Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Some days, this is how I feel!

This picture cracks me up, I just had to do something with it! But seriously, he probably learned this look from me!!! Some days....I really do feel like this. Could be my perfectionist tendencies, my staying up blogging too late habit :), or just homeschooling a houseful of young children, including a very strong willed 2 year old who was sick most of the week! Can anyone relate?

Mexico Weeks

In school, we are plugging along, but had to take a break this week. We have had back-to-back grandma visits. The kids would rather hang out with grandma than do english :) But, we did manage to finish up most of our Mexico work last week and we are just doing a light week this week, waiting to start in Canada next week. Here is our attempt at sand painting.

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I think I got a little grumpy cleaning up the mess from this project!

Our first pinata completely fell apart:

so we did real paper-mache on our second attempt and it worked much better! We are planning on breaking it Friday night during our Fiesta, and we have a grandma and grandpa in town to join us for it! My husband asked a good friend to join us too...and make us dinner!!!! This friend grew up in Mexico, so is going to come and make a truly authentic dish for us. I'm hoping to have the kids come up with one question each to ask him about growing up in Mexico. We have enjoyed reading all the Mexico books from our book basket. I also wanted to try doing one of the extra activities in a Trip Around the World. We made these physical maps of Mexico with clay; I think the kids liked it! I'm positive we placed mountains and deserts in the wrong locations...oops!

And we did a trip to the botanical gardens and it was fabulous! I'll have to post that another time! Can't wait to share our fiesta photos!

We now 8 year old in the house!

Happy Birthday, Zeke! We enjoyed the day with friends, family, football, soccer, cake and ice cream, presents...Wow. Time flies. I can not believe it has been that long since Zeke was my baby.

Zeke requested a frog pond cake. I love making their birthday cakes!

Grandpa tries his hand at Zeke's new game, Bop It!

A year for LEGOS!!!!

We love our brother Zeke!!!!

Fall Days

We have FINALLY had some nice fall weather here! We enjoyed a trip to a farm stand...not really an orchard or pumpkin patch...but fun, anyways. Homemade pumpkin donuts, cider, hay maze...the kids had a blast running through the hay!

And the kids have unanimously decided that our street should really be named Maple Street:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekly Highlights, week 5 ECC

I had a very unexpected blessing today as we wrap up our first week studying Mexico and deserts with ECC. I had wanted to buy a little cactus plant for the kids to observe/touch/draw during our desert study. Well, I couldn't find one at the Meijer floral department, so after the kids' art class today I saw a little floral station selling pumpkins and bales of hay. Well, I stopped in there and bought a mum and hay for decoration, of course no cacti, but they directed me to a greenhouse just a few driveways over. Well, this was such a blessing! We pulled up to some really old greenhouses behind a house...I this right? Anyways...we walk in to a really eclectic looking greenhouse, but my dear daughter spoke from her heart and said "Wow, she really knows her plants!" And this lady did! I told her we were looking for cactus plants, she deduced we were homeschoolers, and proceeded to show us lots of amazing succulent plants!!!!! It was awesome! The kids got to feed her goldfish, saw a fish-hook cactus, bought a moon stone plant, another succulent that reproduces if you just break off a leaf, a mini-Joshua tree...all for $5!!!! This lady was amazing and God led us to her greenhouse today! She also suggested that we go to the Matthai Botanical Gardens, which is just around the corner from us, so I will try that next week! She said they have an amazing cactus room. Although my 2 year old was a bit of a handful on this adventure today, I'm so glad we took the detour and found this gem. We even got a peek at a rainforest "sensitive" plant that closed its leaves when you touched it. I will definitely go back to this diamond in the rough! Especially for pumpkins that were priced so much fairer than at the big orchards/pumpkin patches. Anyway, a great way to end a great school week!

Our ice experiments suggested for this week failed, which I expected, but felt bad just skipping them. They just don't work in a cold, dreary autumn Michigan environment! The ice cube in my cupboard melted faster than the one sitting in the "sun" (in reality it was sitting next to a freezing cold window with absolutely no sun!). And the underground ice cube melted more than the ice cube sitting in the before mentioned "sun". Now we know why the chipmunks around here live under our porch, deck, rocks.... :)

Math and English are going well. Zeke is finishing up the 2B book in Singapore and Abby has just started the Primer book in Math U See. We use bob Jones english for 2nd grade on up, and Abby is finishing up the first grade book in sing, spell, read and write. Eli, my preschooler is doing a mumbled mess of things, but I just saw the letter of the week preparatory curriculum posted on someone's blog and it looked like something I could use for him. He is constantly asking for more school work books to do! I will check it out and maybe implement that in the next couple of weeks!

