Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a new year

Well, we started school on Monday, sort of a slow start to the year with math, reading, handwriting and history.  Classical Conversations starts tomorrow, so things will pick up from here.  I have to confess, I am having a really hard time jumping back into the routine of school this year.  I keep trying to tell myself that it is because I am a "veteran" (this is our 5th year), and I don't really need to spend all that time prepping and planning that I have not gotten my act together, but the reality is, I just don't feel like it.  Partly because I am tired of hearing about how awful life is for a certain (to remain unnamed) child to have to do a few hours of school work each day, and the "I can't do it"s from another.  And partly because of my own stubborn/selfishness.  I even looked up tuition costs for the nearest Christian school today... not that it is even remotely possible that we would send our kids there.  Last year CC was my lifeblood as far as keeping my motivated and having a long term vision for our homeschooling, so I am sure that getting back into it will give me the boost I need, academically speaking, and taking my eyes off myself and putting them back on God will give my heart what it needs to get this school year off on the right foot.

Enough of my pity party, lets get on to this years lineup!

Our core curriculum:
*Classical Conversations Foundations program for Regan, Micah, Max and Tallulah
*Classical Conversations Essentials program for Regan

*Saxon 1: Tallulah
*Saxon 2: Max
*Saxon 3: Micah
*Saxon 5/4 with Dive DVDs: Regan (Has anyone used the DIVE dvd's?  If so, what to you think of them- I am hoping that it helps her to be a bit more independent in math this year.)

*I am hoping to do Sonlights American History reading curriculum (D + E) for Regan and Micah to compliment what we are studying in CC, but so far have not been able to order the books yet.
*Bob Books and other easy readers from the library for Max and Tallulah

Grammar and writing:
Since Regan will be doing Essentials  and will be using the Institute for Excellence in Writing I am hoping to adapt what she is learning and use it with the other kids too.
I may still do First Language Lessons 1 with Max and Lu, just because we enjoyed it so much the first time around.
I also have a book call The Sentence Family that I may use as well to introduce/reinforce the parts of speech.

We are using Beautiful Feet Books' Early American History (Elementary) program to supplement what we learn at CC.   We started this week and I am really liking it.  The kids give it mixed reviews (the older ones, who complain about everything, are not crazy about it).  They really loved Story of the World last year, which we will eventually come back to, but I though this would be fun for the younger ones.

I really dropped the ball on this one last year, so we've gone back to our original handwriting curriculum this year, Handwriting Without Tears.  K for Tallulah, 1st for Max, Cursive for Micah.  Regan is using an A Reason for Handwriting book that we already had and working on cursive as well.

We are still hoping to work our way through the first level of French (Rosetta Stone) this year.  I am almost done with level one, but the kids still have a ways to go.
I've signed the three older kids up for a Homeschool PE class at the Y that meets twice a week and Tallulah will be taking a ballet class as the Y as well.

That petty much sums it up, I think!  Here is to another great year of homeschooling :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

and so it begins

We started school today and I just realized that I never did my beginning of the year "this is what we are doing this school year" post. I could pull it together today, but I started reading The Hunger Games yesterday and it has been all I can do to not tell the kids to take the morning off so I can go read! I forced my self to put the book down at 11pm last night, halfway through and in the middle of "the games" and even then it took me awhile to fall asleep wondering what would happen to Katniss next but knowing I needed my sleep. So, with school finished for the day (we are starting off light this week since CC does not start until Thursday) and lunch in the oven I will be disappearing this afternoon back into the book. I'll be back with that school year post as soon as I finish :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I took this picture Friday night, before the storm, as we were all wondering what the next two days would bring.

The rain and wind began sometime in the early morning hours on Saturday.

We decided to take advantage of the fact that we still had power when we woke and the kids made us a pancake breakfast.

We filled the bathtub with water, just in case.

I decided to sew up as many of the the treat bags for Max and Regan's birthday party as I could. The power flickered a few times before lunch, but stayed on throughout the day, so I actually go them all done.

In the afternoon the winds really picked up. It is hard to capture in a still shot, but this is out our back windows. By bed time the worst of the storm had passed. It was still very windy, and the power did threaten to go out one more time around 9:30pm, but was back within a minute.

And this is how things looked at our house this morning...

A small pile of the shingles blown off our house and shed.

Broken siding from the front of the house.

The pile of limbs from our yard.
The kids were disappointed that we did not lose power, but we are glad to be safe and dry with minimal damage. Thank you all so much for your kind comments and prayers!

Friday, August 26, 2011

getting ready for the storm

With reports of Hurricane Irene heading straight for our area we have spent the last few days preparing to ride out the storm and the potential aftermath.
I am glad that I headed out earlier in the week to start gathering supplies, as they are scarce now.

I have filled every container I could find in the house with water and put them in the deep freeze in hopes that we can keep our food cold in the event that we have prolonged power outages.

