Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mini-golf party (on a budget!!)

Toot had a small birthday party with friends on Saturday. We currently celebrate with extended family separately from friends due to family living out-of-state. This past year Toot has discovered his love of sports, or more specifically, competition. Thus, he chose a mini-golf party with his three best buds.
The day was a lot of fun. These four boys are so sweet together and make for a great mix. After mini-golf we played in the arcade. Then we headed home to have pizza, cake, and ice cream with Jaybird and Lydie. Toot had a blast! And, I think all of his friends enjoyed celebrating his big day, too.
::The party prep::

::The party time::

*$0 for invitation (used old craft materials)
*$3 per favor bag x 4 bags = $12 (got a golf game and animal toy for $1 each at Michael's + bags were on the dollar aisle. Used craft materials for tags, "Thanks FORE coming!")
*$12 cake ingredients (candy, plastic golf figures)
*$6 for faux grass carpet for table
*$0 for mini golf (coupon for 4 kids free golf)
*$10 drinks, chips, napkins, plates
*$10 tokens for arcade
*$0 pizza (coupon)
TOTAL: $50

Friday, August 28, 2009

Living Lovely II

I have loved Heidi's blog for years. So I am joining her in her challenge to Live Lovely. Doesn't that sound wonderful?
This week's challenge: Make a splash!
::We made a splash in an unusual way with slime guns last weekend! The splashes weren't so lovely, but the memories are!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I wander as I wonder

Sometimes I think I might be crazy or ADD or both. Because no matter where I am or what I am doing, there is always a little artwork going on in my head. For months I had visions of a robin on a nest that I wanted to paint with my oils. Sometimes I see a bouquet of flowers and immediately see exactly where they could be in my home, and in what container. When I hear a beautiful song, I choreograph ballets in my head. Usually when I am driving (YIKES!). And for every single square inch of blank wall, I have a dream. Does any one think like this? Am I crazy or ADD?

In the pictures: Little corners of the house that are always changing!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A day in the life

I am joining Darcy again for her "Not Back-to-school Blog Hop". This week's topic is "Day-in-the-Life". So, here goes!

"For unflagging interest and enjoyment, I recommend a household of children. If things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison."

-Teddy Roosevelt
Today is Wednesday (right?). I slept in until 7:00. No coffee and Bible reading with hubby (he was out of town), so I opted to read later and sleep now. The house was a wreck (Tuesdays are crazy busy for us and we had dinner with friends last night), so I decide to recruit the kids to help me clean the house before school starts. Today is our only day to not have a commitment in the afternoon or evening, so this will be a "work day" around here!

We have cereal and their devotions. We are reading Leading Little Ones to God, the Toddler Bible, and First Catechism questions. Then we:

~Pick up the house
~Change the litter box for the cat and kittens
~Vacuum the house
~Collect and take out the trash
~Water the flowers
~Pull sheets and dirty clothes and begin laundry
~Sweep kitchen and wipe down table and counters
~Wash dishes
~Wipe down bathrooms
~Put away gifts from birthday party and organize play room
(They also pretended they were some scary thing and ran around with their comforters on their heads and played a game of tag. Boys will be boys!)

10:00 We are done. The kids are dressed. I have not had a shower! They are hungry. We grab a snack and head to the school room.
Between now and lunch, we learn from:

::Phonics (Explode the Code 4 & 7)
::Writing (Journal for 1st gr. and my mixture of creative writing and BJU for 3rd gr.)
::Unit (1st gr. is learning science and history from my own units- will start Mystery of History next year)
(Not so excited about this project.)

(But loved this book and art project. Can you see the sparkly fin?)

These are the books we've read in the past week.

::Spelling Workout (B, C)

::Handwriting (Abeka cursive)

::Reading (Floss + an art project from Veritas Press' comprehension guide for 1st grader) (complete Alice and Wonderland + book report mobile for 3rd grader)

Toot's reading project: a Floss puppet

Jaybird with his book report mobile

::Logic (Mind Benders puzzle for each)

*These subjects were taught while "ping-ponging" from each boy, and the 2 year old. And occasionally I ran upstairs to work on the laundry. Here are some of the things Lydie did during morning school time: (She has been drawing faces the past few months. Aren't they cute?)

Then she put glue on her brother and lost the opportunity to play with him. She spent the next 20 minutes in her room playing alone (with my Grandmother's breakable miniature tea set!!)...and eventually changed her attitude and came down to apologize.

And Toot finished first, as usual. I am so glad he has the freedom to do something creative with his free time and not just busy work. (He also made a yarn ladder on his chair for the kittens.)
12:30 We stopped work and took a break for lunch. Here's how far we got with our list for today.I grabbed turkey dogs, mac and cheese and apples. I gobbled down my lunch while the kids ate. Instead of reading a book to them as I planned, I wrote a card to a friend. Then Jaybird unloaded the dishwasher (I forgot to turn it on last night so we couldn't do it until now!). While he and Toot cleaned the kitchen, Lydie watched a show and I folded laundry.