A few funny things from the mouths of babes:

Micah: "Darn it, Abby!"
Abby on a comment from Eli: "Well, that's just weird!"

We took the kids to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs tonight. I looked it up on a Christian review and it had pretty high marks, but I didn't necessarily care for it. My husband tells me that most of the innuendos go right over their heads, but I don't know....I was disappointed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

School Days

We have had a pretty good week of school here. Just thought I'd share some pics of the daily happenings here. And I am so excited to ALMOST have our basement back to full functioning order after...a year or so!!!! Zeke painted his first wall with daddy tonight! One more coat tomorrow night, carpet on Saturday...aahhhh...I plan on setting up a LARGE pre-school/toddler play area for the younger boys! It will be so nice to have that space back in working order! See you after some birthday celebrations this weekend!

OK, here we go:

1) LOADS of laundry!

2) Winter hat time!

3) Yarn Art

4) Great-Grandma was here to help, thank goodness!

5) YES! I get to play with glue!!!!!!

6) Micah helps with breakfast while mommy is not looking...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lifehouse Everything

We had our monthly community fellowship meeting at church tonight and our pastor showed us this video. WOW! The tears just flowed. This is what Jesus has done for you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The root of the righteous...

Proverbs 12:12 The root of the righteous flourishes

I am going to brag about my husband here! When I read this verse this Monday morning, I immediately thought of my husband and was overcome with gratitude for him. To make a long story short, I had an opportunity to see his heart so clearly this weekend. He is so rooted in God's truth and never sways from God's mission. I wish I could share all the details, but I can't. I'm just so thankful to have a husband who is living all out for God and is rock solid in his faith and stands on God's principles in every aspect of his life.

Also, I was so proud of Zeke as well! He also showed me what an amazing heart he has this weekend! I was in tears as I tucked him bed Sunday night after he played for an hour and half with a little guest we had over so Steve could minister to the parents. It was amazing. In a world that preaches and pushes "SELF", I'm so glad to be fighting against this trend in our household and raising children who can think of other people before themselves. They are far from perfect in this area, but Sunday night was one of those glimpses that they are catching what it means to live for Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus for this amazing family you've laid in my lap!

I've also been reading in 2 Peter this week, and it has been awhile since I've read that book. But there are amazing truths here! Listen to these beautiful verses!

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. through these he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them I may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:19 You will do well to pay attention to the word of the prophets, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Sunnier Days

Well, we have had some more sunny days here! Figuratively and literally! I remembered some nature trails at a park down the road and REALLY wanted to get the kids there for a walk in a real forest. So, we finally had a sunny day on Saturday and fit in our forest nature walk after our Sam's Club run. It was great...we could discuss pretty much everything we had learned about forests! We identified the canopy, understory, shrub layer, floor, saw a frog and birds, ferns, fungi and berries... Then we made some leaf cookies to conclude our forest study (this actually happened a few days later...would have been nice if it occurred on the same day, but no chance of that!)!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Giving Up!

Sometimes I just feel like GIVING UP! And sometimes, I just CAN'T DO IT! I wish I had something encouraging to follow this up with, like a great verse I read about trusting in the Lord, He will make you strong...etc, etc. But I don't. We skipped school on Friday because the younger two had been sick the whole week and I was just done. So, we went to McD's for lunch, then to our art class, and Steve and I had a date scheduled...then we got a call that one of our good friends had had a stroke!!!! I think I've just been a little shut down since then. I'm not exactly sure. I had a great time at the Hearts at Home conference on Saturday, I should be refreshed and encouraged...but I'm not. This week it seems that the kids' character issues are taking most of the day to deal with and I can't say that I'm all too excited to deal with them! But isn't that why I homeschool? Because we believe that character matters...more than academics...UGH. Taking Friday off also made me a little stressed thinking of how I would catch up with everything this week. At least that has turned out OK... Here is one highlight from the bits and pieces of school we did last week:
Our Matthew bookmarks! The kids had fun trying out the Greek letters. We did have fun today with the color the states challenge from Week4 and we decided to make the bean necklaces for our second craft from the US. I'm *thinking* of doing some extra science projects this week that relate to forests. I'll see how that goes and share later! Does anyone else have weeks like this? Also, if anyone else has tips on what to do with your younger children while doing all the school required for your older children, I would LOVE some tips! Thanks!