2012

G is for...

Last September our family took a 4 day trip to Maine. While we were there, we visited a farm that had a corn maze and GOATS.  These were the cutest and friendliest GOATS that I have ever encountered.  As you can see, my daughter also enjoyed feeding the GOATS.

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A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, gives us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happing in the darting bird
Tha suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid-air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reversed for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that wee fulfill.

~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Respect is a lesson that everyone should learn
Respect must be given before an expected return
Respect is something that’s given for free
Respect is about us and never about me
Respect is the basis on which relationships are founded
Respect is the anchor that keeps a person well grounded
Respect builds the character and defines who we are
Respect sets the standard and raises the bar
Respect is magnanimous and helps to fulfil
Respect is the partner that sits with good will
Respect is like honey so sweet it’s perceived
Respect a taste to savour for when it’s received 

~ Don Wilson

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Salute To Spring...Spring Time the Best Time

Spring in my step
Spring in the air
Lingering everywhere.

Spring fever to follow,
But I don't care,
Spring, for new journeys,
I'll meet you there!

By the garden gate,
You silly thing,
It's an invitation to frolic
So let's begin to sing.
It's Spring! 

~ Dorothy (Alves) Holmes

Monday, April 2, 2012