A Great Day~

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day made... dinner with Savannah and Amelia~
 {Not the best photo but HAD to take one!}
Icing on the cake... Rosie received two more college admissions today!!!

38 Weeks~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maybe all I could do was mother…And yet, why did I feel so fulfilled when I bedded down three kids between clean sheets? What if raising and instilling values in three children and turning them into worthwhile human beings would be the most important contribution I ever made in my lifetime? ~ Erma Bombeck

Worship, Reading, & Technology~

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This weekend while rummaging through a cabinet I found our Hide 'em in your Heart cds~
This morning EK read our bible story for us
(I had not eaten breakfast)
and we added some worship songs!
We are singing 5 a week and hope to have them all memorized by the end of the year!!!

EK has read just about all the 'reading' books I can find for her and she really just wants to read non fiction SO...
I'm going with it!
Last year I let her Zoobook subscription expire so for Christmas we gave her another one.
She races to the mailbox for days when one is due for delivery~
 Today I had her choose one for reading time.
She chose a topic inside and read to me then narrated a summary.
I found an Animal Report book and printed for her.
We began working on it today and she loved it!
Mixing reading and science just feels so right for her!!!

AND then there is WP!
He is doing so well with his letter recognition and sounds,
I decided to start him on Reading Eggs
{We LOVE Reading Eggs!!!}
I really think it helped EK make such a great leap in her reading confidence and fluency!!!
SJ has been working in it for a year now and WP joined the ranks today~
 He was very proud of himself and I am sure PC is right behind him!

A New Schedule~

Monday, February 24, 2014

I LOVE having homeschooling mom friends to bounce ideas and curriculum with.
This weekend I was talking to Amber about struggles to be available for all the children and sometimes being frustrated.
She suggested doing some rotations and it has made our day flow so much smoother~

Our New Schedule:
8-8:30 Breakfast and Bible/Prayer/Memory Verse
8:30-9 Chores (Dishes/Dishwaser, Bed, Room, Clothes, Teeth)
9:00 Calendar and Songs
            ~Morning Work for EK and SJ                    ~Littles
                        Ring a Word                                                   Journals
                        Cursive                                                           ABC Work
                        Explode the Code                                          ETC
            *EK Piano lesson/practice
9:30 M~ FIAR
         T~ History (Beautiful Feet American History)
         W~ FIAR
         Th~ History (Beautiful Feet American History)
         F~ FIAR Fun Friday
10 Rotations {Littles do Centers on Shelf}
Language Arts~       
EK:      Grammar (Rod & Staff), Language (Early Lessons),  Reading (Zoobooks/response)
 SJ:       Language (Early Lessons), Reading (I Can Read & Sight Word Practice)

Both:   Centers/Listening Basket/
                                    Computer- reading eggs/spelling
11 Rotations {Littles go play in rooms}
                        EK and SJ:      Math~ MUS, Computer (Xtra Math) , flash cards
                                                Life of Fred on Mondays
                                                IPad school games
12 Lunch
12:30 Quiet Time with Jesus
12:45 Chapter book/ Science (Apologia Land Animals) 
1:30   Rest in Rooms or Outside
2 Outside Nature time/ Art/ Music
            *SJ Piano Lesson

I have deemed EK our schedule keeper and she does it SO well...
telling what is coming up and checking off as we complete~

The shelves are set up with EK/SJ's materials on one and the little 3 on the other~
 {They asked to have the desks out for a while... working at the table or on the floor}
We begin with our bible story and some activity to go with it.
This week they all got an activity sheet @ church so we worked on it~
SJ LOVES being the calendar teacher so we let her take that job!
EK and SJ work on their morning work while I do small group with little 3.
They are really doing great with letters, numbers, and fine motor work.

Usually EK is done before SJ so I send her the piano for a lesson/practice~
 We are alternating between FIAR and History each day.
Today we read The Little House and again and worked on maps.

It has been great to incorporate rotating between EK and SJ.
Having that one on one time with them makes their harder subjects a little less frustrating~
The little ones have really done well choosing activities from their shelf.
I am just letting them work until about 11 and sending them to play until lunch.

