Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Growing Up

Often the littles grow up by such small increments that it is hard to see the changes, until you take the time to look back. But there are days that they do something for the very first time.

Yesterday was one of those days for Miss Gabriella. I have been encouraging her to try to buckle her seat belt since she switched to a booster seat awhile back. When we get groceries, I ask her to try until I get the groceries loaded, and then I always go and buckle it for her. Yesterday, she got it for the very first time! That means I should only be buckling one extra seat as soon as she gets it down regularly.

Then when we were out back, my big girl figured out how to pump her legs to swing without anyone pushing her.

Reading to Cinderella and Belle

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thinking Out Loud

It's a time of year where we are starting to look forward to the finishing of the school year. Spring Break is around the corner, next week we reach the 75% point of our school year, and the sun is finding us outside more often. I am starting to look out for next year's curriculum. Most of what we've done has been working. One of my concerns is that it suddenly dawned on me, my habit of making up our grammar sheets to go with whatever Kate has struggled with and teaching some lessons as we are ready for them, while it has worked great, is not going to continue working when we have two more children ready for school too. So, I'm going to be exploring a more structured, pre-planned approach for grammar.

This Year...
So far:
Math: finished Singapore 1A & 1B
Science: animal unit completed, currently in anatomy unit
Social Studies: Story of the World (Vol. 1) chapters 1-31
Reading: 2nd McGuffey Reader, Little Women (aloud), lots and lots of library books
Grammar: parts of speech, month abbreviations, titles, address, punctuation
Writing/Handwriting: Writing with Ease weeks 1-27
Geography: Continents and Oceans

To go:
Math: begin Singapore 2A and finish memorizing addition facts (less than 10 to go!)
Science: finish anatomy, botany
Social Studies: complete chapters 32-42
Reading: beginning of 3rd reader
Grammar: eh, I take it as it comes
Writing/Handwriting: Write with Ease weeks 28-35
Geography: countries of North America (maybe South America too)

Next Year...
Math: Continue with Singapore. Memorize subtraction facts.
Science: geology, astronomy
Social Studies: Story of the World-Vol. 2 (Middle Ages)
Reading: 3rd McGuffey Reader
Grammar: go back to English for the Thoughtful Child, or Grammar Practice A, or Rod & Staff (decisions, decisions)
Writing/Handwriting: Writing With Ease, year 2
Geography: states, countries of Europe

For next year, I also want her to spend more time with the piano/keyboard and listening to more Latin in preparation for starting Latin in 3rd grade.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

For many people, Catholic and Protestants alike, today marks the beginning of the Lenten season. A time for self denial and preparation for Passover, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday, leading up to Easter.

Kate knows that often people choose to give up something during Lent. One day while at the grocery store she smiles an evil grin and tells me, "I know what I'm giving up for Lent," as we stand in the middle of an aisle.

"Really?" I ask.

"Yep. I'm giving up school."

So her first attempt was vetoed.

Her next, while less self serving was as untenable as the first... "I'm not going to talk during Lent." While a vow of silence can certainly serve a purpose, I think at 6 she needs to be able to tell me things. Things like, "Mama Nate climbed on top of..." well whatever he climbed onto at that moment.

Last night she announced, "I'm giving up screaming for Lent."

I think this will be challenging for her so I asked, "What will you do when you forget what you gave up for Lent?" Trying to make her think about how she would repent for breaking her vow and deciding if she thought she could really pull it off.

"I guess I'd say, 'Hey Mama, what did I give up for Lent?'"

"No honey, I meant, what if you forget you gave up screaming and you did scream?"

"Hmmm. I guess I would just have to not scream anymore after that.

So, it *should* be quiet here, at least on the Katie front until Easter... Best wishes in any changes you are making for Lent as well!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Change of Plans

School has been feeling stale for Kate lately. She's not been resting well and she's been reticent about doing her work. I decided to try to start something new on Friday. I started by having Kate (and the other littles) run before we started spelling.