I have been baking up a storm- cookies, bread, muffins...

We've somehow managed to get all of the bikes, toys, chairs etc. from our back yard into our shed and the kids have been helping get the house clean and the laundry washed before the storm begins.

I feel as ready I we can be and now we just wait and pray. I am always up for an adventure and am actually a little bit excited, which I hope helps to keep the kids from becoming afraid. I think tomorrow night we will be having a big slumber party in the hallway, all 7 of us!

Don't know when I will be back here, but I will try and remember to take pictures throughout the weekend. Praying you are all safe this weekend!

the little white schoolhouse model basin

Growing up in Maryland I had friends who lived out near the David Taylor Research Center in Potomac. It was a place where the Navy tested boats (and I guess they still do? It had a different name now). Anyway, the kids wanted to make a boat the other day. They chose all the supplies and came up with a plan, I helped a wee bit with actually putting together of the sail, but they did most of the work and planning.

That night when dad got home from work they took it into the bathroom to test it out- they even set up the fan to simulate wind! They were pretty excited and proud when it actually worked!

Here we all are crammed into the teeny bathroom watching the boat in action!
This is just one of the reasons why I love homeschooling my kids :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

new beds

One of my husband's co-workers gave us a set of bunk beds that his girls were no longer using. Regan had been wanting a desk in here room and this bunk bed set just happened to have a built in dresser and desk! We spent the day on Saturday moving furniture from room to room and putting together the new beds.
Everybody helped.

Okay, I know this picture is random, but I just had to include it, I guess this is her "tough girl" look :)

There's not much room for anything else in the room, but she had her choice of beds to sleep on... that is until Tallulah moves in...
shh, don't tell Regan ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

party invites

Regan and Max both have birthday's coming up next month and we are planning a carnival themed party. I am having lots of fun gathering supplies and making plans. I will share more as the party gets closer, but for now I though I would share the invitations.
This is actually from a sketch that I have had in my sketchbook for awhile, and if I can get my act together you will see it again, in another form.
Drawing isn't really my strong suit, but I think these turned out pretty cute, and the kids like them, which is what really matters :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last week Regan decided she wanted to grow her bangs out, so I went on a headband making frenzy. I used this pattern (child's size) sort-of, but adapted it a bit and put them together totally different. Start to finish they took about 15 minutes (that's digging through my scraps, cutting, sewing, turning, pressing, adding elastic and top stitching).

These are all the ones that I could find for the picture, but there are at least 2 more floating around somewhere :)
Of course after all that sewing now she's threatening to cut her bangs again! Go figure :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

new lampshades

I had lots of fun stitching these little flowers together last weekend for my new lamp shades. They turned out pretty cute, huh? (I found the tutorial here.)

I was so excited to put them to use, only to have my excitement squelched when I realized that these standard lampshades don't fit my Ikea lamps! I figured out a "make do" situation, but I am going to have to buy new lamps for the shades as they are not very stable the way they are now. In the end, I think the shades are a bit too small for the lamps anyway, but still cute :)

Here is a close up of one...

and the other.

I do really love these flowers!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Update: I fixed the link to Meg's page, I guess I forgot to check the link before I hit publish! Sorry!

Before I had even finished reading Meg's post I was already gathering supplies to make our own crayon canvas. It was really easy and a super fast project (see Meg's blog for the details of "how to"). We all love how it turned out and now I am just trying to decide on the best place to hang it :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a rock star in the making

Last night Max put on a concert for us. It was the best concert I've even been to. He is quite a little star and definitely knows how to play the audience and is pretty good at improv song writing too.
Don't you love the get up?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

have I shared this with you before?

Sometime last summer Mellisa had a post about her tumblr and how to set up your computer with a "share on tumblr" button for your bookmark bar (I can't for the life of me remember how to do it, but it makes it super easy to add links to your tumbler site). Anywho, I know pintrest is all the rage right now, but Tumblr has been working fine for me for the past year. It is where I keep all those "I want to make that someday" things I see online. So, I though it would be fun to share all the links from the past year of "tumblr-ing". Maybe you will be inspired by something in there.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


okay, so I really wanted to add that ruffle from the beginning, but knew it would definitely make it too long for Adelaide. So, since it was too big anyway I went for it, and when Tallulah saw it she said "Can you make one for me?" She was pretty pleased when I told her it was for her and she is wearing it as I type, (underneath the dress she was already wearing today).

a skirt for addie?

I finish the tea towel skirt for Adelaide this morning. It turned out pretty cute...

but maybe a little big for Addie! Speaking of my baby girl, getting her to stand still so I could take a decent picture?
I also could not get that paci out of her mouth! Oh well, she is only 19 months old :)
I am debating between letting out the waste and adding a colorful ruffle on the bottom and giving it to Tallulah or just holding on to it til next summer when Adelaide is a bit taller.


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