Skimmer Duty~

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

During pool season, checking the skimmer is the #1 chore and the littles can't wait to go out each morning.
Today they hit the jackpot...
9 toads and 1 salamander~
 During breakfast both EK and SJ researched to determine what kind of toads and salamanders they had saved~
They decided they needed a photo printed and wrote all about their morning in their journal.
They also copied some facts from their books.
Yay for Skimmer Duty!

Our Jumpoline~

Our (Jumpoline} trampoline mat was completely worn out and EK asked for a new one for her birthday...
it finally delivered and Scott repaired it last night.
The littles were SO happy!
WP wrote his journal story about it this morning!
Lots of jumping today!!!

A Tree is Nice~

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This week we are rowing A Tree is Nice~
 We especially loved the words Everything Beautiful in it!
After we read the story, we created our own trees in honor of the real trees we LOVE in our yard~ 
 {Dogwoods, Magnolia, and Swing Trees}
We decorated them with stickers and wrote what we love about our trees~
Trees make the woods.
They make Everything Beautiful.

Simple Sunday~

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Simple Sunday afternoon is the best kind!!!

Some Happy Kids~

Saturday, April 26, 2014

We could not hold them back any longer~
YES! They got in and really never complained at all.
Just shivered and played and had the BEST of days!!!
Happy Kids!!

Scary Friday~

Friday, April 25, 2014

This morning we were in the school room when I heard a hissing sound coming from the kitchen.
I had EK peak around the corner and she asked if there was supposed to be smoke coming from the dishwasher...
Ummmm NO!
I rushed to see and had a slight panic.
I opened the door to check it and water shot out everywhere 
AND it wouldn't turn off even when I pushed cancel.
I panicked again!

I called Scott, no answer.
I called my neighbor, no answer.
I called my brother, no answer.
Still panicking... I kept thinking water, smoke, electricity... not good!
Finally both Scott and Jason called... reminding me to kick the breaker.
Scott just happened to get a repair man on the phone as Jason walked in my door!!!
Then the repair man.
With the breaker kicked and the washer off, it was determined water had seemed into the control panel, 
making it overheat and melt... thus the smoke.
THE SMOKE... made my house stick like burned plastic.
The repair man told me to pour coffee in bowls around my house and it would soak up the smell~
It worked!!!
But NOT my dishwasher... it's a goner and will have to be replaced.
For now we are washing dishes the old fashion way. :)
The littles think it's SO fun!

Reading with EK~

There is a great deal of reading done each day with everyone...
from Bible to FIAR to living books to history to science and math, 
not to mention chapter books and bedtime stories.
I try to have a time when I specifically sit with EK and SJ to work on reading at their level each day.
This week EK and I chose a Cynthia Rylant book, The Blue Hill Meadows for her to read to me.
One chapter each day and it was wonderful~
As we read, I can't tell you how many connections she made from her life, another book, or something in the world to the text.
We learned much new vocabulary and after reading I always had her extend learning with some kind of writing.
Day 1 with Chap 1 she just wrote a life story of her own of a connection she made.
Day 2 with Chap 2 there was much about a fishing trip. 
I had her record/draw all the fish and research a fact about each.
Day 3 with Chap 3 after reading I had her narrate all she remembered from her reading and I wrote down every word.
Two things she noticed:
~ she remembered SO many details
~ I sure can write fast... wow, cursive really IS awesome!

We have one more chapter and the time spent one on one has been super sweet.
It has encouraged the others to bring me a book for me to read just for them.
Reading with our children is probably one of the BEST things we can spend time doing.

Sweet Moments~

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's see~
1. Someone says she doesn't need a nap... {5pm sound asleep}
2. School and playing Spot It!
3. Evening Scooter Club
4. Golf lessons from daddy
5. Major nesting going on here... {Tile and grout scrubbing}

I also took a 30 min free photog class yesterday called The World's Greatest Photo Tip
and you can take it too...
If you missed this class, you have one more chance to register:
Thursday, April 24, at 9PM Eastern
And after watching just LOOK at the shots I got~





and Evie~
I was THRILLED and in LOVE with my camera again!!!

Spot It!~

We bought the original Spot It! awhile ago and along about Christmas I found the other three~
All 5 kids have loved each one!
I have them in a center bin to do each day when morning work is done.
The boys were playing today~
and Evie wanted to play...
They take turns {she doesn't}.
They play by the rules {she doesn't}.
They are ok if the other person gets the card {she isn't}
She came to me and we modified~

Some really great skills going on with this simple game~
Visual perception, focus, reaction time: 
ALL which strengthen reading, writing, and math skills!
Growing Whole Hearts AND Brains!!!