1:30 We run to Blockbuster...Wednesday is movie night! It is a gorgeous day, so we stopped by the playground for 30 minutes or so. Ahhh, love to breathe in that fresh sunshine! I ask them to let me sit on the picnic bench and rest, but then realize there will not be time to mow the grass later. And this was my plan for exercise today. So, I get off my rear and run and play with the kids.

2:30 We're home and the kids are starving AGAIN. I let them pick a snack. Lydie and I dance and sing around the kitchen to some silly music while the boys eat AGAIN. 3:00 Lydie went down for a nap. We sang and read and cuddled. The boys played together. I put in a new load of laundry and fold clothes. I (finally) hopped in the shower.

4:15 Time to finish school. The boys are hungry, again! But yogurt smoothies will have to do. We learn from :

::Math (Saxon 3 and Horizons 1)

::Grammar (Shurley 1 & 3)

::History (Mystery of History, Vol. II)

::Latin (Prima Latina)
::Bible (Veritas Press)
(Their interpretation of the cherubim and flaming sword guarding the tree in the Garden of Eden. Complete with glitter and everything!)
::Art History (We are studying Etruscan art to go along with history. I made up our history study because I wanted it to be chronological with history.) (Jaybird's Etruscan tomb painting)

As the boys are working on assignments, I create an "art gallery" for the school room, fold laundry and send emails.

6:00 We are just done with school!! Normally we are done by 2:30/3:00 and have extracurricular lessons in the afternoon. We got way off schedule today. But, we had a great day!
Since it's so late, we ordered take-out. Lydie was still asleep! I woke her up and we rode to O'Charley's for curbside service. (Love that!)

6:30 We came home, put out blankets and lap trays and had a picnic. Movie time! It was Jaybird's turn to pick and he chose Alice in Wonderland since he completed the book today.

8:00 A severe thunderstorm passed through. And, Andy came home early from his trip. We turned off the movie, oooed and ahhhed over the sheer power of God revealed outside our windows, and hugged on my husband. The kids passed on popcorn and had some candy instead.

9:15 We cleaned up our toys & food and the kids got ready for bed. I scrambled to get sheets on the bed and gave them permission to put their clean clothes away tomorrow. I read with the kids, prayed with them and gave kisses.

9:30 All is quiet. Andy is already asleep. I had the devotion I missed this morning, put up my clean clothes, started the dishwasher, used the computer, and made sure I am ready for tomorrow.

10:15 I am going to get under the covers and read and pray.

Tomorrow we will have a play date and karate, along with another full day of school. I will need to have an earlier start! (But at least my clothes and house are clean!) This sounds like the CRAZIEST life...why do I love it so much??

Monday, August 24, 2009

I forgot much fun it is to see how the kids interpret their assignments. Some of the things they say and write are so amusing to me! Here are the highlights from today:

Jaybird's writing assignment was to write a personal letter to a friend
Here it is:
Dear Alice,
How have you been? I am doing fine. How was your fall down the rabbit-hole? I hope it was okay. I hope you made some friends down there. And I hope you went on some great adventures. By the way, why is the Mad Hatter mad?
P.S. Write back soon!

And Jaybird's first page in his journal:
Welcome to my journal. I know I can trust you. You're brave, you're smart, you're daring, and you're ready for an adventure! Now, read about my 9 year-old life that is filled with Thrills! Chills! and more!

"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you."
–Maya Angelou

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend wanderings

We celebrated the boys' birthdays (J- July 31st, Toot- August 31st) with family this weekend at the farm. Cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles filled the little ranch farmhouse. So much fun, love and laughter! And lots of noise!!


The boys' first sling shot--A slime shooter--Lego building--baseball--badminton--rocking on the porch--four wheeler and golf cart riding--swimming and mud fights in the creek--millions of stars on a cool, clear night--cooking out--visiting the neighbor's horse--long walks across pastures and woods

Some of my favorite little people

Happy birthdays, my little sweet hearts!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

More firsts from the week

~Jaybird had his first karate class. It was a hit! (No embarassing picture taking for him!)

~Lydie had her first day of preschool. She will be going 3 mornings a week. No tears or nervousness from this girl. In fact, she never looked back. She was so excited! She reported, "Some of da kids cwied. And dey wear diapers and poop in dey pants. But I not do dat. Cause I Lydie Joy, I two!" Then she told me every.single.detail from her day.

~We also began using a nature journal for the first time. We found wild asters in the backyard and tried to sketch one. We are going to key it out tonight with Andy and find out the common and scientific name of the plant. It is so beautiful!

"To see a World in a grain of sand,
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour."
~Auguries of Innocence by William Blake (from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, our read-aloud for the week)