This week because our weather is in the high 60s we are eating lunch outside in the sun.
They really need the fresh air and so do I :)~
After Evie is down we all retreat into the sunroom for Science and our fav... chapter book reading.
Our afternoon is filled with art, music, or playing outside!
Pretty sure I hear every single day...
"I sure will be glad when the pool is open!"
{ME TOO!!!}

Welcoming ONE such Child~

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Matthew 18:5~
"And whoever welcomes ONE such child in my name welcomes me."

I began this post last night and just didn't know where it needed to go...
so I put down the top on my computer and went to bed.

Today we all went to church and I just had an undeniable feeling it was time to try Evie in her class.
~She's been home 13 months completely coccooned with me except a time here 
and there with my mom or Rosie here at home.
~She asked to go last week.
~Needed to give her a chance to see I ALWAYS come back!!!

Honestly she screamed her lungs out at first but in one minute it was over 
and she was playing with Mills (volunteer) and a baby doll.

I stood right outside the double doors the whole service just in case she needed me... 
she stayed the whole time and when I went to get her I found her~
 Perfectly fine having a snack.
When she saw me she lit up like a Christmas tree and yelled,
"You always come back???"
YES! I AWAYS come back! Forever!!!

Why was it such a perfect day for Evie to try her class other than she was ready?
The sermon...  
It was JUST for me!
Perry preached the scripture we have inscribed on our tshirts... 
the one at the top of my post~

Matthew 18:5~
"And whoever welcomes ONE such child in my name welcomes me."

Such an amazing sermon and One everyone could grow from hearing.
Sometime this week please visit and watch!!! 

As I listened I kept hearing the words Welcome One in my heart.
Anyone who WELCOMES ONE such child...
What does Welcome mean to you?
Our Welcome is adoption.

Maybe Welcome means advocating for orphans.
Maybe your welcome is praying for orphans, waiting families, adoptive families/children already home.
Maybe it is welcoming One through adoption or foster care.
Maybe Welcome is finacially supporting an orphan needing care, surgery, or an education.

{Friend Blog Posts you HAVE to read!}

The Bible gives us a clear insight into Welcome~
James 1:27~
 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: 
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Day before yesterday someone shared another video of Holly eating soup with her orphanage mates.
I can tell you I have watched it about a thousand times.
I of course screenshot some photos and have looked at them a thousand times too!
Two things I learned about our sweet baby...
1. She is left handed and
2. She has the sweetest dimple ever~
SHE is our ONE we will be welcoming home very soon!

Since we logged in on February 10 our dossier is making its way through the process fairly quickly and we are looking ahead to travel.

As with all of our adoptions, we have always trusted and obeyed God's lead to bring home each of our children.
We haven't come to them with a giant savings acount ready to take care of all the fees...
 just hearts full of faith.

Once again we come to the place where a large sum will need to be wired to China and to be honest we have no idea where it will come from.
We ARE sure God knows and will bless our obedience to trust Him.

In anticipation of Spring we are offering another beautiful color for our ONE tshirts... Canary~
 I really love it!
You can order it by clicking the Buy Now button on our sidebar.
Our sales have been very steady and we are so very thankful!
This has been a great fundraiser to help bring sweet Holly home.
Back to Welcoming One and how you can specifically bless our Holly...
~Pray for God's providence 
~Buy a tshirt
~Donate any amount by clicking the Donate button on sidebar
{You can't outgive God and He is sure to bless immeasurably More than we could ever imagine.}
The Bible says in Ephesians 3:21~
 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
  We have no idea how God is going to bless this journey to Holly but I can tell you we are excited to see His miracles bless One home to her forever!


Friday, February 21, 2014

No words necessary~

Maybelle the Cable Car~

Monday was a great day of school and then the rest of the week happened... just a lot of appointments but today was a good day!
We LOVE Virgina Lee Burton books.
Perfect reads for the boys and just enough personification for the girls to really love them too!
On Tuesday we read The Little House and talked about cities, street signs, and set up a play area to role play.
Today I read Maybelle The Cable Car and I have to say it may be my very FAV of all
We plan to row this one next week too but today we focused on the theme of voting and ballots~
I introduced surveys to them...
I had each one grab their journal, think of a question they would like to ask, and then head off to collect their data.
PC, WP, and EC all chose Do you like orange/green/blue respectively Yes or No.
EK: Do you like black bears or brown bears?
SJ: Do you like unicorns or horses?
EK and SJ even texted several family members and waited through the day to compile their conclusions.
We talked most and least with the littles and a little more in depth with the older girls.
EK plans to transfer her data to a bar graph and I even want to show her how to make a pie graph using the computer.
SO many themes running through this book and look forward to another week to explore.