Happy Earth Day~

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today we celebrated Earth Day with a very sweet book...
The story helped us think of all the things we use in a day, 
where they come from, and how we can be conservative.
We loved the phrase...
Everything comes from something,
Nothing comes from nothing.
Just like paper comes from trees,
And glass comes from sand. 
Everyone thought of one way {with help} they could help take care of the Earth and wrote about it.
We also traced our 'helping hand'!

Next we were off to the kitchen for some earth painting.
I really like these Tempera Cakes since we can take out the colors we want to use by adding water~
 Looking at the globe, they drew a few continents onto a paper plate then painted.

After painting we made Earth Day cakes and sang Happy Earth Day to God~ {since He made the earth and all creation:}
 We broke out our new Geography book and worked on a couple of pages while singing our continents and oceans songs~
 After everything was dry, we combined it all into our final project~
that is now hanging in our school room.
Happy Earth Day everyone!!!

Art in Nature~

Monday, April 21, 2014

We are changing it up a bit this week...
going to celebrate God's beautiful creation with Earth Day tomorrow.

Today while reading our history selection Benjamin West we read that he drew on birch bark.
EK went out and gathered bark, a feather (quill) and black paint~
She had quite the audience while trying out this old fashioned art technique.

Instead of a FIAR title this week, I read a great review for The Raft and decided we would use it for our Earth Day selection~
ALL the kids LOVED it!
There were SO many connections with this story.
The boy in the story spends the summer with his grandmother near a river and she encourages him to draw/paint nature.
Today we spent the rest of the day outside enjoying our own yard full of nature!
They even dug up and replanted the wild onions~
Can't imagine what we will get into tomorrow!!!

Happy Easter 2014~

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter is one of my favorite days of the whole year!
 I LOVE getting everyone up for their Easter baskets and getting all dressed up for church!
Our service @ NewSpring was amazing... 1495 people SAVED~ crossed over from death to life. 
{God is still God. God is still good. To God be the Glory!}

I also love the family time we share and it seems we grow a little bigger each year.
YES! We welcomed Ben Curtis to the fam this year~
{Just look at him and his little Easter basket!}

My very favorite part is getting a new family photo~
{Looking at our precious baby}

Our Originals make life SO amazing and having them all home was the BEST~

Later in the afternoon we had a little egg hunt in the front yard~
Is there anything more fun to do with your cousins?
More egg hunt~
Probably the BEST thing for the kids of the day was~
Opening our pool!!!
Happy Easter everyone!

The Baby Girls~

Saturday, April 19, 2014

When we were waiting for Evie, lots of people said she looked like me~
Today several people said the same about Holly so I made a collage to compare. 
Amazing isn't it?
Only God could orchestrate the resemblances. 
Thankful I get to be their mommy and 7 others as well!!! 

A GOOD Friday for sure~

Friday, April 18, 2014

As we sat together this morning reading the story of Christ's crucifiction, I received an email from all the way around the world.
We had sent a care package to HollyMei the beginning of this week because she will turn 4 on May 1st.
I didn't expect to hear back so soon but there is a holiday coming so they went ahead and celebrated with her.
Just look at the beautiful nannies getting it all ready~
We sent her a package as well with 3 photos of us and two books.
We were able to ask 10 questions about her and learned she is very attached to her nanny~
Can you even believe the size of her cake?~
Sure hope all her friends enjoyed it!!!
One of the most important things we wanted was updated measurements.
As I began to translate out of metric system, 
I found out she is exactly the same height, weight, foot size, and chest size as Evie.
All the clothes I have for her will fit perfectly!!!
All day long Evie has said...
"Show me my Holly, mama!"
Well here she is giving us the victory sign and seriously making me love her ALL the more!

Earlier this week we were Cabled.
These new photos come just one day after our Article 5 was dropped off and will be picked up in two weeks.
At that point we will be on the final step of Travel Approval and Consulate Appt date then we can book our flights!
We plan to travel around the second week in June.
Not long now sweet HollyMei.
Seeing your sweet face made for 
A Good Friday for sure!!!

Good Friday~

Today we read the story of Christ's crucifiction and talked about God's plan for our salvation.
I found a beautiful post here and pretty much copied her idea~
It was amazing to watch the littles faces as we drew those red circles and colored them in.
I told them if they had been the only person on the earth,
Christ would have still died for them.
A super sweet day for SJ for sure... she asked Jesus to come live in her heart.
I'm pretty sure THAT is exactly what this season of Easter is all about.
Praise You Jesus for loving us SO much you would lay down your life.

Busy and Growing~

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Today as we got school underway, I looked around to see~
Everyone working on their own thing... {Busy}!
I want to remember the day the three little littles began their Reading Eggs adventure~
Super happy don't you think?
They also learned to work the CD player and listen to stories from the libray... {Growing}!

Boys, Boys, Boys~

The boys have a little bit of a hard time lately with boo boos~
Tough and brave!

AND tomorrow is the big day to see THIS baby BOY~
We CAN NOT wait!!!
BOYS... not a dull moment!!!