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Monday, September 16, 2013

homeschool days

I think I've mentioned before that Parker is kindergarten now...and that she goes to a hybrid school where she attends private school 2 days a week, and then we homeschool 2 days a week.  She attended this school last year for K4, but our home days were very laid back....maybe 30 minutes of work on home days (maybe even less than that!).

But this year is kindergarten.  It's 'for real', as I put it.  Haha.

We're still trying to get into our groove.  I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I need to do with Grace and Nolan and how to teach her math! (We have a curriculum that tells me word for word what to say, but I feel that it will get easier as the year goes on).

On our first homeschool day, we had breakfast and then I made them get dressed for the day.  Their favorite thing to wear while we are at home is pajamas (I've said before- Geoff says I've ruined them when it comes to this...but hey....what else should we wear while hanging around the house??) so they don't like this part that much.  But I get dressed, too (read: shorts and a shirt).....just trying to get is more in the 'school' mode.

I had them take a 'restroom break'  and then told them to line up at the door.  Ha ha!!  Parker loved this.  She skipped along and said, "This is going to be the best day!"  Which I think she really believed.  That is- until we started the Math lesson (which was the 2nd thing that we did.)

I'm still working on my system of setting up her workboxes and just trying to have everything ready for the day so that we have the potential for all to run as smooth as possible.

Our second homeschool day was a little more involved.  We started the bible lesson and calendar....and then our first 'real' math lesson.  It took us a little while, but made it through.

Science.  Solids and liquids.  Melting solid crayons to liquid...then seeing them cool and become solid again.  (we didn't have to do this part because they did it in school, but we have lots of extra broken crayons and I thought it'd be fun to do and include Grace)

Bubs is sometimes there for the ride, too.

{mostly} liquid

Some things we do...

Brain breaks.   These were shared with me by a friend of mine who is homeschooling her daughter (she was also Parker's teacher last year in K4) and they are just cards with various activities that are intended to give their brains a break.

We use these awesome schedule cards found here. (also found and shared by a friend of mine)

Our workboxes.  (which are still a work in progress)

This whole room is really still a work in progress.  It absolutely drives me bonkers having all of this clutter (although you wouldn't know this about me since there is clutter essentially everywhere in my home).  

Just keeping it real, folks.  I hope to do a complete room tour soon.  If When I get it all cleaned up.  :)  So don't hold your breath.  The reality of it is- this just might not ever happen.

I mostly just wanted to document these first days.  It will be neat to look back at this post at the end of the year knowing then what our year ended up looking like.  I often feel so overwhelmed and doubt myself frequently. I don't want to fail her.  

So far- the days have been ok.  Things are a bit more chaotic before I get Nolan down for a nap.  And then while he's sleeping things are much easier.  When he wakes and needs to eat we have to take a break and such, which is fine, but then it's a little bit of work getting her back into the room and mood to finish our day. I've tried to plan out a few activities for Grace to do (things like what I did with Parker when she was 3 and loved), but Grace is in the mindset that she is not in school yet and really isn't interested, and I really don't want to force it on her.  Which is also fine, I suppose.  She just ends up watching more tv at this point.  So we'll work on this. 

Another thing I've started is 'room time'.  Nolan isn't on a good schedule yet, so just whenever he goes down for an afternoon nap...the girls have to go to their room for about an hour.  They can do whatever they want as long as they are not too loud.  ;)  The thing is- they have tons of Barbies and dolls and a doll house in their room that they never play with because they always want to be where I am.  So...this gives them the opportunity to play, relax, just whatever....and it gives me some down time, too.  We've only done it a few days and it's amazing.  :)  And they actually don't mind it either.

But I do feel we were led to this place, and I know I'll have to lean on Him for patience, guidance, and perseverance (for everything!).  For my patience is the thing I need the most on these days!  And I'm looking forward to this opportunity to spend this 'extra' time with her, and teach her.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

a Rainbow Dash birthday gathering

My first-born, Parker, turns 6 this week.  {sniff} And so we had a little family gathering at our house this past Saturday.  I had totally planned for her to have a 'girl' party and invite all of her girl friends from school....but she told me she just wanted to have a party with all of our family instead.  And so we did.  I love these kind of parties.  :)

In keeping with my theme this year of simplicity...

She said she wanted to have a My Little Pony party.  Rainbow Dash is {sometimes} her favorite (depends on the day, the hour, and the position of the moon)...and so I ran with the rainbow theme.

I ordered a DIY printable banner off of Etsy, strung it on twine, made her a rainbow cake, a rainbow maxi skirt, half a dozen balloons, and got her a Rainbow Dash necklace... and called it a party.  :)
Truth is...I could have spent hundreds more and gave her an over-the-top party....but the bottom line is....I think she enjoyed this one just as much.


This cake turned out to be fairly easy to make.  2 white cake mixes, 2 tubs of white icing, food coloring gel, and 6 round cake pans.  I divided the batter fairly evenly and ended up baking on 350 for about 15 minutes (3 at a time).

My original intentions were to ice around the edges, but it was so moist, plus I think the consistency of the icing...all made the cake sort of crumble.  I was sure that it would fall apart when we tried to cut into it....which I was already preparing myself for, convincing myself that it'd still taste good regardless.

The birthday girl!  
This is the very first maxi I've ever sewn.  I had all these big plans to sew me lots of them when I was pregnant...and then sew some for the girls to match.  But I was intimidated by sewing knits for some reason (coupled with limited time).  But for her party, I knew I wanted to use this rainbow chevron pattern.  And then while looking online to purchase...I discovered that this pattern now came in knit.  So the maxi skirt it was.  And it only took me 1 hour start to I think future skirts could be made in much less time since I already have all of my calculations and probably won't have to look at the tutorial again.  I used this tutorial, by the way.

Our family of 5.  Looking at this picture, I still think "Wow...there's a lot of us."  And I love it.

We just ordered pizza for dinner.


My niece, Payton

Papaw and Nolan

Gran and Aunt Sis

Payton, Grace, Parker

Poppa and Gramma

Mimi and Parker

Parker and Granny (Parker was just beaming this whole night...just soaking up all of the attention.)

Aunt B and Dave

Now make a wish!

And the cake stayed together!!!  I didn't have any (not much of a cake person) and people said it was good.  Not sure if this is true because I do not think they would have told me otherwise.  :)  But it sure did look neat.  I've made her a different rainbow cake before for her 2nd birthday, but it was a little different than this.

We took her outside to take a few pictures of her and I wanted one with her, too.

Cannot believe it's been 6 years since this girl made me a momma for the first time.  Bittersweet.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ten on Ten :: September 2013

**1 picture an hour for 10 hours on the 10th of the month

+Litte sis reading on her own while I worked with Parker on her school work.
+Parker doing her language arts work.
+Taking all our babies for a stroll for our morning science nature walk.
+Meeting my newest niece, sweet baby Anna.
+My sweet, happy baby boy.
+Just a picture of me holding my son because I don't want to forget him this little.
+Trying on mermaid halloween costume to make sure it fits.
+After dinner coffee.
+The maxi skirt pattern I need to make Parker for her birthday dinner on Saturday, but can't seem to get to.
+Coming out after putting Nolan to bed and finding my girlies curled up on the couch together watching a show.

ten on ten button


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