Sweet Payne~

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Payne had his yearly Spina Bifida appointment today~
 A great visit with all the specialists who deemed him amazing!
We couldn't agree more!!
Thank You Jesus!!!

Baby Shower~

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Savannah had an ultrasound this morning.
Sweet Ben Curtis weighed seven pounds and had the hiccups~
 Just look at that precious little face!!!

This afternoon the littles and I went to Savannah's last baby shower given by her grade level @ school~
Beautiful sweet friends loved on her with wonderful gifts!
Ben Curtis is going to have plenty of books to read!!
I get more and more excited each time I see Savannah!!!
Won't be long now!

Big News with The Babies~ {China & Original}

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

This morning when I headed to the kitchen for coffee and my bible 
I opened my email to find 9 NEW photos of China BABY...
Beautiful HollyMei~
 SO thankful for Kelly & Angela @ Ladybugs and Love from Above for sending a cake for CNY~
That serious little face and those eyes take my breath away!!!

OTHER Baby news... {thought it was about baby Dove didn't you?}...

Original Baby News...
Rosemary received her first official acceptance letter to Clemson University today~
Her first choice so we are hoping for lots of scholarships and God's favor for her.
Thankful for such a beautiful day!!!

{Baby Dove News: ultrasound tomorrow for Savannah AND we are going to a baby shower at her school!}
Photos to follow

An Instagram Catchup~

Monday, February 17, 2014

1. Evie 'thinking' she is hiding as she sneaks her cnady.
2. Evie and I had needed passport photos taken on Sat for China so I had to bribe her with candy.
3. I gave up Diet Coke almost a month ago and True Lemon has been my saving grace.
4. Evie and I @ NewSpring yesterday.
 5. Went by Pet Smart Sunday to see Ms. Margaret.
6. NewSpring was amazing Sunday!!!
7. Morning quiet time is the sweetest time.
8. Brownie Bear story time with dad.
All caught up!!!

President's Day~

Today I had a plan to follow our normal schedule with a couple of extra activities celebrating President's Day.

We did a little research on the IPad about President's Day and Mount Rushmore.
We sung our presidents song and named as many as we could from memory~
 My main idea for the day was a lesson about money.
I made copies of the main four coins and got a pile of real coins.
We used our magnifying glasses to observe, discuss, and match.
It was interesting to hear the various observations with the 5 kids.
I had a little song I taught them... My Piggy Bank.

I gave each little a traced pig and they cut it out.
We also cut our coins to glue on the piggy bank along with the song.
 I made up a game called Stack the Coins...
Each little chose a coin and stacked its matching coin.
We continued play until someone's stack crashed.
I liked how each child worked on various skills from recognizing each coin to EK counting up values of groups of coins.

 One of the things I love about schooling at home is Rabbit Trails...
{Allowing questions from the kids to move us into meaningful learning}.
EK is the queen of great questions...
"Mom, How is money made?"
SO we took a virtual field trip to a money factory~ SO interesting.
In the midst of the video, EK remarked how much the blanks looked like aluminum foil.
I had her get our roll and we opened up our own money stamping mint.
We glued each in our journal and labeled.
AND due to the Rabbit Chase, we didn't get all our regularly scheduled work done but I am pretty sure some awesome learning went on today!
Happy President's Day!!!

37 Weeks~

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My beautiful daughter! BC could be here anytime now. Beyond thrilled!!!
Looking forward to Wednesday~ ultrasound and another shower at her school. 
Everything Beautiful!

Happy Valentine's Day~

Friday, February 14, 2014

1 Corinthians 16:14
Do everything in love.

The LOVES of my life~
Scotty, Josh, Savannah {Ben Curtis}, Amelia, and Rosemary~
The Originals!

1 Chronicles 16:34
  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; 
his love endures forever. 

In God's great love, He gave us 6 beautiful gifts forever~
{Our School Day}
We long to have you home sweet Holly and prayed for you to feel God's LOVE holding you fast as you slept.

John 13:34-35
  "A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another."

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Fun Friday~ {Happy Valentine's Day}

Today was all things Love and Hearts!
We have two 'heart' babies in the house so this speaks near and dear to this momma's heart!
1 Corinthians 16:14
"Do everything in love."

