Monday, September 27, 2010


Yes, that was our highlight of the week! We saw a chipmunk scampering around our house one day! It hid under the futon on the living room most of the time, where the kids got down on hands and knees to see, but I only saw its little black tail darting out! It ran right between my legs at one point, and we have NO IDEA where it went! We spent one evening with all the doors open last week, maybe it ran out? Maybe it died under our kitchen cupboards and we will notice it in a few weeks...anyway, it was HILARIOUS because we were all screaming and running around trying to catch a glimpse of this chipmunk! Ha!!!

I also had the great idea to switch the boys' bedrooms! So, our upstairs is in a complete upheaval! Zeke is back in the room he had as a toddler, and Eli and Micah are sharing the room Zeke did have...Eli is now on the top bunk, has his own desk...I wanted to give them a little more playing room and storage room for toys. I think it will work out just fine. I am not repainting or anything...just having a little trouble fitting all of their clothes in that one small closet...

The other big thing we accomplished last week was our first day of co-op. I think it was good. Everyone seemed to like most of their classes...Eli thought one of his classes was boring, but is loving his robotics and little ninjas class! Zeke has one teacher that is "very strict", but he could use that :) Abby is loving all of her classes. I am a teacher (not the lead) for 2 hours in the 3 year old preschool class...not my first choice, but I did say I was willing to be with preschoolers. Micah joins me in that class after his little ninjas class. It is much easier to be a teacher when he is not around, though! He is VERY LOUD and oblivious to anyone else in the class except me and him! This is surely an adventure for us and I'm processing our experience with it slowly, as I usually do!

Last week in school we...well, I can't really remember... :) Did lots of stuff :) We ended the week with an attempt at a Rosh Hashanah feast, but it ended abruptly due to lack of self control at the dinner table, to put it nicely. I'm not sure how I feel about having these biblical feasts. I can see how it is very neat to see what God designed for his people...but...I don't know...maybe it is because I can be a little legalistic at times...I just end up feeling that we lose sight of Christ and what He did for us, even though the author of this book does try to bring Christ into the picture. I'm not sure how many more we are going to do. I have done a good job at not going too overboard with the feasts and doing the bare minimum. I do like having an excuse to visit Zingerman's bakehouse so often, I'm not making my own Challah bread! And I don't really see how celebrating the feasts really fits in with the rest of our history this I missing something? Maybe it will come together a little later in the year. Overall, though, I would much rather be doing more hands on activities about Mesopotamia and Egypt. I have been disappointed by the lack of hands on projects this year so far. I read one blog about making a model of the Nile River...that is more of what I was looking forward to. And I am struggling with the music history portion of the curriculum as well...absolutely no interest in it whatsoever, for me and the kids. I shouldn't have bought that CD set!!!! Any way, our core subjects are going just fine, and, as Steve has to remind me, everything else is extra! We have barely even done science this year. I don't want to be disappointed in MFW, but I am really questioning whether it was right for us this year...darn!

Here is a picture from today, with their pyramid built from Magformers. Daddy made an awesome tetrahedron too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A New Year

I don't know what happened to me over the is obvious to me now more than ever, though, that I THRIVE on a schedule and am a complete mess without one! The start of school returned my nice, organized, and controlled life :) Hurray! Whew. Summer's done. Lots of fun, swimming, sun, friends and family. It was nice for 3 months, but I can't live like that all the time!

Anyways, we started school the day after labor day and it went pretty well. The biggest disappointment was that everything was WAY too easy for Eli and he was crushed when he found out that his new math book was very basic and he already knew how to do everything I had planned for him that entire MONTH. So, we went ahead the next day and skipped to chapter 10! And after this week, I see that we are going to finish his entire kindergarten book in about a month. Steve predicted that Eli would be at the same math level as Abby, and biting Zeke's heels in a couple of years. How do you challenge a kindergartener like this? He can read so well, but is still at kindergarten level for writing/fine motor skills...I'm just going to fly through as much math as I can this year, and maybe at the end of the year, he will be in the second grade book already! Zeke and Abby are doing well in everything. We've spent a lot of time drilling multiplication facts and refreshing our division skills with Zeke while forging ahead in his 4th grade math curriculum. I totally slacked off this summer with them, but he's back up to speed in just two weeks. We had a few tears this week as he tried to remember how to write a summary for his history notebook--having to write in complete sentences, and not start all 6 six sentences with "They" and end with "too". But again, the very next day he produced a summary leaps and bound better with no tears! No permanent damage, I think! Abby dove right into learning inequalities and rounding. She's doing great in her new English curriculum. Listening to her read has been a hoot! This girls' mind moves so fast, it is just so obvious when you listen to her read out loud! She skips so many small words, entire lines of text, changes words...yet, at the end, she can give you a spot-on summary!!!!! Micah is a true joy this year. He is loving any "school" that I do with him. We are doing a letter a week and he has fun trying to write his letters, coloring his letter sheets, cutting and gluing, and just sitting at his desk collecting paper upon paper. I am seeing many challenges to face this year, but great growth in all of their minds and maturity. We are looking forward to a great year!

We are joining a co-op this year, something I've never tried starts next week, so I will let you know how it goes! I have mixed feelings, but hope it will be good for all of us.

I have visited some of your blogs after being absent all summer and am looking forward to keeping updated again. So many of your blogs are encouraging and interesting! Thanks for sharing!

Abby was inspired to draw the picture at the top of the entry after we had a real, authentic Jewish Sabbath Feast last Friday night. It was so much fun!

Here we are measuring the approximate length of Noah's Ark:

Our first day of school and our newly designed school room!