There was a change. Instead of complaining that the work was too hard, she complained that she was too tired for the work. Ugh. So, we packed it in. I told her she'd have to make it up on Saturday. Instead of resting, she and her sibs trashed the family room. So once they cleaned up that mess, she had to sweep the floors, scrub them, and empty the little trash cans in the bathrooms. She thought that this was great fun...of course. And while my floors didn't really get clean, I didn't have to empty those trash cans. And we did get the school work done on Saturday.

Justin also decided that Friday was a good day to try something new. He called before the littles were up and said his car was broken. I woke the munchkins, loaded them up, took a pair of kitchen sheers and headed off to find my husband, who thankfully hadn't gotten too far. He was able to clip the shredded portion of his serpentine belt and nurse it home with me following him. He took the van to work and we made plans to fix it on Saturday. He rented the tool to make it easy and bought the new belt. Unfortunately the new belt was walking off, the same way as the old... Boo. The car has served us well. We've had it since 2002 or 3 and it is several years older than that. It leaks oil, the A/C can't hold Freon, and the blower has had to be replaced twice. It looks as though the car has come to the end of it's usable life, since the repair may be somewhat costly and since it is so old and likely to break again in another fun and exciting way.

We are lucky that Justin's parents do have a spare car to lend us, but it will be awhile before they can get it here. So, if you need me this week...I'll be here!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Funnies

snow ma'am = snow man

vitamin pillow = vitamin pill

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I picked up a pedometer. I figured I wasn't taking nearly the recommended 10,000 steps a day, so I'd see where I was and try to get up to that goal.

I was wrong. So far I've worn it for 5 full days. I didn't reach my 10,000 steps on Saturday (I didn't wear it on Sunday because of church.). I guess that's not a huge surprise, since I had someone to split all those trips to change diapers, check on children, and other things that are done upstairs. Oh, and I slept in...you know, until seven.

Honestly, I was surprised by how much walking my daily life with the munchkin's affords me. I have passed 10,000 steps every week day so far. I do run an elliptical most days too, so that adds several steps to my total. I actually fit the 'active' range. Could someone tell that to my waistline, please?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

The gals have gymnastics tonight, so we had our special dinner last night--candles, a cake with two small heart cakes on top, a table cloth I picked up on clearance after last Valentine's Day at Target, and pizza...they are kids!

We also got several cards from family and a package of goodies from my parents. The kids were very disappointed by the candy.

Can't you tell? So sad they had to eat sugar...

We'll be delivering cookies to our librarians today. I hope you have a great Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Inside Kate's Mind...

Kate was describing Justin's lineage to her siblings during lunch the other day: "Daddy is one-quarter Scott. That means he has 25 Scottsmen in him. He's 25 cents!!!"

Gabby shouts, "I'm one penny Irish!"

* * * * *

Kate: When I was a baby did you sing to me?

Me: Of course.

Kate: Before you ever cut my hair?

Me: Yes.

Kate: Before we even left the hospital?

Me: Yes.

Kate: Did my hair glow?

Me: No.

Kate: Then I guess I'm not Rapunzel with magic. Hmph.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing

I got the 'other' quilt pieced last week.

Now I just have to find the time to quilt it. I tried sewing after the kids went to bed the other night, but they didn't sleep until after I quit. Once we get through the busy-ness of the first part of the week hopefully I can work it in between schooling and all.

As for my Double Wedding Ring quilt...it's going slowly. I can work on it at times that I can't get to my sewing machine, so it has seen some progress despite my new project.

Here's the box where I keep my pieces that are all stitched and waiting for the next step.

I have over 200 of the pink pieces joined to the blue pieces, so hopefully the next week will see that finished. Then I get to sew my pink/blues to my yellow/greens.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

According to Gabby...

She's being coin (coy).

Hang up shirts (tank tops) are okay attire for winter.