We began our day remembering The Bible is God's Love Letter to us because it says in 1 John 4:8~
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
We also read from our wonderful God's Love devotional~
 The last page being a precious prayer I prayed over our children...
big and little!
We also read Guess How Much I Love You and It's Valentine's Day! 

Yesterday we had about run out of things to do being cooped up inside and snow playing done for the day when I found a great tutorial on book making~
I had the girls watch and try their own.
Well that was perfect because they spent the rest of the afternoon making and writing books upon books.
Today it paid off because everyone used one to make a little book about things they LOVE~
We read them to each other and glued into our journals!
1 Chronicles 16:34
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Our wifi has been out the last couple of days so I had to pull ideas from what I already had and go with it.
I had them trace half hearts on the fold and cut...
they were SO excited when they ended up with hearts~
 We also traced different sizes and dot painted them.
We each made a love bug with the cut out hearts and glued to our masterpiece.

Finally we added the extra hearts and called it beautiful!
Psalm 85:10
"Love and faithfulness meet together; 
righteousness and peace kiss each other."

We also strung beads to pipecleaners and made heart bracelets~
 Good fine motor as well as patterning.
Psalm 33:5
"The LORD loves righteousness and justice; 
the earth is full of his unfailing love."

I had some foam hearts which we placed in a bag and each took turns pulling one to record on our graph~
It was fun seeing which one would Win as they say and we did some other skills as well... adding, most/least/equal.
John 13:33-34
"A new command I give you: Love one another. 
As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, 
if you love one another."

And THE most important part of Fun Friday...
Basically we just ate the cookies our daddy bought for our Valentine's snack! 
Easy and yummy!
John 14:15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Overall I would say everyone had a VERY Fun and Happy Valentine's Fun Friday!!!
{We also made the sun catchers you see in the background with torn tissue paper and sticky paper}
1 Corinthians 13:13
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

A Snow TBT to the Bigs~

Thursday, February 13, 2014

All this snow had me reminiscing of days gone by when the Bigs were Littles.
Just like littles of today, the Bigs LOVED the snow too!
The very first photo is back when Savannah was the one and only with our first dog Clancy~
 I don't think anyone LOVED the snow as much as wild Fisher {right Mimi?}.
These are the days in our first house in Country Club Place~
When we lived in Gwinnett, all the kids loved sledding down the hills on the golf course~
  Rosie is still driving this jeep after all these years {Dalila}~
These are the days I am SO thankful I am an overachiever when it comes to taking photos...
thus all three sitting in the snow posing for me. :)~

LOVE that the littles now still wear the same coats and hats the bigs have on~
What a sweet journey to A Snow TBT dedicated to the Bigs and our great LOVE for them!
The good old days!!!

{all photos reshot from my Creative Memories albums}


Beautiful Feet American History~

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All the littles have loved our History curriculum especially when we read about Pochahontus and Squanto. 
Over the last two weeks we have been reading The Courage of Sarah Noble which will be one of our favs always~
We finished reading the book today and found a video of the picture book to watch. 
I went out in the garage, dug out a couple of boxes, and introduced our new history project. 
Both girls will be creating a representation of Sarah Noble's life with the Woodland Indians. 
Finished project and presentation to come soon. 

Explode the Code~

I have used Expolde the Code with both EK and SJ and began Get Ready for the Code with 3 littles~
They worked so hard and recognize the letter F everywhere now~ 
SO fun doing school in our sun room where we feel we're right outside in the snow. Evie keeps me I stitches ALL DAY LONG! She's wearing my reading glasses.  

Snow Craze 2014~

Monday we were being warned a winter storm was on its way.
In the south we are usually really wary of that reality.
There was no need to doubt because we woke up yesterday morning to a light dusting 
and continued through the morning as we did school.
After lunch the littles were out the door to BUILD A SNOWMAN...
and they were successful building a Snow Family~
 By evening the forecast was calling for another round even bigger than the first and THIS is what we woke to today~
 A Winter Wonderland on Lakeshore!
 Again we spent the morning in sunroom watching the snow fall while we got our school work done!
After lunch we hit the snow for lots of sledding~
 and freezing to death~
 I like how beautiful the snow is and how much fun the kids have...
but I think we will be ready for warmer temps and clear roads by the weekend. :)
Snow Craze 2014!!!